Current Events

President Bush and the Foreign Press

On January 21, 2005, reported about the overwhelmingly negative reaction of the foreign press to President Bush’s second inaugural speech. The article pointed out:

“… So when Mr. Bush made it clear on Thursday that he was not about to ‘turn back from his doctrine of taking pre-emptive action, in the interests of American security (or, as he would put it, American freedom)’ as the BBC characterized his speech, there was little room for [the] noted British understatement in the headline of the Beeb’s stellar roundup – ‘World press electrified by Bush vision.’ ‘Hold on to your hats, this may be the most ambitious presidency ever.’ That’s the message from one Israeli paper [Haaretz] after President George W. Bush’s inauguration – a message echoed across the world’s press. For China’s press his speech raises the question whether Washington will head further down a ‘unilateral’ path in foreign relations. One Polish paper heralds the speech as the dawn of a conservative revolution, while in Germany and Turkey there’s a bleak forecast for the new Bush era.”

The article continued: “Iraq was never mentioned by name, yet its recent history resonated when Bush applied Abraham Lincoln’s words: ‘those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it’ to his own phrase ‘the rulers of outlaw regimes.’ This was too much for The Toronto Star which called such language ‘unabashedly aggressive.’… The BBC viewed such words as ‘warning bells… ringing in foreign capitals such as Tehran and Damascus.'”

Der Spiegel Online editorialized last week, that no matter what President Bush tries to do, it always seems to backfire and invite criticism. Even though he is right on many issues, according to the magazine, it seems he can’t get many foreign supporters for any of them.

This is a remarkable observation, but why would this be the case? The answer becomes clear in light of Biblical prophecy for the United States of America. Speaking to the modern house of Israel (Ephraim and Manasseh, i.e., the GB and USA ), Isaiah states: “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth! For the LORD has spoken: ‘I have nourished and brought up children, And they have rebelled against Me. The ox knows its owner And the donkey its master’s crib; But Israel does not know, My people do not consider… The whole head is sick, And the whole heart faints. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it… When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood” (Isaiah 1:2-3, 5-6, 15).

Japan Shows Its Muscles

As The International Herald Tribune reported on January 22, 2005, “Japan is once more going from strength to strength, and this time not just on the economic front. Militarily, diplomatically and in terms of cultural influence and general global activism, Japan is transforming itself, and at speed – not merely into a ‘normal’ country, but into a formidable player across a wide front. Militarily, the Japanese have embarked on a huge upgrade of their overall power-projection capabilities, reinforced by a big expansion of intelligence resources and of their already large satellite program.”

The article continued to explain: “In effect, this is a farewell to the old ‘Yoshida doctrine,’ which based security strictly on national self-defense. Instead, it ushers in a new phase of ‘equal partnership’ defense arrangements, especially with the United States, with interlocking ground, air and maritime forces at an unprecedented level of interoperability and intimacy… In short, Japan is re-emerging as a major military power both in East Asia and globally.”

These developments are highly remarkable, as Japan, according to Biblical prophecy, will play a strong military role in an upcoming conflict between Europe and Asia.

Weather Chaos in Midwest and Europe

On January 22, 2005, stated: “Hundreds of airline flights were canceled Saturday and fleets of road plows were warmed up as a paralyzing snowstorm barreled out of the Midwest and spread across the Northeast with a potential for up to 20 inches of snow driven by 50 mph wind. Storm warnings were posted from Wisconsin to New England, where the National Weather Service posted blizzard warnings in effect through Sunday.”

The Boston Globe reported on January 27, 2005, that “The dazzling oceanside setting that makes Cape Cod a tourist destination contributed yesterday to another furious onslaught of snow that fell from Falmouth to Provincetown, as Massachusetts endured a winter storm that helped set a record for the highest monthly snowfall in 113 years.”

Bild Online reported on January 27, 2005, about chaotic weather conditions in Europe, with snowstorms and blizzards in Majorca and Algiers, and snow and frozen roads in Sicily. Bild Online stated: “Majorca encountered the biggest snowstorm for 100 years… The weather conditions in Algeria have not been as bad since the 50’s… In Germany, temperatures dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius [in some areas].”

USA vs. GB vs. Iran?

In a remarkable development, showing potential disharmony between the United States of America and Great Britain over the issue of Iran, “JACK STRAW [Great Britain’s foreign minister] has drawn up a dossier putting the case against a military attack on Iran amid fears that President George W Bush’s administration may seek Britain’s backing for a new conflict,” according to The Sunday Times of January 23, 2005.

The article explained: “Straw and his officials fear that hawks in Washington will talk the American president into a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, just as they persuaded him to go to war in Iraq… The document says a peaceful solution led by Britain, France and Germany is ‘in the best interests of Iran and the international community.’ It refers to ‘safeguarding Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear technology’… The approach contrasts with the government’s two Iraq dossiers, which were trumpeted to make the case for war… Fears in London of an attack were fuelled when Dick Cheney, the American vice-president, said that Iran was ‘top of the list’ as a trouble spot for the administration. Rice said it was an ‘outpost of tyranny’… The message that the British government wants no part in another war in the Middle East will be reinforced by Tony Blair when he meets Bush in Brussels next month and at an Anglo-American summit in Washington after the British general election, which is expected in May.”

The article continued: “In a YouGov poll for The Sunday Times today, 65% of [the] people said that Britain should not support American military action against Iran, compared with 16% who were in favour. However, a consensus is emerging among the ‘neoconservative’ hawks in Washington who are close to Bush that European-led diplomacy with Iran is failing to produce results. A prominent Washington defence hawk said: ‘At some point the Americans are going to turn to the Europeans and say: “The goal is disarmament but all we are getting is arms control. It’s time for a bigger stick.”‘”

This developing disagreement over Iran MIGHT be one of several contributing factors to the prophesied disharmony between the United States of America and Great Britain in the near future. Isaiah 9:21 states: “Manasseh [modern USA] shall devour Ephraim [modern GB], and Ephraim Manasseh, Together they shall be against Judah.”

USA’s Astronomical Budget Deficit! reported on January 24, 2005, that “Germany and France said the drop in the dollar has unfairly punished European economies and called for coordinated action by the U.S., Asia and Europe to stem the currency’s decline. German Finance Minister Hans Eichel and his French counterpart, Herve Gaymard, said the U.S. current account and budget deficits were the chief causes of the euro’s 34 percent rise against the dollar the past three years.”

In addition, The Associated Press reported on January 26, 2005, that “China has lost faith in the stability of the U.S. dollar and its first priority is to broaden the exchange rate for its currency from the dollar to a more flexible basket of currencies, a top Chinese economist said Wednesday.”

It was also reported by that “The U.S. must attract about $1.8 billion of investment a day from overseas to fill the current-account gap and maintain the value of the dollar, based on Bloomberg calculations. The shortfall increased to a record $164.7 billion in the third quarter… The federal budget deficit widened to a record $412.3 billion in the year ended on Sept. 30.”

It is evident that this cannot go on much longer. It should be obvious that the USA is facing an UNAVOIDABLE terrible economic disaster in the near future. This is true, even though it was announced during a press conference on Wednesday, January 26, 2005, that the Bush administration will propose to Congress how to cut the deficit in half, while, at the same time, asking for another 80 billion dollars (!) to be spent in Iraq. It should be clear, however, that these ideas will not help in the long run.

The situation in at least parts of Iraq can only be described, objectively, as chaotic. Elections are scheduled for Sunday, but due to violent attacks by Iraqi “insurgents,” some, if not many, of the Iraqi people will not vote. The most recent U.S. helicopter crash in Iraq, killing all 31 marines on board, which was apparently due to mechanical failure, is another indication that the U.S. endeavors in Iraq are simply not blessed. Most Americans would agree with this assessment, stating, according to published opinion polls, that the Iraq war was a failure.

Iraq Before Elections

On January 26, 2005, Zenit published an interesting interview with Chaldean Bishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk (Iraq). He clearly favors elections and warns against an early withdrawal of the American troops from Iraq (President Bush just stated that he cannot foresee that American troops will withdraw from Iraq within a year, according to Bild Online, dated January 27, 2005). Bishop Sako stated in the interview:

“The elections are something immense and new. Nothing of the kind has happened in the past 50 years: first because of clashes and revolts, then due to 35 years of dictatorship. There has never been freedom of expression. But now, anything is possible: If there are people and parties arguing and clashing, that is because they are free to do so. Now, Iraqis must learn to discuss in a civil manner. But the people of Iraq have never been trained for coexistence; they have always lived in the midst of violence: three wars, a dictatorship, 13 years of embargo. This is why freedom is not used in a responsible way and problems arise… There are, of course, people who are frightened by threats, but I say that achieving normality has its condition, and this condition is the election process…

“The media is a big problem in Iraq: a lot of lies and provocations are being written and broadcast. It’s enough to think of al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya that are misinforming a great deal, in what amounts to utter fanaticism, which even Iraqi Muslim leaders themselves have condemned. These television broadcasters are continuously trying to spark violence against the Americans and even against Iraqis… But if the Americans leave Iraq today, there will be civil war between Kurds, Arabs, Sunnis, Shiites, Muslims, Christians… The U.S. must stay on until Iraqis can take command of the nation. For the moment, they can’t do this, the necessary structures are not yet in place.”

Swastika a “Harmless” Good Luck Charm?

On January 20, 2005, and Der Spiegel Online reported about the Hindu reaction to German MEPs call “for a Europe-wide ban of the symbol [swastika] after Prince Harry wore it on a fancy dress costume.” According to the articles, “Hindu Forum spokesman Ramesh Kallidai said the swastika had been a Hindu good luck charm for centuries.” He described it as “the second most sacred symbol in the Hindu tradition which has been used for 5,000 years to ward off evil.”

The articles explained that “Displaying the swastika is illegal in Germany. However… a similar ban in the UK would have an adverse affect on Hindus who regarded a swastika in much the same way as a Christian viewed a cross.”

The articles also pointed out the fact that “The Hindu swastika faces to the right, unlike the one adopted by the Nazis which faces to the left.”

To understand the German concern in this entire matter, we need to look at the recent origin and purpose of Hitler’s swastika.

Klaus P. Fischer explains in his outstanding work, “Nazi Germany — A New History,” on page 38, Hitler’s relationship with Georg Lanz von Liebenfels (1874-1954), “a man who gave Hitler many of his racial ideas.” Liebenfels “disseminated his racial ideas in his periodical Ostara, a magazine usually adorned with a swastika on its front page.” Liebenfels was “a former Cistercian monk in the Heiligenkreuz monastery… Liebenfels also gathered like-minded cultists in a ruined castle in upper Austria at Werfenstein. Here he hoisted a swastika and chanted magical incantations to the Teutonic spirits… Hitler actually met Liebenfels on one occasion, asking him for some back issues of Ostara. In fact, the swastika symbol, the racial theory of history, the Holy Grail of Aryan purity, the extermination of apelike humans (Tiermenschen) — all these mental aberrations were prefabricated for Hitler by Liebenfels.”

Fischer continues to state, on pages 129-130:

“Hitler placed great emphasis on the need for symbols and myths in party organization. As early as August 1920, he approved the swastika as the party’s prime symbol… [T]he swastika had been used by a variety of voelkisch groups and paramilitary organizations, but as a symbol it dates back to ancient times [For instance, the ancient Assyrians used the swastika as well]. In Sanskrit the word swastika originally meant ‘good luck,’ and in the pictorial records of various religions… the swastika denoted an object of veneration. The final swastika emblem, although approved by Hitler, was not Hitler’s idea but came from a design by Dr. Friedrich Krohn… Hitler approved this design except for one modification–namely, that the arms of the swastika extended in right rather than in left angels. He later explained the symbolic meaning of this design by saying that ‘in the red we see the social idea of the movement, in the white the national idea, in the swastika the mission of the fight for the victory of the Aryan man, and at the same time also the victory of the idea of creative work which in itself is and always will be anti-Semitic.'”

Auschwitz Remembered

BBC News reported on January 27, 2005: “Holocaust survivors and world leaders have held an emotional ceremony in Poland, 60 years after the liberation of the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp… ‘It seems as if we can still hear the dead crying out,’ Israeli President Moshe Katsav told the crowd. The Nazi regime murdered six million Jews and many others during what became known as the Holocaust. Auschwitz, the largest of the Nazi camps, where 1.1 million people died, was liberated by the advancing Soviet army on 27 January 1945. Expressing fears over a resurgence in anti-Semitism in Europe, Mr Katsav questioned whether the memory of the Holocaust had lost its power to deter attacks and insults against Jews…

“Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the crowd. But German President Horst Koehler remained silent, in recognition of Germany’s role as perpetrator of the Holocaust. Touring the camp with survivors before the ceremony, he said: ‘We have the duty to ensure that something like this never happens again – and we Germans in particular.’… Other world figures at the ceremony included US Vice-President Dick Cheney and UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. In the nearby Polish city of Krakow, before the ceremony in Auschwitz, Mr Putin spoke out against anti-Semitism and admitted that it was a problem in his country… French President Jacques Chirac, opening an exhibit in honour of French victims, said his country must bear its responsibility for the deportation of Jews from Nazi-occupied France. In the German capital, Berlin, parliament held a special ceremony including an address by a German-Jewish camp survivor, Arno Lustiger, and the readings of poems by a man murdered in Auschwitz.”

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