by Hal Lindsey
According to the Defense Department and the White House, the capture of Ramadi by the Islamic State is nothing more than a “tactical setback.”
Never mind that ISIS has captured the capital of Iraq’s largest province, Anbar Province, just 80 miles west of Iraq’s national capital, Baghdad; never mind that ISIS captured the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, not far from Damascus; never mind that ISIS now controls much, if not most, of the border between Syria and Iraq, these are just “tactical setbacks.”
Well, it seems that if you suffer enough “tactical setbacks,” you’ll lose the war! Tactically-speaking, of course, but maybe not politically-speaking.
So, the Obama Administration has an idea for a new strategy to contain ISIS — as announced by the Defense Department: Change the name we use to refer to ISIS or ISIL.
Yep. You read me right. We are going to change the name.
Maybe it will sound more powerful or decisive to say we are altering the nomenclature. We will no longer call the jihadis gobbling up Iraq by the name they prefer to be called: Islamic State. We will no longer call them by the name the Administration has previously used: ISIL or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. And we will no longer refer to them by the name the rest of the world uses: ISIS, or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. Defense Department recently announced that, henceforth, we shall call ISIS (or ISIL or Islamic State) simply, “Daesh.”
Apparently, the President doesn’t want Americans to make the mistake of thinking that Islamic State has anything to do with, or represents any portion of, Islam.
To me, that’s not a strategy or a tactic, that’s adolescent nonsense.
But the absurdity doesn’t stop merely with this decision. Unbelievably, the new name, “Daesh” is simply an acronym for “al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham.” Which is Arabic for, you guessed it, “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
Tortured word games are one of the bizarre byproducts of political correctness.
But even more disconcerting than this sophomoric attempt at political sleight-of-hand is the fact that a U.S. Marine Corps General could be so sanguine about the ISIS capture of Ramadi. On May 15, just two days before the fall of Ramadi to ISIS (Daesh) on May 17, Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, who is head of the U.S. operation against ISIS (Daesh) told the press, “We firmly believe Daesh is on the defensive throughout Iraq and Syria, attempting to hold previous gains, while conducting small-scale, localized harassing attacks, occasional complex or high-profile attacks in order to feed their information and propaganda apparatus.”
Anyone remember “Baghdad Bob?”
Apparently he mentored General Weidley.
This reminds me of what happened with the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam in 1968. Even though that famous push by the communist forces was a complete battlefield disaster for them, it was a turning point in the war that eventually led to the loss of Viet Nam. That’s because it destroyed the confidence of the American people in our national leaders.
You see, President Johnson, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and General William Westmoreland had consistently and loudly downplayed the force strength of the communists in Viet Nam. Then, the communists launched their big offensive at the Tet holiday. They staged large assaults on targets all over the country, including Saigon. Though they were defeated at every turn, the simple fact that they were able to do something they should not have been able to do (according to our national leaders), began to erode the public’s confidence in the truthfulness or competence of the Administration.
As Yogi Berra famously observed, “It’s deja vu all over again!”
Speaking of deja vu, the 2016 presidential campaign is already underway. Recently, Republican candidate, Senator Marco Rubio made a speech in which he outlined some of the foreign policy challenges the next president will face. He included China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, and radical Islam.
I’ll sum up the discussion like this: the next President will have a lot of damage to repair, a host of new, more powerful enemies to confront, a nuclear powder keg to defuse in the Middle East, and a public that no longer believes what its leaders say.
I can’t think of a better time than right now to begin praying for those new leaders in accordance with I Timothy 2:1-2.
Finally, contrary to what my critics would have you believe, I do not preach doom and gloom. I preach truth and grace. I also preach that the Big News of Christ’s soon return will be carried in on an ever-increasing wave of Bad News. That’s precisely what the Bible warned would happen. That’s one of the signs that we are nearing the end of this Age of Grace.
But the Bible also tells us that in those final days, there will be an unprecedented preaching of the Gospel throughout the world. And because God’s Word will not return void, there will also be an unprecedented influx of new believers into the Kingdom of God. And we are seeing that happen.
The Gospel going out to every nation is another sure sign that our time on this earth is almost finished. Both the Good News and the Bad News bear unmistakeable witness that it is time to get ready to leave this world. Make certain that you, your family, and your friends have accepted the free gift of full pardon from sin that Jesus Christ died to purchase for us. It is your ticket to an eternity of joy with our Savior in heaven. Do it today.