Germany ‘Prepared to Wave Goodbye to Britain’

Germany ‘Prepared to Wave Goodbye to Britain’

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Berlin will not tolerate Britain’s foot-dragging and trouble-making for much longer.

Watching the Guy Fawkes Day parades and firework displays across Britain this week has been pretty fun. Some have been quite impressive, especially considering the English are a pleasantly understated people not prone to senseless flash and bombast. This year, one of the most interesting (and popular) shows occurred in Lewes, a town south of London famous for its annual Guy Fawkes celebration.

It wasn’t the fireworks, or the floats and decorations, that made this parade notable. Rather, it was one of the giant effigies featured, and then joyfully torched during the show. Planted right in the middle of the Lewes parade was a hulking effigy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. That’s not all. They had her doing a Nazi salute while standing amid the rubble of Greece’s Acropolis.

Such blatant hostility toward Germany and its chancellor isn’t uncommon in Europe these days. And compared to the troubling anti-German, anti-Merkel scenes routinely coming out of Greece and other Mediterranean countries, the Lewes effigy is rather tame. Nevertheless, it was another small but noteworthy glimpse of the surging hostility in Britain toward the EU and one of its most powerful advocates, Germany.

Two weeks ago I wrote about how Britain is preparing to divorce from the EU. Since then, the tension between Britain and Europe has only intensified. If it continues like this, the November 22 EU summit is going to be a barn burner. The primary topic of discussion at the summit will be the EU budget, and whether or not it should be increased, frozen or reduced. The consensus among European nations is that the budget ought to be marginally increased or remain the same.

Britain ardently disagrees. This was made plain last week, when Britain’s Parliament, including numerous members of Prime Minister David Cameron’s party, not only voted against any increase in the EU budget, but demanded that the current budget be reduced. The vote is non-binding, meaning Mr. Cameron is not bound by English law to veto the budget increase. But Cameron is a modern-day politician, which makes him bound by political expediency. The prime minister surely understands that the only way to survive the EU summit—and perhaps even benefit domestically from it—is if he stands firm against an EU budget increase.

Of course, EU leaders are anxious and upset. Yesterday, Chancellor Merkel jetted to London to dine with Cameron and no doubt try to dissuade him from upending the EU summit. Here in Britain and Europe, many are coming to realize that there’s a lot at stake and that we may actually be coming into a milestone moment. Merkel’s trip to London “may be interpreted as a wake-up call for the British,” wrote Olaf Boehnke, a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

It is no coincidence that on the same day Merkel visited Cameron, virtually all of Britain’s main newspapers ran stories highlighting Germany’s mounting frustration.

Listen, Britain. Germany’s Had Enough of You,” stated the headline in the Times. In the article, Alan Posener cites a recent editorial from the political editor of Bild, Germany’s most influential newspaper, making the case that Turkey is now more integrated and on better terms with Europe than Britain. “One way or another, Turkey is becoming more relevant to discussions on the future of Europe than Britain,’ concluded Posener.

The Telegraph was similarly dramatic, titling its article “Germany Is Losing Patience With Britain.” “When you spend time in both Britain and Germany,” wrote Mats Persson, “it is impossible not to notice how distant their stances on Europe have become.” Persson visits Germany often, has well-placed contacts and keeps abreast of the relationship. He writes that “recent reports suggest that Merkel’s frustrations have reached the point where she’s prepared to wave goodbye to Britain altogether.”

The Financial Times made similar points under the headline “UK and Germany: Exasperated Allies.”

Meanwhile, German politicians and the German media—many of whom have up till now preferred to see Britain remain in the EU—are also beginning to more openly vent their frustration and hopelessness. Last month, Spiegel Online reported how Chancellor Merkel once went out of her way to keep Britain in Europe—but not anymore. Merkel’s hopes for a Europe with Britain “have now been dashed,” it wrote. “The German government is convinced that the Euro Group will be the core of a new, more deeply integrated Europe.” The article compared Britain to Statler and Waldorf, the two muppets that sit in a box and hurl insults at the performers on The Muppet Show. (Several British papers reported that the comparison came directly from a frustrated Angela Merkel.)

George Parker and Quentin Peel, writing in the Financial Times recently, lamented the inevitable divorce. “In spite of the personal rapport, the two leaders [Merkel and Cameron] are heading in different directions,” they wrote. “From Berlin’s perspective, this impending drama is just another staging post in Britain’s protracted departure from the European mainstream and—potentially—its exit from the EU altogether.”

“The mood towards the UK in the German political establishment is a mix of exasperation and deep concern,” they wrote.

It’s easy to see where this is headed. Sometimes an unhappy relationship can be temporarily preserved, even as resentment and frustration continue to mount, as long as one party still desires the relationship, and is willing to compromise and work hard to keep it alive. That’s kind of the way the Britain-EU relationship has been ever since Britain joined the European Community in January 1973.

But what happens when both sides in a relationship become resentful, frustrated and angry?

We all know the answer: separation.

What Barack Obama’s Win Means for Israel

After President Obama’s reelection, expect America’s relationship with Israel to deteriorate.

After congratulating President Barack Obama on his reelection victory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the strategic alliance between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever. But the reality is, President Obama’s government has been the most hostile administration Israel has ever had to work with. Sixty-five percent of Israelis were hoping for a Romney victory. Now that that hasn’t happened, where does Israel go from here?

How to Weather the Storm

How to Weather the Storm

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In sheer size and scope, a hurricane is considered the most devastating storm man can face. The combination of rains, winds and flooding, over an extended period of time, leads to large-scale destruction. Hurricane Sandy serves as an unprecedented example of how these destructive storms can impact a large area of our society. The pictures and video we see from the northeastern seaboard of the United States are catastrophic. Several million have been without power, water or heat. It is estimated that some 50 million people over 24 states have felt the effect of just this one storm. For many, the suffering continues. Reports are now coming in that the aftermath of the storm is far worse than what is being portrayed in the media.

God tells us why He allows these violent storms. These violent storms aren’t a coincidence or an effect of man-made causes. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry recently explained, these storms and disasters are biblical. Along with that understanding, God provides a warning. These catastrophes are prophesied in the Bible. And God warns us that these storms will increase.

We have been warned that as a nation we have rejected God, and as a result He has rejected us (Hosea 1:9). God has removed our blessings and our protection because we have turned away from Him (Hosea 2:8). God reveals that it is too late for us as a nation—but God does show us how, as individuals, we can weather the coming storms!

As He concluded His “sermon on the mount,” Jesus Christ referenced the violent destruction of a hurricane-like storm: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).

These scriptures support the fact that God is not a respecter of persons: No one escapes the storm, but those who hear Christ’s sayings and do them will weather the destructive storm. It is the doers of God’s Word who have their house—their life—built on a rock! (James 1:22-25).

Soon after He began His sermon, Jesus showed us why His sayings are important and how we can build on a rock. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).

God’s law is a law of love (Romans 13:10) and is summarized in two great laws: love toward God and love toward our fellow man (Matthew 22:35-40). Practicing God’s law is what we must be doing if we are to weather the coming storms.

During His sermon, Jesus went into great detail about the relationship we need with God. This is the relationship we were meant to have with our Creator. Christ teaches us that God is our Father and we are His children—God is a Family! We are taught how to love and worship God. We are taught to exercise living faith—to trust God for our needs no matter the physical conditions. We are taught that there can’t be anyone or anything more important than God in our lives. Doing so transgresses God’s law of love, and we suffer when we allow that to happen: We can’t hold up to the rains, winds and flooding.

Likewise, in His same message, Christ taught us to love our neighbor. We are taught that God’s law of love governs the human relationships we share. Jesus Christ expands God’s law beyond our words and our deeds to include our thoughts. What is the attitude and intent in our relationship with others? Do we want to help or hurt others? Do we want to give or take from others? Are we treating others the way we would want to be treated? Are we willing to sacrifice for others?

These are God’s laws of love, and these are the words God expects us to live by (Matthew 4:4). When we do so, we build our lives on a rock. God is not a respecter of persons, but He is a respecter of righteousness. Character does count! Unfortunately, when the storms come, we see what evils we are capable of. As humans, our hearts—our thinking—are wrong (Jeremiah 17:9). We need God and we need His law of love to guide us.

God’s laws are unchangeable and eternal, and they lead to a happy, prosperous life! How important it is that we understand God’s laws!

“As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation” (Proverbs 10:25). Those who reject God’s law allow their lives to be destroyed by the storm, but the righteous—those who build their life on God’s law—have an everlasting foundation! No matter what our trial or test, the most severe, destructive storm cannot cause us to falter if God’s law of love is the foundation we’ve built our lives on.

Greater storms are coming! Not all will be physical storms, but the rains, the winds and the floods will come. How will your house fare? How important it is that we build our lives on God’s law and have an everlasting foundation!

12 Thoughts on Four More Years

12 Thoughts on Four More Years

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What does it mean that Americans elected President Obama to another term?

After spending $6 billion on these elections, America ends up right where it started: with Democrats in control of the Senate, Republicans in control of the House, and the same man in the Oval Office. Here are 12 thoughts:

  • When Barack Obama gave his victory speech, he said this: “We know in our hearts that for the United States of America, the best is yet to come.” Do you believe that in your heart? I am bracing myself for what is about to happen to this country. The threats are legion, both within and without.
  • I can more readily comprehend Americans getting swept up in the hype of hope surrounding Mr. Obama’s first campaign. But now we have a record of four years to look at. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. These crowds that are so ecstatic at this victory—what are they expecting in this next term? What is their hope founded on?
  • More specifically: America re-elected the president after four years of trillion-dollar deficits; four years of stagnant productivity and high unemployment; four years of rising inflation, gas prices, grocery bills and so on. They gave him another term after he purported to reduce deficit spending—by ramrodding healthcare reform through at untold cost. The economy hasn’t collapsed yet, but the foundation is creakier than ever because all this administration’s efforts to address the crisis have aimed at trying to soften its effects rather than solve its causes.
  • On top of that, America re-elected this man after the Fast and Furious debacle; after his public support of same-sex marriage; after his party erased God from its platform and then awkwardly jammed a mention of Him back in; after it became painfully clear that a black man’s presence in the White House has not eased race problems, but if anything has made them even more volatile.
  • White Americans substantially favored Mr. Romney—nearly six in 10. However, the minority vote is increasingly king in this country, and there he lost big. The president clobbered him by nearly 40 percentage points among Hispanics, nearly 50 points among Asians—and 87 points among blacks. These are the groups that swing elections. No candidate can win who doesn’t cater to their favored positions on issues like immigration and welfare policy.
  • The problems facing America are bigger than Mr. Romney could have managed. That said, he was probably the lesser of two evils. The fact that the electorate chose the greater says a lot.
  • As an aside, watching how Americans have handled the destruction wrought by Sandy—not the people who have acted with dignity and moral character, but those who have exploded in anger and violence, shamelessly looted, sold gasoline for sex and so on—makes it all the more sobering to contemplate what’s ahead in the next four years.
  • Highlighting the nation’s moral shift, yesterday’s victory for homosexuals went beyond re-electing the president. For the first time in American history, a popular vote legalized same-sex marriage. After 32 tries—32 times that voters shot down measures on state ballots that would have approved same-sex unions—yesterday, such laws passed in Maryland, Washington and Maine, and Minnesota rejected a measure constitutionally defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Also, Wisconsin elected a lesbian to the Senate, the country’s first openly homosexual senator.
  • Exit polls showed that the president had a 23 percentage point advantage among voters who were most concerned about foreign policy. To be sure, Mitt Romney offered no real alternative. But I find it remarkable that voters chose the incumbent after the spectacular failure of his vaunted outreach to Muslims; after four years of fecklessness with Iran; after the loss of Egypt and Libya; after the increased radicalization of the Middle East and North Africa; after the deadly mistakes in Benghazi and subsequent cover-up.
  • Speaking of foreign policy, the gap favoring Mr. Obama was even greater among another contingent: actual foreigners. A recent bbc poll in 21 countries found the president with a 41 percentage point lead. Why is that, do you suppose? Because they want to see a stronger America?
  • The Kremlin said Vladimir Putin took a “very positive view” of Mr. Obama’s victory. I should think so, considering President Obama’s pledge to Dmitry Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” to work with Russia after this election. Other happy leaders: Ahmadinejad, Chavez, the Muslim Brotherhood. Not so happy: Netanyahu.
  • Guess how many American voters said foreign policy was their most important issue? Five percent. I expect this to change—radically—and probably during this next presidential term. Why? Because this infatuation with deficit spending and government handouts is a holiday from reality. It cannot and will not last. The threats from outside the country are growing and shortly will force themselves upon the American landscape. Events are rapidly building toward the fulfillment of sobering biblical prophecies of America’s future—prophecies that start with our cities being torn apart with violence, probably in part because of terrorist attacks—and end with—unfathomable as it may seem—foreign invasion and captivity.
  • Bonus thought: There are countless factors at play, but ultimately it is God who decides elections (Daniel 4:17). President Obama is the right man to oversee—and I believe, even to hasten—what is to happen to the U.S. in the time ahead.

    7 Challenges Facing President Obama

    7 Challenges Facing President Obama

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    The state of America’s economy means he will face some brutal decisions.

    There are a lot of ecstatic people in America right now. America has just voted to re-elect Barack Obama as its president. However, the economic realities facing this nation cannot be fixed by something as simple as an election. Before the next four years are out, this president may regret even setting foot in politics. Here are some gargantuan challenges that need to be solved—or we will all pay the price.

    Challenge 1: Conceptualize $1 trillion

    One million seconds is 12 days. One billion seconds is more than 31 years. One trillion seconds is about 31,688 years!

    That is what a trillion is in seconds. In dollars, America goes more than $1 trillion further into debt every year. The federal government’s total yearly budget is only $3.7 trillion. So, close to a third of our total spending per year is borrowed. That means that if the new president wants to suddenly balance the budget, he will have to cut almost a third of the entire federal budget.

    Most of the budget-balancing would need to be done by cutting funding—because there simply is not enough left to tax. According to Mike Shedlock from Global Economic Trend Analysis, even if the government taxed 100 percent of profits from every corporation in America and confiscated every single asset of the super-wealthy (like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates), it still wouldn’t even get close to balancing the budget. We would still have to “take the combined salaries of all players in the nfl, Major League Baseball, the nba and the nhl, cut military spending by $254 billion, and tax everything people make above $250,000 at a 100 percent tax rate,” Shedlock says.

    That’s unrealistic. But so is the expectation that America can keep borrowing trillions forever.

    Of the more than $1 trillion America borrowed last year, about half was money the Federal Reserve created out of thin air. Why did the Fed do it that way? Because foreigners would not lend it at the interest rates America wanted.

    This is a clear sign that America’s deficit is dangerously unsustainable.

    And regardless of whether President Obama decides to cut spending, increase taxes or both, our deficit will inflict huge gashes in an economy that is unstable and probably already in recession again.

    Challenge 2: Come to grips with the nation’s debt

    As huge as America’s deficit is, the bigger threat is America’s practically unfathomable debt. America’s official federal debt is over $16 trillion, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. America has promised its citizens tens of trillions more in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University, puts America’s total liabilities at a mind-boggling $222 trillion. Go back and re-conceptualize a trillion.

    Not all of this money is due at once, but increasing portions will be as America’s 80 million baby boomers retire. There is not a chance that America can pay this bill.

    President Obama will have to cut many if not most of the promises that have been made to retirees—and even if he cuts them all, his government will still owe that official $16 trillion.

    The most imminently dangerous part about this debt is refinancing risk. America is constantly borrowing money to pay back money that is coming due. Right now, borrowing rates are good, because Europe appears to be in worse shape. But when Europe eventually gets its act together—and it will—America won’t have as many willing lenders.

    Challenge 3: Get a handle on uncontrollable welfare dependency

    The U.S. federal government now funds 79 welfare programs: 11 programs just for housing assistance, 12 for social services, three for energy and utility assistance, 12 for food aid, 12 for various education assistance—on top of nine for vocational training, three for childcare and child development, seven for medical assistance and 10 providing cash assistance.

    Add to that a myriad of welfare-type programs at the local city and county levels.

    The total price tag for just federal and state welfare programs came to almost $1 trillion in 2011, according to the Heritage Foundation (see Challenge 1). So almost a third of America’s yearly budget now goes to welfare.

    And if nothing is done, the share of welfare spending in the federal budget will dramatically increase. Under the current 10-year budget, federal welfare spending alone will total $1.57 trillion by 2022.

    There is no easy fix. In fact, there may be no fix at all. About one in three Americans get some sort of government handout. Politicians can cut spending—but not without massively damaging the economy. The economy is addicted to government spending. There are whole industries that cater to welfare dependency. Go cold turkey, and the president can expect massive economic, if not social, upheaval.

    Challenge 4: Work with a corrupt and collapsing banking system

    In 2010, U.S. regulators told America’s biggest banks that they needed to make plans for preventing collapse. The regulators emphasized that the banks needed to consider radical measures to prevent failure and that they could no longer count on government support. Five years after the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, the banking system is still no more secure. Bank insiders know it isn’t safe, and the one thing propping it up—the heavily indebted federal government—says it is now pulling out.

    Add to this intractable problem several others: money-laundering scandals, rogue trading, the MF Global implosion, the unfolding libor scandal, and record-low interest rates. The global banking system may be even more prone to economic disasters than it was in 2008!

    Yet, because America’s economy is debt-based and consumption-driven, if regulators try to rein in the big banks, they will have to reduce lending. Reduced lending means the economy will slow even further. Jobs will be lost, tax revenues will fall, welfare usage will increase, and paying the debt will become that much harder. It’s an unsolvable Catch-22 for President Obama.

    Challenge 5: Find a magical job fairy

    America is in the midst of its worst-ever post-recession job recovery. At the current pace of job growth, America is still 2½ to three years away from getting the jobs back that it lost in the 2007 recession. Then the nation still must find more jobs for all the people who entered the workforce over the ensuing eight years.

    Regardless of what either presidential candidate would do or says he would do, the jobs are not coming back—because they were fake jobs in the first place. The housing bubble was a product of politicians forcing big banks to give loans to unqualified buyers and the Federal Reserve trying to goose the economy by artificially lowering interest rates. The result was a ballooning money supply that flowed into real estate—and tons of builder, agent, appraiser and banker jobs that have since evaporated.

    Meanwhile, the effects of the housing bubble masked the greatest period of industrial and manufacturing outsourcing in U.S. history. Due to a combination of high labor costs, high taxation, high regulatory burden, high environmental compliance costs, advancing technology and the new global economy, many U.S. jobs are now filled overseas, and made-in-America products and services are now imported.

    As President Obama’s green energy/solar power initiative proved, attracting manufacturing to America is virtually impossible even with massive government subsidies—which may soon be unaffordable. It was a campaign promise that was too good to be true. And dozens more of those empty promises will be ringing in our ears in future years.

    Challenge 6: Fix a failing education system

    For the first time in history, American students owe more in student loans than the country owes in credit card debt. Yet what do students get for that? Increasingly, it is a lifetime of indentured servitude at a job that barely pays the interest on their loans.

    This is a huge problem, because many of these students will become economically nonfunctional—trapped in jobs paying the bills instead of generating healthy incomes, creating meaningful jobs and building the economy.

    Government policy that encourages everyone to go to college—and to borrow money to do it—has driven up tuition so high that in many cases it no longer pays to even get a degree. The accreditation cartel limits the creation of new colleges, thus giving a virtual monopoly to the existing institutions. Meanwhile, existing schools try to make themselves appear better by dumbing down course work and inflating grades.

    President Obama needs, if nothing else, an American workforce that is healthy and strong. But he’ll have one that is operating well shy of its potential.

    Challenge 7: Face the economic cost of America’s moral slide

    Fifty years ago, the majority of Americans went to bed with their doors unlocked. They left their keys in the car in case someone needed to borrow it. They never thought twice about letting their children walk to school.

    We don’t live in that America anymore. The nation has tumbled through a decades-long moral slide, and that decline has a high price tag. How much does increased crime cost? Corporate compliance? Tax software to prove the taxpayer isn’t cheating the government? Think of how much money would be saved if businesses were never robbed, websites were never hacked, billion-dollar lawsuits were extinct, police did not have to track down criminals, and courts and prisons did not have to process convicts.

    Think about how much more wealthy America would be if people just practiced the Ten Commandments: no more lying, stealing, coveting, murdering. Now there’s a plan you can really believe in. As Bruce Walker, in the American Thinker, wrote in 2008, “[T]he cool, practical, financial argument against sin is so overwhelming, the number crunching of any serious cost-benefit analysis of the trillions lost through our acceptance of sin is so convincing, that hopeful people can dream that a wise leader will champion the fight against sin as the clearest way to make us wealthier and happier people.”

    Don’t get your hopes up. It didn’t matter who voters chose at the ballot box today, America’s moral slide will not be turned. There are 230-plus years of U.S. history that prove it.

    America’s debt, its welfare mentality, and its crumbling education system and morals are all the product of its collective choices. We are now eating the fruit of those choices. Economic indicators suggest another economic downturn has already started. A greater economic depression is on the way, and there is little that can be done to mitigate it.

    America’s past prosperity will not return until the whole economic system has been wiped out and a new one built on a different foundation. Its financial cardiac arrest has already started, and it will take more than a presidential election to bring prosperity back to this nation.

    Is Hezbollah on the Way Out?

    Is Hezbollah on the Way Out?

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    Is the Shiite terrorist group losing control in Lebanon and Syria?

    Rumors are circulating that Lebanese-based terrorist group and political party Hezbollah is debating whether or not to stop supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad in the ongoing war in Syria. Publicly, Hezbollah has not been open about any military support of the Alawite ruling party, and it is only recently that the media has directed any attention to the issue. The rumors of withdrawing support haven’t been confirmed or denied, but their existence indicates a trend—Hezbollah is feeling vulnerable and becoming more cautious.

    In early October, the Free Syrian Army (fsa) captured 13 armed Hezbollah militants in full uniform. There are also reports of a steady stream of militia casualties returning back to Lebanon from Syria. Hezbollah originally denied allegations of providing military aid to President Assad in his crackdown against the rebels, but in the face of recent events, it has become increasingly more difficult to hide its involvement. The fsa has threatened to bring the battle to Beirut if Hezbollah doesn’t back down in Syria.

    Assad has been accused of atrocities and human rights violations against his people during the struggle to put down the current rebellion. Hezbollah, the self-described “Organization of the Oppressed,” has waged an aggressive social campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Lebanese people. Throughout Lebanon it runs or heavily subsidizes multiple hospitals, clinics and schools, as well as providing support to local farmers and financial aid to the poor. But its support of Syria in its current civil strife has cast a shadow across the humanitarian reputation it’s been working to build. Now it is facing criticism at home from those who feel that supporting Assad is a hypocritical move on Hezbollah’s part.

    Hezbollah appears to still maintain a strong hold over Lebanon, but it is facing pressure from within. It is still supported by the Shiite majority, but March 14, its Sunni rival, is increasingly more willing to speak out against it.

    According to Al Akhbar, nicknamed “Hezbollah’s newspaper,” the previous Lebanese ruling party, Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, has allied with al-Jamaa al-Islamiya—none other than the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood—both of which are Sunni groups. The Future Movement falls under the March 14 umbrella: a group of political parties that are in opposition to Hezbollah, but so far have not been able to organize or gain enough momentum to cause a power shift. But the possibility of a power shift is now the greatest that it has been since Hezbollah essentially gained control of the government. Support from the Muslim Brotherhood will serve to encourage March 14 to increase its opposition.

    Hezbollah may weaken its stance in Syria in order to protect its interests in Lebanon. It is facing increased opposition politically and will have to stop sending mixed messages to the Lebanese people if it doesn’t want to further embolden its political opponents.

    The intelligence think tank Stratfor predicts that if Syria’s regime falls and the country becomes Sunni-led, Hezbollah will have to integrate itself further into the Lebanese political system in order to survive. If that scenario comes to pass, nations with regional interests like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France and the United States will likely put pressure on the organization to disarm. Further integration with the Lebanese military and intelligence establishments would provide legitimacy to the militia in the eyes of many.

    According to Stratfor’s analysis, “Hezbollah has faced pressure to disarm over the past decade, but it will have a much harder time resisting this pressure without a strong ally in Damascus protecting its interests in Lebanon. A possible solution to this dilemma would be Hezbollah’s formal integration into the official Lebanese security and intelligence apparatus …. In other words, Hezbollah’s fights become Lebanon’s fights.”

    The other scenario that Stratfor foresees is the possibility of Syria splitting into two autonomous entities—a divided nation. If the current instability leads to civil wars in both Syria and Lebanon, Shiites and Alawites (the current ruling sect in Syria) could join together and carve out a “contiguous Alawite-Shiite mini-state.” Stratfor indicates that Hezbollah appears to have already prepared for this contingency.

    Sectarian violence breaking out in Lebanon, compiled with the situation in Syria, would further destabilize the Middle East. According to the prophecy in Psalm 83 (read “A Mysterious Prophecy” for further explanation), Lebanon and Syria will ultimately not be allied with Iran, but with more moderate nations like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been increasing cooperation with each other and other Sunni states in an attempt to combat the growing Iranian hegemony in the region.

    Lebanon is dominated by Shiites for the moment, but if Hezbollah continues to weaken in the face of opposition at home and complications in Syria, the power may shift to the Sunnis, adding one more nation to the prophetic Psalm 83 alliance.