Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Surely you have heard about the administration (dispensation) of God's grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. (Ephesians 3:2-3)
One of the most difficult things for someone unfamiliar with dispensational theology to understand is why Israel needs to exist at all in the last days, let alone rebuild their Temple. A recent discussion with a theology professor from a well known West Coast Christian school made this clear.
We were talking about our respective views of the End Times. When I mentioned the coming Temple and Israel's re-awakening into their Old Covenant relationship, he looked at me like I was from another planet. He graduated from one of the main line denominational seminaries where he had been immersed in liberal theology, so what little he knows about the end times is all allegorical. He had never been taught anything like what I was saying.
Why on Earth, he asked, would God bring Israel back when the Church has replaced Israel in His eyes? And even if He did, why would He bring them into an Old Covenant relationship when He's told the Church that since the cross the Old Covenant no longer applies?
Most Christians can't answer these questions, and even among those who take the Bible literally, many can only say , “Because the Bible says so.” They can't explain why it says so.
It's only when you understand that the Age of Grace didn't end the Age of Law, but only interrupted it seven years short of its alloted time, that it all becomes clear. Here's what happened.
Near the end of the Babylonian captivity the Angel Gabriel told Daniel that Israel was being given 490 years to complete 6 tasks.
"Seventy 'sevens' (490 years) are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy (place). (Daniel 9:24)
When the Lord was crucified, 483 of those years had past. Remember, that's why the disciples were astonished when He told them the Temple would soon be destroyed (Matt. 24:2). It's also why, 40 days after the Resurrection, they asked if He was was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel now. (Acts 1:6) They thought they were only 7 years away from the Kingdom Age. Ten days later, on Pentecost, the indeterminate Age of the Church began, with the Age of Law still 7 years short of its prophesied end.
After 20 years had passed the Lord's half-brother James, who was the head of the Church in Jerusalem at the time, explained that Israel had been set aside while the Lord took from among the Gentiles a people for Himself (the Church). After that he would turn again to Israel and pick up where He had left off (Acts 15:13-18). About 18 years after that the Temple was destroyed and has never been rebuilt. In 135 AD the nation ceased to exist in any form. The Roman Emperor Hadrian destroyed what was left of Jerusalem, built a new city called Aelia Capitolina on its ruins, and forbade any Jew from entering it. But the Lord's promise still stands. As soon as He has taken the Church, He'll turn again to Israel to complete the last 7 years of the Age of Law.
These facts from both the Bible and history completely undermine any arguments for the validity of replacement theology. They explain why Israel has to exist in the End Times and why the Jews will need a Temple.
The Great Pause
While Pentecost was the official beginning of the Age of Grace, it didn't signal the end of the Age of Law, as so many in the Church wrongly assume. It was only a Great Pause while the Lord pursued His Church, something He intended to do all along, but had only divulged in a general way in the past.
Speaking to His Messiah, the Lord said, "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6)
When you understand the Great Pause, lots of other things fall into place. We've already discussed the re-birth of the Nation and the re-built Temple. Israel had to be re-born and will have to become a covenant people again in order to complete their final 7 years. This is what makes their re-birth such a powerful sign that the Great Pause is about to end. The only reason for Israel to exist again is to complete the 7 years remaining in the Age of Law. It also explains the return to animal sacrifice during this time. This is the way things were before the Great Pause began, and the way they'll have to be after it ends. Although people have always been saved by faith, during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.
Understanding the Great Pause also helps us see why the Rapture of the Church has to precede the final 7 years. The purpose of the Great Pause is so the Lord can take from among the Gentiles a people for Himself. The Greek word translated “take” in Acts 15:14 is lambano. A look at the primary meanings of lambano reveals that the intent of the word is to describe one who takes something for the purpose of carrying it away. Once the church is complete the Lord will carry us away before turning again to Israel. This is consistent with Paul's statement in Romans 11:25 that Israel has experienced a partial blindness until the full number of Gentiles has come in. The phrase “come in” means to arrive at one's destination, as when a ship has “come in”. According to John 14:2-3 our destination is Heaven. Once the church has been carried away to its destination in Heaven the blinders will fall from Israel's eyes, the Great Pause will come to an end, and Israel will complete its final seven years.
The Rapture has to happen before Daniel's 70th Week can begin, because the 70th Week is all about Israel. It's their final opportunity to be reconciled to God through the Messiah and prepare for the Kingdom He promised them so long ago. 2500 years before the fact, Zechariah prophesied that this would take place near the end of the 70th Week.
"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech. 12:10)
Paul confirmed this and said it would happen after the rapture.
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11:25-27)
And the Great Pause explains why post rapture salvation will be like it was in Old Testament times. The only difference is post rapture believers will be looking back to the cross whereas Old Testament believers looked forward to it. Speaking of the time when taking the mark of the beast will be required of everyone on Earth, the Lord said, “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.” (Rev. 14:12) Again, people have always been saved by faith, but during the Age of Law their faith has to be evidenced by obedience to the Law.
It also explains why the 144,000 servants of God have to be sealed before undertaking their mission. (Rev. 7:3) If the church was still here they would be sealed just the way we are. But during the Age of Law believers were not, nor will they be, sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of their inheritance as we are (Ephes. 1:13-14). The 144,000 is the only group in the post rapture world that is described as being sealed. By the way, some scholars believe this means only the 144,000 will be supernaturally protected from the demonic locusts spoken of in Rev. 9.
I Can See Clearly Now
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. No other system of theology explains God's overarching plan as succinctly as dispensationalism. None gives us such a clear understanding of the connection between events before Pentecost and those after the Rapture. No other one helps us see the “why” behind the “what” described in the Bible. None other so vividly demonstrates the absolutely unique nature of the church, while maintaining the integrity of God's promises to Israel. And best of all it does so in a manner consistent with the literal, historical, grammatical interpretation of His Word. 06-27-09
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Jerusalem will 'never again be divided and partitioned'
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Thursday never to divide Jerusalem, and pledged to keep the capital united under Israeli sovereignty.
"Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided," Netanyahu said at the official state ceremony marking Jerusalem Day and the reunification of the capital during the Six Day War 42 years ago.
"Only under Israeli sovereignty will united Jerusalem ensure the freedom of religion and freedom of access for the three religions to the holy places," he added.
The prime minister prefaced his remarks with a reference to his meetings with US President Barack Obama and other American officials earlier in the week, saying he had made the same declarations during that trip.
In an earlier address, President Shimon Peres said that Jerusalem, while sacred to others, is the only capital Israel and the Jewish people have ever known.
"Jerusalem is held sacred by half of mankind [but] it has been and always will be Israel's capital. We never had another and it has never been the capital of any other people."
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
In Perspective: For the sake of clarity, a thought experiment
By DANIEL GORDIS
He was in his 20s, the young man with the question after my lecture. He couldn't have asked it more kindly or gently. Without a hint of cynicism or anger, he expressed what was clearly on the minds of many of the people his age in the crowd: "Can you justify a Jewish state," he wanted to know, "when having a Jewish state means giving up on so many of Judaism's values?"
Here's what he didn't say: Israel is the root of evil in the Middle East. It's the cause of checkpoints, of roadblocks, of a big ugly wall that runs along a border no one has agreed to. The Palestinians are desperate, and in the massive imbalance of power, they have no chance and no hope. Israel is the nuclear bully in a region that, were it not for Israel's existence, would no longer be on the front page. To achieve peace in the Middle East, Israel just needs to be subdued. Break Israel's intransigence, and we'll finally see progress.
That was his unspoken claim, and now it's also the position of the Obama administration. At AIPAC's recent Policy Conference, Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. John Kerry made it clear that for the US to support Israel on Iran, Israel must settle the Palestinian problem once and for all. It has been widely reported that Rahm Emanuel, in an off-the-record session, said precisely the same thing. After decades of tacit agreement that the US would remain silent about Israel's nuclear capability, a State Department official publicly suggested that Israel sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as if, on the eve of Iran's going nuclear and with Pakistani weapons in danger of falling into the hands of the Taliban, Israel's nuclear arsenal is the world's most serious concern.
A new message is afloat - Israel is the problem, and the US has had enough.
Even the pope couldn't help himself. His comments about the victims of the Holocaust were so tepid as to be outrageous, but he had no problem calling urgently for an immediate Palestinian state, as if Israelis haven't tried to create one for decades.
The young American Jews in my audience, clearly struggling with the morality of a Jewish state, now have the Obama administration and the pope echoing all their misgivings.
I have no illusions that all this can be changed overnight, but with the upcoming Binyamin Netanyahu-Barack Obama meetings putting Israel into the spotlight once again, I'd like to propose the following thought experiment - at least to these young American Jews, and possibly to Obama himself.
IMAGINE THAT ISRAELIS decide that by Jerusalem Day, this coming week, they want a deal. So we take down the security fence. We remove the checkpoints. We open all the roads, and Gaza's sea and air routes. We agree publicly to return to something closely approximating the pre-1967 borders, and we accede to the demands that parts of Jerusalem be internationally governed, or even put under Palestinian control.
Does this end the conflict? Of course it doesn't. The Hamas Charter calls not only for the destruction of Israel, but for Islamic war on Jews everywhere. (Why do we consistently refuse to believe that Hamas means what it says?) What would change? The noose would tighten. The rockets would be fired from a shorter distance and the demand for the return of refugees (thus ending the Jewishness of the state) would persist. As was the case when Israel left Lebanon in May 2000 or Gaza in the summer of 2005, Israel's enemies would smell a weakened, bloodied state and would prepare for the next stage of their war.
But peace would not have come. Much as we all want this conflict to end, does anyone really doubt that? There is, as honest brokers must admit, nothing that Israel can do to end this conflict.
NOW, HOWEVER, TRY the opposite side of the thought experiment. Imagine that the Palestinians decide that they have tired of the conflict, or their electorate begins its long-overdue rebellion and insists on a settlement. So the Palestinians, Hamas and Fatah, demand everything Israel's agreed to above - an end to roadblocks and the wall, an opening of Gaza, a bridge or a tunnel between Gaza and the West Bank and a return to the 1967 borders. Let's say that they even insist on Palestinian control of east Jerusalem.
But they also recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. They agree to an immediate and permanent cessation of hostilities and violence (this is a thought experiment, after all) and insist that any other outstanding issues be negotiated and resolved with the US and the Quartet as intermediaries. And they require Israelis to vote within a month, no longer, on whether to accept the deal.
Will there be Israelis who object? Will there be residents of the West Bank who will resist leaving their homes? Yes, there will be. But would an Israeli plebiscite overwhelmingly approve the offer? Without question. In a matter of weeks, three quarters of a century of bloodshed and suffering would come to an end.
This, of course, is not going to happen, because all the new rhetoric notwithstanding, and all the confusion of today's young American Jews aside, there's always been one party that's sought peace, and another that's rejected it. It was true in 1948, and it was true in Khartoum. It's no less true today.
It's never been up to us, and it's always been up to them.
But this simplistic thought experiment is worth considering not because it can be implemented, but because it brings one unfortunate truth into stark focus. Young American Jews ought to take note: Israel cannot end this conflict. It can weaken itself, but the only way it can bring peace to the region is to go out of business.
If that is what the peacemakers really seek, we'll see that soon enough, with frightening clarity.
Unfortunately for the United States - abandoning Israel will proove disasterous.
Netanyahu holds fast against patronizing Obama
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won high marks from most for generally holding his own in Monday’s meeting with US President Barack Obama.
The White House talks were expected to be tense, as both leaders came in with divergent views regarding the creation of a Palestinian state, how to deal with the Iran nuclear crisis, and the linkage between the two issues.
In the post-meeting press conference, Netanyahu maintained his refusal to publicly endorse the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, but repeated his long-held view that Israel has no desire to rule over millions of hostile Arabs.
Obama made the difference between his and Netanyahu’s views clear by telling reporters that his government will push hard for the birth of “Palestine,” and urging Netanyahu to grasp hold of this “historic opportunity.”
He also appeared to patronize Netanyahu by saying he knew the Israeli leader would eventually “rise to the occasion.”
In another perceived slight, Obama cooly noted that Netanyahu had been “very vocal in his concerns” regarding Iran, but insisted that he will not put a timetable on what have so far been pointless diplomatic efforts to halt Tehran’s pursuit of nuclear arms.
Obama was most adamant in his refusal to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iran nuclear crisis as separate issues. He flatly rejected Netanyahu’s argument that if there is any link at all between the two issues, it is that Israel cannot possibly conclude a final status peace deal with the Palestinians while Iran is building nuclear bombs and emboldening Palestinian terror groups.
“If there is a linkage between Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, I personally believe it actually runs the other way,” Obama said. “To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians - between the Palestinians and the Israelis - then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with the potential Iranian threat.”
The one point of agreement between the two was Obama’s intention to push more Arab nations to directly join Israeli-Arab peace talks. The president indicated that he will unveil a new regional peace initiative when he visits Cairo next month.
Political spin doctors in both Washington and Jerusalem immediately went to work painting the meeting as a relaxed and friendly encounter, though the substance of what the two leaders told the press bespoke a far different reality beneath the surface.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
EVERYONE IN THE U. S. needs to know....
Something happened... H.R. 1388 was passed yesterday. You
may want to read about it. It wasn't mentioned on the news... just went by
on the ticker tape at the bottom of the CNN screen.
Obama funds $20M in tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the
USA. This is the news that didn't make the headlines...
By executive order, President Barack Obama has ordered the expenditure of
$20.3 million in "migration assistance" to the Palestinian refugees and
"conflict victims" in Gaza.
The "presidential determination", which allows hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States, was signed
on January 27 and appeared in the Federal Register on February 4.
Few on Capitol Hill, or in the media, took note that the order provides a
free ticket replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have
displayed their overwhelming support to the Islamic Resistance Movement
(Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006.
Let's review...itemized list of some of Barack Obama's most recent actions
since his inauguration:
His first call to any head of state, as president, was to Mahmoud Abbas,
leader of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory.
His first one-on-one television interview with any news organization was
with Al Arabia television.
His first executive order was to fund/facilitate abortion(s) not just here
within the U. S., but within the world, using U. S. tax payer funds.
He ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military trials of detainees
He ordered overseas CIA interrogation centers closed.
He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind the USS Cole and the
"terror attack" on 9/11.
Now we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian
refuges to move to, and live in, the US at American taxpayer expense.
These important, and insightful, issues are being "lost" in the blinding
bail-outs and "stimulation" packages.
Doubtful? To verify this for yourself:
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Obama to be prayer day no-show
President to sign proclamation, observe privately
President Obama is distancing himself from the National Day of Prayer by nixing a formal early morning service and not attending a large Catholic prayer breakfast the next morning.
All Mr. Obama will do for the National Day of Prayer, which is Thursday, is sign a proclamation honoring the day, which originated in 1952 when Congress set aside the first Thursday in May for the observance.
For the past eight years, President George W. Bush invited selected Christian and Jewish leaders to the White House East Room, where he typically would give a short speech and several leaders offered prayers.
Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the president is simply reverting back to pre-Bush administration practice
Of course obama's lack of understanding of scripture and self centric worldview would put him in a spot to make demands of Israel - demanding they give up their nuclear program. (in exchange for 'peace') RIIIIGHT. Because all of the times Israel has given up things it has resulted in peace. Fools rush in...
EXCLUSIVE: Secret U.S.-Israel nuclear accord in jeopardy
President Obama’s efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons threaten to expose and derail a 40-year-old secret U.S. agreement to shield Israel’s nuclear weapons from international scrutiny, former and current U.S. and Israeli officials and nuclear specialists say.
The issue will likely come to a head when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Mr. Obama on May 18 in Washington. Mr. Netanyahu is expected to seek assurances from Mr. Obama that he will uphold the U.S. commitment and will not trade Israeli nuclear concessions for Iranian ones.
Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, speaking Tuesday at a U.N. meeting on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), said Israel should join the treaty, which would require Israel to declare and relinquish its nuclear arsenal.
However, Ms. Gottemoeller endorsed the concept of a nuclear-free Middle East in a 2005 paper that she co-authored, “Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security.”
“Instead of defensively trying to ignore Israels nuclear status, the United States and Israel should proactively call for regional dialogue to specify the conditions necessary to achieve a zone free of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons,” she wrote.
The paper recommends that Israel take steps to disarm in exchange for its neighbors getting rid of chemical and biological weapons programs as well as Iran forgoing uranium enrichment.
I am prayerful that Israel will tell barry to thoughtfully reconsider his foolhardiness... seeing how barry has a barrycentric worldview - I see that having no real impact. It will be interesting to see how long it takes before barry tries to strong arm Israel in to doing things his way and then ultimately selling them out. More interesting will be taking note of the timing of the judgement to come.
No need for concern, it's in God's hands. Psalm 122: 6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Do it often :)
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It's fine, it's how it has to be, but this gross miscalculation on his part will cost him dearly.
I full expect Netanyahu to reject out of hand the obama strong arm tactics. I can see a quickly deteriorating relationship with this administration and the Jewish state. This administration has already refused to meet with the Israeli chief of staff and Netanyahu himself.
What is at stake is the existence of Israel as a nation. Bibi understands this and he understands the direct threat iran has made against Israel and continues to make. Israel must, once again, go at it alone. But alone she is not.
Israel will not be destroyed. Remember what is said in Amos:
I will plant Israel in their own land,
never again to be uprooted
from the land I have given them,"
says the LORD your God.
But, there is a clear warning to those who would do Israel harm - it's found in Genesis:
I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."
God means what he says. The US will regret the day it turned it's back on Israel and tried to force her to give up God given land.
Netanyahu heads for collision with Obama administration
Israeli president Shimon Peres' task in Washington on May 4-5 is to blunt the sharp edge the White House is honing to force Israel to toe the new Washington line on the Palestinians, Syria and Iran.
Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu can expect the full force of a bludgeon to be wielded in his White House talks on May 18.
DEBKAfile's Washington sources report that their host is fired up to be the first US president in decades of close friendship and cooperation to clash openly with Israel and the bulk of US Jewry. Oblivious to Israel's claim of US support for its security in a hostile regional environment, Barack Obama is expected to squeeze the Netanyahu government hard for immediate engagement on the Middle East conflict without further delay.
According to our sources, the White House staff is working at top speed on options for imposing its will.
Peres and Netanyahu will be informed that Washington is setting up two trilateral peace commissions to hammer out peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel with the Syrians.
US officials in both chairs will intercede with their own ideas to prevent them running into deadlock on disputed issues. DEBKAfile's sources confirm that the Obama administration will not spare the whip to force the parties into line.
The US president and his top advisers are convinced that the Palestinian problem is the main obstacle to accommodations for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran. Defense secretary Robert Gates and national security adviser Gen. James Jones are the leading advocates of this proposition, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton more skeptical but ready to back the president's Middle East determination to place Israel in the first line of fire.
Some of DEBKAfile's US sources admit that President Obama is himself under pressure because, despite the high approval rating he gained for his first 100 days in office, his myriad policy initiatives have yet to show results.
His economic remedies have steadied the banking system but not yet filtered down to the general public, he faces a hard slog in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan before making headway, and Tehran is playing hardball at every turn on the road to dialogue.
The only arena where the White House can hope for quick results is the Israel-Palestinian-Syrian track.
The two peace conferences in preparation recall Bill Clinton's success in forcing the Serbs, Bosnians and Croats to sign the Dayton Accord of 1995, so terminating a war of three-and-a-half years.
The presidential envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, was the architect of Dayton. George Mitchell, Obama's Middle East envoy, is in line for a similar role today. During his two rounds of talks in Middle East capitals, Mitchell has shown a smiling, genial face, but said little, while in Washington, a State Department team is working overtime on a new American "road map."
It starts out with pressure on Israel to freeze settlement activity on the West Bank and construction in East Jerusalem. At a later stage, Israel would be pushed to abandon large sections of the West Bank, remove authorized communities as well as unauthorized outposts and hand over the historic nucleus of Jerusalem.
Finally, the Israeli government would be required to accept an independent Palestinian state, even if its government is dominated by the rejectionist terrorist group Hamas.
Peres and Netanyahu will find administration officials deaf not only on Israel's arguments on the Palestinian issue but on a nuclear-armed Iran too. They will see the US president no longer prioritizing the suspension of Iran's nuclear aspirations, but bent on establishing a new Persian Gulf order that formalizes Iran's rising power. Washington's objective now is negotiations for setting the boundaries of Iran's Middle East expansion and limits for its nuclear program.
Israel will have no say in this process. In fact, by elevating Iran to premier regional power, America is sidelining its longstanding friends, Israel and Egypt, and setting aside their security and strategic interests for the sake of deals with Iran.
Dennis Ross, US envoy for Iran, carried this message to the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, last week.
But Obama's new Middle East design is not without powerful opponents:
1. Tehran itself will not let Washington dictate the limits of its expanding influence but insists on dialogue taking place amid "equality and mutual respect." This attitude also governs its nuclear aspirations. US diplomats will have to make the running to temper the ayatollahs rather than the other way round.
2. Cairo and Riyadh will resist with all their might the US bid to anoint Iran the crowning Middle East-Gulf power. Both perceive Iran's nuclearization as the inevitable outcome of this policy.
They are also extremely concerned by Oabana's public endorsement of Turkey as the senior Muslim power in the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia, a boost for Ankara's aspirations to resuscitate the Ottoman Empire.
3. Jerusalem will resist being cast into a peripheral role in the strategic and military processes going forward with regard to Iran, the Palestinians, Syria and their terrorist arms, Hizballah and Hamas, all of which bear pivotally on Israel's future existence. Like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the Netanyahu government may not accept being crushed between two hostile regional powers, Iran and Turkey, whose aggressive pretensions Washington is promoting.
- Netanyahu is marshalling all Israel's resources, including an active role for President Peres, to avoid dropping into the role of second- or third-rate Middle East power whom no one consults.
Peres, whose rich diplomatic experience and international reputation make him a prime asset, has been pressed into service to become the first Israeli president to step out of his ceremonial role into active-policy-making.
- The Israeli prime minister will also take advantage of the interests Jerusalem shares with Cairo and Riyadh in frustrating the new Washington orientation – and not only with regard to Iran.
Netanyahu and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak have arranged to put their heads together and are meeting before their separate trips to Washington.
- Israel has not abandoned its option of a military strike against Iran's nuclear installations and its economic infrastructure. US officials, led by the defense secretary, are accordingly pouring contempt on the extent of the damage Israel is capable of inflicting. Next, they will try and tie Israel's hands by discrediting Netanyahu and his administration.
- A final arrow in Netanyahu's quiver is the ability to enlist American public opinion, which is traditionally supportive and sympathetic to Israel, against Obama's Grand Middle East Design. He will seek to canvass support among friends in the US Congress and the Jewish community.
Newt Gingrich: Obama's policy on Iran is a 'fantasy'
Former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Sunday blasted the Obama administration for setting itself on a collision course with Israel and endangering the Jewish state.
"They are systematically setting up the most decisive confrontation that we've ever seen," the leading Republican politician told The Jerusalem Post, referring to news reports about the administration's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"There's almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world," he said, speaking to the Post ahead of his
speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual conference.
He called US President Barack Obama's program of engagement on Iran a "fantasy," and his Middle East policies "very dangerous for Israel." He summed up Obama's approach as "the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter."
Instead, he maintained, the US should be sending the message to Israel that "we are for the survival of Israel" and that "we are not going to tolerate Iran getting nuclear weapons."
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you.
Let's remember God's warning to those who would try to divide the land given to Israel
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
Lets look at how this administration and its advisors do in a post-Christian world
Obama advised to suspend intelligence, military dialogue with Israel
WASHINGTON — A leading ally of President Barack Obama and critic of the Israel lobby in the United States has outlined a proposed U.S. campaign to pressure Israel that would suspend the intelligence dialogue between the two countries.
The timing is good.
Israel's "special relationship" with the United States has been low-hanging fruit for the unrelenting and politically victorious critics of the Bush administration's War on Terror which targeted militants in Iraq, Iran and Syria in coordination with Israel's security agencies.
Stephen Walt, a U.S. professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, who co-authored with John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago a controversial study on the Israeli lobby in the United States, has drafted recommendations for the Obama administration to pressure the new Israeli government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
Walt, regarded as influential in the U.S. diplomatic community, said the campaign should begin by administration criticism of Israel and support for United Nations resolutions that condemn the Jewish state.
"U.S. officials could even describe Israel's occupation [of the West Bank] as 'contrary to democracy,' 'unwise,' 'cruel,' or 'unjust,'" Walt wrote in the U.S. magazine Foreign Policy.
"Altering the rhetoric would send a clear signal to the Israeli government and its citizens that their government's opposition to a two-state solution was jeopardizing the special relationship."
Netanyahu was scheduled to fly to Washington to meet Obama in May 2009. But on April 16, the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot reported that Netanyahu was expected to cancel his visit amid an assessment that Obama would refuse to meet the Israeli prime minister.
"Within four years there will be a permanent settlement between Israel and Palestinians," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was quoted by Yediot as saying. "We don't care who the prime minister is."
Walt's report, titled "Can the United States Put Pressure on Israel: A User's Guide." marked the latest recommendations to the Obama administration to revise U.S. policy toward Israel.
In March 2009, a report by a bipartisan panel of foreign policy analysts called on the White House to pressure Israel as part of an effort to resolve the U.S. conflict with the Arab world.
The book by Walt and Mearshimer, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, generated controversy but also served to validate a growing alternative foreign policy consensus for a new administration elected in large part on the basis of the repudiation of the 43rd U.S. president.
But the book was also repudiated by such ideologically opposed former foreign policy officials as former Secretary of State (1982-89) George Shultz and former N.Y. Times correspondent and former President of the Council on Foreign Relations Leslie Gelb.
"Anyone who thinks that Jewish groups constitute a homogeneous 'lobby' ought to spend some time dealing with them," Shultz wrote in the U.S. News and World Report. "For example, my decision to open a dialogue with Yasser Arafat after he met certain conditions evoked a wide spectrum of responses from the government of Israel, its political parties, and American Jewish groups who weighed in on one side or the other. ... The United States supports Israel not because of favoritism based on political pressure or influence but because the American people, and their leaders, say that supporting Israel is politically sound and morally just. ... So, on every level, those who blame Israel and its Jewish supporters for U.S. policies they do not support are wrong. They are wrong because, to begin with, support for Israel is in our best interests. They are also wrong because Israel and its supporters have the right to try to influence U.S. policy. And they are wrong because the U.S. government is responsible for the policies it adopts, not any other state or any of the myriad lobbies and groups that battle daily—sometimes with lies — to win America's support."
Leslie Gelb wrote in the New York Times Book Review that the scholarship was shoddy and that the authors were biased. "More troublingly, [Walt and Mearsheimer] don’t seriously review the facts of the two most critical issues to Israel and the lobby — arms sales to Arab states and the question of a Palestinian state — matters on which the American position has consistently run counter to the so-called all-powerful Jewish lobby. For several decades, administration after administration has sold Saudi Arabia and other Arab states first-rate modern weapons, against the all-out opposition of Israel and the lobby. And make no mistake, these arms have represented genuine security risks to Israel. . . And on the policy issue that has counted most to Israel and the lobby — preventing the United States from accepting a Palestinian state prior to a negotiated deal between Israel and the Palestinians — it’s fair to say Washington has quietly sided with the Palestinians for a long time."
Walt warned against any immediate attempt by Obama to reduce the $3 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Israel. He said this would result in a battle with the Democratic-controlled Congress.
"There's a lot of potential leverage here, but it's probably not the best stick to use, at least not at first," Walt said.
"Trying to trim or cut the aid package will trigger an open and undoubtedly ugly confrontation in Congress — where the influence of AIPAC and other hard-line groups in the Israel lobby is greatest. So that's not where I'd start."
But Walt urged Obama to reduce U.S. strategic cooperation with Israel. He said the administration could suspend the dialogue between the Israeli and U.S. intelligence communities as well as that of the Israeli military and the Defense Department.
"Today, such a step would surely get the attention of Israel's security establishment," Walt said.
Walt also recommended that the United States reduce its procurement of Israeli defense equipment, another step that would not require congressional approval. Israel has sold a range of armor, munitions and platforms deployed by the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"Obama could instruct Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to slow or decrease these purchases, which would send an unmistakable signal that it was no longer business-as-usual," Walt said.
"Given the battering Israel's economy has taken in the current global recession, this step would get noticed too. And most of these measures could be implemented by the Executive Branch alone, thereby outflanking die-hard defenders of the special relationship in Congress."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
'The Truth' by Painter Michael D'Antuono which will be unveiled on President Obama's 100th Day in Office at NYC's Union Square.
(PRNewsFoto/NOAH G POP FAM)
the secular messiah gets his crown of thorns as a gift for his 100th day in office.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie 2Thesalonians 2:11
Thursday, April 23, 2009
DEBKAfile quotes senior Israeli military circles as staggered by the discovery that US president Barack Obama had approved a large Turkish arms sale to the Lebanese army, including the services of Turkish military instructors. This was taken as further proof that the US president is deaf to Israel's immediate security concerns. Lebanese president Gen. Michel Suleiman has more than once threatened neighboring Israel. When he signed the arms deal in Ankara Tuesday, April 21, he once again pledged publicly to place the Lebanese army at the disposal of the Shiite terrorist Hizballah in any confrontation with Israel.
If that happened, said one Israeli source, Israel could find itself under attack not just by Hizballah as in the past, but by a Lebanese army, well trained and armed by Turkey. He noted that more than 50 percent of Lebanon's fighting manpower are Shiites loyal to Hizballah.
The conviction is growing in Jerusalem that the US president endorsed the transaction as a means of breaking up the long-standing military pact between Israel and Turkey, because it interferes with his Middle East objectives. Our sources note that neither Washington nor Ankara bothered to inform Israel of the transaction or its scope.
After meeting Turkish president Abdullah Gul, Suleiman at the head of a large Lebanese military delegation signed the contracts for the sale and declared with deep satisfaction: "We reviewed the new [US] policies towards the region in the light of President Obama's recent visit to Turkey."
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
The border for dummies
Can someone please tell us how U. S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano got her job? She appears to be about as knowledgeable about border issues as a late-night radio call-in yahoo.
In an interview broadcast Monday on the CBC, Ms. Napolitano attempted to justify her call for stricter border security on the premise that "suspected or known terrorists" have entered the U. S. across the Canadian border, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack.
All the 9/11 terrorists, of course, entered the United States directly from overseas. The notion that some arrived via Canada is a myth that briefly popped up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, and was then quickly debunked.
Informed of her error, Ms. Napolitano blustered: "I can't talk to that. I can talk about the future. And here's the future. The future is we have borders."
Just what does that mean, exactly?
Just a few weeks ago, Ms. Napolitano equated Canada's border to Mexico's, suggesting they deserved the same treatment. Mexico is engulfed in a drug war that left more than 5,000 dead last year, and which is spawning a spillover kidnapping epidemic in Arizona. So many Mexicans enter the United States illegally that a multi-billion-dollar barrier has been built from Texas to California to keep them out.
In Canada, on the other hand, the main problem is congestion resulting from cross-border trade. Not quite the same thing, is it?
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
DEBKAfile's exclusive Washington sources disclose that their meeting ended with the US president accepting the extended Arab League Middle East peace plan initiated by Saudi Arabia. This confirmed the statement by his special Middle East envoy George Mitchell on his visit to Jerusalem last week that the Arab peace plan had been incorporated in the Obama Middle East peace plan based on the creation of a Palestinian state.
The new version simply spells out some of the clauses in the original, such as what the Arab governments mean by "normal relations" with Israel. The Jordanian king left with the president a document listing the deal the Arab states are ready to offer Israel for withdrawing to the pre-1967 war lines, i.e. evacuating the West Bank, Golan Heights and historic Jerusalem, and accepting the foundation of a Palestinian state.
The two leaders agreed the document would not be published before Obama presents it to Netanyahu at the White House in June. He will ask the Israeli prime minister for an immediate answer and urge him to accept the Arab peace plan as the basis for direct negotiations with the Palestinians and Syria in which the United States will be actively engaged.
Our sources add that the US president is seriously considering making a televised speech before Netanyahu's arrival to play up the Arab proposals on offer provided Israel is ready to make far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians and Syria.
If true, this is the first step toward a period of very bad times for obama and the United States...
Genesis 12:3 reminds us of God's covenant with Israel. President obama would have been better served attending a church that spent time in God's word rather than liberation theology.
While they travel the world blaming America for being exceptional, plots unfold to kill the citizens of this country..
How will the public react when Obama's actions to strip our intelligence agencies ability to gather information results in the death of hundreds or thousands more? Who will hold him accountable?
The CIA's Questioning Worked
By Marc A. Thiessen
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists "did not make us safer." This is patently false. The proof is in the memos Obama made public -- in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.
Consider the Justice Department memo of May 30, 2005. It notes that "the CIA believes 'the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.' . . . In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques." The memo continues: "Before the CIA used enhanced techniques . . . KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, 'Soon you will find out.' " Once the techniques were applied, "interrogations have led to specific, actionable intelligence, as well as a general increase in the amount of intelligence regarding al Qaeda and its affiliates."
Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques "led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles." KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. The memo explains that "information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave.' " In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.
The memo notes that "[i]nterrogations of [Abu] Zubaydah -- again, once enhanced techniques were employed -- furnished detailed information regarding al Qaeda's 'organizational structure, key operatives, and modus operandi' and identified KSM as the mastermind of the September 11 attacks." This information helped the intelligence community plan the operation that captured KSM. It went on: "Zubaydah and KSM also supplied important information about al-Zarqawi and his network" in Iraq, which helped our operations against al-Qaeda in that country.
All this confirms information that I and others have described publicly. But just as the memo begins to describe previously undisclosed details of what enhanced interrogations achieved, the page is almost entirely blacked out. The Obama administration released pages of unredacted classified information on the techniques used to question captured terrorist leaders but pulled out its black marker when it came to the details of what those interrogations achieved.
Yet there is more information confirming the program's effectiveness. The Office of Legal Counsel memo states "we discuss only a small fraction of the important intelligence CIA interrogators have obtained from KSM" and notes that "intelligence derived from CIA detainees has resulted in more than 6,000 intelligence reports and, in 2004, accounted for approximately half of the [Counterterrorism Center's] reporting on al Qaeda." The memos refer to other classified documents -- including an "Effectiveness Memo" and an "IG Report," which explain how "the use of enhanced techniques in the interrogations of KSM, Zubaydah and others . . . has yielded critical information." Why didn't Obama officials release this information as well? Because they know that if the public could see the details of the techniques side by side with evidence that the program saved American lives, the vast majority would support continuing it.
Critics claim that enhanced techniques do not produce good intelligence because people will say anything to get the techniques to stop. But the memos note that, "as Abu Zubaydah himself explained with respect to enhanced techniques, 'brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardship." In other words, the terrorists are called by their faith to resist as far as they can -- and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know. This is because of their belief that "Islam will ultimately dominate the world and that this victory is inevitable." The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.
This is the secret to the program's success. And the Obama administration's decision to share this secret with the terrorists threatens our national security. Al-Qaeda will use this information and other details in the memos to train its operatives to resist questioning and withhold information on planned attacks. CIA Director Leon Panetta said during his confirmation hearings that even the Obama administration might use some of the enhanced techniques in a "ticking time bomb" scenario. What will the administration do now that it has shared the limits of our interrogation techniques with the enemy? President Obama's decision to release these documents is one of the most dangerous and irresponsible acts ever by an American president during a time of war -- and Americans may die as a result.
Friday, April 17, 2009
By Ann Coulter Ann Coulter – Wed Apr 15, 10:39 pm ET
I had no idea how important this week's nationwide anti-tax tea parties were until hearing liberals denounce them with such ferocity. The New York Times' Paul Krugman wrote a column attacking the tea parties, apologizing for making fun of "crazy people." It's OK, Paul, you're allowed to do that for the same reason Jews can make fun of Jews.
On MSNBC, hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow have been tittering over the similarity of the name "tea parties" to an obscure homosexual sexual practice known as "tea bagging." Night after night, they sneer at Republicans for being so stupid as to call their rallies "tea bagging."
Every host on Air America and every unbathed, basement-dwelling loser on the left wing blogosphere has spent the last week making jokes about tea bagging, a practice they show a surprising degree of familiarity with.
Except no one is calling the tea parties "tea bagging" -- except Olbermann and Maddow. Republicans call them "tea parties."
But if the Republicans were calling them "tea-bagging parties," the MSNBC hosts would have a fantastically hilarious segment for viewers in San Francisco and the West Village and not anyplace else in the rest of the country. On the other hand, they're not called "tea-bagging parties." (That, of course refers to the cocktail hour at Barney Frank's condo in Georgetown.)
You know what else would be hilarious? It would be hilarious if Hillary Clinton's name were "Ima Douche." Unfortunately, it's not. It was just a dream. Most people would wake up, realize it was just a dream and scrap the joke. Not MSNBC hosts.
The point of the tea parties is to note the fact that the Democrats' modus operandi is to lead voters to believe they are no more likely to raise taxes than Republicans, get elected and immediately raise taxes.
Apparently, the people who actually pay taxes consider this a bad idea.
Obama's biggest shortcoming is that he believes the things believed by all Democrats, which have had devastating consequences every time they are put into effect. Among these is the Democrats' admiration for raising taxes on the productive.
All Democrats for the last 30 years have tried to stimulate the economy by giving "tax cuts" to people who don't pay taxes. Evidently, offering to expand welfare payments isn't a big vote-getter.
Even Bush had a "stimulus" bill that sent government checks to lots of people last year. Guess what happened? It didn't stimulate the economy. Obama's stimulus bill is the mother of all pork bills for friends of O and of Congressional Democrats. ("O" stands for Obama, not Oprah, but there's probably a lot of overlap.)
And all that government spending on the Democrats' constituents will be paid for by raising taxes on the productive.
Raise taxes and the productive will work less, adopt tax shelters, barter instead of sell, turn to an underground economy -- and the government will get less money.
The perfect bar bet with a liberal would be to wager that massive government deficits in the '80s were not caused by Reagan's tax cuts. If you casually mentioned that you thought Reagan's tax cuts brought in more revenue to the government -- which they did -- you could get odds in Hollywood and Manhattan. (This became a less attractive wager in New York this week after Gov. David Paterson announced his new plan to tax bar bets.)
The lie at the heart of liberals' mantra on taxes -- "tax increases only for the rich" -- is the ineluctable fact that unless taxes are raised across the board, the government won't get its money to fund layers and layers of useless government bureaucrats, none of whom can possibly be laid off.
How much would you have to raise taxes before any of Obama's constituents noticed? They don't pay taxes, they engage in "tax-reduction" strategies, they work for the government, or they're too rich to care. (Or they have off-shore tax shelters, like George Soros.)
California tried the Obama soak-the-productive "stimulus" plan years ago and was hailed as the perfect exemplar of Democratic governance.
In June 2002, the liberal American Prospect magazine called California a "laboratory" for Democratic policies, noting that "California is the only one of the nation's 10 largest states that is uniformly under Democratic control."
They said this, mind you, as if it were a good thing. In California, the article proclaimed, "the next new deal is in tryouts." As they say in show biz: "Thanks, we'll call you. Next!"
In just a few years, Democrats had turned California into a state -- or as it's now known, a "job-free zone" -- with a $41 billion deficit, a credit rating that was slashed to junk-bond status and a middle class now located in Arizona.
Democrats governed California the way Democrats always govern. They bought the votes of government workers with taxpayer-funded jobs, salaries and benefits -- and then turned around and accused the productive class of "greed" for wanting not to have their taxes raised through the roof.
Having run out of things to tax, now the California legislature is considering a tax on taxes. Seriously. The only way out now for California is a tax on Botox and steroids. Sure, the governor will protest, but it is the best solution ...
California was, in fact, a laboratory of Democratic policies. The rabbit died, so now Obama is trying it on a national level.
That's what the tea parties are about.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Gates totally opposes Israeli strike on Iran
DEBKAfile Special Report
April 16, 2009, 9:30 AM (GMT+02:00)
The US defense secretary Robert Gates again voiced extreme objections to an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites. Addressing US marines, Wednesday, April 16, he said Iran's nuclearization can only be stopped by an Iranian decision. "A strike probably would delay Tehran's nuclear program one to three years, it would unify Iranians, cement their determination to have a nuclear program and also build into the whole country an undying hatred of whoever hits them."
DEBKAfile's military sources take issue with Gates' assessment. They note that he avoided spelling out the words "nuclear weapon" - as though to blur the fact that this is Iran's goal. As for his use of "undying hatred," in the future tense, he may not have noticed that the radical Islamic regime bombards its people night and day with their undying hatred for Israel and calls to "wipe the Jewish state off map."
The US defense secretary knows very well that if Israel lets Tehran acquire a nuclear bomb capability, it will be Iran's first target, whether directly or as a shield for its terrorist proxies. Furthermore, no Israeli government can afford to forego three years – and probably more - relieved of the threat of annihilation by a power dedicated to its destruction. Even Gates cannot prophesy the exact consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran, say those sources. The Middle East would certainly be a different place for all its denizens.
In a time and a world short of courage and full of threats we need leaders who have conviction in their beliefs and stand for principles irrespective of popularity. Robert Gates is not that man. Robert Gates appears to be a coward. For the SoD to say that the only thing that will keep iran from getting a nuclear weapon is iran demonstrates a position of weakness and total disregard for our ally Israel.
I will note that the obama administration is keen on abandoning Israel as an ally - and maybe this is just a piece of that. Gates, if he were a principled leader, would stand up for what is right irrespective of the effects on his public service career. The implications for abandoning Israel are considerable.. Foolish is the leader who paves the way for this decision.
The unintended consequence of all of this, of course, is that Israel will be left alone to act. And act they will. The rest of the world will not like it when they do.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It's shameful that they would single out veterans, people who have a stance on abortion and people who have a stance on immigration. Is this a foundational document for future persecution?
"It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."
"The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks."
This is terrible. We deserve better from our Department of Homeland Security. What we get is dangerous political propaganda and political correctness.
Lest we forget this great agency has changed the term terrorism to 'man-made disaster' and the war on terror is now an 'overseas contingency operation.' This nonsense is coming from the agency created to keep us safe.
We are, to put it politely, effed.
From Ed Morrissey:
Of all the smears listed in the new DHS warning about “right-wing extremism,” none are more dastardly and despicable than the insinuation that returning military veterans represent a security threat to the nation they willingly served. The Commander of the American Legion has sent the following letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano explaining to her that military veterans are not the enemy:
Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528
April 13, 2009
Dear Secretary Napolitano,
On behalf of the 2.6 million-member American Legion, I am stating my concern about your April 7 report, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence and Recruitment.”
First, I want to assure you that The American Legion has long shared your concern about white supremacist and anti-government groups. In 1923, when the Ku Klux Klan still yielded unspeakable influence in this country, The American Legion passed Resolution 407. It resolved, in part, “…we consider any individual, group of individuals or organizations, which creates, or fosters racial, religious or class strife among our people, or which takes into their own hands the enforcement of law, determination of guilt, or infliction of punishment, to be un-American, a menace to our liberties, and destructive to our fundamental law…”
The best that I can say about your recent report is that it is incomplete. The report states, without any statistical evidence, “The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
The American Legion is well aware and horrified at the pain inflicted during the Oklahoma City bombing, but Timothy McVeigh was only one of more than 42 million veterans who have worn this nation’s uniform during wartime. To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical “disgruntled military veteran” is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.
Your report states that “Rightwing extremists were concerned during the 1990s with the perception that illegal immigrants were taking away American jobs through their willingness to work at significantly lower wages.” Secretary Napolitano, this is more than a perception to those who have lost their job. Would you categorize union members as “Right Wing extremists”?
In spite of this incomplete, and, I fear, politically-biased report, The American Legion and the Department of Homeland Security share many common and crucial interests, such as the Citizen Corps and disaster preparedness. Since you are a graduate of New Mexico Girls State, I trust that you are very familiar with The American Legion. I would be happy to meet with you at a time of mutual convenience to discuss issues such as border security and the war on terrorism. I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are.
David K. Rehbein
The American Legion
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Let's see, we're less than 100 days in and so far we have...
North Korea launching a missile in defiance of US demands
Somali pirates hijacking US flagged ships
Iran charging an American journalist with espionage
Chinese maritime aggression against US Navy ships
Friday, April 3, 2009
Trusting the government when they say they want to take away your guns for your best interest is a dangerous hobby.
The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come From U.S.
You've heard this shocking "fact" before -- on TV and radio, in newspapers, on the Internet and from the highest politicians in the land: 90 percent of the weapons used to commit crimes in Mexico come from the United States.
-- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it to reporters on a flight to Mexico City.
-- CBS newsman Bob Schieffer referred to it while interviewing President Obama.
-- California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said at a Senate hearing: "It is unacceptable to have 90 percent of the guns that are picked up in Mexico and used to shoot judges, police officers and mayors ... come from the United States."
-- William Hoover, assistant director for field operations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, testified in the House of Representatives that "there is more than enough evidence to indicate that over 90 percent of the firearms that have either been recovered in, or interdicted in transport to Mexico, originated from various sources within the United States."
There's just one problem with the 90 percent "statistic" and it's a big one:
It's just not true.
In fact, it's not even close. The fact is, only 17 percent of guns found at Mexican crime scenes have been traced to the U.S.....
...."These kinds of guns -- the auto versions of these guns -- they are not coming from El Paso," he said. "They are coming from other sources. They are brought in from Guatemala. They are brought in from places like China. They are being diverted from the military. But you don't get these guns from the U.S."
Some guns, he said, "are legitimately shipped to the government of Mexico, by Colt, for example, in the United States. They are approved by the U.S. government for use by the Mexican military service. The guns end up in Mexico that way -- the fully auto versions -- they are not smuggled in across the river."
Many of the fully automatic weapons that have been seized in Mexico cannot be found in the U.S., but they are not uncommon in the Third World.
The Mexican government said it has seized 2,239 grenades in the last two years -- but those grenades and the rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) are unavailable in U.S. gun shops. The ones used in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Monterrey in October and a TV station in January were made in South Korea. Almost 70 similar grenades were seized in February in the bottom of a truck entering Mexico from Guatemala.
"Most of these weapons are being smuggled from Central American countries or by sea, eluding U.S. and Mexican monitors who are focused on the smuggling of semi-automatic and conventional weapons purchased from dealers in the U.S. border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California," according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
.."The predominant source of guns in Mexico is Central and South America. You also have Russian, Chinese and Israeli guns. It's estimated that over 100,000 soldiers deserted the army to work for the drug cartels, and that ignores all the police. How many of them took their weapons with them?"
"Reporter after politician after news anchor just disregards the truth on this," Cox said. "The numbers are intentionally used to weaken the Second Amendment."
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
maybe calling us a nation of cowards (when it comes to race) is true, however. if we were not cowards, we would speak openly about the things that really hurt the black community - black on black violence, astronomical illegitimacy rates, social mocking of education, celebration of misogyny and lack of accountability.. we would talk about those openly. but we do not. maybe holder has a point.
No Place Nowadays for Eric Holder’s ‘Nation of Cowards’ Rant
Latter-day Pharisees like the attorney general presume to lecture us about race while doing nothing to address real problems affecting ordinary Americans.
“Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial.”
– Eric Holder
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones …”
– Matthew 23:27
She is a woman of impressive personal dignity, down to earth and friendly, yet unmistakably one of those natural aristocrats who expects to be respected. The daughter of a prominent businessman in her north Georgia hometown, she went to college in Atlanta where she met her husband. He became a lawyer and an influential political leader — he is now a superior court judge — and she remains active in civic organizations in her retirement.
For the organizers of the Atlanta Olympic Committee, Marilyn Arrington was clearly a woman whose assistance should be solicited. And when her Olympic duties brought her back to her hometown in 1996, my editor at the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune sent me out to interview the lady. The assignment was an honor, and I was eager to accomplish it well, given both the importance of the subject and the fact that our publisher was keeping a keen eye on our Olympic coverage.
So I interviewed her, and soon discovered that this eminent lady had been one of the foot soldiers of the civil rights revolution. Her father had been the local agent for Atlanta Life Insurance, which made him a de facto leader of Rome’s black business community. And when, as a Clark College undergraduate, she joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and began participating in sit-in protests against segregation in Atlanta — well, this caused some consternation with her father.
Mrs. Arrington’s father was part of an informal group of civic leaders who met regularly in Rome. These men, black and white, were part of a community effort to ensure that whatever the outcome of the struggle then underway, no damage would be done to the peace and prosperity of their town. In an era of extreme tension, this was a difficult task — history books now are studded with the names of towns where such efforts failed, or were never undertaken — and the young Clark student’s activism made her father’s labors all the more difficult.
How would it look, after all, if she were arrested among the protesters at the all-white lunch counters in Atlanta? His daughter, a “troublemaker”? This would be a disastrous revelation, considering the prevailing mood in her north Georgia hometown. And so an agreement was reached between father and daughter: When the police showed up, she would leave when asked, leaving others to be arrested in the ritual of civil disobedience. This was acceptable to her SNCC comrades, who assigned her to what she described more than three decades later as the “go squad.” By design, sit-in demonstrators would be divided into two groups — most on the “go squad,” who would obey the police order to leave, and a relative few on the “stay squad,” pledged to leave only in handcuffs.
This go/stay division was part of the careful orchestration of the sit-in protests that I’d never heard described before, and it occurred to me — as Mrs. Arrington told her story with my tape recorder rolling — that her position with the Olympic committee was far from being her greatest claim to historic distinction. Memories of that 1996 interview came to mind Wednesday, after Attorney General Eric Holder denounced America as “a nation of cowards,” afraid to talk about race.
With so many problems afflicting America today, especially with the economy in crisis, what purpose was served by Holder’s remarks? Trillions of dollars in asset value were wiped out by the collapse of the housing “bubble” and the ripple effects of that collapse have shaken financial institutions worldwide to their very foundations. It hardly seems a convenient moment for an angry racial harangue from the nation’s chief law enforcement official.
Particularly odd was that Holder chose to deliver his lecture in the middle of Black History Month, when America’s school children are annually immersed in the subject of race. Originally conceived by pioneering scholar Carter G. Woodson as a means of inspiring black youth by celebrating the accomplishments of overlooked achievers, in recent decades Black History Month has been hijacked by those who view the story of African-Americans not as one of hard-earned progress, but of perpetual victimhood and permanent grievance.
Most Americans over age 30 have little idea how the teaching of history has been perverted by the damaging attitudes Shelby Steele examined in his 2007 bestseller, White Guilt. And because history has been hijacked by grievance mongers and guilt-trippers, most Americans under age 30 have absolutely no idea of what a triumphant tale our nation has to tell, including stories like the one told by the distinguished lady from the Olympic committee.
Every February, America’s children are taught about the fire hoses and police dogs turned upon anti-segregation protesters in Birmingham, Alabama, but no one ever seems to point out that such incidents were the exception rather than the rule, even during the height of the struggle over civil rights in the South. The comparatively peaceful end of Jim Crow in Atlanta and other communities, made possible by cooperative efforts of responsible leaders both black and white — of this, our nation’s children have been taught nothing at all for the past 20 years.
However painful our history has been and whatever our problems of race relations today, our children deserve better than to be deluded by the narratives of guilt and grievance that have come to dominate the teaching of American history. No other nation on earth has done more to advance the cause of liberty and justice, and yet — so far as our children learn during Black History Month — America is nothing but chains and whips and Bull Connor’s police dogs.
What happened? This question has long troubled me. Just a kindergartner during the watershed year of 1964, when passage of the Civil Rights Act wrote the obituary of Jim Crow, I grew up in a time of comparative racial tranquility in the South. No “incidents” disturbed my youth attending the recently integrated schools of Douglas County, Ga., nor did any racial conflict mar my years at Jacksonville (Ala.) State University.
By the 1990s, however, one could scarcely ignore the signs of deteriorating race relations in America. The 1987 Tawana Brawley controversy and the 1991 Crown Heights riots in New York; the 1991 Rodney King beating and the 1992 riots in Los Angeles; the O.J. Simpson trial in 1995 — you could turn on CNN any night and watch racial anger unleashed with hideous consequences.
What went wrong? I put this question to Mrs. Arrington that afternoon in 1996. Our interview had ended; the tape recorder had been put away. This was not a reporter’s question, but rather an earnest hope that someone who had served as a soldier in the civil right revolution might offer insight into the causes of the apparent backsliding. Expecting her to identify a recent source of these woes, I was surprised by her answer.
“It seems to me it was around 1965 or ‘66, when Stokely Carmichael and Rap Brown and that crowd came in,” she said, referring to militants who captured the leadership of SNCC. “They kicked the white people out of the movement and started talking about ‘black power’ — everything was ‘whitey this’ and ‘whitey that.’ … It was never the same after that.”
While Mrs. Arrington was the first to share that historical perspective with me, she was not the last. Over the years, many others who were active in civil rights during that era — including conservative author David Horowitz — have related similar stories. Tragically, because the black-power militants of the late 1960s allied themselves with white radicals who subsequently burrowed into academia to begin their “long march through the institutions,” it is their “whitey this, whitey that” guilt-and-grievance narrative that now dominates what young Americans are taught about our nation’s racial past and present.
Drugs, crime, educational failure, rampant illegitimacy — the real problems affecting millions of black people today — are not the issues the attorney general refers to when he denounces America as a “nation of cowards.” But these issues loom large for Judge Marvin Arrington every day in his Atlanta courtroom, as he faces a sad parade of young black criminals who shun honest opportunity and instead prey upon their own community.
Ideas have consequences, Richard Weaver once famously observed, and the tragedy enveloping so much of black America today might well be viewed as a consequence of the wrong turn that Marilyn Arrington described.
Stokely Carmichael changed his name to Kwame Toure in tribute to two notorious African dictators, and died in 1998 after bizarrely claiming that his fatal prostate cancer was the result of an FBI plot against him. H. Rap Brown changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, and ended his career as a “community organizer” by shooting to death a black sheriff’s deputy in 2000. Such are the villainous examples emulated by the violent young criminals who pass through Marvin Arrington’s courtroom.
Our latter-day Pharisees presume to lecture us about race while doing nothing to address real problems affecting ordinary Americans. Like the corrupt leaders of Israel whom Jesus condemned two millennia ago, these Pharisees expect to be praised and admired for displaying their hypocritical self-righteousness as they stand in judgment over a nation they mislead and betray.
Woe unto them and woe unto the nation that follows such wicked leadership.
Monday, February 16, 2009
President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form. He has repeatedly raised the specter of another Great Depression. First, he did so to win votes in the November election. He has done so again recently to sway congressional votes for his stimulus package.
In his remarks, every gloomy statistic on the economy becomes a harbinger of doom. As he tells it, today's economy is the worst since the Great Depression. Without his Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he says, the economy will fall back into that abyss and may never recover.
This fearmongering may be good politics, but it is bad history and bad economics. It is bad history because our current economic woes don't come close to those of the 1930s. At worst, a comparison to the 1981-82 recession might be appropriate. Consider the job losses that Mr. Obama always cites. In the last year, the U.S. economy shed 3.4 million jobs. That's a grim statistic for sure, but represents just 2.2% of the labor force. From November 1981 to October 1982, 2.4 million jobs were lost -- fewer in number than today, but the labor force was smaller. So 1981-82 job losses totaled 2.2% of the labor force, the same as now.
Job losses in the Great Depression were of an entirely different magnitude. In 1930, the economy shed 4.8% of the labor force. In 1931, 6.5%. And then in 1932, another 7.1%. Jobs were being lost at double or triple the rate of 2008-09 or 1981-82.
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This was reflected in unemployment rates. The latest survey pegs U.S. unemployment at 7.6%. That's more than three percentage points below the 1982 peak (10.8%) and not even a third of the peak in 1932 (25.2%). You simply can't equate 7.6% unemployment with the Great Depression.
Other economic statistics also dispel any analogy between today's economic woes and the Great Depression. Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose in 2008, despite a bad fourth quarter. The Congressional Budget Office projects a GDP decline of 2% in 2009. That's comparable to 1982, when GDP contracted by 1.9%. It is nothing like 1930, when GDP fell by 9%, or 1931, when GDP contracted by another 8%, or 1932, when it fell yet another 13%.
Auto production last year declined by roughly 25%. That looks good compared to 1932, when production shriveled by 90%. The failure of a couple of dozen banks in 2008 just doesn't compare to over 10,000 bank failures in 1933, or even the 3,000-plus bank (Savings & Loan) failures in 1987-88. Stockholders can take some solace from the fact that the recent stock market debacle doesn't come close to the 90% devaluation of the early 1930s.
Mr. Obama's analogies to the Great Depression are not only historically inaccurate, they're also dangerous. Repeated warnings from the White House about a coming economic apocalypse aren't likely to raise consumer and investor expectations for the future. In fact, they have contributed to the continuing decline in consumer confidence that is restraining a spending pickup. Beyond that, fearmongering can trigger a political stampede to embrace a "recovery" package that delivers a lot less than it promises. A more cool-headed assessment of the economy's woes might produce better policies.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
The Stimulus Tragedy
President Obama has started to play the "catastrophe" card to sell his economic stimulus plan, using yesterday's terrible January jobs report to predict doom unless Congress acts. No doubt he'll get his way, but the tragedy of this first great effort of the Obama Presidency is what a lost opportunity it is.
Everyone agrees that some kind of fiscal stimulus might help the economy, and that running budget deficits is appropriate in a recession. The stage was thus set for the popular President to forge a bipartisan consensus that combined ideas from both parties. A major cut in the corporate tax favored by Republicans could have been added to Democratic public works spending for a quick political triumph that might have done at least some economic good.
Instead, Mr. Obama chose to let House Democrats write the bill, and they did what comes naturally: They cleaned out their intellectual cupboards and wrote a bill that is 90% social policy, and 10% economic policy. (See here for a case study.) It is designed to support incomes with transfer payments, rather than grow incomes through job creation.
This is the reason the bill has run into political trouble, despite a new President with 65% job approval. The 11 Democrats who opposed it in the House didn't do so because they want to hand Mr. Obama a defeat. The same is true of the Senate moderates of both parties working to trim their $900 billion version. They've acted because they can't justify a vote for so much spending for so little economic effect. You know a piece of legislation is in trouble when even its authors begin to deny paternity, as economist Martin Feldstein has recently done.
Speaking to a House Democratic retreat on Thursday night, Mr. Obama took on those critics. "So then you get the argument, well, this is not a stimulus bill, this is a spending bill. What do you think a stimulus is? (Laughter and applause.) That's the whole point. No, seriously. (Laughter.) That's the point. (Applause.)"
So there it is: Mr. Obama is now endorsing a sort of reductionist Keynesianism that argues that any government spending is an economic stimulus. This is so manifestly false that we doubt Mr. Obama really believes it. He has to know that it matters what the government spends the money on, as well as how it is financed. A dollar doled out in jobless benefits may well be spent by the worker who receives it. That $1 of spending will count as economic activity and add to GDP.
But that same dollar can't be conjured out of thin air. The government has to take that dollar away from someone else -- either in higher taxes, or by issuing new debt in the form of a bond. The person who is taxed or buys the bond will have $1 less to spend. If the beneficiary of that $1 spends it on something less productive than the taxed American or the lender would have, then the net impact on growth will be negative.
Some Democrats claim these transfer payments are stimulating because they go mainly to poor people, who immediately spend the money. Tax cuts for business or for incomes across the board won't work, they add, because those tax cuts go disproportionately to "the rich," who will save the money. But a saved $1 doesn't vanish from the economy, unless it is stuffed into a mattress. It enters the financial system, where it is lent to others; or it is invested in the stock market as capital for businesses; or it is invested in entirely new businesses, which are the real drivers of job creation and prosperity.
At the current moment, amid a capital strike, the latter is the kind of fiscal stimulus we really need. Yet there is virtually none of it in the bills now moving through Congress. Senate moderates may succeed in cutting $100 billion or so in spending from the bill, which is political window dressing. Even they aren't talking about adding the kind of tax cuts that would really help the economy now.
We should add how different this is from the 1980s or even the 1960s. Democrats added business tax cuts to the Reagan package of 1981, while Jack Kennedy's chief economist (Walter Heller) promoted marginal rate tax cuts on stimulus grounds in the 1960s. Yet Mr. Obama, on Thursday, dismissed any such tax cuts as "the same tired arguments and worn ideas that helped to create this crisis." That's rhetoric for a campaign, not for a President hoping to rally bipartisan support.
The biggest gamble with this stimulus is what it means if the economy doesn't recover. Monetary policy is already as stimulative as it can safely get, and the Obama Administration is set to announce its big financial fix on Monday. Stocks rallied Friday on expectations of the latter, despite the job loss report, with big bank stocks leading the way. If done right, this will help reduce risk aversion and gradually restore financial confidence.
We hope it does, because the size and waste of the stimulus means we won't have much ammunition left. The spending will take the U.S. budget deficit up to some 12% of GDP, about double the peak of the 1980s and into uncharted territory. The tragedy of the Obama stimulus is that we are getting so little for all that money.