On the Road to Sharia Law

On the Road to Sharia Law

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A look back at Egypt’s shockingly rapid transformation into a radical Islamist state
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

When President Mohamed Morsi appointed himself a virtual pharaoh of Egypt on November 22, demonstrations broke out across the nation. Thousands of secularists and liberals stormed the neighborhood outside Morsi’s palace, protesting the audacious power grab. They were met by thousands of Islamists who fought back in support of Morsi’s absolute rule. Cries of “no to dictatorship” clashed with chants from the Islamists: “Defending Morsi is defending Islam.”

Then, after 2½ weeks of political turmoil and riots on the streets, Morsi rescinded his controversial decree. Under heavy pressure from the Arab street, we were told, Morsi backed down.

But this was hardly an act of conciliation or compromise from Morsi or the Muslim Brotherhood. As columnist Andrew McCarthy wrote, “Morsi grabbed the reins with a shrewd caveat: His dictatorship would end once the draft constitution was approved by Egyptians in a national referendum—which is to say, once the dictatorship had served its purpose” (National Review, Dec. 1, 2012; emphasis added throughout).

As it turns out, Morsi rescinded his decree a few days before Egyptians voted in a referendum on the new draft constitution. Thanks to his 17-day dictatorship, that draft was a sharia-based constitution—exactly what he wanted, and without any interference from the Egyptian courts.

The dictatorship had served its purpose.

“In the end, Morsi got everything he wanted,” author and activist Bassem Sabry told the Times of Israel. “He protected the constituent assembly, the draft constitution and rammed into a referendum when people will have no time to study it against what he had promised before, which is that the document won’t be put into a referendum without sufficient national consensus.”

McCarthy wrote, “In effect, Morsi has used the West’s democracy fetish to put a gun to his population’s head: Either democratically approve anti-democratic sharia or accept the sharia-compliant rule of your democratically elected Islamist despot.”

The Strategy for Sharia

From the beginning, the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy has always been to impose sharia law. That’s the real dictatorship here—not Mohamed Morsi. Installing Islamic law as the new constitution has always been the Brotherhood’s top prize. It knew that if it could just force a sharia-based draft through the assembly and past the courts and subject it to a vote, a majority of Egyptians would most likely approve it. It didn’t matter how many freedom-lovers took the streets in protest—what mattered was sidestepping the rest of the government and getting to the national vote.

This has been the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy from the beginning. As soon as Mubarak was run out of town, it was the Brotherhood—and the White House, by the way—that pushed for free elections sooner rather than later. That’s because the Brotherhood had the best-organized, most popular party in Egypt.

McCarthy wrote, “The Brothers are no fools. They realized that rapidly held elections would favor them, and if they won big, they’d have a hammerlock on the constituent assembly that would write the constitution. They also grasped the disdain in which the West, under progressive regimes, holds military governments. … The Brotherhood knew the U.S. and the EU would be similarly—and self-destructively—supportive of a call for quick elections that would pressure Egypt’s reigning military junta to cede authority to a ‘democratic’ civilian government.

“Consequently, the Brothers insisted that parliamentary and presidential elections could proceed promptly if the public just approved a handful of amendments to the current constitution, with a new constitution to be drafted afterwards.”

That’s exactly what happened. In the country’s historic first free elections, the Muslim Brotherhood’s amendments were adopted by a landslide. The amendments referendum in early 2011 perfectly foreshadowed what happened in parliamentary elections soon after—with supporters of the Brotherhood and its radical allies thumping secular democrats by almost a four-to-one margin.

The courts later declared the results of the parliamentary elections unlawful. But the Brotherhood would not be deterred from executing its Islamist agenda. After promising not to field an Islamist candidate for president, it reversed course and put Morsi on the ballot. And he won!

Prior to the presidential election in June, Egypt’s military court thrust the political process into chaos when it dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament. At the time, we said this power struggle between the Brotherhood and the military might continue for a few months, but that it was only a matter of time before Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood gained enough strength to transform Egypt into a radical Islamist state.

The power struggle with the military barely lasted two months. In August, Morsi fired his top military chiefs and replaced them with Brotherhood loyalists, a move that locked in Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state.

The Brotherhood already controlled the assembly responsible for drafting the constitution. The only remaining roadblock to applying Islamic law in Egypt was the judicial branch. And so, with his November 22 decree, Morsi put himself above the law just long enough for the assembly to hurriedly finalize the constitution.

Morsi had no incentive to back down, McCarthy wrote, “because he is doing what he was put there to do, and he has little to fear. He has already faced down the remnants of Mubarak’s armed forces and replaced them with Brotherhood loyalists—a ragtag collection of Facebook malcontents does not faze him. He also knows the national referendum on the new constitution will go the same way as the original referendum on constitutional amendments: Sharia will win going away.”

Of course, the Western media will try to put a positive spin on these earthshaking developments. They’ve done that from the start. Since the revolution began in February 2011, reporters have tried to make it look like the Egyptian population is teeming with secular democrats. The reality, though, is that radical Islam is the predominant ideology in Egypt. Most Egyptians want strict Islamic rule.

And they’re about to get it. You can expect Western commentators to continue their defense of Morsi by saying things like the principles of sharia are not the same thing as sharia.

But that’s just willful blindness. It’s McCarthy who’s right: Sharia will win going away.

What the Bible Prophesied

Now let’s go back to something my father wrote almost 20 years ago: “Islamic extremism is gaining power at a frightening pace in Egypt …. There is a prophecy that indicates Egypt will probably fall to Islam—or be strongly influenced by Islam” (Trumpet, July 1993).

That prophecy he spoke of is in Daniel 11, beginning in verse 40: “And at the time of the end [that is, just before Jesus Christ returns] shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”

The king of the north is the German-led European superpower—the final resurrection of the prophesied “Holy” Roman Empire. The king of the south is radical Islam, headed by Iran.

But there is another critical player in this end-time clash. Notice verse 42: “[The king of the north] shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.”

Egypt won’t escape this whirlwind attack from the north. That means it has to be allied with Iran in these latter days. That’s what God prophesied 2,500 years ago. And that’s why, for as long as the Trumpet has been around, we’ve been telling you that Egypt would transform into an Islamist state!

“I believe this prophecy in Daniel 11:42 indicates you are about to see a radical change in Egyptian politics,” my father continued in that 1993 article. In 2006, he told readers to watch for Cairo to distance itself from Washington. He spotlighted the Muslim Brotherhood and said that if it got control, it would form a strong alliance with Iran.

Here is what he wrote on June 22, 2009: “Egypt is about to experience a radical change! No doubt the Muslim Brotherhood is going to gain control of Egypt.”

This prophesied event has now been fulfilled.

An Assist From America

Verse 43 continues, “But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt [notice again the emphasis on Egypt]: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” When the king of the north overtakes his enemy to the south, he takes the spoils of Egypt, as well as Libya and Ethiopia. This indicates that those three countries must have been his enemies, part of that “king of the south” power bloc.

This shows that Egypt is the top prize, as far as Iranian-led radical Islam is concerned. It also means that Egypt will play a critical role in radicalizing all of northeast Africa.

“We need to understand the enormous impact that Egypt working with Iran will have in the Middle East and even globally,” my father wrote in the October-November 2012 Trumpet. “This Iran-Egypt axis is going to change the game in the Middle East—particularly in Libya and Ethiopia.”

The game has certainly changed. And probably the most stunning aspect of this radical transformation throughout the region is the help provided by the United States.

Consider the November war between Hamas and Israel. Hamas, of course, is the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is why Morsi repeatedly blamed the war on Israel, even though Egypt had provided a helping hand in supplying Hamas with the rockets that started the war in the first place. After Israel finally retaliated in Operation Pillar of Defense in November, Morsi immediately recalled Egypt’s ambassador in Tel Aviv and sent his prime minister to visit Gaza City in support of Hamas. A Muslim Brotherhood official even threatened to get involved in the conflict in support of Hamas.

And yet, in the end, it was the United States that helped turn the ceasefire agreement into a political boon for Mohamed Morsi. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton abruptly left her tour of Asia with President Obama to fly to Egypt and attempt to help pressure Israel into a ceasefire. And when the ceasefire was agreed to on November 21, Egypt got the credit for brokering it.

“I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence,” Secretary Clinton said the day the ceasefire was agreed to. She went on to call Egypt a “cornerstone of regional stability and peace.”

That same day, the New York Times reported that President Obama had been impressed with President Morsi’s “pragmatic confidence” throughout the Israel-Hamas crisis. According to White House aides, Mr. Obama was pleasantly surprised by how little ideology there was in Morsi’s politics.

The very next day—you can’t make this up—was the day that Mohamed Morsi awarded himself unchallenged control over Egypt. In a matter of months, Morsi had grabbed dictatorial powers greater than Hosni Mubarak ever had! And when the secular democrats returned to the streets in protest, the Muslim Brotherhood rounded many of them up and beat them into submission inside torture chambers, according to a front-page story in the New York Times, December 10.

America’s response to Morsi’s abusive power grab? It raised “concerns” for many Egyptians and for the international community, the State Department said. The New York Times said the widespread reports of Egyptian citizens writhing in torture chambers were hurting Morsi’s “credibility”!

What a drastic difference from the leave now or else ultimatum the United States gave to Hosni Mubarak back in February 2011. “You don’t understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now,” Mubarak told abc shortly before he was run out of town. He had already agreed not to seek reelection eight months down the road. But he warned that an abrupt transition would result in a chaotic scene that would enable the Muslim Brotherhood to turn Egypt into a radical Islamist state.

Today, some are finally waking up to the frightening truth about Egypt, but it’s already too late. The Muslim Brotherhood is now firmly in control. Mohamed Morsi grabbed absolute power just long enough to put Egypt on the road to sharia law. And all along the way, the United States has been helping to make sure the Islamists have a smooth and comfortable ride.

German Elites Discuss Final Shape of United Europe

German Elites Discuss Final Shape of United Europe

MARC MUELLER/AFP/Getty Images

The eurozone crisis is allowing German leaders to reshape Europe into a superstate dominated by 10 nations!

The grandson of one of the primary architects of the European Union warned this week that Europe will fail if debt-stricken nations like Greece are not allowed to leave the eurozone.

Shortly before issuing this warning, Stephan Werhahn quit the Christian Democratic Union, which was founded by his grandfather Konrad Adenauer, in protest against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pro-bailout policies. Werhahn now plans to stand as the chancellor candidate of Bavaria’s Free Voters party in next year’s federal elections. His primary platform is that the euro should be limited to a handful of homogeneous, northern European states.

This platform is similar to ideas espoused by other German elites, such as EU anti-bureaucracy czar Edmund Stoiber. During an interview in 2011, Stoiber reminisced that he had wanted a smaller, more unified eurozone. In other interviews Stoiber has further admitted that it should be possible for member states to be excluded from the eurozone if they refuse to get their financial house in order.

Unlike Werhahn, however, Stoiber still supports the Christian Democratic Union and espouses a belief that Germany should give bailout money to ailing eurozone states, but only in cases where the recipient country is willing to submit to German-imposed conditions. “A bailout only makes sense if the indebted countries, such as Greece, may be prescribed a relativization of sovereignty,” said Stoiber in an August 2011 interview. “The wages in these countries cannot increase; taxes will have to be increased.”

In an interview conducted last summer at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg also outlined a similar plan to reshape the European Union. During this interview, Guttenberg stated that European leaders need to hold a discussion on continental unity similar to the discussions held in the United States between 1776 and 1789.

Guttenberg admitted that it would be “lovely” to have 28 European states (including Croatia) living “in a glorious equilibrium,” but said he didn’t think such an arrangement could ever be reality. Instead, he advocated a multispeed Europe wherein some member states had more influence than others:

So, my plea in this regard is to accept that we have had a Europe of different speeds from the beginning, from the very beginning when we were talking about a European Economic Community of six. Already, we had different phases of development in the countries we are talking about and that has, I think, [become] even more dramatized within the years and within the decades leading up until now. So, having not only a dual-speed, but a multiple-speed Europe would actually need a vision or an idea of a different shape of the European Union, also a different shape of the monetary union ….

Like Werhahn and Stoiber, Guttenberg stated that he does not exclude scenarios involving certain member states stepping outside of the eurozone:

I would not exclude, for instance, a scenario where we have member states stepping out of the euro, well knowing that that cause is more than just numbers and technological questions of how to deal with the banking system…. You also have to deal with the emotional aspects that are connected to that, and that’s the inequality you have in that very equation…. I can imagine such a step if you take that idea seriously to somehow cope with a Europe and a eurozone of different speeds ….

He also stated, however, that it may be necessary to set up certain “focused projects” that delegate a high level of influence to financially stable non-eurozone members like Poland and Sweden:

[I]f I see how incredibly well Poland has developed during the last couple of years, I think if you talk about major economic changes within Europe you cannot just silently overturn your neighbor to the right in Germany, but you have to take them into a rather shaky boat as well. The same is true of Sweden; the same is true of partners which are not part of the monetary union right now, but which could be part of very focused projects that should be made possible within the European Union. I am the strongest imaginable advocate for the European Union to survive, to sustain, to prevail ….

According to the tenants of this vision outlined by Baron Guttenberg, it would be easy for the European Union to emerge as a superstate composed of a small number of dominant, tier-one nations and a larger number of submissive, tier-two nations. Many German elites may find such a system to be an appealing way to maximize their influence over the entire European continent without giving undue amounts of power to nations possessing objectives contrary to their own.

The biblical image of Daniel 2 shows that an end-time resurrection of the Roman Empire will be composed of 10 kings. Baron Guttenberg’s comments on European nations like Poland show how the European Union could be “reshaped” to include additional Eastern European powers. Regardless of exactly how the details play out, it is certain that a German-led European empire will soon rise, bound together by the tenants of Roman Catholicism and involving 10 kings.

For more details about how this end-time empire is currently forming on the world scene, please reference editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “A Monumental Moment in European History!

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Speech to Japanese Officials and International Ambassadors

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Speech to Japanese Officials and International Ambassadors

Unofficial ambassador for world peace asked message to be delivered to Lebanon, Kuwait, Tunisia, Morocco, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

On his first return trip to Japan since complete heart failure in August 1977, Herbert W. Armstrong met with Dr. Makato Fujita, assistant to the president of Tokyo’s Waseda University, the Israeli ambassador and Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, from April 23 through 29, 1979.

A banquet attended by over 250 Japanese businessmen, political elite and international ambassadors was held in Mr. Armstrong’s honor at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. His general-consul introduced him by recollecting sentiments expressed by his good friend, brother of the Emperor Hirohito, Prince Mikasa, that Mr. Armstrong was a “spiritual [Henry] Kissinger” who had built bonds physically, educationally, culturally and spiritually worldwide. Of particular note were achievements of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation’s 42 projects in 26 countries, and also its joint involvement with Japan in archeological excavation in Israel.

“Now, I have been called an ambassador without portfolio, an ambassador for world peace,” Mr. Armstrong told the distinguished assembly as reported in the Worldwide News, May 7, 1979. “But let me say that I am an ambassador, but not without portfolio. I just don’t have a political portfolio. But there is that Unseen Hand from someplace, and that is my authority. And I am here to give you the good news of the world’s only hope at this time now.

“When I talk with heads of government all over the world … I speak with them about their problems and about world conditions, and all of them have problems that are completely beyond their ability to solve. We have gotten into the kind of condition that solving our own problems in this world is completely beyond the abilities of human man. …

“We are now in the very last days of this civilization, of this age, of this present world. I don’t mean with Earth’s existence, I mean the type of civilization that we have in this Earth. … The problems of the heads of state, heads of government, are greater than they and all those under them know how to solve. Conditions are going to get worse before they get better.

“But I want to say to you that that Unseen Hand from someplace has not been known, has not been recognized. What you do not see, you do not believe in. But that Unseen Hand from someplace is going to come and solve our problems for us. That Unseen Hand is a direct person who is unseen to us, who created us and all that exists. And He is soon coming to this Earth again. And when He comes He is going to give us peace in every nation on this Earth.

“For 6,000 years, men have been trying to rule and govern themselves, and to solve their own problems, and we have not been able to solve them. But the Creator of us all, who made all the races of mankind of one blood to dwell on the face of this Earth, is coming to rule over all of us and bring us hope and peace and eternal life. What a wonderful gift to everyone on this Earth.

“I do not expect you believe what I say tonight. I don’t ask you to believe it. But I am simply telling you. What we believe has nothing to do with it at all, because the One I am speaking of who is not seen by human eyes is going to come no matter what we do, and solve our problems for us, and peace and happiness and joyfulness and universal prosperity is coming to Japan and to every other nation on this Earth, and in our lifetime. We are in the generation that is going to see it.

“I have not said these things to convince anybody one way or the other. I do not ask you to believe me. I am telling you, I am giving you the announcement, and it is the voice, the only voice of the only hope in this world today.”

In conclusion, Mr. Armstrong challenged the international dignitaries present whose countries he personally visited, by saying, “I want to say that I think so well of all you, and of ambassadors that are here from other countries around the world. I want you to take this good message to your people, that absolute solution of all of the world’s problems is coming. It’s going to be done for us. And so with that, I say thank you and goodnight.”

Amazingly, in response, Chairman of the Policymaking Institute of Japan Katsumi Ono said, “You have contributed to Japan both spiritually and physically. As you mentioned, we are losing the spiritual element in our life. We need a spiritual leader like you, particularly in Japan” (ibid).

Twenty-six years onward from the death of this unofficial ambassador for world peace with “spiritual portfolio,” there remains a lone voice, as he noted, “giving you the announcement, and it is the voice, the only voice of the only hope in this world today.”

The Unseen Hand has not left us in silence. Through the lone voice, He has raised from the ruins the physical, educational, cultural and spiritual legacy of Japan’s desired “spiritual leader” (Matthew 24:14; Isaiah 22:20-22; Amos 9:11). Whether culturally via the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, educationally by Herbert W. Armstrong College, or spiritually through the work of the Philadelphia Church of God and its sponsorship of the Trumpet and Key of David broadcast, that lone voice prophesies again (Revelation 10:11) in advance of the imminent arrival of the Unseen Hand at whose voice all ears will hear, fear and revere (Revelation 21:1-7).

Today, Prince Mikasa and all of Japan’s leaders can be encouraged by the revival of the relationship between their former archeological partner, the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, and Israel. The ongoing achievements of the foundation’s successor, the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, include an exclusive world premiere exhibit of historic finds from the palace of King David, featuring seals of the ancient Prophet Jeremiah’s captors as recounted in Jeremiah 38. Some of the most significant artifacts ever discovered in Jerusalem remain on display at America’s newest and finest performing arts facility, Armstrong Auditorium. It’s an exhibit you should plan to visit.

Germany Is the New America

Germany Is the New America

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

As Germany’s presence in the Middle East continues to grow, have they emerged as the “new America” over the region?
From the February 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Give Germany credit. As America unwisely abdicates its leadership role in the Middle East, Berlin is quietly and steadily positioning itself to play a decisive role in the future of this important region. Right now, German foreign policy in the Middle East isn’t controversial, dramatic or eye-catching. Especially not compared to recent events in Egypt, Gaza, Syria and Iran.

But you watch: Germany is about to emerge as the key player in the Middle East.

The New America

Germany’s presence there, politically, commercially and militarily, is already more significant than most people realize.

Germany contributes to the war in Afghanistan largely because doing so gives Berlin a military toehold on Iran’s northern flank. German naval forces patrol the waters off the Horn of Africa and on Lebanon’s coastline as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Germany is selling tanks, missiles and other military hardware to multiple Gulf states, and it has recently stepped up its involvement in Syria’s civil war. Berlin recently announced it would send surface-to-air missiles to Turkey (to defend itself against Syria) and will dispatch up to 400 Bundeswehr personnel to operate these missiles, serve as command staff and assume other support roles.

Germany also defied its European peers and did not support the United Nations’ bid to upgrade the Palestinians’ status. After the Gaza war, it quickly approved the sale of rocket-propelled grenades and anti-armor weapons to Israel. In nearly every instance, Germany is assuming a responsibility that America has shirked or is in the process of shirking.

When it comes to leading the Middle East—in particular, supporting and arming Israel and opposing Iran and its radical Islamist allies—Germany is the new America.

Siding With Israel

This is the context in which we must view Germany’s participation in the November Israel-Hamas conflict. From the moment war broke out, Berlin made it clear whose side it was on. On November 16, a spokesman for the German government expressed empathy for Israel and placed blame squarely on Hamas. “Hamas in Gaza is responsible for the outbreak of violence,” spokesman Georg Streiter told reporters (emphasis added throughout). “There is no justification for the shooting of rockets at Israel, which has led to massive suffering of the civilian population.” Streiter also stated that Israel’s government had the “right and obligation” to protect its population.

On November 18, Germany’s chancellor restated Berlin’s position and pledged moral and political support to Israel. “Every country has the right to defense, self-defense and the protection of its citizens,” Angela Merkel stated. The chancellor said sovereign governments don’t merely have a right to protect their citizens, it is their moral and political duty.

On November 19, two days before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in the region, Germany Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle traveled to Israel and met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian president. After meeting with Netanyahu, Westerwelle said brokering a ceasefire was a top priority for Berlin. Netanyahu was encouraged and invited Berlin to play a key role in peace talks. “I believe that Germany can have a constructive role in seeking an end to this conflict and a long-term arrangement, such that these terror weapons are not introduced into the Gaza Strip,” he stated.

Compare Berlin’s response to Washington’s. After initially pledging support for Israel, within a day or two the White House began sending signals that Israel needed to pull back its Gaza campaign.

Even after the ceasefire went into effect, Germany remained interested in the situation. On November 27, more than a week after the ceasefire was agreed on, a report from the German Foreign Ministry said Berlin was still monitoring the situation closely, and was seeking the “rapid reactivation” of the European Union Border Assistance Mission (eubam) at the Egypt-Gaza Rafah border crossing. (eubam existed for two years between 2005 and 2007, and ended when Hamas took power of the Gaza Strip.) Germany wants a EU contingent stationed at the crossing to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza.

The Foreign Ministry document distributed to EU member countries said, “A special European force must be activated for the mission.” Germany, it seems, is ready right now to dispatch EU “peacekeepers”—soldiers—to Gaza!

Consider too: While the news of a possible EU mission at the Rafah crossing only broke in late November, the purpose of the proposed mission gelled almost perfectly with what Netanyahu said a week earlier, after his meeting with Westerwelle, about Germany helping craft a “long-term arrangement, such that these terror weapons are not introduced into the Gaza Strip.” Add it up, and it appears the plan for an EU border mission was likely formulated by Germany and Israel during the height of the war in mid-November.

If this is true, it indicates that the Germany-Israel relationship is stronger and tighter than most people know. It shows that Israel clearly believes Germany possesses the desire and the means to preserve and defend it. It indicates that Germany is replacing America as Israel’s go-to ally in the region.

And—it marks the thrilling fulfillment of Bible prophecy!

A Fulfilled Prophecy

Gerald Flurry’s article (page 4) explains the prophecy well—that once the peace process fails and the Jewish state faces annihilation from Iran, Egypt and their radical Islamist proxies, it will turn to Germany for help and protection. This, in essence, is exactly what has been happening since November!

Think about it. The peace process has not only failed spectacularly, it has actually strengthened the position of Israel’s enemies. Radical Islam—be it Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Egypt or Libya—is quickly encroaching, making further conflicts inevitable. Next, Israel’s relationship with America, once a powerful ally, is shaky and will only deteriorate under four more years of the current administration. Meanwhile, Germany is strengthening its reputation and presence, politically and militarily, throughout the Middle East and is emerging as an increasingly capable opponent of Iran and radical Islam.

Watch and see: Israel’s position is only going to become less defensible. As America fades from view, the Jewish state will effectively be left with only two options: It can turn to Germany, or it can turn to God. Sadly, it’s not about to turn to God. 

Vatican Endorses Mario Monti

Vatican Endorses Mario Monti

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images

Once again, the Vatican demonstrates the power it wields in Italian and European politics.

The Vatican’s official newspaper endorsed Italy’s outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti to continue to lead the country, praising his announcement that he may return to the role of prime minister after elections in February. Because of the Catholic Church’s great political power in Italy, L’Osservatore’s endorsement strongly indicates that Monti will run the country for a second term after the parliamentary elections on February 24 and 25.

Last Sunday (December 23), Monti said he would not endorse any political party. But “I would be ready to give my advice, my encouragement and if necessary leadership,” he said.

“I would also be ready to assume one day, if required by circumstances, the responsibilities that would be entrusted to me by the parliament.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohYlQz1Uxy8&feature=youtu.be

Mario Monti has never stood for election. He was appointed senator for life in 2011 by Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano. This position means that he can become prime minister, if approved by parliament, without being voted in by the people.

Monti’s speech on Sunday was “an appeal to recover the higher and more noble sense of politics that is … to take care of the common good,” L’Osservatore Romano wrote, December 27.

“It is a call for politics on an elevated level,” the paper wrote.

Even the pope himself seemed to give tacit support for Monti during his Christmas message. He told Italians to think about “a hierarchy of values when making the most important of choices.” The bbc wrote that “The remark was widely interpreted as coming close to endorsing the technocrat leader.”

The Trumpet showed in 2008 how then Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gained his power because of the support of the Vatican. He fell after he lost that support, with L’Osservatore Romano publicly criticizing him.

Now Monti is the favorite. Even the mainstream media sees this. “Italy remains overwhelmingly Catholic, and the church has always played a role in domestic politics,” Reuters said. “During most of the 19 years that Berlusconi led the center right he enjoyed the backing of the church hierarchy.”

“The church began distancing itself from the 76-year-old Berlusconi before he resigned, after a sex scandal involving an underage prostitute and details of so-called ‘bunga-bunga’ parties in his Milan villa emerged,” continued Reuters.

The bbc noted this on December 27:

In the past, the Vatican has supported Mr. Berlusconi, who gave preferential treatment to Catholic schools, says the bbc’s David Willey in Rome. It has now changed sides, clearly indicating a preference for a democratically elected Monti administration, our correspondent says.

This shows the power the Catholic Church wields not just in Italy, but in the whole of the EU. Italy is a major player in the euro crisis. Its next leader will play a huge role in shaping that crisis. Spain has received a (sort of) bailout. What happens in Italy will determine whether the euro falls apart, who is forced to leave, and what the conditions of membership will be. Watch closely for the Vatican’s continued influence on the future of the euro and all of Europe.

Will Monti Be Given Power Again?

Mario Monti—Italy’s outgoing prime minister—may also be Italy’s incoming prime minister. And if he is voted into office, Monti will owe a lot of his success to the Vatican.

Monti succeeded Silvio Berlusconi in November of last year, but he was appointed by the president, not elected by the people. Since then, he has led a technocratic government that has focused on economic reform. However, Berlusconi’s party withdrew its support for him, and Monti resigned last Friday. He remains in office as a caretaker until Italy holds its elections in February. The prime minister said that he will not run for office, but that he might be willing to lead the new government if it invites him to. If that happens, Monti could once again win the office without worrying about a campaign or an election.

Since he resigned, the caretaker prime minister has not shied away from politics. Monti has published a detailed 25-page political platform and has urged like-minded politicians to support his agenda. He also posted his first tweet, in which he claims to have saved Italy “from disaster.”

Now Monti is getting support from the Vatican. Its newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published a show of support for the prime minister and said it welcomed Monti’s call for the “most noble” form of politics. This move by the Vatican might indicate that Monti will indeed run for office. Or, Monti might prefer to leverage Vatican support to gain power after the elections are over.

Mario Monti is committed to establishing a federal Europe based on Catholic beliefs. He has praised Pope Benedict and called his policies on economics a “textbook” for nations to follow. The combination of Mario Monti and the Vatican fits perfectly with the European elite vision of turning Europe into a federal—and a very Catholic—superpower. To understand more, read “Pope Endorses ‘Prussian’ PM.”