Dangerous Developments in Germany
Deutsche Welle reported on September 12:
“Germany has banned the extremist group ‘Islamic State’… Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere used a press conference in Berlin on Friday to announce the measure, saying the ban was immediately in effect… De Maiziere said the ban applied to any activities linked to the self-proclaimed ‘IS,’ including taking part in demonstrations or supporting the group through social media. It also included the wearing or display of IS symbols or collecting donations in the group’s name.”
The Local added on September 12:
“Germany on Friday officially banned Islamic terror group Isis from any activities in the country… Thomas de Mazière announced the ban on flying Isis flags, wearing Isis symbols and all Isis activities… The move will also ban donations to the group, recruiting fighters, holding Isis meetings and distributing its propaganda…
“The ban, however, doesn’t mean Isis has been outlawed as a foreign terrorist organization, as a court judgement is needed to do that.”
According to Bild Online, the ban also refers to any activities on the Internet, Facebook or Twitter, and the passing on of any sympathetic information about ISIS except in an “objective, non-sympathetic” way for the purpose of reporting. Any violation can be fined or violators can be imprisoned for up to two years.
Die Welt Online added that the prohibition is based on Germany’s law for associations (“Vereinsgesetz”) “banning” foreign organizations which are active in Germany without the evidence of “judicially provable structures” (“gerichtsfest nachweisbare Strukturen”). This ambiguous and somewhat unintelligible term is of course subject to all kinds of interpretations.
Der Stern Online wrote that Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere made the following announcement on Friday morning: “As Interior Minister, I hereby prohibit with immediate effect all activities of the terror group IS in Germany.”
Der Spiegel Online wrote that because ISIS has not been ruled to be a terrorist organization, de Maiziere had to use the “roundabout way” of the German law for associations (“Vereinsgesetz”) to prohibit ISIS and its activities.
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 13:
“… the ban of the terrorist organization… shows once more, how difficult it is for democratic states to respect law and order and still protect society from those who use the Middle Ages as a projection for the future. There will certainly be many experts who’ll reject the ban as inappropriate. But they should be asked what suggestions they have to put an end to the repulsive actions of ‘IS’… The interior minister’s ban is only a first step in this process. But it’s an important one.”
No decent person in his right mind would sympathize with ISIS; nor would he want it to conduct its murderous appalling and demonical terrorist activities in any country, including Germany (see other articles in this edition). What is very troublesome, however, is how de Maiziere pronounced the ban in an autocratic and dictatorial way, “as Interior Minister,” without the involvement of Parliament or the courts. This reminds us of activities which are known to occur in Russia, China, North Korea and former East Germany, but they should not occur in a working democracy.
De Maiziere’s reputation is very controversial for other reasons as well. Regarding the drone debacle of last year, many felt he would have to resign as (then) Defense Minister in Angela Merkel’s cabinet. But he stayed in power—a seemingly “deadly wound” was healed. Subsequently, he became (again) Germany’s Interior Minister, which he was before becoming Defense Minister.
Note this report of Der Spiegel Online of June 2013:
“The cancellation of the Euro Hawk surveillance drone program means the waste of a half billion euros in German taxpayer money. But somehow Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziére seems to have survived the debacle. German commentators wonder why… he admitted that his ministry had made significant mistakes leading up to the abandonment of the Euro Hawk program… he blamed senior Defense Ministry officials for not having kept him adequately informed.”
At the time, Business daily Handelsblatt wrote: “De Maizière, nominally responsible for the … chaos in the Defense Ministry, was not forced to admit that his portfolio is a state within the state, but he did have to come clean about the fact that there are many areas that operate in the shadows… and that are almost autocratic.”
De Maiziere’s latest move shows again his autocratic conduct as Interior Minister. This is VERY frightening indeed. Because it is ISIS today… but who is it going to be tomorrow, and the next day?
While Die Welt wrote at the time that Thomas de Maiziere “was also not exactly an innocent bystander,” die Berliner Zeitung was much more direct:
“…there are two possible conclusions to draw…: Either the minister is lying — or the Defense Ministry does indeed have its own agenda and de Maizière was unable to get it under control. Both versions are unsettling, and neither is complimentary of the minister.”
It appears that de Maiziere should be taken note of.
Meet Thomas de Maiziere
On December 16, 2013, Deutsche Welle wrote the following about him:
“Thomas de Maiziere is Germany’s new -and old- interior minister and a close confidant of Angela Merkel. Sometimes tipped as a future chancellor, his political career has recovered from a surveillance-drone scandal… In 2011, he took over the defense minister post when Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg had to step down in a plagiarism scandal.
“De Maiziere also became known as ‘Merkel’s best man’ and as a talented politician with potential for higher office… One poll… placed him third among German politicians, behind only Merkel herself and Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
“All that changed in 2013, when outrage over the cancellation of a surveillance drone project nearly cost him his credibility – and his job. In June, only 40 percent of Germans were ‘satisfied’ with the defense minister’s performance. But he resisted calls for his resignation – and kept Merkel’s backing, even when advisers told her to drop him ahead of November’s general election…
“He was born in Bonn, the capital of former West Germany, in 1954, the last of four children. His Huguenot forefathers fled religious persecution in France, resettling in Brandenburg, the region surrounding Berlin. His father, Ulrich de Maiziere, was an officer in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. By the war’s end in 1945, he had become a member of the Supreme High Command of the German Army. He continued his military career thereafter, advancing in 1966 to become General Inspector of West Germany’s newly founded Bundeswehr.
“Ulrich’s youngest son, meanwhile, was working his way toward graduating from a Catholic prep-school in Bonn. Thereafter Thomas de Maiziere joined a mechanized infantry battalion. By 1977 he had become a senior lieutenant in the reserve forces. After his military service, de Maiziere studied law in the cities of Freiburg and Münster, graduating with a Ph.D. in 1986…
“For Thomas de Maiziere, the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 also marked his entry into politics and the reunification of his family. His cousin, Lothar de Maiziere, served as the only democratically elected prime minister of East Germany, holding that position over a period of approximately six months, from April 1990 until the reunification of East and West Germany on October 3 that year… Thomas de Maiziere worked under his cousin in 1990 as an adviser to the East German government. During that time he also became acquainted with Angela Merkel, a chemist who had joined an East German opposition party known as Democratic Awakening, which later merged with Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU)…
“The entire issue [of the drone scandal] was virtually non-existent during the federal elections in September 2013. When it became clear that a grand coalition government of Merkel’s CDU and the Social Democrats (SPD) would come to pass, initial rumors were that Thomas de Maiziere would keep his post as defense minister. Those had to be revised after the official cabinet announcement: Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) will become Germany’s new defense minister, while de Maiziere will be returning to his old job of interior minister. Angela Merkel has managed to keep her ‘best man’ a part of her new cabinet.”
Angela Merkel was the protégée of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. She replaced Kohl and became the new Chancellor (some claim that she did so by stabbing Kohl in the back). Will she experience soon something similar from her “best man,” Thomas de Maiziere?
Arm and Train Syrian Rebels—Escalation of America’s War
The Washington Post wrote on September 18:
“Even as the administration has received congressional backing for its strategy, with the Senate voting Thursday to approve a plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a series of military leaders have criticized the president’s approach against the Islamic State militant group.
“Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis… became the latest high-profile skeptic on Thursday, telling the House Intelligence Committee that a blanket prohibition on ground combat was tying the military’s hands…
“Mattis’s comments came two days after Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the rare step of publicly suggesting that a policy already set by the commander in chief could be reconsidered.
“Despite Obama’s promise that he would not deploy ground combat forces, Dempsey made clear that he didn’t want to rule out the possibility… He also acknowledged that Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander for the Middle East, had already recommended doing so in the case of at least one battle in Iraq but was overruled.”
It does not appear that the USA will be able to prevent from being drawn deeper and deeper into another war.
Misunderstanding ISIS and Islam
Times of Israel wrote on September 11
“[President] Obama… made the following remarks: ‘Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim…’
“This statement… underline[s] Obama’s general lack of knowledge and understanding of the Middle East and Islam. His statement about ISIL being not Islamic and Islam being a religion that rejects the killing of innocents is rather strange for someone who was raised as a Muslim. That’s because the Quran contains 109 verses that call upon Muslims to wage war against innocent nonbelievers.
“Here is for example one of these verses that clearly shows that ISIL’s recent beheadings, crucifixions and other atrocities are based on the holy book of Islam.
“Quran (5:33) – ‘The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement’…”
The article of Times of Israel continued by placing a link to the following website, http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm, quoting additional 108 verses from the Koran to prove its violent teaching.
Another Brutal Murder of a Hostage through ISIS Islamists
BBC News wrote on September 14:
“The UK will take ‘whatever steps are necessary’ to keep safe after a video showing the killing of [British] hostage David Haines was issued by Islamic State militants, the prime minister has said… In the video, IS threatened to kill a second Briton, named as Alan Henning, 47, a volunteer on an aid convoy… A masked man who appears to have a British accent was pictured beside Mr Haines holding a knife.
“[David] Cameron said of IS, also known as Isil and Isis, ‘they are not Muslims, they are monsters’… Mr Cameron also said the country was ‘sickened’ that a Briton could have carried out the ‘despicable’ killing…
“BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says several British prime ministers have pledged to bring the killers of a British hostage to justice whenever they are murdered in ‘cold blood’ by jihadists, but the reality is that historically the trail tends to go cold very soon afterwards. None of those who have taken British hostages in recent years have been brought to justice, our correspondent added.”
Breitbart added on September 14 that Mr. Cameron also said that Islam is a religion of peace. Mr. Cameron fell into the same trap as Mr. Obama. Of course, these ISIS terrorists are monsters, but it is incorrect to say that they are not Muslim; nor, that Islam is a religion of peace.
ISIS Planning to Murder the Pope?
International Business Times wrote on September 17:
“ISIS is planning to kill the Pope in one of his overseas trips, Iraq Ambassador to Vatican Habeeb Al Sadr warns. He said that the terrorist group had spoken of its plan to assassinate the Pope as he was vocally supporting U.S.’ intervention in Syria and Iraq. He underlined that the ISIS has foreign members – Canadian, American, French, Britain and even Italians. The group can instruct these members to kill the Pope when the opportunity arises.”
Inconsistent Messages on War
Reuters reported on September 13:
“Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a ‘piecemeal’ Third World War, condemning the arms trade and ‘plotters of terrorism’ sowing death and destruction… ‘War is madness,’ he said… ‘War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying… Greed, intolerance, the lust for power. These motives underlie the decision to go to war and they are too often justified by an ideology …’ he said.
“Last month the pope, who has often condemned the concept of war in God’s name, said it would be legitimate for the international community to use force to stop ‘unjust aggression’ by Islamic State militants who have killed or displaced thousands of people in Iraq and Syria, many of them Christians.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on September 13:
“… the pope didn’t point to any single nation or leader, but warned that less visible forces created the conditions for military conflict. ‘In today’s world, behind the scenes, there are interests, geopolitical strategies, lust for money and power, and there is the manufacture and sale of arms,’ he told a crowd of thousands at the graveyard, where more than 100,000 Italian soldiers who died in World War I are buried… ‘The shadow of Cain hangs over us today in this cemetery. It is seen here. It is seen from 1914 right up to our own time. It is seen even in the present,’ he added.”
Die Welt reported on September 13 that German Protestant Military Pastor Pascal Kober advocated war, stating that non-action was tantamount to the people in the parable of the merciful Samaritan, who refused to help the man who had fallen under the robbers. He added that the hope for a better future required to act for a better future which included by necessity actions causing sin, stating that this was an understanding which Luther had.
Sadly, this “understanding” is not based on the Bible. True Christianity is indeed totally opposed to war; but this cannot be said about traditional or orthodox (so-called) Christianity.
First Catholic Marriage Ceremony of Its Kind in 14 Years
BBC News reported on September 14:
“Pope Francis has presided over the marriage of 20 couples at the Vatican, including some who were cohabiting, one of them with a child… It was the first papal marriage ceremony of its kind in 14 years…
“Pope Francis told the couples at the two-hour ceremony that marriage was ‘not an easy road, it’s sometimes a contentious trip, but that’s life,’ AFP news agency reports. Very slowly, the church under the guidance of Pope Francis is facing the fact that many Catholic couples cohabit before marriage, use contraception freely and divorce and remarry without seeking an annulment…
“He said in his homily that families are ‘bricks that build society’, but also believes that the church should forgive those who have sex outside marriage or who don’t obey church teaching to the letter.”
The Scottish Independent Referendum
Deutsche Welle reported on September 18:
“The votes are in, and the final results are not expected until Friday morning in Edinburgh. More than 4.2 million Scottish residents registered ahead of the referendum on independence from the United Kingdom… commentators remained cautious about a race that had proven far closer than many expected…
“Should Scotland support independence, politicians in London and Edinburgh would have around 18 months to hammer out the details of a split: Scotland’s planned Independence Day would be March 24, 2016. The potential implications of a yes vote internationally, for instance with membership of institutions like NATO or the EU, remain unclear.”
The Washington Post added on September 18:
“With civility and passion, nearly all of Scotland’s voters turned out Thursday for a historic referendum that offered residents of this ancient land the chance to create the world’s newest independent nation by breaking up one of its oldest unions… Then they settled in for the long and anxious wait until dawn to find out which country they’ll live in come 2016: an independent Scotland for the first time in more than 300 years or a Scottish nation that remains part of the United Kingdom.
“The campaign deeply divided Scots, with preelectionpolls showing voters almost evenly split… once the question of independence has been settled, Scotland will be under pressure to quickly heal its divisions. Whether the Scots opt for ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ nearly half the nation will be deeply disappointed.”
No EU-Ukraine Trade Treaty for Over a Year
The EUobserver wrote on September 12:
“Ukraine and the EU are to delay the entry into life of a strategic free trade treaty for more than one year due to Russian concerns. The trade pact was originally to enter into force on 1 November.
“But following meetings between European Commission trade chief Karel De Gucht, Ukraine’s foreign minister, and Russia’s economy minister in Brussels on Friday (12 September) it will now be implemented on 31 December 2015. Defending the deal, De Gucht told press it means Russia will not impose trade restrictions on Ukraine in the next 15 months…
“The trade pact is 5kg of technical documents, but it has symbolic value in Ukraine. Hundreds of people died in the ‘Euromaidan’ revolution in February when Ukraine’s former leader decided not to sign it. Thousands more died after Russia attacked Ukraine to stop it joining Western blocs.
“One Ukraine-based EU diplomat told EUobserver the De Gucht news caused ‘shock, astonishment’. He noted that European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso and Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko had earlier the same day in Kiev spoken of ratifying the treaty on 16 September and implementing it on 1 November. Barroso has on several occasions said Russia cannot have a veto on EU-Ukraine ties.”
Russia has won again; the EU turns out to be the big loser; and Ukraine is moving away from Europe and towards Russia—as is prophesied in Scripture.
India Applies for Full Membership in SCO
The Business Standard wrote on September 12:
“India Friday formally applied for full membership in the energy-rich Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a security grouping dominated by China, and said it is ‘ready to assume day to day responsibilities within the context of the bloc’. India has been functioning as observer at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – composed of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan…
“The SCO has amongst its members three largest energy producers in the world – Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. India hopes that with an SCO membership it will gain more access to major gas and oil exploration projects in central Asia.”
Russia and China Sign 30-Year Gas Deal
Reuters reported on September 13:
“Russia and China are discussing more than 30 joint economic projects in a variety of areas from petrochemicals to banking… As Russia was hit by new sanctions by the United States and the European Union on Friday over its involvement in Ukraine… Asian countries… [do] not support the Western sanctions and were keen to cooperate with Russia.”
It is prophesied that in these end times, Far Eastern Nations, including China, India and Russia (as well as its—former—satellite states) will form a coalition in opposition to Europe.