Obama administration ends Monroe Doctrine

The Obama administration has scrapped a 200-year-old pillar of America’s foreign policy. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declared on November 18 that the administration has abandoned the Monroe Doctrine.

President James Monroe established the doctrine in 1823. It states that any attempt by European powers to expand their control in the American hemisphere would be treated as an act of war by the United States. Caspar Weinberger, secretary of defense for the Reagan administration, said that the doctrine essentially means “there should be no interference, no sponsorship of any kind of military activity in this hemisphere by countries in other hemispheres.”

Since Monroe, the fifth president, nearly 40 presidents have upheld the Monroe Doctrine. Yet Secretary Kerry said that ending it is “not a bad thing,” but “worth applauding.”

The 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, upheld this doctrine perhaps more than any other president. His administration oversaw America’s transformation from a regional power to a world power.

In the winter of 1902, America almost went to war with a powerful Germany in order to uphold the Monroe Doctrine. Germany, Britain and Italy began a blockade in an effort to force Venezuela to pay back the debts it owed them. Roosevelt sympathized. He knew that Britain respected the Monroe Doctrine, and during the 19th century, probably did more than America to uphold it. But he knew Germany resented it. German naval chief Adm. Alfred von Tirpitz, for example, wanted naval bases in the Caribbean and Brazil.

Roosevelt discovered that the Germans wanted to occupy Venezuela’s harbors. He authorized America’s first large-scale naval exercises, which were conducted under the command of America’s most distinguished—and anti-German—military leader, Adm. George Dewey. Although the German Navy almost certainly could have beaten America’s Atlantic fleet, it was dispersed and unprepared for war.

In 2002, historians discovered that as the Venezuelan crisis unfolded, German strategists had been drawing up plans to take Puerto Rico and launch a surprise attack on the American Atlantic coast. Roosevelt’s naval buildup soon made the German plan unfeasible. Germany backed down and allowed America to mediate the disagreement with Venezuela. No one was killed; America was preserved. Adherence to the Monroe Doctrine meant that none of these threats materialized.

In 1917, British intelligence officers discovered that Germany was secretly trying to persuade Mexico to attack America. This revelation helped bring the United States into World War i, which changed the war’s outcome. Germany knew (and Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and the European Union know today) that a toehold in Latin America could give it the power to put Washington on the back foot—and then to really start pushing. Almost 40 administrations have seen that danger and have upheld the doctrine of a founding father in order to neutralize it. No longer.

Deuteronomy 28:52 warns that foreign nations “shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” This besiegement is about to shock America, the nation that is applauding itself for ignoring threats that gather on its southern flank.

The Geneva deal is worse than you know

Many have compared what happened in Geneva Nov. 24, 2013, with Neville Chamberlain’s infamous capitulation to Hitler in Munich in 1938. In fact, what happened in Geneva is worse—much worse.

The most obvious reason is that Hitler didn’t have a nuclear weapons program. He led a ruthless regime bent on extinguishing tens of millions, but he had to do it the hard way: with troops, tanks and gas chambers. Iran’s mullahs have similar genocidal ambitions, but are on the cusp of owning a means of instant mass extermination.

Alarmingly, while Munich was a failure of method, Geneva is a failure of intent. Chamberlain failed because he underestimated Hitler’s evil and overestimated the power of diplomacy. But evidence suggests America’s president may support a radical Islamist regime on the verge of going nuclear.

For proof, consider the Obama administration’s policy of regime preservation in Tehran. Remember the Arab Spring and America’s schizophrenic response? America’s support of protesters was instrumental in toppling regimes in Egypt and Libya. But what happened when tens of thousands of angry Iranians took to the streets protesting the phony 2009 reelection of radical Islamist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? The White House was silent. President Obama’s decision to do nothing helped preserve, even endorse, the Ahmadinejad regime.

Consider also the White House’s persistent policy of stymieing Israel’s efforts to confront Iran. From the outset of his presidency, Mr. Obama’s allegiance has been with the Muslim world and Muslim states. Indeed, since Geneva, we learned that in the months before, Mr. Obama devoted more quality time to Iran than to Israel.

Much has been said about how the Geneva deal endorses Iran’s right to enrich uranium and pursue nuclear weapons. But what about the way this deal rescued the radical regime in Tehran? Most agree that the sanctions the West had labored so hard to implement were working. There was a good chance the sanctions would have crippled the regime. America simply had to do nothing and the regime would likely have soon fallen into serious trouble.

Another reason to think President Obama might actually support Iran is the fact that he’s an ideological ally of the radical Islamist regime. His views on the United States and Israel, in particular, align with those of Iran’s mullahs. Many have explored the roots of Mr. Obama’s views on America and the Jewish state, tracing them back to his anti-colonialist upbringing, socialistic education and infamous circle of friends. Washington Times columnist Jeffrey Kuhner, for example, said President Obama is “convinced the United States is not a singular force for good in the world, but an imperial, jingoistic nation that must be chastened—and humbled—on the world stage.” Columnist Caroline Glick said, “He does not like Israel. He is appointing anti-Israel advisers and cabinet members not despite their anti-Israel positions, but because of them.” These views match those of the regime in Tehran.

What happened in Geneva reveals something deeply wrong with America. President Obama has no intention of stopping Iran, and is actually working against American and Israeli interests.

Something the Trumpet has written on before is becoming ever clearer: An invisible, sinister force is at work in the U.S. capital. This is yet another reason why what happened in Geneva is worse than Munich 1938—and infinitely more alarming than most people know. In his new booklet America Under Attack, the Trumpet’s editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, uses Bible prophecy to explain the sobering truth about this deadly force. If you haven’t read it already, order your free copy today.

Is the United Nations worthless—or worse?

Russia and China were among the 14 nations to win seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council on Nov. 12, 2013. Their admission to the UN’s main human rights body sparked severe criticism by some analysts because of Moscow’s and Beijing’s atrocious human rights records at home. One critic of Russia’s election said it was “like electing a pyromaniac as chief of the fire department.”

Human Rights Watch’s Peggy Hick pointed out that over the years, Moscow and Beijing have refused to respond to 13 requests for visits by human rights inspectors to investigate alleged abuses in their countries. “They’re not allowing the very council they sit on to do its job effectively,” she said. “China and Russia are powerful states that exercise their power in a way to influence others at the council, as well as make it very hard to engage on issues that they don’t want reviewed. … That Russia is able to run unopposed is a real travesty.”

As ridiculous as it is to place some of the world’s most notorious and unapologetic violators of human rights in charge of human rights, it is far from the first time the UN has made such an absurd decision. The corruption-wracked organization has routinely given key positions to the most ludicrous candidates available.

But the more significant failure by the UN is that it has not accomplished its stated purpose: keeping the peace. From the organization’s inception in 1945 until early 2010, there have been 267 wars and over 3,000 other military conflicts. Almost as many people have been killed in all these altercations as died in World War II itself.

One analyst recognized from the beginning that the UN would be, not just a failure at peacekeeping, but a catalyst to conflict. “Already I see the clouds of World War III gathering at this conference,” theologian Herbert W. Armstrong said during the organization’s inaugural meeting in 1945. “I do not see peace being germinated here, but the seeds of the next war!”

Mr. Armstrong knew that the United Nations would not—could not—bring world peace. How? By looking into the Holy Bible, which reveals human nature. Mr. Armstrong learned, through Scripture, that peace would never come on the Earth by mankind; it could only be possible by Jesus Christ, upon His return with His world-ruling government to usher it in (Revelation 20:4-6; Isaiah 2:2-4; 9:6-7; 11:1-9).

The decision to place Russia and China on the Human Rights Council shows that the UN has descended from a failure to a farce. It shows that mankind is further than ever from being able to solve its own problems. It shows that Mr. Armstrong’s analysis all those years ago was spot on. To understand how Mr. Armstrong was able to accurately identify the true nature of the United Nations even from its inception, request a free copy of our booklet He Was Right.

Sparking a nuclear arms race in the world’s powder keg

While the world was abuzz with speculation over what the Geneva nuclear negotiations would produce, one nation, fearing the inevitability of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, took drastic measures to safeguard its national security. According to a Nov. 6, 2013, bbc report, Saudi Arabia has purchased nuclear weapons from Pakistan.

The Saudis are the main counterbalance to Iran in the region. The largest and wealthiest Sunni Arab nation, Saudi Arabia constantly struggles against Iran. Though the Saudis and Iranians may not be in direct conflict, the two sides are fighting several proxy wars to see which Islamic faction will ultimately control the region, Iranian Shiites or Saudi Sunnis.

The region is approaching a crisis as Iran races to build its first nuclear bomb. Saudi Arabia has long relied on foreign powers to keep Iran in check. But that changed when Hassan Rouhani became president of Iran and the Obama administration began to try to reconcile with Tehran. The Geneva talks made it even clearer that Washington is capitulating to the Iranians and leaving the Saudis vulnerable. It appears this convinced the Saudis to buy the bomb.

Although Riyadh and Tehran are rivals, both are incubators of terrorism and hostile toward Israel. America’s withdrawal from the Middle East is quickly turning the region into a nuclear powder keg where everyone is holding a match.

Bible prophecy sheds light on what these nations are about to do. Daniel 11:40 speaks of Iran rising to power in the Middle East and the nations that will bow before it. (Request our free booklet The King of the South.) Psalm 83 tells us that the Saudis (Ishmaelites) will outlive the king of the south and will plot with a German-led Europe to destroy Israel.

When you understand the prophecies destined to be fulfilled in the near future, you can perceive why nations are doing what they are doing. But just as the Bible accurately prophesied the dark days we are in and the cataclysm ahead, it also prophesies that peace will come—soon!

Beware of al Shabaab terror, Ethiopians warned

Al Shabaab is not about to back down from terrorist activity, warned security officials in Ethiopia on Nov. 5, 2013. Three weeks earlier, the al Qaeda-linked, Iran-sponsored terrorists botched a suicide bomb plot in Ethiopia. The bomb exploded prematurely, killing the two bombers. Their intent was to detonate the bombs at a high-profile, televised World Cup soccer qualifier match in the capital Addis Ababa.

Following the failed attack, Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service and Federal Police Joint Counter-Terrorism Taskforce warned that al Shabaab and other terror groups supported by the government of Eritrea would likely carry out “successful” attacks. The officials asked for the vigilance and cooperation of Ethiopian security officials and the public at large.

As if on cue, just hours after that warning, a bomb exploded in a minibus in western Ethiopia. Four people were killed.

“More activities of this nature are expected to happen in Ethiopia, and therefore the need for raising security levels is very, very important,” security officials said after the attack.

Terrorist threats are disrupting Ethiopian society and politics. Expect tension to increase between Ethiopia and nations that are accused of sponsoring terrorist activities there: namely Eritrea and Iran.

A prophecy in Daniel 11:40-44 indicates that Islamists are going to take over Ethiopia and some of the nations in its periphery. Daniel specifically mentions Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia.

In his April 2011 article, “Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy,” Gerald Flurry urged Trumpet readers to watch Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea. He warned, “They are about to fall under the heavy influence or control of Iran, the king of the south.”

Air defense zone exposes U.S. weakness

In a direct challenge to the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia,” China brashly announced in November that it is significantly expanding its airspace to include territory claimed by Japan and South Korea—both key U.S. allies.

After the announcement, U.S. media trumpeted the fact that America disregarded China’s Air Defense Identification Zone (adiz) by flying two B-52 bombers through it. But what they downplayed was that America was careful to ensure that its bombers were unarmed. China says it carefully monitored the aircraft while they were in the adiz and knew they were unarmed. The U.S. pilots also skirted around the contentious part of the zone, flying only over the edge. Furthermore, whereas the Japanese government told Japanese commercial airlines not to comply with Beijing’s illegitimate new rules, the U.S. government told America’s commercial airlines that they should heed China’s warning and submit all of their flight plans through the adiz to Chinese authorities for approval.

Washington said this was only a cautionary measure and was not intended to legitimize the adiz. Many in Japan, South Korea and elsewhere, however, viewed it as a gesture of obeisance to China.

In December, Vice President Joe Biden visited China, and instead of joining Japan’s demands for Beijing to scrap its adiz, the administration asked China not to enforce the zone too harshly. “Here is the U.S. again going over the heads of allies to accommodate a common adversary,” columnist Charles Krauthammer said of the approach. “We should be declaring the Chinese claim null and void, ordering our commercial airlines to join Japan in acting accordingly, and supplying them with joint military escorts if necessary.”

The Chinese have recently witnessed America abandoning its longtime allies Israel and Saudi Arabia over the nuclear threat from Iran. This sent a reverberating message throughout the world, marking the end of U.S. influence in the Middle East. It put America’s alliances the world over in doubt, including those in Asia, leaving Japan, South Korea and other nations scrambling for alternative arrangements to guarantee their own security.

Beijing can see that to most American leaders and people, the idea of being drawn into a conflict with China is simply unbearable. It views the outcome of any potential confrontation a question of will more than of military might. On this front, the war-weary Americans are at an overwhelming disadvantage against the rising Chinese.

The deterioration of America’s will to use its power was forecast decades ago by Herbert W. Armstrong, who pinned the blame not on the nation’s military, or even the president, but on the American people. Mr. Armstrong based this forecast on a biblical prophecy explaining what God would do with America’s will to use its power if the American people rejected God’s law: “I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19).

In the decades since Mr. Armstrong wrote those words, the American people have increasingly rejected God’s law, and Washington has thrown varying degrees of its weight behind dozens of military conflicts. Each of the halfhearted efforts has sapped a little more of the nation’s pride in its power.

The Chinese seem to recognize the U.S.’s shattered will to use its power. And they appear increasingly intent on displaying those tatters before the whole world.

Desperately seeking an ally

Germany’s capital city hosted hundreds of young Jewish technological, arts and business professionals at the Leadel Berlin Conference October 23-25. The innovation-themed conference was a combined initiative between Israel and Berlin.

The Israeli organizers of the conference chose the German capital because, they wrote, “Over the past decade, Berlin has become a creative hub—home to thousands of writers, artists and musicians. Its inspiring environment and rapidly growing start-up scene has transformed it into a destination for both locals and expatriates alike.”

Israel’s government has encouraged this and other occasions of Jewish-German and European collaboration. Germany is one of Israel’s largest trading partners and has sought to expand that trade relationship, increasing air transport between the countries and signing cooperative agreements in the fields of entertainment, medicine, science, technology, biotech, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and defense.

In 2012, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Europe asking for the bloc’s aid to deal with the ongoing nuclear threat from Iran and incessant rocket attacks from Iran’s terrorist allies just across Israel’s border. He said he was encouraged by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s past and present statements regarding Germany’s moral duty to protect Israel.

Israel is about to turn to Germany as its last best hope for a reliable ally.

“Why does Judah go to Germany?” asks editor in chief Gerald Flurry in his booklet Hosea: Reaping the Whirlwind. He explains: “Already the European Union has been mentioned publicly as a protector to Israel as the U.S. grows weaker. Germany has grown more and more active in the region. … Relations between German and Israeli politicians are the best they have been in decades.”

In recent years, radical Islam, led by Iran, has expanded across the Mideast and North Africa. While the Jews think they will be secure from their regional enemies under German/EU protection, they will be shocked to find out what the Bible predicted: that allying with Germany will be a fatal mistake.

The superpower that can’t make bullets

Which is more important: America’s ability to refine and process lead ore, or that the 3,600 residents in Herculaneum, Missouri, have cleaner air and soil? Bureaucrats in Washington have already decided the question.

On December 31, the last remaining lead-refining plant in America shut down after more than 100 years of operation. The Environmental Protection Agency (epa) forced the plant’s closure with a new round of strict environmental laws. The Doe Run smelter was unable to retrofit the plant with new emission-filtering technology or to build a new plant using different technology. The cost to meet the epa’s new guidelines, which were 10 times more stringent, was too high.

The closure of one lead refinery may not seem like that big of a deal, but its impact will go far beyond the 3,600 people living in Herculaneum. The closure of the Doe Run plant is not just an environmental issue—it is an economic issue and a national security issue.

The Doe Run Smelter was America’s last primary lead smelter. America is now unable to produce refined lead from ore. The nation uses approximately 1.5 million tons of lead per year. Doe Run supplied 8 percent of this demand. Now, all refined lead (beyond scrap) will have to be imported from other nations.

Lead is an economically critical mineral used in car batteries. It is a crucial product for the military; components such as bullet projectiles, projectile cores and primers all require lead. Without the Doe Run smelter, domestic manufacture of conventional ammunition is impossible. America may become dependent on foreign nations for small arms ammunition.

America may have one of the biggest armies in the world, but is it really a superpower if it can’t even manufacture its own bullets?

During its war of independence, the United States learned the hard way what it meant to be reliant on foreign powers to supply strategic materials and equipment. That is why America’s founders set up a national policy of military and industrial self-sufficiency. They saw it as essential for the security of the nation.

But politicians in Washington now think they know better. Time will tell who was right: the founders or the current administration’s epa.

What’s this you’re hearing about ‘bitcoin’?

Bitcoin is the “next big thing.” Some call it the currency of the future, others call it the next big bubble. It is a virtual currency that exists beyond the control of central banks—or any banks. Transactions are instant. Fees are minimal. Borders are nonexistent. People are even using bitcoin for purchases in the real world: Tesla Motors will sell you a car with bitcoin; Cyprus’s University of Nicosia will sell you an education. The world’s first bitcoin atms are already doing business. In six months, a list of businesses accepting bitcoin nearly quintupled to about a thousand.

Yet, because the bitcoin itself has no intrinsic value, its worth has swung from $13.56 to $21.30 to nearly $240 to $83 to $880—all in the past 12 months.

Some are interested in bitcoin because of stories of people who bought a handful of bitcoin when it came out in 2009 and are now millionaires. But some are interested for a different reason.

Whereas the dollar is also a fiat currency, it has the backing of the U.S. government. Bitcoin is not backed by anything. Yet some say that’s its biggest attraction. People don’t trust the dollar, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve or the federal government. They fear that someday the American government will impose limits on what people can do with their dollars—how much they can take out of the country at one time, for example. The dollar is backed by people’s trust in America. For some, that’s a riskier investment than a four-year-old relatively unknown currency created by an unknown person with an unknown value.

Bitcoin won’t replace the dollar as the world’s next reserve currency. But something else probably will soon. Investors are looking for something solid and reliable, a currency that a government won’t inflate away with money printing or quantitative easing. Watch for the emergence of this new currency. When it arrives, the dollar is dead.