“The Pot Says The Kettle Is Black”

In another classic case of deliberate obfuscation and misdirection, Yassir Arafat, caught on camera just after Secretary of State Colin Powell exited his surrounded compound, angrily lashed out at the Israelis for their siege of the Church of the Nativity, saying it was violent desecration of this “sacred place.”

Arafat conveniently forgot the fact that his own Palestinian gunmen shot their way into the church by blasting the locks on doors with their guns; that they continue to fire at Israelis, and refuse to come out and surrender.

Perhaps President George W. Bush has learned that he simply cannot act like the emperor of the world, and give other sovereign states ultimatums, perhaps not. His strongly-worded demands, just prior to sending Secretary Powell to the Middle East, were that Israel “immediately withdraw” from Palestinian cities and towns. Israel did no such thing. Powell attempted to gloss over the obvious fact that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had completely ignored Bush’s demands when Powell said he was satisfied with a time table Sharon had given him; that the IDF would be withdrawing “within a week.” This, more than two weeks after the Bush demands.

Anyone who believes Powell’s trip has produced positive results is living in a dream world. It will only require one more suicide bomber to once again blast any alleged “successes” by Powell into rags and rubble.

In another classic case of political double-speak, Powell allegedly threatened Arafat with the cancellation of the $80 million the US sends him annually, while it is well known that Israel is the recipient of the largest single amount of US aid. No word on whether Powell made a similar threat to Sharon.

In retrospect, was there an “or else” connected to Powell’s words to either leader? Was Arafat told to stop the bombings “or else?” And was the “or else” a clear statement that the US would be forced to look beyond Arafat for Palestinian leadership; that Arafat himself has been weighed in the balances and found wanting; that the US is not convinced Arafat is truly in control of the Palestinian Authority, of which he is chairman? Were there to be no consequences for non-performance?

As Powell left Israel, he headed for a meeting with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.  However, just hours prior to leaving, Mubarak pled illness (is he really ill — or — ?) and Powell was to meet with the Foreign Minister instead. Perhaps Mubarak had received some warnings from Syria; had been briefed on what Powell had said there and in Lebanon, and decided he just didn’t want to listen to him. In any event, unless the man is practically on his deathbed, or in a hospital with hoses protruding from him, one has difficulty imagining a scenario where the President of the most populous Arab nation could not spare a few minutes of his time for the American Secretary of State.

On its face, it appears Mubarak was sending a message to other Arab states.

The truth is, this entire farcical trip, and Bush’s classic double talk, is aimed at somehow soothing the feelings of “moderate” Arab states as the US continues to build up its military supplies for an attack against Iraq. It is a weak ploy, and it is doomed to failure.

Every Arab government has seen that the US is clearly unable to force Ariel Sharon to do anything he doesn’t want to do; that the US has no hold over the Israeli leader. Mubarak may be more sick at heart than sick, physically, since he has seen that the US was powerless to get the IDF to withdraw from Palestinian areas before Sharon tells them to do so.

With Europe making noises about the ineffectiveness of the US as a power broker; with the EU saying a multi-lateral “peace keeping” force may be necessary to keep the warring parties apart, we may see increasing European involvement in the Middle East.

Eventually, we will see a European OCCUPATION of the Middle East, as I have set forth in several of my earlier commentaries.

In his press conference following his meetings, Powell was asked specifically about the Jewish settlements on the West Bank. He admitted the settlements form a major part of the contentions between the two parties, and could only say that both parties will “have to make compromises” before peace can prevail.

Tens of thousands of Israelis live in solid homes made of stone in many, many small and medium-sized communities all over the West Bank. The policy of Israel was similar to that of the expansion of America into the West; a West held by Mexico to the south, Canada to the north, and Russia in San Francisco, not to mention dozens of Indian tribes from the Mescalero Apaches in Arizona to the Crows, Lakotas, Cheyennes and Utes in the north. By opening the land to settlement, many of which sprung up around forts, and were protected by the US cavalry, the American government pursued its policy of “manifest destiny,” and settled the untamed American western wilderness. Settlements in Oregon insured the British and Canadians would not possess Oregon and Washington. In the famous “54 - 40 or fight” squabble, (the latitude/longitude along the US Canadian border) disputes over the territory continued and intensified, nearly starting a war in 1845 when the United States claimed full ownership of the Oregon Territory (U.S. Democratic party's election campaign slogan was, "54 40' or fight." The 54 meaning the 54th parallel, B.C.'s northern border). This long standing border dispute was finally settled peacefully with the signing of the Oregon Treaty on June 15, 1846. The boundary was extended west along the 49th parallel, with Canada retaining Vancouver Island. This resolution finally completed the basic north-south division of North America.  There is plenty of historical precedent right around the globe; from South Africa to Hawaii, and from the US to Argentina, for settlement leading to sovereignty or annexation.

From 1967 onward, thirty-five years ago, Israel has pursued the same policy. She won the lands by force of arms in a defensive war. Viewing the entire region as conquered Israeli territory, she began settling the region. New towns and villages sprung up everywhere; from the harsh Negev to the hills of the West Bank, thousands of immigrants from Europe, Russia, Yemen and the United States purchased lots and build homes. The villages and towns feature the usual collections of shopping centers, services and infrastructure — water and sewage systems, electrical systems, bus lines, police stations, fire departments; all the amenities one would expect in any town or small city. What had been rocky, bleak, uninhabited wastelands became verdant, lush, beautiful towns and villages festooned with trees and flowers. One has only to drive through the region, as I have done many times, to be very impressed with the difference between Israel (the West Bank) and Jordan.

Now, second generation Israelis live in homes their fathers and mother built. An entire generation of Israeli immigrants occupy homes in such regions; homes they have known since they took their first steps; homes from which they view the streets their parents walked.

Do you think these people will walk away from those homes because of world public opinion, or as a result of an edict from their government, as part of an olive branch to Palestinians, who would move in and occupy the homes the Israelis have built?

Those settlements represent one of the major sticking points. The really big sticking point, of course, is Jerusalem! In one of the more recent “peace plans” put forth, Yassir Arafat was offered the major Arab sections of Jerusalem, but NOT the Old City, or, of course, the huge, sprawling Jerusalem that has been built since 1948, and which is the capital of the Jewish nation. Arafat turned it down. He wants it all.

Meanwhile, as Powell heads for home, it is “mission unaccomplished.” Once again, as the Bible predicts, we hear talk of “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.” Peace is not prophesied for the region. Instead the ultimate violent occupation by the “King of the North,” the BEAST power, is to ultimately take place. Today, the United States Government, and to a lesser degree Europe and Russia, are all “burdening themselves” with Jerusalem!

That is a mistake. God warns, “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it” (Zechariah 12:1-3).

Almighty God determines the eventual course of events. His eyes are upon Jerusalem. He knows of all the secret agendas. He hears all the private talks. He is aware of the political chicanery, the plots and plans, the evil imaginings of men. When it is time — just before man would obliterate himself from this planet — He will intervene, and send His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ to CONQUER this rotten, hate-filled, squalid, crime-ridden, evil world and bring it REAL, LASTING PEACE! Peace will NOT prevail prior to that time!

Garner Ted Armstrong
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