World Watch Today

The Syrian debacle

Steven LeBlanc
04122016I continue to watch the massive wave of migration that has been sweeping Europe. The unprecedented surge over the past 12 months has been astounding. At the heart of the surge is the Syrian civil war. Eleven million people have been displaced in Syria; nearly five million have left the country. Here are facts concerning the importance of Syria and how that country (once 22 million in population) is having an impact upon the world:

1. The chaos in Syria, Iraq, Libya, North Africa and Afghanistan is creating a massive wave of migration into Europe. Syria is the chief catalyst for this exodus from the Middle East into Europe.  The emigration crisis is creating enormous political fissures within the European Union.  Nations cannot agree on how to handle the crisis.  Poland and Hungary have made it clear, they will not accept migrants from the Middle East.  This has not gone over well in Germany, who has accepted over one million migrants in the last year.
2. Syriais in a strategic location globally. It borders, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, Iraq, and Lebanon—nearly 5 million people have fled the Syrian civil war, many of these refugees live in squalid camps in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq. They have nowhere to go and most are unemployed.  This is a tinder-box waiting to catch fire.
3. There are 97 opposition groups agreeing to the ceasefire in Syria.  With that many distinct groups, all-vying for power, do not expect rebel forces to overthrow the Assad government anytime soon.
4. Syria is crucial to Russia.  It provides the Kremlin with a port in the Mediterranean Sea with exposure to Southern Europe.
5. Russia supports the Assad regime, and does not want to see a “democratic” Syria.  Russia does not want a democratic Syria.  From Moscow’s perspective, better to have a brutal dictatorship in Syria that it can influence than a democratic Syria that may pull away from Russia.
6. ISIS CONTROLS THE SYRIAN CITY OF  RAQQA.  Raqqa, is a provincial city in northern Syria that ISIS has made its operational center and the de-facto capital of the Islamic State.
7. America failed to stand up to Assad in Syria.  President Obama drew red lines, yet he did not follow through on his word regarding Assad’s use of chemical weapons.  The Arab Middle East, Israel, Iran and Russia all took note of America’s lack of resolve.  Many look at the U.S. as a tired, wobbly superpower.

Where does Israel fit into this chaos in the Middle East? For now the civil war in Syria has helped Israel. With the Arab nations fighting one another, the ongoing civil war in Syria, the threat of ISIS in the region…these factors mean that the nations of the Middle East have little interest in attacking Israel at this time.

As for ISIS, of all the places ISIS is attempting to expand, Saudi Arabia is the most attractive and potentially the most dangerous for the rest of the region. It is home to Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia’s monarchy is weak and getting weaker. Its oil wealth is located on a politically unstable fault line between Sunnis and Shiites. The price of oil is hurting the Saudi economy. Look for more terrorist activity against Saudi Arabia at the hands of ISIS.

Getting back to Syria. We know eventually its enemies will overwhelm Syria, and that Damascus will be completely destroyed (Isaiah 17 & Jeremiah 49); but we are not quite there yet time wise. For now Russia and Iran will not allow Syria to be overrun by rebel forces. The downfall of Assad would allow ISIS to fill the power vacuum should Assad be driven from power. No one wants to see Syria ruled by ISIS.

Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen are all broken. Brother against brother, tribe against tribe is the theme playing out in much of the Middle East. The prophecy of Ishmael’s descendants, that they would be engulfed in endless conflict is what we see today: “his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he dwell in the presence of all his brethren” Genesis 16:12.

Syria will not heal until Jesus Christ returns, overthrowing all the governments of this world, and establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.

The Wicked in Belgium

Steven LeBlanc

03 25 2016

Flight attendant who survived the Brussels airport attack

Caroline Glick, who writes for the Jerusalem Post, stresses the importance of recognizing an enemy when you see the enemy.  Many leaders in Europe and America are men and women who obfuscate the reality that there are evil people, and these people must be dealt with quickly and with extreme force.

Political correctness confuses and clouds reality.  When we refuse to face reality in the world of politics and war, many will get hurt.  The terrorist threat nurtured within the religion of Islam is a reality few political leaders want to face.  The tragic fact is that Europe has allowed thousands into their nations who are their enemies.  The terrorist attack in Brussels is linked with a naiveté that European leaders have embraced for decades.  The reality is that multiculturalism does not work.  The reality many want to ignore is that God reveals, there are men, women, and nations, that are truly wicked. But the wicked will be cut off from the land; and the treacherous will be uprooted from it” Proverbs 2:22.  An offensive reality to many was expressed by Lt. Col. Ralph Peters (Retired), who stated:  “Not all cultures are equal . . . the Middle East and Islam as currently practiced is currently not compatible with western civilization.”

Watch the presentation below.  Caroline Glick reminds us of a very important, yet often overlooked reality.

Caroline Glick “know your enemy”

Right-Wing Alternative for Germany Party on the rise in Germany

03152016a
Frauke Petry, the ambitious leader of the nationalist Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), is snapping at Angela Merkel’s heels. Her youthful looks have helped her stand out among German politicians, as has her talk of shooting refugees trying to enter the country illegally.

 German voters inflicted painful defeats on the chancellor’s Christian Democrats (CDU) party.  Sunday’s elections in three of Germany’s sixteen states reveal that support for Merkel is beginning to decline in a significant way. With anger growing in Germany over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s liberal refugee policy, the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) captured seats in the regional parliaments of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Rhineland Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt.

03152016b

The AfD’s strong showing reflects deep dissatisfaction in many parts of Germany with the political establishment. The right-wing AfD party might even capture seats in the lower house of parliament in elections in 2017. This was unthinkable just a year ago. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, known for being a straight-talker, simply described AfD as a “shame for Germany”. “Until now, right-wing populist or extreme-right parties are considered taboo, considered like aliens in the political sphere,” said German political analyst Wolfgang Merkel in a interview with Tagesspiegel daily.

Sunday’s vote puts the German Chancellor and other European leaders at the mercy of Turkish President Erdoğan.  Merkel has been courting Erdoğan for months hoping that Turkey will take most of the refugees still hoping to make their way into Central and Western Europe.  Erdoğan will press European leaders to accelerate Turkey’s path into becoming a member of the European Union; he will also seeks billions in financial aid and softer visa requirements for Turks desiring to visit Europe. Sunday’s vote was a clear warning from many in Germany that Germans are losing patience with chancellor’s deliberate approach to the refugee fiasco.

 The intelligence service website Stratfor.com makes these important observations:

The weak support shown for Germany’s traditional parties on March 13 will only further hurt Germany’s leadership in the European Union as well. Countries along the Balkan migration route have ignored Merkel’s request to keep their borders open and to let migrants pass through their territories, and some EU members are challenging the Germany-sponsored agreement with Turkey. Meanwhile, countries such as Hungary oppose a plan to redistribute migrants across the European Union; Austria and France have expressed concern about lifting visa restrictions for Turkish citizens visiting Europe; and Cyprus is uncomfortable with resuming Ankara’s EU accession talks. Turkey, for its part, has said it will not take back asylum seekers who are currently in Greece and that readmission agreements will only be applied to new migrants.

Europe’s migration crisis began as the Continent was still struggling to recover from its financial crisis. But though the financial crisis transformed Germany into the most influential country in Europe, the refugee issue is weakening it. Germany’s continued leadership of the European Union and Merkel’s leadership of Germany are at stake. And as Europe’s strongest leader falters, so will the entire European project.

We watch the German political scene because Bible prophecy reveals that at the end of the age a strong, charismatic and powerful man will come on the scene and head the German-led “beast” power (Revelation 13:1-8; 17:12-13).  The political climate in Germany is changing; keep watching Germany!

Healing the Great Wound

Steven LeBlanc

03 10 2016

Pope Francis met with Patriarch Kirill in the first-ever papal meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The meeting took place at Havana’s airport in February. The pair embraced and kissed each other at the start of their talks. At a news conference after the meeting, Kirill said the discussions were “open” and “brotherly”, while Francis described them as “very sincere”. “We hope our meeting contributes to the re-establishment of this unity wished for by God,” their joint declaration said. Below is a brief history of the great division between Catholic Church and its Eastern Orthodox neighbors–

Key dates (BBC):
1054 – Mutual excommunications by Western Church leader in Rome, Pope Leo IX, and Eastern Church leader in Constantinople, Patriarch Cerularius, lead to Great Schism
1274 and 1439 – Attempts to re-unite the two Churches at Councils of Lyon and Florence fail
1997 – Planned meeting between Pope John Paul II and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II cancelled
2016– Pope Francis met with Patriarch Kirill in the first-ever papal meeting with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church

The heads of the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox churches haven’t spoken since the Great Schism of 1054 divided “Christian” Europe. The meeting took the traditional Christian world by surprise: Francis, 79, leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics, stood with Kirill, 69, leader of the largest church in the Eastern Orthodox world, with an estimated 151 million followers. But it was also about geopolitics, which includes the maneuverings of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia — who is closely aligned with the conservative Russian church. The two church leaders provided this joint declaration regarding the Church and Europe:

The process of European integration, which began after centuries of blood–soaked conflicts, was welcomed by many with hope, as a guarantee of peace and security. Nonetheless, we invite vigilance against an integration that is devoid of respect for religious identities. While remaining open to the contribution of other religions to our civilization, it is our conviction that Europe must remain faithful to its Christian roots. We call upon Christians of Eastern and Western Europe to unite in their shared witness to Christ and the Gospel, so that Europe may preserve its soul, shaped by two thousand years of Christian tradition.

The Vatican had tried for decades to meet with Russian patriarchs, pressing their efforts after the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. But Orthodox leaders accused Catholics of trying to intrude on their home ground by planting new churches in Russia and former Soviet satellite countries, something Orthodox Russians are very sensitive to. Pope Francis has been criticized because his embrace of the Russian patriarch gave a boost to Mr. Putin as he wages a war in Syria and continues to press his agenda in Ukraine.

A dangerous yet subtle crusade is hard at work in Europe. I choose to call it the ONE CHURCH MOVEMENT. The Catholic Church is seeking to unite the churches (Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Lutheran, Episcopalians, Charismatics, Methodists, Baptists and Methodists. We believe, in the near future, that the Catholic Church is this end time counterfeit Church, which will dominate Europe, eventually playing a very big role in world politics.

This end-time counterfeit Church (Catholic) must be of enormous size and wealth that give her great power and influence. The Catholic Church is described as influencing many millions of peoples and nations, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15). No church in history other than the Catholic Church comes close to fitting this description. Worldwide Church unity, under Catholic leadership, is the primary goal of the Catholic Church—we are not there yet but it will come soon!

MUSLIM WIND BLOWS ACROSS EUROPE

Steven LeBlanc

02 19 2016

Migrants walking out of Budapest in the direction of Vienna

The Muslim wind is blowing into European cities; and European leaders are bewildered as to how to handle this nightmare. The overarching impact of the Muslim refugee invasion of Europe is that it is DESTABALIZING EUROPE. Fear, anger and political mayhem is fueling the rise of right wing political parties all across the Continent. More and more Europeans are looking for a strong leader who will say NO to the surging wave of migrants coming from the Middle East and Africa. Without a doubt we will see major political change sweep across Europe over the next 2-3 years.

Mass Islamic migration into European cites is putting enormous stress on the healthcare system, and creating more no-go zones within European cities; and setting off a crime wave that includes rape, theft and a rapid increase in the assault of women. One example of the chaos is expressed in what is called ‘Rape Jihad’.

Rape jihad
Rape jihad has moved from Tahrir Square in Cairo to Malmö in Sweden, to Rotherham in England, and now to Cologne, Germany. It works this way: Taking advantage of a street party in Cologne, hundreds of young Muslim men broke into groups and formed rings around young women, refusing to let them escape—the men, many newly arrived refugees, groped dozens of women while others stole wallets or cellphones. For the women it was a nightmare. More than 650 were assaulted or robbed that night in Cologne. Details followed in police reports, describing women as having been “grabbed” by “breasts and bottoms”. The nation of Germany is in shock; the German citizens of Cologne are enraged! Police from Cologne report that 40% of migrants from North Africa (Muslims); have run-ins with the law. Twelve of 16 German states now report New Year’s assaults similar to what happened in Cologne. Similar bullying of women also took place in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Berlin.

The tide of rape in Europe is rising. Let’s look at the example of Sweden, that nation has taken in more refugees per capita than any other country in Europe. And what is the fruit of Sweden’s generous (but naïve) approach to refugees from the world of Islam? Reports out of Sweden are frightening. Remember Sweden is seen as Europe’s most liberal nation, and most generous nation when it comes to refugees. Muslims represent as many as 77 percent of rape cases in Swedish cities. In Stockholm this summer there was an average of 5 rapes a day. Thanks to migrants flooding into certain Swedish cities Sweden now claims the dubious distinction of having the second highest rape per capita incidents in the world — surpassed only by Lesotho in southern Africa.

As Muslim men immigrated to Sweden, they brought with them a vicious Islamic culture sanctioning rape. Statistics now suggest that at least 1 out of every 5 Swedish women will be raped. The National Council for Crime Prevention report bears this out. It noted that Muslim immigrants from North Africa were 23 times more likely to commit rape than Swedish men. It should not surprise us why today Sweden is deemed the rape capital of the Western world.

The Muslim immigration tide is creating deep fissures between European leaders. Western European political officials talk in terms of “solidarity,” “humanitarian duty,” and “compassion.” But the enthusiasm of Europe for embracing thousands of refugees has faded fast. The people of Central Europe were not enthusiastic about refugees crowding their train stations and highways from the beginning. Poland, Hungary and Austria are saying no to refugees settling in their towns and cities. In Southern Europe–Greece, Bulgaria, Italy and Serbia—are being overwhelmed with refugees—citizens are saying “no more”.

02 19 2016b

Intellectual elites, which includes many of the leaders of Europe, believe multiculturalism could work—but it hasn’t worked. Islam has not melted into a smooth blended society of Europeans, Muslims and Jews. Many Muslims are not assimilated because they do not want to assimilate. Vast numbers of Muslims live in so-called no go zones—you see such zones in European cities such as Marseille, Paris, Brussels, London, Copenhagen, Malmö, Stockholm, Berlin and Athens. These zones are considered mini-countries within a country, where they have their own rules and codes of justice based upon Islamic law.

No leader of Europe has been as outspoken as Victor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary. He spoke of an “invasion” and asked if there were another word to describe the massive and often angry entry into a country of people who have not been invited to settle there. The leader of Hungary stressed that those who enter Europe are from a “different culture,” and asserted that Islam is not compatible with European Judeo-Christian values.

Facts– Muslims in Europe:

Germany now has 6 million Muslims—most of them are of Turkish descent.
The Gatestone institute reports that, “Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of an imam. Once in Germany the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a ‘single parent with children’.”
More than 750 German Muslims have joined the Islamic State and traveled to Syria and Iraq, and some of them have continued to receive welfare checks from the German state while on the battlefields of the Middle East.
In France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, the prison population is 70% Muslim.
Russia has 21 million Muslims—the total population of Russia is 143 million. Moscow has the largest Muslim population of any European city, with estimates suggesting that between 1.5 and 2 million Muslims live in the Russian capital, (12 million citizens total in Moscow).
Jews are fleeing Europe in increasing numbers. The Jewish Agency, which works closely with the Israeli government and acts as a link to Jews around the world, told The Associated Press that 9,880 western European Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015 — the highest annual number ever.
More than 60,0000 Jews have left Europe during the past decade, and thousands continue to leave. While there were 9.8 million Jews in Europe in 1939, there are now 1.4 million.

I’m afraid naïve Europe will suffer even greater turmoil in the years ahead as a result of embracing the toxic fantasy of multiculturalism—the Muslim push into Europe will lead to chaos.

In the real world, not the fantasy world of socialist European multiculturalism, a lesson from the Bible bears reviewing. When Israel was a nation, they were to drive out certain people from the land. There are those who live in the land who are dangerous, they need to be dealt with swiftly, and not allowed into the land [nation] in the first place. A lesson that Europe has failed to appreciate: “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live”—Numbers 33:55.

Millions of Europeans, who are now fed up with their governments, are looking for leaders who will protect their borders, improve the economy and stand firm against what many consider to be a Muslim invasion of their cities.

As Muslims push their way onto the Continent. This will eventually lead to further tensions between the Arab world and Europe. We will see conflict in the future—Europe and the Arab world are bound to cross swords again. An end time prophecy found in Daniel 11(verse 40-42), describes a King of the South who will provoke a King of the North. The prophet Daniel described the rise this southern Islamic power that will push (fight) against this European (northern) power. Notice: “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. He [the king of the North] shall also enter the Glorious Land [or the Holy Land], and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. The provocation of this King of the South motivates the soon coming European dictator to move troops into the Middle East—war will ensue. The refugee crisis will be one of the most important world news stories in 2016!

The refugee crisis is thrusting Germany (and Europe) into a political crisis. Germany and Europe will look for a leader who understands what is happening. They will seek someone capable of standing up to Russia, saying NO to the refugees, and finally fixing the unemployment crises. Hard to know when a charismatic European leader will rise in Europe—we continue to watch the chaos in Europe very carefully!

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