Jun 26, 2010

The unprovoked 1967 attack on the USS Liberty

Was Israel's 1967 Attack on the USS Liberty, a mistake in identity?

You be the judge whether "mistaken identity" was even a remotely plausible excuse for the murder of 34 servicemen and the injuries of 174 more. In the videos to follow, watch the testimonies of the courageous men who survived this horrific unprovoked attack. Under Secretary Ball's concluding comment (below the first of five videos), will forever ring in my ears. Will we learn nothing from this tragic event? To what degree has our Middle East policy been shaped by this attack? And to what measure does the Israeli mindset, KNOWING that "they can get away with almost anything" without retribution, shape the Middle East today, some 43 years later? Our consistent acquiescence and insistence that their acts (like the one detailed below) are fully protected and empowered by the sovereign hand of God, is leading us in every direction but the Promised Land.

"Loss of Liberty" - The cover-up of the 1967 Israeli assault on the USS Liberty

George Ball (1909-1994), the Under Secretary of State of Economic affairs during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, wrote: "The ultimate lesson of the Liberty attack, was that it had far more affect on policy in Israel than in America. Israel's leaders concluded that nothing they might do would offend the Americans to the point of reprisal. If America's leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens, it seemed clear that the American friends would let them get away with almost anything."
  Comments from the surviving decorated heroes of the USS Liberty: "If we could get the truth of the Liberty out, it would change the history of this country." "I can't understand why the American newspapers and TV people have helped cover this up by not covering our stories." "Never before has the U.S. Navy ignored eye witness testimony of American Military, to accept on faith the story told by their attackers." "There should be a congressional committee, both senate and house, to examine all the data...and it's getting late to do this, because like McGonagle, God bless, he's gone." "To me that was one of the worst cover-ups in American history. How low can our government go?" "So I will never buy the idea that some of the pilots thought this was another ship." "We didn't know who was attacking us. They didn't know who was attacking us. I don't know how Washington can say, Don't go, because they're friends of ours. That's the thing that's always bothered me, right there."
Any time anyone even questions Israel, the immediate cry is racism and/or antisemitism. Let it be clear that I am neither a racist nor an Antisemite. Few abhor bigotry any more than I do. I love the Israeli people. and they desperately need the Gospel of Christ. However, they have not been well served by their Zionist leaders who have appeared to stop at nothing to further their cause. As Christians, I don't believe it's prudent to blindly accept Israel's every action as though they are empowered by the hand of God. Clearly they are an ally, but then again, what did that mean for the crew of the Liberty? Do allies intentionally sink the ships of their compatriots?
Forty three years after the vicious and sustained attack on the USS Liberty, the testimonies of the survivors and the blood of the dead speak clearly. We can squabble about motives all day long but the fact is that only those so heavily weighted by presupposition could possibly believe this was merely a mistake in identity. The Zionist track record is simply not very good. With the ethnic cleansing in the late 1940's throughout the 50's (see Elisas Chacour's "Blood Brothers") and the attempted sinking of the $40m USS Liberty intelligence ship in international waters, what else are they prepared to do?

(In my view, the above video by sensationalist Alex Jones, clouds the waters. Some of his claims are suspect)
The following quotes are from the book, The Attack on the Liberty: The Untold Story of Israel's Deadly Assault on a U.S. Spy Ship (2009, Simon & Schuster), by James Scott, a longtime journalist living in South Carolina, whose father was an officer on the Liberty.[http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/the-u-s-s-liberty-and-the-culture-of-impunity.html]
[With the Liberty] the United States had the capability to intercept and decipher VHF and UHF radio frequencies, common frequencies used for government and military communications...
In the case of the Liberty, the White House, afraid of offending Israel's domestic backers at a time when it needed support for its Vietnam policy, looked the other way....
Hints of disbelief did emerge, often from small newspapers outside the Beltway. Many puzzled over how Israel's exceptional military could make such a blunder...
[T]he overall lack of criticism of Israel baffled some senior government leaders. The dogged press corps consistently challenged the administration on its Vietnam policy and ambitious social programs. In the case of the Liberty, the press aimed most of its critical questions at the American government. Israel in contrast enjoyed a reprieve. Reporters soon adopted the phrase 'accidental attack,' a description that frustrated Pentagon officials, who felt it minimized the ferocity of the sustained assault that had killed or injured two out of every three men on board...
"We were quite convinced the Israelis knew what they were doing," [Thomas Hughes, director of the State Department's Intelligence office] later said. "It was hard to come to any other conclusion." Other senior staffers agreed, believing that Israel did not want the United States reading its wartime message traffic....
Despite Jerusalem's close ties with Washington, many State Department officials--and others in the intelligence community--believed the Jewish state's survival instinct was so strong that, if necessary, Israel would attack a close ally in the interest of self-preservation....
[According to William Wolle, former State Department:] "The feeling of those of us at the working level in NEA [State Department Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs] was that the Israelis had deliberately done this so that we couldn't read all of their communications, etc. We are their ally but they are not going to trust us when it comes to a wartime situation in terms of what information might get out, what we might pass along to someone. We all felt it was no accident."...
Soon after the Liberty attack, [National Security Agency director Lieutenant General Marshall] Carter appeared before a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee to discuss the Liberty. [Deputy Secretary of Defense] Cyrus Vance joined him... "Cy Vance just told me to keep my mouth shut," [Gerard] Burke [Carter's chief of staff] recalled his boss telling him.... "There was absolutely no question in anybody's mind that the Israelis had done it deliberately," Burke said. "I was angrier because of the cover-up... The only mystery to me was why was the thing being covered up."...
Some of President Johnson's advisers later regretted the handling of the attack. "We failed to let it all come out publicly at the time," said Lucius Battle, the assistant secretary of state for near eastern and south Asian affairs. "We really ignored it for all practical purposes, and we shouldn't have." George Ball, the former undersecretary of state prior to [Nicholas] Katzenbach, wrote that the Liberty ultimately had a greater effect on policy in Israel than in the United States. "Israel's leaders concluded that nothing they might do would offend Americans to the point of reprisal," Ball wrote. "If America's leaders did not have the courage to punish Israel for the blatant murder of American citizens, it seemed clear that their American friends would let them get away with anything."
" . . . an act of military recklessness reflecting wanton disregard for human life."
Then Secretary of State Dean Rusk in a 10 June 1967 diplomatic note to the Israeli Ambassador.
"But I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn't believe them then, and I don't believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous." 
Rusk, As I Saw It, W.W.Norton, 1990. p 388

Jun 14, 2010

BP's Deep Water Horizon Oil Blowout

The truth behind the biggest environmental disaster in U.S. history.

I've received more than one email warning that this BP Oil disaster is not a solvable problem. This, I am told, is the wrath of God being literally poured out as the seas turn into blood. Following is from Dr. James P. Wickstrom, warning in "Oil Volcano Pressure Too Strong For Containment" that BP accidentally drilled into an underground volcano.

Wickstrom writes:
"It has been estimated by experts that the pressure which blows the oil into the Gulf waters is estimated to be between 20,000 and 70,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). Impossible to control. What US Scientists Are Forbidden To Tell The Public About The Gulf What you are about to read, is what the scientists in the United States are not allowed to tell you in great fear of the Obama administration.

They are under the threat of severe repercussions to the max.. Scientists confirming these findings cannot be named due to the above, but what they believe, they want to be known by all. Take a U. S. map, lay it flat and measure inland just the minimum 50 miles of total destruction all around the Gulf of Mexico as to what you will read below. The carnage to the United States is so staggering, it will take your breathe away.

Should what the scientists who are trying to warn everyone about be even close to being true... all of Florida will be completely destroyed as will everyone and everything on it.You decide!! Everyone has the right to read what I have just written in this article, as well as to what is written below by the scientists who the Obama administration and BP are trying to shut up."
This kind of junk science, based upon a faulty reading of God's Word, will continue to plague the Church while eroding the Bible's integrity, until we take the Bible seriously and stop playing games with its clarity. Let's bring sanity back into Christianity. :)

Jun 4, 2010

"And the Sea Became Blood?" - The Gulf Oil Crisis

Rahm Emanuel, Barak Obama’s Chief of Staff once uttered, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste”. Along the same plain, the prophetic gloom and doom profiteers, never miss the opportunity to capitalize on a fresh crisis. "And the Sea Became Blood", the next apocalyptic thriller, is likely to hit a Christian bookstore near you. (Actually it's yet to be written but probably will be :)

The end is perpetually “near” and every negative event from school shootings to financial meltdowns to man-made or natural disasters, are always proof that we are living in the “last days” of this late great planet earth. We may not always buy into the gloom but the incessant barrage, wears like a grease-soaked shirt on a hot muggy day. :(

I wrote the following to a friend yesterday regarding the growing disaster in the Gulf. Images of oil coated pelicans perched upon a sea of black gold, are enough to turn crusty old sailors tearful.

Thanks Theophilus [name changed]. It kind of makes your heart stop doesn't it? Mark my words. It won't be long, if it hasn't already begun, before the forever apocalyptically-minded prophecy “experts” begin talking about this as the sea turning into blood [from the book of Revelation]. They never miss an opportunity to capitalize monetarily on the gullible sheeple.

Revelation 8:8-9 (NASB) The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Keep your eyes and ears open. You can say you heard it first from me. On a serious note, all we can do is pray for the mercy of God to intervene. Thanks again for keeping me informed.




Then, today, less than 24 hours after my stab at prophetic infamy (move over Pat Robertson), I received the following video courtesy of a dear friend.

Sure enough, my above prediction came to pass exactly as I’d anticipated. The horrific Gulf oil spill (in this instance a seriously inadequate word—it’s more like a Gulf oil GUSHER) is now proof that we are living in the final stages of the “last days.” Before our very eyes, Revelation 8:8 is being fulfilled! The sea is literally turning into blood!

Listen, at this point, let me make clear that this disaster is no laughing matter. I pray that God will have mercy on our negligence and greed. God’s intervention is our hope. So please don’t misunderstand me here. This is serious business that may have catastrophic consequences.

Therefore, given my sensitivity to what may be a catastrophe of mega proportions, I never cease to be amazed how people take the heavily sign-ifed (Rev 1:1) book of Revelation and interpret literally what was highly figurative language. Is Revelation 8:8-9 really to be taken literally? How can we KNOW? Do you ever feel driven and tossed by the winds of these prophetic speculators?

If we want to get to the bottom of this issue, I believe we need to first determine to whom Revelation was written and when this vision was to take place. Jesus made certain both were clearly delineated in the first few verses of the vision. So after we make this discovery, the rest of the apocalypse must be interpreted in that context. To do anything else is, in my view, irresponsible.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

This book was written directly to the seven real first century churches in Asia (latter 60’s AD), shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. These churches were a staging ground for the proliferation of the Gospel throughout Asia. So I believe it is imperative that we first consider the relevance of this book to the audience at hand. In other words, how can we determine what this book means (today) if we don’t know what it meant (in the first century)? The Revelation wasn’t given to the early church believers to confuse them but to offer hope, comfort and direction.

Now we know to whom it was written, next we need to ascertain when it was to take place? As Jesus spoke to John through the angel, I don’t think He could have been clearer.

Revelation 1:1-3 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

How could they “heed the things which are written” if it didn’t apply to them? If we ignore the audience and timing of this book, we will never understand the complex imagery that exists within. Multi-headed beasts, stars crashing to planet earth, locust-like scorpions wreaking havoc…and the list goes on.

Disasters throughout history have been pinned to various sections of the Revelation because people chose not to take the timing of God’s prophesies literally. They chose to allegorize the clear timing while literalizing the flowery apocalyptic-styled language. From my earliers days as a believer Pastor James Saxon used to always say, "Interpret the unclear with the clear." The timing is clear, the imagery is unclear, at not as clear to those of us 2,000 removed from the culture and times surrounding this book's writing.

Nowhere in Scripture is time allegorized, and please don’t cite 2 Peter 3:8 as a proof text to say that God can’t communicate clearly. He is not a God of confusion. The mysteries that had been hidden were revealed in the person and work of Christ.

Colossians 1:26 that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints,

Ephesians 3:9-10 (NASB) and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

The Revelation was to be understood by the original recipients! The mystery, which for ages had been hidden, was now being made known. Amen and amen.

If, presuppositionally, we begin with the premise that the Bible was inspired by the very breath of our Creator, is it possible that God deliberately used words disingenuously. Did God intentionally mislead His precious children by creating false expectations? (We did an entire radio program debunking the God supposed inability to tell time
and speak clearly. HERE) If we continue to commit this logical fallacy that near can mean far because to God time is irrelevant, I think we unwittingly bring disrepute to His Word and lend credence to the subversive attacks of liberal scholars.

So as we hearken back to Revelation 1:1, it should be noted that Jesus didn’t say, “things which MIGHT shortly come to pass”. He said, “Things which MUST shortly come to pass.” Therefore, why is it that we continue to ignore these clear words and chase after visions of sugar plums? For thirty three years I, like so many, caved into the pressure of the "experts" (whom I assumed knew far more than a criminal justice major). Although I was never comfortable with this kind of treatment of the Bible, I truly thought I had no viable alternative. I praise God that is no longer the case.

If Jesus was intentionally lying to those hurting, heavily persecuted first century Christs-followers, leading them to believe these things were imminent when they weren’t, we may as well pack it in and stop the charade. I realize that sounds harsh, but I don't believe we can continue to run the Bible aground, giving credence to the views of atheists and agnostic. I simply will not subscribe to the notion that Jesus lied, and there’s no way to sugarcoat it, if the Christians living in Asia Minor in AD 66, were told these things were "must soon take place", if they were still thousands of years future.

I admit that this is a difficult book to understand but I believe in its past fulfillment for one very basic reason. I believe God was faithful to carry out His prophetic Word in the timing He predicted. Was God faithful or not? I believe He was and therefore is. Five years ago I said, no mas to the massive industry of “Left Behind”. I finally refused to be driven and tossed by the winds of this kind of prophetic speculation.

I don’t doubt Kemner (the producer of the above video) is a sincere man. who probably loves God. However, if we continue on this interpretational path, misapplying these horrific events to a book that “MUST” have been fulfilled in the first century, we will continue to lose our resolve to tackle these kinds of severe problems. If this sea of gushing oil is an inevitable fulfillment of Bible prophecy, why try to stop it? Can anyone stop the hand of God?

So what is the basis of Kemner’s conclusion? Is it based in the least on some sort of scientific hypothesis that this is an underwater volcano? It appears that he commits the same logical fallacy that many before him have fallen prey to. He’s captive to an eschatological system that is guaranteed to fail. And it should be asked, when was the literal mountain burning with fire thrown into the sea? Or a third of the ships destroyed? The Revelation 8:8-9 passage Kemner is using (quoted above) was about the termination of the nation of Israel in AD 70. But that’s another story that would take time and Scripture to flesh out.

Consider The Black Death plague epidemic that swept through Europe killing between 25-60% (75,000,000 – 200,000,000 people) of the population from 1348 through 1351…people surely thought they were nearing the end. Since the incarnation of Christ, history is replete with these kinds of horrific events. It’s imperative that we maintain perspective when these kinds of things come our way.

I pray this growing oil crisis may not have equally disastrous consequences…but if we are to adhere to the hope and clarity of God’s Word, we simply cannot continue to ignore the Scriptural time referents as they pertained to the second coming. Words like “shortly”, “at hand”, “soon”, “near” and “in a little while”, are screaming to be heard. I hope this kind of Kemner prophetic fatalism, misapplied in my humble opinion, does not destroy our resolve to be faithful stewards of God’s creation.

This kind of newspaper exegesis is the worst manifestation of premillennialism where people are convinced that the ship is sinking and there’s nothing we can do about it…that bailing water is futile because we’re told the hull has a deep irreparable gash.

As always, I offer my thoughts not as dogma but as things merely to ponder. I always reserve the right to be wrong but in this case, if I am wrong on God’s sincerity re the first 3 verses in the book of Revelation (and almost 100 similar NT references), I’ve wasted a lifetime of attempted service when I could have been out living it up. God WAS, IS and FOREVER shall be faithful. I'm convinced of that.