A Special Warning: Germany’s Long History of Deadly Deceit

From the September 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

Sometimes evil is so profound that it is hard to fathom. In this case it even goes beyond the mind of man. I hope you will think deeply about this subject. It ought to shake the British and American people to their bones!

Germany was left totally beaten after World War i. They caused the death of 10 million people. The Allies talked as if they would control and suppress Germany’s military so they could never start another war. But a short 21 years later, Germany started another world war which caused the death of 50 million people! Surely we can see how deadly serious this warning is.

How did it happen? You desperately need to know. Here is why. Winston Churchill, in his first volume of The Second World War, referred back to World War i (emphasis mine throughout): “The victorious Allies had at Mr. Lloyd George’s suggestion limited the German Army to a hundred thousand men, and conscription was forbidden. This force therefore became the nucleus and the crucible out of which an army of millions of men was if possible to be re-formed. The hundred thousand men were a hundred thousand leaders” (p. 39).

Germany started World War i and was finally conquered. The Allies knew that they had to control Germany’s war spirit.

But immediately after their defeat, Germany began to prepare for World War ii! They were supposed to have only 4,000 officers, or leaders, in that army. Instead, Germany created an army of 100,000 officers to lead the whole nation into war again!

They created an army of 100,000 generals and no soldiers! It was a brilliant stroke of the blackest kind of evil.

“The creator of the nucleus and structure of the future German Army was General von Seeckt. As early as 1921 Seeckt was busy planning, in secret and on paper, a full-size German Army, and arguing deferentially about his various activities with the Inter-Allied Military Commission of Control. His biographer, General von Rabenau, wrote in the triumphant days of 1940: ‘It would have been difficult to do the work of 1935-39 if from 1920-34 the center of leadership had corresponded to the needs of the small army’” (ibid., p. 40).

Less than two years after World War i, General von Seeckt was building the foundation for what would, in two decades, become the greatest military in the world!

And that after a devastating defeat!

Then the Germans began boasting about General von Seeckt’s success when they were winning at the start of World War ii.

This is history written by the Germans about themselves.

But have we learned anything from that history?

Mr. Churchill continued: “Rabenau makes an illuminating comment: ‘Without Seeckt there would today [in 1940] be no General Staff in the German sense, for which generations are required and which cannot be achieved in a day, however gifted or industrious officers may be. Continuity of conception is imperative to safeguard leadership in the nervous trials of reality….

“‘To this end large-scale practical exercises or war games were introduced…not so much to train the General Staff, but rather to create a class of higher commanders.’ These would be capable of thinking in full-scale military terms.

“Seeckt insisted that false doctrines, springing from personal experiences of the Great War, should be avoided. All the lessons of that war were thoroughly and systematically studied. New principles of training and instructional courses of all kinds were introduced. All the existing manuals were rewritten, not for the hundred-thousand army, but for the armed might of the German Reich” (ibid., p. 41).

This army of generals was preparing to lead the Third Reich! But not with the same weapons and strategies of World War i. They were creating the greatest army on this planet at that time, and with the best technology.

Their military leaders had “continuity of conception.” Their leadership training continued as before. The strategy was so subtle that the foolish Allies, and even the German politicians, didn’t know what was happening.

The German people have collective guilt, but they are also victims of this black and sinister system. We need to keep that in mind.

“The main principle inculcated was the need for the closest cooperation of all vital arms. Not only were the main services—infantry, motorized cavalry, and artillery—to be tactically interwoven, but machine-gun, trench mortar and tommy-gun units, anti-tank weapons, army air squadrons and much else were all to be blended. It is to this theme that the German war leaders attributed their tactical successes in the campaigns of 1939 and 1940….

“In the summer of 1926, Seeckt conducted his largest military exercises for commanders with staffs and signals. He had no troops, but practically all of the generals, commanding officers and General Staff officers of the army were introduced to the art of war and its innumerable technical problems on the scale of a German Army which, when the time came, could raise the German nation to its former rank” (ibid., p. 42).

There was a unified military. All the departments submitted to one ruler. They had one master plan to “raise the German nation to its former rank.”

That means they were ready for another try at conquering the world!

Winston Churchill said shortly after World War ii that the German people have “an ingrained love of massive and majestic authority.” That can be very good or extremely bad for the whole world, depending on the character of the government—including the military leaders.

Mr. Churchill wrote, “In the naval sphere similar evasions were practiced. By the Versailles Treaty, Germany was allowed only to retain a small naval force with a maximum strength of 15,000 men. Subterfuges were used to increase this total. Naval organizations were covertly incorporated into civil ministries. The coastal defenses in Heligoland [a German island in the North Sea], although destroyed in accordance with the treaty, were soon reconstructed….

“Nevertheless the struggle to preserve weapons from destruction was waged persistently by the German staffs throughout the years of control. Every form of deception and every obstacle baffled the Allied Commission. The work of evasion became thoroughly organized” (ibid., pp. 44-45).

Now we begin to see why their military was so technologically advanced. Every form of deception was used. It was thoroughly organized. How subtle. How diabolical!

And America and Britain sponsored this massive German plan! “A general scheme had thus been put into action by which all the new factories, and many of the old, founded with American and British loans for reconstruction, were

designed from the outset for speedy conversion to war, and volumes could be written on the thoroughness and detail with which this was planned” (ibid., p. 45).

Hitler came on the scene with an army that frightened and almost conquered the world.

America and Britain created a Frankenstein monster.

The same deceit continues today, except it is far more shocking. Notice what happened after World War ii.

Mind-Staggering U.S. Intelligence Document

The following information ought to have received screaming headlines in the world’s press. The truth is, it hardly made a ripple. That is because this world is in a very deep stupor. Again, this is history written by the Germans themselves. Reuters released this report by Arthur Spiegelman on May 10, 1996 (emphasis mine): “Realizing they were losing the war in 1944, Nazi leaders met top German industrialists to plan a secret post-war international network to restore them to power, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence document. [They immediately began to prepare for another world war, just as they did after World War i.]

“The document, which appears to confirm a meeting historians have long argued about, says an SS general and a representative of the German armaments ministry told such companies as Krupp and Roehling that they must be prepared to finance the Nazi Party after the war when it went underground. [Seven major companies were represented, including Messerschmidt and Volkswagenwerk. There were also officials from the ministries of armaments and the Navy.]

“They were also told ‘existing financial reserves in foreign countries must be placed at the disposal of the [Nazi] Party so that a strong German empire can be created after the defeat.’

“The document, detailing an August 1944 meeting, was obtained on Friday from the World Jewish Congress, which has been working with the Senate Banking Committee and the Holocaust Museum to determine what happened to looted Jewish money and property in the Second World War.

“A U.S. Treasury Department analysis in 1946 reported that the Germans had transferred $500 million out of the country before the war’s end to countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Portugal, Argentina and Turkey where it was used to buy hundreds of companies. [The German people had little to do with this duplicity.]

“‘Now that the Nazi secret plan has been confirmed, the central question is whether it has been carried out,’ said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress.”

Many people scoffed at Herbert W. Armstrong’s warning message in 1945 proclaiming exactly what this U.S. intelligence document stated. Now the treacherous plot of our own government to conceal this document has been exposed!

Why did the American and British press print so little about this intelligence document when it was discovered? Because they and their readers are asleep. They are almost totally unaware of the magnitude of this crime.

Have we now created—with American and British money—a second Frankenstein monster that will turn on us?

Have the Nazi plans been carried out? You can prove that they have by reading our literature.

The U.S. intelligence agencies made a deadly mistake that you can make only once in this nuclear age!

Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong said in a report from the United Nations, May 9, 1945, over 50 years ago, document-ed in his Autobiography, volume two (these same words were published in the Plain Truth magazine): “The war is over, in Europe—or is it?We need to wake up and realize that right now is the most dangerous moment in United States national history, instead of assuming we now have peace!”

That is 1000 times more true today!

“Men plan, here, to preserve the peace of the world. What most do not know is that the Germans have their plans for winning the battle of the peace. Yes, I said battle of the peace. That’s a kind of battle we Americans don’t know. We know only one kind of war. We have never lost a war—that is, a military war; but we have never won a conference, where leaders of other nations outfox us in the battle for the peace.

“We don’t understand German thoroughness. From the very start of World War ii, they have considered the possibility of losing this second round, as they did the first—and they have carefully, methodically planned, in such eventuality, the third round—World War iii! Hitler has lost. This round of war, in Europe, is over. And the Nazis have now gone underground. In France and Norway they learned how effectively an organized underground can hamper occupation and control of a country. Paris was liberated by the French underground—and Allied armies. Now a Nazi underground is methodically planned. They plan to come back and to win on the third try.

“The Bible foretells that third round—and it spells doom for us, as God’s punishment, because we, as a nation, have forsaken Him and His ways! The third round is termed, in prophecy, an invasion by ‘babylon’—a resurrected Roman Empire—a European Union. I have been proclaiming that since 1927….

“Even at this conference, classes and races are demanding their ‘rights.’ This conference, and the United Nations organization it is forming, must solve three problems to succeed. First, Big Three unity; second, the serious problem of what to do with Germany to prevent World War iii; and third, solve the world’s injustices against smaller nations, and the growth and tactics of communism toward world domination. Can it succeed?”

Only God’s messengercould write such a prophetic message over 50 years ago! Think about what he said.

One of the three major problems the United Nations had to face was “the serious problem of what to do with Germany to prevent World War iii”!

Have we forgotten our own words—our own history? Yes, we forgot almost immediately after World War ii!

Notice what Brian Connell wrote shortly after World War ii: “The vexing problem of denazification, which had been handled up to that time [the spring of 1947!] by the Allied authorities, was handed over to the Germans” (A Watcher On the Rhine, p. 41).

Here is an example of just one state in Germany. Mr. Connell reported that “denazification in Bavaria was a farce. The Bavarian administration is largely in the hands of those who controlled it under Hitler…. Almost all of the 1000 teachers who were removed for political reasons have been reappointed, representing roughly 60 percent of the teaching staff employed by the Ministry of Education. Sixty percent of the 15,000 employees in the Finance Ministry are former Nazis, and 81 percent of the 924 judges, magistrates and prosecutors in the Ministry of Justice.”

Do we now see why there is a dangerously accelerating Nazi problem in Germany today?

There was also an attempt made to liberalize a narrow method of teaching in education. Mr. Connell stated, “New teachers were appointed, and a degree of independence assured to individual instructions, which should have made education for democracy a feasible proposition. But many of the former Nazi teachers have found their way back.”

Later, Mr. Connell stated, “In western Germany, the newly prosperous Ruhr industrialists, the still impenitent core of former Nazis and the incompletely absorbed millions of refugees from the east all represent a challenge to the democratic order.”

Nazism is far from being dead in Germany! The same military spirit prevails today that we saw and experienced in World Wars i and ii! Beware of the future.

What Herbert W. Armstrong prophesied has come to pass in frightening detail!

He preached that warning for over 50 years. And now the Philadelphia Church of God continues proclaiming the same message.

The Final Deception

Your main enemy is deceit. The whole world is deceived (Rev. 12:9). As Mr. Churchill said, “All will seek the illusion of rest and peace.” How we love our deceptions!

In June 1936, Hitler said that if war came, “I should fall upon my enemy suddenly, like lightning striking out of the night” (Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, p. 749).

These words had a great impact on Churchill’s mind. He also remembered Germany’s history in warfare: “Churchill…was convinced about the possibilities of surprise in the German organizational framework. Commenting on the 1200 machines and 1114 pilots for whom the Air Staff had located no specific squadron and only non-first-line duties, he wrote, ‘This would be amply sufficient to

duplicate every one of the 88 squadrons now believed to have been identified. When we remember the fondness evinced by Germany in history for this particular form of surprise, and note the large number of machines and pilots which seem to have vanished into thin air and the hundred-odd aerodromes which have been constructed, this possibility cannot be excluded’” (ibid., p. 754).

He understood Germany’s history of surprise attacks! The Air Staff fully agreed with him. Germany had been fond of such attacks. The most heinous kind of deceit. And this is the method of warfare they followed throughout World War ii! This happened repeatedly to Hitler’s enemy nations and even those who thought they were his friends!

Germany shares a large military base with the U.S. in Alamogordo, New Mexico. They also have several other military facilities in America.

We have an open-skies treaty with Germany. They are free to fly all over America. The U.S. trusts Germany—our lovers, as Ezekiel calls them (Ezek. 23:5, 9)—more than we trust God!

That could be the worst foreign-policy mistake we have ever made—or ever will make.

War starts suddenly! One day there is peace and the next day, massive horror—especially in a nuclear war.

On August 6, the Sunday Telegraph printed this piece by Tony Paterson about Germany’s far right: “Neo-Nazis, blamed for bombing immigrants last month, have turned

from attacking only foreigners to make targets of German academics and politicians.” This is a radical and dangerous change in their growing power.

It continued, “The names and addresses of justice officials, government ministers and even well-known actors deemed to be anti-Nazi have been discovered on ‘hit lists’ drawn up by a plethora of neo-Nazi groups, some of which have links to Swedish, Dutch and British organizations such as Combat 18….

“The German journalist Bernd Wagner, who specializes in writing about the far right, says that neo-Nazi violence has continued almost unchecked since the early 1990s when skinheads burned a block of flats inhabited by Vietnamese immigrants in Rostock. ‘It has become so commonplace that attacks on foreigners are worth only a paragraph in local newspapers,’ he said.

“The Düsseldorf train station bombing that injured nine Russian immigrants, including six Jews, ten days ago is one of the reasons that the government announced a clampdown. On Wednesday, the German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, unveiled plans for ‘zero tolerance’ on neo-Nazi violence, while other politicians have demanded a formal ban on the extreme-right National Democratic Party (npd).”

German politicians are being pressured to take radical measures. Many of the German people can see the horrendous changes and yet seem powerless to stop them.

Intelligence reports continually relate how the rise of neo-Nazis is much worse than the German politicians and press say it is. The deceit continues.

That means the problem is far more dangerous than what the world thinks.

Everybody knows that Germany is the economic powerhouse in Europe. That power can quickly be changed into military power. In fact, Germany is already building a strong military. So watch Germany.

You need to understand where this is leading. We can know the outcome. (Write for our free booklet on The History and Prophecy of Germany.)

History keeps repeating itself because we refuse to learn from it.

Bible Ban?

From the September 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

A pair of German lawyers recently asked a government minister to re-classify the Holy Bible as a book too violent for children, according to an August 1 Agence France Presse report.

The Bible “preaches genocide, racism, enmity towards Jews, gruesome executions for adulterers and homosexuals, the murder of one’s own children and many other perversities,” wrote the lawyers. They argued the Bible should remain on a list of banned books deemed unsuitable for children, until the offending passages are removed.

The Bavarian Court threw the case out because the German constitution prevented the government from interfering in religious matters. The lawyers’ request, however, raises some interesting questions: Namely, what distinguishes the biblical stories from other “violent” writings?

Noticeably absent from the lawyers’ demands was mention of the biblical context in which the “gruesome” passages are found. Moreover, they failed to address the fact that horrific scenes of violence and perversion abound in countless other books of fiction and non-fiction, as well as on TV, on the Internet, in movies and in virtually every other easily accessible medium.

Of course, there was no acknowledgment of God as the Author of the offending stories either. (Yet, even many secular history books concur that the biblical accounts are factual, not fictional.)

The lessons of the Bible are recorded, not merely for our literary enjoyment, but as examples for us of the blessings and cursings of either obedience or disobedience toward God and His everlasting, inex-orable laws. (See i Cor. 10:11 and ii Tim. 3:16.) These events are recorded so that our children and we may be educated in how to live in love and obedience toward our Creator, and in peace with fellow man. No other stories, fictional or non-fictional, can claim these benefits.

The War Against Men

From the September 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

If the war against boys is still raging, the one against men might well be over. Melanie Phillips wrote in the June 10 London Spectator, “One of the many mysteries of our age is why the British establishment has declared open season upon half the human race. Men are systematically robbed of their reputation, their children and their purpose in life…. If what is routinely thrown at men was directed at any of our fabled victim groups—women, black people, gays—society would stand condemned of the most vile prejudice, discrimination and even persecution. Yet the vast majority of people either do not know how the dice are being loaded against men or, if they do have an inkling, think deep down (or not so deep) that, well, they really do deserve it.”

Ms. Phillips pointed readers to England’s justice system as an example of what she means: “The courts are institutionally biased against husbands, ousting them from their homes on the slightest pretext, stripping a man of his children and his assets even if his wife has gone off with a lover and his own behavior has been exemplary.” The courts, Phillips says, routinely assume that mothers are better parents while fathers are the ones who desert families or abuse women and children. Yet international research shows that women initiate just as many divorces and just as many acts of domestic violence as men. In fact, mothers and boyfriends, not fathers, are more likely to commit violent acts against children.

Across the Atlantic, the American Spectator reports that two thirds of all divorces involving children are initiated by women. Yet, despite this little-known fact, women are the ones usually awarded custody of children in divorce proceedings. This, again, is because it’s assumed that dad is the dead-beat, the cheater, the wife beater or child abuser.

While our society does have its share of delinquent dads, it is certainly not fair to assume that fathers are the villains in divorce proceedings. In fact, according to a poll taken in 1994, 41 percent of men would agree to remain in a mediocre marriage for the sake of the children. Only 27 percent of women agreed with this view.

So much for stereotypes.

Our Draining World Water Supply

From the August 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

What was the first thing you did after you woke up this morning? Whether you splashed your face, used the toilet, hopped into a nice, hot shower or prepared coffee or tea, you freely helped yourself to one of this world’s most precious and dwindling natural resources—clean water.

You were not alone. Millions of people around the world did similar things. In fact, more people are using more water when less is available.

An even greater problem exists with industrial water supply and demand. This makes the largest impact, though most of us may be unaware of its astounding volume—billions and trillions of cubic gallons annually to power turbines for electricity, to mix with concrete, to run steam generators and so forth.

The effects of withdrawing from a finite supply “bank” of water are being felt by many countries as they attempt to achieve first world status from third or lower place.

Take China, which is grappling with severely limited water supplies to satisfy the thirst of its nearly 1.3 billion inhabitants while driving forward its growing capitalist economy.

A recent Toronto Globe and Mail article asserted that China’s greatest challenge of this century is how to deal with its critical lack of water. According to the World Bank, water scarcity alone cuts off $35 billion per year from China’s gross national product if lost crops and lower industrial production are factored in. More than half of China’s citizens endure the water shortages in 400 of its 600 northern cities. Eighty percent of the country’s rivers are essentially garbage-strewn sewage canals and therefore not potable. Concurrently, the Chinese are eating less grain and more meat, necessitating more reliance upon water to raise grasslands for cattle. The situation is so dire, several researchers are estimating that China will be unable to feed itself in coming decades.

The Futurist of February 1999 asserted that “1 billion people will be facing absolute water scarcity by 2025. Countries such as China and India will have to drastically reduce water use in agriculture to satisfy residential and industrial water needs.” The October issue of the same periodical reported that “population is growing so rapidly in dozens of countries that governments are becoming less able to provide basic services such as education, let alone respond to new threats such as epidemics, food shortages and water scarcity.”

Another literal “hot-spot” that the Trumpet often features is the very arid Middle East. Israel has been forced, after two very dry winters, to negotiate with its ally, Turkey, to make up its water deficit. Israel plans to buy nearly 2 billion cubic feet of fresh water a year from a desalination plant located near Antalya on the Mediterranean coast. The water will be shipped in converted oil tankers. Israel’s own desalination plants will not be operational for about three years.

Unless drastic action is taken now, Israeli agriculture could collapse as early as next year. Amazingly, no restrictions have been placed on using hoses to water lawns or wash cars, but farmers have had their water quotas cut 40 percent.

Israel uses more than its fair share of the region’s water, about three times as much as the Palestinians do. In fact, Israel even controls the Palestinians’ use of water—but that could dramatically change if Yasser Arafat declares independent statehood in September. A large underground reservoir of water that Israel has been using lies largely under Palestinian territory. Jordan’s King Abdullah predicted last year that “future potential conflict in our area is not over land. It is over water.”

These are just two areas of the world that are suffering. How about the Horn of Africa? It has just experienced a temporary respite, with abnormally heavy spring rains. But what does the future hold for this hopelessly impoverished region that has already lost staggering numbers of humans and livestock? The United Nations estimates that between 13 and 16 million people, half of them in Ethiopia, urgently need food and medical aid to prevent mass death by starvation. Yet Ethiopia’s military expenditures are roughly $1 million a day. Rival warlords are also responsible for putting about 1 million people at risk in Somalia since its central government failed almost a decade ago. Other wars on the continent, and the world’s worst explosion of the dreaded and deadly aids epidemic, mute the severity of the drought-induced famine malaise.

Most of us are so far removed from the aforementioned problems that we only occasionally, if ever, hear about them. It can easily make us feel safe from similar problems ever happening closer to home. Though we are technologically advanced, the prospect of drought and famine is a very real and harsh reality which those in the Western world—mostly English-speaking countries—should heed.

Some of our readers may have experienced the infamous Dust Bowl years of the 1930s when drought occurred right in the breadbasket of the U.S. In some places, more than a foot of rich, fertile topsoil was blown away. Conditions today are ripe for a repeat of history—and potentially worse.

Drought is already choking the Midwest U.S.—particularly the corn belt. The area affected stretches from Nebraska and Iowa across parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and on into Ohio. Large portions of Texas, Florida and Georgia are also suffering through a severe drought. Since last July, rainfall in the driest zone has been 6 to 9 inches below normal. Plants may be greening on the surface, but the soil is bone-dry a foot or two down. Long-range forecasts suggest it will be drier and warmer than normal throughout this summer, a critical part of the growing season. Iowa’s precipitation, for example, from Sept. 1, 1999, to April 1 this year was the fourth-lowest since 1873. Temperatures over the same period showed the biggest shift in 105 years from what is considered normal.

Increased irrigation expenditures may mean higher prices for products such as corn and soybeans, and could spell financial ruin for many farmers.

Environmentalists may blame the much-touted global warming phenomenon, while climatologists like to cite La Niña, a cooling of the eastern Pacific Ocean around the equator that often brings dry, hot summers to the Midwest.

Drought has been the root cause of famines throughout history. But with the world’s growing population, the devastating impact of a severe drought could be much greater than it has been historically.

Man naively reasons that if he practices reforestation, improves irrigation, rotates crops and is generally more responsible in land development, that he can conserve and even increase sources of water and totally eliminate drought.

But are drought and other weather abnormalities just naturally caused situations that can be explained away? Or are they punishment for sin? All of us, not just farmers, have disobeyed God’s laws codified in His Ten Commandments. Each of us must obey or we will all suffer when our nations must pay in full for their sins, which include lying, stealing, adultery, Sabbath-breaking and murder.

Compare Deuteronomy 28 with Leviticus 26:3-4, 18-20. Worldwide repentance would bring rain. True repentance is genuine sorrow for having done wrong and a sincere determination to do what is right, to go God’s way and not our own way. It means a change in direction.

God Almighty—who controls the weather, not man—says He would then intervene and give us rain in due season, provide us with abundant, healthy crops and protect us from drought and resultant famine—if we would obey Him. These are God’s rock-solid promises. But until our people drastically turn and are willing to learn from the curses afflicting many countries around the world, we will not receive those blessings. God cannot lie. He prophesies that one third of the entire world’s population will die of drought-induced famine and disease (Ezek. 5:12).

The Resurrections

The Bible truth about resurrection is the missing dimension and key to understanding how a God of love can be in favor of a death penalty.
From the August 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

The first resurrection will be at Christ’s return to Earth, when He will resurrect to eternal spirit life those who have received God’s Holy Spirit and who have overcome and endured in God’s ways and held fast to God’s truth.

The second resurrection will occur 1000 years after Christ’s return. Those resurrected will be given human physical bodies once again. For the first time, they will receive the opportunity to understand God’s precious truth and put it into practice in their lives so that they, too, can be added to the spirit-composed family of God.


Carrot or Compromise?

From the August 2000 Trumpet Print Edition

When describing countries which Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once referred to as existing “with the sole purpose of destroying the system,” the U.S. government recently decided to drop the use of the term “rogue states” in favor of “states of concern.”

Is this move a carrot designed to entice these countries into more amicable behavior, or is it a show of Washington’s reluctance to take an uncompromising stance in defending American policy internationally, particularly in the face of declining international support?

Department spokesman Richard Boucher explained the change thusly: “The [‘rogue states’] category has outlived its usefulness…. It’s not really a change in behavior or policy or what we’re doing as much as it is finding a better description or a different description, because a single description, ‘one size fits all,’ doesn’t really fit anymore.”

The term “rogue state” has been applied to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, Libya and Sudan in the past, and the controversial title has been used to justify a policy of “dual containment” against Iraq and Iran in the mid-1990s, as well as, more recently, plans for a U.S. national defense system (described as necessary to protect against attacks from “rogue states”).

Some feel that adopting the new, more palatable term will make it easier to deal with such countries on an individual basis, particularly when concessions or signs of improvement are shown.

But others see it as yet another example of weakened American posturing in the face of long-term opposition and declining international support.

Iraq is an example. Recent articles report that in spite of 18 months of intermittent bombing designed to destroy Iraq’s missile centers, the country’s missile program has been restarted and Saddam Hussein recently flight-tested a short-range ballistic missile. Meanwhile Egypt, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, has contracted with Iraq to become its leading trade partner (Stratfor GIU, May 3).

Writing for the International Herald Tribune, William Pfaff offers another view on Washington’s change of approach. “The decision that rogue nations are not irredeemably roguish but are subjects for therapy provides a belated application to international relations of the currently popular American notion that the object of interpersonal relationships is the maximization of self-esteem. A rogue nation can only bolster its self-esteem by more roguery, whereas a ‘state of concern’—as rogue states are now designated—is one with potential for self-improvement and for winning the esteem of others” (July 1-2).

In other words, calling a country a “state of concern” might tempt it to change for the better, while “rogue states” remain locked into their behavior at least partially by their unpopular classification.

That the U.S. administration has become soft-fisted in dealing with regimes that violate basic principles of democracy and human rights is clear. But when has the boost to a dictator’s self-esteem ever driven him to change?