Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste

Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images

From the August 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

That was one of Rahm Emanuel’s rules when he worked as President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff. According to Emanuel, it’s not about managing a crisis—it’s about using that crisis to advance your agenda.

Rahm’s rule might not apply to the numerous scandals that have besieged the Obama administration this summer. But then again, when you consider the timing and the nature of some of these scandals, it does make you wonder.

It took eight long months for Americans to finally hear testimony from someone who was actually on the ground in Libya the night the U.S. compound in Benghazi was ambushed by terrorists linked to al Qaeda. For eight months, the White House had obfuscated the truth, delayed hearings and pressured potential whistle-blowers to keep quiet.

Then, on May 8, three highly respected State Department officials—Gregory Hicks, Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom—testified under oath before a House committee. These men had experienced the tragedy of Benghazi firsthand. Their testimony was heartfelt and sincere—at times emotionally agonizing. Above all, it was believable.

Gregory Hicks, the number two diplomat in Libya at the time, provided the most riveting account. He told the committee that as soon as the U.S. compound was attacked, Americans on the ground knew it was terrorism. Hicks said that when he spoke with Chris Stevens on the phone, just minutes before the ambassador was murdered, Stevens told him they were being attacked. In fact, U.S. Embassy personnel in Tripoli thought they were the next target, which is why they destroyed hard drives and fled for a safe house.

There were no reports in Libya of street demonstrations or protests outside the diplomatic post in Benghazi on September 11. Hicks said he told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the night of the attack that it was a terrorist strike. He told committee staffers in the lead-up to the May 8 hearing that he requested military support from Washington in response to the attack. To this day, he maintains his belief that had America scrambled a few jets from its base in Italy, it might have held off the second wave of attackers on that fateful night.

During the hearing, Hicks also described a conversation he had with a special operations team in Tripoli on the night of the attack. The team was hurriedly preparing to fly to Benghazi to help the Americans under fire, but their team leader said the U.S. Special Forces Command Africa told them to stand down. He told Hicks he had never been so embarrassed.

Hicks’s testimony directly contradicted the Obama administration’s claim that no State Department official in Libya requested military support during the attack. In fact, multiple requests had been made—and rebuffed.

Mark Thompson said he urged the State Department to deploy the Foreign Emergency Support Team (fest). This special operations unit is the government’s “only interagency, on-call, short-notice team poised to respond to terrorist incidents worldwide,” the State Department’s website says. It’s specifically trained to respond “quickly and effectively to terrorist attacks.”

An official involved in the response told cbs reporter Sharyl Attkisson that fest members “instinctively started packing” the moment news broke of the Benghazi assault. Yet they too were essentially told to stay put.

All these requests for help were denied because the White House simply could not accept that it had been a premeditated terrorist attack in Benghazi. President Obama’s reelection bid was less than two months away. During campaign speeches, he had been telling Americans that al Qaeda was on the “road to defeat.” So when Benghazi happened, he blamed the tragedy on a street demonstration gone awry. He said the violence was triggered by an obscure anti-Islam video that was made by a shady filmmaker.

Three days after the attack, Secretary Clinton told one of the fathers of the victims that they were going to arrest the person who made that video. And they did. He was arrested and jailed two weeks later.

Since then, no one actually responsible for the terrorist attack has been killed or jailed.

The Benghazi Talking Points

In the same week that the administration’s handling of Benghazi came under renewed scrutiny because of the May 8 hearing, abc News revealed that the Benghazi talking points had been extensively edited by the White House and the State Department in the days following September 11. These were the same bullet points UN Ambassador Susan Rice used to defend the administration on the Sunday talk shows five days after the attack.

Benghazi began spontaneously, Rice said, “as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where … there was a violent protest outside of our embassy—sparked by this hateful video” (emphasis added throughout).

For months, the White House repeatedly maintained that it was working from the best intelligence available at the time and that it had nothing to do with the content of those talking points. As White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters in November, the intelligence community was almost entirely responsible for developing the talking points. He said the administration had suggested just one adjustment to the report—changing the word “consulate” to “diplomatic facility.”

Carney’s repeated statements have now been proven false. According to the e-mails obtained by abc, several governing bodies, including the White House and the State Department, took part in dramatically revising the talking points that were initially released by the intelligence community on Friday, September 14. The original version referred to the “attacks” in Benghazi as including “extremists with ties to al Qaeda.” There is also a reference to the al Qaeda offshoot Ansar al-Sharia, which was linked to the attack early on. (It later denied having ordered the assault.) Finally, the first draft of the talking points referred to several other terrorist attacks in Libya that had occurred in the lead-up to September 11. The report also said it was possible that the U.S. facilities in Benghazi had been under enemy surveillance.

By the time the Obama administration finished editing the talking points, the word “attacks” had been changed to “demonstrations,” all references to extremists, al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia had been removed and the entire section about security warnings in the months leading up to the attack had been deleted.

These strategic “edits,” we now know, were made during a meeting at the White House on Saturday morning, September 15.

The anti-Islam video is not mentioned in any version of the Benghazi talking points. It was, however, referred to often in public statements made by President Obama, Secretary Clinton and Press Secretary Carney immediately after the attack. President Obama even mentioned the video several times in his United Nations address on September 25, two full weeks after the Benghazi attack.

So when Susan Rice hit the Sunday talk shows to cover for the administration and to mislead the American people, she was working from the “video” narrative established by the president himself and from an “intelligence” document that had been rewritten by senior officials at the White House and the State Department.

Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard actually broke the story about the Benghazi talking points. It was posted on May 3. But because Hayes writes for a conservative publication and since the content of his article was based on an investigation conducted by Republicans, many reporters automatically dismissed the story.

On May 10, however, Jonathan Karl at abc broke ranks with the leftist media, and suddenly, the lid had completely blown off the Benghazi cover-up.

It took eight months for the major media to finally pick up on the scandal.

“The Benghazi story until now has been a jumble of factoids that didn’t quite cohere, didn’t produce a story that people could absorb and hold in their minds,” Peggy Noonan wrote in her column on May 10. “This weekthat changed.”

On his May 10 radio broadcast, Rush Limbaugh said the Benghazi cover-up had finally “escaped conservative media.” The day before, Limbaugh opened his program by saying there wasn’t much going on in the news. But on Friday, May 10, Benghazi was “everywhere.”

At msnbc, on Morning Joe, journalist Lisa Myers said the Democrats were now worried about the Benghazi story, saying “damage” had clearly been done by the three whistle-blowers. Earlier in the show, Joe Scarborough made this astounding assertion about why it had taken so long for the major media to investigate the cover-up: “If a lot of people on the far right hadn’t overplayed their hand on Benghazi—and were screaming before they knew what they were screaming about—I think we would all be much harder on the administration right now.”

Of course, the inconvenient truth is that the major media didn’t just dismiss the story because of conservative “screaming,” it ignored the truth about Benghazi in order to help President Obama get re-elected. Even after the election, the major media did everything possible to cover for an administration that offered this in response to a question about who was behind the Benghazi attack: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

To conservative media outlets and House Republicans, it made a huge difference. They stayed with Benghazi, demanding answers from an administration bent on obscuring the truth and lying about its motives. In exchange for confirming John Brennan as cia director in March, Republicans managed to pressure the White House into releasing some of the e-mails surrounding the Benghazi talking points. And in May, the House committee was finally able to hear from U.S. officials who were serving in Libya at the time of the attack.

Then on May 10, the Benghazi cover-up finally went mainstream. And that’s when the Obama administration went to work covering up the cover-up.

The IRS Scandal

On the same day three whistle-blowers told the truth about Benghazi, irs director Lois Lerner also testified before a congressional committee in Washington. In this hearing, Rep. Joseph Crowley, a New York Democrat, asked Lerner about the status of the investigation of the irs’s handling of non-profit organizations seeking tax-exempt status. Lerner’s ho-hum response directed the congressman to a questionnaire posted at the irs website.

The next day, Lerner suddenly had much more to say about the investigation and the Inspector General’s report, which was due to be released at any time. With the help of acting irs commissioner Steven Miller, Lerner prepared a public apology for the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups. After consulting with Miller, she contacted Celia Roady, a lawyer friend in Washington, to see if she would ask a question about the investigation during an American Bar Association conference on May 10.

The next day, after Lerner finished her speech, she fielded questions. In response to the planted question by Roady, Mrs. Lerner confessed that conservative organizations had indeed been targeted and that some of these groups had been bombarded with questions that were “far too broad.” Within minutes, this staged exchange ignited a firestorm of media coverage, both from the left and the right.

Think about the unbelievable timing of this scandalous “revelation.” The irs started targeting conservative groups three years ago. Lois Lerner knew about the unfair targeting as early as June 2011 and supposedly instructed her department to revise the criteria it was using to single out conservative groups. But nothing changed. Conservative groups kept complaining about unfair treatment. The New York Times actually applauded the irs for concentrating on Tea Party groups. “Taxpayers should be encouraged by complaints from Tea Party chapters applying for nonprofit tax status at being asked by the Internal Revenue Service to prove they are ‘social welfare’ organizations and not the political activists they so obviously are,” the Times editorialized on March 7, 2012.

In May of 2012, according to Reuters, an internal irs review finally addressed the unfair targeting of Tea Party chapters. Lois Lerner, Steven Miller and irs commissioner Douglas Shulman were all well aware of this internal review. They were all involved in a series of steps taken to correct the problem. And they all chose not to tell Congress about this abuse of power.

Then there’s the inspector general’s report, prepared by government watchdog J. Russell George. He started his investigation last summer but carefully kept all details of his investigation from Congress, despite numerous requests for updates. According to the Inspector General Act, the IG is required to immediately report to the appropriate congressional committee whenever he or she uncovers something “particularly serious” or “flagrant.”

During a congressional hearing on May 22, when asked about why he chose not to inform Congress about the abuses he discovered, George said it would have been “impractical” and “counterproductive” to do this before the report was completely finished. He said, “To ensure fairness and to ensure that we are completely accurate with the information that we convey to Congress, we will not report information until the irs has had an opportunity to take a look at it to ensure that we’re not misstating facts.”

He couldn’t tell Congress about any of the details until the irs had the chance to review his investigation! George also testified that he notified senior Obama administration officials about his investigation back in June 2012. And yet Congress had been kept in the dark about the serious nature of the scandal—even as late as May 8, 2013, when Lois Lerner testified under oath that there was nothing new to report about the investigation.

Then, two days later, on the same day the major media finally ran with the Benghazi cover-up, Lois Lerner—not the inspector general, not the “far right” media, not Congress or the Washington Post, but the director of the Internal Revenue Service—leaked the story about the irs abuse of power.

During a media call the day the scandal broke on May 10, Lerner was asked why she hadn’t publicly addressed the situation before. She gave this response: “I don’t believe anyone ever asked me that question before.”

The Associated Press Scandal

Incredibly, the irs wasn’t the only government agency to “break” a story about its own scandal. And once again, this happened at the same time the Benghazi story blew up.

On Monday, May 13, the Associated Press announced that the Justice Department had secretly seized the telephone records of over 20 AP phone lines between April and May 2012. AP president and chief executive officer Gary Pruitt called it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” in a letter he wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder.

That was on May 13. But the Associated Press actually learned about the spying when the Justice Department confessed to the transgression by official letter—on May 10.

So on the same day the White House was exposed for its outrageous lies about Benghazi, the Department of Justice (doj) decided to break the story about its own scandal—one that involved using subpoenas to pull the phone records from several AP bureaus, including ones in New York, Washington, d.c., Connecticut, and the House of Representatives.

A week later, the story broke about the doj snooping into James Rosen’s records at Fox News. Here again, it was another case of the Justice Department confessing its own sins.

Plausible Deniability

It’s not that these scandals inside the irs and the doj are unworthy of media scrutiny. They both reveal a shameful abuse of power at the highest levels of government and should be exposed. But with these scandals, the president of the United States can disassociate himself. He can maintain plausible deniability.

“I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press,” President Obama said on May 16. It doesn’t matter how many times the irs commissioner visited the White House or when senior officials of the administration learned about the investigation.

President Obama says he didn’t know.

Added to that, the president can now be seen as the one initiating steps to solve the crisis. “I think we’re going to be able to figure out exactly what happened, who was involved, what went wrong, and we’re going to be able to implement steps to fix it,” he said.

The same is true of the outrageous overreach at the doj. “Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP,” said Press Secretary Carney on May 13. They didn’t know anything about it. And what’s more, the president can now cast himself as a defender of free-flowing information. He’s called on Congress to revive a federal shield law that is supposed to protect journalists from government intrusion.

But in the case of Benghazi, the damning trail of evidence that went mainstream in early May was leading straight to the Oval Office. And if we learned anything about the cover-up last September, it’s that this administration will do whatever is necessary to cover its tracks, advance its political agenda and defeat its political enemies.

The ‘Attack’ the Media Attacked

Go back and review the events surrounding September 11 of last year. Early in the day, an Egyptian television station played the infamous YouTube movie in order to incite anti-American sentiment on the anniversary of 9/11. The American Embassy in Cairo responded by issuing an apology condemning the efforts of “misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Even as an Islamist mob was attacking the U.S. compound, America responded by reiterating its earlier apology. That statement “still stands,” the Embassy tweeted.

Later that day, a terrorist organization in Libya carried out an audacious attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, resulting in the abduction and murder of the U.S. ambassador—the first American ambassador to be assassinated in three decades.

That same night, in America, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sharply criticized the Obama administration for sympathizing with anti-American forces in the Muslim world. In the 24 hours that followed Romney’s blistering criticism, even though four Americans had been brutally murdered and two diplomatic missions attacked in Egypt and Libya, it was Mitt Romney that the major media pounced on for supposedly politicizing the Benghazi massacre.

The next morning, despite criticism from his own party, Romney held firm in his rebuke for the president’s weak response to the attacks: “I think it’s a terrible course for America to stand in apology for our values, that instead when our grounds are being attacked and being breached, that the first response of the United States must be outrage at the breach of the sovereignty of our nation.”

Later that day, President Obama responded in an interview with Steve Kroft of cbs News. The veteran journalist—and committed liberal—began the discussion by telling the president that Romney had used the tragedies in Cairo and Benghazi to “attack” the president’s foreign policy in a “fairly broad-based attack.”

We now know that the day before this interview was conducted, the administration had denied repeated requests to help those who were being attacked. We also know that soon after this interview, the administration deleted the word “attack” from its talking points. But on September 12, the only “attack” that really mattered to the major media was Mitt Romney’s.

In response to Kroft’s softball question, President Obama lashed out at Romney, saying the governor didn’t know the facts. He then proceeded to defend the U.S. Embassy’s public apology—the one about the video. “This film is not representative of who we are and our values,” the president said, “and I think it’s important for us to communicate that.”

And did they ever. In the days that followed, Hillary Clinton, Jay Carney, Susan Rice and other administration officials repeatedly made one public apology after another in which a loony filmmaker was essentially blamed for the attacks in Cairo and Benghazi. The United States even apologized for the video in a public service announcement that played in Pakistan!

When Susan Rice hit the talk show circuit and blamed Benghazi on a filmmaker, Gregory Hicks said he was “stunned.” “My jaw dropped,” he testified on May 8. “I was embarrassed.”

During the September 12 interview with cbs, President Obama waxed eloquent about the “broader lesson” we needed to learn from the attack. “Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” he said. “And as president, one of the things I have learned is that you can’t do that. That, you know, it’s important for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the facts and that you have thought through the ramifications before you make them.”

He wasn’t about to let the Benghazi crisis go to waste. So he obscured the truth, downplayed the significance of an attack that ended with four Americans dead, and—with critical support from his faithful followers in the media—intimidated his political opponent to stop talking about Benghazi.

What Difference Does It Make?

Now fast-forward again to May 10. The cover-up is finally receiving widespread exposure. Three highly respected State Department officials, despite being bullied and demoted by the administration, had blown the lid off what really happened in Benghazi. James Rosen at Fox News reported that “several other” whistle-blowers, including cia officials, were considering coming forward. And abc News—not exactly the bastion of conservatism—exposed the Benghazi talking points as a work of fiction that was carefully written by senior officials at the White Houseand at State.

The administration was in full crisis-management mode.

That day, Jay Carney was scheduled to hold a press briefing at 12:30 p.m. But after the abc story broke, the briefing was pushed back to 1:45 p.m., while a separate, private briefing was held with only a handful of reporters. This angered the journalists who weren’t invited.

“Nothing says ‘not a cover-up’ like secret meetings with select members of the media who promise to keep what’s revealed quiet,” one reporter quipped.

Meanwhile the White House’s daily press briefing, which had already been pushed back to 1:45, was again rescheduled to 3:15 p.m. By the time Jay Carney finally stepped in front of the podium, it was 3:39, late Friday afternoon at the end of the workweek. The White House had just provided “deep background” on the Benghazi story to a select group of reporters behind closed doors. And Lois Lerner had just fielded a planted question across town about the irs abusing its power.

Jay Carney did take a lot of heat from numerous reporters during that late-afternoon briefing. But in a revealing sign of things to come, the first two questions asked by reporters during that briefing were about the irs.

The following Monday, the irs scandal was the first thing the media jumped on with President Obama. When the president got around to Benghazi, he called the “talking points” controversy an old story.

“There’s no ‘there’ there,” the president said about Benghazi. And the media seemed happy enough with that. By that point, there were plenty of other scandals to investigate anyway.

“Meanwhile,” as Joseph Curl opined at the Washington Times, “no one even knows where the president was the night a U.S. ambassador was murdered, or why the U.S. military sent no help. No one knows who inserted into official talking points a false story that an anti-Islam video led to the massacre. And no one seems to care—least of all the White House.”

Fundamental Transformation

The timing of these many scandals is remarkable. Benghazi, of course, happened last September. But the release of those revealing White House e-mails in March vaulted the scandal back to the top of the news cycle. That same month, we published America Under Attack—a booklet that is now in its second printing. Since then, the curses that have pounded America have certainly punctuated the sobering warning contained in that booklet.

The Boston Marathon bombing in April killed three people and wounded hundreds. The ensuing manhunt shut down the entire Boston metropolitan area for a full day.

In May, there was that damning public testimony from the Benghazi whistle-blowers, followed by the “talking points” scandal. Following that, the irs admitted to targeting conservatives and the doj fessed up to spying on the major media.

Subsequent to these perfectly timed government confessionals, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the surveillance program at the National Security Agency. Evidently the nsa has been collecting phone records and vast amounts of Internet data on everyone except for the Tsarnaev brothers, Maj. Nidal Hasan and multiple millions of illegal aliens. After his bombshell revelation, Snowden became an international celebrity while hopscotching the globe—humiliating the United States every step of the way.

Yet, despite the avalanche of crises, President Obama’s radical transformation of the United States has barely missed a beat. If anything, it has accelerated.

Consider the amnesty bill the “Gang of Eight” ramrodded through the Senate toward the end of June. This 1,200-page, pork-laden monstrosity is a larger version of the disastrous legislation Congress passed in 1986 to supposedly fix the illegal immigration problem. This new bill, if approved by Congress, will undermine America’s border security, legitimize millions of immigrants who came to America illegally and encourage more illegal immigration.

It will also destroy what’s left of America’s ailing economy.

The bill is so bad that Senators resurrected the shifty strategy that was used to pass Obamacare. They submitted the bill late Friday afternoon and then voted on Monday before anyone had a chance to actually read the thing.

Senators Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio may have done most of the legislative grunt work. But this bill has Barack Obama’s fingerprintsall over it. He has good reason to work from the shadows though. He needs Republican support. And Republicans don’t want to be seen publicly as doing the president’s bidding. So the White House happily worked behind the scenes on this one. But make no mistake—this is the president’s baby.

“Obama runs immigration bill from White House,” the Daily Caller reported on June 17. It quoted a senior White House staffer as saying, “No decisions are being made without talking to us about it. … This does not fly if we’re not ok with it.” The administration official even bragged that if the bill becomes law, it will surely be one of the top five legislative accomplishments in decades—and it will be seen as a huge victory for President Obama.

Consider what this means. If you think the U.S. government is big now, wait until millions of illegals are added to the government dole. And if you think conservatives are lagging behind liberal progressives now, wait until 11 million Hispanics are added to the voting registry. Hispanics vote Democrat by a 3-to-1 margin, which means if this bill makes it through the House, the Republican Party is essentially finished.

In many ways, the gop is already finished. Just look at how weak Republican resistance has been standing against the radical agenda coming out of the White House. Look how easily many Republicans have been manipulated or intimidated by White House officials and the left-wing media.

Notice how the New York Times summed up the immigration debate on June 20: “Passage of immigration legislation is critical to Mr. Obama’s legacy.” This isn’t about Marco Rubio or political compromise or bipartisan legislation. It’s not about Chuck Schumer or the Democrats. It’s not even about what’s best for the country. This is about the legacy of the most radical president in U.S. history. Amnesty for illegals, like Obamacare, is yet another one of President Obama’s liberal socialist dreams! This is all part of the president’s bold and audacious plan to fundamentally transform the United States of America.

Everything They Want

Consider President Obama’s “peace with justice” speech on June 19. He gave the speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the same place he spoke in 2008 as a presidential candidate. Back then, 200,000 exuberant Germans cheered on the senator’s hopelessly idealistic political agenda. This time around, only 4,500 people turned out to give the president’s “peace with justice” theme a few weak smatterings of applause.

“President Obama’s honeymoon with the world is over,” wrote the National Journal. “Barack Obama bombs in Berlin,” wrote Nile Gardner at the Telegraph.

Yet, despite getting dumped on by the European press, the president confidently rattled off a list of left-wing favorites as if he was speaking at a Democratic fundraiser.

Peace with justice means making advances in medicine that will lead to “the first aids-free generation,” the president said. It’s about helping the impoverished around the world and eliminating racial prejudice and intolerance, whether motivated by gender or sexual orientation.

It also means building “a world without nuclear weapons.” This is the same utopian ideal that won the president the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. And just like he explained back then, the United States will take the lead in dismantling its nuclear arsenal first. And why not, considering how many military threats have simply vanished. “The Iraq war is now over,” the president said. “The Afghan war is coming to an end. Osama bin Laden is no more.”

Back in May, during his national security speech in Washington, d.c., President Obama took it one step further. He said the war against terrorism was essentially over. “This war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises,” the president intoned. To justify this new strategy, he said there hadn’t been any “large-scale attacks on the United States” since 9/11. America is “safer” and “more secure” today than it was then, he said.

In Germany, Mr. Obama added that the world didn’t need to worry about living “in fear of global annihilation.” The real threat facing humanity isn’t the fact that rogue terrorist-sponsoring nations are building nuclear bombs. It’s not the alarming rise of religious extremism.

The real threat—the “global threat of our time,” as he called it—is climate change. Unless we take bold action to cool the Earth, this is the grim reality we all face: “More severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise.”

There is nothing in his Berlin speech about confronting radical Islam—or even advancing American interests. It was just another “clichéd citizens of the world polemic,” wrote Nile Gardiner. He called it was a dud of a speech, given by a “floundering president whose leadership abroad is just as weak as it is at home.”

There is no disputing Mr. Obama’s weak leadership abroad. It’s on display every day. But given the radical transformation America has undergone over the past four years, is it really correct to say Mr. Obama’s leadership at home is weak?

Consider the “Climate Action Plan” the president released just two days after his address in Berlin. This plan promises to spend another $2.7 billion to promote clean coal and energy technology and to promote something called “actionable climate science.”

As James Delingpole notes at the Telegraph, you would think the last thing any president would do while his nation struggles to come out of a long recession “would be to jeopardize it with a whole new raft of utterly pointless regulation and wasteful government expenditure.”

You would think. But that’s not the way this president thinks. He’s thinking about checking off one more item on the radical agenda. This isn’t some meaningless proposal being pushed by an inept leader who’s on the ropes after being pummeled by an endless array of scandals and setbacks. This is an audacious proposal being submitted by a confident man who knows he’s on a roll!

As Rush Limbaugh said on June 25, President Obama is transforming America in ways that no one ever thought possible. “He is succeeding at every turn, and he has a scandal pop up at just the right time every moment some big transformation’s taking place so that we’re all distracted,” Limbaugh said. “Nobody’s stopping Obama. Nobody’s stopping the Democrats. They’re getting everything they want.”

That is not a sign of weakness at home. It is a sign of great strength.

America Is Under Attack

Long-time readers of the Trumpet are well aware of the many prophecies that point to America’s stunning decline in these latter days, followed by its destruction and captivity at the hands of a European beast power. America Under Attack shows from Scripture how, before the United States is attacked from an invading superpower, it suffers unfathomable devastation and destruction from within.

President Obama’s radical agenda is expediting this destruction from within. But this is not about a man. That’s the point of America Under Attack. This is about an evil spirit being that was cast down from heaven in 1986 and is now confined to this Earth (Revelation 12:9, 12).

“If you look at the whole story in biblical prophecy,” my father wrote, “you see that Satan has a three-pronged attack. First he attacks God’s Church. Second, he tears down the values within the nations of Israel. Finally, he will bring the Holy Roman Empire to destroy those nations in the Great Tribulation.”

What we are witnessing today is the second phase of this satanic three-pronged attack!

If you were one of the first ones to read America Under Attack back in March or April, you should go back and read it again, given what we have seen over the past three months. During my second reading, one statement really jumped out at me. It was after my father explained how many people can see that America is on the wrong course.

“However,” he wrote, “the situation is more severe than people realize.” We are actually on a path to destruction. And it’s much worse than most people realize because of the spiritual dimension behind this radical transformation.

Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). He knows his time is short, which is why he is not about to let any of these crises and scandals go to waste. He is managing every last one of them in a way that will hasten America’s prophesied destruction. That destruction starts from within—but it culminates in the worst time of suffering this world has ever seen (Matthew 24:21-22).

“The events we see around us are deeply sobering,” my father wrote in America Under Attack. “But they should also fill us with hope—and anticipation of the great event they lead to: the Second Coming of Christ to this Earth!”

Spain Opens Fire on Jet-Skier Near Gibraltar

Spain Opens Fire on Jet-Skier Near Gibraltar


A Spanish police patrol boat opened fire on a British jet-skier in Gibraltar’s territorial waters on June 23, according to eyewitnesses, in a serious violation of Britain’s sovereignty.

“I was just about to drop my friend off at West Beach when I heard the first shot,” the jet-skier, Dale Villa, told the news website Olive Press. “I don’t really think we took it seriously or believed it could be a gun, but clearly it was. Anyway I jumped back on again and whizzed off before realizing the boat was chasing after me and had soon fired three more shots at me. I was very shaken and furious. When a huge boat is hurling after you and you hear gunshots it is very scary.”

In a letter to British and Gibraltar authorities, including Prime Minister David Cameron and Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo, Villa described how “Suddenly, shots were fired, and I had to perform evasive maneuvers in order to avoid being an easy target for the person carrying the weapon, and also to avoid being run down by the substantially larger vessel.”

Spain has denied that the incident happened.

“Our position is that we completely deny that there was any incident in Spanish waters adjacent to Gibraltar,” a spokesman for Spain’s Foreign Ministry told Agence France-Presse. “We also expressed our discontent that the United Kingdom had repeated an unverified and unfounded rumor.”

A video from Gibraltar’s Vox news, as well as eye witness reports, appear to verify that the Spanish Guardia did indeed open fire.

Britain’s response? Minister for Europe David Lidington spoke to his Spanish counterpart. “I made clear that the discharge of a weapon in or near Gibraltar is completely unacceptable,” he said. Various other diplomats have also protested, but that’s the extent of the response.

Picardo wrote to Mr. Cameron saying that although he “acknowledges and appreciates” these diplomatic protests, they are not enough. “Diplomatic action to date appears to have had no material effect,” he said.

The Spanish are becoming increasingly pushy over Gibraltar, while Britain’s response is weak. In the first 10 months of last year, 200 incursions into British Gibraltar waters were reported, up from only 23 the year before.

It’s sad that Spain feels so confident that Britain won’t stand up for its rights that it opens fire on civilians.

The Trumpet has long forecast that Britain will lose control of Gibraltar. There are a number of ways this could happen. But this incident proves that Britain lacks the will to hold on to its strategic possessions.

For more information on Gibraltar’s future, see “Changing of the Guard” from our free booklet He Was Right.

The Point of No Return

Why is there so much division in our country? Why is our economy failing? Why is the threat of war rampant on this Earth? Why are we at the point of no return?

The Shrewd Strategy Behind Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

The Shrewd Strategy Behind Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

It’s been spectacularly successful at reshaping society.

The quickest civil rights shift in U.S. history took place on June 26. With two landmark rulings, the Supreme Court gave its support to “gay marriage” as a legal institution. Striking down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (doma), signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the court ruled that legally “married” same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. “doma is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment,” wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the majority opinion. The Obama administration has pledged to act swiftly to extend federal benefits to legally “married” same-sex couples.

The court declined to decide a case related to California’s Proposition 8, effectively allowing same-sex “marriages” there.

The rulings leave in place laws banning same-sex unions throughout the nation and declined to say that there is a constitutional right to same-sex “marriage.” Yet they cleared the way for same-sex unions to become legal in California, the nation’s most populous state. It is expected that California will legalize “gay marriage,” making it the 13th state to allow such unions along with the District of Columbia.

This issue is dominating public and private discussion worldwide. The media love it: Images of same-sex couples lustfully embracing are popping up everywhere on television, the Internet and magazine covers. Gallons of ink and tons of paper are being used to publish newspaper stories on marriage for homosexual couples. Try as you may, you can’t get away from the issue.

Leading the debate are homosexuals and their supporters, who claim that redefining marriage will be good for America, the marriage institution and children—the little ones adopted, brought into a homosexual relationship from a previous heterosexual marriage, or born via a surrogate or in vitro fertilization. They believe marriage is a tradition that has been evolving for millennia, and that it’s time for it to evolve to include them.

Conservatives also believe marriage is a tradition—but one that should not be tampered with. They say loosening the definition of marriage beyond one woman and one man will destroy marriage altogether and open the door to legalize other perverted unions. Conservatives want the American people to decide the matter through the political process, which includes voting.

Careful analysis of the current debate shows that neither side understands the vital purpose for marriage! If everyone fully understood and embraced the purpose for marriage, this debate would have never even begun.

How did we get here—entertaining the notion that marriage should include same-sex couples? This transformational change did not happen spontaneously.

How did you form your view on homosexuality? Most people don’t reason it out, considering evidence on all sides and sifting truth from error. They simply absorb influences and come to accept certain ideas as normal. They follow what seems right at the time.

The fact is, the great majority are forming views and making decisions and even policies having been influenced, even bullied, by political correctness, peer pressure or societal coercion. There has been a clandestine yet concerted effort to radically change people’s minds about homosexuality. And whether they realize it or not, many people have come to accept and embrace this idea because they’ve been unwittingly manipulated to do so.

Numbing Western Minds

In 1960, every American state had anti-sodomy laws, many of which prohibited intimate acts between persons of the same sex. Homosexuals hid their actions to avoid prosecution. However, in 1969 homosexuals in New York rioted after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a “gay bar.” This led to the formation of the “gay liberation” movement, which has worked for decades to pass anti-homosexual-discrimination laws.

Pro-”gay marriage” lawsuits began to be filed over four decades ago. Although not nationally publicized, between 1970 and 1973, courts in Kentucky, Minnesota and Washington denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples that filed lawsuits to obtain them. Yet the intellectual stance on homosexuality began to change. It was in 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association stopped listing homosexuality as a mental disorder.

At the same time, a turbulent sexual revolution was landing in the West, finding fertile ground and rooting itself in its top university campuses. Sexual experimentation, including homosexuality, filled the dormitories. It was on these university campuses that the first moves were made to turn public opinion in favor of homosexuality.

The numbing of the staunchly anti-homosexual Western mind began slowly at first. Homosexuals used tv sitcoms and movies to influence viewers’ thinking. In 1971, All in the Family became the first sitcom to depict a homosexual character. Daringly, it was the show’s fifth episode, “Judging Books by Their Covers,” that sought to smash people’s stereotypes. The episode showed that Meathead’s effeminate-looking friend was not homosexual, but Archie’s athletic former-nfl-linebacker friend was.

“A reading of this episode reveals that even four decades ago, television writers tackled the issue of gay rights using tactics that remain operable today,” writes A. J. Aronstein for Splitsider. Before All in the Family, homosexuals and homosexuality took the brunt of all jokes, but not anymore. tv viewers were being taught: Overlook the homosexual part, and you’ll see a normal person just like you.

Out of the Closet—In Your Face

The public and lawmakers did not jump on the “gay rights” train immediately. In 1973, Maryland became the first of 31 states to officially ban same-sex “marriages.” But homosexuals remained active and aggressive.

The first national homosexual-rights march on Washington took place Oct. 14, 1979, with between 75,000 and 125,000 homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender people and straight allies demanding pro-homosexual legislation. The legal fight was on.

In 1980, John Boswell, a prominent historian and Yale University professor, published Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality claiming that the early Roman Catholic Church may have sanctioned same-sex “marriages.” In 1983, Harvard Law student Evan Wolfson wrote his thesis—his manifesto—advancing the legal right to same-sex “marriage.” John Boswell died of complications from aids in 1994. Wolfson, a founder of the same-sex “marriage” movement, now directs a group called Freedom to Marry.

In 1981, medical researchers first reported on the health-wrecking symptoms now known as aids. Originally called grid—gay-related immunodeficiency disease—this fatal illness spread with particular force amid promiscuous homosexual men. Activist homosexuals convinced the medical establishment to change the name to “acquired immune deficiency syndrome.” Even so, the spread of aids caused the public stigma of homosexuality to grow stronger.

“The aids epidemic is sparking anger and fear in the heartland of straight America,” wrote Marshall Kirk and Erastes Pill in November 1987. “The 10 years ahead may decide for the next 40 whether gays claim their liberty and equality or are driven back, once again, as America’s caste of detested untouchables.”

These words appeared in an article titled “The Overhauling of Straight America” in Guide Magazine in November 1987. In this article, the authors outlined a strategy for transforming public perception of homosexuality. “At least in the beginning, we are seeking public desensitization and nothing more,” they wrote. “We do not need and cannot expect a full ‘appreciation’ or ‘understanding’ of homosexuality from the average American. You can forget about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders, then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won. And to get to shoulder-shrug stage, gays as a class must cease to appear mysterious, alien, loathsome and contrary. A large-scale media campaign will be required in order to change the image of gays in America.”

This article advocated just such a campaign, in astounding detail. The authors’ suggestions were voluminous: Talk publicly about homosexuality, particularly in the media (“almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it”). Encourage the appearance of favorable homosexual characters on television shows and in movies. Portray homosexuals as pillars of society (“In no time, a skillful and clever media campaign could have the gay community looking like the veritable fairy godmother to Western civilization”). Claim that famous historical figures were homosexual (“From Socrates to Shakespeare, from Alexander the Great to Alexander Hamilton, from Michelangelo to Walt Whitman”). Use spokespersons who are indistinguishable from straight people. Keep the discussion broad and abstract, downplaying actual homosexual behavior (“First let the camel get his nose inside the tent—only later his unsightly derriere!”). De-emphasize the fact that people choose to be homosexual (“the mainstream should be told that gays are victims of fate, in the sense that most never had a choice to accept or reject their sexual preference”). Portray homosexuals as victims in need of protection. Promote the cause using civil rights terminology (“Our campaign should not demand direct support for homosexual practices, should instead take anti-discrimination as its theme”). Publicize support for gays by more moderate churches. Undermine conservative resistance by representing it as antiquated and out-of-touch. Vilify opponents, associating them with the Ku Klux Klan or Nazis (“make the antigays look so nasty that average Americans will want to dissociate themselves from such types”). The article concluded with a multi-step plan for gaining ever greater access to television, radio and the mainstream press.

It is easy to forget just how radical this plan was at the time—simply because we now live in the pro-homosexual world they wanted to create.

Shifting Public Opinion

In 1989, the New Republic published the article “Here Comes the Groom: A Conservative Case for Gay Marriage.” “[G]ay marriage could both avoid a lot of tortured families and create the possibility for many happier ones,” author Andrew Sullivan argued. “It is not, in short, a denial of family values. It’s an extension of them.” Sullivan’s article helped thrust the debate out of the academic world and into the mainstream landscape.

In 1993, Tony Kushner’s seven-hour play, Angels in America, which deals with homosexual themes including aids, won the Pulitzer Prize. That same year, Hawaii’s supreme court ruled that the state law barring same-sex “marriage” may violate its constitution, and the U.S. military instituted its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. In 1994, Tom Hanks won the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of a homosexual with aids in Philadelphia.ikea placed its first ad featuring two men as a couple.

In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court established that banning protective laws for homosexuals was unconstitutional with Romer v. Evans. But President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, defining for the federal government marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Yet Time magazine put Ellen DeGeneres on its cover in 1997 with a bold title in red ink stating, “Yep, I’m Gay.” Even to the surprise of many homosexuals, the strategy was working.

In 2000, the Netherlands became the first nation in the world to legalize same-sex “marriage.” The same year, Vermont became the first U.S. state to legalize civil unions for same-sex couples. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court, with a 6-3 ruling in the landmark case Lawrence v. Texas, struck down the state’s sodomy law and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states, legalizing same-sex sexual activity in every U.S. state and territory.

In 2004, Massachusetts legalized same-sex “marriage” by court decision, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom briefly granted marriage licenses to same-sex couples. In 2008, a California court legalized “gay marriage” (although voters then banned it by Proposition 8). In 2011, the military ended “don’t ask, don’t tell,” allowing homosexuals to be open about their sexuality. Even Marvel Comics gave one of its superheroes a homosexual wedding in 2012.

Public opinion has followed the radical shift. The first national public opinion poll on approval of “gay marriage” in 1996 found a 27 percent approval rating. By 1999, it jumped to 35 percent, then 39 percent by 2005. The next year, it rose to 42 percent, dropping back to 40 percent in 2008 and then shooting to 44 percent by 2010. This year, a cnn poll found that support for same-sex “marriage” had grown to 53 percent—nearly double what it had been just 17 years before—thus becoming the majority position in America.

The Supreme Court first heard oral arguments on the cases related to Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act in March. On April 8, Time boldly printed on its cover: “Gay Marriage Already Won: The Supreme Court hasn’t made up its mind—but America has.” Homosexuals wanted the Supreme Court, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, to decide the issue. They feared a national public vote. Now, homosexuals have gotten their wish! Justice Kennedy led the way in striking down doma. By using the media and the courts, homosexual activists and leftist media have successfully broken America’s will to resist homosexuality.

Time for Clarity

Is traditional marriage gone forever? Only if we allow it to be taken from us! Polls show that Americans over 65 still strongly resist same-sex “marriage,” yet Americans born after 1980 strongly favor it. It was the 20-somethings that highly praised the sordid film Brokeback Mountain. It was the 20-somethings that made Modern Family the top-rated tv show in 2010.

Why is adult America allowing 20-somethings to redefine marriage? Why are young people taking control of America’s cultural values?

Most of America is allowing itself to be bullied by an aggressively vocal minority. Pro-homosexuals want Americans to believe there are large numbers of homosexuals who want to receive legal benefits, marry and raise children. The reality is, those large numbers do not exist.

The 2011 census counted approximately 114.8 million households in the United States. In 2010, the Census Bureau reported that same-sex pairs headed about 600,000 U.S. households—0.52 percent. Of those, only 115,000 have children—meaning 0.1 percent of American households are homosexuals raising children.

A tiny homosexual minority is forcing its views on the majority. Left-leaning journalists help by demonizing any voice opposed to it.

“One of the most effective tactics of gay rights activists has been to shift the debate,” wrote the Christian Science Monitor on March 25. “Instead of asking society to expand its view of marriage to accommodate them, same-sex marriage proponents have attacked those supporting the traditional view of marriage as bigots enforcing marriage exclusivity out of animosity towards gays and lesbians.”

Few people are willing to stand up for traditional marriage and to brave public humiliation. Too many Americans have said instead, As long as it doesn’t affect me, let them do what they want.

But it does affect you.

What About You?

Whether or not you realize it, the homosexuality issue touches many of the biggest, most profound and important questions in life.

Homosexuality challenges several fundamentals of human existence. Why male and female? Why marriage? What is its purpose? What defines family?

The implications of this issue force you to contemplate spiritual realities including the nature and character of God—and of the devil. And it challenges our understanding of the supreme question: Why are we here? What is the purpose for humankind?

Do you know the answers to these questions? If you don’t, then your attitude about homosexuality—positive or negative—is not based on a full understanding of the truth!

You can’t afford to decide on this subject with hazy opinions and assumptions. Your attitude and choices on homosexuality have profound implications for you and your loved ones.

Russia Expands Military Power While U.S. Weakens

On Wednesday, Russia launched the stern of its first Mistral-class helicopter carrier in St. Petersburg. The stern was sent to France for completion. Russia expects to receive the finished ship in October.

Russia purchased two of these carriers from France for €1.2 billion. The second carrier is scheduled to launch in October of 2014.

Moscow plans to deploy at least one of its new carriers to Russia’s Pacific Fleet. Japan is concerned about Russia’s intention to position the carrier near the far eastern city of Vladivostok. Japan’s minister of defense pointed out that deployment to the Asia-Pacific region would upset the status quo.

The Mistral-class carrier is a fourth-generation amphibious assault ship. It measures 652 feet long by 105 feet wide. It has a displacement of 21,500 metric tons. Its landing area is over 17,000 square feet.

The ship can carry 16 helicopters, 40 tanks and 450 soldiers. It also houses a combat hospital that can accommodate 69 patients.

While Russia continues to expand its naval power, America’s deficit is forcing military cutbacks. In 1986, the U.S. Navy had a fleet of 583 ships. Today, that number is under 300. If the economy doesn’t improve, more cuts are certain.

To learn more about the future of Russia, read Russia and China in Prophecy. For more about America, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong.

The Baltics Dilemma

The Baltics Dilemma


As Germany and Russia grow in power, nations in between are starting to pick sides.

When you look at Europe today, it’s like it’s 1938 all over again: Germany is dominating the mainland with its robust economy and political savvy; Britain is woefully unaware of the dangers in Europe; meanwhile, Russia, as it was in the lead-up to World War ii, is the main counterweight to Germany.

And just like in the lead-up to World War ii, relations are tense between Russia and Germany. Proxy wars are already being fought in Syria, and the financial crisis in Cyprus has caused a lot of tension. But both also realize they can’t push the other too far. There must be peace, at least for now. That way each can pursue its imperialistic aims.

For decades, the Trumpet has predicted that another Molotov-Ribbentrop-type pact would be made between Germany and Russia. Back in 1961, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in a co-worker letter that after Europe united, it would “make a deal with [Russia]—a non-aggression pact.” After Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, editor in chief Gerald Flurry told the students at Herbert W. Armstrong College, “I believe it is very likely Germany and Russia have already cut a deal.”

Political lines are starting to be drawn between Europe and Russia. Where will they be drawn this time? Will it be the same line drawn before World War ii?

One group of nations located between Russia and Germany that have been in the news lately are the Baltic countries: Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. All three of these nations are looking to Europe, but the economic crisis in Europe is also making Russia a more attractive partner. Historically, the Baltic states have been tied to Russia. When the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact was signed in 1939, all three nations went to Russia. After World War ii, they became Soviet satellite states. Will they fall to Russia again?

Europe’s Open Arms

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Baltic states quickly cut their Russian ties. All three became members of the European Union in 2004, though they were not immediately permitted to make the euro their official currency. In 2011, Estonia became the first of the three to switch to the euro; Latvia was recently approved to switch to the euro at the start of 2014; Lithuania is making its second bid to switch after being turned down in 2006.

Since their break from the Soviet Union, the Baltic states have worked to tie their economies to the free-market economies of Europe. Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius told, “Lithuania basically has no own monetary policy. We have pegged our currency to the euro since 2002, and before that it was pegged to the dollar just one year after the lita [Lithuania’s sovereign means of exchange] was introduced, in 1993. So if we have no monetary instrument in our toolbox, the only logical option is to change this quasi-euro into a real euro.”

Germany has helped a great deal with bringing these nations into the European Union and the eurozone. Germany was one of the first Western nations to formalize relations with the Baltic states following their declarations of independence from Russia. In 1994, Germany supported the Baltic states’ demands for Russian troops to leave their countries, a demand Russia was forced to comply with. When Germany assumed presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union in July 1994, Germany used its position to influence other European nations to work with it to bring the Baltic states into the EU. At the end of 1994, the EU unanimously decided to pursue negotiations with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. This move by the German government “had decisively accelerated the integration into Europe of the Baltic states” (KAS International Reports, September 2010).

Today, Germany is still exerting a lot of pull on the Baltics to swing them over to Europe. In respect of the Latvian adoption of the euro, noted that “only one third of the Latvian population is in favor of this project. But German businesses— following the positive experience with Estonia’s introduction of the euro— fully approve of this step ….” German businesses are one of the main factors that are holding the Baltics to Europe, and these businesses are looking to expand. A recent survey found that the majority of German businesses that operate in the area are planning on expanding and creating jobs: “In Estonia about a third of the participating companies plan to hire new employees this year. In Latvia it is 25 percent, in Lithuania even 40 percent” (bbn, April 11).

Germany understands the importance of the Baltics. As Stratfor noted (March 11),

With a population of just over 2 million people and a gross domestic product of $37 billion, Latvia is important not for its size but for its location. Situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea and in the heart of the North European Plain, Latvia has been contested by larger powers, such as Russia, Germany and Sweden, throughout its history.

There most certainly is a power struggle going on right now over the Baltics, and Germany seems to have the upper hand.

Breaking Its Ties to Russia

As the Baltics push for more integration with Europe, they are slowly working to limit their reliance on Russia. In 2004, after the Baltics joined the EU, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom announced it was going to raise the price of natural gas it sold to the Baltics. Because Russia has had a monopoly over natural gas supplies in the Baltics, and much of Eastern Europe, it has been free to overcharge on the gas it sells. Although Baltic states like Lithuania, following the lead of many other European nations, have spoken out against the high prices Russia charges, Russia has shown in the past that it is willing to play hard ball in the pricing arena—witness its past shenanigans in Ukraine and during past winters when it has cut supply to Europe to pressure agreement on price. Still, with the EU constantly seeking alternative supplies of energy such as via the Caspian region, Russia may soon have to become more malleable on pricing its energy exports. One of its prime levers in its Balkan foreign policy will then be weakened.

It’s not just reliance on Russian energy that the Balkans are trying to limit—it’s Russian culture as well. In March, Stratfor reported, “Latvian Culture Minister Zaneta Jaunzeme-Grende issued a statement urging Latvian citizens to speak Latvian, not Russian, when addressing the media.” Latvia has been making a concerted effort to limit Russia’s influence. In February last year, a referendum held in Latvia to decide if Russian should be Latvia’s second official language was overwhelmingly opposed, with nearly 75 percent of voters voting “no.”

Though almost 30 percent of Latvia’s population is comprised of ethnic Russians, it has worked to limit the amount of influence Russia has in their country. In the last federal election, three Latvian political parties formed a coalition to prevent Latvia’s pro-Russian political party, Harmony Center, from leading the government, despite the fact that Harmony Center controlled more seats in the Latvian Parliament than any of the other parties.

Signs seem to indicate that the Baltics are moving away from Russia in favor of Europe. This goes against their normal historical allegiance, albeit that allegiance was not always a willing one. Is the line drawn in the Baltics? Are they going to go to Europe this time?

An Overlooked Factor

We can see the Baltics are moving away from Russia both economically and politically, but there is also an additional factor that can help us see which way the Baltics could align: Bible prophecy.

Those who are familiar with history and Bible prophecy know the effect religion and the Holy Roman Empire have had and will have on this world. Since its inception, Roman Catholicism has always had an influence in European politics. When Justinian restored the Roman Empire under its new title of the Holy Roman Empire in a.d. 554, the influence of Catholicism grew exponentially, as it was now backed by political force. Bible prophecy shows the Holy Roman Empire is to arise one final time, in our day (read our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire to understand more).

Religion certainly could have a huge impact on drawing the Baltic nations away from Russia, which is largely Russian Orthodox or atheistic. The Baltics all have a measure of Catholicism or Protestantism in them that would certainly cause them to be drawn more to Catholic Europe. Nearly 80 percent of Lithuania’s population is Roman Catholic; Latvia’s and Estonia’s populations are not as religious, and the portion that is, is either Protestant or Orthodox. But this too fits with Bible prophecy. For years the Trumpet has prophesied that these “daughter” churches in Europe (Protestants, Anglicans, Orthodox)––which originally came out of the Catholic Church––would return back to the Catholic fold. Could that be part of what brings Latvia and Estonia over to Europe?

As the Holy Roman Empire continues its rise in Europe, watch for a clear line to be drawn between it and Russia. Nations stuck in between will be forced to choose sides. It appears that the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have chosen to stand with Europe this time.

The rise of the Holy Roman Empire is leading to some very troubling times that are going to affect every single person on Earth. Jesus Christ said that if He didn’t intervene in world affairs, there wouldn’t be a single person left alive on this Earth (Matthew 24:22). What we see developing in Europe today will cause a lot of this destruction. But thankfully, Christ says He will return to stop man from destroying himself and usher in a time of unending peace and happiness.

To understand what is happening in Europe, be sure to read Germany and the Holy Roman Empire and Daniel Unlocks Revelation.