A Nation of Hamburger Flippers and Barmaids

A Nation of Hamburger Flippers and Barmaids

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Despite more jobs being added, the economy is not improving.

Economists were disappointed on Friday. The Labor Department’s monthly job report showed that only 162,000 new jobs were added in July, short of what analysts had expected. The fact that the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent didn’t cause any celebrations either because the decline was due in large part to discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force and no longer looking for work.

Once again, as has been the trend for much of the year, it was low-income jobs that made up the majority of the jobs created. While only 4,000 goods-producing jobs were added to the economy in July, 38,400 waitress and bartender jobs were added. As Zero Hedge reports, there have been 10 times more waiter and bartender jobs added to the economy this year than manufacturing jobs.

“Really we have become a nation of hamburger flippers, Wal-Mart sales associates, barmaids, checkout people and other people working at very low wages,” says Dan Alpert, managing partner at Westwood Capital. He went on to explain in an interview with Yahoo! Finance that when people come off unemployment, which works out to about $12 an hour when you include food stamps, and they go and get a job that only pays $15 an hour, the economy isn’t going to grow: “A $15 wage to work has no impact … you’re not increasing consumption or the ability [of workers] to go out and buy stuff.”

One of the most concerning trends is the continued slowdown of the manufacturing sector. The Labor Department’s report noted, “Manufacturing employment was essentially unchanged in July and has changed little, on net, over the past 12 months.” Only 18,000 factory jobs have been created in the previous year.

Not only are the jobs being created low-paying ones, many of them are part-time as well. The New York Post reported that 70 percent of the jobs created so far in 2013 are part-time jobs. Other news outlets have reported that up to 77 percent of the jobs created this year have been part-time jobs.

Instead of finding out why so many jobs are low paying, politicians and community organizers are now pushing to simply legislate higher wages. Last week, a few thousand fast-food workers went on strike in seven cities across the U.S. in demand that some fast food chains raise their minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour.

If it were only that simple. The first thing to result from legislating a higher minimum wage is that unemployment will increase. Any companies that are barely profitable at current wages, will go out of business. Other businesses will choose to automate jobs, and lay off employees. Businesses that are able, will pass on cost increases to consumers—which will leave consumers with less money to spend elsewhere, and thus hurting other companies. In other words, raising minimum wages creates more unemployment, which hurts poor people—the exact opposite of what is intended.

While low-paying jobs are better than no jobs, the economy isn’t going to surge forward any time soon if low-wage, part-time jobs are the only kind being created. America needs to get back to creating products of value that other people want, especially products that can be sold to foreign nations. Politicians and community organizers need to get out of the way so that people can get back to producing.

Sadly, the current trend isn’t about to change. Bible prophecy says the economy is going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

The simple truth is that America has lost the single most important thing that made it great. American ingenuity, resilience, and manufacturing prowess were all factors in America becoming the most prosperous nation in the world, but they were not the most important. It was God who provided America with its greatness and abundance of wealth. Now that same God is allowing those blessings to be replaced with curses because America has refused to keep the laws that He commands. You can learn more about that in our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

But there is good news in all of this. All of these financial woes precede the greatest event in the history of the universe: the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth to bring blessings and financial prosperity to all men. You can read about that incredibly hopeful and prosperous world in The Wonderful World Tomorrow.

America the Fearful

America the Fearful

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The creation of fear in the enemy camp is a potent weapon of Islamist terror. America has succumbed to this tactic.

Over the weekend I started to pen this article, under the headline above, motivated by a mixture of indignation, shame and real anger. I stopped writing halfway through as I thought my mood might unduly affect my writing.

Then I noticed that at least one commentator had the fortitude to observe the overarching truth about the American administration’s reaction to current fears of terror attack on its embassies and consulates.

U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert hit the button right on the head when he inferred that an appropriate showing of force at embassy sites under threat means that “‘you don’t have to close your embassies like a bunch of cowards that go running away’ …. Gohmert said the U.S. should have held its ground and warned that Obama’s actions might actually invite an attack, as he recalled former President Bill Clinton’s failure to take action after U.S. Embassy bombings during his term” (Newsmax, August 5).

Having noted the congressman’s courageous words, I decided, in a calmer—yet no less indignant—mood, to proceed to highlight Washington’s shameful reaction to this threat, and its profound prophetic connection as propounded by our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry.

In an unbelievably cowardly reaction, the U.S. government closed its embassies and consulates in Mideast and North African Muslim countries over the weekend based on the fear of imminent attack by al Qaeda.

An Associated Press report indicated that “State Department officials said Thursday that they were taking action out of an ‘abundance of caution’” (August 1).

Can you believe this?

The country that almost 70 years ago took the fight to the enemy in two great theaters of action—Europe and the Pacific—and with the help of Allied support vanquished the threat of tyrannical rule over the planet, now shuts its embassies and consulates based on an “unspecified fear” out of a declared “abundance of caution”!

What a cowardly signal to send to our enemies!

The State Department’s decision to shut the offices of its diplomatic representatives effectively meant a worldwide shutdown on Sunday due to U.S. embassies and consulates normally closing on Sundays in non-Muslim countries.

In better days under a far, far better administration than that of today, President Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed: “The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”

The current American administration has shown that it has descended to a cowardly “safety-first instead of duty-first” diplomacy by its closure of the offices of its overseas representatives under the mere “threat” of attack.

Though the words may be time worn, the courageous rallying cry by Winston Churchill to his nation in the time of its greatest enemy threat ring powerfully in the wake of this latest reaction of fear by the United States: “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

The embassies of the United States are considered U.S. territory in any foreign country. By the closure of its embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa, Washington is sending a very clear signal of capitulation to fear under enemy threat, instead of a courageous willingness to defend its diplomatic territory at all costs.

This latest fearful reaction by the U.S. administration is sending a very clear signal of American weakness to all its enemies. We shall rue the day this cowardly decision was made and acted upon.

Congress itself has sent a signal to the world that it now supports a foreign policy of “safety-first instead of duty-first.” The Washington Post reported, “Rattled lawmakers in both parties applauded President Obama’s decision to shutter two dozen U.S. diplomatic posts across the Middle East and North Africa this weekend, calling the threat of a fresh terrorist attack credible, specific and the most alarming in years” (August 4).

The intriguing thing about all this is that the closures were made apparently without any knowledge of any specifics concerning any terror attack. The Post referred to the closures resulting from “warnings of a possible terrorist plot” (ibid).

So we now cut and run at the merest hint of a possible terrorist attack?

Time was when gunboat diplomacy was a very real tool in the Anglo-Saxons foreign-policy kit.

All that Britain or America had to do if threatened by an enemy nation was roll up to its door with a show of force and point their guns in that direction.

It really worked.

The plain fact is, if a nation is going to reject its God, the only human way to put the enemy to the chase is by a show of superior physical force.

Yet, full well the prophecy has come to pass that we have lost the pride in our power. In losing that pride we have simply lost the political will to face down our enemy.

The most timely prophecies that are being fulfilled by the closure of U.S. diplomatic offices in the wake of this “possible terrorist plot,” though inspired millennia ago, leap now into clear focus as the Anglo-Saxon nations increasingly live them out at this very moment.

The Eternal God, creator of humankind, prophesied specifically of the Anglo-Saxon nations and their natural ethnic affiliate allies that if they rejected their God, He would “appoint over you terror …. [A]nd ye shall flee when none pursueth you. … I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:14-19).

The Creator also prophesied that, due to national rebellion against God, He would “cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shall be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth” (Deuteronomy 28:25).

Yes, the final result of cowardly diplomacy is slavery under the enemy boot heel!

Our editor in chief juxtaposes the terrible short-term outcome of our rebellion against God with the long-term good that awaits the end of His punishment of our nations for their rebellion against Him:

Iran and terrorists are preying on our weakness. State-sponsored terrorism exists because of our weakness!But even if we don’t change our evil ways, this is all leading directly to the return of Jesus Christ. That is the best possible news this world could ever hear! This evil world of terrorism and war is about to end forever. It will soon be replaced by a world full of prosperity and peace. Then all mankind will understand and be fulfilling their incredible human potential.

Pray God He hastens that day!

Read The United States and Britain in Prophecy and The King of the South for urgent insight into these prophecies of the moment.

Al Qaeda Is Back

Al Qaeda Is Back

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Radical Islam is back on the offensive.

It’s been over two years already since Osama bin Laden was killed.

Back then, the narrative seemed simple. Al Qaeda attacked the United States on September 11. America responded with overwhelming force, and despite some pretty big mistakes, al Qaeda was on the run. All that was left was for America to dig al Qaeda’s leaders out of their foxholes and shoot them—just like they had done with bin Laden.

This last 16 days destroyed that narrative. Here’s a quick recap:

July 22: Al Qaeda in Iraq attacks two key prisons, freeing up to 800, many of them hardened terrorists.

July 27: Al Qaeda frees over 1,000 in an attack on a prison in Benghazi.

July 29: Al Qaeda and other Islamists free over 250 imprisoned in northwest Pakistan.

August 4: U.S. closes 21 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa over fears of an al Qeada attack.

August 6: The United Kingdom and U.S. pull their diplomatic staff out of Yemen and urge their citizens to leave.

Al Qaeda is back, and it just busted an army out of prison. There’s no doubt it is a major threat to the West. The Middle East and North Africa will once again dominate the headlines. Here’s your guide to the terror networks in the region.

Northern Africa is turning into a battleground with enormously important prophetic implications,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the April issue of our magazine.

This battle has received little media attention. Occasionally, a major crisis like Mali gets headlines for a short while, but how often do you hear about Sudan, Niger or the Central African Republic?

“Iran has designs on being the strongest power throughout the region,” Mr. Flurry wrote, “and is extending its reach throughout North Africa.” Despite the lack of attention, this is one of the biggest new stories of the moment.

“Iran isn’t the only one interested in Africa,” Mr. Flurry continued. “Germany is making strong inroads as well. Both of these powers are racing to get as much control of North Africa as they can.”

You need to understand Iran’s power grab in Africa and where it is leading.

Fingerprints Throughout the Region

“Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism and Hezbollah’s terrorist activity have reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s, with attacks plotted in Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa,” wrote the U.S. State Department in its “Country Reports on Terrorism 2012,” published in late May. News sources have noticed the same thing, with articles like “Out of Iran, Into Africa: Hezbollah’s scramble for Africa” appearing in Israel’s left-wing paper Haaretz.

But this goes far beyond Hezbollah. From the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi to rebel forces in central Africa, Iran’s own fingerprints can be found in militias across the continent.

The Iranians are also orchestrating a huge flow of armaments into Africa. Conflict Armament Research last year published the results of a six-year investigation of the trade in ammunition from Iran in nine African countries. The organization noted that “until recently most international observers would have described Iran’s role in this market as negligible to nonexistent.” Not anymore. “Although a recent entrant, Iran’s ammunition ‘footprint’ is widespread,” it concluded.

Although this organization focused mainly on small-caliber ammunition, it also found “clear evidence of Iran’s role in supplying a range of other ordnance to the continent, including mines, explosive light weapons, and larger conventional arms and ammunition.”

Other observers point to Iran’s efforts to woo African governments. In a paper titled “Africa: Iran’s Final Frontier?” Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, wrote, “Tehran sees many of Africa’s 54 countries as easy picking” (April 17).

“This outreach takes many guises and is geared toward specific diplomatic and military purposes that could challenge U.S. aims across Africa,” Rubin wrote. “In comparison with recent American presidents, who made just three visits to sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade, [former] Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad travels to Africa at least annually, with key Iranian ministers visiting even more frequently.”

Iran’s Target

Rubin outlined three main goals in Iran’s outreach to Africa: 1) to win support in multinational institutions like the United Nations; 2) to establish a string of naval bases to expand the nation’s maritime presence; and 3) to find sources for uranium.

He described how Iran has reached out to African nations that are non-permanent members of the UN Security Council or that serve on the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea).

For years, Iran has supplied South Africa with cheap oil. Quid pro quo, when the iaea found in February 2008 that Iran was violating two Security Council resolutions as it continued to enrich uranium, South Africa prevented the Security Council from imposing further sanctions.

When Gabon became a temporary member of the Security Council, Iran courted the nation with a flurry of activity. And Gabon used its Council seat to support Iran’s nuclear program.

But Mr. Flurry has spotlighted a larger goal of Iran’s push: confronting Europe, especially European trade. In his April 2011 article “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy,” Mr. Flurry explained how Iran is gaining influence along the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Why? These two seas “comprise the most important trade route in the world!” he wrote. He warned that Iran will push at Europe “probably from its trade route power.”

What kind of power does Iran have?

Europe gets a great deal of its oil and gas from the Middle East and North Africa. Much of it comes through the Straits of Hormuz, the Suez Canal and through pipelines across Iraq. But pipelines from Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco also carry natural gas into Europe. Several European companies want to support a project to build a gas pipeline from Nigeria to Algeria so Europe can get more of its natural gas from Africa.

To disrupt this trade, Iran doesn’t need to take over the governments of the countries along the route. Pipelines are easy to break. Narrow straits of water can be strewn with mines, making it too expensive to insure ships to cross them. If Iran can gain enough power in these areas—a goal it is working toward—it can hold Europe to ransom.

Russia famously brought Ukraine back to heel during the winter of 2008-09 by cutting off its natural gas supplies. Iran could soon have the same power over Europe. In 2011, nearly 37 percent of the eurozone’s oil imports came from or through Middle Eastern and African nations vulnerable to Iranian disruption. At the same time, a quarter of eurozone gas imports came from or through these areas. With control of these areas, Iran could shut off more of Europe’s natural gas than Russia.

When we examine southern European countries on their own, we see an even more disturbing picture. In Spain, 54 percent of crude oil and 77 percent of gas imports are vulnerable to Iranian disruption. In Italy, it’s 48 percent of oil and 46 percent of gas. (A few years ago, before Libya’s oil and gas output plummeted, this dependency was even greater.)

Iran is expanding the reach of its terrorist activities and creating goodwill with African nations to further spread its ability to strike at Europe. It’s a murky game that’s run, in part, by Iran’s secret service.

Not all the facts are readily available. But Iran clearly has an extensive network—including rebel groups, rogue states and Islamists—throughout Africa. They are certainly capable of pushing back against Europe’s expansion in the continent and threatening the West’s access to Africa’s wealth of raw materials.

Hezbollah

Hezbollah is one of Iran’s most important tools in this battle. The Shiite terrorist group is active throughout the world, but especially in northwest Africa. Over a century ago, a large number of Shia Muslims from Lebanon migrated to the area. Hundreds of thousands now live there, providing an excellent recruiting ground for Hezbollah.

Today, northwest Africa is a vital fundraising hub. Hezbollah collects donations from its Shia supporters, and also makes money through the drug and “blood diamond” trades, extortion and, in some cases, legitimate businesses.

Iran also appears to be building up weapons caches throughout the area for Hezbollah to use, should Tehran want the organization to become more active. Nigerian authorities arrested four Hezbollah agents in northern Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano, between May 16 and 28. The operatives had thousands of rounds of ammunition and a small arsenal of weapons.

Just days earlier, on May 13, two men were sentenced to five years in prison for their involvement in a 2010 plot to ship 240 metric tonnes of heavy weapons and ammunition to Gambia. One of the men, Azim Aghajani, is believed to be a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ infamous Quds Force. Conflict Armament Research reports that this could have been the third such shipment.

In February, Nigerian authorities arrested three men they accused of being members of an Iranian-trained terrorist cell that planned to attack U.S. and Israeli targets.

It has become clear, Haaretz concluded, “that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has become a hotbed for Iranian/Hezbollah terrorist activities” (June 17).

But Nigeria isn’t Hezbollah’s only base of operations in Africa. In June, the U.S. Treasury Department identified four men—one in Sierra Leone, one in Senegal and two in the Ivory Coast—as Hezbollah leaders in their respective areas, responsible for transferring funds to the organization.

We have yet to see Hezbollah’s full capabilities in Africa. The terrorists have been caught smuggling and hoarding weapons, but not using them. These individuals remain an asset that Iran can call upon at will. Working in conjunction with other terrorist groups or rebel armies, Hezbollah could do more than carry out terrorist attacks. It has the potential to destabilize nations.

Al Qaeda Affiliate Groups

The relationship between Iran and al Qaeda is dangerously misunderstood. Too many take false comfort in the Sunni/ Shia divide, arguing that these two could never work together because they come from different branches of Islam. The war in Syria, at first glance, supports this view. Al Qaeda sends its men and resources to support the rebels, while Iran and Hezbollah prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad. But the truth is that the al Qaeda/Iran relationship is much more complicated.

The Sunni-Shia divide is real and significant. But Iran and al Qaeda’s hatred for the West is even more powerful. The two groups have fought in the past—but they have also patched things up and fought the West together. Moreover, al Qaeda is not a unified bloc, but rather a loose coalition of militants fighting under the same brand name. A local commander in North Africa doesn’t care who Iran is fighting in Syria, provided he gets the weapons he wants.

Al Qaeda and Iran maintain a cozy relationship, according to U.S. Treasury Department reports. In the summer of 2011, the Treasury announced that the U.S. had uncovered an al Qaeda network operating inside Iran under an agreement with the Iranian government. “Iran is a critical transit point for funding to support al Qaeda’s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” it wrote.

“Al Qaeda’s core financial pipeline—which runs from Kuwait and Qatar, through Iran, to Pakistan—depends upon an agreement between al Qaeda and the Iranian government to allow this network to operate within its borders,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in his October 2011 written testimony (emphasis added throughout).

The next February, the Treasury reported that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security “has facilitated the movement of al Qaeda operatives in Iran and provided them with documents, identification cards, and passports.” The Treasury said that Iran had “also provided money and weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq (aqi) … and negotiated prisoner releases of aqi operatives.”

Then again in October 2012, Cohen unveiled new material that highlighted “Iran’s ongoing complicity in this network’s operation.” At this point, the Syrian conflict was well underway. Yet Iran and al Qaeda were still working together.

“Under the terms of the agreement between al Qaeda and Iran, al Qaeda must refrain from conducting any operations within Iranian territory and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities informed of their activities,” wrote the Treasury Department. “In return, the government of Iran gave the Iran-based al Qaeda network freedom of operation and uninhibited ability to travel for extremists and their families.”

What will be the fruits of this relationship?

These kinds of links can often take years to fully uncover. Last November, a Washington District Court heard that Iran trained the al Qaeda operatives behind the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya. Have more recent attacks in Africa been carried out as a joint venture between al Qaeda and Iran? It took 14 years for Iran’s involvement in the Kenya bombings to become public. It may take time before all the facts are known, but already there’s some good evidence that Iran had a hand in the Benghazi attack.

In May, Egyptian authorities arrested three militants armed with 22 pounds of explosives and bomb-making equipment. Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim told journalists that the group had received instructions from an al Qaeda leader called Dawoud al Asadi—an alias for the leader of al Qaeda in Iran. To cement the connection even further, Ibrahim said that one of the three terrorists had received military training in Iran.

Ibrahim said that Asadi (aka Fadhli) told the terrorists to get in touch with a group known as “the Nasr City Cell”—an Egyptian-based group, which has now been rounded up, with strong connections to both al Qaeda and the Benghazi attack.

Al Qaeda in Iran was working with some of the planners of the Benghazi attack.

Under its agreement with Iran, al Qaeda had to keep the Iranian government up to date with its activities. Did Iran merely know about the Benghazi attack, or was it a key part of it? As with the attack on the embassies in Kenya, the proof might not emerge for years.

But in another part of Africa, there is, almost literally, a smoking gun. In September 2011, the Nigerien military captured weapons and ammunition from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (aqim). It included ammunition that Conflict Armament Research identified as originating in Iran.

In May 2012, the Nigeriens intercepted a shipment of weapons that also contained Iranian-manufactured ammunition. To the east, in Somalia, al Shabaab also maintains strong links to Iran and is affiliated with al Qaeda.

Iran’s patronage of al Shabaab’s predecessor, the Islamic Courts Union (icu), is clear. The United Nations monitoring group in Somalia discovered several instances of Iran supplying it with weapons, including surface-to-air missiles.

Around the same time, the icu sent 720 of its best fighters to Lebanon to fight alongside Hezbollah. Some of the fighters stayed after the fighting for advanced training. In return, Hezbollah arranged for Iran and Syria to give the icu some extra support.

Since then, the icu has changed its name to al Shabaab and became the official Somalian wing of al Qaeda. But Iran’s support has continued. In July, UN monitors reported that Iran could be using illegal fishing boats to ship weapons to al Shabaab.

It also reported that the African Union’s mission in Somalia had captured several “nearly new” rocket-propelled grenade (rpg) launchers that “closely resemble Iranian-manufactured” launchers. Monitors are also investigating a ship seized in January in Yemen that was packed with weapons and fuel. The UN believes some of that cargo could have been bound for Somalia.

On their own, each of these incidentsof cooperation between al Qaeda and Iran would be interesting, though not conclusive. Together they paint a pattern of broad cooperation across Africa and the Middle East.

Hezbollah and al Qaeda are undoubtedly the two most powerful terrorist groups in the world. By working together with Iran’s support, they have nation destroying potential.

Sudan

“Sudan is the pivot of Iran-Africa relations,” Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said during an official visit to the country in 2008. It was no exaggeration: No country is more important to Iran’s infiltration of Africa right now than Sudan. The relationship is long and deep, and it allows Iran to reach beyond its traditional Islamist terrorist groups to the more secular rebel groups of central Africa.

In 1989, Sunni Islamists took over Sudan in a coup. The Sunni/Shia split did not prevent them from forming a close relationship with Iran quickly. In 1991, Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani travelled to Sudan with over 150 officials, promising $17 million in weapons and training, arranging for the delivery of $300 million in Chinese weapons, and forging an enduring alliance. Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards soon poured into Sudan, setting up hundreds of training camps. Sudan went on to base its army on the Revolutionary Guards.

Since then, Iranian-Sudanese ties have remained strong. Conflict Armament Research reports that besides “large-scale supplies of weapons and ammunition from Iran to Sudan,” there is “growing evidence to suggest that the government of Sudan manufactures weapons of Iranian design, operates weapons production facilities with Iranian assistance and supplies Iranian-manufactured weapons to forces allied to it in the region.”

The Revolutionary Guards still operate out of Sudan, recent reports indicate. The Telegraph reported in September 2011 that members of the Guards’ elite Quds Force based in Sudan traveled to Libya after Muammar Qadhafi’s fall to capture some of his advanced weaponry.

Beyond being a close ally, Sudan is also Iran’s link with a host of rebel groups and militias. Conflict Armament Research wrote that “a growing number of Iranian weapons are in service with Khartoum backed militia forces in Darfur and South Sudan.” Iranian weapons have also been found, alongside Sudanese ones, with the Forces Républicaines Fédéralistes, a rebel group in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sudan maintains close links with several rebel groups in the area, which it uses in proxy wars with its surrounding nations. This includes the infamous Lord’s Resistant Army. Sudan could easily use these links to help Iran reach beyond its relationships with Islamist groups and ally with the militias operating in the heart of Africa.

Sudan has also supported rebel groups in Chad. As instability spills over from Libya, Sudan could use these groups to try to overthrow the Western-aligned government there.

Eritrea

Eritrea’s relationship with Iran is more complicated. Eritrea’s government is strictly secular, and radical Islam is outlawed. But the two countries have been brought together by their support for the same military groups.

Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a war from 1998 to 2001. Since then the two have continued a proxy war, with Eritrea backing anti-Ethiopia militias, including al Shabaab. As these militias tend to be Islamist, and Ethiopia is an American ally, this puts Eritrea on the side of Iran, against the U.S.

Paradoxically, Eritrea also has an improving relationship with Israel. Its alliance with Iran is based on pragmatism rather than ideological compatibility. But Iran still benefits. Beyond channeling weapons to terrorist groups allied with Iran, Eritrea allows Iran to dock at its port of Assab. Stratfor reported that Eritrea made a deal with Iran in 2008 for Iran to station troops there in exchange for money and military support.

Eritrea’s location at the entrance to the Red Sea makes it strategically important. An Iranian presence there allows Tehran to threaten Red Sea shipping and open a key gateway for Iranian arms traffic into Africa.

Kenya

Iran has good trade ties with Kenya, as well as a limited military relationship. “[I]t is clear that the government of Kenya imported very large quantities of Iranian ammunition—probably in the range of millions of rounds,” probably between 2003 and 2006. Conflict Armament Research concluded. After sampling ammunition used by the Kenya Police and Kenya Police Reserves, it found 70 percent to have originated in Iran.

Iranian terrorists also operate within Kenya. In early May, two Iranians were sentenced to life imprisonment after being caught with explosives and accused of planning bombings in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Central African Republic

Since Islamists took over the country in March 2013, the Central African Republic (car) has held great potential for Iran as an ally. Seleka (meaning “union”) rebels deposed the French-supported government and gave the presidency to Michel Djotodia.

Release International, an organization that monitors religious persecution of Christians, reported that the rebels “are targeting pastors and other Christian workers, and attacking and looting Christian places of worship and homes. … There have also been reports of Christians being tied up, beaten and forced to hand over money to save their lives.”

Djotodia has already traveled to Sudan to meet President Omar al-Bashir. Afterward, Sudan announced that the two countries would revive a joint defense force to secure their border and pledged support and training for the car’s army.

If the relationship grows, the car would be a valuable transit point, allowing Iran to move men and munitions from Sudan to West Africa.

Nigeria

Nigeria is another potential powder keg for Iran. In northern Nigeria, the al Qaeda-affiliated group Boko Haram is spreading chaos. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three of Nigeria’s 36 states on May 15 after a series of attacks by the group. Government officials report that 19,000 farmers have fled their homes due to attacks and threats from Boko Haram.

Borno state agriculture commissioner Usman Zannah warns that the region is now expecting serious food shortages.

Hezbollah is also strong in Nigeria. After the previously mentioned Hezbollah operatives were arrested in May, Nigerian authorities warned, for the first time, that Hezbollah and Boko could be cooperating. Nigeria also hosts its own homegrown version of Hezbollah. After the 1979 Iranian revolution, members of Nigeria’s Muslim Student Society traveled to Iran, where they were trained to repeat the revolution in Nigeria, according to Dawit Giorgis, a visiting fellow at the Washington-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. These students formed the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (imn), which “flourished with cash, training and support from Iran,” he wrote in an article for cnn (June 14).

“The imn has provided Hezbollah-style military training to hundreds of Nigerians in camps throughout northern Nigeria,” he wrote. “And although the group has yet to launch an attack, it is surely not unreasonable to expect an attempt at some point. As Muhammad Kabir Isa, asenior researcher at Nigeria’s Ahmadu Bello University, told the bbc: ‘When you embark on military drills, you are drilling with some sort of anticipation. Some sort of expectation.’”

Giorgis also warned that the leader of the imn “has reportedly worked to ensure that his members are recruited into the army, the police force and the state security establishment.”

Iran has plenty of resources in Nigeria. It is just waiting to mobilize them. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and its largest producer of crude oil. Destabilizing it would hurt Europe. To do this, Iran doesn’t need to launch a coup or take over the country. It merely needs to create an environment that is too risky for Western oil companies.

Gambia and Senegal

Iran has been beaten badly in Gambia and Senegal. At the start of 2010, relations between Iran and these two nations were great. Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh, had long been a friend of Iran, defending its nuclear program. Senegal, too, had supported Iran’s nuclear program, after Iran had supported its oil industry and promised to build an $80 million car assembly plant.

But all this came to an abrupt end after Iran was caught smuggling weapons on a ship that stopped over in Nigeria in October 2010. The next month, Gambia cut all ties with Iran, ended all joint projects and gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave. The next year, Senegal followed suit, accusing Iran of trying to send the weapons to Senegalese rebels.

What really happened? Iran may have been trying to have its cake and eat it too—cultivating close relations with the two countries’ leaders while at the same time selling weapons to their enemies.

Alternatively, the arms could have been meant for government forces. Iran is under a UN arms embargo. Rather than admit to violating the embargo, Gambia may have decided to cut ties with Iran and deny all knowledge of the shipment.

Either way, the discovery of the shipment was a victory for whichever intelligence agency (presumably) tipped off the Nigerian authorities and cut short Iran’s budding relationships. The incident perhaps sheds light on the intelligence battle going on between Iran and Western agencies in Africa.

Guinea

While little has been discussed publicly of Iran-Guinea ties, Guinean forces have been found using Iranian ammunition, probably in violation of the UN arms embargo, based on ammunition discovered by Amnesty International researchers.

Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso

Iran appears to be arming rebels in the north Ivory Coast via Burkina Faso. In 2009, UN monitors reported that over half a million rounds of ammunition had been smuggled to the rebels from Burkina Faso. Conflict Armament Research identified the ammunition as Iranian. Sudanese ammunition was discovered alongside it, indicating that it had traveled to Burkina Faso via Sudan—further evidence that Sudan is a central hub for Iran’s North African efforts. Conflict Armament Research also found evidence that Iran had sent two shipments of weapons to the forces of Ivory Coast President Laurent Ggagbo, either before or after he was ousted from office.

With shipments from Burkina Faso traveling to both Ivory Coast rebels and al Qaeda in the Islam Maghreb, it appears that Burkina Faso is a regional distribution center for Iranian weapons, with or without permission of the government.

The New Great Game

One hundred years ago, Britain and Russia fought what became known as “the Great Game” over control of Central Asia. The prizes included a land route to India, lucrative trade deals and access to any resources that could be discovered.

Today, some people speak of a new colonization of Africa. But that’s not accurate. As Europe gets more involved, it isn’t sending thousands of settlers to rule the continent. Instead, we are seeing a new “Great Game.”

Europe needs access to Africa’s resources. Iran wants to be able to cut off those resources, even for just a short time. So Germany arms friendly governments to fight Islamists. France, Germany’s ally, stays closely involved in the politics of its former colonies, maintaining military bases and even backing coups.

Germany is also looking for allies as it prepares to confront Iran, and bases it can use to push Iran back.

Meanwhile, Iran looks for friends among nations the West has rejected or ignored. It funnels weapons to its terrorist allies as it tries to exploit weaknesses in the nations Europe supports.

In Mali, the “game” turned into war. How involved Iran was is unknown. The fall of Qadhafi in Libya sent a torrent of weapons into the area. The rise of al Qaeda in Mali suited Iran’s agenda, but its assistance wasn’t really needed.

Algeria could be the next flash point. There, 76-year-old President Abdel Aziz Bouteflika is Algeria’s longest ever serving president. He suffered a mini-stroke in April and may not live much longer. His death could give the Islamists a chance to take over.

That is why Germany has been hugely supportive of Algeria’s military. It plans to sell Algeria $10 billion of weapons over the next decade.

The last part of Daniel 11:40 describes a clash between the “king of the north” and the “king of the south” that begins the chain of events that leads to Christ’s return. Right now, in Africa, both of these powers are preparing for that clash. In fact, they’re already clashing in Mali and Algeria. The Great Game is played primarily by individuals out of the public eye. In how many other countries are Iranian and European agents vying for control?

In his article in April, Mr. Flurry called these clashes a “prelude to the fulfilment of this prophecy.” This is what the “game” in North Africa is all about. These two powers are preparing to fight—they are jockeying for position. Once the situation comes to blows, Iran wants to be able to cut off the resources Europe desperately needs, strangling its economy. Meanwhile, Germany wants to be able to quickly take control of the region.

A great prophecy of your Bible is about to be fulfilled!” wrote Mr. Flurry in April. “You need to watch what is happening in the Middle East and Africa!” Nowhere can you see the buildup to World War iii more clearly than in North Africa. The media may ignore it, but the events in this region give a powerful warning to the world.

In the silent war in Africa, we see a preview of the conflict that is about to ignite world war.

Islam—the Radicalization of Central Asia

Islam—the Radicalization of Central Asia

Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

Islamic extremism is spreading rapidly in Central Asia in the wake of a crisis in governance. Where is it leading?

Islam is not only a religion. It is a political movement. It’s a movement that is gathering strength rapidly in one of the most strategic regions of the world—Central Asia.

If one looks at a map of Central Asia, its strategic importance—politically, militarily, economically—particularly in respect of the Silk Road rail link from China to the industrial heartland of Germany, and especially in respect of oil politics—becomes immediately obvious.

Most particularly, this applies to Europe, Russia and China, three of the regions vying to fill the trade, political and security vacuum increasingly being left behind in the wake of the descent of the Anglo-Saxon societies. This relates especially to the drawdown of the U.S. military presence from theaters in proximity to Central Asia.

A study by the Swiss-based think tank International Relations and Security Network highlights this.

In a recent paper, analyst Dr. Arne Seifert of the center for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (osce), headquartered in Vienna, observes that political Islam in Central Asia poses a danger to peace due to the lack of any moderate counterweight to Islamist extremism.

Seifert argues that a catalyst to potential conflict in Central Asia is the impending withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from Afghanistan.

Pointing to past history, Dr. Seifert fears a repetition of extremist groups such as the Taliban rising to dominate northern Central Asia. He observes: “The question of what security-policy repercussions will result from the gradual transfer of political and military responsibility to the Afghan authorities from 2011, concerns foreign-policy circles in the Central Asian states neighboring Afghanistan. Above all, they are worried about the consequences this could have for the power relationship between the Taliban and Tajik, Uzbek and other national groups in the north of Afghanistan and about which of them will gain the upper hand in the north. It has not been forgotten that the Taliban were once in power there from 1996/97 until 2001” (“Political Islam in Central Asia—Opponent or Democratic Partner?,” August 2).

There can be no doubt that this is a legitimate concern for those continuing to seek stabilization of post-Soviet Central Asia.

Taking note of current societal tensions within the region, Seifert states that, “considering the high backlog of socioeconomic and political problems in these countries, one must take into account that they can fall back on a significant mobilization potential in the Muslim-majority population. That this underground is aiming at a violent change in the power relationships is sufficiently known. Renewed domination by the Taliban in Afghanistan—even if it is only in the northern part of the country—could contribute to its mobilization” (ibid; emphasis added).

This is a major reason why we have consistently maintained that Germany cannot afford to withdraw its military presence from Afghanistan. As America has increasingly drawn down its military assets in the European, Middle Eastern and Central Asian regions, Germany has quietly—almost surreptitiously—established an increasing presence in the vacuum thus created.

The maintenance of a military presence by Germany in Afghanistan is crucial to its imperialist policy for expansion of the developing European Union empire it heads. Opponents of this view walk by sight alone, observing the relative smallness of Germany’s military forces in this region. They forget the speed with which Germany previously mobilized in an era without today’s instant satellite-driven communications, without refined, computerized industrial capacity, nor with all of Europe under its financial and economic domination.

Once having established a base of operations in a region of interest and planned with real foresight for expansion, it can be but a simple logistical exercise to boost military capacity almost overnight, especially given the organizational expertise of the Teutonic mind.

Those who walk by sight in observing these developments are not aware of the prophecy contained in 1 Thessalonians 5:3: “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” German elites have been careful to ensure that any publicity given to the overseas expansion of the nation’s military presence always bills it as part of its “peace missions.”

Our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, has previously demonstrated how since reunification, Germany has strategically positioned itself around its chief Islamic enemy—Iran—and the plumb in its Middle East foreign policy—Jerusalem.

As inferred earlier, control of Central Asia is crucial to the aims of not only a reviving imperialist Russia and an increasingly expansionist China, but, most especially, to a resurrecting Holy Roman Germanic imperial Europe.

In this respect, Dr. Seifert further notes that instability caused by the radicalization of Islamic Central Asia poses a particular challenge for the EU. “In a broader perspective, it matters that the ‘Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian Security Community,’ which was declared for the first time at the December 2010 osce Summit, cannot be realized as long as we do not succeed in upgrading the relationship to the ‘Islamic factor’ politically …. This is particularly the case for the critical space of the Caucasus, the Caspian Basin and Central Asia” (ibid).

But, with that challenge comes an opportunity.

Seifert observes, “This challenge could bring together all those powers who are interested in maintaining stability in the Eurasian space: secular and reformist Islamic powers in the region, the European body politic in general and especially the osce as the only comprehensive Eurasian organization for security and cooperation.”

That’s a classic Teutonic approach. Use the problem to create the opportunity to impose upon it the German elites’ imperial solution.

One intriguing aspect of the founding of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe is that the Vatican diplomat Cardinal Agostino Casaroli was chairman of the final stage of the founding conference of the body in 1975. Agostino was the Vatican secretary of state during much of Pope John Paul ii’s papacy, overseeing Vatican state matters during the crucial time of the implosion of the Soviet Union and reunification of Germany. Thus the osce, described by Dr. Seifert as “the only comprehensive Eurasian organization for security and cooperation,” had “Holy Roman” oversight from its beginning.

But why would the osce be so concerned about influencing the situation in Central Asia?

EU elites’ concerns about Central Asia once again lead us to refer to that ageless prophecy which declares that the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire will impose its presence by moving hegemonically south and east (Daniel 8:9).

Note that Central Asia lies south and east of Europe’s heartland.

The need to cooperate to find a solution to Central Asian destabilization will inevitably draw the foreign policies of Russia, China and Germany toward temporary consensus in imposing a solution acceptable to each.

But, of all three, the Caucasian Basin is especially crucial to Germany. That nation needs an alternative source of energy to enable it to be far less dependent upon Russian supply of oil and gas. On the other hand, Russia, given its vast territory, does not need the distraction of a radically Islamicized Central Asia. Its own negative experiences in Afghanistan are still too fresh in its mind.

Concerning the expansion of Islam, as with the case of Roman Catholicism, it has its greatest appeal today among the youth.

In excess of 2 million—Vatican sources estimate 3 million—gathered in Rio to hear Pope Francis’s farewell message at World Youth Day in late July.

By comparison, with respect to the influence of Islam on Central Asian youth, Seifert quotes research from a Russian study of Kazakhstan: “A growing number of not-yet ideologically consolidated youth and schoolchildren fall under the influence of preachers of a fundamentalist Islam,” the study said. “Within a foreseeable time, this can lead to the alienation of segments of the economic and politically important population potential of Kazakhstan and to the creation of a new generation of religious fanatics.”

Similar to Europe, youth unemployment in Central Asia is becoming endemic to today’s economic and social conditions. The youth unemployment rate in most of the Central Asian states is comparable to that of Spain and Greece—over 20 percent. Dr. Seifert notes that prevailing conditions of social dislocation such as obtain in Central Asia have “moved significant segments of the population to seek refuge in particular [Islamic] traditional structures, which are the only ones that still offer the ordinary population a certain degree of social security, personal honor and dignity. … Integral components of these structures are madrases, private Koran schools and other questionable forms of providing an Islamic education.”

Dr. Seifert speaks of the need for an effective counterweight to the spread of Islamic extremism in Central Asia.

The most obvious counterweight to the spread of Islamic extremism in Central Asia is Turkey. This is why the European Union has played cat and mouse with Ankara over the decades that nation has sought EU membership. Pope Benedict was adamant that the EU remain a Catholic club and gave no hope to Turkish aspirations to become an EU member. In fact, as he mused in his infamous Regensburg speech, he sees Islam as the enemy of “Christian” Europe.

Notwithstanding the Vatican’s stance, political Europe—especially Germany, its dominant EU member nation—realizes that good relations with Turkey—Germany’s World War i ally—are most necessary for the Anatolian Peninsula to be effectively used as a buffer between the spread of radical Islam northward and the realization of its imperialist goals.

So, what to watch for in Central Asia?

Watch for Germany, Russia and China to embrace a common policy to contain the expansion of Islamism.

Watch for Berlin and Ankara to step up their security and defense cooperation.

Watch for the rise of a religiously and politically based pan-European youth movement, under the combined ideological influence of Rome’s religion, Berlin’s nationalism, and the umbrella of the EU flag. Such an organized youth movement would serve two purposes—occupy the time of unemployed youth, and counter any appeal to youth that Islamic extremism may seek to expand into Europe from Central Asia.

Watch for rising Islamic extremism in Central Asia to provide a heightened catalyst to the reorganization of the European Union into a more united, aggressively militaristic, leaner and meaner 10-nation bloc yielding its power to Rome, ideologically, and to Berlin for its security and defense (Revelation 17:9-13).

Finally, as you watch, realize the powerful sign that these current events witness to the imminent fulfillment of the great prophecy in Revelation 17:14: “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

Tunisia: The Arab Spring 2.0

Tunisia: The Arab Spring 2.0

YAHYA GABOUS/AFP/Getty Images

Will tension in Tunisia lead to another Arab Spring?

The Tunisian government is coming apart at the seams—again, and in a fashion that’s now typical of the volatile Middle East. The birthplace of the wildly explosive Arab Spring that began in 2011 is facing another crisis that could result in the collapse of its current government.

This latest crisis follows a series of events that began to peak with the assassination of secular opposition lawmaker Mohammed Brahmi on July 25.

The moderate Islamist-led government in Tunisia has for over eight months been grappling with security incidents with Mali-linked, al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist insurgents in its Algerian border region. Defense cooperation between the two countries has been enhanced as a consequence.

On February 6, opposition politician Chokri Belaid was assassinated by unknown assailants, and on July 25, another opposition lawmaker, Mohammed Brahmi, was assassinated.

Most Tunisians, particularly the opposition parties and Tunisia’s General Labor Union, are blaming the current moderate Islamist-led coalition government for the assassinations, but the government is blaming Salafist terrorists. There is strong indication the Tunisian government is being truthful in its assessments. Think tank Stratfor’s analysis indicates that al Qaeda terrorists may have orchestrated the assassination to create a political crisis for the Tunisian government.

On July 12, prior to the latter assassination, Algeria had warned Tunisia and Libya of the increasing possibility of attacks from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (aqim), and a few days before the assassination, Tunisia had responded to the warning by arresting a leader of one of the terrorist cells known as Abou Fida. So al Qaeda also may have been involved in that assassination as a way of retaliating to the arrest of Abou Fida.

Whatever the truth on the matter, al Qaeda is taking full advantage of the political crisis and public outrage against the government over the assassination. On July 29, al Qaeda terrorists ambushed and savagely slaughtered eight Tunisian soldiers, leading to a military offensive by the Tunisian Army. All the while, opposition groups and Tunisia’s biggest labor union are calling for “million-man” protests and for the current administration in Tunis to step down.

A spokesman for Tunisia’s prime minister, Noureddine Bhiri, remarked, “We are facing two choices. Either we confront terrorism together, or we will distract the army and security forces with political battles that are much less dangerous than terrorism.” The birthplace of the Arab Spring is facing a dire crisis that recent Middle East history shows could easily result in the collapse of the government. The crisis could easily get out of hand. “Tunisia could become like Somalia. Other countries have the economic resources to fight terrorism, but we have nothing,” said former army general Rachid Ammar. “I see in Tunisia today signs that make me afraid and keep me from sleeping.”

What’s happening in Tunisia today is a sign of the prophesied radicalization of much of the Middle East. The Bible prophesies of a bloc of radical, Iranian-swayed Islamist nations in the Middle East posing a huge security threat to the world, particularly to neighboring Europe. It also indicates that the United States and Britain will be too weak to do much to stop radical Islam. Prophecy reveals how Europe will decisively respond to that threat, and how it will lead to the final global war that will precede the establishment of God’s Kingdom on Earth. For more understanding of Tunisia’s immediate future, download our free booklets The King of the South and Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy.

UK Homeless Numbers on the Rise

British charities warn that homelessness throughout the United Kingdom is increasing.

The number of young Britons sleeping on the streets is especially worrying. Centrepoint is a charity focused on helping young homeless people. It reported that up to 80,000 young people experience homelessness each year in the UK.

Government reports show that during the past 12 months more than 6,000 people slept on the streets of London. Sky News claims that more than half of those homeless are not from Britain.

National Theatre Director Nadia Fall spent months interviewing homeless youth in the UK.

[Soundbite: Nadia Fall, National Theatre director]

“There is seriously a whole generation that is not going to understand what it means to call somewhere your home, in the way that we do. Somewhere of your own, either to have, to own or even rent.”

Leo became one of the 6,000 homeless in London at age 18. He was forced to rely on the support of others for nine months.

[SOUNDBITE: Leo, last name not given]

“I feel lonely, I feel like I don’t really have a voice. I’m not really accountable for anything despite going to college, being in school and doing stuff like that, I still … you don’t really feel like a person.”

Britain’s economic recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis has been weak.

The Guardian reported in April that more than 20 million families in Britain receive some type of government assistance. Government benefits make up more than half of the household income for nearly 10 million families.

Within the next two years, around 60,000 households will have their government benefits reduced as more spending cuts are enforced. Combined with the increase in housing, the number of homeless threatens to rise.

It was only a century ago that the British Empire was the most powerful in the world. What happened to this once great nation? Will it return to its former prosperity? To learn the answer to these questions, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy.