Current Events

Germany Emerging as Europe’s Leader

The EUobserver reported on March 7:

“Germany has indicated that it might be willing to lead EU peacekeeping troops to secure elections in Congo, but member states are reluctant to provide soldiers to the mission. According to Reuters, when asked if he expected Germany to drop its initial reluctance to lead the mission, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said ‘I think so’. At a meeting of EU defence ministers in the Austrian alpine resort of Innsbruck on Monday (6 March), German defence minister Franz-Josef Jung appeared to soften Berlin’s reluctance to lead the operation, but insisted that he expected others to offer troops for the mission. ‘We have always said we will not sidestep a responsibility, but there is an overall responsibility for Europe here,’ Mr Jung said. ‘We have always said very clearly that it must be a combined European effort, there must be a fair distribution. Germany can’t commit to sending 1,500 soldiers,’ he added… Britain and France both refused to lead the mission meaning Germany was the only member state left with sufficient military capacity to do so. Portugal and Austria have said they might ‘symbolically’ send half a dozen soldiers. Spain has been asked to send soldiers, but despite foreign minister Miguel Angel Moratinos expressing ‘good intention’, Spanish diplomatic sources at the meeting in Innsbruck said that the chance of Spanish troops being deployed in Congo were ‘minimal’, writes daily ABC. Finnish defence minister Seppo Kaariainen said that Finland might consider contributing a few staff officers to the operation, but no troops.”

In a related article, Der Spiegel Online wrote on March 8:

“The European Union has once again postponed deciding whether to send peacekeeping troops to Congo during elections this June… any mission to the strife-torn African country threatens to become a farce… Germany, which has reluctantly been pushed into taking the lead of any eventual EU mission, apparently can’t even find enough other European countries willing to contribute troops. Poland on Tuesday pledged 30 troops and Austria promised to send 10… Whether even a determined mission by the EU could help turn things around is questionable. But some observers fear a wishy-washy deployment that only appears to be ensuring Westerners have a safe getaway when things fall apart could even do more harm than good. Still, members of the German government seem convinced Europe cannot afford to stand by and do nothing. ‘Europeans have a special responsibility for Africa,’ said German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, explaining Europe must finally follow words with deeds. ‘Anything else would be an admission of failure.'”

The EUobserver added on March 7: “Germany, who had earlier indicated that it might be willing to lead the EU force, insisted more talks were needed with Congolese leaders before deploying soldiers for the operation. German defence minister Franz-Josef Jung told reporters in Innsbruck that Berlin would not agree to take the lead until it had clear offers of support from other EU members and firm agreement from Congolese authorities.”

Even though these events show again how reluctant Europe is to get involved in trouble-spots outside Europe–and that Europe presently does not have one mind and does not speak with one voice–it is still interesting that GERMANY is being pushed into a leadership position in Europe. THAT is exactly in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy (compare Revelation 17:12-13). For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

Did the Soviet Union Try to Kill the Pope?

On March 2, 2006, AFP reported the following:

“Leaders of the former Soviet Union ordered the assassination bid on Pope John Paul II in 1981, the head of an Italian parliamentary commission announced. But the post-Soviet intelligence service of President Vladimir Putin immediately dismissed the allegation as an absurdity. Italian Senator Paolo Guzzanti said the findings of the commission showed ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ that Moscow’s military secret service, the GRU, was responsible for the shooting as the late pope greeted pilgrims in St Peter’s Square. The assertion, for years a favourite of conspiracy theorists in Italy, reopened old Cold War wounds. ‘This commission believes, beyond all reasonable doubt, that the leaders of the USSR took the initiative to eliminate Pope Karol Wojtyla [John Paul II] and that they communicated this decision to the military secret service ….to commit a crime of unique gravity, without equal in modern history,’ said a draft made available to journalists…

“Historians have long held that John Paul II’s support for the Solidarity-inspired democracy movement in Poland was a thorn in the side of the Soviet Union, and the late pope has been credited with helping to tear down the Berlin Wall in 1989… The Russians had also used the East German secret service, the Stasi, to spread ‘disinformation and media poisoning…'”

Venezuela Prepares for War with the USA

The Telegraph reported on March 3:

“Venezuela begins training a vast army of civilian reserves today to fight off the attack its Left-wing president, Hugo Chavez, says the United States is plotting against it. The oil-rich state aims to teach up to two million volunteers, from the unemployed to office workers, shop assistants and housewives, basic military skills such as marching in step or shooting to kill. If it reaches that size, the force will be the largest civilian reserve army in the Americas, double the size of Washington’s reserves. Its creation will further inflame relations between Venezuela and the US, already characterised by insults and tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats… Mr Chavez has been buying military hardware, including Russian helicopters, 100,000 AK-47 rifles and Brazilian and Spanish equipment he says Venezuela needs to defend itself.”

But what are Chavez’ real intentions? The article continued:

“… many Venezuelans see Mr Chavez, not the US, as the real threat. They are increasingly afraid the civilian reserves will be used to intimidate and, if necessary, suppress the opposition as he campaigns to win six more years in power later this year. A message written in the dusty window of a Caracas van sent a silent plea to the US not to invade but to rescue the Venezuelans from their maverick leader. ‘We are counting on you, Condoleezza [Rice]. Intervene, please.'”

U.S. House Panel Votes to Block Ports Deal

The Associated Press reported on March 8, 2006, that “a House panel dominated by Republicans voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to block a Dubai-owned firm from taking control of some U.S port operations. By 62-2, the Appropriations Committee voted to bar DP World, run by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, from holding leases or contracts at U.S. ports. Bush has promised to veto any such measure passed by Congress, but there is widespread public opposition to the deal and the GOP fears losing its advantage on the issue of national security in this fall’s elections… By its vote, the House committee attached the ports language to a must-pass $91 billion measure financing hurricane recovery and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The full House could consider that measure as early as next week. While GOP Senate leaders hope to delay a quick showdown with Bush on the issue, the House panel, including members of Bush’s own party, showed a willingness to defy him.”

Did God Tell Tony Blair to Go to War?

AFP reported on March 4 about Tony Blair’s recent highly controversial comments on God and the Iraq war:

“Details emerged Friday of Blair’s interview on an ITV1 television talk show where he said God and history would judge his action in joining the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. ‘That decision has to be taken and has to be lived with…’ Blair… a devout Christian [said]. ‘If you believe in God, it’s made by God as well.’… Blair’s remarks reminded him of US President George W. Bush who was quoted as saying last year that God told him to invade Iraq and Afghanistan… Blair is seen by some as the most religious British premier since William Gladstone (1809-1898), who gave up his vocation as a pastor to enter politics… There is speculation he plans to convert from High Church Anglican to Catholicism after leaving office. Blair’s wife Cherie is a strong Catholic and he regularly attends Mass with her and their children at the prime minister’s country residence in Chequers. The Catholic priest of that parish, Timothy Russ, has revealed that Blair asked for advice on moving between the churches. But Blair says he has no plans to convert and only attends Catholic services so the family can worship together.”

War With Iran?

The Guardian reported on March 6:

“The US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has told British MPs that military action could bring Iran’s nuclear programme to a halt if all diplomatic efforts fail… While the US and Britain keep a united front over Iraq in the UN security council, there are clear differences over Iran. Britain has ruled out a military option… The US has not… Some believe Iran has secret facilities that are buried so deep underground as to be impenetrable. They argue that the US could never be certain whether or not it had destroyed Iran’s ‘capability’.”

On February 16, 2006, Der Spiegel Online had stated:

“Thousands of soldiers and civilians would likely be killed if the United States or Israel were to attack Iran. The strikes would also spark a lasting regional crisis in the entire Middle East and the risks would be enormous, a new British study warns.”

The Associated Press reported on March 8:

“Iran threatened the United States with ‘harm and pain’ Wednesday for its role in hauling Tehran before the U.N. Security Council over its nuclear program. But the United States and its European allies said Iran’s nuclear intransigence left the world no choice but to ask for Security Council action. The council could impose economic and political sanctions on Iran.”

Reuters added on March 8:

“If the U.N. Security Council is incapable of taking action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself, Israel’s defense minister [Shaul Mofaz] said on Wednesday…’The Israeli approach is that the U.S. and the European countries should lead the issue of the Iranian nuclear program to the table of the U.N. Security Council, asking for sanctions. And I hope the sanctions will be effective,’ Mofaz said… At a news conference with Mofaz, [German defense minister Franz-Josef] Jung told reporters Germany was already discussing with the five permanent Security Council members — Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France — what the council could do to prevent Tehran getting the bomb. ‘Everything must be done to ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons,’ Jung said.”

Bird Flu–and No End in Sight…

The Associated Press reported on March 6:

“Three cats have tested positive for the deadly strain of bird flu in Austria’s first reported case of the disease spreading to an animal other than a bird, state authorities said Monday… The World Health Organization called bird flu a greater global challenge than any previous infectious disease, costing global agriculture more than $10 billion and affecting the livelihoods of 300 million farmers. Poland reported its first outbreak of the disease, saying Monday that laboratory tests confirmed that two wild swans had died of the lethal strain.”

China and India’s New-Found Friendship

Der Spiegel Online reported on March 6 about the relationship between China and India. The article was titled: “When Former Enemies Become New Friends.” It was stated:

“Though the people of India and China may still be keeping prejudices alive that have divided the two countries for decades, a rapprochement is taking place on the political level. In recent years, New Delhi has signaled that it may align with its former military enemy and current economic competitor in its battle for shares of the world market and to increase Asia’s military clout. Together, the countries aspire to move up into the league of rich nations. Last year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao negotiated an economic cooperation partnership with the Indian government which would see an increase in trade from the current $13 billion a year to $20 billion by 2008. A declaration of intent states that more cross-border businesses, roads, rail and flight connections should be created. Cooperation should also be strengthened ‘in the development and use of oil and gas resources in third countries.’ If these new Asian friends successfully implement their plans, a partnership that first caught Europe and the United States by surprise could soon fuel fear in the West. The most ambitious idea being floated in Beijing and New Delhi is that of creating a joint Sino-Indian common market based on the European model. If that effort ever prevailed, it would result in the world’s largest economic unit, with around 2.5 billion consumers, one-third of the world’s population…  by aligning its economy with China’s, India might still emerge as an economic powerhouse. ‘When China awakens, the world will tremble,’ French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is believed to have said about 200 years ago.”

In an earlier article, titled, “Can the Dragon and the Elephant Be Friends?”, the magazine wrote on April 18, 2005:

“Asian giants China and India may be teaming up. It’s a development that is sending shockwaves around the world and may threaten the global balance of industrial and political power… China and India — two nuclear powers whose populations account for close to 40 percent of the globe — are growing closer… Strategists at the CIA… insist the emergence of the two giants has political and economic consequences as ‘dramatic’ as the rise of Germany in the 19th century and the rise of the United States in the 20th century… In [a] plan, China is looking to use battleships outside its own borders to secure its oil supply. In fact, in the fight over natural resources, the new Asian partners remain bitter opponents. Both China and India are desperately trying to gain oil and gas supplies from all over the world. But even in this dealing, the Indians and Chinese are using a pragmatic approach: In Sudan, an Indian company is building a pipeline while Beijing is supplying the corresponding refinery. And in Iran, India holds 20 percent of an oil field, while 50 percent belongs to China.”

These are interesting developments. The Bible predicts that in the end, China and India will become strong allies, even militarily, together with such countries as Russia and Japan. Europe will feel more and more intimidated and threatened by rumors emerging from that region of the world–so much so that it will unsuccessfully attack this new emerging power bloc (compare Daniel 11:44-45). For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

Iraq’s Coming Civil War

On March 6, Der Spiegel Online wrote about the real threat of civil war in Iraq–because of religious animosity in that country. The article was titled: “Religious Strife Is Pushing Iraq towards Civil War.” It was pointed out: “The conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Basra is overshadowing the insurgency against occupation forces, as armed groups controlled by radical clerics take over power in the country. As Iran systematically expands its influence in southern Iraq, the Americans are being relegated to a secondary role.”

South Dakota’s Fight Against Abortion

On March 6, 2006, The Associated Press reported:

“Gov. Mike Rounds signed legislation Monday that would ban most abortions in South Dakota, a law he acknowledged would be tied up in court for years while the state challenges the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless the procedure was necessary to save the woman’s life. It would make no exception for cases of rape or incest. The governor issued a written statement saying he expected a lengthy legal battle over the law, which, he said, would not take effect unless the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it.”

New Solar Storm Coming

On March 7, reported about the increased danger of solar storms. A new model is supposed to predict the intensity and timing of solar storms. The article stated: “This model proved more than 98 percent effective in predicting the relative strength and duration of the past eight solar storm cycles… it calls for the next cycle–so-called Cycle 24–to be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the present one. Solar outbursts have effects on everything from satellites to the electrical grid here on Earth.”

The article pointed out that, according to the model, Cycle 24 will begin in late 2007, or early 2008, but some scientists disagree, stating that it will begin in late 2006.

In a related article, the Stanford Solar Center speculated whether solar storms might cause global warming, stating: “Some solar scientists are considering whether some part of global warming may be caused, by a periodic but small increase in the Sun’s energy output. An increase of just 0.2% in the solar output could have the same affect as doubling the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere.”

Since there were clearly solar storms in the past, which would have changed the carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, this proves the inaccuracy of the postulated age of fossils according to the radio carbon method. After all, that method requires, in order to give accurate results, that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was constant at all times and never changed.

Finns Unhappy with Europe

The EUobserver reported on March 8 that “One in four Finns would like their country to withdraw from the European Union, according to a poll published on Tuesday (7 March)… On the budget, nearly 70 percent… said that Finland’s contribution to the bloc’s common coffers was too high compared to what the country got back. Finns also have reservations about the euro. Some 44 percent said they were unhappy with the common currency… The poll comes just ahead of Helsinki’s time at the helm of the EU, with the country set to take over the bloc’s presidency in July. Among the reasons given by Finns for being discontent with the EU are the dominance of the largest member states.”

According to Biblical prophecy, there is a strong possibility that countries like Finland and Sweden, as well as the United Kingdom, will NOT be part of the final configuration of the United States of Europe.

Poland Against Europe?

The EUobserver reported on March 8 that “Polish president Lech Kaczynski has said it is too early for the creation of an EU foreign minister post, following calls from Paris for a strengthened role for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana… adding that the time is not ripe for the creation of a European diplomatic service either. The Polish stance comes amid French calls for quicker implementation of single elements of the EU constitution to strengthen the EU’s voice in the world… Small states like the Netherlands are also wary of a strengthened role for Mr Solana as he is seen as following the agenda of big member states France, Germany and the UK… Mr Kaczynski reiterated his opposition to attempts to revive the EU constitution… The Polish leader also pushed the idea of a NATO-style EU energy security pact, rebuffing German proposals that EU energy security should be modelled along the looser structure of the OSCE which also includes Russia… Energy is set to be one of the topics dominating talks between Mr Kaczynski and Ms Merkel, amid frequent criticism by Warsaw of Berlin’s signing of a bilateral deal with Moscow on a direct German-Russian gas pipeline bypassing Poland.”

Poland’s position is very understandable, especially in light of past occupations of Germany and Russia. However, it is very likely (although not necessary) that Poland will become a strong supporter of European unification under German leadership.

EU Joint Defense Research Fund

On March 7, 2006, the EUobserver reported: “EU defence ministers have given the green light to create a common defence research and technology… fund, aimed at narrowing the gap between the US and Europe in high-tech military equipment… One EU proposal suggests member states pool a small part of their defence budgets for EU cooperation on military research… the move has been heavily criticised, with opponents saying it would constitute a threat to national control over military affairs. Britain is among the states that has strongly opposed the fund, which would be managed by the EU’s European Defence Agency… and controlled by national governments… the British have now agreed to spending more money on research and technology in the bloc, although London has stressed that the money should be spent on concrete projects, and not be paid to Brussels ‘in blanco'”.

It is again Great Britain which seems to be slowing down European unification. The Bible strongly suggests that continental Europe will finally decide that they are “better off” without British participation in the formation of a United States of Europe.

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