The Logic and Reason of Free Thought

The Logic and Reason of Free Thought
Vol: 75 Issue: 19 Wednesday, December 19, 2007

One of the arguments most often advanced against Christianity and the existence of God is that such a belief is not ‘rational’.

In fact, atheists and secular humanists are fond of calling themselves ‘free thinkers’ — wearing that label as a pejorative against those of faith, who, by implication are not.

The word “rational” means, “consistent with, or based on or using reason or logic.” So, how rational is it to believe in a Creator God?

Where did energy, time, matter and the dimensions in which we live originate? In theory, even a void must have an origin.

Rational thinkers postulate that the universe came into being via the “Big Bang” — that is, the universe simply exploded into existence by itself at some point in the unknowably distant past.

So let’s examine the idea rationally. There is no scientific explanation for the creation of energy, matter, etc., so that leaves but one seemingly logical conclusion.

If these things have no point of origin, yet they are, then logically, they must have always existed. But that doesn’t work, since everything in the universe has a starting point.

What was there before the Big Bang caused the universe to expand into it? Was there an ‘it’ for the universe to expand into.

Where did ‘it’ go? Was it a void before the Big Bang? Where did the void come from? What made the universe explode into existence? What was it before it exploded? And who made the void in the first place?

It is a law of physics that energy must be created — it simply cannot spring into existence on its own. THAT would take a ‘miracle’ and free thinkers deny miracles are possible.

But the laws concerning energy, mass, time, distance, etc. all pre-exist humanity, and the laws of scientific conservation say that they cannot be broken. That is what we call them the “laws” of physics.

But at some time in history, they all had to be broken at least once in order to come into existence. But that is impossible, since it would require a miracle.

But the fact that ANYTHING exists means, by definition, that a miraculous suspension of the prime laws governing the universe had to take place first.

Is your head spinning yet? This is what ‘free thinkers’ call ‘rational’.

Then there is the scientific problem with the creation of life. Science has never been able to create life out of non-life.

It takes life to create life, even in a test tube, a Petrie dish or a laboratory cloning experiment.

Rationally speaking, that leaves only one of two conclusions.

After all, if the most brilliant scientific minds on the planet can’t force something to happen that occurs randomly and easily, without either human direction or resources, they are either stupid and incompetent, or it must be impossible.

If it is impossible, then it would require a miracle, that is, a suspension of the laws of the universe, for life to exist. Yet, irrationally, it does.

Even if a scientist were able to somehow create life out of non-life, it would still require the assistance of a living scientist.

There is a joke about an atheist scientist who challenged God to a contest creating a man out of dirt.

God refused the challenge, telling the scientist that before He could accept the challenge as fair, the scientist had to first create dirt.

According to the ‘free-thinking rationalists,’ life was created out of non-life, without any sentient intervention, by a random accident of such complexity that it is impossible to reproduce under even the strictest laboratory conditions.

Man is himself a rational being because of the incredible complexity of the human mind. The human mind is invisible, cannot be measured, felt, tasted, smelled or weighed.

It is contained, like a ghost, within an organ called a ‘brain’. Yet it is the mind that separates man from all the other animals with brains in the universe.

Man is the only flesh-and-blood mammal in the universe with the ability to reason. Where did that ability come from? A superior brain?

(The Primate Research Institute at Kyoto, Japan recently conducted a mental acuity test between Kyoto University students and chimpanzees. The test measured raw brain processing power, and in every test, the chimps won. So much for superior ram material. Why aren’t the chimps testing us?)

Man is also the only being with hard-wired, inherent emotions like remorse, compassion, pity, love, kindness, gratitude or generosity.

The human mind discovered that the human body is made up of more than ten trillion DNA cells, each of which is more advanced than the most advanced computing device the human mind has ever conceived of.

One strand of DNA contains enough encoded information to fill a library of 200 volumes of books at 200 pages each. Our bodies contain 10 trillion of these individual supercomputers.

Logic and reason say that such complexity is impossible without a design, but it exists, nonetheless. Logic and reason would demand a master programmer.

This again, leads to one of two possible, logical, reasoned conclusions for what makes man the only mammal with the ability to reason things out in that invisible, untouchable, thing we call the human mind.

The first conclusion is that man was created in God’s image. Free-thinkers prefer ‘random chance’ as the more logical and reasoned explanation.

(“Random chance” employs the same logic and reason that theorizes that a pile of silicone, left alone in a cave for ten billion years, would evolve into a self-programming dual-core 3.0 GB personal computer, (including keyboard monitor and mouse) with a 350 GB hard drive, high-end video card and pre-loaded with Windows Vista, Microsoft Office and Norton AntiVirus 10.0)

Finally, what does applying logic and reason tell us about the Bible?

No other Book in history has been read more times, debated more thoroughly, translated into more languages, touched more lives or remained more relevant to the present,.

Moses compiled the first five books of the Bible, (the Pentateuch) fifteen hundred years before Christ. The last book of Scripture, the Book of the Revelation, was closed and sealed before the turn of the 1st century.

In all the centuries of its existence, despite constant and unrelenting attack through the ages, not one single word, not one point of geography, history, science, medicine or other fact has ever been proved wrong.

And it is as relevant today as it was when it was compiled. There is no book in human history that even comes close.

Logic and reason suggest but two possible explanations. The first is that it is a book of myths. The second is that it is the inspired Word of God.

To accept the first conclusion, one must reason that forty men of different backgrounds and different periods of history, kings, shepherds and drifters, without contact with one another, wrote a total of sixty-six different books, all of which flow together as a single narrative, from the perspective of God, “telling the end from the beginning and from the ancient times the things that are not yet done.” (Isaiah 46:11)

Further, applying logic and reason, one must conclude that those books, which when assembled, became the greatest best seller of all time, to the exclusion of all other books every printed in all human history, are the product of random human effort.

It seems that in order to reconcile logic and reason with ‘free thought’ the first step involves discarding all the rules that dictate their use.

Only one conclusion can be possible. Atheism, as it applies to reason and logic, doesn’t describe a person who believes in nothing. It describes a person who can believe in anything.

To reach any other conclusion would be irrational.

Huc. . . KABOOM!

Huc. . . KABOOM!
Vol: 75 Issue: 18 Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I was right when I said I thought Mike Huckabee s candidacy would be one worth watching.

It isn t often that you get to see a candidate take off like a rocket and once the trajectory is just perfect, push the self-destruct button like Huck did.

I was only four years old when Dwight Eisenhower ran for a second term against challenger Adlai Stevenson. Fifty years later, I can still remember the campaign slogan, I like Ike! I thought it was a cool name.

So is Huck but he ll need more than snappy answers and a cool nickname Ike also had the title of Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe on his resume.

Huck was governor of Arkansas, is from Bill Clinton’s home town, used to be a Baptist preacher and he went on a diet and lost a hundred pounds. He s been interesting to watch.

I like Mike Huckabee. I like his personality, his way with a joke, his willingness to laugh at himself he probably made a terrific pastor.

But Huckabee isn t running for pastor, he s running for president. And THAT is where he lost me and where I predict he will suffer his HucKABOOM.

Governor Huckabee s latest campaign commercial is a Christmas card of sorts to voters, and it didn t take long for the cynics to notice the subliminal cross formed by a bookcase or windowframe behind him.

As the camera pans around, Huckabee s head slowly eclipses the cross in the background. The intended message was clearly, a vote for me is a vote for the Cross.

That it was intentional is beyond question. As to it being a subliminal message, it wasn t.

So why bother to conceal it at all? Why not just hang a real cross behind him? After all, it IS a Christmas greeting.

Well, Mike Huckabee can t come right out and SAY a vote for me is a vote for the Cross because some people might consider that a cynical use of the Lord of Creation and the Savior of mankind as a crass political campaign tool.

(Including yours truly.)

It appears that the Huckabee campaign, recalling that George Bush got the nomination in 2000 after naming Jesus Christ as the world s most important philosopher, has decided to enlist Jesus Christ as a campaign worker and make religion the centerpiece of his campaign.

For Huck, that presents more of a problem that I think his campaign realizes.

If Huck plans to wave the banner of Christ over his campaign, then that is the standard against which his campaign deserves to be judged.

Jesus Christ was the living embodiment of truth. He spoke the truth boldly, and lived according to the Word He spoke.

He didn t waffle, He didn t set out nuanced positions, His doctrine was absolute and unchanging, and His mission was to offer Himself as a sacrifice for the salvation of mankind.

That is a pretty tough standard for an American politician to set for himself. Bush made that mistake.

It came back to bite him the first time he pronounced Allah to be another name for God, and has dogged his every step since.

Assessment:

Huck s Christmas card has temporarily diverted attention away from his politics, which was no doubt his intention.

Huck recently wrote an article for Council on Foreign Relations magazine, Foreign Affairs.

In it, he slammed America as arrogant and dominating, writing, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised. . . American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. The Bush administration’s arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad.”

(Who knew that Jesus was a closet Democrat?)

American forces aren t fighting in Iraq to dominate but to liberate .

Colin Powell (hardly a conservative) once responded to the charge of American expansionism by pointing out that America never claimed any more territory in war than was necessary to bury its dead.

The Bush administration s bunker mentality was the result of a sneak attack on US soil more costly in US lives than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

What would Huckabee do? I said Huckabee’s campaign would be worth watching. And it is — for all the wrong reasons.

My administration will recognize that the United States’ main fight today does not pit us against the world but pits the world against the terrorists.

Who is Huckabee trying to pit against whom with these comments? Jesus Christ was not a Marxist.

One of the pillars of Marxist political theory is that of class warfare. Marx pitted the bourgeoisie (ruling class) against the proletariat (working class).

The key to Marxist theory was to use domestic conflict as a springboard to political power.

Karl Marx would have been proud of the American Left for proving the efficacy of his theory.

Listen to the Democrats and notice how many times they use the word fight in their speeches, or how many times they invoke class warfare ( no tax cuts for the rich ); ( two Americas, one for the rich, and other for the rest of us ).

Huckabee is employing the same tactics. Many Republicans are calling Huck s words a betrayal of the Republican Party or a betrayal of President Bush.

What about a betrayal of the sitting government of the United States?

We ve come to expect it from the Democrats. But none of the Democrats are campaigning under the banner of Jesus Christ.

More Coal for Newcastle

More Coal for Newcastle
Vol: 75 Issue: 17 Monday, December 17, 2007

The Russian state agency responsible for building Iran’s nuclear power station in Bushehr had begun delivering its first shipment of nuclear fuel.

Atomstroiexport announced that the fuel will be under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency during the whole time it is on Iranian territory.

(Ah. The IAEA ! That is certainly reassuring! Particularly since Iran claims it will continue to enrich uranium despite the Russian delivery.)

Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, claims that it needs nuclear power for peaceful civilian purposes.

There used to be a saying about “sending coal to Newcastle” — Newcastle being a major source of coal during the 19th century.

A variation on the same theme would be the more universal adage about ‘selling ice cubes to Eskimos’ — with apologies to any Eskimos inadvertently offended by an unintended ethnic reference.

But still following that theme, one day we may see the introduction of a new comparative phrase for superfluity; “like selling energy to Iran.”

That is what makes the 2007 NIE report so disturbing. There is scarcely a person on the planet that really believes Iran needs nuclear power for civilian purposes. (Coals to Newcastle, remember?)

But the NIE’s conclusions that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 has much of the world breathing a sigh of relief, as if ‘suspension’ means the same thing as ‘abandonment’.

Even the NIE didn’t go so far as to conclude that Iran had abandoned its program. (In fact, it took pains to point out that it still isn’t sure Iran hasn’t restarted it since.)

Moscow has accepted the NIE’s conclusions as a green light to move forward with its nuclear deals with Tehran, says Mark Fitzpatrick, nuclear expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

“It appears that Russia has decided that there is no longer a political reason to hold up the provision of fuel,” he told the BBC.

“The recent report from US intelligence in the National Intelligence Estimate [that Iran was not actively seeking a nuclear weapon] probably confirmed the Russian view. . . Russia has probably concluded that Iran is not going to be dissuaded and that enrichment is a fait accompli.”

Assessment:

Despite the conclusions advanced by the heavily-partisan authors of the NIE, it would seem the world isn’t out of the woods yet, insofar as the Iranian nuclear threat is concerned.

Instead, it is more a case of ‘whistling past the graveyard’ — we’d rather distract ourselves than look in the direction of the threat.

Iran recently concluded successful tests of its new Ashura missile, which has a range of 1,550 miles. The US push to deploy a third missile shield in Europe is directly related to the threat posed by the Iranian Ashura.

The Ashura is the third in a family of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in the Iranian arsenal. The others are the liquid-fueled Shahab and the BM-25.

Iran’s BM-25 missile is a reverse-engineered version of the North Korean model, (which was itself based on the Russian SS-N-6 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

The Ashura puts all of Europe within Iran’s nuclear reach. That concerns Israel almost as much as the idea of a nuclear Iran itself.

If Iran can threaten Europe with a nuclear attack, the Europeans are unlikely to risk their own capital cities to protect Tel Aviv.

Worse, Ahmadinejad knows it. In a live interview on Sunday, the mad mullah told his people that the threat of a new round of UN sanctions were unlikely.

“In my opinion, there is no justification,” he said. “I think it is very unlikely that they, the West, is ready to pressure the agency, once again.”

Several weeks ago, the London Sunday Times reported that two squadrons of Israeli Air Force fighter-bombers were training for an attack against Iranian nuclear facilities.

The Times reported; “the IAF would use conventional laser-guided bombs to open “tunnels” into the targets, and these would be followed by “mini-nukes” – what it called “low-yield nuclear bunker-busters” – each with “a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.”

The Times even identified the targets; the enrichment plant at Natanz, the conversion facility at Ishahan and the heavy water reactor at Arak.

Conventional wisdom dictates that the NIE will force Israel to stand down. And, barring the introduction of a universally-accepted smoking gun, conventional wisdom may be right — in the near term.

But Israel knows that Ahmadinejad’s ultimate goal is to start a war of annihilation with the West — beginning with Israel’s destruction.

Ahmadinejad believes that such a war will bring about the return of the Mahdi, who will then take his place at the head of an invading Muslim army and lead them to victory against the infidel West.

And Israel is not ignorant of its own prophets. The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel, for example, predicted the existence of Israel “in the latter years”.

The same prophet predicted that, at a time when Israel had reached accommodation with her immediate enemies, a new threat would emerge as a consequence of an alliance between Russia and Iran.

Ezekiel said that Russia would be drawn, as if hooked through the jaw, into leading an alliance including Iran and most of the Mediterranean Islamic world, into a sneak attack against the Jewish State.

Ezekiel was right about Israel’s restoration.

And the peace Israel is attempting to negotiate with the Palestinians fits Ezekiel’s prophecy that it will be temporary in nature.

Russia’s nuclear cooperation with Iran will obviously draw Moscow, willingly or not, into any Iranian-Israeli conflict — as surely as if it had a hook in its jaw.

The point here isn’t that the Gog Magog war is just around the corner. (It seems to have been just around the corner for several decades.)

The point is that, no matter how hard the world tries to avert its appointment with destiny, no matter how things look at any given moment, events keep forcing us back toward’s Ezekiel’s scenario.

It isn’t when that is so significant, but rather, the utter certainty that one day soon, prophecies made thousands of years in advance will play out, precisely as predicted, despite the best efforts of the international community.

Things change, politics shift, events and opinions are as fluid as the sea, but in the end, God’s Word will play out exactly as given.

“So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

“. . .nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” ( 2nd Timothy 1:12)

“. . .Or Your Lying Eyes?”

“. . .Or Your Lying Eyes?”
Vol: 75 Issue: 15 Saturday, December 15, 2007

Has anybody else noticed that it seems to be getting a lot colder out there?

Huge portions of the midwest, from Texas to Missouri and beyond are reeling from the one-two punch of back-to-back winter storms that have left a half million people without power.

At the moment, the Northeast is bracing for it’s turn as forecasters locally are predicting the transformation of the storm in the Midwest into a ‘Nor’easter — which, from the perspective of somebody experiencing it, is essentially a winter hurricane.

The current forecast for my local area (Niagara Region) is a foot of snow, winds exceeding forty mph, and temps in the teens.

The forecasts are even more dire in adjacent states to the south and east.

Currently, it’s 47 in Los Angeles, 46 in Mexico City, and even colder than that in some places in Florida.

Today’s headlines include: “New England Digs Out After Record Snowfall”: and “Another Blast Targets Oklahoma, Kansas”.

But its in the mid-80’s in Bali — where Al Gore just finished blasting the United States for causing global warming.

Assessment:

Poor Al Gore. Every time he makes a headline about global warming, the temperature plummets. The day his ‘Inconvenient Truth’ premiered in NYC was the coldest day in that city’s recorded history.

Gore’s effort to save the planet by having rock stars and their fans jet around the world to sing nature back into balance fizzled when concert-goers in many locations got snowed in.

(It was the first time it had snowed in Johannesburg South Africa on that date in twenty-eight years, for example).

On the day Al Gore was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (significantly, not the Nobel Science Prize) for dividing the planetary scientific and political communities, the news crawl below his image was forecasting another pre-season winter storm.

But citizens in such relatively mild states as Texas, Oklahoma and southern Kansas didn’t get to hear Al Gore’s latest polemic against global warming.

Thanks to last week’s brutal pre-season ice storm, they had no power.

While America, together with much of the Northern Hemisphere, shivers in the deep freeze, delegates from 190 countries met in Bali to argue over the best way to make the United States pay to cool the planet.

Although the UN and Al Gore have concluded that the science is settled regarding both global warming and man’s impact on it, evidence continues to mount that suggests it is the politics of global warming that is settled. The science remains very much in doubt.

A new study reported by Britain’s Royal Meteorological Society found that “temperature changes measured over the last 30 years don’t match well with temperatures predicted by the mathematical climate models relied on by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

The new study authored by David Douglass (University of Rochester), John Christy (University of Alabama-Huntsville), Benjamin Pearson (also University of Rochester) and S. Fred Singer (University of Virginia) compared all 10 available observational data sets with the major models used by the IPCC.

One co-author of the new study, John Christy, said in a media release that, “We have good reason [based on our study] to believe that the current climate models greatly overestimate the effects of greenhouse gases.”

Co-author Fred Singer added, “Our research demonstrates that the ongoing rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide has only a minor influence on climate change. We must conclude, therefore, that attempts to control carbon dioxide emissions are ineffective and pointless but very costly.”

The upshot of the study? “We suggest, therefore, that projections of future climate based on these models be viewed with much caution.”

Al Gore says his climate model predicts as much as a12 degree rise in temperature over the next fifty years, together with all manner of attending catastrophes; from coastal regions being reclaimed by the sea to global famine of unprecedented levels.

What does Al Gore propose as a solution? A global carbon tax, to be imposed by the UN according to its assessment of each nation’s share of the alleged ‘damage’ to the environment.

The UN, for example, assesses China and India to be worse polluters than the US, but those nations are exempted. The other nations can’t afford to pay. Al Gore thinks the costs should be shared by the West, primarily, the US and Europe.

But science is still stuck with the problem of taking Al Gore’s predictions seriously when the global-warming hypothesis and the models that rely on it are flatly contradicted by 30 years of reality.

Over 100 prominent scientists (many of whom were former IPCC panelists and not politicians) signed a letter warning the UN against ‘futile’ attempts to control the climate, noting in their letter that:

“Significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming.”

Lord Christopher Monckton, a UK climate researcher, wrote the panel to object:

“Climate change is a non-problem. The right answer to a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing,” Monckton told participants.

“The UN conference is a complete waste of our time and your money and we should no longer pay the slightest attention to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,)” Monckton added.

But inside the conference, former Senator and US vice-president Al Gore (it is important to remember that Gore was once an elected American political leader) reportedly:

“[S]avaged the US government” and urged delegates at the conference to “ignore Washington if necessary to pursue the moral imperative of a new global regime,” according to London’s Financial Times.

My country is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali, the former US vice-president told 2,000 of the 12,000 people attending the conference on Thursday, before concluding ominiously;

[But] over the next two years the United States is going to be somewhere it is not now.

Gore told the international community that they must find the grace to navigate around this enormous obstacle, the elephant in the room that I have been undiplomatic enough to name.

(In Al Gore’s worldview, betraying one’s nation before the collective nations of the world is not ‘treason,’ but merely ‘undiplomatic’).

This whole global warming debate reminds me of the old joke in which the philandering husband, caught in the act, protests, “Who are you going to believe? Me? Or your lying eyes?”

Simply stated, man-made global warming is rejected by the science, it is rejected by the senses, and it is rejected by the observable evidence, but it is embraced with open arms by the UN, who will be responsible for assessing global carbon taxation.

(Perhaps there is a clue in there, somewhere?)

More importantly, climate change is rejected by the Bible.

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)

What the Bible predicts is the fear of global climate change:

“and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

That is the truth that Al Gore finds so ‘inconvenient’.

Special Report: The Honor of Kings

Special Report: The Honor of Kings
Vol: 75 Issue: 14 Friday, December 14, 2007

According to the Bible, in the last days, the whole world will come together under a single, global government. Or at least, that is the way many Christians understand it, although that is not strictly accurate.

The mental picture most of us have of the antichrist is something along the lines of a super-Hitler, wielding absolute global authority and enforcing his edicts and dictates through regularly scheduled public executions.

The Apostle John says of his religious counterpart, the False Prophet, that:

he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Revelation 13:15)

Further, John tells us that; he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:16-17)

The Prophet Daniel tells us that the antichrist will be a prince of the Roman Empire, and the consensus understanding of Daniel 9:26 is that it means the antichrist will be a European.

Further, he is most probably from Rome, and his partner, the False Prophet, is a global religious leader also headquartered in Rome.

I often warn of the dangers of interpreting Bible prophecy according to current events, but that doesn t preclude questioning traditional interpretations as God reveals more information.

The Proverbs tell us that It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2)

The Bible is a Living Book. It is also a book of progressive revelation, and while it has been sealed as complete for two thousand years, that progressive revelation has continued through the generations since.

Jesus summarized the concept of progressive revelation as it applies to prophecy to His disciples, saying, And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. (John 14:29)

The Apostles didn t know what He was talking about much of the time. They were blinded by the traditional interpretation that when the Messiah came, He would destroy Israel s enemies and set up an earthly kingdom.

Despite His presence among them for three years, it wasn t until after they were indwelt by His Holy Spirit at Pentecost that they began to understand all that had been revealed to them.

The Bible also tells us that as believers, we are kings and princes through Him and are honored with the authority to search out matters heretofore previously concealed.

So, with that in mind, let s challenge the conventional wisdom that the antichrist is a European and the false prophet s headquarters is the Vatican.

Assessment:

First, the antichrist s government is indivisible from its religion. It isn t the antichrist that issues the order to receive the Mark of the Beast.

Look at Revelation 13:15-17 again.

The False Prophet gives life to the beast, demands he be worshipped, and decrees anyone that refuses should be killed.

Then, to ENFORCE that edict, the False Prophet orders everyone marked to show loyalty, linking it to the ability to engage in normal buying and selling.

Hmmm. A religion that is also an economic and political system.

John tells us that the religion of the False Prophet will have two horns like a Lamb, but that it will speak like a dragon.

Hmmm. A religion that claims to be peaceful as a lamb , but one that preaches war and destruction?

The Bible never directly uses the word antichrist to describe the political Beast. 1st John says of the antichrist;

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son? (1st John 2:22)

Hmmm. A religion of global power, that claims to be one of peace and love, that preaches war and death, and denies that God has a Son?

Anti-Christ the simple understanding of the phrase is, against-Christ the way anti-abortion means against abortion or anti-American means against America .

Hmmm again. A religion dedicated to making war with Christ.

The Prophet Daniel reveals of the antichrist, by peace he shall destroy many. The Apostle John pictures him in Revelation 6:2 as a rider on a white horse, armed with a bow, but with no arrows.

Four fourteen hundred years, Christians interpreted this religion as being ruled from the Vatican. Why?

Because for fourteen hundred years, the Vatican had that kind of power. That was THEIR interpretation based on their understanding of what were-then current events.

But in this generation, when one searches out the matter and overlays a religion most of us knew nothing about a decade ago, one gets an entirely different Big Picture.

One of the conveyers of Hadith, Ka b al Ahbar is quoted as saying:

“I find the Mahdi recorded in the books of the Prophets For instance, the Book of Revelation says: And I saw and behold a white horse. He that sat on him went forth conquering and to conquer.

The Bible tells us that it is the political Beast, or antichrist, that confirms a seven year covenant with Israel. Daniel says the agreement is abrogated halfway through.

The Islamic Hadith says that the Mahdi will mediate a seven-year peace hudna through a Jewish Priest from the lineage of Aaron.

According to Muhammad Ali ibn Zubair, while speaking of the time that the Mahdi s will come to reign and rule, Mohammed the prophet said this:

“There will be four peace agreements between you and ‘the Romans’ [or “the Western powers” -ed].

The fourth and last treaty will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Aaron [Honorable Aaron, the brother of Moses] – ed and will be upheld for seven years.

The people asked, O Prophet Muhammad, who will be the imam (leader or Mahdi) of the people at that time? The Prophet said: He will be from my progeny and will be exactly forty years of age. His face will shine like a star.

According to the Apostle John, there are two distinct penalties for refusing to accept the Mark of the Beast.

The first penalty mentioned is death (Revelation 13:15) — by decapitation! (Revelation 20:4)

The second penalty is social: that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:17)

Islam proscribes two penalties for unbelievers. Those who refuse to submit are to be decapitated, and those who agree to submit are marked as dhimmis social outcasts with no legal standing, no rights of ownership, and no rights of citizenship.

Finally, the over-arching theme of the Book of the Revelation is the persecution of Israel, the destruction of the Jews, and the eradication of Christianity.

The religious duty of the Muslim umma (worldwide Muslim community) is the elimination of Israel, the destruction of the Jews and the overspreading of Islam, by force, if necessary, to the Christian world.

Islam divides the world into two zones, the Zone of Islam (dar al Islam) and the Zone of War (dar al harb). If you aren t in one, you re in the other.

As to Daniel s identification of the antichrist as a prince of the Roman Empire, continental Europe, already nicknamed Eurasia, continues to reel under the weight of Muslim immigration.

It is estimated that, at current rates, Europe will become majority Muslim within a generation.

All this challenges conventional wisdom, and I am therefore not prepared to be dogmatic about any of it.

(But I AM looking forward to kicking it around with you in the forums this weekend.)

I am mindful of the danger of dogmatically interpreting prophecy in light of current events.

But I am also mindful that the conventional interpretation of Europe and the Vatican is ALSO the product of fourteen hundred years of interpretation based on what were-then current events.

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:8-10)

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. (Luke 12:2)

I’ve just scratched the surface insofar as the similarities between Islam and the predictions concerning the A/C’s government, but they are intriguing enough to be worth further exploration.

We’ll keep searching out the matter together and see where it leads us.

Marantha!

Torturing the Facts

Torturing the Facts
Vol: 75 Issue: 13 Thursday, December 13, 2007

The latest attempt by the Left to smear the United States involves a CIA decision to destroy the videotapes of the interrogation of al-Qaeda masterminds Abu Zubeida and Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

The Left has dedicated itself to portraying the United States government abroad as a lawless international bully, its leadership as morally bankrupt, and compared its military and intelligence services to the “Gestapo” and “Nazis.”

It has all the earmarks of a scandal. It even sounds scandalous when reduced to its summary facts:

“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) Monday sent a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey asking a series of questions about the Justice Department s knowledge of and involvement in the Central Intelligence Agency s possession and subsequent destruction of videotapes showing interrogations of detainees. The Department of Justice has launched an initial investigation into the matter.”

The “matter” isn’t that the CIA destroyed the interrogation tapes. That is easily justified, as we’ll see momentarily. What the Left wants to keep in the public eye is a tactic called “waterboarding” which the Left alleges qualifies as ‘torture’ under the Geneva Conventions.

I am not going to argue that ‘waterboarding’ isn’t ‘torture’ — especially since it is a variation on a technique known as the “Chinese Water Torture” but neither am I prepared to concede that the terrorist detainees are covered by the terms of the Geneva Conventions.

If the situations were reversed, there would be no detainees to discuss. When the enemy gets done practicing their version of ‘torture’, they saw off their captives’ heads with a rusty knife, recording their death screams for use as propaganda.

As far as waterboarding being equated with ‘torture’ FNC reporter Steve Harrigan was voluntarily ‘tortured’ by US interrogators on international television. His ‘torture’ ended the second the waterboarding did with no residual effects.

(A similar demonstration using al-Qaeda torture tactics, involving blowtorches, electric drills, pliers and electric saws was not scheduled due to a volunteer shortage.)

Actually, when you think about it, nobody is raising much of a fuss about the al-Qaeda torture chambers at all. I can’t recall that last time they were on the front page — just I as I can’t recall the last time that waterboarding wasn’t.

If waterboarding is ‘torture’, America has outdone itself in inventing a kinder, gentler way to inflict it. It puts me in mind of our ingenious solution during the Iraq War, when Saddam hid his tanks near hospitals and mosques.

To prevent collateral damage, we mounted warheads made out of cement on GPS-guided missiles, creating the first ‘smart rock’ ever used in modern warfare.

There was no condemnation of Saddam for hiding tanks in school playgrounds –that criticism was reserved for the US because the flying rocks sometimes killed the enemy tank crews.

Here are the arguments against waterboarding. First, it violates the Geneva Conventions. (Assuming the Geneva Conventions only apply to one side).

Secondly, torture doesn’t work. Abu Zubeida was subjected to all kinds of interrogation ‘techniques’ — all of which were already known to al-Qaeda, (thanks to a diligent media) and thanks to advance training and preparation, held out until he was waterboarded.

According to the CIA, he lasted thirty-five seconds before giving up Sheik Khalid Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

When they waterboarded him he lasted three minutes before giving up the operational plans for a major al-Qaeda attack that could have killed thousands.

Thirdly, the information obtained through ‘torture’ is of no value. (Unless you are trying to catch the bad guys and prevent future attacks. )

When the ‘torture’ was concluded, neither man suffered any more lasting ill effects than did Steve Harrigan did in front of thirty million witnesses on FNC.

So it DID work, it saved thousands of innocent lives and it didn’t hurt anybody in the process.

Assessment:

At the time of this writing, the Senate Intelligence Committee is grilling CIA chief Michael Hayden about the destruction of the interrogation tapes, hoping to find a smoking gun it can point at the White House.

The Left is alleging the tapes were destroyed as part of a wider White House ‘cover up’. Let’s start at the end and work backwards.

The White House doesn’t deny the practice of waterboarding. The CIA admits it used it to great effect in at least two cases. Not much of a cover up so far.

So, why destroy the tapes?

As Charles Krauthammer pointed out in a television interview recently, America is one of the few Western countries in the world that still has the death penalty. However necessary, it is still an ugly process. We know that, and leave it behind closed doors.

There is no more reason to record the ugly business of coerced interrogation than there is to record the execution of a condemned prisoner — and just as much risk of diverting public sympathy to the victimizer at the expense of the victim.

The CIA says it destroyed the tapes to protect the identity of the CIA interrogators.

The Left clamored for Scooter Libby’s public destruction because they alleged he identified Valerie Plame as a CIA operative, which they claim destroyed her ‘heroic’ career, put her life at risk, and damaged the intelligence-gathering capacity of the United States.

But because it might be possible to spin it to hurt the administration, the Left is suddenly unconcerned about risking the lives, careers, and intelligence-gathering capacity of US ‘heroes’ like Valerie Plame.

One of the reasons that water-boarding worked so well was because al-Qaeda didn’t know it was among US interrogation techniques and weren’t trained psychologically for it.

They knew about the use of loud rock music, sensory deprivation, extremes of heat and cold, and all the relatively other benign methods of ‘coerced interrogation’ practiced by the US military, but they didn’t know that waterboarding broke two of their top operatives in a matter of minutes — until we told them about it.

For the Left, there is only one war worth waging, and it is the one they are waging against the sitting government of the United States.

Is waterboarding ‘torture’? That’s like the question, is the death penalty ‘cruel and unusual punishment’? It depends on your point of view.

What if it was your life, or that of your wife or child, that was saved by breaking Khalid Sheik Mohammed and breaking up the terrorist plot?

As to the death penalty, its purpose is not punishment — it is prevention. The executed murderer will never take another innocent life.

So what’s behind this latest effort to discredit the administration? Partisanship? Or patriotism?

If the purpose of waging war is to win it, then waterboarding is a necessary evil whose worth has already proved itself.

If the purpose is to use the war exclusively as a political tool, regardless of the damage it might cause the war effort, then waterboarding is ‘torture.’

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:20)

The Logic of the Spirit

The Logic of the Spirit
Vol: 75 Issue: 12 Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Some time back, the Salvation Army refused to hire an atheist on the grounds that a person couldn’t work for a Christian organization if he didn’t believe in Christ.

The New York Civil Liberties Union launched an immediate lawsuit charging the organization with religious discrimination.

The case arose after The Salvation Army began to require all employees in its Social Services for Children division to fill out a form on which they:

a) identify their church affiliation and all other churches attended for the past decade,

b) authorize their religious leaders to reveal private communications to the Salvation Army; and

c) pledge to adhere to the religious mission of The Salvation Army which, according to The Salvation Army, is to “preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The mainstream media went ballistic. Headlines like “Non-Christians Need Not Apply” gave way to “the Salvation Army’s War on the Poor” and “A Tale of a Greedy Charity.”

When the ACLU isn’t going after the Salvation Army for religious discrimination, it is going after the Boy Scouts for sexual discrimination.

It sounds like the punch line for a joke: “What are you gonna do? Sue the Salvation Army for being religious?”

Or maybe a challenge . . . “Sure. I’ll believe that when the Boy Scouts get sued for not having gay scoutmasters.”

I mean, it sounds crazy. The Salvation Army being sued for expecting its employees to concur with the organization’s mission statement.

The employee who filed the lawsuit said she worked for the Salvation Army for 25 years and was ‘blindsided’ by the organization’s ‘new’ rules.

(Gasp! The Salvation Army is Christian??? So THAT’S what that ‘Salvation’ part stands for. . . who knew?)

It is difficult to imagine a more ridiculous lawsuit.

The Salvation Army was founded in 1865 by William and Catherine Booth and was dedicated from its inception to the mission of “bringing Christian salvation to the poor, destitute and hungry by meeting both their physical and spiritual needs.”

But the plaintiff in the suit worked for the Sally Ann for a quarter century, starting on that job more than a hundred years after that organization wrote its mission statement, and complained in her suit that she was ‘blindsided’ to learn it was dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Assessment:

On the other side of the spectrum, a Christian biologist has filed a lawsuit against the federally-funded Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Nathaniel Abraham was fired in 2004 because he did not believe in evolution. Abraham is a ‘zebrafish specialist’ (whatever that means) and he claims his civil rights were violated by his firing.

He claims that shortly after he told his supervisor that he believed the Bible presented an accurate account of creation, he was dismissed for his beliefs.

Abraham, who was dismissed eight months after he was hired, said he was willing to do research using evolutionary concepts but drew the line at the choice between accepting Darwin’s theory of evolution as scientific fact or losing his job.

The Woods Hole group said in a statement it firmly believed its actions and those of its employees in the case were “entirely lawful” and that it does not discriminate.

The reason that Abraham was forced to file a lawsuit was because the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination dismissed his complaint, ruling in favor of Woods Hole.

It argued (perfectly logically) that it would be difficult for Woods Hole to employ someone to advance a theory that the employee disagrees with — and upheld his firing.

I say it was ‘perfectly logical’ to dismiss Abraham under these circumstances because it IS perfectly logical.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination concluded that Abraham knew, or should have known, that Woods Hole’s biology was rooted in the theory of evolution.

Once again, that is completely logical. If I was planning to hire an editorial assistant, I wouldn’t hire a Buddhist, or a Muslim, or even just any old Christian.

Since the Omega Letter approaches Scripture from a premillennial, Dispensational perspective, I wouldn’t hire a preterist, for example.

That isn’t discrimination — I don’t care WHAT they believe. I just care what they teach in my name.

Abraham’s argument makes as much sense logically as a high-school French teacher complaining about being dismissed for opposing French classes.

So why is it so hard for the courts to apply the same logic when it comes to Christian ministries or issues of Christian faith? If Woods Hole can require a belief in evolution, why is it discriminatory for the Salvation Army to require a belief in God?

Or for the Boy Scouts to refuse to hire adult supervisors who may view young boys as sex objects? There is no corresponding effort to legitimize men as Girl Scout leaders for the same good and logical reasons.

Why does this same logic reverse itself when the target is a Christian organization?

Things that are natural are natural, that is to say, they follow a natural, logical progression. So logically, a creationist would make a lousy researcher on evolution, and, if one continues to follow the logic, dismissing him makes as much sense as would the Salvation Army dismissing an atheist.

But while the courts can see the logic in the Wood’s Hole case, they cannot grasp it when it comes to the Boy Scouts or the Salvation Army. This is evidence of both the existence of God and the Divine truth of the Scriptures.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1st Corinthians 2:14)

Hollywood: The Imagination of Man’s Heart

Hollywood: The Imagination of Man’s Heart
Vol: 75 Issue: 11 Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It is a provable fact that G-rated family movies make more money than ‘edgier’ movies with a PG-13, lots more money than movies with an “R” rating, and any movie with a more restrictive rating than that is unlikely to break even on its production costs.

I’m not merely expressing my opinion based on my own personal tastes in film. The numbers bear out my contentions.

Among the top-20 grossing films of all time are “Shrek”, “E.T.” “Star Wars” “Jurrasic Park” “Finding Nemo” and “The Lion King.”

It is also a proven fact that “G” rated movies with Christian themes are the most consistent money-makers of all.

The C.S. Lewis Christian classic, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” was widely panned by critics on release as “too Christian” — until it earned $291 million dollars.

There are a number of reasons, but the most obvious reason is that “G” rated movies have the widest potential audience.

Hollywood’s business is to attract as many possible movie-goers as possible.

The logic of business would therefore dictate that the majority of Hollywood movies would be Christian-themed and made in such a way as to earn them the lucrative “G” rating.

But when Hollywood DOES offer a Christian-themed, “G”-rated movie, it is generally greeted with fear and trepidation, earning such adjectives as “daring” or “risky” –when in point of fact, they are the safest bet of all.

If there has been a Christian-themed, “G” rated film produced by a major studio that lost money, I am not aware of it.

Even the bad ones turn a profit.

Forget the religious aspect for a moment and stay with me on the secular perspective. In America, some eight of ten moviegoers are at least culturally Christian — and most of them have families.

On the other hand, less than one in ten are agnostics, and less than two percent — or one in fifty — are atheists.

If you were planning to invest millions in a film project with your bottom line goal being to attract the widest audience, which pond would you fish in?

Assessment:

Given the profitability of “G” rated movies and the depth of the Christian audience in America, why in the world would Hollywood produce something like “The Golden Compass?”

The film is based on the first book of a fantasy trilogy called “His Dark Materials” by the celebrated evangelist of atheism, Phillip Pullman. Pullman’s trilogy is unique in that its theme is that believing in God is the source of all evil in the world.

The film’s heroine is an orphaned girl living in a parallel universe ruled under the dogmatic dictatorship of the “Magisterium” a fictionalized version of the Catholic Church, that is the embodiment of ultimate evil.

In the film, the spiritual good guys are the ‘daemons’ (demons) who inhabit the bodies of animals.

Despite heavily-hyped pre-release publicity, the film’s release earned both disappointing reviews and an even more disappointing box office. The film, which cost $180 million, returned only $25 million in its North American opening weekend.

(It did better in Europe where there are more atheists and fewer Christians, but has yet to come close to breaking even.)

So why make films like “The Golden Compass” in the first place? It isn’t like there aren’t ten million movie plots in the Bible, and a Bible-themed film is always a safe bet.

In “The Golden Compass” the overt glorification of atheism is toned down in favor of the glorification of childhood rebellion.

In particular, the heroine of the movie is rebellious against her mother, and adults in general, who are involved in the evil Magisterium. It also encourages children to get involved in the occult.

The movie website, in the “Meet Your Daemon” feature, itself encourages children to contact their own personal Daemon:

“To discover your very own Daemon, look into your heart, and answer the following 20 questions openly and honestly. Your true character and the form of your Daemon will be revealed.”

Again, one has to shake one’s head. This is another one of those places where the spiritual and the physical come into collision — you can tell because everything is upside down.

It makes no sense, in the natural, to invest millions in a film whose theme will antagonize more than half its potential audience before it even gets released.

Yet for every film targeted at Hollywood’s majority audience, there are a dozen aimed at society’s perverts, Satanists or have an anti-God message.

Movies are popular because they provide a form of escapism from the reality of life, allowing our imagination to run wild on film.

And judging from the movies we watch, our collective imagination tends to run towards the dark side of evil.

When speaking the timing of the Rapture, Jesus said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.”

Having made it clear that no man could know the day or the hour, however, Jesus then gave us an important clue whereby we could know when it was ‘near, even at the doors’.

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37-38)

Genesis 6:5 describes the “days of Noe” — from the perspective of the Lord (and as confirmed by Hollywood in virtually every film release):

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:7)

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)

It’s One Thing to Kick A Guy When He’s Down . . .

It’s One Thing to Kick A Guy When He’s Down . . .
Vol: 75 Issue: 10 Monday, December 10, 2007

But it is another thing altogether to kick a guy when YOU are down. Not many people have noticed, particularly among the political Left, but a lot of our old friends-turned-recent-enemies have been undergoing a crisis of conscience of late.

Anti-Americanism as a political fad began when the ‘neoconservative American Right’ began to ‘persecute’ the wildly popular and delightfully roguish Bill Clinton for something as, well, European as an extramarital dalliance with an intern in his private office.

When George Bush, the very epitome of a neo-conservative redneck cowboy, squeaked into office by a margin of 537 votes over Clinton’s chosen successor Al Gore in 2000, the “Old European” liberals decided they had no choice but to hate him.

When Bush visited Europe early in his presidency, Europeans cheered when demonstrators dropped their pants as a sign of their disrespect for the American president.

When, even after the Iraq War, George Bush soundly defeated anti-warrior liberal John Kerry in the ’04 elections, one European headline asked, “How Could 55 Million Americans Be So Dumb?”

The Old European Establishment leapt on the chance to focus popular discontent on a ‘benign’ enemy — like the ‘neoconservative United States’ — to distract from their own Clintonian-style scandals and the inevitable collapse of unsustainable nannystate liberal-socialist policies.

It worked for awhile. Polls among even our closest allies, like Canada and Britain, showed unprecedented antipathy, if not outright hostility in their attitudes about the United States.

But then, a more malevolent enemy in their midst began to make his presence known.

It was one thing when al-Qaeda attacked American targets in New York and Washington, or even American targets abroad. It was something else altogether when al-Qaeda began to attack European civilians inside European cities.

Suddenly, it became more just than George Bush’s war.

Assessment:

It would appear that the only remaining vestiges of “Old Europe” can be found, not across the pond, but among the members of the US Houses of Congress.

According to Hillary Clinton, George Bush has “alienated our friends,” and we must elect her in order to “rebuild our alliances” and “restore our standing in the world.”

That is a common theme among Democrats: Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are united in their contention that nothing of significance has changed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and that George Bush has destroyed America’s standing abroad.

Reality seems to suggest that if anybody has destroyed America’s standing abroad, we need look no farther than Reid, Pelosi, Kerry, Murtha, Kennedy and the New York Times.

Abroad, the French recently elected Nicolas Sarkozy, whose nickname is “Sarkozy the American”. In November, during a visit to the US, Sarkozy addressed the US Congress in a speech that called America “the greatest nation in the world.”

For a foreign leader to call America “the greatest nation in the world” is quite remarkable. For a French leader to do so in front of the US Congress is blasphemy.

His predecessor, Jacques Chirac, who famously said in 2002, “I am totally against [the American foreign policy] of unilateralism in the modern world,” and called the invasion of Afghanistan “extraordinarily dangerous” would not have agreed.

But that is why Chirac is not president of France and Sarkozy is.

Germany also dumped its anti-American president, Gerhard Schroeder in favor of pro-American (and pro Bush) Angela Merkel.

Even the new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose campaign called Tony Blair “America’s lapdog” gave an interview with ‘Sky News’ last month in which he noted “the great change that is taking place,” namely “that France and Germany and the European Union are also moving more closely with America.”

Canadians are also beginning to re-think some of their earlier rhetoric. Canadians dumped Jean Chretien and his Liberals, replacing them with a Conservative government far less opposed to all things American.

Eastern European nations are taking considerable risks by cooperating with Washington on missile defense and other issues despite enormous pressure from the Kremlin and Beijing.

It isn’t a matter of affection or even politics. Europeans, Canadians and even some of the more moderate Arab states haven’t suddenly turned into George Bush Republicans.

Charles Krauthammer put it this way: “It’s classic balance-of-power theory: Weaker nations turn to the great outside power to help them balance a rising regional threat. Allies are not sentimental about their associations. It is not a matter of affection but of need — and of the great power’s ability to deliver.”

It isn’t often anymore that I have an opportunity to report something positive; it gets harder and harder to find anything to cheer about, but this qualifies.

But every silver lining has its cloud, unfortunately. In the past, we’ve looked at some of the historical parallels between the 1930’s and the present. For most of that decade, the world deluded itself into believing that it could appease Hitler and the Nazis.

In 1938, Britain and France signed a non-aggression pact with Hitler — the price of which was Czechoslovakia. Neville Chamberlain waved the agreement before cheering crowds when he got home, proclaiming, “We shall have peace in our time.”

Only months later, when it was obvious that appeasement would not work, the world chose up sides and made preparations for war.

America’s erstwhile allies are slowly coming to the same conclusion that their grandfathers did — appeasement doesn’t work.

The bad news is that the world is again choosing up sides and preparing for war. The good news is that at least some of them, having reconsidered their options, are siding with America.

Now if we could just get the US Congress to be as pro-American as the French . . .

The NIE Report: “What? No Gog?”

The NIE Report: “What? No Gog?”
Vol: 75 Issue: 8 Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Bush administration, the Congress and the media have all had a chance now to weigh in on the latest NIE report that concluded “with high confidence” that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons development program back in 2003.

Two years ago, the same intelligence authority concluded, also with ‘high’ confidence, that Iran not only had an active nuclear weapons program but was busily concealing it in hardened underground bunkers.

The reaction to the conflicting conclusions is illuminative, particularly when in the light of the inevitable comparisons to Iraq.

Using the phrase, ‘inevitable comparisons to Iraq’ brings to mind the Left’s overwhelmingly successful campaign to make Iraq “George Bush’s Vietnam”.

Until five years ago, all US military efforts were certain to prompt the ‘inevitable comparisons to Vietnam’. Iraq has now replaced Vietnam as the new standard for US military failure.

It won’t matter if we ultimately win or not — it will forever be a symbol of US military incompetence.

Behold, the power of propaganda!

But back to the ‘inevitable comparisons to Iraq.’

When the NIE reported with ‘high confidence’ that Saddam Hussein was constructing weapons of mass destruction in 2002, the Left and Right were virtually indistinguishable in their comments on the subject.

Everyone from Hillary Clinton to Nancy Pelosi was warning of the dangers posed by a nuclear Saddam Hussein.

Until somebody came up with the idea to politicize it by linking Iraq to Vietnam in every single sentence.

As the conflict drew out, the Left turned their attention to Iran, complaining that the war with Iraq was distracting the administration from the real enemy in Iran.

Until the 2005 NIE came out assessing with ‘high confidence’ that their rhetoric reflected reality and that Iran really WAS a bigger threat than Saddam’s Iraq.

Perversely, they turned Iran into the new Iraq, adding more wear and tear to the already hackneyed phrase; ‘inevitable comparisons to _______’ (insert your favorite US foreign policy debacle here)

“We should be focusing on Afghanistan,” gave way to “We should be focusing on Iran” once we started to win, first in Afghanistan, and now, in Iraq. (Until it looked like we actually were focusing on Iran.)

When this year’s NIE assessment partially reversed its conclusions, the various leaders of the American Left trampled one another in the effort to get to the microphone to claim credit for catching George Bush in another lie aimed at getting us into another war.

It was fascinating to watch the spin cycle. Back in 2003 and 2005, when Bush believed the NIE, he was both a fool and a liar.

“The NIE is inept and Bush should have known it was wrong — just look at their track record!” they thundered.

“They misread India’s nuclear program, they never saw Pakistan’s coming, the African Embassy attacks, the attack on the USS Cole, 9/11 and Saddam’s WMD program.”

That was then. This is now. The 2007 NIE not only embarrassed the Bush administration, it undid four years of US diplomatic foreign policy.

If accurate, the Bush administration is completely discredited and the mad mullahs in Iran are free to restart their nuclear weapons program with impunity.

Suddenly, the National Intelligence Estimate is infallible, ‘proving’ that George Bush (and by extension, the United States of America) is a war-mongering criminal enterprise.

Assessment:

There is more or less universal agreement among the Left that this year’s National Intelligence Estimate is the most accurate ever produced, but only insfoar as the parts that say George Bush was wrong.

The parts that say that Iran still intends to build a nuclear weapon but only suspended it after the US attacked Iraq are all but buried.

The estimate didn’t revise earlier predictions that Iran could have a nuclear weapon by around 2015 and concluded with only “moderate confidence” that Iran hasn’t restarted its program.

But there are some interesting tidbits of information about the report and its authors that you won’t read in the New York Times.

The three main authors of the estimate are former State Department officials the Wall Street Journal describes as “hyper-partisan anti-Bush officials”.

The WSJ identifies them as Tom Fingar, formerly of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research; Vann Van Diepen, the National Intelligence Officer for WMD; and Kenneth Brill, the former U.S. Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The WSJ goes on to give pretty credible evidence of both their partisan agendas and their animosity towards the Bush administration.

But none of that seems to matter. The only thing that matters is the opening line – as the report’s authors no doubt knew full well when they wrote it.

With that opening line, the NIE effectively takes the option of American use of force to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons off the table.

Whether the president agrees or disagrees with the NIE, he is boxed in just the same. The NIE denies him the option of taking military action against Iran’s nuclear program for the duration of his tenure in office.

So for at least 14 months, Iran has nothing to worry about from Washington.

We’ve discussed the danger in trying to fit current events into Bible prophecy — that is, altering or ignoring those parts of Scripture that interfere with our pet interpretation.

Like trying to make a seemingly-imminent US war with Iran fit into the Gog-Magog scenario, for example.

But this NIE report may well play a role in moving it along, nonetheless.

In addition to hamstringing President Bush, it also sets a trap for the Israelis. If Israel doesn’t take action against Iran’s nuclear installations it risks annihilation. And if it does take action, it risks international condemnation — or worse.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that such an event would lead directly to the Gog-Magog scenario outlined by the Prophet Ezekiel. But it most certainly will continue to spur things in that direction.

This conclusion might discourage some of us who have been saying ‘Perhaps today?’ for years — as all those todays turned into tomorrows and we are still here.

Sometimes, in seeking the sensational, we walk right by the real story. The story isn’t that Gog Magog is right around the corner, (although it may be) or the Rapture is imminent (it is) but rather, the real story is that no matter how the news of the moment may look, the long view remains precisely in synch with God’s outline.

And as long as we are on the topic of not ignoring some element of prophecy in favor of a pet interpretation, the Lord provided us with another clue as to the timing of His return — one that is seldom examined, but is certainly relevant in such times of discouragement.

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)