America’s New Best Friend

America’s New Best Friend

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

From the April 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

Who is America’s staunchest friend and ally? Most Americans, at least those well versed in U.S. history and foreign policy, would easily and quickly reply Britain. Others might guess Israel, Canada or Australia.

These are all logical, reasonable answers grounded in historic fact.

They are also wrong, at least according to the Obama administration.

‘Partner of First Resort’

On February 2, Vice President Joe Biden delivered the keynote address to European leaders and statesmen gathered for the annual Munich Security Conference. Although many people do not take Joseph Biden seriously, his office is not insignificant. The vice president is an extension of the president, and therefore a reliable yardstick of America’s direction and future.

Mr. Biden’s message to Europe was clear and candid: Europe is America’s staunchest ally, and we need you to take on global leadership and responsibility, now!

“Simply put,” he said, “President Obama and I continue to believe that Europe is the cornerstone of our engagement with the rest of the world, and is the catalyst for our global cooperation. It’s that basic” (emphasis added throughout).

One of the vice president’s next statements was especially interesting: “Believe me when I say that I realize how difficult this is with an economy having slipped back into recession last year and the ever present temptation to back away from commitments on defense spending. But I also know that maintaining our capabilities is what enables us to advance our common global agenda. That’s just one reason why a strong and capable Europe is profoundly in America’s interest, and I might add, presumptuously, the world’s interest.”

Basically, he invited Europe to increase its military capacity, and assume more global leadership!

Biden also praised France, Germany and other European states for taking the lead in confronting radical Islam in Mali and North Africa. “Europe remains essential to that entire effort,” he stated. He then affirmed, yet again, that “Europe is the cornerstone of [America’s] engagement with the world, and Europe is the catalyst—our catalyst for global cooperation.” A few minutes later he stated, “Europe remains America’s indispensable partner of first resort.”

“Partner of first resort”? Really? What happened to Britain and the Commonwealth states? Less than seven decades ago, America and the British Commonwealth fought together to defeat Hitler and rescue France and the rest of Europe from the jaws of Nazism. When radical Islam struck America on Sept. 11, 2001, Britain proved to be America’s most reliable ally.

The White House is aware of America’s historic partnership with Britain. It didn’t accidently omit Britain from Mr. Biden’s address. This was simply the latest in a series of signals the Obama administration has sent—for example, President Obama purging the White House of the Churchill bust gifted to the U.S. from Downing Street—showing that it finds the U.S.-Britain relationship repugnant!

Further on, Mr. Biden stated, “Time and again, when it comes to a search for partners in this extremely complex world, Europe and America still look to each other before they look anywhere else.”

Since when? President Roosevelt didn’t look to Europe for partners during the Second World War. He looked to Britain, then together they saved Europe!

Building an Economic NATO

Ten days after Mr. Biden’s address in Munich, the White House again reached out to Germany and Europe. This time it was President Obama himself, during his annual State of the Union address, announcing that he would attempt to form what has often been called “an economic nato.”

President Obama pledged that America and the EU would negotiate the biggest trade deal in history, forging the world’s largest free trade area. Such a deal, he claimed, would be hugely beneficial to both America and the EU. In fact, experts believe it would add 0.5 percent to the annual growth of the EU’s economy by 2027—an extra €86 billion (us$115 billion) a year. For the U.S., the benefit would be 0.4 percent—or $87 billion (€65 billion).

In practical terms, the deal would include America and Europe removing tariffs on the other’s products. Both sides would also harmonize regulations and address differences in intellectual property and labor laws. The end goal would be that a car, for example, produced in the U.S. would not have to undergo any significant modifications in order to conform to the EU’s safety standards, and vice versa. This would significantly lower the cost of selling goods to the other.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said at a February 13 press conference that “this negotiation will set the standard—not only for our future bilateral trade and investment, including regulatory issues, but also for the development of global trade rules.

This could be a huge development. Once America and the EU establish a standard, it would effectively become the world standard—because other nations would have to comply if they wanted to trade with the U.S. and the EU. And if Europe gains the upper hand in its negotiations with the U.S., it will become the global pacesetter. And Europe is very good at gaining the upper hand. For example, every country in the world except America, Burma and Liberia uses Le Système International as its official system of measurement. No prizes for guessing where that comes from.

A successful agreement is not a forgone conclusion. Harmonizing regulation means months of painstaking negotiation, while entrenched lobby groups of farmers, lawyers and businesses try to bend the rules in their favor. But even if the two parties fail, this renewed push toward a free trade deal is another facet of America’s growing affection for Europe.

Can you see what’s happening here? America is tired and run down, and it’s reaching out to Europe for help. The U.S. no longer has the will to lead the world politically and militarily. It would prefer it if Europe absorbed those responsibilities. The U.S. can no longer maintain its economic and financial supremacy alone, so it is trying to forge an alliance with Europe.

And what if Europe emerges the victor in negotiations, and uses the giant free trade area to impose its regulatory standards on the world? The White House won’t mind because it believes Europe shares America’s values!

Doting on the Enemy

The Trumpet parses world news in the context of Bible prophecy. Mr. Biden’s outreach to Europe and America’s effort to develop closer trade relations with Europe, namely Germany, bring to mind an end-time prophecy recorded in Ezekiel 23.

This fascinating chapter describes end-time relations between biblical Israel (America and Britain today), and Assyria (Germany) and Chaldea. Verse 5 reads, “And Aholah [referring to biblical Israel, America and Britain] played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians [Germany] her neighbors.”

“Dote” is a somewhat antiquated term. The Oxford Dictionary defines it, “to be extremely and uncritically fond of,” or “to be silly, or feeble-minded.” The meaning of the Hebrew word for “dote” is “to have inordinate affection or lust” for. What an apt description of America’s quest to deepen its trade relations with Europe. And its invitation to Germany and Europe to increase military capabilities and take on more global leadership and responsibility!

It may sound politically incorrect and callous—at least here in the West, where “tolerance” prevails and we ignore the realities of human nature and national character—but the history of Europe, and especially Germany, demands great caution and skepticism. Moreover, in recent decades, globalization and technology—and a resulting fleeting dalliance with prosperity—have appeared to minimize the destructive forces of nationalism and the pursuit of self-interest.

But now, as financial crises besiege all nations, the preservation of self is once again gripping national governments and populaces around the world. Nations are rapidly arming themselves, securing resources and aggressively forging powerful new alliances in an effort to brace themselves for the emerging new world order.

Yet, here we are watching “silly,” “feeble-minded” America abdicating its position at the helm, coddling former enemies, and handing the world over to Germany!

What will come of this tryst with Germany and Europe? God reveals the answer in verse 9: “Wherefore I have delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, upon whom she doted.” Ezekiel 23 shows a perverse relationship between these two nations that ends with Germany, after gaining America’s trust and support, fatally betraying the U.S. in a tragic double cross.

That will sound far-fetched to the liberal, “tolerant” mind. But you watch, it is going to come to pass, just as so many of our other Bible-based forecasts have!

In 2005, the Trumpet wrote the following about this prophecy: “Over the next few months and years, watch for America to increasingly become ‘lovers’ with Germany, foolishly looking to the greatest war-mongering nation in history for friendship, peace and safety. Fooled by rhetoric, America will lie vulnerable to German betrayal.”

It’s getting easier with each passing week to see that we are living in the end time. Bible prophecy is being fulfilled at a remarkable pace. You cannot continue to ignore this reality much longer. Respond to the urgency of the times, to the remarkable fulfillment of prophecy, by investigating God’s powerful truth more deeply.


Want a Happy Child? Do This

Want a Happy Child? Do This

stellajune3700/istockphoto, edge69/istockphoto

From the April 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

What makes children happy? Stuff. That’s what most parents think, it seems. Xbox 360, Furby, Lil Swanky clothing, M&M’s and licorice ropes, Lego sets—whatever little Madison and Brayden desire.

If Mom and Dad took a break from indulging their kids’ whims and thought about it, they might admit that it’s not working. You don’t have to peek down too many aisles in the toy store to see children who already have everything—and are miserable brats. There must be another way.

Now, science is supplying some evidence to teach us what was once common knowledge: that it actually is more blessed to give than to receive.

In their recent study “Giving Leads to Happiness in Young Children,” psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that giving puts smiles on young children more than getting. “[B]efore the age of 2, toddlers exhibit greater happiness when giving treats to others than receiving treats themselves,” they wrote. “Further, children are happier after engaging in costly giving—forfeiting their own resources—than when giving the same treat at no cost.”

cnn summed up the findings: “These studies confirm some age-old wisdom about happiness: If the goal really is to make our children happy, perhaps what we ought to be doing is not overindulging them, but giving them the opportunity to give” (Sept. 17, 2012).

The study’s lead author, Lara Aknin, insists that children receiving pleasure from giving away their goldfish crackers shows the emotional rewards we can all enjoy from personal sacrifice. “You can construe that pro-social behavior broadly to include giving time volunteering, giving money to causes or giving other resources,” she told cnn. “All of these correlate to happiness.”

Other studies have confirmed that this life law doesn’t just apply to kiddos with crackers. For example, research has shown that teens are happier when they’re giving. “Adolescents who identify their primary motive as helping others are three times happier than those who lack such altruistic motivation,” says Christine Carter, a sociologist at the University of California. Teens who are givers are not only happier, but are more excited about life, and more involved at school and in their families. Carter says, “Generous behavior reduces adolescent depression and suicide risk, and several studies have shown that teenagers who volunteer are less likely to fail a subject in school, get pregnant or abuse substances.”

And it doesn’t change when we become adults, as a multitude of research bears out. Whether a person donates money to charity, volunteers time or commits random acts of kindness—like providing directions to a lost traveler or holding the door for someone—reports show he will be happier and suffer less anxiety and depression.

In 2000, the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey found that of 30,000 American households, those who gave money to charity were 43 percent likelier to say they were “very happy” about their lives compared to non-givers. Those who volunteered time were 42 percent likelier to be very happy than those who didn’t.

Ergo, a surefire way to lead your child to a happier life, both now and on into adulthood, is to teach him to give. But how?

  • Start by setting the example. Give of your time, and be sure your child does too. If you have a neighbor or someone from church who needs help, get your child involved. When you visit someone in need, take your child. If you write a note of encouragement, let him add a hello.
  • Help your child to look out for others’ needs. If you know someone is down, ask your child what she thinks she can do for him. Help her write the note, bake the treat, place the phone call. Get her in the habit of one “act of giving” a week: a get-well card for someone sick; a thank-you present for her teacher; a friendship note to someone special; a video call to a relative she rarely sees.
  • Have your child do yard work for an elderly neighbor: rake leaves, mow the lawn, shovel snow—volunteer work, not for money. (That’s not to discourage entrepreneurship—there’s a time for that too.) Spend time together picking up trash and cleaning up the neighborhood; then, when your child looks across a clean neighborhood, he can take pleasure in having contributed to it.
  • Teach your child to tithe and give offerings. Any money he receives in allowance or for chores or his job, have him set some aside for God. This is another area where we should set the example: Tithing and giving to God is the blessed way of life (request our free booklet The Financial Law You Can’t Afford to Ignore). Instill this habit in your child, and the lessons of working hard, saving and contributing to a cause bigger than himself will help him his whole life long!
  • We all know that money can’t buy happiness, but so many of us still make the mistake of trying to purchase it for our children. Wise up and flip the script. Help your child experience all the benefits of the happy way of life—the way of give.

    America Thrusts Wives and Moms Into Combat

    America Thrusts Wives and Moms Into Combat

    Lance Cpl. Clifton D. Sams

    It’s official: Women are no longer ‘barred’ from the front lines.
    From the April 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    On January 24, America’s military lifted its ban against women serving in combat. The move could open more than 230,000 jobs in front-line combat and elite commando units to women.

    Thus, the feminist dream to see women wounded, tortured and killed alongside men advances.

    Why? Are hoards of women soldiers demanding that combat positions be opened to them? No. For years, the military has expanded the number of positions labeled “non-combat” in order to open up more jobs to women. But the number of positions that were more obviously combat-related far exceeded the number of women applying for and accepting them. Women don’t want those jobs. And Army surveys show that 85 to 90 percent of enlisted women strongly oppose policies aimed at thrusting women into combat.

    So who pushed for this? It was basically an aggressive minority of lobbyists and highly placed feminist civilian leaders, along with a few hard-core careerist military women. These politically correct ideologues are driven to prove that women can do anything men can do—no matter the costs to the military, to America’s security, or to the women themselves.

    These costs are exceedingly well documented—and consistently ignored, shouted down or buried. The average woman is almost 5 inches shorter, with nearly 40 fewer pounds of muscle and 6 more pounds of fat, than the average man. She has less than half of his upper-body strength, 20 percent less aerobic capacity, and lighter, brittler bones. She cannot run or jump as far; last as long; grip as well; push, pull, lift or carry as much. The military has dealt with this by implementing separate conditioning standards for women, by lowering standards generally and eliminating some altogether.

    Though civilian leaders love to speak of the “new warfare” being a tidy, push-button, technology-driven business, reality has never matched that fiction. War is brutal, physical, demanding and deadly. Politicians can easily overlook that fact in the midst of relative peace. They present their views as support for women, but how can their eagerness to plunge women into the nightmare of warfare be viewed as anything but disregard for women?

    Some female soldiers recognize this—too late—and are not impressed. As one of them said, “Those feminists back home who say we have a right to fight are not out here sitting in the heat, carrying an m-16 and a gas mask, spending 16 hours on the road every day and sleeping in fear you’re gonna get gassed.”

    Women face greater danger than men in most combat situations. Physical limitations make them likelier to be injured, captured or killed. This reality also endangers the men who are forced to fight alongside them. (Elaine Donnelly said bluntly, “No one’s injured son should have to die on the streets of a future Fallujah because the only soldier near enough to carry him to safety was a 5’2”, 110-pound woman.”) And when women are captured, experience has shown that they are treated far worse—unimaginably worse—than male prisoners of war. Though feminists lobby hard against rape generally, they “bravely” insist that, since women are duty-bound to serve as combat soldiers, rape in war cannot be stopped. Jessica Lynch, a poster child for women in combat, was allegedly beaten, raped and sodomized in captivity.

    Shame on those decision-makers who would purposefully subject women to such abuse—only to serve their own twisted ideology!

    Consider soberly: The military agency that trains pilots in survival, evasion, resistance and escape as prisoners of war actually includes a component to desensitize male soldiers to the screams of their women cohorts. Of course, these same men are then expected to treat women soldiers with utmost respect and dignity, in keeping with the sensitivity training that the military has forced on the modern warrior.

    In the “brutish,” non-politically correct world of yesteryear, the strong were obligated to serve the weak. A traditional-thinking male seeks to protect a woman. An honorable man shields a female from danger and hurt. To the feminist, this attitude is contemptible. And within a gender-integrated theater of combat, it introduces a host of complications. A leader is expected to view that woman not as a woman, but simply as a soldier—a grunt whom he must be able to send into harm’s way. In the up-is-down moral climate of today’s military, his reluctance to pitch her into the lion’s den is chauvinistic and sexist!

    America’s leaders are trying to convince us that we cannot win our wars without our wives and mothers on the front lines. They see that as a sign of the nation’s progressiveness.

    When we see Islamic extremists sending women out to be suicide bombers, we see it as a sign of barbarity and moral and spiritual depravity. And rightly so.

    The military is the most respected institution in America. It possesses some of the finest, most dedicated and self-sacrificing individuals the nation has produced. But woe be unto us if we fail to recognize how its effectiveness is being fatally undermined by a failure to beat back the virulent forces of feminization that enfeeble our modern society.

    This is a terrible experiment. The Bible prophesies that it is going to fail cataclysmically. Leviticus 26:14-21 show that our nation will fall before its enemies. Not because we don’t have enough women on the front lines, but—in part—because we have any at all.

    A Word About Love

    A Word About Love

    franckreporter/iStockphoto

    The simplest, most practical definition of God’s way of life
    From the April 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    If you could choose one word to describe love, what would it be? Ask your friends that question, and you’re liable to get a variety of answers. But in the Bible, we can easily pinpoint one word that is clearly synonymous with godly love.

    You can find it in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    Do you see it? It says God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son.

    Because God loves, He gives.

    That’s the Bible’s one-word definition of love: give. It’s outgoing concern for the good and welfare of others that results in unselfish giving!

    God so loved that He gave. That simple, Bible-based definition of godly love, if understood and applied by mankind today, would solve the world’s problems. It would eliminate war, strife and division. It would save marriages and families. It would build righteous, God-fearing communities.

    What a different world this would be if manso loved God that he gave himself in service to Him and in sacrifice for others!

    The Bible says we can acquire this sacrificial love, but it must come from God—“because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5). God gives His Holy Spirit to those who repent of sinful living, who are baptized into God’s true Church and who earnestly strive to obey God’s holy law (Acts 2:38; 5:32).

    For thisis the love of God, John wrote, that we keep His commandments (1 John 5:3). Yes, the way of unselfish giving actually fulfills God’s law—which is itself a law of love (Romans 13:10).

    “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). God has proven His love for us already. And by giving His only begotten Son—the ultimate sacrifice—God has shown ushow to love.

    So He says to you: Present your bodies a living sacrifice. In other words, God cannot purify our lives—He can’t give us His love—without our willing consent. We must presentour bodies as a living sacrifice.

    You must make the decision,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The Seven Laws of Success. “You must set this right goal. You must set your will. You must expend your full effort. You must work at overcoming, growing and developing spiritually, and sticking with it. Yet God supplies the all-important ingredient—His power, His love, His faith—His guidance—His life!”

    God so loved mankind that He gave His only Son. Now He expects us to adopt that same way of give lifestyle. We don’t give because of anything we expect to get in return. We give because we love.

    But this doesn’t mean unselfish giving comes without a return. Acts 20:35 says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Giving is actually much more fruitful and productive than getting or receiving. That’s because when we give, we contribute to the success and happiness of others. We help to upgrade their quality of life.

    With the way of get, however, no one benefits but you—assuming selfish gain is somehow beneficial. This narrow-minded approach does not fulfill God’s law of love at all. It’s negative and selfish. It leads to misery and strife.

    Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you” (Luke 6:38). Paul added that God will reward us for every good thing we do (Ephesians 6:8).

    “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). How reassuring! God says the harder we work to serve others and spread the way of give, the more we will grow—and the more we will receive in return!

    Godly love is giving yourself as a living sacrifice for others. By this unselfish act, you not only fulfill God’s law, you set in motion a principle that results in fruitful abundance. Practicing the way of give in our lives today guarantees that we will receive a bountiful reward in this life—and the life to come! (John 10:10).

    And what better example do we have of this living principle of give than the great Creator God? For God so loved the world—He yearned so much for man to be born into His own divine Family—that He gave His only begotten Son as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

    God was willing to give up everything so we can experience divine life in His Family. What a bountiful return there will be when the Kingdom of God is finally established on Earth!

    This is why God absolutely loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). He loves it when people adopt His lifestyle because He knows that way of life will produce a bountiful harvest for everyone in the end. He knows because He lives it.

    How wonderful and marvelous are the ways of God!

    From now on, when you think of the word love, think about giving of yourself in service to God, His Family, your spouse, your children, your neighbors and your community. God’s love, after all, is living the way of unselfish, outflowing concern for the good and welfare of others. It’s simply the way of give.

    Watch Algeria!

    Watch Algeria!

    FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images

    An important prophecy is about to be fulfilled.
    From the April 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    Northern Africa is turning into a battleground with enormously important prophetic implications.

    Terrorists seized a natural gas facility in Algeria on January 16. The next day, Algerian authorities stormed the facility, killing 29 terrorists. At least 38 foreign workers were also caught in the melee. Authorities captured three of the terrorists, and were able to gain a lot of information from them.

    These terrorists are sponsored, for the most part, by Iran. Iran has designs on being the strongest power throughout the region, and is extending its reach throughout North Africa.

    But Iran isn’t the only one interested in Africa. Germany is making strong inroads as well. Both of these powers are racing to get as much control of North Africa as they can. They will inevitably clash with each other.

    The reason this is so significant is that these two powers are prophesied to clash in the end time. Daniel 11:40 speaks of a war between “the king of the south,” which we can prove to be Iran and radical Islam, and “the king of the north,” which we know to be Germany leading a group of nations. (Request our free booklets The King of the South and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire for the proof of the modern identities of these powers.)

    A great prophecy of your Bible is about to be fulfilled! You need to watch what is happening in the Middle East and Africa!

    Who Was Behind the Attack?

    After the attack in Algeria, a senior Algerian official announced that several of the terrorists were Egyptian—and were the same people who participated in the terrorist attack on America’s consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans last September.

    Adam Nossiter reported in the New York Times, “The Egyptians involved in both attacks were killed by Algerian forces during the four-day ordeal that ended in the deaths of at least 38 hostages and 29 kidnappers, [a senior Algerian] official said. But three of the militants were captured alive, and one of them described the Egyptians’ role in both assaults under interrogation by the Algerian security services, the official said” (January 22). I’m sure their interrogation was considerably stronger than waterboarding—what is called torture in some quarters of the U.S.

    These are electrifying facts. Terrorists from Egypt were involved in the Benghazi attack. Based on biblical prophecy, I’ve been proclaiming for nearly 20 years that radical Islam was going to take over in Egypt. That is exactly what has happened. Egypt has been an ally of the U.S. for three decades. Then we shamefully pushed President Hosni Mubarak from power and set the stage for Islamic radicals to take over. Now the Muslim Brotherhood rules Egypt. After the Muslim Brotherhood gained power, I also proclaimed—again, based on the Bible—that Egypt would then work to overtake and conquer Libya—which it has just about done!

    This Algerian official spoke out about the chaos spreading across the region that has left large areas of territory ungoverned, giving terrorists room to flourish. “This is the result of the Arab Spring,” he told the New York Times. “I hope the Americans are conscious of this.”

    Are you conscious of this? Do you see the obvious connection between the Arab Spring and these terrorist attacks? This man would probably call it the “Arab Nightmare.” He said he hopes Americans see it because the U.S. so vigorously supported the Arab Spring; in fact, America, more than any other nation, caused the downfall of Egypt to radical Islam. More than any other nation, America caused the worsening of terrorism in Libya. Now the terrorists are emboldened to try to take over great chunks of Africa.

    Spreading to Libya

    Algerian leaders were strongly opposed to the Arab Spring. They were firmly opposed to the West stepping in to topple Muammar Qadhafi in Libya. They knew that Qadhafi was a dictator, but he wasn’t causing problems anywhere near as serious as the ones coming out of Libya now. They knew that getting rid of him would create more problems than it solved. Yet America went ahead and took him out. What is wrong with America’s foreign policy? Just about everything, it seems.

    “Algerian officials say the militants who seized the gas field traveled through Niger and Libya, whose border is only some 30 miles from the plant at In Amenas,” the New York Times continued. “Mohamed-Lamine Bouchneb, the militant leading the attack at the site, had purchased arms for the assault in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the senior official said.”

    This is exactly what the Algerians feared would happen! Now, along with Egypt, you have another nation in the region that is sponsoring and exporting terror in the world—just as the Bible prophesied.

    Are you willing to examine these prophecies of your Bible and put them to the test? Events are proving the Bible true right before our eyes.

    Scripture shows that Iran is going to benefit most from this spread of extremism. It is doing all it can to encourage the radicalization of Egypt and its spread into Libya. Scripture tells us that soon, Ethiopia will also fall into that terrorist camp. Many of our readers have scoffed at that statement. But events in that country are already moving in that direction.

    Dealing With Terrorists

    The Egyptians who helped in that Benghazi attack were also part of attacking Algeria. But this time, they were all killed. Why? Because the Algerians know how to handle terrorists better than America does.

    This Algerian official “defended the tough Algerian military assault during the standoff and dismissed criticism by foreign leaders that they were not informed of it in advance,” the New York Times wrote. I’m sure that American leaders were among those complaining about not being informed of this military assault in advance. But when terrorists are taking over, who is going to wait for America to solve a crisis like that?

    The Algerians know that nothing was done in Benghazi—and still hasn’t been done! The way America “handles” such attacks only encourages more attacks! When are we going to wake up and see that? When you let radical Islamic terrorists kill an ambassador and other American personnel and do nothing about it, what do you expect?

    Algeria is still an American ally, and here it is trying to educate us about what we are doing wrong.

    The U.S. finally held some congressional hearings about the Benghazi attack, but very little came out about what really happened. The American people were told very little. To this day, those who were there on the ground have not been allowed to speak publicly about it. Yet four days after this attack in Algeria, those who were there spoke to the media. Why not the people from Benghazi? Does somebody have something to hide? America has made a lot of mistakes in foreign policy—both Democrats and Republicans—but somebody must be held accountable for these things. If they are not, America will continue to cause gigantic problems in the Middle East and Africa because of our wrong-headed foreign policy and our deplorable weakness.

    It has been reported that the man who led that attack is boasting in Benghazi about what he did! Yet nobody can find him. Isn’t that amazing? We promised that the perpetrators would pay for this attack—yet months later, still nothing has been done.

    What’s wrong with our foreign policy? Do we even have a foreign policy? It is a farce, and the Arabs know it. We tell our soldiers in Afghanistan to be nice to the Taliban terrorists. The terrorists there, and throughout the Middle East and northern Africa, know these are statements of weakness. They know that now is the time to take over in Africa and elsewhere.

    The attacks in Algeria are a sign that radical Islam is doing everything it can to take over Africa. But it is going to run into one large obstacle very soon.

    Germany’s Interest

    Radicalism is spilling out from Egypt and spreading over northern Africa. These radicals are now trying to take over Algeria, but they are beginning to face some opposition from Germany and the European Union. Algeria has a strong supporter in Germany. That is going to make a big difference for these terrorist groups.

    Why is Germany so interested in Algeria? A big part of the reason is oil.

    “Algeria is one of the largest exporters of light, sweet crude oil in the world and a significant natural gas exporter to Europe,” reported Stratfor. “The United States is the largest consumer of Algerian crude oil, consuming about 30 percent of exports, or approximately 375,000 barrels per day” (January 17). Amazingly, it doesn’t seem to bother the U.S. that somebody might cut off that energy source.

    “Europe consumes another 40 percent of Algerian exports, with Spain and Italy also relying heavily on Algeria (Europe’s second-largest supplier after Russia) for their natural gas needs,” the article continued. Do you think Germany will sit back and do nothing while terrorists take over Algeria? I think you’re going to find Algeria getting a lot of help from Europe, especially Germany. With all that fuel coming from Algeria, you know Europe and Germany must be very concerned.

    Germany is the financial leader in Europe today. That gives it a lot of power in other areas as well. This is an astounding development, considering Germany’s condition at the end of World War ii! After it had repeatedly provoked the world into deadly wars, the Allies reduced it to rubble and pledged to never let it rise again.

    Germany’s return to power is the fulfillment of another crucial biblical prophecy—and it is something everybody can see today. While that nation was lying in ashes after the Second World War, Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied that it would rise again, assume leadership over Europe—and again drag the nations into another world war! He continued to warn of that right up to his death in 1986. We have continued that warning ever since.

    The Bible shows that another strongman is going to rise up and take control of Europe, just like Adolf Hitler did. We expect this to happen very soon. Right now, European leaders see the king of the south trying to dominate the fuel in the Middle East and Africa, and you can be sure they are going to react. That fuel is critical to those nations, so they will turn to that strongman for leadership. (Our free booklets Daniel Unsealed at Last and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire will explain that to you.) Europe will once again choose the path of war in order to secure its resources. That strongman is going to do a lot of damage in the world while seeking to secure Europe’s dominance.

    Germany is already preparing for this confrontation. In recent years, its arms trade with Algeria has exploded. In 2010, Germany sold less than €20 million (us$27 million) in military equipment to Algeria. In 2011 and 2012, it sold €400 million worth ($537 million)—over 20 times as much! It also underwrote the sale of two warships worth €2.13 billion ($2.86 billion).

    Germany’s Rheinmetall plans to build 1,200 Fuchs 2 armored personnel carriers in Algeria over the coming decade. Germany has authorized the delivery of 54 of these Fuchs vehicles, worth nearly €200 million, and nearly €300 million in sales of other armored vehicles. That is a huge number of vehicles. Rheinmetall manufactured just over 1,200 Fuchs 1 vehicles in total. Rheinmetall in Algeria plans to build the same amount of Fuchs 2s purely for the country’s own army’s use. It will own more of these vehicles than Germany does.

    In the decade leading up to 2011, Algeria bought roughly just over $10 billion worth of arms. Over the next decade, it plans to buy that much from Germany alone. Germany is heavily investing in Algeria. It knows this nation’s strategic importance.

    A Coming Clash

    The orchestrator of the Algerian terrorist attack is from Mali. Terrorists from the Iranian camp of radical Islam have taken over two thirds of Mali. Now they are getting closer to some German strongholds in central Africa in the old Congo area and on the shores of eastern Africa.

    Germany has great power in Africa—even military power—that few people are paying attention to. Germany is not about to give that power up, certainly not without a fight.

    Why did France send 3,500 ground troops, fighter jets and armored vehicles into Mali in January and February to pound Islamist camps? The French just got out of the disastrous war in Libya helping America topple Qadhafi—surely they would have been hesitant to get involved in another conflict. But I imagine France—which is, after all, part of the European Union led by Germany—was strongly encouraged to go down there because the terrorists were getting closer to Germany’s strongholds.

    Back in 2008, Germany’s president, Horst Köhler, and foreign minister visited Africa and pledged support to the continent. It highlighted Germany’s growing enthusiasm over Africa’s potential, and concern over its problems. After the trip, German Foreign Undersecretary Georg Boomgaarden told Deutsche Welle, “[I]n the future we’ll be increasingly connected to [nations in Africa] by the need for natural resources and other interests” (Feb. 17, 2008). He spoke about several initiatives Germany was taking to increase development and to open “more dialogue with Africa.”

    Iran also wants “more dialogue with Africa”—only it’s looking for dialogue in a different way.

    Who is ultimately behind all these terrorist attacks? The king of the south—Iran. But it is being opposed now by Germany on many fronts. You are going to see these two powers clash very soon—like a year or two or three. The Daniel 11:40 clash between the king of the south and the king of the north is about to be fulfilled! All of this violence in Africa is just a prelude to the fulfillment of this prophecy.

    Monitor these events closely and see if what we’re telling you doesn’t come to pass. So many prophecies already have. Never in mankind’s history has so much prophecy been fulfilled so rapidly! Events are racing along. This is not the world you knew 10 or even five years ago. It’s very different.

    The prophecies in Daniel were written for this end time (Daniel 12:9). Yet nobody even talks about them, let alone understands that book. The whole world is asleep to what is going on.

    We are now in the times of the Gentiles. You are about to see these two Gentile powers clash and lead us into World War iii. That war is prophesied in detail—including all the horrors you can imagine from nuclear war! Jesus Christ said that if He didn’t intervene, no flesh would be saved alive! (Matthew 24:21-22).

    We are living in that time Christ prophesied about. Thankfully, He will intervene and save us from ourselves! You can be absolutely sure that He’s about to return to this Earth and solve all of our terrifying problems. That is the most magnificent—and sure—prophecy of all: that this world will be ruled by the King of kings, who will establish peace on this Earth and in the universe forever.

    Broken Will—Broken Soldiers

    Broken Will—Broken Soldiers

    bluberries/istockphoto

    Why is morale in the U.S. military so low? Why are suicides among servicemen so high? The state of the armed forces is a telling measure of the state of the nation.
    From the April 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

    Good soldiers win wars. During World War ii, America’s soldiers proved themselves winners—the best in the world in skill, personal sacrifice and valor. Using sophisticated and superior weaponry, American soldiers played a large part in making the United States the world’s only superpower.

    Considering the stunning victories of World War ii, it is embarrassing to recognize that America has not won a major conflict since 1945: Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, Iraq. U.S. troops deployed to fight in foreign, inhospitable places and climates returned home not as victors, but depending on the conflict, as escapees from draws, failed nation builders, pistol-whipped policemen, flawed security forces, or beaten-down counterinsurgents.

    Yet, we cannot lay the blame on our fighting men and women. In general, their mission was not defense. They were fighting to stop the spread of communism, to protect American economic and political interests. For example, most agree that Operation Desert Storm was less about freeing the people of Kuwait and more about keeping the Middle East oil supply out of Saddam Hussein’s hands.

    Good soldiers win wars. Has this tragic history of entangling United States troops in no-win armed conflicts had a cumulative negative effect on our soldiers and our military morale?

    The Suicide Surge

    American soldiers, at home and abroad, are simultaneously fighting and losing a different kind of war. The battlefield is not in some far-off place, it is inside their heads. Almost daily, the enemy warring inside them is shouting, “Victory!”

    In 2012, more soldiers died from suicide than in combat.

    The number of suicides among the ranks of America’s finest has more than doubled since 9/11. According to unofficial Pentagon data from January, 349 soldiers took their own lives in 2012—nearly one every day. More than half of the suicides came in the Army—182 total. Forty-eight marines, 59 airman and 60 sailors also killed themselves. This number is 118 percent higher than the 160 suicides that occurred in 2001, making last year the Pentagon’s highest annual self-inflicted death toll ever. Only 310 soldiers died in combat in Afghanistan last year.

    This is the third time in four years that the number of military suicides has surpassed the number of combat deaths.

    Alarmingly, military suicide numbers are likely to go even higher in 2013. In September 2012, Dr. Susan Blumenthal reported that military experts say they do not fully understand “the reasons for the rising suicide rates.” Although suicide is a personal, complex issue with hidden facets, when suicide numbers spike in a common population of people, it should be much easier to locate the reasons for the suicides.

    Using practical wisdom based on years of experience dealing with the problems of people from all occupations, educator Herbert W. Armstrong taught that there is a cause for every effect. Often people cannot find a cause for their problems, because they do not want to find the cause. There is a cause for so many military personnel destroying themselves. And there is a solution to stop this enemy ravaging our troops.

    America’s Broken Will

    In January 2007, America’s leadership announced a new strategy for Iraq. The White House initially called it “the New Way Forward.” It is better known as the “surge.” The announcement—full of promise—assured the American public that the new effort in Iraq would be different. The surge would succeed in securing Baghdad where previous operations did not. The success of the surge would depend on the army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, nicknamed the Rangers. The Rangers were optimistic, young (average age: 19), well-trained fighters. Their immediate commander was the proven, capable, sometimes controversial Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich. The commander invited author David Finkel to chronicle the efforts of the 2-16 in Iraq. Finkel lived on the ground for eight months with the regiment in Iraq and wrote about what the 2-16 and he experienced in his book The Good Soldiers.

    Just before deploying to Iraq, Kauzlarich told Finkel, “We are America. I mean, we have all of the resources. We have a very intelligent population. If we decide, just like we did in World War ii, if we all said, ‘This is our focus, this is our priority, and we’re going to win it, we’re going to do everything that we have to do to win it,’ then we’d win it. This nation can do anything that it wants to do. The question is, does America have the will?” (emphasis added).

    How Kauzlarich and his crack troops were commanded to fight the war in Iraq answers the question. The strategy to secure Baghdad also gives us one very good insight as to why so many soldiers are committing suicide.

    Just before the 2-16 deployed, the Army released FM 3-24—Counterinsurgency. The book provided an update to the 20-year-old guidelines for waging war according to the counterinsurgency (coin) doctrine first used in Vietnam. Its lead author was Lt. Gen. David Petraeus. This book was to be Kauzlarich’s field manual for conducting operations in Baghdad. It was also a perfect example of America’s broken will to win wars.

    Kauzlarich’s assistant, Maj. Brent Cummings, told Finkel, “Remember, we are an infantry battalion. Our task and purpose is to close with and destroy the enemy. We are the only force designed for this. Armor stands off and they kill from a distance. Aviation kills from a distance. The infantry goes in and kills with his hands, if necessary.” FM 3-24 took a radically different approach.

    Counterinsurgency Doctrine

    “It was 282 pages of lessons, all urging soldiers to ‘focus on the population, its needs, and its security’ as the best way to defeat the enemy, rather than by killing their way to victory. Control the population, win the war. Win the people, win the war. To the soldiers of the 2-16, this was an interesting turn of events,” writes Finkel.

    “The manual got even more interesting under the section called ‘Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency,’ which sounded suspiciously Zen-like. ‘Sometimes, the more force is used, the less effective it is.’ ‘Some of the best weapons for counterinsurgents do not shoot.’ ‘Sometimes, the more you protect your force, the less secure you may be.’” Major Cummings confided to Finkel that he doubted that Kauzlarich wanted to fight a war that way.

    Cummings recognized that counterinsurgency is about being political, handshaking and drinking chai tea. “He’s a soldier. All he is is a soldier. He is an instrument of war, and he’s looking for that fight,” he said of Colonel Kauzlarich. He was frustrated by the counterinsurgency doctrine because he could not be the leader up front giving the order—Follow me, men!—because counterinsurgency didn’t work like that. In 19 years as an Army officer, Kauzlarich had not lost one soldier under his direct command. This was not to be the case in Baghdad. Yet, like a good soldier, Kauzlarich dedicated himself to follow General Petraeus’s coin principles. He morphed into a statesman/soldier.

    Fighting EFPs

    The 2-16 inhabited one of the most deplorable sections of Baghdad. The people lived in abject poverty. The sewer system didn’t function; raw sewage ran in the streets. Mounds of rotting garbage were everywhere. The air smelled bad and was full of dust and smoky pollution. Kauzlarich set his goal to fix it all.

    However, one of the things that got in his way were hidden bombs—improvised explosive devices (ieds). The most lethal ied is the explosively formed penetrator (efp). This is a special, shaped charge designed to penetrate armor. It is made to deform a metal plate into a slug or rod shape and accelerate it toward a target. efps easily penetrate Army Humvees, severing limbs and taking lives. Death or injury by efp is horribly gruesome. Soldiers considered locating severed limbs the worst part of cleanup after an ied attack.

    coin doctrine requires U.S. troops to take off their armor, get away from their vehicles, and “Walk. Stop by, don’t drive by. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population.” This philosophy contributed to a dramatic increase in arm and leg amputations, genital injuries and the loss of multiple limbs from ied blasts.

    Only eight weeks into the new strategy in Baghdad, Colonel Kauzlarich lost his first soldier to an ied attack. He would lose 13 more before his tour in Iraq was complete. The effect of the counterinsurgency operations in Iraq took its toll on soldier morale. As the surge continued, large numbers of soldiers went for private counseling with their chaplains. Thoughts of suicide began to affect several of the 2-16. Others obtained prescriptions for anti-depressants and sleeping pills from medics.

    Colonel Kauzlarich and Major Cummings also experienced negative effects. “Sometimes Kauzlarich and Cummings would wonder what exactly the Iraqis hated about them,” wrote Finkel. “What were they doing, other than trying to secure some Iraqi neighborhoods? What made people want to kill them for handing out candy and soccer balls and delivering tankers of drinking water to them, and building a sewer system for them, and fixing their gas stations, and never being aggressive except for rounding up the killers among them?” Kauzlarich and Cummings lived with the reality that, even with all of their hard effort and the tragic loss of young soldiers, the “surge” was not winning the hearts of the Iraqis.

    Afghanistan—Same Story

    Counterinsurgency has not been effective in Afghanistan either. America’s strategy for counterinsurgency simply will not work. In fact, the nation’s enemies view its policy of counterinsurgency as the strategy of cowards and use it to take full military advantage against U.S. fighting troops.

    The deaths and maiming of American soldiers make news headlines. Pleas are constantly made for help for disabled soldiers. Yet what is being done to help the soldiers on the verge of committing suicide? We need deep thinking and analysis to understand the effect our poor military operations have on our troops and to solve the growing problem of military suicide.

    “I know this place is not only getting to me, I can see it in other people also. Guys that were funny and goofy when we first got here are different now; some are barely talking, and others are just constantly negative about everything,” soldier and author Bryan Wood wrote in his journal on March 17, 2003, while serving in Kabul. “Guys that were friends now seem to hate each other. We all do our jobs every day, and we do them better than could ever be asked of anyone, but it is taking its toll on everyone.”

    He published his compelling, often heart-rending journal in his book, Unspoken Abandonment. He describes in graphic detail not only what happened to him as a soldier, but also what life was like for the Afghan people. The hardest thing for him was to return home and rebuild a civilian life. He had great difficulty putting his experiences in Afghanistan behind him.

    Good soldiers win wars. “My life in Afghanistan can be summed up in one word: ‘misery,’” Wood wrote on March 27, 2003. “My job here is to sit in a tiny wooden box, hoping that I don’t get shot or blown up. Then I go out on patrol in the city and hope I don’t get shot or blown up. Then I go out on missions to the middle of nowhere, hoping I don’t get shot or blown up.

    “It is starting to become like second nature, when a car slows down or stops near me on the street or under my OP [observation post] at night, I take a breath and pray it does not explode,” Wood wrote. The thought of having his arms and legs scattered in the streets of Baghdad struck terror in him. Observing how young children were treated made him emotionally and physically sick. On the same day, he also wrote, “We are strictly forbidden from interfering in ‘legal matters’ in Afghanistan, and I am supposed to just pretend I do not see what is happening. Some child, practically still a baby, is being driven off to be raped by a pedophile, and I just have to say, ‘Hey look, it is almost time for breakfast.’”

    Wood became so disgusted with his tour of duty, he stopped writing his journal on April 12, 2003. Just prior, he wrote, “I just honestly feel as though the only certainty in Afghanistan is that tomorrow has nothing good to offer. It gets so depressing when you realize you have nothing good to look forward to. The only thing I have to look forward to is finishing this deployment and going home, but that is months and months away.” This entry is a good description of what counterinsurgency does to our soldiers.

    Learning the Lesson of History

    coin doctrine approaches war from an ivory tower, a place where such theories thrive untested and without hurting anyone,” wrote syndicated columnist Diana West. “On the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, however, the results have been catastrophic. Tens of thousands of young Americans answered their country’s call and were told to accept more ‘risk’ and less ‘protection.’ Many lost lives, limbs and pieces of their brains as a result of serving under a military command structure and government in thrall to a leftist ideology that argues, in defiance of human history, that cultures, beliefs and peoples are all the same, or want to be” (Nov. 15, 2012). Many of our young soldiers have returned home knowing that coin doesn’t work. Isn’t it time that America’s military and political leaders face the facts? The history is there for all to study.

    The war in Afghanistan began in October 2001 with the launching of Operation Enduring Freedom. While it made good headway at first, Taliban resistance rose sharply in 2006. The war continues today, with nato forces battling terrorists on a number of fronts across Afghanistan. It is the United States’ second-longest war. As of February 20 this year, there have been 3,257 coalition deaths during Enduring Freedom.

    President George Bush announced the war on Iraq in March 2003, less than a year and a half after the start of operations in Afghanistan. The “new strategy” for Iraq commenced in February 2007. A surge of 30,000 U.S. soldiers hit the ground in an attempt to counter the rise in insurgent activity. The wars ran concurrently until Dec. 18, 2011, when the last soldier left Iraq and crossed the border into Kuwait. Four thousand, four hundred and eighty-seven service members died in the war, and more than 30,000 suffered debilitating injuries.

    There are currently 102,000 nato troops still in Afghanistan, 68,000 of whom are U.S. troops. The majority of the international forces are scheduled to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The exact date and number of troops has not been determined.

    “[O]ur troops will continue coming home at a steady pace as Afghan security forces move into the lead,” President Obama assured the nation in June 2011. “Our mission will change from combat to support. By 2014, this process of transition will be complete, and the Afghan people will be responsible for their own security.” This implies that there will still be U.S. forces in Afghanistan after the 2014 deadline. Both political parties in Congress gave President Obama a standing ovation when he reiterated this deadline in his State of the Union address in February.

    Broken Soldiers

    It was not until 2006 that military suicides began rising. They then soared to a record 310 in 2009. Although the suicide rate leveled off for two years, it is now soaring again. Could it be that the stepped-up counterinsurgency military operations are a contributing factor to military suicide? We should not close our eyes to a clear correlation of facts.

    Veterans are committing suicide at the alarming rate of one every 65 minutes. David Rudd, a military suicide researcher, says that Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress or substance abuse are killing themselves at an accelerating rate.

    The history of war shows that fighting battles takes a heavy toll on all soldiers. Most soldiers return from war with mental and emotional scars that require a period of healing. The trench warfare of World War i was horrible. Storming the beaches of France at the end of World War ii was so bloody, sea waves turned red. The majority of soldiers that experienced these traumas returned home, let the scars heal, and lived productive lives. Why are so many soldiers having such difficulty now?

    The self-destructive tragedy we see happening in our military is a fulfillment of a major end-time prophecy. Looking into our time, observing by vision the state of our national political leadership, our military leaders and our soldiers, the Prophet Isaiah wrote, “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them” (Isaiah 3:1-4).

    America and Britain are the modern descendants of the ancient Israelites. God is directly intervening in American affairs and removing our strong leaders and our strong military—right before our eyes. Why? Because Americans are a rebellious and hypocritical nation. The further we get from God, the less power we have.

    The sins that plague our nations also affect our fighting forces. As the 2-16 encountered more violent resistance, the strict discipline required of soldiers fell apart. “Rumors of rule-breaking were on the increase, too, and so a ‘health and welfare’ inspection was held that turned up all kinds of things that good soldiers weren’t allowed to have: packages of steroids manufactured in Iran … a ‘Vibrating Showgirl Slut’ inflatable sex doll, and a boxful of hardcore porn …” (Finkel, op. cit.). Good soldiers who win wars don’t succumb to trashy, immoral temptation (2 Timothy 2:3-4; article, page 6). It is well known that there are groups of soldiers who embrace Wicca as their religion. Embracing witchcraft is the ultimate rejection of God.

    God warned our ancestors to be a fully obedient nation. If they rebelled and lived a life of sin, God said clearly that He would “break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass” (Leviticus 26:19). As a nation, we sin with impunity. We speak loftily about God, but ignore His glorious laws—the Ten Commandments. Therefore, God has broken our will to fight the enemies that eagerly desire to harm us. As a nation, we no longer have pride in our military power, and our soldiers are suffering.

    Since God has broken our national will, only God can heal it. He plans to do just that! However, the excruciating lesson that widespread national rebellion brings severe punishment must be learned first.

    Bible prophecy shows that as God weakens our nation, He is strengthening Assyria, or modern Germany, to rise up and wage war against us (Isaiah 10:5-6). For a short time, America, Britain and Judah (Israel) will experience God’s wrath at the hands of modern Germany, as no people before us.

    Then, immediately after that, God promises, “I will turn their mourning into joy and will comfort them and make them rejoice from their sorrow” (Jeremiah 31:13). God, the mightiest warrior of the entire universe, will deliver us from those He made stronger than us (verse 11).

    Even though there is some very bad news just over the horizon, our future is very bright. Although we are destined to suffer national destruction, America and Britain will be restored to a national greatness never before experienced in our history. God speed that day.