Friday, January 11, 2008


UPDATED SUN. Jan. 13, 2008



We'll nuke Iran - Bush promises Israel

Thu, 01/10/2008 - 16:08 - Wire Services - US President George W. Bush promised Israel's opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu that the United States will join the Jewish state in a nuclear strike against Iran, Israel Radio reported today.

Former Prime Minister Netanyahu, opposition Likud party's hardline chairman who opposes the US-backed Annapolis peace process, reiterated to President Bush his stance, that a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran's nuclear installations was the only way to stop the Islamic nation's nuclear weapons ambitions.

"I told him my position and Bush agreed," Netanyahu told Israel Radio.

During their 45-minute meeting at King David hotel in Jerusalem Netanyahu also told Bush that "Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish people and will remain under Israeli sovereignty for eternity."

President Bush issued a stark warning to Iran over Strait of Hormuz incident, saying that "all options are on the table to protect our assets."

“There will be serious consequences if they attack our ships, pure and simple,” Bush said during the joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. “And my advice to them is, don't do it.”

Bush criticized those who interpret the National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003, as a sign that Iran was no longer a threat.

"Let me remind you what the NIE actually said," Bush stold reporters. "It said that as far as the intelligence community could tell, at one time the Iranians had a military -- covert military program that was suspended in 2003 because of international pressure. My attitude is that a non-transparent country, a country which has yet to disclose what it was up to, can easily restart a program."


Israeli Military up in Arms over Bush-Olmert Plan for Major Operation in Gaza on Behalf of… Palestinian Authority

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

President George W. Bush gave Israel the nod for its long-delayed military operation against Hamas in the Gaza before he ended his 50-hour visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah on Friday, Jan. 11 – except that his provisos stop the Israeli military short of its objectives, namely stamping out the Palestinian missile campaign, halting smuggling and eradicating Hamas military stockpiles, as reported here by DEBKAfile’s military sources:

1. Israeli forces must limit their invasion to two or three strips abutting the Gaza-Israeli border of the 365 sq. km square Hamas-ruled territory on Israel’s southwestern border. Those sources identify those strips as the northern pocket of Beit Hanoun, Beit Lahiya and the fringes of the Jebalya camp; the southern areas east of Khan Younes up to the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings; and sections of the Philadelphi border strip with Egypt, up to and excluding the Mediterranean coast.

Operationally, this means the Israeli army may push back the Qassam missile launching sites from the border and distance this harassment from the Israeli population, but may not destroy terrorist arms and missile caches and their means of production.

Israel is also enabled to deal only partially with the smuggling system for the weapons, explosives, fighters and cash, which nourish the Gaza Strip’s Palestinian terrorist groups through Sinai.

2. The IDF must operate only in sparsely-populated areas and desist from actions that may cause extensive Palestinian civilian casualties.

3. The IDF will not capture the main cities, e.g. Gaza City, Rafah and Khan Younes.

4. After clearing captured areas of Hamas, Jihad Islami and other Palestinian terrorists, the Israeli army must pull out and hand the cleansed territory to the forces of the Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Israel must enable the passage of those forces from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip and allow them to establish military bases for launching their offensives to recapture the entire Gaza Strip, thereby reversing Hamas’ success in forcing their retreat six months ago.

Point 4 was tagged onto the list during the US president’s talks with Abbas in Ramallah Thursday, Jan. 10.

The Palestinian leader proposed that Bush’s assent to an Israel counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip be exploited for the IDF to prepare the ground for his Fatah-ruled Palestinian Authority to regain its control of the lost territory.

It was agreed between Bush, Abbas and Olmert, that the details of this plan be worked out after the US president returns home at the end of his Middle East tour.

The Bush-Olmert understanding entrusted defense minister Ehud Barak with leading and charting the Gaza operation, determining its timeline and being responsible to Washington for the IDF not stepping out of the above preset boundaries.

It will also be up to Barak to decide whether to pursue the objective in phased offensives.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Olmert government’s acceptance of this plan has stirred outrage in the IDF high command, general staff, southern command and the security establishment.

For the first time in its 60 years of independence, Israel’s national army is being pressed into service to capture a territory on behalf of a foreign entity. They ask by what authority did the prime minister and defense minister sign off on a plan which is an immoral distortion of the IDF’s longstanding mission.

The notion that members of Israel’s people’s army, which is duty bound to defend the state, may be ordered to fight and lay down their lives in the service of the Palestinian Authority, presents every serviceman with an irreconcilable dilemma.

It might be easier if they were permitted to eradicate the Palestinian missile threat and war machine, stock, lock and barrel. But this is ruled out by Bush.

The IDF found it difficult enough to recover its equilibrium from the political task to forcibly evict Jewish communities from the Gaza Strip foisted on it by the Sharon-Olmert-Livni government in 2005. Today, Israeli policy-makers, the United States and the Palestinian Authority are contemplating saddling the soldiers with another political undertaking: to turn around the Fatah’s defeat in its internecine war with Hamas.

Israeli generals and security chiefs caution the government against accepting this perilous and self-destructive adventure and point to its glaring flaws.

Its very conception has distorted the peace process so that the burden of its success rests on the IDF’s shoulders. If a military campaign succeeds in gaining control of parts of Gaza on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, peace talks will resume with Abbas’ standing much enhanced. But if the results are mixed, like in the 2006 Lebanon War under Olmert’s direction, the Palestinian leader will drop Israel and the United States like hot coals, turn coat and seek an understanding with Hamas for a re-united front against Israel.

Already, since the plan was floated, Israel-Palestinian talks have petered out and become irrelevant, while negotiations for the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit have been put on ice. Hamas will on no account discuss terms for his release with a large-scale Israeli offensive hanging over Gaza.

Another of the plan’s fundamental flaws is that the Palestinian Authority is in effect leaderless, rudderless and is bereft of the professional security strength for following up on the deal.

The Bush-Olmert-Abbas plan would have the Israeli military pull their irons out of the fire when it is common knowledge that once inside Gaza, PA security forces will quickly disintegrate and be swallowed up by the far more resolute Hamas. It was therefore proposed in Bush’s talks in Ramallah and Jerusalem that the Israeli Air Force and artillery provide support for the Palestinian takeover of the Gaza Strip, a tactic the US army employs for local forces in Iraq.

For the Israeli Defense Forces, this proposal is totally unacceptable.

For one thing, the Palestinian Authority’s security services are riddled with wanted terrorists.

Furthermore, Abbas and his elite officials are not considered representative by the bulk of the Palestinian people (who in Jan. 2006 voted Hamas into office). Neither are they trusted to execute complicated strategies.

Finally, the Bush-Olmert policy of placing all their bets for a Middle East breakthrough on the inept Mahmoud Abbas condemns their plan to failure.

At the dinner Olmert hosted in honor of the US president Thursday night, several ministers pointed out these hard facts to Bush and told him bluntly that he is gambling all his hopes for peace on a non-existent entity called the Palestinian Authority.

The US president answered: “I agree. That really is a problem.”



ג וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר; וְנִבְרְכוּ בְךָ, כֹּל מִשְׁפְּחֹת הָאֲדָמָה. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'


As Bush sticks his nose in Israeli politics, protesters tell him to butt out
A protester scores Bush as the founder of "Hamastine"
Updated 01/10/08 22:17 Israel time
Bush blatantly urged ministers to back PM Ehud Olmert, whom he described as a strong leader, and keep him in power. Minister Eli Yishai of the Sephardi religious Shas party told Bush that he is "not willing to compromise on Jerusalem" and "cannot make peace with half of the Palestinian nation, which is all that is ruled by ... Abbas," he added. A small but fierce protest rally nearby branded Israeli leaders as traitors.

Corbon 9mm 100-grain "PowRball" +P and Browning Mk III Hi Power

By Stephen Camp

Visually similar to the Glaser Safety Slug, Corbon's PowRball is an entirely different round. It weighs 20-grains more, but retains the round nose profile for reliable feeding. It is a +P round and has an advertised velocity of 1475 ft/sec.

This round should feed reliably in any 9mm that will feed ball and externally is very similar to the Glaser Safety Slug. It's said to react very consistently in 10% ballistic gelatin regardless of barriers before striking the gelatin.

Using a Browning 9mm Mk III with factory barrel, I tested this round for accuracy at two distances as well as for expansion. Chronograph data is based on a 10-shot average fired 10' from the chronograph screens.

100-grain 9mm PowRball

Average Velocity: 1473 ft/sec

Extreme Spread: 49

Standard Deviation: 17

High Velocity: 1494

Low Velocity: 1445

At 15 yards, I fired a group, slow-fire, to see how it would group from the Hi Power. I also fired a 5 shot group with Corbon's 125-grain +P JHP for comparison. Point of aim was the inner sphere. I also fired 5 sets of controlled pairs at 10 yards with the PowRball. Both targets are displayed. The controlled pairs were fired as quickly as I could obtain a "flash sight picture" while using a two-hand hold and Weaver stance.

It should not necessarily be inferred that the PowRball is a better grouping load than the 125-grain Corbon JHP, although that's what happened in this instance. The spread in the latter is probably due to me, not the ammunition nor the Hi Power; it was the first group I fired. The "important" thing is to note that the PowRball at its higher velocity and lower bullet weight does hit a little bit lower. As most defensive scenarios will be closer than 15 yards, this divergence of POI to POA is probably moot. As the 5 sets of controlled pairs show, the ammunition is easy to handle from the Hi Power.

When fired into water, the PowRball shed its jacket every time. Water will make this happen more than gelatin as the fluid more easily gets between the lead bullet and the jacket. I recovered the expanded PowRball bullet and jacket fragments shown on the left side of the picture and those on the right from another shot. The bullet was not recovered as it completely penetrated the last jug of water! The expanded PowRball in the middle was recovered after "scientific mud expansion" testing. The recovered bullet and fragments on the left weighed 94.5-grains. The expanded bullet measured 0.59 X 0.64." Believe it or not, the PowRball recovered from the "scientific mud" weighed about 75-grains even with the dirt particles on it.

Though not "bad," the felt recoil on the 100-grain PowRball was "sharper" than that of the 125-grain Corbon +P JHP. To me, the felt recoil of the PowRball and the 115-grain JHP are about the same. This is not surprising as the velocities are very similar.

From the same Mk III

Corbon 115-grain JHP +P: 1411 ft/sec

Corbon 100-grain PowRball +P: 1473

Corbon 125-grain JHP +P: 1258

Folks who do the serious gelatin testing report that the PowRball averages about 12" penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin and does so consistently, regardless of barriers.

Though the Mk III in the background reliably feeds about any JHP I've tried, the PowRball has both a rounded ogive and LOA that mimics FMJ. Shown with a Corbon 125-grain JHP, most would agree that the PowR ball would be more likely to feed well in a wider number of 9mm pistols.

With its "ball" profile, this PowRball should have no trouble in negotiating this Hi Power's feed ramp. For self-defense, a handgun's reliability is paramount. You get it with the PowRball and a cartridge capable of being put exactly where you want it should the rare need for a very precise "rescue shot" be necessary.

I was favorably impressed with the PowRball for a personal protection round for the private citizen. I would do some testing before using it myself, but I believe that it would make a potent 9mm load. In "scientific" terms, it has quite a bit of "whammy" and with decent placement, should "stop" a felon about as quickly as any commonly used defensive round and perhaps, quicker.

The 9mm 100-grain PowRball grouped well and was more consistent shot to shot than their .45 ACP, 165-grain PowRball that I tested several months ago. Both rounds feed reliably.

From a 5" 1911, it had an average velocity of 1220 ft/sec, but an extreme spread of 119, which resulted in a standard deviation of 40.

This 165-grain Corbon PowRball expanded well in water testing and was both reliable and accurate, but did not prove as consistent in standard deviation as did the 9mm version. The .45 ACP PowRball was the first caliber Corbon released this design in. More calibers are to follow.

For those concerned about feed reliability with a defensive load as well as over-penetration, the PowRball is a very viable choice. Both the 9mm and .45 ACP versions penetrate approximately 12" of ballistic gelatin and should remain inside the average human torso assuming a solid hit. Both "passed" the dreaded "4 Layers of Denim" testing routinely done by those seriously studying terminal ballistics and bullet performance.

I think it will be a winner and might make a viable choice for those wanting the same performance under a wide number of conditions, but who are unable to obtain or use several of the law enforcement only loads.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

American President George Bush approaches from behind, and puts his hands on her shoulders.

President Bush begins mas-
saging Chancellor Merkel's shoulders with his fingers.

Chancellor Merkel begins lifting her shoulders to escape President Bush's grasp.

Grimacing, Chancellor Merkel lifts her arms, makes both hands into fists. President Bush releases her.

President Bush walks away with a blank look but no apology. Chancellor Merkel lowers her fists.


Friday, January 11, 2008
NO BREAKTHROUGHS: Bush ends Israeli peace mission without marked success.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stephen Camp - 9mm vs. 45 acp



9mm vs. 45!

By Stephen Camp

I shudder to think how many times this topic has been discussed not only on the Internet, but also in gun shops and printed text. No doubt that many trees have been felled to provide the paper for the latter and the question persists. We do see the same sorts of discussions on the 9mm vs. other popular calibers, but I still believe that the war between 45 and 9mm rages the hottest. Intelligent arguments for both sides have been provided, but often times, the answers really shine…in their stupidity.

Let's take a look at some that might seem to make sense but in fact imply certain things that are just not true.

"The .45 is best. Would you rather get hit by a bowling ball or a golf ball?" This little gem or something very near is frequently used to give the inquiring soul "guidance" in his decision on 9mm vs. 45. First, nothing is said about velocity. One is left to assume that both of the balls are traveling at the same speed. Such is not the case when comparing 9mm and .45 ACP. Secondly, the difference in diameters is a bit exaggerated. The differences in the balls' diameters are considerably greater than the .356" vs. .452" 9mm and .45 diameters.

"The 9mm is best. With modern loads it is potent and holds a lot of shots. I feel more secure with 15 shots than seven to nine in the larger caliber." I do believe that today's crop of 9mm defensive ammo is very good and very possibly we are seeing the best loads that can be had, not only in 9mm but in other calibers as well. The "best" part sort of messes things up for me. The 9mm may very well be potent (and I believe that it is), but does that prove "better" (than .45 ACP), which is almost always the question really being asked? The "feeling more secure" part is dependent upon the scenario envisioned by the user and personal preferences. IF one runs into the usual 3 or 4 shot deadly force scenario, but cannot "solve" the problem quickly against deadly opponents, he will possibly run out of time before ammunition. While some 9mm's large magazine capacity might very well be useful in some situations, it doesn't necessarily guarantee success across the board.

The .45 ACP may very well be the more potent than 9mm, but some responses seem to convey the notion that the 45 is akin to a deathblow without fail and that the 9mm might be effective only on injured sparrows…and then only with repeat shots! One of my personal favorites is that the 9mm was "designed to wound" while the 45 ACP was "designed to kill." Anyone even vaguely familiar with the history of Georg

Luger's development of the round knows which the 9mm's parent round and to discard the "design" comments in the nearest trash container.

Let's take an unemotional look at these cartridges as well as some actual velocities and expansion characteristics and see how much of the elusive truth we can find.

Discussion on the merits of most handgun calibers/loads for self-defense is frequent. Here we see a .357 magnum 145-gr. Silvertip, .357 magnum 125-gr. Corbon DPX, 38 Special Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P, Remington .45 ACP 230-gr. Golden Saber and its 9mm counterpart. This article will focus only on the never-ending 9mm vs. 45 debate.

In normal trim, the .45 ACP averages about 830 ft/sec with most FMJ 230-gr. bullets when fired from a 5" barrel. The 9 x 19mm cranks out a 115-gr. FMJ at about 1140 ft/sec from many service length barrels which range from 4 to 5". If a 124-gr. FMJ is being used, these same pistols will usually get between 1080 and 1120 ft/sec in standard pressure cartridges. (These figures are ballpark accurate and based on chronograph results from lots of rounds from different pistols. Not all barrels of the same length provide identical velocities and not all 45 or 9mm pistols have the same length barrels. Figures given represent close general velocities from service style pistols.)

We see then that the 230-gr. traditional load moves at about 73% the velocity of the traditional 115-gr. 9mm round. We can approximate by saying this in another way: This common 45 load has approximately 3/4 of the 9mm's velocity but with twice the bullet weight…and about 60% greater frontal area.

Let's take a gander at some other loads for both calibers and see how they stack up against each other.

Speer's excellent 9mm 124-gr. Gold Dot (std. pressure) chronographs 1109 ft/sec on the nose from one of my Mk III Hi Powers. The same company's standard pressure .45 ACP 230-gr. Gold Dot averaged 856 ft/sec fired from a 5" STI Trojan. Both of these bullets will normally expand in tissue due to very good engineering and design and fragmentation is practically non-existent. (I am not necessarily saying that fragmentation is bad, but only that it is a variable that has been removed in this bullet comparison. FWIW, the +P version of the 9mm load hits 1200 ft/sec on the nose from the same Hi Power, but let's look at standard pressure loads to keep it "apples to apples.") In this case, the twice-as-heavy .45 bullet has 77% of the 9mm's velocity, still in that 3/4-comparison ballpark.

When both of these rounds are fired into calibrated 10% ballistic gelatin, now considered the gold standard for expansion/penetration testing, the following results are usually the norm when 4" 9mm pistols are compared to 5" 45's.

The 124-gr. Speer 9mm Gold Dot averages about 13" penetration and expands to approximately .57".

The 230-gr. 45 ACP Gold Dot averages approximately 13.5 - 14" and expands to right at .70".

Because of its higher velocity, the recovered 9mm Gold Dot bullet's final expanded diameter is often slightly smaller than at some point in its expansion because the expanded bullet folds rearward more than the slower .45 ACP.

Using these real world figures, let's take a closer look.

The expanded 9mm 124-gr. Gold's frontal area measures approximately 0.25 sq. inches compared to the .45's frontal expanded area of .38 sq. inches. So while the expanded diameter of the 9mm is about 81% that of the larger caliber's, the resulting frontal area of the 9mm is 66% that of the 45's. I don't find these results surprising. Remember, the same company made both bullets and this design is considered one of the best currently available. The .45 ACP unexpanded frontal area started off 60% greater than the 9mm's. The 9mm would have to expand quite a lot more proportionally compared to the .45 to wind up with the same diameter. The problem is that in normal trim, the bullet would be very much like a pancake in shape and might very well not hit the 12" minimum penetration depths considered essential by many.

(This emphatically does not mean that we can expect to see .57" or .70" holes in "soft targets" hit by these loads. Tissue tends to collapse back together after the bullet passes through it, but it does strongly suggest that the permanent wound track from the .45 will be larger than that of the 9mm. It follows that if these bullets struck similar areas such that copious bleeding resulted, there is probably an advantage to the larger caliber. On the other hand, if a major vessel was severed by either, internal bleeding might very well be the same. If the nature of the wound was such that blood loss was primarily through the permanent cavity, it seems logical that the larger one would be more efficient.)

The example I just cited is based upon actual chronograph results as well as ballistic expansion data from several sources and the use of simple mathematics. Those wishing to do so can easily crank out the results for other load comparisons in these two calibers. I'll move on to other aspects in this seemingly endless caliber "war."

All moving objects possess two physical quantities. They are momentum and kinetic energy. Some folks say that momentum plays an important role in "stopping power" while others favor kinetic energy. Still others insist that neither play any significant role in making bad guys drop when smacked with a pistol bullet. This same group almost always opines that the only relevant measurement in "stopping power" is the permanent cavity. It's depth and diameter is all that counts according to them. I wonder if this is really true and while we're on the topic, let's take a look at momentum.

Momentum is simply the bullet's mass multiplied by its velocity. Mass is not the same thing as weight, although for our purposes it can be thought of as such. Mass can be thought of as how much matter an object possesses. It is not the same thing as weight, which is determined by the mass multiplied by the force of gravity. Weight is a force; mass is not. Unless we begin moving near the speed of light, mass remains constant. An object's weight is not constant and on earth, it is determined by the earth's radius at that point. But let's not get caught up in splitting hairs and turn this caliber war thing into a math discussion.

A bullet's momentum can be thought of as how much "push" or "shove" it has. Though it has been known for decades (at least since the century old Thompson-Legard tests), neither the .45 or any other round tested at that time has enough "shove" to knock a human being down. Indeed, when bullets were shot into corpses suspended by the neck using rope, movement was documented as minimal at best. In other words, the .45 auto will not physically "knock" a man down…and neither will a 9mm. If you see claims otherwise, the writer may actually be reported a physical event that he truly thought he observed, when in fact it was caused by the target's nervous system's response to the bullet impact, but it was not from momentum. None of the commonly used defensive handgun calibers pack enough momentum to "knock" any human down.

Kinetic energy, the ability to do work based on an objects speed, has pretty much become a dirty word in some of the stopping power community. It is a physical quantity defined by the one-half of the bullet's mass times its velocity squared. Thus, a bullet's kinetic energy goes up rather dramatically with but relatively small increases in its speed. In the case of the 9mm vs. 45, some 9mm loads can truly possess greater kinetic energy than some .45 ACP loads, but does that in itself indicate that the 9mm is better or even equivalent? Few subscribe to the "energy dump" theory anymore and many answer with a flat out "no." Me, I'm not so sure of its degree of relevance, but neither am I inclined to just dismiss it entirely. Here's why.

When a handgun bullet smacks a "soft target", it creates two cavities. One is permanent and tissue is crushed, cut or displaced permanently from the resulting wound channel. In animals (including man) the cavity will almost always collapse to some degree and will be visibly smaller than the recovered bullet's diameter. The other cavity is temporary. It can be thought of as a "ballooning effect" in which tissue is pushed outward and away from the bullet's path. It lasts but a few milliseconds before collapsing. In the past, the size of the temporary cavity was considered a factor in a bullet's ability to stop. Today, some folks still believe that it is, while others dismiss it as having no relevance whatsoever.

The latter group suggests that unless this occurs near a large vessel or inelastic organ, no permanent physical damage occurs. I believe that this is true; physical damage probably will not occur with a majority of shots, but I am not inclined to say that it still might not factor into the stopping power phenomenon. I do think that its value might be near impossible to quantify because that would depend upon where the target was struck. A rapidly expanding, relatively high-velocity 9mm JHP through an inelastic organ such as the liver might very well create more permanent damage than a slower moving expander from a 45. Does this necessarily mean that a larger temporary cavity that creates no permanent damage has nothing to do with stopping power? I remain unconvinced that it might not contribute to some degree. If so, it means that there is something missing in the small-and-fast vs. big-and-slow, which pretty much sums up the 9mm vs. 45 debates.

I have seen greater-than-expected damage done to smaller critters like fox and raccoons that were hit with high-velocity expanding 9mm bullets. Does this mean that this phenomenon translates to larger animals such as 200-lb. bipeds? Not necessarily, but neither should it automatically be discounted in my opinion. The temporary cavity's rapid ballooning out might very well not do permanent damage, but might not the effect of rapidly moving organs away from the bullet's permanent channel create some effect? As an interested layman, I do understand that at most velocities (offered by conventional defense handguns) the temporary cavity usually does not offer permanent physical damage. It therefore does not contribute to a bullet's lethality or "killing power" but I am not convinced that it is meaningless in the area of "stopping" effect. That said I can offer no help in how to better understand its contributions. I truly wish that someone could find the possible relationship this factor might play.

Let's compare the "heavy" 147-gr. 9mm to the ever-popular 45 ACP 230-gr. bullet. Some that I have actual velocity figures for are Remington Golden Sabers.

From a 9mm Browning Hi Power, the Remington 147-gr. Golden Saber averages about 1030 ft/sec and most expansion/penetration tests in bare 10% ballistic gelatin show an average penetration of about 14 inches with expansion being in the neighborhood of about 0.67". From a 5" Kimber the 45 ACP 230-gr. Golden Saber did 870 ft/sec. It normally does about 14" according to the gelatin shooters and expands to around 0.75".

Thus, the 230-gr. Golden Saber leaves the muzzle with about 84% of the same company's 147-gr. 9mm velocity. Penetration depths are equivalent and the expanded 9mm offers 80% of 45's expanded frontal area. In this instance, the loads appear to be in the same general ballpark with regard to permanent damage considering that in real tissue and bone, bullets do not expand with the same consistency as in gelatin. This is also why the "heavy bullet" 9mm expanding bullet is favored by more than a few 9mm users.

In the past, I was fervently opposed to this approach to 9mm ballistic enhancement. This was because reports from real world shootings were not all that encouraging. With today's better performing JHP's that actually do reliably expand at the actual velocities generated, the approach seems to be working considerably better than the early JHP's in this weight. At least this is what my own (and others') "anecdotal" after action reports seem to indicate. If you believe that expansion and permanent cavity depth and diameter are the only physical aspects of a bullet's lethality, the current 147-gr. JHP's from Speer, Remington, and Winchester could be very hard to beat.

Yet, on animals from the size of Texas whitetail deer to javelina, I have seen the high-velocity 9mm JHP in +P trim demonstrate better than expected "stopping" and "killing power." This includes both 115-gr. +P loads from Corbon as well as the Federal +P+ 115-gr. law enforcement loads. Yet neither penetrates the mandated 12" minimum in ballistic gelatin. The Corbon frequently hits around 1400 ft/sec from my Hi Powers with the Federal version about 50 to 60 ft/sec behind. Either of these two 9mm rounds get around 10" penetration in gelatin, falling shy of the FBI's original penetration requirements. At the same time, in the animals I've shot with these loads, damage has been more than expected. People I've visited with who used these against human aggressors have spoken only of the round's actually decking their opponents with but one to two shots. I have heard almost repeat versions of this with the fast-stepping 185-gr. Corbon .45 ACP +P. It usually penetrates an inch or so shy of the 12 inch minimum.

The entrance wound on the left was made by a 230-gr. 45-caliber Golden Saber. The one on the right was made by a 9mm 127-gr. Winchester +P+. These pictures are not to scale, but the entrance holes inside these two whitetail deer were very similar in appearance. The one on the left was merely taken at closer distance than the 9mm-wound picture.

I think that I might be able to explain at least some of the reason(s). Anyway, here is what I think. See what you think about it.

First, on the Texas whitetail deer that I have (legally) shot and stopped (all of them) with one shot from a 9mm using the Corbon (or its equivalent) shots were only taken at close range. The shots were placed in the heart area and only broadside shots were fired. If there was any doubt about the shot "feeling right" it was not taken. On the deer shot broadside, the torso was roughly the same thickness as a straight-on frontal shot on a human being. While none of the bullets completely penetrated the deer, they all showed evidence of rapid expansion and fragmentation. In a couple of instances, the recovered bullet was found barely inside the rib cage of the animals opposite side from the bullet's entry. Two deer that I cleanly killed with handloaded Sierra 185-gr. JHP's (Corbon-equivalent in velocity) reacted no differently and inside, they showed about the same results.

Had any of these shots been made from less than ideal angles, the results might very well have been drastically different and inhumane.

One of the men I've talked with extensively about his very satisfactory experience against humans with Corbon's 9mm JHP +P is primarily a .45 ACP devotee. Yet he advises that he believes the Corbon fast stepping 115-gr. 9mm to be a stopper. Admittedly, his two experiences would be deemed "statistically invalid" but such were his observations. In the real world, it is hard for a man to discount what he has seen with his own eyes. He hit them "hard" and both went down for physiological reasons rather than psychological ones, but does this mean that each and every similarly hit aggressor will drop like a rock? Nope! I don't believe so. From reading what coroners report, even though visually similar or even identical, no two gunshot wounds are. Differences may indeed be minor or two seemingly equivalent hits may result in very different bullet paths inside the body.

Yet, both the aggressively expanding high-velocity 9mm and .45 rounds discussed have large-for-caliber temporary cavities from what I've read in the literature of those measuring them in ballistic gelatin.

All I'm suggesting is that the temporary cavity may offer some contribution to the rapid collapse of an animate target and offer up a call for not just dismissing it because it is so difficult to relate to the real life mechanism of collapse.

That said, if I had to choose only between a bullet's ability to create either temporary or permanent cavities, I'd go with the latter. This is why: marksmanship. Whether it is a .45 ACP or a 9 x 19mm, I do not believe that either possesses enough "whammy" to deck an opponent rapidly unless he is struck in a vital organ or a major blood vessel is cut. If only lungs are punched as can be the case with the often mentioned "torso hit", it seems reasonable that more rapid incapacitation might occur with the biggest hole. Would the difference be 1, 2, or 10 seconds? That I simply do not know. I am not convinced that anyone does.

If facing an opponent head-on and the shot hits the aorta, or severely damages the heart, I question how much difference (if any) the effect would be between a 9mm with any expanding load or the .45 ACP with expanding ammunition.

I do not believe that a fringe hit with the best .45 ACP load (whatever that is) will be superior to a better-placed hit with 9mm expanding loads.

Neither am I convinced that the expanding bullets in either caliber that have the largest diameters are necessarily always better than those that do not. They may make a larger permanent cavity and maybe more copious bleeding, but might not the smaller expanded bullet diameter moving through vitals at higher velocity be "stopping" via some other mechanism? Here are some examples of why I'm asking this question.

In far south Texas, I was privileged to handgun hunt javelina with some really good pistol shooters. Handgun calibers used were primarily .45 ACP…and my 9mm, which drew quite a bit of good-humored joking around. One javelina was shot with a Thompson-Center .223 handgun and another with a .40 S&W, but the majority was shot either with 5" 1911's or my Browning Hi Power, CZ-75 and SIG P-210. The camaraderie and hunting were great fun, but we shot enough javelinas over several trips that certain observations were repeatedly observed…and not just by me.

Ammunition used included the following in .45 ACP: Federal 230-gr. HydraShok JHP's, Federal 165-gr. HydraShoks, Remington 230-gr. Golden Sabers, and Winchester 230-gr. Ranger LE JHP's. In my 9mm, I tried handloads using Hornady 124-gr. XTP's loaded to 1240 ft/sec as well as a now-discontinued Corbon factory load using the same bullet at about the same velocity. I also used the old Triton 135-gr. JHP +P and the same company's 125-gr. Quik-Shok +P.

Of all of these 9mm/45 pistol rounds, not one permanently decked the tough little 35-lb. javelinas with a single shot unless the brain or spinal column was hit. (Hmmm! That sounds surprising like what we hear on what to expect from human aggressors vs. handgun stopping power.) The single javelina felled by but one broadside torso hit was with the Thompson-Center .223 pistol using 40-gr. V-Max bullets. It is interesting that the animal was downed, but not out when the hunter and myself approached. He fired a finishing shot into the body cavity and the animal was dead, but a very interesting effect was seen. At the hit, what appeared like a donut just under the hide raised around the bullet hole. It disappeared within a few seconds. I had not seen this effect before and have not since.

Using any of the .45 ACP (except one) or 9mm loads (except one), the observed effect on broadside hits were almost always identical. The javelina would collapse, kick a few seconds, and then run a few yards before shuffling off of its mortal coil. All of the 230-gr. JHP's performed about the same although one 230-gr. HydraShok hit bone, plugged, but penetrated only about 4". I still wonder if that round was perhaps defective. The only .45 ACP load that consistently failed was the Federal 165-gr. HydraShok. When hit the animal would not fall, but would immediately take off at full speed. It took quite a bit of trailing to find and dispatch them in most cases. The 165-gr. HydraShok never did penetrate over 3 or 4". We quit using it altogether on the javelina and I shot up what I had at home in case it might accidentally get into one of my "serious" 45's.

The Winchester and Remington rounds performed the same in terms of observed effects.

My 9mm with the rounds mentioned, performed precisely the same with regard to "stopping" the tough little animals. The XTP bullets normally go to about 1.5 x caliber and are not considered aggressive expanders. They are frequently shunned as defense loads because of this and concerns about overpenetration. In the javelina, straight-on broadside shots usually resulted in complete penetration. Angling quartering shots usually showed 12 to 14" penetration and very uniformly expanded 9mm bullets.

Neither my companions nor myself observed any differences in "stopping power" between the 9mm and .45 ACP on these "devil pigs." Yet I know that the .45 with these expanding bullets must leave a larger permanent wound channel. I do not insinuate that the observations made necessarily exactly translate to human targets, but I do note that there absolutely was not the difference in effect that some might lead us to have expected.

The oddity 9mm failure occurred with the Triton Quik-Shok and from the CZ-75. I shot the animal at about 20 yards, angling the shot through the right-side ribcage toward the heart. I was slightly behind the animal and it was a forward angling shot. I fired and the animal simply ran off.

Later that same afternoon, a friend killed what turned out to be the same javelina I'd shot with his forty; I do not remember the load. When it was opened, to our surprise we found that my 9mm Quik-Shok had merely deformed and followed the contours of a rib all the way around, but stopped about 4" from the spine. There was no visible damage other than to the rib the bullet followed.

(Lest anyone think that this phenomenon is limited to 9mm, I'm aware of an incident that occurred years ago in an east Texas town. A 45-toting would-be robber confronted a man working in a bank. He wound up shooting the bank employee during a struggle over the gun. The 230-gr. FMJ bullet hit and broke a rib, but traveled around the outside of the man's body. Despite this painful but ineffective wound, he beat the felon severely with the 1911 pistol.)

Neither the .45's nor the 9mm worked flawlessly with all ammunition. The Quik-Shok load mentioned had worked fine on two other javelinas. The 45-caliber 165-gr. HydraShok failed on all and was discarded, but even the still-popular 230-gr. HydraShok failed to expand once and offered very minimal penetration. As was mentioned earlier, this very well might have been one of the relatively rare cases of a defective or half-loaded round getting out of the factory; I flat do not know but it would explain why the bullet acting like a FMJ solid offered such minimal penetration.

FWIW, the 9mm XTP at about 1240 ft/sec, as well as the Winchester Ranger and 230-gr. Golden Sabers worked consistently well, but to my eyes none performed better than the other. If viewing only the javelina at the moment it was shot, I wouldn't have been able to say whether it had been shot with 9mm or 45 ammo!

Shown are two expanded Hornady 9mm 124-gr. XTP bullets. Both were fired from a Browning Hi Power. The bullet on the left was removed from a javelina. The one on the right was shot into water. The XTP bullet is not known as an aggressively expanding JHP. Yet this bullet at about 1240 ft/sec seems to work just as good as other expanding 9mm loads as well as some of the more popular .45 ACP loads. I do not have a surefire explanation why.

The Texas whitetail deer I've shot with 9mm, 38 Super, .44 Special, .45 Colt and .45 ACP have been pretty uniform in their responses to being shot. A few were instantly incapacitated and never got to their feet; they kicked a bit and then were done. Most jumped, ran a few yards and then keeled over. This is what I've seen time and again with these calibers. I have not used the big magnums considered more appropriate for this type activity so I cannot accurately comment on them. The interesting thing to me is that these smallish 110-lb. animals reacted essentially the same way whether hit with a 124-gr. 9mm XTP at 1240 ft/sec or a handloaded 255-gr. CSWC @ 900 ft/sec from the .45 Colt revolver! Those shot with 230-gr. Golden Sabers handloaded to about 950 ft/sec reacted most similarly to the ones shot with my 38 Super's 147-gr. Golden Saber at just under 1200 ft/sec! (Please note that I am not recommending any of these calibers for "deer hunting." These shots were all at close range and took place over a period of years with more shots passed than taken.) I cannot explain why the effects were almost always so similar, only that this is what was seen, and submit that perhaps there is more to the equation than simply expansion and penetration.

While still a police officer, I was involved in a case in which a small woman ran two city blocks to where my partner and I were handling a different situation. She had been shot through the chest with a .45 ACP 230-gr. FMJ from a 5" Llama pistol. She was not feeling all that good, but was on her feet when the ambulance arrived. I asked her how she ran all that way. She said, "I had to. That mXXXXfuXXer was gonna shoot me again!" It turns out that only her lung (don't remember which) was penetrated and the bullet entered and exited between ribs. Had this happened with a 9mm, some would chalk it up as being about normal for the round. I personally was not surprised.

Several years earlier a ranch where I hunted was overrun with jackrabbits and I shot more than a few with both .45 1911's and my 9mm Browning Hi Power. I "tested" different expanding bullet handloads on these critters, but I needed a baseline so several of the jacks were shot using 115-gr. 9mm FMJ and the traditional 230-gr. FMJ from the 45's. Unless the animals were hit in the forward third of the body, they simply ran off when shot. Sometimes they made it a few yards and other times farther. This was circa 1971 or so. I witnessed this many times and decided that while the then common wisdom decreed that 9mm ball was lacking for self-protection, so was the big 230-gr. 45. To me, if neither would reliably deck a 7-lb. jackrabbit, how could I expect it to do so against a grown man? Yet, another aspect of stopping power was also demonstrated. If the animals were hit in the forward third of the body, the bullet's impact at least had a more immediate effect, i.e., marksmanship counts. Where you put the bullet greatly affects its terminal efficiency.

As an interested layman, I humbly suggest that there may be more to handgun stopping power than is indicated by penetration depths and wound channel measurements. I am not implying that these are not meaningful or of use, but only that there are some things that the homogeneous gelatin might not reveal concerning what makes living animals (including man) cease and desist.

Conclusion and Thoughts on 9mm vs. 45ACP:

1. It is my belief based on data from serious researchers that with FMJ, the 45-caliber automatic is more potent than the 9mm. That does not mean that I believe either to be anywhere near the top of the list for self-protection. I do not believe that "they all fall to hardball."

2. I do tend to agree that the expanding defensive bullet should penetrate between about 12 and 14". This may be more than required for a straight on, unobstructed chest shot, but it better insures punching the vitals should an intermediate target like an arm get in the way. It would also likely be more effective if the shot was made from the side rather than the front or back.

3. I am convinced that the size of the wound channel from an expanded .45 ACP bullet will be larger than that from the 9mm and this should make it more effective, but I have not seen a noticeable difference on animals as mentioned previously. I am equally convinced that gelatin results may or very well may not match what actually occurs in flesh-and-bone targets.

4. Probably the most important factor in stopping power (regardless of caliber) remains placement. That this can be difficult to obtain in the life-and-death fight scenario doesn't change the necessity for it if we want the opponent to go down for physical rather than psychological reasons.

5. With the best loads, I opine that .45 ACP is a better "man stopper" than 9mm with its best loads, but am not sure of by what margin.

6. I do not believe that a 9mm loaded with the better loads is an inadequate defense gun and frequently tote one myself.

7. I do not "trust" either the .45 ACP or the 9mm (or any other handgun caliber) to provide the elusive "one shot stop" unless the brain or central nervous system is destroyed.

8. I am not convinced that the temporary cavity produced by handgun bullets is totally irrelevant, but I also have no idea of how it may actually contribute. I wish there would be more serious research in this area.

9. Either of these calibers with any load may fail to provide the desired results even with a "good" hit. Either may require multiple "good" hits.

10. Perhaps either caliber would provide fewer failures if we practiced as much as we worry about our caliber's stopping potential.

I believe that we will continue to see stunning successes and dismal failures with all commonly used defensive handgun calibers including the 9mm and .45 ACP.

An experienced old lawman once told me that a man can be the easiest or the hardest "critter" to put down and the problem is that you never know which you're getting. I think that maybe what he was trying to say is that while a man is an animal, wild animals are not men. If a man is shot and thinks about what has just happened, his human drive to survive may include stopping what he's doing or begging for help. A javelina or deer or bear, etc will not stop until it physically can do nothing else. On the other hand, if a shot man simply reverts to some primordial anger or rage (I'm not sure what to call it) and simply lets his animalistic side come out, he may very well be a most difficult opponent. For 200-lb. animals, we sometimes see even high-powered rifles fail to provide instant "stops." I do not know how to factor in the adrenaline dump that can occur when we're suddenly injured or realizing that we must fight to survive, but I do believe that all of the preceding can play a significant role in the area of stopping power.

If looking only at their "man stopping" abilities, I believe that the .45 ACP with expanding bullets is more effective than the 9mm loaded with expanding bullets. Having said that, I do not feel undergunned with either and frequently carry a 9mm for self-protection rather than the .45 ACP.

After looking at 9mm vs. 45 ACP for over 30 years I am convinced of only one thing: The more I look at it, the less I am sure of.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008





DEBKA Exclusive: Fatah terrorist arm joins al Qaeda threats to Bush visit

January 9, 2008, 7:18 AM (GMT+02:00)

The “Aqsa Martyrs”, an offshoot of the Al Aqsa Brigades, which belong to Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, has just threatened “a big surprise” for President George W. Bush’s 48 hours in Israel and the Palestinian Authority starting Wednesday, Jan. 9. The new threat has further tightened the security measures already paralyzing Jerusalem. Israeli police began demanding early morning pedestrians in sensitive parts of Jerusalem show ID and noting their names and addresses.

The group, targeted by the IDF-Shin Bet’s weekend counter-terror operation in Nablus, threatens to strike “the highest international official levels” which, it is claimed, have come to the region “to conduct intrigues and deceptions aimed at stamping out Palestinian resistance on the West Bank.”

Fatah’s Aqsa Martyrs also threaten the life of Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad and the Fatah leaders "collaborating with him and the Americans."

They demand the immediate resignation of the Palestinian interior minister in Ramallah, General Razek Yihya, and “the Fatah leaders seeking to beautify the ugly face of Fayyad, the instrument of American policy on the West Bank, and destroy the Fatah al Aqsa Brigades for the sake of fraudulent promises.”







ה לֹא-יִהְיֶה כְלִי-גֶבֶר עַל-אִשָּׁה, וְלֹא-יִלְבַּשׁ גֶּבֶר שִׂמְלַת אִשָּׁה: כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, כָּל-עֹשֵׂה אֵלֶּה. {פ} 5 A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD thy God. {P}
Rudy Giuliani in Drag



Story photo
CJ photo by Don Carrington

The 28,200-square-foot Edwards home in Orange County is expected to be valued at more than $6 million.

RALEIGH — Presidential candidate John Edwards and his family recently moved into what county tax officials say is the most valuable home in Orange County. The house, which includes a recreational building attached to the main living quarters, also is probably the largest in the county.

“The Edwardses’ residential property will likely have the highest tax value in the county,” Orange County Tax Assessor John Smith told Carolina Journal. He estimated that the tax value will exceed $6 million when the facility is completed.


« Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and Pakistani counterpart Pervez Musharraf collaborate on energy.
(Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

Cooperation Coming Down the Pipe for Iran, Pakistan

January 9, 2008 | From

Tehran working with Islamabad in the energy sector means bad news for Washington.

Tehran and Islamabad are increasing cooperation in the energy sector according to reports from Iran and Pakistan. Teaming up on oil and gas could grant Iran increased influence within its already-chaotic eastern neighbor.

Pakistan’s Daily Times reported that Iran’s ambassador visited with government energy heads last Friday:

Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Mr. Ahsanullah Khan, said there exists tremendous scope for promoting Pak-Iran ties in the oil, gas and mineral sectors and invited the Iranian companies to participate in the upcoming petroleum projects ….

Expressing his sentiments, the Iranian envoy said that ipi gas pipeline project would not only open up new avenues of cooperation among the member states but also help to bring the regional countries closer.

According to Iran’s Press TV, Khan said that Pakistan’s energy reserves provide good opportunities for Iranian investment.

Mashallah Shakeri, the Iranian ambassador to Islamabad, said, “The peace pipeline project will not only open new chapter in cooperation among the two countries, but also help strengthen bonds between regional states.”

Press TV reported, “Expressing their sense of achievement concerning the actual construction of the gas pipeline linking Iran to Pakistan, the two sides called for swift completion of the project, which will enhance regional cooperation” (January 6).

The two countries will sign a gas sales and purchase agreement for the pipeline project next week.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf fully supports cooperation with Iran on the pipeline.

Increasing overtures from the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and the largest threat to American interests in the Middle East toward the politically unstable, nuclear-armed, Islamist-leaning Pakistan can only mean problems for Washington. For more, read “Pakistan and the Shah of Iran,” “The Bhutto Blunder” and The King of the South.


« Small craft suspected to be from the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Navy maneuver aggressively in close proximity of the U.S. Navy Aegis-class cruiser USS Port Royal, Aegis-class destroyer USS Hopper and frigate USS Ingraham January 6 in the Persian Gulf.
(U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

Iranian Boats Threaten to Blow Up U.S. Convoy

January 8, 2008 | From

Tensions between the United States and Iran were heightened Monday when American ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz were harassed by five vessels believed to be from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy. The incident came as President George W. Bush prepared to depart Tuesday on his first major trip to the Middle East.

Video footage released by the U.S. Navy today confirms the Pentagon’s reports that the Iranian vessels behaved in an aggressive manner.

Associated Press reports:

An Iranian fleet of high-speed boats charged at and threatened to blow up a three-ship U.S. Navy convoy passing near Iranian waters, then vanished as the American ship commanders were preparing to open fire, the top U.S. Navy commander in the area said Monday. …

The three U.S. warships—cruiser uss Port Royal, destroyer uss Hopper and frigate uss Ingraham—were headed into the Persian Gulf through the Straits of Hormuz on what the U.S. Navy called a routine passage inside international waters when they were approached by five small high-speed vessels believed to be from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy.

The Iranians “maneuvered aggressively” in the direction of the U.S. ships, said Vice Adm. Kevin Cosgriff, the commander of U.S. 5th Fleet, which patrols the Gulf and is based at nearby Bahrain. …

At one point the U.S. ships received a threatening radio call from the Iranians, “to the effect that they were closing (on) our ships and that the ships would explode—the U.S. ships would explode,” Cosgriff said. …

Cosgriff [said] the U.S. ship commanders were moving through a standard series of actions—including radio calls to the Iranians that went unheeded—but did not reach the point of firing warning shots.

Questions remain about Iran’s precise motives for the aggression, particularly since, uncharacteristically, it is downplaying the incident. Washington, also, has not made a formal protest. Stratfor reports that it is unusual for hostile vessels to come so close to a U.S. ship without being fired upon.

Time asserts that the incident was a reminder from Iran that it still has a hand on the world’s oil spigot—every day, 17 million barrels of crude oil exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz. “There were no shots fired or damage caused, but no doubt this was an Iranian reminder to the United States that the Gulf is called the Persian Gulf for a reason” (January 8).

Regardless of any political spin placed on this latest Iranian provocation—perhaps due to what is at stake in future Iranian-U.S. negotiations over Iraq—it is certainly not an isolated act of Iranian aggression against the United States. Iran is responsible for providing arms, training and funds to terrorists in Iraq that continue to kill U.S. troops.

Washington’s response—as in the latest incident—has continually been one of appeasement and compromise. Watch for this to only boost Iran’s confidence further.


Was Barack Obama a Muslim?

by Daniel Pipes
December 24, 2007

"If I were a Muslim I would let you know," Barack Obama has said, and I believe him. In fact, he is a practicing Christian, a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ. He is not now a Muslim.

But was he ever a Muslim or seen by others as a Muslim? More precisely, might Muslims consider him a murtadd (apostate), that is, a Muslim who converted to another religion and, therefore, someone whose blood may be shed?

Barack Obama at the Smoky Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

The candidate for president of the United States has delivered two principal statements in reply. His campaign website carries a statement dated Nov. 12 with the headline, "Barack Obama Is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim," followed by: "Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian." Then, on Dec. 22, in the unlikely setting of the Smoky Row Coffee Shop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, as he munched on pumpkin pie and drank tea with four locals, Obama provided more detail took on this topic than before. When asked to explain his Muslim heritage, he replied:

My father was from Kenya, and a lot of people in his village were Muslim. He didn't practice Islam. Truth is he wasn't very religious. He met my mother. My mother was a Christian from Kansas, and they married and then divorced. I was raised by my mother. So, I've always been a Christian. The only connection I've had to Islam is that my grandfather on my father's side came from that country. But I've never practiced Islam. … For a while, I lived in Indonesia because my mother was teaching there. And that's a Muslim country. And I went to school. But I didn't practice. But what I do think it does is it gives me insight into how these folks think, and part of how I think we can create a better relationship with the Middle East and that would help make us safer is if we can understand how they think about issues.

These statements raise two questions: What is Obama's true connection to Islam and what implications might this have for an Obama presidency?

Was Obama Ever a Muslim?

"I've always been a Christian," said Obama, focusing on his own personal lack of practice of Islam as a child to deny any connection to Islam. But Muslims do not see practice as key. For them, that he was born to a line of Muslim males makes him born a Muslim. Further, all children born with an Arabic name based on the H-S-N trilateral root (Hussein, Hassan, and others) can be assumed to be Muslim, so they will understand Obama's full name, Barack Hussein Obama, to proclaim him a born Muslim.

More: family and friends considered him as a child to be Muslim. In "Obama Debunks Claim About Islamic School," Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press wrote on January 24, 2007, that

Obama's mother, divorced from Obama's father, married a man from Indonesia named Lolo Soetoro, and the family relocated to the country from 1967-71. At first, Obama attended the Catholic school, Fransiskus Assisis, where documents showed he enrolled as a Muslim, the religion of his stepfather. The document required that each student choose one of five state-sanctioned religions when registering – Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic or Protestant.

Asked about this, Obama communications director Robert Gibbs responded by indicating to Pickler that

he wasn't sure why the document had Obama listed as a Muslim. "Senator Obama has never been a Muslim."

Two months later, Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times (available online in a Baltimore Sun reprint) reported that the Obama campaign had retreated from that absolute statement and instead issued a more nuanced one: "Obama has never been a practicing Muslim." The Times looked into the matter further and learned more about his Indonesian interlude:

His former Roman Catholic and Muslim teachers, along with two people who were identified by Obama's grade-school teacher as childhood friends, say Obama was registered by his family as a Muslim at both schools he attended. That registration meant that during the third and fourth grades, Obama learned about Islam for two hours each week in religion class.

The childhood friends say Obama sometimes went to Friday prayers at the local mosque. "We prayed but not really seriously, just following actions done by older people in the mosque. But as kids, we loved to meet our friends and went to the mosque together and played," said Zulfin Adi. … Obama's younger sister, Maya Soetoro, said in a statement released by the campaign that the family attended the mosque only "for big communal events," not every Friday.

Recalling Obama's time in Indonesia, the Times account contains quotes that Obama "went to the mosque," and that he "was Muslim."

Summarized, available evidence suggests Obama was born a Muslim to a non-practicing Muslim father and for some years had a reasonably Muslim upbringing under the auspices of his Indonesian step-father. At some point, he converted to Christianity. It appears false to state, as Obama does, "I've always been a Christian" and "I've never practiced Islam." The campaign appears to be either ignorant or fabricating when it states that "Obama never prayed in a mosque."

Implications of Obama's Conversion

Obama's conversion to another faith, in short, makes him a murtadd.

That said, the punishment for childhood apostasy is less severe than for the adult version. As Robert Spencer points out, "according to Islamic law an apostate male is not to be put to death if he has not reached puberty (cf. ‘Umdat al-Salik o8.2; Hidayah vol. II p. 246). Some, however, hold that he should be imprisoned until he is of age and then ‘invited' to accept Islam, but officially the death penalty for youthful apostates is ruled out."

On the positive side, were Obama prominently charged with apostasy, that would uniquely raise the issue of a Muslim's right to change religion, taking a topic on the perpetual back-burner and placing it front and center, perhaps to the great future benefit of those Muslims who seek to declare themselves atheists or to convert to another religion.

But would Muslims seeing Obama as a murtadd significantly affect an Obama presidency? The only precedent to judge by is that of Carlos Saúl Menem, the president of Argentina from 1989 to 1999. The son of two Muslim Syrian immigrants and husband of another Syrian-Argentine, Zulema Fátima Yoma, Menem converted to Roman Catholicism. His wife said publicly that Menem left Islam for political reasons—because Argentinean law until 1994 required the president of the country to be a member of the Church. From a Muslim point of view, Menem's conversion is worse than Obama's, having been done as an adult. Nonetheless, Menem was not threatened or otherwise made to pay a price for his change of religion, even during his trips to majority-Muslim countries, Syria in particular.

It is one thing to be president of Argentina in the 1990s, however, and another to be president of the United States in 2009. One must assume that some Islamists would renounce him as a murtadd and would try to execute him. Given the protective bubble surrounding an American president, though, this threat presumably would not make much difference to his carrying out his duties.

More significantly, how would more mainstream Muslims respond to him, would they be angry at what they would consider his apostasy? That reaction is a real possibility, one that could undermine his initiatives toward the Muslim world.


SIGNS OF SATAN - ???????????????????????????????

The first image Represents the horned god of witchcraft, Pan or Cernunnos. Note the thumb under the fingers and given by the right hand. The next image is a sign of recognition between those in the Occult. When pointed at someone it is meant to place a curse. Note the thumb over the fingers and given by the left hand.

Elizabeth Taylor

Satanic "goat's head" sign

Benny Hinn

Jesse Duplantis

Rodney Howard Browne

Kenneth Copeland