Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi resigned on July 21 after his coalition government fell apart, exacerbating Europe’s leadership vacuum. Italy now sails further into turbulent political waters. Early elections are scheduled for October, and the favorite to win is the leader of a far-right coalition: Giorgia Meloni. The parties in her coalition model themselves after Italy’s pre-World War II politics under fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.
In 1984, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that an economic crisis beginning in America “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S.” Europe remains vulnerable to any kind of economic crisis. The fallout from the last crisis led to the surge of Italy’s virtually neofascist groups.
Italy isn’t the only European country to have a political shakeup. Germany is in the middle of a huge tax fraud scandal. In 2009, Warburg Bank in Hamburg received tax credits for taxes it didn’t pay. Tax authorities apparently noticed the fraud in 2016 and demanded $48 million in repayment. The bank disputed the case, contacted Hamburg’s government, and the case was dropped. People are wondering why. They are also wondering if Hamburg’s first mayor at the time, Olaf Scholz, was involved. Scholz is now chancellor, and he is regarded by many as politically weak and perhaps largely to blame for Germany’s weak response to Russia’s war on Ukraine. Scholz’s Social Democratic Party is polling extremely poorly, while his coalition partner, the Greens, has had historic gains. Some think the Greens might take advantage of the situation and call for early elections.
Daniel 8:23 says “a king of fierce countenance” who understands “dark sentences” will appear on the world scene. The latest scandal could cause a leadership vacuum that gives this “king” his door into office. Read about this in our booklet A Strong German Leader Is Imminent*.
More than just two countries in Europe are under stress right now: Much of Europe has been suffering under extreme heat and drought for much of the summer. The Bible reveals that in the end time there will be “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes”—weather and other “natural” disasters—“in various places” (Matthew 24:7; New King James Version). Nahum 1 shows that “the Lord has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, And dries up all the rivers …” (verses 3-4; NKJV). God has absolute control of the weather. He doesn’t send climate curses out of spite. The Bible shows He sends these problems to get mankind’s attention, to turn them to Him in repentance. Read Why ‘Natural’ Disasters?
Aiman al-Zawahiri was assassinated in Afghanistan on July 31. The leader of the al Qaeda terrorist organization was in Kabul when he was struck by two missiles fired by a United States drone. The assassination comes almost a year after the catastrophic surrender of the country by the U.S. to the Taliban, the same radical Islamist regime that U.S. forces deployed to the country to defeat. One of the few stipulations of the Biden regime was that the Taliban agree not to harbor al Qaeda. Biden portrayed the strike as a victory for the U.S., but Zawahiri’s very presence in the capital city indicates that, 20 years after Islamists flew airliners into buildings and mass-murdered 2,996 people, the Taliban is aiding and abetting terrorists once again.
It also returns the focus to America’s forfeiture of billions in military equipment, weakened standing in the world, and treachery toward its allies (article, page 10). Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote last year in “This Isn’t Incompetence. This Is Treason!”: “[W]e must understand that this isn’t simply the result of ineptitude on the part of this administration, or naivety about how the world really works.”
Another Gaza conflict erupted on August 5 following the arrest of Bassam al-Saadi, the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the West Bank. Israel Defense Forces launched a preemptive strike, Operation Breaking Dawn, to eliminate the group’s leadership in Gaza. Palestinian Islamic Jihad responded with more than 1,100 rocket launches against Israel over the three days of fighting. No Israeli casualties were reported.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the largest armed group in Gaza after Hamas, which stayed out of the fighting. The conflict allowed Hamas to rehabilitate its image in the media by calling for a ceasefire. But the biggest winner of the recent conflict was interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid. Weakness toward Arab provocation was one reason Israel’s coalition government collapsed. This victory strengthens Lapid’s standing for now. Read more in our article, “Chaos in Gaza—by Design?”
Meanwhile, the European Union submitted a new draft for a revived nuclear agreement with the U.S. and Iran, calling it a “final offer” to be accepted or rejected by August 5. Unsurprisingly, Iran submitted another counteroffer and demanded further negotiations. Despite having already issued a “final offer,” Western diplomats seem eager to entertain Iran’s new demands, which have been characterized as “moderate and workable.”
All the while, Iran is achieving its nuclear goals and could soon break out as a nuclear-armed power. With its current stockpile of uranium, Iran can produce enough weapons-grade uranium for two nuclear bombs within a month. And for the first time, Iran is openly discussing its intentions to produce nuclear weapons. A media group sponsored by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, released a video on July 30 threatening to turn New York City into radioactive ruins. Read “Iran Escalates Nuclear Threats.”
Russia and China continue pushing against the global order with a level of force, arrogance and brutality that would have been difficult to imagine even just a few years ago.
Human Rights Watch reported on July 22 that Russia’s soldiers are illegally holding, torturing and forcibly displacing Ukrainian civilians in the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, turning the areas into “an abyss of fear and wild lawlessness.” The report was built on testimony from 71 people from Kherson, Melitopol and a dozen other cities in occupied southern Ukraine.
The Geneva Conventions, signed by 99 percent of the world’s sovereign countries, including Russia, allow warring parties to detain combatants as prisoners of war and to hold civilians in certain cases. But they prohibit arbitrary detention, improper confinement, disappearances and torture of any kind. Such practices may be categorized as war crimes and crimes against humanity. Political leaders behind such acts—Russian President Vladimir Putin, in this case—can be charged for the crimes of their soldiers. But Putin appears unconcerned. He has characterized the conflict as a “special military operation” rather than an actual war and said on July 7 that Russia has “not yet commenced anything serious” in Ukraine, meaning there is potential for far worse violence.
Gerald Flurry wrote in The Prophesied ‘Prince of Russia’ “This world has a lot of authoritarian rulers. But Vladimir Putin is one we need to keep a particularly close eye on. His track record, his nationality and his ideology show that he is fulfilling a linchpin Bible prophecy.” This prophecy is recorded partly in Revelation 16:12 and 9:16, which describe a modern group of Asian nations called “the kings of the east,” which will amass an army of 200 million troops. Daniel 11:44, 12:1 and Matthew 24:21-22 show that this axis will be among the primary belligerents in a nuclear World War III. Ezekiel 38 shows that this force will be led by one man. In the September 2014 Trumpet, Mr. Flurry wrote: “I strongly believe Vladimir Putin is going to lead the 200 million-man army.”
As Russia was terrorizing Ukraine, China mobilized warships, aircraft and tanks on August 2 and vowed “targeted military actions” to retaliate for Taiwan hosting the United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Taiwan is a constitutional democratic island nation that has been politically independent of Communist China since 1949. The overwhelming majority of its 23.6 million citizens want the country to be internationally recognized and fully independent. But the Chinese Communist regime views Taiwan as part of China and has vowed to gain control of it, by military force if necessary.
Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. representative to visit Taiwan since 1997. This visit signaled that the U.S., while not recognizing Taiwanese independence and sovereignty, is determined to uphold the status quo. Nuclear-armed China, which has the world’s largest military, responded with live-fire drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan, including, for the first time, within Taiwanese waters east of the island.
In his 1998 article “Taiwan Betrayal,” Mr. Flurry warned that the Taiwanese would “be forced into the Chinese mold, and it is going to happen for one reason: because of a pitifully weak-willed America. Does freedom really mean so little to us?” When Mr. Flurry wrote that article 24 years ago, the notion that China would conquer Taiwan seemed unlikely. But today, with China having grown far mightier and more aggressive, and with the U.S. increasingly divided and war-weary, it is clear that Mr. Flurry’s forecast could come to pass soon.
The top doctor in the United States government is again warning those who have not taken vaccinations for COVID-19. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci says the unvaccinated could suffer and spread infections this winter. Yet some of the scientists who work for him are accusing the U.S. government of fraud.
Fauci is largely responsible for more than 260 million Americans taking vaccinations. But 1,379,438 of them have reported an “adverse event” in reaction to a COVID vaccination, according to data released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on August 5. Such events include birth defects (1,141 cases), deaths (30,162 cases), permanent disabilities (56,477 cases) and hospitalizations (172,155 cases). There may be many more adverse reactions to the vaccines that are not included in this report.
One senior U.S. Food and Drug Administration official told doctors Marty Makary and Tracy Beth Høeg that the agency authorized COVID-19 vaccines for infants and toddlers without reliable data, and that it bypassed external experts to authorize booster shots for young children.
Meanwhile, a number of scientists, including a chief medical officer and a director, have resigned from the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health. Other government scientists and employees have left the CDC and the FDA. Why? Politicians and top officials like Fauci are almost certainly forcing them to generate or use flawed data to make important public health decisions that can and have resulted in adverse reactions up to and including tens of thousands of deaths.
The regime in control of these and all other government agencies continues to double down on its agenda of transferring power from American citizens to the federal government. After signing into law new restrictions on firearms in June and saying, “There’s much more work to do,” Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act in August. The new law actually does not reduce inflation but instead, spends more than $360 billion on energy and climate change programs over the next decade, extends Obamacare subsidies that were supposed to expire this year, spends additional funds to address droughts, imposes a 15 percent corporate minimum tax rate for companies making more than $1 billion in income, and empowers the Internal Revenue Service to hire 87,000 more agents. The conservative Heritage Foundation predicts that the act will increase near-term inflation and depress household incomes by racking up $52.5 billion in debt over the next four years.
The corruption, hypocrisy and lies saturating Americans and their leaders are producing terrible and inescapable results. The suffering and its causes are revealed in your Bible. Isaiah 59:4 prophesies, “None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” Today, the public health officials, the economic analysts, the politicians and the citizens speak lies and conceive mischief, and their nation is experiencing health crises, economic crises, agricultural crises and weather crises. The causes are explained in America Under Attack.