Germany is often described as a “reluctant hegemon,” a powerful nation that dominates Europe. This role is not something Germans are comfortable with; they much prefer to blend in as opposed to standing out in any political way. Germany admires the role Switzerland plays—a wealthy nation that keeps a low political profile.
Why is Germany afraid of the spotlight–Because the memories of Nazism are still too fresh, and many Germans simply do not want to be seen as “politically” powerful; to be politically powerful could lead to other European nations (their trading partners) viewing them as potential bullies—a label German leadership wants to avoid at all costs!
The conundrum is Germany finds itself at the center of Europe and once again it is forced to navigate another great European recession. German leader Angela Merkel believes it is in Germany’s best interest to see that the European Union remains united—she does not want to see a dismantling of the Union. Why? Because Germany does most of its trade with fellow European Union nations, a European Union split—would be very bad for the German economy, which relies heavily on German exports.
Strong dislike of Germany within Europe
Germany is not well liked within Europe on account of its attempt to impose a strong working culture and German thriftiness on the rest of the Eurozone. The German solution to the Eurozone’s ailing economies has been to impose bailouts for Europe’s worst-off economies, demanding stiff reforms designed to drive down wages to increase competitiveness. Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Greece have taken the tough German medicine (which has made them angry with Germany), yet the medicine is working! These nations are pulling out of recession and their economies are growing, but unemployment is still very high (For example, unemployment in Spain is at 25 percent).
Pressure is now being brought to bear upon Germany by the United States, France and Italy to stimulate the economy. These nations are taking turns to criticize German policies and urging it to spend more, both within its own borders and across the Eurozone. Germany hates the practice of expansion of credit and “throwing around” money. Germany abhors debt… But France, Italy and America believe Europe’s stagnant economies–stems from a lack of demand, do to the impotence or inability to spend thus depressing both the private and public sectors. They want to increase money supply, Germany could not disagree more it still has memories of horrific inflation from the 1920s. Germany is very much against printing more money to solve Europe’s problems. What is the European tug of war?
Spend your way out of the recession or attack debt with austerity…this is the disagreement between Germany and much of Europe including America. Chancellor Angela Merkel stands by her image as the “Heidelberg Housewife,” comparing national economies to households in which one cannot live beyond their means. The problem is most European nations have been living beyond their means for decades, and don’t want to tighten their belts.
Incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker proposed plans to raise an investment fund in Europe that could be used to stimulate demand. This solution met resistance from Germany. Europe’s battleground will revolve around whether German austerity (Government spending cuts) continues or will stimulus hawks (Italy, France and America) prevail forcing Germany to spend and print money.
Economic recession is once again plaguing Europe—this is leading to a rise in popularity of right wing parties (watch the above video).
We watch Europe closely because the Bible tells us that in the future a European –centered “beast” power is the final resurrection of the Roman Empire, one of the four great gentile empires of Daniels’ vision (Daniel 7)—it will be the final manifestation of the empire that fights Christ as His return (Revelation 17:12-14).
This European-centered “beast” power, as the Bible defines it, is the final resurrection of the Roman Empire, one of the four great gentile empires of Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7) that have largely dominated civilization through the centuries—and will again rise just before Christ’s return.
Revelation 17 gives us more details about this coming superpower: “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour [a prophetic reference to a short time] as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb [Jesus], and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings . . .” (verses 12-14).
“Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?”—Jeremiah 5:29
• According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University, 57 percent of mothers between 26 and 31 are unmarried when their child is born.
• 37% of pastors said viewing pornography was a “current struggle.”
• 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
• America has the highest incarceration rate and the largest total prison population in the world.
• America produces 80% of the world’s pornography.
• The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the world by far.
• The United States has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire globe.
• Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.
• Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
• CHILD PROSTITUTION–At least 100,000 children are used as prostitutes each year as part of the $9.8 billion U.S. sex trafficking industry, according to a new report from anti-trafficking group Shared Hope International. Victims on average are between the ages of 12 and 14
• Disrespect for Marriage: In fact, the United States has one of the highest levels of both marriage and divorce of any Western nation,. The percentage of people who are projected to marry—close to 90 percent—is higher than elsewhere. Yet the United States has the highest divorce rate in the Western world, higher even than vanguard countries such as Sweden. At current rates, over half of all American marriages would end in divorce. In addition, Americans’ cohabiting (living-together) relationships end more quickly—American families are different —we are a people who engage in frequent marriage, frequent divorce, more short-term cohabiting relationships. —, Americans step on and off the carousel of intimate partnerships (by which I mean marriages and cohabiting relationships) more often. Cherlin, Andrew J. (2009-04-10). The Marriage-Go-Round (p. 5). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
• Fifty percent of Christian men and 20% of Christian women say they occasionally or often view pornography. And the most popular day of the week for viewing porn is Sunday.
• 32 States have legalized Same-Sex marriage.
This is well stated by Tom Rogan of the National Review; Excerpts below:
“They sometimes pretend otherwise, but the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Iran hate each other. Both are heavily influenced by theocratic impulses, and their particular ideologies are at war.
In short, the Saudi government uses its oil wealth to export Sunni fundamentalist Wahhabism, and Iran’s ayatollahs use their oil proceeds to export Shia-Khomeinism. And while the rot of political Islam runs deep in the Middle East, Iran and Saudi Arabia’s mutual hatred is a major catalyst for regional chaos.
It’s a uniquely problematic relationship. While Iraqi politics are more complicated than Sunni vs. Shia. Iran and Saudi Arabia embrace explicitly sectarian worldviews and competing zero-sum assumptions about power. Emphasizing this extremism, Iran in 2011 attempted to blow up a crowded restaurant in Washington, D.C. It did so because it wanted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Think about that for a second. Iran was willing to commit an act of war against the United States in order to kill one man, who wasn’t even an American.
While it’s true that Saudi Arabia discriminates against its minority Shia population, Iran is simply using al-Nimr as a pretext for its broader anger. Blaming Saudi Arabia for the rise of the Islamic State, Iran is increasingly furious about sporadic ISIS attacks along the central Iraq–Iran border. In turn, Saudi Arabia is highly concerned by the looming advent of an Iranian nuclear weapon and by Iran’s sponsorship of Assad’s genocide. Reciprocal Saudi–Iranian hatred is overflowing into policy reactions.
That makes this a significant new problem for America. It fuels a growing security nightmare. It gets worse. If Iran unleashes its sectarian proxies against Iraqi Sunnis, Saudi Arabia will likely respond with its own support for unpredictable Sunni terrorist groups. This is no small issue. In recent years (and in contrast to Qatar), Saudi Arabia has restricted its support for the most extreme Salafi-jihadist groups. But beyond all other considerations, it’s fixated on preventing Iran’s empowerment.
America is facing a powder keg of regional politicized sectarianism. If it blows, the Middle East could go up in flames.”
View full article at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/390713/saudi-arabia-and-iran-clash-tom-rogan
Saudi Arabia [Mostly Ishmaelite]:
• Population 29 Million: [Mostly Sunni], but large Shi’ite population in the East where there are the vast oil deposits such as Ghawar— the largest conventional oil field in the world).
• Is the world’s top exporter of oil, and holder of the world’s largest spare capacity (spare output capacity of 1.5-2 million barrels a day at all times to cope with emergency shortfalls).
• Considers Iran as a rival (Iran, whom Saudi Arabia believes is attempting to expand its influence in the Middle East).
• Angry with the Obama administration for not standing by his “red line” regarding Syria. The Saudis are in favor of overthrowing President Assad of Syria (who is backed by Iran). Angry with President Obama for negotiating with Iran regarding its nuclear program.
• Saudi Arabia leads the world in public beheadings. Women are not allowed to drive cars.
We believe Saudi Arabia is home to the descendants of Ishmael: “He (Ishmael) will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
Speaking of Ishmael and his descendants: “and he is a wild-ass man, his hand against every one, and every one’s hand against him — and before the face of all his brethren he dwelleth”.
We sometimes forget that the prophecy in Genesis 16:12, speaking of Ishmael’s hand against others applies most often to the Arab world’s hatred of Israel. Remember, it also applies to Arab hostility aimed at other Arab tribes. We see this in the mounting tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Why the tension? The Saudis are anti-Muslim brotherhood, while the tiny, but wealthy nation of Qatar is pro Muslim brotherhood. Also, Qatar has a friendlier relationship with Iran; Saudi Arabia views Iran as the great enemy of the Saudi Royal family.
Qatar occupies a strategically important position in the Persian Gulf. A tiny peninsula jutting out from Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast– it is the world’s leader when in comes to exporting LNG (liquefied natural gas).
Doha’s (capital of Qatar) strategic outlook is based on two driving motivations: It does not want to accept Saudi hegemony of the Sunni Arab world, and Qatar wants to be seen as a political force in the Middle East, no longer overshadowed by its bigger “brother” Saudi Arabia.
A major disagreement exists between Qatar and the Saudi leadership over Qatar’s financial support of the Muslim Brotherhood elements in the Middle East, including its support of Hamas in Gaza. The Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist Sunni organizations such as Al-Nusra Front want to overthrow the Saudi Royal family—this does not sit well with Saudi princes. Another bone of contention revolves around the increasingly popular Al Jazeera television network, which often produces news stories that are slanted against Saudi Arabia. The government of Qatar owns Al Jazeera, arguably the most respected media outlet in the region and the one with the largest global audience (260 million). Al Jazeera television offers Qatar a very powerful “bully pulpit”.
I am watching this Arab versus Arab quarrel, which is escalating. And now a brief look at tiny but very wealthy Qatar:
Qatar [local population Ishmaelite]
• Population 2.18 million [Sunni]
Al Jazeera Television out of Doha, Qatar now claims it reaches 260 million households in more than 130 countries. It is aiming to become the next “CNN”. The importance of Al Jazeera to Qatar’s foreign policy ambitions cannot be overstated. Al Jazeera TV helped shape popular opinion in the Arab world through its critical coverage of the Mubarak regime in Egypt and the Gadhafi regime in Libya during the so-called Arab Spring, which compelled countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and others to send delegates to Doha to push for less negative coverage of their sensitive political situations.--Stratfor.com
• The richest per capita country in the world–Qatar has the world’s 3rd largest natural gas reserves. Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, becoming the First Arab Country to host the event!
• A supporter of Hamas in Gaza, and a (rumored supporter of ISIS)
• Friction between Qatar and Saudi Arabia: Qatar supports the Muslim Brotherhood worldwide, the Brotherhood would like to overthrow the Saudi Royal family. Qatar has a friendly relationship with Iran—the great rival to Saudi Arabia.
• Local media report that 40% of Qatari marriages now end in divorce. More than two-thirds of Qataris, adults and children, are obese—BBC World Service
• Qatar has been steadily buying up much of the UK. It owns a vast amount of the Canary Wharf financial district. During the banking crisis, it stepped in to become the biggest shareholder in Barclays. It owns the Olympic Village, Harrods and the world’s most expensive apartment block at No 1 Hyde Park. It owns Camden Market, the Shard and 20 per cent of the London Stock Exchange. It has also become Britain’s biggest supplier of imported liquefied natural gas.—Melanie Phillips
Later in the week we will look at Saudi Arabia—the great Ishmaelite nation of the Middle East.
What is a pandemic? It is a plague, a pestilence (disease) that impacts millions of people and may spread over continents or a multitude of continents.
Black Death (Bubonic plague 1346–1400)
This pandemic exploded onto the world stage in year 1346, and spread quickly throughout Europe and Asia. It killed an estimated 43 million people worldwide, including 25 million in Europe, or 1/3 of the population on the European continent. It used to be thought that the Black Death originated in China, but new research shows that it began in the spring of 1346 in the steppe region, where a plague reservoir stretches from the north-western shores of the Caspian Sea into southern Russia—(Historytoday.com).
It is caused by a bacterium known as Yersinia pestis, which uses the flea as a host and is usually transmitted to humans via rats and animals—the fleas carry the bacterium. The disease causes gangrene in the fingers and feet and large swellings nodules on the groin, armpits and neck. It is called the Black Death because the feet, hands and even parts of the face turn blue black.
Today, it kills up to two thirds of sufferers within just four days if it is not treated. Worldwide, there are 1,000 to 3,000 cases of plague each year. The plague is generally associated with domestic rats but squirrels have been known to carry the plague (fleas) as well. Almost all of the cases reported during the decade were rural. They occurred among people living in small towns and villages or in agricultural areas, rather than in larger, more developed towns and cities.
In 1918 what was to be called the Spanish Flu, engulfed the nations of the world virtually without warning, killing healthy young adults, children and the elderly. Hospitals and morgues were overwhelmed within the week; in Philadelphia, 4,597 people died in one week alone and bodies piled up on the streets to be carted off to mass graves. President Wilson’s determined effort in WWI helped to forge conditions in which the virus thrived, killing more than 50 million worldwide and perhaps as many as 100 million in just a year. Overcrowded military camps and overcrowded transport ships going to Europe became “floating caskets.”
John Barry discusses the devastation of the Spanish Flu in his compelling book THE GREAT INFLUENZA. An abstract claims the following: It [Spanish Flu] killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.
There are other Pandemics that afflict us today, AIDS, TB, Malaria…we will discuss these diseases in a future blog. Remember, the end-time nightmare ahead of us will include horrific pestilences that will kill multiple millions—Why? Because, people refuse to stop breaking the TEN COMMANDMENTS–God will allow great suffering to sweep through the nations–Notice in Revelation 9:20-21—the nations stubbornly continue to violate God’s laws:
The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Revelation Chapter 6:7-8 describes the fourth seal that involves sickness: “When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, ‘Come and see.’ So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him.” This “‘Pale’ horse (chloros) is defined as yellowish green, the light green of a plant, or the paleness of a sick person in contrast to a healthy appearance. This horse is the color of death and disease. In Jesus’ parallel prophecy in Matthew 24, He explained that in the wake of religious deception, war and famine would come “pestilences” meaning disease epidemics (Matthew 24:7).
More discussion of this subject later…