U.S. Influence in Iraq Continues to Diminish

U.S. Influence in Iraq Continues to Diminish

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As the United States disengages from Iraq, Iran continues to connect.

After more than $1 trillion spent and a decade of war and occupation, the U.S. has lost almost total control of Iraq. The Shiite-ruled nation has drifted away from American influence, choosing instead to build relations with its neighbor Iran. Who would have guessed?

When the U.S. invaded and tore down the statue of Saddam Hussein, there were few that expected Iraq to turn away from its liberators, and join with radical Iran. Even the Iraqi people celebrated on the streets at first. There was, however, one man predicting a very different outcome. In the June 2003 edition of the Trumpet, editor in chief Gerald Flurry published an article boldly stating:

Now that Iraq has been taken out of the picture, Iran is even closer to becoming the reigning king of the Middle East. It may seem shocking, given the U.S. presence in the region right now, but prophecy indicates that, in pursuit of its goal, Iran will probably take over Iraq. At least, it will have a heavy influence over the Iraqi people.

This powerful article, “Is Iraq About to Fall to Iran?”, carried the same headline as an article written on the same subject back in the Trumpet of December 1994. Who else was making such statements so early in the conflict?

Now the mainstream media is coming to accept that the U.S. mission has failed. As Ernesto Londono from the Washington Post said, “Today, America’s voice here has been reduced to a whimper.”

There are still some who would cling to the belief that Iraq is not a failure. Mr. Londono wrote, “In some ways, two senior U.S. officials said, having a smaller mission in Baghdad, with no U.S. troops, has set the tone for a healthier relationship. They noted, for instance, that once American troops withdrew at the end of 2011, Shiite militias stopped lobbing rockets at the embassy.”

Read that again. American leaders call Iraq a success because the enemy stopped firing when U.S. troops left. Perhaps their enemies stopped firing because they won? The American troops withdrew. That is what the terrorists wanted, and that is what they got.

The shrinking embassy is a reflection of waning U.S. influence in the nation. Only one year ago, there were 16,000 workers at the embassy. According to U.S. Ambassador Robert Stephen Beecroft, today there are 10,500 workers, and by the end of the year that figure is set to be 5,500. Only 1,000 of those will be diplomats; the rest will be security personnel and outside contractors.

The heavily fortified complex is the largest American mission in the world. It is the size of the Vatican, and opened to the tune of $730 million. Today, it has been reduced to a shadow of its former self.

“This is a sign the Americans have given up their promises to support Iraqis. The U.S. Embassy has failed to play the role of being a fair mediator among Iraqi political blocs,” said Ibrahim Hussein, a Sunni engineer from Baghdad. He is just one of many Sunnis living in Iraq who have become disenchanted with U.S. operations in the nation.

As U.S. influence evaporates, so does the influence of the Sunni population. The ruling government in Iraq is primarily Shiite. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki originally promised a fair government, but has systematically destroyed his opponents. Mr. Maliki has accused at least two key rivals of terrorism, driving them into exile. Whether the claims are true or not, they leave the Shiite government with little to no viable contenders for power in the country.

The Sunni population realizes that they are being marginalized, and they won’t be getting any more help from the U.S. “America could still do a lot if they wanted to. But I think because Obama chose a line that he is taking care of interior matters rather than taking care of outside problems, that made America weak—at least in Iraq,” said Sunni Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak.

Directly to the east of Iraq is Iran. The heavily Shiite-dominated Iran has had its eyes fixed on Iraq for years. Prior to the Gulf War, Iraq acted as a counterbalance to Iran. However, when the U.S. invaded and removed Saddam Hussein from power, it destroyed the strongest Iranian opposition within the region.

Now we see the current Iraqi administration taking on more and more of an Iranian appearance. The Sunni population can see this clearer than most. The Shiite government is manipulating the political landscape to ensure the Sunnis can’t rise up against the current administration. It sees the conflict in Syria, and undoubtedly fears it may spill over the border.

Iraq is doing its part to try to prevent the Syrian government from being ousted. Iranian planes regularly fly weapons across to Syria, straight through Iraqi airspace. This couldn’t happen when the U.S. controlled the nation’s airspace. Stratfor states that “it is an open secret that Iran has been funneling weapons and fighters in civilian aircraft primarily through Iraq to reinforce the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

As violence in Syria rages, Iraq seeks to stay close to Iran and the Syrian government to try to contain a Sunni uprising in its own country.

At this crucial juncture in the Middle Eastern political climate, the U.S. is high-tailing it out of there as fast as possible. Failure upon failure has made America weary of conflict. The easiest option now is to just pack up and leave, even after investing $1.7 trillion.

The police training program typifies this mindset of retreat. In May 2012, the New York Times posted an article explaining the downfall of the program. Even while it was still operating, it was seen as a failure:

The training effort, which began in October and has already cost $500 million, was conceived of as the largest component of a mission billed as the most ambitious American aid effort since the Marshall Plan. Instead, it has emerged as the latest high-profile example of the waning American influence here following the military withdrawal, and it reflects a costly miscalculation on the part of American officials, who did not count on the Iraqi government to assert its sovereignty so aggressively.

America cannot afford to keep making these blunders in the Middle East. It is playing right into Iran’s hands.

In the New York Times recently, Ramzy Mardini of the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies assessed the situation bluntly: “A decade since the occupation of Iraq began, Baghdad still cannot be considered an ally of the United States. … An alliance today is beyond anyone’s reach.”

Why is it so hard for the U.S. to maintain its presence in the region? Prophecy indicates Iraq will join forces with Iran. As hard as America has tried to create an ally in Iraq, it is destined to fail. Likewise, no matter how hard Iran and Iraq try to aid Syria, the embattled nation is destined to turn against them. Washington doesn’t know this, and neither do any of the nations in the Middle East. You can. You personally have the opportunity to understand why world events are shaping up as they are right now. Study “Is Iraq About to Fall to Iran?” by Gerald Flurry and see for yourself how the puzzle pieces are falling into place in the Middle East as God prophesied, and as the Trumpet continues to proclaim.

China to Take Over U.S. Infrastructure

China to Take Over U.S. Infrastructure

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China is looking to finance ailing American infrastructure as the U.S. runs out of cash.

Secretary of State John Kerry met with top Chinese officials in Beijing on April 13 to discuss the growing threats from North Korea. However, when Mr. Kerry spoke with the press following the meeting, he said there were other discussions taking place. The U.S. and China discussed the possibility of China investing in U.S. infrastructure.

Yes, the potholes in the road you swerve to avoid on your way to work might soon be plugged with the aid of the Chinese. A lack of domestic funding has led the U.S. to look elsewhere for financing to pay for the most basic upkeep of the nation. “We welcome Chinese investment in the United States,” said a smiling Mr. Kerry, who suggested that China could play a big role building U.S. transportation infrastructure, water utilities and power plants.

This is not an entirely new initiative. In January 2011, President Barack Obama met with Chinese businessmen to discuss deeper U.S. investments. During the meeting, President Obama said, “The United States is open for investment and would welcome it.”

The U.S. certainly would benefit from Chinese help. With crippling debt closing in on $17 trillion, and $3.86 billion being added per day, there is less and less money being spent on aging U.S. infrastructure. In January 2009, the New York Times released an article stating, “More than a quarter of the nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Leaky pipes lose an estimated seven billion gallons of clean drinking water every day.” And that was four years ago.

The Times printed the article following the release of a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers which gave the nation’s infrastructure a D on a ranking of A through F. It estimated that it would cost $2.2 trillion over the next five years to bring it back into good repair. That hasn’t happened.

Enter China.

“The U.S.-China relationship is fast becoming the most important bilateral relationship for both countries, if it isn’t already,” said John Frisbie, director of the U.S. China Business Council.

But who is it really more important for? The U.S. cannot pay for its own infrastructure, the most basic of needs in America. So it is opening the doors wide for China to come in and spend money. In a sense, however, it is a win-win for both: China gets profits, and Americans get better infrastructure. And when foreign companies make the investments and are able to export the profits, wealth drains out of the nation.

The Trumpet wrote in 2011: “Washington’s move to yield strategic ground in these pivotal areas is designed to stave off the country’s demise, but it will only hasten America’s corrosion. Under the multiplying weight of debt, U.S. leaders are throwing open the nation’s doors for a Communist government to enter its borders and employ its citizens. America’s failure to control its spending is taking away its ability to control its course.”

This is evident with Washington’s dealings with North Korea. North Korea is utterly dwarfed by the power of the U.S., yet Korea continues to openly threaten America and its allies. It looks as if all the military might of America is virtually rendered impotent—and in a sense it is, because Washington is completely hamstrung by China. America recognizes that North Korea is a Chinese protectorate—and there is little it can do about it unless it wants to risk offending China. And this is not an attractive option when China is its most important lender and investor.

Following an address to the Edmond Chamber of Commerce on April 4, Congressman James Lankford was asked how dangerous America’s debt problem was. Lankford said that in his opinion, the more immediate threat was North Korea, but not because of its weapons. He said that if North Korea didn’t back down, and the U.S. was forced to mobilize troops, which costs money, China could refuse to buy up more U.S. debt. America would be without the funds to mobilize troops and check power in the Asia-Pacific region. Suddenly the U.S. could be facing an overnight interest rate hike on bonds.

America’s debt bomb could go off, he said. And it could happen “overnight.”

China holds over 7.5 percent of U.S. debt. America is so beholden to China, it has compromised its ability to act as a true superpower. Gone are the days that the U.S. could act with authority and real power—today the U.S. dances to the tune of its debtors.

As Trumpet columnist Robert Morley wrote last year, “[T]here is no doubt that China considers America’s debt as a weapon to be used. Back in 2007, Xia Bin, a cabinet-rank minister, stated that China’s foreign reserves should be employed as a ‘bargaining chip’ in trade talks with the U.S. That same year, as China and America hammered out a trade deal, He Fan, an official at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, went even further, warning that China could obliterate the greenback if it so desired. ‘China has accumulated a large sum of U.S. dollars. Such a big sum … contributes a great deal to maintaining the position of the dollar as a reserve currency,” he said. … In the past, [Chinese media] has referred to America’s debt pile as China’s ‘nuclear option,’ indicating Beijing could easily trigger a dollar meltdown of massive proportions if it needed to.”

As China continues to invest in the U.S., there may be some benefits domestically. Perhaps roads will improve, or you will get better Internet services. But such benefits come at a terrible national cost. The U.S. is living Proverbs 22:7. It is truly becoming enslaved to those it reaches out to for help. The U.S. was prophesied to be ensnared by its enemies. If China gains control of American industry, on top of its huge intake of U.S. debt, America will well and truly be besieged by trade warfare, just as is prophesied in Deuteronomy 28.

The time is almost on us when economic restriction will choke off the United States. It is a bleak outlook, but not one that should despair us. With such immense trial, there is opportunity for repentance. God doesn’t want to see the nations suffer, but He must bring people to see that their ways do not work. The U.S. doesn’t have it right, and neither does China. Both will soon be taught the right way to live, along with all other peoples and nations.

You don’t have to be ignorant of the troubles besetting this world. Read Russia and China in Prophecy and The United States and Britain in Prophecy to understand the plan God has for the forming Asian conglomerate and the West.

Moscow Fuming Over U.S.-Georgia Military Drill

Moscow Fuming Over U.S.-Georgia Military Drill

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What will come of the rising tensions in the Black Sea region?

More than 350 U.S. marines and several hundred Georgian Army troops angered Moscow by holding a month-long military drill in the former Soviet republic that ended on April 5. The U.S.-Georgia war exercise, code named “Agile Spirit 2013,” prompted the Russians to stage large-scale, unscheduled drills of their own.

“These annual events, which our American partners explain as ‘preparation for the Afghan operations,’ cause concern,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said about Agile Spirit 2013. “Any foreign military assistance to Tbilisi, no matter what the motives are, complicates prospects for strengthening peace and stability in the region.”

The Russians’ reaction did not end with words.

In a snap response to the war drills, Russia held large-scale military exercises of its own in the Black Sea, causing great alarm in Georgia. “The current drills are unscheduled, unusual and go beyond the usual location of the armed forces in the spirit of the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said on March 29. “Georgia is alarmed by the unexpected, provocative activity of the Russian troops, as well as by the potential use of the facilities, weaponry and/or personnel of the occupation forces of the Russian Federation within Georgia’s internationally recognized borders in Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region, Georgia.”

Recent history shows that Georgians have good reason to be alarmed.

In 2008, Moscow launched a separatist movement in those same two Georgian regions, which triggered an all-out war between Georgian soldiers and Moscow-backed separatists. Russia ended up invading Georgia and wresting the region of South Ossetia from its control, a move which Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry said markedthe beginning of adangerous new era in history.

Lukashevich said Georgia’s military drills with the U.S. show that the former Soviet republic is “refusing to come to terms with new political realities”—a clear reference to Russia’s 2008 invasion and conquest.

The Georgian defense minister said Moscow’s military exercises in the Black Sea are causing Georgia to “intensify its vigilance.”

The U.S. values its alliance with Georgia, not only due to Russia’s alarming 2008 invasion, but also because U.S. and nato troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan within a year, and are struggling to retain influence in that resource-rich nation. World powers view Georgia as a key staging locale and transport hub for any future operations in Afghanistan, so they are vying for influence there.

Moscow’s displeasure at the U.S.-Georgia military drills, and its decision to hold provocative, large-scale drills of its own so near to the Georgian border, show that the dangers of the new era are intensifying. Russia will continue to assert itself in Georgia, the Caucasus, and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union region, as its desire to resurrect the Russian sphere of influence grows stronger. President Vladimir Putin has more power than any Russian since the collapse of communism, and the stage is set for him to take on a more assertive and dictatorial role, both domestically and in neighboring nations.

To understand more about Russia’s strategy and why it should matter to you, read Mr. Flurry’s article “Russia’s Attack Signals Dangerous New Era.”

EU—Maastricht’s Golden Fangs

EU—Maastricht’s Golden Fangs

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Two decades following its enactment, the Maastricht Treaty reveals its true impact.

Over two decades ago, after reading the fine print of the Maastricht Treaty—the EU treaty that established the euro—we deduced correctly that any nation signing up to the European Monetary Union, for which Maastricht was the enabling treaty, would be virtually signing over possession of their national bullion stocks to the EU central bank.

Now that has become the reality for the benighted nation of Cyprus. The demand by the European Central Bank for proceeds from gold sales to be channeled to its own centralized coffers is the first manifestation of the golden fangs of Maastricht in action. It may not be the last.

In our September/October 2002 edition, we noted that “when 11 of the present 15 EU member nations joined the European Monetary Union (emu), they signed over their individual national holdings of gold to the European Central Bank, located in Frankfurt, Germany!”

This week, Cyprus came under an ecb directive, its wording confirming the Maastricht edict, requiring it to channel proceeds of any bullion sales to its coffers in Frankfurt.

With this in mind, it is worth considering a theory that has lurked behind the publicity given to the European Monetary Union since its inception. It goes like this:

Gold is great disaster insurance. Predictions of imminent global economic disaster increasingly abound. On this score, it is interesting to note that while a number of countries, including Britain and Canada, were busy liquidating gold assets in the early part of this century, one country was busy buying them up—Germany.

The German central bank holds the second-largest gold reserves in the world. It has not engaged in any form of large-scale selling. A curious thing occurred at the moment in 1999 when 11 of the present 28 EU member nations joined the European Monetary Union, signing over their individual national holdings of gold to the European Central Bank in the process. Coincident with the launch of the euro, Germany bought bullion in a big way.

The timing of Germany’s acquisition of huge amounts of gold was intriguing. “[T]he Bundesbank suddenly acquired massive gold reserves, just as the euro was launched in the first quarter of 1999. The gold amassed, both in terms of its physical size and of its value (national valuation basis) is more than enough with which unilaterally to introduce a gold-backed ‘new deutsche mark’—in contrast to the U.S. dollar, which is not backed by gold” (Economic Intelligence Review, March 2000).

The point is, whether or not the euro is a success in the long run, Germany sits in the box seat. On the one hand, the euro has substantial gold backing from the receipt of bullion by the European Central Bank, courtesy of the emu nations’ signing over of their reserves. This gives some strength to the euro’s backing. Yet the collective economies of emu nations are really not in the best of shape. “It [emu] was meant to be the cornerstone of the single currency. Instead it is fast becoming a millstone. In the face of global slowdown the eurozone’s stability and growth pact is a misnomer. It is failing to deliver stability and may yet threaten growth” (dawn Group, Aug. 14, 2002).

Now, both the European Stability and Growth Pact and the European Central Bank are German ideas, pushed through at German insistence. When an economic crisis in Europe does bring failure to the system that supports the fledgling euro, then, as we have seen, it’s up to Germany to suggest the solutions, within the context of the treaties and pacts that it has largely authored.

The late Christopher Story, financial analyst, posed an intriguing possible scenario in the event of such a crisis developing. He wrote in the issue of Economic Intelligence Review quoted above, “[T]he Germans may have been preparing their greatest coup in history: the sudden, overnight substitution of a ‘new deutsche mark’ backed by gold, for the regrettably ‘failed’ EU collective currency. … [I]n reality, the Bundesbank’s acquisition of colossal gold reserves coincident with the launch of the euro (which policymakers were never supposed to notice), and the convenience of the biggest competitive devaluation in history, betray the probable truth—that this represents the realization of the pan-German plan for a European collective currency elaborated by the Nazis, and was cunningly postulated from the outset.”

Either way, we see the German solution to a bankrupt EU member country manifest in the demise of Cyprus as a sovereign nation and its reduction to the status of a vassal state of the Rome/Berlin axis that controls the European Union. There can be no clearer example of the outcome of the plan to resurrect the German Reich from the ashes of World War ii, initially via economic means, rather than military power.

Herbert Armstrong knew it would be so.

As he declared:

“But even though the Germans surrender, and we gain another armistice, it will be only another recess! The Nazis will go immediately underground—plotting and preparing World War iii” (co-worker letter, Jan. 23, 1945).

“I was telling our radio audience and readers of the Plain Truth about the Nazi Underground before the end of World War ii. They plotted then to come back and succeed in World War iii if they lost the Second World War” (ibid, June 14, 1959).

“We don’t understand German thoroughness. From the very start of World War ii, they have considered the possibility of losing this second round, as they did the first—and they have carefully, methodically planned, in such eventuality, the third round—World War iii! Hitler has lost. This round of war, in Europe, is over. And the Nazis have now gone underground” (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 2).

Just how far-sighted was Herbert Armstrong’s prophecy of a resurrection of the German Reich was to be later borne out when an American Secret Service document dated 1944 was published in the press.

The Daily Mail republished the document a few years ago, declaring that “U.S. Military Intelligence report ew-Pa 128 is as chilling now as the day it was written in November 1944” (May 9, 2009).

The Mail stated that “The document, also known as the Red House Report, is a detailed account of a secret meeting at the Maison Rouge Hotel in Strasbourg on Aug. 10, 1944. There, Nazi officials ordered an elite group of German industrialists to plan for Germany’s postwar recovery, prepare for the Nazis’ return to power and work for a ‘strong German empire.’ In other words: the Fourth Reich.” (This intelligence report is reprinted in full in our free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans.)

Seventy years on, the evidence is available for all to see. Germany is back as the dominant economic, financial, industrial and political force in Europe. As Herbert Armstrong prophesied, Germany has underwritten its comeback not by military force this time, but by sheer economic might!

But that’s only phase one of the German elites’ plan. Phase two is quietly shaping up in the background as Germany increases its deployment of its military forces in fields of combat overseas. Soon, the industrial might that has made it the third-largest exporter of military hardware will be turned to advantage, increasing its own armed strength in preparation for a demonstration that the Fourth Reich is a global force to be reckoned with.

The baring of Maastricht’s golden fangs is but a harbinger of the baring of the iron teeth of the rising empire of the biblically prophesied king of the north.

Watch for the Cyprus precedent to be reenacted in other failing euro economies. As you watch, look for the careful increase in military power of the Rome/Berlin axis, all under the approving eye of an appeasing Anglo-Saxon leadership.

But as you watch, know that these are but signs that the greatest world event of all is very near, even at the doors! (Mark 13:29).

If ever there was a time to watch and pray, it is NOW!

Read our booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans and prepare for the imminent rise of the greatest government of all, one that will literally shove the Fourth Reich and all human governments into the annals of history—the unsurpassable rule of Jesus Christ over the universal government of God! (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Worried About a Cyprus-Style Raid on Your Savings? Too late

Worried About a Cyprus-Style Raid on Your Savings? Too late

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Your governments are already helping themselves.

One question I’ve heard several times after the shocking Cyprus bank raid was, “How can a government just grab money out of its citizens’ bank accounts?” Another common question is, “How long until it happens in America?”

For those questioners, it’s bad news. It’s pretty easy for governments to take people’s money. And it’s happening right now.

The big difference between Cyprus and America or Britain, is that Britain and America have their own currencies. They’ve got all kinds of underhanded ways of taking citizens’ money. Cyprus can’t do that, so it had to be up front.

I’ll prove it to you. It’s slightly technical, but bear with me. This is how governments get away with it. They take the money in a complicated way and are safe in the knowledge that most people won’t notice.

We all know about inflation. A shopping trolley full of food used to cost $100. Now it costs $110. The price goes up. Another way of looking at it is that the dollar gets less valuable each year. In 2013, a dollar will only buy you about 90 percent of what a dollar would buy you at the start of 2008, before the financial crisis.

Let’s say you set $10,000 aside in a savings account at the start of 2008. And let’s imagine that since then, if you live in America, you’ve had one of the best interest rates available: 1 percent a year (the national average for a U.S. savings account is 0.12 percent, according to bankrate.com). By the start of 2013, you’d have just over $10,500 in your bank account.

But what used to cost $10,000 in 2008 now costs $11,000. You money isn’t worth as much—inflation has eaten away at it. In terms of 2008 values, you only have $9,554. Someone has taken $446 of your money!

Who’s Taken It?

That someone is the government. When Cyprus tried to take 6.75 percent out of people’s banks accounts, there were protests. But if you live in America, the U.S. government has gotten away with taking 4.46 percent of yours (and perhaps more, as we’ll see later).

Here’s how the famous economist John Maynard Keynes described it, as he paraphrased Lenin’s point of view: “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

They’ve done this through money printing. Since the start of the financial crisis, the government has been printing money at a huge rate. But printing money does not create wealth. The amount of wealth the nation owns stays the same. But all the dollars that everyone owns become less valuable. Money printing takes money away from everyone else, and gives it to those in control of the money machine.

The money printing is called quantitative easing (QE). In this day and age, when money is a number in a computer, the government doesn’t need to literally print the money. It conjures it up digitally. Quantitative easing involves the central bank using this new money to buy government bonds and other debt. This artificially lowers the interest rate—it makes it cheaper for the government to borrow money. It doesn’t have to spend as much on interest payments. It benefits. But you pay, as you get next to no interest on the savings in your bank account and your dollar becomes less and less valuable.

Around the time Cyprus hit the headlines, the British government announced that it was going to do more to grab its people’s savings. But because its way of doing it is indirect and complicated, it didn’t get anywhere near the attention. The Bank of England is supposed to be aiming to keep inflation at 2 percent. In reality, it’s been ignoring that target for months. But on March 20, British Chancellor George Osborne announced that he wanted the Bank of England to focus more on growth, and less on inflation. This is tantamount to giving it a license to print as much money as it wants. His announcement means that British savers will lose far more than the 6.75 percent that was up for grabs in Cyprus.

Central banks argue that QE is not money printing because it will be reversed. This means (in terms of old-fashioned printed money) that the bank promises that it will round up all its newly printed money a few years down the line, and burn it. In the long term, no new money is created because they’ll destroy it all later, they argue.

Can you imagine Britain or America, with their huge national debts, doing this?

If they did, it would have the opposite effect to printing the money. It would become more expensive for the government to finance its debt. Britain and America have not used the current low interest rates to get their finances under control. Instead they’ve been borrowing even more. They’re becoming reliant on this printed money keeping their interest costs down.

Leading financial figures are already admitting they’re not going to burn their newly printed money. “We must tell people that if necessary, QE will turn out to be permanent,” said the former head of Britain’s Financial Services Authority, Lord Turner.

“Quantitative easing will never be reversed,” wrote the Telegraph’s international business editor, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard. “It really is the same as printing money.”

How Much Money?

Now we come back to the question of how much money the government has taken out of Americans’ bank accounts. Our earlier calculation concluded that it was around 4.46 percent. Is that accurate?

Anyone who’s ever been shopping understands inflation. It’s simple. Measuring inflation is not. What used to cost you $100 now costs you $110. But I spent my $100 on a different basket of goods, and for me to buy those items now, it costs $115. For another person’s basket of goods, it now costs $105. How much inflation has there been?

But it gets worse. We used to watch movies on vhs tapes. Now we watch dvds. dvds, at least when they first came out, cost more than video cassettes. Is that inflation—because we now have to spend more to watch movies? Or do we need to find some way to take into account the fact that dvds are better? If so, how much better are they? Fifty cents better? One dollar better?

Unfortunately, measuring inflation is not as simple as reading a number off a machine somewhere. It involves all kinds of value judgements. There are several different types of inflation statistics. Who is in charge of deciding how the official figures are put together? Ultimately, the government.

There’s a huge conflict of interests here. The government has a big incentive to use an index that makes inflation look smaller—so it can get away with printing more money.

So let’s take another look at the $10,000 tucked away in a bank account in 2008. Even including the interest we received, that money will only buy us what $9,554 bought in 2008. That’s according to the government’s inflation index. But, if you look at it in terms of food prices, it’s worth $8,965. When put in those terms, the government’s taken $1,035, or 10.35 percent. That’s more than Cyprus was planning on taking from those with over €100,000.

But even this doesn’t represent all the government has taken.

In 2012, the U.S. government spent just over $3.5 trillion. Through QE, the Federal Reserve has printed $2.7 trillion. That’s a huge amount of money. The dollar is being destroyed before our eyes.

The 4.46 percent, or even the 10.35 percent missing from your bank account is not the full amount the government has taken. It is just the trickle of water that has seeped through the crack in the dam wall. Soon, the whole wall will break and the dollar will end up worthless.

Britain’s and America’s financial policies are destroying their currencies and silently robbing their citizens.

For more on how the government’s out-of-control spending is destroying the economy, see the latest From the Editor section of the Trumpet print edition, titled “We Don’t Have a Spending Problem.”

Tension Rises in Korea

Tension is rising on the Korean peninsula. Following recent North Korean threats toward South Korea and the United States, Washington has activated its missile defenses in the region. But what is really preventing peace between the Koreas?

On Wednesday, South Korea’s foreign ministry said the prospect of a North Korean missile launch is “considerable” and could happen at any time. Historically, North Korea seeks to draw the world’s attention with dramatic displays of military power on April 15, marking the birthday of its founder.

North Korean officials have not announced plans to launch a missile, but have told foreign diplomats in Pyongyang that they will not be able to guarantee their safety after April 10. Officials also have urged tourists in South Korea to take cover, warning that a nuclear war may be imminent.

Japan, too, is deeply concerned. The Japanese government said on Wednesday that it was on high alert and has deployed missile interceptors in key locations around Tokyo.

U.S. military officials have announced that American defenses are capable of intercepting a North Korean ballistic missile. The U.S. military has a Patriot missile air defense system deployed 50 miles from the North Korean border at the Osan Air Base. It has also moved two of the Navy’s missile-defense ships closer to the Korean peninsula, and another land-based system is being deployed to the Pacific territory of Guam.

The Chinese foreign ministry urged for “calm and restraint” on the Korean peninsula. But beyond words, China has done little to help end the conflict.

Beijing has been North Korea’s most consistent ally since 1950. The isolated, rogue state receives much of its oil, consumer goods, food and military support from China. With this dependency, China could immediately stop North Korea. But China is literally keeping North Korea alive for a very specific reason: to serve its own ambitions, regionally and globally.

North Korea’s continued provocations reveal that China is not an American ally, but an enemy.

For a more detailed and prophetic explanation on this issue, read “Why China Won’t Stop North Korea.”