Shifting Sands & Shifting Decisions in Washington and the Middle East!

Shifting Sands and Shifting Decisions in Washington and Middle East

And in the international Community creates even more Confusion

In a world already reeling from drastic frustration on all Fronts

Mankind Is Now in the Times Paul Called the Perilous Times!

And it Will Not End Until the 2nd Advent of its King Jesus!

It’s non-believers time to choose Twixt Heaven Or Hell!

Believers Time to PICK Faithfulness OR Unfaithfulness

That determines their Degree of Rewards in Heaven.

Mankind’s Now being Forced to a Valley of Decision.

‘US shifting strategy amid ongoing Mideast Unrest’

‘REBELS DEFY ATTACKS, EYE Gaddafi’s Hometown’

Libya news from two combatants is Contradictive.

March 5, 2011

II Timothy 3:1 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

II Peter 3:1-4 – This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: [2] That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: [3] Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, [4] And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

II Peter 3:8,9 – But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Acts 20:20,21 – And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, [21] Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Peter 3:13-15 – Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. [14] Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. [15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved bro ther

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Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

Romans 2:4 – Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Romans 9:22 – What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

John 19:30 – When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Romans 3:19-26 – Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [20] Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [21] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; [22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

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Joel 3:14 – Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

Begin Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM POST

‘US shifting strategy amid ongoing Mideast urest’


03/05/2011 11:37

“The Wall Street Journal” reports that US moving support from protesters to longtime Arab allies, calling for reforms instead of ousters.

The United States has formulated a new strategy in response to the recent anti-government protests that have broken out through the Arab world since the start of 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. After weeks of internal discussions, the US decided to put its support behind longtime allies who may be willing to initiate political reform, even if that means citizens’ demand for full democracy are delayed.

Despite the fact that US officials are still calling for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s immediate removal from power, White House officials have formed the “Bahrain model.” The proposed system endorses the ruling power to stay in control but works with the local population to create democratic reforms that suit demands of the protesters.


Libyan warplanes strike outside rebel-held base

Arabs demand Libya halt violence, eye no-fly zone

The US government’s decision to shift its policy towards the recent Arab unrest comes after aggressive lobbying by representatives of Arab countries who were shocked at America’s quick abandonment of longtime ally Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak was seen by many in the region, and in the US, as having maintained stability and peace in a potentially tumultuous region.

Israel has maintained that the US must ensure longtime allies in the region and that the US should not abandon them if protests begin to develop. Since Mubarak’s fall, Israelis have feared that Islamic extremists might exploit the current unrest to realign the Middle East.

The policy shift also comes in light of domestic US criticism of the Obama administration’s mixed signals surrounding the Egyptian leader’s ouster, initially backing Mubarak only to turn around and give its full support to demonstrators’ demands for his removal.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that White House officials denied claims that they have sent mixed signals, saying that throughout the recent events, the Obama administration did not waver on its stance that rulers must avoid using violence against peaceful protesters.

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Even so, a White House senior official was reported to have said that its “approach will be country by country,” and that important

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lessons are being learned every step of the way.

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One example, Bahrain, highlights America’s changed stance. Bahrain is a key ally of the US in the Persian Gulf region, host of a US naval base and valuable presence against Iranian influence. US officials fear that if the government of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa were to fall, the majority Shi’ite country could be pushed into the Iranian sphere of influence, costing the US important strategic and military positions in the small island country.

Adding to the pressure for on US to hold onto Khalifa, US intelligence agencies believe that a scenario could arise wherein Saudi Arabia, also a Sunni-controlled monarchy, would invade Bahrain to quell the Shi’ite-led unrest. As such, US Defense Secret ary Robert G

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ates and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton have recently been pushing for a policy of support for the Bahraini king, paired with a reform plan that would suit the needs of demonstrators.

This “Bahrain model” could be used to help subdue protests in Morocco and Yemen that are already underway. On Sunday February 27, the US delivered messages to the kings of both Bahrain and Morocco, throwing their support behind the leaders

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and their political systems.

Begin Excerpt from DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

Qaddafi troops regain Zawiyah, most oil towns. Obama names Libya intel panel

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

March 5, 2011, 4:12 PM (GMT+02:00)

The big offensive pro-Qaddafi forces launched Friday night, March 4, to wrest from rebel hands control of Libya’s most important towns and oil centers resulted Saturday in the recapture of the key town of Zawiya and most of the oil towns around the Gulf of Sirte. In Washington and London, talk of military intervention on the side of the Libyan opposition was muted by the realization that field intelligence on both sides of the Libyan conflict was too sketchy to serve as a basis for decision-making.

Their reports from their primary sources, American military advisers and intelligence officers attached to the Benghazi-based rebels in the east, are fragmentary and often contradictory. They too appear unclear about who is command the assorted militias in revolt against the Qaddafi regime and who gives those commanders their orders.

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Over the weekend, shapes began to emerge of informal armed civilian groups cohering occasionally into small militias who then decide independently whether to seize a certain piece of territory or town and hold it against military pressure. When there are no troops around, the rebels claim victory.

This is what happened Friday night when the opposition claimed to have finally captured Brega, the important oil terminal and refinery town south of Benghazi and, later, Libya’s second oil terminal town of Ras Lanuf. However, according to DEBKAfile’s sources, while these opposition successes were widely reported, they were not confirmed. Opposition militias seized only parts of Brega – and not the most important ones, such as the oil exporting harbor which Qaddafi’s forces control – and were still camped 15 kilometers outside Ras Lanuf when they claimed its capture.

Both towns are major prizes and have been tenaciously fought over. Their fall into rebel hands would cut Qaddafi off from fuel supplies and choke of Libyan exports of 500,000 barrels of oil a day. While only a third of Libya’s regular export capacity, this amount it nonetheless nets him enough money to bankroll his war effort against the uprising against his rule.

Friday night, the rebel militias in the east suffered a major setback which halted their advance: Two ammunition dumps in Benghazi which they had seized from the Libyan army in the third week of February in were blown up, wiping out the anti-Qaddafi militias entire ammunition stocks. The cause of the explosions has not been established. Speculation ranges from a pro-Qaddafi suicide saboteur to aerial bombardment or the negligence of rebels inexperienced in ordnance maintenance.

Inside information about Qaddafi’s forces is just as sparse. He is known to be supported by three elite brigades under the command of two of his sons, Khamis and Mutassim and the Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Abu Baker Younis Jaber, but intelligence about them is hard to come by, except that the most effective professional unit is the Khamis Brigade No. 32 of the Libyan army, which Saturday morning won the battle for Zawiyah 30 kilometers west of Tripoli, using tanks, Grad surface missiles and artillery to break down opposition defenses..

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report the shortage of the most basic information on the ground has seriously constrained deliberations between President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the next steps in Libya.

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To correct this, Obama in the last 48 hours established a supreme intelligence commission on Libya made up of Pentagon, NSC and CIA experts to scrape together any data available as input for decisions.

By creating this panel, the president has also sidestepped the stiff opposition to his policies coming from Gates and Clinton, especially his inclination to explore limited military intervention to expedite Qaddafi’s removal. They are also critical of Obama’s policies in general with regard to other Middle East centers of unrest, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Following Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow in Cairo, the Egyptian military junta in charge of the transition to democracy appears to be losing its grip on the situation events and letting the street protesters run out of control. Friday night, thousands stormed the national security services Alexandria headquarters and are still in there. The Muslim Brotherhood appears to be setting the tone in the Egyptian street amid reports of an internal coup by militant young leaders against the veterans.

The Obama administration has a better inside picture of the state of Egyptian opposition groups than it has about Libya, but it is still rated inadequate. US policy-makers are short of precise information about the real leaders of the opposition groups and to whom they are answerable.

In Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, unrest is spreading especially among the two million Shiites who live and work in the eastern oil regions. Demonstrations have become a daily event in with prominent anti-American slogans.

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Saturday, the Saudi government finally banned demonstrations and protests altogether.

The Wall Street Journal’s reported Saturday, March 5, claiming that “The US is settling on a strategy in the Middle East aimed at keeping longtime allies who are willing to make democratic changes in power.” Even if this is true, the change comes far too late to affect the tide of unrest surging through the region. After he summarily evicted Hosni Mubarak, America’s staunchest Arab ally in the region in the second half of January, President Obama will be hard put to find any other ruler in the region willing to put his trust in Washington.

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Begin Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM POST

Libya: Rebels defy attacks, eye Gaddafi’s hometown


03/05/2011 21:54

Opposition says it controls strategic town of Zawiyah; regime appoints new UN envoy; at least 60 dead in 2 days; rebels down fighter plane.

Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi waged a second offensive against the western town of Zawiyah on Saturday after rebels drove them out in a morning of fierce fighting, while in the east, opponents of the Libyan strongman pushed toward his hometown.

In a second day of fierce fighting for control of Zawiyah, 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, government forces retreated to the outskirts early in the day but later mounted a counter-offensive. Rebels said both attacks were repelled. The city bore the signs of heavy fighting, with one building completely burned and smoldering rubble littering the center. Other buildings around the main square, the stronghold of rebel resistance, were riddled with holes from large-caliber weapons.


Libyan warplanes strike outside rebel-held base

Arabs demand Libya halt violence, eye no-fly zone

Rebels in eastern Libya said they were pushing further west after driving forces loyal to Gaddafi from the oil town of Ras Lanuf on Friday. Opposition fighters said they had taken the town of Bin Jawad some 525 km east of Tripoli and were moving on toward Sirte, Gaddafi’s heavily guarded home town 160 km (100 miles) away.

The fight over Sirte is likely to be fierce. The town is psychologically important. It is not only where Gaddafi was born but a place he has fashioned into a second capital designed in his own extravagant image.

“If Benghazi [rebels] can expand down into the Gulf of Sirte … they’ve got a very good shot at independence at the least — or maybe even overturning him at the most,” said Peter Zeihan, an analyst with the US-based Stratfor think tank.

The latest fighting suggested front lines between government forces, including militia and mercenaries, and the rebels, who are fighting with everything from captured tanks to sticks and winning support from some police and soldiers along the way, were far from clear and could shift quickly.

Rebels seized Ras Lanuf on Friday and even managed to down a fighter aircraft in Gaddafi’s service. The BBC reported the plane had been shot down by a man in his fifties who was on his first day manning a mobile anti-aircraft gun, which only had one barrel working. Reuters correspondent Mohammed Abbas wrote in a brief message from the scene: “I am at the wreckage of the aircraft in Ras Lanuf.” In a sign of the increasing reports of brutality of both sides of this conflict, he said the faces of the corpses appeared to have been ripped off. The National Libyan Council said Saturday it had named a three-member crisis committee, which included a head of military affairs and one for foreign affairs.

Omar Hariri, one of the officers who took part in Gaddafi’s 1969 coup but was later jailed, was appointed head of the military. Ali Essawi, a former ambassador to India who quit last month, was put in charge of foreign affairs.

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Mahmoud Jebril, who had been involved in a project among intellectuals to establish a democratic state, was named head of the crisis committee, which aims at streamlining decision-making. Amid the ongoing strife in the country, Libya has appointed former foreign minister Ali Abdussalam Treki as its UN envoy in New York, replacing an ambassador who had renounced the Gaddafi regime for inflicting violence on its own people, the UN said Friday.

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“The Secretary-General has received correspondence from the Libyan authorities,” said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. “That correspondence names Dr. Treki as the person they wish to have as the permanent representative of their country.” It is not clear whether Treki, one of Gaddafi’s most senior foreign policy advisers and a former president of the UN General Assembly, will ever take up the post as Libyan ambassador to the United Nations.

In theory, Gaddafi has the right to name his UN envoys. “Libya is a recognized member of the United Nations,” Nesirky said. “When any country sends a letter naming the permanent representative, that person is the person who will be recognized as the permanent representative.” Nesirky added, however, that Treki would need to present his credentials to Ban in New York in order to become the Libyan ambassador. The United States has a treaty with the United Nations covering visa issuance, but Washington reserves the right to deny visas under certain circumstances. It is unclear whether the US State Department would be prepared to give Treki a visa.

Economic pressure against Libya also continued to mount this weekend. Britain extended a freeze on assets to a further 20 members of Gaddafi’s entourage on Friday, and impounded around 100 million pounds ($160 million) of Libyan currency.

Around 2 billion pounds of assets belonging to Libyan interests are believed to have been frozen in Britain under sanctions against Gaddafi’s government after its violent crackdown on protests against Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.

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The asset freeze was imposed last week and initially applied only to Gaddafi and his immediate family. It now extends to 26 people.

“The financial net is closing in on Colonel Gaddafi,” finance minister George Osborne told BBC television. “We’re denying him access to bank notes, access to bank accounts, making sure he is held accountable for what is taking place in Libya and also denied the means to persecute his own people.” Switzerland also banned transfers of money that could end up in the hands of his family and associates.

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“Switzerland wants to prevent any financial support of Muammar Gaddafi and his circle,” the government said. It will also be forbidden to give people linked to Gaddafi direct or indirect access to money or economic resources, the government said.

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On the ground in Zawiyah, the atmosphere was tense and the situation appeared fluid as rebels braced for more attacks. A doctor in the city said at least 30 people, mostly civilians, had been killed during fighting there, bringing to at least 60 the death toll from two days of battles.

In the central square, four graves had been freshly dug. The red, green and black flag of the rebellion flew from many buildings in the square, where rebels shouted anti-Gaddafi slogans atop tanks and armored personnel carriers captured from the army.

In the square, rebels showed a charred tank they had captured from government forces earlier in the day. It was hit by a rebel rocket-propelled grenade as Gaddafi forces tried to enter the square earlier, rebels said.

“The fighting has intensified and the tanks are shelling everything on their way. They have shelled houses,” resident Abu Akeel said by telephone, speaking of the afternoon attack. “Now they are shelling a mosque where hundreds of people are hiding. We can’t rescue anyone because the shelling is so heavy.” Outside the city, cars loaded with suitcases and boxes piled on their roofs could be seen driving westward toward Libya’s border with Tunisia as refugees continued to flee the violence.

Residents said it was difficult to say how many people were killed in two days of fighting. A government spokesman could not be reached for a comment.

“They took away many bodies of injured and killed civilians,” said a local civilian who was helping treat the wounded at a local clinic. “I saw that. They were putting them in trucks.” Residents said Gaddafi’s forces s tormed in

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to some residential buildings and killed people inside their houses in order to secure sniper positions on rooftops.

“They slaughtered people,” another resident said. “But we tell Gaddafi that every time a martyr falls, there will be 10 to replace him.” The noise of loudspeakers calling on rebels to keep on fighting could be heard through the telephone.

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Rebels fighting Gaddafi’s four-decade rule in Zawiyah said they had captured two tanks and three armored personnel carriers from the army.

Inside a building that has served as the rebel central command in the town, the rebels presented six men they said were captured Gaddafi militia fighters.

Two of them were badly wounded, with one standing in a pool of his own blood, which was dripping from his thigh. Appearing terrified, they waited silently as the rebels looked through their identification papers.

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