Obama’s plan for Syria: Bungling, Reckless, Lunacy all Around.

 obama_angry_2012_8_6

Obama’s plan: Bungling, reckless, lunacy all around.

By Mario Murillo

First read just a smattering of quotes from around the nation about Obama’s resolution on Syria that is before the Congress:

Arizona congressman Matt Salmon’s constituents have called his office 500 times about Syria, he tells National Review Online in an interview, but only two callers have expressed support for intervening there. “This is not hyperbole!” he says emphatically.

And Salmon himself is firmly against authorizing a strike. “I don’t see any national-security imperative for our country at all. Both sides in this equation are bad actors.” He also notes that Obama has been unable to form an international coalition and hasn’t laid out an overall objective for a missile strike. “Other than saving face for the president, I don’t understand what we would be doing,” he says.

Ann coulter: “Why is Congress even having a vote? This is nothing but a fig leaf to cover Obama’s own idiotic “red line” ultimatum to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on chemical weapons. The Nobel Peace Prize winner needs to get Congress on the record so that whatever happens, the media can blame Republicans.

Washington Post: “Senate-crafted Syria resolution riddled with loopholes for Obama.  Allows boots on the ground.  The resolution drafted by Sens. Robert Menendez and Bob Corker, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, grants Mr. Obama power “to use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in a limited and tailored manner against legitimate military targets in Syria” — but only in relation to that nation’s weapons of mass destruction.”

Daily Mail:  “That it will take 75,000 troops Revealed: “Pentagon knew in 2012 that it would take 75,000 GROUND TROOPS to secure Syria’s chemical weapons facilities.”

Rand Paul: “Why I am voting no.  War should occur only when America is attacked, when it is threatened or when American interests are attacked or threatened. I don’t think the situation in Syria passes that test. Even the State Department argues that “there’s no military solution here that’s good for the Syrian people, and that the best path forward is a political solution.”

By Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Foreign Staff : “Even if Obama – with or without congressional approval – orders U.S. warships in the Mediterranean to loose retaliatory strikes against the Syrian regime, the limited operation, which U.S. officials say wouldn’t be aimed at toppling Assad, may do little to restore Washington’s credibility. Moreover, they could carry significant costs for the security of the United States and its allies, experts said.”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I just have to speak out on this resolution to go to war with Syria.  That is correct, it is a resolution to go to war that could very likely involve 75,000 of our troops in a war with no clear goal, battle plan or clear picture of how it can escalate.  By waiting, waffling, and deflecting Obama has created a situation that has no good outcome for the United States.

No one can look in their hearts and see how this resolution that is riddled with loopholes can be given to a leader so lacking any skill whatsoever to conduct war on behalf of the United States.  Call your Congressman today.  Pray fervently that this disastrous resolution is rejected.

Assad must be deposed but we must go in united and strong and clear in our purpose.  Something that cannot be done with this president leading this nation this way.

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NO SYRIAN WAR JUST TO SAVE OBAMA’S FACE.

FACE

NO SYRIAN WAR TO SAVE OBAMA’S FACE!

Pat Buchanan: Why don’t Turkey and Israel man up and strike Assad?

“Catastrophic!” said Sen. John McCain.

If Congress votes no on a resolution calling for U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war, says McCain, it would be “catastrophic” for U.S. credibility in the world.

Consider what the senator is saying here.

Because Barack Obama, two years ago, said “Assad must go,” and, one year ago, said any use of chemical weapons crosses his “red line,” Congress has no choice but to plunge America into yet another Mideast war.

Can this be? Are we really, as a nation, required to go to war to make good the simple-minded statements of an untutored president who had no constitutional authority to issue his impulsive ultimata?

Are we really required to go to war to get the egg off Obama’s face?

Not since the War of Jenkins’ Ear has there been a dumber cause for a great country to go to war. Is there no way out?

There is, and it’s right in front of us.

The House, Senate or both can vote no on the war resolution, and Obama can then say, as did David Cameron, that, while he disagrees, he respects the decision of a Congress in which the Constitution placed sole authority to authorize America’s going to war.

Are Brits now crying “catastrophe!”? Do the Spanish no longer think the Brits will defend Gibraltar? Is Britain now wholly non-credible to the world?

For Obama, and for us, it is the other options that invite catastrophe.

If, for example, the House or Senate votes down the war resolution and Obama, without authorization from Congress, the Security Council, NATO or the Arab League plunges us into a new war this nation does not want to fight, he will be courting a geostrategic and political disaster.

Even if Congress approves a war resolution, the president should think long and hard about diving into a war he sought to avoid and stayed out of for over two years. Make no mistake; if Obama attacks Syria, be it for hours or days, we are in that blood-soaked abattoir for the duration.

In his dramatic statement Saturday, as politically astute as it was constitutionally correct, Obama called Syria “someone else’s war.”

Whose war? It is Shia Alawite vs. Sunni, Muslim vs. Christian, Kurd vs. Arab, Islamist vs. secularist. Backing Bashar Assad are Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. Backing the rebels are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states, al-Qaida, foreign jihadists and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

Assad is accused of killing 100,000 people. But that is the total of the dead in a civil war Assad has as much right to fight as the rebels. While his army is accused of using gas on civilians, the Islamist rebels have murdered Christians, massacred captives and engaged in public acts of cannibalism on dead Syrian soldiers.

Gas is a sickening weapon. Yet, there is no evidence thus far that Assad ordered its use. Rebel elements are said to have been found with sarin. As for Americans who tend to prefer white phosphorus, napalm and cluster bombs, upon what lofty moral ground do we stand?

Have we forgotten that Churchill wanted to drop anthrax on Germany and settled for two days of firebombing the defenseless city of Dresden? Or that our great friend Anwar Sadat was the confidante of Gamal Abdel Nasser when Egypt was using poison gas on Yemeni tribesmen?

The United States does not have any national security interest in Syria’s war. Why would we then launch missile attacks to “degrade” Assad’s military, when that army and air force are all that stands between us and a privileged sanctuary for al-Qaida in northern Syria, not unlike what al-Qaida had in Tora Bora and Waziristan.

We are told that if we do not strike Syria – making good on Obama’s threats – Israel, Turkey and even Japan and South Korea will not be able to trust us ever again.

What nonsense. We have treaties with Japan and South Korea. As for Turkey and Israel, if what is happening in Syria is outrageous and dangerous, why do they not act? Why do they keep tugging at our sleeve?

The Israeli Air force is five minutes from Damascus, its army a two-day march. The Turks have three times Syria’s population and a 400,000-man army equipped with NATO weapons. Together, they could invade and turn the tide in a week. Why do they not man up?

McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham came out of the Oval Office saying Obama was open to wider strikes on Syria and more lethal support for the rebels. As Iran, Hezbollah and Russia would then upgrade their own weapons shipments to Damascus, this will mean more dead, more wounded, more tens of thousands fleeing into exile and a longer war.

But what it will likely end with, after America is dragooned in, is a U.S. war with Iran; our allies, sitting in their box seats, cheering us on.

And that is the dog you will not hear bark in the war-on-Syria debate.

Rand Paul’s message to Evangelicals: There’s a war on Christianity

Rand PaulRand Paul’s Message To Evangelicals: “There is a war on Christianity.”

Senator Rand Paul, who is seriously considering running for President of the United States, told a conservative Christian audience today that, “There is a war on Christianity” being waged by “liberal elites’ and “worldwide as well.

Read his remarks below, delivered at today’s Faith and Freedom Coalition luncheon in DC. The organization’s big “Road to Majority” event starts today and runs through Saturday. Jeb Bush, sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and many others are speaking in the next couple days.

Rand Paul has been actively courting the conservative Christian community for months. He took a trip to Israel which was organized by influential evangelical organizer David Lane and has been speaking to Christian audiences in key GOP Primary states. He will speak to hundreds of Iowa pastors next month in Des Moines. The Brody File also knows of plenty of private events he has done within the Christian community.

Rand Paul has quite a bit going for him if he makes a run. His libertarian views give him distinct crossover appeal but, in addition as a committed pro-life believer in Jesus Christ he can court evangelicals in a a way that doesn’t look like pandering. Plus, he’s super smart which not only gives the Tea Party more credibility as a movement but allows Paul to get a serious look from the shark-infested waters filled with mainstream media members. He should NOT be underestimated.

Senator Rand Paul’s Remarks below:

“Last year in Pakistan, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for being a girl and for wanting to go to school.

If you haven’t seen the YouTube videow of Malala being interviewed on national television, speaking out for the education of girls, watch and you will be amazed at her poise and grace.

Malala never met the great Urdu poet Parveen Shakir, who grew up in Pakistan when women could become highly educated and even Prime Minister.
This line from one of Shakir’s poems reminds me of Malala:

“They insist upon evaluating the firefly in daylight. The children of our age, have grown clever.”

Why would anyone want to kill this innocent young girl? Because Malala, in her young life, insisted on exposing the firefly to daylight.

Her “crime,” as seen by the Taliban, is to believe in enlightenment, to believe that out of the darkness a flicker of tolerance can glow and grow to overcome ignorance.

Americans are seen by Pakistanis as infidels and invaders. We will not in a thousand years bring enlightenment to Pakistan, only Pakistan can do that.

When Pakistan begins to police Pakistan better, when girls who long for nothing but freedom and education are embraced — rather than gunned down by murderous thugs — then will progress finally be made.

My heart breaks for Malala and her family. It breaks for all those who suffer under violent oppression in the name of religion. It breaks for those who cannot grow up to be poets and teachers, but mostly it breaks for those who cannot speak without being gunned down by extremists.

I can only hope that the violence done to her will motivate those who believe in both Islam and peace and tolerance to stand unanimously and proclaim this violence does not represent them. That the Taliban does not represent them. That gunning down children in cold blood does not please their God.

The violence and intolerance against girls is also directed toward Christians. It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.

It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death for blasphemy against Islam, countries that put to death Muslims who convert to Christianity, and countries who imprison anyone who marries outside their religion.

There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.

And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.

You are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened with death for their beliefs.

In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian, sits on death row. Her crime, according to her, is that she dared to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim co-worker.

According to her co-workers, she insulted the Prophet. In our country, we refer to such quibbling as gossip. In Pakistan, if you are a Christian, it can land you on death row.

Recently, in Pakistan, a 12-year-old with Downs syndrome was imprisoned and charged with a death penalty crime for burning the Koran.

After weeks she was released after a local Imam was accused of actually sprinkling pages from an Arabic book into a fire near the little girl.

Dr. Shakil Afridi is not a Christian but his imprisonment by Pakistan is nonetheless an injustice. He was tortured and held without charge for nearly a year.

He was shackled with his hands behind his back for months and he was finally imprisoned, likely for the rest of his life for the crime of helping America get Bin Laden.

How do your leaders respond? 90 % of them voted against my bill that would have put restrictions on this aid.

My bill said that Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan would get no more foreign aid from the US taxpayer unless they turned over the assassins that killed our ambassador, pledged and verified that they CAN and WILL protect our embassies, and in the case of Pakistan they must release Dr. Afridi.

Overwhelmingly, I was voted down. Is it any wonder that Congress has a 10% approval rating? In Egypt, in Pakistan, they burn our flag—I say not one penny more to countries that burn the American flag!

Even when we’ve tried through good intentions to make the world a better place our actions have often backfired.

During the Iraq War, over a quarter-million Iraqi Christians fled Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator but his government was secular and therefore relatively safe for Christians. Christians, however, feared the Shiite government that we helped put in place after Saddam, and they fled in droves.

Where did these Christians go? They headed mostly for Syria, joining the over one million Syrians who have lived as Christians since the time of Christ.

Now, the senate is attempting to arm the rebel forces in syria, many of whom are al quaeda or affiliates.   they do so out of a miguided attempt to stop the violence in syria.

Instead their actions will bring more violence and more persecution of Christians, who have long been protected in Syria.

Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.

Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run—persecuted or under fire—and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.

While they burn the American flag and the mobs chant Death to America, more of your money is sent to these haters of Christianity.

Even if all the atrocities to Christians were not occurring in these countries, we simply don’t have the money to engage in this foolishness. We must borrow the money from China to send it to Pakistan.

While American soldiers spent a decade fighting to liberate Iraq and while American taxpayers have sent roughly $470 million each year in aid, Christians in Iraq are the subjects of what Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors, describes as “religicide.”

Before the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Mosul, a city in Iraq, was home to some 75,000 Christians, but now the number has dropped to around 25,000.

Christian homes are set on fire, bombs are being placed in their cars and Christian families are receiving letters threatening them to leave Iraq or be kidnapped or killed.

American soldiers have also risked their lives for the sake of these countries liberation. Our young men and women have fought for a noble cause but the law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving one.

These countries are not our true allies and no amount of money will make them so. They are not allies of Israel and I fear one day our money and military arms that we have paid for will be used against Israel.

This fight has made me unpopular in Washington but I am willing to risk unpopularity with politicians to do what I am convinced is right.

The new leader of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, he stood by when a radical cleric said a prayer for the destruction of Israel and her supporters in his presence.

Actually, it is worse, he did not just stand by, he was seen to mouth the word “Amen” as the cleric said these words of hatred.

How does your government respond?

The bipartisan consensus in Washington vows to increase Egypt’s funding. The President is currently requesting a billion dollar increase in aid to Egypt.

This is an outrage! It is amazing that so many in Washington fail to see who the real enemies are. We should immediately stop sending F-16’s and tanks to Egypt!

It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.

When Pope John Paul II spoke about a “culture of death,” he talked about “a war of the powerful against the weak.”

As Christians, we know we must always stand with the most defenseless. I believe that no civilization can long endure that does not respect life from those not yet born to life’s last breath.

I am the sponsor of a life are conception act in the senate, and I will stand up for unborn children as long as I am privileged to be in office.

These days Christians are often unified in our defense of the not yet born but I exhort you to remember the 19-year-olds who are sent into battle.

War is not a game or a sport and any politician who speaks of pre-emptive war with gleeful bravado should not be leading any nation.

As we sit here, our brave troops risk their lives, serving our country with faithfulness and honor. They endure harsh conditions, loneliness and great danger. I pray for their safe return each day and I pray for an end to the war.

I can recall no utterance of Jesus in favor of war or any acts of aggression. In fact, his message to his disciples was one of non-resistance. I do not believe that means that we don’t defend ourselves.

I believe individuals and countries can and should defend themselves. But I simply can’t imagine Jesus at the head of any army of soldiers and I think as Christians we need to be wary of the doctrine of pre-emptive war.

We must and should stand with our fellow Christians in the Middle East and around the world—but that does not necessarily mean war and it certainly does not mean arming sides in every conflict.

Jesus, himself, reminds us of this in the Sermon on the Mount, when he proclaims, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Today, we have a culture that accepts the wanton disposal of millions of innocent children, and sends aid to countries that persecute Christians. . . . . I, for one, will not rest until this injustice ends.

As Christians, we understand that the right to life, and freedom of religion, pre-exist all government. These rights are not granted to man by other men, these rights are granted to us by our Creator.

God, help us in these troubling times to make wise decisions, to make moral decisions, and to listen to the voice of God that lives and breathes and resides in us all. Amen.”

“There is a war on Christianity.”- Rand Paul

Rand PaulRand Paul’s Message To Evangelicals: “There is a war on Christianity.”

Senator Rand Paul, who is seriously considering running for President of the United States, told a conservative Christian audience today that, “There is a war on Christianity” being waged by “liberal elites’ and “worldwide as well.

Read his remarks below, delivered at today’s Faith and Freedom Coalition luncheon in DC. The organization’s big “Road to Majority” event starts today and runs through Saturday. Jeb Bush, sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and many others are speaking in the next couple days.

Rand Paul has been actively courting the conservative Christian community for months. He took a trip to Israel which was organized by influential evangelical organizer David Lane and has been speaking to Christian audiences in key GOP Primary states. He will speak to hundreds of Iowa pastors next month in Des Moines. The Brody File also knows of plenty of private events he has done within the Christian community.

Rand Paul has quite a bit going for him if he makes a run. His libertarian views give him distinct crossover appeal but, in addition as a committed pro-life believer in Jesus Christ he can court evangelicals in a a way that doesn’t look like pandering. Plus, he’s super smart which not only gives the Tea Party more credibility as a movement but allows Paul to get a serious look from the shark-infested waters filled with mainstream media members. He should NOT be underestimated.

Senator Rand Paul’s Remarks below:

“Last year in Pakistan, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban for being a girl and for wanting to go to school.

If you haven’t seen the YouTube videow of Malala being interviewed on national television, speaking out for the education of girls, watch and you will be amazed at her poise and grace.

Malala never met the great Urdu poet Parveen Shakir, who grew up in Pakistan when women could become highly educated and even Prime Minister.
This line from one of Shakir’s poems reminds me of Malala:

“They insist upon evaluating the firefly in daylight. The children of our age, have grown clever.”

Why would anyone want to kill this innocent young girl? Because Malala, in her young life, insisted on exposing the firefly to daylight.

Her “crime,” as seen by the Taliban, is to believe in enlightenment, to believe that out of the darkness a flicker of tolerance can glow and grow to overcome ignorance.

Americans are seen by Pakistanis as infidels and invaders. We will not in a thousand years bring enlightenment to Pakistan, only Pakistan can do that.

When Pakistan begins to police Pakistan better, when girls who long for nothing but freedom and education are embraced — rather than gunned down by murderous thugs — then will progress finally be made.

My heart breaks for Malala and her family. It breaks for all those who suffer under violent oppression in the name of religion. It breaks for those who cannot grow up to be poets and teachers, but mostly it breaks for those who cannot speak without being gunned down by extremists.

I can only hope that the violence done to her will motivate those who believe in both Islam and peace and tolerance to stand unanimously and proclaim this violence does not represent them. That the Taliban does not represent them. That gunning down children in cold blood does not please their God.

The violence and intolerance against girls is also directed toward Christians. It saddens me to see countries that are supposedly our allies persecute Christians.

It angers me to see my tax dollars supporting regimes that put Christians to death for blasphemy against Islam, countries that put to death Muslims who convert to Christianity, and countries who imprison anyone who marries outside their religion.

There is a war on Christianity, not just from liberal elites here at home, but worldwide.

And your government, or more correctly, you, the taxpayer, are funding it.

You are being taxed to send money to countries that are not only intolerant of Christians but openly hostile. Christians are imprisoned and threatened with death for their beliefs.

In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, a Christian, sits on death row. Her crime, according to her, is that she dared to drink from a glass that belonged to a Muslim co-worker.

According to her co-workers, she insulted the Prophet. In our country, we refer to such quibbling as gossip. In Pakistan, if you are a Christian, it can land you on death row.

Recently, in Pakistan, a 12-year-old with Downs syndrome was imprisoned and charged with a death penalty crime for burning the Koran.

After weeks she was released after a local Imam was accused of actually sprinkling pages from an Arabic book into a fire near the little girl.

Dr. Shakil Afridi is not a Christian but his imprisonment by Pakistan is nonetheless an injustice. He was tortured and held without charge for nearly a year.

He was shackled with his hands behind his back for months and he was finally imprisoned, likely for the rest of his life for the crime of helping America get Bin Laden.

How do your leaders respond? 90 % of them voted against my bill that would have put restrictions on this aid.

My bill said that Libya, Egypt, and Pakistan would get no more foreign aid from the US taxpayer unless they turned over the assassins that killed our ambassador, pledged and verified that they CAN and WILL protect our embassies, and in the case of Pakistan they must release Dr. Afridi.

Overwhelmingly, I was voted down. Is it any wonder that Congress has a 10% approval rating? In Egypt, in Pakistan, they burn our flag—I say not one penny more to countries that burn the American flag!

Even when we’ve tried through good intentions to make the world a better place our actions have often backfired.

During the Iraq War, over a quarter-million Iraqi Christians fled Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator but his government was secular and therefore relatively safe for Christians. Christians, however, feared the Shiite government that we helped put in place after Saddam, and they fled in droves.

Where did these Christians go? They headed mostly for Syria, joining the over one million Syrians who have lived as Christians since the time of Christ.

Now, the senate is attempting to arm the rebel forces in syria, many of whom are al quaeda or affiliates.   they do so out of a miguided attempt to stop the violence in syria.

Instead their actions will bring more violence and more persecution of Christians, who have long been protected in Syria.

Before the Arab Spring, Christianity flourished in small outposts, like the Coptic Christians in Egypt. I had hoped that the Arab Spring would bring freedom to long-oppressed people throughout the Middle East, but I fear the Arab Spring is becoming an Arab winter.

Today, Christians in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria are on the run—persecuted or under fire—and yet, we continue to send aid to the folks chasing them.

While they burn the American flag and the mobs chant Death to America, more of your money is sent to these haters of Christianity.

Even if all the atrocities to Christians were not occurring in these countries, we simply don’t have the money to engage in this foolishness. We must borrow the money from China to send it to Pakistan.

While American soldiers spent a decade fighting to liberate Iraq and while American taxpayers have sent roughly $470 million each year in aid, Christians in Iraq are the subjects of what Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors, describes as “religicide.”

Before the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Mosul, a city in Iraq, was home to some 75,000 Christians, but now the number has dropped to around 25,000.

Christian homes are set on fire, bombs are being placed in their cars and Christian families are receiving letters threatening them to leave Iraq or be kidnapped or killed.

American soldiers have also risked their lives for the sake of these countries liberation. Our young men and women have fought for a noble cause but the law of unintended consequences is an unforgiving one.

These countries are not our true allies and no amount of money will make them so. They are not allies of Israel and I fear one day our money and military arms that we have paid for will be used against Israel.

This fight has made me unpopular in Washington but I am willing to risk unpopularity with politicians to do what I am convinced is right.

The new leader of Egypt is Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Recently, he stood by when a radical cleric said a prayer for the destruction of Israel and her supporters in his presence.

Actually, it is worse, he did not just stand by, he was seen to mouth the word “Amen” as the cleric said these words of hatred.

How does your government respond?

The bipartisan consensus in Washington vows to increase Egypt’s funding. The President is currently requesting a billion dollar increase in aid to Egypt.

This is an outrage! It is amazing that so many in Washington fail to see who the real enemies are. We should immediately stop sending F-16’s and tanks to Egypt!

It is clear that American taxpayer dollars are being used to enable a war on Christianity in the Middle East and I believe that must end.

When Pope John Paul II spoke about a “culture of death,” he talked about “a war of the powerful against the weak.”

As Christians, we know we must always stand with the most defenseless. I believe that no civilization can long endure that does not respect life from those not yet born to life’s last breath.

I am the sponsor of a life are conception act in the senate, and I will stand up for unborn children as long as I am privileged to be in office.

These days Christians are often unified in our defense of the not yet born but I exhort you to remember the 19-year-olds who are sent into battle.

War is not a game or a sport and any politician who speaks of pre-emptive war with gleeful bravado should not be leading any nation.

As we sit here, our brave troops risk their lives, serving our country with faithfulness and honor. They endure harsh conditions, loneliness and great danger. I pray for their safe return each day and I pray for an end to the war.

I can recall no utterance of Jesus in favor of war or any acts of aggression. In fact, his message to his disciples was one of non-resistance. I do not believe that means that we don’t defend ourselves.

I believe individuals and countries can and should defend themselves. But I simply can’t imagine Jesus at the head of any army of soldiers and I think as Christians we need to be wary of the doctrine of pre-emptive war.

We must and should stand with our fellow Christians in the Middle East and around the world—but that does not necessarily mean war and it certainly does not mean arming sides in every conflict.

Jesus, himself, reminds us of this in the Sermon on the Mount, when he proclaims, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

Today, we have a culture that accepts the wanton disposal of millions of innocent children, and sends aid to countries that persecute Christians. . . . . I, for one, will not rest until this injustice ends.

As Christians, we understand that the right to life, and freedom of religion, pre-exist all government. These rights are not granted to man by other men, these rights are granted to us by our Creator.

God, help us in these troubling times to make wise decisions, to make moral decisions, and to listen to the voice of God that lives and breathes and resides in us all. Amen.”

Obama compares personal liberty to dirty dishes

DIRTY DISHES

Obama: Americans Not Trusting NSA Is Like Michelle Not Trusting I Did The Dishes

August 9, 2013 by 

President Barack Obama held an hour-long press conference Friday, addressing reporters’ questions about a range of issues. But the main focus of the event was the ongoing controversy over the National Security Agency’s spying on American citizens.

The President announced a handful of modest steps he claims his Administration is taking to alleviate public concerns about the surveillance agency’s activities, including working with lawmakers to ensure better Congressional oversight and possible changes to the process the government uses to justify data collection.

“I’m also mindful of how these issues are viewed overseas because American leadership around the world depends upon the example of American democracy and American openness,” Obama said from the White House. “In other words, it’s not enough for me, as president, to have confidence in these programs. The American people need to have confidence in them, as well.”

Obama vowed that he intends to work on ways to tighten a provision of the Patriot Act – known as Section 215 – that allows the government to obtain business phone data records.  The President also suggested that his Administration would organize a panel of outsiders comprised of former intelligence officials, civil liberty and privacy advocates to review surveillance programs and suggest changes.

Rejecting the idea that NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a patriot, the President said that his Administration had already called for a review of the Nation’s surveillance practices in May. But, the President said that “there’s no doubt that Mr. Snowden’s leaks triggered a much more rapid, and passionate, response than if I had simply appointed this review board.”

Obama went on to insist that the NSA programs “are operating in a way that prevents abuse,” even without the reforms he announced.

“The question is,” Obama said, “how do I make the American people more comfortable?”

The President continued with an analogy, “If I tell Michelle that I did the dishes–now, granted, in the White House I don’t do the dishes that much, but back in the day–and she’s a little skeptical. Well, I’d like her to trust me, but maybe I need to bring her back and show her the dishes and not just have to take my word for it.”

Obama said that if the American people “examined exactly what has taken place, how it has been used, what the safeguards were,” that there would be no concern.

Why Christians Should Be Speaking Up about the Surveillance State

NSA Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah

Why Christians Should Be Speaking Up about the Surveillance State

Government Overreach, Compliant Christians, and the Founding Fathers |

Ed Stetzer

Many Early American Christians Had a More Healthy Suspicion Regarding Government and Liberty

It is important to note that we have, for example, a First Amendment in the Bill of Rights because free-church Christians (Baptists, to be specific) said that the government should not be trusted to guard the rights of the individual– those rights had to be enumerated, so that freedom and liberty could be protected.

Actually (and ironically), some of the Founding Fathers were concerned that by listing the “rights” in these “bills,” some might assume that these were the only rights, when there were many more. Regardless, they added these rights, which were generally a non-issue for many years– until they were tested many years later and the Bill or Rights became more prominent.

While Big Brother’s eyes grow stronger, some Christians just shut their eyes tighter.

The Founding Fathers chose to enumerate such rights and protections because they knew that governments, left unrestricted, would abuse power– so they assumed such abuses of power not because they were paranoid, but because they were wise. Good people said this would never happen– but they rejected assurances from good people because they knew people weren’t inherently good– and power must always have limits.

Our Founding Fathers saw the Bill of Rights as providing barriers against government overreach and abuse.

People (particularly people in governments with power) could not be trusted to have no checks on their power. Why? Well, some of it had to do with history. For example, a bill of rights was an English concept preceeding the American experiment. But, some of those colonists held the view because of biblical convictions about fallen nature and the need to protect rights that some might want to take away.

By Sean Sullivan, Published: June 18, 2013 at 11:32 amE-mail the writer

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander, second from right, testifies on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander, second from right, testifies on Capitol Hill Tuesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Intelligence officials said Tuesday that the government’s sweeping surveillance efforts have helped thwart “potential terrorist events” more than 50 times since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and the officials detailed two new examples to illustrate the utility of the programs.

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, officials cited a nascent plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange and a case involving an individual providing financial support to an overseas terrorist group.

“In recent years, these programs, together with other intelligence, have protected the U.S. and our allies from terrorist threats across the globe to include helping prevent the terrorist — the potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11,” National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander told the committee.

He said at least 10 of the plots targeted the United States.

FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce said Tuesday that a provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act helped officials monitor a “known extremist in Yemen” who was in contact with an individual in the United States. The information led to disruption of the New York Stock Exchange plot, Joyce said.

Joyce also said that the use of a FISA business record provision helped officials with an investigation involving an individual who was communicating with an overseas terrorist.

“The NSA, using the business record FISA, tipped us off that this individual had indirect contacts with a known terrorist overseas,” said Joyce. “We were able to reopen this investigation, identify additional individuals through a legal process and were able to disrupt this terrorist activity.”

“So that’s four cases total that we have put out publicly,” Alexander said Tuesday.

The Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper recently revealed the sweeping Internet and telephone surveillance techniques the NSA has utilized in recent years.

Mario’s Note:

Here is what they told you today:

1. “Take our word for it we are not going to listen to your conversations.  We are not going to use it against you.  We now know that they did listen to our conversations and read our emails.

Fact: House Intelligence Committee officials have confirmed that they’re totally free to rifle through your data without a court order. As long as they think they might have a reason to be suspicious—any reason will do!—they’re free to go nuts.

2.  We foiled terrorist plots because of this program.

Fact: They didn’t stop the Boston Bombings, even though those people had expired visas and were using cell phones to communicate. And the police state enforced with warrantless house searches after the shootout in Watertown didn’t catch the suspect either. It was only when the curfew was lifted that the guy was found hiding in the boat.  All this was done in the name of security and safety.

3. We must obtain search warrants from the judges of the FISA court.

Confirmed: Court “Oversight” of NSA Surveillance Is a Total Joke:  The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court has been defanged.  When asked, “Is the FISA court a rubber stamp?” NSA chief says no, but in the last two years, they’ve approved 4,000 orders, with zero rejections.

Here is what they are not saying:

Like him or hate Edward Snowden uncovered a dangerous threat to our privacy and freedom

Who is going to protect us from Obama?  The Patriot Act might work if our President was a patriot.  This is what you need to consider:  The Obama Factor.   He is partisan, vindictive and aloof when it comes to information.  Eric Holder is beholden to Obama.  We already have proof through the scandals of the IRS, Benghazi and Fast and Furious, Spying on news Reporters , that the Obama administration will violate the Constitution if they feel threatened.

 Terrorism must not become the latest excuse to expand the spying power of a runaway president.  We must speak up before we lose all of our freedom.  Christians must speak out.

 

European firms ‘could quit US internet providers over NSA scandal’

wrecking ball insert copy

European firms ‘could quit US internet providers over NSA scandal’

European commission vice-president says American cloud services providers could suffer loss of business.

Neelie Kroes

Neelie Kroes, European commissioner for digital matters, who said: ‘If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now.’ Photograph: Yves Logghe/AP

European businesses are likely to abandon the services of Americaninternet providers because of the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, the European commission has warned.

Neelie Kroes, the commission vice-president who speaks on digital affairs, predicted that providers of cloud services, which allow users to store and access data on remote servers, could suffer significant loss of business if clients fear the security of their material is under threat.

The warning came as it appeared that the Americans and the Europeans were to start investigating alleged breaches of data privacy in the EU as well as US intelligence and espionage practices.

Despite threats from France to delay long-awaited EU-US negotiations on a new transatlantic free trade pact, scheduled to open in Washington on Monday, EU ambassadors in Brussels reached a consensus on Thursday to go ahead with the talks.

They could not yet agree, however, on how to respond to a US offer of parallel talks on the NSA scandal, the Prism and Tempora programmes and issues of more traditional espionage arising from reports of how US agencies bugged and tapped the offices and embassies of the EU and several member states.

Dalia Grybauskaitė, the president of Lithuania, said on Thursday that she was not seeking an apology from the Americans. Lithuania takes over the rotating six-month EU presidency this week.

While no decision had yet been taken, she said she hoped the EU-US talks on electronic surveillance would also be launched on Monday and run concurrently. Since much of the alleged US hoovering up of telephone and internet traffic in Europe is assumed to amount to commercial and industrial espionage, the two parallel sets of talks will affect one another.

Senior EU officials complain that there is no point engaging in sensitive trade talks when the other side has already eavesdropped on you and knows your negotiating position.

Grybauskaitė emphasised that the American side was keen to come clean on the dispute.

“They are open to co-operation. They are open to explain,” she said. “I never seek an apology from anyone. I seek information … We don’t want to jeopardise the strategic importance of free trade.”

Pointing to the potential fallout from the disclosures about the scale ofNSA operations in Europe, Kroes, the European commissioner for digital matters, predicted that US internet providers of cloud services could suffer major business losses.

“If businesses or governments think they might be spied on, they will have less reason to trust cloud, and it will be cloud providers who ultimately miss out. Why would you pay someone else to hold your commercial or other secrets if you suspect or know they are being shared against your wishes?” she said.

“It is often American providers that will miss out, because they are often the leaders in cloud services. If European cloud customers cannot trust the United States government, then maybe they won’t trust US cloud providers either. If I am right, there are multibillion-euro consequences for American companies. If I were an American cloud provider, I would be quite frustrated with my government right now.”

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the European commission and Grybauskaitė made clear they wanted the trade talks to go ahead as planned on Monday. France appeared to drop its objections despite previously insisting on guarantees that the espionage had been halted before the trade talks could start.

Grybauskaitė also voiced suspicions of a possible Russian role in the furore, pointing to Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, being stuck in Moscow at the same time as weekend revelations about US spying on Europe emerged in the runup to the trade talks.

She insisted that the espionage dispute should not be allowed to derail the trade talks but conceded that “some countries are very sensitive on this question.” The Lithuanian finance minister, Rimantas Šadžius, said: “The French have some problems.”

EU diplomats said ambassadors from the 28 member states engaged in “urgent and tricky” discussions on Thursday on how to proceed. While the European commission would lead the EU side on issues of data privacy, the talks on intelligence and espionage practices would need to be done by national governments.

It was not clear where Britain fitted into the picture since it is one of the biggest EU countries but has not been targeted by the NSA, unlike Germany or France, according to the reports, and the UK’s GCHQ has itself been collecting vast quantities of European internet and telephone data.

Kroes warned that US firms could be the biggest losers from the US government’s voracious appetite for information.

“Concerns about cloud security can easily push European policy-makers into putting security guarantees ahead of open markets, with consequences for American companies. Cloud has a lot of potential. But potential doesn’t count for much in an atmosphere of distrust.”