Current Events

The Afghan Debacle–“We’re Waiting, Mr. President…”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 29 that President Obama “Must Provide Better Leadership on Afghanistan.”

The article continued:

“Afghanistan and Pakistan are being shaken by attacks, and the Taliban is dictating the course of the war. US President Obama has been silent about the situation for far too long and European countries like Germany and France are correct to demand better American leadership on the issue of Afghanistan. The most important piece of news from the most recent meeting of NATO defense ministers was that there was no news…

“The mission in Afghanistan is seen as a toxic issue in all Western nations, and every government that has provided troops has come under sharp criticism at home. What the US’s NATO allies now find far more irritating is US President Barack Obama’s silence on the issue. The world has been waiting for clear words from the White House for months…

“Wednesday’s attacks underscore that things have been progressing in the opposite direction for some time. The Taliban is in control of the military initiative, and it is increasingly dictating the course of the war. Whether Obama can even regain the political initiative in the Hindu Kush is now questionable…

“‘I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy,’ US Marine Corps Captain Matthew Hoh wrote recently. As part of Holbrooke’s team, Hoh was responsible for coordinating civilian reconstruction in the dangerous Zabul Province, but he recently resigned.

“His resignation, he said, had less to do with the way the war is currently being fought. Instead, he said, he simply no longer knows ‘why and to what end’ the war is being fought in Afghanistan… It’s alarming news when even former Marines like Hoh, men with combat experience in Iraq, can no longer believe in their mission because politicians cannot answer their questions…

“So far Obama has only made it clear that he doesn’t intend to withdraw any troops and that he hasn’t decided yet whether to add more soldiers. But this smells more like a lazy compromise than a clear statement of intent…

“Obama’s silence stands in contrast with the impassioned rhetoric that carried him into the White House… why should countries like Germany and France believe the verbose promises of a president who is not even sending a clear message at home, even though he has a majority in both houses of Congress?

“There is no doubt that hardly a day passes in Europe without criticism of US policy. This has become a trans-Atlantic ritual. But despite this ritual, Europeans are still looking for one thing from the White House: leadership.

“We’re waiting, Mr. President.”

Apart from the fact that the world is losing more and more patience WAITING for U.S. LEADERSHIP, the USA is becoming more and more unable to PROVIDE such leadership. 

According to Wikipedia and the Associated Press, the U.S. War in Afghanistan has been going on, so far, for 8.1 years. This means that it is already the second-longest war in the history of the USA. Only the Vietnam war was (slightly) longer, so far, lasting 8.4 years. The American Revolutionary War lasted 6.7 years, followed by the Iraq war which has been lasting (so far) for 6.6 years. By comparison, the American Civil War lasted for 4 years, America’s participation in World War II lasted for 3.7 years, and the Korean War lasted for 3.1 years.

The big difference is, too, that America has won its wars in the past, but has been unable to win any war since World War II, including the Vietnam war, the war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. We can see that America is no longer blessed in ANY of its endeavors, domestically or abroad.

Rather, America is in domestic turmoil–as our articles below on the economy prove–and it is in no position to achieve success abroad. For the reasons as to why this is, please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.”

The Afghan Debacle–USA To Be Blamed

On November 2, Der Spiegel Online quoted numerous German magazines and newspapers, opinionating that the USA or NATO are responsible for the terrible situation and “fiasco” in Afghanistan. The magazine wrote:

“The Afghan election fell apart on Sunday after Abdullah Abdullah pulled out of the run-off poll, leaving President Hamid Karzai as the sole candidate. Now the election commission has cancelled the vote and declared Karzai the winner. German newspapers on Monday question whether the government in Kabul can still have any credibility…

“The first round of the election on August 20 turned into a debacle after it became obvious that there had been widespread election fraud… [The] Election Complaints Commission found that around one-third of the votes cast were invalid. Massive international pressure forced Karzai to accept a run-off poll against his nearest challenger, Abdullah, scheduled for Nov. 7.

“However, Abdullah said on Sunday that he would not go ahead with the run-off vote because key election officials had not been removed from their posts. He said he believed that the poll would be neither free nor fair. The international community’s role in the elections has also come in for tough criticism…

“The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: ‘President Karzai did not enjoy a great reputation before the election and now he has lost even more authority. His country is politically crippled…’

“The Financial Times Deutschland writes: ‘The US and NATO are responsible for the fiasco that is the presidential election. They have never made a secret of the fact that they considered Afghan President Hamid Karzai to be a scoundrel, but he was their scoundrel — one who was supposed to help with building the much-trumpeted civil society. But instead of holding on tightly to the strings of their puppet, the international overseers allowed Karzai to blatantly falsify the elections and was about to do the same for the planned run-off on Saturday…

“‘The consequence is dramatic: Instead of the coveted democratically legitimate government, Afghanistan is getting a government that has already lost all credibility before taking office. It makes little difference that Karzai would in all likelihood have won the run-off election. For the US and its allies the establishment of a functioning state with a government accepted by the population was at the top of their list of strategic goals in Afghanistan. Without such a government it is almost impossible to convince the Afghan people that they are better off under the care of the Kabul government than of the tribal leaders and warlords…’

“The conservative Die Welt writes: ‘”Mission Afghanistan” is increasingly losing credibility. The thought of having to rely on a government that is discredited by election fraud for the reconstruction and pacification of the country over the next five years is depressing.'”

America is being blamed–rightly or wrongly–for the Afghan fiasco. The times when America is looked upon as a true leader in this world have passed. The next article shows that America is accused of failing to provide a leadership role in the Middle East.

Mr. Obama’s Difficult Role re Afghanistan

Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 3:

“The Afghan president is becoming an especially serious problem for the US. After the fiasco in the Afghan election… and Abdullah’s withdrawal, how is President Barack Obama supposed to explain to his people that he now wants to send more troops to Afghanistan to support precisely this government? ‘It won’t be easy,’ the New York Times comments dryly in its own analysis.

“The mood of the US public is becoming more and more critical for Obama. Washington has already spent close to a quarter-trillion dollars in Afghanistan. Nevertheless, all the news coming out of the crisis region these days seems to be bad. In October, more US soldiers died in the Hindu Kush than in any previous month — an alarming signal for the home front…

“Obama is caught in a trap that he is going to have great difficulty freeing himself from. In the coming weeks, he is expected to present his new plan for Afghanistan. Once again people are expecting to see the light at the end of the tunnel: the withdrawal of US troops. Before that can happen, though, the country must be stabilized. That’s why Obama wants to send several thousand additional soldiers to Afghanistan. But the current chaos surrounding the election farce will merely serve to strengthen skeptics…

“The United States isn’t the only country left perplexed by the election. In Germany, the mandate for the deployment of the Bundeswehr, the country’s armed forces, in Afghanistan must be renewed by parliament in December. Members of parliament are viewing the latest developments with concern…

“Disastrous as the situation already is, Karzai will soon deliver the icing on the cake. At the very latest, this will happen when the new president presents the names of the members of his new cabinet — names which are unlikely to please the West. In order to secure a majority, Karzai has recruited several brutal warlords to his team, including the notorious Mohammed Fahim. From a Western point of view, Fahim should be answering to the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague. In Kabul, though, he’s poised to become vice president.”

Mrs. Clinton Tries to Back-Pedal from Back-Pedaling…

The Guardian wrote on November 2:

“Amid mounting concern that Barack Obama’s much-heralded engagement with the Middle East peace process is going nowhere fast, Arab leaders expressed their fury at Clinton’s endorsement of Israel’s argument that it is not required to halt settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as the administration had previously demanded…

“Speaking in Marrakech she qualified her remarks to say that Netanyahu’s offer of ‘restraint’ on settlements fell short of US expectations but would still have a ‘significant and meaningful effect’ on limiting the growth of Jewish outposts on land the Palestinians want for their own state. But she clearly faced an uphill struggle in convincing Arab states that Washington has not changed tack in favour of Israel.

“Earlier today Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, said: ‘I am telling you that all of us, including Saudi Arabia, including Egypt, are deeply disappointed … with the results, with the fact that Israel can get away with anything without any firm stand that this cannot be done’…

“There were harsher comments from Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas: ‘The negotiations are in a state of paralysis, and the result of Israel’s intransigence and America’s backpedalling is that there is no hope of negotiations on the horizon’…

“Israelis on the left joined in criticism of Clinton’s remarks. ‘The secretary of state, I assume with the full support of the president, has turned around after 10 months of negotiating the precondition of freezing settlements,’ said Akiva Eldar in the Haaretz newspaper.”

The USA is perceived as being unable to help in creating peace in the Middle East. The Bible shows that it will be a united Europe to take over the role of “peace-keeper”–but they won’t do so with peaceful means. Europe will create a confederation with Middle Eastern states against Israel. Israel will find itself totally isolated–the false idea that Europe will make a peace treaty with Israel can nowhere be found in Scripture.

The Lisbon Treaty Ratified

Deutsche Welle reported on November 3:

“The head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has welcomed the signing by the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.  He said it removed ‘the last hurdle.’ Klaus announced that he had signed the Lisbon Treaty just a few hours after a ruling by the Czech constitutional court on Tuesday that the treaty did not break Czech law. He criticized the court’s decision, saying that ‘the constitutional court’s ruling is not a neutral legal analysis but a biased political defense of the Lisbon Treaty on the part of its supporters.’ But he said he had expected the verdict and would respect it.

“The treaty allows the EU to speed up decision making, increase the power of the European Parliament and appoint a longer-term president and a more powerful foreign representative. The Swedish prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said he would call a summit shortly and begin ‘name consultations’ over the two new posts. ‘The treaty enters into force on 1 December and all the details must now be put into place,’ he said.

“The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has also welcomed the development; she noted during a speech to the US Congress in Washington that, with the new treaty, the EU ‘will become stronger and more capable of acting, and so a strong and reliable partner for the United States.'”

However, the relationship between an increasingly stronger EU and an increasingly weaker USA will not remain friendly. Certain signs can already be seen when considering the next two articles.

GM and Opel Debacle

The Wall Street Journal wrote on November 4:

“The timing is what diplomats might call unfortunate. The German chancellor was in Washington yesterday for talks with President Obama, and to deliver an historic address to the U.S. Congress. In her speech she thanked America, saying its support had been invaluable in ensuring German reunification. Yes, she said, America and Europe have ‘had their share of disagreements’. But… ‘I am convinced that we will not find a better partner than America.’

“Within hours, with Merkel heading back across the Atlantic, General Motors sensationally switched course and announced that it would not, after all, be selling Opel, its huge German subsidiary. The German government had made much of backing a deal for it to to be bought by Magna – thus protecting jobs. This throws all that up in the air, and is extremely problematic politically for Merkel.

“Couldn’t G.M. have chosen a better time for their decision and its announcement? That is just one of the many questions one imagines the chancellor will be insisting her officials ask their counterparts in Washington.”

Reuters added on November 4:

“Bitterness, anger and disbelief mixed with betrayal and even resignation are just some of the emotions boiling within Germany following Tuesday’s news that General Motors Co. will scrap its sale of Opel to Magna International Inc.

“Opel labor leader Klaus Franz said workers would not go along with GM’s ‘blackmail’ of European governments and staff… Other workers directed venom at GM’s American board for reversing course on plans to sell Opel, a decision that many fear will lead to thousands more job losses and plant closures than if Magna [had] taken control. Half of Opel’s 50,000 workers are based in Germany.

“‘I can only say that in GM’s executive offices in America sit the biggest liars that the world has ever seen,’ one Opel worker raged in a German radio interview…

“Chancellor Angela Merkel and key allies in her conservative party lobbied heavily in Magna’s favor ahead of the parliamentary elections on Sept. 27, thinly veiling a threat that no German aid would flow should any other decision be taken.”

Der Spiegel Online reported on November 5:

“The decision by General Motors to hold onto its German subsidiary Opel has unleashed a wave of shock and despair on this side of the Atlantic, with politicians railing against American corporate duplicity and unions striking…”

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote on November 5:

“‘Without the billions of dollars in aid that the Obama administration gave to GM, the company would not exist. And the GM board members who decided not to sell Opel this week were almost all appointed by President Obama. But apparently the American leader knew nothing of this decision by GM when he was hosting Angela Merkel only a few hours earlier. Perhaps at that time the US president really didn’t know anything — which doesn’t say much for him. Perhaps he did know something was up but he chose not to tell the German chancellor about it — that also doesn’t say much for him and his administration.'”

Britain Concerned

The Telegraph wrote on November 3:

“So the deed is done. Eight years after EU leaders attending a summit in the Belgian town of Laeken agreed to the idea of drawing up a European constitution, the final obstacle to its implementation was removed at about 3pm yesterday when President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic signed on the dotted line. Of course, it is no longer called a constitution. Those original, grandiose plans were scuppered by the voters of France and the Netherlands. Instead, we were invited to believe that the treaty signed in Lisbon in 2007 was somehow a different beast altogether (thereby obviating the need for a referendum) when it was, in fact, identical in all significant respects.

“There were lingering hopes among those dismayed by the profoundly undemocratic way in which the treaty has been foisted upon the people of Europe that Mr Klaus would hold out, somehow, until after a Conservative government was elected in Britain, committed to a referendum that could yet stop ratification. But it was not to be. He waited just a few hours after the Czech courts ruled that his agreement would not be unconstitutional to add his signature to those of 26 other heads of government. The Treaty of Lisbon now becomes PART of the Treaty of ROME and its provisions embedded in EU law.”

EU Infighting on the Horizon?

The EUObserver wrote on November 3:

“Leaders of the countries next in line to take on the day-to-day running of the European Union have made it clear that they do not wish to be sidelined by any future EU president. Gathered in Brussels last week to present a common logo for 18 months of co-operation beginning in January, the prime ministers of Spain, Belgium and Hungary were keen to emphasize the importance of ‘institutional balance’ – an oblique way of saying they do not wish to get elbowed out of the political picture by a powerful new president of the European Council, a post created by the… ratified Lisbon Treaty…

“[Focus] has turned to the uncertainties contained in the document [of the Lisbon Treaty]. One of these includes how the six-month rotating presidencies and the national leaders of the moment will rub along with the permanent president. While the president, who can hold office for up to five years, is supposed to drive forward the political agenda of the EU through the regular meetings of EU leaders, the rotating presidency will manage the daily policy-making including chairing monthly ministerial meetings in all areas, bar foreign policy. The set-up, with its undefined hierarchy, could lead to damaging turf wars.

“The problem of the proliferation of chiefs with potentially overlapping job descriptions under the Lisbon Treaty – it also introduces a beefed up foreign policy post – has practical implications too, such as who will take part in EU summits with third countries…

“Who will be the first president of the European Council is still unclear, with member states unsure about whether they want a powerful global figure, or someone with a more administrative job description. The EU parliament will discuss the role of the new president on 11 November, while the appointment itself is expected to be decided at an extraordinary summit later this month. The type of person who gets the job is set to strongly influence how the EU will make a go of the new Lisbon Treaty system…”

The Bible says that the leading member states of a unified Europe will be partly strong and partly weak.

Searching for the EU President

The Telegraph wrote on October 30:

“… speaking to journalists late last night at the summit, Jean-David Levitte, Mr Sarkozy’s foreign policy adviser, said that it was unlikely that France would support a presidential candidate from the UK. Britain’s position outside the euro and the Schengen agreement on free travel meant that a British president would face difficulties, Mr Levitte said. So would the UK’s various opt-outs from some EU policies, including justice and home affairs…

“Mr Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, discussed the presidency at dinner on Wednesday, where they are said to have agreed that the president should come from a right-of-centre political party which would rule out Mr Blair.”

It will be interesting to see who the first EU President will be. But before the last European military leader, called the “beast” in the book of Revelation, will emerge, we need to await  the development of a core Europe of ten nations or groups of nations, within a united Europe, which will then give their power and authority to the “beast.”

United Europe Has Come a Long Way…

The Wall Street Journal wrote on November 2:

“In 1989, the EU had just 12 members. Now its has 27, stretching from the sun-drenched shores of the Algarve to the Polish border with Belarus… The EU’s powers have also mushroomed in sensitive areas—such as defence and immigration—that lie at the heart of sovereignty. And remember the franc, the deutschmark, the lira, and the drachma? Currencies that once symbolised national power are now curious relics of the past.

“But perhaps the most dramatic change over the last 20 years has been the gradual removal of border controls between EU states. Over the centuries, millions of Europeans have died fighting over sometimes illogical, often arbitrary and almost always unnatural frontiers. Now that they are gone, the prospect of war between EU states has become unthinkable. It is also increasingly difficult to argue that a person on one side of a border should be taxed, taught and ruled differently from a person on the other side, when the line separating them no longer exists…

“I was brought up believing that Europe’s east-west division was permanent, and that the threat of conflict in Europe would always exist. Then came Berlin, 11/9. Within a year Germany was reunited, the dissident playwright Vaclav Havel was president of Czechoslovakia and a union activist named Lech Walesa was Poland’s head of state. Two years later the Soviet Union had splintered and the map of central and eastern Europe had been completely redrawn…

“The EU, which emerged from the ashes of a world war that left Europe shattered, humiliated and sidelined, is now the world’s biggest economic power, exporter, trading bloc, aid donor and foreign investor… Europe has become one. Europe has been reborn.”

“Europe Must Stop Being So Submissive to the USA”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on November 2:

“… a study by an influential Brussels think tank suggests the EU is going about things the wrong way. The Europeans must stop being so submissive, they must present a united front on foreign policy and they must work toward a ‘post-American’ state of affairs, the study says…

“[The] European Council on Foreign Relations… released a study on Monday called ‘Toward a Post-American Europe,’ based on wide-ranging interviews and research conducted in the 27 EU member states. In it, the authors make a clear appeal to European leaders:

“This ‘fetishization’ of the trans-Atlantic relationship must stop… It is high time that Europe declare a new, ‘post-American’ age and do away with old myths about the trans-Atlantic relationship. Myths like the idea that the continent’s security is dependent on American protection… Or the one about American and European interests being the same at heart…”

How German Unification Came About…

A united Europe would have been impossible without a united Germany. On November 3, 2009, Der Spiegel Online published an interview with Rudolf Seiters, an aide of then German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and a key negotiator during Germany’s reunification. His reflections on the events in 1989 and 1990 are quite interesting and prove that higher powers are involved in key political events, which are necessary to fulfill biblical prophecy:

“Without a doubt, we were also lucky. Solidarity, the Polish trade union, contributed in a major way. We are also grateful to the Hungarians, who were the first to open their borders to East German refugees. And Bush provided unlimited support. It was also important that Helmut Kohl was able to systematically build a close, trusting relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989 and 1990…

“Margaret Thatcher’s stance is well-known, as are her considerable doubts about and objections to reunification. Giulio Andreotti, the Italian politician, also remarked: ‘We love Germany so much that we would prefer to have two of them.’ At a later point, Mitterrand was also one of our closest friends and supporters, but in 1989 he still had doubts about the project…

“In the West, there were fears and worries regarding the prospect of German reunification. Many Europeans believed that, if reunified, Germany would change its political orientation. In his memoirs, Kohl later wrote that he never attended a European summit with such an icy atmosphere as the meeting on Dec. 9 in Strasburg, which was held 14 days after he presented his 10-point plan for overcoming the division of Germany and Europe…

“For Helmut Kohl, it was always clear that a reunified Germany needed to be intertwined within the broader European process. He viewed German unity and European unity as two sides of the same coin, and that something he was convinced of deep down. Likewise, he strongly believed that, for Europe to move forward, France and Germany had to cooperate closely. He also knew that the smaller European countries needed to be part of it, as well…

“In the autumn and winter of 1989, I was surprised by the helplessness of the GDR [East German] leadership and its rapid loss of authority. The SED was helpless when it came to the issue of refugees. It was helpless when the Berlin Wall came down, which was not even meant to happen when it did. And it was also helpless in Dresden. Everything happened amazingly fast. When I became head of the Chancellory in Bonn in April 1989, no one knew or even suspected that, in a few months, the Wall would fall and that Germany would be reunified one and a half years later. That was more than surprising; that was practically a miracle.”

No More German Support for China and India?

Deutsche Welle reported on October 30 that Germany’s new development minister, Herr Niebel, said that aid to China and India should be cut completely. The article continued:

“Niebel (FDP) told a German newspaper that economic powers like China and India, commonly referred to as ‘developing nations,’ no longer met the criteria of that distinction. ‘Battling poverty is more important than ever. That means we have to concentrate our resources effectively in the most needy areas. Economic giants like China and India don’t belong to these,’ he told the mass-circulation daily Bild Zeitung. Niebel, meanwhile, did not provide any details on when the 70 million euros ($103 million ) of annual aid to China would be discontinued…

“Claudia Warning, head of the German federation of non-governmental organizations active in development cooperation, VENRO, has said the new government’s international policy disregards commitments Germany has already made regarding development aid… Warning said the new government’s program put too much emphasis on ‘promoting German economic interests abroad.’ The ministry’s task was to ‘contribute to the international fight against poverty, and not the promotion of German business interests,’ she said.”

This article, and the next one, begin to indicate that the relationship between Europe and the Far East will deteriorate, and why Europe may be prompted to attack Russia and other Asian nations, as it will be troubled by rumors from the “east and the north” (Daniel 11:44).

Rumors from the East…

The Telegraph reported on November 1 on Russian war games directed against Poland:

“The armed forces are said to have carried out ‘war games’ in which nuclear missiles were fired and troops practised an amphibious landing on the country’s coast. The manoeuvres are thought to have been held in September and involved about 13,000 Russian and Belarusian troops. Poland, which has strained relations with both countries, was cast as the ‘potential aggressor’…

“The operation also involved the simulated suppression of an uprising by a national minority in Belarus – the country has a significant Polish population which has a strained relationship with [the] authoritarian government of Belarus.

“Karol Karski, an MP from Poland’s Law and Justice, is to table parliamentary questions on Russia’s war games and has protested to the European Commission… His colleague, Marek Opiola MP, said: ‘It’s an attempt to put us in our place. Don’t forget all this happened on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland.’ Ordinary Poles were outraged by news of the exercise and demanded a firm response from the government…

“After spending 40 years under Soviet domination few in Poland trust Russia, and many Poles have become increasingly wary of a country they consider as possessing a neo-imperialistic agenda… With a resurgent Moscow now more willing to flex its muscles, Central and Eastern Europeans have warned of Russia adopting a neo-imperialistic attitude to an area of the world it still regards as its sphere of influence. In July, the region’s most famed and influential political figures, including Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel, wrote an open letter [to] Barack Obama warning him that Russia ‘is back as a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods.’”

That Russia is trying to re-establish itself in that part of the world cannot be denied. Europe and especially countries like Poland eye this development with suspicion, and will finally engage in a “pre-emptive strike,” as the Bible clearly prophecies.

The Terrible Curse of Halloween

On October 29, LiveScience wrote the following:

“Like Halloween itself, the display and carving of pumpkins – from the lanterns placed inside to the scary faces we pick – has pagan origins that morphed with the passage of time as well as the crossing of an ocean. The modern traditions of Halloween have roots in a Celtic holiday called Samhain, which was celebrated throughout Western Europe (but especially Ireland) every Oct. 31 to mark the end of the summer and the final harvest…

“As the tipping point that also ushered in the beginning of the ‘dark season,’ it was believed that the night opened a kind of door to the Otherworld, letting spirits roam the Earth… Nicholas Rogers, a historian at York University in Toronto, [said]… ‘It was also a period of SUPERNATURAL INTENSITY, when the FORCES OF DARKNESS and decay were said to be abroad…

“To combat the threat, ancient Celts often held raging bonfires – fire being a common way to ward off evil spirits. Later, in towns, the fires shrank and were placed instead within turnips or gourds, which were inexpensive, readily available and safe ‘containers.’

“‘Originally they were simply pierced to emit light, and were carried to scare away the spirits from the Otherworld who could enter the mortal realm,’ said Verlyn Flieger, a mythology specialist at the University of Maryland… ‘Designed to ward off scary faces, they gradually TOOK ON the aspects of the very foes they were supposed to forestall,’ she told LiveScience… The holiday exploded in the United States and Canada with the wave of Irish that came over during that country’s potato famine in the mid 19th century.”

The Roman Catholic Church Condemns Halloween, But…

The Telegraph added on October 30 that the “Vatican has condemned Hallowe’en as anti-Christian, saying it is based on a sinister and dangerous ‘undercurrent of occultism.'” The article continued:

“The Holy See has warned that parents should not allow their children to dress up as ghosts and ghouls on Saturday, calling Hallowe’en a pagan celebration of ‘terror, fear and death’. The Roman Catholic Church has become alarmed in recent years by the spread of Hallowe’en traditions from the US to other countries around the world.

“As in Britain, it is only in recent years that Italian children have dressed up in costumes, played trick or treat on their neighbours and made lanterns out of hollowed out pumpkins. The Vatican issued the warning through its official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, in an article headlined ‘Hallowe’en’s Dangerous Messages’.

“Last year a newspaper controlled by the Italian bishops, Avvenire, called for a boycott of Hallowe’en, calling it a ‘dangerous celebration of horror and the macabre’ which could encourage ‘pitiless [Satanic] sects without scruples’. Earlier this week the Catholic Church in Spain also condemned the growing popularity of Halloween…”

But millions of people celebrated this horrible demonic feast, including hundreds of thousands of confessing and practicing Catholics.

In addition, Der Spiegel Online wrote on October 31 about the practice of the Catholic Church to “christianize” pagan holidays, as follows:

“In the Middle Ages, the pagan practice was ‘christianized.’ In 837 A.D., Pope Gregory IV declared November 1 as ‘All Saints Day.’ Now Christians were able to celebrate the pagan festival Samhain, without sinning.”

But the Bible is mightier than human inventions. And the Bible makes it very clear that we SIN when we celebrate Halloween–or other pagan festivals such as Christmas or Easter. For more information, please read our free booklets, “Don’t Keep Christmas,” and “Is That in The Bible–Man’s Holidays and God’s Holy Days.”

Vatican Woos Anglicans

USA Today wrote on November 1:

“The Vatican said Saturday that married Anglican priests will be admitted to the Catholic priesthood on a case-by-case basis as Rome makes it easier for disillusioned conservative Anglicans to convert… The Roman Catholic church requires its priests to be celibate, except in the case of the Eastern rite Catholics, who are allowed to be ordained if married. But over the last decades, it has also quietly allowed married Anglican clergy to stay priests when converting to Catholicism. In no case could a married man become a bishop, and the new rules would exclude any married Anglican bishop from retaining that post…

“Anglicans split with Rome in 1534 when the Vatican refused to give English King Henry VIII a marriage annulment. The Anglican communion includes the Episcopalian Church in the United States. Some Anglican faithful, unhappy over progressive reforms in their church, consider themselves Catholics although they have not yet officially joined the Roman Catholic church.

“Anglicans have been divided over such issues as admitting women to the priesthood. The rift was torn wide open in 2003, when the Episcopal Church in the United States consecrated V. Gene Robinson, as the first openly gay bishop. Also disenchanting Anglican conservatives has been the blessing of same-sex marriages.”

The Bible indicates that much of the “Christian” and perhaps even non-Christian world will place itself under the “religious umbrella” of the Catholic Church.

… And the Horror Saga of Failed U.S. Banks Continues…

U.S. Bank failures continue. But did not the U.S. government indicate that the recession was over? What blatant nonsense–as is so clearly pointed out by the following article:

The Associated Press wrote on October 30:

“[Bank] Failures have been especially concentrated in California, Georgia and Illinois. While the pounding from losses on home mortgages may be nearing an end, delinquencies on commercial real estate loans remain a hot spot of potential trouble, regulators say. If the RECESSION DEEPENS, defaults on the high-risk loans could spike. Many regional banks, especially, hold large concentrations of these loans.”

More US Banks Fail…

The Los Angeles Times wrote on October 31:

“Regulators seized Los Angeles-based [68-branch] California National Bank on Friday night in the country’s fourth-largest bank failure this year…

“Eight smaller banks owned by FBOP, a privately held Oak Park, Ill., company, were also taken over by regulators and acquired by U.S. Bank. They include San Diego National Bank, with 28 offices, and San Francisco’s Pacific National Bank, which has 17… Before Friday, 106 U.S. banks had failed this year.”

This Is BIG–CIT Bankrupt

Bloomberg wrote on November 1:

“CIT Group Inc., a 101-year-old commercial lender, filed for bankruptcy to cut $10 billion in debt after the credit crunch dried up its funding and a U.S. bailout and debt exchange offer failed. CIT listed $71 billion in assets and $64.9 billion in debt… The U.S. Treasury Department said the government probably won’t recover much, if any, of the $2.3 billion in taxpayer money that went to CIT…

“CIT… filed the fifth-largest bankruptcy by assets… The failure… is the biggest measured by assets since regulators seized Washington Mutual banking unit in September 2008… CIT’s largest unsecured claim holders were Bank of America Corp., as collateral agent for a $7.5 billion claim, and Bank of New York Mellon Corp., as a trustee for retail bonds with a claim of $3.2 billion. Canadian senior unsecured notes have a claim for $2.1 billion, and Citigroup Inc. also has a $2.1 billion claim as an administrative agent to bank debt due 2010…

“CIT has said it’s the third-largest U.S. railcar-leasing firm and the world’s third-biggest aircraft financier. It also finances trade in Canada, Europe and Asia by lending to small manufacturers that sell to retailers. CIT accounts for about 70 percent of all short-term U.S. financing known as factoring, worth about $40 billion a year…”

USA Today wrote on November 2 that CIT is “the leading provider of financing to retailers and their vendors,” and its failure “is one of the largest in U.S. history.”

U.S. State Elections

The Wall Street Journal wrote on November 4:

“It’s a grumpy nation. We probably all knew that, but Tuesday’s election results underscore the point.

“It wasn’t a good election for Democrats, of course. They lost the two biggest races, the governor’s races in New Jersey and Virginia, the first a blue state they should own and the second now a swing state Democrats liked to think they had turned in the last two elections.

“But Democrats can argue they won in the race that is most relevant to what is going on in Washington, the special [election] for the 23rd congressional district in New York. That represents a victory in a traditionally Republican district, and a sign that GOP conservatives probably overplayed their hand by forcing a liberal Republican out of the race.

“The broader lesson in all this, however, may simply be the signs of grumpiness all around. In each case, independent voters appear to have swung against the party holding the seat. And in New York, a wildly over-funded and universally known incumbent mayor, Michael Bloomberg, barely won against a wildly under-funded and unknown Democratic challenger. In the midst of an economic mess, voters don’t seem to like over-spending and over-reach, but more than that they seem unhappy with the status quo in general.

“‘Change’ was a good theme for Barack Obama in 2008. It still might best capture the mood of voters.”

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