THIS WEEK'S BRIEF EDITORIAL COMMENT: It is difficult to find
much of any worth in anything that ex-Obama spokesperson, Robert Gibbs,
ever said in his position as spinmeister for the Obama administration --
but in his final appearance last Friday he very perceptively described the
change in Egypt as the beginning rather than the end. And that is the point
from which Christians must view the change in Egypt's government -- the
beginning of what? At this early moment, any answer to that question can
only be pure speculation, but as Christians we can augment speculation
with the most powerful force in the world: prayer. As always, we make
note that there are 629 days in which to pray about our votes on our next
Election Day, Nov. 6, 2012. And as we will discuss today, we must pray
right now very specifically for our fellow Christian believers in Egypt.
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WITH THE REVOLUTION OR RIOT IN EGYPT CONCLUDED,
TWO QUESTIONS ARISE: (1) WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW
IN EGYPT, AND (2) WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW IN THE
OTHER COUNTRIES IN THE MUSLIM WORLD?
But first, let's get this fact settled: The nations of the world -- and this
includes the United States -- are in trouble, and facing serious problems.
We here at ANC are committed to addressing those problems from a firm
Bible-based Christian viewpoint, coupled with a Conservative political
viewpoint. We are Americans, and this is America. Although the problems
are world-wide, we can most effectively address those which primarily
affect us. You can depend on ANC to voice the concerns of American
Christians, and always from that Bible-based Christian position, coupled
with a Conservative political position.
Now there are those two words: "revolution" or riot." Which one best
describes what has happened these past weeks in Egypt . . . and what will
happen next? The truth is, as concerning "revolution" or "riot" -- at this
point we just don't know. If one phrase deserves repeating over and over,
it is "time will tell." We are daily -- even hourly -- being exposed to one
viewpoint after another, as the media searches for "experts" to explain
what has happened and predict what will happen. Even two of the nation's
most conservative commentators -- Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck (both on
Fox TV News) -- are in sharp disagreement as to what the Egypt situation
forebodes. It is admittedly a stretch of the imagination to believe that
people -- predominately young people -- who live in a nation which has
never been a democracy, and in a part of the world where there are no
democracies (except their much despised Israel) could be agitating for
something they know nothing about. The action of the Egyptian military
in dissolving the nation's parliament and scrapping the nation's
constitution seems hardly the act of leaders moving toward a democracy.
But, of course, some historians have described democracy as "mob rule."
Here is a place for that phrase: "time will tell."
Jim Simpson, in American Thinker, speaks of it as a "sham democracy
movement," which he sees as "a naked betrayal of our Middle Eastern
allies, and by extension, our own country." Marie Jon, an analyst for
Renew America, goes even further: "We've seen indications President
Barack Obama and his cohorts have been working behind the scenes
to destabilize the country, in the hope of transforming the 30-year ally
of the U.S. into a radical Islamist regime — and with it, other Middle
Eastern allies of America as well." Again, "time will tell."
At the beginning of this issue, we cited Ronald Reagan's "Beware the
temptation to ignore the facts of history..." That statement fits well with
the classic "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it," as
attributed to Edmund Burke, George Santayana and Winston Churchill.
It well describes the present situation in Egypt as compared with Jimmy
Carter's dealing with Iran, when America stood by his betrayal of our
long time ally, Shah Pahlavi of Iran, as he was driven from power, and
this led to the present day Islamic Revolution. The Iranian cleric,
Ahmad Khatami, recently declared: "31 Years after the victory of the
Islamic Republic, we are faced with the obvious facts that these
movements are the aftershocks of the Islamic Revolution. The fate of
those who challenge our religion is destruction."
As we are increasingly well aware, the Shah was replaced by an Islamic
controlled government which openly leads its people in chants of "Death
to America" and "Death to Israel," while freely defying the attempts of
the U.N. to control its development of nuclear armament. Concerning the
overthrow of America's supporter, Hosni Mubarak, Iranian President
Ahmadinejad told a cheering crowd in Tehran last week, "We will soon
see a new Middle East materializing without America and the Zionist
regime and there will be no room for world arrogance (the West) in it."
One largely overlooked aspect of the Obama administration's bungled
mishandling of the Egypt upheaval is the effect on the nation Israel, with
that nation's one strong supporter in the Muslim world of nations now
removed. Award winning journalist, Norma Zager, did not miss the
significance of those recent events: "In case anyone witnessed the slow
and methodical destruction of the Jewish State, and you would have
to be either blind or a fool not to have noticed, it is progressing
beautifully... As long as President Obama is in office, the US will no
longer be a friendly nation to Israel. No matter how much rhetoric
is espoused to the contrary in the coming months before the next
election." Dr. Michael Evans of the Jerusalem Prayer Team summed
it all up well: "President Barack Obama should win another Nobel
Peace Prize for orchestrating an Islamic revolution from Jimmy
Carter's Iranian playbook of indecisiveness."
Tom Tancredo, former Congressman and now Chairman of the Rocky
Mountain Foundation, voiced this explanation of current events: "The
difference between Jimmy Carter's mistakes in handling the 1979
revolution in Iran and Obama's handling of the 2011 revolution in
Egypt is that Carter's team made mistakes out of ignorance and
naiveté. Thirty-one years later, Obama's diplomatic team cannot claim
naiveté in dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood and the radical
Islamists. Obama is consciously supporting the Islamists in Egypt and
facilitating their rise to power."
Yet as history repeats itself, and another loyal American ally has been
sacrificed, President Obama goes on record to say that Iran deserves to
continue its nuclear development, and said in a BBC interview last
week that he plans to pursue direct diplomacy with Tehran and although
the U.S. and other Western governments accuse Tehran of seeking to
develop atomic weapons, Obama said:“What I do believe is that Iran
has legitimate energy concerns, legitimate aspirations." One is
tempted to ask how he reached this conclusion, in view of the past --
and present -- threats of President Ahmadinejad?
Along with this sharp increase in Islamic fanaticism on the streets of
Middle East cities has come a sharp increase in violent persecution of
Christians in those cities. Hundreds of Christians have been injured or
murdered in violent attacks by Islamists on Christian churches and
neighborhoods, throughout the Muslim world. Tens-of-thousands of
Christians are giving up and fleeing the region. We are aware of the
persecution of Christians -- almost genocide in some areas -- Sudan,
Iran and Iraq come immediately to mind. Some estimates are that more
than half of the total population of Christians in Iraq have fled the country.
But our immediate focus is on Egypt, and the question arises: What does
the downfall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak mean for Christians in
Egypt? It is estimated that there are some 2.5 million followers of Jesus
Christ in Egypt. Many of these are seen as newly born-again converts
who were raised as nominal Christians inside the historic Coptic church.
(There are about eight to ten million Coptics in the country.) All of the
Christians in Egypt have already been facing significant harassment,
restrictions on freedom to worship, and outright persecution. Our
responsibilities as American Christians at this moment of turmoil, change
and uncertainty is to stand with our fellow believers in Egypt, encourage
them, pray for them, and send aid, where possible.
Probably the most perceptive statement to come out of the mess in
Egypt was in the 56 word announcement that Hosni Mubarak had
decided to step down as president of Egypt, when Vice President Omar
Suleiman concluded with these words: "May God help everybody."
All of these developments in the Middle East have strong implications,
not only for America as a member of the world community, but for our
fellow Christian believers throughout the Muslim world. As we have
so often emphasized -- and still do -- prayer is the greatest support for
the Christian church in areas of the world where our faith is under attack,
and where Christians are daily facing persecution and death.
Here are our choices of "What Others Are Saying." Because you
might not have come across them in your daily pursuit of news from the
liberal media, we spend hours in research to bring you what other
authoritative voices are saying about current events . . .
Ann Coulter: (la grand dame of Conservative thought): "I'm against
gay marriage, but that's no offense to gays. It is just in defense of a
crucial linchpin of civilization that's already hanging by a thread."
Timothy H. Lee (Ctr. for Individual Freedom): "Regardless of whether
one supports reelection for Obama in 2012 (Editor's note: Does anyone,
really?), his strange speech justifies concern. It signifies that he simply
isn't learning after two years of reckless spending, borrowing and
regulation that only discouraged economic recovery. America will
continue to suffer unless and until he does."
Barack Hussein Obama (speaking after the fact): "Egypt will never
be the same," followed by his likening the relatively peaceful ouster of
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Editor's
note: He seems to have forgotten that what prompted the "fall of the Berlin
wall" was President Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachev: tear down this wall.")
Michael Gerson (in Washington Post): "... recent events in Egypt are
further evidence of declining American global influence ... The
protesters, one article complained, didn't even bother to burn our flag.
We are seeing, according to some observers, a "post-American Middle
Winston Churchill: "Everybody is in favor of free speech. Hardly a
day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is
that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything
back, that is an outrage." (House of Commons, 1943)
Shmuel Katz (in Jerusalem Post): “Notwithstanding all internal
feuds, rivalries, even mutual bloodletting, that have always marked
inter-Arab relations; notwithstanding differences in nuances and in
tactics, the destruction of the Jewish State remains the common
ambition of all the Arab states.”
Richard Dawkins (British atheist and humanist): "I regard Islam as
one of the great evils in the world., and I fear we have a very difficult
struggle there." (Editor's note: It's interesting that one can be so wrong,
theologically, and be so right on broader issues.)
Barry Rubin (Global Research in International Affairs): "Following
George W. Bush, many people thought, was an easy act to follow. But
the quality of the American leadership has grown worse."
President Barack Obama (in the O'Reilly TV interview): "Over the
first two years of my presidency, we had a complete disaster. Right?"
(Editor's note: you got it right, Mr. President.)
And the occasional "One Liner" . . .
"Egypt: Celebrate now, worry later, then suffer a lot." -- Barry Rubin
"The charisma of competence," catchphrase from the CPAC Conference.
"Israel needs America, but America needs Israel" -- Floyd Brown
And here are a few random "Afterthoughts" . . .
This headline: "Obama equal Reagan? So far, it ain't even close" is
from a commentary by Lawrence Kudlow, economist and host of his
CNBC-TV show on American business. Reagan's 100th anniversary
observances brought wide-spread comparisons by the media into over-
repeated use. Obama sparked it all by his praise of Reagan's leadership,
his optimism for America and his skills as the "great communicator." But
as Kudlow wrote, "So far, the differences between the two presidents
are huge." But Obama wants to be compared with someone, and the only
Democrat president with whom he even comes close is Jimmy Carter --
and even he doesn't like that one. So the White House spin is that Obama
is another Reagan . . . just like their spin that Michelle Obama is as
glamorous as Jackie Kennedy. If you're trying to establish a name for
yourself by the use of comparisons, it makes sense to use the best as your
basis for comparison.
This would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous: from our Secretary of
Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano: "It is inaccurate to state, as too
many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control."
(Apparently she doesn't have access to the media -- press, radio or TV.)
Even for presidents, mistakes you make can come back to haunt you.
A few weeks ago, during a White House press conference, Mr. Obama
turned over the microphone to Bill Clinton, and then gave up and left as
Mr. Clinton seemed perfectly at home in continuing the session. Now one
of the strongest Obamites in the media, Chris Matthews, host of the
MSNBC "Hardball" program, has produced a one hour documentary film
to be aired on President's Day, next Monday, Feb. 21. The film's title:
"President of the World -- The Bill Clinton Phenomenon." And adding
to Mr. Obama's discomfiture, a recent NBCNews/Wall Street Journal
poll disclosed that Clinton is more popular than the president.
A new Pew-Templeton report on Muslim population growth: globally,
the projection discloses that the Muslim population will grow at about
double the rate of the non-Muslims during the next 20 years. The average
annual growth rate for Muslims is projected as 1.5% for Muslims, against
0.7% for non-Muslims. If those projections prove accurate, Muslims will
make up 26.4% of the world’s probable total population of 8.3 billion in
2030, up from 23.4% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion. This
future growth projection represents a slower rate in the next two decades
than we saw in the previous two decades. From 1990 to 2010, the global
Muslim population increased at an average annual rate of 2.2%, compared
with the projected rate of 1.5% for the period from 2010 to 2030.
Those pesky polls again . . . Washington based columnist Gary Bauer
writes about a recent Gallup poll which disclosed that when asked how
they felt our system of government worked, 42% of Americans expressed
satisfaction -- down from 53% in 2008 and 76% in 2002. On the question
about size and scope of government, 31% expressed satisfaction -- down
from 60% in 2002. And about the moral and ethical climate in America,
only 31% were satisfied -- down from 60% in 2002. One would think that
in some area the Obama administration would meet the American public's
expectations -- but that doesn't seem to be the case.
We still believe that we can learn much from our Founding Fathers
"My ardent desire is, and my aim has been ... to comply strictly with
all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the United
States free from political connections with every other Country. To
see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of
none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of
Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this,
in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at
home." -- George Washington, 1775
"Men must be ready, they must pride themselves and be happy to
sacrifice their private pleasures, passions and interests, nay, their
private friendships and dearest connections, when they stand in
competition with the rights of society." -- John Adams, 1776