Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jewincidences all around, the Siamese twins CIA/MOSSAD and the New World Order

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Does Barack Obama Offer Hope for New Mideast Dynamic?

Does Barack Obama Offer Hope for New Mideast Dynamic?

Those familiar with the pro-Zionist politics of John McCain breathed a sigh of relief at his defeat. With Barack Obama there’s a possibility of change where change is most needed: in U.S.-Israeli relations. The prospects, however, are not bright for several reasons.

First, he faces major hurdles in Congress where pro-Israelis chair key committees and subcommittees. Obama hails from Chicago, a major node in the node-and network system of organized crime. His senior in the Illinois delegation is Richard Durbin, a lawyer recruited by the Israeli lobby in 1982 to oppose 11-term Rep. Paul Findley who challenged the Israelification of U.S. foreign policy. First elected to the Senate in 1996, Durbin serves as assistant majority leader.

Durbin shares a house in Washington with Charles Schumer, a pro-Israeli senator from New York and third ranking in the Senate leadership. Both men are junior to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of mobbed-up Nevada.

Reid is a Zionist-inclined Mormon (aka the Lost Tribe of Israel). His assessment of the Israel lobby: “I can’t think of a policy organization in the country as well organized and respected.”

Obama proved on the campaign trail how readily he could yield to pressure from pro-Israelis. Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, cited Obama’s promise of change as “an opening for all kind of mischief.”

To please and appease, Obama delivered a series of pro-Israel speeches. Though it was U.S. national security that was put at risk in pursuit of Israel’s agenda in the Middle East, Obama spent much of his spring campaign pledging his allegiance to Israel and portraying its security as “sacrosanct.”

Obama takes office in the midst of a perfect storm raging in a nation targeted by those skilled at waging war “by way of deception,” the Israeli Mossad’s operating motto. Those complicit are skilled at displacing facts with what people can be deceived to believe—whether a false belief in Iraqi WMD and mobile biological weapons laboratories, or a misplaced faith in the infallible wisdom of unfettered financial markets.

Though Americans know they were deceived, they do not yet know how, by whom or to what purpose. Those anticipating change need only watch who staffs an Obama administration.

When he convened his foreign advisory team, he placed pro-Israeli Madeleine Albright at the head of the table. She was secretary of state for President Bill Clinton.

When he convened his economic policy team, Lawrence Summers took
the lead. Recently forced out as president of Harvard University, former Treasury Secretary Summers handpicked the pro-Israeli advisory team that oversaw the oligarchization of Russia. The largest fraud in history, Mikhail Gorbachev estimated that the financial pillage exceeded $1 trillion. Eight of the top nine oligarchs qualify for Israeli citizenship.

Obama will be sworn in on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP was established six months after the Springfield race riot of 1908 that resulted in seven deaths in Abraham Lincoln’s hometown. From its outset, the NAACP leadership was dominated not by African-Americans but by Jewish-Americans. Not until 1975 did it have a black president.

By allying with those genuinely oppressed, the Jewish-American community enjoyed extraordinary economic and social progress, particularly when compared to blacks. Advancement in the financial arena was especially pronounced where 25 percent of the Forbes 400 richest Americans are now Jewish, compared to 1.7% of the U.S. population. Blacks, on the other hand, continue their disproportionate representation in the lower tiers of both wealth and income.

The subprime mortgage meltdown is the third financial “pump and dump” over just the past two decades. The savings and loan fraud of the late 1980s cost taxpayers $124 billion. The far more expensive “dotcom” bust of 2000 will be dwarfed by this latest financial fraud. Those who skimmed the financial cream as markets rose have routinely been well placed to buy assets at reduced prices as markets fell.

With foreign policy and economic policy the key challenges, watch who Obama picks for those areas. In this handoff from one party to another, the same pro-Israeli bias appears likely to remain intact. Unable to manipulate him with sex (as with Clinton) or beliefs (as with Bush), race may well come into play.

As the U.S. enters the most challenging period in its 232-year history, this president could determine whether freedom survives or oppression triumphs. If President Obama grasps the all-pervasive influence of the U.S.-Israeli relationship, he could become a transformational leader—by transforming that relationship. Should he continue on the course set by previous leaders of both parties, it would be wrong to charge “the fix is in” when the facts confirm that the fix never left....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Israel is nothing but a failed Ponzi scheme....

Israel is nothing but a failed Ponzi scheme....

CIA report: Israel will fall in 20 years

A study conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has cast
doubt over Israel's survival beyond the next 20 years.

The CIA report predicts "an inexorable movement away from a
two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on
democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming
specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the
1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for
sustainable peace in the region."

The study, which has been made available only to a certain number of
individuals, further forecasts the return of all Palestinian
refugees to the occupied territories, and the exodus of two million
Israeli - who would move to the US in the next fifteen years.

"There is over 500,000 Israelis with American passports and more
than 300,000 living in the area of just California," International
lawyer Frances Kyle said in an interview with the Press on Friday,
adding that those who do not have American or western passports, have
already applied for them.

"So I think the handwriting at least among the public in Israel is
on the wall...[which] suggests history will reject the colonial
enterprise sooner or later," Kyle stressed.

He said CIA, in its report, alludes to the unexpectedly quick fall
of the apartheid government in South Africa and recalls the
disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, suggesting
the end to the dream of an 'Israeli land' would happen 'way sooner'
than later.

The study further predicts the return of over one and a half million
Israelis to Russia and other parts of Europe, and denotes a decline
in Israeli births whereas a rise in the Palestinian population...

Kyle said given the Israeli conduct toward the Lebanon and the
Gaza strip as of late..., the American public -- which has been
voicing its protest against Tel Aviv's wars and massacres against all
peoples of the Lebanon and Palestinians in the last 55 years
-- will 'not take it anymore'...

Some members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have been
informed of the report....

Israeli President Shimon Peres has participated in shaping the policies of Israel for most of its existence. His Washington Post op-ed last week billed as “a peacepartners prod” to the Obama administration, evidences a major disconnect within the government of Israel concerning what is urgently required for that country’s increasingly unlikely long-term survival.

According to a CIA Study currently being shown to selected staff members on the US Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Israel’s survival in its present form beyond the next 20 years is doubtful.

The Report predicts “an inexorable movement away from a two-state to a one-state solution, as the most viable model based on democratic principles of full equality that sheds the looming specter of colonial Apartheid while allowing for the return of the 1947/1948 and 1967 refugees. The latter being the precondition for sustainable peace in the region.”

To President Peres’ chagrin, the Executive Summary states that “during the next fifteen years more than two million Israelis, including some 500,000 Israeli citizens who currently hold US green cards or passports, will move to the United States. Most Israelis not in possession of these documents will receive ‘expedited waivers.’ The Report claims that, “Alongside a decline in Jewish births and a rise in Palestinian fertility, approximately 1.6 million Israelis are likely to return to their forefather’s lands in Russia and Eastern and Western Europe with scores of thousands electing to stay, depending on the nature of the transition.”

In his Washington Post piece President Peres desperately attempts to salvage a two-state solution from a one, a three- or even a four-state arrangement. He appears to realize that a two-state solution is seriously jeopardized unless Israel dramatically and quickly changes course. With the tacking to the right in Israel and the likely make up of the next government once Peres selects Livni or Netanyahu in the next few days, and given the swelling mood among the occupied in favor of another Intifada, Peres plaintively asserts to the Obama administration that “two states is the only realistic solution.”

Peres instructed the American people and their government three times in his op-ed brief for a two-state solution, and that Israel is “the land of my forefathers.” He laments that the CIA-predicted one-state solution would, “Undermine Israel’s legitimacy and the internationally recognized right to exist as a sovereign Jewish state in the land of my forefathers.”

Peres knows that his forefathers had no connection whatsoever to Palestine, as is the case with more than 95% of the Zionists who swept into the area over the past century and demolished close to 600 villages while expelling a majority of the native population. Historians have established that most arriving Jews were in fact Slavic converts to Judaism without any historical or genealogical nexus to Palestine or Hebrew tribes in the area.

Against the historical backdrop of the past century of nearly global rejection of colonialism, his claim of settled international acceptance of “Israel’s legitimacy” is a major stretch. “Legitimacy” is what the conflict continues to be about — whether a 19th Century colonial enterprise can violently uproot and massacre an indigenous population taking over a land declaring God promised it to them, as they terrorize and expel the local inhabitants. Contrary to Peres’ claim of Israel as a “legitimate State,” there is no internationally recognized right for Israel to exist on stolen land without the consent of the dispossessed. Peres assures his American benefactors that Israel’s legitimacy is based “in international law or morality.” In point of fact, both International law and morality require the right of return of those whose lands were taken and lifting the brutal occupation. Surely Peres is aware, as the CIA Report asserts, that a majority of the 192 countries which make up the membership of the United Nations would vote this evening to establish one State of Palestine if given the chance.

The Report concludes that what went wrong will be debated for many years. In essence the problem was the premise that a “chosen people” with no link or rights to a land could impose a state by force. Many Middle East observers believe that the two-state solution is essentially over, but for the packing, finger-pointing and assuredly more violence.

Increasingly repelled by Israeli crimes, the international community is moving toward the majority position of Palestinians, and is coming to believe that the realistic solution to the Middle East conflict is one state — secular, multicultural, democratic, and based on one person one vote.

Peres is loath to accept one state and claims, in promoting a two-state solution, that he has “personally witnessed the remarkable progress we have made with the Palestinian Authority in recent years.”

Does he have in mind the increasing bantustanization (what Noam Chomsky calls “unviable fragments”), the ever-snaking apartheid wall and other barriers, the illegal outposts which increased yet again last year? The blockade of and depraved slaughter in Gaza?

Or does President Peres have in mind this week’s announcement by outgoing Prime Minister Olmert that Israel has the right to keep building in large West Bank settlement blocs, including Efrat, by adding 423 acres so that 21,000 more residents can join the current 9,000, according to Efrat mayor Oded Revivi? Olmert claims its part of the annexation that will be considered in a future final peace deal with the Palestinians.

President Peres has passed nearly a lifetime devoted to undermining prospects for a viable Palestinian state and offering a wink and nod to the building of more than 430 colonies while offering lip service to the “peace process.” His “Message to the American People” fails to communicate what the Israeli and Palestinian public knows well about the real nature of the two-state option he has in mind and which he considers to be “the best resolution to this age-old conflict.” Both populations know that the two-state option that long time politician Peres has consistently run on, is the Yigal Allon Plan.

The Allon scheme to expel the Arab population from Palestine has been Peres’ electoral platform during his campaigns in 1974, 1977, 1981, 1984, and 1987 and it shaped Israel’s settlement policies from 1967-1977. Peres worked to make the Allon Plan part of the 1978 Camp David agreement and 1993 Oslo Accords.

As the American public begins to stir from its long slumber on the Question of Palestine and hopefully dramatically changes American Middle East policy, it should consider that the Peres favored “moderate” Allon Plan continues to be Israeli policy. As formulated by its author and adhered to by successive Israel governments, it contains the following “moderate” elements:

* Seeking “maximum land with minimum Arabs”

* Annexes approximately 40% of the West Bank and Gaza, taking the choicest parts

* Dispossess Palestinians from land Israel wants for Jews

After Israel’s attack in 1967, Yigal Allon presented to the cabinet a solution to the Arab problem. The Allon Plan called for annexing the following areas: “a strip of land ten to fifteen kilometers wide along the Jordan River; most of the Judean desert along the Dead Sea; and a substantial area around Greater Jerusalem, including the Latrun salient.” The plan was crafted to include as few Arabs as possible in the area claimed for Israel and included building permanent colonies and army bases in these areas.

The two-state solution that Peres is trying to sell the American public and administration is a Palestinian “state” in 76.6% of the West Bank, carved up into sealed enclaves, with the largest of the 430 plus settlements/colonies remaining in place under Israeli sovereignty. Israel would take another 13.3% outright and continue to occupy the remaining 10.1% for a period of up to thirty years. During this period Israel would continue building new and expanding current settlement/colonies. The above percentages do not include the subtracted East Jerusalem and the territorial waters of the Dead Sea. In point of fact the 76% offer is based not on 100% of the occupied territories, but merely those parts that Israel was willing to discuss. Consequently, the “just and moral solution” President Peres favors would amount to slightly less than 16% of historic Palestine being given to those driven from their homes and land.

Peres claims Israel has worked tirelessly for peace. Yet the record is clear that Israel has only worked tirelessly for expansion at the expense of the indigenous Arab population while obstructing more than two-dozen “peace initiatives” over six decades, while targeting the Palestinian people, culture, and economy.

Peres claims in his op-ed that Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi agrees that Israel deserves Palestine and that “this is salient in his fundamental and central premise that the Jewish people want and deserve their homeland.” Peres takes Qadaffi’s words out of context and misrepresents his thesis, which in fact calls for one state shared by both peoples. Qadaffi insists that the Middle East welcomes Judaism but not racist Zionism. It is the latter which underpins the founding of Israel and which has led to history’s condemnation.

As the President of Israel seeks yet more indulgence and largesse from the American taxpayers and the Obama administration, there is something he can do to shore up waning trust and waxing disillusionment with the two-state option. He can announce immediately that he fully accepts UN Security Council Resolution 242 and advocates the removal of all settlements and the total withdrawal of the Israeli military from the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel’s President urges the American people and government to, “commit our most concerted effort to allow two states to flourish.” Unless he and his fellow leaders of Israel are prepared, without further delay, to commit to a complete withdrawal to the June 4, 1967 armistice line, in a serious effort at peace, Israel will continue to lose American and international support and one state is the likely future for Palestine.

Israeli President Peres can avert his eyes from reality, but the Obama administration and the American people cannot afford this fatal delusion.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Icons and geo-politics or must Russia bail out Ukraine?

Icons and geo-politics or must Russia bail out Ukraine?

By Gaither Stewart

Mar 4, 2009,

ROME -- Even though Russian icons have little meaning in the USA, religious icons lie at the roots of pictorial art in Slavic East Europe. For the 700 years from the 11th century until the time of Peter the Great, the icon practically was the only indigenous pictorial art of the vast territories of the Eastern Slavs, which later, in fact, coincided with the former USSR.

Though a mysterious object, the icon, that is, the sacred image, or the sacred representation that the museum visitor easily passes up for more conventional art, is nonetheless both pure art . . . and at the same time sacred art.

Like all culture, the icon can also become a defensive arm.

But why speak of icons here? In these critical times, what do Russian icons have to do with anything but art? Now don’t back off, and I will explain. If we for a moment consider icons as the powerful emblems they are for Russia, we can get another view of some of history’s misunderstandings, tensions, and prejudices. For example, we find that Churchill’s enigmatic Russians are not a threat to mankind at all. For the sake of this article about a current major European issue, however, I would add that one might also consider today the content of the painted icon as emblematic of the tensions between powerful Russia and its neighbor and little brother, the ambitious Ukraine.

For above all, the icon has mysterious powers: art connoisseurs tell us that at the very base of the icon lies a light. Yes, a light! The gold background of the Russian icon represents that light. A light of hope? A light of understanding? In any case, the icon has always been a symbol of something great, something arcane and mystical. Few persons are able to penetrate the conundrum and the real significance of the icons that for hundreds of years were produced by illiterate monks in remote monasteries in Slavic-Byzantine lands.

It is a mystery that iconographic art reigned supreme in those East European territories right up until the arrival there of Western art. Yet, soon after Western art spread eastwards, the icon in Russia, too, was officially reduced to a secondary art related to liturgical exigencies, if not to folklore. From the act of the degrading of the art of the icon derives our powerful international word, iconoclast (and the adjective iconoclastic), i.e., the destroyer of icons or images, and by extension the wrecker of “cherished traditions.” (Webster’s dictionary) Yet, despite modernity and the changes in Russia, the icon did not die.

The early icon painter, the secluded ascetic monk, like Andrey Rublev, was not trying to transmit a realistic impression. Not at first. He simply wanted to convey in color on a flat wooden surface the very essence of life, its spiritual basis, and its characteristic features. Yet, in a way, it was impressionism. That is what I see in the reproduction of a fifteenth century icon I am now examining: impressionism.

Moreover, if icon painting began in Byzantium, the icon is very Russian art, emblematic of the Russian mind, of the Russian religious mind. The iconographic art reached its zenith in Slavic lands; when we think of icons, we tend to think in terms of Russian icons. The icon projects the Christ image to center stage. Christ, surrounded by Madonnas and unsmiling saints, is the protagonist. Christ, redeemer and saviour of mankind. Above all, Christ, the regenerator of the Russian people. The very idea of Russia is identified with that iconographic Christ. The rebirth of the world the icon painters showed in their art must begin with the liberation and purification of the Russian people, the people destined to save all mankind.

When German armies invaded Russia in 1941, Russia had no imaginary Maginot Line or Great Wall to block the invader. Stalin, the Generalissimo, had instead Russian space and vastness and the mystique of a Russia destined to save the world. Precisely in that concept lies the role of the icon, a symbol of Russia’s destiny. Traditionally every Russian home once had its Icon Corner or Beautiful (Krasny) Corner and people carried their icons with them when they moved. Miracles and healings and military victories have been attributed to their icons. Russian soldiers have worn iconographic images on their chests into battle. Their icons played the role of flags in the West.

Now stay with me. We’re nearly there.

Russian icons differ from earlier Byzantine icons, more massive and marked by powerful colors. Slavic icons were influenced by the directions the three chief East Slavic peoples -- Russians, Ukrainians and Byelorussians -- took under foreign domination: Byelorussia under Lithuania, Ukraine under Poland, and Russia under the Tartars. The Russian icon then spread unchecked over vast territories to the north and east and came to dominate the others, emblematic of constantly expanding Russian political-cultural domination. In that sense the Russian icon became emblematic of the idea of Russia itself. Names like Theophanes the Greek and, above all, Andrey Rublev are familiar to every Russian, as are the most famous cities of the icon, such as Pskov, Suzdal and Vladimir.

Fifteenth century Moscow was the center of Russian icon painting, giving its name to the Moscow School. In the eyes of Russian spiritual thinkers, the destiny of Moscow was to become the new Jerusalem. That was the same message of Russia’s great 19th century writers: purification of the Russian people in order to be able to fulfill its destiny of salvation of the world.

This age-old conviction was not greatly different from the Russian Communist view of Russia and of Moscow as the center of a new civilization. The regeneration of Russia, then the world, was the guiding light for Lenin’s revolutionaries. Even for the revolution’s early poets, like Mayakovsky, the Christ figure led the way. But always a Russian Christ. The same Christ of the icons.

Emblems and symbols and the icon story

Icon painters of western Ukraine, on the other hand, soon fell under the influence of a more sophisticated Western church art, more sober, more Polish Catholic in tone and purpose, more removed from the people than the vigorous Russian icon created by the monks, working according to Marx’s economic definition in a “semi-Asiatic mode of production.”

While people and icon painters of eastern areas of Ukraine followed the development of their big brothers the Great Russians, West Ukraine remained under Polish and Western influence. That cultural difference, of which icon painting is emblematic, created an abyss between East and West Ukraine. For Ukraine today is a country split down the middle. Its two cultures, one of its eastern part close to Russia and a western part looking toward Europe, are the source of the often unbridgeable divisions within Ukraine itself but especially in its relationships with Russia.

Western emotions about the new-old country of Ukraine are no less confused than those of the Ukrainian people themselves. Ukraine is a big nation, the France of Eastern Europe, with a desire to decide its own fate, a fate, however, that has led them down disastrous paths in the past. A major problem is its two souls. Its Eastern soul has held Ukrainians close to the Great Russians in language and culture; its Western soul led its rabid nationalists to collaboration with Nazi Germany against Soviet Russia. Ukraine’s Western soul aspires to become part of Western Europe; its Eastern soul prefers a privileged relationship with Russia.

One used to speak of a geographic Europe extending to the Ural Mountains in Russia, with part of Russia in Europe and part in Asia. However, the border between today’s United Europe (EU) and Russia -- straddled by Ukraine -- is a geopolitical affair, a question of power and influence.

Here I want to interject a reminder from a Russian friend of how nationalistic Great Russians today view (the) Ukraine. Until the collapse of the USSR, one generally spoke of “The Ukraine” in English and other Western languages. My friend objects to the omission of the article “the” before Ukraine. He recalls that the word Ukraine in most Slavic languages bears the sense of “borderland.” There are a lot of “borderlands” or “ukraines” in the world, he insists, but only one of them has become an independent state. Many if not most Russians still consider “the Ukraine” a borderland part of Russia. To many the separation from Russia seems artificial and the result of NATO-USA infringements in Russia.

Western Ukraine nonetheless insists on its historical ties with Poland and Western Europe. Both Orthodoxy and the Uniate faith (Greek Catholic) have followers there. Ukrainian nationalist sentiment is strongest in the westernmost parts of the country, which became part of Ukraine when the Soviet Union expanded after World War II.

East Ukraine is a different story. Ukraine was once the center of the first Slavic state, the Russian state, known as Kievan Rus. It is the cradle of Russia as the phony state of Kosovo is of Serbia. During the 10th and 11th centuries, Kievan Russia was the largest state in Europe, until it disappeared during the Mongol invasions. The cultural and religious legacy of Kievan Rus laid the foundations of both Russian and Ukrainian nationalism. A Ukrainian state was established during the mid-17th century that remained autonomous for 100 years until Russia assimilated Ukrainian ethnographic territory. Following the collapse of czarist Russia, Ukraine again had a short-lived period of independence (1917-20), before it was absorbed into the Soviet Union, as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

A significant minority of the population of Ukraine are Russians or use Russian as their first language. Russian influence is overwhelming in the industrialized east of the country, where the Orthodox religion and its iconography are predominant. After Russia, the Ukrainian Republic was the most important economic component of the former Soviet Union. Although Ukraine became independent after the dissolution of the USSR, democracy there has remained elusive. Its ancient divisions have stalled efforts at the formation of a unified nation. In the final months of 2004, the Western supported “Orange Revolution” overturned a presidential election controlled by pro-Russia exponents. An internationally monitored vote then swept into power a coalition of pro-Western reformists. Yet, the run-off presidential vote of 52 percent for pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko and 44 percent for pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich again reflected the divisions in Ukraine between east and west. Those divisions are part of the tremendous economic-financial crisis there today, a huge threat to Western Europe and the USA which have financed it.

Though the post-Communist era in Ukraine seemed closed and its option for the West certain, the change was illusory. Its coalition government collapsed over disastrous economic policies, corruption and a dramatic gas war with Russia. The government also dissolved abecause the east and south of the nation prefer Russia and Ukraine’s past. Although the amount of trade with EU countries exceeds commerce with Russia, Russia remains Ukraine’s major single trading partner. Not only is Ukraine dependent on Russia for gas, it also forms an important link on the pipeline transit route for Russian gas exports to Europe. Today, Russia’s retreat from the West has ended. Since much of Europe’s economic future depends on Russia’s gas, European efforts at democratizing Russia have stopped. Europe no longer pushes hard for Ukrainian democracy.

Pravda reports that Ukraine’s coffers are empty and that Western bankers are turning their backs on Ukraine. A Rome banker told me that Western banks are terrified of Ukraine’s financial situation and that no one will lend it more money. Anyway, in the long run Russia itself cannot permit US economic-military presence (the two go hand in hand!) in its borderland and the cradle of Russia, the land of the Little Russians. While Ukrainians of east and west bicker among themselves, the reality is that only Russia can save Ukraine from itself.


Besides being divided internally between east and west, (the) Ukraine is crushed between pressures from its eastern and western borders. Since the end of the USSR, the major pressure from the West has been a question of USA meddling. As did Nazi Germany, the USA has taken advantage of the east-west division of (the) the Ukraine, wooing West Ukraine at the expense of its eastern soul and Russia.

In reality, the European Union desires association with Ukraine. The EU Parliament favors “full respect for the democratic choice of the Ukrainian people and opposes pressures to change the political and economic status of Ukraine. This rings friendly and cooperative -- to Western-oriented Ukrainians. To Russia and eastward-looking Ukrainians, any interference at all by the West in Ukraine rings threatening.

The reality is that the tide in Ukraine has now turned eastwards. The impulse toward the West of the last 15 years has stopped. Though Ukraine must have good relations with both East and West, in any economic contest between Russia on one hand and Europe-USA on the other, Moscow in a fair battle will always win. For Russia, a Ukraine in the camp of the USA would be like Canada suddenly taking control of New England, or Mexico taking over Texas.

The question of where the West ends and Russia begins is not unimportant. Russia is again a global actor. Much of the empire is gone but Russia’s aspirations remain. Today, Russia is showing its muscles in a game of hazards and risks. Alongside India and China, Russia has assumed a protagonist role, which the America of Bush and now Obama do not seem to comprehend, no more than they are even aware of this icon story and of Russia’s world outlook.

Geography and history, the flow of time and peoples over many centuries, war and peace, economics, religion, philosophy, and culture -- including those enigmatic but eloquent icons -- combine to make the Russia-Ukraine borderland a special European story. Most certainly Europeans of both East and West would agree, this is not an accessible space for American imperialist intervention.

Since the collapse of the USSR, we have seen that a weak Russia is a danger for world balance of power. A strong Russia worries Washington, less so Europe. A strong Russia to counter uncontrollable American unilateralism appeals to much of the world. Cold war at low risk is better than hot war anywhere. The disappearance of the USSR paved the way for “preemptive war America,” its hands free to strike where it likes. America is never friendlier with Russia than when it is divided, poor, its economy in shambles, its empire dismantled. Washington cannot control China or India. Nor in the end can it contain Russia.

Gaither Stewart, Senior Editor and European Correspondent for Cyrano’s Journal Online, is a novelist and journalist based in Italy. His stories, essays and dispatches are read widely throughout the Internet on many leading venues. His recent novel, Asheville, is published by Wastelandrunes,

Monday, March 2, 2009



Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
everlasting Father of compassion and of our comfort in heaven and on
earth that truly comforts us in all our troubles continuously, so that
we can comfort those in any trouble that they may be going through
with the same comfort we ourselves receive from heaven. “Our heavenly
Father is pure love, comfort, compassion” in his heart, soul and
everlasting holy life; He loves to bless his creatures, whether they
are powerful faithful angel from heaven or men, women and children
from all the families of the nations of the entire world.

Our heavenly Father wants to display His wonderful and glorious powers
to bless and thus set his angels and peoples free from the powers of
the deep darkness of Satan and his wicked fallen angels that have not
stopped defying Him and his Son Jesus Christ ever since the first
universal angelic-rebellion in heaven. Indeed, Satan is still the same
wicked devil from the ancient days of the angelic Kingdom of God,
total rebellious against our heavenly Father and the wonderful words
and works of His tree of life, our Lord Jesus Christ; likewise, Satan
still wants to have things done his way in heaven and on earth in our

Nowadays, since Satan so far cannot have things done his wicked way
then he feels very uncomfortable wherever he goes in the heavens and
on earth as well, thus “making people” feel his uncomfortable ness
within their wicked and Christ less lives and all-around them all over
the earth; and people never know why they feel uncomfortable all the
time. Indeed, Satan’s spirit of error works around them to make their
hearts think his wickedness and thus say his evil words making their
lives unpleasant and at times unbearable as well for others; this is
why of the problems, difficulties, infirmities, wars, destructions and
deaths for many people all over the nations of the world, for

However, it is the holy faithfulness of His tree of life, our Lord
Jesus Christ, that stopped dead on his tracks not only Satan but every
wicked follower of sin, lies and evil works of death and destruction
in the heavens with the angels and on earth with humankind as a whole.
Therefore, our heavenly Father did not stay back, but He responded to
the enemies’ attacks with the wonderful wonder-working powers of the
Holy Spirit of the blood and glorious life of his dear Son Jesus
Christ, so Satan will never sing victory over Him much less over any
of his loved ones, as you and me today or ever.

In other words, our heavenly Father knows exactly where Satan is and
what he is doing to carry out his wicked schemes against people, and
so, He sends His Holy Spirit and His Son Jesus Christ ahead of Satan,
therefore, He may stop his wicked words and works with the power of
His Gospel of everlasting Salvation and Restoration. And our heavenly
Father always “moves in our favor” but with the supernatural powers
and presence of His Holy Spirit, His Son Jesus Christ and His host of
angels as well, so Satan’s will against us may never fulfill in our
lives, therefore, our heavenly Fathers shows us compassion and
everlasting comfort to our hearts, souls and minds because He cares.

In truth, we are the apple of the eye of our heavenly Father, because
we not only love His dear Son Jesus Christ, with all his truth,
righteousness, holiness, perfection, sanctity and eternal gracious all
forgiving blood but because we ourselves have come out from Him one by
one beginning with Adam and Eve in paradise, for example. Consequently
it is His wonderful and glorious ancient love for the Spirit of the
atoning blood and life of His Son Jesus Christ that moves Him to fight
against Satan and every one of his followers, so we may walk
victoriously against all evils with his holy name living within our
hearts today and forevermore in eternity.

In truth, we do not have any problems much less any infirmities or a
place in the graveyard or in hell, if our heavenly Father lives today
within our hearts through the wonderful gracious power of the Spirit
of his glorified eternal blood and miracle working power ancient name,
our Lord Jesus Christ! That is to say, as well, that we live
victoriously over Satan’s sins, lies, crimes, deceitfulness, death and
destruction on earth and in hell; what is more, with Jesus Christ
living within our hearts each day, Satan knows no victories over us
but only total defeat on earth, in hell and in the lake of fire,
forever and ever.

However, because Jesus Christ lives within our hearts then the Holy
Spirit that is the Comforter (or the Spirit of Truth) comforts us
around the clock, whether we are experiencing terrible problems,
difficulties, infirmities or death in our lives or of our loved ones,
for example, truly, our heavenly Father is the God of our comfort,
thanks to Jesus Christ! Beyond doubt, we know no defeat with our
heavenly Father living within our hearts, souls, minds, bodies and
human spirit, thanks to the wonderful and glorious presence of Jesus
Christ in our lives, therefore we will know only continuous victories
against the words and works from Satan and his wicked followers on
earth and in paradise, today and in eternity.

Until now, we can “sing victory at all hours over Satan”, because our
heavenly Father commanded (programmed) us from the beginning of time
to be always victorious against all the lies and wicked works from
Satan and his fallen angels in paradise, on earth and in the brand-new
Jerusalem from heaven above in eternity. Today, he that knows our
heavenly Father through the wonderful and glorious Spirit of His Son
Jesus Christ knows no defeat but only victory after victory over Satan
and each one of his wicked follower on earth and in the after life,
for example.

Nowadays, God set us to defeat spiritually Satan whenever or wherever
he may come against us with his wicked and double-cross lies thus to
try to defeat our heavenly Father, his Son Jesus Christ and His Holy
Spirit within our hearts—something that is impossible for him to do
but nonetheless he tries—knowing that he lives lost already in
eternity. Truthfully, this is only possible today within our hearts,
minds, souls, bodies and human spirit by eating from the tree of life,
his ancient dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ; otherwise, we can never
be victorious over Satan’s lies and wicked schemes of his followers
such as his ever faithful fallen angels and evil doers around the

This is something that Adam and Eve did not understand in paradise
when they approached the tree of life not to eat from it for their
well-being but, unfortunately, they ate from the tree of knowledge of
good and evil for the beginning of their sin and the sins of every
man, woman and child on earth. In truth, Adam and Eve were the first
ones to feel the uncomfortable ness of Satan within their hearts and
lives when they ate rebelliously from the forbidden fruit instead of
eating obediently from the fruit of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, the
Son of David, so they may live and never die in eternity.

That is why our heavenly Father gave us initially His glorious Holy
Spirit along with each one of His spiritual gifts, so we may not only
be victorious over Satan and his followers, but we may be able to
“sing songs of victories and words of worship”, thanks giving of
glories and honors on earth and in heaven to Him. And this is why
today we can sing songs of joy, healing, prosperity, victories,
worship and of thanks giving to Him and His glorious name through the
faith of our hearts and invocation of our lips of the fruit of life,
His Son Jesus Christ!

In truth, we posses tremendous overwhelming powers with our heavenly
Father and His Holy Spirit, that is, if Jesus Christ lives within our
hearts and professed with our lips today and forevermore in eternity
thus we may live a comfortable life just our heavenly Father and his
angels do in heaven, for instance. Because, for us not only to be
faithful to Him and to the name of His Son Jesus Christ but also to
sing songs of worship, glories of honor and thanks giving to Him and
His wonderful work of His Gospel of Salvation, then we need the power
of His Holy Spirit, the Comforter, living within our hearts each day.

Yes, we need the Holy Spirit of our heavenly Father today more than
ever, so we can live a peaceful and harmonious life with Him, his host
of angels and His tree of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of
David and only possible savior of Israel and of mankind as well! That
is to say, also that without the comfort of His Holy Spirit living
within our hearts, souls, minds, bodies and human spirit, we cannot
only serve our Heavenly Father constantly, but also we will never be
able to be faithful to the fruit of life, which is the precious name
of His tree of life, our Lord Jesus Christ!

That is why that our Lord Jesus Christ taught to the crows of Israel
on and on by affirming to them that no one can come to him unless
personally sent by His heavenly Father, our everlasting and all-
powerful Holy Spirit! And so, our heavenly Father gave us His precious
Holy Spirit from the beginning of time by letting Him descend from
heaven and enter into the earth thus to subdue all the power of Satan
and his fallen angels, so we may be liberated today to receive His Son
Jesus Christ within our lives as “our only possible eternal savior”.

Meaning that the Holy Spirit comes to us incessantly thus to take us
to the Lord Jesus Christ today, so he can see and bless us by
forgiving our sins by the wonderful atoning working powers of his holy
blood and sacrificed life over the crossed dead trees of Adam and Eve
over the holy hill outside Jerusalem, in Israel. For this site is also
a holy place for our heavenly Father in Israel, where He did not only
did away with our sins but also blessed us mightily until the point
not only to write our name with the blood of His Son in the book of
life, but secured for us eternal life on earth and in heaven.

Moreover, this eternal life exists today in heaven above not only in
paradise or in His old angelic Kingdom but in the brand-new holy and
faithful Jerusalem from heaven above where all human life thrives
daily liberated from Satan and his lies forever and ever. Moreover,
this supernatural work that Jesus Christ did for Israel over the holy
hill of Jerusalem and shed his life to the ground not only cleanses us
from the powers of sin and death, but also fills us with the wonderful
resurrected brand-new life of the never-ending third day, so we may
live and never die again because of sin.

With Jesus Christ living within our hearts, we do not only please
righteousness, holiness, justice, perfection, love, truth for our
heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit but really makes each one of us
that wonderful person that came out of His holy heart and molds us
with His glorious hands. This is why that today you cannot only
believe within your heart in the name of Jesus Christ but also “you
can invoke him with your lips” without Satan and his wicked devils
opposing or stopping you from fulfilling the holy will of our heavenly
Father within your life, so you may live liberated from Satan today
and forevermore in eternity.

Truly, Satan ceases to have any power (if any) within your life the
moment you are born again of the Spirit of the blood, flesh, bones,
nature and life of the tree of life, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus
Christ, and this implies that Satan, sin and death cannot touch you
ever again in paradise and eternity forever. As it happens, our
heavenly Father comforts you day by day not only with His holy heart
every time He thinks of you, but also “He makes his comfort perfect”
with the Holy Spirit of the expiatory blood and victorious life of His
tree of life, our Lord Jesus Christ.

In addition, our Heavenly Father blesses you each day by forgiving
your sins in Jesus’ name and holy life, because He feels eternal
compassion for you and for your loved ones, so you may live blessed
continuously and never die by the lies, sin, death and destruction of
the spirit of error from Satan and his fallen angels. Therefore, our
heavenly Father set us free from Satan and his lies since the
beginning of things in heaven when He commanded His Holy Spirit to
descend to earth with great powers and authorities thus to destroy the
chain of the deep darkness holding us, so we may be free to love and
live for His tree of life forever.

In reality, our heavenly Father created each one of us within the deep
and powerful unfailing love of His holy heart, beginning with Adam, so
we may be brothers to his Son Jesus Christ in paradise and in the
brand-new Jerusalem from heaven above, where there is no more Satan,
lies or sin forever and ever but only eternal pure-love and comfort.
That is why that our heavenly Father made Jesus Christ important in
our daily lives, by default, that without him we cannot truly serve
and love Him as He ought to be loved by each one us every day on earth
and in heaven; therefore, our Jesus Christ resurrected to be our daily
true haven, shelter and worship to God.

Moreover, those that live without loving our heavenly Father through
Jesus Christ, then they live a life lacking all the good blessing,
health, joy, wealth and prosperity from heaven and from earth as well
until they finally realize that without Jesus Christ they cannot truly
live and see life as they ought to. Today as each day, Jesus Christ is
our awaking to our brand-new life of the never-ending third day of the
resurrection that our heavenly Father gave us in the day of our
creation in heaven but, unfortunately, we lost it to Satan because of
Adam’s and Eve’s personal rebellions against the fruit of life in
paradise, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Therefore, Jesus Christ is important and our constant comfort in
heaven, on earth and in the brand-new glorious life from The Jerusalem
from heaven above where our heavenly Father’s will flourishes
perfectly well within our hearts day and night and forevermore in
eternity. Our heavenly Father called us citizens of His brand-new life
to come in the glorious and spectacular New Jerusalem from heaven
above where He and His King Messiah wait on patiently for each one of
us with great love in their hearts and mansions with streets paved
with old, so we may live in eternal peace and happiness ever after.

That is to say, also that Jesus Christ is our celestial comfort that
Adam and Eve lost in paradise and the Hebrews in the land of Israel
when they refuse to eat from him as he said, I am the bread of life,
whoever eats from me shall never hunger again. That is to say, also
that whosoever drinks from me then he shall never thirst again in this
life or in the next life to come from our heavenly Father and his
faithful host of holy angels in eternity.

Therefore the comfort and the compassion that our heavenly Father
provides not only to Israel but to all those that love Him throughout
the human life of the nations of the world, then they live in peace
and in perfect happiness with Him on earth and in paradise forever;
from then on, our heavenly Father comforts us daily with His Spirit.
Since then, our heavenly Father comforts each one of us with His
precious and glorious Holy Spirit every hour of our entire lives on
earth, just as He comforted his Son Jesus Christ while he carries out
His will in Israel and in the midst of not only his elected-people but
the peoples of the nations of the world also.

Then, Jesus Christ is the comfort that God granted initially in
paradise by offering us His best, “His Son”, so we may live for Him
today, fill with righteousness, perfection, power, wisdom,
understanding and everlasting-life of the heart, soul, mind and Spirit
of His Son Jesus Christ; therefore, we live eternally as angels for
God, but only with Jesus Christ. In truth, with Jesus Christ living
within our hearts thus to fulfill our heavenly Father’s will then we
live for Him, just as His Holy Angel lived for Him in heaven and in
Israel thus to continue to do His perfect will each day for the glory
and honor of His eternally loved name in the hearts of His people.

That is to say, also that today our heavenly Father watches each one
of us just as He watched after his angels and His Son Jesus Christ in
the heavens and on earth, so we may live a blessed and glorious life
each day of our entire life forever in eternity, for the glory and
glory of His name. Now, if the faithful angels served and adored our
heavenly Father each day, then they lived blessed continuously,
comforted eternally, and the same takes places with each one of us
when we serve and honor Him within our hearts, in the glorious name of
His cherished Son Jesus Christ; that is why Satan flees from us
constantly, Jesus is here!

That is to say, also that when Satan sees us, in truth, he sees Jesus
Christ displaying power from his holy body, blood and victorious life
thus to put him down and cast him out from our lives and the lives of
our loved ones and friends as well, for example, all over the earth.
Jesus Christ comforts us with the words, miracles, marvelous signs in
the heavens and on earth but Satan, however, afflicts us by opposing
us each day with the wicked intent to steal, kill and destroy us every
day of our entire lives on earth.

Truthfully, this is something that Satan does against us in secret and
from a distance, just as he would love to attack and destroy our
heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ in the heavens, so he may
exalt his wicked name in the hearts of angels and of mankind also
above the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. For Satan knows very well
that Jesus Christ is our true love and comfort in paradise, on earth
today and in the brand-new celestial Jerusalem, so he does whatever he
can to steal, kill and destroy this heavenly comfort within our
hearts, souls, minds, bodies and human spirit without us knowing
anything about his move against us all the time.

For this reason, people suffer problems, difficulties, infirmities and
even death as well every hour, because the comfort of our Lord Jesus
Christ, which is, in reality, the Spirit of God (or the Spirit of
truth) is not living within their hearts and lives, as our heavenly
Father requires them to have Jesus Christ present within them each
day. Furthermore, with Jesus Christ living within our hearts, then we
enjoy perfect blessings of peace, happiness, wealth, power, wisdom,
intelligence and more heavenly and earthly blessings of those we can
see and those that we cannot (see), because we thrive daily in the
perfect will of our heavenly Father, just as He intended to do with
Adam and Eve in paradise.

Then, since Jesus Christ lives within our hearts subsequently the
unfailing love of our Father fills our daily lives with His holy
presence and His angels thus to see that we enjoy the blessed life of
His Son Jesus Christ by meeting each one of our needs, then with Jesus
Christ in our lives, God sees us as faithful angels always. Truly,
every one in heaven is like Jesus Christ whether they are lesser
angels or powerful archangels, seraphim, cherub and other holy
creatures of indescribable glories from the Kingdom of heaven and from
the brand-new Jerusalem from heaven above, as well, as men, women and
children like you and me today, for instance.

That is why that our heavenly Father when He created us, indeed, He
implanted His Image and the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ in us, so
we may be like him today, in our new-spiritual birth of His Holy
Spirit and glorious name, on earth and in the new eternal life from
His everlasting brand-new Jerusalem from heaven above. Truly, the
image and likeness of our heavenly Father comfort us each day on earth
and in paradise as well, but only with Jesus Christ living within our
hearts and confessed with the lips of our mouths, for the comfort,
glory and honor of his all-powerful mysterious holy name.

That is why that our heavenly Father made not only Jesus Christ to be
the solution to all our problems and difficulties, the wonder-working
medicine for our infirmities, the everlasting salvation of our hearts,
souls, minds, bodies and human spirit but also our heavenly Father
made His Son Jesus Christ our daily peace, joy, happiness, justice and
perfect everlasting comfort. And because our heavenly Father is the
God of our daily compassion from heaven, then He made His Son Jesus
Christ our daily comfort as well, so we may comfort others with the
same heavenly comfort when they suffer the afflictions of the usual
unwelcome enemies show up in their lives, such as Satan and his fallen
angels, for example.

Consequently, with Jesus Christ living within our hearts then our
heavenly Father displays daily His perfect compassion for each one of
us, so we may live not only according to His perfect will, as the
angels do in heaven, but fill as well with His unfailing love thus to
manifest His powerful miracles and great-works within our lives
continually. For this way, truth and life of Jesus Christ is, indeed,
our true daily walk of miracles and marvelous works in the heavens and
on earth thus for each one of us to attain not only many glorious
spiritual blessings of life, health, prosperity and happiness but we
may be able to see our heavenly Father face-to-face soon, very soon.

In other words, our heavenly Father comforts each one of us with
compassion, without distinction of persons, with His Holy Spirit (the
Comforter), because He wants to be always the One that solves your
problems and difficulties, heals you and renews you from your terminal
sickness and diseases, so He may exalt His holy name on earth
powerfully. That is why that our heavenly Father gave us His Spirit
without measure from the beginning of things in the heavens and on
earth, for example, and the same is true with His Son Jesus Christ,
our comfort, so He may perform the miracles and great-works necessary
within our lives thus to exalt His name and make us happy forever.

Because, our heavenly Father needs to display his compassion, mercy,
love and the grace of His Son Jesus Christ not so much as for the
angels in heaven as if they need it, but with every man, woman and
child from all the families of the nations of the world, for the glory
and honor of his holy name. So, we praise our heavenly Father and God
of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He along is our Father of compassion and
love for each one of us throughout the earth, therefore, he comforts
us in our troubles and infirmities, so we may comfort others each day
in the same comfort that we have faithfully received from Him.

Our heavenly Father is our true medicine for our infirmities and
diseases, thus the only possible solution to our problems and
difficulties in our lives throughout the earth but only with His Son
Jesus Christ living within our hearts, in a moment of prayer and of
faith, in His holy presence. For that reason, our praises of glories
and honors to His holy name belongs to Him today and throughout the
endless ages of eternity, so we may cherish His holy presence every
moment of our brand-life that we received through the gracious Spirit
of the resurrected blood and victorious life of His Son Jesus Christ
over evil and death perpetually.

We are indebt to our heavenly Father for the wonderful things that He
does for each one of us every day of our entire life, so we may never
lack the powerful protection of His everlasting love and mighty name;
and since we owe Him so much, then we should leastwise show
thankfulness to Him frequently by invoking His name. Unbelievably, our
heavenly Father waits for you each day since old days, so you may
receive His Son Jesus Christ within your heart and begin to praise
Him, as angels do in heaven, today on earth and well into the fabulous
New Jerusalem from heaven above, where the Spirit of our eternal
comfort will never end.

That is why our heavenly Father gave us a soul, mind and heart thus to
worship and honor Him and His holy name with our lips, so darkness may
die and the light of His Son Jesus Christ may prevail against darkness
and live always within us on earth and in eternity as well, forever
and ever. For our heavenly Father placed all his power and authority
within the Holy Spirit of the glorious name of His beloved Son Jesus
Christ, so he may not only forgive our sins instantly, but protect us
from every wild attack from Satan and his wicked follower, such as
fallen angels of deep darkness, problems, infirmities and death from

That is why, our Lord Jesus Christ openly declared himself the door
that opens in heaven daily, so every one that loves our heavenly
Father through the mighty Holy Spirit of his atoning blood and
victorious life from paradise, Jesus Christ, and then he or she may
enter trough him to see the Father face-to-face soon, very soon. For
this reason many powers from heaven operate within and around us,
whether we know it or not, because of what our heavenly Father did
with the life and blood of His Jesus Christ nailed to the trees-
crossed-to-each-other of Adam and Eve over the holy mountaintop of
Jerusalem; and this mighty work of God works for us today without-

Likewise protect us by the overwhelming powers of His Holy Spirit from
the power of Satan and his wicked people as well, because Satan does
have followers doing his uncomfortable will on earth, whether you know
it or not, so he may attack not only those that serve our heavenly
Father but every family of the nations of the world. Believe it or
not, after all these generations, since the first great angelic-
rebellion against the tree of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, Satan still
hates our heavenly Father and his Son just the same from day one, and
this is why he attacks men, women and children thus to hurt, offend
our heavenly Father and His Holy Spirit again.

That is why that you feel uncomfortable at times with problems and
infirmities developing around you or your loved ones, for example,
because your soul (or human spirit) senses the evil and uncomfortable
presence of Satan and his fallen angels trying to approach and attack
you just as they approached and attacked initially our heavenly Father
and His tree of life. However, when Jesus Christ enters into your life
then you will begin to experience peace, joy, happiness and the
glorious blessing of the presence of our heavenly Father and of His
Holy Spirit, meaning that your problems and infirmities “left your
heart, mind, soul, body and human spirit” with Satan, the moment he
fled from you in a big hurry.

That is to say, also that if Satan stays in your life or around you
with his fallen angels and usual evildoers, then he will attack you
and your family thus to affect the Spirit of the unfailing love of our
heavenly Father and of His Son Jesus Christ in your life and of your
loved ones as well. Because, the truth is that Satan hates the union
of the family, therefore he does everything he can within his powers
of darkness to attack and destroy the union of the Spirit of the
family, which is, in truth, the Spirit of God; that is to say that
when Satan attacks any family, indeed, attacks the Holy Spirit of

Moreover, the wrath of our God boils hot in heaven and ready to
downpour over the wicked of the earth, so He may wipe them out from
His presence and restore the holiness of the Spirit of the family (or
families) for the service and glories of his tree of life, our Lord
Jesus Christ, the Son of David! Inasmuch, the power of our heavenly
Father within the nations of the entire world is, truly, as in
paradise, the union of the holiness of the family, but only within the
Spirit of the resurrected blood, flesh, bones and messianic life of
His dear Son Jesus Christ, that is why Jesus is our redeemer on earth
and in paradise forever.

That is to say, also that if Satan can destroy the Spirit of the
families of the nations, then he would really upset our heavenly
Father so much that He would begin to overflow with wrath, so He may
destroy the world as He once did in the days of Noah, for example; and
this is very bad, indeed. We certainly do not want to see the world
with the human race ruined, as it happened once in Noah’s days,
because people became wicked against our heavenly Father and His Son
Jesus Christ thus destroying the union of the Spirit of the family
everywhere; then it is the family with Jesus Christ that keeps the
world alive nowadays and eternally.

Thus far, our heavenly Father comforts us each day, so he may keep and
build the Spirit of the families of the nations, but Satan, however,
acts differently, and this is to separate the fathers from their sons,
and the mothers from their daughters, so the Spirit of the family may
die according to Satan’s wicked plans of old. When the truth is that
our heavenly Father daily manifests His compassion over the peoples of
the nations of the world through His word, so He may edify the Spirit
of the families with the wonderful working powers of the Comforter, so
the Holy Spirit of His unfailing love may dwell within them, as He
does within Jesus Christ constantly.

That is why our heavenly Father promised in the book of Malachi, for
example, to send the Spirit of the prophet Elijah to the earth again
before His great and terrible day arrives on earth, so through his
preaching the hearts of the parents may return to the children, and
the hearts of the children may return to the parents. However, if not,
then I will send a curse over the earth to destroy it completely from
the holy presence of the tree of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, forever,
our heavenly Father promised to Israel and the entire human race in
the days of old and for today as well, because His love for the family
lives on undyingly.

Therefore, the only One that can really stop our heavenly Father from
destroying all life from the face of the earth, as He once did in
Noah’s days, because the hearts of the parents were against the
children, and the hearts of the children against their parents, is
Jesus Christ, the Son of David, and none other today and forevermore.
Truly, Jesus Christ is in our days as Moses was for the Hebrews in the
land of Goshen, Egypt, thus to take them to the Promised Land where
our heavenly Father’s families would thrive in the power of his
unfailing Spirit of love, peace, mercy and the overwhelming grace of
His tree of life, our Lord King Messiah, Jesus Christ!

That is why Jesus Christ is more important than ever before not only
for the Israelis’ families but for each family from the nations, so
the Holy Spirit of the families’ comfort, compassion, love, peace,
health, happiness, prosperity and many more blessings from the tree of
life may flourish constantly within them until they return to heaven
sinless, alive and saved. Therefore, when we praise and honor our
heavenly Father through the Spirit of the atoning blood and sacrifice
life of His dear Son Jesus Christ, then He not only recognizes each
one of us immediately as one of His own but “He immediately begins to
bless and heal us” from problems, difficulties, infirmities and even
the threat of death also.

Then, today our Lord Jesus Christ is with us just as he was with Moses
to lead his people to The New Celestial Jerusalem, so they can become
families that love our Father but with His unfailing Spirit of love
that began to form the first family in paradise Adam, Eve and their
descendants by the millions throughout the earth. Today, our heavenly
Father will do this for each one of us every time just as He did it
for His prophets, apostles, disciples and even Jesus Christ himself in
Israel, because, Jesus Christ whenever he said or did anything in
Israel or for any one at all, in truth, he spoke and did the works of
our heavenly Father.

Divinely, this was done just as the Holy Spirit led him throughout the
land of Israel to execute our heavenly Father’s will of forgiveness of
sin, healing, restoration, reconciliation, blessing of miracles and
marvelous works, resurrecting of the dead from their graves, for
example, and the eternal final salvation of the human race, as well.
That is to say, also that every word and work that manifested our Lord
Jesus Christ, truly, it was our heavenly Father speaking and blessing
us at the same time with His glorious and powerful miracles, wonders
and marvelous works on earth and in heaven; Like this, our heavenly
Father told the world: Jesus Christ is My Only Son!

Truthfully, since those ancient days our heavenly Father “continues to
tell Israel and the nations of the world” that Jesus Christ is the Son
of David, His beloved Eternal Son, for the forgiveness of sin, the
comfort of the hearts and souls, the wonder-working compassion for
their souls, bodies and human spirit day by day and well into all
eternity. Beyond doubt, our heavenly Father did all these great works
and signs not only for people to see His glory and many wonders as a
sign of the end of times in Israel and humankind, for example, but
thus to glorify His holy name within our hearts forever and ever all
over the earth and even beyond eternity, as well.

That is why that today we can very well perform great miracles and
great wonders in the heavens and on earth, because the Holy Spirit of
the Ten Commandments and the Son of David exist within and all-around
us today and forevermore in eternity thus to bless us as always, for
the glory and honor of our heavenly Father. And this is something that
we can very well see His holy and mighty name being exalted powerfully
just about everywhere by the preaching and teaching of the Holy Gospel
of Salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ, for example, and thus defeating
Satan in his lies and terrible sin and crimes against every man, woman
and child from humankind.

This is the power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ where he
commanded us to go into all the nations of the world to preach and
teach to every man, woman and child his salvation, and thus, whoever
believes and submerges underwater in Jesus’ name will be saved, and
whoever refuses to believe His truth is already condemned. Moreover,
whoever believes then receives the Holy Spirit of God, so he may pray
for the sick and heal them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for
the glory and honor of our heavenly Father that is in heaven.

Thus, great signs will follow the believers wherever they may go thus
to bless them with the Gospel of Salvation, and they will speak in new
tongues before our heavenly Father, so He may hear their prayers and
answer them according to His holy will with them and the families of
the nations of the entire world. Therefore, with Jesus Christ within
our hearts, then “our heavenly Father comforts us continually” thus to
bless and forgive our sins and the sins of many as well throughout the
earth, for this is the power of the preaching of the ancient Gospel of
Salvation, the Son of David, the everlasting tree of life and health
for men and angels alike!

For our heavenly Father made it His personal duty since even the
beginning of all things to forgive, bless, protect, heal all those
that dare to love Him within the wonderful and everlasting powers of
the precious name of His dear Son Jesus Christ, so we may live today
liberated from Satan, sin, curses, problems, difficulties, infirmities
and death forever. That is to say, also that we may live protected and
comforted by His Holy Spirit thus to enjoy His wonderful and glorious
presence every day of our entire lives on earth, full of His blessings
of miracles and great wonders, manifested within our lives and the
lives of our loved ones as well today and forevermore in eternity.

Today, we praise our God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who
comforts us with His Holy Spirit, for He along is the Father of our
compassion and the God of all comfort in the hearts, souls, minds,
lives, bodies and human spirit of every man, woman and child from the
families of the nations of the entire world. May our heavenly Father
bless you richly today and forevermore, in the holy and all-powerful
name of His Son Jesus Christ! Amen!

Culture and peace for every one today and always!

Cordially yours,

The Bible says there EXIST only one way to heaven!

JESUS said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes unto
the heavenly Father, but by me" John, 14:6

Nobody else can save you. Trust JESUS today!


|name =''الجمهورية اللبنانية''
''Al-Jumhūrīyyah al-Lubnānīyyah''
|map =Lebanon rel 2002.jpg
|flag =Flag of Lebanon.png
|arms =Arms of Lebanon.png
|capital =Beirut
|capital-raw =
|government =Republic
|government-raw =
|language =Arabic
|king =
|queen =
|monarch-raw =
|president =Michel CIA2 SULEIMANN
|president-raw =
|chancellor =
|chancellor-raw =
|pm =Fouad Siniora
|pm-raw =
|area =4,015 sq mi
|pop =3,874,050
|pop-basis =2006
|gdp =$21.5 billion
|gdp-year =2006
|gdp-pc =$5,500
|currency =Lebanese pound
|idd =
|tld =
The '''Republic of Lebanon''', also called the '''Lebanese Republic''' or simply '''Lebanon''', is a country in the Middle East which borders [[Syria]], [[Israel]], and the eastern shore of the [[Mediteranean Sea]]. Once known as the "Pearl of the Middle East" with historical ties to the [[Bible]], Lebanon has seen a period of civil war and partial invasion/occupation by its two immediate neighbors; Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations hamper efforts at rebuilding.
The name dates to the Akkadian invasion of the 23rd century BC, The [[Akkadians]] referred to the Snow Capped mountains as "Lobnan" (meaning White), the name was exclusive to the biblical mountain region until the 20th century when the French created "Greater Lebanon" to include the Phoenicia, Mount Lebanon and the Western Beqa'a.
==In the Bible==
Lebanon appears seventy times in the Bible, starting with the wanderings of the Israelites during the forty years in the wilderness as recorded in [[Deuteronomy]], through their conquer in [[Joshua]].
One of the most famous references is to the "cedars of Lebanon", which were used to build the First Temple of Solomon, as written:

And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name. Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.
And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.
And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household. So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire. And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.I Kings 5:5-11
*Area: 10,400 sq. km. (4,015 sq. km.) about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut.
*Cities: Capital--Beirut (pop. 1.5 million). Other cities--Tripoli/Trablus (210,000), Zahle (60,000),
Sidon/Sayda (50,000), Tyre/Sur (20,000), Byblos/Jbail (10,000).
*Terrain: Narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains.
*Climate: Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows.
[[Image:Restaurants Beirut.gif|340px|right]]
The population of Lebanon comprises various Christian and Muslim sects as well as Druze. No official census has been taken since 1932, reflecting the political sensitivity in Lebanon over confessional (religious) balance. While there is no consensus over the confessional breakdown of the population for this reason, it is safe to say that the Muslim sects as a whole make up a majority, and that Shi'ites, Sunnis, and Maronites are the three largest groups.
About 400,000 Palestinian refugees, some in Lebanon since 1948, are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). They are not accorded the legal rights enjoyed by the rest of the population.
With no official figures available, it is estimated that 600,000-900,000 persons fled the country during the initial years of civil war (1975-76). Although some returned, continuing conflict through 1990 as well as after the 2006 war sparked further waves of emigration, casting even more doubt on population figures. As much as 7% of the population was killed during the civil war between 1975 and 1990. Approximately 17,000-20,000 people are still "missing" or unaccounted for from the civil war period.
Many Lebanese still derive their living from agriculture. The urban population, concentrated mainly in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, is noted for its commercial enterprise. A century and a half of migration and return have produced Lebanese commercial networks around the globe--from North and South America to Europe, the Gulf, and Africa. Lebanon has a high proportion of skilled labor compared with many other Arab countries.
*Population (2006 est.): 3,874,050.
*Growth rate (2006 est.): 1.23%.
*Major ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1% (note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians).
*Religions: Muslim 60% (Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ili, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Copt, Protestant), other 1%.
*Languages: Arabic (official), English, French, Armenian.
*Education: Years compulsory--8. Attendance--99%. Literacy (2005 est.)--87.4%; 93.1% male, 82.2% female.
*Health (2006 est.): Infant mortality rate--23.7/1,000. Life expectancy--70.41 male, 75.48 female.
*Work force (2001 est.): 2.6 million.
Lebanon is a parliamentary democracy in which the people constitutionally have the right to change their government. However, from the mid-1970s until the parliamentary elections in 1992, civil war precluded the effective exercise of political rights. According to the constitution, direct elections must be held for the parliament every 4 years. Parliament, in turn, is tasked to elect a new president every 6 years. A presidential election scheduled for the autumn of 2004 was pre-empted by a parliamentary vote to extend the sitting President's term in office by 3 years. The president and parliament choose the prime minister. Political parties may be formed. However, the political parties that do exist are weak and mostly based on sectarian interests.
Since the emergence of the post-1943 state, national policy has been determined largely by a relatively restricted group of traditional regional and sectarian leaders. The 1943 national pact, an unwritten agreement that established the political foundations of modern Lebanon, allocated political power on an essentially confessional system based on the 1932 census. Until 1990, seats in parliament were divided on a 6-to-5 ratio of Christians to Muslims (with Druze counted as Muslims). With the Ta'if Agreement, the ratio changed to half and half. Positions in the government bureaucracy are allocated on a similar basis. Indeed, gaining political office is virtually impossible without the firm backing of a particular religious or confessional group. The pact also allocated public offices along religious lines, with the top three positions in the ruling "troika" distributed as follows:
*The presidency is reserved for a Maronite Christian;
*The prime minister, a Sunni Muslim, and
*The speaker of parliament, a Shi'a Muslim.
Efforts to alter or abolish the confessional system of allocating power have been at the center of Lebanese politics for decades. Those religious groups most favored by the 1943 formula sought to preserve it, while those who saw themselves at a disadvantage sought either to revise it after updating key demographic data or to abolish it entirely. Nonetheless, many of the provisions of the national pact were codified in the 1989 Ta'if Agreement, perpetuating sectarianism as a key element of Lebanese political life.
Although moderated somewhat under Ta'if, constitutionally, the president has a strong and influential position. The president has the authority to promulgate laws passed by the Chamber of Deputies, to issue supplementary regulations to ensure the execution of laws, and to negotiate and ratify treaties.
The Chamber of Deputies is elected by adult suffrage (majority age is 21) based on a system of proportional representation for the various confessional groups. Political blocs are usually based on confessional and local interests or on personal/family allegiance rather than on left/right policy orientations.
The parliament traditionally has played a significant role in financial affairs, since it has the responsibility for levying taxes and passing the budget. It also exercises political control over the cabinet through formal questioning of ministers on policy issues and by requesting a confidence debate.
Lebanon's judicial system is based on the Napoleonic Code. Juries are not used in trials. The Lebanese court system has three levels--courts of first instance, courts of appeal, and the court of cassation. There also is a system of religious courts having jurisdiction over personal status matters within particular religious communities, e.g., rules on such matters as marriage, divorce, and inheritance.
===Principal Government Officials===
*President--Emile Lahoud
*Prime Minister--Fouad Siniora
*Speaker of Parliament--Nabih Berri
*Minister of Foreign Affairs--Fawzi Salloukh (resigned--resignation not accepted)
*Finance Minister--Jihad Azour
*Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister--Elias Murr
*Ambassador to the U.S.--Antoine Chedid
*Ambassador to the UN--Nawaf Salam
===Political Conditions===
Lebanese political institutions often play a secondary role to highly confessionalized personality-based politics. Powerful families also still play an independent role in mobilizing votes for both local and parliamentary elections. Nonetheless, a lively panoply of domestic political parties, some even predating independence, still exists. The largest are all confessional based. The Phalange, National Bloc, National Liberal Party, Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) are overwhelmingly Christian parties. Amal and Hezbollah are the main rivals for the organized Shi'a vote, and the PSP (Progressive Socialist Party) is the leading Druze party. In the recent parliamentary elections, an anti-Syrian opposition coalition ("March 14") emerged, led by Sa'ad Hariri's predominantly Sunni Future Movement and allied with Druze leader Jumblatt, the Qornet Shehwan coalition of center-right Christian politicians, Samir Geagea's mostly Maronite Lebanese Forces, and Elias Attallah's Democratic Left secular movement. In addition to domestic parties, there are branches of pan-Arab secular parties (Ba'ath, socialist and communist parties) that were active in the 1960s and throughout the period of civil war.
There are differences both between and among Muslim and Christian parties regarding the role of religion in state affairs. There is a very high degree of political activism among religious leaders across the sectarian spectrum. The interplay for position and power among the religious, political, and party leaders and groups produces a political tapestry of extraordinary complexity.
In the past, the system worked to produce a viable democracy. The civil war resulted in greater segregation across the confessional spectrum. Whether in political parties, places of residence, schools, media outlets, even workplaces, there is a lack of regular interaction across sectarian lines to facilitate the exchange of views and promote understanding.
Some Christians favor political and administrative decentralization of the government, with separate Muslim and Christian sectors operating within the framework of a confederation. Muslims, for the most part, prefer a unified, central government with an enhanced share of power commensurate with their larger share of the population. The trajectory of the Ta'if Agreement points towards a non-confessional system, but there has been no real movement in this direction in the decade and a half since Ta'if.
Palestinian refugees, predominantly Sunni Muslims, who numbered 405,525 in 2006 according to UNWRA, are not active on the domestic political scene. Nonetheless, they constitute an important minority whose naturalization/settlement in Lebanon is vigorously opposed by most Lebanese, who see them as a threat to Lebanon's delicate confessional balance. During 2002, parliament enacted legislation banning Palestinians from owning property in Lebanon. The Labor Ministry opened up professions previously closed to Palestinians in June 2005. The number of recent Iraqi refugees numbers in the tens of thousands and is believed to be growing.
===Foreign Relations===
The foreign policy of Lebanon reflects its geographic location, the composition of its population, and its reliance on commerce and trade. Lebanon's foreign policy has been heavily influenced by neighboring Syria, which has also long influenced Lebanon's internal policies as well. Reflecting lingering feelings in Syria that Lebanon was unjustly separated from Syria by European powers, Syria and Lebanon have never formally agreed on their mutual boundaries, and, rather than having normal diplomatic relations, the two countries are linked by a Higher Council for Bilateral Relations. Syria has no embassy or equivalent office in Beirut, while Lebanon has an "Interest Office" in Damascus. The framework for relations was first codified in May 1991, when Lebanon and Syria signed a treaty of mutual cooperation. This treaty came out of the Ta'if Agreement, which stipulated "Lebanon is linked to Syria by distinctive ties deriving strength from kinship, history, and common interests." The Lebanese-Syria treaty calls for "coordination and cooperation between the two countries" that would serve the "interests of the two countries within the framework of sovereignty and independence of each." Numerous agreements on political, economic, security, and judicial affairs have followed over the years. Syria maintained troops in Lebanon from 1976 until 2005; however, even after the withdrawal of Syria's military troops, it is believed to have maintained intelligence assets in Lebanon. In any case, Syrian influence in Lebanese politics remains strong.
[[Image:Beirut view.jpg|thumb|280px|left|Beirut view.]]
Lebanon, like most Arab states, does not recognize Israel, with which it has been technically at war since Israel's establishment. Lebanon participated in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and despite the 1948 Lebanon-Israel armistice, Lebanon's lack of control over the border region resulted in repeated border hostilities, initiated mainly by Palestinian exile groups from 1968 to 1982 and later by Hezbollah. These attacks led to Israeli counterattacks, including a 1978 invasion, a 1982 invasion and occupation which ended in 2000, and the 2006 war. Lebanon did not participate in the 1967 or 1973 Arab-Israeli wars, nor in the 1991 Gulf War. The success of the latter created new opportunities for Middle East peacemaking. In October 1991, under the sponsorship of the United States and the then-Soviet Union, Middle East peace talks were held in Madrid, Spain, where Israel and a majority of its Arab neighbors conducted direct bilateral negotiations to seek a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace based on UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 (and 425 on Lebanon) and the concept of "land for peace." Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and representatives of the Palestinians continued negotiating until the Oslo interim peace accords were concluded between Israel and the Palestinians in September 1993 and Jordan and Israel signed an agreement in October 1994. In March 1996, Syria and Israel held another round of Madrid talks; the Lebanon track did not convene. Lebanon has repeatedly called for a solution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem as a prerequisite to peace with Israel.
Lebanon concluded negotiations on an association agreement with the European Union in late 2001, and both sides initialed the accord in January 2002. Lebanon also has bilateral trade agreements with several Arab states and is working toward accession to the World Trade Organization. Aside from Syria, Lebanon enjoys good relations with virtually all of the other Arab countries (despite historic tensions with Libya, the Palestinians, and Iraq), and hosted an Arab League Summit in March 2002 for the first time in more than 35 years. Lebanon also is a member of the Organization of Islamic Conference and maintains a close relationship with Iran, largely centered on Shi'a Muslim links. Lebanon is a member of the Francophone countries and hosted the Francophone Summit in October 2002.
Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; main growth sectors include banking and tourism. According to the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade, Lebanon posted 5% real growth in 2004, with inflation running at 3%. There are no restrictions on foreign exchange or capital movement, and bank secrecy is strictly enforced. Lebanon has adopted a law to combat money laundering. There are practically no restrictions on foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and a lack of adequate protection of intellectual property. There are no country-specific U.S. trade sanctions against Lebanon.
*GDP (2006 est.): $21.5 billion.
*GDP growth rate (2006 est.): (-5%).
*Per capita GDP (2006 est.): $5,500.
*Natural resources: limestone, iron ore, salt.
*Agriculture: Products--citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats. Arable land--18%.
*Industry: Types--banking, tourism, food processing, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating.
*Trade: Exports--$1.88 billion (2005 est., f.o.b.): authentic jewelry, inorganic chemicals, miscellaneous consumer goods, fruit, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper. Major markets--Syria, U.A.E., Switzerland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia. Imports--$9.34 billion (2005 est., f.o.b.): petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco. Major suppliers--Italy, Syria, France, Germany, China, U.S., U.K., Saudi Arabia.
Lebanon embarked on a massive reconstruction program in 1992 to rebuild the country's physical and social infrastructure devastated by both the long civil war (1975-90) and the Israeli occupation of the south (1978-2000). In addition, the delicate social balance and the near-dissolution of central government institutions during the civil war handicapped the state as it sought to capture revenues to fund the recovery effort. Monetary stabilization coupled with high interest rate policies aggravated the debt service burden, leading to a substantial rise in budget deficits. Thus, the government accumulated significant debt, which by 2005 had reached $36 billion, or 185% of GDP. Unemployment is estimated at 18% officially, but in the absence of reliable statistics, some estimate it could be as high as 20-25%.
The government also has maintained a firm commitment to the Lebanese pound, which has been pegged to the dollar since September 1999. The government passed an Investment Development Law as well as laws for the privatization of the telecom and the electricity sector, signed the Euro-Med Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU) in March 2003, and is working toward accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). In order to increase revenues, the government introduced a 10% value added tax (VAT) that became applicable in February 2002 and a 5% tax that became applicable in February 2003.
Plagued by mounting indebtedness, Lebanon submitted a comprehensive program on its financing needs at the Paris II donors conference in November 2002 and succeeded in attracting pledges totaling $4.4 billion, including $3.1 billion to support fiscal adjustment and $1.2 billion to support economic development projects. Despite the substantial aid it had received, the government made little progress on its reform program, and by 2006, even before the war, the debt problem had grown worse. After the war, $940 million in relief and early reconstruction aid was pledged to Lebanon August 31, 2006 at a donors conference in Stockholm, and an additional $7.6 billion in assistance for reconstruction and economic stabilization was pledged January 25, 2007 at the International Conference for Support to Lebanon, "Paris III". Unlike the Paris II aid, much of the Paris III aid was to be contingent on Lebanon's meeting agreed benchmarks in implementing its proposed five-year economic and social reform program. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to initiate a Post-Conflict Program and to assign a team to Lebanon to provide technical assistance, to monitor the progress of reforms, and to advise donors on the timing of aid delivery.
The U.S. enjoys a strong exporter position with Lebanon, generally ranking as Lebanon's fifth-largest source of imported goods. More than 160 offices representing U.S. businesses currently operate in Lebanon. Since the lifting of the passport restriction in 1997 (see below), a number of large U.S. companies have opened branch or regional offices, including Microsoft, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, FedEx, UPS, General Electric, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Cisco, Eli Lilly, and Pepsi Cola.
[[Image:Boats on Waterfront Byblos.jpg|thumb|Boats on Waterfront Byblos.]]
Lebanon is the historic home of the Phoenicians, Semitic traders whose maritime culture flourished there for more than 2,000 years (c.2700-450 B.C.). In later centuries, Lebanon's mountains were a refuge for Christians, and Crusaders established several strongholds there. Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the League of Nations mandated the five provinces that comprise present-day Lebanon to France. Modern Lebanon's constitution, drawn up in 1926, specified a balance of political power among the various religious groups. The country gained independence in 1943, and French troops withdrew in 1946. Lebanon participated in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and signed an armistice with Israel on March 23, 1949.
Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade. In 1958, during the last months of President Camille Chamoun's term, an insurrection broke out, and U.S. forces were briefly dispatched to Lebanon in response to an appeal by the government. During the 1960s, Lebanon enjoyed a period of relative calm and Beirut-focused tourism and banking sector-driven prosperity. Other areas of the country, however, notably the South, North, and Bekaa Valley, remained poor in comparison.
In the early 1970's, difficulties arose over the presence of Palestinian refugees, many of whom arrived after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the secret 1969 Cairo Agreement permitting the establishment of Palestinian camps in Lebanon, and 1970 "Black September" hostilities in Jordan. Among the 1970 arrivals were Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). Coupled with the Palestinian problem, Muslim and Christian differences grew more intense.
====Beginning of the Civil War, 1975-81====
Full-scale civil war broke out in April 1975. After shots were fired at a church, gunmen in Christian East Beirut ambushed a busload of Palestinians. Palestinian forces joined predominantly leftist-Muslim factions as the fighting persisted, eventually spreading to most parts of the country and precipitating the Lebanese President's call for support from Syrian troops in June 1976. In fall of 1976, Arab summits in Riyadh and Cairo set out a plan to end the war. The resulting Arab Deterrent Force, which included Syrian troops already present, moved in to help separate the combatants. As an uneasy quiet settled over Beirut, security conditions in the south began to deteriorate.
After a PLO attack on a bus in northern Israel and Israeli retaliation that caused heavy casualties, Israel invaded Lebanon in March 1978, occupying most of the area south of the Litani River. In response, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 425 calling for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces and creating the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), charged with maintaining peace. Israeli forces withdrew later in 1978, turning over positions inside Lebanon along the border to their Lebanese ally, the South Lebanon Army (SLA) under the leadership of Maj. Sa'ad Haddad, thus informally setting up a 12-mile wide "security zone" to protect Israeli territory from cross border attack.
====U.S. Intervention, 1982-84====
An interim cease-fire brokered by the U.S. in 1981 among Syria, the PLO, and Israel was respected for almost a year. Several incidents, including PLO rocket attacks on northern Israel, as well as an assassination attempt on the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom, led to the June 6, 1982 Israeli ground attack into Lebanon to remove PLO forces. Operation "Peace for Galilee" aimed at establishing a deeper security zone and pushing Syrian troops out of Lebanon, with a view toward paving the way for an Israeli-Lebanese peace agreement. With these aims in mind, Israeli forces drove 25 miles into Lebanon, moving into East Beirut with the support of Maronite Christian leaders and militia.
In August 1982, U.S. mediation resulted in the evacuation of Syrian troops and PLO fighters from Beirut. The agreement also provided for the deployment of a multinational force composed of U.S. Marines along with French and Italian units. A new President, Bashir Gemayel, was elected with acknowledged Israeli backing. On September 14, however, he was assassinated. The next day, Israeli troops occupied West Beirut to secure Muslim militia strongholds and orchestrated the massacre of almost 800 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, in operations "Spark" and "Iron Brain" within IDF's invasion plans of Lebanon. Israel's then-Minister of Defense Ariel Sharon was held directly responsible for the massacre by the Kahane Commission and later resigned. With U.S. backing, Amin Gemayel, chosen by the Lebanese parliament to succeed his brother as President, focused anew on securing the withdrawal of Israeli and Syrian forces. The multinational force returned.
On May 17, 1983, Lebanon, Israel, and the United States signed an agreement on Israeli withdrawal that was conditioned on the departure of Syrian troops. Syria opposed the agreement and declined to discuss the withdrawal of its troops, effectively stalemating further progress. In August 1983, Israel withdrew from the Shuf (southeast of Beirut), thus removing the buffer between the Druze and the Christian militias and triggering another round of brutal fighting. By September, the Druze had gained control over most of the Shuf, and Israeli forces had pulled out from all but the southern security zone, where they remained until May 2000. The virtual collapse of the Lebanese Army in February 1984, following the defection of many Muslim and Druze units to militias, was a major blow to the government. With the U.S. Marines looking ready to withdraw, Syria and Muslim groups stepped up pressure on Gemayal. On March 5, 1984 the Lebanese Government canceled the May 17 agreement; the Marines departed a few weeks later.
This period of chaos witnessed the beginning of terrorist attacks launched against U.S. and Western interests. These included the April 18, 1983 suicide attack at the U.S. Embassy in West Beirut (63 dead), the bombing of the headquarters of U.S. and French forces on October 23, 1983 (298 dead), the assassination of American University of Beirut President Malcolm Kerr on January 18, 1984, and the bombing of the U.S. Embassy annex in East Beirut on September 20, 1984 (9 dead).
It also saw the rise of radicalism among a small number of Lebanese Muslim factions who believed that the successive Israeli and U.S. interventions in Lebanon were serving primarily Christian interests. It was from these factions that Hezbollah emerged from a loose coalition of Shi'a groups. Hezbollah employed terrorist tactics and was supported by Syria and Iran.
====Worsening Conflict and Political Crisis, 1985-89====
Between 1985 and 1989, factional conflict worsened as various efforts at national reconciliation failed. Heavy fighting took place in the "War of the Camps" in 1985 and 1986 as the Shi'a Muslim Amal militia sought to rout the Palestinians from Lebanese strongholds. The Amal movement had been organized in mid-1975, at the beginning of the civil war, to confront what were seen as Israeli plans to displace the Lebanese population with Palestinians. (Its charismatic founder Imam Musa Sadr disappeared in Libya three years later. Its current leader, Nabih Berri, is the Speaker of the National Assembly.) The combat returned to Beirut in 1987, with Palestinians, leftists, and Druze fighters allied against Amal, eventually drawing further Syrian intervention. Violent confrontation flared up again in Beirut in 1988 between Amal and Hezbollah.
Meanwhile, on the political front, Prime Minister Rashid Karami, head of a government of national unity set up after the failed peace efforts of 1984, was assassinated on June 1, 1987. President Gemayel's term of office expired in September 1988. Before stepping down, he appointed another Maronite Christian, Lebanese Armed Forces Commanding General Michel Aoun, as acting Prime Minister, contravening Lebanon's unwritten "National Pact," which required the prime minister to be Sunni Muslim. Muslim groups rejected the move and pledged support to Salim al-Hoss, a Sunni who had succeeded Karami. Lebanon was thus divided between a Christian government in East Beirut and a Muslim government in West Beirut, with no president.
In February 1989 Aoun attacked the rival Lebanese Forces militia. By March he turned his attention to other militias, launching what he termed a "War of Liberation" against the Syrians and their Lebanese militia allies. In the months that followed, Aoun rejected both the agreement that ultimately ended the civil war and the election of another Christian leader as president. A Lebanese-Syrian military operation in October 1990 forced him to take refuge in the French Embassy in Beirut and later to go into a 15-year exile in Paris. After Syrian troop withdrawal, Aoun returned to Lebanon on May 7, 2005 and won a seat in the 2005 parliamentary elections. His Free Patriotic Movement became a principal element of the pro-Syrian opposition bloc.
====End of the Civil War, 1989-91====
The Ta'if Agreement of 1989 marked the beginning of the end of the war. In January of that year, a committee appointed by the Arab League, chaired by Kuwait and including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Morocco, had begun to formulate solutions to the conflict, leading to a meeting of Lebanese parliamentarians in Ta'if, Saudi Arabia, where they agreed to the national reconciliation accord in October. Returning to Lebanon, they ratified the agreement on November 4 and elected Rene Moawad as President the following day. Moawad was assassinated in a car bombing in Beirut on November 22 as his motorcade returned from Lebanese Independence Day ceremonies. Elias Hrawi, who remained in office until 1998, succeeded him.
In August 1990, parliament and the new President agreed on constitutional amendments embodying some of the political reforms envisioned at Ta'if. The National Assembly expanded to 128 seats and was divided equally between Christians and Muslims (with Druze counted as Muslims). In March 1991, parliament passed an amnesty law that pardoned all political crimes prior to its enactment. The amnesty was not extended to crimes perpetrated against foreign diplomats or certain crimes referred by the cabinet to the Higher Judicial Council. In May 1991, the militias (with the important exception of Hezbollah and Palestinian militias) were dissolved, and the Lebanese Armed Forces began to slowly rebuild itself as Lebanon's only major nonsectarian institution.
In all, it is estimated that more than 100,000 were killed, and another 100,000 left handicapped, during Lebanon's 16-year civil war. Up to one-fifth of the pre-war resident population, or about 900,000 people, were displaced from their homes, of which perhaps a quarter of a million emigrated permanently. The last of the Western hostages taken during the mid-1980s were released in May 1992.
====Postwar Reconstruction, 1992 to 2005====
[[Image:Makmal mountains Lebanon.jpg|thumb|280px|Cedars in the Makmal mountains]]
Postwar social and political instability, fueled by economic uncertainty and the collapse of the Lebanese currency, led to the resignation of Prime Minister Omar Karami in May 1992, after less than 2 years in office. Former Prime Minister Rashid al Sulh, who was widely viewed as a caretaker to oversee Lebanon's first parliamentary elections in 20 years, replaced him.
By early November 1992, a new parliament had been elected, and Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri had formed a cabinet, retaining for himself the finance portfolio. The formation of a government headed by a successful billionaire businessman was widely seen as a sign that Lebanon would make a priority of rebuilding the country and reviving the economy. Solidere, a private real estate company set up to rebuild downtown Beirut, was a symbol of Hariri's strategy to link economic recovery to private sector investment. After the election of then-commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces Emile Lahoud in 1998, following Hrawi's extended term as President, Salim al-Hoss again served as Prime Minister. Hariri returned to office as Prime Minister in November 2000. Although problems with basic infrastructure and government services persist, and Lebanon is now highly indebted, much of the civil war damage was repaired throughout the country, and many foreign investors and tourists returned.
In early April 1996, Israel conducted a military operation dubbed "Grapes of Wrath" in response to Hezbollah's continued launching of rockets at villages in northern Israel. The 16-day operation caused hundreds of thousands of civilians in south Lebanon to flee their homes. On April 18, Hezbollah fired mortars at an Israeli military unit from a position near the UN compound at Qana, and the Israeli Army responded with artillery fire. Several Israeli shells struck the compound, killing 102 civilians sheltered there. In the "April Understanding" concluded on April 26, Israel and Hezbollah committed themselves to avoid targeting civilians and using populated areas to launch attacks. The Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (ILMG), co-chaired by France and the United States, with Syria, Lebanon, and Israel all represented, was set up to implement the Understanding and assess reports of violations. ILMG ceased operations following the May 2000 Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon.
On May 23, 2000, the Israeli military carried out a total withdrawal of Israeli troops from the south and the Bekaa Valley, effectively ending 22 years of occupation. The SLA collapsed and about 6,000 SLA members and their families fled the country, although more than 3,000 had returned by November 2003. The military court tried all of the SLA operatives who remained in the country and the average sentence handed down was 1-year imprisonment.
On June 16, 2000, the UN Security Council adopted the report of the Secretary General verifying Israeli compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 425 (1978) and the withdrawal of Israeli troops to their side of the demarcated Lebanese-Israeli line of separation (the "Blue Line") mapped out by UN cartographers. (The international border between Lebanon and Israel is still to be determined in the framework of a peace agreement.) In August 2000, the Government of Lebanon deployed over 1,000 police and soldiers to the former security zone, but Hezbollah also maintained observation posts and conducted patrols along the Blue Line. While Lebanon and Syria initially agreed to respect the Blue Line, both since have registered objections and continue to argue that Israel has not fully withdrawn from Lebanese soil. As regional tension escalated with the Palestinian intifada in September 2000, Hezbollah cited Blue Line discrepancies when it reengaged Israel on October 7, taking three Israeli soldiers captive in an area known as Sheba'a Farms. (In 2001, the Israeli Government declared the three soldiers were believed to be dead.) Sheba'a Farms, a largely unpopulated area just south of the Blue Line opposite the Lebanese town of Sheba'a, was captured by Israel when it occupied Syria's Golan Heights in 1967. The Lebanese Government has repeatedly laid claim to the area since shortly before Israel's general withdrawal. Meanwhile, the Syrian Government has verbally stated that the Sheba'a Farms tract is Lebanese, but, as with the rest of the Lebanon-Syria border, has been unwilling to commit to a formal border demarcation in the area. As a result of secret mediation by the German Government, Israel released a number of Lebanese prisoners held by Israel in early 2004 in exchange for Elhanan Tannenbaum, an Israeli reservist abducted by Hezbollah in late 2000.
In January 2000 the government took action against Sunni Muslim extremists in the north who had attacked its soldiers, and it continues to act against groups such as Asbat al-Ansar, which has been linked to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, and other extremists. On January 24, 2002, Mr. Elie Hobeika, a popular christian politician, memeber of parliament and a former Lebanese Forces commander associated with the Lebanese conflict of 17 years, and who later served in three cabinets and the parliament, was assassinated in a car bombing in Beirut.
A September 2004 vote by the Chamber of Deputies to amend the constitution to extend President Lahoud's term in office by 3 years amplified the question of Lebanese sovereignty and the continuing Syrian presence. The vote was clearly taken under Syrian pressure, exercised in part through Syria's military intelligence service, whose chief in Lebanon had acted as a virtual proconsul for many years. Syria, which views Lebanon as part of its own territory, has not signed a boundary agreement with Lebanon and does not have normal diplomatic relations with Lebanon. The UN Security Council expressed its concern over the situation by passing Resolution 1559, also in September 2004, which called for withdrawal of all remaining foreign forces from Lebanon, disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias, the deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces throughout the country, and a free and fair electoral process in the presidential election.
====Syrian Withdrawal, 2005====
Former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, who had resisted Syria's effort to secure Lahoud's extension, and 19 others were assassinated in Beirut by a car bomb on February 14, 2005. The assassination spurred massive protests in Beirut and international pressure that led to the withdrawal of the remaining Syrian military troops from Lebanon on April 26. In the months that followed Hariri's assassination, journalist Samir Qassir, Lebanese politician George Hawi, and journalist Gebran Tueni were murdered by car bombs, and Defense Minister Elias Murr and journalist May Chidiac narrowly avoided a similar fate when they were targeted with car bombs. The UN International Independent Investigative Commission (UNIIIC) headed by Detlev Mehlis began an investigation of Hariri's assassination and related crimes, beginning with the October 2004 attempt to assassinate Communications Minister Marwan Hamadeh. Serge Brammertz took over the investigation at the beginning of 2006. In December 2006, the Lebanese Cabinet approved an agreement with the UN Security Council to create a Special Tribunal of international character which will be responsible for trying those who may be indicted as a result of the investigation. President Lahoud, Parliament Speaker Berri, and the Shia ministers who resigned from Lebanon's cabinet in November 2006 do not recognize the cabinet's decision on this matter, however.
Parliamentary elections were held May 29-June 19, 2005 and the anti-Syrian opposition led by Sa'ad Hariri, Rafiq Hariri's son, won a majority of 72 seats (out of 128). Hariri ally and former Finance Minister Fouad Siniora was named Prime Minister and Nabih Berri was reelected as Speaker of Parliament. Parliament approved the first "made-in-Lebanon" cabinet in almost 30 years on July 30. The ministerial statement of the new cabinet (which included two Hezbollah ministers), a summary of the new government's agenda and priorities, focused on political and economic reform, but also endorsed Hezbollah's right to possess military weapons to carry out a "national resistance" against the perceived Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory.
Hezbollah forces continued to launch sporadic military strikes on Israeli forces, drawing responses that produced casualties on both sides and, on two occasions in 2001, Israeli air strikes on Syrian radar sites in Lebanon. Israel continues to violate Lebanese sovereignty by conducting overflights of Lebanese territory north of the Blue Line. UNIFIL has recorded numerous violations of the Blue Line by both sides since the Israeli withdrawal. In general, however, the level of violence along the Israeli-Lebanon front decreased dramatically from May 2000 until mid-2006.
====War with Israel, 2006====

On July 12, 2006, Hezbollah guerillas crossed into Israel, killed three Israeli soldiers, and kidnapped two others, precipitating a war with Israel, which the USA and Israel had been planning for months, to be launched on Al-Quds day in October with devastating effect... Israeli air strikes hit Hezbollah positions in the south and infrastructure targets throughout Lebanon, and Israeli ground forces moved against southern Lebanon. Hezbollah resisted the ground attack and fired thousands of rockets at civilian targets in Israel. By the time the war ended, on Aug. 14, an estimated 1200 Lebanese civilians and hundreds of children had died, along with 119 Israeli military and 43 Israeli civilians. UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the war, provided for a cessation of hostilities..., Israeli withdrawal and lifting of blockades, disarming of other militias, and a ban on unauthorized weapons transfers into Lebanon. UNSCR 1701 also significantly strengthened UNIFIL's mandate and authorized its enlargement from about 2,000 initially up to a maximum of 15,000. Bolstered by UNIFIL, which by the beginning of 2007 had more than 11,000 personnel, the Lebanese Armed Forces deployed to southern Lebanon and the border with Israel for the first time in almost four decades.
The war temporarily or permanently displaced roughly one-fourth of Lebanon's population, and caused enormous damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. The country, which was already seriously indebted, suffered roughly $5 billion in damages and financial losses. The international community provided massive humanitarian relief, plus substantial aid for economic reconstruction and reform, with $940 million in aid pledged at an August 31, 2006 donors conference in Stockholm and $7.6 billion in pledges announced at a Paris conference January 25, 2007. Aid pledged in Paris was to be coordinated with the Lebanese Government's program for fiscal and economic reform.
Although Syria withdrew its military forces from Lebanon, intelligence assets remained, and Syria continues to have a strong influence in Lebanese politics. In November 2006, as Siniora's cabinet neared approval of the Hariri tribunal, pro-Syrian ministers, including all the Shi'ite ministers, withdrew from the cabinet. Led by Hezbollah, pro-Syrian forces began months of massive demonstrations, sit-ins, with the aim of either paralyzing or bringing down the cabinet. Minister of Industry Pierre Gemayel, son of CIA stooge Amin Gemayel, was assassinated November 21.
==See Also==

*[[2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict ]]
== References ==
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