With Their Attitude, They'll Only Be Arranging Their Own Demise

NKorea warns of 'fire shower of nuclear' attack

AP - Thursday, June 25, 2009 01:27:37 PM
By Jae-Soon Chang

North Korea condemned a recent U.S. pledge to provide nuclear defense of South Korea, saying Thursday that the move boosts its justification to have atomic bombs and invites a potential "fire shower of nuclear retaliation."

The commentary in Pyongyang's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper was the North's latest reaction to last week's summit between President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. The allies issued a joint statement committing the U.S. to defend the South with nuclear weapons.

It also came as an American destroyer trailed a North Korean ship suspected of shipping weapons in violation of a U.N. resolution punishing Pyongyang's May 25 nuclear test, and as anticipation mounted that the North might test-fire short- or mid-range missiles in the coming days.

The North's newspaper claimed that the "nuclear umbrella" commitment made it more likely for the U.S. to mount a nuclear attack on the communist North, and only "provides us with a stronger justification to have nuclear deterrent."

It also amounts to "asking for the calamitous situation of having a fire shower of nuclear retaliation all over South Korea" in case of a conflict, the paper said.

North Korea has long claimed that the U.S. is plotting to invade it and has used the claim to justify its development of nuclear weapons. The U.S. has repeatedly said it has no intention of attacking the North.

In a separate editorial marking the 1950 outbreak of the Korean War, the Rodong said the North "will never give up nuclear deterrent ... and will further strengthen it" as long as Washington remains hostile.

The war ended in 1953 with a truce, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula divided and in a state of war. The U.S. has 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect against hostilities.

Pyongyang's Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary marking the war anniversary that the U.S. should withdraw its troops from South Korea and drop its "hostile" policy toward the North, saying those are "the key to resolving the Korean peninsula issue."

Ties between the two Koreas warmed significantly after the first-ever summit of their leaders in 2000, but relations soured after the conservative Lee took office last year.

The Rodong called Lee a "hound" of the U.S. "master" in Thursday's commentary.

The new U.N. resolution seeks to clamp down on North Korea's trading of banned arms and weapons-related material by requiring U.N. member states to request inspections of ships carrying suspected cargo.


A nation's leaders are not its people, and their leadership is not the nation.

It is vanity when a few group of people hijack the will of the rest of the people of a nation. This can simply be called tyranny.

Yet there are times when tyranny of the good is preferable than the freedom of wickedness.


A Façade Of Representative Government

Sham Elections Reveal A Sham Democracy

In recent months Ahmadinejad’s government distributed 400,000 tons of free potatoes to the poor in what some say was a blatant effort to bribe voters. This led supporters of rival candidates to chant "death to potatoes" at their campaign rallies.

James Phillips, Senior Research Fellow – Middle Eastern Affairs, of the Heritage Foundation says Iran's government is not a true democracy but a theocratic dictatorship that cloaks the rule of the ayatollahs with a façade of representative government.

“Ahmadinejad's opponents had no faith in the fairness of the vote-counting process and, based on their long experience with Iranian elections, they have good reason for their concern,” said Phillips. “However, it is the Supreme Leader, not the president, who has the final say on key defense, foreign policy, and nuclear issues.”

Many believe President Obama should speak more forcibly about the elections. Phillips agrees.

“Now that it is clear that the regime’s fist remains tightly clenched around the neck of the Iranian people, the Obama administration cannot simply take a business-as-usual approach to Iran’s clerical dictatorship,” said Phillips. “This would send a dangerous signal to the regime that it can forcefully crush the demonstrations at little or no cost in terms of international pressure.”

Social Media Keeps Protests Alive

Social media Web sites like Twitter and Facebook are playing an important role in political protests spreading through Iran. While the Iranian government may weild its authoritarian Islamic might, students and tech-savvy Iranians seem to be orchestrating a revolution using the Internet, using proxy servers after the government clamped down on site access. Iranian authorities are reportedly stalking blogs and Twitter accounts, but the overwhelming amount of citizen journalism continues to prevail.

Social networking sites have become such a major communication tool in the election crisis that the US State Department requested Twitter to delay a system upgrade on Monday. With foreign journalists banned from the streets of Tehran, social media provides one of the only pictures of the election fallout.

On Twitter, the #Iranelection hashtag has remained in its trending topics since the election protests began, proving the that people all over the globe are talking about the election while those inside Iran continue to let the world know what is happening.

Reports also indicate that some 12,000 videos are available on YouTube under the search term, “Iranian election.”

There is not much that the rest of the world can do that could impact the present situation in Iran most significantly than prayers.

To those who care for Iran, let us offer sacrifices for peace, stability, and most of all freedom from oppression.

Those who can endure a total fast (no food and water) from the time you wake up in the morning until three o'clock in the afternoon, please do a three-day fast together with prayers. Those who cannot do a total fast, you may do a mild fast by skipping one meal for three days. Those who cannot do any fasting for some reason, you can always offer daily prayers.

If there would be many people from different parts of the world who will take part of this global action, at least for three days, there won't be a single hour (day or night) where no soul is praying for the nation of Iran.

May the following verse encourage you to pray for Iran:

Then said he to me, Don't be afraid, Daniel; for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard: and I am come for your words' sake. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but, behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (Daniel 10:12-13)


Why Fear A Rerun, And Not Fear Chaos?

Guardian Council rejects claims of voter irregularity, state-run media says


Iran's election authority has rejected claims of voting irregularities by a defeated presidential candidate, while acknowledging that the number of ballots cast in dozens cities exceeded the number of eligible voters in those areas, state-run TV reported Monday.

As thousands of riot police and militia lined Tehran's streets Sunday, the public rift among Iranian leaders appeared to be widening.

The country's foreign minister disputed allegations of ballot irregularities in Iran's presidential election, and the parliamentary speaker implied the nation's election authorities had sided with one candidate.

Amateur video showed large crowds marching down a major Tehran thoroughfare shouting, "Don't be afraid, we're together!" and "Death to dictator!" The person who shot the video said it was taken Sunday, but CNN could not immediately verify that the protest had taken place.

Eyewitnesses reported a protest also took place at southern Tehran's Azad University, where final exams were postponed after about 200 students refused to take them.

Thousands of riot police and members of the Basij militia lined the streets of the city, according to eyewitnesses. Security personnel surrounded the headquarters of the country's state television and radio. Many shops were closed, and shopkeepers whose stores were open said they planned to close early Sunday. However, no tanks were seen on the city's streets. Traffic was light. [...]

What is an election rerun compared to chaos? Why fear a rerun if Ahmadinejad really has the support of the majority of the people? The present leadership of Iran should have not much problem with conducting an election rerun. They would have cleared the allegations of fraud and neutralize the building tension from the people. Iran's leadership could have done the right thing while there's yet time. But they choose the other way. And now they have no other choice but to shed innocent young bloods.

A leadership who can afford to hurt its own people whom it vowed to protect is worse than a foreign invader. A leadership who is not willing to hear the cries of its people is no better than a tyrant.

Oh Persia, your land has once again drink the blood of innocent young martyrs. How much more of your future will your leaders shed before they even have the will to hear your people's cries? What the current leadership of Iran is showing is not the true kind of Islamic leadership that it claims to be. What makes them different from a tyrannical dictatorial regime?

How can there be peace among the people when their very own leadership is killing them?

Indeed when a leadership is questioned by its people and pushed to the brink of the point of no return, it can do nothing except be forced to push back by showing the dark ugly side of its power. When this happens, the sure fruit can only be chaos.


Iran's Leadership Is At The Brink Of The Point Of No Return

Neda Soltani, a young Iranian woman, was protesting with her father in Tehran when pro-government Basiji militia opened fire and shot her dead in the heart.

More innocent bloods have been spilled. More young lives have been sacrificed. The price of their cause is in the process of being paid by lives of young innocent martyrs.

To whose hands are these young martyr bloods required, to them shall the curse of the land befall.

Who can resist the blood of martyrs? Like a huge colony of black scorpions in the desert, the young martyrs' blood shall cry out for justice. Like a flood, it will flow down upon the pillars of the nation. Like a thunder, it will roar upon the high mountains. Like a powerful earthquake, it will shake the foundations of the land.

It shall come to pass that the wisdom of old shall weaken and fall. And the people will say, "Alas, the old wisdom is gone, and behold a new one has come."

Yet in spite of that, will the strange pack of beasts still come to hunt?


Disorder Is Increasing In Iran

Iran's Basij volunteer militia raided university dormitories

BBC News

[...] Overnight, members of Iran's Basij volunteer militia reportedly raided university dormitories in several Iranian cities.

The Basij stormed compounds, ransacking dormitories and beating up some students. Several arrests were made, our correspondent says, and the dean of the university in the city of Shiraz has resigned.

Students have been active among Iran's opposition and there have been several reports of security forces moving in on university premises since protests began over the weekend.

In the most high-profile incident, 120 lecturers at Tehran university resigned after a raid on that institution.

The overnight raids came after another direct intervention in the crisis by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Ayatollah Khamenei has not appeared in public since the election results, but now seems to be deeply involved in the search for a solution to the stand-off.

Meeting representatives of the four election candidates, he urged all parties not to agitate their supporters and stir up an already tense situation. He also repeated his offer of a partial vote recount, a proposal already rejected by the main opposition. [...]

Unless Iran's leaders are willing to do the right thing, there will even be greater chaos in their land. Are they not aware of the recent cycle of the night sky above their land? Seven more days from now is maybe too long a time for Iran's leaders to waste.


Yet One More Sign Is Unfolding

WHO: Swine flu pandemic has begun, 1st in 41 years
Yahoo News

GENEVA – The World Health Organization told its member nations it was declaring a swine flu pandemic Thursday — the first global flu epidemic in 41 years — as infections climbed in the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and elsewhere.

In a statement sent to member countries, WHO said it decided to raise the pandemic warning level from phase 5 to 6 — its highest alert — after holding an emergency meeting on swine flu with its experts.

The long-awaited pandemic decision is scientific confirmation that a new flu virus has emerged and is quickly circling the globe. It will trigger drugmakers to speed up production of a swine flu vaccine and prompt governments to devote more money toward efforts to contain the virus.

"At this early stage, the pandemic can be characterized globally as being moderate in severity," WHO said in the statement, urging nations not to close borders or restrict travel and trade. "(We) remain in close dialogue with influenza vaccine manufacturers."

On Wednesday, WHO said 74 countries had reported nearly 27,737 cases of swine flu, including 141 deaths.

The agency has stressed that most cases are mild and require no treatment, but the fear is that a rash of new infections could overwhelm hospitals and health authorities — especially in poorer countries.

Still, about half of the people who have died from swine flu were previously young and healthy — people who are not usually susceptible to flu.

Swine flu is also continuing to spread during the start of summer in the northern hemisphere. Normally, flu viruses disappear with warm weather, but swine flu is proving to be resilient.

The last pandemic — the Hong Kong flu of 1968 — killed about 1 million people. Ordinary flu kills about 250,000 to 500,000 people each year.

Many health experts say WHO's pandemic declaration could have come weeks earlier but the agency became bogged down by politics. In May, several countries urged WHO not to declare a pandemic, fearing it would cause social and economic turmoil.

"This is WHO finally catching up with the facts," said Michael Osterholm, a flu expert at the University of Minnesota who has advised the U.S. government on pandemic preparations.

Despite WHO's hopes, raising the epidemic alert to the highest level will almost certainly spark some panic about spread of swine flu.

Fear has already gripped Argentina, where thousands of people worried about swine flu flooded into hospitals this week, bringing emergency health services in the capital of Buenos Aires to the brink of collapse. Last month, a bus arriving in Argentina from Chile was stoned by people who thought a passenger on it had swine flu. Chile has the most swine flu cases in South America.

In Hong Kong on Thursday, the government ordered all kindergartens and primary schools closed for two weeks after a dozen students tested positive for swine flu — a move that some flu experts would consider an overreaction.

In the United States, where there have been more than 13,000 cases and at least 27 deaths from swine flu, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the move would not change how the U.S. tackled swine flu.

"Our actions in the past month have been as if there was a pandemic in this country," Glen Nowak, a CDC spokesman, said Thursday.

The U.S. government has already taken steps like increasing availability of flu-fighting medicines and authorizing $1 billion for the development of a new vaccine against the novel virus. In addition, new cases seem to be declining in many parts of the country, U.S. health officials say, as North America moves out of its traditional winter flu season.

Still, Osterholm said the declaration was a wake-up call for the world.

"I think a lot of people think we're done with swine flu, but you can't fall asleep at the wheel," he said. "We don't know what's going to happen in the next 6 to 12 months."

These are some signs: the woes of the affliction that vexed many will prevail vast, the miseries caused by the bereavers of nations will wax great, and squabblings will add to the contentions of the bees for honey. - From a message on January 17, 2006

Burma: Orphanage Attacked by Government Forces

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

International Christian Concern (ICC) says that it has learned that Burmese government forces attacked two internally displaced people's camps along the Thai border Thursday night in a heightened effort to defeat the Karen. According to initial reports, there were at least 400 people who were being sheltered between the two camps, including 200 children. Deaths have been reported, but full details are still being confirmed.

“Soldiers attacked the first camp during the middle of the night, crossed the river into Thailand, then returned and attacked the second camp from the Thai side of the border,” said an ICC spokesperson. “We have received reports that all of the Karen soldiers who were guarding the children were killed. The children were trapped and could not flee into Burma because of landmines that were placed around their camp, so they were forced to attempt to swim the river into Thailand in the middle of the night. Many of the children were very small and could not swim, but initial reports indicate that most have survived.”

ICC had recently finished construction of an orphanage (dorms, a school, and church building) in one of the camps that was attacked. In addition to the orphans, ICC had recently taken in another 60 persecuted and war-traumatized Karen children at the orphanage.

“We are anxiously awaiting further news from our representatives on the ground who are in transit to the affected areas to assess the situation. The victims' immediate needs are rice, clothing, blankets, and sheets of plastic to help shelter them from the rain,” added the ICC spokesperson.

“Because Thailand will sometimes send refugees back into the war zones they have fled, we would like to ask you to contact the Thai embassy in your own country, alert them to this situation, and politely request that they allow these refugees to be re-settled in Thailand.”

ICC President Jeff King said, “This latest attack is part of the Burmese government's attempt at a final push at victory over the Karen people. The mode and brutality of these attacks is tragic yet unfortunately all too familiar. Rape and the killing of civilians and children seem to be their favorite methods of subduing the populace.”

“Please also pray for the protection of those affected. Because we know that the Burmese soldiers were already willing to go into Thailand and attack one of the camps from the Thai border, we are not confident that the children are safe where they currently are,” concluded the spokesperson.

Related Links:

Remember Nargis? Myanmar Does, Even If Americans Don't
We Are Like Forgotten People,' Burma Minority Says
Human Rights Organization Calls on UN for Change in Burma