Leader of Iranian Militant Group Arrested

Leader of Iranian Militant Group Arrested

Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iranian Interior Minister Mustafa Mohammad-Najjar announced Tuesday that the leader of Iran’s anti-regime Jundallah militant group, Abdolmalek Rigi, had been captured in Pakistan by Iranian authorities and transferred to Iran. The Sunni organization has been responsible for dozens of attacks in Iran, including one last October that killed more than 40 people, including 15 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Details of the capture remain hazy, though it appears to have involved Pakistani cooperation. Pakistani ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Abbasi said on Wednesday that Pakistan was involved in the arrest, claiming that Rigi was captured on a flight from Dubai.

“Whatever the true story,” writes Asia Times Online, “the fact is that Pakistan appears to have abandoned one of its strategic assets against Iran” (February 25).

Why? Stratfor points to another possible angle to the story: that the arrest was a result of a deal made between the U.S. and Iran.

“Iran claims Rigi was at a U.S. military base within 24 hours before his capture. And Stratfor sources in Iran suggest that the United States allowed Pakistan to turn Rigi over to the Iranians, with the United States seeking in return greater assistance from Iran in stabilizing Iraq” (February 24). Stratfor’s sources say Islamabad turned Rigi over to Tehran last week.

Though Stratfor says this version of the story cannot be verified, it says “the possibility of U.S. assistance—in an attempt to make Iran more willing to cooperate in other areas—cannot be ruled out.”

If this is the case, it would once again demonstrate the leverage Iran has over the U.S., particularly in Iraq. Regardless, the capture of its most-wanted fugitive is a victory for Iran.

Could Germany Soon Acquire Nuclear Weapons?

Could Germany Soon Acquire Nuclear Weapons?


It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.

At the height of the Cold War, the United States had roughly 7,000 nuclear warheads stationed in Europe. Today, America has about 200 B61 nuclear gravity bombs under the auspices of nato on the Continent.

These bombs may soon be up for grabs.

When the Cold War ended, the security equation dictating Europe’s defense changed, and America slashed the number of nukes it had stockpiled there. With Russia no longer perceived as a nuclear threat, it wasn’t long before some began calling on Washington to remove its few remaining nukes. The calls intensified with time. But officials in Washington and nato were concerned about the message a comprehensive nuclear drawdown would send to Russia (as well as those formerly under the Kremlin’s boot heel). So they ignored the requests and preserved the status quo.

Until now.

“In recent weeks it has become clear that the status quo is no longer an option,” Anne Penketh wrote in the Guardian Tuesday. The latest wave of pressure began last fall, when German and Dutch politicians demanded that America remove its nukes. It crested last week, when four senior Belgian politicians demanded that Washington remove its 20 or so B61s from their nation’s soil.

And it seems the pressure on the White House will only intensify. Citing remarks from senior Belgian leaders, Agence France Presse reported last Friday that an impending joint proposal from five nato members will demand “that nuclear arms on European soil belonging to other nato member states are removed.” According to a spokesman for Belgium’s prime minister, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway will submit a petition “in the coming weeks” for more than 200 American warheads to be removed from Europe, including Turkey.

We need to keep an eye on these nuclear weapons.

In 1965, German politician Franz Josef Strauss wrote a visionary book in which he outlined his ambition for the creation of a united and independent German-led European superstate. Strauss envisioned this federalized European entity as much more than a globally dominant political and economic union. He believed it must possess military features that would forge it as an international force on par militarily with the United States.

To Strauss, this German-led European combine would inevitably have to go nuclear.

How? On page 52 of The Grand Design, Strauss wrote, “I can well see the day in which America, given the creation of a European nuclear force in which the United States is not itself a participant, would be entirely willing to cooperate with assistance in research and with deliveries of material” (emphasis mine throughout).

After 45 years, that day may be about to dawn. Strauss’s vision of an independent European military—including a “European nuclear force” aided in its creation by the United States—could soon be reality!

Any analysis of the decision to remove American nukes from Europe must factor in the broader debate currently underway between Europe and America over the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Put simply, nato is experiencing a major identity crisis. Its original mandate is redundant and it has grown so large it’s become unwieldy and cumbersome, a tangled mess of bureaucracy and conflicting ideologies and priorities. In spite of these maladies, demand for nato’s services is strong, and the alliance finds itself on the front lines of all sorts of major projects, including the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Hence the question being hotly debated by American and European leaders: What exactly is the roleor what officials have termed the new “strategic concept”—of nato?

The answer to this pivotal question stands to impact us all. And we’re already getting a glimpse of what it will be. Europe is weighing heavily into the debate over nato’s future. European countries are not the dispirited, easily manipulated political and military dwarfs they were when nato coalesced as a distinctly American creation in 1949. Moreover, the European Union today is a legitimate superstate, replete with its own developing security apparatus, foreign-policy objectives and military ambitions—and is advancing its own distinct and far-reaching vision for the future of nato.

In fact, 2010, as Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser recently explained, could be the year that nato transforms into a distinctly European instrument!

Watching the creeping Europeanization of nato, one wonders whether this process might include the Europeanization of America’s nuclear bombs by Germany. Even now, those warheads exist under nato guidelines. It doesn’t take much imagination to see nato’s new strategic concept including strictures that could place America’s nuclear bombs in the hands of the EU—which from its inception has been a German creation.

Of course, we don’t know for certain what will happen to these weapons. But conditions are crystallizing to where we could find out this year.

In an address to world leaders at the Global Zero conference earlier this month, U.S. President Barack Obama assured his audience that America’s forthcoming “Nuclear Posture Review [npr] will reduce the role and number of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy.”According to Hans M. Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, “the European initiative would help the Obama administration justify a decision to withdraw the weapons from Europe by demonstrating that key nato allies no longer see a need for the deployment.”

The problem is, any declaration by the White House that it plans to remove its nukes from Europe would preempt and potentially interrupt the debate over nato’s new strategic concept. But Mr. Obama is not without options, as Mr. Kristensen notes: “An alternative could be that the npr concludes that the U.S. sees no need for the continued deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe but leaves it up tonato‘s new strategic concept to make the formal decision.”

In other words, President Obama could leave it up to natowhich is currently being cannibalized by European ambition—to determine what to do with America’s nuclear warheads!

Looking only at the initiative to remove American warheads from the Continent, it appears Europe would choose to banish all American bombs from its midst. But it’s not that simple. This initiative is being driven by liberal-socialist European politicians and media pundits. So far, Europe’s Catholic, conservative pro-military politicians have barely weighed in on this issue. This is the crop of leaders we must be watching—particularly as the ongoing economic calamity intensifies the craving for closer political, economic and military union in Europe.

The debate over the future of nato will continue throughout 2010. As it does, expect Europe’s voice and role in nato to get stronger. Pay special attention to German politician Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. Guttenberg recently lashed out at nato, calling it an inept organization in need of a radical overhaul. Germany’s defense minister believes, as do more than a few European politicians these days, that Europe needs a stronger military, one closely aligned with and heavily influencing nato.

As Europe cannibalizes nato, don’t be surprised if it cannibalizes America’s nuclear weapons on the Continent!

If this occurs, the most pressing question will be: What will this newly dominant European military power do with these nuclear warheads?

The late Herbert Armstrong answered that question in the April 1980 issue of the Plain Truth. “You may be sure the West European leaders are conferring hurriedly and secretly about how and how soon they may unite and provide a united European military force so they can defend themselves!” he wrote. “And so they will no longer have to give in meekly to Russia! And who will they blame for their humiliation and their necessity now to have a united Europe, with a united government, a common currency, and a common military force as great or greater than either the ussr or the usa? They will blame the United States! And when they are strong enough to assert themselves, they will first attack Britain for standing firm with the U.S., and then they will return a lot of hydrogen bombs the U.S. has stored now in Europe!”

To most people in 1980, that forecast probably sounded absolutely ridiculous—as did Franz Josef Strauss’s “grand design” for a united European constellation in which Germany shone as the leading and brightest star. But today each of these forecasts seem much less extreme and far more sobering. And if you think that’s sobering, consider how far advanced each of these trends could be this time next year, considering the rate at which world events are unfolding.

From Sovereign Wealth to Sovereign Debt

From Sovereign Wealth to Sovereign Debt


How fast the world changes these days!

Two years ago when the annual summit of those who move and shake the world economy convened in Davos, Switzerland, all the talk was about how the rich nations should employ their sovereign wealth funds. One of the gurus on a Davos panel that predicted at that time those funds would rocket from 2.5 trillion to 15 trillion by the year 2015 was the ceo of Lehman Brothers.

Nine months later, Lehman Brothers was no more and the world stood on the brink of financial collapse. By the time Davos 2010 convened, there were fewer parties. Many sovereign wealth funds were licking their wounds having lost massively in the wake of the great Wall Street crash of September 2008. Estimates vary that from between 18 to 40 percent of assets were stripped from those funds in the fallout. Then along came Greece.

Yet we only have to track back four years and we were experiencing the boom days of Wall Street fat cats, licking up their millions in unheard-of bonuses and kickbacks. Now many of those who rode the inflated credit wave of the early 21st century are joining the lines in the soup kitchens of this once great nation’s cities.

From boom to gloom in a few years.

Yet still the Feds hide the reality of the true state of the nation as they frantically work themselves to hide from that same reality rather than bare the true facts to an already scared public.

But, sooner or later, as Shakespeare mused, the “truth will out!”

Even as the U.S. administration threatens new taxes to fund its infamous health scheme, independent analysts predict that Washington will soon have to bite the bullet and slash ballooning public expenditure.

Reporting for Moneynews, Julie Crawshaw quotes noted Harvard professor and former International Monetary Fund chief economist Kenneth Rogoff as observing that historic trends following banking crises reveal that “we usually see a bunch of sovereign defaults, say in a few years. I predict we will again.” Rogoff further maintains “that financial markets will eventually drive bond yields higher, and European countries such as Greece and Portugal will ‘have a lot of troubles.’ ‘It’s very, very hard to call the timing, but it will happen,’ Rogoff says. … Worldwide awareness of sovereign debt has risen as nations including Greece reveal fiscal deficits that have swollen in the wake of the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression” (February 24).

The same source quoted ubs economist George Magnus as observing, “There is no peacetime precedent for the current speed and scale of public debt accumulation and it is difficult to assess the social tolerance for high debt levels and for the pain of protracted fiscal restraint. In several EU (European Union) member states, the threshold has already been breached. The specter of sovereign default, therefore, has returned to the rich world.”

Our columnist Robert Morley updates our readers weekly on aspects of the continuing global economic and financial crisis. In his column this week he highlights the fact that California is more than an equivalent problem to the United States as Greece is proving to be to the European Union.

Why is this present contagious problem of both state and nation-state bankruptcy and default of such significance to readers of the Trumpet?

Simply because a good hard core of our subscribers are very familiar with the fact that Herbert Armstrong—our mentor in predictive analysis based on comparing current world events with the reality of rapidly fulfilling Bible prophecy—foresaw and clearly prophesied that a great global financial catastrophe would propel the next global power into prominence. He prophesied of an empire that would seize control of the global economy for its very brief moment in history and stun the world with its power over humanity! It would in reality be the long-prophesied seventh and final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire! (read our booklet Daniel Unlocks Revelation).

We are right now descending into the rapidly developing global crisis that will soon prove the inerrancy of that great Bible prophecy!

The day of Anglo-Saxon dominance in world affairs is rapidly fading into history. The pride of our power was broken long ago when we won our last war in 1945. Our enemies see our deep moral corruption, our lack of political will and the great shame that we have heaped upon ourselves due to the profligacy of our ways.

We don’t need any bearded, wild-eyed weirdo to parade around with a sandwich board in public bearing the message “The end is nigh!” Any clear-thinking realist with his feet planted firmly on the ground can see the global system is at breaking point. As the great Creator of humankind once wrote on the castle wall of one of this world’s greatest imperial rulers, “Mene, mene , tekel …”—the interpretation being, “God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it … You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting” (Daniel 5:25-27; New King James Version). The same night he saw that message, Belshazzar, king of Chaldea, was overthrown by his enemy.

For the Anglo-Saxon peoples, chief of whom are the U.S. and Britain, the writing is plainly on the wall. Our sovereign debt is accelerating hourly to soon reach a stage beyond not only the unimaginable, but the patently unmanageable. Our days of accumulation of sovereign wealth are far over.

Our nations have been measured and their power is about finished. They have been weighed in the balance and found mightily wanting.

Their time of greatness is rapidly waning and will soon be over.

Is this a message of doom?

Believe it or not, it is a forerunner of the greatest message of hope that any human being could wish for!

If there ever was a time to embrace that hope, it is in these days of increasing spiritual darkness and great global confusion.

Read our booklet The Epistles of Peter—A Living Hope and lay fast hold on the greatest vision of hope that can ever be embraced by humankind!

Latin America Spurns U.S.

Latin America Spurns U.S.

Omar Torres/AFP/Getty Images

Latin American and Caribbean nations vote to keep the U.S. out of their affairs.

The writing has been on the wall ever since certain populist leaders gained the upper hand in Latino politics.

Long distracted by events in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East, America has too often ignored the nations that press against its own back door. Now they are clubbing together to form their own regional alliance to replace the Organization of American States (oas). The oas has, to this point, operated as the principle alliance of the Americas, incorporating Canada and the United States. The new alliance is slated to deny Canada and the U.S. a forum at regional summits south of the border.

Washington’s initial reaction to all this was to present a ho-hum attitude of seeming disinterest. Such an response to current developments in this strategic southern Atlantic/Pacific region will prove disastrous to the U.S.

As if to carry more force behind this Latin slap across America’s face, it fell to the leader of America’s closest neighbor, Mexico—source of its largest intake of migrant labor and thus of the flight of billions of dollars via remittances to destinations south of the border—to deliver the blow.

At the conclusion of a two-day summit in Cancun, Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced to participants from 32 nations representing Latin America and the Caribbean that this new bloc “must as a priority push for regional integration … and promote the regional agenda in global meetings.” He added that the name and structure of the new organization will be determined at a further summit to be held in Caracas, Venezuela, next year. Mexico and Brazil are the driving forces behind the new bloc.

In an early sign of strengthening anti-Anglo-Saxon orientation in the region, this Latin bloc threw its weight behind Argentina’s renewed calls for Britain to hand over of the Falkland Islands to that southern Latino nation.

In an early opinion on the new organization, China, already well entrenched in the region, said the development could help Beijing increase its cooperation with Caribbean and Latin American countries. China Daily reported that “Trade between China and Latin America reached $111.461 billion in the first three quarters of 2008, with China’s direct non-financial investment in the region involving trade, manufacturing, gas and oil exploration amounting to $960 million at the end of June in 2008” (February 22).

Yet observers are cautious as to the new bloc’s prospects for success given the disunity that presently divides more conservative leaders in countries such as Colombia, Chile and Peru from leftists such as lead Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. Brazil’s President Lula da Silva is quite often the balancing factor in any political feuds between these factions.

Despite the outward show of bravado in seeking to distance the region from Anglo-Saxon influence, Latin America has no real history of intra-regional cohesion. It is not unlike the unwieldy and fractious European Union in this respect. Yet both these regions have one overarching potentially binding force in common that could, amid crisis, rapidly unify their respective masses together: Roman Catholicism.

International relations guru Hans J. Morgenthau famously declared that true power is the control over the mind. Few pundits in these post-Cold War days appreciate the power of ideology, once unleashed, to control the minds of the masses. Too many commentators raised in post-Cold War secularism consider ideology in international relations as passé.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is ideological extremism that drives hatred of the Jew and Anglo-Saxon in the minds of Islamist terrorists and that fuels Islamic expansionism. It is the ideology of Rome that, though it has seemingly lain dormant for decades, is destined to suddenly spark a roaring flame of zealously militant passion in a time of great crisis this world, caught in the vortex of global financial collapse, is hurtling daily toward.

Bible prophecy declares it will be Rome’s religion that finally binds the unwieldy European Union together to give it the political unity it needs in order to lead globally in the near future. The EU will wield that power over a very Catholic Latin America in particular.

It will be Rome’s religious ideology that exerts the power over the minds of the public as it evangelizes anew all traditionally Catholic nations, drawing them into imperial Europe’s developing global economic, financial and military empire. This control is destined to prevail, believe it or not, over and above any influence that other world powers, such as China, may seek to exert in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean. The effort to establish a regional Latin American and Caribbean alliance, excluding the U.S. and Canada, is moving the nations of that region one more step in that direction.

Herbert Armstrong prophesied that this—as not yet fully evident to the public, yet rapidly developing—final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire would ultimately transport people from North America to South America to a condition of servitude in its workforce. Sound unrealistic? Not if you know the astoundingly accurate prophecies for these times in your Bible.

Request a copy of our booklet He Was Right to prove this developing reality in greater detail.

Iran Won’t Let This Election Slip

Iran Won’t Let This Election Slip

Watch Iraq’s coming vote. Iran’s plan to dominate its neighbor is becoming reality.

In the thick of the war in the 1980s, if you had told an Iraqi citizen that, within a generation, his nation would be allied with his nation’s archenemy, Iran, he would have strenuously, violently objected. Nevertheless, here we are.

Iraq plans to stage an election in 11 days. Iran is wrapping up a masterful strategy to turn that election in its favor. This should bring Tehran’s long-held dream of transforming Iraq into a client state one big step closer to fulfillment.

It’s been a long road. That war in the ’80s was the project of a regime dedicated to spreading the Islamic Revolution. After cementing power in 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini turned his extreme version of Islam into state policy, writing into the Iranian constitution the nation’s obligation to “constantly strive to bring about the political, economic and cultural unity of the Islamic world.” Neighboring Iraq—with its majority Shiite population and its 900-mile border with Iran, not to mention its tremendous oil wealth and its relatively diminutive size (one fourth Iran’s geography; one third Iran’s population)—was a natural starting point.

Khomeini saw Saddam Hussein as the primary obstacle impeding the revolution. He directly appealed to Iraqis to boot him, calling him a “puppet of Satan.” Saddam, feeling threatened, responded by invading Iran on Sept. 22, 1980. Khomeini viewed Hussein’s assault as “a rebellion of blasphemy against Islam.” The resulting war was brutal, devastating and inconclusive, costing each side about a million people and half a trillion dollars, and yielding no gains. When a UN ceasefire brought it to a standstill in 1988, Khomeini’s military was sapped of strength and morale, and his country lay in economic ruin.

Still, his regime never gave up its plans for Iraq. It simply began working an alternative plan—a plan that involved what Middle East analyst Alireza Jafarzadeh calls “a complex program of infiltration at every level.” Iran poured resources into trying to destabilize Iraq from within by penetrating it economically, politically, religiously and socially, as well as through propaganda, intelligence gathering and terrorism. Hussein had turned Iraq into a blood enemy, and the Islamic Republic wanted nothing more than to see him gone.

The regime was given an important assist in 1991. After Saddam tried to replenish his depleted war chest by invading Kuwait, a U.S.-led coalition punished him. Not only did the Gulf War diminish Saddam’s resources, it also punctured the secular Arab nationalist movement he had symbolized. The resulting ideological vacuum left plenty of room for Islamic extremism to flourish.

And flourish it did. Iran looked to seize the leadership of the burgeoning movement by stepping up its support for terrorist groups throughout the region. The trend caught the eye of Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry. “Much of the world is unaware of what a powerful and dangerous force the Islamic camp is becoming,” he wrote in the July 1992 issue. “Iran is a natural leader for many of them today. Iran also has a goal to lead this group.” In July 1993, he suggested the possibility of Iran taking over “control [of] the oil of other Middle East oil producers.”

In December 1994, Mr. Flurry wrote an article with this provocative headline: “Is Iraq About to Fall to Iran?” “The most powerful [Muslim] country in the Middle East is Iran,” he wrote. “Can you imagine the power they would have if they gained control of Iraq, the second-largest oil-producing country in the world?”

Remarkable question. For nearly two decades now, the Trumpet has repeated it, consistently warning of an Iranian takeover of Iraq. Why? Because of a forecast that goes back much, much further. Believe it or not, advance news of Iran’s success in bringing Iraq to heel was recorded three millennia ago. More on that in a moment.

In 2003, the U.S. handed Iran an astonishing gift. In deposing Saddam Hussein, not only did America eliminate the primary obstacle impeding Iran’s revolution, it also eliminated the only force holding together the ethnic, national and religious patchwork that is Iraq. Iran seized the opportunity. “Immediately after the coalition invasion of March 2003, Iran’s leaders exploited the situation and launched a no-holds-barred mission to control Iraq’s elections, militias, and power structure at every level,” Jafarzadeh wrote. Thanks to the U.S.-led invasion, “The door to Iraq flung open, [and] they leaped at their chance to fulfill their long-held goal of installing an Islamic Republic in Iraq that mirrored their own” (The Iran Threat).

This strategy has been an enormous success. By 2005, when Iraq held its first national elections, the depth of Iran’s political and social penetration had become quite apparent. After Tehran’s brazen campaign to influence the election—deluging Shiite political funds with cash, coaching Iran-sympathetic candidates, buying off unemployed Iraqis, getting Shiite clergy to insist their followers vote, even sending as many as half a million Iranians across the border to cast ballots—a Shia-led alliance grabbed just shy of an outright majority of parliamentary seats. One hard-line Iranian newspaper called it “the creation of the first Islamic state in the Arab world.”

As impressive as that victory was, however, Iran is determined to do even better in the coming election. Last summer, Tehran rallied Iraqi Shiites to form a single political bloc, the Iraqi National Coalition (inc). It poured money into the project, using hundreds of front companies. It also flooded Iraq with Iraqis, including “professional agitators,” who had fled to Iran during Saddam’s reign, and put tens of thousands, including some inside the government, on the payroll of the Revolutionary Guard Corp.

The prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, tried to play tough with Iran and opted not to join the inc. Iran responded in December by sending its troops to occupy an Iraqi oil well—a stern reminder of its ability to create havoc within Iraq at will. Maliki subsequently submitted, agreeing to join his party in coalition with the inc.

To further ensure a Shiite victory, last month Iraq’s unelected electoral commission banned about 500 Sunni candidates from the election, eliminating those most opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq. Joe Biden visited Iraq to urge Iraqi officials to reconsider, but after an appeals court overturned the ban, the Maliki government overruled the court and then blasted the U.S. for interfering. The episode vividly illustrated just how weak America’s influence in Iraq has become—and how undeniably strong Iran’s. Last week, America’s commanding general in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, revealed that Ahmed Chalabi, who controls the electoral commission, is linked to Iran’s Guard Corps.

Now a major Sunni political bloc says it will boycott the election. This will guarantee a Shiite landslide victory—and also, probably, a spike in Sunni violence. The Sunnis have been checkmated, and they know it.

America has also been checkmated—and Iran knows it. The Obama administration is escalating the war in Afghanistan and desperately wants out of Iraq. It plans to pull nearly half of its 96,000 troops this summer, and Robert Gates said Monday that only a “considerable deterioration” in Iraqi security would delay that timetable. America’s exit—and Iran’s triumph—is inevitable.

Khomenei described the Iran-Iraq War as a divine blessing that would help spread the revolution. That proved false. But surely he would be ecstatic to see what those carrying his mantle today have achieved: a successful multi-front offensive—ironically, with the unwitting aid of the U.S.—aimed at fulfilling his dream of bringing Iraq under Iranian control.

And that 3,000-year-old advance news of this development shows that there has, in fact, been divine involvement. The Trumpet’s interest in this trend centers on the prophecy of Daniel 11:40—a prophecy to unfold “at the time of the end”—our time today. It describes a geopolitical power, “the king of the south,” involved in a critical sequence of end-time events. From the early 1990s, Mr. Flurry began to see that Iran, leading the radical Islamic camp, would fulfill that role. That combined with an even earlier prophecy, recorded in Psalm 83, indicating that Iraq would be aligned with that power—and, thus, that a dramatic political upheaval within Iraq such as we’ve witnessed over the past decade was inevitable. (This remarkable passage is explained in our booklet The King of the South.)

Observers are saying that, given Iran’s expanding influence and America’s imminent withdrawal, Iraq’s future is in doubt. Not true. It is sure. Watch it unfold, and acknowledge how it dramatically proves the reliability of biblical prophecy!

Will Crisis Oust Britain From EU?

Will Crisis Oust Britain From EU?

Getty Images

The British economy potentially faces a worse situation than that of Greece. This places the future of the country at great risk.

Forty years ago, amid great industrial upheaval and economic stagnation, Britain was hailed as “the sick man of Europe.” Margaret Thatcher rose to the occasion, stared down Britain’s militant labor unions, privatized moribund state-run services and rescued the nation from crisis.

There simply is no 21st-century Thatcher to come to Britain’s aid amid a far greater crisis facing the nation today.

Britain risks overtaking Greece as the sickest economy in the EU. Yet it is faced with a greater problem than Greece. Greece, as a member of the eurozone—notwithstanding all the political posturing issuing from Brussels/Berlin seeking to force austerity measures upon it to stem its profligate fiscal ways—does have a lender of last resort with which to plead its case for a bailout: the European Central Bank.

As one nation that refused membership of the euroclub—electing rather to maintain its own sovereign means of exchange, the British pound sterling—Britain can hardly seek favor with the Eurobank in times of crisis. It would probably have to turn to the International Monetary Fund, placing it in the same category as the Third World nations that are the usual recipients of imf largesse. This would result in a tremendous loss of national prestige—that is, assuming that old embattled Britain has any remaining prestige to lose.

Writing for the Telegraph, Ambrose-Evans Pritchard mused, “The Greek crisis is a dress rehearsal for attacks on any sovereign state with public accounts in disarray. While Britain went in to this crisis with a much lower public debt than Greece or Italy (though higher total debt than either), it now has the highest budget deficit in the oecd [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] rich club—and perhaps the world—at 13 percent of gdp.

“I have a very nasty feeling that markets are about to pounce on Britain. … A disorderly fall in sterling at this stage (i.e. collapse) could prove as traumatic as default” (February 15).

A few days later, the Telegraph reported, “Britain’s public finances may end this year in a worse state than those of Greece, economists warned yesterday, raising serious fears over the economic stability of the country” (February 19).

Emphasizing the developing financial crisis in Britain, the annual January surge in tax receipts that normally boost the British Treasury did not occur. Instead, for the first time in 17 years, public finances plunged into the red in the first month of the year. Official figures showed that the government actually borrowed £4.3 billion in January to keep the nation afloat. “The Office for National Statistics said the government had never before had to borrow cash in January, adding that the shortfall meant it had now borrowed £122  billion so far this financial year, equivalent to around £2,000 for every man, woman and child in the country” (ibid.).

The cost of such borrowing is proving more expensive to Britain than the cost of loans to the ailing Spanish and Italians. Added to this is the huge exposure of British banks to those EU nations presently in the greatest economic difficulty, the so-called Club Med, or pigs nations—Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. A consequence of all this, which just adds to Britain’s financial and economic woes, is that the market is increasingly avoiding the purchase of British bonds. Then there’s the bad news from the real-estate market, indicating that mortgage lending fell by 32 percent in January.

This all adds up to one sorry mess for Britain. It is not only that Britain risks the loss of its triple-A credit rating. Leading academics, economists and businessmen have warned that “without action on the public finances, Britain could face a crippling fiscal crisis” (ibid.).

Over the past 20 years, Britain has increasingly sold off not only crucial businesses but also numerous strategic assets. It has even yielded up the administration of some of its counties to foreign entities. Yet, despite retaining its beloved but battered pound sterling, Britain long ago began signing over its national sovereignty to the European Union. That action was consummated with the government signing the European constitution and thus virtually making Britain an EU vassal state subject to the whim of Brussels/Berlin.

There are signs that an increasingly concerned element within British society is waking up to this. But is it too late to do anything about it? Some have posed the prospect of Greece being booted out of the eurozone. That is not the same as being booted out of the European Union. It is the latter that is becoming an increasing prospect for Britain.

Herbert Armstrong prophesied long ago that Britain would either opt out, or be kicked out of the European Union. The day of that occurring may be closer than we think. If Berlin is prepared to play hardball with a fellow European nation like Greece when it is in a tough spot, what do you really think, based on the lessons of history alone, it is likely to do to the offshore islands of Britain if faced with a similar situation involving that EU member nation? Britain has placed its economy in an extremely tenuous situation by allowing not only many of its top brand names to be taken over by EU member nations, in particular Germany, but too many of its strategic assets—and too much of its national debt, also.

Where is this all leading the once Great Britain? An open-minded reading of our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy will provide you with the answer.