China Controls, Weaponizes Rare Earth Minerals

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China Controls, Weaponizes Rare Earth Minerals

Controlling the supply of these valuable metals gives China leverage over technologies, economies and militaries.

China has a contingency plan to undermine the United States military by cutting off the natural resources critical to America’s defense. There are 16 strategically critical metals necessary for manufacturing nearly all high-tech products, from smartphones to guided missiles. These scarce metals are called rare earth minerals. China seeks to control the global supply of rare earth minerals so it has the ability to sabotage America’s military in the future.

Three U.S. senators have introduced legislation to reduce U.S. reliance on Chinese imports of rare earth minerals. Senators Joe Manchin, Shelley Moore Capito and Lisa Murkowski reintroduced the Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal Technologies Act on April 5, after the bill failed to pass in a previous session of Congress. Its purpose is to provide federal funding for the development of U.S. technologies to extract rare earth minerals from coal and coal byproducts. Environmentalists, however, are concerned about the pollution generated by rare earth mining and processing.

Until the late 1990s, most rare earth minerals were processed in the United States. But as the U.S. government began to enact more environmental regulations, the cost of processing these minerals increased. U.S. processing operations closed down, and China stepped up, exploiting cheap labor and lax environmental regulations. China now controls 98 percent of the globe’s rare earth minerals supply, and it uses government subsidies to maintain its monopoly.

This monopoly gives China great power over other nations.

During a dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands in 2010, Japan detained the captain of a Chinese fishing trawler. China retaliated by announcing that it would halt all rare earth shipments to Japan’s high-tech economy. Japan immediately backed down and released the captain in what the New York Times called a “humiliating retreat.”

A Pentagon study published last September warns that China has sought to monopolize access to rare earth minerals in a deliberate strategy to undermine the U.S. military. “The study accuses Beijing of flooding world markets with certain materials critical to the manufacture of fuel used in U.S. missiles and rockets and components of U.S. military jets, among other items,” Foreign Policy reported, citing a Trump administration official. “It concludes that China is carrying out this policy as a way of forcing U.S. suppliers out of business ….”

Government officials estimate that revamping America’s rare earth processing industry could take 15 years, so in the meantime the U.S. is being forced to play nice with China as the two compete for power over naval trade routes.

Late educator Herbert W. Armstrong proved in his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy that the U.S. and Britain are the descendants of ancient Israel. He also proved that God promised these two nations “possession of the Earth’s choicest agricultural, mineral and other wealth,” in addition to control over the “gates” of their enemies (Genesis 22:17).

A gate is a narrow passage of entrance or exit. Speaking nationally, a “sea gate” is a maritime choke point, such as the Panama Canal or the Strait of Malacca. God gave America and Britain dominance over the world’s rare earth minerals and control over the world’s sea gates, ensuring that they would become economic and military superpowers. But the American and British people have turned away from God’s law and taken credit for their superpower status. These nations rely on their militaries for defense, but now they have lost control of the strategically critical metals necessary for sustaining their high-tech militaries. God warned that if end-time Israel (America and Britain primarily) did not obey Him, then they would lose control of vital sea gates (Deuteronomy 28:52). China’s monopoly of rare earth minerals is another sign of America’s declining military power.

Once America loses the ability to protect and control the world’s most strategic trade routes and maritime choke points, foreign powers will seize the few remaining sea gates still under American or British control. America’s homeland will be vulnerable to economic siege by hostile enemies.

To learn more about the significance of rare earth minerals to America’s security, read “Why Chinese Miners Are Smiling.”

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Russian Icebreakers and the War for the Arctic

The 50 Let Pobedy nuclear-powered icebreaker operated by Atomflot makes its way through the frozen waters of the Gulf of Ob, in the Kara Sea.
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Russian Icebreakers and the War for the Arctic

‘Russia’s icebreakers make it king of the Arctic, and America is just a pauper.’

st. petersburg
Our entrance into St. Petersburg via boat in early April would have been difficult had it not been for Russia’s famous icebreaker ships that came through a few weeks earlier and busted up the ice, opening up safe shipping lanes.

It was still too dark to record video when we navigated through the thickest parts of the broken ice, but here is some of what we saw in the morning light as we neared the city:

Russia’s icebreaker fleet in the Baltic Sea is a significant economic asset. But there’s another region where Russia’s expanding fleet of icebreakers is making a more meaningful difference, not only economically but also militarily: the Arctic.

Historically, the frigid Arctic has been relatively free of the geopolitical struggles among world powers that have influenced most other regions. But in recent decades, that has begun to change. The region has become increasingly important to the Arctic nations: The United States, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. None has been more determined to dominate the region than Russia, and it is accomplishing its objective largely with icebreakers.

Energy and Minerals

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the Arctic is home to 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and 13 percent of the world’s oil. The region also contains vast caches of minerals, such as gold, zinc and platinum. Altogether these resources are worth an estimated $30 trillion, and the Russians are tapping into it at unprecedented rates.

The Yamal liquid natural gas plant is one notable example. It is located almost 380 miles north of the Arctic Circle line, close to the polar circle. In the local Nenets language, Yamal literally means “end of the world.” Temperatures around the Yamal Peninsula drop as low as 58 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, for two months each year there is zero sunlight, and for seven to nine months, the waters around this wasteland are frozen solid in ice up to seven feet thick. Until mining facilities are opened on the moon, you will not find a more hostile environment for industry than the one surrounding Yamal lng.

But thanks to a new fleet of 15 Arc7 icebreakers that can carry liquefied natural gas shipments, the Russians can keep operations humming year-round as they extract and transport Yamal’s 44 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Bloomberg discussed the power of these new lng icebreakers in July, writing that “any one of the vessels could power as many as 35,000 U.S. homes.” This power is needed because “bending ice into submission requires enormous power.”

A Grand Vision and a Tightening Grip

During a visit to Yamal lng’s facilities in 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear that the plant and its icebreakers are part of a larger vision to dominate the Arctic. “This is perhaps the largest step forward in our developing of the Arctic,” he said. “Now we can safely say that Russia will expand through the Arctic this and next century.”

A major part of this expansion is development of the Northern Sea Route, which runs along Russia’s Arctic coast from the Kara Sea to the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean. With this route, Russia can ship gas from Yamal and other Arctic locations to energy-thirsty Eastern nations weeks faster than the time required to go west around Europe and through the Suez Canal. In the case of China, the most energy-thirsty nation of all, using the Northern Sea Route cuts shipment times by as much as 25 days.

Georgia Today wrote on April 15 that this shipping route gives a “major boost” to Russia’s economy, due largely to how it better connects Russia and China. If current trends persist, “we might have a situation when the Russians for the first time in their history border water where major world commercial activity unfolds.”

And the Russians are now tightening their grip on this route in a troubling way. In March, the Russian government announced that foreign ships sailing this route must submit a request 45 days in advance, bring a Russian maritime pilot aboard for the crossing, and pay hefty additional transit fees. Russia says any vessel that fails to comply can be detained and even “eliminated.” Even if a foreign vessel abides by all of the requirements, Russian authorities said they can reject any request for passage with no explanation.

The worrisome—and illegal—part of these new Russian rules concerns the Bering Strait, which lies between Russia and the United States. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (unclos) says waters 200 nautical miles from a given nation’s coast constitute that country’s exclusive economic zone, and that the nation is granted control over them. But international straits, such as the Bering Strait, are specifically not included in exclusive economic zones. And the unclos guarantees freedom of navigation through them.

Contrary to the international laws, Russia insists that its Northern Sea Route (nsr) includes the Bering Strait and says its new rules apply to this sea gate. “Indeed, the nsr passes not only within Russia’s territorial waters, nevertheless, our country has the legal right to regulate navigation along the entire route,” Kamil Bekyashev, vice president of the Russian Maritime Law Association, said in March.

This is an illegal policy. It led Sean Fahey, a U.S. Coast Guard commander and professor of international law, to warn recently that “the rights and freedoms all states enjoy to operate ships and aircraft in the maritime domain—may become the most important strategic issue in the region.”

But because of an ever widening “icebreaker gap” between Russia and the rest of the world, the U.S. is poorly positioned to challenge Russia’s tightening grip on the Arctic.

‘King of the Arctic’

“You can’t explore the depths of the Arctic, or traverse its seas, if you can’t get to it,” Terrell Starr wrote for Foxtrot Alpha. “Russia’s icebreakers make it king of the Arctic, and America is just a pauper.”

With 46 vessels, including six nuclear-powered models, Russia already has the world’s largest fleet of icebreakers by far. A distant second place, with 10 ships, goes to Finland. Canada has seven, as does Sweden. The United States has five, none of which are nuclear.

The number of icebreaker ships alone doesn’t tell the whole story. Only Russia and the U.S. operate “heavy” icebreakers, which have increased power and can break through thicker ice packs. But here again, Russia has a major advantage with two operational heavy icebreakers and four more in refit. The U.S., meanwhile, has just one, the 42-year-old uscgc Polar Star, which also operates in Antarctica, on the other side of the globe.

Russia’s heavy icebreakers are not only considerably newer than the Polar Star, but they also remain in the Arctic year-round. And Putin says that by 2035, Russia will have 13 heavy icebreakers, including nine nuclear-powered behemoths.

Here is footage of a Russian icebreaker in action (blaring patriotic music at a passing foreign ship):

https://twitter.com/EnglishRussia1/status/917654009640640512

In addition to the 15 new Arc7s now coming online, Russia is also near launching the Arktika-class (LK-60Ya/Pr. 22220) of heavy nuclear icebreakers. These 33,000-ton vessels will undergo sea trials at the end of this year. Also in the works for Russia is the nuclear-powered Lider-class (LK-110Ya/Pr. 10510) icebreaker, which will weigh in at about 71,000 tons, making it the world’s heaviest icebreaker many times over. The Polar Star, in comparison, weighs around 10,000 tons.

So the vast icebreaker gap is set to further widen. “The highways of the Arctic are icebreakers,” U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan recently said. “Russia has superhighways, and we have dirt roads with potholes.”

Russia’s fleet of icebreakers will continue to maintain and expand its “superhighways” through the Arctic. And the U.S. and other nations will find it ever more difficult to challenge Putin’s control over the region.

Military Matters

In the last few years, Russia has also rushed to revive many abandoned Soviet military bases in the Arctic. Thanks in large part to its fleet of icebreakers, the Russians have revamped airstrips and radar facilities on numerous islands, established four new Arctic brigade command units, opened 16 deepwater ports, built new air and radar bases, and have deployed antiship and ground-to-air missile systems to the area.

Later this year, the Russian military will hold large-scale drills in the Arctic archipelagos of the New Siberian Islands and Novaya Zemlya.

“The modernization of Arctic forces and of Arctic military infrastructure is taking place at an unprecedented pace not seen even in Soviet times,” Mikhail Barabanov, editor in chief of Moscow Defense Brief, told Reuters.

With these bases and surface-to-air and antiship missiles, Russia can guard its energy claims in the region and enforce its new rules for the Northern Sea Route, whether or not the other Arctic nations agree with the legality of them.

Below is a glimpse of the scale and complexity of Russia’s militarization of the Arctic:

‘A Dangerous New Era’

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia trudged through the next decade as a depleted, exhausted, unstable nation. It was outside the mainstream of international affairs, and many Westerners mostly ignored it.

But then Vladimir Putin came to power and began to right the ship and change its course. In August 2008, he shocked much of the world by invading the former Soviet nation of Georgia and bringing one fifth of its internationally recognized territory under Russian control. That October, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about what the invasion signaled for the future:

Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more! … Russia is determined to be an energy superpower in an age when the whole modern world is hungry for energy. … We have witnessed the beginning of a new era!

Mr. Flurry went on to name which other former Soviet nation Russia would likely set its sights on next: “Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well.”

Time proved that forecast accurate, with Russia’s 2014 invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and destabilization of Ukraine’s eastern regions. Putin had literally redrawn the borders of Europe—twice.

Since then, Putin has continued using his power to prevent Georgia, Ukraine and other former Soviet countries from developing closer relations with Europe. He has pushed America out of his backyard by persuading Kyrgyzstan to evict the U.S. from Manas Air Base in 2014. He has made Russia a key player in the Middle East, where it has weakened U.S. influence, assisted the brutal Syrian regime, and helped Iran maintain its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Putin has also transformed Russia’s military into a modern and more lethal 21st-century force, including his intensification of efforts to militarize and control the Arctic.

It is clear that Putin is restoring Russia’s power and boosting its international relevance back toward Soviet levels. And as Mr. Flurry wrote, the world is now in a “dangerous new era.” And Bible prophecy shows that, in the months and years ahead, he will lead Russia in an even more dangerous and aggressive direction.

In his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia,’ Mr. Flurry explains that Putin is personally described in ancient Bible prophecies in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and that his rule indicates that “[w]e are entering into the worst crisis ever in man’s history.” But Mr. Flurry adds that these prophecies are “super-inspiring at the same time.”

He writes: “Vladimir Putin is a sign, literally a sign, that Jesus Christ is about to return! This is one of the most inspiring messages in the Bible.”

Mr. Flurry continues:

What we are seeing in Russia ultimately leads to the transition from man ruling man to God ruling man! And it is almost here! It is just a few short years away.

We need to watch Vladimir Putin closely. I believe he is almost certain to be the “prince of Rosh” whom God inspired Ezekiel to write about 2,500 years ago! We need to watch what is happening in Russia and how Europe responds to it. … Russia’s resurgence—which we see reported in headlines often—shows that end-time Bible prophecies are rapidly being fulfilled!

The rise of Putin’s Russia, including its dominance of the Arctic, shows that nuclear World War iii is near. But these trends are also intimately tied to the best imaginable news: Jesus Christ will soon return to Earth and bring in an age of unprecedented peace and prosperity for the whole world.

To understand the details of Russia’s role in Bible prophecy, and what it means for your life, order a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

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American Bolsheviks

Could an event as violent as the Russian Civil War ever happen in the United States of America?

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UK to Pass No-Fault Divorce Law

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UK to Pass No-Fault Divorce Law

Politicians say making divorce easier, cheaper and faster will help couples and children. But will it?

The United Kingdom has announced that it will pass a new law allowing no-fault divorce “as soon as parliamentary time allows.” It will remove the legal requirement to show fault in a spouse’s behavior and will abolish the right of a spouse to contest the divorce request. The law will make terminating marriages much easier and faster.

This will change marriage laws that have been in place in England and Wales since the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The act allows divorce only on the grounds of proven adultery, desertion or unreasonable behavior. Or if both sides agree to end their marriage, they can do so after two years of separation. If there is no evidence of fault, or if the other spouse does not consent, the couple is granted divorce only after living separately for five years.

Under the new law, once the husband or wife petitions to end their marriage, they must wait only a minimum of six months (to “reflect”) before their divorce is finalized.

The UK is essentially removing the civil difficulty and the social stigma of divorce. The result will be that few people truly take marriage (or divorce) seriously.

Divorce rates hit a 45-year low in 2017 and have continued to drop. The Office for National Statistics reports that the second-largest and fastest-growing “family relationship” is unmarried cohabitation. Far fewer people are choosing to get married in the first place; since record-keeping began in the UK, marriage is at an all-time low.

Many hail the law as a success, saying that it protects children from the “blame game” and “mudslinging” often employed in order to terminate a marriage under the current law’s fault provision. David Gauke, the justice secretary pushing forward the new no-fault divorce law, said that the 1973 law led many people to exaggerate their claims in order to get their divorces legally approved. “Hostility and conflict between parents,” he said, “leave their mark on children and can damage their life chances.”

According to Gauke, making divorce easier will reduce these conflicts, leaving less marks on children and improving their life chances.

But studies have shown that there is no such thing as a “good” divorce. In her book Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, Elizabeth Marquardt records her findings after spending three years surveying 1,500 adults from divorces and from intact families. She discovered that even children of somewhat unhappy marriages have less inner conflicts and suffering than children of a “good” divorce.

Making divorce easier will not help the children. Casting blame during divorce proceedings is not what damages children most: It’s the divorce itself.

Why does a faithful marriage, in which a husband and wife keep their promises to remain united for life, have so many benefits for the couple and for their children?

Because marriage is not just a tradition or custom, but a relationship that was designed by the Creator of human beings.

God’s purpose for man is revealed in the very first book of the Bible: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27). Humans were made in God’s image, or character, and likeness—we look like God! And God is a family, a family that every human being can be born into.

In “Rampant Divorce = National Suicide,” Trumpet contributor Dennis Leap wrote:

At the creation of man, God also created marriage. … “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18). Adam was not created complete in himself. So God created the perfect complement to him—Eve. Then God married them. After presenting Eve to Adam, God said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (verse 24). This is the history of the first marriage ceremony in its briefest details. But there is still a great lesson here, if we are willing to learn.

Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in a 1973 Plain Truth article: “The marriage and family relationship is a God-plane relationship—higher than even an angel-plane relationship. And God bestowed it on man because man is being now prepared for the marriage and family relationship forever in the God Family! Think of it! Of all life forms—whether plant, animal, human or angel, in all that God created, man alone was created for marriage and family life!”

Earlier in that article, Mr. Armstrong wrote: “The very foundation of any nation’s solidarity, strength and power is a solid and stable family structure. When a nation’s family life is breaking down, that nation is disintegrating—committing national suicide!” We see evidence of this all around us.

The UK’s new no-fault divorce law will accelerate the rapid breakdown of the family—and the rapid breakdown of British society. God’s laws of marriage produce strength and happiness. Breaking them can only lead to suffering.

To learn God’s laws that govern a happy marriage, please read Mr. Armstrong’s free booklet Why Marriage—Soon Obsolete?

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The Chancellor Who Is No Longer Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for a two-day summit of EU leaders on March 21 in Brussels, Belgium.
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The Chancellor Who Is No Longer Chancellor

The quietness around Chancellor Merkel is misleading.

It has been quiet around German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Calls for her resignation have seemingly ceased. Political rivals have vanished, and her coalition partners have calmed. But the quietness is misleading.

As Merkel withdraws step-by-step from the public crossfire, her confidants are taking the hits. Her protective shield is weakening as her power as chancellor recedes.

“Those who want to know how Angela Merkel’s power is dwindling,” Wolfram Weimer wrote for N-tv, “have to take a look at the long-standing triumvirate of her power architecture: Volker Kauder, Ursula von der Leyen and Peter Altmaier” (April 9; Trumpet translation throughout).

Former Christian Democratic Union (cdu) faction leader and strong Merkel ally Volker Kauder was voted out of office on September 25. Merkel viewed him as an essential part of her power structure, but the party faction voted in rebellion for the largely unknown Ralph Brinkhaus.

Seeing the disgruntlement in her own party, Chancellor Merkel announced in October that she would not run for the cdu leadership in December 2018 nor would she seek reelection as chancellor in the next election. On December 7, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer took over the cdu leadership. She won with a slight majority over Merkel’s archrival Friedrich Merz, who enjoyed the backing of senior cdu politician Wolfgang Schäuble.

After December 7, the party rivalry seemingly calmed down: Schäuble had been defeated, Merz returned to the business world, and Merkel’s critics had been silenced.

But the chancellor has withdrawn more and more from the political scene. She is commenting less on political developments and is leaving more and more appearances to the new party chief. But as direct attacks against the chancellor diminished, Merkel’s critics began attacking her supporters.

Defense Minister von der Leyen has been confronted with scandals concerning the Bundeswehr. But these accusations of mismanagement are actually disguised criticisms of Merkel. Then Economics Minister Peter Altmaier got caught in the crossfire. “The Merkel confidant serves as the scapegoat of all those who actually demand one thing: that the chancellor leaves,” N-tv noted on April 10.

“Whether large-scale industries or the entrepreneurial middle class, all know in these weeks a common lamentation,” Die Welt reported on April 12. “A rather loveless melody is sung. It’s only directed superficially against the economy minister, who is so confounded in business. Peter Altmaier is just the sack being beaten. Meant is the federal chancellor.”

In the midst of the crossfire, Merkel’s rival Merz has begun to voice his criticism again—not directly against Merkel but against the politician’s lack of economic understanding. Weimer wrote:

Behind the systematic dismantling of the three Merkel pillars is the disguised revolt of the cdu against their chancellor. One attacks her followers, but one actually means her. “Using Kauder, von der Leyen and Altmaier, the Merkel opponents cool their mood,” says a cdu permanent member. The fact that Merkel can no longer protect her own staff, that she no longer gives her opinion about the conflicts of the republic, and seems as if she has gone underground, reinforces the impression of an impotent chancellor.

Merkel has lost the power she once had as chancellor. As her power crumbles further, she may still hold the title chancellor, but she is no longer able to fill the role as chancellor.

The next crisis is just around the corner. The cdu and Merkel’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, expect another devastating election result this May in the European elections. These elections might give the underground critics another occasion to overthrow Merkel’s last remaining pillars.

Everyone in Germany knows that new leadership is imminent. But almost no one knows who will lead Europe’s most powerful country into its future. This time of uncertainty and political turmoil is leading to the fulfillment of a key Bible prophecy that reveals the outcome of Germany’s current political crisis. “And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries” (Daniel 11:21). Concerning this verse, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in “Germany—A New King Is Imminent”:

Current conditions in Europe, including the refugee crisis and the turmoil in German politics, provide probably one of the greatest opportunities ever for a new leader to come into power “by flatteries.” Chancellor Merkel is on her way out and is now a lame duck. Expect political and social crises in Germany and Europe, and public resentment and anger, to grow even deeper.

Then watch for a strongman to take advantage and make his way to power through flatteries!

Merkel is indeed a lame duck now, a chancellor who no longer holds the power of a chancellor. The political style she has exercised for years is no longer desired. She no longer has the restraining power that once silenced her critics. Others with more radical opinions make decisions that she can no longer prevent.

But still Germany lacks alternative leaders with the courage or the power to fill the void in the highest office of the country. This political turmoil and uncertainty are causing Germans to groan for a strongman. Bible prophecy clearly foretells that Germany’s leadership void is about to be filled. The nation’s political situation is about to change suddenly, to the surprise of many. Read “Germany—A New King Is Imminent” to learn about that imminent future.

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Germany’s Secretive Arms Exports

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) speaks with Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud during the first Arab-European Summit on February 25 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
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Germany’s Secretive Arms Exports

Despite extending the Saudi arms export ban to September, Merkel has found a way to continue arming Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations.

Germany has approved a new batch of weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, according to German media reports. A deal approved by Germany’s secretive National Security Council allows Germany to continue exporting armaments to Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations that are involved in the war in Yemen, despite a current ban on weapons exports to Saudi Arabia.

The National Security Council is a rarely discussed group consisting of Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of her foremost cabinet ministers. They have taken advantage of a loophole: All German-made components, used in equipment developed jointly with another European nation, are exempt from the ban. The same goes for exports that were approved before the ban came into effect in October 2018.

Most major military systems—such as armored vehicles, tanks, airplanes and munitions—are joint European projects. The loophole exempting these exports is, therefore, a massive one.

The newest exports to Arab nations consist of armored vehicles, radar systems and munitions. Germany co-manufactures with France parts of the Cobra artillery tracking radar systems acquired by Saudi Arabia. Germany will also ship three armored personnel carriers to Qatar, and will send 92 electric drives for armored personnel carriers to Algeria.

The ban on exporting to Saudi Arabia was originally instituted in October 2018 in condemnation of the killing of Turkish journalist Jamal Khashoggi. German politicians voted two weeks ago to continue the ban into September 2019.

But because of the loopholes, and because the council’s decisions are secret, Germany can continue to claim that it does not sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, while continuing to do so.

Britain, France and other European Union nations oppose Germany’s ban on exports to Saudi Arabia, and have repeatedly called for it to be lifted. French ambassador to Germany Anne-Marie Descotes criticized the ban, calling the situation “untenable.” In an essay for Germany’s Federal Academy for Security Policy, she warned that Germany’s unpredictable weapons export policies are having “serious consequences” for Franco-German cooperation and for “the strengthening of European sovereignty.”

Now, with the ban renewed but the secret council continuing to export armaments, this unpredictability continues.

This is more than just an economic and political hindrance for Germany’s European partners. German weapons exports will prove to be an important tool in Europe’s geopolitical strategy.

Right now, the German military appears to be weak. Germany continues to fall short of its nato defense-spending targets. While Russia and China are increasingly belligerent, Germany looks lost in constant indecision.

But this is about to change.

It is dangerous to ignore Germany. Italian journalist Luigi Barzini described the unpredictable nature of the Germans. He observed that before 1870, Germans were a risk-averse people fearful of war, but given the right leader, they could transform into an aggressive power.

Barzini referred to a French writer who described pre-unification Germany this way: “They fear fatigue or bad weather … resolutions are slow, despondency is easy.” Yet as Barzini went on to observe, “as you turned a few pages of the history book, the Germans seemed completely transformed.” They became a “gray tide of faceless, disciplined soldiers with spiked helmets, a relentless unstoppable war machine.”

In 1870, the catalyst for this rapid transformation was a strong leader. History shows this has happened repeatedly: in 1914, and soon thereafter in 1939. Each time, a strong leader has unified and stirred Germans into violent action. As frustration with Chancellor Angela Merkel grows, both within Germany and throughout Europe, there will be more pressure for such a leader to emerge once more.

An authority more certain than history supports this assertion. Thousands of years before Germany was the nation it is today, your Bible predicted that such a leader would capture the imagination of the German people. It predicted that Germany would become a leading nation—like it already is economically—and rule a united European superpower.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent:

Daniel 8 is one of the most astonishing prophecies in the Bible, and we need to understand it.

The last part of verse 17 says, “for at the time of the end shall be the vision.” It gets more specific in verse 19: “And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation.” He not only talks about the end time, but God wants us to realize the urgency of this. This is the last end—the end of the end time! Daniel was written only for the end time (Daniel 12:4, 9). God wants us to become urgent about this.

Notice this strong leader who will come on the world scene in Europe: “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up” (Daniel 8:23). …

This soon-coming ruler could literally be called a king. Even if he is not, the Bible gives him that label. When the Bible talks about a king, in most cases it’s saying that this is not a democratic government. Even if he doesn’t have that title, he is going to lead like a king. This vision in Daniel shows that the European empire is about to become a lot more authoritative.

A stronger Germany, leading the combined strength of Europe, is prophesied in your Bible. Prophecy gets very specific on which nations will be allied with this European superpower. Psalm 83 reveals that Germany will form links with Arab nations like Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Qatar.

“For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon]; Assur [Assyria or Germany] also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah” (verses 5-8). In his article “A Mysterious Prophecy,” Mr. Flurry explained:

Here are the modern names of these nations, as taught at Ambassador College under Herbert W. Armstrong: Edom—Turkey; Ishmaelites—Saudi Arabia; Moab—Jordan; Hagarenesanciently dwelt in the land known as Syria today; GebalLebanon; Ammon—also Jordan. …

Assur was the father of Assyria, which is the ancient name of Germany. (We prove the identity of these nations in our booklets The King of the South and Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.)

There has never been such an alliance to attack or totally destroy Israel in history. Concerning this psalm, the Anchor Bible reads, “History transmits no record of the national crisis when the nations enumerated in this psalm formed a league to wipe out Israel ….” Lange’s Commentary points out, “The 10 nations who are here enumerated as being combined against Israel, are never mentioned elsewhere as enemies allied at the same time and for the purpose of annihilating Israel.” Other commentaries make the same point.

This must be an end-time prophecy!

History has proved these prophecies true for six resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire (Revelation 17:10). Soon, Germany will lead the seventh and final one, sparking another world war and bringing immense suffering to all of mankind—so much so that if Christ did not intervene, mankind would wipe itself out (Matthew 24:21-22).

However, there is good news: That final resurrection is prophesied to be brief. Soon, Jesus Christ will return to end the suffering man has caused and bring permanent peace to all mankind.

To read more about Germany’s future and how it will soon directly impact you, read “A Mysterious Prophecy” and request free copies of our booklets A Strong German Leader Is Imminent and The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy.

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Brexit Was Prophesied!

The UK leaving the European Union was foretold in the Bible! What does this source of advance news say will follow?

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A Fire in the Heart of Europe

Fire rages through the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on April 15 in Paris, France.
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A Fire in the Heart of Europe

The burning of Notre Dame last night captured the imagination of the world. “Notre Dame is our history, our literature, our imagination,” lamented French President Emmanuel Macron. “The place of all our great events, our epidemics, our wars, our liberations, the epicenter of our lives.”

The cathedral is literally at the center of Paris—distances to the city are measured from a plaque just outside its front doors. No wonder the nation is mourning.

The fiery destruction of the cathedral’s roof and spire was an emotional event even for many outside France.

“Notre Dame is a symbol of France and of our European culture,” said a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Our thoughts are with our French friends.”

Prince Charles said he was “heartbroken” to learn of the fire, and said that the Cathedral “represents one of the greatest architectural achievements of Western civilization.”

Melissa Mackenzie, publisher of the American Spectator, wrote, “The images from the burning of Notre Dame provoke the same sort of heart-heavy dread as the 9/11 images. … It feels like we’re witnessing the end of Christianity and Western civilization. Notre Dame is irreplaceable. No tower can be built in its stead. There will only be a time before and after Notre Dame.”

Notre Dame Cathedral, the fire, and the massive reaction to it are powerful reminders that the Catholic Church is at the heart of Western civilization.

Notre Dame Cathedral is nearly 1,000 years old. Construction began in 1163 and continued for two centuries. It took a huge investment of labor, with 1,000 craftsman working on it. Thirteen thousand oak trees went into the roof’s supporting beams—the fuel for yesterday’s massive fire.

That was where civilization of that time poured its choicest resources. Today we have our moon shots, our Olympic games and our commercial ventures. Back then, it was religious buildings.

Notre Dame had the highest ceiling of any cathedral ever built at the time; it required innovative building techniques. Cluny, a French monastery, was the largest enclosed space in Western Europe. Europe’s ornate palaces would not be built for several more centuries. At that stage during the Middle Ages, religious buildings were groundbreaking projects.

Also at that formative stage of civilization, the Catholic Church dominated.

“Western civilization owes far more to the Catholic Church than most people—Catholics included—often realize,” wrote historian Thomas Woods. “The church, in fact, built Western civilization.”

I don’t entirely agree. The English-speaking world has made a huge contribution—and we’ve always been at least arms-length from the Catholic Church. But the Catholic Church “had a decisive and far-reaching influence on Western religion, politics, culture, science and education, often in ways most people fail to recognize,” as it says in our book The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy. The book continues:

The Vatican has presided over the rise and fall of kings and governments, the emergence of political and ideological movements, and the discovery and colonization of new lands and peoples. The Catholic religion has influenced every facet of Western society, from art and music to science to the measurement of time to the annual holidays we celebrate. Its influence over Europe is even more extensive: It has shaped Europe’s legal systems, its educational institutions, many of its most prominent cities, its economies and even agriculture.

That is reflected in the fact that the greatest, most expensive, most time-consuming achievements of civilization of that time were dedicated to the Catholic Church.

Notre Dame’s fire is a powerful reminder of Europe’s Christian roots—and it’s on the front page of just about every newspaper in the world.

It’s also a powerful symbol of that civilization under siege.

The fire at Notre Dame appears to have been started by an accident during renovations. But that wasn’t the case at Paris’s Saint-Sulpice Church. The 17th-century building, the capital’s second-largest church, held important artwork. Police have said that the March 17 fire there was not an accident.

Nor was this the only church attacked. Saint-Alain Cathedral saw its statues and crosses smashed. “God will forgive,” said the city’s mayor. “Not me.” On April 2, the Washington Post noted the trend, writing:

Sometimes it’s a cross of human excrement smeared on a church wall, with stolen Communion hosts stuck at the four corners. Other times, a statue of the Virgin Mary lies shattered on the floor.

Now and then, a fire breaks out in a house of prayer.

Roman Catholic churches have increasingly come under attack in France, a country so long identified with Christianity that it used to be called “the eldest daughter of the church.”

French members of Parliament Annie Genevard and Philippe Gosselin have called for a parliamentary inquiry into anti-Christian acts.

But perhaps that’s merely a small example of the way Christianity of all stripes is under attack in Europe.

An increasingly secure culture looks down on and excludes those with more traditional morals. And the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and the mass arrival of Muslim migrants, is prompting fears of survival for Europe’s Christian civilization.

People see pictures of Notre Dame burning and feel like they’re “witnessing the end of Christianity and Western civilization,” because they already fear they may be witnessing the end of Christianity and Western civilization.

But the outpouring of grief over Notre Dame shows the fight is not over yet. Catholicism still holds deep meaning for many.

The Catholic Church’s deep roots in Western civilization go back centuries. Which is why, even in this secular age, its monuments still hold great meaning.

And there are some ready to fight back. Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said in a recent interview that the modern lgbtq agenda is “the revolt of Satan.” He also warned that Europe will be “invaded by foreigners, just as Rome has been invaded by barbarians.”

“If Europe disappears, and with it the priceless values of the Old Continent, Islam will invade the world and we will completely change culture, anthropology and moral vision,” he said.

The solution? Europe must “rediscover its Christian roots and identity. A West that denies its faith, its history, its roots and its identity is destined for contempt, for death and disappearance.”

And Notre Dame reminds us what those roots are.

The Catholic Herald made a similar point, writing, “Only by returning to the faith can we truly rebuild Notre Dame.”

But what are those roots really? The lofty spires and ceiling of Notre Dame Cathedral tell only half the story. Faced with the threat of radical Islam, and with a society seemingly going mad with the transgender agenda, it would be easy to cheer a Europe returning to the roots that gave us Notre Dame Cathedral.

But there is a dark side to those roots.

From 1209 to 1229, while Notre Dame was being built, France and the Catholic Church embarked on another joint project. This time it wasn’t a splendid new cathedral to mark Paris as the capital of France. Instead, it was to stamp out any Christians they disagreed with. The two joined forces for the Albigensian Crusade in the south of France. Knights who fought for the pope were given a free pass through purgatory. They showed no mercy, and they killed at least 200,000 people.

This was not a one-off—it happened routinely during the time that Europe was in touch with these Christian roots.

Europe’s history is full of such contradictions. The Habsburg emperors helped kill huge numbers of non-Catholics. “They did their killing while supporting artists like Mozart, Bach and Schubert,” writes Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in Daniel Unlocks Revelation. “They were very sophisticated as they slaughtered people.”

This history sounds a powerful warning about Europe returning to these roots. The Bible gives the same warning. It forecasts Europe’s close relationship with the Catholic Church in detail.

I wrote “European Unity? Be Careful What You Wish For” in the latest issue of the Trumpet magazine to give a complete account of this history. Expect to see more people calling for Europe to return to its roots. Bible prophecy says it will happen.

You need to understand what those roots are.