According to reports, Russia’s S-300 Surface to Air Missile system is to be delivered and deployed to Syria.
Israel has responded with veiled threats. In the words of Israel’s Minister for Military Affairs Moshe Ya’alon:
“Clearly this move is a threat to us… At this stage I can’t say there is an escalation. The shipments have not been sent on their way yet. And I hope that they will not be sent.. if God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do.”
President Assad confirmed that the S-300 had been delivered.
As the US and Iranian governments escalate tensions in the already volatile Straits of Hormuz, and China and Russia begin openly questioning Washington’s interference in their internal politics, the world remains on a knife-edge of military tension. Far from being a dispassionate observer of these developments, however, the media has in fact been central to increasing those tensions and preparing the public to expect a military confrontation. But as the online media rises to displace the traditional forms by which the public forms its understanding of the world, many are now beginning to see first hand how the media lies the public into war.…
by Michel Chossudovsky
12/15/03: (Global Research)
We are the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history.
The Bush Administration has embarked upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
The wars on Afghanistan and Iraq are part of a broader military agenda, which was launched at the end of the Cold War. The ongoing war agenda is a continuation of the 1991 Gulf War and the NATO led wars on Yugoslavia (1991-2001).
The post Cold War period has also been marked by numerous US covert intelligence operations within the former Soviet Union, which were instrumental in triggering civil wars in several of the former republics including Chechnya (within the Russian Federation), Georgia and Azerbaijan. In the latter, these covert operations were launched with a view to securing strategic control over oil and gas pipeline corridors.
US military and intelligence operations in the post Cold War era were led in close coordination with the “free market reforms” imposed under IMF guidance in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Balkans, which resulted in the destabilization of national economies and the impoverishment of millions of people.
The World Bank sponsored privatization programmes in these countries enabled Western capital to acquire ownership and gain control of a large share of the economy of the former Eastern block countries. This process is also at the basis of the strategic mergers and/or takeovers of the former Soviet oil and gas industry by powerful Western conglomerates, through financial manipulation and corrupt political practices.
In other words, what is at stake in the US led war is the recolonization of a vast region extending from the Balkans into Central Asia.
The deployment of America’s war machine purports to enlarge America’s economic sphere of influence. The U.S. has established a permanent military presence not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has military bases in several of the former Soviet republics on China’s Western frontier. In turn, since 1999, there has been a military buildup in the South China Sea.
War and Globalization go hand in hand. Militarization supports the conquest of new economic frontiers and the worldwide imposition of “free market” system.
Full question: Why is God so cryptic in his scriptures? Could’nt he make it more easy on everyone to believe in Him, by just by putting words in his scriptures that give all the answers to all our problems, and that even exactly foretell events with names and places. Then it would be impossible for anyone to reject belief in God or to argue over any matter.
Yes, I also get the feeling that God is sometimes cryptic in the scriptures, but not always. For example, as far as the story of Joseph is concerned, very little uncertainty remains. The whole story is told to us loud and clear in the scriptures. Not so with Jesus though. The events and circumstances of Jesus’ death are still disputed and shrouded in much mystery. Even Christians have to dig especially hard to find scriptural narratives that really, in an unambiguous way tell the story of the last days of Jesus on earth. If you compare the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, it shows up much differences in the events prior to, and immediately after the crucifixion. To make the story worse, the disciples deserted Jesus at the time of his arrest, leaving it to unbelievers and enemies to capture the events first hand.
Now to get to the question. Crystal clear scriptures that foretell every event and answer every question would remove the gift of free will, and mental exertion from us. When you want your child to be good at mathematics, you don’t show him the solution to each and every problem. This would in no way develop his mathematical abilities. What you rather do is to coach him by offering clues and methods, and then leave him to gain the satisfaction of striving and perhaps finding the solution. In that way, he will be much more skilled at solving problems. Mankind is the same. By leaving a measure of ambiguity, we are given the opportunity by God to, through research, debating, reasoning any other form of mental effort, try to approximate the real truth. Mankind therefore, even if we experience some distress in the short term, must rejoice that our long term condition is enhanced by our constant efforts to discover more and more truth everyday on our own.
The conference at Nycea, Rome, three centuries after Jesus’ birth, brought an end to all debates around Jesus’ divinity for Christians. It was there that God was declared a “tri-unity” or a “trinity.” The creed declares God to possess three distinct personalities or modes, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. This creed now forms the basis of almost all Christian churches. No amount of objection to the unfathomability of this claim seems to deter Christians from this creed. Instead, strange analogies are used to try to justify the belief. One of these analogies is the Triangle, which is said to possess three angles, yet constituting one triangle. This analogy is weak since not only is each angle not a triangle, but each angle, though connected to form a whole triangle, is a distinct component of the whole, without which the whole would not exist. Now the analogy becomes more difficult when applied to a personality. How do three minds merge into one? What about the will contained in each mind. Does God the Father’s will override the Son’s will? When Jesus, spoke from the cross the words “My Lord why have You forsaken me…”, there must have been two wills in operation, namely that of the son, expressing a need for help, and that of the Father with the will to grant or refuse the request.
I wish to present a better understanding of Jesus’ role in respect to God and the Holy Spirit. Jesus was the medium through which the word or the will of God was transferred to mankind. That makes Jesus an agent or a messenger or a medium to relate to mankind the divine message of salvation. God is the principal and Jesus the agent. In law, the agent represents the principal in all but body. Jesus had the responsibility to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. In that Kingdom, Jesus, as the messenger and the agent of God, was going to rightfully occupy the highest earthly position of authority. The will of Jesus, as a noble and pure soul, is perfectly aligned to the will of God; not the reverse! If we claim that God’s will is aligned to Jesus’ will, then we call for the absurd, namely that the infinite must be aligned to the finite. After all Jesus, by calling for God the Father’s help on the cross represents the finite will.
Jesus therefore represents the spirit, the will, the wishes and the word of the Father within the finite earthly context. He becomes the Father, not literally, but in will. In the Islamic traditions of the Prophet, the following words are said to uttered by God: ‘And when I love My servant I become his hearing with which he hears, his eyes with which he sees, his hands with which he touches and his feet with which he walks’. This can definitely be applied to Jesus. But this does not make Jesus God, only Godly. Jesus does not become an object of worship, because God still remains the principal in command of him. An analogy would be a person who is handed a retirement cheque of $1 million by DHL. Certainly he does not thank DHL for the money . Yes he can thank DHL for the physical effort to deliver the cheque, but not for the great bounty of a million dollars.
To summarise: Jesus represents the spirit, the word and the wishes of God the Father. To disobey the Son is to disobey the Father. To honour the Son, is to honour the Father. But only God Almighty is ultimately the one and only almighty creator, nourisher and sustainer of the world, not Jesus. And saying that does not dishonour Jesus. In fact to raise Jesus to the station of God, would be similar to a presidential spokesman being called Mr President! The spokesman as well as his principal, the president will be offended if you get the titles mixed up!
The failure of the European Union to agree on a new arms embargo for Syria is undermining the peace process, Moscow says. But the delivery of S-300 surface-to-air missiles may help restrain warmongers.
The comments come from Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, referring to the results of Monday’s meeting in Brussels. After a lengthy negotiating session, EU governments failed to resolve their differences and allowed a ban on arming the Syrian opposition to expire, with France and Britain scoring an apparent victory at the expense of EU unity.
The EU’s move, which the Russian diplomat branded as an “example of double standards”, opens the door for Britain and France to supply weapons to Syrian rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Knowledge is a boon, while faith is to be avoided. “Knowing” is linked to truth while “faith” has the risk of being construed with subjectivity, myth and superstition. If we “know” something, we would expect to have followed a reliable method of verification. There are three ways of making such a verification. (1) By actually having a personal sense perception of that which is claimed to be known. For example the knowledge that “it is raining” is based on the senses feeling, hearing and seeing the rain. (2) By deducing the fact from another set of facts by reasoning. For example: “Whenever it rains, there must be clouds in the sky. It rains, so therefore there must be clouds in the sky” Here we deduce that there must be clouds outside, even while we do not see, feel or hear the clouds outside. (3) Lastly, we can obtain knowledge from processing information from a reliable source or witness . This in fact is the most common form of obtaining knowledge by ordinary people. For example, when reading the weather report for the day, it may say that “it is raining currently”, and I will then operate on the knowledge that it rains. Obviously, the last means of achieving knowledge is fallible and needs an intense scrutiny of the witness to make sure that he or she is honest and believable. Believability must also be made subject to what is rational as well as what can be confirmed by the senses. If the weather channel says it is raining here today, and I see no rain, then obviously the weather channel has provided incorrect information. To summarise the third source then: Information from a witness, or what we call testimony, when processed and verified by the mind, also becomes knowledge.
The word “faith” is only used when perfect knowledge is absent. People claim to have “faith” in the government to sort out the problem or “faith” in the police to protect them. This is not the same as “knowing” that the police will protect them or “knowing” that the government will sort out the problem. From these two examples it is clear that faith is closer related to doubt than certainty. For the Theist (God Believer), KNOWLEDGE and not FAITH should be the minimum standard for making the declaration of belief. We should declare that we KNOW God exists instead of that we have FAITH that God exists. Our knowledge is based on the testimony (witness) of the Prophets, and is verified by the fact that there is no contradiction with reason or with what our senses perceive. Any knowledge claim must withstand any test of verification. In other words, the witness must be constantly monitored for reliability, our senses must be constantly monitored for reliability and our logical reasoning must be constantly checked for reliability. If any of these three becomes doubtful, then the knowledge looses validity.
Jurriaan Maessen | The good news is, journalists and protesters are allowed to come closer than expected to the hotel; the bad news is, they will be subjected to pat downs by a private security firm.…
Written by Shawn Hattingh
The series of strikes and protests that recently took place in and around farms in South Africa’s Western Cape Province was fuelled by the deep-seated anger and frustration that workers feel. On a daily basis, farm workers face not only appalling wages, bad living conditions and precarious work, but also widespread racism, intimidation and humiliation. The extent of the oppressive conditions run deep and it is not uncommon for workers to even be beaten by farm-owners and managers for perceived ‘transgressions’. Indeed, life for workers in the rural areas has always been harsh, but over the last two decades it has in many ways gotten even worse and poverty has in many cases grown.
In fact, since 1994 farm-owning capitalists have been on the attack. Approximately 2 million farm dwellers and workers have been evicted from farms since then in South Africa[i]. Many of these people have been forced into townships in the rural areas, where they have become either unemployed or casual or seasonal workers on farms. Services in these townships are also of an appalling standard with most people living in shacks or dilapidated Reconstruction and Development houses. Coupled to this, there has been a proliferation of labour brokers exploiting people’s desperate need for work, and piecework has been re-introduced on many farms. Farm owners obviously benefit from this situation: many no longer have to provide accommodation for workers, and hiring people on a casual basis or based on piecework keeps wage bills low. Thus, whether workers are seasonal, casual or permanent, life in South Africa’s rural areas is defined by exploitation and extreme oppression. It is no exaggeration to say that farm workers, who are mostly black, are viewed and treated as sub-humans by farm owners, managers and labour brokers. It is in this context that farm workers in the Western Cape rose up for the first time in decades. For once this saw farm owners and managers really reaping what they had sown