Wednesday, May 21, 2008


“War has come to the cradle of civilization, “ current headlines have been announcing; and both fans and interviewers have asked me what is my “take” on these events. “How strange that 6000 years of human history keep leading us to devastation in this ancient place; I wonder if you have any thoughts on this issue,” asked a fan from England. “Is this the fulfillment of biblical prophecies?” asked an interviewer.

Indeed, today’s Iraq encompasses ancient Mesopotamia, the Land Between the Rivers where Assyria and Babylon and long before them Sumer had flourished. It is there, geographically, where the first known civilization had blossomed out, giving Mankind the firsts in writing and literature, the wheel and the kiln, art and music, mathematics and astronomy, kingship and laws, temples and religion, and the first Cities of Man, among them the famed Ur whence Abraham had come.

Preserving The Legacy

The issue of preserving and respecting that ancient legacy is perhaps best illustrated by Ur’s mighty ziggurat (step pyramid) whose ruins still dominate the landscape. In the first Gulf War, the Iraqis placed their aircraft next to the ziggurat, expecting (correctly!) that the Americans would not risk bombing the planes for fear of damaging the ziggurat; the Iraqis did it again this time – but this time (according to unconfirmed reports) the airfield was captured by Special Forces without a bomb dropped.

While the Iraqis converted a symbol of Sumer’s legacy into a military target, it is known that in Washington panels of archeologists and other scholars have been advising the campaign planners on the location and importance of ancient sites. It has been pointed out, however, that various dam and irrigation projects have obliterated potential archeological sites; and although in the first Gulf War war-damage was minimal, post-war looting of sites and museums was rampant

The Wars of Men

War – any war – entails carnage and destruction, and a time of No More Wars was deemed already in biblical times as the idyllic time when swords shall be made into ploughshares. Yet wars accompanied Mankind from the earliest times, and the Lands of the Bible, encompassing today’s Iraq, have known war after war after war.

Today’s Iraq was artificially put together by the victorious Allies after World War I, in the 1920’s. Today’s capital, Baghdad (which is not ancient Babylon) was established by invading Arabs in AD 750 and was overrun by Mongol hordes in AD 1469. Greeks (under Alexander the Great), Persians, Medians, Sassanians, Parthians warred there. And the great international war recorded in the Bible, of the Kings of the East against the Kings of the West, took place in the time of Abraham.

The kingdoms that followed Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, turned war into a permanent state policy; their kings boasted in their annals of one campaign after another. Killings, annihilations, destruction, pillaging, subjugation fill the records.

The Wars of Men

War – any war – entails carnage and destruction, and a time of No More Wars was deemed already in biblical times as the idyllic time when swords shall be made into ploughshares. Yet wars accompanied Mankind from the earliest times, and the Lands of the Bible, encompassing today’s Iraq, have known war after war after war.

Today’s Iraq was artificially put together by the victorious Allies after World War I, in the 1920’s. Today’s capital, Baghdad (which is not ancient Babylon) was established by invading Arabs in AD 750 and was overrun by Mongol hordes in AD 1469. Greeks (under Alexander the Great), Persians, Medians, Sassanians, Parthians warred there. And the great international war recorded in the Bible, of the Kings of the East against the Kings of the West, took place in the time of Abraham.

The kingdoms that followed Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria, turned war into a permanent state policy; their kings boasted in their annals of one campaign after another. Killings, annihilations, destruction, pillaging, subjugation fill the records.

In Who’s Footsteps?

While ancient Sumer knew wars (its monuments indeed depict soldiers and war chariots), its kings boasted of assuring peace, and the highest epithet for a ruler was to be called a Righteous Shepherd. The present ruthless ruler of Iraq chose as his model, however, not a Sumerian king but the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar, the one who captured Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple that Solomon built for Yahweh.

Saddam Hussein rebuilt (on a reduced scale) Babylon, not Ur or Nippur; and like the olden kings had each brick stamped with an honorific inscription – paying homage to “Saddam Hussein, protector of civilization, who rebuilt the palace which belonged to Nebuchadnezzar.”

Like that Babylonian king, Saddam Hussein spoke of Iraqi domination from the Persian Gulf (the ancient “Lower Sea”) to the Mediterranean (the “Upper Sea”), of capturing Jerusalem, of destroying the “Zionist State” (alias ancient Zion).

Biblical Prophecies

By comparing Iraq to ancient Babylon and himself to Nebuchadnezzar, Saddam Hussein inescapably brings to mind the biblical prophecies concerning the kingdom that turned greatness to evil and the king whose rule brought slaughter and destruction.

The prophet Isaiah foretold the demise and destruction of Babylon by armies from a distant land, even from the skies (!) (Chapter 13) and prophesied the fate of Babylon’s king and his sons (!) (Chapter 14). The prophet Jeremiah, recording the evils of Babylon and its rulers, foretold the coming punishment: “A sound of battle is in the land and a great destruction… A sword is upon the Chaldeans and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, upon her princes and upon her counselors; a sword is upon her liars… a sword is upon her mighty men.”

As much as the biblical prophets were for Peace, they deemed war in punishment of evil as justified.

Of First Things and Last Things

Do biblical prophecies hold true just for the time they were uttered, or are they of eternal validity, holding true for posterity whenever the circumstances are the same? Was evil punishable only then, not now? Were messianic expectations valid only B.C. and not AD? The question has filled volumes; I tend to agree with those who view biblical prophecies as eternally valid.

The New Testament’s Book of Revelation’s assertion “I am Alpha and I am Omega,” I am the First and I am the Last, re-expressed the more encompassing Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible) credo of all the prophets that The First Things Shall Be The Last Things. Indeed, it was the knowledge of what had been that was the basis for foretelling what will be; or, as I put it in my lectures, the Past is the Future.

That history will repeat itself, there should be no doubt. What remains a mystery is what chapter of history will be repeated when – are we still in the middle of the what I named The Earth Chronicles, or is the grand cycle nearing completion and the very First Things shall fulfill the prophecies of The Return? In this regard it behooves us to recall that before the Cities of Man there had been cities of the gods and before the wars of men there were the wars of the gods – including the one in 2024 B.C., when the use of nuclear weapons caused the demise of the Sumerian civilization.

I do recommend that my fans re-read my books, especially The 12th Planet, The Wars of Gods and Men, and The Lost Book of Enki.

April 2003

Is Nibiru Approaching?

Also known as The Twelfth Planet or Planet X, some are warning that this wandering body is quickly nearing the Earth - and could cause global devastation. Should you worry?

In 1976, Zecharia Sitchin stirred up a great deal of controversy with the publication of his book, The Twelfth Planet. In this and subsequent books, Sitchin presented his literal translations of ancient Sumerian texts which told an incredible story about the origins of humankind on planet Earth - a story far different and much more fantastic than what we all learned in school.

The ancient cuneiform texts - some of the earliest known writing, dating back some 6,000 years - told the story of a race of beings called the Anunnaki. The Anunnaki came to Earth from a planet in our solar system called Nibiru, according to the Sumerians via Sitchin. If you've never heard of it, that's because mainstream science does not recognize Nibiru as one of the planets that revolves around our Sun. Yet it is there, claims Sitchin, and its presence holds great importance not only for humankind's past, but our future as well.

Nibiru's orbit around the Sun is highly elliptical, according to Sitchin's books, taking it out beyond the orbit of Pluto at its farthest point and bringing it as close to the Sun as the far side of the asteroid belt (a ring of asteroids that is known to occupy a band of space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter). It takes Nibiru 3,600 years to complete one orbital journey, and it was last in this vicinity around 160 B.C.E. As you can imagine, the gravitational effects of a sizable planet moving close to the inner solar system, as it is claimed for Nibiru, could wreak havoc on the orbits of other planets, disrupt the asteroid belt and spell big trouble for planet Earth.

Well, prepare for yet another possible apocalypse because, they say, Nibiru is once again heading this way - and will be here soon.

A Bit of History

The story of the Anunnaki is told in Sitchin's many books and is digested, augmented and speculated about in dozens of websites. But the tale is essentially this: About 450,000 years ago, Alalu, the deposed ruler of the Anunnaki on Nibiru, escaped the planet on a spaceship and found refuge on Earth. He discovered that Earth had plenty of gold, which Nibiru needed to protect its diminishing atmosphere. They began to mine Earth's gold, and there were a lot of political battles among the Anunnaki for power. Then around 300,000 years or so ago, the Anunnaki decided to create a race of workers by genetically manipulating the primates on the planet. The result was homo sapiens - us. Eventually, rulership of the Earth was handed over to humans and the Anunnaki left, at least for the time being. Sitchin ties all this - and much more - into the stories of the first books of the Bible and the histories of other ancient cultures, especially Egyptian. Where Is Nibiru and When Will It Arrive?

Even mainstream astronomers have long speculated that there may be an unknown planet - a Planet X - somewhere out beyond the orbit of Pluto that would account for the anomalies they were detecting in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. Some unseen body seems to be tugging at them. The finding was reported in the June 19, 1982 edition of the New York Times:

Something out there beyond the furthest reaches of the known solar system is tugging at Uranus and Neptune. A gravitational force keeps perturbing the two giant planets, causing irregularities in their orbits. The force suggests a presence far away and unseen, a large object, the long-sought Planet X. Astronomers are so certain of this planet's existence that they have already named it "Planet X - the 10th Planet."
The anomalous body was first spotted in 1983 by IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite), according to news stories. The Washington Post reported: "A heavenly body possibly as large as the giant planet Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it would be part of this solar system has been found in the direction of the constellation Orion by an orbiting telescope aboard the U.S. infrared astronomical satellite. So mysterious is the object that astronomers do not know if it is a planet, a giant comet, a nearby 'protostar' that never got hot enough to become a star, a distant galaxy so young that it is still in the process of forming its first stars or a galaxy so shrouded in dust that none of the light cast by its stars ever gets through."

Nibiru supporters contend that IRAS has, in fact, spotted the wandering planet.

"A Mystery Revolves Around the Sun," an article posted by MSNBC on October 7, 1999 said: "Two teams of researchers have proposed the existence of an unseen planet or a failed star circling the sun at a distance of more than 2 trillion miles, far beyond the orbits of the nine known planets... Planetary scientist at Britain's Open University, speculates that the object could be a planet larger than Jupiter." And in December, 2000, SpaceDaily reported on "Another Candidate For 'Planet X' Spotted."

Google Earth to Showcase Climate Change

Together with Britain’s environment ministry and the country’s Meteorological Office, Google has created a new animated map that layers over its Google Earth program to illustrate the potential impact of global climate change over the next century.

The project, called Climate Change in Our World, allows viewers to run a series of time lapse sequences to watch earth warm under a medium case scenario up to the year 2100.

Another animation, developed in conjunction with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), shows the retreat of Antarctica’s ice caps since the 1950s, with numerous factoids about climate change science, and its specific impact on the Antarctic.

“Climate change is redrawing the map of the world. Unless we act, its impacts will be felt everywhere, as sea levels rise, crops fail, extreme weather increases and more areas are at risk of drought and flooding,” said British environment secretary Hilary Benn.

“This project shows people the reality of climate change using estimates of both the change in the average temperature where they live, and the impact it will have on people’s lives all over the world, including here in Britain. By helping people to understand what climate change means for them and for the world we can mobilize the commitment we need to avoid the worst effects by taking action now.”

Food Stamp Use Hits Record

The number of Illinois households receiving food stamps has reached a record level, with almost 1.3 million people relying on the program to pay for daily staples such as milk, bread and eggs.

State officials on Thursday said there might be a link between the increase and constantly rising food, gas and energy prices. Aid groups warned there are many more in need.

"Families are running into financial difficulties," said Marielle Sainvilus with the Illinois Department of Human Services, which administers the food stamp program. "We don't have hard-core evidence to say it's directly linked to the economy. But it makes sense because people are paying more for almost everything, but they aren't being paid more."

A total of 592,390 households across Illinois received food stamps in March. That's up from 571,148 during March last year, according to the agency.

And while those receiving food stamps has steadily increased over the last five years, Sainvilus said the department is alarmed by what it considers a dramatic jump in demand in the last few months. Sainvilus couldn't provide a month-by-month breakdown of distribution of food stamps for this year.

Citigroup: Gold Could Double

Profit-taking by investors on a firmer U.S. dollar and a seasonal slowdown in fabrication may be working against gold, but spot prices continue to remain strong near the US$920 per ounce mark. And bullion could climb much higher if things don’t change significantly, according to a new report from Citigroup.

Mining and metals analyst John Hill said the mix of macro and supply/demand factors, along with the same forces that have pushed gold higher for the last five years, give him good reason to remain bullish on gold. He sees prices climbing through 2009 and 2010, but a significant lift may not come until the fall when fabrication constrains supplies.

“Longer term, we would not be surprised to see gold double from current levels as the global policy prescriptions for the credit crunch remain powerfully and uniformly re-flationary,” the analyst told clients.


May 21, 2008: Not so long ago, anyone claiming to see flashes of light on the Moon would be viewed with deep suspicion by professional astronomers. Such reports were filed under "L" … for lunatic.

Not anymore. Over the past two and a half years, NASA astronomers have observed the Moon flashing at them not just once but one hundred times.

"They're explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the Moon," explains Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). "A typical blast is about as powerful as a few hundred pounds of TNT and can be photographed easily using a backyard telescope."

A common question, says Cooke, is "how can something explode on the Moon? There's no oxygen up there."

These explosions don't require oxygen or combustion. Meteoroids hit the moon with tremendous kinetic energy, traveling 30,000 mph or faster. "At that speed, even a pebble can blast a crater several feet wide. The impact heats up rocks and soil on the lunar surface hot enough to glow like molten lava--hence the flash."

During meteor showers such as the Quadrantids or Perseids, when the Moon passes through dense streams of cometary debris, the rate of lunar flashes can go as high as one per hour. Impacts subside when the Moon exits the stream, but curiously the rate never goes to zero.

Boeing tests airborne laser gun

RIA Novosti
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Boeing Company said it has fired a high-energy chemical laser aboard a C-130H aircraft in ground tests for the first time.

The successful ground tests, "a key milestone for the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL) Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration program," took place on May 13 at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

"First firing of the high-energy laser aboard the ATL aircraft shows that the program continues to make good progress toward giving the warfighter an ultra-precision engagement capability that will dramatically reduce collateral damage," said Scott Fancher, vice president and general manager of Boeing Missile Defense Systems.

After conducting a series of additional laser tests on the ground and in the air, the company said the program will "fire the chemical laser in-flight at mission-representative ground targets." The test team will fire the laser through a rotating turret that extends through the aircraft's belly.

Is Chinese Regime Preparing for Nuclear War?

Gordon Thomas
G2 Bulletin
Tuesday, May 20, 2008

LONDON—Defense analysts for the British intelligence service MI6 believe China is preparing for the "eventuality of a nuclear war." The conclusion follows evidence that Beijing has built secretly a major naval base deep inside caverns which even sophisticated satellites cannot penetrate.

In an unusual development, the analysts have provided details to the specialist defense periodical, Jane's Intelligence Review, which published satellite images of the base location which is hidden beneath millions of tons of rock on the South China Sea island of Hainan .

The MI6 analysts have confirmed the submarine base hewn out of the rock will contain up to 20 of the latest C94 Jin-Class submarines, each capable of firing anti-satellite missiles and nuclear tipped rockets.

Shortage fears push oil futures near $140

Carola Hoyos and Javier Blas
Financial Times
Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fears of a shortage within five years propelled long-term oil futures prices to almost $140 a barrel, further stoking inflationary pressures in the global economy.

The spot price of Nymex West Texas Intermediate hit a record $130.30 a barrel on Wednesday. On Tuesday investors had rushed to buy oil futures contracts as far forward as December 2016, pushing their prices as high as $139.50 a barrel, up more than $9.50 on the day.

Veteran traders said they had never seen such a jump and said investors were increasingly betting that oil production would soon peak because of geopolitical and geological constraints.

Israel PM calls for naval blockade of Iran

by Staff Writers
Jerusalem (AFP) May 21, 2008
Israel wants to put more international pressure on Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, suggesting an US-imposed naval blockade and tougher sanctions, local media reported on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert raised the idea of a naval blockade in talks with the Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, during her visit to Jerusalem, the Haaretz newspaper said.

"The present economic sanctions on Iran have exhausted themselves," Olmert was quoted as saying in the meeting Tuesday. "The international community must impose tougher sanctions against Tehran."

The UN Security Council has imposed three sets of sanctions on Iran aimed at pressuring it to halt uranium enrichment which Israel and many Western powers suspect will be used to develop an atomic bomb -- a charge Tehran denies.

Asked about the blockade report, Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev would say only: "We do not confirm this information."

Olmert also spoke about imposing air travel restrictions which he said would prevent Iranian business people "from landing anywhere in the world which would touch off pressure on the regime," according to Haaretz.

Rafi Eitan, a member of Olmert's security cabinet, told public radio Wednesday that "a blockade of maritime and air routes against Iran is a good possibility."

Israel, which is believed to be only, if undeclared, nuclear armed state in the Middle East, is also pushing for tougher sanctions against Tehran, especially from European countries.

"It is time that the European Union take quicker action and impose much more severe economic sanctions than those adopted by the United Nations," said foreign ministry spokesman Arye Mekel.

Iran, OPEC's second biggest oil exporter, has refused to heed international demands to halt uranium enrichment, insisting it has a right to the process to make nuclear fuel to meet its increasing energy needs.

Highly enriched uranium can also make the fissile core of an atom bomb, but Tehran has vehemently denied it is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been trying to determine the nature and extent of Iran's nuclear work.

US ethanol policy under siege

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 21, 2008
Amid a surge in food prices blamed in part on US expansion of corn-based ethanol production, lawmakers, experts and industry officials are urging the government to rethink a new law mandating alternative fuels.

The United States is the world's top producer of corn-based ethanol, which the administration of President George W. Bush sees as a way of reducing dependence on foreign oil and curb fossil-fuel emissions, the main source of man-made global warming.

Politicians are under mounting pressure to look again at the effects of a landmark energy law enacted in December that raised vehicle fuel-efficiency standards for the first time in three decades and offered broad support for ethanol production.

China scrambles to help homeless

by Staff Writers
Mianzhu, China (AFP) May 21, 2008
China scrambled on Wednesday to provide shelter and prevent disease among five million people made homeless by last week's earthquake, as the number of dead and missing climbed above 74,000.

With hope virtually extinguished of finding more survivors amid the rubble of the devastated towns and villages across mountainous Sichuan province, soldiers and relief workers focused on the desperate plight of those displaced.

Nine days after the 8.0-magnitude quake, the government said the confirmed number of people killed had risen to 41,353. But with another 32,666 confirmed still missing, the death toll is likely to soar.