ISIS Is Making a List & Checking It Twice

As if Christian pastors weren’t already busy enough this time of year, now there’s a new addition to the To–Do list that may take priority over the fight between Hymn singers and praise music listeners. Readers who worship the New York Times or only attend Christmas services may not be aware there is a schism regarding music in many congregations, or that there are even different types of worship music.

santa-delivers-presents-to-isisHymn supporters prefer singing from a hymnal where the music is visible and the lyrics indicate pauses and the like. Hymnists also like the fact they are singing music, particularly at Christmas, that connects them with hundreds of years of Christian tradition.

Praise music observers are different. A friend calls them Karaoke Christians because there are no hymnals. Instead the lyrics are projected using PowerPoint and a screen. Often this type of worship music is disparagingly referred to by people like me as “7/11” songs: The same seven words repeated eleven times.

I’ve read nursery rhymes containing deeper theology.

Be that as it may, parishioners will only tolerate a service that lasts about 60 minutes. Particularly on Christmas Eve, there are often multiple services that have to fit in a limited number of hours. These time constraints result in discussions concerning what type of music and how many tunes that can become spirited, to say nothing of unbiblical.

Just when the pastor began to feel like he was caught between Shiites and Sunnis, there comes a new complication that strikes an even more discordant note than the music wars.

Breitbart reports ISIS “has published a list containing the names and addresses of thousands of churches in the United States, Canada, France, and the Netherlands, encouraging followers to attack them during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season.

This comes as a shock to many TV–watching pastors who assumed the imam’s new kneepads in the Amazon commercial would pacify Moslems for the next few weeks. That’s a mistaken assumption.

The list was posted on “Secrets of Jihadis,” which is located on a secure messaging site called Telegram. This board is Heloise for the homicidal. It contains helpful hints on bomb–making, decapitation, easy no–bake date recipes and how to host a massacre.

For some reason the US news media believes it has fulfilled it’s responsibility to the public by announcing the list, without bothering to publish which churches are on the list. That’s a crucial oversight.

Ignorance might be bliss for a Unitarian, uh, do they even call them pastors? Maybe it’s emcee. Anyway, since they don’t believe in the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, shepherds tending their flocks or the Angel Alert Broadcasting network his church is likely to be so empty an exploding bomb or semi coming through the front door will only be a problem for the building inspector.

Episcopalians and Methodists may think their tolerance, inclusion and heresy will protect them from those mysterious exploding Moslems who lack any motive discernable by the FBI — but I have my doubts.

Jihadis aren’t noted for their attention to the nuances of Christian theology. Much like the Klan viewed race relations, one unbeliever is pretty much the same as another unbeliever to a jihadi with a detonator.

Baptists and Catholics can’t be so complacent. A former president of the Southern Baptist Convention memorably called Mohammed a “demon–possessed pedophile” and every crusader without exception was a Catholic. Meaning caution is in order for both denominations.

Services in my church are packed with people I haven’t seen since last Christmas. Mega churches are now mega–targets and winter weather certainly isn’t helping. There’s an old terror–community cartoon that has an Arab woman looking in a full–length mirror and asking her husband, “Does this bomb make me look fat?”

I personally own a coat that could hide 30 lbs. of C–4 or one bag of fertilizer without affecting the drape.

This puts the onus on churches to find out for themselves if their congregation is on the list and if it is, what preparations to make for volatile, uninvited guests.

Frankly as far as I’m concerned, pastors just can’t win. I’m surprised there is any joy in Christmas for the clergy this year. For them the only situation worse than being on the list, is being so insignificant your church was left off the list.

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New ISIS Definition: Idiotic Spending Increases Substantially

Obama doesn’t like to use our military to advance the interests of the United States, but when Saudi Arabia needs a Foreign Legion, he’s happy to loan the Pentagon. If ISIS is an existential threat, then why don’t we see Saudi and Egyptian boots–on–the–ground?

The chopping block is much closer to Cairo and Riyadh than Washington, DC.

Sure ISIS has murdered a couple of journalists, but Putin’s minions in the Ukraine shot down a civilian airliner and Obama didn’t so much as send a bullet. Of course they didn’t post a YouTube video of the missile launch and that’s probably the difference.

The rest of the story is here:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Spending-ISIS-Obama-weapons/2014/09/26/id/597091/

Militia Nightmares

It’s no wonder the left is so opposed to private ownership of guns and the concept of a “well–regulated militia.” After watching what the ragtag ISIS militia has accomplished in Iraq, no doubt they fear adding American know–how to a domestic group would be a real threat to future government nannytarians.

Iraq is also giving conservatives indigestion, but for another reason. After spending nine years and $25 billion to train, equip and presumably motivate Iraqi security forces; we are greeted with the spectacle of an Iraqi army that vastly outnumbers ISIS — which looks more like outtakes from The Road Warrior, than an organized military unit — disappearing like Obama Administration email the first time they hear an ISIS round whistle past their ear.

A Reuters reporter managed to interview an Iraqi soldier as he was feverishly changing into civvies and the soon–to–be civilian complained, “We can’t beat them. We can’t. They are well trained in street fighting and we’re not. We need a whole army to drive them out of Mosul.” Which is exactly what US taxpayers thought they were getting for their $25 billion, but evidently not.

Taxpayers would have gotten more bang for their buck if Uncle Sam had hired a biker gang and called it the Iraqi army. And speaking of bang for bucks, if you follow the news it appears the Pentagon was able to equip two armies for the price of one.

Initially, the Iraqi Army was issued weapons. The Iraqis and their hardware looked smart on the parade ground and during reviews for visiting US brass. Later — after learning that fighting ISIS was significantly more challenging than extorting money from businessmen and motorists — Iraqi troops threw down the weapons to improve their time in the 40 as they ran from combat. Whereupon army #2, the ISIS insurgents, picked them up. And are evidently making much better use of the gently–used firepower.

And now Obama, immune to learning from experience, wants to double down by spending $500 million to train and arm Syrian rebels, evidently forgetting Syria is where ISIS originated.

This is an outcome we’ve seen before. Uncle Sam is the Norm Van Brocklin of military trainers. We can do the fighting ourselves, and like Norm earn a spot in the Hall of Fame, but we are unable to coach anyone else to do it.

During our time in Iraq American taxpayers spent $90 billion on a variety of infrastructure and military projects. The bulk of the spending, some 75 percent, was paid for and supervised by the Pentagon after we routed Saddam’s army in a lightning campaign. (Could that have been a hint regarding the reliability of Iraqi troops that Pentagon trainers missed?)

The spending was completely out of proportion to the economy that received it. In 2003, the year we invaded, the GDP was only $29 billion. This means the approximately $10 billion–a–year the US pumped into the economy added almost a third to pre–war GDP and was a recipe for inflation and waste.

And that’s pretty much what we got. With no central coordination by either the State Department or the Pentagon, spending fell prey to bright–idea–ism. Some paper–pusher had a brainstorm or fell for the pitch of a traveling aid organization and the project began. Spending was plagued by overcharging, fraud, inefficiency and simple incompetence. And the supremely galling fact is in many instances the supposed beneficiaries didn’t want the power plant, school, prison, factory or Mercedes. (Well, maybe the Mercedes.)

The Army Times reported, “In too many cases…U.S. officials did not consult with Iraqis closely or deeply enough to determine what reconstruction projects were really needed or, in some cases, wanted. As a result, Iraqis took limited interest in the work, often walking away from half-finished programs, refusing to pay their share, or failing to maintain completed projects once they were handed over.

So if they walk away from a free power plant, why should we be surprised when they run away from a fight?

One program that was temporarily successful was Rent–an–Iraqi. According to CSMonitor.com during the second battle of Fallujah Marines deployed “a powerful weapon – money – to drive a wedge between the insurgents and the people.” The money went for “immediate needs and to settle disputes.” Here that’s bribing, but in Iraq it’s ‘winning hearts and minds.’ This makes the US military unique in history as the only victors that pay Danegeld to the defeated.

But as bad as this news is for taxpayers, it is not the worst. Iraq is only the second most expensive nation–building project in our history. Afghanistan is the largest and President Obama is planning to leave behind a $100 billion token of our esteem when he withdraws all troops in 2016.