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I support Gov. Huckabee & Penny Nance and their “Rally For Israel” on Oct. 5 in Washington. I also believe American Christians need to stand with Jordan and other Arab allies in their fight against terrorists and extremists. Please plan to attend.

In Uncategorized on September 13, 2014 at 2:23 am

StandWithIsrael-rally

UPDATED: (Washington, D.C.) — Recently in Jerusalem, I had a quiet breakfast with Governor Mike Huckabee. Among other issues, we discussed how to mobilize more Americans to support Israel and urge the President and his administration to stand faithfully with Israel, America’s best friend and ally in the Middle East, as she faces threats on nearly all sides from Radical Islamic extremists. We also discussed the need to help Christians understand the importance of Jordan and other moderate Arab allies as they stand against terrorism and extremism.

The Governor graciously invited me to help him with a “Rally For Israel” at the U.S. Capitol on October 5th. I said I’d be happy to do so. This week here in Washington, D.C., I met with another co-sponsor, Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America and a long-time friend, to discuss the event and how I might be able to help.

Here are the details. Please plan to attend and bring many family and friends with you.

All summer, Israel has faced a jihadist offensive from Hamas, even as ISIS rampages across Syria and Iraq, and as Iran steadily moves towards the development and deployment of nuclear weapons. More than ever, it is important that we show our full support for Israel’s right and responsibility to defend herself, and our insistence that the President stop distancing himself from Israel and her leadership at this critical time. At the same time, we need to understand Israel is not the only one threatened. ISIS and other terror groups threaten Jordan, Egypt and of course the people of Syria and Iraq, not to mention Lebanon and the Gulf states. Standing with Israel doesn’t mean we don’t love the Arab people. Christians can and must do both.

Thanks so much.

GOVERNOR HUCKABEE AND PENNY NANCE ANNOUNCE RALLY FOR ISRAEL

Event Will Host National Speakers to Encourage Sound Defense of Israel and Reiterate America’s Duty to Protect Israel from the Threat of Radical Islam

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sunday, October 5, 2014, Concerned Women for America and America Takes Action, Gov. Mike Huckabee’s C4 organization, will hold a rally in Washington, D.C., to show support for Israel. The rally seeks to highlight the threat of global terrorism and the movement in the Middle East to squelch the nation of Israel.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, said:

“Recent events have reminded me that the world is a very dangerous place to both the nation of Israel and for Jews around the world. The violence wrought by Hamas, coupled with the jaw dropping anti-Semitic reaction by much of the Western world, should awaken American Christians to the clear and present danger to our allies and our friends. Now is the time for us to stand firm and show Israel and her enemies that Americans are united in our unwavering support.”

Gov. Mike Huckabee said:

“It’s time for the United States to join together in prayer and support for Israel. I have been to Israel nearly 30 times over the past 41 years and have never seen the nation under such threat. Israel is our closest ally and friend in the Middle East, and they are suffering due to the weak policies of the Obama Administration. The president has done little to recognize the growing threat of Hamas. God has protected this tiny, but increasingly powerful nation, and it’s time for the United States to do the same. Please join me in Washington, D.C., on October 5 to show Israel that we are with them and we pray for peace.

Event Details:

Stand with Israel Rally
Date:
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
Location: Upper Senate Park
200 New Jersey Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

Upper Senate Park is north of the U.S. Capitol Building on the corner of New Jersey Avenue and Constitution Avenue.

Members of the media are invited to attend.

WHO:
Gov. Mike Huckabee
Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America
*Additional speakers to be announced as confirmed

WHAT: A rally to express the importance of support for Israel

WHEN: Sunday, October 5, 2014

WHERE:
Upper Senate Park
200 New Jersey Ave, N. W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

RSVP: Registration is requested for the event. For more information or to register, click here.

What if ISIS obtains chemical weapons? Analysis of the President’s speech.

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

>> See short video of me explaining why we are releasing my new novel about the ISIS threat — THE THIRD TARGET — earlier than planned because of fast-moving events (Jan. 6).

(Washington, D.C.) — On the eve of the anniversary of the terror attacks of 9/11, President Obama addressed the nation in a prime time televised speech on the threat posed by the Islamic State (aka, ISIS or ISIL) and how his administration plans to respond. Here is a transcript of his remarks. I encourage you to read what he said very carefully.

A brief analysis:

  • The President has now officially acknowledged that ISIS and its jihadist allies pose a clear and present danger to the American people, our economy, and our Arab and Israeli allies.
  • ISIS is part of a larger Radical Islamic jihadist offensive that is attacking Muslims, Christians and Jews and sweeping across Gaza, Syria and Iraq.
  • ISIS forces are beheading and crucifying those who stand in their way.
  • They are trying to topple the Arab governments of Iraq and Syria, and as I write about in my forthcoming geopolitical thriller — THE THIRD TARGET — they will soon try to attack a new objective. The questions are: Who, when, and how?
  • A serious concern I raise in the new novel is this: What if ISIS captures a cache of chemical weapons in Syria? Who would they try to wage genocide against — the U.S.? Israel? Someone else? And how much time do we have?
  • New reports indicate Syria may still have chemical weapons.
  • ISIS is training foreign fighters to penetrate the U.S. and Europe.
  • The U.S. is particularly vulnerable on our open southern border with Mexico.
  • The President’s speech last night represented an enormous flip-flop by President who earlier this year said ISIS was not a serious threat and called it “JV” (Junior Varsity), said he had “no strategy,” recently said he would “manage” the ISIS threat instead of defeat it, and has long opposed serious, sustained military action against ISIS.
  • Now he s suddenly changing course.
  • The President last night said: “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents.”
  • This an astoundingly naive statement. The President is wrong. The Islamic State is Islamic. They are all Mulsims. They see themselves as Islamic and are recruiting Muslims.
  • Most Muslims are not violent. But jihadists are & highly dangerous and it is foolish not to acknowledge and understand the difference..
  • To win, it is essential that President & his national security team must understand the theology & eschatology of Radical Islamic jihadists.
  • That said, the President is finally signaling shift to a multi-year military campaign to “degrade and defeat” the Islamic State, so this is a move in the right direction.
  • Skeptics are understandably asking if the President is doing this simply because of his terrible poll numbers on his handling of foreign policy and national security issues generally, and his handling of the ISIS threat in particular.
  • That very well could be the case — but whatever the motivation, he is telling the nation and the world that he is committed to defeating ISIS, and this is progress.
  • It remains to be seen how serious the President is about pressing the offensive and trusting his military commanders and advisors to do the job right. But I am praying for the President to do the right thing. I am a critic of the President on the matter of ISIS and Radical Islam. But I do not want to be a cynic.
  • Finally for now, it is important to say that under the U.S. Constitution, the President must seek and receive Congressional authorization to launch such a long term war. That’s the only way forward and he must obey the Constitution.

———————-

To pre-order THE THIRD TARGET — which releases on Jan. 6 — please click here or go to your favorite book store.

We are moving up release of my new thriller about the ISIS threat, THE THIRD TARGET. It will be published on Jan. 6.

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm

TheThirdTarget(Chicago, Illinois) — Tonight at 9pm eastern, President Obama will deliver a prime time address to the American people laying out a strategy to defeat the Radical Islamic jihadist group known as the “Islamic State” (or “ISIS” or “ISIL”) that is rampaging across the Middle East.

After dismissing ISIS as a “JV” (junior varsity) issue and not a serious concern for American security, and recently admitting that he had “no strategy” to stop ISIS, the President has done an about face. He seems to be finally coming to the conclusion — however slow and late — that ISIS does, in fact, pose a clear and present danger to America and our allies. I am praying for the President that he will say the right things tonight, and do the right things in the days ahead. I hope you will, too. This is a very serious threat to the American people and all the people of the Middle East.

Once I’ve heard his speech, I will comments on Twitter and here on the blog.

For now I want to let you know that Tyndale House Publishers and I have decided to move up the release of my next novel because it focuses entirely on ISIS and takes you inside Syria, Iraq, Israel and the White House as the jihadist threat unfolds in a terrifying way.

THE THIRD TARGET will be released on January 6, 2015 in hardcover, ebook format, and as an audiobook.

It is available for pre-order right now at your favorite bookstore, and online.

It was originally schedule to be released in mid-March of next year.

Here’s a brief description. I promise to post more details — including excerpts from the novel — in the days ahead.

“When New York Times foreign correspondent J. B. Collins hears rumors that an al-Qaeda splinter cell — ISIS — has captured a cache of chemical weapons inside Syria, he knows this is a story he must pursue at all costs. Does the commander of the jihadist faction really have the weapons? If so, who is the intended target? The U.S.? Israel? Or someone else? With tensions already high, the impending visit of the American president to the region could prove to be the spark that sets off an explosion of horrendous proportions. Knowing that terrorist forces are already trying to bring down two Arab governments in the region — Iraq and Syria — can Collins uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will the terrorists succeed in setting their sights on the third target and achieving genocide?”

Given the danger and urgency of the moment, I hope you will pre-order the book and let your family and friends know about it. In the meantime, please pray faithfully that the U.S. and our allies will work together to stop ISIS and crush it before it’s too late. Thanks and God bless you.

Three threats to America, Israel & the Church in the Mideast. Notes from my address at Moody Bible Institute.

In Uncategorized on September 10, 2014 at 1:12 pm

MoodyBibleInstitute(Chicago, Illinois) — It was an honor to be on the campus of Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago on Monday and Tuesday. At the invitation of Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of MBI, and Dr. Michael Rydelnik, a professor and head of the Jewish Studies Program, I was invited to teach a class on the Holocaust, another class on modern Israeli politics and society, speak on an evening panel on “Israel & The Gaza Conflict,” tape two programs for Moody Radio, and address the student body — some 1,600 future Christian leaders — on Tuesday morning at chapel.

Here are my notes for the addressed I delivered at chapel: “Three Threats Facing America, Israel and the Church in the Middle East.” I hope you find them helpful.

—————————-

Thank you, Dr. Nyquist. It is an honor to be back here at Moody Bible Institute and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share with you. This morning, I’d like to discuss threat grave threats facing America, Israel and the Church and how we as followers of Jesus Christ are supposed to respond, according to the Scriptures.

Let’s begin by reading the first ten verses of Ezekiel chapter 33.

33 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the sons of your people and say to them, ‘If I bring a sword upon a land, and the people of the land take one man from among them and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows on the trumpet and warns the people, then he who hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, and a sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning; his blood will be on himself. But had he taken warning, he would have delivered his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’ Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them warning from Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.”

Ezekiel was a Hebrew prophet writing more than 2,500 years ago. He was part of the Jewish people that had been conquered and captured by King Nebuchadnezzar and were now living in the Babylonian Empire. And the Lord came to Ezekiel and called him to be a prophet — to hear the word of the Lord, and then to speak it to the people.

In this passage, the Lord says very clearly that He has raised Ezekiel up to be a “watchman” for the people. That is, his responsibility is to see threats and dangers that are approaching with God’s help and insight, and then warn the people about those coming dangers. He is also supposed to warn individuals about their sins, that they might repent of those sins and turn to the Lord with a humble heart for forgiveness.

But the Lord tells Ezekiel that it is not simply his job to be a “watchman.” The Lord will raise up and appoint other watchmen over time. And it is the responsibility of such watchmen to see threats and dangers and sins and warn the people, or they will be held to account by the Lord Himself.

Each of you are future Christian leaders. Each of you have come to Moody to study the word of the Lord and learn how to teach it to others. Each of you, therefore, has a responsibility to see dangers and threats and sins and to lovingly but honestly and clearly warn them to turn to the Lord before it is too late. It is a high calling and a great responsibility, and I urge you to take it seriously.

Today I want to briefly discuss three grave threats we all must see and understand and take action on:

  1. The threat that America is not just declining but imploding — and that our only hope is a Third Great Awakening;
  2. The threat that America and parts of the Church will turn against Israel & the Jewish people; and
  3. The threat that Christians in the West will ignore or turn a blind eye to the barbaric slaughter and terrible persecution of Muslims as well as Arab Christians in the Middle East by Radical Islamic jihadists like ISIS, Hamas, etc.

Let me now share a bit more on each point.

1. America is not simply in decline. We are heading for collapse, for implosion.

There are many reasons for this, including a massive and crushing national debt with no end in sight, the implosion of families through divorce and out-of-wedlock-birth and the assault on traditional marriage, violent crime, drug use, pornography and so forth. I wrote about this in more detail in my 2012 non-fiction book, Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time?, so I won’t take the time today to go through each of these issues in detail.

But I do want to discuss one threat above all: America faces the implosion because we face divine judgment for murdering so many unborn children.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp in Poland. As I stood in an actual gas chamber that was used to systematically murder so many Jews, political prisoners and others, it was a horrifying experience. I’m Gentile on my mother’s side, and Jewish on my father’s side, and standing there thinking about how the Nazis created these murder factories to kill six million Jews was one of the most painful experiences of my life.

But as I stood in that gas chamber, I could not help but think of how my own country, America — a country I love so dearly — has created murder factories to kill millions of people, as well. I was born in 1967. In my lifetime — since 1973 — the American people have legally murdered more than 55 million babies. If this is not stopped soon, we will reach 60 million. Think about that. If we really get to the point that our nation has systematically murdered 60 million human beings, we will have murdered 10 times more people than the Nazis killed of the Jews.

Now we know how God judged Germany and the Nazi regime through a crushing defeat in World War II, and we believe that the Nazis deserved such judgment. What do we think is going to happen if continue to murder millions of children? We are going to face the judgment of God. It is extraordinary that it hasn’t happened already.

There is hope, but we are running out of time. We could repent as a nation. We could turn from our wicked ways, plead with God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive our sins, and plead with Him to heal our land.

The Bible says, “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This was specifically a promise given to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. But it is a principle we can apply today. We could plead with God for forgiveness, and He could grant it. He could give us a sweeping series of revivals that could culminate in a Third Great Awakening, with hundreds of millions of Americans — beginning with the Church — repenting of our sins, turning to Christ, praying, fasting, reading God’s Word and seeking to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is possible. There is hope. But again, we are running out of time.

But let’s be clear: Without a revival, we are on the road to implosion. Indeed, the threat of implosion is far beyond what the next President or Congress can solve alone — we desperately need a Third Great Awakening.

Will you and I faithfully teach and preach the word of God to the nation? Will America hear the word of the Lord that we have strayed far from the teachings of the Bible and allowed our land to become polluted with abortions and pornography and violence and wickedness of all kinds? Will we admit how far we are from God’s plan and purpose for our lives? Will we confess that our hearts are far from Jesus Christ and plead with the Lord for His mercy and grace and forgiveness? Will we fast and pray and earnestly seek God’s face, and implore Christ to give us a Third Great Awakening? Or will we ignore the word of the Lord and continue in our sins and watch our nation continue to decline, or even implode?

Twice in American history we have seen sweeping spiritual revivals known as the Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening, respectively. Millions of Americans repented of their sins during those seasons, became devout followers of Jesus Christ, began to read the Bible voraciously and to obey the word of the Lord. Nowhere in Scripture, however, has America been promised a spiritual revival in the 21st century, much less one that would be so sweeping, so game-changing that it would qualify as a Third Great Awakening. But who knows? Perhaps the Lord will show us tremendous mercy and forgiveness if we all humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways?

2. What happens if — on top of all our nation’s challenges and sins — America abandons or turns against Israel?

In Genesis 12, the Lord God chooses Abram, calls him out of Ur of the Chaldees (located in modern-day Iraq, 220 miles southeast of Baghdad) to go to “a land that I will show you,” which turns out to be the land later called Israel. The Lord promises to bless Abram, and through him bless “all the families of the earth.” Specifically in 12:3, the Lord says, “I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” As one reads through the rest of the book of Genesis, it becomes clear that this promise from God is passed down from Abram (who is later named Abraham) to Isaac to Jacob (later named Israel) and then to Jacob’s descendants, Israel and the Jewish people. Thus, the Lord is making clear that those who bless Israel and the Jewish people He will bless, and those who curse them He will curse. If America turns against or abandons Israel and the Jews after being their closest friend and ally for so many decades, God warns He will bring judgment upon us.

Psalm 122:6-9 — This passage reads, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. May peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces.’ For the sake of my brothers and my friends, I will now say, ‘May peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your good.”

Clearly, people all over the world, including in America, need to:

  • pray for peace in Jerusalem, Israel and the broader Middle East
  • pray for Jews and Arabs in the epicenter
  • love Jews and Arabs in the epicenter
  • seek the good of Jews and Arabs in the epicenter

The Lord promises to bless and “prosper” those who do.

3. Followers of Jesus Christ who love Israel and understand God’s Biblical plan for Israel must not be blind to the suffering in the Arab, Iranian, and Muslim world, nor deaf to their cries for help, nor dull to the terror and tyranny they face.

We are witnessing a Radical Islamic offensive across the Mideast, from Gaza to Syria to Iraq.

Leaders in Washington and across the world have been slow to see, and slow to act.

But the Church must step up. We serve the King of glory. Our King was born in the epicenter. He died and rose again in the epicenter. He is coming back to the epicenter — and He’s coming soon.

So we must help our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in the Middle East. We must show Christ’s love and compassion to Jews, Muslims and Christians in the epicenter.

We need to LEARN about what is happening in the region and God’s plan and purpose for the people there. [On this note, I shared with the students why I write fiction and non-fiction books to help educate people about coming dangers and mobilize them to action. I also shared about my forthcoming novel, THE THIRD TARGET, about the threat ISIS poses to the region and America, and that Tyndale and I have decided to release the novel earlier than expected because of how rapidly ISIS is moving. The book will now release on January 6th.] 

We need to PRAY for peace and healing and stability and calm in the region, and for open doors for the Gospel.

We need to GIVE to ministries that are doing effective work in the region, ministries like The Joshua Fund.

We also need to be willing to GO to the region if God sends us there to serve Him and serve the people in the name of Jesus.

Is this hard? Yes.

Is this dangerous? Sometimes.

But Jesus laid down His life in love to save us. Will you and I lay down our lives in love to serve Him?

When people and nations are in danger, will you and I blow the trumpet and sound the warning?

May the Lord use you as a faithful watchmen on the wall.

CONCLUSION

If a nation follows these principles — if they love and bless Israel and the Jewish people, and do not divide the land of Israel, and love and pray for Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem and seek their good — then God will love and bless and show mercy to such a nation.

But if a nation violates these principles — especially chronically and consistently — then there will be a day of reckoning.

The question is: What do we want, a blessing or a curse, mercy or judgment?

Overall, most Americans are very supportive of Israel and find many ways to love and bless her, as well as the Arabs and others in Israel and the Middle East. This is good.

But there are a growing number of voices who say it is time to:

  • cut off military aid to Israel
  • boycott Israel
  • divest from Israel
  • sanction Israel
  • and/or turn against Israel once and for all

Some do so because of anti-Semitism, others out of a belief in isolationism, and others because of ignorance.

Given the high stakes, one of the things we need to do is teach people about God’s love and plan and purpose for Israel and the Jewish people, and why this matters to America. We need to help more people — including our leaders and future leaders — understand why America’s fate is inextricably linked with how we treat Israel and the Jewish people, as well as her neighbors.

I would encourage you to study Genesis 12 through 17, in particular, on your own more carefully.

You will seen how the Lord unfolds the Abrahamic Covenant, piece by piece, step by step, including the fact that this is an “everlasting covenant” (Genesis 17:7) and thus cannot be broken or abrogated, and that the Lord has given the land of Israel as an “everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8). 

Thank you  

I’ll give a sneak preview of my forthcoming novel, The Third Target, at the Moody Bible Institute chapel on Tuesday.

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Moody-Gazaevent

This week I am looking forward to being back in the U.S., albeit briefly.

On Monday and Tuesday I will be on the campus of Moody Bible Institute. Dr. Michael Rydelnik, a wonderful Moody professor, has asked me to speak to two of his classes on Monday, one on the Holocaust and the other on Israeli politics and society. Then, on Monday evening, I will speak on a panel on “Israel and Gaza: Understanding The Conflict.” It will take place from 7-9pm in the Alumni Auditorium. Please join us if you can.

On Tuesday, I am scheduled to address all the students on the Moody campus in chapel. I am planning on giving a sneak preview of my forthcoming novel, The Third Target, which deals with the rapidly growing threat the Islamic State (aka, ISIS) poses to Jews, Christians and Muslims. I hope to comment on the direct challenge the Islamic caliphate poses to the Church and how Christians can and must respond.

Then I hope to head back to Washington, D.C. for several days of board meetings for The Joshua Fund.

I’d be very grateful for your prayers, and I will do my best to keep you posted along the way through this blog and Twitter. Thanks so much and God bless you.

“Epic flip-flop”: Now Rand Paul is trying to deny he’s an isolationist & assert he would be tougher on ISIS than the President. Unbelievable. This is the GOP frontrunner for 2016?

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2014 at 4:56 am

Sen. Rand Paul is engaging in one "epic flip flop" after another.  Troubling views and troubling behavior for a GOP frontrunner. (photo credit: Politico)

Sen. Rand Paul is engaging in one “epic flip flop” after another. Troubling views and troubling behavior for a GOP frontrunner. (photo credit: Politico)

With President Obama floundering on foreign policy and economic issues, and the world seeming to spin out of control amidst the vacuum created by America’s retreat from the world, it is important to understand the leading contenders to replace him in 2016.

One is Sen. Rand Paul, who is widely described as the “frontrunner” for the GOP nomination (see here, here and here) and is doing well in numerous national polls. As reluctant as I am to comment on American partisan politics, I do feel compelled to say that Sen. Paul would be a disastrous choice for President. He is wrong on many vital issues, including being hostile to Israel and clueless on the threat of Radical Islam. But he is also increasingly demonstrating that he is fundamentally dishonest, willing to say just about anything to advance politically.

On August 6th, I wrote a column titled, “Rand Paul has repeatedly called for ending US military aid to Israel. Now he’s denying it. Why?”

Now Sen. Paul is trying to deny that he is an “isolationist,” even though that is exactly what he is and what themes and principles he has proudly (and loudly) proclaimed for years. Indeed, after repeatedly urging the US to retreat from the Middle East, and repeatedly urging the US not to take decisive action against ISIS, Sen. Paul has now done what one critical has called an “epic flip flop,” arguing that if he were President he would have been much tougher on ISIS than President Obama.

And it’s not just Israel and ISIS where Paul is flip-flopping — it’s on one issue after another.

Would this matter if he were just another face in the crowd? Maybe not. But he is the GOP “frontrunner” for the 2016 presidential nomination so it is important people know who he is and what he believes. Or at least his changing stories.

Here are several useful interviews, opeds, and analyses, some by the Senator, and some about him, describing his changing views and his troubling flip-flops on various issues, including foreign policy and national security. I commend them to your attention. Please also share and discuss them with others.

Here’s another, written by former Sen. Rick Santorum and published by Politico on September 5th. It captures the heart of the trouble quite succinctly.

Will the Real Rand Paul Please Stand Up?

The Kentucky senator is trying to tell us he’s not an isolationist. That dog won’t hunt.

By Rick Santorum

Rand Paul insists he’s not an “isolationist.” Writing this week in TIME, he says, “I look at the world, and consider war, realistically and constitutionally.” 

But in reality, the Kentucky senator has advanced a brand of neo-isolationism and appeasement that is as short-sighted as it mistaken. Despite his recent, and frantic efforts to recast himself as not completely ridiculous on national security issues, the truth is his record often puts him in league with Barack Obama—or even to the president’s left. Anyone who truly cares about American liberty at home must not ignore real enemies and rising threats abroad. Rather, we must confront such challenges wisely and decisively to protect American lives, our economy and our allies.

He may be changing his tune now, but he can’t hide from his record. Senator Paul has long been wrong and far out of the mainstream on three key matters – Iran, the Islamic State and Israel. Let’s look at each in turn.

Iran: Senator Paul now says “all options are on the table” when it comes to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. But few believe he is serious.

In a radio interview in 2007, while helping his father, isolationist Rep. Ron Paul, run for president, Rand actually denied that Iran is a threat to the United States or Israel. He did so despite the fact that the U.S. government designated Iran a “state sponsor of terrorism” as far back as 1984. “Even our own intelligence community consensus opinion now is that they [Iran] are not a threat,” Rand said. “Like my dad says, [the Iranians] don’t have an Air Force, they don’t have a Navy. You know, it’s ridiculous to think they’re a threat to our national security…. It’s not even that viable to say they’re a national threat to Israel.”

In September 2012, the U.S. Senate voted 90 to 1 in support of Joint Resolution 41 to advance a firm American policy “to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability,” a policy that “urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on …I ran,” and one that “warns that time is limited to prevent … Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.” The authors specifically noted: “nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.” The focus was exclusively on urging the Obama administration to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran. The resolution was even non-binding.

Nevertheless, this was all too much for Senator Paul, who chose to be the only member of the U.S. Senate to vote against it.

In February 2013, Sen. Paul delivered a disturbing speech at the Heritage Foundation in which he urged leaders in Washington to seriously consider a policy of “containing” a nuclear-armed Iran, rather than focusing like a laser on preventing the Islamic Republic from building or acquiring nuclear warheads.

“Containment,” Paul said, “should be discussed as an option.” This, however, put him to the left of President Obama, who has said, “Iran’s leaders should understand that I do not have a policy of containment. I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

In January 2014, Senator Paul sided with President Obama in opposing the passage of new economic sanctions on Iran, further evidence he would rather appease the mullahs in Tehran than ratchet up pressure on them to give up their illegal and dangerous nuclear program. “I think while they [the Iranians] are negotiating – and if we can see they’re negotiating in good faith – I don’t think it’s a good idea to pass sanctions,” Paul told CNN.

The Islamic State: Earlier this summer, Paul questioned in the Wall Street Journal whether there was any good reason for the U.S. military to stop or even slow down the Islamic State’s jihadist offensive in Iraq. He did so despite the fact that ISIL, as it is commonly known, has been slaughtering Muslims and Christians across the region. Yet he saw no serious threat to the American people from ISIL and could not bring himself to support the use of U.S. airpower to help our Arab and Kurdish allies defeat ISIL and prevent the establishment of a radical Islamic caliphate. What’s more, he continued to argue that it is in part the GOP’s fault that Iraq is fast becoming the epicenter of terrorism.

Yet now, with American journalists being beheaded and even President Obama taking reluctant half-measures to slow ISIL through air strikes, Senator Paul is suddenly changing his tune. “If I were president, I would call a joint session of Congress,” he now says. “I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek Congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily.” (ISIS is another acronym used to refer to the Islamic State.)

Did Senator Paul just hire John Kerry’s speechwriter? Is he really trying to convince Americans that he was against U.S. intervention before he was for it?

It is President Obama’s reckless retreat from the Middle East – a retreat Senator Paul has wholeheartedly supported – that has created the vacuum into which the Islamic State is now surging. 

America must change course. We must not allow the Islamic State or other radical Sunni groups to seize control of Iraq. Nor can we allow the radical Shia leaders of Iran to exploit the situation and gain effective control over Iraq. If America keeps retreating and surrendering in the Middle East, the terrorists will attack us here at home. I have offered several ideas to protect ourselves and do this right, but we must move decisively. Time is of the essence.

Israel: I recently returned from leading a solidarity delegation to Israel. This is a country that has been attacked by a radical Islamic terror group with more than 4,000 rockets and missiles. Now more than ever, America should stand solidly with Israel, our best friend and most faithful and trustworthy ally in the Middle East.

Yet if Senator Paul had his way, he would cut Israel loose. Though he recently tried to deny it, Paul for years has called for an end to all U.S. military aid to Israel, deriding the roughly $3 billion America invests in Israel’s military annually as “welfare.”

“All right, so just to be precise, [you want to] end all foreign aid including the foreign aid to Israel as well. Is that right?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked during a January 2011 interview.

“Yes,” answered Paul.

On a trip to Israel in January 2013, Paul again repeated his call for ending all aid to Israel. The senator says he is not anti-Israel, but how is it pro-Israel—or pro-American—to cut off our military investment in a key ally facing existential threats?

Not only would this be a dangerous mistake, it once again puts Senator Paul to the left of even the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team who, for all their many mistakes, have never gone so far as to call for ending all aid to Israel. (For the record, Politifact gave Paul’s claim that he hadn’t “really proposed” cutting aid to Israel a “Pants on Fire” rating.)

Rand Paul is now scrambling to not sound completely out of touch on foreign policy and national security issues. But it’s hard to see how his new rhetoric is anything more than a veiled attempt to hide his record as he looks to 2016. His neo-isolationism should be rejected. It is bad for the Republican Party, and it is bad for America.

Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania from 1995-2007, is chairman of Patriot Voices and author of Blue Collar Conservatives.

Rev. Graham: “As I read the news, I can’t help but wonder if we’re in last hours”

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse and son of world-renowned preacher Billy Graham, said that given all the ‘bad news’ about the killing of Christians by Muslims in some countries, and attacks on Christians by the media and the government even in America, he cannot ‘help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns,'” reports CNS News.

“As I read the news, I can’t help but wonder if we are in the last hours before our Lord Jesus Christ returns to rescue His church and God pours out His wrath on the world for the rejection of His Son,” said Rev. Graham in a post on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) website.

“I don’t know if we have hours, days, months, or years—but as Christians, God calls us to take the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the earth,” said Graham.  “Our job is to warn sinners of the consequences of sin and show them that God is loving and gracious, willing to forgive if we come to Him in repentance and faith.”

I wonder that myself.

Like Franklin, I have no idea if we have a very short time or if we have many more years before the Rapture. I strongly oppose setting dates or speculating on certain days or hours or any of the sensationalistic nonsense that people like Harold Camping and others have peddled over the years.

Rather, I embrace the teachings of Jesus who warned us to be ready because His coming for us could appear at any moment.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone,” the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 24:36-44. “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

Are you ready?

Here is the full article on Rev. Graham’s thoughts. I encourage you to read it and share with others.

“The BGEA was founded in 1950 by Rev. Billy Graham, and Franklin Graham is vice chairman and CEO of the evangelical organization,” noted CNS News. “In his remarks, Rev. Graham talked about the spread of Ebola in Africa, noting that just in 2014 ‘the virus has already claimed the lives of over 1,000, making it the deadliest outbreak in history.’ One of the American doctors, Kent Brantly, infected with Ebola in Liberia and flown back to the United States for treatment last month was working with Samaritan’s Purse.”

“As for the religious persecution in the Middle East and elsewhere, Rev. Graham questioned whether ‘the world is coming apart at the seams,’ adding, ‘There appears to be no end to the bad news. The killing of Christians by Muslims from Indonesia to Bangladesh to Pakistan. China tearing down church buildings. Christians tortured, beheaded, and crucified in Iraq, with villages burned and churches destroyed, and much the same in Syria.’

“American pastor Saeed Abedini is still imprisoned in Iran for his faith,” said Rev. Graham.  “Throughout Northern Africa, the Middle East, and many parts of the world, the church of Jesus Christ—and anyone or any group who bears His Name—is under attack.”

 

“In our own country as well, there is great opposition to the church of Jesus Christ,” he said.  “We see this throughout the media, the entertainment industry, government, and politics.”

Rev. Graham continued, “Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 24 when they asked Him about the signs of the end of the age. He said there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilence. He told them, ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.’”

“Franklin Graham is married, has five children, and lives in Boone, N.C.,” noted CNS News. “His father, Rev. Billy Graham, 95, is in poor health and not expected to live much longer. Over the years, Billy Graham preached to more than 215 million people in 185 different countries, and he wrote 31 books. For more than 50 years he has regularly been ranked among one of the most admired people in the world.”

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With Israel facing enormous pressures from all sides, would you pray today for one full hour for the peace of Jerusalem? Here’s a suggested prayer.

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2014 at 2:24 pm

AnneGrahamLotz-prayforJerusalem

Today, on this first day of the ninth month, would you join Anne Graham Lotz and me and Christians all over the world to pray for at least one full hour for the peace of Jerusalem?

The citizens and leaders of Israel face enormous geopolitical and economic pressures from every side. They also face a fierce and raging spiritual battle beyond what most of us can understand or imagine. What’s more, some of us have a sense that the Jewish State will soon face its darkest and most difficult hour. Let us not just say we love Israel. Let us intercede on her behalf. Let us come before the God of Israel and ask Him to grant His protection and blessings and pour out His Holy Spirit on all the people of Israel — Jews, Arabs and all inhabitants of the Land. The Bible commands us in Psalm 122 to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Now more than ever, the people of Israel need the prayerful intercession of devout and faithful Christians. What follows, therefore, is the open letter and suggested prayer points that Anne has published on her website. I encourage you to read it and let it help you know how to pray for Jerusalem and all the people of Israel. Thank you so much. — Joel C. Rosenberg

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911: AN URGENT CALL TO PRAY FOR JERUSALEM

NOTE:  This prayer may be prayed in one hour, or it may be prayed section by section over a longer period of time. Although it is patterned after Daniel 9, it is my personal prayer. It comes from deep within my heart, because I believe the rapture of the church may be imminent.  When that moment comes, and every born again believer is caught up to be with Jesus, along with the Holy Spirit who indwells them and presently restrains evil, Israel will be more alone in the family of nations than she ever has been since her rebirth in 1948. And I wonder…is it at that moment that God will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication?  Is it at that moment that they will look on the One they have pierced, and recognize Him as their Messiah?[1] I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I am utterly convinced it’s time to pray for Jerusalem. — Anne Graham Lotz

Our Father in Heaven. God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You are the Eternal I AM.  The One who is age to age the same. There is no shadow of turning with You.  You are fully present in every generation—past, present, and future. You are the All-Mighty.  Your power has not been deleted or depleted over the millennia of human history. We know that You so loved the world that You gave us Heaven’s treasure when You sent Your only Son to die, so that anyone and everyone who places their faith in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Yet we also know that Your great heart of love still longs to pour out Your blessing on the City and the people that You have uniquely chosen as Your own. Jerusalem. The House of Israel. The Jews.

In this present worldwide climate of unbridled evil, we are desperate!  Nations are unraveling.  Wars are raging. There are rumors of more wars breaking out. Kingdom is rising against kingdom. Our spirits feel the turmoil and agitation that surely is a reflection of the warfare being waged in the invisible realms.  We need You!  For everything!  But our hearts are now burdened for the Epicenter of the world. For Jerusalem and all that she represents at this critical, strategic last hour.

So we humbly turn to You now. For one hour we turn away from our responsibilities and routines, our busyness and our business, our own problems and pressures.  We turn away from focusing on our own nation and the needs of the church.  We turn away from any self-reliance or self-interests, and we look to You.  We run to You.  We join together with one heart and one voice to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You alone are the One who makes us to dwell in safety.  You alone are the One who makes us secure. You alone are God.  And You alone are our God.  We turn to You, deeply aware we do not deserve in ourselves to address You, yet boldly confident of access into Your most holy presence through the blood of Your Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And so… 

We pray with confidence, because You are the God of Creation, Lord of the Universe. Elohim. The Strong One.  You alone are The LORD.  You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them.  You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You.[2]  We sing Your praises, for You are highly exalted.  No one is higher than You. You are our strength and our song.  Again and again, You have been the salvation of Your people:  from bondage in Egypt, from Pharoh’s pursuing army, from Midianites and Amorites and Edomites and Moabites and Canaanites and Perizzites and Philistines; from captivity in Babylon, from the four corners of the earth, from the Nazi death camps, and now from Hamas and Hezbollah and ISIS and the Taliban and Al Queda and the Muslim Brotherhood and Boko Haram, You alone are able to shatter Israel’s enemies.

Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power. And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up again You; You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff.

Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?  Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?  In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; in Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.

You will reign forever and ever.  We long for the day when our faith becomes sight and the whole world is filled with the glory of who You are.  Our highest joy will be to see You face to face; to gather around Your throne with multitudes from every tribe, language, people, and nation that you have purchased with the blood of Your own Son, and worship You.[3]

I pray with confidence because _________________

We pray with compulsion for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the whole House of  Israel. Your people and the city that bear Your name are surrounded by a vast multitude of hostile, evil men seeking to kill and destroy.  Men who behead those who refuse to embrace their evil dogma, who bury alive those who refuse to submit to their will, who crucify those who are identified with Your Son.  Your people are under the incessant barrage of enemy missiles and mortars that are destroying farms and families, communities and children.  While one ceasefire after another promises peace, peace there is no peace.  Are You not the God who rules over all the nations?  Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.

We are compelled to pray for Your people because they are facing their enemies without the strength, wisdom, peace, comfort, security and hope that You reserve for those who are indwelt by Your Spirit through faith in Your Son, Jesus.  They have no deep, blessed assurance that their sins are forgiven, that eternal life is theirs, and that a heavenly Home is waiting to welcome them.

We are compelled to pray because…

  • You have promised that You will give Your people a new heart and put a new spirit within them; that You will remove their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
  • You have promised that in the very last days, You will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. 
  • You have promised that You will open the eyes of the spiritually blind, and they would look on You, the One they have pierced. 
  • You have promised that all of Israel, tribe by tribe, clan by clan, family by family, will mourn for their sin of rebellion and rejection of their Messiah.
  • You have promised that on that day of national mourning and repentance, all of Israel will be saved. That the deliverer will come from Zion; that You will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
  • You have promised that You will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and You will cleanse them.
  • You have promised that they will be Your people, and You will be their God. 
  • You have promised that You will make an everlasting covenant of peace with them.
  • You have promised that one day, and we believe soon, You will set aside 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel who have been redeemed and on whose foreheads You write Your name, to be proclaimers of the Gospel to the whole world.

O Abba Father! We do not ask for what we want or what we hope.  We are asking You to do what You have said! You are a great covenant-keeping God.  You do not mock Your children. You keep Your word. We are therefore compelled at this moment when faced with problems that have no human solution to pray and hold You to Your promises.[4] 

I pray with compulsion because of our problems and Your promises_____________

We pray with a contrite spirit. We are ashamed and embarrassed to lift up our faces to You, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.[5] So now, our God, what shall we say?

We have sinned and done wrong. 

We have been wicked and have rebelled. 

We have turned away from Your commands and Your Word. [6]

We have not listened to Your servants the prophets…like Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah…who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers, and to all Your people.

We have not obeyed or kept the laws You have given us.

We have rationalized and explained away the evidence of Your greatness that we see in Creation around us.

We have suppressed the truth that we were created by You and for You, and have exchanged it for the lie that we are masters of our own fate

We do not glorify You as God, nor give thanks to You, but live our lives as though we have no accountability to You. [7] 

We have looked to our own strength for salvation and have forgotten Your mighty acts of deliverance in the past.  As though the God of Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah no longer exists.  Or if You do, You no longer involve Yourself in the affairs of Your people.

We confess that our faith in You and Your strength is weak, as though what we face today is beyond Your ability to overcome. Or beneath Your interest to intervene.

We confess to pride and arrogance that have determined we must face our enemies in our own strength. That this present darkness will pass without Your intervention.

We confess to religious intolerance that condemns those who are not like us.

We confess to religious indifference that gives lip service to You, but lacks sincere faith so that our lives are lived and our decisions are made as practical atheists—as though You do not exist. 

You are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against You.  But this day we are covered with shame.

With a humble, contrite spirit, I confess_____________ 

We pray with clarity. We ask, great Creator God, that You give sight to those born spiritually blind. Open the eyes of Your people to see You for who You truly are. Don’t let their sight be dimmed or distorted by centuries of religiosity and rejection of the Truth. Open their eyes to Jesus as their Messiah. Then show up in great power, giving Your people supernatural strength to withhold vengeance, to execute justice, to remember mercy, to walk humbly as they acknowledge that victory will be won not by their might nor by their own power, but by Your Spirit.[8] Yet we do ask You for victory over the enemy…

We pray for the enemies who are coming against Jerusalem to be convicted of their sin, for them to repent and turn from it and ask You for forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ.  But if they do not, we ask that this day, You defeat and destroy them.

We ask that You strip Jerusalem’s enemies of peace and cooperation among themselves, so that they are divided and turn on each other.

We ask that their evil plans would be exposed or fall back on their own heads.

We ask that the face of every man, woman or child that they have slaughtered, beheaded, buried, or crucified be indelibly imprinted on their mind’s eye, filling them with turmoil and robbing them of clear thinking.[9]

We ask that for every man, woman or child who is martyred for their faith in You, ten others would rise up to take their place, so that the persecution would fan revival fires throughout the Muslim world. Please, dear Jesus, keep showing up in dreams and visions and in any form You choose in order to change hearts and minds, melting generations of prejudice and hatred with Your love and peace.

We ask that the fear of the One, True, Living God would fall on Israel’s neighbors…and on Israel.[10]

We ask that the ancient prince of the Persian kingdom and every other demonic force coming against Your City be bound and rendered powerless in the face of the hosts of Heaven.[11]

We ask that the Iron Dome would be 100% effective, and that You would continue to anoint Israel’s engineers and physicists with ability to design systems that would provide a protective shield for The Beautiful Land.

We ask for supernatural wisdom for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Cabinet, his counselors, and all government officials, so that they make decisions in line with Your perfect will. Draw the Prime Minister into Your Word; and when he opens and reads it, speak to him through it.

We ask that You turn the heart of The Honorable Nir Barkat, Jerusalem’s mayor, toward You; that he would acknowledge his need of You and issue a city-wide call to prayer.

We ask that You comfort the mothers, fathers, and children living in the farming communities near the Gaza border.  Give them an overwhelming sense of Your presence and love for each of them. As they turn to You, give them peace…and a good night’s sleep.

We ask that You woo Your people to Yourself.  Draw them to put their trust in You, so that You are their refuge and their fortress.  Save them.  Cover them. Be with them in trouble. Command Your angels to guard them and keep them in all their ways. [12] 

You are a great prayer-hearing, prayer-answering, covenant-keeping, miracle-working God. Hear our prayer!  Listen to Your children as we pray for the peace of the city on which You have placed Your name.  Rise up, great Lion of Judah, and defend Your people. Deliver Jerusalem from her enemies so that all the nations of the earth may know that You alone are God. Answer us!  For the glory of Your great name!

I ask specifically for____________

We will pray until our prayers are confirmed, because we believe in You.  We believe that Jerusalem’s God is God.  We believe You are as strong today on her behalf as You were in the beginning, and always have been, and always will be. We believe that since the first day we set our minds to gain understanding and to humble ourselves before our God, our words have been heard.[13]We believe that we have asked according to Your will, in the name of Your dear Son, and for His glory alone.  Therefore we expect to receive answers.[14]

Now we await Your confirmation.  We have prayed for the peace of Jerusalem. We don’t know what else to do. But our eyes are fixed expectantly on You.[15]

For the Glory of Yeshua

AMEN

NOTES:

[1] Zechariah 12:10

[2] Nehemiah 9:6

[3] Based on the Song of Moses, Exodus 15

[4] The promises above were taken from Ezekiel 36:26; Zechariah 12:10-12; Romans 11:26-27;  Ezekiel 37:23; Ezekiel 37:26, Revelation 7:1-4, 14:1-5

[5] Paraphrased from Ezra 9, Daniel 9, and Romans 1

[6]  Israel has the most liberal abortion laws in the world. Tel Aviv is marketed as the gay capital of the Middle East. Alcohol consumption among Israeli children is surging to the extent that Prime Minister Netanyahu has called it “an epidemic.”

[7] Paraphrased from Romans 1; 42% of Israelis are secular.

[8] Zechariah 4:6

[9] Romans 2:9

[10] 2 Chronicles 20:29

[11] Daniel 10:12-13

[12] Psalm 91

[13] Daniel 10:12

[14] John 14:13-14

[15] 2 Chronicles 20:12

Here’s a game plan to stop ISIS & the jihadists in the epicenter. The President admits he has no strategy. Thank God others do.

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

(Central Israel) — The President of the United States has absolutely no idea what he is doing in the Middle East. Mr. Obama apparently has plenty of time to play golf. Yet he refuses to invest the time and energy necessary to come up with a plan to stop — much less defeat — ISIS, despite the genocidal attacks their forces are engaged in and the grave threat they pose to Israel and our Arab allies. 

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” President Obama admitted during a White House press conference on Thursday

Why in the world not?

Others have developed sound strategies. Here are a few:

Consider, too, an excellent op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer today by former Senator Rick Santorum. He lays out a game plan to deal with ISIS and the threat of the jihadists in the Middle East and protect the American people and our vital national interests.

SANTORUM: FACE REALITY IN THE MIDEAST

It is painful beyond words to behold the bloodthirsty brutality of the jihadists in the Middle East right now. But perhaps even more disturbing is the sight of an American president unable or unwilling to accurately assess the magnitude of the threat to America and our allies, and taking hesitant, awkward, vacillating half-measures in response.

The forces of radical Islam are on the move. In Syria, nearly 200,000 people are dead. Millions are on the run. In Iraq, the jihadists are slaughtering Muslims, Christians, and other minorities. In Gaza, the radicals have fired more than 4,000 rockets aimed at massacring Israeli civilians.

The jihadists may use different names (ISIS, Hamas, Islamic Jihad) and different tactics (rockets, tunnels, beheadings, crucifixions), but their goals are the same. Obliterate Israel. Topple our Arab allies. Establish an Islamic caliphate. Then launch a series of catastrophic attacks on the United States.

How is it possible that President Obama seems more interested in playing golf than in standing with our friends in the midst of a war that threatens our security too?

I have just returned from leading a solidarity trip to Israel. My colleagues and I witnessed the jihadist offensive firsthand. In the three days we were there, Hamas fired more than 300 rockets at Israeli cities, including Jerusalem. We heard the Code Red alerts go off. We experienced the adrenaline that comes with running to a bomb shelter. We met with Israeli Defense Force soldiers on the front lines near Gaza. We visited parents whose only son was kidnapped and murdered by these jihadists just weeks ago.

I was deeply impressed by the courage and resilience of the Israeli people in the face of this cruel enemy. I was blessed by seeing their immense love and appreciation for America, and particularly for U.S. funding of their miraculous Iron Dome rocket defense system. But I was also struck by how many Israelis privately expressed to me their growing fear that Obama does not seem to truly understand what is happening in the region, and isn’t sufficiently determined to defeat this enemy.

The president has told us repeatedly that “al-Qaeda is on the run” and “we have decimated al-Qaeda.” But his policies have actually allowed the jihadists to become stronger.

In 2011, I warned that the president’s foolish and reckless Iraq policy – especially his inability to build an effective working relationship with the Iraqi leadership and his decision to precipitously withdraw all U.S.

military forces by the end of that year – meant the United States would lose the war in Iraq, and create an environment into which other radical Islamic forces would be drawn. That now appears to be true.

There is a way to turn this around. The president should immediately:

Crush ISIS and prevent a caliphate. Hit them hard and relentlessly from the air. Pinpricks have slowed the ISIS advance, but is the president willing to accept a country in the heart of the Middle East governed by such Islamic radicals? Decisive air power is needed now.

Arm the Kurds. The Kurdish people in northern Iraq are fighting for their lives. They have long proven their friendship with America. They have demonstrated that they are a moderate, peaceful Muslim people. They have tried to create a safe haven for Christians and other minorities. Stand with them. Provide them with weapons of the amount and caliber that will truly help them defend their people.

Help the new Iraqi prime minister. Nouri al-Maliki is gone. Good. Haider al-Abadi is new but untested. Work with him. Show him and the Iraqi people that America has not cut them loose. Urge them to build an inclusive democracy that truly and fully welcomes and empowers Sunnis as well as Shias, along with Christians, Kurds, and all other minority groups. Provide Baghdad with real-time intelligence, as well as more military training and logistical support to regain the upper hand against the radicals.

Stand with Israel. John Kerry has been a disaster as secretary of state. Bring in a special envoy who treats Israel as a true friend and faithful American ally, not an irritant or obstacle to Mideast peace. Stop pressuring the Israelis to accept premature and deeply flawed ceasefire agreements. Stop halting or micromanaging the transfer of weapons to Israel that we have already promised them. Stand with the Israelis without hesitation or prevarication.

Support our Arab friends. The Egyptians, Jordanians, Saudis, and some in the Gulf know first-hand the threat posed by the radicals. They want to work with the United States to prevent the creation of a caliphate. They feel abandoned by this White House, which seems more focused on helping Hamas and placating Iran than on engaging friends.

Seal America’s southern border. Every day this administration refuses to stop people crossing from Mexico into the United States illegally, the more likely terrorists will use these routes to plant sleeper cells inside the homeland.

Turn up the heat on Iran. The most serious threat to America, Israel, and our Arab allies is a nuclear-armed Iran. The Iranians are playing this White House. They want a deal that allows them to keep all of their centrifuges and enrichment equipment, their stockpiles of uranium, and their capacity to race for a nuclear bomb within a matter of months. Say no. Implement tougher sanctions. Move more military assets into the Gulf region. Make clear there will be serious consequences if Iran continues to defy the international community.

American leadership in the Mideast matters for our national security. There is a window of time for America to regain the initiative and protect ourselves and our allies, but we need a leader who levels with the American people about the nature of the threat and the serious consequences of inaction. Mr. President, it is time to tee it up in the game that you were elected to play.

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Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, is chairman of Patriot Voices and author of “Blue Collar Conservatives.” contact@patriotvoices.com

Santorum & NRB executives showed real leadership by visiting Israel amidst a hot war. They get the importance of US-Israel alliance & gravity of jihadist threat.

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2014 at 7:19 am

(Central Israel) — Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to and travel through Israel with two solidarity delegations from the United States. One was organized by former Senator Rick Santorum and included businessmen, journalists and evangelical Christian pastors from across the country. The other was led by Dr. Jerry Johnson, president & CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters and included highly-respected Christian leaders such as Anne Graham Lotz, Kay Arthur, Tony Perkins and Dr. Richard Land.

I shared some of our experiences on my blog last week. But I want to add a few thoughts upon having had time to reflect further on what I saw.

Senator Santorum and the NRB executives showed tremendous leadership by visiting Israel during a hot war. Each is a long-time friend of Israel, but this was above and beyond the call of duty. These principled men and women demonstrated true love and support for America’s number one ally in the Middle East. They came here even while hundreds of rockets were raining down on the Jewish state. They came when almost no one else was visiting the country. They visited troops on the frontlines.  They visited Israelis personally scarred by Hamas terrorism. They met with high-level government officials. They met with everyday Israelis — Jews and Arabs — all over the country. They learned how the Iron Dome system works and saw its benefits. They heard the Code Red sirens go off. They ran to bomb shelters like everyone else. Most importantly, they studied the Scriptures together and prayed for the peace of Jerusalem and communicated what they saw and heard back to millions of Americans back home via radio, TV and newspaper interviews, as well as via Facebook and Twitter.

How many others did that over the past fifty days of this cruel war?

I don’t know whether Senator Santorum will run for President again. I know he did remarkably well in 2012, coming in second after Gov. Romney, after winning the Iowa caucuses and a total of 11 primaries and some four million votes. He’s not currently a declared candidate, and won’t make his decision about 2016 until sometime next year. Therefore, what impresses me is that he is standing up for what is right, right now. He didn’t come for a photo op. He came to better understand the crisis in the Middle East and explain it to the American people.

When Santorum was serving in the Senate, he took the lead in supporting Israel and advancing legislation to deal with the threats from Iran and Syria. Today, though he is out of office, he continues to demonstrate that he gets the importance of a strong US-Israel relationship; that he truly understands the threat Radical Islamic jihadists pose to the U.S., Israel and our Arab allies in the Middle East; that he sees the danger Christians, Jews and other minorities face in the epicenter. He has enormous experience on these issues, and it shows in the way he speaks about these issues and the policies for which he advocates. He’s willing to speak out in a bold, principled way, regardless of whether the establishment in Washington notices or cares, and regardless of whether the mainstream media notices or cares.

Good for him. I’m impressed and grateful. May his tribe increase.

Likewise, Dr. Jerry Johnson and the folks from NRB are acting as true Christian statesmen. They love and support Israel. But they also care deeply for the plight of the Palestinian people who are being traumatized by Hamas and being caught in the crossfire of this terrible, painful war. These Christian leaders aren’t succumbing to the moral relativism of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) or other liberal, apostate denominations that have abandoned the Bible and the Scriptural call to bless Israel. They are standing on the Word of God, boldly and without apology.

Good for them. I’m impressed and grateful. May their tribe increase, as well.

One last thought for now: I strongly agree with the point Senator Santorum makes in his new op-ed (see below) — supporting Israel should not be a partisan issue. It should be a bipartisan commitment. Sadly, the President has brought US-Israel relations to its lowest point in 66 years. This deeply concerns me. That’s why I’m working on building friendships with Democrats as well as Republicans who support Israel and understand the issues here in the Middle East, or want to. To the extent time permits, I will do my best to help any leader who cares about these issues and is trying to do the right thing. That’s why I joined the Santorum and NRB delegations, and why I’ll help others in the future.

Please join me in thanking Rick, Jerry Johnson, and all who joined their delegations for showing true leadership and the courage of their convictions “at such a time as this.”

RICK SANTORUM: WHEN ISRAEL NEEDS OUR HELP, WE HAVE TO BE THERE

Op-ed in the Manchester (NH) Union Leader by former Senator Rick Santorum, published on August 27, 2014

On May 14, 1948, the United States of America was the first nation to officially recognize the newly reborn State of Israel. It was morally right and strategically wise that we did so, and we have been blessed as a nation ever since with a true friend in the Middle East.

It happened to be a Democrat, President Harry Truman, who understood the Jewish people’s right and need to return to their ancient homeland to be safe and free, especially in the wake of the Holocaust. To his great credit, Mr. Truman refused to follow the counsel of those in his own administration, even his own secretary of state, who said it was foolish for America to support a strong, safe and free Jewish state.

Yet while it was a Democrat in the White House who set into motion America’s alliance with Israel, it is another Democrat in the White House who has brought U.S.-Israel relations to their lowest point in 66 years.

This great alliance should not be a partisan issue. Indeed, support for Israel on Capitol Hill is one of the few issues that bring both parties together. Yet the President is an outlier, consistently creating new tensions and divisions with Israel, even while she is under attack by a virulent and ruthless enemy.

This should not be. Most Americans see Israel not simply as an ancient nation but a modern miracle, a true partner on many fronts, from manufacturing to agriculture to the development of state-of-the-art weapons systems like the Iron Dome. They also see a vibrant democracy and a real partner in the war with terrorists.

Yet it has become painfully apparent that our current President does not agree.

I came to Israel last week to show solidarity with her people and government, in part because I am embarrassed by the actions of my own government. The White House should never pressure an ally to accept flawed, biased ceasefire proposals in a war with terrorists who are hell-bent on annihilating them.

The U.S. government should never hold back arms from — or micromanage arms transfers to — an ally fighting for her life.

No administration should try to force an ally to divide her own capital city and surrender the sovereignty of that capital to an enemy sworn to obliterate her.

Nor should any administration leak to the media policy or personal disagreements with an ally, especially during war time.

Yet this is exactly what is happening.

The delegation of American business leaders, pastors and journalists I brought to Jerusalem join me in standing with Israel because we see a friend under attack and feeling increasingly alone. While we were there, Hamas fired more than 150 rockets at Israeli civilian population centers, bringing their total rocket attacks to more than 4,000 in the past seven weeks. My colleagues and I were in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening when the Code Red sirens sounded. A rocket was headed for the Holy City and we had to rush into bomb shelters with our Israeli friends. Yet the world repeatedly criticizes and condemns Israel for exercising her right to self-defense.

Imagine if Washington, D.C., or St. Louis or San Diego were under rocket attack. Would we not strike back hard and relentlessly at those firing the rockets? Would we take kindly to foreign leaders who told us to stop defending ourselves even as the terrorists kept shooting at us?

The most moving part of our visit was meeting with the precious parents of Gil’Ad Shaer, one of the teenage boys Hamas kidnapped and murdered in June. As we sat in their home we heard their story and saw their grief. But we also saw their determination not to let the jihadists destroy their country or their hope for the future.

America must stand with such brave souls. After all, Israel’s fight against radical Islam is our fight too. If we do not defeat the terrorists in the Mideast, they will strike America at home.

Our commitment to Israel does not mean we are blind to the pain and challenges the Palestinians in Gaza face. To the contrary, we care deeply about them and seek their freedom from tyranny.

The Palestinians of Gaza absolutely need to be liberated….from the cruel occupation of Hamas. The Palestinians of Gaza need to be set free from Hamas’ reign of terror and barbarity. This should be a major priority of the U.S. government.

Unfortunately, American foreign policy today is in complete disarray. Incompetence reigns in the White House and State Department and has for six years. Our friends no longer trust us. Our enemies no longer fear us. This is a recipe for disaster.

“Leading from behind” is not leadership at all. The President’s steady retreat from the Mideast is creating a dangerous vacuum jihadist forces are moving to fill from Syria to Iraq to Gaza.

We can and must do better. Democrats should start by putting serious pressure on the President to truly and fully support Israel and to stop pressuring her to make bad deals with dangerous foes. Republicans can start by repudiating isolationist voices in our party and those who call for ending all military aid to Israel.

Now is the time to stand unified for Israel.

———————

Rick Santorum is a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

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