Weekly Update by Mr. Armstrong – 12 September 2014

Greetings from Tyler,

We can certainly be thankful that yesterday came and went without news of a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil. But polls are showing that most Americans now expect one. They’re sitting tight in Australia (as Murray’s Update outlines) and in Britain too. Presumably everyone is expected to breathe easier, now that there is a strategy for dealing with the Islamic State that has been violently imposed in Syria and Iraq. As is often the case, the strategy primarily outlines what the United States definitely will not do. Nobody seems to think this blight on the world can be effectively dealt with on the basis of airstrikes alone. Obviously we hope that there will be lots of them and that they’ll be very effective. But we might as well be prepared. Islamic terrorists always ensconce themselves among civilians. Mosques, schools and hospitals tend to be their favorite locations for hiding ordnance. They also like apartment buildings full of families. Next thing you know, photographs of dead civilians will circle the globe and the U.S. will be accused of war crimes, just like Israel was over Gaza.

So now the United States is committing (?) to arming a group known as the Free Syrian Army, which is also engaged in civil war against the Assad regime. Not to throw cold water, but who are these guys. Are we sure they don’t have terrorist connections? What kind of weaponry will they be given, and will it eventually end up on the wrong side of the “war on terror.” Almost forgot. There is no war on terror. That went out the window six years ago. It is interesting that only weeks ago, the president publicly rejected the “strategy” of arming this bunch, calling them “farmers and pharmacists.”

The Washington Post reports that the advice of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, that special forces be allowed to operate in cooperation with the Iraqi army, was “cast aside” in the decision that no U.S. troops participate.

Just prior to the “strategy” speech, in which we were lectured to the effect that there’s nothing Islamic about the Islamic State, former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech in which he said, “We simply cannot pursue a comprehensive strategy against terrorism at the same time we’re giving pink slips to captains and majors in the combat zone. And yet this and more is happening. In this very time of hasty withdrawals, continuous disengagement, and such self-congratulation for all of it, we have also seen dramatic and devastating drawdowns in the military power of the United States.” There was much more about discontinued weapons programs, budgetary cuts and lack of preparedness.

The short answer is that the United States is not about to see to the destruction of the brutal ISIS movement right away. Apparently it will be a drawn out, piecemeal approach intended to quiet outrage over the “no strategy” admission.

The trend is clear. U.S. power will continue to be weakened, while others are expected to fill in. Even though there is the discussion of a coalition, presumably to be assembled under the auspices of NATO, apparently the nations of the coalition will only be expected to help finance the arming of surrogates. At the same time, the U.S. is urging Germany and France to step up their own domestic military spending.

The solution to everything, from Russian aggression in Ukraine to the formation of a terrorist caliphate openly provoking and threatening terror upon the United States, is another speech.

We are thankful that there is no news of the cease-fire between Israel and Gaza having been broken. Hopefully, the measures taken by the Egyptian government on Gaza’s southern border will help insure that Hamas is not re-armed with thousands of Iranian missiles.

In large part, the attention shifted to the sensationally brutal terrorist ISIS is a distraction from what may prove a much greater threat from the Middle East. Has Iran given up its nuclear program? Has it forsaken its religious devotion to the destruction of Israel and the United States? Of course not. But (Shiite) Iran was purportedly miffed not to have been included in the “strategy” against (Sunni) ISIS.

Europe must hate getting dragged into a confrontational posture against ISIS almost as much as the American president. There must also be considerable discomfort over the news that they are expected to ramp up military spending at a time when the European economy is utterly stagnant, and the euro crisis is about to become a big deal once again.

Big political changes will come to Europe in the wake of a revolt over the way the euro has been handled. The French are particularly miffed that they’ve signed on to regulations that prevent “quantitative easing”, or as we call it, printing money.

But there is no such restriction on the U.S. Federal Reserve. American debt has blasted through the stratosphere, and there seems no limit to the social spending, even where non-citizens are concerned. It’s beginning to look like my dear ole Dad was right. The world will change rapidly in the face of economic disaster. Like so much else that’s gone wrong, it’s beginning to look intentional. Never has the message of the Evangelistic Association and the Church of God been more pertinent.

Have a great Sabbath,

Mark Armstrong