Listen to the May 17, 2017 edition of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.
Calls for President Donald Trump to be impeached are getting louder. Headlines continue to pour in about supposed conspiracies and scandals taking place in the Trump administration. While those allegations may or may not be true, one thing is clear: The major media are working to bring down President Trump. In one way, it is like Watergate. The real scandal then, however, was not what happened at the Watergate Hotel, but the series of lawless moves taken by Nixon’s persecutors to bring him down. On today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show we discuss the long-lasting effect the real Watergate scandal has had on America.
Terrorists murdered almost 30,000 people in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Institute for Economics and Peace. This means terrorists killed 6 percent of the 468,000 people who were murdered around the world in 2015. Since 2000, the year before the September 11 attacks against the United States, terror deaths per year have increased ninefold (774 percent).
Of the 29,376 people murdered by terrorists, 60 percent were killed by one of four Sunni Muslim groups. The Islamic State killed 6,141 people, Boko Haram killed 5,478 people, the Taliban killed 4,502 people, and al Qaeda killed 1,620 people. These grisly statistics only count those killed outside the context of “legitimate warfare activities,” as classified by the Global Terrorism Database.
An additional 47,000 people were killed in armed conflicts with the Islamic State, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al Qaeda. This number accounts for 30 percent of all battle-related deaths in 2015. When the terrorism and battle statistics are combined, these four terrorist organizations alone were responsible for 10 percent of the world’s violent killings in 2015 (suicides and animal attacks excluded).
Non-state, Sunni Muslim groups committed the majority of terrorist murders in 2015. But Iran, which is Shiite, remained the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism. According to a 2015 Congressional Research Service report, Iran spends approximately $100 to $200 million per year financing Hezbollah, $12 to $26 million per year financing Shiite militias inside Syria and Iraq, and $10 to $20 million per year financing Houthi rebels in Yemen.
In addition to financing more than 100 Shiite extremist organizations and militias, Iran also finances many Sunni terror groups. The same Congressional Research Service report notes that Iran gives tens of million of dollars each year to Hamas, a Sunni terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. In turn, Hamas pays tens of thousands of dollars each month to the Islamic State’s Sinai branch, in exchange for help smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip.
Iran is also funding the Taliban in a bid to stop the Islamic State from spreading into Afghanistan. “Iran is betting on the reemergence of the Taliban,” a Western diplomat told the Wall Street Journal. ”They are uncertain about where Afghanistan is heading right now, so they are hedging their bets.”
Westerners used to viewing the world through the lens of the nation-state may find it ironic that Iran is simultaneously partnering with the Islamic State’s Sinai branch while fighting against its Afghan branch. Yet Iran’s strategy for dominating the Middle East is one of destabilizing enemies and propping up allies. Clandestine aid to the Islamic State’s Sinai branch helps Iran destabilize Egypt and Israel, both of which Iran currently considers enemies. Meanwhile, covert aid to the Taliban keeps the Islamic State from growing too powerful in the Hindu Kush region.
This complicated network of terror is now killing tens of thousand of people every year. Radical Islam is now the dominant ideology across the Middle East, and Iran is this ideology’s chief state sponsor.
China continued its dramatic bid for global economic leadership on May 14 and 15, hosting a summit promoting its One Belt, One Road infrastructure initiative. Chinese President Xi Jinping said the “project of the century” would “add splendor to human civilization” by inaugurating a new era of trade.
If China follows through on all these promises, this will be no exaggeration. One Belt, One Road will become the most expensive development plan in history. It will be several times larger than the United States’ Marshall Plan, which sent an inflation-adjusted $130 billion in aid from America to Western Europe in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The Financial Times wrote:
If President Donald Trump is opening a void by withdrawing American leadership on global trade, President Xi Jinping is determined to fill it—and the world is taking notice of the shift. Nearly 30 heads of state, the chiefs of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the UN, and delegates from around the world converged on Beijing on Sunday for a conference promoting China’s Belt and Road initiative, its new Silk Road.
The plan is a hugely ambitious one, to build roads, rails, ports, pipelines and other infrastructure joining China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa by land and sea. Spurs from the overland “belt” and the maritime “road” reach into Southeast Asia and towards the Indian Ocean. Some $900 billion of investments, financed by a variety of Chinese or China-backed banks and credit funds, are projected.
The trouble is, China is not the only country with ambitions to fill the void of global leadership left behind by the United States.
China had hoped that major Western nations would send heads of government to the summit. But these nations sent only lower-ranking officials. Countries from the European Union declined to sign the summit’s joint statement about trade along these new trade routes.
But they have been quick to support China as an alternative to the U.S. in other areas. For example, European nations, led by the United Kingdom, signed up to China’s Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (aiib) in 2015, despite U.S. pressure not to join. Germany, especially, has a budding economic relationship with China.
So why the disagreement this weekend? They claimed the document was too protectionist. Handelsblatt wrote that “they refused because China had not accepted any of Europe’s calls for free trade and equal conditions.”
However, the dispute “is part of a broader concern in Europe about equality of conditions and access in China,” it continued. “German government officials say conditions are unequal and unfair, a complaint echoed by companies who complain they have to do business by different rules than their Chinese counterparts.”
Xi does not practice what he preaches when it comes to free trade, and Europe is getting fed up. Voice of America outlined some of the concerns about the project:
[B]ased on how the project has been outlined, China appears to be trying its hand at a new form of economic colonization, said Mohan Malik, a professor at the Institute of Asian Security in Hawaii.
“China is in an empire-building mode: an empire of exclusive economic enclaves that would create a Sino-centric unipolar Asia,” Malik said in an e-mailed response. “Chinese officials, in jest, talk of buying off smaller countries instead of invading them.”
Malik adds that with its slowing economy, China risks “imperial overreach” with such a massive venture.
Europe is not going to participate in this kind of project. The Europeans are certainly interested in much closer economic cooperation with China and the Silk Road initiative, but if they are going to be involved, they want to be on at least equal footing with China.
The massive infrastructure project is important to watch. As the Trumpet wrote in the October 2016 issue:
The Bible clearly prophesies the rise of this new economic system. Isaiah 23:3 describes a “mart of nations,” a trading bloc that allows merchants to grow rich. This chapter describes Tyre and its allies (such as Zidon) as a type of the new “commercial center“ of the world—coming as a rising European power in modern times, as editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision. The Bible describes China and Japan as the other major members of this “mart.”
When you put prophecies of this new global economy alongside prophecies of a siege, a clear picture emerges. Europe and Asia work to create a new economic system. They dominate the globe’s choke points and together use them to besiege Britain and America. Mr. Flurry writes: “When the Holy Roman Empire attacks North America, there will be no help or sympathy from Asia. In fact, considering that China has come to possess most of the world’s strategic sea gates … we believe there may be a brief alliance between the German-led Holy Roman Empire and certain Asian powers (Russia, China, Japan—the kings of the east). Should Europe, the resurrected Holy Roman Empire, find a way to take advantage—even for a moment—of key resources and strategic holdings of China, Russia and Japan, it would have more than enough power to besiege the Anglo-Saxon nations and enslave them.
“This is why Isaiah’s prophecy of an end-time ‘mart of nations’ that includes both European and Asian powers is so intriguing. And why the trend of collusion between these two great economic blocs is worth watching” (Isaiah’s End-Time Vision).
But this is a brief alliance of rivals, like the Russo-German alliance in World War ii ….
The Silk Road project connects all the members of this mart of nations. However, what the Bible describes is not a China-led project, with others participating with a much lower status. If anything, it is the European powers that are the most dominant.
Europe too has significant economic heft. Watch for Europe to use this to compete with China, as both powers try to position themselves as the successor of the United States in economic might and world leadership.
Listen to the May 16, 2017 edition of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.
The percentage of Americans that view pornography as “morally acceptable” has increased to a record high according to a recent Gallup poll. Thirty-six percent of Americans not only believe pornography is normal—they believe it is moral! American culture is on the “downward plunge,” Herbert W. Armstrong wrote over 50 years ago. Today, America’s downward spiral is accelerating faster than ever. We discuss where this is leading and more on today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show.
German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen should step down. That is the opinion Spiegel magazine published on May 13, after recent revelations of a right-wing terror group that exists within the German military. The day before, Spiegel reported that one extremist was planning to assassinate top German politicians, including the former president. The Spiegel article claimed that the scandals have reached a breaking point: Apologies and reforms are insufficient—only a major action like the resignation of a minister will give the right sign to the public that the government is taking these problems seriously.
Franco A., a German lieutenant, was arrested on April 26 after he was discovered planning a terrorist attack that he planned to blame on immigrants. Subsequently, 1st Lt. Maximilian T. has been arrested, as well as Mathias F., a student of Franco A.
Documents found with Mathias F. revealed that the group planned to kill top politicians such as former Federal President Joachim Gauck, Justice Minister Heiko Maas and members of the political institutions of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. The latest issue of Spiegel stated (Trumpet translation throughout):
Officers of the Bundeswehr wanted to assassinate politicians of the Federal Republic and to throw suspicion on refugees. A planned attack by German soldiers on people who represent the institutions of the Federal Republic. A planned attack by German soldiers on the central political project of Angela Merkel. A right-wing extremist network that was able to unfold despite an early suspicion. This is so shocking, so unheard of, that reforms of the Bundeswehr alone will not be enough.
Armies are always sensitive. In them lie the weapon power, the potential for a coup. They are a guarantor of the security of a state, but also a possible threat to the state. In soldiers’ souls, the readiness to be violent must at the same time be unleashed and tamed, which is, of course, an extremely difficult balance.
Von der Leyen blamed the problems on the Bundeswehr leadership. She has ordered reforms like the revision of the Bundeswehr songbook, which she says uses too many songs from the time of Adolf Hitler, and the renaming of army barracks that are named after generals from the same time period. These are good changes, but the problems lie deeper: For 70 years, no one in the Bundeswehr’s leadership has made a serious attempt at tackling these problems. Spiegel summarized the findings last Thursday:
Here is the situation: In the barracks in Sonderhausen, soldiers have been cursed as “genetic waste.” Others had to run until they collapsed. In Pfullendorf, a bar was installed in the lounge, at which a female recruit was meant to dance. Medical instructors forced women to get undressed and permit being touched in the genital area. Afterward, there should have been a “smell” before the assembled team. Lt. Gen. Franco A., who was stationed in Illkirch, wrote a master’s thesis in which he spoke, for example, of the “intermixing of the races.” All this came to light on detours and only by chance.
In other army facilities, swastikas and other objects of Nazi devotions have been found. Throughout the German Army there is a continued admiration for Hitler’s Wehrmacht. Any successful reform would have to deal with changing the overall attitude of the Bundeswehr rather than changing barrack names and songbooks. But bringing the Bundeswehr on the right track is easier said than done because, since its founding, it has followed the wrong tracks.
Over 80 percent of the approximately 15,000 officers who laid the foundation of the German Army in 1955 fought under Hitler just a few years previous. According to German historian Johannes Hürter, even Adolf Heusinger, who was appointed to build the new German Army and later became chairman of the nato Military Committee, served previously as one of Hitler’s advisers. So, it is true that there always have been Nazis in the German Army.
Not only did the fascination with Hitler and his Wehrmacht survive, it began to take on new levels. The latest issue of Spiegel commented that, although the Bundeswehr has had problems with its Nazi past since its founding, “a supposedly planned terror attack on representatives of the democratic state is unique in the history of the German Federal Republic.”
Right-wing extremism is part of the very foundation of the German Army. Thousands of soldiers despise what Hitler did, no doubt, but many tolerate Nazi admiration in their midst. That’s why there are still Nazi-era songs in its songbooks, why the names of the barracks were not changed, and why there is continued admiration for Hitler’s Wehrmacht. That will not change even if von der Leyen resigns. She may be guilty of not dealing with it early enough, but at least she is trying to bring about some changes.
As Spiegel pointed out, when it comes down to it, the real power of a nation lies in its military. The question is what kind of a leader will the Army support in the future. Prophecy tells us that the German military will not submit to the reforms but rather demand a strong leader that thinks the same way it does. How far will this extremism take Germany? Request our free booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent to find out.