Saturday, July 30, 2011

What's Happening in Turkey?

Ignoring the political theater in Washington, I have to wonder what is going on Ankara. As some of you may know, the top military officers in Turkey have resigned. This op-ed by Victor Davis Hansen for the National Review offers some more thoughts.

I did a quick search to find some more information, and came across this article in The Hindu: Erdogan Unfazed by Military Resignations. The key point of the article is this:
In a country, where the armed forces are known for their decisive interventions in politics, the resignations are seen as marking the military's acceptance that its era of dominance in running the country is over. Some analyst have interpreted the resignations as the demise [of] the first Republic, conceived and nurtured by the founding father Kamal Ataturk, and the birth of a new one, under elected civilian stewardship.
That conclusion is mirrored in this piece at Newsday, that stated:
In past decades, the Turkish military showed displeasure with civilian leaders by overthrowing them. This time, the upset generals quit, a move that only strengthened the hand of an elected government that has in turn been accused of targeting opponents at the expense of democracy.
The problem, of course, is that Erdogan and his party, the AKP, has leaned heavily toward Islam over maintaining a secular government, starting with crack downs on the traditionally secular military, and media.

In essence, it appears that these resignations mark the end of any credible threat to the AKP's accumulation of power in Turkey, and a return to an Islamic oriented government, with all that that entails. With this development, we can expect that Erdogan and the AKP will become progressively more open about their stated goals of growing Turkey's military and political power in the region, implementation of Sharia, and reestablishment of the Caliphate. (At least, as open as we can expect from a Muslim politician).

Will Erdogan be revealed as the "man of sin" spoken of in Second Thessalonians? Too early to tell. However, the ascendancy of a Turkish government divorced from the West, antithetical to its Christian and Kurdish populations, and hostile to Israel (and, ultimately, the West) increases the risk of regional conflict.

Frankly, NATO's performance (overall, and not speaking of some of the individual nations) in Afghanistan has been poor, and its "kinetic military action" against Libya has shown it to be a paper tiger. I would expect that with the weakened economic positions of the EU and the US, Turkey will either withdraw from, or reduce its participation in NATO. And don't think that Russia has not noticed NATO's inability to conduct sustained military operations. I would expect that Russia will leap at the opportunity to establish a military alliance with Turkey if Turkey departs from NATO since this would allow Russia to have unfettered access to the Mediterranean, eliminate American military bases located close to Russia (remember the reason behind the Cuban Missile Crises?), and extend its influence in the Middle-East.

So, even if Erdogan is not the "son of perdition," this is merely a continuation of the Lord's proclamation in D&C 87, that war would spread to all nations. Remember, the penultimate disaster preparation is to follow the Lord's admonition to "stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come." D&C 87:8.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mob Violance--the Beginning?

We have been warned that in the last days, the United States--or, rather, the more wicked part of it--would be consumed by greater and greater mob violence, until it would take on the essence of internecine warfare. For instance, in The Coming of the Lord, p. 66, Gerald N. Lund quotes Brigham Young as stating that "[m]obs will not decrease but will increase until the whole government becomes a mob, and eventually it will be State against State, city against city, neighborhood against neighborhood.  ...[A]nd those who will not take up the sword against their neighbors, must flee to Zion." He also quoted Brigham Young  as stating, about the mobs: "They will be like the Jaredites who preceded the Nephites upon this continent, and will destroy each other to the last man, through the anger that the devil will place in their hearts...."

Obviously, there is a great deal more about these prophecies which I hope to discuss at a later date. However, I was thinking about these prophecies recently because I came across several references to "flash mobs" and related violence in the United States that has all the appearance of endemic mob violence.

First, an article concerning "flash mobs" and the "knockout game" over at the American Thinker.

Second, some thoughts on how to defend yourself in a flash-mob attack by
Gabe Saurez. Pay particular attention to some of the comments indicating how common these attacks are becoming in some of the major urban centers.

I'm sure there is a lot more out there, but these give a small primer on these types of mob attacks. So, the question is, are these just a flash-in-the-pan trend, or the beginning of more persistent violence?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Is the Sun Setting on the .40 S&W?

I came across two interesting posts in the past two days suggesting that the reign of the .40 S&W may be coming to an end. The first was an article on The Truth About Guns website, entitled: "Is this the Beginning of  the End for .40 Caliber?" The next was published on the SurvivalBlog, entitled: "Pat's Product Review: Buffalo Bore Ammunition."

The TTAG article discussed the decision of the St. Paul Police Department to return to 9 mm after using .40 S&W for many years. The reasons cited by the Department are (i) using modern loads, the difference in performance is negligible, but (ii) the 9 mm will have a slight advantage as to the number of rounds it carries, and (iii) because the 9 mm kicks less, it is faster to get it back on target.

Pat's Review makes similar points, although the object of the article is to discuss an excellent product made by an excellent company. He writes:

Most police agencies have abandoned the 9mm in favor of the .40 S&W round in their handguns. However, prior to the .40 S&W coming along, law enforcement was using +P and +P+ 9mm loads in their guns, and they had outstanding results in putting the bad guys down. When a new load came along, they all wanted it - and most police departments dumped the 9mm in favor of the .40 S&W or the .45 ACP. I find that I can shoot a 9mm handgun faster, and with more accuracy on-target, than I can with a .40 S&W loaded handgun. Recoil has a lot to do with it - not that I find the .40 S&W recoil to be objectionable, it's just that I can get the front sight back on target faster with a 9mm than I can with the .40 S&W. Buffalo Bore has 9mm loads in 115 grain, 124 grain and 147 grain bullet weights, with +P and +P+ loadings in many of these bullet weights. I personally like the 124 grain JHP +P loading, as I feel it gives me the best compromise between deep penetration and bullet expansion. And, this is just my personal choice, you may want to go with one of the 115 grain JHP loadings for more expansion and less penetration. Or the 147 grain JHP with more penetration and less expansion. Truth be told, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the Buffalo Bore loads in 9mm. Buffalo Bore also offers some FMJ loads, and I think they would be great for carrying in your handgun when you're out in the woods - you'll want that extra penetration if you run across big game - where the vitals are buried deep.
I have never been endeared to the .40 S&W. My first encounter with the .40 S&W was when FN decided to introduce a .40 S&W Hi-power. My father-in-law was anxious to try it out, and so was I, so we headed off into the desert. After shooting it a few times, I never had a desire to shoot or own a .40 S&W again. It had the recoil of a .45 ACP, but in a short, sharp impulse--like the 9 mm, but stronger and more unpleasant. It was like someone combined the worst aspects of the .45 and 9 mm into one cartridge. I have had friends try and "convert" me to the .40 S&W, and have shot various .40s in the following years. However, they all lacked the solid satisfaction from shooting a .45, or the quick follow-up of a 9 mm. And, I'll be honest, 9 mm is a lot cheaper to shoot.