Please DO NOT Be My Valentine!

Please DO NOT Be My Valentine!

Index Open/PT

Should true Christians not observe a day devoted to a “saint”?

Is there anything wrong with Valentine’s Day? Because there is no biblical basis for its observance, we must look to secular history to determine its origin.

Centuries before Christ, the Romans celebrated the evenings of February 14 and 15 as an idolatrous and sensuous festival in honor of Lupercus, the “hunter of wolves.” They called it “Lupercalia.” The custom of exchanging valentines and all the other traditions in honor of Lupercus—the deified hero-hunter of Rome—was also linked anciently with the pagan practice of teenagers “going steady,” usually leading to fornication. This, according to the Encyclopedia American article titled “St. Valentines Day,” closely parallels today’s societal decline.

When Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire, there was much talk of doing away with the pagan free-for-all, but the Roman citizens would not hear of it. Only the more grossly sensual observances were toned down. By Pope Gelasius’s reign, the holiday had become a “Christian” custom appropriating the name St. Valentine in place of Lupercus (Lavinia Dobler, Customs and Holidays Around the World).

Valentine, or Lupercus, the hunter, was none other than “the mighty Hunter” Nimrod (Genesis 10:9). But why would the Romans set aside a day in his honor, albeit under a different name, St. Valentine? The word valentine comes from the Latin word valentinus derived from the word valens meaning “to be strong,” according to Webster’s Dictionary. Literally implying “strong, powerful, mighty,” Nimrod was their hero—their strong man—their valentine! Other names for Nimrod from the Greeks, Phoenicians and Semites confirm this.

An interesting point is that hearts were associated with honoring Nimrod. In the Babylonian tongue, the word for heart was bal (see Young’s or Strong’s Concordance). The heart—bal—was merely a symbol of Nimrod—the Baal or Lord of the Babylonians!

Another name for Nimrod is Saturn, a Latin word derived from the Semitic-speaking Babylonians meaning, “be hid, hide self, secret, conceal.” According to ancient tradition, Saturn (Nimrod) fled to the mountains of Italy and even briefly hid where Rome would later be built. Rome’s name, before it was rebuilt in 753 b.c., was Saturnia—the site of Saturn’s hiding. There he was found and slain for his crimes. Later, “Christians” made Nimrod a saint and continued to honor him under the name of a “Christian” martyr.

Nimrod—Baal or sun god of the ancient pagans—was said to have been born at the winter solstice, which anciently occurred on January 6, not December 25. It was the custom for the mother of a male child to present herself for purification on the 40th day after the day of birth. Forty days takes us to February 15, the celebration of which began on the evening of February 14—the Lupercalia, or St. Valentine’s Day. Semiramis, the mother of Nimrod, was said to have been purified and to have appeared for the first time in public with her son as the original “mother and child.”

The Roman month of February derives its name from the “februa,” which the Roman priests used in rites celebrated on St. Valentine’s Day. The “februa” were thongs made from the skins of sacrificial animals with which they struck women in order to take away their infertility.

Cupid, meaning “desire,” resulted from Semiramis lusting after her own son Nimrod, and as monuments in ancient Egypt bear out, she may have even married him. Later, as he grew up, Nimrod became the child-hero of many women who desired him. Daniel calls him the “desire of women” (Daniel 11:37). Ezekiel says that he provoked so many women to jealousy that an idol of him was often called the “image of jealousy” (Ezekiel 8:5).

As we can see, the observance of Valentine’s Day is rooted in pagan traditions. The celebration of Valentine’s Day is not commanded in the Bible. Rather, because it is based on the traditions of men, Christians should never participate in any of its abominable practices!

Russian Bombers Buzz U.S. Carrier

Russian Bombers Buzz U.S. Carrier

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Putin’s air force brings Cold War tactics back out of the box with another confrontation in the Pacific.

American fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers over the weekend, one of which buzzed a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, according to the Associated Press. The confrontation occurred in the western Pacific.

An anonymous U.S. military official provided AP with details of the incident, which is reportedly classified as secret. According to the source, one Russian Tu-95 bomber circled the nuclear-powered uss Nimitz aircraft carrier while the second crossed directly overhead at 2,000 feet, a low altitude, and then did so a second time.

The U.S. Navy, which had been tracking a total of four bombers launched from Ukrainka in the middle of the night, launched four f/a-18 fighters when the bombers came within 500 miles. The fighters intercepted the Russian planes 50 miles from the carrier. The source said that two American fighters followed the bomber on its runs at the Nimitz, and at least one trailed the second bomber. One of the other Tu-95s violated Japanese air space in a separate incident.

The Nimitz, powered by two nuclear reactors, displaces 95,000 tons, is 23 stories tall from keel to mast, and its 4.5-acre flight deck is 1,092 feet long. It carries up to 6,000 people.

Russian Tupolev 95 strategic long-range bombers have jet-level performance, with four turboprop engines driving 18-foot propellers mounted on a 164-foot wingspan. They can carry up to 20 tons of ordnance, including free-fall bombs, missiles or cruise missiles.

Washington has apparently not yet filed a diplomatic protest over the incident.

The Soviet Air Force, and Tu-95 bombers in particular, regularly tested America’s air defenses during the Cold War. Tu-95s have also been active more recently, with a number of fly-bys and fly-overs occurring since 2000. The last time a Tupolev flew over an American carrier was in January 2004 with the uss Kitty Hawk.

AP reports that relations between Moscow and Washington are at a Cold War low, largely over U.S. plans to install a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, “We are being forced to take retaliatory steps,” and has also said a new arms race is under way.

Watch Moscow continue to test its enemies as it rises to become a global power once again. For more on Russia’s future, read Russia and China in Prophecy.

Evaluating Israel’s Errors

Evaluating Israel’s Errors

PT

The long-awaited Winograd report is out, and Israel publicizes its failings before the world. What lessons does the Second Lebanon War teach?

The Winograd Commission was meant to evaluate Israel’s failings in the Second Lebanon War. Its final report did expose some head-shaking mistakes at the highest levels of the Israeli government and military.

But it did more. The report—and the reaction it garnered from politicians and press—also revealed dangerously diseased thinking among the Israeli elite that remains to this day.

While urging action to correct the mistakes made, this report exposed why the most important corrective actions will never be taken by this government.

That summer 2006 war was irreversibly devastating to Israel. It started when Hezbollah raided Israel, kidnapped two soldiers and killed eight others, then retreated to fortified positions in southern Lebanon and began a well-planned missile assault. Thirty-four days and 4,000 rockets later, a UN-imposed ceasefire quieted the landscape, cementing an achievement for this terrorist organization historically unique among all of Israel’s enemies. In Israel’s longest war since the War of Independence in 1948, Hezbollah had managed to survive.

The Jewish state’s first military defeat in its 60-year history exposed to all of Israel’s enemies just how weak the nation was. Its hard-earned aura of invincibility dissipated.

What caused the failure? Let us count the ways.

First is the fact that Hezbollah was bunkered down in Lebanon to begin with. The Winograd Commission rightly traced the war back to its roots: Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000. Israel evacuated to improve the prospects of peace, assuming the Lebanese Army would fill the vacuum it created. Bad assumption. Instead, Hezbollah filled it, funded and trained by Iran and Syria.

This history supplies a huge lesson—and sadly, Israel has yet to learn it: Vacating territory and expecting other people to keep terrorists out is a disaster. Gaza teaches the same painful message. Still, Israeli leaders talk about this strategy as if it might work if only they give it a try.

Now, however, they’re running out of territory to retreat from. The West Bank and Jerusalem head the list.

Once Hezbollah initiated the conflict, Winograd confirms, mistakes proliferated. The report paints a disturbing picture of leaders out of their depth, making hasty, misinformed and ill-advised decisions.

Winograd’s interim report, issued last April and which the final report endorses, made a point worth considering. After Hezbollah’s provocation, Israeli leaders quickly decided upon a strong military response. They launched a vigorous but flawed air campaign that 1) failed to dislodge Hezbollah’s entrenchments or even slow the rain of rockets into northern Israel, and 2) generated a lot of globally unpopular footage of bombed-out Lebanese population centers. The worst of all possible outcomes.

The Winograd report condemned the government for hastily choosing force and failing to consider “the whole range of options.” By “whole range,” it meant all of those options involving less force or no force—the assumption being that Israel’s response was too strong and that it unnecessarily escalated the conflict. The report called the government’s declared goals “too ambitious.” Then, to make matters worse, Israeli leaders didn’t give the military sufficient tools to complete those declared goals.

Consider this. The trouble of “too ambitious” war aims hampered by inadequate means to fulfill them also plagues the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. The real problem, however, is not the gap between war-making requirements and war-making capability. It is the gap between what these fundamentally pacifist nations are willing to do in pursuit of victory, and what victory actually requires. Political correctness, “just war theory,” a desire to avoid the criticism of the international community—these factors blunt the instruments of war and put true victory out of reach.

Winograd wisdom suggests that the answer, when an entity like Hezbollah declares war, is to simply dial back the goals. Don’t be “too ambitious.”

The truth of the matter—completely ignored during the war and even to this day—is that Hezbollah was not the true enemy. To call any goal of striking Hezbollah and claiming victory “too ambitious” overlooks the reality that hostile enemy nations were equipping and directing that terrorist group. Those nations were who really declared war on Israel.

In the declassified public report at least, Winograd doesn’t once mention Iran. Neither does it mention Syria.

In that way, the report mirrors the Israeli war itself. It was carried out with perfect myopia, treating Hezbollah as an independent organization unconnected to any forces outside southern Lebanon.

Naturally, there were compelling reasons for this choice: namely, that Israel is deathly afraid and utterly lacks the will to wage a war with Iran.

Tehran’s use of Hezbollah as a proxy offered Israel the pretext it needed to avoid that prospect. But proof that Iran was behind Hezbollah was plenteous. Teams of its Revolutionary Guard Corps had regularly visited to train them; Iran had flooded southern Lebanon with rockets and missiles; the day before the war began, a top Hezbollah official met the head of Syrian military intelligence and the Iranian national security adviser in Damascus; the timing of the attack took UN pressure off Iran for its nuclear program; Guard Corps numbers swelled after the war started; an Iranian-operated missile struck an Israeli Navy missile boat—and so on. Yet aside from a few whiny remarks from U.S. officials, no one held Iran accountable for starting a war.

And to this day, after 17 months of reflection, the committee tasked with assessing the reasons for Israel’s failures ignores Iran and blames the government for being “too ambitious” in its war goals.

As if to serve as an exclamation mark on this point, Tehran Times, which bills itself as Iran’s “leading international daily,” drew these conclusions from the report: “From a regional perspective, the Winograd Commission’s final report underlines the power of guerilla warfare in the struggle against the Zionist army.

“The report proved that Israel’s formidable war machine is extremely vulnerable to unconventional, guerilla and protracted warfare, a fact which has been ignored by the region’s military analysts. … Therefore, when confronting such an army, conventional warfare should be avoided and asymmetrical warfare strategies should be employed to exhaust it physically and psychologically.”

Given the weakened state Israel finds itself in today, it is hard to argue against the logic in those chilling words.

In the committee’s view, once Israel committed to using force it had two main options: deal a quick, painful blow to Hezbollah, or completely reshape southern Lebanon, “cleaning” it of Hezbollah’s infrastructure. Astoundingly, Israel never made the choice, and thus it lacked a cohesive war plan from the beginning. As it waffled, precious time passed, and the window for effectively carrying out either option closed.

Decision-makers were ill-informed and unqualified. Soldiers were ill-prepared. “Serious failings and flaws” plagued strategic thinking and planning by political and military leaders, the report says. “Severe failings and flaws” hampered defense of Israeli civilians.

Finally, Israel felt checkmated and put its faith in the international community to step in and bring the mess to a close.

Then, it was as the cease-fire was about to descend that Israel finally got around to staging a ground offensive. The timing was so clumsy that the quickly curtailed offensive served only to increase Israelis’ frustration and discouragement as 33 of their soldiers died without purpose.

“The overall image of the war was a result of a mixture of flawed conduct of the political and the military echelons and the interface between them, of flawed performance by the idf, and especially the ground forces, and of deficient Israeli preparedness,” the English summary of the report says. “At the end of the day, Israel did not gain a political achievement because of military successes; rather, it relied on a political agreement … [that] permitted it to stop a war which it had failed to win.” Thus, an ignominious end to a terribly executed war.

Hindsight confirms what events at the time already made plain enough: that subcontracting southern Lebanon to the United Nations was a debacle for Israel. International forces have done nothing to prevent Iran and Syria from rearming Hezbollah to levels greater than before the 2006 war—but they do prevent Israel from intervening. Another, perhaps even greater war appears imminent.

Ehud Olmert, however, seems safe—at least temporarily. Why? Caroline Glick noted that after Winograd’s interim report directly assigned blame to three individuals—Olmert, Amir Peretz (then defense minister), and Dan Halutz, the idf chief of staff—two of them, Peretz and Halutz, were forced to resign. “But Olmert held on and quietly conspired against his own committee,” she wrote, speaking of the fact that Olmert had commissioned the group to begin with. “With Olmert’s backing, the idf’s solicitor-general Col. Orna David repeatedly petitioned the Supreme Court and secured rulings prohibiting the Winograd Committee from recommending that Olmert or anyone else be compelled to resign for their dereliction of duty.”

Thus, it was no surprise that the final report took a circumspect approach toward the prime minister.

Still, the liberal press focused heavily the final report not singling out Olmert for blame, alleviating the pressure on him to step down.

Meanwhile, despite threats of departing Olmert’s coalition government and splintering his required majority in the Knesset, to this point other members of the government haven’t moved a muscle. Despite Ehud Olmert’s ruinous failures in that war and ever since, leading Israelis have simply closed ranks around him to protect him.

Why? Because if his coalition government falls apart, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes over.

In essence, Israel’s future sits poised between two options. Olmert wants to achieve peace through compromise. Netanyahu advocates a more confrontational approach toward terrorist enemies.

Liberal politicians, supported by liberal media—and at odds with much of the Israeli public—are firmly backing the first option.

This is dogged commitment to a rank lie. Every time the “peace process” has been pursued, it has produced disaster. In fact, it is biblically prophesied to be Israel’s undoing. Read our booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy to understand why.

But the inescapable reality, at this late stage, is that even a change to a Netanyahu government would not be sufficient to undo the damage that has been progressively done to the State of Israel over the 15 years since Oslo.

Israel desperately needs to put its hope in something more trustworthy.

Border Water Shortage Causes Conflict

Border Water Shortage Causes Conflict

Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images

The Texas-Mexico dispute over the Rio Grande’s water continues. What is the cause of this world’s water crises?

“Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over,” an old western saying goes. At least the last half of that statement is holding true as 40-plus Texan farmers, ranchers, and irrigation district officials ready themselves to take their incessant water war with Mexico to the next level.

The roots of the Texas-Mexican water dispute go back to the 1944 Mexican Water Treaty, which determined how water from the Colorado, Tijuana and Rio Grande drainage basins would be divided between Texas and Mexico. Article 4 of the treaty stipulates that one third of the water reaching the Rio Grande from the Conchos, San Diego, San Rodrigo, Escondido, Las Vacas Arroyo and Salado rivers is allotted to the United States. If this amount of water turns out to be less than 350,000 acre feet annually, however, Mexico is to make up the difference. In times of drought, an allowance is made for the Mexicans to pay their water debt at the end of a five-year cycle.

As compensation for this water debt, the United States delivers 1.5 million acre feet of water to Mexico annually from the Colorado River.

But currently, drought and overuse are sucking the Rio Grande dry. Meanwhile, the population of the Rio Grande valley has doubled from 1.1 million to 2.2 million since 1970. Mexico violated the water treaty and shorted the Texans on Rio Grande water from 1993 to 2002. This water shortage prompted the 40-plus Texan farmers, ranchers and irrigation district officials to sue the Mexican government for $500 million in damages.

Mexico finally made up its water debt in September 2005, but many Texan farmers are still worried about the future. “If Mexico doesn’t pay any penalty, it’s easier for them to do it again,” Ray Pruitt, president of Texas Citrus Mutual, said.

The Texans were denied a hearing by a North American Free Trade Agreement tribunal and ignored by Washington, and are appealing to a Canadian court to rule that nafta should hear their case.

This conflict portends a future of potential conflict between Mexico and the United States over water. The problem of diminishing rainfall in some parts of the region, in addition to a shrinking Rio Grande, will only be aggravated by growing demands for water by large population centers along both sides of the border.

A growing demand for water at a time when supplies are diminishing creates the perfect atmosphere for conflict. It wouldn’t be the first time water has been the source of conflict between two parties. After all, there isn’t a more precious commodity to human life than water.

God promises multiple times throughout the Bible that obedience to Him results in rain in due season, when and where it is needed. But today we see historic droughts gripping the southeastern United States and the Rio Grande Valley. At the same time, the Midwest and Great Lakes regions are beset by flooding.

God stated years ago that He would punish His people by sending rain in one city and withholding it in another if they turned away from Him (Amos 4:7). The only real answer to the border water war is returning to God and His way of life and receiving blessings from the only one who can control international weather.

Read “Flash Floods, Scorched Earth” to learn more about the cause of America’s weather problems and Mystery of the Ages to find out how to receive God’s blessings in your personal life.

Generation Gap

Generation Gap

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Incompetence justifies concealment, the lie is part of business strategy, cowardice is celebrated over courage, common sense is sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. What is the world coming to?

Reading the war diary of an Australian soldier who fought at Gallipoli presents an amazing contrast to today’s rudderless society.

A true bushman at heart like many of his compatriots, Ion Idriess, as a budding young author, wrote down his observations, thoughts and reactions amid the heat of battle in one of the bravest stands that soldiery have ever had to make in modern warfare. Idriess’s accounts of soldierly bravery and coolness in the face of battle present a spectacular contrast to Anglo-Saxon society today. The extent of sheer manliness, natural courage and the self-sacrificing initiative exhibited by those who fought on the impossible beachhead of Gallipoli is quite foreign to today’s self-indulgent generation.

The Turks who fought these British, Australian and New Zealand forces called the Australians “mad bushmen” for the tremendous risks they took in the face of Turkish fire. These Australian soldiers—the sons of pioneering bush stock, bred to the land, possessing the natural inventiveness of the farmer, accustomed to the instinct for self-preservation as well as looking out for one’s mate in strange territory, and natural horsemen to boot—quickly gained the respect of the enemy.

What is most profound in reading these real-time World War i accounts of a footslogging infantryman is the thread of sound common sense that runs through them. The examples of bravery that Idriess sets out in his memoir all bespeak sound, basic, self-possessed, cool-headed common sense in the midst of the chaos of bloody, terrifying warfare that carried the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) through to embedding their name in history.

This contrasts profoundly with the tremendous lack of common sense so prevalent today. Anglo-Saxon systems of education have whittled away at the young developing minds over the past half-century and more to produce a generation that lacks any semblance of a moral compass. The result is an approach to warfare that is but a cosseted version of that of their forefathers.

The image today is one of slack-jawed youth whose sole exercise is that which their two thumbs get playing the latest electronic game or texting their fellows in the banal language of the genre. It presents a contrast of extremes with the generation that grandfathered them and fought to guarantee them the freedoms they abuse so readily today.

A number of commentators have recently compared these days to the 1920s. At that time, gay abandon ruled in a libertine post-Great War society that had really thought the war to end all wars had been fought and that the League of Nations would enable sensible negotiation to peacefully resolve any future differences the nations might have.

As we know, that generation was severely tested by the shock of the greatest financial crash that modern Western society has ever known, to be followed by an even greater world war for which they were terribly ill prepared.

In addition to Ion Idriess’s memoir of the Great War, I have also recently read the views of a few other men who hail from the last generation that fought for the freedom of the world against the fanaticism of the tyrant in the 20th century. It is interesting to view today’s world through their eyes. That was the war of my father’s generation, World War ii. The views of these patriots of freedom cast a rapidly fading shadow over the society that has since emerged to face this disordered 21st century, even as the old soldiers who fought for our freedom fade away.

In January it was reported that in both France and Germany the last surviving World War i veterans of those nations died within a few days of each other. In November 2005, the last of the British World War i veterans died. Today, only one veteran of the Great War survives in the United States, one in Canada and one in Australia. The direct link between the “war to end all wars” and the 21st century is almost severed.

The youngest of World War ii veterans are now octogenarians. They have lived to witness schoolchildren in Britain thinking that Winston Churchill was a fictional character and, in Australia, a review board recommending that the Anzac history be cut from school history curricula.

Our last direct link with true victory in the global hot wars against tyranny—the last of the wars truly won by the Anglo-Saxon nations and their allies—is this generation who fought the enemy and triumphed 63 years ago.

Bryan Forbes, British film actor, screenwriter and director, who served in the Intelligence Corp of the British Army, commented recently, “My generation was the one, largely state-educated and reasonably literate, that fought in a war against acknowledged tyrannies to preserve basic and long-cherished freedoms. Since then what world have we been gradually forced to accept? A new religion of political correctness daily reaches fresh heights of idiocy, ignoring the fact that a society that willingly retreats from common sense is ultimately doomed” (Spectator, January 23).

An anonymous ditty making the rounds on the Worldwide Web ends in a requiem for common sense:

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.He is survived by his three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is to Blame, and I’m a Victim.Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

One wonders how the free world would have survived had the kaiser and the Ottomans been confronted by bands of troops who put their “human rights” first before God, king and country, who blamed their mates for giving their position away instead of joining them in offensive battle, or who claimed that their country had victimized them for a mistaken landing rather than fighting to glory at Gallipoli and going on to liberate Jerusalem.

Veterans such as Forbes marvel at what subsequent generations have done with the freedoms so hard won by that earlier generation’s combination of common sense, bravery, courage and willing self-sacrifice under Churchillian leadership.

The visionary leadership is gone. One just has to listen, if you can bear it, to the pitiful rhetoric spouted by both sides in the current American primaries. Hear the pathetic platitudes trotted out by this lot—all of them wanting to throw the public a bone by promising some semblance of withdrawal from battle against a fanatical enemy bent on destruction of the Anglo-Saxon infidel. Contrast those with the sweeping oratory of Churchill that motivated millions to give their all in battle be it on the home front or the front line, till victory was achieved and the enemy vanquished.

Visionary Churchillian leadership died out with the fading of his generation from the scene. And with that generation, also, it seems, died plain, simple common sense, an understanding of the virtues that underpin a civil society, together with our will to pursue the enemy in battle until it is vanquished.

In the age of common sense, one knew one’s duty. In the age of common sense, due deference was paid to those in authority. Though one might grumble at its imposition, responsibly directed authority was readily accepted, for it was understood that disrespect of that authority led to appropriate discipline, otherwise confusion would reign. These rules of civility were taught from the cradle in the age of common sense.

In the age of common sense, soldier and bravery were synonymous. One example Idriess gives of this common understanding, indeed, common spirit of courage that pervaded the Anzacs at Gallipoli during World War i, was the eagerness of the wounded to return to battle. His account of merrily returning to the front after the boredom of hospitalization recovering from war wounds reads, “We all know what to expect ahead of us. It was the old Australian spirit leaving Cairo and Alexandria yesterday. Yelling and cheering, laughing and joking at the least little thing. That is the spirit that will never die” (The Desert Column).

Sadly, that spirit certainly appears to be in the advanced stages of dying in this 21st century.

It was in the same old Anzac spirit that Australia’s conservative prime minister for the past 10 years, John Howard, promised President Bush that he would continue, and even add to, Australia’s troop commitment in Iraq. Howard was defeated by socialist Kevin Rudd in the November Australian election. One of the first decisions Rudd made was to renege on Australia’s promise to retain a troop presence in Iraq.

Contrast that earlier willingness of World War i soldiers to return to the fray with the attitude of a certain element in the American military today, as reported in the Boston Globe a few years ago. “U.S. soldiers in Kuwait who are headed to Iraq put Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on the defensive yesterday, grilling him about extended tours of duty and the continued lack of armor to protect vehicles from roadside bombs. Rumsfeld’s photo opportunity and question-and-answer session with troops at Camp Buehring turned into an extraordinary public confrontation between the defense secretary and troops in uniform. The complaints were aired in the same week that a group of soldiers filed suit to prevent the government from extending their time in combat” (Dec. 9, 2004).

Since then the world has been treated to a display of the very opposite of that Anzac spirit with the well-covered incident of the capitulation of a boatload of armed British marines to the Iranian enemy in March last year.

In a little over half a century we have devolved in moral fiber from nations willing, even eager, to do battle with any tyrant, to a mindset that justifies sheer cowardice as a right. What is it that has so changed the outlook of the average Anglo-Saxon?

More than a hint is given in Bryan Forbes’s piece in the British Spectator magazine.

That view is endorsed by Melanie Phillips in her blog for the Spectator last week: “Last night’s Moral Maze, on which I am a panellist, discussed the Home Office guidelines which advise officials not to call Islamists Islamists or Islamic terrorists Islamic terrorists but to use instead euphemisms based on the premise that the jihad against the West is not a war of religion but merely ‘violent extremism’ and that the jihadis are not jihadis but ‘criminals.’ So gripped is the Home Office by the belief that speaking the truth to Muslims will ‘alienate’ them that its Orwellian attempt to manipulate the language descends into pure farce when it suggests that even the word ‘Islamophobia’ should be avoided since this can be misunderstood as a slur on Islam and perceived as singling out Muslims” (February 7).

This extreme version of political correctness is the consummation of government-endorsed efforts to brainwash whole populations into a totally confused mindset that cannot distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, acceptable behavior from perversion nor truth from open lying and deceit.

Phillips’s reaction to this effort at the mind control of the masses: “I found the program deeply troubling, indeed terrifying, since it revealed so much deep denial of the blindingly obvious among otherwise intelligent people who on this subject appear to be impervious to facts and to reason itself.”

Just short of a century ago, the Anzacs fought a tenacious Islamic enemy. Though they had respect for the Turks’ fighting ability, they knew, without doubt, that they were the enemy, and they fought that enemy with every fiber in their being. No half measures—they fought for outright victory!

Eight years ago, three members of the Australian Parliament moved a motion that the Anzacs’ stand in the Middle East never be forgotten in Australian history.

In the course of that discussion, one member reiterated the history of a famous Anzac mounted infantry charge: “It should be borne in mind that there were 4,500 Turks in the trenches. Behind them was wave after wave of barbed wire. Behind that were wave after wave of machine guns, and cannons were behind them. They extended from Gaza to the wells at Beersheba. … The Aussies, as Aussies do, said, ‘Give us a crack at it.’ They charged. The Turks could not believe that anybody would be foolish enough to take them on head-on. Today it is history that not only did they get through Gaza and the wells of Beersheba, but they were the first into Jerusalem and liberated Jerusalem. They changed history forever” (May 3, 2000).

Now, the tiny nation of Israel finds that it is on the path to yielding up to the enemy half of that hard-won ancient city of Jerusalem, and a weak-kneed prime minister of Australia withdraws troops from the battle against a fanatically religious enemy of Israel, weakening the allied effort in Iraq and thus opening the gate wider for Jerusalem to return to the captivity from which those Anzac forces released it less than a century ago.

As Melanie Phillips observes, “If people really are incapable of seeing that what we have to fight is religious fanaticism operating through a strategy of mind-bending intimidation and coercion, and instead succumb to that very intimidation and coercion, then we are indeed finished” (op. cit.).

Today we face twin terrorists: 1) Islamic fanaticism, and 2) the rabid, feminized, racist, politically correct thought police.

Oh for a return to the days of common sense!

Truly, the ancient prophet said it all: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said we will not walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16, nkjv).

Surely our Anglo-Saxon peoples are being very deliberately led by their nose away from the sound common sense that once directed them to the basic, Bible-based, proven principles of living, and directly toward the way of confusion and destruction. Even as the Prophet Isaiah declared, “For the leaders of this people cause them to err, and those who are led by them are destroyed” (Isaiah 9:16, New King James Version).

Is there any hope at all for our peoples?

Read our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like. It will give you a vision of hope in the future that goes far beyond this age of the destruction of sound, common sense, to a time of a great revival of truth and the restitution of the only system of government that will lead man to the attaining of his full, incredible human potential.

Minerals: Crumbling Bedrock of U.S. Security

Minerals: Crumbling Bedrock of U.S. Security

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America’s reliance on the kindness of foreign nations to supply our basic needs has starved our industry. Next will be our military, then the nation.

During the War of Independence, America learned the painful lesson of reliance on foreign nations. The newborn United States had to rely on France and the Netherlands to supply everything from iron and gunpowder to blankets and clothing, and Britain routinely cut America’s supply lines. Seeing this weakness, America’s founders implemented a national strategy promoting industrial and military self-sufficiency in order to establish the nation’s security.

It seems America has forgotten that lesson. One specific example is in mineral production. America’s leaders have allowed the nation’s once formidable mining industry to erode. Many minerals—including some that are strategically important for the military—are no longer produced in the United States at all. Due to lack of investment, radical environmental activism, and low-cost foreign competition, many of America’s former mining giants have turned off the drills, closed the refineries and sent the workers home, or have chosen to develop new production outside the U.S.

It’s not that America wasn’t warned.

Back in 1985, the secretary of the United States Army testified before Congress that America was more than 50 percent dependent on foreign sources for 23 of 40 critical materials essential to U.S. national security (Plain Truth, November/December 1985).

The year before, U.S. Marine Corps Major R.A. Hagerman wrote: “Since World War ii, the United States has become increasingly dependent on foreign sources for almost all non-fuel minerals. … The availability of these minerals have an extremely important impact on American industry and, in turn, on U.S. defense capabilities. Without just a few critical minerals, such as cobalt, manganese, chromium and platinum, it would be virtually impossible to produce many defense products such as jet engine, missile components, electronic components, iron, steel, etc.

“This places the U.S. in a vulnerable position with a direct threat to our defense production capability if the supply of strategic minerals is disrupted by foreign powers” (emphasis mine).

A look at America’s mining production since the mid-to-late 1980s is not just shocking, it is chilling (see Figures 1-3).

Cobalt, for example, is one of the most critical minerals used in America and is considered a strategic metal by the U.S. government, meaning that its availability during a national emergency would seriously affect the economic, industrial and defensive capability of the country. It has many diverse commercial, industrial and military applications including superalloys (used to make parts for jet aircraft engines), magnets, high-speed steels, catalysts for petroleum and chemical industries as well as for paints, varnishes and inks.

Just prior to America entering World War ii, the U.S. made a scramble to begin cobalt mining, but production did not begin until 1940. Production continued until 1971, when the mines were closed and cobalt mining ceased to exist in America. The most recent data available from the U.S. Geological Survey (usgs) shows that, as of 2004, the over 8,700 tons the nation consumes is 100 percent imported. Cobalt sells for more than $45,000 a ton.

Manganese is another essential mineral America no longer produces. It is essential to iron and steel production by virtue of its sulfur-fixing, deoxidizing and alloying properties. Manganese is also a key component of certain widely used aluminum alloys and of dry cell batteries and plant fertilizers.

In 1918 America produced over 400,000 tons of manganese, which was over 44 percent of global production. By the end of World War ii, mining had fallen to only 12 percent of global production, covering just 28 percent of America’s daily needs. Since then, manganese production has steadily eroded; the last domestic ingot of manganese was mined in 1990. Today America imports 100 percent of its manganese consumption.

America no longer produces any chromium either, a mineral the usgs calls “one of the nation’s most important strategic and critical materials.” Chromium is used to harden iron, steel and other nonferrous alloys.

The list of minerals that America no longer produces is astounding and growing. America no longer produces indium (as of 1970), arsenic (1985), gallium (1987), bauxite or alumina (1989), tin (1990), thorium (1992), mercury (1993), tungsten (1995), fluorspar (1997), nickel (1999), vanadium (2000), antimony (2001) or rare earth minerals (2002), to name a few.

Then there is a whole host of other minerals, like iron, zinc and titanium, that America produces at greatly reduced volumes.

Allowing such a wide swath of the nation’s mineral production base to dry up and disappear is a critical miscalculation.

You can’t just turn mines on and off at the flick of a switch. “The average person doesn’t stop to think that a process of several years is involved from the point of minerals exploration to on-site development to extraction, smelting and manufacture of the primary products,” former American Mining Congress President J. Allen Overton once noted. “Once lost, it will take years—if ever—to recover it.”

As America has been divesting itself of mineral-producing capacity, other nations have been quick to embrace it. Unfortunately for the U.S., the ability to control global production of strategic minerals is an incredibly powerful political weapon.

China, for example, now completely dominates rare earth minerals—minerals that the U.S. supplied over 20 percent of not long ago.

“The whole family of ‘-ums’ like gallium, rhenium, neodymium and indium, is fascinating. And frightening!” reports the Miner Diaries investment bulletin. “They are an essential ingredient in many technology-related sectors and demand is growing at 10-to-15 percent a year.

“Yet it is completely dominated by just one country—around 95 percent of supply comes from China.”

Over the past two years, China has begun restricting exports of these materials. The end result is, U.S. manufacturers who wish to stay in business are being forced to move their research and development and manufacturing facilities to China to gain access to rare earth minerals. An example of this was the sale and relocation of Magnequench, a company formerly based in Indiana that produced 85 percent of the rare earth magnets used in the guidance systems of U.S. military smart bombs. Without rare earths, you don’t have protective coatings, blast protection, guided missiles, lasers, modern transportation, laptop computers, tvs, or even iPods.

In 1992, China basically admitted to the world what it was planning to do. Then-ruler of China Deng Xiaoping coined the statement, “There is oil in the Middle East, there is rare earth in China.” Then in 1999, Chinese President Jiang Zemin said, “Improve the development and applications of rare earth, and change [China’s] resource advantage into economic superiority.”

Meanwhile, America has closed its only rare earth mine (one owned by Unocal, which the Chinese state-owned company cnooc tried to purchase in 2005), has boarded up the Rare Earth Information Center, and has not only ceased stockpiling rare earth minerals but has also largely sold off national stockpiles.

If any doubt exists as to China’s intentions, on February 4 Chinese state-owned companies announced four deals in the resources sector. The deals came only two days after Chinalco, China’s aluminum company, grabbed a 12 percent stake in Rio Tinto to prevent the Australian mining giant bhp Billiton from gaining control over the $132 billion diversified mining giant.

The Times called China’s action “the first shots in a new economic war.”

And much of the rest of the world, including the European Union in Africa and South America, is scrambling to tie up control of strategic minerals. America is being shut out, and at a time when much of its domestic resources production is hitting rock bottom.

If Americans truly understood the implications of being resource-dependent on unfriendly foreign nations, especially at a time of intensifying anti-Americanism, global instability and resource competition, they would be acting quickly. Sadly, this is not the case.

The Bible speaks of a time when America will be besieged by its enemies. America’s over-reliance on foreigners for essential needs is a sign that time is drawing near.

But it didn’t have to be this way. There is a reason America as a nation is blessed with a range of unexploited minerals and other natural resources envied around the world. Why? Read the answer here.

Abraham Lincoln may have stated it best when he said: “We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the Earth, as regards fertility of soil, extent of territory, and salubrity of climate. … We, when mounting the stage of existence, find ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or the establishment of them.”

Later Lincoln said: “It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God … and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. … We have been the recipients of the choicest blessings of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation ever has grown; but we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious Hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.”

America is rapidly losing those blessings. Minerals—the bedrock of our industry, economy and military—are crumbling away before our eyes. For many years, the Trumpet has alerted its readers that, based on Bible prophecy, the United States and other English-speaking nations are headed for a time of national calamity. America must turn back to the one true and most important bedrock of any society, the Rock that determines our morals and should govern our lives. Only then will America truly stand on a firm, rock-solid foundation.