Current Events


The Associated Press reported on May 27, 2003 (republished by The Boston, that President Bush signed a bill on Tuesday, approved by Congress, raising the federal debt limit by nearly $1 trillion to an unprecedented amount of just under $7.5 trillion. The Southern Illinoisan pointed out on May 25 that “Congress had breached its current $6.4 trillion limit on borrowing early this year, and the government has averted an unprecedented default only by having the Treasury Department shift money from various funds it oversees.” The paper continued, “This year’s deficit is expected to exceed $300 billion for the first time, and shortfalls are projected into the future… while Democrats blame the return of red ink on a series of Bush tax cuts, Republicans blame the faltering economy and the costs of confronting terrorists.”

As of May 31, the outstanding public debt was $6,559,774,122,542.55, according to the U.S. National Debt Clock. To get an idea of the enormity of this figure, consider that the estimated population of the United States is 291,098,867. Each citizen’s share of the public debt would be $22,534.52. The national debt has continued to increase on an average of $1.36 billion per day since September 30, 2002. In the 1990s, the federal government created $2.8 trillion of new debt.

MSNBC News reported on May 29 that the Bush administration has shelved a report commissioned by the Treasury that shows that the U.S. currently faces a future of chronic federal budget deficits totaling at least $44 trillion in current U.S. dollars. The study “estimates that closing the gap would require the equivalent of an immediate and permanent 66 percent across-the-board income tax increase.”

There would be, of course, other means to close the gap – but nobody in government or opposition seems to be willing to take those steps, as that would first of all require a totally new way of thinking. We are referring, for example, to the military or the space program or the tobacco industry. After Christ’s return, no money will be spent anymore for any of those purposes. In fact, we read in Isaiah 2:4, “He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they LEARN WAR anymore.”

This time has not arrived yet, and so we see astronomical debts accumulating. Thanks be to God, though, that His Son WILL return to this earth to establish a better and just world.


This question is being asked increasingly inside and outside the United States and Great Britain. It was recently prompted by comments of US Vice-Minister of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, who reportedly said that the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was not the main reason for the invasion. According to Vanity Fair, this reason was given, as everyone could agree with it.

Mr. Wolfowitz’s comments were followed by a stirring account in the British press. The Guardian Unlimited reported on May 31 that allegedly Jack Straw, Great Britain’s foreign secretary, and Colin Powell “privately expressed serious doubts about the quality of intelligence on Iraq’s banned weapons programme [sic] at the very time they were publicly trumpeting it to get UN support for a war on Iraq.” According to the paper, those concerns were expressed during a transcribed private meeting at the Waldorf hotel in New York. The paper continued, “Mr. Powell told the foreign secretary he hoped the facts, when they came out, would not ‘explode in their faces.'”

Both the American and the British governments were quick to deny any validity of the report. Great Britain’s Sunday Mail published an article on June 1, reporting that “Foreign Secretary Jack Straw yesterday denied he and US counterpart Colin Powell had shared secret doubts over the invasion of Iraq.” The article continued, “Yesterday, the Foreign Office dismissed the allegations as ‘simply untrue’ and insisted that ‘no such meeting took place.'”

USA Today reported on June 2 that “U.S. and British officials defended their allegations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction amid growing charges that the Bush administration may have overstated ambiguous intelligence to sell the war in Iraq. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Monday that everything he told the United Nations in his indictment of Iraq’s weapons programs in February had been vetted by the CIA and that only information backed by multiple sources were [sic] made public. ‘Our credibility is intact,’ he told ABC News. ‘Everybody knows that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.'”

USA Today continued to point out: “A U.S. Intelligence expert who helped Powell’s presentation in February said the effort was rushed and, in some cases, relied on circumstantial evidence.”

The paper also stated that “Senate Committees will investigate the issue as soon as this month.” Der Spiegel Online elaborated on the planned investigation in its article of June 3, as follows, “Now, the American Congress gets involved. Two Senate Committees want to find out whether the American government has exaggerated the dangers stemming from Saddam’s weapons… Especially the credibility of President Bush, Secretary of State, Colin Powell, Minister of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and Director of the CIA, George Tenet, is at stake. According to the BBC, it is likely that all will have to testify before the Committees.” It was also announced that Tony Blair will be investigated by the British Parliament.

At the same time, according to Der Spiegel, Hans Blix reiterated on Monday that his team did not find any proof that Iraq was in possession of any weapons of mass destruction.

Der Spiegel also published on May 31 excerpts from an interview with General James Convey, in charge of the marines in Iraq, stating that it is “clearly false” to claim that Saddam wanted to attack the Allies with biological or chemical weapons. He told the Los Angeles Times, “There is simply nothing there.”

In an additional report of June 1, Der Spiegel quoted former British minister Clare Short, who had resigned in protest of Mr. Blair’s Iraq policy, to the effect that Blair allegedly misled the people. 63 percent of the British feel the same way, according to a poll. The magazine continued, “[Germany’s Foreign Minister] Joschka Fischer was cited by Mail on Sunday to the effect that he had made it very clear that if there should be no weapons of mass destruction, Tony Blair should admit that he misappropriated intelligence reports and that he misled the world.”

In the United States, it appears that “a majority of Americans seems indifferent to the growing clamor,” according to USA Today. “A… poll (of 1,019 adults Friday through Sunday) shows that 56% of residents say the war on Iraq would still be justified even if weapons of mass destruction were not found.” However, as time goes on, this poll could rapidly change.


A few days ago, Der Spiegel Online, as well as other leading German papers and magazines, began to publish a debate between intellectuals about the relationship between the United States and Europe. On June 1, they published the view point of American philosopher Richard Rorty, encouraging Europeans to withstand President Bush. He stated, “If Europe does not unite now, they will never again play an important role in the world.” He criticized the European leaders that they had again begun to try to obtain Washington’s favor. Instead, according to Rorty, “the EU has to show the world a vision of the future… While America’s politics may delay a disaster for a short while, the Europeans could create a new world order and thereby ‘save the world.'”

The Bible shows that Europe will indeed attempt to do this – with devastating consequences in the end.


After the 300 years celebration in Petersburg, Russia, and the G-8 leaders meeting in Evian, France, everyone smiled, anxious to show unity and peace between the world’s most powerful nations. President Bush deserves a lot of credit for having again begun a relationship with Chancellor Schroeder. Due to the strong disagreement between the two leaders over the Iraq crisis, they had not communicated with each other for months. President Bush went to Mr. Schroeder’s table in Petersburg and shook his hand. The same episode reoccurred in Evian, France. The German press is delighted, thanking President Bush for his friendly gesture.

In addition, the leaders of the eight summit countries, “the world’s seven wealthiest nations and Russia,” according to USA Today of June 3, expressed their deep satisfaction after the G-8 meeting (Bild, June 3). The leaders represented the United States, Russia, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada. However, one of several potential problems remains to be the situation with Iran. According to USA Today, the leaders of Canada, France and Germany “signaled they were not ready to fall into line behind the United States should the Bush administration decide to use military force in Iran.” Der Spiegel Online stated on June 3 that these leaders clarified that they would not agree to any force in the Iran situation. In regard to Iraq, Chirac was quoted by USA Today as saying, “All military action not backed by the U.N. is illegitimate and illegal. I still don’t approve of it. I didn’t change my feelings one iota.”

As one can see, in spite of the smiles of the leaders, disagreement in key questions of paramount importance still prevails.


It has gotten a little bit quiet regarding Joerg Haider of Austria. This does not mean, however, that he is no longer a force to be reckoned with. In a recent interview with News Online of May 31, he stated, “A chancellor Haider is becoming more and more important and necessary.” He also announced that he is willing to return and enter national politics, if his party wants him to. At the same time, he said, “I am back again.”

Whether he is or isn’t, the near future may show.

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