Weekly Update by Mark Armstrong – 5 September 2014

Greetings from Tyler,

In a remarkably rare turn of events looks like good news has broken in the Ukrainian conflict with the Russians. They have reportedly agreed to a cease-fire, and we can only hope that it will hold. However, the concern expressed in this space over previous weeks has come to fruition. That is that the European countries (primarily Germany and France) are being urged by both the United States and Britain to dramatically increase their military spending. For many years there has been a growing frustration in Washington over the expensive task of defending Europe, and sooner or later Germany should be called upon to shoulder more of the responsibility.

With the combination of the Russia/Ukraine crisis and the expanding threat from the terrorist caliphate in the Middle East, particularly since ISIS has announced its intentions toward Europe, it was all but inevitable that the prosperous nations of the EU would be called upon. That is precisely what has happened today, along with news that NATO will field a “rapid reaction force” that can be deployed in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. It is to have some 4,000 troops that will be largely made up of U.S. and British personnel, but will also have contingents from the European nations including Germany. It will be of interest to see whether this will technically violate the post-WWII sanction against German military activities outside German borders.

On the subject of the U.S. response to the beheading of two American journalists, with the threat of more, it looks like some more belated action may be in the offing. But it’s hard to tell for sure, due to the contradictory nature of various statements and speeches by the principal personalities of the current administration. The president doesn’t seem at all sure what action should be taken, and managed to talk first about destroying ISIS before switching to degrading and managing the threat only minutes later.

His vice president came out shouting about chasing ISIS to “the gates of hell”, though it is clear that nothing of the sort is currently underway. In response, a U.S. serviceman on location at our embassy in Baghdad “tweeted” the following retort. “How the ____ are we going to chase them to the gates of hell when we’re not even allowed out the front gate of this base?”

But after ranting loudly this week about the necessity of raising the American minimum rage, it has been quite a contrast watching the low-key stammering contradictions on U.S. military plans for ISIS. Obviously, pressure from the media (even the mainstream and left-wing media) has forced this administration to concentrate on a subject it was content to ignore. But, what do you know? Even the politically correct, multi-cultural, government dependent would-be communists don’t want their heads cut off with a hunting knife!

So suddenly, after ignoring urgent warnings from the CIA and various national security entities, stinging from a barrage of criticism for having “no strategy” just last week, suddenly the administration is on the job. We still have no idea what our foreign policy is. Nobody in power seems willing to admit that there is a problem with Islam.

They’ve got the same problem in Australia, where members of the Greens party object to every plan to scrutinise Muslims who’ve traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of ISIS. It seems that the “Green Party” representatives believe that 60 or more young Muslim males have gone to the region to deliver “humanitarian assistance”, and it would be racial or religious discrimination to suspect otherwise. The reported fact that up to 15 “Australian” jihadis have already died in the fighting, two as suicide bombers, does not seem to resonate with those of the far Left Greens as a problem.

The argument always comes up. Terrorism, though almost exclusively perpetrated by Muslims, is not representative of the religion of Islam. It’s only the “radicals”, the “extremists” who want to convert or kill everybody on earth.

Or is it the other way around perhaps? Maybe the true followers of Mohammed are the terrorists, and the so-called “moderates” (wherever they may be) are not actually practicing the true tenets of jihad. That’s a mighty politically incorrect suggestion, but the Muslim bible does call upon its followers to convert or kill, and doesn’t even offer Jews the option.

It is a crying shame that ISIS has been allowed to take so much territory, kill so many, and acquire so much American hardware left behind for Iraq’s defense. It’s a shame that they’re now ensconced amongst the civilian population of numerous towns and cities. Hopefully we’ll get the satisfaction of seeing the brutal, sub-human torturers and murderers “destroyed” as we heard in the first part of yesterday’s presidential speech. Regardless, this problem will not be solved. It dates to the time of Abraham, and will be with us until the Second Coming. In fact, Bible prophecy leads us to conclude that it will be a primary factor in bringing humanity to the brink of extinction. And that means nuclear weapons.

Billy Graham’s son Franklin made news today saying that reading the news makes him wonder whether we’re in the final hours. Well, not yet. There are quite a few things yet to occur, but the stage is being set. We will continue to watch for a coalition of nations to emerge in central Europe, and for big moves by the Vatican. Unfortunately, the nations that have descended from biblical Israel are in for some much tougher times than we’ve yet seen, and the handwriting is on the wall.

We’re not giving up hope, however. And we’re determined not to allow the insanity of this world to drive us crazy. Right now there is a Sabbath to be observed, and that’s the best thing we can do for ourselves, our families, and our country. Have a great one.

Mark Armstrong