- DEMOCRATS' PLAN: RESCIND IRAQ WAR AUTHORIZATION
- SENATORS SEND PRO-LIFE LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH
- LEGISLATIVE NEWS ON THE HILL
- MCCONNELL BECOMES THE SECOND DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
- RICE: THIS IS NOT 1938; WE ARE FACING DOWN IRAN
- CHENEY: 'ALL OPTIONS' AVAILABLE FOR IRAN
- ISRAEL ASKS U.S. FOR IRAQI AIRSPACE CORRIDOR FOR IRAN STRIKE
- SYRIA UPS ARMAMENTS; MOVING FORCES CLOSER TO ISRAEL
- U.S. TAKES “WAIT AND SEE” APPROACH TOWARDS PALESTINIANS
- A BILL (HR 895) TO RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS CAPITAL OF ISRAEL
- POLL: 75% OF ISRAELIS WANT TO BE IN EU
- UNESCO TO INSPECT DIG NEAR TEMPLE MOUNT
- SAFEGUARDING JERUSALEM
1. DEMOCRATS' PLAN: RESCIND IRAQ WAR AUTHORIZATION
This week debate will take place in both the Senate and in the House on whether to redefine the authorization to go to war in Iraq; and whether to curtail funding for that war. Key Senate Democrats are writing a bill to rescind the broad authorization to go to war in Iraq that Congress passed in 2002 and replace it with a narrow mission that would take all combat troops out of Iraq by March 2008. Drafted by two top committee chairmen, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware and Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the proposal would keep some troops in Iraq to assist with training, border security and counterterrorism but, Democrats hope, would keep U.S. troops out of what they say has become a civil war. "The 2002 authorization is no longer relevant to the situation in Iraq," Mr. Biden said in a speech last week, arguing that the measure was predicated on the presence of Saddam Hussein as dictator and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But the White House said the 2002 resolution, which passed the Senate 77-23, is still effective because it gave the president authority to enforce U.N. resolutions, which call for stability in Iraq.
Senate Republicans yesterday rejected the Democrats' plan, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Republicans have enough votes to block Democrats' new plan from passing, leaving the new majority few alternatives other than withholding funding for the troops. In the House, Democrats are pursuing just that strategy, with Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat and chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, proposing to limit funding unless the Defense Department can meet strict conditions even Mr. Murtha says are unlikely to be achieved. The House has already passed a nonbinding resolution disapproving of the troop reinforcements, which would send 4,000 Marines to Anbar province to target al Qaeda, and about 17,500 soldiers to Baghdad to combat Sunni- Shi'ite violence. But Republicans used a procedural maneuver to block a similar resolution in the Senate. (Washington Times)
• As Congress prepares to go back into session next week, pray that any and all measures regarding the funding of our troops in Iraq would be "above board" and without deception. Ask our Lord to move on the hearts of the men and women in Congress to put "first things first" and to stand by our troops so that ALL of their needs will be met in combat. • "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (Matthew 6:37)
2. SENATORS SEND PRO-LIFE LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH
This week 34 Senators sent a letter to President Bush urging him to assertively stand firm against any efforts by Congress to weaken current pro-life policy. It is very significant that only 34 Senators are needed to uphold a Presidential veto. Thus, if President Bush vetoes pro- abortion bills drafted by pro-choice members of Congress, the Senate can uphold his veto. The letter was organized by the office of Senator Sam Brownback. It reads, in part: "We respectfully request that you issue a letter to the Senate and House Leadership, reaffirming your strong pro-life policy convictions and serving notice that you will veto any legislation that weakens present pro-life policy. . . . Issuance of such a letter now would be timely and of tremendous value in our effort to ensure that no life- related policy is weakened during the 110th Congress. We thank you for your continued leadership and appreciate your consideration of this request." To read the text of this letter in its entirety, as well as the names of all 34 Senators who signed on, click here. (RFC)
• We give thanks to You Father for the right stand that Senator Brownback and 33 other Senators have taken on "Pro Life issues" by making this request, in writing, to our president. We ask You now to move upon the heart of President Bush, who is also a defender of life, to come into alignment with this request, drafting a statement of policy to the new 110th Congress upholding pro-life legislation on Capitol Hill. Let their united stand for the dignity of life be used by Your hand to open the eyes of all others in Congress to the Truth of Your Word, for we are commanded to "choose life." In Your Name, amen. • "The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Prov. 21:1) "Thus saith The Lord thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I AM The Lord that maketh all things." (Isaiah 44:24a)
3. LEGISLATIVE NEWS ON THE HILL (DOMESTIC (FOCUS)
a. S. 568: THE TRUTH IN VIDEO GAME RATING ACT
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback reintroduced the Truth in Video Game Rating Act which would require a video game rating organization to review the entire playable content of a game before assigning a content rating. Brownback said, "The current video game ratings system is not as accurate as it could be because reviewers do not see the full content of games and do not even play the games they rate." As a result parents unwittingly buy children games that are far more violent and sexually explicit than they otherwise would. (RFC)
• We cry out to you Heavenly Father to raise up men and women of Integrity to sit on the Entertainment Softwares Ratings Board. We pray ttat through them a re-assessment of the ratings system will be created that will deny all despicable forms of evil in television, radio, movies and video games. May our hearts be turned again towards integrity and morality in all things. In Jesus Name, Amen. • "But those that seek my soul to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth."(Ps. 63:9)
b. H.R. 1063: CHILD INTERSTATE ABORTION ACT
Congresswoman Illena Ros- Lehtinen (R-FL) has reintroduced the Child Interstate Abortion Act (CIANA). The bill would make it a Federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion for the purpose of evading a parental consent or parental notification law in the minor's home state. Over 30 states currently have notification or consent laws and some abortion clinics in neighboring states will actually advertise that parental consent is not needed if kids come to their states for abortions. The CIANA bill number is HR 1063 and already has 105 co- sponsors in the House. (RFC)
• Forgive us God for our evil and ignorant ways. As it is written, we speak life into the Child Interstate Abortion Act that it will become the law of the land. We claim in unity that parental rights are being restored to parents in our nation. • "These six things doth the Lord hate: yea even seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look. a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood . . . " (Proverbs. 6:16,17,18)
c. H.R. 254: "DAVID'S LAW" (A HATE CRIMES BILL) The U.S. House of Representatives will soon vote on HR 254, which establishes “hate crime” legislation. HR 254 will create new special rights for homosexuals under the guise of enhancing law enforcement. It would make “sexual orientation” a protected class alongside race, religion and gender. The intent of this law is to force the acceptance and approval of homosexuality on every American, regardless of their religious views. Here is a short analysis of HR 254, and the actual text of the bill can be found here.
H.R. 254 was introduced in Congress on January 5, 2007 and has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) is the bill's sponsor; H.R. 254 has no cosponsors as of Feb. 25, 2007. (American Family Association)
• Pray that this bill will wither and die in committee. • "Let them be as the grass on the housetops, which withers before it grows up . . ." (Psalm 129:6)
d. S. RES. 84: HONORING WILLIAM WILBERFORCE
Today, the tremendous movie, "Amazing Grace" about the life of William Wilberforce and his fight to end the slave trade in Great Britain begins in theaters all across America. Christian Coalition of America commends U.S. Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Mark Pryor (D-AR) for introducing a resolution, S. RES. 84, last week commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade and honoring the life of William Wilberforce, a humanitarian who was instrumental in abolishing the British slave trade. Senator Brownback said, “Wilberforce’s passion and commitment to end the British slave trade and renew the culture solidified the inherency of human dignity and sanctity of human life. As the 200th anniversary of British slave trade abolition approaches we should celebrate Wilberforce’s victories and use his legacy as an inspiration to renew our culture by continuing to fight for human life and human dignity.” [The full title of this bill is: S. RES. 84: Commemorating End of the Slave Trade and Honoring William Wilberforce.] (Christian Coalition of America; 2/24/07)
• "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." (Romans 13:7 KJV)
4. MCCONNELL BECOMES SECOND DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
As President Bush looked on, retired Navy Vice Adm. John M. “Mike” McConnell took the oath of office as the second director of national intelligence from White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten. Speaking at the Bolling Air Force Base ceremony, the President said McConnell will be “a great asset” to the U.S. national security team as he contributes his vast intelligence experience to “one of the most difficult and important positions in our government.”
The President cited the sweeping responsibilities McConnell will carry as the nation’s second director of national intelligence. He will be the president’s principal advisor on intelligence matters as he leads the entire U.S. intelligence community. He will advise Bush about the national intelligence budget, oversee the collection and analysis of intelligence information, and ensure that all U.S. intelligence agencies and offices work together as a single, unified enterprise.
The President has asked McConnell to improve information sharing within the intelligence community, to step up its emphasis on language skills and cultural awareness, and to ensure that the acquisition community is investing in the right intelligence technologies. (Armed Forces Press, 2/20/07; Intercessors for America)
• Ask the LORD to provide discernment and good counsel to Director McConnell and all 16 U.S. intelligence agency leaders as they act to implement the President's directives to improve our nation’s security. • "For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6)
5. RICE: THIS IS NOT 1938; WE ARE FACING DOWN IRAN
The slow and still ineffective international efforts to coerce Iran into halting its nuclear program are not the same as the world’s policy of appeasement toward Nazi Germany in 1938, insisted US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday [February 18]. In an interview with Haaretz, Rice rejected Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu’s constant comparing of the two failed diplomatic campaigns. “I am fond of historical analogies, but not that fond,” said Rice. Rice and the United States continue to hold out hope that Iran can be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons via diplomatic negotiations. Netanyahu and other right- thinking Israelis have come to the realization that the international community’s pandering has only emboldened Tehran. (By Stan Goodenough, Jerusalem Newswire, February 19, 2007) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
• Pray that God will surround the nations’ leaders with wise counselors and give them wisdom in knowing how to deal with Iran. • “Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you; stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.” (Exodus 18:19)
6. CHENEY: 'ALL OPTIONS' AVAILABLE FOR IRAN
Vice President Dick Cheney on Saturday renewed Washington's warning to Iran that "all options" are on the table if the country continues to defy U.N.-led efforts to end Tehran's nuclear ambitions. At a joint news conference with Prime Minister John Howard during a visit to Australia, Cheney also said Washington was "comfortable" with Britain's decision to withdraw troops from Iraq and that it was up to Australia to decide if it would do the same.
Cheney said the United States was "deeply concerned" about Iran's activities, including the "aggressive" sponsoring of terrorist group Hezbollah and inflammatory statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He said top U.S. officials would meet soon with European allies to decide the next step toward planned tough sanctions against Iran if it continues enriching uranium, leaving open the possibility of military action.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Thursday that Iran had not only ignored a U.N. Security Council ultimatum to freeze its enrichment program, but had expanded the program by setting up hundreds of centrifuges. Enriched uranium fuels nuclear reactors but, enriched further, is used in nuclear bombs. Ahmadinejad said on Thursday it was of no importance if countries did not believe Iran's nuclear activities were peaceful, and said the country would resist "all bullies." Howard said efforts to keep Iran in check would be hampered if the United States and its allies lose the Iraq war. Cheney declined to say if he had asked Howard during talks held Saturday to add to the 1,400 troops Australian has in and around Iraq. (AP)
• Continue to pray for the Lord's strategies for the US and other allies to deal with Iran. PM Howard of Australia is exactly right when he says the failure of the Iraqi war would hamper efforts to control Iran; please pray that more US citizens would see his point of view. Israel and the US must do what the Lord calls them to do. • "For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel, and will set them in their own land: and strangers shall be joined with them and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob." (Isaiah 14:1)
7. ISRAEL ASKS US FOR IRAQI AIRSPACE CORRIDOR FOR IRAN STRIKE
Israel opened negotiations to fly through US- controlled airspace in Iraq to carry out stirkes on Iranian nuclear facilities, a British newspaper reported Saturday. Israel's deputy minister denied the claim. The Daily Telegraph newspaper quoted an unnamed Israeli defense official as saying that the talks were aimed at planning for all scenarios, including any future decision to target Iran's nuclear program.
However, Ephraim Sneh, Israel;s Deputey Defense Minister, said that the report was incorrect. "This is baseless information," Sneh said. "Maybe people like to divert attention from the need for immediate economic sanctions with stories about imminent Israeli action, which is not on the agenda." Instead, the international community's focus should be on imposing economic sanctions on Iran for defying UN Security Council resolutions.
Senior officials of the five permanent members of the UN security Council - Britain, the US, France, China, and Russia - and Germany will meet Monday for an emergency summit in London to discuss measures against Tehran. (AP)
• Pray for Israel's safety, whatever measures she decides to take against Iran and its boasting of eliminating Israel from the face of the earth. Pray for wisdom as the officials from these six countries meet to discuss measures against Iran for her treachery against the world and Israel. Pray for salvation for the peoples of Iran, who are captives of a wicked government. • "Show me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because Thou, Lord, hast helped me, and comforted me." (Psalm 86:17)
8. SYRIA UPS ARMAMENTS; MOVING FORCES CLOSER TO ISRAEL
The Syrian army has strengthened its capabilities in a way unprecedented in recent memory, aided by Iranian funding, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. The Syrians are putting an emphasis on long-range missiles able to reach most of Israel’s large cities, the report indicated. Damascus is also close to signing a large deal with Russia to buy thousands of advanced anti-tank missiles.
Following last August’s war between Israel and Lebanon’s Hizbullah, some speculation arose in Israel about a possible conflict with Syria in the summer of 2007. Israeli officials denied these speculations, but it seems Syria has taken them seriously. Recent reports also indicate that the Syrian forces have advanced units closer to the Israeli border.
Meanwhile, Israel on Wednesday [February 21] completed a military exercise of its paratrooper battalion. The exercise took place on the Golan Heights, an area that Israel captured from Syria in 1967. Israel’s Defense Minister Amir Peretz said this was the most important exercise the army had conducted in the past five years. Nevertheless, Peretz stressed that it was not connected to any future conflict. (Media Line; Bridges for Peace)
• Pray that God will surround the borders of Israel with a myriad of angels. • “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11–12)
9. U.S. TAKES “WAIT AND SEE” APPROACH TOWARDS PALESTINIANS;
CONGRESS WITHHOLDS AID
Congress will support Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in her "wait-and-see" approach to the Palestinians, said Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) on Monday while visiting Israel. "Israel does not have a partner for peace. We will have to wait and see how the new Palestinian government is organized." Kyl heads a joint U.S.-Israel parliamentary committee on national security, which was started four years ago to strengthen U.S.- Israel defense ties. The committee is the only one of its kind involving Congress and a foreign country.
Last week, the House of Representatives, requesting clarification, froze an $86-million White House funding request to strengthen forces loyal to PA leader Abbas. The Israeli military objected to the funding. "The IDF's (Israel Defense Force) objections in this case center on equipment, such as body armor, that is liable to wind up in the wrong hands and be used for terrorism," said an Israeli security source. (CNS News, 2/22/07)
• Cry out for mercy and redemption in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, and the whole of the Middle East. Praise the Lord that Senator Kyl and Congress are watching the Israeli-Palestinian conflict very closely and the monies being appropriated. Ask the Lord to show His wisdom about Israel to Secretary of State Rice. • "Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shall tread upon their high places." (Deuteronomy 33:29)
10. A BILL (HR 895) TO RECOGNIZE JERUSALEM AS CAPITAL OF ISRAEL
Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-NY) has just introduced this bill to the 110th Congress. Sixteen other members of Congress have joined him in sponsoring this bill, which was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill covers the following criteria:
SECTION 1. UNITED STATES POLICY REGARDING JERUSALEM AS THE CAPITAL OF ISRAEL.
(a) Limitation on Operation of Consulate in Jerusalem- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the United States shall not operate a United States consulate or diplomatic facility in Jerusalem, Israel, unless such consulate or diplomatic facility is under the supervision of the United States Ambassador to Israel.
(b) Identification of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel in Official Government Documents- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any official document of the United States Government which lists countries and their capital cities shall identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
(c) Record of Place of Birth as Israel for Passport Purposes- For purposes of the registration of birth, certification of nationality, or issuance of a passport of a United States citizen born in the city of Jerusalem, the Secretary of State shall, upon the request of the citizen or the citizen's legal guardian, record the place of birth as Israel.
• Praise the Lord that our Congress never gives up on recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Several bills have been passed before, but no action has been taken to move our embassy back to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Praise the Lord that these congressmen have hearts and ears open to the Lord's directions. Ask the Lord to especially bless those sponsoring this bill and to bless its passage. • "Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which Thou hast wrought for us." (Psalm 68:28)
11. POLL: 75% OF ISRAELIS WANT TO BE IN EU
A full 75% of Israelis would like Israel to be part of the European Union, and 11% said they would leave Israel if they were granted EU citizenship, according to a survey examining Israeli attitudes toward Europe. The study was commissioned by the Israeli offices of the German political foundation Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung. Half of Israelis visited Europe in the past three years, the study found. The most popular destinations were France, Italy, Britain, Spain, and Germany. Eighty percent of respondents said they liked Britain, making it the most popular European state among Israelis.
The poll was carried out as Germany took up the rotating EU presidency, but only one-quarter of Israelis were aware of Germany’s leadership of the EU. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among the most popular foreign leaders among Israelis. Dr. Lars Hansel, KAS manager in Israel, said, “The results show how deep the German–Israeli bond is and will help to bring Europe and Israel even closer.
“Germany is committed to Israel’s security, having recently sent peacekeeping forces to the shores off Lebanon to help protect Israel and subsidized the sale of 3 Dolphin-class submarines to the Israeli Navy. This poll proves that Israelis want to strengthen German–Israel ties too,” Hansel said. The survey was conducted between February 5–7, 2007, among 511 respondents from both Jewish and Arab populations. (By Ronny Sofer, Ynetnews.com, February 22, 2007) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]
• This could be a dangerous trend. Israel is uniquely chosen by God, separate from other nations. Pray that Israel takes that seriously. • “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.” (Leviticus 20:26)
12. UNESCO TO INSPECT DIG NEAR TEMPLE MOUNT
UNESCO will send a team of four experts to Jerusalem to assess the impact of construction work which has inflames Israeli-Palestinian tensions. The experts will visit the hilltop compound know to Jews as the Temple Mouns to to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Nearly three weeks ago, Israeli archaeologists began a salvage dig ahead of the constuction of a new pedestrian walkway up to the site. This dig sparked riots by Muslim worshippers and protests throughout the Arab world.
UNESCO director-general Koichiro Matsuura says that the inspection "could be a means of alleviating tensions and restoring a climate of confidence." The team of experts could spend only a few days and then will report its findings to Matsuura. (AP)
• Pray for peace and calm at the Temple Mount site. The Islamists will create trouble wherever they can, usurping the Temple site for their purposes, even though this site is the place where Solomon built the first temple for God three thousand years ago. Clearly the problem exists with the Moslems, for the Bible tells us the truth. • "Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy." (Psalm 99:9)
13. SAFEGUARDING JERUSALEM
Appearing on the horizon is the awesome "final status of Jerusalem."
It's become very clear that the clash over the construction work near the Mugrabi Gate is part of a broader campaign for the control of Jerusalem. After all, this construction work has no connection to the Al- Aqsa Mosque nor any effect on it. In the view of those Arab leaders mobilizing the war and the incitement against the construction, Israel has no sovereignty in Jerusalem's Old City and has no right to carry out any sort of construction work in the Temple Mount environs. At the root of this war is the intensifying effort by the Palestinians to deny any link or rights of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount or to Jerusalem, and thus to undermine not only [Israel’s] right to sovereignty in Jerusalem, but also Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. (Yehuda Ben Meir, Ha’aretz) [Reported by: Intercessors for America]
• Prayerfully read and ponder Zechariah, chapter 12, asking the Lord to intervene and grant wisdom and knowledge to President Bush and Secretary of State Rice so that they and our nation would be spared the consequence and judgments outlined in Zechariah 12, verses 3 and 9. • "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." (Zech. 12:3,9)