South Africa Mulls Forced Land Redistribution

South Africa Mulls Forced Land Redistribution

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President Jacob Zuma’s plan to redistribute white-owned land reveals a nation whose solutions are worse than its problems.

South African President Jacob Zuma has endorsed the prospect of forced confiscation of white-owned lands without compensation, breaking with two decades of post-apartheid precedent.

“We have identified the weaknesses in the land restitution and redistribution program,” he told the National House of Traditional Leaders on March 3. “The ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ principle did not work effectively.”

Since the end of the apartheid system in 1994, the South African government has sought to buy land from willing sellers and then redistribute it to black settlers. Now President Zuma is proposing that the government conduct a “pre-colonial audit of land ownership, use and occupation patterns”. Once the audit is completed, he is suggesting that the South African Constitution be amended to allow forced land confiscation without compensation.

The primary reason President Zuma is considering this redistribution scheme now is that popular support for his political party, the African National Congress (anc), has fallen to its lowest level since 1994. Many former anc members have left the party to join the Economic Freedom Fighters (eff)—a radical Marxist party founded in 2013 on a pledge to nationalize South African banks and redistribute South African land.

It is reported that President Zuma’s new populist tone on the issue of land confiscation is an attempt to win back anc voters who have defected to other parties.

Only three days before Zuma’s speech, the leader of the eff, Julius Malema, told South Africa’s Parliament that black South Africans must rally around the issue of land confiscation.

“So, we are saying, black people, all of us must unite so that we can change the Constitution so that we can expropriate land without compensation,” he said. “There is no white man that will understand it.”

The eff has attracted considerable publicity by sporting red berets, using Communist jargon and praising the state assets seizers of Zimbabwe and Venezuela. Julius Malema was tried by South Africa’s Equality Court in 2011 for publicly singing a militant hymn that calls for the shooting of white farmers with machine guns.

When Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe enacted legislation that allowed the government to forcibly seize white-owned land without compensation in 2000, some 4,000 white farming families were evicted from their homes. Dozens of farmers were murdered in a move that cost Zimbabwe billions of dollars in lost agricultural production.

For years, the South African government looked at Zimbabwe’s example as a cautionary tale. But now, President Zuma is looking to compromise with Julius Malema and the eff in a bid to “unite black people in South Africa” around the issue of land confiscation. This policy is stirring up racial hatred in a country already beset by racial violence. Approximately 10 percent of white farmers in South Africa—over 3,000 people—has been murdered in military-style raids since the end of apartheid in 1994.

As astonishing as it may seem, the Bible prophesies that the end-time descendants of the ancient Israelites would be plagued by racial violence if they turned away from God and His laws. Such violence is currently taking deep root in America, Britain and South Africa. To understand why this is happening, you need the vital truth contained in our e-booklet South Africa in Prophecy. God does not want people to have to suffer like this. He loves all races and nationalities and wants to teach them the way to peace, joy and racial harmony. But true peace and happiness only comes from following God’s law and commandments. Until mankind learns this lesson, human-imposed solutions like forcible land redistribution will only foster more hatred and violence.

South Africa: Where Corruption, Rape and Murder Are Normal

South Africa: Where Corruption, Rape and Murder Are Normal

GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

The unthinkable is now reality. Only in Africa?
From the December 2013 Trumpet Print Edition

I met a woman from South Africa the other day. What she said shocked me.

“Not long ago, I thought I was going to get raped and murdered by the police.”

What?

She was on her way home to her acreage in a farming community outside Johannesburg when she approached a four-way stop.

“This intersection is known for carjackings,” she said. “No one stops. You just slow down enough to make sure you are not going to hit anyone, and keep going.

“You know what happens to people who get carjacked?” she asked.

I had a vague idea, I thought. But I actually didn’t have a clue.

The next thing she knew, flashing lights appeared in her rearview mirror. It was the reservist police—basically volunteer police officers.

“There was no way I was stopping,” she said. “Even if it really was the police, who knows what they might have done to me.” She stomped on the gas. “Up where I live, when the police try to pull you over, you just head for the nearest police station and hope you make it.”

She didn’t. She was rammed off the road. “Lucky I was driving a big truck,” she said matter-of-factly. “I kept going.”

She phoned to confirm that the police were real, and to let someone else know what was going on and to come and find her. Then she pulled to a stop.

And she went from being a motorist on the way home to a woman alone in a field with a bunch of armed, angry men yelling at her and telling her she was going to jail.

“Do you know what happens to white girls in jail?” she asked.

Thankfully, she didn’t go to jail, and she didn’t get attacked in the field. And it was a good thing after all that she didn’t make it to the police station either; she later learned that the one she was headed for was one of the “bad” ones.

“So many of the police are thugs and criminals,” she said. “You can’t trust them. And you don’t even know if they really are the police. People steal police cars. They have uniforms, and even bulletproof vests. Then you see it on the news, women brutally raped and murdered, or tortured.” Yes, by police officers.

“People are raped all the time,” she said. “It is part of the culture.”

The mainstream media report regularly on atrocities in Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Syria. We rarely hear about South Africa. But what is happening there is deeply troubling—for a number of reasons. It also holds some powerful lessons for those of us who live elsewhere.

Fact of Life: Rape Culture

This might seem like just one person’s subjective opinion. But if you look up the facts, they will stun you even more. If you have a daughter, think about her. Then think about this: One out of three South African girls will be raped before she turns 18.

Almost three out of four South African women have been sexually abused at least once.

South African women have a greater chance of being raped than of graduating from high school.

What kind of country is this?

Where is the outcry? Why isn’t this all over the news? Why aren’t women’s groups crying out at the top of their lungs? Why aren’t people demonstrating? This is South Africa, a country considered modern and civilized. Now it has descended—without much fuss, apparently—into a jungle of chaos.

Yet even South Africans don’t really understand what is happening to their country. They feel the temperature rising, but seem dulled to the danger.

One recent study examined about 250 reported rapes from 2005 to 2007 that occurred in the vicinity of one small town. More than half of the reported victims were children. Yet, only nine of the accused were convicted. Only seven received jail sentences.

Two hundred and fifty rapists—seven convicted. Yet, no media firestorm. No international protest. The incomprehensible has become a fact of life for South Africans. They have a saying for this: Only in Africa.

Several men were accused of five or six rapes, according to the study’s authors. Not one was convicted. Only in Africa.

An astounding 66,000 rapes occur in South Africa each year—one every four minutes. Interpol says this makes South Africa the rape capital of the world. According to experts, rape is so common, justice is so rarely served, and so many women have been raped so many times that many women don’t bother reporting it.

That’s just the way it is in South Africa.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that a police constable was still working for the force even though he had been accused of 14 rapes over the past two years—some of which allegedly took place while he was in uniform. That follows the arrest of a police officer accused of raping a 14-year-old boy, and another officer accused of raping a woman who came to the police station to report a crime.

Log on to South Africa’s Independent Police Investigative Directorate website (http://www.ipid.gov.za/media_statements/media_statements.asp) and see for yourself. In September, two constables were arrested for rape, one of them for raping a female inmate. In August, a captain was arrested on rape charges. In July, four more constables were arrested for various rapes, one for multiple counts. Another police captain was arrested for raping a woman in his police car and threatening to kill her and her family if she reported it. And a 41-year-old warrant officer was arrested for raping a 14-year-old girl multiple times.

It is not just police officers. Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was embroiled in an alleged rape and blackmail scandal earlier this year. A few years ago, it was President Jacob Zuma himself. Some judges even seem to empathize with rapists. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng is accused of reducing sentences because the rapists are poor—and black.

A 2010 Medical Research Foundation survey found that more than 37 percent of men admitted to raping at least one woman. Seven percent said they had participated in a gang rape. The researchers found that with many of the men, the idea of forcing someone to have sex with them was trivial, and “seen as a legitimate activity.” A 2007 survey found similar results.

A legitimate activity? Are these 18.9 million men out of their minds?

In February, a 17-year-old girl was brutally gang-raped, gutted and dumped, still alive, at a construction site. She was discovered and taken to the hospital, where she died. The story made international headlines. But in South Africa? There were some small protests, but then life went on.

And so did the brutality.

An 80-year-old woman was raped by her 18-year-old neighbor. A 26-year-old was abducted from her house and gang-raped. A man committed suicide while in jail after being accused of raping 33 girls and 2 women.

Experts say many young men rape women to prove their manhood. Sometimes it is part of gang initiations. Other times it is “corrective rape” to convert suspected lesbians. Many other rapes are due to tribal witch doctors who claim that having sex with a virgin will cure aids. Experts say this is why there are so many reports of babies and children—5-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 2-year-olds—being raped.

In 2007, the Joint United Nations Program on hiv/aids said there were 22.5 million South Africans with hiv, the virus that causes aids. That is twice the number of hiv-positive people in the rest of the world combined.

Fact of Life: Police Are Criminal

How do you live in a society where rape is considered legitimate by so many? In a society that reveres witch doctors and voodoo magic? In a country where the most important institutions are irreversibly corrupt? You get cynical, it seems. You go numb.

“No one trusts the police or any government institution anymore,” said the woman I met. “Not long ago, the army was fighting the police.”

Surely she was exaggerating.

Sadly, she was not. In July, Transparency International released its 2013 Global Corruption Barometer report. It found South Africa to be among the most corrupt countries in the world. According to its findings, an astounding 83 percent of South Africans believe that the police force is corrupt. And 36 percent of respondents admitted to paying at least one bribe to the police.

South Africa’s shadow minister of police Dianne Kohler-Barnard said that upon reflection, she wasn’t surprised at the findings. The recent murder of people in broad daylight by police officers was an indication of the nature of the country’s police force, she said. “Police demand bribes each time they stop a car, and they threaten those who refuse to pay bribes. … Police steal from houses of victims of crime when they go to their houses to get statements from the victim. … There is this issue or tendency of circulating criminal elements within the police by moving them from one station to another instead of dismissing them,” she said.

In July, an internal South African police force audit revealed that 1,448 police employees, including a major general, 10 brigadiers, 21 colonels, 43 lieutenant colonels, 10 majors, 163 captains and 706 warrant officers, had undisclosed criminal convictions for murder, attempted murder, homicide, rape, attempted rape, assault, aiding and abetting, theft, breaking and entering, drug trafficking, kidnapping, robbery, malicious damage to property, and domestic violence. The vast majority were top brass. The same audit found that there were “serious challenges” regarding the management of discipline in the department.

In recent years, the police force has become internationally notorious for its brutality and corruption. Nine policemen were arrested earlier this year for murder, but only after a video surfaced showing them tying a man to a van and dragging him through the streets before killing him. And in May, a policeman was caught on tape pimping a policewoman to a man in a mall parking lot.

Fact of Life: Whites Are Targeted

And as bad as it is for South Africans in general, if you are an Afrikaner farmer, it is worse.

“The white farmers are being targeted,” said the South African woman. “But the government won’t do anything about it.”

Again, the statistics confirm what she said.

Last year, South Africa had an astoundingly high murder rate of 31.9 per 100,000 people, according to police statistics. That is almost 20 times the murder rate of Canada, 27 times the rate in the United Kingdom, and more than 30 times the rate in Australia or New Zealand. South Africa’s murder rate is almost twice as high as Rwanda, Chad, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe.

But for white farmers in South Africa, the murder rate is 99 per 100,000!

That makes farming in South Africa the most dangerous profession in the world—if you are white! For black farmers, the murder rate is the average.

White farmers are twice as likely to be murdered as South African police officers, and that is saying a lot. Their station in life—growing crops, raising livestock and being white—is more dangerous than working in a mine, welding steel on a skyscraper, or working as an offshore oil rigger.

Genocide Watch, an international monitoring agency, says there is no doubt that white farmers are being targeted. South Africa sits at stage five out of eight on its warning indicator. This is actually a slight improvement from August 2012, when the international organization warned the country was in the “preparation stage” in the genocide process. Stage seven is “extermination.” The group noted that high-ranking African National Congress (anc) government officials were using racial epithets in a “campaign of state-sponsored dehumanization of the white population as a whole.” It warned that politicians were sanctioning gang-organized hate crimes against whites, with the goal of “terrorizing whites through fear of genocidal annihilation.”

White Afrikaner farmers face unprovoked brutality and disproportionately high numbers of victims who are tortured and mutilated—burned with hot pokers, scalded with boiling water poured down their throats, hacked apart. Yet prominent anc politicians, including President Zuma, sing hate songs in public that have lyrics glorifying the killing of white farmers.

“The other day, when we were having lunch—I couldn’t tell you how bad it is, it would have made you sick,” said my South African acquaintance. “About 10 klicks just down the road where I used to live, three blacks broke into a house, tied up the husband, gang-raped and killed the wife, before stabbing him like 14 times and chopping him with a panga [machete] and spreading the parts all over the house. Then they took their young son and drowned him in boiling water.”

It was almost too gruesome to believe. “That kind of stuff happens all the time,” she said. Praag.org reported that the three accused grinned in court as they admitted to the charges.

According to CensorBugbear, a prominent South African website chronicling the plight of the white farmers, May was the bloodiest month this year, but not by much. There were 69 attacks, 101 victims, 20 murders, 20 farm attacks—many of them horribly gruesome.

Over 3,000 white farmers have been murdered since the end of apartheid, according to Genocide Watch. Twenty years ago, there were 60,000 farmers. Today there are 30,000.

On August 8, two men were convicted of killing a 77-year-old man and his wife on their farm in Somerset. The husband was hacked to pieces. The wife was tied up, thrown in a freezer, and buried in frozen meat. She suffocated to death.

According to the police, the motivation was robbery.

On August 11, four men broke into 57-year-old Vivien Ponté’s home. She was tied to her bed, raped and lit on fire. Her house was ransacked, but it is unclear if anything was stolen.

Just another robbery gone bad.

On August 15, an 83-year-old Volksrust woman was assaulted, raped and left for dead, lying naked on the floor.

The list of “robberies” goes on.

Fact of Life: The Government Ignores Reality

“So why don’t the police protect the white farmers?” I asked.

“They say it would be racist to protect them because they are white,” she replied.

Racist to protect someone?

In police spokesman Zweli Mnisi’s own words, “For us, racializing crime is problematic. You can’t have a separate category that says, farmers are the special golden boys and girls. You end up saying the life of a white person is more important. You cannot do this.”

The government no longer records the race of criminals or their victims. Former President Thabo Mbeki established that policy because the record-keeping was deemed racist.

So the government pretends the atrocious murders and rapes are just robberies gone wrong, and the viciousness continues. And the white farmers die.

What angers the white farmers even more is that the government won’t even let them defend themselves.

Beginning in 2003, the government began disbanding the rural commando units used to protect the remote farming communities that did not have police protection. The government said the commandos were unconstitutional and promised special police units to replace them. In 2008, the last commando unit was disbanded.

To this day, the special police forces still haven’t arrived.

Then in 2010, the government passed gun-control laws mandating that all guns be re-registered. In the process of registration, more than half the applicants were turned down and their weapons were seized.

Thus, white farmers were forced to relinquish their last line of defense against mobs of criminal gangs roaming the countryside. The criminals, of course, weren’t silly enough to register their machine guns.

The Good Old Days?

Africa has changed a lot since the end of apartheid 20 years ago.

Many blacks will tell you things are better for them today, and in some ways they are. Blacks and people of mixed races are free to travel wherever they want and no longer need to get passes to enter certain parts of the country. They can vote, and they now dominate the government. They run the military and police forces. There are quota laws mandating that businesses hire non-whites first. The government has a land reform process in which it uses tax revenue to purchase land owned by white people to give to blacks. The government also builds free housing to give to blacks. And of course, there are no more “Whites Only” signs at train stations.

But most things are not better. Black-on-black crime is through the roof. In the slums, where the police fear to tread, “necklacing” is frequent. Vigilantes beat accused criminals to exhaustion before forcing vehicle tires over their shoulders, dousing them with gasoline and lighting them on fire. What is left is hardly recognizable.

So it really isn’t that astounding that growing numbers of non-white South Africans—especially the older generation that lived during apartheid—admit to a certain longing for the old days. The reasons are obvious and transcend race. South Africa’s crime rate is among the highest in the world. Its official unemployment rate is around 26 percent, but it is probably a lot higher. Its public institutions are corrupt, and law and order is failing. Beyond the police force, Transparency International found that 74 percent of people think all public officials and civil servants are corrupt or extremely corrupt, while 70 percent believe the whole political system is corrupt.

Then there is the obviously decaying infrastructure. Regular and unplanned power blackouts are now just part of South African life. Generation and transmission systems are all failing. What isn’t buried underground is stolen. Sometimes the underground wires are stolen too. Tens of thousands of people inhabit suburbs that are plunged into darkness at random times. Hundreds are regularly left stranded on trains. South Africa’s well-maintained freeway system hides the dangerous, pothole-strewn secondary road grid, for which there is no money to keep up.

Even South Africa’s world-class mining industry is collapsing. Once the world’s biggest gold producer by far, 20 years later, it is now fifth on the list and falling. International investors don’t want to build mines in a country that constantly talks about taking them away from “rich whites” to give to blacks.

Meanwhile, as the population has skyrocketed, agricultural production has stagnated, and is now slightly beneath 1980s levels.

For growing numbers of South Africans, the sentiment appears to be: At least back then I had a job, it was safe, and I had food in my belly. But for others, the failure of Nelson Mandela’s “peaceful” transition to improve the life of blacks is just proof that South Africa hasn’t gone far enough. They say it is time for blacks to turn up the heat and take full control of the country.

Popular political hatemongers like former anc youth leader Julius Malema are attracting large numbers of followers on his party platform of seizing the land and driving all whites out of South Africa.

Frog in a Pot

You know the story of the frog in the boiling pot? It is a useful metaphor for people in South Africa today. They live in a country gone mad. Already the water is simmering, but the danger does not register. Those on the outside yell, “Jump out! Do you want to die?” But from inside the pot, the insane seems like normal, everyday life.

But this is not normal! Murder, rape, torture, a totally corrupt police force—is not normal. Living a life of fear is not normal.

Wake up, South Africa. The water is starting to boil.

The whites in the Cape cities may feel relatively secure—for now. The cosmopolitan papers, unwilling to upset the Cape Towners at their breakfast, will keep on with the Springboks and the cricket matches.

But be warned, Cape Town, George, Port Elizabeth: The genocide, the self-destruction, won’t stop with just the white farmers or the black slums. What is happening in the rest of the country will eventually come to you.

“So what are your plans now?” I asked the woman from South Africa.

“We have moved to Sydney, Australia.”

My friend got out of the pot. I cry for the South Africans who can’t—or won’t.

Where Is the Pot of Gold?

South Africa is a nation in desperate need of solutions. Its people followed the rainbow revolution and, instead of finding a pot of treasure, they found themselves sitting in a pot filled with simmering water.

Taking power from the white man, as it turned out, did not automatically result in utopia. Passing laws forbidding companies from hiring whites did not solve black unemployment. Legislating higher minimum wages did not make people wealthier. Forcing companies to become black-owned did not magically create a better, fairer economy. Promising free houses to the masses did not fix homelessness. More welfare, it turned out, led to more single parenthood, more fatherless families and more poverty. Requiring schools to hire black teachers first, regardless of qualifications, did not improve the quality of education. Mandating black police forces did not reduce crime. Black law enforcement did not decrease exploitation. In many cases, the new laws have made things worse.

If only solving problems was as easy as passing more laws.

This is a big lesson from South Africa that must be learned. From the Cape to Cairo, Africa is a continent that very visibly illustrates that mankind simply cannot solve its problems. As the Isaiah 59:8 prophesies, “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.” Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

The results of these policies—the failure of these supposed “solutions”—is plainly evident, if only man will acknowledge it.

Why is that so often the case? Why do our best efforts to reduce suffering and improve our lot result in problems even worse than those we purported to solve? There is a cause for every effect.

The Apostle James asked, “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain” (James 4:2-3).

What James is talking about is human nature. Why do people steal, murder, commit adultery or fornication, covet what is not theirs? Human nature. Mankind is naturally vain, lustful and greedy toward self. It is jealous, envious, hostile and resentful of authority of others. As the Prophet Jeremiah wrote: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Here is a fundamental truth well illustrated by the crisis in South Africa: It is impossible to have utopia on Earth until human nature is changed. Until then, societies, regardless of continent, will degrade and slump towards the ugly, the violent and the base.

A Lesson for Outsiders

Those of us who live outside of South Africa might think, Wow, I sure am glad I don’t live there. But take a deep breath and consider.

The rest of the English-speaking, “advanced” world is not so different. Human nature is the same. And, though on a smaller or less severe scale, many of these nations are experiencing decay and pursuing policies cut from the same cloth as those that are bringing South Africa down. Welfare systems may have more money to redistribute, but they promote the same family breakdown. Affirmative action laws and racial quotas make companies more diverse, but not more efficient or productive. Spending money to build fancier schools, to give each student an iPad and to stuff unionized teachers retirement plans has not reversed the decline in education.

According to biblical prophecy, what is happening in South Africa right now is actually a precursor of what is coming on the whole world. Sydney, Wellington, Toronto, London and New York might seem relatively safe—but, if you believe your Bible, you know that none of them will be able to provide refuge for long.

This world is heading into a period that Jesus Christ called “great tribulation.” It is a time of unparalleled suffering, greater than any in human history. Matthew 24:21-22 says it will be so bad that unless the days were cut short, the human race would wipe itself out!

The Prophet Jeremiah describes this horrible time period (Jeremiah 30), and he identifies the nations primarily affected. The great tribulation, though it will progressively engulf the whole world, is coming primarily on those nations whom God caused to be named after Jacob—specifically the nations descended from his grandchildren Manasseh and Ephraim. Those are the United States and British peoples of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and much of the white population of South Africa. (Request our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy for proof.)

What South Africa is living today, the rest of the world will be living tomorrow!

In the short term, however, God will provide a way of escape from the coming tribulation for His people. You can be protected from what is about to befall this Earth—if you obey Him.

Beyond that, the good news is that there really is a rainbow with a pot of gold at the end. The great tribulation, horrific as it will be, represents the storm before the calm. It occurs just prior to the greatest event in human history: Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. When the King of kings returns, He will set about eliminating human nature. Then He will establish a real utopia—a kingdom that will solve this world’s problems once and for all, providing freedom, abundance, prosperity, security, happiness and justice for people of every nation and race!

German Army Back on German Streets for First Time Since World War II

German Army Back on German Streets for First Time Since World War II

Philipp Guelland/Getty Images

For more than 70 years, the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany has prevented the country’s national military from deploying on German soil or even assisting the nation’s police forces. The purpose of this portion of the Basic Law is to separate Germany’s federal forces from its domestic security agencies. This law was created following the 1930s and World War ii, when Adolf Hitler combined Germany’s federal and domestic security forces and brandished the supreme force with deadly effect. Today, this important part of Germany’s Basic Law is being reconsidered.

This week, for example, 360 Bundeswehr soldiers were incorporated into joint terrorism-defense exercises in six German states. This is the first time since the end of World War ii that the German Army prepared to assist in domestic security.

Perhaps the main reason the German Army is back on the streets is that the nation has suffered several Islamist terrorist attacks in recent years. The exercises this week revolved around responding to potential terrorist-related incidents, including explosions at multiple train stations and airports, simultaneous shootings, and the hijacking of a truck with dangerous goods. This week’s exercises also included tanks and armed vehicles. But rolling actual tanks down German streets was considered too dramatic, so this facet of the exercise was theoretical. Considering Germany’s history, it is disconcerting that its leaders are already planning for the deployment of tanks and other military hardware on German soil.

Last August, when this joint exercise was first announced, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziére said it was a “precaution for an unlikely but conceivable situation.” The Basic Law does allow for the deployment of the federal military domestically, but only in the “event of catastrophic dimensions” and only as a “last resort.” It must also be ordered by the “federal government as a council.” Until recently, the scope that the Basic Law provided for using the national military was so narrow that many considered it downright impossible. This is obviously no longer the view. As de Maiziére put it, the “legal situation allows for a lot and more than perhaps even thought so far.”

Germany’s desire to prepare its response to potential terrorism is understandable. In 2016 alone, the nation suffered half a dozen significant terrorist incidents, including knife attacks, truck attacks and suicide attacks. Nevertheless, the Basic Law has blocked Germany’s federal military forces from intervening in domestic affairs for a reason. Viewed in the context of 2016 and 2017, German military support for domestic security makes sense. But viewed in the context of Germany’s overall history—including the global cataclysm of World War ii just seven decades ago—such exercises are, as Spiegel Online summarized, “frightening.”

The German government has a history of using its army against its own people to suppress minorities and silence political opponents. Politicians today argue that such a risk no longer exists, that Adolf Hitler and National Socialism’s takeover of Germany was an anomaly that will never be repeated, and that the changing security situation means it is now necessary for the Bundeswehr to be more active on German soil.

The danger many fear is that once the Bundeswehr has a plan and a precedent for patrolling German streets, a strong leader could easily co-opt that precedent by giving the same soldiers new orders—orders that eventually establish and sustain him as a dictator. This has happened before—and not that long ago. In order to understand why the Basic Law prohibits domestic use of the Bundeswehr, read “The Danger of Deploying the German Army at Home.” To see how politicians are working to override the Basic Law, read “Bundeswehr to Make Its Way Back Onto German Streets.”

Iran Tests Improved Ballistic Missiles

Iran Tests Improved Ballistic Missiles

Mohsen Shandiz/Corbis/Getty Images

Upgrades to old weapons reveal Iran’s military strategy.

Iran launched two Fateh-110 short-range ballistic missiles during the past week. The launches were made from an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base at Bandar-e-Jask in southeastern Iran. The first missile was launched into the Gulf of Oman last Saturday but missed its apparent target. Iran successfully tested a second rocket the following day.

Iran has now conducted a total of 14 ballistic missile tests since it signed a nuclear compromise on Jan. 16, 2016, with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany .

The launch is a test of an older missile model. Fox News quoted unnamed officials saying that the Fateh-110 has not been tested in two years. The last time this model was used, the Fateh (Persian for conqueror) starred in a propaganda film, by blowing up a simultaed United States aircraft carrier.

According to Fox News sources, last week’s Fateh-110 is new and improved, with “active seeker” technology that allows it to better detect ships at sea.

The Fateh-110 has other roles beyond targetting American carriers and other ships. In November 2014, Fateh-110s were shipped to Hezbollah for use in a future war with Israel. The missiles are road-mobile and can be used against land-based targets. But the improvements to the weapon, as well as the way in which it was tested, show the Iranians’ primary purpose for the missile: It is a weapon to be used to conquer the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

The Fateh-110, with advanced guidance systems and a 150-to-220-mile range, jeopardizes the flow of 17 million barrels of oil per day that sail the Persian Gulf, in addition to millions of barrels of liquid gas that are so vital to Europe and Asia.

Some military vessels can counter these missiles, but tankers and other commercial vessels will easily fall prey to them the instant that Iran chooses to use them.

In “Iranian Navy Conducts Expansive Drills in Vital Sea-lane,” Trumpet Jerusalem correspondent Brent Nagtegaal noted that this year Iran chose to train in the Bab el-Mandeb, an area it has neglected in the past. He wrote:

Both the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait are choke points for world shipping. Thirty percent of seaborne oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which is only 33 miles wide, and most of that shipping continues through the 20-mile-wide Bab el-Mandeb en route to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. Controlling these sea gates means controlling the passage of the precious commodity into Europe.

His comments mirror warnings issued by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry, who wrote this in the April 2015 edition:

The Houthi takeover in Yemen proves that Iran is implementing a bold strategy to control the vital sea-lane from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

Despite the vulnerability of maritime trade, despite Iran’s stockpiling and enhancing its ballistic missiles, despite its test-firing new Dehlaviyeh antiship missiles, despite its expansive military drills in Bab el-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz, many analysts still relegate Iran’s actions to mere braggadocio.

“People keep referring to ‘closing the strait,’” said Anthony Cordesman, a defense analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But we’ve got eight years of Iranian exercises that show that’s more an exercise in semantics, than the way Iran organizes to fight. Given the fact that it’s not particularly suicidal, concentrating its assets in the Strait of Hormuz makes no sense at all.”

“Suicidal”: Cordesman’s choice of words is interesting. One Iranian high school textbook quotes former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as saying something “particularly suicidal”:

Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours.

Iran is a regime that will not only test the weapons at its disposal, it will use them. The current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is just like his predecessor—only better armed.

On Jan. 17, 2015, the Iranian state-sponsored Tasnim News Agency published an article that boldly proclaimed: “Today, all the arteries of oil transport—from Bab el-Mandeb Strait to Suez Canal and the Strait of Hormuz—are under Iranian control, by means of Syria, Yemen and Bahrain, and within range of Iranian missiles” (Middle East Media Research Institute translation).

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in his booklet The King of the South:

Khomeini referred to the West as “world devourers”! Eighty-five percent of 81 million Shiites in Iran believe in Twelver Shiism, which Khomeini espoused. This is an ideology that embraces death. …

Another alarming event occurred on Jan. 16, 2016, that should have opened the eyes of naive Western leaders to the danger of the Iranian mindset. Iran’s supreme leader said the country’s aggressively anti-American and anti-Israel policy would continue unchanged. Two days later, Iran ordered its military to accelerate its illegal missile program.

This intercontinental ballistic missile program is illegal because the new deal says Iran has to wait eight years before speeding it up. Instead Iran is accelerating it immediately! These missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. And Iran’s supreme leader says they have no intention of reforming any aspect of their hateful policies. The missile announcement is proof that Iran is already breaking a big part of the agreement. But the West mostly turned a blind eye to that.

So many Western leaders today believe Iran is all talk, even as it arms itself and prepares for war! Fourteen ballistic missile tests in 14 months, more than three decades of terror-fueled hatred, and centuries of evil religious teaching prove this—but so too does your Bible.

The Bible actually specifically mentions Iran and forecasts what it will do in the 21st century. The Bible’s prediction pinpoints the Islamic Republic’s pushy foreign policy—and specifies that this aggressive behavior will soon goad a response. In his 2015 article, Mr. Flurry wrote:

Daniel 11:40 shows that as these events play out with Iran, the United States won’t be a factor! It is Europe that Iran is going to push against. And it is Europe that will respond.

A European superpower is rising on the scene that will have the boldness and the power to deal with Iran’s pushing.

Europe is very worried about what Iran just did in Yemen. And unlike America, this European power will act!

Daniel 11:40 says Europe will come at Iran like a whirlwind. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says the Hebrew word for whirlwind is “used of the commotion of a storm or a tempest; to sweep away in a storm.” Europe is going to throw everything it has at the Iranian-led radical Muslims and utterly defeat them!

That drama all starts with a push from Iran.

Right now Iran is advancing its means of shutting down the maritime routes that Europe relies upon. Upgrades to the Fateh-110 may seem small, but combined with Iran’s renewed interest in the Bab el-Mandeb, Yemen, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, the world ought to take note. Even more alarmingly, Iran’s growing influence reflects into events foretold in your Bible—events that lead to World War iii.

The Prophet Daniel also recoded what would happen after World War iii erupts. That cataclysm actually begins a countdown to the return of Jesus Christ (Daniel 12:11). To understand how the immediate future will be more bleak—and then more inspiring—then analysts realize, read Mr. Flurry’s free booklet The King of the South.

Iran Ups Ante With Naval Mines in Critical Sea Choke Point

Iran Ups Ante With Naval Mines in Critical Sea Choke Point

KHALED FAZAA/AFP/Getty Images

Another sign Iran is becoming the gatekeeper of the Red Sea

JERUSALEM–A Yemeni Coast Guard vessel exploded on Friday, hitting a naval mine planted in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia.

Yemeni military sources revealed to Al-Arabiya that the explosion occurred as the vessel was undertaking a surveillance tour in the region. Two Coast Guard officers were killed, and eight others are currently being treated in the southern Yemeni city of Aden.

The deaths come just one week after the United States Office of Naval Intelligence (oni) warned that the Iranian-backed Houthi militia operating in western Yemen had deployed the naval mines in the strait. The oni report warned commercial ships of the danger of mines planted by the Houthis near the Mokha port at the entrance to the Bab el-Mandeb.

The placing of mines in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait is the latest in a host of signs that Iran is implementing a strategy to control shipping through this critical sea-lane.

At the end of February, Iran conducted its annual naval exercise from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea. Included this year for the first time was the area in question—the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

At the time, Jacob Shapiro wrote for Geopolitical Futures that the inclusion of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait in this year’s exercise is an addition that “offers a window into Iranian strategy.

However, back in 2011, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned that Iran had a strategy to control these waterways. Since 2011, the Trumpet observed Iran take over western Yemen through its backing of the Houthi militia and, through that connection, destabilize shipping through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. When the Houthis took over the capital of Yemen in January 2015, Mr. Flurry wrote:

The Houthi takeover in Yemen proves that Iran is implementing a bold strategy to control the vital sea-lane from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

After the Houthi suicide boat attack on a Saudi frigate earlier this year, the Trumpet wrote, “Now with the Houthis controlling virtually all of Yemen’s western coast, the Iranians have shifted their focus off the land and into the Red Sea.” The naval exercises as well as the mining of the Bab el-Mandeb confirm that shift.

Just how important is the Bab el-Mandeb Strait?

As Mr. Flurry explained in an article in an April 2015 article:

In order to reach the Mediterranean Sea from the Indian Ocean, a lot of seafaring trade—including 3.8 million barrels of oil per day—passes through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the southern gate of the Red Sea. Measuring just 18 miles across, this channel is the closest point between the two landmasses of Central Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The northeast edge of the strait is in Yemeni territory.

The strategic importance of controlling this passage is equal to controlling the Suez Canal, since both are part of the same thoroughfare.

Consider the global ramifications: Nearly 10 percent of global seaborne oil supplies passes through the gates of the Red Sea. Roughly 20,000 ships pass through the Suez Canal and Bab el-Mandeb each year—an average of 55 per day. About 15 percent of global maritime trade travels through the Red Sea.

As James Holmes wrote in a Foreign Policy piece last year:

If a coastal foe can menace shipping transiting this narrow seaway, it would disrupt the shortest, most convenient sea route connecting Europe with South and East Asia. Doing so would carry significant economic and military repercussions.

… Houthi antics could drive insurance rates sky-high for merchant shipping, prompting shippers to bypass the danger zone …. In a sense, then, the Houthis could conscript insurance firm Lloyd’s of London as an ally—magnifying their influence while distorting patterns of trade and military operations.

In November 2016, Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammed Hossein Bagheri said, “One day, we may need [naval] bases on the coasts of Yemen and Syria.” Clearly, Iran has designs for this waterway and is right now in the process of making its intentions known.

But how serious are Iran’s intentions in the Red Sea? Would it really close the Red Sea to international shipping? And if it did, which nations would be willing to counteract it. The answers to these questions and others concerning Iran’s rise in the Middle East can be found in Gerald Flurry’s booklet The King of the South.

Iran Is Pushing the World Toward World War III

Iran Is Pushing the World Toward World War III

MEHDI MARIZAD/AFP/Getty Images

Bible prophecy indicates that World War iii will begin with a pushy foreign policy by a Middle Eastern nation. In today’s program, Trumpet Middle East correspondent Brent Nagtegaal looks at two recent actions by Iran in preparation for this push to take place.

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