Thursday, June 05, 2014

The Enemy Within

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Cicero, a Roman Senator, historian and philosopher watched his nation collapse from within, concluding that "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within."

The enemy within.

But who is the real enemy?

The recent release of the 5 top level terrorist leaders by the President in exchange for an American soldier that we are now learning from his fellow soldiers was anti-American and sympathetic to the enemy and had been AWOL, has caused most ordinary Americans---not the elected elite, but the regular people, to pause and ask, "What's going on in our country?"

Lt. Col. Oliver North says he absolutely knows that a ransom was paid for the release of the AWOL soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

Hillary Clinton says she "was personally and intensely involved in the debate over swapping five Taliban commanders for St. Bowe Bergdahl in 2011 and 2012." But....

Evan Buelow, Bergdahl's former platoon leader, now living in Maple Valley outside Seattle says is saying Bergdahl should face court martial.

And why did our own government lie to the family of Lt. Darryn Andrews, including his pregnant wife, after he was killed on a mission to find Bowe Bergdahl?

This current episode is revealing much about the true state of our union. Rather than becoming a "more perfect union," present leadership is leading us toward our lowest and least.

In our attempt to sort it all out perhaps we can look at both the effects of what is transpiring and the cause.

Ollie North is well known to Americans. He says he knows for sure that a ransom was paid for the release of Bergdahl.

He says Bergdahl "was not a prisoner of war, because he was being held as a 'hostage' by Haqqanis, a terrorist group separate from the Taliban and associated heavily with al Qaeda."

Other reports confirm that Bergdahl was not listed as MIA.

North says he knows for certain that the terrorists were demanding at least $1 million, but it was probably more---like $5 or $6 million by now, because discussions had been under way for more than two years.

He says,"Someone paid the terrorists a ransom." He does not know who wrote the check.

Some are suggesting that Bergdahl was never an actual prisoner, but a willing pawn being used to extract money to help finance the terrorist activities.

Hillary Clinton is making it known she "was personally and intensely involved in the debate over swapping five Taliban commanders for St. Bowe Bergdahl in 2011 and 2012. But she had reservations about the potential deal, and was demanding stricter conditions for the release of the prisoners then President Obama settled for."

Translation: I want to be President. In that I'm running for President, I was sort of for this deal and sort of against it---depending on how the American people respond to it.

Evan Buetow, Bergdahl's former platoon leader said yesterday, "We've been waiting for this day to say,'this is the truth, this is what's going on. It frustrated us a lot when we hear that he served with honor and distinction. How dare you say that? Soldiers died looking for him'."

Indeed they did.

Perhaps one of the most poignant and disturbing revelations to emerge from this fiasco is that involving the death of Lt. Darryn Andrews

Andrews was killed in action leaving behind a pregnant wife and a misled family.

The military correctly reported that "Second Lieutenant Andrews fatally placed himself between the incoming enemy fire and his fellow comrades. His courage under fire was essential in saving another soldier's life, and saving the lives of five other soldiers who were with him."

He saved 6 lives in loosing his own.

That's valor.

However, the family was not told what had really happened on that September day. They had merely been told that Andrew's unit had set out to capture a top Taliban commander.

They could have quietly told the family the truth, but chose not to do so.

Last Sunday, the family learned the rest of the story.

The Taliban commander had already been captured, but the unit was ordered to continue looking for Bergdahl who had left his post 2 months earlier.

The soldiers who were with Lt. Andrews have now come forward and are telling the family what actually happened. They had been ordered not reveal their true mission and had been ordered to sign nondisclosure agreements.

It has been said "War is Hell." It is, anyway you look at it, however, Jesus Himself said that wars and rumors of wars will continue until He returns.

This mess has so many parts that a picture of the chaos of our current cultural and political condition and corruption will continue to emerge for some time.

Can't we do better than this?

Andrews was one man who came from one family, but was not unlike most of us.

His family are committed Christians. His maternal grandfather served in World War II and was captured during the Battle of the Bulge. His paternal grandfather and his father both served in the Air Force.

Darryn was buried a week after his son's second birthday.

At his memorial service at First Baptist Church, the family insisted that military mourners be seated up front.

Darryn's twin brother Jarrett, now a lawyer, said of his brother, "When you get older, people get cynical, but he never did."

There is a growing attitude of cynicism in American today.

The enemy within is hard to define. For many it's very difficult to put the finger on exactly what's wrong. Most search for political solutions---too many simply withdraw from it all and hide behind a religious notion that Christians should not be involved in such things, or join the ranks of the uninformed and live in denial.

Many did that in Rome.

Ronald Reagan died 10 years ago today.

He understood the challenges of his times and knew what it was like to take the heat, but he too, never became cynical.

I believe it was because he had a clear understanding of the root of the challenges and the basis for the solutions.

On March 8, 1983 he, as President of the United States, gave a speech at the National Association of Evangelical's annual convention.

This is a video of that 3+ minute speech. I was sitting to his right. I will never forget the President's comments. Neither should you. He defines the enemy, by defining the solution.

He said, "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law is acknowledged." He told us that the Founding Fathers when they wrote the First Amendment intended to protect the church from government interference, not construct a wall of hostility between the government and the concept of religious belief."

He said children should begin class with prayer, like Congress and the Court---the First Amendment was never intended to require government to discriminate against religious speech and human life legislation must pass Congress, and that "You and I must never rest until it does."

The solution lies in the convictions of our Founders. And those convictions were based on biblical Truth.

Yesterday, Gallup published a survey that reveals 3 in 4---75% of Americans believe the Bible is God's Word.

Don't be cynical---be pro-active and elect authentic people from the 75% rather than the 25%.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Pro-Active. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.