Lebanon’s parliamentary election results announced on May 17 indicate a shift is underway in the nation. The previous government, a coalition of the Shiite Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah and its allies, dropped from 70 to 61 seats and lost its majority in the legislature.
Many see the vote as a reaction against Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a Hezbollah ally. Aoun’s party, the Christian Free Patriotic Movement, lost enough seats to fall behind the Christian Lebanese Forces, a former militia. Lebanon’s population is about one third Christian (mostly Catholic), one third Sunni Muslim and one third Shiite Muslim. So Hezbollah’s—and, by extension, Iran’s—strong grip on power could be broken.
Psalm 83 prophesies that it will be. It forecasts an alliance of Middle Eastern peoples that will oppose Israel and will not be allied with Iran. Hezbollah is currently tied to Iran, but since Iran is not mentioned in this psalm, Lebanon must split from Iran for this prophecy to be fulfilled.
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on May 31 that Iran is only weeks away from obtaining enough fissile material to build its first nuclear bomb. According to the agency, Iran now has 95 pounds of uranium enriched to 60 percent, compared to only 22 pounds three months ago, and refuses to divulge where some of it is stored. The IAEA announced on June 9 that Iran had disabled surveillance cameras and enrichment sensors at its nuclear facilities, including its underground complex in Natanz.
On June 7, the German government released an intelligence report detailing Iran’s 2021 nuclear progress, stating that Iran seeks to develop “one of the largest missile programs in the Middle East” and citing 59 unspecified violations of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal. Germany has also noted a “significant increase” in clandestine Iranian activity aimed at obtaining from Germany scientific or industrial equipment for nuclear development and missile construction. The Trumpet continues its decades-long forecast that it will not be the United Nations or the United States that will finally confront Iran: It will be Europe, led by Germany. Read about this in our booklet The King of the South*.
Russia and China are growing more powerful, projecting their power against opponents abroad and at home. This is most evident in Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine and crackdowns inside Russia against those who oppose the war. But it is also evident in developments that have been less widely reported.
On May 24, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation published what it calls “the to-date largest and most significant leak of internal documents from directly within Xinjiang police networks.” The files detail the Chinese Communist Party’s extreme human rights abuses of its Uyghur minority.
The Uyghurs are a Muslim Turkic people, whom China has ruled since the mid-18th century. Their desire for independence from China has prompted some to employ terrorist acts. The Chinese government has reacted by forcing the entire province of Xinjiang and its 1 million Uyghurs into one of the strictest police states in the world.
The documents show that the CCP’s “reeducation facilities” are actually concentration camps where prisoners are subjected to egregious human rights abuses. They include 2,884 police photos of prisoners, some as young as 14 years old. They are graphic depictions of prisoner restraint and indeterminate illegal detention. One transcript of a 2017 speech from Xinjiang Party Secretary Chen Quanguo records these instructions to guards for when a Uyghur attempts to flee: “Shoot him dead if he runs a few steps. You see, in such a situation, if they run, just kill them. There will be no problem, because we have already authorized this a long time ago.” Other abuses perpetrated en masse in Xinjiang include forced sterilizations of Uyghur women, organ harvesting from slain prisoners, and replacing detained fathers with Han Chinese men, who apparently sleep with the mothers and take over the family.
Meanwhile, China launched its third and most advanced aircraft carrier on June 17. With an estimated displacement of 80,000 tons, the Type 003 carrier is considerably larger than China’s first two models and is the world’s largest non-American warship. It is equipped with advanced technology, including an electromagnetic aircraft launch system enabling it to launch heavier jets more rapidly.
China’s expanding naval power advances it toward its goal of controlling the South China Sea, a development that Gerald Flurry explains is fulfilling Bible prophecy. In his July 2016 article “China Is Steering the World Toward War,” he wrote: “[T]he American military is retreating, and other great powers are coming in to fill the vacuum. … China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. … Everything is headed in the direction of war.” Mr. Flurry cited Deuteronomy 28:52, which warns that the modern descendants of ancient Israel, chiefly the United States and Britain, would lose its “gates.” These refer mainly to strategic passages such as those that control access to the South China Sea.
Russia announced on June 11 that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has authorized Russian soldiers, planes and warships to enter Nicaragua for purposes of “humanitarian aid, rescue and search missions in emergencies or natural disasters.” Nicaragua has also authorized Russian troops to enter the nation for “exchange of experiences and training.”
Russian state TV called Nicaragua’s decision a “most unpleasant cherry atop the democratic cake for the United States,” and said that Russia should use this as an open door to move its military assets into the Central American country as payback for U.S. weaponry being positioned in Eastern Europe. “If American missile systems can nearly reach Moscow from the Ukrainian territory,” Russia-1 host Olga Skabeyeva said, “it’s time for Russia to roll out something powerful closer to the American city on a hill.”
In recent months Russia has also signed numerous cooperation agreements with Venezuela and Cuba, further deepening its influence in the U.S. periphery. From these countries, Russia could threaten the sea gates of the Caribbean Sea, through which half of America’s seaborne trade passes. In “Preparing to Storm America’s Castle,” the Trumpet stated that “the Caribbean is vital to U.S. security. … This geographic reality is why Russia and China want to challenge U.S. dominance in the Caribbean.”
Bible prophecies in Isaiah 23 and Ezekiel 27 show that Russia and other U.S. adversaries will soon join forces to besiege America. The deepening influence Russia is building in Nicaragua and other nations in the region bring the fulfillment of this prophecy nearer.
America’s economy is falling apart while its ruling party is desperately trying to distract people from what is really going on. Yearly consumer price inflation exceeded 8.5 percent, a four-decade high, and average gasoline prices hit all-time highs.
Democrats diverted attention to House of Representatives select committee hearings, which dramatized the Jan. 6, 2021, protests on Capitol Hill. The show trial was designed to make President Donald Trump look guilty of leading a violent insurrection, to possibly generate criminal charges against him, creating a rationale for invoking the 14th Amendment to achieve the real goal: bar him from ever again holding public office. The Trumpet forecasts that this slanderous assault on Donald Trump will fail and that the stolen 2020 presidential election will be exposed for all the world to see. This forecast is based on Bible prophecy, particularly the prophecy in Amos 7:8.
Meanwhile, the regime is spying on millions of innocent Americans’ cell phones. Motherboard has reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used location data from the phones of tens of millions of Americans to track whether they complied with government lockdowns. The CDC first received free data about people’s movements from SafeGraph in 2019, then paid SafeGraph $420,000 for continued access to Americans’ phone metadata throughout 2021.
Closer to the root of America’s problems is the prevalence of hopelessness and resulting drug addiction. Annual drug overdoses in the United States have eclipsed the 100,000 mark for the first time ever, according to government data released on May 11. More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, an increase of roughly 15 percent over 2020. Galatians 5:20 warns of “witchcraft,” from the Greek word pharmakeia, which is better translated as the use or administering of drugs. At the core of American drug use, debt, inflation, tyranny, injustice and other recognizable problems is the fact that millions of Americans have no convictions, no purpose and no hope.
Germany’s parliament agreed on June 3 to change Germany’s constitution in order to dramatically strengthen its military. The law now allows for many of the changes announced by Chancellor Olaf Scholz on February 27, shortly after Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It exempts this military spending from constitutional restrictions on borrowing, facilitating a special fund of €100 billion (US$106.5 billion) and an increase in military spending to an average of at least 2 percent of gross domestic product. Within a few years, this will catapult Germany from the world’s seventh-largest military spender to the third-largest.
Changing the constitution required support from opposition parties to reach the two-thirds majority. It passed easily, with 567 lawmakers voting in favor, and only 96 against.
Some Germans say that even this drastic increase is not enough. They want Germany to spend at least 2 percent of its GDP every year on its military rather than as a multi-year average. The Association of Reservists chairman told Handelsblatt that to have “an efficient force again,” the military needs about €300 billion. Historically, when Germany has had “an efficient force,” it has put it to devastating use.
Scholz found plenty of support in upgrading the military, but he has found less and less support for his leadership elsewhere. In early May, his Social Democrats dropped to third place and a historic low in state elections in Shleswig-Holstein. In May 15 elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state, support for the party fell to 26.7 percent, the lowest in a lifetime. A national survey showed that the party’s popularity has fallen to 19.5 percent, with other parties at 28 and 21 percent. If national elections were held right now, Germany would likely end up with a completely different government from the one elected eight months ago. Germany’s leadership crisis continues.
Germans are not the only anxious people. On May 18, Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the NATO alliance. Finland has Europe’s second-longest border with Russia, and was invaded by the Russians in 1939 and 1941. After Russia conquered European territory all the way into Berlin in World War II, these two Nordic countries fearfully pledged neutrality and maintained it for decades throughout the Cold War nuclear standoff. After the Soviet empire collapsed in 1990, they found it advantageous to maintain that neutrality. This makes their recent requests for NATO membership a remarkably clear and fearful reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “shocked the world. Most of all, it shocked Europe. … The fear you see in Europe … is going to cause 10 leaders in Europe to unite in a sudden and dramatic way …. The reaction within Europe to this crisis is something you need to watch, because it is shaping and molding the future composition of the Holy Roman Empire!”
Mr. Flurry wrote this not after Russia’s full-scale invasion earlier this year but after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Europe took notice then. Now it has been shocked into dramatic action.