State of the Union
STATE OF THE UNION
On the heels of political attention directed to the Iowa caucus; both the US press along with media worldwide turned their focus on President George Bush’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night of this past week.
Beyond the political banter and positioning for President Bush’s upcoming campaign season for another term as president, there was a very somber warning. From the text of the speech delivered by Mr. Bush, we quote these words: “Our greatest responsibility is the active defense of the American people. Twenty-eight months have passed since Sept. 11, 2001–over two years without an attack on American soil–and it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable, comforting–and FALSE. The killing has continued in Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, Mombassa, Jerusalem, Istanbul and Baghdad. The terrorists continue to plot against America and the civilized world (State of the Union Address, 2004, By President George Bush–emphasis added).
The goal of terrorists remains the United States proper. Unimaginable destruction that would make even the disaster of 9/11 pale is within the realm of possibility. In a review of articles from the February 2004 issue of “Whistleblower Magazine”, one article notes an amazing quotation of the US vice-president: “Vice President Dick Cheney’s chilling assessment that nuclear terror is ‘the major threat’ facing America: Calling a WMD attack on the U.S. ‘one of the most important problems we face today,’ Cheney added: ‘To contemplate the possibility of them unleashing that kind of capability–of that kind of weapon, if you will, in the midst of one of our cities–that’s a scary proposition’ ” (www.shopnetdaily.com 1/21/2004).
Scary, indeed! Traditional explosives coupled with nuclear waste materials could render population centers uninhabitable. Biological agents leading to widespread illness and death are considered as probable future occurrences–in fact, some experts believe terrorism of this sort has already taken place in recent months with the widespread and sudden introduction of diseases such as the West Nile Virus.
Already, the financial might of the United States has been rocked by terrorist acts. Without large government infusions of money for the airlines, air travel in North America could have collapsed. The American way of life has been inalterably changed based on the element of constant fear. As President Bush stated following the attacks of 9/11, the U.S. is no longer protected by our surrounding oceans.
Beyond these frightening events in the news, we need to be reminded of the stern warnings which God issued for His people Israel and their descendants in both Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. Of particular note is verse 17 of Leviticus 26: ” ‘I will set My face against you, and YOU SHALL BE DEFEATED BY YOUR ENEMIES. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you.’ ” Verse 37 adds: ” ‘…you shall have no power to stand before your enemies.’ “
“CLOSING THE GAP…”
In evaluating the strong Euro and the falling dollar, a report from a national radio program stated that Europe was “closing the gap” in which the U.S. has been the dominant economic power in the world while nations such as France and Germany along with other European nations trailed behind.
In fact, as we have been continually reporting in this weekly “Update,” Europe is emerging on far more fronts than just economic. Political movements are creating allies among the nations of central Europe that are destined to catapult them into a dominant world role. There is now more than just a stirring of religious fervor as Pope John Paul II exerts dramatic papal influence in European as well as world events.
The pope has waged an ongoing diplomatic campaign against the U.S.-led war with Iraq. He has been particularly outspoken in his opposition to any kind of “pre-emptive” use of power such as the kind of actions in its war against terror that the U.S., under President Bush, has adopted.
AGI Online reports that, “…next Friday the pope will receive American vice president Dick Cheney at the Vatican, while tomorrow (Friday, January 23, 2004) the Spanish prime minister Aznar will meet with the [pope]” (www.agi.it).
Events such as these reflect the changing dynamics of international influence as new power-blocks are emerging. Biblical prophecy speaks of a coming national punishment called “…the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). Furthermore, the Bible also reveals that Britain and the United States will bear the brunt of this punishment because of their great national sins, and because these nations are the modern descendants of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Our booklets deal more specifically with prophetic events for these times in which we live. You are also welcome to contact us directly with any questions.
The fires are never quenched in the nation of Israel. The slightest provocations make headlines around the world. This week was no different.
“Israeli planes attacked Hezbollah targets in south Lebanon on Tuesday, threatening an escalation of clashes along a border that has been relatively calm for nearly four years” (AP News 1/21/2004). This in turn has led to broader accusations and threatening pronouncements between Syrian and Israeli officials. Events such as this reveal the tinder-box status of life in the Middle East.
Compounding the situation is a possible indictment against Prime Minister Sharon. “An Israeli court charged a real-estate developer Wednesday with paying more than a half-million dollars in bribes to Ariel Sharon–a case that could force the prime minister to step aside” (www.comcast.net 1/21/2004).
The article continues: “Sharon is also being investigated for alleged involvement in illegal campaign financing. If Sharon is charged, he would be forced to suspend himself from office while the case is pending. But the prime minister could also face pressure from the public and his own party to step down before that.”
The potential for changes in national leadership exist around the globe. The U.S. has a presidential election in which the re-election of George Bush is certainly a question mark. Although very active in spite of serious health problems, Pope John Paul II is considered extremely fragile. Prime Minister Tony Blair has taken heavy political body blows because of his support for the U.S.-led Iraqi war. Leadership across Europe is now being second-guessed following the failure of finalizing a European constitution. Add to this the explosive emergence of China’s economic might, and we see a world that is destined to undergo many dramatic changes in the coming months.