Current Events

The Paralyzed US Superpower

Der Spiegel Online wrote on August 5:

“John Kerry has spent months rushing from one conflict to the next, but has little [to] show for it. His failures are symptomatic of an America that lacks a foreign policy identity — and of a country that seems uncomfortable with its role as a superpower…

“In recent days, global diplomacy has seemed like an absurd form of theater, with John Kerry in the role of the tragic hero. He doesn’t look like the secretary of state from a world power, Haaretz jeered, but like ‘an alien who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast’…

“The helplessness of the world’s most important foreign minister shows just how little influence the US still has in the Middle East. And with each failure, Washington’s influence in the rest of the world erodes as well. A civil war is raging in eastern Ukraine, an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program is still a long way off, Islamist terrorists now control large swaths of Iraq — and the US doesn’t appear to be in a position to do anything about it.

“… as part of a government that is steering America away from its traditional role as global hegemon, Kerry also embodies the dilemma of the United States’ global role in the 21st century: How successful can a US foreign policy be if it depends more on strong words than it does on tanks and aircraft carriers?…

“The US remains the world’s only superpower, but it is also on the search for a new foreign policy identity. It is a country divided…”

The USA has lost the pride of its power, as was prophesied to occur thousands of years ago.

Did Israel Spy On John Kerry?

JTA wrote on August 3:

“Israeli intelligence reportedly eavesdropped on telephone conversations made by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. In addition to Israel, at least one other intelligence agency also listened in on the phone calls, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported…

“‘Revelations of the eavesdropping could further damage already tense relations between the US government and Israel,’ der Spiegel wrote.”

USA And British People Condemn Israel

JTA wrote on August 3:

“‘The United States is appalled by today’s disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed,’ State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday. ‘The coordinates of the school, like all U.N. facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israeli Defense Forces…’

“The State Department statement was the harshest condemnation of Israeli actions in Gaza… ‘The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.’”

JTA added on August 3:

“Much of the British public is ‘deeply disturbed’ by the impact of Israel’s operation in Gaza, the new foreign secretary of England said, and the response could be more widespread anti-Semitic attacks… Anti-Semitic incidents [in Britain] have doubled since Israel began its operation in Gaza nearly a month ago…”

Anti-Semitism Worldwide

The Hill wrote on August 26:

“The civilian casualties, though almost certainly overstated to include Hamas fighters in civilian clothes, are tragic.  The death of so many children is heartbreaking.

“But… Anti-Semitism has reared its head almost everywhere there are pro-Palestinian street protests.

“A heavily Jewish section of Paris was looted and attacked as crowds shouted ‘Gas the Jews,’ in what correctly has been called a pogrom.  Multiple synagogues and Jewish centers in Paris and elsewhere in France were firebombed, and neo-Nazi salutes were center stage.

“In Berlin protesters shouted ‘Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight.’ While in Frankfurt they carried signs such as ‘The Jews are Beasts’ and the Star of David is ‘The Star of the Devil.’

“In the Hague, Netherlands, crowds chanted ‘death to all Jews,’ shocking local officials.  In England, particularly London, there have been over 100 anti-Semitic incidents, and anti-Israel protesters pushed The Protocols of the Elders of Zion anti-Semitic tract.

“And it was not just overseas.  In Miami, protesters chanted ‘Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammed is returning’ commemorating an Islamic war victory. In Boston, pro-Israel supporters had to be rescued from an angry crowd that shouted ‘Jews back to Birkenau’ and ‘Drop dead, you Zionazi whores.’  A pro-Israel student was attacked by a woman insisting that Jerusalem would be cleansed of Jews, while another crowd shouted that ‘Jews better learn how to swim.’…”

These horrible developments are not just rare exceptions of a few deceived and hateful Islamists. Sadly, they are becoming more and more commonplace. At the same time, Israel is not helping in winning the support of others, as the next article shows.

Israel’s Fears And The Military Messianic Right

On August 5, Der Spiegel Online published an interview with Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz. We are bringing you the following excerpts from her comments:

“Israel has a split, schizophrenic self-awareness: It cultivates its strength and yet cannot stop seeing itself as weak and threatened… Israel is a colonial military power, a militarized society and a democracy all folded into one… It is a militarized civil society because almost every family has a father, son or brother in the army and because the military plays an enormous role in the ordinary mentality of ordinary Israelis and is crucial in both political decisions and in the public sphere… But it is also a democracy, which grants rights to gays and makes it possible for a citizen to sue the state…

“The messianic right has progressively gained power in Israel. It used to be marginal and illegitimate; it is now increasingly mainstream. This radical right sits in Parliament, controls budgets and has changed the nature of discourse. Many Israelis do not understand the radical nature of the right in Israel. It successfully disguises itself as ‘patriotic’ or ‘Jewish.’ …

“Fear is deeply engrained in Israeli society. Fear of the Shoah, fear of anti-Semitism, fear of Islam, fear of Europeans, fear of terror, fear of extermination. You name it. And fear generates a very particular type of thinking… You always think about the worst case scenario… many Israelis still hold on [to] the view they are morally superior…

“The real danger to Israel and its sustainability comes from within. The fascist and racist elements are no less a security threat than the outside enemies… Israelis pay a price, but we are not really aware of it… People don’t make a connection between the bad living conditions they have and the amount of resources invested in the settlements and in the army…  Israeli society has become very insensitive. Not only to the suffering of others, but also to its own suffering.”

Trust in weapons and the military will lead to the ultimate downfall of any country.

A New Order For The Middle East

On July 21, Der Tagesspiegel (translated by Federal Foreign Office) published the following article by German Foreign Minister Frank‑Walter Steinmeier:

“We Europeans are preoccupied by the Ukraine crisis. Meanwhile, the Middle East is coming undone. The uprising against the Syrian dictator Bashar al‑Assad first turned into a civil war and then into a regional proxy war. Now the crisis in Syria is affecting neighbouring Iraq and has reignited the smouldering embers of the conflict there, which had not been resolved.

“Shiites are fighting against Sunnis, radical against even more radical fundamentalists, Kurds against Arabs, terrorists against democrats and against dictators. Neighbouring countries in the region, as well as major powers, are providing their proxies with money, as well as arms. The international community has not adopted a coherent approach. Some are acting out of a sense of responsibility, while some are reckless, some defensive and others proactive. Neither those involved nor outsiders can say exactly whether the other side is acting out of strength or weakness.

“Millions of people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, thus placing a crushing burden on state‑provided services there. The ISIS terrorist group is extending its power base in Syria and Iraq and wants to sweep away the existing states…

“We should think about a new order for the Middle East which could redefine and guarantee the security interests of all parties… Parallel interests which could form a basis for a new order are there: all neighbouring countries and the international community are united in their concern that terrorist groups such as ISIS could become a permanent fixture. None of the states in the region want to see force being used to move borders. All of them are afraid that arms could fall into the wrong hands and be used against them. And it is in the best interest of all of them to ensure that minorities within their countries, whether ethnic or religious minorities, do not drift into open hostility towards the state.

“No‑one expects such efforts to lead to overnight success. However, a start should be made, and the sooner the better. We owe that not only to people in the regions where tens of thousands have been murdered and millions forced to leave their homes. For this will also help ensure our own security. Syria is a training ground for thousands of European jihadists who practice there what they subsequently want to carry out in our cities. And there is a real threat that Iraq will go the same way.

“This cannot be allowed to happen. For this conflict concerns us, and much more so than many want to believe.”

In due time, Europe will attempt to create such a new order for the Middle East. Steinmeier’s words almost sound prophetic.

Germany May Have a Decisive Role in Gaza

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 7:

“In an article to be published Friday in the Bild newspaper, Frank-Walter Steimeier said that he could see Germany having a role in Gaza following Israel’s month-long war there… ‘Together with our European partners, we are ready to make a contribution, for example with an EU monitoring mission of the border crossing,’ Steinmeier told Bild. ‘We are holding intensive talks with all sides to work out what would be necessary for this,’ he added.

“On Wednesday, a diplomatic source said Germany, Britain and France would consider reactivating a European mission to monitor the flow of goods across Gaza’s border with Egypt… Launched in 2005, the EU Border Assistance Mission monitored the Rafah border crossing after Israel pulled its troops out of Gaza, but it was discontinued two years later after Hamas seized power in the coastal territory.”

The Local added on August 7:

“‘The Germans, as Europe’s political leaders, must take a very decisive role in the Gaza conflict,’ Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Bild newspaper on Thursday. He also called for Germany to bring EU governments together to develop a solution to avert the unfolding economic and humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

“Lieberman demanded that Germany and the EU send inspectors in to the region to oversee trade between the Palestinians and neighbouring countries. Germany should ‘take responsibility as instigator of such a mission,’ said Lieberman, with the aim of preventing violence escalating further.”

“The Man Who Would Be Kaiser”

The Irish Times wrote on August 2:

“[After] Germany lost a second World War, the Allies in occupied Berlin passed a law stating: ‘The Prussian state, which from early days has been a bearer of militarism and reaction in Germany, has de facto ceased to exist.’…

“Prussia dominated Germany’s history for centuries. Mention Prussia to Germans today and they’ll trot out the ‘Prussian virtues’ – discipline, punctuality, deference to hierarchy – that many outsiders consider utterly German traits…

“Prince Georg [Kaiser Wilhelm II’s great-great-grandson] has no crown – and is not a prince under the law of the Federal Republic of Germany, which recognises the old title Prince of Prussia only as part of his surname – but has the calm energy of a man on a mission: to exhume and rehabilitate his family’s history, good and bad. His striking resemblance to Kaiser Wilhelm II, he jokes, makes it a delicate affair…

“[Prince Georg lost] his father when he was just a year old. In 1994 he lost his grandfather Louis Ferdinand snr, making the [then] 18-year-old head of the house of Hohenzollern…  Although they lost their aristocratic titles in 1918, the Hohenzollerns and other former ruling houses live on around Germany…

“The Hohenzollerns’ unhappy role in German history continued after 1918. Before Kaiser Wilhelm died in exile, in the Netherlands, in 1941, his son August Wilhelm flirted with the Nazis in the hope of taking back the throne. The relationship cooled after Hitler took office…

“After seven decades in the Third Reich’s shadow, Prussia is emerging again as a new generation of Germans shuffle the historical hand they have been dealt… Berlin is back on the political map and Germany’s role in Europe is shifting before our eyes. Understanding this country, and how it sees itself, means taking Prussia out of historical quarantine.

“Prince Georg sees Germany’s role in Europe differently from previous generations. He dismisses as absurd the former chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s recent remark that Third Reich crimes exclude Germany from a leading role in Europe for centuries to come. ‘I think it is clear to all that Germany should assume a leading role in Europe,’ he says.

“And what does he think about the leader shaping this new role, Chancellor Angela Merkel? ‘She represents the positive Prussian virtues of modesty, conscientiousness and sense of duty.’ Is such generous praise a sign that Georg Friedrich Prinz von Preussen, the man who would be kaiser, is happy to remain in the conditional tense? ‘The question of a return of the monarchy is not relevant at the moment,’ he says…”

Maybe not “at the moment”…

German Officer New Head Of U.S. Army Europe [USAREUR]

Army Times wrote on July 31:

“A German Army brigadier general [Markus Laubenthal] who recently served with NATO forces in Afghanistan is assuming duties as the chief of staff of U. S. Army Europe, the first time a non-American officer has held that position…

“Army sources in Europe said the first-ever assignment of a German general to the USAREUR staff is unrelated to the political furor over the spying revelations, but does reflect the increased importance of multinational operations in NATO… [It] is part of an American effort to give a more multi-national flavor to its major overseas commands.”

Germans are becoming more and more powerful and influential on the world scene.

Pope Celebrates Jesuits, Canonizes First Follower

Zenit wrote on August 6:

“Pope Francis on Saturday celebrated the feast of St. Peter Favre, the first follower of the founder of the Society of Jesus. St. Peter was the first of St. Ignatius’ followers, as Ignatius set the foundations for what would become the Society of Jesus.

“Some compare Pope Francis, the first Jesuit Pope, to St. Peter Favre. For his part, Francis has noted his own devotion to the saint, and as Pontiff, dispensed with some of the requirements of the canonization process in order to declare him a saint…

“Many note that Fr. Favre and Pope Francis have many characteristics in common and share many of the same ideas. Like Francis, Fr. Favre supported Catholic reform and was a pioneer of ecumenism…

“Fr. Favre became a canonized saint through the process of ‘equivalent’ canonization, which Pope Francis used also for now Saint John XXIII, canonized this April 27. ‘Equivalent’ canonization is a rare procedure, meaning popes can declare that someone who has enjoyed widespread reverence over time deserves veneration by the universal Church without having to go through the usual canonization steps. These steps include proving two miracles attributed to the candidate’s intercession. With ‘equivalent’ canonization, the Pope can override the two miracle requirement enabling the individual to become a canonized saint.”

The Jesuits have been viewed with great suspicion… and that for convincing reasons. Under Pope Francis, this perception is gradually changing. And not unlike President Obama who is circumventing Congress and the Senate through more and more “executive orders,” so Pope Francis ignores “usual canonization steps” by unilaterally declaring someone a saint through “equivalent canonization.”

Pope Pleads for Help

Reuters reported on August 7:

“Pope Francis appealed to world leaders on Thursday to help end the crisis in northern Iraq after a sweeping advance by radical Islamic state militants forced thousands of residents of Iraq’s biggest Christian town to flee their homes.

“‘His Holiness addresses an urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, to act to protect those affected or threatened by violence and to provide aid, especially for the most urgent needs of the many who have been forced to flee and who depend on the solidarity of others,’ the Vatican said in a statement.”

The Telegraph wrote on August 7:

“Islamic State, the jihadist group formerly known as Isis, have occupied churches in Iraq, removing crosses and destroying manuscripts, witnesses report, having overrun Kurdish troops forcing 200,000 to flee.”

Obama Authorizes Air Strikes in Iraq “If Needed”

The New York Times reported on August 7:

“President Obama said Thursday that United States military aircraft had dropped food and water to thousands of Iraqis besieged by Islamic militants on a mountaintop in northern Iraq… the president said he had directed the United States military forces to conduct targeted airstrikes on the militants if they moved to take Erbil, threatening the American citizens and military personnel there.

“And he said that at the request of the Iraqi government, he had authorized the military to use airstrikes to help provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi citizens, many of them religious minorities, who are trapped on the mountain.”

Twelve Years Of CIA Lawlessness?

The Huffington Post wrote on August 6:

“Twelve years. The time has flown by. Seems like just yesterday that the Justice Department sent over its torture memos to then-CIA General Counsel John Rizzo, ramping up a CIA torture program that horribly abused more than a hundred men, killing a few of them. No one at the CIA was ever even charged with a crime. Some agents, in fact, got job promotions…

“The CIA, with the backing or orders of the White House, ran a worldwide network of secret prisons where it tortured men with barbaric techniques… kidnapped people from European streets; and then reportedly lied to Congress, the White House, and the Justice Department about it.

“The lawlessness continued, even after horrified Americans found out what was happening. More legal memos were written to try to keep torturing, even after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) convinced Congress to pass yet another law to stop it. Top CIA officials ordered evidence — videotapes of men being subjected to simulated drowning — destroyed before investigators could view them…

“CIA officials, and all Bush officials, dodged any criminal indictments, were protected from lawsuits by courts that deferred to CIA secrecy and immunity claims, and did whatever they could to get in the way of Senate investigators. The lawlessness remains because the Constitution’s system of checks and balances is broken. The president, Congress, and the courts seem unwilling or unable to hold the CIA accountable.

“Incredibly, more than 200 CIA employees who were involved in the torture program are today still employed at the CIA. The acting general counsel of the CIA until this past March was the very same person who had been one of the CIA’s top torture lawyers a decade ago…

“The lawlessness seems to be coming to a head this year. The CIA’s internal watchdog, its inspector general, just gave a report to the Senate Intelligence Committee that found that the CIA spied on the computers used by the Senate committee to investigate the CIA torture program…

“An uncontrolled — and seemingly uncontrollable — CIA threatens the very foundations of our Constitution… It is long past time for Congress and the president to forever ban the CIA from holding anyone in its custody and running a secret prison. But President Obama must also stand up to the CIA and to John Brennan himself…”

There is little hope that this will happen. A country allowing for and engaging in more and more lawlessness disconnects itself from the Author of all righteous Law—the God of the Bible. 

Why Armored Tanks for Californian City Police Department?

The Daily Mail wrote on August 7:

“A war of words has broken out over police force in California getting a new armored vehicle built more for a state of war than patrolling in the Golden State. The Salinas Police Department recently issued a news release proudly announcing the arrival of the armored truck built to survive minefield explosions, which it got compliments of federal taxpayers as part of a program to convert military equipment to law-enforcement use.

“Critics took to the police department’s Facebook page to ask exactly why a city of 150,000 on the northern California coast really needs a vehicle designed for battlefield use. It’s more likely to be used against its own citizens, they said…

“This country only two months ago saw rangers for the National Park Service – National Park rangers, for God’s sake – turn into a bunch of storm troopers keeping World War II vets out of their own monument, and visitors from ‘recreating’ at Yosemite…”

Eleven Countries At Risk Of Default

USA Today wrote on August 1:

“After years of bitter court battles with creditors, Argentina has defaulted on its debt… the country missed necessary bond payments on July 31, triggering the default announcement…

“Alongside Argentina, Moody’s currently lists [these] 10 other countries… at risk of default:

“Ecuador… Egypt… Pakistan… Venezuela… Argentina… Belize… Cuba… Cyprus… Greece… Jamaica… [and the] Ukraine.”

More countries might soon follow, or they are already in the same category, without being listed in the article. Many fear that another worldwide great depression might not be that far off. Also notice the next article.

The Sanctions Game

The Guardian wrote on August 6:

“Vladimir Putin has banned the import of agricultural goods from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia in a tit-for-tat move that deepens the economic standoff between the Kremlin and the west… The import ban follows a threat of retaliation from Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, in response to the grounding of the budget airline subsidiary of Aeroflot as a result of EU sanctions. Russian officials are reported to be considering banning European airlines from flying to Asia over Siberia.

“Food has also been caught up in political tensions between Russia and the west. In recent days Russian food safety authorities have banned the import of Polish fruit and vegetables, while McDonald’s cheeseburgers and milkshakes are being investigated…

“The import ban will hit all EU countries and the United States, which last week stepped up punitive action against Russia in response to Moscow’s support for eastern separatists in Ukraine, unwavering despite the downing of Malaysian airliner MH17…

“Russia is Europe’s second largest market for food and drink and has been an important consumer of Polish pig meat and Dutch fruit and vegetables. Exports of food and raw materials to Russia were worth €12.2bn (£9.7bn) in 2013, following several years of double-digit growth… Russia banned EU pork at the start of the year as the Ukraine crisis escalated, cutting off 25% of all European pig meat exports in a move that the European Commission said exposed European farmers to significant losses.

“Russia’s state-owned banks have been cut off from Europe’s capital markets, while Russian defence and energy firms will no longer be able to import hi-tech western equipment that could have been used for military purposes, fracking or Arctic oil exploration.”

Ebola Outbreak

Reuters wrote on July 25:

“A Liberian man who died in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos on Friday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said… If confirmed, the man would be the first case on record of one of the world’s deadliest diseases in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and with 170 million people, its most populous country…

“Nigeria has some of the continent’s least adequate healthcare infrastructure, despite access to billions of dollars of oil money as Africa’s biggest producer of crude…”

Deutsche Welle added on August 7:

“Liberians stocked up on food Thursday after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf announced emergency powers lasting 90 days. ‘Operation White Shield’ allows Liberia’s government to contain the epidemic by restricting movement, deploying troops and giving police the power to impose quarantines on badly affected communities.

“Lacking the medical equipment and training to handle the new disease, some 32 health workers have already died of Ebola in Liberia and many sick people have gone untreated after doctors deserted their posts…

“In eastern Sierra Leone – the worst-hit area of that country – police chief Alfred Karrow-Kamara said security forces had been deployed on Wednesday ‘to establish a complete blockade’ of the Kenema and Kailahun districts, setting up 16 checkpoints on major roads. ‘No vehicles or persons are allowed into or out of the districts,’ he added.

“The World Health Organization reports that 932 people of the 1,700 diagnosed so far have died…”

Bloomberg added on August 7:

“As the death toll rises in West Africa amid the worst Ebola outbreak on record, a separate threat is compounding the problem: the rainy season and the malaria that comes with it. In Sierra Leone, with the most Ebola cases in the epidemic, a fearful population is failing to seek medical attention for any diseases, health officials say. If they have malaria, the feeling is they don’t want to go near a hospital with Ebola cases. If it’s Ebola, they don’t believe the hospitals can help them anyway, instead turning to traditional healers.

“It’s a widening challenge complicated by the fact that Ebola, malaria and cholera share common symptoms early on, including fever and vomiting, which can cause confusion among patients…”

Europe’s Unique Success In Spacecraft Maneuvering… But At What Price?

BBC News wrote on August 6:

“Europe’s Rosetta probe has arrived at a comet after a 10-year chase. In a first for space history, the spacecraft was maneuvered alongside a speeding body to begin mapping its surface in detail… ‘We’re at the comet!’ said Sylvain Lodiot of the European Space Agency (Esa) operations centre in Germany… Getting a spacecraft to match the speed of a comet and effectively ride alongside it is a landmark in space exploration… The comet is travelling at 55,000km per hour (34,175 mph). The spacecraft’s speed has been adjusted so that in relative terms it will be flying beside the comet at a slow walking pace of 1m/sec (2.2mph, 3.6kph)…

“Total cost of the mission is said to be 1.3bn euros.

“… in November… mission controllers will attempt to put the Philae lander on the surface. The lander will use harpoons to anchor itself and will carry out a series of experiments, including drilling into the material that makes up the comet.

“The mission aims to add to knowledge of comets and their role in ferrying the building blocks of life around the early Solar System.”

We will be spending 1.3bn euros for this “mission” to ultimately “prove” the creation of life without a Creator. Also, a top NASA representative announced recently on American television that the only (!)  reason for the existence of NASA and its costly endeavors is to find alien life somewhere out there. What an incredible waste of money and resources.

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