Iranian President Ahmadinejad vows U.S. power coming rapidly to an end

Iranian President Ahmadinejad vows U.S. power coming rapidly to an end

Greetings from the Epicenter. My Joshua Fund colleague, Jeremy Grafman, and I have been traveling through the region this week, meeting with Christian leaders, ministry partners, and local officials. I look forward to updating you in more detail in the next few days but can only jump online here for a few minutes. Some remarkable stories to share when we’ve got a little more time. That said, here are some headlines that have been catching our eye during our travels:

* Ahmadinejad: ‘American empire’ nearing its end

* NYT: An Interview With President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

* Ahmadinejad speaks with church groups in New York

* Iraq to take control of the security in the province of Babylon (this will be the 12th of 18 provinces the U.S. has handed over this year)

* Iraqi President Urges UN Members to Drop Saddam-Era Sanctions

* Iraqi president to pay official visit to Iran

* Nasrallah: Return of Jerusalem and Palestine closer than ever

* ‘US gives top radar system to Israel’

* Assad losing control: Syria, once considered one of region’s most stable states, increasingly vulnerable


Note: Several colleagues and I leave  tonight for various meetings and interviews in the Middle East as I finish the manuscript for Inside The Revolution. We will also be doing humanitarian relief work with our Joshua Fund allies. Lord willing, we’ll return to the U.S. on October 8th. I will post updates from the region if I can, but I would be grateful for your patience as this won’t always be possible. We would also be grateful for your prayers for safety, wisdom and open doors. God bless you.

OLMERT CALLS BELIEVERS IN BIBLE PROPHECY “DELUSIONAL”: Will Livni also give away land and divide Jerusalem for nothing?

Will Livni follow Olmert's plan to divide Jerusalem, give away Judea and Samaria?

Will Livni follow Olmert

** UPDATE: Olmert officially resigns **

Thanks for your patience. Lynn and I were traveling all last week and I was unable to post updates.

We were on a cruise from Boston to Montreal with Jack and Kay Arthur and about 350 Precept Ministries leaders and donors, teaching the Bible prophecies of Ezekiel 36 and 37 (the rebirth of Israel and the return of the Jewish people to the Holy Land in the last days) and Ezekiel 38 and 39 (the rise of a Russian dictator who will form an alliance with Iran and other Middle Eastern countries to attack and try to destroy Israel in the last days). It was a wonderful time to be with evangelical Christian leaders who love Israel unconditionally and have demonstrated unwavering support for the Jewish State for decades. It was also a real honor to be able to work side by side with Jack and Kay to equip their team to teach Bible prophecy in light of fast-moving geopolitical events in Russia, Iran and Israel, as well as to brief their team on how more people in the epicenter are coming to faith in Jesus Christ than at any other time in human history.

During the course of the “floating conference,” a number of dramatic events happened. Here are a few that caught my attention and that we discussed at sea:

* Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week offered to give 98.1% of the Biblical lands of Judea and Samaria (commonly known as the “West Bank”) to the Palestinian Authority (PA), despite the fact that the PA leadership has shown little if any capacity to govern effectively and protect the rights and God-given liberties of its own citizens, much less create and maintain real peace with Israel. The PA lost control of Gaza to Hamas, after all; has not been able to regain control of Gaza; and Hamas has fired well over 5,000 rockets, missiles and mortars at southern Israel since Israeli forces withdrew in 2005. How, then, has the PA earned the right to control more land?

* Olmert last week offered to divide the holy city of Jerusalem with the Muslim leadership of the PA, despite the fact that Olmert once vowed as mayor of Jerusalem never to allow the capital to be divided.

* Olmert said last week: “The vision of a greater Israel no longer exists,” referring to the Bible prophecies in Genesis 12, Genesis 17, Genesis 35:6-12, Genesis 38:3-4, Genesis 50:4, Exodus 12:25, Exodus 33:1, Joshua 21:43-45, I Kings 11:32, 2 Chronicles 6:6, Psalm 132:13-14, and Zechariah 3:2 (to name just a few) that indicate the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has promised the holy land to the Jewish people and chosen the city of Jerusalem to be His own special city, the capital of the Jewish nation.

* Olmert also said those who speak of it the Bible prophecies concern a greater Israel are “delusional” or “deluding themselves.”

Olmert believes he is being a bold peace-maker. Actually, he is pouring fuel on the fire of Radical Islam by making the extremists feel that more violence leads to more Israeli concessions.

* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad immediately predicted Israel won’t survive for long, saying, “while some say the idea of Greater Israel has expired, I say the idea of a Lesser Israel has expired, too.”

* Hezbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah said Hizbullah was responsible for “pounding the last nail in the coffin of ‘Greater Israel’….The victories of 2000 and 2006 destroyed the dream of a vast Israeli power,” he said, referring to Israel’s retreats from southern Lebanon. “Today, we face ‘Mediocre Israel.’”

When he was the Vice Premier of Israel, Ehud Olmert once said “We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies.” That was a very telling statement. Such immense fatigue has shown through in nearly all of Olmert’s policies. Olmert and his advisors are exhausted by the Arab-Israeli conflict. They do not want to fight. They want to surrender. They want to give up more and more land in hopes of convincing Israel’s enemies that they are men of goodwill. But enemies such as Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah are not exhausted. Indeed, they are energized by Olmert’s statements and actions. They believe that the wind is at their backs and Allah is about to give them a great victory over the Jewish people. Thus, they are feverishly preparing for war.

The question now is whether Olmert’s hand-chosen foreign minister — Tzipi Livni — shares Olmert’s ideological and emotional exhaustion and the policies that emanate from such fatigue now that she has (narrowly) won the Kadima primaries and is in position to become Israel’s next Prime Minister. Does Livni believe that Jews and Christians who believe the God of Israel gave Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to the Jewish people are “delusional”? Does she believe the prophetic vision of a “Greater Israel” is dead? Will Livni thus try to give away Judea and Samaria? Will she try to divide Jerusalem? Will she try to give away the strategically vital Golan Heights? Will she try to appease Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas? Or will she confront Israel’s enemies and do everything necessary to neutralize Iran’s nuclear threat?

It is too soon to say.

The first Big Question is: Can Livni can put together a coalition to run the government? If she cannot, new elections are coming and Bibi Netanyahu may defeat her to become the next Prime Minister.

The second Big Question is: If Livni does become PM, will she take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities in the window of time between the U.S. elections in November and the inaugural in January?

Olmert’s resignation and Livni’s emergence creates enormous uncertainty during a very volatile moment in the epicenter. Let us, therefore, continue to pray for peace while we make necessary preparations for war.

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NEVER FORGET: al Qaeda’s ultimate objective

A day that will live in infamy

A day that will live in infamy

During his military tribunal at Gitmo, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM)– al Qaeda’s chief of external operations until he was captured in Pakistan – admitted that he was not only responsible for the 9/11 attacks. He also the mastermind of “second wave” attacks and other mega-attacks in the United States, Israel and around the globe.  


In a written statement given to interrogators, KSM went on to confess no fewer than thirty-one separate terrorist attacks. Some had already been carried out. Others were foiled by U.S. and foreign security forces, or by the fact that KSM had been arrested. Each provided a sobering insight into what Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network really want.


1. I was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center Operation.


2. I was responsible for the 9/11 Operation, from A to Z.


3. I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jews, Daniel Pearl….


4. I was responsible for the Shoe Bomber Operation to down two American airplanes.


5. I was responsible for the Filka Island Operation in Kuwait that killed two American soldiers.


6. I was responsible for the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, which was frequented by British and Australian nationals.


7. I was responsible for planning, training, surveying, and financing the New (or Second) Wave attacks against the following skyscrapers after 9/11:

a. Library Tower, California

b. Sears Tower, Chicago

c. Plaza Bank, Washington State

d. The Empire State Building, New York City


8. I was responsible for planning, financing & follow-up Operations to destroy American military vessels and oil tankers in the Straights of Hormuz, the Straights of Gibraltar, and the Port of Singapore.


9. I was responsible for the planning, training, surveying, and financing for the Operation to bomb and destroy the Panama Canal.


10.        I was responsible for the planning, training, surveying, and financing for the assassination of several former American Presidents, including President Carter.


11.        I was responsible for the planning, training, surveying, and financing for the bombing of suspension bridges in New York.


12.        I was responsible for planning to destroy the Sears Tower by burning a few fuel or oil tanker trucks beneath it or around it.


13.        I was responsible for the planning, surveying, and financing for the Operation to destroy Heathrow Airport, the Canary Wharf Building, and Big Ben on British soil.


14.        I was responsible for the planning, surveying, and financing for the destruction of many night clubs frequented by American and British citizens on Thailand soil.


15.        I was responsible for the surveying and financing for the destruction of the New York Stock Exchange and other financial targets after 9/11.


16.        I was responsible for the planning, financing and surveying for the destruction of buildings in the Israeli city of Eilat by using airplanes leaving from Saudi Arabia.


17.        I was responsible for the planning, surveying, and financing for the destruction of American embassies in Indonesia, Australia and Japan.


18.        I was responsible for the surveying and financing for the destruction of the Israeli embassy in India, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and Australia.


19.        I was responsible for the surveying and financing for the destruction of an Israeli ‘El-Al’ Airlines flight on Thailand soil departing from Bangkok Airport.


20.        I was responsible for sending several mujahadeen into Israel to conduct surveillance to hit several strategic targets deep in Israel.


21.        I was responsible for the bombing of the hotel in Mombasa that is frequented by Jewish travelers via El-Al airlines.


22.        I was responsible for launching a Russian-made SA-7 surface-to-air missile on El-Al or other Jewish airliner departing from Mombasa.


23.        I was responsible for planning and surveying to hit American targets in South Korea, such as American military bases and a few night clubs frequented by American soldiers.


24.        I was responsible for providing financial support to hit American, Jewish and British targets in Turkey.


25.        I was responsible for surveillance needed to hit nuclear power plants that generate electricity in several U.S. states.


26.        I was responsible for planning, surveying, and financing to hit NATO headquarters in Europe.


27.        I was responsible for the planning and surveying needed to execute the Boijinka Operation, which was designed to down twelve American airplanes full of passengers. I personally monitored a round-trip, Manila-to-Seoul, Pan Am flight.


28.        I was responsible for the assassination attempt against President Clinton during his visit to the Philippines in 1994 or 1995.


29.        I shared responsibility for the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul the second while he was visiting the Philippines.


30.        I was responsible for the training and financing for the assassination of Pakistan’s President Musharraf.


31.        I was responsible for the attempt to destroy an American oil company owned by the Jewish former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, on the Island of Sumatra, Indonesia.



The Ultimate Objective

          As horrifying as these operations were, however, they pale in comparison to what al Qaeda has been praying and planning for a decade at least: acquiring weapons of mass destruction – ideally nuclear weapons – to be used against the United States to kill between four and ten million Americans.


Asked in 1998, for example, if al-Qaeda had nuclear or chemical weapons, bin Laden told Time magazine that “acquiring weapons for the defense of Muslims is a religious duty. If I have indeed acquired these weapons, than I thank God for enabling me to do so.” The timing of that statement was significant, for 1998 was the year that Pakistan tested nuclear weapons.


Since then, many more disturbing details have emerged about bin Laden’s feverish hunt for WMD and his deep-rooted belief that Allah has commanded him to use them to kill Christians and Jews. In the summer of 2002, Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a Kuwaiti-born spokesman for al Qaeda posted the following statement on the internet: “Al-Qa’ida has the right to kill four million Americans, including one million children, displace double that figure, and injure and cripple hundreds of thousands.”


In May 2003, al-Qaeda unveiled a fatwa or religious ruling from a leading Saudi cleric that sanctioned the use of nuclear weapons against the U.S. and permitted the killing of up to ten million Americans.


By some estimates, there is enough highly enriched uranium in global stockpiles to construct thousands of nuclear weapons, and it is safe to assume that there are many individuals who would not think twice about using such weapons.” FBI Director Robert Muller told a conference on nuclear terrorism in 2007. “The economics of supply and demand dictate that someone, somewhere, will provide nuclear material to the highest bidder, and that material will end up in the hands of terrorists. Al Qaeda has demonstrated a clear intent to acquire weapons of mass destruction. In 1993, Osama bin Laden attempted to buy uranium from a source in the Sudan. He has stated that it is Al Qaeda’s duty to acquire weapons of mass destruction. And he has made repeated recruiting pitches for experts in chemistry, physics, and explosives to join his terrorist movement.”


Former CIA Director George Tenet was skeptical, at first, about how seriously to take bin Laden’s WMD threats. But over time, he became a believer. He is now absolutely convinced that bin Laden’s top priority is to acquire nuclear weapons and detonate them inside the United States.


“Of all al-Qa’ida’s efforts to obtain other forms of WMD, the main threat is the nuclear one,” Tenet stressed. “I am convinced that this is where [bin Laden] and his operatives desperately want to go. They understand that bombings by cars, trucks, trains, and planes will get them some headlines, to be sure. But if they manage to set off a mushroom cloud, they will make history. Such an event would place al-Qa’ida on a par with the superpowers and make good on Bin Ladin’s threat to destroy our economy and bring death into every American household. Even in the darkest days of the cold war, we could count on the fact that the Soviets, just like us, wanted to live. Not so with the terrorists. Al-Qaida boasts that while we fear death, they embrace it.”


          Never forget the evil done to use seven years ago today. Never get fogged about the evil that will be done to us if we get distracted and confused.


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Father Zakaria Botros reaches 50 million Muslims a day
Father Zakaria Botros reaches 50 million Muslims a day

You have probably never heard of Father Zakaria Botros. But you need to know his story. He is far and away the most-watched and most-effective Arab evangelist reaching the Muslim world, and by far the most controversial. The Rush Limbaugh of the Revivalists, he is funny, feisty, brilliant, opinionated, and provocative. But rather than preaching the gospel of conservatism, he is preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. And his enemies do not simply want to silence him. They want to assassinate him. Last week, I had the honor of interviewing Botros by phone from a secure, undisclosed locationHe told me that he had just learned that an al Qaeda website had posted his photograph and named him one of the “most wanted” infidels in the world. The Radicals have even put a bounty on his head. The Christian Broadcasting Network reported the figure was as high as $60 million. Botros does not know for certain. But just to put that in context, the U.S. bounty on Osama bin Laden’s head is “only” $25 million. Why are the Radicals so enraged by an elderly Coptic priest from Egypt who is in his 70s? Because Botros is waging an air war against them, and he is winning. Using state-of-the art satellite technology to bypass the efforts of Islamic governments to keep the gospel out of their countries, Botros is directly challenging the claims of Muhammad to be a prophet, and the claims of the Qu’ran to be God’s word. He systematically deconstructs Muhammad’s life, story by story, pointing out character flaws and sinful behavior. He carefully deconstructs the Qu’ran, verse by verse, citing contradictions and inconsistencies. And not only does he explain without apology what he believes is wrong with Islam, he goes on to teach Muslims from the Bible why Jesus loves them and why is so ready to forgive them and adopt them into His family, no matter who they are or what they have done. If Botros was doing this in a corner, or on some cable access channel where no one saw him or cared, that would be one thing. But his ninety-minute program – a combination of preaching, teaching and answering questions from (often irate) callers all over the world – has become “must see TV” throughout the Muslim world. It is replayed four times a week in Arabic, his native language, on a satellite television network called Al Hayat (“Life TV.”) It can be seen in every country in North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, as well as all throughout North America,Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. And not only can it be seen in so many places, it is seen – by an estimated fifty million Muslims a day. At the same time, Botros is getting millions of hits on his multiple web sites in multiple languages. There, Muslims can read his sermons and study through an archive of answers to frequently asked questions. They can also enter a live chat room called “Pal Chat” where they are not only permitted but encouraged to ask their toughest questions to trained on-line counselors, many of whom are Muslim converts to Christianity who understand exactly where the questioners are coming from and the struggles they are having. ult, Botros – on the air only since 2003 – has practically become a household word in the Muslim world. An Arabic newspaper has named him Islam’s “Public Enemy #1.” Millions hate him, to be sure, but they are watching. They are listening. They are processing what he is saying and they are talking about him with their friends and family. When Botros challenges Radical clerics to answer his many refutations of Islam and defend the Qu’ran, millions wait to see what how the fundamentalists will respond. But they rarely do. They prefer to attack Botros than answer him. Yet, the more the Radicals attack him, the more well-known he becomes. The more well-known he becomes, the more Muslims feel compelled to tune in. And as more Muslims tune in, more are coming to the conclusion that Botros is right and in turn are choosing to become followers of Jesus Christ. Botros estimates at least 1,000 Muslims a month pray to receive Christ with his telephone counselors. Some of them pray to receive Christ live on their air with Botros. And this surely is only the tip of the iceberg, as it represents only those who are able to get through on the jammed phone lines. There simply are not currently enough trained counselors to handle each call. Many leading Arab evangelists I have interviewed for Inside The Revolution say God is using Botros to help bring in the greatest harvest of Muslim converts to Christianity in the history of Christendom. Botros refuses to take any credit, saying is just one voice in a movement of millions. But he is certainly excited by the trend lines. He does see more Muslims turning to Christ than ever before, and he told me he has cited my book Epicenter at least three times as evidence of the enormous numbers of conversions taking place. What’s more, he vows to keep preaching the gospel so long as the Lord Jesus gives him breath. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” That verse – John 3:16 – is the verse that drives Botros. He believes passionately God loves the whole world, including each and every Muslim. He believes that “whosoever” believes in the Lordship of Jesus Christ – Jew or Muslim – will, in fact, receive eternal life. He does not believe all Muslims are Radicals, but he does believe all Muslims are spiritually lost, and he wants desperately to help them find their way to forgiveness and reconciliation with the God who made them and loves them. “I believe this is the hand of God,” Botros told me. “He is directing me. He shows me what to say. He shows me what to write on…the web sites. He is showing me more and more how to use the technology to reach people with his message of redemption.”


[Please pray for Father Zakaria’s safety and continued effectiveness as a minister of the gospel.]


Ahmadinejad and Medvedev met Aug. 28

Ahmadinejad and Medvedev met Aug. 28

EPICENTER UPDATE: Pouring fuel on the fires of anxiety in the Middle East, Iran on Monday launched 

three days of war games. The exercises could be to prepare for a possible Israeli first strike (or, a less likely American first strike) against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Or it could be further preparations for an Iranian first strike against Israel and U.S. interests. Also ratcheting up tensions is a report that an Israeli cabinet minister is openly discussing the possibility of kidnapping Iranian President Ahmadinejad. Iran has set new presidential elections for June 12, 2009. Ahmadinejad says he plans to run for reelection, and the Ayatollah Khamenei has endorsed his apocalyptic protege, ending all speculation that Iran’s Supreme Leader disagrees with the president’s eschatology. The fact is the two men agree entirely over the imminent return of the Mahdi and the need to create global chaos and carnage to hasten the Hidden Imam’s arrival. Meanwhile, there’s this headline from the AP — Russia: Launch of Iran reactor near ‘irreversible’ stage.” Ahmadinejad and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met for private discussions at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on  August 28th, further underscoring how closely Russia and Iran are coordinating foreign policy these days.

THE SURGE WORKED: Why is Obama struggling to admit it?

Sen. Barack Hussein Obama is struggling to admit the obvious: the “surge” strategy in Iraq has worked. On Fox News last night, Obama — for the first time — finally tried to sound supportive of our success. But he also tried to argue the surge has “succeeded in ways that nobody anticipated” and “succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” 

What in the world is he talking about? It is simply not true that nobody anticipated such success. Many of us have long believed and predicted that U.S. and coalition forces would achieve a dramatic victory in Iraq, despite enormous challenges. In Epicenter, for example, first released in 2006, I wrote: “Those who argue that Iraq’s liberation will not succeed in bring about a season of stability and prosperity are making [a] mistake….The truth is that Iraq will form a strong, stable, and decisive central government. Iraq’s military and internal security forces will be well trained, well equipped, and increasingly effective. The insurgency will be crushed, support for it will evaporate, and foreign terrorists will stop flowing into the country.” What’s more, many of us believed and predicted the “surge” strategy in particular would work brilliantly, despite the naysayers and cynics. And we having been reporting on its success all year after seeing it for ourselves in Iraq. [See also this blog posting.  And this one. And this one.  And this one. And this one.] It didn’t take “wild dreams” to anticipate success in Iraq. It required sound judgment, wise strategy, steady support for our brave forces in Iraq, faith in the Iraqi people, and patience amidst adversity. Sen. Obama’s, sadly, displayed none of the above.

THANK GOD THE CONVENTIONS WERE SAFE: Dead Heat releases in paperback

Dead Heat now in paperback

Dead Heat now in paperback

The Republican and Democratic conventions are now over and I’ve never been more relieved. Don’t get me wrong: both were fascinating in their own ways. I’m just grateful that by the grace of God, despite the fact the polls show the presidential race deadlocked yet again — a true dead heat — none of the the fictional events I had portrayed in my political thriller, Dead Heat, came true. Both events went off safely. For that, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, the Dept. of Homeland Security and all local, state and federal law enforcement and intelligence officials reponsible deserve tremendous praise. Let’s not forget, however — our enemies are still gunning for us, the stakes are very high, and this is no time to take our eyes of the ball. Let us keep praying, therefore, that the candidates, their families, and our entire nation are safe in the tumultous weeks and months ahead.

* CBS News: McCain, Obama Tied (42-42); McCain Closes Eight-Point Gap From Poll Taken Last Weekend

* Rasmussen: Obama/Biden 46% – McCain/Palin 45%


Here is the transcript of Glenn Beck’s interview with me last night on CNN Headline News:

GLENN BECK: Barack Obama`s original and naive foreign policy stance was, sit down and chat with whoever wants to talk to us. He`s dialed that way back since showing a tougher side. I don`t think I believe it. The panel joins me again. So there is Joel Rosenberg, he`s the author of Epicenter 2.0.  Joel, let me start with you. Let me play a couple of pieces. This one, first, was [a] Friday…and this is what Barack Obama said.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I wholeheartedly condemn the violation of Georgia`s sovereignty. I think it`s important at this point for all sides to show restraint, and to stop this armed conflict.


BECK: Okay. Then on Saturday, he said this. “Over the last two days, Russia has escalated the crisis in Georgia through its clear and continued violation of Georgia`s sovereignty and territorial integrity. I condemn Russia`s aggressive actions and reiterate my call for an immediate ceasefire,” which he didn`t really. And then he said this on Monday.


OBAMA: No matter how this conflict started, Russia has escalated it well beyond the dispute over South Ossetia and has now violated the space of another country. I reiterate my call for Russia to stop its bombing campaign.


BECK: This, by the way, this third statement is exactly where John McCain was on Friday. He kept moving. He seems to keep moving until he gets it right.

JOEL ROSENBERG, AUTHOR, EPICENTER 2.0: Senator Obama in his acceptance speech told us, look, John McCain, if you want a debate on judgment regarding foreign policy and being a commander in chief, that`s a debate he`s ready to have. That`s a great debate. The problem is Senator Obama`s judgment is wrong. It`s flawed. His first instinct was to tell a Democratic free country to show restraint in defending itself from Vladimir Putin`s invasion. What kind of a judgment is that?

BECK: Hang on — let`s go to Iraq.

ROSENBERG: It gets worse with Iraq.

BECK: I know. We`ve got the Anbar province. Nobody in the media is covering this. This was the most dangerous place in all of Iraq. Everybody said, oh, it could never be done. Barack Obama said more troops won`t help. One U.S. soldier [a day] on the average was dying in Anbar. When they handed the keys to the city over to the Iraqis, our soldiers weren`t wearing Kevlar, They didn`t even carry a gun to the ceremony, and everything was fine. He`s been horribly wrong, and yet he`s still claiming victory.

ROSENBERG: And he wouldn`t admit it that he had flawed judgment either. You`ll recall that Terry Moran of ABC News, when Obama went to Iraq for only his second trip ever, said he wouldn`t say — he refused to acknowledge that the surge had worked. And yet, it`s worked phenomenally well. Senator Obama, when the surge policy was announced in January 2007 said not only did he say it wouldn`t work, but it would make things worse. Now that`s clearly been wrong. It`s been proven this week, as you say, 11 out of 18 provinces in Iraq are now under Iraqi military control. And so what type of foreign policy judgment is this community activist junior senator bringing to the table?

STEVE MOORE, WALL STREET JOURNAL: You know, Joel, it`s even worse than that because now he was against the surge, which is allowing us now to withdraw troops. So now that we`re withdrawing troops, he`ll say, see, this is what I was for all along. It wouldn`t be happening — I think McCain put it very well. Do you want to withdraw the troops honorably or do you want to withdraw them dishonorably? That wouldn`t happen without the surge.

BECK: Here is the problem, guys. Can anybody help figure this — this conundrum out, and that is, people care about the war when the media tells them it`s going poorly. Then, all of a sudden, they care. And then when it`s going well, the media doesn`t tell them it`s going well. Nobody says anything about it. They`re like, “Of course it`s going well. We`re America. It`s going to solve itself.” Nobody even talks about it. How do you demonstrate how wrong this guy has been every step of the way when the media won`t — when the media agrees with him? They just want to, like, “I guess we were wrong, too. I guess we won`t point that out?” Anybody have an answer?

ROSENBERG: That`s the $64 million question, right. But Senator Obama has invited the question by challenging McCain on debates on foreign policy even though John McCain offered ten debates this summer and he ducked them.

BECK: Right. Ok, Jonah.


BECK: Go ahead. Let`s put you on the spot, baby. Come on.

GOLDBERG: This is always the problem for Republicans in this kind of environment, which is not that new, which is that the mainstream media circles the wagons around their anointed one, and the Republicans have to go over the heads of the mainstream media. In one sense, McCain has advantages that say, George Herbert Walker Bush never had or that even in some ways Reagan never had in there are all these other media outlets, like this show. Like National Review Online, the Web, the bloggers; all that kind of stuff. It`s easier to get around those guys. But we see with something like Palin, you know, where you hear these intense feeding frenzies that no matter how much Rush Limbaugh and all the good guys try to fight it, it`s going to — they can destroy someone.

BECK: Jonah, let me come back to you then on this question. I have a magazine, “Fusion” magazine, and I just finished the October issue and the cover. And I had an argument with my managing editor because I wanted the cover split in half. Obama split in half — half of it, he`s the Messiah, the other half, he`s Mussolini. And the headline is “Messiah or Mussolini?” She said that doesn`t make any sense. Of course, he`s not going to be Mussolini. I said, really, everyone in the press loved Mussolini for years. It only went bad when he joined with Hitler. He actually protected Jews. The thing that Mussolini is, is he set up the system where you could not question him. He was the ultimate authority. That`s what this progressive movement is moving us towards.

ROSENBERG: Let me just say though, clever though that is, Obama is not a fascist. I think we can say that. He`s much more Jimmy Carter — he`s much more Jimmy Carter.

BECK: Really? Hang on just a second. Let me ask you this. I know he`s not a fascist right now, but tell me, we`re talking about bailing out all the industries. There are people in Congress, the progressive movement, want to nationalize all of our industries, the big ones, the automakers, the airlines, the oil industries, et cetera, et cetera. You tell me how it`s not fascist when you speak out against it and you`re called a racist or whatever for disagreeing with policies?

ROSENBERG: You know the differences. They`ve got a near lock on the media, but they don`t have a complete lock. Nevertheless, this week is important for the McCain/Palin campaign. And I would say for example, Palin, one thing she needs to do is make it clear she is an expert. She may not be an expert on everything, but she`s an expert on energy. She understands — she runs the second largest energy- producing state in the country and built a $26 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the United States. She`s got to make it clear she understands national security is linked to our energy independence. And that`s something that the other side doesn`t understand.

BECK: But nobody is doing — nobody is talking about that. You know what happened today? Russia`s energy ministry said they`re being told to prepare now to shut off oil and gas to Germany and Poland, and nobody is paying attention to it.

MOORE: That`s why she`s such an important choice. She gets energy policy. Most of these people are against drilling up in Alaska and the Alaska National Wildlife. They`ve never been up there. They`ve never been up to the North Slope. This idea that somehow drilling up there is going to hurt the environment or the bison is absolutely lunacy. She knows that.


What kind of judgment does Sen. Obama have?

What kind of judgment does Sen. Obama have?

UPDATE: Though I taped the segment yesterday, the interview Glenn Beck did with me yesterday will actually air tonight — Thursday, September 4th — on CNN Headline News at 7pm, 9pm and midnight. Topic: The foreign policy judgment of Obama, McCain, Biden and Palin.

UPDATED POSTING: Understanding how to protect American lives and American interests from serious threats in Iran, Iraq and Russia and helping the U.S. establish real energy independence in the years ahead are among the defining issues of this presidential campaign. Senator Obama and his chief advisors all but concede he has almost no foreign policy experience. He was, after all, a community organizer and has spent most of his time in the Senate running for President. But to a man, the Obama camp says experience is not that important. The central and defining issue, they argue, is a candidate’s judgment.  This is why Sen. Obama himself said in his

acceptance speech in Denver: “If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have.”

It is indeed a debate worth having. The problem is, Senator Obama has shown disastrous judgment on Iran, Iraq, Russia and energy independence, as Governor Palin and Rudy Guiliani noted so effectively on Wednesday night.

Consider a few examples:

OBAMA SAID IRAN IS A TINY COUNTRY AND NOT A SERIOUS THREAT: “Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union,” said Sen. Obama in a May 2008 speech to a town hall meeting during his primary campaign. “They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us . . . . Iran, they spend 1/100th of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn’t stand a chance.” The media and Democratic establishment was stunned. The next day, Obama changed course and gave prepared speech saying Iran is a grave threat. But his initial, gut instincts were telling — and wrong. Iran is a real and grave and growing threat to the national security of the U.S. and our allies.

OBAMA SAID THE “SURGE” IN IRAQ WOULDN’T WORK, AND WOULD MAKE THINGS WORSE: “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there [in Iraq],” said Sen. Obama during a January 2007 TV interview the night President Bush announced the policy of putting more troops in Iraq. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.” Just one problem: the surge has worked phenomenally well. We’re winning in Iraq. And we will soon be able to bring our troops home in victory and with honor.

OBAMA STILL REFUSES TO SAY THE “SURGE” IS WORKING NOW: During a July 2008 interview with Sen. Obama on ABC News, Terry Moran noted that “Iraqis’ rejection of both al Qaeda and Shiite extremists have transformed the country,” that “attacks are down more than 80% nationwide,” and “U.S. combat casualties have plummeted, five this month so far, compared with 78 last July, and Baghdad has a pulse again.” He then asked Sen. Obama, “If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you — would you support the surge?” Sen. Obama said “no.” Moran was stunned. But the Senator continued, “Well, no, keep — these kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult. Hindsight is 20/20. I think what I am absolutely convinced of is that at that time, we had to change the political debate, because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with.” Moran finally concluded: “And so, when pressed, Barack Obama says he still would have opposed the surge.” It’s one thing to have flawed judgment and makie a major foreign policy mistake. But should one not at least concede the obvious and give credit where credit is due? It was Sen. McCain who championed the “surge” and persuaded President Bush to go along. The facts are clear, even to the media. McCain was right. Obama was wrong.

OBAMA TOLD GEORGIA TO SHOW RESTRAINT WHEN RUSSIA INVADED HER: “I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict,” Sen. Obama said in a statement. “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war.” The entire free world condemned Vladimir Putin and the Russian government for raping and pillaging a small but free and democratic country. Why in the world would Sen. Obama urge Georgia to show restraint in defending her people and her freedom? Eventually, Obama corrected his mistake and sounded a little tougher on Russia. But his first instincts were dead wrong, demonstrating his judgment was seriously flawed.

OBAMA OPPOSES DRILLING FOR AMERICAN OIL IN AMERICA AND OFFSHORE: “[O]ffshore oil drilling will have little impact on prices,” Sen. Obama said in an August 2008 speech in Iowa. “It won’t lower prices today. It won’t lower prices during the next administration. In fact, we won’t see a drop of oil from this drilling for almost 10 years.” Without drilling for American oil in America, how does Sen. Obama plan to wean us off of Middle Eastern oil and protect our energy security? After all, we actually have a lot of oil we could use for ourselves — if we could only drill for it. “The Department of the Interior estimates that there are 112 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil beneath U.S. federal lands and coastal waters,” noted Investor’s Business Daily in July. “That’s enough oil to power 60 million cars for 60 years. That’s not counting the trillion barrels locked up in shale rock — three times the total oil reserves of Saudi Arabia.”