Web Exclusive: Three Antiochus-Types

Russia Builds Up, U.S. Tears Down

Russia Builds Up, U.S. Tears Down

ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images

Are the nuclear scales tipping in Moscow’s favor?

As Russia significantly upgrades and modernizes its nuclear forces, the Obama administration is preparing to launch yet another round of nuclear missile cuts, according to reports last Wednesday.

Moscow announced in April that it will deploy the first of its new intercontinental ballistic missiles this year, called the Yars-M. The new missile has a range of 6,835 miles, can carry a warhead weighing up to 1.5 tons, and can penetrate U.S. missile defenses. “[W]e achieve the most complex part of the rocket boost so fast that the enemy does not have time to calculate its trajectory and, therefore, cannot destroy it,” said retired Russian strategic forces commander Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin. Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia is also developing new rail-mobile icbms, submarine-launched missiles, Topol missiles and a new strategic bomber.

Trends in the U.S. are moving in precisely the opposite direction.

The American military is short somewhere between $1 billion and $1.6 billion that policymakers had allocated back in 2010 for nuclear modernization. This shortage has already prompted officials to scrap plans to build a plutonium facility in New Mexico and to postpone a test launch of a Minuteman iii missile. The shortage also jeopardizes a new strategic submarine program, and programs for life extension of three key warhead types.

According to reports, President Obama is also expected to soon announce that he aims to cut U.S. nuclear stockpiles to as few as 1,000. Policy experts like Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, say the planned cut undermines U.S. deterrence and Washington’s ability to extend a nuclear umbrella to its allies in Europe and Asia. “I find this deeply concerning, given the sorry state of the nuclear modernization commitments made during the last round,” Rogers said.

The U.S. has displayed a further lack of resolve in its nuclear commitment by mysteriously ordering a study on the environmental impact of closing an entire wing for land-based nuclear missiles. None of the announced plans call for closing a missile wing, and no explanation has been offered for the purpose of the study. Could orders for such a study be designed to condition the American people and policymakers for more drastic cuts to the U.S.’s arsenal than have even been announced? Some analysts think so.

As nations in Eastern Europe and beyond see Russian might growing and American will deteriorating, they will be increasingly inclined to abandon the sinking U.S. ship, and to rally instead behind Russia. For more about the significance of Russia’s strides toward resurgence, read “Russia’s Dark Rider.”

The Cost of Supporting Israel

The Cost of Supporting Israel

Getty Images

The tiny natural-gas-rich country of Qatar has made a bold bid to have the headquarters of the International Civil Aviation Organization (icao) moved from Montreal, Quebec, to Doha, Qatar. It set off a firestorm in Canada, with many calling it an attempt by Arab states to punish Canada for its stance on Israel and the Palestinians.

The current Canadian administration is an unapologetic supporter of the tiny nation of Israel. And it’s catching the attention of many Arab and Muslim nations. Arab ambassadors at the United Nations in New York met on April 23 to discuss Canada’s perceived bias toward Israel. “The Arab ambassadors discussed banding together and lobbying other states to join them in supporting Qatar’s bid to send a message to Canada about their displeasure,” according to Postmedia News.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird attacked Qatar’s action by stating, “The way Qatar has gone about this [without any consultation with Canada] demonstrates why it’s not a suitable host for this United Nations organization.” Baird said that in his visit to Qatar only a few weeks ago the issue was never brought up. The bid came as a complete surprise to him.

Maintaining the icao in Canada is so politically and economically important to Canada that the issue is uniting the federal Conservatives and Quebec’s separatist Parti Quebecois, which are traditional political rivals. The icao has over 500 employees and brings in approximately $119 million annually to Montreal’s economy. Losing this organization would be a political kick in the teeth for Canada’s Conservative government and the economy in general.

According to its website, the icao was created to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation throughout the world. It sets standards and regulations necessary for aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity, as well as for aviation environmental protection.

The Globe and Mail stated that “Qatar has made a gold-plated offer that reportedly includes a state-of-the-art facility and subsidies for employees. It has also asked major Arab nations, including Egypt, to put their diplomatic machines behind efforts to muster votes” (May 2).

“We don’t think that these type of things should be for sale and we’re going to work strongly to convince other countries,” stated Baird. For the bid to succeed, Qatar will need a minimum 60 percent approval from the 191 member states.

“How can an organization that has to defend the rights and safety of workers and passengers be moved to a state whose citizens’ pleas for democracy are answered with batons and buckshot?” lamented David Cockroft, the general secretary of the International Transport Federation.

The nation of Israel and those who support it are increasingly being isolated and even reprimanded for doing so.

Joseph Lavoie, a spokesman for John Baird, stated that “Canada will not apologize for promoting a principled foreign policy.” Although this assertion is courageous, Bible prophecy indicates that anti-Israel sentiments are set to increase to the point that it will break the brotherhood that exists between Canada and Israel. Israel will ultimately look to a most unlikely ally for international support, but it will be a decision it will quickly regret. Read this article on the coming relationship between Germany and Israel.

Germany’s Bold New Counterinsurgency Ideas

Germany’s Bold New Counterinsurgency Ideas

Bundeswehr-Fotos/flickr

A report commissioned by the German government recommends radical changes in German defense.

German-Foreign-Policy.com reports that Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defense has received the results of a study it commissioned seeking advice on counterinsurgency efforts in the wake of U.S. military drawdown in the Northern Hemisphere.

Prepared by researchers at the University of Kiel, “the counterinsurgency study calls inter alia for the stricter centralization of command authority and a drastic enhancement of the espionage apparatus” (May 2; translation ours).

The report reveals a startlingly Teutonic aggression in the language used.

The reason given for recommending the raising of Germany’s counterinsurgency effort is easy to guess. It is in line with the raising of Germany’s military profile that we have predicted ever since the U.S. administration announced a refocusing of its defense priorities to embrace the Asian sphere to a loss of focus on the Northern Hemisphere, in particular Europe and the Middle East.

German-Foreign-Policy.com, quoting wordage from the Kiel study, states that it was conducted “against the background of the ‘geostrategic realignment’ of the U.S. toward Southeast Asia.” In the light of this realignment of U.S. defense priorities, the report claims that the German government has “in the future more responsibility to take over the maintenance of stability and security of European borders in troubled regions.”

The report claims that “it is in the interest of German ‘foreign policy’ to assist in ending the rebellion and restoring order and safety for the governments of ‘fragile’ respectively ‘weak’ states whose ‘stability’ is being threatened by ‘insurgents.’”

In the author’s view it is obviously a responsibility of the German government to decide which are those “fragile,” “weak” states whose “stability” is being threatened. The recent expression of German attitudes toward Greece and Cyprus comes to mind. With a situation extant in Europe that leads analysts to claim “social unrest and political uncertainty will continue to define the eurozone for the foreseeable future,” any number of EU states could be read to fit that definition.

Not so long back in history, a certain German leader apparently decided that Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium and the Netherlands were “fragile,” “weak” states whose “stability” was being threatened, and overran them in Blitzkrieg warfare!

In words not used to describe German foreign policy for 70 years, author of the report, Robin Schroeder of the Institute for Security Studies at the University of Kiel, declares that, “Strategically, one must focus on ‘all means available to the state’ to smash action directed against Western [German] interests by resistance movements, but also of ‘over-ambitious state building project(s)’ such as adopted in Afghanistan” (op. cit.; emphasis added throughout).

Schroeder then observes that the role of the Bundeswehr is critical to the success of Germany’s counterinsurgency initiatives, calling for a wider deployment of the German military to “be placed so that they can be used immediately in potential future scenarios which require the management of a rebellion and the fight against irregular forces.”

Again, the assessment of “potential future scenarios” is left up to the German government to decide. This is highly dangerous reasoning as, if enacted, it could give the German military high command carte blanche in assessing just what comprises such “potential future scenarios.”

For some time now German elites have duped both their own press and mass media and the news media at large into publicizing stories of a reduction in German military capability. This is to hide the reality of a heightened aggression in the strategic planning of the German High Command and the glaring fact of a German industry yet once again highly tooled for the production of military weapons.

Now, using the excuse of the threat of stability in Europe posed ostensibly by “fragile,” “weak” states, Germany’s Ministry of Defense is about to adopt plans that will produce what Spiegel Online once termed a “more assertive Bundeswehr,” deployed not only in current theaters of combat, but even in areas designated by the German government as “potential future scenarios” for conflict.

One vital key to the preparation of the German military for its “more assertive” role has been the Bundeswehr’s involvement in Afghanistan. This has provided German troops and their officer cadre with vital battle hardening not experienced since World War ii. For Bundeswehr officers, it has involved not only the command of the 4,000 German troops in Afghanistan, but also, on occasion, a command extended to the over 11,000 nato contingent deployed in that country.

Maj. Gen. Hans-Werner Fritz was the first German officer to order an artillery salvo in combat in a foreign theater since World War ii. Since that experience in Kunduz, Afghanistan, in July 2011, German troops have been engaged in many more such battles in that country.

As Spiegel observed, “The counterinsurgency operation in Afghanistan is also slowly changing the culture of the Bundeswehr, whose operational thinking had until then been largely shaped by its experience of peacekeeping in the Balkans” (Nov. 1, 2011). The extent to which “counterinsurgency” strategy may be used to justify German military expansion is made very clear in the Kiel report to the German Defense Ministry.

The propaganda effect of soldiers returning home who have been hardened in combat in Afghanistan is not lost on such as Major General Fritz. He “speaks of a ‘different generation’ of young German officers who, unlike their predecessors, have seen extensive combat. ‘Obviously these young people are affected by what they experience,’ he says. ‘They have a clear idea of the sharp end of our profession. They take their experiences back home to Germany with them, and I think that’s a good thing’” (ibid).

Meanwhile, the fact that Afghanistan offered the German military its most ideal combat training ground since World War ii has not been lost on German defense elites.

“… German armed forces have sent their best generals, officers, corporals, elite units and new equipment to the front at the Hindukush, which shows the priority of this years-long engagement for the government in Berlin and its commitment for success” (World Security Network, March 8, 2011).

The full extent of the command experience that German forces are experiencing in Afghanistan—which partway explains why the German government continues to vote for an extension of Germany’s involvement in that theater—is summed up in the following (ibid):

After the transfer of command from Maj. Gen. Hans-Werner Fritz on Feb. 24, 2011, RC North is under the command of Bundeswehr Maj. Gen. Markus Kneip with U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Sean P. Mulholland as his deputy. They are responsible for nine provinces stretching 900 kilometers east to west and 400 kilometers north to south. Included are 14 cities (like Mazar-e-Sharif or Kunduz) and 9,000 small villages. It borders five neighboring countries: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Taschkistan, China and Pakistan.

The administrations in London and Washington remain largely oblivious to the dangers of a “more assertive” German military. While they are increasingly diverted by significant financial and economic challenges plus the prospect of increasing social disruption at home—and with the U.S strategic focus transferred largely to Southeast Asia—Germany quietly reasserts itself in its traditional militaristic, imperialist role.

There’s more than a sense of déjà vu about all this. There are certain uncanny parallels with the 1930s. But this time we have no Churchill to sound the alarm. We have no Roosevelt with the vision to steer the mind of a once great industrial nation to rise to battle against the prospective onslaught of tyranny.

Yet there is a voice that is increasingly answering the prophetic call to warn of the impending storm that is even now building in Europe’s heartland. A voice that is but an extension of that which once declared, even as Germany lay prostrate before the victorious Allies’ feet, that Germany would arise to repeat, just one more time, its effort to gain global imperialist rule.

That original voice was Herbert W. Armstrong.

Over 40 years ago he pointed out that “Back in 1934, when the Plain Truth magazine was born, and the World Tomorrow program first started on the air, I predicted the future but somewhat imminent union of the nations of Europe, resurrecting the ancient Roman Empire …. No one believed it, then. People laughed and scoffed and ridiculed. Most thought Germany could not rise again in 50 years …. Look at the result today. Britain, victorious in the war, has lost her empire, and been reduced to a second-rate power in the world. Germany, defeated in the war, has risen to become one of the major powers” (Plain Truth, February 1970).

Now the new Germany, which some are already calling the Fourth Reich, is emerging from behind its European Union cloak.

And what do we see revealed?

Of all things, a newly reassertive, militarizing Germany. The very thing that Churchill and Roosevelt declared they would never, ever permit to reoccur!

In February 1945 at the Yalta Conference of the heads of the Allied powers, in calling for Germany’s unconditional surrender, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin declared, “It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world. We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces, break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism ….”

What short memories we have.

It was ever so with the Anglo-Saxon peoples.

Herbert Armstrong is dead, but his legacy of warning the world of a revived, militaristic German nation heading up a final revival of the Holy Roman Empire lives on. It lives on in the Key of David television program, the Trumpet magazine and via the numerous outlets over which the voice of our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, is heard sounding out that same—yet even more up-to-date—warning!

In our November/December 2011 edition, Gerald Flurry declared: “We have told you about the coming Fourth Reich for 65 years! How do you explain that? And what does it mean? It means that we must believe God! Things always come to pass exactly as He says!”

You do need to know what God says about this rising military assertiveness of Germany and what it portends for your future. A good place to start would be a reading of our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

For regular updates on this now fast-moving story, keep watching this website, watch the Key of David television program weekly and seek God’s guidance in prayer for understanding!

Herbert W. Armstrong Pleaded for Peace in Okinawa

Herbert W. Armstrong Pleaded for Peace in Okinawa

Met Prime Minister Sato, Lieutenant General Lampert and Chobyo Yara

On Dec. 20, 1970, Herbert W. Armstrong touched down in Tokyo in advance of his meeting with Prime Minister Eisaku Sato. Earlier that morning, while driving through the city of Koza, an intoxicated U.S. driver had hit a local Okinawan. The spark lit the flame to the largest anti-American riot the dominion had seen since occupation. This hot topic was on the agenda during Mr. Armstrong’s 45-minute meeting with the Japanese prime minister.

Two months later, on February 25, during his State of the World address, President Nixon announced that ongoing talks were leading to the return of the island of Okinawa to Japan.

The day before the president’s message, Mr. Armstrong recalled, “I was in Okinawa, discussing the problems of reversion with Lieutenant General Lampert, as well as with the chief executive of the Okinawan people, Chobyo Yara, and other leading people” (Plain Truth, April 1971).

Accompanying him were Ambassador College general counsel and chairman of the Department of Asian Studies at Ambassador College. Mr. Armstrong went on to recount, “We were met by a reception committee, headed by Dr. Nobumoto Ohama, world-known educator and former president of Waseda University. Newsmen were present and cameras flashed. First we visited the University of the Ryukyus, and were taken to the office of President Takara. The president gave us a brief history of the university, established in 1950 on the site of the old Shuri Castle by the United States military authorities. A Michigan State University group was sent as consultants. This cooperative arrangement ended in 1968.”

Mr. Armstrong and President Takara then worked together to establish a student exchange program between Ambassador College and the University of the Ryukyus. Today the University of the Ryukyus hosts 256 international students from 41 countries.

“That night, a dinner was jointly hosted by Dr. Ohama and myself which was attended by some 17 of the most prominent Okinawans and their wives,” Mr. Armstrong continued in his account to Plain Truth readers. “At dinner’s end I spoke for some 20 minutes to our guests, following a brief speech by Dr. Ohama. I spoke from the heart, and pleaded for understanding and patience between our peoples. I tried to picture to them the real heart and true attitude of the American people, and how we have always been first to go to the aid of other peoples in times of distress or disasters. I felt they were visibly moved, and the general attitude was one of friendship.”

Before concluding his visit to the famed 20th-century battleground, Mr. Armstrong met for half an hour with the high commissioner, Lieutenant General Lampert, in his office. The internationally recognized ambassador for world peace outlined the global impact of Ambassador College and its various activities. Then Mr. Lampert reminded him of the impact of the Second World War on the island of Okinawa, outlining its near total destruction, 180,000 Japanese and 18,000 Americans dying in this climactic battle.

So admired by the Japanese was this man and message, that they asked for input and representation in their delegation attending the Jan. 6, 1972, bilateral talks between U.S. President Nixon and Prime Minister Sato conducted in San Clemente, California.

In addition, the same invitation and involvement took place that year in Hawaii from August 31 to September 1 for talks between the U.S. president and Prime Minister Tanaka. These high-level meetings resulted in joint statements of the two countries expressing their cooperation in spheres such as culture, security and trade.

So what was at the heart of the Okinawa dilemma? Faulty government! The annals of history document conflicts and wars between opposing government administrations. The fruit of victory of such conquest is a new government. Yet, those same pages of history reveal the inadequate human efforts to rule over and solve the insoluble problems generated by the human nature in man.

Mr. Armstrong declared in that same Plain Truth exclusive: “There are two ways of living. I repeat. One I call the get principle, the other is the give philosophy. The one is competition, greed, vanity, the desire to acquire, accumulate, the attitude of self-concern only, having a lack of concern for the good of others.”

He concluded this inspiring revelation to the mind of man by contrasting the negative problem with the positive solution: “The other is the way of having concern for the welfare of others equal to self-concern, being willing to serve, aid, help, share. The way of love is simply the way of outgoing concern for others equal to self-concern, loving your neighbor as yourself. Which way are you living? Are you, really?”

Some of Berlin’s Finest Grace Armstrong Auditorium

Some of Berlin’s Finest Grace Armstrong Auditorium

Trumpet

One of the world’s premiere quintets from one of the world’s premiere cultural cities caps off Armstrong Auditorium’s concert season.

EDMOND—Along with 314 guests in the theater, a cluster of five black chairs and five black music stands waited at center stage inside the Armstrong Auditorium theater on April 29. It was the last performance of a concert season celebrating the best of the human spirit, and the star of the show was the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.

As they anticipated the flute of Michael Hasel, the oboe of Andreas Wittmann, the clarinet of Walter Seyfarth, the horn of Fergus McWilliam and the bassoon of Marion Reinhard, concertgoers took in their surrounds: American cherry paneling, plush seating, royal-themed colors. The environment materialized the same principle the performers were about to express: quality.

More than 5,000 miles from their home at the Berliner Philharmonie, the members of the Quintet brought with them more than just a set of fine instruments. They also carried a noble musical pedigree and the name of one of the world’s premiere cities of culture. The 131-year-old philharmonic is considered one of the top three in Europe, reaching a high level of prestige under its late legendary conductor, Herbert von Karajan.

The Wind Quintet itself was permanently established in 1988; its four original members have played not only with Karajan but also Abbado, Rattle, Bernstein, Kleiber, Barbirolli, Wand, Giulini, Haitink, Muti, Boulez, Levine, Barenboim and other great conductors. The group has appeared across Europe and in the Americas, Israel, Australia and the Far East.

For its part, the Wind Quintet is known for its range of expression, its tonal spectrum and its conceptual unity, along with a repertoire that includes works for sextets and septets. In a word, its quality—as the Oklahomans were about to find out firsthand.

Then it was time. McWilliam introduced the first set, two works from the last year of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life: Fantasie in F Minor, K. 594, and Andante in F Major, K. 616, both of which he originally composed for the mechanical clockwork organ. Unless you were familiar with the word orgelwerk in the program, however, you would never know it, as the wind players made Michael Hasel’s arrangement quite their own, filling the wood-paneled space with a spectrum of fluttering, shining, piping, trilling and even puttering notes. Somehow, there seemed to be several more distinct sounds tickling the ear than there were instruments on stage.

The gold and silver of brass and woodwinds glinting against their matte black attire, the Philharmonisches Bläserquintett Berlin members then entered the microcosm of Jean Francaix’s 1948 work, the unprepossessingly enumerated Quintet No. 1.

As they began pouring out the andante tranquillo sounds, it felt as though the instrumentalists were watching not sheet music but a pleasant city scene, expressing a Berlin milieu perhaps: the bustle of a grand rail station. Flute, oboe and clarinet cheerily painted a stop-and-go time lapse of movement and activity, while bassoon chugged out the ebb and flow, then nimbly skipped allegro assai into higher registers to join the other traffic. Below, the playful, almost comical and sometimes electronically precise and shrill horn rolled through, the whole situation culminating in a collective, clamorous locomotive steam whistle (or what have you) blasting out its arrival and the conclusion to the movement.

“I was particularly impressed by the bassoonist,” said Christopher Eames, a junior at Herbert W. Armstrong College who plays oboe and saxophone. “The typical idea of a bassoon is to play long, slow, low notes, but the bassoonist really surprised me with her ability to play very fast, high notes, as the music called for it—and all without compromising the rich tone of the instrument.”

The musicians resumed the soundtrack for the imagination in the second movement, ambling, running, striding, walking, turning, dipping, diving and moving through and gradually out of the original scene. The third movement evoked a contemplative refuge, away from—but not completely out of earshot of—the hubbub nearby. The theme and its variations conveyed a sense of exploration, not so much an aimless wandering, but a curious search, running into unexpected finds denoted by sound effect-like punctuations. In the fourth movement, the pulse accelerated—the city explorer had come quite near the Hauptbahnhof once again—the flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon fluttering with activity as if we had never left, the bombastic, eccentric, yet aristocratic and noble horn again interrupting the flow, then melting into it, then the “train” blasting its whistle goodbye—the finale to the piece and to the first half.

“Welcome back to the second half,” McWilliam intoned after intermission. “We had so much fun, we decided to return as well.” The hornist then voiced a sincere and special recognition of the number of young people in the audience, saying that they were rare because they understood the importance of music. (The members of the Quintet have taught chamber music to young people in several countries, including youngsters in Venezuela’s El Sistema.)

The Berliners flowed through Pavel Haas’s 1929 Quintet, op. 10, a simpler, more introspective piece occasionally bursting with hectic runs and even jarring discord. The well-named third movement, Ballo Eccentric, featured distinct discord among the instruments, here being ameliorated, there returning with a vengeance. The group finished the program with Josef Bohuslav Foerster’s Quintet in D Major, op. 95, lilting and floating along here and there with a constancy unlike Haas’s composition, the instruments quite comfortable with themselves and each other, at times luxuriating, as the audience, in the fullness of sound.

As the last, pure moderato e tranquillo notes lingered and dissolved in the chamber, the audience responded to the sonorous feast with enthusiastic applause and a standing ovation.

The Quintet returned to the stage for an encore, and McWilliam took a moment to thank the audience and the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation staff for bringing the group to Armstrong Auditorium. He briefly reminisced on Herbert W. Armstrong’s Ambassador Auditorium, and said he felt a strong “family connection,” in that sense. The group gave audience members their own family connection with their encore selection, “American Folk Song Suite,” challenging the youngest members of the audience to identify “Old Susanna” and as many other familiar-yet-virtuosic tunes as they could. For a precious few minutes, the best of the human spirit rode the sound waves and connected five prestigious musicians playing top-echelon instruments and representing a polished world city with a grateful audience in the heart of America—together as one human family.

Then the last sip of the 2012-2013 Armstrong International Cultural Foundation season dissipated from the palate.

Concert manager Ryan Malone tweeted that he could not imagine a more “exquisite, sublime way to end the season” than the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. The group and the experience were an embodiment of just one aspect of a musical tradition, a city and a people known for quality.

Armstrong Auditorium continues to host the best of the human spirit with young Herbert W. Armstrong College and Imperial Academy students sharing their efforts in end-of-year recitals. In October, its 2013-2014 season will again unite a blessed few with musicians from around the world, and create precious moments when we are not Germans, Americans, Hungarians, Russians or Israelis, but when we are all children of God joining together in His creative masterpiece of sound. When we are all happy and gloriously and humbly—human.