‘How Could This Happen?’

‘How Could This Happen?’

Mohammed Huwas/AFP/Getty Images

Humiliation in Cairo and death in Benghazi shook America. But our response has been even more terrifying.
From the December 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

It was a mortifying week. We watched angry crowds protesting outside of American outposts throughout the Middle East and beyond. Violent mobs chanted, “We are all Osama.” Structures were defaced or burned. Islamic banners were hoisted where American flags once flew.

Americans were trying to focus on preparing for a presidential election—and we got handed a new mini-9/11.

In the week after September 11 this year, Muslim anti-Western violence hit nearly 30 countries, killing about 30 people. Especially in the Middle East and North Africa, we witnessed a meltdown of order in country after country. It felt like the world was unraveling.

This explosion of unrest sent a chilling message. For the past four years, the Obama administration has worked hard to reach out to the Muslim world—wishing Muslims a happy Ramadan; embracing the Muslim Brotherhood; apologizing for things America did in the Middle East to defend against the Soviets half a century ago; criticizing America’s response to the Twin Towers falling. When the Arab Spring began last year, the White House embraced it, praising and supporting the empowerment of the Muslim street.

September 2012 proved that strategy a failure.

Cairo and Benghazi

In two countries in particular, the attacks were especially vicious—and stung America the worst.

It started in Egypt—and on the anniversary of 9/11 no less. An angry, armed group of about 2,000 Egyptians surrounded the American Embassy in Cairo, breached the compound, yanked down the American flag, ripped it and burned it, then raised a black flag bearing these words in Arabic: “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger.”

But that horrific affront was not the worst thing to happen that day. Six hundred miles away in Benghazi, Libya, a group of over a hundred heavily armed terrorists stormed the American consulate after nightfall. They fired rocket-propelled grenades and set it ablaze, attacked a nearby cia safehouse with guns and mortars, and killed a highly respected ambassador and three other Americans.

In Egypt and Libya. Just last year, President Obama threw his weight behind uprisings in these exact countries to help the people topple long-standing dictators Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Qadhafi. Washington brimmed with optimism for the future of these “liberated” peoples.

The back-to-back attacks—the first assaults on American diplomatic facilities in either country—shattered those illusory hopes. They highlighted the stark reality that “liberating” these nations had created a dangerous vacuum and unleashed some violent, unpredictable forces.

German newspaper Die Welt ran the headline: “U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins.”

“[N]ow parts of the freed societies are turning against the country that helped bring them into being,” the article said. “Anti-Americanism in the Arab world has even increased to levels greater than in the Bush era. It’s a bitter outcome for Obama.” Indeed.

Amazingly, though, this isn’t the way the Obama administration viewed these events at all. It immediately and vociferously promoted a completely different reading of what had happened, and of the state of the Middle East and North Africa.

If the attacks themselves didn’t illustrate the failure of American policy vividly enough, the official interpretation made it far worse.

How Could This Happen?

“Today, many Americans are asking—indeed, I asked myself—how could this happen?” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the day after the murders in Libya. “How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?”

It’s an excellent question—one that deserves to be answered honestly.

Strong clues lie in the events that led up to the previous Libyan government’s fall. For seven months, a U.S.-led bombing campaign smashed Qadhafi’s forces. This bombardment raining down from above allowed the Islamists on the ground to go on the offensive. They rounded up Qadhafi loyalists, including many civilians, and conducted mass beatings and killings. The United States turned a blind eye to these atrocities. Then, Libya’s rebel forces got hold of Colonel Qadhafi. They proceeded to sodomize him and parade his beaten and bloodied body through the streets of Sirte en route to his public execution. The dictator’s lynching was recorded and distributed worldwide via YouTube.

But instead of pausing to reassess its strategic alliance with these so-called liberators of Libya, the United States just laughed off the grisly killing. “We came, we saw, he died,” Secretary Clinton joked during an interview with cbs. In other words, why should Libya’s “freedom” march be hindered by a messy war crimes investigation? The tyrant may have been brutally beaten, sexually assaulted and shot dead—but Libya was now on the road to full democracy! President Obama said Qadhafi’s death marked the end of a long and painful chapter in Libya. He said the people in the “new and democratic Libya” now had a chance to determine their own destiny.

This is what the leaders of the United States of America were saying about the new Libya in October 2011.

But what was the Trumpet saying? That same month, in the October 2011 cover story, editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote this: “Now America and the West have paved the way for another Iranian victory in Libya. We are rejoicing about the overthrow of Libya’s Muammar Qadhafi, while we should be mourning. Libyan chaos is now the ideal setting for Iran to bring that nation into its deadly terrorist web.The government that replaces Qadhafi will be a thousand times worse” (emphasis added throughout).

The signs were there. Really, is what happened on 9/11 such a shock? How couldn’t this happen?

Essentially the same story played out in Egypt. When public protests broke out against the rule of Mubarak—America’s longtime ally—the Obama administration took their side. Mubarak responded to the pressure with a warning: “You don’t understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now.” He feared that the Muslim Brotherhood, a popular Islamist organization he had suppressed for decades, would take over. President Obama ignored the warning. His administration celebrated Mubarak’s fall as a victory for freedom and democracy, a model of a “peaceful” transition away from dictatorship. He even took some of the credit, praising America’s instrumental support for the opposition. “I think history will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in Egypt that we were on the right side of history,” he boasted.

Once again, the Trumpet had a far different view. “For three decades, [Mubarak] just about single-handedly held Egypt’s forces of religious extremism and anti-Israelism in check. Now … those forces have driven him from office,” we wrote in our April 2011 cover story. “Time will soon show: Egypt, the Middle East, and the world are far more perilous for it.” Six months later, in that same October 2011 story, Mr. Flurry wrote, “The end result is going to be that we exchanged Mubarak and ‘the only successful Middle East peace treaty’ [the one between Egypt and Israel] for the Muslim Brotherhood—allied with Iran. … It shows that Egypt is already allying itself with Iran in its bloody terrorist war. This has the potential to cause the Middle East to explode and drag all the Earth’s inhabitants into World War iii!”

Sure enough, soon after Mubarak was gone, the Brotherhood rose, and grisly signs of its radicalism emerged. Now Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel is effectively dead; the most powerful Arab country in the Middle East is rapidly forging a fresh alliance with Iran. And the mobs on the streets are flying an Islamist flag at the American embassy.

How could this happen? Well, again—how couldn’t it?

However, to an American administration intoxicated with the notion that Muslim radicals can be won over with politeness, this came out of nowhere.

Protecting Their Story

This long-cherished idea that the White House’s outreach to Muslims is brilliant foreign policy is extraordinarily resilient. Not even the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks were able to kill it.

If anything, those attacks prompted the Obama administration to defend its strategy even more aggressively. The fact that the president’s reelection was at risk surely increased the stakes.

Consider the horrific facts about Benghazi that emerged in the weeks after the attack. Among them: that the consulate had warned the State Department a month before 9/11 that it would not be able to defend against a “coordinated attack” due to “limited manpower”; that Ambassador Chris Stevens knew he was on an al Qaeda hit list, and his murder was a premeditated strike; that the Americans under fire requested military help at least three times, and were—for unknown reasons—thrice denied; that Americans were killed only after hours of being under siege without receiving help; that American officials in Tripoli, the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House were watching everything as it happened thanks to a live video feed from unmanned drones over the city.

Stunning. The reality that this was a well-planned, well-executed and lethal terrorist attack on American soil was known virtually right away.

Nevertheless, administration officials—apparently intent on preserving the myth of the success of their outreach to the Muslim world—immediately began promoting a bizarre and altogether false version of events.

The president, the secretary of state and the UN ambassador sprang into action and lashed out … at a YouTube video. An Egyptian Salafist television station, in order to incite anti-American violence on the anniversary of 9/11, had screened a low-budget, poorly made mockery of the Islamic prophet Mohammed that was made by a Coptic Christian from Egypt living in California and apparently assisted by people from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt. This video served as the flimsy pretext for some of the anti-America rioting. But the mob in Cairo—led by Mohammad Zawahiri, brother of al Qaeda’s leader—had been coordinated by Salafist militants weeks in advance of the video being broadcast. And the terrorist strike in Benghazi had no connection to the video whatsoever. Nevertheless, the administration briskly diverted attention from what had really happened by fixating its attention on this YouTube clip.

American officials relentlessly attacked the video as a disgusting, reprehensible, abhorrent attack on Islam and on freedom of religion. They asked YouTube to censor it. They applauded the media for going after the video producer, who was subsequently tracked down and arrested. And then they did everything they could to downplay the seriousness of the attack. “We must be clear-eyed, even in our grief,” said Secretary Clinton. “This was an attack by a small and savage group—not the people or government of Libya.” Nothing to worry about, then.

White House press secretary Jay Carney also performed an acrobatic dance around the issue: “This is … in response not to U.S. policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people,” he explained. “It is in response to a video—a film—that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.” In other words, We’re on the same side as the protesters. We all agree: This video is reprehensible and disgusting. “[T]his is not a case of protests directed at the United States, writ large, or at U.S. policy,” he assured us.

If these mobs did want to protest U.S. policy, the administration, the American people, or the United States writ large, what would they have to do? Islamist chants, flag burning, arson, murder—Washington doesn’t take any of these personally.

A reporter asked Mr. Carney if the attacks occurred because of “perceived American weakness” that stems from Obama’s leadership. He answered, “We’re very proud of the president’s record on foreign policy.”

Even as he said that, anti-American violence was erupting all over the world. In Tunisia, Islamist protesters scaled the wall of the U.S. Embassy compound, broke windows, started fires and raised the black flag of al Qaeda. In Sudan, a mob of 5,000 protesters marched right by Sudanese policemen and set the German Embassy on fire. In Yemen, the United States dispatched Marine reinforcements to fend off attacks. In London, 200 protesters burned American and Israeli flags outside the U.S. Embassy. In Sydney, Muslim protesters were waving signs that read, “Behead all those who insult the prophet.”

The Sunday after the 9/11 attack, Libyan President Mohamed Yousef told cbs’s Face the Nation that he had “no doubt” that what happened in Benghazi had been a preplanned terrorist strike. But that same hour, on abc’s This Week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the attack was not premeditated; it was a “spontaneous” protest that was inspired by the violence in Cairo, which happened because of the video. The Benghazi “protest” was then “hijacked” by “clusters of extremists,” and the whole thing just sort of “evolved” from there, Rice said.

Quite an elaborate account. And entirely fictional.

In the days that followed, as more facts emerged, the administration’s story got more and more convoluted. And just as all this was blowing up, the presidential debates occurred. In the vice presidential debate on October 12, Joe Biden defended the White House’s account of the Benghazi attack (which for two weeks had been that it spontaneously sprang from—in the president’s own words before the United Nations—“outrage” over a “crude and disgusting video”). Biden said this explanation was “exactly” what the intelligence community had told them—when in reality, the State Department was calling it a coordinated terrorist attack almost immediately. Mr. Biden also claimed the government didn’t know the consulate in Libya wanted more security—even though evidence proved that the State Department had repeatedly received those requests and they had obviously been denied.

Whatever mistakes were made in Benghazi, this administration would not even acknowledge they existed, let alone take responsibility.

But it went even a step further. Even as its misdirection and cover-up were being exposed and refuted by emerging evidence—and even with countries throughout the Middle East in tumult—the White House made a gutsy move: It ramped up its “right side of history,” “proud of the president’s record” rhetoric.

We’re Doing Everything Right

In his debate, Mr. Biden praised the president for his tremendous progress on the Iran problem: Though they were on the rise when he took office, the Iranians are now more isolated than ever and far less powerful. Biden gushed about his achievements, “This is a guy who’s repaired our alliances so the rest of the world follows us again.”

The rest of the world is now following America again? That is an astonishing take on the state of global affairs.

In the presidential debate about foreign policy, Mr. Obama also paraded his accomplishments. “We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. And as a consequence, al Qaeda’s core leadership has been decimated. In addition, we’re now able to transition out of Afghanistan in a responsible way, making sure that Afghans take responsibility for their own security.” He even praised himself for his handling of Benghazi: “When we received that phone call, I immediately made sure that, number one, that we did everything we could to secure those Americans who were still in harm’s way.” And despite the radicalism that has emerged in Egypt and Libya, the president reiterated his conviction that he was right to support the ousting of Mubarak, and correct in dethroning Qadhafi.

The families of the Americans killed in Benghazi have every right to take exception to his “everything we could” remark. And his statement about al Qaeda being decimated was awkward, considering that it was an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist mob that struck the consulate. But what the president said about Afghanistan warrants particular scrutiny.

Mr. Obama took credit for bringing the situation under control to the point where America can hand control back to Afghanis. But the facts undermine this claim. Ever since the so-called Obama surge—when in 2009 he shifted attention away from Iraq and sent an additional 33,000 troops to Afghanistan—there has been a dramatic rise in U.S. casualties. Of the more than 2,100 U.S. service members who have been killed in Afghanistan, about 70 percent have died on Mr. Obama’s watch. Of even greater concern is the alarming increase of “green on blue” attacks. This year there have been more than 30 attacks on coalition forces by their Afghan “partners.” The problem has gotten so bad that U.S. forces now carry weapons at all times—even while on base—to protect themselves from people who are supposed to be on their side.

Despite these many setbacks, however, the Obama administration actively peddled the “mission accomplished” theme on Afghanistan. During the vice presidential debate, Mr. Biden said America’s primary objective in Afghanistan is “almost completed.” Mr. Obama took it even further, repeatedly saying on the campaign trail that America has “blunted the Taliban’s momentum” and that al Qaeda is on the “path to defeat.”

But according to cbs reporter Lara Logan, the administration was misleading the American people with this “major lie” in order to justify the U.S. exit strategy. During a 60 Minutes episode on September 30, Logan interviewed Gen. John Allen, the commanding officer of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a Taliban commander who had been trained by al Qaeda. All of them agreed: Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are now returning to Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda is definitely “on the run,” as Mr. Obama repeatedly stated. But it isn’t running from American forces—it is instead rushing to fill the power void left by a superpower that has spent its strength in vain.

This is the real story. America is fading. After a decade of fighting an unwinnable war in Afghanistan, most Americans want out. The nation’s leaders have responded by declaring victory so they can finalize an exit strategy.

Even Obama’s Republican opponent actively promoted the “mission accomplished” propaganda. “We’ve seen progress over the past several years. The surge has been successful, and the training program is proceeding at pace,” Mitt Romney said at the foreign-policy debate. There are now a large number of Afghan security forces—350,000—that are ready to step in to provide security, and we’re going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014.” He emphatically told America’s enemies that as president, he would stick to the 2014 timetable. Obviously in that debate, he was speaking to undecided voters, moving to the center to avoid coming across as radical. But how telling is it that this is what it takes to appeal to a war-weary American electorate in 2012?

Are you buying what these leaders are selling? The prevailing narrative is that America is doing everything essentially right. In Syria, Bashar Assad is sure to go eventually; we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. In Egypt, we were correct in ousting Hosni Mubarak; we’re better off with the Muslim Brotherhood in charge. In Libya, we did right in knocking off Qadhafi; Libya is progressing nicely. In Afghanistan, we’ve basically done our job; the locals can keep things under control now, so we can bring our boys back.

Apparently, a great many Americans believe it. They want so much to think that the greatest dangers facing the nation are now in the past.

But the cold, hard, stark reality is, it just isn’t true.

The Post-American World

Events are exploding in America’s face. The Middle East is transforming, and in spite of enormously costly American efforts, it is descending deeper into radicalism. On top of that, the rest of the world faces tremendous instability. Europe is in turmoil, seized with unrest that, history shows, could be commandeered by extremists of a different stripe. Asia is being redrawn as China rises and actively undermines American interests. Latin America is also decoupling from the U.S. and playing host to more extremist and violent elements. Frankly, the proliferation of factors that could lead to devastating conflicts can numb the mind.

But America’s top leaders—both Democrat and Republican, it seems—insist that things are under control. America has never been stronger and safer. We just need to stay the course. Make a few tweaks, but keep doing what we’re doing. These leaders, in their arrogance, think they write the script. In Afghanistan, they have decided in their own minds that America won. But the reality, Logan says, is that “After 11 years of war in Afghanistan, where we are surrendering—rushing for the exits as fast as we can—not only do we not dictate the terms, but we have less power to dictate anything on the world stage.”

In other words, it isn’t al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that is on the path to defeat. It’s the United States of America.

How is this possible? Isn’t the U.S. the world’s strongest nation? In the foreign-policy debate, Mr. Obama boasted, “We spend more on our military than the next 10 countries combined.” But the painful truth is, that expenditure provides us with nothing. The U.S. “no longer has the … basic ability to impose its will anywhere on the planet,” Tom Engelhardt wrote on Real Clear World. “Quite the opposite, U.S. military power has been remarkably discredited globally by the most pitiful of forces” (October 10). Even a hundred or so terrorists can poke America in the eye with a sharp stick by destroying an American consulate and killing an ambassador—and face no consequences whatsoever.

The time of American superpower is past. We are in a multipolar world. Washington’s authority and influence is bleeding out in several directions, and is being absorbed by unpredictable, unstable powers.

Can Americans recognize this? Do they even care? Judging by presidential politics, it seems the stunning answer is no. As George Will said of Obama and Romney after their foreign-policy debate, “They understand, both of them, that foreign policy is very peripheral to Americans’ interests today, and what foreign policy they want needs a lot less American involvement overseas. Tonight we saw two men who don’t really disagree all that much talking about subjects concerning which the voters don’t care all that much.”

That is astonishing, given the state of the world. Americans are eager to pass responsibility for Iraq onto Iraqis, for Afghanistan onto Afghanis, for Israel onto Israelis, and for every other problem area onto “partners” in the international community. They like their presidential candidates to talk about exerting leadership in the world, but in the end, they pretty much would like the world to take care of itself. The nation’s role in the world is peripheral to their interests.

Well, the truth is that, more and more, America’s role in the world is peripheral to the world’s interests as well. America’s “ability to impose its will anywhere on the planet” is long gone. And when a political candidate says “the rest of the world follows us again,” the rest of the world chuckles—and then carries on with its business in post-American reality.

They are confident that the next administration will oversee the continuing contraction of American influence and power. America is becoming irrelevant. The U.S. is disengaging from the world, and the world is returning the favor.

But the story doesn’t end there. This massive geopolitical shift is going to have fearsome consequences. Probably within this next presidential term, the multipolar, post-American world will explode with shocks so earthshaking that no president will be able to paper over the facts. America’s pride in its power has been broken. And the powers that are rising to replace it are about to tear this world apart.

The Dollar Killer

The Fed’s latest announcement is a death knell for the greenback.
From the December 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

America’s economy is in deeper trouble than thought. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed it. His official announcement on September 13 said America is on the mend, it is just experiencing a few headwinds from Europe. He then went on to unleash a quantitative easing program (qe3) so potentially massive in scope that it could dwarf qe1, qe2, Operation Twist, and all the money-printing schemes the Fed has carried out so far—combined!

If you really want to know what is going on in the economy, ignore what the Fed says—and watch what it does.

Another Bank Bailout

Bernanke announced that the Fed will spend a whopping $40 billion per month—$480 billion per year—purchasing mortgage-backed securities from the big Wall Street banks. He called it an effort to drive down mortgage rates and get more people buying and building houses, thus creating jobs.

If this is the best the Fed has to offer, America is in big trouble. Mortgage rates are already at historic lows, and people cannot afford to buy more houses. Pushing record-low rates a few fractions of a percent lower won’t do much. What is likelier is that the big banks will finally have an opportunity to unload all their garbage subprime-mortgage-backed securities at the expense of taxpayers. In other words, this is another bank bailout.

But if that part of the Federal Reserve’s announcement wasn’t shocking enough, what it said next should blow your socks off. The Fed said it was writing itself a blank check for how much it could spend until the labor market improved “substantially.” It gave itself no predefined limit on how much it could spend or for how long under this new qe3 program. It is completely open-ended.

The Fed also indicated that if this did not prove enough to stimulate the job market, it could unveil other policy weapons. For starters, it will keep the interest rate it charges banks to borrow money at zero percent until at least 2015.

Remember: This new qe3 program is in addition to the current $45 billion per month the Fed is using to purchase U.S. treasury bonds—and to keep the federal government paying its bills. In the past, the Federal Reserve has only lent money to the federal government short term, but now it is going to use this $45 billion per month to lend to the government “longer term.”

What This Does to the Dollar

For those not versed in the intricacies of Federal Reserve machinations, remember that the Fed has no money of its own. Any money it spends, it does via a printing press, or its electronic equivalent, which it uses to create dollars out of thin air.

But there is no free lunch. Economists always forget the other side of the equation. You don’t just create $40 billion, throw it at the banks, and get magical economic growth. Every time the Fed “creates” money out of thin air, it cheapens the value of all preexisting dollars.

So while dollar money supply totals may grow by $40 billion per month, and while America’s gross domestic product may increase, it is phony growth because the dollars are worth less. Yes, people are spending more, but they are getting less.

Printing money to buy things is “Zimbabwe policy.” What happened to Zimbabwe when it tried this? Eventually it cost Zimbabweans billions of dollars to buy a banana. This is where the quantitative-easing road leads.

It is happening already. Within just a few hours of Bernanke’s statement, the dollar lost over half a percent in value. The following day it lost more than half a percent again.

The Federal Reserve’s qe policy will drive the dollar “through the floor,” says Peter Schiff, ceo of Euro Pacific Capital. “This is a disastrous monetary policy; it’s kamikaze monetary policy,” Schiff told cnbc. “The dollar … is going to be in free fall at some point … ultimately there’s going to be a currency crisis.”

Schiff is absolutely right. When America’s central bank announces that it is going to create unlimited amounts of new money to fix the economy, you need to realize that America is in serious trouble.

The truth is that America is addicted to quantitative easing. It can no longer function without it. The federal government can’t cover its bills without money printing. The banking sector would collapse without money printing. The mortgage market would no longer function without various forms of quantitative easing. And now Bernanke says the job market may not recover without qe.

America needs to prepare for massive economic upheaval. America’s top banker has signaled that it is quantitative easing or sudden death for the economy. There is no choice. If the money printing stops, America stops. But that means the dollar is going to get killed.

Israel’s Rightward Shift Continues

Israel’s Rightward Shift Continues

GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images

Israel’s governing Likud Party approved the idea of teaming up with an ultra-nationalist partner on Monday, forming a hawkish bloc that is poised to win parliamentary elections in January.

The move to unite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party with Yisrael Beitenu—led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman—passed by a significant majority at the central convention of the Likud Party.

“I believe that at this time it is crucial that the national camp join forces, and that is the reason why I asked Avigdor Lieberman to run on a joint list with us—with the Likud,” Netanyahu said.

Lieberman later delivered a statement welcoming the vote, and labeling it an “important and historic step that will strengthen Israel.”

The prospect of a hawkish bloc winning Israel’s parliamentary elections is significant because Bible prophecy says that, in the very near future, half of Jerusalem will fall violently (Zechariah 14:2). Much of the world says adamantly that the Jews should peacefully surrender East Jerusalem to the Palestinians, including many prominent voices in the U.S., the United Nations, Europe, the Palestinian Authority and even in the Jewish communities.

But the implication of Bible prophecy is that Israel will not surrender the city peacefully. The hawkish coalition now forming is a force that would be unlikely to give East Jerusalem away without a fight. Instead, it will be likely to promote the continued building of Jewish settlements in that part of the city, infuriating Palestinians in the process. This resulting fury would exacerbate the already tense situation, and thereby hasten the fulfillment of this violent wresting of East Jerusalem from Jewish control.

Those in favor of a peaceful surrender of East Jerusalem are unhappy with Israel’s rightward shift. For example, Ferry de Kerckhove, a fellow of the Canadian Defense and Foreign Affairs Institute, wrote an article calling the emerging Likud-Beiteinu bloc an “unholy alliance,” and saying “Netanyahu’s swerve to the right could push peace process off the cliff.”

Back in 2006, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry pointed out why these kinds of developments in Israeli politics are noteworthy: “When half of Jerusalem falls, it starts a chain reaction of events—an avalanche of crises—that leads directly to Christ’s Second Coming!”

This is why we must not take our eyes off Jerusalem. To understand more, read Jerusalem in Prophecy.

The Deadliest Mystery in the Middle East

The Deadliest Mystery in the Middle East

Nigel Treblin/Getty Images

From the December 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

The Middle East is exploding with unrest and violence. But one situation in particular could cause a major catastrophe for the world, including the United States—and is being almost entirely overlooked by the media. It could be the deadliest mystery in the Middle East.

Western intelligence agencies are worried about Syria’s chemical weapons. They estimate that Syria has several hundred tons of chemical weapons at perhaps 20 or more sites throughout the country. They are most concerned about the deadly nerve agent, sarin gas. “Syria is thought to possess the world’s third-largest stockpile of chemical weapons after the United States and Russia …. Syria’s weapons, predominantly deadly nerve agents that can be delivered by artillery rockets, shells and aircraft munitions, were developed for use in a war against Israel” (Washington Post, September 6).

Syria has never been known to be a manufacturer of chemical and biological weapons. Where did it get all of these weapons of mass destruction?

Syrian forces have these wmd, and they could use them. President Bashar Assad’s regime has said that it might do exactly that against foreign attackers.

But something even more terrifying could happen to those weapons.

Concerns Over Looting

About half of the country is now in the hands of Syrian rebels. Assad’s regime looks like it could fall any day. What might happen then? U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has said that he is worried that Syria’s military could suddenly walk away from its chemical weapons without securing them. If that happens, terrorists could seize them!

Hezbollah is entrenched in Lebanon, Syria’s neighbor to the west. This terrorist group is allied with Syria. Those weapons could go from Syria to terrorists like Hezbollah, and from there to Western targets!

“U.S. and Israeli officials fear that the chemical sites could be looted, leading to weapons being sold or given to radical Islamists or to Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters. A single crate of artillery shells or a few barrels of chemical precursors would contain enough lethal poisons for a series of terrorist attacks, weapons experts say” (ibid).

So a deadly chemical attack—or series of attacks—could happen outside of Libya, in Israel or even in the United States. After all, who do these terrorists hate most of all? America is their ultimate target. The attacks on America’s embassies and consulates on the anniversary of 9/11 demonstrate that. In October, Iran actually tried a bold terrorist attack against America—to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. right there in Washington, d.c. Thankfully, that plot was thwarted. But just because that attack failed doesn’t mean the next one will.

What Happened to Saddam’s WMD?

When the United States led a coalition of nations in war against Saddam Hussein in 2003, the consensus in the intelligence community was that Iraq had massive stockpiles of wmd. Today, however, it is widely considered fact that those stockpiles didn’t exist.

What is the proof? As Melanie Phillips wrote this past summer, it is simply “that none was ever found, surely one of the most profoundly illogical and imbecilic formulations ever to have fallen from human lips” (Daily Mail, July 25).

Saddam Hussein was a vile dictator with many enemies, both nearby and abroad. This man was feared because of these powerful weapons. Yet most of the world apparently believes that he destroyed his own wmd. We haven’t found one shred of evidence to prove that he would handicap himself that way.

On the other hand, there is a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein had wmd. He used mustard gas, VX and sarin against the Kurds in the 1980s. He used those terrible weapons to fight a war against Iran. He used them many times to kill Iraqis, his own people. So we know those weapons existed.

In 1991, 60 Minutes spotlighted Saddam Hussein’s nuclear bomb program. In 1992, it quoted the United Nations saying that his gassing of the Kurds was almost without parallel since Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Saddam Hussein confessed that he had plenty of wmds in 1995.

In 1996, 60 Minutes said that Iraq’s biological weapons hoard was “much more extensive than anyone had believed.” During the Clinton administration, that news program and many others emphasized the danger of Saddam Hussein’s weapons. In 1998, President Clinton announced that an Iraqi informant admitted that Iraq was continuing to develop chemical weapons after the Gulf War ended in 1991.

All the major intelligence agencies agreed that Iraq had these weapons in massive amounts. They estimated that there were potentially dozens of chemical and biological weapons sites across Iraq.

The United States couldn’t eliminate those chemical threats by bombing the facilities. We had to send in tens of thousands of troops. And that’s exactly what we did in 2003, because we were certain that Saddam Hussein had produced massive stockpiles of wmd and that he constituted a clear danger to the United States and other nations.

The U.S. and its allies went into Iraq for the express purpose of getting rid of Saddam’s wmd. But we didn’t find any!

What happened to Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction? Where did they go?

The other question is, where did all of Syria’swmdcome from?

There is powerful evidence that those weapons stockpiles did exist—and they do exist. They were transferred from Iraq to Syria!

Ignored Evidence!

The lead-up to the war took about one year. During that time, Israel’s prime minister, Ariel Sharon, said that satellite data suggested that Iraq was transferring its wmd to Syria. A UN weapons inspector made the same claim. There were reports of significant truck movement between Iraq and Syria just prior to the U.S. invasion. A Syrian journalist who defected to Paris reported that Iraq’s wmd were arriving in Syria, and even identified three places in Syria where they had been buried.

According to terrorism expert John Loftus, who has held some of the highest security clearances in the world, “The best U.S. and allied intelligence say that in the 10 weeks before the Iraq War, Saddam’s Russian adviser told him to get rid of all the nerve gas. … So they shipped it across the border to Syria and Lebanon and buried it.”

Additional evidence from Iraqi documents seized during the war indicates that Iraq received assistance from Russia in transporting weapons and missile components across the border. After the war, an Iraqi Air Force commander and a U.S. federal agent who was on the ground in Iraq when the U.S. invaded also revealed evidence of a weapons transfer to Syria. In June 2010, Ryan Mauro of PJ Media produced a detailed report about the Iraq Survey Group, a multinational group tasked with learning what had happened to Iraq’s wmd arsenal. This group received many credible reports about pre-invasion weapons transfers to Syria.

All of this evidence was later corroborated by one of Saddam’s former generals, Georges Sada. He says he is absolutely certain wmd were transferred to Syria just before the war started in 2003.

Over the past year, while Syria has been in turmoil, still more reports about Iraq’s wmd being in Syria have surfaced. Yet the media have ignored these reports. All this evidence has been simply ignored or shoved aside as propaganda!

Surely you would agree that something is not right here. There is more to this than the media have reported.

They accept the notion that no wmd in Iraq after the war proves that they never existed, or that Saddam himself destroyed them! Why? Because it feeds their story that the war in Iraq was unnecessary, and a mistake!

Syria tried to develop its own nuclear program, but Israel quickly destroyed that in 2007. Yet somehow, Syria rapidly acquired perhaps the most fearsome chemical arsenal in the region, without the international community really realizing when or how.

Melanie Phillips concluded, “Might some of Bashar al-Assad’s chemical and possibly biological arsenal have Saddam Hussein’s name on it?”

Why aren’t more people asking this question? Why aren’t we more curious about it? Does it have to do with politics? There has been a lot of deception here. We need to get to the truth, because so much is at stake—perhaps the lives of millions of people!

WMD in Jordan

There is something else that figures prominently into this equation. It happened in Jordan.

In April of 2004, Jordanian authorities foiled an al Qaeda terrorist plot. The cell had 20 tons of chemicals, including poison gas! Twenty tons of wmd. Al Qaeda’s leader in Jordan admitted that the terrorists planned to kill 20,000 to 80,000 Jordanians. King Abdullah ii said this “major, major operation” would have “decapitated the government.”

Al Qaeda, 20 tons of wmd, and—almost—80,000 murdered Jordanians. Yet the media paid it almost no attention. Nobody asked, Where did all those chemicals come from? Maybe they don’t want to know the answer: Evidence indicates that those weapons were manufactured by Saddam Hussein and deployed by Syria to the terrorists! (sidebar: “The Stockpiles Were in Iraq”).

Syria is the world’s second deadliest state sponsor of terrorism. It has actually used some dangerous weapons in that process. It tried to decapitate peaceful little Jordan. Don’t you think it might use some of those chemical weapons at its disposal? Or that it could give them to terrorists? Evidence suggests it already has!

Again, this is the fundamental question that no one is asking: Where did these terrorists get 20 tons of poison gas to use against Jordanians? The Jordanians knew: It came from Syria.

Will Those WMD Be Used?

Today, with Syria engulfed in civil war and Bashar Assad’s regime in trouble, some people are panicking a bit about what might happen to Syria’s chemical weapons in the event of a regime change. They are right to panic!

Hardly anyone, though, has bothered to ask about how Syria managed to acquire its massive stockpile of wmd. It has never had the reputation for being a large-scale manufacturer of such weapons—certainly not like pre-2003 Iraq. Yet when Assad’s government said it possessed a deadly wmd arsenal, no one doubted the claim. There were no intelligence reports theorizing that Syria suspended its wmd program years ago—or saying that the stockpiles simply do not exist.

No—everyone knows they exist. But no one asks how they got there in the first place, because raising that question would lift the veil covering the media’s shameful record of deception and lies. Politicians and news producers are so worried about their own careers that they won’t talk about it!

We have a very good idea where the wmd in Syria—and Jordan—came from. And we have an even better understanding of where this horrific situation in the Middle East is leading.

To understand the truth, you have to understand Bible prophecy. Psalm 83 reveals what is ahead. Based on that prophecy, the Trumpet has forecast for years that Syria is going to break away from its alliance with Iran. It appears that is what is happening right now.

Prophecies in Psalm 83 and Daniel 11 are unbreakable, and they reveal that this world is about to explode with violence—and those weapons of mass destruction will actually get detonated! Those prophecies show that the spark that ignites the next world war will come from the Middle East.

But this horrible news is going to give way to good news!

Look at Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 11:40—then follow it to the end. It concludes by talking about the return of the Messiah! The Messiah is coming! Fulfilled prophecy in the Middle East is proof of that. And just as sure as these prophecies have been fulfilled, the prophecies about the Messiah’s return will be fulfilled.

Matthew 24 tells us that if Christ didn’t come to stop this madness, there would be “no flesh saved alive.” But thank God that He is coming to stop the mass destruction and the mass murder and lead the Middle East and the world into a time of peace. We are on a countdown to that glorious event!

As Gun Sales Rise, What Is Your Source of Protection?

As Gun Sales Rise, What Is Your Source of Protection?

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People seem to be bracing for crime and riots to explode—by arming themselves to the teeth.
From the December 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Have you got your gun yet? Millions of your neighbors have.

Americans have always loved their guns, but lately they are loading up more than ever.

U.S. civilians lead the world in private gun ownership: They own an estimated 270 million guns—nine privately owned firearms for every 10 people.

Precise gun sales figures don’t exist, but firearm manufacturers know the score. Because of exploding demand, they simply can’t keep the shelves stocked. Sturm, Ruger and Co. received more orders in the first quarter of this year than the number of guns it made in all of 2011. Smith & Wesson said its backlog at the end of the second quarter was worth nearly $400 million, more than double the same time last year.

The firearms industry grew 66 percent in economic impact (job creation and tax payments) between 2008 and 2011. And the number of background checks linked to buying firearms is soaring: 1.7 million in March—up 20 percent from March last year. It was the 22nd month in a row that this number rose. Numbers are still well over a million a month.

Clearly, people are concerned. Many are anxious over economic instability and the potential for societal breakdown. As local, state and federal budgets are cut back, public services, including law enforcement, are being trimmed. A growing number of people just don’t think the government will protect them. Also, more and more believe the world is coming to an end and are bracing themselves to survive doomsday.

Added to these fears is growing nervousness that politicians are about to enact stricter gun control. It’s a showdown: On one side are people who say that keeping guns out of people’s hands makes everyone safer. On the other are those who believe that taking guns away only leaves law-abiding people vulnerable to criminals who will get them illegally. As society grows more dangerous, they argue, the only source of protection they can really have confidence in is themselves.

Are you one of these people? What is your source of protection?

This is an important question, because those who lack protection are about to find themselves in a world of trouble.

You Need Protection!

Given current trends, it’s not difficult to see why people are concerned about breakdowns in social order. All around we see clues that it is unraveling. In an economically depressive atmosphere, it seems anger and hostility are always simmering, ready to boil over. Stories are numbering in the hundreds of gangs of young people committing random acts of terror—stealing, vandalizing, intimidating, assaulting, even raping and killing. Racial provocations and violence have grown routine. Soaring welfare dependency means that any disruption in benefits—whether from budget cuts, a government shutdown or default—could mobilize an army of discontents overnight. A currency meltdown—made increasingly likely by reckless government monetary policy—would transform the country.

On top of these dangers are the possibilities of unforeseen disaster—a terrorist attack, weather catastrophe, major earthquake or disease pandemic. All have the potential to not only bring a high body count, but also to upset the infrastructure and technology our society depends on—the systems that enable food distribution, electricity production and delivery, communication, waste management and so on. The resulting tribulations could spark significant unrest.

Little wonder that people are seeking out ways to protect themselves.

But there is yet more to indicate the fragility of our society—and this is the most concerning of all. It is the warning of biblical prophecy.

A host of chilling scriptural passages warn of exactly these sorts of scenarios hitting us very soon.

The end-time prophecy of Ezekiel 5, for example, reveals that America is about to fall victim to a siege of violence within its major cities. Economic collapse will cause serious breakdowns. Panic will spread. Lawlessness will explode. We will see rioting, burning and brutality amid population centers. We will experience the worst evils of human nature.

Now—add 270 million guns to this equation. Prophecies make it obvious that these weapons will be put to use. Not just in occasional gang-on-gang violence, or only between criminals and policemen—but by people who are driven by fear, desperate for food, fighting for their lives, determined to protect their loved ones.

What will you do in these nightmarish conditions? How will you keep your family safe from hungry, desperate people? How will you survive?

Are guns your best form of protection? Well, when you understand those biblical prophecies, a terrible reality emerges: Guns are only going to help so much. Set aside practical considerations—the fact that they can jam, or misfire, or be stolen and used against you. Set aside questions like how you could be sure you wouldn’t use your gun for evil.

Realize that the scale of violence about to engulf our society will simply be too overwhelming. No one is going to escape the coming tribulation—which is descending on America and other nations because of God’s wrath—through survivalist skills. Those who plan to weather the coming storms through their own foresight and marksmanship are underestimating the savageness of the time ahead.

There is, however, another, far more effective form of protection available.

Didn’t Jesus Say to Buy Swords?

Many gun-buyers are Christian. When Jesus Christ walked this Earth, He spoke about the subject of self-defense. Did He teach people to take up weapons and defend themselves from dangers?

There was one instance, often cited by some who consider the Bible authoritative, where Jesus actually told His disciples, “he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one” (Luke 22:36). Why? Was it so they would be prepared to wage war against the government of Rome, or to defend themselves against criminals? No—the next verse gives the reason. Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies during His years in the flesh, and this was one of them: that He would be “numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12)—or as the Fenton translation renders it, He “ranked among the outlaws.” Christ said, “For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me,” and He had them get a sword to fulfill that prophecy—not to use in killing.

Before He was crucified, Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight …” (John 18:36). To this day, His Kingdom has not yet come to this Earth. When it does, Christ will lead the charge and make war in righteousness (read Revelation 19:11-16).

Until then, however, did Christ say His followers should arm themselves and use self-defense?

No, He did not. “Resist not evil,” Jesus said. “[W]hosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39).

The approach of arming oneself, intending on using guns to defend against other human beings, contravenes Christ’s clear instruction. (Using guns for hunting or recreation is far different than procuring them for self-defense.) Taking another person’s life also breaks the Sixth Commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).

Restraining force would be appropriate to exercise under certain circumstances. But someone who is striving to live by God’s law of love, even if provoked, should never use a weapon with intent to inflict injury on another person. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves,” wrote the Apostle Paul, “but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

However, it is far from true that Christ left His disciples defenseless. He well knew of—and specifically prophesied of—the crime and violence that would overwhelm our world today. “For then shall be great tribulation,” He said of the time just before His Second Coming, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

He knew that this society would be full of dangers. He knew those who follow Him would be under threat of crime and violence. That is why He instructed His disciples to pray daily, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13).

Real Protection

Many people who call themselves Christians actually ridicule the idea of divine protection. They practice a religion “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5).

But God is real. His power is real—His power to save from danger those who fear and obey Him is real! “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” (2 Peter 2:9). The Bible is filled with examples of God delivering His faithful out of all sorts of life-threatening situations—conquering kingdoms, quenching fire, closing the mouths of man-eating beasts, putting whole armies to flight (Hebrews 11:33-34).

God does promise in many scriptural passages that in the coming tribulation, He will provide a special place of protection for His people. You can read about this by requesting our free booklet Jordan and God’s Church in Prophecy.

There is no limit on God’s ability to intervene on your behalf—except the quality of your faith and obedience. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:22). Are you doing what is pleasing in his sight?

The question is about to become one of life and death: Do you have God’s protection?

Next in Line, Please

Next in Line, Please

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America is pulling out of North Africa and the Middle East. Another power is gearing up to fill the void.
From the December 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

America wants out. After 11 years of war, it wants to bring its soldiers home from Afghanistan; it wants to leave the Middle East and North Africa for others to deal with.

The question arises, who will it be? Radical Islam is rising. Disorder is seizing country after country throughout the region. Will anyone actually step up to bring the situation to heel, to help steer events in the right direction?

Right now, at least superficially, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious contender for the job.

When you look closer, however, and start putting events and trends together, an answer begins to surface. There is a foreign power positioning itself to exert control. It certainly isn’t going for shock and awe—at least not yet. But it is working, slowly, quietly and consistently.

Building an Anti-Iran Alliance

The new United Nations peace envoy to Syria is planning to send 3,000 peacekeeping troops to Syria to help quell its civil war. Where will the 3,000 come from? The UN envoy, Algerian Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, feels that his options are limited. He considers African troops too ill equipped, soldiers from neighboring Arab countries too close to the rebels to be considered neutral, and British and American forces tainted in the eyes of the locals because of their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia and China’s support for the Assad regime rules them out, too.

So, who is left? Only one power: the European Union.

It’s a striking conclusion, because the EU is hardly a disinterested bystander to Middle Eastern affairs. In fact, it is proving itself quite engrossed in them—even yearning to influence their outcome.

In recent years, one of the EU’s main goals for the Middle East has been the creation of a coalition of Muslim nations to act as an anti-Iran alliance. This is evidenced by the EU’s leading power, Germany, steadily improving trade relations with and military investment in nations like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf states.

Germany is supplying scads of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. It has also deployed its federal police to Riyadh to help the Saudis with border security and to train them to squelch uprisings. After the Israeli-Lebanon war of 2006, Europe sent thousands of its troops to Lebanon, as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. The German Navy still patrols Lebanon’s coast as part of the mission.

Now, the UN is planning to send 3,000 European troops into Syria, which could work to release Syria from Iran’s orbit and absorb it into this congealing alliance. Such a shift would represent a debilitating blow to Iran and a great victory for the EU. In terms of region-wide geopolitics, the stakes in Syria could scarcely be higher, and here’s the bombshell: Years before the Syrian uprisings began, the Trumpet said with certainty that Syria would sever ties with Iran and ally with this anti-Iran bloc that is now solidifying.

Pope Visits Lebanon

The UN isn’t the only tool the EU is using to exert its influence under German leadership. History shows that when Germany wages campaigns of conquest, it tends to do so under the auspices and guidance of the Roman Catholic Church. The Vatican is both a key decision maker in Europe and a tool for extending EU power.

For that reason, the Trumpet was keenly interested in Pope Benedict xvi’s three-day visit to Beirut, Lebanon, in mid-September. “A Middle East without Christians would no longer be the Middle East,” he said during a meeting with Lebanese leaders. “Looking at your country, I also come symbolically to all countries of the Middle East as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of all inhabitants of all the countries of the region, whatever their origins and beliefs,” he said. Although the trip into the heartland of Hezbollah was potentially life-threatening to Benedict, it appears to have brought the Vatican nearer to its aim. One Muslim student in Beirut told nbc News that “the pope’s visit is going to make a big difference, especially in the view of what’s happening these days, like the protests. He is coming for peace and bringing Muslims and Christians closer, that’s the important thing. Peace … we need peace.” The visit added to a growing body of evidence that the Vatican actively supports the EU’s goal to create that anti-Iran coalition.

Again, the Trumpet has said for years that Lebanon, too, will ultimately fall in line with this Europe-led coalition.

Alliance Foretold Millennia Ago

How can the Trumpet make such far-reaching forecasts based on these meetings and plans that mainstream media call little attention to? Because of the prophecies of the Bible.

Three thousand years ago, God inspired the biblical Prophet Asaph to prophesy about modern-day Europe—led by Germany and steered by the Vatican—allying with Syria, Lebanon and other “moderate” Arab nations: “For they have consulted together with one consent: … The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them …” (Psalm 83:5-8).

Both Gebal and Tyre in this passage refer to the people of the modern-day nation of Lebanon, while Assur refers to Assyria, which is modern-day Germany. The Hagarenes anciently dwelt in the land known today as Syria. Edom and Amalek both refer to modern Turkey. Moab and Ammon are Jordan. The Ishmaelites are modern-day Saudi Arabia, and the peoples that populate the southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula are also descended from the patriarch of Araby, Ishmael; so from a biblical perspective—regardless of their modern borders—they may be counted among the tribes and clans of Ishmael.

This alliance has never happened in history—yet it is described in your Bible. And, most remarkably, the groundwork is being laid for this group of nations to come together today.

Syria and Lebanon are, in a way, the front line of a cold war against Iran. If the EU can negate Iran’s influence in those nations—and the Bible says it will—then it will deny Iran crucial allies and key locations on the Mediterranean, thus gaining a significant victory.

Europe Invades Africa

There is another front in this cold war: North Africa. There, radical Islam is rapidly making political and territorial gains.

Among the most recent is in the deserts of northern Mali. After rebel troops staged a coup d’état in Mali in March, the country descended into chaos. Islamic groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which have long festered in the region, seized the north of the country.

Why does Mali matter? It is as remote as Timbuktu (literally—Timbuktu is in Mali). But look at it on a map. Northern Mali gives the terrorists a base in the Sahara Desert, from which they can launch attacks throughout Northern Africa. Just over the border, Algeria is a natural gas and oil hub for Europe. Nigeria, the largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S., is not far to the south. Nigeria, Libya and Algeria are Africa’s top three crude oil producers, providing nearly one tenth of the world’s oil. If Islamic extremism is allowed to take root and spread there, it threatens key energy suppliers of both Europe and the U.S.

Naturally, the threat has attracted the attention of more than just Europe. America’s concern has it also considering military intervention. But Europe is positioning itself so that it will take the lead in any international venture.

On October 9, one of Europe’s most experienced leaders was appointed the special envoy for the Sahel, the region just south of the Sahara that includes northern Mali. As a former Italian prime minister and president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi was a surprisingly high-profile choice. The appointment is also curious considering that Prodi has zero experience in conflict mediation. His appointment seems to have more to do with the EU getting its man into the top job than with Prodi’s actual qualifications.

Prodi’s influence also stretches far beyond Mali. The Sahel extends across North Africa, all the way into Sudan. With Prodi in place, the EU is already preparing to send soldiers to the region. The main focus of this mission will be training Mali’s army to deal with the terrorists in the north, but Reuters reported that the EU troops could also accompany Mali’s soldiers in battle.

Although the mission has the solid support of Germany, France is the one taking the lead. After all, most of the countries involved are former French colonies, and France has the deepest economic ties in the area. This arrangement probably suits Germany. Berlin is happy to let France lead, providing it is in the direction Germany wants to go.

While this area of the world isn’t in the Psalm 83 alliance, it would still represent quite a conquest. It already illustrates how, once again, Europe is taking the lead—ahead of America—in confronting the dangerous spread of radical Islam.

Israel Looks to Europe

Europe’s maneuvers into the void left by the U.S.’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan are not going unnoticed by Israel. On October 2, Israeli officials announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit Europe by the end of the year. His goal? To push for more European support of sanctions on Iran. The visit is part of a strategic shift by Israel away from America and toward Europe, the New York Times reported, citing a senior anonymous source.

On October 15, the EU levied a new array of sanctions on Iran, saying it was troubled by what it called Tehran’s refusal to come clean on its nuclear program. Europe also increased diplomatic pressure on the Syrian regime. The next day, Netanyahu praised the EU for toughening its stance against what he called “the greatest threat to peace in our time.”

The Times of Israel said the events indicate a shift in Israel’s foreign policy away from the U.S. and toward Europe: “After unsuccessfully lobbying U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration for support for [a military] strike—or for an American declaration that Iranian activity beyond a certain ‘red line’ would invite U.S. military intervention—Netanyahu’s plans for a European trip to push for tighter sanctions on Tehran seem to signal a shift in policy.”

This too is a shift specifically prophesied in Scripture and about which the Trumpet has been forewarning for years.

The Real Target

Although its efforts are low-key at present, Europe is proactively countering the spread of radical Islam. But is this good news for America, Britain and Israel? If Europe is joining the fight against radical Islam, have they gained an ally?

It may look that way. But the appearance is deceiving.

The Bible actually warns Britain, Israel and America to beware a huge double cross coming from Europe.

Daniel 11 vividly prophesies that a German-led European alliance (the “king of the north”) will defeat an Iranian-led Middle Eastern alliance (the “king of the south”)—decisively dealing with the Islamist threat. But it also reveals that Europe won’t stop there. Daniel 11:41 tells us what happens next: The king of the north “shall enter also into the glorious land.” Europe will conquer Israel. Within a month, this empire will also claim Britain and America as victims (Hosea 5:7).

The rise of Iran may be the catalyst for the formation of the Psalm 83 alliance. But it isn’t the alliance’s ultimate goal. These allied nations say among themselves, “let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance” (Psalm 83:4). Once Iran is defeated, this German-led coalition will go after Israel—and “Israel” in this context does not just refer to the Jewish nation in the Middle East, but also America and Britain. (You can prove this crucial truth by requesting a free copy of our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

For the last 70 years, Germany has had to live beneath the weight of the world’s memory of its World War ii atrocities. But, sadly, the Holocaust did not end with that war. That was only round one. Bible prophecy indicates that there is coming an even worse effort to erase even the memory of the Jewish nation forever!

The same quiet and canny set-up that Germany is employing against Iran under its EU cloak will be used against Israel. A German-led European power will obliterate Iran, and the world may even appear safe for a time. But then will come the double cross. Europe—in the form of a German-led resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire—will conquer Jerusalem—and thus ignite World War iii.

This is why it is essential that you see who is now stepping into the Middle East as America’s influence there fades. The Bible is clear: Jerusalem being surrounded with European armies is the sign that World War iii is here (Luke 21:20). But that same event also starts the 3½-year countdown to the return of Christ.

Watch Europe closely. The EU’s mounting assertiveness signals that Christ’s return is drawing near!