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If the Obama team is this hostile to Israel before the elections, how bad will things get after Tuesday? Will the President turn against Israel & appease Iran? Analysis.

In Uncategorized on October 30, 2014 at 8:18 pm
Obama v. Netanyahu and Israel -- what happens after the mid-term elections?

Obama v. Netanyahu and Israel — what happens after the mid-term elections?

Just days before the mid-term elections, with Democrats poised to suffer serious losses, tensions between the Obama White House and the Netanyahu government remain sky high.

senior Obama administration official openly used vulgarity with a reporter to mock and disparage the Israeli leader.

And the administration appears set to cave in to Iranian demands over its nuclear program in talks to conclude at the end of November.

If the President and his team feel this comfortable being this hostile to an Israeli leader before an election, imagine how hostile the President could be when he’s a lame duck and not facing the voters again ever.

As I noted yesterday, a train wreck in U.S.-Israel relations is now in motion.

“Very publicly, very nastily, and very worryingly, we are witnessing the collapse of an alliance,” wrote a leading Israeli news editor.

The White House and State Department on Thursday officially tried to distance themselves from the comments. Secretary of State John Kerry did too. But that’s not enough, say American Jewish leaders. They want the unnamed official found and fired as evidence that he or she really does not reflect what the President and his inner circle really believe.

“I was personally attacked purely because I defend Israel, and despite all the attacks against me, I will continue to defend our country, I will continue to defend the citizens of Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu told the Knesset in a speech today. “I respect and appreciate the deep ties with the United States we’ve had since the establishment of the state. We’ve had arguments before, and we’ll have them again, but this will not come at the expense of the deep connection between our peoples and our countries.”

There is some speculation here in Israel that perhaps the American senior official’s comments were a pre-emptive strike Netanyahu designed to discredit and delegitimize the Israeli leader’s views ahead of what is shaping up to be a terrible deal over the Iranian nuclear program which may come later this month. Should the deal turn out to be an act of appeasement, Netanyahu would likely feel compelled to say so. Perhaps the White House is trying to signal to the international community and to Congress that it doesn’t care what the government of Israel thinks.

A few additional thoughts:

  • It is painful to watch personal tensions growing between White House and the State Department and the Netanyahu government at moment when Iran nuclear threat requires unity between two long-standing allies.
  • What is stunning to me is not simply how much the Obama team disagrees with the Israel’s government on policy issues such as Iran, Jerusalem, the ’67 borders, etc, but how visceral is the Obama team’s anger with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
  • Democrats in Congress need to ask publicly: Why are White House emotions “red hot” against Israel’s government, yet so eager to accommodate a terrorist state like Iran?
  • Why do we see such intense emotion from the Obama team about Netanyahu, a faithful ally of the US, but never against Putin or Khamenei?
  • Bizarre, to say the least: President Obama sees Israel as big obstacle to Iran deal while Egypt, Jordan, Saudis & emirates quietly align with Israel against Iran.
  • Now imagine how free President Obama will feel to turn against Israel and appease Iran after Tuesday.

LATEST HEADLINES:

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Train wreck in U.S.-Israel relations: Senior Obama official calls Netanyahu vulgar name, signalling “red hot” hostility between two governments. Here’s the latest.

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm
Train wreck in motion?

Train wreck in motion?

(Central Israel) — The United States of America is going to turn against the State of Israel.

I wish it weren’t true, but Bible prophecy indicates that “all the nations of the earth” will turn hostile towards Israel, her capital of Jerusalem, and the Jewish people in the “last days,” and that as a result God will judge “all the nations.”

Examples:

  • “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)
  • “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.” (Joel 3:1-2)

Despite the fact the U.S. has been Israel’s closest ally for six decades, such a strong and warm strategic alliance won’t last.

When will the pivot come? I cannot yet say. But I can say we are currently watching a train wreck in U.S.-Israeli relations.

As I have written about for several years, the attitude of President Obama and his senior advisors towards Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government has never been warm. But it’s never been as dysfunctional — nor outright toxic — as it is right now.

Here is the article that is rocking Washington and Jerusalem right now. Please read it and share with others. Please pray for the Lord to bring healing in U.S.-Israel relations — at least for now — especially in the final weeks of negotiations over the future of the Iran nuclear program. At some point, the U.S. will turn fully against Israel, but I pray to God it doesn’t happen in our lifetime.

The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here

The Obama administration’s anger is “red-hot” over Israel’s settlement policies, and the Netanyahu government openly expresses contempt for Obama’s understanding of the Middle East. Profound changes in the relationship may be coming.

The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname.

This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors, and is yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis. The relationship between these two administrations— dual guarantors of the putatively “unbreakable” bond between the U.S. and Israel—is now the worst it’s ever been, and it stands to get significantly worse after the November midterm elections. By next year, the Obama administration may actually withdraw diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations, but even before that, both sides are expecting a showdown over Iran, should an agreement be reached about the future of its nuclear program.

The fault for this breakdown in relations can be assigned in good part to the junior partner in the relationship, Netanyahu, and in particular, to the behavior of his cabinet. Netanyahu has told several people I’ve spoken to in recent days that he has “written off” the Obama administration, and plans to speak directly to Congress and to the American people should an Iran nuclear deal be reached. For their part, Obama administration officials express, in the words of one official, a “red-hot anger” at Netanyahu for pursuing settlement policies on the West Bank, and building policies in Jerusalem, that they believe have fatally undermined Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace process.

Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and “Aspergery.” (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)  But I had not previously heard Netanyahu described as a “chickenshit.” I thought I appreciated the implication of this description, but it turns out I didn’t have a full understanding. From time to time, current and former administration officials have described Netanyahu as a national leader who acts as though he is mayor of Jerusalem, which is to say, a no-vision small-timer who worries mainly about pleasing the hardest core of his political constituency. (President Obama, in interviews with me, has alluded to Netanyahu’s lack of political courage.)

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”…..

To read the full column, please click here.

Jihadists target Egypt: At least 31 Egyptian soldiers dead, 28 wounded in latest attacks. Are more coming? Is Jordan next?

In Uncategorized on October 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm
Pray for Egypt.

Pray for Egypt.

All eyes have been riveted on the ISIS offensive in Syria and Iraq in recent months. But Radical Islamic jihadists are also intensifying their operations against other countries in the region. I’m particularly concerned that Jordan will be the focus of such attacks soon. But right now, Egypt is in the crosshairs.

Here is the latest. Please be praying for the people of Egypt — for calm and stability, as well as increased freedom and opportunity. Please pray also for the embattled Christians there.

“Two attacks on Egyptian military positions in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday killed at least 31 soldiers, according to security officials and the state news media,” the New York Times is reporting.

Excerpts:

  • The first attack killed at least 28 soldiers, making it the deadliest assault on the Egyptian military in many years and the biggest defeat in its 15-month battle against Sinai-based Islamist militants that began with the military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013. At least 28 others were wounded, the state news media said.
  • The scale of the attack underscored the difficult challenge the Egyptian government continues to face in re-establishing firm control of northern Sinai, near the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip. Egyptian officials have said repeatedly that they have largely contained the insurgency there, but the complexity of Friday’s attack, said to involve multiple vehicles and heavy weapons, suggested that the militants were growing more sophisticated.
  • President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the military takeover last year, convened an emergency meeting of Egypt’s top generals in response to the attack. He declared a state of emergency in parts of Sinai, including a curfew from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • In Washington, Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement that ‘the United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack.’ She added, ‘The United States continues to support the Egyptian government’s efforts to counter the threat of terrorism in Egypt as part of our commitment to the strategic partnership between our two countries.’
  • The first, larger attack took place about 2 p.m. Friday near the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, a hub of Islamist militancy where insurgents sometimes set up their own temporary checkpoints on the highways. The target of the attack was a heavily guarded army checkpoint at a desert-road intersection known as Karm al Qawadis, where the military typically keeps six armored vehicles, two tanks and a tent camp, residents said.
  • Unlike most previous attacks, this one was carried out in two stages. A car bomb initially killed as many as 18 soldiers, according to residents and security officials. Then, when soldiers rushed to the scene, armed men on foot and in a vehicle opened fired, killing at least 10 more.
  • A Sinai official told The Associated Press that the militants used rocket-propelled grenades, among other weapons. A mortar round set off a second explosion by striking a tank containing explosives and ammunition….
  • Militants have also continued to set off bombs periodically in Cairo. An explosion this week near Cairo University wounded at least 11 people — six of them security officers. A bomb outside the Foreign Ministry late last month killed two police officers.

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TERRORISTS ATTACK CANADIAN PARLIAMENT: Second terror attack in Canada this week. PM Harper says “We will not be intimidated.” Please pray for and stand with Canada.

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2014 at 7:20 pm
(source: CNN)

(source: CNN)

UPDATED: A very serious situation is unfolding in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, as terrorists have attacked the Parliament building leaving one dead and a city on “virtual lockdown,” say local and national authorities.

Please be praying for our friends and allies in Canada, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Here’s the latest:

“Multiple gunmen stormed the Canadian Parliament complex Wednesday, shooting at least one soldier and spraying as many as 30 shots inside the government building in Ottawa and leaving the nation’s capital on virtual lockdown just two days after a terror attack in Quebec, officials said,” reported Fox News.

“The shots rang out just before 10 a.m., and were quickly followed by reports of ‘several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa,’ according to a tweet from police. The shooting at the government complex came after witnesses said they saw two men jump out of a Toyota Corolla and run toward the National War Memorial, where one opened fire on a soldier, officials told the Ottawa Sun. The gunmen then ran to the Parliament building, where witnesses later said they saw one gunman down near the library. Bernard Trottier, a Toronto-area MP, tweeted that the gunman inside Centre Block ‘has been shot and killed.’ The other was reportedly being sought.

“Veteran Affairs Minister Julian Fantino told QMI Agency that Parliament’s sergeant-at-arms, Kevin Vickers, shot one gunman dead. ‘All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this,’ Fantino said from inside Centre Block. ‘He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased.’ More shootings were reported less than a mile away from Parliament Hill, near Rideau Centre Mall, but police did not know if the incidents were related and said no arrests had been made. ‘Most of downtown Ottawa is in lockdown,’ said Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy.

“Ottawa police confirmed they were pursuing multiple shooters, but there were conflicting reports of how many were involved in the attack on nerve center of Canada’s federal government….

“We are still trying to clarify how many persons we are dealing with, and still waiting for the status of the victim who was shot at the War memorial,” says Ottawa Police Service spokesman Constable Chuck Benoit.

“Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was whisked away to a safe location as Royal Canadian Mounted Police converged on the complex,” reported Fox.

Developing….

ISIS is slaughtering Arab Christians. Why are churches in the West so quiet? Here’s one way you can help.

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2014 at 3:17 pm
Are you praying for the persecuted Christians in the Mideast? Is there more you can do?

Are you praying for the persecuted Christians in the Mideast? Is there more you can do?

(Central Israel) — When my family and I moved to Israel in mid-August, we did so amidst a jihadist onslaught against the Jewish State. The third Gaza war was underway. Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza were firing more than 4,000 rockets, missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians, including Jews, Muslims and Christians.

That said, Israel was (and remains) one of the safest places to be in the Middle East this year, and not just for Jews but for Christians, as well.

Christians are being persecuted and even slaughtered throughout the epicenter. Israel and Jordan are safe havens. But from Syria to Iraq to Iran and beyond, the Radical Islamic jihadist offensive against followers of Jesus Christ is fierce and unrelenting. Indeed, as I’ve written about in recent months, we are seeing genocidal conditions emerging in this region against the Christians.

Why then are so few pastors and Christians leaders in the West coming to the defense of our brothers and sisters in this region who are in such grave danger? Why aren’t pastors rallying their congregations to pray for the persecuted Church in the Mideast? Why are so few Christian lay people giving financially to ministries that are making a difference in the region in the name of Christ in the midst of the chaos and carnage?

The epicenter is on fire. Yet I’m stunned by how few Christians are paying attention, or trying to help. Some are, and may God deeply bless this wonderful, heroic remnant. But so much of the Church is asleep.

How about you? Are you moved by the suffering of our brethren? Are you and your congregation looking for a way to help in a practical way?

The Joshua Fund team is working hard to provide prayer, encouragement, funds, and other resources to Arab Christians fleeing from the ISIS rampage. We are doing this even as we continue to provide humanitarian relief and other help in Israel. The Bible certainly commands believers to love and bless Israel and the Jewish people, and this is more important than ever. But the Scriptures also command us to love and bless Israel’s neighbors, and even her enemies. Is it easy? No. Is it safe? Not always. But the Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to love everyone in this region and He set the example for us.

Would you like to join us? We need your prayers. We also need your financial support, especially at this time. You can learn more about what The Joshua Fund is doing by clicking here.

You can also learn more about what is happening to the Christians in the epicenter by listening to this podcast — “I have just interviewed an Iraqi pastor on the terrible persecution Christians in Iraq are facing. Please listen & share with others” —  and by reading this excellent article by columnist Kirsten Powers. I cite it here in full.

A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent

By Kirsten Powers, The Daily Beast, September 27, 2014

Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.

As Egypt’s Copts have battled the worst attacks on the Christian minority since the 14th century, the bad news for Christians in the region keeps coming. On Sunday, Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 85 worshippers at All Saints’ church, which has stood since 1883 in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Christians were also the target of Islamic fanatics in the attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, this week that killed more than 70 people. The Associated Press reported that the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab “confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated Muslims from other people and let the Muslims go free.” The captives were asked questions about Islam. If they couldn’t answer, they were shot.

In Syria, Christians are under attack by Islamist rebels and fear extinction if Bashar al-Assad falls. This month, rebels overran the historic Christian town of Maalula, where many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The AFP reported that a resident of Maalula called her fiancé’s cell and was told by member of the Free Syrian Army that they gave him a chance to convert to Islam and he refused. So they slit his throat.

Nina Shea, an international human-rights lawyer and expert on religious persecution, testified in 2011 before Congress regarding the fate of Iraqi Christians, two-thirds of whom have vanished from the country. They have either been murdered or fled in fear for their lives. Said Shea: “[I]n August 2004 … five churches were bombed in Baghdad and Mosul. On a single day in July 2009, seven churches were bombed in Baghdad … The archbishop of Mosul, was kidnapped and killed in early 2008. A bus convoy of Christian students were violently assaulted. Christians … have been raped, tortured, kidnapped, beheaded, and evicted from their homes …”

Lela Gilbert is the author of Saturday People, Sunday People, which details the expulsion of 850,000 Jews who fled or were forced to leave Muslim countries in the mid-20th century. The title of her book comes from an Islamist slogan, “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People,” which means “first we kill the Jews, then we kill the Christians.” Gilbert wrote recently that her Jewish friends and neighbors in Israel “are shocked but not entirely surprised” by the attacks on Christians in the Middle East. “They are rather puzzled, however, by what appears to be a lack of anxiety, action, or advocacy on the part of Western Christians.”

As they should be. It is inexplicable. American Christians are quite able to organize around issues that concern them. Yet religious persecution appears not to have grabbed their attention, despite worldwide media coverage of the atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

It’s no surprise that Jews seem to understand the gravity of the situation the best. In December 2011, Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, addressed Parliament saying, “I have followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed … that it is not more widely known.”

“It was Martin Luther King who said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ That is why I felt I could not be silent today.”

Yet so many Western Christians are silent.

In January, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) penned a letter to 300 Catholic and Protestant leaders complaining about their lack of engagement. “Can you, as a leader in the church, help?” he wrote. “Are you pained by these accounts of persecution? Will you use your sphere of influence to raise the profile of this issue—be it through a sermon, writing or media interview?”

There have been far too few takers.

Wolf and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) sponsored legislation last year to create a special envoy at the State Department to advocate for religious minorities in the Middle East and South-Central Asia. It passed in the House overwhelmingly, but died in the Senate. Imagine the difference an outcry from constituents might have made. The legislation was reintroduced in January and again passed the House easily. It now sits in the Senate. According to the office of Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the sponsor of the bill there, there is no date set for it to be taken up.

Wolf has complained loudly of the State Department’s lack of attention to religious persecution, but is anybody listening? When American leaders meet with the Saudi government, where is the public outcry demanding they confront the Saudis for fomenting hatred of Christians, Jews, and even Muslim minorities through their propagandistic tracts and textbooks? In the debate on Syria, why has the fate of Christians and other religious minorities been almost completely ignored?

In his letter challenging U.S. religious leaders, Wolf quoted Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed for his efforts in the Nazi resistance:  “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

That pretty well sums it up.

Fact or fiction: Is ISIS using chemical weapons against its enemies? New headlines echo plot lines of “The Third Target.”

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2014 at 11:32 am
Fact or fiction? Releases January 6th.

Fact or fiction? Releases January 6th.

Chilling new headlines — and gruesome new photographs — from the Middle East increasingly suggest ISIS not only has chemical weapons, but may already be using them against its enemies in the region.

Thus, disturbing new questions are being raised:

  • Are these reports and photographs legit?
  • If so, where did ISIS get the weapons?
  • How many WMDs do they have?
  • What are their next targets?
  • Could the U.S. and Israel bit hit with chemical weapons soon?

As readers of this blog know, these are fictional plot lines in my forthcoming thriller, The Third Target, which releases in the U.S. and Canada on January 6th.

In the novel, a New York Times reporter pursues rumors that ISIS has captured chemical weapons in Syria and is preparing a genocidal attack against an unknown target.

In August, however, it appeared the premise of my novel had been overtaken by events. The U.S. government declared that it had completed the destruction of all of Syria’s chemical weapons. Thus, it seemed impossible that ISIS could capture such weapons.

But in September, officials in the Obama administration began to backpedal. They started to publicly express doubts that all the Syrian WMDs had been disclosed and destroyed. This raised fears that that Assad regime or ISIS or other Radical jihadist groups could seize such weapons and use them against their enemies. That led me to write a blog on September 11th headlined, “What If ISIS Obtains Chemical Weapons?”

Now, in mid-October, we are getting reports that ISIS has indeed captured chemical warheads, and may be using them against the Kurds in Iraq.

What’s more, we’re hearing reports that even though for more than a decade the Western media told us there were no WMD in Iraq, that such weapons were there after all. A newly published New York Times investigation this week reports the following: “From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule. In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

There are also reports that ISIS forces have captured a chemical weapons production facility in Iraq, and may be using Iraqi WMD against the Kurds.

At the moment, I’m not sure we can say definitively whether ISIS has such deadly weapons. But I wanted to bring the latest headlines to your attention.

For my part, I pray the reports are not true, and that The Third Target remains merely a work of fiction.

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With U.S. air campaign against ISIS not working, fmr. Delta Force commander offers five-point plan. Here it is.

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2014 at 7:20 pm
Former Delta Force commander, Lt-General (ret). Jerry Boykin, offers five-point plan to defeat ISIS.

Former Delta Force commander, Lt-General (ret). Jerry Boykin, offers five-point plan to defeat ISIS.

Media reports increasingly suggest the U.S.-led military effort crush ISIS is not working.

ISIS is close to capturing the city of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border. There are fears ISIS will slaughter every person in the city if they defeat coalition forces.

Meanwhile, ISIS is only eight miles from Baghdad and gaining ground on other fronts.

  • “General [Martin] Dempsey [the President's top military advisor] painted a decidedly mixed picture of the campaign against the Islamic State, describing a nimble foe that has adjusted rapidly to coalition air attacks by blending in better with local populations,” reports a leading American newspaper, adding that ISIS attacks could soon begin inside the capital city of Baghdad.
  • “Waves of U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State fighters appear to have done little to stem the terrorist army’s advance in Syria, and now the militants are close to overrunning key positions on the outskirts of Baghdad,” reports one U.S. cable news network. “With the world’s eyes on the terrorist army’s siege of the Syrian border city of Kobani, where U.S.-led airstrikes are backing Kurdish fighters, some 500 miles southeast, Islamic State fighters are within eight miles of the Iraqi metropolis.”
  • “America’s plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group’s fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad,” reports a key British newspaper. “The US-led air attacks launched against Islamic State (also known as Isis) on 8 August in Iraq and 23 September in Syria have not worked. President Obama’s plan to ‘degrade and destroy’ Islamic State has not even begun to achieve success. In both Syria and Iraq, Isis is expanding its control rather than contracting….In the face of a likely Isis victory at Kobani, senior US officials have been trying to explain away the failure to save the Syrian Kurds in the town, probably Isis’s toughest opponents in Syria.”

Why is the much-heralded U.S. and Arab military campaign announced by President Obama last month not having success?

There are several reasons, says retired three-star General Jerry Boykin, who used to command the U.S. Army’s elite Delta Force and later served as U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Over the weekend, Boykin offered a five-point plan to improve the U.S. campaign against ISIS. I quote it here in full.

Wrote Boykin:

I have hesitated to write this posting because I have been trying to find an alternative to what I will propose here.

The situation with ISIS is very serious now as I am sure that everyone is aware. The Obama administration is totally inept and not serious about reducing the threat to America and American interests. These airstrikes are not effective because they have not been well directed at real targets in most cases and they have not been in large numbers.

So what do we need to do now? I hate to recommend this but I have considered the alternatives and I find none acceptable.

We need to do five things right now:

1. Put forth a significant intel effort against ISIS. This includes flying drones throughout the ISIS area of operations as well as a big Human Intel and Signals Intel effort. The idea is to find ISIS targets and kill them including the leaders and the command and control nodes.

2. Put as many Special Operations teams on the ground as the US Special Operations Command calls for. They should operate with the Kurdish Peshmerga and any Sunni tribal entities who can reasonably be assessed as true anti-ISIS entities. They should be equipped with SOFLAMS (Laser Designators) for controlling air strikes.

3. Deploy ground forces of at least one full US Army Armor or Mechanized division with supporting assets to go into the urban areas and to ferret out ISIS an kill them with anti-tank systems and attack helicopters. Yep, I know this is controversial and I don’t like it either but we have to destroy ISIS and reduce them as a threat. The US division must go in order to convince and persuade other nations to do the same. Even the NATO nations have to see that they either stop these pigs in Iraq and Syria or they will fight them on their home turf in Europe. The same applies to America. Now we cannot deny that they are coming across the US southern border since members of congress are now acknowledging the same thing.

4. Arm the Kurds directly and not through the Iraqi government. Anything going through the Iraq government never gets to the Kurds. Fly plane loads of arms and equipment into the city of Irbil and off load it there where the Kurds will get it themselves.

5. Cancel all foreign aid and foreign military sales of US arms and equipment to any nation that will not fight with us. Start with Turkey. Turkey is not a reliable ally and Erdogan is an Islamist himself. He has no intention of ever doing anything to stop ISIS. He wants Bashar al-Asaad’s head and has no interest in destroying ISIS because they are his strongest allies in the fight against al-Asaad. NO MORE US $ for nations that will not stand with us in the fight against ISIS.

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With the epicenter on fire, Israel’s leader holds another Bible study in his home. Here are the details.

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hosted another Bible study at his official residence on Sunday evening. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hosted another Bible study at his official residence on Sunday evening. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The epicenter is on fire. Radical Islamic jihadists are pressing their offensive in Syria and Iraq. Iran continues marching towards nuclear weapons. Hezbollah briefly attacked Israelis on her northern border yesterday. U.S.-Israeli relations are frayed. Anti-Semitism is rising.

And amidst all his national security briefings and strategy sessions, Israel’s premier is studying the Bible.

Indeed, one of the most interesting but least known aspects in the life of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that he has developed quite an interest in studying the Bible in recent years. The premier was not raised in a religious home growing up. But as he has gotten older, he has developed a noticeable curiosity in the ancient Scriptures.

Here is some news coverage of what was discussed: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a Bible study session attended by the parents of three Israeli teens killed in June,” reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “Iris and Uri Yifrach, Rachel and Avi Fraenkel, and Ophir and Bat-Galim Shaar joined the Tanach Study Circle at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem on Sunday evening. Netanyahu renewed the circle two years ago. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, had started the tradition. Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron also joined the study group, which focused on the upcoming weekly Torah portion of Beresheit, the opening chapters of the Bible.”

“We are preparing to celebrate Simchat Torah, when we will conclude reading the Torah and begin it again,” the Prime Minister said as the meeting began. “The cyclical nature of reading the Torah and starting it again from Genesis also symbolizes the renewal of our people in our land. Despite all attempts to destroy us, each time we build ourselves up again, deeply linked to also growing the tree called the Jewish People, with our deep roots and branches that reach ever higher.”

These are excellent steps by the Prime Minister, and he should be commended for them.

One would have to go back to Menachem Begin — and before him, to David Ben Gurion — for Israeli premiers who have publicly studied the Bible and openly encouraged others to do the same. It is simply not a typical activity of Israeli leaders.

Therefore:

  • Let us pray that the study of the Word of God has a powerful, personal impact on the Prime Minister and his family and each of his colleagues and guests.
  • Let us pray that many Israelis would follow the Prime Minister’s lead and begin reading the Holy Scriptures again.
  • Let us pray that Bible studies in people’s homes would spring up all over the Land of Israel.
  • Let us pray that pray that more and more Israelis — Jews and Arabs — would develop a new and deeper curiosity about Bible prophecy, both the dramatic prophecies in the Scriptures that have already been fulfilled, and those that will come to pass soon. We explored such themes during the 2013 Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem this summer, which focused on “The Power of the Word to Change A Leader,” “The Power of the Word to Change A Nation,” and “The Power of the Word to Change the World.” I commend these messages to your attention.

Are you studying through the Bible this year? I hope so.

Currently, I am studying the life of Abraham in the Old Testament, and I Thessalonians in the New Testament.

Would you like to join me?

How deeply blessed you will be as you read and meditate on the Holy Bible, the very word of God, each and every day.

As we read in Psalm 1….

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

More coverage:

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Blistering criticism of President’s handling of ISIS threat coming from former top aides. Here’s the latest. Plus an update on a possible major ISIS victory that is brewing.

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2014 at 1:27 pm
Will ISIS forces soon score a major victory?

Will ISIS forces soon score a major victory?

Blistering criticism of the President’s handling of the ISIS threat — as well as much of his approach to the Middle East — is mounting rapidly. But it is not coming merely from conservatives. The criticism is coming from the President’s own former senior advisors, as well as from journalists typically sympathetic to the White House.

Key insiders and supporters of Mr. Obama now say the President:

  • Created the vacuum in the Mideast that ISIS is now exploiting.
  • Has largely ignored Iraq and botched his much-heralded exit strategy.
  • Is not taking decisive action to defeat ISIS.
  • Has imposed severe limitations on the U.S. military hampering our commanders’ ability to prosecute the war effectively.
  • May soon hand ISIS a major victory if he allows the strategic city of Kobane — near the Syrian-Turkish border — to fall.

Consider the latest:

It is my sincerest hope that the joint military effort that the U.S. and several Sunni Arab countries launched in September will be able to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. But I confess I am deeply concerned that not only have President Obama and the international community been slow in taking action against ISIS, they are still not taking every step needed to win decisively.

  • Please pray that the President will give the military the “green light” to do the job right.
  • Please also pray for the Muslim and Christian people of Syria and Iraq — and particularly the Kurds in Kobane — who are in grave danger.
  • Further, please pray that ISIS is defeated before they can launch terrorist attacks against Americans or Israelis in the epicenter, the homeland, or anywhere else.

MORE DETAILS ABOUT HOW THE ISIS ASSAULT ON THE CITY OF KOBANE & ITS IMPLICATIONS:

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As fires rage across the Mideast, a key man to watch is Jordan’s moderate King Abdullah II.

In Uncategorized on October 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm
A key man to watch: Jordan's moderate King Abdullah II.

A key man to watch: Jordan’s moderate King Abdullah II.

On January 10th of this year, I began writing a series of columns on key people in the epicenter who I planned to keep an eye on in 2014. The first name on my list was Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Sure enough, the King has proven himself a central player in a region set aflame by the forces of Radical Islam this year.

As the flames get higher, several critical questions come to the fore:

  • Will ISIS or other Radical groups try to topple the King and raise their black flag over Amman?
  • Will the U.S., NATO and other allies stand closely together with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, one of our most important allies in the region, to make sure this does not happen?
  • Will the U.S., Israel and Sunni Arab countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia — as well as some of the emirates — forge a quiet but effective alliance not only to stop jihadists like ISIS but to stop the ayatollahs in Iran from going nuclear?

As the year draws to a close, I remain intrigued and impressed with King Abdullah II both a monarch and a Reformer. He is actively trying to lead his small, oil-less, but vitally important nation towards progress and freedom, tolerance and modernity. He’s keeping close ties with the Arab world. He maintains a close friendship with the U.S., and is maintaining his nation’s courageous peace treaty with Israel. He’s also actively trying to help the Palestinians and Israelis make peace, as well. But the Radicals desperately want to topple the King and seize Jordan for themselves.

When I was in Amman in May doing research for my forthcoming novel — The Third Target — I met with Jordan’s Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Interior Minister and other key officials. They warned of an “explosion” of Radical Islamic extremism and foreign jihadist fighters coming out of Syria that could threaten other nations in the region, including them.

“I’m not worried about Syria imploding,” a senior advisor to Jordan’s Foreign Minister told me, “I’m worried about it exploding” and sending newly emboldened terrorists across the region and across the globe.

I specifically asked Jordan’s Interior Minister, His Excellency Hussein Hazza’ Al-Majali, if ISIS — the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Arabic for the “Levant,” or Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel) — was a particularly serious threat. Without hesitation, he agreed it was.

Majali said he wasn’t worried about ISIS toppling King Abdullah II, assuring me that he and the King’s intelligence and security forces work around the clock to prevent just such a disaster. But when I asked him if the plot of my novel about the rising ISIS threat was credible, he assured me that, unfortunately, it was.

  • Please pray for the moderate Arabs in the epicenter — King Abdullah II chief among them — to be strong and decisive in putting down this rapidly rising threat from ISIS and other jihadists.
  • Let’s pray for the safety of the King, and the millions of Jordanians who live a very stable and peaceful life.
  • Let’s also keep praying for the people of Iraq and Syria who are suffering terribly at this dark time.

Finally, consider this headline from earlier this summer: “ISIS THREATENS TO INVADE JORDAN, ‘SLAUGHTER’ KING ABDULLAH.”

Here are a few excerpts from the story:

“The recent victories in Iraq and Syria by the terrorists of ISIS — said to be an offshoot of al-Qaeda — have emboldened the group and its followers throughout the Middle East,” writes Khaled Abu Toameh, a former Arab affairs reporter for the Jerusalem Post. “Now the terrorists are planning to move their jihad not only to Jordan, but also to the Gaza Strip, Sinai and Lebanon. Failure to act will result in the establishment in the Middle East of a dangerous extremist Islamic empire that will pose a threat to American and Western interests.”….

“According to the sources, ISIS leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi recently discussed with his lieutenants the possibility of extending the group’s control beyond Syria and Iraq,” Toameh notes. “One of the ideas discussed envisages focusing ISIS’s efforts on Jordan, where Islamist movements already have a significant presence. Jordan was also chosen because it has shared borders with Iraq and Syria, making it easier for the terrorists to infiltrate the kingdom.

“Jordanian political analyst Oraib al-Rantawi sounded alarm bells by noting that the ISIS threat to move its fight to the kingdom was real and imminent,” the report states.

“We in Jordan cannot afford the luxury of just waiting and monitoring,” he cautioned. “The danger is getting closer to our bedrooms. It has become a strategic danger; it is no longer a security threat from groups or cells. We must start thinking outside the box. The time has come to increase coordination and cooperation with the regimes in Baghdad and Damascus to contain the crawling of extremism and terrorism.”

“The ISIS terrorists see Jordan’s Western-backed King Abdullah as an enemy of Islam and an infidel, and have publicly called for his execution,” says Toameh. “ISIS terrorists recently posted a video on YouTube in which they threatened to ‘slaughter’ Abdullah, whom they denounced as a ‘tyrant.’ Some of the terrorists who appeared in the video were Jordanian citizens who tore up their passports in front of the camera and vowed to launch suicide attacks inside the kingdom.”

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