Greetings from Tyler,

We’ve entered another period where news is accessed only with great trepidation.  The state of war that has developed between Israel and Hamas in Gaza is getting tremendous attention, now that rocket attacks have hit the outskirts of both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  Media reports began to pay attention when the dramatic aerial video of the strike on an automobile carrying a high level Hamas commander became available.  But rocket attacks out of Gaza have been going on for some time, becoming more frequent, and since Israel took out the terrorist’s car in such a display of deadly precision, Hamas employed its longest range and most sophisticated rockets provided by Iran and sent them toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel has moved tens of thousands of troops and a significant fleet of tanks and armored personnel carriers to Gaza’s border.  Clearly, Israel is not prepared to have the citizens of its most significant cities cowering under the constant threat of rocket attack.  As of this writing, some 500 rockets have rained into Israel, and it looks like a ground war to put a stop to it is imminent.  The situation is more complicated than ever before since Egypt has fallen under radical Islamic leadership.  The Egyptian ambassador to Israel has been withdrawn, and this situation may very well turn out the be the catalyst that breaks the long standing peace treaty once and for all.

Amidst all the other news is the less prominent situation in Jordan where they are seeing the biggest demonstrations, including attacks on police stations, against the government of King Abdullah.  He is the last remaining moderate ruler of all the Islamic nations that border Israel.  Syria is fraught with an ongoing civil war that began with demonstrations and escalated into the wretched state of anarchy that now exists.  Despite calls from the U.S. and elsewhere in the west, Assad is not about to give up power unless defeated or killed, and Russia is on his side.

Lebanon is a terrorist hotbed, with no national leadership beyond the activities of Hezbollah and the hateful preachments of radical Islamist Nasrallah.  Israel’s last war was against those forces in southern Lebanon, and one has to wonder whether that may come into play once again amid the action against Gaza.  It doesn’t take much imagination see what ultimately is coming in the Middle East, as the entirety of the Muslim world delves deeper into the precepts of hate for the Jews in their midst, and increases in fervor for their ultimate goal of a worldwide caliphate.

The outrage in Benghazi, Libya has really hit the fan, just as this update assured you it would in the weeks prior to the election when the mainstream media was so busy ignoring it.  Now that the scandal has salacious details, the media can’t get enough.  And private hearings have begun in both the Senate and the House which are already beginning to expose the flood of disinformation fed to the American public over the past couple of months, as if it weren’t already obvious to any amateur observer.  There’s no telling how this bleak episode will be resolved, assuming it is.  But as we noted weeks ago, the timing of this massive scandal breaking just days after the election is mighty suspicious.  But it was already mighty suspicious two months ago!

If the damage isn’t already done, it surely will be.  We’re seeing nearly every great American institution that has enjoyed nearly universal respect besmirched.  The CIA is a major casualty in all this, as is the FBI and the Department of State, not to mention the ambassador to the UN.  Top American generals are dropping like flies.  The Secretary of State apparently realized how ugly this thing would be, and got ahead of this whole affair.  She ran off to South America to say the buck stopped with her.  While all the testimony is underway in Washington D.C., she is in Australia and unavailable for questioning.  Forgive the dark humor, but it occurs that she may be in a state of self-imposed temporary exile, waiting for the smoke to clear.  But this smoke probably will not clear for some time, and it will be interesting to see when her itinerary may allow her to return.  Chances are she’ll receive notices requesting she appear for testimony the day she does.  We’ll see.

It would be much bigger news if not for the matters covered above, but Europe continues to suffer the consequences for its unhinged spending practices.  Consequences that are coming to America.  The Eurozone has officially slipped into another recession.  Greece looks hopeless as usual, and wild demonstrations have broken out again all over the place.  Not only Greece, but also Italy and Spain are seeing some of the biggest mobs yet.  Take a good look, because it’s only going to go downhill.  And it looms in our future as well.

Once the masses get used to receiving everything for nothing because their government somehow owes it to them, they are reluctant to see it cut back, or cut off.  The same dynamic has been set up here in the United States, and there’s no way out.

Keep watching.  Keep praying.  A great many lives, some innocent and precious (others not so much) are about to be lost in Israel’s looming war.  May God protect and have mercy on those who acknowledge and worship Him, and see their enemies destroyed without much collateral damage.  That’s our best hope for a very disturbing and disappointing reality that our brethren face right now in the “Holy Land.”

Try to have a good Sabbath, remembering the only nation on earth that actually observes it.  For all their other faults they are a hardworking and freedom loving people, and they deserve our prayers.  They also deserve our direct assistance, and this may be the first time ever that the U.S. will not come through in that way.  And that’s why the final scenario reads the way it does.

Mark Armstrong