On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XIV, No. 3b
1. BUSH DISCUSSES HIS STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS IN IRAQ
2. SENATOR JOHN WARNER CALLS SURGE A "MISTAKE"
3. IRAQI PM AL-MALIKI CHANGES COURSE
4. PRESIDENT BUSH'S NEW POLICY FOR IRANIAN TERRORISTS IN IRAQ
5. KERRY SAYS U.S. "A SORT OF INTERNATIONAL PARIAH"
6. IRAN MAY BE DEVELOPING ICBM
7. IRAN SET TO ASSEMBLE THOUSANDS OF URANIUM CENTRIFUGES
8. SPECIAL OPS FORCE CREATED TO TARGET IRANIANS
9. THIRD AIRCRAFT CARRIER DEPLOYED IN SURGE
10. BUSH DENIES PREPARING ATTACK AGAINST IRAN
11. JORDAN SEEKING TO BECOME A NUCLEAR POWER
12. ISRAEL: TOUGH ISSUES ADDRESSED AT HERZLIYA CONFERENCE
1. BUSH DISCUSSES HIS STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS IN IRAQ
President Bush implored lawmakers and the nation during last night's State of the Union Address to give him one more chance to win the war in Iraq and avoid the 'nightmare scenario' of defeat while presenting a domestic agenda intended to find common cause with the new Democratic Congress on issues such as energy and immigration. Addressing for the first time a Congress controlled by the other party, Bush challenged Democrats to "show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory" and warned that the consequences of failure in Iraq "would be grievous and far-reaching." "I respect you and the arguments you've made," Bush told skeptical lawmakers from both parties in his sixth State of the Union address and the fourth since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. "We went into this largely united – in our assumptions and in our convictions. And whatever you voted for, you did not vote for failure. Our country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq, and I ask you to give it a chance to work." (The Washington Post)
• Lord Jesus, we need to You intervene to help the elected officials in Washington, D.C. to think clearly with open minds and hearts to do the right thing for the American people and for our Troops in Iraq. Lord please bring stability to Iraq and keep them safe. In Jesus' Name, amen.
• "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalm 32:8)2. SENATOR JOHN WARNER CALLS SURGE A "MISTAKE"
Senate Democrats rebuked President Bush yesterday over his handling of the war in Iraq with a rare wartime vote condemning the commander in chief's plan to add troops to the battlefield. "Our resolution of disapproval is not -- I emphasize not -- an attempt to embarrass the president. It is not an attempt to demonstrate isolation . . . It's an attempt to save the president from making a significant mistake with regard to our policy in Iraq," said the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. The resolution passed by a vote of 12-9, falling largely along party lines.
Meanwhile the Ranking (Minority) Chairman of the Committee, Senator John Warner (R-VA) offered his own, less combative nonbinding resolution as a substitute for the Democrat's proposal. "We have put a greater emphasis on urging the president to consider other options, given that we have a general disagreemnt with the very significant level of troops that are specifically set forth in the president's plan," Mr. Warner said. Senator Chuck Hagel was the only Republican that joined all 11 Democrats on the Committee in favor of the nonbinding resolution. (Washington Times)
• As Congress continues to grapple with the question of how to respond to the president's new policy in Iraq, pray that God's wisdom would be granted to all parties involved. The world is watching our democracy in action. Pray that all of our leaders would exhibit the character of "grace under fire" as this policy is set in place.
• "And He causeth all things to work together for good for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28)3. IRAQI PM AL-MALIKI CHANGES COURSE
Under intense US pressure, Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki has withdrawn his tacit support of the Shi’ite militias. Specifically, he has withdrawn a hand of protection from leading Shi’ite cleric, Muqtada al- Sadr, the head of the Mahdi army. A leading cause of the continuing sectarian violence has been rogue militias that US and Iraqi forces have not been given full permission to reign in.
President Bush’s proposal to boost US troop levels in Iraq by 21,000 continues to draw fire on Capitol Hill. The president hopes the increase will enable US and Iraqi troops to quell the continuing sectarian violence in Baghdad and the restive Anbar province. His opponents see the proposed increase as an unnecessary “escalation.”
American disunity on Iraq policy only serves to embolden our enemies. Unfortunately, most Americans still don't understand the mindset of our Islamofascist enemies. Any premature withdrawal of US forces will be seen by the Islamic terrorists as a victory over the “Great Satan.”
• Pray for supernatural wisdom for President Bush and the Congress as they manage US policy on the war in Iraq. Pray that the power of the insurgency would be broken and that the threat of civil war would recede. Pray for success of American and Iraqi troops as they go on the offensive against rogue militias. Continue to intercede for the success of Iraqi PM Jawad al-Maliki’s efforts to reduce sectarian violence and initiate national reconciliation. Pray that Americans would realize how high the stakes are and how foolish it would be for the US to withdraw before the mission is accomplished. (Sons of Issachar)
• "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord." (Zech. 4:6b)4. PRESIDENT BUSH'S NEW POLICY FOR IRANIAN TERRORISTS IN IRAQ
“Kill or capture”
The Washington Post recently described the new policy in place for dealing with Iranian terrorists - many of whom are government officials or members of the Revolutionary Guards - who are training, funding, and arming Iraq’s Shiite militias or other terrorist groups.
Iran is directly responsible for the deaths of American soldiers serving in Iraq, but bureaucrats at the Pentagon and elsewhere in the Washington establishment didn’t want to “escalate the conflict” by forcefully dealing with the Iranian terrorists. Whenever they were caught, the Iranians were simply detained for a few days and then released. According to a senior administration official, “There were no costs for the Iranians. They are hurting our mission in Iraq, and we were bending over backwards not to fight back.” So, President Bush recently authorized a new policy: “Kill or capture.”
A counterterrorism official quoted in the Post story said, “Our goal is to change the dynamic with the Iranians, to change the way the Iranians perceive us and perceive themselves. They need to understand that they cannot be a party to endangering U.S. soldiers’ lives and American interests, as they have before. That is going to end.”
President Bush has declared war on appeasement – if your enemy perceives you are unwilling to fight, no amount of talking or diplomacy will dissuade them from attacking you. Right now, Iran believes the West is weak – it believes the U.S. is “bogged down” in Iraq and Afghanistan, with waning public support at home. The Iranians are fighting to win; their only objective is to see America humiliated. (Gary Bauer)
• Praise the Lord for the President Bush's tough stand against appeasement. Common sense dictates that diplomacy and talk do not stop bullies. Pray that the US media will cease its campaign against the war in Iraq, stirring up the impractical idealism of many Americans. Let the president know that you support his fight against terrorism. Pray for justice and liberty in these countries that have only known terrorism.
• "The wicked have drawn out the sword, and bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken." (Psalm 37: 14-15)5. KERRY SAYS U.S. "A SORT OF INTERNATIONAL PARIAH"
Democratic Senator John Kerry says the Bush administration's foreign policy has caused the U-S to become --quote-- "a sort of international pariah." The statement came as the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee responded to a question today in Davos, Switzerland, about whether the U-S government had failed to adequately engage Iran's government before the election of hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (mahk-MOOD' ah-muh-DEE'- neh-zhadh) in 2005. Kerry says the Bush administration has failed to adequately address a number of foreign policy issues, including AIDS in Africa and global warming. He also criticized what he called Americans' habit of seeing the world exclusively through an American lens. Kerry says the government needs to use diplomacy to improve national security. (AP)
• Praise the Lord that some alert reporter listened to Sen. Kerry as he spoke to an international audience of globalists gathered to discuss world economics. Alongside Sen. Kerry sat the representative from Iran, who must have been delighted by the senator's remarks and slur against our country. Pray for the salvation of Sen. Kerry, whose heart seems not to be with his own country that he represents in Congress. Sen. Reid (D-NV) announced on the floor of the Senate last Wednesday the he " loved" Sen. Kerry. Pray for righteousness in our senators, for without a righteous spirit, they cannot legislate justice.
• "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." (Proverbs 18:21)6. IRAN MAY BE DEVELOPING ICBM
Iran has converted one of its most powerful ballistic missiles into a satellite launch vehicle. The 30-ton rocket could also be a wolf in sheep's clothing for testing longer-range missile strike technologies, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine reports in its Jan. 29 issue. The move toward an independent space launch capacity is likely to ratchet up concern in the U.S. and Europe about Iran's strategic capabilities and intents. Orbiting its own satellite would send a powerful message throughout the Muslim world about the Shiite regime in Tehran.
U.S. agencies believe the launcher to be a derivation of either of two vehicles -- the liquid-propellant, 800- 1,000-mi. range Shahab 3 missile, or the 1,800-mi. range, solid propellant Ghadar-110. A Shahab 3 or a Ghadar-110 fired from central Iran could strike anywhere in Israel, Saudi Arabia, the entire Persian Gulf region and as far west as southern Turkey.
There are concerns in the West that space launch upgrades, however, could eventually create an Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range of nearly 2,500 mi., giving Tehran the ability to strike as far as central Europe, well into Russia and even China and India. (Intercessors for America)
• Such weapon development by Iran could hold the world in hostage to a country that is driven by fanatics in leadership. Pray that Iran's leadership be deposed and that new leaders reflect the will of the people, who currently live unhappily under tyranny. Again, pray that the development of ICBM be brought under confusion at every turn and that attempts to build it be blocked and frustrated. Continue to pray for the harvest of souls in Iran, where a covert church is growing.
• "Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you: I will uphold you with My victorious hand. See, all your angry enemies lie confused and shattered. Anyone opposing you will die." (Isaiah 10-12 TLB)7. IRAN SET TO ASSEMBLE THOUSANDS OF URANIUM CENTRIFUGES
Iran has begun installing 3,000 centrifuges, a top lawmaker said Saturday. Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the installation of 3,000 centrifuges at an Iranian uranium enrichment plant "stabilizes Iran's capability in the field of nuclear technology," the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported. "We are right now installing 3,000 centrifuges," Boroujerdi, the head of the Iranian Parliament's Foreign Policy and National Security Committee, was quoted as saying by IRNA. (AP)
• As the news out of Iran continues to seem more dangerous by the day, let us fix our hope on our Lord Jesus Christ -- the Author and the Finisher of our faith. He WILL make a way to tear down the wicked, establish the righteous, and bring His peace to the land. • "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God." (Psalm 20:7 NIV)8. SPECIAL OPS FORCE CREATED TO TARGET IRANIANS
According to US News and World Report, a special operations force has been created to target Iranians trafficking arms to and training Shiite militias – notably Mogtada Sadr’s Mehdi Army. It is formed of SEALs, Army Delta Force soldiers and CIA operatives and operates in line with the Bush get-tough policy with the networks operated by Iran and Syria. (Debka, 1/20/07)[Reported by: IFA]
• Pray that the mission to secure Baghdad would be successful. PRAY that Iraqi leaders would overcome divisive ethnic politics. Ask the LORD to raise up leaders who could skillfully bring together all parties and effect compromises which would bless all Iraqis.
• "But the salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: He is their strength in time of trouble. He shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in Him." ( Psalm 37: 39,40b)9. THIRD AIRCRAFT CARRIER DEPLOYE
D IN SURGE
After two weeks of frenetic preparation by its crew, the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan glided away from its North Island pier Saturday morning on an unusual “surge” deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. Pentagon leaders summoned the Navy's newest flattop back into service following President Bush's decision earlier this month to station a second carrier, the John Stennis, in the Persian Gulf along with the Dwight Eisenhower carrier strike group.
The Reagan – joined by its California-based carrier air wing, the cruiser Lake Champlain and the destroyer Russell – will fill the Stennis' slot in the western Pacific. The Reagan deployment is the first real-world test of the Navy's four-year-old Fleet Response Plan, designed to make most of the 12-ship carrier fleet available for use on short notice. “We stay in a state of readiness now,” said Capt. Terry Kraft, the Reagan's commanding officer. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
• Continue in prayer for the safety of all of our troops now serving in Iran and Afghanistan. Through prayer, great and mighty works can be undertaken, foiling the plans of our enemies. • "The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies." (Psalm 41:2)10. BUSH DENIES PREPARING ATTACK AGAINST IRAN
George W. Bush on Friday sought to deny widespread rumours his administration was preparing some kind of military action against Iran. Mr Bush confirmed a report in that he had authorized US troops to shoot and kill Iranian operatives in Iraq but: “We believe we can solve our problems with Iran diplomatically,” said the US president. “It makes sense that if somebody is trying to harm our troops, or stop us from achieving our goal, or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, that we will stop them.”
But the US president’s relatively emollient comments are unlikely to quell speculation about the reasons behind the recent escalation of White House rhetoric towards Iran. In his prime time address on the “new way forward in Iraq” two weeks ago, Mr Bush pledged to “interrupt the flow of support [for extremists in Iraq] from Iran and Syria...We will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.” In his State of the Union address to the joint houses of Congress on Tuesday, he lumped Iran with al- Qaeda. “It has also become clear that we face an escalating danger from Shia extremists who take direction from the regime in Iran. The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat.”
Last week, Mr Bush ordered a second US aircraft carrier to the Gulf and the deployment of more Patriot missiles in US military bases there. Richard Haass, former head of policy planning at the State Department in the first Bush administration, said the US president was leaving both the diplomatic and military option open. “You could interpret Bush’s recent actions towards Iran in two ways – either he is increasing pressure on the regime in order to soften it up for talks over its uranium enrichment plans, or this is classic gunboat diplomacy in which the US is preparing for some kind of punitive action,” said Mr Haass. “My guess is that Mr Bush’s actions leave room for either scenario and the Bush administration remains divided over which to pursue.”
Both Secretary of State Rice and Secretary of Defence Gates are thought to be pushing the White House to open talks with Iranian. However, others in the Bush administration, notably Dick Cheney, who last year warned Iran that it would face “meaningful consequences” if it continued to foment violence in Iraq, are thought to be arguing for the military option. Meanwhile, in a short statement to commemorate International Holocaust Day on Friday, Iran was the only country Mr Bush cited by name: “Remembering the victims, heroes, and lessons of the Holocaust is particularly important today as Holocaust denial continues, urged on by the Iranian regime, which perversely seeks to call into question the historical fact of the Nazis’ campaign of mass murder,” he said. (Financial Times)
• Praise the Lord that President Bush is assessing the situation in Iraq very carefully. Pray for him to have ears to hear only from the Lord and to receive only His wisdom. Pray for him to have the discernment that comes only from the Holy Spirit. The President must have the Lord's heart on this matter of Iran's wickedness.
• "For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6)11. JORDAN SEEKING TO BECOME A NUCLEAR POWER
King Abdullah II, the Hashemite King of Jordan, told Haaretz that his regime is, like Iran, also seeking to become a nuclear power. As the Hashemite regime is propped up by the West in a country that is majority Palestinian, Jordanian nukes would be only an election away from being controlled by an Islamist group, possibly Hamas. “The rules have changed on the nuclear subject throughout the whole region,” King Abdullah II said. “What Jordan is saying is, ‘We’d like to have a nuclear-free zone in the area.’ After this summer, everybody’s going for nuclear programs. The Egyptians are looking for a nuclear program. The GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] are looking at one, and we are actually looking at nuclear power for peaceful and energy purposes.” (Arutz Sheva, IsraelNationalNews.com)
• Pray for King Abdullah II, that he may be able to withstand all pressure to develop nuclear power in his country. Many of the people who live in Jordan are poor and lack the education to work in nuclear development. Pray for the salvation of the king and his people, for without salvation in Jesus Christ, they are without hope. As the balance of power in the Middle East becomes more competitive, peace looks more and more elusive and the coming of Messiah more welcome. Pray that the nations will be ready to meet Him.
• “And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.” (Isaiah 9:6b–7a)12. ISRAEL: TOUGH ISSUES ADDRESSED AT HERZLIYA CONFERENCE
The seventh annual Herzliya Conference–Israel’s platform for the articulating of national policy by its most prominent leaders and by international analysts– ended Wednesday [January 24]. In the session “Knowing the Enemy,” Iran was the focus. Bernard Lewis, a professor emeritus at Princeton University, told the panel that Iran is undergoing a new revolution. He warned the danger is heightened because the Shi’ites feel an apocalypse is coming.
One of the most widely reported speakers was former CIA director James Woolsey. He said the various threats facing Israel right throughout the Middle East came from the common denominator, “Islamist totalitarianism.” “Iran is not remotely interested in nuclear power for electricity,” he said. “The destruction of Israel is not the policy of Iran, but its essence.” He added, “Achieving weapons of mass destruction is part of this essence.” Both Lewis and Woolsey spoke about global jihad. Woolsey said, “Europe is accommodating sharia law, or Islamic religious law, and becoming increasingly affected by the Muslim demographics in their countries.”
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who spoke via satellite, warned that US–Israel relations might be cooling. He said a hostile anti-Israel climate was apparent on US college campuses and in parts of the media. He said Americans are given a negative stereotyping of Jews in America, and he warned Israel may have to prepare for more isolation in the next few years. “Israel must be prepared to lose American support in the coming years both diplomatically and economically. My message to Israel is to be strong and be prepared to go it alone,” he said. (Bridges for Peace)
• This report contains many important prayer points. Pray that the US will not lose its love relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. Pray that we will all remember Genesis 12:3 and stand with the God of Israel in the trials to come.
• “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Matthew 25:40)