WAR ZONE

I have written in past days about my first experiences in Bosnia Herzegovina not very long after the cessation of open war. I use the term open war because the hatred and the racial and societal issues still divide the country and corruption stops any real forward progress in defeating the enemy.

It is difficult to describe a war zone. The buildings that once were homes, businesses, churches are just bombed out shells, with no life save the foraging insects and vermin that root among the remains looking for what else they can devour.

A hand painted sign reading welcome to Sarajevo covered in shrapnel caused pock-marks
Iconic Sarajevo sign 1995

Where people still reside, apartment buildings have shell holes that allow in the winter wind and the outside is pock-marked, the results of shrapnel tearing apart at the structure trying to weaken it.

There is a stark analogy between the physical war zone I witnessed in Sarajevo and remote areas of the countryside and the spiritual battles we face today. In Bosnia, no place was left untouched. Specific places had horrific stories of hate-driven carnage and we see the same in the battles Satan wages upon our world. I have felt the darkness of Satan’s demonic power more in Bosnia than anywhere else I have traveled but, it is only because there the mask of civilization was ripped away, and Satan’s plans were open for anyone to see. In the rest of our world, often, we keep the mask of civility and Satan’s attacks are, perhaps, not unseen, but unnoticed  by an uncaring society too wrapped in their own pain and secular drives to respond.

In the Bible we read, Satan is a roaring lion, prowling around seeing whom he may devour, just like the vermin crawling among the carnage of Bosnia’s war. Paul tells us our war is not against flesh and blood but “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12)

A fierce looking lion crouched as if to pounce surrounded by a black background with the words Our Adversary the Devil

God has permitted Satan to have dominion over the world until the time He finishes it and brings Satan to destruction and all who believe in Christ are His forever in peace. God waits, not because He is cruel but because He is patient and loving. Peter explains it, writing that God is “not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”(2 Peter 3:9)

Until then, as one writer put it, “Satan’s attack means that we all are vulnerable to sickness, betrayal, financial meltdown, relational loss, emotional despair and other hardships… bad things happen to good people… we live in a war zone. There will be casualties.” (Rooted, Mariners Church 2011 p 85)

In our spiritual battles, there will be homes empty, just shells remaining where once there were families. There will be businesses and churches gone, only the few, scattered remains from a bombing by sin and failure. Where people still reside, there will be shell holes letting in the cold winter wind, chilling the soul and hardening the heart; the explosive remains of  damaged relationships, lost trust and horrific sin. The lives of those struggling to survive are pock-marked by the shrapnel of sin which has left its mark upon them.

There is hope.

The damage of war can be overcome and what was once uninhabitable shells of homes and broken down lives can come to life again like spring after a hard winter. The refreshing breeze of peace and love that comes only from Jesus Christ through His victory over death and sin.  When it coms to spiritual battles, as the ‘Rooted’ book spells out, “And (the Lord) wins. Every. Single. Time.” (p 85)

Someone once wrote how, in the darkest of places, a single candle burns brightest. I saw such a candle in Bosnia. It came in the form of a simple, unpretentious man who loved His Lord and loved every single person God sent his way in a very dark place. The flame of his candle lit many small candles which will burn for generations when the Spirit moves to set those candles within His lampstand.

A completely dark black frame with one bright flame from a candle visible in the darkness

John writes, “We know that we are children of God and that the world is under the control of the evil one.” That is disconcerting to say the least. But in context, we find hope. The verse just before this one reads, “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God (that’s Jesus)keeps him (that’s you if you truly believe)and the evil one (that’s Satan) does not touch him. Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world, but the Good News is that Jesus has overcome the world! He said so! Jesus doesn’t lie. Satan’s attacks will be all around us, but as believers, saved by grace through faith, even if we die because of a sinful world’s sickness, we are safe, secure, in heaven forever with Him.   

We live in a war zone. Live under the banner of the victor. Take heed to what He teaches about daily survival and keep a long-view, looking toward the completion of all things under Christ.

THE LAST BREATH

It’s been said our great flag flies not by the wind which rustles the leaves;

But, with the very last breath every fallen soldier breathes.

When on nights, so cold the air freezes in your chest, the flag flies high and brings a tightness to your breast,

Then come the memories of those past wars, the wounds, the faces and the scars.

Each one is reflected in the colored stripes and bold stars.

Every generation past and yet to come, will certainly be asked

To share their best for freedom and faithfully complete the task.

They’ll keep the flag flying with a fresh and freeing breeze… not by death; but, by freedom from the highest mountains to the seas!

Perspective

Min Minute Military logo

This evening my son and I, with his Mom and another young war veteran, were sharing stories. Daniel related how the unit to which he had been assigned the 1-325th Red Falcons of the 82nd Airborne had recently been deployed to the Middle East. A young lieutenant that Daniel had gotten to know a little before he retired from the unit was killed by an IED. He shared how another soldier with whom he had gone through boot camp had been assigned to the Old Guard, the troops whose mission is to guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and provide honor guards at the Arlington National Cemetery. That young soldier had just committed suicide because of the bullying and hazing he had endured in the unit.

So often, once we have a name for something, we sort of consider it solved. Such is the case with PTSD, Post-Truamatic Stress Disorder. There, you see, we named it and now we know it so we don’t need to do any more with it. We can kind of tuck it away in the corner of our sub-conscious until we hear of the next young soldier’s death due to hazing and bulllying and we nod our heads knowingly. If so and so had just gotten some help for his PTSD maybe his suicide would not have happened, we say. That makes for an easy perspective when it isn’t your son, your husband, your father. Now my son owns two wrist bands, silver and shiny. Etched in them are the names of his battle buddy and of his Lieutenant.  It made me recall the POW/MIA bracelets of the late 60’s and early 70’s. I wonder whatever happened to mine? I began to wonder whatever became of my MIA… perspective.

The young veteran with whom we were talking shared how he hoped that when the tatoo he was in the process of getting down his arm is finished there will be a worn American flag there. Underneath the  flag will be the words, “Lest We Forget”… perspective.

Very recently, I attended a memorial service for a young firefighter, killed senselessly in a one car traffic crash. His 8-year-old son. who was also in the truck. was treated and released. I watched that young boy stand strong and true at the service, as I’m sure hie believed would make his daddy proud. I wondered about where he wouled be in ten years… perspective.

Quite some time ago I began work on my certification for trauma counseling for frist respoonders and for veterans and military personnel. But, I got busy. There was no deadline so I pushed it aside. Then, after awhile it made its way to my side table and then my bookshelf. It’s back on my desk again and that is the result of perspective.

Murder of the Masses

That ISIS has been confirmed to have used and is continuing to use chemical weapons is not particularly surprising news. That it was just admitted before the Senate Armed Services Committee by the U.S.’s top intelligence official, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in his report on the growth of ISIS and that he did not specify when nor where the attacks occurred is also not surprising. Particularly since Syrian forces have used chemical weapons against the opposition on multiple occasions, it is perhaps something we should be expecting. ISIL (another acronym for ISIS only identifying those living within the Levant) has used toxic chemicals in Iraq and Syria, including the blister agent Sulfur mustard, according to Mr. Clapper.

Last summer there was documentation by FoxNews of Kurds in northern Iraq being the test subjects for ISIS experimentation with chemical weapons. They suffered burns and blistering on the skin. The weapon was odorless and colorless while being absorbed through the skin. A silent killer who stalks its prey while remaining totally invisible.

Damascus has been using chemical weapons against the Syrian opposition and on civilians even though it had agreed two years ago to reduce its stockpile.  Below is a photo of Syrian refugees in Damascus. In such an environment, there is no protection from an attack by an invisible weapon.

 

According to Mr. Clapper, the recent use by ISIS of chemical weapons is the worst since the Sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway which killed 12, severely injured 50 and left some 1,000 people with temporary vision impairment in March of 1995.

As horrendous as such reports are, we must remember King Solomon’s instruction that there is nothing new under the sun. Pictured below is an artist’s rendering of a massacre of the Seneca Indians by British forces during the French and Indian Wars (1754-1763). The massacre was ordered by British General Lord Jeffery Amherst. He instructed his Lieutenant Grimble to destroy their huts and plantations, putting to death any of that Nation that may fall into your hands.

Seneca Indian Massacre

Massacre of Seneca Indians by order of General Amherst

General Lord Amherst described the Seneca Indians as “the vilest race of beings that ever infested the earth and whose riddance from it must be esteemed a meritorious act for the good of mankind.” (The Weekly Standard, February 2016)

What was it about the attack that puts it into the realm of chemical weapons, or better described as germ warfare? General Amherst ordered that the troops were to take the smallpox infested blankets from the diseased and dying at Fort Pitt and have them distributed among the Indians. Chemical warfare whether by mustard gas disseminated by explosive ordnance or small pox virus spread by infected blankets given to unsuspecting Indians are both just as deadly.

Regardless of Lord Amherst’s depiction of the Seneca tribe, they have a rich and proud heritage. A confederacy of six nations, the Seneca have a democratic form of government that pre-dates the American U.S. Constitution. Seneca Nation

Incredibly, in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts, named after General Lord Jeffrey Amherst is Amherst College that is a private school, opened in 1821 (although the seal shown below denotes 1825 which may have been when it changed from an Academy to a College) with a goal of an education on par with William and Mary College, focused on Christian ministry. Until recently, a laughable caricature costume of General Lord Jeffrey was the school’s mascot. Delving into his actual history, the board has banned any likeness of Lord Jeffrey on campus.

AmherstLord Jeff

There is no humane war. The death of one’s mortal enemy is not only a requirement for victory if war was not able to be averted.It is the goal of the soldier to, as General Patton put it,  “let the other dumb (expletive) die for his country!” To inflict upon the enemy such a horrific cost in lives, property, and economy is necessary for the successful execution of a war plan. To have rules of engagement does not make war civilized, just civil. The killing by nerve gases, germs or other silent chemicals is outside the bounds of what is acceptable even in war. That also includes the protection of non-combatants whether they be women and children or other refugees. Killing those who are completely defenseless must remain outside the bounds of what is civil.

Three million plus Syrian refugees are flooding Europe and are coming to the U.S. too. On top of those numbers, one can add the Cuban refugees which are hitting US shores in record numbers. Annually, America takes in over 70,000 refugees from around the world and that number is going to increase exponentially. Our system is soon to be overwhelmed and security officials say that the threat of terrorists being among those allowed to enter. Such events place the onus even more firmly upon local governments, communities, businesses and industry and even neighborhoods to combat terrorists and to find them and stop them before they wreak any more havoc upon our nation.

There is nothing new under the sun and we must be students of history to know what all those things are and how best to combat them. Please be on the watch for my soon to be published book: Stretching the Thin Blue Line: Policing America in Times of Heightened Threat by Motivational Press

East Jerusalem Attacks Intensifies Shadow Wars Within the Country

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By considering the most recent attacks, there are two primary concerns that can shed light on the dark places where the shadow warriors plan. There is darkness in the hatred fueled by lies. There is darkness in the vicious attacks that turns hatred into violence. Expats who are called to battle the shadow wars do so by bringing light to the dark places within the parameters of calculated risk.
The recent attacks in East Jerusalem bring into focus the problem that Benjamin Netanyahu has in the battle that Israel faces against lone-wolf terrorists whether they are homicide bombers or murderers out for a spree killing. The most recent attack was the brutal murder of two Orthodox Rabbis by two Arab cousins, Uday and Ghassan Abul Jamal who appear to have been neighbors of the Synagogue in the predominantly Arab southern East Jerusalem area of Jabel Mukaber. The media has picked up on the term grass-roots terrorist attacks. Such attacks have become the core of the shadow wars.
Recent reports have focused on a two-pronged problem for the Israeli government. The first is the random nature of the events carried out without what seems to be any serious pre-planning but are spontaneous attacks of opportunity fueled by systemic hatred agitated by virulent propaganda. If it were possible to stop the flow of the propaganda, it may be possible to reduce the number of attacks. The apparent lack of planning or at least any sophistication in planning is evidenced by the use of weapons at hand and targets of opportunity. It also signals something deeper. There must be a source of fuel for the fire of anti-Israeli hatred. That fuel is being supplied in large degree by known sources of anti-Israel propaganda. The most obvious means for Israel’s President to deal with them is to shut them down unequivocally. Hunting down the source of the propaganda would intensify the media driven strong-arm reputation of Israel’s security forces. As effective as such a hunt might be, the focus will be negative particularly because it will be centered on those exercising their ‘rights’ to express an opinion. The hunt for the propaganda purveyors would result as well in two other concerns:
1) The international community would have one more reason to ostracize the nation (assuming they need a reason at this point)
2) If the government shuts down one source of the propaganda another crops up. As with the Hydra, cutting off one of the many heads not only allows the others to continue to operate but it immediately springs two new ones who might take weeks for the intelligence to re-locate.
Shadow wars thrive on lies.
Re-Tooling a Previously Successful Response to the Shadow Wars
Beginning in the 1970s and through the 1980s Israel was dealing frequently with homicide bombers usually from the propagandized militant loners who sought to take a stand or make their mark against what they saw as an Israeli occupation.
It took some time and a great number of lives for Israel and the IDF and others to determine the only course of action that would effectively stop the onslaught quickly and reduce the number of civilian casualties. An automatic green light was built into the op-plan; immediately upon gaining target acquisition on the homicide bomber the first unit to engage would take him out. There was to be no discussion, no negotiation simply target acquired/threat neutralized. There are two striking differences between the two types of attacks.
1. The current attacks seem to be a blitz type assault. The assailant(s) arrive on–scene, enter and begin the attack whereas the homicide

bomber (that could be neutralized) arrived on-scene, made his presence known and then waited for a response from someone.

2. The targets of the homicide bombers appear to have been planned. That pre-planning sometimes gave the slimmest chance for the IDF to

intercept their  targets. These new assaults appear to not to be pre-planned. In the most recent attacks there was no information that would have given

investigators any direction to send them for a pre-emptive strike.
The Israel population has been an effective part of the stemming the tide of homicide bomber operations by immediately reporting anything suspicious. On more than one occasion, a local citizen seeing something even remotely suspicious warned those in the area and notified authorities. Those precious seconds were the difference between an effective intervention and a deadly attack. The question becomes, “Is it possible to help citizens identify this new threat quickly enough to make an educated report to authorities?”
The Arab-Israeli citizens have lived within a conundrum. They live freely and openly in a society that they are told they should hate. They live in a country from whom they hold a passport, a citizenship, and see as a homeland that has provided all of their basic needs including healthcare throughout their lives. As an Arab they are told they must hate these people who are their neighbors, co-workers, and friends. The people who are telling them these things have never provided for them any of the necessities just described. They have never provided even a modicum of such stability to their kinsmen who live outside of Israel but within the Palestinian controlled regions.
In 2013, there were an estimated 1,658,000 Arab Israeli citizens (also called Palestinian Arabs in Israel) which is almost 21% of the total Israel population. For the most part they peacefully co-exist. This, we are certain, drives the Palestinian leaders crazy; hence, the continual on-slaught of Israel hate propaganda. What the Arabs, who are not Israeli citizens, need more than a propaganda pushing proletariat are real leaders who genuinely care about their people. Perhaps then the grass-roots events will be more productive than destructive. Until that happens, the President of Israel will always be battling a shadow war.
AN EXPAT RESPONSE to THE SHADOW WARS
The Apostle Paul makes the case for the work that he does and the effort that he puts forth. He does not waste his time nor his effort with things that are futile. He gives his full strength and devotion to the work. The analogy is from his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul writes, “Therefore, I run thus; not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” He also explains that when a soldier prepares for war he must be free of those things that would distract him from the battle. A distracted soldier puts himself, his squad and the objective at risk.
Expats that are missionaries are residing within a country where they have chosen to live for the purpose of serving Christ and His church. Their objective is cause enough to willingly risk their safety and perhaps that of their family. Dr. Riggs makes it very clear in his work: “In Times of Crisis” the biblical principles and countless examples by giants of the faith which show that when risk taking is necessary, they are calculated risks. Knowing that God has called you to a particular people and He has asked you to serve in areas of unrest during times of increased trouble; His promises to be with you always are very clear. The Bible never guarantees physical safety but rather informs His followers that they should not fear what man can do to them. True Christians can know that their eternal safety is secure. There remains two primary considerations with which every expat living in troubled circumstances must wrestle.

1. How does my staying when times are explosively unsteady balance against my first responsibility to my family? (This does not specifically

require that the expat have children with them on the field but there are extended family members as well to be considered.)
2. How does my staying or my leaving impact the national believers with whom I work?
a. Am I putting them in more danger, being a westerner affiliated with them? Am I painting a target on them, so to speak, if I stay?
b. If there is no risk of added danger, does my leaving negatively affect the Gospel message?

The attacks during the fall of 2014 by ISIS or The Islāmic State against Christians is unparalleled since the Romans lay siege against the few remaining Jews atop Engedi after slaughtering Jews across Palestine and throughout Jerusalem in the latter half of the first century. More Christians have been murdered for their faith in the Twentieth Century than in all the 19 previous centuries combined. The 21st Century is setting a trend that will cause it to far out-distance even the 20th Century for violence against Christians. At the same time, when Christians become targets of terrorists, it is important to remember that terrorists kill indiscriminately.
It matters not to them whether Islāmic children are killed or Jewish as well as Christian women and children. Their desire to control by striking such intense, paralyzing fear into the hearts and minds of the public precludes them having any heart for those who are dying.
There is but one complete solution to the Shadow Wars. Never will the Israeli President be able to stem the flow of the lies being spoken and printed about Israel. No matter how well trained, how fast the response or how actively the citizens of Israel become in aiding the authorities to stop the homicide attacks; they will continue – though hopefully at a reduced number. The only possible source of peace from the Shadow Wars is from the One who is the light of the world, the Prince of Peace. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

THREAT to AMERICA: Islamic State (ISIS) outside the Levant (al Sham)

9-11 Never Forget 9-11 Never Forget

The Ministry Minute: When there’s Only a Minute for Ministry

Ministry Minute

Ministry Minute

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Dr. ROSS L. RIGGS

 

 

 

 

 

THREAT to AMERICA:

ISLAMIC STATE (IS – ISIS/ISIL)  OUTSIDE the LEVANT (al SHAM)

 

 

 

Arrow Diagram Threat to America

Arrow Diagram Threat to America

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JOINING FORCES: SCI Takes a MINUTE with Us

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.

Godspeed.

BOSTON BOMBERS’ PLAN INTERCEPTED BY MOSCOW

FSB logomoscowKgb logo

TODAY Reuters and Voice of Russia Reported that  Tapes Including the Boston Bombers and their Mother Talking Plans of JIHAD!

News source, that spoke on the condition of anonymity, announced today that intercepted telephone conversations between the Boston Bombers and their mother as they spoke of planning jihad action against Boston and against New York’s Times Square were turned over to the FBI. The first conversation was recorded between one of the brothers and their mother as early as 2011. It was reported by sources earlier this week that the boys’ mother, Zubeydat Tsarnaev, had pushed at least the eldest son toward Islamic Jihad. With three dead and over 200 gravely wounded, it is not certain the veracity of reports that they were planning on completing their bombing campaign with attacks in Times Square. Authorities have not responded to direct inquiries regarding the further plans of the two that could have included suicide by cop as an attempt at martyrdom. The elder brother, Tamerlan, did just that on April 19th succombing to his multiple gunshot wounds at a Boston hospital shortly after a shoot-out with police.. The second brother, Dzhokhar, was arrested on April 20th after a storied chase and search for him by police. The way in which he fought to get away and hide even when cornered indicates he must not have been quite ready for martyrdom.

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva

Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, proud mother of Boston bombers  Photo: Reuters – Will she receive a lifetime financial benefit from AQAP as reward for pushing her sons to commit mass murder? At what point does a mothers’ heart do such a thing? How much money does it take? Could it really be such a devotion for a religion that practices barbaric forced sterilization on women, binds them in centuries of oppressive tradition and allows children to set a bomb at the feet of an 8 year old boy? This is all from the Allah they worship, the same who will arbitrarily decide whether to send a believer to his hell regardless of how pious a life has been led…  color us confused, and saddened, very saddened.

In a related post on the network between Chechnyan Muslims and AQAP (Al Qaeda on the Arabian Penninsula), Dr. Ross Riggs of Security Consulting Investigations, wrote that “It is within this context that Americans must now understand  their risk matrix is expanded by the probability of further attacks  against the U.S. by members of these Chechnyan groups that may well be  underwritten by some faction of Al Qaeda. A likely scenario is that the  AQAP (Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula) is the state sponsor of this  recent series of events in Massachusetts. An official situation report  states that the Boston attacks had “…unmistakable parallels with the  smaller scale terrorist attacks that radical Islamist groups based in  Yemen and Pakistan have attempted in the United States since 2001.” The situation report quoted here agrees with the analysis of the GCIS and  its Executive Council that groups such as AQAP and others have moved  toward smaller attacks that can be perpetrated by small cells operating  virtually independent of the team.”

As difficult as it may be for many Americans to understand the mindset that allows a mother to push her two children to commit mass murder and suicide for the sake of a “religion of peace,” even more daunting questions must be brought forward. If in fact, Russia has had these tapes of the conversations for two years, why do they just show up now? Why, if the FBI was notified by the FSB (former KGB) three years ago of intelligence on the two brothers and perhaps the parents, why were they not located then by the FBI and fully investigated and deported or charged? Reports to the media suggest they were never truly investigated. How is that possible? There is talk that at least one of the family, perhaps the mother, was on a no-fly list? And the father, returned to Chechnya; but the family continues here? The sons are here attending prestigious prep and high schools and then the extremely expensive universities that most American teens could never dream of  getting a scholarship to or even be considered in the first place. Were the Tsarnaeva brothers really that smart? Their escape “planning” doesn’t seem to verify that…. or were they backed by money from elsewhere and a complicit university system perhaps closes its eyes when funding comes from a person, place, entitiy or government that is known to be on the US Terrorist Watch List? When dad left to go back to Chechnya, was that a connection for furthering training, obtaining weapons and explosives or was he getting out of the country in preparation for the attacks? So many questions.

There are certainly, it seems, more questions than answers at this point. As additional revelations come out regarding the information that should have been known by authorities in the U.S. under this Administration’s watch, where is the public outcry, so incredibly silent since Benghazi? How many more little fellas need to lose their lives? How many more U.S. Ambassadors must be killed and shamefully dragged through the streets? Counterterrorism officers, federal agents, U.S. military and law enforcement officers work night and day trying to hold back the flood gates but their are too many holes in the dyke to be plugged, too few fingers to do the plugging. When will the American people get angry?Americans should be angry at the enemies of this nation who attack us and then take our “humanitarian aide” and angry at our President and Congress for sitting on their hands. When will Americans agree to  STAND UP WITH our friends, such as Israel and tell our enemies, like Iran and North Korea to SIT DOWN!… if they will not sit, then we shall knock them down?!

PC should be an electronic marvel that sits on my desk in my study – it should NOT be what drives our country’s foreign affiars, our military planning, our police officers’ responses, our immigration policy, and our safety as Americans.

In the iconic movie of the 1960’s,Green Beret, John Wayne plays Col. Kirby a strong leader in a tough war. At one point he tells his troops, “Remember, the word is alert!” It should not be necessary for SCI and others under our flag to remind the citizens that we are at war, but sometimes in the push of life, that happens. Our cops, firefighters, first responders, federal agents and military are all acutely aware of it. Maybe its time that someone tells the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and those at Capitol Hill the news.

Failed Safe

dmz DE-MILITARIZED ZONE: JULY 27, 1953 – the ceasefire began…

Battling since June 25, 1950 soldiers from both North Korea and China had relentlessly sought to over power the armies of the democratically free South Korea and their international allies including the United States. That CEASEFIRE may be cancelled – March 2013 – four months shy of 60 years that it has held.  The Korean War never ended. There was no victor. There was no treaty. Only a cease-fire brought relative normalcy back to the peninsula. Now… it could all erupt into war. This time a threat of nuclear war looms large.  North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, has threatened to begin hostilities anew after international action has been taken in the form of sanctions following the nation’s third nuclear test in February. According to ‘The Blaze’ “Without elaborating, the Korean People’s Army Supreme Command warned of “surgical strikes” meant to unify the divided Korean Peninsula and of an indigenous, “precision nuclear striking tool.”   The threats fall upon those guarding the De-militarized Zone (DMZ) particularly U.S. forces there with a heavy hand. Reports have indicated that present at the last North Korean nuclear test was Iran’s nuclear scientists, validating a suspicion that the two countries have been working together to build some form of immediate nuclear strikes capability against both South Korea and Israel.  It is not certain what might take place over the next several days. The 1963 film, Fail Safe, showed a calm and collected President (Henry Fonda) sitting in a nuclear bunker far underground beneath the White House negotiating with a calm and strikingly rational Russian leader analyzing the options with Fonda as the clock ticks down to when the nuclear bombs would fall on Moscow.  Fonda, to prevent a massive counter strike by Moscow sends his own U.S. planes to drop a nuclear bomb directly on New York City as a show of good faith that the bombing of Moscow was unintentional. It was part of the drama that the President’s wife happened to be where the bomb would go off when he dropped it. The key difference between the film and today’s drama is that both sides in the movie were acting calmly and wisely. That is not something we can expect out of either Kim or Ahmadinejad. Maybe it is time someone with some better sense picked up the phone.

1964 Movie - Nuclear War -last chance dmz fonda

An American’s Response to His Government

 

“God forbid that we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion.” – Thomas Jefferson[i] 

To what was Thomas Jefferson referring? A dozen years following the Declaration of Independence, a dispute exacerbated by poor economic conditions led some folks, particularly of Massachusetts, to rebel. The outbreak of violence, known as Shay’s Rebellion, stirred leaders to call a convention to establish a Constitution rather than the Articles of Confederation and to promote inter-state trade. The rebellion was quickly quelled and only a few lives were lost; eventually President Washington pardoned those convicted of treason citing that it was ignorance not malevolence that encouraged them to action.

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Still, one wonders how a man like Jefferson who sought always after a peaceful life surrounded by nature and his love of architecture could promote rebellion within the U.S.

Thomas Jefferson feared the lethargy of the people over a rebellion conspired by discontent. He believed that usually the discontent will be from the ignorance of some, they being misinformed of the propriety of certain government actions. He writes:

“The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.”[ii]

Lethargy of the citizenry should be feared more than insurrection. How lethargic is the population of the U.S. in 2013? (Notice, I did not ask if they are lethargic.) In today’s modern world, men often believe themselves well informed if only they drink of the pablum of mainstream media. It is possible however, with some effort to be accurately informed on the issues of state. If they are well-informed and thereby discontented, assured of the legitimacy under the Constitution of their stand; would Jefferson still be inclined to give them a free pass for rebellion? I believe he would based on his own writings wherein he has questions himself on the legitimacy of the actions of some and even questions concerning the Constitution. (Contrary to popular understanding, Jefferson was not involved in the writing of the Constitution directly though his thoughts on limited federal government and power in the hands of the people is certainly part and parcel of the document.) His strongest argument in support of revolution, however, is not a desire for anarchy but his fear of the lethargy of the people. That would be America’s death sentence.

Jefferson is often quoted from this same letter about the tree of liberty and it needing to be refreshed from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants. A realist, Jefferson saw that revolt was more critical than peace if that peace is promoted by the people’s lethargy. He reasoned that if an uprising of the people cost a few lives then a few in consideration of the greater citizenry was not critical. Few quote the next sentence from the ‘tree of liberty’ portion of the letter. Please, allow me:

“It is its natural manure.” [iii]