One Difference Between Ordinary Men and Men of Genius

One Difference Between Ordinary Men and Men of Genius

National Archives (United Kingdom)

Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on March 10.

In the 1930s, Winston Churchill blasted a warning about the dangers of Nazi Germany. Nobody in power heeded his message until it was too late. Churchill’s foresight and focus on the dangers at hand set him apart from all the leaders of his day. History regards him as the man who saved Western civilization. What is it that set this man apart? Find out on today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

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Russia and China Dangerously Ahead of America in Cyberattack Ability

Russia and China Dangerously Ahead of America in Cyberattack Ability

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Russia and China both now have the capacity to carry out critical cyberattacks on other nations that is significantly ahead of American capacity to defend against such attacks, a new government report says.

The report from the United States government’s Defense Science Board Task Force on Cyber Deterrence was based on a two-year analysis. It says:

The United States gains tremendous economic, social and military advantages from cyberspace. However, our pursuit of these advantages has created extensive dependencies on highly vulnerable information technologies and industrial control systems. As a result, U.S. national security is at unacceptable and growing risk. Over the past several years, the United States has been subjected to cyberattacks and costly cyber intrusions by various actors ….

Some examples of such attacks have been China’s ongoing cybertheft of the intellectual property of American companies, and Russia’s hacking and publishing data from various American organizations in an effort to erode confidence in the U.S. political system.

The report says such incidents as these stand out from the constant onslaught of cyber intrusions assailing the U.S. on a daily basis because “their impact goes beyond data collection, to impose some form of harm on the United States.”

The report, published on February 23, continues:

[M]ajor powers (e.g., Russia and China) have a significant and growing ability to hold U.S. critical infrastructure at risk via cyberattack, and an increasing potential to also use cyber to thwart U.S. military responses to any such attacks. This emerging situation threatens to place the United States in an untenable strategic position. Although progress is being made to reduce the pervasive cyber vulnerabilities of U.S. critical infrastructure, the unfortunate reality is that, for at least the next decade, the offensive cyber capabilities of our most capable adversaries are likely to far exceed the United States’ ability to defend key critical infrastructures.

Secondary powers such as Iran and North Korea also have a “growing potential’” to use native or third-party cyberweapons to execute “catastrophic attacks” on American infrastructure, according to the document.

Perhaps the most chilling sentence of the 44-page report concerns the threat posed specifically to America’s cyber-dependent military infrastructure: “The U.S. military itself has a deep and extensive dependence on information technology as well, creating a massive attack surface.”

Defense Science Board chairman Craig Fields said he expected the gap between America’s defenses and its vulnerability to only grow wider: “[T]he cyberthreat to U.S. critical infrastructure is outpacing efforts to reduce pervasive vulnerabilities,” he said. “[A] more proactive and systematic approach to U.S. cyberdeterrence is urgently needed.”

Back in June of 1999, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned about “America’s Achilles’ heel”—meaning its dependence on technology coupled with the vulnerability of its computer-based systems.

He put this vulnerability in the context of recent history:

One of the main reasons we won World War ii was because the British broke German radio code. We knew about most of their war plans in advance! Quite a gigantic advantage. Some experts think we would have lost the war without that knowledge. We could lose the next war before we even begin, if somebody breaks our military codes.

The new Defense Science Board report shows that Mr. Flurry’s assessment was spot on, and that the U.S.’s “Achilles’ heel” is now more vulnerable than ever to attacks by Russia, China and others. To understand the details about why this is such an alarming reality, read “America’s Achilles’ Heel.”

Hamas to Change Anti-Semitic Charter

Is Hamas about to begin a new charm offensive on the West?

JERUSALEM—Hamas is set to update its foundational charter in a bid to reshape its public image. The amendments to the 29-year-old document of the Gaza-based Palestinian group will be officially released in April. However, some details of the forthcoming changes were reported in Asharq al-Awsat on March 7.

Here are three of the more dramatic changes, as relayed by Hamas sources, all of which will likely give the terrorist group a cleaner public image:

1. Hamas will endorse a Palestinian state with 1967 borders.

According to Dov Leiber of Times of Israel, the endorsement of a Palestinian state following 1967 is a “monumental shift from the group’s long-held policy of reclaiming all of historic Palestine.”

Previously, it was Hamas’s position that any acceptance of boundaries within Israel meant a peace deal with Israel and was therefore tacit recognition of the State of Israel. Now, Hamas is accepting the 1967 lines, but without first recognizing the State of Israel. The update of the charter likely reflects the main thrust of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2334 passed in December 2016, which calls all Jews living inside the territory held by Jordan before 1967 illegal occupiers.

The previous position of the UNSC was that Palestinians would receive the West Bank as part of their new state only after first recognizing Israel’s right to exist alongside them. Now that world opinion favors the view that the West Bank is already Palestinian land, Hamas does not need to recognize Israel to gain its state. Hamas accepting the 1967 lines is not the same as Hamas accepting two states for two peoples.

2. Hamas will officially break with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Asharq al-Awsat described its source as saying that the charter will also state Hamas’s “separation from any foreign body or organization—in reference to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.” Hamas was founded in 1987 as the Palestinian branch of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Since Iran took over as Hamas’s main sponsor in the early 2000s, however, the group’s connection to the Muslim Brotherhood has weakened.

While Hamas insists it will continue its strategy of resisting Israel after the new charter comes into effect, separating from the Muslim Brotherhood and its reputation for terrorism will possibly improve Hamas’s own reputation internationally.

Given that the Trumpet has expected the Muslim Brotherhood to return to power in Egypt, and the Egyptians to shift away from the Palestinians, this move by Hamas to cut ties forebodes that event.

3. Hamas will no longer be anti-Semitic.

Hamas has fought three major wars against the Jewish state since seizing Gaza in 2007 and just elected a man that practically invented the terror tunnel strategy, whereby Palestinians tunnel into Israeli territory in order to commit terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

Hamas now sees, however, that it is politically expedient to expunge the most virulent hate speech from its charter, some of which includes the claims that the Jews were behind both world wars as well as numerous other injustices against humanity.

Asharq al-Awsat’s Hamas sources say that one new change to the charter “strictly defines animosity against occupying forces, and not Jews in an attempt to shake off accusations of anti-Semitism.”

By removing the overtly anti-Semitic remarks in its charter and instead focusing on the resistance against the “occupation,” Hamas again puts itself in line with international consensus.

These three updates to its charter indicate that Hamas wants to change its image, no doubt for the purpose of gaining a strategic advantage. While Hamas will continue its terrorist activities against Israel, as well as its unveiled anti-Semitic rhetoric, these changes will make Hamas a more palatable option for Western nations in regards to future peace negotiations with Israel. It will also likely increase Hamas’s favor among West Bank Palestinians, who have generally sided with Hamas’s more moderate rival, Fatah.

This may be the beginning of Hamas’s attempt to wrest complete control of the Palestinian cause from Fatah—not through an armed takeover but rather through a charm offensive that gets the international sponsors of the Palestinian cause on its side first.

The Trumpet has long expected Hamas to become the voice of the Palestinian people to the international community, as well as to claim leadership inside the West Bank. While its words might change to help achieve its aims, Bible prophecy indicates that it will be a hard-nosed Palestinian group with a strategy of violence that will fight the Jews in order to claim East Jerusalem as its own. That event will mark the first domino to fall in a chain of events that leads to the greatest event yet witnessed in Jerusalem. For a complete understanding of the role that Hamas will play in end-time prophecy, please request Jerusalem in Prophecy by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

The Only Solution to World Problems

The Only Solution to World Problems

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Listen to the Trumpet Daily radio program that aired on March 9.

Stephen Hawking made headlines this week by saying that for humanity to survive the dangers ahead, mankind may need to form some kind of world government. It brought to mind what Herbert W. Armstrong said decades ago about a coming super world government—to be established on Earth by God at the return of Jesus Christ! On today’s program, Stephen Flurry explains why man is incapable of solving the world’s problems and what is the real solution.

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The Coming China-Germany Trade Juggernaut

The Coming China-Germany Trade Juggernaut

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In a post-American trade war, this emerging bloc will wield devastating power.

Stories of international angst over United States President Donald Trump’s protectionist approach are becoming more commonplace. Mr. Trump’s “buy American, hire American” catchphrase sounds good for many at home, but abroad, it is prompting a weighty reorganization of international trade relationships. And long term, the result will be a trade war that will prove ruinous to the U.S.

World trade has changed a great deal over the last several decades. The international community at large no longer depends on America’s giant import expenditures and exports. Parag Khanna of Politico wrote:

As Americans, it’s easy to assume that global trade still depends on America as the consumer of last resort. But that’s no longer true. In fact, the majority of trade in emerging-market nations is with each other, not with the U.S. In 1990, emerging economies sent 65 percent of their exports to developed nations like the U.S. and Europe, and only 35 percent to other developing countries. Today, that figure is nearly reversed.

As desirable as any U.S. trade still may be, it has become increasingly unnecessary. And of late, foreign governments have taken close to heart Trump’s protectionist dialogue and are looking elsewhere to secure their interests with new trading partners and blocs. Two powerful nations in particular are starting to join arms and lead the way toward the new, post-American world of global trade: Germany and China.

Germany

Here are the vital statistics: The three top exporting nations in the world are: 1) China, 2) the United States, 3) Germany. Germany is the undisputed powerhouse and leader of the European Union. If you include the exports of the EU as a whole, European exports outpace the U.S., making the top exporters as follows: 1) China, 2) the European Union, 3) the United States.

Data released in February reveals that China overtook the U.S. in 2016 to become Germany’s new number one trading partner. The U.S. fell to third place, behind France. Reuters correspondents for Germany Rene Wagner and Michael Nienaber reported:

The development is good news for the German government, which has made it a goal to safeguard global free trade after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on imports and his top adviser on trade accused Germany of exploiting a weak euro to boost exports.

The German vice chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, proposed that if the new U.S. government makes good on efforts toward a protectionist worldview, the European Union should realign its economic policies toward the Asian supercontinent. And the head of Germany’s bga trade association, Anton Börner, echoed Gabriel’s sentiments by stating that “given the protectionist plans of the new U.S. president, one would expect that the trade ties between Germany and China will be further strengthened.”

According to export data for 2016, the U.S. was still the biggest buyer of German goods. Where the numbers break down is with the bilateral trade deficit. The U.S. ranked second after the United Kingdom for Germany’s largest bilateral trade surplus. Germany’s exports to the UK exceeded its imports from the UK by $52.8 billion. German-made exports to the U.S. exceeded American-made imports to Germany by $51.7 billion. The data shows that the U.S. and the UK need Germany’s exports more than Germany needs their exports.

China

At the other end of the Silk Road that runs across the Eurasian landmass is the Chinese economic juggernaut. President Trump heavily criticized China’s trade and economic manipulation throughout his presidential campaign, often stating that “China is killing us” on trade. China has not taken kindly to Trump. After Trump’s cancellation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (tpp), China is looking more and more desirable as the key player for a new commercial alliance with the remaining tpp countries. As Khanna’s Politico piece explained, “[M]ost of the other signatories are moving ahead anyway in a ‘tpp minus one’ format” (ibid).

Even more significantly, more than a dozen Asian countries have rekindled their efforts towards advancing an alternative megadeal—the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)—which differs from TPP in one crucial way: At the center lies not the US, but our economic arch-rival China.

At this point in time, doing business with a powerful Asian trading bloc looks very tantalizing to the German-led European Union. Trade between Europe and Asia already exceeds transatlantic trade. This commerce will only increase as China and other nations continue massive new construction of roads, rails, pipelines and other infrastructure along the Silk Road.

The U.S. is becoming more and more unnecessary for global commerce, yet its president continues to indicate that his nation is indispensable. This is a particularly worrying position when taking into account that the U.S. holds the greatest single debt in the history of the world—and the world’s top creditor nations happen to be Japan, China and Germany, respectively. As Proverbs 22:7 wisely says, “[T]he borrower is servant to the lender.” What happens when the lenders call for their money back?

It’s no wonder that other nations are looking away to new trading opportunities. There is a decreasing need to bind their economies to America. In “Dumped by U.S., Europe and Asia Get Together on Trade Deals,” Foreign Policy’s Emily Tamkin wrote:

The United States, after President Donald Trump took office, nixed a big trade pact with Asia, and let another big trade accord with Europe die on the vine. Now both those jilted partners are getting together—threatening to leave the United States out in the cold as the world’s biggest economic blocs reshape their trading relationships.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stated in a February interview with Handelsblatt Global, “We have seen that many of the tpp countries are now approaching us and saying, ‘We still want to do deals.’ We are engaged with basically all of them, either negotiating or have a deal or preparing negotiations.” She warned the U.S. against establishing trade barriers: “We advise not to do that because there is a risk that there’s a global retaliation. That would be very bad for the economies and for the citizens of course.”

That “global retaliation” is, in other words, trade war. This is something the Trumpet has forecast for decades. Why? In more recent years, the geopolitical signs have pointed increasingly toward this possibility. Yet our main evidence for a coming trade war comes from Bible prophecy.

Isaiah 22 and 23 speak of an end-time rise of a “mart of nations,” a giant trading bloc of European and Asian nations, notably including China and Germany. The bloc’s trade relationships are also referenced in Ezekiel 27. This Eurasian commercial power will begin a trade war against the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel—and this trade war will develop into full-blown World War iii!

We are witnessing the rise of this “mart of nations.” Bible prophecy reveals this trade bloc will be only a brief alliance. For more information, read “Trade Wars Have Begun” and be sure to get a copy of the most recent issue of the Trumpet magazine. This April issue focuses on these worrisome global trading trends, how they will affect you personally, and what steps you can take to prepare for them.

Turkey and Germany Fall Out Again

The latest outburst reminds Germany that it needs a real solution to the migration crisis.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan likened the German government to Nazis on March 5, as relations between the two countries reached a new low.

The argument comes as Turkey prepares to hold a referendum on April 16 that would change the constitution and concentrate more power in the presidency. Around 3 million Turks live in Germany, and well over 1 million are eligible to vote in Turkish elections. This effectively makes Germany the fourth-largest electoral district for Turkish elections and an important part of any election campaign.

Relations between the two have been spiraling downward for some time. In February, Turkish police held Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist and correspondent for Die Welt newspaper, for two weeks, before finally arresting and formally charging him. The incident led to outrage in Germany.

Two German local authorities then canceled rallies led by Turkish ministers who were campaigning for a “Yes” vote in the constitutional referendum. One cited concerns about “parking space,” and the other blamed a double booking. To many, it looked suspiciously like retaliation.

This is what led to Erdoğan’s outburst. “Germany, you have no notion of democracy,” he said. “Your practices are not different from the Nazis of the past.”

The Telegraph reported Erdoğan saying, “I’ll come tomorrow if I want to, and if you do not let me in, or try to stop me speaking, I’ll start an insurrection.”

Other nations are closing ranks around Germany. Austria has called for a European Union-wide ban on campaigning by all Turkish politicians. But Germany itself has been remarkably restrained. A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is “absolutely no justification” for Erdoğan’s remarks and followed up by saying, “[L]et us remember the special meaning of our close relationship and let cool heads prevail.”

Why such a mild response to such provocative words? Turkey is at the center of Merkel’s solution to the migrant crisis.

Over the course of 2016, the migrant crisis was much more manageable than the chaos of 2015. That change came because of two key reasons: Austria worked with the Balkan states to prevent immigrants from migrating north out of Greece, and Turkey agreed to close the door on Syrian migrants trying to travel into Europe.

If relations between Germany and Turkey unravel, migrants could flood back into Europe at 2015 levels. With German elections scheduled for September 24, a fresh outbreak of the migrant crisis would be politically disastrous for Merkel. She has no choice but to play nice—for now. “She is paralyzed by concerns that Erdoğan could put an end to the refugee deal—a threat he has repeatedly issued,” Spiegel Online said on March 6.

“It’s time to come up with a European solution that decreases our dependence on Turkey. … It’s time to develop alternatives—by promoting a European refugee policy that does not outsource the protection of EU borders to Turkey but instead sees the EU taking on that responsibility,” it wrote. “It’s high time for Europe to free itself from Erdoğan’s shackles.”

Should relations between Turkey and Germany fall apart over the summer, the fallout could be huge, with another 1 or 2 million Syrian refugees flooding into Greece. But even if it holds, Germany needs a way to end its dependence on Turkey. No German leader wants to be subject to Turkish blackmail.

This is much easier said than done. On March 7, Stefan Lehne wrote for Carnegie Europe:

In Europe, the EU has created a common state-like space by guaranteeing the free movement of EU citizens and establishing an area of passport-free travel while leaving most powers regarding immigration and refugee flows at the level of the individual member states.The economic logic driving these projects—a desire to complete and strengthen the EU’s internal market—obscured their far-reaching political implications. By opening their borders, EU member states abandoned the long-established sovereign right to control who enters and leaves their territories. …

Yet having abandoned this sovereignty, the EU has done little to form new European-wide institutions to protect and control that border. Relying on Turkey has been a quick and easy alternative, but one with major downsides. Watch for Europe to be forced to develop its own border systems and defense arrangements to protect those borders—in other words, to take another gigantic step toward becoming a superstate. For more on how the migration crisis is changing Europe, read “Europe’s Old Demons Return.”