WorldWatch

From the October 2019 Trumpet Print Edition

EU prepares new Internet regulations

The European Union is drafting a new law that would further regulate Internet content, the German-language news website Netzpolitik reported on July 16. Called the Digital Services Act, it aims to replace the outdated commerce directive of 20 years ago with an updated, legally binding law. The Financial Times said it would be the “first of its kind globally” to cover such a broad range of digital platforms, and it would “target all parts of the tech sector.”

The new rules would allow unelected EU officials to censor illegal content on platforms like Google and Facebook, as well as cloud computing services, data storage services and Internet service providers.

EU nations would lose control of the Internet laws their own governments have created, becoming subservient instead to a centralized EU committee.

The law would require large social media sites to remove within an hour anything the EU committee wants censored. It outlaws and punishes “hate speech,” which can be broadly defined, and adds restrictions to any advertising deemed “political.” Removing illegal content, hate speech and extremism sounds good. But the EU wants to use these sweeping categories to subjectively enforce its political agenda.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the July 2019 issue, “The EU is waging a campaign of technological imperialism, and most people don’t even know it! …

“We must put this issue in the context of Bible prophecy and history. The German-led EU is behaving the way the Holy Roman Empire has always behaved. Germany is once again seeking to impose its will on the world.” To get the biblical and historical context of these events, read Mr. Flurry’s article “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet.”

‘My aim is the United States of Europe’

Ursula von der Leyen was voted president of the European Commission on July 16. The vote was a triumph for European unity, a disaster of bickering and disagreement, and a preview of how a stronger European leader will soon emerge.

The former German defense minister’s own words best explain her goals. “My aim is the United States of Europe, on the model of federal states such as Switzerland, Germany or the United States,” she told German magazine Der Spiegel in 2011. She told Die Ziet in 2016, “I imagine the Europe of my children or grandchildren not as a loose union of states trapped by national interests.”

She has pledged to introduce a number of EU-level financial institutions, including a complete banking union, EU-wide minimum wage, and EU-wide taxes on tech companies. “[I]f by the end of 2020 there is still no global solution for a fair digital tax,” she stated, “the EU should act alone.”

Such terms as “defense union” and “army of Europeans” are her catchphrases for her vision of Europe’s military force. She has called for “further bold steps in the next five years towards a genuine European Defense Union.” She believes Europe needs “an integrated and comprehensive approach” to security and “a stronger and more united voice in the world.”

Nigel Farage, British member of the European Parliament, described von der Leyen as “a fanatic for building a European army.” He is skeptical of an EU army, because “what is there for defense can also be used for attack.”

Pope: Trump is like Hitler

Pope Francis issued some startling criticism of United States President Donald Trump in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa published August 9, implying that America’s leader is like Adolf Hitler.

“I am concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934. ‘Us first, We … We …’—these are frightening thoughts.”

America Magazine wrote, “Pope Francis’s remarks were read by observers in Rome as also alluding to the politics of U.S. President Donald Trump and his ‘America first’ policies.”

The pope is joined by several senior Catholics who are becoming increasingly critical of President Trump. The most outspoken of these has been Archbishop of San Antonio Gustavo Garcia-Siller, who told the president, “[S]top hate and racism, starting with yourself.”

Such statements are shocking enough coming from an opposing presidential candidate. If a democratic politician had called the president a racist five or 10 years ago, it would have been big news. But now a supposedly nonpolitical Catholic leader is doing this.

The Catholic Church is helping to stoke hatred for President Trump and the United States worldwide. To understand why, read Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “Why Is the Pope Meddling in American Politics?

Germany’s secret mission in Cameroon

Germany has had a secret four-year military mission in Cameroon which only became public in July when it announced the conclusion of the clandestine operation.

The supposedly strictly noncombat mission was intended to train local security forces in anti-terrorism operations. But soon after German forces arrived, clashes erupted and German-trained government forces cracked down.

According to the German constitution, German troops should have then aborted the training mission or received a parliamentary mandate to continue, said German Free Democratic Party legislator Christoph Hoffmann. But they didn’t.

Left Party legislator Stefan Liebich said, “[I]f it hadn’t been for the public debate and the discussion in parliament, the [Cameroon] mission would probably be ongoing.”

And it probably would be secretive still.

German troops are publicly known to be deployed in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Jordan, Mali, Niger and Tunisia. There could be other secret deployments.

Germany’s deployments, public and secret, reveal that Islamist terrorists are drawing the nation further into North African countries. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in 2013 that most of these are influenced by Iran. But Germany is willingly involving itself in Africa as part of a strategy, prophesied by the Bible, to encircle Iran and its proxies (Daniel 11:40).

Hamas agrees to pincer strategy against Israel

According to a July 31 report, the Jewish state may yet again face a coordinated Arab attack that could overwhelm its defenses. Israeli defense officials say they believe Hamas and Iran have come to an agreement: If war breaks out in Israel’s north, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad will open a southern front to divide Israeli forces.

The Times of Israel reported that Iran has expressed willingness to increase its funding to Hamas from an estimated $8.3 million to $30 million a month.

Dr. Yossi Mansharof, an Iran expert at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, said, “[T]he connections between Iran and pij [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] are very tight, since the leader of the group, Ziad Nakhaleh, is very close to [Iranian Gen. Qassem] Suleimani. So, it can be assumed that the group would also get an increase in funding.”

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have an estimated stockpile of between 10,000 and 20,000 short- and mid-range rockets, which can pose a serious threat to Israel’s south. Israel’s chief threat in the north, Hezbollah, is suspected to have around 130,000 rockets.

Hamas Deputy Chief Saleh al-Arouri was quoted in July as saying, “We are on the same path as the Islamic Republic—the path of battling the Zionist entity and the arrogant ones.”

Bible prophecy proves that words like these are not empty threats.

Israel’s merciful God says in Hosea 8:14, “For Israel hath forgotten his Maker … and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.” Israel trusts in its military defenses, yet those defenses could be overwhelmed with a barrage of rockets from the north and from the south.

“O Israel,” God assures in Hosea 13:9, “thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.” To learn more, request your free copy of Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.

Israel strikes Iranian missiles in Iraq

On two occasions in July, Israeli F-35 fighter jets struck Iranian missile depots north of Baghdad, Iraq. This marked Israel’s first air strikes in Iraq since Operation Opera in 1981, when it bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor.

The first attack targeted a Shiite militia base just after a shipment of Iranian-made short- and medium-range ballistic missiles was offloaded from a truck, that was supposedly transporting refrigerated food. A senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force was killed. The second strike hit Camp Ashraf, another suspected Iranian rocket depot just 50 miles from the Iranian border.

Since September 2018, Iran has been supplying missiles to its proxies in Iraq, placing both Israel and Saudi Arabia within striking distance. American intelligence agencies estimate that Iran has the largest ballistic missile inventory in the Middle East.

Based on Bible prophecy, the Trumpet has warned for more than two decades that Iran will gain control of Iraq. Its missile bases in Iraq confirm the veracity of these prophecies.

China admits Belt and Road includes global military ambitions

After years of China insisting that its Belt and Road Initiative is purely for peaceful economic purposes, the nation’s top defense official acknowledged on July 8 that the project includes military ambitions.

Speaking in Beijing to defense officials from Latin American, Caribbean and South Pacific countries, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said the globe-spanning infrastructure project will build a “framework” for military cooperation between China and other nations.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an effort to build transportation, energy, data and regulatory infrastructure in more than 60 countries to facilitate trade across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and even Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Since it began in 2013, Chinese leaders have frequently asserted that it is strictly a peaceful economic endeavor, but its military potential has been obvious.

A prophecy in Isaiah 23 describes a “mart of nations,” a modern economic behemoth, led by Chittim, an ancient name for modern China, and by Tyre, a city signifying the commerce of modern Europe. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains the details of this economic “mart” in his free booklet Isaiah’s End-Time Vision.

China bullying Malaysia, Vietnam in South China Sea

Chinese vessels have hindered oil and gas drilling operations in Malaysian and Vietnamese waters since May, raising the risk of a collision and escalating regional tensions.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative said on July 16 that throughout most of May, a Chinese vessel “heavily patroll[ed]” waters on the Malaysian continental shelf and that a Chinese Coast Guard vessel “circled provocatively close” to ships servicing a drilling rig, “coming to within 80 meters.”

China has been using the same tactics in Vietnamese waters since mid-June. Near one Vietnamese drilling rig, a Chinese ship maneuvered between Vietnamese supply vessels at “high speed,” the Transparency Initiative said, “passing within 100 meters of each ship and less than half a nautical mile from the rig.” Chinese and Vietnamese coast guard ships have been engaged in a standoff in the area ever since.

In both cases, China’s harassment occurred within the internationally recognized exclusive economic zones of Malaysia and Vietnam. But China does not recognize these zones and claims nearly the entire South China Sea.

In July 2016, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote that China’s bullying of less powerful nations in the South China Sea and elsewhere in the region “is steering the world toward war.” Mr. Flurry’s comprehension of the South China Sea dynamic and what it will lead to is founded on Bible prophecy. To learn more, request Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, by Gerald Flurry.

India-Russia defense collaboration surges

Russia and India are collaborating on an increasing number of major defense deals, despite the threat of United States sanctions. Among these are an agreement for Moscow to build guided-missile frigates for India, a plan for the two to jointly develop new attack submarines, and a deal for Russia to sell India its advanced S-400 air defense systems.

One expert called the S-400 deal a “catch-22,” saying India was walking a “diplomatic tightrope between a trusted but waning partner [Russia] and a growing yet temperamental partner [U.S.].” By taking the risk and signing the deal, India has shown the world that its relationship with Russia trumps its relationship with the U.S. In a changing world order, India has refused to abandon one of its oldest allies and has reassured Russia that it is still a valued defense and strategic partner.

This matches Bible prophecy. Revelation 9:16 prophesies an Asian military conglomerate that will field an army of 200 million soldiers. This Asian conglomerate is also discussed in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and will be led by Russia (signified by the names Gog, Meshech, Tubal and Rosh in Ezekiel 38:2). China, referred to by the name Magog in verse 2, will also be a leading power. Verse 5 mentions “Ethiopia and Libya,” which should be rendered “Cush” and “Phut,” referring to the progenitors of peoples in Africa, but also in India and perhaps Pakistan.

India will be yet another powerful nation contributing to the prophesied Asian power bloc that will fight in World War iii. To understand how these prophecies will affect your life, order Mr. Flurry’s free booklet The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’