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life expectancy - 36 YEARS,  BRUTALITY

hiv/aids - 25% of 15-50 year-old population,


A loaf of bread costs one day’s wage.

A can of beans costs more than the average weekly wage.




My regular readers all know that there is a Great Tribulation ahead. As Messiah Y’shua said:

“Then there will be great tribulation, such as has never occurred since the beginning of the world until now; and there will be nothing like it again.” (Matthew 24:21)

The Tribulation will be seven years of Prophecy – famines, scorching sun, plagues, wars, cyclones, earthquakes and environmental upheavals. It will also be a time of violence, crime, brutal dictatorship and persecution.

What we see in Zimbabwe today is a preview of the things that will shortly take place worldwide, in the coming Tribulation.

Reporter Cameron Stewart has given this shocking first-hand account of current conditions in Zimbabwe, in The Australian.  (30 April 07)



Zimbabweans are reaching a tipping point where hunger overrides fear.

In the darkness, within earshot of Africa’s mighty Victoria Falls, a young father is talking about the unraveling of his life.

“I moved my family to this place to get work,” he says. “But it does not matter where we go in this country any more, because we cannot afford the food. My family is lucky to have one meal a day. Even a loaf of bread now costs $US16 ($A 19), so my boy is always hungry. Our President is destroying our country and he will destroy us. He must go.”

We are speaking in the dark­ness because power in the village has been cut — an almost nightly event in today’s Zimbabwe. A storm breaks and a flash of lightning reveals the sadness etched in the face of Joseph, 29. But there is no disguising the venom in his voice. For this father of one, the tyrannical rule of Robert Mugabe is not just another filler for the world pages of newspapers or a distant crisis for UN diplomats to tut-tut over. It is life or death.

Only hours before we spoke, Mugabe’s party had voted to allow its discredited leader to stand for re-election next year — an outcome that Joseph said had all but extinguished his family’s hopes for a better future.

“This life is not worth living,” he says. “1 was once scared to speak out against him but I don’t care now. Maybe I will disappear like others who speak out but we cannot keep going like this.”

All over Zimbabwe, ordinary people are reaching the tipping point — where hunger and des­peration override the fear of Africa’s most tyrannical dictator.



For the first time since he came to power in 1980, Mugabe has genuine reason to fear his own people. Zimbabwe is no longer a country in decay — it is a country in freefall.

I visited Zimbabwe this month to talk with the people on the street about their lives. I did so discreetly be-cause foreign jour­nalists operating in Zimbabwe without government supervision and a licence, face jail as part of Mugabe’s push to limit bad inter­national press.

It is a sobering experience. I last visited this country in 1991, but can now barely recognise it.  Everywhere in Zimbabwe today, you see tragic testimony to the madness of Mugabe.

Fields of withered, failed crops dot the countryside as reminders of Mugabe’s racist purge of white farmers over the past decade, which has seen their number drop from 4000 seven years ago to less than 200 today.

Once one of the richest, most plentiful bread baskets in Africa, Zimbabwe is now an agricultural basket case.  The corn harvest this year will be one-third of the minimum requirement. Almost a half of Zimbabweans are malnourished, with 1.5 million people forced to rely on aid.

Supermarket shelves lie almost empty. In one food store, the only items for sale were packets of rubber bands. When food is available it is often too expensive for ordinary Zimbabweans.



Last week, the inflation rate topped 2200%, turning basics such as bread and canned food into luxuries. On the streets, hungry eyes and hollow faces implore you to give money or buy something from their roadside stalls. Violent crime is rising with the desperation.

A can of beans costs more than the average weekly wage. Lines of people walk along the main roads between towns because public transport costs are prohibi­tive, after rising 350% in the past month alone.

Electricity bills will more than triple in the next six weeks because of shortages of fuel and equipment.

In hospitals, the growing ranks of the malnourished are causing severe overcrowding in wards already filled with AIDS victims, who are dying at a rate of 3500 a week. Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has slumped to 36 years — the lowest in the world.

Doctors say families are giving false names for their sick relatives because they cannot afford to pay burial fees. Morgues are choked with unclaimed dead.


Not surprisingly there is a rush to get out, with more than two million Zimbabweans having left the country in recent years.

“They have blocked people like me from getting passports because too many of us want to leave,” says Fortune, a security guard at Victoria Falls.

“Many of my friends have already left. These are educated people and they don’t want to make their life here any more.”

Unemployment in Zimbabwe is at 80%, while GDP has halved to $5 billion in only seven years — the biggest and fastest collapse of any peacetime econ­omy in the world.



Yet according to government-controlled newspapers and televi­sion, nothing is wrong. The Her­ald newspaper says all Zimbab­weans should be thankful for Mugabe’s “sublime, visionary leadership.”

To help celebrate his 83rd birthday in February, Mugabe’s security forces gathered 20,000 people into a football stadium in the city of Gweru for a huge party that was screened on TV until a power cut ended the coverage.

Mugabe has tried to blame his country’s economic woes on the West, saying the sanctions im­posed by countries including Aus­tralia have caused the hardships.

Blaming the white men of the West for Africa’s woes was a vote winner in the early days of post-colonial rule, but it rings hollow for Mugabe after 27 years in power. He remains confident, if not arrogant, about his ability to survive. “I have 83 years of struggle, experience and resili­ence and I cannot be pushed over,” he says.

But it is Mugabe’s actions, not his words, which betray his fears for his own future. Increasingly Zimbabwe has resembled a police state, with curfews, crackdowns and violent suppression of any dissent.



Miriam, a student at the Uni­versity of Zimbabwe, says her best friend was punished after she spoke out against the Govern­ment on campus.  “A group of men climbed into her room at the university and blackened her eyes,” she says. “They say one student in every four is a paid government informer.”

Even though Miriam’s family is black, their farm was recently confiscated by a government minister for no other reason than that he wanted to live in it himself.

Political gatherings are banned, while state-sanctioned beatings, torture and murder are common.


The bashing last month of Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai by security forces sparked a torrent of international condem­nation. This was followed by the murder of another Opposition activist and father of three, Gift Tandare. The security forces buried his body in secret, forbidding his family to attend. A presidential spokesman claimed it would be a “defile­ment” to give up any land for the burial of “the dead thug’s remains.”

South African author and jour­nalist Allister Sparks this week explained Mugabe’s strategy as “a crude attempt to cripple the opposition, shatter its organisa­tional structure, brutalise its lead­ership and so intimidate its fol­lowers that it will be unable to mount a coherent election chal­lenge.”

Mugabe has overseen a repres­sive and violent crackdown on journalists and on those media organisations that question or criticise him.

Edward Chikomba, the journal­ist who took widely broadcast images of the badly bashed face of Tsvangirai, was abducted and murdered 4 weeks ago.

Economic sanctions and harsh rhetoric from abroad have done little to erode Mugabe’s position. Much of the blame for this lies with Zimbabwe’s neighbours, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa, which have effec­tively turned a blind eye. In a continent that embraces “big man” politics, Mugabe still enjoys unwarranted stature as the last of Africa’s liberation leaders. South African President Thabo Mbeki has refused to put decisive pressure on the ageing despot despite being urged to do so by the international community.

But Western diplomats say the greatest threats to Mugabe’s rule are internal, not external. They say Mugabe fears being deposed in a military coup driven by rivals from within his own party, Zanu-PF.

Although the central commit­tee of Zanu-PF last month agreed to nominate him as their candi­date in the election, the party remains divided.


unrest in MUGABE’S own party

Last December, Mugabe suf­fered a shock defeat when the party rejected his call for the next poll to be delayed until 2010.

He has also fallen out with Vice-President Joyce Mujuru and her influential military husband, General Solomon Mujuru, accus­ing both of being too eager to succeed him. “There is genuine unrest within his own party and the threat has not yet been neutral­ised,” one Western diplomat told The Australian.

The other grave danger facing Mugabe is a popular backlash over the collapsing economy. The inflation rate spares no one and it is making paupers of the middle class as well as the working class.

The only true allies left for Mugabe are his inner circle, who have been richly rewarded for their support. For now, Mugabe has the support of the military and the police, but the rank and file are restless as they, too, struggle to feed their families.   By Cameron Stewart / Used by permission of News Limited, The Australian / 30 April 07


The people in Zimbabwe are having such hardships that they are utterly desperate for food, and the lengths they are going to find food of any kind is amazing. A report told of Zimbabweans eating pet food. Now a TvNews story shows scenes of Africans digging out rat holes, and cooking rats for dinner.

Many Zimbabweans would have already starved to death, if it were not for food supplied by friends and relatives who have fled to South Africa. There are probably more than 3 million Zimbabweans in South Africa who are earning money (honestly or dishonestly), and using it to buy food to send home.


30 April 07. Violence between the Government’s forces and its op­ponents is a new twist in the ongoing political meltdown that is Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

The beating and torture of opposition activists, and the retalia­tory bomb attacks on police outposts and government prop­erty have increased sharply.

In recent weeks, Molotov cock­tails were thrown into a police outpost in Marimba, a dense, poor black settlement on the southeast outskirts of Harare. Since then, two other police stations have been firebombed and a train carrying passengers to the country’s second city, Bula-wayo, was attacked.

A shop belonging to an official of the ruling Zanu PF party was also destroyed, where pet­rol bombs and “explosives” were found on the scene.

An activist explained: “People here are not so peace­ful as in the rest of Zimbabwe. It is where Zanu leaders came to fight the Rhodesians, and now new leaders are going to fight Zanu.”  - The Australian 

LET’S PRAY for the people of Zimbabwe 

And let us be alert and Bible-focused in these anxious times.  Let us reach out to troubled people all around us, and share God’s Word with them while we can.


“Seek YHWH the LORD while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to YHWH, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

“God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Y’shua the Messiah, has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was personally present in the Messiah reconciling the world to Himself, not counting men’s trespasses against them; and He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore we are ambassadors for Messiah; it’s as though God was right here personally appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of the Messiah; be reconciled to God!”      (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

“For YHWH, the Almighty God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten, His one-and-only, unique, eternal Son, so that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have eternal (everlasting) life.

“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world; but so that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten, His one-and-only unique, eternal Son of God.”  (John 3:16-18)


A virulent new wheat-killing fungus called wheat stem rust could destroy harvests across the globe, warns the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Also known as wheat black rust, the fungus, which first emerged in Uganda in 1999, has spread from East Africa to Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. About 80% of all varieties of wheat in Asia and Africa are vulnerable to this new strain which spreads rapidly and is transmitted by the wind across continents and over long distances.

“Global wheat yields could be at risk if the stem rust spreads to major wheat producing countries,” cautioned FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said. Destruction of wheat crops, causing billions of dollars worth of losses, “could lead to increased wheat prices and local or regional food shortages,” he said.

This could have dire implications for developing countries, he added, since they rely heavily on wheat and do not have access to wheat varieties resistant to the fungus.

FAO has joined forces with the Global Rust Initiative – an international group lead by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center to fight the spread of the dangerous strain.

In the late 1980s, a similar disease appeared in East Africa, traveling to Yemen, the Near East and Central Asia, finally reaching South Asia in four years. This massive spread resulted in losses in crops worth over $1 billion.

Wacky weather, droughts, pestilences and wars are all contributing to famines in many parts of the world today. And we are told the world is “only one crop away from disaster.”

The prophecy of Revelation speaks of exorbitant prices for wheat - food - in the Tribulation.



“And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ And I looked and saw a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.  I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius’.” (A denarius was the equivalent of a day’s wage.)   (Revelation 6:5-6)



9 APRIL 07. Up to 7,000 people are homeless one week after a tsunami triggered by an 8.1 magnitude earthquake swept through the western Solomon Islands.

Many people have been afraid to return to their homes because of fears of another tsunami, the spokeswoman said. At least 39 people were killed when a wave several metres high hit the area.

Regular aftershocks have added to people’s fears. Many people were still camping in the hills.

Many homes in the fishing and diving town of Gizo 45km from the epicentre of the quake, were destroyed or badly damaged by both the earthquake and the resulting wall of water. Many villages on outlying islands were badly damaged or entirely swept away by the tsunami.



The seismic jolt that unleashed the deadly Solomons tsunami lifted an entire island metres out of the sea, destroying some of the world’s most pristine coral reefs. In an instant, the grinding of the Earth’s tectonic plates in the 8.1 earthquake forced the island of Ranongga up three metres.

Submerged reefs that once attracted scuba divers from around the globe lie exposed and dying after the quake raised the mountainous landmass, which is 32-km long and 8-km wide. Corals that used to form an underwater wonderland of iridescent blues, greens and reds now bleach under the sun, transforming into a barren moonscape surrounding the island.

Locals on Ranongga said much of their harbour had disappeared. One said there were huge earthquake fissures which had almost split the island in half.

The damage to the coral reefs could dry up the region’s major source of overseas money. The loss of the reefs was a huge blow for the fishing communities that are dotted along Ranongga’s coast. The fish from the reefs are the major source of protein for the villagers.


“And there will be ... upon earth despair among nations,

with perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

Men’s hearts will faint from terror, being apprehensive of what is coming upon the world;

for the very powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)


Mar 23, 07.  - The European Union should move toward forming a common army, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Asked how she saw the EU developing in the next 50 years, Merkel told daily newspaper Bild:

“In the EU itself we must come closer to a common European army.” Germany holds the EU’s rotating presidency for the first half of this year.

Last year, Polish President Lech Kaczynski said his country wanted a new 100,000-strong European Union army created to work with NATO in trouble spots in the world or to defend Europe.  - Berlin / Reuters




(Revelation 6:4)



“Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up to attack! Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning-hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’!”   (Joel 3:9-10)

IRAN, Syria, Hizbullah, and Hamas are all aggressively preparing for war. So are the US, NATO and Israel. So are the Russians and the Kings of the East.

Israel’s intelligence community has assessed that Iran and Syria were preparing for war in mid-2007.  

Officials said the war was expected to be sparked by a US strike on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. At that point, they said, Iran, Syria and Hizbullah would also attack Israel with a range of missiles and rockets. “Nobody wants to initiate the war, but everybody is ready to join,” an official said. 

Will the US strike Iran? This is still the burning question. The reasoning is that if President Bush wants to gain victory in Iraq, to bring a solution in the Palestinian areas, and to bring stability to the Middle East including Lebanon, both Syrian and Iran must be dealt with, and set back for 25 years or more.

Reports suggest that although the American public is against prolonging the war in Iraq, it is more in favour of attacking and destroying Iran’s nuclear programs. 

Or will Israel do the job?  It is not a simple “job” for a single nation to tackle a well-equipped Iran. Some reports suggest that Israel must take on Syria while the US and NATO take on Iran. And it is not simply a matter of knocking out a few nuclear installations. The military infrastructure of both Syria and Iran need to be quickly wiped out for the operation to succeed.

At the same time Russia is developing a strong anti-Western stance, and is becoming more open in its support of Iran and Syria.

Significantly, all this activity is occurring just prior to the 40th anniversary of Israel’s recapture of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount during the Six Day War -  6th June 1967!



APRIL 15, 07.  For hundreds of thousands of Israelis, agonizing death by nerve-gas-induced asphyxiation lies just minutes away from where they live their daily lives.

Inside hardened concrete structures, awaiting the signal from Damascus, hundreds of long-range missiles sit on their launchers, many tipped with warheads containing some of the most lethal substances known to man.

In 2003, the respected Jane’s Foreign Report quoted a senior Israeli defense source as saying that Syria has “at least 100 long-range ballistic nerve-gas missiles aimed at central Israel.”

Damascus’ non-conventional weapon of choice is VX gas, one of the most toxic nerve agents ever synthesized. With the VX, the Syrians believed they had balanced Israel’s nuclear advantage.

Last summer Syria watched, enthralled, as the Lebanese Hizb’allah with its small and primitive Katyusha rockets dealt devastating blows to the Israeli military, economy and political leadership. The hiding Hizbullah gave Israel has led Syria to believe that it may be able to defeat the mighty Israel Defence Force.

Syria is no Lebanon; the 400,000 strong Syrian military machine with its 10,000 elite fighters is no paltry Hizbullah (which has at most 11,000 fighters, only 1,000 of them full-time.) Like his late father, Hafez, Syria’s Bashar el-Assad is considered Israel’s most dangerous immediate foe.

Syria has a pact with Iran and has warned that it will retaliate against Israel in the event of an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Jerusalem believes it is only a matter of time before those facilities give Iran the nuclear weapons it needs to destroy Israel. It is increasingly clear that they must be dealt with, but Syria is holding a gun to Israel’s head.                                                         - Jerusalem Newswire/ 23 Apr 07



APRIL 23, 07. also reports the Israeli security officials’ assessment that Iran is aiding Syria to make or acquire advanced weaponry, to place missiles near Israel’s border, and to train strategic troop battalions.

The assessment follows media interviews in which Syrian President Bashar Assad stated he doesn’t rule out the possibility of war with Israel. Syrian officials have also been warning that if Israel doesn’t vacate the Golan Heights, Damascus will resort to “resistance.”

Israeli security officials say the Syrian military in recent weeks has stepped-up its training of troops and has increased the readiness of its army. There has been the movement of Syrian Scud missiles near its border with Israel, and Syria has increased production of rockets capable of hitting central Israeli population centres.

The greatest threat Syria poses to the Jewish state are the country’s missiles and rockets.  Syria recently test-fired two Scud-D surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 250 miles, which means it can cover most Israeli territory. 

Israel also has information that Syria has acquired and deployed Chinese-made C-802 missiles – the type which were successfully used against the Israeli navy during Israel’s war against the Hizbullah militia last year. The missiles were passed to Syria by Iran.

Russia recently sold to Syria advanced anti-tank missiles similar to the projectiles that devastated Israeli tanks during the last Lebanon war.

Israeli security officials say Syria’s war preparations are defensive in nature, and they are being coordinated by Iran. The officials say Syria believes Israel will attack first in response to ongoing support of Hizbullah, including the passage of large quantities of rockets to the Lebanese group.

The officials also say Syria estimates the US or Israel will attack Iran, and that Syria will be drawn into a larger military confrontation.

Israeli security officials note in recent months, state-run Syrian media have been broadcasting regular warlike messages unheard since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Syria and Egypt launched invasions from the Golan and the Sinai desert. “The tone is one of preparing the Syrian public for a war.”

He said any Syrian provocation would likely be coordinated with Iran.  Both Tehran and Damascus, support Hizbullah, and have signed several mutual military pacts.



APRIL 27, 07. The Israel Defence Force has held intensive training maneuvers in preparation for a feared Syrian attack on the Golan Heights. 

Hundreds of tanks and thousands of soldiers, backed by helicopters and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, massed in the Judean Desert to drill simulations of war.

The training exercise focused on Brigade 401 and its utilization of Israel’s most advanced tank  -  the Merkava Mark 4  -  against the Syrian advanced Russian-made T-72.

Since the Second Lebanon War, Military Intelligence has claimed that war with Syria is now closer than ever, and the IDF is on heightened alert in the North in preparation for the possibility of a surprise attack.

According to analysts, President Bashar Assad feels empowered by Hizb’allah’s surprise success while fighting the IDF. The assessment is that he might be motivated to launch hostilities in an effort to retrieve the Golan Heights, either by initiating a surprise attack to capture one or two Israeli communities, or by firing long-range ballistic missiles at the home front.

When war with Syria erupts, the IDF will face a strong array of advanced antitank missiles, which Hizbullah successfully used last summer against IDF tanks.

The assumption is that antitank missiles would play a key role in war with Syria. To deal with this threat, the IDF has announced plans to purchase, by the end of the year, several dozen “Trophy” protection systems developed by Rafael, which are capable of intercepting incoming antitank missiles.

“We are preparing for the possibility of war on all fronts,” said Col. Roni Belkin, deputy commander of Division 162. “To do that, we need to find a solution for a wide range of scenarios.”

According to Brig.-Gen. Halutzy Rudoy of the Armored Corps, the most significant aspect of the exercise was to learn how to effectively use the tank in the battlefield. During the Lebanon war, tank crews failed to activate smoke systems that can create tank cover as it maneuvers through enemy territory.

“The tank is still an excellent tool for achieving our goals in the battlefield,” Rudoy said. “But you need to know how to use it.”  - The Jerusalem Post




April 15, 07.  Russia has warned Israel to take care not to miscalculate either Russia’s or Syria’s strength lest tensions between the enemy states explode.

The caution came during a visit by Russian National Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov last week. Ivanov appeared unperturbed when Israeli officials retorted that his country’s supplying of arms to Syria and Iran was itself destabilizing the Middle East.

Moscow is suspected of selling Syria Pantsir-C1 anti-aircraft systems and the advanced Iskander surface-to-air missile. Last January Russia sold 29 state-of-the-art Tor M1 radar-guided anti-aircraft missile launchers to Iran.

The deal, valued at $700 million, impressively strengthened Iran’s air defences against a possible US or Israeli strike on the rogue state’s nuclear facilities. Russia thus effectively encouraged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to continue his pursuit of nuclear weapons. The weapons we are providing to both Damascus and Tehran are for those nations’ self-defense only, Ivanov purred.

And anyway, Syrian dictator Bashar el-Assad was really interested in making peace with Israel, so what’s the big deal, Ivanov added.  – Jerusalem Newswire 23 April 07


April 23, 07. DEBKAFILE  reports on a secret mission of  high ranking generals to Iran.

Led by Maj.-Gen. Yahya L. Solayman, War Planning chief at the Syrian armed forces General Staff, the delegation represents all branches of the Syrian armed forces. On their arrival on April 18, the Syrian officers went straight into conference with Iranian defense minister Brig.-Gen. Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar, Revolutionary Commanders chief Maj.-Gen. Yahya Rahim-Safavi and dep. chief of staff Maj.-Gen. Hassani Sa’di, who is Iran’s chief of military war preparations.

The Syrian visitors were taken around Revolutionary Guards and armed forces training installations and given a display of the latest Iranian weapons systems, including stealth missiles, electronic warfare appliances and undersea missiles and torpedoes. They also visited the big Imam Ali training base in N. Tehran, where hundreds of Lebanese Hizbullah and Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami terrorists are taking courses.

Israel sees four causes for concern:

1. The unusually large size of the Syrian delegation and the presence of operations officers from the various army corps.

2. The elevated positions of the Iranian officials hosting the Syrians: the top men with responsibility for preparing the Revolutionary Guards and armed forces for armed conflict.

US and Israeli intelligence experts agreed in their talks during US Defence Secretary Robert Gates’ two-day visit to Israel last week on the object of the Syrian mission: to tighten operational coordination at the highest level between the Syria military and Iran’s armed forces and Revolutionary Guards.

3. The installations and weapons shown to the Syrian officers. The intelligence estimate is that they saw the weapons systems soon to be consigned by Iran to the Syrian army and Hizbullah, as well as the types of assistance pledged for Syria in the event of a military showdown with the United States or Israel. Syrian- Iranian consultations must also be presumed to have cleared the routes by which these weapons would reach Syria and Hizbullah in a military contingency.

(During the 2006 Hizbullah-Israel war, Iran ran an airlift to Damascus through Turkish airspace and over the Mediterranean.)

4. The unusual length of the visit. Monday, April 23 the Syrian officers were still busy in Tehran after six days and showed no sign of leaving.


                           LOOMING WAR WITH SYRIA

                 By David Dolan, Jerusalem

APRIL 07.  Israeli officials decided to publicly warn during April that a major conflict may be looming with Syria in the coming months. This came after further evidence emerged that the Baathist regime ruling from Damascus is stepping up war preparations, along with allied Hizbullah militia forces in Lebanon.  Meanwhile political fallout from last year’s Second Lebanon War continued to swirl in Israel, with government cabinet ministers, legislators and regular citizens waiting for the release of the seminal Winograd Committee report on the conflict, expected in late April or early May.  Many analysts predict the report could spell the end of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s public career, along with current Defense Minister Amir Peretz. 

In an apparent effort to stave off growing demands that he immediately resign, Olmert expressed interest during April in pursuing a final Middle East peace accord in the coming months with regional Arab and Palestinian leaders, despite the threat of pending conflict with Syria and Hizbullah. While negotiations continued for a prisoner swap designed to free a kidnapped Israeli soldier and hundreds of Palestinian terrorists, more violence and chaos rocked the Gaza Strip during the month, prompting United Nations officials to warn that they may need to pull all aid workers out of the small coastal zone. 

Prime Minster Olmert spoke several times during April about the very real possibility of conflict in the coming months with heavily armed Syria. He told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee on April 18 that Israel has no intention of attacking its northern neighbour, but repeated earlier warnings that the Assad regime is preparing for possible conflict with Israel, and therefore Israel must respond in kind.

Olmert said all Israeli military leaders and security chiefs share the assessment that Damascus is preparing for war.  The Israeli leader added that Syrian officials seem to believe the United States is preparing to attack Iran’s sprawling nuclear facilities, and will ask Israel to lash out at its Arab neighbour—Iran’s chief Mideast ally—at the same time.  But Olmert insisted he has no knowledge of any such White House plan, despite an ongoing American naval buildup in the Persian Gulf.

After touring the contested Golan Heights in late March—where he was briefed by senior IDF officers on the situation along the tense border—Olmert gave several newspaper interviews just before Passover in which he began to warn of the possibility of a major conflagration with Syria later this year.  He said he had decided to openly state this in order to have a chance to publicly assure the Assad regime that Israel has no intention of attacking Syria.  He said Israeli government and military leaders were concerned that “a Syrian miscalculation” may spark an armed conflict between the two countries.  He confirmed that Israel had used the controversial visit of US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Damascus in early April “to send a calming message” to senior Syrian officials that no IDF military offensive was being planned. 

The Ha’aretz newspaper quoted an unidentified “senior security source” as saying that Israeli  government leaders hoped the message delivered by Pelosi “will be understood in Damascus.” The source added that it was not clear to Israeli officials if the Syrians were genuinely concerned that Israel might be plotting a joint attack with America, or were just bluffing as an excuse to prepare for their own premeditated assault upon Israel.  “The question is whether Assad is looking for an excuse ... so that he can carry out an attack against Israel in the summer, or whether this is a mistaken assessment,” said the source. 


Soon after PM Olmert issued his initial warnings of possible conflict with Damascus in the coming months, a top Syrian government spokesman significantly upped tensions in the region by threatening to take the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights back by force.  As Israel’s annual Holocaust Memorial day commemorations were drawing to an end on the evening of April 16, Syrian Information Minister Mohsen Bilal warned that his country may attempt to regain control over the disputed territory by force. 

“If Israel rejects the Arab peace initiative, the only way to get the Golan Heights back would be by means of resistance,” he said at a press conference in Damascus. The Syrian official was apparently referring to the 2002 Saudi peace proposal, which was reaffirmed by Arab League nations at a summit meeting in April. 

Language experts explained that the Arabic word for “resistance” (mukawama) can imply either full-scale warfare or more limited, terrorist style action. 

Israeli political analysts declared that Bilal’s war threat was extremely serious, given that Syrian officials fully understand Israeli leaders cannot accept the Saudi plan under its current contours. Especially objectionable is the plan’s demand for a complete Israeli withdrawal from every inch of Judea and Samaria, including Judaism’s most sacred ground on earth inside Jerusalem’s walled Old City, and its call for all Palestinian refugees to be granted the “right of return” to family ancestral properties inside of Israel’s pre-1967 borders, which Israeli officials insist would effectively spell the end of the world’s only majority Jewish state. 

Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has issued similar warlike statements several times since his surrogate Hizbullah militia force claimed victory in the 2006 armed conflict.  Many Israeli analysts believe that last summer’s Hizbullah rocket assault was launched at the behest of both Syria and Iran in an attempt to test Israel’s response to sustained attacks upon its civilian population.  They say Israel’s unexpected difficulty in halting the daily barrages, which continued for over one month, along with the apparent gaps that showed up in its ground operations and reserve force deployments, greatly encouraged political and military officials in both Damascus and Tehran to think that victory over Israel’s legendary military machine is now possible. 



Various Israeli media reports warned during April that a looming war with Syria would undoubtedly pose a very significant challenge to Israel’s armed forces.  Many reports noted that prior to last year’s intense 34 day conflict with Hizbullah militiamen in Lebanon, it was generally assumed by Israeli military strategists and political leaders that winning another war with Damascus would be a relatively easy task, as it was during the Six Day War fought 40 years ago this June.  This assessment was based on the known fact that Israel’s military hardware, especially IDF Air Force jets, radar systems and ground armored forces, are mostly much newer and far more sophisticated than similar equipment possessed by Syria.

But last year’s confrontation clearly demonstrated that massive firings of enemy missiles upon civilian population centers in any new conflict could itself be enough to give Syria a fighting chance to prevail, especially if non-conventional warheads were employed.  After all, Hizbullah is a mere militia force, comprised of an estimated 5,000 active Lebanese fighters, aided by several hundred Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders stationed in Shiite portions of Lebanon. The militia, based in a relatively small piece of territory in southern Beirut and south Lebanon, does not even enjoy the full support of all Lebanese nationals, to say the least.  

On the strategic plane, its Syrian and Iranian-supplied rockets and missiles could only reach the northern third of Israel.  It possessed no air force to counter Israeli warplanes, nor tank or armored divisions to fend off Israeli ground advances. 

By contrast, Syria’s fulltime army has close to 400,000 active service personnel divided into 12 divisions.  One of those, comprised of an estimated 10,000 soldiers, is a highly trained force assigned the task of deploying and guarding Syria’s substantial missile and rocket arsenal.  Another elite commando unit, also containing some 10,000 men, would serve as a formidable frontline hammer in expected ground fighting on the Golan Heights.  Syria’s navy is smaller than Israel’s and not nearly as well equipped (Israel has taken possession of four German-built submarines in the past few years, said to be capable of firing nuclear warheads; something Syria cannot match).  Still, it is also thought to have improved its Mediterranean Sea capabilities to an unknown extent in recent years. 

Damascus has recently integrated a major new weapons acquisition into its existing arsenal.  A Russian designed and supplied anti-aircraft system called the Stretlet has been deployed in several locations, which is believed to give Syrian gunners a much better chance of taking out Israeli aircraft in any conflict. 

However Israeli defense analysts believe it has been quite a few years since Syria received new foreign built tanks, fighter aircraft or armored vehicles, and point out that Israel still has a clear advantage in all of those areas, despite the fact that its standing army is less than half the size of Syria’s.  Israeli defense officials can call up an estimated 400,000 additional reserve soldiers in a full-scale emergency, but Syrian leaders can better that statistic as well, with nearly two million men believed to be enrolled in its standby military forces.


Israeli military analysts say that Syria has focused most of its war preparations on missile construction and deployments.  Most worrisome is the fast-paced production of Scud D missiles, said to be considerably more advanced that the Scud B and C rockets that Saddam Hussein launched at Israel in 1991.  Security officials say that Syria now possesses hundreds of the deadly missiles, which have a range of over 350 miles—meaning they can potentially strike every portion of Israel from Haifa to Eilat. 

Older Scud missiles are also in Syria’s arsenal, along with an estimated 60 Soviet-era SS-21 missiles that can each carry six warheads capable of striking independent targets.  Foreign strategic think tanks say that Syria has at least 30 known ground launchers for its Scud missiles, dispersed in several locations. 

Israeli officials say Syria also possesses untold thousands of shorter range Katyusha rockets, similar to the ones that proved quite deadly and destructive to northern Israeli cities and towns last July and August. 

The long-range Scud D and SS-21 missiles are thought to be deployable from three main locations inside Syria.  One is situated not far from the Golan Heights border with Israel.  Missiles fired from this site could reach all the way into Egypt and northern Saudi Arabia, say security analysts.  However, this site is also the most vulnerable to an Israeli counterstrike due to its close proximity to the disputed border. 

The largest missile storage and launching sites are located much further north.  According to a news report produced by the CBN network’s Jerusalem correspondent, Chris Mitchell, during April, a site located just a few miles north of Lebanon is “the heart of Syria’s missile program.”  Another site further north is said to contain the largest chemical weapons manufacturing plants in the country. 


The main Syrian missile site is situated in the city of Hama, with a reported population of nearly 1.5 million people.  Hama is well-known in the Middle East, since it was partially destroyed—and thousands of its civilian residents mercilessly slaughtered—upon the orders of the late Syrian strongman Hafez Assad in 1981.  Syrian military rockets were fired at large portions of Hama after a Muslim fundamentalist revolt against Assad’s oppressive rule broke out in the city.  The bodies of the dead were later callously plowed underground, instead of being given proper burials, since the brutal regime wanted to make clear it would not tolerate any such anti-government action in the future.

According to the CBN report, the Hama missile complex—situated nearly 250 miles north of Israel’s border with Lebanon—contains some 30 hardened concrete bunkers where hundreds of Scud D missiles and many multiple rocket launchers are stored.  Experts say that more than a ton of non-conventional chemical warheads could be fired from the site within minutes of an attack order being received. 

Another major missile site is said to be located in the city of Homs (“Hims” in Arabic) with a population of over 1.5 million souls.  The city is situated 20 miles from Lebanon’s northern border with Syria, or some 200 miles north of Haifa.  The CBN report said security experts have identified a previously unknown chemical warhead facility at the site.  It said rocket-carrying military vehicles can drive through an underground hardened building at the sprawling complex where chemical warheads are stored, ready to be quickly fitted upon the ballistic missiles.  Nearby missile launchers can then shoot the toxic warheads into the upper atmosphere in the direction of pre-calculated Israeli targets. 


Israeli security experts say that the highly sophisticated Arrow anti-missile and radar system, funded jointly by the United States and Israel, could probably successfully intercept most incoming Scuds.  It could also take out longer-range Iranian Shahab-3 missiles, believed to have been produced in cooperation with North Korean and Pakistani specialists. 

Still, they warn that Syria is thought to possess vast stockpiles of deadly VX and Sarin nerve gas, so even a few successful strikes could prove devastating for Israeli population centers. 

Experts also warn that Syria’s short-range Katyusha rockets could prove to be very deadly and disruptive to Israel’s northern residents, especially if Hizbullah joins in any massive Syrian strike.  They note that if such rockets were launched from the southern Golan Heights, they could potentially reach further south than Lebanese rockets did in 2006.  On top of that, Syria’s standing arsenal, including rocket launchers, is believed to be much larger and generally more up to date than Hizbullah possessed during last summer’s war.

Illustrating just how destructive such rockets can be, an Israeli web site revealed in April some very disturbing news that had been classified until then. As this reporter and others learned last July, a Hizbullah missile landed inside the grounds of Haifa’s main oil refinery during the war, located along Haifa Bay.  Had it struck only several dozen feet away, it would have landed upon a chemical storage facility located in the compound, probably releasing tons of poisonous gasses into the air over Israel’s third largest urban area. 

That exact chilling scenario was described to me by Haifa’s mayor, Yonah Yahav, when I interviewed him at a funeral for an American teenage girl, killed in a terrorist attack upon a Haifa city bus in March 2003. 

With the US-British assault upon the Baathist regime in Iraq about to begin, Yahav revealed that Israeli officials were far more concerned over a potential Hizbullah strike upon the oil refinery — which he said could release toxic fumes upon the city and kill thousands of people — than they were with Saddam’s reported non-conventional weapons arsenal, which he pointed out had probably already been transported anyway from Iraq into Syria.   -

 Used by permission. DAVID DOLAN is a Jerusalem-based author and journalist who has lived and worked in Israel since 1980. For details of David’s books, HOLY WAR FOR THE PROMISED LAND and ISRAEL IN CRISIS: WHAT LIES AHEAD? , visit  his web site at, or by phoning toll free 888-890-6938 in North America, or by email at:


Zechariah’s prophecy

“‘Look! I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the people around. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.  And on that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem a very heavy rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will be severely injured.  In that day,’ declares YHWH, ‘I will strike every horse with confusion and his rider with madness. But I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness ....


“‘In that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a burning pot in a woodpile, and like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples; and Jerusalem will be inhabited again on her own sites - in Jerusalem’... In that day YHWH will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the Angel of YHWH going before them.  ‘And it will come about in that day that I will set out to destroy all the nations that come up against Jerusalem’.”  (Zechariah 12:2-9)



US and allied naval deployments are concentrated in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean. The March NATO/US agreement with Baku, while building upon previous military cooperation agreements, specifically reinforces what might be described as a “Northern Front” whereby Azeri military bases including airfields and naval facilities in the Caspian sea would be used by NATO and US forces in the case of US sponsored attacks on Iran.

If this were to occur, several Central Asian countries could be drawn into the conflict, leading to a process of military escalation. The latter could also extend into a ground war in which Iran would target US, British and NATO facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last month Azerbaijan granted NATO the permission to use two of its military bases and an airport to “back up its peace-keeping operation in Afghanistan” including support for NATO’s “supply route to Afghanistan.”

Media sources in Baku have intimated that this timely agreement is directly related to ongoing US-Israeli- NATO war plans. Its timing coincides with US naval deployments and war games in the Persian Gulf.

The airport and two military bases are slated to be “modernized to meet NATO standards.” Washington has confirmed in this regard that it would “support the modernization of a military airport in the framework of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) signed between Azerbaijan and NATO.



Azerbaijan is also strategic in view of its maritime border with Iran in the Caspian Sea. In this regard, the US Navy is involved in supporting the Azeri Navy, in the area of training. There is also an agreement to provide US support to refurbish Azeri warships in the Caspian Sea.

The US sponsored Caspian Guard Initiative was launched in 2003 to “coordinate activities in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan with those of U.S. Central Command and other U.S. government agencies to enhance Caspian security.” The initiative was implemented under the cover of preventing narcotics trafficking and counter- terrorism. Its ultimate objective, however, is to provide USCENTCOM with a strategic naval corridor in the Caspian Sea basin.

The US has also joined in Naval exercises with the Azeri Army’s 641st Special Warfare Naval Unit.

More generally, both the US and NATO are in the process of deepening their military cooperation with Azerbaijan. In recent developments, military-political consultations between the US and Azerbaijan are scheduled to be held in Washington in the second half of April, according to a US Embassy source in Baku.  (APA News, 4 April 2007)

“The consultations will cover issues on strategic cooperation, Azerbaijan-NATO relations, the mutual activity of both countries in Iraq and Afghanistan and some other issues. [Iran] (ibid). The timing of these consultations is crucial. They coincide chronologically with a process of advanced military planning.

Azerbaijan could be the object of retaliatory strikes by Iran, if the country’s military bases are used by NATO-US forces as a launch pad for war on Iran.

Media sources in Baku have suggested that retaliatory bombings by Iran could include Azeri oil fields and oil and gas pipelines. The strategic Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, which links the Caspian Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean could also be a target. The Baku Ceyhan pipeline is controlled by an Anglo-American consortium led by British Petroleum (BP).

In early April, Iran deployed troops and military hardware along the Iranian-Azerbaijani border. According to an April 4 report of the Azerbaijani news agency Turan:

“Military experts think that the deployment of troops and hardware pursue defence ends. This means that the troops are being pushed forward to repel attacks... The start of an information [propaganda] war is obvious. An intelligence expert has told Turan that recent publications in the media saying that Iran has drawn up a list of facilities in Azerbaijan that will be bombed in case of a US attack [on Iran] are a glaring example of this. Most likely, the reports were prepared and passed to the mass media by the Iranian secret services to exert psychological pressure on Baku.

The goal is to deter Baku from supporting Washington in a military conflict with Tehran. (Turan, 4 April 2007).

By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky - April 9, 2007. CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON GLOBALIZATION


A DEBKAfile report says that on the eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 15, Hizbullah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders staged a grand ceremony at the Imam Ali base in northern Tehran to celebrate the launch of Hizbullah’s anti-air missile wing. And they cheered the 500 Lebanese graduates of a course they had completed in the use of three anti-air missiles supplied by Iran.

The Sayyad 1 (Hunter), the Misagh 1 (Convention), and the Shahab Sagheb (Meteor), which is based on the Chinese Feimeng-80 system.  DEBKAfile’s military sources report that these new weapons will seriously restrict the Israeli Air Force’s tactical freedom over Lebanon. In the event of hostilities, Israeli warplanes will have to evade a dense array of Hizbullah-operated anti-air missiles which will also defend the terrorist group’s surface rocket batteries.

Those sources disclose that the Iranian-Chinese missile has already been smuggled into Lebanon and is in Hizbullah’s hands. It is designed to shoot down planes and helicopters flying at ultra-low altitudes under radar screens for surprise assaults on ground targets such as military bases, missile positions and artillery. Ordinary radar and air defense missiles are mostly ineffective against these low- flying tactics. The new missile makes up for this shortcoming.  - April 17, 07


Should the West or Israel feel that the time needed for diplomatic efforts is longer than the time it would take for Iran to obtain nuclear independence, they are likely to strike at Iran’s main nuclear facilities before the damage done by such an attack would cause serious radiation fallout. Such fallout would likely kill many civilians and render some parts of Iran uninhabitable for an undetermined period of time.

Should it be attacked, Iran is expected to launch missiles against Israel and an offensive against US forces in the Middle East. Tehran is also expected to activate Hizbullah in a full assault against Israel. Israeli security services also expect attacks on Jewish interests and institutions worldwide.

According to this logic, the timing of such an attack would take place just before Iran has enriched an amount of weapons-grade material that, if damaged, would cause such a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe, it could be construed as a nuclear attack.



Several foreign embassies in Tehran are updating their emergency evacuation plans should a Western or Israeli attack on Iran occur.

According to foreign sources, foreign diplomats believe a possible attack would take place before the end of 2007. By that time, Iran might have enough enriched uranium to cause a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe from radioactive fallout should its nuclear facilities be damaged or destroyed in an attack.

Embassies in all countries generally have evacuation plans for their staff, but foreign sources describe the general atmosphere in Iran as one of heightened preparedness.  - The Jerusalem Post


Ezekiel 38-39 is one of the most detailed prophecies concerning the invasion of restored  modern Israel. Here is part of the prophecy:


“The Sovereign Master, YHWH, says: ‘Listen! I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Rosh (Russia), Meshech (Moscow), and Tubal (Asiatic Russia). I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws and bring you out with your whole army - your horses and horsemen all fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing swords.

Persia (Iran), Cush (Ethiopia), and Put (Libya) will be with them, all with shields and helmets; Gomer (Germany) also with all its troops; and the House of Togarmah from the far north (Turkey and the Turkic people of Central Asia) with all its troops - many nations with you.

‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will invade the land that has recovered from the sword, whose people have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had long been desolate. Its people had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them are living securely. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.’

“The Sovereign Master, YHWH, says: ‘On that day thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil plan. You will say, “I will invade the land of unwalled villages; I will attack those who are at rest and live securely - all of them living without walls and without gates or bars,” to plunder and loot, to turn your hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, people who have acquired cattle and goods, and who live at the center of the world’.”  (Ezekiel 38:3-12)

Another Bible prophecy that always comes to mind when we see a conflict developing involving Syria, is Isaiah 17:1:

“The oracle concerning Damascus. Look! Damascus is about to be removed from being a city, and it will become a heap of ruins.”

This prophecy has never been fulfilled. Damascus is the world’s longest, continuously inhabited city. And the absence of Syria in the list of nations of the Northern Confederation (Ezekiel 38:1-6) gives rise to the thought that Syria may be wiped out before the Tribulation world war!

The day of Armageddon and the Tribulation wars are drawing closer every week.  But before the great nuclear world war, there will be constant conflict.

“The end will come like a flood. To the end there will be war, and desolations have been decreed.”   (Daniel 9:26)


“Now brethren, I again declare to you the Good News which I have already preached to you - the Good News which you have received, and on which you take your stand; by which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the words that I preached as Good News to you - unless you believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance, that the Messiah died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”   (1Corinthians 15:1-4)

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Master, the Master of all, is rich to all who call upon Him,       for WHOEVER WILL CALL UPON THE NAME OF YHWH-Y’SHUA the LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

   (Romans 10:12-13)

And for all who believe and trust in Y’shua (Jesus) the Messiah, there is this wonderful promise He has given:

“In My Father’s House are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you, for I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that you also may be where I am. And you know where I am going, and you know the way.’

“Thomas said to Him, ‘Master, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?’  Y’shua answered him, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no-one comes to the Father, except through Me’.”      (John 14:2-6)

If there is any reader who does not know the Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour; if your sins have not been forgiven; if you are not sure you will be received into Heaven, please read the following prayer, and pray these words to the Heavenly Father, with faith in your heart and mind; ask and trust Him to save you today.



Heavenly Father, I come to You, just as I am, a guilty sinner. I come with all my confusion, fears and burdens, and I lay them all down at Your feet, trusting for Your gracious work of salvation in me.

I believe the Lord Jesus is the Son of God, the Eternal One who paid the penalty of my sins when He died for me at Calvary. I believe He rose from the dead, and that He is the living Saviour, and I receive Him as my own personal Saviour this very moment.

Father, thank You for forgiving my sins, and for making me Your child, and I ask that You will set me free from all satanic and sinful bondage. Do all You need to do to make me Your faithful servant. 

Thank You, Lord Jesus for Your love and salvation.  Thank You Father, for answering my prayer. Thank You for reconciling me to Yourself.  Thank You.  Amen.



        Signed ...................................  date  .............


Please keep this prayer with you as a reminder of your spiritual birth day. And we will be very happy to hear from you if you write to us at one of our addresses.  We will pray for you and send you a booklet to help you on The Way. 

And may Yahweh bless you and keep you.


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The One who is coming will come, He will not delay