Reflecting Further

For me, the line in the sand of the Arabian deserts is drawn with two sticks. One stick is the expansion… of Iran’s nuclear capability…The second stick is… in the hands of a young American soldier in the desert with a wife and child back home in the States.

Recently I posted a blog about a Bully… In it I wrote:

 If there are any U.S. veterans or current military personnel out there not completely livid with the actions of this Congress to limit our military’s right to defend itself and our Commander in Chief’s right to exercise that military to protect others and America’s interests,  I have got to hear from you… I look across the Middle East and I have to ask myself, who has allowed this 3rd world upstart of a country to gain such bully status? Although it is the second largest country in the Middle East, it is barely larger in square miles than our single state of Alaska!…

Iran has permitted the likes of the Taliban, ISIS, and al Qaeda while building a nuclear capability allied with North Korea, Russia and China.  

Here is where we find ourselves on 10 January 2020… Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday that ballistic missile attacks targeting U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq Wednesday morning were “a slap in the face” to the United States.

IRAN – the BULLY in the neighborhood… Why? Because we are allowing it. The ruling Ayatollah and those loyal to him are killing their own people, jailing those who object and it is morally wrong for those in Congress to hamper the legitimate efforts of our military and its Commander in Chief to do everything it can to protect the lives of American soldiers who are in harm’s way, American citizens and private individuals in Iraq and those in Iran who choose to stand against the ruling regime. The Ayatollah has vowed to pursue nuclear weapons with the only goal of striking against America and Israel. At what point will our Congress wake up rather than be ‘woke’?

And I put in this plea:  Remember the name of each and every Representative and Senator who has voted to keep our military from being able to defend themselves when you go next to the ballot box.

I’ve been giving a great bit of thought to things even as the circus of impeachment continues and members of Congress are so far out of touch with America and its people, it is scary. There is another side of the Iran issue I think needs to be considered. Here are my ruminations on that subject.

So far I have considered the American side of the coin. We, (the royal we including most Western nations), own a good piece of the blame for allowing Iran to be the bully, to have the military, to threaten with nuclear weaponry… Certainly, other western countries can point their finger at America and say it is our fault, and they are partially correct. We have had the most capability to put a stop to it during past administrations and we haven’t. Still, there is enough blame to go around.

HOWEVER, a very large part of the blame (for lack of a better term) lies with the Iranian people. How long are they going to put up with these bullies in black robes? There is a point that lies vaguely out in the cosmos somewhere. It is the place where people either fix what is wrong or they refuse to right the wrongs of the government over them choosing to ignore the abuses of that government. Their non-action, or ineffective action, becomes collusion. No longer can they maintain innocent bystander status, if there even is such a thing in today’s world.

The Christian who is also a patriot to his country walks a fine line. His first allegiance is to Christ, everything else is second. Some Christians take the words of Jesus, “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s” to mark the dichotomy between the two and it is an appropriate line. Others turn to Paul’s remarks in Romans, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same…” They then declare that any action taken against even an evil or oppressive government is wrong and we are to bide our time and let God deal with it.

How do we follow that thinking when faced with demonic rulers such as Adolph Hitler and the bullies we see currently in Iran? To be very open, I don’t know. Remember, when Paul wrote, Romans were killing Christians for sport. The Roman lions were the unbeatable opponent. Allow me to take a line from the United States’ Declaration of Independence.

“…all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”

The point is made here that people are more likely to continue to permit suffering rather than get rid of the familiar as long as the suffering is tolerable, (more likely that it is on someone else’s front porch and not my own). How much stronger is the desire to not go against the authorities when the authorities claim divine position and to go against them is to assure oneself of hell? This is particularly true when the religion being so used has been inculcated into their very DNA since they were born.

I must choose how to correctly interpret what Paul’s words meant to the people of his day and how that applies to people today. After much soul-searching and prayerful consideration, I determined that if I must err, if it is an error, I choose to stand on the side of protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. When any person, organization, political body, government or military does evil against any person, particularly those most vulnerable, the weak, infirm, the widows and orphans, the children, then I must stand between them and that evil. I believe the weight of the biblical evidence supports such action. I pray and thank God that He continues to have mercy upon me when such decisions must be rendered. I encourage anyone who might read this to determine for yourself where you stand. There will be no time to contemplate it when the time comes. The following poem by Martin Niemoller says it best. It’s titled, First They Came for the Jews.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
Martin Niemöller

The Nazis imposed identification of the Jews

Will there be a time when the people of Iran have heard enough lies and seen enough abuse, felt the crush of unbridled power to that undefinable point and take a stand to demand there be revolution? In a bold move recently, rather than face a possible showdown with the IRGC, (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps), Ayatollah Khamenei played a slick card trick. He has moved to declare those who were killed by Iranian forces in the street riots over the past few weeks as martyrs. What does that mean? It means the families of those killed are set financially for life. They have an honored status now in Iran. What better way to quell a rebellion than buying off those responsible for it.

Israel apparently has decided to allow the U.S. to take the lead in actions against Iran. Strategists suggest that as long as the U.S. is pushing back against Iran, Israel will be able to allow the U.S. to take the lead and perhaps ease the threat against itself for a short time. Still others believe it is only a matter of time until Tehran acts against Israel again.

Courtesy STRATFOR

SUMMARY

“So, now what?” In the movie, Big Jake, (you knew it was coming, right?), John Wayne is an absentee father now reconnected with two of his sons to retrieve a kidnapped grandson. Events make the sons believe their father stole the $1M meant as ransom and when they challenge him, he towers over them, hands on his hips and defiantly says, “So, now what?” The sons had a choice to make. Do they challenge or cower?

Does the United States wait for Israel to act? Do we wait and encourage the Iranian people to act? To think that U.S. resources are not currently in place creating incentives for insurrection is to be going about with one’s head in the sand. Will government changes at the top in Moscow make a difference?

Iran has threatened just this week that if the Western countries open the Iranian nuclear file before the U.N. Security Council, they will leave the non-proliferation agreement… Whoopi! As if anyone believed they were following it anyway!

For me, the line in the sand of the Arabian deserts is drawn with two sticks. One stick is the expansion and development of Iran’s nuclear capability. If they approach weaponization, all deals are off and the Iranian people need to know they are in a time crunch for acting in their own best interests. When that line is crossed, there is no doubt there will be collateral damage. Notice, I did not say of innocent bystanders because, at some point, inaction becomes collusion. If nothing else, they should remove themselves from harm’s way for their children’s sake if not their own. The children, sadly, will be at risk because of their parents’ choices.

The second stick is best visualized in the hands of a young American soldier in the desert with a wife and child back home in the States. When he and his brothers are fired upon, the green flag is down, the gate is up and America responds for as many furlongs as it takes.

In every smallest detail, we pray. We pray for peace in the region. We pray for the safety of our troops. We pray for the salvation of every individual in Iran and beyond and we pray for divine guidance for our leaders, particularly for wisdom for our Commander in Chief.

I thank God that He has allowed me to be a citizen of this great nation which I have sworn to defend. I thank Him all the more that He sought me out to be a citizen of His heavenly kingdom and may I never do, say or write anything to tarnish His Name.

“I solemnly swear… I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States… against all enemies foreign and domestic…that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…so help me God.

SYRIA BURNING: Fighting Continues to Escalate as Outside Forces Continue to Use Events to Political Advantage

Denigrated by the inaction and sanctimonious attitudes of the Clinton State Department, the bureaucrats under Kerry appear to be less representative of the United States citizenry and seen more as lifetime bureaucrats destined for a legacy of ineptitude due primarily to their wholesale inaction in the face of world crises.

 

Why the Syrian Civil War is Important to the United States

The ineptitude of the U.S. President’s foreign policy as it deals with: Iran’s nuclear threat, Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his own people in the Syrian Civil War and failing to stand behind Israel, our country’s only democratic ally in the region; has caused a dangerous imbalance of power in the Middle East. Not only have a multiplicity of countries in the Middle East declared that if Iran is permitted to have nuclear weapons, then they will do whatever it takes to obtain their own nuclear or WMD arsenal at any cost; and for some of those oil rich nations, cost is not an issue. There has perhaps been no time in the history of the United States when our State Department has had less respect among the nations of the world. Denigrated by the inaction and sanctimonious attitudes of the Clinton State Department, the bureaucrats under Kerry appear to be less representative of the United States citizenry and seen more as lifetime bureaucrats destined for a legacy of ineptitude due primarily to their wholesale inaction in the face of world crises.

Syria Burning photo

Such is their role in Syria which has brought about the intervention of Saudi Arabia in its own interests. The Sunni population of Saudi Arabia cannot bear to have the minority Shias of Iran dictating policy across the Middle East by way of an ICBM or nuclear bomb bearing aircraft. Strategically, Iran is feeding the Syrian rebels through its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon. Without this on-going supply line, the rebels of Syria would have no hope of out-lasting Assad’s army. By interrupting the supply lines and requiring the Hezbollah fighters to remain focused on the crises within Lebanon, they detract from its ability to make any difference in Syria.

Syrian Supply Lines
Syrian Supply Lines

Sunni jihadists have attacked Shia militants within Lebanon five times since last summer (2013); the most recent just January 2nd in a Beirut suburb. (See photo) According to intelligence sources, “Hezbollah maintains a heavy presence in the Dahiyeh area; its security headquarters, media offices and political council are near the location of the blast. Most of the damage from the attack was absorbed by nearby cars and a nearby building that houses a restaurant.”[i] The attack, using between 65 and 70 pounds of explosives, killed at least four and injured dozens. In early December, a “Hezbollah commander Hassan al-Laqis was gunned down in the parking garage of his Beirut apartment complex…”[ii] The Iranian Embassy and two other suburbs have been targets of attacks in the last 6 months.

 

The U.S. response has been unnoticeable. There is the maxim that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Some have attempted to trace this adage to an Arabic proverb but it is most commonly remembered as a portion of the U.S. State Department policy following the Spanish-American War and has our own Theodore Roosevelt to credit for the declaration. Many of his antagonists believed, incorrectly, that Teddy Roosevelt was incapable of deep thinking.

 

Israel, the United States and Their Future Together or Apart

 

In the case of Sunni jihadists from Saudi Arabia, it is not wise to claim that adage too quickly. When the enemy of your enemy would just as soon slice your throat as well, that does not make him a friend. Perhaps the adage most appropriate is to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. (Many attribute that line to Sun-Tzu but there is no proof that he said it.) There is an additional line that has been added so that it reads, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Then, push your enemy off a cliff when he has gotten close enough.’ Since that last line is likely impractical in the world of international relations, it is important to note that the Saudi jihadists have been responsible for the weapons that have been run into Israel to support the Palestinians.

 

As long as the Saudi jihadists are tied up with the Hezbollah militants; Israel can keep the Palestinians on a short leash while they develop any response plans for Iran in the wake of the U.S. failure to stop the nuclear proliferation  in that country. Reports indicate that because of Iran’s refusal to comply with even the most basic of the Iranian responsibilities within the ‘negotiated’ give away to the Iranians on their nuclear program, the entire ‘treaty’ is destined to complete failure. All it has done, (which is probably what it was expected to do) was to buy Iran even more time to complete its weapons’ delivery systems.

 

We should be clear on one aspect: neither side, including the intervening Russians, are very much concerned about the final outcome of the Syrian civil war. All sides expect that whoever ends up running what has been, for millennia, a Syria in chaos; those outside with a long enough reach and deep enough pockets will be the ones running the show and calling the shots. It should be expected that whoever that will be, they will not be friendly toward the U.S. or Israel. The Nation of Israel will continue to be surrounded by those who wish her ill.

 

Israel’s leadership has made it clear that they have stood their ground for decades, often on their own and they will continue to do so, with or without international assistance. (Often, they forget God’s promises to never leave nor forsake them.) It would be in the United States’ best interest to elect an administration that remembers the biblical quote, “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you.”[iii] The future of the United States, of the imbalanced Middle East, and of Israel can be influenced in the coming two years more by the voters of the United States than perhaps ever in our history. With the high likelihood that the average American voter has very little clue as to the intricacies of such an arena; we can be thankful to God that He has the ultimate control.

% of Shia by Country
% of Shia by Country

1954 ~ Quite a Year!

…concerning the brutal murder of Syrian civilians, including children and infants by Sarin gas, President Obama said, “I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage.” According to sources, immediately he and VP Joe Biden headed directly to Fort Belvoir…

For the very first time, January 1st 1954 the Rose Bowl and the Cotton Bowl were broadcast in color and two more television stations signed on the air with the CBS call sign. On January 20th the NNN grew to 40 – that is the National Negro Network now had 40 radio stations and, in the category of some things never change, President Eisenhower announced on February 2nd the detonation of the first H-bomb. (The detonation had occurred in 1952, two years earlier!) That same month President Eisenhower warned the U.S. people against getting involved in trouble in a small nation named Vietnam.

And the list goes on, all through the year… new happenings in the world of invention and particularly electronics, steps backward at times particularly in areas of humanity. A bloody revolution in Syria and a ‘peaceful’ change of government in Egypt where 36-year-old Abdul Nasser appointed Egyptian Premier. (He was assassinated twenty-six years later). Ruth Thompson, a Congressman from Michigan, authored a bill against the lewd, lasciviousness of Rock and Roll music. Yes, she was a Republican and Elvis Presley paid $4.00 to get the rights to two of his songs back from a producer in Nashville.

An active shooter incident in the Capital – 4 Puerto Ricans open fire injuring four Congressmen. Eisenhower warned of the ‘Domino-Effect’ in SE Asia. A rookie playing in an Exhibition Game hit a home run, his first as a professional baseball player – none other than Henry (Hank) Aaron, later that month would come his first of the 755. In April, the USAF flew a French battalion of soldiers to Vietnam… later that month the very first American injured in Vietnam, a civilian pilot.

While Disneyland is being built and the MLB sports franchise was born, on July 20th an Armistice officially separated Vietnam into North and South… one year and one week exactly from when an Armistice ended the Korean War leaving it divided North and South. Russia was denied entry into NATO – the Cold War begins to heat up, Senator McCarthy on full boil. The Tasmanian Devil debuts in a Warner Brothers cartoon!

In October, after the last French pull out of Vietnam, a Communist Revolutionary enters Hanoi by the name of Ho Chi Minh. The leader of the Muslim ‘brothership’, Hassan el Hodieby arrested in Egypt. The Giants sweep the Cleveland Indians taking the World Series in four games. Texas Instruments announced the first “Transistor Radio.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer and Ernest Hemingway received Nobel prizes in Peace and in Literature. In entertainment, the television show ‘Disneyland’ began as did ‘Father Knows Best’ – on the silver screen ‘A Star is Born’ with Judy Garland and Steve Allen begins the Tonight Show. In crime and entertainment – Dr. Sam Shepherd’s wife murdered in Cleveland Ohio – it became the back story for the iconic story of ‘The Fugitive’ and his relentless pursuit of the ‘one-armed man.’

Yes, 1954 was quite a year. An amendment to allow 18 year olds the right to vote was defeated. The population of the United States was 2,723,726,367. President Eisenhower signed a bill adding “Under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.

Almost sixty years later the population is more than two and a half times that at 7,207,459,699.

But, with all of the amazing memories listed here for 1954 there is one record that is more important to us now in 2013 than perhaps any of these others…

Under the watch of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hilary Clinton and the Commander-in-Chief Barrack Hussein Obama, through sequestration and the President’s own promises to the Russian Vladimir Putin, the U.S. nuclear arsenal will be as low or lower than our arsenal in 1954; our troop strength will be as low or lower than our troop strength than at any time since 1954; our ability to have a nuclear umbrella protecting CONUS will be lost.

Dr. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy warns that the Syria debacle is “but a harbinger of what is to come as reckless U.S. national security policies and postures meet the hard reality of determined adversaries emboldened by our perceived weakness.”[i]

The U.S. Army could drop from 535,000 soldiers to as few as 380,000; Marines 182,000 to 150,000, and the Navy from 11 Carrier Task Forces to just 8. Already from the 11, one is in long-term dry dock for repairs, another is also in the Navy Yard for repairs, two are on the West Coast, one in the Sea of Japan and only one is anywhere near the Mediterranean – does that sounds like combat readiness?!

On September 4, 2013 the Undersecretary for the Department of Defense, Frank Kendall spoke before the National Press Club. “This is a bizarre situation for the United States…We are seeing growing national security threats but we are unilaterally disarming because of concerns about the deficit and the national debt. This is a very unusual situation for us.”[ii]

Beyond the loss of military capability, there also comes the loss of credibility. In September 2013 during a Rose Garden press conference concerning the brutal murder of Syrian civilians, including children and infants by Sarin gas, President Obama said, “I’m ready to act in the face of this outrage.” According to sources, immediately he and VP Joe Biden headed directly to Fort Belvoir, a U.S. Army installation in Fairfax County Virginia. Upon arrival at the fort, they went straight to 18 holes of golf; while, well, you know…

Ft Belvoir CC

… in Damascus Syria  

SYRIA-DAMASCUS_2673500b   

 

 

       


[i] “Shrinking U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Worries Experts too” US NEWS, October 2013

[ii] Can We Trim $1 Trillion in Defense Spending and Still Draw Red Lines?” US NEWS, October 2013

   Facts for 1954 courtesy of HistoryOrb.com