Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2006.

“It turns out there’s an upside to the current conflict between Israel
and Hezbollah-if you’re waiting for the second coming of Christ.
Here’s a selection of excited messages spotted over the last few days
on the Rapture Ready/End Times Chat online bulletin board.”

* * *

Praise God! We are chosen to be in these times and also watch and
spread the word. Something inside me is exploding to get out, and I
don’t know what it is. Its kind of like I want to do cartwheels around
the neighborhood.

* * *

In another thread, someone brought up the fact that the kidnapping of
the first Israeli soldier that started this whole thing was on June
25th and if you count from that day to August 3rd…….it is *EXACTLY
40 days!!!!!*

I find that to be a HUGE coincidence.

* * *

A question just popped in my head. Do you think children of around say
7 or 8 (but before the age of accountability) that have been
indoctrinated up until that time by their parents religious beliefs
will be raptured? . . . For example, would a 7 year old muslim be
raptured? I know G-d will do right but I was just wondering everyone’s
thoughts. I hate to think of kids being left here.

* * *

Got that dancing feeling on the inside of me.

* * *

This is the busiest I’ve ever seen this website in a few years! I have
been having rapture dreams and I can’t believe that this is really it!
We are on the edge of eternity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* * *

Whoa! I can sure feel the glory bumps after reading this thread!

* * *

I too am soooo excited!! I get goose bumps, literally, when I watch
what’s going on in the M.E.!! And Watcherboy, you were so right when
saying it was quite a day yesterday, in the world news, and I add in
local news here in the Boston area!! Tunnel ceiling collapsed on a car
and killed a woman of faith, and we had the most terrifying storms I
have ever seen here!! But, yes, oh happy day, like in your screen name
, it is most indeed a time to be happy and excited, right there with

* * *

I am excited beyond words that the struggle of this life may be over

* * *

This is so exciting….I’m having a hard time believing this is ‘real’!

* * *




Arab Majority May Not Stay Forever Silent

By YOUSSEF IBRAHIM  /  July 17, 2006

Yes, world, there is a silent Arab majority that believes that
seventh-century Islam is not fit for 21st-century challenges. That
women do not have to look like walking black tents. That men do not
have to wear beards and robes, act like lunatics, and run around
blowing themselves up in order to enjoy 72 virgins in paradise. And
that secular laws, not Islamic Shariah, should rule our day-to-day

And yes, we, the silent Arab majority, do not believe that writers,
secular or otherwise, should be killed or banned for expressing their
views. Or that the rest of our creative elite – from moviemakers to
playwrights, actors, painters, sculptors, and fashion models – should
be vetted by Neanderthal Muslim imams who have never read a book in
their dim, miserable lives.

Nor do we believe that little men with head wraps and disheveled beards
can run amok in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq making decisions
on our behalf, dragging us to war whenever they please, confiscating
our rights to be adults, and flogging us for not praying five times a
day or even for not believing in God.

More important, we are not silent any longer.

Rarely have I seen such an uprising, indeed an intifada, against those
little turbaned, bearded men across the Muslim landscape as the one
that took place last week. The leader of Hezbollah, Sheik Hassan
Nasrallah, received a resounding “no” to pulling 350 million Arabs into
a war with Israel on his clerical coattails.

The collective “nyet” was spoken by presidents, emirs, and kings at the
highest level of government in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar,
Jordan, Morocco, and at the Arab League’s meeting of 22 foreign
ministers in Cairo on Saturday. But it was even louder from pundits
and ordinary people.

Perhaps the most remarkable and unexpected reaction came from Saudi
Arabia, whose foreign minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal, said bluntly and
publicly that Hezbollah’s decision to cross the Lebanese border, attack
Israel, and kidnap its soldiers has left the Shiite group on its own to
face Israel. The unspoken message here was, “We hope they blow you

The Arab League put it succinctly in its final communique in Cairo,
declaring that “behavior undertaken by some groups [read: Hezbollah
and Hamas] in apparent safeguarding of Arab interests does in fact
harm those interests, allowing Israel and other parties from outside
the Arab world [read: Iran] to wreck havoc with the security and safety
of all Arab countries.”

As for Hezbollah and its few supporters, who have pushed for an
emergency Arab summit meeting, the response could not have been a
bigger slap in the face. Take a listen:

* Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, the general manager of Al-Arabiya, possibly
the most influential Arab opinion-maker today, was categorical
yesterday: “We have lost most of our causes and the largest portions of
our lands following fiery speeches and empty promises of struggle
coupled with hallucinating, drug-induced political fantasies.” As for
joining Hezbollah in its quest, his answer was basically, “you broke
it, you own it.”

* Tariq Alhomayed, editor in chief of the Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat,
stuck the dagger in deeper: “Mr. Nasrallah bombastically announced he
consulted no one when he decided to attack Israel, nor did he measure
Lebanon’s need for security, prosperity, and the safety of its people.
He said he needs no one’s help but God’s to fight the fight.” Mr.
Alhomayed’s punch line was, in so many words: Go with God, Sheik
Nasrallah, but count the rest of us out.

Several other Arab pundits, not necessarily coordinating their
commentary, noted that today Sheik Nasrallah has been reduced to
Osama bin Laden status, a fugitive from Israeli justice, sending out his
tapes from unknown locations to, invariably, Al-Jazeera, the prime
purveyor of Mr. bin Laden’s communications.

All in all, it seems that when Israel decided to go to war against the
priestly mafia of Hamas and Hezbollah, it opened a whole new chapter in
the Greater Middle East discourse. And Israel is finding, to its
surprise, that a vast, not-so-silent majority of Arabs agrees that
enough is enough. To be sure, beneath the hostility toward Sheik
Nasrallah in Sunni Muslim states lies the deep and bitter heritage of a
14-century Sunni-Shiite divide, propelled to greater heights now by
fears of an ascendant Shiite “arc of menace” rising out of Iran and
peddled in the Sunni world by Syria.

The sooner this is settled the better.


BY John Podhoretz

July 18, 2006 — AMONG those who support Israel’s actions over the past
week, there is a sense that this is a moment of profound opportunity.
This could be the moment, they say, when Israel disarms, degrades and
destroys the Hezbollah terrorist group.

And it could also be the moment for Israel to inform Syria that its use
of Hezbollah as a client is unacceptable through the use of military
action against that monstrous regime. Finally, if Israel is serious
about doing this right, it will figure out some way to hit Iran –
Hezbollah’s true puppet masters – hard.

America might have a role to play, too. Because this war against
militant Islam is part of our war against militant Islam, the United
States has an opportunity as well to make it clear to Syria and Iran
that their meddling in Iraq against us will have profound costs –
perhaps through military action as well.

These arguments are being made by many people whom I respect and agree
with – including Ralph Peters in these pages, Bill Kristol at The
Weekly Standard and the peerless Israeli-American historian Michael
Oren, among others.

But there’s a significant problem with their analysis. While it is true
that Israel has profound regional adversaries beyond Hezbollah who are
showing themselves eager to radically raise the stakes through the use
of long-range missile strikes at Israeli cities, those missiles and
those firings were not the casus belli.

They are not the cause of the war, the reason for the categorical
military response by Israel to Palestinian aggression. The casus belli
was on a very small scale indeed, even for the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict: The kidnappings of three Israeli soldiers by Hamas and

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made it clear yesterday that he is
keeping his eye on the narrow goal that will allow the conclusion of
hostilities. Israel will consider the conflict over if the soldiers are
returned. The return of the soldiers must be accompanied by the end of
Arab fire and the deployment of Lebanon’s army on its Southern border –
meaning that Lebanon will expel Hezbollah and take its place.

Olmert did not say Syria and Iran must be made to answer for their
actions. He limited his warrior rhetoric to Hezbollah and Hamas: “We
will search every compound,” he said, “target every terrorist who
assists in attacking the citizens of Israel, and destroy every
terrorist infrastructure, everywhere.”

While he referred to “the ‘Axis of Evil’ which stretches from Tehran to
Damascus,” Olmert was careful not to talk more broadly about Israel’s
military response to the attacks on it. “We are at a national moment of
truth,” he said. “Will we consent to live under the threat of this Axis
of Evil or will we mobilize our inner strength and show determination
and equanimity? Our answer is clear to every Israeli, and it echoes
today throughout the entire region.”

The “determination and equanimity” with which Olmert said Israel faces
Syria and Iran are something different from Olmert’s flat insistence
that Israel will “destroy every terrorist infrastructure, everywhere.”
What Olmert was saying is that Hezbollah will find no safe haven in
Lebanon – not by hiding like cowards in a populated Beirut suburb, for
example. Nor can Lebanon use its ineffectuality as an excuse for not
clamping down on Hezbollah, which is, after all, part of the Lebanese

But Hezbollah and Lebanon are not Syria and Iran. One is a small but
heavily armed country, the other a large and even more heavily armed
country. Engaging them both, even as Hezbollah is being engaged, is a
mammoth undertaking that will spin the world on its geopolitical axis.

Israel cannot permit itself to be drawn into a war with these two
countries that began as the result of these three kidnappings – no
matter how justified. Such a war would represent the most serious
crisis for Israel since 1973, and Israel should not hang a conflict
that central to the state’s own history and the world’s equilibrium on
so slender a peg.

Olmert’s words make it evident that Israel will not do so, unless
something horrific happens to make the expansion of this war to Syria
and Iran a tragic necessity.

jpodhoretz [at] gmail [dot] com



July 18, 2006 — ‘WHEN nothing else works, there is always Israel”: So
the late Egyptian journalist Lutfi al-Khuli liked to describe the motto
of Arab radicalism decades ago.

The analysis was apt, because Arab obsession with Israel did work on
countless occasions. Despots used Israel as an excuse for their brutal
rule. Corrupt leaders adopted anti-Israeli rhetoric as a diversion from
their misdeeds. Confused intellectuals used Israel as an object of hate
to hide their ineptitude.

Nor was it only Arab radicals. The late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini,
the father of the Islamic Republic in Iran, also used anti-Israel
rhetoric whenever he found himself in a tight corner.

More recently, three men have tried to play the Israel card as a means
of getting out of their respective tight corners: President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria
and Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Lebanese branch of the Hezbollah.
All are under increasing pressure both from their domestic
constituencies and international opinion.

Ahmadinejad is under pressure to respond to a carrots-and-stick offer
by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus
Germany. He knows that a positive response to the offer could mark the
end for his strategy of extending the Islamic Republic’s influence
throughout the Middle East – yet a rejection of the package could
isolate his regime, bring about international sanctions and weaken his
already shaky regime inside Iran.

To avoid having to make that choice, Ahmadinejad decided to play the
Israel card. This meant moving the Hezbollah pawn that the Islamic
Republic created in Lebanon in 1982 and has financed, trained and armed
for the past quarter of a century.

It is no accident that, during the last 10 weeks, arms supplies to
Hezbollah have increased dramatically. In the same period, Iran’s
defense minister met with Hezbollah leaders and commanders at least
twice. Iranian media say the Islamic Republic also increased the size
of its military advisory delegation to Hezbollah as “precaution against
Israeli aggression.”

Syria’s Assad also found himself in need of an “Israel diversion.” He
and members of his family and administration risk indictment for
alleged involvement in the murder of the late Lebanese Premier Rafik
Hariri. Worse still, his regime’s opponents have just created a united
front in which senior former Baathists sit alongside leaders of the
Muslim Brotherhood and prominent liberal and social-democratic figures.
Assad has tried to survive by becoming a liegeman of Tehran; but he
knows that his Iranian masters might abandon him at any time.

Provoking a new conflict with Israel over Lebanon could give Assad a
chance to cast himself in the role of the peacemaker. Buthaina Shaaban,
one of Assad’s aides, has hinted that, if allowed to return to Lebanon,
the Syrians are prepared to disarm the Hezbollah and make sure that the
Lebanese border with Israel is as calm as the ceasefire line between
Israel and Syria has been for decades. Assad may also be prepared to
drop Hamas, just as Syria dropped the Kurdish terrorist group PKK as
part of a deal with Turkey a decade ago.

Hezbollah also needs a diversion. With the departure of the Syrians and
the beginnings of democratization in Lebanon, the group has found
itself increasingly isolated. Its performance in Lebanon’s first
democratic general election was disappointing – and its failure in the
streets even more so. Each time Hezbollah organized a demonstration
against democratic forces, the latter responded with even bigger

It is clear that the overwhelming majority of Lebanese want to see
Hezbollah disarmed so that the country can have a single army under
government control. So, what better tactic for Hezbollah than inventing
a new war with Israel to remind the Lebanese that they still need the
militia as their “national resistance”?

The trouble for Ahmadinejad, Assad and Hezbollah is that the Israel
diversion may not work this time as it has done in the past.

The current conflict may have diverted some of the G-8 attention from
the Iranian nuclear dossier. But the issue is unlikely to fade away.

Ahmadinejad knows that there is no substantial anti-Israel constituency
inside Iran. His hope, therefore, is to win the support of the Arab
regimes and masses for his ultra-radical stance against Israel. But
that has not happened. With the exception of Syria, no Arab regime has
rallied behind the Islamic Republic over the nuclear issue. As for the
mythical “Arab Street,” there is no evidence that it is about to
“explode” in support of Ahmadinejad.

As for Syria, it is unlikely that the conflict in Lebanon will divert
international attention from the Assad regime’s involvement in the
Hariri murder. Nor is there any evidence that Washington is prepared to
make a deal with Damascus to insure the Assad regime in exchange for
its cooperation on other issues, including disarming of the Hezbollah.

The biggest loser may well be the Hezbollah. Neither Iran nor Syria is
prepared to risk a bigger war in order to save it from destruction.
This was made clear Friday, when Ahmadinejad, speaking in a provincial
tour, called on the “international community” to end the conflict by
“restraining Israel.” This was strange coming from a man who, before
the current fighting, had vowed to destroy Israel on more than a dozen

Inside Lebanon, Hezbollah has failed to enlist the support even of its
formal allies, including Nabih Berri, leader of the more moderate
Shi’ite Amal Movement, and Gen. Michel Aoun, the Maronite politician
who had signed an alliance with Nasrallah.

Ahmadinejad, Assad and Hezbollah may well have planned for a limited
conflict with Israel, one in which the Jewish state would back down,
handing them a moral victory. Their plan may have been based on the
assumption that Israel would not dare widen the scope of the war
triggered by Hamas and Hezbollah.

Today, the trio find themselves alone. Most Arabs refuse to be dragged
into a bigger war in the shaping of which they had no say. Moreover,
most Lebanese do not see why they should risk the destruction of their
country solely to allow the Hezbollah to remain a state within the

The “Israel diversion” tactic may have passed its sell-by date.

Amir Taheri is a member of Benador Associates.


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