“Christians are being declared the lawbreakers when we are simply living by what we have always believed, and by a set of laws that the culture historically has agreed to,” he said. “Right now the courts are changing the playing field and declaring that what the natural eye can see and natural law reveals is not truth. ... What will we do, and how will we respond?”
We’ve mentioned the upcoming Jade Helm military exercises on a few occasions lately (here and here). In short, Jade Helm is an eight-week joint military and Interagency Unconventional Warfare exercise conducted throughout Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Here’s the official press release:
Members of U.S. Army Special Operations Command will train with other U.S Armed Forces units July 15 through Sept. 15 in a multi-state exercise called Jade Helm 15.
USASOC periodically conducts training exercises such as these to practice core special warfare tasks, which help protect the nation against foreign enemies. It is imperative that Special Operations Soldiers receive the best training, equipment and resources possible.
While multi-state training exercises such as these are not unique to the military, the size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states. However, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) will only train in five states: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.
The training exercise will be conducted on private and public land with the permission of the private landowners, and from state and local authorities. In essence, all exercise activity will be taking place on pre-coordinated public and private lands.
The public can expect nothing much different from their day-to-day activities since much of exercise will be conducted in remote areas. The most noticeable effect the exercise may have on the local communities is an increase in vehicle and military air traffic and its associated noise. There will also be economic gain: an increase in the local economy, in fuel and food purchases and hotel lodging.
Got it. So essentially, from July 15 to September 15 some military personnel are going to take a trip out west and pretend like they are conducting covert operations overseas. Doesn’t sound too exciting — but that’s just the press release. The devil, as they say, is always in the details which is why we took some time to look over the Jade Helm presentation (embedded below) to see if we could discern more about the drills. Here are some highlights we found interesting/humorous.
First, there’s the rather amusing state classification map wherein Texas and Utah are deemed “hostile” and where New Mexico is “leaning hostile.” California is “permissive” (we suppose this means the populace has resigned itself to what was probably, were this real, a unilateral invasion by the US military), but unfortunately, there appears to be an insurgency brewing in San Diego.
Next is the section entitled “Why Texas?” wherein the US Army Special Operations Command first explains how patriotic Texans generally are, then hilariously proceeds to suggest (in as polite a manner as possible) that the Lone Star state 1) resembles the type of desert wasteland soldiers might expect to encounter in a modern overseas conflict, 2) is just underdeveloped enough in many areas to give trainees an idea of what it might be like to be operating undercover in a hostile Middle Eastern country, 3) is home to the type of xenophobia which will make the locals approximately as skeptical of “outsiders” as the inhabitants of an occupied country might be but who are at the same time just gullible enough to be tricked into trusting the “invaders,” and best of all 4) is home to social and economic conditions that any normal American would consider “unfamiliar.” Here are some excerpts:
The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has conducted numerous exercises in Texas, because Texans are historically supportive of efforts to prepare our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors to fight the enemies of the United States.
To hone advanced skills, the military and Interagency require large areas of undeveloped land with low population densities with access to towns…
Operating in and around communities where anything out the ordinary will be spotted and reported (Locals are the first to notice something out of place). The opportunity to work with civilians to gain their trust and an understanding of the issues...
Adapting to unfamiliar terrain, social and economic conditions.
Basically then, 1,200 special ops soldiers are going to conduct a fake, covert infiltration of Texas because the US Special Operations Command thinks that in a lot of ways, Texas resembles Afghanistan.
That’s ok though, because as the government notes in the informational slide deck, the operation will have a dramatic impact on the local economy thanks to the injection of a staggering $150,000 via the purchase of “food, gas, lodging, and services” for the pretend invaders. That figure may sound small, but remember, we’re suspending reality here and one dollar equals 57 afghanis, so if we stick with the Afghanistan analogy, the government is actually injecting 8,550,000 in local currency.
While we’re certainly concerned about the creeping militarization of American communities (as discussed in detail here), we’re clearly employing a bit of sarcasm in our analysis of Jade Helm, but as one might imagine, many Texans are finding the operation to be no laughing matter. Here’s more via The Washington Post:
At an information session in Bastrop on Monday, command spokesman Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria fielded questions about whether Jade Helm 15 will involve bringing foreign fighters from the Islamic State to Texas, whether U.S. troops will confiscate Texans’ guns and whether the Army intends to implement martial law, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
“It’s the same thing that happened in Nazi Germany: You get the people used to the troops on the street, the appearance of uniformed troops and the militarization of the police,” Bastrop resident Bob Wells told the Statesman after the meeting.
“They’re gathering intelligence. That’s what they’re doing. And they’re moving logistics in place for martial law. That’s my feeling. Now, I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong. I hope I’m a ‘conspiracy theorist.'”
According to the Statesman, Lastoria attempted to assuage residents’ concerns, saying the operation in Bastrop County will take place almost entirely on private land leased to the Army by the owner. And participants won’t be trying to sneak through the population undetected — everyone involved will wear uniforms or orange armbands signaling that they are part of the exercise, he said.
We’ll leave it to readers to decide for themselves how far-fetched any or all of this is or isn’t, but surely the punchline to the entire story is that now, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered the Texas State Guard to monitor the Jade Helm exercises. Here is the letter from Abbott to Major General “Jake” Betty:
There will be two main theatres of operation: the East China Sea north of Taiwan and the South China Sea west of the Philippines.
China claims sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands (last occupied by the Japanese about 100 years ago) and the entire Ryuku chain from the Yaeyama Islands at the southern end to Okinawa in the north. If it is going to seize the Senkaku Islands, it might as well seize the Yaeyama Islands at the same time. To that end, China is building up a military base in the Nanji Islands about 300 km west of the Senkakus. This includes a 10-pad helicopter refuelling base which suggests that the initial assault will be led by helicopters overflying Japan’s coast guard vessels around the Senkakus.
China has a substantial fishing vessel fleet and merchant shipping totalling 70 million tons. It has been using its fishing fleet to harass the Japanese coast guard around the Senkakus and as far east as the Osagawa Islands, which includes Iwo Jima. This suggests that fishing vessels could be used to land Chinese Special Forces to widely attack Japanese bases that would normally be considered to be well back from the front line. These forces would be used sacrificially to cause maximum mayhem to dispirit the Japanese defense. In the north, the Chinese approach would be to seize and hold against the Japanese and US counter attack.
In the South China Sea, China is building seven massive forts and one airstrip. The forts are designed with flak towers standing out from the corners so that each tower has at least a 270° field of fire. The forts seem to be designed to take a large amount of punishment and hold out until they can be relieved. China wins if it is still in the possession of these forts by the end of the war.
China is likely to start the war in the south with attacks on other countries’ bases in the Spratly Islands and US bases in the region, as far east as Guam. A long war will be bad for China in that the run down to the Spratly Islands from Hainan Island is very exposed, both for ships and aircraft. Vietnam has been upgrading its radars and one hopes all the non-Chinese combatants will be sharing targeting information. US AWACS over the Philippines will be able to track Chinese targets handed over from Vietnam. Singapore is likely to operate its F-15s out of Cam Ranh Bay. Chinese aircraft that survive the run down will be at the end of their range by the time they get to the Spratly Islands.
The US Marines have taken up a number of bases in the Philippines with the intention of mounting the attack that will remove the Chinese from their newly constructed forts. A number of US weapons systems, such as the USS Zumwalt, may have to be rushed into service to that end.
In the bigger picture, Japan and China will try to blockade each other, mostly with their submarine forces. Japan’s navy has a qualitative edge over China and is most likely to win the blockade battle.
Industry throughout Asia will be badly affected by the war, but Chinese industry in particular is likely to grind to a halt quickly, and this will eventually cause social disruption. The longer the war goes on, the worse China’s relative position becomes. Meat will disappear from the Chinese diet. Unsold soybeans will pile up in US warehouses.
The removal of the Chinese bases in the Spratly Islands will allow a peace settlement with whoever ends up running China. It will be one of the most pointless, stupid and destructive wars in history, but that is what is coming.
Live Feed #1
Update: Protests have spread across the nation's cities...
In Los Angeles, six people protesting against police brutality were arrested Monday night when they failed to disperse, reported CNN affiliate KABC. About 50 people marched, KABC said.In Chicago, hundreds of protesters marched Tuesday from police headquarters at 35th and Michigan through the Southside, CNN affiliate WGN reported. Police made one arrest, for reckless conduct.About 100 people marched Monday night in Oakland in support of Baltimore protesters, reported CNN affiliate KABC.A protest is planned for Thursday in Cincinnati, reported CNN affiliate WXIX. Philly.com said a "Philly is Baltimore" protest will be held Thursday at Philadelphia City Hall.
Is the so-called "purge" spreading? Hundreds have now gathered in Union Square in New York in a show of solidarity with the protesters in Baltimore who have demanded justice for the death of Freddie Gray. More from NBC:
Organizers had urged various activist groups to rally at Union Square "to show the people of Baltimore that we stand in solidarity with them and with their resistance because their resistance is for justice and their justice is our justice," according to one press release.The demonstrations were being held simultaneously as the ones in Baltimore, which were mostly peaceful compared to the violent rioting that rocked the city the day ofGray's funeral Monday…Umaara Elliott, one of the New York rally organizers, said she encouraged the message protesters in Baltimore were trying to send.
...and the visuals...
Currently underway in the Heartland of America is an experiment in interfaith dialogue and coexistence: the Tri-Faith Initiative in Omaha, Nebraska. The goal of the Tri-Faith Initiative is to have a synagogue, a mosque, and a church located on a common piece of land, each with its own separate building; the Tri-Faith hopes to later add a fourth building as a shared Tri-Faith Center. The location for this venture is 35 acres in the Sterling Ridge development in Omaha.
The original institutional members of the Tri-Faith Initiative were Temple Israel, the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture (AIISC), and the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska. In 2014 the Episcopal Diocese asked Countryside Community Church to takes its place as the Christian partner in the Tri-Faith. On April 12, 2015, Countryside voted in favor of relocating its church to the Tri-Faith grounds and becoming the Christian partner.
The Tri-Faith’s Memorandum of Understanding states, “In working together, our vision is to build bridges of respect, trust and acceptance…” Unfortunately, Islamic doctrine prohibits Muslims from respecting, trusting, or accepting Jews and Christians (unless of course the latter pay the jizyah).
So I decided to contact three non-Muslims who are heavily involved in the Tri-Faith Initiative: Rabbi Aryeh Azriel of Temple Israel; Reverend Eric Elnes of Countryside Community Church; and Susie Buffett, daughter of multi-billionaire Warren Buffet, a member of Countryside Community Church, and Chairperson of the Sherwood Foundation.
I sent each of them the following e-mail:
In light of your extensive involvement with the Tri-Faith Initiative, I am interested in your view on the following matter.
The Vision Statement of the Tri-Faith Initiative talks about building “bridges of Respect, Trust and Acceptance” between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This is a commendable idea, but how can such bridges be built when Islamic doctrine prohibits it? Please consider:
The Koran says the following about Jews and Christians:
- Allah is angry with the Jews, and the Christians are misguided because they believe that Jesus is the son of God (1:7).
- Muslims are commanded not to make friends with Jews and Christians (e.g. 5:51), although Muslims can pretend to be friends if the situation so dictates (3:28).
- Jews are among the worst enemies of Islam (5:82).
- Muslims are commanded to fight Jews and Christians until the Jews and Christians pay protection money with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (9:29).
- Allah curses the Jews and the Christians (9:30).
- Jews and Christians are among the worst of creatures and “will abide in the fire of Hell” (98:6).
Muhammad spoke for Allah (4:80), Muslims are commanded to obey Muhammad (59:7), and he is considered the timeless standard by which Muslims should conduct themselves (33:21). Consider that Muhammad said:
- Jews and Christians are each worth only half of a Muslim (Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 2644).
- Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it(Sahih Muslim, No. 2167).
- The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him(Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 2926).
- The Jews were grave robbers (Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 3452).
- Jews and Christians will take the place of Muslims in Hell (Sahih Muslim, No. 2767R1).
- I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims(Sahih Muslim, No. 1767).
Unfortunately, after sending the e-mail twice to each of the three, and after waiting a number of weeks, I have still not received replies from Azriel, Elnes, or Buffett.
Why would the non-Muslim portion of the Tri-Faith Initiative appear to deny or simply ignore the Islamic doctrine that undermines the idea of this venture? Due to the silence of Azriel, Elnes and Buffett, we do not know.
However, we do know that there are many millions of dollars involved in the Tri-Faith Initiative.
In December 2011, the Episcopal Diocese purchased 6.35 acres of land in the Sterling Ridge development for almost $1.3 million. At that same time the Tri-Faith Initiative organization itself purchased 3.6 acres in an adjoining lot for almost $800,000.00.
Millions of dollars have been spent, and many more millions will be spent, by non-Muslims to see the Tri-Faith Initiative a success. With so much money involved, non-Muslims could tend to view the Islamic doctrine that undermines the very goals of the Tri-Faith Initiative as a minor annoyance to be denied or ignored.
It is blasphemy for a Muslim to deny a verse of the Koran or a teaching of Muhammad. But it is also blasphemy, and potentially head-crushing, for a Muslim not to act on a command from Allah or a teaching of Muhammad. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see if the larger Muslim community in Nebraska decides to support the Tri-Faith Initiative, or follow the commands of Allah and the teachings of Muhammad.