Pope Meets the Queen—Insight Into Man’s Magnificent Future!

Pope Meets the Queen—Insight Into Man’s Magnificent Future!

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From the December 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

The pope sits on a throne. So does the queen of Britain. If people understood only the true history of those two thrones, they would know where this world is headed and how it is about to be filled with happiness and joy—after some terrible suffering.

Most Catholics don’t understand the true history of their own church. And most of the British people don’t understand the true history of the Queen’s throne.

In September, the pope visited Britain and the Queen. It was the first state visit by a pope since the Reformation. Earth-shaking changes are occurring in Europe and in Britain! The Reformation is being reversed. The Catholic Church is gaining unparalleled power.

What does that mean to you?

The pope’s visit was a historic moment in the Catholic Church, Britain and the world!

Most of the world is asleep to what is happening in Europe. But people are about to be struck by lightning that will bring them out of their stupor.

The Bible tells us that God is going to save most of humanity. That includes Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and all other religious people, but in His time frame and in His way.

God’s hand is even behind the rising power of the Catholic Church today. But you need to read our material to understand why.

Pope Benedict xvi said this to the Queen and the British people: “Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live. I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a ‘reductive vision of the person and his destiny’ (Caritas in Veritate, 29)” (emphasis mine throughout). The Catholic Church in most of Europe is very different from the one in the U.S.

Any truth-seeking historian knows the pope has grossly distorted that Nazi history!

Were the Nazis atheistic extremists who excluded God? It was actually the inclusion of “God” and religious ideology that provided the Nazi regime its greatest source of inspiration. Adolf Hitler himself was a deeply religious man (a Catholic) and wanted to be seen as a religious figure.

“We are not a movement—rather we are a religion,” Hitler said about his regime (Robert G.L. Waite, The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler).

“Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews,” Hitler said in 1926. “The work that Christ started but could not finish, I—Adolf Hitler—will conclude” (John Toland, Adolf Hitler). Hitler even said he learned from the Jesuit order “above all.”

Were the Catholic priests in general opposed to the Nazis? On the contrary, they were generally united with them! If not, why did the Vatican, at the end of World War ii, help more Nazis escape than any other institution? Nobody else even came close!

Historians have documented the infamous ratlines that ran through the Vatican and helped the defeated Nazis escape. They will forever remain a bloody stain on its history.

The Catholic Church was so dedicated to the Nazis that it helped thousands escape evenafterGermany was defeated! That historical fact indicates the strongest kind of loyalty to the Nazis!

If people realized where all this is leading, they would be deeply frightened. But how many leaders do you see challenging the pope’s distorted view of history? That gives you a good idea of how many leaders fear the Catholic Church. And that fear is growing!

The Queen’s Speech

Here is one statement the Queen made to the pope: “I am pleased that your visit will also provide an opportunity to deepen the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the established Church of England and the Church of Scotland.”

That is not the language we need to hear coming from her throne. I can offer you overwhelming proof that the Queen is sitting on David’s throne. The same throne that the Messiah is about to rule on forever! (Isaiah 9:7).

Andrew Brown wrote this about the pope’s visit: “This was the end of the British Empire. In all the four centuries from Elizabeth i to Elizabeth ii, England has been defined as a Protestant nation. The Catholics were the Other; sometimes violent terrorists and rebels, sometimes merely dirty immigrants. The sense that this was a nation specially blessed by God arose from a deeply anti-Catholic reading of the Bible. … Rebellion against the pope was the foundational act of English power. And now the power is gone, and perhaps the rebellion has gone, too” (Guardian, September 17). This is a very deadly sign of Britain’s immediate future.

Let me repeat this sentence: “The sense that this was a nation specially blessed by God arose from a deeply anti-Catholic reading of the Bible.” What a marvelous memory of Britain’s history! And what a condemning memory! The British people have forgotten that God gave them their wealthy empire, which no longer exists. That is because they have forgotten their Bible—which has many anti-Catholic statements!

Christians of this world are embarrassingly ignorant of their Bible. If they don’t know their Bible, they don’t know God!

This article stated that “the power is gone.” Because of Britain’s sins, God has broken the pride of its power (Leviticus 26:19). The British still have considerable power, but are afraid to use it.

The Queen sits on the very throne from which the Messiah is about to rule this world! These events are all leading directly to the coming of the Messiah!

Our booklet Germany and the Holy Roman Empire and book The United States and Britain in Prophecy, both yours free for the asking, explain the foundational history and prophecy of those two thrones.

This article was corrected after having originally stated that Benedict xvi’s visit was the first visit by a pope to Britain and the Queen since the Reformation. Though it was not an official state visit, Pope John Paul ii visited the Queen in Britain in 1982.

Emerging Nations Gain in IMF Power Shift

Emerging Nations Gain in IMF Power Shift

Kim Jae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images

Finance ministers of the world’s 20 biggest economies voted on Saturday to grant emerging market countries like China, India and Turkey more weight in the International Monetary Fund (imf). Analysts expect the decision to deter G-20 nations from devaluing their currencies, and to make developing nations more willing to address the trade imbalances causing currency volatility and threatening an increase in protectionism.

Channel NewsAsia said the decision was a “historic moment” in an October 25 report. The article continues:

Emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China were given 6 percent more voting power at the imf on account of their growing clout in the global economy.China emerged as a key winner, now the third-largest voting member of the fund, behind the U.S. and Japan. … G-20 officials praised the move, adding that this means China has agreed to make its foreign exchange regime more flexible to the market.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal called the agreement “belated recognition of the old Western economies’ fading place in the Great Scheme of Things.”

As China’s massive growth forges on, the global balance of power will continue to shift.

And Beijing, never long content with the gains it makes, will prove the analysts’ optimism to have been hasty. To understand more about the global trade disputes currently underway and where they are leading, read “This Means War” from the Trumpet’s December 2010 issue.

Iran Takes Over OPEC

Iran Takes Over OPEC

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Iran is back in charge, and that signals big changes in the Middle East—and in your pocketbook.

Iran is soon to be the president of opec again. And the implications could be enormous. An international oil dispute is virtually sure to erupt, says one Russian analyst. It is only a matter of how soon. But this time, he says, it is not America’s fight—it is Europe’s.

On October 14, Iran was elected president of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries—and that says a lot about how the world is changing.

America’s global clout and influence is clearly on the wane. And not just because opec—a grouping of nations that includes many anti-American states—elected perhaps the biggest anti-American state to its presidency. But because, as rtt News said, it did so “unanimously”!

How’s that for friends? America liberates Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, it props up the Iraqi government, it sells Saudi Arabia $60 billion worth of upgraded F-15 fighters—and in return gets a diplomatic slap in the face. Don’t forget that America is working overtime to try to build a coalition to enforce sanctions on Iran for continuing to pursue nuclear weapons.

Can’t be working so well when even America’s so-called allies don’t seem to be on board.

Making the slap sting all the more is the fact that Iran’s Oil Minister Seyed Masoud Mirkazemi will hold the opec presidency. Mirkazemi is a senior-level commander within the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps—a group considered a terrorist organization by the State Department.

So opec is now chaired by not only a terrorist-sponsoring nation, but by an actual terrorist.

It is clear the Arabs dread offending Iran a lot more than they do America. Fear of Iran is infecting the Persian Gulf. And the Arabs should be afraid. America has broadly advertised that it will be pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan soon, never to return. The Arabs will be left to deal with (read submit to) Iran.

Iran is acutely aware that America is a broken superpower.

The same day the 12 opec nations meekly handed Iran the presidency, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited his Hezbollah underlings in Lebanon. It was his first trip to the country, and he used the fanfare to send a message. “The whole world knows that the Zionists are going to disappear,” he said. “The occupying Zionists today have no choice but to accept reality and go back to their countries of origin.”

Although most took his words as a threat toward Israel, it was also a message to America—and to Iran’s opec subordinates.

The message was: We are the regional power you really need to fear. No matter how much America promises, at the end of the day, it is going home. You had better deal with us.

With the Iranian-aligned Muslim Brotherhood poised to seize power in Egypt, with Turkey developing closer ties to Iran, and with America cooling its relationship with Israel, it is no wonder opec is snapping into line with the king of the Middle East.

But what exactly is Iran’s agenda? Is it $100-per-barrel oil? $150? Is it to use opec as a podium to vocalize its anti-West rhetoric? Or does it go beyond that?

Iran will certainly work to increase oil prices, says Russian Center for Public Policy Research director Vladimir Yevseyev. In this regard, it will probably have some success, he says, but Iran has a far bigger battle lined up.

According to Yevseyev, the real war Iran is gearing up for is against Europe.

As head of opec, Iran will leverage its position to counter the policy of the European Union, which has been complicating Iranian oil sales. “I do not believe that it will be effective, but Iran must take such attempts,” he says.

Europe has recently begun taking further steps to restrict trade and foreign investment in Iran due to Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weaponry. On September 30, four of Europe’s largest oil companies (Total, Shell, Statoil and Eni) announced they had committed to stopping business with Iran.

The situation is getting touchy. Iran has now given ultimatums to other European oil firms. Either commit to business in Iran or prepare to have your assets seized.

Iran has other weapons too.

Europe depends on imports for the vast majority of its oil. Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy import almost 100 percent of their oil. Nearly half of Europe’s imported oil comes from the Middle East. And most of that comes through the Persian Gulf—which is half Iranian coastal waters.

“Security of energy without Iran has no meaning,” opec’s new president warned on October 14. The international community and Europe in general should take close note, he said.

It wouldn’t take much to send the cost of crude oil soaring. Global estimates suggest that due to depletion, over the next 5 to 10 years the Middle East is going to become the world’s most valuable source of oil. Iran is predicted to be one of the few countries with excess oil supplies.

“[T]he political risks are rising,” says Russia’s Yevseyev. “I do not see the way how this situation could change, as I do not see grounds for a rapprochement between Iran and Europe.”

Europe looks at Iran’s presidency of opec as a problem with which it will fight, but not as the possibility of rapprochement with Iran,” he said (emphasis mine).

Yevseyev is right. Rapprochement with Iran will not occur.

The Middle East has the oil. Europe needs it. Iran wants to use it as a tool to push Europe. Europe wants to stop Iran from getting the bomb. America just wants out. Both Iran and Europe want in. The rest of opec balances on nitroglycerine—not wanting to offend Iran, and enjoying higher oil prices—but also looking on with apprehension at a withdrawing America and with interest at emerging European aggressiveness.

In an oil-constrained world, Iran believes its position is impregnable. As opec’s second-largest producer, it has the oil, and it is now leveraging its position within opec to push its agenda and try to attain nuclear capability. Yet a nuclear-armed dominant Iran is not something Europe wants to live with either. This is not a recipe for peace in the Middle East.

Tensions are escalating even faster than the price of oil, if that is possible.

But where is it all headed? Will Europe acquiesce to Iran’s pushy foreign policy? And how will the world’s oil problems be solved? For the answers to these questions, read The King of the South and “Why Iran Can Afford to Be So Bold.”

Map: Conquering the World One Contract at a Time

A glance at some of China’s strategic acquisitions worldwide
From the December 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

Alberta, Canada

China has many millions invested in oil projects in Canada. Sinopec owns a 9 percent stake in Syncrude and 50 percent of Total’s planned Northern Lights Project. PetroChina owns a 60 percent stake in Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.’s Mackay and Dover projects. China Investment Corp. owns 20 percent of Suncor Energy Inc.’s Fort Hills oil sands project.

Angola

Angola exports more oil to China than Saudi Arabia does. In 2004, Angola allowed Sinopec to buy a 50 percent stake in a deep-water oil field called Bloc 18.

Argentina

CNOOC bought a 50 percent stake in Argentina’s Bridas Corp. for $3.1 billion. It is also negotiating buying a 60 percent stake in Argentina’s Pan American Energy for around $10 billion. China also has $10 billion in railway contracts.

Australia

PetroChina allied with Royal Dutch Shell to take over Arrow Energy in August, and now co-owns the formerly Australian firm that focuses on unconventional energy reserves. China may have up to 30 trillion cubic meters of unconventional natural gas deposits. As well as sending gas back to the mainland, China will use Arrows technology to tap its own gas reserves.

Australia

Though Australia has not allowed them to buy its mining giants outright, Chinese firms invested nearly $8 billion in Australian mining between June 2008 and June 2009. In June 2009, Chinese Minmetals bought many of Oz Minerals’ assets. China’s Angang Steel is working with an Australian mining firm to develop the Karara iron ore project, with most of the funding for the project coming from the China Development Bank. The bank funds several other iron ore projects.

Bolivia

China’s Development Bank offered to lend Bolivia $15 billion to develop an iron ore deposit. Most of the loan would be paid back using iron produced from the deposit.

Brazil

Chinese oil companies have made many deals in Brazil. Sinopec invested $7.1 billion in the Brazilian arm of Spain’s Repsol oil companies; this gave it a 40 percent stake in Repsol’s Brazilian venture. The Chinese Development Bank lent $10 billion to Brazil’s Petrobas; in return, Petrobas agreed to sell Sinopec 200,000 barrels of oil per day (10 percent of its total production) for 10 years. Sinochem bought a 40 percent stake in Brazil’s offshore Peregrino oil field from a Norwegian firm for $3.07 billion.

Chile

China’s Minmetals established a joint venture with Chile’s CODELCO to mine over 55,000 tons of copper ore.

Dem. Rep. of the Congo

China lent the country $5 billion in exchange for the right to mine resources including cobalt, copper and timber.

Ecuador

Andes Petroleum Corporation, a joint venture by Chinese oil firms, bought all of Canadian oil firm EnCana’s shares in subsidiary companies based in Ecuador for $1.42 billion in 2005.

Laos and Myanmar (Burma)

Several Chinese rubber firms have contracts to farm rubber.

Mozambique

The Chinese government has invested $800 million to modernize the country.

New Zealand

Bright Food Group, owned by the Chinese government, bought Synlait, New Zealand’s third-largest dairy processor.

Nigeria

Nigeria paid China’s CCECC $8.3 billion to update the nation’s railways.GreeceChina has taken control of Greece’s largest port. It has agreed with Greece to spend $700 million modernizing the facility. It has also promised to buy Greek bonds at the next bond auction.

Peru

China’s Aluminum Corporation bought Peru’s Copper Inc. for $792 million. Chinese firms have invested $1.4 billion in the nation.

Russia

Russia sends 200,000 barrels a day of oil to China. China just opened its section of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, where 300,000 more barrels a day of oil are expected to flow. China has lent $25 billion to the project. CNPC is working with a Russian energy company to build a $5 billion refinery. They should sign an agreement with LUKoil to export Uzbek gas to China. Russia may soon export natural gas to China.

Saskatchewan, Canada

A consortium led by Sinochem Corp. is rumored to be interested in buying Potash Corp., the world’s largest producer of fertilizer.

Sudan

China has invested $4 billion in oil production and port development in the nation.

Switzerland

Sinopec bought Switerland’s Addax Petroleum Corp. for $7.2 billion, gaining access to oil fields in the Kurdistan region in Iraq and in West Africa.

Tasmania, Australia

Firms from China and other countries are causing a political stir, as many call for regulations on foreign firms buying Australia’s land. A Tasmanian real estate agent reported that China had a strong interest in dairy farms in the north of the island.

Texas, USA

CNOOC is offering up to $2.2 billion for a 1/3 stake in Chesapeake Energy assets. This may give it access to American knowledge on drilling in areas that have dense shale rock.

Venezuela

China’s CNPC paid $900 million for access to oil deposits in Venezuela’s Orinoco region. China has lent Venezuela $4 billion so far, and has offered to lend up to $20 billion.

Zambia

CNMC has hundred of millions invested in Zambia’s copper mining and smelting industries. It plans to invest $600 million more.

Zimbabwe

China International Water and Electric Corp. has received rights to grow a quarter million acres of corn. China bought that amount of land in June 2008.

Thy Kingdom Come

How else can one respond to this world’s growing sin-sickness?
From the December 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

I have a news clipping I’ve been holding on to since July that sickened me. It’s a Washington Times article called “Portland’s dark world of child sex trafficking.”

It says that Portland—a beautiful West Coast city I have visited several times—has the biggest per capita legal commercial sex industry in America. Dallas has three strip clubs; Seattle has four; yet within Portland’s city limits, “One directory lists 40 erotic dance clubs, 47 all-nude strip clubs, 35 adult businesses and 21 lingerie modeling shops,” the article says.

Bad enough. But this makes it far more disgusting: “Many of these, though legal, are also fronts for underage exploitation.”

A combination of ugly factors has turned this city into a mecca for perverts who want to use children for sex.

This article describes a girl who, on her 13th birthday, was sold by her drug-addicted mother to a man for $5,000 to be his personal sex slave. In Portland.

This is the type of thing that makes me sick of this wretched world.

The fbi figures 300,000 minors in America are employed as prostitutes each year. Staggering. One for every thousand people. An advocacy group called Shared Hope International estimates their average age is 13.

Thirteen years old. On average.

Statistically, how many girls (and boys) age 13 and younger does it take to balance out the number of 14-to-17-year-olds?

I look at my daughters, ages 9 and 7, and boil at the thought of anyone or anything so evil as to violently strip a child of her innocence, dignity, and chance of a decent life in order to indulge perverse and selfish lusts. The Department of Justice says there are pimps in America earning money off girls as young as 5 and 6.

Try for a moment to wrap your mind around this. Worldwide, millions of children live in slavery, and unicef says as many as 1.2 million more are trafficked each year, a great many for sex.

The UN’s International Labor Organization (ilo) estimates that at any given moment, at least 12.3 million people, including children, are in forced labor, bonded labor, and commercial sex servitude. Four out of five are female. Half are children.

The slave trade, the ilo believes, is a $32 billion business, saturated in unchecked greed, sleaze and abuse. And shamefully, it is the fastest growing industry in the world, according to the 2009 State Department “Trafficking in Persons Report.”

Somewhere in here, the imagination of many of us reaches its limit. Unexposed to such grotesque realities, we can barely conceive of them.

Yet this is only one of literally countless ways that people are putting other people through indescribable torment. Cruelty. Tyranny. Corruption. Thievery. Poor resource management that results in starvation, poverty and disease. Racism. Religious persecution. Violence of every stripe. Full-blown warfare.

The human mind can only take in so much. And in this information-saturated age, news of people mistreating their fellow human beings comes in such a torrent that we can easily grow numbed to it. And—truth be told—we are helpless to do anything substantive to stop it. These blights are painfully endemic to the human condition, resilient against virtually all efforts to stop them.

There is one, however, who has seen it all, who has never succumbed to apathy—and who absolutely will put a stop to it.

When Jesus Christ walked the Earth, He witnessed untold human suffering, and did what He could to alleviate it. He was moved with compassion, seeing the people as sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:36).

He brought the good news of a kingdom that would come and uproot the corrupt kingdoms of this world—that would fulfill the prophecies of the Scriptures: “He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor” (Psalm 72:4).

He continually directed His disciples to seek that kingdom, to press toward it, to set their heart on preparing for it. When they asked Him how to pray, He responded, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).

To this day, Christ’s disciples keep these words on their lips. When we see oppression, when we see suffering, when we see immorality spreading, and unmentionable evils seizing our cities, when we see minds and bodies of helpless children being abused with impunity—Thy Kingdom come.

2 Peter 3:12 admonishes us to be “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.” The Greek word translated “Looking for” means earnestly waiting for. And the more depraved human behavior becomes, the more earnestly we wait.

Thus, even as Christ says, “Surely I come quickly,” we say, as the Apostle John did to close the words of sacred Scripture, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

In his masterful booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like, Herbert Armstrong expounded on the many scriptures that fill the Bible with inspiring descriptions of the utopian world God will create. It is utterly refreshing to read, a sweet song amid the din and clamor of this world. You owe it to yourself to read it—just ask and we’ll send you a free copy.

“Feast your eyes for a while on the picture of the World Tomorrow which God’s government will produce—as we shall now do,” he wrote, “and when you take your eyes from this book, and look again on this drab, ugly, sin-sick world of corruption, violence and suffering—it will make you sick at heart.

“But doesn’t it make you want to shout for joy, to realize what a civilization—what a world—is actually coming?

“Doesn’t it make you want to really put your heart into your prayers, praying earnestly, ‘Oh God! Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven!’”

That it does.

WorldWatch

From the December 2010 Trumpet Print Edition

1. Guttenberg on a roll

Just a few months ago, German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg was alone on what one newspaper called a “kamikaze mission”: ending conscription in Germany. Now Guttenberg’s proposals have been approved, giving him a major political victory.

The biggest U-turn came from the leader of the Christian Social Union (csu), Guttenberg’s own party. Just months ago, Horst Seehofer rejected plans to scrap conscription, saying they would go against a key component of German conservatism. In an interview published in Spiegel on September 13 he had completely changed his mind, saying “conscription is a major imposition on the freedom of young people and is only constitutionally justifiable” if the country is in danger.

The Financial Times called Seehofer’s about-face “a testament to the political cunning of Mr. zu Guttenberg, who at 38 is seen as a possible successor to Mr. Seehofer as csu leader and future contender to be chancellor” (September 14).

The cdu and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Social Union formally adopted Guttenberg’s position at a joint meeting of their leaders in September. “How quickly times change,” wrote Germany’s SüddeutscheZeitung.

Given such spectacular success, Guttenberg seems set to go far. Philipp Missfelder, head of the cdu youth wing, has highly praised the German defense minister, calling him the “best political guarantee of survival for the [conservative] union and defense against the Green zeitgeist. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, with his great credibility, appeals to many non-voters and former voters, so that in a very short time he has become an indispensable bearer of hope.”

Continue to watch Guttenberg.

2. Europe to Islam: Get lost

Germany may have reached a watershed moment over race and immigration.

A prominent former board member of the country’s central bank, Thilo Sarrazin, claims Muslim immigrants are destroying Germany’s prosperity in his new book, Abolishing Germany—How We’re Putting Our Country in Jeopardy. In it, Sarrazin details what he calls Germany’s “demise,” saying that with constant immigration and higher birth rates among immigrants, Germany is “turning Muslim.”

An Allensbach Institute poll found that 60 percent of Germans believe Sarrazin said “many things that are correct.” A mere 13 percent disagree with him.

Spiegel featured the author on its cover, calling him a “people’s hero.” A survey conducted by Emnid pollsters for Bild am Sonntag revealed that 18 percent of Germans would vote for a political party led by Sarrazin.

Considering the politically restrained atmosphere that has dominated Germany since World War ii, the broad support for Sarrazin is significant. Europe has tolerated the steady growth of Islam’s presence in society for decades. But that tolerance is rapidly evaporating.

Some in the Catholic Church are also starting to speak out against Islam. Piero Gheddo, a Catholic priest from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, said Europe needs to wake up to the threat. “[T]his challenge of Islam,” he said, “sooner or later will conquer the majority in Europe. The fact is that, as a people, we are becoming ever more pagan, and the religious vacuum is inevitably filled by other proposals and religious forces” (Zenit, September 7).

Watch for the Vatican to take the lead as Europe pushes back against Islam.

On August 31, just days before peace talks began between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, Hamas’s military wing claimed responsibility for an attack in the West Bank that killed five Israelis—two men and two women, one of whom was pregnant. The al-Qassam Brigades terrorists gunned down the Israelis in an ambush by a Jewish settlement near Hebron. Hamas has also stepped up its rocket attacks on Israel in an apparent attempt to wreck the peace talks.

3. Dear Taliban, please come back!

Representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government have begun high-level, secret talks to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan, according to Afghan and Arab sources cited by the Washington Post on October 6.

Though the talks are only preliminary, this is the first time that representatives have been given authority to officially negotiate on behalf of the Afghan Taliban organization that remains of the government the U.S. ousted in its 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. It is now based in Pakistan.

The Post says the agreement under discussion would place Taliban officials in Afghanistan’s government. “What it really boils down to is the Americans both supporting and in some cases maybe even participating in talking with the enemy,” a European official said.

The Taliban is in a strong position. It is not being forced to negotiate out of fear of defeat; in fact, it has little to lose. What sorts of concessions would the U.S. and Kabul have to make to bring it to a political settlement?

When similar plans were pursued last year, we wrote on theTrumpet.com, “This policy is a defeat in all but name. The world’s greatest military power … cannot defeat the Taliban. This demonstrates what [we have] been forecasting for many years: America has won its last war.”

4. The secret nuclear program at America’s back door

Venezuela is “carrying out the first studies” toward building a nuclear energy program, President Hugo Chávez announced September 27.

“We’re taking on the project of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and they aren’t going to stop us,” Chávez told a news conference.

Venezuela also has a deal with Moscow for Russia to build a nuclear reactor in the country. Yet these are probably not the most concerning of Venezuela’s nuclear projects.

At a briefing on September 21, Roger F. Noriega, former assistant secretary at the State Department, unveiled evidence that Venezuela has been working closely to keep Iran supplied with uranium. “Chávez has been developing the program for two years with the collaboration of Iran, a nuclear rogue state,” wrote Noriega in Foreign Policy. “[T]hese documents suggest that Venezuela is helping Iran obtain uranium and evade international sanctions, all steps that are apparent violations of the UN Security Council resolutions meant to forestall Iran’s illegal nuclear weapons program” (October 5).

Noriega says Iranian and Venezuelan officials signed a secret science and technology agreement formalizing nuclear technology cooperation two years ago. “The week after the agreement was signed, Venezuela’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum prepared a presentation for the International Atomic Energy Agency documenting the establishment of a ‘nuclear power program’ in Venezuela. That presentation, obtained from sources within the Venezuelan government, reveals that an ‘Atomic Energy Committee’ has been managing the nuclear program since 2007.”

Venezuela has strong links with drug smugglers, and it hates America. It is willing to deal with any of America’s enemies, be it Russia, China or Iran. This represents a grave danger to the U.S., as it can offer any enemy of the U.S. a foot in America’s back door.

5. Making Canada safe for prostitution

Prostitution in Canada got a big legal boost on September 28. Ontario Superior Court Justice Susan Himel struck down three key sections of the Canadian Criminal Code dealing with prostitution, saying the code was “not in accord with the principles of fundamental justice.”

The three laws struck down pertain to operating brothels, procuring a prostitute or earning money off prostitution, and communicating in public places for prostitution.

As a result, “sex workers cannot only form guilds, hire bodyguards and pay taxes,” noted the Chronicle Herald, “but men and women who trade sex for money can better count on police protection, and street prostitutes can conduct their business in less shady spots …” (October 2).

In other words, Ontario’s illicit sex trade will likely expand and become more mainstream. And many believe it’s only a matter of time before Himel’s decision ripples beyond Ontario. If the ruling withstands appeal, the Calgary Herald noted on September 29, “the ruling could have implications across the country … and could help set similar precedents in other courts.” Many fear the ruling could touch off a national trend whereby prostitution laws across Canada are watered down or repealed.

On October 10, Carl Paladino, a candidate for New York governor, said he opposed indoctrinating children with pro-homosexuality views and would veto any same-sex “marriage” legislation. The criticism he received linked to a just-released Pew Research poll: For the first time, fewer than half of all Americans are opposed to homosexual “marriage.” In 1995, 65 percent were against the policy and 27 percent supported it. In 2010, just 48 percent are opposed, and 42 percent are in favor.

Europe

The Catholic Church has found itself in hot water once again, in both Belgium and Germany. In the first half of this year, 475 cases of sexual abuse by priests were reported, said a Belgian commission in a September report. In August, it was confirmed that the former head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, advised a victim of sexual abuse to keep silent about his treatment until after the bishop who had abused him retired. On August 31, the German Catholic Church published new guidelines saying all allegations of abuse must be reported to authorities. The old guidelines simply “advised” the church to report abuses if the allegations were “proven.”

Once again Europe has been hit by a series of strikes. French unions walked out in a national strike on September 7 as parliament debated raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. Refinery workers and students joined similar protests October 12 to 14, raising fears of fuel shortages. Britain was hit by strikes on September 7 as train station and maintenance workers, signalers and some drivers protested plans to cut 800 workers. On October 13, protesters blocked off the entrance to the Acropolis in Greece, claiming they were owed two years of back pay. Romanian tax employees also went on strike from October 13 to 14, until the Finance Ministry gave in to their demands.

Mideast

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon in mid-October in what was seen as a major boost to Iran’s ally and proxy Hezbollah. He received an enthusiastic welcome in Beirut, toured a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Lebanon, and gave a speech predicting Israel’s demise. Ahmadinejad and his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Suleiman, signed a number of agreements in the areas of health, tourism, energy and water. The visit demonstrated Iran’s growing clout and confidence within the region.

Iran announced September 7 that it has reached self-sufficiency in producing petrol and no longer needs foreign imports, thus foiling sanctions. Oil Minister Masoud Mirkazemi said Iranian refineries are pumping out 66.5 million liters of petrol daily. New sanctions by world powers have targeted Iran’s petrol imports; major oil companies have stopped selling petrol to Iran in recent months. The gap has been largely filled, however, by Turkish and Chinese companies. Combined with Tehran’s claims of refining self-sufficiency, the willingness of such companies to continue supplying the rogue state demonstrates the futility of sanctions in pressuring Iran.

Turkey and Iran should increase their cooperation and solidarity, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said September 16. “I think that there are initiatives we can launch together to ensure welfare, peace, stability and confidence in the entire region,” he said, adding that the two countries’ geographical closeness offered unique opportunities for them to boost economic relations. Turkey’s increasingly friendly relations with Iran mean trouble for Israel, which has relied on its defense agreement with Turkey inked in 1996 to help stabilize the region.

Asia

After Kyrgyzstan’s October 10 parliamentary elections, five political parties opened discussions on forming a coalition government. Several Russia-backed parties, like the staunchly nationalist Ata-Zhurt, campaigned on closing America’s Manas military base near the nation’s capital of Bishkek, a crucial hub for U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan. Last year, under pressure from Moscow, Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted to close the base, but it then settled for quadrupling the U.S.’s rent payment instead. Russia, which views Kyrgyzstan as being within its sphere of influence, dislikes America’s presence in the country and will likely exploit Kyrgyzstan’s shaky political situation to try to oust the U.S.

Beijing and Moscow announced plans on October 13 to begin trading in each other’s currencies by the end of this year, which would shrink the dollar’s role in global commerce. Amid the global financial crisis, both China, the world’s largest energy consumer, and Russia, the world’s largest energy supplier, have called for the dollar’s role in the financial system to be diminished, and are taking concrete steps toward that end.

An increase in intra-Asian commerce and improving liquidity of Asian currencies bode well for the usage of regional currencies, and cast ominous clouds on the greenback. On August 27, Malaysia’s central bank liberalized its foreign exchange rules to allow non-residents to convert foreign cash into its currency, the ringgit. China has also moved to allow yuan/ringgit exchanges, within a 5 percent reference band. The U.S. dollar has been the primary currency in the region for so long that it still carries weighty market advantages. But dependency on the dollar is diminishing with every passing month. Gone are the days when the greenback was the only currency option for international trade.

Latin America/Africa

Emerging-market economies in Asia and South America have been barely affected by the “global” economic slowdown. In Brazil, for example, the economy is booming at a 7.55 percent growth rate and unemployment is at a record low of 6.7 percent. In Argentina, the economy is growing at 8.1 percent, in Peru, 8.3 percent and in Paraguay, 9 percent. The contrast to America’s 1.7 percent growth rate illustrates just how bad things are in the U.S.

One exception to the rule is Venezuela, which is suffering from 30 percent annual inflation and sporadic food shortages. Nevertheless, Socialist President Hugo Chávez is pushing ahead with his controversial nationalization program. In October, he ordered the seizure of a major fertilizer plant, a motor lubricants maker, more farmland and agricultural supplies company Agroislena. Upon taking over the fertilizer producer, Chávez immediately slashed fertilizer prices by 40 percent. Without government funding, the plant will now most likely shut down and fertilizer shortages will result. Almost every major industry Chávez has nationalized is operating in default, with the result that shortages are commonplace. If not for Venezuela’s vast oil deposits, the economy would probably have collapsed long ago.

Thirteen people were killed in riots in Mozambique at the beginning of September as the government raised the price of food, water and electricity. Over 400 people were arrested in connection with the riots. Police opened fire on the thousands of demonstrators as they lit tires, looted food warehouses and did around $3.3 million worth of damage. Wheat prices have soared some 70 percent on international markets since last year, largely because of fires and drought in Russia.

Five hundred women were raped in eastern Congo in July and August, UN officials announced on September 7. Speaking in front of the Security Council, officials said this shows that both rebel groups and the government use rape as a weapon. They also said that over 15,000 rapes were reported in both 2008 and 2009.

Floods forced nearly 60,000 people out of their homes in south Sudan in August. The torrential rains left most of the state capital of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Aweil, underwater. Around 2 million people have been killed in a decades-long civil war in the area. Almost half of the 8 million in south Sudan are thought to be short of food. The floods are just one more in a long line of catastrophes for the country.

Anglo-America

On October 12, a California federal judge ordered the U.S. military to end its 17-year-old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that prevents open homosexuals from serving in the military. Judge Virginia Phillips ruled the act was unconstitutional on September 9. If the administration does not appeal the ruling or loses an appeal, open homosexuality will be permitted for all personnel in all U.S. military branches serving all over the world.

The deputy chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has said that intelligence agencies have wasted billions of dollars through mismanagement and underperforming programs that have fallen behind, some of which have been cancelled. “The American public would be outraged if they knew,” Sen. Christopher Bond said.

In early October, Britain recognized Druidry as a legitimate religion under charity law, meaning it qualifies for tax exemptions. “Elevating [druids] to the same status as Christianity is but the latest example of how the bedrock creed of this country is being undermined,” Melanie Philips wrote in the Daily Mail (October 4).

The number of British 18-to-24-year-olds undergoing treatment for drug addiction decreased substantially in 2009-2010, with the one exception of cannabis, according to Britain’s National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (nta). But this is not exactly good news. The nta report stated: “Despite this apparent step away from the most harmful street drugs, there is some evidence of a corresponding move towards new synthetic compounds (sometimes known as legal highs) such as mephedrone. The nature of the legal highs market means that new substances are continually emerging, bringing with them renewed concerns about their actual chemical composition and the potential harmful effects.” In their search for escape and new pleasures, young people are turning to new drugs, with completely unknown side effects.