Reflections on a Battlefield

Reflections on a Battlefield

Joel Hilliker

Corregidor: An epic struggle, a futile shame

It jarred me, the way those hulking relics of war stood starkly against the tropical foliage. Demolished, pockmarked concrete—surrounded by beautiful, lush green plants. This is Corregidor, island of antithesis.

This small island fortress in the Philippines was the scene of some of the most dramatic scenes of World War ii. It simultaneously symbolizes bravery and betrayal, humanity and hatred, strength and savagery.

Two impressive guns stand out against battle-worn concrete.

Gazing across the scene, I was bombarded by these incongruous images and emotions. But the biggest collision in my mind was between the epic past and the uncertain present.

After it captured the island from Spain in 1898, the United States built a major military outpost on Corregidor. “The Rock” bristled with guns and mortars, a total of 23 separate batteries. One of its massive guns required an unbelievable 33 soldiers to discharge.

A gun on the highest part of Corregidor required 33 men to fire; it had a range of 17 miles.

Yet Corregidor was also a soldier’s paradise, with a sandy beach, golf course, baseball diamond, opulent cinema, lavish officers’ quarters and excellent barracks housing thousands of men—all against the backdrop of the calm, blue waters of Manila Bay.

Most of these impressive installations are still there. But now they are skeletons bearing the garish scars of the horrors they endured.

Of those enormous barracks filled with soldiers, only empty concrete shells remain, interlaced with rebar that holds sagging chunks of staircases and walls aloft in twisted formations. Gaping holes and mounds of rubble mutely testify of the furious Japanese aerial bombardment. The theater is roofless and hollow. The swimming pool is a cavity carpeted with vegetation.

Army barracks that once housed thousands of soldiers remain on Corregidor.

The ruins still reverberate with the voices of the soldiers who occupied these structures, who manned these munitions. Every blast hole brings to mind the men whose bodies were also blasted and battered when the bombs fell.

Buried in the center of the island lies Malinta Tunnel, a colossal bunker complex that the Americans drilled into a mountain over the course of a decade. The wide but dank passage now serves as the setting for an audio-visual show telling the story of its construction and use during the war: MacArthur turning it into usaffe headquarters; the Philippines government taking refuge there; and the unfolding of the most shameful chapter in America’s World War ii history—the “Betrayal in the Pacific.”

Ten hours after attacking Pearl Harbor, the Japanese descended on the Philippines, America’s possession. President Franklin Roosevelt immediately proclaimed his “solemn pledge,” backed by “the entire resources in men and materials of the United States,” that America would come and safeguard the Filipinos’ freedom. MacArthur skillfully evaded Japan’s powerful clutches, evacuating U.S. and Filipino forces to Bataan and then Corregidor to make a stand until reinforcements arrived. But the “solemn pledge” was a blatant lie. Roosevelt kept saying he would—and had—sent help. He never did. Allied forces on Corregidor eventually succumbed to Japanese butchery and surrendered on May 6, 1942.

Malinta Tunnel was taken over by Japanese forces, who later, when the Allies recaptured Corregidor, blew themselves up inside.

The presentation well conveys the terror of those days with sounds of enemy planes buzzing outside, of bombings that shook the tunnels, of the voice of President Quezon lamenting, “How typical of America to writhe in anguish at the fate of a distant cousin, Europe, while a daughter, the Philippines, is being raped in the back room!”

Then, the radio announcement from the Voice of Freedom of the fall of Bataan: “All the world will testify to the most superhuman endurance with which [Allied troops] stood up until the last in the face of overwhelming odds. … Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made it stand—a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples of the world—cannot fall!” It was galvanizing, yet at the same time gut-wrenching, knowing the hellish death march those captured soldiers afterward endured.

The next wave I felt was one of redemption, hearing how America partially atoned for its treachery when it fought back for the Rock three years later. On the island’s Topside hill is a postage-stamp-sized field too small for an airborne combat landing zone. Yet this is where hundreds of daring men parachuted down from just 400 feet—descending directly into a cauldron of fierce, close-range warfare. These were tough men who knew both the nobility of sacrifice and the brutality of killing. They and their fellow soldiers were the liberators of Corregidor.

Nearby is the flagpole made from a Spanish battleship mast where MacArthur, upon returning to the Rock, ordered, “I see that old flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down.”

A short walk away is the Pacific War Memorial Museum. There I stared at the black-and-white portraits of the officers who had orchestrated the offensives and commanded the troops. They seemed like superior men. Serious, manly, steely, intelligent—men of character, men who inspired men. I felt small.

The stories of the Japanese Imperial Army evoked in me a different kind of wonder. On the opposite end of the island is a Japanese memorial garden. There is a photograph posted there of row after row of healthy young soldiers with explosives strapped across their chests, kamikazes ready to fly their last mission. Their warrior code of honor, Bushido, exalts death above surrender. In the Malinta Tunnel we learned what this means. That great bunker, which had survived intensive shelling throughout the war, in the end succumbed to sabotage from within: Two thousand Japanese soldiers stationed inside, knowing Allied troops were about to capture them, blew themselves up. Apparently this grim business was repeated in caves all over the island: After the U.S. reclaimed it, for days Corregidor reverberated with underground explosions of Japanese suicides. Haunting.

I tried to comprehend this conflicted past: noble and brutal, crucial and futile, eternal and long-gone. These ruins impressed me with what men did here, yet I could not escape the whole truth: Like every battlefield, this was just another horrid chapter in human war-making, another place where high rhetoric clashes with the low things human beings do to each other. Another twisted example of vain human endeavor. Grasping at wind.

The decay of the colossal wreckage brought to my mind the words of Shelley’s Ozymandias: “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

These ruins are oddly relevant to the present. Their hollowed hulks evoke the decline of America. As Moses prophesied long ago, the pride of its power has been broken, and lies in rubble; only the façades remain. Three generations after what proved to be America’s last unequivocal military victory, the U.S. presence in the Philippines is only an echo. America’s reputation is mortally wounded; its ambition has shrunk. Its unprecedentedly superior military is oddly impotent against the most pitiful of threats. Today, an attack on an American consulate, rather than being soundly punished, sets off a rash of evasion, backbiting and recrimination that tears the government up internally.

A circular altar at the Corregidor war memorial has a moving inscription.

It all makes Scripture’s most shocking prophecy seem far more conceivable: When the next world war breaks out, America will shrink all the more—and horror will spread over the globe virtually unchecked.

I walked beyond the memorial museum to a rotunda. There I saw words chiseled in stone that finally reminded me of hope: “Sleep my sons, your duty done … for freedom’s light has come. Sleep in the silent depths of the sea, or in your bed of hallowed sod, until you hear at dawn the low, clear reveille of God.”

They will not have to wait for that dawn much longer.

Britain Turns Away From Europe

Britain Turns Away From Europe

AnthonyRosenberg/scibak/iStockphoto

Britain takes its most significant step ever away from European Union.

The British government plans to opt out of 130 European Union laws on crime, justice and policing, Home Secretary Theresa May announced on October 15. The euroskeptic Daily Express newspaper heralds the announcement as “Britain’s First Step to EU Exit.”

They’re right. A large segment of the British public has long been unhappy with Britain’s place in the EU. But for years Britain continued to drift closer to Europe. London gave Brussels more and more power over Britain and even signed the Lisbon Treaty despite widespread opposition.

Then, last December, this drift toward Europe stopped as Prime Minister David Cameron vetoed the fiscal pact. The other EU nations moved on, leaving Britain behind.

Now, Britain has done more than simply stop: It has reversed direction.

Its opting out of the crime and justice laws marks the first time that any European nation has backed away from ever closer union.

Under the Lisbon Treaty, Britain can opt out of all of the roughly 130 laws on crime and justice. Afterward, it can negotiate with the EU to opt in to certain laws.

The current situation has led to gross miscarriages of justice, with civil rights organizations condemning the system that has left British citizens languishing in foreign jails for years without trial.

May said that Parliament will vote on the opt out, but is almost certain to be approved. Even the Financial Times, which called for Britain to join the euro, endorsed the opt out, in a leader:

Any government, especially a Tory one, has to acknowledge the EU’s increasingly shaky legitimacy in the UK—where polls suggest a majority want to withdraw from the union altogether. Against this backdrop, to concede a further loss of national control—in such a sensitive area to an unaccountable court—would invite a backlash.

The opt out comes after eight cabinet ministers called for Britain to renegotiate its relationship with the EU or walk out. One of the most popular members of the government, Education Secretary Michael Gove, said Britain should leave the EU unless the other nations allow it to fundamentally change its relationship. Defense Secretary Philip Hammond supported him, and the Mail reports that six other ministers privately agreed.

With the europhile Liberal Democrats in Britain’s governing coalition, Britain may try to opt back in to more laws that most conservatives want. But Britain still won’t adhere to as many of the criminal justice laws as it does now. It will be a change in direction for Britain—it’s only a question of how quickly it moves.

Germany Gives Up on Britain

It’s not just British ministers that see that Britain and Europe are heading for a split. Europe’s most powerful nation, Germany, has also come around to the same view.

Spiegel Online reported how German Chancellor Angela Merkel once went out of her way to keep Britain in Europe—but not anymore. Merkel’s hopes for a Europe with Britain “have now been dashed,” it wrote. “The German government is convinced that the Euro Group will be the core of a new, more deeply integrated Europe.” It wrote that “the chancellor has long since come to terms with the fact that there will no longer be a path back to the center of the union for the British.”

This reality doesn’t just apply to financial integration. “Last fall, the British blocked an attempt by the other 26 EU member states to establish a joint headquarters for military missions,” Spiegel wrote. “Now the plan is to be revived and implemented, even against London’s resistance, if necessary.”

It’s not just Britain that the Germans see going it alone. “On the one side of the current divide is a hard core of countries that want to work together more closely,” said Spiegel. “On the other side are countries like Great Britain, Denmark and Sweden, which are essentially condemned to be spectators if they no longer wish to join the rest. The dream of an expanding and more tightly integrated Greater Europe is over.”

Germany has paused and waited for Britain to come along. Now, that wait is over: The Germans have committed to moving on without them.

A Messy Divorce

Britain plans to opt out of the crime and justice laws, and then opt back in to the individual laws it believes are actually useful. Britain’s leaders, including Mr. Cameron, see this as the ideal approach to Britain’s whole relationship with the EU: Renegotiate everything so Britain gets the free trade it wants and jettisons the regulations it hates.

But this approach requires the cooperation of every EU nation. On the crime and justice laws, just one other EU nation can prevent Britain from opting in.

Britain is hoping the EU will be reasonable. Already it looks like they won’t.

One anonymous EU official has warned that Britain could be forced to pay a “financial penalty” to cover the administrative costs involved. This penalty is thought to be several million pounds. This could be only the start. Any EU nation could try to use the crime and justice negotiations to blackmail Britain. They’d be cutting off their nose to spite their face if they did so, but it would hardly be the first time that has happened in international relations.

In their article, Spiegel Online compared Britain to Statler and Waldorf, the two muppets that sit in a box and hurl insults at the performers on The Muppet Show. Several British papers reported that the comparison comes from a frustrated Angela Merkel.

British conservatives are hoping the split on policing laws can lead to a friendly renegotiation of Britain’s relationship in Europe. Instead, the signs so far are that Britain is heading for a messy divorce. Britain is frustrated with European interference. Europe is fed up with Britain getting in the way as it tries to sort out the eurocrisis.

Europe is inexorably drifting to the outcome the Bible prophesied centuries ago. Britain is heading out, while the union is consolidating into a smaller group of 10 nations that will pursue closer integration until they become a superstate.

To read more about this prophecy and how it will affect you, see “Britain Was Warned!” from our booklet He Was Right.

EU Strengthens Iran Sanctions, Israel Applauds

The European Union levied a new array of sanctions on Tehran on Monday. The EU said it was troubled by what it called Iran’s refusal to come clean on its nuclear program. The measures are designed to hit Iran’s treasury by banning Iranian natural gas imports.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the EU for toughening its stance. “I want to commend the EU for the tough sanctions that were adopted yesterday against the greatest threat to peace in our time,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast denounced the new sanctions as “inhuman” and said the sanctions would only serve to make Iran stronger.

The European Union also boosted pressure on Iranian ally Syria. New regulations ban Syrian Arab Airlines from EU airports, and prohibit the provision of any financial services to Syrian arms exports.

Additionally, the EU announced it would be sending peace keepers to Northern Africa. EU troops will back the Mali government against Islamist separatists.

Europe’s ramped up action in the Middle East comes at a time when America is not only seeking an exit from the region, but is distracted with the Benghazi massacre and the coming presidential elections.

Bible prophecy indicates that the current Iran-Europe dispute will culminate in a modern-day European crusade against Iran. It also indicates that European peacekeepers will be invited into Israel before betraying the nation. The new sanctions imposed this week are just another step forward in that tension building toward that inevitable military action. For more information on these Bible prophecies, read Gerald Flurry’s article “The Last Crusade.”

War Over the Nile River

War Over the Nile River

Eugene Regis

Will Egypt topple the Ethiopian government?

War may soon be coming to Ethiopia.

In March of 2011, at the height of the political revolution in Egypt, Ethiopia strategically announced that it would soon start construction on a massive hydroelectric dam on the headwaters of the Nile River. This is an explosive declaration. Not only will this dam undoubtedly reduce the amount of water flowing into Sudan and Egypt for several years and perhaps permanently, it is an existential threat to Egypt.

For Egypt, allowing Ethiopia to construct this dam is somewhat like Israel allowing Iran to build a nuclear arsenal.

Egypt is nothing without the Nile. Almost 100 percent of Egypt’s 83 million inhabitants live along the Nile River. It is literally the lifeblood of the country. It does more than just support agriculture and industry; it provides the water necessary to push the turbines at Egypt’s giant Aswan Dam. This dam, one of the biggest hydroelectric engineering feats of all time, helped transform modern Egypt into a Middle Eastern superpower. The massive lake created by the dam allowed Egypt to expand its agricultural production like never before. It turned whole swaths of desert into lush, irrigated farmland. Electricity production allowed businesses and manufacturers to expand. Egyptian standards of living rose—and the population skyrocketed.

The power to shut down the Nile—even temporarily—is the power to destroy Egypt.

To say Egypt and Ethiopia do not have the best of relationships is putting it mildly. During the 1960s, Egypt was ground zero for the formation of the Eritrean Liberation movement and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front, the primary force behind Eritrea’s long war for independence from Ethiopia. During the ’70s and ’80s, Egypt actively supported several other terrorist groups that also worked to overthrow the government in Ethiopia. When Eritrea finally gained independence in 1994, it had Egypt to thank.

But Egypt’s strength, and its ability to project force and policy on its neighbors, is a function of not just its military, but its economy—and the economic treaties in force. This is one of the roots of contention between Egypt and Ethiopia.

Due to colonial-era treaties between Egypt, Sudan and the United Kingdom, Egypt holds sole authority over the Nile River’s water—forever. Until recently, this meant that if any upstream nation (also former British protectorates/colonies at the time) wanted to use water from any tributary flowing into the Nile, they had to seek Egyptian approval.

Over the years, nations such as Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia have largely abided by these pre-independence treaties—often to the detriment of their own people.

But now that may be about to change.

Ethiopia’s Blue Nile River generates approximately 85 percent of the total water flowing into the Nile. Ethiopia contends that it was not a signatory to the 1959 treaty, and thus it should not have to abide by a treaty that takes virtually 100 percent of its water that flows into the Nile. Thus Ethiopia is leading the charge to rewrite the treaties.

More than leading the charge—it is now the first nation to actively challenge Egypt’s monopoly on the Nile.

Ethiopia claims that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is needed for its own domestic electricity requirements. This dam, which is currently under construction, will become one of the top 10 biggest dams in the world. It will be able to generate three times the power the Hoover Dam does. It will also greatly increase Ethiopia’s regional importance by providing desperately needed electricity to its neighbors.

In 2010, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania signed an agreement rejecting Egypt’s claim to the Nile and formed a new partnership to redistribute the river’s water more equitably.

Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam is the first test of this agreement—and Egypt’s resolve. It is scheduled for completion in three years, at which time large amounts of water will be withheld from the Nile. But perhaps even more importantly from Egypt’s perspective, if not stopped it could herald a gold rush of other hydro-electric projects that will inevitably lead to increased agricultural projects within the region. If Ethiopia succeeds, it will be the end of Egypt’s control of the Nile. In water-limited Africa, that would be an unmitigated disaster for the land of the pharaohs.

What will Egypt do?

In the April 2011 issue of the Trumpet, Mr. Flurry prophesied specifically that Libya and Ethiopia would become the victims of radical Islam. At the time, there was very little physical evidence to suggest Ethiopia could ever be threatened. But he made that prediction based upon the prophecy in Daniel 11:40-43, which foretells an end-time clash between a German-led Holy Roman Empire and an Iranian-led Islamic coalition called the king of the south. In verse 43, Daniel lists the “Libyans and the Ethiopians” as part of the king of the south alliance. “This verse states that Libya and Ethiopia are also going to be closely allied with Iran!” stated Mr. Flurry.

When this article was published, people said the idea that largely Christian Ethiopia could ever fall into the radical Islamist camp was outrageous. Muslims and Christians had been peacefully coexisting for years, they said.

Based on the physical evidence at that time, these critics seemed right. But look at Ethiopia now.

In November 2011, the Ethiopian government discovered plans by a group of Wahhabi Muslims to turn Ethiopia into an Islamic country governed by sharia law. In a press conference, the Ethiopian government expressed concern over the increasing incidence of violence against moderate Muslims and Christians by radical Wahhabi Muslims. Since then, as Trumpet columnist Brad Macdonald wrote, there has been a huge uptick in Islamic inspired protests and riots. Even Western newspapers like the Christian Science Monitor and the Washington Times are warning about an Islamic backlash and the radicalization of Ethiopian Muslims. “Is this the start of radical Islam’s takeover of Ethiopia?” he asked.

Then on August 20, Ethiopia’s longtime prime minister, Meles Zenawi, suddenly died. His successor is untested and comes from a small protestant group as opposed to one of the major religious affiliations. There is talk of a power struggle.

On August 22, just two days after Zenawi died, Gerald Flurry said on a Key of David program that Daniel 11:43 shows that Egypt is about to have a “major impact on other nations in the Middle East, and in Libya and Ethiopia, in particular.” He went on to say that Egypt would play a critical role in turning Ethiopia into an Egypt-Iran allied state.

Events are now bearing out that prophecy.

According to Stratfor, Egypt has three choices. First, Egypt can bring political and economic pressure on Ethiopia to prevent the construction of the dam. This has already had a limited effect, but it probably won’t be enough to stop Ethiopia. Although Egypt and Sudan have successfully discouraged international investors from financing the $5 billion project, Ethiopia appears to be internally funding construction.

Second, Egypt could resort to direct military intervention. Although Stratfor says this is a last option, it also warns that “Cairo will use any tool at its disposal to stop the project, including military force if necessary. This jives with the Stratfor files that were stolen by WikiLeaks and published on August 31. According to these WikiLeak documents, Egypt has procured the use of Sudanese military bases to launch military attacks on Ethiopia’s dam project.

Third, Stratfor says Egypt could reactivate and support proxy militant groups. There are at least a dozen such armed groups scattered across ethnically divided Ethiopia that are working to overthrow the government or carve out independent regions.

Egypt could also use its allies in Eritrea to destabilize Ethiopia. This is exactly what appears to be happening.

Yesterday Ethiopia announced that it had seized 500 weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition being smuggled into the country from Sudan. The seizure comes just a month after six exiled Ethiopian opposition groups announced the formation of armed movements against the government. According to Africa Review, 12 armed opposition groups have recently taken up arms against the Ethiopian government.

Ethiopia may quickly be headed for civil war—instigated by Egypt! According to one report, most of these groups are proxies of Egypt’s Eritrean and Sudanese allies.

Will Egypt soon topple the Ethiopian government? Egypt has tens of billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. military hardware. It has well positioned and locally supported militant groups based in Ethiopia and on its borders. And it is facing the prospect of losing control of its most important and strategic asset—a river that is the lifeblood of its existence.

The Bible says Egypt will soon be instrumental in bringing a radical political reorientation to Ethiopia. Watch while it happens.

UN Plans to Send European Troops to Syria

UN Plans to Send European Troops to Syria

rachwal81/iStockphoto

Already embedded in Lebanon, European forces are seen as the best choice for patrolling Syria.

The new United Nations peace envoy to Syria is creating plans to send 3,000 peacekeeping troops to Syria. Where will the 3,000 come from? The envoy, Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, feels his options are limited. He reportedly considers African troops too ill equipped, soldiers from neighboring Arab countries too close to the rebels to be considered neutral, and Britain and American forces tainted in the eyes of the locals by their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. And Russia and China’s support for the Assad regime rules them out.

This leaves just one region: Europe.

“Brahimi has asked for the lists of troop contributing countries, and has already ruled out a number of countries, which essentially leaves European troops,” the Telegraph quote an anonymous source saying, October 13. “He is looking at all options and not putting all his eggs in the peacekeeping basket, but all information points to him exploring the peacekeeping option in a very serious manner.”

European troops are also seen as being most familiar with the region. Just south of Syria, the bulk of the 15,000 strong United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (unifl) is made up of European soldiers. Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Ireland are among the largest contributors to the mission. One of these five “would be expected to play a leading role in the Syria peacekeeping force,” writes the Telegraph.

Nations contributing to unifil are “alone are thought to have the infrastructure and on-the-ground knowledge that any peacekeeping operation would require,” the Telegraph says.

The Telegraph also reports that Brahimi “has spent recent weeks quietly sounding out which countries would be willing to contribute soldiers.”

Brahimi’s plans tie directly in to Bible prophecy. In September’s Trumpet magazine, editor in chief Gerald Flurry described how Europe will soon get very involved in Syria, in his article “How the Syrian Crisis Will End.” He described how Syria will end up a German ally. Now Europe, including Germany, is the top candidate for leading a peacekeeping mission to the country.

There are still great obstacles to the mission going ahead. It would have to gain the approval of Russia and China. But Germany is dedicated to gaining influence in the area. A German government adviser said last April that in the event of military intervention in Syria, “German participation should be assured,” according to German-Foreign-Policy.com. This region is so important to Europe that they have committed thousands of troops to unfil, gaining vital experience in the area. Even if the peacekeeping mission is blocked, they will find a way to turn Syria around into a European ally.

But Brahimi’s plan ties in to an even more significant prophecy.

The Bible prophesies that European forces will be invited in to Israel as peacekeepers. These peacekeepers will then double cross the Israelis and wipe out Jerusalem.

The same criteria that make European troops the logical choice for Syria would commend them equally well to Israel. Imagine if, after Arab attacks, both sides ask for peacekeepers from the UN. Once again, African troops would be seen as under-resourced. America may be seen as too close to Israel, and tainted by Iraq. The Arabs would be too close to the Palestinians. European forces, already embedded in Lebanon, would be the obvious choice.

The arrival of European peacekeepers around Jerusalem is a key step on the road to Christ’s return. Europe’s formation of an anti-Iranian alliance is all part of a clash that ultimately revolves around Jerusalem.

For more information on Europe’s involvement in the Middle East and this double-cross in Israel, read Mr. Flurry’s August article “Watch Jerusalem!

Eurozone to Get Its Own Budget

Eurozone to Get Its Own Budget

GEORGES GOBET/AFP/GettyImages)

The eurozone prepares a practical step toward becoming a superstate.

Eurozone nations could gain their own budget, separate from the European Union’s budget, under draft proposals published October 8 and supported by key member states. These proposals would put the eurozone on the path to developing a common taxation and spending policy and common treasure. It is a practical step toward becoming a superstate.

Reuters writes: “The fund could be used to help a country such as Spain, which has unemployment of 25 percent and is struggling to reinvigorate growth. In exchange for budget rigor, the pan-eurozone fund could provide targeted assistance.”

It would be a carrot to persuade nations to submit to the EU’s central control. It would also make the eurozone more like a single nation, where money is channeled to regions that are struggling. Eurozone nations would then be under further pressure to harmonize their taxation, spending and social problems, so some countries aren’t constantly leaching off the common fund.

“So this is a discussion which is just beginning,” wrote Chris Morris, a Europe correspondent at the bbc. “But it’s another sign of the kind of change which is coming in the EU.”

Reuters reports that Germany and France “strongly support” the proposal. British Prime Minister David Cameron publicly supported it, as he hopes it will mean Britain will have to give less money to the overall EU budget. His thinking is that if more spending is done by the eurozone, which Britain is not a part of, then the overall EU will spend less.

EU Observer reports, “Even for non-euro countries—which are usually wary of creating a ‘two speed’ Europe—the idea is becoming acceptable as long as it does not mean less money in the common pot.”

The proposal is in the draft conclusions to be discussed at a European Council meeting October 18 to 19.

Over the past few weeks, key European leaders have talked a lot about creating a federal Europe and pooling sovereignty. A common eurozone budget is a practical first step in that direction. Watch for a Europe superstate to steadily move from rhetoric to reality.