July 31, 2011

The Week in Review

July 29, 2011 | From theTrumpet.com
Algeria’s “Arab Spring,” what the Norway massacre is a sign of, the eurozone’s unsolved crisis, Chinese jets over Taiwan, and why requirements to speak English in England are “racist.”

Middle East

U.S. paying salaries to jailed Palestinian terrorists: The Palestinian Authority (PA) spends more than $5 million a month paying salaries to terrorists sitting in Israeli prisons, according to a Palestinian Media Watch report presented to congressmen in Washington on Tuesday. According to the media watchdog’s report, the money transfers contravene U.S. law, which prohibits the funding of anyone who “engages in, or has engaged in terrorist activity.” “The U.S. funds the PA’s general budget,” the report reads. “Through the PA budget the U.S. is paying the salaries of terrorist murderers in prison and funding the glorification and role modeling of terrorists.” Authors of the report are attempting to persuade U.S. congressmen to cut U.S. funds to the PA because of its support and glorification of terrorists. According to the report, “A law signed and published in the official Palestinian Authority Registry in April 2011 puts all Palestinians and Israeli Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terror crimes on the PA payroll to receive a monthly salary from the PA.” The report says this law “formalizes what has long been a PA practice.” Anyone imprisoned for participating in the “struggle against the occupation [Israel]” qualifies to receive these payments. An official daily newspaper of the PA says that 5,500 Palestinian prisoners receive such funds. Palestinian Media Watch says the average monthly salary for these terrorist prisoners is ils3,129 (us$907), which is more than the average monthly wage of a PA civil servant. As a major foreign contributor to the Palestinian Authority’s budget, America is continuing to demonstrate its politically correct and weak approach to Palestinian terrorism, even as its support for ally Israel wanes.

Algeria seeking to ward off its own “Arab Spring”: In the wake of neighboring countries falling to revolutionary forces in recent months, the Algerian government has been taking steps to preempt the same happening in Algeria, the bbc reported Wednesday. Back in February, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika lifted a 19-year-old state of emergency. Since then, the government has embarked on further initiatives and compromises to win over the public—including appeasing Islamists. In early May, it revised the national budget to allocate more money to public sector workers’ salaries and subsidies for basic foodstuffs. This month, the president is expected to release 4,000 Islamists from prison, most of whom have been held since a 1992 clash between Islamists and the military. President Bouteflika is also promising democratic reforms including an amended constitution and new electoral laws. One of the two people he nominated to organize and lead a national dialogue on reforms was selected for his connections to Islamist leaders. Analysts doubt that Bouteflika’s moves thus far will be enough to counteract the discontent arising from poor living conditions and the lack of transparent and fair political representation. However, any opening up of the electoral process—which currently bans Islamists and religious-based parties—will more than likely only give more power to radical Islam, just as we have seen in several other countries over recent months. Whether it is through the current government’s appeasement of the Islamists, or through popular uprising, we can expect oil-rich Algeria to trend toward the Iranian-led Islamist camp. As Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in The King of the South, “Sudan is already in the radical Islamic camp. Algeria may be there very soon.”

Iran and North Korea increase nuclear missile collaboration: Iran and North Korea are working together on weapons programs designed to build a long-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, a leading British security think tank has said. According to a study by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, North Korea is currently benefitting from Iranian technology, and Iran could increase the output in its uranium enrichment program with the help of North Korean technology. The Telegraph reported Thursday that the disclosure marks a “disturbing escalation in the race for nuclear weapons technology by the two states.”

Europe

Massacre in Norway: A 32-year-old Norwegian murdered at least 76 people in a huge bomb blast in the country’s capital and a massive shooting spree at an island retreat for young people, on June 22. Anders Behring Breivik is a self-described Christian fundamentalist with links to anti-Islamic establishments in both England and Norway. In a 1,500-page online manifesto titled 2083—A European Declaration of Independence, he railed against Islamic immigration and claimed that multiculturalism was sapping Europe of its Christian heritage. It would be grossly unfair to consider Breivik’s senseless and barbaric actions as representative of the majority of far-right political adherents in Europe. However, the fact is that many in the far-right wing of European politics are coming to share many of Breivik’s ideas about the need to take radical action against the threat of Islam. In recent years, anti-immigrant parties have gained influence throughout northern Europe by tapping public anxiety over the relatively new phenomenon of mass Muslim immigration to their region. Mainstream politicians are now expressing anti-immigration viewpoints as a means of placating the populace. French President Nicolas Sarkozy banned the wearing of burkas in France earlier this year in the face of rising public support for Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigrant National Front Party. Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have all expressed concern in recent months about national ailments associated with Islamic immigration and the failures of multiculturalism.

Even though the peoples of Europe are currently standing aghast at the brutal murders committed by Breivik, many are starting to adopt his ideas about the need to take radical action against the threat of Islam. Watch for Europe to take more extreme measures in the future. History and prophecy reveal that Europe will indeed act forcefully to solve the “Muslim problem.”

Belgium bans the burka: Belgium banned the wearing of face-covering veils on July 23, becoming the second European nation, after France, to do so. Those who break the ban could be fined €137.50 or be sent to jail for up to a week. Belgium’s politicians overwhelmingly voted to approve the ban last year.

Economic crisis not over: Despite the radical steps taken by Europe last week, the eurozone’s economy is still in trouble. Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s credit rating to CC—just above the level of default—on July 27. It said that the restructuring of Greek debt proposed by eurozone leaders was a selective default. At the same time, Moody’s cut Cyprus’s debt rating from A2 to Baa1. Cyprus’s cabinet has resigned and is facing a reshuffle after an explosion at a naval base on July 11 blew up the country’s main power station. It is expected to cost €1 billion to repair. Moody’s said that Cyprus’s political division as well as “the material risk that at least some Cypriot banks will require state support over the medium term as a result of their exposure to Greece” contributed to the downgrade. Spain, too, is still having difficulty. It had to offer a high interest rate in order to sell its debt at a bond auction on July 26. As we wrote last week, “The drama is definitely not over. Europe just took a giant leap toward becoming a German-led superstate, but expect this crisis to force Germany and Europe to take more radical steps toward unification” (July 22).

Asia

A new silk route to China: Beijing is making great strides in its development of a “new silk route to China” to secure its rising oil and gas imports, India’s former ambassador to Iraq R.S. Kalha wrote on Monday. By the end of the year, China’s import of crude oil is expected to exceed 300 million tons, and nearly 80 percent of this oil currently passes through the Straits of Malacca. A Chinese newspaper said in 2004 that whoever controls the Straits of Malacca has a stranglehold on the energy route to China, an analysis which prompted policymakers in Beijing to work toward options that would decrease China’s dependence on the potentially vulnerable route. Most notable are China’s joint pipeline projects with other nations across Central Euro-Asia. Among these is a 620-mile pipeline completed in December 2005, which runs from Atasu, Kazakhstan, to Xinjiang, China, and may carry 4 million barrels a day of crude oil by 2012. Then, in 2009, Beijing finalized negotiations for a 710-mile gas pipeline running from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and finally into Horgos, China. Kalha pointed out that the most significant of such projects has been the construction of the Russian Eastern Siberian-Pacific pipeline, which started in mid-2009 and spans 2,500 miles. “These pipelines,” Kalha said, “are beyond the reach of a credible military threat, freeing China from the worry of its economic lifeline being choked at the Straits of Malacca. This also gives China a freer hand to maneuver, particularly in the South China Sea area. India will have to be very watchful.” Powers in the West are also watchful as China’s thirst for energy, and other Asian nations’ supplies, bring the Eastern countries ever closer together.

Taiwan: China breached our airspace: Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Monday that two Chinese aircraft crossed into its airspace in late June, a move that Taipei says is the first such incursion by China since 1999. Although it is possible that the trespass was accidental, China still claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has not ruled out the use of military action to reclaim the island, which it considers to be a rebel province.

Africa/Latin America

Angola attracts Iran’s attention: In a meeting with the Angolan ambassador to Iran held Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi stated that Tehran stands ready to share its experience in the oil industry with the third-most oil-rich country in Africa. Both officials called for the expansion of ties between Iran and Angola. This meeting comes just two weeks after German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Angola to pledge her county’s willingness to help train Angolan soldiers for peacekeeping. She also told Angolan officials that Germany would be prepared to help “with your defense efforts, for example in bolstering the navy.” Both Iran and Germany are vying for Angola’s favor in an attempt to get closer to the country’s massive oil reserves. Expect tension between these two powers to rise as their respective spheres of influence expand across the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Bolivia’s president suspects a U.S. conspiracy: The U.S. is using the war on drugs as a pretext to promote its own geopolitical interests in Latin America, according to Bolivian President Evo Morales. At a United Nations conference in New York on Wednesday, Morales spoke to reporters of his suspicions. “Lately, it is no longer Communists or terrorists but drug traffickers that we are being called,” he said. “There have been many accusations and attempts to involve me in drug trafficking first as a leader and now as a president, so we shall see what happens in the future.” Even before he left for the conference, Morales reportedly voiced concern that cocaine or bombs could be planted on his plane in an attempt to frame him. “I am very afraid of the U.S. government because I know their political operators. Drug trafficking is handled with geopolitical interests in mind. The [Drug Enforcement Administration] was not struggling against drug trafficking but was controlling it with political interests in mind, and everybody knows that.” Bolivia and its Latin American allies are becoming increasingly anti-American as the power and influence of the U.S. wanes on the world scene.

Anglo-America

British court told immigration law is racist: The legal requirement that all immigrants to Britain must speak English is “blatantly, admittedly, racially discriminatory,” according to the defending QC in a case brought before the country’s High Court. Laws introduced last year require anybody moving to the UK in order to live with their spouse or partner to demonstrate a basic knowledge of English. Manjit Gill QC, however, claims that this is racist and violates the immigrant’s “right to family life.” This is just another example of how some use phony “rights” to try to deprive Britain of control of its own borders.

Cheat on your spouse or your money back: A controversial, Toronto-based, adultery website is now offering a money-back guarantee if its customers are not able to arrange an extra-marital affair, the Herald Sun reported Tuesday. Affairs had to be worked on, said website founder Noel Biderman: “If you want to find the right level of success, we think there is the commitment level you need to make, and if it doesn’t work out for you then we’ll give you your money back.” The website, which claims to have around 8 million members worldwide, has been widely criticized by family groups as an online brothel. In Australia, Family Council of Victoria president Peter Stokes rightly placed the blame back where it truly belongs by saying that the website’s success was a sad reflection on our society. Marriage and family are the backbone of a stable society. The successes of websites like this one just show how close Anglo-America is to chaos and social breakdown.

Half of American voters view Congress as corrupt: A Rasmussen national telephone survey released Wednesday shows that 46 percent of likely American voters now view the majority of congressional representatives as corrupt. This percentage is up 7 percentage points from June and is the highest finding yet in the history of Rasmussen polling. Less than a third of those polled believe honest representatives are in the majority. As greed and self-interest become increasingly endemic to America’s political system, expect more and more people to lose faith in the government. Eventually all people will come to realize than man cannot rule over man.
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