Even though today is Talk like a Pirate Day, I’ve decided instead to be a shill for the U.S. military. Here are ten facts about Guantanamo that you may not be aware of if you get your news just from the mainstream media. This comes directly from the military and is dated Sept. 14th, 2006.

  1. The detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility include bin Laden’s bodyguards, bomb makers, terrorist trainers and facilitators, and other suspected terrorists.
  2. More money is spent on meals for detainees than on the U.S. troops stationed there. Detainees are offered up to 4,200 calories a day. The average weight gain per detainee is 20 pounds.
  3. The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day. Arrows point detainees toward the holy city of Mecca.
  4. Detainees receive medical, dental, psychiatric, and optometric care at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. In 2005, there were 35 teeth cleanings, 91 cavities filled, and 174 pairs of glasses issued.
  5. The International Committee of the Red Cross visits detainees at the facility every few months. More than 20,000 messages between detainees and their families have been exchanged.
  6. Recreation activities include basketball, volleyball, soccer, pingpong, and board games. High-top sneakers are provided.
  7. Departing detainees receive a Koran, a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers, a gym bag of toiletries, and a pillow and blanket for the flight home.
  8. Entertainment includes Arabic language TV shows, including World Cup soccer games. The library has 3,500 volumes available in 13 languages — the most requested book is “Harry Potter.”
  9. Guantanamo is the most transparent detention facility in the history of warfare. The Joint Task Force has hosted more than 1,000 journalists from more than 40 countries.
  10. In 2005, Amnesty International stated that “the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times.”

Let’s focus for a bit on the comparison between Guantanamo and the Soviet gulag. Here’s a paragraph from Wikipedia about the conditions in the gulag:

Extreme production quotas, malnutrition, harsh elements, inadequate housing, hygiene, and medical care, as well as brutal treatment by camp officials, guards, and fellow prisoners were the major reasons for high fatality rates, which in extreme cases could be as high as 80%.

And Gitmo is “the gulag of our times”? Oh, please!

Here’s something else worth considering. The media would have you believe that the “torture” that went on at Abu Ghraib was pandemic and widespread, indicative of the entire military force in Iraq, when they represented only a vanishingly small percentage of problem soldiers. Abu Ghraib has hit the news again recently with reports of torture, but now under Iraqi hands:

An independent witness who went into Abu Ghraib this week told The Sunday Telegraph that screams were coming from the cell blocks housing the terrorist suspects. Prisoners released from the jail this week spoke of routine torture of terrorism suspects and on Wednesday, 27 prisoners were hanged in the first mass execution since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

“The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better,” said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.

Reading on Little Green Footballs, I came across a link today pointing out an article by Scott Burgess at The Daily Ablution outlining the horrors of torture being visited upon the prisoners at Guantanamo. The whole article is very well worth reading.

Here is the final part of Burgess’ article. Steel yourself for a look into the torture as documented by an inmate there:

Finally, and in all honesty, it’s my duty to add that another former detainee, Feroz Abbasi, is not nearly as happy with the treatment that he received. In lengthy handwritten statements, included with the newly-released documents, Mr. Abbasi – wholeft Britain to either join the Taliban or fight for Allah in [Indian-occupied] Kashmir“, being driven by “pure hate” for Americans – details the extent of the torture to which he was subjected.

The list of abuses (set 5, page 14) makes for unpleasant reading, to say the least – but the whole thing must be included, for the sake of completeness.

During his time in Guantanamo, Mr. Abbasi (writing in the third person) alleges that he was:

  • subject to [unspecified] “mental stress and pressure
  • willfully misdirected … to pray north
  • deprived of “comfort items
  • subjected to an [apparently failed] “attempt to withdraw Qur’an
  • able to hear two guards having sex, while they “assumed he was asleep
  • distracted from his prayer by the “sharp intake of breath” of a female MP who’d been “sexually fondled“.
  • offered a plate of pork
  • the object of a conspiracy “to keep detainee ignorant of detainee’s allotted Tuesday recreation
  • subjected to a “partially successful” attempt to administer injections “under the guise of immunisation“, designed to “unhinge detainee’s mental and emotional stability

While all of these acts are undeniably horrifying, being on a par with the worst excesses of Torquemada, even their totality pales in comparison with the most extreme of the tortures to which Mr. Abbasi was subjected.

Of course, countless abuses have been committed against war prisoners throughout the ages – no one denies that. But, while not downplaying their suffering, it must be admitted that even the most unfortunate of these victims can only breathe a sigh of relief that he was not subject to what Mr. Abbasi was forced to endure when he:

  • had his peanut butter eaten by a guard “right in front of him“.

One needn’t be a bleeding heart to shudder at the inhumanity thus displayed.

Much has been ballyhooed recently about the detainees the U.S. forces have been capturing in our War on Terror. If you follow the media, you will hear accusations that the detainees are not being accorded their rights guaranteed by the Geneva Convention. But as I have explained before, these detainees do not qualify for Geneva Convention protections as they are housed in the base at Guantanamo, Cuba, commonly called “Gitmo.” And it has been getting some nasty press recently.

The recent press about Gitmo is not the first time the Left has made an inaccurate and extreme comparison. President Bush is constantly being compared to Adolf Hitler. The Marxist Left is so enamored with this Bush/Hitler comparison that liberals will often turn a simple hand-wave into a Nazi salute. Ludicrous comparisons like Bush/Hitler or other extremes show both a contempt and ignorance of history.

Speaking of contempt and ignorance, here’s a gem of a quote from Amnesty Secretary General Irene Khan: “Guantanamo has become the gulag of our time.” When people objected to this comparison, Amnesty International stood by the claim and wouldn’t budge. John Podhoretz did a very good job of comparing Gitmo with the Soviet gulag.

Number of prisoners at Gitmo: approximately 600.
Number of prisoners in the Gulag: as many as 25 million, according to the peerless Gulag historian Anne Applebaum.

Number of camps at Gitmo: 1
Number of camps in the Gulag: At least 476, according to Applebaum.

Political purpose of Gulag: The suppression of internal dissent inside a totalitarian state.
Political purpose of Gitmo: The suppression of an international terrorist group that had attacked the United States, killing 3,000 people while attempting to decapitate the national government through the hijack of airplanes.

Financial purpose of Gulag: Providing totalitarian economy with millions of slave laborers.
Financial purpose of Gitmo: None.

Seizure of Gulag prisoners: From apartments, homes, street corners inside the Soviet Union.
Seizure of Gitmo prisoners: From battlefield sites in Afghanistan in the midst of war.

If it is valid to compare Gitmo with the Soviet gulag and declare them to be equivalent, then we would also be justified in comparing a paper-cut with a beheading, or a sunburn with being burned alive. Paul Mirengoff of Power Line Blog points out that this gulag quote from Amnesty International was merely an attempt to grab publicity:

Now we have the answer — it was a publicity stunt. As the Washington Times notes, Amnesty International’s Executive Director William Schulz basically admitted as much on “Fox News Sunday.” Unable to defend his gulag analogy, Schulz instead observed that if his group hadn’t asserted that analogy, he wouldn’t “be on this station, on this program today.” To which Chris Wallace responded, “So you’re saying if you make irresponsible charges, that’s good for your cause?”

People are free to say what they want, but there is an equivalent responsibility not to mislead. Something happens when the trivial is compared with the tragic — the comparison minimizes the scope of the tragedy. If I had relatives who had died in the Nazi death camps, I’d be spitting mad at the boors who have the temerity to compare the “three hots and a cot” the detainees get at Gitmo with the ovens of Dachau.

Not to be outdone in the rush to be outraged, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) rushed forward to claim his 15 minutes of fame by tearing into the guards at Gitmo:

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”

What is the torture to which Senator Durbin is referring that is worthy of comparison to Hitler, Stalin, and Pot? Mass graves? Beheadings? Brace yourself for the horror that makes Gitmo equal to these human horrors: detainees in Gitmo are subject to cold and hot rooms, standing, poking in the chest with a finger, water on the head, satirical puppet shows, American flags, and *shudder* Christina Aguilera music. Yeah, I’d rank that right up there with the ovens at Dachau. James Lileks does a grand job of showing just how stupid this comparison is.

Still, Sen. Durbin is a hero to the Marxist Left in the nation. Markos “Screw ‘Em” Moulitsas is trumpeting his support of Sen. Durbin on his well-visited site. He views what is happening in Gitmo as torture. “The torture that was so bad under Saddam, is equally bad under U.S. command. And Dick Durbin had the balls to say it so on the Senate floor.”

Earth to Kos — there is a difference between real torture and what goes on in Gitmo. Let’s compare and see if you can spot the difference:

Torture Not Torture
  • beheading with a knife
  • fed feet-first into a wood chipper
  • hands and feet chopped off
  • tossed off the top of a building
  • acid baths
  • watching wives and children raped and killed
  • poked in the chest with a finger
  • Christina Aguilera music
  • water on the head
  • standing
  • satirical puppet shows
  • pictures of 9/11 victims

As John Hinderaker of Power Line Blog points out, you can tell the real thing from the fake based on the number of people who die. So let’s have one last comparison between Hitler, Stalin, and Pot with what is going on in Gitmo:

Hitler, Stalin, Pot Gitmo
  • Adolf Hitler – About 9 million dead
  • Soviet gulags – About 2.7 million dead
  • Pol Pot – About 1.7 million dead
  • Gitmo – five instances of Koran abuse by prison guards
  • Gitmo – 15 instances of Koran abuse by prisoners
  • Gitmo – zero dead

Not much of a comparison, is it?

[warning: the following links are graphic and disturbing]

To paraphrase Sen. Benson: “Senator, I’ve seen torture. I knew torture. Torture is a horror of mine. Senator, this is no torture.”

Addendum (6/21/2005): Two quick updates: first, Senator Durbin apologized for having crossed the line in his comments last week. If he never intended any disrespect to the soldiers serving in Gitmo, why did he say what he said? And secondly, Cox and Forkum do a good job of showing what Sen. Durbin stands for.

Comedian Eddie Izzard does a fun bit about how the Church of England just isn’t as nasty as the Roman Catholic Church was back in the Inquisition days. Instead of threatening people with “confess or die” all the time, it would be more like “Tea and cake, or death?” and the people would get to choose.

“Cake or death?” That’s a pretty easy question. Anyone could answer that.

“Cake or death?”

“Eh, cake please.”

“Very well! Give him cake!”

“Oh, thanks very much. It’s very nice.”

“You! Cake or death?”

“Uh, cake for me, too, please.”

“Very well! Give him cake, too! We’re gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?”

“Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry…”

“You said death first, uh-uh, death first!”

“Well, I meant cake!”

“Oh, all right.”

You don’t have to be all that bright to figure out which would be better. Even if they are serving carrot cake, and it makes you break out in hives–is death preferable to hives?

Speaking of things that irritate, Alberto Gonzales is currently under the Senate’s microscope. Since the announced stepping down of John Ashcroft, Gonzales is President Bush’s nominee for the position of Attorney General. You would think that Senate Democrats, as the self-proclaimed champions of minorities everywhere, would be climbing all over themselves to praise Gonzales and support his nomination for this position. After all, he would be the first Hispanic to become Attorney General, and the Hispanic with the highest-level position in the executive branch of U.S. government. You would think the Democrats would be singing his praises, but you’d be wrong.

The Democrats dislike Gonzales because he isn’t one of their Hispanics. The dirty truth about Democrats is that they only love the minorities who follow Democrats and kowtow to their ideas. But once you leave the liberal plantation, you are a race-traitor and no longer considered a real minority. Look at Justice Clarence Thomas and Secretary of State nominee Condoleezza Rice. Neither one is considered by Democrats to be part of the black community because they are *gasp* Republicans. When President Bush nominated Miguel Estrada as the first Hispanic to sit on the Washington D.C. circuit court, the Democrats in the Senate never allowed Estrada’s nomination to be confirmed by vote. Why? Because he “wasn’t Latino enough” for them. Feel free to read that as “too conservative,” because that was exactly what they meant. Essentially, people are part of a cherished liberal minority if, and only if, those people also bow the knee to Democrat ideas. If they choose to think outside the liberal box, they are no longer part of the minority group. That is why people like Thomas and Rice are derogatorily referred to as “Oreos,” because Democrats think of them as black on the outside, but white on the inside. These Democrats think that being black, Hispanic, or any other minority means you must think, act, and vote with the group.

If that isn’t racism, what is?

So the Democrats will have a field day pointing their fingers at Gonzales, jumping on their high horses about the torture of al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison. You will hear just how shocked and awed the senators are that Gonzales inquired of the Justice Department just what constituted the torture of detainees. The Democrat senators are shocked, shocked that he would even ask such a question. Doesn’t it make sense that this is precisely the type of question that should have been asked regarding al-Qaeda and Taliban thugs? Well, not if you are a liberal. Expect to hear much about the Abu Ghraib excesses, and marvel as the Democrats try to lay the blame for these soldiers’ actions at Gonzales’ feet because he dared to ask the Justice Department, “So, what’s that law?”

Expect to hear much discussion about the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of prisoners of war. Mainly you will see the Democrat senators and their liberal allies in the mass media bemoaning the fact that we aren’t treating Islamist fanatics according to the rules of the Geneva Convention. It will make for a great sound bite, because the senators can sound so very concerned about the terrible treatment of the prisoners. These same prisoners, incidentally, would love to see these senators dead, but that probably won’t make the evening news. I find it interesting that the Democrat senators are choosing to stand in defense of al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners. I guess their sworn oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic” takes a back seat to their desire to stick it to President Bush and his nominee.

Incidentally, does the Geneva Convention cover these prisoners? Here’s the Cliff Notes version for the slow reader: no. First, to be bound by the Geneva Convention, both nation-states must be signatories to the treaties. When did al-Qaeda and the Taliban sign them? Why, bless my soul, they never did! Second, if a signatory violates the terms of the Geneva Convention–say, by using banned poisonous gases or hiding behind civilians–all constraints are off. The Islamist fanatics who have been fighting coalition forces are guilty of both these violations. Finally, to be viewed as a lawful soldier and merit the protections of same, the soldier must be dressed in uniform or bear some recognizable insignia. These fanatics do neither. Therefore they are not soldiers, but are considered unlawful combatants. If the U.S. wanted to do so, we could choose to execute on the spot any Islamist fighter captured by our soldiers; under the terms of the Geneva Convention, this execution would not be considered a war crime at all.

Most senators are lawyers, so none of this information should be news to them. Why, then, do they maintain this fiction? Quite simply, they would rather use the Gonzales nomination to bury a political hatchet in President Bush’s back than “support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

So the Democrat senators are going to bring up the *gasp* torture *shock* that went on at Abu Ghraib and try to pin it on Gonzales (and, by implication, President Bush). But I wish that every time someone tried to bring up the “torture” of being leashed like a dog, forced to participate in a naked dog pile, or having panties placed on one’s head, a Republican senator would show the video clip of Nick Berg having his head sawn off with a large knife, to the accompaniment of the “Allahu Akbar” chorus. I cannot see how the two compare. When you get down to it, the stuff that went on in Abu Ghraib–while completely unacceptable–is about as disturbing as a standard frat hazing. When some fanatic does the Ginsu action on your neck, it is going to leave a more permanent mark.

If the Democrat senators cannot see the magnitude of difference between these two actions, either there is something seriously wrong with their judgment, or they are attempting to make political hay. Either way, it doesn’t reflect well on them. It’s pretty hard to miss the difference when offered a choice of “Cake or Death?”

The major news continues to be the photos depicting the acts of some American soldiers in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. I am disturbed by these images since I do not think these acts are necessary, nor do I think they are acceptable. Are they just the pranks of some bored GIs? Or were these acts ordered by their superiors to break the will of the prisoners? I do not know.

But I have some questions.

  • Has the military been investigating these acts? Yes, it most certainly has been. So why the need to publicize the investigation now? What is gained by it? It makes the U.S. look horrible — that is the only way I can answer.
  • Were these investigations classified? Yes, they were. Will anyone be charged with leaking this classified information? Probably not, since the investigations have since been declassified.
  • Is it a crime to leak the facts of a criminal investigation in progress? Yes, it is. Will anyone be charged with leaking this information? Again, probably not. To put this in context, if I were to leak information about the rape trial of Kobe Bryant, I would be quickly charged.

Some Democrats, smelling blood in the water, and a few stupid Republicans are making political hay from these photos to call for the resignation, firing, or impeachment of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. President Bush has stood firm behind the Secretary of Defense, even while Rumsfeld has taken full responsibility for these acts happening under his watch. Does his taking responsibility mean he should step down? I would say no. Why not? We need not look further than the example of past Attorney General Janet Reno. When she took “full responsibility” for the deaths of the men, women, and children at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, she didn’t step down. And she was much more personally involved with the making of that tragedy than Secretary Rumsfeld has been with the prisoners in Abu Ghraib.

But today, everything is different.

Today, an appalling video of the beheading of an American hostage in Iraq at the hands of terrorists was released. On this tape, the masked thugs made their threats, pronounced their hatred for all things American, and proceeded to cut Nick Berg’s head off.

Fox News published the following today:

“Senators … are in a virtual state of shock about the beheading,” said Sen. John Warner, R-Va., recalling earlier concerns that the prisoner abuse could lead to retaliation against Americans.

Gen. Ronald L. Burgess told Warner “there has been an increase” in threats in the days since the prisoner abuse became known through the publication of photographs.

Earlier this month President Bush went on Arab television and apologized for the abuse. If I were President Bush, I would call a press conference today and rescind that apology, based on today’s video from Iraq. And while I am feeling particularly bloodthirsty today, I would like each of the thugs on today’s video hunted down and dispatched in precisely the same fashion that they brought death to Nick Berg.

While I have been upset over the prison abuse photos, I refuse to be upset anymore. Let me see if I can put the acts of these GIs in perspective with the acts of the followers of the “religion of peace:”

Religion of Peace U.S.
Being dipped feet-first into acid. Americans smiling behind a pyramid of naked, hooded Iraqis.
Having hands and feet macheted off, then allowed to bleed to death. A group of clothed but bound prisoners.
Tossed off multi-story buildings while bound hand and foot. Hooded and naked prisoner handcuffed to cell bars.
Dead bodies mutilated, burned, dragged through the streets and hung. Hooded prisoner standing on a box with hands wired together, but not connected to anything.
Beheading Daniel Pearl. Naked Iraqis bound together.
State-run rape rooms. Naked Iraqi with panties on his head.
Beheading Nick Berg. Simulated sex acts.
Being tossed into a wood-chipper. Iraqi on a leash.
Slamming two airliners into the World Trade Center. A naked dogpile.

They don’t really compare, do they?

Oil

One of the rallying cries during the lead-up to the liberation of Iraq was the oft-shouted “No blood for oil!” This is a cute and snappy slogan, but it has no basis in fact. If the U. S. were really that greedy for oil, Kuwait would have become the 51st State a decade ago. Nor would it take much force to occupy Saudi Arabia. But oil did play an important part in the lead-up to the fighting in Iraq.

In 1996, a U.N. plan was implemented to feed the people of Iraq. For years Iraq was under a trade embargo as a result of invading Kuwait. The plan was informally called the “Oil for Food” program, and it allowed Iraq to sell its oil at dirt-cheap prices in exchange for humanitarian aid, mainly food and medicines. This plan ran for about seven years under the direct control of the U.N. In January of this year, the Iraqi newspaper al-Mada published a list of 270 names of people and organizations whom the newspaper found in Iraqi oil ministry documents. These were the people and organizations who took part in the Oil for Food program. Dick Morris sums up some of the people involved in a New York Post article:

The list of those receiving these bribes includes France’s former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua (who’s a leader of Chirac’s party) and Patrick Maugein, the head of the French Oil firm Soco International. France’s former U.N. ambassador, Jean-Bernard Merimee, got vouchers to sell 11 million barrels.

In Russia, the payoff chain reached right into the “office of the Russian president.” President Vladimir Putin’s Peace and Unity Party also got vouchers, as did the Soviet-era Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov and the Russian Orthodox Church. Nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky shared in the largesse.

Who were the three biggest opponents to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq? Who were the three biggest beneficiaries of the Oil for Food program? Why, in both cases these were France, Russia, and the U.N. Basically, Saddam had bought their opposition to the war with oil bribes. Oil certainly did play a part in the fighting in Iraq, but oil wasn’t the reason why the U.S. invaded. Oil was the reason behind the people crying out for the status quo. After all, they had a sweet deal going on.

If someone tells you the U.S. invaded Iraq because of oil, congratulations! You have just discovered someone who doesn’t have a clue. Feel free to give them their sign.

Torture

In April, news broke of Americans and other Coalition soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners. In one photo, soldiers grin behind a pile of naked Iraqis. Another shows a female soldier grinning and pointing to naked Iraqis. Americans and Arabs are understandably upset about this. After all, Americans value human dignity, and the Iraqis in the pictures have had this dignity robbed from them. And Arabs are upset because the photographs seem to show just how evil the satanic American crusaders have become.

I want a full investigation of those involved because I value human life and dignity. But to be honest, I’m not all that torn up by these photos. Regardless of how much is true and how much is fake, the “torture” displayed by the Coalition doesn’t hold a candle to the real torture the Iraqis endured under Saddam’s rule. On one hand we have a pile of naked people, and on the other hand we have thousands shot, starved, macheted, stung, and maimed by Saddam.

America is being blamed for this because we have standards and we clearly failed to live up to them. But Saddam didn’t have any standards, and the world seemed willing to give him a pass. If France, Russia, the U.N., and American liberals had their way, Saddam would still be in charge, and the real torture and rape rooms would still be in full swing.

The Draft

Early this year, Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel introduced a bill to reinstate the military draft. “I truly believe that those who make the decision and those who support the United States going into war would feel more readily the pain that’s involved, the sacrifice that’s involved, if they thought that the fighting force would include the affluent and those who historically have avoided this great responsibility,” Rangel said.

Liar. This has nothing to do with making sure the children of the rich serve, and everything to do with forcing people to serve against their wishes.

During the Vietnam War, college campuses rocked with anti-war demonstrations. One main reason was the understandable anger of being forced to serve a cause that one did not believe in or support. Modern liberals like Rep. Rangel hope that by reinstating the military draft, they will foment the same anti-war emotions and demonstrations in which they participated during the ’60s and ’70s. These liberals care less about making sure our military is fully staffed and funded than they do about creating the same kind of anti-war demonstrations they remember from their younger, less informed days.

I cannot support this push for the draft because I can see the cynical purpose behind it. But even if the draft were proposed by conservative leaders, I would still be against it. This is one area where my libertarian feelings rise to the surface, and I agree wholeheartedly with what Robert A. Heinlein said back in 1961:

Conscription is slavery – and I don’t think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone – no matter what name it is called. We have had a draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can’t save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say: Let the damned thing go down the drain!

America will go down the drain if it cannot inspire enough citizens to put their lives on the line to defend it. Or as stated in another place:

Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.