Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Darkness and Light

ISIS is 'much stronger and much more dangerous' than anyone in the West realizes, a journalist who spent ten days embedded with the group in Iraq and Syria has warned. 
Jürgen Todenhöfer, 74, said that the West has 'no concept of the threat it faces' from the Islamic State and has underestimated the risk posed by ISIS 'dramatically'. 
The German reporter spent most of his time in Mosul in northern Iraq, but he also traveled to the ISIS-controlled territories of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in Syria. 
Speaking to ABC News, the veteran journalist described ISIS as 'the strongest group I ever met. Very strong, very clever, very enthusiastic'. 
He added: 'They are extremely brutal. Not just head-cutting. I'm talking about the strategy of religious cleansing. That's their official philosophy. They are talking about 500 million people who have to die.' 
He went on to say that ISIS are 'completely sure they will win this fight'.  
* * * 
Todenhöfer went on to say that ISIS have plans for mass genocide, with the aim or eradicating all atheists and religions that are not 'people of the book' or who do not subscribe to their particular brand of Islam. 
'The IS want to kill... all non-believers and apostates and enslave their women and children. All Shiites, Yazidi, Hindus, atheists and polytheists should be killed,' he wrote. 
'Hundreds of millions of people are to be eliminated in the course of this religious 'cleansing'. 
'All moderate Muslims who promote democracy, should be killed. Because, from the IS perspective, they promote human laws over the laws of God.  
'This also applies to - after a successful conquest - the democratically-minded Muslims in the Western world.'
Although Todenhofer seems to be an ISIS toadie, his warning of what ISIS would like to do needs to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, the West is led by credentialed buffoons that have no faith or liking for Western Civilization, and are blinded as much by their greed as their stupidity. Our elite truly illustrate Isaiah 3:12: "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Just as Isaiah Chapter 3 describes, we live in a pop culture concerned with vacuous fashions and "causes".

You may remember from your study of Greek myths that after Pandora had released the ills of the world from the box, all that was left in the box was hope. Daniel Greenfield speaks about hope--or rather, faith--in discussing Chanukah. He writes, in part:
 The Macabees had fought courageously for the freedom to worship God once again as their fathers had, but courage alone could not make the Menorah burn and thus renew the Temple service again. Yet it had not been mere berserker’s courage that had brought them this far. Like their ancestors before them who had leaped into furnaces and the raging sea, they had dared the impossible on faith. Faith in a God who watched over his nation and intervened in the affairs of men. And so on faith they poured the oil of that single flask in the Menorah, oil that could only last for a single day. And then having done all they could, the priests and sons of priests who had fought through entire armies to reach this place, accepted that they had done all they could and left the remainder in the hands of the Almighty. 
If they had won by the strength of their hands alone, then the lamps would burn for a day and then flicker out. But if it had been more than mere force of arms that had brought them here, if it had been more than mere happenstance that a small band of ragged and starving rebels had shattered the armies of an empire, then the flames of the Menorah would burn on.  
The sun rose and set again. The day came to its end and the men watched the lights of the Menorah to see if they would burn or die out. And if the flame in their hearts could have kindled the lamps, they would have burst into bright flame then and there. Darkness fell that night and still the lamps burned on. For eight days and nights the Menorah burned on that single lonely pure flask of oil, until more could be found, and the men who for a time had been soldiers and had once again become priests, saw that while it may be men who kindle lamps and hearts, it is the Almighty who provides them with the fuel of the spirit through which they burn.
* * * 
But that old light is still the light of possibilities. It burns to remind us of the extraordinary things that our ancestors did and of the extraordinary assistance that they received. We cannot always expect oil to burn for eight days, just as we cannot always expect the bullet to miss or the rocket to fall short. And yet even in those moments of darkness the reminder of the flame is with us for no darkness lasts forever and no exile, whether of the body of the spirit, endures. Sooner or later the spark flares to life again and the oil burns again. Sooner or later the light returns. 
It is the miracle that we commemorate because it is a reminder of possibilities. Each time we light a candle or dip a wick in oil, we release a flare of light from the darkness comes to remind us of what was, is and can still be.

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