Saturday, May 10, 2008




Must Read

Nahum Chapter 1

א מַשָּׂא, נִינְוֵה--סֵפֶר חֲזוֹן נַחוּם, הָאֶלְקֹשִׁי. 1 The burden of Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
ב אֵל קַנּוֹא וְנֹקֵם יְהוָה, נֹקֵם יְהוָה וּבַעַל חֵמָה; נֹקֵם יְהוָה לְצָרָיו, וְנוֹטֵר הוּא לְאֹיְבָיו. 2 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God, the LORD avengeth and is full of wrath; the LORD taketh vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for His enemies.
ג יְהוָה, אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וגדול- (וּגְדָל-) כֹּחַ, וְנַקֵּה, לֹא יְנַקֶּה; יְהוָה, בְּסוּפָה וּבִשְׂעָרָה דַּרְכּוֹ, וְעָנָן, אֲבַק רַגְלָיו. 3 The LORD is long-suffering, and great in power, and will by no means clear the guilty; the LORD, in the whirlwind and in the storm is His way, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
ד גּוֹעֵר בַּיָּם וַיַּבְּשֵׁהוּ, וְכָל-הַנְּהָרוֹת הֶחֱרִיב; אֻמְלַל בָּשָׁן וְכַרְמֶל, וּפֶרַח לְבָנוֹן אֻמְלָל. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers; Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.
ה הָרִים רָעֲשׁוּ מִמֶּנּוּ, וְהַגְּבָעוֹת הִתְמֹגָגוּ; וַתִּשָּׂא הָאָרֶץ מִפָּנָיו, וְתֵבֵל וְכָל-יוֹשְׁבֵי בָהּ. 5 The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt; and the earth is upheaved at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
ו לִפְנֵי זַעְמוֹ מִי יַעֲמוֹד, וּמִי יָקוּם בַּחֲרוֹן אַפּוֹ; חֲמָתוֹ נִתְּכָה כָאֵשׁ, וְהַצֻּרִים נִתְּצוּ מִמֶּנּוּ. 6 Who can stand before His indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken asunder before Him.


7.8-Magnitude Earthquake... Quake Felt In Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand


Bill O'Reilly Goes Nuts!

Read »

Exclusive: Syria hardens positions, retracts peace feelers to Israel

May 12, 2008, 9:42 AM (GMT+02:00)

Flexes muscle

Flexes muscle

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that in the last 48 hours, Damascus has broadcast new, intransigent policy positions through diverse channels under the influence of Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert’s legal plight and the swift victories its ally, Hizballah, has achieved in Lebanon:

1. Leaders in Olmert’s position are only capable of making war – not peace, according to leaks from Damascus to Arab media. For this reason, Syrian officials claim after the fact that they exposed the secret meeting scheduled to take place between Israeli and Syrian officials in Turkey for sabotage, knowing it would go nowhere.

2. The Israeli prime minister’s offer to give up the whole of Golan for peace was likewise leaked by Damascus to discredit the prime minister at home.

3. Another message informed Jerusalem that any accommodation with Damascus was contingent on a peace deal with Beirut – or rather the real masters of Lebanon, Iran-backed Hizballah.

4. Israel must rescind the disputed Shebaa Farms enclave on Mount Hermon.

5. Syria’s relations with Iran are none of Israel’s business. This is a reference to the demands for the Assad regime to cool its ties with Tehran as a prerequisite for a peace deal.

6. As for the American-Israeli demand that Syria stop hosting terrorist headquarters, Damascus advises Israel to make do with the Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal’s last statement. He said that Hamas is prepared to accept - though not recognize - Israel within the pre-1967 war boundaries and offer a long-term informal truce. Syria finds nothing further to discuss with Israel on the subject of Hamas.



Exclusive: Hizballah received 35 new Iranian speedboats shortly before current crisis

May 11, 2008, 9:22 AM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that three weeks before Hizballah seized western Beirut, the Shiite terrorist group took delivery of 35 fast speedboats for use with explosives from Iran. The craft can threaten US Sixth Fleet and Israel Navy shipping close to Lebanese shores, reach Israel’s Haifa and Ashdod Mediterranean ports and raid its coastal oil installations.

The speedboats were tailor-made for Hizballah by Iranian Revolutionary Guards shipyards at Bandar Abbas as the only marine terror fleet operating in Mediterranean waters. Our military sources report the boats are capable of carrying chemical, biological and radiological weapons systems.

They were delivered in mid-April by an Iranian freighter at the Syrian port of Latakia and trucked to Naimah port south of Beirut. There they were hidden in the subterranean hangars belonging to Ahmed Jibril, head of the Palestinian Liberation Front-General Command. Today, the PLF-GC is financed and directed by the Revolutionary Guards. The hangars were constructed in the seventies by East Germany engineers with a protected Mediterranean anchorage and made virtually impenetrable by sea or air.


Exclusive: Iran-backed Hizballah offensive closes in on Israeli border

May 10, 2008, 12:05 PM (GMT+02:00)

DEBKAfile’s military sources report: Hizballah’s advance on two key Lebanese locations Saturday, May 10 had immediate effect on the strategic balance between the Iran-backed Shiite group and Israel. Sidon in the south, Lebanon’s second largest city, which provides Hizballah with control of a continuous coastal strip from its southern Beirut district all the way to Tyre.

The second point is on the northern slopes of the Hermon range. After Hizballah seizes control of this enclave and the Syrian 10th and 14th armored divisions step over the border into Lebanon, the two forces can join to form a strong military line opposite Israel near the Litani River.

Our military sources report that the vanguard of the 10th Division has already moved across to the Lebanese side of the border.

Hizballah’s victory in taking over western and central Beirut therefore has had the effect of adding another link to the pro-Iranian chain encircling Israel. In many ways it is a more damaging setback for Israel’s national security than the Palestinian Hamas' seizure of the Gaza Strip.

Yet Israel’s prime minister, defense minister and foreign minister are all too busy with the political fallout of the bribery case against Ehud Olmert to lift a finger to arrest Lebanon’s decline to a Tehran satellite before it is too late - any more than Hamas was stopped from developing into a major military menace.

Equally inert are the two presidents who are pledged to support the Siniora regime, George W. Bush and Nicolas Sarkozy. The United Nations, which maintains 15,000 armed peacekeepers in southern Lebanon, backed by marine forces off the shores of Beirut, has no thought of stopping the Iranian-Syrian-backed terrorist militia from capturing the country.


Kitty Hawk air wing commander removed for ‘loss of confidence’

By Teri Weaver, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Sunday, May 11, 2008

TOKYO — The U.S. Navy air wing commander for the USS Kitty Hawk’s strike group was relieved of duty Friday after an admiral said he lost confidence in the commander’s ability, according to a Navy spokeswoman.

Capt. Michael P. McNellis was relieved as commander of Carrier Air Wing 5 by Rear Adm. Richard B. Wren, commander of Commander Task Force 70, the Navy said in a news release.

The admiral’s mast, a nonjudicial punishment proceeding below the level of court-martial, was held Friday at sea aboard the Kitty Hawk, according to Cmdr. Jensin W. Sommer, CTF-70 strike group spokeswoman.

Sommer declined Friday evening to give any details about the circumstances leading to McNellis’ nonjudicial proceeding.

Sommer described Wren’s findings as a removal from command “due to a loss of confidence, not a punishment.”

McNellis left the Kitty Hawk on Friday, Sommer said. McNellis, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and trained as an EA-6B Prowler pilot, was preparing for retirement, she said.

Capt. Michael S. White, the former air wing deputy commander, assumed command, Sommer said.

McNellis took command of Carrier Air Wing 5 in September 2006 from Capt. Garry Mace, who commended McNellis at the time for his experience.

“Since I started working with [McNellis], he’s always been a moral compass for me, keeping me pointed in the right direction,” Mace said in 2006. “I’m sure as a leader, he’ll do great things for this air wing.”

The air wing is based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi and includes seven aircraft squadrons and two smaller aircraft detachments, consisting of about 70 aircraft and 2,000 people. It is part of the Kitty Hawk’s strike group, the largest in the Navy.

The USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group is conducting training and operations in the Philippine Sea, Sommer wrote in the news release.


Psalms Chapter 93

א יְהוָה מָלָךְ, גֵּאוּת לָבֵשׁ:
לָבֵשׁ יְהוָה, עֹז הִתְאַזָּר; אַף-תִּכּוֹן תֵּבֵל, בַּל-תִּמּוֹט.
1 The LORD reigneth; He is clothed in majesty; {N}
the LORD is clothed, He hath girded Himself with strength; yea, the world is established, that it cannot be moved.
ב נָכוֹן כִּסְאֲךָ מֵאָז; מֵעוֹלָם אָתָּה. 2 Thy throne is established of old; Thou art from everlasting.
ג נָשְׂאוּ נְהָרוֹת, יְהוָה--נָשְׂאוּ נְהָרוֹת קוֹלָם; יִשְׂאוּ נְהָרוֹת דָּכְיָם. 3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their roaring.
ד מִקֹּלוֹת, מַיִם רַבִּים--אַדִּירִים מִשְׁבְּרֵי-יָם; אַדִּיר בַּמָּרוֹם יְהוָה. 4 Above the voices of many waters, the mighty breakers of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty.
ה עֵדֹתֶיךָ, נֶאֶמְנוּ מְאֹד--לְבֵיתְךָ נַאֲוָה-קֹדֶשׁ: יְהוָה, לְאֹרֶךְ יָמִים. 5 Thy testimonies are very sure, holiness becometh Thy house, O LORD, for evermore. {P}


I have obtained reprint permission for the Internet for Jeffrey Snyder's "A Nation of Cowards". It may be reproduced freely, including forwarding copies to politicians, provided that it is not distributed for profit and subscription information is included.

I especially encourage you to copy and pass on this strong statement about firearms ownership to friends, colleagues, undecideds, and other firearms rights supporters. Your grassroots pamphleteering can counter the propaganda blitz now going on by introducing some reason to the debate. This essay is one of our best weapons.

To get plaintext: ftp, get /public_html/comment/cowards.txt The WWW URL is:

Jeff Chan

"A Nation of Cowards" was published in the Fall, '93 issue of The Public Interest, a quarterly journal of opinion published by National Affairs, Inc.

Single copies of The Public Interest are available for $6. Annual subscription rate is $21 ($24 US, for Canadian and foreign subscriptions). Single copies of this or other issues, and subscriptions, can be obtained from:

    The Public Interest
    1112 16th St., N.W., Suite 140
    Washington, DC 20036

    (C) 1993 by The Public Interest.


Jeffrey R. Snyder

OUR SOCIETY has reached a pinnacle of self-expression and respect for individuality rare or unmatched in history. Our entire popular culture -- from fashion magazines to the cinema -- positively screams the matchless worth of the individual, and glories in eccentricity, nonconformity, independent judgment, and self-determination. This enthusiasm is reflected in the prevalent notion that helping someone entails increasing that person's "self-esteem"; that if a person properly values himself, he will naturally be a happy, productive, and, in some inexplicable fashion, responsible member of society.

And yet, while people are encouraged to revel in their individuality and incalculable self-worth, the media and the law enforcement establishment continually advise us that, when confronted with the threat of lethal violence, we should not resist, but simply give the attacker what he wants. If the crime under consideration is rape, there is some notable waffling on this point, and the discussion quickly moves to how the woman can change her behavior to minimize the risk of rape, and the various ridiculous, non-lethal weapons she may acceptably carry, such as whistles, keys, mace or, that weapon which really sends shivers down a rapist's spine, the portable cellular phone.

Now how can this be? How can a person who values himself so highly calmly accept the indignity of a criminal assault? How can one who believes that the essence of his dignity lies in his self-determination passively accept the forcible deprivation of that self-determination? How can he, quietly, with great dignity and poise, simply hand over the goods?

The assumption, of course, is that there is no inconsistency. The advice not to resist a criminal assault and simply hand over the goods is founded on the notion that one's life is of incalculable value, and that no amount of property is worth it. Put aside, for a moment, the outrageousness of the suggestion that a criminal who proffers lethal violence should be treated as if he has instituted a new social contract: "I will not hurt or kill you if you give me what I want." For years, feminists have labored to educate people that rape is not about sex, but about domination, degradation, and control. Evidently, someone needs to inform the law enforcement establishment and the media that kidnapping, robbery, carjacking, and assault are not about property.

Crime is not only a complete disavowal of the social contract, but also a commandeering of the victim's person and liberty. If the individual's dignity lies in the fact that he is a moral agent engaging in actions of his own will, in free exchange with others, then crime always violates the victim's dignity. It is, in fact, an act of enslavement. Your wallet, your purse, or your car may not be worth your life, but your dignity is; and if it is not worth fighting for, it can hardly be said to exist.

The Gift of Life

Although difficult for modern man to fathom, it was once widely believed that life was a gift from God, that to not defend that life when offered violence was to hold God's gift in contempt, to be a coward and to breach one's duty to one's community. A sermon given in Philadelphia in 1747 unequivocally equated the failure to defend oneself with suicide:

He that suffers his life to be taken from him by one that hath no authority for that purpose, when he might preserve it by defense, incurs the Guilt of self murder since God hath enjoined him to seek the continuance of his life, and Nature itself teaches every creature to defend itself.

"Cowardice" and "self-respect" have largely disappeared from public discourse. In their place we are offered "self-esteem" as the bellwether of success and a proxy for dignity. "Self-respect" implies that one recognizes standards, and judges oneself worthy by the degree to which one lives up to them. "Self-esteem" simply means that one feels good about oneself. "Dignity" used to refer to the self-mastery and fortitude with which a person conducted himself in the face of life's vicissitudes and the boorish behavior of others. Now, judging by campus speech codes, dignity requires that we never encounter a discouraging word and that others be coerced into acting respectfully, evidently on the assumption that we are powerless to prevent our degradation if exposed to the demeaning behavior of others. These are signposts proclaiming the insubstantiality of our character, the hollowness of our souls.

It is impossible to address the problem of rampant crime without talking about the moral responsibility of the intended victim. Crime is rampant because the law-abiding, each of us, condone it, excuse it, permit it, submit to it. We permit and encourage it because we do not fight back, immediately, then and there, where it happens. Crime is not rampant because we do not have enough prisons, because judges and prosecutors are too soft, because the police are hamstrung with absurd technicalities. The defect is there, in our character. We are a nation of cowards and shirkers.

Do You Feel Lucky?

In 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh released the FBI's annual crime statistics, he noted that it is now more likely that a person will be the victim of a violent crime than that he will be in an auto accident. Despite this, most people readily believe that the existence of the police relieves them of the responsibility to take full measures to protect themselves. The police, however, are not personal bodyguards. Rather, they act as a general deterrent to crime, both by their presence and by apprehending criminals after the fact. As numerous courts have held, they have no legal obligation to protect anyone in particular. You cannot sue them for failing to prevent you from being the victim of a crime.

Insofar as the police deter by their presence, they are very, very good. Criminals take great pains not to commit a crime in front of them. Unfortunately, the corollary is that you can pretty much bet your life (and you are) that they won't be there at the moment you actually need them.

Should you ever be the victim of an assault, a robbery, or a rape, you will find it very difficult to call the police while the act is in progress, even if you are carrying a portable cellular phone. Nevertheless, you might be interested to know how long it takes them to show up. Department of Justice statistics for 1991 show that, for all crimes of violence, only 28 percent of calls are responded to within five minutes. The idea that protection is a service people can call to have delivered and expect to receive in a timely fashion is often mocked by gun owners, who love to recite the challenge, "Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first."

Many people deal with the problem of crime by convincing themselves that they live, work, and travel only in special "crime-free" zones. Invariably, they react with shock and hurt surprise when they discover that criminals do not play by the rules and do not respect these imaginary boundaries. If, however, you understand that crime can occur anywhere at anytime, and if you understand that you can be maimed or mortally wounded in mere seconds, you may wish to consider whether you are willing to place the responsibility for safeguarding your life in the hands of others.

Power And Responsibility

Is your life worth protecting? If so, whose responsibility is it to protect it? If you believe that it is the police's, not only are you wrong -- since the courts universally rule that they have no legal obligation to do so -- but you face some difficult moral quandaries. How can you rightfully ask another human being to risk his life to protect yours, when you will assume no responsibility yourself? Because that is his job and we pay him to do it? Because your life is of incalculable value, but his is only worth the $30,000 salary we pay him? If you believe it reprehensible to possess the means and will to use lethal force to repel a criminal assault, how can you call upon another to do so for you?

Do you believe that you are forbidden to protect yourself because the police are better qualified to protect you, because they know what they are doing but you're a rank amateur? Put aside that this is equivalent to believing that only concert pianists may play the piano and only professional athletes may play sports. What exactly are these special qualities possessed only by the police and beyond the rest of us mere mortals?

One who values his life and takes seriously his responsibilities to his family and community will possess and cultivate the means of fighting back, and will retaliate when threatened with death or grievous injury to himself or a loved one. He will never be content to rely solely on others for his safety, or to think he has done all that is possible by being aware of his surroundings and taking measures of avoidance. Let's not mince words: He will be armed, will be trained in the use of his weapon, and will defend himself when faced with lethal violence.

Fortunately, there is a weapon for preserving life and liberty that can be wielded effectively by almost anyone -- the handgun. Small and light enough to be carried habitually, lethal, but unlike the knife or sword, not demanding great skill or strength, it truly is the "great equalizer." Requiring only hand-eye coordination and a modicum of ability to remain cool under pressure, it can be used effectively by the old and the weak against the young and the strong, by the one against the many.

The handgun is the only weapon that would give a lone female jogger a chance of prevailing against a gang of thugs intent on rape, a teacher a chance of protecting children at recess from a madman intent on massacring them, a family of tourists waiting at a mid-town subway station the means to protect themselves from a gang of teens armed with razors and knives.

But since we live in a society that by and large outlaws the carrying of arms, we are brought into the fray of the Great American Gun War. Gun control is one of the most prominent battlegrounds in our current culture wars. Yet it is unique in the half-heartedness with which our conservative leaders and pundits -- our "conservative elite" -- do battle, and have conceded the moral high ground to liberal gun control proponents. It is not a topic often written about, or written about with any great fervor, by William F. Buckley or Patrick Buchanan. As drug czar, William Bennett advised President Bush to ban "assault weapons." George Will is on record as recommending the repeal of the Second Amendment, and Jack Kemp is on record as favoring a ban on the possession of semiautomatic "assault weapons." The battle for gun rights is one fought predominantly by the common man. The beliefs of both our liberal and conservative elites are in fact abetting the criminal rampage through our society.

Selling Crime Prevention

By any rational measure, nearly all gun control proposals are hokum. The Brady Bill, for example, would not have prevented John Hinckley from obtaining a gun to shoot President Reagan; Hinckley purchased his weapon five months before the attack, and his medical records could not have served as a basis to deny his purchase of a gun, since medical records are not public documents filed with the police. Similarly, California's waiting period and background check did not stop Patrick Purdy from purchasing the "assault rifle" and handguns he used to massacre children during recess in a Stockton schoolyard; the felony conviction that would have provided the basis for stopping the sales did not exist, because Mr. Purdy's previous weapons violations were plea-bargained down from felonies to misdemeanors.

In the mid-sixties there was a public service advertising campaign targeted at car owners about the prevention of car theft. The purpose of the ad was to urge car owners not to leave their keys in their cars. The message was, "Don't help a good boy go bad." The implication was that, by leaving his keys in his car, the normal, law-abiding car owner was contributing to the delinquency of minors who, if they just weren't tempted beyond their limits, would be "good." Now, in those days people still had a fair sense of just who was responsible for whose behavior. The ad succeeded in enraging a goodly portion of the populace, and was soon dropped.

Nearly all of the gun control measures offered by Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI) and its ilk embody the same philosophy. They are founded on the belief that America's law-abiding gun owners are the source of the problem. With their unholy desire for firearms, they are creating a society awash in a sea of guns, thereby helping good boys go bad, and helping bad boys be badder. This laying of moral blame for violent crime at the feet of the law-abiding, and the implicit absolution of violent criminals for their misdeeds, naturally infuriates honest gun owners.

The files of HCI and other gun control organizations are filled with proposals to limit the availability of semiautomatic and other firearms to law-abiding citizens, and barren of proposals for apprehending and punishing violent criminals. It is ludicrous to expect that the proposals of HCI, or any gun control laws, will significantly curb crime. According to Department of Justice and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) statistics, fully 90 percent of violent crimes are committed without a handgun, and 93 percent of the guns obtained by violent criminals are not obtained through the lawful purchase and sale transactions that are the object of most gun control legislation. Furthermore, the number of violent criminals is minute in comparison to the number of firearms in America -- estimated by the ATF at about 200 million, approximately one-third of which are handguns. With so abundant a supply, there will always be enough guns available for those who wish to use them for nefarious ends, no matter how complete the legal prohibitions against them, or how draconian the punishment for their acquisition or use. No, the gun control proposals of HCI and other organizations are not seriously intended as crime control. Something else is at work here.

The Tyranny of the Elite

Gun control is a moral crusade against a benighted, barbaric citizenry. This is demonstrated not only by the ineffectualness of gun control in preventing crime, and by the fact that it focuses on restricting the behavior of the law-abiding rather than apprehending and punishing the guilty, but also by the execration that gun control proponents heap on gun owners and their evil instrumentality, the NRA. Gun owners are routinely portrayed as uneducated, paranoid rednecks fascinated by and prone to violence, i.e., exactly the type of person who opposes the liberal agenda and whose moral and social "re-education" is the object of liberal social policies. Typical of such bigotry is New York Gov. Mario Cuomo's famous characterization of gun-owners as "hunters who drink beer, don't vote, and lie to their wives about where they were all weekend." Similar vituperation is rained upon the NRA, characterized by Sen. Edward Kennedy as the "pusher's best friend," lampooned in political cartoons as standing for the right of children to carry firearms to school and, in general, portrayed as standing for an individual's God-given right to blow people away at will.

The stereotype is, of course, false. As criminologist and constitutional lawyer Don B. Kates, Jr. and former HCI contributor Dr. Patricia Harris have pointed out, "[s]tudies consistently show that, on the average, gun owners are better educated and have more prestigious jobs than non-owners.... Later studies show that gun owners are less likely than non-owners to approve of police brutality, violence against dissenters, etc."

Conservatives must understand that the antipathy many liberals have for gun owners arises in good measure from their statist utopianism. This habit of mind has nowhere been better explored than in The Republic. There, Plato argues that the perfectly just society is one in which an unarmed people exhibit virtue by minding their own business in the performance of their assigned functions, while the government of philosopher-kings, above the law and protected by armed guardians unquestioning in their loyalty to the state, engineers, implements, and fine-tunes the creation of that society, aided and abetted by myths that both hide and justify their totalitarian manipulation.

The Unarmed Life

When columnist Carl Rowan preaches gun control and uses a gun to defend his home, when Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer seeks legislation year after year to ban semiautomatic "assault weapons" whose only purpose, we are told, is to kill people, while he is at the same time escorted by state police armed with large-capacity 9mm semiautomatic pistols, it is not simple hypocrisy. It is the workings of that habit of mind possessed by all superior beings who have taken upon themselves the terrible burden of civilizing the masses and who understand, like our Congress, that laws are for other people.

The liberal elite know that they are philosopher-kings. They know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way.

The private ownership of firearms is a rebuke to this utopian zeal. To own firearms is to affirm that freedom and liberty are not gifts from the state. It is to reserve final judgment about whether the state is encroaching on freedom and liberty, to stand ready to defend that freedom with more than mere words, and to stand outside the state's totalitarian reach.

The Florida Experience

The elitist distrust of the people underlying the gun control movement is illustrated beautifully in HCI's campaign against a new concealed-carry law in Florida. Prior to 1987, the Florida law permitting the issuance of concealed-carry permits was administered at the county level. The law was vague, and, as a result, was subject to conflicting interpretation and political manipulation. Permits were issued principally to security personnel and the privileged few with political connections. Permits were valid only within the county of issuance.

In 1987, however, Florida enacted a uniform concealed-carry law which mandates that county authorities issue a permit to anyone who satisfies certain objective criteria. The law requires that a permit be issued to any applicant who is a resident, at least twenty-one years of age, has no criminal record, no record of alcohol or drug abuse, no history of mental illness, and provides evidence of having satisfactorily completed a firearms safety course offered by the NRA or other competent instructor. The applicant must provide a set of fingerprints, after which the authorities make a background check. The permit must be issued or denied within ninety days, is valid throughout the state, and must be renewed every three years, which provides authorities a regular means of reevaluating whether the permit holder still qualifies.

Passage of this legislation was vehemently opposed by HCI and the media. The law, they said, would lead to citizens shooting each other over everyday disputes involving fender benders, impolite behavior, and other slights to their dignity. Terms like "Florida, the Gunshine State" and "Dodge City East" were coined to suggest that the state, and those seeking passage of the law, were encouraging individuals to act as judge, jury, and executioner in a "Death Wish" society.

No HCI campaign more clearly demonstrates the elitist beliefs underlying the campaign to eradicate gun ownership. Given the qualifications required of permit holders, HCI and the media can only believe that common, law-abiding citizens are seething cauldrons of homicidal rage, ready to kill to avenge any slight to their dignity, eager to seek out and summarily execute the lawless. Only lack of immediate access to a gun restrains them and prevents the blood from flowing in the streets. They are so mentally and morally deficient that they would mistake a permit to carry a weapon in self-defense as a state-sanctioned license to kill at will.

Did the dire predictions come true? Despite the fact that Miami and Dade County have severe problems with the drug trade, the homicide rate fell in Florida following enactment of this law, as it did in Oregon following enactment of similar legislation there. There are, in addition, several documented cases of new permit holders successfully using their weapons to defend themselves. Information from the Florida Department of State shows that, from the beginning of the program in 1987 through June 1993, 160,823 permits have been issued, and only 530, or about 0.33 percent of the applicants, have been denied a permit for failure to satisfy the criteria, indicating that the law is benefitting those whom it was intended to benefit -- the law-abiding. Only 16 permits, less than 1/100th of 1 percent, have been revoked due to the post-issuance commission of a crime involving a firearm.

The Florida legislation has been used as a model for legislation adopted by Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Mississippi. There are, in addition, seven other states (Maine, North and South Dakota, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, and, with the exception of cities with a population in excess of 1 million, Pennsylvania) which provide that concealed-carry permits must be issued to law-abiding citizens who satisfy various objective criteria. Finally, no permit is required at all in Vermont. Altogether, then, there are thirteen states in which law-abiding citizens who wish to carry arms to defend themselves may do so. While no one appears to have compiled the statistics from all of these jurisdictions, there is certainly an ample data base for those seeking the truth about the trustworthiness of law-abiding citizens who carry firearms.

Other evidence also suggests that armed citizens are very responsible in using guns to defend themselves. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, using surveys and other data, has determined that armed citizens defend their lives or property with firearms against criminals approximately 1 million times a year. In 98 percent of these instances, the citizen merely brandishes the weapon or fires a warning shot. Only in 2 percent of the cases do citizens actually shoot their assailants. In defending themselves with their firearms, armed citizens kill 2,000 to 3,000 criminals each year, three times the number killed by the police. A nationwide study by Kates, the constitutional lawyer and criminologist, found that only 2 percent of civilian shootings involved an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal. The "error rate" for the police, however, was 11 percent, over five times as high.

It is simply not possible to square the numbers above and the experience of Florida with the notions that honest, law-abiding gun owners are borderline psychopaths itching for an excuse to shoot someone, vigilantes eager to seek out and summarily execute the lawless, or incompetent fools incapable of determining when it is proper to use lethal force in defense of their lives. Nor upon reflection should these results seem surprising. Rape, robbery, and attempted murder are not typically actions rife with ambiguity or subtlety, requiring special powers of observation and great book-learning to discern. When a man pulls a knife on a woman and says, "You're coming with me," her judgment that a crime is being committed is not likely to be in error. There is little chance that she is going to shoot the wrong person. It is the police, because they are rarely at the scene of the crime when it occurs, who are more likely to find themselves in circumstances where guilt and innocence are not so clear-cut, and in which the probability for mistakes is higher.

Arms and Liberty

Classical republican philosophy has long recognized the critical relationship between personal liberty and the possession of arms by a people ready and willing to use them. Political theorists as dissimilar as Niccolo Machiavelli, Sir Thomas More, James Harrington, Algernon Sidney, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau all shared the view that the possession of arms is vital for resisting tyranny, and that to be disarmed by one's government is tantamount to being enslaved by it. The possession of arms by the people is the ultimate warrant that government governs only with the consent of the governed. As Kates has shown, the Second Amendment is as much a product of this political philosophy as it is of the American experience in the Revolutionary War. Yet our conservative elite has abandoned this aspect of republican theory. Although our conservative pundits recognize and embrace gun owners as allies in other arenas, their battle for gun rights is desultory. The problem here is not a statist utopianism, although goodness knows that liberals are not alone in the confidence they have in the state's ability to solve society's problems. Rather, the problem seems to lie in certain cultural traits shared by our conservative and liberal elites.

One such trait is an abounding faith in the power of the word. The failure of our conservative elite to defend the Second Amendment stems in great measure from an overestimation of the power of the rights set forth in the First Amendment, and a general undervaluation of action. Implicit in calls for the repeal of the Second Amendment is the assumption that our First Amendment rights are sufficient to preserve our liberty. The belief is that liberty can be preserved as long as men freely speak their minds; that there is no tyranny or abuse that can survive being exposed in the press; and that the truth need only be disclosed for the culprits to be shamed. The people will act, and the truth shall set us, and keep us, free.

History is not kind to this belief, tending rather to support the view of Hobbes, Machiavelli, and other republican theorists that only people willing and able to defend themselves can preserve their liberties. While it may be tempting and comforting to believe that the existence of mass electronic communication has forever altered the balance of power between the state and its subjects, the belief has certainly not been tested by time, and what little history there is in the age of mass communication is not especially encouraging. The camera, radio, and press are mere tools and, like guns, can be used for good or ill. Hitler, after all, was a masterful orator, used radio to very good effect, and is well known to have pioneered and exploited the propaganda opportunities afforded by film. And then, of course, there were the Brownshirts, who knew very well how to quell dissent among intellectuals.

Polite Society

In addition to being enamored of the power of words, our conservative elite shares with liberals the notion that an armed society is just not civilized or progressive, that massive gun ownership is a blot on our civilization. This association of personal disarmament with civilized behavior is one of the great unexamined beliefs of our time.

Should you read English literature from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, you will discover numerous references to the fact that a gentleman, especially when out at night or traveling, armed himself with a sword or a pistol against the chance of encountering a highwayman or other such predator. This does not appear to have shocked the ladies accompanying him. True, for the most part there were no police in those days, but we have already addressed the notion that the presence of the police absolves people of the responsibility to look after their safety, and in any event the existence of the police cannot be said to have reduced crime to negligible levels.

It is by no means obvious why it is "civilized" to permit oneself to fall easy prey to criminal violence, and to permit criminals to continue unobstructed in their evil ways. While it may be that a society in which crime is so rare that no one ever needs to carry a weapon is "civilized," a society that stigmatizes the carrying of weapons by the law-abiding -- because it distrusts its citizens more than it fears rapists, robbers, and murderers -- certainly cannot claim this distinction. Perhaps the notion that defending oneself with lethal force is not "civilized" arises from the view that violence is always wrong, or the view that each human being is of such intrinsic worth that it is wrong to kill anyone under any circumstances. The necessary implication of these propositions, however, is that life is not worth defending. Far from being "civilized," the beliefs that counterviolence and killing are always wrong are an invitation to the spread of barbarism. Such beliefs announce loudly and clearly that those who do not respect the lives and property of others will rule over those who do.

In truth, one who believes it wrong to arm himself against criminal violence shows contempt of God's gift of life (or, in modern parlance, does not properly value himself), does not live up to his responsibilities to his family and community, and proclaims himself mentally and morally deficient, because he does not trust himself to behave responsibly. In truth, a state that deprives its law-abiding citizens of the means to effectively defend themselves is not civilized but barbarous, becoming an accomplice of murderers, rapists, and thugs and revealing its totalitarian nature by its tacit admission that the disorganized, random havoc created by criminals is far less a threat than are men and women who believe themselves free and independent, and act accordingly.

While gun control proponents and other advocates of a kinder, gentler society incessantly decry our "armed society," in truth we do not live in an armed society. We live in a society in which violent criminals and agents of the state habitually carry weapons, and in which many law-abiding citizens own firearms but do not go about armed. Department of Justice statistics indicate that 87 percent of all violent crimes occur outside the home. Essentially, although tens of millions own firearms, we are an unarmed society.

Take Back the Night

Clearly the police and the courts are not providing a significant brake on criminal activity. While liberals call for more poverty, education, and drug treatment programs, conservatives take a more direct tack. George Will advocates a massive increase in the number of police and a shift toward "community-based policing." Meanwhile, the NRA and many conservative leaders call for laws that would require violent criminals serve at least 85 percent of their sentences and would place repeat offenders permanently behind bars.

Our society suffers greatly from the beliefs that only official action is legitimate and that the state is the source of our earthly salvation. Both liberal and conservative prescriptions for violent crime suffer from the "not in my job description" school of thought regarding the responsibilities of the law-abiding citizen, and from an overestimation of the ability of the state to provide society's moral moorings. As long as law-abiding citizens assume no personal responsibility for combatting crime, liberal and conservative programs will fail to contain it.

Judging by the numerous articles about concealed-carry in gun magazines, the growing number of products advertised for such purpose, and the increase in the number of concealed-carry applications in states with mandatory-issuance laws, more and more people, including growing numbers of women, are carrying firearms for self-defense. Since there are still many states in which the issuance of permits is discretionary and in which law enforcement officials routinely deny applications, many people have been put to the hard choice between protecting their lives or respecting the law. Some of these people have learned the hard way, by being the victim of a crime, or by seeing a friend or loved one raped, robbed, or murdered, that violent crime can happen to anyone, anywhere at anytime, and that crime is not about sex or property but life, liberty, and dignity.

The laws proscribing concealed-carry of firearms by honest, law-abiding citizens breed nothing but disrespect for the law. As the Founding Fathers knew well, a government that does not trust its honest, law-abiding, taxpaying citizens with the means of self-defense is not itself worthy of trust. Laws disarming honest citizens proclaim that the government is the master, not the servant, of the people. A federal law along the lines of the Florida statute -- overriding all contradictory state and local laws and acknowledging that the carrying of firearms by law-abiding citizens is a privilege and immunity of citizenship -- is needed to correct the outrageous conduct of state and local officials operating under discretionary licensing systems.

What we certainly do not need is more gun control. Those who call for the repeal of the Second Amendment so that we can really begin controlling firearms betray a serious misunderstanding of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights does not grant rights to the people, such that its repeal would legitimately confer upon government the powers otherwise proscribed. The Bill of Rights is the list of the fundamental, inalienable rights, endowed in man by his Creator, that define what it means to be a free and independent people, the rights which must exist to ensure that government governs only with the consent of the people.

At one time this was even understood by the Supreme Court. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the first case in which the Court had an opportunity to interpret the Second Amendment, it stated that the right confirmed by the Second Amendment "is not a right granted by the constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence." The repeal of the Second Amendment would no more render the outlawing of firearms legitimate than the repeal of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment would authorize the government to imprison and kill people at will. A government that abrogates any of the Bill of Rights, with or without majoritarian approval, forever acts illegitimately, becomes tyrannical, and loses the moral right to govern.

This is the uncompromising understanding reflected in the warning that America's gun owners will not go gently into that good, utopian night: "You can have my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands." While liberals take this statement as evidence of the retrograde, violent nature of gun owners, we gun owners hope that liberals hold equally strong sentiments about their printing presses, word processors, and television cameras. The republic depends upon fervent devotion to all our fundamental rights.



War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think

There is considerable speculation and buzz in Washington today suggesting that the National Security Council has agreed in principle to proceed with plans to attack an Iranian al-Qods-run camp that is believed to be training Iraqi militants. The camp that will be targeted is one of several located near Tehran. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was the only senior official urging delay in taking any offensive action.

The decision to go ahead with plans to attack Iran is the direct result of concerns being expressed over the deteriorating situation in Lebanon, where Iranian ally Hezbollah appears to have gained the upper hand against government forces and might be able to dominate the fractious political situation. The White House contacted the Iranian government directly yesterday through a channel provided by the leadership of the Kurdish region in Iraq, which has traditionally had close ties to Tehran.

The US demanded that Iran admit that it has been interfering in Iraq and also commit itself to taking steps to end the support of various militant groups. There was also a warning about interfering in Lebanon. The Iranian government reportedly responded quickly, restating its position that it would not discuss the matter until the US ceases its own meddling employing Iranian dissident groups.

The perceived Iranian intransigence coupled with the Lebanese situation convinced the White House that some sort of unambiguous signal has to be sent to the Iranian leadership, presumably in the form of cruise missiles. It is to be presumed that the attack will be as “pinpoint” and limited as possible, intended to target only al-Qods and avoid civilian casualties. The decision to proceed with plans for an attack is not final. The President will still have to give the order to launch after all preparations are made.


Friday, May 09, 2008


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Defender Loads: Penetration of 8" to 13". Greater Stopping Power than any hollowpoint ammo in its caliber! Loads in this section are OK for use in alloy-framed guns, and have some penetration to defeat car doors & glass, or one or more home walls or doors.

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.25 ACP #25D + P Defender 22 1,750fps/150fpe in Beretta 21; 1670/127 in PSP-25 20.95 Doubles Factory Energy
.32 ACP *NOTE: Do not use in Kel-tec P-32. #32X 36-grain X-Load NEW! 36 1,450 + fps/168 ft-lbs in SEECAMP. Really FAST! 20.95 Super Potent in any auto
.32 H&R Mag #32HD Defender 50 1,700 f.p.s. /321 20.95
.380 ACP *NOTE: Do not use in Kel-tec P-3AT. #380D Defender 60 1,500/300 - SIG 230; 1,360/246 -AMT Backup DAO 20.95 Potent defense load
.380 ACP *NOTE: Do not use in Kel-tec P-3AT. #380 MAX + P + 52 1,720/342 - SIG P-230; 1,620/303 - Colt Mustang 20.95 Not for Davis or Grendal P-10
9mm Luger (Para) #95 + P Max Load 64 1,950fps/540fpe - Glock 17 Replaces #9P Load 21.95 Best all-around 9mm load
9mm Luger - NEW #9MG Mini-Glock Load 50 2,000fps/444f ft-lbs in Glock M26 (or other 3.5" gun) 21.95 Best for short-barrelled autos
9mm Luger #9D Defender 60 1,800fps/431 ft-lbs in Glock 19 21.95 Lowest recoil of any 9mm load!
.38 Special #38D Defender Std. Pressure 52 1,620/303 in 3" 642 Lowest recoil & pressures 21.95 For Allow-Framed Guns
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10mm #10W SWAT Load 46 2,400fps/588 ft=lbs in Delta Elite 22.95 Epoxy core, low recoil
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.44 Special 55-grain Swat Load 94 2,000 ft per second/488 ft-lbs 5 1/2 inch Ruger 22.95 Breaks apart in sheetrock. Best home defense load.
.44 Magnum #44MD Defender 117 1,860/899 - 4"; 1,960/998 - 6" No flash 22.95 Best Defense load
.44 Magnum 55-grain Swat Load 94 2,500 ft per second/760 ft-lbs 5 1/2 inch Ruger 22.95 Breaks apart in sheetrock. BEST .44 Magnum load for home defense!
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A Secret Afghanistan Mission Prepares for War with Iran

Those predicting war with Iran or some Bush-Cheney October surprise attack on Tehran are constantly looking for signs of military preparations: a B-52 bomber that mistakenly takes off from North Dakota with nuclear-armed cruise missiles; a second or third aircraft carrier entering the Persian Gulf; a B-1 crashing in Qatar.

Since the most likely path to war with Iran is not Marines storming the beach but a strike on nuclear facilities and "regime" targets, signs such as these can often just be mirages. The true strike is not necessarily going to come with any warning, and the U.S. military has developed an entire system called "global strike" to implement such a preemptive strike.

A secret mission conducted last August over Afghanistan caught my eye because it tells us everything we need to know about the ability of the U.S. military to conduct a bolt-out-of-the-blue attack in Iran. It also tells us how useless such a strike might be.

On Aug. 12, 2007, four F-16CJ fighters took off on an 11-hour mission from Iraq to Eastern Afghanistan, crossing the airspace of six different nations, before dropping more than a dozen precision-guided bombs on Taliban targets. The crews of the record-breaking flight received the coveted Clarence MacKay Trophy for 2007, an award given annually for "the most meritorious flight" of the year.

The secret mission had never before been attempted, according to the Air Force, and the pilots were allotted a two-minute window of attack at the end of their 2,100-mile flight. The entire non-stop mission, which took 13 aerial refuelings, was the equivalent of flying from New York to Los Angeles and back.

The mission was a success, according to the Air Force: It resulted in "direct hits" that allowed coalition ground forces to "conduct raids on Taliban positions."

However, a check of the news out of Afghanistan for the week of Aug. 12 reveals no real air strike of significance. On Aug. 12, the wire services reported fighting near the Pakistani border and the death of three U.S. soldiers and their Afghan interpreter from a roadside bomb. Further fighting was reported on Aug. 13 and Aug. 14, but no significant bombing missions in support of U.S. or Afghan forces. On Aug. 15, the Afghan government announced a large scale three-day operation in the area of Tora Bora, an operation launched in response to the killing of three U.S. soldiers by IED earlier that week. Officials said nearly 50 suspected Pakistani and Taliban militants were killed in air and ground operations. Coalition aircraft carried out two sorties to target the Taliban positions in that area, an Afghan official said.

I don't doubt that the F-16CJ night mission was complicated and historic, as well as physically and mentally demanding. The crews, according to the Air Force, worked with new operating instructions and went into the unknown. The squadron commander had only 18 hours to plan and prepare for the attack. The mission was so secret, furthermore, it was not listed on the daily Air Tasking Order, the daily schedule distributed throughout the U.S. military, further complicating aerial refuelings and overflights.

If on Aug. 12, 2007, the United States had killed Osama bin Laden or scored some major victory in Afghanistan, one might fully appreciate the mission and the award of the MacKay Trophy. But I suspect that what was important here is that the mission went like clockwork, not that something important in Afghanistan was destroyed.

None of this is to besmirch the effort or the achievement. But if this was really a rehearsal to attack Iran, it was a mission where getting the airplanes over the target was more consequential than what was actually bombed.



Exclusive: Lebanese army chief defies government as Syria steps in to back Hizballah’s conquest of Beirut districts

May 9, 2008, 1:49 PM (GMT+02:00)

Shiite gunman in Beirut faces no military resistance

Shiite gunman in Beirut faces no military resistance

At least 11 people were killed Friday, May 9, Day 3 of fierce clashes between Hizballah and pro-government forces, the worst since the 1975-90 civil war. At noon, Syrian Social Nationalist Party’s units entered Beirut to support Hizballah’s advancing occupation of Sunni West Beirut districts.

DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources report that Thursday night, army chief Gen. Michel Suleiman refused to obey prime minister Fouad Siniora’s order to declare a state of emergency for the crisis created by Hizballah’s declaration of war against the government. The general warned that if the government enacted an emergency, he would order the troops to return to barracks.

The SSNP is a Greek Orthodox arm of Syrian military intelligence.

Hizballah and fellow Shiite Amal fighters were thus able to seize control of most of pr-government Sunni West Beirut in clashes that have spread to other parts of the Lebanon while the government was left unprotected.

The urban warfare shut down Lebanon's port and all but closed the international airport, with burning barricades on major highways in Beirut.

The army has only interfered in extreme situations. Friday, soldiers rescued the anti-Syrian majority leader Saad Hariri and allied Druze leader Walid Jumblatt when their mansions were surrounded and attacked by Shiite forces, but they did not make the assailants move out. The Lebanese army, half of whose members are Shiites, thus permitted Hizballah and Amal clinch their control of the Sunni neighborhoods.

The Lebanese army also took over the pro-government Future TV station and newspaper owned by Hariri after they were blown up. The army agreed to keep the station off the air.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the United States, France and Israel are watching passively as Lebanon falls to Iran’s surrogate terrorist group Hizballah. Since the 2006 Lebanon war, prime minister Ehud Olmert has insisted improbably that the conflict had left Hizballah seriously weakened.

Hizballah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Thursday night that the only way to stop the violence was for the “black gang” ruling the government to withdraw its decisions to close his military telecommunications network and restore Hizballah loyalists to key positions at Beirut international airport.

« Benjamin Netanyahu looks to return to power in Israel.
(Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

Can This Man Save Israel?

October 29, 2007 | From

How the resurgence of Likud may actually hasten the division of Jerusalem. By Stephen Flurry

My father stated on television in January 2006 that Benjamin Netanyahu might return to power in Israel. Two months later, his Likud party got trounced in parliamentary elections. Its 38 seats in the 120-seat parliament got slashed to just 12.

Today, however, Likud has revived—and Netanyahu, judging by recent public opinion polls, is first in line to succeed Ehud Olmert as Israel’s next prime minister.

How close are we to a rightward shift in Israeli politics? And should that happen, how will it impact the status of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the Jewish state?

No political party in Israel has ever obtained a simple majority of seats in the Knesset (61). The party with the most seats, however, forms a majority rule by coalescing with enough parties to maintain control. Olmert’s Kadima-led government consists of a five-party coalition—Kadima (29 seats), Labor (19), Shas (12), Yisrael Beiteinu (11) and Gil Pensioners (7)—totaling 78 seats. Israel’s next parliamentary election isn’t scheduled until March 2010. But if Kadima’s coalition breaks up before then, it would force early elections.

Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital city is one critical issue now testing the strength of Olmert’s government. Olmert’s plan for re-dividing Jerusalem has sharply divided members of the Knesset, as highlighted by Netanyahu’s parliamentary speech on October 8. “According to the government’s plan,” he said, “Israel will withdraw to the 1967 lines, hand over half of Jerusalem to the Palestinians and relinquish Israeli control over the holy sites in the city. Let there be no confusion—this is the plan. All attempts to disguise it are futile.”

Later, Netanyahu asked, “How many times is it possible to repeat the same blunder, to proceed with the same blindness? … The government concedes everything in advance. It erodes Israel’s positions in any future negotiation—and gets nothing in return. This is not how you negotiate! This is not how you make peace! But the government contends that by offering these far-reaching concessions, it is strengthening the moderates and weakening the extremists. The opposite is true.”

How true that is! And yet, succumbing to pressure from the U.S. State Department and from left-wingers in the Labor Party, Olmert forges ahead with his suicidal mission of helping build a terrorist state bordering Israel on every side! But there is a political price: If he pushes too hard with his appeasement proposals, right-leaning members of his coalition might jump ship.

This is exactly what Netanyahu is angling for. “I ask you, my friends in Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu,” Netanyahu said in his speech, “What are you doing in this government? Do you really agree with a policy that would have Hamas rule over neighborhoods in Jerusalem? … You are not preventing the danger by sitting in the government. On the contrary, you are giving legitimacy to a dangerous initiative and allowing it to happen.”

Between them, conservatives in Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu fill 23 seats in Olmert’s coalition. If they left, the coalition would suddenly be in the minority.

“If you are tired, step aside,” Netanyahu said—a not-so-subtle reference to Olmert’s infamous “we are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous” comment shortly before becoming prime minister. “If the government has stopped believing in the justice of our cause,” Netanyahu concluded, “if it is weary of standing up to our enemies—it must do one thing: Go to the people and set a date for elections.”

Besides the status of Jerusalem, Olmert is feeling heat on other fronts. He is currently undergoing three criminal investigations, which is unprecedented in Israel’s history as a state. Added to that, when the Winograd Commission releases its final report on Olmert’s mishandling of last summer’s war in Lebanon (which the commission has promised by year’s end), some insiders have speculated that Labor Party Chairman Ehud Barak may remove his party from the coalition in an attempt to topple the government.

So Netanyahu may get his wish for new elections sometime in 2008. And if he does, he may well become Israel’s next prime minister.

If that happens, how would that impact the status of Jerusalem?

He would undoubtedly return to power on the same platform he outlined in his October 8 speech: “Keep Jerusalem United.” And while his will to fight against terrorism might be far stronger than Olmert’s, by that point, it will be too little too late.

Too much damage has been done.

“Perhaps Israel’s greatest diplomatic failure since 2000,” Caroline Glick wrote in a Jerusalem Post column, “has been its failure to disavow Barak’s offers and remove them from the negotiating table. Once Arafat refused Barak’s far-reaching concessions and chose instead to launch a war against the Jewish state, Israel had numerous opportunities to make clear these concessions were no longer on offer. Disavowing them is crucial not simply because they are diplomatically unwise. They are strategically suicidal” (October 4).

A seven-year record of surrendering without a fight is not exactly a position of strength for the next prime minister to operate from—no matter how conservative he might be. And even if he does resolve to fight, the Israeli people have already been conditioned to give up half of their capital.

It wasn’t like that in January 2001, when Israel’s populace first learned about the stunning concessions Barak had offered Arafat. Jerusalem’s mayor at the time, Ehud Olmert of all people, organized a “One Jerusalem” demonstration in which 400,000 Israelis from all over the country assembled at the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City to declare their support for a united city under Jewish sovereign rule. It was Israel’s largest protest in its history.

That spontaneous reaction in support of one Jerusalem has long since evaporated; the weak will of Israel’s leadership these past seven years has spread like cancer all over Israel.

From the Jewish perspective, as I wrote in the July Trumpet, the real significance of the failed negotiations between Barak and Arafat in 2000 is not that Arafat refused to accept half of Jerusalem—it’s that an Israeli prime minister actually made the offer. Before July of 2000, that had never happened. But with Jerusalem placed on the table as a bargaining chip, and left there ever since, Israelis have had several years to warm up to the idea. A poll by Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies in May found that 58 percent of Israelis supported the idea of giving up parts of Arab East Jerusalem if it would solidify a peace deal with the Palestinians.

Today, it would be difficult imagining 40,000 Jews, let alone 400,000, rallying to protest the division of their capital.

On the other hand, imagine the Arab reaction to an Israeli politician arriving seven or eight years after Camp David promising to disavow everything Barak and Olmert conceded.

Mahmoud Abbas would be the real loser in that scenario, looking at it politically. And Hamas, which has been calling for negotiations to cease between the Palestinian Authority and Israel (not to mention the destruction of Israel as a state), would be vindicated throughout the Arab world. Haven’t we said this all along, Hamas would gloat. Negotiations with Israel are futile; it has never been serious about achieving peace.

Back for a moment to my father’s Jan. 6, 2006, Key of David program. Here was his Bible-based forecast: He said Israel is “going to be taken by force, and you need to realize that. Now, that might also indicate that the Likud, or the conservative party, will get in power.” That statement was based on a prophecy in Zechariah 14:1-2 that indicates a Hamas-dominated Palestinian insurgence, backed by Iran, will take half of Jerusalem by force.

In March 2006, my father followed up that program with this comment in the Trumpet: “[B]ased on the conflict Zechariah describes between the Palestinians and the Israeli government … Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party could bounce back and win the Israeli elections ….

That didn’t happen in March 2006. But look at the situation today. An October poll revealed that if elections were held right now, Likud would win 28 seats and Kadima’s majority would plunge from 29 to 13.

However the details play out, prophecy is sure. The violent division of Jerusalem as prophesied by Zechariah doesn’t depend on a conservative government being elected in Israel. But if Benjamin Netanyahu does return to power, as my father suggested in early 2006, you could definitely see how the Zechariah 14 crisis would come to a head much more quickly.

Zechariah Chapter 14

א הִנֵּה יוֹם-בָּא, לַיהוָה; וְחֻלַּק שְׁלָלֵךְ, בְּקִרְבֵּךְ. 1 Behold, a day of the LORD cometh, when thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
ב וְאָסַפְתִּי אֶת-כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם אֶל-יְרוּשָׁלִַם, לַמִּלְחָמָה, וְנִלְכְּדָה הָעִיר וְנָשַׁסּוּ הַבָּתִּים, וְהַנָּשִׁים תשגלנה (תִּשָּׁכַבְנָה); וְיָצָא חֲצִי הָעִיר, בַּגּוֹלָה, וְיֶתֶר הָעָם, לֹא יִכָּרֵת מִן-הָעִיר. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, but the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
ג וְיָצָא יְהוָה, וְנִלְחַם בַּגּוֹיִם הָהֵם, כְּיוֹם הִלָּחֲמוֹ, בְּיוֹם קְרָב. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fighteth in the day of battle.
ד וְעָמְדוּ רַגְלָיו בַּיּוֹם-הַהוּא עַל-הַר הַזֵּיתִים אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם, מִקֶּדֶם, וְנִבְקַע הַר הַזֵּיתִים מֵחֶצְיוֹ מִזְרָחָה וָיָמָּה, גֵּיא גְּדוֹלָה מְאֹד; וּמָשׁ חֲצִי הָהָר צָפוֹנָה, וְחֶצְיוֹ-נֶגְבָּה. 4 And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleft in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, so that there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.



Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faces charges that could derail his ministership.
(Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Olmert in Trouble

May 9, 2008 | From

Are we about to witness a move to the right in Israeli government?

Israel’s internal politics are once again in crisis.

It seems Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has stumbled from one crisis to another since coming to power. Police investigators met with Olmert on May 2 about what is rumored to be serious charges filed against him over alleged business dealings and bribes.

Whether or not the charges are founded, they are further destabilizing an already precarious government, with the conservatives indicating they will take advantage of the situation.

“We will act with all our determination to topple the government,” Likud Knesset member Silvan Shalom said on Israeli Radio. “The Israeli government is drowning in corruption.”

If the investigation gains traction, it will make it extremely difficult for Olmert to effectively lead his country—if not force his resignation—and there appears to be no other leader in his Kadima party capable of taking over.

Watch for a possible resurgence of the conservative Likud party as Olmert’s party is further weakened. Our November/December 2007 Trumpet cover story, “Can This Man Save Israel?”, details why we are expecting to see a return to more conservative government in Israel.



McCain Lies To O'Reilly: Says He Voted For Bush In 2000

NY Times, Washington Post, LA Times Confirm Arianna's Story That McCain Did Not Vote For Bush

It's radioactive, and it's missing
'9 items alone could create a dirty bomb'

Posted: May 09, 2008
12:00 am Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Harwell Atomic Energy Center

LONDON -- Britain's intelligence service MI5 has launched a high priority search for more than 1,000 pieces of missing radioactive medical equipment used in the treatment of cancers and other illnesses in British hospitals, says a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

The loss was discovered after Britain's understaffed National Health Service hospitals made their quarterly inventory returns to the government Environmental Agency -- responsible for the safety of all medical radioactive materials.

In all, some 10,000 items -- mostly used in nuclear medicine -- were accounted for. Those passed their use-by date were destroyed at one of Britain's nuclear reactors.