Is Xi Jinping the New El Chapo?

Chinese President Xi Jinping
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Is Xi Jinping the New El Chapo?

Synthetic drugs are changing the structure of the illegal drug market.

Juan is an opium farmer in the Sierra Madre Occidental, a mountain range in Mexico. Like his father and grandfather before him, he manages a two-acre plot of poppy flowers. Twice a year, his family harvests paste from these poppies and sells it to middlemen working for the Sinaloa cartel. The cartel processes opium paste into heroin and traffics it north to the United States, where 652,000 heroin addicts await its arrival.

But business is not at as good for Juan and his neighbors as it was when he was young.

Poppy cultivation in Mexico reached a record high at 109,000 acres in 2017. That is an area as big as New Orleans and large enough to produce enough opium paste for 111 tons of heroin.

But according to Juan, the price of a pound of opium paste has crashed from $835 to $225 in recent months. “It’s still selling, but at a very low price,” Juan told ozy media.

Farmers like Juan are having a hard time making ends meet at these prices. In the past, they could charge what they wanted, and U.S. addicts would pay. But today, opium farmers face stiff competition from Chinese pharmacists pushing cheap, synthetic opioids.

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug similar to heroin but 50 times more potent. Since fentanyl can be manufactured in small labs, it is 30 percent cheaper to produce than farm-grown heroin. And since it is so much more potent, it can be sold on the streets for twice as much as heroin. So, Mexican drug cartels are paying opium farmers less and are instead fighting each other for control of Mexico’s two main Pacific ports, Lázaro Cárdenas and Manzanillo. These are the main points of entry for precursor chemicals from China.

The rise of synthetic drugs is changing the structure of the illegal drug market.

In the past, powerful cartel bosses like Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán reigned like feudal lords in the Sierra Madre Occidental. They oversaw thousands of Mexican peasants slaving away in the fields growing cannabis, coco and poppies. Their men trafficked marijuana, cocaine and heroin into the United States. These drugs are labor-intensive to produce, so it takes centralized cartels to coordinate their production and distribution.

Now that Guzmán is in jail, his cartel has split into warring factions. The leaders of each of these factions desire to bring the others under their control and emerge as Mexico’s new drug kingpin. But since synthetic drugs can be produced cheaply from precursor chemicals, it is now much easier for upstart cartels to challenge the status quo. The days of the monolithic cartels with powerful leaders may be over, as dozens of small cartels war with each other over the right to traffic Chinese synthetics from Manzanillo to the U.S. border.

In other words, the new El Chapo is Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Unlike El Chapo, Xi does not admit to being a drug lord. The Communist dictatorship has almost no laws governing the export of fentanyl, however, which has led to 40 percent of the world’s pharmaceutical output coming from China.

Journalists often excuse China’s government for shipping fentanyl to Mexican cartels, blaming corrupt local officials instead. But they forget, or ignore, the fact that Chinese law is whatever Xi and the Communist Party say it is. It would be easy for China to regulate fentanyl, but it willingly ships this dangerous drug to Mexican cartels, feeding America’s illicit drug addiction and destabilizing America’s southern neighbor.

Chinese leaders understand the devastating effects narcotics have on a nation. The opium wars of the 1800s involved thousands of tons of opium pouring into China, which addicted millions of Chinese, devastated their economy, and contributed to their military loss against the British Empire.

In 1927, a civil war erupted in China between the Communist Party and the Nationalist Party. Communist leader Mao Zedong instructed his subordinates to grow poppies, create opium and traffic it into the non-Communist regions of China. As drugs became more readily available, people more readily used them. Opium weakened drug users, the people around them, their societies, their governments and their militaries. The Communists then conquered the area—and took draconian measures to stamp out drug use, destroying poppy fields, imprisoning millions and executing suspected traffickers.

After the Communist Party conquered mainland China in 1949, Mao nationalized opium production and started using narcotics as a chemical weapon to destabilize his rivals, Japan and the United States.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai managed his nation’s narcotics operations. Edward R. Slack wrote in Opium, State and Society, that in 1955, Zhou allegedly told Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser that the Communists would use drugs against the morale of U.S. forces in Asia. Soviet statesman Mikhail Suslov said in 1964 that Zhou’s strategy was “to disarm the capitalists with the things they like to taste.”

By turning a blind eye, at the very least, to Chinese fentanyl traffickers, Xi Jinping and the Chinese government reap the benefit of waging drug warfare against America and weakening the nation.

Over 130 million Americans have sniffed, smoked, swallowed or injected themselves with drugs for so-called “recreational” purposes. Almost 30,000 Americans overdosed and died from fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in 2017, making the synthetic opioid the deadliest drug in the nation. And the death toll rises every month. The Chinese Communist Party and Mexican cartels are facilitating and profiting from America’s self-destruction, but the blame ultimately lies with the depravities of the American people. Drug pushers may be putting this chemical weapon into the hands of Americans, but it is Americans who are using it on themselves.

Mexican cartels and Chinese labs would have no effect on American society if people knew and clung to God’s laws of morality and health. But the American people have rejected God and given themselves over to pleasures they know are destructive. And those who are not drug users fail to eradicate, continue to tolerate, and have surrendered to the effects of this chemical weapon on society. Drug addiction, crime, gang violence and family breakdown are tearing the United States apart from within.

Some argue that the solution is to legalize and regulate drugs so that people can indulge their addictions and get high “safely.” But those who are devoted to bringing down America know that pushing drugs into the hands of an enemy is an effective way to destroy it.

Drug use has not brought freedom. It has enslaved many to a destructive habit and allowed criminal organizations to overrun large portions of the country. “They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved” (2 Peter 2:19; Revised Standard Version).

More Americans are now dying from drug addiction each year than died during the entire 20-year Vietnam War. It is destroying the willpower of generations. Only repentance can dismantle America’s culture of escapism and turn people to God’s pure, wholesome, happy way of life.

For more information, please read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s free booklet No Freedom Without Law.

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Another Million-Man March in the Middle East

Algerians look down from a balcony at protesters gathering during a mass demonstration against ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in the capital Algiers on March 29.
RYAD KRAMDI/AFP/Getty Images

Another Million-Man March in the Middle East

One of the most memorable times working here at the Trumpet was during the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. All across our headquarters offices, people had the live footage playing, watching the “million-man march” and subsequent waves of protests calling for the strongman’s ouster. Even before Mubarak announced his resignation, we knew we were watching history being made.

Last Friday saw another million-man march, this time in Algeria, calling for the ouster of Algerian strongman Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The turnout reported by Reuters is a huge number for a country with a population of 41 million.

This too has the potential to be a very significant event. Algeria is a huge country—larger than Greenland (though it doesn’t look like it on most maps). If it destabilizes, the echoes will reverberate around the world. Algeria is an important supplier of oil and natural gas. Can Europe cope with yet another failed and disintegrated state at its borders? With another wave of refugees pouring out of the country toward Europe? And what about the rest of North Africa, which is already struggling to contain radical Islamic violence?

Algeria has walked this path before. The Council on Foreign Relations wrote that “the country is vulnerable to the same risk it faced in 1988, when it was rocked by unexpected (and still largely inexplicable) deadly and destabilizing riots.” These riots led to the so-called “dark decade” of the 1990s, where around 200,000 died as the country fought a civil war with radical Islamists.

The Islamists are still a potent force. On Jan. 16, 2013, Algerian Islamists gained the world’s attention when they seized a natural gas facility, taking 700 Algerian workers and over 100 foreigners hostage.

“When Bouteflika goes, Algeria will probably implode,” warned Stephen Pollard at the Spectator in 2016. “The Islamists who have been kept at bay by his iron hand will exploit the vacuum. Tensions that have been buried since the civil war will reemerge. And then Europe could be overwhelmed by another great wave of refugees from North Africa.”

“An Algerian civil war would create huge numbers of refugees,” he continued. “One analyst told me he expects 10 to 15 million Algerians will try to leave. Given Algeria’s history, they would expect to be rescued by one nation: France. In its impact on the EU, even a fraction of this number would dwarf the effect of the Syrian civil war. Given the political trauma that the refugee crisis has already caused in Europe, a massive Algerian exodus could cause tremendous insecurity.” The resulting crisis, he warned “could destroy the EU.”

And now, Bouteflika is heading out the door.

The latest round of protests began in February, after Bouteflika announced that he would be standing for a fifth term in elections to be held on April 18.

Bouteflika is a dictator, but he is widely credited for bringing peace to the country and keeping out the radical Islamists. However, he suffered a stroke in 2013, and is rarely seen in public. He is generally believed to be incapable of ruling, and Algerians complain about being governed by a photograph or a ghost.

Humiliated by this charade of democracy, hundreds of thousands took to the streets. On February 22, the capital Algiers saw its largest demonstrations in nearly 18 years. Since then, protests have been repeated every Friday, with the March 29 protests being the largest yet.

Already the army is starting to ease Bouteflika out of power. On March 26, Army Chief of Staff Amed Gaid Salah called for Bouteflika to be formally declared unfit to rule and removed from office. The army says that it supports the “legitimate demands” of the protesters. The Algeria press service reported this week that Bouteflika will step down by April 28.

But this isn’t enough for many of the protesters, who want to do more than change the figurehead atop the regime. On Friday, one banner stated, “We want Salah to go,” referring to the military chief. Opposition leader Sofiane Djilali said that Bouteflika’s exit is not enough, “The whole system has to go.”

“Bouteflika you go, take Gaid Salah with you,” chanted protesters.

The protesters know their country’s history; they know there are risks. Kamel Daoud, a columnist for an Algerian newspaper, told the Atlantic, “I have a lot of hope as an Algerian. I’m also very worried that the Islamists might steal our revolution, but I think we still need to try … we need to take the risk.”

It’s a risk the whole world is watching—and one you should be watching too.

Watch Algeria!” was the title of a 2013 article by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. He wrote:

Northern Africa is turning into a battleground with enormously important prophetic implications.

Terrorists seized a natural gas facility in Algeria on January 16. The next day, Algerian authorities stormed the facility, killing 29 terrorists. At least 38 foreign workers were also caught in the melee. Authorities captured three of the terrorists, and were able to gain a lot of information from them.

These terrorists are sponsored, for the most part, by Iran. Iran has designs on being the strongest power throughout the region, and is extending its reach throughout North Africa.

But 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.

Bouteflika has been sick for a long time, and it’s been clear that there would have to be a handover of power one day. And this could give the Islamists a chance. The military has been preparing. It increased its arms imports by 55 percent over the last five years. Despite being a relatively poor country, it is the world’s fifth-biggest arms importer. And it is Germany’s largest arms customer outside of nato.

It is making sure it has the arms to take on the Islamists.

In that 2013 article, Mr. Flurry described the spread of radical Islam backed by Iran. But he wrote that the radicals “are beginning to face some opposition from Germany and the European Union. Algeria has a strong supporter in Germany. That is going to make a big difference for these terrorist groups.”

Algeria is Europe’s fifth-largest gas supplier. Spain depends on Algeria for half of its natural gas needs. “Do you think Germany will sit back and do nothing while terrorists take over Algeria?” asked Mr. Flurry. “I think you’re going to find Algeria getting a lot of help from Europe, especially Germany. With all that fuel coming from Algeria, you know Europe and Germany must be very concerned.”

You can guarantee the Islamists have also been preparing. “When President Bouteflika goes, it is clear that the Islamists—propelled by their brothers outside Algeria—will attempt to seize the day,” wrote Pollard. “Although you will struggle to find any mention of Algeria and its likely future direction in the press, European governments have been reflecting for months on what looks like a brewing crisis.”

Mr. Flurry forecast in that 2013 article that Europe and radical Islam would clash increasingly often in North Africa. The EU now has major military missions in Mali and the Central African Republic, and it is trying to organize a local force comprised of allied African nations to fight radical Islam.

Those clashes are a precursor to a major event prophesied in your Bible. “Daniel 11:40 speaks of a war between ‘the king of the south,’ which we can prove to be Iran and radical Islam, and ‘the king of the north,’ which we know to be Germany leading a group of nations,” wrote Mr. Flurry. “A great prophecy of your Bible is about to be fulfilled! You need to watch what is happening in the Middle East and Africa!”

“The Daniel 11:40 clash between the king of the south and the king of the north is about to be fulfilled!” he concluded. “All of this violence in Africa is just a prelude to the fulfillment of this prophecy.

“Monitor these events closely and see if what we’re telling you doesn’t come to pass. So many prophecies already have. Never in mankind’s history has so much prophecy been fulfilled so rapidly! Events are racing along. This is not the world you knew 10 or even five years ago. It’s very different.”

Daniel 11 is your road map to the future of the Middle East. It foretells the clash between radical Islam and Europe—a clash that could soon break out in Algeria if radicals use this opportunity to try and push out the European-supported military. It also forecasts a radical change in Egypt’s direction, as Trumpet staff writer Anthony Chibarirwe outlined today. It says that all these events are stepping-stones toward an even wider and more destructive conflict. But most importantly, it says they are stepping-stones on the road to the return of Jesus Christ.

So keep watching Algeria. And to understand this road map of the future, read Mr. Flurry’s free booklet The King of the South. It will help you prove exactly what the prophecy in Daniel 11 refers to. It will show you how much of this prophecy has already been fulfilled. And it will show the hope behind the headlines from a part of the world that often generates so much bad news.

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Report: Hong Kong Human Rights ‘Deteriorated Severely’ in 2018

Protesters hold posters of Wang Quanzhang during a demonstration at the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong to protest the crackdown on human rights lawyers in China.
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Report: Hong Kong Human Rights ‘Deteriorated Severely’ in 2018

The cause? China’s tightening stranglehold.

An Amnesty International report released March 26 states that Hong Kong’s human rights “deteriorated severely” in 2018. The report draws particular attention to the erosion of Hong Kong’s “freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association” as a result of the government’s interpretation of “national security.” Amnesty International writes that Hong Kong’s government definition of national security “lacks clarity and legal predictability and is arbitrarily applied to suppress dissent and political opposition,” having a “chilling effect on the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression in the city.”

The suppression of “dissent and political opposition” extends to anybody “advocating a change of government or government policies.” Anything that could be politically sensitive is censored. “[A]ny advocacy for Hong Kong’s independence or self-determination, even by non-violent means, threatens ‘national security’ and therefore is ‘illegal’ or does ‘not uphold the Basic Law,’” writes Amnesty.

Several cases of restricting this “illegal” behavior occurred in 2018, with direct interference by China.

On Oct. 26, 2018, Demosisto, a pro-self-determination political party in Hong Kong, announced that two of its members were detained by Chinese authorities in a trip to the mainland in March and August of that year. The pair reported being interrogated for hours over their affiliation with Demosisto. One of the members was reportedly held at an unofficial detention center, where the chance of torture and other abuses increases. Amnesty International–Hong Kong described this as “a chilling attempt” by Beijing to silence Hong Kong’s independence activists. But Hong Kong’s government did nothing to protect the rights of its citizens nor did it negotiate with China to prevent such an event from happening again.

Also in 2018, the Hong Kong government officially banned the Hong Kong National Party “in the interests of national security, public safety, public order, and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.” The party promotes Hong Kong independence from China. Any member or individual who acts in support of the party could face charges and imprisonment. In the name of upholding freedoms and rights, Hong Kong is squashing anything contrary to its policies, which are clearly dictated by China.

These are just two examples of the political suppression that occurred during 2018.

The report notes that the use of “sweeping references to ‘national security’ to silence dissenting voices is a tactic favored by repressive governments”—e.g., China.

China carries out even worse human rights violations on the mainland, including making people disappear or detaining members of particular religious and political groups, or affiliated individuals, to camps in the Xinjiang province. China’s government also holds tight control over communications, the Internet, news media and education. It is dragging Hong Kong down the same path.

Undoubtedly, China is behind these increasing crackdowns in Hong Kong as it seeks to bring the region more forcefully under its control.

Amnesty’s report comes less than a week after the United States published its 2019 Hong Kong Policy Act Report. This report also raises concerns over China’s increasing dominance. “[T]he Chinese mainland central government implemented or instigated a number of actions that appeared inconsistent with China’s commitments … to allow Hong Kong to exercise a high degree of autonomy,” wrote the U.S. Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. “The tempo of mainland central government intervention in Hong Kong affairs—and actions by the Hong Kong government consistent with mainland direction—increased, accelerating negative trends.”

These events are a direct fulfillment of Bible prophecy—foretelling the rise of China and the fall of the modern-day descendants of ancient Israel, specifically America and Britain. (For information on the modern-day identity of ancient Israel, read our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong.)

In June 1997, soon after Hong Kong’s transfer to China, the Trumpet wrote: “With the end of British rule in Hong Kong we see the final act performed in the closure of an empire—a God-given empire—and the hastening of the fulfillment of the prophesied curses upon a spoiled and ungrateful nation, the British people.”

In Genesis 22:17, God promised to bless the descendants of Israel with “the gate of his enemies.” This refers specifically to sea gates, such as the Suez Canal, the Bab el-Mandeb, Sri Lanka, the Panama Canal and Hong Kong. All of these, and many more, were once controlled by the U.S. or Britain, contributing to their superpower status.

Now, in direct fulfillment of Deuteronomy 28:52, Britain and America have lost control of these sea gates. Those who now control them will use them to “besiege [Israel] in all thy gates.” America’s and Britain’s loss of these sea gates, including Hong Kong, will soon be used against them to bring about their downfall.

China now controls the majority of these sea gates.

China is tightening its stranglehold over Hong Kong and casting its net around the world, especially through its Belt and Road Initiative. Hong Kong’s autonomy, and that of much of the world, is threatened by China’s rise.

The Bible prophesies that China will rise to superpower status to join what Revelation 16:12 calls “the kings of the east.” Russia will ultimately be at the head of this alliance, and China will be in a position of leadership directly under it, as Ezekiel 38 reveals. This terrifying military alliance of multiple Asian nations will wield a massive 200 million-man army (Revelation 9:16). China’s expanded control in Hong Kong and around the world will soon wreak havoc as it seeks global dominance.

For more information on China’s prophesied rise, please read our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.

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Radical Islam, Still a Major Threat to Europe

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood chant slogans during a rally on Dec. 14, 2012, in Cairo, Egypt.
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Radical Islam, Still a Major Threat to Europe

What radical Islam did in Egypt in 2012 is just as revealing as the magnitude of the effort that has since been expended to curtail it.

For nearly 20 years before the Egyptian Arab Spring ousted President Hosni Mubarak and empowered the Muslim Brotherhood’s radical Mohamed Morsi, the Trumpet has watched events in Egypt through the lens of Bible prophecy and consistently proclaimed that Egypt would dramatically radicalize.

“Islamic extremism is gaining power at a frightening pace in Egypt,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in July 1993. He continued:

There is a prophecy that indicates Egypt will probably fall to Islam—or be strongly influenced by Islam. Let’s read Daniel 11:40 and 42: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south [radical Islam led by Iran] 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. … He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” This verse indicates Egypt will be allied with the king of the south. That is probably the reason Egypt is also attacked and taken captive!

Mr. Flurry concluded that section of his article by writing, “I believe this prophecy in Daniel 11:42 indicates you are about to see a radical change in Egyptian politics!”

How true and profound that statement has since proved to be!

Before the radical changes that occurred in Egyptian politics during the Arab Spring of 2011, smaller but nonetheless significant changes were already happening in the nation. For instance, while President Mubarak was staunchly opposed to the Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood in his own country, he somewhat reluctantly engaged Iranian leaders in an effort to establish full diplomatic relations, and he opened up the political process in Egypt to the Brotherhood’s participation.

But when a radical Islamist declared, “The Koran is our constitution, the prophet is our leader, jihad is our path, and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” and seized the reins of power in Egypt in 2012, the sheer extent of the threat of radical Islam in Egypt and the larger Mideast region was on full display.

Egypt’s Arab Spring had forced the sudden resignation of longtime President Mubarak, and its first free election had empowered the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi—that radical Islamist—to dramatically transform the Arab nation into a radical Islamist state.

Within two months of his presidency, Morsi had 1) severed Cairo’s three-decade allegiance to the United States; 2) begun courting China to replace the U.S. as his bankroller; 3) trashed Egypt’s historic and pivotal peace treaty with Israel; 4) wrested control of the government away from Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces; 5) appropriated the power to approve the country’s new constitution; 6) established Egypt as Iran’s most powerful regional ally; and 7) delivered the Suez Canal and the Red Sea into the hands of Iran and radical Islam.

Morsi was ousted from power via a coup d’état by Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013, a short 12 months later. From that time, the extent of radical Islam’s threat in Egypt suddenly became less apparent.

That is, only if you overlooked exactly what it took to oust Morsi and the extraordinary measures taken to try to keep a tight lid on the radical Islam that has been “gaining power at a frightening pace in Egypt.”

The Extent of Sisi’s Clampdown on Radical Islam

It is becoming clearer that, far more than anything else, it has taken nothing short of the revolutionary, unprecedented, unusual strong-armed rule of Morsi’s successor to suppress an Islamic revolution in Egypt. It has taken the benevolent dictator of sorts that Sisi appears to be.

Before General Sisi toppled his president, he was the head of the largely Islamist military intelligence unit of Egypt. His familial ties to one of the founders of the Muslim Brotherhood gave him the appearance of a perfect candidate for Morsi to appoint to head Egypt’s Defense Ministry.

Sisi was “widely expected to promote the Brotherhood’s agenda,” wrote the Middle East Quarterly’s Cynthia Farahat. “Instead, not only was Sisi to engineer the overthrow of the Brotherhood regime in July 2013, but he has turned out to be the most moderate president in Egypt’s modern history, and among the most enlightened of Muslim politicians anywhere” (Spring 2019).

Considering moderate predecessors like Hosni Mubarak and Anwar Sadat, that’s quite a statement.

The Middle East Quarterly continued:

Islamism having been since 1952 the core ideology of the Egyptian military, it was widely expected that Sisi would sustain the Brotherhood’s outlook. In fact, the opposite transpired: Sisi’s actions have been revolutionary and historically unprecedented, both in Egypt and in the history of most Muslim majority countries, especially his attempt to de-radicalize Egypt and reform the religious views he inherited from his predecessors.

Sisi, himself a Muslim, has supported and protected religious minorities and cracked down on radical Muslims in a way no other Egyptian leader has ever done. According to the Middle East Quarterly, these are some of the highlights of his unusual track record:

  • Sisi has challenged Islamist precepts and practices and openly defied Islam’s notorious Sharia law. He is “perhaps the first Muslim ruler to criticize the continuous state of jihad.” Last year, he shut down some 20,000 mosques that were suspected of being hubs for radicalizing Muslims.
  • In December, he became the first modern Egyptian leader to enforce capital punishment for Muslims who murdered Christians.
  • When Islamic State terrorists decapitated 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya in 2015, he avenged that slaughter with air strikes on Islamic State targets and proudly broadcast those strikes on tv.
  • Sisi is the first modern Egyptian leader to allocate funds to rebuild church buildings attacked by Islamists and to refurbish synagogues and Jewish heritage sites in Egypt.
  • Every year since 2015, President Sisi has attended Christmas mass to express his solidarity with Christians. He is the first Egyptian president to do so.

In an example of what the Middle East Quarterly referred to as “a complete reversal of traditional Muslim attitudes to religious minorities,” Sisi reassured Christians: “[W]e would die for you.”

“I always say this and repeat it: Destruction, ruin and killing will never be able to defeat goodness, construction, love and peace. It’s impossible,” Sisi told an Orthodox Christian congregation last year. “Pay attention: You are our family. You are part of us. We are one, and no one will ever drive a wedge between us.”

President Sisi is obviously imperfect in many ways, but he is quite remarkable in others. “Be not overcome of evil,” the Bible concurs with Sisi, “but overcome evil with good.” Unfortunately, Sisi, like every one of us, is unable to utterly and permanently overcome evil with good, apart from God. It’s impossible for him alone to completely suppress radical Islam in Egypt under a tight lid. And in so many ways, the radical measures Sisi has taken against Egyptian Islamists show the enormity of what he’s up against. It’s much bigger than the strong, moderate Egyptian leader.

That’s what Bible prophecy strongly indicates!

The Legacy of the Brotherhood

President Sisi is up against an Islamist organization that has heavily influenced Egyptian society since its founding in 1928! He is up against the only movement that ever won the majority vote in a free election in all of Egypt’s history! That’s what the Muslim Brotherhood accomplished in the elections that empowered the Islamist Morsi in 2012.

The debates that abound about the real nature of the Muslim Brotherhood are primarily because the Brotherhood “exhibits an image of moderation” whenever “the balance of power with other political forces—whether they are in government or in the opposition—is not in their favor,” as Arab affairs expert and author Abdel Monem Said Aly wrote in “The Truth About the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Aly explained that the real nature of the Muslim Brotherhood can actually be illustrated by the organization’s logo and flag, which depict “two crossed swords with the Koran in between and under the swords the word ‘Prepare,’ which is the initial word in a Koranic verse that commands Muslims to ready themselves for ‘terrifying the enemy of God and your enemy’” (May 16, 2018).

The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization—period. Its affiliates have assassinated leaders like Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and attempted to assassinate Sadat’s predecessor, Gamal Abdel Nasser. Many of the world’s worst terrorists—people like al Qaeda’s current leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, American Airlines Flight 11 hijacker-pilot Mohammed Atta—started as Brotherhood members. Authorities say that the Muslim Brotherhood supports and funds other terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State, and some Brotherhood jihadists have reportedly joined the terror outfit.

While the Muslim Brotherhood’s chief terror targets have appeared to be limited to Egypt, they extend far beyond the borders of the Middle East. Israeli Ambassador Dore Gold wrote for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on January 9: “There was no ambiguity about the purpose of the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al-Banna, used to write that the flag of Islam must be raised again in territories it once ruled, like Andalusia (Spain), Sicily, the Balkans, the coast of Italy, as well as the islands of the Mediterranean” (January 9).

That language resembles statements like this 2002 declaration from another Brotherhood leader: “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice.”

Is the Muslim Brotherhood about to pose a much bigger threat to Egypt, the Middle East and Islam’s chief traditional rival, Europe? And will it soon strengthen its ties to the terrorist regime in Iran?

Notice what else Aly wrote in his article:

Brotherhood members strive to create a theocratic regime not so different from the Iranian political system. In their actions, organization and ideology, the [Muslim Brotherhood] acts as an incubator of terrorists, a mobilizer of human and material resources to fund and to defend terrorism, whether directly or indirectly.

The global reach of the organization has given the Muslim Brotherhood the ability to survive by adapting itself to existent political realities.

However things work out in Egypt, you can be sure that “a radical change in Egyptian politics” is coming. That’s precisely what Bible prophecy says!

In a March 2008 Trumpet article, Mr. Flurry wrote:

The book of Daniel talks about that change. Daniel spoke of a “king of the south” (Daniel 11:40). He prophesied that king of the south would ally himself with Egypt in this end time. (Request our free booklet The King of the South for proof.) …

[T]he book of Daniel prophesies that Egypt and Iran would become very close allies in this end time. This prophecy is for “the time of the end”—right now! The king of the south is pushing and pushing, the way a king often does when he wants to gain control of a region. That’s what its foreign policy is all about. This is the king of the south. Iran wants to gain control of the entire Middle East. It is prophesied to push at yet another power—not the U.S., but a European power, the king of the north. Daniel says this king of the north is going to come against the king of the south like a whirlwind and conquer it.

Egypt happens to be one of the allies of the king of the south, and that forebodes a lot of bad news for the Egyptians. Notice: “He [the European power] shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (verse 42). Why would this European power want to conquer Egypt or at least have virtual control over it? Why would that be necessary when it goes into the Middle East—unless Egypt was allied with the king of the south, or Iran? Just a little reading between the lines here makes it pretty obvious what this scripture means.

If you would like to understand these prophecies in greater detail, read “Why the Trumpet Watches Iran Allying With Egypt” and request The King of the South.

Mr. Flurry concluded his March 2008 article with this profound and inspiring statement: “Daniel was written over 2,500 years ago. God knew Egypt would retain the same name it had almost from the beginning and that it would ally itself with Iran! That’s something to get excited about, because one of the foundational proofs of the Bible being God’s Word is fulfilled prophecy!” (emphasis added).

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What Is Armageddon?

Few subjects in the Bible receive more attention, yet almost no one knows its meaning.

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Japan Deploys Ground Forces Near Disputed Senkaku Islands

Soldiers from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force take part in a military review at the Ground Self-Defence Force’s Asaka training ground in Asaka, Saitama prefecture on October 14, 2018.
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

Japan Deploys Ground Forces Near Disputed Senkaku Islands

Chinese aggression is one of many factors driving Japan to normalize its military.

Japan deployed hundreds of troops and missile units on its southwest islands on March 26, in a move to counter Chinese aggression in an area where China’s navy vessels sail frequently.

The Ground Self-Defense Force established new camps in two of Japan’s southern Islands. Amami Oshima island, located more than 300 miles south of the Japanese mainland, will host more than 550 troops while Miyakojima island, near the Senkaku Islands, will host around 380 troops. The Senkaku Islands (called “Diaoyu” by China) are controlled by Japan and claimed by China.

Missile units fitted with surface-to-ship missiles and surface-to-air-missile capabilities were deployed on both islands. The government is also preparing another battalion of around 500 to 600 troops and missile systems in Okinawa’s Ishigaki island, about 60 miles southwest of Miyakojima island. Chinese ships have frequently entered Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands, raising tensions between Tokyo and Beijing. Previously, Japanese troops only occupied mainland Okinawa and Yonaguni, the westernmost island of Japan. By deploying troops and missile units on islands that did not have a military presence before, Japan is filling a defense “vacuum” against possible confrontation with China in the area. “Japan’s defense front line is now the southwestern region, so we’ll beef up our capability and deterrence in that area,” Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said in a press conference.

These moves reflect Japan’s commitment to strengthening its defense capabilities in outlying islands under the latest Medium Term Defense Program, which puts Japan on track to spend $240 billion on military procurement over the next five years. The program will allow Japan to acquire more advanced missiles.

These deployments show that Japan is accelerating its remilitarization. With the United States slowly backing away from its defense commitments, China increasingly becoming more belligerent toward its neighbors, and an unstable North Korea in possession of nuclear weapons that could strike Japan, the Japanese are seriously looking to build up their military to counter these threats. Considering these dangers, many observers see Japan’s military buildup on its southwestern islands as a positive step.

The last time this advanced nation armed itself, it launched an aggressive and largely effective campaign to dominate East Asia and the Pacific, instigating massive bloodshed in the lead-up to and during World War ii. After the war, the U.S. and its allies banned Japan from maintaining a military in order to prevent a repetition of its wartime savagery. Article 9 of Japan’s postwar Constitution states that the “Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation.” This clause outlaws Japan from maintaining “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential.”

The Trumpet and its predecessor, the Plain Truth, have forecast for many decades that Japan would remilitarize. In 1971, when Japan was still largely pacifist, Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong predicted that the Asian nation would once again build its military and become a strong power. He wrote in the March 1971 issue:

Japan today has no military establishment. … But we should not lose sight of the fact that Japan has become so powerful economically that it could build a military force of very great power very rapidly.

Mr. Armstrong’s forecast is founded on Bible prophecy, which says that in the end time, Japan will be part of a bloc of Asian nations called “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). Ezekiel 38 shows that a populous bloc of Asian nations, led primarily by Russia and secondarily by China, will form during the end time. Verse 6 states that “Gomer” and “Togarmah”—the ancient names of the people living in modern-day Japan—will be part of this Asian alliance. This indicates that Japan will return to full-fledged militarism. Since China is prophesied to be part of this alliance, China and Japan will soon lay aside their differences and their turbulent history and start to lend their military power to “the kings of the east” bloc.

Events since Mr. Armstrong made his bold prediction have proved him right: Japan now possesses one of the strongest militaries in the world.

To learn what the future holds for Japan, please read our free booklet He Was Right and our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Japan’s March Toward Militarism.”

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Homeless in Seattle

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Homeless in Seattle

The crisis that is killing one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the United States. I grew up in eastern Washington, four or five hours away from Seattle, and traveled there often. When I lived in Washington, Seattle was a beautiful city. But not today.

Local Seattle news station komo aired a report recently about the homelessness crisis in Seattle and the effect it is having on the local community. It’s powerful—the kind of report that should be taking up an hour of prime time on major news networks like cnn, msnbc and Fox News. komo reporter Eric Johnson, who put together the hour-long documentary with his team, shows that one of Washington’s greatest cities is now a dirty, trash-littered den of homelessness, drug addiction and rampant crime. Seattle is dying, and no one knows what to do about it.

Seattle citizens complain that the city council is not doing enough. One business owner told Johnson, “The city mayor doesn’t give the [police] authority. That’s the problem.” The video shows tents and piles of garbage on the street next to his business. This man gets to the heart of the problem when he asks, “Why can’t we enforce the law?” (emphasis added throughout).

The biggest problem is that Seattle police have lost their authority. When they arrest people for small crimes, misdemeanors and more serious charges like theft and property damage, the offenders are often released the next day. In 2017, New York City had 1,448 property crimes per 100,000 people—crimes like burglary, theft, shoplifting and vandalism. Los Angeles had more than 2,500, and Chicago had 3,263. In comparison, Seattle had the second-highest number of property crimes of any city in America—5,258. (San Francisco had the highest number, and it’s dealing with many of the same problems as Seattle.)

These crimes are often perpetrated by the same people, sometimes just days apart. Johnson talked to Scott Lindsay, a Seattle resident who put together a list of the 100 most frequent offenders in the Seattle criminal justice system. These 100 people, all of whom are homeless drug users, have 3,500 criminal cases between them. Some of them have 75 or more crimes each—and those are just the crimes that have been reported. Out of every 100 police reports filed in Seattle, only 18 actually result in convictions. The rest of the crimes go unpunished. People can commit “small” crimes with impunity in Seattle.

The city council tells residents to call 911 when they see property crimes, but residents say that calling the police does nothing. Even if the police do make an arrest, these vagrants are often back on the streets within a couple days or even a few hours.

Shoplifting is also a huge problem in Seattle. One business owner Johnson interviewed said that her business reported 599 cases of shoplifting over a 19-month stretch, and eight of those crimes ended with some form of prosecution. Eight out of 599. Basically, you can shoplift in Seattle and, unless you assault someone on the way out, get away with it.

komo sent questionnaires to police officers to fill out anonymously. (None of them were willing to speak to the news channel for fear of retaliation from their superiors, who want to keep the seriousness of the crisis under wraps.) These police officers complained that their hands are tied. One officer said, “I am frustrated because I’m a law enforcement officer that is told not to enforce the law.”

Another officer wrote: “People come here because it’s called Free-attle, and they believe if they come here they will get free food, free medical treatment, free mental health treatment, a free tent, free clothes, and will be free of prosecution for just about everything—and they’re right. It didn’t use to be that way. Law enforcement officers used to be able to enforce the laws. … In the last five years, there has been a culture shift, and it started with the legislature decriminalizing felonies and dumping convicts onto the streets.”

One frustrated officer wrote: “Why are we risking our lives to take felony-level fugitives into custody if they’re just going to be released? [The] prosecutor’s office and judges alike seem to be drinking all the Kool-Aid, causing a huge disconnect and a broken system with absolutely no teeth.”

Johnson interviewed a homeless man named Travis who lives on Seattle’s streets. This man openly admits that he uses methamphetamines “at least” once a day, but he doesn’t consider himself a drug abuser. He is on the list of 100 most frequent offenders, with 34 criminal cases in four years—things like assault, attempted rape and trespassing. Johnson asked Travis if he steals to fund his drug addiction, and he admitted, “I actually just started stealing last Monday.” Travis says he is “having a blast” stealing to feed his addiction.

When Johnson asked Travis what the criminal justice system should do with him, he replied: “I think that this system has done what any viable, legitimate system would, and they’ve really … exalted me and … shown deference and love towards me. I don’t feel like I’ll ever be arrested again. I haven’t been in jail for like a year and three months or so, you know, so a change like that … definitely shows that I have conquered the criminal justice system.”

This is not a homeless man who wants to get a job and work his way out of the situation—he is quite happy to ride the system and live on the streets. After all, he has “conquered the criminal justice system”! He can do whatever he wants!

Todd Wiebke, a former Seattle police officer, was one of the “good guys” trying to stop crime on the streets. He quit after getting fed up with trying to do his job with his hands tied behind his back. Wiebke told Johnson, “You know, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, that the only thing I can equate it to is we’re running a concentration camp without barbed wire up to and including the medical experiment of poisoning these people with drugs.”

Wiebke talked about the new Seattle statute allowing people to have three grams of methamphetamines on their person without being arrested. Three grams is 30 doses. As Wiebke pointed out, if you stop enforcing the little things like drug possession and drug dealing, then people try to get away with more and more. It’s a slippery slope that can only end badly. Seattle is proof of that.

When asked if he would raise a family in Seattle right now, Wiebke replied, “Absolutely not.”

Although the problem is often called a “homelessness crisis,” it’s actually a drug crisis. One homeless woman told Johnson that she has not met a single person on the streets who is not an addict. Drugs destroy the will of the homeless to get out of the situation they are in. My father writes in No Freedom Without Law:

America leads the world in demand for mind-damaging, escapist drugs. … Is that freedom? How many of these people have gotten hooked on drugs and cannot stop? …

Many people would consider it freedom to destroy their lives with deadly drugs. That is not freedom! Instead they have become totally enslaved to drugs! … America is overcome by its drug problem. And “whatever overcomes a man [or a nation], to that he is enslaved.”

Matt Markovic, a komo reporter who covers homelessness in the city, told Johnson that many of the people on Seattle’s streets are choosing to stay there because of their drug habit. These homeless addicts probably believe they are free—free to take mind-altering drugs, free to sleep on the streets, free to steal and break the law with impunity. But that is not freedom. They are enslaved to their drugs—enslaved to the habit.

Homelessness and drug use have become politically charged issues in the United States. Perhaps that is why the ongoing crisis in our cities is met with overwhelming silence from national media sources. Many people are shocked when they visit places like Seattle and San Francisco because they had no idea about the serious problems in these cities; they never hear about these issues on the news.

Seattle is facing problem on top of problem—and nobody has any solutions. The city spends $1 billion each year on the homelessness crisis, but the situation is actually getting worse.

Isaiah 1:5-6 say that our entire nation is sick from the top to the bottom. We have no strong leaders who will take decisive action to rid our cities of these problems for good (Isaiah 3:1-3). The cause of this sickness is transgression (Daniel 8:12). Nationally, we are breaking God’s laws, and we are reaping the consequences.

Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like about how wonderful the world would be if everyone kept God’s law. Instead of violence, drug addiction, homelessness and death, we would have “vigorous, vibrant good health, filled with dynamic interest in life, enthusiastic interest in constructive activities bringing happiness and joy. There would be cleanliness, vigorous activity, real progress, no slums, no degenerate backward races or areas of Earth.”

This is the real solution to Seattle’s homelessness crisis—the Kingdom of God. It’s coming, and soon.