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America, Russia, & Israel

There will be wars and rumors of wars, Jesus told His disciples. They will end only when He returns. I don’t know if there are more wars and disturbances now than ever, or if we simply are more aware of them due to mass communications. But the underlying cause for them is the sinful heart of man. People want something, and they do not have it, so they strike out at others, the apostle James declared. Biblical instruction from thousands of years ago remains true today.

In the past week, the world has been rocked by two major events. The first is the downing of a Malaysian airliner carrying nearly 300 people. All perished in the attack by dissidents/terrorists in Ukraine who want to unite with Russia. This is an outgrowth of Vladimir Putin’s encroachment on Ukraine and his desire to take it over, piece by piece. While the international community—such as it is—wrings its hands over this atrocity, few doubt the hand behind it:

Heat Signature

Then there’s the Middle East, always ripe for violence. Those of us who pay attention to Biblical prophecy and try to sort it out are not surprised. We also know this area will never be at peace. Again, it is the sinful heart of man that has led to the latest round of violence. Let’s be clear, though: when it comes to Israel and its enemies, this is not a moral equivalence situation. As noted by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, the difference can be expressed this way—if Hamas lays down its weapons, there will be peace; if Israel lays down its weapons, there will be no more Israel.

It’s Hamas that started the rain of rockets into Israel that has led to most of the citizens living in shelters. A nation can’t put up with that for long. Israel had to respond and try to destroy Hamas’s capability to continue those attacks (missiles supplied by Iran, by the way). Their invasion of Gaza is completely justified. They warn Palestinians to get out of the way; Hamas tells them to stay put so that many will die and they can use the deaths for propaganda purposes:

Death to Israel

The foolish among us then blame Israel for what is happening. The U.S., historically, has been Israel’s staunchest ally. We have helped them install the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system that has effectively neutralized many of those missiles. Hamas has an Iron Dome of its own, but entirely different:

Iron Domes

Yet Israel’s strongest supporter in the past is no longer its greatest ally, if it is an ally indeed. Both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry mouth the usual platitudes about Israel having the right to defend itself, while simultaneously casting aspersions on Israel for actually doing it. Their public statements seem to imply that Israel is the real problem. They point to the loss of life in Gaza as if this is Israel’s fault. Kerry even was caught on a “hot mic” before his Fox interview sarcastically commenting on Israel’s precision strikes in Gaza. No longer can Israel count on the American government:

Stands Behind Israel

In both these situations—in Ukraine and the Middle East—where is the American president? Out fundraising. Some commentators are beginning to refer to him as the semi-retired president. He’s no real leader.

Leading from Behind

As I’ve said repeatedly, and will say again here: we’re in trouble.

Nothing to Fear?

The scandals continue apace, and it doesn’t seem as if they’re going away soon. A new one was added on in the past couple of days. More on that later. But first, let’s update what we know. Well, keep in mind the only reason we know anything is because whistleblowers and some reporters who still cling to the old idea of ferreting out the facts have overcome the fear of White House retaliation and come forward to present their evidence. If it were up to the White House and the various executive departments it oversees, we would remain in the dark. They want you to believe they are clueless about any wrongdoing, yet should receive total credit for anything that goes right:

Not Me

At the almost-daily press briefings and on news shows, members representing the administration have one talking point only:

Scandalous

On Benghazi, we haven’t heard as much in the last few days, but it’s still bubbling under the surface. Rumors are that more whistleblowers are about to tell their tales. That can’t be good for those who may have tried to put a cone of silence over their testimony:

Air Strike

One commentator, Andy McCarthy, reminds us of an overlooked part of the Benghazi timeline: President Obama and Hillary Clinton had a 10:00 p.m. phone call the night of the attack, which was just after receiving news that our ambassador had been killed. The next day the false story about the anti-Islam video became the “explanation” for the attack. Coincidence?

We also know now that the administration has identified at least five individuals in Libya who were responsible for carrying out the attack, but have done nothing to get them. Apparently, they are waiting until there is enough “evidence” to try them in a civilian court. Again, this betrays the administration’s worldview. Obama and his people, especially Eric Holder at the Justice Department, believe foreign terrorists are entitled to all the legal protections of American citizens. Wrong.

The IRS scandal currently dominates most of the news cycle for the scandals. I think that has something to do with how every citizen feels about that particular agency. We all know it can come after each one of us individually. There’s not a whole lot love there. And even though we’re told it’s not a partisan agency, facts seem to indicate otherwise:

Only a Left Wing

We also now know that on March 31, 2010, President Obama met with the anti-Tea Party IRS union chief at the White House. The very next day the “jihad” against Tea Party and other conservative organizations began. Another coincidence?

Lois LernerTea Parties across the nation held rallies yesterday outside IRS offices, protesting the unfair and illegal treatment they have received at its hands. The main person responsible for that treatment, Lois Lerner, is supposed to appear today before one of the congressional committees investigating the scandal. The word is that she has decided to take the Fifth Amendment, which is a little peculiar for someone who claims she has done nothing wrong. Now, I realize the Fifth Amendment is there to protect against incriminating oneself, but one has to wonder what she has to hide—or who else she might be protecting. What promises have been made to her to secure her silence? In the law, a prosecutor must provide evidence for a conviction, so taking the Fifth is an established practice; we are told not to consider anyone guilty until proven so. However, this is not yet a legal court case where those standards exist. There’s another court, that of public opinion, and we are free to believe what we wish about this tactic being used at this point.

Another reason to be concerned about how the IRS handles its business is that it is slated to oversee the implementation of Obamacare, a law frightening enough in itself, even before the IRS is attached to it:

Member of Tea Party

Under New Management

This whole thing has taken on monstrous proportions. How long will American citizens put up with it?

Villagers with Torches

James RosenThe tapping of the phones of the Associated Press is now an old story compared to recent revelations. Obama has never liked Fox News. Now we know, for a fact, that this organization also has been the subject of scrutiny. It started with the exposure of the Justice Department secretly reading the e-mails of James Rosen, one of Fox’s reporters. Rosen was merely doing what all reporters do—trying to find out information on a story. In this case, it had to do with the North Korea nuclear program. Something about that ticked off the powers-that-be. The DOJ somewhere found a judge who signed off on the secret reading of Rosen’s e-mails because he was called a “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation.

This jarring news sent a chill through the entire press. Never in the history of this country, except perhaps after the passage of the Sedition Act of 1798, has a member of the press been accused formally of criminal activity simply for pursuing information. Then it came out that the DOJ had targeted other Fox employees as well; a further revelation is that the department also tapped into Fox phone lines. This is unprecedented.

Doing My Job

But don’t worry. We’re told the president is a great supporter of the First Amendment. All we have to fear is fear itself.

Nothing to Fear

This is a tyranny in the making. It needs to be stopped. Let the investigations proceed.

Welcome to America 2013

Every once in a while, I don’t focus on one particular topic. Sometimes, there are a number of things happening simultaneously that are worthy of commentary. I’ve drawn attention this week to the inaugural. On Tuesday, I provided my interpretation of what President Obama really said. Here’s a cartoonist’s stab at the same thing:

I believe he caught the essence of the address.

Then there was Hillary Clinton’s testimony—sort of—before a congressional committee the other day. She was supposed to be telling what she knew about the Benghazi fiasco. Liberal news outlets praised her defiant performance, yet the only thing they got right about it were the words “defiant” and “performance.” She said virtually nothing. While making it sound like she took responsibility, in fact she spent the entire time defending her failures and saying she was not to blame. There’s an end game here; she’s looking ahead:

If we still have a country in 2016, she wants to be poised to lead it. After eight years of Obama, that’s all we need. Her defiance also manifested itself in an outburst of feigned outrage when questioned about why the administration misled the people for a few weeks, claiming the incident was the result of an anti-Mohammed video:

In answer to her angry question, “What difference does it make?” I would suggest it makes a whole lot of difference. If the administration, with her at the top of the foreign policy apparatus, deliberately tried to deflect the public’s attention away from its obvious failure to protect our diplomats by blaming a filmmaker, that would be despicable to the utmost. Beyond trying to shift the blame, it also became an attack on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free political speech. That filmmaker is the only person associated with the Benghazi event who has suffered any consequences—a chilling precedent for anyone else who may critique Islam or the current administration’s policies.

Then there’s the ongoing issue of looming national bankruptcy, which has been studiously ignored by Obama and his acolytes. They continue to act as if it’s not a real disaster–in-waiting. The president’s only nod toward the problem is to—surprise—blame the Republicans:

And his “solution” is just as out of touch with reality:

Welcome to America 2013. When I say we need to pray for the future of our nation, I’m not simply mouthing a pious cliché. It’s a cry from the heart. Acknowledging our dependence on the grace of God and getting our priorities straightened out are our most pressing needs.

Will We Suffer from Collective Amnesia Next November?

The best chance President Obama has of being reelected is if the nation contracts a case of collective amnesia. We will have to forget, for instance, his attitude toward the plebeians who actually do the work in this country. Those are the people he famously touted as clinging to a few things out of insecurity:

We’ll also have to forget that he’s been on the job for quite some time now, and that there is a statute of limitations on blaming the previous administration:

And then there are the promises he made, and the policies he enacted to bring them to fruition. It’s going to take a world-class case of amnesia for those:

None of this is new to the man, though. He was practically raised on class warfare:

Yes, we’re going to have to forget a whole lot for him to stay in office four more years. I won’t put it past us, but I’m praying we will regain our senses in time.

Odds & Ends

How about a panoply of cartoonish insight on a variety of issues? Let’s start with that ever-present “movement” that’s occupying the airwaves. The nature of the movement is finally becoming obvious to almost everyone. Well, almost everyone:

Back in Congress, the so-called Super Committee is attempting to hammer out a deficit-reduction package. That should be easy. A small group certainly can accomplish more than the entire Congress, right? Right?

President Obama has been doing whatever he can via executive orders. Funny, I don’t remember reading anything about those in the Constitution. But he’s now going to reduce student loan paybacks by a whole $8 per month. And there will be forgiveness of those loans if they aren’t paid back in a certain number of years. Students should be elated, but don’t tell them the truth; it might damage their faith in the nanny-state:

Some people got very upset over a proposed $5 fee at the banks. Perhaps they should be upset over something more substantial:

How are you getting along with our new light bulbs? Are you like me, stocking up on the old ones? You might want to consider it.

And finally, there’s the ongoing illegal immigration quandary:

We can now add South Carolina to the list of states the Justice Department is suing for taking matters into their own hands. The past three years sure has brought change, hasn’t it?

Meanwhile, Overseas . . .

I haven’t said much about foreign affairs lately, so let’s catch up a bit. The really big news, of course, is the death of Qaddafi in Libya. Some are touting it as a major step forward for “democracy.” While I’m glad the delusional tyrant is gone, don’t count me among those who believe the future is rosy in that part of the world:

Change is not always synonymous with progress.

Speaking of change, that would be nice for Venezuela. Yet it appears Hugo Chavez is hanging on, to the detriment of the country he rules:

And then there’s Iraq. President Obama has declared our mission complete by the end of this year, and most troops will be removed. While I am always glad to keep our soldiers out of harm’s way, this is a bittersweet withdrawal:

I realize we can’t stay forever, and that Iraq must stand on its own, but will this now be a vacuum that Iran will fill? How can that be a better scenario? No easy answers in the Middle East, but it would be tragic if Iran now becomes the neighborhood bully. What’s Obama’s plan about that? Or is this primarily a campaign strategy? Forgive me if my cynicism is showing.

Revelation 21:1-7

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.

“I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”