Dec 17, 2017

Future Centralization Of Goods And Services Could Lead To Universal Fascism

Predictions Of A Secular Futurist 

In 2008 we experienced what it means for a bank, or other company, to be judged "Too Big To Fail". It meant, when a company becomes so vital, with millions of us affected by its possible bankruptcy, that the government adjudicates it "Too Important To Fail" or its failure "Too Destructive To The Nation To Let It Fail". Prior to 2008, it had only happened once. President Jimmy Carter bailed out Chrysler in 1979 but Chrysler supposedly paid the money back. This time it was more like a government contribution. But because those mismanaged companies were not allowed to fail in 2008, and were bailed out with taxpayers' money (by politicians, not us), some of them have now gotten even bigger and deeper in trouble. They have now, indeed, become too big to fail, and they know it, without bringing down the world economy. Other companies, in the U.S., like Tesla, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and several international banks have grown past the real point of  Too Big To Fail. They have gotten our nation out on a limb and our government would not let them fail. That action could lead to U.S. national Fascism and then to international Fascism. Fascism is when a Centralized, autocratic Government embraces Business Enterprise, The Press, Economics, Social and Educational entities, to itself, and forcibly oppresses opposition. The State dictatorship becomes everything and the individual is nothing ... all, quote, "For the good of the people".

A so-called "Futurist", Dr. Robert Goldman, lays out a prediction of what the world has to look forward to considering embedded and developing trends. Some of what Dr. Goldman says is true, and undoubtedly, some may not be. But if most of what he predicts turns out to be our future here on earth, it could lead to a centralization of goods and services and a universal Fascist government. And that fits neatly with the one world government of the Antichrist. At any rate, it's worth reading. Some of these predictions would be big improvements in human welfare. And that is exactly what will sell it to the great majority of governments and the world population. RB

A Speech by 
Dr. Robert Goldman, an anti-aging 
specialist, and futurist 
(Falsely ascribed to the CEO of Mercedes Benz)

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years. 

Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. 

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties. 

Artificial Intelligence:  Computers becoming exponentially better in understanding the world.  This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. 

In the U.S., young lawyers already can't get jobs.  Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. 

So, if you study law, stop immediately.  There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain. 

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses.  Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans. 

Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public.  Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted.  You don't want to own a car anymore.  You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.  You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving.  Our kids will never get a driver's license and will never own a car. 

It will change the cities because we will need 90-95% fewer cars for that.  We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 

1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide.  We now have one accident every 60,000 miles (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million miles (10 million km).  That will save a million lives each year. 

Most car companies will probably go bankrupt.  Traditional car companies will try the traditional approach and try to build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will take the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels 

Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla. 

Auto Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, car insurance will become much cheaper.  Their car insurance business model will slowly disappear. 

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood. 

Electric cars will become mainstream about 2020.  Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.  Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean:  Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, and now you can see the burgeoning impact. 

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil.   Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can't last.  Technology will take care of that strategy. 

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water.  Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kwh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents).  We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water.  Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost. 

Health innovations:  The Tricorder X price will be announced this year.  There are companies who will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample, and you can breathe into it. 

It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease.  It will be cheap, so in a few years, everyone on this planet will have access to world-class medical analysis, nearly for free.  Goodbye, medical establishment. 

3D printing:  The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years.  At the same time, it became 100 times faster.  All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing shoes. 

Some common spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports.  The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large number of spare parts they used to keep in the past. 

At the end of this year, new smartphones will have 3D scanning possibilities.  You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoes at home. 

In China, they already 3D printed and built a complete 6-story office building...  By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed. 

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself:  "In the future, do you think we will have that?", and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? 

If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea.  And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century. 

Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years.  There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time. 

Agriculture:  There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields. 

Aeroponics will need much less water.  The first Petri dish that produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018.  Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows.  Imagine if we don't need that space anymore. 

There are several start-ups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat.  It will be labeled as "alternative protein source" (because most people still reject the idea of eating insects). 

There is an app called "moodies" which can already tell in which mood you're in.  By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying.   Imagine a political debate where it's being displayed when they're telling the truth and when they're not. 

Bitcoin may even become the default reserve currency ... Of the world! 

Longevity:  Right now, the average lifespan increases by 3 months per year.  Four years ago, the lifespan used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more than one year increase per year  So, we all might live for a long time, probably way more than 100. 

Education:  The cheapest smartphones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia.  By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smartphone.  That means, everyone has the same access to world-class education. 

Every child can use Khan Academy for everything a child needs to learn at school in First World countries. There have already been releases of software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Swahili, and Chinese this summer. I can see enormous potential if we give the English app for free so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in English.  And that could happen within half a year.

Dec 15, 2017

He Who Does The Work Is Due All Of The Income Of His Labors

"...Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? ...saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope ...." 1 Cor. 7-10.  Hope for a full and just return.

In my opinion, this is a cardinal doctrine. It parallels the doctrine of Sowing and Reaping.   "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.Gal.6:7.

God told Adam that he would, for the rest of his life, earn his food through labor.
  "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread ..." Gen.3:19.   There is no second choice if a person isn't too young, too old or too handicapped to earn a living. It is absolutely essential that a person be free to expect (hope) to enjoy the fruit of his own labors. If he loses that "hope" he loses motivation to work hard and with consistency. It was not, in the plan of God, that a person is forced to pay the way of those who will not work. This is the irredeemable flaw in Socialism, that able-bodied workers, producers, pay the way of able-bodied consumers who either will not work or will not work to their full potential and will not be frugal with resources. As Margaret Thatcher said, "Socialism works until it runs out of other people's money."

Labor is also part of God's Ten Commandments. He created us to work by putting muscles on us which increase in strength with use. Not to be willing to work, if you are able, is a transgression of God's Law of Commandments for all humans. The 3rd Commandment:  "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work." Ex.20:8-9.

 There you see it. Labor is commanded along with the "holy" day of rest that we have all heard about in a thousand sermons.

"...Sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4.  That includes any one of the Ten Commandments. If we kept all of them but one, we are guilty of them all. They are one thing ... God's Law. It is like, if you broke your arm, you are broken. Your whole body hurts. The Scripture says as much in James 2:11.

"For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law."

There are many benefits of obeying the Commandment to labor. Stronger body muscles, a healthier body, less tiring, a sharper mind, self-defense, enjoyment of other activities, self-image, admiration of friends and family, and respect of enemies. It is also an aid to a good night's rest ... sweet sleep.   "The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much." Ecc.5:12.

Therefore, to the extent of your ability, apply yourself to your share of the work and only then do you have the right to expect to have food to eat or the other benefits of labor such as self contentment, a happy outlook and "well" being.   
"...Eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." Psm.128:2.

But, if you would rather gossip and sow division rather than work, and expect others to share the fruit of their labors with you or do your work for you, when you are able to do for yourself, God says you are a sluggard... 

"Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." Pr.6:6.
"How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?" Pr.6:9.
"The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing." Pr.20:4.
Not only are you a lazy, unwise, couch potato, sluggard and beggar, God's word says you are not to be fed ... Not by individual, church or government.
"Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labor and travail night and day... When we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 2Thess.3:8-12.
We owe it to ourselves and to society to make our own living and save for our own retirement if we are not too handicapped to do so. And for those who are handicapped and unable to help themselves, another cardinal doctrine is that we show the love of God to them (Agape, Charity) and voluntary help and assist them, not by force of government and confiscatory taxation. Giving must be based on Agape love (charity), not upon force and the threat of punishment.
There is no heavenly reward for giving out of unwillingness, fear or intimidation.
Agape giving is one of the primary purposes of the church Jesus built, but the government has taken over that vital function by robbing motivated producers and giving their money to unmotivated takers, drug addicts, prostitutes and a few honestly handicapped and deserving recipients. Giving by the local church has the advantage of seeing the need and determining if the needy person is truly disabled, sick, a child, very old, wasteful, lazy or temporarily out of work.
Fully half of those on welfare do not truly qualify. The local church sees that because they are there in the same neighborhood. The government does not have that advantage. So work to change welfare programs which rob recipients of motivation and self-respect and many taxpayers of motivation to work if they can survive on welfare without working or paying taxes. It is a self-destructive program which discourages "plowing" and destroys "hope".
"...Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? ...saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope ...." 1 Cor. 7-10. 

Dec 14, 2017

Will Rogers Refocused America's Thinking With Words And Humor

Lord give us politicians with the wisdom of Will Rogers
William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers was born in 1879 in Oologah, Oklahoma. He had that humble, common man attitude that most Americans identified with during his lifetime. Fame and fortune did not affect Will as it does most people. His humility, sharp mind and broad talent made him successful in a wide variety of fields. He became a stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator. Will's family identified as of mixed race Cherokee Indian. Will Rogers was killed in Alaska when his friend Wiley Post's plane crashed there in 1935. I was about five when that happened and remember everyone talking about the tragedy. He was the most famous person in America at the time and was universally loved for his humility and quick wit. Everyone in America felt they knew Will personally and the burdens of the Great Depression were relieved for them by his quotes. If his name is not known to you, it will be after you read the wit and humor in his quotes below...











Dec 13, 2017

I Was An NFL Football Addict Before Colon Crapernic Took A Knee

You too can "just say no" to the NFL

My addiction began with a harmless little drag on tag football in elementary school. That first puff of tag revealed something about myself I never realized ... I had a natural born football fan gene and could run for the goal line faster than anyone on either team. I was hooked on that inner jolt of satisfaction football gave me. I continued experimenting with the pointy pigskin and grew more and more dependent on my next football fix. By high school, I had sunk deeper into the game and higher on the habit. My addiction had increased from that first harmless drag to a full-blown fire breather and straight line shooter. Soon I was a hard-core junkie, pro-football drug addict. My football obsession had progressed from a miniature, marijuana, "ball" joint to a college level sports fanatic. By that time I was so good at football observation and commentary that I was being recruited by the majors. As a rookie, I was the loudest, red-faced stomper in the bleachers and became a Cowboys home team slavorite. Since I had given my entire fanship for an NFL joint, weed, roach and crack smack, the majors considered me pro fan material and I was drafted into the big leagues. From there I was so fast, agile, and hoarse, as a drugged out fan, that I was selected MVP (Most Valuable Punker) and given a special easy chair in front of my own TV for every game. My football addiction had me anxiously enduring church till I could run to my car, speed home for my fanatical TV football fix, to get my Sunday hit. I even found myself desperately searching the channels every day hoping to find a football dealer. I was a hopeless slave to my addiction. NFL was my drug of choice. I loved God and country more than the best grade of football dope, but I sometimes considered asking Him to give me another Cowboys win to relieve my craving withdrawal pains.

That's when the miracle happened. Colon Crapernic, the 49ers quarterback took a knee ... not to pray but to reproach our National Anthem, Old Glory, our Founding Fathers, our Military Heros and our Law Enforcement Officers. Crapernic introduced this new drug, named after him, to the entire NFL. 95% of the NFL players got hooked on the Crapernic Kneel and took a knee before each game to pacify their addiction to a consumptive contradiction ... famous millionaire playboys insulting their own fanatical followers and their own adoring, foolish nation. That one Crapernic football cocain hit made me so sick I kicked the NFL habit... cold turkey, permanently, without falling off the wagon even once. We have regular meetings now called FAA (Football Addicts Anonymous).  A few have relapsed but others have taken their places and the bleachers are hollow-eyed skeletons of their former selves, but still smokin.

Dec 12, 2017

Young People, Please, Please Stay Away From Narcotics.

They Are Death And Destruction

“Drug use is on the rise in this country and 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12 – roughly equal to the entire population of Texas.

The fact is that if you never take your first drink of alcohol you will never be an alcoholic. And if you never smoke the first joint or take the first bit of an illegal drug, you will never be a drug addict. Every alcoholic and drug addict began with one sip or one tiny bit of a hit.

Robin Williams was a drug addict. He admittedly suffered from addiction problems most of his adult life. Before he committed suicide he said that when he made a movie or a show, he would stop taking his meds and snort cocaine.  He committed suicide in August 2014.

Robin joked about everything. He made tens of thousands laugh and millions of dollars doing so but died broke and utterly miserable. Underneath the comedian's veneer, he was a troubled soul and once joked, about reincarnation, "If I came back, with my luck, it would still be as me".

Instead of running with the bad company who do those things, run with those who do not. Instead of pouring your life down the drug addiction toilet, pour your heart out to Jesus. Instead of becoming addicted to a chemical substance, become addicted to your Creator.

I have nothing to boast about. I am not the role model. I am not saved by good works. I am a common, faulty man. But I am an unworthy addict. I am addicted to the sun, moon, and stars... the universe. The "Blessed Hope" is my addiction. God my Father, my Creator, and Jesus Christ my Savior are my addiction. God's Holy Word is my addiction. The Gospel ministry is my addiction. Christian Service is my addiction. Eternal life is my addiction. Friends and family are my addiction. Worthy Purpose in life is my addiction. Love is my addiction. Courage is my addiction. Heaven is my addiction. Stewardship is my addiction. Do I live up to these addictions to perfection? No... I often fail them but cannot get loose from them. I am addicted for life and eternity.

Worldly pleasure, drugs, illicit sex, material stuff, fame, fortune, and power are the lusts that destroy and continually insert themselves into our lives and seek out our weaknesses and war with our consciences to gain control of our vulnerable flesh. The one and only remedy to those spiritual diseases is a full dose of Christian salvation ... Jesus and God's Holy Spirit living in you and me. He only comes into our lives, and never fails to do so, upon our repentance and invitation to Him. Accept Him now before Satan captures you for life ... and maybe eternity. RB

Dec 11, 2017

All True Christians Will Be Thankful For This "Darius Action" Of Trump

Setting God's People Free "Again"

King Darius Searched Out National Historical Records, Restored The Rights Of God's People Written There, Set Them Free To Rebuild God's House, Paid The Price Of It, And Protected Them From Other Political Powers, And Evil Men, Who Would Hinder Them From Worshiping the one true God. RB

Read it from God's word at the bottom of this article.

"Making America Great Again"? RB

This From USA Politics Today
President Trump Brings Back A
100 Year Old American Tradition
...Liberals Instantly Go Ballistic

By Gary Maher - December 10, 2017

Just so you know, if you’re a Christian, especially a white one, you’re a backward, ignorant bigot. 

At least, that’s what the Left seems to think these days. 

Yes, being a Christian in this day and age, one that–GASP–wears it on his or her sleeve (COUGH Tim Tebow), makes you public enemy number one–actually, saying “numero uno” might be more appropriate. 

Even though surveys still show that the majority of people in the US self-identify as Christians, the Left’s propaganda machines make it seem like we’re a tiny minority that deserves to be hated. 

And thanks to ubiquitous denigration, people are increasingly thumbing their noses at the religion, treating practitioners like they are members of some cannibalistic Amazonian tribe (only unlike real ones, however, they want to eradicate all traces of our existence). 

But, the temporary reprieve Trump’s presidency has given us has lit a small fire in the Christian community, as more and more are coming to realize the very real threat leftism poses to the US. 

Also, having a ___ president that doesn’t give a hoot what the media thinks helps. 

Liberals hate him for all sorts of reasons, but a recent development will give them yet another reason to despise our commander in chief. 

As reported at the Independent Journal Review, it has been a century since weekly Bible studies were held in the White House, but what’s being called the “Trump Cabinet Bible study” has taken shape, and it appears a lot of important people in our government are attending. 

Ralph Drollinger, the founder of Capitol Ministries, told CBN News that some of the most powerful men in the United States are now holding weekly Bible groups to study the word of God. 

Drollinger, a former NBA player, said it’s the “best Bible study that I’ve ever taught in my life.” They are so teachable; they’re so noble; they’re so learned,” he added. 

The list of “regulars,” according to CBN News includes: 

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Health Secretary Tom Price, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. 

Won’t be long before you see all the liberal sites and news networks wringing their callous-less, pampered hands at the thought of these officials having their decisions influenced by their Christian faith. 

By golly, you better not let a religion, 2,000 years old and strongly practiced by the masses throughout the Western world for centuries and by ingenious leaders and people affect your choices! 

I mean, it’s not like it had anything at all to do with how these nations evolved, took shape, and set up their respective governments! Or did it? My leftist history professor said it didn’t so… 

What matters is that those in attendance don’t care how the media portrays their gatherings. 

President Trump himself is invited to the Bible studies and is given a copy of Drollinger’s teachings each week. Vice President Mike Pence reportedly plans to start going when he can find the time. 

Drollinger couldn’t say enough good things about the Christian men in Trump’s Cabinet. 

“I just praise God for them. And I praise God for Mike Pence, who I think with Donald Trump chose great people to lead our nation,” he told CBN News. 

It’s welcome news to see such powerful people humbling themselves and realizing their own smallness in the grand scheme.
President Trump appears to be awakening to a similar spiritual awareness of pagan King Darius in 500 BC. After God's people, Israel, had been conquered and enslaved by Babylon, God used Darius to free them and protect them against other political powers while they rebuilt the Temple of God at his expense. RB

Ezek 6:1-12
Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in the house of the rolls .... And there was found .... a roll, and therein was a record thus written:
In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices .... And also let the golden and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took forth out of the temple which is at Jerusalem, and brought unto Babylon, be restored, and brought again unto the temple which is at Jerusalem, every one to his place, and place them in the house of God .... Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor .... build this house of God in his place .... That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons .... And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with speed.
Ezra 6:1-12

Dec 10, 2017

Trump And The Military Are Making Quite A Team In Muslimland

The United States had never lost a war until the politicians sent our military into battle ... but wouldn't let them use their own expert judgment in strategy and tactics. Politicians thought Washington knew better than the generals, who had spent their lifetimes studying it. The result was Viet Nam. The military did not lose that war, but Congress, the Executive Branch, and primarily the Liberal News Media lost it. We now have a President who, with all his obvious shortcomings, is correcting the awful mess created in Washington by those same three deeply flawed, majority Liberal institutions. Here is just one example of what Trump has quickly accomplished, in what appeared to be an impossible situation. He cannot solve the $200,000,000,000,000 indebtedness quagmire created by the Liberals of both parties ( 80% Democrat, 20% Republican)  ... only God could do that, but he is at least headed in the right direction ... That's right ... right. RB

From FOX News ... Not NBC, CBS, ABC, or CNN

Trump, Marine General Mattis Turn 
Military Loose On ISIS, Leaving 
Terror Caliphate In Tatters .....

"I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.” - U.S. Marine Col. Seth Folsom.  At its peak, ISIS held land in Iraq and Syria that equaled the size of West Virginia, ruled over as many as 8 million people, controlled oilfields and refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes and vast arsenals. It ran a brutal, oppressive government, even printing its own currency. 

Lt. Col. Seth Folsom credits the cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S-led coalition for the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq.  The terror organization now controls just 3 percent of Iraq and less than 5 percent of Syria. Its self-styled "caliph," Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be injured and holed up somewhere along the lawless border of Syria and Iraq. 

ISIS remains a danger, as members who once ruled cities and villages like a quasi-government now live secretly among civilian populations in the region, in Europe and possibly in the U.S. These cells will likely present a terrorist threat for years. In addition, the terrorist organization is attempting to regroup in places such as the Philippines, Libya, and the Sinai Peninsula. 

But the military’s job -- to take back the land ISIS claimed as its caliphate and liberate cities like Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria, as well as countless smaller cities and villages, is largely done. And it has taken less than a year. 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits to greet Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, upon his arrival at the Pentagon, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Mattis, a US Marine Corps general, said there would be no White House micromanaging on his watch  (Associated Press) “The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.” 

President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected. 

“It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.” 

U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge said the military now has a clear mandate. 


After the battle to liberate Mosul – ISIS’ Iraqi headquarters - was completed in July -- the U.S.-led coalition retook Tel Afar in August, Hawija in early October and Rawa in Anbar province in November. 

Marine Col. Seth Folsom, who oversaw fighting in Al Qaim near the Syrian border, agreed. He wasn’t expecting his part of the campaign against ISIS to get going until next spring and figured even then, it would then "take six months or more." 

Instead, ISIS was routed in Al Qaim in just a few days. 

Mosul and several other cities liberated by ISIS were largely destroyed in the fighting.  (Fox News/Hollie McKay) “We really had one mandate and that was to enable the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat ISIS militarily here in Anbar. I feel that we have achieved that mission,” Folsom said. “I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.” 

Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge, the top U.S. Marine in Iraq, told Fox News his commanders have “enjoyed not having to deal with too many distractions and there was no question about what the mission here in Iraq was.” 

Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool was skeptical of Trump at first but says success on the ground has been swift,  “We were able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here,” he said. 

Sofge said criticism that loosening rules of engagement put civilians at risk is “absolutely not true.” 

Col. Ryan Dillon. Combined Joint Task Force - Inherent Resolve Spokesman said, “We used precision strikes, and completely in accordance with international standards,” he said. “We didn’t lower that standard, not one little bit. But we were able to exercise that precision capability without distraction and I think the results speak for themselves.” 

The U.S.-led coalition said this week the Coalition Civilian Casualty Assessment Team has added 30 new staffers to travel throughout the region. It said military leaders continue to “hold themselves accountable for actions that may have caused unintentional injury or death to civilians.” 

The coalition also said dozens of reports of civilian casualties have been determined to be “non-credible,” and just .35 percent of the almost 57,000 separate engagement carried out between August 2014 and October 2017 resulted in a credible report of a civilian casualty. 

In addition to air support, the U.S.-led strategy also includes training and equipping Iraqi troops on the ground. 

While the Trump administration’s success is often underplayed in the U.S. media, it is obvious on the ground in Iraq, according to a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Yahya Rasool. 

“I was not optimistic when Trump first came to the office,” Rasool said. “But after a while, I started to see a new approach, the way the U.S. was dealing with arming and training. I saw how the coalition forces were all moving faster to help the Iraq side more than before. There seemed to be a lot of support, under Obama we did not get this.” 

Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be still alive, a top U.S. military commander said Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, contradicting Russia's claims that it probably killed the top counterterror target months ago. Al-Baghdadi, who once ruled a caliphate the size of California, is now in hiding and likely badly injured Despite the victories on the battlefield, U.S. officials cautioned much work remains to be done. 

“ISIS is very adaptive,” noted Col. Ryan Dillon, the U.S.-led coalition spokesman. “We are already seeing smaller cells and pockets that take more of an insurgent guerrilla type approach as opposed to an Islamic army or conventional type force. So we have got to be prepared for that.” 

He said, as a result, the coalition is “adjusting some training efforts” so the Iraqi forces -- upwards of 150,000 have already undergone training -- are equipped to address such threats and ensure long-term stability. 

Folsom said “the worst thing we could do” is not finishing the job. 

“If a country becomes a failed state, if it becomes a lawless region, you begin to set the conditions for what happened in the years before 9/11,” he said. “In those ungoverned spaces where we don’t know what is going on, that is where those seeds of extremism begin to blossom.” 

Hollie McKay has been a staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay