Far right surging in eastern Germany
In eastern Germany, extreme parties on both the left and right are gaining popularity. In Oct. 27, 2019, elections in the German state of Thuringia, extremist parties gained more than half the vote. Die Linke (The Left), is the successor party to East Germany’s infamous and brutal Communist regime of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s. Yet it came in first place with 31 percent. The Alternative für Deutschland, the new far-right party, came in second place, with 23.4 percent.
After state elections on September 1, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) also became the second-largest party in the German states of Saxony and Brandenburg. In Saxony, the AfD rose from a mere 9.7 percent in 2014 to 27.5 percent on September 1. In Brandenburg, the party jumped from 12.2 percent to 23.5 percent. These AfD victories toppled the ruling coalitions in both states.
Charlotte Knobloch, former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the AfD’s success “shows that our whole political system is coming apart at the seams” and shows strong support for a party that has “downplayed the horrors of the Nazi era, who are openly nationalistic and have spread messages of hate against minorities, including the Jewish community.”
Christoph Heubner, vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, said, “For survivors of German concentration camps, this massive increase in votes for the AfD in Thuringia is another menacing signal that right-wing extremist attitudes and tendencies are consolidating in Germany.”
“The last time we saw something of this kind in Germany was in the Weimar Republic, where political life was polarized between the Communists and the National Socialists,” political scientist and commentator Werner Patzelt told the Local (Oct. 28, 2019).
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote in the January 2019 issue that “the leadership of Europe is about to become a lot more authoritative.” The appetite for this kind of leadership is clearly rising.
Far right gains in Spain
Spain held its fourth national election in four years on Nov. 10, 2019—and it was again inconclusive. The nation is divided between left and right, and over policy toward its separatist regions. New fringe parties have taken votes from established groups, making stable coalitions almost impossible.
In April’s election, the far-right party Vox won 10 percent of the vote and entered parliament for the first time in Spain’s democratic history. In November, it catapulted into third place, winning 15 percent of the vote and more than doubling its number of seats.
Austria’s example for Germany
Sebastian Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party won national elections by a landslide on Oct. 29, 2019. It won 37 percent of the vote and has a range of partners to choose from to form a governing coalition.
Before 2017, the party had been sharply declining, polling below 20 percent, with some polls indicating it was less popular than the far right. Kurz, who was only 31 years old, accepted leadership of the party only on the condition that he could reorganize it and concentrate power with himself. He led the party to victory, became chancellor, addressed voters’ concerns about immigration, and entered a coalition with a far-right party, all without losing popularity.
In May 2019, a scandal in one of his coalition parties resulted in him losing the chancellorship. Yet Kurz and his party have now emerged with an even larger share of the vote than they won two years ago.
Many politicians in Europe are now looking to Kurz’s example in handling his party and the chancellorship. He is strong on restricting immigration. He is willing to bring the far right into government. He promotes Europe’s Catholic heritage. Yet he doesn’t present himself as a Nazi. This winning combination is the type of politician European voters having been crying out for, especially voters in Europe’s most important nation, Germany.
Germany wants its own Kurz: charismatic, competent, religious, proud of his nation’s heritage, and willing to restrict migration.
The Bible prophesies that a strongman will arise in Germany in the end time who will dominate all of Europe, leading the Continent to great power, but also to great atrocities and great danger. To learn more, read Gerald Flurry’s cover story in this issue.
German military prepares to use nuclear bombs
On Oct. 18, 2019, Germany’s Die Welt headlined, “The Bundeswehr Is Training in a Secret Exercise for Nuclear War,” based on information released by the German Press Agency. The exercise involved Germany and the Netherlands, North Atlantic Treaty Organization members that have access to the alliance’s nuclear weapons, American B61 tactical bombs.
Most people do not consider Germany a threat to world peace, but we should give attention to its military preparations. Germany initiated both world wars. Toward the end of World War ii, with an estimated 75 million people dead, Herbert W. Armstrong said: “We don’t understand German thoroughness. From the very start of World War ii, they have considered the possibility of losing this second round, as they did the first—and they have carefully, methodically planned, in such eventuality, the third round—World War iii!”
In the decades since, Germany has quietly worked to gain access to nuclear bombs, and it has trained its air force to use them.
Iran’s ‘most serious violation’ of nuke deal
Iran resumed nuclear enrichment at its Fordow facility on Nov. 5, 2019, intending to increase its enrichment to 5 percent uranium purity.
A Eurasia Group report said, “The decision to expand nuclear activities at Fordow is Iran’s most serious violation of the nuclear deal to date. [This] violation represents a significant escalation, not a continuation of incremental steps away from its nuclear commitments.”
Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran was required to repurpose Fordow’s centrifuges to produce stable isotopes for civilian use. However, Iran never complied, because it intended to resume uranium enrichment at Fordow.
Iranian officials originally insisted that this advanced facility would enrich uranium only to 5 percent purity, but it eventually enriched to 20 percent. Reopening Fordow, Iran’s only facility capable of producing 20 percent uranium, is a threat. If it again produces 20 percent enriched uranium there, it will be perhaps two to three months away from producing 90 percent enriched uranium, the radioactive material needed to build a nuclear bomb.
About 79 million Iranians, 90 percent of the population, follow “Twelver” Shia Islam, a teaching that believes the Mahdi, its version of the Messiah, will return in a time of chaos and destruction. Iran’s leaders believe that causing chaos and destruction can accelerate and hasten the return of the Mahdi. Iran is pushing the world closer to nuclear chaos and destruction. The Bible prophesies that another world war is coming, and that Iran will be part of it. What happens at Fordow may determine whether its part will be nuclear.
EU grabs power to police speech beyond its borders
European Union countries can order social media platforms like Facebook to remove content worldwide, the European Court of Justice ruled on Oct. 3, 2019. If one EU country deems something illegal, it can order Facebook to block all equivalent content in all other countries, even if it is not illegal in those countries.
The ruling establishes European national courts as global speech police. In practice, it will mean that social media sites must impose automated content filters to block what the European Court of Justice considers “illegal.”
“This judgment has major implications for online freedom of expression around the world,” stated Thomas Hughes, executive director of free-speech group Article 19. He warned, “This would set a dangerous precedent where the courts of one country can control what Internet users in another country can see. This could be open to abuse, particularly by regimes with weak human rights records.”
Admitting that policing speech worldwide is a drastic step, the court said the answer was to “adopt an approach of self-limitation.“ This is an admission that there will be no check on these courts’ powers.
This is the latest in a range of Europe’s efforts to control the Internet. Its 2018 General Data Protection Regulation and 2019’s Directive on Copyright in the Single Digital Market force all content on social media sites to be filtered before posting. European Digital Rights called it a “censorship machine.” Over the next couple years, European nations will have to write their own national laws to enforce the directive, and European courts, apparently unchecked, will preside over any disputes.
For more: theTrumpet.com/go/Internet.
Egyptians demand radical change
Riots calling for the resignation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi began on Sept. 20, 2019, and have spread nationwide despite a government clampdown.
Egyptian businessman and actor Mohammed Ali posted online videos in which he accused Sisi of spending millions of dollars on luxury palaces and hotels. Sisi dismissed the accusations as “lies and slander,” but the videos quickly spread and sparked the fumes of discontent that have been building in the repressed and impoverished populace.
Security forces have used tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets and live bullets to disperse rioters, and reportedly arrested more than 2,000 people. The strictly controlled media began a pro-Sisi campaign and issued warnings against opposition figures. Police in Cairo are stopping and searching pedestrians, sometimes searching phones for political content.
Several Egyptian authorities, including Sisi, have accused Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood of causing the riots. Though this does not appear to be true, the Iran-allied group stands to benefit from Egyptians’ unrest and dissatisfaction.
“Daniel 11:42 implies that Egypt will be allied with the king of the south, or Iran,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in The King of the South. “This prophecy indicates there will be a far-reaching change in Egyptian politics! We had been saying since 1994 this would occur, and look at Egypt today.”
The ‘disappearing’ Russian submarine threat
Russia began its most extensive underwater exercises since the end of the Cold War on Oct. 29, 2019, with eight nuclear and two conventional submarines rehearsing for major conflict.
The fleet conducted most of its drills in the waters between Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom, a strategic passage that is closely monitored by global powers. If Russian submarines slip through undetected, they can vanish into the Atlantic Ocean and reappear off the coasts of France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States or other nations without warning.
“If Russian submarines can break through [these waters] undetected,” the Drive wrote, “they have a far better chance of disappearing into the Atlantic to go about their potentially very deadly business without being traced. During a time of war, this can include wreaking havoc on Allied shipping and naval flotillas and executing pinpoint attacks on key land targets” (Oct. 29, 2019).
Europeans are warily observing Russia’s increasing military preparedness. Watch for not only Russian militarization but also European militarization to increase rapidly.
China prepares to blind U.S. satellites
China is rapidly developing military capabilities that could compromise American satellites, according to a Sept. 27, 2019, report by John Raymond, head of United States Space Command. “We’re pretty comfortable [in asserting] that they are developing directed energy weapons—probably building lasers to blind our satellites,” the report stated. Much of the nation’s military technology relies on satellite positioning systems.
Herbert W. Armstrong proved in The United States and Britain in Prophecy that Americans are descendants of the ancient Israelites. They have an intimate history with God, but they have engaged in rampant rebellion against Him. God has prophesied that He will punish the nation to correct it for its sin. Ezekiel 7:14 specifies one chilling result: “They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.”
Regarding this verse, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “The trumpet of war was blown in Israel—mainly America and Britain. It seems everybody was expecting our people to go into battle. But the greatest tragedy imaginable occurred! Nobody went to battle—even though the trumpet was blown!” (Trumpet, January 1995).
How could the world’s greatest military superpower fail to even go to battle? Perhaps because God has allowed its crucial space and cyber capabilities to be attacked. To learn more about this vulnerability in space, read Mr. Flurry’s article “America’s Achilles’ Heel.”