Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.

Dec 5, 2011

Americans as Military Targets

For the past several years, there has been a relentless attack on the civil rights of U.S. citizens. In the name of national security, the government is slowly creeping into all aspects of our lives. As long as the American people remain silent on this issue, the process will continue until there is no freedom left to lose.

The latest assault is the Fed's desire to classify some Americans as military targets. Lawyers for the Obama administration claimed at a recent national security conference that U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida. They can be indefinitely detained, sent to Guantanamo, or assassinated.

The CIA’s killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and leading al-Qaida spokesmen, has triggered the debate. He died in a September 30 U.S. drone strike in the mountains of Yemen. Al-Awlaki was never linked to any terrorist attack. He was killed because he was foolish enough to become a spokesperson for the al-Qaida movement.

The executive branch is qualified to make military battlefield decisions about who is an enemy agent. It's a no-brainer when you're dropping a bomb on a grass hut where known terrorists are believed to congregate. If an American citizen is in the hut, he made the wrong choice to be in the company of enemy forces. It becomes a different matter when you’re talking about "taking out" the leader of a hate group here in the U.S. This is where the court system needs to come in.

There is an effort by several U.S. senators to make America itself part of a battlefield. A group led by senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Carl Levin (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is backing a bill that would authorize the indefinite detention of Americans by the military without charges. A viral YouTube video shows John McCain justifying sending Americans to Guantanamo. Here is the link: YouTube (John McCain)

I'm amazed that so many Republicans are joining hands with Democrats to support this type of legislation. Some of these people are so blinded by the War on Terror that they would put their own mothers in Guantanamo if it was a requirement to pass a new security law.

We're going down a slippery slope by allowing Americans to be targeted in the name of national security. We could soon have agents showing up at people's doorsteps in the middle of the night to arrest them, and just like in the soviet Union, the agents won't be required to explain why the citizens are being detained.

It's very dangerous thing give the president the power to decide who is a target. Obama currently has seven Republican candidates who are trying to remove him from power via the ballot box. Obama might decide that having anyone but himself in the Oval Office would threaten our nation's security, forcing him to arrest these Republican "terrorists." This example is silly, but most dictators have always thought such notions to be true.

The Founding Fathers had a good reason to put limits on the federal government. They had just come from a land ruled by kings who saw liberty as a vice. The framers knew that if you removed the restriction on the government, it would grow like a cancer. Washington has become one giant tumor with one main purpose: to grab more power.

A couple of weeks ago, a news report said that Egypt’s secret police was renaming itself “Homeland Security.” The new name must have been an homage to its American namesake. Since most communist Soviet states contain the word "democratic," I would assume the devil has a flair for ironic humor.

I don't know why the American people have become so indifferent to the efforts to steal their civil liberties. Once freedom is lost, a huge price tag comes with getting it back. Because we are close to the end-time hour, I don't think enough time is left to redeem the rights we've already lost.

The day may soon come when we no longer recognize America as the land of the free. I'm not all that worried about reaching that stage. The loss of freedom just reminds me that my true citizenship is not in this sin-stained world.

"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36).

"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:20).

-- Todd

Rumors of War Rampant

Nearing Midnight commentaries have for months been devoted in large measure to examining the building economic bubble that threatens to bring about worldwide cataclysm. We have written on, for example, things like the crisis this past week involving the collapsing euro, which is feared to be creating irreparable cracks in global financial structures.

Todd and I pretty much agree: 1)We are amazed that the bubble hasn’t burst; 2)We believe that the longer the crises build, the greater will be the explosion; 3) We maintain that only the staying hand of God has thus far prevented it from bursting; and 4) We are of the opinion that it will likely be the Rapture of the church that will pop that bubble.

I, at least, was under the illusion that second only to Israel’s position at the center of world controversy; the impending global economic catastrophe has to be the next most profound signal of how near the very end of the age this generation finds us. Jesus, of course, didn’t first specifically mention either Israel or the global economy as being the most significant signs of His return when His disciples asked Him directly. He did, however, mention the subject of this commentary: “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

The Lord described a number of things that would be on the world scene at the time He would return to planet earth–or at least above the earth. Among the first signals He mentioned are in the following: "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matthew 24:6-7a).

As prophetically stunning as Israel being at stage-center is the global economic cataclysm looming above this rebellious, judgment-bound planet. The sudden proliferation of potentially world-rending military conflicts on the prophetic horizon is equally astonishing. "Rumors of war" are literally in every direction we look. We will have brief looks at a number of the "rumors of war" presently front and center in the news:

Afghanistan to Back Pakistan Against U.S. Islamabad, Oct 23-After being critical of Pakistan over its links with Taliban militants, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has now said his country would stand by Islamabad in the event of hostilities with any nation, including the United States or India. "God forbid, if at any time there is a war between Pakistan and America, then we will be with Pakistan," Karzai said in an interview with Pakistan's Geo News, excerpts of which were aired by the channel. (One India News, 10/23/11, http://news.oneindia.in/2011/10/23/wouldstand-by-pakistan-if-it-is-attacked-by-anyonekarzai.html)

Iran Threatens to Bomb Turkey if U.S. or Israel Attacks Iran will bomb Turkey if the U.S. or Israel tries to destroy its nuclear installations, a senior military commander warned today. General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guard, threatened to target Nato's missile defence shield in the neighbouring country. The system, which Turkey only agreed to install in September, is designed to prevent Iranian missile attacks on Israel. The warning is part of a new strategy devised by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that consists of responding "to threats with threats." General Hajizadeh said: "Should we be threatened, we will target NATO's missile defense shield in Turkey and then hit the next targets." (Daily Mail, 11/28/11, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066959/Iran-threatens-bomb-Turkey-U-S-Israel-attack-nuclear-installations.html)

Russia's Military Chief Warns that Heightened Risks of Conflict Near Borders May Turn Nuclear MOSCOW—Russia is facing a heightened risk of being drawn into conflicts at its borders that have the potential of turning nuclear, the nation’s top military officer said Thursday.Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, cautioned over NATO’s expansion eastward and warned that the risks for Russia to be pulled into local conflicts have "risen sharply." Makarov added, according to Russian news agencies, that "under certain conditions local and regional conflicts may develop into a full-scale war involving nuclear weapons." (Associated Press/Washington Post, 11/7/11, http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russias-military-chief-potential-conflicts-near-russian-borders-may-grow-into-nuclear-war/2011/11/17/gIQAWQTJUN_story.html)

N. Korea Threatens S. Korean Leader's Office Over Drills SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea threatened Thursday to turn Seoul's presidential office into a "sea of fire," one day after South Korea conducted large-scale military drills near a front-line island attacked by North Korea last year. The exercises marked the first anniversary of North Korea's artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong that killed two marines and two civilians. The North's military warned in a statement Thursday that "a similar sea of fire" may engulf Seoul's presidential Blue House if South Korean forces ever fire a single shot into North Korea's territory. The warning was carried by North Korean state media. (USA Today, 11/24/11, http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-11-23/North-Korea-South-Korea-military/51377434/1)

Egypt's El Baradei Threatens War with Israel Troubling signs are beginning to emerge from post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt: The prime minister is making new overtures to Iran—and a leading presidential candidate is threatening war with Israel. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency who has announced his candidacy for president in Egypt, said on Monday that "if Israel attacked Gaza we would declare war against the Zionist regime." The Digital Journal observed: "In the world's first glimpse of the policies that may emerge from the results of the upcoming Egyptian presidential election, one candidate for president outlined his insistence on protecting Palestinians in Gaza from Israeli military assaults. Mohamed El Baradei's position on the matter is clear: An Israeli military strike against Gaza would result in a declaration of war from Egypt." (Jim Meyers, Newsmax.com, 4/5/11, http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/ElBaradei-Israel-War-Gaza/2011/04/05/id/391829)

Iran Threatens Israel with Missile Barrage if Attacked Iran continues to threaten Israel, this time hinting it will hit it with up to 150,000 missiles if its nuclear facilities are attacked. In a continuation of its statements from the past several days, Iran on Sunday threatened Israel with a barrage of missiles, if the Jewish State attacks its nuclear facilities. Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi told the Farsnews agency that Israel will not have a minimal chance of survival after attacking Iran. (Elad Benari, IsraelNationalNews.com, 11/28/11, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/150159#.TtPgJWPNltM)

China vs. Taiwan Despite showing goodwill and friendliness in its economic and cultural exchanges with Taiwan, China has never ceased its military exercises simulating attacks on the nation, former deputy defense minister Lin Chong-pin said yesterday. Lin made the remarks after the US Department of Defense released its annual report on military and security developments in China, saying that Beijing has not slowed its efforts to expand its military options to deny any outside intervention in the Taiwan Strait, despite improvements in cross-strait ties in recent years. While briefing reporters on the Pentagon report to be delivered to the US Congress, Michael Schiffer, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, said that over the past year, China has continued to beef up its naval and aerial combat arsenal, including extending the range of its jet fighters and updating its submarines and surface warships, as well as conducting sea trials of its first aircraft carrier. ("China Still a Threat, Former Official Says," Taipei Times-Taiwan News, with CAN, 8/27/11)

Rumors of war are indeed rampant upon today’s prophetic horizon. With the impending threats and military preparations, it becomes clear the coming “sudden destruction” of Paul’s forewarning (1 Thessalonians 5:3) cannot be far distant in time. Jesus’ words foretelling what this world faces when the Rapture occurs are starkly in view at this very moment.

“And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-29).