Japan Unveils Biggest Warship Since WWII

On Tuesday, Japan unveiled its biggest warship since World War ii. The flat-top destroyer bears a strong resemblance to a conventional aircraft carrier.

The ship’s flight deck is nearly 820 feet long and is designed to carry up to 14 helicopters.

The destroyer’s launching ceremony was held at a shipbuilding port in Yokohama. Senior Vice Minister of Defense Akinori Eto and Finance Minister Taro Aso attended.

Japanese officials say the vessel will be used in national defense with a focus on anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions. The warship will bolster Japan’s ability to transport personnel and supplies in response to large-scale natural disasters, like the devastating 2011 tsunami.

Although technically a destroyer, some experts believe it could be used to launch fighter jets or other aircraft that can take off vertically.

The new destroyer marks a change from Japan’s status quo. Although the country has one of the best-equipped and best-trained naval forces in the Pacific, it is regarded at large as only a defense force due to the belief that the present Japanese Constitution restrains Japan from engaging in offensive combat.

The U.S. administration has urged Japan to rethink its apparent pacifist stance. America wants it to take on more global responsibility. It appears Japan is accommodating America’s suggestion. In reality the U.S. is playing right into the hands of certain Japanese political and military elites who are intent on reviving an imperialist role for Japan in Southeast Asia.

Watch for Japan to form a closer alliance with its Asian neighbors to the point that it fulfills the great prophecy of such an alliance in Ezekiel 38. Continue to follow theTrumpet.com as we monitor Japan’s realignment in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. For a historical perspective, read “Japan to Make ‘Clear Shift’ Away From U.S.

Crown of the Holy Roman Empire

The crown of Charlemagne holds great significance for many Europeans. Yet Charlemagne caused much destruction and death. Charlemagne’s legacy is tied to Adolf Hitler and Mussolini, two European dictators who also placed much emphasis on the crown of Charlemagne. One last leader of the Holy Roman Empire is about to rise and lead Europe into this Earth’s final war.

Germany Set for Record Arms Sales to Gulf Arab States

Germany Set for Record Arms Sales to Gulf Arab States

Bundeswehr-Fotos

German arms exports to the Gulf Arab states are on the way to setting a new record, according to figures released by Germany’s Economics Ministry August 7.

Germany set the previous record just last year with €1.42 billion of arms going to the Gulf states, €1.24 billion of that for Saudi Arabia. In the first half of 2013, Germany approved the export of weapons worth €817 million, this time with Qatar as the primary customer.

Qatar’s purchase, which includes 62 Leopard, two combat tanks and 24 self-propelled howitzers, totals €635 million worth so far.

This increase in arms sales is part of a huge change in Germany foreign policy. From 2002 to 2011, Germany sold roughly €250 million in arms to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Today, Germany sells these countries more in two months than they previously did in 10 years.

Meanwhile, Germany has put arms exports to Egypt on hold.

This is part of a new policy by Germany to build a network of alliances aimed at containing Iran. Across North Africa and the Middle East, Germany is building these alliances and expanding arms sales. For more information on this strategy, see Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s recent article “The Whirlwind Prophecy.”

Australia’s Security Challenge

Australia’s Security Challenge

Jon Hanson

As Australia prepares for national elections, whichever party gains office must face the challenge of security and defense in an increasingly militarized Pacific region.

Australia is an island nation—the world’s largest island and its smallest continent.

The Australian coastline measures 59,736 kilometers.

That’s an awful lot of coastal border to patrol and keep secure from any predator nation, especially considering the national population is only 23 million spread across a continental area of almost 8 million square kilometers.

Due especially to its natural alliances with Britain and the United States, Australia has always fought above its weight when it comes to rallying the nation to either its own or allied defense. In this context we should also include Australia’s closest cousin, New Zealand.

As “European” nations, seemingly positioned out of context south of Asia’s vast expanse, Australia and New Zealand hold somewhat unique positions among their fellow Anglo-Saxon nations due to their land masses being sited immediately south of the largest conglomerate of humanity on the planet, traditionally known as “the Asian hordes.”

As a consequence of the rich possession of minerals—in particular iron ore, coal and bauxite—Australia has become a major supplier to Japan and China of the raw materials those nations need to drive their industrial economies.

Yet there is also one other attribute Australia possesses which the Asian nations to its north largely lack: space!—vast tracts of unoccupied land. However, much of that land is virtually uninhabitable due to lack of access to water.

Generations of Australians have known that the major problem this island continent—this land subject to “droughts and flooding rains”—faces, is not lack of water. It has been the failure to implement the technology to harness the flow of abundant waters that tumble into the sea each annual wet season, and that remain locked below earth’s surface in its great hinterland.

That failure restricts the populating of Australia largely to its coastal and river land peripheries. The inability to harness both free-flowing annual rainfall and tap into artesian water on a large scale is mostly due to the great logistical challenges faced by a largely desert land containing an insufficient labor force and possessing insufficient means to raise the huge capital requirements that such an undertaking demands. Australia’s chief customers for its raw materials have access to both.

Thus it is that when it comes to considering the nation’s defense, all these factors must be taken into consideration—a small population spread thinly, mainly around its eastern and southeastern coastal perimeters, massive natural industrial resources, and the nation’s dependence for its economic welfare on the custom of two major players in the Asian geopolitical arena.

Having all this in mind, Australia has been careful to maintain the best possible diplomatic relations with its Asian neighbors. Yet those very neighbors are only too well aware that it is the strength of the alliance between Australia and America—an alliance that has endured since World War ii—which alone stands between Australia’s security today, and the prospect of an avalanche of inundation by Asian hordes should that alliance ever fail.

Thus, Australia treads the precipice between the ongoing strength of the U.S. politically, economically and militarily and the prospect of the collapse of that strength which America increasingly faces each day its national debt escalates.

In the meantime, it suits the U.S. to use friendly Australia as a South Asian outpost to aid its present strategy of switching its defensive posture from concentration in the Northern Hemisphere to the Asian theater.

Stratfor observes: “Australia, due to its proximity to Southeast Asia and close alliance with the U.S., will form an important element of the growing strategic dynamic involving Indonesia, China and the U.S. These relationships are vital for the stability of the region. Australia is arguably the closest American ally there, sharing a common language, culture and political system. Australia, the U.S., Canada, Britain and New Zealand also control the most sophisticated global signals collection and analysis network, known as Five Eyes. Australia will host thousands of U.S. marines in Darwin, while American unmanned aerial vehicles (uavs) may operate from the Cocos Islands, one of the closest Australian territories to Indonesia and Southeast Asia” (July 30).

Given the dominance of China in this region, what Stratfor describes as this “strategy of close and lucrative economic ties with China and close defense and security ties with the U.S.” is fundamental to Australian geopolitics.

Yet Australia’s most recent “Defense White Paper 2013” categorizes its region of strategic interest as Indi-Pacific, having in mind the nation is bordered by not one but two great oceans—the Indian and Pacific. For Canberra, this is a new view of the scope of the Australian defensive perimeter.

Traditionally, Australia has been regarded as a Pacific power. To recognize that it must look both northeast to Asia and northwest toward India, represents a completely new perspective of Australia’s defense needs. The northwest quadrant of Australia’s geography is replete with industrial raw materials but very sparse in population. As the development of mineral resources and port facilities ratchet up that region’s growth, the need to heighten security in Australia’s northwest becomes most obvious.

Rory Medcalf, who directs the international security program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, observes that the Defense White Paper is long on the diplomacy of security and defense, but, of necessity, rather short on establishing parameters for the strengthening of Australia’s military power. The reason for this is simple economics: “[I]t is hard to escape the suspicion that one reason diplomacy gets such a big run in a supposedly military document is that it is much cheaper than preparing for war. For the worst-kept secret of Australian defense policy is that the fiscal cupboard is pretty much bare. The Australian economy has done much better than most developed economies in the post-financial crisis era, but the government still faces a serious budget deficit and a long list of domestic spending priorities in an election year” (The Diplomat, May 7).

Continuing to stress the point, Medcalf observes, “This cut-price approach will make it increasingly hard for Australia to possess the cutting-edge forces it would need to contribute substantially to high-end contingencies alongside the United States in Asia. Moreover, highly constrained defense spending is at odds with the white paper’s expansive view of Australia’s national interests and military tasks—from stabilizing South Pacific nations to patrolling the Indo-Pacific commons and protecting the nation’s vast territories and offshore resources” (ibid).

Thus, with regard to Australia’s major security challenge, we are forced back to considering fundamentals—a huge largely unguarded coastline, small population, insufficient capital base and dependence on big brother America for support in times of threat by a potential enemy.

Thus, when push comes to shove, in reality Australia has very little bargaining power with either China/Japan—the major customers for its main salable resources—or with the U.S., its major strategic ally. Either can literally hold Australia to ransom in its own national interests.

This is a most invidious position for any nation to be in, least of all one as substantially indebted as Australia is to its international creditors.

Unfortunately, it has led in the past to Canberra, as Rory Medcalf points out, committing the unpardonable diplomatic sin: “Four years ago, the then Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd launched a defense white paper amid furious concern about China’s destabilizing rise. A much stronger Australian Defense Force was promised with new-generation submarines, cruise missiles, and joint strike fighters. … But a lack of credible budgeting undermined this vision of projected Australian firepower, and Canberra was caught committing the cardinal sin of statecraft: speaking loudly while carrying a small stick, the opposite of Teddy Roosevelt’s dictum” (ibid).

In the wake of budget cutbacks, Medcalf points out that Australia’s current spending on its defense and security amounts to just 1.56 percent of gross domestic product, its lowest level since the 1930s.

Yet this low expenditure on maintaining—let alone upgrading—the nation’s military capability comes at a time of increasing tension in Asia and rising defense budgets by a number of nations within Australia’s perceived Indo-Pacific theater of defense.

Simply put, while Australian governing elites may be big on vision, they simply lack the resources to meet their perceived defense obligations in their newly defined Indo-Pacific arena.

Bible prophecy speaks of Sinim, meaning “the great south land,” in direct relation to the prophecies for our day (Isaiah 49:12). Those prophecies speak of certain nations that will “blow the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle” (Ezekiel 7:14).

That prophecy is preceded by a most powerful warning—a warning to the descendants of the patriarch Abraham from whom Anglo-Saxon Australians descend. Three times in Ezekiel 7 God warns of an imminent time He calls “the end.” This bespeaks the end of an age, actually the end of man’s efforts to govern himself. Inevitably those efforts have led, time and time again, to war!

The tensions building today in the Asian, Indo-Pacific arena are but a portent of the fulfillment of these prophecies. Australia is ill equipped to handle the coming clash that is emerging in its geopolitical region between the Asian masses to its north. More so, it is bereft as a nation of the moral and spiritual commitment to the God who has so substantially blessed that nation over the past almost 250 years. Thus Australia must suffer the fiery rebuke of God for its rebellion against Him, just as its fellow descendents from Abraham must.

But the good news is contained in that very same prophecy which names Australia, by its Hebrew term Sinim, in Isaiah 49. In that chapter, God speaks of a time, a “day of salvation” (verse 8), when the Anglo-Saxon nations and their affiliated brethren descended from Abraham, will become “a light unto the gentiles.”

What a great future is prophesied for Australia and New Zealand, its geographically closest brother nation! The descendents of those nations, those who remain after the great conflagration of “the end,” will be given the awesome responsibility to be a light of knowledge to the Gentile masses to their north!

You need to read our booklets The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Isaiah’s End-Time Vision and Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet for a more complete vision of that which awaits Australasia in the immediate future and beyond.

That vision is far, far greater than any vision for a nation’s future put forward in any government white paper. It is an eternal vision, penned millennia ago, now approaching rapid fulfillment in our time, today!

Catch that vision and it will give you the faith, the courage and the confidence to face the future with a real, and very tangible—hope!

Iranian President Rowhani’s Extremist ‘Path of Moderation’

Iranian President Rowhani’s Extremist ‘Path of Moderation’

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

Just how ‘moderate’ is Iran’s recently inaugurated president?

Apparently the “path of moderation” that the recently inaugurated Iranian president has vowed to tread is not an easy one. Iran’s PR department has been frantically pouring water over the fiery, anti-Zionist statements that the “moderate” Hasan Rowhani made on August 2 on Quds (Jerusalem) Day—a pro-Palestine, and by implication, anti-Israel annual event coinciding with the last Friday of Ramadan.

Rowhani was quoted by Iran’s local media two days before his inauguration as saying, “The Zionist regime is a wound inflicted for years on the body of the Muslim world that must be cleansed.” Rowhani’s incendiary remarks sounded eerily similar to outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s unabashed, wolf-in-wolf’s-clothing, anti-Semitic rants.

Rowhani is not the “moderate” that some of the Western media still thinks he is. He maintains an Islamist extremist ideology, and his comments imply that fact. But even if he was a reformist or a “moderate,” his boss definitely is not. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared last year that “the Zionist regime is a real cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut.” Months later, he reaffirmed that Israel was a “cancerous tumor in the heart of the Islamic world.”

Rowhani’s outspoken predecessor Ahmadinejad was notorious for similarly inflammatory hate statements. Even on the same Quds Day that Rowhani was supposedly grossly misquoted, Ahmadinejad said in his last speech of his term earlier in the day: “I will inform you with God as my witness, a devastating storm is on the way that will uproot the basis of Zionism.” He also declared: “You Zionists planted a wind but you will harvest a storm. A destructive storm is on the way and it will destroy Zionism.” These are the words of the man whom Rowhani succeeded, whom Khamenei just appointed to his advisory board on August 5, acknowledging the “profuse experience [he] gained during eight years of worthy efforts.”

There’s no mistaking the path that Iran wants to walk. It is extremist, not moderate. Iran will use Rowhani’s “moderate” outlook to buy time, gain legitimacy, and hopefully ease the hurting economic sanctions it’s under. Tragically, the West is falling for it. British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to Rowhani on August 7 expressing high hopes that the “moderate” Iranian president will engage with the international community “constructively and seriously” over Iran’s disputed nuclear activities.

In the United States, while Congress is pushing for tougher sanctions on Iran, the State Department is arguing that those sanctions would create immovable obstacles to pragmatic nuclear negotiations with Iran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran remains the dangerous state it has always been, if not worse under Rowhani’s presidency. Bible prophecy indicates a time soon when Iran will shed its current “moderate” mask and reveal its true nature in a violent manner. That prophecy, howbeit ominous, is a glorious sign of the imminence of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to establish a peaceful regime—the Kingdom of God. To learn more about the hope behind the electrifying events in the Middle East today, request our free booklets The King of the South and Jerusalem in Prophecy.

Will the Federal Government Be the Next Detroit?

Will the Federal Government Be the Next Detroit?

Albert Duce

How broken promises are bringing down the U.S.

While economists were shocked to see Detroit file for bankruptcy, many are now scared that it has set off a chain reaction throughout the nation. At $18 billion, and probably more, Detroit is the largest municipal bankruptcy case in the history of America. While it was not the first city in the U.S. to file for bankruptcy, it is by far the largest. And chances are it won’t be the last.

The financial issue currently plaguing the nation is unfunded liabilities such as pension commitments. This was at the heart of why Detroit filed for bankruptcy. According to Kevin Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, the city was about $3.5 billion short of what it needed to pay its current and future retirees.

From sea to shining sea, governments at the local, state and federal level are failing to come up with the money promised to their employees at retirement. In Los Angeles, total unfunded liabilities could equal as much as $30 billion. On the other side of the nation, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned on Tuesday that New York City could travel the same path as Detroit if the next mayor doesn’t work to curtail rising pension costs.

By not properly saving or budgeting for these liabilities, major cities across the U.S. are now facing a host of consequences. One of the more immediate consequences is a downgrade of their credit rating. On July 17, Moody’s Investors Service dropped Chicago’s rating three levels. That brought the city’s credit rating to the lowest it’s been in 26 years and only four steps above “junk.” A downgrade to a city’s credit rating means that it is a bigger investment risk, so less people are likely to lend it money. It also makes it more expensive for the city to borrow money.

This problem extends all the way up to the federal level. But in the Federal Reserve’s case, it isn’t a shortfall of just $18 billion like Detroit faces. A new study done by University of California-San Diego economics professor James Hamilton found that the United States has over $70 trillion worth of unfunded liabilities. This includes pension commitments as well as obligations toward Medicare and Social Security. But even that astronomically huge number may be optimistic. Laurence Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University, estimates that America’s unfunded liabilities could be as high as $211 trillion.

The problem with calculating unfunded liabilities is that they are based on estimates such as stock and bond market returns, life expectancy and health-care cost inflation, hence the huge differences in estimations. Therefore it is always difficult to get an accurate figure for America’s unfunded liabilities. But as Hamilton wrote in his study, “[O]ne thing seems undeniable—they are huge.”

Regardless of what the exact number is, the federal government has nowhere near the money it needs to pay up—the government is already nearly $16.7 trillion in debt. As more and more baby boomers begin to collect their benefits, the federal government will be forced to either print off more money or go deeper into debt to cover the promises it made. “We’ve got 78 million baby boomers who are poised to collect, in about 15 to 20 years, about $40,000 per person. Multiply 78 million by $40,000—you’re talking about more than $3 trillion a year just to give to a portion of the population,” Kotlikoff says. “That’s an enormous bill that’s overhanging our heads, and Congress isn’t focused on it.”

No matter how you look at it, America is broke—it just hasn’t admitted it yet. And when it can no longer pay its bills, the country will be plunged into economic and social collapse. That is what your Bible prophesies will happen. Things will get so bad that people will “cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver” (Ezekiel 7:19).

God prophesies that dangerous times are ahead. But there is good news as well. It all leads to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to this Earth. Finally mankind will be taught the laws that lead to financial success so that no one need file for bankruptcy ever again. To learn about the most important law of financial success, read The Financial Law You Can’t Afford to Ignore.