Current Events

Coming—Worldwide Disease Epidemics and Pandemics

Der Spiegel Online wrote on January 27:
“Antibiotics were once the wonder drug. Now, however, an increasing number of highly resistant — and deadly — bacteria are spreading around the world…
“The bacteria are transmitted via the skin, through towels, clothing or direct body contact. All it takes is a small abrasion to provide them with access to a victim’s bloodstream. Festering pustules develop at the infection site, at which point the pathogens are also capable of corroding the lungs. If doctors wait too long, patients can die very quickly… The two bacteria, ha-MRSA and ca-MRSA, are only two strains from an entire arsenal of pathogens that are now resistant to almost all available antibiotics. Less than a century after the discovery of penicillin, one of the most powerful miracle weapons ever produced by modern medicine threatens to become ineffective…
“With the spread of ESBL-forming bacteria, reserve antibiotics have to be used more and more frequently, thereby allowing new resistances to develop. In fact, there are already some pathogens that not even the drugs of last resort in the medical arsenal can combat… This rapid spread has caused many to wonder whether more and more people… will soon die of infectious diseases that were supposedly treatable, as happened in centuries past. Unfortunately, there are many indications that this might ultimately be the case… The World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned against an impending medical catastrophe…
“In fact, the carelessness with which doctors and farmers are jeopardizing the effectiveness of one of the most important groups of drugs borders on lunacy. Some 900 metric tons of antibiotics are administered to livestock each year in Germany alone. Instead of treating only those animals that are truly sick, farmers routinely feed the medications to all of their animals. Likewise, some 300 metric tons of antibiotics are used to treat humans each year, far too often for those merely suffering from a common cold… This large-scale use inevitably leads to the spread of resistant bugs… Still, even more responsible prescribing practices will hardly be able to stop the advance of resistant bacteria in the long term. What’s more, no new antibiotics can be seen on the horizon. Only four pharmaceutical companies worldwide are still working on developing new agents…”
Other media reports show the increasing ineffectiveness and counter-productiveness of antibiotics. Surely, Christ’s predictions that we will hear more and more about end-time diseases and pandemics are coming to pass…

The World’s Biggest Political Battle

Der Spiegel wrote on January 26:

“The battle lines are being drawn in what is undoubtedly the world’s biggest political battle — the election of an American president. Incumbent Barack Obama used his annual State of the Union speech in front of Congress on Tuesday to outline the foundations of his campaign…

“Die Zeit writes: ‘Obama remains a politically vulnerable president. … And the criticism from the Republicans is also not completely unjustified…’

“The center-left Frankfurter Rundschau writes: ‘… the US has developed into a class society. More so than in Germany, anyone’s future prospects depend on where they come from. Only those with affluent and well-educated parents… even [have] a shot at having… a career…’

“The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: ‘With the demand for a minimum tax for the rich, (Obama) is breeding resentment among the successful entrepreneurs and investors who are the engine of economic development… With minimum taxes and increased industry control, he will not win back manufacturing jobs for America.’”

Der Spiegel added on January 27:

“The US Republican candidates’ debate in Florida quickly devolved into a horror show of absurdities on Thursday night as candidates argued about immigration and moon colonies. Mitt Romney was branded the winner, but the real losers were the viewers, the truth and politics in general… CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer tried to heighten the drama by asking absurd questions about US colonies on the moon, Swiss bank accounts, and Puerto Rican statehood, not to mention which of the four candidates’ wives would make the best first lady… The most important topic for voters, the economy, wasn’t addressed at all.

“At the end, the commentators declared Romney the winner (because he bit the hardest) and Gingrich the loser (because he didn’t bite back hard enough). Santorum was termed the ‘new’ challenger (because he attacked everyone), and Paul became the funny uncle. But the real loser was the political system… Those who follow this race daily may have long since lost perspective on how absurd it is… Maybe the best solution came from Paul, who said: ‘Well, I don’t think we should go to the moon. I think we maybe should send some politicians up there.’”

We feel ALL politicians should be sent up there… Subsequently, Mr. Romney won the election in Florida, but Mr. Gingrich–who reached a distant second place– vowed to continue fighting until the bitter end. The very next day, both politicians resumed their personal attacks against each other, and the other two remaining Republican contestants, Messrs. Santorum and Paul, chipped in as well.

Cameron Critical of European Court of Human Rights

Israel National News reported on January 27:

“British Prime Minister David Cameron delivered a speech before the Council of Europe, the 47 nation grouping that is responsible for the European Court of Human Rights. Britain has been discomfited by the court’s activism and decisions. A recent parliamentary study found that Britain lost 75% of the cases in which it was sued…

“Britain’s major complaint is a serious one. The UK is concerned about court rulings on immigration that prevented the country from protecting its citizens against terrorism. Terrorists who had entered the country illegally could not be deported… Another problematic area is the penchant of the European Court of human rights to review cases that have gone through the entire appeals process in the national courts, adding yet another tribunal. The court ‘should not undermine its own reputation by going over national decisions where it does not need to.’”

Britain’s frustration with the institutions of the EU will continue.

Tough Smacking Laws Need to Be Relaxed

Great Britain’s Press Association wrote on January 29:

“Legislation surrounding the smacking of children needs to be relaxed so working-class parents can instil discipline in their homes without fearing prosecution, according to a senior Labour politician. MP for Tottenham David Lammy claimed Labour’s 2004 decision to tighten up the smacking law was partly to blame for last summer’s riots, which erupted in his north London constituency.

“In an interview with LBC Radio, the former education minister said: ‘Many of my constituents came up to me after the riots and blamed the Labour Government, saying: “You guys stopped us being able to smack our children”… These parents are scared to smack their children and paranoid that social workers will get involved and take their children away.’

“Mr Lammy… said working-class parents should be able to physically discipline their children to prevent them from joining gangs and getting involved in knife crime. Current legislation, enforced under The Children Act of 2004, says parents are allowed to smack their offspring without causing the ‘reddening of the skin’. Previously they could use ‘reasonable chastisement’ with a judge deciding if they had over-stepped the mark. However, since the 2004 amendments the decision has been left to social workers…

“The politician argued parents in Tottenham had to raise their children ‘with knives, gangs and the dangers of violent crime just outside the window’, but ‘no longer feel sovereign in their own homes’, because of the laws. ‘The ability to exercise their own judgment in relation to discipline and reasonable chastisement has been taken away,’ he added.”

Indeed, man’s ways ARE foolishness to God.

Victory for Merkel

The Financial Times wrote on January 30:

“Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 countries have signed up to a German-inspired treaty enshrining tougher fiscal rules to help underpin the euro. But Berlin was warned that there were limits to how much sovereignty governments could be expected to surrender for the sake of fiscal discipline… The continued debate over Greece’s future came as Ms Merkel was handed a symbolic victory in her months’ long drive to include tough budget limits into the fabric of the single currency. But Berlin lost a second signatory at the summit when the Czech Republic announced it would join the UK by not agreeing to the pact.

“David Cameron… said he would not block signatories from using EU-wide institutions. But he warned he would take legal action if the new treaty undermined British interests. Ratification by Germany’s most important partner in the eurozone also became more complicated as Mr Sarkozy said he would not ask the French assembly to approve the treaty before April’s presidential election. Mr Sarkozy’s likely opponent, Socialist François Hollande, has said he would seek to renegotiate the pact, but Ms Merkel said she did not believe France would back away from the commitment.”

Deutsche Welle added on January 31:

“Twenty-five of the European Union’s 27 member states agreed to a fiscal unification pact that would cede much control of national budgets over to Brussels… The United Kingdom had already declined to take part in the so-called ‘fiscal compact,’ which, among other things, would require countries to introduce balanced budget rules into their laws or constitutions. The Czech Republic also said it would not sign the agreement.”

The Wall Street Journal added:

“Leaders of 25 European Union governments agreed Monday night on what some billed as a historic pact to move to closer fiscal union and signed off on the details of a permanent bailout fund for the euro zone…”

The EU Says “No” to German-American Merger

Der Spiegel reported on January 2:

“The European Commission has vetoed a planned merger between Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext stock exchanges, saying that it would have created a quasi-monopoly in certain kinds of trading… It would have been the world’s largest stock-exchange company… According to the Commission, the two companies control more than 90 percent of the trade in European exchange-traded financial derivatives… Deutsche Börse reacted to the decision with disappointment. ‘This is a black day for Europe and for its future competitiveness on global financial markets,’ said the company’s executive board in a statement. ‘The EU Commission’s decision is based on an unrealistically narrow definition of the market that does no justice to the global nature of competition in the market for derivatives.’

“The two companies can still appeal the decision before the European Court of Justice. The head of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Duncan Niederauer, recently said that he would not rule out legal action against a veto. It was the third attempt by Deutsche Börse and NYSE to merge. The Frankfurt-based Deutsche Börse would have owned 60 percent of the proposed new company, and the NYSE 40 percent… The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had already cleared the merger.”

The EUObserver added:

“… the German firm reacted furiously to [the] announcement… The story is not over yet, with Deutsche Boerse expected to shortly make a bid for the London stock exchange…”

A prophecy about Europe in Daniel 2 comes to mind, saying that “they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay” (verse 43). Still, to make Germany angry may not be a smart move for European countries… and neither is the impression that Germany is giving as wanting to become the master of Europe… Please note the next article…

Europe Afraid of Germany

“The EU summit on Monday was overshadowed by a new upsurge in fears of German domination following reports over the weekend that Berlin was proposing dispatching an EU commissioner to Athens to seize control of the Greek budget… Greek newspaper Ta Nea published a cartoon of Merkel holding Greece like a marionette under the headline ‘Nein! Nein! Nein!’… Economic data released on Tuesday underlined that Germany is doing far better than its European partners. German unemployment fell to a record low of 6.7 percent in January while joblessness in the euro zone rose to 10.4 percent in December, the highest rate since June 1998.

“German media commentators say Germany has a right to insist on fiscal discipline in Europe but needs to tread more lightly in its rhetoric, and must refrain from proposals that insult its partners…

“The conservative Die Welt writes: ‘… Countries in crisis can’t be transformed into protectorates…’

“The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: ‘Germany has the strongest economy by far in the EU, and its lead is growing. It is also the most populous country, which isn’t insignificant in democratic terms. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the German government is making use of this clout; that’s legitimate. But Germany isn’t the hegemon of Europe. It isn’t the hesitant or even steamrolling hegemon who flattens the other members of the EU and/or euro zone. The union of the Europeans doesn’t work that way. It isn’t geared to systematic domination or subordination…

“‘If Germany is to lead, as most partners want it to or say they want it to, this leadership cannot simply consist of giving orders… Greek public shouldn’t stupidly call the chancellor a Nazi, and should draw the right conclusions from a grandiose failure. And despite all the fuss being made: The country has de facto already surrendered its budget autonomy.’

“The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes: ‘Germany stands where it never wanted to stand again after 1945: as the dominant power in the middle of Europe. Its attempts to achieve this with cannons and tanks in the 20th century ended in apocalypses of blood and fire, but that’s precisely why that Germany no longer exists. No country succumbed to the temptation of nationalism more terribly than Germany; in its collective memory, the crimes it committed across Europe still weigh heavily.

“‘True, it is a disgrace to exploit that fact today, even in Greece, whose political parties drove the state to ruin. But it should teach the German government not to confuse firmness with the arrogance of power when it comes to the euro crisis. Because this power is very real, and it is causing fear. The idea to impose an austerity commissioner on Greece was insensitive…

“‘In truth, this worst crisis since the start of the European Union shows how vital that union is. It shows that a common currency, the free movement of goods, open borders and friendship among peoples can’t be taken for granted. These are historically unique achievements of a continent whose peoples settled their disputes by waging war up until two generations ago… Germany must convince rather than dictate. It is just as dependent on Europe as the Greeks.’”

The Local added on February 2:

“A eurosceptic British MEP provoked the German head of the European Parliament chairman to cut off his microphone after comparing Germany’s proposed plans for Greece’s finances to the Nazi occupation of the country. The move by parliament president Martin Schulz prompted Nigel Farage to storm out of the Brussels chamber on Wednesday.

“Farage, who heads the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) likened Germany’s proposal for EU control of Greece’s public spending to placing it under control of a ‘Gauleiter’ – a Nazi administrator in charge of a region during the Third Reich. His microphone was eventually turned off by Schulz, a German Social Democrat, at which point Farage ‘had no option but to walk out of the chamber in disgust,’ his spokesman said in a statement.

“The comment provoked uproar, especially among German MEPs, with Green Party representative Reinhard Bütikofer accusing the UKIP leader of spreading, ‘hatred in the European Parliament’ and ‘hatred between European peoples.’ Farage later said he was only repeating a word being used in the British media… The UKIP party does not support Britain being a member of the European Union, and if newly appointed president Schulz decides to take punitive action against Farage, he could face a fine.”

Germany’s Interests in Africa

German Foreign Policy reported on January 20:

“The German Foreign Ministry is warning that unrest in Nigeria could escalate. The German government is ‘very worried’ about developments in that country, declared the Africa Commissioner in the German Foreign Ministry. For years, Nigeria has been the scene of violent upheavals in the Niger Delta and more recently has been marked by an escalation of attacks by Islamist organizations. Over the past few weeks, a nationwide general strike has paralyzed the country, during the course of which, government repressive forces have killed at least nine people.

“The widespread impoverishment of broad sections of the population in this country rich in petroleum and natural gas is the primary reason for these protests. Germany is interested in more than only Nigeria’s natural resources; Germany also attributes significant geo-strategic importance to Nigeria, as a western proxy in African conflicts as well as a deputy in fighting against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Apprehension is now growing in government circles in Berlin, that Nigeria could be politically destabilized, which, in the eyes of Germany, would reduce its geostrategic usefulness. By intensifying cooperation with Abuja, the German government is attempting to counteract this development.”

The Rhein-Neckar Zeitung reported on January 23 that Nigeria is becoming chaotic and is facing civil war due to the threats and terrorist activities of Islamists—especially the radical Boko Haram organization, which is advocating the creation of an Islamic state and the enforcement of Sharia law. They want to prohibit Western culture and Christianity. In 2011 alone, they murdered more than 3,000 people and injured more than 10,000 people in Nigeria. Their attacks are mainly focused on Christians.

Watch Ethiopia

The BBC News wrote on January 28:

“The African Union has inaugurated its newly built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The entire $200m (£127m) project was funded by China as a gift to the AU, as Beijing continues to strengthen its influence in Africa. In front of African leaders a huge golden key was handed over and the 100m high building was officially opened. The tower overlooks a vast conference centre where African heads of state are expected to meet for years to come… The new AU building dominates the skyline of Addis Ababa and is the city’s tallest building…

“Trade between China and Africa has increased more than six-fold during the past decade to $120bn (£76bn) in 2011. China is interested in Africa’s natural resources and in return is investing huge sums in African infrastructure. Roads are being built by Chinese firms at a staggering rate… While other rich nations impose conditions before aid is given, China’s relationship with African countries is strictly a business one, he says… In Ethiopia, many jobs have been created through Chinese-funded projects. Chinese cars are being made in Ethiopian factories and China is also building a light railway across Addis Ababa.”

China’s involvement in Africa and especially Ethiopia is quite interesting. In the past, Ethiopia was identified as the king of the South, mentioned in Daniel 11, pushing at the king of the North [the revived Roman Empire in Europe]. It is unclear whether this prophecy, which has been fulfilled under Mussolini, is dual. Recently, Ethiopia was mentioned in the news in respect to a highly controversial kidnapping of German citizens in that country. We also know that the relationship between China and Europe will constantly deteriorate.

German Diplomat Named EU Special Representative for Middle East Peace Process reported on January 23:

“German diplomat Andreas Reinicke, until now German ambassador in Damascus, will become the EU special representative for the Middle East peace process. The appointment was agreed by the EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on January 23. He will play a key role in bringing both sides back to the negotiating table, according to Catherine Ashton, EU high representative for foreign affairs.

“Reinicke is considered one of the most experienced Middle East experts in the German Foreign Office, having been stationed at both the embassies in Tel Aviv and Ramallah and heading up the Middle East section at the Foreign Office headquarters in Berlin. In addition to the EU’s long-standing efforts to help achieve a peaceful solution in the Middle East, Germany is also working bilaterally to support a peaceful solution. The German Government has had numerous political talks with representatives of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority. The Middle East is one of the region’s most frequently visited by the Federal Foreign Minister and the Federal Chancellor.”

Germany’s influence and involvement in the Middle East is prophesied to continue and increase.

The Iranian Threat

Israel National News reported on January 27:

“The current U.S.-led push to force Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions through steadily increasing economic and diplomatic pressure is beginning to show results and it would be ‘premature’ to resort to military force, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said on Thursday… He said the U.S. was increasing its economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran while making  preparations—if there was no other option—for a possible military intervention into the country… The London Times reported this week that Israeli officials told Dempsey that Israel would give President Barack Obama no more than 12 hours’ notice if and when it attacks Iran. The Netanyahu government also will not coordinate with the United States an attack on the Islamic Republic, according to the report.”

As the next article shows and as the dpa reported on January 24, the EU also announced wide-ranging “extraordinary” economic sanctions against Iran. Beginning with July 1, 2012, all oil imports into Europe from Iran are prohibited. According to the Figaro in Paris, the sanctions are prepared to preempt an Israeli attack on Iran. A most ridiculous position was taken by the Tagesanzeiger in Zurich, stating on January 25: “The crisis can only be avoided if the EU is willing to strengthen the regime in Tehran.”

Iran’s Reaction to EU Sanctions

Deutsche Welle reported on January 29:

“Iranian lawmakers have delayed a retaliatory halt in oil exports to Europe despite their fury over the EU’s embargo on imports of Iranian oil. The EU is pressing Iran to drop its nuclear ambitions. Iranian energy commission spokesman Emad Hosseini said the plan by Iranian lawmakers to fast-track a bill through parliament on Sunday to choke off oil exports to Europe has been put off until next Friday…

“Eighteen percent of Iranian oil exports go to EU countries, mainly to Italy, Spain and Greece. The EU embargo enacted on January 16 applies in phases. It banned new import contracts but gave those three EU nations until July to find alternative suppliers… Saudi Arabia has said it could make up for shortfalls, but that could be complicated by repeated Iranian threats to close the Gulf region’s export channel, the Strait of Hormuz. The United States, which has two aircraft carrier groups in the region, has warned Iran via diplomatic channels not to cross a red line… ”

Israel Contemplating Military Action Against Iran

The Telegraph wrote on January 27:

“Reviving Western concerns that his government is still contemplating unilateral military action against Iran, Ehud Barak gave one of the clearest signs yet that Israel’s support for new US and EU sanctions remains strictly limited. ‘We are determined to prevent Iran from turning nuclear,’ he told the World Economic Forum in Davos. ‘And even the American president and opinion leaders have said that no option should be removed from the table. It seems to us to be urgent, because the Iranians are deliberately drifting into what we call an immunity zone where practically no surgical operation could block them’…

“Israel’s fears that it might soon be too late to launch military action were bolstered earlier this month when Iran announced that it had begun to enrich uranium at its Fordow plant, which is buried so deep within a mountain it may be impossible for Israeli warplanes or missiles to destroy. Mr Barak’s ministry believes that once the bulk of uranium enrichment is carried out at Fordow, Iran will be in the immunity zone. Israel also reckons that Iran could be in a position to build a bomb within months… The EU agreed this week to an embargo on importing oil from Iran, but said it would phase in the sanctions over six months…”

The Washington Post wrote on February 2:

“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has a lot on his mind these days, from cutting the defense budget to managing the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But his biggest worry is the growing possibility that Israel will attack Iran militarily over the next few months. Panetta believes there is strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June — before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb. Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon — and only the U.S. could then stop them militarily. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to leave the fate of Israel dependent on American action…

“Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak may have signaled the prospect of an Israeli attack soon when he asked last month to postpone a planned U.S.-Israel military exercise that would culminate in a live-fire phase in May. Barak apologized that Israel couldn’t devote the resources to the annual exercise this spring. President Obama and Panetta are said to have cautioned the Israelis that the United States opposes an attack… This U.S. policy… might open a breach like the one in 1956, when President Eisenhower condemned an Israeli-European attack on the Suez Canal. Complicating matters is the 2012 presidential campaign, which has [Republican] candidates clamoring for stronger U.S. support of Israel… senior Americans doubt the Israelis are bluffing…”

It appears more and more likely that Israel will soon resort to military action against Iran.

Iranian Soldiers for the Mahdi

WorldNetDaily wrote on January 25:

“Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has held several secret meetings with his economic and military advisers in recent days to prepare for the possibility of war with the United States. Sources report the preparations are to include the execution of those Iranians who oppose the regime. Khamenei has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events… Selected forces within the Revolutionary Guards and Basij reportedly have been trained under a task force called ‘Soldiers of Imam Mahdi’ and they will bear the responsibility of security and protecting the regime against uprisings. Many in the Guards and Basij have been told that the 12th Imam is on earth, facilitated the victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 2006 war and soon will announce publicly his presence after the needed environment is created…

“Journalists, writers and publishers who are deemed to be against the regime would be arrested and punished. Even high religious authorities who do not fully support Khamenei will be put under surveillance and dealt with if they become outspoken about the direction of the country. Several journalists already have been arrested in the past week. In a recent speech, Khamenei hinted of a warlike environment and warned those clerics who might doubt his direction of the country that their survival is tied to the survival of the Islamic regime. Many Iranians who resent the regime resent the religion it promotes, so even opposition clerics might not fare well…

“The plan by the leader calls for total control of Tehran, the capital where the presence of the Basij and Hezbollah militias would be quite visible so that no one would dare to challenge the regime…Khamenei’s extraordinary measures are based either on an understanding that war could be imminent or that the regime has decided to announce it has nuclear capability and is getting ready for a possible reaction from Israel or America.

“Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, an influential cleric and a radical Twelver, previously had stated that Khamenei ascends to the sky every year to take direction from Imam Mahdi, and sources close to the cleric have disclosed that Khamenei has been ordered by Imam Mahdi to continue with the nuclear program despite worldwide objection as it will facilitate his coming. Last March, a Iranian secret documentary, ‘The Coming Is Upon Us,’ was revealed to depict Khamenei as the mythical figure who creates the environment for the reappearance of Mahdi by leading Iran to destroy Israel.”

With this fundamentalist view point, it should be obvious that “negotiations” or sanctions will not dissuade Iran. Quite to the contrary, the religious powers appear to be determined to continue provoking Israel and the West, to bring about an all-encompassing war in the region. Please view our new StandingWatch program, titled, “Why Sanctions Against Iran Will Not Help.”

Turkey and Arab Nations Support Hamas

Israel National News reported on January 27:

“Hamas’ Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh’s recent official tour opened the door to financial cooperation between the terror group and Turkey, a high-ranking Hamas official told the Al-Sharq newspaper on Thursday. The official told the newspaper that Turkey has agreed to carry out a project to support Hamas and rebuild Gaza. According to the official, Hamas will open an official office in Turkey in the coming weeks.

“Iran recently cooled its relations with Hamas, after Hamas refused to support Syrian president Bashar Assad. Despite the cool relations, however, Haniyeh indicated Wednesday he has added Iran to the itinerary of his next international tour… The addition of Iran to Haniyeh’s itinerary comes after Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent Haniyeh a letter on Tuesday congratulating him on the anniversary of Hamas’ victory over Fatah in its bloody June 2007 seizure of Gaza.

“Hainyeh recently returned from his first official tour since Hamas violently took over Gaza in 2007. In addition to Turkey, during the tour he also visited Egypt, Tunisia and Sudan.”

Turkey’s relationship with Israel will become more and more hostile, while it will associate and collaborate with Israel’s enemies.

Unrest in Iraq

The New York Times wrote on January 28:

“Since the United States military withdrew from Iraq in the middle of last month, 434 Iraqis have been killed in attacks across the country, according to security officials, one of the highest tolls for that amount of time in the past few years… the wave of violence over the past five weeks has unnerved Iraqis who fear that their leaders, embroiled in a political fight with one another, are not prepared to thwart attacks without help from the Americans… The attacks, which have been aimed mainly at Shiites, have also raised questions about whether the insurgent group Al Qaeda in Iraq has regained its footing…”

The USA has failed to accomplish its goal to bring peace, freedom and democracy to Iraq. It leaves behind a deeply divided country, which is feared to descend into civil war.

Fierce Violence in Syria

Deutsche Welle reported on February 1, 2012:

“Fierce clashes have swept across Syria killing 59 people… the death toll was heaviest in Damascus where 24 civilians were killed, along with six army deserters. Fifteen soldiers were reported killed in the city of Homs. Nearly 200 people are thought to have died in the unrest over the past few days.

“The fresh violence comes as Russia continues to say it will vote against a UN Security Council draft resolution condemning the Syrian regime. Kremlin officials say the current draft does not rule out military intervention or forced regime change in Syria… Morocco introduced the draft resolution calling for the formation of a unity government that would lead to ‘transparent and free elections.’ The outline says there will be no military intervention in Syria as there was in Libya last year.”

In spite of the wording of the draft resolution, Russia is objecting, showing that its motives are quite different from what is being alleged. Nevertheless, the U.N. buckled to Russia’s demands, as BBC News wrote on February 2:

“Diplomats at the UN Security Council have watered down a resolution on Syria in an apparent attempt to overcome Russian objections to an earlier draft. The new text drops explicit reference to a call for President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power, a key part of an Arab League plan… The revised draft… also removes a paragraph calling on member states to act to prevent the flow of arms into Syria. This was another clause opposed by Russia even though it does not impose an arms embargo…

“Human rights groups and activists say more than 7,000 people have been killed by Syrian security forces since the uprising began in March… US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had earlier said Council members must decide whether they supported the Syrian people or ‘a brutal, dictatorial regime’. Russia, a key ally of Syria, has continued to send weapons for use by the Assad government despite the uprising. In Moscow, a top defence ministry official said there were no plans to halt such deliveries.”

“Democracy” in Egypt?

The New York Times wrote on January 26:

“Building tensions between the United States and Egypt flashed into the open Thursday when Cairo confirmed that it had barred at least a half-dozen Americans from leaving the country and the Obama administration threatened explicitly to withhold its annual aid to the Egyptian military. The travel ban came to light on Thursday after the International Republican Institute, an American-backed democracy-building group, disclosed that the Egyptian authorities had stopped its Egypt director, Sam LaHood, at the Cairo airport on Saturday before he could board a flight to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Mr. LaHood is the son of Ray LaHood, the secretary of transportation and a former Republican congressman from Illinois…

“Just a day before Mr. LaHood was detained temporarily, President Obama had warned Egypt’s leader, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, that this year’s American military aid hinged on satisfying new Congressional legislation requiring that Egypt’s military government take tangible steps toward democracy, said three people briefed on the conversation. Mr. Obama referred specifically to the criminal inquiry into several democracy-building groups with foreign financing, including the Republican Institute…

“State Department officials said that it was the first time in three decades that American military aid to Egypt was at risk. That aid, $1.3 billion a year, has always been sacrosanct as the price the United States pays to preserve Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel… Now Hillary Rodham Clinton, the secretary of state, is required to certify that Egypt is making democratic progress… before releasing the aid this fiscal year. Representative Frank R. Wolf, a Republican from Virginia who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, said… ‘This is out of control… If the administration follows the law, there’s no way they can continue the aid.’”

Islamists received 70 percent of the votes in the first “free” parliamentary election. A confrontation with Israel is feared. The recent turmoil during the first session of the Egyptian parliament with Islamic majority, and the election of a member of the radical Muslim brotherhood as President of Parliament shows how far removed Egypt is from any resemblance to democracy—and it manifests the threat that new Egypt poses for the West. The violent outbreak at a soccer game on Wednesday is not the kind of peaceful democratic behavior that the Egyptians were thought to embrace.  Almost 80 people died and about 1,000 were injured in the city of Port Said, Egypt, after fans rushed the field following a game against a rival team.

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