So That’s What Berger Was Stuffing Down His Pants. . .

So That’s What Berger Was Stuffing Down His Pants. . .
Vol: 47 Issue: 19 Friday, August 19, 2005

For years following the September 11th attacks, the incessant chant from the Left has been; “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

The mantra questioning the administration is unfairly characterized as ‘unpatriotic’, according to the liberal left, but mantras became political currency during the Clinton administration.

Six years ago, all one had to do was start the mantra, and the rest of the nation could finish it in unison: “What did the president know and when did he know it?”

“Everybody lies about sex.”

I have my own mantra, “Things that are different are not the same.” ‘Everybody’ DOESN’T lie about sex.

Bill Clinton lied about sex.

Some people actually keep their vows. And questioning the government is not unpatriotic, but putting party ahead of country is.

Having said that, it seems that, in terms of dropping the ball before the September 11 attacks, the question, “What did the president know and when did he know it?” has once again become relevant.

But as we are now learning, the question has been put to the wrong party. The correct question should be have been; “What did President CLINTON know, and when did he know it?”

Revelations about a Clinton-era anti-terrorist project called ‘Operation Able Danger’ may also answer the OTHER unanswered question of our time: “What was Sandy Berger stuffing down his pants?”

As the National Security Advisor during the Clinton administration, Berger was called to testify before the 9/11 Commission about what efforts had been undertaken against terrorism during his watch.

Berger, as a consequence of his former job, still had top-secret security clearances. At Bill Clinton’s request, Berger went to the National Archives to review the files to help determine which Clinton administration documents to provide to the 9/11 Commission.

While determining which files he would provide the Commission, Berger reportedly stuffed some of them into his shirt, and, according to the New York Post, even stuffed some of these classified memos into his socks, before walking out with the documents.

The documents involved covered what has become a key point of contention between the Clinton and Bush administrations concerning who responded more forcefully to the threat from al Qaeda.

They were National Security Council memos that discussed the 1999 plot to attack U.S. millennium celebrations and offer more than two dozen recommendations for improving the response to al-Qaeda.

And Sandy Berger took them. Not copies. The originals. As House Speaker Dennis Hastert asked at the time;

“What information could be so embarrassing that a man with decades of experience in handling classified documents would risk being caught pilfering our nation’s most sensitive secrets? “

“Did these documents detail simple negligence or did they contain something more sinister?”

And finally, Hastert asked, “Was this a bungled attempt to rewrite history and keep critical information from the 9/11 Commission and potentially put their report under a cloud?”

It is important to remember that Berger made ten visits to National Archives to review the files — at the request of former president Clinton.

Assessment:

The new question is much like the old one: “What did Clinton know about the contents of those now-missing documents, and when did he know it?” Add to it Hastert’s question, and Operation Able Danger takes on new significance.

It takes on even more significance when one considers that the US Defense Department did not dispute the details offered regarding Able Danger when those details were first offered, and does not dispute the details now.

“Able Danger” was a top-secret Pentagon task force that reportedly identified three of the 9/11 hijackers several years in advance, including Mohammed Atta. Operatives who worked on ‘Operation Able Danger’ allegedly reported the information to the 9/11 Commission, who neglected to mention it in their final report.

Among the 9/11 Commission members was former Clinton assistant Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, the individual all sides agree was primarily responsible for creating the ‘wall of separation’ that prevented federal law enforcement agencies from sharing information about investigations.

Lt. Col Anthony Shafer charges that “there was a significant amount of information that was totally deleted or not provided to the 9/11 commissioners,” particularly about Able Danger.

Even the New York Times has begun to shift its focus from the 8 months Bush was in office prior to 9/11 and is now looking at the eight years Clinton was in office with a critical eye. Under the headline, “State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996” the Times is reporting;

“State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that “his prolonged stay in Afghanistan – where hundreds of ‘Arab mujahedeen’ receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate – could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum,” in Sudan.”

Moreover, reported the world’s most influential liberal newspaper, “The State Department assessment, written July 18, 1996, after Mr. bin Laden had been expelled from Sudan and was thought to be relocating to Afghanistan, said Afghanistan would make an “ideal haven” for Mr. bin Laden to run his financial networks and attract support from radicalized Muslims. Moreover, his wealth, his personal plane and many passports “allow him considerable freedom to travel with little fear of being intercepted or tracked,” and his public statements suggested an “emboldened” man capable of “increased terrorism,” the assessment said.”

Michael F. Scheuer, who from 1996 to 1999 led the Central Intelligence Agency unit that tracked Mr. bin Laden, said the State Department documents reflected a keen awareness of the danger posed by Mr. bin Laden’s relocation.

“The analytical side of the State Department had it exactly right – that’s genius analysis,” he said in an interview when told of the declassified documents.

The 9/11 Commission has since admitted that Col Shafer’s account corroborated information it received from Navy captain who was also involved with the program but whose name has not been made public. In a statement issued last week, the leaders of the commission said the panel had concluded that the intelligence program “did not turn out to be historically significant.”

The statement said that while the commission did learn about Able Danger in 2003 and immediately requested Pentagon files about it, none of the documents turned over by the Defense Department referred to Atta or any of the other hijackers.

Officially, the 9/11 Commission said in its final report that American intelligence agencies had not identified Atta as a terrorist until after the attack on September 11, although Able Danger identified him as such years before.

Which brings us back to former Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger.

On April 1, 2005, Berger pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. Under a plea agreement, he was fined $10,000 and lost his security clearance for three years.

According to the New York Sun, among the missing files believed stolen and destroyed by Berger was the memo of a meeting between Berger and CIA Director George Tenet in 1998 in which Tenet presented Berger with a plan to capture Osama bin Laden.

It turns out that Berger was presented with plans to take action against the threat of Al Qaeda four separate times Spring 1998, June 1999, December 1999, and August 2000. Each time, Berger was an obstacle to action.

Deborah Orrin, in the New York Post yesterday, reported that “then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White wrote the memo as she pleaded in vain with Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick to tear down the wall between intelligence and prosecutors, a wall that went beyond legal requirements.”

Since September 11, the Left has endeavored to lay all the blame and all the responsibility on the-then 8 month old Bush administration while exonerating the previous administration, mainly to avoid answering the charges that the multiple scandals of the Clinton administration may have distracted it to the degree that it was criminally negligent — which, of course, it was.

The damage done the United States during the eight years under Bill Clinton is broad-based and only now are Americans beginning to realize how serious it was.

While the country was distracted by investigations into Whitewatergate, the Clinton administration provided China with restricted technology in exchange for massive illegal Chinese campaign contributions.

While the country was distracted by investigations into Chinagate, the Clinton administration actually financed North Korea’s nuclear program by paying bribe money to Pyongyang in exchange for a promise not to pursue nuclear weapons.

While the country was distracted by Monicagate and the impeachment trial, the Clinton administration ignored al-Qaeda and the threat of terrorism, and, after the 9/11 Commission requested Clinton-era documents, Sandy Berger stole and destroyed relevant evidence pertaining to the Clinton administration’s inaction.

But with all of that, it is the Bush administration that has been saddled with the responsibility for ‘allowing’ 9/11 to happen. It is a textbook case of conspiracy against the national security interests of the United States to advance a competing political agenda.

And it exposes the agenda of the American Left for what it is. Partisanship before patriotism.

During the Red Scare of the 1950’s, it used to be called ‘treason’.

Oftentimes, we examine the question, ‘where is America in prophecy?’ The Bible doesn’t assign America a role during the Tribulation, but America’s moral description is all over the pages that describe the final hours of the Church Age before the start of the Tribulation Period.

“This know also, that IN THE LAST DAYS perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, TRAITORS, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” (2nd Timothy 3:1-4)

Massaging Your ‘Confirmatory Bias ‘

Massaging Your ‘Confirmatory Bias ‘
Vol: 47 Issue: 18 Thursday, August 18, 2005

The New York Times is reporting that, although a majority of Americans believe news organizations are politically biased in their reports, according to a Pew Research study, it doesn’t make any difference.

A recent Pew Research Center poll shows U.S. press credibility at historic lows. In early June, 56 percent of randomly sampled U.S. adults said that “[news] stories and reports are often inaccurate,” an increase from 34 percent of the public who held this view in 1985.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of Americans today say news organizations “tend to favor one side” when covering political and social issues, up from 53 percent two decades ago.

And 75 percent of Americans said news organizations’ reporting is most concerned about “attracting the biggest audience,” while only 19 percent said it was “keeping the public informed.”

In addition, 40 percent of U.S. adults think the press is “too critical of America,” up from 17 percent in November 2001. Put simply, many Americans see no conflict between simultaneous wishes for press independence and a pro-U.S. perspective.

If the results of the study are to be believed, political bias in the media plays absolutely no role in influencing viewers’ political perspective. The Pew study picked out Fox News Channel as the subject’s study, calling its findings a consequence of what it called ‘the Fox Effect’.

Fox News Channel came into existence in 1996 as an alternative to the left-leaning mainstream media, introducing itself as the ‘fair and balanced’ network. Unabashedly pro-American, Fox has displayed a waving US flag in one corner of its screen since September 11, and has made no secret of its support for both US policy and the US military.

Although the New York Times reports that the survey found no direct link between politically biased news and its influence on the politics of its viewers, it lamented that Fox immediately leapt to the lead in the cable news ratings war right after September 11 and has remained in the #1 spot ever since.

Sniffed the Baltimore Sun in its report; “When news content is critical of U.S. actions, many Americans become angry with the press rather than the government. In other words, the public becomes likely to shoot the messenger. It would help if the news media stopped providing ammunition.”

Translation: When the liberal press tells the world that the government is dishonest, that the war with Iraq was unilateral, that whether George Bush completed his last few National Guard meetings is more important than whether John Kerry lied about his wartime activities, or that the Bush foreign policy is to blame for September 11, people get mad at the press, not because they are slanting the news, but because the public is ‘shooting the messenger’.

‘Shooting the messenger’ — are they kidding? If I deliver a message from a friend telling you he thinks you are ugly and you get mad at me, you are ‘shooting the messenger’. If I tell you that I think you are ugly and all your friends think so, too, then I am not a messenger, but a co-author of the message, with all the attending responsibility for its contents.

The media isn’t ‘delivering a message’ when it injects its own bias into the news — it is CREATING a message — the responsibility then lies with the reporting, not the report.

But the study gave the New York Times an opportunity to use Fox News to present its own message; “Sure, we’re biased, but it doesn’t matter. Just look at Fox News.”

Asks the NYTimes, “Why was Fox inconsequential to voter behavior? One possibility is that people search for television shows with a political orientation that matches their own. In this scenario, Fox would have been preaching to the converted.”

But then the Times’ shoots down its own conclusion by noting that as many Fox viewers identify themselves as Democrats as those who identify themselves as Republican. The Times then floats a conclusion offered by the study’s authors;

“First, watching Fox could have confirmed both Democratic and Republican viewers’ inclinations, an effect known as confirmatory bias in psychology. (Borrowing from Simon and Garfunkel, confirmatory bias is a tendency to hear what we want to hear and disregard the rest.)”

Assessment:

If you are as confused as I am by this report, don’t worry. It isn’t you. It doesn’t make any sense to me, either.

Re-examining the conclusion offered by the New York Times, the media has no ability to influence your thinking, but your thinking influences your choice of bias.

While slapping down the concept that Americans want ‘fair and balanced coverage’, it identifies Fox has having roughly equal numbers of Republican and Democratic viewers — while simultaneously noting that media consumers seek out a ‘confirmatory bias.’

What kind of political ‘confirmatory bias’ is shared equally by Democrats and Republicans?

Meanwhile, CNN’s audience demographics identify its viewers as primarily liberal Democrats.

Let’s see how that adds up. People don’t want ‘fair and balanced’ news but Fox News viewership is more or less even split across both sides of the political spectrum and is three times as popular as the openly liberal CNN, which accuses Fox of being an outlet for conservative propaganda.

Noted the Times, “an appealing feature of their study is that it does not matter if Fox News represents the political center and the rest of the media the liberal wing, or Fox represents the extreme right and the rest of the media the middle. Fox’s political orientation is clearly to the right of the rest of the media. Research has found, for example, that Fox News is much more likely than other news shows to cite conservative think tanks and less likely to cite liberal ones.”

Translating this into English may take some effort, but I will try. “Fox’s political orientation is clearly to the right of the rest of the media.” Ok, I’ve no problem with that.

But, is Fox the political ‘center’, or does it represent the extreme right? The Times leaves that up to one’s ‘confirmatory bias’. But there is another way to figure it out. The old ‘if-then’ equation.

IF half Fox viewers are Democrats and the other half Republicans, THEN are half of US Democrats members of the ‘extreme right’?

Conversely, if the demographics show that the liberal media’s audience consists primarily of liberal Democrats, how in the world can the ‘rest of the media’ be extreme right — simply because it is NOT extreme left?

What is the New York Times trying to say? It is difficult to sort out. It seems that they are admitting to a liberal bias in the media, while simultaneously pronouncing Fox News as both ‘far right’ AND the ‘political center’ — all the while saying, “Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter. Americans are too smart to be taken in by propaganda.”

Hmmm. What are those interruptions on TV that take place every ten minutes? Ummmm, advertising?? What is the purpose of advertising? Wait! I know! It is to INFLUENCE PEOPLE’S DECISION MAKING PROCESSES.

Advertisers present their product in an attractive, positive light, while presenting their competitors and their products in a negative light. Why bother spending all that money (and interrupting programming every ten minutes) — IF IT DOESN’T WORK?

I believe it was C. S. Lewis who observed that, “the devil’s greatest trick was in convincing mankind he does not exist.” That seems to describe the liberal media’s effort to explain away liberal bias.

Since the bias is now too obvious to ignore, the next trick is to convince the public that it just doesn’t matter. You are choosing who lies to you, because you prefer lies that fit your own existing bias — not that the propaganda itself influences your own bias. That’s their story, and they are sticking to it.

It is as reasonable as arguing that viewers are choosing Geico commercials because they are funny, but denying that Geico’s goal is to get you to switch to their ‘superior’ product.

Geico is really our friend — they aren’t producing commercials to accomplish their own, self-serving agenda, but instead, they produce those commercials to entertain you while you wait for the scheduled programming to resume.

Now let’s look at it in terms of the Big Picture. Five years ago, the liberal mainstream media adamantly denied any bias whatsoever, while accusing Fox News of being a mouthpiece for the conservative movement.

Unable to maintain the fiction that Fox is the propaganda outlet to their unbiased ‘truth’, the new effort is aimed at maintaining the bias, but arguing that it is a service being extended to viewers aimed at offering them some kind of psychological babble to the effect it is really just ‘confirmatory bias’ that plays no role in influencing political thought.

Propaganda isn’t harmful, it is healthy . . . good heavens, it’s a viewer SERVICE, for cryin’ out loud! They are doing us a favor, offering a choice between the ‘middle of the road’ bias it admits Fox News dishes up, and the anti-American, anti-administration, anti-war, pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-family bias it presents to its viewers as a service to confirm the bias they already held.

Or something.

The principle weapon deployed by the antichrist during the Tribulation, according to Scripture, is deception.

“And with all DECEIVABLENESS of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:10)

“And DECEIVE them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.” (Revelation 13:14)

“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he DECEIVED them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. . .” (Revelation 19:20)

According to Scripture, the antichrist will ‘have a look more stout than his fellows’ and a ‘mouth that spake very great things’ (Daniel 7:20) by which, he ‘made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” (Daniel 9:21)

This isn’t intended to be an endorsement of Fox News. I am not the one that is claiming they are ‘fair and balanced’ — the Pew Center already made that claim.

But it is an undeniable truth that the existence of Fox News laid bare the liberal bias of the mainstream for all to see, and, despite their previous denials, the cat is out of the bag. The next step is to effect damage control.

So, propaganda exists in the mainstream media. But don’t worry. It’s harmless! Besides, the propagandists are just serving up the bias that their viewers prefer. It is all an exercise in psychology . . . there is even a name for it — “confirmatory bias”.

So relax, sit back, and let the media entertain you with the worldview you like the best. Don’t worry about thinking. The liberal mainstream will do all the thinking — so that YOU don’t have to.

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a LIE: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12)

A Tale of Two Terrorisms . . .

A Tale of Two Terrorisms . . .
Vol: 47 Issue: 17 Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This morning’s television images were deeply disturbing, broadcasting images of Israeli forces smashing down the doors of the homes of Jewish settlements in Gaza.

One settler, an American named Alex Gross, summed up Jewish frustration in an interview in his home with Fox News, as armed Israeli soldiers stood by: “Hamas is laughing at us, Jihad is laughing at us, the Arabs are laughing at us . . . the Arabs are in their glory, here.”

The general perception among both Arabs and many Israelis is that the Gaza pullout is a tactical victory for terrorism. Since Arafat launched the current intifada in October, 2000, Israel has suffered more than twenty-five THOUSAND terrorist attacks.

Let the number sink in for a moment. Twenty-five THOUSAND terrorist attacks on Israeli soil in five years. Compare that (although any comparison is all but meaningless) to the terrorist attacks inflicted on the United States, not just at home, but across the world. A little comparative history is useful here:

Since 1920, America has been the victim of twenty-seven terrorist attacks. Of them, the following terrorist attacks actually occurred on the soil of the American homeland — the rest were outside the country:

1. September 16, 1920 — A bomb planted on Wall Street by suspected anarchists exploded opposite the Morgan Banking House. Thirty-five civilians were killed.

2. January 24, 1975 — Puerto Rican nationalists set off a bomb inside a New York tavern, killing four people.

3. February 26, 1993 – a bomb was detonated in the basement garage of the World Trade Center. In 1995, Islamist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 9 others were convicted of conspiracy charges, and in 1998, Ramzi Yousef, believed to have been the mastermind, was convicted. It was al-Qaeda’s first strike on the American homeland. Six people were killed.

4. April 19, 1995 — A truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P Murrah federal office building in Oklahoma City. The bomb was linked to American anarchist Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Although there remains strong evidence of a third, Middle Eastern conspirator, he was never located and the case was classified as ‘domestic’ terror. With 168 deaths, it remains the worst case of domestic terror in US history.

5. September 11, 2001. Hijackers crashed two commercial jets into the Twin Towers in NYC, a third jet was crashed into the Pentagon, while a fourth was believed to have been retaken by passengers who then crashed it into a farmer’s field in Shanksville, Pa.

September 11 shattered all the records. It was the worst terrorist attack in American history. More American civilians died on September 11 than American servicemen at Normandy on D-Day or Pearl Harbor. It prompted the President to broadcast a speech to the nation in which he issued a declaration of war against global terror.

Since that time, America — together with most of Western civilization, has been involved in a deadly shooting war with terrorists and terrorism. In the course of the war so far, America has invaded and occupied two Islamic countries and replaced the existing regimes with democratic systems.

American forces remain on the ground and in combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq, while simultaneously conducting clandestine operations against al-Qaeda in any country where they can be found.

With the advice and consent of Congress, the administration has passed draconian security measures, including the curtailment of certain constitutional rights under limited circumstances, such as unwarranted search and seizures, what are undoubtedly illegal detentions and other extra-legal measures necessary to the successful prosecution of the war.

This is not a slam against the US. The US isn’t doing anything it didn’t do during World War II — in fact, the Roosevelt administration imposed conditions that would never pass Constitutional muster today. It detained Japanese-Americans in concentration camps for the duration.

The liberals love to point to that as a ‘dark stain’ on American history, smugly reminding us all that not a single Japanese-American was involved in an act of sabotage, in a bizarre interpretation of history in which the successful result of the policy was grounds for criticizing the policy itself.

(There have been no successful attacks on the US by al-Qaeda terrorists since being detained at Guantanamo Bay, so what does that prove?)

The Roosevelt administration imposed strict press censorship, conducted a massive pro-American propaganda campaign, covert assassinations, military tribunals, summary executions, warrant less searches and intensive espionage activities against American citizens.

Sixty years after the imposition of the most draconian Constitutional restrictions in US history, some continue to quote Ben Franklin’s “They who give up essential liberty for a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security” — as if World War II never happened.

Sixty years later, we are debating giving up less freedom than was imposed by Roosevelt — it appears our ‘essential liberties’ were restored as soon as we achieved ‘permanent’ security from the threat.

Assessment:

The point is America’s response to terrorist attacks as opposed to that of Israel. September 11’s losses were unthinkable, but proportionately speaking, we are talking about three thousand people out of 360 million. That is 1/120,000th of the US population.

Israel’s Jewish population of six million means that every fifty Israeli victims of terrorism are, proportionately speaking, a loss to Israel’s population equal to US losses on September 11th.

America has suffered five major terrorist attacks involving fatalities since 1920. All but two of those attacks were acts of domestic terrorism; Americans against Americans.

Israel has suffered, in the last FIVE years, twenty-five THOUSAND terrorist attacks against its own homeland. Israeli losses, proportionately speaking, are equal to FORTY TIMES America’s losses on September 11.

America responded to attack by invading and occupying two countries, overturning two governments, killing possibly tens of thousands of (primarily) terrorists in the process.

Israel, after being forced by global opinion into five years of negotiation under fire, despite losses no other government on earth would endure, finds itself kicking down the doors of Jewish settlers and dragging them to evacuation buses.

Incredibly, the same US administration that responded so forcefully to terrorism against its own citizens has been instrumental in forcing the Israeli government to surrender TO terrorism.

There is no other adjective that better describes the US position than ‘incredible’.

After fourteen years of fruitless negotiations with an implacable enemy, Israel has been reduced to a fraction of what it had been prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords.

I personally visited Israel in 1992. We traveled to Jericho (deep inside the West Bank), went to Masada and the Dead Sea (also deep inside the West Bank) and even visited inside Gaza. Everywhere we went, the streets were safe and clean.

Those West Bank Arabs (that I met) appeared prosperous, were extremely friendly, and treated us well. Our guide, an Israeli archeologist, was well known and welcomed by local Arabs we met. It didn’t seem like a potential war zone at all.

Fourteen years later, most of the West Bank is under Palestinian control. It lies in ruins, the economy shattered, almost completely cleansed of Jews (except for the few remaining Jewish settlements herded together into conclaves not unlike Jewish ghettos).

It was much safer to be a tourist in the West Bank in 1992 than it is to be an Arab resident in 2005. There are parts of the West Bank even journalists fear to tread. All the advancements made under twenty years of Israeli administration are gone — what is left is chaos, poverty and anarchy.

Sharon’s intention in withdrawing from Gaza was two-fold: the first was to demonstrate that it has been the Palestinians that have been the obstacle to peace all along.

The second was to use the Gaza withdrawal as a ‘line in the sand’ — putting Israel in a position to refuse further land concessions, thereby permanently establishing Israel’s borders.

The Quartet squashed Sharon’s first objective, by insisting Israel’s ‘unilateral’ withdrawal be coordinated and negotiated with the Palestinians. In so doing, Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal became, in practice, a negotiated surrender under fire.

The Bush administration ripped the foundation from under Sharon’s secondary plan of refusing future land concessions, creating a de facto Israeli border that included all of Jerusalem.

Out of the blue, it seemed, Bush announced his intention to impose a peace plan based on the 1948 borders, insisting that any deviation be by mutual agreement.

In effect, Bush neutralized Israel’s advantage of being in possession of the city. The 1948 borders would put East Jerusalem in Arab hands. Any deviation, according to Bush, would have to meet with Palestinian agreement.

That means that the Arabs would have to agree to give up Jerusalem. If not, it is theirs automatically. Israel is left nothing with which to bargain.

This is a tale of two terrorisms. There is the kind that works — and the kind that hasn’t worked yet.

Five years of unrelenting terror, coupled with political betrayal and absentee alliances, has forced an Israeli surrender to terror. It doesn’t matter what anybody else calls it. Hamas calls it ‘surrender’. Islamic Jihad calls it ‘victory’. The Palestinian Authority calls it the ‘first victory in the ongoing struggle for Jerusalem’.

If the enemy thinks he won, and you say you won, then out comes the scorecard:

Terrorism: Withdrawal from Gaza, legitimacy via the ‘negotiation process’ (remember when it was wrong to negotiate with terrorists?) huge territorial gains, legitimacy with the UN, global support for statehood and a complete reversal of US policy regarding Israel’s possession of Jerusalem.

(The Congress voted in 1995 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move its embassy there from Tel Aviv. The Congressional order has been suspended annually by Presidential Order since then. President Bush’s declaration of ‘mutual agreement’ based on ‘1948 borders’ is a de facto nullification of that Congressional law and therefore, a complete reversal of US policy).

Israel’s War Against Terrorism: Fourteen years of negotiation under fire, proportionate losses equal to forty September 11ths, the territorial loss of all of Gaza and most of the West Bank, a constant state of war, the loss of most allies, and the agonizing spectacle Israeli soldiers kicking down Jewish doors while surrounded by cheering Arab crowds.

Clearly, terrorism against Israel is the kind that works. The reason that it works is because the United Nations, the European Union, and now, the United States, have capitulated (on Israel’s behalf) in exactly the same way Neville Chamberlain and Eduard Deladrier capitulated to Hitler (on Czechoslovakia’s behalf) in 1938.

Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza is a forced appeasement of terror — a classic example of ‘feeding the crocodile in the vain hope that he’ll eat you last.’

Then there is the kind of terrorism that hasn’t worked — yet. There are still a few bites left to feed the crocodile. (It is easier to spin Israel’s surrender than it is your own.)

The US policy reversal regarding Israel is not necessarily the product of a deliberate betrayal. . . that is to say, it has more the appearance of things more spiritual in nature.

It makes no sense (in the natural) for the US to reverse policy toward Israel. Israel is America’s only reliable ally in the region, and the war on terror won’t end if the Arabs successfully destroy Israel.

But it lines up perfectly with the outline of events predicted by Scripture for the last days.

The Book of the Revelation speaks of a last, great battle to be fought on the plains of Megiddo — in Hebrew, H’ar Meggido, or Armageddon.

But the Bible says that last battle is but the final battle in an ongoing war — over possession of the city of Jerusalem.

And the global war for Jerusalem is already engaged.

Land of the Philistines

Land of the Philistines
Vol: 47 Issue: 16 Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Despite Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Israel’s public image continues to plummet across Europe. Most Europeans doubt that the Israelis want peace, for example, but they believe the Palestinians do.

In November 2003, a EU poll found that 59% of Europeans felt Israel was a greater threat to world peace than the Islamic Republic of Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, or Pakistan.

Some 35 percent of Europeans believe that the Israel Defense Forces intentionally target Palestinian civilians. Almost half of Frenchmen and Germans surveyed believe the White House should exert more pressure on Israel; less than one fifth want to see more pressure on the Palestinians.

In another European poll, 39 percent agreed that “Israel’s treatment of Palestinians is similar to South Africa’s treatment of blacks during the apartheid regime.

Fourteen percent felt Palestinian terrorism to be justified — including those who did not agree they believed Israel’s response to terrorism to be “excessive.” Even more amazing, almost half felt that Israel was not an “open and democratic society.”

There is a growing and almost irrational hatred of Ariel Sharon across Europe, which is manifesting itself in the growing number of anti-semitic, anti-Zionist incidents. The EU’s obsession with involving itself in the peace process has only made things worse.

In a February 2004 interview, French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, author of the 1981 book, “The Imaginary Jew,”described the atmosphere in France. “The loathing of Israel today is so thick you could cut it with a knife. There is a consistent Nazification of the Jewish state Of course, Sharon is an extraordinary alibi.”

In 2004 more than half of Europeans viewed Sharon unfavorably — a higher percentage than those who viewed Arafat negatively.

Studies suggest that, in Europe, unfavorable views toward Israel are proportional to the closeness with which citizens follow media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The European media has embraced the Palestinian narrative.

In the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, anti-Israel sentiment was far greater among those who said they learned about the conflict through the media.

In the United Kingdom, for example, sympathy for the Palestinians registered 30 percent but rose to 41 percent among those who followed the media coverage “a good amount” or a “great amount.”

In an interview with the British left-of-center Guardian daily, Martin Newland, editor of the conservative The Daily Telegraph, revealed that he fired editorialists Dean Godson and Barbara Amiel for being too pro-Israel. In 2002, the French daily of record, Le Monde, published a comment likening Israel to ‘a cancer’.

The Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera conducted a survey to ascertain anti-Semitic attitudes and public opinion on the Israeli conflict. The survey found that close to 40 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “the Israeli government is perpetrating a full-fledged genocide and is acting with the Palestinians the way the Nazis did with the Jews.”

Israel-Nazi equations are even greater in Germany where, according to a December 2004 survey quoted in The Jerusalem Post, 51 percent of respondents felt Israel’s treatment of Palestinians “was not so different” from the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews during the Holocaust.

The same poll found an even broader segment of the German public, 68 percent, agreeing with the proposition that, “Israel is waging a war of extermination against the Palestinians.”

Assessment:

“Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for My Name, will I cast out of My sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:” (1st Kings 9:7)

The fulfillment of this prophecy regarding the children of Israel was fulfilled with such detail as to be breathtaking, when one takes the time to compare it to the history of the Jewish people.

Israel was literally ‘cut off out of the land’ by Sargon II of Assyria in 702 BC when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was invaded and assimilated into the Assyrian Empire.

The Temple was destroyed and the Ark of the Covenant lost when Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and the Southern Kingdom of Judah in 686 BC.

Although the Jews eventually rebuilt and restored the Temple on Temple Mount, the Temple never regained the glory it had when the Ark was in residence, and eventually, the 2nd Temple was also destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. Those Jews who survived the subsequent Roman massacre were largely scattered among the nations, where they indeed became a ‘proverb’ and a ‘byword’.

(To this day, there is a plant called the ‘wandering Jew’. The phrase, ‘Jewing somebody down’ when negotiating a price for something, is offensive, but not uncommon).

“Thou makest us a byword among the heathen, a shaking of the head among the people.” (Psalms 44:14)

The Jews were unwelcome guests in each nation to which they had been scattered, gathered together into ghettos and systematically persecuted and murdered in anti-semitic pogroms.

“And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.” (Deuteronomy 28:37)

Jews were kept a peculiar people by Divine direction. The first nation in the history of the world to grant full citizenship to Jews was the United States.

Everywhere else, a Jew was a Jew, without regard to his place of birth. Across Europe, Jews were excluded from normal social intercourse, and, in many countries, forbidden to intermarry.

The term “Palestinian” is confusing because before 1948, this term not only referred to Arabs but to Jews as well as Christians living in the region of Palestine.

It should be noted that there was never such nation as ‘Palestine’. The area known as ‘Palestine’ was renamed to ‘Palestine’ [Palestina] which means, “land of the Philistines” by the Romans after the dispersal of the Jews in AD 70.

Although the majority were scattered, the Jews continued to maintain a presence in Palestine despite foreign control by the Romans, Ottoman Turks, the Crusaders, the Turks, and then the British. Under all those regimes, over the space of nearly 2,000 years, Jerusalem was never important enough to be named even as a provincial capital, let alone the capital city of some Palestinian nation.

The Islamic claim that Jerusalem is the third holiest place in Islam is historically and provably illegitimate.

It is based on a verse in the Koran (Sura 17:1) that says Mohammed ascended into heaven on a winged steed from the ‘furthest mosque’ which Islam claims is the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

[When Mohammed died in 632, the Temple Mount was occupied by a Christian church — which continued to occupy the site until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 638. The Al Aqsa Mosque was built between 709-715 A.D. by Caliph al-Waleed, son of Abd el-Malik, long after Mohammed was dead].

None of this is a secret. Anybody can look all this up in a matter of minutes. (Even the Europeans). But somehow, Israel remains a pariah nation widely condemned as an illegal occupying force (on land unwanted by anybody else until their arrival).

A byword, and a reproach to all the people. Consistently, throughout their history, right up to the present day, precisely as predicted by Scripture.

The prophet Daniel predicted that, at the time of the end, the old Roman Empire would again rise to global prominence as a political force, at the same point in history as a restored nation of Israel. (Israel declared independence in 1948, the same year that the EU was born out of the Benelux treaty nations.)

As Israel is withdrawing from Gaza, (the historical ‘Land of the Philistines” — not part of David’s Kingdom, but part of the original land grant to Abraham), it is worth noting that Daniel predicted the political ‘land for peace process’ of the last days, saying;

“Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall DIVIDE THE LAND FOR GAIN.” (Daniel 11:39)

Daniel said that the leader of this revived Roman empire would “confirm the covenant with many for one week” {Heb. ‘shabua’ ie 7 years}. The ‘land for peace’ model upon which any future settlement must be based is the Oslo formula. It was originally scheduled to run for exactly seven years, had it not collapsed.

The forumula for the agreement exists. It remains to be confirmed.

Daniel provides clues as to how that final agreement will appear. Somehow, Israel will regain control of at least part of the Temple Mount, Daniel says, because part of the agreement involves the restoration of Temple worship.

Halfway through the 7 year agreement, “he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” (Daniel 9:26) So an accomodation permitting Temple worship at some point seems likely.

Now, just for a second, try and imagine that this is all a coincidence. It is a coincidence that the history of the Jews conforms precisely to their history as foretold thousands of years in advance.

It is a coincidence that, after being scattered among the nations for 2,000 years, they emerged a ‘peculiar people’; customs, dietary laws, traditions, language and culture intact, and found themselves in possession of the exact same piece of real estate the Bible said they would ultimately be restored to in the last days.

It is a coincidence that the old Roman Empire revived as a pan-European empire obsessed with injecting itself into the Arab-Israeli peace process.

It is a coincidence that there exists, in this generation, an unconfirmed seven year covenant between Israel and the alleged ‘Palestinians’ based on the principle of dividing the land for gain.

It is a coincidence that the most explosive, and therefore most important city on the face of the planet is Jerusalem, exclusively in this generation — for the first time in 2000 years.

(Everybody from Osama bin Laden to Cindy Sheehan is blaming Israeli possession of Jerusalem for the war on terror.)

Zechariah prophesied, “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:3)

If you can’t follow all the coincidences through without finding yourself a bit skeptical, then that leaves only one other possible conclusion:

The Bible was true 2,500 years ago, and it is true today.

The same Divine foreknowledge that outlined the history of the Jewish people also foretold the events that would lead to the return of Christ in the last days.

If that Foreknowledge was 100% accurate over a 2,500 year period without wavering, then it is fair to conclude that same Divine Foreknowledge will be equally accurate concerning the events prophesied to span a single generation, somewhere in time.

And, since the world is locked in global combat over issues that ultimately distill down to whether Jerusalem belongs to the land of Israel or the Land of the Philistines, there is only one generation in history that qualifies to the exclusion of all others. This generation.

“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)

“Your Face Doesn’t Look Strange To Me At All”

“Your Face Doesn’t Look Strange To Me At All”
Vol: 47 Issue: 15 Monday, August 15, 2005

The mother of a slain US serviceman has upstaged virtually everything else in the news, including the historic pullout of Israeli settlers in Gaza and the looming constitutional deadline in Iraq.

Cindy Sheehan’s son Casey was killed five days after arriving in Iraq last year. He was twenty-four. His mother has been camped outside President Bush’s Crawford ranch since last Saturday, demanding to speak with the president about her son.

The liberal press has picked up on Mrs. Sheehan’s protest, running headlines like “Cindy Sheehan, Democratic Savior?” (DemocracyArsenal.org) and “Cindy Sheehan’s Protest is Heroic” (Arizona Republic).

An open letter ostensibly signed by Ralph Nader praised Mrs. Sheehan for her, “courage to spotlight nationally the character of a President who refuses to meet with anyone or any group critical of his illegal, fabricated, deceptive war and occupation of that ravaged country.”

(Nader’s letter received front-page coverage from that bastion of democratic thought, al-Jazeera.)

al-Jazeera gleefully reported Nader’s claim that “This rogue regime, led by two draft-dodgers and officially counseled by similar pro-war evaders during the Vietnam War, is not our country.

“Millions of Americans, including military and public servants in his Administration, and many in the retired military, diplomatic and intelligence services, opposed this war, still oppose it and do not equate George W. Bush and Dick Cheney with the United States of America.”

Music to the terrorist enemy’s ears. America is being led by a ‘rogue regime’ of draft-dodgers who are running roughshod over the US military, diplomatic and intelligence services, and America’s leadership has no support among its senior officials, especially its retired senior officials.

The potential al-Qaeda recruit doesn’t know or care if those ‘retired senior officials’ were actually senior officials during the Clinton administration, or about Republican and Democratic politics. What he knows is that the United States is being led by criminals who are conducting an ‘illegal, fabricated and deceptive war and occupation’ of Iraq.

That is enough to make any ignorant Islamic purist from Backwater, Pakistan, want to jump up, grab a gun and join the jihad. Makes you wonder why there are so many of them, doesn’t it? Well, we can thank people like Cindy Sheehan.

I am not unsympathetic towards the family of any serviceman killed in our defense. The loss of a single American on foreign soil diminishes us all. But Mrs. Sheehan’s protest, if successful, renders her son’s death meaningless. And not just her son. The sons and daughters of all the rest of America’s bereaved parents, if Mrs. Sheehan has her way, also died for no good purpose.

That is Mrs. Sheehan’s story, and she is sticking to it, no matter how much pain it may cause other parents, especially those whose children are in harm’s way at this very moment. And Mrs. Sheehan’s cause is a fraud.

Assessment:

Cindy Sheehan’s goal is to have a meeting with President Bush. What is almost impossible to find in the mainstream media coverage is the fact that Mrs. Sheehan has already met with President Bush.

And her new-found angst over the war was nowhere in evidence, if the interview Sheehan gave to her hometown newspaper, the Vacaville Reporter, is any indication.

“‘I now know (Bush is) sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis,’ Cindy said after their meeting. ‘I know he’s sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he’s a man of faith,’ ” and, “For the first time in 11 weeks, they felt whole again. ‘That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together,’ Cindy said.”

Wrote the Vacaville Reporter, “The meeting didn’t last long, but in their time with Bush, Cindy spoke about Casey and asked the president to make her son’s sacrifice count for something.”

Since then, Sheehan has parsed and reparsed her original interview to explain how she didn’t really mean what she said. She isn’t claiming that she was misquoted, but rather than she was ‘quoted out of context.’

(Here is a link to the relevant news report, so you can judge the context for yourself — http://www.thereporter.com/republished/ci_2923921)

So in context, Bush is sorry, feels their pain, is a man of faith, AND is a liar and a fraud who, in her present reincarnation as an antiwar protestor, “killed my son,” and is now working hard at convincing America that her son’s sacrifice was for nothing.

But to listen to the mainstream coverage, Bush is refusing to meet with Mrs. Sheehan because he hasn’t the moral courage to face her. Granted, Mrs. Sheehan’s loss is deserving of an audience with the president, but she has ALREADY met with the president.

And her current protest is not an effort for a second audience with President Bush, but is instead a transparent and cynical use of her son’s death to advance her own political agenda.

The rest of the Sheehan family has already distanced itself from her protest — which is another element to this story that is mysteriously absent from the mainstream liberal media coverage. The family issued a little-noticed press release, saying;

“The Sheehan family lost our beloved Casey in the Iraq War and we have been silently, respectfully grieving. We do not agree with the political motivations and publicity tactics of Cindy Sheehan. She now appears to be promoting her own personal agenda and notoriety at the expense of her son’s good name and reputation. The rest of the Sheehan family supports the troops, our country, and our president, silently, with prayer and respect.

Sincerely, Casey Sheehan’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins.”

Perhaps in response to al-Jazeera’s publication of Ralph Nader’s seditious ‘open letter to Cindy Sheehan’, an Iraqi blogger published his own open letter to Mrs. Sheehan:

“Ma’am. . . your face doesn’t look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours. Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.”

The blogger, who signed himself ‘Mohammed’ also had a few questions for Mrs. Sheehan; You are free to go and leave us alone but what am I going to tell your million sisters in Iraq? Should I ask them to leave Iraq too? Should I leave too? And what about the eight millions who walked through bombs to practice their freedom and vote? Should they leave this land too? . . . We cried out of joy the day your son and his comrades freed us from the hands of the devil and we went to the streets not believing that the nightmare is over. . .”

“For the first time air smelled that beautiful, that was the smell of freedom.”

Cindy Sheehan’s exploitation of her son’s death, (for that is what it is) has grabbed international headlines. It has made her a spokesperson for the far Left. She is playing for sympathy, but her message isn’t that of a grieving mother, but of a grieving Democrat mourning the loss of the White House to the GOP.

Sheehan has her own recipe for peace with the terrorists — one that sounds hauntingly familiar. According to Sheehan, first, America must pull out of Iraq, abandon those Iraqis who supported the US to their fate at the hands of the insurgency. She has told reporters she doesn’t believe the war was about weapons of mass destruction or fighting terror or freeing the Iraqi people. It was about oil, she said, and making Bush’s friends rich.

Once the US has pulled out of Iraq, Sheehan says, the next step is to turn Israel over to the Palestinians. Get the Israelis out of Israel and the terrorists will leave us alone.

Osama couldn’t have said it better himself, and it is hard to calculate the value of having an American Gold Star Mother making his case for him.

Cindy Sheehan may be a heroine to the left wing. She may be the darling of the mainstream media. She may even be sincere, although, since she is parroting Howard Dean’s latest talking points handout, I kind of doubt it.

Cindy Sheehan has a right to express her feelings, and Americans have a right to question her motives.

Her family has requested she not make such a spectral of Casey s death. Her family believes she s disrespecting what Casey believed and died for. Considering what he gave for his country Cindy Sheehan is making a mockery out of his death.

But sincere or not, she might as well be working for her son’s killers. And worse, against her son’s comrades in arms who are still in harm’s way. With the full support of the American mainstream media.

It is shameful.

Special Report: Why Does Evil Exist?

Special Report: Why Does Evil Exist?
Vol: 47 Issue: 13 Saturday, August 13, 2005

One of the principle objections offered by Bible skeptics is that if there were a loving and all-powerful God, then, why is the world such an evil place?

There is no doubt that evil exists. In fact, evil is the default state of humanity. (Babies have to be taught not to bite, after all.) Did God create evil?

God is both loving and all-powerful. Despite this, He seems unwilling or incapable of preventing the vast amount of evil and suffering in this world.

The skeptic argues that either God is not loving or all powerful, or that He does not exist at all, because if He DID exist, then does He allow so much evil to exist?

The simple fact is, the universe is created in a balance. In order for there to be darkness, there must first be light. Darkness is a measure of the absence of light. Without the prior existence of light, darkness could not exist.

In order for there to be cold, there must first be heat. Cold is a measure of the absence of heat. Without heat, cold could not exist. Evil is a measure of the absence of good. Without good, evil could not exist.

Evil is not a creation of God, since it cannot exist outside of the creation of good. But it does exist, because good exists.

Think of it like a battery. It takes both the positive and negative poles to create power. Good would have no power to effect change without evil, just as evil has no existence without good.

How could one choose good if there were no evil against which to measure it?

In His creation, God never pronounced the universe ‘perfect’ — He found some of His creation to be ‘good’ some of it to be ‘very good’ and even some of it that He pronounced, ‘not good’.

“The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

Both the Bible and science tell us this present universe was designed to be temporary. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics proves there is not enough matter in the universe to cause to contract.

That means the universe will continue to expand indefinitely and all the stars will eventually burn out and life would not be possible for the entire rest of the history of the universe.

The Bible says the universe was designed to be temporary, and it will eventually be replaced by a perfect universe that will be permanent. Why would God create a temporary universe instead of creating a perfect, permanent one in the first place?

God created the universe as it exists for the express purpose of allowing free will spiritual beings the opportunity to choose to have fellowship with Him, or to reject Him. Those who choose to have fellowship with Him will do so in some future, perfect creation.

And if His purpose is to have free-will fellowship in some future creation, then there must also exist some means by which these spiritual beings can make a choice whether or not to enter into this relationship with Him.

“. . . I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21)

The Bible tells us that humanity is desperately wicked and sinful (Romans 3:10-18,23). God allows human beings to commit sin because if He were to prevent it, the human race would not truly be free.

The Apostle Paul outlines God’s fourteen-point indictment against the human race;

1. There is none righteous, no, not one.

2. There is none that understandeth,

3. there is none that seeketh after God.

4. They are all gone out of the way,

5. they are together become unprofitable;

6. there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

7. Their throat is an open sepulchre;

8. with their tongues they have used deceit;

9. the poison of asps is under their lips:

10. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

11. Their feet are swift to shed blood:

12. Destruction and misery are in their ways:

13. And the way of peace have they not known:

14. There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:10-18)

It takes an incredible capacity for self-deception for one not to see themselves mirrored in that list. Think back to before you were saved. That is the condition of every lost person you meet.

Paul goes on to point out that ” all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” (3:23) but that there is an offer extended to us to be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (3:24)

“Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (3:27-28)

So God allows evil to exist in order to allow free will to exist. The Scriptures tell us that God is the Creator and the source of all good, and it reveals that, during this present dispensation, Satan is the god of this world and the source of all evil.

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2nd Corinthians 4:4)

Much of the suffering that exists in this world is a direct result of evil choices made by free-will human beings that impact others. Natural disasters — hurricanes, volcanoes, etc., are part of the cycle of power required by this imperfect universe in order for it to exist in balance.

In the new creation, there will be some limits on our free will, since the new creation will not contain evil. We exist in this life to give us a chance to agree to give up some of that free will in the next. That is what it means to turn one’s life and will over to Jesus Christ. It is a choice to surrender our will to God.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Those who refuse the opportunity in this life will not be forced to in the next life, but will instead exist separately from the new creation, and apart from God. The place set aside for those who reject God is the place originally prepared for the devil and his angels. (Matthew 25:41)

Bad things happen in this universe, because that is how it is designed. No human being has in himself ever been righteous. Even Adam was not righteous: he was innocent–not knowing good and evil.

Ultimately, there is not an answer to these questions that we can fully comprehend. We, as finite human beings, can never fully understand an infinite God (Romans 11:33-34). Sometimes we think we understand why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different purpose than we originally thought. We look at things from an earthly perspective.

God looks at things from an eternal perspective; For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

It is impossible for us finite human beings to understand the ways of an infinite God (Romans 11:33-35). Second, we must realize that God is not responsible for the wicked acts of evil men.

God had to allow the possibility of evil for us to have a true choice of whether to worship God or not. If we never had to suffer and experience evil, would we know how wonderful heaven is?

We don’t know everything, but we can be confident of knowing this:

“And we know that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Even the existence of evil.

Intelligent Design?

Intelligent Design?
Vol: 47 Issue: 12 Friday, August 12, 2005

President Bush is under fire from the humanist scientific community for proposing that schools teach the theory of ‘intelligent design’ alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Speaking with reporters in Texas recently, he answered a question about the teaching of “intelligent design” as an alternative to evolution by saying it was something school districts should decide. However, he said he thought both should be taught in science classes “so people can understand what the debate is about.”

Bush’s statement raised the ire of editorialists around the country. Wrote the Middleton, NY Times Herald-Record;

“Debate? There is no serious debate in the scientific community on the validity of evolution. It is an important scientifically verified concept of the way life has developed on our planet. Generations of scientists have added to the vast store of empirical knowledge of how we got where we are since Darwin first posited his theory.”

Can that be true? That there is no serious debate in the scientific community on the validity of evolution? Then why is it in the news in the first place?

According to the editorialist, “Intelligent design is really just creationism dressed up with a new name and a new approach to trying to get it taught in public schools. That approach, in essence, is to pretend that there is a serious scientific debate on the merits of evolution versus intelligent design.”

Let’s revisit that last paragraph again. First, ‘intelligent design’ is not ‘creationism’. ‘Creationism’ is the belief that the Sovereign God as He is identified in the Book of Genesis created the universe, the earth, man, trees, animals, water, light, air, and every thing else in creation that was created, and that He did it in six literal days, resting on the seventh. THAT is creationism.

‘Intelligent Design’ is the belief that the universe, in its complexity and attention to detail, could not have come about by a series of random coincidences and therefore, is the product of an unidentified Intelligence.

The debate (yes, Middleton, there IS a debate) has grown more intense as science has begun to unlock the secrets of the genome and realized that genes are really micro supercomputers.

‘Intelligent design’ does not identify the Designer, ignores the Bible, imposes no moral or religious accountability, and allows for any and all religious worldviews. It is NOT creationism, or anything approaching creationism.

There is room in the Intelligent Design theory for the Designer to be anyone from a Creator God to space aliens from the Planet Zenon.

Writes our editorialist, “Many scientists believe that, while Darwin’s theory of natural selection explains much about the development of life, it does not necessarily provide all the answers on the origin of life. Like nonscientists, they have their own theories, but these are philosophical or religious beliefs that differ from one another and, critically, from a scientific viewpoint, cannot be empirically proven.”

Sez you. Critically, from a scientific viewpoint, natural selection cannot be empirically proven. Indeed, for evolution to be correct, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, the provable observation that all things eventually decay and break down with age, would have to be thrown out the window.

Let’s look at it this way. A living things live, die, decay and revert back to dust. This can be empirically proved — there is no debate. The theory of evolution argues that, add a few million years, the process reverses itself.

Since nothing can be empirically observed over a few million years, and since the passage of a few million years cannot be recreated in a laboratory, there is absolutely no empirical evidence for evolution.

Both the evolutionist and the proponents of Intelligent Design are left with the same scientific conundrum. Evolution takes on faith that its theory is correct, based entirely on what we observe today and theorize backwards to its origin.

Intelligent Design does exactly the same thing.

The evolutionist theorizes that all that exists came into existence as the byproduct of random chance that cannot be examined, recreated or observed under laboratory conditions. Intelligent Design proponents look at the same evidences and say random chance cannot explain it.

But, unlike evolution, Intelligent Design CAN be empirically proved. It CAN be recreated in a laboratory. It is not only possible, it is fact. Geneticists can manipulate genes to ‘create’ a different creature, in effect, ‘designing’ something altogether new.

The same evolutionists who decry intelligent design also decry efforts to impose ethical standards on scientific breakthroughs on cloning. And if cloning isn’t empirical evidence of intelligent design, then what would be?

Sniffs the editorialist, “But the validity of evolution is regarded as a subject for scientific debate pretty much only by believers in creationism, which is to say, intelligent design. Science attempts to explain what can be observed, not the more elusive questions, such as why any of it matters. One belongs in school, the other at home or in places of worship.”

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Assessment:

Intelligent design is not based on religion. It is based on scientific observations based on empirical evidence, not religious texts.

The theory proposes that some features of the natural world are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause as opposed to an undirected process such as natural selection. Although controversial, design theory is supported by a growing number of scientists in scientific journals, conference proceedings, and books.

While intelligent design may have religious implications (just like Darwin’s theory), it does not start from religious premises. Its best-known exponent was English theologian William Paley, creator of the famous watchmaker analogy.

If we find a pocket watch in a field, Paley wrote in 1802, we immediately infer that it was produced not by natural processes acting blindly but by a designing human intellect.

Scientists use the term “black box” for a system whose inner workings are unknown. To Charles Darwin and his contemporaries, the living cell was a black box because its fundamental mechanisms were completely obscure.

We now know that, far from being formed from a kind of simple, uniform protoplasm (as many nineteenth-century scientists believed), every living cell contains many ultra sophisticated molecular machines.

Darwin himself set the standard when he acknowledged, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

The complexity of the human genome, by Darwin’s own standards, totally collapses the possibility of random chance.

There is a project called ‘SETI’ or, the ‘Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence’ that spends millions each year scanning the universe for radio signals that would suggest they were transmitted by some extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Outer space is filled with random radio waves, all of which are random and without coherence. SETI is looking for coherent signals. Since there is nothing in the laws of physics that requires radio signals to take one form or another, a coherent series of signals would indicate intelligence.

Intelligence leaves behind a characteristic trademark or ‘signature’. That signature is found where a complexity is contingent and therefore not necessary.

For example, a piece of wood is a piece of wood. That is all that is necessary for it to be a piece of wood. Add a metal bar and a few springs and our piece of wood becomes a mousetrap. Specific complexity designed to a purpose not necessary to existence of its component parts. Do you follow?

Scientifically, something’s complexity is related to how easy it is to repeat it by chance. Evolution ignores the evidence of intelligence in the design of the universe, because it imposes its theory after the fact.

Consider a guy who shoots arrows into a wall at random, and then paints targets around them, painting the bullseye around each arrow. That is how random chance theory works.

They start with the fact that there are men and there are monkeys. They seem to be related. From there, evolution paints bullseyes around random chance theory that seemingly explains the origins of both.

To make it work, monkeys had to at one time evolved from fish. Somehow, all this evolution occurred without leaving a single example a transitional lifeform somewhere along the line between fish and monkeys.

Now, consider a guy who takes existing targets and then, aiming carefully, shoots arrows into the bullseye. Each bullseye is hit by design. That is how Intelligent Design works.

Since the signature of intelligence is scientifically observable in everything from our genetic code to the fact that apple trees grow apples and we just so happen to eat apples, the theory of Intelligent Design is empirically demonstrable, and therefore scientific.

Personally, I am a strict Creationist, which, by definition, means I agree with the ID theory, to the limited degree I believe God designed the universe and that God is an intelligent Being.

But Intelligent Design is NOT Creationism. It is not religious. It does not impose worship of any deity. It doesn’t even impose a deity at all. There is room in the Intelligent Design theory, as I noted, for space aliens from the Planet Zenon.

Evolution is a religion. It is the religion of secular humanism, which worships man as god. That secular humanism is a religion is a matter of settled law.

In the case Torcaso v. Watkins, the U.S. Supreme Court stated, Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others.

Intelligent design is decried by the humanist as a religious belief rather than science, because it is a threat to his faith. It takes more faith to accept random theory as fact that it does to come to Jesus, (since humanism doesn’t include a call from the Holy Spirit).

For ID theory to be acceptable, the humanist must first abandon his faith in man as the supreme being, since, by definition, if the universe was designed by an intelligence, it is superior to man.

And if there IS an Intelligent Designer, it at least opens the scientific possibility that there is Divine accountability. Nothing slams the door shut tighter on a secular humanist’s mind than accountability to some Supreme Authority.

Even a secular humanist knows in his heart, that if there is an accounting to be given for the deeds of this life, he will fall short of the mark, even if he doesn’t know where that mark is. We are created that way.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? ” (Jeremiah 17:9) Consciousness of sin is as built-in to our genetic makeup as the color of our eyes.

Even the humanist will admit to having a conscience. What else is that but consciousness of sin? And if there is consciousness of sin, then sin must exist. And if sin exists, then accountability again comes into play.

If man is accountable to a Higher Authority, then the basic tenet of the humanist faith is shattered. Suddenly, abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity and so forth must be viewed in a new light. ID theory is not religious, but its validity means the destruction of secular humanism.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 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 1:22-25)

The propaganda campaign against ID Theory is already kicking into high gear, with the ACLU sharpening their pencils, and the secular media digging out experts to make the case the ID Theory is some Creationist conspiracy to impose religion over science.

But the religion actually being imposed here is evolution, not Christianity. The rest is propaganda.

“Loose Lips Sink Ships”

“Loose Lips Sink Ships”
Vol: 47 Issue: 11 Thursday, August 11, 2005

During World War II, the government put up posters warning Americans that “Loose Lips Sink Ships” — a reminder that free speech isn’t really free. If free speech causes the death of a single US service member, then free speech is not only NOT free, but it is prohibitively expensive.

I regularly hear from folks quoting (usually misquoting) Benjamin Franklin’s observation; “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

The quote is usually followed by a diatribe accusing me of everything from moral cowardice to outright stupidity for expressing the opinion that some people (Dick Durbin, for example) should shut up before they get somebody killed.

Let’s take a look at Franklin’s quote, since it seems to come up so often. Is freedom of speech an ‘essential’ liberty? Most assuredly so. But with liberty comes responsibility.

Those who fight to defend our civilization shoulder the responsibility for ensuring that freedom exists, and those who would exercise it should be held responsible for its misuse. Irresponsibility is NOT an ‘essential liberty’.

I watched an old Humphrey Bogart movie a few weeks ago in which Bogey played the first mate in the WWII Merchant Marine. In one scene, a guy is telling his friends about all the ships he saw lining up in preparation for a trans-Atlantic convoy.

Bogey walks over and warns the guy and the guy responds with some ‘freedom of speech’ argument. Bogey socks him in the jaw and knocks him out. “Loose lips sink ships,” he mutters to the camera. With freedom comes responsibility.

During the Iraq War, Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera was embedded with a front line company about to make a major tactical push. Rivera reported the plan, drawing a crude map in the sand for all the world to see.

Rivera got kicked out of Iraq and spent the rest of the war reporting from Kuwait. Rivera was exercising freedom of the press and freedom of speech. He wasn’t kicked out Iraq as punishment, he was kicked out of Iraq because his irresponsible use of his freedom of speech put men’s lives at risk.

Now, to the rest of Franklin’s observation. Franklin spoke of obtaining a ‘little temporary safety’. When Bogey socked the loudmouth in the jaw, moviegoers cheered. They understood that what was at stake was not a ‘little temporary safety’ but was instead a whole lot of PERMANENT safety.

Bogey didn’t sock the guy to shut him up because he was scared his ship might get sunk. Moviegoers didn’t cheer because feared for Bogey’s safety. The guy arguing ‘freedom of speech’ got no sympathy because his freedom of speech came at too high a price. We are free to say what we want — but as noted, with freedom comes responsibility.

The Supreme Court has long since determined that there are legitimate limits on freedom of speech. They used the example of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater to illustrate the threat posed by the irresponsible use of free speech.

Assessment:

One of the most potent weapons in al-Qaeda’s arsenal is freedom. Not theirs, but ours. The North Vietnamese demonstrated the effectiveness of freedom of speech as a weapon of war. That is one reason that Osama bin-Laden mentions Vietnam in his anti-Western diatribes.

John Kerry’s exercise of his freedom of speech, together with Jane Fonda’s exercise of her freedom of speech, handed Hanoi a political victory in spite of the fact American soldiers dealt them a vicious military defeat on the battlefield. “Loose lips sink ships.”

Rock of Ageds’ Mick Jagger recently went on television to rebut accusations that he has joined the ‘Bash Bush Society’ with his new album, ‘A Bigger Bang’. Part of a song lyric on the album asks How come you’re so wrong? My sweet neo-con, where s the money gone, in the Pentagon. The song also includes the line: It s liberty for all, democracy s our style, unless you are against us, then it s prison without trial.

Jagger made a point of telling a television interviewer, “I’m no Bush basher.”Of course Jagger isn’t bashing Bush. He is bashing America. He is handing al-Qaeda yet another recruiting tool. America is wrong, as is its ‘neo conservative’ government that went to war with Iraq to enrich itself. And, as Jagger’s lyrics suggest to the potential al-Qaeda recruit, America’s brand of freedom means ‘prison without trial’.

In his own defense, Jagger said the song “is certainly very critical of certain policies of the administration, but so what! Lots of people are critical.”

So what? Well, for starters, ‘lots of people aren’t critical of certain policies of the administration’ — for profit. The lyric was intended to stir up controversy in order to call attention to the album for the purpose of selling more albums. If it incites potential terrorists into casting their lot with al-Qaeda, well, so what?

Mick Jagger has a right, under US freedom of speech, to say whatever he wants to. Or to use his freedom of speech to make money. And the rest of us have a right to be offended.

On My Big New York Adventure:

The interview for the upcoming National Geographic special went very smoothly. Evidently, the segment for which I was interviewed is part of a larger series under the working title “Secrets of the Bible.” I was interviewed for a segment about Bible prophecy — the next interview was with a professor of Judaic studies at Duke University who told me he was there to discuss the historicity of Jesus.

I arrived in New York at a bit after ten PM and took a cab to the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan where the production company put me up. The next morning, I took a cab over to the studio just off 6th Avenue and did the interview. By noon, I was on my way back to the airport. Gayle picked me up in New Bern just after ten PM Wednesday night.

Thank you for your prayers. The Lord certainly granted me journey mercies. The producer seemed to think the interview itself went well — I could see from the crew’s faces that some of the information floored them.

This wasn’t a Christian production, and the crew didn’t know anything about Bible prophecy.

At one point, when I was discussing the symbols of the EU (Europa sitting on a beast, etc) and compared it to John’s description; “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” (Revelation 17:3) one of the cameramen actually interrupted the interview to ask me if I thought Europe had deliberately chosen Biblical symbols.

I told him that there were only two possibilities. One is that the Europlanners deliberately selected symbols of the antichrist to sell their concept to the public, or that John foresaw the symbols they would use. He was stunned.

In any case, they recorded two hours of material out of which they will likely use two or three minutes’ worth. Whether or not they use it to God’s glory or edit my answers to make Christians who believe in Bible prophecy look like nutbars is up to the Lord. I asked when the series is scheduled to air and they don’t know yet, but they promised to let me know. I’ll keep you posted.

A Tale of Two Terrorists

A Tale of Two Terrorists
Vol: 47 Issue: 9 Tuesday, August 9, 2005

In the terrorist culture of the Palestinian Authority, schoolchildren are taught that their highest religious duty is to die as a terrorist ‘martyr’. There is even a word to describe such ‘martyrs’ – shahid.

Tens of Palestinian Authority [PA] teenagers, some as young as 13 and 14 have gone on suicide missions, many dying and killing others, because PA society has been teaching children that combat and heroic martyrdom are expected of them.

One MTV-style music video popular among Palestinian schoolchildren exhorts it listeners to attack Israeli civilians: “You will not be saved, Oh Zionist, from the volcano of my county s stones and to the words I will even willingly fall as a Shahid. Scenes include throwing stones and frenzied “war dances .

Another music video, aimed at children as young as five, instructs them to attack Israeli soldiers by throwing stones. The leader singer is ten-years old and sings to his five year-old brother, “Don’t be afraid.” The five-year olds are told; “The stone in their hands turns into a rifle. . . “

Another PA music video portrays a delightful Paradise of Muhammad Al Dura, whose death in a crossfire was broadcast on TV. He is portrayed flying a kite, frolicking on the beach and even at an amusement park. The clip opens with the invitation to other children from Al Dura: “I am waving to you not in parting, but to say ‘follow me’ .

A 2003 PA sermon declared, “Mohammed, Allah’s Messenger, heralded to those killed for Allah that they are Allah’s most preferred people. Blessings to our Shahids who sacrifice their souls easily for the sake of Allah. Blessings to our Shahids who were burned yesterday in their cars, at the same hour as the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque was burned 34 years ago.”

A Palestinian textbook suggests; Perhaps Allah brought the Jews to our land, so their death would take place here.”

Today, a ten-year old Israeli boy is fighting for his life after being shot in the head Sunday by gunmen from the al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade. The al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade is the terrorist wing of Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party — the governing party of the Palestinian Authority.

And the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella alliance of Palestinian militias filled with disaffected gunmen from the PA’s ruling Fatah party, announced on Sunday that it would start operating in the West Bank immediately after the Gaza pullout with the intent of employing the same “fighting tactics” used for the past four and a half years against settlers and soldiers in the Gaza Strip.

A survey conducted by the Center for Opinion Polls and Survey Studies, based in An Najah University in Nablus, found that the majority of Palestinians credit terrorism for forcing the government of Israel to withdraw from Gaza, with forty percent agreeing that “pressure caused by Palestinian resistance” led to the Israeli withdrawal decision. Another 34 percent said Israel regarded its presence in the Gaza Strip as a “security and economic inexpediency.”

About 40 percent expressed support for continued attacks on Israel after the Gaza withdrawal.

When a Palestinian terrorist pulls off a successful attack on Israel, his success is measured by the number of Israelis that are killed. His place in Paradise is related to the number of Israeli deaths as are his heavenly ‘percs’.

When possible, Palestinian terrorists are given grand send-offs, wrapped in a Palestinian flag, carried on the shoulders of his co-religionists, amid chanting and gunfire, as grieving relatives express pride and joy at the accomplishment of Shehada [martyrdom] by their loved one.

The world-wide coverage of a Palestinian terrorist’s funeral ensures that the rest of the Islamic world can share in the ‘joy’ of another martyr for Allah and reflect on the ‘accomplishments’ of the martyr.

No expressions of condemnation accompany the martyr to Paradise, as world leaders worry about the effect of Israel’s inevitable retaliation for the attack, as if the attack were an act of nature, like a hurricane, and the Israeli response was the damage left behind in its wake.

Assessment:

On May 13, 2004, two days before Israel’s 56th Independence Day, the Jerusalem Newswire announced the death toll from what Israel calls ‘the Oslo War’ had topped one thousand, with the deaths of eleven IDF soldiers in the Gaza strip.

Reported the Jerusalem Newswire 15 months ago, “More than 6,300 others have been wounded. Many of them will bear the scars, deformities and disabilities resulting from those attacks for the rest of their lives. These casualties are the results of more than 20,000 Palestinian terror attacks in less than four years.”

That was the Israeli death toll as of fifteen months ago. In each of those operations, the terrorist was honored as a martyr.

Last week, a 19-year old Israeli named Eden Natan-Zata opened fire on a bus, murdering the bus driver and three passengers in an act of Jewish terror. All four victims were Israeli Arabs.

Natan-Zeda was a member of the Israeli Defense Forces who had deserted his unit several weeks prior to the shooting.

The contrast between Israel’s reaction to terror being perpetrated by one of its own, compared to that of the Palestinians to Palestinian terror, is worth noting.

The murderers of much more than a thousand Israelis, many of them women and children, are revered as heroes and martyrs.

Natan-Zeda’s act was immediately condemned as an act of cowardice. After being subdued and handcuffed, Natan-Zeda was beaten to death by an Arab mob. One can only imagine the global reaction had an Israeli mob beaten a handcuffed Palestinian terrorist to death, but there was little outcry in this case, even among Israelis.

Far from a hero’s funeral procession on the shoulders of thronging co-religionists, Natan-Zeda’s body sat in cold storage for several days after being refused a soldier’s burial, or a Jewish religious burial, or even a resting place in the radical Shomron settlement of Tapuah where Natan-Zeda grew up.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz declared Natan-Zeda was “unfit to be buried alongside the fallen of Israel’s wars.”

Finally, the family found a cemetery that would accept Natan-Zeda in Be’er Yaakov — which also accepted the bodies of Arab terrorists for burial. Until the Be’er Yaakov council intervened and refused the family’s request.

Not until midday Sunday were burial arrangements set, as Natan-Zada’s family – which had vowed to leave his body in the morgue for a year if that meant he could be buried in a military cemetery – agreed to a non-religious funeral in a civilian gravesite in Rishon Lezion.

The contrast doesn’t merely extend to the way each side reacts to the terrorists in its ranks. It even goes beyond the non-reaction to an Arab mob beating a subdued and handcuffed Jewish terrorist — while Palestinian police looked on.

Imagine if Israeli doctors refused to operate to save a Palestinian terrorist wounded in the process of killing and maiming as many Israelis as possible? Leaving aside the overwhelming expression of revulsion by Israel at Natan-Zeda’s action, imagine the global criticism had Israeli society merely remained ambivalent?

Now, understanding that terrorism has touched almost every family in Israel, with thousands dead and thousands more horribly wounded, with the full understanding that the goal of Palestinian terrorism is the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jews, think about this.

What if Israelis had cheered Natan-Zeda’s ‘martyrdom’ and carried him on their shoulders to an IDF military cemetery and buried him as a ‘hero to the Jewish cause’ – said cause being Israel’s survival?

(Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir remarked during the 1967 War, “the Arabs can fight and lose, and return to fight another day. Israel can only lose once.” That is no less true today than it was then).

Yet is it is the Palestinians that the world wants to grant statehood, while arguing the 57-year old Jewish state is really illegitimate. Global polls universally name Israel as the world’s greatest threat to world piece. More UN resolutions have been passed condemning Israel than passed against all other Arab states combined.

The UN has never passed a single resolution condemning Palestinian terrorism against Israel — indeed, the General Assembly has issued condemnations blaming Israel for bringing the terror on themselves.

Noted a Jerusalem Newswire editorial, “Maybe if Israel’s Jews would resort to widespread animal barbarity the world would drop the whole idea of a Palestinian state.”

But then, JN editorialist Ryan Jones explained why that wouldn’t work, noting, “it seems a people’s behavior is largely directed by the god they follow.”

So it would seem.

Note to the members:

I will be headed to New York for an early morning interview for the National Geographic special on the Book of the Revelation tomorrow morning. I ask for your prayers for journey mercies and that God will use me to His glory as part of this project.

Since I will be out of town, there will be no Omega Letter tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Normal publication will resume Thursday.

Osama bin Laden: Muslim Messiah?

Osama bin Laden: Muslim Messiah?
Vol: 47 Issue: 8 Monday, August 8, 2005

Osama bin Laden: Muslim Messiah?

Despite years of living in caves or hiding out in remote villages along the Afghani-Pakistani borders, Osama bin Laden is apparently still alive and well and plotting new attacks against America.

Joe Farah’s G-2 Bulletin this morning reports that there is evidence that al-Qaeda has obtained at least forty nuclear weapons from the former Soviet Union, and that many of them may already be inside the US. Among Osama’s arsenal are suitcase nukes, nuclear mines, artillery shells, and, according to Farah, some missile warheads.

That last item on the list sent a shiver up my spine. As we have discussed in previous briefings, Iran recently tested a new missile the European Union dubbed ‘a failure’ because it ‘unexpectedly’ detonated 200 miles above the earth. I set off both ‘failure’ and ‘unexpected’ in quotes because the detonation wasn’t unexpected and the test wasn’t a failure.

For more than 40 years, the Pentagon has known that a nuclear weapon detonated high over the United States could knock out much of the nation’s electrical and electronic infrastructure.

An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from the nuclear explosion could shut down power plants, silence telecommunications, cut off radio and TV broadcasts, and fry the computer chips that control everything from financial transactions to water systems to airliners in flight.

The U.S. military discovered the power of EMP quite by chance in 1962. During a high-altitude test of a nuclear weapon, the U.S. detonated a 1.4-megaton nuclear bomb 250 miles above Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean.

The electromagnetic pulse from the explosion triggered widespread electric system failures in Hawaii 800 miles away. Street lights went out, telephone service was disrupted, fuses blew, radio broadcasts ceased and communications systems failed.

Soviet scientists discovered similar side effects when they tested nuclear bombs in the atmosphere over the Soviet Union. The EMP essentially causes a power surge that’s strong enough to melt wires, damage transformers and destroy computer chips. An EMP burst is an unexpected side-effect of a nuclear explosion detonated in the atmosphere.

An EMP attack could touch off “unprecedented, cascading failures of our major infrastructures” that would “threaten the viability of the United States,” a congressional commission warned last year.

Congressional hearings in 1997 and 1999 laid out the EMP threat, but generally were ignored. Even the U.S. military, which developed defenses against EMP attacks during Cold War, has let its guard down.

The military dramatically has increased its dependence on the electronics and information technology that are most susceptible to EMP. It also has mothballed EMP research and test facilities and abandoned requirements that systems be hardened to resist EMP attacks.

So said the findings of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack to the House Armed Services Committee. That is why the possibility that Osama has a nuclear missile warhead is so chilling.

Osama maintains a navy of tankers and other commercial vessels that could easily launch a mobile missile from just outside US waters. Given the proximity of the launch and the fact the missile need only reach an altitude of 200 miles to accomplish its mission, the chances we could destroy it after launch are minimal.

According to Congressional reports, a nuclear warhead detonated at an altitude of 200 miles (the height of the Iranian missile’s ‘accidental’ detonation) would generate an EMP burst that would instantly destroy enough of the US technological infrastructure to throw the US back into the 1890’s — before cars, before airplanes, before telephones.

Most cars manufactured after 1974 would be destroyed by an EMP burst, because most engines after than depend on computers to regulate their operation. Older engines could be modified to work, eventually, but the newer the car, the more dependent the engine is on technology.

To all intents and purposes, an EMP burst would put the affected area afoot until they could get their cars fixed — but gas would be so scarce and expensive that it wouldn’t make much difference anyway.

Very few modern aircraft can even be flown without computer assistance. Modern passenger jets can’t be flown manually, period. (The last time a passenger jet tried to land without computers, it crashed)

Forget about communications, telephone, telegraph and certainly television. The Internet won’t be of much use to those in the affected area — what good is an Internet when your computer is a mass of fried wiring? — but it will still be in operation in much of the world.

We will be blinded, but our enemies will enjoy the full advantages of technology while we will be using candles to light our homes at night. In the event of physical attack from Islamic infiltrators, or even invading terrorists, most Americans have been disarmed as the result of the steady progression of gun control laws that have already made some US states virtually gun-free.

And that assumes that the rest of the world — like France, Russia or China, for example, doesn’t exploit our weakened condition to attack us outright and eliminate, as Jacques Chirac is fond of saying, the dangerous threat posed by a ‘unipolar power’ — a code for the United States.

Farah’s column answered the question, “If al Qaeda has nukes, why haven’t they used them yet?” with a single word, ‘patience’. Osama doesn’t want to cripple America — he wants, if possible, to kill it. Quoting Paul Williams’ book “The al Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organized Crime and the Coming Apocalypse;

“Designated targets include New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston, Las Vegas, and Valdez, Alaska, where the tankers are filled with oil from the Trans-Alaska pipeline. To orchestrate such an incredible event requires not only the shipment of the nukes into the United States but also the establishment of cells, the training of sleeper agents, the selection of sites, and the preparation of the weapons without detection from federal, state or local law enforcement officials. Unlike 9-11, that cost less than $350,000, this event already has cost a king’s ransom, and bin Laden will not waste the billions in expenditures, the years of planning and his coveted ‘crown jewels’ on an attack that is ill-planned, poorly timed and carelessly coordinated.”

Assessment:

Williams says that, among his devotees, Osama bin Laden is more than just a militant chieftain, he is the Muslim version of the Messiah. His followers address him with the title, ‘awaited enlightened one’ which is the title reserved for the Islamic Mahdi.

According to the Islamic Haddith, the ‘Mahdi’ is the last-days Islamic Messiah who will bring forth the ‘Day of Islam’ in which all people of the world will eventually submit to Allah and embrace Islam.

In Sunni Islam, the “Mahdi” is just one of several important figures, while the “Mahdi” of Shi’ite Islam has a real eschatological importance, and is in the future the most important figure for Islam as well as the world.

The Arabic term “Mahdi” is best translated with “divinely guided one”.

The main principle of the Mahdi is that he is a figure that is absolutely guided by Allah. This guidance is stronger form of guidance than normal guidance, which usually involves a human being willfully acting according to the guidance of Allah. The Mahdi on the other hand, has nothing of this human element, and his acts will be in complete accordance to Allah’s will.

The figure of Mahdi, and his mission, is not mentioned in the Koran, and there are practically nothing to be found among the reliable Haddith on him either. The idea of the Mahdi appears to be a development in the first 2-3 centuries of Islam.

In the case of the Shi’ite Mahdi many scholars have suggested that there is a clear inspiration coming from the Messiah-figure of Christianity and the concept of Judgment Day.

According to Islamic eschatology, (study of the last days) writes an Islamic scholar; “when the ‘prophet’ Jesus “returns to earth he will act together with the Mahdi, and the two will combine all their powers to bring religious moral values to prevail in the world. The Prophet Jesus will eliminate the Anti-Christ (Dajjal), the leader of the atheistic system in the world, and the Mahdi will assist him in that struggle. The Prophet Jesus and the Mahdi are two brothers with great love for one another in this world and in the hereafter. They will share the same thoughts and beliefs. The Mahdi will be the spiritual leader of the Islamic world, and the Prophet Jesus that of the Christian world. Under their twin leadership the world will enjoy great peace, security and happiness.” (Adnan Oktar)

Oktar’s interpretation of the Islamic Haddith has a familiar ring to it, since it fits perfectly with Christian eschatology.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)

In general, the U.S. is portrayed as the Great Babylon (cf Rev. 17:3-4) or the Antichrist himself. Most recent American Presidents (notably Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton) are said in one place or another to be agents of the Antichrist, and frequently threatened with punishment for their activities.

The Antichrist is said to manipulate all of the countries in the west, but his headquarters is invariably in the U.S. American economic and cultural activities are said to reflect the agenda of this demonic being, for which God will punish the country by various methods (earthquakes, nuclear attacks, etc.).

In a number of scenarios, the Muslims, after their conquest of Israel, go on to conquer Western Europe and the U.S. It goes without saying that American foreign policy is seen as the principal method of the Antichrist’s control of the world.

Especially incomprehensible to Muslims is the continual American support of Israel; generally this can only be explained by a Jewish conspiracy theory .

The study of Muslim apocalyptic is absolutely essential to the understanding of modern Islam. Anyone who wishes to understand the huge influence which these groups have on the direction of Muslims will not be able to ignore them.

Consider our own belief that we are living in the last days, and how powerful our faith is in that reality. And while I believe Islamic faith is misplaced, only a fool could argue that it is insincere. (The willingness of young Islamic men to embark on suicide missions is proof positive of the sincerity of Islam’s adherents.)

Note that there are three major combatants in the global arena and that all three of them are, first and foremost, spiritual combatants. It is a war between the spiritual forces of Christianity and Judaism against the spiritual forces of Islam. Remove the spiritual element, and the war is over.

The prize, for all sides in the conflict, is the conquest of the spiritual forces that are behind it. To Islam, it is the Great Satan of Christian Crusader America, secretly controlled by a Jewish antichrist whose goal is the destruction of Islam.

To America, it is the destruction of the theology of al-Qaeda, which the Bush administration mistakenly believes to be a perversion of ‘true’ Islam that was high-jacked by terrorists. To the Jews, the goal is to replace the hated ‘Dome of the Rock’ with the long-awaited third restoration of the Jewish Temple.

For any one side to win, the losing side will have to modify or abandon its faith. The Bible promises the Jews a restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the last days. Since Christians and Jews share the same faith in Scripture, for a Jew or a Christian to accept a permanent Islamic sovereignty over the Temple Mount means Bible prophecy is wrong.

For Islam to accept a permanent Jewish presence in Israel or to abandon the war against the Great Satan America means Islamic prophecy is wrong.

This is key — in either instance, one side or the other must abandon their faith to put an end to the conflict.

The fact is, we ARE living in the last days. It isn’t just Christians who believe it. In Israel, there are signs up welcoming the soon coming of the Jewish Messiah. The Temple Mount Faithful is making preparations to lay the cornerstone for the Third Temple in preparation for His coming. The Temple Mount Institute has already made necessary preparations for the resumption of Temple worship.

The war on terror is being waged against an Islamic enemy that also believes that we are in the last days, and many Islamists already believe their messiah has come in the person of Osama bin Laden.

Scripture speaks of a great spiritual war raging in the heavenlies that spills out into the here and now during the Tribulation Period. Revelation pictures demonic warfare openly waged between the forces of Satan and the angels executing judgment on the earth during that period.

The spiritual conflict that eventually finds its way into the dimension of space and time is already raging. That means there isn’t much time left for the Church Age.

Or for the Church to tell people about Jesus before it is too late.