Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Our world is full of suffering. Why?

Why do children die of cancer? Why do families suffer from starvation? Why do people going about their normal daily lives get killed by terrorists?

Why is our world so full of tragic suffering—and senseless death?

People who believe in the Christian God believe He is all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful. But if He knows about suffering—and if He loves the people who are suffering—why doesn’t He use His power to stop the suffering?

Many people have theories about why God allows suffering. But the real answer is found in God’s Word, the Holy Bible.

The Apostle Paul described the age we live in as “this present evil world.” Now here’s an interesting question: According to the Bible, who is the god of this “present evil world”? The answer might surprise you.

Ezekiel 28 describes a magnificent archangel who was “full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” Isaiah 14 tells us God gave this angel authority to rule the Earth. But then this angel turned to evil, and tried to seize God’s throne. This angel’s name was Lucifer. After he rebelled, God changed his name to Satan. And notice: God cast him back down to Earth.

The Bible says Satan is real! Not only that, he has also deceived the whole world. But that’s not all. The Bible also makes this shocking statement: Satan is, in fact, “the god of this world”! (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Does the world around you begin to make a little more sense when you realize that the god of this world is actually the devil?

But why is God allowing this? There is a valuable reason: God is teaching us something.

The sadness, the misery, the tragedy that surrounds us is not something to ignore. It’s something we must face up to—and learn from.

Jesus Christ faced these facts. In His day, a building collapsed, tragically crushing 18 people. He said, “[T]hink ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:4-5).

Jesus Christ Himself said that some human beings suffer and die—even though they are no more sinful than those who continue to live.

Romans 3:23 says that all human beings are guilty of sin. Ecclesiastes 9:11 says that time and chance happen to everyone. Jesus said that, one way or another, we will “all likewise perish”—unless we repent!

Repenting means giving up your entire way of life—and submitting to God’s way of life. It means, turning to the true God and allowing Him to rule you.

Jesus showed that the disasters people are suffering are warnings to those who believe in God. One way or another, your brief existence will end—unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. The most fundamental lesson a human being can learn is to face the truth—to recognize his own helplessness apart from God.

But what about those who died? You might think that they can’t learn any lessons from their own deaths. But what does the Bible say?

“Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live.”
—Ezekiel 37:5

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God ….”
—Revelation 20:12

The plain truth of the Bible is that all those who have died will live again! They will be resurrected to physical life at a time when Jesus Christ has replaced Satan as the god of this world!

“God shall wipe all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”
—Revelation 21:4

To summarize: Satan is the god of this world. God allows him to inflict suffering and death—to teach a valuable, eternal lesson to those who will repent.

In the future, God will replace Satan as ruler over the world, He will resurrect those who have died, and He will give them the opportunity to repent and share a relationship with Him.

Why does God allow suffering? This is God’s answer—from the Bible. Repentance is the most important lesson you can learn.

Begin your journey toward repentance and a relationship with God by reading Gerald Flurry’s booklet Repentance Toward God.

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Donald Trump and the State of Two Americas

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on January 30.
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Donald Trump and the State of Two Americas

Listen to the Jan. 31, 2018, episode of the Trumpet Daily Radio Show.

United States President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address last night revealed just how massive the divide is in American government. Despite some of President Trump’s left-wing initiatives, like giving citizenship to 1.8 million “dreamers,” Democrats still viewed the speech as “divisive” and “hateful.” Democrats sat quietly throughout the speech, while Republicans repeatedly cheered on the president—an appropriate picture of two Americas. On today’s Trumpet Daily Radio Show, I discuss the president’s first State of the Union address and explain why he will not be able to heal America.

Listen on Stitcher

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Why Cloning Is Immoral

Two cloned macaques named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are held by a nurse at the non-human-primate research facility under the Chinese Academy of Sciences on January 22.
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Why Cloning Is Immoral

Scientists have cloned monkeys, but there is still something they don’t know about the value of life and the human mind.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences cloned two monkeys last year, according to research published on January 24 in the journal Cell. The first of these macaques was born last November. The second was born last December. They are technically not the first monkeys to ever be artificially cloned. Scientists produced identical twin macaques in 1999 by splitting a macaque embryo in half. But the macaques cloned last year are the first monkeys to be cloned using somatic cell nuclear transfer—the technique used to clone Dolly the sheep in 1996.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer involves extracting the nucleus of a cell from an adult animal and injecting it into a fertilized egg whose nucleus has been removed. This genetically modified egg is then implanted into a surrogate mother, who carries the baby until it is ready to be delivered (usually by cesarean section). The clone has a genetic makeup that is at least theoretically identical to its nucleus donor. Since Dolly the sheep was cloned over 20 years ago, around 23 other species have been cloned using this method—including cats, cows, horses and pigs.

Even though the process sounds straightforward, it never results in a healthy animal. Less than 4 percent of clones survive beyond six months. Even those that survive longer often end up suffering from oversized heads, twisted limbs, malformed kidneys and other deformities.

The reasons for these deformities are not well understood, but Ian Wilmut, a scientist at the Roslin Institute, believes the cloning process switches off certain genes needed to create a healthy animal.

The team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences admits they tried 79 times before they found a way to clone a monkey that survived more than a few days. Despite the tremendous amount of animal suffering involved in these experiments, scientists are debating whether or not this technology could be used to clone humans.

“Humans are primates. So (for) the cloning of primate species, including humans, the technical barrier is now broken,” Dr. Mu-Ming Poo told reporters. “The reason … we broke this barrier is to produce animal models that are useful for medicine, for human health. There is no intention to apply this method to humans.”

While only evolutionists believe that humans are primates, many scientists believe using monkeys to test new drugs will allow them to more effectively treat human patients in the future. They believe that testing these drugs on clone monkeys will reduce complicating factors caused by genetic variability in non-cloned animals. The team at the Chinese Academy of Sciences wants to use cloned monkeys to study treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Attempting to clone a human being is illegal in many countries, although China has taken a lax position on this type of research. Chinese scientists at Xiangya School of Medicine claim that they have cloned at least 30 human embryos for stem cell research. The scientists say they harvested stem cells from these embryos in an attempt to grow organs for transplant. The human embryos used in these experiments were torn apart three to five days after fertilization. Since these embryos were not transferred to a surrogate mother, they would not have survived much longer than that.

Both atheism and Confucianism (China’s main ideologies) claim that an embryo is nothing more than a clump of cells before it is born, thus negating any guilt involved in this type of research. But the Bible condemns cloning on both animal and human embryos. “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).

God gave mankind dominion over animals. He also gave special instructions on which animals we should and should not eat. But God’s Word condemns scientists who torture baby monkeys with kidneys that do not function simply because they want to grow them in a petri dish instead of allowing them to be naturally conceived the way God designed. Researchers are in a quest to avert the consequences of diseases, without addressing the underlying causes of those diseases. The Bible reveals not only spiritual laws but also health laws. It is wrong to justify animal cruelty in a quest for good health and prosperity.

Concerning human embryos, God instructed the ancient Israelites to treat someone who caused an unborn child to die prematurely the same as any other murderer.

“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life” (Exodus 21:22-23).

God considers the life of an unborn child equal to that of an adult. Every time a scientist extracts the nucleus of a human embryo during an experiment, it results in the death of a human being.

The other thing that most scientists do not understand about human beings is that, unlike monkeys, they are more than a collection of living cells. There is a spiritual component in humans that elevates them above animals. “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding” (Job 32:8).

Even if a scientist could clone a human body, they cannot clone the human spirit. Only God can put this spirit into a human being. It is what gives humans free will and intellectual reasoning capacity. It is what gives humans the ability to choose moral and spiritual values, to develop character. It is what allows humans to have a special relationship with God. For a detailed look into this subject, request our free booklet What Science Can’t Discover About the Human Mind, by Herbert W. Armstrong.

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Fragile States Index: Ethiopia Is Facing Failure

Security measures are taken as the Oromo people protest the government during the Oromo new year holiday.
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Fragile States Index: Ethiopia Is Facing Failure

Ethiopia is following the path of failed states in the Horn of Africa, North Africa and the Middle East.

Ethiopia faces a high risk of failure due to continued political and social instability in the country, the Fund for Peace reported in its Fragile States Index Annual Report 2017.

Over the past few years, months, weeks and days, security officers have killed anti-government protesters, resulting in more anti-government protests. The latest point in this vicious cycle occurred on January 20 when Ethiopian security forces shot and killed at least seven protesters. According to news reports, the protesters were celebrating a religious festival. Then they started chanting anti-government slogans and hurling stones at security officers, who responded by firing bullets.

Reports say the weekend clash was followed by a week of more violent clashes, which resulted in the death of at least 20 civilians.

Much of this bloodshed in Ethiopia is based on ethnic differences and territorial disputes between ethnic regions within the nation.

“Limited attention has been given to outbreaks of violence in Ethiopia, as anti-government protests, particularly in the Amhara and Oromia regions, led to a declaration of a [10-month] state of emergency in October 2016,” the Fund for Peace wrote in its report. “The state of emergency was also used as a tool to crack down on political opponents and media.”

Activists say that more than 700 Oromia residents were killed when security officers clashed with people from the Oromo ethnic group during a thanksgiving festival in October 2016. A similar incident happened in October last year when security forces killed about 10 people who were protesting food shortages. In December, military officials reportedly killed 15 protesters in Oromia.

“Ethiopia’s overall Fragile States Index (fsi) score has been incrementally worsening over the past decade, moving from 95.3 in 2007, to a score of 101.1 in [last] year’s 2017 index, with Ethiopia—along with Mexico—being the most-worsened country over [2016],” wrote the Fund for Peace. Foreign Policy wrote on January 11 that “Ethiopia Is Falling Apart.”

In our special report Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes, “What is the immediate future of Libya and Ethiopia? We must go to the Bible for the answer—you will find it no place else.” These two nations are mentioned together in a prophecy in Daniel 11: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. … But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, … and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (verses 40 and 43).

Our free booklet The King of the South proves that the “king of the south” in Daniel’s prophecy is radical Islam led by Iran.

Mr. Flurry continues in Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy:

Why did God inspire the mentioning of Libya and Ethiopia? Every word in God’s inspired Bible has significance. … This verse states that Libya and Ethiopia are … going to be closely allied with Iran! …

So you need to watch Libya and Ethiopia. They are about to fall under the heavy influence or control of Iran, the king of the south. That is why they are subdued in the king of the north victory.

That prophecy is easy to understand. The big question is this: Do you believe your Bible?

Why would Iran be so interested in getting some measure of control over Libya and Ethiopia? To me, the answer is intriguing.

All you need to do is get a good map of the Middle East, with the emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Then you can see why the king of the south, or radical Islam, is so interested in an alliance with or control over these two countries (as well as Egypt and Tunisia). They are on the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world!

Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as a part of Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is in danger of falling apart—and falling prey to predator nations like Iran. As Mr. Flurry admonishes, watch Ethiopia. To help you with that, we would like offer you our report Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy. It is available in five different formats, and all of them are free!

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The End of the World Is Nigh! Say Experts

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The End of the World Is Nigh! Say Experts

A series of exports warn of World War III

Nuclear war. The end of the world. There is nothing more dramatic—which is why it’s the subject of so many movies. Yet it’s a subject we don’t want to think about in real life.

But this is a very real threat. Don’t take my word for it—some of the world’s most respected foreign-policy experts are sounding some very scary warnings.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the symbolic Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight on January 25.

This expert panel declared that we are two minutes away from nuclear annihilation. Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert Rosner, both physicists with the Bulletin, said that “the world is not only more dangerous now than it was a year ago; it is as threatening as it has been since World War ii.” Only once in history has the Bulletin believed we were this close to midnight—that was in 1953.

At the same time, other experts have given similarly stark messages. I’ve been working in the news bureau at the Trumpet for over 10 years, and I don’t remember ever seeing such dire warnings coming from such mainstream sources.

“The New Nuclear Age: A Journey Into the Unknown,” by Stratfor’s Ian Morris, and “The Growing Danger of Great-Power Conflict,” an editorial in the Economist, are remarkable both because of the warning they give and where they’re coming from. Neither publication is prone to overly dramatic headlines. The Economist is left wing—generally subscribing to the school of thought that says that human nature is good and improving. But even it sees something is terribly wrong with today’s world.

To many, the nuclear annihilation risk ended with the Cold War. In 1991, the Doomsday Clock was set all the way back to 17 minutes to midnight. It looked like the day of reckoning was postponed, perhaps even canceled. Yet the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the editorial board of the Economist and Ian Morris at Stratfor all warn that, in many ways, the danger is now worse.

Morris gave two reasons. One is that more nations than ever are within sprinting distance of the nuclear finish line. He warned that “dozens have now reached levels of wealth and development that would enable them to go nuclear quite quickly ….” North Korea and Iran are both close, if they don’t have nukes already. Both could trigger a nuclear arms race in their regions. But the biggest danger may lie elsewhere. Morris warned that “some strategists now worry that if governments in Europe grow sufficiently worried about the reliability of American nuclear support against Russian revanchism, the Continent could soon become a more dangerous place than it was even in 1914” (emphasis added throughout).

The second reason for danger is the decline of the United States. The world has been a relatively peaceful place for the last 70 years because of the U.S. “Relatively” is an important hedge—there have been wars, but no all-out great-power conflicts. “For a quarter century, the U.S. global dominance raised the price of going to war without its approval to a level that only someone as audacious as long-time Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would risk paying,” Morris wrote. “With force off the table, even the most ardent revisionists had no choice but to adhere to legal frameworks.”

This led many to believe that great-power conflict was a thing of the past—that man had solved the problem of world war with these legal frameworks. But that was just a dream, and “the world has to wake up from even the happiest dreams,” wrote Morris. The problem was not solved, and now the conditions that led to relative peace are gone.

The U.S. once played “globocop,” but it is now following in the footsteps of the last power that undertook this role: the British Empire. Britain’s fall from this role led to war. “By 1890, revisionist governments—above all in Germany—were increasingly concluding that the globocop could not police its beat and that the potential costs of using force were falling below the potential benefits,” Morris wrote. “The result was the First World War.”

If anything, the fall of America may be worse. “Unlike British governments in the quarter century leading up to World War i, recent U.S. governments have seemed positively eager to send the message that the globocop is faltering,” he continued. “This has been one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in Washington lately.”

With a weak America, “who knows anymore whether violent actions might not pay off? We are entering a new world of risk-taking and adventurism.” This is Morris’s “new nuclear age”—where the forces that have held back nuclear World War iii are gone.

The warning from the Economist is very similar. It wrote that “a devastating clash between the world’s great powers has remained almost unimaginable.”

“No longer,” it warned. “[Now,] powerful, long-term shifts in geopolitics and the proliferation of new technologies are eroding the extraordinary military dominance that America and its allies have enjoyed. Conflict on a scale and intensity not seen since the Second World War is once again plausible. The world is not prepared.”

In Asia, North Korea and even Russia and China are openly challenging America. “If America allows China and Russia to establish regional hegemonies, either consciously or because its politics are too dysfunctional to muster a response, it will have given them a green light to pursue their interests by brute force,” it wrote. “When that was last tried, the result was the First World War.”

This British-based publication also sees the key role of Pax Americana. “The best guarantor of world peace is a strong America,” it concluded. “Fortunately, it still enjoys advantages. … Yet those advantages could all too easily be squandered. Without America’s commitment to the international order and the hard power to defend it against determined and able challengers, the dangers will grow. If they do, the future of war could be closer than you think.”

Alarming warnings. But how many are really sitting up and taking notice?

Back when the Doomsday Clock was moved forward to seven minutes to midnight in 2002, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “The world should have jolted out of sleep at the news. Headlines should have splashed across all the media. But no real alarm was sounded. The majority of the news media dismissed it. And many still slumber on as the world heads toward self-destruction.”

This year, there may have been headlines about the clock in the news for about a day. But it has had no real impact.

Herbert W. Armstrong also paid attention to the ticking of the Doomsday Clock. In 1984, just after the clock was adjusted, he wrote in a co-worker letter:

[T]he atomic scientists have now moved the Doomsday Clock one more minute forward—from four to only three minutes to midnight!

I mentioned before how the president of the United States had said it seemed we are fast approaching Armageddon and the end of this world.

Not too long ago, if anyone mentioned “the end of the world,” people would have thought him to be a crackpot doomsday freak. But today the sanest atomic scientists and heads of nations are talking about doomsday and the end of this world.

These sober men are not wild-eyed religious fanatics. They know what is actually happening. They know how the evils in this world are mounting. They know how the weapons of mass destruction have been produced that now can blast all human life into extinction.

And these sober leaders are worried! One said, “I am frankly scared!” They are bewildered, confused and perplexed. They see no way to stop what now seems inevitable!

The same is true today. The Doomsday Clock is one minute closer to midnight than it was back then, but how many are doing anything about it?

The trouble is, doing something about it is hard. Personally, I agree with all these reports. But am I living my life like it is two minutes to doomsday? Not really. The danger of the times is something we can know and agree with, but it’s still not something we want to think about.

Yet two minutes to midnight is a time that demands answers. Why is mankind so close to destroying himself? What is wrong with us that we could come to this point? Is there hope? Is there a solution? Or are we doomed to extinction?

The best way to take action in light of all this sobering news is to find the answers to these questions. Because these questions are all about the nature of man, the future of man, even the purpose of man. These answers can be found in your Bible.

To help you find the answers to these questions in your own Bible, order our free booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’It will show you the real dangers that you need to be watching, what the Bible says about nuclear World War iii, and the magnificent hope beyond.

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Italy to Send More Troops to Libya, Tunisia and Niger

A Libyan coast guardsman watches as 147 rescued illegal immigrants reach Europe off the coastal town of Zawiyah, on June 27, 2017.
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Italy to Send More Troops to Libya, Tunisia and Niger

Europe continues to strengthen its southern border.

Italy will send soldiers to Niger and increase its presence in Libya, under a new law passed by Parliament on January 17.

Italy has been at the heart of Europe’s migrant crisis. Since 2014, more than 600,000 refugees have made the treacherous journey from the African continent to Italy. Countless more have perished along the way.

The number of boats entering Italy has fallen substantially through 2017, but many in Europe are still concerned by the illegal immigrants washing ashore. And Italians have certainly had enough.

To help stop the migrants, Italy has been getting more and more involved in North Africa.

African migrants funnel through Niger, intent on reaching Europe. The country’s weak borders and vast expanses make for easy crossing. Italy hopes to turn back migrants before they reach Libya’s coast and smuggler vessels. That means a military presence in Niger. Under the new law, 470 Italian troops will join French and American soldiers already stationed in the country.

“This is a training mission in response to a request from Niger, not a combat mission,” assured Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti.

Even so, Europe will be happy to play a part in turning back illegal immigrants coming through Niger.

The training aims to help Niger stop human trafficking and fight terrorists. Islamist group Boko Haram is thriving on the porous borders in the region. Last year, 141 Niger civilians were killed or wounded by the terror group. The year before it was 227.

These same terrorists have spread in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon. The concern is that this Islamic State-affiliated group could be sending wolves to Europe concealed in refugee fleeces. Many who arrive in Italy have no documents, making their history hard to verify, so terrorists could easily slip in.

The fear in Europe is multidimensional: fear of overpopulation, fear of terror, fear of cultural change and much more. Yet the solution is the same: Stop the flow of migrants.

That means more than just deploying troops to Niger. Italy is also sending 60 soldiers to Tunisia, on the Mediterranean coast. This follows Italian naval deployments to Libyan waters, as well as additional boots on the ground in Libya itself.

To gather enough troops, Italy will redeploy some from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Italy’s move is just one of many by European powers in North Africa. Germany has hundreds of soldiers in military training missions in Mali. France has bases across the region. Both are working to form a multinational force made up of African nations in the region.

North Africa is of vital importance to Europe. In the wrong hands, it threatens European stability, as the migrant crisis reveals. The region is also vital to Europe’s energy resources—both for the natural gas in the region and because the Suez Canal is the passageway for resources further afield.

“Germany isn’t the only rising power that understands the strategic value of the Mediterranean Sea,” wrote Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. “The forces of radical Islam, headed by the regime in Iran, have a design to dominate the sea-lane as well.” He continued:

I first wrote about this in 2011. Since that time, we have seen a wave of radical Islam spread across North Africa, toppling governments in Libya, Egypt and Yemen. These jihadists want to take down and destroy the West.

Astute observers in Europe, especially Germany, see what is happening in North Africa. This is motivating European leaders to accelerate their own strategy to counter the Islamist tide.

This exact scenario was prophesied 2,500 years ago in the biblical book of Daniel!

As I wrote in 2011, Daniel 11:40-43 unlock the strategy of the radical Muslims headed by Iran, referred to here as “the king of the south.” (For proof of the prophetic identity of this power, request our free booklet The King of the South.) …

This verse shows a pushy foreign policy from the south being countered and destroyed by a far superior power from the north. But pay close attention to the verses that follow: They indicate the specific nations that will be part of this Iranian-led Islamic bloc and be conquered by the king of the north.

“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (verse 42). As we have said for 20 years, this indicates that Egypt will join in an alliance with Iran. But notice who else will be in that alliance.

“But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” “At his steps” means they will join his army or be under his authority. Why would Libya and Ethiopia be subjugated like this by the king of the north? They too were allied with the king of the south.

The Bible specifically prophecies of Europe and radical Islam clashing in North Africa. Already we see this clash building in many of these counties!

Europe is getting ready to confront radical Islam in the region. The trouble drawing Europe into North Africa now is just a small taste of what is coming. For more on where this is leading, read our free booklet Germany’s Secret Strategy to Destroy Iran.