Britain Readying to Leave Europe

Britain Readying to Leave Europe

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Recent anti-EU statements from senior leaders in the British government could mark a watershed moment for Britain’s membership in the EU.

Ever since Britain joined the European Community in 1973, the Trumpet and its predecessor have forecast that Britain will one day remove itself from—or be tossed out of—the European Union.

Over the last few days, a momentous development that will hasten this event has occurred.

In short, for the first time in 30 years senior politicians from Britain’s major parties are now publicly making overtly anti-European statements.

The first to do so was Theresa May, Britain’s home secretary and a rising star within the Conservative Party. May attacked the EU on two different occasions and on two separate issues in just the last week. On Sunday, Phillip Hammond, Britain’s defense secretary and a fellow Conservative politician, joined May in her assault on the EU by declaring that it’s time for a “reset” of the Britain-Europe relationship.

Perhaps the most significant declaration came from Michael Gove, Britain’s education secretary and also a Conservative Party member. Mr. Gove revealed over the weekend that if a referendum on Britain’s membership in the EU was held tomorrow, he would vote for a British withdrawal.

If you’re unfamiliar with British politics, it’s important to note that each of these figures is a member of the Conservative Party, which is led by Prime Minister David Cameron. Ever since Cameron took office, his government has successfully practiced a sweep-it-under-the-rug policy when it came to Britain leaving Europe. Of course, one of the reasons ignoring and avoiding the Europe question has been possible is that government leaders have remained aloof on the subject.

Until now.

Peter Oborne, chief political commentator at the Telegraph, wrote an excellent piece explaining this development (emphasis added throughout). “The importance of these remarks [from May, Hammond and Gove] cannot be overstated,” he wrote.

Although many people have criticized Europe, no senior British politician has actually dared to advocate a severance of relations since Michael Foot more than a quarter of a century ago. Ever since Mr. Foot’s humiliation in the 1983 general election, there has been a consensus among all senior politicians in all three main parties that Britain’s membership of the EU, however irritating in practice, is a good thing in principle.

Now, for the first time in nearly 30 years, mainstream and senior British leaders are speaking out against Europe!

Mr. Gove’s decision to break with that consensus would be a moment of first-rate importance even if he were acting on his own. But he reportedly has the support of approximately half the Conservative members of the Cabinet. Indeed there is even reason to speculate that Mr. Gove, who is a close family friend of the prime minister, may be acting as an outrider for Mr. Cameron ….

This huge development will rock British politics, and more significantly, Britain’s relationship with Europe. “It is clear that the Conservative Party has reached a turning point,” wrote Oborne. “Mr. Cameron has resolved to risk detonating the European bomb, in the full knowledge of the consequences.”

It’s hard to predict the details of how this will unfold. However, what is certain is that the addition of senior mainstream politicians—from the Cameron government, no less—to the anti-EU bandwagon will give it much greater momentum. “I reckon the education secretary and his cabinet supporters are genuinely ready to try to take Britain out of the European Union,” confessed Oborne.

If you haven’t read it already, it’s time you read “Britain Was Warned!” Momentous events are unfolding in Europe and Britain, and it’s vital you understand exactly what is happening. The Europe question is about to explode in Britain, and when it does, as Mr. Oborne put it, it “could all be very bloody and horrible.”

Europe’s African War

Europe’s African War

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The EU is preparing an invasion in North Africa.

Yes, you read that right: The European Union is preparing an invasion. It is small scale. But the EU is very concerned about radical Islam’s growth in North Africa. While Syria and Iran grab the world’s attention, Europe is marshaling its African allies and preparing to send in a small force to tackle radical Islam.

The area concerned is Mali. The country has descended into chaos after rebel troops staged a coup d’état last March. Islamic groups such as al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (aqim), which have long been strong in the region, took over the north of the country. Add to that the chaos of Libya’s revolution, and you have the perfect environment to cultivate dangerous Islamic extremists.

Why does Mali matter? It is as remote as Timbuktu (literally: Timbuktu is in Mali). Look at it on a map. Northern Mali gives the terrorists a base on the Sahara Desert, from which they can launch attacks throughout Northern Africa. Just over the border, Algeria is a natural gas and oil hub for Europe. Nigeria, the largest African supplier of crude oil to the U.S., is not far to the south. Nigeria, Libya and Algeria are among Africa’s top four crude oil producers, providing nearly one tenth of the world’s oil. If Islamic extremism is allowed to take root and spread, it threatens key energy suppliers of both Europe and the U.S.

Naturally, the threat has attracted the attention of more than just Europe. America is also concerned and considering military intervention. But Europe is positioning itself to take the lead in any international venture.

On October 9, one of Europe’s most experienced leaders was appointed the special envoy for the Sahel (the region just south of the Sahara that includes northern Mali). As a former Italian prime minister and president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi was a surprisingly high-profile choice.

The appointment is also curious, as Prodi has zero experience in conflict mediation. His appointment seems to have less to do with Prodi’s actual qualifications than with Europe getting its man the top job. And Prodi’s influence stretches far beyond Mali. The Sahel stretches right across North Africa, all the way into Sudan. With European figures at the top of the UN’s operations in the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Europe has a great deal of influence within the UN over African matters.

With Prodi in place, the EU is preparing to send soldiers to the region. At a meeting of foreign ministers on October 15, the foreign affairs council called for a common European military operation to be “pursued and extended as a matter of urgency.” The main focus of this mission will be training Mali’s army to deal with the terrorists in the north. But Reuters reports that the options under consideration “range from dispatching 150 or so military trainers to Mali, to sending up to 500 soldiers who would not only train Malian troops but might also accompany them in battle,” citing an anonymous Western diplomat.

Another diplomat described the decision to intervene in Mali “a big step for the EU.”

It is a step that has the solid support of Germany. “We have to avoid at an early stage the development of a second Somalia, without any rule of law,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said. “Because then there are going to be founded further terrorist schools that will endanger our situation here in Europe too.”

But France is the one taking the lead. After all, most of the countries involved are former French colonies, and France has the biggest business and mining ties in the area. French citizens have been among the biggest targets of aqim’s kidnapping operations.

The situation probably suits Germany. Berlin is happy to let France lead, providing it is in the direction Germany wants to go.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that military action in Mali would start in a “matter of weeks, not months.” He said that France would “not send troops on the ground,” but would instead help plan the campaign and provide “logistical aid.”

French paper Le Figaro reported in September that “a hundred members of French special forces have already been deployed in the region.” These troops will be supported by navy patrol planes to collect intelligence, as well as navy commandos, the paper reports, and the military will set up a surveillance operation in Niger.

Philippe Hugon, of France’s Institute for International and Strategic Relations (iris), told France 24 that “France has always maintained a presence in the country via its secret services.”

The UN Security Council has already backed a French plan for the Economic Community of West African States (ecowas) to intervene in Mali, at the request of the Mali government. The UN is to provide “military and security planners,” who will, most likely, come largely from Europe.

Hugon says that France is already training ecowas. “Today, it’s using its know-how to train and support ecowas forces that are not powerful enough to lead this kind of operation on their own,” he said.

Europe is deeply concerned by the spread of radical Islam throughout the Middle East. It is working to confront Iran in Syria and in Lebanon. But it is concerned about the developments in North Africa too. Iran’s terrorist network is spreading throughout the Mediterranean region.

Watch this area of the area of the world as Europe quietly confronts radical Islam in a region of vital strategic significance to Europe.

Regulators Propose Giving Big Banks Their Very Own Pocket Judges

Regulators Propose Giving Big Banks Their Very Own Pocket Judges

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Remember all those politicians howling about how we need more government regulation to protect people from the big banks and prevent financial crisis? And how, if only they were in power, they would fix things?

Now witness the results of the extra consumer protection the government is providing.

On October 15, the Wall Street Journal reported that the much vaunted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (cfpb) is considering providing lenders (e.g. big banks) a “legal shield” against future litigation if the banks start giving out mortgages to “qualified” borrowers.

What this means, according to the Journal, is that the cfpb proposal mandates that judges “rule in lenders’ favor if consumers contest foreclosures.”

Wow!

Here is what is happening. America’s debt bubble is popping and the economy is slowing. Thus the big banks are not interested in giving out mortgages that are guaranteed to lose money, even to people who in past times would have qualified. This is not acceptable to quick-fix politicians who need to be reelected every four years. So, to encourage the banks to lend, the Federal Reserve is letting them borrow money at near zero percent interest. But even this unprecedented action is still apparently not enough. Why? The banks don’t want to issue mortgages at Federal Reserve-induced artificially low interest rates because if rates rise, their mortgage investments will tank—and before you know it, the banks will be needing bailouts again. And bailouts are no longer a sure thing. The same goes for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-owned mortgage giants that will be begging for billions of taxpayer dollars when interest rates go back up.

But instead of realizing banks are not lending due to the crummy economy and Federal Reserve market intervention—and working to roll back government manipulation and fix things—politicians are again trying to legislate away the laws of economics.

Now in an effort to encourage banks to lend, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is doing the exact opposite of protecting consumers.

It is now proposing to take away borrower’s rights to give big banks more protection and a greater incentive to lend.

Without protection from legal challenges, Americans “will continue to face challenges finding the most affordable mortgages and will find their path to home ownership more difficult,” said David Stevens, ceo of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The system is so broken. It isn’t enough that banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve at near zero percent interest, use the money to make mortgages, and collect the spread. The little guy of course can’t get free money. He or she has to pay the middle man big banks. And now it also isn’t enough that big banks already have access to an army of Rocket Docket judges more interested in processing as many foreclosure cases as possible than making accurate rulings. But now regulators are proposing to give the banks their very own pocket judges that would have to automatically and legally rule in their favor!

How can anyone believe that giving big banks pocket judges that are required by law to rule in their favor will fix anything? Especially when these same banks were ground zero for so much of the mortgage fraud that played such a big role in the subprime mortgage crisis and financial meltdown in the first place? In reality this is a poisonous recipe for abuse of consumers—the very thing politicians supposedly set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent.

President Obama’s administration has made a big deal about how it is on the side of the small guy, but people need to ask who the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—and by extension our political leaders—are really working for.

Once again we see that regardless of what political party is in power, the whole system is corrupt and needs to be completely replaced.

U.S. Vulnerable to ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’

U.S. Vulnerable to ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor’

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The list of dangers creeping up on America is long and scary. Here’s one that few seem to be paying much attention to.

Being an American used to be fun, easy and safe. Not anymore. Today every American faces danger and uncertainty on every side: The nation’s debt (public and private) is fatally high, millions upon millions are out of work, the cost of living is ever rising, racial and social tensions are intensifying. Meanwhile, much of the rest of the world, including powerful players like China, Russia, Iran, al Qaeda and its radical Islamist allies, resent and even despise the U.S. and are actively working to bring it down.

And these are only the dangers American’s are somewhat cognizant of. There is a whole host of other fatal threats, ones we don’t often read about or see on cnn.

Speaking to business leaders in New York City last Thursday, Leon Panetta, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, delivered a dramatic warning about one of the less publicized dangers creeping up on America: Cyberwarfare.

During his speech Mr. Panetta drew attention to some recent cyberattacks on U.S. financial institutions. The tactics used by the attackers weren’t new, he explained, but “the scale and speed with which it happened was unprecedented” (emphasis added throughout). The potential for cyberattacks to inflict damage on a large scale is quickly increasing, he explained, and a “cyberattack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremists groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack on 9/11.”

Mr. Panetta described a recent cyber assault on a Saudi Arabian state-run oil company that destroyed 30,000 computers. A few days later a similarly destructive and expensive attack occurred against RasGas, an Qatar-based energy company. “Imagine the impact an attack like that would have on your company or your business,” he said.

But the threat posed to U.S. businesses and institutions and the people they serve is only half the story.

Panetta continued: “We know that foreign cyber actors are probing America’s critical infrastructure networks. They are targeting the computer control systems that operate chemical, electricity and water plants and those that guide transportation throughout this country. We know of specific instances where intruders have successfully gained access to these control systems. We also know that they are seeking to create advanced tools to attack these systems and cause panic and destruction and even the loss of life.”

Remember, this is the U.S. Secretary of Defense.

Mr. Panetta then delivered a script that would make Steven Spielberg salivate:

Let me explain how this could unfold. An aggressor nation or extremist group could use these kinds of cyber tools to gain control of critical switches. They could, for example, derail passenger trains or even more dangerous, derail trains loaded with lethal chemicals.They could contaminate the water supply in major cities or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country.The most destructive scenarios involve cyber actors launching several attacks on our critical infrastructure at one time, in combination with a physical attack on our country. Attackers could also seek to disable or degrade critical military systems and communication networks.

It’s an incredible scenario, one that almost seems fanciful: For the first time in history, computer geeks have the means—if not the motive—to inflict catastrophic damage on an entire nation!

Mr. Panetta concluded his scenario with a stark and dramatic warning, one that hasn’t received nearly the attention it commands:

The collective result of these kinds of attacks could be a cyber Pearl Harbor; an attack that would cause physical destruction and the loss of life. In fact, it would paralyze and shock the nation and create a new, profound sense of vulnerability.

The Trumpet has for many years forecast the end-time downfall and destruction of the United States, Britain and the Commonwealth nations. Bible prophecy shows that these nations will be brought down by a combination of destructive forces including financial collapse, drought, famine, disease, social unrest and war, and foreign invasion. We should also add cyberwarfare to that list. As early as 1995, Trumpet editor in chief warned that “Computer dependence is the Western world’s Achilles heel, and within a few years this weakness could be tested to the full.”

Mr. Flurry based that forecast on a prophecy in Ezekiel 7:1-2, 14: “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. … They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready; but none goeth to the battle: for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof.” Notice, as nation-threatening dangers pile up and the call to arms goes out, “none goeth to battle.”

Is that because America experiences a massive cyberattack? An attack so deadly it destroys vital U.S. infrastructure, making it impossible to muster the military and sustain trade and commerce, and ultimately thrusting the nation into chaos and anarchy? Twenty years ago such a scenario would have been surreal, impossible, the plot line of an epic science fiction movie. Yet here we are in 2012 listening to America’s secretary of defense speak seriously and candidly about the potential of a catastrophic cyberattack on the United States.

Gone are the days when it was fun and easy being American.

Europe Launches Key Galileo Satellites

Europe Launches Key Galileo Satellites

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The European Space Agency has successfully launched its third and fourth satellites of the Galileo global navigation satellite system, Europe’s version of America’s gps. The system’s in-orbit validation satellites are now complete.

The successful launch on October 12 now enables engineers to run intensive tests on every aspect of Galileo from its ground operation centers in Munich, Germany, and Fucino, Italy, and “clear the way for rapid full-scale deployment of the constellation” of the remaining operational satellites, according the European Space Agency’s director of the Galileo program, Didier Faivre.

The operational satellites following this validation phase will be launched every three months beginning next spring until 18 of them are orbiting space. At that point—projected to be late 2014—the system would have reached the Initial Operational Capability stage, ready for initial use. Full Operational Capability, nonetheless, will be reached with 12 additional satellites by 2018.

Galileo will be 10 times more accurate than gps. It will have civilian and commercial uses, as well as military applications. But as the Register wrote, “Galileo only makes sense in the context of European military action and infrastructure security, independent of the U.S.”

In 2011, then European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani admonished, “We must commit very strongly to Galileo. We need this; this not entertainment. This is necessary for the competitiveness of our European Union in the world.”

Galileo is Europe’s challenge to U.S. monopoly and military dominance of its gps. It is another significant step for Europe as it lurches toward full independence from the U.S. and superpower status. For more from our archives on this subject, read “Space Wars: Galileo vs. GPS” and “Who Will Win the Space Race?

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.