Tag Archives: Islamic State

Flashing Signs of Danger!

warning signs generalAnyone traveling on the roads needs to be constantly alert to signs of danger. For the last few months the morning commute to work in Victoria, B.C. has been an increasing hassle due to the on-going construction on one of the main traffic arteries leading into the downtown core. A bicyclist who usually took this route to commute to work downtown observed on one particular morning a few weeks ago that all traffic was being squeezed into just one lane by a small group of flaggers who had placed numerous warning signs, barriers, and orange plastic cones to block off the inside fast lane. But, while most people feel obliged to take notice of the warning signs and make the appropriate inconvenient travel correction, a commuting cyclist, a 30s-something woman, decided to ignore the warning signs.

She deftly zig-zagged through the cones and barriers on her bike and proceeded down the warning allegatorvacated inside traffic lane that had been closed off. Not seeing any overt evidence of construction machines at work, the biker picked up speed, zooming past the bumper-to-bumper line of cars slowly inching along. The safety flaggers’ franticly waved their arms and shouted to the cyclist to get back in line. “Stupid control freaks,” she may have smugly thought. As the cyclist pedalled along, perhaps she was planning to crow a bit in the office today about how her commuting style was not only “greener-than-thou” but also faster—until, suddenly, like a speeding pool ball dropping into a pocket, both woman and bike disappeared in the blink of an eye into the yawning maw of a steep, deep, rectangular hole whose opening, however, was only about the size of a house’s front door. In this case ignoring all the warning signs meant instantaneous death.

warning challengesRight now there are serious warning signs flashing on the world scene.

  1. America’s President and his Secretary of State have agreed to a “framework” protocol that will allow Shi’ite Muslim Iran, the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, to retain its nuclear infrastructure allowing it to develop nuclear weapons—at a more convenient point down the road. Right now, Iran wants economic sanctions relief so it can more effectively support its allies in Syria and Iraq in their civil wars. In an unmistakable sign of his displeasure with the American President over this decision, Saudi Arabia’s new leader, King Salman, refused to personally attend the recent six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) hosted by Obama at Camp David. This was a very public snub.
  2. In another big snub to America’s superpower status, Washington’s closest European allies, despite American pressure and unprecedented public complaints by Washington, have rushed to sign up as founding members in China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Development Bank (AIIB). The implications of China’s rising power and America’s declining power are clear. According to former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summer,

     “I can think of no event since Bretton Woods comparable to the combination of China’s effort to establish a major new institution and the failure of the US to persuade dozens of its traditional allies, starting with Britain, to stay out of it.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/11519001/How-China-grew-desperate-to-conceal-its-power-from-the-world.html

  3. The IMF’s just released World Economic Outlook describes a prostrate planet drowning in debt. There has been a persistent reduction in the global growth rate since the Great Recession of 2008-09 with no relief in sight. This is unprecedented and very much a wild card in the game of high stakes poker, that is the global financial system.

    “Total public and private debt levels have reached a record 275 per cent of GDP in rich countries, and 175 per cent in emerging markets. Both are up 30 points since the Lehman crisis.” http://business.financialpost.com/news/economy/welcome-to-the-new-mediocre-of-global-growth#__federated=1

  4. The developed world’s poster child for a country drowning in debt is Greece. For months warning bad thinkingnow, Greece has continued to stagger along like a zombie, even after some fresh flesh of debt relief from the IMF or the European Central Bank. Even Mario Draghi, the ECB’s president, is warning of unexpected, unanticipated consequences if Greece finally defaults on its debt.
  5. Meanwhile, barbaric Islamic State terrorists continue to behead Christians. Yet the Western world still doesn’t take all that seriously the IS spokesmen’s repeated declarations of a worldwide religious war against Christians, Jews, non-conforming Muslim sects and anyone else who isn’t their clone. http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/After-second-incident-of-ISIS-murdering-Christians-in-Libya-foreign-minister-appalled-398665.

    According to General Alexander, the former chief of the National Security Agency (NSA–Edward Snowden’s nemesis), the West is losing the worldwide fight against jihadist terrorism. He said that the U.S. and its allies had failed to check the advance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or its expanding network of franchises across the Middle East. The West is increasingly at risk of a strategic defeat in the region. “It is getting worse. Twenty-five countries are now unstable, just look at Yemen,” he said. http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/hackers-could-cripple-the-west-with-a-hi-tech-blitz-on-energy-sector-infrastructure-u-s-general-says?__lsa=2d0c-cb5e#__federated=1 accessed 4/27/15

  1. As a direct consequence of the current widespread instability, there is a virtual flood of
    desperate people from Syria and throughout North and Sub-Sahara Africa, all desperately trying to get into Europe in search of a better life. In 2014 a total of 170,000 entered Italy alone. Recently, the number of unwanted immigrants has swelled to 11,000 in just one week.

    “We’re swamped,” Sandro Gozi, the Italian minister for European affairs, told French daily Le Monde. “There’s not even enough space in Sicily’s cemeteries to bury the dead.” Where are the Italians going to put them? Who wants them? There’s just not enough work. http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/20/africa/italy-migrant-boat-capsizes/index.html

  2. On the other end of Africa, in South Africa, one of the more prosperous African nations, there is an ongoing wave of what is called “xenophobic attacks” against the 10 percent of the population who are migrants from neighbouring African states, like Zimbabwe, and  Asia who seeking a better life for themselves. But poor South Africans see them as unwanted competition for the scarce jobs available in a country where the unemployment rate is 24 percent. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-32377743
  3. And finally, the Pew Research Center confirmed that over the past seven years, from 2007 to 2014, the number of Americans who identify themselves as Christian has dramatically fallen nearly 8 percentage points from 78% to just 71% of the population. Fifty-six million Americans don’t observe or practice any religion. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32710444 accessed May 14, 2015.

What do all these signs mean? As a society, collectively we are like the eco-warrior bicyclist in Victoria, ignoring all the warning signs as we make good time pedalling rapidly toward our doom. There’s no doubt that these are serious, even dangerous times. So what should you and I do? Jesus said this to his disciples:

“Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming warning run like hellhorrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36 (New Living Translation)

Pray to God? That’s the last thing this secular society wants to do. The Canadian Supreme Court recently decided to prohibit municipal officials from praying to the Bible’s God for help before starting on the public’s business.

Many people in the Western world have indeed turned their backs on the wisdom and knowledge that is offered to humanity by God. They have reinterpreted freedom of religion in the 21st Century to now mean freedom FROM religion. After all, they think that in a prosperous, secure society with good health care and abundant food and lots of entertainment, who needs to really seek the Bible’s God?

But, the warning signs are flashing out that there’s danger up ahead. Our future personal safety and security depends upon paying attention to those spiritual flaggers trying to get our attention and get back in line according to the Creator’s established House Rules for Humanity that are spelled out in the Scriptures. As a civilization we are ignoring the warnings to our peril.

Lid-ism—the West Struggles to Preserve the Status Quo

It is now one hundred years since the beginning of World War I. It is more than a little evident that the “war to end all wars,” as they used to call it during the 1920s and early 1930s, did nothing of the sort.

In fact, it would now appear that the rising levels of armed conflict and instability spreading over large parts of the Middle East, North Africa, and a whole tier of sub-Saharan African states isis  executeslike Nigeria, Mali, and the Central African Republic, has resulted in a higher level of violent conflict than at any other time during the last 25 years. This turmoil is evicence that the current episode of “The Great Game,” which strives for geopolitical power and domination, is truly alive and well in our time.

Yet, both the planned outcomes and unintended consequences of all this maneuvering to seriously re-arrange the world’s present status quo could make the experience of WWI look like a relatively tame political disagreement between reasonable gentlemen. After all, our state-of-the-art 21st Century weaponry with its lasting effects offers far greater potential for annihilating a much larger percentage of humanity than the technology of WWI.

An increasing number of closely interconnected issues—political, military, economic, financial, environmental, and religious—are all synergistically feeding into the present de-stabilization of the current geopolitical status quo, one in which Uncle Sam presently sits on the top world's policemanas “the world’s policeman (superpower)” daring anyone else to try and knock him off.

However, reliable polls show the American public no longer has the stomach for the sacrifice of treasure and blood that are needed by any powerful nation that wants to be in the top spot. Much of the public’s response is due to the failed American adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan that are proving to have been completely in vain or worse.

America is divided and weakened by a national leadership elite that is self-interested, shortsighted, hypocritical, covetous, and immoral as defined by the Holy Scriptures.

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [the teaching of God in the Scriptures]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he. Proverbs 29:18 (AMP)

The U.S. public is now mostly isolationist, focused on its growing domestic problems and bitter political divisions. The lame-duck Obama administration now has to content itself with covert special ops carried out by its numerous intelligence agencies, while only overtly waging war with its enemies economically by using the “Almighty dollar,” the world’s reserve currency, and its present domination of the world’s financial system. But as I write this, the U.S.’s financial grip isBRICS being weakened by its competitors from the BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China [the world’s second largest economy], and South Africa  who have just set up their own competing version of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, deliberately excluding the United States and the E.U. from any say in this new multinational fund’s policies and operations.

We are probably witnessing the twilight phase of an American Century as financially solvent, politically cunning actors carefully plot to upstage the U.S financial hegemony and de-throne the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. America’s federal government debt alone now surpasses 100 percent of the nation’s G.D.P. Day by day we’re edging closer to an American day of reckoning and a time of profound geopolitical re-alignment.

Yet most of the mainstream, corporate-run news outlets and their government handlers in the Western world keep repeating to the public a message that the authorities “have it all under control.” That our peace, safety, and prosperity are assured and that they will continue on despite a few occasional blips. This is blatant “lid-ism.” Huw Rogers, a journalist with the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper defined this interesting word this way:

Much of modern politics is concerned with what I call “lid-ism,” measures aimed not to address the underlying issues but to keep the lid on.” http://www.waywordradio.org/lidism_1/

Lid-ism has its positive benefits, however. It allows us to sleep at night. But lid-ism doesn’t change the new reality that is coming and will profoundly touch our private lives.

For instance, the mainstream North American and European media are practicing lid-ism when it comes to reporting on implications of the violent struggles for domination and control presently underway in what we still call Syria and Iraq. In fact, you could even say the media is completely ignoring what’s happening there at the moment in favour of the more easily reported slug-fest between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. Much of the media portrays it incorrectly as a conflict between a more powerful Western nation, Israel the bully, beating up on a weak Arab state! The media is failing to see this conflict as just one more piece of the isis black flagpuzzle, one violent event concurrent with even larger and more important events taking place in the region. This region is widely experiencing the convulsions accompaning the re-animation of the jihadi Frankenstein monster. The new revival is similar in form to the original version of Islam set up by the successful Arabian warlord, Mohammad, who unleashed conquering hordes that over-ran the Middle East and tried repeatedly to take over Europe, so-called “Christendom.”

Again, because of the media’s lid-ism, we don’t hear much about how the status quo set up in the Middle East by Great Britain and France at the close of WWI is now close to completely breaking down.

At the close of WWI, Great Britain and France carved up the defeated Ottoman Empire and created out of it’s carcass many of the states found on a current political map of the Middle East. The Ottoman Empire was replaced by nation states like Lebanon, Syrian, Iraq, Jordan, the Arabian peninsula states, and what we now call Israel, as well as, the secular Turkish Republic that was created by Mustafa Kamel Ataturk in the early 1920s.

Considering the defeat of the Ottoman Empire and its Islamic form of government as a clear sign of the obsolescence of the old way, Ataturk embraced instead the West’s model state set up on secular, democratic ideals. He also, of course, abolished the dynastic position of Sultan and its Islamic political title of Caliph—meaning a religious/political successor to Mohammad. A ruler with the title of Caliph in Sunni Islam can legitimately call for and demand the loyalty of the entire faithful Muslim community.

For over a thousand years various Caliphates dominated the Middle East, and North Africa.  They invaded Europe and conquered Spain, the Balkan area, Greece, and Hungary, advancing as far as Vienna before the Caliph and his army were stopped.

Now a new Islamic State ruled once again by a Caliph has been re-created by the jihadi movement caliph ibrahimformerly known as ISIS: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This Islamic State believes the secular, Western-oriented, nationalist model of government espoused by Ataturk with its separation of “Mosque and State,” democracy, and talk of human rights has failed the Muslim community, due to its moral corruption. So the Islamic State is actively suppressing anyone who holds Western political ideas, like democracy. Symbolically they are erasing the old Western-imposed political map of the Middle East and North Africa in order to resurrect the ideals of an Islamic Empire that embraces and unifies all Muslim believers under the black banner of jihad no matter their ethnicity, tribe, or place of birth.

This newly proclaimed Islamic State (I.S.) presently extends its control from the outskirts of Aleppo (in western Syria not too far from the Mediterranean Sea) to the outskirts of Baghdad christian refugees(south-central Iraq). Within its area of control it tolerates no other religious groups. Christians in the areas under the control of the new Islamic State are given a choice: convert to Islam, flee, or die. Most of the Christians who formerly lived in Mosul are now refugees in the autonomous Kurdish region of old Iraq. Recently France has offered asylum to these Iraqi Christian refugees.

It is highly unlikely that either the United States or the European Union will send their armed forces once more back into the Middle East to crush this reborn Islamic State and its Caliph. Why? Because at present the United States, specifically, and the Western nations in general have lost both their pride in their power, and their willingness to use it. Being secular nations that no longer self-identify themselves as Christian nations or as peoples living by Christian values, they do not fully appreciate the mortal danger posed to them by the re-born Islamic State (I.S.) with its Caliph. The U.S.A. and the E.U. are making a strategic error of historic proportions.

Shiraz Maher, an expert on the Syrian jihad at King’s College London, says there is little appetite for concerted international action to dislodge them:

Which leaves the prospect of a violent, extremist, well-armed, well-funded and religiously intolerant militia becoming a permanent part of the Middle East landscape, a sort of de facto “Jihadistan.”

Would it stop there?

IS jihad mapUnlikely. As far back as last year its adherents were proclaiming their ultimate aim of conquering territory as far away as Spain (once ruled by Muslims for centuries as al-Andalus), Austria, and China.

Even if [the I.S.] remained within the boundaries of the areas it has taken so far, it would likely be a springboard for attacks on neighbouring countries like Jordan and Lebanon, as well as attracting hundreds of young jihadists from the UK and the wider West.

Shiraz Maher, an expert on the Syrian jihad at King’s College London,  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-28222872

Rex Murphy in his National Post column, “The mighty combustion of small events, and other lessons from the First World War,” noted:

The West has had some peace since the last great war [WWII], almost 70 years of it now. And we have had with that peace an astounding march of technological and material progress. Both tend to make people forgetful of worse times. It renders them careless of the foundations upon which peace is first secured and then maintained, and nourishes the delusion they are exempt from the horrors and perils that have been a constant in human affairs.

So it seems now to some, as it seemed to some a century ago, that there is a menacing scattering of events and conflicts, where a disturbance, an accident or misadventure… in one arena could unwind into a chain of unforeseen events, a haphazard flow of unpredictable cause and effect. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/07/26/rex-murphy-the-mighty-combustion-of-small-events-and-other-lessons-from-the-first-world-war

Well, the chain of menacing events unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa will eventuallyclash of civil blow the lid off the present geopolitical status quo in an all-out “War between Civilizations.” The root word “civilized” for “civilization” in this context seems like an oxymoron if I ever heard one. What’s coming will be anything but civilized. It will be a free-for-all struggle for survival and the coming of hard times and peril to most in this world. North America will not escape a painful re-adjustment to a new diminished status in the coming shift in the geopolitical status quo.

Lid-ism will not forestall the future, rather it may well hasten it. We should not be surprised that the American Century and the status quo is ending despite the best attempts of the Western governing elites to keep the lid on. Jesus himself predicted a scenario that seems not so different from what we see developing right before our eyes. Consider this prophecy by Jesus of Nazareth:

While He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what is the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains.“Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come. Matthew 24:3-14 (HCSB)