Current Events

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize–“Fundamental Misjudgments”

The Financial Times wrote on December 10:

“When the Nobel committee awarded Barack Obama the annual Peace Prize a few months back, it made two fundamental misjudgments. First, it failed to recognise that there would be widespread dismay that the prize was being awarded to someone at the outset of his public journey, with little to show in terms of solid international achievement. Secondly, it failed to predict that Mr Obama would end up making his acceptance speech little more than [a] week after ordering a massive US troop uplift in the war in Afghanistan.

“To be fair to Mr Obama, his acceptance speech in Oslo recognises these points head on… while he may be winding down the war in Iraq, the conflict in Afghanistan is accelerating: ‘We are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill. Some will be killed.’ As statements on war go, world leaders rarely get this blunt.

“Mr Obama’s frankness does not stop there, however. He keeps up this blunt approach before a Norwegian audience which, I suspect, must have wondered at times whether they’d chosen the right guy for the peace prize. For the major theme of Obama’s speech is his defence of the ‘just war,’ of the argument that nations are right at times to take military action…

“As ever with Obama, it all adds up to a finely crafted carefully balanced speech. Yet what stands out, when considering the audience before which he stands, is his justification of military action when necessary. Barack Obama must surely  be the first Nobel peace laureate ever to turn up at the prize ceremony and confront a notably pacifist audience with such belligerence.”

“Mr. President, War Is Not Peace!”

The Huffington Post wrote on December 12:

“Eloquence in Oslo cannot change the realities of war… From President Obama, we hear that peace is the ultimate goal. But ‘peace’ is a fixture on a strategic horizon that keeps moving as the military keeps marching… War is not peace. It never has been. It never will be…

“In the name of pragmatism, Obama spoke of ‘the world as it is’ and threw a cloak of justification over the grisly escalation in Afghanistan by insisting that ‘war is sometimes necessary’ — but generalities do nothing to mitigate the horrors of war being endured by others. President Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize while delivering — to the world as it is — a pro-war speech. The context instantly turned the speech’s insights into flackery for more war.”

As Christians, we are not to participate in any war fought by humans. The Bible clearly prohibits this. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Should You Fight in War?” Also, please watch our most recent StandingWatch programs on the subject, “Lessons from the Afghan War,” and “Coming–Worldwide Nuclear War.” 

“Obama Does Not Deserve the Peace Prize”

The Israeli paper, Haaretz, wrote on December 10:

“An American president who has not yet managed to make peace anywhere in the world will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He will be awarded the prize even though he is personally responsible for scores of targeted killings and much slaughter of civilians in aerial bombardments. He will be awarded the prize even though he has just decided to escalate one of the two ineffectual wars he is conducting. He will be awarded the prize only because he is a Democrat, a liberal and a black man who defeated the Republicans and cast George W. Bush out of the White House.

“Oslo has provided us with many amusing jokes in recent decades. However, the joke of Obama as peace prize laureate is the funniest of all. It proves the absurdity of the lengths to which the self-righteous European culture of political correctness can go. Obama is not to blame for the Norwegians having decided to act foolishly. However, if he had any courage he would have refused to accept a Nobel [Peace Prize] prematurely. He would have asked the prize committee to judge him at the end of his term in office and not at its start.

“Obama hasn’t done so, and this isn’t surprising. Thus far the glamorous president has not shown courage on any issue or in any area. True, Obama is intelligent, articulate and charismatic. However, he hasn’t really done anything yet in the international arena. He has orchestrated neither confrontations nor reconciliations. He has neither won a victory nor made peace. He has not evinced willingness to pay any sort of price for any sort of achievement. In his first year as president of the world, Obama has not proved he has a backbone. He has not yet manifested himself as a leader.

“In 2010 the world will need a leader. From day to day, Iran is increasingly becoming a nuclear nightmare; Pakistan is a barrel of nuclear explosives and North Korea is a nuclear rogue. The Iranian-Pakistani-North Korean triangle makes clear what the challenge of the 21st century is: how to prevent turning the world into a nuclear jungle. How to maintain nuclear order and prevent nuclear chaos. How to get through the next half-century without a Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

“Obama’s Washington understands the challenge very well. So do Nicolas Sarkozy’s Paris, Angela Merkel’s Berlin and Gordon Brown’s London. Even Dmitry Medvedev’s Moscow is beginning to understand. But the general public in North America and Europe has not yet internalized what its leaders know. The media are indeed reporting on centrifuges, enrichment programs and warheads. Politicians and pundits are indeed paying lip service to the Iranian-Pakistani-North Korean nuclear triangle. But there is no fervor in the talk. There is no real sense of urgency. There is no committed discourse. International public opinion is still focused on global warming, not global nuclearization, as the most urgent issue on the agenda…”

The Bible clearly prophesies that in these end times, the world will be facing nuclear war–and that no human being would SURVIVE this terrible time soon to come, unless God was to intervene and cut those days short. For more information, please listen to our StandingWatch program, “Coming–Worldwide Nuclear War,” and read our free booklet, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.”

The Ongoing Health-Care Debacle–Politics at its “Finest”…

ABC News reported on December 16:

“President Obama said he likes the Senate health care compromise and wants it passed by Christmas, but he faces a revolt from some liberals who say the health care bill has been gutted to appease insurance companies. ‘This is a bigger bailout for the insurance industry than AIG,’ former Democratic National Committee chairman and medical doctor Howard Dean [said]… ‘A very small number of people are going to get any insurance at all, until 2014, if the bill works… Dean sent shockwaves when he said Tuesday… that the removal of the Medicare buy-in means Democrats should just kill the health care bill and start over.”

ABC News added on December 16:

“[Joe] Lieberman has scrambled the politics of health care overhaul continually… His objections to including a public option were a main reason Democrats fashioned a compromise that would replace such a mechanism with a Medicare expansion, allowing people as young as 55 to buy into the system. Then, on Sunday, Lieberman seemed to reverse himself on that provision, notifying Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada that he couldn’t support the expansion in Medicare after all.

“That leaves Senate Democratic leaders, who can’t afford to lose a single vote on health care, poised to strip that out as well, with the White House’s acquiescence… Lieberman benefits from the simple fact that Democrats need him, even if many of them don’t like him. He might be among the few political figures who comes out of the grueling health care debate with a smile.”

The Associated Press reported on December 16:

“The Senate is in health care gridlock after a Republican senator forced the clerk to read aloud a 767-page amendment. GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had sought approval to require that any amendment considered by the Senate must be offered 72 hours in advance and with a full cost report. When he was rebuffed by Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, Coburn invoked his right to require that an amendment by another lawmaker be read aloud. That sent the Senate into limbo, since the amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, is 767 pages long.”

ABC News reported on December 16:

“President Obama told ABC News’ Charles Gibson in an interview that if Congress does not pass health care legislation that will bring down costs, the federal government ‘will go bankrupt.’”

At the same time, the Associated Press reported on December 16:

“President Barack Obama has signed into law a $1.1 trillion bill that increases the budgets in many areas of the government by about 10 percent, including health, law enforcement and veterans’ programs. Obama signed the bill privately at the White House on Wednesday after receiving the bill from Congress on Sunday… Most Republicans opposed the bill, citing runaway federal spending… Democrats said the spending would help the economy recover from the recession.”

Why the Disdain for Britain by Obama Administration?

The Wall Street Journal wrote on December 14:

“Britain is the only European country President Barack Obama can really count on to respond positively to his plea for NATO to provide extra forces for Afghanistan. So why is it, then, that the Obama administration can barely conceal its disdain for a nation that, by its deeds, time and again proves itself to be America’s staunchest and most reliable ally?…

“Before he became president it was said that Mr. Obama harbored a deep grudge against Britain for its colonialist past. It is alleged that his paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 1950s, when it was controlled by Britain. In his autobiographical book “The Audacity of Hope,” Mr. Obama unflatteringly compares the British Empire to South Africa’s apartheid regime and the former Soviet Union.

“Soon after his inauguration, he sent back to the U.K. a bust of Sir Winston Churchill that had been loaned to President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. The sculpture had enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office.

“There is also an important ideological reason that Britain’s leading policy makers find themselves increasingly shunned by the U.S. Key foreign-policy advisers to Mr. Obama are keen advocates of a federal Europe, one in which the European Commission based in Brussels is the main center of power and influence, rather than the individual capitals, such as London, Paris and Berlin. In this context, Britain’s dogged attachment to a ‘special relationship’ with America is regarded as an embarrassing relic of a previous era.”

Britain Angers Israel

Deutsche Welle reported on December 14:

“Israel has slammed an arrest warrant issued by a British court against former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. The now opposition leader is under fire for her role in the offensive in the Gaza Strip one year ago… A statement released by the foreign ministry urged Britain to change the law to prevent such action from being taken in the future.

“The details of the warrant are currently unclear. British daily The Guardian reports that the warrant was issued on the weekend for Livni’s role in the war in the Gaza Strip almost a year ago. The warrant has now been withdrawn after it emerged that Livni had cancelled a planned visit to Britain…

“Several Israeli officials have previously called off trips to Britain as a result of efforts by Palestinians to prosecute Israelis in British courts. In September, pro-Palestinian activists tried to have Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrested for his role in the Gaza conflict but the attempt was rejected on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. Livni would not have enjoyed this immunity as she is no longer a government minister.”

The Jerusalem Post wrote on December 15:

“British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Kadima head Tzipi Livni and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Tuesday evening in an apparent effort to prevent the diplomatic crisis stemming from a British arrest warrant issued against Livni from spinning completely out of control. According to a statement put out by Livni’s office, Miliband expressed his ‘shock’ at the arrest warrant and promised to work immediately to ensure that a similar occurrence would not happen in the future against Livni or other Israeli leaders. Miliband told Lieberman that the warrant was ‘completely unacceptable.’

“While Israel has heard such promises numerous times over the last five years, there was a sense in Jerusalem Tuesday night that the wall-to-wall outrage in Israel that accompanied news of the warrant against Livni had registered in London. Britain’s outgoing ambassador Tom Phillips bore the brunt of Israeli anger over the matter, being summoned to the Foreign Ministry and having a conversation on the matter with National Security Council head Uzi Arad.

“Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement saying he instructed Arad to deliver a ‘clear message’ to Phillips that Israel expected the British government to ‘act against this immoral phenomenon which is trying to impair Israel’s right to self-defense’…

“While in the past Israel did not press too hard on the issue, that policy seemed to change abruptly when the Foreign Ministry issuing a statement Tuesday morning, surprisingly harsh in the cautious world of diplomacy, saying that Israel rejected the ‘cynical’ move taken in the British courts at the behest of extremist elements in Britain and called on the British government ‘for once and for all’ to keep its promises and work to prevent the manipulation by anti-Israeli elements of the British legal system against Israel. ‘The lack of determined and immediate action to correct this distortion harms the relations between the two countries,’ the statement read. ‘If Israeli leaders cannot visit Britain in a dignified manner, it will naturally be a real obstacle to Britain’s desire to have an active role in the peace process in the Middle East’…

“The crisis comes at a time of already deteriorating relations between Israel and Britain, with Jerusalem frustrated at London for its abstention in the UN General Assembly on the Goldstone report, its support of the Swedish proposal that the EU recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, and its guidelines to stores and retailers last week to label produce from the territories as either coming from Palestinians or the settlements.”

Britain’s conduct in this matter can only be described as outrageous, provocative, negligent, ignorant and stupid at the same time. As the Associated Press reported on December 16, “Livni’s office says the British premier phoned her Wednesday afternoon and said he intends to act to change a law that allows non-citizens to be brought before British courts.”

It added: “Britain is vowing to curtail a peculiar legal power that lets judges order the arrest of visiting politicians and generals — a threat currently focused on Israeli visitors that, one day, might be invoked against Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin. Lawyers working with Palestinian activists in recent years have sought the arrest of senior Israeli civilian and military figures under terms of ‘universal jurisdiction.’ This ill-defined legal concept empowers judges to issue arrest warrants for visiting officials accused of war crimes in a foreign conflict.”

The shameful truth is that the British government knew of this ridiculous law to empower political judges to issue offensive decisions, promised Israel to repeal this law, and did nothing to keep this promise. Britain must be careful that it does not find itself alienated from and abandoned by the rest of the world because of its own doing.

Is EU Backing East Jerusalem as Palestine Capital?

The EUobserver wrote on December 11:

“Palestine Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has said that the EU backs the establishment of East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, fueling the dispute over a recent EU communique. Mr Fayyad on a visit to Brussels on Friday (11 December) said Tuesday’s EU statement on the Middle East makes a number of references to East Jerusalem that, ‘if added [together], in my reading, add up to nothing less than recognising East Jerusalem as the future capital of the state of Palestine’…

“Mr Fayyad’s remarks continue a dispute on what the EU really thinks about Palestine, which erupted two weeks ago when Israel first attacked a Swedish draft of the EU statement, which contained more explicit pro-Palestinian language. East Jerusalem – which is home to Muslims and Jewish settlers as well as some of the holiest sites in Islam and Judaism – lies at the heart of international efforts to bring peace to the region, with Israel claiming it as part of its own ‘indivisible’ capital…

“The [EU] commission is preparing to launch a new Action Plan for Palestinian relations that is to involve sending in more EU experts and ‘front-loading’ €158.5 million of aid in early 2010…”

The Bible states that Jerusalem will be “surrounded” by European armies [of the LAST resurrection of the ancient Roman Empire], and that it will become a stumbling block for ALL nations. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Europe in Prophecy.”

Iran’s Latest Advanced Missile

On December 16, the Associated Press reported the following:

“Iran on Wednesday test-fired an upgraded version of its most advanced missile, which is capable of hitting Israel and parts of Europe, in a new show of strength aimed at preventing any military strike against it amid the nuclear standoff with the West. The test stoked tensions between Iran and the West, which is pressing Tehran to rein in its nuclear program. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said it showed the need for tougher U.N. sanctions on Iran…

“Wednesday’s test was for the latest version of Iran’s longest-range missile, the Sajjil-2, with a range of about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers). That range places Israel, Iran’s sworn enemy, well within reach, as well as U.S. bases in the Gulf region and parts of southeastern Europe… Iran has repeatedly warned it will retaliate if Israel or the United States carries out military strikes against its nuclear facilities, at a time when the U.S. and its allies accuse Tehran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapon… Nuclear negotiations have been deadlocked for months…

“The name ‘Sajjil’ means ‘baked clay,’ a reference to a story in the Quran, Islam’s holy book, in which birds sent by God drive off an enemy army attacking the holy city of Mecca by pelting them with stones of baked clay… Solid-fuel missiles like the Sajjil-2 are more accurate than the liquid fuel missiles of similar range currently possessed by Iran. They are also a concern because they can be fueled in advance and moved or hidden in silos. Iran previously had a solid-fuel missile, the Fateh, with a far shorter range of 120 miles (200 kilometers).”

The Australian wrote on December 18:

“Israeli officials told Haaretz Mr Obama warned Chinese President Hu Jintao during the US President’s visit to Beijing a month ago as part of the US attempt to convince the Chinese to support strict sanctions on Tehran if it does not accept Western proposals for its nuclear program. The Israeli officials said the US had informed Israel about Mr Obama’s meetings in Beijing on Iran. They said Mr Obama made it clear to Mr Hu that at some point the US would no longer be able to prevent Israel from acting as it saw fit in response to the perceived Iranian threat, the report said.”

How Much Allah Can Europe Bear?

Der Spiegel Online wrote on December 11:

“The Swiss decision has shocked Europe and the world because its ramifications go far beyond the building of minarets — they also concern the identity of an entire continent. This was a referendum on Western society’s perception of Islam as a threat. The issue is generating intense debate: Just how much of Islam is predominantly Christian Europe prepared to accept? The decision by the otherwise so tolerant Alpine country reveals the deep-seated fear of an Islam that is becoming increasingly visible…

“Surveys last week revealed that 44 percent of Germans oppose the construction of minarets, followed by 41 percent of the French. Fifty-five percent of all Europeans see Islam as an intolerant religion. Does the Swiss vote reveal an attitude that a majority in Europe would also support if given the opportunity?…

“Can Europe still be Europe if, for instance, in 2050 most young people under the age of 15 in Austria are Muslims? And when Muhammad today is already the most common name for newborn boys in Brussels and Amsterdam, and the third most common in England?…

“Dealing with Islam is perhaps the greatest challenge facing Europe… sometimes fears are stronger than facts, and sometimes a ban on minarets has nothing to do with minarets…”

The Local reported on December 11:

“A poll… for [Germany’s] public broadcaster ARD showed a third of those asked expressed great concern that Islam was growing too quickly in Germany. Thirty-nine percent were… worried about Islam’s impact on society, but to a lesser degree. Only 22 percent said they had no problem with the religion.”

We will see more and more an increased influence of orthodox “Christianity” in Europe, which will ultimately not tolerate the existence of any non-“Christian” competitive religions or convictions.

“Thou Shalt Not Shop!”

Der Tagesspiegel wrote on December 3:

“It was just another Tuesday, but Germany’s Christian churches had a reason to let their bells toll this week. In the name of religious freedom, they won a major victory at the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe against the heathen city of Berlin. It had to be Berlin – a godless place that has ditched compulsory religion classes for schoolchildren and would like to prohibit prayer in school buildings. But the churches now have it from the highest judicial authority in the country – Berlin’s secular push has gone too far. Advent Sundays in the run-up to Christmas are holy and shops must remain closed…

“How is it that Switzerland’s recent prohibition on minarets can be seen as an affront to religious freedom, but in Germany we allow churches rather than a democratically elected government tell us what to do with our Sundays? What happened to the religious freedom of those citizens who don’t believe in the Christian ideal of the Sabbath [the author means Sunday and wrongly identifies it with the Sabbath. The biblical Sabbath is not Sunday, but the time from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset] and would rather go to the shops than church?

“The place to go for answers from now on is Karlsruhe, home to the Constitutional Court. No-one should underestimate the legal gymnastics required to reach this decision. According to the constitution, Sunday is a day to rest and rejuvenate the soul. There’s not a single word about God or Christmas or even the birth of Jesus. And no wonder – Sunday was never holy to the German constitution, which is why no-one could claim it was in the name of religion.

“But that’s all changed now. The Constitutional Court’s decision refers directly to the Christian roots of resting on Sundays, constructing a legal precedent for the churches. If politicians from one of Germany’s 16 federal states want to re-think their retail shopping hours, it might now be a good idea to stop by the local bishop’s place to see if they have his blessing first. But how do you reconcile that with the right to a neutral, secular government? This is the real reason three Constitutional Court judges rejected the ruling. Had it been just one more, Berliners could have kept their Sunday shopping during Advent. The topic of store opening hours might be banal, but the court ruling fundamentally changes the state’s relationship between religion and law…”

The Roman Catholic Church will exert more and more power in Germany and continental Europe, to enforce Sunday worship on unsuspecting people. The Bible warns us of this. To learn more about the connection between Sunday worship and the “mark of the beast,” please read our free booklet, “Is That in The Bible?–The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

“Joining Rome ‘Means Commitment'”

BBC News wrote on December 11:

“Discontented Anglicans who convert must not become a ‘sect’ within the Roman Catholic Church, a senior Catholic clergyman dealing with church unity has warned… Monsignor Andrew Faley, Assistant General Secretary of the English and Welsh Catholic bishops’ conference [said:]… ‘They become members of a Church which has the ministry of the successor of St Peter as its source of unity… unity for Catholics is central to their understanding of the Church’…

“A substantial number of married ex-Anglican priests are already Catholic priests, having crossed to Rome in the years following the ordination of women priests by the Church of England in the 1990s. But the overwhelming majority of Catholic priests in Britain are required to remain unmarried and celibate… But a man in the ordinariate who wishes to be considered as a priest ‘would be ordained as a celibate priest; he wouldn’t be allowed to marry.’ And a married man who has not been an Anglican priest, could he apply? ‘No,’ says Mgr Faley, ‘A married man within the Catholic tradition cannot be ordained; the norm is celibacy.'”

The Church of Rome will not just accept clergy from other churches, with different ideas, without insisting that these ideas will not be practiced, but abolished. It is the position of the Catholic Church that the pope speaks with godly authority and that he is Christ’s representative on earth. With this claim, it is obvious that those who want to become part of that church must submit in all points to that “authority.”

The Celebration of the German “Nikolaus”

The Local wrote on December 4:

“Each year on December 6, Germans remember the [mythological] death of Nicholas of Myra (now the Anatolia region of modern Turkey), who [supposedly] died on that day in 346. He was [allegedly] a Greek Christian bishop known for miracles and giving gifts secretly, and is now the patron saint of little children, sailors, merchants and students. Known as Nicholas the Wonderworker for his miracles, he is also identified with Santa Claus. Beliefs and traditions about Nikolaus were probably combined with German mythology, particularly regarding stories about the bearded pagan god Odin, who also had a beard and a bag to capture naughty children…

“According to the legend, Nikolaus comes in the middle of the night on a donkey or a horse and leaves little treats – like coins, chocolate, oranges and toys – for good children. What do naughty children get? This depends on different family traditions. Sometimes Nikolaus only leaves a switch in the boot, ostensibly for spankings, to show that the child doesn’t deserve a treat. In other families, a man disguised as St. Nicholas will visit the family or the child’s school alone or with his… sinister-looking alter ego Knecht Ruprecht [portrayed as a demon or the devil in many ancient pictures] to question the children about their behaviour.”

Nikolaus–or Santa Claus–and his alter-ego, the demonic “Knecht Ruprecht,” are clearly of pagan origin. For more information, please read our free booklet, “Don’t Keep Christmas.”

Who Will Be the Next King of England?

Mail On Line wrote on December 13:

“The Queen is to hand over a substantial part of her public duties to Prince William to help him prepare for the day when he becomes King, according to a confidential document obtained by The Mail on Sunday. Secret papers reveal that plans to ease the strain on the 83-year-old monarch and her 88-year-old husband, Prince Philip, are at an advanced stage. The disclosures come despite months of denials from the Palace that the Queen was planning to step back from her official work in favour of her 27-year-old grandson…

“The leak will add to speculation that the Queen believes William, rather than Charles, represents the best long-term interests of the monarchy… It is bound to lead to new speculation that when the Queen dies, the monarchy could skip a generation, with the Crown bypassing Charles and being handed straight to William, although Royal sources strongly discount this option… Significantly, William will undertake his first official overseas tour in January when he represents the Queen in New Zealand and Australia. He is also expected to attend the World Cup in South Africa.”

According to further press releases, Buckingham Palace denied as “a complete lie” the allegation that Prince Charles was intended to be circumvented by appointing Prince William as the next king.

The Bible shows that the end-time royal house of England will play a prophetic role in these last days. It is therefore interesting to see who will turn out to be the future king.

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