Netanyahu’s Historic Warning

Yesterday, while watching Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress, I felt as if I were a participant in a historic event of the same stature as Ronald Reagan’s “Evil Empire” and “Tear Down This Wall” speeches. Even as Reagan confronted the evil of totalitarian communism, Netanyahu forcefully focused our attention on the current totalitarian evil of radical Islamism.

Reagan succeeded in toppling the Evil Empire and the Wall came down. Will Netanyahu’s speech lead us to a similar success against Islamism?

Netanyahu Speech

Netanyahu was very politic in praising Obama and John Kerry—he had to be—but he made it quite clear that not only Israel, but America as well, was facing a firestorm should Iran get nuclear capability.

The speech was filled with poignant quotes.

“The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons.”

“When it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.”

“Iran’s regime is not merely a Jewish problem, anymore than the Nazi regime was merely a Jewish problem.”

Commentator Stephen Hayes summed up the message well: “This is the clearest description of the threat from Iran presented to the American people in the last decade. Long overdue.”

Congress, on both sides of the political divide, applauded his words continually. There’s hope. However, there remains the one greatest hurdle:

Israel's Concerns

In effect, rhetoric notwithstanding, President Obama has conceded the inevitability of Iran’s nuclear desires. The only problem, of course, is that Iran has publicly stated it wants to wipe Israel off the map, and that it seeks to develop ICBMs that can be used to direct nuclear bombs at faraway targets, i.e., the United States. Yet we are supposed to believe his assurances that this will never happen? What is there in his history of his pronouncements that would give us such assurance?

No Consequences

He’s not exactly a tough negotiator:

Obama Negotiations

He pushes for a deal with Iran that is clearly not sufficient, yet he tells us to accept it. Again, his ideological blindness takes over. Unfortunately, the rest of us suffer for it:

Good Nuclear Deal

Frankly, I agree with another comment I heard—Obama probably wouldn’t shed one tear if Israel no longer existed. In his view, that nation is the main agitator in the Middle East, even as he sees his own country as the primary abettor of everything he considers evil in the world.

If only we had a Netanyahu in charge of our nation at this perilous time. Before he spoke, House Speaker Boehner presented Netanyahu with a bust of Winston Churchill. I think that is most fitting. He is the new Churchill, warning the world of the coming holocaust.

Does anyone recall that one of the first actions Obama took as president was to return a bust of Churchill to Britain? That was fitting as well. It was only a sign of things to come.

Never Say Never

I said most of what I wanted to say about our president’s willful blindness on Islamic terrorism in yesterday’s post. I was going to move on to another subject, but sometimes the political cartoons are just too good to allow that. Can’t leave these out.

First, the amazing doubletalk that continues to dazzle:

Opposite

And if you need a guide to understand just how this administration thinks about terrorists, I can help you:

ID Chart

The Islamic radicals, which includes the state of Iran, really are no different than another radical from an earlier time who also wished to wipe out the Jewish people:

Never Again

You don’t think this can’t happen again? Time to wake up.

Obama & Israel

Ever since the state of Israel came into being in 1948, the United States has been its strongest ally and protector. From Harry Truman through George W. Bush, we have helped our only real ally in the Middle East economically, diplomatically, and militarily. Even during the Watergate crisis, Richard Nixon valiantly stood up for Israel’s right to exist when it was attacked by all the surrounding Arab nations.

All that has changed. No, you won’t hear this administration publicly declare its disdain for the Jewish state; it can’t go that far publicly. Yet the tension has been present from the very first day President Obama took office. On Benjamin Netanyahu’s first visit to this country to see the new president, Obama pretty much blew him off. He certainly didn’t show the respect everyone expected. Even the liberal news outlets couldn’t help but notice.

Things have gone downhill ever since. Yes, they put on a good front, but there is a definite animosity emanating from this White House. It took a number of years into his presidency before Obama went to Israel himself, despite his other trips to the region to laud Islamic regimes.

When the Muslim Brotherhood, a true terrorist organization dedicated to wiping Israel off the map, took over Egypt, our president supported that new government. When the Egyptian military brought down that radical government, he hasn’t uttered a word of support. Again, it’s not hard to see where his sympathies lie.

Iran seeks nuclear weapons, and one of its primary goals is the same as the Muslim Brotherhood’s—the total destruction of the Israeli state. Yet our president continues to “negotiate,” drops sanctions against Iran, and seems blissfully unaware of the imminent danger that terrorist state poses, not only in the Middle East, but to the world.

Now that Congress had invited Netanyahu to speak, the White House is very upset, saying it wasn’t consulted first. New reports, though, dispute that claim; the real problem appears to be that this administration doesn’t respond to notices of things like this invitation, then gets upset after the fact.

Fruitloop

One might be excused for thinking our president has declared war, but on the wrong target:

Attack Netanyahu

As I’ve said before, I agree with the assessment of many that Obama’s worldview is deeply entrenched in a Marxist/anti-colonial mindset that blames most of the evils in the world (“evil” as defined through his particular lenses) on the West. He is so devoted to that worldview that he refuses to see the truth, no matter how obvious it is to the majority of his fellow citizens: Don't Have a Clue

One has to believe there is a problem before anything can be done about it.

In Other News . . .

With the high-profile stories of amnesty via executive order and riots in Ferguson, other events have gone less noticed than they might have under normal circumstances.

For instance, Chuck Hagel is on his way out as secretary of defense. Although the administration tried to put a positive spin on it, nearly every news organization has sources within the administration that have made it clear Hagel was fired, regardless of the photo ops.

Mutual Decision

I won’t try to defend Hagel; he was kind of a turkey. However, we still have another problem: John Kerry remains as secretary of state. He just announced that the “talks” with Iran (which are going nowhere) will be extended another seven months. Another red line that has been erased. Stiffer sanctions not reimposed. Iran getting away with the development of its nuclear capability with no penalties.

Final Warning

Foreign policy is a mess. Our military is being downsized in a time of grave threats. One failure after another.

So maybe we can turn from politics and see what’s happening in the world of celebrities? Like Bill Cosby?

What a disappointment. The man who created the image of Cliff Huxtable, the dad everyone would like to have, is now accused by seventeen (!) women of either rape or unwanted sexual contact. He was in the middle of a TV comeback, which has now been canceled.

These Women

I”m sad it has turned out this way, and I know a person is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but when there are seventeen separate accusations, it’s hard to maintain an air of neutrality on what the truth might be.

It’s instructive, though, to compare how this Bill is being treated with how another Bill is viewed:

Clinton-Cosby

In case you may have forgotten, there is a woman by the name of  Juanita Broaddrick who has a claim against the other Bill. She says she was raped by him. But no charges were ever brought. He has been a serial adulterer, but hasn’t paid any real penalty for that either. As the graphic notes, he gets paid millions just to show up and mouth a few platitudes.

Yes, there is a tremendous double standard. No, I don’t have Clinton nostalgia. I have a memory.

No Moral Equivalence in the Middle East

I support Israel. Why? It is the ancient homeland of the Jews, the place where God handed down His law, the center of the world from the establishment of His people through the ministry of Jesus. It is where Jesus suffered and died for us all. It was the scene of His resurrection. Now, none of that necessarily means I should support Israel today. If that nation was a hotbed of terrorism and a threat to the world, I wouldn’t support it. However, it is not. It is the only oasis in a desert of Islamist extremism.

Israel has had to defend itself against nearly everyone in the Middle East, and has done so since 1948. It is doing so again, in an attempt to stop the rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza Strip. As I’ve noted in a previous post, if Hamas and all the other extremists were to lay down their arms, there would be peace; if Israel were to lay down its arms, it would be wiped off the map. There is no moral equivalence here; the aggression lies on one side.

Cease Fire

The only time Hamas is in favor of a ceasefire is if it helps renew the attack:

Reload

In the past, America has been the stalwart ally of Israel, while simultaneously attempting to broker peace agreements. We always had the good of Israel in mind. Under the Obama administration, that is no longer the case. Ronald Reagan always used to say that the nine scariest words one can hear are “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Israel is hearing those scary words today:

Here to Help

John Kerry’s latest truce appeal was so one-sided toward Hamas that Israel had no option but to reject it. His ideology mirrors that of his president. Neither views Hamas or Muslim extremism as the real problem; therefore, they have no real solution:

More Daisies

Hamas should be anathema to all Americans, but the organization has something going for it in our country:

Secret Weapon

The media will focus on demonstrations in favor of Hamas while neglecting to mention some salient facts like how that terrorist group uses children as human shields and stores weapons in schools and hospitals. Children also were used to dig the tunnels that are used to spread more terror in Israel. Reports indicate that hundreds of children died digging those tunnels, but that’s barely news to those who are ideologically blind:

Undermined

And behind it all is Iran, which is financing the terror attacks, hoping Hamas can carry out the ultimate aim—complete destruction of the Jewish state.

Puppet

Our administration doesn’t see the threat. Our political leaders may give lip service to it once in a while, but that’s just standard talk for public consumption. Beneath the talk is the true motivation: empathy for the oppressed Palestinians. Never mind that they are oppressed primarily by their own people. It’s far easier to blame Israel.

Iraq: A Tragedy Unfolds

What’s transpiring in Iraq is horrendous. No matter what one’s position on whether we should have gotten involved there, current events should leave everyone uneasy. The stability that seemed to have been achieved in the later Bush years has now crumbled.

I’m caught between two points of view myself on our Iraqi involvement. Saddam Hussein was a destabilizing influence throughout the Middle East, his regime was rewarding suicide bombers, and he was beginning to welcome Al Qaeda elements into the country. The ripple effect could touch not only Israel but reach our shores as well.

At the same time, too many people in the foreign policy realm had a rosy picture of how a “democracy” could be created in a nation that was hardly even a nation, torn within ideologically and ethnically. Those fissures remain and are now once again surfacing. Unless people have a solid foundation for building a stable government, disaster is not hard to predict. Iraq lacked that foundation, one I believe can only be rooted in the Judeo-Christian ethic.

President Bush, concerned that the U.S. not appear to be a heavy-handed occupier, sought to move the Iraqis toward self-government. Only when it became apparent that things were not coalescing as hoped did he give the go-ahead for the “Surge.” It was largely successful, if success is measured by the lessening of attacks from rival groups and the basic functioning of a government.

Then came Barack Obama. I could end the post here and most would know why, but I’ll elaborate a little. Obama’s worldview doesn’t have much of a place for concern about terrorism. Neither does he think the U.S. has any special role or responsibility in combating  that evil. I’m not even sure he believes the terrorists actually are evil; his anti-colonial mindset conditions him to see them as oppressed people groups rising up against their oppressors. In his mind, the U.S. is more of a problem.

Hence his determination to pull all American troops out of Iraq, which he accomplished. The generals begged him to leave some troops as a safety measure, but he refused. Now Iraq plunges into turmoil. His response is what it always is:

Leave It Alone

What were we to expect with this wholesale departure? He left Iraq wide open to a resurgence of terrorism:

Left the Keys

Yet he acts as if this is a complete surprise. Most intelligent people knew that this would come back to hurt us:

Never Saw

And now that the situation is on the verge of getting out of control, what is his response? The same old same old:

Immediate Action

It doesn’t help U.S. credibility when we send John Kerry out as our representative. He doesn’t exactly inspire confidence:

Negotiating

There even was some talk about bringing Iran in as a “partner” to resolve the crisis. Iran???? Really????

Iran Can Help

As long as this is the team we have on the playing field, we should get used to losing. What is the prognosis for Iraq? I wish I could be more optimistic.

Iraqaida

Letter from an Iranian Prison

Saeed AbediniHe is Iranian-born, but now an American citizen. His Christian faith has put him in prison. Pastor Saeed Abedini sought to take the gospel to his homeland, a nation that is vehemently opposed to that message. Sentenced to eight years in prison after being arrested in 2012, he hasn’t seen his wife and children since then. While his wife and concerned Christians worldwide work for his release, he has been subjected to brutal treatment—beatings and other physical abuse—that has now landed him in the prison system’s hospital. Probably the only reason he is receiving any medical aid at all is the pressure from world opinion being brought to bear on his behalf.

Yet, in the midst of this severe trial, his faith remains vibrant and strong. Abedini follows in the footsteps of other Christians throughout history who have been imprisoned for their faith. From his hospital bed, he penned an Easter letter that has recently been made public. The apostle Paul wrote letters from his prison; Pastor Abedini’s letter has Paul-like qualities. Here it is, in its entirety:

Saeed Abedini 2Happy Resurrection Day.

On the Eve of Good Friday and Easter I was praying from my hospital room for my fellow Christians in the world.  What the Holy Spirit revealed to me in prayer was that there are many dead faiths in the midst of Christians today. That Christians all over the world are not able to fully reach their spiritual potential that has been given to them as a gift by God so that in reaching that potential, the curtain can be removed and the Glory of God would be revealed.

Some times we want to experience the Glory and resurrection with Jesus without experiencing death with Him.  We do not realize that unless we pass through the path of death with Christ, we are not able to experience resurrection with Christ.

We want to have a good and successful marriage, career, education and family life (which is also God’s desire and plan for our life). But we forget that in order to experience the Resurrection and Glory of Christ we first have to experience death with Christ and to die to ourselves and selfish desires.

Jesus said to His Disciples:  “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)

This means that we should not do things that we like to do (that God does not want us to do) and to do things that we do not like to do (but God wants us to do) so that He may be glorified.

So in addition to spending our days and night in doing the works of faith as described above, we should also transform our dead faiths into living and active faiths through the resurrection of Christ which is an active and constructive love that is effective.

In conclusion, let us resurrect our Dead faiths to living faiths by first dying to our selfish “resurrected” self and experiencing the cross of Jesus. Then we are able to experience the Glorious resurrection with Christ.

A Glorious life with Christ starts only after a painful death (to self) with Christ.

We will start with Christ.

Pastor Saeed Abedini Prisoner in the Darkness in Iran, but free for the Kingdom and Light

Abedini’s Christian witness is extraordinary. May the Lord use this witness to draw people to Himself. And may Abedini be freed and reunited with his family. That is my prayer.