Europe moves deeper into Africa
Germany and France are backing the creation of a new military force in Africa. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger are creating a 5,000-strong joint force to be known as “G-5 Sahel.” The force is scheduled to be fully operational by September.
An internal document of the European External Action Service shows that Germany and France intend to provide training and infrastructure, as well as supply weapons, ammunition and military vehicles to the force.
Meanwhile terrorist attacks and violence in the region are drawing Europe deeper into Africa. On August 13, at least 18 people were killed and 20 injured in a shooting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The same city suffered its bloodiest terrorist attack to date last year on January 15 when 30 people were murdered at a hotel. Yet increased security efforts have not prevented the spread of terrorism. After the recent attack, Burkina Faso accepted Germany’s offer to train its troops at German bases.
On August 14, terrorists killed seven in an attack on the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. Since the effort began in 2013, it has been the deadliest UN mission in the world.
Meanwhile, violence has escalated in the Central African Republic. UN aid chief Stephen O’Brien warned on August 7, “The early warning signs of genocide are there.” France currently has a major military presence in the area—one the French government had been hoping to draw down.
Italy is also being drawn deeper into the continent. Italy’s parliament voted on August 2 to dispatch its navy to the coast of Libya in an effort to alleviate part of the ongoing refugee crisis.
“Northern Africa is turning into a battleground with enormously important prophetic implications,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in the April 2013 issue. He discussed the spread of Iranian-backed terror groups but also warned that “Iran isn’t the only one interested in Africa. Germany is making strong inroads as well. Both of these powers are racing to get as much control of North Africa as they can. They will inevitably clash with each other.”
Terrorist attacks continue in Europe
Sixteen people were killed and at least 120 were injured on August 17 when a terrorist drove a van into pedestrians in Barcelona, Spain. The next day around 1 a.m., five terrorists carried out a second attack in Cambrils, a popular seaside town about 75 miles south of Barcelona. The men drove a car into crowds of people, injuring seven (one of whom died later). Police officers then shot the five men, who were wearing what appeared to be explosive suicide belts.
On August 18, a terrorist stabbed two women to death and injured eight more in the Finnish city of Turku. This came just three weeks after Ahmad Alhaw grabbed a knife from the shelf of a supermarket in Germany and attempted to stab as many as he could, killing one person and wounding six.
The series of attacks shows that Europe is not even close to addressing its terrorism problems. Expect the Continent to rally around a strong leader who will use overwhelming force against radical Islam, as prophesied in Daniel 8.
Germany’s shocking new bestseller
An obscure book printed by a tiny publishing house stormed its way up Germany’s bestsellers list, despite being shunned by the mainstream press.
Finis Germania, a 2015 collection of essays by historian Rolf Peter Sieferle, is flying off the shelves. Sieferle, who committed suicide last year, previously published well-respected works by prestigious publishers. But these essays strike a different tone and were only printed by a small publisher known for its far-right publications.
Finis Germania (The End of Germany) has been condemned by just about the entire German media. It reached sixth on Spiegel’s list of nonfiction books before Spiegel struck it from the list, saying it did not want to give the book any more publicity.
Christopher Caldwell wrote for the New York Times: “When the German literary establishment unanimously denounced Mr. Sieferle’s work as an extremist tract, readers did not nod in agreement. They pulled out their wallets and said, ‘That must be the book for me.’ This is a sign that distrust of authority in Germany has reached worrisome levels …” (July 8).
The book argues that Germans are being unfairly punished for the Holocaust and are taught to hate their own nation. The nation is being immersed into Europe, leading to the “Finis Germania”—the end of Germany.
To learn more about the dangerous direction this kind of belief is taking Germany, read “‘Never Trust the German.’”
Arab Spring 2.0 coming to Egypt?
Egypt’s failing economy is creating a volatile environment that experts say could explode into a revolution at any time.
Out of desperation, President Abdel Fateh al-Sisi has imposed strict austerity measures, trimming long-standing food and fuel subsidies that 75 percent of Egyptians receive. Sisi has also floated the Egyptian pound, causing the currency to lose half its value and boosting inflation. These difficult measures are for Egypt’s long-term benefit, but Sisi is taking a gamble. He’s hoping benefits like new jobs and economic growth will kick in before the austerity sparks another social explosion like the Arab Spring of 2011.
Sisi has clamped down on the media, a move that appears to have helped suppress a revolt, thus far. But one politician said it is “stability on the tip of a volcano that is on the verge of an explosion. When it will explode, no one can predict. … [I]f chaos unfolds in Egypt, it will be a threat not just to the Egyptians, but also to the whole region—and to the West.”
The 2011 Arab Spring in Egypt empowered the Muslim Brotherhood, and a future uprising could empower the radical Islamist group further, socially, politically and militarily.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has forecast for almost a decade that Egypt will fall under the influence of Islamists, such as those who lead the Muslim Brotherhood. In his booklet The King of the South, he states, “Daniel 11:42 implies that Egypt will be allied with the king of the south, or Iran. This prophecy indicates that there would be a far-reaching change in Egyptian politics!”
Hezbollah backs ‘drug kingpin’ to lead Venezuela
The Arab community is reportedly supporting drug kingpin and Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El Aissami to become the next president of Venezuela.
Sabrina Martín wrote for the PanAm Post on August 9: “Sources within the Arab community close to [Venezuelan President] Nicolás Maduro’s regime are reportedly looking into making a change of face for the Chavismo movement, with Tareck El Aissami at the helm.” Martín also reported that El Aissami’s associates in Venezuela collaborated with Syria in producing a report broadcast on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television network in Lebanon. The report called El Aissami “a strong man in the shadows and a close friend of the Lebanese resistance and the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad.”
El Aissami has been linked to the cocaine-trafficking outlet Cartel de los Soles. He has also been accused of issuing passports to hundreds of Hezbollah operatives between 2008 and 2012. Hezbollah now operates a multimillion-dollar narcotics business in Venezuela and one of the world’s most sophisticated money laundering networks to transfer funds between Latin America and the Middle East.
President Maduro appointed El Aissami to the second-highest office in Venezuela in January when his regime was facing challenges from parliament that could have ousted him from power. At that time, Joseph Humire, a Latin American security expert and author of Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America, said, “I’m worried that [El Aissami’s] power will only grow stronger. Iran, in particular, benefits greatly from having El Aissami as [vice president] as he has been their man in Venezuela.”
President Maduro’s grip on power appears to be weakening, and Vice President El Aissami’s clout and support appears to be growing.
A growing number of military officers are breaking ranks with Maduro and taking up arms. On August 6, a group of men in military uniform invaded Fort Paramacay, took more than 90 AK-103 rifles, and announced an insurgency. Maduro’s armed forces managed to beat back the uprising, but hundreds of Venezuelans have since taken to the streets to protest the government. If the protesters fail to topple the socialist regime in Venezuela, the next best thing they could do is change the face of the Chavismo movement to that of Tareck El Aissami.
The unholy alliance between Iranian-sponsored Islamic terrorists, Latin American cartel agents and United States street gangs is perhaps America’s most serious domestic security threat. Provisions of the Iran nuclear deal that halted investigations into links between Venezuela and Hezbollah will likely ensure that the alliance will largely go unchecked and grow dangerously stronger.
Iran, Iraq to boost military cooperation
On July 22, the defense ministers of Iran and Iraq promised to enhance military cooperation, border security, logistics and military drills and exercises between their nations.
Iran already has significant control of Iraq’s security. An estimated 100,000 Iran-backed Shiite militias operate in Iraq under the command of Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani. Pakistan’s Samaa TV reported that the defense ministers expect the cooperation to “lead to more serious, more active and more comprehensive cooperation between the two sides.”
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has warned about Iraq’s fall to Iran as far back as 1994, based on Bible prophecy. When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the Trumpet has warned that Iran would seize the opportunity to turn its newly weakened neighbor into a client state. Time is progressively vindicating that forecast. You can read about it in Mr. Flurry’s article “Is Iraq About to Fall to Iran?”
Vietnam submits to China
In mid-July, Vietnam ordered a government-affiliated international energy company to pull out of a gas drilling project in a Vietnamese section of the South China Sea. The decision came in response to pressure from China.
The capitulation involved Talisman Vietnam, a subsidiary of Spanish energy company Repsol. In mid-June, the Vietnamese government authorized Talisman to drill in a gas reservoir in block 136-03 of the South China Sea, a location near the border but within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. The decision was well within Vietnam’s rights according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (unclos).
But China objected, apparently based on a belief that the Spratly Islands, which are near this drilling location, are entitled to their own exclusive economic zone. The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague specifically ruled otherwise in a landmark decision last year, but China has refused to recognize the ruling.
China first dispatched the Central Military Commission’s vice chairman to demand that Vietnam stop drilling in the area. When the request was denied, China withdrew from a border security meeting with Vietnam. When Vietnam continued to drill, China summoned Vietnam’s ambassador in Beijing to inform him that it was considering a military response.
Had Vietnamese leaders had faith in the United States’ assurances to uphold international law, it would have continued to ignore China’s ill-founded demands. But Repsol officials said that Vietnam’s politburo did not trust the U.S. to come to its assistance if it clashed with China. The Vietnamese government capitulated and ordered Talisman to pack up its drilling project and to clear out of the area. Repsol confirmed on August 2 that it had suspended drilling, after having invested some $27 million in the project.
Writing for Foreign Policy, Bill Hayton said the Trump administration could have easily upheld international law in this situation: “[I]t wouldn’t have taken much: a statement or two about the rules-based order and the importance of abiding by unclos, some coincidental naval exercises during the weeks of the drilling, perhaps even some gunnery practice in the region of Block 136-03 and a few quiet words between Washington and Beijing. ‘Forward-deployed diplomacy,’ as it used to be called” (July 31).
But the United States provided no such support, so Vietnam caved. This surrender demonstrates the vast amount of influence the U.S. has lost in the South China Sea. It shows that whatever international law may say, in the South China Sea, China writes the rules.
Russia resurrects WW2-era tank army
The Kremlin has resurrected the First Guards Tank Army; one of six tank armies established by the Soviet Union during the World War ii-era that functioned as the spearhead of the Soviet offensive into Germany.
The unit is scheduled to participate in Zapad 2017, a set of border drills that the militaries of Russia and Belarus will hold from September 14 to 20 near the borders of nato nations. Analysts believe as many as 100,000 Russian and Belarusian troops might participate in these war games, which are named after the Russian word for “west.”
The deployment of the First Guards Tank Army on the western border of Russia sends a clear message of intimidation to Europe, which is evident even in the label given to the tank unit. “That name was chosen for a reason,” Philip Breedlove, a retired four-star general who served as nato commander, said to the New York Times. “It sends a very clear message to the Baltics and Poland” (July 31).
Europeans are receiving this message clearly. And with nato potentially unable to halt Russian offensives, the resurrection of the First Guards Tank Army represents an urgent call to action for Europe to resurrect a powerful heritage of its own: the Holy Roman Empire.
Russia takes one more slice of Georgia
Russian soldiers in the Republic of Georgia quietly pushed the occupational border deeper into the part of the country controlled by the Georgian government in early July, effectively expanding the territory Moscow holds.
The expansion occurred in the Bershueti village in the Gori district, according to a July 4 report by Georgia’s Agenda.ge news website. Russian troops erected a new border demarcation that adds about 25 acres to the Russia-controlled region of South Ossetia.
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying, “This is a continuation of the illegal process of the so-called borderization, which not only restricts the fundamental rights of local residents but considerably damages the security situation on the ground and obstructs Georgia’s efforts to achieve peaceful resolution of the conflict.”
The Russians have repeatedly pushed their de facto border deeper into Georgia. Tbilisi-based analyst Irakli Bokuchava told the Trumpet on July 12 that if Georgia doesn’t stand up to Russia’s creeping occupation, Moscow will keep going. “Non-resistance by Georgia only encourages Russia to steal more territories in South Ossetia,” he said. “The position of Georgia must be more severe.”
The move represents the latest step in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s quest to reconstruct the Soviet empire. For more information, request a free copy of our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.