The great Christmas night raid

by W. Thomas Smith, Jr

 

Continental Army General George Washington's celebrated Crossing of the Delaware has been dubbed in some military circles,  America's first special operation. Though there were certainly many small-unit actions, raids, and Ranger operations during the Colonial Wars and there was a special Marine landing in Nassau in the early months of the American Revolution, no special mission by America's first army has been more heralded than that which took place on Christmas night exactly 230 years ago.

Certainly the mission had all the components of a modern special operation (though without all the modern battlefield technologies we take for granted in the 21st century): "A secret expedition is how John Greenwood, a soldier with the 15th Massachusetts, described it, as quoted in Bruce Chadwick's The First American Army.

If nothing else, all the elements for potential disaster were with Washington and his men as they crossed the Delaware River from the icy Pennsylvania shoreline to the equally frozen banks of New Jersey, followed by an eight-mile march to the objective the town of Trenton.

The river, swollen and swift moving, was full of wide, thick sheets of solid ice. And unlike the romanticized portrayal of the operation in the famous painting by Emanuel Leutze (the one with Washington standing in his dramatic, martial pose; his determined face turned toward the far side of the river), the actual crossing was made in the dead of night, in a gale-like wind and a blinding sleet and snowstorm. Odds are, Washington would have been hunkered down in one of the 66-ft-long wooden boats, draped in his cloak, stoically enduring the bitter cold with his soldiers, some of whom were rowing or poling the boats against the ice and the current.


WASHINGTON'S STRATEGIC CONCERNS


The decision for the crossing and the subsequent raid on Trenton was based on Washington's belief that he had to do something. Otherwise, as he penned in a private letter,the game will be pretty near up.

To the easily disheartened and the cut-and-runners, it might have seemed "the game" was indeed already 'up'. After all, many of Washington's Continental Army were wounded, sick, and demoralized. Recent losses to the British had been severe. Desertion numbers were rising, and enlistment terms were almost up. Reinforcements were poorly trained and ill-equipped. Ammunition was in short supply. The soldiers were not properly outfitted for extreme winter conditions: Clothing was spare. Many men were in rags, some naked, according to Washington' own account. Most had broken shoes or no shoes at all.


THE PLAN


The mission itself, though a huge gamble, was tactically simple.  Washington, personally leading a force of just under 2,500 men, would cross the river undetected, march toward Trenton, and attack the enemy garrisoned in the town at dawn.

 Two of Washington's other commanders, Generals John Cadwalader and James Ewing, were also directed to cross: Cadwalader's force was to cross and attack a second garrison near Bordentown. Ewing's force was to cross and block the enemy's escape at Trenton. Both commanders, discouraged by the weather and the river, aborted their own operations. But according to Maurice Matloff's American Military History (the U.S. Army's official history), Driven by Washington's indomitable will, the main force did cross as planned.

 Speed of movement, surprise, maneuver, violence of action, and the plan's simplicity were all key. And fortunately, the elements all came together.

The factors in Washington's favor were clear: The weather was so bad that no one believed the Continentals would attempt a river crossing followed by a forced march, much less at night. The Continentals were numerically and perceived to be qualitatively inferior to the British Army. The Hessians, mercenaries allied to the British and who were garrisoned in Trenton, had a battlefield reputation that far exceeded their actual combat prowess. And no one believed the weary Americans would want to attempt anything with anyone on Christmas.

 

THE CROSSING


Hours before kickoff, Washington had his officers read to the men excerpts of Thomas Paine's The American Crisis, a portion of which reads:

"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.”

By 4:00 p.m. the force was gathered at McKonkey's Ferry, the launching point for the mission. The watchword, “Victory or death,” was given. When darkness set in, the men climbed into the boats and began easing out into the black river.

Back and forth throughout the night and into the wee hours of the 26th, the boat crews ferried the little army, a few horses, and 18 cannon across the Delaware. The crossing was complete by 4 a.m., but two hours behind schedule, and the temperatures were plummeting. At least two men, exhausted and falling asleep in the snow, froze to death.

 

ATTACKING TRENTON

 

The next obstacle was the march toward Trenton in blinding snow, sleet, even hail; and on bloody frostbitten feet. Keep going men, keep up with your officers, Washington, now on horseback, urged as he rode alongside his advancing infantry.

Just before 8:00 a.m., the advance elements of the American army were spotted on the outskirts of town by a Hessian lieutenant. But by the time he was able to sound the alarm, all hell was breaking loose. Americans were rushing into Trenton with fixed bayonets. The Hessians , some still in their underwear, and nearly all with hangovers from too much Christmas Day celebrating, were attempting to form ranks, but were quickly overrun. Many fled in a panic. Hundreds surrendered. Those who resisted were shot down or run through with the bayonet. The Hessian commander, Col. Johann Rall, was desperately trying to rally his men. But he was shot from his horse, and died later that day.

One of Washington's junior officers, Lieutenant James Monroe was leading a charge against a Hessian position in the town, when he took a musket ball in the chest and collapsed. Amazingly he survived, and would ultimately become the fifth president of the United States.

The fighting lasted about an hour. Four Americans had been killed and ten-times as many Hessians lay dead in the snow. Some 900 enemy prisoners were rounded up, along with weapons, ammunition, and other desperately needed stores. And Washington's victorious army was soon marching back along the river road to the waiting boats and the return crossing.

 

WHAT IT MEANT FOR AMERICA

 

Days later when many enlistments were up, Washington ordered his commanders to form ranks. He then rode out before the troops, and appealed to their sense of duty as well as the criticality of their fight:

"My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected, but your country is at stake. The present is emphatically the crisis which is to decide our destiny. " Indeed it was in December of 1776, just as it is in December of 2018.

Washington held his little army together. Many of the continentals renewed their enlistments. They then capitalized on their Trenton victory with wins over the British at Trenton (the second go around) on January 2, and Princeton on January 3.

The initial Delaware crossing and the raid on Trenton was the bold, high-risk shot-in-the-arm the nearly disintegrated American army needed in late 1776. The fighting was far from over, and there would be many setbacks for the Americans before the Treaty of Paris was signed formally ending the war in 1783. But the great Christmas night raid in 1776 would forever serve as a model of how a special operation or a conventional mission, for that matter might be successfully conducted. There are never any guarantees for success on the battlefield; but with a little initiative and a handful of good Americans, the dynamics of war can be altered in a single night. {Not to mention the providential hand of the Almighty - ED}


 


W. Thomas Smith Jr. is a former U.S. Marine infantry leader, parachutist, and shipboard counterterrorism instructor and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pirates. Be the first to read W. Thomas Smith Jr's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox. Sign up today!

{A 2015 article updated from the Webnode site and republished here in honor of God,and remembrance of the marvelous victory he provided for America to be an independent self governing nation. .- ED}





Winning the Ultimate Lottery

by Gerald Weston


We are hearing this week of a record mega-lottery here in the United States. Some people tweeted the following answers to the question, “What would you do if you won a billion dollars?” One said he would build the wall between Mexico and the U.S. Another said he would rebuild Mexico Beach on the Gulf coast, destroyed by Hurricane Michael. And another said he would give some to charity and spend the rest of his life hunting and fishing.

Perhaps you dream about what you would do with a billion dollars, or a significant fraction of that amount. After all, one hundred million, or even ten million, will go a long way! Many people, when asked the question, say they would give a portion to charity. I’m sure they are sincere in saying this, but would they really build the wall or give it all to rebuild a destroyed city? Maybe, but probably not.

Have you ever considered that, in principle, you have already won the lottery? Let me explain.

Jesus made it plain that His message was not understandable by the majority. For example, Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44), repeating this truth to His disciples shortly afterward (v. 65). How few understand this! Consider also, why did Jesus speak in parables? It is not the reason I heard in Sunday school. Jesus’ own disciples asked Him this very question. Here was His answer: “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given” (Matthew 13:11). A parallel account on this same occasion adds, “But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples” (Mark 4:34).

If you understand these things you are part of a very small group of people. You understand, not because you are more intelligent or better than others, but because God has specially selected you to do His end-time Work. He opened your mind to precious truth not generally understood by billions on earth today! No, it is not a lottery based on chance. It is selection by the Creator of the universe! But as with lotteries, only a precious few win, and you have been called to win!

Jesus’ parables reflect the value of knowledge you receive from Tomorrow’s World and the Living Church of God, the sponsor of Tomorrow’s World. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” (Matthew 13:44–46).

The Apostle Peter wrote an encouraging passage regarding the difficult and painful things we experience in life. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6–7). And Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

These passages and parables all point to one great truth: Everything physical will perish, but the choices we make in life and the faith in God that we express by our actions are of far greater value than the things for which most people crave. As John instructs us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.    And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15, 17).

We do not like to think about it, but we will all come to the end of this physical existence, and the end of the trail comes sooner than we once thought. Young people may know this academically. Older folks measure the days (Psalm 39:4).

What if you did win the mega-lottery? How long would it last? What would you do with it? What truly lasting value would hunting and fishing give you in the end? Now please understand. Hunting and fishing have worthy recreational value, and I personally try to take off a few days each year to go fishing, but should that be the purpose of one’s life? What happens when the end of the trail comes? Then what?

The fact that you are reading this indicates you are probably one who sees more to life than another fishing trip, a game of golf, or winning the mega-lottery. Your contributions and your prayers show your love for God and your love for others (Matthew 22:35–40).

Our offices around the world receive a continual stream of letters from individuals thanking us for what we give them free of charge. We also receive some not too flattering letters, but that is fine. We know that we are reaching beyond the choir! However,  I want to share a few comments with you, because you make them possible and these people want to thank you. I have embolden a few words for emphasis.

Here is a letter from Colorado from a reader who appreciated our booklet explaining the purpose of life. “Good Day. I just want to thank you for the Booklet: Your Ultimate Destiny! Awesome!!! Really opened my mind! Keep up the Good Work! GOD Bless You All.” If you have not read this booklet, please let us know and we will send you a free copy. It explains the very purpose of life straight from the pages of the Bible. Can there be any more valuable truth?

A writer from South Africa wants you to know how much he appreciates you. “I just want to thank you for the booklet and the Bible Study Course. Thanks for all the People at Tomorrow's World. You are Highly Appreciated! GOD Bless!”

A woman shared her thoughts by e-mail regarding a Tomorrow’s World article. “I read ‘Which Jesus Do You Worship,’ and it left me wondering and wanting to know more. Cause it is my heart’s desire to follow Christ Jesus. Thank you for waking me up.” You make the magazine possible, so we share her thanks with you!

Earlier this year someone from Perth, Australia wrote regarding Dr. Roderick C. Meredith’s series on the Protestant Reformation. “I am in receipt of May-June 2018 T/W magazine, for which as always, I am deeply grateful. . . . May Almighty God through Christ Jesus, continue to Bless each of you in this Wonderful Work that you are doing, and [I] look forward to receiving a copy of Dr. Meredith’s brilliant work.”

A subscriber from Toronto, Ontario wrote to express his appreciation. “Thank you so much for your ministry, you are helping people to understand we are living in the last days, and we have to live a life according to God’s Word. Thank you again. God Bless this Ministry.”

Some of our subscribers are in prison for serious sins committed earlier in life. This man writes from Hunlock, Pennsylvania. “Thank you for your magazine, Tomorrow’s World. . . . I am a life sentence prisoner serving a life without parole sentence. I have 30 years served so far. Your magazine helps me to keep my sanity in a world with so much misinformation and injustice. Your publication keeps me aware of what’s truly important.”

Another prisoner, this one from Marino, Ohio writes regarding Tomorrow’s World, “This magazine has been truly one of the most consistently read pieces of Christian literature in my 13½ years of incarceration. You guys are truly a blessing and exemplary of what a Christian today is to ‘look like’ and ‘sound like.’

There are so many more I could share with you, but I’ll give just one more. This one is from Gatundu, Kenya. “I have been transformed by your magazines. The word of God is real, [and has] become simpler and clearer each day.”

Okay, I cannot resist. Here is one more, from a woman in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. “Other than the Holy Bible itself, I have been searching for a teaching program [that] teaches ‘Sound Christian doctrine.’ I applaud your ‘FREE’ teachings that other programs want to charge a lot of money for. How else would poor people be able to understand this wicked world?

Once again, thank you for your part in making it possible to reach people of all races, nationalities, economic conditions, and ages. I pray that God fully opens your minds and hearts to the very purpose of life and that you will stand before the Son of God upon His return. You are making a difference through your tithes, offerings, and heartfelt prayers! Thank you dear friends!


Have you Ever Seen A Muslim Charity

by Anonymous


by Anonymous


Charity Hospital run by the sisters of Charity in New Orleans, along with the Upjohn company developed the plasma system in the 1930's that saved so many lives in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and in the middle east
now.  During the Civil War most of the nurses were nuns. 
 
Even if you are not Catholic, this is eye opening: 
 
When the Catholic Church was  founded, there were no schools. Today, the Catholic Church teaches 3 million students a day, in its more than 250 Catholic Colleges and Universities, in its more than 1200 Catholic High Schools and in its more than 5000 Catholic grade schools. 
 
Every day, the Catholic Church feeds, clothes, shelters and educates more people than any other organization in the world. 
 
The Obama Health Mandate could have ended all this and the tax payers would have had to make up the loss. 
 
Also, all Catholic adoption services would come to an end... a human disaster. 
 
There are more than 77 million Catholics in this country. It takes an estimated 50 million Catholic votes to elect a president. 

Former president Obama said, "The USA  is not a Christian Nation". He is wrong – we are a Christian Nation founded on Judaeo-Christian values allowing all religions in America to  worship and practice freely....something that Islam will never do.
 
Oh, by the way, on MUSLIM HERITAGE IN America ....Have you ever been to a Muslim hospital, heard a Muslim orchestra, seen a Muslim band march in a parade, know of a Muslim charity, ever seen Muslims shaking hands with a Muslim Girl  Scout, or ever seen a Muslim Candy Striper volunteering in a hospital?

I am asking all of you to go to the polls in 2018 and be united in replacing all Senators and Congressional Representatives with someone who will respect the Catholic Church, all Christians, and all Religions.   
 
One more note most every church or synagogue I have ever been in in the United States, I have always seen an American flag. No mosque in the United States carries an American flag.

Have you ever  seen a Muslim do much of anything that contributes positively to the American way of
life?


Welcome to the Dark Age of Designer Babies

by Carly Andrews


[A sobering 2014 article on alteration of the human gene pool which will have unknown consequences for the human race.  Once invoked, how can this be undone? Is this really what we want genetic science to be? ED]


As FDA holds hearing on new controversial fertility technique, Aleteia expert insists it’s a moral no-go.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is holding a hearing this week in the US to consider a controversial new IFV technology that would involve the creation of test-tube babies, using the DNA from 3 separate people.  The procedure aims at preventing potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases. [emphasis - DNI]
 
Troublesome cells

Mitochondria are organelles (or tiny power stations) found in every cell of the body except for red blood cells, generating energy for the cell. They are passed from mother to child through her egg.
 
There are around 5,000 children in the US suffering from the illness.  Mitochondrial diseases are often caused by mutations – inherited or acquired – in mitochondrial DNA.  The effects can include cerebral developmental delays, muscle weakness, seizures, strokes, dementia, diabetes, blindness, deafness, short stature, respiratory problems and in the worst cases, death.
 
This latest IVF research has discovered that exchanging the defective mitochondria of the parent egg/embryo with mitochondria from a healthy donor egg/embryo, avoids passing on the disease to the infant. 
 
There are two different methods for mitochondrial repair:
 
First – intervention by embryo: 
1. The sperm fertilises two eggs; one embryo is created using the egg of the parent, and another with the egg of the donor. 
2. The nucleus (containing the genetic information) from the donor embryo is removed and destroyed.
3. The nucleus from the parent embryo (which has the unhealthy mitochondria) are removed and the remains destroyed.
4. The parents’ nucleus is inserted into the donor embryo to create a healthy embryo.
 
Second - intervention by egg:
1. A healthy donor egg and the mother’s egg with defective mitochondria are collected. 
2. The donor’s nucleus (containing most of the genetic information) is removed and destroyed.
3. The nucleus from the mother’s egg is removed and the remains destroyed. 
4. The mother's nucleus is inserted into the donor’s healthy egg, and it may now be fertilised by sperm.

The consequences of either of the above procedures mean that the child would have around 20,000 genes from their parents and about 37 mitochondrial genes from a third-party donor. The genetic inheritance of the infant would be irreversibly moderated. 
 
Moral dilemma
 
Antonio G. Spagnolo, Director of the Institute of Bioethics, Faculty of Medicine, at the Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Rome, has spoken to Aleteia about the moral implications of this highly controversial procedure. 
 
“Undoubtedly the efforts of the researchers in attempting to eliminate pathologies of this type are commendable” he says. “Unfortunately the manner in which they proceed to resolve illnesses is very problematic and numerous moral questions must be confronted."
 
“First of all, at the heart of the matter is the unavoidable problem - which is morally negative in itself - of IVF which is what actually enables the realisation of this new procedure.”
 
The Church is very clear on the moral depravity of IVF practices, in which many human embryos are experimented on and disposed of.
 
“Respect for the dignity of the human being excludes all experimental manipulation or exploitation of the human embryo." [Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith]
 
Besides the many risks involved for both the mother and infant, the big moral problem is that the human embryo is treated as mere disposable biological material, instead of a human person.

The Church explains that the human person is a unified whole, which is “at the same time corporal and spiritual. By virtue of its substantial union with a spiritual soul, the human body cannot be considered as a mere complex of tissues, organs and functions...” 
 
Therefore “the fruit of human generation, from the first moment of its existence...from the moment the zygote has formed, demands the unconditional respect that is morally due to the human being in his bodily and spiritual totality.”
 
If the human embryo must be treated as a human person, then it is “not in conformity with the moral law deliberately to expose to death human embryos obtained 'in vitro'.”
 
But then, wouldn’t the second form of IVF be morally permissible, since it only modifies the egg and not the embryo? 

Professor Spagnolo answers that “the procedure cannot be morally permissible.”
 
Consequences unknown
 
Firstly, in addition to the foundational problem of IVF in itself being morally wrong, Spagnolo emphasises the problem of consequences.
 
“Even for those who retain that in vitro fertilisation does not have any moral problems” he explains that “they still could not help but recognise that this new procedure is, in itself, loaded with unknown elements with regards to its results."
 
Indeed there is no way to tell, from supposed initial ‘success’ in experimentation, what the long-ranging consequences of this procedure could be for the child and what physiological or psychological problems it may cause further down the line. 
 
Gene therapy
 
Secondly, Professor Spagnolo considers the risks involved with understanding the procedure in terms of “gene therapy.” 
 
He explains that the scientific community has “always considered gene therapy on germ cells in the negative sense.” 
 
The practice “deals with inserting correct genes into a germ cell before IVF” he says. “Germ gene therapy is loaded with risks since any possible harm transmitted would be done not only to the embryo in question, but also to the descendants of the embryo.”
 
Here Spagnolo brings our attention once again to the teachings of the Church. 
 
“The Catholic Magisterium reminds us: ‘because the risks connected to any genetic manipulation are considerable and as yet not fully controllable, in the present state of research, it is not morally permissible to act in a way that may cause possible harm to the resulting progeny. ...For these reasons, therefore, it must be stated that, in its current state, germ line cell therapy in all its forms is morally illicit.’” [Dignitas Personae, 26]
 
So basically, 3-person IFV treatment is a moral no-go.

"It is not enough merely to discipline by law the ways in which it is brought about" Spagnolo asserts, "since its fundamental meaning remains the same."



[Note:  Better analysis than most.  Yes, both the end/goal and the means used to reach it must be ethical.  The ends do not justify the means.

(1)  He identifies one of the major scientific consequences that seems the media wants to ignore:  the genetic engineering does not just affect the child born, but because those “foreign” genes become integrated into her germ cells (female oocytes) then those foreign genes will ALSO be passed down through the child’s future generations -- genetically altering not just the child’s genome but all her descendants and the human gene pool as well.  Thus not just one child’s problems are the issue, but also the cloning of those foreign genes down through the generations. 

(2)  I might also add that the fact that mitochondria have fewer genes than the nucleus does not therefore mean that they are “incidental” -- as demonstrated by the various mitochondrial diseases themselves. 

(3)  Approving this research -- much less clinical trials with human patients -- would thereby also approve killing the normal living human embryos used as the source of the healthy mitochondria.

(4)  How can patients in clinical trials give ethically or legally valid “informed consent” when the researchers don’t know the critical “information” they need to inform their patients -- e.g., the scientific facts, the risks and benefits, etc.?

(5)  Scientifically they don’t have a clue as to what genes are causing the problems in mitochondrial diseases.  (a)  As there are many different kinds of mitochondrial diseases, there are probably many different genetic mutations causing them.  (b)  By what genetic criteria will they determine the guilty genes when scientists still don’t know any more that 50% or less of the coding of THE Human Genome Project (which used only nuclear genes, and derived them from samples from people around the world and pooled them all together!).  Answer:  They don’t know, and can’t know.  Thus they are incapable of anticipating any dangerous consequences to the child or her descendants -- or explaining them scientifically.

(6)  A lot of research by many different scientists have shown that the normal “communication” between the nuclear genes and the mitochondrial genes is badly damaged when “foreign” mitochondrial genes are substituted for the natural mitochondrial genes -- and that causes serious damage to the organism.

(7)  And what appears to be a “beneficent” technique can also be used for maleficent purposes as well.  What if they use the same technique to inject non-human animal mitochondrial thus forming a chimera?  Or inject foreign genes desired by researchers into the donor mitochondria before injecting them into the human oocyte/embryo?  Same technique, different foreign genes.  Opens the door to all sorts of genetic engineering of human beings and their descendents.

(8)  My only pause was when he used the term “zygote”.  According to the Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development (instituted in 1942 and updated continuously since then to the present), the formation of the human “zygote” is not when the new human being begins to exist.  The “zygote” is Stage 1c;  the embryo already exists before that point at Stages 1a and 1b.  That is, the new sexually reproduced human being begins to exist at the beginning of the process of fertilization, when the sperm penetrates and fuses with the oocyte -- not at the end of the process.  If the “zygote” is claimed to be when the human being begins to exist, that would justify using (and killing) the already existing embryo at Stages 1a and b -- which is when a great deal of human genetic engineering is performed!  Well, at least he didn’t say “conception”. The article first appeared here.  -- DNI