Current Events

Has Germany Failed to Learn from History?

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 12:

“The European Union was created to avoid repeating the disasters of the 1930s, but Germany, of all countries, has failed to learn from history. As the euro crisis escalates, Berlin should remember how the banking crisis of 1931 contributed to the breakdown of democracy across Europe.

“… today’s Germans appear to attach more importance to the year 1923 (the year of hyperinflation) than to the year 1933 (the year democracy died). They would do well to remember how a European banking crisis two years before 1933 contributed directly to the breakdown of democracy not just in their own country but right across the European continent… While 24 European regimes had been democratic in 1920, the number was down to 11 in 1939…

“Giving up some sovereignty is inevitable. However, becoming subject to a ‘neo-colonial’ submission of one’s fiscal policy to Germany… is not acceptable… [Germans] must understand that the costs of a breakup of the euro zone would be astronomically high — for themselves as much as for anyone. After all, Germany’s current prosperity is in large measure a consequence of monetary union. The euro has given German exporters a far more competitive exchange rate than the old deutsche mark would have. And the rest of the euro zone remains the destination for 42 percent of German exports. Plunging half of that market into a new Depression can hardly be good for Germany.

“Ultimately, as Chancellor Merkel herself acknowledged last week, monetary union always implied further integration into a fiscal and political union. But before Europe gets anywhere near taking this historical step, it must first of all show that it has learned the lessons of the past. The EU was created to avoid repeating the disasters of the 1930s. It is time Europe’s leaders — and especially Germany’s — understood how perilously close they are to doing just that.”

But have we learned our lessons? Hardly! Note the next article as well. And so, the Bible predicts that Europe, under German leadership, will become a totalitarian power bloc—and liberties and freedoms of its citizens will be severely limited.

Europe Could Limit Movement of People and Money

On June 12, the Associated Press reported:

“European officials are working on range of contingency scenarios covering action that could be to control the movement of people and money in the event of Greece abandoning the euro currency, a European Union spokesman admitted Tuesday. [A] spokesman said Tuesday that, legally, limits could be imposed on movement of people and money across national borders within the EU if it’s necessary to protect public order or public security.”

Germany Will Save the Eurozone

The Wall Street Journal wrote on June 4:

“Germany will ultimately take whatever steps necessary to keep the euro zone intact, said Deutsche Bank’s former Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann on Monday. ‘If it comes to worst, before the euro zone collapses, everything will be done to bail the euro zone out,’ Ackermann said… Later he said that he had ‘no doubt’ that the German people would support a rescue operation for the euro zone. ‘Destruction is much more expensive than further construction. A demolition of the euro zone will create chaos in Europe and probably also in many parts of the world,’ he said… Ackermann said a Greek exit from the euro-zone would be ‘very difficult but manageable.’”

And so, the Eurozone (perhaps in a slightly different configuration than right now) will be saved; the euro will not fail; and Germany will come to the rescue, if need be. And, there will be political unification.

“Europe Needs Enhanced Governance in Eurozone”

Reuters reported on June 13:

“Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy… said that while each country had to take its own measures to clean up public finances and reform the economy, only closer European integration could solve the crisis… European Union leaders plan to call for much stronger banking and fiscal integration and enhanced governance in the euro zone at a summit later this month…”

Germans Become Disillusioned with Obama and America

Der Spiegel Online wrote on June 13:

“Germans were ecstatic when Barack Obama took over the keys to the White House from George W. Bush. Now, though, a new Pew Research Center survey shows that disillusionment with the US president is widespread in Germany and that Obama has not lived up to the high expectations Europeans had of him… Germans are disappointed in the US president’s unilateralism; his use of force, particularly drone strikes; his inaction with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian situation and his lack of effort in curbing climate change.

“Nevertheless, they still have overwhelming confidence in Obama’s overall international leadership. In fact, at 87 percent, Germans are the most supportive in Europe… and nine out of 10 Germans want to see Obama re-elected…

“Obama’s personal popularity has always exceeded German support for America. And today only half the Germans (52 percent) have a favorable view of the United States… Among the eight European nations surveyed, only in Greece (35 percent) is pro-American sentiment weaker… Germans also don’t see America as an economic superpower… [Only] 13 percent say the U.S. plays that role. No other Europeans judge American economic prowess so harshly.

“This decline in support for the United States is closely linked to Germans’ critical views of Obama’s handling of particular international concerns… one of the signature Obama security policy initiatives — drone strikes targeting extremist leaders and groups in nations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — have drawn German criticism. Fifty-nine percent of Germans disapprove of such actions, about the median for Europe…

 ”In retrospect, hopes for an Obama presidency were unrealistically high, especially among Europeans… Reality was unlikely to live up to these expectations… this new survey suggests frustrations with Obama and the United States are mounting. And leaders in Berlin, Washington and elsewhere need to be cognizant of their implications, especially if the American people give Obama a second term.”

The Local wrote on June 13:

“Germans are feeling less positive towards the United States and disappointed with their erstwhile hero, President Barack Obama, with significant opposition to the US use of drones to target and kill terrorists. The US enjoyed a huge surge of popularity within Germany in 2009 when Obama succeeded President George W. Bush…

“Yet there seems to be a certain complacency, or possibly lack of interest since the election four years ago which brought Obama to power. Then 56 percent of Germans said they were following the race to the White House closely, whereas now that figure is just 36 percent.”

In spite of these concerns, it is amazing that almost 90 % of Germans would support President Obama’s re-election. This is undoubtedly due to misinformation and complacency, but Germans are also very concerned of a Republican President, as they still remember and strongly reject the troublesome Bush-era.

Jewish Support for Obama Plummets

Newsmax reported on June 10:

“President Barack Obama has seen a 10-point plunge in support among Jewish voters… The move is significant because American Jews have been bedrock supporters of the Democratic Party for decades. Often regarded as instinctively liberal but hawks on support for Israel, Jews are a key voting bloc in Florida, one of a handful of high electoral vote ‘swing’ states Obama must win to defeat Romney. Their votes also could make a difference in a close race in Ohio or Pennsylvania.

“The Republican Jewish Coalition notes the 29 percent of Jewish voters who support Romney, represents the ‘highest level of Jewish support for a Republican presidential candidate in 24 years.’ RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said that if the numbers hold in November, they would spell ‘a disaster’ for Obama and his party.”

Jerusalem to Be Occupied by Egypt?

On June 7, Al Alarabiya News reported the following:

“If Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi became president, Egypt’s new capital will no more be Cairo, but the new capital will be Jerusalem, a prominent Egyptian cleric said at a presidential campaign rally, which was aired by an Egyptian private TV channel. ‘Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem with God’s will. Our chants shall be: “Millions of martyrs will march towards Jerusalem”,’ prominent cleric Safwat Hagazy said, according to the video aired by Egypt’s religious Annas TV on Tuesday…

“‘The United States of the Arabs will be restored on the hands of that man [Mursi] and his supporters. The capital of the [Muslim] Caliphate will be Jerusalem with God’s will,’ Hegazy said, as the crowds cheered, waving the Egyptian flags along with the flags of the Islamist Hamas group, which rules the Gaza Strip. ‘Tomorrow Mursi will liberate Gaza,’ the crowds chanted. ‘Yes, we will either pray in Jerusalem or we will be martyred there,’ Hegazy said…

“Voting for Mursi… would mean handing Egypt to an Islamic movement [which] has monopolized power since the uprising.”

These are interesting developments in the Middle East which could trigger ultimate military intervention of Europe, as prophesied in Scripture.

Egypt in Chaos

CNN wrote on June 14:

“Egypt’s highest court declared the parliament invalid Thursday, and the country’s interim military rulers promptly declared full legislative authority, triggering a new level of chaos and confusion in the country’s leadership. The Supreme Constitutional Court found that all articles making up the law that regulated parliamentary elections are invalid, said Showee Elsayed, a constitutional lawyer. The ruling means that parliament must be dissolved, state TV reported.

“Parliament has been in session for just over four months. It is dominated by Islamists, a group long viewed with suspicion by the military. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, in control of the country since Mubarak’s ouster, said that it now has full legislative power… The court also ruled that former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. the last prime minister to serve under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, may run in a presidential election runoff this weekend…

“Some analysts also called it a coup… Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center, said the court rulings are the ‘worst possible outcome’ for Egypt and the transition to civilian rule is ‘effectively over.’”

“Suicides No. 2 Cause of Death in Military”

USA Today reported on June 14:

“The most common way that U.S. servicemembers die outside of combat is by their own hand, according to an analysis released by the Pentagon on Wednesday. Since 2010, suicide has outpaced traffic accidents, heart disease, cancer, homicide and all other forms of death in the military besides combat, the report says. One in four non-combat deaths last year were servicemembers killing themselves.

“This year, suicides among troops occur on average once a day, according to Pentagon figures obtained by USA TODAY. The data, first reported by the Associated Press, show that after the end of the Iraq War, suicides may become more common than combat deaths. There were 154 confirmed or suspected suicides this year through June 3, while 127 troops died in the Afghanisthan War, Pentagon data show.

“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday that he has directed all military branches ‘to immediately look at that situation and determine what’s behind it, what’s causing it and what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen.’ All the services except the Navy are seeing increases in suicide among active-duty members this year… The Army — which has the highest suicide rate… is spending about $75 million to understand why it is happening and what to do about it. No one so far has answers, said Army Col. Carl Castro, who leads researchers trying to find effective forms of prevention and treatment…”

Accusations Fly Between Russia and USA Over Syria

The Guardian wrote on June 13:

“The US has alleged that Russian-made weapons are killing Syrians on ‘an hourly basis’ as the feud between Washington and Moscow over the arming of the Assad regime intensified Wednesday. In the face of a strong denial from the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, stood by her assertion that Russian attack helicopters are on their way to Syria in a move that would ‘escalate the conflict quite dramatically’.

“The state department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, repeated the claim and ratcheted up the confrontation by saying that the Russians have also been resupplying arms used against the civilian population… Lavrov… said Russia is supplying weapons only for self-defence. ‘We are now finishing the fulfilment of contracts that were signed and paid for a long time ago. All of (the contracts) are solely for means of air defence,’ he said. Lavrov said the arms are ‘only something that Syria would need in the event of an armed attack on it from without’…

“The Russian foreign minister turned the tables on the US by accusing the Americans of arming the Syrian opposition… Nuland denied the charge… However, there is growing evidence that US allies in the region, principally Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, are arming the opposition Free Syrian Army… Nuland also said there was ‘no comparison’ between Russia sending weapons to Syria and the US arming the monarchy in Bahrain, which has brutally put down civilian demonstrations with the help of the American-supplied Saudi military resulting in scores killed and thousands arrested. Some are alleged to have died under torture.”

Russia Rejects Foreign Intervention in Syria

CNN wrote on June 9:

“After days of international shuttling on what to do with the troubling situation in Syria, Russia’s foreign minister said Saturday his country will never agree to foreign intervention. Despite warnings of Syria spiraling into a civil war, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a televised briefing in Moscow there was no alternative other than implementing Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, despite its failures. ‘The situation looks more and more grim,’ Lavrov said. ‘For the first time since the beginning of this crisis we see the question of foreign intervention. And our position remains unchanged. We will never agree to sanction the use of force in the U.N. Security Council.’

“He called foreign intervention a ‘dangerous game’ and said it would have serious consequences in the entire region. He also blamed the recent violence, which has included horrific reported massacres in Houla and Qubeir, in part to opposition groups being supported by other nations. Russia, along with China and four Central Asian nations, has signed a joint declaration rejecting armed intervention in Syria and reiterating support for Annan’s peace plan. Russia and China — both Security Council members — have also blocked proposed United Nations efforts to punish President Bashar al-Assad’s regime with sanctions.”

Russia is acting purely because of self-interest, as it is heavily involved in all kinds of monetary and military operations with Syria. We also see consensus reached between Russia, China and four other Asian nations, which is in opposition to the desired course of action of Western powers.

Russia Turns to a Police State

Financial Times Deutschland wrote on June 13:

“Russia is becoming a police state that increasingly often drags in opposition leaders for interrogation and searches their apartments… Since March presidential elections, … Putin has been slowly tightening the thumbscrews. It’s not just the new laws governing demonstrations, which cut back massively on freedom of assembly rights, but also the increasing ‘unexplainable’ hacker attacks on critical websites. Together they reveal a clear policy of intimidation. It is not impossible that Putin’s chicanery will fundamentally change the culture of protest in Russia. There is a real chance that the educated middle class could give birth to violence.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote on June 13:

“…  change is taking place in Russian society, one which might be slowed by repression, but cannot be stopped. It remains unclear, however, what the results might be…”

Enough of KGB Rule in Russia?

CNN wrote on June 13:

“Antigovernment slogans and calls for change resounded in Moscow’s central boulevards Tuesday, suggesting that Russian authorities’ recent moves to suppress dissent haven’t damped the opposition’s spirits. In the first major protest since President Vladimir Putin began a new six-year term May 7, Muscovites of all ages and political convictions flooded the city center, chanting ‘Russia without Putin’ and ‘Enough of KGB rule.’ The event was dubbed the ‘March of Millions’ to symbolize the wave of discontent that has enveloped Russia’s largest cities since disputed parliamentary elections in December…

“Tuesday’s protest, which fell on the Russia Day holiday, came on the heels of a concerted effort by authorities to limit opposition protesters’ room to maneuver… Moscow police on Monday carried out raids on the homes of as many as 15 opposition figures… Amnesty International later condemned the searches as politically motivated.

“On Friday, Putin signed into law draconian legislation increasing fines to $10,000 for participants and $30,000 for organizers involved in protests that are unauthorized, attract larger crowds than permitted, or cause damage or injury.”

Putin will try to rule brutally and with an iron fist. Will he prevail, or will he be leading his country into civil war? Only time will tell.

How Russians View Europe

Deutsche Welle wrote on June 13, 2012:

“The ongoing euro crisis appears to have diminished the enthusiasm of the Russian people towards the European Union. They have become much more critical over the past year with regards to Russia’s relations with the EU… The number of supporters for Russia becoming a member of the EU (38 percent) appears to have stayed the same, but the number of opponents has increased. Almost half of the respondents (47 percent) reject the idea that Russia should join the EU. That is 11 percent more than last year…

“From a Russian perspective, the main objective of the European Union is to promote economic growth (55 percent). It is these core issues that the EU in recent months has neglected, but that the Russians find the most important. The debt crisis in the eurozone has dampened economic growth. And Russian confidence in the EU has also disappeared… Forty percent of those surveyed believe a main objective of the EU is territorial expansion. One in five said it was the development of a universal security system, the same number who believed it was to further European interests in the world. This presents a fundamental problem…

“At the same time, Russians do not think their country has an especially positive image within Europe… Just under a quarter of respondents say Russia is thought of as a reliable strategic partner. Twenty-two percent were more skeptical, suggesting that Russia, especially within Europe is seen as a wayward superpower with imperial ambitions…

“Weakness within the European Union has also had an effect on any bilateral relationship between the EU and Russia. In April 2011, 52 percent of those surveyed rated relations as friendly and amicable; current DW-Trend respondents indicate this has dropped to 43 percent.

“However, the relationship between Germany and Russia has suffered less. Although the proportion expressing a belief the relationship between two countries was friendly has dropped six percent to 24 percent, a clear majority, 70 percent of the Russian population, see German-Russian relations as either friendly or amicable.”

Of course, there is really no realistic possibility that Russia would ever join the EU. At the same time, the relationship between Germany and Russia will ultimately become hostile.

China on Collision Course with Europe

Reuters reported on June 12:

“China will take swift counter-measures that could include impounding European aircraft if the EU punishes Chinese airlines for not complying with its scheme to curb carbon emissions, the China Air Transport Association said on Tuesday. The warning came as the U.N.’s aviation body expressed concern about the growing threat of bilateral reprisals.

“Chinese airlines, which have been told by Beijing not to comply with the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, refused to meet a March 31 deadline for submitting carbon emissions data. A new stand-off looms after EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said the carriers would have until the end of this week to submit their data or face enforcement action…

“China is among a raft of countries including India, Russia and the United States that have protested against the inclusion of all flights using EU airports into the emissions scheme.”

The developments between Europe and especially China and Russia need to be watched with great care, as the relationship between the Asian and European countries will deteriorate drastically.

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