Sunday, December 21st 2014
The Hal Lindsey Report: 9-6-2013
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This week on 'The Hal Lindsey Report'

Just four years ago this summer, President Barack Obama stood before a cheering crowd in Cairo, Egypt, and delivered a wildly anticipated speech called, "A New Beginning."

Rahm Emanuel, his Chief of Staff at the time, compared the speech to Kennedy's and Reagan's most famous speeches. He declared that, in that one oration, his boss "did 20 years' worth of work... advancing America's interests."

If you recall, everyone was so enraptured by the "new beginning," that even the Nobel Committee chose to give its Peace Prize to Mr. Obama before he had a chance to actually further the cause of peace anywhere in the world.

I wonder if they'd like to have their Prize back?

The President faces a dilemma. Someone in Syria used sarin gas to attack a "rebel" suburb of Damascus. Some reports indicate more than 1,400 are dead with many more injured. More than 400 of them were children.

I say "someone," because the U.S. government, although it insists that the attack was perpetrated by the government of Bashar al-Assad, has yet to produce any hard evidence that this was the government's doing. Many people in various intelligence services around the world, even many retired (and active) U.S. military figures, aren't so convinced.

It's obvious that this would be a stupid move on Assad's part. And even though Muslim dictators are famous for stupid moves, this one defies logic. Just when he seems to be gaining ground against the opposition, and the world's attention is focused on Egypt, why do the one thing -- use chemical or biological weapons against his own people -- that would call down the world's wrath on him?

On the other hand, since the rebels, many of whom are roving bands of pitiless thugs and Muslim militias, are dominated by al-Qaeda-allied groups, it wouldn't be a huge stretch to believe they might do something like this to provoke the world to act on their behalf against the Syrian government.

Now, I'm not saying that rogue rebel forces actually launched the chemical attack on their own people. And I'm not saying that Assad's government didn't do it; they're certainly capable of it and have a deserved reputation for brutality. I'm just saying that it's not a slam dunk issue. And President Obama is treating it as if it were.

At first, he indicated that since Syria had crossed the "red line" he previously and loudly established, he was going to lead a coalition of nations to punish the Assad regime. That is until it began to look like other nations weren't so keen to join the coalition. In fact, the British parliament said "no."

When it became obvious that the United Nations wouldn't act because of the Russian veto, and France seemed to be his only "ally" of any consequence (and I use "consequence" generously), the President suddenly decided he needed to seek Congressional authorization for his proposed military intervention.

This came as quite a shock even to his closest foreign policy advisers since the President has consistently maintained that he needed no one's permission to send our military wherever he deems necessary. That was his reasoning when he refused to seek Congressional consent for our military intervention in Libya.

Skeptics theorize that the President has decided to seek Congressional approval so that he has an "out." If Congress says "no," then he can say to the world that he was prepared to go to the mat to punish Syria for crossing his "red line," but that Congress was weak-kneed and prevented him from acting. If Congress approves and things go badly (i.e., we actually have to put "boots on the ground" contrary to his promise or we lose some fighters or Russia joins the conflict on Syria's side, etc.), then he can blame Congress for pushing him into a disastrous decision.

(By the way, here are some new twists to the story since we recorded the program earlier this week: President Obama told the press in Europe, where he's attending the G-20 summit, that he didn't really set any "red lines" for Syria regarding chemical weapons. Congress did! Also, one of the leading Democrat strategists, James Carville, told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that the Syria mess is actually George W. Bush's fault. No kidding! And if that's not enough, the President's top political adviser, David Axelrod, recently tweeted with delight that since Obama has decided to consult Congress, "the dog has caught the car!" Obviously, that means that since Congress is now involved, whatever bad happens, it's their fault!)

The short of it all is that we have a mess on our hands. "A New Beginning" gone bad! As I said last week, I've got no problem with the international community condemning and punishing Syria and President Assad for using chemical weapons on their own people. But let's make certain we're punishing the right people. Let's not be suckered into jumping into Syria's civil war (and centuries-old conflict) by a group of less-than-reputable and more-than-brutal Islamic jihadists who are seeking to unseat yet another Muslim dictator so they can establish yet another Islamic state.

Well, I guess you can guess what most of the "Report" is about this week. However, I do have some perspective on another issue.

Do you recall the story of Gideon? A couple of years ago, I spent an entire program on Gideon's story. I called it "300 Strong."

Gideon's story contains the account of two rival forces: the Israelites and the Midianites. The Midianites were the aggressors and invaders, used by God to discipline Israel. Then, of course, there was Israel, left by God to the ravages of Midian because they had done evil in God's eyes.

But Israel repented of their evil, at least partially, and God extended His mercy to them by raising up Gideon to deliver them from the Midianites.

My question this week is, "In the story of today's America, are we the Israelites or the Midianites?"

Tune in this week and see what you think.

Don't miss this week's Report here Sunday.

God Bless,

Hal Lindsey