As the scandals in the German Army mount, it is becoming clear that not just a single individual is at fault but much of the Bundeswehr leadership. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday, April 30, in zdf: “The German Army has a posture problem, and apparently a weak leadership on many levels” (Trumpet translation throughout).
First, there is the scandal surrounding the right-wing extremist German lieutenant, named “Franco A.” in the German media, who lived a double life, posing as a Syrian refugee and intending to carry out a terrorist attack in Germany that he would blame on his fabricated Syrian alter ego. This news has aroused much controversy in the Bundeswehr. The lieutenant was allowed to keep serving in the Army despite the fact that his superiors knew about his right-wing extremist views since 2014. It was said that he was given a “second chance.”
His master thesis in 2014 openly revealed the depth of his hatred toward foreigners and immigration in general. Spiegel Online reported:
The 140 pages with the title “Political Change and Subversion Strategy” leave little room for misunderstandings. Thus, [Franco] A. writes of an alleged “genocide” of the Western societies, which nears its end due to a “massive immigration,” the seeds have already been laid.
Had his superiors acted according to the strict rules of the German Army, Franco A.’s career in the Bundeswehr would have ended then and there. The end-of-year report of the Bundeswehr for 2016 stated that even if a soldier “appears to show anti-constitutional views or belittles extremist aspirations, he or she violates the core duty of the military.” But in reality, even those who write their entire thesis on their extremist views are tolerated in the Army.
Christian Mölling, deputy director of the research institute at the German Council on Foreign Relations, told Foreign Policy in an e-mail that right-wing extremism is a “major problem” in the German Army, today as well as in the past. Foreign Policy commented:
Far-right-wing thought has long persisted in shadowy pockets of the Bundeswehr, fruit of a continued obsession with the Nazi-era Wehrmacht, sparking national controversy when it occasionally surfaces.
Philipp Liesenhoff, a researcher in the German Marshall Fund’s Europe program, told the newspaper, “There’s this ideal of the German Wehrmacht: They’re seen as these tough, experienced fighters.” Soldiers during the time of Hitler were spoon fed with these idealistic views and filled with hatred toward foreigners. These ideas were so ingrained in the military leaders and common soldiers that they are still embraced today. Though the problem is well known, the German government has never thoroughly dealt with it.
Now that von der Leyen has spoken out on this issue, she is being heavily criticized. She canceled her trip to the United States and strongly rebuked the Bundeswehr as a whole, accusing it of having a leadership problem. “To shine light in the dark fields will be laborious; it will hurt; it will not be pleasant,” she said. “We will have to endure through it; it will require much time. The process will take weeks and months, but it is for the best in the Bundeswehr.”
She presents herself as the one to finally deal with an ugly, decades-old problem. Last Thursday, she invited 100 high-ranking officers to discuss further steps the government and military can take.
But her invitation was not well received, since these high-ranking officials were the target of some of her most severe criticism. Instead of receiving more correction, they expected her to apologize publicly. Many high-ranking officers accused her of generalizing the problem and trying to save her public image. The meeting that was meant to lay the groundwork for a thorough cleansing of the Bundeswehr instead revealed great distrust.
The officers were not allowed to bring their laptops, smartphones or smartwatches to the private meeting. Then von der Leyen apologized to them privately, saying she wished she would have handled the situation differently and would have stressed more what good the Bundeswehr does in general. But this was apparently not enough for the generals. German newspaper Die Welt speculated that von der Leyen was pressed to make her apology public, therefore the content of her speech was published on May 5.
The individual scandals that have surfaced in recent years are only the tip of an iceberg that hates to be exposed. Other recent cases reveal sexual abuses and perverse recruiting rituals by Army generals. This all adds up to show that there is, as von der Leyen said, a problem in the Bundeswehr leadership.
There is also ongoing fascination in the German military with Hitler’s Wehrmacht—the unified armed forces of the Nazi era. The fascination continues to this day because the very founders of the current German Army were the survivors of the Wehrmacht. As postwar Germany lay in ruins, surviving top military officers met with the chancellor of West Germany to plan a revival of the Army. Many of these men later found offices in the newly organized armies where they spread their ideas of a revival of the former Reich. The ideas have passed from generation to generation and remain alive in many high-ranking officers today. Von der Leyen will likely fail to change this and will most likely either give in or lose her office.
In the years immediately following World War ii, Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied of a revival of the Nazi ideas. He said they had not been destroyed but had only gone underground and that they would eventually resurface.
The Bundeswehr will soon show its real face, but once the iceberg is exposed, it will be too late. To understand more about what is happening behind the scenes, read He Was Right.
Iran attempted to launch a cruise missile from a “midget” submarine in the Strait of Hormuz on May 2. The submarine appears to be based on a North Korean design, a further indication that the two rogue nations are collaborating on their missile and nuclear programs.
Iran and North Korea are the only two countries in the world that operate “midget” submarines, which can travel and hide in shallow water. “Perhaps most worrisome for the United States is that Iran attempted this latest missile launch from a midget sub Tuesday in the narrow and crowded Strait of Hormuz, where much of the world’s oil passes each day,” wrote Fox News.
Fox said that intelligence reports claim that Iran’s sub “was based on a Pyongyang design, the same type that sank a South Korean warship in 2010. … Nonproliferation experts have long suspected North Korea and Iran are sharing expertise when it comes to their rogue missile programs.”
“The very first missiles we saw in Iran were simply copies of North Korean missiles,” Fox quoted Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey as saying. “Over the years, we’ve seen photographs of North Korean and Iranian officials in each other’s countries, and we’ve seen all kinds of common hardware.”
“In the past, we would see things in North Korea, and they would show up in Iran,” said Lewis. “In some recent years, we’ve seen some small things appear in Iran first and then show up in North Korea, and so that raises the question of whether trade—which started off as North Korea to Iran—has started to reverse.”
When Iran tested a ballistic missile in late January, the Pentagon said it was based on a North Korean design. Last summer, Iran conducted another missile launch similar to a North Korean Musudan, the most advanced missile Pyongyang has successfully tested to date. …
In July 2016, two days before the anniversary of the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic attempted to launch a new type of ballistic missile using North Korean technology, according to multiple intelligence officials.
It was the first time Iran attempted to launch a version of North Korea’s BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, potentially putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel within reach if the problems are fixed.
Last March, two nuclear experts warned that “Iran is steadily making progress towards a nuclear weapon and is doing so via North Korea,” in a paper published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.
“From the 1990s onward, dozens—perhaps hundreds—of North Korean scientists and technicians apparently worked in Iran in nuclear and ballistic facilities,” the authors wrote. As further evidence of collusion, the authors said the Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 2007 was constructed by North Korea and heavily financed by Iran. As we wrote in March:
In order for Iran to comply with the developing nuclear deal and yet continue its nuclear program, [Iran’s] leaders simply decided to outsource most of its work to North Korea while it negotiated the nuclear deal with the West that would result in desperately needed relief from economic sanctions.
Between 2013 and 2016, Iranian scientists were often covertly present at North Korea’s nuclear tests. Numerous North Korean delegations also visited Iran during this time; the last of which came one month before the nuclear deal was agreed to in June 2015. …
Iran’s connection to North Korea is something the Trumpet has watched for several years. In a recent update to his booklet The King of the South, editor in chief Gerald Flurry asks, “Why were Iranian officials present for North Korea’s illegal nuclear weapons tests? Are the Iranians outsourcing their nuclear program, or at least parts of their nuclear bombs? It certainly appears that way. The Iranians are watching these tests for a reason.”
Gerald Flurry called the nuclear deal with Iran the worst foreign-policy blunder in American history. This is particularly true if it turns out that Iran simply made its nuclear program a joint venture with North Korea. According to the paper, it’s also likely that much of the $150 billion transferred to Iran under the nuclear deal actually went to funding its continued nuclear arrangement with North Korea.
For more about Iran’s relationship with North Korea and what Iran plans to do with nuclear weapons once it obtains them, please read The King of the South.
Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images, Wikimedia Commons, CIRO FUSCO/AFP/Getty Images, NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (May 7)
German military and cultural dominance, China’s newest aircraft carrier, and more
May 7, 2017
Two ascendant world powers dominated the news this week: China and Germany. China launched its first domestically manufactured aircraft carrier, significantly enhancing the reach of its military, particularly in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, Germany signed significant defense cooperation agreements with Saudi Arabia, one of its most critical allies in the Middle East.
Here are the five most important news stories this week, as well as relevant links to the full articles and videos here on theTrumpet.com.
As Brexit continues to unravel the leadership of the European Union, and as the United States continues its political and military disengagement from Europe, some world leaders are looking to Germany to fill the apparent power void in the Continent.
But should the world trust the chief perpetrator of World Wars i and ii?
German author, journalist, profusely apologetic son of a Nazi war criminal and self-professed nationalist, Niklas Frank, warned in a recent interview with the bbc: “Don’t trust us.”
“As long as our economy is great, and as long as we made money, everything is very democratic,” Frank said. “But let’s wait, and hopefully not see, if we have five to 10 years of heavy economic problems, and the swamp is a lake and as a sea, and we swallow again everything.”
On April 30, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Saudi Arabia and agreed to help build up the Saudi defense industry.
Saudi Arabia is currently the third largest receiver of German weapons.
Saudi Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Mohammed al-Tuwaijri told Spiegel Online that his nation “want[s] to make Germany one of [its] most important business partners.” That cooperation has previously been complicated by Germany’s strict export guidelines and Saudi Arabia’s repeated humanitarian violations.
The solution? Chancellor Merkel said, “We cannot have German soldiers anywhere in the world, but we can very well pass on our know-how.”
China officially launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on April 26.
The new carrier is conventionally powered and equipped with a “ski jump” flight deck. The homegrown carrier can hold about 32 aircraft, and it is more advanced than its Soviet-made Liaoning aircraft carrier.
“With each new aircraft carrier, China is sending a signal that it has no peer among its neighbors,” said Patrick M. Cronin, the head of the Washington-based Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.
Nankai University military specialist Sun Haidong said, “[The carrier] symbolizes the rise of China, which will also boost China’s ability in dealing with territorial disputes.”
China’s rising military power and its increasingly aggressive stance in the South China Sea is steering the world toward war, as Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry warned last year.
A report released on April 26 by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom noted that “the state of affairs for international religious freedom is worsening in both the depth and breadth of violations.”
The report highlights just what a rare commodity religious freedom is in this world. The fact that most people living in the United States and Britain have enjoyed religious freedom for the last three centuries has been a historical aberration.
“This Week” appears every Sunday. To get these same top stories in your inbox ahead of time every Friday afternoon (plus a letter from one of the Trumpet’s editors), subscribe to the Trumpet Brief daily e-mail. Sign up by clicking here or by visiting theTrumpet.com home page.
Fueling an Empire
Massive trade deals with South America and Africa give Europe the resources it needs.
The Trump administration says it wants to make a deal—between the Arabs and Jews. President Donald Trump is hosting Arab leaders at the White House and will visit Saudi Arabia and Israel later this month.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also visiting Saudi Arabia and says her country will now start training Saudi Arabian soldiers in Germany.
America’s missile shield in South Korea is now operational. China and Russia are not happy about it—and neither is South Korea.
Russia, Turkey and Iran have signed a deal to end the war in Syria—and it looks like it could carve the country into separate pieces.
We’ll also talk about why America’s middle class is shrinking—how Southeast Asian nations are caving into China—a surprise announcement from the Roman Catholic pope and the Coptic pope—and the fact that the world’s bestselling book isn’t being read.
Melanie Phillips Public Lecture: Live Stream Online
Watch “A Word in Turmoil” live for free
May 7, 2017
The Trumpet is pleased to host Melanie Phillips, renowned British journalist, broadcaster and author, for a public talk at the Trumpet headquarters campus in Oklahoma on Sunday, May 7 at 6 p.m. (Central Time). Her lecture, “Melanie Phillips: A World in Turmoil,” will stream live online for those who do not live in the Oklahoma City area.
For those without a Facebook account, the event will be streamed at live.pcog.org(no login required).
Phillips is speaking in cities throughout America, giving her incisive perspective on turbulent global conditions. She is widely regarded for her insights on social, political and geopolitical affairs. Phillips’s weekly column, which currently appears in the Times of London, has been published over the years in the Guardian, the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Daily Mail. She also writes for the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Chronicle, appears as a regular panelist on bbc Radio’s The Moral Maze, and speaks on public platforms throughout the English-speaking world.
Her bestselling book, Londonistan (2006), covers the British establishment’s capitulation to Islamist aggression. She followed with The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle Over God, Truth and Power (2010). Her latest book is a personal and political memoir titled Guardian Angel (2013).
The public lecture is sponsored by the Philadelphia Trumpet newsmagazine, which is published from the offices on the Herbert W. Armstrong College campus and has bureaus in Britain, Israel, Canada and Australia. The Trumpet staff has admired Phillips’s work for many years and is pleased to be able to present a forum for the local public to hear her speak.