United States to upgrade nukes in Germany
The United States is beginning to send upgraded B-61 nuclear gravity bombs to Germany. The modernization project, which began nearly a decade ago, puts one of the world’s deadliest nuclear weapons partially under German control.
The upgrades are costly: These bombs would be cheaper if they were solid gold. The new B-61-12 adds self-guidance capability to these aircraft-dropped weapons, making them accurate within about 30 yards. This type of bomb has an adjustable yield and is designed for precise tactical strikes on military bases, bunkers and other hardened targets. The U.S. currently stores 150 B-61 bombs at bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. They are designed to be armed only if the U.S. provides the correct security code, then mounted on European fighter jets in the event of war with Russia.
However, it is possible that host countries like Germany could obtain the code, enabling them to use the bombs for their own strategy. No safety mechanism is foolproof. There is also a risk that the uranium in the warhead could be removed and transferred to another weapon. Germany manufactures nuclear missiles for France and could conceivably use this technology and key parts of the B-61-12 to arm the Luftwaffe with nuclear-strike capability.
Bible prophecy identifies modern Germany by the name of its ancient ancestors, the Assyrians. It identifies the U.S. and Britain as descendants of the ancient Israelites. As Herbert W. Armstrong proved in The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Bible prophecies about the Assyrians attacking Israel are actually warning about Germany attacking the U.S. and Britain.
In the April 1980 Plain Truth, Mr. Armstrong wrote that Germany “will first attack Britain for standing firm with the United States, and then they will return a lot of hydrogen bombs the U.S. has stored now in Europe!” The bombs America has deployed to Germany will be detonated in American cities and military installations. For more information on this subject, read “Europe’s Nuclear Secret.”
Pope Francis calls for universal basic income
Pope Francis wrote a letter to social activists on Easter Sunday, April 12, in which he called for a universal basic income. Amid a global economic and health crisis, the Catholic Church has blamed the suffering of impoverished workers on the free market and, by extension, the United States.
The pope promoted “structural changes” and criticized the “economy of exclusion and inequality.” He wrote, “This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage ….”
The pope has made similar criticisms before, including a 2013 letter that called capitalist free-market economies “naive” because they “trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power”; the free market is “a new tyranny” and “a financial system which rules rather than serves.”
“If Pope Francis is to be taken at his word, he could not possibly wish for the leader of the capitalist system to thrive and prosper, continuing to inflict its ‘tyranny’ on the world,” wrote Gerald Flurry in his 2016 Trumpet article “Why Is the Pope Meddling in American Politics?” “If he believes the free market is a force of destruction, then he would feel not only justified, but obligated to use his power to weaken it.”
Now the pope is aligning with left-wing social causes and implying that the free market has caused needless suffering during the COVID-19 crisis. Unlike socialists, though, his solution is religious. Many find it hard to imagine the Catholic Church guiding economic, political and even military policy, but the Bible prophesies that the Catholic Church will soon guide Europe directly and aggressively. The pope’s actions already reveal what the targets of that coming superpower will be.
European funding, troops enter Libya
On April 22, Germany committed 300 soldiers to Operation Irini in Libya. They will enforce a weapons-trafficking embargo on the war-torn country. At the same time, the European Union agreed to increase funding to the Libyan Coast Guard as part of Operation Irini.
The operation’s stated goal is to enforce the United Nations embargo on Libya, and it currently employs surveillance aircraft and spy satellites. Naval ships will soon be involved too.
Terrorist violence in North Africa and Europe has increased. Frequent and deadly attacks plague the Sahel region, despite European efforts to train local troops to defend against them. Libya has descended into a proxy war among outside nations. Somalia and other nations in the Horn of Africa are unstable. Watch for Europe, especially Germany, to increase its involvement in this region with more money and more force.
Netanyahu secures sovereignty in unity deal
After an unprecedented three general elections in Israel over the past year and a half, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a coalition agreement with rival Benny Gantz on April 20. The pact stipulates that Netanyahu continue as prime minister for 18 months, then relinquish the role to Gantz and become deputy prime minister.
Netanyahu’s negotiations secured the ability to advance Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank as part of United States President Donald Trump’s peace deal. Netanyahu will be able to bring to vote a bill on July 1 to extend Israeli sovereignty over 30 percent of the West Bank, including much of East Jerusalem, all the settlements and the Jordan Valley.
Netanyahu also secured a compromise in which his and Gantz’s blocs will each select the appointment of new judges to Israel’s Supreme Court. This effectively curtails the court’s ability to easily remove him from office and may make it less activist.
This means the stage is being set for unprecedented cooperation between the U.S. and Israel. Between now and the U.S. presidential election in November, President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu will work to enact the first part of the peace plan. But watch for this effort to put Israel in an even worse strategic situation. Hosea 5:13 characterizes the peace process as a “wound.” The more the peace process is revived, the closer this prophecy is to being fulfilled. Read Jerusalem in Prophecy to learn more.
Iranians harass U.S. warships in Persian Gulf
Eleven Iranian Navy speedboats surrounded and harassed a fleet of United States Navy warships traversing the northern Persian Gulf on April 15. The U.S. Navy released a statement saying that the Iranians “repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns … at extremely close range and high speeds” coming within 50 yards of an expeditionary sea-base vessel and within 10 yards of a patrol boat.
The Iranians initially ignored several warnings by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. A video showed the Iranians manning mounted machine guns. Only after an hour of harassment did they respond and keep their distance.
Iran’s goal in the Persian Gulf and other vital waterways is to threaten or control oil shipping. The Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which Iranian Navy Gen. Alireza Tangsiri threatened to close in 2019, facilitate roughly a third of worldwide maritime oil shipments. Closing this shipping lane, even if only for a few days, would disrupt national economies that are already fragile.
The Bible prophesies that a group of radical Islamic nations, led by Iran, will gain control of territories along the Persian Gulf and Red Sea waterways and “push” at Europe, which relies heavily on oil imports. It is easy to foresee how, if this waterway were attacked and passage barred, Europe would forcibly “come against” Iran “with many ships,” as prophesied in Daniel 11:40.
America signals retreat in Iraq
On March 27, United States-led coalition forces withdrew from the K-1 military base in northern Iraq, where an American contractor was killed by missiles from Iranian proxy Kataib Hezbollah in December. The U.S. handed the base and its approximately $1.1 million of equipment over to the Iraqi Security Forces, which, ironically, are partially controlled by Iran.
The U.S. and coalition forces withdrew from six bases and posts in Iraq in a three-week period in March. The Jerusalem Post’s Seth Frantzman wrote: “It appears the U.S. is now consolidating bases, leaving smaller posts … leaving many places that have been targeted by rocket fire and will stay in fewer locations.”
While the U.S. is consolidating its troops, it has also deployed two of its Patriot air defense systems. One battery was sent to the Harir Air Base near Erbil, the other to the Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq’s western desert.
America’s military involvement in Iraq began in 2003, but the Obama administration initiated a rapid troop withdrawal in 2011. This power vacuum led to the rise of the Islamic State. At the invitation of the Iraqi prime minister, on June 15, 2014, the U.S. returned to Iraq to help fight the Islamic State. Since then, U.S. forces have remained at the invitation of the Iraqi government.
Many Iraqis have lost faith in the U.S. and are turning to Iran. Throughout the war against the Islamic State, Iran-backed Shiite militias proved to be strong allies. Now, militia members are in Iraq’s security forces and parliament, working to oust the U.S. from Iraq. Now, by withdrawing from several bases and consolidating troops, the U.S. has signaled retreat.
Every important end-time Bible prophecy that takes place in the Middle East clearly occurs in a void left by the withdrawal of the United States. As the U.S. retreats even further from Iraq and the Middle East, watch for Iran to gain more control.
Chinese military advances under cover of coronavirus
While national governments have been preoccupied with coronavirus, China is quietly asserting its military power around the world.
In the South China Sea, China has confronted Malaysian and Vietnamese vessels in their own waters, and even sank a Vietnamese boat. China also built new facilities on its artificial islands in the South China Sea in areas that international law says belong to the Philippines.
In March, China invaded Taiwanese airspace, ran military exercises across the Taiwan Strait, and harassed a Taiwanese Coast Guard vessel with a speedboat, damaging it. The aggression prompted a Taiwanese defense official to reassure the public that the island is prepared for an attack.
China has also been modernizing its military and enhancing its capabilities. On March 10, its army, navy and air force performed a joint exercise that “simulated face-to-face encounters with invading foreign aircraft and warships in the South China Sea.” The exercise rehearsed searching unidentified foreign aircraft, “driving enemy planes out of China’s airspace,” and even “shooting them down with missiles to stop them from attacking Chinese warships.” The military also announced on March 20 that its aircraft had performed an anti-submarine drill over the South China Sea.
Even as the rest of the world panics over coronavirus, don’t forget to watch Chinese territorial aggression. You can understand China’s alarming actions today by reading our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.
China spread coronavirus panic among Americans
United States intelligence agents have concluded that an onslaught of false and alarming messages about covid-19 were spread by Chinese agents, the New York Times reported April 22.
One message, purportedly written by a commander in the Chicago Police Department, stated: “Homeland security is preparing to mobilize the national guard. Preparing to dispatch them across the U.S. along with military. … They are preparing to announce a nationwide two-week quarantine for all citizens; all businesses closed. Everyone at home. They will announce this as soon as they have troops in place to help prevent looters and rioters ….”
The Times said this alarming message and hundreds like it were posted to the feeds of millions of Americans.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that “Chinese operatives” were behind these messages’ broad dissemination. China used its armies of trolls and bots to “amplify” existing messages, putting them in front of the eyes of as many Americans as possible.
Adversaries like China seek to weaken the U.S. by exacerbating its divisions. In this case, alleged Chinese agents sought to make Americans fear a military takeover from their own government and perhaps resort to looting, hoarding and otherwise turning on each other.
In Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet, Gerald Flurry shows that, with or without disinformation campaigns from Russia and China, the division and fears we see darkening America today will continue to get worse. They will culminate in a time of nationwide rioting and violence and civil war that will end up bringing the nation to its knees.
China conducts illegal nuclear weapons tests
China appears to be setting off “zero yield” nuclear tests despite its claims of adhering to an international agreement forbidding such explosions, United States officials wrote in an April 15 State Department report.
Zero yield nuclear tests do not ignite an explosive chain reaction of the kind caused by detonating most nuclear warheads. This indicates that the weapons being tested are either tactical nuclear weapons or triggers for larger bombs. In either case, such explosions are easier for a nation to conceal from monitoring agencies, particularly when conducted deep underground. The Chinese tests are believed to have occurred throughout last year at underground locations at its Lop Nur nuclear test site.
A senior U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity, “The pace and manner by which the Chinese government is modernizing its stockpile is worrying, destabilizing, and illustrates why China should be brought into the global arms control framework.”
But China, with its arsenal of an estimated 290 nuclear weapons, has repeatedly rejected proposals to join such an agreement, insisting that its arms are strictly for defensive purposes and pose no threat to global peace. Whether or not China joins an arms control pact with the U.S. and other nations, Bible prophecy makes clear that its nuclear stockpiles will soon be used in a global conflict far more violent than any in mankind’s strife-ridden history. To understand these prophecies, request a free copy of Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’