The Korean War- An Introduction

“In the simplest of terms, what we are doing in Korea is this: We are trying to prevent a third world war.”
– President Harry S. Truman, April 16, 1951

What was the Korean War?

The Korean War is often dismissed as America’s “Forgotten War.” Unlike World War II, it did not capture the nation’s attention. There were no dramatic events like the Pearl Harbor bombing to threaten the United States’ national security. The Korean conflict did not arouse the divisive controversy of the war in Vietnam.

In the 1950s, the American people were not inclined to demonstrate against the government. Instead, they mostly ignored the Korean War while it was being fought. The Korean War was not an insignificant conflict.

The brutality of the three-year world had long-lasting military and political ramifications. Unfortunately, the lessons of the Korean War seemed virtually ignored as the United States entered Vietnam a decade later.

For hundreds of years, Korea was dominated by China, its giant neighbor to the north. By the end of the 19th century, the Chinese empire had lost much of its military power. The jutting peninsula would then become the target of Russian expansion. By the turn of the 20th century, imperial Japan had reached across the Sea of Japan to gain control of Korea.

In August 1945, the United States dropped its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The surrender of Japan to the U.S. and its allies seemed inevitable. Almost simultaneously the Soviet Union also declared war on Japan and sought to coordinate an invasion of the Korean Peninsula with American forces. The Soviets entered Korea from the north, and the U.S. invaded from the south.

With the Japanese subdued, it was agreed that Korea would be divided temporarily along the 38th parallel line for military and administrative purposes during the waning months of World War II. The United States occupied the south, the Soviet Union the north. Initially, both the Soviets and the Americans intended to leave Korea. Both sides presumed that elections would be held to establish a single, unifying government.

The Korean Peninsula

However, each side also wanted to leave behind a nation that was favorable to their beliefs and particular ideology. The Soviets sought a communist Korea, while the United States wished for a democratic Korea.

In the years following World War II, a brooding Cold War dilemma planted the seeds of a conflict yet to surface. Unable to resolve their differences, two rigidly distinct states emerged on the Korean Peninsula.

In the north, the Soviets aided Kim Il Sung, a product of the Soviet military machine, to become its leading political figure. In the south, an aging patriot named Syngman Rhee ascended to power.

Although the U.S. did not particularly like him, Rhee offered a strong anti-communist stance and was committed to maintaining civil order. Although the two political governments existed in Korea in 1947, they were still only provisional governments. This gave the Korean people hope for a negotiated unification. Unfortunately, the negotiations eventually reached an impasse.

The frustrated United States presented the problem before the United Nations. The U.S. asked that a general election be held to resolve the issue. At the time, the United Nations was only a five-year-old organization established in the waning days of World War II. The chief goal of the U.N. was to promote world peace.

The suspicious Soviet Union refused to allow the election to be held in North Korea. Meanwhile, South Korea’s elections legitimized Rhee’s government to the western world. In a separate election, North Korea declared Kim Il Sung the President of the new Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Soviet Union and other communist countries recognized this election and the creation of North Korea as a country. The separate election of 1948 only served to set the stage for an almost certain civil war.

By 1950, both North and South Korea sensed the inevitable. Not only were their armies preparing for war, but both Syngman Rhee and Kim Il Sung declared on several occasions that military force would be necessary to unify Korea.

In the United States, the drama began to unfurl on June 24, 1950.  The American Secretary of State Dean Acheson telephoned President Harry S. Truman. Truman was visiting his home in Independence, Missouri. Acheson said, “Mr. President, I have very serious news. The North Koreans have invaded South Korea.”

New North Korean Missile Capability

Well, Rocket Man Kim is at it again. After a two-month-long hiatus, North Korea tested another missile on Wednesday. This new long-range missile North Korea boasted could hit “the whole mainland of the U.S.” We know that North Korea has made substantial progress in its nuclear program, but the rogue regime is known for exaggeration.

What do we know? What should we believe?

Can a North Korean missile hit the U.S. East Coast?

At this point, probably. North Korea’s missile test on Wednesday shows that North Korea has made considerable strides in extending the range of its intercontinental ballistic missiles. Now it looks North Korea may be able to reach targets on the East Coast of the U.S.A. easily.

Based on the test missile’s trajectory and time of flight, experts say that Wednesday’s launch could travel 8,100 miles. That is a significant development because Washington and New York City are 6,800 miles from Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.

During past tests, North Korean missiles have gone high into the atmosphere. This measures the possible range of a rocket into space. Up to this point, all the test missiles have landed harmlessly in the sea. The North Koreans have avoided hitting any real targets thousands of miles away.

Wednesday’s test reached an altitude of 2,800 miles and covered a distance of about 600 miles, the highest yet. North Korea can now fire a missile on a flatter and lower trajectory around the earth’s surface and reach a much further target during a missile attack. The test on Wednesday has convinced scientists that North Korean missiles are now within range of Washington D.C.

Can North Korea place a nuclear warhead on their long-range missiles?

Best news yet is the obstacle of re-entry for their missiles. A nuclear warhead has to withstand heat, intense pressure, and vibrations as the “re-entry” vehicle coming back through the earth’s atmosphere. Most experts believe, right now,  that North Korea does not have this capability. So far, North Korean missile tests have failed at this. A North Korean nuclear payload probably could not withstand the rigors of a long flight to the United States.

Can the U.S. defend against a North Korean missile attack?

America can defend itself against a single North Korean missile attack launched at mainland U.S.A. The challenge would be trying to defend against multiple missiles at the same time.

Right now, the U.S. military has 36 ground-based interceptors in California and Alaska to defend the U.S. mainland. The Pentagon has plans to add eight more interceptors. The interceptors have proven very effective in tests. Added to this impressive defense grid, the U.S. has missile defense systems in Asia. This defense grid has ship-based radar, interceptors, and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems. This defense system is deployed in South Korea and the U.S. territory of Guam. After Wednesday’s test, the Pentagon is looking for new ways to beef up its missile defense.

Kim at the control.
Credit: AP News

Will Kim Jong Un abandon his nuclear program?

Experts are wary. The North Korean dictator believes that he needs a nuclear-strike capability to be taken seriously. He states having nukes deters any U.S. efforts to topple his regime. In short, nukes keep him power and keeps the U.S. in check.

The North Koreans believe that they stand alone in the world. After the fall of Communism and the collapse of its main support the U.S.S.R. in 1991, North Korea has struggled as a nation. Despite the fact millions of North Korean citizens have died as a result of starvation and widespread famine, Kim and his father have squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on getting nukes.

A North Korean nuclear program is a point of great national pride to a brainwashed almost third-world nation. A nuclear-strike ability allows the tiny Hermit Kingdom to enter the exclusive club of a nuclear superpower. South Korea, Japan, China, Russia and the U.S. all treat North Korea with respect, fear and as an equal, all things Kim wants. Why would a man who lusts for power and legitimacy ever give that up?

Dom’s New Book- “A War With North Korea”

Here is the introduction of my new book. The book is free to Amazon Prime members. Please tell me what you think.

Introduction to “A War With North Korea”

If the U.S. goes to war with North Korea, there are many questions that the American people have. What follows is a potential unfolding of events, a few scenarios out of many. I did my best to paint a picture of the current tense situation on the Korean Peninsula. I hope there never is a war with North Korea. It would be a great pity.

An all-out hot war on the Korean Peninsula would be catastrophic. Conservative estimates of casualties of past conflicts have guessed that millions of people, mostly North and South Korean civilians, would die in such a costly war.

War may be the only thing that will force North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to understand clearly that his pursuit of nuclear missiles is useless. This awful fact is something Kim and his military leaders refuse to comprehend. Unfortunately, war and the end of Kim’s regime may be the only option left. Nothing else has seemed to work since 1994 when North Korea started its nuclear program.

President Trump’s decision to go to war with North Korea may be the least awful of all the options available to him a Commander-in-Chief.  Hopefully, in retrospect, twenty plus years later, far removed from the pressures President Trump faces today in December 2017, his critics will see he had few other options that would be better and less costly in casualties than a war with North Korea.

The judgment is clear and decided. A nuclear North Korea cannot happen and cannot exist. A short and decisive war with North Korea will stop the threat of a North Korean invasion into South Korea, and will potentially save countless of lives, both American and North Korean. Finally, an American President will end a nuclear North Korea’s brutalization and blackmail of the people of Asia. Going to war may be the right and only decision. This short e-book attempts to answer all the questions that may arise out that decision.

A War with North Korea Book Cover

Finally, this e-book is not to be taken as an official war manual. It was written to inform and engage. The information should be treated that way. This book is intended for information purposes only.

God bless America and God bless the brave people of South Korea.

Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077T2FTTX/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1511950562&sr=1-6&keywords=War+with+north+korea

 

Why did President Trump visit Asia?

In an amazing turn of events, President Donald Trump took a dramatic first step toward trying to contain the threat of North Korea by traveling to Asia for 12 days for a series of talks. President Trump’s historic visit to Beijing and other countries in the region began the process of showing the world the seriousness of the situation between the United States and North Korea.

North Korea Building

The relationship with the North Korea and the United States is mired in frustration and confusion that goes back over 70 years.

What’s the history of North Korea and the U.S.?

In 1945, the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula ended. Soviet troops occupied the north, and U.S. troops the south. The country was divided at the 38th Parallel. In 1946, a Soviet-backed, Red Army-trained Kim Il Sung, leader of the Korean Worker’s Party, was inaugurated. In 1948, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was proclaimed. Kim Il Sung was installed as leader of North Korea.

When South Korea declared its independence in 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, starting the Korean War (1950-1953). The bloody war ended in a stalemate and cost over 33,650 American lives.

President George W. Bush made North Korea a charter member of his “Axis of Evil” in 2002 after the announcement by North Korea of its uranium program. Later in 2008, Pyongyang was taken off that list by the Bush administration to ease nuclear deal negotiations. Fifteen years later things haven’t gotten any better with a younger and more insane dictator at the helm.

President Trump surprised the American people by announcing a planned trip to Asia. His 12-day Asia tour had stops scheduled in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Over the years, China and the United States have been bitter enemies. The U.S. had never stopped formally recognizing the People’s Republic of China even after Mao Ze Dong’s successful communist takeover in 1949.

The Korean War was the first major conflict of the Cold War. The war pitted the communist North, supported by China and the Soviet Union, against South Korea. The South was supported by a U.S.-led- U.N. coalition. China lost an estimated 500,000 soldiers fighting after rushing to aid North Korea in 1950, during the war.

During the Vietnam War in the late-1960s and early 1970s, Chinese aid and military advisors supported North Vietnam in its war against the United States. The United States failed to save its ally, South Vietnam, from a communist takeover by North Vietnam in 1975.

In 1972, President Richard Nixon made a dramatic step in normalizing relations with China. It was the first step in a slow process of re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and communist China in almost thirty years.  Over the next forty years, that relationship would ebb and flow but the two countries would remain reluctant allies.

Trump’s trip to China, was a brilliant move to drive a wedge between the world’s two last remaining communist powers. Closer diplomatic relations with China can be used as leverage by the U.S. in dealing with North Korea, particularly on the issue of nuclear weapons.

Also, a massive U.S. military buildup in the region allows the United States to make use of the Chinese as a counterweight to North Korea. Despite claims of communist solidarity, China and North Korea are, at best, strongly distrustful allies.

North Korea

President Trump’s plan was to use China to contain North Korea nuclear aggression. China desires another ally in the world with an increasingly tense relationship between the U.S. and North Korea. The U.S. welcomed the possibility of making North Korea more malleable to U.S. policy requests (such as North Korea signing a peace treaty to disarm its nuclear program in exchange for U.N. aid and food).

President Trump scheduled the travel to meet with the region’s leaders to reassure them and the world of the U.S. stance on a nuclear North Korea. The message of the trip was clear- Either they needed to do something to contain the threat of North Korea or the U.S. will.

How dangerous is North Korea, really?

Is North Korea Dangerous- or Desperate? Both. How Kim Jung Un has backed Western leaders into a corner.

Yesterday President Donald Trump designated North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism because of the rogue regime’s repeated support of terror and continued nuclear threats. The three other nations on the list are Iran, Sudan, and Syria.

In the past, North Korea is a country that Americans love to hate, with good reason.

A United Nations Force led by the Americans fought a costly war on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea troops poured over across the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea.

North Korea

The Korean War (1950-1953) ended in a stalemate and cost over 33,650 American lives.

President George W. Bush made North Korea a charter member of his “Axis of Evil” in 2002. Later in 2008, Pyongyang was taken off that list by the George W. Bush administration to ease nuclear deal negotiations. Fifteen years later things haven’t gotten any better with a younger and more insane dictator at the helm.

North Korea is a secretive police state led by an “unreasonable” dictator. Now it’s believed to possess chemical and biological weapons, along with nuclear missiles capable of hitting America’s West Coast.

President Trump’s extravagant fears would appear to have some basis in fact.

The United States military is certainly acting as if North Korea were an imminent threat, a massive show of American firepower has three carriers in the waters around Korea. This impressive display of military might includes fighter jets, nuclear submarines, cruisers, and destroyers. There is a hint that a military strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities may be coming sooner rather later if Kim doesn’t stop with the nuclear threats.

The reality is that North Korea right now is more desperate than dangerous. Its economy is collapsing under the weight of brutal, but justified U.N. sanctions. Its principal ally, China, seems to be backing away from North Korea amid growing U.S. pressure.

What is the deal with North Korea?

North Korea is the worst and weirdest place on earth. North Korea is a place that is a constant source of frustration, fear, and amusement to the United States.

North Korea is a convoluted place. It makes you cringe in disgust, yell in frustration look at with bewilderment and laugh-out-loud with its singular vision as a Communist paradise. North Korea is a country that suffers from its own internal contradictions.

North Korea is anything but a utopia. It’s one of the cruelest, most controlled and isolated countries on earth. North Korea is ruled by a violent, repressive regime.

Its internal politics seem to be fractured. Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed by a highly toxic nerve agent in Malaysia in February 2017. Investigators suspect Kim killed his brother to remove him as a possible threat.

Kim Jong Un drawing

North Korea’s attempts to cause mayhem in the world- by test-firing long-range missiles into the Sea of Japan and threatening the West with nuclear annihilation.

Sandwiched between China, Japan and bordered by South Korea, North Korea lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. Ineptitude and failure have marked North Korea’s nuclear program. Some outside observers see the North Korean nuclear program as a pathetic cry for help for a nation on the brink of starvation with a nuclear threat as its own bargaining tool.

The American-led coalition is justifiably intimidated by North Korea’s retaliatory capabilities.

North Korea’s nuclear project has been severely compromised over the years by an ongoing, joint U.S. – U.N. blocking effort with sanctions banning imports of coal, minerals, and seafood.

The North Koreans have rebuffed President Trump’s effort to negotiate with the rogue regime. The failed negotiations served a larger purpose: it made it clear to the Europeans, Russians and most important to the Chinese that North Korean’s leadership was inflexible. This made Chinese and Russian cooperation on U.N. sanctions possible.

Now North Korea is nearly isolated. Pyongyang is extremely unpopular in the world, but its nuclear rhetoric has not ebbed. The martyrdom of the Hermit Kingdom is reinforced as it stands alone in the world.

There are signs that even North Korea’s long-time ally China is growing impatient with Kim.This is augmented by America’s heavy military presence in the region, as Kim continues to issue threats. Kim Jong Un has backed the West into a corner.

Kim’s only reasonable option is to negotiate with the West. But as his erratic behavior has shown, Kim Jong Un is not a reasonable man.

A year ago the UN Security Council passed sanctions that cut North Korea’s main export by 60 per cent.

Every day Monday through Saturday, more than 24 million people work to maintain the communist machine of North Korea. North Korea is a unique political experiment that has been running for almost 70 years. It’s all at the expense of an isolated and subjugated people. The North Koreans see themselves as being protected from the outside world by the Dear Leader.

Kim Jong Un’s exact age is a mystery even to North Koreans. Like his father and grandfather before him, the young general is head of state in a country at war with the outside world. The country is exhausted and decimated by four million deaths suffered from earthquakes, famine, and starvation in the 1980s and 1990s.

North Korea is obsessed with what happened to the Soviet Union in 1991. Pyongyang believes that if you compromise with the West, you collapse. Kim Jong Un’s father and grandfather never compromised. From this example, Kim is unrelenting and unengageable.

In April 2017, President Trump started working with China to deter Pyongyang from developing more nuclear weapons. That same month the U.S. installed a missile defense in South Korea. The Chinese hate having the system’s capabilities in their backyard.

China is North Korea’s only significant trade partner. China has suspended its coal purchases from North Korea. China is reluctant to push too hard because it doesn’t want a collapse of the North Korea government. Meanwhile both South and North Korea have hundreds of thousands of troops on either side of the border.

President Trump’s visit to China last week was an attempt to thaw the chilly relations with North Korea. President’s Trump’s trip was a calculated move to drive a deep wedge between the world’s two remaining communist powers.

Closer diplomatic relations with China is significant leverage to deal with North Korea, particularly on the issue of nuclear weapons. Despite claims of solidarity, North Korea, and China are, at best, strongly suspicious allies due to the aligning of China with the West.

President Trump plan is to use China to contain North Korea. Diplomatic overtures to the Chinese might make stubborn North Korea more malleable to U.S. policy requests. China might be able to pressure Pyongyang to sign a peace treaty and de-escalate their nuclear threat.

North Korea seems to be following another more compelling model: Pakistan. As soon as Pakistan gained nuclear weapons in 1975, the world treated Pakistan with more respect. North Korea is getting clobbered by sanctions. Its economy may collapse before any concessions can be reached.

North Korea has a long history of escalating and deescalating tensions over the last 60 years. Pyongyang does this game of cat and mouse to broker deals of economic and concessions of U.N. sanctions.

This leaves the U.S. and its allies in a tricky position. Most diplomatic situations call for a carrot or stick approach. Unfortunately, for NK, neither the aid in the form of a carrot or stick in the form of sanctions has worked in the last decade.

What are the options?

Ever stronger sanctions. The downfall of the Kim regime or military confrontation that risks enormous casualties. Doing nothing is dangerous especially considering Kim’s erratic behavior. Kim has executed top advisors including his own uncle. As long as Kim is in power, North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea faces its greatest crisis since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Kim Jong Un faces the defining choice of the future of his nation: compromise, collapse or possible nuclear war. One way or the other, his time is running out.

 

 

Dom’s New Business- Fast Facts- No Fuss, No Fluff, Just the Facts

I am launching a new business. I love history, and I love writing about history and telling people about how much fun history is. I love history so much I decided to make a business out of it.

“Fast Facts” is series of ebooks for busy folks on the go- short, well-researched ebooks and paperbacks about historical events and people that will educate, engage and entertain the reader.

Fast Facts Logo

“Fast Facts” is a series of ebooks written to help the reader learn the basic facts of a given subject in history or biography. Everything you need to know about a time period, historical event or person is presented in a simple, direct narrative in chronological order. Fast Facts is a not an intimidating 500-page book with a 20-page introduction. Each book is between 10,000 to 15,000 words- about an hour’s read. Just straight to the point and you’re done. In the words of President Trump, “Get in. Get it done. Get it done right. Get out.” Then, after knowing the Fast Facts about the subject you may feel inspired to read and explore a little more.

Give yourself about an hour with Fast Facts and see what you can learn…

About Dom

I have already written two books about Billy Graham and the Ancient Romans. I am about to finish two other biographies on Malcolm X and Arnold Schwarzenegger, two personal heroes of mine.

I am now taking on my favorite subject- World War II.

I have a biography series planned on 1. Adolf Hitler. 2. Winston Churchill. 3. Joseph Stalin.

I have a warfare series planned on 1. The 41st Infantry Division- a division of the National Guard that fought in World War II. 2. The Devil’s Brigade- a commando unit made up Canadian and American soldiers in World War II. 3. The War Machine of Nazi Germany.

This history and biography series will give my readers a taste of the World War II. I am also putting together a fact book about a possible war with North Korea.

In the end, I am finally putting my history degrees to good use. I will probably never make a lot of money at what I do, but I get to do what I love every day, and that is priceless.

Here is my introduction to Fast Facts ebook that I am writing about Adolf Hitler.

Fast Facts: Hitler

Introduction

Adolf Hitler wrote in his autobiography Mein Kampf, or “My Struggle” in English, a book filled with hatred. Its last passage is a fanatical cry, “A state that refuses racial contamination will inevitably dominate the world.”

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1899. He committed suicide on April 30, 1945.

As a young man, Hitler wanted to be a painter. He considered himself an “artist” to the end of his life. Even as a young man, Hitler would show a fierce, unbending will.  His will made him the dictator of a humiliated Germany and led it to war.

Hitler, the man, was an evil, bloodthirsty genius. Hitler belongs in history with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan and Napoleon Bonaparte. Hitler and his war machine conquered most of Europe.

Hitler was the murderer of millions of innocent persons, including six million Jews in the Holocaust. Hitler’s story is both fascinating and repelling. Hitler rose from humble beginnings to become the greatest conqueror of the 20th century. He overcame incredible obstacles in his rise to power. Hitler abused and used his power for evil. The absolute power he craved ultimately killed him.

How did this failed Austrian artist, who seems to come out of nowhere, succeed in conquering Germany?

How did he sow the seeds of hatred and violence?

How did Hitler and the Nazis drag the world into the Apocalypse of World War II?

How was a Hitler phenomenon possible?

This, Fast Facts ebook, is the story of Adolf Hitler.

The Holy Land and Covenants

These posts are not an attempt to convert anyone. These posts are my efforts to understand my relationship with Jesus Christ. I hope that you find them entertaining, engaging and informative.

I have been trying to learn about the Bible. I have read a lot of books in my life, but I have never read the Bible until two months ago.

What is the Holy Land?

The Holy Land is at the far eastern end of the blue Mediterranean. It’s the cradle of civilization and where the Christian faith was founded. The Holy Land has been called the Fifth Gospel because like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John it’s where Christians believe events occurred that changed world history.

From Abraham to the Apostles and beyond the Holy Land has had a significant impact on history. The people of the Holy Land have been some of the most studied, pondered and argued over in all of history.

The world’s three main religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all consider the Holy Land, and especially the city of Jerusalem, to be the holiest place on earth. The Holy Land is where the Bible comes dramatically alive.

Who are the Patriarchs?

First, we have to start at the beginning. We have to go back to the Middle Bronze Age to the Era of the Patriarchs.  The Patriarchs were Abraham, his son Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob.

We will start with “Father Abraham,” as he is referred to by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.  When we first met this semi-nomadic shepherd named Abram, later named Abraham, is in Genesis Chapter 11.

Up to this point, the Biblical narrative has been downcast and uncertainty. The tragic events of the Garden of Eden have resulted in a broken relationship between God and humankind. After the chaos of the Tower of Babel, we are introduced to Abram, the man who God has chosen to unite and bless humanity.

God tells Abram, “and through your offspring, all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me,” (Genesis 22:18). Abraham believed God’s promises and a covenant was established between them concerning Abraham’s offspring and the land they would inherit.

The beginning of God’s people was established, at least in theory. First Abraham’s wife Sarah, who was barren and aging, would need a son. At God’s request, Abraham lived for a while in various locations: Shechem, Bethel, Hebron and the Negev Desert to name a few.

God did give Abraham a son, several in fact. The first was his son Ishmael. Ishmael was conceived with Hagar, Sarah’s servant, and handmaiden. Later both Ishmael and Hagar were cast out by Abraham by God’s command. Ishmael would go on to become the father of Arab nations.

Abraham’s heir was Isaac. Isaac was born to Abraham and Sarah in their old age by supernatural intervention by God. Abraham confirmed his devotion to God by his willingness to sacrifice Isaac.

On Mount Moriah, God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, provided a substitute. A ram was sacrificed instead to God. The second Patriarch Isaac would go on to become the son that God’s chosen people, the Hebrew nation, would come into existence through.

The third Patriarch was Isaac’s son Jacob. Jacob’s name would literally change to “Israel.” Jacob was a truly fascinating Biblical figure. He was a man worthy of a Greek play. Jacob was a man of great strengths and weaknesses. He was a man of great faith but also, at times, of great fear.

Jacob famously wrestles with God. He has a dream of a ladder where angels descend and ascend heaven. God’s promise of making Abraham’s descendants a great nation would be further fulfilled when Jacob had twelve sons. One of his son, Joseph, would rise to great power in Egypt. Eventually, the families of Jacob’s sons would become the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Hebrews would end up in Egypt because of a famine. Over the next 400 years, the Hebrew nation would grow larger and larger while living in Egypt. They eventually became slaves to the rulers of Egypt. They would need God to deliver them out of bondage.

What is Biblical Archeology?

One of the stunning things about Biblical archeology is the scientific discipline didn’t exist until about a 150 years ago. In fact, archeology was even a soft science before the 19th century. Archeology started as treasure hunting for wealthy, self-seeking opportunists.

Due to these half-hearted efforts by these opportunists, many excavations were botched. Many discoveries were lost. When you remove a historical object from its context and surroundings, you lose that information forever.

Something recovered from in a modern, controlled dig has much higher value than something sold by a treasure hunter. Indiana Jones adventures are not what modern archeology is about. Rising academic interests, the invention of new technological tools and systematic approach has changed archeology in the last century. We have learned a lot about the ancient world. Now that the Israelites are back in the Holy Land after 1900 years, many new sites and discoveries have enhanced knowledge of the Bible. Especially from Tels.

What is a “Tel”?

A Tel, also spelled tell, is a mound. In Arabic “tel” means tall. Inside a raised mound are the ancient remains of a city. Ancient cities often experienced natural or cultural disasters. Some of these misfortunes were fires, earthquakes, and assaults from enemy armies.

If an ancient city was destroyed, there was no way to remove all the demolished rubble. So people just built right on top of the ruins. Therefore over the centuries debris and layer would form. For example, the Biblical city of Tel Megiddo, the prophesied site of the Battle of Armageddon, has 26 layers of ruins.

Tels present an exciting challenge for archeologists who literally get to dig through layers of history. They go back in time the deeper they go. The biggest tel in Israel is Tel Hazor. Tel Hazor is barely excavated after three decades. There are ancient layers of history waiting to be discovered.

Tel Beersheba is just a few miles north of the Negev Desert. Tel Beersheba is the ancient southern boundary of the Hebrew people. The phrase, “From Dan to Beersheba” is a Biblical phrase used nine times in the Hebrew Bible to refer to the settled areas of the Tribes of Israel between Dan in the North and Beersheba in the South. This was the boundaries of the Biblical promise land.

Beersheba is a backdrop for many Old Testaments events. Beersheba was occupied as early as 4,000 B.C. The early settlement of Tel Beersheba dates back to 12th Century B.C. during the Judges period in the Bible.

The central theme of Judges is the settlement in the land of Canaan, a period before the monarchy. Beersheba is where two of Samuel’s son judged from. During the reign of King Ahab, the prophet Elijah fled to Beersheba to escape Ahab and Jezebel.

The fortifications of Beersheba date to the 10th century B.C. They are likely the result of Solomon’s building projects. Beersheba has a casemate wall, like those found in other cities which Solomon is known to have built. The city has a chambered gate similar to that in Megiddo.

When we first encounter Beersheba in the Bible, it is the place that Hagar, where Sarah’s servant was sent after she gave birth to Ismael. Despite being banished to Beersheba, God never abandons Hagar. God spoke to and helped Hagar. Her son became quite successful and eventually was the father of the Arab nations.

Beersheba is first mentioned in Genesis 21. Here Beersheba is given its name, meaning “Well of the Oaths.” It’s also called the “Well of the Seven.” It stands for the seven lambs sacrificed for the covenant between Abraham and Abimelech. Abraham is given water rights in Beersheba. Water is a super big deal in this extremely arid part of Israel. A covenant is a formal alliance or agreement made by God with humanity. In ancient Biblical times lambs were sacrificed or cut, and the parties walked between the dead lambs. This was a promise if the covenant was broken, they will be killed and cut apart like the sacrificed lamb.

A covenant more or less defines what it means to be in a relationship with God. Without a covenant no relationship is possible. The covenant that God makes with Abraham is a solemn agreement that God initiates that contains specific promises and demands.

God makes a covenant with Abraham. God appears to Abraham in Genesis 15 as a smoking flame. God (as the flame) passes through the dead animals alone to seal the covenant. Typically both parties pass between the animals. This time only God does. This covenant would not fail because it depended on God alone. The covenant would never be broken.

Covenants are found throughout the Old Testament. God makes one with Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. Then eventually the Prophet Jeremiah pointed towards a new covenant in the future.

Christians believe that the blood of Jesus, in His own words, “the blood of the new covenant.” That Jesus, with His death and resurrection, makes a better and more lasting covenant than all the other covenants made with Abraham and Moses. The new covenant is available to all people, both Jews, and Gentiles.

Grace is favor, or “unmerited favor.” Grace gives salvation. Grace is, God’s unmerited favor sealed through the covenant by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Grace is God’s goodness toward those who have no claim on, nor reason to expect, divine favor. The principal manifestation of God’s grace is in the form of a gift in the sacrifice of His son, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for reading my post, God bless you.

The Joy In Jesus

How do you write about the most important and intimate thing ever happen to you?

To be honest, I never thought I would write this story down.

For one thing, I felt I was simply too new to being a Christian. For another, I thought it was beyond my ability to do such valuable work. I have written about many things, but how do I write about the most important and intimate thing that has ever happen to me?

I want these posts to be an honest heart-to-heart talk about the most delightful thing I had ever done. I want to share with you how I am I living an abundant life full of real joy and happiness. I want to tell you the recipe that has taken my life from good to great- The Lord Jesus Christ.

A number of friends urged me to undertake this very important task. I knew that by writing about anything that has been accomplished in my life, has solely been God’s doing, not mine, and He- not I- deserves the credit. I also wanted to record this momentous time in my life.

Simply put, because I love Jesus I am never discouraged. I feel that I have found the key to better and happier living. I feel I am constantly in the presence of the Spirit of the Lord.

I try to live what I write. I don’t want my faith to be hollow words. I want to show you the reality and revelation of my new and glorious life. I know a lot of people are hurting, feeling pain from a life that seems unfair and unfulfilled. I will tell you my story and how I came to victory with Christ. I will tell you how I was set free from my sorrow, pain and regret and became a very happy Christian.

I am a new Christian. I am only in my first few months in my commitment to serve Jesus Christ. It has been thrilling for me to watch my faith and knowledge of the Lord grow. I want to share only two messages with you. Number one is my love for and joy in my faith in Jesus Christ. Number two, I want to share the tremendous and many benefits that my life has taken on since I gave my life to Jesus Christ.

These posts are really more in praise of the Lord than anything else. My honest hope is God will use these posts to help ease the journey of others in pain, out of hope and into something more in their lives.

I make no claims to be a perfect Christian or a Bible scholar or even a good Bible student, but I do feel God wants me to share His love through these posts. I write these posts entirely for His glory. I felt his Presence as I write, and I am often overwhelmed by my total love of Jesus. My eyes fill with tears of joy and I had to stop writing. Other times I got so excited and happy I laughed out loud. A constant and consistent feeling of love of God’s presence was present in every word.

My life did not become perfect after accepting Jesus Christ. I still deal with problems, including illnesses and chronic pain, but my life does seem easier because I share it with the Lord.

As I look back on my journey through life, many events (especially Iraq and Afghanistan) tend to come together in my memory as one. Each adventure had unique characters, but time and space have made a few very memorable.

I owe an enormous debt because of the help of my family and friends. I have genuine gratitude to so many great people in my life. I have tried to be as accurate as possible in summarizing events and conversations. However, I have come to realize how memories fade with the passage of time. I did my best to record events as I recall them.

I feel above all things I am writer and storyteller. This story is the most important I will ever tell. The story is about how I came to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I felt inspired and even called to tell the story of accepting the challenge of following Christ. The hardest and best thing I ever did was to turn to Christ in repentance and faith and to follow Him in obedience to His will.

For me, the message was very clear and specific. To talk about what the Lord has done for me by His death and resurrection, and the need for me to respond by committing my life to Him. His message was my past was forgiven, and I had a new life in hope as I turned to Him. In these posts, the reader will discover how I seek (however imperfectly) to follow Jesus Christ.

Through God, I got a new vision for His plan for me and a neverending happiness that I wanted to share. I have learned much from reading about the lives of great men and women of the past. Maybe my story will inspire others, I can only hope so, then the effort has been worth it.

God bless, and thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Happy Belated Birthday, Devil Dogs

I love Marines. They are America’s Spartan warriors. They are always ready to do battle. They are closet idealists and pessimists.

Marines have an intense feeling of identity. They have almost a mystical connection of belonging to an elite fighting force of nearly invincible warriors.

Some of this attitude comes from their brutal and efficient training. Another part of that comes from their deep confidence and pride in their mission and leaders.

There is no better friend and no worse enemy than a U.S. Marine.

The Emblem of the USMC

 

Who are the Marines?

The United States Marine Corps is an all-purpose military strike force that can mobilize quickly and fight anywhere. Marines can be deployed almost anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. The Marine Corps protect United States interests whenever a crisis flares up.

The Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy, but the Marines are still considered a separate branch of the armed services. The Marine Corps is the smallest branch of the armed forces. As of 2017, the Corps has around 185,000 active duty members and additional 38,500 reserve Marines.

What is the Marine Corps history?

The United States Marine Corps was created by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775, during the Revolutionary War. America Marines first served on Continental Navy ships to protect them. The Marines also used amphibious assaults to attack ground targets, enemy ports, bases, and cities from the sea.

From 1800 to 1934, the Marine Corps landed 187 times in 37 countries “to suppress lawlessness or insurrection.” Marines saw constant action in countries as close as Latin America and as far away as the shore of Libya in Tripoli, as the “Marines’ Hymn” from the Marine Corps Hymn.

Throughout American history, the Marines have been American presidents’ force of choice when they send troops to fight in faraway lands. In 1805, the Marines fought Islamic Barbary pirates and captured the North African city of Derna, Tripoli in present-day Libya. In 1847, during the Mexican-American War, Marines were the first troops to storm and enter Mexico City, the enemy’s capital.

Throughout the 20th century, Marines have fought small wars in colonies or third-world countries: Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the Dominican Republic and Honduras. The Marine Corps had a long tradition of fighting small wars.

In World War I, the Marines earned their tough reputation in several battles like Belleau Wood in France. During World War II, the Marines spearheaded a series of amphibious assaults in the Pacific. The Devil Dogs defeated the Japanese in legendary battles such as Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. In Korea, the Marines froze in the bitter battle of the Chosin Reservoir. In Vietnam, the Marines fought through the siege of Khe Sanh, the worst battle of the war.

The United States Marine Corps War Memorial

In the 21st century, the Marine Corps has been deployed multiple times to Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2004, the Marines fought two fierce battles against insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq. In 2010, the Marines fought in the campaign of Marjah, Afghanistan to re-take Helmand Province from the Taliban.

What is Marines boot camp like?

Marines undergo 13 weeks of intense training at boot camp at recruit depots in San Diego, California or Parris Island, South Carolina. Recruits are transformed into Marines by becoming physically fit, receiving first-class combat training, and learn how to respond instantly to orders. They hone their bodies and their minds by learning highly valuable leadership skills.

The Marine Corps places great importance on infantry combat. One of the Corps’ important mottos is “Every Marine a rifleman.” All Marines, no matter what their job is, are well-trained soldiers in combat skills and specialize in shooting rifles and other weapons.

Today, the standard rifle of the Marine Corps is the M16A4 assault rifle and M4A1 carbine, a compact version of the M16 rifle. Marines are also well-trained in the use of the M9 pistol, M203 grenade launcher, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), M240B light machine gun and the M2 .50-caliber heavy machine gun.

How do Marines fight?

Marines specialize in amphibious assaults, attacking land targets from the sea. The U.S. Navy transports the Marines to get them close to combat zones. Then the Marines can attack their objectives by using amphibious assault vehicles and support aircraft.

The Marines have a variety of vehicles that they use to fight. The Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV)-7 is a tracked, lightly armored vehicle. The AAV-7 can travel through water and on land. The AAV-7 can transport 21 combat-equipped Marines or 10,000 pounds of cargo.

The Marines use a version of the U.S. Army’s M1 Abrams main battle tank. The M1 weighs 70 tons and fires a 120mm smoothbore cannon that can destroy most enemy vehicles.

The Marines get dropped into combat zones by several aircraft. Marines use the CH-46 Sea Knight and the MV-22 Osprey, a plane that has propellers that rotate like helicopters so it can hover.

What other missions does the Marine Corps have?

In addition to combat duties, the United States Marines Corps has the honor of standing guard at the White House and Camp David. Marines also operate Marine One, the helicopter that transports the President of the United States. Also, the Marine Embassy Security Command protects U.S. embassies and consulates in more than 140 foreign posts around the world.

Proud, marching Marines

What is the future of the Marine Corps?

The Marines are a quick-strike force that can fight anywhere. They are America’s Spartan Warriors capable of doing the hard work of protecting American citizens and interests around the world. With the best-trained infantry riflemen and technology available, the Marine Corps is prepared for whatever the future holds.

 

The History of Veteran’s Day

Why we celebrate Veterans Day?

Each year on November 11, Americans march in parades, veterans put on their old uniforms and bands play patriotic songs. U.S. flags wave from homes, buildings and are carried in ceremonies. What is everyone celebrating?

Americans celebrate Veterans Day to honor the men and women who keep America safe and free. We acknowledge the sacrifice of veterans who protected people and places important to the United States around the world.

Veterans come from all branches of services including the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Those serving are called service members. They protect American interests in the land, sea, and air. Their jobs can be dangerous, and they fight in wars. Other times, they help people in trouble. Sometimes they get hurt or killed doing their job.

Bruno’s Grave in Crescent City, CA, his hometown.

 

Often their duties keep service members away from home for a long time. They give up their lives so the majority of Americans can live in peace. Veterans Day is a simple thank you to the men and women who gave up so much to help and protect us.

Why celebrate Veterans Day on November 11?

The idea for Veterans Day goes back to World War I (WW I). The Industrial Revolution would change warfare in WW I. Death caused killing on a massive scale- tens of thousands of men were killed in a single day.

WW I started in 1914. The United States entered the war in 1917. Almost 5 million Americans fought in the war. About 116,000 Americans died. The worldwide casualties were nearly 9.7 million dead and 21 million wounded. On November 11, 1918, the long, terrible war ended at eleven o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year- 11/11/1918.

The end of the fighting was called an armistice. People all over the world poured into the streets. Stores closed, whistles blew, and strangers danced and hugged to have peace at last.

A year later, President Woodrow Wilson asked American to remember the armistice for one day. November 11 was named Armistice Day. At eleven o’clock people stood silently for two minutes. Staying silent was their way to give thanks for peace. The quiet time gave them a chance to thank the veterans who helped win the peace.

In 1920, Britain and France each buried a soldier in a special place of honor. Nobody knew who the soldiers were. The unknown soldiers stood for all those who had died in the war. The British soldier was buried with past kings and queens. At sundown, French soldiers lit a flame over their soldier’s grave. This gave the Americans an idea of an unknown U.S. soldier monument.

In 1921, an unknown soldier was placed in a tomb, a building that is the last resting place for the dead. The monument is at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was shut at eleven o’clock on November 11. Flags were flown halfway down flagpoles to show respect.

In 1938, the America’s lawmakers voted to make November 11 a national holiday that would give Americans a time to think about and thank veterans. The holiday was called Armistice Day. It was a day to celebrate world peace.

Soon it became a tradition for the President of the United States to place a wreath of flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. The flowers came from all over the country. Soldiers standing guard shot their rifles into the air in salute. A bugler played Taps, a haunting song to honor the dead.

Three years later America entered World War II. More than 16 million brave service members volunteered to fight. More than 416,800 Americans died in the war.

In 1954, lawmakers voted again to change the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Two more soldiers were buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, representing the fallen soldiers of World War II and the Korean War. The tomb was renamed the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Honoring veterans became a sacred tradition in America. Post offices sold stamps with heroic images, and lawmakers built statues and memorials to honor veterans from different wars.

In 1984, an unknown soldier who died in the Vietnam War was placed in the Tomb of the Unknowns. Now there are four soldiers from four different wars. Guards keep watch on the tomb around the clock, 365 days a year. This neverending watch honors all Americans who gave their lives in battle.

Other countries find other ways to celebrate. Most of their holidays take place on November 11, just like the United States. Britain, Canada, and Australia call their holiday Remembrance Day. They wear red poppy flowers to think of veterans from World War I who died in the poppy fields of France.

Thank You, Veterans

In the United States, Veterans Day is a special day. It is a time to tell the millions of women and men in our armed forces both past and present their work for peace is essential. Veterans use the day to think about their service. Americans everywhere thank veterans for their sacrifice on Veterans Day.

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