The Biggest Drug Addict in the World

The Biggest Drug Addict in the World

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Felipe Calderón is right.

Listen up, America. Last week Mexico’s president printed a 5,000-word editorial in newspapers across his country. Felipe Calderón pleaded with Mexicans to support the war against drugs he initiated 3½ years ago.

What prompted his cry for help? A shocking spree of violence.

In the second week of June, one newspaper reported a new record of drug-related killings in a 24-hour period: 85. By the following Monday, that 24-hour record was shattered with 96 killings in seven states.

On June 10, two dozen gunmen burst into a drug rehabilitation facility in Chihuahua, ironically called Faith and Life. There, they executed 19 patients ranging in age from 16 to 63. One teenager frantically called home on his cell phone, shouting, “Mommy, they’ve come to kill us!”

Last Monday, the deadliest day ever, prisoners in rival gangs assailed each other in the Mazatlan jail with knives, pistols and an assault rifle, leaving 29 people dead. The week before, assassins blocked a highway with burning buses and murdered a dozen federal officers in their convoy and wounded eight more. Three other officers died elsewhere that day.

The very next day, 14 gunmen were killed when Mexican troops raided a house in Taxco, a popular tourist town. Mexican marines battled criminals in the coastal resort city of Acapulco. And in Tepic, a nondescript strip mall became a killing zone for 20 minutes, taking the lives of eight presumed cartel gunmen and one policeman.

This is merely the bloody capstone on years of escalating mayhem. In the 3½ years of Calderón’s war, more than 23,000 people have died in drug-related violence. In Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, about seven people are killed in drug-related violence every day. Almost 1,200 have died so far this year.

For perspective: The entire coalition in Afghanistan has had 1,855 fatalities in the nearly 10 years it has been warring there.

Calderón also assigned blame for the massacres in his country: the United States drug user.

“The origin of our violence problem begins with the fact that Mexico is located next to the country that has the highest levels of drug consumption in the world,” he wrote. “It is as if our neighbor were the biggest drug addict in the world.”

He’s right.

About 20 million Americans—8 percent of the population—use illegal drugs, the government estimates. The dollars they pay to maintain their self-destructive habits—what the United Nations said in 2009 was $142 billion a year (44 percent of global consumption)—are funding a world of evil.

America is the world’s largest cocaine consumer, and about 90 percent of what is sold in the United States comes from Mexico. And most of the distribution networks into and throughout the U.S. are dominated by Mexican criminal groups, according the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Thanks to the American drug user, drug lords are running gigantic and sophisticated smuggling operations, with cross-border tunnels nine stories underground, and semi-submersible vessels that evade radar. A 2009 year-long, multi-agency investigation in Arizona exposed one organization bringing a billion dollars’ worth of marijuana into the U.S. via heavy-duty camouflaged trucks; drivers wore night vision goggles so they could drive in the dark through the desert without headlights; scouts lived in the mountains for weeks on end radioing directives and warnings to drivers.

The cartels also use these routes to smuggle people. They sell their services to various groups for exorbitant fees, who turn around and extort money from the illegals traveling into the States. At hundreds of drop houses in American cities, immigrants are mistreated, tortured, raped—so criminals can extract ransoms from their families. “This is modern-day slavery of terrible proportions,” says Arizona state Sen. Jonathan Paton. Slavery made possible, again, by dollars from drug users.

This is a “made in America” problem. We are funding it all. Mexico’s narcothugs would all be out of business if they didn’t live next door to the world’s most voracious drug-consuming market.

Drug users say, My decisions are my business—I’m not hurting anyone else.

That’s a lie. Their decisions are facilitating a massive arms trade, paying for kidnappings and murders, enabling smuggling operations and the traffic of human beings, and threatening the Mexican government.

Some towns have seen their entire police forces quit out of fear of the gangs. Alternatively, cartels invest some of those American billions into putting the authorities on their payroll. Lethal violence and filthy riches go a long way in harassing and bribing government officials into compliance.

When that happens enough, the state ceases to function as a state. The rule of law turns into the law of the jungle. The U.S. State Department warns Americans traveling to Mexico that they could face the “equivalent to military small-unit combat” if they cross the border.

Now these evils are spilling back over into the States. Americans are getting kidnapped and killed in violence paid for by these self-indulgent American drug users. About 3,500 acres of southern Arizona along the Mexican border is now closed to U.S. citizens due to increased violence against U.S. law enforcement and citizens. A local sheriff said the situation was “literally out of control.”

On June 9, a massive drug investigation culminated in a 15-state sweep that resulted in the arrest of 429 suspects and seizure of nearly 3,000 pounds of marijuana, 247 pounds of cocaine, $5.8 million in U.S. currency, and 141 weapons. During its 22 months, the investigation netted 62 tons of marijuana, 2.2 tons of cocaine and about a thousand pounds of methamphetamines. The same day, police in Laredo, Texas, seized 147 AK-47 assault rifles and 10,000 rounds of ammunition bound for Mexico.

Last year, the Justice Department said that Mexican cartels are entrenched in at least 230 American cities. For years, they have subcontracted distribution of drugs to local American street gangs. But as they have grown in power thanks to the enormous and increasing cash flow from U.S. drug users, they are cutting out the middlemen and raking in higher profits, enabling them to expand their filthy business even more.

And it’s not just the border cities. They’re as far north as Wisconsin and Alaska, bringing their criminal culture with them.

Unless something changes, the economics suggest that Mexico’s war for survival may be a lost cause. Mexico’s counternarcotics efforts are funded by its oil exports. These revenues, on which the government heavily depends, are trending downward nearly a quarter from their peaks, which occurred in 2004 and have fallen every year since. Even if Mexico City was able to maintain current levels of funding, it’s deadlocked with the drug runners, and their incomes are booming.

A single individual, Joaquin Guzman of the Sinaloa drug cartel, personally has over $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine last year, which ranked him the 41st most powerful person in the world.

Mexico is locked in a civil war—a life-and-death struggle—a battle for survival. It is spreading into the U.S. like an aggressive cancer.

Behold the ugly effects of American drug users’ self-induced slavery.

Iran offers to show America how to plug the leak

Iran will help President Obama stop the oil leak if he asks for help, reported the semi-official Fars News Agency today.

Mehman-Parast, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that resolving the problem of the oil spill and the resulting pollution was a humanitarian issue that demanded a response from all countries. Iran was thus offering its vast technical expertise to show America how the leak could be stopped. Fars reports:

The remarks by Mehman-Parast came a day after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (irgc) announced that its experts are prepared to control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.”The experience of Iranians’ presence in curbing oil spills in a number of neighboring states in the Persian Gulf, such as Kuwait, demonstrates Iranian capabilities and skills and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps is ready to help curb the oil spill (in the Gulf of Mexico),” commander of the irgc’s Khatam ol-Anbia headquarters Gen. Rostam Qassemi stated.Qassemi reminded the environmental threat posed by the oil spill to the Caribbean states and nations, and stated, “Despite new sanctions, the irgc is prepared to fulfill its humanitarian duty in this regard and use its exclusive and indigenous capability in the Gulf of Mexico.”Earlier on May 24, Iranian Oil Minister Masoud Mir-Kazzemi had voiced the country’s preparedness to aid the U.S. in cleaning the massive oil spill in Mexico’s Gulf Coast which threatens the surrounding environment.

With Iran it is hard to know what is happening. Is the offer a blatant attempt by Iran to boost President Obama’s approval ratings, which have been plummeting amid his inability to contain the spill—or is Iran just poking fun at America’s impotence?

Israel: EU May Monitor Gaza Checkpoints

Israel: EU May Monitor Gaza Checkpoints

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Israel should “immediately” end its blockade of Gaza, read a declaration by the European Parliament on June 17, as it called for the European Union to monitor Gaza’s border crossings.

“We’ve made the offer to re-open the border mission and we’re waiting to see what they say,” said EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, also on June 17. “What matters in the end is that the crossings are opened and that we move from a list of allowed items to a list of non-allowed products.”

The EU got what it wanted: Israel has given in to Hamas and effectively ended the blockade. From now on, Israel will allow anything into Gaza as long as it cannot be used for military purposes.

Yet Israel may surrender even more to the EU: It is thinking of asking the EU to send monitors to Gaza’s border crossings.

By allowing the EU to station inspectors at the Gaza checkpoints, Israel would be taking “a first step towards surrendering its sovereign control over its borders,” writes Caroline Glick.

From 2005 to 2007 the European Union Border Assistance Mission supervised the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt. Under the EU’s careful supervision, Hamas managed to smuggle enough weaponry into Gaza to take over the government in a violent coup. Terrorists snuck in from Iran, and $68 million in cash was smuggled through the checkpoint in one year alone.

Yet Israel is now considering letting these same border protection officials play a role in all of Gaza’s crossing points. With Israel’s history of making one concession after another, this would likely prove to be the first step toward turning over control of the border completely to Europe.

Israel has a history of trusting other nations with its security—for example, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (unifil). These nations have a history of failing miserablyunifil, again, is the perfect example, which was supposed to stop Hezbollah from rearming.

But Israel has more to fear from Europe than a complete dereliction of duty. Bible prophecy warns that the EU will actually double-cross Israel. When invited in to keep the peace, the EU will actually turn around and take Jerusalem. Watch for Israel to continue to place its trust in Europe. It is building to this prophesied event.

For more information, see our article “The Counterfeit Peacemaker.”

Beyond Petroleum and Beyond Britain

Beyond Petroleum and Beyond Britain

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Britain may be about to lose one of its most strategic companies. Is it a harbinger for the nation?

British Petroleum’s rise and impending fall metaphorically mirrors the rise and fall of Great Britain—from insignificance to dramatic, even spectacular greatness, and now back again just as dramatically.

The story of British Petroleum is that of empire. It is one of Britain’s few remaining—perhaps even the last—vestige of and testament to a time when Great Britain truly was great. But it is also a story with a warning to a nation facing a collapse every bit as rapid as the downfall of its most strategic and historic energy company.

On April 19, BP was the fourth-largest company in the world—worth almost $200 billion. The next day, explosions rocked the Louisiana drilling platform and one of the most promising oil discoveries in the Gulf turned into one of the greatest environmental disasters in history.

As the depth of the disaster sunk in, and as one fix after another failed, investor flight turned into investor stampede. As of June 21, BP saw half of its value—$100 billion—wiped out. Toss in the $20 billion escrow money BP was forced to set aside for damages and all the lawsuits that will drag on forever, and visions of the end of BP become very real.

All it took was one well gone bad to wreck a 109-year-old company that produces oil from thousands of wells.

But even if BP survives this disaster, its days are probably numbered.

Most big companies like BP find it very difficult to discover enough oil each year to replace what they pump—so they are forced to continually purchase other smaller companies to replenish their reserves. To finance these acquisitions, the big companies often use their stock like cash—but BP’s stock is now ruined. It is feared that the company is doomed to deflating oil reserves, or a share price inflated away through the stock printing presses.

At the very least, the company is now vulnerable to a buyout or hostile takeover.

But BP’s troubles go far beyond its 80,000 employees.

Analysts estimate one out of every seven pension dollars in Britain came from BP—that is 14 percent of retiree paychecks. BP was considered one of the safest companies in the world to own, so virtually every pension fund in the country owned shares in the oil giant. The UK government receives more than a billion dollars each year from BP in taxes. In total, BP contributes tens of billions of dollars each year to the UK’s economy through direct cash injection—never mind the thousands of jobs.

A BP bankruptcy would be an economic disaster. It would be a national one too.

It is sad to see a company that played such an important part in building and preserving the empire fighting for its life.

Few people remember the integral role BP played in saving the nation.

BP’s roots go back to 1901. By 1908 it was on the verge of bankruptcy. According to the BP website, it was a small miracle that BP survived.

With creditors about to seize his home, William D’Arcy sent a final telegram to his representatives in Persia. He said simply: This is the last hole; drill to 1,600 feet and give up. After seven years of drilling and countless disappointments, it looked like the end of the road for the Anglo-Persian oil company—and not a barrel had been found.

Just days later, something that had never happened before occurred: They struck oil. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company that would one day become BP was back in business.

The importance of that date can hardly be over emphasized. Within a few years, Anglo-Persian Oil had built the largest refinery in the world. But it soon faced an unforeseen problem: It had too much oil and not enough buyers. 1914 changed all that.

With war looming, Winston Churchill lobbied hard to convince politicians to abandon the old coal-powered warships in favor of new, faster, more powerful oil-driven dreadnoughts. But politicians were reluctant to switch from using coal, which Britain had plenty of, to oil, of which it had none.

That’s where Anglo-Persian Oil entered the picture.

The excess oil couldn’t have come at a better time. Parliament relented to Churchill’s demands and the Navy began constructing diesel-powered ships. Six weeks later, Germany started World War i.

From that point on, until the late 1980’s when Anglo-Persian oil (then British Petroleum) was privatized, the UK government and Anglo-Persian Oil worked hand in hand to become one of the most powerful corporate-state combinations in history.

Oil-powered battleships revolutionized warfare. And because Britain controlled the oil, and the Royal Navy controlled the sea lanes, British power expanded like never before.

By the end of World War ii, the British Empire stretched from India to Australia to Canada. In Africa, the empire ran contiguously from South Africa to Egypt. Countless British islands and territories dotted the globe. The sun truly never set on the empire. And it was the Anglo-Persian Oil Company that fueled the trade and commerce that made the empire possible.

Later, as Great Britain began to lose its industry and its manufacturers became less competitive due to high taxes, labor and regulatory costs, and jobs moved overseas to non-unionized locales, it was British oil companies that increasingly picked up the share of subsidizing Britain’s social welfare state. Subsequent oil discoveries in the North Sea and Alaska continued to provide energy and money that not only powered society but gave Britain disproportionate political clout.

It is this icon of empire—this most strategic of companies—that is now facing the same plight as the country that it helped make great.

Just as the British Empire so quickly fell apart following the Second World War, so now may be the company that was so integral in preserving it during the wars.

Today, as BP has tried to distance itself from the oil industry’s dirty image, it has adopted the marketing slogan “Beyond Petroleum.” But that is not the most important issue Britons should be looking at.

What Britons need to know is what is beyond for Britain.

Will Britain ever be a world power again? Why is social tension on the rise? Why is family breakdown so rampant? Will the Anglican and Catholic churches reunite? And will Britain remain part of the European Union?

For the answers to these imperative questions and a whole lot more, read the book that more than 5 million readers have previously requested. Order a free copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s most popular work: The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

The Clash of the Titans

The Clash of the Titans

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The EU and the U.S. are poised for conflict at the G-20 summit.

On Monday, Berlin rejected U.S. calls for G-20 nations to focus on growth rather than curbing debts, setting the stage for an atmosphere of strife at this coming weekend’s Group of 20 summit in Toronto.

In a June 16 letter, President Barack Obama had urged his G-20 counterparts to maintain whatever stimulus programs their governments could finance.

“We must be flexible in adjusting the pace of consolidation and learn from the consequential mistakes of the past when stimulus was too quickly withdrawn and resulted in renewed economic hardships and recession,” he wrote.

The letter was widely regarded as a criticism of Germany and its planned austerity measures, which foresee $107 billion in spending cuts between 2011 and 2014.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble rebuffed Obama’s remarks on Monday, saying, “Nobody can seriously dispute that excessive public debts, not only in Europe, are one of the main causes of this crisis. That’s why they have to be reduced.”

Schäuble continued, saying that at the summit, Germany “will face up to the international debate,” he believes “with a great deal of self-confidence.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she also anticipates a climate of conflict at the June 26-27 meeting because of pressure from the U.S. to spend in order to bolster growth while she sees “no alternative” to reducing deficits.

Merkel said that European G-20 members will work to make deficit reduction a central focus at the summit.

“We will talk about when we’ll switch from the phase of economic stimulus programs toward lasting budget consolidation,” Merkel said. “In the opinion of Europe’s participants, and especially Germany, this is urgently necessary.”

The wording of her comments illuminates Germany’s strengthening position as the kingpin of Europe, which will further solidify as Berlin sets the fiscal agenda for the European G-20 members.

Berlin’s rejection of Washington’s stance showcases a broadening economic-policy divide between Europe and the U.S. Gone are the days when Washington could set an agenda and lead the world in adhering to it. And the summit will display the deep-rooted differences in the way America and Germany are approaching the financial crisis.

In response to President Obama’s calls for the G-20 to reaffirm its “unity of purpose to provide the policy support necessary to keep economic growth strong,” Merkel said that “it’s not about growth at any price, it’s about sustainable” growth.

The EU, with Berlin at its helm, will clash with U.S. policymakers at the upcoming summit and beyond, as turbulence between these powers intensifies. To understand more about Germany’s long-term agenda of bringing an end to U.S. hegemony, read Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.

Reality sets in for ‘dreamer in chief’

Despite his visionary rhetoric, Mr. Obama’s Oval Office address on the BP oil spill was met with disappointment from commentators, even among some of the president’s most devoted supporters. Dan Froomkin from the Huffington Post called the address “profoundly underwhelming” and Keith Olbermann commented, “It’s nice but, again, how? Where was the ‘how’ in this speech when the nation is crying out for ‘how’?”

Another flaw revealed in the speech was Mr. Obama’s attempt to use the disaster to advance his cap and trade agenda. The Trumpet pointed this out last Friday.

In his Washington Post column, Charles Krauthammer said that Mr. Obama’s speech was “untethered from reality.” The president claimed that part of the problem is a dearth of safe locations to drill oil. In reality, oil companies have been run off from these locations by environmentalists who “prefer to dream green instead”—not unlike the president. Krauthammer also pointed out the troubling direction (or lack thereof) in which Mr. Obama is leading the country:

Obama is dreamer in chief: He wants to take us to this green future “even if we’re unsure exactly what that looks like. Even if we don’t yet precisely know how we’re going to get there.” Here’s the offer: Tax carbon, spend trillions and put government in control of the energy economy—and he will take you he knows not where, by way of a road he knows not which.

At a time when the nation is looking for clear leadership, all Mr. Obama can offer is “mystery roads to unknown destinations,” Krauthammer says.

Peggy Noonan from the Wall Street Journal wrote that the president is starting to look awfully unlucky, and compared him to former President Jimmy Carter. She wrote, this is “dangerous for him because Americans get nervous when they have a snakebit president. They want presidents on whom the sun shines.”

Those blessings, though, have long since been taken away. In fact, Isaiah 3:1-3 say God has even taken away the great and mighty leaders who once ruled Israelite nations.