A Key to Winning the Drug War

A Key to Winning the Drug War

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Exposing the empty, violent, seedy wasteland that is substance abuse.

America is hooked. Our ravenous appetite for deadly drugs—cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and others—is fueling what the United Nations estimates is a $142-billion-a-year business.

In a nation of 300 million people, that’s $389 million every day—$270,000 every minute, day and night, all year.

Those cold numbers represent incalculable tragedy. Souls in droves—empty, spiritually lost, drawn in by a culture that glamorizes lawlessness and depravity—are vainly seeking solace and refuge in destructive substances. Besides ravaging their own minds, they are wasting their fortunes and destroying their families. Our public schools, increasingly awash in drugs, witness more and more young people robbed of their bright futures as they are drawn into the dark drug subculture.

What a dismal waste. They are trashing a most wonderful and precious resource: human potential.

There is perhaps no more apt illustration of the piercing biblical truth that sin is a form of slavery.

For the hooked, drugs are an increasingly demanding and brutal master; people become helpless to free themselves. Enslavement drives them to greater and greater lengths—and ultimately, what were once unthinkable depths—to feed their habits.

It is this slavery that gives drug lords such power.

Those $142 billion a year are purchasing more than just shattered American lives. They are funding a thriving, violent criminal underworld. Sadly, users are too entrapped by self-concern to care.

America is the world’s largest cocaine consumer, and about 90 percent of what is sold in the United States comes from Mexico. The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs says Mexican criminal groups also control most of the drug distribution in the U.S.

With so much money in play, these drug cartels are getting stronger, better armed, bolder and more violent. They are spending their cash on cross-border tunnels nine stories underground—on semi-submersible vessels that can evade radar and travel at 20 knots.

They are also savagely competing with one another in order to preserve their grimy cash flow. Vicious turf wars between organized groups like Sinaloa, Gulf, Juárez, Tijuana and Sonora are claiming hundreds of lives. The Australianreports that in Tijuana, where more than 200 people have been shot dead this year, 6-year-olds are being taught how to bandage gunshot wounds (June 17).

“The cartel has become far more brutal,” says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Alan Poleszak. “Civilians used to be off limits but now it kills wives and children, and tortures in new ways. Beheadings are recent, too. They walked into a disco and dropped three heads in the middle of the floor to prove the cartel still rules” (ibid.).

The Mexican drug lords also invest their spoils into neutralizing government interference. About 6,000 police officers and other public officials have been killed in the last 2½ years. In May, Mexico’s national police chief and head counternarcotics crusader, Edgar Millán Gómez, was murdered at his own home.

Yes, thanks to America’s drug addiction, Mexico is in the thralls of a full-scale war that is killing its policemen and public officials at more than triple the rate that the Iraq War is killing U.S. troops. Three towns have seen the entire police force quit out of fear of the gangs.

Alternatively, cartels invest some of those American billions into putting the authorities on their payroll. Using these two tools, lethal violence and filthy riches, they’ve been extremely successful in harassing and bribing government officials into compliance. “Government officials are human,” writes George Friedman, “and faced with the carrot of bribes and the stick of death, even the most incorruptible is going to be cautious in executing operations against the cartels. … There comes a moment when … government officials, seeing the futility of resistance, effectively become tools of the cartels” (Stratfor, May 13; emphasis mine, throughout). When that happens enough, the state ceases to function as a state. Already in many Mexican cities, the police and politicians have been bought off; drug lords rule.

The nation’s rule of law is turning into the law of the jungle.

Over the past three years, 128 Americans have been murdered in Mexico. The U.S. State Department has issued travel alerts, warning that American tourists could face the “equivalent to military small-unit combat” if they cross the border.

These drug mongers inhabit a nightmarish, fugitive and bloody world. They too are enslaved—to poisonous money and power. This slavery demands cruelty and contempt for human life. It nurtures an intoxicating self-obsession. It ignores the destructive effects of its evil on the lives of fellow citizens.

What a disaster. These individuals are creating a horror chamber out of their homeland.

Adding a layer of shame to the situation is this fact: The cartels are getting almost all of their weapons—over 90 percent—from the United States. The cartels will pay top dollar for these arms—including high-powered assault weapons and grenades—and unscrupulous American gun smugglers have proven willing to oblige them. “If I don’t do it, someone else will. That’s the bottom line,” one American told the bbc of his wicked business.

The bottom line. No concern for who may get hurt. All that matters isme.

That too is slavery—slavery to raw, ugly greed.

Even worse perhaps, some American citizens are opportunistically joining the gangs. Cartels like to recruit Americans because of their ability to easily cross into U.S. territory. Some of these Americans are known to have received U.S. military training and then defected to join the criminal drug trade.

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved a total of $1.6 billion for the Mérida Initiative, $1.1 billion of this was appropriated for Mexico. The deal, which was announced last October, included a plan for the U.S. to send helicopters and technical aid over a three-year span.

This money will change little. Aside from the possibility of that aid being diverted by military and police forces that are on the pay of the cartels, it simply does nothing to address the fundamental cause for the whole problem.

One-point-six billion in counternarcotics efforts will simply be dwarfed by the nearlyhalf trillionthat junked-out Americans will pay to the cartels over those three years!

The war on drugs is a lost cause when our own people are supplying the enemy at a rate over 250 times greater than our own war effort!

This is worse than negotiating with and appeasing the enemy. This is suicide on the battlefield.

It is hard to argue with this comment in a Nov. 2, 2006, Houston Chronicle article: “Mexicans often see the U.S. as full of broken families, rampant drug use and unchecked materialism …. When it comes to illegal drugs, Mexicans see the U.S. as very willing to point the finger at Mexican drug cartels, but not willing to do more to reduce drug consumption at home.”

Drug culture is full of evils top to bottom. Yet the slavery of addiction is so binding, so gripping, that users willingly overlook all these black and horrible effects—effects of their own choices. Dodging concern for others’ welfare, they justify their sins in their own mind, even as those sins destroy them. Truly, this is being enslaved by sin.

The devil is using this drug culture to kneecap us. He hates human life. Those who are doing his business are ultimately enslaved to him. Of course, he pays them handsomely with power, wealth and other things to fulfill their lusts. They feel they’re getting a good deal. But the resultant troubles are bitter testimony to just how evil slavery to the devil truly is.

Remember—it all starts in our homes. We must lead, and provide our own children with, a life worth living. Nurture their dreams and encourage their ambitions. Expose the empty, violent, seedy wasteland that is substance abuse. Give them hope and a spiritual foundation upon which to build a productive life.

To learn more about the Bible’s view on sin being slavery, read Gerald Flurry’s powerful little booklet No Freedom Without Law.

White Europeans Training in Pakistan Terrorist Camps

White Europeans Training in Pakistan Terrorist Camps

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Islamic terrorists are recruiting a new, hard-to-detect weapon in their war against the West.

A new breed of al Qaeda terrorist could already be on the loose. He is much harder to detect and crosses borders with impunity. Dozens of white European converts to Islam have been trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan’s tribal regions over the past few months, according to U.S. intelligence sources cited by abc News.

“They’re recruiting operatives from Europe. Why? If you’re from Europe, it doesn’t require a visa to fly to the United States,” said Mike McConnell, the director of National Intelligence, in a speech in March. “So if you can get a disgruntled person in Europe to come to Pakistan to be trained in how to buy something commercially—hydrogen peroxide—[and] use it in a particular way, you could have mass casualties in the United States [or Europe] greater than 9/11.”

According to a threat assessment report published by the office of the director of National Intelligence, Western recruits have been arriving in Pakistan since mid-2006.

There is evidence that some of these terrorists have already gone operational. Two native Germans were suspects arrested in a September 2007 plot to murder American soldiers in Germany. U.S. officials are investigating whether they were trained in Pakistan.

An April Europol report also noted that an increasing number of Europeans traveled to Pakistan for training and “were later involved in, or suspected of, terrorist offenses in the EU.” cia Director Michael Hayden, in a speech in April, said the recruits “wouldn’t cause you any concern or draw your attention if they were in the passport line at Dulles with you. I mean, they look Western and they fit in. So that’s one, the continued intent to attack, training to attack, using Western operatives.”

Because of this, al Qaeda is actively seeking recruits of non-Middle Eastern origin.

The United States has the power to defeat radical Islam, but it lacks the will. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, possesses both the willpower and the resources to inflict tremendous damage. Along with a strong will, recruiting and training white Europeans gives al Qaeda a great advantage in its war against the West. To learn more about the central reason America will not win its fight against radical Islam, read “Why We Cannot Win the War Against Terrorism.”

California Hit by “Unprecedented” Lightning Storm

California Hit by “Unprecedented” Lightning Storm

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While parts of Southern California endure a heat wave that is breaking decade-long records, northern California just got lit up by an “unprecedented” lightning storm. Is California suffering a weather curse?

In some sections of Southern California the thermometer breached 119 degrees Fahrenheit last week. The scorching temperatures withered vegetation and sent long lines of traffic heading toward the beaches.

More ominously, the triple-digit temperatures overwhelmed parts of the electrical grid, causing blackouts on Friday, as air conditioners drew record amounts of energy.

The record temperatures are exacerbating the dry conditions plaguing much of the state, which is currently suffering from two years of drought-like conditions.

But while the southern part of the state is baking under the sun, the northern part of the state is roasting over the fire.

An unforeseen weekend lightning storm ignited more than 800 wildfires according to California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection assistant regional chief Del Walters. “We didn’t get real lucky with this lightning storm. It wasn’t predicted … and so we got hammered.”

Walters says officials are continuing to locate new fires. He said the storm was “unprecedented” due to how long it lasted and the high number of lightning strikes, which numbered between 5,000 and 6,000.

After initially being informed on Sunday that over 520 fires were burning, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said it was “quite shocking” to learn that by Monday morning there were over 700 fires raging. Moments later an aide updated him with the latest total of 842. Governor Schwarzenegger has called for assistance from Nevada and Oregon to help contain the blazes that have burned thousands of acres and are threatening more than a thousand homes.

The rate at which disasters are piling up in California is leading commentators to conclude that the California dream is dead. Unfortunately, much of the media coverage continues to be obsessed with the red herring that is man-made global warming. For the real reason California is being cursed, read the articles “Is California Under a Curse?” and “California Disasters Continue—Why?” For information on what the Bible prophesies concerning the future role of earthquakes and lightning storms across the United States, read “God Punishes With Earthquakes” (Chapter Six of the book Isaiah’s End-Time Vision) by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

Syria Helped Iran Develop Weapons-Grade Plutonium

Syria Helped Iran Develop Weapons-Grade Plutonium

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Intelligence reports reveal Iran’s ambitions to become a nuclear-armed superpower.

Last September, Israeli F-15I jets destroyed a top-secret nuclear reactor in Syria that was capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. Up until now, it has been widely thought that the North Koreans were helping the Syrians develop a nuclear weapons program. Recent intelligence reports, however, reveal that both the North Koreans and the Syrians were actually helping Iran develop a nuclear weapons program on Syrian soil.

An article posted by Germany’s Spiegel Online on June 23 stated (emphasis ours throughout):

According to intelligence reports seen by Spiegel, the Syrian facility at Al Kibar that Israeli jets bombed last September was the site of a secret military project. The report states that North Korean, Syrian and Iranian scientists were working side by side to build a reactor to produce weapons-grade plutonium. Sources say that the Iranians were using the facility as a “reserve site” and had intended sending the material back to Tehran. While the Iranians had made great progress in the development of uranium, it is alleged that they required the help of the North Korean experts when it came to plutonium technology.

December’s U.S. National Intelligence Estimate claimed that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program five years ago and is now only enriching uranium for the purpose of producing electricity. These intelligence documents seen by Spiegel affirm that Iran was actively working toward the production of weapons-grade plutonium in Syria just nine months ago. While Israel’s bold surgical strike against this facility has delayed Iran’s nuclear ambitions, you can be sure those ambitions still exist.

The Telegraph’s Con Coughlin had this to say about Iran’s involvement in Syria’s plutonium enrichment efforts:

[S]yria’s experimentation with nuclear proliferation has more to do with its strategic alliance with Tehran than any pretensions the Assad regime might entertain about becoming a nuclear superpower. In response to the West’s increasing pressure on Iran over its uranium enrichment program, Tehran has stepped up its military cooperation with Damascus, and has signed a mutual defense pact. That has resulted in the Iranians promising to provide the Syrians with their Shahab-3 ballistic missile system.

Iran is the king of the Middle East and is committed to the destruction of Israel and the Western world. Nations like Syria are serving as surrogates of Iran—assets the Iranian regime can use to protect its nuclear weapons program and threaten non-Islamic nations.

Charles Krauthammer wrote this in his Sept. 21, 2007, Washington Post column:

Iran’s assets in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are poised and ready. Ahmadinejad’s message is this: If anyone dares attack our nuclear facilities, we will fully activate our proxies, unleashing unrestrained destruction on Israel, moderate Arabs, Iraq and U.S. interests—in addition to the usual, such as mining the Strait of Hormuz and causing an acute oil crisis and worldwide recession.This is an extremely high-stakes game. The time window is narrow. In probably less than two years, Ahmadinejad will have the bomb.

If the United States continues to refuse to face reality, it is going to be left to a German-led European Union to deal with the Iranian threat. By the time Europe gets around to this task, however, it will already be too late to prevent World War iii. For proof of this, read “Close to Armageddon” by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

History Shows Dollar Is Doomed

History Shows Dollar Is Doomed

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The dollar has bounced, but don’t be fooled. There is only one long-term direction.

History is littered with the wrecks of paper money adventures. In hundreds of cases, in all lands, at all times, the story has been the same: loss of confidence in and eroding value of fiat currencies. Paper money does not work; the temptation of the printing press is too great. Emperors, kings, presidents, prime ministers and central bankers have not been able to resist the temptation: When faced with economic problems or overspending, they have all chosen to create the money needed to pay bills or fight wars.

The world’s first known experiment with fiat money (paper money not backed by tangible assets like silver or gold) was in 11th-century China. At first successful, it was abandoned a few hundred years later because it, like all the paper currencies that followed, was found to be too susceptible to inflation. But, to China’s credit, a few hundred years is actually pretty successful as far as paper money goes.

By the 1200s, the Chinese had forgotten this earlier failure and launched another paper money scheme, this time under Kublai Khan. Marco Polo was so impressed, he reported that Kublai Khan “had the secret of alchemy in perfection” and that he “causes each year to be made such a vast quantity of money that it must equal in quantity all the treasure of the world.” But Marco Polo visited Kahn’s empire during a time that American historian Alexander Del Mar called “the most brilliant period in the history of China”—which, it turns out, was just before its collapse. “Kublai Khan entered upon a series of internal improvements and civil reforms, which raised the country he had conquered to the highest rank of civilization, power and progress. … Population and trade had greatly increased, but the emissions of paper notes outran both, and the inevitable consequence was depreciation. … Excessive and too rapid augmentation of the currency resulted in the entire subversion of the old order of society. The best families in the empire were ruined” (Bullion Vault, Oct. 27, 2006).

Fiat currency adventures in Europe also have a history of painful failures. For hundreds of years, the Roman Empire reigned, increasing in power and influence. Even when Nero decided to start debasing the currency by taking the silver out of the coins, Rome prospered for a while. However, as Rome decayed, successive emperors continued to remove the silver content of the denarius to pay the bills. Early in the first century, the denarius had been essentially pure silver. By the time of Nero, in a.d. 54, the silver content of the denarius had slipped to 94 percent; by a.d. 68, it had fallen to 81 percent; by a.d. 218, only 43 percent was silver. In a.d. 244, Philip had the silver content reduced to 0.5 percent. At the time of Rome’s fall, the silver content of the denarius was 0.02 percent and pretty much everyone was refusing to accept it as payment for anything.

But central banks and governments are poor students even of more recent history.

During the 1700s, France stands out as a paper-currency basket case. John Law first established a paper currency in France in 1716. Backed by King Louis xv, who declared all taxes had to be paid with paper dollars, it gained wide acceptance—more so than coinage, in fact. But as with all paper currencies, excessive printing, additional moneymaking schemes (e.g. the Mississippi bubble), and fraud eventually blew up the system, wiping out many people’s investments and savings.

During the late 18th century, a new French government again adopted fiat currency, which was called the “assignat.” But again, money-creating destroyed it: By 1795 inflation had reached 13,000 percent. Napoleon replaced the assignat with the gold franc, inflation subsided, and a century of relative economic stability resulted. In the 1930s, the French again adopted a paper franc. In 12 years, its currency lost 99 percent of its value.

Weimar Germany is another example of a failed currency. At the end of World War i, Germany decided to print the money needed to pay the debts it owed foreign nations. By the time the government was done printing money, the currency had been so debased that postage stamps cost millions of deutsche marks.

In 1932, before adopting a paper currency, Argentina was the eighth-largest economy in the world. Since abolishing their precious-metal-backed currency, Argentineans have been plagued with continual currency inflation—even hyperinflation reminiscent of Weimar Germany. The latest bout was in 2001, when the peso lost 75 percent of its value in one year.

Each couple of years it seems like another nation’s fiat currency falls apart. In 1992, Finland, Italy, Norway and other European countries suffered when their currencies devalued. In 1994, it was the Mexican peso “tequila hangover” crisis, which spread through several Latin American nations including Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina. 1997 was the year of the “Asian flu” contagion, which started with the Thai baht and then within days spread to Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong and South Korea. The currency collapses associated with “bahtulism” were still destabilizing other currencies in 1999. 1998 saw the Russian ruble fall apart and experience massive devaluations. In February 2001, the Turkish lira lost 40 percent of its value in one day.

To attempt to chronicle the massive currency devaluations that are endemic to many African nations would require stacks of paper, but Zimbabwe is too clear cut of an example to pass up. Formerly known as Rhodesia, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in Africa. In fact, at the time of its independence in 1980, the Zimbabwe dollar was worth more than the U.S. dollar. Then along came Robert Mugabe, who decided to seize virtually all property owned by white citizens to give to black citizens. The upheaval within society caused an economic collapse. With a non-functioning economy and falling tax revenues, Mugabe decided to just print up the money needed to pay the bills, destroying Zimbabwe’s currency and any of his people’s savings in the process. As of February, a single cigarette cost z$500,000.

Why should we think America is somehow special and immune to currency crisis? Go back and study history. In addition to the fact that the U.S. dollar has lost more than 90 percent of its purchasing power since 1913—41 percent in the 1934 revaluation alone—there were times previously when the dollar lost even more value.

Maybe you have heard the expression “not worth a continental.” That expression developed in regard to America’s paper money during the Revolutionary War era (not Ford’s Lincoln Continental luxury vehicle). Congress printed contintentals to pay for the war, but the currency, having no backing, soon lost its value.

The U.S. government again tried a paper currency experiment during the Civil War. The Legal Tender Act of 1862 allowed the Lincoln administration to issue paper money backed by nothing but the government’s decree that it be accepted for trade. The paper money lost value so quickly that the practice of fiat currency in America fell out of favor until the Federal Reserve System was put in place in 1913. Paper money in the South by the end of the Civil War was worth even less.

The sad part is that when governments resort to mass currency creation, it is the common person’s savings that get destroyed. The interest earned in savings accounts never keeps up with mass-printing-induced inflation.

For the U.S. dollar, its final link to a hard, tangible asset was severed over 35 years ago. Today, the majority of dollars are little more than bits of electronic information zooming between banks and corporations that people don’t even see, and which they need computers with super calculators to keep track of. How much confidence is left in the inflated U.S. dollar—a dollar whose value remains high not for any tangible reason, but only because so far America’s trade partners are still willing to accept it?

In Weimar Germany, when the mark was inflated into practical worthlessness, at least the German people were left with tinder and toilet paper. When the dollar collapses and no one wants it, most of it will probably just be deleted.

For insight into why the U.S. dollar has been so unusually successful, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

Hamas Refuses to Comply With Terms of Truce

Hamas Refuses to Comply With Terms of Truce

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Hamas say it will continue to smuggle arms into Gaza even as it stocks up on humanitarian aid.

Israel and Hamas entered into an Egyptian-brokered truce last Wednesday that is designated to last for six months. Under the terms of this truce, Israel will stop its attacks on terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza and increase the flow of goods into the Gaza Strip if Hamas will stop launching rockets into southern Israel and smuggling arms into Gaza. Israel has also stipulated that Israeli Corp. Galid Shalit be released.

For Israel’s part, it has ceased all attacks against Hamas and has so far allowed dozens of additional trucks filled with food, diapers, clothes and other humanitarian aid into Gaza. Israeli military spokesman Gil Karie reports that 90 truckloads of supplies were transferred from Israeli to Palestinian vehicles at a Gaza crossing on Sunday alone. This is up from the 60 to 70 truckloads a day before the truce.

On Hamas’s part, only the rocket attacks have stopped. Ismail Haniya, de facto head of Gaza’s government, said on Friday that arms smuggling into Gaza will not stop despite the fact that there is a truce. Hamas officials have also affirmed that they will not agree to release Corporal Shalit until Israel releases 450 Palestinian prisoners. Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan reiterated on Saturday that negotiations with Israel are out of the question and that Hamas will never recognize the Zionist enemy.

Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip one year ago, it is estimated that Israel has sent 580,000 tons of humanitarian aid into Gaza. If this total were divided evenly among Gaza’s 1.4 million residents, a typical family of five would have already received more than 2 tons of food and supplies. During this same period, Hamas has smuggled over 100 tons of explosives into Gaza.

Israel is acting like a beggar for peace. No amount of aid the Olmert administration sends, however, will be able to buy peace. This is because the conflict at hand is not about food or aid; it is about a dangerous Islamic ideology that would deny Israelis the right to even breathe Middle Eastern air. For Hamas, this truce is a temporary respite it can utilize to stock up on arms and Israeli aid. As soon as the truce ends, Hamas will resume its struggle to drive the Israelis into the sea with new arms and new vigor.

For more information on Hamas’s relationship with Israel, read “Hamas Still Biting the Hand That Feeds Them” by Stephen Flurry.