Current Events

U.S. Political Campaigns — What a Waste of Money!!!

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 9:

“The American presidential candidates are so busy drumming up campaign contributions and grabbing at opportunities to fly around on corporate jets that they have little time left for the people. Fundraising costs run into the millions…

“The road to the White House leads through the living rooms of Hollywood executives, Wall Street financiers, defense industry lobbyists, oil magnates and corporate strategists of every stripe and color. Indeed, groveling is practically a prerequisite for hitting the big time: the country’s highest office.

“In this early phase of the election campaign the candidates and their helpers are constantly busy organizing barbeques, fireside chats and candlelight dinners to collect both the money and the political wish lists of the wealthy. These major donors, known as ‘fat cats’ in the jargon of campaign managers, hold so much clout that they can sometimes make or break a candidate’s political career…

“Political fundraising is now the dominant campaign issue for the public. Who is raising the most money? Who is ahead of whom? What are the candidates’ fundraising strategies? It’s almost as if the Americans were gearing up to elect the chairman of a nonprofit organization, not a new president…

“Despite extensive legal documentation requirements, the identities of major campaign donors remain largely unknown… The history of campaign finance in the United States is one of endless scandals… So why is it that such a wealthy country seems incapable of introducing a clean, public campaign finance system untainted by the odor of corruption?”

Everyone should be able to see that such tactics are not pleasing to God. And so, this entire political system WILL be changed when Christ returns. No more collecting and spending millions of dollars for political “campaigns”–no more double talks, ignoring or even twisting the facts, suppressing the truth. GOD will APPOINT those who are CAPABLE of running a country. What a DIFFERENCE that will make!!!

Please make sure to read the Q&A in this Update, addressing the need for Christians to “come out of this world.”

U.S. Politics vs. the Truth

AFP reported on October 10 about a striking example of how “politics” is employed to suppress the truth:

“A bid by US lawmakers to label the Ottoman massacre of Armenians a ‘genocide’ will trigger Turkish reprisals and undermine Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East peace, the administration warned Wednesday. President George W. Bush and his top lieutenants were unusually blunt in attacking what is a non-binding resolution in the House of Representatives, highlighting anxiety over the impact on a key diplomatic and military alliance. Bush said the resolution would do ‘great harm’ to ties with Turkey, a Muslim-majority member of NATO whose territory is a crucial transit point for US supplies bound for Iraq and Afghanistan.”

The article continued to describe “political” reactions to a long overdue condemnation:

“Rice said she sympathized with Armenians’ fate during World War I, when according to the Armenians, 1.5 million of their kinsmen died in systematic deportations and killings under the Ottoman Empire. ‘But the passage of this resolution at this time would, indeed, be very problematic for everything that we’re trying to do in the Middle East because we are very dependent on a good Turkish strategic ally for this,’ she said… Turkey has already warned that passage of the House resolution could force it to bar the United States from a key military base in its south.”

Non-Binding Resolution on Genocide Passed

In spite of such political pressure, as described in the previous section, the non-binding resolution was passed by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday by a 27-21 vote. It will now go to the full House for a possible vote. The Bush Administration stated that they regretted the passing of the resolution. Turkey’s reaction was predictable, by adding even more propaganda to suppress well-established facts.

The Associated Press reported on October 11:

“Turkey swiftly condemned a House panel’s approval of a bill describing the World War I-era mass killings of Armenians as genocide, and newspapers blasted the measure on their front pages Thursday… ‘It is not possible to accept such an accusation of a crime which was never committed by the Turkish nation,’ the statement [of the Turkish government] said. Turkish newspapers also denounced the decision… The U.S. Embassy urged Americans in Turkey to be alert for violent repercussions…

“Historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey, however, denies the deaths constituted genocide, saying that the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest… After France voted last year to make it a crime to deny the killings were genocide, the Turkish government ended its military ties with that country.”

AFP added on October 10:

“According to the Armenians, 1.5 million of their kinsmen were killed from 1915 to 1923 under an Ottoman Empire campaign of deportation and murder that later encouraged Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s Holocaust against the Jews.

“… the resolution’s backers warned the issue could not be ignored as they drew parallels to the Holocaust and the present-day bloodshed in the Sudanese region of Darfur.’ We’ve been told the timing is bad,’ Democratic House member Gary Ackerman said in an emotional hearing that lasted nearly four hours. ‘But the timing was bad for the Armenian people in 1915.’ Republican Representative Christopher Smith said the resolution was not a slight on modern Turkey, adding: ‘Friends don’t let friends commit crimes against humanity.'”

The New York Times wrote on October 11:

“Backers of the resolution said Congressional action was overdue. ‘Despite President George Bush twisting arms and making deals, justice prevailed,’ said Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat of California and a sponsor of the resolution. ‘For if we hope to stop future genocides we need to admit to those horrific acts of the past.’

“The issue of the Armenian genocide, beginning in 1915, has perennially transfixed Congress and bedeviled presidents of both parties. Ronald Reagan was the only president publicly to call the killings genocide, but his successors have avoided the term.

“When the issue last arose, in 2000, a similar resolution also won approval by a House committee, but President Clinton then succeeded in persuading a Republican speaker, J. Dennis Hastert, to withdraw the measure before the full House could vote. That time, too, Turkey had warned of canceling arms deals and withdrawing support for American air forces then patrolling northern Iraq under the auspices of the United Nations…

“Representative Mike Pence, a conservative Republican from Indiana who has backed the resolution in the past, said Mr. Bush persuaded him to change his position and vote no. He described the decision as gut-wrenching, underscoring the emotions stirred in American politics by a 92-year-old question. ‘While this is still the right position,’ Mr. Pence said, referring to the use of the term genocide, ‘it is not the right time.'”

Is there ever a “right time” to suppress the truth???

Putin’s High-Risk Gamble

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 2:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin dropped a bombshell on Monday when he announced that he was running in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The move will effectively allow him to hold onto power even after he gives up the presidency next spring. Putin had vowed that he would abide by the constitution which forbids a third consecutive term in that office, but it had been clear that the 54-year-old was not ready to shuffle off quietly into the sunset of retirement just yet… Analysts are already predicting that Putin will now place one of his followers in the Kremlin who would then answer to him. This could well be the newly appointed Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, who has no power base of his own and who as president could be expected to fall in with whatever plans Putin has for the power structures in Russia.

“Commentators in Germany are critical of Putin’s bid to cling on to power and voice concern that instead of bringing stability to Russia these moves could end up achieving the opposite.

“The Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘This plan is in stark contrast to the hierarchy of powers envisaged by the Russian constitution… As prime minister Putin would presumably dismantle the architecture of the constitution… The deal that Putin seems to be striking with his closest followers is also highly risky for him. He is basing it on the assumption that all of those involved will stick to the agreement and that the presidential puppet, who will be chosen as Putin’s successor, will not suddenly decide that he would like to be number one himself. If the puppet comes to life, then the situation in Moscow might not just become unstable, it could become dangerous.’

“The conservative Die Welt writes: ‘A society that is forced together by authoritarian centralism will inevitably develop countervailing forces again. Putin’s stability is only borrowed and, therefore, won’t last long.’…

“The business daily Handelsblatt writes: ‘… This has little to do with true democracy… Does Putin really have everything under control? There are some doubts… Putin is setting up his experiment like a laboratory technician. But he cannot always control the results.'”

And More Rumors of Wars…

Reuters reported on October 3:

“Russia’s military space commander vowed to retaliate with an arms race if any country started putting weapon systems into orbit, he said in remarks published on Wednesday… ‘if any country will place a weapon in space, then our response will be the same,’ [he said]… Tensions between Russia and Washington have deepened over U.S. plans to rekindle the stalled ‘Star Wars’ program from the 1980s with a new generation of missile defense shields.”

Russian Politics vs. the Truth

AFP reported on October 10 that “Russia has no evidence that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday after talks in Moscow with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy. ‘We do not have information that Iran is trying to create a nuclear weapon. We operate on the principle that Iran does not have those plans,’ Putin said.”

The Russian denial of Iran’s intentions is, of course, not mere naivety, but motivated and driven by strong Russian economic interests in Iran.

Germany’s Dark Past

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 1:

“Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office [Bundeskriminalamt or BKA], the equivalent of the FBI in the US, has invited historians to research its origins after World War II when many of its leading members were recruited straight from the ranks of Hitler’s police and security apparatus… It’s already known that when the BKA was formed in 1951, almost all its 50 top officers had a Nazi past — in SS units active in German-occupied territories, in the Gestapo, in the secret military police or the Third Reich’s criminal police force (RKPA).

“For example, the man in charge of manhunts at the RKPA, Kurt Amend, took up the same position at the BKA. Historian and former BKA officer Dieter Schenk said Amend sealed the fate of ‘hundreds of thousands who were put in a concentration camp or brought before a special tribunal as a result of his intelligent policing methods.’ Amend’s Nazi past was never investigated.

“Another example is Bernhard Niggemeyer, a senior officer in the BKA, who had the rank of Sturmbannführer or Storm Unit Leader in the SS and was in charge of several military police units responsible for thousands of executions during the war. In some cases former Nazi investigators remained in the ranks of the BKA well into the 1960s.”

Some striking parallels exist between the political conditions in Germany in the aftermath of World War II and Afghanistan and Iraq following the invasion of the Allies–these similarities should not be overlooked…

German Politics vs. the Truth

Der Spiegel Online reported on October 10:

“Germany’s parliament votes this Friday on whether to extend Berlin’s participation in the military mission in Afghanistan. The country is on the brink of disaster, but German politicians have chosen to ignore Afghanistan’s real problems.”

The article continued:

“Welcome to Afghanistan in the sixth year following the Western intervention. Welcome to a country that ranks, sadly, in eighth place in the 2007 edition of the ‘Failed States Index’ compiled by the US magazine Foreign Policy — just behind Sudan, Iraq, Somalia and Zimbabwe…

“A troop withdrawal would be a ‘serious defeat for international law and the international community,’ warns Peter Struck, the floor leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD), while German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that her country’s commitment to the operation in Afghanistan is ‘the only way to demonstrate that we fight terrorists, and that we do so with great resolve.’…

“This Friday, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, will vote on whether to extend two of the three German military mandates in Afghanistan, currently the Bundeswehr’s most dangerous mission. Twenty-one German soldiers have already lost their lives in Afghanistan, and last Friday three Germans were lucky to escape from a suicide attack with only minor injuries. The Bundestag will decide the fate of up to 3,500 soldiers and six Tornado reconnaissance aircraft operating in Afghanistan under the auspices of NATO’s ISAF force. Parliament’s approval of the mission is considered a done deal, with a broad majority in both the ruling grand coalition and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) likely to vote in favor of keeping the troops in Afghanistan…

“Relatively few members of parliament have traveled to Afghanistan in recent months to get a first-hand impression of the situation in the war-torn country, despite the fact that members of the German Bundestag are normally known for their love of travel. Apparently only very few of Germany’s elected representatives feel that Afghanistan is worth a visit… The news that reaches Berlin from Afghanistan these days is simply too horrific. Members of parliament who have visited the country describe a place on the verge of collapse. Instead of declining, the problems of poverty, corruption, violence and sheer hopelessness are on the rise. Government institutions are virtually nonexistent in many parts of the country, the police are corrupt and overworked and the military isn’t in much better shape. The effects of Western development aid go largely unnoticed by much of the population…

“There is an odd disparity between the reality in Afghanistan and the political debate in Germany. Seemingly oblivious to the information coming from the country, both the Bundestag and the political parties become embroiled in heated debates over technical details that are in fact irrelevant in Afghanistan… The important questions in the Afghanistan debate are also being ignored…

“The Germans are eager to distance themselves from the United States in public debates, insisting that, unlike the Americans, the Germans are mainly involved in civilian reconstruction assistance. But this is precisely where Germany has failed miserably…”

In spite of denials to the contrary, the invasion of the Allies in Afghanistan was as much a failure as the occupation of Iraq. This is not surprising for those who understand the Bible, as God clearly teaches us that man’s wars do NOT bring permanent and lasting positive results. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Should YOU Fight in WAR?”

New Treaty for Europe?

On October 2, BBC News reported:

“Legal experts from the 27 countries of the European Union have agreed on a draft reform treaty. The treaty is set to replace the defunct European constitution rejected by French and Dutch voters. Portugal, which holds the EU presidency until the end of the year, hopes to get agreement on the treaty at an EU summit in Lisbon later this month. Possible domestic opposition to the treaty in Poland and Britain mean they may present the biggest hurdles. The treaty aims to streamline the workings of the EU bloc, which has almost doubled its membership in the last few years.”

The Paralyzed UN — “The Whole Week Was a Mess”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 1 about the meeting of the UN General Assembly as a “meeting of clueless leaders.” The article stated:

“A description of the week’s events might sound something like this: they met, they ate good food. There were some brilliant speeches, but no resolutions were passed. Or, in the words of one German: ‘It was all about money and who could manage to get what. It was all about massaging each other’s egos.’ Swedish-born Mats Karlsson, vice-president of external and UN affairs at the World Bank, put it a little more diplomatically: ‘I am worried about the calibre of our global leadership.’…

“Ambassadors and foreign ministers — at least, those who were brave enough to abandon the cliches surrounding the whole event — said there is something wrong, seriously wrong, with the UN. ‘Our entire system of international policy is falling apart,’ said one participant, a veteran at the UN… There’s just no other way of saying it: The whole week was a mess.”

The UN will NOT play a dominant role in the future. Rather, Europe is destined to fulfill this responsibility–but devastating consequences will be the result. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.

The Building of the Holy Temple reported on October 7:

“On Wednesday, the last day of the Sukkot [Feast of Tabernacles] festival, a 34-person delegation from West Papua presented a large amount of gold to be used in the building of the Holy Temple. The delegation, including representatives of the nation’s government, explained that they study the Bible regularly and recently came upon a verse in Zecharia (6:16) [the intended reference is Zechariah 6:15] reading ‘And the distant ones will come and build the Temple of G-d.’ They discussed the passage among themselves and decided that their faith obligates them to fulfill the verse. West Papua, located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is rich in gold mines, so the delegation thought it natural to donate gold for the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple will be built in the place where the First and Second Temples once stood – on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount…

“The Temple Institute was established twenty years ago, and deals with research and education about the Holy Temple. The institute has published dozens of books and has prepared more than 70 of the gold, silver and copper vessels needed for Temple service. Just two weeks ago, the institute completed a large ‘King David’s Lyre.’ Its craftsmen are working now on the golden headpiece worn by the high priest. Some of the vessels prepared by the institute for use in the Temple include the golden menorah (candelabra), the show-bread table, the golden altar, Levite musical instruments and priestly clothes. The vessels are on display at the institute’s headquarters on the Old City’s Misgav Ladach street.”

The Bible strongly indicates that a Temple will be built in Jerusalem, prior to the return of Jesus Christ. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

“Human Life Begins With Conception”

Reuters reported on October 11:

“Pope Benedict appealed to scientists on Thursday to stop using human embryos in stem cell research… The Vatican supports stem cell research so long as it does not harm embryos, which the Catholic Church argues are humans from the moment of conception.

“‘The destruction of human embryos, whether to acquire stem cells or for any other purpose, contradicts the purported intent of researchers, legislators and public health officials to promote human welfare,’ the Pontiff wrote in a letter to South Korea’s new ambassador to the Holy See. The Church supports research on adult cells and promising alternatives to embryonic research, such as the use of amniotic fluid protecting fetuses in the uterus.

“The Pope said such research methods ‘harmonize with the aforementioned intent (to promote human welfare) by respecting the life of the human being at every stage of his or her existence.’ South Korea announced plans earlier this year to remove some of the blocks to human embryonic stem cell research in place since a 2006 scandal involving forged data in stem cell studies.”

The Dangers of Tattoos and Piercing

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 1:

“Self-enhancement — or self-mutilation — can be a hazardous pursuit. Those opting for tattoos and piercing can end up with allergic reactions or nasty infections, including hepatitis, while cosmetic surgery is also fraught with danger. The next stop can often be the doctor’s surgery or even the emergency room. And in Germany, where it is compulsory to have health insurance, it is the insurance companies that end up footing the bill for these damage-limitation exercises.”

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