A Comeback for Guttenberg?

A Comeback for Guttenberg?

Getty Images

Right on time, just one year before Germany’s federal elections, calls are going out for Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg to return to frontline German politics.

Amid the brouhaha of Bavaria’s Christian Socialist Party’s annual conference, csu leader Horst Seehofer has called for the return to high office of Baron Karl Theodore zu Guttenberg.

Having voluntarily resigned from politics in the wake of a left-wing attack on his academic credibility, Guttenberg moved to Connecticut, accepting a post with Neelie Kroes, EU commissioner for Digital Agenda, in addition to joining a U.S.-based international think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, under the title of “distinguished statesman.”

Both posts have served Guttenberg well, keeping his hand in on developments on the international scene as he bided his time, awaiting such a moment as now being presented by his party boss, Seehofer.

Focus broke the news of a Guttenberg comeback in the early hours of Saturday morning. By the afternoon, every major German news source had jumped on the story.

And no wonder.

German politics has fallen into disarray in the wake of party differences on how to tackle the ongoing euro crisis. Chancellor Merkel only survives because no credible alternative leader is seen on the horizon in Germany. The Germans are getting restless, and as that old observer of European affairs, Luigi Barzini once observed, when the Germans get restless, they tend to get dangerous. In their restlessness they have too often sought out a charismatic leader to their own national detriment.

Bild am Sonntag spoke of the unofficial announcement of an attempt to invite Guttenberg back into a prominent role in csu politics as Seehofer’s “most important message”: “But the most important message, Seehofer chose to announce not at the podium but on the edge of the Congress, declaring that after the elections in 2013 he wanted to get the former defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, back into active politics.” The paper quoted the party boss as saying, “When the election is over, we will see how we can integrate Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg into a key function again in the csu” (October 20).

Germany is crying out for a decisive leader to give the nation hope. The people see their hard-won and substantial economic rewards at great risk of loss because of a prospective collapse of the euro dream. Seehofer is reading the scene well. The timing could not be better.

As Focus reported: “csu leader Horst Seehofer wants to bring back the former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg after the elections in 2013.” It quoted Seehofer saying, “After the election, I will try it.” Focus further observed, “Seehofer’s idea also is that Guttenberg does not have to start all over again. The former minister should take a ‘significant’ job, Seehofer said.

“The csu chief had said on several occasions that he would like to get Guttenberg back, but so far still has not mentioned a date. He hopes Guttenberg should actually want to come back, but he has no electoral mandate, because he is not a candidate in the general election in 2013. It remains open just what Seehofer thinks of as a major role for Guttenberg.”

There are two points of interest here. One is that lacking an electoral mandate places Guttenberg in the position of being open for invitation to take up political office. A valid comparison would be with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who though lacking any clear political mandate for the role, was invited to take up Italy’s chief political office.

Second is that with Guttenberg keeping a toe in the water both sides of the Atlantic in his two current advisory positions, he has been able to continue to hone his foreign-policy skills.

Having previously been regarded as csu spokesman on foreign affairs, and with the added value of having held two senior portfolios in the Merkel government in the past (economics minister and minister for defense), it is not such a long shot to see Guttenberg—once Germany’s most popular politician—possibly replacing its currently most unpopular minister, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, in the German cabinet in the future. Germany’s foreign minister traditionally also holds the post of deputy chancellor, just one step away from national leadership.

Handelsblatt reported that the csu has rebounded to a position of political strength once again. It is regarded as the sister party to the cdu, Germany’s most dominant political party. All things remaining as they are at present—which is, admittedly, a lot to assume in German politics in a time of crisis—a strong csu would be in a powerful position to influence cabinet appointments after the 2013 elections.

In the meantime, certain respectable voices are even expressing the hope that Guttenberg will be returned in time for the 2013 elections.

“[F]ormer csu chief Erwin Huber makes no bones about it. He would want Guttenberg as a candidate for the federal election already in 2013. He should stand as a candidate, for real candidates do not exist in Guttenberg’s home constituency, no candidate is on the list for that constituency, Huber told Focus Online. ‘I always thought Guttenberg is a political natural and should remain in politics in Germany,’ Huber added. ‘We have few who accepted foreign policy so passionately. Karl-Theodor could fill a gap within the external competence of the Union parties well’” (October 20).

During the years of post-war reconstruction, General Montgomery observed the need to “change the heart and the way of life of the German people.” He spoke in the immediate wake of World War ii, declaring that the Germany that emerged from 13 years of Nazism was a nation where “the authority of the family had been minimized, the influence of the church reduced, and the power of the state increased” (The Memoirs of Montgomery of Alamein).

Today’s Germany has witnessed the authority of the family reduced in the wake of the rampant liberal rationalism and homosexualization within its society. The impact of its traditional moral bastion, the church, has been reduced by theological rationalism, and the power of the state has increased massively under the auspices of the European Union. On top of all that, Germans are beginning to worry that the eurocrisis will sap the energy of their highly successful economy, with resultant loss of the good life they have enjoyed for so long.

This is not a formula for a stable German democracy. The danger is that, as Montgomery noted, unless such drift is arrested, “The Germans would merely look to the past and be ready to follow any [charismatic] leader who might arise.”

In fact, biblical prophecy foretells of this situation arising just one more time in Daniel 8 and 11.

Gainsayers to the contrary, we have continually said, “Watch Guttenberg.” Indications are that we may not have to wait much longer to see a triumphant return to high political office for Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, baron of the Holy Roman Empire.

Violent Crime Rates on the Rise

Violent Crime Rates on the Rise

adamkaz/iStockphoto

Year-to-year violent crime rates in the United States rose for the first time in nearly 20 years, a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates.

The report, released Wednesday, indicates that the trend of declining year-to-year violent crime rates since 1993 was reversed in 2011 when the rate rose by 17 percent. Property crime, which includes burglary, larceny, shoplifting, auto-theft, arson and vandalism, rose by 11 percent. Simple assaults, which involve simple arguments between two people that escalate only to a point where one calls the police, increased by 22 percent.

These percentages represent the following data: Simple assaults rose from 4 million to 5 million cases. Property crime incidents increased from 15.4 million to 17 million. Of this property crime, there were 12.8 million thefts, up from 11.6 million, and household burglaries rose from 3.2 million to 3.6 million.

Criminologists attribute the reversal of this declining trend in crime mostly to the simple assaults which themselves are “so low-level in severity that they are not even included in the fbi counts of serious crime,” according to criminology professor James Alan Fox. Also, the 2011 numbers, criminologists argue, are being compared to historically low crime rates of 2010. As Professor Fox said, “2011 may be worse than 2010, but it was also the second-best in recent history.” Assistant criminology professor, Chris Melde, cautioned against forecasting future crime trends based on one-year changes. Criminologist Charles Wellford, said, “I wouldn’t make much out of it,” adding that one year doesn’t make a trend.

Considering that a 20-year trend is being broken, and considering the violence in some American cities like Detroit, and the historic trend that less than half of all crimes are ever reported to the police, it seems a mistake to entirely dismiss these statistics.

The Trumpet forecasts future crime trends, based on more than one-year changes. We look at geopolitical, social, moral and spiritual trends, but most importantly at Bible prophecy. That source forecasts an explosion of violence in America’s cities that will shatter previous trends. You can read about this in Chapter 4 of Ezekiel: The End Time Prophet.

We also offer solutions to crime which are based on Bible prophecy. Read “The End of American Crime” and Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s booklet, “The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily.”

Germany Proposes EU ‘Super-Commissioner’

Germany Proposes EU ‘Super-Commissioner’

Getty Images

The Germans want one man to have veto power over national budget, and be “feared around the world.”

German finance minister put forward radical proposals to end Europe’s financial crisis. Most controversially, Wolfgang Schäuble’s plan, unveiled October 14, would create a currency commissioner, who would have the power to block the national budgets of eurozone nations. This commissioner would be “feared around the world,” said Schäuble.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel firmly backed his plans in a speech to Germany’s parliament on October 18.

Unlike most other EU commissioners, the new commission that this job would create would not need the agreement of the other commissioners in order to act. Spiegel Online wrote that this new commissioner would be “one of the most powerful positions in the EU.”

Schäuble modeled this position on the EU’s competition commissioner. The Telegraph’s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard described this post, saying: “The competition tsar is the arch-enforcer of the EU machine, with powers to launch dawn raids, deploy swat teams, and block mergers on his own authority.”

“This would strip elected parliaments of the final say over tax and spending, the bedrock of democracy,” he wrote.

Pritchard also said that only members of Parliament from eurozone countries should vote on EU matters—drawing the eurozone countries closer together and leaving the rest of Europe on the sidelines.

Other EU nations, of course, do not like Schäuble’s proposal. They’re not keen on handing power over their budget to a single leader. The plan was not on the agenda for the EU summit on October 18 and 19.

Watch Schäuble’s proposal closely. The office of prime minister in the United Kingdom evolved out of a similar post. The control that the Lord Treasure had over the nation’s finances led to that position becoming the first, or prime, minister.

With control over the purse strings of eurozone nations, a smart politician could turn the post of competition commissioner into that of the prime minister of the eurozone. The commissioner would be appointed, not elected.

The Bible describes that a single man will get control of Europe through “flatteries.” As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has pointed out, the wording implies he will not be elected.

The post of currency commissioner could allow one man to take over Europe through flatteries.

Suicide—Top Injury-Related Killer of Americans

Suicide—Top Injury-Related Killer of Americans

melnichuk_ira/iStockphoto

More Americans are dying by suicide than are killed in car crashes. A new study published by the American Journal of Public Health in its November 2012 issue says that the number of people who commit suicide has drastically increased while the number of people killed in car wrecks has significantly dropped.

Suicides are now the number one cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S. Shockingly, the suicide rate in America has risen 15 percent from 2000 to 2009.

Currently, the top four injury-related deaths in America are suicides, car crashes, poisonings and falls.

Ian Rocket, author of the study, told Mail Online, “Suicides are terribly under-counted. … I think the problem is much worse than official data would lead us to believe. We have a situation that has gotten out of hand.”

Rocket believes that there may be an additional 20 percent or more unrecognized suicide deaths. For example, poisoning deaths have risen 128 percent in the same time period. Considering that many of the poisoning deaths are due to overdoses from prescription drugs, a portion of these deaths are more likely to be intentional rather than accidental.

There is a similar scenario with falls. Deaths from falls rose 71 percent. It is likely that a portion of those falls were not accidental. Many commit suicide by jumping from a tall building or a bridge.

The study also considered sex and race in its research. It is interesting to note that fewer women die from suicide than men. In addition, blacks and Hispanics have fewer suicides, yet more die from homicide.

Suicide is not just an American problem. Data shows that suicide is on the rise globally. In August 2012, the Mail Online reported that the suicide rate in Greece had skyrocketed. Greece used to have one of the lowest suicide rates in Europe, but is now seeing a huge spike in people taking their own lives. Also on the rise in Greece are the use of anti-depressant drugs. Mental health officials attribute the trend to the economic catastrophe engulfing the nation.

Experts believe that the failing U.S. economy is the culprit behind the spike in the American suicide rate as well. During the Great Depression, suicides hit a record high of 22 people per 100,000. During economic prosperity, suicide rates fall off sharply, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. In the economically prosperous year 2000, for example, only 10 per 100,000 people took their lives.

In the U.S. a $56 million suicide prevention program has been established under the Garret Lee Smith Memorial Act. Suicide experts plan to devote the new funding to provide the same amount of effort to stopping suicide as has been devoted to reducing car crash deaths. A majority of this effort will be devoted to education to help communities stop the rising tide of suicide. The program’s goal is to save 20,000 lives over the next five years.

No one need suffer from hopelessness and despair—even in these tough economic times. Read “Finding the Path Out of Depression” and other related articles on theTrumpet.com archive.

Jerusalem Is the Focal Point

Jerusalem Is the Focal Point

Fred Froese/iStockphoto

Why we should be watching the Holy City closely

Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohammed Badie called on radical Islamists to use force against the “Zionist oppressors” of Jerusalem. This same group of radicals now runs the nation of Egypt.

“Zionists only understand force,” Badie said in a public statement published October 11. Arabs can’t achieve justice “through the corridors of the United Nations or through negotiations,” he said. “Jerusalem is Islamic … and nobody is entitled to make concessions [on the Holy City].”

Keep in mind—this hateful diatribe is coming from the spiritual adviser of Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi. And yet Morsi recently told The New York Times that it’s the United States—not the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, but the United States—that needs to “fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world.”

In ancient times, the king of the south was located just south of Jerusalem in Egypt. In this end time, it will comprise a conglomerate of nations much larger and more powerful than ancient Egypt. And this group of nations will be located south of the king of the north in Europe.

God’s Word says there will be a clash in this end time between the kings of the north and south—Roman Catholic Europe and the nations of Islam! History, in other words, will repeat itself. The Bible says radical Islam will aggressively “push” against Europe (Daniel 11:40). The Euro-beast will then retaliate forcefully against the Islamic push—like a “whirlwind,” it says. After that, the Bible says the European superpower will enter Jerusalem.

“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (verse 42). Egypt won’t escape because it will be firmly ensconced in the Iranian camp. This prophecy in Daniel 11 is why we knew, decades ago, that Egypt would eventually turn to radical Islam. That has now happened.

Even the major media outlets have awakened to the sobering reality of an Islamist state in Egypt. A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported on the final days of Hosni Mubarak—and how President Obama pushed him out of office. The Times referred to the phone call between the two presidents that occurred on Feb. 1, 2011. According to the report, Mr. Obama said an eight-month transition in Cairo wasn’t good enough—Mubarak had to step down immediately!

The Egyptian president reportedly shot back at Mr. Obama: “You don’t understand this part of the world. You’re young.”

A few minutes later, according to the Times, “A grim Mr. Obama appeared before hastily summoned cameras in the Grand Foyer of the White House. The end of Mr. Mubarak’s 30-year rule, Mr. Obama said, ‘must begin now.’ With those words, Mr. Obama upended three decades of American relations with its most stalwart ally in the Arab world, putting the weight of the United States squarely on the side of the Arab street.”

The Times went on to point out how risky this move was for President Obama. Mubarak had been a staunch American ally, after all. But the president forged ahead, ignoring advice from several key advisers, the Times said.

Today, after almost two years of political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, the president has learned some “hard lessons,” the Times says—that “bold words and support for democratic aspirations are not enough to engender good will in this region.”

One would hope the New York Times might learn from a few hard lessons as well. Back in February 2011, the Times told us it was perfectly fine for the White House to invite the Muslim Brotherhood to discussions about a new Egyptian government. The Brotherhood, after all, had “renounced violence years ago” (Feb. 1, 2011).

With cheerleaders like that in the major media, it’s no wonder President Obama said on Feb. 15, 2011: “I think history will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in Egypt that we were on the right side of history.”

Truth is, America has been on the wrong side every step of the way.

On Libya, President Obama said Qadhafi’s death marked the end of a long and painful chapter in Libya. He said the people in the “new and democratic Libya” now had a chance to determine their own destiny.

These spectacular foreign-policy blunders are leading directly to what Jesus described in Matthew 24:21: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

In verse 15, Jesus told us to heed to prophetic warnings of the Prophet Daniel: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:).”

Now compare this verse with Luke 21:20: “And when ye shall see Jerusalemcompassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.” Jerusalem is the trigger! God calls these armies surrounding Jerusalem a “desolation” because, as it says in Daniel 12:11, it is the abomination that makes desolate. It causes the desolation of many nations. God is talking about problems like we’ve never seen before. It will get so bad that no flesh would be saved alive were it not for Christ’s intervention to put a stop to it (see verse 1 and Matthew 24:21-22).

This is where the events we have been witnessing in the past few years are leading. We are on a countdown! There is no turning back! It doesn’t matter if America gets a new president this November. It’s not going to roll back the Islamic winter. It’s not going to reset everything in the Middle East to where staunchly pro-American dictators hold back the tide of radical Islam.

The dam has broken! America is in full-scale retreat. It took out Saddam and handed Iraq to Iran. The surge in Afghanistan has failed. The U.S. left Iranian protestors isolated during the Green Revolution and then made the tragic mistake of enabling Islamic uprisings in Egypt and Libya. And it has totally abandoned Israel—the only Mideast nation, by the way, where there never seems to be any protests outside the U.S. Embassy.

As Charles Krauthammer recently said, the jihadists in the region are saying, “This is our time.” They know this is their time. The imperialist empire now forming in Europe also knows that this is their time.

And so, we had better watch Jerusalem—closely! Jerusalem is the powder keg that will set off a world explosion. From now on, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote back in 1976, Jerusalem will be the focal point of world happenings. For more on this subject, make sure to read Jerusalem in Prophecy.

Britain Readying to Leave Europe

Britain Readying to Leave Europe

Getty Images

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.”