The Aircraft Carrier That Had No Planes

The Aircraft Carrier That Had No Planes

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Just one of the dangerous defense cuts exposing Britain as a “silly dove”

Britain is broke, and making steep budget cuts. The good news is they’re preparing to trim bloated social programs that never should have existed in the first place. The bad news is they’re slashing defense spending based on a dangerous miscalculation.

Last week the British government released its Strategic Defense and Security Review, detailing how it will shrink its military budget 8 percent over the next four years.

Like America, Britain’s economic woes are seriously pinching its foreign policy.

Prime Minister David Cameron put a brave face on, promising that Britain would still punch “above its weight.” Be that as it may, the cuts underline the steep decline in what—even a few generations ago—was history’s greatest empire.

They also expose Britain’s foolish overdependence on nations it considers allies. The Bible specifically prophesies of this problem—and reveals its devastating conclusion.

Among the cuts: The British military will shed 17,000 personnel. The army, after already being reduced by one third since the end of the Cold War, will lose 7,000 more soldiers; 40 percent of its tanks and 35 percent of its artillery will go. The 20,000 British troops in Germany will come home. (Compare the 95,000 troops Britain will have by 2015 with the 690,000 it had in 1957.)

Britain’s navy—the greatest symbol of the global power it once wielded—will suffer some of the worst embarrassment. The navy’s aging Ark Royal aircraft carrier will go out of service. The navy’s fleet of destroyers and frigates will shrink to 19. (In World War i Britain had over 300 destroyers alone, out of a fleet of nearly 600. After these cuts, the fleet will be smaller than it has been since the days of Henry viii.)

The most bizarre turn of events surrounds two new 60,000-ton aircraft carriers being built for the Royal Navy—the largest, most expensive ships in Britain’s illustrious naval history. Britain can’t afford them, but contractual obligations actually make it cheaper to finish the mammoth projects than to stop them. Thus, as soon as possible after the first one is completed in 2016, it will be mothballed or even sold.

It gets worse. The government has also decided to scrap the navy’s 80-strong fleet of Harrier jump jets within the coming year. This means the aircraft carriers will have—of all things—no jets to carry. New fighters won’t be available until 2020. Thus, these floating airbases will only be able to serve as helicopter pads and assist with humanitarian missions.

In the words of one serving navy commander, “How can you send an aircraft carrier to sea without aircraft? I think that future history will show the rashness of this decision.” Indeed it will.

Worse still, navy insiders told the Telegraph that, because of the intricacies of carrier landing, even after new planes come along it will take many more years to bring the navy’s Fleet Air Arm—the world’s oldest air force—back to full strength. “Once these carrier skills have gone they will take at least 16 years to build back up,” said Commodore Steve Jermy, who once headed the Fleet Air Arm. Now we’re talking about 2036.

In effect, this marks the death of Britain’s ability to project air power. As another source told the Telegraph, “I can’t see Oman happy to have Tornadoes flying from its territory to bomb Iran.”

Within the story about how Britain ended up trapped in this unaffordable carrier venture lies the truth about the nation’s dangerous gamble.

The carrier folly sprang from Britain’s misguided efforts to link itself with Europe and contribute to building a single EU defense force. Back in 1998, Prime Minister Tony Blair and France’s Jacques Chirac pledged that their countries would begin cooperating toward that end. The next year, aiming at establishing a European Rapid Reaction Force, Britain agreed to contribute two large aircraft carriers. In 2006, it was determined that these carriers would be a joint project between Britain’s bae Systems and the French firm Thales.

“In effect, when built, they will be operated jointly with the French, with French pilots flying French aircraft,” explained Christopher Booker in the Telegraph. “So little money is left to buy the escorts needed by a carrier group that these will have to be provided by other EU navies, such as those of Spain or Italy” (emphasis mine throughout).

Essentially, in order to cover its defense budget gaps, Britain is banking not just on the U.S., but also its European neighbors. Anyone who has followed the prophetic warnings of Herbert Armstrong or the Trumpet over the years knows that this story won’t have a good ending.

Booker continued, showing how this deal could very likely pave the way for Britain’s once-proud navy to be subsumed into the European monolith. “To save any argument as to whether the carriers should fly the White Ensign [flag of the Royal Navy] or the Tricolor [flag of France], it will much easier just to fly the EU ring of stars. Thus, after 600 years, will the Royal Navy merge its identity with that of the new EU Navy.”

Britain’s defense secretary, Liam Fox, said last week that Britain not having planes to put on the carrier won’t be a problem, since it can just use American and French planes.

Further underscoring this trend of dependency is the fact that the Royal Air Force’s Nimrod spy planes will also be cut. These nine planes were built for patrolling the waters around Britain and intercepting unwelcome foreign submarines and other ships. Now, reported The Sun, Britain “will have to depend on the French to stave off a naval attack.” “French Atlantique planes operating from UK bases will monitor and intercept unauthorized ships and submarines,” it said.

The Sun reported that just as Prime Minister Cameron was making the announcement about beaching the Nimrods, two Russian subs were intercepted within 70 miles of the British coast—by American jets. Why? “[B]ecause our Nimrods were grounded and the French planes had no fuel,” The Sun wrote.

It is a shocking scenario—made all the more remarkable because of its being foretold in Scripture thousands of years in advance.

In biblical prophecy, Britain is called by the name of the tribe of ancient Israel from which it descended, Ephraim. Detailed proof of this can be found in Herbert Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.

“Ephraim [Britain] also is like a silly dove, without sense,” wrote the Prophet Hosea (Hosea 7:11, New King James Version). Silly means simple, easily fooled. And the dove perfectly symbolizes the senseless, toothless and naive nation Britain has become.

As the Trumpet’s editor in chief Gerald Flurry has written, no “silly dove” nation can endure in a world full of hawks and tigers.

Hosea’s prophecy continues by saying of Britain, “[T]heygo to Assyria.”

Assyria, as we explained in our recent article on the subject, is the prophetic name for Germany. This is one of several prophecies that describe a weakened Britain looking for help from its neighbors in Europe.

But in prophecy after prophecy, the result of this dangerous gamble is revealed. God says through His prophet, “When they shall go, I will spread my net upon them; I will bring them down as the fowls of the heaven; I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard. Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me” (verses 12-13).

God recorded these prophecies to serve as a warning to modern Britain!—a warning the British people will soon regret having ignored. The fact that this and many other specific prophecies are rapidly becoming present reality is sure and convicting proof of their reliability—and of the active existence of the Creator God who is bringing them to pass!

America’s Real Enemy in the Middle East

Afghan President Confirms Iranian Funding

Afghan President Confirms Iranian Funding

Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

Will Iran fill the void in Afghanistan when America leaves?

Afghanistan’s president openly admitted on Monday that Iran has supplied his office with millions of dollars in cash over the past several years.

President Hamid Karzai’s confirmation came the day after the New York Times reported that Karzai’s Chief of Staff Umar Daudzai receives a secret, steady stream of cash from Iran intended to buy his loyalty and promote Iran’s interests in the presidential palace, according to Afghan and Western officials. “Iran uses its influence to help drive a wedge between the Afghans and their American and nato benefactors, they say” (October 23).

The report said that after Karzai wrapped up his official visit to Iran in August, Iran’s ambassador to Afghanistan boarded Karzai’s plane on the airport tarmac in Tehran carrying a large plastic bag full of euro bills. According to eyewitnesses on the plane, the ambassador handed the bag of cash to Karzai’s chief of staff.

“It’s basically a presidential slush fund,” a Western official in Kabul said of the Iranian-supplied money. “Daudzai’s mission is to advance Iranian interests.”

An Afghan official said that millions of dollars from Iran have been used to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders and Taliban commanders.

President Karzai’s response to the story was to confirm the payments, openly admitting that his office gets “bags of money” from Iran—up to nearly a million dollars twice a year. During a news conference on Monday, he said the money was “official aid” and said he would continue to ask for Iranian money.

At the same time, Karzai lashed out at the United States, accusing it of exporting killing to Afghanistan by using private security companies. “In fact we don’t know how many of the explosions are the fault of the Taliban and how much by them,” said Mr. Karzai, referring to the security companies.

A Western official in the Afghan capital responded, “[W]hen you are losing the numbers we are as an alliance and then when you got your reliable partner in Kabul saying such things it sticks in the craw a bit.”

The private security companies are largely being used to protect civilian firms involved in reconstruction efforts in the country. Karzai has demanded that all such security companies cease operations by December 17.

On Sunday evening, Karzai reportedly had a heated session with nato commander Gen. David Petraeus and other Western and Afghan officials, during which he stormed out, saying he didn’t need the West’s help.

Karzai’s open acceptance of what amounts to Iranian bribes and his virulent verbal attacks on his U.S. benefactors speak volumes of the orientation of Afghanistan’s current leader—a supposed ally of America.

Of course, that Karzai is accepting money from Tehran is hardly a surprise. As Time reports, “Karzai, in fact, has never made any secret of his close ties with Tehran. He has repeatedly played host to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an honored guest in Kabul, and made a high-profile visit to the Iranian capital last August to showcase the relationship (and his independence from Washington).”

Really, just like the Taliban, Karzai is preparing for a post-U.S. Afghanistan—one in which accommodation will have to be made with the Taliban, with Pakistan, and with Iran.

Even America openly acknowledges that Iran will play a lead role in a post-nato Afghanistan—as was demonstrated by Washington’s response to Karzai’s admission. “We do not question Iran’s right to provide financial assistance to Afghanistan, nor do we question Afghanistan’s right to accept that assistance,” said U.S. State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley on Monday, adding that Washington did “remain skeptical of Iran’s motives.”

The U.S., in fact, is looking to include Iran in formulating a solution for Afghanistan. Last week, an Iranian representative joined officials from the U.S. and other countries at a security conference on Afghanistan held in Rome. Mohammed Ali Qanezadeh, a high-ranking Iranian diplomat, even attended an in-depth briefing by General Petraeus on nato’s strategy for transition of security responsibilities in Afghanistan, according to the New York Times. This was the first time a representative from Iran had attended a meeting of the international contact group on Afghanistan. When asked about Iranian involvement, U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke acknowledged that Iran, given its shared border with Afghanistan, has a role in the “peaceful settlement of this situation in Afghanistan.” “So for the United States there is no problem with their presence,” he said.

As has pointed out before, Iran has a strong presence in Afghanistan—aiding both sides in the conflict in order to enhance its own regional position. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, for example, maintains links with Afghan minorities opposed to the Taliban and also provides support to those fighting U.S. and nato troops. This, of course, is besides the direct support Tehran gives the Karzai government, which has now come to light.

This does indeed give Iran considerable sway in determining the future of Afghanistan. And having Iran on board will make it easier for the U.S. to exit the country. “From the U.S. perspective, a settlement in Afghanistan underwritten by Iran and Pakistan could create the conditions conducive to a Western military withdrawal from the country,” reports Stratfor (October 26). According to Stratfor analysts, the Iranians and Pakistanis will play the lead roles in any settlement in Afghanistan.

There is one country in particular, however, that will be less than welcoming of a more Iranian-oriented Afghanistan. Earlier this year, columnist Ron Fraser outlined how Germany’s perspective on Afghanistan differs from that of the U.S. and how that, strategically, Germany cannot afford to withdraw from the country. In addition to it being part of the Bundeswehr’s quiet engagement in encircling the oil golden triangle in the Middle East, Mr. Fraser wrote, “Germany’s deployment in Afghanistan gives it a prime strategic location from which to press the inevitable attack on the one nation that threatens the overall stability of the Middle East and, through its terror-sponsoring activities, the rest of the world—Iran!” He continued:

Our editor in chief clearly identified the most threatening leading power in the Middle East as Iran even before many secular commentators woke up to that reality. Herbert Armstrong long ago identified Germany as being the nation from which a powerful political leader would arise to put down the nuclear terrorist threat from that southern nation.Each American setback in Afghanistan—and they will continue to be numerous—each German fatality and each move by a turncoat political leader in that extremely unstable country, brings this great clash between a future “king of the north” and a “king of the south” one step closer.

Keep watching as evidence of Iran’s identity as the biblically prophesied “king of the south” continues to emerge—and watch for it to be eventually countered not by America, but by a German-led European force.

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

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

Getty Images

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.”