Russia’s Attack Signals Dangerous New Era

Russia’s Attack Signals Dangerous New Era

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

From the October 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more!

It is critical you understand the meaning behind this attack.

Look at a map of the Caucasus region (see page 3). Almost all of Russia’s oil comes from the Baku region on the western Caspian Sea. The Baku-Supsa oil pipeline cuts right through Georgia, and until recently it transported oil through this strategic area free from Russian control. Since Russia’s invasion, that is no longer the case. Russia now has control over the oil and gas going through those pipelines, amounting to many billions of dollars’ worth!

Russia is determined to be an energy superpower in an age when the whole modern world is hungry for energy. If Russia sees its primary source of oil being threatened, it is going to fight!

We can understand Russia’s violent actions far better in light of some recent history in the Balkans.

Breaking Promises to Russia

“U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton had promised the Russians that NATO would not expand into the former Soviet Union empire,” wrote George Friedman of Stratfor. “That promise had already been broken in 1998 by NATO’s expansion to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic—and again in the 2004 expansion, which absorbed not only the rest of the former Soviet satellites in what is now Central Europe, but also the three Baltic states, which had been components of the Soviet Union” (August 12).

Today, you have the son of one of those presidents trying to also bring Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. I don’t believe Russia will ever allow that to happen.

Friedman continued, “The Russians had tolerated all that, but the discussion of including Ukraine in NATO represented a fundamental threat to Russia’s national security. It would have rendered Russia indefensible and threatened to destabilize the Russian Federation itself. When the United States went so far as to suggest that Georgia be included as well, bringing NATO deeper into the Caucasus, the Russian conclusion—publicly stated—was that the United States in particular intended to encircle and break Russia” (emphasis mine throughout).

Making Georgia a part of NATO would put the security of Russian oil on the western Caspian at serious risk. All it would take is 30 minutes of bombing to knock out this major source of Russian energy! So as far as Russia is concerned, this is a matter ofsurvival. I don’t believe America’s president understands just how serious this issue is to the Russians.

However, I also don’t believe that Russia is so afraid of the United States. Yes, the U.S. could bomb that area—but that is highly unlikely. The nation the Russians truly fear is Germany.

Turning Kosovo Over to Germany

Dr. Friedman went on to describe Russia’s response to the decision by Europe and the U.S. to support Kosovo separating from Serbia. Moscow was against it because it didn’t want similar independence movements in Russian territories getting any stronger. “The Russians publicly and privately asked that Kosovo not be given formal independence, but instead continue its informal autonomy, which was the same thing in practical terms. Russia’s requests were ignored. …

“From the Kosovo experience, [Moscow] concluded that the United States and Europe were not prepared to consider Russian wishes even in fairly minor affairs. That was the breaking point. If Russian desires could not be accommodated even in a minor matter like this, then clearly Russia and the West were in conflict. For the Russians, as we said, the question was how to respond. Having declined to respond in Kosovo, the Russians decided to respond where they had all the cards: in South Ossetia” (ibid.).

Russia wanted a war—and for an important reason! Kosovo was the breaking point.

Remember that history. Germany supported the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. All of Europe and America were openly hostile to Germany’s action at that time, but Europe caved in when Germany threatened to pull out of the European Union. Soon, civil war broke out in Yugoslavia. The U.S. secretary of state at the time said Germany was responsible for the war in the Balkans—but he quickly shut his mouth. The “superpower” America fell in step with Germany!

This foreign-policy shift in 1991 enraged America’s traditional allies Britain, France and the Netherlands. These nations saw what Germany was doing, not only in Yugoslavia, but all over Europe. Postwar Europe had hoped to keep powerful Germany under control—with help from the U.S.! Instead, America helped Germany enforce its will on Europe!

Once the U.S. released and then supported this European beast in Croatia and Slovenia, there was no stopping it. It didn’t cease until all of Yugoslavia was under its strong influence or control!

Kosovo was a turning point in the Yugoslavia war. After this state essentially came under German influence and control, the rest of Yugoslavia was certain to fall. When Germany’s oppressive influence moved beyond Croatia and Slovenia, the careful observer could see that Germany’s ambition was to control all of Yugoslavia.

Germany’s defense minister at the time, Volker Rühe, urged the use of force against Serbia regardless of backing from the United Nations. “We must avoid to be dependent on a Russian veto,” he said at a meeting of nato defense ministers. He said that the relationship between NATO and Russia meant that “Russia has no veto whenever NATO needs to act.” Russia was going to veto it, and Germany wanted to get around that—and convinced the U.S. to join in!

So Germany led the U.S. into breaking its promises to Russia.

You can read about this history in my booklet The Rising Beast—Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans. In that booklet, I called Yugoslavia “the first military victim of World War III”—that is how significant this was!

Russia rightly blames the U.S. for what happened. We lied to Russia about expanding NATO, and then ignored Russia over Yugoslavia, which culminated in Kosovo declaring independence this year.

The U.S. allowed itself to be a tool of Europe—and helped its rise! America bombed Serbia into submission and then handed it over to a German-led European Union! If you know Europe’s history and prophecy, you realize what a shameful act that truly was! America likes to think of itself as squeaky clean and righteous, driven by only the purest motives. But this was truly an act of treachery—and incredible weakness.

We have written quite a lot about this issue, and receive many sympathetic letters from Serbs who were double-crossed by America. Remember: The Serbs were America’s allies in World Wars I and II, and Germany was our enemy! In the Yugoslav wars, everything wasturned around.

America is one of the modern nations descended from biblical Israel. We have a history with God. We should be setting the example for the world! When we make a promise, we should keep it! And we should be placing our faith in God rather than in our enemies. Today, Yugoslavia is gone because of our evil.

The Intelligence Digest of Aug. 11-25, 1995, said this: “Germany’s control of Western Europe is exercised through the European Union (EU), and American support for German dominance of the EU has been evident since at least 1990. … [Washington] is following an intentional policy the purpose of which is to leave both east and west Europe under complete German domination. …

“So Germany, with the full backing of America, is to be the sole great power of Europe.”

In biblical prophecy, God condemns America for treating the Germans like our “lovers”! He prophesies that this relationship will end in our destruction! (See Ezekiel 23; you can read about this prophecy in our book Ezekiel—The End-Time Prophet.)

Russia’s Revenge

Russia shrewdly evaluated these events and saw an opportunity.

In not taking action over the Kosovo issue, “Moscow had two motives, the lesser of which was as a tit-for-tat over Kosovo,” George Friedman observed. “If Kosovo could be declared independent under Western sponsorship, then South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two breakaway regions of Georgia, could be declared independent under Russian sponsorship.” Those two breakaway regions have many Russian sympathizers. “Any objections from the United States and Europe would simply confirm their hypocrisy.” In other words, Russia could say, Hey—that’s what you did in Kosovo and the Balkans—you just went in and conquered the whole area! Don’t accuse us for simply doing what you did!

This strategy worked to perfection once Russia invaded Georgia. “The Russians knew the United States would denounce their attack,” Friedman wrote. “This actually plays into Russian hands. The more vocal senior leaders are, the greater the contrast with their inaction, and the Russians wanted to drive home the idea that American guarantees are empty talk” (op. cit.).

Does Russia fear America? Not very much. And it is using this opportunity to make the U.S. look stupid and weak before the whole world!

Russia had been planning for this invasion for some time. As Ralph Peters wrote in the New York Post, “Let’s be clear: For all that U.S. commentators and diplomats are still chattering about Russia’s ‘response’ to Georgia’s actions, the Kremlin spent months planning and preparing this operation. Any soldier above the grade of private can tell you that there’s absolutely no way Moscow could’ve launched this huge ground, air and sea offensive in an instantaneous ‘response’ to alleged Georgian actions. …

“Every one of these things required careful preparations. In the words of one U.S. officer, ‘Just to line up the airlift sorties would’ve taken weeks.’

“Working through their mercenaries in South Ossetia, Russia staged brutal provocations against Georgia from late July onward. Last Thursday, Georgia’s president finally had to act to defend his own people.

“But when the mouse stirred, the cat pounced” (August 12). How much have you read about this in the news?

Vladimir Putin is called the prime minister of Russia, but that is a cover-up. He really is the dictator of Russia. He called the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.” That gives you some insight into his thinking. He is trying to resurrect the Soviet empire. He may not want to exercise the kind of brutality of some of his predecessors, but he certainly is intent on using whatever power is necessary to secure his country’s resources! When this former kgb agent calls the Soviet collapse a “disaster,” you have to believe he is going to do something about it! Remember how Adolf Hitler told the world exactly what he was going to do in his book Mein Kampf, years before he did it? Why will we never heed such warnings?

Friedman concluded, “The war in Georgia, therefore, is Russia’s public return to great power status.”

That is exactly right. The Bible warns us to expect a great power rising from the East. It calls it “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). The attack on Georgia was the first act of war from the kings of the east!

Outmaneuvering America

Melik Kaylan wrote in the August 13 Wall Street Journal about the damage the attack on Georgia will do to the world, especially America. “Having overestimated the power of the Soviet Union in its last years, we have consistently underestimated the ambitions of Russia since. … [F]ew have noticed the direct strategic threat of Moscow’s action to U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Kremlin is not about to reignite the Cold War for the love of a few thousand Ossetians or even for its animosity toward 5 million Georgians. This is calculated strategic maneuvering.”

Maneuvering for what? “[M]ake no mistake, it’s about countering U.S. power at its furthest stretch with Moscow’s power very close to home.”

Russia is challenging America. The Soviet empire is making a comeback! “In effect, we in the West are being challenged by Russian actions in Georgia to show that we have the nerve and the stamina to secure the gains not just of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but of the entire collapse of Soviet power,” Kaylan wrote.

These Central Asian countries are prime trade partners with Afghanistan. If Russia gains control of them again, it could choke off trade to Afghanistan, which could seriously hamper U.S. and NATO efforts there. “We could walk away from this challenge, hoping for things to cool off, and let the Russians impose sway over the lower Caucasus for now. But no one will fail to notice our weakness. If we don’t draw the line here, it doesn’t get easier down the road with any other border or country. We would be risking the future of Afghanistan, and the stability of Iraq, on the good will of Moscow and the mullahs in Tehran. This is how the game of grand strategy is played, whether we like it or not” (ibid.).

Look at the response of the U.S. to this catastrophe. Russia knew it would be weak and timid—and it was right!

America: An Unstable Ally

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been a strong ally of the U.S. He graduated from two colleges in the U.S. and has been trying to build a strong democracy in Georgia. His nation is so strongly pro-American that it named a street in its capital after George W. Bush. The New York Times wrote, “In recent years, Mr. Bush has lavished praise on Georgia—and the so-called Rose Revolution that brought Mikheil Saakashvili to power—as a model of democracy-building. The feeling was mutual: When Mr. Bush visited Tbilisi in 2005, the authorities estimated that 150,000 people showed up to see him” (August 10).

What are those 150,000 people thinking now? Surely they are bitterly disillusioned with the U.S. “We killed as many of them as we could,” one Georgian soldier told the New York Times. “But where are our friends?” Good question!

During his 2005 visit to Georgia, President Bush told its people, “As you build a free and democratic Georgia, the American people will stand with you.” Did they?

The U.S. is building a pattern of such weakness and disloyalty. Look at Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf decided to join America’s war on terror—and that decision probably cost him his job! Now that he has resigned, that nation has become far more dangerous—and it has nuclear bombs!

Look at Lebanon. The U.S. applauded its move toward democracy—but then did nothing when Hezbollah took over. Right now, this Iranian-sponsored terrorist organization has veto power over the Lebanese government!

Over and over, the countries that trust America are going down!

What do you suppose the Iranians are thinking as they watch Russia wrest Georgia away from its alliance with the U.S.—and America does nothing? That is inspiring to them! They rejoice over every sign of American weakness—of which there are plenty. They are in a waiting game with the U.S. over Iraq, ready to take control after the U.S. leaves. The most popular U.S. presidential candidate seems intent on pulling U.S. forces from Iraq just as soon as he can get away with it.

Wait and see: The tide is about to turn in Iraq. God has broken the pride of our power (Leviticus 26:19).

Russia and Germany—Behind the Scenes

Let’s look more deeply at some evidence of what may be occurring behind the scenes with Russia’s invasion.

Russia has much at stake in the Caucasus (see sidebar, page 6). It is extremely sensitive to anyone getting close to that area. Again, it doesn’t fear the U.S. much—but it does fear Germany, and will do what it needs to in order to neutralize it.

Actually, Russia and Germany fear each other. Russia supplies quite a lot of Europe’s energy—especially Germany’s—and that gives it power.

By attacking Georgia, Ralph Peters wrote, “The Kremlin is telling Europe: We not only have the power to turn off Siberian gas, we can turn off every tap in the region, any time we choose” (op. cit.).

The Wall Street Journal added, “… Putin’s Russia got its hands around the energy-needy throats of Germans, the French, Italians and many other Europeans.” This is a cutthroat business! “When this crisis ends, Georgia will be either a model for a world that works or a world whose members do business with knives,” it said. “If the world’s foreign ministries, ceos, investors and policy intellectuals can’t see the implications for their world in Georgia’s fate, it’s time to reorder our best efforts to playing by Mr. Putin’s rules” (August 14).

That is the way it is so often in this world! That is reality—and it is about to get even more fiercely competitive!

But look at history. Every time competition between Russia and Germany heats up, they form a deal with one another—just before going to war!

On April 1 on theTrumpet.com, we wrote, “On the one hand, Russia needs Ukraine and Georgia to be aligned with itself. It cannot afford to have NATO forces based in countries so crucial for its own national security. … Recently, however, U.S. President George W. Bush met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. At this meeting, Bush said that Washington would push for Georgia to be given a Membership Action Plan (map), a road map to entry into NATO. Bush also said it would do the same for Ukraine.

“By pushing for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, the United States pits itself directly against Russia.”

Many in NATO are all for giving out the maps. Last year, the Merkel administration said it supported giving maps to Ukraine and Georgia. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German minister of foreign affairs, also sounded like he was in favor of Georgia joining NATO.

However, Steinmeier, for one, has since come out against the plan. “Now Berlin is arguing strongly against a Georgian map,” we wrote in April. “It says Georgia is not qualified for a map because of unresolved conflicts on its territory. Berlin has also argued, off the record, that ‘Russia has no veto, but Russia’s views must be taken into account’; ‘Russia is a factor [in decision making] and this is undeniable,’ and ‘Russian concerns cannot be ignored if we want a real partnership with Russia.’ This is the opposite of what Germany said a year ago. Steinmeier is now saying, ‘I cannot hide my skepticism’ about Georgia and Ukraine joining the alliance.”

Why would Steinmeier suddenly be so against moving toward NATO membership for Georgia or Ukraine? Germany is sending mixed signals to the world. But what are the German leaders saying privately to the Russians about Georgia and Ukraine?

Germany knows Russia can be very brutal. Perhaps Putin told Germany, We didn’t do anything about Kosovo and the Serbs—you’d better stay out of the Caucasus! If you give us problems over Georgia or Ukraine, we’re cutting off your energy—or we’re going to war! And we have a lot of nuclear weapons!

I believe Germany may well have been complicit in Russia’s plan to attack Georgia! If Russia formed an agreement with Germany over the Georgia situation, then Russia would know the only possible other nation it would have to be concerned about is the U.S. And Russia knew that America was too weak to do anything about it!

Russia has Germany—and all of Europe—over a barrel. Cutting off part of the flow of gas to a country would wreak havoc on the economy!

Steinmeier’s about-face on Ukraine and Georgia smells rotten! The U.S. is extremely foolish to trust in this nation—to treat it as a “lover.” That ignorance is sure to end in the greatest possible disaster!

The fact that Steinmeier was so quick to dismiss the idea of NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine tells you something else: Germany sees that it doesn’t have a future with NATO anyway! Its ultimate plan is to kick NATO aside and stand as an independent power! It doesn’t respect America’s view on these nations. So America ends up being a dupe all along the way.

The relationship between Russia and Germany is very tense right now. Germany ignored Russia over Kosovo—but Russia will not be ignored anymore. The presence of a deal between these two nations is not a sign of peace. Like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and so many others before it, it is a sign of exactly the opposite. Both of these nations are looking to secure their shared border—so they can pursue their imperialistic aims elsewhere! It is a precursor to war! That is the way they operate! And the U.S. has no clue.

What to Watch

Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied back in 1956 that Germany would get control of the Balkans. How did he know?

In Daniel 2 is a prophecy depicting a series of world-ruling Gentile empires in the form of a statue. The legs and feet of the statue represent the Roman Empire, which has historically been split into “two legs,” east and west. The feet represent the final rise of this empire in these last days. Mr. Armstrong wrote, “The strong indication of these prophecies, then, is that some of the Balkan nations are going to tear away from behind the Iron Curtain.”

Actually, they didn’t “tear away.” The U.S. helped to tear them away—so they could join the prophesied beast power! That fact would have shocked Mr. Armstrong!

In a letter on Feb. 18, 1980, Mr. Armstrong wrote, “There will now be an effort to bring Yugoslavia into the Holy Roman Empire alliance!” Again—it was the prophecies of the Bible that enabled him to know that!

The Daniel 2 prophecy and several others show that the coming European empire will be comprised of “ten kings,” which could represent 10 nations or groups of nations. Mr. Armstrong often taught that a political or economic crisis would spark these “ten kings” to strongly unite very quickly.

The fact that Russia has launched a war shows just how easily such a crisis could occur!

Will the Georgia strike actually spark European unification? Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well.

We have witnessed the beginning of a new era! We saw an extraordinary military strike by one of the kings of the east! And don’t forget China, another of those “kings.” It is making inroads all over the world (see article, page 8). What power those kings of the east are amassing—and so quickly! Europe can see it! And it is formulating a counterstrategy.

The whole world should see this developing and realize: This will inevitably end in nuclear war!

Watch Europe to see how it responds to these dramatic developments in Asia. Another prophecy in Daniel shows what we should be looking for. It says that Europe is about to be taken over by “a king of fierce countenance” (Daniel 8:23). He will be an extremely shrewd, cunning, deceitful strongman.

Watch for the rise of this strongman very soon—perhaps even months from now! As Russia gets stronger, as the world grows more dangerous, as economic problems escalate, the Germans will be crying out for strong leadership! They are looking for a king—with a fierce enough countenance to stand up to Vladimir Putin!

“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft [or deceit, fraud, falsehood, treachery] to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many …” (verses 24-25).

Is Angela Merkel going to be that “king of fierce countenance”? No. Germans will be looking for a strongman!

War With the Lamb

We often quote Daniel 11:40, which speaks of a clash in this end time between the king of the north—that European empire—and the king of the south, a radical Middle Eastern power led by Iran. At the time this prophecy is fulfilled, America is so weak, it is not even mentioned!

Notice how this spectacular prophecy continues: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him …” (verse 44). The king of the north, after destroying the king of the south, will be troubled by what is happening to its east and north—that is, in China and Russia!

You can already see the fulfillment of this prophecy occurring in embryo today! Europe is deeply troubled by developments in Russia and China. It is plotting what to do about it. Daniel’s prophecy continues, “therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” This European empire will launch a furious preemptive strike against that Asian army. These events are also described in detail in the book of Revelation. (Request our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy.)

Revelation says the Asian army will number an astonishing 200 million men! And it is going to counterattack against Europe and obliterate it. This is warfare like this world has never seen.

There is wonderfully good news in the midst of all these horrors. In Joel 2:11, this Asian army is actually called God’s army. The great Creator God will inspire it to wreak havoc on the European beast power. Then both of these armies will gather in Armageddon to fight each other, but will end up fighting Christ at His Second Coming—and both be soundly defeated.

The “king of fierce countenance” will try to fight Christ, and will be “broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25). The armies will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them (Revelation 17:12-14). That will mark the beginning of a new, peaceful age for the whole Earth!

But realize what horrifying blackness will occur before the dawn of that day. It will be a time of suffering unlike any in human history. And we are already seeing the beginnings of that blackness!

Are you awake to what is really happening in this world?

In the last issue of the Trumpet, I said that we had passed the point of no return for America, Britain and the Jews in the Middle East. (That is also explained in my new booklet on Lamentations.) Within a couple of weeks, Russia invaded Georgia! The first act of war by the kings of the east!

Think about this: The soldiers that marched into Georgia are some of the same soldiers that will march from Megiddo to Jerusalem to be destroyed by Jesus Christ Himself!

That is how close we are getting to the end of this age of man! Are you ready for what is about to occur?

The Next Nuclear Superpower

The Next Nuclear Superpower

VAHI REZA ALAEE/AFP/Getty Images

Are the nuclear warheads America is storing in Europe about to come under German control?
From the October 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

Germany has a nuclear arsenal that includes approximately 20 b61 nuclear bombs and around 130 other nuclear devices. Of course, the Germans do not actually own these nuclear weapons, but they do keep them and train their fighter pilots how to use them.

These weapons are part of the American nuclear arsenal in Europe. Washington currently has approximately 350 nuclear weapons scattered across Europe in Turkey, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and, of course, Germany.

The release of a confidential U.S. Air Force report in June claiming that U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe are not properly guarded by American security officials sparked a debate in Germany over whether or not these warheads should remain in Germany or be withdrawn. Amid fears that Islamic terrorists could pirate the fissionable material out of some of these bombs, several politicians from the Social Democratic Party and minor opposition parties called for the weapons to be removed to the United States. The ruling Christian Democratic Party and the German Defense Ministry affirmed, however, that they don’t want these nuclear weapons anywhere but where they are right now.

Christian Democrat foreign-policy spokesman Eckart von Klaeden says Germany’s strategy of nuclear deterrence must be preserved and that Germany cannot afford to relinquish nuclear weapons as long as there are nuclear weapons elsewhere in the world (Spiegel, June 23). These comments were echoed by German Deputy Defense Minister Thomas Kossendey in a speech he gave before the German parliament’s lower house in late June defending the strategic asset of American nukes in Germany.

German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung went even further, saying he wants to keep both the nuclear weapons and several Tornado fighter jets (capable of dropping nuclear bombs) on reserve until at least 2020 for a possible nuclear war.

Comments like these echo remarks made two years ago by former German Defense Minister Rupert Scholz, who said that Germany needed to develop its own national nuclear arsenal as a security measure against terrorist-sponsoring states.

With Iran on the brink of attaining nuclear weapons—not to mention the possibility of nuclear technology falling into the hands of any of several independent terrorist groups—the threat of nuclear war is growing. Some German officials are clearly using this as a pretext for keeping America’s nuclear weapons within their reach—potentially making Germany a nuclear power in its own right.

The Grand Design

Back in July of 1983, Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong met with Dr. Otto von Habsburg, head of the 700-year-old House of Habsburg and visionary architect of today’s expanding European Union. Here is what Mr. Armstrong related in a July 24, 1983, co-worker letter regarding Dr. Habsburg’s views on European unification: “In my private meeting with him, Dr. Habsburg expressed disappointment that progress on the European reunification had moved so slowly. I expressed the conviction that some totally unexpected world-shocking event could occur suddenly at any time that would high-pressure European nations to go together overnight, adopting the constitution already prepared by the European Parliament. This Parliament, although without substantial power, is composed of leaders who are framing the constitution in advance. He mentioned that there are madmen such as [Libya’s] Qadhafi and [Iran’s] Khomeini who could pull off some startlingly unexpected international act that would press the panic button in Europe.”

If a terrorist-sponsoring nation such as Iran were to conduct a major terrorist strike against Germany or some other European state, the whole continent could unite overnight. That was Dr. Habsburg’s view on the issue. Today, several key members of Germany’s current government are saying they want to keep America’s nuclear weapons around for just such an eventuality.

The threat of Islamic terrorism and the problem of illegal immigration are increasingly driving Germans to right-wing politics. Most of the opposition to the idea of keeping American nuclear power in Germany is coming from the left-wing Social Democrats. The popularity of this party is declining, however, even as the center-right Christian Democrats gain strength. As this trend continues, calls to retain America’s nuclear weapons in Germany will only get louder.

More than this, the voices now calling to retain these nuclear weapons may soon start calling for more control over them. If securing the weapons is too much of a problem for the United States, the Germans may prove willing to fill that role. Both John McCain and Barack Obama, the U.S. presidential candidates, have indicated they will push for Europe to take on a more robust military role on the world scene if elected. It is entirely possible that German security guards could soon be guarding the b61 nuclear weapons already stored on their air force bases.

This scenario is very similar to a worldview espoused by the late Dr. Franz Josef Strauss, long-time premier of the German state of Bavaria and influential Christian Social Union politician. Strauss, who was hailed as the “strongman of Europe” in his day, wrote in his book The Grand Design: “Europe ought to have concentrated all its efforts on developing the defense of its territory on an independent basis. I can well see the day in which America, given the creation of a European nuclear force in which the United States is not itself a participant, would be entirely willing to cooperate with assistance in research and with deliveries of materials. At least such a prospect is more likely than that Washington would find itself willing to give up the American right to veto in an Atlantic nuclear force and thereby risk having this force used against the wishes of the United States.”

It is possible a German-led European Union could develop an independent nuclear force in cooperation with the United States if the next U.S. president endorses the EU accepting more global peacekeeping responsibilities. For a time, this would seem to be a mutually beneficial relationship—Europe and America working together in an attempt to bring about world stability. An end-time flowering of German-U.S. relations is in fact prophesied in the Bible, in Ezekiel 23.

If the U.S. economy collapsed into a major depression, however, this partnership would be quickly stripped of its American half, and a united Europe transformed into the world’s next nuclear superpower by taking over control of U.S. nuclear assets on German soil, added to France’s existing nuclear capability.

Nuclear Holocaust

In the April 1980 issue of the Plain Truth magazine, Herbert Armstrong actually forecasted exactly such an eventuality—that of a nuclear-armed European empire.

“You may be sure the West European leaders are conferring hurriedly and secretly about how and how soon they may unite and provide a united European military force so they can defend themselves!” he wrote. “And so they will no longer have to give in meekly to Russia! And who will they blame for their humiliation and their necessity now to have a united Europe, with a united government, a common currency, and a common military force as great or greater than either the ussr or the U.S.A.? They will blame the United States! And when they are strong enough to assert themselves, they will first attack Britain for standing firm with the U.S., and then they will return a lot of hydrogen bombs the U.S. has stored now in Europe!” (emphasis mine).

As shocking as this scenario may sound, it is prophesied in your Bible. Ezekiel 23 tells of a time when the hypocritical nations of Israel (modern-day America and Britain) will work together with Assyria (modern-day Germany) as lovers. This relationship is prophesied to be short-lived, however, before God raises up the Assyrians against His people in punishment. Prophecies such as Isaiah 10:5-6 speak of Germany being used as the rod of God’s anger against America and Britain. Other passages, such as Matthew 24:21-22, indicate that this punishment will come in the form of nuclear blitzkrieg.

For a more detailed explanation of Germany’s nuclear future, request a free copy of our booklet Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany.

The U.S. Economy

Remembering the accurate forecasting of Herbert Armstrong
From the September 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

This magazine walks in the footsteps of the Plain Truth, founded in 1933 by Herbert W. Armstrong. For more than five decades under his stewardship, the Plain Truth powerfully explained the connection between world events and Bible prophecy.

Mr. Armstrong’s keynote prophecy was of a coming united European superpower. He declared this prophecy even as the smoke from World War ii billowed over the European landscape in the 1940s—and never stopped until he died in 1986. Europe’s rise, he warned, would immediately precede the catastrophic events Jesus Christ discussed in Matthew 24.

But Mr. Armstrong didn’t merely state that a resurrected European empire was imminent. He explained in graphic detail how it would occur. We need to take note of his gripping explanation: It has never been more pertinent!

Mr. Armstrong warned that a massive financial crisis—centered in America, but which would affect the whole world—would spark the rise of a European superstate.

A massive banking crisis in America, he wrote in July 1984, “could suddenly result in triggering European nations to unite as a new world power larger than either the Soviet Union or the U.S. That, in turn, could bring on the great tribulation suddenly. And that will lead quickly to the Second Coming of Christ, and end of this world as we know it” (emphasis his). Consider those words in light of America’s unraveling financial system.

In August 1984, when the Cold War was at its height, Mr. Armstrong explained what would precipitate the ignition of the nuclear catastrophe described in Matthew 24. “Now we’re hearing in the news of a soon-coming nuclear winter,” he wrote. “Nuclear explosions will produce an Earth-covering cloud that will give us a nuclear night. The sun will not get through. Crops will not grow. Billions will be killed by the nuclear blasts. Those remaining will starve. …

[T]his is no wolf-wolf cry! It is prophesied in your Bible! It is real! And … economic crisis threatens to bring this about ….”

We need the faith to connect Mr. Armstrong’s warning to the turmoil currently gripping America’s financial system and the effects it is having on the rest of the world.

Trust in the U.S. financial system has been the backbone of the international economic system. Today that is plummeting. Assumptions are being questioned. Perceptions are changing. Confidence in America’s economic supremacy and leadership is cracking—rapidly—and the world is beginning to transform!

A large global poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that, “with only a few exceptions, the American economy is now seen as having a negative impact on national economies, both large and small, in all parts of the world” (June 12). The world is now positioning itself for America’s economic crash.

Germany, Europe and the rest of the world are mocking the U.S. Federal Reserve. In fact, confidence in the Fed is so low the International Monetary Fund (imf) wants to examine the U.S. financial system. “As part of the assessment,” Germany’s Spiegel Online wrote, “the Fed, the Securities and Exchange Commission (sec), the major investment banks, mortgage banks and hedge funds will be asked to hand over confidential documents to the imf team. They will be required to answer the questions they are asked during interviews. Their databases will be subjected to so-called stress tests …” (June 26).

The world is deeply alarmed by America’s economic health. As confidence in the U.S. economy tumbles, the number of people looking to reinvest their trust and confidence elsewhere is quickly rising. The need for a stable, well-managed financial system to stabilize the global financial system is growing.

That urgent need is increasingly being met—by Europe. Just as Mr. Armstrong, year after year, decade after decade, warned would happen. As economic crises worsen, it will get easier for people to see how they are precipitating the resurrection of a European superpower.

How could Herbert Armstrong—who has been dead for 22 years—make this forecast so accurately? Where did his understanding come from? Those are two of the most important questions you could ask as you read the Trumpet. Request a free copy of our “He Was Right” sample issue for more.

Ambassadors of Entertainment

Ambassadors of Entertainment

Trumpet

Musical group represents a college and a vision of the future.
From the October 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

Dressed in the dazzling and the debonair, seven young men and seven young women explode onto the stage—every movement drenched with enthusiasm, every face charged with a joy that literally begins to shake the room. An entire elementary school student body is clapping, tapping and cheering to the upbeat look and sound of this unique group. They have attended “show choir” assemblies before—but there is something special about this one.

That is a typical reaction to a performance by the Herbert W. Armstrong College Young Ambassadors—a 14-member singing and dancing group that tours the community and produces an annual film that features an inspiring and uplifting musical revue.

This college is sponsored by the Philadelphia Church of God, which also sponsors the Trumpet magazine. Since Herbert W. Armstrong College is patterned after Ambassador College (founded by Herbert Armstrong), it is only fitting that we resurrect the same group which so magnificently represented that college. The term “show choir” doesn’t quite do justice to what they accomplished under Mr. Armstrong. They truly were ambassadors. Each year, they produced full-length films that gave an entertaining tour of the campus and were viewed each fall by Worldwide Church of God members at Feast of Tabernacles sites around the world. Two of those films, Festival 1981 and Festival 1982, were even broadcast on Jordan tv, which showcased the college to the entire nation of Jordan and surrounding Middle East nations.

What the Young Ambassadors really represented was a wholesome, uplifting form of entertainment that has become more and more rare since their founding.

Their biggest fan, Mr. Armstrong, had some of the Young Ambassadors over to his home one evening in 1984—an event that was filmed and included in Festival 1984. “You Young Ambassadors are doing a great service to the people of the Church,” he told them, “and many of the children are beginning to learn a better kind of music ….” He then explained how so much of modern music was “one of the things that [is] ruining young people right along with drugs, excess alcohol, illicit sex. Those things all go together—and wrong music. It’s time that the people in the Church know the difference in music, and I’m glad they’re coming to learn some of the music that you young people sing.”

Mr. Armstrong said that one of the highlights of his year was getting to preview those festival films. He watched them again and again. He even viewed one of these films with Israeli leaders in his hotel room during a visit to Jerusalem, and “they thoroughly enjoyed it,” he told Church members (member letter, March 25, 1983).

Mr. Armstrong died in 1986; the Young Ambassador program died with Ambassador College in the early 1990s. Those Young Ambassadors who inspired Mr. Armstrong, thousands of Church members (this writer included) and even a select portion of world leaders left some big shoes to fill. We knew that when we resurrected the YA program in the fall of 2005.

Since then, the Herbert W. Armstrong College Young Ambassadors have been living up to their name—representing the college, the pcg and fine entertainment to all those they come in contact with.

We have produced three festival films (Festival 2006, Festival 2007 and Festival 2008). Taping usually occurs on the hwac campus and mostly during the students’ spring break. Sometimes the group will venture out to film at a specialized location that fits a particular song. The group has filmed at several places around Oklahoma.

It’s not just the film locales that take the group off campus, though. The Young Ambassadors perform for the community at elementary schools, retirement homes and dinner club meetings. The group sang the United States national anthem for Oklahoma City’s minor league baseball team in May 2007. They also performed for the LibertyFest parade on July 4, 2006. They sang and danced on a float they built, and won fourth place in their category for the float. (Some of these performances can be viewed online.)

As artistic director, I am privileged to work with these fine young people and follow them on their community tours. The reactions they receive from the community venues where they perform are truly stunning. Most of those booking us know that we represent a church-sponsored college—but we don’t go to them with religion. We don’t go to them with songs about Jesus (the public schools would kick us out faster than you could say “bebop”). We simply showcase our repertoire of uplifting, wholesome music: including Broadway musical numbers, Disney favorites, swing/jazz hits and popular ballads. In a world where dancing has become negative, androgynous, arrogant and provocative, our dancing emphasizes positive energy, masculine and feminine grace, poise, strength, athleticism and artistry, and absolutely nothing sexually charged.

Most of our Young Ambassadors are not trained singers or dancers. Our recordings aren’t necessarily of Grammy-winning caliber, nor are our couples ready to hold their own at the next ballroom competition. The oohs, ahs, clapping-along and cheers we receive from our audiences, however, remind us simply of what a refreshing breath of air this type of entertainment is in this dark world. We hear reports of parents talking about the assembly their child went to and how that was all the students could talk about when they got home.

Our college’s motto is “Education With Vision.” Here we teach a vision of a time when godly education will permeate the planet. Our singing and dancing—though many songs are of yesteryear—evoke music and entertainment of a future time. We represent not only a college or a church, but a world soon to come.

Why You Should Be Concerned About Australia’s Drought

From the September 2008 Trumpet Print Edition

Drought is endemic to Australia. Access to water is a defining feature of the Aussie lifestyle, affecting everything from literature to the economy, demographics (80 percent of the population lives near the coast) to the gritty Aussie spirit.

Australians might be accustomed to bouts of dry weather, but they’ve never experienced anything like this: They are presently enduring theworst drought in recorded history. It’s not just a few parched parcels of land groaning for relief. Almost the entire country—which is nearly the size of the contiguous United States—lacks for water to one degree or another.

Water restrictions, many severe, have been imposed in every major city across the country. Drought is transforming the nation. Just ask the farmers. Since 2003 drought has driven more than 10,000 Australian farming families off the land. Thousands of others have gone bankrupt.

The suffering isn’t confined to farmers. Food bills in Australia have risen 45 percent in the past decade. Moreover, the consequences are truly global; they ripple beyond the Australian coastline, and even now are affecting you!

Take wheat, for example. Global supplies are stretched, which has resulted in price rises in a range of goods from bread to beer, not to mention bread shortages, even riots, in some countries. The drought in Australia—which is typically the world’s third- or fourth-largest wheat exporter—has slammed wheat production just as the world is coming to really need its typically overflowing wheat silos.

From 2005 to 2006, Australia’s wheat exports dropped by 46 percent, and then fell another 24 percent last year. Hopes are high at the moment that this year’s wheat harvest will exceed last year’s dismal figure, thanks to some solid rainfall in some prime wheat regions and a 13 percent increase in the amount of land sown to wheat. But with the drought still far from broken, future wheat production remains uncertain.

The same goes for crops such as barley and canola. Once the second-largest canola producer in the world, Australia has seen its production slump drastically in recent years. The harvest for the 2005-06 growing season was 1.4 million tons. By the 2006-07 growing season, drought had shriveled that figure to 573,000 tons. Some decent winter rain has expectations high that this year’s canola harvest will rebound. Still, it will take years of substantial and consistent rain before canola production reaches pre-drought levels, which amounted to more than 1.7 million tons a year.

Meanwhile, in the critical Murray-Darling Basin—a massive region with rich alluvial soil commonly called Australia’s breadbasket because it produces 40 percent of Australia’s fruit, vegetables and grain—a decade-long drought is slowly choking the volume of produce. Scientists have warned that the drought in this region is so bad it’s close to causing irreversible ecological damage.

And weather experts believe the drought will only get worse.

It’s a grim picture. Not just for Aussies, who will assuredly have to continue adapting to life with a lot less water, but also for the world, particularly Asia and the Middle East, which relies heavily on Australia for critical agricultural products.

Fact is, the majority of our food is no longer produced locally. We live in a globalized world where the quality, volume and price of your food is largely a function of the agricultural success or failure of other countries. That’s why you ought to be concerned about the drought ravaging the land Down Under!

The Weekend Web

The Weekend Web

Getty Images

Gustav aims for New Orleans, Republicans head to St. Paul and Russia is looking east; plus, where to buy gasoline for 87 cents a gallon!

Americans along the Gulf Coast are evacuating their homes this weekend ahead of Hurricane Gustav’s arrival sometime tomorrow night. “This is the storm of the century,” the mayor of New Orleans said yesterday, after the storm left Cuba and briefly swirled into a Category 5 hurricane. It has since slowed to a Category 3, but the intensity will undoubtedly fluctuate over the next 24 hours.

Hurricane Katrina, remember, hit New Orleans three years ago as a Category 3, but caused massive flooding throughout the low-lying city because of the storm surge. According to the National Weather Service, Gustav is expected to produce 6 to 12 inches of rain and a storm surge about 12 to 16 feet above normal tide levels. Significant flooding is expected.

With Gustav set to make landfall at about the same time the Republican convention kicks off tomorrow night in St. Paul, Minnesota, there is talk of the political rally being turned into a disaster relief fundraiser or possibly even being postponed. President Bush and Vice President Cheney have already decided to skip the convention. Three years ago, many commentators characterized the Bush administration’s handling of Katrina as slow moving, disorganized and insensitive. So Republicans are no doubt frantically deliberating about the proper reaction to a possible disaster.

Beyond the political and domestic implications of the storm, Gustav will likely impact America’s position geopolitically. With its hands full in Russia and Iran, Stratfor wrote last week, “Having to turn back to take care of domestic needs is something that could seriously limit U.S. capabilities abroad.”

Sarah Palin: Not Feminist Enough?

The Weekly Standard features this interesting exposition of the reaction by the National Organization of Women to John McCain’s selection of a woman as his running mate. now’s self-stated purpose is to “take action to bring women into full participation in society—sharing equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities with men, while living free from discrimination.”

Is this feminist group excited about the choice? No—it calls it “a cynical effort to appeal to disappointed Hillary Clinton voters and get them to vote, ultimately, against their own self-interest.” “Sadly, she is a woman who opposes women’s rights, just like John McCain.”

Sarah Seltzer of the liberal Huffington Post agrees, saying, “A lot of feminists out there are appalled by the cynicism and condescension inherent in this choice.”

In this view, a woman dividing her attention between her family of seven and a campaign for the vice presidency apparently doesn’t represent “full participation … equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities with men” simply because she doesn’t share the orthodox feminist commitment to abortion and other leftist causes. Instead she is a pawn of cynics.

Meanwhile, “conservative” America is ecstatic over the choice of a tough, outspoken mother of a four-month-old, a woman who, McCain says, “knows when to stand up and doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down,” who is excited to “shatter that glass ceiling once and for all!” This is the conservative position in America today.

Russia Courting the Dragon

With many Western nations still angry with Russia over its invasion of Georgia, Moscow is looking east—surprise, surprise!—for allies. According to the Washington Times, “Russia claimed Thursday it won support from China and Central Asian states in its standoff with the West over the Georgia conflict” at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperative Organization, a group established to counter nato’s influence. The Australian added,

The statement released by the six nations at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit voiced support for Russia’s “active role” in “assisting in peace and co-operation in the region” but also called for dialogue and respect for “territorial integrity.” … [Russian President Dimitry] Medvedev described the “united position” of the sco members as a “serious signal” to the West. “I am sure that the united position of the sco member states will have international resonance,” he said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao made these remarks after the meeting:

China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership maintains a good development impetus. Not long ago, both sides exchanged in-depth views on major issues related to China-Russia energy negotiating mechanism and energy cooperation, and conducted explorations on the operation of the China-Russia strategic security consultation mechanism and the third round of consultations. The smooth operation of the aforesaid two mechanisms and other mechanisms between the two countries will increase both sides’ political mutual trust, strengthen the two countries’ strategic cooperation, and play an important role in upgrading the level of China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership.

Medvedev said Russia hopes to “sign with the Chinese side the implementation outline for the Russia-China Good-Neighborly and Friendly Cooperative Treaty as soon as possible, and deepen cooperation in various fields.” He said that “Russia-China cooperation plays an important role in Central Asian regional development.”

Regarding Georgia, China’s government and state-run press has remained largely silent—even about Russia’s decision to formally recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations. According to Deutsche Welle, the Russians are interpreting China’s silence as a lack of criticism and more specifically as “tacit agreement.”

We wrote in Russia and China in Prophecy, “The deterioration of relations between the U.S. and both Beijing and Moscow has pushed the world over the threshold from the post-Cold-War period into this period of emerging new global alliances. … It is evident that both Russian and Chinese officials are eager to form a new alliance and counter perceived American dominance of world affairs. Russian diplomats want to create a multi-polar world, and they know that the most expedient way to do so is to cement relations with their closest neighbor to the south.”

Russia Threatens to Supply Iran

Besides strengthening its ties to the east, Russia is threatening to supply Iran with sophisticated weapons if the West doesn’t back off its support for Georgia and the Ukraine. Today’s Sunday Telegraph reports,

U.S. intelligence fears the Kremlin will supply the sophisticated S-300 system to Tehran if Washington pushes through Nato membership for its pro-Western neighbors Georgia and Ukraine.The proposed deal is causing huge alarm in the US and Israel as the S-300 can track 100 targets at once and fire on planes up to 75 miles away.That would make it a “game-changer,” greatly improving Iranian defences against any air strike on its nuclear sites, according to Pentagon adviser Dan Goure. “This is a system that scares every Western air force,” he said.Senior US intelligence operatives believe that Russia is planning to use a stand-off over the S-300 to create a foreign policy showdown that would test the mettle of a new US president.

According to the report, officials in Iran and Israel both believe a deal is already in place. But since it would take about a year before it could become operational, Israeli leaders still believe there is time to block the measure.

British Financial Crisis Worst in 60 Years

Britain is facing its worst financial crisis in 60 years, according to Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling. The economic downturn will be more “profound and long-lasting” than most people feared, he warned.

This week has certainly been a bad one for the British economy. The pound suffered its worst month against the dollar since 1992, when the UK left the Exchange Rate Mechanism. When measured against its main trading partners, the British pound is at a 12-year low. “Few observers expect the pound to recover from its current slump so briskly,” reports Britain’s Financial Times.

That is not the worst news to come from Britain this week, however. House prices fell at their fastest pace since 1991 this August. Retail sales are at their lowest level in 25 years.

Economic growth in Britain has been driven primarily by consumer spending. And this spending has been driven by rising house prices. As in America, too many British homeowners believed the continued increase in property values would give them an endless fountain of wealth. With housing prices now plummeting, the fountain is now running dry.

Alistair Darling is right, the UK is in for a dramatic downturn, far worse than what most people feel. No system with so much debt can stand. Sometime in the near future it must all unravel. For more information, read “The Coming Storm.”

Cologne Approves Mosque’s Construction

In Germany, the city of Cologne has decided to allow construction of a massive mosque that will send minarets 177 feet into the skyline, despite protests from residents and Cologne’s Roman Catholic archbishop.

Approximately 120,000 Muslims live in Cologne, and the city’s mayor says, “It will take some time, but someday the mosque will be integrated into Cologne’s cultural heritage.” Those who oppose the project obviously disagree.

The construction of the mosque has served as a rallying cry against the “Islamification” of Germany for extreme-right political parties, Catholics and Jews. For more information on where the Islamification of Germany is headed, read “Cathedrals vs. Mosques: Tremors of a Coming Conflict” and “Islam Pushes, Europe Reacts” from the June/ July Trumpet.

Elsewhere on the Web

The U.S. Department of Defense announced on Thursday that it was closing 15 small military facilities in Germany. Bible prophecy tells us that the rising superpower in Europe will soon force all American military personnel to withdraw from the Continent. You can read more about this prophetic development here.

The New York Times published an interesting story on Friday about the flow of traffic on the Internet. “During the network’s first three decades, most Internet traffic flowed through the United States,” the Times reported. That era is now coming to an end. “Data is increasingly flowing around the United States, which may have intelligence—and conceivably military—consequences.” Read the whole thing.

And Finally …

For our readers in Utah and Oklahoma, if you are interested in buying gas for 87 cents a gallon, read this.