April 2015

World Flashpoint Ukraine

Steven LeBlanc

04292015a

Anti-Russian Protestors rally at Independence Square, Kiev Ukraine

Russia’s Vladimir Putin is meddling at the edges of Europe.  But why is he doing this?  Most Americans have no idea where Ukraine is located on a map, nor do they care, but they should.  Ukraine is turning out to be a major flashpoint in Europe.

Putin doesn’t view individual European countries as a particular threat to Russia, but he definitely views the European Union as a major threat to Russia’s security.  Most of Ukraine is anti-Putin (except for small sections in the east and south Ukraine).  Putin is particularly determined not to allow Ukraine to fall under the leadership of the European Union. You need to pay attention to the nation of Ukraine (population 45 million).

The violence in Ukraine and fear of regional spillover has come as quite a shock to Europeans living in Central Europe. The country is vital to Russia as a buffer against the West, and as a route for delivering energy to Europe. Don’t forget energy is the engine of the Russian economy. Europe needs Russian gas and oil; Russia needs Europe’s hard currency, it is an uneasy marriage that could turn into a vicious European fight.

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Europe is facing its biggest security challenge since the end of the cold war. So worried is Germany over Russian aggression in Ukraine that the German military is moving to revamp its lagging military.  Berlin, after limiting defense spending for 25 years, will boost its military budget by 6 percent over the next five years.  This is all due to Russia’s grab of Crimea and its incursion into eastern Ukraine.

And now this from Germany, “The Kremlin’s behavior has put the importance of the Nato defensive alliance before our eyes. We thought for years we would not need to defend our borders, but now the facts show otherwise,” says Henning Otte, parliamentary defense spokesman for chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU/CSU bloc.

Well know political analyst Charles Krauthammer writes this about Ukraine: “THIS IS NO TRIVIAL MATTER,” “Ukraine is not just the largest European country, it’s the linchpin for VLADIMIR PUTIN’S DREAM OF A RENEWED IMPERIAL RUSSIA, hegemonic in its neighborhood and rolling back the quarter-century advancement of the ‘Europe whole and free’ bequeathed by America’s victory in the Cold War.

President Putin of Russia continually exploits weakness in the EU nations, and seeks leverage and influence in Europe through Russia’s exports of natural gas.  Europe, especially Germany, is heavily dependent upon Russian natural gas to run its factories and to heat its homes.  The Russian state energy giant Gazprom is one of the world’s biggest energy companies—a bully in the European neighborhood.  The European Union as a whole relies on Russia for a third of its natural gas. Several countries, including Poland, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia, depend on Russia for well over half their supply.  Katusa, Marin (2014-10-17). The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America’s Grasp (Kindle Locations 2237-2239). Russia may control as much as one-third of the world’s natural gas.  This makes Russia a first-rate power.

Much of Russian gas heading toward Europe flows through a 930-mile-long, 40-inch pipe buried in Ukrainian soil.   Currently, about a 30 percent of European Union gas comes from Russia, and at least half of that supply flows through Ukraine.  In Russian eyes Ukraine serves as a buffer against NATO, and a major transit hub for its energy that it sells to Europe.  There is no way that Putin will allow Ukraine to fall into the arms of the European Union, not while he rules Russia anyway.

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It may seem that Russia is paranoid of the West, and it is, but understand 25 million Russians (one in eight of the total population at the time) died in World War II, Russians want neutral countries on their border, countries that are aligned with no one (except Russia).  Ukraine is an open plain for any army marching toward Moscow.  Russia wants a Ukraine with strong ties to Russia that serves as a buffer state. It does not want Ukraine to become a missile-hosting member of the European Union.

At about A.D. 90, the Apostle John recorded a shocking prophecy: “And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them” (Revelation 9:16). That means an army of 200 million men. This is an end-time prophecy that will involve Russian, China and other Asian nations. It refers to this Asian confederacy as the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12; Daniel 11:44).  This confederacy will attack the European Beast power (Daniel 11:44).  This is why watching Eastern Europe and the nations of Asia is a high priority.  This attack has not taken place yet, but it will take place when God’s timing for this event unfolds.  Because of its strategic setting, Ukraine is not a minor player on the world stage.

 

37 States Have Legal Same-Sex Marriage

26 by Court Decision

Alabama* (Feb. 9, 2015), Alaska (Oct. 17, 2014), Arizona (Oct. 17, 2014), California (June 28, 2013), Colorado (Oct. 7, 2014), Connecticut (Nov. 12, 2008), Florida (Jan. 6, 2015), Idaho (Oct. 13, 2014), Indiana (Oct. 6, 2014), Iowa (Apr. 24, 2009), Kansas (Nov. 12, 2014), Massachusetts (May 17, 2004), Montana (Nov. 19, 2014), Nevada (Oct. 9, 2014), New Jersey (Oct. 21, 2013), New Mexico (Dec. 19, 2013), North Carolina (Oct. 10, 2014), Oklahoma (Oct. 6, 2014), Oregon (May 19, 2014), Pennsylvania (May 20, 2014), South Carolina (Nov. 20, 2014), Utah (Oct. 6, 2014), Virginia (Oct. 6, 2014), West Virginia (Oct. 9, 2014), Wisconsin (Oct. 6, 2014), Wyoming (Oct. 21, 2014)

 

8 by State Legislature

Delaware (July 1, 2013), Hawaii (Dec. 2, 2013), Illinois (June 1, 2014), Minnesota (Aug. 1, 2013), New Hampshire (Jan. 1, 2010), New York (July 24, 2011), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009)

 

3 by Popular Vote

Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1, 2013), Washington (Dec. 9, 2012)

 

4 18 2015

America continues to embrace same-sex marriage.  Many of our national leaders exhibit no FEAR of God whatsoever–Romans 1:26-27: “For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.” (NRSV)

Verse 28…Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

America continues to abandon God…National punishment is ahead of us.

-Steven LeBlanc

The stats above are taken from procon.org-
http://gaymarriage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004857

 

 

Greece Troubles Europe

Steven LeBlanc

04052015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

The Greek government is in a hazardous position. It needs money to pay its debt obligations and is running out of choices. Greek leaders will have to introduce painful measures to secure European funding and bargain with its creditors — its most stubborn creditor being Germany.

In the face of this swelling crisis, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party are trying to hold together a parliamentary majority and sustain public support. To do so, Tsipras has to demonstrate strength in negotiations with Germany. This means combining Greek patriotism with anti-German threats. Members of the Syriza government have called for a referendum on a eurozone pullout. Germany fears a pullout could start an exit from the European Union by other countries, starting with Spain. Tsipras has entered into bilateral talks with Russia, a move to show the EU that Greece has other options..

Another Greek line of attack is to soften German creditors by bringing up Nazi reparations, implying that Germany is a debtor itself and has no right to press the Greeks with more austerity. Greeks passionately believe that it is Germany that owes Greece because of World War 2 atrocities against the Greek people.

Nazi Reparation payments

Reparation payment is a serious threat to Germany. Germany’s Angela Merkel must continue to maintain the perception of being a strong leader in negotiations over Greek debt. Berlin knows that making a payout to Greece could set a precedent that would refresh other European claims, particularly those of Poland and Italy. In a time of continuing crisis within the European Union, the issue of Germany’s guilt for the actions of the Nazi regime has received new notoriety, and, as nations within the EU grow more angry with German austerity measures, German reparation payments for Nazi atrocities will continue as a relentless topic of discussion.

The disagreement between Germany and Greece is troubling all of Europe and could cause the world’s stock markets to tumble. Should Greece leave the Eurozone, other nations may follow leading to a nasty economic shake-up that could send Europe back into recession.

It is God who sets up and takes down nations (Daniel 4:25; 5:21). Will the 28- member European Union fragment? Most likely that will take place sometime in the near future. Revelation 17 describes an end-time European power that consists of 10 leaders who give their power to a beast dictator who we believe will be European.

“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are on one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast”. (Revelation 17:12,13).

I continue to monitor Germany’s effort to reign in the erratic Greek leadership.

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