Cash-Strapped Zimbabwe Down to $217

Cash-Strapped Zimbabwe Down to $217

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Zimbabwe is down to its last $217. After paying civil servant salaries last week, the cash-strapped government has barely enough to buy a used iPad.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti told reporters on Tuesday that the government’s finances were in a “paralysis state” and that the state was failing to meet its targets. “Last week when we paid civil servants, there was $217 [left] in government coffers,” he said.

The Zimbabwean economy took a nose-dive in 2000 when President Robert Mugabe embarked on his controversial “land grab” in which thousands of white-owned farms were seized by the government and its black supporters. The predominantly agriculture-based economy of the nation then collapsed, exacerbated by eroded investor confidence, and international sanctions. Almost a decade of relentless money-printing and almost unfathomable hyperinflation ensued until the currency collapsed and rival political parties were compelled to coalesce into a power-sharing government in 2009.

With Zimbabwe in such a financial mess again, the government has no choice but to approach “the international community,” said Tendai Biti.

For Zimbabwe, “international community” means China.

In spite of its financial woes, Zimbabwe is rich in mineral resources such as diamonds, platinum and other rare metals—just the commodities that resource-hungry China is happy to snap up. Watch for China’s continued exploitation of Africa’s resources in exchange for financial and political support.

Bible prophecy indicates a global resource war is coming among the world’s major powers. For more detail, read our article “The Battleground” and our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.

Israel Prepares for the Fall of Syria

Israel Prepares for the Fall of Syria

JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Israel readies for the threat of chemical weapons.

Israel is preparing for the fall of Syria, according to reports published on Sunday. The Jewish nation has deployed two Iron Dome air defense batteries to its north, including one near the city of Haifa. Activity at Israel’s air force bases has also increased, according to local reports.

“If there will be a need, we will take action to prevent chemical weapons from being transferred to Islamic terror organizations,” Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said on Israel’s Army Radio on Sunday.

Since the Syrian uprisings began in March of 2011, dissident forces have clashed with government troops at hotspots throughout the nation. Even the capital city of Damascus, visible from Israel, is engulfed in bloody fighting. As the violence continues southward, it has led to some artillery fire hitting Israeli territory. Israel fears that Syrians may soon resort to using chemical weapons near Israel’s border.

Under any conditions, a chemical weapons stockpile on your doorstep would be legitimate cause for concern for any nation. But with Syria in chaos, now Israel has to worry about the prospect of the weapons falling into rebel hands. The United States government supports the rebels who fight under the banner of democracy. However, the majority of the rebels don’t have such democratic tendencies. Some of the militia groups are extreme Islamists, dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The possibility of these organizations gaining control of chemical weapons that could reach Israel is sobering for the Jewish nation.

Additionally, there is the threat of Hezbollah in Lebanon gaining access to Syria’s chemical weapons. Such a scenario significantly multiplies the threat to Israel’s northern cities.

Israel can’t afford to lose track of Syria’s weapons stockpiles, which is why it is conducting intense surveillance to its north. If the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad falls, the weapons could be very difficult to track down. The Israelis are preparing now to defend themselves in case the worst should happen.

Israel is in a very precarious situation. The weapons pose a threat to Israel regardless of who controls Syria. But with the fighting in Syria and the Assad regime increasingly desperate, the threat is multiplying. The U.S. has already discussed the possibility of a military operation to prevent the weapons from falling into radical Islamists’ hands, and Israel may well take part if such an offensive is waged.

Israel stepped up its countermeasures on Tuesday night when an Israeli airstrike destroyed a convoy crossing the border from Syria into Lebanon. While reports are vague about what the convey contained, the strike shows that Israel is watching the border, and is willing to engage its military to prevent weapons being dispersed to Israel’s neighbors.

Assad’s grip on power appears to be rapidly slipping. Regardless of what happens next, you can know the role Syria will play in the future. Despite the uncertainties of the Arab winter, the struggles of Israel, the role of the U.S., and the ongoing bloodbath in Syria, you can understand what the future holds for this region of the world. A prophecy recorded in Psalm 83 makes Syria’s future role clear. To understand this biblical truth, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “How the Syrian Crisis Will End.”

Why Aren’t More People Marrying Today?

Why Aren’t More People Marrying Today?

theTrumpet.com

Here’s one reason: At least in the eyes of women, the men aren’t qualified.

For young people, the idea of marriage still holds considerable charm. A 2006 poll showed that more than 80 percent of American high school seniors expect to get married, and 90 percent of those assume they’ll remain wed to the same person for life. A survey of college students in England found 95 percent want to marry. Among adults who have never been married, 61 percent want to be, according to a Pew poll from 2010.

But dreams of marriage are failing to materialize for more and more of these people. In 1960, 72 percent of American adults were married; today, that number has dropped to 51 percent. In 1960, 15 percent had never married; today it’s 28 percent. In 1970, four in five 25-to-29-year-old men were married; now, two in five are.

What’s going on? People want to marry but aren’t. Why?

The reasons are many. But sociologists have identified one that I find of particular interest. It is that today’s men—at least in the eyes of today’s women—aren’t qualified.

Many single men say they would like to be at least equal to if not better than their future spouse in terms of education and earning power. The model of the male breadwinner has a long history, and remnants of it remain ingrained in the minds of many people—both men and women.

The problem is, this ideal is increasingly at odds with reality. As Hanna Rosin writes in her book The End of Men: And the Rise of Women, “The men may cling to traditional ideals about themselves as providers, but they are further than ever from being able to embody those ideals” (emphasis added throughout).

Every year in America, 170,000 more women than men get bachelor’s degrees. And while the average man still earns 10 percent more than the average woman, guess what? Among 20-somethings, women now have the edge in the wage gap. Men who hold the advantage in education and earning power are a dying breed.

The numbers of well-educated, financially self-sufficient women are mushrooming beyond the numbers of men who could be so described. In fact, men are trending in the opposite direction. Today, for example, we see the highest percentage ever recorded of men of prime working age who are not even working: about one in five.One fifth of men. Compare that to 1950, when it was one in 20.

“Recent years have seen an explosion of male joblessness and a steep decline in men’s life prospects that have disrupted the ‘romantic market’ in ways that narrow a marriage-minded woman’s options,” wrote Kate Bolick in the Atlantic. “[I]ncreasingly, her choice is between deadbeats (whose numbers are rising) and playboys (whose power is growing)” (November 2011).

Who will these women marry? The bar for what they want out of marriage is climbing, while the field is regressing.

Unsurprisingly, more and more of them, rather than “marry down,” are resigning themselves to the idea that their best option is just to skip it.

Sure, they’d love to marry if the right man showed up. Yet, in their view—frustrating as it may be that Mr. Right isn’t around—marriage is, ultimately, unnecessary. I can take care of myself—I don’t need a man to support me, the thinking goes. He’d just be another person to take care of—another mouth to feed.

“[A]s women have climbed ever higher, men have been falling behind,” laments Bolick. “We’ve arrived at the top of the staircase, finally ready to start our lives, only to discover a cavernous room at the tail end of a party, most of the men gone already, some having never shown up—and those who remain are leering by the cheese table, or are, you know, the ones you don’t want to go out with.”

The question is on the lips of women everywhere: What’s wrong with all these guys?

Most people can agree there is a problem, but far fewer recognize its full scope. When you talk to the women and meet the men, when you read the stories and look at the data, you begin to realize: Bolick is not describing a minor irritant, or a disappointment that a few women share. She is chronicling the collapse of a social order.

Social historian Stephanie Coontz says we’re experiencing nothing less than “a historical revolution every bit as wrenching, far-reaching, and irreversible as the Industrial Revolution.” As she told the Atlantic, “When it comes to what people actually want and expect from marriage and relationships, and how they organize their sexual and romantic lives, all the old ways have broken down.”

If you examine it, this breakdown in “all the old ways” virtually all traces back to the trashing of the traditional roles of men and of women, particularly that of breadwinner and homemaker. Historically, what largely drove men’s march through the milestones to adulthood was the expectation that they would fulfill the role of provider. For generations, this commonly recognized duty propelled men into the workforce; it often served as a prod to men’s ambition and did much to shape society. Even today, it remains a strong motivation to any young man who accepts it. And women recognized their responsibility to make the home an inviting, nurturing environment for children to be reared toward adulthood.

For two generations now, esteem for these roles has been fading—to the point where today they are ignored, if not treated with contempt.

In dismantling the traditional ways of relating to one another as men and women, society lost more than just human traditions: We arrogantly, foolishly trashed God’s design in creating men and women.

The failings that have resulted vividly illustrate the wisdom in God’s original design—for anyone willing to cast aside the blinders of political correctness and look at the situation honestly.

For the sake of order and harmony, God created men to fulfill one role within the family and within society, and He created women to fill a different and beautifully complementary role. This is the reality that God created and revealed to humankind. It is a vital key to individual, family and societal success.

The reason for marriage is far greater than most people realize. Marriage has an awesome purpose. Doesn’t it make sense to understand its purpose if you plan to marry someday? To learn this purpose, request our free booklet Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? Not only will it help you understand marriage’s purpose—it will show you why “the old ways” will never die.

Besieged in Thy Gates

Besieged in Thy Gates

Juan Jose RODRIGUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

From the March 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

It is one of the most astonishing success stories in history. At one time, the English-speaking peoples of Britain and America controlled two thirds of the world’s agriculturally productive land. And, impressive as their landholdings were, their maritime reach was even more astounding.

These two powers controlled virtually every important oceanic choke point and sea gate on the planet. Oceanic trade and sea communication only existed to the extent that Britain and America allowed it. This domination of global trade turned these two peoples into economic superpowers.

Massive port cities like Hong Kong, Port Said, Quebec City and Calcutta—river gateways to entire countries and continents—all flew the Union Jack. New Orleans flew the other red, white and blue. From these cities and many others, goods from almost a quarter of the world’s population traveled to markets around the world. It was British and American ships carrying those goods too.

Control of these ports meant mastery of the world’s shipping lanes. British and American guns commanded both ends of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Panama Canal, the Strait of Malacca, Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, in addition to the best natural and strategically placed naval harbors in the world.

Never have so few people controlled the destiny of so many.

How did these two nations grow to dominate global trade to such an astounding extent? The book The United States and Britain in Prophecy explains why America and Britain rocketed from insignificant nations to global superpowers. As Herbert W. Armstrong explained in his book, it all began with a promise made to the ancient patriarch Abraham in which God promised to give his descendants control of the “gates” of their enemies (Genesis 22:17). God gave Britain and America these commercial gates, virtually ensuring that they would become economic and military superpowers.

But God also warned that if America and Britain did not obey Him, then not only would those sea gates be taken away, but they would be used against these nations (Deuteronomy 28:52).

The maps on the following pages depict the amazing extent of British and American power at one time—and then show how much of it has been lost. The fulfillment of this latter prophecy is a telling indicator of where the U.S. and Britain are heading.

Malta, Mediterranean Sea

History

Britain annexed Malta in 1814 as part of the Treaty of Paris, ending the Napoleonic Wars. After annexation, Malta served as the headquarters of Britain’s Mediterranean fleet. The island was vital to British success in the Mediterranean during World War II—King George VI even awarded the George Cross to the Maltese people collectively. Britain granted Malta political independence in 1964.The last remaining British troops withdrew in 1979.

Status: [lost]

Malta is now a member of the European Union and the eurozone. Germany is dominating the EU, and Malta is swiftly becoming a German vassal state.

Gibraltar, Spain

History

After the Rock of Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in 1713 as part of the peace terms ending the War of the Spanish Succession, Britain erected a formidable military garrison for the strait’s defense. The garrison played a strategic role in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, World War I and World War II. Spain has tried to claim Gibraltar more than once, but the people of the province voted to remain under British rule in 1967 and 2002.

Status

Since the Spanish government is still pushing for full control of this sea gate, it seems unlikely Britain will be able to keep it much longer.

10 percent of global trade passing through Gibraltar each year

106,000 ships passing through the strait annually, including 5,000 oil tankers

Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria

History

British influence in the Niger region increased over the course of the 19th century until Nigeria became an official British colony in 1900. The colony in Nigeria allowed Britain to suppress radical Islamist movements in West Africa and to keep the Gulf of Guinea free from pirates. After Nigerian independence in 1960, however, Britain’s global power began to decline, and the United States had to start taking on more maritime policing responsibilities.

Status

The U.S. Navy’s failure to keep the waterways safe has allowed pirates to threaten the region, a fact not lost on the leaders of China or Germany, which are developing military ties with Nigeria.

2 million barrels of petroleum exported from Nigeria through the gulf every day

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

History

The Union of South Africa brought the cape under the executive power of a governor-general representing the British Crown in 1909. The Cape Town Naval Base became significant during World War II, when South African Prime Minister Jan Smuts went about fortifying South Africa against a possible German invasion.

Status: [lost]

The surrender of South Africa to the Communist influenced African National Congress ended much of Britain’s control over the Cape of Good Hope in 1994.

32 percent of West African oil that transits past Cape town to Western markets

24 percent of Middle Eastern oil that passes the cape on the way to Western markets

3,400 ships that come into the Port of Cape Town each year, laden with 4 million tons of cargo

Strait of Hormuz. Iran

History

Although this strait has never been under direct British or American control, the British Empire was able to project naval power into this area when Pakistan was part of British India. After Pakistani independence in 1947, Britain and America had to rely solely on their relationship with Arabic states to secure this sea lane.

Status

Now that Iran is rising as a dominant power in the Middle East, the security of Hormuz is being called ever more into question.

35 percent of global seaborne-traded oil passing through Hormuz

26 number of crude oil tankers that pass eastbound through the strait each day, moving 17 million barrels of oil

Bab El-Mandeb, Somalia

History

From 1888 to 1960, this strategic sea gate, along with the entire Gulf of Aden, was protected by the British Navy operating for the British Somaliland protectorate. Control of this gate was vital to Britain’s struggle against the radical Islamist leader Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan in 1913. British Somaliland was granted independence in 1960. Since then, British Somaliland has joined the Somali Republic and become an Islamic state.

Status

For the past decade, the coast of Somalia has been plagued by pirates while the mainland struggles against the Iranian backed al-Shabaab terrorist militia. Iran’s military strategy includes gaining control over this gate.

30 percent of hydrocarbon trade that passes through the strait

18 miles separating Yemen from Djbouti at the strait’s narrowest point

8 percent of overall seaborne trade that passes through the strait

Suez Canal, Egypt

History

The Canal Zone was declared a neutral zone under the protection of the British at the Convention of Constantinople in 1888. British control of the Suez Canal gave the Allied powers a strategic advantage in World Wars I and II. British troops guarded the Canal Zone up until 1956, when Egyptian strongman Gamul Abdul Nasser nationalized the area.

Status

Today, the Suez Canal is under the power of a Muslim- Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian coalition. This coalition’s growing alliance with Iran means that the canal could soon be closed in an attack on the West.

35 thousands of ships that transit the canal each year, including 3,500 oil tankers

8 percent of overall seaborne trade that transits the canal annually

6 thousands of extra miles needed to go around Africa’s southern tip

Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

History

Under the terms of the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, Britain obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island and the adjacent northern lands from mainland China in 1898. Even though the government of China was displaced in a Communist coup in 1949, Britain still gifted this South China Sea prize to the People’s Republic of China in 1997.

Status: [lost]

Beijing now fully controls the $380 million Hong Kong naval base built by the British.

456,000 vessels that moor in the harbor every year

243 million tons of cargo the Port of Hong Kong handles annually

Port of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

History

Great Britain seized control of Trincomalee from the Netherlands in 1795, fearing that its alliance with France would give the French Empire control of Indian Ocean trade routes. During World War II, the port harbored the British Seventh Fleet and proved to be an invaluable asset after London lost the Singapore Naval Base to Japan in 1942. This strategic gateway was completely lost to Britain after London relinquished control of the Port of Trincomalee to a newly independent Sri Lanka in 1957.

Status: [lost]

The Sri Lankan government is now being courted by Chinese leaders who would like to see the island as a strategic asset in their “String of Pearls” strategy to control the Indian Ocean.

80 percent of seaborne hydrocarbon trade that transmits through Indian Ocean choke points

Strait of Malacca, Singapore

History

Thomas Raffles signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah on behalf of the East India Company in 1819, which allowed Singapore to be developed as a British trading post. The British voluntarily gave up this most strategic sea gate in 1965 when Singapore withdrew from the British-backed Malaysian Federation to declare independence.

Status: [lost]

China is now reaching out to Singapore in an effort to cement control of the Strait. Singapore now maintains first position among asean countries as a Chinese trade partner.

35 percent of all seaborne goods that pass through the strait

50 percent of the world’s merchant fleet (60,000 ships) that sails through Malacca

50 percent of all petroleum goods that pass through Malacca

Subic Bay, Philippines

History

Along with Clark Air Base, Subic Bay Naval Base once represented the largest overseas military installation of the United States Armed Forces. It fulfilled a vital role in World War II and the Vietnam War. The Filipino government ordered the U.S. to withdraw from the area in 1992. The withdrawal ended a vast American military presence in the Philippines that began when the U.S. captured the islands from Spain during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Status

Now that U.S. military presence in the area has been drastically reduced, China is claiming the entire South China Sea for its own.

Panama Canal, Panama

History

The 10-mile-wide Panama Canal Zone has been called the “birth canal” of American greatness. Its construction in 1914 allowed the United States to become a global power. Control of the Panama Canal Zone gave the Allies an advantage in World War II when Nazi Germany sent U-boats to the Caribbean to cut off American oil supplies. When U.S. President Bill Clinton surrendered the canal back to the government of Panama, an era of American greatness came to an end.

Status: [lost]

A Chinese company now runs both ports on each end of the Panama Canal Zone. Germany is courting Panama itself as a potential user of the euro currency.

5 percent of global seaborne trade that passes through the canal

15,000 ships that use the canal each year, taking an 8,000-mile shortcut

Strait of Magellan, Falkland Islands

History

British Captain John Byron explored and claimed Saunders Island in 1765. The British Empire did not establish a permanent naval presence in the Falklands until 1834. This naval base proved vital to British interests in World War I when the Royal Navy fought to keep Germany’s East Asia Squadron from passing Cape Horn.

Status

Argentina is ramping up pressure on Britain to relinquish the islands and recently passed a law that prohibits British ships from docking in any ports located in the Buenos Aires province.

Rise of the Hawks

Rise of the Hawks

Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

China’s ascendency is making the neighbors nervous—and spawning a resurgence of nationalism throughout Northeast Asia.
From the March 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Beijing’s multiplying power and intensifying belligerency are driving a surge of nationalism in Northeast Asia. Concerns among China’s neighbor nations range from the commercial—over issues like Beijing’s rapacious drive for resources—to the geopolitical—including matters like China’s aggressive offshore territorial claims and the unveiling of its first aircraft carrier.

“The sense of unhappiness with China among ordinary people in some countries has been getting more acute by the day,” said Guo Jiguang, an expert on Southeast Asian politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. As this unhappiness spreads over the continent, it is opening the way for new leaders to rise to power—leaders acutely aware of the dangers China’s rise presents, and who appear prepared to take measures to counter it.

Most notable among the Asian states swinging toward nationalism and militarism is Japan. But the Koreas are also part of the resurgence, with both the North and South now being ruled by descendants of Cold War dictators. China itself is now ruled by the son of a Communist Chinese revolutionary hero, a close comrade of Chairman Mao.

These are sobering trends, and they fall perfectly in line with forecasts the Trumpet has been making for decades.

Japan’s LDP Returns

On Dec. 16, 2012, three years after being ousted from power, Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (ldp) scored a landmark electoral comeback. The militarism and nationalism that saturated the election campaign showed the growing concern among Japan’s ruling class over China’s belligerency. It also demonstrated Tokyo’s resolve to reassert Japan’s interests by every method, including military action.

ldp leader Shinzo Abe, who became Japan’s premier on December 26, embodies the party’s hawkish agenda. The premier has vowed repeatedly to challenge Japan’s pacifist constitution and to increase its defense spending. His grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, helped run Japanese-occupied Manchuria and was later imprisoned for war crimes under the U.S. postwar occupation. In 1957, Kishi became Japan’s prime minister and tried to abolish the pacifist clause from the nation’s constitution. Like his grandfather, Abe seeks constitutional revisions to “normalize” and strengthen Japan’s military. He wishes to bring an end to what he has called “Japan’s self-torturing history”—the handwringing over Tokyo’s egregious war crimes. Abe now holds a supermajority power that allows him to override any upper house vetoes of his legislation.

Japan has long been moving toward a quiet “normalization” of its military, but is now likely to make the change official and deeper. “In many ways, the Japanese have been making that change anyway,” Stratfor’s North Asia analyst Rodger Baker said. “The Japanese military has advanced weapons systems, it’s got advanced training, it’s got better interoperability. In many ways, [changing the constitution is] really just removing that last little fiction, rather than a fundamental alteration of Japanese military capabilities” (Dec. 21, 2012).

Under Abe, Tokyo has already made changes that transcend symbolism. In the second week of January, Japan’s Defense Ministry announced an increase of more than ¥100 billion (us$1.1 billion) to its military budget and announced plans to request an additional ¥180.5 billion (us$2.1 billion) from a government stimulus package.

The United States welcomes Japan’s military expansion because it wants to contain China’s mushrooming influence without expending too much of its own resources. For this reason, the Obama administration has encouraged Japan to expand its military and to take a sturdier stance against Beijing. This tougher stance against China will accelerate under Abe.

Though Abe’s nationalistic notions are saluted by Washington, they worry Japan’s neighbors, who vividly remember Tokyo’s savage rampage across Asia 70 years ago. When Abe announced that he wants to expand Japan’s military power, the China Daily called him a “warmonger with dangerous designs.”

Today’s Japan looks eerily like 1930s Japan, when the country was walloped by a steep decrease in world trade and stumbled into political and economic malaise. The militaristic regime in power tried to remedy the crisis by waging wars for raw materials and markets. Japan’s 1931 invasion of Manchuria, and later of China as a whole, was a part of this attempt. Japan employed shockingly brutal methods to conduct its occupation of other nations.

The world has changed considerably since the Pacific War ended in 1945 when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Among the most significant changes has been China’s ascendance on the global stage.

China’s Task

“China’s … projection of newfound power is putting pressure on all the other countries in the region,” said Barbara Demick, the Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times. This gets to the heart of why Japan is marching toward militarism. It is possible Abe may not stay in power for long, but the tide of Japanese nationalism and militarism that swept his party to victory is swelling quickly. And the swell is almost entirely because Japan fears China’s rise. Explaining why the Japanese military needed the additional funds, the Defense Ministry spokesman gave a thinly veiled answer: “[T]o prepare for the changing security environment surrounding Japan.”

In November, the Chinese Communist Party (ccp) installed Xi Jinping as general secretary. It is potentially significant that Xi, like the other three new Asian leaders, has nationalist bloodlines. There is an “almost nationalistic drive in all these countries,” Baker said. “[W]hether it’s through election, through the rejection of the existing parties, or just through the way in which the parties are shaping and organizing themselves.”

In 2012, political scandals damaged the party’s public image, but the system survived, and the ccp now faces the daunting task of managing the great social and economic change underway throughout China. The change makes Beijing insecure, and its anxiety is evident in the Chinese military’s intensifying belligerence over China’s claims in the South and East China seas, and Southeast Asia.

The Korean peninsula, stuck between Japan’s military normalization and China’s intensifying belligerency, could move toward greater rapprochement, particularly since North Korea would like to gradually reduce its dependence on Beijing’s support.

In the meantime, the Philippines and Vietnam—China’s most outspoken opponents in Southeast Asia—will keep pushing for increased integration among members of asean, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The Failure of Globalization

In his assessment, Baker said Asia’s surging nationalism indicates the failure of globalization in the region: “There is a long history with all of these candidates with family lineages that goes back into regional politics. And at a time where people have been focusing for the past few decades on this concept of globalization and the breaking down of barriers, I think one of the things that we’re seeing in Northeast Asia is the reflection that geopolitics matters—that history matters—and that the national interests are very strong in each of these countries. And they’re seeing a shift in the way in which they can balance with each other.”

For decades, militarism and nationalism were viewed as outmoded and backward ideologies in places like Japan. But with each passing month, China is more hell-bent on dominating Asia and forcibly expanding its territory. U.S. leaders remain largely oblivious to the potential dangers, but Asian policymakers view it as a major shift that demands major adjustments in their foreign policies.

Nationalism is a self-perpetuating ideology, perhaps more so in Asia than any other continent. When one country takes a step in a nationalist direction, its neighbors rapidly follow suit. Despite an increase in political and economic cooperation, Asian nations tend to view each other as rivals. More and more citizens of the nations around China believe war should be undertaken if that is what is required to stop Beijing. Their increasing concern prompts them to elect governments willing to draw a line in the sand that they won’t allow China to cross.

Nationalism and militarism are on the rise throughout Asia. Although the countries’ swings to the right are at present designed to protect themselves from other Asian nations, all of the intra-Asian tensions will soon be trumped by concern about a common enemy.

Future Unity

Daniel 11:40-41 speak of a showdown “at the time of the end” between “the king of the north”—a German-led European empire—and “the king of the south,” a radical Islamist empire led by Iran. This prophecy explains that this European entity will enter into “the glorious land”—Israel—and overthrow many countries. But the great military success of this European power will not go unchecked!

The pivotal prophecy continues in verse 44: “… [T]idings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him ….” After destroying the king of the south power, the European empire will be troubled by what is happening to its east and north—that is, in Asia!

The moves toward nationalism underway in Japan, China and throughout Northeast Asia are largely the result of disputes among Asian states, and, above all, because of fear of China’s rise. But all of these intra-Asian hostilities will soon be set aside so they can form a bloc to meet this colossal European force.

Asia’s swing toward nationalism points to a dark time on the horizon, but the Bible makes plain that the clash between Europe and Asia will be interrupted by the most spectacular event in history: Jesus Christ will return to put an end to the conflict between East and West, and between all other peoples on Earth! He will usher in an era of divine rulership that will bring about peace and prosperity for all mankind.

Hurricane Sandy Swamps President Obama’s Budget

Hurricane Sandy Swamps President Obama’s Budget

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The $50 billion President Obama planned on saving is wiped out with one ‘act of God.’

Congress approved a plan to save America from the fiscal cliff on January 1. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Yet, only one month later, the Hurricane Sandy relief bill has blown away any supposed savings that would have come from the plan.

The plan to avoid the fiscal cliff shielded millions of Americans from tax increases that would have come into effect at the end of January. It also raised tax rates on households making more than $450,000 per year. The plan also delayed the automatic spending cuts to the Pentagon and other government agencies that were scheduled to hit in March.

All told, President Obama hoped to bring in $40 billion for the government this fiscal year.

However, the Hurricane Sandy aid package passed on Monday was $50 billion. Since the government is already borrowing to finance current spending, that $50 billion will go straight to the deficit. All the money gained from those additional taxes will be completely negated.

The January 1 tax deal was supposed to give the government time to come up with another way of financing its agencies, and supporting the unemployed of America. Now the government will have to find an additional way of coming up with $50 billion.

More taxes anyone? Or is there a better solution?

When Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast, killing more than 130 people, Americans should have asked themselves why this happened. It wasn’t due to global warming.

God could have protected America, but He didn’t. Why was that?

God is cursing America because of its disobedience to His law. Regardless of what man does—regardless of how many surge walls and wind barriers are erected—these powerful acts of God will continue. And the economy- and budget-crushing costs will keep flooding in.

For more on the reasons why America is torn by natural disasters, order a free copy of Why ‘Natural’ Disasters? today.