Archive for June 23rd, 2010

“Dark War Clouds Loom on Mid-East Horizon” by Herbert London

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

The gathering storm in the Middle East is gaining momentum. War clouds are on the horizon and, as with conditions prior to World War I, all it takes for explosive action to commence is a trigger.

Turkey’s provocative flotilla—often described in Orwellian terms as a humanitarian mission—has set in motion a flurry of diplomatic activity, but if the Iranians send escort vessels for the next round of Turkish ships, it could present a casus belli.

It is also instructive that Syria is playing a dangerous game with both missile deployment and rearming Hezbollah. According to most public accounts, Hezbollah is sitting on 40,000 long-, medium- and short-range missiles and Syrian territory has served as a conduit for military material from Iran since the end of the 2006 Lebanon War.

Should Syria move its own scuds to Lebanon or deploy its troops as reinforcement for Hezbollah, a wider regional war with Israel could not be contained.

In the backdrop is an Iran with sufficient fissionable material to produce a couple of nuclear weapons. It will take some time to weaponize missiles, but the road to that goal is synchronized in green lights, since neither diplomacy nor diluted sanctions can convince Iran to change course.

Iran is poised to be the hegemon in the Middle East. It is increasingly considered the “strong horse,” as American forces incrementally retreat from the region. Even Iraq, ironically, may depend on Iranian ties in order to maintain internal stability. From Qatar to Afghanistan, all political eyes are on Iran.

For Sunni nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, regional strategic vision is a combination of deal-making to offset the Iranian Shia advantage and attempting to buy or develop nuclear weapons as a counterweight to Iranian ambition. However, both of these governments are in a precarious state.

Should either fall, all bets are off in the Middle East neighborhood. It has long been said that the Sunni “tent” must stand on two legs, if one, falls, the tent collapses.

Should that tent collapse and should Iran take advantage of that calamity, it could incite a Sunni-Shia war. Or feeling its oats and no longer dissuaded by an escalation scenario with nuclear weapons in tow, war against Israel is a distinct possibility. However implausible it may seem at the moment, the possible annihilation of Israel and the prospect of a second Holocaust could lead to a nuclear exchange.

The only wild card that can change this slide into warfare is an active United States policy. Yet curiously, the U.S. is engaged in both an emotional and physical retreat from the region. Despite rhetoric that suggests an Iran with nuclear weapons is intolerable, that rhetoric has done nothing to forestall that eventual outcome. Despite the investment in blood and treasure to allow a stable government to emerge in Iraq, the anticipated withdrawal of U.S. forces has prompted President Maliki to travel to Tehran on a regular basis. And despite historic links to Israel that gave the U.S. leverage in the region and a democratic ally, the Obama Administration treats Israel as a national-security albatross that must be disposed of as soon as possible.

As a consequence, the U.S. is perceived in the region as the “weak horse,” the one that is dangerous to ride. In every Middle East capital the words “unreliable and United States” are linked. Those seeking a moderate course of action are now in a distinct minority. A political vacuum is emerging, one that is not sustainable and one the Iranian leadership looks to with imperial exhilaration.

It is no longer a question of whether war will occur, but rather when it will occur and where it will break out. There are many triggers for igniting the explosion, but not many scenarios for containment. Could it be a regional war in which Egypt and Saudi Arabia watch from the sidelines, but secretly wish for Israeli victory? Or is this a war in which there aren’t victors, only devastation? Moreover, should war break out, what does the U.S. do?

This is a description far more dire than any in the last century and, even if some believe my view is overly pessimistic, Arab and Jew, Persian and Egyptian, Muslim and Maronite tend to believe in its veracity. That is a truly bad sign.

Dr. London is president of the Hudson Institute, John M. Olin Professor of Humanities at New York University, publisher of American Outlook, and author of the recently published Decade of Denial.

Original Link.

An open letter to President Obama from Jon Voight

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

An open letter from actor Jon Voight to President Obama:

June 22, 2010

President Obama:

You will be the first American president that lied to the Jewish people, and the American people as well, when you said that you would defend Israel, the only Democratic state in the Middle East, against all their enemies. You have done just the opposite. You have propagandized Israel, until they look like they are everyone’s enemy — and it has resonated throughout the world. You are putting Israel in harm’s way, and you have promoted anti-Semitism throughout the world.

You have brought this to a people who have given the world the Ten Commandments and most laws we live by today. The Jewish people have given the world our greatest scientists and philosophers, and the cures for many diseases, and now you play a very dangerous game so you can look like a true martyr to what you see and say are the underdogs. But the underdogs you defend are murderers and criminals who want Israel eradicated.

You have brought to Arizona a civil war, once again defending the criminals and illegals, creating a meltdown for good, loyal, law-abiding citizens. Your destruction of this country may never be remedied, and we may never recover. I pray to God you stop, and I hope the people in this great country realize your agenda is not for the betterment of mankind, but for the betterment of your politics.

With heartfelt and deep concern for America and Israel,

Jon Voight

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“Target: Fundamentalist Christianity” by Michael G. Mickey

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Fundamentalist Christianity could be defined as a movement stressing the need for Christians to interpret the words of the Bible literally and to adhere to them to the very best of one’s human ability.

It goes without saying that, in our politically correct, ‘anything goes’ world, taking the Bible literally and living one’s life accordingly doesn’t make one popular with a host of people these days, some of whom claim to hold a kinship with Christians. Recently, for example, the Vatican ‘took on’ Christian Fundamentalists, as seen in the opening paragraphs of a Fox News story:

It’s not easy walking through the minefield called Middle Eastern politics, and a Vatican document released Sunday managed to criticize Israel, Egypt, Islam and even Christian fundamentalists.

The 46-page text, “The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness,” will serve as a working document for an October meeting at the Vatican about the Mideast.

The document was made public Sunday, the final day of Pope Benedict’s visit to the island of Cyprus, and reflected the Church’s concern about the flight of Christians from the Holy Land as they leave to look for more opportunities and fewer problems elsewhere.

“The Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories is creating difficulties in everyday life, inhibiting freedom of movement, the economy and religious life,” the document said. “Moreover, certain Christian fundamentalist theologies use Sacred Scripture to justify Israel’s occupation of Palestine.”

Many Evangelical Christians, especially Americans, have thrown their total and unwavering support behind the Jewish state in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Those of us who take the Word of God literally, the Vatican would have us to believe, are encouraging Israel’s “occupation” of lands that we happen to know belong to none other than Israel! It’s a funny thing how reading one’s Bible can teach you things like that. Perhaps those at the Vatican criticizing those of us who actually do so should try reading their Bibles.

Genesis 15:18:

In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites,

And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims,

And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

One need do but a small amount of research to determine that present-day Israel isn’t “occupying” even one inch of soil that doesn’t belong to the descendants of Abraham – if you believe the teachings of the Bible which the Vatican, apparently, chooses not to do.

Just look at all the trouble the Vatican says fundamentalist Christians are causing by believing in God’s Word! By offering our unwavering support of the apple of God’s eye (Zechariah 2:8), namely Israel, in its ongoing struggle against those who want nothing less than to destroy it, we’re creating difficulties in the “everyday lives” of Palestinians. What a sad tale and a tall one it is at that!

Literally thousands of rocket and mortar attacks have been launched against civilian targets in Israel from Gaza in recent years, but steel and shrapnel raining out of the sky inside the borders of Israel? None of them, from the Vatican’s perspective, impacts the “everyday lives” of Israelis. And how cruel it is that fundamentalist Christians aren’t up in arms that Palestinians aren’t permitted more “freedom of movement” by the Israelis. Who knows? If the Palestinians and the terrorist factions they harbor could’ve moved around more freely they could’ve potentially launched hundreds of thousands of rocket and mortar attacks against civilian targets in Israel! Yes, the Vatican thinks Israel and fundamentalist Christians are holding the Palestinians down, but let’s be fair. The Vatican is far from alone in having a problem with those of us who take God at His Word. As seen in the opening paragraphs of a NewsBusters story, there are people who believe the next great task for humanity is to rid itself of us, to “eradicate” fundamentalism:

Author and blogger Frank Schaeffer really, really doesn’t like what he calls “evangelical/fundamentalist” Christians. In the past, he’s suggested that their “hatemongering” was responsible for the “continuing ugliness of the response to President Obama.” And now, in a new blog on The Huffington Post, he’s calling for the “eradication” of fundamentalist Christianity.

“The next great task for the human race is to wean ourselves off literal interpretations of religion. We need to eradicate fundamentalism in all its forms,” Schaeffer wrote. “Atheism is no help,” he later added.

It is no surprise that he feels this way toward Christianity. After all, it flies in the face of liberal ideology, which promotes gay marriage and heterosexual cohabitation before marriage.

Right on cue, Schaeffer used the blog promote the gay agenda, beginning in the fifth paragraph. Killing two birds with one stone he attacked the Church in America and promoted the homosexual lifestyle. Schaeffer praised, “Those of us who have no problem with celebrating the fact that some people are created gay, or that other people live with a girlfriend or boyfriend because marriage isn’t always the best way to relate to a lover” as having a wider circle of acceptance.

Just look at all the chaos fundamentalist Christians are responsible for from Schaeffer’s perspective:

* Hatemongering – Even though we stand accused of being rigid in our adherence to the Word of God, we’re not, in the eyes of the world, when it comes to that whole ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ thing. (Matthew 19:19)
* President Obama’s sagging popularity – The president is pro-homosexual, pro-abortion and anti-Israel among other things, all of which flies in the face of our biblical beliefs. We react accordingly, which is a bad thing from the liberal’s perspective. If tomorrow we threw all of God’s precepts out the window, there would never be a liberal policy we didn’t love. This would be why people like Frank Schaeffer would like to see us thrown out the window (of an office on the top floor of a very tall building)!
* Sexual immorality remaining taboo – We just won’t let the world become Sodom and Gomorrah without a fight, perhaps because we remember what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis, chapter 19) and take the Lord at His Word, literally, when He says He set those cities forth as “an example” for us. (Jude 1:7)

The further we proceed into the last days, the more those of us who hold fast to a literal interpretation of Scripture and strive to live our lives accordingly are going to be subject to the criticisms and hatred of the world.

In the prophetic future, as we see in Revelation 12:17, Satan and his right-hand man, the Antichrist, are going to unleash their full fury on those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Their target? Fundamentalist Christians.

Can you see it coming?

Original Link.

“Why Is America a Snake-Bitten Nation?” by Todd Strandberg

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

We seem to live in a time when everything that can go wrong has done so. Our run of bad luck reminds me of the play Pippin, in which King Charles proclaims, “It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart.”

Bad luck can only occur for so long before the odds require it to change. If misfortune persists, there has to be some controlling factor that guides the events. We have been stricken with such frequency that it is long overdue for our nation to reflect on the nature of our problems. Consider the following examples:

1. We currently have the worst oil spill in our nation’s history. According to government estimates of daily flow figures, anywhere from 73.5 million to 126 million gallons gushed from the breached wellhead—whether that crude spilled into the water or was captured. In case you were wondering, like me, whether the oil might run out, there are still 2.1 billion gallons in the reservoir. The vast majority of the released oil is still in the Gulf. Even if the flow were stopped today, the consequences of the spill would continue to mount for years to come.

2. There has been a spate of negative weather events. Tennessee was hit with a massive amount of rainfall, shattering numerous all-time records. There was also a deluge in western Oklahoma, with Oklahoma City being the hardest hit. Last week, folks in Minnesota saw the most number of tornadoes they had ever seen in a single day: On June 17, there were 31 twisters, topping the old record of 27 set on June 16, 1992. And in Arkansas, just down the road from Terry and me, a flash flood killed more than 20 campers at a state park.

3. It is well known that our federal government is facing a host of debt problems. The financial trouble goes right to the bedrock of our nation. San Diego and Detroit are on opposite scales from each other. The first has an economy-based defense, tech manufacturing, and tourism, while the Second City is a rust-bowl city with heavy ties to the automobile industry. Both cities are on the verge of bankruptcy. San Diego is being weighed down by an under-funded retirement and health system. Detroit is literally rotting away. There are now 10,000 abandoned homes in Detroit that the city managers want to tear down and turn into empty lots.

4. Our foreign policy has become a slow-motion train wreck. The war in Afghanistan is now the longest in our nation’s history. European heads of state are starting to doubt America’s ability to be a global leader. Opposition to key aspects of U.S. foreign policy remains pervasive in the Muslim world. While America’s favorability rating in Egypt has dropped from 27 percent to 17 percent, nut jobs like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are able to travel the globe and make new friends simply because they are enemies of the U.S.

Commentators are now starting to say that Barack Obama’s presidency is looking much like the disastrous term experienced by Jimmy Carter. There is one big difference: Obama was a Jimmy Carter even before he took office. American voters knew his record before he took office.

Many prophecy students would cite our treatment of Israel as the key reason we are lately such a snake-bitten nation. They base this assessment on Genesis 12:1-3: “I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee.” I generally agree, but I don’t think it is as automatic as some claim. In other words, I don’t believe that if our government does something on Monday, a calamity will necessarily strike us on Tuesday.

It’s hard to deal with a problem when you don’t know it exists. To the carnal mind, these four examples seem to have no connection to each other. Until enough people realize that there is a God with the power to grant and withdraw favors, the source of our “bad luck” will remain a mystery.

The current mindset in our nation is “wait until election day when we can throw the bums out and change our political course.” We just got done playing musical chairs by switching from Republicans to Democrats. Until our nation gets back to choosing Jesus as our spiritual leader, the snakes of misfortune will continue to bite.

— Todd

Original Link.