World News

“War Is a Solution to Nothing”

The Huffington Post wrote on February 22:

“As President Barack Obama presented his proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to Congress, he declared, ‘I do not believe America’s interests are served by endless war, or by remaining on a perpetual war footing.’ Yet Obama’s proposal asks Congress to rubber-stamp his endless war against anyone he wants, wherever he wants. Obama has launched 2,300 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since August 8, 2014.

“In his six years as president, he has killed more people than died on 9/11 with drones and other forms of targeted killing in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — countries with which the United States is not at war. Obama’s proposed AUMF contains some purported limitations, but their vagueness amounts to a blank check to use U.S. military force in perpetuity… [It] contains no geographical limitation. It would authorize the use of military force anywhere in the world…

“But even if Congress were to authorize Obama’s wars in Iraq and Syria, those wars would still violate the UN Charter. The charter requires all states to settle their disputes peacefully, and to refrain from the use of armed force except when acting in self-defense or with the blessing of the Security Council. The Syrian government has not consented to Obama’s bombing in Syria.

“And although the Iraqi government has blessed Obama’s bombing campaign, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ‘is a puppet government that Obama installed and therefore has no authority under international law to consent to U.S. military operations in Iraq,’ according to law professor Francis Boyle… Indeed, ISIS is a direct outgrowth of the U.S. invasion and installation of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite Muslim who viciously killed, disappeared and tortured Sunni Muslims after most U.S. troops pulled out…

“We need to stop using military force as a solution to everything — indeed, it is a solution to nothing… We cannot rely on Congress or the president to reverse the course of rampant U.S. militarism…”

For more information, please read our free booklet, “Should You Fight in War?” 

The Founding Fathers and Islam

Breitbart wrote on February 20:

“‘Here in America,’ Obama stated, ‘Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding.’… [He] stated in 2006, ‘Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.’… [He] said in April 2009, ‘Although, as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values…’

“That does not mean that there were no Muslims in America at the founding — many African slaves were originally Muslim, and were forcibly converted from that faith. But to say that Islam as a religion has been ‘woven into the fabric of our country since our founding’ is simply false. The first wave of Muslim immigrants to the United States did not begin until well after the Civil War. The first mosque in the United States was not built until 1915, by most reports.

“Islam had zero impact on the founders or their philosophy – less than zero, given that the founders despised the religion, or what they knew of it. President Obama fictionalized this history at an Iftar dinner in 2012: ‘… Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia — perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago. And some of you, as you arrived tonight, may have seen our special display, courtesy of our friends at the Library of Congress — the Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. And that’s a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam — like so many faiths — is part of our national story.’

“Well, not so much. That magical ‘first Iftar’ was a meeting between Sidi Solima Mellimelli, an emissary of the brutal Barbary pirates, and the president. Jefferson had over Mellimelli in an attempt to bribe him into submission after the USS Constitution captured ships from the [bay] of Tunis. Mellimelli requested food, lodgings, and concubines. Jefferson already knew of Islam, having been educated in 1786 after Barbary pirates attempted to blackmail America into monetary tribute. At that time, the Barbary emissary justified piracy with reference to the Koran, according to a report from Jefferson: ‘The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners.’

“John Quincy Adams, writing of these negotiations, stated: ‘The precept of the Koran is perpetual war against all who deny that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force.’

“Quincy Adams would later lament, ‘Such is the spirit, which governs the hearts of men, to whom treachery and violence are taught as principles of religion.’… philosophers upon whom the founders relied had similarly negative views of Islam. Montesquieu wrote that the Turks were despotic. William Blackstone wrote that religion could be used for despotism, as shown by ‘terrible ravages committed by the Saracens in the east, to propagate the religion of Mahomet.’…

“The historical record demonstrates that Islam had virtually no role in the foundation of the early Republic outside of being used as a negative comparison point for freedom and self-government. President Obama is obviously rewriting history…”

The idea that Islam had a determining role or positive influence on America’s founding fathers is laughable and plain ridiculous. The question must be asked as to why President Obama keeps bringing up Islam in a positive way, while refusing to attack and strongly condemn radical Islam and to identify the ISIS hordes as “Islamic terrorists” (see the next articles).

“The Wave of Muslim Immigration Is Not Going to Stop”

The website of reported on February 19:

“France, Belgium and now even liberal Denmark regret letting in so many immigrants from Muslim countries. Their swelling Islamic communities have become breeding grounds for terrorists. So why is the U.S. opening the floodgates to foreign Muslims?… Vice President Joe Biden assured Muslim groups… that the ‘wave’ of Muslim immigration is ‘not going to stop.’…

“Between 2010 and 2013, the Obama administration imported almost 300,000 new immigrants from Muslim nations — more immigrants than the U.S. let in from Central America and Mexico combined over that period… Many of the recent Muslim immigrants are from terrorist hot spots like Iraq, where the Islamic State operates. From 2010-2013, Obama ushered in 41,094 Iraqi nationals from there. Now the State Department says it will quadruple the number of refugees brought here from Syria, where IS is headquartered…

“Top U.S. counterterror officials say terrorists could easily slip into the country from Iraq and Syria, in spite of promised screening procedures for such refugees… House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul called the new policy ‘a federally sanctioned welcome party to potential terrorists.’…

“The British press is reporting that IS has threatened to release a huge wave of migrants from Libya across the Mediterranean disguised as refugees to cause chaos in Europe. Who’s to say they aren’t setting a similar immigration bomb for America? Authorities can’t even get a handle on homegrown IS jihadists who are already in America… The FBI director says he’s got open cases against IS suspects in every state but Alaska. More than 100 American Muslims have hooked up with the vicious terror group in Syria or Iraq, and at least a dozen fighters already have returned to America and may be forming sleeper cells to attack the homeland…

“After an influx of Syrian and other Muslim immigrants, a recent poll found that 40% of Germans say they don’t feel at home in their own country thanks to ‘Islamization.’”

Austria Passes Dangerous “Law on Islam”

Reuters reported on February 25:

“Austria’s parliament passed a law on Wednesday that seeks to regulate how Islam is administered, singling out its large Muslim minority for treatment not applied to any other religious group. The ‘Law on Islam’ bans foreign funding for Islamic organizations and requires any group claiming to represent Austrian Muslims to submit and use a standardized German translation of the Koran.

“The law met with little opposition from the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic population, was backed by Austria’s Catholic bishops, and was grudgingly accepted by the main Muslim organization. But it upset Turkey’s state religious establishment. ‘We want an Islam of the Austrian kind, and not one that is dominated by other countries,’ said Sebastian Kurz, the 28-year-old conservative foreign minister – formally the minister for foreign affairs and integration – who is easily Austria’s most popular politician.

“Austria’s half a million Muslims make up about 6 percent of the population and are overwhelmingly the families of Turkish migrant workers. Many of their imams are sent and financed by Turkey’s state religious affairs directorate, the Diyanet. Mehmet Gormez, head of the Diyanet, said before the law was passed that ‘with this draft legislation, religious freedoms in Austria will have fallen back a hundred years’.

“Austria’s biggest Islamic organization, IGGiO, accepted the law, but its youth arm opposed it, as did the Turkish-financed Turkish-Islamic Union in Austria (ATIB), which runs many mosques and has vowed to challenge the bill in the Constitutional Court…”

Deutsche Welle added on February 25:

“Austria’s parliament has banned funding of some Muslim clergy by countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Two years in the works, a law passed Wednesday requires Austria’s 450 Muslim groups to demonstrate a ‘positive approach toward society and the state’ to continue receiving official licensing…

“‘I say that Islam does not belong to Austria, neither culturally nor historically,’ FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache said in parliament on Wednesday. [He and his party voted “No” to the new law.] He had wanted the law to require imams to preach in German and to ban burqas and minarets…’”

These are indeed VERY dangerous developments. With all of this faulty and flawed reasoning, other religious minorities can be easily targeted as well.

“Obama Is on a Rampage”

The New York Post wrote on February 22:

“He can’t bring himself to call Islamic terrorists what they are, but President Obama finally said something with which we can all agree. Speaking of his remaining time in office, he said: ‘Two years is a long time.’… ‘Two years is also the time in which we’re going to be setting the stage for the next presidential election and the next 10 years of American policy,’ he told wealthy ­donors in San Francisco. ‘So I intend to run through the tape and work really hard, and squeeze every last little bit of change.’

“That makes the next two years extremely dangerous. Not just for Americans, but also for people around the world who count on us for their security and well-being. It is party time for the bad guys. Imagine you are the head of Islamic State or al Qaeda. Or you are Vladimir Putin, the head of China or the ayatollah of Iran. You know Obama has spent six years shrinking America’s footprint and abandoning allies, leaving behind the vacuums you are filling. It’s already a bonanza, and his vow to double down over the next two years means you will never get a better opportunity to make more hay…

“To cite one example, what if Putin isn’t content with the parts of Ukraine he’s taking and wants a piece of the Baltic states? Unlike battered Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania belong to NATO, and its treaty obliges all members to ­respond if one is attacked. Given Obama’s fondness for ‘leading from behind,’ Putin probably assumes America would do nothing if he gobbled up the ­Baltics. If Putin does that and gets away with it, NATO would be kaput. It protected Europe from the Soviet Union and Russia since World War II, but it would die a quick death if peripheral members were carved up with impunity. Not incidentally, such a move would consign millions of people to life ­under Russia’s boot.

“The domestic implications of a rogue Obama rampage are less dramatic, but not less radical. From the economy to regulations on business and the Internet, he could do so much damage that would take years to correct, if correction were possible. Consider immigration. The ruling by a Texas federal judge to temporarily halt the president’s executive order on mass amnesty is leading open-border advocates to vow they won’t be stopped. Threats of violence hang in the air…”

America is in trouble, domestically and internationally. This is all in fulfillment of biblical prophecy. For more information, view our recent StandingWatch program, “Why America’s and Europe’s Betrayal of Ukraine?”.  Note also the next article on Ukraine.

Ukraine at the Brink of Bankruptcy Amidst Ongoing Fighting

The Washington Post wrote on February 23:

“Ukraine’s currency touched record lows Monday as continued violence in the rebel-held east fueled pessimism about the country’s economic future. The currency slump came as the Ukrainian military said it will not pull back its heavy arms from the front lines until attacks by pro-Russian rebels cease altogether… A pullback of heavy weaponry is a key step in a cease-fire deal reached this month, but both sides have said that fighting is continuing, casting doubt on efforts to quell the 10-month-old conflict…

“Ukraine’s currency has dropped 42 percent this month and is down 69 percent in the year since President Viktor Yanukovych fled office after months of pro-European street protests. The Ukrainian central bank on Monday announced new measures to stem the losses, imposing limits on the ability of Ukrainian businesses to purchase foreign currency…

“The plunge calls into question Ukraine’s ability to repay money borrowed from global creditors. The central bank’s reserves of foreign currency are depleted, raising the prospect that the nation could soon go bankrupt… Germany, the primary Western driver of the cease-fire deal, said Monday that it was losing hope about the peace plan’s prospects… The currency plunge came a day after a bombing at a pro-Ukrainian rally in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv that killed two people. A third victim, a 15-year-old boy, died Monday of wounds suffered at the rally, city authorities said. A spate of attacks in Ukrainian-held cities has sparked fears even in areas far away from the harshest fighting in the east.”

Deutsche Welle reported on February 25:

“Secretary of State John… Kerry told lawmakers in Washington during congressional hearings that Russia and pro-Moscow separatists were not respecting the Minsk ceasefire plan… Kerry had said a day earlier that Moscow was telling ‘lies … to my face’ about its activities in eastern Ukraine…”

Now Compulsory Military Service in Lithuania because of Fear of Russia

The Times wrote on February 24:

“Lithuania today announced the return of military conscription to counter the immediate threat to its security posed by mounting Russian aggression in the region. The move is the latest indication of rising tension in the Baltic States which, like Ukraine, border Russia and contain significant Russian minority populations. Michael Fallon, the British Defence Secretary, said last week that President Putin poses a ‘real and present danger’ to the three former Soviet nations, all of them now members of Nato and the European Union.”

The Guardian added on February 24:

“Lithuania, like its Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia, was occupied for five decades by the Soviet Union before regaining independence in 1991. It abolished conscription in 2008, four years after joining Nato…

“The three Baltic nations have watched with increasing trepidation as Moscow has flexed its muscles, with a recent increase of reported airspace violations in the region where part of Lithuania’s border runs along the Russian Kaliningrad enclave with important military bases.

“Last month, the defense ministry published a booklet advising citizens how to react in case of war, prompted by what the defense minister, Juozas Olekas, called ‘Russia’s aggression against its neighbors, presently in Ukraine.’”

We can expect that other European countries will re-introduce compulsory military service when they feel threatened by a real or imagined enemy. The same could be true for the USA. It is therefore important that young Christian men and women who claim to be conscientious objectors are thoroughly familiar with the biblical teaching on war and military service and that they have a personal sincere conviction, based on Scripture, preventing them to join the military or to fight in war. In our Statement of Beliefs, we point out the following under “Relationship with God”:

“We believe that a Christian’s duty to God is of a superior and higher nature than our duty arising from any human relationship (Acts 4:18-20; 5:27-29). We therefore, following Biblical commands and principles, do not participate in voting for national elections or jury duty, and we do not join the military. On the other hand, we do not object to participation in civil service. If compelled by governments to enlist, we refuse to serve in any capacity that would violate the spirit of the sixth commandment against murder (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:17-21).”

Obama or Netanyahu— “Now We Know Who to Believe on Iran”

The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz wrote on February 23:

“In an op-ed on February 9, I suggested that Israel’s opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, should stand alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before Congress on March 3, to underline ‘their common conviction that the regime in Tehran cannot be appeased and must be faced down.’ On Monday evening, as details of the looming US-led deal with Iran emerged from Geneva, Israel’s most respected Middle East affairs analyst, Channel 2 commentator Ehud Ya’ari, made precisely the same suggestion. So problematic are the reported terms of the deal, Ya’ari indicated, that Israel’s two leading contenders in the March 17 elections, Netanyahu and Herzog, need to put aside their differences and make plain to US legislators that the need to thwart such an accord crosses party lines in Israel and stands as a consensual imperative.

“After anonymous sources in Jerusalem leaked to Israeli reporters in recent weeks the ostensible terms of the deal being hammered out, various spokespeople for the Obama administration contended that the Netanyahu government was misrepresenting the specifics for narrow political ends. They sneered that Israel didn’t actually know what the terms were. And they made the acknowledgement — the astounding acknowledgement for a United States whose key regional ally is directly and relentlessly threatened with destruction by Iran — that the Obama administration is consequently no longer sharing with Jerusalem all sensitive details of the Iran talks.

“And yet among the terms of the deal being reported by the Associated Press from Geneva on Monday are precisely those that were asserted in recent weeks by the Israeli sources, precisely those that were scoffed at by the Administration. Centrally, Iran is to be allowed to keep 6,500 centrifuges spinning, and there will be a sunset clause providing for an end to intrusive inspections in some 10-15 years. If anything, indeed, some of the terms reported by the AP are even more worrying than those that were leaked in Jerusalem: ‘The idea would be to reward Iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement,’ the AP said, ‘gradually lifting constraints on its uranium enrichment program and slowly easing economic sanctions.’ There is also no indication of restrictions on Iran’s missile development — its potential delivery systems.

“In his TV commentary on Monday night, Ya’ari highlighted that the deal could further embolden Iran as it expands its influence throughout this region, and he noted that the isolation of Iran even by Israel’s key allies was already cracking, with the firmly pro-Israel foreign minister of Australia, Julie Bishop, announcing an imminent visit to Tehran — the first Australian foreign minister to make such a trip in a decade.

“Ya’ari also noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency has made clear that it lacks the tools to effectively monitor the kind of nuclear program that Iran will be allowed to maintain under the emerging deal — incapable, that is, of ensuring that Iran does not fool the West as it has done in the past.

“The devil of such deals is generally in the detail. But the devil, here, is in the principle as well — the principle that the P5+1 is about to legitimize Iran as a nuclear threshold state. From there, it will be capable of rapidly breaking out to the bomb, well aware that the international community lacks the will to stop it.

“The Obama administration would evidently like to believe that 10-15 years from now, the ayatollahs will be gone, Iran will have a different leadership, and the threat of what Netanyahu has repeatedly called ‘the most dangerous regime in the world attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world’ will have passed. But if the deal now taking shape is indeed finalized, the chances of the regime being ousted from within, or effectively confronted from without, will drastically recede. This deal, indeed, will help cement the ayatollahs in power, with dire consequences for Israel, relatively moderate Arab states, and the free world.

“It goes without saying that this weekend’s developments in Geneva have only bolstered Netanyahu’s determination to sound the alarm before Congress next Tuesday. It’s also still clearer today why the Obama administration has been so anxious to query his motives and seek to discredit his concerns. I headlined my February 9 op-ed ‘Who to believe on Iran: Obama or Netanyahu?’ I think we know now.”

Tensions Between White House and Netanyahu Intensify

The Washington Post wrote on February 25:

“Tensions between the White House and Benjamin Netanyahu intensified Wednesday as top administration officials condemned the Israeli prime minister’s plan to address Congress next week, while Netanyahu accused six world powers, including the United States, of ‘giving up on their commitment’ in negotiations to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

“The unusually public spat marked one of the lowest points in a relationship that has long bonded the two countries. Although the new round of recriminations reflected the frosty personal relations between President Obama and Netanyahu, it came at a critical juncture in multilateral talks…

“The latest volley of high-level criticism began when national security adviser Susan E. Rice… condemned Netanyahu’s decision to accept the invitation of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to appear at a joint session of Congress shortly before the Israeli elections… Netanyahu fired back. ‘I respect the White House and the president of the United States, but on such a critical topic that could determine whether we exist or not, it is my duty to do everything to prevent this great danger to the state of Israel,’ Netanyahu said…

“No love has been lost between Obama and Netanyahu. ‘This is clearly the most dysfunctional relationship between an American and Israeli leader,’ said Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Wilson Center and a former U.S. negotiator and adviser to both Republican and Democratic administrations. Moreover, he said, ‘the durability is troubling.’ He said that earlier tensions preceded incremental peace accords but that Obama and Netanyahu remain far apart on basic issues and that Kerry’s efforts to bring Israel and Palestinians together failed…

“Meanwhile, leaked details about Iran nuclear negotiations have made many lawmakers more interested in what Netanyahu has to say…”

Republicans: Gay Marriages Not Worth Fighting Against…

The Huffington Post reported on February 22:

“A divide over gay marriage is emerging in the potential Republican presidential primary field, with candidates falling into one of two camps: those who want to admit defeat on a key social cause and move on, and those who want to keep fighting… A narrow majority of Republican voters polled in early caucus and primary states… said it was unacceptable for candidates to oppose gay marriage… Some GOP analysts worry that a noisy gay marriage debate could pose a threat to the party’s eventual nominee, if it means that Republicans are unable to attract young voters…

“Thirty-six states, including the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, have legalized gay marriage since Massachusetts became the first to do so more than a decade ago. Nearly 72 percent of the US population now lives in a state where gay marriage is legal. The Supreme Court is expected to decide this summer whether gay marriage should be permitted nationwide…

“To be sure, none of the potential Republican candidates have come out in support of same-sex unions. But several, including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have softened their rhetoric, seeking to turn the focus to other issues and avoid alienating voters over a lost cause…

“Others planning to run are not ready to yield. They insist their socially conservative principles are more important than political pragmatism or public opinion, and they plan to make gay marriage a central topic in the 2016 debate. ‘It’s like asking someone who’s Jewish to start serving bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli,’ former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee… recently told CNN…

“Senator Ted Cruz of Texas is pushing for a constitutional amendment that would leave it up to states to define marriage, and would prevent the federal government from getting involved. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former US senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, and former Texas governor Rick Perry have also been among the most vociferous opponents of gay marriage…

“In a new NBC News and Marist College poll, about half of Republican voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina say candidates who oppose gay marriage are ‘mostly’ or ‘totally’ unacceptable…

“Governor Chris Christie, who supports civil unions but not gay marriage, said last year that the issue had been ‘settled’ in New Jersey. Although Democrat Hillary Clinton supports gay marriage, she has also said that it should be left up to the states to decide. For her the issue is complicated by the fact that her husband, President Clinton, signed into law several pieces of legislation that gay-rights groups oppose, including the Defense of Marriage Act, which barred same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage benefits. The Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional in 2013.”

In light of this cowardice and hypocrisy, the question ought to be asked as to why true Christians would even want to vote in governmental presidential elections.

“German Chancellor Merkel Meets with Pope Francis”

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 21:

“Pope Francis has received German Chancellor Angela Merkel for a private audience at the Vatican. The talks focused on the fight against poverty and international crises, including the conflict in eastern Ukraine… Angela Merkel described the talks as ‘enriching’ and wide-ranging, covering the alleviation of poverty, the role of women in developing countries, equality, and Germany’s agenda for the upcoming Group of Seven (G7) summit in the southern German state of Bavaria in June.

“Germany currently chairs the G7 group of major industrialized states, consisting of Germany, the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Italy and Britain. Russia had been a part of what was formerly known as the G8, before it was excluded over Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region…

“Following her audience with the pope – the second since he was appointed – Merkel met Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and German ambassador to the Holy See, Annette Schavan. Schavan, a former German education minister, was considered one of Merkel’s close confidantes before she resigned from her post amid a plagiarism scandal in 2013.”

This relationship between Germany and the Vatican is quite interesting, in the light of biblical prophecy. For further information, please read our free booklet, “The Ten European Revivals of the Ancient Roman Empire.”

A European Army? wrote on February 25 that German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday in a speech that she hopes for a European army. She added that she does not believe that it will be accomplished soon. The Austrian website also mentioned that SPÖ-EU-deputy Josef Weidenholzer advocated recently the creation of a European army.

Der Spiegel Online had published an interview with Ursula von der Leyen on January 28, stating that “Germany has been heavily criticized in recent years for not doing its share in hotspots around the world. [von der Leyen] says that it is time for Berlin to take more responsibility. She also dreams of a European army.”

Quite to the surprise of many observers, the creation of a European army is in no way that far off.

“Greek Bailout Extension Receives Mixed Reactions Across Europe”

Deutsche Welle reported on February 21:

“Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ government agreed on Friday to receiving a four-month extension of their bailout, but no money to tide Greece over in the meantime…

“Liberal Danish newspaper Politiken wrote on Saturday that Europe had ‘avoided an unpredictable period with a weak economy by means of a temporary solution.’ The paper also criticized the eurozone members and governments for ‘giving Greece cheap loans to enable them to continue, in the belief that no eurozone country could ever face real problems.’ Although Denmark is a member of the European Union, it is not part of the 19-member euro common currency zone and continues to use Danish krones.

“Conservative Austrian paper Die Presse also warned on Saturday that ‘the compromise in Brussels was only half the battle,’ adding that the decision as to whether Greece leaves the eurozone will take off again in just a few months…

“German economist Hans-Werner Sinn, the head of the Munich-based Ifo economic institute, went as far as saying Greece should leave the eurozone…”

BBC News reported on February 24:

“Eurozone finance ministers have approved reform proposals submitted by Greece in order to obtain a four-month extension of its bailout. The Eurogroup said it had agreed to begin national procedures – parliamentary votes in several states to give the deal final approval. The measures offered by Greece include combating tax evasion and reforming the public sector…

“However, International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Christine Lagarde expressed reservations about the reform proposals…

“This is, in reality, a short-term fix for an economy in which public debt is unsustainable and growth negligible. And in four months’ time, Greece will be back at the top of the agenda as the eurozone attempts to work out a long-term strategy for its most debt-stricken member.”

The Destruction of Pforzheim—“the Dresden Nobody Knows About”

Deutsche Welle wrote on February 23:

“At the 70th anniversary of the Allied bombing of Dresden [which caused the death of about 25,000 people—not 600,000, as some falsely claim], even the German president showed up. In Pforzheim, a site of comparable destruction, no high-rankers were present – just people out to promote peace… Thousands of people gathered here on the Platz des 23. Februar (February 23 Square) to remember the day their city was obliterated in 1945…

“The 22 minutes [of hellfire] was figurative for inconceivable suffering and destruction. Between 19:50 and 21:12 local time on February 23, 1945, RAF aircraft dropped 1575 tons of high explosive and incendiary bombs on Pforzheim, setting off a firestorm that is widely seen as one of the most devastating in military history. According to official statistics, 17,600 people died, and tens of thousands of others were injured. The market square and old town area were destroyed and completely depopulated. In the entire city, over 80 percent of the architecture that existed in 1945 was defaced, making Pforzheim, proportionally speaking, the worst instance of destruction at the end of WWII.

“The allied destruction in Dresden and Hamburg has been well documented and remains in the public consciousness today, both in Germany and abroad. But Pforzheim doesn’t…

“The city of 80,000 did not possess any major munitions factories or heavy industry at all, although a tube-rolling plant owned by Metalindustrie Richter was in operation in Pforzheim at the time of the bombing. However, there were a host of technical manufacturing plants and factories that produced, among other things, periscope optics and radio and radar components for German submarines. The city was also a major road and rail communications center within the Baden area.

“Does this justify its almost complete annihilation?…

“A year after the end of WWII, author Alred Döblin, one of Germany’s most important modernists, wrote of Pforzheim: ‘Utterly vanished from the surface of the earth, razed completely to the ground, smashed to bits and pieces. No soul left here. Pforzheim – you have been wiped from the world’s atlas.’”

War is so useless and wrong… and it affects so many totally innocent people. Those who advocate war and “glory” in the fighting “for their country” should realize that their glorying is not good (1 Corinthians 5:6). Rather, war is a curse, leading to destruction (Romans 3:15-16). In doing so, they do not know the way to peace, nor is there any fear of God before their eyes (verses 17-18).

Holocaust Deniers Imprisoned in Germany

The Local reported on February 25:

“Sylvia Stolz, 51, was sentenced [by a Munich, Germany, court] to 20 months’ imprisonment for telling an anti-censorship congress in Switzerland in 2012 that the ‘so-called Holocaust’ under Adolf Hitler’s National-Socialist (Nazi) Party had never been legally defined or proven…. In an almost 100-minute address, video footage of which was used as evidence in her trial, Stolz stated before a crowd of 2,000 people there was no hard evidence of either Nazi plans or orders ‘to partially or wholly destroy Jewry’.

“Therefore it was in itself a breach of the law that people like her who defended others put on trial for Holocaust denial should be prosecuted, she argued. Denial of the Holocaust is illegal in Germany and several other EU countries. Stolz, whose husband is a jailed Holocaust denier, was sentenced on the same charge in 2008 and served three years and three months in a Bavarian jail before she was released in 2011. The following year she accepted an invitation to speak at a conference organized in Switzerland by the ‘Anti-Censorship Coalition’ (AZK).

“Three months after the event, a Swiss lawyer filed a criminal complaint, accusing her of transgressing Swiss race law by stating that the Holocaust was unproven in court and that findings on its location and time, perpetrators, methods and numbers killed were lacking. At Wednesday’s final hearing of the case at the Munich District Court, Judge Martin Rieder rejected the defendant’s claim that she was protected by her rights to freedom of speech. Hardly any other event in world history had been so well researched and documented as the extermination of Jews in Europe by the National Socialists, Rieder told the court…

“As well as a count of ‘incitement of the people’, Stolz’s sentence included time for unauthorized use of an official title. Documentation was produced which carried her name and a lawyer’s stamp, despite the fact that she was barred from practising after her earlier conviction. Stolz was previously jailed for statements she made while defending Ernst Zündel, a German publisher known for his Holocaust denials. Zündel was jailed in 2007 for the offence.

“Six million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust by the Nazi regime and its allies. Hundreds of thousands of members of other minorities, including Sinti and Roma, disabled and homosexuals also died in Nazi death camps.”

One might indeed question the constitutionality, wisdom and necessity of a law prohibiting the denial of the Holocaust and imprisoning those who do. On the other hand, there can be no doubt that the Holocaust did take place, and that millions upon millions of Jews and others, including ethnic and religious minorities, were brutally murdered by demonic Nazis. If true Christians were to deny those facts, they would be guilty of lying. The Bible tells us that true Christians will be persecuted for their belief and for righteousness sakes, but they are not to be found as evildoers—and lying is a terrible sin which is abhorred by God.

Majority of British Voters want to Leave the EU

Daily Mail wrote on February 22:

“More than half of [British] voters want to leave the European Union, a surprise new opinion poll shows. Some 51 per cent of people want to sever ties with Brussels, while 49 per cent want to remain in the EU… It comes as Norway warned Britain not to copy its own situation outside the EU, which leaves it unable to influence key economic rules it must abide by to trade with the 28-nation bloc.”

UK Plagued by Super Rats as Big as Cats

Mail On Line reported on February 22:

“… pest controllers revealed the shocking epidemic of mutant rats – some as big as cats – across the UK. The rodents, which have been seen across the country over the past year, are twice as large as normal species and cannot be killed with traditional substances… Last week, experts warned of a plague of super rats after it was revealed that pest control budgets have been slashed by a quarter by local authorities…

“The species has developed a genetic mutation which means substances approved by the EU to control rat populations has no effect on them… So-called ‘super rats’ are expected to outnumber humans two to one by next year. Genetic testing… has revealed that some rodents have developed a mutation that allows them to survive conventional poisons. In counties including Berkshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Kent, all the rats tested were found to have immunity to poison… In Southampton, 75 per cent of the rodents were found to have the genetic mutation.”

Historic Snowstorms in Boston

CBS reported on February 25:

“Boston eclipsed 100 inches of snow in a season for just the second time in recorded history Wednesday morning. Overnight snow showers brought the season total to 101.8 inches. That’s less than 6 inches shy of the all-time record of 107.6 inches set in the winter of 1995-96.

“Boston has smashed several snowfall records, including snowiest February and snowiest all-time month, as one snowstorm after another pummeled New England. It’s also been one of the coldest months ever, breaking the record in Boston for most sub-freezing days ever seen in February.

“The never-ending snow and cold has crippled the region’s public transportation system, collapsed roofs and has schools scrambling to make up all the snow days.”

As we pointed out in Update #673, Boston is one of America’s least Bible-minded cities.

Beware of Yoga

The Huffington Post wrote on February 25:

“Pat Robertson has some words of caution for anyone considering taking up yoga. Responding to a viewer’s question posed during Tuesday’s episode of ‘The 700 Club,’ Robertson claimed that the ancient mindfulness practice tricks people into ‘praying to a Hindu deity.’ During yoga lessons, he said, participants unknowingly repeat mantras ‘in Hindu’… ‘You don’t know what the Hindu says, but actually it’s a prayer to a Hindu deity…’ Robertson argued. ‘So you’re saying ‘kali, kali, kali,’ but you’re praying to a Hindu deity.’

“Yoga has a long and ancient connection to Hindu spirituality, but modern practice is often divorced from these religious roots… Swami Narayanda, director of the Sivananda Yoga Vendanta Center, told The Huffington Post in December: ‘The goal is to achieve better physical, mental and spiritual health and to achieve happiness through achieving peace of mind.’”

There is no question that Yoga is extremely dangerous when it involves repeating mantras, which are indeed the names of Hindu deities. The same is true for other Indian meditation methods, including Transcendental Meditation (TM). But even if the saying of Hindu words is not involved, the declared goal of achieving “spiritual health” through Yoga sounds very problematic.

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