Tag Archives: Israel

SIPRI report (inadvertently) proves that nuclear weapons are needed

ReaganPeaceQuote

ReaganPeaceQuote

A recent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, prepared by a number of strident pro-disarmament leftists led by Danish pacifist Hans M. Kristensen, complains that no nuclear power is willing to give up its nuclear arsenal and thus lead by example, but at the same time, it openly admits and even underlines the fact that no nuclear weapon state is willing to scrap its arsenal and most of them are growing and modernizing their nuclear deterrents.

The report, in fact, claims that all nuclear powers, including the US, are either deploying or planning to deploy new warheads or new delivery systems within the next decade.[1]

But it is precisely for that reason why the US, Israel, Britain, and France must NOT disarm themselves and must NOT give up or cut their nuclear arsenals.

It would be utterly foolish and suicidal for these decent representative government countries – these pillars of Western civilization – to give up their nuclear weapons, or even to cut their nuclear arsenals further, while everyone else – Russia, China, Pakistan, India, North Korea – is growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals and their delivery systems.

It would practically mean inviting a nuclear attack on the US, Britain, France, and Israel.

Don’t even think for a moment that Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, and China’s hawkish, anti-American generals wouldn’t do that if they could do so without facing retaliation.

Russia is building up its nuclear arsenal – and the arsenal of delivery system – and has been doing so since New START’s ratification in early 2011. Before that treaty was ratified, Russia was below its ceilings of 1,550 deployed strategic warheads and 800 delivery systems per side.

But since then, Russia has built up to New START levels, as State Department data exchanges show – and as was precisely Russia’s goal and was promised by Russian leaders, including then-Defense Minister Anatoliy Syerdyukov, who correctly told Russia’s parliament that Moscow wouldn’t have to decommission a single warhead or delivery system.

Russia, as veteran journalist Bill Gertz writes in more detail, is in the midst of a massive nuclear (and conventional) military buildup. It is currently growing its arsenal of both warheads and delivery systems. It’s currently developing several different ICBM types: a road-mobile “Yars-M” ICBM, a rail-mobile one, a heavy liquid-fueled ICBM called “the Son of Satan” (slated to replace the famous SS-18 Satan), the “Avangard”, a “pseudo-ICBM” with a 6,000 km range, and another ICBM mentioned recently by Deputy Premier Dmitry Rogozin (it might be one of those previously mentioned ICBMs).

Concurrently, Russia is developing a next-generation strategic bomber, a next-gen cruise missile for its bombers (the Kh-102) and for its submarines (the Koliber), and deploying a new class of ballistic missile subs (the Borei class) with a new type of sub-launched ballistic missiles (the Bulava, or SS-NX-30 in NATO nomenclature, with 10 warheads). It is also modernizing its already large arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons and their delivery systems (artillery pieces, Su-34 tactical strike jets, SS-26 Stone SRBMs, etc.).

Moscow is not only growing its arsenal but also becoming more aggressive as well. In the last 12 months, Russia has practiced simulated nuclear bomber strikes on US missile defense facilities five times, each time flying dangerously close to US or allied airspace, and three times flying into Air Defense Identification Zones – forcing US or allied fighters to scramble. For more, see here and here.

“Who told you that the Cold War was ever over? It transforms; it is like a virus,” said Russian KGB/FSB defector Sergei Tretyakov in an interview with FOX News in 2009.

And yet, the Left, including the SIPRI, wants America to disarm unilaterally in the face of such an aggressive Russia wielding thousands of nuclear weapons!

China has a far larger nuclear arsenal than SIPRI admits – at least 1,600, and possibly up to 3,000, nuclear warheads, not the mere 250 SIPRI claims, and enough delivery systems to deliver at least 1,274… without even counting its SRBMs or ground-lauched cruise missiles, that is. With these systems, China could deliver thousands of warheads.

China has at least 86 ICBMs (36 DF-5s, at least 30 DF-31/31As, 20 DF-4s, and an unknown number of DF-41s); 6 ballistic missile submarines with at least 12 missiles each; 440 nuclear-capable strike aircraft (H-6[2], Q-5, JH-7); and at least 100 DF-21 and DF-3 MRBMs.

So it’s utterly ridiculous for SIPRI to complain that Western nuclear powers (the US, Britain, France, Israel) are not willing to disarm themselves when Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, and India are also not willing to disarm themselves and are GROWING, not cutting, their nuclear warhead and delivery system arsenals – and steadily modernizing them.

What is the West supposed to do? Disarm itself (or cut its arsenal) unilaterally?

Those who disarm themselves unilaterally to “lead by example”, as Obama says (and plans to do with America), will not set any example for anyone and will not be followed by anyone on the ficticious road to “Global Zero.” They will instead be attacked with nuclear weapons by a hostile power.

It’s also utterly ridiculous for SIPRI to wail that prospects for “nuclear disarmament” are bleak and that this goal is remote. Global “nuclear disarmament” is utterly unrealistic and will NEVER happen. N-E-V-E-R. The current nuclear buildups and modernization programs of Russia, China, North Korea, India, and Pakistan prove this abundantly.

It will never happen unless weapons even more powerful than nuclear arms are invented – which is unlikely and, in the best case, might only happen several decades from now.

The fact that all nuclear powers around the world, other than the US, are modernizing their arsenals or growing them – which SIPRI has openly admitted, and which SIPRI’s Hans M. Kristensen has also admitted on his blog, thus utterly disproves the Left’s claim that nuclear weapons are relics of the Cold War, that America doesn’t need them, and that it can afford to dramatically cut or even completely scrap its nuclear arsenal.

All of these Leftist blatant lies – repeated in a Goebbels-like manner by the Left for over two decades – have once again been proven to be blatant lies.

If nuclear weapons are “relics of the Cold War” and unneeded, why is everyone else around the world – Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan, India, Israel, France, Britain – growing and/or modernizing their nuclear arsenals?

Because they all know the high military and geopolitical value of nuclear weapons – and their unmatched deterrent, but also coercive, power. They know it all too well.

How can America afford to continue to cut, let alone scrap, its nuclear arsenal while Russia, China, North Korea, and Pakistan are growing theirs, and when Russia and China already have large nuclear arsenals?

It can’t.

What’s more, Russia, China, and North Korea have, since the 1990s, significantly INCREASED the role nuclear weapons play in their militaries and in their national security and defense strategies. In Russia’s and North Korea’s, nuclear weapons play the CENTRAL role, and both countries, as well as China, have reserved for themselves the “right” to attack the US with nuclear weapons preemptively. (China’s  famous “no-first-use” pledge applies only to non-nuclear states, not to the US.)

It would be utterly foolish and suicidal to disarm oneself in the face of such potential adversaries who are not only growing and modernizing their nuclear arsenals but also prioritizing their nuclear arms above all other weapons and willing to use them against America first, if they think they can get away with it without facing retaliation.

No, the US should not cut its nuclear arsenal at all, let alone scrap it. The US should NEVER disarm itself. If anything, the US ought to INCREASE its nuclear arsenal. Only that can ensure continued deterrence of Russia, China, North Korea, and Pakistan – today and well into the future. The US nuclear deterrent needs to be large enough, modern enough, survivable enough, and capable enough to provide deterrence – i.e. to be a highly credible retaliatory threat – against adversaries for decades to come. For that, stockpile expansion and a comprehensive modernization program are absolutely needed.

…………………………

Footnotes:

[1] While the US is in the early development stages of its next-gen ballistic missile submarine and bomber, these systems won’t enter service until the 2020s, a decade from now, and the development of a replacement cruise missile has been delayed by years. Also, there is no program whatsoever to develop a replacement ICBM for the obsolete, 1970s’ vintage Minuteman-III, the cheapest, most reliable, most responsive retaliatory weapon the US has. What’s more, the Obama administration is now studying plans to decommission 150 ICBMs – i.e. an entire Air Force missile wing – unilaterally!

[2] I conservatively count each of China’s 160 H-6 bombers as being capable of delivering only one warhead, even though some of these bombers – namely, those of the H-6K variant – can deliver at least 6 nuclear-tipped ICBMs over a distance of 4,400 kms. The bomber’s own combat radius is 2,200 kms, and the missile has its own additional range of another 2,200 kms.

What Would Muhammad Do?

cliff1066™ (CC)

cliff1066™ (CC)

cliff1066™ (CC)


It looks like John Kerry, our esteemed Secretary of State, is working hard to earn his money – shuttling back and forth trying to return the Israelis and “Palestinians” to peace negotiations. It would be impressive if this meant something, but I guess he needs something relatively useful to do with his time.

For negotiations to be successful, one must assume that the partner with which they are negotiating with is actually trustworthy – otherwise, the whole thing is an exercise in futility and a farce. Of course, that is what these negotiations are.

Just this week we’ve seen Israeli Arab Knesset minister Ahmed Tibi threaten another intifada (I assume with requisite bus, pizza and cafe bombings) if talks didn’t produce results – even before negotiations have resumed. How’s that for blackmail? Treason?

What is even better is what was reported yesterday. A Palestinian Authority minister compared the upcoming negotiations with Israel and assumed subsequent treaty to the peace treaty Muhammad made with the Quraish tribe – one that was disregarded by Muhammad after he became strong enough to defeat them.

[Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud] Habbash then compared the decision of the PA leadership to negotiate with Israel to the agreement of the Prophet Muhammad on a 10-year truce with his rivals in the Quraish tribe of Mecca, known as the Treaty of Hudaibiya, reached in the year 628 CE.

“The hearts of the Prophet’s companions burnt with anger and fury … this is not disobedience [of God’s command], it is politics. It is crisis management, conflict management … in less than two years, based on this treaty, the Prophet returned and conquered Mecca. This is the example. It is the model.”

Really?! This is the model? Is this an example of negotiating in “good faith” – that treaties are meant to be broken?

There is absolutely no reason for Israel to negotiate with these “people” – especially after this revelation, it would be stupid of them to do so.

The Terrorists in Sheep’s Clothing

hoyasmeg(CC)

hoyasmeg(CC)

hoyasmeg(CC)


One could think that between the soon-to-be civil war in Egypt and watching the Zimmerman defense team wipe the floor with the prosecution, that there is no other news happening around the world. I’m sorry to disappoint, but there is.

Unfortunately, news comes from Israel where we learn that none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been secretly meeting with the Palestinian Authority (PA) to begin talks again on what some call a two-state solution, some call a three-state solution and what I call a no-Jewish-state solution.

This comes the same time as the “moderate” Palestinian Authority TV had a child, seven or eight years old, reading a poem describing Jews as “barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs.”

“Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets Oh, you who were brought up on spilling blood You have been condemned to humiliation and hardship. Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations Oh barbaric monkeys, wretched pigs.”

Creative, imaginative and colorful isn’t it? I’m impressed and certainly not surprised. While the world media describes Hamas in the Gaza Strip as extremists, the Palestinian Authority is not any different. The methods may differ – Hamas sends rockets into Israel while the PA under the guise of “moderation”, brings Israel to the negotiating table to talk “peace”… the final result is the same, the dismemberment and destruction of the Jewish state.

Children, as we all know, are not born hating anyone. A child reading such an horrible “poem” has had to have been brought up in a culture of violence – being taught that Jews are less than human. Removing such terrible creatures (the Jews) would follow – we know this to be true since martyrdom is taught to such young children through television cartoons and advertisements glorifying death.

We are talking about the Palestinian Authority. The so-called “moderates” – not Hamas, who we know are clearly planning their next attack on Israel. I wrote about what the PA was doing with their children back in 2002. Nothing has changed. The culture of violence continues strong – creating the next generation of terrorists.

Why has PM Netanyahu jumpstarted talks with the Palestinian Authority? I have no idea.

Syria: Where the war stands now

FreedomHouse (CC)

FreedomHouse (CC)

FreedomHouse (CC)

The Obama administration has stated that they will send weapons to the rebels in Syria at this point, regardless of what the citizens in the U.S. or Syria think. And there isn’t a great deal of support for this action, in fact, it appears that even the recipients of the assistance are not wanting it. According to CNN:

If the outside world was excited about a U.S. retaliatory plan for the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against rebels, the families in the capital’s old Mezzah neighborhood struck a tone in utter contrast.

“America is inventing stories about chemical weapons,” one man told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen. “The Syrian government never used chemical weapons. The rebels have used them, not the government. So they are inventing stories because our army is winning.”

Another man, also shopping for household staples, said the U.S. action won’t make a difference. The government will prevail in the civil war, he asserted.

The intervention is in the wake of reports that the Assad regime is using chemical weapons against its own citizens. But, there remain reports that this simply isn’t the case on the ground. As Al Jazeera reports:

“The White House has issued a statement full of lies about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, based on fabricated information,” a statement issued on Friday by the Syrian Foreign Ministry said.

“The United States is using cheap tactics to justify President Barack Obama’s decision to arm the Syrian opposition,” it said.

Russia, a staunch ally of the Syrian government, also disputed the US charge on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters that the information provided by US officials to Russia “didn’t look convincing”.

Russian officials are also not supporting U.S. plans for a no-fly zone over Syria.

“There have been leaks from Western media regarding the serious consideration to create a no-fly zone over Syria through the deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and F-16 jets in Jordan,” said Mr [Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei] Lavrov, speaking at a joint news conference in Moscow with his Italian counterpart.

“You don’t have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law,” he said.

Mr Lavrov also said evidence presented by the US of chemical weapons use in Syria apparently did not meet reliability criteria set out by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The three-year-long conflict in Syria has been increasingly involving neighboring nations, and Hezbollah leaders have stated that they do not intend to back down in the conflict. This does not bode well for any plans that the U.S. could have for assisting the Syrian rebels – without taking into account arguments from within the U.S. that getting involved at this point would only be giving weapons to existing enemies of the U.S. There is no secret that Al Qaeda has been making in-roads in the Syrian resistance. Add to that it appears that even Israel does not foresee a stable nation in Syria with or without Assad, there seem to be very few, if any, redeeming factors to the U.S. stepping in any more than it has already.

Defense Issues Weekly – May 28th

defile_AR0002

NOTE: From this edition forward, Defense Issues Weekly will appear on weekdays. This week, it will appear on Tuesday, and afterwards, it will appear on Mondays.

US on course to gut its military…

With sequestration in effect and no prospect of it being cancelled, the DOD will have to cut an additional $550 bn from its budget over the next decade on top of all the defense cuts already implemented or mandated. Accordingly, the DOD is now devising three budgetary plans for three different contingencies.

The first assumes that only $100 bn per decade in cuts is implemented, i.e. that Congress accepts Barack Obama’s budget proposal. The second assumes $300 bn, and the third $500 bn in cuts over the next decade.

Under the first scenario, the Army would take the biggest hits, mostly in force structure. Under the second and third, all services would have to make deep cuts in their size, modernization programs, and mission readiness alike. DOD officials have privately conceded to DefenseNews.com that should the full $500 bn cuts of the sequester hit the Department, the military would be severely weakened and would not be able to defeat a major adversary, let alone a peer competitor (such as China or Russia).

$500 bn in additional budgetary cuts would also mean the military won’t get the promised and badly needed equipment and munitions to prevail in theaters where access is denied by the enemy with anti-access/area-denial weapons and where the free use of the airspace, the sea, cyberspace, and outer space is in danger. This means no new bombers, cruise missiles, carrier-capable drones, or other crucial weapons needed to prevail in such environments – which are becoming more common every day.

DefenseNews.com reports that:

“If the second option — the $300 billion cut — were put in place, the cuts would be levied against all the services.

The third option assumes full sequestration, or $500 billion over the decade. Sources with insight into the SCMR say this option would wreak the most havoc on the military and force the cancellation or scaling back of several major acquisition efforts.

These sources also said the magnitude of the cut could prevent the military from being able to fight a major war against a near peer competitor.”

Also, by the end of May, four Washington think-tanks – the CSBA, the CNAS, the AEI, and the CSIS – intend to present their own plans on how to cut defense spending by the amount required by sequestration. These presentations will attempt to lull the public into thinking that such deep defense cuts can be done safely, without jeopardizing national security or any key mission of the military.

While 62% of all Americans oppose further defense cuts and believe the defense budget is either “about right” or inadequate, and even though the vast majority of both Republicans and Democrats oppose sequestration, there is little prospect of the issue being resolved. The two sides vehemently disagree on how to solve the problem, with Republicans opposing any new tax hikes and Democrats advocating a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts. Both sides have firmly entrenched in their positions and neither side is willing to blink first.

Also, both parties are being held hostage by extremists on both sides of the spectrum who oppose any compromise and believe sequestration is sacred and should stay on the books.

Already prior to sequestration, the military had to make significant cuts, from cancelling programs to retiring hundreds of aircraft, multiple surface combatants and amphibious ships, and 80,000 troops. These cuts would have to be several orders of magnitude deeper if sequestration were to stay on the books.

At present, the US Navy has only 284 commissioned ships – the fewest since 1915 and able to supply only 59% of combatant commanders’ requirements – while the Air Force is flying the oldest and smallest fleet of aircraft in its entire history, with average aircraft age at over 24 years. Moreover, most USAF bombers, tankers, airlifters, and fighters are much older.

The Marines are poised to decline to 182,000 troops, the fewest since the 1950s, even without sequestration, but with sequestration, the USMC would shrink to only 150,000 troops, the fewest since the late 1940s. The US nuclear arsenal, at just 5,000 warheads, is over 75% smaller than 20 years ago.

…and so is France

defile_AR0002

The French government is also in the process of deeply cutting the country’s military, further weakening it after deep cuts implemented by President Sarkozy (2007-2012) (photographed above).

After the newest cuts – outlined in the White Paper on Defense released on April 29th – are fully implemented, the French Army will have only 7 brigades and only 200 tanks. Its fleet of lighter combat vehicles, helicopters, and other platforms also faces significant cuts.

The French Navy will not get the second aircraft carrier that President Sarkozy promised in 2007 nor a fourth amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class. After the 2 ageing air-defense frigates (destroyers) of the Cassard class are retired without replacement, the Navy will have only 2 destroyers for air defense. The frigate fleet will also shrink, from 18 to 15, while second-rate frigates will be reclassified as first-rate ones. It will shrink further as ageing vessels leave service, because only 8 new frigates (FREMM class) will be built – not the 11 planned just a few years ago, or the 17 originally planned.

The planned air-defense frigate type (FREDA) will not be built.

Yet, the deepest cuts will fall on the already-overstretched French Air Force, the world’s oldest. It currently has only 226 combat aircraft (Rafale, Mirage 2000, Mirage F1), but will have to cut that to a paltry 180 per the newest defense cuts. The entire French military will have only 225 combat aircraft (mostly Rafales and Mirage 2000s; the remaining Mirage F1s will be retired). This is another steep cut in combat power for an Air Force already deeply cut since 2000 (when it had 382 combat aircraft) and 2006 (when it had 330). The previous President, Nicolas Sarkozy, allowed the French Air Force and Navy combined to have only 300 combat aircraft.

The Air Force’s tanker fleet will also shrink, from 14 to 12. Thus, the FAF will see the fleets of its two most important aircraft types – multirole fighters and tankers – shrink at the very time when these aircraft types are playing the lead roles in France’s wars, from Afghanistan to Libya to Mali, where France doesn’t have any local airbases and has had to fly combat missions (performed by the very multirole fighters the government wants to cut, of course) from metropolitan France through Algerian airspace with aerial refueling on the way.

Likewise, the order for A400M airlifters has been cut from 70 to 50.

France’s Malian operation has revealed a shortage of tankers and airlifters, which France has had to ask the US and Britain for, but the French government remains stubborn in cutting the Air Force.

For overseas operations, France will be able to contribute only 15,000 troops in total, backed up by one amphibious assault ship and a dozen fighters. This means that, as retired French generals have admitted, France will be able to conduct only small-scale operations overseas, and in coalition expeditionary operations, it won’t be able to offer more than a symbolic contribution.

Russia exports A2/AD arms worldwide

Russia has stepped up its exports of anti-access/area-denial weapons – such as air defense systems and anti-ship missiles – worldwide, particularly to nations unfriendly to the US, as the US ponders how to counter such weapons while its own defense budget is shrinking rapidly.

Russia has recently decided – despite US and Israeli protests – to sell advanced S-300 air defense systems and Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles and launchers to Syria, whose government is battling a Sunni Islamic insurgency and fears a Western or Israeli intervention.

The sale follows Moscow’s earlier decision, though not yet inked in a firm contract, to supply 24 Su-35 multirole fighters (with a combat radius of 1,000 nm and thrust-vectoring-capable engines), supersonic TVC engines for China’s domestically-produced fighters, S-400 (SA-21) air defense systems (with a range of 400 kms), and the Tu-22M bomber production line (China plans to build 36 of these aircraft) to Beijing, which has already built a massive, impressive network of A2/AD weapons, mostly supplied by Russia and threatening America’s ability to project power in the Western Pacific.

Russia has also sold S-300 air defense (SAM) systems, Kilo class submarines, and Su-30MKV multirole fighters to Venezuela and has been sued by Iran in international courts to deliver the S-300 systems it had promised to Tehran.

The S-300 and S-400 systems are more capable than the PATRIOT and render the airspace protected by them firmly closed to nonstealthy aircraft and missiles, as do upgraded legacy Soviet air defense systems such as the SA-6 and SA-11/17.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130519/DEFREG02/305190007/DoD-Examines-3-Budget-Cut-Scenarios

Israel bombs weapons targets in Syria

Syria-CIA_WFB_Map

Syria-CIA_WFB_Map
CNN reports that US believes Israel bombed weapons targets in Syria overnight local time. Initial reports indicate that weapons targets have been destroyed on the ground in Syria, and while Israel is not making comments on the specific incident, their security forces have stated that they will take whatever actions they must to prevent weapons from reaching the hands of their enemies.

The Israeli military had no comment. But a source in the Israeli defense establishment told CNN’s Sara Sidner, “We will do whatever is necessary to stop the transfer of weapons from Syria to terrorist organizations. We have done it in the past and we will do it if necessary the future.”

Fox News report:

More details will be posted as they become available.

—-

The Magic of Jerusalem

solomons_temple

This ad promoting tourism in Jerusalem was banned from official release before it was ever released and is only available on Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s YouTube channel because it offends Palestinians.

Yes, the Word of God offends!

“…so that he [the antichrist] takes his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as being God”
2 Thessalonians 2:4

People may refuse to hear and believe the truth, but the fact still remains: God made a covenant with Abraham that Israel will forever belong to the Jews.  Throughout history, Jerusalem has indeed belonged to the Jewish people, and one day, the Third Temple will stand on the Temple Mount! Will the Dome of the Rock be destroyed, or will they stand side by side? Only God knows that answer definitively, as prophecy scholars differ in their interpretations of Scripture.

“Am I now your enemy, just because I told you the truth?”
Galatians 4:16

In Genesis 12:1-3, God promised the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants. In Genesis 17:7-8 God confirms this covenant- “all the land of Canaan.” In Genesis 22:16-18 God promises Abraham the Land will belong to Israel despite opposition and threat. Genesis 26:3-5 is the confirmation of the covenant with Isaac. Genesis 28:13, 14 is the confirmation and extension of the promise to Jacob again. In Genesis 35:9-15, God appears  to Jacob again [see 35:1] at Bethel, and changes his name to Israel. He confirms the promise to him and his descendants. God’s promise to Abraham was that the land of Israel- all of the land of Canaan- belongs to the Jews “forever and ever” (Additional Scripture references and detailed history can be found here.)

YouTube Description:

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, displays in a new video the magic of Jerusalem as a city that combines diversity with harmony, modernity with history, and as a sacred city that for the first time in history, under Israeli sovereignty, Jews, Christians, Muslims, secular, religious, young and old are living side by side. In addition, the video shows the unbreakable bond between the Jewish people and Jerusalem.

Christianity, the Roman Empire & Israel’s Place in It

idol worship 4

A vantage point for inquiring minds and those who’ve lived faith shy of geographical or historical context. Biblical maps are enlightening for tethering us to what was and what is and understanding how small our world has become, bringing Israel and the Middle East today into sharper focus.Jesus Knocking

The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire caused people to start questioning what they thought they knew. By 392 A.D. it was the official religion of the region. As it spread across the Mediterranaen, Christianity connected with larger themes in Roman history.

Reading Historical Dates

Without going into all of the science, emporer and political changes to calendars over time – and there were a lot of them – this keeps understanding date abbreviations simple. For more information see the “More Reading” resources below:

There is no Year 0.

There is no difference between “A.D.” & “CE.” They are the same.

There is no difference between “B.C.” & “BCE.” They are the same.

B.C. – means ‘Before Christ’ and starts with Year 1

A.D.– means ‘Anno Domini’ or ‘Year of our Lord.’ This is the year of Christ’s birth and also starts with Year 1. (Commonly referred to as ‘After Death,’ obviously not correct.)

CE – a more recent term meaning ‘Common Era,’ used in place of A.D.

BCE – a more recent term meaning ‘Before Common Era,’ used in place of B.C.

Jesus in Judae (Israel) & the Roman Empire

It’s widely accepted that Jesus Christ was born 4-6 B.C., two years before the death of the Roman Empire’s Herod the Great. Scientific calculations suggest Christ was born in the month of September or October.

Christianity began in Judea about 2,000 years ago with the birth and teachings of Jesus and the disciples who followed Him. Judea was a cultural hub of cities and farms. Click the map to view the area in what we now know as current day Israel.

When Jesus taught the “new covenant” (New Testament) in Judea, Rome was under its first emperor rule. Jesus is known by Christians as the Son of God and of Man, conceived by God by immaculate conception with the virgin Mary, who married Joseph.idol worship3

The Jews hated Roman rule because it was a pagan reminder of their historical oppression and it violated their faith under the Torah* (Old Testament). The Romans worshiped a number of gods and superficial idols they‘d built to those gods. That was in direct conflict with the Jewish faith, which recognized the one and only God of the Bible.

*”Torah” refers to the Five [Biblical] Books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. But the word “torah” can also be used to refer to the entire Jewish bible (the body of scripture known to non-Jews as the Old Testament and to Jews as the Tanakh or Written Torah), or in its broadest sense, to the whole body of Jewish law and teachings.

The start of Christianity is recorded in accounts of the New Testament but its history began with Old Testament prophecy. There are over 300 predictions of the coming of a Jewish Messiah that are recorded in the Old Testament, spanning more than 1000 years.

Click this map to see the Jews’ exodus from Egypt through the Wilderness and into Cannan (current day Israel), their Promised Land.

Some Jews saw conforming to the Roman Empire as their only hope. Others became religious zealots developing warlike guerilla resistances against Rome. Still others withdrew into the Judean wilderness to study Jewish law and wait for the coming of their Messiah, or savior, as promised in the Old Testament.

Isa 7:14 [OT] Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Immanuel means “God with us”. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, had come to dwell with, or tabernacle on earth with, His people.

John 1:14 [NT] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.

Jesus was a Jew. He observed Jewish faith and was well studied in its law. Said to be a carpenter by trade (though that is questioned today), by His early thirties Jesus traveled between villages teaching in synagogues, healing people and performing miracles. His news traveled swiftly. From a young age He challenged religious leaders to repent from their self-righteous and hypocritical ways and to realize that the Kingdom of God is rooted in service and love.

Jesus taught during the Roman rule of Augustus, their first emperor from 27 B.C. through 14 A.D. He urged purification of the Jewish religion with a moral code of love, charity and humility. Christ’s teachings stirred the hearts of people and His healings grew in influence and ever-increasingly high demand as word of His message and acts spread.

These things and Jesus’ growing popularity because of them created an instability that Jewish authorities feared. The disciples were faithful men who followed Him and Jesus taught them about the “new covenant” that God was bringing to humanity, because men had fallen into so much sin they’d lost the personal relationship with God that they had in Old Testament days.

Jesus was crucified on a cross about 30 A.D., believed to be in Golgotha or “The place of a skull” just outside of Jerusalem. His followers believe he rose three days later, proving that He was the Son of God. The Christian faith, unlike any other religion, hinges on historical events. An example can be seen in the eye-witness accounts evidenced by Paul in I Corinthians 15:3-6.

“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.”

Manuscript studies point to this scripture being written within a few years after Christ’s death. Paul, born Greek, ends this passage with “most of whom are still living,” inviting people to confirm the facts for themselves. He wouldn’t have if he was trying to perpetrate a myth or fraud. It is the historical validity that gives Christians their belief and a genuine and eternal hope.

Roman Mythology & Christianity

Before the coming of Christ and Christianity the Roman Empire was “embroiled in myth,” having archeological traces of early settlements dating back to 750 B.C. The myths were based on both fiction and history in stories passed down through the ages.

Roman mythology was an emphatic state religion consisting of rituals and ceremonies. Their myths were more practical than the Greek’s but they adopted most of the Greek deities.

Every Roman god served a purpose and had an office to fill. There were “divisions of labor” between them, some presiding over births; some over bakers and some over the bakers’ ovens. Every vocation and household function had presiding gods and goddesses. This picture depicts a god tending to the wound of a solider with a Greek goddess looking on.

The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire caused people to start questioning what they thought they knew. By 392 A.D., Christianity was the official religion. As Chrsitianity spread it connected with larger themes in Roman history.

Christianity comforted social grievances in an empire marked by inequality and among the poor. Slaves, dispossessed farmers and impoverished city dwellers found hope in a religion that encouraged a goodness of morals and after-life rewards for living morally.

The Christian faith also answered cultural needs that Roman values, which stressed political goals and ethics about living in the world, did not. It brought political benefits to the Romans as their empire grew and consolidated, as well. The new faith was seen as universal, open to all, whether people followed the Jewish faith or not.

Click to enlarge this map showing the growth of the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean area; and Israel’s place within it (boxed).

Belief in Jesus spread among Jewish communities in the Middle East, the Roman Empire and beyond. When His disciples realized that Jesus was not returning to earth to set up the Kingdom of God, they fanned out to spread the news, particularly around the eastern Mediterranean area.

The predominant language of the day was Greek. Paul’s Greco-Roman culture helped to explain Christian beliefs in Greece and in Italy as well as in the Middle East. Paul essentially created Christian theology as a set of intellectual principles; and some speculate that he emphasized women’s more subordinate role to men and the dangers of sexuality in the books of the New Testament.

By the 4th Century A.D. Christian writings were the only creative cultural expression of the Roman Empire. Theologians sought to explain issues brought up by the new religion; and to relate it to ethics and Greek philosophy. Just as the Roman Empire was in decline Christianity produced complex thought and elegant language, redirecting its culture and preserving its earlier literary and philosophical achievements.

Christianity goes well beyond Rome and had more to do with opening a new era of history of the Mediterranean region than in shaping the Roman Empire.

Today’s Conflicts between the Middle East and Israel & The West

In the Bible’s Old Testament book of Genesis, chapter 17, God promised Abraham that he would become “the father of many nations.” Many today aren’t familiar with the divisions hinged on that promise.

abraham sarah hagarAbraham’s wife, Sarah, could not bear children so she gave to her husband her Egyptian maiden, Hagar. Hagar birthed Abraham’s son, Ishmael. Many years later Sarah gave Abraham a son named Isaac (described in the scripture below).

When dissention in the houshold grew, Hagar returned with her son to her homeland of Egpyt. By then Abraham and Sarah had located to Cannan (Israel), where they remained. Today Sarah’s descendants are Christian and Hagar’s are Muslim. Indeed Abraham was “the father of many nations.”

Genesis 17 (OT, KJV excerpted): And when Abram was ninety years old and nine the LORD appeared and said, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect and I will make my covenant between me and thee and will multiply thee exceedingly and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee and I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

 abraham sarah isaacAnd he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house [and] which is not of thy seed. And God said unto Abraham, as for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Then Abraham fell upon his face and laughed and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year. And he left off talking with him.

Coming: What was Constantine the Great’s role in Christianity?

“From the time of Constantine onward, the worship of the Roman Catholic Church, in its forms and ceremonies, has been more clearly identified with the paganism of Ancient Rome, than with the religion of the New Testament. The customs of pagan religion were only baptized with Christian names.”

-Paganism Surviving in Christianity By Abram Herbert Lewis “The Control of Christianity by the State Under Constantine and his Successors,” Chapter X; pg. 210
 

More Reading:

Wise Geek, Bible Time, Got Questions, History of Religion, Judaism 101:Torah, BibleLight, Greek & Roman Religion, History of Christianity, Romans Empire, Cynric

Reagan’s Legacy Lives in Israel’s Iron Dome

(Video uploaded on You Tube Nov. 15, 2012 by Truthloader.)

Crossposted from American Millennium Online

American President Ronald Reagan

by Jeremy Griffith

As the title of this article suggests, the Israeli Iron Dome, an anti-missile missile system is saving lives in that country as Hamas, the Palestinian Terror organization, shoots hundreds of rockets at Israel from the West Bank and Gaza on a daily basis. The rockets create fear and uncertainly and can kill people and cause a lot of damage, but the Iron Dome is preventing many of these rockets from hitting their targets and achieving their goal.

I spoke to my brother recently who asked me to watch a You Tube Video on the topic and to comment upon it. My brother, Jason Griffith, is a Major in the Colorado National Guard and a Space Operations officer recently returned from a 9-month tour of duty in Afghanistan as the leader of a space team. He asked me this  poignant question.

“How many rockets are launched at Israel from Gaza?” he asked. I had no idea, but having been in the Holy Land once before myself, I knew it was a lot.

“Eight Hundred Seventy Seven,” he said. “And that is in just the last two weeks. How many of us would tolerate such a barrage from say Canada or Mexico?”

How many indeed?I think that most Americans would pummel the living crap out of those people attempting to assault us, but when it comes to Israel defending itself, the world urges restraint. RESTRAINT?! Please. This is an outrage. None of us would tolerate this, why should Israel? But instead of siding with Israel, who is the victim of these attacks, the Israelis are targeted by negative world opinion and labeled as the aggressors when they go into these areas and kill the leaders of Hamas responsible for the terror.

So here is my commentary on the video. Ronald Reagan was a demonstrable genius when he envisioned the so called Star Wars shield of anti-missile missile batteries when he came up against the Soviet Union in the Cold War. His greatest achievement was bluffing down the Russians and pushing off from the table at Reykjavik when Gorbachev asked him to give up Star Wars. Now the vision that Reagan had is a reality and all the idiots who called him an idiot can see for themselves the real life realization of his dream. The Patriot Missile batteries of the United States and the Iron Dome of Israel is the culmination of that dream, a shield that would block incoming ballistic missiles and keep a nation free from the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles, especially nukes.

But we can take no comfort in the long lasting legacy of Reagan. While Israel continues to proof these great defensive weapons, President Obama plans to cut the military and what do you suppose will be among the first programs to cut? Intercontinental anti-ballistic missile systems, leaving us vulnerable to attack from without. Obama will not just stop at cutting Star Wars, he has already planned to cut back our nuclear ballistic missile capability to dangerous levels, thus making us weaker while emboldening our enemies.

This President doesn’t care about defense, which is the executive branch’s primary mission. We saw that with his reaction to Benghazi. Obama’s goal it seems is to continually steal from the taxpayer to pay off cronies and to redistribute wealth from those who have, and have worked to earn it, to those who have not, and who have no plans to ever work. Over half of Americans voted to re-elect a president so they could steal from you what they have no right to have and give it to them who have no desire to earn it. Amazing!

Well, there are consequences to elections people and we will be seeing them in the next few years as this President and his cronies in the Democratic Party, a degrading bastardization of the Party of Thomas Jefferson, drives us all over the fiscal cliff!

Take heart that at least Israel gets it and will likely be fine on their own. Necessity is the mother of invention. When we at last are threatened like Israel, perhaps we will come to our senses. I just hope that isn’t too late.

Watch this video from the US Missile Defense Agency on their prospective anti-ballistic missile capability in 2020.

U.N. to recognize Palestinian state despite Western opposition

Flag_of_Palestine.svg

United NationsThe Palestinian State is set to be implicitly recognized by the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday despite threats by the U.S. and Israel to hold back assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

Similar to the Kosovo, Taiwan and Vatacan City, the Palestinian State would be re-classified as a non-member observer state. Formerly, the Palestinian State was only recognized as an “entity”. The new classification will grant the West Bank government access to international criminal court and other international bodies.

The Palestinians unsuccessfully sought full recognition as a U.N. Member State last year mainly due to U.S. and Israeli opposition. The current effort will succeed despite threats from those same nations. Both the U.S. State department and Israel have warned that they would reduce economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority should they seek recognition by the U.N.

The United States and Israel oppose the U.N. move as they believe it will undermine the peace process. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that “The path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York.”

The Palestinians have reportedly been working with the EU and Arab states to replace the lost funding should they agree to the new classification.

The Resolution only needs a simple majority in the U.N. General Assembly, 130 votes, which they are likely to get. Germany, the Czech Republic being the only two nations other than the United States and Israel to announce that they would be voting against the resolution. Thirteen European countries have already voiced support.

Palestinian President Abbas on the Road to Destruction

abbasbus

The Israeli Embassy in DC recently released the following video illustrating the danger of Palestinian President Abbas attempting to get observer status in the U.N. While it is amusing, it points out the folly of trying to side-step meaningful negotiations with the Israelis about the future of a Palestinian state. While the intentions of Abbas to get recognition from the U.N. are fairly clear, the statements from U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on a two-state solution are not necessarily cut and dry. He has specified that there must be a lasting peace, but was not exactly clear on how to get there – most importantly, he did not seem to specify whether he was for or against the Abbas bus ride to statehood via the U.N.

State Department: We Prefer Quiet Diplomacy

victoria nuland state department

U.S. State Department spokeperson Victoria Nuland engaged in a spirited discussion with AP reporter Matthew Lee.

Lee was questioning the administration’s unwillingness to respond to Turkish Prime Minister’s description of Israel as a terrorist state.

Lee: “You say that it would not be helpful to discuss any of the conversations; that quiet diplomacy is the way to deescalate that. Well, you’ve been doing your quiet diplomacy for almost a week. How’s it going so far?”

After several minutes of back and forth Nuland finally responds, “We of course agree that rhetorical attacks against Israel are not helpful at this moment.

It’s refreshing to see a reporter press on the tough questions.
Note: Link updated 8:15pm

Restraint?!

Israel iron dome hits incoming Hamas rockets

Calls for “restraint” have begun. Yes, restraint. After months of hundreds of missiles raining down on Israeli heads – murdering, injuring and destroying – Israel finally decided to do something serious. They killed a top Hamas terrorist, best known for orchestrating the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. Oh, it was then that the world decided to finally take notice of Israel’s “aggression”.

Rather than cheering on the Israelis and complementing them on a job well done – we hear calls for Israeli restraint, even from the United States.

Obama said Israel had the right to defend itself against Hamas’ missile attacks from Gaza. But he urged Israel not to launch a ground assault in Gaza, saying it would put Israeli soldiers, as well as Palestinian citizens, at greater risk and hamper an already vexing peace process.

“If we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza, the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future,” Obama said.

I wonder what message this sends to the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza – the world won’t say a word about the hundreds of rockets targeting school buses and innocents trying to live their lives – but when the world is made a safer place by the assassination of a chief murderer – “restraint” is called for. The message is clear: Jewish blood is cheap.

Not only is Jewish blood cheap – we’ll even reward these attacks by more “peace” talks, more talk of another terrorist state on Israel’s border. A second “Palestinian” state – since Gaza is State #1. Don’t escalate this war, the President warns Israel, we’re trying to have “peace” talks with these terrorists – never mind that they don’t have an interest in peace – just in seeing Israel and her citizens in pieces.

No other nation in the world would tolerate even a single missile entering their airspace. Not the French, and especially not the Germans. Imagine the United States allowing such a thing to happen without an overwhelming response. But the world calls for “restraint” from Israel even after they’ve shown restraint – allowing hundreds of rockets to rain terror on her civilians without complaint.

Jewish blood is cheap and the Arab world knows it. They know the world doesn’t care about the Jews…go ahead, feel free to send the rockets.

Calls for “restraint”? What a joke.

« Older Entries Recent Entries »