Britain’s Forgotten Veteran

Britain’s Forgotten Veteran

Ministry of Information official photographer

Queen Elizabeth II ought to have been the first dignitary invited to Normandy on June 6, not the last.
From the August 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

The leaders of France, Canada and the United States descended on Normandy on June 6 in a much more peaceful way than the 150,000 Allied soldiers did on that date in 1944. They commemorated the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Hitler’s Europe. Eight hundred British veterans of Normandy joined the dignitaries, along with former servicemen from Canada and the United States, a squall of reporters and countless tourists from across the planet.

You would think that someone would have reserved a chair for Britain’s head of state, the 83-year-old matriarch of the indefatigable institution at the heart of Britain’s wartime resilience, herself a survivor and veteran of World War ii.

Not so.

Queen Elizabeth ii was not on the original list of invitations to the commemoration. So, instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow veterans in Normandy to commemorate the sacrifice and service of friends and family, the Queen would have had to watch Mr. Obama, Mr. Sarkozy and Mr. Brown—none of whom were even conceived until after the war—mark the occasion with rallied empathy via television. Shame.

Ceremonies like this give pause for reflection—in this case, on the sacrifice and courage of the warriors who fought in World War ii; on the character and selflessness of their families who supported them tirelessly, prayerfully, from afar; and on the immense national sacrifice it took for the Allies to finally wrest victory from Hitler.

Frankly, no one can reflect on these things quite like Queen Elizabeth ii.

A Child at War

Shortly after the war commenced in September 1939, it was suggested to King George vi and his wife by concerned authorities that Elizabeth and Margaret, as heirs to the throne, join the children of Britain’s wealthy and be evacuated to the faraway, peaceful shores of Canada. The queen consort’s curt response to this suggestion was patriotism in its purest form: “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave the King. And the King will never leave.” That settled it. The King and his family would remain at the wheel of the ship.

Elizabeth was a teenager when war erupted, and together with her younger sister she spent most of the war in seclusion at Windsor Castle. They often slept in the dungeons, virtually alone, whenever it was considered too dangerous to sleep upstairs. They may have been safely ensconced within those protective walls, but the girls knew what it felt like to watch parents and loved ones dodge death in service to Britain.

Early in the war, King George and his wife had chosen to remain in London in the hope that their resilient example might embolden a country in the jaws of death. They even decided to continue residing in Buckingham Palace, the seat of royal power and the bull’s-eye of Hitler’s Luftwaffe. The palace was bombed nine times, with two bombs exploding on one occasion less than 80 yards from where the King and Queen were sitting. Meanwhile, King George and his wife weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and their children, along with the country, witnessed their parents’ gallant tours through the rubble-strewn streets of London, their courage and resilience rallying their shellshocked people.

In October 1940, when she was just 14 years old, Elizabeth delivered her first radio address, live to Britain and the United States. “Thousands of you in this country have had to leave your homes and be separated from your father and mother,” she told listeners, precisely and empathetically. “My sister Margaret Rose and I feel so much for you, as we know from experience what it means to be away from those we love most of all.” The world was touched. It was early in the war, but American hearts began to long to rescue Britain’s innocent princesses.

The girls learned quickly that despite—and really because of—their position, they too had to sacrifice. Throughout the war, they followed their mother’s example, knitting clothes for soldiers in the Army, Navy and Air Force. When they ran out of material in July 1941, the princesses personally arranged and performed in a concert to raise money to buy wool so they could resume their service. Time after time, the royal heirs sacrificed time and privacy for photos, public addresses and taxing public engagements designed to inspire and motivate the British people.

Elizabeth and her sister learned to be frugal, and willingly gave up royal privileges. Tales still linger of the royal family economizing with clothing coupons, and of how the queen consort would personally alter her own dresses for Elizabeth, and later for Margaret. In 1941, the press released a story about how Elizabeth was allocated 5 shillings a week for pocket money, more than half of which she donated to the war effort.

“This was not just for public consumption,” relays Ben Pimlott in his biography of Elizabeth ii. “When Eleanor Roosevelt visited Buckingham Palace late in 1942, she found adherence to heat, water and food restrictions that was almost a fetish. Broken window panes in her bedroom had been replaced with wood, and her bath had a painted black line above which she was not supposed to run the water.”

Of course, Elizabeth and her sister were royalty and enjoyed advantages during the war that most British children did not have. But those advantages came with weighty responsibility, which the sisters carried admirably, with determination and sacrifice, and without complaint.

As Elizabeth matured, the war demanded she skip the more carefree teenage years and quickly absorb royal responsibilities to the state. She visited hospitals and shipyards, led ceremonies and parades, and performed constitutional duties. By the time she was 18, after years of performing royal functions to help inspire the public, the princess had managed to convince her father and mother to allow her to volunteer in the military. In February 1945, she was registered as No. 230873 Second Subaltern Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor. Trained at the military academy in Aldershot, Elizabeth became a mechanic and a driver in the British Army, rising to the rank of junior commander. Queen Elizabeth ii is the only living head of state who served in uniform during World War ii.

The war touched Elizabeth in a multitude of ways. The young Prince Philip, her husband-to-be, was an officer in the Royal Navy. Her uncle, the Duke of Kent, died in a plane crash while on active service.

When King George vi died in 1952, Winston Churchill delivered a speech in remembrance of his old friend and fighting companion: “There is no doubt that of all the institutions which have grown up among us over the centuries, or sprung into being in our lifetime, the constitutional monarchy is the most deeply founded and dearly cherished by the whole association of our peoples.”

When she became Queen in 1952, Elizabeth embraced this royal legacy of service and sacrifice. “I cannot lead you into battle,” Elizabeth told her people at her coronation. “I do not give you laws or administer justice, but I can do something else. I can give my heart and my devotion to these old islands and to all the peoples of our brotherhood of nations.”

And she has—for 56 years!

Diminishing Respect

That’s why it’s such a travesty that the Queen was not invited to the commemoration in Normandy. Although Downing Street blamed France for the gaffe, saying it neglected to send an invitation to Buckingham Palace, much of the fault lies with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Britain was invited. Mr. Brown simply didn’t pass the invitation on to the Queen—Britain’s head of state—or even think to quiz the French to make sure a seat had been reserved for both himself and Her Majesty.

How could he forget?

Mr. Brown, together with most of Britain’s leaders, no longer understands or cherishes the historic role and responsibility of the monarchy. The snubbing of Queen Elizabeth ii, even if it were accidental, is a sign of the diminishing respect and appreciation among British leaders for the undying sacrifice of the monarchy during World War ii.

Prince Charles attended the D-Day commemorations, thanks to a belated invitation to Buckingham Palace from the French president. But the mentality of Britain’s leaders was clearly exposed. Sliding into the multicultural cesspool, Britain’s leaders are losing sight of the magnificent history of their monarchy, and are turning their backs on Queen Elizabeth ii, Britain’s forgotten veteran.

To learn about the tremendous importance of the British royal family, request a free copy of The Key of David.

The Real Power Struggle in Iran

The Real Power Struggle in Iran

Arash Khamooshi/AFP/Getty Images

It isn’t between conservatives and moderates.

Western media sources watched the Iranian street protests following Iran’s June 12 election with bated breath. Many outsiders have viewed the protests as a sort of prelude to a long-awaited Islamic counter-revolution. What they largely fail to see, however, is that the struggle on the streets of Iran was actually only a side effect of a bigger power struggle going on behind the scenes.

That power struggle is among rival conservative factions. There has not in fact been an uprising against the regime. As Stratfor wrote, “The post-election unrest in Iran … was not a matter of a repressive regime suppressing liberals (as in Prague in 1989), but a struggle between two Islamist factions that are each committed to the regime, but opposed to each other” (June 29). In this picture, any truly reformist faction simply doesn’t exist as a credible political force.

The primary struggle within the regime is between the hard right under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his spiritual mentor, Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, and the pragmatic conservatives led by former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Neither side opposes the regime. Stratfor points out that “Rafsanjani was part of the 1979 revolution, as were Ahmadinejad and the rest of the political and clerical elite. It would be a massive mistake to think that any leadership elements have abandoned those principles” (ibid.). Rather, the power struggle is over who ought to be leading the clerical establishment.

Both of these factions want Iran to become a nuclear powerhouse capable of dominating the Middle East. Ahmadinejad, of course, has made this clear. But Rafsanjani, despite being considered a moderate by some in the West, has the same national goals.

In a 2001 speech, Rafsanjani said that it was not irrational to contemplate the day when Iran may possess nuclear weapons. He also said that Iran will one day vomit Israel “out from its midst” in one blast, because “a single atomic bomb has the power to completely destroy Israel, while an Israeli counterstrike can only cause partial damage to the Islamic world.” For the time being, however, Rafsanjani wants to avoid confrontation with the United States so that the Iranian nuclear program can progress unhindered and the Iranian government can play a larger role in Iraq.

Ahmadinejad’s ultraconservative faction, on the other hand, opposes any sort of rapprochement with the West, publicly advocates suicide bombing, and keenly supports such things as public floggings. Ahmadinejad’s extremist worldview centers on his belief in the imminent return of the Islamic “Messiah,” the Twelfth Imam. He sympathizes with the Hojjatieh sect, which believes that the return of the Twelfth Imam can be hastened by the creation of human-induced apocalyptic chaos.

While Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has striven to build a consensus between the two camps in order to uphold the strength of the Islamic Republic, things came to a head with the latest elections.

Ahmadinejad had been stacking the Iranian government with his loyalists for years, and prominent politicians and clerics came to see him as a threat to their own political careers as well as the clerical establishment itself. The recent street protests were only a symptom of the behind-the-scenes power struggle between Iran’s pragmatic conservatives and ultraconservatives. Indeed, not all those out on the streets protesting against the election results were people wanting Western-style liberal change in the country. Many were supporters of senior clerics who just wanted Ahmadinejad out.

For now, Khamenei has more or less succeeded in crushing the public protests. Rafsanjani has backed off and, while he spoke out on Sunday against the election, he put blame for the post-election unrest on a “complex conspiracy plotted by suspicious elements with the aim of creating a rift between the people and the Islamic establishment and causing them to lose trust in the system.” In other words, unprepared to stand up to the supreme leader, Rafsanjani tactfully put the blame on foreign interference.

The battle for power will continue on behind the scenes, but at the end of the day—as we’ve said before—the battle is not over foreign policy. That will remain the same. The regime may even take a more aggressive stance in its foreign policy and nuclear development in an effort to unify the country.

To learn more about the real significance of Ahmadinejad’s reelection, read Joel Hilliker’s column “The Truth Behind Iran’s Election Protests” and The King of the South, by Gerald Flurry.

American Gold? No Thanks!

The Chinese and Japanese are falling out of love with the dollar.
From the August 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

Amid the global economic carnage, one winner has emerged. In a perverse turn of events, the currency of the country that started it all has gone up in value. But the U.S. dollar’s day as king may be nearing an end. Nations are beginning to worry that America’s vast debts and money-creating machines are threatening the greenback.

News out of the Far East suggests that anti-dollar sentiment is flourishing among U.S. enemies and allies alike. Is a dollar revolt brewing?

Deng Xiaoping’s Dream

Mei jin used to be the Chinese term for the U.S. dollar. It means “American gold.” It came from the dollar’s reputation as a stable store of wealth. The belief in “American gold” was so strong that it even withstood the de-linking of gold and the greenback by President Nixon in 1971. The Chinese shunned local currency when owning dollars was an option.

“Comrades, just imagine!”, Deng Xiaoping, the leader of China, said to an audience of powerful policymakers in the late 1970s. “One day we may have a foreign reserve as big as $10 billion!” According to the New York Times, a hushed awe filled the room because the number was so astronomical, seemingly so impossible. “Comrades, just imagine,” Deng continued, “with 10 billion American gold, how much China can do!”

Back then, owning “American gold” was a status symbol in China, even after the dollar could no longer be officially exchanged for real gold. Chinese horded Mei jin as a hedge against inflation—willing to purchase dollars at extravagant exchange rates—if they could find anyone who would sell. Businesses eagerly sought it from tourists. The government wanted “American gold” to back the Chinese currency.

The gigantic demand for Mei jin played a huge role in supporting the value of the dollar and keeping interest rates low in America, despite the fact that the U.S. ran huge trade and budget deficits.

Forty years later, a very different story is emerging.

A New Dirty Word

China is now the world’s largest foreign holder of dollar bonds. It owns approximately $2 trillion worth. China is also America’s most important creditor.

China has all the Mei jin it could have ever hoped for—and a whole lot more. China is overflowing with Mei jin, but like anything else that becomes easily attainable—Weimar reichmarks, Argentine pesos, Turkish lira, colored paper—as scarcity dwindles, value plummets. The implications for America are ominous.

“No one knows for sure when the tide started to turn, or the exact moment when American gold started its slow but seemingly irreversible loss of luster,” Victor Zhikai Gao, a former interpreter for Deng Xiaoping, said. But now, “[m]any Chinese people increasingly fear the rapid erosion of the American dollar.”

Many shops no longer accept dollar-based credit cards, and there are quotas on how many dollars can be converted to renminbi. Those who still keep large amounts of U.S. dollars are those who need it to send their children to U.S. schools, or to travel in other countries that still use U.S. dollars.

For the most part, Chinese multinational corporations still happily accept U.S. dollars as a form of payment—but Mei jin is on its way to becoming a derisive anti-American joke, even a dirty word. China’s appetite for holding dollars is turning into revulsion.

“China’s near-$2,000 billion in reserves, the world’s largest, are often viewed outside the country as a great strength—an insurance policy against economic turbulence. But within China, they are increasingly seen by the public and even some policymakers as something of an albatross—a huge pool of resources … that will plunge in value if the U.S. dollar collapses,” reported the Financial Times (February 23, emphasis mine).

China is stuck in a dollar trap. At least, that is what U.S. policymakers are telling the gullible public. China has lent so much money to America that if it ever tried to sell its U.S. treasuries, it would cause the rest of its treasury holdings to plummet in value. Thus, China would never dare sell. We have them in a Chinese liquidity torture trap—or so the theory goes.

China plays along, allowing U.S. officials to save face. Meanwhile, the U.S. trade deficit alone continues to send tens of billions of dollars to China each month. “We hate you guys,” Luo Ping, a director general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission, complained on a visit to New York in February. “Once you start issuing $1 to $2 trillion … we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys, but there is nothing much we can do.”

There you have it! China has admitted that it is stuck in the dollar trap—case closed. We can all get back to fearlessly sending China more money.

But it’s not China that is caught in a dollar trap—it’s America.

Goodbye to the Dollar

China is already making moves to diversify its holdings away from the dollar. In April it was reported that China had almost doubled its actual gold reserves from 2003 levels to 1,054 tons. Although as a percent of its foreign exchange savings China’s gold stockpile is small, from a global perspective, it is huge. China is now the world’s largest producer and fifth-largest holder of refined gold, on a par with Switzerland. But that is only counting the “officially” reported numbers. True gold holdings may be much higher.

China is also “pushing hard to put the dollar out of its misery as the currency of international trade,” according to the Shanghai Daily. China has negotiated currency swap deals for bilateral trade with Argentina, Malaysia, South Korea, Belarus and Indonesia as a way for these countries to conduct trade without relying on the U.S. dollar. Similar arrangements are in the works with Brazil and Russia.

China also pushed hard (along with the European Union) at the G-20 summit earlier this year for the International Monetary Fund to issue Special Drawing Rights (sdrs), so that countries suffering from the global economic slowdown could have access to credit markets. sdrs are, in effect, a form of global currency outside the control of any single nation that acts as a supplement or alternative to the dollar for global trade.

Does this sound like a nation caught in a trap?

“The notion that the Chinese have accumulated this massive U.S. debt portfolio and are only now wondering what to do about it is so naive it doesn’t warrant consideration,” Adrian Douglas of Market Force Analysis said. Douglas suggests that China has been using its U.S. treasury portfolio as collateral for the massive resource buying binge it has embarked upon lately.

If some day China was “forced” to announce it was selling significant portions of its U.S. treasuries—what Chinese state media have referred to as Beijing’s “nuclear option”—and the U.S. bond market consequently melted down, China could simply default and hand over the worthless U.S. bonds. Meanwhile, China would still have its accumulated stockpiles of strategic resources. Douglas says China is currently importing 70 percent more copper than it consumes, and is busily creating and filling a strategic petroleum reserve.

But China isn’t the only Asian country to show public disdain for the U.S. dollar.

No Thanks

Ii eh, domo. That is essentially what the chief finance spokesman of Japan’s opposition said concerning the U.S. dollar on April 12. Ii eh, domo means “no thanks”—as in, dollar-denominated U.S. treasuries? No thanks. Masaharu Nakagawa told the bbc that he was worried about the future value of the dollar, and that if his party were elected in the upcoming national elections it would refuse to purchase any more U.S. treasuries unless they were denominated in Japanese yen.

“If it’s [in] yen, it’s going to be all right,” Mr. Nakagawa said. “We propose that we would buy [the U.S. bonds], but it’s yen, not dollar.”

Since World War ii, Japan has been a stalwart supporter of U.S. policy and the dollar. Japan is America’s second-largest creditor after China.

Because Japan is a U.S. ally, Washington officials don’t often talk about it being stuck in a dollar trap. But this recent announcement illustrates a clear weakening of U.S.-Tokyo relations.

“We have come to assume that Japan under the Liberal Democratic Party (ldp) will always cleave to America, if only to safeguard U.S. protection against Chinese naval expansion,” wrote Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in the Telegraph. “But crashes have a habit of bringing regime change” (May 17).

Brian Reading, a Japan specialist at Lombard Street Research, says Japan may experience a “seismic shock” as voters revolt. Will Japan soon have new leadership that is less accommodating to Washington? Even America’s strongest allies are questioning the wisdom of lending money to a nation that has so much debt.

According to a recent unconfirmed report, Germany is in the dollar-skeptic camp too. Economic analyst Jim Willie quoted an unnamed source saying that Germany has demanded the “return [of] all their gold bullion held in custodial accounts on U.S. soil” (Hat Trick Letter, April 16). Dubai has recently sent the same request to London (which is also facing a currency crisis). According to Willie, Germany is acting as a “hidden archenemy” toward the U.S. and UK “on all matters pertaining to gold bullion.” He says Germany is also acting as an adviser to the Chinese on currency and gold issues.

When America’s allies, let alone its enemies, publicly question the viability of the dollar, you can be sure that things behind the scenes are even worse.

“We’re going to have a currency crisis, probably this fall or the fall of 2010,” said famed commodities investor Jim Rogers on May 12. “It’s been building up for a long time. We’ve had a huge rally in the dollar, an artificial rally in the dollar, so it’s time for a currency crisis.”

The dollar is in big trouble.

If the dollar goes down, America’s standard of living—and other, far more important implications—can’t help but follow. The dangers of debt are about to be brought home to America. Skyrocketing interest rates, plummeting currency, escalating import costs and three-digit oil prices will be just a few of the consequences.

Mei jin has lost its luster. And soon, more than just the Japanese will say “no thanks” to the U.S. dollar.

America Disarms, the World Rearms

From the July 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

Often, it takes an economic crisis to reveal where a country’s national priorities really lie. Notably, all of the world’s major power blocs are using this time of financial hardship to increase their military spending—except the United States.

Take Russia. The financial pandemic has forced the Kremlin to drastically cut government spending across the board. Budgets for both the Energy Ministry and the Transport Ministry this year were slashed by almost a third. In fact, the only massive, expensive project the Russian government has increased funding for is its military.

President Dmitry Medvedev vowed on March 17 to increase government military spending this year by 26 percent in order to transform Russia’s creaky, Soviet-era defense industry into a leaner, more effective fighting force. Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin cohorts clearly place a high priority on national defense.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recently reported that Russian arms exports were 14 percent higher from 2004 to 2008 than the previous five years. Seventy-one percent of these exported weapons were delivered to Russia’s Asia-Pacific allies; deliveries of naval vessels and advanced combat aircraft to China and India accounted for a considerable share.

The Russians aren’t the only ones beefing up their armed forces amid economic crisis. Chinese Adm. Wu Shengli told reporters on April 15 of his nation’s ambition to start building large combat warships, next-generation aircraft and sophisticated torpedoes. International media sources speculate that China is already building us many as six aircraft carriers. Whether or not that is true, the fact remains that Beijing has upped its military spending by 14.9 percent this year. Its military is fast becoming a formidable force—especially in light of Beijing forming military alliances with Moscow, Tokyo and New Delhi.

Germany also has caught rearmament fever, and will be funneling almost €500 million (US$633 million) from the second government stimulus package into the Defense Ministry. This money will be used to buy tanks, combat drones, submachine guns, military vehicles and underwater mine detectors for the German armed forces.

Germany’s military industries have increased their arms exports by a record 70 percent over the past five years. This means that Germany is now the third-largest arms exporter on the planet—behind only the U.S. and Russia. This new multimillion-euro injection of stimulus money will increase Germany’s military capacity even more. Just as most of Russia’s arms exports are going to Moscow’s Asia-Pacific allies, so much of Germany’s arms exports are going to Berlin’s European allies. Indeed, German arms exports to European destinations grew by 123 percent from 2003 to 2008.

The U.S., it appears, is the only major world power that is not drastically increasing military spending. In fact, Washington is drastically cutting spending on some of its most vital defense programs.

On April 6, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Washington’s intention to restructure American defense spending to concentrate on the “wars we are in” rather than those that military planners may anticipate in the future. In other words, the Pentagon is now focusing on counterinsurgency warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan at the expense of other threats to America.

As part of this restructuring, the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program will be terminated, the Airborne Laser and Transformational Satellite programs will end, and the U.S. Navy will continue to shrink from the 313-ship fleet size that was set just a few years ago.

“It is important to remember,” said Gates, “that every defense dollar spent to over-insure against a remote or diminishing risk—or, in effect, to run up the score in a capability where the United States is already dominant—is a dollar not available to take care of our people, reset the force, win the wars we are in and improve capabilities in areas where we are under-invested and potentially vulnerable.”

Of course, perceived “remote” and “diminishing” threats do not always stay remote and diminishing. As America focuses in on terrorism and ignores the threats posed by traditional nation-states, it risks allowing nations like Russia and Germany to narrow the gap between their militaries and the preeminent U.S. military.

As journalist Walter Lippmann observed in 1943, the push for disarmament after World War i only proved “tragically successful in disarming the nations that believed in disarmament.”

The truth behind the restructuring of America’s military spending is that Washington can no longer afford to maintain its military superiority. Other nations know this and are seizing the opportunity. The day is fast coming when the Pentagon will have many more threats to worry about than just Afghanistan.

For more information on America’s military decline, order a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy by Herbert W. Armstrong.

On the Edge

From the July 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

Radical Iran is on the edge of completing the nuclear cycle.

Nuclear North Korea launched a missile that could reach Los Angeles.

Unstable Pakistan, besieged by Islamists, is losing its grip on governance—and perhaps on its atomic arsenal.

Unpredictable states. Unimaginable deadly potential.

The goal of nuclear disarmament has never been more crucial. The means to achieve it have never been so elusive.

Human survival is at stake.

In the following pages, we look squarely at this nightmarish reality.

But we view it in context of a promise. A promise that gives us hope.

Not the promise by some politicians to try to coax a tempest into a cage through negotiation.

But a promise that is unbreakable, inviolable.

The promise that this crisis—though inevitable—presages something beautiful.

That what looks like the edge of annihilation … is really a frontier of a new beginning.

Crazy for Ida!

Crazy for Ida!

Mario Tama/Getty Images

A fossil find inspires a multimillion-dollar media celebration. Have scientists finally discovered the elusive “missing link” to prove evolution true?
From the August 2009 Trumpet Print Edition

The “missing link” is the holy grail of evolutionists. If scientists can find the remains of a “transition” species, they will definitively prove evolution, the thinking goes. Now that missing link has been found! That is, if we are to believe the reports.

At the end of May, mass media started hyperventilating over the discovery of Ida, a fossilized monkey skeleton hailed as the “missing link” in human evolution. Fox News said the fossil “made waves” among scientists and non-scientists alike. The Guardian called it “one of the most significant primate fossil finds ever made.” Google made the fossil image a part of its homepage logo. The Wall Street Journal dubbed Ida a possible “landmark discovery”—potentially a common ancestor of all later monkeys, apes—and humans.

Yes, the media went bananas over the fossilized remains that scientists claim closely resemble a lemur (a small, tree-dwelling primate found in Madagascar) in some respects but an ape in others. Some experts called the skeleton the “eighth wonder of the world.” Others said the impact upon paleontology would be comparable to an “asteroid falling down to Earth.” At one point, the euphoria was so intense that the discovery was compared to the moon landing and the Kennedy assassination.

Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg got carried away at the star-studded unveiling, calling the preserved specimen an “astonishing breakthrough.”

But before you take the scientists’ and the media’s word for it and hang portraits of apes over the family fireplace, you might want to look a little closer.

Sorry, evolutionists: For all the big headlines and grand proclamations, this “missing link” is another—if beautifully preserved—fraud, another in a long line of distinguished frauds.

The Piltdown Hoax

The fanfare surrounding Ida is reminiscent of another famous fossil: the Piltdown man. The Piltdown fossil was a series of skull fragments discovered in the early 1900s that included a human-like skull, orangutan-like jaw, and chimpanzee-like teeth. Scientists gave it the name Eoanthropus dawsoni.

A familiar degree of great excitement accompanied the discovery of this fossil, as it purported to demonstrate a transition species between man and “lower primates.” The great majority of the scientific community jumped on this discovery as proof of evolution and the fossilized missing links that even Charles Darwin was admittedly at a loss to explain. Over 500 essays and scientific papers were written on the subject. Graduate students produced their doctoral theses from studying the fragments.

There was only one problem: The fantastic find was a fake.

The perpetrator combined a 700-year-old human skull, a 500-year-old lower jaw of a Sarawak orangutan and fossilized chimpanzee teeth. He then used chemicals to dye the bones to give the appearance of age.

But here is the point. It took about 40 years for the scientific community to discover the difference between a supposed multimillion-year-old fossil and a modern chimpanzee.

For four decades, the majority of the scientific community accepted the fossil as legitimate fact and proof that modern man was part of an evolutionary chain of species—despite the fact that several credible scientists almost immediately disputed the validity of the find, that there were visible file markings detectable on the teeth, and other incongruities. Textbooks incorporated the discovery, thousands of students were taught the faulty information, and untold millions were unsuspectingly influenced into accepting the belief that people had evolved from monkeys. All from a cobbled-together mess of human, orangutan and chimpanzee parts.

It was not just because of the shoddy “scientific” testing applied to it that the Piltdown hoax worked (although an unbiased and careful examination, using the tools available at the time, would have revealed the hoax), but because the fake fossil neatly satisfied the prevailing preconceived theory of the time. Thus, supposedly unbiased, truth-seeking scientists easily and even willingly overlooked the aspects of the discovery that argued against its validity.

“There’s Almost Nothing to Study”

This is the pitfall that evolutionary enthusiasts repeatedly fall into.

Despite more than 150 years of searching for bones, the fossil record continues to disprove the evolutionary theory. Not a single confirmed transition fossil has been found! According to the evolutionary theory, there should be millions and billions. Animals have been evolving into new species for hundreds of millions of years, the theory goes. Therefore, scientists have reasonably expected to find thousands, or at least hundreds, or maybe 10, fossils of transitionary species. But they can’t find a single one!

Scientists are not trying to honestly provewhether evolution holds true, as they would any other theory. They are desperately, one-sidedly trying to verify evolution.

That is why the supposed Ida discovery (Darwinius masillae) is such a big deal.

“It’s part of our evolution that’s been hidden so far, it’s been hidden because all the other specimens are so incomplete,” said Prof. Jorn Hurum, the scientist who bought the fossil from a private collector who obtained it many years prior. “They are so broken there’s almost nothing to study, and now this wonderful fossil appears, and it makes the story so much easier to tell, so it’s really a dream come true” (emphasis mine throughout).

“The significance of this new find is it has almost every single fragment of bones,” confirmed Tab Rasmussen, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “It’s very difficult to find anything besides teeth, a jaw, and bones here and there. This is something that really vaults the whole field forward” (Fox News, May 21).

According to revealingthelink.com, the official website promoting Ida, there is no primate fossil “so well preserved until we get to human burial.”

How condemning. The notion of evolution, accepted by the mainstream scientific community as fact, is largely based on nothing more than a few eroded bone fragments and scattered teeth—garbage evidence. And these are scientists; individuals who supposedly reject anything but the hard, cold facts.

Evolution, it seems, is a theory based upon the evidence of things not seen.

Where Did Ida Come From?

But what about Ida? It is 95 percent complete, and even the contents of its last dinner are visibly preserved in the fossil. Surely, all the hype must indicate that it is good proof of evolution.

Unfortunately for evolutionists, as it turns out, Ida is a fraud too.

Professor Hurum and the professors at the University of Oslo purchased the Ida fossil from a private collector, who had purchased the fossil from other black market dealers, who had purchased it from amateur fossil hunters in 1983. But even disregarding the atrocious second- and third-hand chain of custody that would typically invalidate normal scientific procedure, other evidence has come to light.

One of the co-authors who released the Ida study, Dr. Philip Gingerich, admitted that the team would have preferred to publish in a rigorous scientific journal, but had to settle for an open-source journal. He told the Wall Street Journal, “There was a tv company involved and time pressure. We’ve been pushed to finish the study. It’s not how I like to do science” (May 20).

And then, to even be allowed to publish their ideas in the less-rigorous, free online Public Library of Science One journal, the scientists had to virtually renounce their own claim that Ida was a human ancestor by inserting the statement: “[The species] could represent a stem group from which later anthropoid primates evolved [the line leading to humans], but we are not advocating this here.”

Wow! So, outside of the History Channel (which spent a record amount to purchase the Ida movie rights months earlier), the book promotion, and the high-profile Michael Bloomberg press conference, Ida as a “missing link” isn’t even considered good science.

“It’s Not a Missing Link”

It rings “all sorts of warning bells” when a tv company is dictating the science, notes Prof. Peter Brown, a paleoanthropologist at the University of New England. He says the scientific study did not provide sufficient proof to consider Ida as a human ancestor, or even a primate ancestor: “It’s nice it has fingernails, something we have, as do most primates … but they’ve cherry-picked particular character[istics], and they’ve been criticized [by other scientists] for doing that” (Australian, May 21).

“It’s not a missing link, it’s not even a terribly close relative to monkeys, apes and humans, which is the point they’re trying to make,” said Carnegie Museum of Natural History curator of vertebrate paleontology Chris Beard. “I would be absolutely dumbfounded if it turns out to be a potential ancestor to humans” (Fox News, op. cit.).

Even the scientists—in fact, the majority of scientists, according to Yale University’s Chris Gilbert—don’t believe the Ida fossil is a missing link.

So where does that leave us?

It leaves us with monkey bones. Very beautiful, very complete, fossilized monkey bones, but monkey bones nonetheless. Ida is nothing more than an extinct species of lemur. It’s not the “astounding” “landmark discovery” it was hailed to be.

But this episode does uncover a real discovery: Just how willing evolutionists are—in the scientific and academic communities as well as the media—to close their eyes to the scientific truth.