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Why Is Sarah Palin Going to Sudan?

11:36 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Palin - What - me worry

Joe McGinnis writes this morning:

Sarah told the Sunday Times of London, “I am going to Sudan in July and hope to stop in England on the way. I am just hoping Mrs Thatcher is well enough to see me as I so admire her.”

Aides to the ailing Margaret Thatcher won’t let Sarah anywhere near the former British prime minister. That’s no surprise.

But how about the trip to Sudan, where summer temperatures in the capital, Khartoum, average more than 105 degrees? (Maybe the move to Arizona was to acclimatize her.)

On anyone’s list of the most unfortunate countries on earth, Sudan would have to be near the top. Put it this way: Sarah’s not going there for the shopping.

Can anyone see any reason for Sarah to make this trip other than to give herself another “foreign policy” credential for the 2012 campaign?

Questions:

–Is Franklin Graham paying for it?

 

McGinniss goes on to ask a series of intriguing questions about the trip. The answer to this one, though, is that the odds are heavily in favor of “Yes.”

Palin is Graham’s political protégé.

In early 2009, as Palin’s executive abilities in Alaska were rapidly declining, and Alaskans along the lower Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers faced severe hardships, Graham was the one to lead her mission of mercy delivery of trinkets and blankets to people along the Yukon. The trip was a public relations disaster for her, surpassed that early part of the year only by her choice of a person mostly despised by the same people along those rivers, Wayne Anthony Ross, to be the discredited Talis Colberg’s replacement as Alaska Attorney General. Her selection of Ross was roundly rejected, and was Palin’s biggest political debacle.
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Queen Esther Visits Jerusalem On Purim – Her Devotees Rejoice

10:31 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Sarah Palin flew from New Delhi to Tel Aviv late Saturday, and arrived in Jerusalem early Sunday, for the first day of Purim 2011.  Wearing a gaudy Star-of-David necklace, she was given a tour of “the Western Wall and its adjacent tunnels. [She] will visit the Old City again on Monday, tour Gesthsemane and the Mount of Olives, and have dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at their official residence in Jerusalem.”

World Likud chairman Danny Danon and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz served as Palin’s tour guides on Sunday night. Palin was told that Jews were not allowed to pray openly on the Temple Mount and about the Arab riots that accompanied Netanyahu’s decision to authorize the creation of an exit from the Western Wall tunnels in 1996.

Rabinowitz said that Palin prayed at the point closest to the Holy of Holiesand left a note with a personal prayer. Unlike when then-presidential candidate Barack Obama visited the Western Wall in July 2008, no one removed her note from the wall and gave it to the press.

“She said that she absolutely supports Israel and that America is the biggest friend that Israel has,” Rabinowitz said.

When Rabinowitz shared the story of Purim with Palin, she told him it was especially meaningful to be at the Kotel on Purim.

Palin’s closest devotees know about Purim.  Some of them actually believe Palin is a present-day reincarnation of the Biblical Queen Esther:

At Palin’s number one shrine, Conservatives4Palin, commenters were ecstatic about Palin’s visit to the Holy Land:

God bless Sarah! She’s doing the right things without the title or trappings of leadership, when those who have the title and trappings continue to do the wrong things! She is already my President!

and:

As I said before our beloved blessed Israel will have a strong and dedicated friend in the White House soon!!! :D
Sarah Palin 2012!!!
America’s return to exceptionalism!!!

and:

At least the Palestinians are up front and open in their desire to destroy Israel unlike Obama and the Left who seek to destroy the GOP, the conservative movement and evangelical Christianity in America but are, using one of Obama’s words, subterranean about it.

and:

Governor Palin looks incredibly beautiful in these photos. She is a beautiful person inside and out.

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New Light on the Dangers of Millennialism to our Military

6:18 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

A young Army Major’s masters thesis is making the rounds. Some believe his essay presages the persecution of Christans by the anti-Christ Obama. Others see in his thinking a message that goes beyond the dangers of Christian millennialism and touches upon the perils our country encounters by endorsing or cursing any fundamentalism, without rationally engaging the issues through clear thinking.

Maj. Brian L. Stuckert, U.S. Army, submitted and defended a masters thesis in May 2008, titled Strategic Implications of American Millennialism (pdf). It has begun making the rounds this month, being taken up by a wide array of people discussing, damning or defending it.

Maj. Stuckert ‘s abstract begins:

Since the beginning of the Republic, various forms of millennial religious doctrines, of which dispensational pre-millennialism is the most recent, have shaped U.S. national security strategy. As the dominant form of millennialism in the U.S. evolves, it drives changes in U.S. security policy and subsequent commitment of the instruments of national power. Millennial ideas contribute to a common American understanding of international relations that guide our thinking irrespective of individual religious or political affiliation. Millennialism has great explanatory value, significant policy implications, and creates potential vulnerabilities that adversaries may exploit.

His conclusions and recommendations are prefaced with a well-known quote by Lt. Gen William Boykin, from 2003:

“The enemy is a spiritual enemy. It’s called the principality of darkness. We, ladies and gentlemen, are in a spiritual battle, not a physical battle. Oh, we’ve got soldiers fighting on the battlefields, we’ve got sailors, marines, airmen, coast guardsmen out there fighting against a physical enemy. But the battle this nation is in is a spiritual battle, it’s a battle for our soul. And the enemy is a guy called Satan – Satan wants to destroy this nation. He wants to destroy us as a nation and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army.”

Maj. Stuckert then goes on:

A 2003 survey found that more than two-thirds of evangelical leaders view Islam as a religion of violence bent on world domination. Following the events of September 11, 2001, many Christian opinion leaders began to speak of President Bush’s election and policies as “divinely inspired.” This attitude can present challenges to rational decision-making processes. While some political commentators have theorized that the administration’s unwillingness to admit errors is the result of arrogance or political calculation, it is more likely that the administration believes they are doing the will of God and will be vindicated in the end. In other words, intelligence or analysis that seems to support invasions or other administration policies are interpreted as an affirmation of God’s will, while information is to the contrary is viewed with suspicion – perhaps an effort by Satan to deceive or mislead.

As President Carter explained to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, what people believe as a matter of religion, they will do as a matter of public policy. There is a tendency on the part of Americans to view foreign policy and international affairs as a “clash of moral opposites.” This tendency may make it difficult for U.S. policy makers and strategists to perceive and act upon subtleties that may lie outside our conceptions of moral absolutes. Military leaders have the difficult task translating this religiously tinged policy into successful strategy and operations. War is primarily about politics. While geography and technology play a role, in order to be successful military leaders must be able to see the political goals as clearly as possible. Because of the influence of pre-millennialism, it can be difficult for military leaders to see themselves and their government accurately and state policy goals objectively.

Reading the reactions at blogs like firedoglake, Down with Tyranny!, Huffington Post and mondoweiss to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s recent statements on a radio program that sometimes caters to Jewish millennialists (the Zealots where prototypical millennialists. I’m sure Schumer, if asked if he’s a Zionist "Zealot" would answer "Yes!" without giving the term much thought.), I’m struck by how much more push-back Schumer is getting now than he ever has, when indulging in attacks on Israel policy critics who have not only the US’s best interests at heart, but, are showing common sense.

Christian Fundamentalists might have common sense when it comes to washing their clothes or changing their socks, but when it comes to formulating policies involving Israel and weapons of mass destruction and whether or not Iran is really mentioned in Revelations, they never have any common sense. None.

The same holds true for other religions’ fundamentalists. Although our constitution holds that one cannot demand religious tests as part of gaining an office, I really feel uncomfortable with people who believe in the End Times being allowed within a mile of a thermonuclear device or its launch codes.

Thursday, the Pentagon announced that Rev. Franklin Graham has been disinvited from speaking at the Pentagon on the National Day of Prayer:

The U.S. Army rescinded its invitation to evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at the Pentagon on the National Day of Prayer.

Graham, son of Billy Graham and this year’s honorary National Day of Prayer Task Force chairman, is being criticized for comments he has made in the past expressing his belief that Islam is a dangerous religion.

Col. Tom Collins, an Army spokesman cited Graham’s previous comments that he wants Muslims to know that Jesus Christ died for their sins. Collins said the remarks were “not appropriate,” according to the New York Times.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations pressed the Pentagon to rescind Graham’s invitation. Michael Weinstein, founder of MRFF, wrote that the Pentagon choose a more inclusive speaker for the event in a letter to the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on April 19.

In a statement released April 22, Graham said that he regrets that the Army felt it was necessary to rescind their invitation. “I want to express my strong support for the United States military and all our troops. I will continue to pray that God will give them guidance, wisdom and protection as they serve this great country,” Graham said.

Naturally, Sarah Palin,Graham’s cookie delivery co-host to the Alaska Bush in early 2009, has come to his defense, through her facebook ghost writer:

My, have things changed. I was honored to have Rev. Franklin Graham speak at my Governor’s Prayer Breakfasts. His good work in Alaska’s Native villages and his charitable efforts all over the world stem from his servant’s heart. In my years of knowing him, I’ve never found his tempered and biblically-based comments to be offensive – in fact his words have been encouraging and full of real hope.

It’s truly a sad day when such a fine patriotic man, whose son is serving on his fourth deployment in Afghanistan to protect our freedom of speech and religion, is dis-invited from speaking at the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer service. His comments in 2001 were aimed at those who are so radical that they would kill innocent people and subjugate women in the name of religion.

Are we really so hyper-politically correct that we can’t abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith? What a shame. Yes, things have changed.

- Sarah Palin

Coupled with the recently publicized concerns by senior U.S. military over the dangers of being tied too closely to Israel in our foreign policy decisions regarding broader issues of the Middle East and beyond, maybe we are seeing signs of a Pentagon emerging from the terrible eclipse of rational thinking known as the George W. Bush administration.

As in some of the newest, youngest, major voices in the dialogue over our country’s adherence to Israeli wishes regarding the illegal occupation of the West Bank, Israeli expansion there, and the siege of Gaza, hopefully a new generation of leadership in our military will show more independence, common sense and spine than their predecessors, who are now approaching retirement.

The more U.S. policy is separated from fundamentalist thinking, rhetoric and personalities, the better.

Palin to Visit the Lower Yukon With Franklin Graham to Raise Her Fundraising Profile for SarahPAC

6:36 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be visiting the lower Yukon towns of Marshall and Russian Mission with televangelist Franklin Graham. Graham has been quietly building a presence in Alaska for his Samaritan’s Purse aid group. His close ties to militant Christians may remind some of Palin’s similar under-reported past.

Here’s part of the explanation Gov. Palin’s office has offered:

February 19, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Following up on several trips to Western Alaska by multi-agency state personnel, Governor Sarah Palin and Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell will travel with Franklin Graham, President and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, to the communities of Marshall and Russian Mission on Friday. Samaritan’s Purse is a nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian aid across the world. Working with private sector and nonprofit resources, an estimated 10,000 pounds of food will be distributed to more than 200 Alaska families in need.

For several weeks the administration has been working with residents on the Lower Yukon in an attempt to identify their eligibility for various aid programs for communities and individuals. Five state departments and the governor’s rural affairs advisor, John Moller, are involved in the immediate relief effort, and are currently visiting communities across the region.

Faith-based, non-profit groups, such as Samaritan’s Purse, have partnered with state agencies and have been instrumental in providing assistance to Western Alaska in recent weeks.

Palin’s self-serving press release neglected to point out that much of the help arriving or already in use on the lower Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers (the Wade Hampton Census Area, one of the USA’s most impoverished) has been raised by Alaska Native communities and organizations statewide, and by Alaskan, American and global blogging groups. According to Dennis Zaki, my initial firedoglake post on Emmonak brought in about $2,400.00 to community relief efforts and direct support to Zaki’s initial trip there in January. That’s right, folks – YOU did that! Read the rest of this entry →