Syria: Taking the Hard Road

Syria: Taking the Hard Road
Vol: 41 Issue: 28 Monday, February 28, 2005

The government of Israel isn’t accepting Islamic Jihad’s belated claim of responsibility for last week’s bombing of a Tel Aviv night club, but it isn’t absolving the PA of responsibility, either.

Ariel Sharon threatened to cut off its recently-renewed contact with the PA and resume military operations against Palestinian terror groups if the PA doesn’t live up to its promises to crack down on terror groups.

“Israel has been showing restraint in order to facilitate progress,” Sharon said. “But it is clear that if the Palestinians do not begin to take vigorous action against terrorism, Israel will be compelled to step up military activity.”

In addition, Sharon suspended the planned release of 400 Palestinian prisoners and delayed the handover of several West Bank towns to Palestinian control. The prisoners were reportedly ‘furious’ when they heard the news of the attack, rightly assuming the door to freedom would slam closed in reaction.

Abbas has been promising the Israelis he will dismantle the terror infrastructure, promising the US that he already has, and promising the terrorists themselves that he will protect them from both Israel and the US.

The Israelis demand Abbas dismantle and disarm the groups and arrest its leaders, much as the Palestinian Authority did in 1996. Abbas and his security chiefs claim that to do so would start a Palestinian civil war.

But Sharon isn’t playing into the hands of the plotters who Abbas rightly claimed were ‘outside agitators’. Abbas was telling the truth when he said the Palestinian Authority had no part in the attack. And Islamic Jihad was probably telling the truth when it first denied any responsibility in the attack.

Sharon is using the attack to force Abbas into fulfilling his promise to crush organized terror within the Palestinian territory, but he is also using Israeli intelligence information to prove that the orders were issued through Syria via Hezbollah to Islamic Jihad, as we noted in Saturday’s Omega Letter.

Israel said Sunday that it would use intelligence information to prove Syria was behind suicide bombing Friday night’s suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. As promised, delegations from the Israeli defense establishment began fanning out Monday to the US, France and Great Britain, armed with intelligence information that Israel has collected against Syria revealing its role in the attack.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz promised to offer ‘irrefutable’ evidence against Damascus, and intend to ask the Security Council to condemn the attack and censure Syria.

“We have intelligence information that the orders came from the Islamic Jihad in Syria,” a senior source close to Sharon said. “We know where the orders for the attack were issued, we know where they were sent, and we know Syrian intelligence was involved and provided logistical support.”


The U.N. foray is a departure for Israel, which is more accustomed to being isolated on Middle East security issues. It hopes to get a declaration condemning the attack in an “unequivocal” manner, while pressing Abbas to take more ‘tangible’ steps towards peace.

Sharon vowed there would be “no diplomatic progress, until the Palestinians take vigorous action to wipe out the terror groups and their infrastructure in the Palestinian Authority’s territory.”

Global pressure on Syria has begun to bear some limited fruit, as the Syrians handed over Saddam’s half-brother and about fifty of his operatives to Iraqi authorities over the weekend.

But the Syrian handover is also an admission that it has been harboring Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al Tikriti, the Six of Diamonds in the coalition’s 55 most-wanted fugitives of the Saddam regime for more than a year.

al-Tikriti is believed to have been one of the major financiers of the Iraqi insurrection, and his arrest and handover by Syria does more damage to Damascus’ previous protestations of innocence than it does to improve its standing now.

Damascus’ alleged involvement in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has also damaged Syria’s credibility at the UN and its standing with its traditionally-friendly relationship with France. Hariri, a multi-billionaire, was also a close personal friend of Jacques Chirac and he takes a dim view of anybody killing his friends, ESPECIALLY the multi-billionaire ones.

Chirac strongly supported Bashar Assad when he came to power in 2000 – favoring him with a state visit to Paris and pleading Syria’s cause with other European capitals. So Chirac is taking it personally — not good for Assad.

Hariri’s assassination is the kind of provocation that precedes major military undertakings or major political reshuffling. The latter is the most likely prospect for now, and the US move to recall its Ambassador from Syria “for urgent consultations”, suggests that writing is on the wall for Damascus, one way or another.

Israel is also hoping it can build on a UN Security Council resolution issued late last year calling on Syria to withdraw its forces from Lebanon. One Israel diplomat called Israel’s effort to seek UN support a ‘very significant step’ in its relationship with the world body.

Syria is therefore caught in a pincer movement between the U.S. on one side and Israel on the other, a regional context which the Hariri assassination has now made even more threatening.

Syria’s fortunes are changing quickly, although I doubt they are changing so quickly that the UN will act on any resolution against Syria sponsored by the Israelis. But should the US and France sign on, which is likely to the point of probability, it is possible that the UN will demand that Damascus comply with UN Resolution 1599 that demands a Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.

And, as we noted Saturday, that would include Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, stripping Hezbollah of its state -sponsorship, and stripping both Syria and Iran of their ability to strike at Israel through the jointly equipped Hezbollah fighters stationed there in the event of war.

The risk is substantial, but the Bekaa Valley is strategically worth almost any risk, especially to the Syrians.

Syria has promised an ‘immediate withdrawal’ from Lebanon some fourteen times since it first sent troops to ostensibly ‘provide security’ when Yasser Arafat and his PLO army were routed by the Israeli Army and force to evacuate to Tunis. The promise remains unfulfilled.

Connecting the dots, it would appear that Isaiah’s prophesied ‘burden of Damascus’ is not that unlikely a scenario for the near future.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap,” the prophet writes in Isaiah 17:1.

As we’ve noted before, Damascus is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. There has never been a time when Damascus was not a city, and never at time when it was made into ‘a ruinous heap’.

The UN is unlikely to support a war to remove Assad’s Ba’athist regime, even with the support of Jacques Chirac, but it is entirely possible that Washington and Paris may decide to let Israel do it for them.

Washington can’t allow Syria to continue to fund and train the Iraqi insurgency, and Chirac has evidently decided that Assad is too dangerous to leave in place.

The year 2005 continues to shape up as a year of earth-shaking transitions. We’ll be watching developments in Syria very closely over the coming weeks and months.

Damascus has an appointment with Isaiah and this might well be the year that appointment is kept.

Bush Wins Worst Actor Award

Bush Wins Worst Actor Award
Vol: 41 Issue: 27 Sunday, February 27, 2005

Hollywood couldn’t resist one more shot at the hated President Bush, awarding him the “Golden Raspberry Award” on Saturday for worst actor of the year for his appearance in Michael Moore’s documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Rather confusing, really. If ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ is really a documentary, then the concept of ‘best actor’ and ‘worst actor’ should be irrelevant.

By definition, there are no ‘actors’ in a ‘documentary’ — there are just participants. If actors are used in a documentary, or if the participants are acting, then it isn’t a documentary at all.

But since Hollywood doesn’t function within the same sphere of reality as the rest of America, one shouldn’t be too surprised.

There is something about getting a group of professional deceivers into a room that ought to tip one off to the fact they are about to deceive, but somehow, this manages to all slip right by the general public.

Let’s stop here for a second and consider the Oscar Awards for what they really are. Awards given to the best actor are given because . . . ?

Ok, I won’t keep you in suspense. They are awarded to the actor who is the most convincing fake.

If Liam Neeson plays Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Liam Neeson isn’t actually Alfred Kinsey; he is pretending to be Alfred Kinsey. If he receives an Oscar, [he didn’t, it is just an example] then he is being granted what amounts to the ‘Best Faker of the Year’ Award.

On the other hand, Halle Berry tied with President Bush in the ‘Worst’ category. Berry’s ‘Catwoman’ performance was judged to be as bad as President Bush’s performance as President Bush.

Logic would seem to suggest that if Halle Berry isn’t REALLY Catwoman, but President Bush really IS President Bush, so there is some kind of reality-disconnect going on here. But this is Hollywood. Disconnecting from reality is what they get paid for.

John Wilson, founder of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation that gives out “Hollywood’s least coveted trophies” on the eve of the Oscars, cheerfully admitted Moore’s anti-Bush ‘documentary’ allowed the foundation’s nearly 700 members to do some Bush bashing of their own.

Of course, Wilson didn’t include quotes around Fahrenheit 9/11, since in his view, it is really IS a documentary, except for the parts played by real people, who, according to him, were acting. Or something.

The president not only was named worst male actor in a leading role, he also won for being half of the year’s worst screen couple when paired with either Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or ‘My Pet Goat’ the book he was reading to schoolchildren on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Footage of the President continuing to read the story after being given word of the attacks was part of the central plotline to Moore’s propaganda film, in which Moore alleges the administration was somehow complicit in the attacks on September 11.

Two other Fahrenheit ‘stars’ were “honored.” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was named worst supporting actor and pop star Britney Spears won for worst supporting actress for a clip in which she declares blind faith in Bush’s policies while popping chewing gum.


Hollywood has made no secret of its abject hatred of President Bush. To the liberal elites in Tinsel Town, President Bush is the embodiment of all that is evil about America.

They have a little trouble articulating exactly why, but the main reason is because the America they live in is a different America that that inhabited by the rest of us.

To the Hollywood elite, homelessness is one of the greatest scourges of modern American life — and they don’t think the government is taking enough money from the working class to redistribute among the homeless to fix the problem.

In Hollywood, a person making $50,000 a year is a member of the ‘working poor’. Anyone earning less than that is either homeless or shares a home with a half dozen friends.

The Hollywood elite, however, drive their Jaguars past homeless people littering their streets on their way to Rodeo Drive to pick up a $200 T-shirt, muttering under their breath about the government’s lack of concern for the poor.

Having finished shopping, they step around, over, or look past the homeless people hoping one of them will peel a few bills off their roll of hundreds to help them out.

Then they go onstage to bash the Bush administration for not doing enough to help.

The Hollywood elite single-handedly support a small army of accountants and tax advisors to make sure that they don’t pay any more than absolutely necessary in taxes.

Barbra Striesand could construct an apartment building big enough to house half of Hollywood’s homeless population out of her checking account.

But instead, she put an equivalent amount of money into buying advertising to convince you not to vote for Bush because he doesn’t do enough for the homeless, the poor, the sick and the disenfranchised.

I vividly recall another champion of the liberal left, Martin Sheen, testifying before Congress about the plight of the homeless and the obligation of government to do something about it back in the 1990’s.

Sheen’s testimony followed that of Elizabeth Taylor, who was testifying before the Congress about the scourge of AIDS and the government’s failure to adequately address it.

Think of it! In this case, we have two individuals whose only claim to fame is that they lie for a living. Martin Sheen, a multimillionaire actor, castigating the Congress over homelessness, and Elizabeth Taylor, married seven times, lecturing the Congress about sexually transmitted diseases! And nobody laughed.

What gives these people their sense of power and self-importance? At first glance, one might think it is their incredible personal wealth. Most Americans evidently agree that having lots of money makes you smarter. Otherwise, Julia Roberts wouldn’t have been called to testify before Congress about the critical need for funding autism research.

Martin Sheen has never been homeless; Elizabeth Taylor’s only qualification to testify about sexually transmitted diseases is her perfume line designed to, umm, curtail sexual behavior? Julia Roberts isn’t autistic, and she is hardly a trained research professional.

(Unless learning how to best pretend to be somebody else qualifies one as a research ‘professional’.)

The only explanation for why anybody would care about the opinions of a professional faker is because our culture affords them the status of ‘pop idols’.

They entertain us, like the court jesters who entertained medieval kings and, like those court jesters, they are handsomely rewarded for it.

We heap upon them praise for their performances, lavish them with unimaginable wealth, hang on their every word, and forgive them any excesses, for no other reason than that they are cultural idols.

Why would anyone seek excuses for Michael Jackson’s pedophilia, for example? Who cares if he didn’t have a childhood because he was making a gazillion dollars? How could that possibly grant him a special dispensation to ruin some other kid’s childhood?

The Scriptures have much to say about idols, an idol worship, but mostly, we interpret ‘idols’ in terms of statues of Buddha, or Vishnu or Brahmin, but idol worship is nothing other than giving someone or something the moral authority God reserves for Himself.

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” (2nd Corinthians 6:16)

The Apostle John closed his 1st Epistle with the admonition; “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1st John 5:21)

As we get closer to the end of this present age, that warning takes on a new perspective. When one reads of Biblical idol worship, one comes away with the sense of the ignorant and superstitious cultures of antiquity. “Idol worship” could never happen in America.

We’re much too sophisticated for that.

Hezbollah Crosses the Green Line

Hezbollah Crosses the Green Line
Vol: 41 Issue: 26 Saturday, February 26, 2005

Four people were killed and more than 50 were wounded in a suicide attack launched against a Tel Aviv seafront nightclub on Friday night. The IDF identified the bomber as Abdullah Badaran, a twenty-one year old ‘student’.

It would make you wonder what Islamic universities were teaching them, if it weren’t for the fact that we already know — to blow themselves up ‘for Allah’ — if doing so will advance a political cause.

The reaction to the bombing was unusual, as compared to previous bombings. The three main terrorist groups that would normally be competing to take credit for such attacks all denied involvement.

Al-Aqsa leaders in Nablus and Jenin emphatically denied involvement late Friday night, telling The Jerusalem Post: “We would never stab Abu-Mazen in the back.” Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi also denied that his group had any link to the attack.

None of the three groups hung the usual posters at the bomber’s home congratulating him for his ‘martyrdom’ — nor did anyone else, according to the Jerusalem Post. This is also out of character.

What DIDN’T seem out of character, at least at first, was PA leader Mahmoud Abbas’ immediate denouncement of the attack as a ‘set-up’ aimed at discrediting the Palestinian Authority. It sounded too much like Arafat.

But it might just be that, this time, its a case of the boy crying ‘Wolf!’ one time too often – but this time, the wolf is really there.

Hezbollah has crossed the Green Line.


This was the first suicide bombing since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to an informal ‘ceasefire’ as a first step toward ending the four year Oslo War.

Hamas and the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade both rejected the cease-fire in principle, but have reigned in their fighters in practice, taking a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude.

But Israel has lived up to its side of the agreement and there have been no incidents or violations for which the Palestinian terrorists could justify an attack, and therefore, no motive.

All three major Palestinian terror groups are crippled and bleeding and unlikely to bring down the wrath of the IDF on their doorsteps again without good reason.

Also, unlike in previous attacks, the Palestinian Authority needed no Israeli prompting to track down and arrest two of the bomber’s brothers and several of his neighbors in connection with the attack.

Palestinian security officials were much too quick to report to the media that they also arrested two men in Tulkarem — with more expected — they hastened to add — for this to be a typical choreographed Palestinian kabuki dance.

The Palestinian Authority is blaming Hezbollah for the attacks, but a Palestinian denial is worthless on its face, since the Palestinian Authority has yet to be caught in a truth regarding terrorist attacks against Israel.

But this time, the evidence seems to suggest that they may have stumbled into the truth after all, especially since Hezbollah is ALSO denying responsibility.

Here’s where all that Islamic ‘intrigue’ stuff comes in to play — it’s enough to make one’s head swim.

Hezbollah would be only too happy to take credit, unless its involvement could be traced to Damascus or Tehran. Right now, Syria is under intense global pressure to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. Syria is desperate to avoid being forced to do so.

Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley is more or less a Syrian province, controlled by Hezbollah, and believed by Western intelligence to be the destination of those mysterious convoys streaming out of Iraq into Syria during the months leading up to the Iraq War.

Attempting to revive the Israeli-Palestinian fight would serve Damascus politically. Hezbollah takes its spiritual marching orders, however, from the mad mullahs in Tehran. Iran has two reasons for diverting attention back to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The first is to keep Hezbollah in the Bekaa Valley as a viable deterrent to an Israeli first strike. Hezbollah sits on a devastating stockpile of Iranian and Syrian munitions, including non-conventional weapons.

Iran is close to having the Bomb, but Bush’s visit to Russia may have put a crimp in their plans.

Russia has reportedly ‘postponed’ a nuclear fuel signing agreement, citing ‘last minute disputes’ with the Iranians. Tehran needs a diversion that will drive a wedge between Washington and Moscow. A renewed Israeli assault on the Palestinians would do the trick nicely.

The AP reported that, “Yacoub Jabbarian, an official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, told reporters that talks had been prolonged and it was not clear when the signing would take place. He did not give the reason for the delay.”

It also noted that; “The agreement has been repeatedly delayed by what Iranian and Russian officials called technical and financial details. But diplomats in Vienna where the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is based say U.S. pressure on Russia has also held up the deal.”

A Hezbollah incursion inside Israel’s Green Line was a very bold move indeed, and one not to be entered into lightly. The risks to both the Syrian and Iranian regimes are substantial.

If a connection can be made, Israel’s retaliation could easily set off a chain reaction that could result in their sharing adjoining cells with Saddam, should they survive their own people. But they seem willing to take the risk. Why?

The answers are probably hidden away somewhere in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

How To Murder Your Wife

How To Murder Your Wife
Vol: 41 Issue: 25 Friday, February 25, 2005

At some point today, yet another judge will rule on a question that has been bedeviling the greatest minds in Florida’s legal community for more than ten years.

The question? Should the State of Florida murder a disabled woman named Terri Schindler Schiavo?

This isn’t a question of taking someone off life support and stopping machines from keeping somebody alive biologically who would die naturally without them.

That is an entirely different argument. If a person’s vital organs have failed and are being replaced by mechanical surrogates, unplugging the machines is not a case of interfering with life, but rather one of interfering with death.

In this case, the issue before the courts is whether they should order food and water withheld from a patient in order to starve her to death, since she is unable to feed herself. So this is a case of interfering with life.

Death is being induced, not held at bay.

And they can’t seem to figure out what is right?

Hmmmm. (“Should we kill somebody? Or not? What to do?”)

When I think of Florida’s finest legal minds trying to decide this question, I get a recurring mental image of two eggs frying in a pan.

Admittedly, there is a lot of background for these befuddled guardians of the law to sort through, but you’d think they’d have time to look through them.

After all, if they don’t kill her, Terri Schiavo isn’t going anywhere.

For instance, one might consider her ‘husband’ and his crusade to kill her. There is some evidence that his crusade may have begun with the injury that put her in a coma in the first place.

Terri’s parents allege that Michael Schiavo exhibited a pattern of abusive behavior. Terri’s own records suggest she had been physically abused.

And a SENTIENT judge may want to consider Michael’s motion to have her immediately cremated — after death, if necessary, but to Michael, it doesn’t seem to matter either way. There’s a clue in there, somewhere, Judge.

If that isn’t enough reason not to finish murdering Terri Schiavo, then there is the question of a possible conflict of interests. Terri Schiavo’s ‘husband’ has two children by the woman with which he has been living for ten years.

He hasn’t divorced Terri to this point, because as her husband, he’d get the balance of the $1.2 million judgment currently been whittled away at by Terri’s inconvenient continuing existence.

While the judges ponder whether or not these issues are relevant to the question at hand, (which is, remember, should the state KILL her?) the governor of the state (whose opinion one might presume the finest legal minds in the state might at least consider) got the legislature of the state (also elected by the voters) to pass a law protecting Terri Schiavo from murder BY the state.

The finest legal minds in Florida decided the state legislature exceeded its authority by passing a law protecting a disabled person from being murdered at the request of her husband so he and his girlfriend can enjoy her estate.

Hmmm. Legislatures pass laws, governors sign laws, courts enforce laws, judges make up new laws. . . something goes ‘clunk’ in there someplace. . . .

And before you know it, ‘right to die’ becomes ‘right to kill’ and morphs into ‘right to murder’ — by using a judge’s gavel instead of a ball peen hammer.


One of the most striking aspects to this spectacle is the absence of genuine interest being shown it, especially among the mainstream media. Think of it for a second.

Why wouldn’t a decision by a judge to kill a woman at the request of her philandering, [essentially bigamist] husband whose sole motive is to salvage her trust fund by withholding the care it was awarded to provide, be news?

It was headline news when Scott Peterson murdered his wife so he could be with another woman. Why isn’t it headline news when Michael Schiavo asks a JUDGE to murder his for the same reason?

Because Terri Schiavo is an impediment to the overall political agenda of the left, which is to advance the same kind of ‘progressive thinking’ in ‘women’s reproductive rights’ that made abortion on demand a multi-billion dollar a year industry into ‘the right to die with dignity’.

The Schiavo case is one in which we are ‘sliding down the slipperly slop’e too soon, threatening to expose the dark side of the agenda prematurely.

The ‘right to die’ industry is potentially just as lucrative ans the ‘right to choose’ – and it sounds so, umm, progressive! Not to mention easy to advertise. (How hard can it be to find dying people who aren’t enjoying the experience?)

Everybody dies eventually, and if the euthanasists can gain the legitimacy of the abortionists, there’ll be as much money to be made in taking a life — or preventing one — as there is in saving one.

(That explains the silence of the medical community)

But, like any ‘progressive’ agenda, there have to be some sacrifices made to foster the greater good, and Terri Schiavo has evidently been chosen.

If the mainstream media were to shine the light on the Schiavo case, less progressive minds in America might start to re-think their support for letting the state decide if somebody’s life is worth living.

They might even begin to question the wisdom of the current environment where the state is allowed to decide if somebody’s life is even worth allowing, and before you know it, the ‘right to choose’ and the ‘right to die’ might be forced to compete with the archaic notion pf some obscure ‘right to live’.

Amazingly, THAT right is among the hardest ones in the whole constitutional framework for modern jurists to definitively pin down.

They’ve discovered so many exceptions to the right to life that soon, one may have to apply first for a permit.

Indeed, the words ‘right to life’ immediately twist in the public consciousness into ‘anti-(your-agenda-here)’.

The Apostle Paul argued that in the last days, society would become twisted, to the degree that things like treason and incontinence [unrestricted moral behavior] would compete for headlines with ‘despisers of those that are good’ , those ‘without natural affection’ and ‘lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God’ for the most ‘progressive’ thoughts of the day. [2nd Timothy 3:1-5)

Those who, “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:25)

Paul noted that, “even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. . .” (Romans 1:28)

It is hard to imagine anything that runs more contrary to the best interests of humanity than the decision to give the state the authority to decide when [or if] somebody ELSE’S life is worth living.

Yet that is the debate quietly raging in Florida, while the mainstream media concentrate on diverting our attention to the Michael Jackson trial.

“And when these things BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

Transitions . . .

Transitions . . .
Vol: 41 Issue: 24 Thursday, February 24, 2005

Transitions . . .

Pope John Paul II was admitted to the hospital for the second time in two weeks, suffering from respiratory distress that the Vatican officially ascribes to ‘the flu’.

According to papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the Pope’s return to the hospital was made necessary so he could receive “necessary specialized assistance and further tests,” to treat his symptoms.

The Vatican played down the seriousness of the hospitalization, saying a patient of the pope’s age is always at risk from the flu.

A medical health bulletin was to be issued Friday morning, and no details on the pope’s health were expected to be released before that, the Vatican said. Thursday’s hospitalization was the pope’s 10th since his election in 1978.

The Vatican noted that Rome has been particularly cold, wet and windy in recent days.

Only yesterday, Navarro-Valls told the press, “The pope is better and the pope is getting better, but, popes, much like the leaders of the former Soviet Union, are usually reported to be in ‘excellent’ health right up to the day that they die from ‘colds’.

Whether or not the pope is actually suffering from the flu or not, it is abundantly clear that the pontiff is, if not at death’s door, certainly well along the way up the sidewalk to it.

It is likely to the point of certainty that he will not be around to celebrate midnight mass this Christmas.

The impending death of the head of the Roman Catholic Church means a new era for the world’s one billion-plus Catholics. Taken as a percentage, Roman Catholics make up some 17.4% of the global population.

For comparison purposes, the United States represents less than five percent of the world’s total population, although the United States, according to the US Bureau of Statistics, is itself the world’s third most-populous nation, after China and India. There is a LOT of Catholics out there.

John Paul II is currently serving his 27th year as pontiff, making him the third-longest serving Pope in 1700 years of Catholic history. But his reign hasn’t been without controversy.

Liberal Catholics have balked at bans on female priests, contraception and gay marriages. They have made it clear they want a more democratic Church in the future.

History will also footnote his reign as the one under which the Church suffered its worst sex scandal in history, revealing the existence of a huge homosexual population among its clergy.


The question reverberating around the Vatican now is who will succeed him? There are a number of candidates, and any member of the College of Cardinals under the age of 80 qualifies.

Among them is Jean Cardinal Lustinger, the recently retired Archbishop of France. Lustinger is 78, and it is unlikely, but not impossible, that he will be elected to succeed the current pontiff, but should he ascend to the papal throne, he would be the first converted Jew to ever do so.

It is a tradition in the Vatican to elect popes who are already of advanced age when they ascend to the throne, so Lustinger’s age doesn’t disqualify him, although his health may.

Although it angers many Catholics, the Bible ascribes a pretty unflattering role to the Church of Rome in the last days, particularly since the Apostle John’s identification is based on some pretty unflattering, but historically accurate, observations of her characteristics.

It is NOT my intention to anger Catholics, or to provide ammunition for others to use to ‘bait’ them as part of their personal evangelistic ministries. Let me say clearly that the Catholic Church exists as a system, but it is made up of individuals who are sincere believers in that system.

Within that body of sincere believers are those that I believe sincerely trust Jesus Christ for their salvation. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out,” Jesus promised, and I believe Him.

Saved Catholics, along with Baptists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, the unchurched and anybody else who asks Jesus to save them will be Raptured before the Time of Jacob’s Trouble unfolds.

So let’s not get into a big debate in the forums beating up on Catholics. They are NOT a system. And nobody is led to Anyone by pushing them away, if you get my drift.

That said, the Apostle John clearly identifies the religious system of the antichrist as the post-Christian Church of Rome. When I say clearly, I’m not exaggerating.

The Roman Empire was never conquered, and when it imploded, the spiritual power of Imperial Rome transferred itself to the Church of Rome. No medieval European king came to power without the Pope’s blessing, nor held it at the Pope’s displeasure.

Think of it this way. Israel, as a nation, survived its Diaspora because they held together as a ‘peculiar people’ spiritually, strictly following the Divine guidance of the Torah and its commandments.

The Church of Rome served a similar role in holding together the spirit of Rome until its appointed time in history as well. The Apostle John describes the ‘beast’ of Revelation as a beast “that was, and is not, and yet is” in Revelation 17:8

John pictures the ‘beast’ in its component elements; the ‘political’ beast [Rev 13:1]– [that element we call the ‘antichrist’]; the ‘religious’ beast [Rev 13:11] –[the false prophet]; and the ‘system’ of the beast [Mystery, Babylon].

The system is pictured as a;

“woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:” [Revelation 17:4]

The colors are the symbolic colors of Rome, depicting both the incomparable wealth of Rome and the unfortunately accurate history of the Roman papacy.

No need to debate it. The debauchery and depravity of the medieval popes of history, not to mention the Roman Inquisition era, make a letter-perfect match for the contents of the golden chalice of John’s vision.

“And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” [Revelation 17:5]

The Roman Church is unique in its practices of ‘appointing’ saints, worshipping Mary as a co-Mediatrix with Christ, claiming authority over heaven and hell via the sacraments, praying to statues of saints, and so forth.

All of these practices were carried over from the Babylonian religion of Semiramis, Nimrod and Tammuz.

Again, one can debate it all day, but history is history, and that is how and when those practices originated.

Now, we return the “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” and the mystery of how it could exist, not exist, yet still exist is unlocked by the historical record.

The Vatican is situated in an enclave within the ‘City of the Seven Hills’ as Rome is often referred to.

“And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” [Revelation 17:9]

Again, please think this through. This is a SYSTEM, not individual Catholics.

I was once a Catholic, and the easiest way to close my mind was to attack my church, since the discussion immediately turned away from MY spiritual condition, something I really didn’t want to contemplate anyway.

The information is true, but the purpose here is to put the passing of the current Pope into prophetic perspective, not to drive away Catholics who are receptive to the message of salvation by grace through faith by attacking their religion.

John describes the false prophet who works in concert with the political beast as one having ” two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon”.

The imagery of the lamb suggests a form of Christianity, but the message is symbolized by the ‘dragon’ — always indicative of Satan.

Is the next Pope the false prophet? I wish I could say I knew. But 2005 appears to be a year of transitions.

The death of Yasser Arafat has changed the dynamics on the ground in Israel. There is at least a possibility of an agreement. The only sticking point, in practical terms, is security guarantees. Everything else is negotiable by both sides.

In Europe, Secretary-General Javier Solana is uniquely positioning himself to be the one who can provide those security guarantees through his personal political brainchild, dubbed the Euromed Project.

Solana heads BOTH the WEU [a SECURITY alliance consisting of ten FULL member states] and the EU [an ECONOMIC alliance encompassing the geographic old Roman Empire] thanks to a document issued by the WEU and bearing the ominous title of ‘Recommendation 666’.

Europe is steadily expanding its alliance, already encompassing most of the former Soviet Union, the Euromed states, extending all the way to the steppes of Russia, should the Ukraine’s request for EU membership be accepted.

And the Roman Catholic church is about to get a new Pope.

Please understand that I am NOT saying that Javier Solana is the antichrist figure of Revelation 13:1. Solana could be hit by a bus tomorrow — but somebody WOULD step into his job.

I think it is a grave error to try and put names to figures God has deliberately obscured, just as I believe it is a grave error to put a date to the Rapture.

In both cases, they are, at best guesses that serve no useful purpose. If one guesses right, they won’t know until the Rapture. If one guesses wrong, it only serves to sow confusion and disappointment. Guess who THAT serves?

But Jesus said that we COULD know when the Rapture was near, ‘even at the door’, and gave us clear and unmistakable signs, ‘mile markers’, so to speak, along the road leading to the close of the Church Age.

Of all the disparate elements that make up all of the signs of the last days, three elements MUST exist before the Church Age ends and Daniel’s 70th week begins.

Israel must exist as a besieged, but physical JEWISH state.

There must exist a revived form of the Roman Empire, led by a single authority figure as part of a vast, global political system ultimately accountable to ten ‘kings’.

There must exist a global religious system, large enough and centralized enough to legitimize a new system of pseudo-Christianity sufficiently modified as to accommodate all the other religious systems in the world, but excluding those who put their individual trust in Jesus.

Last, but not least, there is the relationship between Revelation 13:18 and the creation of a super European leader under the authority of Recommendation 666 to consider.

With all of that, remember that throughout God’s revelation, He uses the preface ‘Here is wisdom’. That isn’t a literary device. Exercise wisdom with this information.

Don’t allow yourself to be diverted down a rabbit trail, making more of Recommendation 666 or Javier Solana or the next pope than might be there.

“Wisdom” is found in recognizing the SYSTEMS that are evolving for what they are, not tracking down the individuals who may or may not lead them into the Tribulation.

It is irrelevant, even to those who think the Church won’t be Raptured before Daniel’s 70th Week. What advantage would there be in knowing Javier Solana is THE antichrist or Pope NewGuy is THE false prophet, even if you were there?

At best, it would get YOU beheaded FIRST, for cryin out loud.

If the SYSTEMS are in place, then what else does anybody need to know? The Bible says that somebody takes them over. Knowing who is irrelevant.

Applying ‘wisdom’ to Divine Revelation, we know that if the antichrist’s system is in place, then we know the time is short and our mission of bringing Christ to the lost is that much more urgent.

We know that every person we meet is either going to meet Christ in the Church Age or he will meet the antichrist alone and make the choice demanded in Revelation 13:16.

It is that close.

We can put faces to those who will face that choice alone if we fail in our mission, something far more productive to the kingdom than trying to put faces on the ones who will demand it.

It is enough to recognize the signs that warn that choice will soon be offered.

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” [Romans 13:11]

Bush Pulls Knife From Own Back — Europe Approves!

Bush Pulls Knife From Own Back — Europe Approves!
Vol: 41 Issue: 23 Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bush Pulls Knife From Own Back — Europe Approves!

The European press made a startling discovery over the past few days — a discovery made that much more profound since very few American newspapers have made a similar discovery.

George W Bush ISN’T worse than Saddam Hussein.

But that’s not all! Some of the Euro press corps have gone so far as to say that George W Bush is actually the legitimate leader of the United States.

That isn’t to say that the so-called ‘charm offensive’ is working — most of the Euro corps still don’t like him on principle.

An editorial in the French ‘Le Monde’ newspaper described relations between the United States and Europe as profoundly divided, starting with basic philosophical differences about how to view the world.

France s Le Figaro’ wrote, “George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac are talking to each other but that does not mean they are listening to each other”.

Bush IS, after all, an American, and worse, an American cowboy, but still, most Europeans were surprised that Bush wasn’t quite as dumb and uncouth as they had first believed. Now, he is ‘shrewd and calculating’.

This is a good time to remember Bush’s last effort to ‘charm’ Europe, when the brilliant and couth Europeans organized a mass ‘mooning’ of American president to protest his ‘appointment’ in the 2000 election (that Bush won in every single recount, including post-election recounts by America’s largest liberal news organizations.)

[Ok, so that is old news, but it still appears to be news for some]

This time, the mass protests staged outside US embassies in Europe were just as noisy and just as hateful, but they resisted the temptation to drop their pants and grant the colonials another peek at Europe’s famous political maturity in action.

Instead of putting their best face forward, this time, they proved their cultural superiority by carrying signs demanding that Washington stop picking on Cuba and Iran.

In any case, the Bush effort to ‘reach out’ to alleged transatlantic ‘allies’ was met with an unaccustomed degree of enthusiasm by a European press corps who are beginning to suspect that maybe the New York Times hasn’t always been feeding them the straight scoop on America’s ‘dumbest’ president.

Context is important, however. What amounts to an ‘unaccustomed degree of enthusiasm’ was the fact that not a single mainstream EU news organization openly called him an idiot.

And a new poll published by the Associated Press indicates 84 percent of French believed the United States is more interested in promoting its commercial interests overseas than promoting democracy. So, even if Bush isn t an idiot, he s still a disingenuous self-serving con man.

Still, many in the global press don’t think Bush has done enough to ‘reach out’ for the European hand that was last seen turning the knife plunged into his back during the run-up to the Iraq war.

“The more the governments talk about a new beginning, the less one wants to believe it,” noted the German business paper Handelsblatt in an editorial on Wednesday. “The trans-Atlantic partnership would be better off if it did not just talk up common values, but set out a common strategy. But a grand design is as far away as it was a year ago.”

The Canadian press called the visit ‘a Bush effort’ to ‘schmooze’ European leaders while simultaneously characterizing the ‘schmooze’ speech he delivered as ‘defiant’.

Wrote Stephanie Rubec in Canada’s ‘Globe and Mail’;

“U.S. President George W. Bush schmoozed European leaders to patch up strained relations yesterday, but made no apologies for invading Iraq. Bush launched his five-day fence-mending European visit with a defiant speech to 300 leaders and NATO officials.”

Reading between the lines — heck, reading ON the lines, if Bush doesn’t apologize for liberating Iraq, deposing one of the most brutal regimes since France’s Vichy government joined the Nazis, instituting free elections and spending billions to rebuild its shattered infrastructure and forgiving its debts, then Bush is still ‘defiant’.

The Globe did note that Canada’s Prime Minister, Paul Martin, ‘applauded Bush for ‘reaching out’ to the Europeans in gratitude for their betrayals of the past.

Let’s take a look at what the world expects President Bush to apologize FOR.

First, as noted, he owes Europe an apology for being successful in Iraq, instead of following the EU plan to lift sanctions against Saddam Hussein’s government and turning a blind eye to the continued rape of the country by both the Saddam regime and the European powers that sold out the Iraqi people for money.

Secondly, Bush failed to apologize for not signing on to the Kyoto Accords that would have both put the United States under the authority of the United Nations and made it responsible for the tab to clean up the environmental mess left behind by the old Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.

Bush owes this apology despite the fact that the US Senate refused to ratify Kyoto some 99-0.

Presumably, since Bush ‘stole’ the presidency, [a bad thing] he should have no qualms about stealing the Senate’s Constitutional authority [a good thing?] in cases where the Senate doesn’t agree with Europe.

Thirdly, Bush ‘defiantly’ objects to lifting the technology and arms embargo against the People’s Republic of China, just because every tin-pot Third World dictator from Kim Il Sung to Bashar al Assad is armed to the teeth with Chinese-made missiles.

Fourthly, Bush failed to apologize for not following Europe’s lead in formalizing relations with the last bastion of communism in the Western world by inviting Fidel Castro for bourbon and barbecue at his Crawford, Texas ranch.

Lastly, Bush defiantly refused to sign on to Europe’s mad plan to supply the fanatical mullahs in Iran with nuclear material in return for a pledge by the Iranian government not to use that material to build nuclear weapons.

Iran, one of the world’s most oil-rich nations, claims it needs nuclear power to meet Iran’s energy needs.

A ‘defiant’ George Bush suspects that an Islamic fundamentalist country up to its neck in free oil spending billions on nuclear plants it doesn’t need to provide energy to a nation still largely living in thousand year old mud huts might not be telling the whole truth.

Europeans chalk that up to America s relative immaturity, reminding themselves that Europe was practicing diplomacy long before the first Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

(And ignoring the fact that practice doesn t always make perfect. Until this generation, Europe remained in a more-or-less constant state of war with itself for the last thousand years)

But Europe was gracious to the new and improved, [and charming] George W. Bush, magnanimously offering to join in aiding the new Iraqi government. France’s co-operation takes the form of a bilateral offer to train gendarmes outside of Iraq and permission for one French national, based in Belgium, to co-ordinate equipment transfers to the Iraqi army.

The Germans agreed to help as well, although they won’t send any of their training officers to Iraq itself. If the Iraqis can get themselves to the United Arab Emirates, the Germans will be only too pleased, however.

And Belgium, not to be outdone by French and German generosity, is sending ten DRIVING instructors to Qatar to help train the Iraqi army. (Estonia said it would send one staff officer to Iraq, and $65,000 — a windfall compared to aid coming from countries like Spain).

Europe’s 26 leaders gathered at NATO headquarters to pledge just over five million dollars to Iraqi reconstruction, easing some of America’s $5.7 BILLION in assistance payments.

While President Bush hoped to enlist Europe’s aid in cultivating democracy beyond the shores of America and Europe, the Europeans insist that any such ‘democratization’ efforts be focused on those nations who agree to sign on to Europe’s ‘Euromed’ alliance first.

Both France and Germany are pushing for a reduced role for NATO in European security, insisting that NATO take a back seat to the Western European Alliance’s new Euro corps, saying that NATO is no longer “primary venue” for trans-Atlantic dialogue. “Germany today considers itself as co-responsible within the European framework for stability and international order,” protests the German government.

(Germany used to consider itself the master race. Now they are co-masters with the French. Things are definitely improving.)

President Chirac weighed in, with his speech to the NATO gathering. “As the German Federal Chancellor has emphasized, we must continue to take the measure of the changes that have occurred on the continent of Europe,” he said in French.

[Chirac speaks better English that George Bush]


Cutting through all the sarcasm [which I just could NOT help] the Bush ‘charm offensive’ — despite Bush’s use of the word ‘alliance’ twelve times in one speech, was doomed before the president boarded Air Force One.

The problem is that the United States and the United States of Europe are pursuing competing agendas. Europe is less interested in the spread of democracy than it is in the enlargement of its alliance.

Its goal is to eclipse the United States as the world’s foremost superpower, both militarily and politically.

The NATO alliance, since it was founded, and is primarily supported by the United States, is inconvenient to the Western European Alliance’s plans to form an all European military force to compete with America.

And Europe’s plan to extend its alliance to include the Mediterranean Middle East does not include sharing power with an American-led NATO.

Bush scored one big hit with the Europeans when he demonstrated that he wasn’t totally inflexible — he could stab his friends in the back with as little remorse as any Frenchman.

That moment came when he announced that Israel must freeze all settlement activity and ensure the any Palestinian state be ‘contiguous’, in order to be ‘truly viable’ saying, A state of scattered territories will not work.”

Well, we certainly can be sure THAT is true. Just look at the twin American catastrophes of Alaska and Hawaii.

[If only we could annex Canada and build a bridge to Honolulu. Then we, too, could have a state that was ‘truly viable’. Sigh.]

Bush even signed on to the very European notion that such peacemaking is a “strategic interest” because it will “remove an unsettled grievance that is used to stir hatred and violence across the Middle East.”

This is close to heresy for a president who continues to insist that it is Arab tyranny, not any “grievance,” that is the font of regional aggression.

It was WEU Secretary-General Javier Solana who pledged last year that Europe will ‘play a role in the Middle East peace process, whether Israel likes it or not’.

It would seem that one of the unintended consequences of the Bush ‘charm offensive’ will be the fulfillment of Solana’s ‘prophecy’ and, if Bush expects to get his single French equipment offer and Belgium’s $65,000 in Iraqi reconstruction aid, it will play a role whether Washington likes it or not, as well.

Two thousand years ago, before there WAS an Israeli state, a revived Roman Empire, an over-arching American superpower or a transatlantic ‘rift’, the Bible predicted exactly the same thing.

And today, in this generation, it is coming to pass.

Whether anybody likes it, or not.

An Evil Under the Sun

An Evil Under the Sun
Vol: 41 Issue: 22 Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It is pretty obvious that the Omega Letter qualifies as a ‘right-leaning publication’ in the current political vernacular. It might be useful to examine what that means, and why.

To begin with we unashamedly admit we tend to view things from a conservative perspective, which is the political equivalent of the ‘Right’, whereas those who view things from a liberal perspective constitute the ‘Left’.

The degrees to which each side are willing to compromise their views are ‘moderates’ and the extremes to which each side put ideology ahead of common sense make up the ‘far right’ and ‘far left’.

The terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ were coined after the pattern of the post-revolution French parliament to seat liberals to the left and conservatives to the right in the debates. Got it so far?

Liberals derive their authority to govern from the will of the people as expressed by majority vote. Liberals believe that the majority is the ultimate moral force.

Liberals believe in ‘progressive thinking’ — out of which comes support for abortion, gay rights, intrusive government, mandatory state education, removal of religion from public discourse and education, etc.

To obtain the authority to govern, they advocate a kind of modified Marxist philosophy of class warfare, pitting the wider voter pool of poor voters against the somewhat smaller voter pool of affluent voters.

‘Tax cuts for the rich’ is a slogan that only thinly disguises the Marxist philosophy that private property should be reapportioned by the state — what we used to call ‘communism’.

Liberals tend to view the Constitution as a ‘living document’ — presumably so it can be tortured into saying whatever they want it to say. Hence the ‘discovery’ by a Massachusetts court of a Constitutional ‘right’ to gay marriage.

Following Bush’s re-election, thousands of what might qualify as ‘extreme’ liberals promised to pack up all their stuff and move to Canada.

Although ‘promising’ isn’t the same as actually ‘doing’, liberal newspapers like the New York Times made it appear as though a mass exodus to Canada was in the works.


There is no place for God in the American political left. Oh, they claim that there is, but that is another example of how liberals operate. God is invited, but only if He will tone down His opposition to the left’s political platform.

For the American right, the authority to govern isn’t derived from the will of the people, it is granted by the Creator. While the majority can rule on points of policy, the power to legislate is limited.

While the Congress can legislate tarrifs, levy taxes, and provide for the common good, they cannot overturn principles of common law such as ‘Thou shalt not kill’ in order to permit abortion, ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness’ in order to excuse perjury, or overturn ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’ by encouraging kids to turn their parents in for punishing them for breaking household rules.

Conservatives don’t see America as a democracy, they see it as a Constitutional Republic. The Constitution isn’t a living document to be tortured until it says what they want it to, it is the supreme law of the land just the way it is.

To a conservative, the 1st Amendment’s guarantee that ‘Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion’ doesn’t mean kids can’t say the Lord’s Prayer in school, it means that Congress can’t pass a law respecting the establishment of a religion.

Similarly, where the 1st Amendment says, ‘nor prohibit the free exercise thereof,’ it means that Congress can’t tell kids they CAN’T say the Lord’s Prayer in school.

To a conservative, a local school board ISN’T the Congress, the CONGRESS is the Congress. The mayor of Boise, Idaho isn’t the Congress. Judge Roy Moore isn’t the Congress. The Ten Commandments are NOT a ‘religion’ and there is no difference between kids studying Islam in school and kids studying Christianity in school.

Conservatives find no conflict between the Ten Commandments and the rule of law represented by the Constitution.

Because the Bill of Rights extends to all citizens, no special ‘rights’ need be ‘discovered’ to permit women to practice birth control by murdering their babies in the womb, or a right to gay ‘marriage’ or the right of the state to impose an education system in place of the right of parents to educate their own children, or the right of the government to regulate what they are allowed to learn.

Conservatives believe that ‘progressive thinking’ doesn’t mean seeking ways to impose Marxist collectivism and confiscatory redistribution of wealth, but rather means finding ways to make capitalism work for all its citizens.

A quick read through Ecclesiates is illuminative; “A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left,” writes the Preacher. (Ecclesiastes 10:2)

One need only listen to the rantings of the left to see the truth of his next statement, “Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool.” (10:3)

One thinks of the New York Times celebration of the decision of some liberals to move to Canada to protest the reelection of the president for Solomon’s next verse to fall into context: “If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.” (10:4)

“There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as an error which proceedeth from the ruler,” the Preacher writes, before lighting into the class warfare tactics so dear to the hearts of the left. “Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low place.” (10:6)

That is not to say that the rich are better than the poor. But it is folly to believe that the poor employ the rich — it is the other way around. The ‘no tax cuts for the rich’ slogan is folly incarnate, yet it is the current battle cry of the liberal left.

The liberal worldview offers its adherents dependency. It promises that its leadership will take care of them and provides for their needs by confiscating resources from those who work hard and redistributing it to their dependents, calling that ‘leveling the playing field’.

They oppose putting power in the hands of the people. Consider the opposition to allowing younger workers to invest part of their Social Security taxes in high-yield private accounts, which would also make them less dependent on the government in their old age.

They oppose home-schooling, which gives parents the power to raise and educate their children as they see fit. The goal, as they ‘level the playing field’ is to bring everyone to the same level on dependency on government, making government the supreme being.

Dr. Howard Dean, new head of the DNC, exemplifies the moral bankruptcy of the Left. In a press conference after his acceptance speech, Dean promised to ‘reach out’ to the ‘evangelical community’, telling the Washington Times that “We have to remind Catholic Americans that the social mission of the Democratic Party is almost exactly the same as the social mission of the Catholic Church.”

Dean’s cynical effort to pander to the right is exposed by his inability to distinguish between ‘evangelicals’ and Catholics, and his reliance on the ignorance of his audience being equal to his own.

Can Dean possibly believe that American Catholics share the social mission of abortion on demand, the abolition of school prayer, mandatory state education and gay marriage? Or that they share the social mission of ‘evangelicals’, if he could figure out what THEY were?

Paul called this ‘having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.”

I am often accused of being a Republican, [I am not] because I have nothing good to say about Democrats [which is, unfortunately, true].

I opened by acknowledging that the Omega Letter qualifies as a ‘right-leaning’ publication, and promised to explain what that means and why we lean that way.

Ecclesiates was written by King Solomon, whom the Bible says was Israel’s wisest king ever. He calls their platform an ‘evil under the sun.’ He offers the choice between wisdom and folly and outlines how to distinguish between the two.

“A wise man’s heart is at his right hand; but a fool’s heart at his left.”

“Your Papers, Please”

“Your Papers, Please”
Vol: 41 Issue: 21 Monday, February 21, 2005

There is no question that something needs to be done to tighten US border control and reform immigration policy. Sloppy immigration policy has been repeatedly cited as a principle cause of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.

Most of the hijackers were in the country illegally. Some had remained after their visas had expired; others had no visas at all.

Adding insult to injury, six months after they killed themselves and three thousand innocent Americans, two of the 9/11 hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, were granted new student visa approval forms.

The forms were sent to Huffman Aviation, the Florida flight training school that trained them to fly, but not to land, commercial aircraft. That’s at least one reason why so many immigration reform groups were largely in favor of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (HR 418).

Those in favor of immigration reform like the REAL ID Act of 2005 because, among other things, it would curb the issue of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

States would be required to verify that applicants are US citizens before they could issue the license. To get a driver’s license, one will need to provide, among other identifiers, a Social Security card.

Some note that the lead terrorist in the 9/11 attacks, Mohammad Atta, was in the country on a six-month visa, but was able to get a Florida driver’s license good for six years.

And since driver’s licenses are typically all that’s needed for such things as buying guns or getting on an airplane, such loopholes could prove to be a very bad thing indeed.

That’s probably a significant reason the measure passed handily in the House on February 10 by a vote of 261-161.

Of course, the liberal left opposes the REAL ID Act because they claim it is ‘discriminatory’ — making the impossible argument that requiring obedience to the law somehow discriminates against lawbreakers — but mostly, they oppose it because the administration supports it.

Both of those reasons demonstrate both the lack of adult supervision and the blind partisanship of the Left, which tends to explain how the REAL ID bill made it through both Houses, despite the fact it actually IS a bad bill that shouldn’t have made it out of Congress.

The Left has practiced knee-jerk politics for so long that the mere fact they oppose anything becomes a practical reason to vote FOR it. That would appear to be what happened with HR 418.

The bill should have failed simply on its merits, rather than allowing the Left to guarantee its passage by offering such lame and transparent opposition.

This bill is another object lesson in the application of the Biblical principle that, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)


I’ve noted in the past that in instances where God decides a principle is important enough to say more than once, it is a good idea to pay attention. This is one of those times.

The REAL ID bill is an end-run around American opposition to a National ID Card, something that the Clintons tried and failed to accomplish in the 1990’s.

Remember when your Social Security Card used to say, ‘Not to be used for identification purposes?

It is still NOT supposed to be used as a form of identification, which is why anybody can refuse to provide it on a federal form.

(Says so right in the fine print — right before it says that failure to provide them with it means the Feds will throw away the form without reading it)

Try and open a bank account, or get a driver’s license or a credit card without one. See how THAT works out.

And the one sure way to guarantee identity theft is to disclose your social security number to the ‘wrong’ person. Armed with that bit of information, a person’s life and credit history becomes an open book.

It is the most sensitive item of personal identification in America today — although its use as a form of identification is still ostensibly prohibited by law.

The REAL ID Act is like that. Under the law, the REAL ID Act proposes to make state driver’s licenses the equivalent of a national ID card, but makes state participation in the plan ‘voluntary’ in order to maintain the fiction that it is not.

But, any state that opts out of the plan will, in so doing, will automatically make ‘non-persons’ out of its citizens, since the federal government will no longer accept any other form of ID.

Without a federally-approved driver’s license, US citizens won’t be able to fly or take a train. They won’t be able to drive except in their own state. In essence, no one will be able to travel domestically unless they are carrying federally approved ‘papers’.

Linked to your ‘papers’ is a national, centrally-coordinated federal database of highly personal information about American citizens: at a minimum their name, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number, and physical and possibly other characteristics.

The information in this database is allegedly confidential, but since the legislation permits it to be shared with the governments of both Mexico and Canada, it is as private as those governments want to keep it.

It permits the Secretary of Homeland Security to expand required information on drivers licenses, potentially including such biometric information as retina scans, finger prints, DNA information, and even Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) radio tracking technology.

Including such technology as RFID means the federal government, as well as the governments of Canada and Mexico, could know where American citizens are at all times.

The problem with a national ID system is similar to the problem with gun control legislation. It will only affect law-abiding citizens. Criminals will ignore it, while putting the rest of us in what amounts to a police state.

There are sound arguments in favor of the legislation, but those arguments, to mind, don’t outweigh the risks.

To get this national ID, one must present a Social Security Card. Since virtually anybody can counterfeit one on a computer, it makes it pretty much meaningless insofar as tracking the bad guys.

And, since the database is being shared with Canada, and, particularly with Mexico, any crooked official now has a new scam-in-the-making, since the sale of US identity files, including Social Security numbers, addresses, credit histories, etc., will be more profitable than the drug trade.

A national ID card has long been the goal of the liberals (who now oppose it because it isn’t their plan), but it has been on the agenda since the days of FDR. Until now, however, such a plan has never made it past its first reading in Congress, let alone making it to the floor of the Senate, (where it is also expected to pass).

Having looked at the plan in practical terms, there is another element to consider.

Two thousand years ago, the Apostle John predicted the existence of a similar database that would fall into the hands of the antichrist. John didn’t call it a database, but he described it all the same.

According to John, the antichrist would require every citizen to obtain a form of national ID, what John called ‘a mark’ — that he says no man could ‘buy or sell’ without.

Think of what that entails! In order for John’s vision to come to pass, three things must exist that did not exist in John’s day — or at any time in the last two thousand years — until now.

The first, and most obvious, would be a scheme that would positively identify those who are part of his system from those who are not.

Secondly, to accomplish this positive identification system, his agents would require access to a list — or database — against which to check credentials.

Until the present age of computers, an enforcement agent would have had to carry around a list so vast it would be essentially useless, since checking it against a single name could take days, weeks, or even years.

The Nazis and Soviets famously attempted to accomplish something similar using hard lists typed out or hand-written. Consequently, thousands of Jews and others were able to slip through the cracks.

John envisioned no such ‘cracks’ would exist when he outlined his vision. ‘All’ would either be part of the system, and ‘no man’ would be able to buy or sell from outside it.

Thirdly, in order for that list to be useful in excluding outsiders from engaging in ordinary, day to day financial transactions, there would have to be a way of restricting the use of currency to those who are in good standing.

None of these were possible even a generation ago. Today, everything is in place, including the ongoing effort to abolish hard cash as an acceptable means of currency.

Cash is still handy in restaurants (although few use it), convenience stores, (where one can buy ‘value-added’ credit cards) and for small, private purchases, but try plunking down cash for a new car or an airline ticket and you can expect a visit from the FBI.

Experiments using completely cashless systems that have been conducted in various places throughout the country have reported resounding successes.

It is another debunking of the old myth that, ‘it can’t happen here’. It is ALREADY happening here, and there are good, solid, logical reasons for implementing the exact system foretold by John for the last days.

It seems like a good idea, but, as the Scriptures remind us, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

The REAL ID Act appears to be exactly what the writer of Proverbs was describing.

That is not to say that I think there is anything to be gained by opposing it, or advocating against it, since it is a necessary part of the unfolding of God’s Plan for the Ages.

One does well to recall the argument set forth by Gamaliel, the lawyer who defended the Apostles in Acts 5:36-40.

He argued, “for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”

Especially when one compares it to the Word of the Lord, when He said,

“see that ye be not troubled: for all these things MUST COME TO PASS, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

But, He ALSO said, “when these things BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

The Curse

The Curse
Vol: 41 Issue: 20 Sunday, February 20, 2005

It was some long-forgotten humorist who first coined the phrase, “The only two things that are certain in this life are death and taxes.”

That quote is often wrongly attributed to Will Rogers, but what Rogers actually said was, “there’s one advantage about death; it doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets …”

There are ways to avoid taxes, tax deferments, tax shelters, tax accountants, tax cheats; there is no way to avoid death.

Everybody — and every living thing — dies eventually. We were not created to die, but the sentence of death was passed on all living things when the first sin was committed by our first parents, Adam and Eve.

The Scriptures have much to say on the subject, but the subject is not exactly the sort of thing people like to dwell on, and consequently, we don’t.

For most people, death signifies the end of life, and God has built aversion to death into our genetic makeup as a kind of self-preservation mechanism for the survival of the species — whatever species that is.

Walk through the woods, and if you see any small animals about, they are usually fleeing your presence. They don’t know your intentions, but they do fear death, so their default position is that you represent a threat to life and are to be avoided at all costs.

Mankind is the highest order of beings to be created under the ultimate sentence of death, and, as a general rule, fears death as much as any squirrel or rabbit scurrying through the woods to avoid predators, animal or human.

To the lower animals, death doesn’t merely signify the end of life, it is the end of life, and animals know it instinctively. Mankind also fears death, and does all that is possible to avoid it, but in the main, it is due to a different instinctive knowledge.

Men know that death is NOT the end of life, but rather, the end of life as we know it. This knowledge is also instinctive; the appeal of atheism is that it espouses a view that death is final and absolute, and without final judgment.

Atheism is NOT the default view of death, it must be taught. The Bible says that the knowledge that death is NOT the end is instinctively ingrained in us.

“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:29)

We are created with an instinctive knowledge of God; God Himself has provided the details of His existence, but the basic knowledge of God is something we are all born with.

Ironically, one of the world’s premiere atheists, Vladimir Ilyanovich Lenin, the father of the Communist Russian Revolution, once staked out the philosophical position that it is impossible for the human mind to conceive of something that does not exist.

As an example, Lenin postulated that it is impossible for the human mind to concentrate and come up with a new prime color. There are only a finite number of possibilities, and no feat of imagination can come up with a new one that isn’t a combination of those which already exist.

Similarly, Lenin theorized, the knowledge of God is not something that could have been dreamed up in the mind of man. We can imagine pink elephants, because pink exists, and elephants exist. We have a frame of reference for both.

But knowledge of a Supreme Being Who exists outside of space and time, a Being Who always was, always will be, One with no beginning and no end, One Who possesses all knowledge and Who is everywhere at all times — for this concept we humans have no frame of reference.

We couldn’t have dreamed up God, suggests Lenin, because our minds are limited to thinking in terms of three dimensions, those of space, time and matter. God exists outside of all three, yet a child believes in God until he is taught differently.

The fear of death is rooted, for man, in that instinctive knowledge of God’s existence. For everyone except the atheist/humanist, death is the time of reckoning, since man also instinctively recognizes sin AS sin.

Nobody needs to be taught that sin exists — nobody truly believes themselves to be without sin, despite high-sounding philosophical arguments to the contrary.

To deny the existence of sin is to deny the necessity for police, courts, prisons and a social order. Animals are incapable of sin, therefore, the concept of ‘punishment’ is pragmatic, rather than instinctive.

One can ‘punish’ a misbehaving pet, but it isn’t actually ‘punishment’ it is behavior modification by the imposition of unpleasant sanctions.

An animal has no instinctive knowledge of right or wrong, only cause and effect.

Scripture says that the ‘wages of sin is death’ and reminds us that ‘all have sinned’ and therefore, all of us die.

The Scriptures also explain what we already know by instinct; that human death is not the end of life, but rather, by definition and practice, a separation. It separates body and spirit, it separates us from loved ones, and loved ones from us.

Some false teachers say that death is a sleep, but according to Scripture, it is a journey. Genesis 25:8, 35:18, and Numbers 27:13 speak of the dead as souls being ‘gathered to their fathers’. David, mourning the loss of his son, lamented, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2nd Samuel 12:23)

The book of Job, chronologically believed to predate Moses, relates Job’s confidence that;

“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for MYSELF, and MINE eyes shall behold, and NOT ANOTHER; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:26-27)

For those left behind, death appears to be the end of life, but, although the body sleeps, the Bible teaches that death is the departure of the spirit into another realm of consciousness.

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord . . We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:8)

Peter testified that at death, he would ‘put off’ his physical body; “Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.” (2nd Peter 1:14)

Jesus told the thief from the Cross, “Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

And the Apostle John’s vision in Revelation depicts dead saints in heaven prior to the Resurrection, as well as during the Tribulation on earth.

The Bible defines three different forms of death. The physical death with which we are all too familiar, in which the spirit separates from the body; spiritual death, which is the separation from God as a consequence of sin, and the ‘second death’ — the final, eternal separation from God and from life in the Lake of Fire.

Hebrews 9:27 explains in a sentence, the difference between the instinctive fear of death embedded in lower animals, and the fear of death as experienced by human beings.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” The appeal of atheism to the atheist is found in part ‘b’ of that verse, “after this, the judgment.”


The instinctive recognition of sin brings with it the instinctive fear of judgment. It is the fear of judgment that forms the basis for all religion.

Religion is, by definition, man’s effort to make himself acceptable to God, thereby avoiding the judgment he instinctively understands he so richly deserves.

But religion is never completely satisfying, because we also instinctively know that man cannot make himself acceptable to God, since, apart from the self-deluded, we know we can’t even make ourselves acceptable to other humans.

Christianity is God’s way of making man acceptable to Himself.

Lincoln once observed, ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.’

Some people can see through the outward veneer of false righteousness some of the time, God can see through it all the time, since He knows what we know about ourselves — and we know what we are REALLY like when nobody else is looking.

That is why God sent us a Savior in Jesus Christ. Jesus took the form of sinful man, lived the sinless life God’s perfection demands of each of us, and then, being guiltless, He assumed the punishment for sin for us all at the Cross.

Think of sin as debt and righteousness as the only acceptable currency available to discharge it. One cannot make a mortgage payment without the use of a currency acceptable to the mortgage holder.

As unrighteous sinners, we spent all our currency with our first sin and we became spiritual paupers, unable to discharge our debt.

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” Romans 4:4-5)

Jesus, by His life, kept His currency intact, and is able to pay off our ‘mortgage’ for us. When we come to Him and ask, He reaches into His pocket and pays it off for us.

Our sin debt is paid, and the wages of sin are wiped clean. We pass from spiritual death into eternal life.

For that reason, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

Another way to say the same thing is there is ‘no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who TRUST not after the flesh, but after the Spirit’ — since salvation is a consequence of trust, our faith that He will keep His Word to us, despite our own shortcomings.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

Everybody who has a regular job lives according to that principle. We go to work because we expect to be paid at the end of the week. Our paycheck doesn’t come til Friday, but we show up for work on Monday.

Payday is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for on Monday, the fact we show up is evidence of that which won’t be seen until Friday.

We can borrow against that unseen paycheck, before we’ve earned it, because, although it has not even been written yet, it has SUBSTANCE. Ask your banker.

All those who have placed their trust in Christ can count on ‘payday’, since He has already performed the necessary work.

All those who trust in themselves can also expect ‘payday’, but since the wages of sin is death, they can count on receiving their full check.

Payday comes at the point of physical death. Death is not the end, it is the beginning. Jesus used the analogy of being ‘born again’ to describe the process. It is also illustrative of what awaits us on the other side.

A baby in the womb is pretty contented to be there. It is warm, and safe, and it is all they know. Birth takes place, not when the baby claws its way out, but, rather, when it is EXPELLED involuntarily, kicking and screaming, into a terrifying world of bright lights, loud noises, and pain.

But, once having experienced life on the outside, the darkness and confinement of the womb is seen for what it is, and it would be an act of insanity to want to return to such an existence, regardless of how comfortable it seemed when it was all we knew. Even pain is preferable to a return to the darkness of the womb.

The passage from physical death to eternal life is an unbroken stream of consciousness, just as is the passage from the womb to the world.

That passage is, from this perspective, as unpleasant as being expelled from the womb is at the time of its occurrence. But, as noted, once having experienced physical life outside, who would long to return to the womb?

For those who know what awaits them, death can be a comfort, although the transistion process is no less frightening than the transition from womb to delivery room.

Death is much worse for those left behind than it is for those who have trusted Jesus and will pass into His loving arms as they leave behind their tabernacle of flesh.

The pain of separation is unbearable, and the prospect of having to continue in this life after they have gone on ahead can be unthinkable — yet it is unavoidable.

There is little comfort, apart from the certain knowledge that separation is only temporary, since we will all one day make the same journey.

Scriptures tell us that, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:7-8)

Trust Jesus. His Word is true. Death is not the end. It is the beginning. For the believer, it is the beginning of life as wondrous and different as the passage from the womb.

The rest of us remain trapped inside this comparatively dark and seemingly safe place, unaware of what awaits us, and uncertain of what our loved one will experience.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1st Thessalonians 4:13)

“. . .then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-57)

And know He will keep His promise. “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)

Have courage! Trust Jesus.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:7)

When Tommy Went Marching Back . . .

When Tommy Went Marching Back . . .
Vol: 41 Issue: 19 Saturday, February 19, 2005

The October 10, 2003 Omega Letter bearing the title, “When Tommy Came Marching Home Again discussed what my friend [ret. Marine] Captain John called, “Tommy’s Hooyah Party.”

“Tommy” is S/Sgt. Tom Kurek, USMC, Captain John’s son, and the “Hooyah” party was to mark Tommy’s return from Iraq after completing his tour of combat duty as a member of Iraq’s liberators from Saddam Hussein and his tyrannical machine.

I live between the two largest Marine Corps bases on the East Coast, about halfway between Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, home of the 2nd Marine Division, and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, home to the 2nd Marine Air Wing.

Most of my friends and neighbors are either Marine Corps veterans, or the sons and daughters of Marine Corps veterans who settled in the area after they retired.

As a consequence, I know many veterans, as well as many active-duty Marines who are either in Iraq, have returned from Iraq, or are scheduled to deploy to Iraq.

Yesterday over dinner, Captain John told me that Tommy is back in Iraq, stationed in one of the insurgency ‘hot zones’ north of Baghdad.

I mention Tommy for two reasons; the first is to ask you to agree with me before the Lord for His provision and protection for my friend S/Sgt. Kurek and his men. [And a sense of peace and comfort for John and Mary].

The second reason is to add a human face to what we collectively refer to as ‘our troops’. It is important to remember that what the media calls ‘US forces’ is made up of the sons and daughters of men like Captain John.

Earlier yesterday, another friend of mine, [who is neither a veteran nor the son of veteran — the exception that proves the rule] came over for coffee and opened up a discussion of what ‘our troops’ are doing ‘in our name’ and how upset he was about it all.

He had just watched a World News Tonight broadcast, anchored by Peter Jennings, that, at its conclusion, left him totally incensed about the ‘government lies’ about both the mission in Iraq and the way ‘our troops’ were conducting it.

He related the accounts [I didn’t see the report] of wounded veteran’s interviewed for the broadcast, how badly they were treated by our government, both during their tours of duty, and after they returned to an insensitive and uncaring Veteran’s Administration.

I suppose there is considerable instructive value to be found in the fact that I didn’t see the report, because it enabled me to see the effect, rather than picking at the cause, of much of the negative public perception about the Iraq War and its aftermath.

My friend explained to me that, despite government protests to the contrary, the war was a fraud, that we went to Iraq for our own purposes [to secure Iraqi oil for ourselves] and that in the process, we are running roughshod over an Iraqi people who are sick and tired of living under ‘occupation’.

At this juncture, it might be useful to point out that my friend isn’t particularly liberal — actually, he isn’t particularly political — so he arrived at his conclusions devoid of any particular partisan bias.

A former Jehovah’s Witness, he was raised to believe all government is evil and that national citizenship is wrong and national patriotism is of the devil. (Although he is now a Christian, a lifetime of indoctrination can’t be dispelled in the two short years that have passed since God afforded me the honor of leading him to Christ.)

That being said, my friend related horror stories from veterans interviewed on the broadcast, which convinced him that even our own forces opposed the war, and that they were forced into combat to advance the agenda of ‘the government’.

He asked me how I would feel if some foreign forces invaded OUR country, started patrolling OUR streets, and whether or not, in such a case, I might find myself a member of an insurgent movement like the one now fighting our forces in Iraq.

I was dumbfounded, because my friend is [ordinarily] a fairly bright guy who is truly dedicated to following the truth, wherever it might lead. That hunger for the truth is what finally caused him to abandon his life-long membership as a Jehovah’s Witness and turn to the Gospel and salvation by grace through faith.

His favorite verse in Scripture is a quote from Jesus, as recorded in John’s Gospel; “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:22)

But here he was, earnestly contending that the Iraq war was a giant conspiracy foisted on an unsuspecting America for nefarious reasons he couldn’t quite put his finger on.

All this, from a single broadcast on ABC News, ‘where more Americans get their news, than from any other source’ as their promo department puts it.


We discuss propaganda, its application to the prophecies concerning the antichrist, and its growing acceptance among the citizens of the most freedom-loving people the world has ever known, often enough that you are probably getting a little bit sick of hearing it.

So, too, have I had dozens of conversations with this same friend, on exactly the same subject. The war to topple Saddam Hussein has been over for almost two years. Saddam’s crimes are exposed for the entire world to see.

The global opposition to his deposal has been exposed as a cynical effort to hide evidence of the most massive conspiracy and theft in history, and pretty much every reason offered for the war in the first place has been vindicated by evidence that our forces uncovered in the aftermath of the war.

(I acknowledge that we didn’t find a massive arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, but we DID find mass graves, hundreds of missing scientists and researchers, and aerial photographs of military vehicles streaming from suspected weapons sites into Syria. As Rumsfeld observed in one press conference, the ‘absence of evidence is not the same thing as the evidence of absence’ — so, to my mind, the jury is still out on that one).

Leaving the WMD issue aside, it is fair to say that the reasons for war have been subsequently established as being so transparently legitimate that even the lunatic fringe has stopped chanting ‘Bush lied, people died’ and are looking for a new slogan.

But with all of that, my friend watched a single broadcast and came away sounding like Howard Dean on steroids.

Consider, for a moment, the power of the propagandist. We’ll begin with the convincing arguments that were offered by those wounded veterans interviewed by Peter Jennings.

Keeping in mind that my friend also lives in a military community, surrounded by veterans and active-duty Marines, I asked him if he had met even one Marine who expressed doubts about our mission in Iraq.

He thought about it for a minute, and admitted he had not. I asked him if he had met a single veteran of the Iraq War who expressed regret at his participation. He admitted he had not.

I asked him if he had met a single Marine who did not express a willingness to return to Iraq if necessary. (He brightened up on this one, and mentioned a mutual acquaintance that had.)

Then I reminded him that our mutual friend had a wife and four kids and hoped he wouldn’t have to spend another year away from them — rather than saying he was ideologically opposed to it.

I asked him if he had met any returning veterans who DIDN’T relate stories of efforts to build hospitals, schools, playgrounds and so on. (He admitted he had not.)

Keep in mind that my friend KNEW all this BEFORE he watched the ABC broadcast.

I asked him then, how can it be that 100% of those interviewed said exactly the OPPOSITE of what he KNEW, from personal experience, was the prevailing military opinion, as expressed by PFCs, corporals, etc., [not administration officials], in the context of casual conversations over a game of pool?

Where did Peter Jennings find them, and how could it be that ABC was unable to find a SINGLE veteran whose views reflected the viewpoints of the veterans he had personally met?

Addressing the likelihood that the war was just a conspiracy to get our hands on Iraqi oil, I asked him to name the world’s richest nation. He immediately (and correctly) identified the United States.

I reminded him that the US maintained an embargo on Iraqi oil for twelve years, despite the fact the UN, French, Germans, Russians and Chinese used the embargo as leverage to cut their own backroom oil deals with Saddam. And that we didn’t, not because we couldn’t, but because it would have been wrong.

I asked him if he thought we could afford to BUY oil from Iraq, and, of course, he acknowledged that we could.

Why, then, I asked him, would we fight a war so that we could NOW buy [since we didn’t seize it or steal it when we got there] Iraqi oil, when we could have bought all we wanted, all along, had we so desired?

Why would we expend billions of dollars, sacrifice thousands of men and women just like Tommy, and face down unanimous global opposition, just so we could BUY [not take] oil Saddam would have only been too happy to sell us at any time during the entire period between the wars?

Addressing his contention that America is ‘occupying’ Iraq against their will, I asked him to explain to me who ‘they’ might be?

The Iraqi government now in place was not appointed by the US, but was elected by the majority of Iraqi voters, who went to the polls at great risk to themselves.

Has a SINGLE one of the Iraqi politicians — put into office by popular vote — asked America to leave? On the contrary, they have unanimously expressed fear that we might leave too soon.

He pointed to the number of ordinary Iraqi civilians who have died since the invasion, suggesting it was America’s fault.

He also agreed that most of them were the victims of insurgent car bombings, with the richest targets being the scores of Iraqis standing in line to join either the new Iraqi military or the Iraqi police.

Why were they in line in the first place? They knew the risk. Did Americans herd them together at gunpoint?

The point is, my friend knew all this — intellectually — before he sat down to watch the ABC report.

In fact, he knew it better than most, because, as I noted, one couldn’t throw a rock into a crowd of locals here without hitting either a veteran or a veteran’s family member.

He watched what was, in fact, a mirror image portrayal of what his eyes, ears and personal experience told him was fact, and, despite his objective knowledge to the contrary, blindly bought the whole argument, hook, line and sinker!

It took longer for me to deprogram him with questions like those above than it took Peter Jennings to program him into believing everything he KNEW from independent observation [and that is a key point] was wrong — and that the exact opposite was true.

Americans are among the most sophisticated and well-informed people on earth.

Thanks to the foresight of the Founding Fathers, America has, not just a tradition, but, via the First Amendment, an absolute legal responsibility to the truth.

I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard somebody ridicule Bible prophecies about the Mark of the Beast or the ‘strong delusion’ by saying it could never happen here.

During the Nazi era, using only the power of the press to accomplish it, the Nazis were able to turn the most sophisticated and cultured nation in Europe into a nation of mass murderers who willingly — even cheerfully — consigned millions of innocent men, women and children to the gas chambers, fully convinced that they were doing the right thing.

It couldn’t happen there, either. Until it did.

All it took was a German version of Peter Jennings and his colleagues who were as ideologically committed to their version of events as Josef Goebbels was to his.

“And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)

In reply to that question, Jesus identified a single generation as one that would be characterized by wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences, signs in the sun, moon and stars, ethnic unrest and ‘the distress of nations’ so overwhelming that He said that it would cause ‘men’s hearts to fail them with fear’. (Matthew:24, Mark:13, Luke:21)

But He began what scholars call the Olivet Discourse this way:

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)