America’s Achilles’ Heel

From the June 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

Most of us have heard of the story of Achilles, the warrior who was only vulnerable in his heel. America is the greatest superpower this world has ever known. But we have a very vulnerable point in our military—our own Achilles’ heel. It is so dangerous that I am amazed it hasn’t received more publicity.

Here is a quote from the Intelligence Digest of Cheltenham, England, by Joseph de Courcy, March 20, 1992 (emphasis mine): “We will be hearing a lot more about computer crime, computer terrorism, and computer warfare. Every moment of the day in modern, technological societies is dominated by computers. These computers are highly vulnerable to criminal, terrorist or enemy sabotage. For the moment, the public is only dimly aware of exactly how vulnerable a computer-run society is, whilst criminals, terrorists and would-be aggressors are only just beginning to understand the potential available to them. This will change….

“Furthermore, every computer has a ‘backdoor key,’ by-passing access codes, for the convenience of the technical experts. Backdoor keys can be created by special instruction in order to ensure continued access regardless of changing security codes. No computer system is totally secure, or anywhere near it….

“One growing concern to Western security authorities is the expanding, semi-underground, network of young computer hackers in Germany. It is thought that some at least of these highly skilled computer wizards are ideologically motivated—or could become so. With their expertise, a terrorist organization could achieve a far greater impact on everyday life than has ever been achieved by conventional terrorism.

“As to the implications for defense, the Gulf War showed what a critical role technology now plays in warfare. But the course of a battle would be very different if effective technology-sabotaging measures could be instituted against the superior force….

“Computer dependence is the Western world’s Achilles’ heel, and within a few years this weakness could be tested to the full.”

As Mr. De Courcy said, “No computer system is totally secure, or anywhere near it”!

Germany is the first nation to have their own air force base in America. It’s located in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

There are probably more German pilots being trained in the U.S. than there are from any other nation—most of it being done because of nato. Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, is one example. They are actively teaching and training German pilots how to operate U.S. war planes. An American heads the group. A German is second in command. Germany is learning a great deal about our military. Along with that, they are learning a lot about the modern-day computer technology that plays such a big role in U.S. military operations.

One of the major concerns of Western security authorities is about a “network of young computer hackers in Germany.” That the computer hackers are from Germany should also send a warning message—especially if you understand German history and Bible prophecy.

Winston Churchill said Germany had a history of surprise attacks against enemies and nations who thought they were friends with Germany.

Who has an unparalleled history of destroying many nations in warfare? Germany has a long history of such conquests. They tried hard to conquer and rule the whole world in World Wars I and II.

We seem to have forgotten the history of Germany. Assuming the Germans are trustworthy military allies, or lovers (Bible terminology), is going to be a fatal delusion!

One of the main reasons we won World War II was because the British broke German radio code. We knew about most of their war plans in advance! Quite a gigantic advantage. Some experts think we would have lost the war without that knowledge.

We could lose the next war before we even begin, if somebody breaks our military codes.

A powerful Germany is disturbing many people as it once again bullies Europe. Is America being exposed to a great risk in its love affair with Germany?

Asian Realignment

From the June 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

As Russia and China continue to move toward a mutual security alliance, Japan is emerging with renewed indications of pursuing a foreign policy more at odds with the U.S.

Since the Asian financial meltdown and America’s lukewarm response to rendering any real help to Japan in the slough of her economic malaise, Japan has had to face up to the fact that, notwithstanding that nation’s close alliance with America since World War II, they are now largely on their own.

Next to the U.S. and the EU, Japan, despite its current economic woes, is still the third-largest economy in the world. But a huge gap exists, following the lower house of parliament passing revisions to the U.S.-Japan defense co-operation guidelines on April 27, between its economic size and its capability to defend its global interests.

Japan faces a watershed. The country’s internal debate on closing the gap between its significant role in international economic affairs and its felt need to become more assertive in the political and military sphere is heating up. The experiences of the 1990-91 Gulf War, the 1996-97 hostage crisis at the Japanese embassy in Peru, followed by North Korea’s launch last August of a two-stage Taepodong missile over Japan’s Honshu Island, all have worked to heighten a new sense of urgency in the Japanese leadership reconsidering the constitutional limitations on their military forces.

Earlier this year, all major Japanese political factions reached agreement on a general policy direction—that the Japanese self-defense forces should be given expanded capability to participate in missions abroad, including UN missions and initiatives designed to rescue Japanese nationals caught in situations where their security is at risk. Increasingly, Japanese leaders are speaking out on the need for Japan to seek a higher military profile.

Japan’s tendency to play down its past militaristic history is being overtaken by a need to reconfigure its security arrangements to reflect the impact of diminishing U.S. power and, in particular, the rise of China to great-power status in the Far East.

Addressing the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on March 16, Kunihiko Saito, outgoing Japanese ambassador to the U.S., warned of the heightened risk of reviving militant nationalist sentiment under the sensitivities currently straining relations between the U.S. and Japan. “Memories of the 1930s and ’40s are still fresh in our minds. We should always be careful about the revival of nationalism,” said Saito. He added, “If the United States’ economy starts to have problems, the issue of trade imbalance will surely become a very serious political issue between our two countries” (Stratfor Systems, March 19).

Adding fuel to the debate over Japan’s national security is the current rush of the unemployed, displaced by the continuing Japanese recession, into the nation’s military forces. Unlike the U.S., straining to attract manpower to its depleted defense forces, Japan is booming in military recruitment.

The continuing trade war with the U.S., Japan’s ongoing dispute with Russia on sovereignty over the Kurile Islands, its current political debate on Japanese military forces, perceived North Korean and Chinese aggression, and the call from Southeast Asian countries for Japan to take a more assertive role in Asia will all inevitably combine to push Japan back onto the world stage as a military power of note.

Protect Your Children

Protect Your Children

©iStock.com/dagmar heymans

After a series of school shootings, frightened parents are asking, “What can we do to protect our children?” The violence-fixated cultural landscape of America is not going to change. That means families must protect themselves. Here is a place to start.
From the July 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

The statistics in America are alarming: A typical adolescent today spends 3.5 hours per day alone or unsupervised. Children spend 11 fewer hours with their parents each week, compared with the 1960s. Between 1993 and 1996, there was a 721 percent increase in the number of minutes on the evening news spent covering homicides. By the end of elementary school, a child will have seen 8,000 murders in the media. There has been a 300 percent increase in teen suicide since the 1960s and a 1000 percent increase in depression among children since the 1950s.

And what effects are showing up in our society as a result of those appalling statistics? The direction started becoming clear in the early 1990s. By the middle ’90s, the distress-signal was undeniable: America’s youth are in serious trouble.

A Plague of Youth Violence

The December 17, 1994, Economist wrote (emphasis mine throughout), “For several sweltering days in summer, all America could talk about was Robert Sandifer. A member of one of Chicago’s notorious street gangs, the Black Disciples, Sandifer was suspected of having sprayed bullets from a semi-automatic pistol into a group of teenagers on the city’s poverty-stricken South Side. One young girl was killed. Days later, so was Sandifer—by his own gang. This much was harrowing but unexceptional. What shocked the country was the fact that Sandifer, a 23-times convicted felon, was all of 11 years old.”

The Economist of April 24 paints a bloodstained picture almost five years later when it reported, “Yet again, as the nation’s television cameras abruptly switched their focus on April 20 from Kosovo to Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, Americans have been forced to view the barbaric side of their culture.

“‘Yet again’ is a natural reaction. Many see [the April 20] tragedy in a prosperous, middle-class suburb of Denver as part of a gruesome sequence….

“The statistics may show a drop in crime across the country in the past five years, including a drop in murders by gun-wielding teenagers, but the fact is that each year more than 2,000 Americans aged 14-17 use a gun to kill someone.” It is clear that very real tragedies—monstrous tragedies—are afflicting almost every area of America, and the momentum is rising.

The Daily Oklahoman of April 30 stated, “Threats of violence at Oklahoma schools since the Colorado high school shooting have escalated at an alarming rate,” and there followed a listing of 12 separate occurrences in Oklahoma alone of school-related death threats, bomb threats and gun-sighting incidents in the 10 days following the Colorado massacre. One Oklahoma school superintendent in a small, normally peaceful rural community said, “People are panicky. We’ve got parents that came to school…to withdraw their children. And probably ten kids came to the office, wanting to check out.”

Parents are scared, seeing no end in sight to the school massacres, asking, “What can we do?” “How can we protect our precious children from this carnage?”

Getting Right Spiritually

More than anything, this unprecedented youth violence facing parents is a spiritual crisis in the family and indeed the entire society. Therefore, a spiritual solution must be sought first. In matters such as this, physical remedies can be effective only after a spiritual healing has begun. Otherwise, we risk only treating the effect rather than the actual cause, which is founded in the choices mankind made in the very beginning and which have since been reinforced throughout history by every human individual’s rebellion against God’s ways of peace and happiness.

In a recent Key of David program, Gerald Flurry addressed the issue of school shootings focusing on the cause of the problem of kids killing kids. That cause is the breaking of God’s law in our nation and in our families.

At the end of the program, Mr. Flurry made the statement, “If God’s law was obeyed, then the violence would stop immediately.” God very clearly supports that thinking by laying out our choices in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy [children] may live.”

Genesis 2:16-17 reveals some of the earliest instructions the eternal God gave to our progenitors, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden. God gave them freedom of choice—the freedom to act rightly or wrongly. But instead of choosing to do things God’s way, they chose to do things their own way, even though God had warned them that a wrong choice would lead to unhappiness and death for the whole human family.

That same wrong choice has been made by all humans (Rom. 3:23), and that is why we see all this suffering and misery today: Mankind is reaping the results of wrong choices. “Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). It is simply a case of cause and effect. As long as mankind keeps choosing to turn away from God’s law, he will reap the whirlwind (Hos. 8:7).

We can see the results of this rejection of God’s law in Genesis 6 where it describes the time just prior to the Flood over 4,500 years ago. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them [from] the earth’” (Gen. 6:5, 11-13, NKJV).

Jesus Christ prophesied in Matthew 24:37 that the end time would be exactly like the days of Noah, and that prophecy by Christ is coming to pass in a gruesome and startling way. What we are seeing in these school killings is the result of out-of-control minds which are obsessed with hate and revenge. Applying God’s law would stop that.

Unfortunately, mankind has chosen to reject these laws and live contrary to God by lying, cheating, stealing, killing, coveting, committing adultery and fornicating—living selfishly for the most part. Is it any wonder then that we have so much unhappiness, suffering and death, and so many terrible, heartrending personal and world problems?

Mankind cut himself off from God in the Garden of Eden and began building his own society without the help of almighty God. The result of that failed experiment is this present evil world (Gal. 1:4), including the terrible youth violence wreaking havoc on our schools and society.

To the contrary, those who honor God the Father and keep His law know that the solutions to mankind’s problems must begin with God’s law. It is the keeping of God’s law which brings about peace and happiness.

Properly applying that law also reveals how to protect ourselves and our families from the evils that surround us.

Origin of Violence

Understanding the true source of violence is important in understanding how to bring it under control. In John 8:44, Christ is speaking to the religious leaders of His day who were seeking to murder Him because of the message He brought to mankind from God the Father. In that verse is amazing revelation from God pointing to the source of the violence facing us today. Christ said to the Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” Satan is a lying, violent murderer!

Satan is a very real being in spite of how some people ridicule that fact. We are told in Revelation 12:9-12, that Satan is filled with wrath and that he has been cast to this earth for the final days of this end time. Ephesians 2:2 sheds more light on the fact that Satan is the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience.” Just like a radio transmitter, Satan is broadcasting attitudes of bitter, burning anger and murder right into the minds of mankind and is filling our society with lawlessness and rage.

Some of Satan’s greatest tools for spreading his vile wrath are found right in our homes, and that is the influence from television, movies, music, video games and the Internet. Satan has an open door to almost every home through the media.

This is not to say that the various school shootings were entirely caused by media influences. Obviously, such situations are very complex and multi-faceted. The purpose of this article is not to blame any one group. It is vital, however, that we protect our families—and especially our children—from our violence-fixated cultural landscape.

The Dark Side

In an article titled “Loitering on the Dark Side,” Newsweek of May 3 painted a clear picture of the influences besetting every American family. That article was subtitled, “The Columbine High killers fed on a culture of violence that isn’t about to change.” They wrote in pertinent part, “Was the Colorado tragedy a legacy of our technoculture: Doom, Natural Born Killers, hate-amplifying websites and pipe-bomb plans from the Net?…

“Defenders of the Net…note that criticizing the reach of the increasingly pervasive Web is like blaming paper for bad poetry. Still, it’s undeniable that cyberspace offers unlimited opportunity to network with otherwise unreachable creepy people…. The Internet credo is empowerment, and unfortunately that also applies to troubled teens sticking their toes into the foul water of hatemongering. As parents are learning, the Net’s easy accessibility to the netherworlds is a challenge that calls, at the least, for a measure of vigilance.”

That word “vigilance” brings to mind a particularly chilling scripture. I Peter 5:8 reminds us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” Lest we forget, Satan is a man-eating lion stalking us and our children, and the Internet provides a totally unregulated tool to perfectly accomplish those bloody plans.

“Hollywood is also a fat target,” the article continues. “From Oliver Stone’s lyric depiction of random murder [Natural Born Killers] (rabidly viewed by the Columbine killers) to stylish slaughter in The Matrix, violence is the main course on our entertainment menu. We are a nation that comfortably embraces Tony Soprano, a basic-values type of guy who not only orders hits but himself performs the occasional whacking. The industry’s defense is summarized by Doug Richardson, who scripted Die Hard II and Money Train. ‘If I were to accept the premise that the media culture is responsible, then I would be surprised that the thousands of violent images we see don’t inspire more acts of violence.’ In other words, the sheer volume of carnage is proof of its harmlessness.” I think anyone of a sound mind would agree that those words are at best a very weak defense!

The article continues, “Then there are the shoot-and-splatter video games like Doom—cited as a possible template for the Colorado killing spree. Some are concerned that hours of participating in a killing-machine fantasy might make a real-life version more palatable—a concern made more alarming since millions of people regularly play Doom and its cousins….”

The article goes on to indict the entirety of American society by stating, “Guns are all too available to troubled kids steeped not just in video games or slash movies, but the entire volatile stew that’s, well, America. Video games, the Net and Hollywood are just the low-hanging fruit in this blame game. The violent-entertainment complex survives because it caters tous: Its brutal images and dark-side pursuits exist because they’re popular and profitable.

“Traditional media exploit this, too; the week’s news coverage speaks directly to our fascination with home-bred violence. The [Colorado] killers may have been steeped in a crock pot of fantasy carnage, but now the nation is willingly marinating in its very real aftermath: a tissue-consuming orgy of victim interviews and 911 tapes….

“What we’re left with is a vicious cycle where even the examination of a disaster reinforces the violence-obsessed culture that may have helped trigger it. How can you pull the threads of violence from a society when those strands are so deeply woven into our character? We’re left with [the conclusion to] make sure that your kids don’t get in so deep that fantasies cross over to horrible, heartbreaking reality. It’ll have to do because the culture isn’t changing. We like it too much.”

One of the great dangers lurking in our society is the threat of becoming immersed in the violence, pornography and lawlessness which is filling the minds of many people in this world. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” One of the lessons in these school killings is that if we focus our minds on violence, we will become violent. That is why the practice of “thought stopping” is so essential. Simply put, we must stop wrong thoughts before they take root and drive us to wrong action.

The Apostle James summed it up plainly by stating that “every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin [the transgression of law (I John 3:4)]: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15). Clearly, we must stop wrong thoughts and stop the obsessing which leads to law-breaking.

Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 15:19 that “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” Twisted, lawless minds led to the Colorado killings! Those two young men in Colorado saturated themselves with violence and hatred until demonic influences drove them to attack their classmates like a pair of mad dogs. That is how Satan controls those who voluntarily open their minds to such evil influences.

Matthew 8:28 describes the violence associated with demon influence and possession. As Christ was walking in the country, “there met him two possessed of devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.” That is the violent, murderous nature of Satan in man, and nothing has changed since the time of Christ.

That same satanic wrath is pouring out of violent TV shows and movies, video games and hate-filled music into the minds of those who don’t protect themselves from Satan’s influences. Yet many psychiatrists and so-called “experts” say all this preoccupation with violence does not have a significant effect. Romans 1:22 says, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” and that exactly describes many of these “experts” who reject God’s word.

God warns in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” God’s word is plain in stating that those who reject God’s law have lost God’s protection on their children!

We should not believe the “experts” who tell us that violent entertainment will not hurt our children. The evils occurring in our society today are proof that kids are falling victim to the wrong kind of influences. No matter what these so-called “experts” say, we must judge by the fruits (Matt. 7:16-20), and the fruits are not good.

It is clear that TV and the Internet were only contributing factors in the Littleton massacre, but in order to stop the violence, we must learn to combat Satan’s evil influences and the predators stalking our children!

Controlling the Media

The Internet is a great tool and a marvelous source of information, but the phenomenal growth of the Web has been, and still is, totally unregulated, which makes it a potentially dangerous place for our children. As recently as 1993, there were only 130 sites on the World Wide Web. In March 1999, that had grown to 4.3 million websites and it is currently growing by 50,000 to 100,000 sites per month. That’s a tremendous amount of information which can now be accessed through the Web. But as with all things potentially good, mankind has corrupted and perverted the Internet, and you need to know how to control its influences on your children, at least while they are under the age of 18.

So how can we control the Web’s influence?

1. Be aware of what websites or chat rooms your underage child is visiting on the Internet. Ask the child, but also learn how to check the Internet history files on your computer. As the parent, you have the responsibility and the right to know what your child is doing on the Internet.

2. Set up the Internet computer in a public area of the house, like the living room, where you can monitor what’s going on, and don’t allow your child to be on the Internet in another room behind closed doors. Proverbs 29:15 warns that “a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.” The “latchkey” and otherwise unsupervised children of today are easy targets for Satan. The natural curiosity of children can lead them into wrong areas very quickly, and we must protect our children’s minds.

3. Take advantage of the computer’s power-on password to control when the computer is used. You set the password which allows your computer to boot up. Also, consider purchasing some password-protected Internet security software, or parental-control software, so that offensive material cannot be viewed.

4. Set a time limit on how long a child can surf the Web. One hour a day—while you are present—should be plenty. Because we love our children, we must establish rules to protect them from the satanic influences on the Internet which they don’t fully understand.

Next, how can we protect our children from TV and movie violence?

1. Be more selective with the programs and moviesyouwatch. Be a good example (Titus 2:1-8). Eliminate programs from your viewing that glamorize crime, violence, cruelty, illicit sex and vulgar language. Just don’t watch those programs! Violence and sex should not be the major theme of programs for kids or adults.

Our examples speak louder than our words. We adults need to lead the way in avoiding violent entertainment. Just change channels or get up and walk out of the movie.

2. Watch programs and moviestogetherwith your children. Scientific studies show it is better if parents watch TV with their children. Many so-called “family” programs are filled with rebellion, lying, immorality and disrespect for authority. If you watch together, you can offset the bad effect on children of occasional fallacies and wrong actions shown in a TV show or movie. That way we can teach our children that such conduct is not acceptable.

3. Another important TV viewing guideline is to limit the amount of TV your family watches. Most importantly, don’t allow the TV to become your child’s babysitter, even if they aren’t watching violence and wrong programming. The average American child spends 900 hours a year in school and 1,500 hours a year watching television. A child who spends two to three or maybe four to six hours a day gawking at a TV world of make-believe and fantasy is losing vital hours which should be spent learning to relate and talk to brothers, sisters, playmates, parents and relatives. We must not let our children get lost in the fantasy world of TV.

4. Replace much of TV viewing with family interests. Revive good old-fashioned family get-togethers where family members simply talk and share interests, ideas, needs, desires; share hopes and dreams, thoughts on current world events, activities at school, at work or in the neighborhood. Most importantly, don’t let TV stifle family conversation! We need to find out what is going on in our children’s minds.

5. Help family members develop hobbies that take them away from the TV set. Find constructive hobbies like sports, photography, reading, arts and crafts, instrumental music or voice, sewing, gardening, woodworking, electronic projects, cooking, or maybe model car, plane or train building. The more a parent sets the example of having outside interests, such as hobbies, the more likely the child will develop healthy outside interests.

6. Take the necessary first step by turning off the TV set earlier, and then use that time to find interesting, thought-provoking activities for yourself and your children.

Before you watch a program, ask yourself if it encourages worthwhile ideals, values and beliefs like family life, godliness and so forth, or does it glamorize crime, indecency, intolerance, greed or cruelty?

Does the program teach true values? Or does it promote false standards of material success, personal vanity, a lack of self-restraint, or even immorality?

Will the program stimulate constructive activities like promoting skills and hobbies? Does the program encourage the desire to learn more, to be creative, to solve problems or to work and get along better with others?

Is the program wholesome adventure, humor or suspense—or is it morbid, crude, loud, violent or vulgar?

Does the program add to one’s understanding and appreciation of himself and others? Does it encourage decent human relations? Is it fair to all races and nations? Is it balanced in its approach? Or is it prejudiced, one-sided propaganda that plays on the emotions and displays a lack of knowledge? In order to protect ourselves and our children, we need to evaluate what we watch.

7. The most important point is that you should become God-centered in your television watching. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Ask yourself if you would watch that program if Jesus Christ or an angel of God were sitting right in the room with you.

James 1:22 says we must be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving ourselves.

Ezekiel 5:12 tells us that a “pestilence,” meaning a great plague of violence, is going to come on the land in the end time. We are already experiencing that growing plague of violence right now, and our children and families must be protected from it!

We know that media influences were contributing factors to the massacre in Colorado. We must recognize the various facets of this tragedy, like the violent culture in America, and then do what we can to protect our families from Satan’s violent input.

Proverbs 27:12 tells us, “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” We must see what is occurring in our society, and hide ourselves and our families from it. We must keep God’s law and do what we can to protect ourselves and our families from the violence flooding out of the mind of Satan.

Respectable Terrorists

From the June 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

It is reminiscent of the cia’s government-endorsed efforts with the drug barons of Central America: Much of the arms cache from which the Kosovo Liberation Army has fought its terrorist war against the Serbs in Kosovo has been funded by heroin sales.

Massive clandestine movements of drugs via a corridor through Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany and Italy (dubbed “the Balkan Route”) are organized by the kla through a drug smuggling cartel based in Kosovo’s provincial capital, Pristina.

The most amazing phenomenon involving the kla drug runners is their conversion in the eyes of the public from a listed terrorist organization in 1998 to a group of “freedom fighters” in the spring of 1999. State Department records list the kla as a terrorist organization which bankrolled its operations from heroin trade and loans from known terrorists such as Osama bin Laden.

Germany figures in the equation not only as a turnaround port for huge drug consignments but also as a facility for laundering cash received in the drug deals by the kla. Last year German television reported that the Bundeswehr has had a “legal residence” in Tirana since 1990, and that Germany has provided the Kosovo Albanian separatists with weapons, optical observation and radio equipment and training over the past decade. With Albania declaring that Germany is one of its strongest supporters, the connection with this ethnic Albanian drug-running terrorist group is somewhat worrisome.

Perhaps of greater concern, upon reflection, is the urging of then-nato Secretary General Manfred Wörner for Albania’s “participation in the security of southeast Europe” way back in 1995. Why would a German head of the principal security alliance in Europe be calling for Albanian involvement in European security efforts a full four years prior to the Kosovo fiasco? A little recent history is worthy of consideration.

In 1997, subsequent to the “pyramid” banking collapse in Albania and its descent into temporary chaos, Albanians took hundreds of millions of dollars into Kosovo. Additionally, huge supplies of automatic weapons and loaded cartridges were shipped out of Albania to western Macedonia.

Curiously, it was not until this high-profit activity had spread to Kosovo and western Macedonia that Albanian leaders started to call for Albania’s unification with those regions. This happened to coincide with the kla’s “ethnic cleansing” campaign in southern Kosovo where they slaughtered around 1000 Serbs.

Why are the ethnic Albanians now the good guys and Serbia the béte noir? It just so happens that Manfred Wörner had earlier given the game away.

Albania is the most sought after Balkan beachhead by both a German-dominated EU and a failing nato. Albania served as a base in the Bosnian war, in addition to Tirana featuring as a prominent base for nato exercises. Albania is a coveted prize in this whole Balkans fiasco. It is a key outpost between the Adriatic and the Eastern Mediterranean crescent. Within this arc lie the world’s busiest shipping lanes with the greatest amount of ballistic missile proliferation.

Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has already proposed a “Marshall Plan” for restructuring the Balkans and has offered the EU as prime administrator of the program of reconstruction and peace-keeping in Kosovo. Meanwhile, the U.S. has promised aid, infrastructure building and political support to a country once seemingly totally isolated from the world—Albania.

So! In an odd sort of way, the Balkan drug corridor, the kla, the EU, Germany and nato all seem to coalesce in this Kosovo crisis in the ancient, mountainous, Adriatic, strategically located country of Albania.

Viewpoint: Why Kids Kill

The Littleton massacre has the whole nation asking questions. What is God’s answer?
From the May 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

Consider this. In over a month of war against Serbia, there has not been one American casualty. Yet, in just four hours, two teenage gunmen murdered 12 schoolmates and a teacher before committing suicide. The nightmare at Columbine High School on April 20 has reawakened Americans (though not nearly enough of us) to another war being waged within our borders.

Columbine High School is unique in that it played host to the worst school shooting in American history. Aside from that grisly distinction, however, it is a story not unlike many others in recent memory. In 1992, a 20-year-old returned to his former high school in Olivehurst, California, and, upset over a failing grade, killed four people. In 1993, a 17-year-old walked into his English teacher’s class and shot her in the head. In 1996, in Moses Lake, Washington, a 14-year-old gunned down two classmates with an assault rifle. In February of 1997, a 16-year-old went to his small school in Alaska and murdered his principal and a classmate. Six months later, in Pearl, Mississippi, a 16-year-old outcast first killed his mom, then went to school and shot nine classmates, two of whom died. Two months later, a 14-year-old fired a volley of bullets on a prayer circle at a school in Paducah, Kentucky. Three of them died.

In 1998, school shootings did not abate. In March, after setting off a false alarm, two boys, ages 11 and 13, hunkered down behind a grassy knoll outside the school. Moments later, like they were shooting ducks at a carnival, they used semi-automatic rifles and handguns to kill four students and one teacher. Ten others were wounded. One month later, at an eighth-grade dance in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, a 14-year-old fatally shot a teacher and wounded two students. He had reportedly told friends that he planned to make the dance “memorable.” Less than a month later, a high school senior in Fayetteville, Tennessee, killed one of his friends at school because of a dispute about a girl. The next day, across the country, in Springfield, Oregon, a freshman boy was expelled for bringing a gun to school. The following day, the boy entered his high school cafeteria with a semi-automatic rifle and opened fire. He killed two and wounded 22 others. Later, investigators also found both of the boy’s parents shot to death.

The 1998-99 school year had been relatively quiet, as far as shootings are concerned. All that changed on April 20.

America’s schools—the “safest” not excluded—are becoming battlefields. And many people, parents especially, are asking why. Who or what is responsible? America proclaims itself an international policeman, yet cannot police its own children.

Psychologists blame the problem on our inability to address “the needs of children in terms of mental health” (Dr. Alan Unis, ABC report). But one wonders how society survived 100 years ago when guidance counselors and child psychologists didn’t really exist. Neither did school shootings. You would think a few scholars might make that connection.

The problem with the younger generation goes much deeper than needing extra guidance counselors! It’s time we turn to God to see why these problems persist and what are the real solutions.

In Isaiah 30:8, God tells us that Isaiah recorded his book for a “time to come”—that means now—the days we are living in immediately prior to the return of Jesus Christ to this earth.

In the first chapter of Isaiah, the prophet compares the end-time descendants of Israel to an ox—one of the dumbest, clumsiest animals there is. (If you have not yet proven who the end-time descendants of Israel are, you need to immediately write for The United States and Britain in Prophecy which explains this in detail.) Americans, in large part, descend from the tribe of Manasseh, one of the lost ten tribes of Israel.

In Isaiah 1:3, God says even the ox knows its owner, but the Israelites—God’s own people—do not. They have forgotten so many things which used to be so evident and understood by all. Above all, they have forgotten their Creator, God says.

Now turn to Isaiah 3 and see how fitting this description is of America today. In verses 2 and 3, God says that in the end time, He would take away the strong men of war, prudent judges, God-fearing ministers, practical counselors, skilled workers, eloquent speakers and the older, wiser generation. In other words, God has removed the real leadership from America.

If that has been removed, we should ask, what has replaced the leadership vacuum? Verse 4 says, “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.” That means two things, really. First, leaders today (as the older, wiser generation dies off) are behaving more like children than adults. Secondly, it means society itself is dominated by a rebellious adolescent spirit.

Because of this, Isaiah says, “people will oppress one another, every man his fellow and every man his neighbor…” (v. 5, Revised Standard).

Corruption reigns.

The verse concludes, “The child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable.”

Disrespect reigns.

Why?

That’s the question everyone asks after a tragedy like Littleton. The answer is that the quality leaders of verses 2 and 3 have been taken away! If we are ever to solve the problems plaguing the younger generation, we must first consider what is wrong with the older one! God says in verse 12, “They which lead you cause you to err, and destroy the way of your paths.”

To the adult generation of today, God thunders, “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.” It all gets back to family. Everything is backwards. It’s been that way for more than two generations. And we are finally beginning to reap what we began to sow 30 or 40 years ago. I realize this reasoning is far too simplistic for the intellectual elite of this day—but it is, nevertheless, true. No amount of guidance counseling will turn it around unless they are willing to tackle the real issue—the destruction within the family.

Now for the solution. At this point, I could write a lot about how different it will be when Christ returns—how He will restore government and peace within the family. How He will put an end to fornication, adultery and divorce. How He will turn the family right-side up, with the father reassuming his role as loving head and provider; the wife as a submissive helpmeet for her husband; and their children, obediently following in the steps of their parents. But for the benefit of those who are downright hostile to that instruction, let’s turn to a bit of history that most Americans should be familiar with.

George Washington was America’s first President and, next to Abraham Lincoln, perhaps the finest we’ve ever had. Though much younger than many of the other Founding Fathers, he quickly became the one the others looked to for outstanding character and leadership.

It’s been said that when George Washington’s mother was asked how she raised such a remarkable son, she replied, “I taught him to obey.” George’s father was said to have told his son, “It is not sufficient just to obey, you must learn to obey cheerfully.”

From the earliest age, George was taught to accept responsibility for his actions. He was taught to always wait patiently while his elders conducted their affairs. He learned to be quiet when elders were talking. He learned that dad was the head of the house and that his decision was final. For George, there were definite penalties for inappropriate action—most notably, spanking.

In The Making of George Washington, William Wilbur wrote, “It is worth noting that there were no negative influences in the home, no relatives who lived with the family who might modify or dilute the thoughts and principles which August [George’s father] gave his children every day.”

George grew up in a solid family. August was a father who understood that he and his wife were most responsible for the future growth and development of their son.

“Perhaps the most important factor of this fine home,” Wilbur notes, “was Mary’s cheerful acceptance of her husband’s leadership. The reason for this happy situation can be found in the teaching and philosophy of the church and society of that era.”

He goes on to quote Ephesians 5 and I Peter 3 which outline the God-ordained roles in the family.

Concerning George’s mom, Wilbur writes, “Not only did she do her part to create a happy home, she also made it possible for George to develop complete faith in his father.”

You see, when she said she taught her son to obey, it wasn’t just by command. It was by example. Mary was brought up to be obedient too. George learned obedience from his parents by what they taught—and by their example. Because of that obedience instilled in George from an early age—and because of how serious his parents viewed their responsibility to teach their children—George’s path toward greatness was a short one. He learned at an accelerated rate.

“It is difficult to overestimate the value of this gift of complete trust,” Wilbur wrote. “Because of it the boy accepted and absorbed a large store of his father’s wisdom. Equally important, as a result of the fact that George accepted everything his father said without question, the knowledge he acquired was absorbed at a fraction of the time which would have been required under other conditions. As a consequence, George matured more rapidly than the average child.”

As a man, George Washington was physically strong, a fearless military man—one of our nation’s best generals. He feared God, worked hard, gave moving speeches and was wise well beyond his years.

But how did that happen? Why did he end up so great? A great many biographies have been written which, no doubt, cover many contributing factors. It would be impossible to list them all. I have tried to give just a brief synopsis of what his upbringing was like to make a point.

In the same manner, it is impossible to cover all contributing factors which explain why a teenager would walk into English class and shoot his teacher in the head. What caused that? Poor grades? Being an outcast? Video games? Violence on television? Divorce? Music lyrics? Neo-Nazi literature?

All of those may be contributing factors. But none get right to the heart of the matter, which is this: The great George Washington could not possibly have been produced in a troubled home atmosphere rife with dissension, hatred, bickering and rebellion. And neither could a teenage killer have been produced in the loving, peaceful, obedient home atmosphere young George was raised in.

“I taught him to obey.” That’s Mary Washington’s view of why her son became so great. That, like much of what the Washingtons taught their son, was a Bible-based principle.

One of the wisest men who ever lived, Solomon, wrote that of “many books there is no end” (Eccl. 12:12). Living in the Information Age, there is no shortage of knowledge—of experts who claim to have answers, like if we only had a few more guidance counselors in schools all the mindless acts of school violence would end. What absolute ignorance!

God says we have all kinds of knowledge available, but we have forgotten Him and thereby rejected the most important knowledge of all.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (v. 13). The word “duty” is italicized in the King James, meaning translators added it. In the original Hebrew, it reads, “…this is the whole man.” What is? Fearing God and keeping the commandments.

Think about this: What good is it to teach the oncoming generation all there is to know about this Information Age if we never teach them to obey?

If obedience, more than any other factor, is what Mary attributed to George’s success, it is safe to say that disobedience, above all, is what leads to these senseless acts of violence. Those teenagers were never taught to obey—at least not in the way George was—in a loving, yet firm way.

George Washingtons don’t just happen any more than teenage killers do. They are made, above all, by the parents. God says so.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6).

So if we are looking for real solutions to the Jonesboros, the Paducahs or the Littletons, look beyond the teens. They are only the effect. The cause gets back to how we have trained them.

Over 30 years ago, the United States was sucked into a destructive, costly and unpopular war. I am not referring to Vietnam. I’m talking about the cultural revolution. It was waged by an American minority—mostly young people. The fundamental premise of their revolt was simply rebellion—rebellion against traditional standards, against high morals, against virtually any form of authority—especially parents. Back then, this rebellious minority was called a counter-culture because it wasn’t necessarily mainstream. It was actually quite shocking to the mainstream. That’s not to say that prior to the ’60s there were no rebellious children. But it certainly had never been as organized and widespread as it was then. The older generation in the ’60s had never seen anything quite like it.

Since that time, this rebellious spirit has spread like cancer. Youthful rebels did not go away when the ’60s ended. They became administrators, professors, politicians—and parents.

The result?

What started as a rebellion from the bottom is now taught from the top. What once was shocking now seems innocent. And above all, what once was counter-culture is now popular culture.

Yes, the rebellious youth culture has won the cultural revolution. And now, making matters worse, the “innocent” rebels of yesteryear have raised up a generation that now oppresses us.

I wonder if people realize just how much teenagers have taken over.

Who determines popular fashions today? Who determines what is popular music? Who do advertisers target above all? Who determines motion picture and television themes? In which group is there rampant promiscuity? Which group glamorizes drugs? And which group commits three times as many crimes as adults?

Teens.

Our children have become our oppressors. In its extreme, this oppressiveness manifests itself in places like Littleton and Jonesboro.

And when it rears its ugly head in a tragedy as despicable as Littleton, psychologists, counselors, ministers, even parents, would have us believe that those things “just happen”—if only there were a few more counselors around to help children find their inner selves.

Please.

Our younger generation is the way it is because of the sins of the older generation. This society is what we have made it to be.

Unwelcome Immigrants

From the May 1999 Trumpet Print Edition

The election of center-left governments in Western Europe has galvanized the far right into an offensive against liberal immigration laws in the EU’s leading countries. In France, right-winger Bruno Megret promises a cash reward in his campaign for election. If he has his way, couples who produce racially correct offspring will be given a cash bonus.

A one-time fascist from Italy, Gianfranco Fini, receives plaudits from the public for his right-wing ravings against Italy’s 13 million foreign residents.

The Christian democrats of Germany mount strong resistance to Gerhard Schröder’s stated policy for the liberalization of citizenship laws for immigrants, largely from Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Each of these countries is now fighting seemingly endemic unemployment. The ranks of the existing unemployed are due to swell over the next year due to the spate of corporate mergers trailing in the wake of globalization and the effect of the euro.

Under such conditions the right-wingers will have an increasingly appreciative audience as they call for closure of their euro-free borders—a grim reminder of the past—to further immigration. Race will yet become, once again, a key issue in European politics.