The militia or minute-men as they came to be called knew if the British were able to seize their stockpile of weapons and ammunition, any flicker of hope for reversing the trend of tyranny would be extinguished.
“Those who live next6 door to an internationally known Muslim cleric who is an enemy of…president of Turkey and… President of Russia, may want to take an extended vacation in Florida this winter.”
Refugees are pouring into the surrounding countries as fast as time and space will allow.
“As regional and global powers search for a solution to the Syrian civil war, fighting on the ground appears to be on the verge of worsening. Both loyalist and rebel forces are preparing for two new offensives within the coming months that will greatly influence the trajectory of the conflict ahead.” (STRATFOR)
The fighting rages on with ISIS in the Middle East.
Vladimir Putin has placed his military in the region, a move seen as an overt attempt to make Russia the premier ally.
The U.S. continues some ham-handed airstrikes and half-hearted strategies. (It is not, I assure you that our military personnel there are half-hearted or incompetent but rather they are hobbled by a non-involvement type of involvement that only Washington could produce.)
Throughout Syria persons of nearly every faith are losing either their lives or their homes. Refugees are pouring into the surrounding countries as fast as time and space will allow. ISIS has made it clear that they intend to take over the entire region and only Sharia Law will be permitted. Those of Christian faith will have two choices, capitulate or die. Russia, that great ‘bear from the north’ is becoming the premier presence in the region, as if setting the stage for some future conflict.
Listen as your mind reads the next few lines, written by the Prophet Isaiah over 700 years before Christ was born. At the time he wrote, the nation of Israel had been divided into two nations; Israel (North) and Judah (South). The Northern Kingdoms had been taken captive by the Assyrians and it had, for all intents, ceased to exist. Isaiah speaks of a future time when peace would reign on the earth but before that would come. He wrote that there would be only one place left for those who worship the One True God to do so. Right now, in the Middle East, the only relatively SAFE place for Christians, Jews and even Muslims to worship freely is – believe it or not – Jerusalem.
So it shall be in that day:
The great trumpet will be blown;
They will come, who are about to perish in the land of Assyria,
And they who are outcasts in the land of Egypt,
And shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem. (Isaiah 27:13 NKJV)
Perhaps it is time that our world leaders should take a page out of President Obama’s book. Better still, they should take all of the pages out of President Obama’s book and start focusing on what is real and true instead of socialist, atheistic, amoral doctrine repackaged and inspired from somewhere other than heaven.
Author’s note: It is understood that not every piece of socialist doctrine is necessarily atheistic or amoral. This is a description of the three characteristics of Obama’s new foundation for America. They are sometimes intertwined and, at other times, mutually exclusive.
And, the president of the country is trying to wage a war against a life-blood neighbor who is the second most powerful nation in the world, who controls Ukraine’s natural gas flow and must do so with not one single member of his own party in the Parliament.
Some have referred to Ukraine’s newest President, Petro Poroshenko as a man without a party because ever since his elevation to the position of President of the embattled Ukraine at the end of May; his own political party, the Solidarity Party, has not been represented in the Parliament. If it is difficult for any country’s leader to get legislation passed through a democratic process in which his own party is less represented to some degree, imagine being the president of a country and there is not one single representative in the entire parliament who sides with you! Poroshenko has had to rely on a shaky coalition of pro-Western politicians to prosecute the war.
In 1858, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Presidency, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech that has been given the name, ‘The Nation Divided’ speech in which Lincoln quotes the Bible; Mark 3:25, in which Jesus admonishes the Jewish leaders, “…and if a house against itself be divided, that house cannot be made to stand.” (Young’s Literal Translation) Lincoln went on to say that he did not believe that this government could not any longer endure going on half free and half slave.
When the framers of the U.S. Constitution went about finding the right examples for a model of government, they opted for a republic, that being democratically elected representatives making the laws for the people. They decided on a two house system, an upper and a lower. The upper being the Senate with a set number of two senators from every state. To balance out the legislature based on population, the lower house, the House of Representatives was decided by a formula to determine representation by population.
The United States of America has a population in 2012 of 313.9 million citizens. (Sources include: United States Census Bureau, World Bank) Although there are six (plus an others category) of listed political parties; in the current Congress only three parties are represented and they are the Republican, Democratic and Independent parties. Of the Independent there are only 2 in the Senate and they have come alongside the Democrats to make a majority. In the House of Representatives only the Democratic and Republican parties are represented. (Wikipedia)
For a country as complex as the United States with a citizenry of 313.9 million and an estimated 37.5 million additional non-citizens living legally in the U.S. (2006 figure by migrant information.org) and another 11.7 million illegal immigrants. (Pew Research Center)
For a country as complex as the United States with a citizenry of 313.9 million and an estimated 37.5 million additional non-citizens living legally in the U.S. (2006 figure by migrant information.org) and another 11.7 million illegal immigrants. (Pew Research Center)
To complete this short history, geography, political and mathematics review, keep the figures simple that for a country of roughly 360 million people the federal law making branch of the government consists of 541 law makers. One hundred are Senators, four hundred and thirty-five are voting members of the House of Representatives and six are non-voting representatives include the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico and five delegates, District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands. (ballotpedia.org)
That brings the ratio of citizens to lawmakers to about 673,000 to 1.
Many Americans declare that Congress is broken, it never gets anything done correctly and so on, yet laws do get passed, a great many of them actually and an extremely large amount of business is handled. Also, very cleanly (relatively) and without violence (usually) at regular intervals every so many years, there is a peaceful introduction of those who the voters believe will do the job better than the last set. Then the process continues without skipping a beat.
America’s house may have a great many differences of opinion but we are not divided.
That brings up now the condition of Ukraine, the focus of this short essay. Once again Ukraine is politically in shambles. The country which follows (more or less) the president in Kiev is doing battle with a foreign invader, Russia – one of the most powerful countries in the world. Battling Russian separatists that are armed and aided by Vladimir Putin’s regime in Moscow, the battles go on. Now, in the midst of this crisis, the ruling coalition that is supporting the president is non-functioning and to be dissolved which could lead to early elections and now basically nothing will get done in a bureaucracy that wasn’t succeeding in doing much to begin with. Here is where the numbers and the mathematics become important.
Remember that America has 535 Congressmen (male and female) for 360 million citizens, a ratio of 673,000 to 1 and are divided basically into two parties. Ukraine, on the other hand, has 450 Parliamentarians for a country of 45.6 million citizens. Their ratio is approximately 101,000 to 1 (citizens to representatives).
Those 450 Parliamentarians are divided into 10 political parties
For a country whose population is 1/8 the size of the United States in population which would equate to roughly the populations of California and New Jersey together versus the entire US population, it has about the same number of law makers. However, instead of being more efficient and more personal because of the smaller person to legislature ratio, it is in complete disrepair because ten different political parties are all vying for power! And, the president of the country is trying to wage a war against a life-blood neighbor who is the second most powerful nation in the world, who controls Ukraine’s natural gas flow and must do so with not one single member of his own party in the Parliament. A nation divided against itself, will not stand.
In conclusion, to answer the question posed in the title of this essay: “How many politicians does it take to destroy a country?” The answer is, one – if the people let him get away with it.
We must never again sacrifice our principles in the name of tolerance and we should never resort to hate because of ignorance. Maintain who we are, strengthen who we will be, develop who we can be and exhibit to the world the foundation of our faith, unapologetically, with grace; the same amount of grace we are thankful God bestowed on us.
ON THE HOMEFRONT
Gilles de Kerchove,the EU Counterterrorism Coordinator declared before a UK Parliamentary hearing that the return of high risk, highly volatile Islamic extremists from Syria to the United Kingdom is “unprecedented. … All the reports I have seen suggest that it is becoming increasingly acute.” According to the Langley Intelligent Network, the British Home Office warned, “Dealing with terrorism in Syria is a very significant challenge due to the numbers of people fighting with the many Syria based terrorist groups, their proximity to the UK, ease of travel across porous borders and the ready availability of weapons.”[i]
What does this mean for the United States and its foreign policy particularly when it comes to dealing with international issues of terrorism and political unrest?
The current situation in Ukraine unveils the Russian bear, Vladimir Putin again showcasing the vulnerability of the United States and the weakness of this administration. It is a case in point of the inability of national governments to function effectively when leadership fails to adhere to the standards by which a citizenry can live in peace. There is no excuse that the citizens of Ukraine living on the peninsula of Crimea are suffering without water or electricity because their homeland has been invaded by an opposing army and no one has checked the violence brought by criminal elements acting under the direction of Vladimir Putin. A nation’s leadership will set the bar for its vulnerability whether international terrorism, crime or attack by foreign forces.
The same is true now for Great Britain. Parliament failed to act decades ago to stem the tide of Islamic extremists pouring across the borders, overwhelming communities, and degrading the legal and political system to their own advantage. The political correctness police have brought the British society to the point of near annihilation. Several British nationals have shared that they cannot even recognize London as their own any longer.
Feckless has become a term equated with the inability of the current Obama administration to be able to do anything to stand up against those forces that spit in the face of America. Recently, Retired Lt. Colonel Oliver North was quoted as making this very clear statement, “We don’t need a head of state who draws a phony red line with a pink crayon.”
What will it take for societies – that value freedom, democracy and, (whether they now admit it or not), have a foundation of Judeo-Christian values; to stand-up strong for those values that once made them great?
There has been a lot of blood spilled, not just over the centuries, but in these last two decades all in the name of Islam. If the hardline followers believe it to truly be a religion of peace, then how do they explain its resulting hardship, pain and grief particularly for their own people? Their own leadership has succeeded in embittering their people and reducing their lives to a struggle to survive. Never has there been a generation of harmony and peace between them and their neighbors for they define peace as only the total rule of Islam with total subjugation to their own rule, where no persons may live under another faith.
The African sub-Saharan is a primary example of the extremist mindset. Thousands of non-Muslim people, men, women and children are murdered in the most brutal of ways, without any shred of human dignity or compassion.
This piece is not, however, primarily a piece on the logic or the fundamentals of Islam. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of all comfort, the Father of all mercies (as Paul described him); never forced Himself on anyone. But, you say, in the ancient times the God of the Bible ordered entire populations killed in order to preserve His people ‘of the Book’, the Hebrews. I can only reply that in those instances, God, as sovereign with total right to reign over His creation, I believe knew the heart of every individual soul that perished and none were punished eternally that God was not fully aware of what was taking place and it was necessary for righteousness of His creation. Does that mean that children died naturally and were eternally separated from God? I believe that as God is a God of compassion and grace, no one was separated from Him eternally that was not fully capable of choosing to deny His grace.
God, Jehovah, was very clear that His people were not to allow themselves to be drawn away by other religions or gods; nor were they to allow those who taught such religions to take root within their communities. God’s people were (and are) to live among them in peace and if by the lives of the believers that they might win some, (those are Paul’s words). That was a good thing but to allow those who degraded and derided their faith, God would not allow for that. His patience is longsuffering and His grace sufficient but it is not without end. There will be a day when the doors shall be shut and the chances have run out.
To what end does this bring us? Here is a list: National governments who prey on and destroy their own people like Bashar al Assad and his cronies, even to the point of chemical weapons and mass murder. Egomaniacal dictators like Vladimir Putin whose demented mind at the age of a young teen even longed to be a KGB agent to strike fear into the hearts of those who trusted him. Inept novice rulers, like those atop the Ukrainian political rubble. Parliamentarians who have leaned so far left in the desire to be politically correct they have allowed themselves to be blinded to the eroding away of the very fabric of their Kingdom. Then there is the United States with a socialist president who believes that re-setting buttons with Putin, bowing before Middle Eastern royalty, backing down from countries like Iraq and Syria, turning his back on our only allied democratic nation in the Middle East who also happens to have the divine promise for those who aid Israel and the curse for those who fail to do so. And finally, the people of the United States who have stood back and allowed it to happen.
This is the list of the culpable. It is time to put a stop to the madness. Every citizen of each of the countries named here and, for that matter, every citizen of each of the countries not named here, should realize the important role – the absolutely critical role – that they have to set and maintain the standard for democracy, independence, and true freedom of religion. That means that each citizen may not only worship, in a house of worship as they choose (these are the limitations the Obama administration seeks for religious “freedom”) but to live out their faith within community. This requires, of course, that the Muslim has as much right to choose to live out his or her faith in peaceful accord with the remainder of society as does the Southern Baptist. I mentioned earlier that God required His people not to syncretize their faith with that of the other religions. But, Christ also modeled the ability to love people where they were and by love, show them the true faith.Strong, yet compassionate. We must never again sacrifice our principles in the name of tolerance and we should never resort to hate because of ignorance. Maintain who we are, strengthen who we will be, develop who we can be and exhibit to the world the foundation of our faith, unapologetically, with grace; the same amount of grace we are thankful God bestowed on us.
NATO has an obligation to the people of Ukraine. The United States has an obligation to the people of Ukraine. Not only them but to the people of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
Dr. Ross L. Riggs
We have had the pleasure of sharing through two different outlets – one is a blog that we have titled, The Ministry Minute and the other is our private investigative services (SCI) website. This day we find these two ventures not at cross-purposes certainly but both having something important to share. The messages are complementary.
As most of you, who follow us regularly, know… Doc has just returned from Latvia. The leaders of ABWE/CEEMed were holding their regular bi-annual meeting and considering the contingency options should Russia send troops further into Ukraine and incite a war. While Doc was there, a unit from the U.S. Army’s 82 Airborne arrived in Poland and a short time later another unit from the same battalion arrived in Latvia. Their arrival was a counter-response to Russia’s 40,000 troops on Ukraine’s Eastern border with Russia, who, of course, is maintaining that their presence there is simply for maneuvers. However, some reporters in Ukraine have made the comments that outside the small towns in the East that are occupied, life is pretty much going on as normal. They say that as long as the fighting is not on their doorstep; the locals can ignore it. IGNORE IT?! When they hear the sound of gun fire and explosions, do they understand that there is someone very nearby putting their life on the line for the freedom of those who are ignoring it!
Those comments caused me to reflect on a historical piece that I had read some years back regarding the U.S. Civil War battles that took place just outside the downtown area of Washington D.C. When the battles were about to be fought, the local ‘upper-class’ would come out in their fringed topped surreys with their picnic lunches and make an afternoon of it. The photographers would set up to record the events and painters with easels and pallets were ready to paint both the scenes of the battle and the picnickers; everyone oblivious to the carnage, the human suffering and the purpose for which these brave soldiers were fighting.
In Ukraine, two different sides are both arguing that they are fighting for freedom. One side, however, the ones who call themselves “separatists” are doing so in a criminal fashion with their identity hidden and wearing masks. Just yesterday, they reportedly kidnapped an entire busload of observers and have killed an unarmed politician who, it is reported, showed signs of being tortured before being dumped in the river. I really believe that these men and women who hide their faces in balaclavas and wear uniforms without markings are cowards and have a puppeteer by the name of Putin in Moscow.
NATO has an obligation to the people of Ukraine. The United States has an obligation to the people of Ukraine. Not only them but to the people of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. I have heard people try to argue some fine point of NATO jurisdiction when none of that matters. First, what matters is that the people who have lived in the sovereign nation of Ukraine deserve to be free from the fear that at any moment troops will storm into their towns and their homes and put them in harm’s way. Whether the troops are wearing the insignia of the Russian Federation, black balaclavas designed to conceal their identity; or, for that matter, the insignia of their own country of Ukraine, the citizens have an inalienable right to be secure in their persons and property. It would be a strong step in the right direction if they also had a constitution that would guarantee this right.
The United States government must offer more than six hundred troops as a ‘show of force.’ Granted they are some of the very best trained infantry units on the face of the earth but, come on, 300 U.S. Troops in Poland, 300 U.S. Troops in Latvia and 40,000 Russian troops on the Russian border…Hello?
Please understand that I do not profess to be an objective reporter of the ‘appropriate truth.’ I will not report or repeat what might be a lie but, I also do not shirk from sharing my opinion through the ministry blog if there is information that is necessary for your safety as we discuss issues of national security. Now is one of those times. I will not try to be politically correct if that equates to skirting around the real truth in order to appease some group. Rather, if it is important to share what is happening with an issue that the media is not saying because of their bias; then, as I have the facts, to the best of my ability I will share them with you. I do it only in the case where I believe that getting such information out there is important to the cause of freedom. I have watched hour’s worth of Putin Propaganda through the Russian Television Network. RTI acts like a news outlet but they are more biased than even the worst that CNN has ever put forward. And people of the world are buying it. America is suffering because of it because we do not have an administration in Washington that says or does anything that would repudiate it. More than anything the actions and words from the administration seem to reinforce the trash that RTI is putting out in e broadcasts. Please note, even as I share these views here in this instance, I will not ‘preempt’ my Bible time for it. The principle point of the ministry blog is ministry.
With that said, it is important to go back to a point I made earlier about the obligation that the U.S. and NATO countries have to protect the people of Ukraine. In 1991 when the U.S. brokered a deal with Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia to turn the nuclear weapons that were within their rights as sovereign nations to keep. These were nuclear weapons that had been deployed on their soil by the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic. Then, when ‘the wall fell’ and the U.S.S.R. no longer existed as a legal entity, by international law each country had every right to keep or broker whatever deal they chose for the weapons. With the Hungary Accord, the promise of protection was created. The U.S. and NATO nations made a pact with each of these countries that the US and NATO would rise to their defense if Russia broke the accord and either used or threatened to use those weapons against them or if they failed to respect the sovereign borders of those nations. Russia can trump up all the bogus reasons they want about having to come to the defense of Russian speaking people (who are not citizens of Russia) claiming that the Ukrainian government is not protecting them adequately. It means nothing as far as giving any nation the right to invade another without international agreement of crimes against humanity. It would be like Mexican forces invading the U.S. because they alleged we were ill-treating the Spanish speaking population here in the U.S. Witnesses reported that when Russian troops initially entered Crimea they immediately began handing out documentation of Russian citizenship for whoever wanted it. This was to supposedly reinforce Russia’s new found ‘right’ to protect these ‘citizens.’ This argument is so incredulous it hardly bears repeating, in fact, one would worry that by even mentioning it would somehow give it more credence than it has; if any. What is that old blues song of the 70’s “Nothing from Nothing Leaves Nothing”?
The glaring principle here stands like the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. So at the risk of offending the elephant, allow me to talk about it. Russian troops have been occupying Crimea now for three weeks plus and where is NATO? The American Air Force General in charge of NATO has made some preliminary comments and indicates that there are options available but nothing further has come out of NATO. A quick visit to Kiev by the Vice President and then one by Secretary of State John Kerry, each with some rhetoric about sanctions and then they left. And the American President, where is he? He is taking a turn in Asia. The primary issue, we are told is that Russia hopes to disrupt the May elections in Ukraine. The interim-president of Ukraine is holding things together by some kind of a thread. The initial actions by the Ukraine military units to try to retake the eastern towns held by separatists was less than stellar. Might I suggest that President Obama allow his egg drop soup to drop and get back to the business of being a President in charge of a country with men and women under arms with an obligation to protect human beings, citizens under siege in a land we have sworn to protect?
When we reflect on the faith aspects of this issue, I can tell you that even as Jesus said we are to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, to pray for those in power in government and Paul wrote that we were to, as much as possible, live at peace with all men; we must also go to the second greatest commandment according to our Lord; Love thy neighbor as thyself. In this case, Ukrainians are our neighbors and we should be about the task of loving them. But, you argue, are not the Russians our neighbors as well? I would answer that all men are our neighbors and love does not shirk from the responsibility of tough love, of consequences for wrong actions, or protection of one neighbor over the aggression of another who is in the wrong. In our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, the last line is “and to the Republic for which she stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” I understand the context of that being the citizens of America but I also can extrapolate it to the logical conclusion that all of mankind is our brotherhood we must not continue to isolate ourselves from the debate but actively engage, as Christians, as Americans, as human beings tied to every other human being as with were through Adam, the first Ada and Jesus Christ, the last Adam. I have much more to say, another day, about the atrocities against Christians on the African continent. For now, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Ukraine and in Russia. We pray for our American and NATO forces for their protection and their success and that a peaceful resolution can be obtained for the sake of all; one that respects all of the sovereign territory of Ukraine.
But this Resurrection Morning, April 20, 2014 I write with a very heavy heart because you see, another type of discovery was made this time just outside of Jewish synagogues in the Crimea.
Soviet Anti-Semites Deny Jewish
Heroism in War time circa 1946
“In January 1948 Solomon Mikhoels, a popular actor-director of the Moscow State Jewish Theater and the chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, was killed in a staged car accident. Mass arrests of prominent Jewish intellectuals and suppression of Jewish culture followed under the banners of campaign against “rootless cosmopolitans” and anti-Zionism. On 12 August 1952, in the event known as the Night of the Murdered Poets, thirteen most prominent Yiddish writers, poets, actors and other intellectuals were executed on the orders of Joseph Stalin, among them Peretz Markish, Leib Kvitko, David Hofstein, Itzik Feffer and David Bergelson. In the 1955 UN Assembly‘s session a high Soviet official still denied the “rumors” about their disappearance.
In 2012, Yad Vashem began releasing more than a million new testimonial pages about Jews in the Soviet Union that are expected to help researchers measure the scope of persecution and extermination of Jews in the former Soviet Union.“(1)
Right now, as I write these words, there are Christians at the Garden Tomb just outside of Jerusalem celebrating the most magnificent act of love and grace the world will ever know – it is Resurrection Morning in Jerusalem! Praise Be to God! But this Resurrection Morning, April 20, 2014 I write with a very heavy heart because you see, another type of discovery was made this time just outside of Jewish synagogues in the Crimea. According to a USA Today report, as Jewish worshippers left the synagogue they were met by people handing out flyers to each of them. They were being ordered to report to the Russian authorities and register their families, the addresses, a list of all of their property and proof of citizenship. They were warned that if they failed to do so they would have their passports and citizenship revoked and their property confiscated. The only thing missing was the time of their curfew and their being ordered to wear a ‘Jude’ star identifying them as Jewish. Where is the worldwide outcry? According to the media U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made known his displeasure at the announcement. Heaven forbid that the U.S. Secretary of State boil over and call the anti-Semite acts the horrific crimes against humanity that they are! Whether they are carried out by Putin himself or some radicalized group of Russian citizens of Crimea acting on Putins orders, it might even warrant hearing some measured disdain from President Obama himself. The Nation of Israel did step up, as they always do, and rightfully declared the horrid nature of this crime, but the world seems to turn a deaf ear (See: Chamberlain – comma, Berlin – comma, Hitler – comma, 1938 – comma, Peace in Our Time – comma…)
I do not write this to rain on anyone’s Easter Parade. Today, in the Christian world is a time of celebration of our Savior, but it is also a day to remember that our Savior, the Son of God determined to come to earth as a Jewish carpenter. Maybe, as we celebrate here in the United States this Resurrection Morning in just a few hours, just maybe, this should be a picture in our minds..
with the declaration… “NEVER AGAIN”