China Opens Maritime Hub to Tighten Grip on South China Sea

DigitalGlobe overview imagery of the Fiery Cross Reef located in the South China Sea.
DigitalGlobe via Getty Images

China Opens Maritime Hub to Tighten Grip on South China Sea

Reinforces claims of sovereignty over disputed strategic territory

China announced on January 29 that it has opened a maritime rescue facility on one of its artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, as the nation works to tighten its control over the strategic trade route. The rescue hub is on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands, which is also claimed by Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

China’s Ministry of Transport emphasized the peaceful purposes of the new center, saying it will “better protect navigation and transport safety in the South China Sea.” But Fiery Cross Reef is also home to an airbase that includes a 9,800-foot runway, early warning radar system, anti-aircraft weaponry and a missile-defense system.

Since China began building Fiery Cross and six other artificial islands in disputed parts of the South China Sea five years ago, it has insisted that the project is not for military purposes. But satellite imagery and Western intelligence reports consistently tell another story.

It is evident that these increasingly militarized islands are intended to function mainly as air and naval bases, allowing China to enforce its claims not just to the Spratly Islands but to nearly the entire South China Sea, and beyond.

“The only thing lacking are the deployed forces,” United States Navy Adm. Philip Davidson wrote last year. “Once occupied, China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania. In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

A Vital Sea Route

The South China Sea is among the world’s most important ocean regions. It is immensely wealthy in natural resources, containing an estimated 11 billion barrels of oil, 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and an estimated 10 percent of global fisheries.

More importantly, $5.3 trillion of trade flows through the South China Sea each year, more than 30 percent of total worldwide shipping.

Parts of this sea are claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Brunei. Most countries’ claims are founded on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which establishes that a nation’s territorial borders extend 200 nautical miles from its coast, and this maritime region is the country’s exclusive economic zone. Natural resources found inside a given nation’s zone belong exclusively to that nation. Areas outside this zone are considered “international waters” and its resources are fair game for all.

Most nations follow these international laws to determine their maritime boundaries. But not China.

China claims that it has historical claims to the South China Sea dating back to expeditions in the 1400s. The Chinese have marked the region they claim using a perplexing delineation called the “nine-dash line.” This line asserts that almost the entire South China Sea, an area nearly the size of India, falls under Chinese control.

China is focusing on the Spratly Islands because they are situated both geographically and emblematically at the center of the South China Sea. The stakes are particularly high in this area, because any country that can claim the Spratlys may have legal justification for extending its exclusive economic zone to include the islands and a sizable part of their surrounding waters.

But with construction on its artificial islands forging ahead virtually unchallenged, China is now beyond such legal concerns and is poised to control the region whether or not it has legal rights to do so. “There’s no going back,” wrote News Corp Australia Network on February 7. “Beijing has won the South China Sea.”

China Is ‘Steering the World Toward War’

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said that China’s takeover in this strategic region is “steering the world toward war.” In our July 2016 issue, he addressed China’s island building and militarization in the Spratly area: “China is being aggressive and provocative,” and thereby challenging “seven decades of American naval dominance in the Pacific Rim.” This aggressive behavior “should alarm the world!” he wrote.

“Since Japan’s defeat in World War ii, America has protected this vital trade route and brought peace to this part of the world,” he wrote. But since the American military is now retreating from the region, “other great powers are coming in to fill the vacuum,” he continued. “China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. It is forcing these countries to do what it wants. Everything is headed in the direction of war.”

Mr. Flurry’s understanding of the South China Sea dynamic is based on Bible prophecy.

In the book of Deuteronomy, God issues a grave warning to the nation of Israel, explaining that if its people rejected Him, He would hand control over the world’s strategic sea gates to their enemies. And He warned that these enemy nations would use that control to besiege Israel: “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trusted, throughout all thy land …” (Deuteronomy 28:52).

Mr. Flurry explained that this biblical warning is not just for ancient peoples who were alive when God inspired Moses to pen it. “It is a prophecy for the modern-day descendants of Israel,” he wrote. “Two nations in particular represent Israel in this end time: America and Britain.” These two countries “are full of terrible sins today, and God is going to correct them for that!” he wrote. “This prophecy and several others show that He will send foreign enemies to punish America and Britain!” (For proof that America and Britain are the descendants of ancient Israel, read The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)

China’s ongoing construction in the South China Sea, including its new maritime rescue facility on Fiery Cross Reef, is moving this prophecy toward fulfillment.

Yet Mr. Flurry made plain that this approaching besiegement and war is closely connected to hope-filled news:

All this prophesied destruction is what it will take for God to reach this world! After this, people will be ashamed—and they will get to know God! Ezekiel repeatedly talked about that inspiring conclusion (e.g. Ezekiel 6:7; 7:4; 11:10; 12:20; 13:9; 23:48-49; etc). Yes, there is a lot of bad news when you consider what it takes to get people to the point of knowing God. But ultimately, the outcome is spectacularly good news!

To learn the wondrous details of this “spectacularly good news,” order a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s book Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet.

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Middle East on Course for Arms Race

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Getty Images

Middle East on Course for Arms Race

Saudi Arabia responds to Iran’s aggressive ballistic missile development.

New satellite images suggest Saudi Arabia is now testing and manufacturing its own ballistic missiles. This discovery comes after a sharp increase in Iran’s ballistic missile development.

Iran recently tested a medium-range missile capable of carrying multiple warheads. It attempted to launch a satellite into orbit. And most recently, it launched a missile directly at a tourist resort in the State of Israel. With Saudi Arabia deciding to launch its own missile program, fears of a Middle East arms race are higher than ever.

Michael Elleman, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed that based on the satellite images the Saudi facility will likely produce solid-fuel rockets. Solid-fueled rockets can be launched quicker and stored for longer periods of time than liquid-fueled rockets.

Saudi Arabia purchases most of its military equipment from the United States, but these purchases have excluded ballistic missiles, since they are considered to be an important element in the development of a nuclear weapons program.

Ballistic missiles fly above the atmosphere, giving them much greater range than cruise missiles, which have low flight levels. Cruise missiles are generally guided for the full duration of the flight. Ballistic missiles have propulsion and guidance until the warhead detaches from the rocket above the atmosphere. Then gravity and momentum guide the warhead to its target as it falls back to Earth. This is why Iran’s recent attempt to launch a satellite into orbit is so unnerving. Even though its satellite failed to reach orbit, the same technology could be used to further Iran’s ballistic missile development. The U.S. fears it could produce an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking targets up to 6,200 miles away.

The evidence indicates that Saudi Arabia is seeking its own nuclear development program.

In a cbs 60 Minutes program last March, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.” The Washington Post stated, “[A] missile-making facility would be a critical component of any eventual Saudi nuclear weapons program.”

The Saudi initiative to develop its own ballistic missile program, and possibly a nuclear warhead, makes sense considering Iran’s recent aggressive behavior. Iran has been working hastily to perfect its ballistic missiles. In an attack by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen, some Iranian missiles reached Saudi Arabia’s capital city, Riyadh. In order to properly combat Iran, Saudi Arabia sees a need to keep up with Iran’s missile technology.

However, this could put Saudis at odds with their longtime ally, the United States.

Stratfor wrote, “[S]hould Saudi Arabia move into a test-launch phase, the U.S. will be pressured to take action with sanctions,” as it has done with Iran. After the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, apparently by Saudi government agents, at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the U.S. has become increasingly critical of Saudi Arabia. Launching its own ballistic missile program could turn the crack in the relationship into a breach. If Saudi Arabia produces “medium-range systems inherently capable of carrying nuclear weapons, the response will be much more robust, though likely out of public view,” Elleman said. “Congress, on the other hand, may lash out, as this will be seen as another affront to the U.S. and regional stability.” If Saudi Arabia can’t purchase what it needs from the U.S., it will be forced to look elsewhere, likely to China and Germany.

It is unclear how the Saudis developed this missile facility, but the evidence points to one possible supplier: China.

China has sold ballistic missiles to Saudi Arabia in the past, as it has done with other nations. In the 1990s, China helped Pakistan secretly build a ballistic missile development facility. This drew the attention of many Saudi officials. According to Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, the new Saudi facility looks particularly Chinese in design.

According to cnbc, Saudi Arabia is also China’s second-largest supplier of crude oil after Russia, and the Saudi share of China’s supply has increased 19.7 percent since 2017.

Such a move toward China and away from the U.S. would coordinate with Bible prophecy. Isaiah 23 prophesies of a “mart of nations,” a brief economic union that will control global trade. This partnership will be led by China (ancient Chittim) and a European commercial center (the ancient commercial city of Tyre). In “China Working to Boost Role in Middle East,” Trumpet contributing editor Jeremiah Jacques wrote:

Deuteronomy 28:52 shows that this “mart of nations” partnership will operate at America’s expense. “And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.” Other passages of scripture such as Habakkuk 1 show that the power besieging America will be a German-led European conglomerate. Isaiah 23 shows that this European entity will accomplish this prophesied besiegement with China’s cooperation.

This turn away from the U.S. will not only bring Saudi Arabia closer to China economically, but also to Europe.

Psalm 83 mentions the Ishmaelites (modern Saudi Arabia) as being part of an anti-Israel alliance that may help Europe restrain Iran. Saudi Arabia fits perfectly into this mold. The Saudi kingdom has been caught sponsoring terrorism in Israel, and it has always been an enemy of Iran—the Arab-Persian rivalry goes back to the founding of Islam.

Saudi Arabia has been pushed into developing its own ballistic missile program. Fears of a complete U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East along with Iran’s aggressive foreign policy are causing many moderate Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, to act. While the Saudis’ missile program may help keep Iran at bay, moderate Middle Eastern nations will need a greater power to fill the void left by the U.S.

With the upcoming launch of Saudi Arabia’s ballistic missile development program and the possibility of an arms race in the Middle East, watch for Saudi Arabia’s ties with the U.S. to begin to break and for the kingdom to instead draw closer to China and Europe.

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This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (February 2)

This Week: Five Events You Need to Know (February 2)

France and Germany unite, Russia and China unite, the global Venezuela problem, and more

Here are five of the most important news stories this week, as well as relevant links to the full articles and videos here on theTrumpet.com.

The Real ‘Bombshell’: France and Germany Unite!

On January 22, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel signed the new Treaty of Aachen, which, according to the Times of London, includes “shared defense, foreign and economic policies in an unprecedented ‘twinning’ pact regarded as a prototype for the future of the European Union.”

After signing the treaty, Chancellor Merkel said its provisions will build a “common military culture” between France and Germany and “contribute to the creation of a European army.” President Macron said, “[A]uthoritarian powers are emerging everywhere … let’s build a real European army to protect ourselves and have a real foreign policy.”

This should be a real bombshell to students of Bible prophecy. It is part of the fulfillment of a modern resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire.

U.S. Army Study Proves Bible Prophecy True

“In terms of geostrategic consequences, the war produced profound consequences. At the time of this project’s completion in 2018, an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.”

That is how a recently released United States Army report summarized the outcome of the Iraq War.

It corroborates what Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in his June 2003 article “Is Iraq About to Fall to Iran?”: “[T]hough the current U.S. administration is vowing not to allow an Iranian-style theocracy to gain hold in Iraq, there are also signs in the way it is rebuilding the country that show a fundamental lack of political will to see this pledge through. Perhaps it will not be during the term of the current president, but the Bible shows that America will fail to contain Iran the way it hopes to.”

Venezuela Chaos: Not Just a Problem for Venezuela

Venezuela now has two competing presidents. One of them is the incumbent President Nicolás Maduro, who was sworn in for a second six-year term on January 10. The other is Juan Guaido, who declared himself the interim president on January 27.

Government officials in the United States, the European Union, Canada, Brazil and 10 other Latin American countries have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. But Venezuela’s military still backs Maduro, as do the governments of Cuba, China, Iran and Russia.

Security experts are unsure about how this situation will play out. The Bible, however, gives us a strong indication of Venezuela’s future.

Russia and China: Have They Already Formed a Military Alliance?

The torrent of news about expanding cooperation between Russia and China continues to increase. And though many experts are concerned about the quickly deepening intimacy between these two revisionist nations, the general consensus remains that a real Russia-China alliance does not exist. But a new analysis says that consensus is wrong.

“[T]he steadfast denials of a military alliance dynamic here are not based on the evidence of arms sales, technology transfer, joint exercises, conventional and nuclear coordination and long-term strategic dialogues,” wrote Stephen Blank, a senior fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council, for Second Line of Defense.

The Trumpet closely watches the deepening ties between Russia and China because the Bible prophesies of an Asian confederation that will form in the end time. This Asian bloc is referred to in Revelation 16:12 as “the kings of the east.” Scriptures show that this bloc will play a major role in a nuclear World War iii.

Why Has Emotion Replaced Reason in America?

“We no longer live in a democracy,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Sunday Times. We live in an ‘emocracy,’ where emotions rather than majorities rule, and feelings matter more than reason. The stronger your feelings—the better you are at working yourself into a fit of indignation—the more influence you have.”

“This is the type of influence we see holding a grip on many people today. This hypnotic influence cannot be explained reasonably,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in America Under Attack.

You cannot explain it logically—until you understand the truth about the real, invisible spirit world.

“This Week” appears every weekend. To receive an update on our latest stories in your inbox ahead of time every Friday afternoon, subscribe to the Trumpet Brief daily e-mail. Sign up by clicking here or by visiting theTrumpet.com home page.

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Russia and China: Have They Already Formed a Military Alliance?

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) and Zhang Youxia, Deputy Chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, shake hands after they signed joint documents at their meeting in Beijing on Oct. 19, 2018.
Getty Images

Russia and China: Have They Already Formed a Military Alliance?

‘The steadfast denials of a military alliance dynamic here are not based on the evidence.’

The torrent of news about expanding cooperation between Russia and China continues to increase. And though many experts are concerned about the quickly deepening intimacy between these two revisionist nations, the general consensus remains that a real Russia-China alliance does not exist. But a new analysis says that consensus is wrong.

“It is long since time that analysts and policymakers acknowledge the reality that is evolving right before their eyes,” wrote Stephen Blank, a senior fellow with the American Foreign Policy Council, for Second Line of Defense last month.

“[T]he steadfast denials of a military alliance dynamic here are not based on the evidence of arms sales, technology transfer, joint exercises, conventional and nuclear coordination, and long-term strategic dialogues,” he wrote.

Policymakers should stop “taking refuge in clichés and wishful thinking” about Russia and China, Blank wrote, adding that only “on the basis of realism can we move forward to deal with this alliance.”

Euphemisms

Blank says onlookers should not be deceived by the fact that the Russian and Chinese leadership do not use the word “alliance” when discussing their relationship. He says this may be intentional subterfuge.

“Moscow keeps inventing euphemisms to disguise what is going on,” he wrote. For years, the Russians called their relationship with China “strategic cooperation.” It was later upgraded to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” and again more recently to a “privileged strategic partnership.”

But Blank says such labels “sound like attempts to deceive foreign observers as to the alliance’s real nature.”

A glimpse of the “real nature” of the Russia-China relationship can be partly gathered from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s remarks on the topic during a 2016 interview with China’s Xinhau news agency. Putin gave what sounds like an explanation of how difficult it is to define “alliance” without using the word. “As we had never reached this level of relations before, our experts have had trouble defining today’s general state of our common affairs,” Putin said. “It turns out that to say we have strategic cooperation is not enough anymore,” he said, adding: “This is why we have started talking about a comprehensive partnership and strategic collaboration.”

Blank suggests that the shades of nuance between these various terms is largely irrelevant given the true nature of the Russia-China relationship. He wrote, “It is hard to know how a privileged partnership expands upon a comprehensive one.”

Beyond Rhetoric

More significant than the ever evolving labels given to Russo-Chinese ties are the actions showing them to be steadily deepening.

In international affairs and politics, the two walk in nearly perfect lockstep. As Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in 2015, “[W]e feel—and our Chinese friends share this view—that our cooperation and coordination in the international arena are one of the most important stabilizing factors in the world system. We regularly coordinate our approaches to various conflicts, whether it is in the Middle East, North Africa or the Korean Peninsula. We have regular and frank and confidential consultations.”

In mutual trade, Russia and China exceeded $100 billion for the first time last year, with China’s government-controlled Global Times saying in January that in 2019, “bilateral trade is expected to further increase provided that there is a relatively stable world economy.”

And in military matters, the most significant aspect of the relationship, the two have held 30 major joint exercises since 2003. Blank calls special attention to the joint air and missile defense exercises the two held in 2017, saying it “suggests an alliance” because it required both nations to “put their cards on the table and display their c4isr.” This is a broad term referring to the four “c”s of command, control, communications and computer, and also to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The systems and techniques related to c4isr equip decision-makers and soldiers with actionable information, enabling them to accomplish their goals. Such information is among a nation’s most sensitive, so seeing Russia and China share it with each other indeed indicates a rare camaraderie between them.

“[T]his alliance is not merely a political relationship but one of active military collaboration,” Blank wrote.

In recognition of the military basis for the Russia-China relationship, last week’s Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community warned that China and Russia are engaged in a “race for technological and military superiority” that will be a defining feature of the 21st century. “China and Russia are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s, and the relationship is likely to strengthen in the coming year as some of their interests and threat perceptions converge,” the assessment said.

Blank said the military dimension of the relationship is likely to deepen in 2019. He said Xi has made clear that “both militaries” should “increase cooperation and unswervingly deepen their strategic coordination.”

Blank also mentioned a series of experiments the Russians and Chinese have recently conducted in the atmosphere that could “apparently disturb electrical connections in the territories below.”

He wrote: “These experiments look suspiciously like preliminary efforts to test both ground-based and space-based capabilities to achieve the effects of an emp (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) attack on Earth against their adversaries.”

Chinese journal Earth and Planetary Physics noted that “such international cooperation” involving some of China’s most advanced and important technologies “is very rare.”

Vasily Kashin, senior research fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, told the Trumpet in September that “if the current trend of deterioration of the Russian-U.S. and Sino-U.S. relations persists, a formal military alliance” between Russia and China could emerge.

In his report last year for the Center for Naval Analyses, Kashin said a certain level of strategic military coordination between Russia and China was already enshrined in a 2001 treaty. He wrote: “Chapter 9 of the treaty stipulated that ‘in case there emerges a situation which, by opinion of one of the participants, can create threats to the peace, violate the peace, or affect the interests of the security of the participant, and also in case when there is a threat of aggression against one of the participants, the participants immediately contact each other and start consultations in order to remove the emerging threat.’”

The treaty “clearly required both sides to consider some sort of joint action in the case of a threat from a third party,” Kashin wrote.

The Trumpet closely watches the deepening ties between Russia and China because the Bible prophesies of an Asian confederation that will form in the end time. This Asian bloc is referred to in Revelation 16:12 as “the kings of the east.” Scriptures show that this bloc will play a major role in a nuclear World War iii.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has shown how these passages (and those in Ezekiel 38) prove that Russia and China will be at the helm of this confederation. And he has shown that the two are already fulfilling the early phases of these prophecies. In 2014, after China declared that it supported Russia’s unlawful annexation of Ukrainian territory, Mr. Flurry said the support was “a stunning fulfillment of a biblical prophecy!

He wrote:

Actually we have been proclaiming for over 50 years that Russia, China and other Asian nations would ally themselves in the end time.

Notice that he said they would “ally” themselves—not just build a “privileged strategic partnership” or any of the euphemisms that are often used.

Mr. Flurry continued:

And we are in that end time now. … When these Asian nations—extremely powerful nuclear-armed countries—begin to show solidarity with each other regarding moves like that, what does that portend for the world? I tell you it is woe to the world. It will cause many serious problems.

To understand more about the Bible passages that discuss this Asian confederation and its role in end-time events, read Mr. Flurry’s article “Asia Stands With Putin” and order your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.

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South Korea: Increased Funding of U.S. Troops ‘Unacceptable’

A U.S. soldier on an M113 armored vehicle participates in the Warrior Strike viii exercise on Sept. 19, 2017, in Pocheon, South Korea.
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea: Increased Funding of U.S. Troops ‘Unacceptable’

If America pulls its troops out of South Korea, it will leave a power vacuum that could be filled by Russia and China.

The United States and South Korea are struggling to reach an agreement on the cost of maintaining U.S. troops in South Korea, a South Korean lawmaker said on January 22. Disputes between the two governments could lead to the complete removal of U.S. troops from the East Asian nation.

A five-year deal on cost-sharing between the two expired at the end of 2018. Despite 10 attempts to negotiate a deal, the U.S. and South Korea have yet to finalize a deal to fund U.S. troops in the nation.

The U.S. has demanded that South Korea pay over $1 billion to cover the costs of the military base in South Korea, a 50 percent increase in its contribution. The nation flatly rejected the proposal, saying that it could pay less than $886 million. The U.S. made a “sudden, unacceptable” proposal, according to Hong Young-pyo, a South Korean senior ruling party legislator. “The negotiations were deadlocked. The U.S. side suddenly made a proposal at the last stage, which was difficult for us to accept.”

In August 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump complained that America was “subsidizing” U.S. troops in South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. pays for “about 60 percent” of military costs in South Korea. “When you have wealthy countries like Saudi Arabia, like Japan, like South Korea, why are we subsidizing their military?” the president asked.

The U.S. has maintained a military presence in South Korea since the Korean War hostilities ended in 1953. The 28,500 U.S. troops stationed there are vital to the security of the Korean Peninsula and America’s strategy to stabilize Asia. America’s presence in South Korea has served as a major deterrent to North Korea.

The dispute on military cost-sharing is a sign that the alliance is fracturing. The U.S. pulling its troops out of South Korea is now a possibility. “Such a split [between the U.S. and South Korea] would see America’s 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea ousted, and would shift a huge amount of political and military influence away from the U.S. and toward Asia’s regional behemoths,” the Trumpet wrote in October.

The Trumpet and its predecessor, the Plain Truth, have forecast for almost 70 years that America’s power and influence in Asia and in the world will dwindle. Many trends, including the disagreement between the U.S. and South Korea regarding cost-sharing of U.S. troops, bring this forecast closer to reality. This forecast takes on more clarity when viewed through the lens of Bible prophecy.

The U.S. Has Lost the Will to Defend Its Allies

Following World War ii, Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong forecast that America would lose the will to use its power and never again win a war. After America’s debacle in sponsoring a failed invasion of Cuba, Mr. Armstrong pointed to the American people. In the October 1961 Plain Truth, he wrote:

Unless or until the United States as a whole repents and returns to what has become a hollow slogan on its dollars: ‘In God we trust,’ the United States of America has won its last war!

I said that when we failed to win in Korea! … I say it again, now that the United States government endorsed this Cuban fiasco—its president gave the “go ahead”—and God, the God America has deserted, gave its most humiliating defeat! What does the Cuban debacle mean? It means, Mr. and Mrs. United States, that the handwriting is on your wall!

Mr. Armstrong’s forecast of diminishing American power is based on Bible prophecy. In Leviticus 26, God outlines the blessings ancient Israel and its descendants would receive if they obeyed God and curses if they disobeyed. Verse 19 states that God will break the pride of Israel’s power. One of the nations descended from ancient Israel today is America. (For proof, request your free copy of Mr. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.) A quick look at America’s wartime history after World War ii shows that God has indeed broken the pride of America’s power.

An America-Free Korean Peninsula

If the U.S. pulls its troops out of the Korean Peninsula, nearby powers like Russia and China could take advantage of the situation, pressure South Korea to reconcile with North Korea, and form a military alliance between the Koreas. This would fit into the general scheme of Bible prophecy.

Ezekiel 38 shows that a union of Asian nations led by Russia and China will form and play a vital role in Bible prophecy. The book of Revelation calls this massive Asian bloc “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). Revelation 9:16 states that this union of Asian nations will amass an army of 200 million men. In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes:

Current events show this Asian army is taking shape already. You can see it in Putin’s growing authoritarianism, and also in his outreach to other Asian powers. …

When you put India and Japan together with Russia and China, it is easy to see how an army of 200 million soldiers could be formed. With other Asian nations [like South Korea] joining in, you quickly reach combined populations of 3.5 to 4 billion people! Under extreme circumstances like those described in these end-time prophecies, it is not hard to imagine 1 in 10 or 20 people going to war.

With South Korea’s relatively advanced military, we could see it lend its military power to an alliance with Russia, China and other Asian nations.

To understand more about how Bible prophecy forecasts the formation of “the kings of the east” alliance, which could include South Korea, please read He Was Right and The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ by Mr. Flurry.

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Democratic Party Swings Hard Left

Sen. Elizabeth Warren greets potential voters during a campaign stop at McCoy’s Bar Patio and Grill on January 4 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
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Democratic Party Swings Hard Left

Ahead of the 2020 United States presidential elections, Democrats are speaking like revolutionaries.

The Democratic Party has drafted a new strategy to defeat United States President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election: Shift harder to the left. Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand have announced their candidacies for president, and several others are seriously considering runs. This lineup includes a record number of women and ethnic minorities.

It is also the most left-wing presidential field in U.S. history.

So far, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the biggest name in play. Unlike some of her colleagues, she does not embrace the socialist label. She says she wants to fix capitalism rather than replace it. Yet the details of her economic proposals would actually constitute the largest government takeover of wealth in human history, more than any socialist seizure ever. In August, she introduced a bill in the Senate proposing that the government should manage every U.S. business with more than $1 billion in revenue. That would turn more than 1,000 American companies (90 percent of American businesses by sales) into state-run entities. The government would control over 97 percent of the entire U.S. economy.

Warren’s radical proposal is just one among many. California Sen. Kamala Harris officially entered the 2020 fray on Sunday with a speech outside Oakland City Hall. Hailed as a “female Barack Obama,” Harris says she will run as a “centrist independent outside of the two-party system.” Yet her proposals regarding debt-free college and “Medicare for all” are far from centrist. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, previously advocated both of these proposals. According to a George Mason University study, the “Medicare for all” program would spend about $3.3 trillion per year (93 percent of the total projected 2019 tax revenue) on health care alone.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called on Congress to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, effectively erasing the nation’s border. She has embraced legal marijuana and endorsed a plan for government-guaranteed jobs for all Americans. Taken together, her proposals would allow illegal immigrants to pour into the country, claim a guaranteed job, and openly indulge in drugs. All of these proposals would have been unthinkable just one election cycle ago.

Other Democrats have other radical proposals. More than 40 of her fellow Democrat lawmakers have endorsed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” an environmental plan to eliminate all fossil-fuel-powered electricity and replace all energy needs of the U.S. economy with renewable energy within 12 years. While Ocasio-Cortez is too young to run for the presidency, she is hoping other candidates will take up some of her policies.

All of these proposals are just the latest steps in the Democratic Party moving to the left. This radical shift has been ongoing since supporters of the New Left movement hijacked the 1972 Democratic Convention. But recently, it has intensified to the point where the Democrats may start losing support as the silent majority of Americans become fearful of how radically far left Democrats’ positions have become. If the party becomes smaller and radicals remain in control, it may begin acting even less like a mainstream party and more like a revolutionary party.

Decades ago, Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong warned that far-left philosophy would strip America of its blessings—the greatest national blessings ever conferred on any people. He said this would happen not because socialists outmaneuvered conservatives, but because the American people as a whole have turned away from God’s law. In particular, he warned that Communist thought would pervert America’s morals, sabotage its educational system, wreck its social structure, destroy its spiritual life, and weaken its economic power.

“Why are our people unable to recognize the Communist line—the Communist plan and conspiracy—in college and university riots, in propaganda accusing ‘police brutality,’ in ‘black power,’ ‘black panther’ and other slogans, even in ‘civil disobedience’ and ‘nonviolent’ movements of protest which lead to violence?” he asked in the March 1969 Plain Truth. “The guiding hand in student revolt is the Communist Party. Many students, their emotions stirred and enraged to violence, do not themselves realize this. Yet actually, these young leaders of the ‘New Left’ movement are going beyond the Communist Party. Their plan is to stir up college-age students to revolt first, and the teenage high school adolescents. If they can corrupt and/or win over tomorrow’s students, they will gain control.”

Those students of the 1960s are now educators, journalists, leaders, senators and presidential candidates.

Mr. Armstrong based his forecast of future events and trends on Bible prophecy. Hosea 7:8 predicts that the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel would mix themselves with foreigners and foreign ideologies. The far-left ideas put forward by the Democratic Party today are not based on traditional American culture, which is largely based on the Bible. They are ideas that were brought to America from German and Russian universities. Today, the 1960s New Left student radicals who embraced these ideas are the leaders of the modern Democratic Party. These radical leaders are now shifting their party even further toward socialism to gain the support of the millennial generation—a demographic that leans overwhelmingly Democrat and even socialist. Their strategy can only lead to violence as socialist revolutionaries seek to destroy the current system and replace it with another.

To understand the biblical significance behind the Democratic Party’s shift left, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s free reprint article “Communism in America Today.”