September 18, 2009

Surrendering to Iran
September 18, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com
One fateful step at a time.

The most recent stop on America’s surrender tour came yesterday, when President Obama scrapped plans for a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. The original plan, established by President Bush in 2007, was designed to protect America’s European allies against the threat of an Iranian missile attack. In defending the latest policy of appeasement, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Iran’s long-range missile threat is “not as immediate” as the United States once thought.

Yet, in April, two months after Iran launched a satellite into space, it successfully launched its Sejil-2 missile, which has a range of about 1,200 miles—meaning the outskirts of Europe is now well within reach of the world’s number-one state sponsor of terror. It’s difficult to imagine a threat being any more immediate than that.

Additionally, in a report filed the same day President Obama and Secretary Gates minimized the Iranian threat, the Associated Press claims to have seen a secret document produced by the International Atomic Energy Agency which says Iran now has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is working to build the delivery system needed for the weapon. This assessment follows another recent report from the UN about Iran’s ongoing enrichment activities. At the current pace, Caroline Glick believes, Iran will have sufficient quantities of uranium to build two atomic bombs by February.

It’s impossible to overstate the significance of these dramatic developments in the United States. Forces of appeasement in Washington are now so strong that even the United Nations seems almost hawkish by comparison.

Much has been made of the upcoming UN Security Council meeting on September 24 when, for the first time in history, a U.S. president will preside over the conference. Less has been made of the fact that as chair of the summit, President Obama sets the agenda for the meeting. Earlier this month, America’s UN Ambassador Susan Rice said the session would “focus on nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear disarmament broadly, and not on any particular countries” (emphasis mine throughout).

As Anne Bayefsky notes here, even the UN Secretariat’s agenda for the month of September “lists nonproliferation specifically in relation to Iran and North Korea and does not list disarmament.” But on September 24, when President Obama presides, don’t expect any finger pointing. He thinks more broadly, in terms of worldwide nuclear disarmament.

This agenda perfectly summarizes a reoccurring theme in President Obama’s approach to foreign policy. In 2007, as a U.S. senator, he proposed a plan for eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world. If elected as president, the New York Times wrote at the time, Senator Obama would

lead a global effort to secure nuclear weapons and material at vulnerable sites within four years. He also will pledge to end production of fissile material for weapons, agree not to build new weapons and remove any remaining nuclear weapons from hair-trigger alert.

As president, he has echoed these same utopian ideals. In Prague, earlier this year, he said, “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Of course, a world without nuclear weapons, in his mind, means America takes the lead in dismantling first. But when it comes to the grave threat any other nation poses—like North Korea or Iran—the Obama administration has repeatedly turned a blind eye to an obvious and existential danger. In April, for example, President Obama followed through on campaign promises to drop the condition that Iran first suspend its uranium enrichment program before Washington would talk with Tehran.

The new American government has been steadfast and consistent in its attempts to reach out to Iran, calling for a “new beginning” in U.S.-Iranian relations—even pleading for the mullahs to unclench their fists.

President Ahmadinejad’s blunt responses to such gestures of conciliation have been along these lines: “Any hand outstretched to attack us will be cut off.” This too: “We say to you today that you are in a position of weakness. Your hands are empty, and you no longer promote your interests from a position of strength.”

Even still, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton argued earlier this year, conciliatory gestures toward Iran have been necessary to put the United States in a better position to organize “crippling” international sanctions against the Iranian regime, in case it refuses to come to the negotiation table.

And that pretty much sums up the central conflict between the United States and Iran these past eight months. Amid all the rhetoric, the fundamental issue for the Obama administration hasn’t been Iran’s stubborn refusal to suspend uranium enrichment. It’s Tehran’s unwillingness to talk.

In April, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council—the U.S., Britain, Russia, China, France—plus Germany set a September deadline for Iran: negotiate or face sanctions.

Last week, with the deadline looming, lo and behold, Tehran finally decided to unclench its fist! Its nuclear enrichment program, of course, is not up for discussion. That issue is “finished,” Ahmadinejad said on September 7. “We will never negotiate on the Iranian nation’s rights.”

But he does want to talk, according to Iran’s five-page letter of acceptance, addressed to the U.S.-led G-5+1 last week. “In the name of the Almighty,” the mullahs wrote, Iran wants to help mobilize global resolve “toward complete disarmament and preventing development and proliferation of nuclear, chemical and microbial weapons.”

Conservative commentators called the letter an insult. Stratfor said it “made a mockery of Western demands.” Even the leftist New York Times accused the regime of posturing. “Unfortunately,” the Times editorialized, “there is no sign that Iran is serious about doing much more than buying more time.”

Washington initially rejected the proposal as unsatisfactory. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post last week, the U.S. was ready to abandon engagement and to apply sanctions. The article cited several officials close to the Obama administration who claimed that the White House had become frustrated with Iran’s diplomatic game of cat-and-mouse.

Then the White House made a stunning about-face and decided to accept the offer. Europe begrudgingly followed along.

Why such an inexplicable reversal? “Unless they received some secret Iranian assurances,” which Barry Rubin admits is doubtful, “it means that the State Department mid-level officials scoffed at the letter but as it went up the chain of command, to Obama itself, he chose to accept it.”

And why not? After all, if there are two policies President Obama firmly believes in, it’s talking to enemies without preconditions and building a nuclear-weapons-free world—beginning with the United States.

All of this means Iran has dodged yet another bullet aimed at curbing its nuclear ambitions. It also supplies Tehran with more valuable time to reach the nuclear finish line.

For the United States, meanwhile, it represents another monumental defeat in the war against terrorism’s primary state sponsor—the regime that has been targeting and killing Americans for going on 30 years. •


August 23, 2009

Millions face shrinking Social Security payments

* Barack Obama

WASHINGTON – Millions of older people face shrinking Social Security checks next year, the first time in a generation that payments would not rise. The trustees who oversee Social Security are projecting there won’t be a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the next two years. That hasn’t happened since automatic increases were adopted in 1975.

By law, Social Security benefits cannot go down. Nevertheless, monthly payments would drop for millions of people in the Medicare prescription drug program because the premiums, which often are deducted from Social Security payments, are scheduled to go up slightly.

“I will promise you, they count on that COLA,” said Barbara Kennelly, a former Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut who now heads the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. “To some people, it might not be a big deal. But to seniors, especially with their health care costs, it is a big deal.”

Cost of living adjustments are pegged to inflation, which has been negative this year, largely because energy prices are below 2008 levels.

Advocates say older people still face higher prices because they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on health care, where costs rise faster than inflation. Many also have suffered from declining home values and shrinking stock portfolios just as they are relying on those assets for income.

“For many elderly, they don’t feel that inflation is low because their expenses are still going up,” said David Certner, legislative policy director for AARP. “Anyone who has savings and investments has seen some serious losses.”

About 50 million retired and disabled Americans receive Social Security benefits. The average monthly benefit for retirees is $1,153 this year. All beneficiaries received a 5.8 percent increase in January, the largest since 1982.

More than 32 million people are in the Medicare prescription drug program. Average monthly premiums are set to go from $28 this year to $30 next year, though they vary by plan. About 6 million people in the program have premiums deducted from their monthly Social Security payments, according to the Social Security Administration.

Millions of people with Medicare Part B coverage for doctors’ visits also have their premiums deducted from Social Security payments. Part B premiums are expected to rise as well. But under the law, the increase cannot be larger than the increase in Social Security benefits for most recipients.

There is no such hold-harmless provision for drug premiums.

Kennelly’s group wants Congress to increase Social Security benefits next year, even though the formula doesn’t call for it. She would like to see either a 1 percent increase in monthly payments or a one-time payment of $150.

The cost of a one-time payment, a little less than $8 billion, could be covered by increasing the amount of income subjected to Social Security taxes, Kennelly said. Workers only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,800 of income, a limit that rises each year with the average national wage.

But the limit only increases if monthly benefits increase.

Critics argue that Social Security recipients shouldn’t get an increase when inflation is negative. They note that recipients got a big increase in January — after energy prices had started to fall. They also note that Social Security recipients received one-time $250 payments in the spring as part of the government’s economic stimulus package.

Consumer prices are down from 2008 levels, giving Social Security recipients more purchasing power, even if their benefits stay the same, said Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.

“Seniors may perceive that they are being hurt because there is no COLA, but they are in fact not getting hurt,” Biggs said. “Congress has to be able to tell people they are not getting everything they want.”

Social Security is also facing long-term financial problems. The retirement program is projected to start paying out more money than it receives in 2016. Without changes, the retirement fund will be depleted in 2037, according to the Social Security trustees’ annual report this year.

President Barack Obama has said he would like tackle Social Security next year, after Congress finishes work on health care, climate change and new financial regulations.

Lawmakers are preoccupied by health care, making it difficult to address other tough issues. Advocates for older people hope their efforts will get a boost in October, when the Social Security Administration officially announces that there will not be an increase in benefits next year.

“I think a lot of seniors do not know what’s coming down the pike, and I believe that when they hear that, they’re going to be upset,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who is working on a proposal for one-time payments for Social Security recipients.

“It is my view that seniors are going to need help this year, and it would not be acceptable for Congress to simply turn its back,” he said.


July 31, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates: Israel’s time to strike Iran
July 30, 11:17 PM

A recent Wall Street Journal article mentioned that Defense Secretary Robert Gates thinks that now would be a good time for Israel to attack Iran. That is, with Iran’s nuclear weapons program developing quickly (it is possible that they might have nuclear weapons capability by the end of the year), there is a closing window of oportunity for Israel to launch the offensive while Iran is still without such nuclear capabilities. Soon, Israel’s comparative military advantage will be weakened. Therefore, Gates said that it would not be surprising if Israel does attack Iran before the year ends.

What would that mean for the United States? With Israel as a key ally, the United States just might be pulled in to any future conflict. With current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (quite unpopular wars I might add), an armed conflict with Iran would just be adding even more fuel to the fire. Add to that unmanned drone bombings in Pakistan and tension with North Korea and things are looking a bit shaky for the near future.


July 23, 2009

Is the German Media Promoting Nazi Propaganda?
July 23, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com
Some German media outlets are talking about the Treaty of Versailles in the same way a certain Austrian-born rising political star did in the 1930s.

Brad Macdonald

Earlier this month, the German weekly Der Spiegel ran a cover story suggesting that the Treaty of Versailles is why the “Second World War had to follow the first.” Imposed on Germany in June 1919, the post-World War i treaty was “humiliating,” “harsh” and too demanding of the debilitated German state, lamented Spiegel—thus it was a justifiable pretext for the rise of Hitler and the Nazis.

This banter about Allied guilt for causing World War ii is not occurring in whispers among Nazi sympathizers in log cabins in the backwoods of Germany.

This was a cover story in Der Spiegel, a popular weekly newsmagazine which, like Newsweek or Time in the United States, shapes national conversation in Germany. And as translators at German-Foreign-Policy.com observed recently, the German daily Die Welt “takes a similar position” to Spiegel on this issue, as does the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the most popular newspaper in southern Germany.

Reassigning blame for World War ii to the Treaty of Versailles—and therefore the Allies—is becoming a disturbing trend in Germany!

It is equally disturbing that fodder for this world war blame game is plenteous in modern Western history books. There it is fashionable for revisionist historians to blame World War ii on Britain and America, and not Germany, whose only crime for two decades after World War i supposedly was to suffer under the jackboot of Versailles.

Hitler didn’t care about righting the supposed wrongs of Versailles. He was a genocidal maniac gunning for world domination!This false teaching is heinous. It is fundamentally Nazi in philosophy and character. More importantly, it numbs people’s minds to what will be the root cause of World War iii.

Don’t Blame Versailles

Like all peace treaties, the Treaty of Versailles had its imperfections, although, as historian Victor Davis Hanson has explained, the treaty was “far better than what Germany itself had offered France in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War, or Russia after its collapse in 1917—or what it had planned for Britain and France had it won the First World War” (emphasis mine throughout).

Perhaps Versailles was a little too demanding on some points, but it was no harsher than peace accords imposed by Germany on France and Russia—and, after all, Germany had caused a conflict that ultimately snuffed out 10 million people!

“What ultimately led to World War ii,” explained Hanson, “was neither the Allied meanness to Germany between the two wars nor an unwillingness to understand the Nazis’ pain and anguish.”

What was the true cause of World War ii?

If the Treaty of Versailles really was why “the Second World War had to follow the first,” as Spiegel put it, it’s logical that World War ii only became inevitable after Versailles, and, realistically, after years of built-up resentment and anger over its “unfair” and “harsh” stipulations. How then do revisionist historians explain the facts showing Germany began planning World War ii toward the end of World War i—before the Treaty of Versailles even existed?

“Nazism, the fascist phase of Pan-Germanism, was initiated in Germany immediately after the armistice of 1918 by direct instigation of the German General Staff,” explained Michael Sayers and Albert E. Khan in The Plot Against Peace (1945). The Treaty of Versailles wasn’t signed until June 1919; the seeds of Nazism were sown in Germany after the armistice in 1918.

So the spirit of Nazism, which ultimately transformed Europe into a cauldron of death during the Second World War, was operating inside Germany before the Treaty of Versailles existed. Historical evidence shows that Germany was even preparing physically for World War ii—developing new weapons and restocking armaments—as early as 1921, long before Versailles’ “harsh” and “humiliating” stipulations had the chance to take full effect.

The logic is undeniable: The spirit of Nazism that caused World War ii was not born of animosity among Germans toward the Treaty of Versailles!

Select leaders in Germany were planning World War ii before the First World War even ended. Many in Germany did not accept World War i as a defeat. The truth is, these people exploited the idea that the Treaty of Versailles was “harsh” and “humiliating” as a vehicle to advance the Nazi agenda to launch World War ii. Nazism thrived in Germany during the 1920s and ’30s when the Nazi propaganda machine fomented German pride and humiliation over the defeat, and blamed the country’s postwar woes on the Allied impositions of Versailles.

“The Treaty of Versailles created a political climate in Germany in which the right [Nazism] put all the blame on everything that went sour onto the treaty and the lost war,” explained prominent German historian Wolfgang Mommsen. “And that created this climate in which many people then began to think one had to fight the war once again.”

The Versailles Treaty was tough, and it created some hardship in Germany. But it was not the cause of World War ii. The cause of World War ii was the pervasive, war-mongering spirit of Nazism, injected into Germany before Versailles, which used Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party as its mouthpiece and “sold the Second World War to the Germans as righting the wrongs of Versailles” (ibid.).

Ridiculing the Treaty of Versailles as “harsh,” “humiliating” and unfair was a Nazi tactic designed to provoke frustration and hostility among Germans toward America, Britain and France. It was a gigantic lie by which the Nazi propaganda machine groomed the minds of Germans for World War ii. Perhaps some Germans went to war thinking they were remedying what they saw as the mistakes made in the Treaty of Versailles, that they were fighting to reclaim the territory they had been forced to cede, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Not Hitler. His goal was to establish the Third Reich over all of Poland, all of France, all of the Balkans, all of Europe—including Britain—and ultimately the entire world! His goal was to purge Germany, then the human race, of the Jews.

Hitler didn’t care about righting the supposed wrongs of Versailles. He was a genocidal maniac gunning for world domination!

The Holy Roman Empire

Although the immediate cause of World War ii was German Nazism, led by the genocidal mass-murderer Adolf Hitler, there was a more fundamental reason for the war. As Sayers and Khan observed, “[A]lmost all the peculiar features of Hitler’s regime, its unbridled aggressiveness, its inordinate brutality, its homicidal racial chauvinism, have been characteristic of past political manifestations of the Pan-German secret ruling combine of Junkerism, Prussian militarism and economic feudalism.”

There is another common name for Germany’s long-standing quest for global domination: It’s called the Holy Roman Empire!Put simply, World War ii was a short and vicious eruption of what historians admit is a long-held German goal for continental subjugation—and world dominance.

That is why the growing proclivity to blame World War ii on the Treaty of Versailles, and on the Allied powers, is so dangerous: It classifies the Second World War as a historical aberration, caused by unique political and economic conditions, that will never be repeated. The truth is, World War ii was actually a violent eruption of Germany’s enduring ambition for global domination—an ambition that remains rooted in the German national character today!

There is another common name for Germany’s long-standing quest for global domination: It’s called the Holy Roman Empire!

The Holy Roman Empire is a political, religious and military conglomerate that has risen and fallen from power in Europe over the past 1,500 years. As is explained in our free booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, this deadly empire began in a.d. 554, when the Roman Emperor Justinian recognized the supremacy of the pope and forged an alliance between Rome and the Vatican.

There have been five resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire in Europe since Justinian’s Imperial Restoration. In each case—be it Charlemagne’s vicious empire in the 8th century, Otto the Great’s German empire of the 10th century, Napoleon’s in the early 19th, or Hitler’s in the mid-20th—the Vatican was the primary influence over the empire. That’s why it’s called the “Holy” Roman Empire, though the use of the term “holy” is one of history’s cruelest misnomers.

This modern tendency, both inside Germany and out, to blame World War ii on the Treaty of Versailles and the Allied powers is diabolical. It is cut from the same cloth as the lies about the Treaty of Versailles promulgated by the Nazis during the 1930s and ’40s to help convince the German people of the need for World War ii. It also blinds people to the historical and biblical reality that the Holy Roman Empire was the ultimate cause of both World Wars i and ii.

Most importantly, however, it is a lie that numbs people to the reality that this same Holy Roman Empire is about to start World War iii! •


June 25, 2009

Is Another Stock Market Collapse Imminent?

June 25, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com

Strong insider trading could mean that bad news is just over the horizon.

Business owners are losing faith in the companies they run. U.S. business executives are selling shares in their companies at the fastest pace since the credit crunch began two years ago, reports show. This may indicate an impending stock market slump.

“Historically, insiders have been a leading indicator of where the market’s going to move, and we’re seeing a clear indication that insider sentiment is becoming more neutral if not approaching bearish levels,” says the editor of Vickers Weekly Insider Report, David Coleman.

“Insiders” are company executives and directors, who usually know best how their companies are doing. They have information not available to the public. For these reasons, they are required by law to report how much stock they buy and sell.

Data compiled by InsiderScore.com shows that insiders working for companies on Standard & Poor’s 500 index were net sellers for 14 weeks straight.

Three months ago, insiders were buying shares in their own companies as the S&P 500 index reached its lowest level in over a decade. Now they have shifted from buying to selling in a big way. TrimTabs Investment Research reports that insiders have sold $2.6 billion worth of stock so far this month. That is 22 times the $120 million in stock they have bought: a ratio of $22 sold for every $1 bought.

Bloomberg reports:

Sales by ceos, directors and senior officers have accelerated to the highest level since June 2007, two months before credit markets froze, as the S&P 500 rebounded from its 12-year low in March. The increase is making investors more skittish because executives presumably have the best information about their companies’ prospects.

“If insiders are selling into the rally, that shows they don’t expect their business to be able to support current stock-price levels,” said Joseph Keating, the chief investment officer of Raleigh, North Carolina-based rbc Bank, the unit of Royal Bank of Canada that oversees $33 billion in client assets. “They’re taking advantage of this bounce and selling into it.”

Historically, this has not been a good sign, as Bloomberg points out:

The last time there were more U.S. corporations with executives reducing their holdings than adding to them was during the week ended June 19, 2007, the data show. The next month, two Bear Stearns Cos. hedge funds filed for bankruptcy protection as securities linked to subprime mortgages fell apart, helping trigger almost $1.5 trillion in losses and write-downs at the world’s biggest financial companies and the 57 percent drop in the S&P 500 from Oct. 9, 2007, to March 9, 2009.

Insider selling during the height of the dot-com bubble in the first quarter of 2000 climbed to a record $41.7 billion on a net basis, according to data compiled by Bethesda, Maryland-based Washington Service. The sales coincided with the end of the S&P 500’s bull market and preceded a 2½-year slump that erased half the value of U.S. equities.

Not all experts agree that another stock market fall is coming. The director of research at O’Shaughnessy Asset Management, Bill Latimer, doesn’t believe that insider selling is a good way of forecasting stock performance. “When you’re dealing with an individual’s buying or selling, you’re clouding the picture with what their specific financial situation may be,” he said.

Nevertheless, the whole American financial system is in uncharted territory. A major crash is coming, at some point soon. This collapse, however, will eventually have a good outcome. To find out how, read “The Future of Money.” •


June 12, 2009

The End of the U.S.-Israeli Alliance

June 12, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com

Obama abandons historic ally to win favor from Muslims.

Stephen Flurry

In his Cairo speech last week, President Obama said the historic bond between the U.S. and Israel was based on Jewish aspirations for a homeland that were “rooted” in the tragedy of the Holocaust. In fact, Jewish aspirations for statehood not only predate the Adolf Hitler era, they predate the Zionist movement.

In 1879, ten years before Adolf Hitler was even born and nearly two decades before Theodore Herzl published The Jewish State, the venerable New York Times made this prediction: “So much has been said for generations of the Jews regaining possession of Jerusalem that it is agreeable to think that they are likely to do so at last. They certainly deserve Jerusalem” (emphasis mine throughout). Much had been said, of course, because of the Jews’ millennia-old roots that run through Jerusalem and the surrounding hills of Judea and Samaria.

Palestinians, of course, have reinvented this history, claiming the Jews are without legal or historic right to their homeland and that modern-day Israel exists only because of the guilt left hanging over Europe after the Holocaust.

Last week, the president of the United States legitimized this bit of Arab propaganda.

And in the very same speech, he delegitimized the “natural growth” of Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria, as well as Jerusalem suburbs, by demanding, “It is time for these settlements to stop.”

Even Democrats on Capitol Hill were alarmed. “I do not support a settlement freeze that calls on Israeli families not to grow, get married, or forces them to throw away their grandparents. Telling people not to have children is unthinkable and inhumane,” said Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, a New York Democrat.

Charles Krauthammer, who made a similar point in his column last week, also noted how farcical it was to blame the moribund peace process on settlement growth.

Ten years ago, President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians 94 percent of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and unrestricted control of the Temple Mount. Added to that, in exchange for the most densely populated Jewish settlements, Barak offered a land swap that amounted to about half the territory Israel would retain to keep its largest settlements intact.

In swift response to the generous offer, Nobel Prize winner Yasser Arafat unleashed a bloody five-year campaign of rockets, sniper fire and suicide bombings aimed primarily at civilians. The second intifada resulted in the murder of more than 1,000 Jews.

In response to a particularly bloody month in 2002, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield into Judea and Samaria and later constructed a 465-mile fence to separate the West Bank from Israel proper.

Last year, largely relying upon the boundaries established by the security fence, lame duck Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered the Palestinians 93 percent of the West Bank, a one-for-one land swap for the larger Jewish settlements, including territory adjacent to the Gaza Strip and a checkpoint-free passageway connecting the Strip to the West Bank, a luxury Palestinians never had even before 1967.

Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman called the Israeli proposal a “waste of time” and said it demonstrated a “lack of seriousness” on Israel’s part. But in comparing the most recent offer with the Camp David proposal in 2000, the landmass offered to Palestinians was actually a bit larger this time around, even after 10 years of natural growth in Israeli settlements.

Clearly, then, it’s not settlement activity that’s obstructing the process for peace. It’s the presence of Jews. As Abbas’s spokesman told the Palestine News Agency, “The Palestinian side will only accept a Palestinian state with territorial continuity, with holy Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, and on the June 4, 1967, boundaries”—meaning hundreds of thousands of Jews would have to be removed from Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem.

Even then, assuming Israel would ever agree to a massive evacuation that would dwarf the Gaza pullout of 2005, it’s difficult to imagine Fatah accepting such an offer, given its stubborn refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Then there is Hamas, which grabbed hold of Gaza less than a year after Israel completely evacuated all of its settlements, and remains adamantly opposed to any Palestinian state coexisting with Israel as its next-door neighbor.

Hamas and Fatah, if truth be told, remain steadfast in their aspirations for a homeland that includes all of Israel being ethnically cleansed of any Jewish presence.

Which brings us back to President Obama’s unreasonable demand for Israel to freeze settlement growth. Of all the “road map” issues that need settling before the establishment of a Palestinian state, why would the United States now elevate the marginal issue of settlement growth to the top of its Middle East peace agenda? Calling for a settlement freeze only applies intense pressure on an already fractured relationship between Washington and Jerusalem.

This, as several commentators have noted, is exactly what the new American government wants. In creating this crisis, Stratfor explains, Obama wins no matter what Israel’s response might be. “If Netanyahu gives in, then [Obama] has established the principle that the United States can demand concessions from a Likud-controlled government in Israel and get them” (June 8).

And if Netanyahu doesn’t give in, which is much more likely when viewing the collision from a prophetic standpoint, Obama can drive a wedge between the U.S. and Israel and then “use that split as a lever with Islamic states,” Stratfor notes.

The United States, in other words, is renouncing its special relationship with Israel in order to boost its standing in the Muslim world.

We’ve been predicting this U.S.-Israeli division for many years, thanks to two specific prophecies found in Hosea 5:13 and Zechariah 11:14. In the latter verse, God said He would “break the brotherhood between Judah [modern-day Israel] and Israel [primarily the United States and Britain].”

This is why in Hosea, God says that Judah, after being mortally wounded by the peace process, would seek help from Germany, rather than the United States.

President Obama went to Cairo last week in search of a “new beginning” in the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. In doing so, the U.S. effectively ended its brotherly friendship and strategically critical alliance with Israel.

That “unbreakable” bond between America and Israel, the president’s assurances notwithstanding, is now broken. •


May 28, 2009

Korea at DEFCON 1?

May 21, 2009
Jim Rawles

Based upon this article in Yahoo! and an article earlier today from Joonang Ilbo, I estimate that as a minimum US Forces, Korea has gone to DEFCON 1 and I suspect that Pacific Command is at DEFCON 2 as a minimum. I base this on my year of service in Korea from October 1975 to October, 1976 which time included the “Tree War”. At that time I was an F-4 Weapons Systems Officer and squadron additional duty plans officer with the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Juvats) at Kunsan Air Base.

Many of the articles I have read over the past few days indicate that the driving force behind this current “temper tantrum” is the United Nations Security Council rebuke for the Taepodong-2 test that failed to stage and crashed into the sea. Many other articles have opined that the real problem is succession. Their theory is that Mr. Kim, knowing his time on this Earth is severely limited after his last medical problem, is pressing for the guaranteed survival of the DPRK so he can name his successor.

At this point I’m not sure that the reason makes any difference. I believe we are at a point where if Kim backs down, he incurs a catastrophic loss of face. Add to that the cessation of the behind the scenes support from South Korea that occurred under the Roh government. Mr. Kim has also ejected the World Food Program from the DPRK. Since all information on North Korean agriculture appears to be classified at the SECRET level, we don’t have access to the LANDSAT photos that would allow us to know the condition of agriculture in the DPRK. We don’t even know if the KPA participated in the Spring Planting. Considering that they were supposedly on war alert for the Taepodong-2 launch, their participation is in serious question. If the KPA did NOT participate in the Spring Planting, that would be a strong indicator that the DPRK was not depending on this fall’s harvest for food.

There are in the Soviet system only two times when you go to war: Summer and Winter. Spring and Fall occupy the army fully with planting or harvest. Why? Because the army has all of the vehicles needed to accomplish either without emptying the cities and sending them to the collectives. Since there is so much we do not know about the state of North Korean agriculture, we must make educated estimates of same. We do know that over the last five or six years, a significant amount of newly terraced land on the western hills was planted and then washed into the Yellow Sea by typhoons. This land at almost at once became arable and useless. There are few other areas in the DPRK where land may be adapted to agriculture that is not already in use and over use.

There is good reason why the United States does not destroy the various facilities of the DPRK that are causing so much consternation. The first reason, and the most important, is that the DPRK holds Seoul hostage. The Korean People’s Army has about 11,000 artillery pieces and rocket launchers carefully concealed along and shortly behind the DMZ that target the area between the DMZ and the Han River. It is physically impossible to destroy these systems before they turn the heart of South Korea into rubble laden with chemical and biological agents. At worst for the South, these systems will have 24 hours to do their missions before we can destroy them. Whatever we may believe about a solution to the Kim problem, the Republic of Korea risks its existence whatever we do. I believe the decision about war or peace belongs to them.

Here I believe that the Joong Ang Article about command relationships is telling. It has been US policy since the creation of North and South Korea not to sell or allow the ROK forces to have offensive weapons. It has always been the United States that has supplied the heavy artillery and air power to defend the ROK. That is also why the US forces have been moved in stages south of the Han and out of initial range of the DPRK initial bombardment and assault. If the South Koreans, after many years of discussion and political discourse, decided to unify all military units in South Korea under a joint and South Korean lead command structure suddently decide to cancel that plan is a serious loss of face for the ROK. Not something they would do unless they were really scared.

This situation reminds me a lot of the “Tree War”. The DPRK created a major incident in the DMZ and then backed off when we applied significant force. At no point in this current run of events has the United States applied or even threatened significant force. When we went to chop down that offending tree, there were some 100 aircraft airborne including two cells of B-52s. I broke more peacetime flying rules in the following two weeks than ever before in my career. Live MigCAPS do get your attention.

That is exactly what bothers me about this current mess. There are sufficient imponderables here to keep all of us guessing. I do not see Mr. Kim backing down. I do not see USFK or the ROK backing down. I do see the imminent possibility of a black hole into which all disappear and only chaos reappears.

God help us all.

Richard E. Radcliffe
Captain, USAF (Retired)

Permission is granted to publish in its entirety.


May 18, 2009

Obama’s Animal Farm

Bigger, Bloodier Wars Equal Peace and Justice

By James Petras

“The Deltas are psychos. You have to be a certified psychopath to
join the Delta Force”, a US Army colonel from Fort Bragg once told me back in the 1980’s. Now President Obama has elevated the most notorious of the psychopaths, General Stanley McChrystal, to head the US and NATO military command in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s rise to leadership is marked by his central role in directing special operations teams engaged in extrajudicial assassinations, systematic torture, bombing of civilian communities and search and destroy missions. He is the very embodiment of the brutality and gore that accompanies military-driven empire building. Between September 2003 and August 2008, McChrystal directed the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations (JSO) Command which operates special teams in overseas assassinations.

The point of the ‘Special Operations’ teams (SOT) is that they do not distinguish between civilian and military oppositions, between activists and their sympathizers and the armed resistance. The SOT specialize in establishing death squads and recruiting and training paramilitary forces to terrorize communities, neighborhoods and social movements opposing US client regimes. The SOT’s ‘counter-terrorism’ is terrorism in reverse, focusing on socio-political groups between US proxies and the armed resistance. McChrystal’s SOT targeted local and national insurgent leaders in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan through commando raids and air strikes. During the last 5 years of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld period the SOT were deeply implicated in the torture of political prisoners and suspects. McChrystal was a special favorite of Rumsfeld and Cheney because he was in charge of the ‘direct action’ forces of the ‘Special Missions Units. ‘Direct Action’ operative are the death-squads and torturers and their only engagement with the local population is to terrorize, and not to propagandize. They engage in ‘propaganda of the dead’, assassinating local leaders to ‘teach’ the locals to obey and submit to the occupation. Obama’s appointment of McChrystal as head reflects a grave new military escalation of his Afghanistan war in the face of the advance of the resistance throughout the country.

The deteriorating position of the US is manifest in the tightening circle around all the roads leading in and out of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul as well as the expansion of Taliban control and influence throughout the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Obama’s inability to recruit new NATO reinforcements means that the White House’s only chance to advance its military driven empire is to escalate the number of US troops and to increase the kill ratio among any and all suspected civilians in territories controlled by the Afghan armed resistance.

The White House and the Pentagon claim that the appointment of McChrystal was due to the ‘complexities’ of the situation on the ground and the need for a ‘change in strategy’. ‘Complexity’ is a euphemism for the increased mass opposition to the US, complicating traditional carpet ‘bombing and military sweep’ operations. The new strategy practiced by McChrystal involves large scale, long term ‘special operations’ to devastate and kill the local social networks and community leaders, which provide the support system for the armed resistance.

Obama’s decision to prevent the release of scores of photographs documenting the torture of prisoners by US troops and ‘interrogators’ (especially under command of the ‘Special Forces’), is directly related to his appointment of McChrystal whose ‘SOT’ forces were highly implicated in widespread torture in Iraq. Equally important, under McChrystal’s command the DELTA, SEAL and Special Operations Teams will have a bigger role in the new ‘counter-insurgency strategy’. Obama’s claim that the publication of these photographs will adversely affect the ‘troops’ has a particular meaning: The graphic exposure of McChrystal’s modus operendi for the past 5 years under President Bush will undermine his effectiveness in carrying out the same operations under Obama.

Obama’s decision to re-start the secret ‘military tribunals’ of foreign political prisoners, held at the Guantanamo prison camp, is not merely a replay of the Bush-Cheney policies, which Obama had condemned and vowed to eliminate during his presidential campaign, but part of his larger policy of militarization and coincides with his approval of the major secret police surveillance operations conducted against US citizens.

Putting McChrystal in charge of the expanded Afghanistan-Pakistan military operations means putting a notorious practitioner of military terrorism ­ the torture and assassination of opponents to US policy ­ at the center of US foreign policy. Obama’s quantitative and qualitative expansion of the US war in South Asia means massive numbers of refugees fleeing the destruction of their farms, homes and villages; tens of thousands of civilian deaths, and eradication of entire communities. All of this will be committed by the Obama Administraton in the quest to ’empty the lake (displace entire populations) to catch the fish (armed insurgents and activists)’.

Obama’s restoration of all of the most notorious Bush Era policies and the appointment of Bush’s most brutal commander is based on his total embrace of the ideology of military-driven empire building. Once one believes (as Obama does) that US power and expansion are based on military conquests and counter-insurgency, all other ideological, diplomatic, moral and economic considerations will be subordinated to militarism. By focusing all resources on successful military conquest, scant attention is paid to the costs borne by the people targeted for conquest or to the US treasury and domestic American economy. This has been clear from the start: In the midst of a major recession/depression with millions of Americans losing their employment and homes, President Obama increased the military budget by 4% – taking it beyond $800 billion dollars.

Obama’s embrace of militarism is obvious from his decision to expand the Afghan war despite NATO’s refusal to commit any more combat troops. It is obvious in his appointment of the most hard-line and notorious Special Forces General from the Bush-Cheney era to head the military command in subduing Afghanistan and the frontier areas of Pakistan.

It is just as George Orwell described in Animal Farm: The Democratic Pigs are now pursuing the same brutal, military policies of their predecessors, the Republican Porkers, only now it is in the name of the people and peace. Orwell might paraphrase the policy of President Barack Obama, as ‘Bigger and bloodier wars equal peace and justice’.


April 27, 2009

between the lines Joseph Farah The Obama eligibility cover-up

Posted: April 27, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009

Everyone reading this column knows that the news service over which I preside has been virtually alone in covering one of the biggest electoral scandals in American history – maybe the biggest.

I’m talking about the question of Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility to serve as president.

Even many of Obama’s political opponents and harshest critics continue to pretend this is a non-issue, that it’s a matter that has somehow been settled, that it is a question only people who wear tin-foil hats are discussing.

I know that’s not the case, given a petition I began demanding proof Obama is a “natural-born citizen” has now attracted more than 360,000 signees.

Yet, the cover-up continues.

The rest of the media care not.

They have no idea how much concern there is for the sanctity of the Constitution out there throughout America.

But just to point out the duplicity of my colleagues in the establishment press, I would like to ask a rhetorical question: Did the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and ABC News cover a story about questions over a presidential candidate’s constitutional eligibility during the long campaign last year?

Surprisingly, perhaps, the answer is “Yes, they did.”

They all covered the question over John McCain’s eligibility as a “natural-born citizen.”

Back on Feb. 28, 2008, the New York Times covered it.

That very same day, the Wall Street Journal covered it.

The Chicago Tribune covered it 10 days earlier.

And, just over a year ago, ABC News covered it.

As I have pointed out before, John McCain’s constitutional eligibility was considered important enough that congressional hearings were held on the matter – with Barack Obama eagerly signing up as a co-sponsor of legislation declaring his opponent fit to hold the office of the presidency.

Yet, no such hearings were held to demand Obama prove he was born in Hawaii as he claimed – despite his refusal, right up to today, to provide something as simple, innocuous and non-invasive of his privacy as a long-form birth certificate that would lay all such questions to rest.

Instead, all Obama ever released to select media was a “certificate of live birth,” which, as we all know, could have been issued to a resident of Hawaii for a foreign birth.

Why the lack of curiosity then?

Why the lack of curiosity now?

Why is everyone so eager to put this chapter of American political history behind us when it potentially cheapens our collective respect for the Constitution and potentially places the current occupant of the White House in a compromised position – even subject to blackmail if indeed he is not telling the truth about where he was born?

It would be so easy for Obama to settle this matter.

Instead of fighting lawsuits from citizens, including some currently serving in the military services right now in Iraq and Afghanistan who have serious concerns about the eligibility of Obama to serve in office, why won’t he just release the long-form birth certificate?

Why is that so difficult?

Why is that so onerous?

Doesn’t he realize that even though his friends in the media and many of his weak-kneed political opponents dare not breathe word of this controversy other than to denigrate those who do, it just ain’t going away?

If you are like me and believe the Constitution actually means what it says, I urge you to get the latest issue of Whistleblower magazine by subscribing to WND’s groundbreaking monthly or purchasing the single copy for just $7.50. It represents the most complete and comprehensive investigative report on this matter yet undertaken by any news organization. (It is also the first issue of the magazine in its new glossy 48-page format – entirely devoted to this one topic.)

Get it today. Share the information. Spread the word. Do it for your country.


April 7, 2009

between the lines Joseph Farah Why Obama evasion means he’s unfit
Posted: April 07, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009

“Fatetur facinus qui judicium fugit.”

If your Latin is a little rusty, that means, “A person who flees judgment confesses guilt.”

It is a principle of the law that can be traced back at least to Black’s Law Dictionary, published in 1718 and immensely influential to America’s founders.

It is almost a self-evident principle, but because we live in an age in which much of what was previously self-evident has become obscured, it’s worth mentioning again – particularly with regard to Barack Obama’s determined effort block any effort to ascertain whether or not he is actually constitutionally eligible to serve as president of the United States.

When American citizens demand proof that Obama is indeed a natural-born citizen, as the Constitution requires, it’s not like a criminal indictment of someone who is presumed innocent until proven guilty. In this case, the burden of proof is on Obama – and he has done everything humanly possible to avoid releasing that proof to controlling legal authorities and the people he serves.

Think about it.

When did government officials start ignoring our national charter – and why does it continue? Find out in “Who Killed the Constitution?”

Obama was elected to serve you under the parameters of the Constitution, to which he took a sworn oath to uphold. (We all watched him botch it so badly he was forced to do it again – in private.)

Yet he steadfastly refuses to provide the evidence of his own eligibility under that Constitution. No one has seen it – not the Federal Elections Commission, not the secretaries of state who presided over his elections, not the Supreme Court of the United States, not the governor of Hawaii who has refused to release what she claims is a birth certificate that would end this matter of supreme public interest, and not the Congress of the United States, whose members – both majority and minority – are apparently too afraid of public ridicule to do what they are sworn to do, enforce the Constitution.

What does that tell you?

According to the aforementioned principle of the law, Obama is a kind of fugitive, a kind of scofflaw, someone who is deliberately, and with malice aforethought, undermining the rule of law.

There are some people who insist none of this is really important. They will tell you Obama won the election fair and square and that ends the debate. They will tell you that pursuing this constitutional issue is a waste of time, a dead end. They will even tell you that anyone devoted to pursuing the truth is some kind of whack-job conspiracy nut.

I couldn’t disagree more vehemently.

There is a vital principle at stake. It’s called the sanctity of the Constitution and the rule of law. I am well aware of the many ways Washington has averted its eyes from the literal words of the Constitution throughout our history in an effort to do whatever it wants – legal or not. This is certainly not the first time.

But think of what it means if Obama is permitted to get away with his deliberate evasion of the law. He is, as president, the man charged with administering the law, with enforcing the law. Is he himself above it? Apparently he thinks he is – and that attitude has already manifested itself in a thousand ways in just the first 100 days he has illegitimately held office.

A president who is hiding secrets subjects himself, and, thereby, the best interests of our country, to blackmail. And there is no question Obama has a secret. I’m not sure what that secret is, but it apparently involves the circumstances of his birth and probably much more.

If he was truly born in Hawaii, it’s a simple matter to prove. It is nearly an impossible task to disprove it without that simple long-form birth certificate that every American is forced to show when they first obtain a driver’s license or attend school, to participate in organized sports activities or to obtain even a low-level government job.

Don’t you think it’s time the president of the United States came clean with us and released his?

If you agree with me, I urge you to sign our growing petition, now exceeding 350,000 names. Keep up the pressure. Don’t let this issue die. If it does, another little piece of the Constitution dies with it.