Tag Archives: Fox news

OBSERVATIONS

Obama Iran

“President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy can best be summed up in five words:   I came, I saw, Iran.”        Letter in the Lansing State Journal, April 22nd.

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Mark Steyn
Mark Steyn

Quote of the week:   “…. we’ll be talking about transgendered bathrooms when the mullahs nuke us.”   Mark Steyn, writer, radio host, Fox News contributor.

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Why is it that when people in western countries object to immigration, they are called “racist” but when black South Africans attack and murder immigrants, it’s simply “xenophobia”?

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IN MEMORIAM

A century ago today the Germans perpetrated the first chemical weapons attack of the twentieth century.   They used 168 tons of chlorine gas on allied troops on the western front, killing 5,000 men within moments.

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TWIN THREATS PROMPT CALLS FOR ACTION

Pope

One thousand years after the Crusades, the Pope is calling for force to be used to protect Christians in the Middle East.

The Catholic website “Crux” is currently leading with the headline:  “Vatican backs military force to stop ISIS ‘genocide’.”   The news story begins with the following two paragraphs:

“In an unusually blunt endorsement of military action, the Vatican’s top diplomat at the United Nations in Geneva has called for a coordinated international force to stop the “so-called Islamic State” in Syria and Iraq from further assaults on Christians and other minority groups.

“We have to stop this kind of genocide,” said Italian Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative in Geneva. “Otherwise we’ll be crying out in the future about why we didn’t do something, why we allowed such a terrible tragedy to happen.”

At the same time, the Fox News website’s top story is:  “Islamic State intensifies its efforts TO WIPE OUT CHRISTIANITY.”

Meanwhile, there has been another call for a European Army.

Presently, every single country in Europe has its own military.   However, many European nations are members of NATO and co-operate greatly on defense.  In spite of increasing threats to the peace and stability of Europe, some European countries have been cutting defense expenditure in order to balance their budgets in a time of austerity.   This has caused some resentment in the United States.  Many feel that Europeans are not pulling their weight.  A number of countries are spending less than the required 2% of their budgets on defense.

At the same time, Europeans are concerned that Americans seem intent on raising the stakes in Ukraine by sending more arms to Kiev.   This scares some European governments including Germany.  Additionally, the US is closing 15 military bases in Europe, as if to emphasize that the country’s priorities are changing.

Europeans see Russia as their greatest threat at this time.  So do many members of the US Congress.  However, differences remain on how best to handle Russia.

The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, has called for an EU Army to make the Russians realize that Europe is serious about Russia’s threats (“Jean Claude Juncker calls for EU Army,” The Guardian, 8 March).

In the last twelve months, Russia has invaded and annexed Crimea, continues to occupy (supposedly through surrogates) eastern Ukraine and has increased intimidating military flights over the Baltic countries and the United Kingdom.

But Russia may not be the biggest military challenge Europeans face.   Islamic extremism could be an even bigger problem.

The Europeans have to contend with both ISIS and Al-Qaeda.  The latter was behind the attacks in Paris in January.  ISIS is now at Europe’s back door with a significant presence in Libya, Italy’s former colony, and not that far away from the Italian peninsula.   ISIS also now has an ally in Boko Haram, which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State a few weeks ago.   Boko Haram is causing a great deal of turmoil in Nigeria and neighboring countries, all of which have commercial and historical ties with European countries and the EU.

The Bible highlights the fact that the Middle East is at the center of Bible prophecy.  Many of the prophecies in scripture could not have been fulfilled until the collapse of the Ottoman Empire less than a hundred years ago.  The subsequent peace treaty created a number of new countries, many of which remain in varying degrees of conflict and instability.  Deeper tensions came with the establishment of the nation of Israel in 1948.   These events have made the final biblical scenario all the more credible.

Daniel 11:40-41 prophecies:  “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.  He shall also enter the Glorious Land (the Holy Land)….”

Earlier in chapter 11 we read a prophecy, written in the sixth century BC, of Alexander the Great.  His empire, a fulfilled prophecy, came about two centuries after the prophetic words of Daniel were written.  As predicted, his empire was eventually divided between his four generals.  Two of these generals founded biblically significant dynasties, one to the north of Jerusalem (the King of the North, or the Seleucid dynasty) and one to the south of Jerusalem (the King of the South, or the Ptolemaic dynasty).   These two dynasties were often in conflict.  As the Jews were in the middle, they suffered greatly because of them.

After the horrendous climactic events in the middle of the second century BC, the prophecy takes us down to the present time, where, once again, there’s a king of the North and a King of the South.   It should be noted that the prophecy has a gap of two thousand years because the Jews did not have a country of their own during that time.  Now, once again, they do.

The ancient King of the North was conquered by the Roman Empire in 60 A.D.   A new revived Roman Empire is going to emerge as the new King of the North, although it won’t be called by that name.  But it will fulfill the prophecy in Daniel 11.  It will send troops into the Middle East to deal with the growing threat of Islamic militancy, political turmoil and conflict.  A European Army is more likely to be used in this region than against Russia.

But, after intervening in the Middle East, that same army may have to deal with Russia.  “But news from the east and the north shall trouble him . . .” (v. 44).   It should be noted that Russia, Iran, Syria and a number of central Asian, former Soviet republics, co-operate militarily.  If Europe was embroiled in the Middle East, Russia would no doubt take advantage and annex other countries that were formerly in its empire.

This brings us back to the pope’s call for force to be used to save Christians in the Middle East.

In the latter part of the eleventh century, Muslim Turks massacred Christians and treated surviving Christians cruelly.  This led to Pope Urban II in 1095 calling for a Crusade against the Muslims, to free the Christians in the Holy Land.  The Crusades lasted two hundred years.

Today, it’s not the Turks who are persecuting Christians.  It’s ISIS and other extremis groups.   And, it’s not just Christians who need protecting.   Other minorities also need intervention on their behalf.   But, as with events a thousand years ago, it could be the pope who calls nations to arms.

Western civilization is once again seriously threatened.  Politicians, never able to see beyond the next election, seem blinded to this reality.   The papacy is, once again, more in tune with global reality.

The pope’s call, together with the call for an EU Army, show that the prophecies of your Bible are on track, leading ultimately to the second coming of Jesus Christ to establish His Kingdom.

ISIS IS THE TRUE FACE OF ISLAM

Job cartoonGraeme Wood graduated from Harvard University in 2001 and speaks fluent Russian and some Arabic.   He is a Canadian journalist.

Mr. Wood has written an in-depth, thought-provoking article in the March issue of The Atlantic, on “What ISIS really wants.”

It’s likely to be the most discussed article on the subject for some time.

The article stands in complete contrast to statements made by western leaders, who claim that ISIS does not represent Islam and that terrorism is not Islamic.

Mr. Wood delves deep into Islamic history and shows that, in fact, the opposite is the case, that ISIS is the real face of Islam and represents the true face of the religion.   He makes such a convincing case to support his argument that I doubt anybody will sit down and argue with him.   The facts fit.   The question is:   what are we going to do about it?

Today, the BBC World Service revealed that the number of Christians abducted by ISIS fighters on Monday from villages in North-East Syria is between 370 – 500, not the 70 originally thought to have been kidnapped.   To say that fears are growing for their safety is an understatement.   They may be used as hostages and traded for ISIS fighters taken as prisoners.   According to Mr. Wood:   “Exempted from automatic execution, it appears, are Christians who do not resist their new government.   Baghdadi permits them to live, as long as they pay a special tax, known as the jizya, and acknowledge their subjugation.   The Koranic authority for this practice is not in dispute.”

It has also been confirmed that three teenage girls who left England last week for Turkey crossed the border into Syria to join ISIS.   The fact that they all went to an exclusive private school is further proof that joblessness and poverty do not cause terrorism, as the US Administration claims.

Earlier today, three Americans were charged with trying to leave the country to join ISIS.   One of them even promised to kill the President of the United States if asked to do so.

Others, in both countries, have already gone to Syria to join the organization.   ISIS is said to be attracting hundreds of new fighters each day.

“Tens of thousands of foreign Muslims are thought to have immigrated to the Islamic State.   Recruits hail from France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, and many other places.   Many have come to fight, and many intend to die.”   (Wood, What ISIS Really Wants)

Meanwhile, as the threat from ISIS increases, the US and UK are continuing to reduce the size of their militaries, according to reports on today’s Fox News website and in last week’s Economist.   The report on Fox News was based on the Heritage Foundation’s “2015 Index of US Military Strength,” which concluded that, for the first time in decades, the US can no longer fight and win two wars at the same time.   During the last decade, the country and its allies fought two simultaneous wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, arguably losing both wars.   There is a very real possibility that wars against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram may have to be fought in three different regions while, at the same time, there is also a very real prospect of a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine or maybe even the Baltic states.

A few days ago, I posted an article to my blog, titled “What If The President Is Wrong?”   This was just after his claim that terrorism is caused by joblessness.

A few days later, I read Mr. Wood’s article in The Atlantic.   Joblessness is not the problem.   Rather, we have here a fundamentalist movement that is returning Islam to its 1400-year-old roots and copying Muhammed in the way he dealt with infidels and those in conquered lands.

Monday’s Chicago Tribune put it well:   “What motivates these people?   Why do so many of them, Westerners included, eagerly come to the desert to fight and die?

“The best examination we’ve seen appears in the current issue of the The Atlantic.   “What ISIS Really Wants,” by Graeme Wood, argues that Islamic State is not a death cult that distorts Islam in a bid to gain political power.   Rather, it is a fanatically rigid religious movement based on specific teachings and traditions of seventh century Islam, which it implements to a dangerously literal        degree . . .”

“In the view of Islamic State leaders, there is only one extremely narrow belief path to follow – its own puritanical Salafist branch of Sunni Islam.   The rest of us, even practicing Muslims, are infidels to be subjugated or killed . . . ”  (Knowing Islamic State and Its Vision)

What is particularly interesting in Graeme Wood’s article is the conviction that ISIS has, that they are to play a significant role in world history leading up to the apocalypse.   Christians will see in part a distortion of their own beliefs regarding end-time events.

“These include the belief that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest.”

This paragraph alone should tell us one thing – that ISIS is here to stay and will remain with us until the end-time events that Christians believe will see the return of Jesus Christ.

“What ISIS Really Wants” gives us a clear understanding of the beliefs and goals of ISIS.   The question now is how is the West going to react?

 

ONE-SIDED NEWS

Zemir Begic
Zemir Begic

Zemir Begic will never be as famous as Michael Brown. Yet both men died on a Missouri street and both deaths were likely connected.

“Zemir Begic, a 32-year-old man who emigrated from war-torn Bosnia almost two decades ago in search of a better life, was bludgeoned to death Sunday, allegedly by a group of hammer-wielding teenagers, one of whom has been charged as an adult. Begic was driving with his fiancée, Arijana Mujkanovic, and a male passenger at about 1:15 a.m. Sunday in St. Louis when five teenagers began pounding his vehicle with a hammer, according to police. When Begic confronted them, he was struck in the mouth, face, head and body with hammers and died at a nearby hospital.” (Fox News website)

The five teens were black while Begic was white. The 70,000-strong Bosnian community in the St Louis area is convinced the murder was a hate crime, an indirect consequence of the racial tension in and around nearby Ferguson.

This particular news item did not make it to network news. I saw it on the Fox News website.

Sadly, it remains the case that mainstream media ignores most cases of blacks murdering whites, while, as Ferguson shows, dwelling for inordinate lengths of time on blacks being the victims of whites (Michael Brown and Eric Garner are two classic examples of this).

The media is largely to blame for the riots that engulfed Ferguson and other cities the past few days. If ABC, CBS and NBC had given as much time to the death of Michael Brown and subsequent developments as they did to Zemir Begic, we would have had no riots.

The deaths of both Michael Brown and Zemir Begic are tragic.

It’s also tragic, in a different way, to witness what has become of most television news. The bias is clear.   And nothing will be done about it, unless we all, en masse, stop watching until they clean up their act.

DO YOU TAKE NEWS SERIOUSLY?

tv man remotes

I’m very conservative.   That’s not the same as being Republican.  There’s a difference.

As a conservative, I lament the lack of serious conservative news sources.  That’s one reason I started this blog – I wanted to provide a reliable news source for true conservatives, or for young people trying to find their way in this confused political world.

Sorry, but most of our “conservative” talk radio hosts would be laughed at outside of America.   It’s not just that they are bombastic, loud-mouthed and jingoistic – they are also frequently wrong in what they say.  They make a lot of factual errors.  I’m always left with the impression that they are not very well informed.

The same goes for Fox News, where people are constantly shouting at each other and where “experts” on almost every issue are voluptuous young blondes, the cameras invariably taking in their legs, as well as their faces.

When I want to listen to “talk radio”, I prefer NPR, where they at least take news seriously even though they have a liberal slant.   When it comes to TV news, my preference is the BBC.   A 30-minute program of world news is broadcast on most PBS stations every night.  Again, on many issues there’s a liberal bias, but there’s no yelling and their international news coverage is second to none.  (They have more international correspondents than any other news service.)

If I’m in a hotel room, I will watch CNN if I can’t find the BBC.  Overseas, CNN International is better than the US version, with Richard Quest on finance (he’s hilarious even in the midst of an international financial crisis!) and Christiane Amanpour on the Middle East (she really knows what she’s talking about!)

Don’t get me wrong – I am thankful there’s a conservative voice on US television, but, I also feel, that Fox could do a lot better.  Part of the problem in America, is that ratings are the determining factor.  They’ve built up their audience by giving people a news service, which is entertainment, mixed with serious news.  The first time I ever saw Fox News, they were following a car chase out west – an hour later, they were still following the same car chase!   I realize it’s not like that all the time, but I just don’t feel I can rely on the facts, as presented.   This is because there’s little attempt to separate facts from commentary.

Part of the problem is that many loyal viewers are not interested in hearing an alternate viewpoint.  They watch nothing but Fox and appreciate the slant.  They also have little interest in international news, so Fox obliges by not giving them much.

As I said, they could do better.  Rupert Murdoch’s News International owns Fox.  He also owns “The Sun” newspaper in Britain, which is one of the worst newspapers in the world.  Somebody once unkindly pointed out that it’s not just a coincidence that 20% of the British people read “The Sun” and 20% are illiterate!

But Murdoch also owns “The (London) Times”, “The Wall St Journal” and “The Australian”, all three of which are great newspapers.   The WSJ is the #1 paper in the US.  Unlike the “New York Times”, it has a conservative bias and has been an excellent source of well-researched articles faulting misleading claims made by the current US Administration.  It also has excellent international news articles.   Readers of the WSJ will be well informed on all international issues, if they take the time to read the “World News” section.

Murdoch also owns “Sky News”, a 24-hour news channel in the UK, which is decidedly better than Fox and, again, has more international content.  I’ve often wished “FoxNews” (USA) would broadcast just one hour of “Sky”, even at 3 in the morning!

Fox does have some good presenters.  I don’t like Bill O’Reilly’s style, but  I’m currently reading his book, “Killing Lincoln”, which is well researched and enlightening.

But I find it rather disturbing that some people will spend three or more hours per evening watching Fox, when all the presenters seem to reflect the same viewpoint.

Doesn’t it make more sense, if you want to be well-informed, to vary your sources?    Also, is there really a need to spend hours keeping up on the news?  Thirty minutes with the Wall St Journal would keep you better informed.

My personal preference would be for Fox to become more like the Journal.  Considering their common ownership, this should be easy to achieve. But the reality is that they are aimed at two different audiences.  And that comes back to advertizers and money – so nothing is likely to change.