Germany Debates War in Syria

Former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg chides the chancellor for letting others do her ‘dirty work.’

The big news from Germany is what Germany didn’t do. It didn’t bomb Syria.

This has provoked a lot of discussion.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she supported the bombing by America, France and the United Kingdom, but that Germany wouldn’t do anything.

This is generally popular. Sixty percent of Germans said they think the strike on Syria was a mistake. But one influential politician disagreed.

Former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said in an interview, “When people are slaughtered, you also have to intervene.” He was very critical of Merkel’s stance of we support intervention, but we won’t do it ourselves. Guttenberg said that’s just leaving others to do your dirty work.

It is interesting that Guttenberg said this. During his tenure as defense minister, he was at the forefront of getting Germany more involved militarily. He caused a huge stir back in 2009. At that time, Germany had been involved in Afghanistan for years, but nobody would call it a war. It was an “engagement” or “combat operation.” Guttenberg was the first to come out and call it war. He was also behind the restructuring of the German Army from a conscription force, designed to throw as many men as possible against a Russian invasion of Germany, to a leaner, professional force that can fight overseas.

Now he’s a leading voice to get Germany more involved in the war in the Middle East.

In his interview on the subject, he made some really good points. His interview gained a lot of attention in the German press, and even some in the English-language media.

But here’s why we’re watching this at the Trumpet. We’ve been paying close attention to Guttenberg for around 10 years now. The Bible prophesies that a strong leader will rise up in Germany—one that will lead Germany in a more warlike direction. And all the way back in 2009, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry was writing about Guttenberg, saying he could be that strong leader—he could take Germany in this direction.

And today we see Guttenberg as the top voice for getting Germany involved in military action in the Middle East.

Again, a lot of what he said in his interview makes sense. There’s a certain hypocrisy in saying we think that Syria should be bombed, but we’re not prepared to do it ourselves. That’s why I think his criticism has gained so much traction in Germany. Polls show that most Germans disagree, but they also see Guttenberg taking a principled and logical position, and it is starting to make people ask more questions about what role the German military should have.

When you put this in the context of Bible prophecy, that’s when it becomes really interesting. You’ve got this man whom we’ve said for years could take Germany to war, and he’s advocating exactly that.

This is a key Bible prophecy and one you shouldn’t just take my word for. You can read our free booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent to learn more about what the Bible says regarding Germany, and why we think Guttenberg could fulfill those prophecies.

Now one other top item in the news in Germany this week is anti-Semitism. This week was the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel, and at the same time, Germany was disturbed by a number of stories about anti-Semitism. One of the most dramatic was a video of a man dressed up as a Jew being attacked in Germany. The victim was actually an Israeli-Arab, but he wore a kippa to experience what it’s like as a Jew in Germany. Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said this was a major warning to Germany. “Three years ago, I warned against going into Arab areas of big cities with a kippa on,” he said. “Now we’re seeing an incident in a trendy, well-heeled neighborhood. That represents a new dimension.”

This was the subject of Brad Macdonald’s Trumpet Brief yesterday. As he wrote, “Anti-Semitism can be indicative of some potentially fatal cultural and national disorders.” It’s a dangerous problem, but it’s also a symptom of much worse problems before the culmination. You can read more about that in “Pay Attention to Rising Anti-Semitism in Europe and Britain.” While you’re there, sign up to receive the daily Trumpet Brief e-mails, which include a personal message from our writers.