Current Events

Will America Attack Syria?

The Independent wrote on August 25:

“Options for a military strike [against Syria] drawn up by the Pentagon are already on President Barack Obama’s desk. However as he contemplated them last night – most likely a strike by cruise missiles launched from the Mediterranean – he was on the receiving end of strong warnings to desist from both Moscow and some leaders of his own party at home…

“President Obama just a few days ago made clear his preference for winning support for any military intervention from the UN Security Council first. That, however, would assume the backing of both Russia and China, which each have veto power. Hardly encouraging therefore was a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry that sought to remind the US of events 10 years ago when it began its invasion of Iraq without a UN resolution…

“The dilemma is vivid for Mr Obama who has made no secret of his own misgivings about involving the US directly in the conflict… Polls show that most Americans [are] strongly opposed to US intervention. Harry Reed, leader of the Democrat majority in the Senate, publicly fretted about being sucked into a longer commitment in Syria…”

“We are Going to War”

Fox News added on August 26:

“Steve Hayes, a columnist for The Weekly Standard and Fox News contributor, told viewers Monday… that ‘we’re going to war’ with Syria, adding that it is only a matter of when and what type of strike will be launched against the country…

“Hayes’ comments came after Secretary of State John Kerry earlier Monday told reporters at the State Department  there was undeniable evidence of a large-scale chemical weapons attack in Syria and called the killing of civilians a ‘moral obscenity’ that must carry consequences.  Hayes called Kerry’s remarks a dramatic shift in rhetoric by the Obama administration despite the fact that intelligence has previously been available tying the Assad regime to chemical weapons use.”

America’s Credibility at Stake

Deutsche Welle wrote on August 26:

“European editorial writers ponder the international community’s options for action – and agree the US faces a dilemma… Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung… warned that Obama faces the question of ‘what his word is worth if he threatens consequences but does not act. The President’s credibility and the role of the United States as a global political regulatory force are at stake.’…

“Obama faces difficult decisions, Holland’s de Volkskrant agrees. ‘If Assad gets away with this, anyone can, and US threats of reprisal are empty – with all manner of consequences for the proliferation weapons of mass destruction,’ the paper said. It concluded: ‘The logic of deterrent forces Obama to act.’…

“Vienna’s Der Standard also agreed that Obama must find a way to put the Assad regime in its place and ‘confirm US credibility without leading the country into a conflict where neither a victory nor peace are possible.’ However, the Austrian paper says, ‘no one knows the magic formula.’…”

US, Britain and France Ready for War?

Deutsche Welle reported on August 26:

“The US, along with its allies Britain and France, is apparently gearing up for yet another military intervention in the Middle East. But the consequences of even the most minor attack in Syria are very unclear…

“The US, along with its allies Britain and France, already has plenty of military hardware within striking distance of Syria. The US has three destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean, which it has now bolstered with a fourth, while Britain is also thought to have four warships nearby. The US, Britain, and France, also have fighter jets within range of Damascus – based in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Cyprus.”

Great Britain has declared its support and participation in an American military attack against Syria, and France has called for military intervention as well. Germany wants to be cautious, as the next article shows. In fact, the majority of Germans (58%) is opposing any military actions against Damascus, while only 33% would support it (The Local, August 29, 2013).

Germany Asserting Itself

Der Spiegel Online wrote on August 23:

“Germany started deviating from French leadership in March 2011, when its diplomats ruled out participation in Libya regardless of UN Security Council resolutions. The following year, Germans long refused the French assessment that the occupation of northern Mali by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) presented a threat against Western interests. France has continued to raise international pressure on the Assad regime over German objections…

“But something different is at work here. Contrary to appearances, Germany is not simply receding ever deeper into itself. In fact, the Berlin Republic is quietly asserting itself and fleshing out its foreign policy. The unwillingness to act as France’s cheerleader in the greater Mediterranean comes with the creeping recovery of self-confidence, and a desire to reposition itself vis-à-vis this historically French sphere of influence…

“German obstructionism also reveals the consensus across the German political spectrum that an Islamist regime in Syria is to be avoided… The deputy leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats has said orthodox Christian populations risk ethnic cleansing or worse if the French-allied Islamists come to power… In addition to the 50 years of the Elysée Treaty, this October also marks the 200th anniversary of the war liberating Prussia from Napoleonic occupation.”

Washington Expects More Leadership from Germany on Global Matters

Der Spiegel Online wrote on August 23:

“Angela Merkel’s conservatives are well ahead in the polls and the chancellor herself likewise remains extremely popular… Washington is hoping that, once the campaign is history, Germany will take on a greater global leadership role on issues like trade, the euro crisis and international security…

“Conley, from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says there is some ‘uncertainty’ in Washington about how strong a partner Germany is on military and security issues in the Middle East. She says she would like to see the new government ‘articulate its foreign and national security views and strategies’ following the election.”

How Will Germany Lead?

The Economist wrote on August 22:

“One month from now, on September 22nd, Germans will elect a new parliament. Perhaps more than at any time since reunification in 1990, the world will watch the results with great interest. That is, first, because the current chancellor, Angela Merkel, as Germany’s first woman and first Ossi (Easterner) in the job, has become something of a global celebrity and is now fighting to stay in power…

“The second reason why the world, and you, will care about this election is that Germany has become so important. The euro crisis has now been going on for three years. Currently, it seems to be stable, but it could return with fury at any time. This has led to an old question being asked anew. This ‘German question’ has changed over the centuries—whether the Holy Roman Empire would centralise or stay fragmented, whether and how Germany in the 19th century would unify, et cetera. But always it was about how this central land (‘too big for Europe, too small for the world,’ as Henry Kissinger once put it) would relate to its neighbours and continent. Today, with demands for Germany to play a new and unfamiliar role as ‘hegemon’ over the euro system, that question is suddenly relevant again.”

The Reluctant Giant—“Germany Has No Other Choice but to Lead”

Der Spiegel Online wrote on August 29:

“The world admires Germany and would like to see more active engagement from the country… The rest of the world is waiting for Germany. But instead of feeling pleased about Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s historic statement that he fears Germany’s power less than its inactivity, we cringe anxiously over such sentiments. When US President Barack Obama calls Germany a leading global power, we hope that he doesn’t really mean it. And when politicians in Israel say that Germany should wield its power more actively, we don’t interpret it as a mandate to become more committed, but are puzzled instead.

“We Germans? Exercise power? Take action? Lead?…  [But] ‘history’ has given us reformed Germans in the 21st century the mandate to play an influential role in all of the world’s affairs… Who, if not we Germans, is as well versed in emerging from the swamp of overthrown dictators? Who, if not we Germans, could advise war-torn countries on how to find their way back to peace? Who, if not Germany, whose path to liberal democracy was long and rocky, could help other countries along this path? And who, if not we Germans, would be destined to warn the Americans, for example, that absolute national security doesn’t protect freedom but instead destroys it? Seen in the cold light of day, we have no other choice…

“For a country as important as Germany, getting involved is a duty, not a choice. The role of being an active player falls on us, whether we want it or not…

“We… want to dream again, of a better Germany in a better world. Germany is being administered, not governed. It could be a soft giant, but when it looks in the mirror, it still sees itself as a gray mouse. But that’s just an optical illusion.”

Syria and Iran Threaten Israel

The Times of Israel wrote on August 26:

“A senior Syrian official on Monday issued a first direct warning that if attacked, his country would retaliate against Israel. Khalaf Muftah, a senior Baath Party official who used to serve as Syria’s assistant information minister, said in a radio interview that Damascus would consider Israel ‘behind the [Western] aggression and [it] will therefore come under fire… If the US or Israel make the mistake of taking advantage of the chemical issue… the region will go up in flames… that will affect security not only in the region but across the world.’

“His words were echoed by Iranian officials, who on Monday shrugged off the threat of a US attack on its close ally Syria, but said that if such a strike were to take place, Israel would suffer…

“The Syrian and Iranian statements Monday came as Britain reportedly pushed for US action on Syria in the wake of a horrific alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians outside Damascus. According to a report from the Times of London, British Prime Minister David Cameron wants a strike in the coming days while outrage over the alleged attack is still fresh. British Foreign Minister William Hague said in an interview with the BBC on Monday that action could be taken even without the full support of the UN Security Council.”

Russia Warns the USA

USA Today wrote on August 26:

“Russia warned again Tuesday that any military intervention in Syria would have ‘catastrophic consequences’ for the region… Russia has vowed to veto any Security Council attempts to approve a military attack on Syria, and it is arming Syria as well, which is why the United States is considering a unilateral attack with the help of the United Kingdom and other nations… The Russians have already promised to send Syria S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missiles that have a range of almost 100 miles and would reach deep inside Israel…

“The Russians could also send Assad their supersonic P800 long-range anti-ship missile, which is capable of sinking NATO ships with a single strike… The Russians could expand sales to Iran of weapons and nuclear technology that has both nuclear and civilian functions…”

Arab League Rejects Attack Against Syria

The New York Times wrote on August 27:

“The leaders of the Arab world on Tuesday blamed the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds of people last week, but declined to back a retaliatory military strike, leaving President Obama without the broad regional support he had for his last military intervention in the Middle East, in Libya in 2011.

“While the Obama administration has robust European backing and more muted Arab support for a strike on Syria, the position of the Arab League and the unlikelihood of securing authorization from the United Nations Security Council complicate the legal and diplomatic case for the White House.”

Jordan—No Attack on Syria From Our Soil

The Associated Press reported on August 28:

“Jordan will not be used as a launching pad for attacks on Syria and the kingdom favors a diplomatic solution to the crisis… A U.S.-led strike on Syria in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Assad’s regime likely would involve cruise missile attacks from the sea, which would not need to cross or make use of Jordanian territory… Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled into Jordan from Syria.”

Further Setback for USA

The Los Angeles Times wrote on August 28:

“The Obama administration’s move to punish Syria’s government for allegedly using chemical weapons in a deadly attack last week appeared to suffer a setback Wednesday when the U.S. failed to get United Nations approval for use of force [over Russia’s objection] and British support was thrown into question. The collapse of diplomatic efforts aimed at securing a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria was expected. The British impediment was not…

“How soon such strikes might occur remained unclear after British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has repeatedly called for strong action on Syria, was unable to muster enough support from lawmakers to push ahead with a vote to approve military intervention. Members of Parliament from both his Conservative Party and the opposition Labor Party insisted that a vote be delayed until U.N. chemical experts now in Syria issue a report…”

Will US, Britain and France Fight with Al-Qa’ida Against Assad?

The Independent wrote on August 27:

“If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida… The men who destroyed so many thousands on 9/11 will then be fighting alongside the very nation whose innocents they so cruelly murdered almost exactly 12 years ago. Quite an achievement for Obama, Cameron, Hollande and the rest of the miniature warlords.

“This, of course, will not be trumpeted by the Pentagon or the White House – nor, I suppose, by al-Qa’ida… While the Americans drone al-Qa’ida to death in Yemen and Pakistan – along, of course, with the usual flock of civilians – they will be giving them, with the help of Messrs Cameron, Hollande and the other Little General-politicians, material assistance in Syria by hitting al-Qa’ida’s enemies. Indeed, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one target the Americans will not strike in Syria will be al-Qa’ida or the Nusra front.

“And our own Prime Minister will applaud whatever the Americans do, thus allying himself with al-Qa’ida, whose London bombings may have slipped his mind…”

Britain may not fight at all, and Mr. Hollande has also begun to back-paddle. The BBC reported on August 29, 2013:

“British MPs have voted to reject possible military action against the Assad regime in Syria to deter the use of chemical weapons. A government motion was defeated by 285 to 272, a majority of 13 votes. Prime Minster David Cameron said it was clear Parliament does not want action and ‘the government will act accordingly’. It effectively rules out British involvement in any US-led strikes against the Assad regime.”

Turkey Against Israel

IB Times wrote on August 25:

“As a NATO member, Turkey is seen by the U.S. as a strategic ally to the West and a crucial liaison to the Arab and Muslim world… Sometimes, though, statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan and officials of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) call into question the notion that the West and Turkey have ‘common hopes and … common dreams.”

“Here is a sample of some of the more provocative statements that have come out of Ankara recently…

“‘There are some circles that are jealous of Turkey’s growth … They are all uniting, and on one side is the Jewish Diaspora…’ Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, July 2, 2013. Invoking the spectre of Jewish domination of the global media may be unseemly in the West, but it’s standard fare among Turkish leaders.

“‘Israel cannot do whatever it wants in the eastern Mediterranean. They will see what our decisions will be on this subject. Our navy attack ships can be there at any moment.’ — Recep Tayyip Erdoðan September 15, 2011. Erdoðan was responding to the recent discovery of an offshore natural gas find in the Eastern Mediterranean that Israel discovered and is working on in cooperation with Cyprus and Greece, two nations that also happen to have problems with Turkey.

“‘The press wants to throw mud to see if it sticks. The Times is renting out its own pages for money. This is the Times’ failing. We will pursue legal channels regarding the Times.’ — Recep Tayyip Erdoðan, August 22, 2013. Erdoðan was threatening the prestigious British newspaper The London Times for publishing an open letter criticizing the Turkish government for excessive use of force against protesters. Erdoðan said, ‘If they truly believed in democracy, they couldn’t have displayed such a lack of character to call the leader of a party that won 50 percent of the vote a dictator.’ Erdoðan’s distinctly non-Western view of journalism and press freedoms was further illustrated when he jailed 64 journalists.”

The Bible shows that Turkey—modern Edom—will turn against Israel… the Jewish state as well as countries like the USA and Great Britain.

Israel Attacks Lebanon

The Associated Press reported on August 23:

“Israeli warplanes struck a target south of Beirut early Friday, a day after militants fired four rockets into northern Israel… It was the first air raid on the area since the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group…

“On Thursday, militants in Lebanon fired four rockets into Israel, setting off air raid sirens and startling a nation already on edge over turmoil along its northern and southern borders… the rockets added to the nation’s fears at a time it is nervously watching unrest in neighboring Syria, where the government has been accused of using chemical weapons against rebels and civilians this week. It’s also worried about Egypt to the south, where Islamic militants have stepped up their activities near the Israeli border in the wake of a military coup…

“Israel fears that Syria will transfer sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah and has carried out several airstrikes in Syria in recent months on suspected Iranian weapons shipments believed to be bound for the militant group… Netanyahu… also accused Iran, the key backer of Syria and Hezbollah, of using… Syria as a ‘testing ground’…  ‘Iran is closely watching whether and how the world responds to the atrocities committed by Iran’s client state Syria and by Iran’s proxy Hezbollah against innocent civilians in Syria,’ he said. ‘These events prove yet again that we simply cannot allow the world’s most dangerous regimes to acquire the world’s most dangerous weapons.’”

Israel is indeed surrounded by enemies… Syria, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, etc.

Less and Less Christians in the Middle East

CNN wrote on August 22:

“Islamist thugs have attacked dozens of churches across Egypt in the past few days, burning many of them down… Today there are more than 10 million Christians in the Middle East and they make up an estimated 5% of the Middle East’s population. A century ago they made up an estimated 20%…

“Take Syria. Many Syrian Christians have tacitly supported the regime of President Bashar al-Assad… As a result, the jihadists who have come to dominate a significant portion of the Syrian rebel movement have supplemented their war against the government with attacks that target Christians…

“Meanwhile, in March in Benghazi, Libya, where a militant attack on a U.S. government complex left four Americans dead in September 2012, around 60 Christians were rounded up by extremists and handed over to the government on suspicion of immigrating from Egypt illegally. The militants tortured several of their captives, killing one of them. That bout of vigilantism followed the arrest in February of four Christians accused of proselytizing to Muslim Libyans. The consequence of such attacks and harassment has been an exodus of Christians from the region…

“This kind of homogenization has happened before in the Middle East, which boasted a sizable Jewish population in the ’50s. But with the creation of the state of Israel and the rise of Arab nationalism and then Islamism, the region has become more hostile to non-Muslims. Around World War II there were 100,000 Jews in Egypt, a community that had existed in Egypt since the time of the pharaohs. Now, there are a handful of synagogues operating in Cairo…”

Church Bylaws on Marriage

The Associated Press reported on August 24:

“Worried they could be sued by gay couples, some churches are changing their bylaws to reflect their view that the Bible allows only marriage between one man and one woman… ‘I thought marriage was always between one man and one woman, but the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said no,’ said Gregory S. Erwin, an attorney for the Louisiana Baptist Convention…

“Kevin Snider is an attorney with the Pacific Justice Institute… [He]  said some religious leaders have been threatened with lawsuits for declining to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

“Dean Inserra, head pastor of the 1,000-member City Church Tallahassee, based in Florida,… said he already has had to say no to gay friends who wanted him to perform a wedding ceremony. ‘We have some gay couples that attend our church. What happens when they ask us to do their wedding?’ Inserra said. ‘What happens when we say no? Is it going to be treated like a civil rights thing?’…

“Some Christian denominations, such as the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, accept gay marriage. The Episcopal Church recently approved a blessing for same-sex couples, but each bishop must decide whether to allow the ceremony in his or her local diocese. The majority of Christian denominations, however, view homosexual relationships as sinful…”

For the doctrine and teaching of the Church of the Eternal God and its corporate affiliates in matters of marriage and homosexuality, and that marriages which are officiated by ministers of the church are strictly between a “believing” man and a “believing” woman, see our booklet on “Keys to Happy Marriages and Families,” as well as our numerous Q&As, including ; and

Another Ridiculous Court Decision

The Los Angeles Times wrote on August 29:

“A federal appeals court Thursday upheld a state law that prohibits licensed mental health therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of minors. The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel said the never-enforced law does not violate the free speech rights of patients or professionals, or the fundamental rights of parents. The state has the right to prohibit treatment it deems harmful, the court said…

“The California law… subjects licensed professionals to discipline if they try to change a minor’s sexual orientation. California was the first state to ban the therapy, and New Jersey followed this year. ‘The 1st Amendment does not prevent a state from regulating treatment even when that treatment is performed through speech alone,’ the panel concluded.”

The Dark Alliance Between Homosexuals and Pedophiles

Der Spiegel Online wrote on August 29:

“In the 1980s, gay rights groups in Germany formed an alliance with pedophiles who advocated the legalization of sex with minors. It’s a dark period few care to talk about now.

“In July 1981, the gay interest magazine ‘Rosa Flieder’ published an interview with Olaf Stüben. Stüben was one of the most infamous pedophiles in Germany at the time. As a writer for the leftist newspaper Die Tageszeitung, he openly advocated for people to accept pedophilia as healthy and moral… in the 1970s and 80s, numerous gay-oriented magazines brazenly promoted sex with children…

“Anyone who searches through archives can find ample evidence of the alliance between gay rights organizations and pedophile activists. If pedophiles got into trouble with the law, they could rely on legal advice from a group called ‘Gay Lawyers’…  there was the remarkable idea that underage boys should not be denied the chance to have sexual experiences with grown men… The gay movement helped pedophiles in entirely practical ways..

“Beginning in the mid-1980s, the gay movement in Germany began to distance itself from pedophiles… The gay rights movement also began to notice how much damage the alliance with pedophiles was causing…”

Rim Fire Reaches California’s Yosemite National Park

BBC wrote on August 26:

“A huge fire in and around California’s Yosemite National Park has continued to spread and now covers almost 230 sq miles (600 sq km), officials say. The Rim Fire is now raining ash on a key reservoir that supplies water and hydro-electric power to San Francisco… The blaze is also threatening thousands of homes and some of California’s renowned giant sequoia trees.

“On Monday officials said the fire was 15% contained after burning for more than a week – up from 2% containment on Friday. Strong winds are making the fires more difficult to control. ‘This fire has continued to pose every challenge that there can be on a fire,’ said Daniel Berlant of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection… The blaze began on 17 August in the Stanislaus National Forest but the cause is still unknown…

“Ash is said to be falling like snow on the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which supplies San Francisco with 85% of its water… Two of three hydroelectric power stations serving the city were shut down, forcing the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to spend $600,000 (£385,000) buying power on the open market…

“The Rim Fire is one of 50 major wildfires burning in the western US. Lack of rain and snow have made it a bad year, with 5,700 fires being tackled so far. The Beaver Creek fire in Idaho has destroyed some 45,000 hectares near the ski resort of Sun Valley…”

By Wednesday night, August 28, the flames had scorched over 300 square miles, making it the 6th largest fire in state history. Officials said Wednesday evening that the fire was 30 percent contained.

©2024 Church of the Eternal God