Russian Cargo Fleet Aided al-Qaeda

Russian Cargo Fleet Aided al-Qaeda
Vol: 5 Issue: 20 Wednesday, February 20, 2002

A former Russian air force officer supplied weapons to Al-Qaeda, according to regional intelligence reports. Viktor Bout’s airfreight business allegedly operated flights for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban until shortly before the 11 September terrorist attacks. Bout is in charge of one of the world’s largest fleet of former Soviet cargo planes, and is alleged to have shipped arms, ammunition and bulk supplies. Interpol recently issued an arrest warrant for Bout.

Middle East Violence Reaches New High

At least 30 Israelis and Palestinians were killed in a series of attack and responses in one of the bloodiest days of fighting in their nearly 17-month-old war.

On late Tuesday, six Israelis were killed in a Palestinian insurgency attack near an Israeli military roadblock outside the West Bank city of Ramallah. The attack was believed carried out by at least two Palestinian insurgents who fled to Ramallah. The Israelis were not identified but were believed to be military personnel.

Earlier in the day, Israeli troops and aircraft launched a series of attacks that focused on the Gaza Strip. Palestinian sources said at least nine Palestinians were killed.

Israeli warplanes and gunboats hit targets in Gaza, including, for the first time, Yasser Arafat’s headquarters directly. Witnesses reported at least forty explosions in that attack. In a separate raid early this morning, Israeli tanks shelled two Palestinian police outposts in Nablus.

Arafat was quoted in the press as being “still committed to the peace process” — ‘despite Israeli reprisals’– the Washington Post adds helpfully.


The sympathetic image of Arafat holed up in Ramallah while war rages around him is too much for the media to resist. Consequently, Israeli ‘reprisals’ directed ‘against’ the Palestinians [two words dripping with semantic imagery] become the focus. The word ‘reprisal’ conjures up mental images of Nazis lining villagers up against a wall to punish uncaptured Resistance fighters.

In point of fact, this was a retaliatory strike in the midst of an ongoing campaign of attack and counter-attack — an entirely different prospect altogether.

Although it is Arafat who holds the key to peace, the press is presenting, by implication, a through-the-looking-glass version of the same story. Israeli ‘retaliation’ subtly morphs into Israel ‘reprisals’.

Although it is a technically correct use of the word, it has the subliminal effect of rendering the provocation irrelevant. Technically, every Palestinian act of violence is also an act of ‘reprisal’.

Why spend so much time on how one word is used? The Bible says that in the last days, the ‘whole world’ [Zechariah 12] will stand against Israel and Jerusalem. There has never been a conflict in history so one-sided. Israel is a nation with one real friend out of more than 180 countries. That friend is the United States.

The efforts of the press to portray Israel as an evil aggressor fighting a downtrodden people is undeniable. Despite the fact Israel is doing on her own soil what America is doing globally — fighting terror. Why is it different?

Because Israel is Israel. Nobody knows why they hate Israel. Nobody is really sure why they blame Israel for the conflict, while Arafat gets a pass for targeting and killing Israeli teenagers. They just do.

The press plays a role, but it only feeds an anti-Semitic predisposition that already exists. The world hates Israel because Israel is a constant reminder of God, the Bible and what is to take place in the last days. Because these are the last days, and it isn’t only the Church that can read the handwriting on the wall.

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About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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