Current Events

“No Alternative to the Euro”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on March 12:

“Another general strike in Greece shut the financially beleaguered nation down on Thursday. But… now nobody [in Germany]… believes there is any danger to the euro’s long-term survival.

“In the Financial Times Deutschland, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble writes in a signed editorial: ‘… There is no alternative to the monetary union. The euro has established itself as the second most important currency in the world, and as a currency in which to invest…'”

The Euro–Built on a Lie–But Predestined to Stay…

Der Spiegel Online wrote on March 9:

“The notion that the European common currency is based on nothing but a series of lies is now taking its toll. All of the founders of the euro knew that the new currency could only be stable if all member states committed themselves to sound financial policy and, in the long run, spent only as much as they collected in tax revenue. But many ignored this principle right from the start… The first lie was soon followed by the second. The euro-zone members had promised to support the common currency with a common policy. The problem was that they were not prepared to make good on their promise.

“… a second Europe, which remains largely concealed from the public, currently exists in parallel to the public Europe of summit meetings, government statements and official visits…

“Since joining the euro zone, the 16 euro countries have violated the deficit rule, under which net new debt cannot exceed 3 percent of GDP, 43 times. Most of the infractions have occurred in the last two years. Greece is at the top of the list of violators…

“On the one side are the EU’s heavyweights, headed up by Germany. The new currency has made them more competitive, and they now produce far more than they consume. On the other side are countries like Spain and Ireland, which attracted large amounts of foreign capital, and where wages and asset prices rose rapidly…

“Many now feel vindicated, including Harvard Professor Martin Feldstein, a prophet of the euro’s demise for many years… But such considerations are naïve. It’s possible that the euro was indeed introduced too soon. But that is by no means an argument to abolish it prematurely. It is clear that a fracture in the monetary union would not just be a political disgrace, but also an economic catastrophe. For 10 years, European businesses and banks have become accustomed to a uniform European basis of calculation. Reversing it would trigger economic disruptions so severe that the Greek crisis pales by comparison.

“Europe doesn’t need a new currency. What Europe does need is the culture of stability, transparency and credibility that its governments have promised citizens, but have never created. Although the euro zone has a common monetary policy, it lacks a shared financial and economic policy… Even if the Germans are far from supporting a European economic government, as the French have long advocated for the euro zone, the German government believes that cooperation on economic policy must be coordinated far more closely and intensified in the future…

“The recent crisis shows, however, that even small countries can jeopardize the entire common currency project. ‘European leaders are now realizing that the members of the monetary union are all in the same boat,’ says one senior Brussels diplomat, ‘and that its members, for better or worse, are dependent on each other.'”

A European Two-Class System? — But No Exit from the Eurozone

Reuters wrote on March 8:

“When they negotiated the 1991 Maastricht Treaty, Helmut Kohl, Francois Mitterrand and Jacques Delors believed that European Monetary Union would lead inevitably over time to a closer political union with more federal governance. But the flaws revealed by Greece’s fiscal jam seem more likely to hasten a two-class system in which ‘grown-ups,’ led by Germany, exert ever more control over wayward ‘children’ such as Greece, but accept no reciprocal scrutiny…

“Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso proposed last week giving the EU executive new powers… French President Nicolas Sarkozy has seized on the Greek crisis to revive ideas of a ‘European economic government’ that would coordinate member states’ economic policies and keep the euro exchange rate competitive against the dollar and the yuan. But Germany, the biggest economy, has made clear it does not want EU surveillance of its own export-oriented policies, which generate big current account surpluses that economists say are partly responsible for widening imbalances in the euro zone…

“A two-class euro zone has been a reality since 2004, when EU budget discipline rules applied more strictly to small countries were suspended, then rewritten to avoid sanctions against France and Germany after they repeatedly breached the deficit limit. The Greek crisis has strengthened that trend, whether or not Athens ends up being bailed out by its partners… Any financial support for Greece is likely to be an ad hoc arrangement, with Germany calling the shots as Europe’s de facto lender of last resort. Berlin would attach draconian conditions to deter potential emulators.

“This two-class euro zone will likely cause resentment and aggravate mistrust between large and small member states, and between North and South. It may be how power works in the real world, but the EU was created to do things differently…

“The… most improbable option is that a country might be tempted to walk away from the euro zone. The price of a euro exit would be enormous in devaluation, extra borrowing costs, diplomatic isolation, unemployment, loss of purchasing power and at least short-term loss of investment. Strikingly, there is no serious discussion of this in Greece or other euro states under pressure.

“Debate about temporary or permanent exits from the euro is largely confined to countries and people who opposed monetary union all along and forecast it would end in tears.”

German Government in Disarray

Time Magazine wrote in its latest edition, dated on March 22:

“When Germany’s Deputy Chancellor and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle held a briefing for reporters in Berlin last month, he arrived exuding an aura of defiance and ebullience. It didn’t last… Five months after Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party began forming a new center-right government with Westerwelle’s probusiness Free Democratic Party (FDP), the alliance that was billed as a marriage made in heaven is on the rocks. The government has been riven by infighting, bitter personal rivalries and squabbles over policy direction. The partisan bickering has grown so bad it threatens complete inertia…

“Merkel’s main headache is Westerwelle, whose various job titles seem to have given him carte blanche to be the government’s unofficial troublemaker. Finding himself holding the balance of power following 11 years in opposition, the ambitious politician is enjoying his first taste of power. Even though his main job is Foreign Minister, Westerwelle has flexed his muscles on domestic issues from tax reform to health care to nuclear power…

“One recent crunch came when Westerwelle launched a blistering attack on Germany’s cherished welfare state, criticizing handouts for the long-term unemployed. Raising welfare benefits smacks of socialism, Westerwelle wrote in the daily Welt newspaper on Feb. 11. ‘Whoever promises the people effortless prosperity encourages late Roman decadence.’ The FDP leader went on to argue that those who work should always get more than the unemployed and that young jobless Germans should take up community work like shoveling snow…

“Criticism of the welfare state touches a raw nerve among Germans. They have jealously guarded social benefits since they were introduced by Otto von Bismarck, the ‘Iron Chancellor,’ in the 1880s. Bismarck’s system — designed to win over workers and increase productivity — guaranteed every citizen social insurance, including a pension, national health insurance and disability benefits. Westerwelle thinks that should change, and is also pushing for lower taxes and a new simplified tax system… Merkel was not amused…

“The government’s bickering is set against the backdrop of the ongoing economic crisis, which remains the key issue for voters. Germany may be officially out of recession but Europe’s biggest economy is struggling to get back on its feet… Germans are disgruntled.”

Even though it is perceived that presently there is no alternative to the current German government, stranger things have happened. It only takes the manifestation of a powerful charismatic leader who would seemingly be able to bring back order and direction to a disorderly government. Some have suggested that Germany’s Defense Minister Guttenberg might be such a man–but as the next article shows, this analysis seems to be far-fetched and unsupportable by the current facts.

German Defense Minister Guttenberg’s Star Is Sinking

Deutsche Welle reported on March 13:

“German Defense Minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg has been sharply criticized for sacking a general who wrote him a letter asking for the reason why Military Inspector General Wolfgang Schneiderhan was sacked in last year. ‘It looks like the heads of disagreeable oddballs are rolling just because they have a different opinion than the minister,’ Green party speaker Omid Nouripour told the daily Mitteldeutsche Zeitung… Following Schneiderhan’s dismissal in November 2009, Brigadier General Henning Hars, a former military attache to Washington, wrote a letter to the defense minister asking why the high-ranking officer had been dismissed. Hars also asked Guttenberg for his assessment of the controversial Kunduz air raid, which killed a large number of civilians in northern Afghanistan last September. Hars did not receive a response to his letter.

“Defense Minister Guttenberg then used his right to move General Hars into involuntary retirement, according to a report in the Tagesspiegel newspaper. A few days ago, Hars received his discharge papers from German president Horst Koehler… “Rainer Arnold, a spokesman for the opposition Social Democratic Party, criticized Guttenberg’s decision. ‘Of course a minister can send a general into retirement if he has no confidence in him,’ Arnold told the newspaper Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger. ‘But I have the impression that it’s the military leaders who do not have any more confidence in the Minister,’ Arnold added.”

Praised as the rising star in German politics, Guttenberg has come increasingly under attack for his controversial actions, especially pertaining to Germany’s participation and conduct in the Afghan war. The German press, like Der Stern, recently portrayed him as a showman with much talk and little substance.

Germany Third Largest Weapons Dealer

The Local reported on March 15:

“Germany has doubled its arms exports over the last five years, making it the world’s third largest weapons dealer after the United States and Russia, according to a new study released on Monday. Sales of mainly submarines and armoured vehicles helped Germany capture 11 percent of the global arms market, compared to 30 percent and 23 percent for the United States and Russia, the study from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

“Warships made up 44 percent of all arms exports, while armoured vehicles accounted for 27 percent… Fourteen percent of Germany’s arms exports went to Turkey, while Greece bought 13 percent and South Africa imported 12 percent… The growth is part of a worldwide increase of 22 percent in weapons sales in the last five years, particularly in the trade of extremely expensive fighter planes.

“SIPRI warned of an arms race in tense regions like the Middle East, North Africa, South America and South Asia. Meanwhile Greece has become one of the world’s top-five importers despite being on the verge of bankruptcy.”

If we were to include all the additional European arms exports, it stands to reason that Europe would probably be the world’s largest weapons dealer.

Widening Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal in Germany

Bild Online wrote on March 9:

“Germany has been shocked by the scandal surrounding the world-famous choir. Victims were forced to endure excessive force, including violence, whipping and perverse sex games from teachers and even headmasters.

“Many of them are still suffering today… producer and composer Franz Wittenbrink, who was at the Regensburg Cathedral choir boarding school until 1967, believes that the school staff did have some knowledge: In the school an ‘elaborate system of sadistic discipline connected to a sexual lust’ was in existence, according to ‘Spiegel’… ‘Everyone knew it,’ Wittenbrink added.”

Vatican Tries to Defend Pope in Sex Abuse Scandal

The Associated Press wrote on March 13:

“The Vatican on Saturday denounced what it called aggressive attempts to drag Pope Benedict XVI into the spreading scandals of pedophile priests in his German homeland. It also insisted that church confidentiality doesn’t prevent bishops from reporting abuse to police. The Vatican’s campaign to defend the pope’s reputation and resolve in combatting clergy abuse of minors followed acknowledgment by the Munich archdiocese that it had transferred a suspected pedophile priest to community work while Benedict was archbishop there.

“Benedict is also under fire for a 2001 church directive he wrote while a Vatican cardinal, instructing bishops to keep abuse cases confidential. Germany’s justice minister has blamed the directive for what she called a ‘wall of silence’ preventing prosecution… Irish bishops have said the document was widely taken to mean they shouldn’t go to police. And victims’ lawyers in the U.S. say the document shows the church tried to obstruct justice… The Catholic church in Switzerland has become swept up in the scandals.”

Deutsche Welle added on March 13:

“In a reaction to the widening pedophile scandal in Germany, the Vatican has rallied around the pontiff, claiming that ‘certain elements’ had launched a targeted campaign to discredit the Catholic Church… The pope’s former diocese in Bavaria on Friday said he was involved in a decision in 1980 to move a priest who was suspected of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy. Instead of undergoing therapy, the priest was assigned to a Munich parish without restrictions. Six years later, the priest was given a suspended jail sentence for child sex offenses during that period.

“The diocese claims this was a decision made by then-vicar general Gerhard Gruber, but the head of the Catholic lay reform movement in Germany, Christian Weisner, has rejected that interpretation, saying that due to the Church’s hierarchal structures, it was the pontiff – then Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger – who was ultimately responsible.

“On Friday, the head of Germany’s Catholic Bishops Conference, Robert Zollitsch, briefed journalists about the situation in Germany, where more than 100 reports have emerged of abuse at Catholic institutions, including schools and one linked to the prestigious Regensburg choir run by the pope’s brother from 1964 to 1994…

“The recent raft of revelations prompted Weisner to express his disappointment that the pope had ‘not found any words of sympathy (for the victims), nor asked for forgiveness and reconciliation.’

“The president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, Alois Glueck, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in an interview on Saturday that the Church needed new structures. He said it was time to consider whether ‘church-related conditions’ had promoted the abuse and that the issue of celibacy for priests should be re-examined…

“In another blow for the Catholic Church, an opinion survey conducted by the Emnid Institute for a German television news channel on Friday found that 86 percent of those polled had lost faith in the church leaderships’ willingness to pursue the sex abuse allegations.”

Forced Celibacy the Root of Evil…

Mail On Line wrote on March 11:

“In recent weeks the church has been rocked by a series of abuse scandals in Ireland, Holland and Germany [and Austria]… It is thought that many Catholic priests privately believe a married clergy is the obvious solution to a number of problems confronting the church, from the shortage of priests to the recent sex scandals.

“The celibacy rule for priests was not part of the early Christian Church but was introduced in the Middle Ages. A number of early Christian fathers were married, including St Peter himself, according to St Mark’s Gospel.”

“The Devil Is in the Vatican”

Times On Line wrote on March 11:

“Sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that that ‘the Devil is at work inside the Vatican’, according to the Holy See’s chief exorcist. Father Gabriele Amorth, 85… said that the consequences of satanic infiltration included power struggles at the Vatican as well as ‘cardinals who do not believe in Jesus, and bishops who are linked to the Demon’. He added: ‘When one speaks of “the smoke of Satan” [a phrase coined by Pope Paul VI in 1972] in the holy rooms, it is all true – including these latest stories of violence and paedophilia.’

“He claimed that another example of satanic behaviour was the Vatican ‘cover-up’ over the deaths in 1998 of Alois Estermann, the then commander of the Swiss Guard, his wife and Corporal Cedric Tornay, a Swiss Guard, who were all found shot dead… A remarkably swift Vatican investigation concluded that Corporal Tornay had shot the commander and his wife and then turned his gun on himself after being passed over for a medal. However Tornay’s relatives have challenged this. There have been unconfirmed reports of a homosexual background to the tragedy and the involvement of a fourth person who was never identified…”

Bild Online added on March 11:

“The chief exorcist also spoke of an attack by Satan on Pope Benedict XVI (82): ‘The Pope fought with the Devil on Christmas Eve. Satan threw him to the ground.’ He was referring to an incident where Pope Benedict was attacked and pulled to the floor by a mentally unstable woman.”

For more information on the Roman Catholic Church — past, present and future — please read our free booklets, “The Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord,” “Europe in Prophecy” and “Is That in the Bible–the Mysteries of the Book of Revelation.”

The End of the Road for President Obama?

The Telegraph wrote on March 8:

“The descent of Barack Obama’s regime… has been swift and precipitate. It was just 16 months ago that weeping men and women celebrated his victory over John McCain in the American presidential election. If they weep now, a year and six weeks into his rule, it is for different reasons.

“Despite the efforts of some sections of opinion to talk the place up, America is mired in unhappiness, all the worse for the height from which Obamania has fallen… 15 million Americans, or 9.7 per cent of the workforce, have no job. Many millions more are reduced to working part-time. Whole areas of the country, notably in the north and on the eastern seaboard, are industrial wastelands. The once mighty motor city of Detroit appears slowly to be being abandoned, becoming a Jurassic Park of the mid-20th century; unemployment among black people in Mr Obama’s own city of Chicago is estimated at between 20 and 25 per cent. One senior black politician – a Democrat and a supporter of the President – told me of the wrath in his community that a black president appeared to be unable to solve the economic problem among his own people. Cities in the east such as Newark and Baltimore now have drug-dealing as their principal commercial activity…”‘

“Mr Obama benefited in his campaign from an idiotic level of idolatry, in which most of the media participated with an astonishing suspension of cynicism. The sound of the squealing of brakes is now audible all over the American press; but the attack is being directed not at the leader himself, but at those around him…

“The root of the problem seems to be the management of expectations. The magnificent campaign created the notion that Mr Obama could walk on water. Oddly enough, he can’t…

“There are lessons from the stumbling of Mr Obama for our own country as we approach a general election. Vacuous promises of change are hostages to fortune if they cannot be delivered upon to improve the living conditions of a people. The slickness of campaigning that comes from a combination of heavy funding and public relations expertise does not inevitably translate into an ability to govern. There is no point a nation’s having the audacity of hope unless it also has the sophistication and the will to turn it into action. As things stand, Barack Obama and America under his leadership do not.”

Biblical prophecy shows that America will not recover substantially from its present crisis. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of Britain and America.”

Obama Disappoints Israelis and Palestinians

Der Spiegel Online wrote on March 15:

“Hopes were high in the Middle East when US President Barack Obama took office last year. But instead of progress toward peace, he has shown indecision and hesitancy. With many in the region united against Iran, he is in danger of letting a golden opportunity slip through his fingers…

“Never before had a US president enjoyed such trust in the Middle East — and gambled it away in such a short time. Obama has vacillated to an extent that has confused friend and foe alike…

“US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Jerusalem, where he assured his hosts of Washington’s ‘absolute, total, unvarnished commitment to Israel’s security’ — only to discover, hours later, that the Israeli interior ministry had just approved the construction of 1,600 housing units for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Biden was so angry that he showed up an hour-and-a-half late for a dinner with Netanyahu and his wife. ‘I condemn the decision by the government of Israel to advance planning for new housing units in East Jerusalem,’ he said afterwards. ‘It is precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now.’ It was undoubtedly a brazen insult to Israel’s powerful ally. Nevertheless, sympathy with the Americans has been muted. ‘Mr. Obama has himself to blame,’ the Financial Times remarked drily…

“Obama’s failure in the Middle East is but one example of his weakness, though a particularly drastic and vivid one. The president, widely celebrated when he took office, cannot claim to have achieved sweeping successes in any area. When he began his term more than a year ago, he came across as an ambitious developer who had every intention of completing multiple projects at once. But after a year, none of those projects has even progressed beyond the early construction phase. And in some cases, the sites are nothing but deep excavations…

“He set out to negotiate with Iran. He courted the regime… But the end-of-the-year deadline he had loudly proclaimed passed without incident, and yet Iran’s uranium centrifuges in Natanz and Qom are still up and running. Although Iraq held an election two Sundays ago, the results are so ambiguous, and the situation is so unclear, that Ray Odierno, the commanding general of US forces in Iraq, is thinking about delaying the withdrawal of his troops — which would represent yet another breach of Obama’s campaign promises.

“Obama has turned his attention to Afghanistan, sending an additional 30,000 troops to the country. But even that measure was announced and then withdrawn in the same speech. The troops were deployed in 2009, but their withdrawal is set to begin by mid-2011. By announcing his plans for the deployment and withdrawal of the troops at the same time, Obama didn’t exactly create the impression of supreme decisiveness among America’s enemies in Afghanistan…

“Obama can hardly count on gaining the support of allies, partly because he doesn’t pay much attention to them. The American president doesn’t have a single strong ally among European heads of state…

“In the Middle East, the irresolute Obama is missing an opportunity to bring about peace that he… will not be offered in its current form anytime soon. Never before in Israeli history have Jews and Arabs been as united as they are today, in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat. Indeed, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister has spoken openly of the need for a military strike against Iran.

“SPIEGEL has learned that Western intelligence services believe that the Saudis would even provide the Israelis with access to their airspace for such a strike… The Arab states are no longer the ones who benefit from the Middle East conflict. Instead, it is the Iranian leadership, whose ruthless rhetoric and nuclear program has the Arabs just as nervous as the Israelis.

“Nevertheless, Obama continues to stand alone on the world stage, seemingly without a goal and oceans removed from achieving a solution to the toxic Middle East conflict… The Palestinians no longer trust him, and the Israelis don’t take him seriously, as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s ‘apology’ to Vice President Biden demonstrated last week. Netanyahu said that he regretted the ‘unfortunate timing’ of the settlement announcement. Netanyahu’s spokesman claimed that the premier had not known about the settlement plans — one of the biggest construction projects in Jerusalem.

“It isn’t as if the US government had no leverage to convince Israel to at least make minor changes to its settlement policy. The Jewish state receives about $2.5 billion (€1.8 billion) in annual military aid alone from Washington. Some of Obama’s predecessors had no qualms about threatening Israel with cuts in aid. President Gerald Ford did it in 1975, because he felt that the Israelis were too inflexible in negotiations with Egypt. President George H.W. Bush held back $10 billion in US government loan guarantees until Israel agreed to participate in the planned Madrid peace conference. Even his son, President George W. Bush, froze some of the loan guarantees in 2003, when Israel began building a ‘security fence’ that penetrated deeply into Palestinian territory.

“Obama, on the other hand, has shied away from setting tough conditions for Israel. Many of his critics blame that stance on his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, 50. In Washington, every Democrat who would like to but doesn’t dare to criticize the president is turning against Emanuel. They see him as a dark Rasputin exerting his virtually hypnotic control over Obama. In Arab countries, many believe Emanuel is an Israel agent, and they cite his background as proof. The son of a Zionist underground fighter, he served in the Israeli army as a civilian volunteer, despite being an American citizen.

“Obama’s many mistakes in the Middle East are reflected in the low opinion of Emanuel held among Prime Minister Netanyahu’s staff members, who see him as a despicable figure. In their view, it was Emanuel who incited Obama against Israel and was responsible for Jerusalem’s and Washington’s troubles with the settlements.”

US-Israeli Relations at All-Time Low

The Dutch newspaper, NRC Handelsblad wrote on March 15:

“Will Israel succeed in imposing its will on the United States again? Or will it be forced into compliance this time around?

“Last year, prime minister Netanyahu’s government ignored Obama’s demand to freeze the construction of settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories. Last May, American secretary of state Clinton emphasised that all construction had to stop… Last November, Netanyahu announced construction would indeed cease for ten months, but this freeze did not apply to East Jerusalem, where the foundations for some 3,000 homes had already been laid, and some other projects.

“Washington responded warmly to Israel’s offer. The small nation had succeeded in imposing its will on its biggest ally. Last week, the American vice president Joe Biden visited Israel to improve US-Israeli relations. The US had persuaded the Palestinians to return to negotiations with Israel, if only indirectly, even though construction of settlements continued. On the second day of Biden’s visit to Israel, its government announced it would be building another 1,600 homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Biden condemned the announcement, Netanyahu apologised (for the timing of the announcement, not for the construction itself) and, as far as Israel was concerned, the matter was now a thing of the past.

“But on Friday, secretary Clinton lambasted the Israeli prime minister over the phone, calling the Israeli act ‘deeply negative’ for American-Israeli relations. David Axelrod, one of president Obama’s chief political advisors, went even further, calling the Israeli move ‘an insult’ to the US which ‘undermined this very fragile effort to bring peace to that region’ on the American TV-programme Meet the Press. ‘For this announcement to come at that time was very, very destructive,’ he added. The relationship between the two countries has rarely been as bad as it is now.

“This morning, Israeli officials and newspapers reported that the American government would not be satisfied until the entire construction project had been scrapped. This has put the Israeli prime minister in a tough spot. The Ramat Shlomo settlement is an orthodox-Jewish stronghold, and the construction project there is considered of utmost importance to his orthodox coalition partner Shas. It was Shas-minister Eli Yishai who announced the plans in the first place.

“Netanyahu needs the Shas’ support, otherwise his coalition might fall apart. But Netanyahu also needs the US’s support. Not only does it depend on the billions in economic and military aid, it also desperately needs the US’s political support against Iran’s nuclear programme which Israel considers an ‘existential threat.'”

How Ridiculous Can It Get?

The Sacramento Bee reported on March 14:

“It was every businessperson’s nightmare. Arriving at Harv’s Metro Car Wash in midtown Wednesday afternoon were two dark-suited IRS agents demanding payment of delinquent taxes. ‘They were deadly serious, very aggressive, very condescending,’ says Harv’s owner, Aaron Zeff. The really odd part of this: The letter that was hand-delivered to Zeff’s on-site manager showed the amount of money owed to the feds was … 4 cents.

“Inexplicably, penalties and taxes accruing on the debt – stemming from the 2006 tax year – were listed as $202.31, leaving Harv’s with an obligation of $202.35.

“Zeff, who also owns local parking lots and is the president of the Midtown Business Association… [is] trying to figure out how penalties and interest could climb so high on such a small debt. He says he’s never been told he owes any taxes or that he’s ever incurred any late-payment penalties in the four years he’s owned Harv’s.

“In fact, he provided us with an Oct. 22, 2009, letter from the IRS that states Harv’s ‘has filed all required returns and addressed any balances due.’ IRS spokesman Jesse Weller isn’t commenting ‘due to privacy and disclosure laws.'”

This serves as just one example proving that human rule is bound to fail. Godly justice would never allow anything grotesque like the above to happen. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.”

Watch Putin’s Coming Soviet Union!

Times On Line wrote on March 9:

“The Soviet Union is gradually being rebuilt as Vladimir Putin eyes a return to the Kremlin. The man who declared the collapse of the Communist state to be the ‘greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century’ appears determined to forge a new empire.

“The latest evidence emerged in a suggestion by Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister in Mr Putin’s Government, that Russia may abolish the rouble and create a common currency with Kazakhstan and Belarus. The three states have already established a customs union and plan to form a single economic market by 2012. Mr Shuvalov said… that it would be modelled on the euro.

“The last time these countries had a common currency, of course, was in Soviet times. Mr Putin was quick to extend an invitation to join the customs union to Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s new pro-Russian President, when they met in Moscow on Friday. Were Ukraine to sign up, there would be a common economic space encompassing the ‘Big Four’ republics of the Soviet era, with a combined population of 213 million and stretching from the European Union to China. Its political, military and economic centre would be in Moscow, where Mr Putin is expected to reclaim the presidency in 2012 for up to 12 more years…

“Other ex-Soviet republics would find it hard to resist the gravitational pull of a single currency and economic space. Armenia’s economy is almost completely owned by Russian companies already… Russia’s history of political interference in its former Soviet satellites has no comparison in the EU.”

The Bible predicts that in these last days, a militaristic alliance, under Russian leadership, will become a mortal enemy to a united EU. The resurgence of the Soviet Union would be another piece of the prophetic puzzle, leading to Christ’s return, which we are commanded to watch.

EU: Iran Is Building Nuclear Weapons

Israel National News reported on March 3:

“The European Union announced Wednesday that it agrees with the position of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Tehran is secretly developing nuclear weapons for military purposes. In a statement given to the Council of Trustees of the Atomic Energy Agency, the European Union said that Europe will support any action against the Iranian nuclear threat agreed upon by the UN Security Council.”

Deutsche Welle reported on March 13:

“Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb said the EU remained committed to seeking a UN resolution on sanctions against Iran, but lacking that, the 27-nation block would take action on its own.”

A war in the Middle East, involving Israel and Iran, is likely to occur soon. And it is very possible that as a consequence, the EU will intervene in an effort to “bring peace” to the region.

“US Prepares for Total Destruction of Iran”

Scotland’s The Sunday Herald wrote the following on March 14:

“Hundreds of powerful US ‘bunker-buster’ bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 ‘Blu’ bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures. Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.

“Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius… A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia…

“‘They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,’ said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. ‘US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,’ he added…

“For Alan Mackinnon, chair of Scottish CND, the revelation was ‘extremely worrying’. He stated: ‘It is clear that the US government continues to beat the drums of war over Iran, most recently in the statements of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. ‘It is depressingly similar to the rhetoric we heard prior to the war in Iraq in 2003.’

“The British Ministry of Defence has said in the past that the US government would need permission to use Diego Garcia for offensive action. It has already been used for strikes against Iraq during the 1991 and 2003 Gulf wars. About 50 British military staff are stationed on the island, with more than 3,200 US personnel. Part of the Chagos Archipelago, it lies about 1,000 miles from the southern coasts of India and Sri Lanka, well placed for missions to Iran.”

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