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BREAKING: Five Arab states join U.S. in military campaign to destroy ISIS. Jordan’s King Abdullah & former CIA Director Panetta give must-see interviews on ISIS to “60 Minutes.”

In Uncategorized on September 23, 2014 at 5:39 am
Must-see: Report on ISIS and key interviews with Jordan's King Abdullah II & former CIA Director Leon Panetta on CBS News' "60 Minutes."

Must-see: Report on ISIS and key interviews with Jordan’s King Abdullah II & former CIA Director Leon Panetta on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”

(Seoul, South Korea) — The United States and a coalition of five Sunni Arab governments have just launched a coordinated military campaign to degrade and eventually destroy the Islamic State, a.k.a, “ISIS.”

The airstrikes represent a dramatic reversal of President Obama’s policy of refusing to get involved militarily in Iraq or Syria over the past several years despite the clear and growing threat of Islamic jihadists to U.S., Israeli and Arab national security.

Given that I have been researching and writing a new geopolitical thriller — The Third Target – about a New York Times reporter tracking the ISIS threat in Syria and Iraq (the novel will be published on January 6th), I am monitoring events in the region very closely. As the military campaign unfolds, I will offer analysis and links to news coverage.

I was also intrigued by an excellent report on “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening about ISIS. The report included must-see interviews with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and former CIA director Leon Panetta. Both said the stakes are very high and that more should have been done earlier to stop ISIS. (See below.)

At the moment, my 17-year old son, Jacob, and I are in South Korea. We have been here for the last 10 days. Several Bible scholars and I have been teaching in seminaries and churches about God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish people, and the urgency of mobilizing the Korean Church to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all the people of the epicenter. Soon, we will return to Israel and I will post reports on what we did and learned here in Korea.

In the meantime:

  • please join us in praying for U.S. and allied forces to have success in crushing ISIS.
  • please pray for the Lord to protect U.S. and allied forces as they engage the enemy.
  • please pray for Christians in Iraq and Syria who are being persecuted or even slaughtered by ISIS.
  • please pray for American and allied leaders to have wisdom to know how best to prosecute this military campaign.
  • please pray for The Joshua Fund leadership and staff to know how best to help our Arab and Kurdish brothers and sisters who are facing such grave danger — we are currently providing assistance to Christians fleeing from ISIS, as well as Arab Christians in Iraq and Lebanon who are caring for these refugees.

Here are excerpts from a New York Times article about the new military campaign against ISIS:

  • The United States and allies launched airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria early Tuesday, unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the militants’ de facto capital of Raqqa and along the porous Iraq border.
  • American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants, known as the Islamic State.
  • American defense officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control.
  • Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.
  • The strikes are a major turning point in President Obama’s war against the Islamic State and open up a risky new stage of the American military campaign.
  • Until now, the administration had bombed Islamic State targets only in Iraq, and had suggested it would be weeks if not months before the start of a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria.
  • Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in the strikes, American officials said, although the Arab governments were not expected to announce their participation until later Tuesday.
  • The new coalition’s makeup is significant because the United States was able to recruit Sunni governments to take action against the Sunni militants of the Islamic State. The operation also unites the squabbling states of the Persian Gulf.

———————————

60 MINUTES REPORT ON THE ISLAMIC STATE

The following are excerpts parts I & II of a report called, “The Islamic State,” which aired on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” on September 21, 2014. The correspondent was Scott Pelley. 

Excerpts from Part I

Today, America’s top military officer, General Martin Dempsey, said the U.S. and its allies will attack ISIS from many directions. “We want them to wake up every day realizing they’re being squeezed,” he said. American pilots have hit the Islamic extremist group in Iraq nearly 200 times now, and soon the U.S. will be bombing ISIS in Syria.

America was drawn back into war when ISIS began to overrun part of northern Iraq called Kurdistan. Kurdistan is semi-autonomous with its own military called the Peshmerga. With American air support, the Peshmerga are holding a tense front line against ISIS.

Earlier this month, we started our reporting on that front line to explain ISIS; what it is, where it came from and how it blitzed through two countries. In June, the leader of ISIS declared himself ruler of a new nation, which he calls The Islamic State….

……

Gunmen with cameras magnify the menace to make ISIS appear larger than life. But what ISIS has shown only once, is its leader. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared in July when he called on all of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to bow to him.

Derek Harvey: We should be very careful about underestimating him. This guy is the real deal.

Derek Harvey was in Iraq for the beginnings of al-Baghdadi. A colonel in U.S. Army intelligence, he briefed President Bush and top commanders. Back then, al-Baghdadi was a member of al Qaeda in Iraq and was imprisoned for a time by U.S. forces. When Iraq’s al Qaeda leader was killed, Baghdadi took over.

Derek Harvey: When he became a key figure within the organization, he was targeted and then in 2010 he had a $10 million bounty put on his head and he became a top tier target.

But the target slipped away into Syria, where he used the chaos of the civil war to build his army. He began to refuse orders from al Qaeda and in February, al Qaeda’s leaders kicked him out.

Scott Pelley: What does al-Baghdadi want?

Derek Harvey: He wants power, influence and authority and a return to the prestige of the Islamic community. And he’s going to start with Syria and Iraq and his strategic vision is to expand into the Gulf, Jordan. From the Mediterranean to Pakistan…

…..

How was the black banner carried so far? A third of Iraq, gone, in a matter of weeks, ground hard won by the United States in what was known as “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

Scott Pelley: The American people sacrificed 4,475 lives, ten years and a trillion dollars building a government and an army for Iraq. How did all of that crumble so fast?

Leon Panetta: It’s a tragic story.

Leon Panetta was Defense Secretary when the U.S. walked off the Iraqi stage in 2011.

Scott Pelley: Back when you watched the stars and stripes being lowered for the last time in Baghdad, were you confident in that moment that pulling out was the right thing to do?

Leon Panetta: No, I wasn’t. I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq. The decision was that we ought to at least try to maintain 8,000 to 10,000 U.S. troops there, plus keeping some of our intelligence personnel in place, to be able to continue the momentum in the right direction. And frankly, having those troops there, I think would’ve given us greater leverage on Maliki to try to force him to do the right thing as well.

Excerpts from part II

The following are excerpts from the second part “The Islamic State” which aired on Sept. 21, 2014. The correspondent is Scott Pelley. .

President Obama’s plan hinges on arming and training moderate Syrian militias to defeat ISIS. The president has been criticized for not doing that sooner. You’re about to hear from two men who saw the threat early, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Jordan is a moderate, American ally, nearly surrounded by war, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to its west, Syria to its north and Iraq to the east.

Today we spoke to King Abdullah in New York before this month’s U.N. General Assembly meeting. For hundreds of years, his family ruled the holiest shrines in Islam. And the king was nearly at a loss for words today when we asked him about the head of ISIS, who claims to lead all Muslims.

King Abdullah II: I hate to use the word “heretics,” whatever the words of those types are, but to even call himself a Muslim is to me is just words that I don’t want to use on this program.

Scott Pelley: You just used the word “heretic,” is he an Islamic heretic?

King Abdullah II: I think to use the word “Islam” and him in the same sentence is not acceptable. That he even speaks in the name of Islam for me is just so horrendous and so shocking.

The Kingdom of Jordan has borne the burden of the Syrian civil war even though it has no oil wealth and precious little water. We went to the border where, for three years, refugees from that war have risked death in the desert in the hope of reaching Jordan, where they are welcomed.

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.

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