Herbert W. Armstrong’s Message to Indonesian President Suharto

Herbert W. Armstrong’s Message to Indonesian President Suharto


Meeting United Nations president and Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik, along with President Suharto

Why would the president of one of world’s most populous nations repeatedly pursue meeting an unofficial ambassador for world peace? Why would such a nation partner a joint humanitarian foundation exploration of land inhabited by aboriginal peoples?

To understand, we must wind the clock of history back to 1954. During this time, the World Tomorrow radio broadcast, with Herbert W. Armstrong as presenter, beamed out over Asia via Radio Ceylon, receiving responses from listeners eager to hear current events explained in light of Bible prophecy.

By late 1968, a worldwide advertising campaign was in full swing, featured in publications such as Life, TV Guide and Reader’s Digest, along with newspapers from all corners of the globe. Over a quarter million subscribers were added to the mass-circulation Plain Truth magazine, and tens of thousands of these came from Indonesia.

By September 1970 this exposure, along with key relations with world leaders from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, led to a meeting organized between Mr. Armstrong and President Suharto in Djakarta.

Formerly General Suharto, the president had only been in power two short years by the time of his first invitation to the unofficial ambassador for world peace. After an attempted coup in 1965 was thwarted by Suharto-led troops, blame was leveled at the Indonesian Communist Party. Suharto was appointed acting president two years later and then appointed to the full powers of the country’s highest office the following year.

The first rescheduling of their meeting came in September 1970 due to scheduling conflicts, with the president in Europe and the unofficial ambassador in Singapore. Next was when Mr. Armstrong had a pre-scheduled meeting with the Philippine president. He recounted this to co-workers Oct. 28, 1970, “I had an important meeting with President Marcos. And while in Manila, President Suharto tried personally to reach me by telephone to arrange a meeting the next day. Prior commitments did not allow time to fly back down to Djakarta. Result, I am now scheduled to meet General Suharto the middle of December.”

It wasn’t until the middle of the following year that the two saw their schedules clear, only to be thwarted again. “At Djakarta, my planned visit with President Suharto had to be postponed because the king of Thailand (Siam) was there on an official state visit. This required President Suharto’s entire time. He had scheduled a meeting with King Leopold (who was on a private, non-state visit, with us), for the following Monday, and wanted to see me then. But I had meetings scheduled in Manila and Tokyo, and was unable to remain over that long. But a special dinner was held on Tuesday night in Djakarta, attended by six or eight of the chief officials under President Suharto, and their wives” (co-worker letter, May 28, 1971).

At the time, Mr. Armstrong’s eldest daughter accompanied him, aiding in the organization of such occasions, as he reminded his supporters: “She takes her mother’s place as my hostess.” His wife, Loma, had died suddenly in 1967, thrusting his oldest daughter into greater duties. Had Mrs. Armstrong have lived, her role would have been alongside her husband, traveling to world capitals, meetings world leaders with him and acting as his ambassadorial “hostess” at the hundreds of such banquets and testimonial dinners he would attend over the remainder of his life.

It was not until the summer of 1972 that President Suharto and Mr. Armstrong finally met. This time, the president of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Adam Malik, who was also Indonesian foreign minister, passed along the request to Mr. Armstrong to travel to Djakarta. Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Malik were already friends and had visited previously at the foreign minister’s home in Indonesia.

At 8:45 a.m., August 3, Mr. Armstrong arrived for his meeting with the leader of the world’s fourth-most populous country. The occasion came at a time of global tensions amid fears of Communist encroachments. Suharto had gained much Western support for his resistance to this power and its advancement into his resource-rich, poverty-stricken nation spread over 3,000 islands of the South Pacific.

At the presidential offices, Mr. Armstrong was greeted by press photographers, staff members and the chief protocol officer. He then signed the official guest book, was ushered into a waiting reception room, then into the president’s office. After a warm handshake, Mr. Armstrong, as was his tradition, presented President Suharto with a gift of Steuben crystal.

His “personal” for the November edition of the Plain Truth was termed an “exclusive interview” to its then 2.5 million subscribers, with the Indonesian president’s picture featured as the cover. Mr. Armstrong wrote from Sri Lanka the day following his stopover in Indonesia, “We really had a most interesting and profitable meeting with General Suharto.” Mr. Armstrong’s recollections came amid the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the U.S. administration’s efforts to withdraw troops from the conflict.

“He had been desirous of seeing me all along, and this was made doubly evident by the warmth of the reception at this meeting yesterday morning,” he wrote readers. “If you could be with me in meetings with heads of governments in different parts of the world, you would have an altogether new conception of the insurmountable problems facing this whole very sick world today. These heads of governments tell me of problems beyond their human power to solve.”

The two discussed President Nixon’s visits to China and Russia, the changing landscape of the United Nations with admission of Communist nations, and the domestic security threat to Indonesia, which the president told Mr. Armstrong he feared more than any threat from abroad. The two discussed Indonesia’s policy of national resilience and the challenges of the country’s poverty, economic development and education expansion.

“I thanked him for giving official approval for our forthcoming scientific expedition into the Irian, that is, the western portion of New Guinea and for the cooperation given by the Indonesian government to King Leopold of Belgium, when he was there planning the expedition,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “I’ve mentioned previously the joint participation of Ambassador College with the Belgian Foundation, headed by King Leopold, for the exploration of land inhabited by Aboriginal peoples, the study of these peoples, and other activities in the field of anthropology.”

Mr. Armstrong then concluded his report of this “exclusive interview” by reminding readers of God’s inexorable law of give, outflowing love and concern for others—of cause and effect and the resultant 6,000 years since the Garden of Eden of man’s inhumanity to man, amid a world held captive.

By 1973, the Plain Truth was on Indonesian newsstands and the shelves of 84 of its libraries.

The following year, he continued to work to reach Indonesians with God’s gospel message, organizing public appearance campaigns, additional testimonial dinners and promoting his humanitarian endeavors in the Andaman Islands in the Sea of Bengal in consort with its government and King Leopold’s Belgium Foundation.

Then in 1975, with the establishment of the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, he launched the Human Potential magazine, designed for the limited readership of royalty and the highest echelons of worldwide government such as President Suharto and Foreign Minister Malik. The publication was later renamed Quest.

On March 15, 1981, Mr. Armstrong reminded the world from the pages of the Wall Street Journal of Indonesia’s size and scope of population and needs for physical humanitarianism and spiritual education.

Five years before his death, he oversaw visiting and baptizing tours into Indonesia from the Church’s Australian regional office. Representatives traveled to Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Permantang Siantar. Readership of the Plain Truth remained steady, but by late 1983, there were only a handful of members from its Muslim population of hundreds of millions.

Thankfully, today at the Trumpet, successor to the Plain Truth, editor in chief Gerald Flurry in like manner receives responses from our readers, listeners and viewers of the Key of David in Indonesia. And in the spiritually benevolent footsteps of Mr. Armstrong, the Church’s regional office in Australia serves and supports those in Indonesia and throughout Asia with understanding of God’s Word and law of love.

Morsi Demands Fundamental Changes From U.S.

JERUSALEM—In a recent interview with the New York Times, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said the United States “needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.”

According to the Times, Morsi “said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.”

Now Washington, remember, is currently supplying billions of dollars in funding to Egypt—despite the nation’s increased hostility toward the West, a decidedly undemocratic takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood, and a complete disregard for its peace treaty with Israel. And Washington, of course, is largely responsible for clearing the way so that Morsi could be president!

It’s interesting when you compare what Morsi said about the U.S. needing to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, with what Barack Obama said just before he was elected back in 2008. Just days before the election, then Senator Obama said at one of his campaign rallies: “After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush … we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

Many would say, now almost four years on from that, that he’s certainly had some success in transforming the United States. He’s certainly helped to radically transform the Middle East. In the Cairo speech from 2009, President Obama called for “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect ….”

This outreach, as Charles Krauthammer noted in his column last week, implied that the relationship had been based on disrespect in previous administrations.

“Curious,” Krauthammer wrote, “as over the previous 20 years, America had six times committed its military forces on behalf of oppressed Muslims, three times for reasons of pure humanitarianism (Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo), where no U.S. interests were at stake.”

And yet, look at where we are in the Middle East today after so many fundamental changes in recent years. It staggers the mind when you consider just how far the U.S. has fallen here in the Middle East today, in terms of power and influence.

“The Islamic world is convulsed with an explosion of anti-Americanism,” Krauthammer said. “From Tunisia to Lebanon, American schools, businesses and diplomatic facilities set ablaze. A U.S. ambassador and three others murdered in Benghazi. The black flag of Salafism, of which al Qaeda is a prominent element, raised over our embassies in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Sudan.

“The administration, staggered and confused, blames it all on a 14-minute trailer for a film no one has seen and may not even exist.”

To admit otherwise or to pin the blame elsewhere, would be to admit the abysmal failure of Obama’s fundamentally new approach, his new foreign policy for this region.

Krauthammer said, “Religious provocations are endless. … Resentment about the five-century decline of the Islamic world is a constant. What’s new—the crucial variable—is the unmistakable sound of a superpower in retreat.” That’s the new element that’s added here. That’s what’s bringing about these fundamental transformations that we see here in the Middle East and also back in America too.

For more on the failure of America’s Muslim outreach, be sure to watch “The Failure of America’s Muslim Outreach.”

UK to Opt Out of 100 EU Laws

UK to Opt Out of 100 EU Laws


Britain will opt out of over 100 European Union laws on policing and crime, the Sunday Times reported September 23, claiming that Prime Minister David Cameron is preparing to announce the opt outs shortly.

The announcement would see Britain reverse key steps toward European integration, while Europe’s leaders loudly call for “a federation” and “more Europe.”

The most high-profile law facing the axe is the European Arrest Warrant (eaw), which requires a member state to hand over someone suspected of a crime in another. Once an eaw has been issued, there is very little Britain can do to avoid handing the suspect over, even if the suspect is a British citizen, and even if he is accused of an offense that isn’t a crime in Britain.

This law is unpopular with both the left and right, especially after it was used to compel Britain to attempt to hand over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden. Some have been held without charge in terrible conditions in foreign jails for months. In one of the most outrageous cases, Portugal issued an eaw for a man charged with first degree murder, despite the fact that he was acquitted on similar charges years earlier, and that the man he supposedly murdered was still alive. In this case, the warrant wasn’t fulfilled.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, Britain can opt out of all of the 130 of the laws on crime and justice. Afterward, it can negotiate with the EU to opt in to certain laws. The Times claimed that a “senior government source” confirmed that the government planned on opting in to “dozens” of the laws. It reports that these laws are probably the ones on human trafficking and smuggling—where international cooperation is more useful.

“This is a fork in the road for the British justice system, and a vital opportunity to retain UK democratic control over criminal justice policy,” said Conservative Member of Parliament Dominic Raab.

It’s also a fork in the road for Britain and Europe. If this goes through, it would be an actual, concrete step away from European integration, not just the disgruntled chattered that is a constant part of British politics. Meanwhile, core European nations are looking for ways to bind themselves closer together with more laws. As the Trumpet has forecast for years, Europe is heading toward a federation, and Britain is heading out.

Border Skirmish Raises Questions Over Camp David Accord

Border Skirmish Raises Questions Over Camp David Accord


Egypt announces plans to revise peace treaty with Israel.

An Israeli soldier was killed and another wounded last Friday when terrorists launched a surprise attack on a group of Israel Defense Forces (idf) soldiers aiding refugees on the Israeli-Egyptian border. A 20-year-old idf corporal was killed as he approached the border fence to provide water for a group of African migrants. Taking advantage of the distraction, nearby militants opened fire. Three militants were killed in the fight that ensued.

The Sinai Peninsula has become a hotbed of contention over the last few months as Egypt has stepped up its military presence to combat the increased activity of rebel insurgents. This increase of Egyptian troops in the region has raised many concerns regarding Egypt’s commitment to the Camp David Accord that has ensured peace between Israel and Egypt over the past three decades. The accord limits the number of troops the two nations are allowed to have in the de-militarized zone of the Sinai Peninsula. However, Egypt has used the current chaotic situation to justify deploying additional troops to the region.

Last week’s incident was the second fatal terrorist attack along the border in recent weeks, and has prompted Israeli criticism of Egypt’s ability to handle the situation. Some are calling for Israeli military action in the peninsula to eradicate the increasing terrorist threat.

In response, Egyptian Member of Parliament Mohammed Abd al-Haleem told Al Arabiya, “It is impossible under any circumstances that Israel would conduct strikes against Egyptians in Sinai.” This week a member of Egypt’s Higher Military Council stated that Egypt would “cut off the arm of any foreign or domestic aggressor.”

Stating that the current treaty prevents Egypt from gaining complete control over the terrorists, an Egyptian presidential adviser announced yesterday he would be submitting a proposal for amending the 1979 peace treaty within the next few days. This prompted Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to reply that “there is no chance that Israel will agree to any kind of change” to the accord.

With tension building throughout the Middle East, watch for the rift between Israel and Egypt to widen as Egypt continues drawing closer to Iran. To understand what is about to happen in the Sinai, read “Egypt: Morsi Sheds His Moderate Cloak.”

Iran-Turkey Relations Continue to Deteriorate

Iran-Turkey Relations Continue to Deteriorate


Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi has every reason to be, as he recently said, “worried about the future of [his] country.”

The fugitive Sunni leader, who is now under the protection of Turkey, was sentenced to death in absentia by an Iraqi court for his alleged involvement in multiple murders of political opponents in the Shiite administration in Iraq. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan refuses to extradite Hashemi to Baghdad because, in his view, “there is no truth in the accusations against him.”

Courcy’s Intelligence Brief of September 19 reports that the deterioration of the relations between Turkey and Iraq has “reached breaking point.” Iraq is not happy about Ankara’s actions, and neither is Iran. Hashemi finds himself at the center of the latest battle for influence in Iraq between Iran and Turkey.

Back in the 2010 Iraqi elections, Turkey supported Sunni Iyad Allawi in opposition to the incumbent, pro-Iranian Shia Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki. Turkey also supports the rebels in Syria fighting pro-Iranian Bashar Assad’s regime.

These differences in ally preferences are showing how the Middle East will be realigned into the groups discussed in Daniel 11 and Psalm 83. For more information, read “A Mysterious Alliance” by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.

7 Challenges Facing the Next President

7 Challenges Facing the Next President

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Regardless of who wins the November election, The state of America’s economy means he will face some brutal decisions.
From the October 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

Will Mitt Romney pull America out of its financial dive? Or will Barack Obama turn it around since he will have eight years to work with instead of four? Both candidates are framing the presidential election as an economic choice. Many Americans believe this is a choice between fiscal sustainability and economic collapse. Others believe it is about social justice and who will shoulder the economic burden. But let’s look at some apolitical realities about America’s economy that the next president, whoever he is, will have to face.

Challenge 1: Conceptualize $1 trillion

One million seconds is 12 days. One billion seconds is more than 31 years. One trillion seconds is about 31,688 years!

That is what a trillion is in seconds. In dollars, America goes more than $1 trillion further into debt every year. The federal government’s total yearly budget is only $3.7 trillion. So, close to a third of our total spending per year is borrowed. That means that if the new president wants to suddenly balance the budget, he will have to cut almost a third of the entire federal budget.

Most of the budget-balancing would need to be done by cutting funding—because there simply is not enough left to tax. According to Mike Shedlock from Global Economic Trend Analysis, even if the government taxed 100 percent of profits from every corporation in America and confiscated every single asset of the super-wealthy (like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates), it still wouldn’t even get close to balancing the budget. We would still have to “take the combined salaries of all players in the nfl, Major League Baseball, the nba and the nhl, cut military spending by $254 billion, and tax everything people make above $250,000 at a 100 percent tax rate,” Shedlock says.

That’s unrealistic. But so is the expectation that America can keep borrowing trillions forever.

Of the more than $1 trillion America borrowed last year, about half was money the Federal Reserve created out of thin air. Why did the Fed do it that way? Because foreigners would not lend it at the interest rates America wanted.

This is a clear sign that America’s deficit is dangerously unsustainable.

And regardless of whether the next U.S. president decides to cut spending, increase taxes or both, our deficit will inflict huge gashes in an economy that is unstable and probably already in recession again.

Challenge 2:Come to grips with the nation’s debt

As huge as America’s deficit is, the bigger threat is America’s practically unfathomable debt. America’s official federal debt is over $16 trillion, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. America has promised its citizens tens of trillions more in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Laurence Kotlikoff, professor of economics at Boston University, puts America’s total liabilities at a mind-boggling $222 trillion. Go back and re-conceptualize a trillion.

Not all of this money is due at once, but increasing portions will be as America’s 80 million baby boomers retire. There is not a chance that America can pay this bill.

America’s next president will have to cut much if not most of the promises that have been made to retirees—and even if he cuts them all, his government will still owe that official $16 trillion.

The most imminently dangerous part about this debt is refinancing risk. America is constantly borrowing money to pay back money that is coming due. Right now, borrowing rates are good, because Europe appears to be in worse shape. But when Europe eventually gets its act together—and it will—America won’t have as many willing lenders.

Challenge 3: Get ahandle on uncontrollable welfare dependency

The U.S. federal government now funds 79 welfare programs: 11 programs just for housing assistance, 12 for social services, three for energy and utility assistance, 12 for food aid, 12 for various education assistance—on top of nine for vocational training, three for childcare and child development, seven for medical assistance and 10 providing cash assistance.

Add to that a myriad of welfare-type programs at the local city and county levels.

The total price tag for just federal and state welfare programs came to almost $1 trillion in 2011, according to the Heritage Foundation (see Challenge 1). So almost a third of America’s yearly budget now goes to welfare.

And if nothing is done, the share of welfare spending in the federal budget will dramatically increase. Under the current 10-year budget, federal welfare spending alone will total $1.57 trillion by 2022.

There is no easy fix. In fact, there may be no fix at all. About one in three Americans get some sort of government handout. Politicians can cut spending—but not without massively damaging the economy. The economy is addicted to government spending. There are whole industries that cater to welfare dependency. Go cold turkey, and the president can expect massive economic, if not social, upheaval.

Challenge 4: Work with a corrupt and collapsing banking system

In 2010, U.S. regulators told America’s biggest banks that they needed to make plans for preventing collapse. The regulators emphasized that the banks needed to consider radical measures to prevent failure and that they could no longer count on government support. Five years after the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, the banking system is still no more secure. Bank insiders know it isn’t safe, and the one thing propping it up—the heavily indebted federal government—says it is now pulling out.

Add to this intractable problem several others: money-laundering scandals, rogue trading, the MF Global implosion, the unfolding libor scandal, and record-low interest rates. The global banking system may be even more prone to economic disasters than it was in 2008!

Yet, because America’s economy is debt-based and consumption-driven, if regulators try to rein in the big banks, they will have to reduce lending. Reduced lending means the economy will slow even further. Jobs will be lost, tax revenues will fall, welfare usage will increase, and paying the debt will become that much harder. It’s an unsolvable Catch-22 for President Obama or President Romney.

Challenge 5: Find a magical job fairy

America is in the midst of its worst-ever post-recession job recovery. At the current pace of job growth, America is still 2½ to three years away from getting the jobs back that it lost in the 2007 recession. Then the nation still must find more jobs for all the people who entered the workforce over the ensuing eight years.

Regardless of what either presidential candidate would do or says he would do, the jobs are not coming back—because they were fake jobs in the first place. The housing bubble was a product of politicians forcing big banks to give loans to unqualified buyers and the Federal Reserve trying to goose the economy by artificially lowering interest rates. The result was a ballooning money supply that flowed into real estate—and tons of builder, agent, appraiser and banker jobs that have since evaporated.

Meanwhile, the effects of the housing bubble masked the greatest period of industrial and manufacturing outsourcing in U.S. history. Due to a combination of high labor costs, high taxation, high regulatory burden, high environmental compliance costs, advancing technology and the new global economy, many U.S. jobs are now filled overseas, and made-in-America products and services are now imported.

As President Obama’s green energy/solar power initiative proved, attracting manufacturing to America is virtually impossible even with massive government subsidies—which may soon be unaffordable. It was a campaign promise that was too good to be true. And now we’re hearing dozens more of those empty promises ringing in our ears in stereo.

Challenge 6: Fix a failing education system

For the first time in history, American students owe more in student loans than the country owes in credit card debt. Yet what do students get for that? Increasingly, it is a lifetime of indentured servitude at a job that barely pays the interest on their loans.

This is a huge problem, because many of these students will become economically nonfunctional—trapped in jobs paying the bills instead of generating healthy incomes, creating meaningful jobs and building the economy.

Government policy that encourages everyone to go to college—and to borrow money to do it—has driven up tuition so high that in many cases it no longer pays to even get a degree. Meanwhile, schools continue to try to increase enrollment, so course work is being dumbed down and grades inflated.

The next president needs, if nothing else, an American workforce that is healthy and strong. But it looks like he’ll have one that is operating well shy of its potential.

Challenge 7: Face the economic cost of America’s moral slide

Fifty years ago, the majority of Americans went to bed with their doors unlocked. They left their keys in the car in case someone needed to borrow it. They never thought twice about letting their children walk to school.

We don’t live in that America anymore. The nation has tumbled through a decades-long moral slide, and that decline has a high price tag. How much does increased crime cost? Corporate compliance? Tax software to prove the taxpayer isn’t cheating the government? Think of how much money would be saved if businesses were never robbed, websites were never hacked, billion-dollar lawsuits were extinct, police did not have to track down criminals, and courts and prisons did not have to process convicts.

Think about how much more wealthy America would be if people just practiced the Ten Commandments: no more lying, stealing, coveting, murdering. Now there’s a plan you can really believe in. As Bruce Walker, in the American Thinker, wrote in 2008, “[T]he cool, practical, financial argument against sin is so overwhelming, the number crunching of any serious cost-benefit analysis of the trillions lost through our acceptance of sin is so convincing, that hopeful people can dream that a wise leader will champion the fight against sin as the clearest way to make us wealthier and happier people.”

Don’t get your hopes up. Regardless of who America chooses at the ballot box, America’s moral slide will not be turned. There are 230-plus years of U.S. history that prove it.

America’s debt, its welfare mentality, and its crumbling education system and morals are all the product of its collective choices. We are now eating the fruit of those choices. Economic indicators suggest another economic downturn has already started. A greater economic depression is on the way, and there is little that can be done to mitigate it.

America’s past prosperity will not return until the whole economic system has been wiped out and a new one built on a different foundation. Its financial cardiac arrest has already started, and it will take more than campaign promises—or even a presidential election—to bring prosperity back to this nation.