Sunday, July 30, 2006

A Shift in Israeli Operations - Jul 30

Well it appears that the end-game is in sight. Israeli forces are deep in Southern Lebanon, as far as Qana. No action by the Syrians as of yet, nor do the IDF want any. I'll keep you abreast of the situation as it develops.

Johnny Cash

Special Report: A Shift in Israeli Operations - Jul 30, 2006

At this moment there appears to be a major shift taking place in the war. Though the scope of the operation is unclear, it appears the Israelis have shifted to a new phase of the war, focusing on broader and more intense ground operations. It could be that this is the opening phase of a broader raid-in-force against Hezbollah that might go beyond southern Lebanon. We do not know this for certain, but it does warrant alerting our readers to the possibility. Various bits of evidence point in this direction.

For example, early Sunday Israeli time, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman was quoted as saying, "We have drawn our conclusions from battles in other areas, we have learned our lesson and are about to embark on another mission. There is no intention whatsoever to occupy this region or any other -- only to arrive, to act, and when we're done, to get out."

Cool map here.

There are reports of new areas involved in fighting and new Israeli units being engaged. For example, Israeli forces are now fighting in the area of Qana. This is a few miles southeast of Tyre and deep into southern Lebanon. We have heard that the Qana action consists of engineers, armor and infantry, indicating a more traditional combined arms effort. The engineers would be clearing mines, bulldozing fortifications and clearing roads damaged by Israeli airstrikes. Infantry would be clearing the area of anti-tank teams and opening the way for broader armored thrusts to destroy rear infrastructure and isolate forward Hezbollah positions. There are additional reports of engagements near and to the west of the Israeli panhandle in the Dan-Dafna-Metulla region, along with heavy artillery fire in this region. This would be the jump-off point for an attack both westward along the Litani and northward into the Bekaa Valley. There were extensive reports of a major armored buildup in this area over the past 48 hours. This would also explain the decision to disengage temporarily at Bent Jbail in preparation for the new phase of operations.

Interestingly, the report about Qana that we have says the attacking force is from the Nahal Division. According to Israeli media, the Galilee Division, which normally has full responsibility for the entire Lebanese border, has been given responsibility for the western half of the border, while Nahal Division has been made responsible for the eastern half. If all of this is true and the Qana fighting is being carried out by Nahal, then the action at Qana represents a drive westward from the northern panhandle rather than a northern drive from Galilee division. This is of great importance because it indicates that the armor massed in the panhandle is moving in a broad encirclement as per traditional IDF doctrine. Nahal has been moving rapidly during daylight hours. Ground operations involving the Golani Brigade were also reported in Taibe last night. If Nahal moved west, it would have passed through Taibe. If the division were planning on a move north to the Bekaa Valley, it will need Taibe. The town is in a critical location.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has canceled her visit to Lebanon. She is, however, going to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday night and return to the United States on Monday. If nothing important were happening, Rice would stick to her schedule. If the United States objected to what is happening, Israel would postpone until she left or she would be on the plane right now. Therefore, a logical conclusion is that whatever is happening makes her trip to Lebanon pointless or harmful but that she wants to signal that there is no strain in relations with Israel. If there is a major attack coming, Washington has signed off on it.

We are approaching nightfall in Israel. If this is indeed a major shift operationally -- and we simply cannot be certain at this point, in spite of pieces seeming to fall into place -- then we would expect rapid movements of Israeli forces through the night, and we should get a sense by morning, Israel time, of just how deep they expect to go. At this point, having made the decision to shift to larger-scale, more traditional operations, Israel will want to proceed as rapidly as possible for operational and diplomatic reasons. If the Israelis are going, they will be going rapidly.

It should also be noted that Israel attacked key roads and bridges along the Syrian-Lebanese border. This indicates that Israel is not intending to use those roads to attack Syria (otherwise they would have wanted them intact) but does want to protect its flank from any Syrian countermove. It is the least intrusive action Israel can take. They neither want to attack nor be attacked by Syria.

At this point, if this should take place, we will get a better sense of Hezbollah's broader capabilities. Its forward troops seemed to be extremely competent. Whether troops in other areas are equally capable remains to be seen. Also remaining to be seen is the effect of the Israeli air campaign on the militants' numbers, morale and coordination. If they are an effective fighting force, we would expect effective attacks against armored columns using anti-tank weapons and mines, and a slow evolution. If they are severely weakened, as some reports we are receiving from Lebanon say they are, the attack will be broader.

Remember that in our view Hezbollah does not expect to defeat Israel's main force, but wants to draw it into Lebanon to impose an Iraqi/Afghan style insurgency. Therefore, an apparent collapse of Hezbollah (as with the Taliban and Saddam Hussein's forces) does not necessarily mean defeat but rather can mean a shift to insurgency rather than conventional resistance. As the IDF statement makes clear, Israel does not intend to occupy and expose itself to such actions. It should also be remembered that both within and outside of Lebanon, Hezbollah has historically used terror techniques to impose penalties on enemies and shape the political environment. Hezbollah pioneered suicide bombing in Lebanon during the 1980s.

In conclusion, we do not have definitive intelligence that Israel has shifted to a radical new course. This could simply be another phase in a piecemeal operation. However, given Israeli practice in the past and political disputes within the Israeli government, we regard it as reasonable to alert our readers to the possibility of the beginning phases of a major, more traditional Israeli ground offensive designed to destroy Hezbollah in detail. We will know more clearly over the next 12 hours.

Copyright 2006 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

The Passion of the Mel - Jul 30

I don't have a clever opening monologue for you today. Didn't feel like it.

Please pray for Mel Gibson. Mel pulled a real boner just recently, having been arrested for drunk driving. He's had problems with alcohol before and appears to have relapsed. Well, at least his pet project, The Passion of the Christ, is considered one of the most controversial movies ever made. I've seen 'Passion' twice myself and would highly recommend it. Five out of five stars.

Well here is something to cheer you up. The New York Yankees got mugged at home, losing 19-6 to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays yesterday. Hahahahaha. I hate the Yankees. Good team though.

Well you knew this was going to happen. Two allies of Israel, Canada's own Stephen Harper and Australia's John Howard are being raked over the coals by recent anti-Israeli rallies.

Jihad in Seattle Update: Right on cue, that Pakistani shooter is found with a 'mental illness' by the PC media and Seattle police. What a brave man this guy was. 'Cause you know how hard and difficult a military target is such as a bunch of unarmed Jewish women. The word coward is too good for him.

Another hero from the land Down Under is Cardinal George Pell, who wants a televized debate with Abu Hamza. Good. I'd love to see it happen.

Did you know that 60% of the U.S. is in drought? Yes, my friend, it's THAT serious. The drought is concentrated in the northern plains in the Dakotas.

Closing the Barn Doors After the Horses Have Fled Dep't: The UN has actually made a smart move by pulling all unarmed observers from the Israeli-Lebanese border. At post time, the body of Maj. HvK has still not been recovered.

Answer me this: Would you rather be a black man in Louisiana or a black man in Sudan? According to the UN, it's choice is the first one. While innocent blood is shed in Darfur, the best these idiots can do is criticize the U.S. over the Hurricane Katrina disaster. That is when they aren't passing one resolution after another against Israel. Pathetic.

That'll do for a lazy Sunday. Enjoy your hot weekend.

Johnny Cash

Saturday, July 29, 2006

All The World's A Stage - Jul 29

.... and we are merely players. Well at least the Bard said so, so I guess it must be true. But who is the main player, the main actor of this play we call life? It is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. A co-worker asked me the other day "Is this the Armaggeddon?". I told him no it wasn't, but that reality is much closer than what we think. This world is in a serious state of upheaval with no apparent end in sight. Israel is at the center of all the news media, be they hostile or friendly to the Jewish state. Why does this world hate the Jews and Israel? Because it hates Jesus. Oh, it loves the little baby Jesus of Christmastime, it loves the Jesus who wrought many miracles, it loves the Jesus who said "Love thy neighbor". But it hates the Jesus who is coming again in great power and glory to set up His millenial kingdom. The world is indeed a stage. Are you a player for the coming Kingdom of God?

I've got a monster post here so do bear with me.

It came as a shock and a surprise to me to hear of the death of Major Paeta Hess von-Kruedener. You see, I actually knew this guy! He was very briefly attached to my regiment, the Lorne Scots in Brampton, Ontario. He was a captain when he was there and this guy was something else. Perhaps the keenest and fittest soldier I ever knew, and was quite intimidating. It did not surprise me in the least to hear that he was in the middle of the action. A desk jockey this guy was not. Standing on guard for thee? You bet.

More in Canadian news as a story from the CBC about the famed Northwest Passage. I have reported on this before, only now I've got a special report. It seems Canada is much more geopolitically more important than what we think.

Bill O'Reilly chimes in on the ineffectiveness of the UN.

Four stories worth watching from the 'Beeb':

A very strange military alliance is forming between Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Russia's Vladimir Putin. Try to the tune of $3bn worth of arms from Russia to Venezuela.

While Israel is bolstering its troops, Arab leaders worry about the growing political and military prowess of Iran. The Iranians are Shia, a minority in the umma, whilst al-Qaida is of the majority Sunni. Both are equally deadly.

And just because I can, here is a cool picture gallery of recent thunderstorms in the U.K..

Three stories of renewed jihad, compliments of that 'Religion of Peace'.

In Israel, the brave mujahideen show their fighting skills by launching rockets at a Jewish kindergarten. A kindergarten for crying out loud! What cowards!

In Seattle, a practitioner of that RoP shoots up a Jewish Federation centre.

In Syria, war preparedness is ratcheted up as the IAF targets the Bekaa Valley.

The war between the witty and the witless continues unabated as well:

Not all wars are fought on the battlefield. Some are taking place in U.S. academic circles, and in a rally in Toronto recently.

Another home run from Charles Krauthammer on what the world thinks about Israel.

According to Russian foreign policy, Hamas and Hezbollah aren't really that bad. Probably just misunderstood I'm guessing.

Two stories from the EU as the Rome conference endorses a UN force for the ME, and an opinion piece on why the EU must act. Or trample Israeli sovereignty underfoot. Take your pick.

Chuckles and Giggles Dep't: At the X-Def, we take our humor seriously.

An article from the Master of Silliness, Andy Borowitz.

Do you want to win $25,000? Of course you do. Just give this Jewish rocker a suitable rock 'n roll name and win. I've submitted my idea, and no, I'm not telling you what it is.

Whew. I told you I had a big post coming. I'm off. See you later.

The Man in Black

Friday, July 28, 2006

Israel's War Goals and Strategy - Jul 28

It's good to be back. Was having some technical problems but those appear to be solved now. Got another keeper for you from stratfor about what Israel must do to win the war. In short, it can be summed thusly: Send in the poor bloody infantry! Air strikes alone will not defeat Hezbollah. I don't care how advanced an army is, there is no substitute for a gung-ho infantryman. When the enemy is so well entrenched as Hezbollah, you have little choice. The Israelis understandably want to keep losses to a minimum, but some wars have to be fought face to face. In WW II, the whole purpose of D-Day was to lay the foundations for a ground offensive into Germany. The Gulf War in 1991 had to be finished off by a ground offensive as well. This war is no different. Just substitute the words 'raiding in force' with 'ground offensive' and the same military principles apply today.

Johnny Cash

Geopolitical Diary: Israel's War Goals and Strategy - Jul 28, 2006

Trying to figure out what Israel is doing is becoming a full-time occupation. Israel's war aims are fairly clear: They involve stopping the current rocket attacks and assuring that these attacks will not resume. They involve doing so with a minimum of casualties. They involve not being put in a position of occupying any more hostile territory and conducting counterinsurgency operations. All of these are understandable goals; the problem is whether they are compatible.Ending rocket attacks means pushing Hezbollah back, but given the range of some of Hezbollah's missiles, this means the Israelis would have to push it way back. Indeed, given the distance, Hezbollah would have to be destroyed as a fighting force. And since counterinsurgency operations are out of the question, it has to be destroyed as a fighting force without exposing the Israel Defense Forces to the rigors of occupation. That means, as they used to say, it has to be "destroyed in detail." Hezbollah has positioned itself in this fighting. It should not be regarded as a guerrilla force. Rather, its strategy should be thought of almost in terms of Japan's strategies for defending islands during World War II. Hezbollah fighters are dug into well-designed bunkers that are difficult to destroy from the air or assault from the ground. The bunkers are well stocked and don't need re-supply, at least within the scope of the fighting. Since there is little maneuver, communications are not critical except on the tactical level. Outside of southern Lebanon, Hezbollah defenses are not clearly known; but within southern Lebanon, they are not fighting a guerrilla war, but conventional, positional warfare. And they seem prepared to resist effectively and are mounting tactical counterattacks. It is taking days to reduce a small position.In World War II, on islands in the Pacific, the Americans had no choice but to go in, dig out the Japanese, and suffer massive casualties in doing so. In other areas, the strategy was to flank such defensive positions, move behind them, isolate them and let them "die on the vine," under the theory that at some point the fighters would run out of food and water. Entire cities in France were treated this way.Israel has the ability to use this older warfighting doctrine. It can use combined arms to isolate southern Lebanon. In other words, it can try to convert the war to its advantage, moving from positional to maneuver warfare. But even in so doing, it would not solve the problem of casualties -- and it might create a situation in which withdrawal is difficult and counterinsurgency inevitable.Therefore, the Israelis are engaged in small-scale operations against entrenched positions, while basing their strategic operations on air power. If this works, it will eliminate the rocket threats, destroy Hezbollah, avoid Israeli casualties and avoid occupation and counterinsurgency. It's a hell of a plan, if it works. However, if it doesn't work, Israel will have burned through a lot of diplomatic time and still have the problem it began with.It comes down to two questions. First, is Israeli military intelligence good enough that it really has mapped out Hezbollah's infrastructure to the point that an air campaign can destroy it? Second, if Hezbollah fighters have dug themselves in along the border as efficiently as they did, how well did they fortify critical infrastructure? In other words, does Israel really know what it has to hit, and can it destroy the target set it has? Some things are really hard to blow up, regardless of the munitions used. The alternative to this strategy is a mobile ground operation that isolates pockets of resistance, identifies things to be destroyed and destroys them -- in other words, a raid in force. The Israeli Cabinet chose on Thursday not to do that. They are going with air war. It is understandable why they chose this. But it would seem that Hezbollah may have thought through the options and have created a battle problem Israel can't solve perfectly. The imperfect, available solution remains the ground offensive.

Copyright 2006 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Don't Haf Da Powa, Cap'n! - Jul 25

The title of my post may seem strange to you but not to those who are familiar with Scotty (the late James Doohan) of Star Trek. Totally cheesy and camp, yet is responsible for much of the science fiction TV series today. While Queens, NY and St. Louis are still having troubles with their electricity, there was rolling blackouts in Alberta and a heatwave in Europe. What is my point in all this? Are most of us living in the Southern Ontario region ready for similar actions? No. We are not ready. However, once it starts (and it will), we'll simply have to suffer like everyone else. My friends, be prepared.

Do you want to hear a good old-fashioned rant from Neal Boortz? Hear 7:39 of Mr. Boortz against that 'religion of peace' we all know and love? I feel for 'Will', the English Muslim who is the target of the host's wrath.

Where do you stand wrt the land of Israel? There've been two rallies for Israel in California and London and one against. Please carefully read the placards in the anti-Israeli rally. I hope they will open your eyes.

From Jewish World Review, two stirring call to arms from Bill O'Reilly and Michael Goodwin.

Two items of interest in Israeli news:

Will the EU become the guaranteeor of Israel's safety? It appears that might be the short-term case. Remember Daniel 9:27? 'The people of the prince to come'? That would be the Europeans my friend.

An update on Ariel Sharon's worsening condition. I think the docs are gonna pull the plug very, very soon. Which of course sets my mind to thinking, "Will all the heads of state, including Bush, show up in Israel for Sharon's funeral? And will the Iranians think to attack Israel at that very moment when all these VIP's are gathered together in the Holy Land?" Hmmm.

And for those who take the Great Commision seriously, here's another Gospel for Asia update.

Two sports stories I'm also following:

Congrats to Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays for being MLB's Player of the Week!

And when you think of sports, you think 'hair', right? No? Well here's a picture gallery that says differently. (Requires flash)

Attention! All you aspiring mad scientists and al-Qaida types! Do you want to destroy the Earth? I mean completely obliterate it right out of existence? Take your jihad to the next level and find out Ten Ways to Destroy the Earth. Please, don't thank me, thank you!

Never say I don't have a sense of humor, however misplaced it might be.

Mr. Johnny Cash

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Israel's Fight Is Our Fight - Jul 23

When I look at what is happening now in the ME, for me it really boils down to this: Do I choose a flawed, unbelieving Israel or the Islamic caliphate? The answer for me is a slam-dunk: I choose Israel every single time without stammer or equivocation. Now I know what you might say: But Johnny, what about all those civilian deaths? My friend, I am truly grieving over the tragic loss of life and the spilling of blood of the innocents. No true man of God rejoices over the suffering of others. However, make no mistake. These Islamic clerics are dead serious when they call for a caliphate to rule the world. I take them at their word and so should you. You see, Satan desires worship above all. Which two nations above all stand opposed to this plan? Israel and America. Even with Bush at the helm, America stands as a stout bulwark against Satan's master plan to dethrone Jehovah God. The Jews and the land of Israel has always been the proverbial 'canary in the coal mine' when evil rears its head. I know where I stand. Where do you?

From Ynet news, stories of a renewed call to jihad. I guess the first 1400 years of Islam was a test run or something.

Dear Angie, I'm writing this letter to you to let my true feelings be known. Firstly, I think Israel is a big meanie for defending itself. Plus all that 'Holocaust' stuff is a wee bit tiring. Other than that, we are like two peas in a pod. Your buddy, Mahmoud.

Just in case you didn't get the message the first time around, MEMRI sallies forth to show the direct relationship between Hezbollah and Tehran-Damascus.

Don't look now, but the big foreheads at the Useless Nations have spoken. Israel is once again violating 'humanitarian law'. I see. So the firing of hundreds of missiles across an international border and the unlawful kidnappings that precipitated this crisis is OK then. Hypocrisy and double-standards, thy name is the UN.

It appears Arik the Bulldozer's (not to be confused with Thomas the Tank Engine) time on this earth is almost up. I've got to be honest with you, I thought Sharon should've died at least three months ago. He's been in a PVS since January the 4th. Naturally, everybody is playing it down but nobody is fooled. Let him go. It's the right thing to do.

I've got a cool picture gallery of Israel to show you, compliments of JerusalemOnline.com. Hope you like it.

Continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. It's about the only thing we can do right now.

The Man in Black

The Battle of Maroun al-Ras - Jul 23

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you actually have a clue. I've got an article from stratfor on the ongoing crisis. You'll notice that it's not the usual format, blogger does not seem to support graphics. Yep, Edit then Select All (or Ctrl+A) followed by a simple copy and paste will do wonders. This article had a beauty map in the original which is noticeably absent here.

Johnny Cash

Lebanon: The Battle of Maroun al-Ras Jul 22, 2006

Following a fierce overnight battle, Israeli paratroopers and soldiers backed by artillery and armor took the southern Lebanese village of Maroun al-Ras early July 22, effectively ending Hezbollah's use of the village as a staging area for rocket attacks against northern Israel. Later in the day, Israeli tanks moved in to consolidate and secure the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) position in the area.

If the ferocity of Hezbollah's resistance in Maroun al-Ras, a few miles northwest of the Israeli community of Avivim, is any indication of the level of fighting the IDF can expect during a major advance into southern Lebanon, heavy losses can be expected on both sides.Israel went in with paratroopers and soldiers from the Golani Brigade's Egoz Battalion, a unit that specializes in anti-guerrilla warfare (its name comes from a Hebrew acronym meaning "anti-guerrilla" and "micro-warfare") and is equipped to operate at night. Even though Egoz was fighting its own style of warfare -- a night action against guerrillas -- the soldiers had a rough time taking the town. Four Egoz soldiers were killed and six were wounded before the fighting ended. Hezbollah also claimed to have knocked out two Israeli tanks during the battle. There was no information on the number of Hezbollah deaths.Egoz officers, who have a healthy respect for Hezbollah fighters, have acknowledged the difficulties involved in ejecting them from their heavily fortified and dug-in positions. If Hezbollah is as well entrenched elsewhere, the losses will mount.

Copyright 2006 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

It's Raining Jihad - Jul 22

There is just so much going on right now that it's hard to keep up. Probably the most dangerous place on Earth right now is the Israeli-Lebanon border. The DMZ between the Koreas ranks a close second. Even that appears tranquil compared to the clashes between the IDF and Hezbollah. Well, I hope you like the new format as much as I do. Much more reader-friendly and the posts are a bit more compact with the URLs out of the way.

Save me Infidels! You know, Omar Bakri has some gall. After saying the British gov't ought to be overthrown and Sharia law ought to be the law of the land, he wants the British gov't to come and save his sorry ass. Did I mention that the Brits had had enough of this guy, enough to punt him out of the country? There's a lesson to be learned here folks: After you bite the hand that feeds you, don't expect any more feedings the same way, if at all.

As I suggested to you earlier, Iran and Syria were not going to sit idly by while the IAF pummels Hezbollah into oblivion. There's every reason to believe that HB did NOT act unilaterally when they decided to kidnap two additional soldiers. They were given orders directly from Sistani (Iran) and Assad (Syria), orders that were faithfully carried out. I cannot stress this point enough. Sadly and tragically, Lebanese civilians are caught in the middle.

Three items of Canadian interest here:

In Afghanistan, two Canadian soldiers are dead as a result of a suicide bombing on their convoy. Eight others were wounded, none with life-threatening injuries. Hey, does anyone still believe that the Canadians were going to come out of Afghanistan completely unscathed?

According to a recent survey of Canadians, many thought highly of Jews and Christians with a 81% approval rate (that high?). Muslims compared the least favorable with a 63% approval rating.

Some happy news as our Canadian boys capture the world lacrosse title after a drought of 28 years. Don't be ashamed if you didn't hear about this. It was not heavily promoted as it should have been. I was aware of it but none of the matches were televised.

Four items of international interest:

Vast Right-Wing Zionist Conspiracy Dep't: Get this. According to the Iranians, Pepsi is actually an acronym for Pay Every Penny to Save Israel. My mind is blown away. I'm speechless for a change.

If you knew for a fact that most of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 infamy were Saudis, would you sell them billions of dollars of military hardware? France seems to think this is not a big problem. Not that it was terribly difficult of me to dislike the French in the first place, but why is one of our so-called allies aiding and abetting the enemy?

In India, it appears that not all Indians are like Mahatma Ghandi. Some Muslims there have decided that burning the American flag is the cool thing to do. No, I'm not getting into an argument with you wrt free speech and all that. Burning a flag of any country is petty, spiteful and is filled with hate and venom towards those people. Playing for the camera, but not in a nice way.

This is a follow up from earlier, but there seems to a development to this case. The Ethiopian army has now moved into a second Somali town. More to follow.

Like I said, jihad is raining all over the place. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

The Man in Black

Friday, July 21, 2006

I'm A Genius - Jul 21

Well, not really. Scroll down (if you're on my homepage) and look at the next two posts. You'll notice that all those sloppy links are gone and have been replaced by hyperlinks. There are far too many posts for me edit in html but I promise this will be the future format from now on. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way I guess. Enjoy the new and improved X-Def!

Israeli troops are now amassing at the Lebanese border. After their sustained air attack, the poor bloody infantry are going to be sent in to do mop-up operations. Good luck to them. I still stick to my earlier prognostications that Hezbollah will not be completely destroyed. Israeli casualties will mount and calls to end the war will increase in volume.

In other military news, Ethiopian troops have moved into Somalia to bolster what's left of the government there.

There are many strange weather stories out there that boggle the mind. Temperatures in England have reached heatwave status. The city of St. Louis is hit with a double whammy as they've got a heat wave AND a blackout. I will be very surprised if we here in Southern Ontario will come away unscathed wrt rolling blackouts. Also, wetness in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia as the remnants of Tropical Storm Beryl soak the province.

I've got two photo galleries from the BBC. The first is Fighting in Lebanon. The second has to do with Mt. Mayon in the Philippines as it looks to erupt.

Meanwhile, because of everybody getting out of Lebanon, Cyprus is asking the EU for help. It appears to be the Greek Cypriots (and not the Turkish Cypriots) who are doing all the hard work.

Despite all the terror, 3,000 Jews have decided to emigrate to Israel. Yes, of course that sounds illogical. But think about this for a second. If you're a Jew, the safest place you can be is the land of Israel. God has not forgotten His people and His land. Not by a long shot.

Jonah Goldberg of Jewish World Review on the great U.N delusion.

Also from JWR, a bit of silliness from Gene Weingarten. Along with Andy Borowitz, Gene is one of the funniest posters at JWR.

See, isn't that much neater?

Mr. Johnny Cash

Thursday, July 20, 2006

All Is Not Doom and Gloom! - Jul 20

Do you want to know why I love Bible prophecy? It is not because I like to scare people into a quivering blob. It is not because I somehow enjoy watching others suffer. When Jesus was around, what did He mostly preach on? Hell? Judgement? Death and destruction? NO! Although He did mention these things in His Olivet Discourse (Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 21), Jesus' message was one of hope. He did not say, "Enjoy Me while I'm here cause after I'm gone you'll be on your own." What Jesus DID say that He would walk out of His grave on the third day. He also promised to return as a victorious, conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords. End-time prophecy is not primarily about seven years of terror. It is about a thousand years of peace. It is a glorious story of redemption. Many who are ignorant are terrified of God's word. I just wish they took more time and discovered the real truth.

In the EU, a story of a government within a government

Does anyone seriously believe that Islam is a 'religion of peace'? Who are these people anyways? Watch the following video (runs over 45 minutes but it is worth it) from MEMRI and see for yourself.

Three links, all related to recent events in the ME.

Israeli troops are pushing into south Lebanon. Finally. There was no way an air war was going to single-handedly take care of Hizbollah anyways. Sadly, I do predict that Hizbollah will live again to fight another day. Israel will buy some more time with this but that's about it.

There is something really interesting happening in the Arab world over this latest conflict. You'd think they'd be frothing at the mouth over Israeli actions but in fact the opposite is occurring. It is Hizbollah that is being blamed! Now excuse me if I don't do a happy dance here but the reasons why this is is twofold
1) Worries about a wider war that nobody really wants.
2) Worries about a growing Tehran-Damascus axis.
The first worry is practical, the second purely political. They don't have a problem with killing Jews per se, rather the criticism is over tactics and timing. Oh well, something is better than nothing I suppose.

Here's exactly what I mean. The Syrians and the Iranians see Hizbollah as a foreign policy tool, not to mention a proxy army. Plausible deniability and all that. Problem is, everybody knows it and seem to be more that willing to call their bluff. Neither Syria nor Iran will sit idly by while Israel crushes HB. Will they in turn launch a direct attack? Hard to say but I'll keep you posted.

Mr. Johnny Cash

End Time Prophecy - Jul 20

Here's an extra special post for you here. I'm hoping that someone who is interested in end-time events would use Google and come to this blog for some more information. After the rapture there will be millions who have internet access and will be quite scared at the calamity that has just occurred. I believe we are THAT CLOSE!!

In Leviticus 23, you'll read of seven feasts ordained by God given to the Jews. Along with other gems such as Daniel 9, Matthew 24, and Isaiah 53, Leviticus 23 is one of the most important chapters in the OT. It's prophetic significance cannot be overemphasized.


Will Islam be our future? I think it will be during the tribulation era. There are too many parallels between Christian and Islamic eschatology (that's a big fancy word for prophecy). After Jesus' return, Islam will fade into history.


So here's another link that I can personally endorse to you. It's a link off of the main bilderberg.org site that I think will tickle your grey matter.

Just in case you didn't see my links below, here are two must haves on your favorites list:

Rapture Ready
Jihad Watch

And for our Catholic friends, do I have a special treat for you! There's an obscure prophecy that's over 900 years old that is not part of the church doctrine. An Irishman named St. Malachy gave Pope Celestine II in the year 1143 a list of all the popes that would follow him to the end of time. As of right now, Pope Benedict XVI is the 111th out of 112 popes on the list. Benny is the 'Glory of the Olives'. The name Benedict comes from the Benedictines, also known as the 'Olivetans'! Keep in mind Ratzinger is no spring chicken anymore at 79 years of age. Do yourself a favor and Google 'Malachy' and 'Glory of the Olives' and see what you come up with. I think the results will astound and amaze you.


I've got two links to my own blog that I believe are also helpful:
Prophecy of the Sabbath
The Numbers 666 and 777

There is so much out there, I suggest you surf the internet thoroughly. There is a lot of good stuff out there. Some crap too, so do exercise due diligence. The links above are legit and provide an excellent start. As Agent Fox Mulder of the X-Files used to say, "The truth is out there!"

Johnny Cash

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Boom, Boom, Out Go The Lights! - Jul 19

We had a storm come through yesterday. The hydro went out at 10 p.m. and finally came back on at 2:30 a.m. It really wasn't that big of a storm, it damaged many trees (branches ripped off) and probably dinged a car or two that was left outside. When I think of this in the 'big picture' scheme of things, there are a few points I'd like to share with you:

1) We are so not prepared for this. Would you and your family be ready if the hydro was out 48 hours or longer? Do you have emergency supplies like fresh water, fuel for cooking, canned food and a first aid kit? No? Join the club. My family is not ready either.
2) Do you really believe that the government is gonna save your sorry ass in the event of a local emergency? Dream on. Look at what happened to those poor sods who were on the roof of their flooded homes in New Orleans after Katrina. Or in Indonesia after that killer tsunami. The reality is you are on your own, especially in the short term scheme of things. The government is not a Knight in Shining Armor, ready to rescue damsels in distress the moment they yell for help. Please understand this. It will make the difference between life and death.
3) Complacency and apathy rule. It Can't Happen Here. Not In My Backyard. Disasters only happen to bad people. The lame excuses go on and on.

Please be prepared. Stock up on supplies today while it's still sunny outside.

Poor Indonesia. Another bloody tsunami has hit her, this time it's the island of Java, not Sumatra.

All is not doom and gloom as Discovery lands safely in Florida. Thank God!

Andy Borowitz on what was REALLY going on in Discovery.
(The man is brilliant!)

More links on that ongoing Israeli-Lebanon conflict:

Here's a photo gallery from the CBC on the war zone:

Is Syria next? Many citizens of Damascus are worrying about the fate of their city. If I were them, I'd put down the Koran and read Isaiah 17 out loud. Do I believe this will definitely be the case here? God, I hope not. Not now anyways. However, God cannot lie. Damascus at some point has an appointment with destiny.

The United States is in the process of evacuating its citizens from Lebanon. Canadians are set to go on Wednesday. I'm guessing once all the Westerners have gotten the heck out of Dodge, the IDF will begin its ground campaign. They seem to be taking their sweet time with this. All sorts of whirlwind backroom diplomacy is taking place, far from the public eye. Keep your eyes and ears posted.

Daniel Pipes offers his informed opinion on the current crisis. His solution? Just win, baby! Everything else is mere semantics.

Newt Gingrich (remember him? No? Well don't beat yourself up if you don't) is putting things into its proper perspective. Newt says it's a 58 year-old campaign to kick of WW III. Methinks Newt is no dummy here.

Now for some other odds and sods I've managed to pull together over the past couple of days:

Zidane. Alomar. Clemens. Roy. Namath. Cobb. All these names are sporting legends. They also have another thing in common. They've all made the 'bad-boy' list because of public meltdowns. See for yourself and think of some others that would fit on this list. Marty McSorley. Todd Bertuzzi. John Brophy. Rick Dudley. Lou Piniella. Billy Martin. Billy Smith. Ron Hextall. Terrell Owens. Ron Artest. Bobby Knight. And every minor league baseball coach that's ever stepped on the diamond gets my vote which was not included in this list.

The 'Beast of B.C.' Clifford Olsen is up for parole. Let's hope this worthless piece of sh*t never sees a free day in his pathetic life.
Don't bother posting if you don't like the profanity. I stand by it 100% and I ain't changing it.

In the Netherlands, tolerance runs amok as some pedophiles are trying to start up a political party. On this side of the rapture, these guys have a snowball's chance in hell of making any headway. After the rapture is anybody's guess.

The mayor of Fredricton has told a bunch of anti-abortionists that they are not welcome. Truth sucks, doesn't it?

Read a story about a young life pulled back from the brink in India thanks to a GFA broadcast. Remember, God loves you, no matter what.

Johnny Cash

Sunday, July 16, 2006

More Lebanon Stuff - Jul 16

Went to Mosport today to watch the bikes fly 'round the track. Had lots of fun but dammit, it was hot! Try 35C WITH the bloody humidex added on. It's been a busy weekend for me and there is much going on in this world. Mostly bad news I'm afraid. Like I said earlier, this is not it. It just looks like it. Put your faith in God, not man. Jesus Christ IS coming back. So look busy!

As a result of the Israeli military actions, Seven Lebanese-Canadians are no longer with us. There are many Lebanese living in and around the GTA and Southern Ontario who have family back in the old country. Please pray for these people. I'm afraid it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

New World Odor (no, that's not a typo) Alert: As a result of all this nastiness in the ME, the high muckity-mucks of this world have come up with a clever idea. Let's hand everything over to the UN! Gosh, that's bloody brilliant! I mean WOW! Surely the AntiChrist is alive and well today, just waiting in the wings. The Law of Unintended Consequence? Fuhggeddaboutit.

Honest Reporting wades into public opinion and gives us the Israeli point of view. Hey, if you don't like what they are saying or have a problem with their facts, then contact them. That's what freedom of expression is all about. I'm just putting it out there because there seems to be a mountain of misinformation and misdirection going around over this.

Meanwhile in China, Tropical Storm Bilis is creating all sorts of havoc with over a hundred dead so far.

I have three blogs that I've discovered today that I wish to share with you. Y'know there is a lot of lies out there as it concerns Middle Eastern people. Many have this idea that they are all a bunch of cut-throats and fanatics, which is far from the truth. It just goes to show that Islam has not completely crushed the human spirit. It is the human spirit, given to us by our Creator, that says, "Screw you. I'm gonna live despite all this".

Here's a male blogger calling himself 'Herlock Sholmes' who lives in the United Arab Emirates. God, this guy is FUNNY! Not for the faint of heart or easily offended though. Also contains some profanity but it is so honest and 'out there' that you find yourself quickly and easily forgiving such indiscretions.

One from a female blogger from Egypt. She's a Muslim, but does not appear to be 'over-the-top' fanatic. Loves her Mom and is a patriot of her country. Some Arabic, but mostly English.

This is another female blogger called 'Ramblin Hal' who is more strident in her views as an Arab and as a Muslim. Like I said, it's always good to know what it's like to live on the other side of the fence. Whether you agree or disagree with her is not the main point here. I'm trying to understand and to show the human side of all this suffering that's going on over there.

See, isn't blogging fun? Find new and interesting people without ever leaving the house. God Bless the internet!

Johnny Cash

This Is Not It! - Jul 16

The world is watching Israel and Lebanon right now with bated breath. Let me tell you what is going to happen. In a short while, Western civilians will be evacuated out of Beirut. They will either end up in Cyprus or in various Christian enclaves to the north. Going east towards Syria is not a very good option as roads there are likely to be attacked by Israeli forces. Going south towards Israel is pure suicide. After U.S. forces have evacuated most of their own, the Israelis will move towards the Bekaa valley in a massive ground incursion. A factory in Haifa was ordered closed by the Israeli government to facilitate this. The only question is: What will Hizbollah do? There is a reason to believe that they have in their possession some rockets with a range that can reach Tel Aviv. Hizbollah will also try to escape by way of Syria. If this happens, we do not know if the Israelis will chase Hizbollah in 'hot pursuit' into Syrian territory. The Syrians and the Israelis have a tacit agreement not to attack one another. I don't believe the Israelis will pursue Hizbollah into Syria proper, thus Hizbollah will be spared total destruction. But Hizbollah will be finished in Lebanon, make no mistake. It will buy the Israelis time if nothing else, a precious commodity in the ME. This is not Armaggeddon folks. But it looks like a pretty decent start, a rehearsal of sorts if you will.

Well you know Mr. Big Mouth, aka Iran's Thug-In-Chief is getting in on the anti-Israeli bandwagon:

Time for a history lesson from Charles Krauthammer from JWR on why Israel must fight. The issue isn't a 'two-state' solution. The issue is whether or not Israel has the right to exist at all. The Arab states don't want Israel to withdraw to it's pre-1967 borders. They want Israel to withdraw to it's pre-1948 borders.

From AsiaNews, an article on why Israel must have a peace accord in place with it's Arab neighbours. Israel will have it's day of destiny with the AntiChrist as he forges a seven year peace treaty. All around the world this man will be hailed as an international hero. Then that whole 'wrath of God' thing happens before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

From the BBC comes a picture gallery of the current crisis in Lebanon.

I've included this link to show you that things are not always as they appear, especially in the ME. In Egypt, a movie is raising all sorts of hackles and controversy. Nice to know that many in the Islamic world are still using their brains.

Three items of American news to end this post:

Bill O'Reilly on the nastiness between the liberal media and the Bush administration.

Bush says no to Putin at the G8 meeting for Russian ascencion into the World Trade Organization. American and Russian relations are quite frosty now, not a lot of happiness on either side.

In California, forest fires are raging out of control. Two massive blazes are but a kilometer apart. Firefighters believe they may merge, causing even bigger problems. Governer Schwarzenegger has called it a disaster area which releases federal funding to help battle the blaze.

That's long enough. If I tried to put everything I've read about this current crisis I'd have twenty posts by now. I'll keep you posted on this very fluid and dangerous situation.

The Man in Black

Friday, July 14, 2006

Answer This Question - Jul 14

How do you hide from God? I mean really, think about it for a second. Did you know every word, thought and action is being recorded by the Almighty? Even as I am typing now, God is watching. You see, God has it all on record. If you are righteous, that is born again of the spirit, then God will know and you WILL be granted full citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven. Not maybe. You will get it. Now what if you are not on Jesus' side? God will reveal all your wickedness for all to see. Many people think they are 'good' and even a 'moral' person. But it was never meant for you to substitute your own righteousness for God's righteousness. Human goodness is the worst form of wickedness when it is used as a substitute for the second birth. Please don't let your pride get in the way in discovering the 'wonderful mystery' of those who die in a state of belief. Just remember, God is watching and you cannot hide. To be justified or condemned, the choice is yours to make. Please choose wisely.

Wow. There's been a lot going on recently so let's try to catch up. In Mumbai, India, there's been a terrorist attack from that 'Religion of Peace', this time it's suspected Kashmiri militants.

Israel and Lebanon are in a state of war as Hezbollah (The Party of God) have captured two Israeli soldiers. I'm being told that this is going to be a long drawn-out conflict. I can believe it.

Unrest is everywhere these days. In Sao Paolo, Brazil, a full-scale war is erupting on the streets between the police and criminal gangs.

Sudan wins the turkey award for the worst place on Earth for small children.

Come see God's Army (the real one) on the move in India, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Two links from MEMRI on two individuals trying to 'reform' Islam. The first link has to do with political reform, the second religious reform. Ultimately, both will fail. Islam cannot be reformed. Still, I take solace in the fact that Muslims are starting to wake up. Cracks are beginning to show.

In Canada, there's been a major merger as Bell Globemedia buys CHUM. Many are not happy about it as it further concentrates the media in this country into fewer hands. The other player is CanWest Global, owned by the Aspers.

The UN is shocked, shocked (!) that they aren't making progress with Iran and its growing nuke capabilities. Man, I could have told them that over a year ago. Do I get a cheque from these guys for my brilliant insight? Of course not.

Two items in the Fun and Frivolity File:

Meet Kyle McDonald, who turned a red paper clip into a house in Saskatchewan in 14 easy trades.

Why is Superman cool? Because he's like the Christian Jesus and Jewish Messiah, that's why. Don't forget, the creators of Superman were both Jews. So it should come as no surprise that the Man of Steel was inspired by the Bible and the Torah.

The Man in Black

Monday, July 10, 2006

What Restrains Evil? - Jul 10

Actually, that's a trick question (sorry). It isn't WHAT restrains evil, rather it's WHO restrains evil. No wonder people don't get the right answer, they aren't asking the right questions. I'm referring of course to the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The HS, which is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and the Son, is the 'agent' which restrains evil. It is the HS which is responsible for the fact that al-Qaida has not caused a nuclear mushroom cloud to rise over a major American city. It is the HS which keeps a cap on personal crimes such as rape, murder, theft and the like. It is the Holy Spirit which keeps Islam's jihad against the West and Israel in check. It is the office of the HS, not Islam's so-called 'peaceful' nature, which prevents most Muslims from taking up arms against the infidels (that's us btw). As well as being eternal, the HS also resides in it's temporal form in the Church, aka the Body of Christ. When Jesus comes for His church, all manner of hell will break out here on earth. Crime will skyrocket. Wars, famine, earthquakes and bizarre weather will increase. Jihad will increase tenfold. My friend, that does NOT sound like fun! You can escape this if you want by asking Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour. Just do it and ask Him. Lay down your pride, your ego and your ambitions. I'm afraid there isn't much time left.

As always, Israel takes front stage again:

Israeli scientists have developed a formula for crops to be grown in saline water. This is huge. If you've read the Left Behind series, this is how LaHaye and Jenkins got the ball rolling in the first book. Well, it appears that that time has now arrived.

Our buddy Mahmoud is making strange sounds regarding removing Israel permanently off the ME map. It's the same old lines, Israel is the source of all the region's problems etc. etc. Consider this the 1938ish salvo the start of the campaign of Armaggeddon.

Two items of note in international news:

In Russia, Shamil Basayev has been killed near Chechnya. Yes, you may cheer for the Russians now if you wish. Russians, unlike us Westerners, do not get sentimental over such things nor worry a great deal about international opinion. Find the bad guy, kill him. It's really that simple.

In Syria, land of the free and home of the brave (oops, sorry that's America), there's been a crackdown on intellectuals over a manifesto concerning Syrian/Lebanese relations. True freedom of expression is a flight of fancy for these people. I know that we take such freedoms for granted over here.

Two items as it pertains to the Canadian military:

A Sea-King (aka the Flying Coffin) has been ditched in the sea 50 kilometres from the Danish coast due to an improper landing. Man, these helicopters should have been decommisioned 10 to 15 years ago. Thanks to Mr. Chretien, our boys in the Air Force are putting their lives on the line every single time one of these jalopies become airborne.

More news about Canada trying to reassert its sovereignty over the Arctic. I mean they are really going all out on this one. I've suggested before it's the opening of the NorthWest Passage. This northern route will bypass the Panama Canal, enabling ships to go from Europe to Japan without going so far south out of their way. For a fee of course, which the Canadian gov't would love to figure out. Hey, maybe global warming might have some positives after all.

Hey look, only six links today!

Johnny Cash

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italy - World Cup Champions in 2006 - Jul 9

I really, really, hate deciding a game of such importance on penalty kicks. It's like reducing the World Series to a home-run hitting contest. Or the Superbowl to a punt, pass, and kick contest. Nevertheless, the World Cup in 2006 in Germany was decided by said penalty kicks with the Italians beating the French 1 - 1 (5 - 3). There's a large and passionate following for the Azzurri here, so many are happy. The English side was good enough to make the Elite Eight but no further, a disappointment for me.

Speaking about sports it was a big day for Roger Federer at Wimbledon,

And for A.J. Allmendinger winning the Grand Prix of Toronto:

Plus, the MLB All-Star game in Pittsburgh goes on Tuesday! John Gibbons, Vernon Wells, Troy Glaus, Roy Halliday and B.J. Ryan for Blue Jays the will be there. Is that enough sports for you?

I would be remiss if I didn't give Johnny Cash's (the real one) posthumous release American V: A Hundred Highways a free plug:

In the U.K., people are commemerating the first anniversary of the 7/7 London Tube attacks. A picture gallery here:

Also from the BBC, the Running Of The Bulls in Pamplona, Spain:
I'm of two minds when it comes to this, namely
1) That's insane and,
2) That's the coolest manly man thing a guy could possibly do.
As the saying goes, Carpe diem!

How to turn a paper clip into a house in 14 easy trades.

Government within a Government Dep't: A Bush loyalist has blown the whistle on some intelligience gathering that was outside of Congress' knowledge. It's got to be going bad for Bush when even his 'friends' are turning against him.

Speaking of intelligience gathering, did you know that Toronto is going to be the global centre of watching terrorist funding and money laundering? If Toronto wasn't on al-Qaida's hit-list before, it certainly will be now.

Terrorism Brief:

From the BBC, a story of a foiled attack by jihadists who wanted to blow up a tunnel between New York and New Jersey.

As reported earlier here, Vlad (The Impaler) Putin has got unanimous permission to send his commandos to kill Islamic militants abroad.

Islam in action in Somalia: Pray or die. Gosh, don't these Somalis know that Islam really means 'Peace'?

The EU is seriously considering a missile defence shield in light of North Korean activity. While they are doing this, I'm sure they'll miss the irony when Israel decides to defend herself from constant attack.

Another follower of that 'Religion of Peace' is comparing Israeli actions to the Nazis. Do I really need to comment on this? I think not.

(JINSA): In its bid to secure energy resources, China is making some very dubious allies.

Israel Brief

Syria is starting to make some alarming moves wrt the Golan Heights. Israel, you may recall, recently buzzed Assad's palace whilst he was there. The Syrians are not amused.

Check out these videos from YouTube of all cool military stuff the that Israel is making.

Lastly, here is the real reason behind this blog.

Whew. Another monster post for a really big day.

Mr. Johnny Cash

Friday, July 07, 2006

Onward Canadian Soldier! - Jul 7

Well it seems our boys are actually going to get the tools they need to do the job. Relying on the U.S. for heavy aircraft to get to where we want to go is ridiculous. On another note, I believe this $17b that was being earmarked for the military was something that was initiated by the Liberals when they were in power all those years. A lot of posturing and foot-dragging ensued which is why it was never properly implemented under Chretien and Martin. Good to see PM Harper actually putting his money where his mouth is. Well OK, it's taxpayer's money but you get the general idea. Canada is small compared to the U.S., it will be nice to assert ourselves on the world stage once again independent of American foreign policy. Those of you with a leftist bent will disagree, but you can't have a strong foreign policy without a strong military. It just doesn't work that way.

The Man in Black

Stratfor -- Predictive, Insightful, Global Intelligence


Canada: Moving Itself Militarily
Jul 06, 2006

Summary

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the White House July 6 to lend personal credibility to his recent security initiative. On June 29, the Harper government unfolded a multipronged "Canada First" strategy that will boost defense spending in order to provide the airplanes, helicopters, ships and trucks necessary for Canada to project an independent and interoperable military capability around the world.

Analysis

A visit to the White House July 6 by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was intended to signal Canada's commitment to maintaining security in an uncertain world. On June 29, the Harper government began unveiling a defense spending program, with outlays at a level that has not been seen in decades. Dubbed "Canada First," the program calls for more than $17 billion ($15 billion U.S.) to acquire strategic- and tactical-lift airplanes, medium-to-heavy-lift helicopters, joint-support supply ships and thousands of army logistical trucks. Once delivered, this equipment will give Canada an independent ability to project its armed forces anywhere in the world.

These acquisitions -- which likely will include C-17s and C-130J Hercules transports and CH-47 Chinook helicopters -- will significantly boost the capabilities of the Canadian armed forces, which have been limited by severe budget cuts made by the previous Liberal government and have had to make do with antiquated and borrowed equipment. Their workhorse C-130s have been relied on for tactical transport since the early 1960s, and many are at the end of (if not past) their life expectancy. A NATO and NORAD ally, Canada has had to rely on contracted strategic aircraft to ferry personnel to and from distant theaters of operations, including their high-profile and sustained commitment in Afghanistan.

The Canadians also realized this limitation when trying to mobilize and send their Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Indonesia following the December 2004 tsunami; the DART team had to wait for days while an Antonov transport aircraft could be located and the terms of its lease finalized. In Afghanistan, the lack of heavy-lift helicopters capable of transporting troops and material on operations in the country's thin mountain air has underscored the limits of Canada's current military-transport capabilities.

A general reluctance to acknowledge that Canadian soldiers are primarily warriors -- not peacekeepers -- did not prevent the Harper government from securing a vote in parliament May 17 to extend the Canadian deployment in Afghanistan from 2007 to 2009. In the vote, the government gained the support of the opposition Liberal Party, which held power when Canadian troops first deployed to Afghanistan in 2001. The Liberals, who control 103 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons, voted to approve the extension in their individual capacities rather than as an opposition bloc because the party is in the process of electing a new leader. Canada has deployed its frontline combat units to Afghanistan, including an estimated 40 members of its secretive special forces unit, Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2), and a battle group from the 1st Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. The Canadian mission to Afghanistan, which has included operations to track down high-profile targets, has garnered international respect for Canadian units' combat and special operations capabilities. The government of Canada has in turn increased the budget for JTF2, purportedly doubling its size.

As long as U.S. and Canadian foreign policies align, Canada can count largely on the United States and coalition allies to provide air support, in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Lacking airlift capabilities of its own, however, Canada would be hard-pressed to pursue an independent foreign and security policy and intervene in a place where the United States is unwilling to go. Canada equates this weakness with an inability to ensure its sovereignty and national security.

At the same time, the Harper government is taking a political risk in its high-profile commitment to boosting Canada's military capabilities. A minority government with 124 seats in parliament, Harper could be brought down with an opposition vote of no confidence. If Canadian forces in Afghanistan suffer significant casualties, or if Harper falls prey to accusations that his defense commitments align Canada too closely with the United States, the opposition Liberal and New Democratic parties may seek such a vote. The Harper administration has considered early elections in order to pre-empt the opposition from derailing its policies.

Support for the troops in Afghanistan -- where Harper went on his first foreign trip since being elected prime minister Jan. 23 -- is more than mere rhetoric. His announced boost in defense spending will enable Canada to join those nations that can independently project their forces and defend their interests at home and abroad.

Copyright 2006 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

It's All Israel's Fault - Jul 6

Of course it is. Why I just read that all the military manouvres of the IDF are being done whilst the World Cup is going on so as to provide a convenient media cover. What dastards! Why if Israel would just lay down quietly while militant Islam steamrolls over it, then gosh, the world would be a better place now, wouldn't it? Not to mention America's continued support of the Jewish state is clearly an 'impediment to peace' in the ME!
My friends, we ARE living in interesting times, are we not? The kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit and Israel's response is making the world crazy. To listen to even a quarter of the media blitz on this story is to believe in an upside-down thesis. Democratic and free Israel is the enemy, Hamas and Fatah are the sinless, blameless, and spotless victim of Israeli aggression. Waging war is not just done with soldiers, tanks and fighter jets. It's done on the public front with the media insinuating itself into the conflict, taking sides, truth be damned. This world system of false belief has had it with Israel, the Jews and the city of Jerusalem. In a supreme act of defiance against its Creator, the demonically lead armies of this world will sweep down on Israel in an attempt to destroy her. As it was in Hitler's day, this will be seen as the 'Final Solution' to the 'Jewish Problem'. It will be at this moment of Israel's greatest peril that Jesus Christ will make His Glorious Appearing and smite single-handedly all those that have oppressed God's people, dividing His land and His city. Look at the news today. The delegitimization of Israel is at a fever pitch. Anti-semitism is rampant in universities everywhere you go. Neo-nazis are attempting a comeback in Germany. My friend, listen to me. God's Word is not a joke. Nor is it metaphorical or clever poetry. It is very, very real. Are you ready? I mean REALLY ready? Do you want to escape this horrific time in history just before Christ's return? Then please pray something like this: Lord Jesus, I'm a sinner. I need to be saved and I want to be saved. Thank you for saving me. Give me the grace, power, and purpose to make my faith a public one. Let me never be ashamed of you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

German neo-nazis have defaced a copy of Anne Frank's diary, burnt an American flag, gave a Nazi 'Sieg Heil' salute while singing banned Nazi songs. Man, I never realized that being a racist thug was such hard work!

In Gaza, fighting continues as Israel absorbs its first fatality:

The United Nations Human Rights Council, which contains such beacons of light as Cuba, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Pakistan and China have all come together to condemn Israel's actions in Gush Katif. Not surprisingly, the United States and Canada have seen this for the sham that it is.

Not to be outdone, the EU is falling in lock-step with world opinion, citing 'international law' in it's condemnation of Israel:

Gordon Brown, who is being tapped on the shoulder to replace Tony Blair, is being asked to be a team player as far as the EU is concerned. Mr. Brown wants a single market for utilities, energy, telecommunications, financial and other general services. But alas, no euro for Britain! Wow. It's like saying you almost had sex. I mean, either you had sex or you didn't. There is no 'almost' to it. Brilliantly stupid I'd say.

Two items in our international folder:

Kings of the East Update: India and China have opened a new 'Silk Road'. One of the highest in the world this new road opens up a major economic artery between the two.

From K-House, an article of how the seeds of a supranational army are being planted under the aegis of the UN.

North America news:

In Mexico, conservative candidate Felipe Calderon is being declared the winner in a hotly contested election, reminiscent of Bush/Gore in 2000.

By now you've heard that PM Stephen Harper is in Washington to personally meet President Bush one on one. Both seem to have hit it off and are reading from the same page, which I suppose helps Canada - U.S. relations.

Here's an extra from the CBC about Prime Ministers and Presidents. The chummiest? Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan. The worst? Pierre Trudeau and Richard Nixon. Read it all. Some of it is pretty funny.

That's it for today. Not bad for a 'slow' news day, huh?

Mr. Johnny Cash

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Monster Post - Jul 5

OK, so I have to apologize as I have a really big post to do here. I missed yesterday as I was at the movies so you have two days worth of news in one post. I'll try to keep it simple but I think you'll find at least something to your liking. Some news, some sports, some weather, some business and some humor. Whew. I'm getting tired already. Here goes!

First off, congrats to Italy and France for their respective semi-final wins. Man, what a match it will be on Sunday! The explosive Italians versus the Maginot Line French. My advice to the Azzuri? Flank 'em. It worked last time.

There's been some fearful weather happening in Canada. Now I fully understand that Canada is a big place and bad weather is gonna be happening somewhere. But all at once? Dear me, this country of mine is getting hammered by Mother Nature/Father God (take your pick).
1) Fire in Northern Saskatchewan.
2) A tornado in New Brunswick?
3) Lightning, hail and thunder in Eastern Ontario.

Thunderbolts and Lightning, Very, Very Frightening! Dep't. Ah, what a clever segue! What to do in case you are caught in the midst of an electrical storm.

There are some rules of warfare that should not be broken. Never start a land war with China. Never engage the U.S. Navy whilst in the middle of the Pacific. And never, ever, get Russia riled up. Mr. Putin is now saying Russian forces will not be bound by international borders in their fight against terrorism. This is over those four unfortunate Russian diplomats killed in Iraq.

Here's a bit of wonderful anti-dhimmitude from two unlikely allies: Tony Blair and the Vatican. I'll leave it up to you to add your own silly conspiracy theories here if you want to.

Two articles from euobserver.com

1) The EU is moving closer to a common arms market. Wow. Peace through superior firepower. A wee bit cynical, no?

2) Like a moth to a flame, Brussels is courting Moscow over some free trade thingy. The question is, who will get burnt the worst?

Two items that caught my eye in the business world:

1) Ken Lay, consummate scoundrel and the founder of Enron has died. If you're reading this, rent "The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Enron Story" before you start eulogizing Mr. Lay and what he did to corporate America.

2) Some dolts who worked for Coke tried to sell its secrets to Pepsi. I'm sorry, but I couldn't help but laugh at this. I know, I know, it's called industrial espionage. But it's not like you're selling nuke secrets to the Russians at the height of the Cold War like the Rosenbergs did.

Other odds and sods I've pulled together over the past couple of days:

Please be in prayer over those individuals who have left Islam and taken up the cross of Jesus Christ. Many face an uncertain future, not to mention stigmatization, torture, jail and even death.

North Korea, aka the "Hermit Kingdom", is at it again, this time popping off a couple of missiles. Unsurprisingly, the Japanese are none too pleased.

PC alert! The English are seriously considering removing the cross of St. George as England's flag so as not to offend Muslims. I don't even know what to say here. How about Treason? Or Cowardice? How about dickless, mindless and spineless? Shame on those who actually gave this some serious thought!

Michael Graham of JWR on why Superman will always be cool and why the UN never will be:

Here is a dramatic true story of some Christian missionaries in India who saved a woman from suicide by hanging:

Like I said, sorry 'bout the size. But I do think each link is a keeper. Keep praying for the safe return of Cpl. Gilad Shalit.

Johnny Cash

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ye Shall Be As gods - Jul 3

I don't think I'm the only one who is noticing that people are becoming more and more unrestrained lately. I mean, it's like all that matters is them and to hell with anybody or anything that gets in the way of THEIR gratification. I am my own sovereign! Me first, all the time, right now! The same lie that Satan used in the Garden of Eden to cause the fall of man is the same lie being used today. Read it yourself in Genesis chapter three. It is a lie that freedom comes from doing your own thing, believing in your own thing, and screw the consequences. For the self-centered individual, all facts, reality and history is purely subjective. After all, if its not about them, then who cares? Let me tell you I REJECT this line of thinking. True liberty can only be found in Jesus Christ. When you learn that it's NOT ABOUT YOU all the time every time, it is then and only then that you can experience great personal growth. The Bible says that there are ways that seem right to a man but in the end lead to death. My friend, God loves you so much. So much that He sent His son Jesus to die for you in your place to pay for all your sins, past, present and future. You were made in God's image. You were made to have an eternal, loving relationship with your Creator. Your birth was NOT a cosmic accident. You are not a 'mistake'. The date, place, and timing of your entrance into this world was known unto the Father before the Earth was ever swung into existence. If you are living as a god of your own making, then you are living a deluded life. If you are leading the kind of life as I described initially, please turn away from it now. That kind of 'freedom' will kill you, both temporally and eternally. Ask Jesus for salvation, for there is salvation found in no other name. Now is the hour of your salvation!

I'm sorry, but can you name someone that has more class than Steve Yzerman? Stevie Y played all 22 NHL seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, an unheard of concept in an era of me-first players (Hello Chris Pronger, are you listening?). An ace-in-the-hole for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame when his name comes up, to be sure.

Going from one extreme to the next, some drunken dolt was found peeing on a cenotaph in Ottawa over the Canada Day long weekend. An outrage to be sure, but there are some questions that need to be asked:

1) If the Prime Minister of Canada is expected to be at such and such a place (like a cenotaph) at a publicly known time, wouldn't it be prudent for security professionals to secure the place 24 hours before his arrival and some time after that? Urinating on a cenotaph isn't just lack of class, it's a major security breach.

2) Were enough of those horrible 'Porta-Potties' on hand, knowing full well there was going to be a large crowd, many with full bladders?

3) When there is no public ceremony going on, cenotaphs are meant to be enjoyed by the public at large. Just because some idiot cannot control himself should not take away from that. And yes, that includes bicyclists, roller-bladers and skateboarders. Above all, NO BLOODY CAMERAS! Having Big Brother monitor these places 24/7 is an insult to those who bought our freedom with their spilt blood.

From the BBC, a picture gallery from Valencia, Spain over that horrific subway crash.

The World Trade Organization is in serious crisis over another failed summit. Even when these New World Order advocates fail they still manage to make the headlines.

Is there a more giving organization than the International Medical Corps? Well the Taliban in Afghanistan weren't nearly as enamored as I was. So much so that they burnt one of their outposts to the ground. I think the reason is that Muslims do not approve of a male doctor tending to a (Muslim) female patient. So if you're a Muslimah who needs medical attention and no female doctors are present, what do you do? Why you suffer in silence and die of course. I hate their backwards type thinking.

Two articles from worldtribune.com:

Eight nations are taking part in a major naval exercise in the Pacific. Not coincidentally, North Korea is making hay over its nuke capabilities.

A Washington think tank is now saying that Turkey is moving away from secularism and creeping towards Islamism, led by none other than PM Erdogan. This would be a foreign policy disaster, ten times worse that what's happening in Somalia right now. Secularism may reign in Turkey now, but Islam is forever.

Hugh Fitzgerald on Islam's fascination with military technology. The fact that some of this science could be used to raise the standard of living of their people is completely lost to these leaders. In Islam, bombs equals progress. Hugh also makes the point that they don't know what bullying is. From all the foreign aid we give them, to all the full-scale interventions we've had to do to save Muslims from killing other Muslims, they have no clue what bullying truly is.

A Very Canadian Jihad Update: Would it surprise you that many of the so-called 'fairer sex' in Islam are just as militant as their male counterparts? It should not. Indeed, it ought to be fully anticipated. Click on the Globe and Mail link found within to read the whole story.

Mitch Albom of Jewish World Review on a heart-warming story of faith, hope and redemption.

Wow. A ten link monster. Get your fill of veritas today!

Johnny Cash

Russia: What Now? - Jul 3

It is a given, I think, in geopolitics that some countries deserve your attention more that others. It goes without saying that the Middle East will always deserve special attention. From a Western perspective, seeing Russia on the move sends shivers down the spine of any foreign analyst. Russia has been in decline for some time now and feels it must once again assert itself on the world stage. For America, Israel, the ME, Eastern Europe and Russia's Near Abroad, this is never considered a good sign. Russian politicos and it's captains of industry know full well the problem. They just don't know how to fix it. Russia does not want a confrontation with the West, yet feels that doing nothing (or the status quo) is even worse. The Russian bear has awakened from its sleep. What will it feed on?
 
Mr. J.R. Cash
 
Stratfor -- Predictive, Insightful, Global Intelligence


Russia: What Now?
Jul 03, 2006

By Peter Zeihan

For the past two weeks, the Kremlin has been issuing a flood of seemingly contradictory statements through officials such as Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, deputy presidential administration heads Vladislav Surkov and Igor Sechin, Deputy Prime Ministers Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei Ivanov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and even President Vladimir Putin.

One day, Miller seemed to obliquely threaten European natural gas supplies; the next, Gazprom granted the Ukrainians another three months of exports at less than half European market rates. On another day, Lavrov proposed sharply limiting discussion at the upcoming Group of Eight (G-8) summit in St. Petersburg to preclude topics, such as Chechnya, that the Russians find uncomfortable; this was followed by a statement from Lavrov's office declaring no topic taboo. On another front, Ivanov waxed philosophic about the might of the Russian military and warned of Western encroachment, while Surkov noted that Russia would never modernize without robust and friendly relations with the West. At one point, the Russians could be seen aggressively lobbying for Iran's right to a full civilian nuclear program, and then just as empathically noting their concerns about nuclear proliferation.

These statements and others like them not only seem disjointed -- they are disjointed. These disconnects are the public symptoms of an underlying and systemic problem. Briefly stated, Russia -- after 25 years of the Andropov doctrine -- finds itself in a deepening crisis, with no immediate or effective solutions apparent.

The issues with which Russia grapples are multifaceted -- and they have only grown in scale since they were first recognized by the leaders of Andropov's generation.

Demographically, the country is in terrible shape: The population is growing simultaneously older, smaller and more sickly. The number of Muslims is growing, while the number of ethnic Russians is declining. Nearly all of the economic growth that has occurred since the 1998 financial crisis has stemmed from either an artificially weak currency or rising energy prices, and there are echoes of the Soviet financial overextension after the 1973 and 1981 oil price booms. NATO and the European Union -- once rather distant concerns -- now occupy the entire western horizon, and they are steadily extending their reach into a Ukraine whose future is now in play.

More recently, another set of concerns -- encapsulated in the START treaty -- have cropped up as well. The treaty, which took force in 1991 and obliges the United States and Russia to maintain no more than 6,000 nuclear warheads apiece, expires in 2009, and the United States is not exactly anxious to renew it. Among American defense planners, there is a belief that the vast majority of the Russian nuclear defense program is nearing the end of its reliable lifecycle, and that replacing the entire fleet would be well beyond Russia's financial capacity. From the U.S. point of view, there is no reason to subject itself to a new treaty that would limit U.S. options, particularly when the Russia of today is far less able to support an arms race than the Soviet Union of yesteryear.

With all of that, it is becoming clear to leaders in Moscow that something must be done if Russia is to withstand these external and internal threats. The government is casting about for a strategy, but modern Russian history offers no successful models from which to work.

The Andropov Doctrine

Modern Russian history, of course, dates from before the fall of the Soviet Union -- beginning with Yuri Andropov's rise to power in November 1982. As someone who was in charge of the KGB, in a state where information was tightly compartmentalized, Andropov came into office knowing something that did not become apparent to the rest of the world for years: Not only was the Soviet Union losing the Cold War, but it was dangerously close to economic collapse. The West had long since surpassed the Soviets in every measure that mattered -- from economic output to worker productivity to military reach. In time, Andropov was convinced, Moscow would fall -- barring a massive change in course.

Andropov's plan was to secure money, managerial skills and non-military technologies from the West in order to refashion a more functional Soviet Union. But the Soviets had nothing significant to trade. They did not have the cash, they lacked goods that the West wanted, and Andropov had no intention of trading away Soviet military technology (which, even 15 years after the Cold War ended, still gives its U.S. counterpart a good run for the money). In the end, Andropov knew that the Soviet Union had only one thing the West wanted: geopolitical space. So space was what he gave.

It was what subsequent leaders -- Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin after them -- gave as well. The one common thread uniting Russian leaders over the past quarter-century has been this: the belief that without a fundamental remake, Russia would not survive. And the only way to gain the tools necessary for that remake was to give up influence. Consequently, everything from Cuba to Namibia to Poland to Afghanistan to Vietnam was surrendered, set free or otherwise abandoned -- all in hopes that Russia could buy enough time, technology or cash to make the critical difference.

This was the strategy for nearly 25 years, until the loss of Ukraine in the Orange Revolution raised the specter of Russian dissolution. The Russians stepped away from the Andropov doctrine, abandoned the implicit bargain within it, reformed the government under the leadership of pragmatists loyal to Putin, and began pushing back against American and Western pressure.

It has not gone altogether well.

The Crux

While the Russians have hardly lost their talent for confrontation when the need arises, the confrontations they have initiated have been countered. The Russians are attempting to push back against the rise of American influence in their region with any means possible, with the goal of distracting and deflecting American attention. But there is an element of self-restraint as well: The pragmatic leaders now in power realize full well that if the Kremlin pushes too hard, the very tools they use to preserve their influence will trigger reactions from the United States and others that will only compound the pressure.

In the past seven months, Moscow has temporarily shut off natural gas supplies in an attempt to force Western European powers to assist Russia in reining in portions of its near-abroad that Moscow viewed as rebellious. The response from the Europeans, however, has been to begin exploring ways of weaning themselves from Russian energy supplies -- something that was never contemplated during Cold War-era Red Army maneuvers. Meanwhile, Moscow has attempted to engage China in an alliance that would counterbalance the United States, and China has taken advantage of this overture to extend its own reach deep into Central Asia. Meanwhile, the Russians have tried using arms sales and diplomacy to complicate U.S. efforts in the Middle East. However, they have found themselves being used as a negotiation tool by the Iranians, only to be discarded. In sum, Russia's weight does not count for nearly as much as it once did.

Watching the Kremlin these days, one has a sense that there is an intense argument under way among a group of old acquaintances -- all of them fully aware of the circumstances they face. This probably isn't far from the truth. Putin has cobbled the current government together by co-opting factions among the siloviki, reformers and oligarchs who would be beholden to him -- all of whom recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the ideologies of their predecessors.

For the first time in decades, those calling the shots in the Kremlin not only agree on the nature of Russia's problems and are not really arguing amongst themselves, but they also are no longer willing to subject their country to the false comfort of policies driven by ideology, national chauvinism or reformist idealism. This is the most unified and pragmatic government Moscow has known in a generation. But it is a unified and pragmatic government that is grasping at straws.

Russia's leaders all believe that the path the Soviet Union traveled led to failure, and thus they are committed to the logic, rationale and conclusions of the Andropov doctrine. Nevertheless, they also are all realistic and intelligent enough to recognize that this doctrine, too, has failed their country.

And so the Putin government is wrestling with a fundamental question: What now?

Russia's Options

With no good options available -- and all of the bad ones having been tried in some manner already -- there is a proliferation of reactive, short-term policies. Everyone who has some authority is experimenting on the margins of policy. Medvedev tinkers with Ukrainian energy policy, while Ivanov rattles the nuclear saber -- and Putin tries to make the two seems like opposite sides of the same coin while preparing for the G-8 talks. Kremlin officials are trying to coordinate, and there is little internal hostility -- but in the end, no one dares push hard on any front for fear of a strong reaction that would only make matters worse. The strategy, or lack thereof, generates immense caution.

Human nature, of course, plays a part. No one wants to be personally responsible for a policy that might result in a national setback; thus, government officials seek full buy-in from their peers. And it is impossible to get full backing from a group of intelligent men who all recognize the history and risks involved. Just because one knows that the long-term penalty of inaction is death does not mean there is no hesitancy about trying experimental cures.

But experimental cures are practically all that is left for Russia. Wielding energy supplies as a weapon will not buy Moscow greater power; that can achieve short-term goals, but only at the cost of long-term influence as customers turn to other solutions. And while a partnership with China is attractive by some measures, the Chinese want Russian energy supplies and military technology without the politico-military baggage that would come with a formal alliance. Moscow retains the capacity to generate endless headaches for Western, and particularly American, policymakers, but the costs of such actions are high and -- even considering the weakness of the current administration in Washington -- only rarely worth the consequences.

All of this leaves three possibilities for the pragmatists. One is for Putin's team to ignore history and everything they know to be true and play geopolitical Russian roulette. In other words, they can push for confrontation with the West and pray that the counterstrikes are not too horrible. The second is to do nothing -- fearing the consequences of all actions too much to take any -- or continue with the recent trend of rhetorical spasms. Under this "strategy," the Russian government would succumb to the problems foreseen by Andropov a generation ago.

The third possibility is a leadership displacement. Just as Putin displaced Russia's oligarchs, reformers and siloviki because he felt their ideas would not translate into success for Russia, those power groups feel the same way about the Putin government. The option, then, is for one of these groups to somehow displace the current government and attempt to remake Russia yet again. Several caveats apply: It would have to be a group cohesive enough to take and hold power, committed enough to a defining ideology to ignore any deficiencies of that ideology, and either trusted or feared enough by the population to be allowed to wield power.

Russia's oligarchs are neither united nor trusted, and historically have placed self-interest far above national interests. The reformers, while united, are clearly not trusted by the populace as a whole, and the idealism of the group that implemented the disastrous shock therapy in the early 1990s is long gone.

The siloviki, however, are broadly cohesive and populist, and they have not allowed economics or politics to get in the way of their nationalism or ideological opposition to capitalism and the United States. Moreover, they have little fear of using the military club when the natives -- or the neighbors -- get restless.

Assuming Russia does not become paralyzed by fear, it appears destined to return to a model in which the nationalists, military and intelligence apparatuses call the shots -- a sort of Soviet Union with a Russian ethnic base. If this is the case, the only question remaining is: Who will lead the transformation?

With every passing day, Putin seems less fit for the role.

 

Copyright 2006 Strategic Forecasting Inc. All rights reserved.