White House Insider: Obama Hesitated

May 5th, 2011

This is a reprint of an excellent interview of a White House Insider, who needless to say must remain anonymous. It was written by Ulsterman In Issues on May 3, 2011. In my opinion it explains the delays in the news release on a late Sunday evening by the administration and had all the ear marks of trying to manage the news to put the best spin on the President.    Your comments are invited.

White House Insider: Obama Hesitated – Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama Bin Laden

By Ulsterman in Issues, May 3, 2011

http://socyberty.com/issues/white-house-insider-obama-hesitated-panetta-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/

Note: This update comes some 24 hours after our longtime Washington D.C. Insider first outlined shocking details of an Obama administration having been “overruled” by senior military and intelligence officials leading up to the successful attack against terrorist Osama Bin Laden.  What follows is further clarification of  the Insider’s insights surrounding that event.

Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound.  Was that accurate?

A: I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama)  I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.”  There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so.  President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president. I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper.  The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama.  Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position.  This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton.  She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts.  One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world.  Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.

Q: What changed the president’s position and enabled the attack against Osama Bin Laden to proceed? 

A:  Nothing changed with the president’s opinion – he continued to avoid having one.  Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel.  Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack.  Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives.

  Initially, as he had done before, the president indicated a willingness to act.  But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy.  Again Obama hesitated – this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta.  A brief meeting was held at this time with other officials, including Secretary Gates and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but Gates, like Panetta, was unable to push the president to act.  It was at this time that Gates indicated to certain Pentagon officials that he may resign earlier than originally indicated – he was that frustrated.  Both Panetta and Clinton convinced him to stay on and see the operation through.

What happened from there is what was described by me as a “masterful manipulation” by Leon Panetta.  Panetta indicated to Obama that leaks regarding knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s location were certain to get out sooner rather than later, and action must be taken by the administration or the public backlash to the president’s inaction would be “…significant to the point of political debilitation.”

  It was at that time that Obama stated an on-ground campaign would be far more acceptable to him than a bombing raid.  This was intended as a stalling tactic, and it had originated from Jarrett.  Such a campaign would take both time, and present a far greater risk of failure.  The president had been instructed by Jarrett to inform Mr. Panetta that he would have sole discretion to act against the Osama Bin Laden compound.  Jarrett believed this would further delay Panetta from acting, as the responsibility for failure would then fall almost entirely on him.

 What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound.  Basically, the whole damn operation was already ready to go – including the specific team support Intel necessary to engage the enemy within hours of being given notice.  Panetta then made plans to proceed with an on-ground assault.

 This information reached either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates first (likely via military contacts directly associated with the impending mission) who then informed the other. Those two then met with Panetta, who informed each of them he had been given the authority by the president to proceed with a mission if the opportunity presented itself.  Both Gates and Clinton warned Panetta of the implications of that authority – namely he was possibly being made into a scapegoat.  Panetta admitted that possibility, but felt the opportunity to get Bin Laden outweighed that risk. During that meeting, Hillary Clinton was first to pledge her full support for Panetta, indicating she would defend him if necessary.  Similar support was then followed by Gates.

 The following day, and with Panetta’s permission, Clinton met in private with Bill Daley and urged him to get the president’s full and open approval of the Panetta plan.  Daley agreed such approval would be of great benefit to the action, and instructed Clinton to delay proceeding until he had secured that approval.  Daley contacted Clinton within hours of their meeting indicating Jarrett refused to allow the president to give that approval.  Daley then informed Clinton that he too would fully support Panetta in his actions, even if it meant disclosing the president’s indecision to the American public should that action fail to produce a successful conclusion.  Clinton took that message back to Panetta and the CIA director initiated the 48 hour engagement order.

 At this point, the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order – it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order. This insulation ended at some point with an abort order that I believe originated from Valerie Jarrett’s office, and was then followed up by President Obama.

This abort order was later explained as a delay due to weather conditions, but the actual conditions at that time would have been acceptable for the mission.  A storm system had been in the area earlier, but was no longer an issue.  Check the data yourself to confirm.  Jarrett, having been caught off guard, was now scrambling to determine who had initiated the plan.  She was furious, repeating the acronym “CoC” and saying it was not being followed. 

This is where Bill Daley intervened directly.  The particulars of that intervention are not clear to me beyond knowing he did meet with Jarrett in his office and following that meeting, Valerie Jarrett was not seen in the West Wing for some time, and apparently no longer offered up any resistance to the Osama Bin Laden mission.  What did follow from there was one or more brief meetings between Bill Daley, Hillary Clinton, a representative from Robert Gates’ office, a representative from Leon Panetta’s office, and a representative from Jim Clapper’s office.  I have to assume that these meetings were in essence, detailing the move to proceed with the operation against the Osama Bin Laden compound.  I have been told by more than one source that Leon Panetta was directing the operation with both his own CIA operatives, as well as direct contacts with military – both entities were reporting to Panetta only at this point, and not the President of the United States.

There was not going to be another delay as had happened 24 hour earlier.  The operation was at this time effectively unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it had already been initiated.  President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission.  Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military.

When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking “very confused and uncertain.” The president was then placed in the situation room where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold. Another interesting tidbit regarding this is that the Vice President was already “up to speed” on the operation.

A source indicated they believe Hillary Clinton had personally made certain the Vice President was made aware of that day’s events before the president was.  The now famous photo released shows the particulars of that of that room and its occupants.  What that photo does not communicate directly is that the military personnel present in that room during the operation unfolding, deferred to either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates.  The president’s role was minimal, including their acknowledging of his presence in the room. At the conclusion of the mission, after it had been repeatedly confirmed a success, President Obama was once again briefed behind closed doors.  The only ones who went in that room besides the president were Bill Daley. John Brennan, and a third individual whose identity remains unknown to me.  When leaving this briefing, the president came out of it “…much more confident. Much more certain of himself.”  He was also carrying papers in his hand that quite possibly was the address to the nation given later that evening on the Bin Laden mission.  The president did not have those papers with him prior to that briefing. The president then returned to the war room, where by this time, Leon Panetta had personally arrived and was receiving congratulations from all who were present.

 In my initial communication to you of these events I described what unfolded as a temporary Coup initiated by high ranking intelligence and military officials. I stand by that term.  These figures worked around the uncertainty of President Obama and the repeated resistance of Valerie Jarrett.  If they had not been willing to do so, I am certain Osama Bin Laden would still be alive today.  There will be no punishment to those who acted outside the authority of the president’s office.  The president cannot afford to admit such a fact.  What will be most interesting from here is to now see what becomes of Valerie Jarrett.  One source indicated she is threatening resignation.  I find that unlikely given my strong belief she needs the protection afforded her by the Oval Office and its immense powers to delay and eventually terminate investigations back in Chicago, but we shall see.

http://socyberty.com/issues/white-house-insider-obama-hesitated-panetta-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/

Why We Celebrate Easter

April 22nd, 2011

 

 Easter is the most sacred observance for Christians. It is the observance of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

But why and what does it mean?
In the New Testament of the Bible, (1Cor 15:21-24) it is explained. “ 21For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.  22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming,  24then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.”

 In the beginning, Adam, the first man, rejected God when he disobeyed God and from that time, man and all mankind, became sinful.  “ 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Rom 3:23)”.  ” THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; (Rom 3:10)”. That means you and me!

 Man cannot become righteous on his own because of his sinfulness, so God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as payment for our sins. Not because we have any merit or right to that payment but because for God’s own purposes and according to His perfect will and plan, He selected some for salvation from the beginning of time (Eph 1:4) (2 Thes 2:13) and gave them to Christ for His own. We can’t earn salvation, it is a free gift from the Lord (Rom 6:23). He will call His own, and they will follow His voice (John 10:27). As man, we can’t understand this, and think it unfair, but who are we to judge the Creator of the Universe?  God tells us He is sovereign and He will have mercy upon whom He will have mercy (Rom 9:15)

  Christ died and arose again. So shall His own at that great and glorious day when we finally ascend to God’s heavenly domain to be with Him forever and ever.

Pray God that you too, might hear His voice (Ro 10:17) and receive His gift of salvation.

It’s Not Just the Economy, Stupid

March 2nd, 2011

     Have you ever wondered what ever happened to clear thinkers like our founding Fathers? Instead, we seem to be deluged by self-serving politicians, of both parties, seeking personal power .

The outside threats we are facing are real, but have been lost in  inward thinking about the economy. Our public officials pander to the special interests and buy their votes with legislation that grants them outrageous benefits paid for by the public (you and me!). In the meanwhile, our very existence is in imperiled by real threats from Islam and those countries, and their client nations, who are really our enemies.

 This threat needs to be understood and the following explains it in great clarity. I hope you find it as informative as  I did.

    I came upon this excellent speech which is just too good not to share. It’s quoted from Imprimis, a great publication from a wonderful little college in Michigan. They accept no government subsidies of any kind. I heartily recommend that you subscribe to their monthly publication.

    Take a few minutes and read this, you’ll be glad you did!

JANUARY 2011 • VOLUME 40, NUMBER 1

Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College

 It’s Never Just the Economy, Stupid

 Brian T. Kennedy

 President, The Claremont Institute

 BRIAN T. KENNEDY is president of the Claremont Institute and publisher of the Claremont Review of Books. He has written on national security affairs and California public policy issues in National Review, the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and other national newspapers. He sits on the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense and is a co-author of the recent book Shariah: The Threat to America.The following is adapted from a speech delivered on January 7, 2011, in the “First Principles on First Fridays” lecture series sponsored by Hillsdale’s Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C.

          We are often told that we possess the most powerful military in the world and that we will face no serious threat for some time to come. We are comforted with three reassurances aimed at deflecting any serious discussion of national security: (1) that Islam is a religion of peace; (2) that we will never go to war with China because our economic interests are intertwined; and (3) that America won the Cold War and Russia is no longer our enemy. But these reassurances are myths, propagated on the right and left alike. We believe them at our peril, because serious threats are already upon us.

Let me begin with Islam. We were assured that it was a religion of peace immediately following September 11. President Bush, a good man, believed or was persuaded that true Islam was not that different from Judaism or Christianity. He said in a speech in October 2001, just a month after the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon: “Islam is a vibrant faith. . . . We honor its traditions. Our enemy does not. Our enemy doesn’t follow the great traditions of Islam. They’ve hijacked a great religion.” But unfortunately, Mr. Bush was trying to understand Islam as we would like it to be rather than how countless devout Muslims understand it.

             Organizationally, Islam is built around a belief in God or Allah, but it is equally a political ideology organized around the Koran and the teachings of its founder Muhammad. Whereas Christianity teaches that we should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s—allowing for a non-theocratic political tradition to develop in the West, culminating in the principles of civil and religious liberty in the American founding—Islam teaches that to disagree with or even reinterpret the Koran’s 6000 odd verses, organized into 114 chapters or Suras and dealing as fully with law and politics as with matters of faith, is punishable by death.

             Islamic authorities of all the major branches of Islam hold that the Koran must be read so that the parts written last override the others. This so-called theory of abrogation means that the ruling parts of the Koran are those written after Muhammad went to Medina in 622 A.D. Specifically, they are Suras 9 and 5, which are not the Suras containing the verses often cited as proof of Islam’s peacefulness.

             Sura 9, verse 5, reads: “Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war. But if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them . . . .”

             Sura 9, verse 29, reads: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Apostle, nor acknowledge the religion of truth, even if they are of the 40 people of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

             Sura 5, verse 51, reads: “Oh ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them for friendship is of them. Verily Allah guideth not the unjust.”

             And Sura 3, verse 28, introduces the doctrine of taqiyya, which holds that Muslims should not be friends with the infidel except as deception, always with the end goal of converting, subduing, or destroying him.

             It is often said that to point out these verses is to cherry pick unfairly the most violent parts of the Koran. In response, I assert that we must try to understand Muslims as they understand themselves. And I hasten to add that the average American Muslim does not understand the Koran with any level of detail. So I am not painting a picture here of the average Muslim. I am trying to understand those Muslims, both here in the U.S. and abroad, who actively seek the destruction of America.

             Here at home, the threat is posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its organizational arms, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, and the various Muslim student associations. These groups seek to persuade Americans that Islam is a religion of peace. But let me quote to you from a document obtained during the 2007 Holy Land Trial investigating terrorist funding. It is a Muslim Brotherhood Strategic Memorandum on North American Affairs

that was approved by the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference in 1987. It speaks of “Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”

             Elsewhere this document says: “The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the means. The Ikhwan [the Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes . . . .”

             Now during the Bush Administration, the number of Muslims in the U.S. was typically estimated to be around three million. The Pew Research Center in 2007 estimated it to be 2.35 million. In 2000, the Council on American Islamic Relations put the number at five million. And President Obama in his Cairo speech two years ago put it at seven million.

             In that light, consider a 2007 survey of American Muslim opinion conducted by the Pew Research Center. Eight percent of American Muslims who took part in this survey said they believed that suicide bombing can sometimes be justified in defense of Islam. Even accepting a low estimate of three million Muslims in the U.S., this would mean that 240,000 among us hold that suicide bombing in the name of Islam can be justified. Among American Muslims 18-29 years old, 15 percent agreed with that and 60 percent said they thought of themselves as Muslim first and Americans second. Among all participants in the survey, five percent—and five percent of the low estimate of three million Muslims in America is 150,000—said they had a favorable view of al Qaeda.

             Given these numbers, it is not unreasonable to suggest that the political aims and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood represent a domestic threat to national security. It is one thing to have hundreds of terrorist sympathizers within our borders, but quite another if that number is in the hundreds of thousands. Consider the massacre at Fort Hood: Major Nidal Malik Hasan believed that he was acting as a devout Muslim—indeed, he believed he was obeying a religious mandate to wage war against his fellow soldiers. Yet even to raise the question of whether Islam presents a domestic threat today is to invite charges of bigotry or worse.

             And as dangerous as it potentially is, this domestic threat pales in comparison to the foreign threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies—a threat that is existential in nature. The government in Tehran, of course, is enriching uranium to convert to plutonium and place in a nuclear warhead. Iran has advanced ballistic missiles such as the Shahab-3, which can be launched from land or sea and is capable of destroying an American city. Even worse, if the Iranians were able to deliver the warhead as an electromagnetic pulse weapon from a ship off shore—a method they have been practicing, by the way—they could destroy the electronic infrastructure of the U.S. and cause the deaths of tens of millions or more. And let me be perfectly clear: We do not today have a missile defense system in place that is capable of defending against either a ship-launched missile attack by Iran or a ballistic missile attack from China or Russia. We do not yet today have such a system in place, even though we are capable of building one.

             Since I have mentioned China and Russia, let me turn to them briefly in that order. The U.S. trades with China and the Chinese buy our debt. Currently they have $2 trillion in U.S. reserves, about half of which is in U.S. treasuries. Their economy and ours are intimately intertwined. For this reason it is thought that the Chinese will not go to war with us. Why, after all, would they want to destroy their main export market?

             On the other hand, China is building an advanced army, navy, air force, and space-based capability that is clearly designed to limit the U.S. and its ability to project power in Asia. It has over two million men under arms and possesses an untold number of ICBMs—most of them aimed at the U.S.—and hundreds of short- and medium-range nuclear missiles. China’s military thinking is openly centered on opposing American supremacy, and its military journals openly discuss unrestricted warfare, combining traditional military means with cyber warfare, economic warfare, atomic warfare, and terrorism. China is also working to develop a space-based military capability and investing in various launch vehicles, including manned spaceflight, a space station, and extensive anti-satellite weaponry aimed at negating U.S. global satellite coverage.

             Absent a missile defense capable of intercepting China’s ballistic missiles, the U.S. would be hard pressed to maintain even its current security commitments in Asia. The U.S. Seventh Fleet, however capable, cannot withstand the kinds of nuclear missiles and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles that China could employ against it. The Chinese have studied American capabilities, and have built weapons meant to negate our advantages. The destructive capability of the recently unveiled Chinese DF-21D missile against our aircraft carriers significantly raises the stakes of a conflict in the South China Sea. And the SS-N-22 cruise missile—designed by the Russians and deployed by the Chinese and Iranians—presents a daunting challenge due to its enormous size and Mach 3 speed.

China has for some time carried out a policy that has been termed “peaceful rise.” But in recent years we have seen the coming to power of what scholars like Tang Ben call the “Red Guard generation”—generals who grew up during the Cultural Revolution, who are no longer interested in China remaining a secondary power, and who appear eager to take back Taiwan, avenge past wrongs by Japan and replace the U.S. as the preeminent military power in the region and ultimately in the world.

             However far-fetched this idea may seem to American policymakers, it is widely held in China that America is on the decline, with economic problems that will limit its ability to modernize its military and maintain its alliances. And indeed, as things stand, the U.S. would have to resort to full-scale nuclear war to defend its Asian allies from an attack by China. This is the prospect that caused Mao Tse Tung to call the U.S. a “Paper Tiger.” Retired Chinese General Xiong Guong Kai expressed much the same idea in 1995, when he said that the U.S. would not trade Los Angeles for Taipei—that is, that we would have to stand by if China attacks Taiwan, since China has the ability to annihilate Los Angeles with a nuclear missile. In any case, current Chinese aggression against Japan in the Senkaku Islands and their open assistance of the Iranian nuclear program, not to mention their sale of arms to the Taliban in Afghanistan, would suggest that China is openly playing the role that the Soviet Union once played as chief sponsor of global conflict with the West.

            Which brings us to Russia and to the degradation of American strategic thinking during and after the Cold War. This thinking used to be guided by the idea that we must above all prevent a direct attack upon the U.S. homeland. But over the past 50 years we have been taught something different: that we must accept a balance of power between nations, especially those possessing nuclear ballistic missiles; and that we cannot seek military superiority—including defensive superiority, as with missile defense—lest we create strategic instability. This is now the common liberal view taught at universities, think tanks and schools of foreign service. Meanwhile, for their part, conservatives have been basking in the glow of “winning the Cold War.” But in what sense was it won, it might be asked, given that we neither disarmed Russia of its nuclear arsenal nor put a stop to its active measures to undermine us. The transformation of some of the former captive nations into liberal democracies is certainly worth celebrating, but given the Russian government’s brutally repressive domestic policies and strengthened alliances with America’s enemies abroad over the past 20 years, conservatives have overdone it.

             Perhaps it is not surprising, then, that our policy toward Russia has been exceedingly foolish. For the past two decades we have paid the Russians to dismantle nuclear warheads they would have dismantled anyway, while they have used those resources to modernize their ballistic missiles. On our part, we have not even tested a nuclear warhead since 1992—which is to say that we aren’t certain they work anymore. Nor have we maintained any tactical nuclear weapons. Nor, to repeat, have we built the missile defense system first proposed by President Reagan.

             Just last month, with bipartisan backing from members of the foreign policy establishment, the Senate ratified the New Start Treaty, which will further reduce our nuclear arsenal and will almost certainly cause further delays in building missile defenses—and this with a nation that engages in massive deception against us, supports our enemies, and builds ever more advanced nuclear weapons.

             At the heart of America’s strategic defense policy today is the idea of launching a retaliatory nuclear strike against whatever nuclear power attacks us. But absent reliable confidence in the lethality of forces, such a deterrent is meaningless. In this light, deliberating about the need for a robust modernization program, rather than arms reductions through New Start, would have been a better way for Congress to spend the days leading up to Christmas—which is to say, it would have been supportive of our strategic defense policy, rather than undercutting it.

            But what about that strategic policy? Some of New Start’s supporters argued that reducing rather than modernizing our nuclear arsenal places us on the moral high ground in our dealings with other nations. But can any government claim to occupy the moral high ground when it willingly, knowingly, and purposely keeps its people nakedly vulnerable to nuclear missiles? The Russians understand well the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the American defense establishment, and have carefully orchestrated things for two decades so that we remain preoccupied with threats of North Korean and now Iranian ballistic missiles. We spend our resources developing modest defense         systems to deal, albeit inadequately, with these so-called rogue states, and meanwhile forego addressing the more serious threat from Russia and China, both of which are modernizing their forces. Who is to say that there will never come a time when the destruction or nuclear blackmail of the U.S. will be in the interest of the Russians or the Chinese? Do we imagine that respect for human life or human rights will stop these brutal tyrannies from acting on such a determination?

             If I sound pessimistic, I don’t mean to. Whatever kind of self-deception has gripped the architects of our current defense policies, the American people have proved capable of forcing a change in direction when they learn the facts. Americans do not wish to be subjected to Sharia law, owe large sums of money to the Chinese, or be kept vulnerable to nuclear missiles. Having responded resoundingly to the economic and constitutional crisis represented by Obamacare, it is now time for us to remind our representatives of the constitutional requirement to provide for a common defense—in the true sense of the word. ?

 Copyright © 2011 Hillsdale College

The Healing of the Blind Man – John 9:1

April 11th, 2010

This story records the historical event of Christ healing a man that had been born blind. The spiritual lesson is that Christ reveals that a man was born blind, not due to the sin of his parents or his own sin, but that God would be glorified by his healing. We must also remember that Christ spoke in parables and without parables He did not speak (Mat.13:34). So besides the historicity of this message, there is another spiritual message in this account.

 The historical message is that the man was blind, he was healed, he was confronted by the Jews (the church leaders – Scribes and Pharisees), he was thrown out of the synagogue, Christ spoke and he believed and the Lord was glorified. These are all fact.

There is a parabolic message in this story also, in which the man is a symbol of mankind. Born in original sin, in darkness and without the Light of Christ (Jn. 8:12). Christ called him as He called all that are chosen (Eph.1:3-5). The blind man didn’t seek Christ in his blindness or make a choice to receive the gift of sight from Christ (Jn.9:1). The blind man had never seen from birth, created that way by God, chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph.1:4). Made for one purpose, that the works of God would be displayed in him (Jn.9:3) to glorify God. First the man was called (Jn.9:6), then healed by the washing away of the mud (the washing away of the mud was symbolic of the baptism by the Holy Spirit that the man might be brought into the light of Christ (Jn.9:5)). Even though the man could then see in the flesh, in his called state, he still didn’t know who Christ was. He had not had anything to do with being called or even asked to be healed (Jn. 9:1-2). It was a work of God for His glorification that the man was healed in the same manner that anyone is blessed with salvation (Eph. 2:8-9). The man had been sanctified by Christ (set apart for His works) (Jn.17:19), even though the blind man didn’t know it. In this, the blind man is symbolic of those chosen before the foundation of the world for salvation that God might be glorified (Eph.1:4). The Jews (the Scribes and Pharisees, the leaders of the church), who in the flesh, knew the letter of Law as the wisdom of words described in 1 Cor.1:20-21 and 1Cor. 2:12, but they did not have the spiritual understanding of the Word. They had not been given the spiritual hearing of the Word given by the Holy Spirit (Ro.10:17). The Jews threw the man out of the congregation (Jn.9:22) symbolic of the true believer leaving the apostate church in the latter days (Mat. 24:15-16). All believers will be hated by the world (Jn.15:19).

 Christ sought the man when the time is right according to God’s plan of salvation for the man (Jn.6:37, 39).

 Christ then gave the man his salvation by telling him who He was (Jn.9:37). How? Christ, the Word (Jn.1:1) spoke and the man heard. Faith comes by hearing and (spiritual) hearing by the word of Christ (Ro.10:17). The man’s belief was God’s work (Jn.6:29).

 The summation of the spiritual parable is that Christ came into the world to judge so that those chosen before the foundation of the world will see (the light of the World) (Jn.9:5) and the world (the non-believers) who see in the flesh will not see in the spirit (Jn.9:39). The world is incapable of seeing spiritual things typified by the Jews (Scribes and Pharisees in Jn.9:39), (Jn.6:44 and Jn. 6:65).

On Spiritual Free Will and Spiritual Predestination

April 10th, 2010

The biblical theological issue of Free Will or Predestination to gain salvation is one that has persisted for hundreds of years, but one that has the upmost importance to the true believer. If the context of the words is spiritual, that is if the words, in the spiritual sense are juxtaposed, both concepts can not be true. One is true doctrine and one is false doctrine. It is critical that we understand the difference between things spiritual and things physical. Salvation is spiritual in that it is everlasting life with our Heavenly Father in heaven, whereas things of the flesh are physical. Therefore salvation is meaningless in a physical sense, since in the physical world, nothing is eternal. It is the purpose of this paper to state what I believe is solidly based on Holy Scripture and clarifies the role of both free will and predestination in our lives as believers.

 WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

 The Free Will case simply stated and based on an interpretation of certain scriptural verses can range from man makes a volitionary choice to be saved  and gain their salvation to the extreme that all mankind will be saved by a merciful God and receive their salvation.

The Predestination case simply stated is that almighty God, for His own divine purposes, chose before creation, those that He elected for salvation. Thus the term the Elect. The choice was God’s, according to His own sovereignty and divine purpose, not man’s.

The difference between the two concepts is in one, man is preeminent in his ability to choose whereas in the other, God is sovereign and transcends man. In essence, man is greater than God; the created is greater than the creator. This, I believe, is a fundamental tenant of the philosophy of Humanism.

 THE DIFFERENCE

Simply stated, in one case, the choice is of man and in the other, it is of God! Theologically, that difference is tremendous. The concept that almighty God is all powerful; all present, all knowing, infinite creator of all things must be compromised in the first case. Man was a creation of God, yet, in Free Will doctrine, God accedes to man and surrenders His sovereignty to man. Free Will doctrine makes man above God because it is man’s choice, not God’s, in the matter of salvation. In its most basic form it is idolatry because it gives man, the created, a capability that God does not have and makes him above God, the Creator. The doctrine is humanism in its most fundamental form. Man will ascend on his own merits, according to his pleasure.

SPIRITUAL FREE WILL

 The basis for spiritual Free Will doctrine stems from Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609). Arminius rejected unconditional predestination and limited atonement as taught by Calvin and others. He taught that there was a “preventing grace” that was conferred upon all by the Holy Spirit and this grace is “sufficient for belief’ in spite of our sinful nature. And therefore salvation. Arminius stated that the grace ”the grace sufficient for salvation is conferred upon the Elect and the non-Elect that if they will, they may be or may not be saved”.1 Arminius’ teaching was formalized in the Remonstrance of 1610 after Arminius’ death. Its main points of theology were:

  1. The divine decree of predestination is conditional.
  2. Atonement is intended to be universal.
  3. Man cannot exercise saving faith.
  4. The Grace of God is a necessary condition of human effort but is not irresistible in man.
  5. Believers can resist sin but can fall from grace.

 The main scriptural references that are used to justify spiritual Free Will are those that use adjectives such as all, every, whomsoever etc. when referring to salvation. John 3:16 is an example implying that anyone who believes in God shall not perish. John 3:17 implies the whole world might be saved. John 3:15 says whoever believes in Him will have everlasting life. There is also a common rationalization that God uses perfect foreknowledge to know who will choose Him and therefore chose them before the foundation of the world. This is an attempt to explain the very clear and plentiful scriptural references the Elect were chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-4 and Matt 25:34 et al),

 HOW DO YOU RECONCILE THE DIFFERENCES

 The key to reconciling the differences, I believe, is to first pray for spiritual wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the Word by the Holy Spirit (Col 1:9). Secondly, we must remember that scripture interprets scripture and is the inspired Word of God, not the opinions or influences of the men. God chose to transcribe His Word in a manner given by inspiration of God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness (2Tim 3:16).  Everything is given by God (John 3:27) including belief and our ability to interpret His Word.

 As we study scripture though, it is important to follow some basic steps to aid our understanding. Actually the so-called Scientific Method was developed by early church fathers to study scripture and was adapted by scientists over the years to systematically study science. The starting point is to understanding is to develop the context of the verse by establishing the frame of reference and  / or the initial conditions that God was addressing in His message. Commonly, who is He addressing when the verse was written and who is He addressing with His spiritual message for all time. The Bible is a spiritual book with a spiritual message not only for who a verse was originally written (i.e. God’s message to the Jews in Rome penned by Paul) but for all believers for all time.

I suggest a couple of simple tests when reading scripture:

  1. Is this a spiritual message or a physical message? Is the writer speaking of flesh or spirit?
  2. Who is it that is being addressed?

Is the attribute referred to something that the natural man has or is it a gift of God?An example of Item 1. above might be Paul’s message in the book of Romans when he says “the good that I would do I do not do, but the evil I do” Surely this passage refers to the struggle of Paul in the flesh, and not in the spirit. Paul was personally chosen by God to proclaim His Word in penning most of the New Testament, but in the flesh, Paul struggled just as we all do.

 An example of Item 2. above is recorded in John, Chapter 3, when Christ speaks to Nicodemis about believers (whoever believes in Him). But who is that?  He tells us many different ways in scripture, but they all boil down to those who He chose to believe and whom He gave the gift of belief (Jn 6:29). How does He do this? Everyone who has heard the Word and learned from the Father, will come to Christ (Jn 6:39) but hearing is the spiritual hearing referred to in “Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of Christ” (Ro 10:17). The hearing in this context is spiritual because it comes directly from Christ.An example of Item 3. above is the subject of belief. Man can not understand or believe on his own (Jn 8:43, Jn 9:47, Jn 10:26). Belief is a work of God and a gift given to those whom God chose to bestow it upon (Jo 6:29). No one can come to the Father unless it has been bestowed (given) by the Father (Jn 6:65). Careful reading of verses that on a casual look indicate that everyone will be saved invariably shows that such interpretation is simply unsupportable. How about verses that refer to God’s desires or wishes (1Tim 2:4 and 1Pet 3:9) which are interpreted by Free Will doctrine that a loving God will save all men? The answer is an emphatic Yes that God desires that all men be saved. This is evidenced by His creation of man in the Garden of Eden, but sin entered in and in the flesh, man chose not to obey God. God wanted (desired) Adam and Eve to dwell in a perfect habitat and walk with Him, but man’s sin spoiled that perfection. God says “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord, is it not that he (the sinner) should turn from his ways and live (Eze 18:23).” God wishes it were true, but it is not! 

 PREDESTINATION

 The basic premise that I present is that both Free Will and Predestination are in fact true. Although, in asserting this fundamental truth there is a crucial distinction that must be understood. That crucial distinction is the realm in which we are speaking. The realm of Free Will is flesh where as, the realm of Predestination is spiritual.

In the Beginning

 Holy Scripture tells us in Genesis 1:1 that God created the heavens and the earth (that is, all space and time) and therefore God transcended the physical universe as we know it. God is not bound by the three spatial and one time dimension in which our physical universe resides. The Creator must reside in a higher dimensional order than that created. God has reveal through modern physics the truth of Gen. 1:1 in undeniable exactitude. There was the instant of creation when all matter, space and time came into being. Paul said it explicitly in Heb.11:3 when he said the God made what was seen (the universe) out of what was unseen or according to the early church fathers, Ex Nilio. Why is this important? Because it identifies God (a spiritual being) as beyond our comprehension as physical beings (beyond our dimensional bounds).

 We cannot perceive the spiritual nature of God because He is far beyond our three physical dimensional constraints. Holy Scripture also confirms this in many places such as who can know the mind of God (Ro.11:34)? Your ways are not my ways (Is.55:8), Where I go you cannot go (Jn.8:21).

What does it mean to be in a higher dimensional order? Try this thought experiment:

  1. Think of a line with length but without height or width (the definition of a line in geometry).
  2. Now think of two lines intersecting at 900  angles with length and width but without height.  A surface of these lines is a plane, like a sheet of paper.
  3. Now think of another line intersecting at a 900 angle with the two in 2. above (orthogonal axes). A box or any three dimensional object can be defined by an arrangement of three points of these axes.
  4. Now think of another line intersecting at a 900 angle with each and all of the three in 3. above.

 Opps! 1, 2, and 3 above are easy every day occurrences but 4.) is impossible for the human mind to comprehend. The numbers represent the number of dimensions of the case, so it is impossible for us three dimensional beings to even comprehend a four dimensional figure and God may be an infinite dimensional being! The point is very simple and absolutely true that man can not comprehend God!

 NOW COMES MAN

In Gen.1:26 after making a suitable habitat for man, and after He had created all of the other animals, God did something astounding. He made man. He said “Let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness”.  Now man by nature is three dimensional and God by His nature is multidimensional (higher than three dimensions), so the likeness cannot be referring to physical attributes. Gen. 2:7 amplifies the summary statement of Gen.1:26 and gives details of man’s creation and defines the difference between man and every other living creature. It says ”Then the Lord formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. Note the word soul is literally used in this verse, not being! Being would be commonly understood to be physical, but soul implies a spiritual nature.

 Man was physically created from the dust of the earth, as were all other creatures on earth, but God breathed the spiritual breath of life into man’s nostrils. This was done to no other creature. Man has two natures, one physical, from the dust of the ground and one spiritual breathed by his Creator. This, I believe, is the meaning of Gen.1:26. The nature of our image in the likeness of God is the spiritual breath of life that made us a living eternal soul. This makes man part physical, in which we can touch, feel, see, hear, think, do, and choose. It is this part we can perceive in the flesh. The spiritual part, which we cannot comprehend within our physical bodies is God’s domain. No other creature is said to have this spiritual essence and that precisely separates us from all other creation. We are in fact created in Gods likeness!

 Obviously, if we cannot even perceive our spiritual self, how can we make spiritual choices?  The answer is that in things spiritual, we cannot (Ro.11:33). Holy Scripture verifies this throughout the book and the key to understanding this wisdom is to understand that spiritual wisdom must come from the Holy Spirit (Eph.1:7), not our flesh. In our flesh, we cannot understand spiritual things (Ro.3:11), they must be given as a free gift of God to those He chose from the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-5) as a gift and through no merit on their own lest they boast (Eph. 2:8-9) and take credit on their own salvation (Eph.2:8-9).

 ***** MORE TO COME ****

A Failed Political System

April 10th, 2010

 As much as I hate to say it, the United States has lost its way. Harsh words? Yes, but clearly true!

The greatness of any endeavor can be measured by the principles upon which it was founded. In our case, those principles were framed in our Constitution by men who sacrificed all to bring about a unique form of government that recognized that liberty is a blessing of God.

Consider the Preamble: ” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,  promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Over the last 50 years we have experienced political decay and a reversion to a European class system that has rapidly erroded the greatness of this wonderful country.

We have seen the rise of a political class who’s only aim seems to be its perpetuation. Our politicians, for the most part, have political careers that span decades. Many merely move from one office to another. The opiate of personal power has corrupted their judgment and every decision is predicated upon furthering their political career. The largess of Government dollars and social programs that enslave their constituent’s initative are designed to buy the votes of those willing to be bought.

A labor class has long been a reality but not socially acceptable to recognize as a social class. The role of trade unions in the private sector has diminished as enlightened management grew in its understanding that labor is a valuable resource that needs to be nurtured and invested in to assure high productivity.

On the contrary. public sector labor unions have dramatically increased since President John Kennedy’s Executive Order allowed unionization of public workers in 1960. Government employee unions now represent the largest and most rapidly growing labor movement in the United States.

The seeds of run away government labor costs have begun to show their effect since the politicians saw assured re-election by pandering to government worker unions like the police, fire, correctional officers, teachers, and public service workers with outlandish pay and pension programs. Government workers now, on average make $79,500 per year as opposed to private sector worker total compensation of $48,700 per year. The interesting thing is that economically speaking, industrial workers are a productive use of labor whereas government workers are a non-productive use of labor!

The devastating effect of this political phenomena has now emerged. Vallejo, California has gone bankrupt with nearly 80% of its budget required for police and fire protection, the City of Los Angeles insolvent and within weeks of bankruptcy and the States of New York, California, and others are insolvent.

 But don’t loose track of the basic problem. Self seeking politicians will do anything to perpetuate their political power! Is there any hope to turn things around? I think so, but it will meet tremendous resistance from our politicians, political parties, and special interests who have profited by the current system, and yes, those of us common people who have their hands in the public trough.

 The revolutionary solution is simple! Eliminate political office as a career!  The rationale is obvious, if there is no possibility of a prolonged career in politics, then there is no incentive to compromise principles to gain the support of special interests. Presumably, those who would seek an office would do so to solve or address issues and then go back to a productive career in the private sector.

Are there problems with this approach? Of course, but with proper deliberation, I feel this approach will work.

Simply stated, one term only and one political office only. The strictest of term limits! One and only one term and office!

 **** MORE TO COME ****