Why Would Iran Start a War It Can’t Win? To Accomplish a ‘Divine Mission’

Iranian Shiites spill oustside of the Jamkaran Mosque to pray on Dec. 6, 2005, in Jamkaran, Iran. Some Iranian Shiites believe and are waiting for the return of the Mahdi, or the 12th Imam, the Shiite equivalent of the Christian Messiah.
Scott Peterson/Getty Images

Why Would Iran Start a War It Can’t Win? To Accomplish a ‘Divine Mission’

Iranian leaders have their backs against the wall, and they believe a glorious caliphate is only a world war away.

As more evidence emerges that Iran attacked unarmed tankers in international waters and downed a United States military drone in international airspace, some analysts are defending the Islamic Republic based on the lack of a logical motive.

“Iran has no motive right now to attack two tankers which were taking oil to Japan,” journalist Vijay Prashad told the Real News Network on June 17. “[I]t is totally illogical for Iran to have conducted any kind of action like this.”

“Why would Iran do it?” Pakistani military analyst Amjad Shoaib asked RT. “They have no reason to go to war and they have no reason to escalate the situation.”

“I don’t buy it at all,” a commenter at Japan Today wrote. “Iran is an intelligent country; it simply makes no sense for Iran to fire on ships from Japan or Norway. Not for any reason. This is the least likely of any scenarios here.”

In the case of the U.S. surveillance drone downed on June 20, no one denies that Iran attacked it. Instead, the debate centers partly on whether Iran shot it down on purpose.

“I find it hard to believe that it was intentional,” U.S. President Donald Trump said at the White House. “I would imagine, it was a general or somebody who made a mistake in shooting that drone down.”

The logic in these kinds of statements seems sound enough: The accusations against Iran don’t make sense because for a nation to provoke a war that it can’t win would be irrational and illogical.

There are some rational reasons for Iran to engage in these kind of actions, and some commentators have pointed them out. But there is one important point that even they overlook: On the altar of religion, rationality and logic are often sacrificed. And there is perhaps no better example of this than in a branch of Shiite Islam called “Imamiyyah” or “Twelverism.”

Twelvers believe that a figure called “the Mahdi” or “Twelfth Imam” is the last of a dozen divine imams who are heirs to an Islamic nation. Their eschatology says the Mahdi was born in the mid-ninth century but then disappeared from humanity. He will only reappear during a time of global calamity. During an apocalyptic war, he will return to bring justice to the world—by raising the flag of Shiite Islam in every corner of the world.

Chaos is a prerequisite to their messianic figure’s return, and many Twelvers believe they can hasten his reappearance by intentionally stirring up chaos.

“[I]n order to bring about this Islamic messiah,” said political strategist Joel Rosenberg, “the leaders actually believe they need to create bloody carnage, the death of millions of people in order to create the conditions for the Mahdi to bring peace.”

Among Iranians, Twelverism is not a fringe belief.

Between 90 and 95 percent of Iran’s 83 million people identify as Shiite Muslims, and 85 percent of those are Twelvers. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the patriarch of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, was a Twelver. The current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is as well.

In 2012, Khamenei emphasized the ongoing, present-day relevance of this doctrine to Iran, telling his people: “The issue of Imam Mahdi is of utmost importance, and his reappearance has been clearly stated in our holy religion of Islam. … We must prepare the environment for the coming so that the great leader will come.”

With this chilling Twelver ideology in mind, consider the pressure the Iranian leadership is currently under: Soaring rates of unemployment and inflation have prompted waves of mass protests. A decade of drought and water mismanagement has Iran in “the worst situation in water resources of any industrialized nation.” And sanctions have crippled its economy. “The impact has been devastating,” the Economist wrote on June 22 of the economic woes. “Industrial production has fallen almost as sharply as that of oil. Food prices have tripled, and supplies of medicine are diminishing.”

In the face of these multiplying and intensifying problems, Khamenei and other Twelvers in the Iranian leadership feel backed into a corner. They feel desperate. This desperation combined with their belief that causing chaos will speed Madhi’s return—and usher in a global caliphate that Twelvers will rule over unchallenged—gives them reason to lash out. It gives them ample motive to intentionally fire on tankers and drones—not despite the risk of escalation, but because of it.

Their present world is crumbling. And a glorious global Islamic paradise is only a world war away. For Islamic Twelver zealots, trying to spark that war would be perfectly logical.

This is why it is so alarming to see Iran’s centrifuges now spinning at accelerated speeds as the nation rushes toward developing a nuclear arsenal. The threat of mutually assured destruction that dissuades most nuclear nations from initiating nuclear war would have little effect on Iran’s Twelvers. If their faith is strong, they would actually welcome such destruction.

In the August 2006 issue of the Trumpet, editor in chief Gerald Flurry discussed the explosive combination of Twelver faith and nuclear weapons:

This should alarm all of us. Imagine: Iran is the world’s top terrorist-sponsoring nation. It is about to get nuclear bombs, and its leaders believe a nuclear war will speed the return of their version of the Messiah. That means they are eager for a nuclear war. And once you start a nuclear war, how do you stop it?

Could any statement be more explosive?

Mr. Flurry showed that the most significant aspect of Iran’s provocations and pursuit of nuclear weapons is that these trends are fulfilling specific Bible prophecies. “These events are described in your Bible,” he wrote, “and they are happening right now in the news!” He emphasized that, unless the world turns to God, these developments will culminate in a “clash of civilizations.” But he explained that these trends are also “a sign of the best news you could ever hear!”

To understand why analysts are wrong to believe Iran has no solid motive for its provocations, and to learn about the “best news you could ever hear” that is tied to these trends, read Mr. Flurry’s article “A Clash of Civilizations Is Imminent” and order your free copy of his booklet The King of the South.

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The Legacy of Egypt’s Last Pharaoh

People flash the Rabia sign (a four-fingered hand sign by pro-Morsi supporters ) next to a poster of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as they attend a symbolic funeral ceremony on June 18 at Fatih mosque in Istanbul.
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The Legacy of Egypt’s Last Pharaoh

Has the radical Egyptian dream died with the dictator?

Screams erupted from an Egyptian courthouse last Monday as former President Mohamed Morsi collapsed, dead. The alleged heart attack brought Morsi’s six years of imprisonment to a climactic close. An ignoble end for the man who, through the course of a single year, savaged the Egyptian economy, radicalized the nation, and crowned himself pharaoh in all but name.

The death of Egypt’s first “democratically” elected president has flung the Arab Spring back onto the world stage. It was in the wake of the 2011 uprising that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood surged to power. Now the figurehead of the movement is gone—hastily buried in a Cairo grave. Is his dream of a radical Islamic Egypt buried with him?

One source proclaims an emphatic, “No!”

That source is the Bible.

Morsi hasn’t lived to see it, but the repercussions of his disastrous time in office have left Egypt in a prime position to go radical again.

Modern Egypt—in the Bible?

Intellectuals scoff at the use of the Bible as a means to understand geopolitics. But God has a lot to say about the rise and fall of nations—particularly in the end time. Egypt is no exception.

Egypt is directly mentioned 611 times in the King James Bible. Many references relate to the nation’s interaction with the patriarchs and ancient Israelites of the Old Testament. But some refer to the Egypt of today.

God has a lot to say about modern Egypt. Look at Daniel 11:40. It speaks of a king of the south—a conglomeration of radical Islamic nations led by Iran. (Our free booklet The King of the South explains this in detail.) But notice verse 43 in particular. It shows Egypt and Libya will be part of the alliance. This alliance has never existed before. God says it will come about. That makes it news in advance, aka prophecy.

It makes sense that God would mention Egypt’s role in the end time. It has a large population and one of the strongest militaries in the Arab world. It controls the Suez Canal, a waterway that facilitates 18,000 ships per year, almost 10 percent of all international trade. Egypt also shares a border with Israel: The distance from Cairo to Jerusalem is only 263 miles.

These pivotal factors help explain why Egypt is so important to Iran. Daniel 11 indicates “the king of the south” will move aggressively, pushing at other world powers—particularly Europe. Control of the Suez would be a gargantuan push by radical Islam. Iran has already made considerable inroads into the region in what Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has described as “a deliberate and calculated Iranian strategy to conquer the Red Sea.”

The Prophet Daniel said the king of the south would ignite a war that triggers what God calls the Great Tribulation. The Arab Spring and Morsi’s rise thrust Egypt toward this radical alliance.

Destroying Egypt

That push toward radicalism went into overdrive with the protests in 2011. Naive Western sympathizers saw a chance to install democracy in a series of rioting Arabic nations. Egypt—perhaps the most stable and pro-Western candidate—was a prime target for then United States President Barack Obama.

Abandoning America’s long-time ally Hosni Mubarak, the Obama administration started ratcheting up the pressure. It worked. The White House cheered on as the ousted Mubarak stepped down and elections were called. Not satisfied with his work, Obama also made sure that the radical Muslim Brotherhood—the only real organized political faction—was on the ballot box.

With that, the U.S.-endorsed Arab Spring dragged Egypt into despotic chaos and radicalism.

The Muslim Brotherhood won. The vote might have been considered democratic, but the Brotherhood was not. Early indications of Egypt’s trajectory came when opponents to the new government were stripped naked and crucified on trees outside the presidential palace.

A fatwa calling for more violence was issued by al-Azhar, Egypt’s most authoritative Islamic institution. Persecuting Brotherhood opponents and minorities became religious duty.

Just months later, on Aug. 16, 2012, columnist Caroline Glick wrote for the Jerusalem Post, “On Sunday, new president Mohamed Morsi completed Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state.” Morsi had just fired the top military commanders—his only real opposition.

Morsi gave himself unprecedented power over the new constitution, prompting Mr. Flurry to write, “If you thought Mubarak was evil, wait till you see Morsi in action.”

While all this was happening, Egypt’s economy collapsed. Tourism became nonexistent. There was a 60 percent drop in foreign exchange reserves. The Egyptian pound devalued. This led to skyrocketing food prices, mass unemployment and fuel shortages. The effects are still being felt by the poverty-stricken masses today.

Meanwhile, the U.S. blocked its ears to Morsi’s anti-Semitic rhetoric and chose to ignore the unfolding nightmare. Thankfully, the Egyptian military did not. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi capitalized on the national discontent and pulled off a popular military coup. Egyptians cheered and the world breathed a brief sigh of relief.

Morsi was behind bars. The Brotherhood was labeled a terrorist organization and run out of Egypt.

While the full effects of Daniel 11:40 were not realized, the groundwork was laid. And it remains in place to this day.

A Fragile Peace

The damage has been done. What was once a stable U.S. ally is today a fractured and frail basket case. Consider the aftereffects of Morsi’s year in office.

The economy is still in pieces. Economic reform has started to bolster gross domestic product growth, but national debt remains high. So too does unemployment, sitting around 8.1 percent. Some 26 percent of the nation lives below the poverty line.

Unemployment, poverty and empty bellies do nothing to ingratiate the population to Sisi or his government. And they aren’t the only unhappy ones.

Despite heavy crackdowns, Sisi has been unable to completely quell radicals and domestic terrorists. The Sinai Peninsula is a hotbed of insurrection. The insurgency is an embarrassing ongoing conflict for the government, showing the military’s limited reach beyond the banks of the Nile.

Though Mubarak was a dictator, his no-nonsense government kept enemies of the state in check. Now bombings and attacks on peripheral outposts are commonplace. Islamic State affiliates are on the loose—a far cry from the relative stability under Mubarak. Porous borders to the West also endanger national stability. Libya has become a fractured and radicalized state—with multiple factions vying for power. This has led to the rise of more Islamist groups on the doorstep.

To bring Egypt back to pre-Morsi prestige, Sisi has implemented harsh crackdowns on dissent, a move berated by many in the West.

Notice what the Wall Street Journal stated last week: “Mr. Morsi’s election, a year after the 2011 revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, began a brief era of political freedom that lasted until the military takeover in 2013.” How quickly we forget. Today the liberal left is eager for another Arab Spring in Egypt. They hate Sisi—a convenient excuse for those who backed the failed policies of the Obama administration.

Left-wing pundits have learned little from the Arab Spring. Few, if any, recognize the disastrous results of removing strongmen from power and attempting to establish democracy in the Middle East. People are quick to condemn Sisi, but consider what would have happened had the military not intervened. Egypt was turning into a radical Iranian ally!

And it will happen again. Egypt is frail at a time when regional powers are on the rise. Sisi faces opposition from poverty-stricken citizens, radical factions, persecuted minorities, neighboring countries, and left-wing foreign media.

Regimes rise and fall, but Bible prophecy will always come to pass without fail. Again, be sure to read our free booklet The King of the South. God has forecast the radicalization of Egypt. You need to prove that statement and act upon that knowledge. God promises protection from the coming world upheaval for those who respond today.

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More Bogus Intelligence Used by the ‘Deep State’

The crest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation inside the J. Edgar Hoover fbi Building in Washington, D.C.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

More Bogus Intelligence Used by the ‘Deep State’

The Obama administration’s shocking abuse of power in the Manafort case

America is now aware of the disturbing way Obama-era intelligence agencies ignored protocol and used the Steele dossier as a pretext to spy on American citizens in an opposing campaign. It will likely go down as the greatest scandal ever in American politics. In a May 2019 interview with cbs News, United States Attorney General William Barr said that if true, the entire act is “unprecedented” and is “a serious red line that’s been crossed.”

But the shocking and unconstitutional misuse of the Steele dossier may only be the tip of the iceberg.

New reporting by journalist John Solomon suggests that the Steele dossier was not the only “intelligence” in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax that was abused by the fbi in order to justify spying on members of the Trump campaign. The other document that received the Steele dossier-treatment by the fbi is known as Paul Manafort’s “black cash ledger.”

Manafort has a long history in U.S. politics. He has worked for and advised Republican campaigns since the mid-1970s. He also committed serious financial crimes in Ukraine during the mid-2000s. He was investigated by the Obama administration but never prosecuted, and the investigation ended in 2014. It was during this investigation that the Manafort “black cash ledger” came to the attention of the Obama Department of Justice. Curiously, Manafort was not prosecuted for it or any crimes associated with it.

Andrew McCarthy believes the Obama administration decided not to prosecute Manafort because it would have meant investigating other U.S. officials involved in Ukraine at the time, including then Vice President Joe Biden, his son and then Obama White House counsel Greg Craig (Craig has since been indicted for his dealings in Ukraine).

Two years later, in 2016, Manafort began working for the Trump campaign, where he briefly served as campaign manager. Undoubtedly, this got the attention of the Obama administration and put a target on his back. There was now an avenue for the Obama administration not to warn the Trump campaign about Manafort, but to use him as an excuse to spy on the campaign. All the Obama doj needed was a pretext to reopen the investigation into Manafort.

That was why we suddenly saw the Manafort cash ledger leaked to the media and make national headlines.

The ledger showed that Paul Manafort received illegal cash payments from Ukrainian officials and moved that cash across borders. It showed Manafort’s dealings with former Ukrainian leader Victor Yanukovich, a close ally of Vladimir Putin. This formed a huge part of the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. The media had a field day with the ledger. This is what eventually led to Mr. Trump phasing out Manafort from the campaign.

In turns out the ledger was likely a fake from the beginning—and Obama’s fbi was warned about it, too.

John Solomon is one of the few journalists concerned about investigating what was happening at the Department of Justice during the end of the Obama administration and beginning of the Trump administration. He wrote for the Hill that the fbi’s use of the Manafort “black ledger” is deeply disturbing.

In search warrant affidavits, the fbi portrayed the ledger as one reason it resurrected a criminal case against Manafort that was dropped in 2014 and needed search warrants in 2017 for bank records to prove he worked for the Russian-backed Party of Regions in Ukraine.

There’s just one problem: The fbi’s public reliance on the ledger came months after the feds were warned repeatedly that the document couldn’t be trusted and likely was a fake, according to documents and more than a dozen interviews with knowledgeable sources.

Ukrainian authorities warned that the ledger was a fraud and could not be authenticated. The document is still being investigated in Ukraine. Other sources say the ledger is unusual because Manafort dealt in wire transfers and that the dates of many of the transactions don’t line up with other records. The ledger was used as probable cause for reopening the Manafort investigation, but Manafort hasn’t been indicted for any of the supposed crimes outlined in the ledger because prosecutors know the ledger would not hold up in court.

To top it off, the fbi and Mueller’s special counsel were warned that the “black ledger” was likely a fake—but they still used it as the predicate for reopening the investigation into Manafort. Instead of using the ledger itself, investigators and prosecutors relied on media reports about the ledger as probable cause to reopen the investigation.

Solomon wrote:

But with Manafort, the fbi and Mueller’s office did not cite the actual ledger—which would require agents to discuss their assessment of the evidence—and instead cited media reports about it. The feds assisted on one of those stories as sources.

For example, agents mentioned the ledger in an affidavit supporting a July 2017 search warrant for Manafort’s house, citing it as one of the reasons the fbi resurrected the criminal case against Manafort.

See the trend? It starts with a fake report. The fbi knows it can’t verify the report and can’t justify an investigation without evidence. Then the report gets dropped into the media spin cycle. Now the fbi cites multiple “independent” sources as probable cause rather than the one unverified report.

In a July 25, 2017, affidavit, an fbi agent stated: “On Aug. 19, 2016, after public reports regarding connections between Manafort, Ukraine and Russia—including an alleged ‘black ledger’ of off-the-book payments from the Party of Regions to Manafort—Manafort left his post as chairman of the Trump campaign.”

The fbi continued to cite “public reports” about Manafort’s bank records. Those reports reference the unverified “black ledger.” It was secondhand sourcing built on fake news—just like the Steele dossier.

Solomon said it got worse: “Three months later, the fbi went further in arguing probable cause for a search warrant for Manafort’s bank records, citing a specific article about the ledger as evidence Manafort was paid to perform U.S. lobbying work for the Ukrainians.”

In some instances, the fbi may have played a direct role in getting those articles published. In a footnote on one affidavit, an fbi agent referenced an April 12, 2017, Associated Press article about the Manafort ledger. Here is what Solomon wrote about the curious circumstances surrounding the use of that article in the affidavit:

[T]he agent failed to disclose that both fbi officials and Department of Justice (doj) prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, who later became Mueller’s deputy, met with those AP reporters one day before the story was published and assisted their reporting.

An fbi record of the April 11, 2017, meeting declared that the AP reporters “were advised that they appeared to have a good understanding of Manafort’s business dealings” in Ukraine.

So, essentially, the fbi cited a leak that the government had facilitated and then used it to support the black ledger evidence, even though it had been clearly warned about the document.

The fbi met with reporters, helped direct their articles, likely leaking information to them that it had received as unverified information. When the articles were published, the fbi used them as “independent” reporting to verify the gossip and reopen the investigation.

At one time the mainstream media would help expose this sort of government wrongdoing. Now the media is complicit. That is a big reason why more of this isn’t being exposed. William Barr said in that May cbs interview, “The fact that today people just seem to brush aside the idea that it is OK … to engage in these activities against a political campaign is stunning to me especially when the media doesn’t seem to think that it’s worth looking into. They’re supposed to be the watchdogs of … our civil liberties.”

The Obama administration didn’t prosecute Manafort’s crimes because it was involved in the same crimes! But as soon as Manafort joined the Trump campaign, it was a new ballgame. By fabricating a pretext for reopening the investigation into Manafort, Obama’s intelligence agencies could spy on the Trump campaign. Manafort was just one of many Americans in the Trump campaign to be targeted this way.

America has the most powerful surveillance and investigative agencies in the world. Look what happens when the agents there begin to abuse that power and disregard protocols to serve what they believe is the greater good, rather than applying the rule of law equally.

The way the Obama Department of Justice operated was completely lawless. It overlooked Manafort’s crimes in order to avoid investigating members of the Obama White House who were also committing crimes. Two years later, when Manafort went to work for the Trump campaign, the Obama administration leaked a ledger, known to be fake and created during the 2014 investigation, to the media to revive the investigation. Once the Manafort investigation was reopened, the Obama doj could prosecute Manafort for the crimes it had decided to ignore two years earlier.

That’s an abuse of power. They manipulated the justice system to serve their own ends at their convenience. Now Manafort is sitting in solitary confinement at one of America’s most notorious prisons.

The Steele dossier wasn’t a one-off episode. This was not an isolated case of Barack Obama’s intelligence agencies mishandling information. This was a trend, and the abuse of the Manafort cash ledger provides more proof. It was a course of action that was deliberate, malicious and unconstitutional—and it all would have remained hidden if Hillary Clinton had won.

In his May-June 2018 Trumpet magazine feature article, “Saving America From the Radical Left—Temporarily,” editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote about the origin of the Trump-Russia investigation:

The entire Trump-Russia investigation is based on a hoax. Robert Mueller’s team has been searching for evidence of collusion for nearly a year and has found nothing.

But what has been revealed is a tremendous amount of lawbreaking by bureaucrats in intelligence and law enforcement! The previous president filled America’s law enforcement agencies with treasonous agents. He led what is known as the “deep state.” Something diabolical was going on until Mr. Trump was elected—and it is still going on behind the scenes during his presidency.

And the media aided and abetted the whole process! The more stories that come out, the clearer this ugly reality becomes.

This is corruption on a deep level—so deep that most people won’t even believe it!

Before the election, just about everyone believed Hillary Clinton would be the next president. If she had won, none of this corruption would have come to light!

We are getting a hard look at just what the radical left is willing to do in order to seize power and stay in power. They have no respect for the rule of law! They believe they are above the law. It is no exaggeration to say that such contempt for the nation’s founding principles is a threat to the republic!

Many Americans don’t recognize how serious these problems are. Imagine, though, if it happened to you. After an interview with President Trump, John Solomon said that the president feared that “if it could happen to me, it can happen to just about anyone in America.” The power of law enforcement must be held in check by rules like the Constitution. If not, tyranny results.

Mr. Flurry wrote: “Had Hillary Clinton been elected, the destructive trends that unfolded during the Obama presidency would have continued unchecked, and they surely would have intensified. Many people—including me—believe it would have meant an end to our constitutional republic!” None of this would be exposed if Clinton had won.

Now there are men in power, like Attorney General William Barr, who revere the Constitution and the rule of law. Mr. Barr has said he wants to find out how this whole hoax was started. He also said that the small group of leaders who facilitated this injustice are now out of power. Now the job of exposing what happened begins.

There is a dimension behind these scandals that few people understand. Most people cannot explain why this is happening. This disdain for agency rules and regulations and for individual rights represents a spirit of lawlessness that plagues every aspect of America. Why do the men and women at the top of government feel free to pick and choose which laws to apply? Why is the hatred for President Trump so intense that people are willing to sacrifice the ideals that made America a great nation to bring him down? The missing dimension that makes all these events clear can be found in Mr. Flurry’s free booklet America Under Attack.

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Will Germany Lead Europe’s Air Defense?

The French-German-Spanish new generation fighter model is unveiled during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris on June 17.
YOAN VALAT/AFP/Getty Images

Will Germany Lead Europe’s Air Defense?

An authority stronger than defense experts says this will happen.

Defense ministers of Germany, France and Spain signed up to participate in Europe’s Future Combat Air System at the International Paris Air Show on June 17.

The program will design and construct Europe’s sixth-generation stealth fighter jet and its weapons, which include new cruise missiles and drone swarms controlled from the cockpit of the aircraft.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen called it a “big day for the European defense union.”

Dassault and Airbus are currently developing the fighter, with more European companies expected to join. Leaders hope the project will unify Europe’s military power.

One of the main reasons for its development is to give Europe greater military independence from the U.S. and to guard against emerging stealth technology in hostile nations like China.

The signing comes at a critical time, as pressure grows for Europe to strengthen its air defenses. The German Council on Foreign Relations published a paper on June 8 calling for new German-led air defense programs to be implemented in Europe. The need for such a program is becoming a stronger focus as more nations develop weapons that can challenge European air superiority.

Germany has been described as the ideal country to lead European nations in the development of new air defense capabilities. It is already the main European air defense contributor in nato. According to the report, Germany “would like to act as a main partner in capability development for the armed forces of other nato and EU countries.”

Being a “Framework Nation” for nato air defense operations, Germany hosts the air and space command center at Ramstien Air Base and facilitates training and patrols for the alliance.

Air superiority is vital to modern warfare. In previous nato campaigns, there has been little resistance from the air because enemy air assets were generally minimal or were destroyed early in the conflict. However, this would not be the case in a war with a major power such as Russia, which is largely what motivates Germany to prepare for such possibilities.

The report warned about the “end of Western air superiority.” European strategists see the playing field gradually leveling out if Europe does not act to retain its advantage. Last year, Russia and China announced hypersonic weapons and they are beginning to deploy them. The speed of a Russian hypersonic missile inbound to a European target would give European decision-makers almost no time to respond.

There is also the proliferation of drones. These can be easily and cheaply used to direct artillery attacks, perform reconnaissance, and fire weapons. The report recommended that Europe develop better short-range air defenses in response.

The threats to Europe’s airspace are constantly growing. Recently, Russia positioned more surface-to-air missiles in Crimea, a peninsula that Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center told Defense One is now “bristling with missiles like a hedgehog.”

There are also speculations that Russia may be moving nuclear missiles onto the peninsula, though the governments of Ukraine and the United States have not made any statements on the subject.

Nukes or not, Russia’s military buildup and activities are certainly pushing Europe to rethink its defense strategies.

As Russia’s menacing weapons buildup in Crimea continues, it will drive the development of Europe’s next fighter jet and spur further calls for militarization. More and more, analysts and policymakers are calling for Germany to take the lead on defense initiatives.

This is what the Trumpet has warned about and watched for. Our predecessor magazine, the Plain Truth, under Herbert W. Armstrong, warned of the same thing. In a 1980 co-worker letter, Mr. Armstrong said that fear of Russia would be “the spark to bring the heads of nations in Europe together with the Vatican to form a ‘United Nations of Europe.’”

Where did he get this idea? Was it from intelligence sources and political analysts? Did he simply draw a parallel between World War ii and today?

All of Mr. Armstrong’s forecasts were based on Bible prophecy, as are the Trumpet’s. The Bible describes seven resurrections of the Holy Roman Empire. Germany is prophesied to lead a brief and final resurrection of this empire, and it will be a military power to be reckoned with. Revelation 13 and 17 describe this empire as a “beast” against which nobody is able to make war.

Europe’s militarization is a trend we watch closely because the Bible says it will change the world you live in. Many other prophecies detail the rise of this beast, showing how it will rise suddenly to the surprise of the entire world, and be composed of both church and state.

To read more about how a militarized Europe will change your life and the world you live in, request a free copy of The Holy Roman Empire in Prophecy and read our Trends article “Why the Trumpet Watches Europe’s Push Toward a Unified Military.”

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Russia’s Crimea Now ‘Bristling With Missiles Like a Hedgehog’

S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems near the Crimean town of Dzhankoy, 12 miles from the Ukrainian border
Sergei Malgavko\TASS via Getty Images

Russia’s Crimea Now ‘Bristling With Missiles Like a Hedgehog’

‘Europe’s dreadful fear of Vladimir Putin—its next-door neighbor—is going to help shape and form the Holy Roman Empire rather suddenly.’

Russia has deployed additional aircraft, warships, troops and advanced missile systems to the Crimean Peninsula over the last 18 months, according to satellite imagery published by Defense One on June 12.

The images show that between January 2018 and April 2019, Russia deployed the additional weaponry and soldiers to four locations across Crimea. Russia’s military expansion on the peninsula, which includes improvements to Soviet-era bases, is “a deliberate and systematic buildup,” a U.S. intelligence official told Defense One. He said the deployment of five S-400 and five S-300 missile systems gives Russia the firepower to create an “anti-access area denial zone.”

The buildup also includes reinforcing Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Sevastopol, Crimea, with six Kilo-class attack submarines and four surface warships. All are able to launch Kalibr cruise missiles, which can hit targets up to 1,500 miles away. Defense One quoted a second U.S. intelligence official as saying these missiles empower the Black Sea Fleet to “strike targets beyond the Black Sea, including southern Europe and Syria, without even departing Sevastopol.”

The buildup over the last 18 months follows a pattern that began in 2014 when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Since then, Russian President Vladimir Putin has doubled the number of soldiers on the peninsula to about 32,000 and has deployed 680 armored carriers and about 100 aircraft, including nuclear-capable Tupolev Tu-22M3 bombers.

“The scale is really quite something,” Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies told Defense One, saying that Crimea is now “bristling with missiles like a hedgehog.”

Europe ‘Under Increasing Pressure’

Middlebury Institute’s Sarah Bidgood says the buildup exposes the Russians’ drive to “project power beyond their immediate environment.”

This puts the nato alliance, which consists mostly of European nations, “under increasing pressure from allies in the region to show that it’s able to push back against Russian attempts to gain greater control of the Black Sea,” Bidgood said. “To me, that’s a really dangerous environment.”

The “really dangerous environment” in Europe and Russia that is now becoming evident to Bidgood and other analysts was forecast by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in 2014, shortly after Putin annexed Crimea.

In an article titled “The Crimean Crisis Is Reshaping Europe!”, Mr. Flurry discussed Bible prophecies recorded in the books of Daniel and Revelation. These prophecies reveal that a bloc of 10 European leaders will unite in the end time. They will form a military powerhouse that will unleash a huge amount of destruction in World War iii. Mr. Flurry emphasized that one of the factors that would pressure those European nations to lay aside their differences and unite is Russian aggression. He wrote:

The fear you see in Europe because of events in Crimea is going to cause 10 leaders in Europe to unite in a sudden and dramatic way—and in precise accordance with the Bible’s description of that European empire! …

Europe’s dreadful fear of Vladimir Putin—its next-door neighbor—is going to help shape and form the Holy Roman Empire rather suddenly.

In the five years since that article was written, Russia has become more aggressive, militaristic and provocative, including with its ongoing buildup on Europe’s doorstep: Crimea. The peninsula is now “bristling with missiles,” and Europeans are growing increasingly fearful.

Mr. Flurry makes plain that these developments will soon escalate into unprecedented worldwide conflict. But he emphasizes that there is cause for hope connected to these trends.

‘We Have to Realize That This Is All Good News’

Mr. Flurry explains the reason for hope in his booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’:

Mr. Putin’s warfare is going to lead directly into the Second Coming of Christ. … 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 have to realize that this is all good news because Jesus Christ is going to return to this Earth at the very end of the coming world war. … Jesus Christ is about to return—biblical prophecy makes that clear.

For insight into what the future holds for Russia and Europe, and to understand the hope that is intimately tied to these developments, order your free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’

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Five Days, Four Attacks on U.S.-Related Targets in Iraq

Damage to a drilling facility hit by a Katyusha rocket in the Burjesiya area, a key oil-producing region hosting various Iraqi and foreign companies including U.S. Exxon Mobil, north of the Iraqi city of Basra on June 19
HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP/Getty Images

Five Days, Four Attacks on U.S.-Related Targets in Iraq

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units are the key in Iran’s plan to drive the United States out of Iraq.

Four attacks last week against American bases and oil infrastructure in Iraq illuminate Iran’s shadowy plan to drive the United States out of Iraq.

On June 15, three mortar shells struck the grounds of Balad Air Base near Baghdad, where American military personnel are stationed. The attack caused only small, brief brush fires.

On June 17, three Katyusha rockets struck Camp Taji—another base near Baghdad that also houses American soldiers.

On June 18, another Katyusha rocket, reportedly domestically built, struck another U.S.-Iraqi training base near the Presidential Palaces Compound in east Mosul. The rocket launcher was later found by Iraqi officials.

None of these attacks resulted in any reported injuries or damage, and no one has claimed responsibility.

On June 19, two rockets struck near the city of Basra at the edge of a compound housing employees of American oil company ExxonMobil. Three injuries were reported, and again there was no claim of responsibility.

The four attacks last week occurred after a Katyusha rocket struck the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad on May 19. The rocket launcher was found by Iraqi officials in East Baghdad, where Shiite militias are known to operate.

Although there have been no claims of responsibility for any of the five attacks, it is widely suspected—and evidence strongly suggests—that Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militias from the Popular Mobilization Units are responsible, partly because the units have a strong presence in the regions where the attacks occurred.

The Popular Mobilization Units is an official Iraqi state umbrella organization dominated by pro-Iran Shiite militia groups. These militias fought for Iraq against the Islamic State. Many of them were either trained in Iran, led by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officers, or even created in Iran. Many are still loyal to Iran for religious reasons and for its support in the Iraqi Civil War. Some militias even have a direct line of communication to Iran through a secure base in Iraq’s Diyala province.

The recent rocket and mortar attacks occur at a time when tensions in the Middle East between Iran and the U.S. are high. On May 12 and June 13, oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were attacked. These attacks also remain unclaimed, yet evidence strongly suggests Iran is responsible.

In May, when the U.S. ended oil waivers and began fully enforcing sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping sectors, Iranian oil exports plummeted to about 400,000 barrels per day—its lowest levels in nearly 30 years. In 2017, crude oil accounted for 72 percent of Iran’s exports and is critical to its economy.

Iran is feeling the pressure, and it is pushing back.

After the May attack on the U.S. Embassy, Iraqi President Barham Salih told cbs Evening News that increasing regional tensions could cause a war in which Iraq would “yet again turn into a zone of proxy conflict.”

According to the Washington Post, Iraqi politicians and diplomats are beginning to fear that “Iraq may become a staging area for an unpredictable conflict” between Iran and the U.S.

While the evidence suggests Iran is behind these attacks, Iranian propaganda puts the blame on the United States. More and more Iraqis are beginning to see the U.S. as the enemy. Meanwhile, Iran continues to support terrorism, call for America and Israel’s destruction, and stockpile matériel.

When Iran’s nuclear program was first revealed in 2002, after 18 years of operation, Iran moved many of its operations underground. The video above features a massive Iranian underground facility, with the “Death to Israel” slogan over the entrance, designed to store and launch missiles. The video also depicts prelaunch maintenance and the launch of a Qiam-1 missile, which has an operational range of 450 miles.

Diplomatic Infiltration

Iran is a shadowy nation that conceals its actions underground. While it blames the U.S. for attacks and claims it “will not wage war against any nation,” according to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, it is simultaneously preparing for war and spending an estimated $7 billion a year to fund terrorism.

Iran wants control of Iraq, but first it must drive out the U.S. presence. The Popular Mobilization Units is the key for its success in Iraq.

It may be hard to believe the Iraqi government would force the U.S. out of its country and hand itself over to the Iranian regime. However, Iran has significant political clout in Iraq. It did not gain this control through a military invasion, but rather through diplomatic infiltration.

“Shiite militias have been institutionalized within Iraq’s armed forces; their leaders have also waded deeper into politics,” stated the Wilson Center. Aside from simply being a state military organization supported by Iran, many militias also have political wings.

Iran has managed to infiltrate Iraq’s political structure behind the scenes and out of the public eye.

In Iraq’s May 2018 parliamentary elections, several militias of the Popular Mobilization Units formed a political wing: the Fatah Alliance. Some of the militias in the coalition are U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Nevertheless, politicians associated with the militias, or actual militia members, ran for parliament. The election resulted in the Fatah Alliance gaining the second-largest number of seats, losing only to the Shiite Sadrist coalition. Meanwhile, the militias still receive support from the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In February this year, the two coalitions began to show signs of unity as they worked together to help form a government; both coalitions are intent on driving out the U.S. In doing so, they skipped forming a majority coalition. This puts the Iraqi government in a very weak state—one which is considerably more vulnerable to Iranian influence.

Iraqi Executive Order 91, enacted by former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in 2016, made Popular Mobilization Units an official state organization. The same order forbids the militias from entering politics. However, due to their extreme popularity, many have overlooked this inherent disregard of the law. The same militias that declare their highest allegiance to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei are now in the parliament working to drive the U.S. out of Iraq.

Why is this important? Because Iraq’s parliament is responsible for selecting its prime minister—who is officially in command of the Iraqi military and the Popular Mobilization Units. He is also the highest executive power, possessing the political authority to remove U.S. forces from Iraq.

In 1982, during the Iran-Iraq War, Iraqi Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim founded the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. This pro-Iran, Shiite Islamist party consisted of many prominent Iraqis who were under oppression and fled in exile to Iran. The party was founded in Tehran and consisted exclusively of Iraqi exiles. The council was based in Iran for two decades until the fall of then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, when it moved back to Iraq.

Iraq’s current prime minister, Adil Abdul Mahdi, claims to be an independent. However, he was a member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq from its inception in 1982 until he left in 2017, the year before Iraq’s elections. In other words, Iraq’s current prime minister lived in Iran, was a staunch supporter of the Islamic Revolution, was a member of a pro-Iran party founded in Iran for most of his political career, and shares the same goal with Iran to oust U.S. forces from Iraq.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry predicted this takeover in his booklet The King of the South. He writes (emphasis added):

Iran is working through standard political and diplomatic channels to position itself to be able to hold stock in the new Iraq, working with the Iraqi government, cementing economic ties and exploiting other diplomatic channels.

Through diplomatic channels, Iran is not only working with, but inside the Iraqi government.

The May-June 2019 Trumpet stated: “Iraq is conquered!” However, Iraq is just a stepping-stone. Once Iran manages to drive the U.S. out of Iraq, it can completely set its sights on the jewel of its conquest: Jerusalem.

Daniel 11:40 describes a clash between world powers to occur “at the time of the end.” One of these powers is radical Islamic extremism, led by Iran. The U.S. is not mentioned in this clash; this could imply that Iran may be successful in driving the U.S. out of the Middle East. Nevertheless, this clash will revolve around Iran’s push for control of Jerusalem. Yet Zechariah 14 says that Iran will not be entirely successful in its endeavors.

Iran’s control of Iraq will provide it with a strategic position from which it can increasingly apply pressure on Israel. As Iran works to drive the U.S. out of Iraq, watch for Iran to set its sights on Jerusalem.

For more information, please request your free copy of The King of the South.