A Nation of Cowards?

From the November 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

“In January 1996, Assistant Secretary of Defense Chas. W. Freeman Jr. warned senior Chinese officials that the United States would respond militarily to a Chinese attack on Taiwan. According to Freeman, the Chinese responded, ‘No you won’t. We’ve watched you in Somalia, Haiti and Bosnia, and you don’t have the will’” (John A. Gentry, “Military Force in an Age of National Cowardice,” The Washington Quarterly, Autumn 1998).

America is called the world’s only superpower. Many nations have looked to the U.S. for protection. But that trust is rapidly fading.

Nations like China know that Americans are too fearful to fight. We no longer believe that “the mission comes first.” We do all we possibly can to avoid any human casualties. We do this to the point where we have become a nation of cowards.

Adolf Hitler preyed on that kind of weakness before World War II. In fact, Winston Churchill believed that weakness CAUSED World War II!

So few nations opposed Hitler that he thought he could conquer the world. He almost did!

Weakness only encourages strong, dictatorial leaders. (Please read the article in this issue on Winston Churchill.) How can we correct this deadly disease of a broken WILL?

“It seems unlikely that we will alter our basic course during the Clinton administration—or before a major military defeat” (ibid.). Mr. Gentry is saying it will probably take a major military defeat to correct the deep-seated problem of our fear. But in this nuclear age, a major military defeat would probably mean our nation’s destruction!

There is a marvelous solution to this problem, if only we would listen to God’s warning. God even prophesied about our broken will. What’s more, He had a strong hand in producing this broken will. It is actually connected to God!

The book of Daniel is an end-time book of the Bible (Dan. 12:4, 9). Daniel said that the books of Moses also contain prophecy for this end time (Dan. 9:13).

Let’s look at one of those prophecies: “And I will break the pride of your power” (Lev. 26:19). This chapter is called the blessing and cursing chapter. We should be living in the midst of God’s abundant blessings. Instead, we are being cursed by the living God! Our broken will is one of those curses!

What a curse to have a broken will in a world full of dangerous, dictatorial leaders. We simply cannot survive unless the problem is corrected.

God knew that we would have great power—that we would be the world’s only superpower—but lack the WILL to use that power.

Read, in the preceding verses of that chapter, about our sins. Then you will see WHY God has broken the pride of our power, or our national will. The U.S. is a major part of end-time Israel (write for our free booklet The United States and Britain in Prophecy.)

We gained our freedom through much bloodshed and courage. And our freedom cannot be sustained by cowards. We can easily deceive ourselves. But our enemies know the truth and will one day soon put us to the test!

The further we get from God, the more cowardly we become. The closer we are to God, the more we manifest courage.

God wants us to avoid a major catastrophe. We can do so only by heeding His warning message.

God has broken our national will. Only God can heal it. That is the sobering truth.

God sees our broken will. The world sees it. But do WE see it? And if we do, are we willing to let God show us how to correct it? May God help us to choose the way of blessings and not the path of curses. Our future is in our own hands!

Cosmic dust devil

From the November 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

November 17 and 18, many satellite engineers and communications companies will have a watchful eye on the heavens. That’s when the earth passes through this cosmic cloud of debris, causing an event called a Leonid meteor shower.

Space-based communications platforms, navigation systems, scientific experiments and military spacecraft all will face their greatest threat in two separate waves of inbound space dust traveling over 155,000 miles per hour. The particles, smaller than a grain of sand, pose no threat to the surface of earth (they will burn up in the atmosphere miles above the ground). But for satellites in orbit, they pack the same destructive punch as a bullet fired from close range.

Nobody can say for sure how many of the more-than-500 satellites currently in orbit will be affected; speculation runs the gamut from conservative warnings to doomsday predictions. The United States House of Representatives Committee on Science issued a recommendation stating, “While it is very unlikely that the storm will have any major effect on satellites, the ‘A-team’ of controllers should be on duty during the time of the storm, and operators should check the state of health of their satellites frequently, looking primarily for electrical anomalies and glitches. It was also recommended that, if possible, satellites be oriented so that sensitive components are shielded from the oncoming stream of particles, and that recovery plans be in place should there be a spacecraft system failure during the storm.”

The meteor storm of 1998 should prepare the engineers for the second wave due to hit in November 1999. The timing of that wave comes at an unsettling time—just weeks before the year 2000 (Y2K) computer glitch. Disaster could abound if Y2K has the comprehensive impact many are predicting, especially if the problem is compounded by loss of spacecraft in the Leonid meteor shower. If the meteors wreak serious damage, the resultant loss of communications will only deepen the impact of Y2K.

The Euro: A Tower of Babel

From the November 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

While the press has given a deal of exposure to the Asian and Russian crises, little has emerged in the media about the gravity of the dangers posed by the introduction of the euro, the European Union’s collective currency due to come into effect on January 1, 1999. Described by former British Ambassador to Washington Peter Jay as “Europe’s engine of mass destruction,” the euro is looked upon with jaundiced eyes by many serious investors in Europe. This has led to a transfer of funds from traditional European currencies (Deutschemarks, guilders, francs, schillings, pesetas, lire, escudos, Finnish markka and Irish punt) into sterling holdings and the dollar.

The prime reason for this is that the conversion rates between the collective European currency (the euro) and each participating national currency unit will be irrevocably fixed in 1999, under criteria prescribed by the Maastricht Treaty.

Financial correspondent Christopher Story, in acerbic commentary on this phenomenon, stated, “Taken literally, this means of course that the brilliant ‘builders of Europe’—the constructors of this new ‘Tower of Babel’—know, by means of some occult power (since, how else could they know?) that the rates selected for ‘irrevocable’ fixing will be suitable for the participating countries concerned for the whole of eternity.

“This is a recipe for economic, social and political disaster” (Economic Intelligence Review, Sept. 1998).

Far from ushering in a glorious new world order of peace, wealth and stability, the beginning of the new millennium looks increasingly like it will engender a period of great social, economic and financial instability which could shake the entire globe.

Confusing Signals

From the November 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

Less than three weeks after the Federal Reserve’s last interest rate cut, an additional quarter-point cut was announced October 16 due to “growing caution by lenders and unsettled financial markets, as well as the need to sustain economic growth” (Wall Street Journal).

Yet, only four months earlier, Alan Greenspan called American economic conditions “as impressive as any I have witnessed in my nearly half-century of daily observation of the American economy.”

What’s going on here? Is the Fed trying to “sustain economic growth” by pumping unwarranted confidence into investors? Or did they react out of panic, trying to force growth for fear of further deterioration? Are there more bad loans and impending hedge fund collapses they aren’t yet making public (like the recent $3.6 billion bailout of the highly speculative private investment Long Term Capital Management which lost big when its sophisticated trading strategies went wrong)? Is the Fed trying to sustain the unsustainable?

Backlash Against the West

From the November 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

News from Russia looks bleak. Still suffering from aftershocks of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1989, the country is neck-deep in economic and governmental instability which could have serious global consequences.

After a slight reprieve in 1997, Russia’s near-decade-long economic contraction resumed this past summer, inflamed by the growing Asian financial crisis. Her gross domestic product began to fall in May and got progressively worse until an 8.2 percent slump in August. Inflation is soaring, with consumer prices up 43.3 percent in the first half of September.

Meanwhile, post-communist Russia is suffering from her worst harvest in 40 years. 1998 is bringing in about half the grain yields gathered in 1997. As yet, the resilient Russian people are weathering the shortage fairly peaceably, but with winter looming, more serious hardship lies in store, and some are anticipating a major explosion of popular anger.

Many Russians are looking for scapegoats. In a backlash against the democratic steps Russian governments have tried to take, an anti-Western, Orthodox-nationalist-communist alliance is rising, and they are unafraid to point fingers at Western influence.

This backlash is asserting itself in various ways. Russian-Iranian relations have been strengthening since the USSR’s demise; the new government has made it clear that’s the way things will continue. Russia’s new foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, says they will “vigorously follow” the expansion of their partnership. Iran’s sole interest in Russia lies in her weaponry. Russia seems more intent on reasserting itself in the Middle East at U.S. expense.

Russia’s tensions with the West are also on display over the Kosovo crisis. The U.S. is using NATO to force Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic into accepting a diplomatic resolution. Russia has emphatically stated that any use of NATO force in Yugoslavia would be “an unmitigated threat to the Russian Federation.” Leonid Ivashov, from Russia’s Defense Ministry, claimed that Russia would change its partnership with NATO and seek “possible new military allies to maintain the necessary military balance.”

Granted—with its current woes, Russia itself may not pose much of an immediate threat to international security (its economy is producing not much more per year than Spain). But the anti-Western revival will find willing collaborators which could cause more serious problems, particularly in the Middle East.

Russia possesses 70,000 nuclear warheads mounted on missiles capable of reaching sites in the U.S. within an hour of a decision to launch them. Graham Allison of the Washington Post says there are another 12,000 nuclear weapons in storage facilities, “protected by guards whose salaries have been delayed for months.”

As authority crumbles in Russia, it becomes increasingly easy for rogue states to get their hands on some of this arsenal.

Also at risk is the security of the nuclear and military know-how Russia has acquired. Cutbacks will find 45,000 workers from Russia’s nuclear and military industries laid off before year’s end. Some analysts fear the brain drain could easily flow into volatile areas like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Libya and Syria.

Low Savings, High Bankruptcies

From the November 1998 Trumpet Print Edition

Haggai 1:6 prophesies that Americans will earn “wages to put into a bag with holes.” In fulfillment of that prophecy, American savings today are at record lows and personal bankruptcies are at record highs.

The personal savings rate of Americans has dipped to 0.2 percent, meaning only two-tenths of one percent of income goes into savings—the lowest rate since the government began tracking savings on a monthly basis in 1959.

At the same time that savings have fallen, 1.4 million Americans filed personal bankruptcy in 1997; almost 40 percent higher than in 1996 and over twice the total for 1990.