German Troops Parade by Torchlight
The German military honored its 90,000 members who served in Afghanistan with an October 14 parade reminiscent of the military ceremonies and expressions of German dominance during Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime. The soldiers wore steel helmets evocative of the World War II era and held torches, making for an ominous sight in front of the Reichstag building.
In spite of their obvious connotations, torchlight parades like this one have occurred in postwar Germany before. But these were at ceremonies for departing chancellors, presidents and defense ministers, not for soldiers who engaged in combat
“For some, the visual parallels to a Nazi march at the Brandenburg Gate in 1933 made the parade too historically insensitive,” reported the Local.
Yet German politicians and media outlets were quick to defend the parade. In “A Small Piece of Recognition for People Who Fought,” Welt wrote: “People who smell fascism every time they see a steel helmet shouted ‘scandal.’ It wasn’t. The scandal is the hardheartedness of these critics.”
The German Defense Ministry posted to social media: “Debate is necessary and important. Comparisons with Germany’s darkest chapter disappoint us. The Bundeswehr is a parliamentary army. As such, it has its place in the midst of society—on special occasions also in front of the Reichstag building.”
The message was that even though Germany is giving 1930s-era optics, it’s the 21st century now, so worrying about Germany starting another world war is “disappointing.” Yet the Berlin Wall is down, Germany is united, its capital is back in Berlin, its Luftwaffe has helped destroy Yugoslavia, demands to rename the Reichstag (reich means empire) have been rejected, Germans are guilty of increasing far-right extremism and even anti-Semitism, and the military has been a hotbed of such troubling ideologies.
The Reichstag has been a symbol of the desire to build a German empire, from the Kaiser to Hitler to today. It was the site of a fire that led to Hitler’s dictatorship. It was from the Reichstag that he ordered the suppression of Jews and his desire for world conquest. It was his torch-bearing troopers who helped ignite a war and a genocide that killed more than 60 million people, including 6 million Jews.
To learn how Bible prophecy warns of a repeat of such atrocities, request your free copy of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.
Franco-German air transport squadron takes flight
On September 1, the first Franco-German airlift squadron entered service at Évreux-Fauville Air Base in northern France. A total of 260 German and French air crews are flying 10 C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. French Defense Minister Florence Parly called the project a milestone in increasing European defense capabilities.
Military airlift capacity is crucial for the European Union to move its forces independent of the United States. Since World War II, Europe has relied almost completely on transports and helicopters provided by the U.S. military for major operations. Clément Beaune, secretary of state for European affairs in the French government, noted that the new squadron is a “concrete, important step forward for the Europe of defense.”
Will Germany join Five Eyes?
The United States House of Representatives drafted a bill on September 1 to expand the membership of Five Eyes. Five Eyes is an intelligence-
gathering and -sharing alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The proposed bill would help authorize the addition of Germany, India, Japan and South Korea.
Privacy International wrote that “each of the Five Eyes states conducts interception, collection, acquisition, analysis and decryption activities, sharing all intelligence information obtained with the others by default.”
Five Eyes already cooperates with outside countries, but none of its intelligence-sharing agreements are as intertwined as the original Five Eyes.
Germany is an important North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally and already hosts tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers and even U.S. nuclear warheads. But Germany is not as reliable as it seems. For example, NATO was designed to protect Europe against Russia, yet Germany has recently signed major strategic deals with Russia.
Imagine if a trusted country received information from the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon, learned how American intelligence agencies work, but was motivated to betray America.
The Bible specifically warns that the modern nations of Israel (which include all of the Five Eyes nations) would rely on foreign “lovers” as allies for protection rather than God, with catastrophic consequences.
U.S. withdraws missile defense from Saudi Arabia
The Biden administration has withdrawn antimissile defense batteries from Saudi Arabia, a powerful symbol of America abandoning its allies. Satellite images from September 10 show the removal of all Patriot and THAAD defense systems from the Prince Sultan Air Base outside of Riyadh. This move comes as Houthi rebels in Yemen and Shiite militias in Iraq continue drone and missile attacks.
The withdrawal alarmed U.S. allies and experts. “I think we need to be reassured about American commitment,” Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, told CNBC on September 9. “That looks like, for example, not withdrawing Patriot missiles from Saudi Arabia at a time when Saudi Arabia is the victim of missile attacks and drone attacks—not just from Yemen but from Iran.”
All the drone attacks and missiles fired at Saudi Arabia trace back to its regional nemesis, Iran. Iranian Maj. Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid has said that the late Iranian mastermind Qassem Suleimani once said, “I have assembled for you six armies outside of Iran’s territory. [One is] in Iraq, and is called the [Popular Mobilization Units], and another army is in Yemen, and is called Ansar Allah [the Houthis].”
Biden has now ordered American defensive batteries out of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Jordan and reduced American jet fighter squadrons in the Middle East—for no other discernible reason than to benefit Iran.
Hurricane Ida Reveals a $14 Billion Failure
Hurricane Ida wrecked the power grid of the Southeastern United States between August 26 and September 4, knocking out power to more than 1 million homes in Louisiana and Mississippi. The Category 4 storm with winds of up to 150 mph was followed by scorching temperatures. Parts of Louisiana faced a heat index up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit, and 16 people died from the heat, lack of power or carbon monoxide poisoning from running backup generators in their homes. Flash floods from the same weather system sent New York and New Jersey into a state of emergency and killed at least 50 people.
Ida, the fifth-most powerful storm to hit the U.S. made landfall on August 29, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, which was the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history. After Katrina, the U.S. spent over $14 billion improving its natural disaster defense system surrounding New Orleans, strengthening 350 miles of floodwalls and levees, constructing a 95-foot-wide storm surge floodgate, building the world’s largest drainage-pump, and installing other fortifications—all of which failed to stop Ida’s devastation.
Human attempts to outmaneuver environmental disasters will always have limited success. This is because so-called natural disasters are actually curses God sends to correct human beings for their sins (Job 37:11-13). For a biblical perspective on this subject, request your free copy of Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?
Iran teases new nuclear deal
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on September 24 that talks about a new Iranian nuclear accord will resume “very soon.” He criticized the United States for “contradictory messages” and lack of “positive action,” and called for the U.S. to “show its true intentions” by unfreezing $10 billion in Iranian assets.
But is Iran truly interested in making another deal to limit its nuclear program? In 2015, it signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. This nuclear deal limited Iranian uranium enrichment to 3.7 percent, enough for nuclear power plants, but nowhere near enough for a bomb. After U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reinstated sanctions, Iran raised its enrichment to 20 percent, a threshold beyond which further enrichment becomes increasingly easier. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is now capable of enriching uranium to 60 percent. Haaretz now reports, “Iran can, if it decides, push that up to 90 percent and produce enough material for a bomb within a month” (September 14).
Iran’s new radical Islamist government
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has built the Islamic Republic’s most radical, hard-line, criminal administration ever.
Several of Iran’s new cabinet members are under sanctions, including the new president, Ebrahim Raisi. Two cabinet members are wanted by Interpol. Many have deep connections to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which is recognized by the U.S. government as a foreign terrorist organization. All these leaders have said that they deeply hate the Jewish state.
Dr. Thamar Eilam Gindin, an expert on Iran, said that Raisi, who is a Shiite cleric, was given the presidency and is being groomed for nothing less than replacing the aging Khamenei as Iran’s supreme leader.
Raisi has spent his entire adult life in Iran’s judiciary. In 1988, he led the way in sentencing thousands of political prisoners to execution, earning him the title “the butcher of Tehran.”
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is an experienced diplomat who worked closely with the former leader of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, Gen. Qassem Suleimani. In a 2020 interview with Tehran Foreign Policy Studies Quarterly, he praised Suleimani as a “commander of peace.”
Interior Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi and Vice President for Economic Affairs Moshen Rezaei served in command positions within the IRGC and have been placed on Interpol’s Red Notice List, which is “issued for fugitives wanted either for prosecution or to serve a sentence.” They are wanted for their alleged roles in the 1994 Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina bombing, which killed 85 people.
The Islamic regime has now dropped even the pretense of being moderate.
Japan launches first plane from carrier since World War II
A United States Marines F-35B fighter jet took off from and landed on the JS Izumo on October 3, marking the first time since World War II that a Japanese vessel has launched and recovered a fixed-wing aircraft.
When the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force launched Izumo in 2013, it classified it as a “helicopter destroyer.” Izumo and its sister ship, Kaga, were built to carry 14 antisubmarine helicopters each. But their 820-foot-long flight decks raised suspicions that they were intended to launch more than just helicopters. The length is insufficient for launching standard naval jets but can accommodate short-takeoff and vertical-landing aircraft like the F-35. Japan has ordered 42 of these stealth fighters for Izumo and Kaga, in addition to 105 other F-35 variants.
Japan began modifying Izumo in March 2020, adding a heat-resistant coating to the deck, which is necessary not for launching helicopters but for launching and recovering jets. Kaga is receiving the same upgrade. This means that Japan now has two vessels that can project its military power around the world for the first time since it plunged the Pacific into World War II. That war spilled the blood of millions of people, including U.S. soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. After its victory, the U.S. wrote into the Japanese Constitution that “land, sea and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.” But Japan, which already has one of the world’s largest economies, is now beginning to maintain serious war potential.
Request your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.
China wins in Canadian elections
In its September 20 elections, Canada’s Liberal Party won 159 seats (gaining two) and the Conservatives won 119 (losing two), with smaller parties remaining basically unchanged and Justin Trudeau remaining prime minister. But the winner was the Chinese Communist Party, as candidates who are opposed to the regime lost.
In 2020, a report from the National Security Committee spotlighted China as foreign interference threat. In the elections’ early days, China’s ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, warned Canadians not to elect parties that “smear” his government. China’s Communist-run Global Times published an editorial promising a “strong counterstrike” if Conservatives won.
Conservatives gained votes in Ontario and British Columbia, but did not win districts in metro areas due to unexpectedly high vote counts for Liberals, who are softer toward the Communist regime. There was also a correlation between the provinces with the most mail-in ballots and the most votes for Liberals. Some said that these regions did not follow the statistical pattern of the rest of the province. One Conservative from Hong Kong lost his seat by 3,000 votes, a statistical anomaly. Some estimated that Conservatives lost up to a dozen seats in Chinese-Canadian areas due to Chinese-language propaganda.
Read “Wake Up to the Threat From China.”
Russia, Belarus agree on process for a common state
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarussian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, met in Moscow on September 9 and signed agreements preparing Russia and Belarus to merge into one country.
The agreements advance a plan in the works since 1999, when Boris Yeltsin signed a deal to merge Belarus and Russia into a two-state federation under one flag, one currency, one judiciary, one economy and one military.
Since 1999, however, Lukashenko has also worked with various European nations and the United States to prevent his small country from being swallowed by Russia. But in August 2020, Lukashenko rigged a presidential election to remain in power, and Belarussians protested in unprecedented numbers. Putin saved Lukashenko by giving him hundreds of millions of dollars in cheap loans, continuing deep discounts for natural gas, and even threatening to stop the protests with Russian troops. Now Lukashenko is opening the door to the creation of a Union State of Russia and Belarus.
Request your free copy of The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia.’
China buying American farms
The most recent report on foreign land ownership by the United States Department of Agriculture shows that foreigners owned 35.2 million acres of U.S. agricultural land as of Dec. 31, 2019. This is 2.7 percent of all privately held agricultural land and 1.5 percent of all land in the U.S. That’s a 60 percent increase from a decade earlier.
British, Canadian, Dutch, Italian and German investors own the largest amount of U.S. farmland, but authoritarian regimes like China are also buying it up. The Chinese own about 192,000 agricultural acres in the U.S., worth about $1.9 billion. And China would like to buy more. An official Chinese Communist Party food security initiative published in 2013 encourages Chinese companies to gain greater control over agricultural supply chain imports by buying farmland in foreign countries. China has also purchased Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork producer, and is attempting to purchase Syngenta, the world’s third-biggest seed supplier.
With U.S. farm bankruptcies hitting an eight-year high, it is easier for foreign corporations to snatch up farmland.