Who Is Dictating EU Policy?

Who Is Dictating EU Policy?

DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images

The European Union’s recent warmth toward Russia reveals the answer.
From the February 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

Something extraordinary happened last November in Nice, the picturesque city nestled on the gentle shores of the French Riviera. “The extent of the harmony … was rare,” reported Spiegel Online. Leaders from the European Union and Russia buddied up to one another, discussing political and economic cooperation—even to the point of considering the creation of a “pan-European security pact” (Nov. 15, 2008).

The friendliness was especially intriguing considering how different it was from the way many European nations had been treating Russia only weeks earlier.

Almost immediately after Russia invaded Georgia last August, the European Union, under pressure from America and some eastern EU member states, suspended relations with Moscow and isolated itself, in word only, from the Kremlin. Given appearances, one would have thought that in Nice, after three seemingly tense months of separation, Brussels would have chosen to ease, gently and cautiously, back into its relationship with Russia. Not so.

As Spiegel Online observed, “Suddenly the barriers that had been piling up in recent months between the East and West seemed to be a lot lower. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, and his colleague from Moscow, Dmitry Medvedev, cleared the political hurdles at the EU-Russia summit in Nice on Friday with surprising ease—setting a new tone in difficult relations between unequal neighbors” (emphasis mine throughout).

At the summit, the EU showered Russia with promises, including an agreement to resume talks on a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the possibility of a new European-Russian security pact, and even the promise that the EU would draw up a “roadmap” to help Russia join the World Trade Organization.

EU-Russian relations didn’t just thaw; they got warm—fast!

Europe’s apparent about-face surprised a lot of people, particularly given Russia’s complete lack of repentance for its invasion of Georgia. Some observers explained the move by saying Europe simply realized it was the politically and economically expedient thing to do. This thaw, say analysts, was inevitable because the EU simply cannot afford to upset one of its most important trade partners and critical suppliers of energy.

They’re absolutely right—but there’s another, more telling, more worrying, explanation for Europe’s apparent 180-degree turn. It’s the elephant in the room that no one is talking about.

And it powerfully demonstrates exactly who is dictating the EU’s foreign policy!

The German Precedent

The Trumpet has given special attention to Germany’s relationship with Russia since it invaded Georgia. Almost immediately after Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explained the event’s significance. Rather than driving a wedge between Russia and Germany—as it did with other European nations—that event strengthened the Russo-German relationship. Mr. Flurry even said that Germany may well have been complicit in Russia’s assault on the fledging state. (Read “Russia’s Attack Signals Dangerous New Era” in our October 2008 issue).

Events have since confirmed that analysis. In fact, if you’ve been monitoring German foreign policy in recent years—particularly under former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder—you know that German leaders, for the most part, consider maintaining friendly relations with their eastern neighbor a fundamental responsibility of the German government.

It was no surprise then that when Russia invaded Georgia, how to react to the Kremlin became a point of tension between Germany and much of the rest of the EU. Instead of condemning, reprimanding and shunning Moscow, as America, the EU and most European states did to one degree or another, the Germans responded initially with relative silence, and then with warm gestures that condoned Russia’s violent invasion of Georgia and subsequent combativeness.

Two days after Mr. Flurry first warned of Germany’s complicity in Russia’s attack in a speech to Herbert W. Armstrong College students on August 18, Stratfor wrote: “So Berlin is now reassessing its allegiances to Washington and NATO, which would keep the country locked into the policies it made as an occupied state. Or Germany could act like its own state and create its own security guarantee with Russia—something that would rip NATO apart. … Stratfor sources in Moscow have said that Medvedev has offered Merkel a security pact for their two countries” (Aug. 20, 2008).

Think about that. While much of the rest of the world, including most of Europe, was angry with Russia, Germany was strengthening its relationship with the Kremlin—and establishing a pro-Russia precedent!

The European press became very vocal last November when the EU stopped giving Russia the cold shoulder and indicated that it was willing to restart relations with the Kremlin. But if you think about it, they ought not to have been surprised.

The EU was merely catching up with Germany, which never stopped embracing Russia!

Germany is, as French writer Madame de Stael put it, “le coeur de l’Europe”—the heart of Europe. Berlin is Europe’s trendsetter, its bellwether, its pacemaker. It has the largest population and economy of any European nation, and is without doubt the Continent’s most influential nation, geopolitically, economically and, in reality, militarily. The reality that has been exposed here is that unless the foreign-policy objectives of European states, and even theEU, have Berlin’s support, they carry little weight and get little traction. Neither Brussels nor any European state stands a chance of ever effectively penalizing the Kremlin—or anyone else for that matter—as long as its efforts contradict German designs.

The EUs summit with Russia on the beautiful French Riviera last November exposed a dark, foreboding reality: Germany dictates European foreign policy!

Moreover, Germany is the only European state that Russia truly respects. It wasn’t that long ago, after all, that steely-eyed Nazi soldiers were storming toward Moscow. The Russians understand what few other people or nations do today: Germany is the European nation to be feared most!

This reality brings terrific clarity to any analysis of Russian foreign policy. Why has the Kremlin consistently refused to back off efforts to augment its influence on its western periphery, challenge American interests in Eastern Europe, undermine NATO, and in general practice a confrontational, even imperialistic, foreign policy? Because of the security guarantee it has forged with the only nation it fears!

And Economic Policy!

Not long after it got on board with Berlin’s foreign policy toward Russia, the EU, as well as virtually every sovereign European state, found itself once again in the ring beefing it out with the German government.

The issue this round was how to solve the financial crises plowing through Europe.

By the end of 2008, Europe’s economies were at a breaking point: Manufacturing and service industries were contracting; payrolls were falling; consumer and executive confidence was plummeting; industrial production was slumping. Half of EU member states were running budget deficits; most others were on the fence and quickly eating into surpluses. Social unrest spread, such as the violent riots in Greece, as bankrupt and tottering European governments struggled to find a solution to the mounting chaos.

As 2008 came to a close, Brussels and nearly every country on the Continent had settled on a solution: some sort of large, Europe-wide fiscal stimulus. There was only one problem. Europe’s largest, most influential and best-positioned national economy disagreed with it.

While London, Paris and Brussels sought the flamboyant, American-style quick-fix, billion-dollar-bailout/stimulus-package approach, Berlin viewed that as reactionary and potentially dangerous. Instead of further rupturing national budgets by borrowing billions and haphazardly throwing money at the problem, Germany argued the bona fide solution lay in sound, cautious fiscal management that would solve the root cause of the problem.

“At a time when the global benchmark for decisive leadership boils down to the number of zeros that are attached to economic stimulus packages,” reported the New York Times,Germany has taken a different path” (Dec. 16, 2008). Chancellor Merkel highlighted that path in a speech in December in the German region of Swabia, where she “lambasted the bailout mentality gripping Western leaders and lauded financial discipline, balanced budgets and the ethic of thrift …” (Washington Times, Dec. 14, 2008). Every Swabian housewife knows the root cause of this crisis, she said: “You can’t keep on living beyond your means. … We are not going to participate in this senseless race for billions. We have to have the courage to swim against the tide.” Merkel was insinuating that German housewives know more about the cause of the economic crises than some European leaders.

Talk about bold.

Also in December, Germany’s finance minister, Peer Steinbrück, set off sparks during an interview with Newsweek. When asked what was wrong with the stimulus proposals being bandied about by Europe’s leaders, Steinbrück denounced the plans and said that the “speed at which proposals are put together under pressure that don’t even pass an economic test is breathtaking and depressing” (Dec. 15, 2008).

During the interview, Steinbrück specifically excoriated Britain for tax cuts it had just made, calling British efforts to kick-start its economy “crass Keynesianism,” in reference to the famous British economist who believed nations should spend their way out of recession. Steinbrück’s divisive outburst, said some analysts, was partly designed to undermine international confidence in the British economy and government. “[T]he last thing Mr. Brown’s government needs is a further weakening of confidence in sterling assets among international investors,” wrote Philip Stephens in the Financial Times. “It scarcely helps to have Germany’s finance minister declare that Britain’s strategy amounts to ‘crass Keynesianism.’ … The danger … has always been that international investors—in British government bonds, in particular—will take fright. Mr. Steinbrück seems to be egging them on in that direction” (Dec. 11, 2008).

Were Steinbrück’s remarks a direct attack on one of Germany’s largest competitors in the European Union? International business editor of the Daily Telegraph and highly respected journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard thought as much. “For the first time in my life,” he wrote, “I am starting to feel twinges of anti-German sentiment. … Even Teutophiles who think that Germany has played an enlightened role for 60 years are losing patience with the antics of the Finance Ministry and Bundesbank, and with the dictatorial turn in Berlin’s EU strategy” (Dec. 15, 2008).

Economist and Nobel peace laureate Paul Krugman was similarly enraged. He called Germany’s response to Europe’s collapsing economies boneheaded, and assailed Berlin for impeding a Europe-wide solution to the economic crises. “[Y]ou can’t have a coordinated European effort if Europe’s biggest economy not only refuses to go along, but heaps scorn on its neighbors’ attempts to contain the crisis,” wrote Krugman (International Herald Tribune, Dec. 15, 2008).

In an interview with Spiegel, Krugman said, “[I]f Germany, the largest economy, refuses to go along, there will be no cooperation. Events have given Germany a strategic policy importance disproportionate to its size” (Dec. 15, 2008).

Germany was basically employing the same strategy in regards to European efforts to solve the economic crises as it did against Europe’s attempts to punish Russia. Berlin’s stalling tactics undermined the efforts of the rest of Europe to rescue their collapsing economies. Germany was, in essence, trying to dictate European economic policy.

Berlin’s concerns about the solutions posed by its counterparts to Europe’s economic crises may be entirely justifiable. Still, its stubborn, critical and confrontational dealings with its European neighbors reveal a great deal about Berlin’s relationship with Brussels, and its approach to European unification.

The story of European unification is one of arm-twisting diplomacy. Virtually every single nation of the 27-member European Union has been forced to acquiesce to Brussels on one issue or another, especially in instances when a nation has been opposed by the majority of member states.

But in the case of Europe’s response both to Russia and the economic crisis, Germany, instead of adopting the opinion of the majority of EU states, decided to stand apart from its neighbors. While Berlin expects other European nations to fall in line with Brussels, it clearly isn’t afraid to defy the collective opinion of its neighbors and do what it likes!

Does Germany consider itself a member of the EU on parity with every other nation in the bloc? Or does it consider itself the leader of the EU, with the right to make its own rules, which the rest of Europe must then follow?

Berlin was exploiting its disproportionate strategic influence to, as Evans-Pritchard put it, implement a “dictatorial” EU strategy!

The German Proteus

In his book The Europeans, the late Italian author and historian Luigi Barzini labeled Germany a Protean country. “As everyone knows, only when one tied down Proteus, the prophetic old man of the sea, could one make him reveal the shape of things to come. But he couldn’t be pinned down easily; he continued to change. He could be a roaring lion, a harmless sheep, a slippery serpent, a charging bull, or in turn, a rock, a tree, a brook, a bonfire.”

Germany’s protean-like nature, said Barzini, makes it beautiful and alluring, impressive and worthy of great praise, yet at the same time distressingly unpredictable and opaque—a nation that ought to be watched.

We would do well to heed Barzini’s warning. Many are the accomplishments and achievements of the German people. Indeed, where would the world be—where would high culture and class be—without the great German poets, composers, inventors, craftsman, educators, chemists and physicists? There is much to be said of German national character; of its thrift and efficiency, its penchant for perfection and quest for quality, its natural inclination for structure and order.

But Germany needs to be watched carefully and with a critical eye!

The German national character, like the national character of every people, has shortcomings and flaws. History shows, though, that in Germany, those flaws can threaten world peace!

We know history, and we believe Barzini’s warning about Germany’s protean-like ability to transform from a peaceful “brook” into a “roaring lion.”

Most importantly, we believe the multitude of Bible prophecies that warn that in the end time, Germany, composed of the modern-day descendants of the biblical nation of Assyria, will rise to the forefront of European politics and forge itself—at first subtly and cunningly, but then forcefully and violently—as the dictator of what the late Herbert Armstrong termed a European beast power!

That’s why Germany’s dictatorial influence over European foreign policy and even European economic policy should chill our bones! Both are a foretaste of Germany’s impending, more encompassing, more comprehensive dictatorship—first over a united European superstate, then over the world!

There isn’t space enough here to explain all the prophecies pertaining to Germany and the soon-coming United States of Europe. But they’re there: in Isaiah 10; Daniel 2, 7 and 11; Nahum 2; Hosea 8; Matthew 24; Revelation 13 and 17. The Bible overflows with prophecies and history pertaining to Germany—and it’s not all negative. In fact, the example of Assyria’s repentance in Jonah 2 is one of the most positive and uplifting examples of repentance in the Bible!

To properly understand what’s going on in Germany and the rest of Europe, it’s imperative we set our gaze not only on current events happening on the Continent, but also on both history and Bible prophecy. This is what Christ meant when He said in Luke 21, “Watch and pray.” Watching world events will not save a person from the impending disaster. Our watching must be done in the context of urgent prayer and in-depth Bible study.

Actually, effective watching—that which leads a person to being so moved by the danger of the times in which he lives that he feels impelled to seek after God—is a function of prayer and intense study of the Bible and God’s prophecies regarding end-time events. To truly understand what’s happening in Europe, one must understand Germany in history and prophecy. If this subject genuinely interests you, request and study, in this order, The United States and Britain in Prophecy, Germany and the Holy Roman Empire, and Who or What Is the Prophetic Beast?

Invasion From Within

Invasion From Within

ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images

A deadly foreign army has invaded Britain. Will the UK awaken before it is too late?
From the February 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

In Scotland, exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 mph is generally penalized by the loss of one’s license. Except, it would seem, if you are a polygamous Muslim husband dashing between two wives in two different towns.

That exact scenario occurred last year when a Scottish judge allowed a Muslim husband to retain his license after he was booked for driving 64 mph in a 30-mph zone. “He has one wife in Motherwell and another in Glasgow and sleeps with one one night and stays with the other the next on an alternate basis,” argued Mohammed Anwar’s lawyer. “Without his driving license, he would be unable to do this on a regular basis.”

This episode is a measure of the bloodless cultural and legal invasion by the armies of Islam into British society and Britain’s judicial system.

What does a British judge’s acceptance of the Muslim practice of polygamy—even when it leads to the breaking of British law—say about the extent of Islam’s incursion into Britain?

The British judicial system and government now accepts the primarily Muslim practice of polygamy. British welfare laws, for example, allow for husbands to collect state handouts for each wife as long as the marriage ceremonies were performed in polygamy-tolerant countries. The government has effectively assumed the responsibility of appeasing Muslims and condoning—even embracing—Islamic culture!

This devious attack on the Judeo-Christian institution of monogamy is merely one example. To one degree or another, virtually all the foundational pillars and primary responsibilities of the British government—equal rights, the rule of law, education, national security—have been eroded by the rising tide of Islamification!

Britain’s Shadow Islamic Court System

“Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain,” proclaimed London’s Sunday Times. “The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence” (Sept. 14, 2008). Under the 1996 Arbitration Act, these state-backed British sharia courts—of which there are many across Britain—when classified as arbitration tribunals, carry the force of law as long as both parties in the dispute agree to give them power to rule on their case.

Britain has Jewish tribunals that operate under the same act, yet they recognize the primacy of English law and operate wholly within it. By contrast, Islam recognizes no higher authority than sharia law. Britain’s sharia courts often do not recognize the primacy of English law or many of the principles it is founded on, which means their rulings often differ from those that would be made under British law.

“Law is the expression of a society’s cultural identity,” wrote Melanie Phillips. “If there is no one law, there is no one national identity and therefore no society but instead a set of warring fiefdoms with their own separate jurisdictions”(Spectator.co.uk, Feb. 8, 2008; emphasis mine throughout).

Throughout history, Britain’s legal system has been among the most successful in the world. It has been at the vanguard of the judicial maturation of Western democracies. That success has in large part been a result of the determination of the British to use law as a national equalizer and unifier.

Sharia law is incompatible with English law, especially regarding equality and human rights. By facilitating the development of what Phillips calls “de facto parallel legal systems,” the British government is destroying its own governing principle of one law for all, exacerbating dangerous divisions within British society.

Consider further: Because these sharia courts are allowed by British law, their rulings are enforceable through county courts and Britain’s High Court. That means Islamic judges can hear cases and deliver rulings based on sharia—and then expect the British judicial system, at the cost of British taxpayers, to uphold their decisions!

Insanity!

Ruling the Suburbs, Schools and Banks

Islam’s penetration into other facets of British society is just as deep. Muslim control over some suburbs, for example, is so great that they have been labeled “no go” areas for those of a different religion. Last April, the bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, warned publicly of the danger posed by these extreme Muslim communities. Instead of setting off alarm bells across Britain, Nazir-Ali was lambasted by the media and government for being Islamaphobic!

The armies of Islam have also invaded the British educational system. Take Greenwood Junior School, for example, whose administration late last year sent a letter home to parents informing them that the school had, in the words of the Telegraph.co.uk, “canceled its Christmas performances because they got in the way of the Muslim children celebrating Eid”—a three-day Muslim festival during which Muslim children do not attend school (Dec. 4, 2008). Due to outrage by parents over the cancellation, the school rescheduled the Christmas celebrations for January.

Also in December, the Daily Mail reported on a movement to make Muslim prayer rooms, and even facilities for pre-prayer washing rituals, available to Muslim students in every Catholic school in Britain.

Islamic ideology is invading—and in many cases being invited to invadeeducational institutions across Britain, from kindergartens to universities. Islam-tolerant curricula are being written and new rules are being created to facilitate Muslim students, while British history and Christian-based ideology—which liberal administrators believe offends Muslims—is being eradicated.

Islam’s incursion into British banking and finance is just as furious. In recent years, London has forged itself into a largely sharia-compliant financial hub in an attempt to woo cash-rich Muslims—despite the fact that, as Melanie Phillips has noted, “this provides a cover for terrorist financing and is a prime instrument for forcing the ever-wider spread of Islamic practices among Muslims” (National Review Online, Sept. 11, 2008).

Of course, the British government believes that by gutting itself to accommodate Islam, it is undermining radical Islam’s efforts to stir up resentment inside Britain, appeasing moderate Muslims, and reducing the potential for conflict with Muslims in general. But the evidence suggests exactly the opposite is happening. The policies of political correctness, tolerance and appeasement are emboldening the armies of Islam and adding momentum to their cultural and judicial invasion!

“Britain Will Become an Islamic State”

In September, not long after the story about the sharia courts hit the news, the Sun newspaper released a video of radical clerics preaching about Islam’s plans to take over Britain. “It may be by pure conversion that Britain will become an Islamic state,” declared Anjem Choudary, right-hand man of exiled preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed. “We may never need to conquer it from the outside.”

In January 2007, Britain’s Channel 4 broadcasted a shocking documentary, filmed covertly, on Islamic activity in mosques throughout England. In the documentary, one Saudi-trained imam called for British Muslims to “dismantle democracy'’ by “living as a state within a state” until they are “strong enough to take it over.”

After the program aired, the government leaped into action—but not how you might expect. “The West Midlands Police lodged criminal charges,” wrote Brett Mason, “not against the extremist imams but against thetvnetwork. Responding to a complaint by the Muslim Association of Britain, the police accused Channel 4 of inciting racial hatred by means of an ostensibly distorted documentary that demonized Islam” (Australian, July 8, 2008). Something is desperately wrong when, instead of investigating and penalizing subversive Muslim preachers caught on camera gunning for the destruction of Britain, British authorities attempt to reprimand the tv station responsible for exposing the truth.

Among many of Britain’s leaders, logic and sanity have been replaced by the politically correct tenets of tolerance and multiculturalism.

Last July, the Center for Social Cohesion revealed that among Muslim students in Britain, nearly one third believe that killing in the name of religion is right; 40 percent say they support the introduction of sharia law into Britain; nearly 25 percent do not think men and women are equal in the eyes of “Allah”; one third don’t think or don’t know whether Islam is compatible with Western democracy; and one third say they favor the establishment of a global Islamic caliphate.

Other facts and figures indicate, as Phillips put it, that Britain “now harbors the most developed infrastructure of Islamist terrorism and extremism in the Western world” (Mail Online, Dec. 1, 2008).

Make no mistake: Islam is invading Britain from the inside out!

Yet despite Islam’s burgeoning armies—and ignoring the brave cries of commentators like Melanie Phillips and of many other frustrated British citizens—the government lacks the courage and character to admit the blatant failure of its liberal approach to immigration and to deal conclusively with the problem. Intoxicated on the syrupy elixirs of political correctness, tolerance, appeasement and multiculturalism, the British establishment fails to see what so many Britons see: that a deadly enemy is growing in their midst.

Who’s to Blame?

Much of the blame for radical Islam’s invasion of Britain lies with the government, and its naive, apologetic and deeply flawed approach toward Islam.

“The reason for such flawed policies is the false analysis on which they are based,” says Phillips. “The government and security establishment refuse to acknowledge that what we are facing is a religious war. Instead, they think that Islamist terrorism is driven by grievances which are basically the fault of the West” (ibid.).

It is no exaggeration to say that a deadly foreign army has invaded Britain. Thousands of Muslims living in Britain consider themselves at war with Britain—literally! Yet, despite the growing presence and influence of Islam’s marauding armies, the response of the British government is to negotiate, appease and compromise their way out of war!

When will they realize this tactic isn’t working?

In fact, the British government is making the problem worse. By failing to confront the Islamic soldiers in their midst, and embracing policies that promote the growth of Islamic religion and culture in Britain, Britain’s leaders are making future conflict and catastrophe inevitable and are thrusting Britain closer to collapse.

Islam’s successful invasion of Britain is a powerful condemnation of Britain’s leaders. It exposes the dire leadership crisis in that nation!

It is also evidence of a prophecy in the book of Isaiah that talks specifically about a leadership crisis in Britain, as well as in America and the Jewish state. Notice Isaiah 3: “For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away … The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient, The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counseller, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator” (verses 1-3).

God says explicitly that He would take away quality leadership from Britain, America and the Jewish state. That’s exactly what He is doing! These nations have produced some of the greatest political and military leaders, inventors, judges and orators in world history. But look at Britain, America and Israel today: The Churchills, Franklins and Ben-Gurions have vanished!

While this prophecy is deeply sobering, it’s more positive than you might think. God says He removes quality leadership from these nations. Think about that. Why would God, the fantastic Being who created this universe, be so interested in who leads these countries?

And if God is responsible for taking away high-quality leadership from these nations, doesn’t that mean He may have given it to them in the first place? It does!

Isaiah 3 shows that God is deeply interested in world affairs, especially the affairs of Britain, America and the Jewish state! The Bible overflows with evidence of God’s involvement in world history, and especially His unique and moving relationship with these nations. To learn more about this fascinating reality, request The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

Dutch Tired of Being Tolerant

Dutch Tired of Being Tolerant

Olaf Kraak/AFP/Getty Images

Even the left admits tolerance is not working.

Tolerance is not working in the Netherlands. So says the Labor Party, the country’s biggest left-wing party, which, as part of the ruling coalition led by the Christian Democrats, is in charge of integration.

Two weeks ago, the Labor Party published a paper saying that the Dutch model of tolerance has failed. The International Herald Tribunereported: “If judged on the standard scale of caution in dealing with cultural clashes and Muslims’ obligations to their new homes in Europe, the language of the Dutch position paper and Lilianne Ploumen, Labor’s chairperson, was exceptional.” The paper stated that Muslim immigrants must conform to Dutch society.

“The success of the integration process is hindered by the disproportionate number of non-natives involved in criminality and troublemaking, by men who refuse to shake hands with women, by burqas and separate courses for women on citizenship,” said Ploumen.

The paper completely rejected the cultural relativism that has infected so much of Western society. “The mistake we can never repeat is stifling criticism of cultures and religions for reasons of tolerance,” it said.

People must be allowed to say what they like about new cultures and customs, Ploumen said. “Hurting feelings is allowed, and criticism of religion, too.”

Rather than insisting that all cultures are equal, the paper stated that immigrants need to take on the Dutch way of life through a process of “emancipation.”

Ploumen said that “the grip of the homeland has to disappear.”

The paper was written at the same time French President Nicolas Sarkozy admitted that the French notion of equality “doesn’t work anymore.”

In Britain, the policy of tolerance and even capitulation to immigrants is not working. Multiculturalism breeds extremism. Politicians on the Continent are beginning to wake up to this fact. In the Netherlands, even the most prominent left-wing political grouping is now strongly against tolerance and multiculturalism.

Watch for Europe to use increasingly more draconian methods to crack down on immigrants.

For more information on this trend, see our article “Wanted: Savior for Europe.”

God Haters

Non-believers are getting aggressive. Here’s why.
From the February 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

Your mind is naturally hostile to God. Mine too. So said the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:7.

“This does not necessarily mean that all unconverted human minds are actively, intentionally, maliciously hostile,” wrote Herbert W. Armstrong in Mystery of the Ages about that scripture. “Most humans are passively hostile against God. They simply do not normally think about God. If God is mentioned they become embarrassed and often try to change the subject.”

That was written over 20 years ago. How times have changed.

It seems every few days another example appears of active, intentional, malicious hostility against God. Many people are thinking quite a lot about God—specifically, how to force Him into retreat.

We are witnessing something of a crusade. It’s not just an effort to clear space for non-believers to practice their non-belief. They already have plenty of that. This is a movement to systematically eliminate God from public life—to establish godlessness as the state religion.

God a “Mythological Creature”

Take the story that emerged in early December about an antiterrorism law in Kentucky acknowledging that the state’s security “cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God.” A plaque in the state’s emergency operations center quotes Psalm 127: “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

American Atheists Inc. is hopping mad about it. As far as it is concerned, this is tantamount to establishing a state religion, expressly forbidden by the First Amendment. It filed suit against the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security in an effort to strike the offensive references. American Atheists president Ed Buckner justifies the action with this reasoning: “I’m not aware of any other state or commonwealth that is attempting to dump their clear responsibility for protecting their citizens onto God or any other mythological creature.”

Not only is God not mythological or even a creature, Kentucky isn’t dumping any responsibility on Him. It isn’t dialing back its operations or trimming its budget out of faith that God will protect. Its policies are 100 percent the same as they would be if it didn’t afford God this passing acknowledgment. Still, this clause and this plaque pose enough of a threat to unbelievers that they are moved to fight.

Ed Buckner probably wouldn’t find anything to threaten his unbelief in Washington d.c.’s new Capitol Visitors’ Center, built for over $600 million right next to the Capitol building. In telling the story of America, it is full of voids where God once was.

America’s strongly religious history has been sanitized for atheistic consumption. The fact that church services in the Capitol building were an official congressional function for most of America’s history has been substituted with the lie that the community was simply permitted to use the building, even for church, when Congress wasn’t in session. The visitors’ center version of Article vii of the Constitution omits the phrase “in the year of our Lord.” From Article iii of the Northwest Ordinance, the italicized words in this excerpt have been stricken: “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” In a display showing the inside of the House chamber, the “In God We Trust” etched in stone above the speaker’s head has been scrubbed out.

These are creepy, Orwellian omissions. The officials making them are more concerned about abiding by godless orthodoxy than they are about factual accuracy.

If the idea is to avoid offending someone who has a different religious belief than that of America’s founders who lived that history, authored those documents and chiseled that stone, then why should that take precedence over offending those who do believe in God? A Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life poll in 2008 found that 92 percent of Americans say they believe in God. The other 8 percent are doing a remarkable job of making 92 percent a minority.

Britain recently offered a comparable example. There, if ignorant schoolchildren want to know what a disciple or a minister is, they’ll have to look somewhere other than Oxford’s new Junior Dictionary. The book’s publishers, in order to reflect the modern, multicultural, multifaith Britain, have removed those words, along with most all others having anything to do with religion. Altar, psalm, pulpit and saint are gone. The devil is no more. Sin has been scrubbed. The book can only include so many words, and space apparently had to be cleared for entries such as blog, celebrity, chatroom,mp3player,tolerant and bilingual.

“Why Believe in a God?”

Back in America’s capital city, thanks to the American Humanist Association, on public buses there are signs reading, “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake.” The campaign matches one that the British Humanist Association brought to Britain’s capital. In January, London’s city buses began displaying ads saying, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

These ads, the latter supported by The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins, highlight atheism’s new aggressiveness. Christopher Hitchens, whose latest book is called God Is Not Great, describes himself not as an atheist but an “antitheist.” He is a spokesman for many who believe that religion is at the root of the world’s problems. Imagine how peaceful the world would be, they say, if only people would give up religion.

Another entry in this genre is the Bill Maher documentary Religulous, released last October. The comedian lured religious people of all types—most quite kooky, judging from the movie trailer—in front of a camera in order to poke holes in their flimsy faith. The film was proudly marketed on its irreverence; it was the highest grossing documentary in America in 2008.

As the Apostle Peter prophesied, “there shall come in the last days scoffers”—people who brazenly mock God (2 Peter 3:3).

Filling a Void

The Apostle Paul also foretold that “in the last days” we would witness a rise in “boasters, proud, blasphemers … unholy … fierce, despisers of those that are good”—and that such evils will “wax worse and worse” (2 Timothy 3:1-3, 13).

But in the same prophecy, Paul also pinpointed one of the primary reasons for the trend: that even those who are religious, those who have “a form of godliness,” would be guilty of “denying the power thereof” (verse 5). Truly, the fact that God haters are advancing is a measure of the weakness and vapidity of Christianity in the Western world today. There is much to poke fun at. There is an emptiness to fill.

Some religious people point with pride at the swelling numbers filling the megachurches. But numbers have never meant much to God. “[S]trait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it,” Christ said.

Many of the criticisms and attacks on religion find their mark because most religion is false religion—dreamed up by the mind of man. Rather than recognizing that we are made in God’s image, and for a transcendent reason that illuminates God’s sovereignty over us, people create false gods in their own image.

The root cause of these problems, however, lies beyond the physical realm. It lies in the very real and active existence of a devil that hates God and influences mankind to hate Him too. The growing fervor among some to stamp God out of existence is not borne of cool, rational logic, as some would have you believe. That natural hostility to God in all of us? The Bible shows that Satan put it there (e.g. Ephesians 2:2; more scriptural proof can be found in our free booklet Human Nature: What Is It?).

The preponderance of conflicting beliefs, of shallow, emotion-based religion, even of violent and destructive religious ideas that have caused a great many of mankind’s problems, also trace back to this evil being who is doing all he can to keep people from finding that narrow way that leads to life. The Bible plainly says he has deceived the “whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

What Fools Say

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God,” the psalmist of Israel once wrote (Psalm 53:1). Let’s look at a case in point.

In December, Discover magazine featured “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator”—an article that described scientists’ latest attempt to explain the truly limitless number of factors that make our universe and Earth “perfectly tailored for life.” Possibly, perhaps, “Our universe may be but one of perhaps infinitely many universes in an inconceivably vast multiverse. Most of those universes are barren, but some, like ours, have conditions suitable for life.” There are infinitely many universes, andlucky us—we just happened to be born into the one where everything is perfect.

This is absolute fiction—a fairy tale in a lab coat. It cannot be corroborated by even a microparticle of evidence. Yet Discover said it “may well be the only viable nonreligious explanation” for how “the laws of the universe seem custom-tailored to favor the emergence of life.” The article contained this brilliant quote from Bernard Carr, a cosmologist at Queen Mary University of London: “If there is only one universe, you might have to have a fine-tuner. If you don’t want God, you’d better have a multiverse.”

What a devastatingly revealing statement. If you don’t want God, you pretty much have to accept a fable as reality. You need to put your faith—which drives your understanding of why the universe is and what our place in it may be—in the imagination of some scientist who is himself deeply prejudiced against the idea of God.

But if you simply accept the observable data regarding our material world, and acknowledge the basic, elementary truth that the universe we see is the only one there is, then you really must allow that there is a “fine-tuner,” a Designer, a magnificent Creator behind it all!

Look again at the Apostle Paul and the book of Romans. Read the first chapter, beginning around verse 18. The material creation simply could not be a more finely tuned, well-designed, intricate, beautiful, awesome work, the pinnacle of all that both art and science prize and strive for. It’s as if God purposefully saturated it with elegant perfectness in order to ensure we didn’t overlook Him in it.

And yet, in our arrogance and obstinacy, overlook Him we have. Our minds, under Satan’s sway, are naturally hostile to Him. And thus, having rejected Him as the lawgiver of all the material realm, people reject Him as the moral lawgiver as well, and cast themselves adrift in a surging sea of human reasoning and moral relativity.

If you see the folly in the notion that a religion-free world would be utopia—if you chafe at someone referring to God as a “mythological creature”—if you recognize the self-evident truth that there is a “fine tuner” behind this custom-tailored universe—if, further, you can see that natural hostility to God within yourself and desire to be free of it—if you are tired of the surging sea and want to latch hold of something firm—then ask us for a free copy of Mr. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages. In one volume, intended to be read alongside your own Bible, you will find solid answers to life’s most plaguing questions. And you’ll come to see the vivid, powerful proof that God is, and in Him is so much to love.

Israel-Hamas War Puts Pressure on Egypt

Israel-Hamas War Puts Pressure on Egypt

Dominique Faget/AFP/Getty Images

Being a dictator in Egypt is not easy. Even at the best of times it is hard for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to balance the anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiment of the masses on the one hand, and the fact that it is American money that keeps his country afloat on the other. But in Israel’s war with Hamas, Arabs are painting Mubarak as the bad guy who supports the “evil Israelis” against the “struggling, oppressed Palestinian people.” And that is making him very unpopular.

Israel’s foe in this conflict, Hamas, began as an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is Mubarak’s biggest opposition, so naturally he too is against Hamas.

Yet the Brotherhood is very popular within Egypt. Had Egypt’s last elections been fair, the Brotherhood almost certainly would have ousted Mubarak and established an Islamic theocracy similar to Iran’s. The Egyptian people want Cairo to back Hamas.

Hence Mubarak’s difficult situation. If he supports Hamas, he strengthens his enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood. But if he opposes Hamas, he turns the people against him.

Mubarak has chosen the second option. He has blamed Hamas for triggering the conflict. More importantly, he has helped Israel partially blockade Gaza, and has done so for the past six months.

He chose the unpopular option. Iran is now trying to use this to stir up the people of Egypt. Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Iran’s overseas arm, Hezbollah, has called for the Egyptian people and military to rise up and force their country to open its crossing into Gaza.

In Yemen, protesters stormed the Egyptian Embassy, burned the Egyptian flag and flew the Palestinian flag in its stead.

Anything that looks like support for Israel stirs up strong emotions in the Arab world. Iran is expert at using this to its advantage. Despite the fact that Iran is Shiite and Hamas is Sunni, Iran has control over Hamas. The common bond of wanting to wipe Israel off the map overcomes any sectarian division.

Once sworn enemies, Egypt and Iran have been drawing closer together over the past couple of years. Iran is a major power in the region. Within Egypt, talking to Iran is the popular thing to do.

More recently, Iranian protests and government-run papers called for the assassination of Mubarak. With the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in 1981, Iran showed that it can be dangerous to disagree with it.

In the past, Mubarak has turned a blind eye to many of Hamas’s activities within Egypt, out of fear of the Muslim Brotherhood. Fear of a popular uprising may pressure Mubarak to soften his current position, pushing him away from Israel and toward Iran.

The influence of the United States in the region is going down, and that of Iran is rising. Seeing this, Mubarak may decide it’s time to hitch his wagon to a different star.

Or Mubarak could pass from the scene completely. A popular uprising could remove him, or the 80-year-old president could die naturally. Without a strong authoritarian leader, Egypt would fall to the Brotherhood.

Whichever way it happens, Egypt will soon ally with Iran. It is just a matter of time.

For more information, see our booklet The King of the South.

Geopolitical Review 2008

Geopolitical Review 2008

PT/Getty Images

Reviewing the most significant events of the past year

In 2008, global events swirled around the planet with all the organization and order of a Category 5 hurricane. Headlines hurtled by, even as troubles and woes accumulated in flash floods. Yet, in all this chaos, there is actually order and purpose to this dark, turbulent, swirling, global storm.

Plowing through the headlines, the Trumpet brings you what mattered most in 2008—and how this perfect storm is leading to the bright dawn of a new age!

Iran Conquered Lebanon

One of the most significant events in the Middle East this year was Hezbollah’s takeover of Lebanon. In May, the Lebanese government tried to crack down on the Iranian-backed terrorist group. It failed. Within a day, Hezbollah blockaded the airport, shut down pro-government news outlets, and besieged the headquarters of two of Lebanon’s most prominent leaders, showing the government that this force can shut down the country whenever it likes. The government surrendered.

Iran has conquered Lebanon using Hezbollah. (Joseph Barrak/AFP/Getty Images)

The Lebanese government gave Hezbollah what it had been holding out for 18 months to get: veto power in a new government. Once again in the Middle East, violence paved the way for more political power for terrorists. Hezbollah’s veto power in the new national unity government means the Lebanese government can pass no legislation calling for the terrorist group’s disarmament. It means the government can’t direct the army to take action against Hezbollah or stop a Hezbollah attack on Israel. In truth, it means the government can’t make any decisions that might favor Israel or the West. All key decisions and appointments have to be approved by Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world stood by and did nothing as Iran effectively took over Lebanon. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “The fact that the U.S. simplywill notconfront Iran is the single greatest proof today that God has broken the pride of our power.”

Iran Pushed Egypt Closer to an Alliance

In December 2007, the Egyptian deputy foreign minister made the first official visit by an Egyptian official to Iran since diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed in 1979. In January, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak spoke to each other over the phone. Egyptian and Iranian leaders hadn’t gotten together since the mullahs murdered Egypt’s president in 1981. The fact that these two leaders are even talking to each other shows a huge shift Egypt-Iran relations.

Iranians would like to kill the president of Egypt—again. (Reuters)

This relationship will strengthen in 2009, likely thanks to Tehran’s leverage. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic party, is very popular. It did not do well in the 2008 elections, but only because the government of the 80-year-old Mubarak rigged the vote. If the relatively Western-friendly president dies, the Muslim Brotherhood will likely take over.

This is just want Iran wants. In December, Iranians hit the streets calling for Mubarak’s assassination, and state newspapers called on Egyptians to rise up against their government. With Mubarak out of the picture, Egypt would become a more radical, closer ally of Iran.

Pakistan Turned More Radical

Pakistan was never a perfect ally in the war on terror. Its population is radicalized, Osama bin Laden shirts are not uncommon, and the Taliban comfortably uses Pakistan as its base for attacks on nato forces in Afghanistan. Insurgents also attack U.S. supply lines that run through Pakistan to Afghanistan. Much of this occurred under the comparatively Western-friendly administration of Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan is diverting troops to its front with India. (Tariq Mahmood/AFP/Getty Images)

But soon, Pakistan may no longer be an ally at all. The unpopular president resigned in August after the U.S., ironically enough, pressured him to resign as head of the army. The Pakistani Army, besides possessing nuclear weapons, was also the force that held the country together. With Musharraf now gone from the scene, and if the recent terrorist violence in Mumbai is any indication, Pakistan’s failing state will become an even more active hive of terrorism and Islamist extremism as the weak administration focuses on opposing India—possibly by directly fueling terrorists to fight India by proxy.

Germany Conquered Kosovo

After months of suspense, Kosovo declared independence on February 17. A special session of the Kosovar parliament voted 109-0 in favor of severing ties with Serbia. “From now onward, Kosovo is proud, independent, sovereign and free,” Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, a former anti-Serb guerrilla leader, said.

Berlin recognized Kosovo within three days of its declaration of independence, and most other European nations swiftly followed Germany’s lead. Günter Gloser, Germany’s minister for Europe, went so far as to say Serbia also needed to recognize Kosovo if it wanted to be admitted into the European Union in the future. Germany is adamant that both Kosovo and Serbia become separate states in Berlin’s United States of Europe.

To some extent, Russia understands Germany’s true intentions for the Balkans. This is why the Kremlin sent Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and former First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to Serbia only a week after Kosovo declared independence to stand in support of Serbia as Moscow attempted to stall Berlin’s power play in Kosovo.

Sectarian violence will increase in Kosovo and throughout the Balkans as Germany’s EU and Russia compete for influence. Russia may make certain gains, but 2008 leaves Germany the conqueror of the Balkans.

Berlin Broke Out the Bundeswehr

After decades in the shadows, the German military is again taking an aggressive role in global affairs. On January 16, the Bundeswehr deployed 250 additional German troops to Afghanistan to fulfill a special combat role alongside 3,500 German troops already there. German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung announced that this German quick reaction force may also take part in combat missions in the south of the country as long as the conditions of deployment are dictated by Berlin. Germany has reserved military aid contributions to the American-led Afghan mission as a bargaining chip in order to hold out for more of a say in controlling the strategic development of that war.

German soldiers patrol Kosovo. (Michael Kappeler/AFP/Getty Images)

In addition to its involvement in Afghanistan, the German military continues to lead the charge to secure the Balkans. On February 29, the Bundeswehr said it would deploy 500 more Bavarian troops to Kosovo to bolster the 2,000 German military personnel already in the region and help stabilize the chaos first unleashed back in 1991 when the German-led EU coerced nato into dismembering the former nation of Yugoslavia. The entire German/Vatican-initiated Balkan crisis was designed so the European Union could gobble up the broken pieces one by one—and put German troops on Balkan soil.

The German Navy has also dispatched one naval frigate and 1,400 troops for Operation Atalanta—an EU anti-piracy mission that began off the coast of Somalia in mid-December. The German military had wanted to expand its authority to hunt pirates on the high seas for some time, but it was hindered by legal constraints. Germany is now circumventing those legal restraints by using the EU as its cover and thereby taking a greater role in projecting its naval power.

Angela Merkel Made a Historic Holocaust Speech

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Israeli Knesset on March 18 in what may have been the most significant speech made by any German leader since World War ii. Speaking about the German atrocities committed against the Jews during the war, she stated what some had been waiting for over 60 years to hear. Merkel apologized to her Israeli audience, expressed a sense of German contrition and culpability, and said, “The mass murder of 6 million Jews, carried out in the name of Germany, has brought indescribable suffering to the Jewish people, Europe and the entire world.”

Angela Merkel’s Israeli Knesset speech was heroic; her country’s views are less so. (Getty Images)

The next day, journalist Manfred Gerstenfeld wrote a column for the Jerusalem Post,What Angela Merkel Couldn’t Say Out Loud”: “Few in Israel realize that a majority of Germans probably disagree with several key statements she made here about her country’s past—including the mention of shame and guilt” (emphasis ours throughout). Supporting this, a poll conducted by the Bertelsmann Foundation showed that 3 in 10 Germans have no qualms comparing Israel today to fascist Germany.

Israel’s leaders would be naive to think that Merkel’s apology reflects the mood of the majority in Germany. Over half of the German population disagrees with Merkel that Germany has any special responsibility toward Israel because of its history. Because Merkel finds herself at odds with many Germans and certain German leaders, this speech actually portends a dangerous turning point for Germany. Merkel’s days as Germany’s chancellor are nearing their end. Bible prophecy shows a new Charlemagne will soon come on the scene. Perhaps that leader may even arise during Germany’s 2009 federal elections.

Fascism Had a Good Year

Austrian far-right political parties won their greatest victory since the end of World War ii on September 28 when two pro-Nazi parties won nearly a third of the vote in Austria’s federal election. On October 1, the Scotsman wrote:

There is something rotten in the psyche of Austria that allows a protest vote against mainstream political parties to morph into an endorsement of the extreme right. Make no mistake, getting a third of a country to put their X next to the names of men who think SS soldiers were honorable, who want to deport any immigrant caught so much as shoplifting and who want to repeal a law banning Nazi imagery, takes more than mere political chicanery.It takes a national will. The victory for the immigrant-hating, Nazi-idealizing rightist parties on Sunday was a stunning example, if any more were needed, of this land’s inability to deal with a monstrous past.

Austrian leaders like Heinz-Christian Strache identify with the Nazi SS and Hitler’s economic policies. (Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images)

Italy also swung dramatically to the right this year. In April, Silvio Berlusconi became prime minister by agreeing to support the Vatican and by forming a coalition with the post-fascist party Alleanza Nazionale—the direct modern-day successor to Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party. Berlusconi’s government has since passed a law that bans criminal investigations of the president, the prime minister, and the speakers of the senate and lower house. The government dispatched thousands of troops to patrol Italy’s city streets, and the Italian defense minister raised controversy by praising Italian soldiers who continued fighting against the Allies even after Italy dropped out of World War ii in 1943.

This shift to right-wing conservatism across Europe is unifying nations on the Continent in the face of some of its problems. This presents a scenario that will allow a single European nation to rise up and dominate a united, imperialistic continent.

Ireland Rejected Lisbon—It Thought

Eurocrats in Brussels are still seeking to unite Europe under their latest draft of the European Constitution, known as the Lisbon Treaty. The Lisbon Treaty is technically supposed to be ratified by each nation in the EU, and most member nations are pushing ratification through their parliaments without consulting the people. In June, Ireland put it to the people, and the Irish rejected it. This should have been the federalist document’s deathblow.

However, Germany responded by subtly threatening economic sanctions against the Irish if they delayed the process of European unification. Ironically, the undemocratic Eurocrats are now giving the Irish people the chance to vote again. Polls show that the Irish, following a battering by EU-funded pro-Union propaganda and some political arm-twisting, will likely give Germany and the EU what they want the second time around.

Bypassing the people’s will and ratifying the Lisbon Treaty advances this undemocratic union’s evolution one more stage toward becoming a literal empire and totalitarian police state.

The Vatican Said Accipe Hoc!

This year has seen the Roman Catholic Church become more assertive on the world scene. The pope started off the year by cutting down Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s government. The Vatican pushed Prodi back in line back in 2007 when he tried legalizing same-sex unions. But in 2008, with talk of the government watering down abortion laws, the Vatican had had enough. Pope Benedict said, Take that! and used loyal Catholics in the government to force a vote of no confidence. The church replaced the misbehaving Prodi with Silvio Berlusconi.

The pope wants jurisdiction over all of Europe. In France, the pope made headway with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in pushing for France to drop its centuries-old laws of secularism. The Vatican also made a bold attempt to enforce Sunday observance across the whole European Union in a failed attempt to make it illegal for employees to work on Sunday. However, watch the Vatican to push harder for and achieve its vision of a Catholic-dominated Europe.

China Held a Majestic Games

Chinese soldiers at the magnificent opening ceremonies. (Getty Images)

The opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing put China on center stage for the whole world to see. For four hours, thousands of Chinese filled the spacious stadium with artistry, high technology, rich heritage, and sheer numbers. The Olympic spotlight revealed the size of China’s populace, economy, wealth, power and ambitions. Like the opening ceremony’s massive and perceptibly martial drum display, the Olympics left many in awe of Beijing’s might.

Beijing has extended itself diplomatically, economically and militarily into anywhere and everywhere there are resources for sale. It has significant economic ties with all but five of Africa’s 53 countries. It has connected itself to the Caribbean and Latin America. It is seeking greater investment and a greater say in the raw-materials industries in Australia, one of its major suppliers of iron ore and coal. It has even made inroads throughout the Middle East—where Beijing’s goal is to have $100 billion in trade by 2010.

Commentators the world over are predicting the next 100 years will be the century of Asia and that the next superpower will be China. These analysts underestimate Europe’s corresponding rise to superpower status, but they do reveal that America’s global influence is plummeting. China—along with its newly empowered and belligerent neighbor Russia—will play a significant role in global affairs in the event-packed months ahead.

Russia Attacked Georgia

Georgians have gotten used to looking out their windows to see Red Army tanks. (Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty Images)

Perhaps the biggest single event of 2008 outside the U.S. was Russia’s invasion of Georgia. The little nation of Georgia, a vital link in a chain of gas pipelines, had been turning toward the West and nato, but Russian tanks put a stop to that. The biblically prophesied “kings of the east” are already marching. The invasion showed how weak the U.S. is in helping its allies and standing down its enemies, and made the trend official: The Russian Army is back.

The invasion also indicated the existence of some kind of agreement between Russia and Germany. Berlin had appeared to favor inviting Georgia into nato, a move that would weaken Russia, but in the last year or so it looked as though Germany changed its mind. Perhaps Putin and the German government agreed that the Kremlin would let Kosovo and the Serbs go in return for the Reichstag staying out of the Caucasus. In short: Germany may have been complicit in Russia attacking Georgia!

The War on Drugs Continued to Go Badly

The United States’ drug addiction is fueling a major crisis south of the border. Vast sums of money flowing into Mexican drug empires is giving drug lords bribing power and a lot of powerful weapons. America’s drug problem is helping turn Mexico into a failed state. Around 5,400 people were killed in Mexico in drug-related violence in 2008, and Mexico’s attorney general expects this total to increase in 2009.

Not only does this destabilize Mexico, but it poses a grave threat to the U.S. If cartels are skilled at smuggling drugs into the country, they could smuggle in even more dangerous things as well. Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations are forming links with Mexican cartels. Some cartels operate 80-foot-long “semi-submersibles,” hard-to-detect boats that float mostly underwater. U.S. defense officials are worried these submarines could be used to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into the United States. Of course, this doesn’t even address the lost war on drugs and the thousands of lives that are rotting away and burning up as the flow of drugs continues unabated.

America’s Financials Melted

The single event that most shook the world in 2008 was the implosion and discrediting of American-style capitalism. Analysts point to subprime mortgages, low lending standards, unsafe leverage, a resulting once-in-a-lifetime credit crunch, and a multitude of other causes, but the root of America’s financial disaster is much more fundamental. America’s economic breakdown is a direct result of its moral breakdown.

America’s greatest financial institutions ended 2008 as melted pools of illiquidity. (Getty Images)

The carnage on Wall Street is irreversible. “The week surrounding September 11 of this year will prove to be a more significant turning point than the one that occurred seven years before,” the Trumpetwrote. “It was a stark, blaring announcement to the world that the American economic system has passed the point of no return. And when America’s economy goes, the world as we know it will be radically transformed.”

Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Washington Mutual, Wachovia Corp and IndyMac Bank have disintegrated. JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America are hanging by threads. Many financial institutions would have fallen and shattered already if not for taxpayer bailouts.

America’s financial leadership is gone forever, withdrawn and reinvested in countries with savings and wealth-producing industries: China, Japan, the Middle East oil-producing nations and Germany. This will soon affect the average American’s living standard. Stimulus package band-aids and other federal interventions are reallocating resources from functioning aspects of the economy into government schemes—and taxpayers are left with the enormous bills.

America embraced the biggest spending binge in history. It began with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s three-page proposal for a $700 billion blank check to purchase toxic mortgages from banks. It ended as a 400-page, $800 billion behemoth stuffed with the required pork needed to purchase consenting votes.

Just two months later, the government had committed over $4.6 trillion to combating the economic crisis—more money than the Marshall Plan, the Louisiana Purchase, the race to the moon, the savings-and-loan crisis, the Korean War, the New Deal, the Vietnam War, and nasa’s all-time budget put together and adjusted for inflation. The costs are still mounting, and additional spending plans put the total potential tab even higher.

Yet, Wall Street still remains frozen over. And the economy continues to slow. Consequently, the home-buyer pool has shrunk drastically. When people are losing jobs and can’t get loans, it means that home prices, which have already fallen 25 percent on average—and much more on the coasts—will probably continue to fall for the foreseeable future.

Expect the economy to continue to slow. And that means unemployment will continue to skyrocket. Manufacturers like GM, which lost $80 billion over the past four years, will continue to struggle and will most likely be back at the government trough for more bailouts. Financial companies will be back too.

Europe’s Financials Melted

History books will show that 2008 was the year America’s Wall Street meltdown dragged Europe into a global economic crisis. Unemployment on the Continent is rising, riots have broken out, and economic collapse threatens the European periphery. But history will also show that from the ashes of economic anarchy, an empire is about to be born.

When the euro was created, European Commission economists warned politicians that the monetary union might not survive an economic crisis. Analysts warned that because the EU has no central treasury or debt union and a one-size-fits-all interest rate policy that could not benefit both the Club Med and the German bloc, an economic crisis would sooner or later threaten the EU. This was an acceptable—even desirable—risk for top Eurocrats. If nothing else, such a “beneficial crisis” would force political union.

That crisis has now struck, and it isn’t pretty. Economies are in turmoil, unemployment is shooting up and social upheaval is erupting. Riots in Greece are just the most visible example.

Greek rioters reacting to the financial crisis stand in burning streets (Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images)

But when Europe is in crisis, the world should watch out. Europe’s history is a series of crises and Germany’s crucial reactions to them. Time after time, it was the pretext of a “crisis”—economic, religious, social, military or otherwise—that opened the door for Europe’s most notorious leaders—Charlemagne, Louis the xiv, Napoleon, Bismarck, Hitler—to rush through and grab power, then unite nations and start bloodbaths.

As the Trumpet has warned for years, Berlin has been planning for this crisis before it even adopted the euro. The crisis in Greece is a forerunner of a whole rash of similar crises soon to break out across Europe. Eurocrats will have a solution. The European nation with the best economy, strongest banking sector, strong influence over the policies of the European Central Bank and the largest gold reserves in Europe will step up: Germany.

As the Trumpetwrote, the economic crisis and the social unrest in Europe “will provide the catalyst for the EU’s leading nation, Germany, to rise to the fore with solutions of its own making. … Biblical prophecy declares that the result will be a European superstate with Germany at the helm. And that is not good news for America, Britain and the little nation called Israel.”

Racism Reloaded

Two thousand eight was the year race tensions rose to the surface once again. Barack Obama’s run for the presidency exposed his close relationship with hate preacher Jeremiah Wright, whose black theology includes “accept[ing] only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy.” Obama, whose parents left him at a young age, said Wright was “like family” to him, and attended his church for more than 20 years. However, the presidential candidate said he never heard Wright’s vituperative, anti-white, anti-government, conspiracy-theory-laced tirades, which were recorded, promoted and sold by Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. More than just raising concerns about the now-president-elect’s values, Wright’s close connection to Obama and his candidacy itself has brought race back to the forefront in America.

A New President Was Elected

President-elect Barack Obama takes office January 20. (Getty Images)

Barack Obama’s campaign promised the world, framing him as the one great uniter and bringer of hope and change who would revolutionize Washington. Many saw the election of a man whose father was black as redemption for past racism. Indeed, his election likely postponed race conflicts that undoubtedly would have broken out had Obama’s supporters—whose hopes had reached into the clouds—been outvoted. But in so voting, America elected one of its most radically liberal senators to head the nation and to sign into law bills passed by a Congress controlled by liberals—on both sides of the aisle. This leadership entrenches dangerous views—and their resultant policies—in the land’s greatest halls of power.

The Trumpet expects race tensions in America to boil over within the next few years, exposing the deep, vitriolic differences that divide the nation and scalding Americans from coast to coast—and burning out its power abroad. Meanwhile, the new administration promises to redistribute wealth, provide millions of jobs, end pollution, bolster education, fix the economy, calm our enemies, heal racism and unite the nation—in a word: unprecedented change. Election promises, and hopes, have never risen so high. But even the administration itself has already said it may take a second four-year term to fix the world, and has appointed a bunch of old hands from the Clinton administration to do it. Those who are looking to one man to change the world in 2009 are going to be sorely disappointed.

The Year Ended

Millions of headlines hurtled past in 2008, and millions more are coming in 2009. The Trumpet will continue to collect and distill the world’s most important stories for you and provide unique insight into not only what is happening, but why. How? By relying on the one Source that has published the headlines millennia in advance of major world events coming to pass!

The Bible contains the revelatory vision of the global forecast on which the Trumpet relies. It warns of religious, financial, political, social and military storms that will combine into a world-engulfing vortex—an event that will prove that despite all our technology, all our policies, all our “freedoms” and all our weapons, we don’t know how to govern a peaceful, abundant, happy society.

That’s the short-term. But the long-term forecast calls for clear skies over an entirely new world full of happiness, giving, peace, prosperity, honesty, fairness and love. That future is coming quicker than you might think—in a matter not of decades, but of years or months. The World Tomorrow is just as real as the perfect storm ahead, the biggest stories of today, and the biggest stories of yesterday—all of which were accurately prophesied in the pages of your Bible. You need to keep a weather eye out for the top stories of 2009, but thankfully you can do so with hope for what’s next!