“We’re almost there,” proclaimed the chauffeur. The morning sunshine glistened off the body of the classic Rolls Royce as it passed by St. James Park, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace en route to Westminster.
“Friday morning at 10:15 a.m. found Mr. Armstrong inside No. 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British prime minister. While waiting, one of Mrs. Thatcher’s aides came downstairs to greet Mr. Armstrong. He remembered hearing the World Tomorrow broadcast years earlier” (Worldwide News, Aug. 2, 1982).
As anchor of the World Tomorrow program on both radio and television, Herbert W. Armstrong’s face and voice were often recognized in Britain. The wide circulation of millions of readers for the Plain Truth magazine—along with knowledge of Ambassador College in Hertfordshire county, its immaculate campus in the village of Bricket Wood, home to the famed Hanstead House—also contributed to wide recognition of this ambassador for peace.
Upon being greeted by Mrs. Thatcher’s aide, Mr. Armstrong was ushered upstairs, joining the prime minister in the White Room at Number 10. Today, this room still owes its decor to Margaret Thatcher, who employed noted British architect Quinlan Terry to ensure it kept its 18th-century drawing room motif with fine furnishings and masterpieces of artwork echoing the British aristocratic tradition. World leaders and dignitaries who have visited Number 10 are familiar with this spectacular space.
In the White Room, “the pastor general had a 30-minute meeting with Mrs. Thatcher, whom he found to be a cordial hostess. Sir Robert Armstrong, secretary to the British cabinet, was also in attendance” (ibid). Sir Robert is the son of Sir Thomas Armstrong, a prominent British musician who was the principal of the Royal Academy of Music from 1955 to 1968. Sir Robert was educated at Eton College and was a King’s Scholar who attended Christ Church at the University of Oxford. From 1970 to ‘75 he served as private secretary to the prime minister and was knighted in 1978. From 1979 to ‘87 he served as secretary to the cabinet, being honored with a life peerage in 1988 as baron of Ilminster in Somerset county. Today, he is still active in the UK Parliament as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.
I asked Lord Armstrong about his namesake’s visit with Lady Thatcher, to which he recalled, “I remember that there was a meeting; it immediately followed another meeting which I had with the prime minister earlier that morning, and the prime minister invited me to remain for her meeting with Mr. Armstrong. Perhaps she was intrigued by the idea of bringing two Armstrongs together!”
With events so fresh from Britain’s Falkland Island victory over Argentina, along with reverberations of Lebanon’s war with Israel, geopolitical foreign policy topped the conversational agenda during Mr. Armstrong’s visit to Mrs. Thatcher. Earlier that month, on July 11, Mr. Armstrong had met with Jordan’s King Hussein at the Royal Palace in Amman. “Mrs. Thatcher had met with King Hussein July 22, and Mr. Armstrong and the prime minister discussed their visits and the situation in Lebanon” (Worldwide News, op. cit.).
During this meeting, as was his tradition, Mr. Armstrong presented the prime minister with a gift of Steuben crystal, titled “Duolith,” which she gratefully received. “Mr. Armstrong mentioned that he had now met all four of this world’s women prime ministers. Mrs. Thatcher named them all after some thought. They are the late Golda Meir, former prime minister of Israel, Indira Gandhi, prime minister of India; and Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the former prime minister of Sri Lanka” (ibid).
Four months after their meeting, Mr. Armstrong recalled, “I’m just reminded, last time I saw Mrs. Thatcher of England, the prime minister.” He was speaking to an audience gathered at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif., on Nov. 27, 1982. His message to them that day was titled, “United States of Europe Is Coming.” Mr. Armstrong went on to say, “As we were leaving, she said, ‘Well, there’s one thing. Our two countries, the United States and Britain, must absolutely continue to hang together.’ And I said, ‘If they don’t hang together, they’ll probably hang separately.’”
Mr. Armstrong would later approve a cover titled “Britain’s Iron Lady, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher” for the February 1983 edition of the Plain Truth, noting her “graciousness” and “resolute will.”
Today, like Lord Armstrong, Lady Thatcher holds a life peerage of the realm as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in Lincolnshire county, and is thus entitled to sit in the House of Lords. With its once great empire—the greatest this world has ever known—long gone, Britain is becoming an increasingly isolated isle politically, economically and spiritually. Since Margaret Thatcher’s resignation following betrayal by her own government ministers in November 1990, British leadership has simply lacked the “graciousness” and “resolute will” displayed by her during her terms as prime minister. Those qualities of her leadership were but a final reflection of the traits of leadership that were once displayed by British leaders during the nation’s prime period of national blessings. The very blessings granted fulfillment at that time by God in accordance with the birthright and scepter promises He bestowed upon the British peoples as the biblical descendants of the ancient patriarch Abraham, through the lines of Judah and Ephraim.
The spotlight of the world stage centers now on its prime actor of the moment, Germany, with its accelerated domineering power over all Europe. Although it still remains a member of the European Union, Britain’s recent refusal to sign on to Berlin’s plan to meld submissive economies into the form of its own fiscal mold is leading to an unprecedented isolation of the island realm from Europe. From 1934, Mr. Armstrong relentlessly prophesied of Germany’s rise to dominance in Europe, guided by its spiritual mother in Rome. In the same vein, he prophesied that Britain would not be part of the final 10-nation combine that will ultimately dominate Europe under the leadership of Berlin and Rome.
Trumpet founder and editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his February personal, “In 1995, as the European project was gaining steam, Margaret Thatcher said this: ‘You have not anchored Germany to Europe,’ which was the plan behind European unification. ‘You have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, unified Germany. In the end, my friends, you’ll find it will not work.’ Mrs. Thatcher was absolutely correct!”
The lords, the ladies and the gentlemen of Britain and its Anglo-Saxon dominions have forgotten Mrs. Thatcher’s warning. They are not “hanging together” as she desired in her last words to Mr. Armstrong. More perilously, they have forgotten the message of Jesus Christ their Savior and His gospel of the Kingdom preached in all the world as a witness by that ambassador for world peace, Herbert W. Armstrong (Matthew 24:14).
As a message of hope during the dark days of war, Winston Churchill voiced English historian Thomas Fuller’s proverb: “It’s always darkest just before the day dawns.”
So it is that, in the short term, the prophesied demise of Britain and the ultimate subjugation of its peoples under the worst of German ambitions is absolute (Hosea 5:5; Isaiah 10:5-7). However, we thank God that these future darkest days of the British peoples will be short lived. The day will come when the British and the German will live at peace with each other. For, as the prophecies declare, and as reflected in the great chorus in Handel’s Messiah sung annually in Britain since 1743, together with all humankind they will see a bright new day dawn in the fulfillment of the great prophecy of Revelation 11:15 and hear “great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
Where do young people buy drugs today? If you envision a dodgy backstreet deal with kids handing over cash to strangers, you’re wrong. Instead, picture someone sitting in front of their computer, paying by credit card. A few days later, the postman delivers the drugs to their door in discreet packaging.
This is the new, seemingly safe, drugs trade booming in Britain.
These websites aren’t hidden in some shady corner of the Internet. I’m hardly familiar with the drug scene but it took me just two Google searches to find hundreds of websites offering dangerous drugs delivered right to my door.
They look like any other online shop. I’ve bought office stationery from worse-looking websites. It’s just like shopping on Amazon. You can read descriptions of the products and even check reviews left by other users. These drug dealers certainly aren’t hiding—in fact, they encourage you to follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook. And you can use your credit card safely—many of the sites use Paypal.
With just a couple clicks, I found a site where I could buy a drug called “Annihilation” in complete safety.
Except it’s only the shopping that’s safe. Nine people have been admitted to Glasgow’s hospital for taking Annihilation in the last three months. Others have died from taking these types of easily available drugs.
Welcome to the world of “legal highs”—drugs with all the harmful effects of illegal drugs but without any of the difficulty in purchasing. Because these drugs are legal, they can be purchased at much cheaper prices and in a much purer form than illegal drugs.
There’s a lot of talk in both Britain and America about the legalization of cannabis. But more dangerous and more powerful drugs are already easily and legally available.
Over the past few years, the rise in “legal highs” has done for drugs what the Internet has already done for pornography. There are no more shady backroom deals. The risk and shame are gone. But they are still destroying lives.
None of the websites give any indication you are dealing with something dangerous. Drugs are described as “herbal incense.” One way companies get away with selling drugs is by labeling them “not for human consumption.” Some websites even find ways to avoid doing this. One website displays this warning next to its drugs: “They consume you. You don’t consume them.” That sounds more like a slogan than a warning that you could end up in a hospital.
The rest of the page is full of people posting reviews about how great a high the drug gave them. No one mentions any danger. The few negative reviews complain that the drug isn’t powerful enough.
These drugs are drawing in a huge number of young people.
“We thought it was good news when demand for cocaine and heroin began to fall,” said. Dr Owen Bowden-Jones, who founded the Club Drug Clinic in London. “What has happened is that they have been replaced by other drugs that we are trying to understand.”
Since 1998, Cannabis use has halved. Ecstasy use has also halved over a similar period of time. In that time, the rate of illegal drug use by people aged 16 to 24 has fallen from 30 percent to 19 percent.
That looks like progress. But the Angelus Foundation, which aims to educate young people about the dangers of these drugs, estimates that one in three people aged 16 to 24 are likely to try legal highs. “We might be reaching a situation where legal highs are as attractive as tobacco these days for youngsters,” said the drugs coordinator for West Yorkshire Police, Bryan Dent.
Many of these young people are ignorant of the dangers. Because the drugs can be bought legally and safely, many think that means they’re safe to use.
Maryon Stewart set up the Angelus Foundation after her daughter Hester died from taking what was then a legal high. Stewart says she knows “parents from all over the country who have lost kids” due to these drugs. Yet when children in schools are told what is really in these drugs, “They feel that they’ve been duped and they feel that they’ve been cheated,” she said.
Perhaps more worryingly, parents are also ignorant of the dangers. “New research has found most (86 percent) parents are lacking the vital knowledge needed to warn their children about the dangers of ‘legal highs,’” wrote the Angelus Foundation on its website.
Many of these drugs are chemically very similar to illegal drugs. The main active ingredient in Annihilation, for example, is a synthetic form of cannabis. Often, these highs are a lot stronger than the illegal form of the drug.
Detective Inspector Jim Bradley of the Glasgow City Center Police warned that those who have taken Annihilation “have experienced adverse health effects, including increased heart rate, unconsciousness, numbness in legs causing collapse, paranoia, aggression and self harming.”
Many of those taking these drugs simply don’t know how dangerous they are. They’re being killed so someone else can make a killing.
Because many of these drugs are new, the long-term effects are unknown. Often, there are no studies into their side effects. “These kids are playing Russian roulette,” Vice President of Caron Treatment Centers Dr. Harris Stratyner told The Fix, a website on drugs and recovery. “It’s absolutely ludicrous that anyone would put this into your body. It’s like trying to get high off arsenic or rat poison.”
Ketamine is an early “legal high” that was outlawed in 2006. Heavy use of Ketamine is now known to cause permanent damage to the bladder. Users can be left with pain whenever they urinate. In extreme cases, users had to have their bladders removed. gbl (Gammabutyrolactone) is another former “legal high” that was outlawed in 2009. Several died after falling into a coma from taking it. “Users of gbl suffered high levels of dependence and harrowing withdrawal symptoms,” wrote the Times.
“When these patients arrive we can only treat the symptoms, because we don’t know what they have taken—and neither do they,” said a specialist at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Dr. Richard Stevenson, last July. “None of the cases admitted this year have died, but no one should be under any misapprehension that legal highs are potential killers,” he warned. “If this steep rise in admissions continue, it is only a matter of time until we see deaths.”
If these drugs are so dangerous, why are they still legal? Mainly because the British government is stuck playing whack-a-mole with drug manufacturers. As soon as they outlaw one chemical compound, several new ones arrive.
The government passed a law in 2011 so they could outlaw new drugs in a matter of weeks, not months. But 28 new “legal highs” arrived on the market in the first five months of 2012 alone. The government can’t keep up. The drugs are only banned after they’ve come to the government’s attention—which means only after they’ve caused serious harm. Once they’re banned, users either continue to use the drug illegally or move on to the next big thing.
Although “legal highs” are hitting the headlines mostly in Britain, they are a problem in America too. America’s poison control centers received 6,138 calls about “bath salts,” up from just 304 the year before. This “legal high” is now illegal, but there will be more—if they’re not available already.
The arrival of legal highs shows the flaw in the West’s drug policies. Stopping people from getting drugs isn’t working. Stopping people from wanting them is the only solution.
But this is much harder. It requires a complete change in society.
It means children can no longer be brought up in a world without hope, where temporary pleasure is not their only goal. It means revolutionizing family life, so that parents protect and nurture their children. It means that teens and other young people spend much of their free time in wholesome, family pursuits, not out clubbing. The message put out by movies and popular music will have to change.
It means creating a whole society of people full of hope, focused and enthusiastic about what they can accomplish.
It also means having a society where there is no one willing to sell potentially lethal products for a profit. Where no one sells a product marked “not for human consumption” to people that they know will smoke or swallow it.
After the terrorist attack in 2001, the United States quickly disposed of radical regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq and severely restricted the spread of Iranian influence across the Middle East. But as we wrote in November 2003, this would be a long and difficult war—and one the United States would eventually lose.
Today, after 11 years of war against radical Islam, American losses are now piling high.
Earlier this month, the New York Times featured a detailed story that essentially summarized Iran’s decade-long conquest of Iraq. Back in 2003, the Times wrote, Iran saw the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein as a “golden opportunity” to become the dominant force in the region. It enabled the Quds Force, led by General Qassim Suleimani, to wage its own war in Iraq—a shadowy conflict aimed at bogging down American forces and ultimately pressuring them to leave. While this was happening, Suleimani was simultaneously working to build political alliances with Iraq’s top politicians.
That brings us to where we are today, now that Saddam Hussein and U.S. forces are long gone. We are where we said we would be as far back as 1994: Iran is now king in Iraq.
America is following a similar path in Afghanistan.
Its invasion of that country was also a lopsided conflict at the start. It only took a few weeks for the U.S.-led offensive to smash the Taliban infrastructure and send its leaders running for cover in Pakistan. But by 2006, with America preoccupied in Iraq, the Taliban had re-emerged from the hills and surprised U.S. forces with a major counterattack.
By 2007, U.S. commanders in Afghanistan were pleading for Washington to send reinforcements. But then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen told them there was “nothing on the shelf for Afghanistan.” American forces had been spread too thin. The focus of attention was on the “surge” in Iraq.
In 2009, following through on promises made during the presidential campaign, President Obama shifted attention away from Iraq and sent an additional 33,000 troops to Afghanistan. Since the so-called Obama surge in Afghanistan, however, there has been a dramatic rise in U.S. casualties. Of the 2,141 U.S. service members that have been killed in Afghanistan, about 70 percent of them have died on Mr. Obama’s watch.
Of greater concern than this upsurge in violence is the alarming increase of “green on blue” attacks. This year there have been more than 30 attacks on coalition forces by their Afghan “partners.” It’s gotten so bad that U.S. forces now carry weapons at all times—even while on base—to protect themselves from people who are supposed to be on their side.
Despite these many setbacks, however, the Obama administration has been actively peddling the “mission accomplished” theme when it comes to Afghanistan. During the vice presidential debate two weeks ago, for example, Joe Biden said America’s primary objective in Afghanistan is “almost completed.”
President Obama takes it much further than that. America has “blunted the Taliban’s momentum” and al Qaeda is on the “path to defeat,” he repeatedly says on the campaign trail.
But according to cbs reporter Lara Logan, the administration is misleading the American people with this “major lie” in order to justify the U.S. exit strategy. During a 60 Minutes episode on September 30, Logan interviewed Gen. John Allen, the commanding officer of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a Taliban commander who had been trained by al Qaeda. All of them said al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are now returning to Afghanistan. Al Qaeda is definitely “on the run,” as President Obama has repeatedly stated. But they’re not running from American forces—they are instead rushing to fill the power void left by a superpower that has spent its strength in vain.
Back in 2002, not long after U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, President Bush assured the American people that the war against terrorism would not end “until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”
But that was at the very beginning of what has since turned into the longest war in U.S. history.
“We’ve been in this war for over a decade,” Vice President Biden said during the debate, just before he stated that America was very near to the point of completing its objective.
“After a decade of war,” White House press secretary Jay Carney adds, “it is time to wind down that war and to gradually transfer security responsibility to Afghanistan” (emphasis added throughout).
In other words, it’s been a long and difficult struggle—and most Americans have grown tired of fighting an unwinnable war. So America’s leaders have responded by declaring victory so they can finalize an exit strategy.
Even President Obama’s political opponent on the right is actively promoting the “mission accomplished” propaganda. At the presidential debate on Monday night, Governor Romney said, “We’ve seen progress over the past several years. The surge has been successful, and the training program is proceeding at pace. There are now a large number of Afghan security forces—350,000—that are ready to step in to provide security and we’re going to be able to make that transition by the end of 2014.”
Prior to that debate, the Romney camp had often blasted the Obama administration for telegraphing its timeline to the Taliban by announcing a withdrawal date publicly. But on Monday, Mr. Romney emphatically told America’s enemies that if he becomes president, he’s definitely sticking to the 2014 timetable.
Just like his friends on the left, he’s been lulled into believing that the greatest dangers facing America are now in the past. As Lara Logan said during a speech in Chicago the week after her 60 Minutes report aired, American leaders are not listening to what their enemies are saying about this war.
In their arrogance, U.S. leaders think they write the script—and they have now decided that America won. In fact, Logan says, “After 11 years of war in Afghanistan, where we are surrendering—rushing for the exits as fast as we can—not only do we not dictate the terms, but we have less power to dictate anything on the world stage.”
In other words, it is the United States of America—not al Qaeda or any other terrorist group—that is on the path to defeat.
“#unbonjuif” (#AGoodJew) became the third most talked-about keyword on the French site on October 10, and remained popular until Twitter removed the posts. Twitter users use the “#” symbol to denote keywords or phrases. Other users can search on these phrases, making it easy to find all posts on a certain subject.
In this case, the hashtag “#unbonjuif” was used on posts with anti-Semitic jokes or pictures of Holocaust victims.
“There is a deep-rooted anti-Semitism in France, and there is a very small step between racist words and racist acts,” warned Guillaume Ayne, the director of sos Racisme.
“Twitter didn’t understand the deepness of racism and anti-Semitism in France,” said Jonathan Hayoun, president of the Union of French Jewish Students (uejf).
That so many Twitter users are anti-Semitic is disturbing. A tech-savvy Twitter user isn’t the stereotypical image of an anti-Semite.
Twitter agreed to remove the posts on October 19, after the uejf threatened legal action.
Some who helped get the topic started claimed that they were protesting for free speech. Some wrote posts with the hashtag #UnBonMusulman (#a good Muslim) and #UnBonRaciste (a good racist), but these were far lest popular.
The Jewish security watchdog reported recently that the number of anti-Semitic acts had increased 45 percent over the first eight months of 2012. They concluded that Mohamed Merah’s attacks on French Jews had inspired others to copy him.
Belgium’s local election spurred what has been described as “an unprecedented wave of manifestations of anti-Semitism” at around the same time. The president of the Committee of the Belgian Jewish Organizations said that the elections, held on October 14, “were characterized by a flood of anti-Semitic events the likes of which we have never before seen.”
In Schaarbeek, near Brussels, there was a “hate campaign under the pretext of anti-Zionism.” One pamphlet described a Jewish politician as “an active Zionist and an enemy of Islam.” Voting for his party would be “stabbing Palestinians in the back,” an e-mail about him read.
Anti-Semitism is a real and growing problem in Europe. It should be a grave warning to Israel that Europe should not be trusted as an ally.