Maggid ben Yoseif / Jerusalem Torah Voice in Exile

12 September 2005 / 8 Elul 5765


If you see someone drowning and someone else says, "Don't rescue him," Halachah (the Jewish interpretation of Torah Law) says you both may have participated in a murder. It all goes out the window, even the sanctity of Shabbat, if there is a single life to be saved. The American government has proven to be mass murderers of its most vulnerable citizenry in a court of Halachah. The democratic ideal that our Government cares for its citizens has been tried and found wanting. There also may be an esoteric message brought to America's shores by 'Little Qatar' (Hurricane Katrina) and her 'Pearl,' (Rita). Is this an Islamic storm sent by the Torah's understanding of "Allah" and the Koran's purpose for its "Holy Winds," to violate our Gulf shores because of decades of our rape of the resources of the Persian Gulf? Or, have we been warned about our anti-biblical foreign policy in Israel and Iraq? One thing seems certain, Katrina has exposed various of our "Shames" before the world?

These articles are dedicated to the 1,224 persons who died in “Little Qatar,”(Hurricane Katrina) and its aftermath, many of whom were murdered by the neglect of the U.S. Government and all of whom may be victims of a misdirected government dedicated to the protection of private interests ahead of the public’s welfare. It is has been delayed 40 days out of respect for the deceased.

Maggid ben Yoseif

'Little Qatar' & her 'Pearl'

Have Islamic storms uncovered America's 'Shames'?

A Native American from the ruling bear clan and of the Zuni, warned a few days before Hurricane Katrina moved into the Gulf of Mexico that a disruption in our oil supplies could tip the U.S. into recession or worse. (Of course, the scenario he drew was some religious crazy taking up Pat Robertson's suggestion to assassinate the president of Venezuela). His blog on “materialism” entitled, “In a Rat’s Race, the Rats Always Win,” reported our extreme vulnerability to aberrations. This is because of high debt combined with record low savings, symptoms of a "shameful" addictive consumptive economy, which in the wake of Katrina, is left gasping for breath and only artificially being respirated by the release of oil reserves.

Shame, Shame, Shame and Double 'Shames'!

NOTE:  Maggid ben Yoseif is a Louisiana native. New Orleans was his stomping grounds as a teen growing up in Houma, 90 miles to the southwest. As a sportswriter in the late 60s and early 70s, he covered high school and small college events in every city and town affected by Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi including New Orleans. He was later the executive editor of The Daily Iberian in the heart of the oil patch, a little further to the west in New Iberia. That's the closest city to the Superport, where tankers unload their foreign oil into America’s pipeline.  MbY also worked in the oilfields devastated by Hurricane Katrina as a summer laborer in the early 1970s and his father retired from The Superior Oil Co., after 23 years. 

Like the whirlwind she was, "Little Qatar" (Katrina) has whirled around me virtually all of my adult life. The first story I wrote as a news reporter at a mid-sized daily in Vicksburg, MS., was about a Lebanese boy scout who painted a picture of Beirut as the gem of the Mediterranean before it became a battleground. American soldiers would later die there when a truck laden with explosives would strike their barracks. The Hizbollah (Iranian-backed "Party of God") would be blamed. I would take up the story in Monroe, La., after discovering the involvement of the CIA to protect American oil companies and defense contracts in the Persian Gulf. And the synchronicities before and since include a dream about "Katrina" in 1983, in which I was shown areas of Interstate 10 toppled like dominos and all of the routes west out of New Orleans and New Orleans itself under water. It should not have come as a surprise to me that New Orleans was flooded on my birthday, August 31, which was also the anniversary of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by Rome in 70 C.E., ... by the Roman calendar.

Now, it becomes clear. The question being asked by America is, "Why?"  Out of my spiritual license, I offer for your consideration an answer, albeit esoteric and most disturbing.  It has many facets, but the one I ask you to consider first and foremost is whether this hit below the belt buckle of our energy supply, production and infrastructure is a Judgment to show America it's "Shames."

A 'Square Deal' necessary for the People

Our Government exists today primarily to protect private interests, which I will call "IT". The oil, defense, insurance and banking industries for instance, have effectively become the country clubs within Government. This partnership has resulted in Government becoming the hand that feeds IT. We've been told that if IT prospers, then IT will have more private resources to take care of part of the public's interest, meaning that the Government could invest its savings back into IT!

This hat trick puts the Sheriff of Nottingham Palace to shame. If I may wax obscenely poetic:

"The robbing from the poor so the rich can prosper more shows our democratic Republic rotten at the core." 

In a perfect world, if the non ITS were kept happy, this slight of hand might even work. But not in a world since 911; not when our government leaders stir up Islamic storms -- such as the wars in Iraq -- at the expense of the ITS as well as the non-ITS.  

Katrina also has given Americans evidence that the Government, in leaving the poor, storm-orphaned, elderly and sick to die, has committed murder.

A reform -- a Square Deal for the People -- is now demanded. Government must abandon private interests, who should be competing on a level playing field anyway, as an apology to the Public it has deserted.  Our “representative” Government must serve the public's interest. PACs (Political Action Committees) must be banned and campaign financing seriously limited and enforced. And if the word I am hearing is from Hashem (God), there are culprits in the Judgment which was, is and will be Katrina and Rita for a very long time.

Dial 911 for Islamic retaliation

Since 911, which I understand in the context of “Islamic hatred stirred up by clandestine American foreign policies in the Middle East ... for private interests," this nation’s economy is in shambles. Bankruptcies are at record levels, so high that Congress and your federal government has acted to protect the private interests of banks, financial institutions and insurance companies by changing bankruptcy laws and tort reform. This might be acceptable, except the focus of "credit counseling" has become debt refinancing. This means one refinances the original debt and interest as part of a new principal. The Torah calls this USURY and it is considered oppressive and prohibited by God.

Also, as the blog above stated, the average American is now responsible for retiring $145,000 in Federal debt, which continues to grow with interest. I could go on. But there is plenty of evidence that the American public’s interests are not represented any longer or on the proper scale, unless they somehow contribute to the growth of the bureaucracy or the political expediency of government leaders.

What we have witnessed re: the confusion, irresponsibility and incompetence before Katrina hit and in her wake is shameful.  And the treatment of the poor, the infirmed, those made orphans by this hurricane is a pesha, a willful, intentional sin, which God promises to punish.

Katrina assistance refused

We are hearing reports of help offered the Federal Government from regions around the country and the world being REFUSED.  The day of the disaster, Israel offered to immediately airlift aid as they do to every nation after it sustains a disaster and have become quite expert at doing so. But according to Emmanuel Winston who writes a Middle East analysis and commentary, that help was turned down by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.  Why? The mayor of Chicago offered truckloads of aid immediately and also was refused. Why? Lower economic strata New Orleanians -- almost exclusively black Americans -- were herded into the Superdome and the New Orleans Civic Center without anyone with so much as a bullhorn and clipboard providing direction, without adequate sanitation, without adequate police protection, without a plan to rescue them from the aftermath of what everyone anticipated to be a national disaster. Why? New Orleans’ hospitals, which you would think would be a priority in an evacuation weren’t. Why not? Patients died who should not have died purely because of neglect. Why? A week after the hurricane, people were being airlifted from rooftops and dropped off to scorch on Interstate 10 with only the "promise" of transportation and no food or water. Why? And along the Mississippi coast, the injustices and inhumane lack of help from our Government persists 40 days after the disaster. Again, Why?

The only answer I have is the finger once waved at me by a grade school girlfriend when I misbehaved at recess in the school yard: "Shame, Shame, Shame and Double Shame!"

1. 'Little Qatar' and America's Shame

Somehow Americans have gotten the idea that we are DUE the newest, shiniest and 'bestest' and what we have and how much we have is a standard by which to measure our success. Values that would temper materialism are frowned upon, called old-fashioned or relegated to the arena of spiritual things, which tragically are not relevant in the lives of too many Americans. The "prosperity doctrine" spreading wildly in the same Christian circles who take credit for the election of President George W. Bush,  takes issue with materialistic temperance. In reality, all the Creator promises us is our basic needs -- food, clothing and shelter. For that, we should be grateful.

When the Islamic retaliation (yes, you read me correctly), of 911 made the economy a mess, the only job I could find was 100 miles from home, meaning I saw my pre-teen son only on the weekends. After accumulating 150+ hours of comp time over seven months, I got “permission” from my boss to visit my elderly father in Louisiana over the Thanksgiving holidays with my son. But that "permission" was withdrawn and when I returned, I did not have a job. Since then, my priority has become showing my now teen-aged son how the game of golf is played -- with clubs we got for about a $1 each at Goodwill -- on a municipal course. We talk over life as we pull our carts between holes. Now I get to be sure he has done his homework and get to kiss him on the forehead every night after he is asleep, something I missed those seven months. I also try to visit my Dad, now 90, as often as possible. When I work, it usually relates to ministry or accommodates the urgent needs of someone else for which payment is optional. I no longer do work for profit-making enterprises. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Just my personal conviction. You find that it is possible to live with less and you don't need a lot of "things" you thought you did.

The Bread of Shame

So how did we ever come to the conclusion otherwise? I blame our affluence -- or addiction to affluence -- on our GREED, spelled in "Bold Capital Green," which in turn is a product of our lack of appreciation. Spiritually, this is called, "The Bread of Shame."

We should start every day just being thankful to the Creator for the breath of life, the day ahead and the challenges and lessons it will bring to us. We should also be cognizant of others and have a heart to care as much about their needs as our own. In this way we remedy, "The Bread of Shame" and our charitable acts serve as an atonement or remedy for many of our shortcomings. This is how we should live as "neighbors," consistent with the ethical values preached by all of the world's religions.  This is surely how the survivors of Katrina have survived without the Government -- by helping one another. Now, Katrina survivors are forced to live this way, stripped of everything they owned and dependent on we others for those basic necessities. And Katrina, the storm that has quadruple-underlined our Shames, may be an important -- even vital message -- which we had better understand and do something about if America is to survive as a nation. Even so, the odds and the biblical prophesies are against our survival:  

" ... though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee (Israel), yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished." (Jeremiah 30:11b)

God still speaks in Hebrew

As some of you know, I like to tinker with Hebrew words, believing that this is one means by which the Creator still communicates with us directly between the lines of current events. According to Zephaniah 3:9, He will restore "a pure language." The verse preceding is the only verse in the Hebrew Bible that contains all 22 letters of the Hebrew aleph-bet plus five of those letters in their final form. One language especially, in which the Creator continues to speak if our ears and eyes are open, is Hebrew.

Hebrew meaning of ‘Katrina’ may reveal Islamic storm

The Hebrew root for Katrina is K(Q)aTaR. Qatar is the smallest nation in the Middle East. It borders the Persian Gulf. At one time, it was a relatively poor but peaceful nation, known for its “Ritas” (pearls). But the pearl trade has today largely succumbed to Persian Gulf oil. Qatar is a major oil producer. It is also heavily Islamic. The suffix "ina" in “Katrina” implies some kind of relationship or offshoot of  Qatar. So we will call Katrina "Little Qatar." I don't know yet exactly what this means, but I find it curious that the largest contribution to be made toward the humanitarian assistance effort on behalf of New Orleanians at this writing was a $28 million check from Qatar.

"Little Qatar," also appears under a spiritual microscope as an Islamic storm sent to avenge the rape of the Persian Gulf, which has gone on since the CIA brought the Shah of Iran into power in 1952.  M’dah knegged m’dah (what goes around, comes around), Little Qatar has violated our Gulf Coast -- the ports that accommodate more than 60 percent of our exports, the rigs that mine a quarter of our daily domestic supply of oil, the refineries that cook our oil into gasoline to feed our materialistic addiction, and the trunk lines and storage tanks into which Persian Gulf oil was pumped.  The total hit on the energy industry, including its infrastructure and the commerce and industry it has spawned, will be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  And Little Qatar is an answer to the prayers of the Islamic world, which has resented America and its empirical tentacles that have led to the wars WE started in Iraq.

Hit on the energy industry at this writing

According to the latest figures, we are losing 1.37 million barrels of oil, (approximately 91 percent of the daily production from the Gulf) and 8.3 billion cubic feet in natural gas (about 83 percent of the daily production from the Gulf) daily until the rigs, trunk lines and refineries are restored. How long will that take? Conservative estimates from my friends in the industry estimate it will be 3 to 4 months. At least seven rigs west of the mouth of the Mississippi River were floating loose in the Gulf and have been found up to 120 miles from their moorings. One rig -- the Rowan New Orleans -- had still not been located and is feared capsized. We don’t yet have word of the fate of most of the rigs to the east of the mouth of the Mississippi, which sustained flood tides of up to 70 feet. But eight Gulf Coast refineries east of the Mississippi River, including the huge Shell refinery at Pascagoula, MS., remain offline. West of the Mississippi River, 482 platforms and 79 rigs will be shut down for more than a month. Katrina plowed through the thick of the offshore rigs before a last-minute jog to the north and east. The ones Katrina missed, her "Pearl," (Rita means "pearl" in Greek, Latin and a host of other languages), did not.

Trunk lines, which pool the oil of several companies for transport to refineries, are severed. Tank farms are flooded. Every natural gas well that was submersed will have to be cleared with a “pig.” Heat exchangers must be replaced in many production fields. And the work cannot begin until access into these regions and power is restored. All five of Louisiana’s ports remained closed at this writing, including the Superport, near New Iberia, which was not heavily damaged but remained offline due to lack of power.

Punch below the energy belt buckle

Little Qatar sure feels like a punch below the belt buckle that is leaving us gasping for economic breath. Also, much of the state of Mississippi became dependent on its lucrative casino revenue and the commerce and industry it had spurned. The casinos, which cater to a materialistic addiction, have been  cleared like a craps table after rolling snake eyes. Yet, our lust for mammon and what it will obtain, has made rebuilding and expanding those casinos a priority.

Add to this, the costs to Louisiana’s agricultural industry, a major supplier of rice and sugarcane, the blockage of the port of New Orleans through which 60 percent of our goods come and go and infrastructure damage plus the cost in terms of personal hardships. The entire nation will pay for years in higher "hidden" taxes, higher energy costs, higher price tags for goods and services.

'Plug and abandons'

Energy in all forms sustains life. Under a microscope, energy from the mitochondria in our blood allows human life. Energy in the form of oil and natural gas has sustained America's economic way of life. But America has been greedy. Our energy policy-makers and executives have not "appreciated" the natural resources we have been given by the Creator. They have failed to produce domestic oil and natural gas in conformity with environmental standards while searching for alternative energy sources -- such as the electro-magnetic technology by which Nicolai Tesla tapped into the energy of empty space more than 70 years ago.  Rather than bring domestic wells into production, the financial minds have decreed these producing wells be capped. The "P&As" ("plug and abandon" as they are called in the industry) are less profitable than Persian Gulf energy. As a summer laborer for the Superior Oil Co., in the early 1970s, I saw with my own eyes dozens of these P&As drilled by all of the major oil companies. They are located in the same southern Louisiana marshes swamped by Little Qatar. But they are not limited to the Louisiana marshes. They are throughout the nation, even here in the Colorado Rockies.

Little Qatar's esoteric message, G.W. Bush and the CIA

It is impossible to discuss this without getting political and more than a little personal. As I mentioned Katrina and Rita have swirled around me all of my adult life. In 1979, the Islamic world protested America's repeated rape of the Persian Gulf.  The Ayotalah Khomeini deposed an Iranian ruler who he believed to be overly friendly to the energy interests and American intelligence. He directed his followers to take hostage 52 U.S. State Department workers, claiming that CIA spies were among them. Few Americans had heard of Islam or its holy book, the Koran, before the hostage crisis. But rather than listen to and consider the Ayotalah's complaint -- that our CIA was a strongarm to safeguard "private" interests -- the oil companies, the defense establishment and the Shah of Iran who protected them -- we demonized the Ayotalah. He became a picture for dart boards.

What few realized was that the black operations protecting these private interests and the Shah and leading to the hostage crisis in the first place were the work of the CIA in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. The director of the CIA until about a year before the hostages were taken was George Herbert Walker Bush.

Lies, conspiracy and cover-up

Even after Jimmy Carter became president in 1976 and Bush was eventually replaced as CIA director, Bush still kept tabs on the policies he had initiated and/or enforced in the Persian Gulf. Of course these policies are clouded in secrecy and protected by national security classifications. But there are cracks in the walls of secrecy.

According to Associated Press and Newsweek investigative reporter Robert Parry, who exposed a whitewashed Congressional inquiry into the matter, Bush, President Reagan, former CIA director William Casey (who directed the 1980 Reagan-Bush campaign) and a host of active and inactive CIA agents sabotaged Carter's efforts to obtain the release of the 52 hostages until after the Reagan-Bush administration came to power. Bush had feared an "October surprise," that would re-elect Carter, after learning from former Texas Senator John Connally that Carter had arranged through Israeli contacts for sensitive military parts to be shipped to Iran from Amsterdam in exchange for the release of the hostages before the 1980 election.  The Republican conspirators made Iran a "sweeter deal,"  that extended the imprisonment of the hostages and defeated Carter.

Evidence intentionally ignored

The congressional inquiry intentionally ignored the evidence and the only congressman who was part of the House investigative committee who wanted to write a dissenting opinion of this travesty of American history and politics found his staff curtailed until he also fell into line.  Parry brought out the facts substantiated by Israeli, Iranian and Russian intelligence after he discovered the hidden "X-files" disputing the inquiry in a ladies bathroom converted into storage in the Sam Rayburn building in Washington. The truth was eventually published in his 1999 book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq."  It is an important book to understand the current cast of characters who advise George "W" Bush and their ongoing lies, conspiracy and cover-up to protect private interests and the legacy of Bush the former. It should be at least a footnote in future texts of American history.

All of America – because of our materialistic addiction fueled and fed by “cheap” Persian Gulf oil – contributed to our first Shame, but the use of the CIA to protect private interests in the Persian Gulf, and the complicity of George Herbert Walker Bush especially in deposing a sitting president and fueling Iran in its war with Iraq, while our hostages were being held, has Shamed our "model" Democracy in the eyes of the entire world, but especially among Islam, where it is a model of "hypocrisy"

2. Shame: The root of Islamic hatred of America

Between the taking of 52 U.S. State Department workers as hostages in 1979 and their release the day after the Reagan-Bush administration came into power more than a year later, a strange set of circumstances put me in several places to come to understand the various winds that would one day grow into Little Qatar and her Pearl.

As an assistant city editor with Gannett in Monroe, La., I had been made an offer I could not refuse by the Houston Post. The first story to which I was assigned in Houston related to what oil company executives were doing to protect themselves from Islamic abductions. Several people were assigned to the story so my contribution was minimal. But I was convinced that one of the people to whom I spoke was CIA, black ops, the alphabet soup gang. He knew too much. This was the first indication I had that the CIA might be acting in the interests of the private sector – specifically the oil companies and defense industry -- in a manner that could bring the Beheading Sword of Islam, which I would later come to understand as the Allah sanctioned by the Torah itself, into our hemisphere.

I lost that job after I asked the First Lady an embarrassing question with the network media present (although I waited until they turned off their cameras) about the nominations for the committee to re-elect the president, which she was in Houston to receive while then-President Carter was holed up in the Rose Garden to avoid questions from the media about the Iranian hostage situation.  Not relevant to this story except that God got my attention in Houston, Big Time.  As I drove back from the airport to the Post offices on the SW Expressway, I boasted openly, "God, Houston is my town. Why don't you go help someone else and I will call on You when I need you." I don't recommend that kind of dialogue with God, no matter how Tevye your relationship may be.

Little did I realize that the leading name on the list to head the committee to re-elect was Texas' leading Democratic figure, Lt. Gov. William J. Hobby ... who also was publisher of the Houston Post. I naively assumed that since he was the head of a media conglomerate that he would bow out of consideration. So before the hostage crisis was resolved, I was sent packing and back in Monroe, now teaching journalism at Northeast Louisiana University and completing a master's degree in business administration.

... Just in time for the next gust of Little Qatar to build:  The Student Government Association at NLU had invited a spokesman for the Shah of Iran, who had earlier been deposed by the Ayotolah, to speak to the student body. (The SGA president was later impeached for doing so despite my recommendation for leniency as a member of the disciplinary committee appointed by President Dwight Vines).

Hostage crisis hits home

The deposed leader and his spokesman were believed by the Ayotolah to be too accommodating to U.S. energy interests. Moslem sons and daughters of Iranian business leaders and Arab sheiks who had been honor students at "Harvard on the Bayou," splattered the speaker and his stage with eggs and tomatoes at the first mention of the Shah. Campus security asked for the assistance of Monroe police who rounded up every foreign national student with slanted eyes and a foreign accent before thinning the number to 52 students of Middle Eastern persuasion.  

As a stringer on the story for the New York Times and the Associated Press, I sat among the 52 John and Jane Does who had refused to give authorities their names, shortly after they had been released from their jail cells following a hunger strike of several days. To avoid an international incident and make things more difficult for the 52 Americans who were still being held, the White House -- it was supposed -- had persuaded an anonymous Good Samaritan to post their bail. They were awaiting a bus to carry them across the state line and out of Louisiana’s hair.

The roots of Islamic hatred

Two things are memorable about that day. First, in typical redneck fashion, a pickup truck crammed with beer-drinking citizens threw their empties into the docile prisoners and yelled, “sand niggers” as they sped away. One of the empties ricocheted off of a Jane and struck me as I was interviewing two Johns.

Second, I’m paraphrasing here 25-26 years later, but the students told me the Ayotalah was right. They said the West, meaning the U.S., was not only raiding the resources of the Persian Gulf, but also was bringing Western values and mores into their countries conflicting with age-old Islamic tradition. They also contended that our CIA was provoking a war between Iraq and Iran.

The students’ sentiments about the rape of the Persian Gulf bore witness with some of my Conference Board and World Bank data research into investment factors pertaining to the oil and petrochemical industry, a graduate finance independent study I was pursuing at the time in the MBA program at NLU. Their words also agreed with what I had seen in the Louisiana oil patch.  Given more profitable Persian Gulf oil, the companies had decided to keep the domestic wells out of production. The Arab Islamic nations as well as Iran -- it is a mistake to call Iran an "Arab nation," -- shunned materialism. They realized what was happening. Islamic hatred of America was ignited by another Shame, which was also attempting to foment a war to further divide the Shi'a and Sunni Moslems.

3. … Shame and Double ‘Shame’ 

Before the U.S. State Department hostages were freed, Saddam Hussein, arose or was brought to power as head of the Baathist party, which in turn was backed by our CIA.  Iraq got all of the American military supplies it wanted in this war thanks to its "partnership" with Saudi Arabia and the friendship of  then Vice-president George H. W. Bush with Saudi royalty. Iraq was at war with Iran, which all of America supposed to be our new Public Enemy No. 1. However, the American public did not learn that our defense contractors and financiers also were supporting Iran, as a condition of the arrangement made by Bush and Bush loyalists before the election in order to defeat Carter. In effect, we were fueling both sides of an Islamic war pitting Iraqi Sunni Arabs against Iranian Shi'a Persians.

That war, fueled by America and covert policies on both sides, continued for eight long years. It was the bloodiest and goriest you could imagine with small arms, mortars and cannon fired head-on and helicopter gunships manned by pilots with night vision goggles.  Again, I had a front seat. I covered the last six months of this war nightly from the Jerusalem bureau, as a newswriter and producer for Middle East Television based in Marjahoun, S. Lebanon.  It was my job to condense and edit into 2-3 minute segments, nightly reports that would not cause METV viewers to lose their dinners. Those clips provided by Arabsat often made me sick to my stomach. That war also cost the Islamic world more than 1,000,000 lives more than 911 cost America.

America:  The Great Satan

The cease fire was called after eight years of this carnage, after someone in Iran came up with a strategy that shamed even the Iraqis. Iran sent young boys armed only with Korans and shouts of "Allah Akhbar" (God is Great) at the battle-hardened Iraqis who were still well-supplied. It was an especially gory battle that left an entire hillside covered with the blood of thousands of these dead boys -- an image I still struggle to get out of my head -- the Shi'a and Sunni realized they had been "played." They united against America who the Ayotalah had aptly named, "The Great Satan."

Within a year, Saddam, who had risen to the leadership of the Baathist regime after assassinating a previous ruler, became a bigger problem for the CIA than the Ayotolah. He was justifiably upset that American oil companies operating in Kuwait were drilling directional wells into Iraqi territory. He was also miffed that he was not properly regarded and rewarded by "Arab" Saudi royalty as the "protector of the petro-rich" from "Persian" Iranian aggression. He was also angry that the arms that had opposed him in his 8-year war, had been supplied by financiers connected to the corrupt Bank of Credit and Commerce International, linked directly to now President George H.W. Bush and his political campaigns.

We know the rest. Today, "W," the son of Bush, and other politicos with a history of befriending the private interests of oil companies and the defense industry, James Baker, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, etal, are again attempting to divide the Islamic world. This time, it is under the guise of a Democratic constitution. Despite my personal warnings voiced to a secretary who ran interference at the Jim Baker Institute for the study of Mideast Policy at Rice University in Houston on two occasions, and again at Crawford, Texas, and again in a personal letter to the President, which was never acknowledged or answered, our government either does not understand or is intentionally ignoring the reality of Arab Nationalism, its close allegiance to Islam and its conflicts with Democracy.

Once again, as much as government leaders will deny it, the quagmire the President calls "Operation Iraqi Freedom," is about energy and our government protecting "private" interests at public expense ... with the blood of the "best and brightest" of innocent Americans.

A direct hit

"Little Qatar" and her “Pearl” (Rita), could not have taken more direct aim on our oil industry, energy capacity and strategy (unless Rita would have spurned a few tornados toward the executive towers and Jim Baker Center for the study of Mideast Policy at Rice University, all located in Houston). For a while, it looked like that is what would happen. But at the last minute, Rita lost some of its punch and steered away from the Houston metropolis. Still, Little Qatar plowed through the heaviest concentration of offshore rigs in the entire Gulf. And the ones it missed, Rita didn’t. As a former executive editor of a daily newspaper in the heart of Louisiana's oil patch, I still have friends in the business. They tell me that the damage to refineries, storage facilities, rigs and infrastructure is worse than even the media is reporting.

So, we can understand why the first priority of President Bush -- his first loyalty in the wake of Little Qatar -- was to shore up energy supplies and refining capacity to keep his energy constituency profiting with refineries along the Gulf Coast now out of service indefinitely.

The industry is rushing to bring into production those P&As, which were sold to smaller oil companies, with lower costs who can produce this energy profitably. However, refinery capacity is now the big problem. The infrastructure is so damaged that oil would have to be shipped to distant refineries and at diesel costs, which ironically, high energy prices make prohibitive. The Ports of New Orleans and four other locations in southern Louisiana all are closed. The trunk lines, into which the oil companies pool their oil as it heads to refineries, are severed.  It is so serious that President Bush addressed the national calamity of higher energy prices with an unprecedented release of our energy reserves, emergency orders to relax refining standards and a mad dash for European assistance with supply and to build new refineries. All of this lessens the punch for his energy industry constituency, whose losses, of course, were largely insured. Only after attending to that concern on behalf of the private interests, did he turn his full attention to the "public" calamity in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast.

Shame on FEMA and Homeland Security

1003 persons died in the New Orleans area. 221 died in Mississippi. Their exposed bodies went uncollected for not hours or days, but for more than a week, compounding our Shame in the eyes of the world. The city that never slept and "Let the 'Good Times' roll" is now the Unclean City, whose foulness and stench has ascended. We have seen the best and the worst of humanity and found it difficult to judge those looting for survival, especially since we have learned that Government was too busy looking out for private interests than the public’s. Homeland Security, the latest bureaucracy has been exposed as nothing more than an instrument to impart fear of its government to the populance and the Gestapo to make this nation into an armed camp after a national disaster. Homeland has performed miserably and pathetically in anything more than treating the victims like criminals after arriving too late to keep their fear and mistrust and feeling of being abandoned from making them so. Homeland Security, initially also aimed at Islam, is part of America's Shame. FEMA -- don't get me started -- has given new meaning to "ice follies."

Israel and the Esoteric Message

But there is a deeper message brought to us by Little Qatar for those who have ears to hear the Hebrew of God and understand that biblical curses come with a cause.  We have reaped the fruits of the materialism we have sown on an awful and horrendous scale. The greed of the oil companies necessary to sustain our arrogant, materialistic lifestyle has meant the rape of Qatar representing the Persian Gulf. The need to sustain this habit – rooted in the Bread of Shame – has led American foreign policy planners -- ignorant of the Bible and the Divine “protecsia” enjoyed by Israel – to consort and plot with Israel’s enemies. Our State Department today schemes for more oil by appeasing the Arab enemies of the modern Jewish state. And the public suffers with wave after wave of calamity.

  • The Perfect Storm that recorded 100-foot waves in the Atlantic on a course for the New England Coast pinpointed the home of then-President Bush at Kennebunkport, Maine. It coincided with the Madrid Peace Conference at which the U.S. showed its hand to force Israel into negotiations with the Palestinians. We have since learned that it has all been political to force Israel into giving up settlements, including the unannexed territories called the "fields of Ephraim and the fields of the Shomron," for which Hashem (God) has other plans ... the long-awaited and prophesied Return of the House of Joseph to be reconciled and reunited with the House of Judah.
  • Hurricane' Andrew, the worst then on record struck Florida the same day the Madrid conference moved to Washington in August 1992.
  • Within 24 hours of President Clinton's meeting with the late Syria President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva in January 1994, Southern California was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 6.9 on the Richter scale. The agreement struck by Clinton that Israel should give up the Golan Heights, a kind of "northern ridge" separating Israel from Syria, was met by the second most destructive natural disaster behind Andrew. The quake's epicenter: “Northridge,” CA.
  • As Yasser Arafat toured America and Clinton railed at Israel during the month of March in 1997, we sustained the worst tornados and flooding in recorded U.S. history. On the day Arafat arrived, the tornados raked across Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. Arafat's tour also coincided with the storms in the Dakotas and the worst floods of the century. And when Arafat finally departed from these shores, the storms suddenly stopped.
  • In January 1998, as Clinton rebuffed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. Neither the president nor his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would lunch with Netanyahu. Shame compounded shame.

As reported by, and many others, eight specific acts of the U.S. that concern Israel’s territories – where the reunion of Joseph and Judah is planned by Hashem – resulted in immediate calamities. The others: 

  • September 27-28, 1998: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright works on the final details of an agreement in which Israel will give up 13 percent of Yesha (Judea-Samaria-Gaza). The same day, Hurricane George slams into the Gulf Coast with 110 mph winds and gusts up to 175 mph. The hurricane hits the coast and stalls. On September 28, Clinton meets with Arafat and Netanyahu at the White House to finalize the land deal. Later, Arafat addresses the United Nations about declaring an independent Palestinian state by May 1999, while Hurricane George pounds the Gulf Coast causing $1 billion in damage. At the exact time Arafat departs the US the storm begins to dissipate.
  • October 15-22, 1998: Yasser Arafat and Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland, to continue the talks which ended on September 28. The talks are scheduled to last five days with the focus on Israel giving up 13 percent of Judea-Samaria. The talks are extended and conclude on October 23. On October 17, awesome rains and tornados hit southern Texas. The San Antonio area is deluged with 20 inches of rain in one day. The rains and floods in Texas continue until October 22 and then subside. The floods ravage 25 percent of Texas and leave over one billion dollars in damage. On October 21, Clinton declares this section of Texas a major disaster area.
  • May 3, 1999: This is the same day in Israel that Yasser Arafat is scheduled to declare a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital. The declaration is postponed to December 1999 at the request of President Clinton, whose letter to Arafat encourages him for his "aspirations for his own land." He also writes that the Palestinians have a right to "determine their own future on their own land," and that they deserve to "live free, today, tomorrow and forever." That same day, starting at 4:47 pm CDT, the most powerful tornado storm system ever to hit the United States -- more powerful than the record March '97 storms -- sweep across Oklahoma and Kansas. The winds are clocked at 316 mph, the fastest wind speed ever recorded.

'Allah' in the Torah and the curse

And now on the heels of the Gaza Disengagement comes Little Qatar, directed at the Oil Idol and spigot in America. Does anyone get the idea that the God of Israel is a little more than upset with U.S. foreign policy in Israel and Iraq? True to Genesis 12:3, He will bless those who bless the seed of Abraham and those who curse the seed of Abraham will be cursed. And the Torah informs that the instrument for these judgments will be "Allah," which is the Hebrew word for the "curse" or "imprecation" in Deuteronomy 29:11 and 29:13. Islam, the faith loyal to Allah, is also the only faith existing today that beheads its enemies, referring to ominous times ahead as foreseen in the Book of Revelation where the saints (Heb. tzaddikim) were beheaded.

It may indeed be that the Disengagement of the Gaza was according to Divine plan (because Israel's rights to its land are conditioned spiritually on its observance of the Torah and outside of Jerusalem, there is not a whole lot of that happening). Zechariah 9 hints at some kind of Palestinian autonomous existence in the Gaza and regions contiguous ... in other words, a biblical two-state solution.  Israel's leading kabbalist, the aged 104-year-old Rabbi Kaduri, who recently called for all Jews to make plans to return to Israel in advance of calamities coming upon the world, has publicly stated that the Gaza does not belong to Israel ... but to the Palestinians.

But woe to the nation by whom a curse comes and woe to America’s foreign policy planners who do not understand the sanctity of Judea-Samaria or a need for Disengagement of the Palestinians from THAT area. In other words, woe to President George Walker Bush and his Road Map to Peace in the Middle East. And woe to the United States because we have the misfortune of him being our president. And woe, woe, woe to the Religious Right in this nation who were deceived to keep him in power. Had they truly known their Bibles, they would have known better!

and Double ‘Shames’

America has sown to the wind and reaped the whirlwind. In fact, one of the judgments stated in the Koran, that come upon those who oppose “Allah,” (which I interpret to mean the faith given existence to punish Israel if Israel is not faithful to the God of Israel and the Torah of Israel), is a whirlwind. An entire book in the Koran related to Allah's judgments is called, “The Winds,” as was pointed out to me in 1987 by an Islamic iman who instructed me in the Koran as I was an independent, self-supported "servant" in an all-Moslem West Bank village straight out of seminary when first moving to Israel before rejoining the media.  It stands that the same Winds will rake a nation that stands between the God of Israel and His purposes for the Land of Israel (as I warned my Palestinian friends). It has been the appeasement of Arab oil partners that has led to our interference in Israel. There's that magic word again, OIL.

But Israel, like no other nation, has an agenda set forth by the Bible, a Holy Wind, which America's foreign policy has brazenly opposed. M'dah k'negged m'dah What goes around comes around. What we sow, we reap. And what has come around is more of the curse. The Bushes, Bakers, Cheneys and Brumsfelds have facilitated the rape of the Persian Gulf by their friends in the energy and defense industries. Now Condoleeza Rice is forcing America's way on Israel with designs next on Judea-Samaria. And our beloved Gulf Coast, which I have personally called "home," is in shambles. Yes, I do take this personally.

And the Middle East legacy of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush has aroused the hatred of the Islamic world, pitting Islam against Islam so that America's leaders have the blood of an 8-year war and more than 1,000,000 Moslems and the starvation of innocent Iraqis and now the blood of 2,000 of our own young men and women in the military on our own hands. "Shame, Shame, Shame and Double Shame." 

In one word, we have been and are ruled by " Shame. " Or maybe that should be " Shames ."

The Hebrew verb "to be ashamed" is spelled "Bet-Vov-Shin" or to transliterate that into English, B-U-SH. And we have now been "whacked" twice.

Maggid ben Yoseif