August 30, 2013

Russia prepares to respond to American intervention

As I pointed out yesterday, the real problem with American intervention in Syria, regardless of the form it takes, is that it will not stop in Syria. Vladimir Putin was the head of the KGB during the Lebanese civil war. He directly oversaw the brutal, sadistic treatment of local militias that allowed the Russian contingent to enjoy drinks and local delicacies while everyone else scrambled to stay alive and the United States lost an entire barracks full of Marines. Putin is old school. He is the master of both the friendly, grandfatherly public image and the silent knife in the back on a dark night. He hates the United States with a passion that approaches and possibly surpasses the hatred driving radical Islam. Right now he sees America as being weakened from insane debt, the recent end of a protracted war, and an incompetent presidency. Vladimir Putin would love to be given UN sanction to strike the United States and deliver a death blow. With the defeat in the UK parliament of the option for the UK to support American military intervention in Syria, the very last genuine ally has been removed from the international support network that has kept the United at the forefront of diplomacy since the end of World War Two. The "American era" is now over.

It did not have to be this way. Either John McCain or Mitt Romney could have stopped the slide into irrelevancy, although I doubt either of them could have reversed it. If Sarah Palin had not been viciously turned on and attacked by the RNC after being chosen as McCain's running mate, then it is entirely possible her reformist bend would have been just the tonic needed to take over after McCain or Romney and revitalize the United States both domestically and abroad. But it's no use crying over spilt milk. Barack Obama and his delusional staff have killed us as surely as a bullet to the head.

This is what I see happening, and I pray that I am wrong. Sometime next month Barack Obama, may he burn in hell forever, will authorize a "limited" strike on pointless targets in Syria. Probably a couple cruise missiles dropped on one of Assad's residences, an empty one. Russia will go before the UN Security Council demanding a reprimand against the "US aggression". Backed by China and with the UK abstaining, the Security Council will issue the reprimand. The Russian ships that are being moved into the Mediterranean will attack the American fleet there and the Americans will respond. It does not matter who wins this engagement. Win or lose, the Russian military will drive south through Georgia and by mid-November will be in the Golan Heights where they will be welcomed by Hezbollah with open arms. Assad's regime and the Free Syrian Army will both be destroyed by the Russians and a Hezbollah puppet placed in charge. At that point China will throw her public support behind the Russians and begin providing logistic support to the Russian military.

Is this Armageddon? Will this be the war described in Ezekiel 38 and 39? I don't know. I do know it will share many similarities with the prophesied conflict, similarities that were considered impossible to even imagine when I first began studying Biblical Prophecy back in 1978. It will be a vicious, bloody conflict that will quickly spread throughout the Middle East with devastating effect on the global economy. Chaos, economic collapse, food riots, all of those things people have been talking about for the past decade while more "rational" people dismiss them as a lunatic fringe are all things that might become commonplace two or three years from now. If you have not spent the past few years preparing for this chaos, it's too late to start now.

I doubt this is the "end of the world". I am certain it is the end of the world as I know it. For all the changes the past decade have wrought, the next decade will be even worse. Everything is about to change. Most of the process that will take us into whatever this new world order becomes will be violent.

BBC: Russia and China step up warnings over Syria
The Telegraph: Russia and China warn Syrian intervention will bring "consequences"
USA Today: Iran threatens payback, Russia deploys ships
RT: Russia, China, urge restraint
Al Arabiya: Damascenes prepare for "Western Aggression"

August 29, 2013

Syria, nightmare in the making

If you've been paying any attention to the news at all then you know President Obama and his circle of radical advisers are contemplating going to war in Syria. The one question they have left unanswered is how deeply into the human and political quagmire that is Syria they plan to take us. Publicly they are claiming that this attack is in response to the use of chemical weapons against civilians by the Assad regime. Covertly they have been channeling weapons, ammunition, and other logistic needs through Libyan and Cypriot seaports into the hands of the Syrian opposition for at least the past year, and possibly the past three or four years. It is also well-established that at least some elements of that opposition are affiliated with Al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for 9/11 and other atrocities. There is a video circulating showing the general in charge of the opposition eating the heart and liver from a dead Syrian army soldier. So, chemical weapons aside, if we go into Syria on behalf of Assad then we are backing one of the most despicable and oppressive regimes the Middle East has ever given birth to. On the other hand, if we go into this conflict in support of the rebels, even to the "limited" extent we already have, then we are backing the very people who killed nearly three thousand innocent people on September 11, 2001. As if all of this were not bad enough, Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has promised "grave consequences" if the United States enters Syria in support of the opposition.

The gas reportedly used in Syria was Sarin Gas. This was the same gas used in Japan in two separate incidents by the Aum Shinrikyo, the most important of which was the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo Subway system in 1995. The thing about Sarin gas that nobody is mentioning is that it is the easiest of all nerve agents to create and deploy. Although the actual procedure is a bit more complex, one quick example is mixing together ammonia and bleach and attempting to use the resultant mixture as a cleaning agent. When ammonia and chlorine are blended, even in tiny ammounts of a few drops, they immediately combine and put off a dirty, simple form of Sarin gas. This is extremely dangerous, even in quantities of a few drops. That is why every cleaning agent sold in every modern country contains a warning label about not mixing cleaning agents together. Some of those agents are chlorine based while some of them are ammonia based. The danger of accidentally creating a toxic cloud of Sarin gas by mixing two random cleaners together is extremely high. This is important because if the gas deployed in Syria was in fact, Sarin gas, then it could have been mixed together and deployed by almost anyone on the battlefield! I would assume that if the Syrian government had access to chemical weapons, those weapons would not be based on Sarin gas. As deadly as Sarin gas is, it pales in comparison with VX, VG, or any of the dozens of more modern, more highly refined chemical weapons. So when reports begin circulating that the rebels deployed Sarin gas and not the government, I am inclined to believe them.

In Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 the prophet Ezekiel describes a great war. In this war, a land called, "Magog" led by a prince called, "Gog", sweeps down from the north and decimates an area stretching from the Caucasus Mountains to the Golan Heights, stopping only when it reaches the northern border of the Kingdom of Israel. Most Biblical commentators, but not all, feel that the war described in these two chapters takes place in the last days. It may even be that the war described in Revelation 16:16 and Revelation 19:11-21 is the same as the war described in Ezekiel 38-39. If so, then "Magog" could be Russia, Syria, Iran, or the three of them together in a most unusual and unexpected alliance.

When all of this comes together, Putin's support for Assad, Obama's support for the rebels, Iran's support for Hezbollah, and chemical weapons in a volatile civil war, we have the makings of the essential precursor for the fulfillment of both the War of Magog and the War of Armageddon. Commentators around the world are on the edge of their seats wondering if Obama's clumsy mishandling of the past two years of Middle Eastern turmoil combined with his promise to respond militarily to use of chemical weapons in Syria has brought us once again to the brink of a world war. After all, for fast moving armor and other modern military equipment, Moscow to Tel Aviv is a straight shot downhill through half a dozen fairly weak and unstable countries. Remember when Russian tanks entered Georgia a few years back? Remember all the silly diplomatic maneuvers that followed? The denials and false reports and whatnot? There is a reason the whole world got involved in what should have been an isolated, local incident. The geography from the Russian-Georgian border south all the way to Cairo is one great downhill highway that was, and still is, a highly convenient trade route. Trade has flowed north and south along this route for at least three thousand years, and possibly five thousand years. A modern army of sufficient numbers and backed by sufficient air support could breeze from the Caucasus Mountains to Cairo in a matter of a few weeks, a month at most. If, for some bizarre reason, China and Russia joined forces during a time when the United States was badly weakened and Israel had just finished fighting a large aggression by her neighbors, there would be nothing to prevent their alliance from capturing most of the oil fields in the Middle East along with the world's busiest, most profitable overland trade route.

This is why I go silent in shock when the evening news reports that chemical weapons using a nerve agent that can be mixed up in a kitchen sink has been deployed in a civil war with the potential to spark a global conflict. There are at least three powerful nations that would profit greatly from the already weakened United States getting hip deep in a drawn-out conflict, especially if that conflict could be used to draw in Israel and weaken her as well. Two or three years of violent, devastating, expensive military conflict in Syria would help Russia or China or even Iran by moving them one giant step closer to their economic, political, and ideological goals. By deploying the United States military into Syria at this particular point in history, even just by launching a few dozen cruise missiles, President Obama will set the stage for a direct confrontation with Russia. Such a confrontation would give Russia the excuse she needs to launch a massive southward invasion through Georgia, across Turkey, and into Syria. Once they are in Syria, the only thing stopping them from spreading throughout the Middle East will be Israel. NATO has become a useless pile of rusted metal hulks and the United States cannot pay for another war, especially not against a nation as powerful as Russia. Even worse, there are so many pro-Palestinian Muslims living in Europe now that any propaganda by Russia positioning herself as the heroes of the oppressed Palestinians would reverberate through Europe in the form of marches, protests, and waves of pro-Palestinian candidates in local elections. China is no friend of Russia, but she is a careful planner with long-term vision. Once Russia is firmly in place in Syria with both Assad and the rebels removed from power, China will jump to the support of Russia to insure access to Middle Eastern oil and African resources. Millions of Chinese will come streaming south on the heels of the Russian military providing both logistical support and active combat support.

American cannot and must not get involved in the Syrian conflict in any way, shape, or form. Not only have we not paid off President Bush's Iraq invasion, President Obama has piled trillions of dollars more on top of that war debt, almost tripling it. If we give Russia the slightest provocation, she will throw everything she has into the Syrian War and there will be no one capable of stopping her. It's bad enough we have thousands of small terrorist cells running around trying to revive their fabled Caliphate. A Russian empire in the Middle East, especially with Chinese backing, would be a nightmare infinitely more horrifying than a simple Islamic Caliphate.

August 13, 2013

Book Review, "Cinnamon and Gunpowder: a novel"

"Cinnamon and Gunpowder: a novel" started off really well. In a daring raid on an island off the coast of England a dashing, redheaded pirate named Hannah Mabbot kills a British noble and kidnaps his cook. The noble, Lord Ramsey, is the main stakeholder in a British trading house called "The Pendleton Company" and the nemesis of "Mad" Hannah Mabbot. This is a fascinating literary device because in a very real sense, this book opens at the end of one story and from that ending, launches into a new one. The story of Mabbot and Ramsey's tumultuous and fiery rivalry serves as a backdrop to the novel, filling in blanks and carrying the main story through passages that would otherwise fall flat. In a very real sense, this book is two stories in one, a dull, rather fanciful Stockholm Syndrome romance where a kidnapped cook gradually falls in love with his pirate captain captor, alongside a blazing Howard Zinnesque reinterpretation of the East India Trading Company's role in the slaves/silver/opium trade triumvirate that eventually resulted in the Opium Wars of 1839 and 1856. Like Zinn's often creative use of "facts", Eli Brown shifts dates and technologies backwards and forwards by decades in order to tell a convincing narrative. Captain Mabbot's main rival on the sea, the Pendleton Company's Captain Larouche, pilots a ship drawn straight from the pages of countless steampunk novels, adding an almost science fiction sub plot that is just as enticing as the main story.

The first two-thirds of the book is wonderful. Judging from the cover and front materials, I expected a quirky pirate tale of culinary delights and swashbuckling hedonism. That is exactly what I got and I was thrilled. At just about the two-thirds point, however, the story takes a dark, social justice turn. As the cook becomes more intimate with his Captain and learns how deep her rivalry with Lord Ramsey really runs, we are taken on a deliberate, anti-capitalist rant of evil corporations exploiting the world's poor for power and profit. This rant sets up the justification for the explosive climax and bucolic, ironic ending that has the cook owning a tavern on Martha's Vineyard where he spends as much collecting myths of "Mad" Hannah Mabbot as he does preparing culinary delights for common sailors.

August 08, 2013

As firearms ownership skyrockets, firearms related violence plummets

The National Shooting Sports Foundation recently published a fascinating infographic that was picked up and reported on by The Blaze. I learned about it in a Facebook post by Gun Owners of America. As almost everyone on both sides of the gun control debate acknowledges, firearms sales have been steadily climbing since 1991, were given a big boost by the attack on the World Trade Tower on 9/11, and the largest boost in the history of America by the election and then re-election of Barack Obama. The reasons behind this massive increase in both firearms purchases and participation in firearms training programs has been hotly debated for over a decade. Those who favor stronger gun control up to and including a repeal of the Second Amendment are fond of claiming loudly and often that the surge of interest in firearms is being driven by a combination of paranoia and racism being experienced by a small percentage of the population who they like to refer to as "religious gun-nuts and fringe militia members". The Southern Poverty Law Center likes to bolster this claim with voluminous reports based on speculation, distorted facts, and even fantasy statistics that despite being repeatedly debunked the gun control lobby depends on completely for their own "research".

There is a link to the article at The Blaze below, but I would like to highlight one important fact that both surprised and pleased me immensely. Unintentional firearms related fatalities, the "dead children" boogeyman the gun control crowd loves to claim they are protecting and fighting for, have dropped more than 50% since 1991, and a whopping 81% since 1930. Better training, more widespread availability of training, simplification of the training paradigm by men such as Jeff Cooper working hand in hand with the ever present, constantly vigilant National Rifle Association have bequeathed to you and I a stronger, safer, better prepared American gun owner than at any point in our history. We stand on the shoulders of tireless giants who dedicated their lives to insuring that tyrants and tyrant wannabes would not destroy the foundation of freedom laid down by our nation's founders.

Now it is time for you to do your part. Arm yourself with the best weapon you can buy, equip yourself with the best training you can afford, then find a firearms advocacy group you can believe in and donate to them regularly. It is only by working together that we can both continue this great tradition, preserve our freedoms, and pass on to future generations of free Americans the promise left to us by tireless revolutionaries like Benjamin Franklin who wrote in his memoirs:

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Let me close with one last thought that applies not only to firearms, but to every aspect of life: It does not matter what you want to believe because in the end, the only thing that truly matters is facts.

The Blaze: New Infographic Seemingly Debunks One of the Most Crucial Anti-gun Claims