Europe and the Arab League Recognize Anti-Assad Coalition

On Monday, foreign ministers from Arab League nations and from European states formally recognized the legitimacy of a newly formed Syrian opposition coalition.

The new coalition was made official just on Sunday, and is viewed as the legitimate voice of the Syrian people. It includes representatives from Syria’s disparate groups who are all battling to topple the regime of President Bashar Assad. The formation and recognition of the coalition will boost efforts to secure international support and weapons, which will be pivotal in the struggle to overthrow Assad.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the decision to create the coalition was an important and well-timed one. He also pledged that Berlin would back the coalition’s efforts to establish an alternative to Assad’s regime.

The decision of European and Arab nations to recognize the anti-Assad coalition is significant because Bible prophecy says that Europe will soon ally with a bloc of “moderate” Arab states, and that the bloc will include Syria. Recognition of this anti-Assad coalition may prove to be an important milestone in dislodging Syria from Iran’s orbit and thrusting it into this emerging bloc of nations.

To understand the details of these pivotal trends, read “Next in Line, Please” from the December 2012 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet.

EU Plans to Create New Military Headquarters

EU Plans to Create New Military Headquarters

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Key European nations want to establish a new headquarters, despite Britain’s objections.

France plans to use the European Union’s military mission in Mali as a “Trojan horse” to create an EU military headquarters, the Telegraph reported November 11, citing a “senior French Defense Ministry source.” France is also planning a “major offensive” to stop individual nations from being able to veto defense issues.

The report comes ahead of a meeting between Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Poland in Paris to discuss how to move forward on European defense.

Last year, Britain forced France to back down over plans to create a military operations headquarters (ohq). Now France is using a different tactic. Rather than pushing for the headquarters first, and then expanding Europe’s military operations, France is going about it the other way around. It believes that if the EU commits to more military missions, it will be forced to create a headquarters to manage them all.

“If you have three or four military operations under way it suggests there is an operational need for it,” the Telegraph quoted its source as saying. “The defense minister believes that at one stage the idea of the ohq will fall like a ripe fruit.”

Britain is still resolutely opposed to a permanent military headquarters. The Conservative spokesman on European defense, Member of European Parliament Geoffrey Van Orden, warned that France is pushing Britain down a “slippery slope” toward a European army.

But Europe is fed up with Britain’s stubbornness. In September, the Future of Europe Group—foreign ministers from 11 EU member states who met regularly at Germany’s behest—called for the removal of national vetoes over defense policy. It noted that some members of the group wanted to create a European army. Last month, Der Spiegel reported that “German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, together with his counterparts in France and Poland, is determined to promote cooperation on security policy in the EU.”

The plan to establish a military headquarters “is to be revived and implemented, even against London’s resistance, if necessary,” it wrote.

The EU’s foreign minister, Baroness Ashton, will support these plans, according to the Telegraph, despite the fact that she is British.

The Telegraph also reported that the EU is planning to send 200 to 400 “military support troops” to help train African Union forces in Mali, citing an anonymous European diplomat.

Key EU nations clearly want Europe to play a greater military role. Watch for this to happen, despite Britain’s objections.

White House Unrolls Red Carpet for Extremists

White House Unrolls Red Carpet for Extremists

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The Obama administration has played host to “scores of known radical Islamists,” who “made hundreds of visits” to meet with top administration officials, according to a year-long investigation publicized by Arutz Sheva reported in October.

After combing through millions of visitor logs, investigators from the Investigative Project on Terrorism (ipt) “identified many of these visitors as belonging to groups serving as fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other terrorist organizations,” Arutz Sheva reported.

The report detailed dozens of specific personalities and representatives from extremist groups that have graced the White House steps over the past few years, and clearly outlines their radical connections. The list included individuals representing groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, members of groups that have obstructed terrorist investigations, and other persons connected to money-laundering scandals involving terrorists.

Compare that to the reception Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received on his first visit with President Obama in in 2009. During the visit, Netanyahu was let in through a side door into a meeting where press cameras were not allowed. After a heated discussion, President Obama left the meeting to eat dinner, leaving Netanyahu and his entourage to wait in the Roosevelt room.

This past September, Obama declined to meet with Netanyahu either in New York or Washington during the prime minister’s visit, citing scheduling conflicts. It was the first time in history that an American president did not meet with a visiting Israeli prime minister.

Since the start of his presidency, President Obama has worked hard to reach out to the Muslim community, while simultaneously distancing himself from Israel. This open door policy to known extremists is just the latest step in America’s continued attempt to cuddle up with extremists while pushing Israel to the side.

Ode of Broken Promises

Ode of Broken Promises

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A generation fades from the scene, and the English-speaking nations repeat the mistakes of the past—in a nuclear age!

Does this mostly forgotten verse evoke any memories? They went with songs to the battle, they were young. Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; They fell with their faces to the foe. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them.

There was a time when most English-speaking people, especially in the British Commonwealth, would recognize this in a heartbeat. But today, few do; even fewer people are aware of the outpouring of national emotion that accompanied the poem’s first publication in September 1914—as tens of thousands of Allied soldiers died defending Paris during the Battle of the Marne.

In, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and other parts of the Commonwealth, the poem is read on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month each year. Oftentimes, “lest we forget” is added to the last verse, followed by repeating “we will remember them.” Throughout the Commonwealth, November 11 is known as Remembrance Day. In the United States, November 11 is called Veterans Day.

The poem “Ode of Remembrance” was used to commemorate the first “war to end all wars.” Then came the second, greater war. It is still read today in many national ceremonies, but its oft-unrecognized prose is testament to the fact that we as a people are forgetting again.

On Feb. 4, 2012, Florence Green, Great Britain’s last soldier witness to that great and unnecessary war, died. He was 110. Australia’s last World War i veteran died in 2009. Canada’s in 2010. New Zealand’s last survivor died in 2005. South Africa’s have all died. The United States’ last soldier, Frank Woodruff Buckles, died last year at 108.

Of the 65 million who fought, all now are dead. That whole generation has almost completely vanished. Only memories are left—or are they?

Those of the World War ii generation are fast disappearing too.

Three years ago, Charles Donald Albury, copilot of the plane that ended World War ii by dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, died. He was 88. The pilot, Maj. Charles Sweeney, died in 2004. Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets Jr., commander and pilot of the Enola Gay, died in 2007, his copilot in 1983. Those who knew why we dropped the bomb are also fading from the scene.

Time has now taken more witnesses than the bullets and bombs. Who in the Anglo-American nations now gives testament to the horror of war and the evil that mankind are capable of inflicting on each other? Who is left to tell of the many acts of providence—small and large—that protected and sustained our nations during that time of great need? Who will stand down politically correct revisionists and radical historians who are mutilating our national sense of history and identity?

And who, then, will there be to stand to remind us that evil must always be confronted?

On April 5 of 2009, President Barack Obama essentially apologized to Japan for using atomic bombs. The Wall Street Journal said that Obama’s Prague speech came “close to a mea culpa for America’s use of atomic bombs against Japan.” Yes, it was terrible that 200,000 Japanese died from the explosion and subsequent radiation exposure. But Mr. Obama evidently doesn’t know that at the time the bombs were dropped, the U.S. Army was preparing for 500,000 U.S. casualties in a land invasion that would have cost literally millions of lives, including Japanese soldiers and Japanese civilians, many of whom were prepared to fight to the death.

Mr. Obama has evidently forgotten the Bataan death march, the rape of Nanking, and the Japanese death camps.

Mr. Albury knew why the bomb was dropped. And he pulled no punches. In 1982, he told the Miami Herald that he deplored war, but he would readily do what he did again. He said dropping the bomb prevented what was certain to be a vastly greater loss of life—on both sides—in an Allied invasion of Japan.

But Japan isn’t the only World War ii theater to grow foggy in the mists of time. Exactly two months later, the highest office-holder in the U.S. visited Dresden, Germany, on June 5. By visiting the city of Dresden immediately after making a pilgrimage to the Buchenwald concentration camp, President Obama essentially apologized to Germany for America’s supposed sins during the war.

Dresden was the German manufacturing center that Allied bombers leveled during World War ii. Today the bombing is a rallying point for neo-Nazis and revisionist historians who claim that the U.S. and Britain should be prosecuted for war crimes for unnecessary deaths that occurred there.

By choosing to visit Dresden—of all German cities—on the same day as he visited the starvation stockades where tens of thousands of people were systematically exterminated, Mr. Obama specifically equated two entirely disparate events as if they were somehow on the same level. The Wall Street Journal called the visit “an unfortunate gesture” that suggested a “sort of moral equivalence between industrialized genocide and the bombings of German cities—bombings, remember, that were designed to bring an end to the genocidal regime” (emphasis added). In truth, America and Britain bombing an industrial center in time of war and Germany ethnically “cleansing” a defenseless population have nothing in common.

A big reason these presidential apologies are so dangerous is that they destroy the rationale necessary to condemn what these nations have done in the past, and it limits our ability to warn them about repeating those things again in the future.

Sadly, historical ignorance is reflected at the highest levels.

Three years ago on June 6, the leaders of France, Canada, the UK and the U.S. descended on Normandy to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Hitler’s Europe. Gordon Brown, Stephen Harper, Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama were not even born during World War ii, yet somehow they were the stars of the show. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth ii, the one head of state who was actually a survivor and veteran of World War ii, was not even invited! What does that say about our leaders today? (Read Brad Macdonald’s column “Britain’s Forgotten Veteran” for the full significance of this event.)

Back in the States, the National D-Day Memorial, located in Bedford, Virginia, is on the brink of financial ruin. Not enough visitors go there, and administrators do not have enough money to keep it up. America doesn’t even have a national World War i monument.

But who cares about history these days? Little value is placed upon teaching it to our children. A whopping 71 percent of high school and university students failed a recent general test of history and political and economic institutions conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. College graduates scored an average of 57 percent.

The English-speaking people’s disregard for history will come back to bite them—just like it always has.

In ancient Israel, God warned the people to not forget their history (Deuteronomy 4:9), but they did—with disastrous consequences. The record of history was to be a continuous reminder of their heritage, that God was the source of all their national blessings. That God was their provider and protector. And that God was to be their leader. Thus, armed with the knowledge of their history, and stirred with the vision of prophecy as outlined by the prophets, Israel could have been perpetually secure in the knowledge of where it fit into unfolding events over time.

But ancient Israel did not remember the past, and consequently could not foresee the future. Once the elders died, the people of Israel would forget their history and turn away from God and to the traditions of the peoples around them. Consequently, God would remove His blessings and send the nation into captivity until its people cried out to Him in repentance.

Herein lies the great lesson we must draw from the example of ancient Israel. If we neglect our history and turn from God, then we will never prosper.

As in the days of ancient Israel, war will result. The American empire, like its aging veterans, is losing its strength fast. Britain is already a third-rate power. Other nations are rising. New powers are on the scene and are increasingly asserting their power. Nuclear proliferation is rampant.

The English-speaking peoples have forgotten their history. We are forgetting the reason so many soldiers gave their lives. But more importantly, we are forgetting why those soldiers were forced to give their lives in the first place. We have forgotten where our blessings came from. And we have forgotten who really saved us during World Wars i and ii. “Ode to Remembrance” is but a broken promise.

History—and biblical prophecy—says world war is coming again. The difference this time is that it will be nuclear.

New Archbishop of Canterbury: The Man to Bring Anglicans to Rome?

New Archbishop of Canterbury: The Man to Bring Anglicans to Rome?

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The bishop of Durham, Justin Welby, will be the next archbishop of Canterbury, it was announced November 9. The archbishop has strong links with the Catholic Church, and as leader of the Anglican Communion, he could bring that church closer to Rome.

All Church of England clergy have a spiritual director. But Welby’s director is Catholic. A person will usually stick with the same spiritual director for years, meaning Welby’s religious thinking will have been heavily shaped by the Catholic Church.

During his press conference after the announcement of his appointment, Welby singled out the Catholic Church, mentioning no other groups. “Learning from other traditions than the one into which I came as a Christian has led me into the riches of Benedictine and Ignatian spirituality, the treasures of contemplative prayer and adoration, and confronted me with the rich and challenging social teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.”

Welby said the greatest influence over his moral thinking was Rerum Novarum—a letter by Pope Leo xiii.

Underscoring the close ties already in place between the Church of England and the Church of Rome, the announcement of Welby’s appointment was delayed so both the Queen and the pope could be notified.

The two churches have already come much closer under Archbishop Rowan Williams. Last month, he was the first archbishop of Canterbury to address a synod of Catholic bishops.

But Welby isn’t completely Rome’s man. He supports the ordination of women bishops and is reexamining his thinking on homosexuality.

The Trumpet has long forecast that Rome would woo back her protesting daughters. But, as editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2007, “biblical prophecy indicates that full unity will not be achieved purely voluntarily. At a certain point, the mother church will abandon its efforts to woo her daughters back by flatteries and instead revert to the age-old method of preserving ‘Christian’ unity by exerting physical force.”

Whether Welby’s strong links to the Catholic Church will mean that the bulk of the Anglican Church is returned to Rome peacefully, or if Rome will need to apply force, remains to be seen. But eventually the Anglican Church will be returned to Rome.

Israel Under Fire From Gaza and Syria

Is it a worrying preview of much more to come?

Tensions along Israel’s borders are running high. Hamas has fired more than 140 rockets from Gaza into southern Israel over the weekend, and on Saturday four Israeli soldiers were injured after militants from Gaza hit their patrol jeep with an anti-tank missile. Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The world must understand that Israel will not sit idly in the face of attempts to attack us …. We are prepared to intensify the response.”