Germany’s Rise … and Rise to Power!

Germany’s Rise … and Rise to Power!

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Germany is today far more strategically placed to initiate a sudden imperialist power grab than it ever was under Hitler back in 1939.

We have often commented on the infamous Nazi Red House document. It clearly documented the underground strategy that certain German military, political, industrial and banking elites would adopt to ensure that their nation would revive to mount another attempt at global dominance.

Now, 70 years on, that vision is about to be realized.

It’s been a most cleverly managed strategy, of which even many of Germany’s politicians have been largely ignorant as they have been manipulated by certain elites, now in a second generation but trained in the mindset of their old World War ii mentors, to use the European Union as a cloak for their imperialist intentions.

Both the German public and the general public have been victim of a masterful public relations campaign, aided and abetted by an Anglo-Saxon mass media terribly ignorant of true history, which has convinced the world at large of two great lies—that Germany is now a model, peaceful democratic nation, and that it is simply not capable of raising a powerful military force to be a threat, yet again, to world peace.

Yet German power can no longer be hidden. Even certain German politicians are beginning to express concerns at the scope of the nation’s weapons industry.

Reuters wrote on Dec. 22, 2012,

Peer Steinbrück, set to challenge Angela Merkel as German leader next year, criticized her center-right government on Saturday for letting arms exports surge ….The former finance minister, nominated to lead the Social Democrats (spd) into September’s election against Merkel, said it was a scandal that Germany has become the world’s third-largest arms exporter on her watch.Arms exports are a sensitive issue in Germany due to its Nazi past and the role arms makers such as Krupp played in stoking 19th- and 20th-century wars with exports to both sides.

Germany is the largest exporter of military armaments in Europe and third in the world behind the United States and Russia. The Arms Export Report 2011 released by the German government in November shockingly reveals Berlin’s geographic reach, international partnerships and foreign policy relating to its armaments industry.

Arabian Gulf states appear prominently in the report, underscoring German influence in arming these authoritarian countries as an iron arc in opposition against Iran. Trusted purchase partners such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain all have ordered sizable amounts of hardware.

The report revealed a total of €5.4 billion in export authorizations approved by Germany’s Federal Security Council, up from €4.8 billion in 2010. “German arms exports have nearly doubled since the end of the 1990s,” reports German-Foreign-Policy.com (Nov. 16, 2012).

However, once unreported sales are included, the picture becomes even more frightening.

As German-Foreign-Policy.com astutely notes, glaringly missing from the report are arms produced under German license in associated countries stretching from Europe to the Gulf states as well as tank sales to Saudi Arabia and Qatar—estimated at €10 billion—and the delivery of tanks and infantry vehicles to Indonesia, projected at €6 billion. Adding these line items to the reported €5.4 billion, the 2011 report could more accurately total €21.4 billion!

“Last October, in her speech to some 250 civilian and military leaders at this year’s Bundeswehr conference in Strausberg (Brandenburg), the German chancellor explained the booming arms exports’ political function. ‘All available instruments’ must be networked for Berlin’s global policy, Merkel said: ‘economic policy, development policy, diplomatic, police, and military measures must proceed hand in hand.’ Potentials of allies must also be used—not only those of nato and the EU allies, but also those of ‘other actors,’ who should be ‘encouraged’ to enhance their engagement for ‘security and liberty.’ And she promised support: ‘Whoever feels committed to maintaining peace’—like Germany—‘but cannot play an active role throughout the world,’ should now be ‘called upon to help trustworthy partners’ so that they can ‘assume corresponding responsibilities.’ This includes support in military training and the supply of the necessary military hardware” (ibid).

What is clear from the report is the impact of the scope of the actual and potential hostilities in the Mideast and Asia upon German arms exports, which is reflected in the 2011 report and only set to be exceeded in future reports.

It’s hard to conceive that Germany, shattered amid rubble after Allied invasion in World War ii, exports more military hardware than any other European country today. This fact alone has foreboding historical overtones. Under the perceived “dove”-like administration of Angela Merkel’s coalition government, the results of this report, and the sales that have been omitted, reveal a “hawkish” military industrial powerhouse exporting hardware unchecked across Europe, the Mideast, Africa and Asia.

The U.S., Britain, the United Nations and nato have forgotten the words of Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at the end of World War ii in their joint declaration: “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world.”

They didn’t stop with that, but continued, “We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces, break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism; remove or destroy all German military equipment; eliminate or control all German industry that could be used for military production.”

“It is not our purpose to destroy the people of Germany,” wrote the two world leaders, “but only when Nazism and militarism have been extirpated will there be hope for a decent life for Germans and a place for them in the community of nations.”

What few point to in this whole scenario is the cold, hard reality that Germany’s armaments industry could so easily turn its production to self-consumption of its wares, rather than exports. The last time that occurred it spelled massive disaster for the world.

This time Germany already has its allies consuming its military hardware, dependent on it for spare and replacement parts, for upgrades and for the training of their military personnel in the usage of its weaponry. It’s one small step from there for Germany to arm itself to the teeth, thus becoming not only the world’s third-largest producer of military hardware, but the third-largest user of the same, replete with imperial alliances with many of its existing foreign customers, who are in turn armed with German weaponry.

One other fact seems to escape most observers of the German scene today.

Germany’s first military deployment since World War II

Hitler launched a world war having occupied only the periphery around his nation—the Rhineland, the Sudetenland, Austria and Czechoslovakia.

Since Germany, in concert with the Vatican, stimulated the Balkan wars of the 1990s—resulting in the first aggressive post-World War ii military action by that nation—it has progressively mounted military missions in 13 separate foreign theaters (see map).

German deployment today

The reality is that today Germany is far more strategically placed to initiate sudden imperialist aggression than Hitler ever was back in 1939!

All it lacks is the type of charismatic, imperialist leadership to initiate it!

Germany may well continue for a short while to appear the dove in European foreign policy under Mutti Merkel’s waning motherly leadership amid deepening continental and world crisis.

But not for long.

The postwar view that Germans have long held of themselves is changing, as is the view of their European neighbors, and the mood is turning ugly (“The Ugly German Rears Its Head,” Spiegel Online, Dec. 13, 2012). It’s under such conditions that populist leaders tend to rise in Germany.

The ancient Prophet Daniel wrote in chapter 8 of a powerful end-time leader’s imminent arrival amid today’s crisis. He is described as fierce in physical appearance and devious in dark political lobbying. He appears one way to Germans and Europe’s citizens, only, in reality, to be just the opposite, a crafty wolf in sheep’s clothing, leaving devastation in his wake via a deceptively-crafted policy of peacekeeping that hides the true nature of a Holy Roman imperial motive.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has long warned readers, “The Daniel 8 man is going to change the German landscape—economically, politically and militarily. Germany needs a man for emergencies. What we see developing now is just such an emergency, and Germany is about to bring that man to power. This is what’s just ahead of us!”

Again, we remind you as Herbert W. Armstrong did beginning in 1934, a world dictator is about to appear! A strong man in Europe is about to arise! Then watch for the unleashing of the powerful military potential that the German armaments industry has steadily built to such a dominant level.

Wildfires Raze Homes in Australia

Wildfires Raze Homes in Australia

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Uncontrollable wildfires have streaked across Tasmania and New South Wales. The weather is getting worse and more extreme for Australia.

Record heat, strong winds, and abundant grass and vegetation from the previous rainy season have left Australia battling raging wildfires since last Friday. Authorities are warning that the worst is yet to come.

The out-of-control fires that have hit five of Australia’s six states have been particularly devastating in Tasmania and New South Wales.

Over 100 homes and other buildings have been destroyed in Tasmania over the weekend, and about 100 residents are unaccounted for. Fifty thousand acres of forest and farmland have been destroyed.

In New South Wales—the nation’s most populous state—over 100 different fires are raging, and more than 1,500 firefighters are struggling to extinguish the ravaging flames. Tuesday’s temperatures are expected to hit a high of 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius), with winds as strong as 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour). “Having had record rain … we are about to have record dangers,” said New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell as he bleakly explained how much worse the devastation could get. “Tomorrow [Tuesday] is not going to be just another ordinary day,” he said. “Tomorrow will be perhaps the worst fire danger day this state has ever faced.”

Regions south of Sydney in New South Wales have been given a “catastrophic” rating, meaning the fires will be uncontrollable, unpredictable and very fast-moving, with evacuation as the only safe option. New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said conditions would be unlike any seen in “many, many years.” Fire danger is “right off the conventional chart.”

After touring ravaged Tasmanian townships, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned of “more extreme weather events and conditions” as a result of “climate change.”

Extreme weather conditions, drought and wildfires are not new to Australia. But they are not normal either. As was written in “Australia the Blessed … Australia the Cursed,” God-bestowed the blessings Australia enjoys and could enjoy. “It is rich in sheep, cattle, cotton, sugar, minerals, ores, oil, and wine, and is the envy of Asia. … [But] Australia’s great need is water and rain in due season. … Australia’s [former] Prime Minister John Howard said we can’t drought-proof Australia. He is right. But God can.”

In his Key of David program titled “Why Natural Disasters,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry gave the Bible’s explanation of today’s weather catastrophes. For more, read our booklets Australia—Where to Now? and Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?

2012 U.S. Gun Sales Shatter Records

2012 U.S. Gun Sales Shatter Records

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Background checks for gun sales are smashing records again. Data issued by the fbi last Wednesday shows that the month of December recorded far more background checks than any other since the agency’s National Instant Check System was established in 1998. In 2012, gun checks shot up by 19 percent from the previous record in 2011 to 19.6 million. The figures for December 2012 rose by 39 percent from November’s record to 2.8 million. For December, this means that there were an astounding 776,846 more background checks conducted than in November.

The statistics do not indicate the number of firearms sold—the government does not keep track of that. They only show the number of background check transactions on legal purchases from licensed vendors. Since 1998, over 160 million background checks have been made. Approximately 0.006 percent of attempted purchases were turned down.

The level of interest in guns is phenomenally high. Gun retailers are finding it hard to keep up with the demand. “It has been absolutely unbelievable,” said Steve Naatjes of Gary’s Gun Shop. “More people in the door than I’ve ever seen. Crazy, crazy, crazy. Buying fever. Big time. Ammo, guns, accessories. You name it.” Naatjes said he noticed the spike in the interest in guns back in September during the presidential campaigns. His gun classes are now fully booked through April.

This gun-buying frenzy has been attributed to President Obama’s commitment to push through legislation that might ban certain firearms. Also, as Reuters reported, “interest in guns tends to increase after a mass shooting, as customers fear for personal safety.” Personal protection seems to be the main reason why people want to own firearms. It appears people believe, as the vice president of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, said, “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”

History and Bible prophecy show that proliferation of guns and weapons will not protect us—it will only exacerbate the violence in our midst. The December 2012 Trumpet print edition asked, “As Gun Sales Rise, What Is Your Source of Protection?” After noting the nightmarish conditions prophesied to come upon us in the near future, Joel Hilliker wrote:

[T]he 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. …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.

To learn more about a far better way to protect your family from the problems coming on America, read our article “As Gun Sales Rise, What Is Your Source of Protection?

Sales Rising for Bulletproof Children’s Clothes

Bulletproof clothing sales are soaring. Three weeks after 20 children and six school employees were gunned down at a school in Connecticut, parents are going to extreme lengths to protect their children.

Miguel Caballero manufactures protective gear for high-risk situations. But his product that is receiving the most attention is his bulletproof vests that are attached to bulletproof backpacks. At his factory in Bogota, Colombia, he demonstrates his product by blasting it with pistols and machine guns.

Caballero said that after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in December, interest in his products has soared.

In spite of the bloody internal conflict that has been raging in Colombia for 50 years, Caballero says the idea for child-sized bulletproof clothing never crossed his mind.

“The product was created with the American market in mind, not for the Latino market. All the designs and colors, everything is thought out with them in mind,” he said.

It is an amazing sign of the times when Colombia is manufacturing body armor for American children. God intended the United States to be an example to other nations in how to live. Instead, America and other modern Israelite nations have become an example of how lawlessness can destroy even the most prosperous nation.

To understand why America is suffering these curses, read our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley Honored Herbert W. Armstrong

Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley Honored Herbert W. Armstrong

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L.A. mayor commends Ambassador International Cultural Foundation activities.

In a ceremony at his office on Nov. 3, 1975, Mayor Tom Bradley conferred commendation on the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation. As both founder and chairman, Herbert W. Armstrong accepted the award on behalf of the foundation.

Bradley graduated from University of California–Los Angeles, served as a police office of the Los Angeles Police Department, finished law school and began practicing before serving on the L.A. City Council. In 1973 he became mayor, and then co-chair of the Democratic National Convention in 1976. He won the gubernatorial primary but lost the election to former Attorney General George Deukmejian, who presided over the state of California’s attack on Mr. Armstrong and the Worldwide Church of God.

“As mayor of the city of Los Angeles, it is my pleasure to commend the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation for its laudatory efforts in culture and humanitarianism,” Bradley’s commendation read (Worldwide News, Nov. 10, 1975).

The mayor continued, “Not only is the foundation presenting many of the world’s leading artists, including Horowitz, Pavarotti, Sutherland, Menuhin, Panovs, but also 100 percent of funds raised will be donated to many of Los Angeles’ charitable, humanitarian, cultural, and educational organizations, including the United Way.

“In addition, Ambassador International Cultural Foundation is providing complimentary concert tickets to inner-city students and senior citizens who would ordinarily not be able to attend such outstanding cultural events. In this regard, the foundation is working with the Pasadena Urban League to give hundreds of minority students opportunity of hearing soprano Grace Bumbry in concert at Ambassador Auditorium.

“On behalf of the city of Los Angeles, we wish the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation well in this great community endeavor in culture and humanitarianism, and we ask the people of Los Angeles to give this program their wholehearted support.”

Over the next decade, Los Angeles, Pasadena, surrounding communities and numerous others through global humanitarian projects benefited from the benevolence of Mr. Armstrong and the endeavors of the adjuncts he founded. His friend Mayor Bradley succeeded in bringing the Olympics to the city in the mid-’80s while he as founder and chancellor of Ambassador College helped host and train world-class athletes, such as high jumper Dwight Stones, for those games under the college’s famed athletic director Harry Snieder. In 1986, the mayor again lost to Deukmejian in the general election for state governorship.

Earlier that year, on January 16, Bradley’s longtime friend died at his home on the Ambassador College campus. Thereafter, a cadre of church leaders assigned with the responsibility to continue his work, without mandate drove the Worldwide Church of God (wcg) from its founding doctrines, renamed it Grace Communion International and thrust it into the welcoming arms of mainstream Christianity, Protestantism and Pentecostalism. Their agenda continued with dismembering Ambassador College, collapsing the foundation, and rejecting friendly relations with international heads of state and royalty.

Amid this shocking betrayal, Gerald Flurry wrote Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today and stood in defense of Mr. Armstrong’s final book, Mystery of the Ages, as it was pulled from circulation, both resulting in the firing of Mr. Flurry and his assistant, John Amos, on Dec. 7, 1989, in the Hall of Administration building on the campus of Ambassador College. These events initiated the establishment of the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg), sponsor of the Trumpet.

Earlier that year, Bradley was elected to his historic fifth term as the city’s mayor, totaling a tenure of 20 years. He retired from office in 1993, with the next five years seeing him battle health crises resulting in his death in 1998.

The mayor died not knowing the outcome of a six-year court battle conducted in the city between the wcg and pcg over the preservation of the written works of Mr. Armstrong. The cadre had openly declared their “Christian duty” was to keep the works of this unofficial ambassador, friend of world leaders, “out of print.” Request your free copy of Raising the Ruins for the truth behind this mammoth betrayal and battle for religious freedom.

Citizens of Los Angeles may be familiar with a recent commercial aired nationwide by Microsoft promoting its new Surface tablet computer. The advertisement was filmed on the grounds of the former Ambassador College campus. It featured what was its administration building, with the spiraling egret sculpture crafted by England’s Sir David Wynn in front of the famed Carnegie Hall of the West, Ambassador Auditorium.

The grounds’ commercialization strikes pain into the heart and boil the blood of anyone who supported the work of Mr. Armstrong. Add to this the recent destruction of the college’s former library, one of the first buildings acquired in the early days of the college back in 1947. This building was where the World Tomorrow program was recorded and sent to its millions of viewers on hundreds of stations worldwide.

In addition, Ambassador Auditorium’s owners are currently pleading supporters for help on their website, fearful of the facility’s future as its acoustical quality comes into question amid other slated demolitions, such as the former administration building, to make way for a massive senior housing development complex which they claim “will dwarf and overwhelm its immediate neighbor—Ambassador Auditorium.”

Mayor Bradley would have been pleased at the victory, out of court, for the pcg to continue the legacy of his longtime friend and unofficial ambassador. It has taken over two decades for Mr. Flurry, with the dedicated aid of supporters worldwide, to revive the institutions formerly established by the unofficial ambassador for world peace whom the mayor honored and lent support to on behalf of Los Angeles citizens.

Our Trumpet readers in Los Angeles and around the world, along with viewers of the Key of David program, members of the Church, Herbert W. Armstrong College students, co-workers, donors, patrons of Armstrong Auditorium performing arts events, and recipients and partners of the Church’s foundation, can be assured these institutions, practicing God’s way of give, will never betray, commercialize or bulldoze their spiritual, cultural, educational and humanitarian assets and activities in the pursuit of profits and religious agenda.

Tom Bradley would have been happy to hear of an event on Dec. 30, 2012, hosted on the campus of Armstrong College. Over 1,000 eager concertgoers witnessed the world premiere of Jeremiah the Musical, performed on the stage of Armstrong Auditorium. This spectacular event was opened to the public for free, and their rousing and lengthy ovation at its conclusion confirmed the impact of this historic, exclusive musical.

Seated a few rows back from the stage was editor in chief Gerald Flurry. As the ovation to this event crescendoed, the final paragraph of the afterword of his book Malachi’s Message came to mind: “The Worldwide Church may have disfellowshipped Herbert Armstrong from their own church, postmortem, but they will never do away with his teachings. As this ongoing story unfolds and the Worldwide Church continues to self-destruct, be assured the work of Mr. Armstrong will never die. God’s end-time message from Malachi will go out. The work will continue.”

Europe—Key Issues of 2013

Europe—Key Issues of 2013

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There’s a rapidly emerging congruency between the best geopolitical projections for 2013 and Bible prophecy.

Our readers would be aware of the esteem in which we have held Stratfor among the motley collection of geopolitical think tanks that comment regularly on the world scene.

Stratfor’s analyses of world events most often reflect deeply-thought-out scenarios that project clear predictive forecasting based on a chain of events currently happening on the world scene, with a particular view to non-revisionist history.

Inevitably this approach may be traced back to the keen mind of Stratfor’s founder and ceo, George Friedman.

Being of Hungarian Jewish descent, it comes as no surprise that Friedman’s appreciation of European history and current events is most acute. Thus it is that we find ourselves currently agreeing with him that the most vital geopolitical events of 2013 will center on Europe.

Friedman introduces his prediction for Europe in 2013 as follows: “Taken as a single geographic entity, Europe has the largest economy in the world. Should it choose to do so, it could become a military rival to the United States. Europe is one of the pillars of the global system, and what happens to Europe is going to define how the world works. I would argue that in 2013 we will begin to get clarity on the future of Europe” (January 3).

George Friedman argues his position from a secularist perspective. We are in general agreement with his prediction, but are so because of our biblical prophecy perspective. These are two distinctly different views in the one sense, yet in reality, they are quite congruent in the sense of their current timing and much of the detail of the moment.

The tendency for Bible prophecy for our times to be so rapidly coming to fulfillment, daily, at present, would seem to support Dr. Friedman’s contention “that in 2013 we will begin to get clarity on the future of Europe.”

Two key elections will be held in Europe this year. They each involve a nation that has a significant role in end-time prophecy.

Elections for an Italian prime minister will be held in February. Already the pope has endorsed Jesuit-educated technocrat Mario Monti as his choice.

In September, Angela Merkel’s sputtering political career as Germany’s chancellor shall probably end at the German federal elections. With the mood turning ugly both within Germany and in Europe about the current nature of the German psyche, the time is rapidly developing for the rise of a populist leader in that nation.

Put this together with Friedman’s claim that Europe could—should it choose to do so—as “the largest economy in the world” become also “a military rival to the United States,” then it becomes a worrisome prospect that with Europe “as one of the pillars of the global system,” it is now in a powerful position, given the right leadership, “to define how the world works.”

All those statements are in direct alignment with Bible prophecy for our times!

For over 70 years we have trumpeted—first under Herbert Armstrong, and latterly under our current editor in chief, Gerald Flurry—the rise of a powerful European combine, under the leadership of Rome and Berlin, which would dominate the globe economically, financially, commercially and militarily. This is in exact accordance with the prophecies for our time as revealed in Revelation 13 and 17, and Daniel 8 and 11.

The fact that one of the most brilliant geopolitical minds on the scene today recognizes much of this potential is worthy of taking note. What is so much to the point in considering the direction of Europe from here on is the statement by Friedman that “If, however, Europe does emerge with a plan that has general support and momentum behind it, then we might say that Europe is beginning to emerge from its crisis, and that, in turn, would be the single most important thing that happens in 2013” (ibid).

Yet it is hard to see that such a plan would have any prospect of coming to fruition unless Europe has the quality of leadership in place to not only endorse it but to strong-arm it into reality. This is why we propose that such an event may have to wait till the outcome of this year’s federal elections in Europe’s leading nation—Germany.

All the prophetic indications lead to the conclusion that it will be a powerful Germanic leader who causes the final configuration of a militarily dominant European entity to coalesce into 10 separate regional groupings all rendering their support to a single overarching leader (Revelation 13, 17). Ultimately, this will be the “plan that has general support and momentum behind it,” to quote Stratfor.

So, what to watch for in 2013?

Watch the outcome of the Italian elections in February. If Monti—the pope’s man—gains office, then the linkage between the Vatican and the leader of old Chaldea will be strengthened significantly. This, in turn, will give a powerful boost to the confidence of imperialist Catholic European elites—especially in Germany—who are the real movers and shakers behind the scenes in Europe.

The upshot could well have significant effect on the outcome of the German elections in September.

As we have consistently declared, Europe is now ruled by a Rome-Berlin axis. France has been rapidly diminished in political stature in Europe since the Hollande liberal-socialist regime was voted into office.

These vital elections take place amid a Europe in crisis. As George Friedman writes, “People are not being asked to die on a battlefield for the European Union but to live lives of misery and disappointment. In many ways that is harder than being brave. And since the core promise of the European Union was prosperity, the failure to deliver that prosperity—and the delivery of poverty instead, unevenly distributed—is not sustainable. If Europe is in crisis, the world’s largest economy is in crisis, political as well as financial. And that matters to the world perhaps more than anything else” (ibid).

The reason it matters to the world is the history of what such crises tend to produce in Europe. History reveals that crises of this nature have huge potential for dislocating the whole global system.

For the second time in less than a century, Europe is on the brink of unleashing the effects of a deep crisis on the rest of the world. The results in the short term will be catastrophic beyond imagination. Yet the wonder of it all is that this is but the major harbinger of the replacement of the whole global system by a future system of global peace and order such as man has longed for since creation.

For more current information on this subject, read our powerful column this coming Monday. For the deepest insight into the causes and effects of this whole European scenario, read our booklets Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.