Current Events

Germany’s Genocide in South West Africa

Associated Press reported last week that “a senior government official offered Germany’s first apology Saturday for a colonial-era crackdown that killed 65,000 ethnic Hereros -a slaughter she acknowledged amounted to genocide.” The article continued to report about this nearly forgotten incident, as follows:

“‘We Germans accept our historic and moral responsibility and the guilt incurred by Germans at that time,’ Germany’s development aid minister, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, said at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Hereros’ 1904-1907 uprising against their German rulers. ‘The atrocities committed at that time would have been termed genocide.’… During the ceremony, held in the Waterberg region about 250 kilometres north of the capital, Windhoek, Hereros re-enacted scenes of their ancestors being shackled and enslaved. Many of those in attendance were dressed in the khaki military uniforms worn by their former colonial rulers.

“German general Lothar von Trotha, who was sent to what was then South West Africa to put down the Herero uprising in 1904, instructed his troops to wipe out the entire tribe, historians say. When the extermination order was lifted at the end of the year, prisoners were herded into camps and allocated as slave labour to German businesses, where many died of overwork and malnutrition. Some two-thirds of the tribe was wiped out. The Herero people have for years sought reparations from Germany. In 2001, they filed a $4 billion US lawsuit against the government and two German firms in U.S. district court in Washington D.C. But German authorities have dismissed the claims, saying international rules on the protection of combatants and civilians were not in existence at the time… Germany took over the diamond-rich, semi-desert country in 1884. After Germany’s defeat in the First World War, South Africa occupied the territory for more than 70 years before Namibia became independent in 1990.”

US Troops Will Leave Germany

On August 14, 2004, Great Britain’s Financial Times reported:

“The US… is pulling 70,000 troops out of Europe and Asia in the largest restructuring of its global military presence since the second world war… Two-thirds of the reductions will come in Europe, most of them military personnel stationed in Germany who will be sent back to US bases… Germany will continue to be home to sophisticated training and command facilities and to a mobile infantry force which will be equipped with the new light-armoured Stryker vehicles and is expected to form the core of a restructured European presence. The Bush administration has been re-evaluating the US military’s global posture almost since its first days in office. Senior Pentagon officials emphasised that the move was not intended as a punishment for Germany’s lack of support in the Iraq war.”

Iran vs. Israel?

On August 16, 2004, WorldNetDaily reported that “a senior Iranian military official told reporters yesterday Israel and the United States would not dare attack Iran since it could strike back anywhere in Israel and against U.S. military installations in the Middle East with its latest missiles.”

The article continued:

“Iranian officials have made a point of highlighting the Islamic state’s military capabilities in recent weeks in response to some media reports that Israeli or U.S. warplanes could try to destroy Iranian nuclear facilities in air strikes. Iran last week said it carried out a successful test firing of an upgraded version of its Shahab-3 medium-range ballistic missile. Military experts said the unmodified Shahab-3 was already capable of striking Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf.”

In discussing Israel’s position, the article pointed out: “Israel has recently conducted military exercises for a pre-emptive strike against several of Iran’s nuclear power facilities and is ready to attack if Russia supplies Iran with rods for enriching uranium. An Israeli defense source said ‘Israel will on no account permit Iranian reactors — especially the one being built in Bushehr with Russian help — to go critical.'”

Does the Vatican Meddle?

On August 16, 2004, the International Herald Tribune published the following article, titled, “Vatican meddling in the EU.” The article pointed out:

“Having failed to persuade Europe’s leaders to enshrine Christianity in the final draft of the constitution of the European Union, the Vatican has found a new way to try to conflate [merge] European and Christian identity. The Holy See would like to block Turkey’s candidacy to the European Union. In an interview last week with Le Figaro magazine, the Catholic Church’s top theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said that Turkey, a predominantly Muslim secular republic of 70 million people, is ‘in permanent contrast to Europe’ and that linking it to Europe would be a mistake. To drive home his point about Turkey’s disqualifying otherness, he cited the Ottoman Empire’s incursions into the heart of Europe in centuries past.”

The article continued: “Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has staked his future on EU membership, brushed off the cardinal’s comments. When the EU decides in December whether to begin formal accession talks with Turkey, it too should discount the cardinal’s views in favor of the political merits of Turkish membership.”

However, we might add that Cardinal Ratzinger’s reservations against European membership of Turkey are shared by many Europeans — especially those of the Catholic faith. As the Bible predicts, Europe is destined to become a mighty power under Roman Catholic leadership — which indeed would seem to have no membership to offer to a Muslim state.

Iraq — and No Peace in Sight…

Zenit reported on August 16, 2004 that “some 40,000 Christians have left Iraq in the wake of recent attacks on churches in the country, says a government official. In statements Sunday to the Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, the minister for displacement and migration, Pascale Icho Warda, said that the emigration ‘is due to the insecurity and the attacks on churches in Baghdad and Mosul two weeks ago.’ Four attacks on Christian places of worship in Baghdad and two in Mosul left at least 10 dead and 50 wounded at the beginning of August.”

The report continued:

“On August 2, John Paul II sent a message to Archbishop Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans and president of the assembly of the Catholic bishops of Iraq, to express his sympathy. ‘At this time of trial I am spiritually close to the Iraqi Church and society, and I renew the expression of my heartfelt solidarity to the pastors and faithful,’ the papal telegram said. John Paul II assured Iraqi Christians of his prayer and ‘constant commitment’ so that ‘a climate of peace and reconciliation will be established in the beloved country as soon as possible.’ Christians comprise about 700,000 of Iraq’s 24 million inhabitants.”

The Pope at Lourdes

On August 16, Zenit reported about the Pope’s visit at Lourdes. The article pointed out: “Like the other 6 million people who come to Lourdes annually, John Paul II came to this Marian shrine on Saturday as a pilgrim. ‘In my apostolic ministry, I have always had great confidence in the offering, prayer and sacrifice of those who suffer,’ the Pope said in the text of a message delivered at the Grotto of Massabielle, scene of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions in 1858. ‘I ask you to accompany me in this pilgrimage to present to God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, all the intentions of the Church and of the world,’ he said in the message.”

The article continued: “In the afternoon, John Paul II participated together with some 100,000 people in a meditation on the luminous mysteries of the rosary… The procession began at the pools, the most characteristic place of Lourdes. Last year, more than 380,000 pilgrims were submerged in the waters in response to a request of the Blessed Virgin to Bernadette Soubirous on Feb. 28, 1858: ‘Go drink at the spring and bathe there.’ In his introductory address, the Pope said: ‘When kneeling here, before the Grotto of Massabielle, I feel with emotion that I have arrived at the end of my pilgrimage. This grotto, in which Mary appeared, is the heart of Lourdes.’… The third mystery was prayed in front of St. Bernadette’s Church, located near where the saint witnessed the Blessed Virgin’s first apparition… The rosary ended with a prayer the Pope composed, calling on the Virgin Mary’s intercession… ‘Invoke the Virgin Mary with me, so that she will obtain for the world the longed-for gift of peace,’ he said. ‘May she inspire in us sentiments of forgiveness and fraternity!’ he implored. ‘May arms be put down and hatred and violence extinguished in our hearts.'”

The Bible teaches very clearly that Mary, the mother of Christ, is dead and in her grave, waiting, together with all true Christians, for the resurrection from the dead, at the time of Christ’s return. Prayers to Mary — or to other dead “saints” — are forbidden in Scripture; rather, we are to pray to God our Father, with Jesus Christ being the ONLY Mediator between men and God. Since Mary is still dead and in the grave, it is abundantly clear that Mary did not appear, in a vision or otherwise, to anyone at Lourdes. This is not to say that there was no apparition — but it was distinctively NOT that of Mary. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Do We Have an Immortal Soul?

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