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Major Turkish Politicians Reveal That Erdogan Is Conspiring To Bring Back The Caliphate, And This Is All Happening While Trump And NATO Are Allowing Turkey To Invade Syria And Iraq

Turkey is bringing back the caliphate, and NATO is helping them to accomplish this.

According to some prominent politicians in the Turkish parliament, there is a plan being conspired by Erdogan and his ilk to bring back the Caliphate to the center of the religious and political paradigm of the Islamic world. Cem Toker, the former head of the libertarian Liberal Democratic Party in Turkey, recently warned in an interview:

“There will be another referendum in the next four years… There is one more referendum left to come. I believe that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is assertive (on this point). My guess: the caliphate. We will ask the nation, ‘shall we bring back the caliphate or not?”

When asked by the interviewer on whether or not he was certain of what he was saying, Toker responded: “It’s a very, very great possibility, yes …March 3, 2024 is the hundredth anniversary of the abolition of the caliphate…”

The interview was done on the Turkish private television station, KRT, which is known for being opposed to Erdogan’s Islamist aspirations. It is thus not surprising that the Turkish regime has been working to have the station shut down. In January of this year, Cem Küçük, who is a mouthpiece commentator for the Erdogan regime, demanded that the station be shut down. Lawyer Fidel Okan announced on Twitter that the station will be closing down.

Meanwhile, there are very prominent officials in the American government working to help Turkey gain the military technology it needs to have a conquering force. 

There seems to be an internal struggle taking place within the United States government on whether or not to allow Turkey to obtain F-35 fighter jets. But there are very influential officials lobbying to permit the defense company Lockheed Martin to sell F-35s to the Turks. Meanwhile, in the NATO summit, NATO countries have affirmed that they will back Turkey against the Syrian government, which thus gives further leeway for Turkey’s geopolitical agenda of expanding its military into Syria. 

In its most recent meeting in Brussels, NATO backed Turkey against Syria, declaring in a joint statement that Syria poses a national security threat to Turkey. “We remain concerned that Turkey has been hit three times in the last four years by missiles launched from Syria. We continue to monitor and assess the ballistic missile threat from Syria,” the declaration said.

“The increasing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles in the vicinity of the south-east border of the Alliance has been and remains a driver in NATO’s development and deployment of a ballistic missile defense system, which is configured to counter threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area,” it added.

The NATO alliance also vowed “tailored assurance measures” for Turkey against Syria:

“Tailored assurance measures for Turkey to respond to the growing security challenges from the south contribute to the security of the Alliance as a whole, and will be fully implemented …We have increased the strength of the NATO Response Force, and the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) is ready to deploy on short notice”

Pointing to a missile threat or to Kurdish separatists is simply a way of justifying enabling Turkey to expand its hegemony into Syria. Erdogan claims that he wants Turkish forces in Syria to crush the YPG, but remember what he said back in 2016: “We entered [Syria] to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason”. Turkey wants to enter Syria to replace the government and conquer the land. And the United States is giving Turkey the green light to expand into Syria. As a Whitehouse press statement pointed out early this year: “President Trump stressed the need to intensify cooperation with Turkey with respect to shared strategic challenges in Syria.”

Erdogan most certainly has fantasies about reviving the Ottoman Empire, and this is reflected in the fact that Erdogan envisions that Turkey will be once again a great power in the year 2071, and paralleled this date to 1071, the year the Seljuk Turk Sultan Alp Arslan defeated the Christian Byzantines in the Battle of Manzikert. In August of 2017 Erdogan declared in a speech:

“Just like [Turkey’s vision for] 2023 and 2053, we’ve also determined 2071 [marking the 1,000th anniversary of the Battle of Malazgirt] as a ‘horizon line’ … We are proud of our ancestors who walked with glory, honor and victory into the center of Europe after entering Anatolia from Malazgirt, with the red flag in one hand and the green sanjak in the other”

Erdogan then mentioned Mehmet II, the conquerer of Constantinople, and Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish republic, and said that he and the Turkish people are continuing their struggle:

“Whoever Osmangazi [the founder of the Ottoman Empire], Fatih Sultan Mehmet [the 7th Sultan of Ottoman Empire who conquered Istanbul], Sultan Abdulhamid [the 34th Ottoman Sultan] and the veteran [Gazi] Mustafa Kemal Ataturk [the founder of the Republic of Turkey] struggled against, we also struggled with them on July 15”

Erdogan sees his cause as the perpetuation of the struggle of the sultans before him, including the most famous of sultans, Mehmet II, one of the most significant figures in the formation of Ottoman power. Mehmet was greatly influenced by Zaganos Pasha, a Slavic military commander who left Christianity and converted to Islam, and who held tremendous influence on him. In fact, it was Zaganos who urged Mehmet to conquer Constantinople, an aspiration that he completed on May 29th of 1453. After this, Mehmet sealed his reputation as a supreme leader, and selected all of his grand viziers from his personal slaves, concentrating government power to his hands.

After this, Mehmet then began to expand the Ottoman Empire deeper into Europe. The Ottomans took Athens in 1458; Serbia in 1459; Morea in 1460. Bosnia got absorbed into the Ottoman empire in 1464, and the Bosnian nobility took up the jihad of the Ottomans and warred against Hungary. After a long war with Venice (1463-1479), the Ottomans took control of Negropont and the Adriatic coastline. The Turks took Trebizond in order to control the Black Sea coastline of Anatolia and to make the Black Sea into an Ottoman maritime territory. Eventually the whole of Crimea went into Ottoman hegemony after the khan of the Golden Horde agreed to become an Ottoman vassal in 1475. Mehmet II established a major trading network, connecting Constantinople (now Istanbul) with routes north into Russia and Central Asia, and west into Europe (See Itzkowitz, Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition, ch. 1, pp. 24—27)  It is this empire that Erdogan desires to revive.

Whether or not you believe that Turkey is going to return to a caliphate, one thing that is certain is that Turkey is trying to revive its empire. This is evident in Turkey’s recent military expansions into both Syria and Iraq. There has been a struggle within the US government on whether or not to help further enable Turkey in its militarist expansionism in the Middle East. A focus in these tensions is Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who is currently in Turkish prison. Numerous American lawmakers want to put pressure on Turkey to release Brunson through efforts to prevent Turkey from getting F-35 fighter jets.

US senators have twice voted in favor of preventing Turkey from getting F-35s, a vote which is being apparently ignored by Lockheed Martin which recently held a ceremony for the giving of the first two F-35s purchased by Ankara. Other than the situation of pastor Brunson, another focus of US lawmakers is Turkey’s move to purchase two Russian S-400 missile-defense systems. With the Cold War mentality of the Americans, US senators have threatened Turkey in a defense authorization bill with stopping the delivery of F-35s unless it ceases its purchase of Russian S-400s. According to one report from Radio Free Europe:

“U.S. senators have moved for a second time to block delivery of F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey unless it abandons an arms deal with Russia, even as the plane’s manufacturer announced the roll-out of the first aircraft purchased by Ankara.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill for U.S. foreign operations on June 21 after adding an amendment blocking delivery of the F-35s unless Turkey drops its plans to buy Russian S-400 missile-defense systems.”

Politicians in the State Department have been supposedly very unhappy with these moves by the US Senate to prevent Turkey from getting F-35s, with one US official reporting that U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has personally told lawmakers to remove any anti-Turkish language from the defense authorization bill.

There has also, reportedly, been some deception taking place on the part of the State Department. For example, the State Department lobbied for Turkey early this year when it stated that pastor Brunson might have been released by the Turkish government. This convinced some US lawmakers, like Senator Jeanne Shaheen, to rescind the sanctions that prevented Turkey’s purchasing of F-35s. But this turned out to be not true when Turkey remanded Brunson. Ragip Soyly, writing on the Daily Sabah reported on this:

“The State Department, on the other hand, earlier this year convinced Senator Jeanne Shaheen and others that Turkish courts might have released Brunson in May, and in return Shaheen retracted the then-intended sanctions. Their expectations proved to be fruitless. As a Turkish judge later remanded Brunson, senators came up with fresher and bolder sanction ideas like the F-35s. Their intent was hitting Turkey where it would hurt.”

Another report from the Daily Sabah from late last month reads:

“Sen. Shaheen and Sen. Lankford, also previously acknowledged that they would pursue targeted sanctions against Turkish officials in the 2019 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs spending bill. The same senators dropped a similar attempt in March following State Department lobbying. However, because a Turkish court remanded Brunson last month, the senators brought this threat back on the agenda, expecting more leverage against Ankara.”

While there have been moves by senators to stop Turkey from acquiring American Air Force technology, there are senators who, while acknowledging this, still advocate for ‘strategic partnership’ with Turkey in Syria. In June of 2018, US senators Jeanne Shaheen and Lindsey Graham had a meeting with Erdogan in the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters in Ankara, which lasted about an hour. Graham then went onto Twitter to say that while there are things about Turkey’s policy that differ from American policy, and that this has been a cause of tensions, the US must continue its strategic partnership with Turkey in the Middle East, saying that “failure is not an option” when it comes to such relations.

Democrat senator Chris van Hollen questioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Turkey acquiring the F-35 late last month, stating:

“Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400s, in combination with the F-35s, would allow Russia to detect and expose potential vulnerabilities with the F-35, and that would present a national security threat. I know you testified over in the House that quote — you were quote — ‘imploring’ — unquote — the Turks not to go forward. I think we want a more definitive statement. This committee just passed last week legislation, saying that its one or the other. We want the Turks to get the F-35. But can you tell us today, Mr. Secretary that we will not deliver the F-35s to Turkey until they pledge they won’t acquire the S-400?”

Now, while working to prevent Turkey’s efforts to get American F-35s should be acknowledged, we should at least observe what van Hollen is stating here, and how it really does not serve as an adequate response to the Turks’ actions. For one, van Hollen does not say that he does not want Turkey to have F-35s because of their militarist expansionism into Syria and Iraq that is being fueled by the imperialist ideologies of Islamism and pan-Turkism. Van Hollen says nothing like this. Instead, van Hollen says emphatically: “We want the Turks to get the F-35s.” This does not sound like an enthusiastic response towards the intensifying policies of Turkish militarism. For Mr. van Hollen, all Turkey needs to do is drop the deal with Russia in purchasing its S-400, and then it can acquire the American F-35 fighter jet.

Pompeo responded to van Hollen by saying that he and others in the Trump administration have been very “clear” with Turkey about the “risks” involved with their acquisition with the S-400. To van Hollen’s credit, he told Pompeo that he did not understand what Pompeo meant by “risk” (an ambiguous term) and that the Turks would only understand a “definitive statement”. Van Hollen then urged Pompeo to make a statement right there and then, because (in his words): “there was this ceremony in Texas”. Pompeo ended his response with typical slippery language, that “It’s a very complex situation, Senator … We’re certainly reviewing it. We’ve spoken to the Turks a great length.” Basically, there are people in the US government who want Turkey to buy more American weaponry, not caring what innocents die under Turkish terror with such weapons. Its blood for profit.

LOCKHEED MARTIN AND TURKEY

But lets go back to Van Hollen’s mention about this ceremony in Texas. While he did not go into detail, van Hollen was speaking of a bizarre ceremony organized by Lockheed Martin, celebrating its sale of two F-35s to Turkey. In this ceremony (with all of its strange dancing) Orlando P. Carvalho, the executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, mentioned that there were representatives from several Turkish corporations present in the event:

“We also want to welcome and thank the individuals from the Turkish industry that are with us here today, including our distinguished colleagues from the following companies: Tusaş, the Kale Group, Alp Aviation, AYESAŞ, Tusas and the Engine Industries, Havelson, Roketson, TUBITAK, SAGE, Kale Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Engine Industries Joint Venture.”

Lets inquire into some of these companies. Tusas is a Turkish defense company that is ran by very prominent figures in the Turkish scientific establishment. The chairman for Tusas is Oğuz Borat, who has been a member of the Scientist Development Group in the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBİTAK) which, as we have written before, is the scientific establishment of the Turkish government whose scientists are heavily involved in eugenics and human experimentation.

Just last month, the CEO of Tusas, Temel Kotil, personally promised Erdogan the creation of an indigenously engineered Turkish engine for military helicopters, another reflection of how Turkey is pursuing independence from the American security umbrella.

Kale Group, another Turkish defense company, is currently working with Rolls Royce to develop the TF-X, Turkey’s first independently made fighter jet. According to one report from Invest in Turkey:

“Rolls Royce, the British automotive and aviation giant, and Kale Group, one of Turkey’s prominent defense contractors, have announced the establishment of a joint venture.

Kale Group will own 51 percent and Rolls Royce 49 percent of the joint venture company, which will be known as the TAEC Aircraft Engine Industry Corporation. The agreement was signed on May 8, 2017, in Istanbul. TAEC will produce jet engines for both military and civilian purposes, with intellectual property rights to the engines remaining in Turkey.”

Kale Group announced that they are taking the lead on the TF-X National Fighter Jet project currently being developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI). The TF-X will be Turkey’s first domestically designed and produced fighter jet and it is meant to replace the current fleet of F-16s in the early 2020s.

The event included a recorded speech by Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir, Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defense Industries and a big backer of Erdogan. In this recorded speech, which played on a screen for the ceremony in Texas, Demir said:

“Today is a great day for us that we are going to have our first F-35. It will take our air force and our country to another state, and our pilots and air force will be owning the most advanced air system, and then this will increase our fight capability overall.”

Look at the words: “this will increase our fight capability overall.” Fight capability for what? The Turks would argue that its for combating Kurdish terrorists in Syria and Iraq. But Kurdish YPG insurgents in these regions, if anything, serve as the pretext for Turkey to expand in Iraq and Syria. Lets remember that the Americans backed the YPG in their fight against ISIS in Syria. Turkey then began to fight the YPG, and now the Americans are backing the Turks as part of their ‘roadmap’ to stabilize Syria. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on June 27, 2018, before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that: “They [Turkey] will ultimately be part of political resolution there [Manbij, Syria] and an important part. And we need to recognize that and do our best of work alongside them”. The deal consists of the YPG — the very group the Americans were backing — withdrawing from Manbij and on ‘stability’ in the region.

So now that ISIS has become insignificant, the US is working with Turkey to control Syria. Thus, the sale of the F-35 to Turkey, and the lobbying being done to allow Turkey to purchase the F-35, is part of a policy to strengthen Turkey’s presence in the Middle East.

Another subject that was discussed in the Lockheed Martin ceremony in Texas was the integration of Turkish technology in the F-35. Reha Ufuk Er, a Turkish major general, gave a speech in the ceremonial event in which he said:

“Another aspect of F-35 program, that pleases me most, is the prospective integration of Turkish indigenous weapons with the F-35 aircraft.”

Er spoke of adding in the Precision Guidance Kit HGK, which is a system made for jet fighters to aim bombs with exact precision. It was designed by Turkish defense company TUBITAK SAGE and produced by ASELSAN, another major Turkish defense corporation.

 

The F-35 to Turkey will also be developed with a SOM-J high precision cruise missile, which was also developed by TUBITAK SAGE. The SOM is Turkey’s first indigenously made missile for destroying either moving or stationary targets at a stand-off distance of over 180 kilometers. The modification of the F-35 into an American-Turkish hybrid is a reflection of Turkey’s desire to be independent of the United States in the production of military technology. As Serdar Demirel, the Turkish deputy undersecretary of defence industries, said in the ceremony in Texas:

“I would like to say that, starting with the AA1 (the first F-35 aircraft), there’s a part which is produced by the Turkish industry on every aircraft flying now. So we are very proud that we are the partner of this program, and that we own this weapons system. So F-35 is changing the battlefield forever.”

Notice Demirel’s fixation on how Turkey owns some of the technology integrated into the F-35, and the mention of how the jet fighter “is changing the battlefield forever.” Turkey is looking into its own future, a future of war, conquest and empire. Engineering military technology independent of the American security umbrella is pursuant to Turkish policy. In recent years president Erdogan has been pursuing a plan to make Turkey more and more independent of foreign military technology, and Turkey has been showcasing this in its military operation in Syria, as well as in Iraq. Early this year Erdogan boasted:

“Almost all of the armored carriers (operating) in Afrin are domestically produced. I thank our friends who produced them”

In 2016, the Turkish government underwent a number of reforms which put Turkey’s defense industry deeper under the auspices of the Erdogan regime. For example, the presidency now superintends the Defense Industry Executive Committee, which is the most powerful entity overseeing Turkey’s arms procurement projects. In 2017, Erdogan made a presidential decree placing Turkey’s weapons industry directly under his control. Since then, the Turkish government has spent billions of dollars in investments to boost its military capacity. A presidential statement reads:  “A total of 55 projects worth $9.4 billion were evaluated”. Atilla Yesilada of Global Source Partners states:

“In the past there was no money, but now there is a lot of money slushing around, and the AKP has the vision to realize this project. This is a success story of the AKP … We used to procure 80 percent of our (armament) needs from abroad; now we are producing our own rifles, simple drones, armored vehicles. It saves foreign currency, it develops an industry which has some export potential and reduces foreign dependency.”

In 2015, Erdogan, in a speech commemorating the Battle of Gallipoli — in which the Ottomans gained a major victory over the British in World War One — affirmed that “A nation without its own defense industry cannot fight the cause of liberation,” and he further added that by 2023 a Turkish made combat plane will “fly the Turkish skies”.Turkey is home to two of the top 100 biggest defense corporations in the world: Aselsan and TUSAS. Faik Eken, General Director of Aselsan, said in 2015 that: “We’re making products better than most in the West. We’re cheaper … We’re ready to share technology. The Turkish defense industry can be a valid alternative to the West”. Muharrem Dortkasli, the chief executive of TUSAS, confidently affirmed that Turkey is “a country that will have its own national tank, national ship, national helicopter, satellite and war plane”.

A Stratfor report from May of 2017 states that Turkey’s “goal is to achieve full self-sufficiency by 2023.” Turkey desires to become the dominant arms exporter in the Muslim world. As the same report tells us:

“The Turkish government wants to establish a respectable industry based around a wide array of defense projects — some of which Erdogan has a keen interest in — from maritime vessels to army vehicles to aerospace projects. In the naval sphere, Turkish defense industries including Istanbul Shipyard and Golcuk Naval Shipyard are close to securing warship and submarine contracts worth billions of dollars with countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.”

Turkey is also working to build its own navy battleships. For example, Sedef Shipbuilding, the largest private shipyard in Turkey, is right now in the process of building Turkey’s first assault ship, which will eventually be used for holding aircraft. Turkish defense company, Otokar, has developed the Altay main battle tank to replace the old tanks in Turkey. And Turkish defense company, Turkish Aerospace Industries — in conjunction with Anglo-Italian company AgustaWestland — has developed the T129 attack helicopter.

Perhaps Turkey has learned from its own history of depending on other countries for advanced military technology. In 1911, The Turks made a deal with two British shipbuilders, Vickers and Armstrong, to purchase two state-of-the-art British dreadnoughts. The two dreadnoughts were scheduled for delivery in July 1914. The Ottomans wanted these two battleships in order to advance the Turkish military (just as Turkey today bought two F-35s to further advance its own air force). The Ottomans called the two dreadnoughts the Sultan Osman and the Resadiye. But they were a burdensome drain on the Ottoman economy. The Ottoman government had to solicit the nationalism of its subjects in order to receive charitable donations, and Turkish school children were exhorted to give their own pocket money for the cause of securing possession of the ships. Fund-raising stands were made in city squares where people were encouraged to donate five piasters or more.

Turkey, at this time in 1914, was in the dreary stage of recovering from the devastating defeats in the Libyan and Balkan Wars, and it was the hope of the empire that the ships would reinvigorate its military. Russia and Greece watched with much consternation as the two dreadnoughts were almost completed in the spring of 1914. Greece was in the midst of a dispute with Turkey over three islands in the Aegean Sea — Chios, Mytilene and Lemnos —, much like how today the Greeks and Turks are in vicious dispute over the Imia islands, which are really just small uninhabited islets (just like how China and Japan are disputing over the uninhabited Senkaku islands, which are really uninhabitable rocks).

In the summer of 1914, after the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, war was in the air, and the plans of war — which were deeply entrenched in the political minds behind the curtains of the face of diplomacy — war was in the conscious of the highest echelons of power, war crept from the shadows of the murky waters of the dark principalities, and was now in the light, like a filthy puddle turning stale in the muggy heat. The Ottomans tried to secure an alliance with the Entente in order to prevent Russia from invading their empire, but to no avail. The Turks were eager to get their two British dreadnoughts.

In July of 1914, shortly after the murder of the Archduke, Cemal Pasha went to Toulon in  France at the invitation of its government to witness the manoeuvres of the French fleets. Cemal took advantage of his stay in Europe to visit the Turkish officers who were overseeing the building of the ships. They told Cemal that “the English were in a very peculiar frame of mind. They seemed to be always searching for some new excuse for delaying the completion and delivery of the warships.” Cemal told the officers to make the delivery of the ships happen as soon as possible. Cemal then left Toulon and went to Paris where he told the director of political affairs: “You must take us into your Entente and at the same time protect us against the terrible perils threatening us from Russia.” As a way to return the favor, Cemal promised the French that Turkey would be loyal to them and to the British in helping “forge an iron ring around the Central Powers”.

The French diplomat told Cemal that France could only make an alliance with Turkey with the approval of their allies, which was “very doubtful”. Cemal recounted: “I understood perfectly that France was convinced that it was quite impossible for us to escape the iron claws of Russia, and that under no circumstances would she vouchsafe us her help.” On July 18th, Cemal left Paris and returned to Istanbul with nothing. On July 1914, Austria declared war on Serbia, and what started as a conflict in the Balkans quickly spread like a burning conflagration across Europe (which was part of the plan of the Germans). On August 1st, The British refused to give the dreadnoughts to Turkey, even though the Ottomans paid for the ships in full. Cemal wrote that he knew that the British delays to deliver the battleships “had been nothing but pretexts which… revealed the design England had long cherished of making these ships her own”. The Turks were humiliated, and on August 2nd — the very next day — the Ottoman Empire made a secret alliance with Germany and joined the Central Powers. (See Rogan, The Fall of the Ottomans, ch. 2, pp. 31—39)

Speaking of Germany, the Germans, like the Turks are strengthening their military to establish themselves as the major power in Europe. In NATO’s most recent meeting, NATO countries backed Turkey. And in the same meeting, Trump again pushed for Germany to boost up their defense industry. Trump stated that Germany is controlled by Russia because it purchases most of its oil from Russia, and that Germany is not paying enough for its own defense. All of this implies one thing: Germany needs to become militarily independent:

“Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline.  And you tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not, and I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO and I don’t think it should have happened.  And I think we have to talk to Germany about it.

On top of that, Germany is just paying a little bit over 1 percent, whereas the United States, in actual numbers, is paying 4.2 percent of a much larger GDP.  So I think that’s inappropriate also.”

The secretary general for NATO, the Norwegian general Jens Stoltenberg, agreed with Trump, and said that European countries are already boosting their defense spending thanks to his exhortations:

“SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  First of all, it’s great to see you again, Mr. President.  And good to have you here for a summit.  And we are going to discuss many important issues at the summit.  Among them is defense spending. And we all agree that we have to do more.  I agree with you that we have to do make sure that our allies are investing more. The good news is that allies have started to invest more in defense.

After years of cutting defense budgets, they have started to add billions to their defense budgets.  And last year was the biggest increase in defense spending across Europe and Canada in that generation.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Why was that last year?

SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  It’s also because of your leadership, because of your carried message.  And —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  They won’t write that, but that’s okay.”

So, there are Europeans who are happy about Trump pushing Germany to spend more on its military, including the Germans themselves. In fact, just recently Germany’s Defence State Secretary Peter Tauber said that Germany’s current defense spending plan is not enough, stating: “Further increases in defense spending should follow in the next years … to meet the Bundeswehr’s (military’s) needs”. Trump encourages this further when he said in Brussels that NATO countries need to increase their spending by 4% of their GDP.

Imagine Germany spending 4% of their GDP on its military; what a difference this would be from what they are spending now. But this is exactly what the Germans want, because they want to bring back their reich. Last year, the German politician, Andreas Nick of the Christian Democrats said that he wanted to increase defense spending to 3% of German GDP. But Trump is giving the Germans more than this, saying that they should spend 4%. Germany is in glee knowing that the Americans are pushing them towards military independence. Turkey and Germany are both receiving the green light to make their plowshares into swords.

But we cannot discuss what has been taking place in the Middle East and Europe without talking about America’s foreign policy. The toppling of Saddam in Iraq led to a power vacuum that sucked in the horrifically violent instability that the world witnessed under both the Bush and Obama administrations, with jihadist groups unleashing a reign of terror on the populace. Apologists for the war would argue that the United States invaded Iraq to bring democracy and defeat terrorism. But there is no democracy in Iraq, and terrorism still has a very strong presence. They said that they wanted to remove Saddam because he had some connection to the 9/11 attacks. But many of the voices lobbying for the invasion of Iraq did not even care if this allegation was true or false. This was made evident in a letter made by the Project of the New American Century (PNAC), addressed to president Bush, which declared that “even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.”

So it didn’t matter to the lobbyist for war if Saddam was or was not involved in the 9/11 attacks. They just wanted him removed. Removed, for what? For 9/11? That didn’t matter, because they wanted him removed regardless. They said it was about WMDs. But shortly after the invasion of Iraq, and after it was revealed that there were no WMDs, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Israeli Knesset released several reports showing that the intelligence Israel gave to the Bush administration was false.

So going beyond the justifications of “democracy” and the “war on terror,” the reasoning behind the war in its totality is not fully comprehended. As journalist George Packer writes: “it still isn’t possible to be sure, and this remains the most remarkable thing about the Iraq war.” Richard Hass, the director of policy planning in the State Department under Bush Jr., said that he would “go to his grave not knowing the answer.” (1) At least for now, in our time, the true reasons for entering Iraq have not been completely revealed. But maybe, in the chaos of it all, we find the answer that we seek. Perhaps the reason for invading Iraq was chaos, chaos to help the most powerful of countries bring more chaos in the name of order. The Iraq War left the power vacuum that Turkey is now filling.

Why is Turkey invading Syria and Iraq? Why is Germany working to becoming a powerful military force again? The answer may lie in the conclusion the historian David Fromkin gave to the question of why Germany invaded her neighbors and ignited World War One:

The decision for war in 1914 was purposeful; and the war itself was not, as generation of historians have taught, meaningless. On the contrary, it was fought to decide the essential questions in international politics: who would achieve mastery in Europe, and therefore in the world, and under the banners of what faith.” (Fromkin, Europe’s Last Summer, ch. 51, p. 296)

They will bring up ‘terrorism,’ but at the end of the day, its all about supremacy.

(1) See Mearsheimer, The Israel Lobby, ch. 8, pp. 235—236, 248

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9286

Next Middle East War Is Most Likely to Start In These Places, According to New Report

Escalating violence in two nations may threaten to plunge the already restive Middle East into a deeper conflict involving regional and international powers, according to the latest report by a leading monitor.

The Belgium-based International Crisis Group describes its “U.S.-Iran Trigger List” as “an early-warning platform to monitor, analyze and provide regular updates on key and increasingly flashpoints between Iran and the U.S. or their respective allies that could lead to a direct or indirect confrontation, or generally to a dangerous regional escalation.” It currently includes nine flashpoints with varying degrees of severity, the highest being “Critical,” across the Middle East and its periphery.

In a statement sent Tuesday to Newsweek, the International Crisis Group announced that, for the first time since the project was launched in late 2017, it includes “flashpoints in two different countries set to Critical.”

“In Yemen, where the battle for [the city of] Hodeida is reaching the point of no return and Huthi ballistic missile launches against Saudi Arabia are on the rise; and in the Golan Heights, where the dangerous tit-for-tat between Israel and Iran continues,” the group said.

Iran and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia are locked in a battle for regional supremacy, fighting proxy wars in several different Middle Eastern countries. Among the conflicts listed in this map, the International Crisis Group has identified Yemen and Syria as being the most likely to produce violence between the U.S., Iran or their allies. Reuters

The war in Yemen has already caused what the United Nations has called “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.” The conflict began shortly after a Zaidi Shiite Muslim rebel group known as the Houthis, or Ansar Allah, managed to force Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of the capital city of Sanaa in 2015.

Hadi had replaced longtime Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh after mass protests surrounding the Arab Spring movement in 2012, but the new administration was plagued by accusations of corruption, economic woes and violent insurgencies waged by both the Houthis and the ultraconservative Sunni Muslim Al-Qaeda. Neighboring Saudi Arabia views the Houthis as a proxy force of Iran, which sponsors Shiite Muslim militias across the Middle East, and gathered allies to stage a massive intervention against the Houthi government.

Tehran and the Houthis, though largely aligned politically, deny any military connection, but the U.S. and Israel have joined Saudi Arabia in accusing Iran of supplying the Yemeni rebels with the ballistic missiles they frequently fire on Saudi-backed forces and on the kingdom itself.

Saudi Arabia’s devastating air campaign has largely failed to break a bloody stalemate between the pro-Yemeni government forces and the Houthi bloc. This could change, however, as the Saudi-led coalition claimed to have seized the only Houthi-held port city of Al-Hodeidah. Iran and the Houthis have denied these reports and casualties continue to mount.

The International Crisis Group warned such a critical battle could lead to drastic measures on either side. It listed “Critical” flashpoints in the Yemeni cities of Saada, where the Saudi-led coalition claimed to have captured and killed members of the powerful Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite Muslim Hezbollah movement, and in the strait of Bab el-Mandeb, where Houthi commanders have threatened to bomb Saudi vessels and military sites.

A map shows deaths in Yemen from June 10-16, 2018 as battles rage on between the Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement and the Saudi-led coalition attempting to reinstate Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project/Reuters

The non-governmental organization also listed Syra’s southern region of Al-Tanf, located near the country’s borders with Jordan and Iraq, and the eastern Euphrates River Valley as a “Moderate” threat. The U.S.-led coalition set up a base in Al-Tanf despite Syrian, Russian and Iranian calls to dismantle it and has used force to defend a roughly 34-mile right around it against what it says are incursions from pro-Syrian government fighters.

Syria’s long-running civil war also began with the 2011 Arab Spring protests. The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others backed regime change efforts against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Russia and Iran, both of which ultimately intervened to support the Syrian leader against rebels and jihadis attempting to overthrow him.

Even as the U.S. cut support for an increasingly Islamist opposition, close calls between international forces in Syria have been dangerously commonplace. The U.S.-led coalition and Russia maintain a deconfliction line to prevent incidents between their dueling air campaigns against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). The Pentagon, however, has intentionally targeted the Syrian government on at least two occasions in response to alleged chemical weapons attacks in rebel-held regions, and it has launched several airstrikes on pro-Syrian government fighters—including Russian fighters—after reportedly coming under attack.

The U.S. focused on assisting the local, Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces take out ISIS in eastern Syria, fellow NATO Western military alliance member Turkey staged a unilateral invasion of northwestern Syria to oust U.S.-backed Kurdish groups branded terrorist organizations by Ankara. Scores of Kurdish fighters fled U.S.-led coalition frontlines to battle the Turkish troops and Syrian rebels, even joining pro-Syrian government efforts.  The U.S. and Russia remained mostly sidelined, but Washington refused Ankara’s demands to withdraw from the city of Manbij and the two nations ultimately settled on establishing separate, yet coordinated controls around the Kurd-held city.

The U.S.-led coalition, the Russia-Syria alliance and their mutual Iraqi ally were not the only ones conducting airstrikes in Syria, however. While rarely announced, Israel has increasingly targeted suspected Iranian and pro-Iran military assets in neighboring Syria, from which a hostile force—potentially Iranian—fired rockets toward the Israel-occupied Golan Heights, prompting a massive Israeli air assault.

The U.S. has already warned it would not provide military support to Syrian rebels and a potential arrangement may exclude Iran-aligned elements from taking part in Assad’s latest offensive, but a suspected Israeli attack on what was reportedly an Iranian weapons shipment in Damascus has prompted further concerns that the situation could quickly get out of hand. The International Crisis Group listed “Golan Heights and South/West Syria” as a “Critical” flashpoint.

Smoke rises above the southwestern Syrian city of Daraa as it’s being bombarded in this footage obtained from the official Syria TV network, June 26, 2018. The Syrian military and its allies have begun a new offensive to retake the rebel-held southwest, but involvement by Iran could risk an intervention from Israel, which occupies the nearby Golan Heights. Syria TV/Reuters TV

On Friday, the U.S.-led coalition told Newsweek that its advisers and allied Syrian rebels came under from “an unidentified hostile” force near Al-Tanf. The incident occurred only days after the U.S. and Israel were blamed for deadly airstrikes against pro-Syrian government fighters—including Iraqi militias—in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor. The province is located in the Euphrates River Valley, where both the U.S.-led coalition, pro-Syrian government forces and the Iraqi military are clearing out the last of ISIS.

In addition to Yemen and Syria, the International Crisis Group listed other flashpoints in Afghanistan, IraqLebanon and the Strait of Hormuz—a crucial waterway where U.S. and Iranian naval ships have shared tense encounters.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9283

The Government Of Iraq Bans Farmers From Using Water. Now Iraqi Farmers Are Pushing The Government To Get Water From Turkey. This Is Only Helping Turkey Dominate The Middle East

Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. (Revelation 9:12)

The government of Iraq is restricting the use of water for farmers, only allocating water for fifty percent of Iraqi farmland. This disaster is made worse by the fact that Turkey has been building dams on the Tigers and Euphrates, and taking water from the two rivers. Now the situation is so severe that Iraqi farmers are pushing their government to start importing water from Turkey.

The Hurriyet Daily News published an article on the situation, and there are some excerpts I would like to show:

Iraq has banned its farmers from planting summer crops this year as the country grapples with a crippling water shortage that shows few signs of abating.

Citing high temperatures and insufficient rains, Dhafer Abdalla, an adviser to Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources, told The Associated Press that the country has only enough water to irrigate half its farmland this summer.

But farmers fault the government for failing to modernize how it manages water and irrigation, and they blame neighboring Turkey for stopping up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers behind dams it wants to keep building.

Farmers staged demonstrations against the moratorium. In one instance, they forced the closure of a levee along a branch of the Euphrates River to let the water levels rise for irrigation.

They demand the government secure more water from Turkey, fill the country’s reservoirs, and drill into the nation’s aquifers.

About 70 percent of Iraq’s water supplies flow in from upstream countries. Turkey is siphoning off an ever-growing share of the Tigris and Euphrates to feed its growing population in a warming climate. And it is building new dams that will further squeeze water availability in Iraq.

Syria is expected to start drawing more water off the Euphrates once it emerges from the yearslong civil war.

Turkey started filling its giant Ilisu Dam upstream in June, then paused the operation until July after pleas from Baghdad. Iraq’s Water Resources Ministry says it has enough water behind the Mosul Dam to guarantee adequate flow for a year, but experts say the Ilisu could take up to three years to fill, depending on rains.

So Turkey — as part of its decades long Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) — has been building dams throughout southeastern Anatolia while taking water from the Tigris and Euphrates, and at the same time Turkey is conducting a policy of military expansionism into Iraq. While Turkey has a military presence in Iraq, it is already taking resources, making Iraq more and more agriculturally impoverished. The US’ invasion of Iraq and its toppling of Saddam led to major instability in the country, causing a ripple effect of violence into Syria. With Syria is in chaos, this has enabled countries like Iran and Turkey to take advantage of the situation and enter the country. With Iraq in horrible conditions, due to war, the situation has enabled Turkey to take water from the region, and Iraq’s condition is so bad that farmers are asking water from Turkey. In other words, the declining water supply of Iraq is only giving more political leverage to Turkey to become the rising power in the Middle East.

Turkey’s Southeastern Anatolian Project has been criticized for flooding villages, giving Turkey control over water, desertification and pushing people out of their villages. As one researcher has said:

Opponents of the project criticize the privatization of rivers, the limitation of the right to use water, expropriation of private lands, eviction of villages, depopulation, desertification, clearance of forests, and the submerging of historic homes and cultural sites. GAP has also been harshly criticized in the past for flooding villages and displacing the inhabitants. From the perspective of Kurdish inhabitants in particular, there have been occasions where GAP had brought more instability to the region and its citizens than peace and happiness. In addition, GAP has an international dimension. It has been criticized for being a project that enables Turkey to control the flow of water to downstream states, and thus to build dominance over Iraq and Syria.

According to journalist Alex Kemman, there are academics in Turkey who believe that the dams — while being portrayed as a means to economic growth — are actually part of a war strategy by the Turkish government to fight against the PKK:

I was there in 2013 and 2015 to investigate a series of state-funded dam projects that locals believe will be used for military purposes. Some academics have reported that the so-called “security dams” are actually part of a broader war strategy by the Turkish government, to counter the PKK.

The General Directorate for the Turkish state owned company behind the construction of the dams, State Hydraulic Works (DSI), admitted that the dams are “security dams against the PKK.” The head of DSI, Veysel Eroglu, is a major backer of Erdogan’s Islamist AK Party, and he is also a huge supporter of Turkey’s military operation in Syria, exclaiming early this year:

“Our hero is an army, it has captured important centers at this moment, we will never allow the terrorist organization to form a corridor, America is notwilling to set up such a terrorist state in Mexico, besides, we will not tolerate this.

He also said: “it is a pride of our soldiers to run to martyrdom as if he is going to play.”

So the company behind the building of these dams, State Hydraulic Works (DSI), is ran by a member of Erdogan’s Islamist AK Party who believes in jihad. The building of the dams, then, is a part of Turkey’s geopolitical jihad.

PKK terrorists, in 2012, reportedly set 22 trucks on fire, and construction workers have been kidnapped by these militants. Regardless, that Turkey is building dams that lower the water supply of Iraq, and thus push Iraqi farmers to ask for water from Turkey, does indicate a strategy of war, not just to defeat the PKK, but to give Turkish political preponderance in the Middle East.

Turkish power rising in the Middle East can be, to a great extent, attributed to US policy. With the Saddam regime toppled, it created a power vacuum. With destabilization plaguing Syria, this also created a political power vacuum. This gave Turkey the green light to enter Syria, and now it is entering Iraq. The United States is facilitating Turkish expansionism with its recent agreement with Turkey on the “Manbij agreement” which esteems Turkey as a partner to bring stability to Syria. As Hurriyet Daily News reports:

The Manbij Roadmap agreement between the U.S. and Turkey about power-sharing in the northern Syrian city of Manbij will be “part of the political resolution,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on June 27.

“They [Turkey] will ultimately be part of political resolution there and an important part. And we need to recognize that and do our best of work alongside them,” Pompeo told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on funding for the State Department, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

The plan was announced after a June 4 meeting in Washington between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo.

The deal focuses on the withdrawal of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij and on stability in the region. Turkey deems the YPG as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

The Turkish General Staff said in a statement on June 24 that the two countries’ forces conducted patrols separately in the west of Manbij. The first patrols by Turkish and U.S. troops in the region began on June 18.

So the United States used Kurdish militants to defeat ISIS, and now is getting warm with Turkey by siding with the Turks against the Kurds. Turkey is the most powerful country of the Muslim world. Of course it is going to get the permission to rule, because it is the preponderating and superior force.

Removing Saddam was the catalyst to this vicious filling of power vacuums and the stealing of water by Turkey which would have otherwise been used to enrich Iraq’s agriculture. And although Saddam did conduct policies that were destructive to Iraq’s farming (like diverting rivers to dry out marshes to root out political dissidents), the reality is that Iraq under Saddam was in a much better state agriculturally. Said K. Aburis has written:

“Operating through loyalists within the Ministry of Agriculture, Saddam introduced an admirable land reform programme. Trade unions loyal to the party were allowed to function and, although unable to question the overall government policy, they did address themselves effectively to the issues of workers’ conditions and pay. An extensive social security system was introduced, and steps were taken towards improving health care.” (Saïd K. Aburis, Saddam Hussein: The Politics of Revenge)

Before the Iraq War, Iraq had a very strong agricultural economy, being one of the largest producers of dates on earth. Amnon Cohen and Noga Efrati write:

“From being one of the largest producers of dates in the world thirty years ago, Iraq’s crop dropped to such a level after the war that the ministry of agriculture began to consider importing dates. Productivity is down to about half the level of the mid-1980s, in part due to lack of technology and water, and whereas there were 150 date processing factories prior to the 2003 invasion, there are now only six, with most Iraqi dates now packaged more than 800 miles away in the United Arab Emirates.” (Amnon Cohen & Noga Efrati, Post-Saddam Iraq) 

Kamran Mofid also writes on how Saddam focused much on making Iraq agriculturally self-sufficient:

“In 1980 the importance and potential of agriculture in Iraq’s overall development was once more highlighted when Saddam Hussain declared that agriculture was Iraq’s ‘permanent oil’ and that he wanted to see the country become self-sufficient and a net exporter of food within this century”. (The Economic Consequences of the Gulf War)

The water conditions of Iraq are getting so bad that there have been actual cases of gun battles between people over water, as the financial times reports. The Turks are being backed by the Europeans in their dam making enterprise. An Austrian company, Andritz AG, is taking part in this in cooperation with Turkey. European and American actions are enabling Turkey to dominate the Middle East. Be prepared for the next Ottoman Empire.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9280

Ignore Iran Because The Caspian Sea Shows That If There Is A Threat It Is Going To Be The War Between Russia And Turkey

By Andrew Bieszad on July 7, 2018 in General

In On Your Majesty’s Secret Service, the world’s most famous spy, James Bond, commented on the flavor of the caviar, in which he noted, “Royal Beluga, North of the Caspian.” Caviar, which are the eggs of the Sturgeon fish and her ichthoyd cousins harvested from either the Black or Caspian Seas, are world famous for their flavor, association with royalty, and high prices.

But there is far more wealth located in and around the Caspian than just caviar. The Caspian is a strategic military point and a major source of oil and gas reserves. Five nations share a border with the Caspian. These are Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Azerbaijan.

While the sea itself is small, he who controls the sea even to the point of defining whether it is a sea or a lake is able to control the flow of oil and gas in the region, and it is for this reason that the status of the Caspian will be discussed at an upcoming international conference in Kazakhstan:

A new draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, allowing for the laying of pipelines on the seabed and banning foreign military forces, has reportedly been agreed by the five bordering states. Officials also have said that a summit between the five heads of state will take place in early August to sign the agreement.

If it comes off, it would end a dispute that has festered since the collapse of the Soviet Union on how to divide up the sea and its substantial oil and gas reserves. It could also pave the way for the transport of natural gas from Turkmenistan to Europe, something European officials have long hoped for, but which Russia and Iran have opposed.

On June 22, Russia’s official state portal for legal information published a resolution by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev recommending that President Vladimir Putin sign the agreement. It also published the draft agreement itself, but quickly deleted it.

The most noteworthy element of the agreement was Article 14, allowing the littoral states to lay undersea pipelines with the approval only of the countries through whose sectors of the sea the pipeline would pass.

The agreement postponed, however, one of the thorniest issues between the five states: exactly how the sea would be divided up. This has been a longstanding dispute between Tehran, which has insisted on each state getting a 20 percent share, and the other four states, whose shorelines are longer and who prefer a “median line method” of dividing up the sea that would leave Iran with only a 14 percent share.

The published draft document says only that “the delimitation of the floor and mineral resources of the Caspian Sea by sector will be carried out by agreement between the neighboring and facing states taking into account generally recognized principles and legal norms.”

That approach is “evasive” but “expected,” said Stanislav Pritchin, the head of the Center for Central Asia and Caucasus Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, in an interview with Russian newspaper Kommersant.

The draft convention is the result of 16 years of talks between the five Caspian littoral states: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran. It follows December’s agreement between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on how to divide up their maritime border, which has been particularly sensitive as the area contains contested gas fields.

But while details of the final draft itself remain vague, several questions also remain unanswered.

Not least: What’s in this for Russia? Russia is unlikely to welcome competition in the form of gas from Turkmenistan, which could potentially drive prices down and eat into state gas company Gazprom’s market share.

But Russia may be counting on other obstacles getting in the way of a trans-Caspian pipeline, like financing, said Zaur Shiriyev, a Baku-based fellow at the International Crisis Group. “Russia might also believe that ongoing problems between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will slow down the process,” Shiriyev told Eurasianet.

It also remains unclear why Azerbaijan, itself a gas producer with ambitions to become a major supplier to Europe, would agree to allow a competitor nation – i.e., Turkmenistan – to construct pipelines across the Caspian and transit gas through its territory to compete with its own gas.

“Most likely Russia is more concerned about Turkmenistan’s growing dependence on China as a gas export market and wants to improve its leverage over Ashgabat,” said John Roberts, an analyst on Caspian energy and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, D.C.
With that in mind, Roberts added, Moscow may be prepared to allow the development of a pipeline carrying small volumes of gas across the Caspian for use by Azerbaijan domestically or for transit to Turkey, secure in the knowledge that Azerbaijan itself would be unlikely to agree to a major pipeline to transit large volumes of gas to Europe.

“Baku might agree to a pipeline carrying, say, 8 to 10 billion cubic meters per year,” Roberts told Eurasianet. That volume could help cover Azerbaijan’s own domestic gas shortage, the result of exporting most of its own production, while providing some for Georgia and Turkey and possibly a small volume for export via the TANAP pipeline being developed by Azerbaijan and Turkey. That pipeline currently has nearly half its capacity still available.

Russia also was able to secure a provision in the draft agreement forbidding the presence of armed forces from non-littoral states on the Caspian. It also forbids any of the signatories from letting their territory be used as a base for an attack on another signatory. Moscow has been extremely sensitive about Western countries’, in particular America’s, tentative efforts to establish naval cooperation with Caspian states.

“The pipeline wasn’t the major issue for Russia,” Shiriyev said. “Security, non-interference, and militarization came first.”

The five Caspian heads of state are tentatively scheduled to have a summit to sign the agreement on August 12 in Aktau, on Kazakhstan’s Caspian coast, reported Kommersant citing several unnamed sources. (source)

America has been working extensively to establish a presence in Central Asia, for in the years following the fall of teh Soviet Union, Central Asia remains under the general geopolitical sphere of influence of the Russians but given the difference in history, language, culture, and religion with the Slavic peoples of Russia despite their close proximity, the US has been attempting to encourage ethnic nationalism in order to further a divide-and-conquer strategy as has been discussed and outlined in the Jamestown Institute’s Decline of Russia Project. Since the earliest days of the CIA and continuing through today, the USA has been attempting to use the ethnic minorities of Russia to encourage separatism, even to the point of supporting Islamic terrorism, to further her geopolitical goals.

In Central Asia there is also the growing power of Turkey. While the people of Turkey are for the most part Greek, Armenian, and Slavic peoples who mixed with Central Asian Turks and converted to Islam in the centuries following their conquest of that region, they are the largest single “Turkic” culture of the Turkic peoples who for centuries were known as the Ottoman Empire, and under President Erdogan, he has made no secret that he wants to revive the glory of Turkey’s past which he believes will be a return to her Ottoman ways.

The five “-stan” nations of Central Asia- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan- are also Turkic, Muslim, and out of which many other conquerors and earth-changing cultures emerged. There is a shared belief that Aryan culture, encompassing what became the Turkic but also Japanese and Germanic peoples emerged from the area around the Caspian and spread into Mongolia, Northern China, and the Islands of Japan as well as India and into Europe. Yet while rich in culture, the nations of Central Asia are some of the poorest nations in the world, and many people have been migrating from them to Russia in search of a better life, for while wages in Russia are some of the lowest in Europe, they are still notably higher than in their own nations.

Russian reaction to the migrations have been mixed, for the peoples of Central Asia uniformly have a higher birthrate for each nation than all of Russia, including Uzbekistan, the only one of the five to have a fertility rate below replacement level. Some have been concerned that Russia may be “replaced” by migrants in the same way that some have expressed concerns in Germany following the massive influx of African people beginning in late 2015. Russia has, like Germany, remained silent, and Putin has gone so far as to appoint Sergei Shoigu, the son of a Central Asian father and a Slavic Russian mother, to the head of the Russian Armed Forces.

This fusion of Slavic and Central Asian culture, while always existing, has been encouraged by Putin not so to “annihilate” or wholly assimilate the two into each other, but to build a closer relationship with the Central Asian republics and their former ruler in Russia on a shared historic and regional security interest.

Each of the republics offers something unique to Russia. In the case of Turkmenistan, she is home to some of the richest resources of natural gas in the region. This has been known for years, and in the 1970s resulted in the creation of an international tourist attraction when while drilling for natural gas, a rig exploded and blew open a large crater in Darvaza, an outpost in the desert. This worksite accident caught on fire and has been burning continually, fueled by natural gas reservoirs from under the ground. It is visible from space and has been named the “Gateway to Hell” for which people come from around the world to see.

But tourist attractions aside, Turkmenistan’s Caspian coastline is oil rich and provides a direct path by sea to Azerbaijan, a nation known to and fought over by the Germans and the Russians in the First and Second World Wars due to her oil and gas reserves on the Caspian. Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have been in talks for a long time to build an underwater pipeline to transmit oil, something which Russia and Iran both oppose because of the natural gas lines that flow through either nation. Since both nations rely heavily on oil and other raw materials processing, an Azeri-Turkmen pipeline would pose a direct threat to their economic livelihood.

But as pointed out earlier, the obsession of building an Azeri-Turkmen pipeline would seem to be a foolish move for Azerbaijan, as it truly would invite competition from Turkmenistan. Since most of the gas would be going from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan would stand to gain a majority of the profits as it travels to Europe through Turkey. Economically speaking, it does not makes sense between the two nations themselves.

However, what makes the pipeline profitable is Turkey.

Turkey’s growing power in the pursuit of her Ottoman dream have put her on a global quest to seek out old allies and connect with potential new ones. Azerbaijan is a historical Turkish ally and by extension, an ally of Germany. Germany has not been shy in the past to use her alliance with Turkey as well as to call upon Germanic peoples living in the Volga and Caucasus regions of Russia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan to support her imperialist ambitions during the 20th century.

Azerbaijan does not stand a chance against Turkey in a war, let alone Germany. However, as an ally of Turkey and increasingly an ally of NATO, the poor Caucasus nation is content to show her friendship by allowing Turkish economic interests to flourish in her nation. This is much to the dismay of Russia, who in spite of talks of regional alliances, attempts to serve as a peacemaker in regional Azeri affairs, and their shared history under the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan have deteriorated, especially in comparison to Azeri-Turkish relations.

Azerbaijan has created some well-made propaganda videos for their military, but the reality is that their power comes from Turkey and will act in a way that benefits Turkey as they are close allies.

The Cooperating Council of Turkic States, known as the Turkic Council, based out of Turkey, is one of the largest organizations promoting pan-Turkism, that by invoking images of a shared history, culture, and race, the Turkic peoples would be united and act with a single voice in world affairs. Currently, the Council includes Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan is scheduled to become a member, but has not yet become a full member of the council.

If Turkmenistan were to become a member of the council, aside from the oil pipeline, it would give the Turkic states which share a border on the Caspian a more than 50% control. With Iran holding only 14% of the coast, the rest would belong to Russia. However, it would not change that, in the case of a closer alliance between Turkey and her Central Asian neighbors, which she is already working on, an effective Turkish domination over the Caspian just as how the Ottoman Empire once dominated the Mediterranean Sea for centuries. This domination would make effectively Turkey’s allies- and by extension Turkey- the main oil power in the region, and give her enough oil to pass to her Teutonic ally as they work in mutual support of each other’s militaries.

Could the reason that Turkmenistan’s full participation in the Council be tied to the Azeri-Turkmen pipeline and subsequently, the economic future of Turkey, as well as Turkmenistan’s close alliance historically with Russia? One does not have direct evidence to support this, but in light of the increasing ethnonationalism and the struggle with Russia, such motives should not be eliminated as possible motives.

It also should be no surprise then that both the USA and Germany- sometimes known as the “European Union”- express support for the sister to the Transcaspian pipeline project, which is the Transanatolian pipeline, as the latter is the landward-west part of the former project:

The presidents of Turkey and Azerbaijan have inaugurated a major pipeline that will eventually transport Azerbaijan natural gas to Europe.

The $8.5-billion (€7.2 billion) Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is part of the Southern Gas Corridor, aimed at turning Turkey into an energy hub and diversifying EU natural gas supplies away from Russia.

“Our country is now one step closer to its vision to become a hub of regional energy lines thanks to TANAP,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in the central city of Eskisehir on Tuesday, dubbing the project “the Silk Road of energy.”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic were in attendance at the ceremony which saw the last section of the pipeline put in place.

From Turkey to Italy

The 1,850 kilometer (1,150 miles) TANAP pipeline connects to the South Caucasus Pipeline, which pumps gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 field in the Caspian through Georgia to Turkey.

Another section of the pipeline project, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is slated to bring gas from Turkey through Greece and Albania to Italy by 2020.

The 3,500-kilometer Southern Gas Corridor will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Turkey and 10 billion cubic meters to Europe.

Alper Ucok, the Turkish Industry and Business Association representative to Germany, said TANAP shows how Turkey is a key partner in the EU’s energy security.

TANAP has the political support of the EU and United States.

‘Strategically important’ for EU

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, who is in charge of the Energy Union, praised the inauguration of TANAP as a key milestone in improving energy security.

“By helping diversify our energy suppliers and routes, the Southern Gas Corridor is strategically important for the EU’s energy security, including in the most vulnerable parts, such as Southeast Europe and southern Italy,” he said. (source)

This is also the reason why Turkey with the USA and Germany are working on building up a massive railway line going through Turkey and Azerbaijan, through southern Iran and into Central Asia. Oil is most efficiently transmitted by pipeline, but after pipelines the railway system is the second most commonly used means of bringing crude oil from field to refinery.

A railway network is a form of insurance for Turkey and her allies. In the even that either the sea or land portions of any pipeline are shut down, a railroad network ensures an efficient backup means of transportation. Excluding emergencies, a railroad network only adds to the efficiency of transporting oil as it is but another means to move more of the same product faster.

For the most part, any argument between Russia and Turkey is going to be slugged out through public relations appearances, proxy wars, back-door deals and secret meetings as the two nations are historical enemies and which the USA and Germany have extensively funded their Turkish pet project to serve as a hedge against the Russians.

In the years of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan were all a part of the same nation so effectively any oil they pumped went to Moscow. Iran retained her same borders, and just as in the years before 1991, she controls her 14% of the Caspian coast and wants to maintain it. Iran pushed for a renewed plan in which all oil proceeds would be split equally between the five nations, hoping to increase her share of profits, but that plan was wholly rejected and is unlikely to be able to be revived.

Iran is the largest producer of saffron and pistachios, the second largest producer of dates and one of the largest producers of honey in the world. However, like many Middle Eastern nations, her economy does not revolve around Warbat and Ranginak, but petroleum products. Given that 10% of the proveable oil and 15% proveable natural gas fields are in Iran, she relies heavily on her exports to China, India, and the EU for her economic livelihood.

Iran is a strong regional power in the Middle East and parts of Central Asia and her culture is highly influential in the realm. However, by no means is or was she ever a dominant military power. The realm of force belongs to the Turk, who sweeping out of Central Asia centuries ago overran the Alborz and Zagros mountain ranges on their warpath to world domination. It is not just the Ottomans that did this. Every major Turkic migration, from the Seljuks who terrorized the Byzantines, to the Mongolian hordes of Genghis and Hulagu Khan, to the horrors of the Uzbek butcher Tamerlane who nearly extinguished the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Iran is to the Middle East as Poland is to Germany and Russia. She is the land over which great armies march and fight in, and she is often times stuck in the middle.

Once again, Iran finds herself surrounded by Turkey on the West, Russia to the north, and the Central Asian republics who are again experiencing a revival of pan-Turkism vis-a-vis their Soviet past. The future is unknown, except that Iran can likely be certain that she will be overrun again.

It is unsurprising then that Iran has chosen for the path of regional friendship. In spite of claims from some in the region, what one can tangibly see is that Iran has voluntarily offered to help Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia, and the nations of Central Asia for economic partnerships when the opportunity arises. For example, Iran and Azerbaijan recently signed an agreement of friendship to develop oil fields on the Caspian together. At the same time she also signed similar agreements with Russia over finances and also to develop Caspian oil resources. She admits she wants closer ties with all Caspian oil states, and has presented herself as a friend to all.

These oil states are Iran’s economic competitors. She should be, in normal circumstances, competing for her own interests financially. However, the financial issue, which does make up a large part of Iran’s economy, is less important than the more pressing matter of survival. All the oil in the world does not mean anything if one’s nation is invaded by a foreign force, something which Iran has much historical experience of.

Iran is a nation of a high culture, ancient civilization, and has survived many invasions throughout her history going back thousands of years. Even with nations she truly hates and does want to destroy- such as her ancient hatred and disdain for Saudi Arabia, which pre-dates the arrival of Islam, or her eastern enemy of Pakistan, Iran is not going to attack them because she would invite destruction on herself. The Turks would bond on racial issues, the Russians are a power near par with the Americans, and the America and Israeli interests speak for themselves. Shooting at any country that may even have a tangential alliance to any of these nations would be suicide for Iran.

Iran is not a threat to the stability of the Middle East. If anything, her economic cooperation with her neighbors is a vehicle for regional stability, as any fighting which may take place between them would be focused on their personal differences and not with her as she is presenting herself as a friend to all and an enemy to none, for political purposes sitting on the sideline as Slav and Turk with the American sitting in the background fight with each other.

But this conflict is more than regional fighting, as since the oil lines go to Western Europe, this is about preparing Germany for a war with the Russians.

Russia could most likely win a war with Turkey. She could most likely win a war with Germany, She could most likely win a war with Japan. She may even be able to win or break even with the USA- it would be a lot tougher, but the potential does exist. She cannot win a war against all four.

Stop watching and worrying about Iran. While America and her allies and lobbyists are stirring up trouble, threatening revolution in Iran in the name of “freedom”, to overthrow Iran would only be to seize more oil and land assets for an American and German-backed expansion of their economic interests for the benefit of Turkey in the same plan for a coming war with the Russians.

Iran is a threat to Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. She is not a threat to people that if she really did threaten them in a serious way would in turn destroy her.

When President Bush II called Iran a member of the “axis of evil,” He should have taken a look at his Bible and seen that, in the end times, the seat of the Antichrist is neither in Iran nor in Russia, but in Turkey, and as the Ottoman beast revives her empire from the tomb of history, something which does not happen (ask the Greeks, Italians, Mongols, Poles, Germans, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danes, and Brits about their former empires), one may find that while the USA was fighting Russia in the Cold War, she did so by funding the Turkish menace and may have done more than what she intended to.

In the meantime, I would rather have a little bit of caviar to the melodic tune of the tar, pondering at how the days of Noah must seem little different than modern times, as man one again hurdles himself towards his own destruction, and that sometimes, the best way to fight is to simply not partake in the conflict at all.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9278

The Episcopal Church Begins Process Of Reducing God To ‘Gender Neutral’ Status In Their Book Of Common Prayer

At what point does a professing Christian church, even if it’s name only, cross the line from being merely Laodicean over into such red-hot apostasy that you have become utterly meaningless? Well, I think the Episcopal Church has done exactly that. The changes they have already made, compounded with these proposed changes they wish to make, will make their core theology 100% at odds with everything the Bible teaches. For example, the Episcopal Church is performing same-sex marriage, the Bible says same-sex anything is an abomination.

by Geoffrey Grider July 3, 2018

It is the standard cry of Laodiceans everywhere that ‘you can’t put God in a box!’, and ‘you can’t define God’. But I have news for you, yes you can.

The Episcopal Church, or ‘Catholic Lite’ as I call them, are an interesting group of people. They are hyper-focused on things like Climate Change, performing same-sex marriages and creating ceremonies to celebrate when a transgender adopts a new name. But Bible doctrine? They wouldn’t know it if they fell over it. Now they have a new mission – to remove all references to God as a male, and all instances of any masculine pronouns in their Book of Common Prayer.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3,4 (KJV)

FROM CBN NEWS: Now the Episcopal Church is debating about overhauling its Book of Common Prayer, which is used in Episcopal congregations worldwide. The debate centers on making sure that prayers in the book are clear that God is not male, but doesn’t have a gender, The Washington Post reports.  “As long as ‘men’ and ‘God’ are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete. I honestly think it won’t matter in some ways,” the Rev. Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Texas told the newspaper. Besides adding gender-neutral language concerning God, some advocates also want other revisions including, a Christian’s duty to the Earth’s conservation, adding same-sex marriage ceremonies to the liturgy, (since the church has been performing homosexual weddings for years) and even adding a ceremony to celebrate a transgender person’s adoption of a new name. READ MORE

The Triune God is absolutely revealed as definitely masculine in the Bible:

  • GOD IS MALE: “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke 11:2 (KJV)
  • JESUS IS MALE: “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:29,30 (KJV)
  • THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MALE: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” John 16:7,8 (KJV)

When God created Adam, the first male, the Bible says that Adam was in the very image of God Himself. What image is that? A man. When God created Eve, He created her from the male Adam, indeed the very word ‘woman’ means ‘taken out of man’.

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Genesis 2:21-23 (KJV)

Hmm, I guess the Bible should add a TRIGGER WARNING to that passage, eh? Kind of hard to remain a feminist when you realize your entire gender is a subcategory of the male gender. But I digress, back to the Episcopal Church.

At what point does a professing Christian church, even if it’s name only, cross the line from being merely Laodicean over into such red-hot apostasy that you have become utterly meaningless? Well, I think the Episcopal Church has done exactly that.

The changes they have already made, compounded with these proposed changes they wish to make, will make their core theology 100% at odds with everything the Bible teaches. For example, the Episcopal Church is performing same-sex marriage, the Bible says same-sex anything is an abomination. The Episcopal Church wants to make God gender neutral, while the Bible reveals every aspect of God to be male at every turn.

It is the standard cry of Laodiceans everywhere that ‘you can’t put God in a box!’, and ‘you can’t define God’. But I have news for you, yes you can. Put God in a box? Absolutely, and that box is the King James Bible. There you will find everything you will ever know or that can be known about God in this life. Can’t define God? The Bible defines Him to a wonderfully granular level of understanding. But you only come to know ‘nuggets’ like these if you actually read the Bible, and then believe what you read, in the context in which it appears.

We refer to this peculiar trait as being a Bible believer. Something the Episcopal Church knows nothing about. God not a male? Let’s let the Bible answer.

“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:18 (KJV)

I am He, case closed.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9275

Carrier USS Harry S. Truman Operating in the Atlantic as Russian Submarine Activity is on the Rise

By: Sam LaGrone

June 29, 2018 3:32 PM • Updated: June 29, 2018 6:42 PM

USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) conducts a strait transit. Truman is currently deployed as part of an ongoing rotation of U.S. forces supporting maritime security operations in international waters around the globe on April 27, 2018. US Navy Photo

The aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) has left the Mediterranean Sea and is now operating in the Atlantic Ocean, a defense official confirmed to USNI News.

This week the carrier, the embarked Carrier Air Wing 1 and some of its escorts passed through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Atlantic after spending several days in port in Marseille, France.

“As a matter of longstanding policy, we do not discuss future operations, but I can tell you that the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group will continue to conduct operations in support of our NATO allies, European and African partner nations, coalition partners, and U.S. national security interests,” Cmdr. John Perkins, a spokesman with U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, told USNI News.

The move to the Atlantic is arguably a continued expression of two constituent themes in the Pentagon as of late: a return to great power competition outlined in new strategic planning documents, and the direction from Secretary of Defense James Mattis that U.S. forces need to be “strategically predictable and operationally unpredictable.”

In terms of great power competition, there is growing evidence that Russia continues to push its newest attack submarines to operate the North Atlantic at a pace not seen since the Cold War, Navy leaders have continued to stress publicly.

Russian submarine Severodvinsk

“Russian submarines are prowling the Atlantic, testing our defenses, confronting our command of the seas, and preparing the complex underwater battlespace to give them an edge in any future conflict,” current U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa commander Adm. James Foggo wrote in U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings in 2016.
“Not only have Russia’s actions and capabilities increased in alarming and confrontational ways, its national-security policy is aimed at challenging the United States and its NATO allies and partners.”

Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at CSBA, said that carrier strike group operations in the Atlantic make sense for high-end exercises for the U.S. and partner nations. Both the U.K. Royal Navy and the French Navy field effective submarine forces that haven’t trained much lately with U.S. surface ships.

“Our Atlantic coast guys need a chance to train against good submariners,” he said. “Either they’re it doing with the French or the British for training or for hope of finding a Russian submarine.”

For its part, the Truman Strike Group embarked with an extensive escort fleet that will include up to six guided-missile destroyers and the German Navy guided missile frigate FGS Hessen (F 221).

Clark said the U.S. DDGs are equipped with an effective anti-submarine warfare packages that work well in the Atlantic but aren’t typically deployed there.

“You have to make a special effort to put them there,” he said.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson has also alluded to an increased Russian submarine presence in public statements about the need for the Navy to operate differently in a new era.

“It’s an aspect of the security environment that it’s getting harder to do things without being observed, no matter where you are. So we’re going to have to be clever about that,” he told USNI News last month.

In line with the Mattis guidance, the Navy is using a so-called dynamic force employment model that in the last several months has broken from the traditional patterns of the last several years.

Earlier in June, the amphibious warship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7) entered the Persian Gulf after a two-and-a-half-month gap of a capital ship in the region, while two other ships in the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group – USS Oak Hill (LSD-51) and USS New York (LPD-21) – operated in the Baltic and Mediterranean seas, respectively.

“The Navy is making deliberate prioritization decisions in accordance with the [national defense strategy] which may disrupt the ‘business as usual’,” a Navy official told USNI News on Friday. “We must prioritize lethality, deterrence capability, training and readiness of the defined fighting unit, and will ensure the mission is met with the right capability and platform.”

While the Navy did not acknowledge Truman’s mission in the Atlantic, the move harkens back to an exercise from last year.

On its return to Norfolk, Va., the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group operated off of the U.K. as part of Saxon Warrior, an exercise with the U.K., Germany, Sweden and Norway. The exercise was the first in the series since 2011 and was in part prompted by Russian operations in the region, USNI News understands. However, the Truman carrier strike group is expected to continue its deployment for several more months.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9273

Anne Graham Lotz: ‘The Enemy Has Unleashed an Attack on God’s People’

By Samuel Smith , CP Reporter | Jun 26, 2018 12:23 PM

Evangelist and author Anne Graham Lotz, the 70-year-old daughter of legendary evangelist Billy Graham, has said that most people in today’s American culture are essentially living as “practical atheists” and that today’s culture is a sign that “the enemy has unleashed an attack on God’s people.”

Graham, who authored the recently published book The Daniel Key: 20 Choices That Make All the Difference, was recently interviewed by the Christian Broadcasting Network’s Scott Ross to discuss topics ranging from her book, to her late father, and what she makes of the social trends happening in the world today.

Graham was asked to elaborate on a point she makes in her book about how Daniel, who was taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in the Old Testament, would go into a “spiritual warfare” when he prayed.

“When we go into prayer, there is a spiritual battle that ensues. Where the enemy, who is the devil, and all of his, you know, demons, if he can’t keep us from prayer, then he wants to distract us in prayer or he wants to keep our answers from coming,” Lotz explained. “And so it’s just — it’s a battle, but we have the victory in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

As the United States and other societies around the world over the last several decades have embraced ideas of the sexual revolution that have led to more acceptance of behaviors that the Bible considers sinful, Lotz said that she believes there is a spiritual warfare going on across the culture today.

“I believe that the enemy has unleashed an attack on God’s people, on the leaders of God’s people, on the children of God’s people,” Lotz said. “And of course it goes back to our choices. We’ve made choices as a nation that have taken us away from God’s Word, taken us away from the truth, taken us away from faith. And our foundation of faith is crumbling.”

While much attention has been placed on sexual immorality and other related issues, Ross points out that other questionable activities like gambling have become much more accepted, saying, “you’d have been stoned the way I was raised for gambling or even playing cards.” Ross asked: “Are we compromising our value system?”

“I’m not sure we’re compromising or just throwing it away. But what I’m concerned about is not so much our culture or the secular world, I look at the church,” Lotz answered. “And it’s when the church starts to throw away the values and they throw away God’s Word, and they’re not spending time in prayer and they substitute programs for prayers and orthodoxy for obedience.”

Lotz questioned how today’s generation can impact the next if the “light is dimmed” or “hidden under a bushel.”

“I think some of us are [passing on God’s Word]. But I think the culture has become so secularized, and almost practical atheists, where they live and move and have their being as though there’s no God at all,” Lotz said. “And so, I think that’s probably the majority in our culture and the majority in our nation.”

Lotz pointed out, however, that there are still many in today’s culture who are “seeking to live faithfully” and pass the word onto their children and grandchildren. She stressed that God has a “remnant in every generation.”

“I’ve met millennials and Generation Xers and people like that who are totally committed to the Lord,” she said. “In fact, I think some in those generations, they almost pay a higher price because they’re so alone. But they’re strong in faith and seeking to really make a difference.”

Lotz had previously said that her father’s passing in February served as a “wake-up call” to the Church and a “shot across the bow.” She reiterated that in her interview with CBN, saying that her father’s death was “Jesus is saying, ‘I’m coming. It is time to get right with me.'”

Lotz couldn’t provide a definitive answer when asked if her father was disappointed in the social changes of the past several decades being that he preached the Word of God to millions of people all across the globe since the 1940s.

“I don’t want to put words in his mouth, you know. But I think you would wish that it had made a greater difference corporately. It’s made a tremendous difference in individual lives. I mean, I meet them all over the world. Their lives were radically changed when they went forward at daddy’s meeting or watched him on television,” she responded. “And they’re now in ministry, they’re now missionaries, pastors, leaders or just parents leading their children. I mean, I’ve seen that. But the impact on our nation, you know, something’s missing, isn’t it?”

“And so it may go back to where you’re talking about passing the baton where somewhere Christian parents have not passed on the truth that leads to faith to their children,” she continued. “Maybe we left it up to the churches or to the professionals and we didn’t do it ourselves. But something is disconnected because instead of the nation getting better, we’ve gotten worse. We’ve gotten farther away from God’s Word.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9271

Liberals In Full Meltdown Mode As President Trump Says Process To Replace Justice Kennedy On Supreme Court Will ‘Begin Immediately’

Trump told reporters the process would “begin immediately .” The president said he would review an existing list of 25 candidates for the opening. The list was put together to fill the seat now held by Justice Neil Gorsuch. It was developed in consultation with conservative legal scholars. “It will be somebody from that list,” Trump said. Among the front-runners is Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Also potential replacements: Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, and Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, who serves on the 6th Circuit.

by Geoffrey Grider June 27, 2018

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would move quickly to nominate a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who announced that he will retire on July 31.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2018 version of the Democrat Party have given themselves a new name, Democratic Socialists. Their poster girl, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old grassroots activist, just pulled off the biggest upset so far in the 2018 election cycle. She won the New York primary in a landslide, and ran on a platform Far Left Socialism that would make Bernie Sanders look almost Conservative. Today’s news that Supreme Court ‘swing judge’ Anthony Kennedy is going to retire has sent the Left into apoplectic overdrive, as they watch their much touted ‘blue wave‘ slowing to a trickle. For his part, President Trump announced that the process to find Justice Kennedy’s replacement would ‘begin immediately’. And the Trump Train just keeps on rollin’, and keeps on winning. And winning. And winning. #Trump2020

Trump told reporters the process would “begin immediately .” The president said he would review an existing list of 25 candidates for the opening. The list was put together to fill the seat now held by Justice Neil Gorsuch. It was developed in consultation with conservative legal scholars.

“It will be somebody from that list,” Trump said.

Among the front-runners is Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Also potential replacements: Thomas Hardiman of Pennsylvania, who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit, and Raymond Kethledge of Michigan, who serves on the 6th Circuit.

The retirement of Kennedy, who turns 82 next month, gives Trump the chance to further cement the court’s conservative bent. Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, has been a swing vote on issues like abortion and affirmative action to gay rights and capital punishment. On those issues, he has often sided with the court’s liberal justices. Trump has made clear he wants to nominate justices with staunch conservative credentials.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9269

Analysis: After Erdogan’s victory, what should Israel do?

Should Israel try to salvage what is salvageable in the relationship with Turkey or should it write Turkey off as a loss?

By Herb Keinon

June 26, 2018 05:43

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Istanbul, Turkey June 24, 2018. (photo credit: KAYHAN OZER/PRESIDENTIAL PALACE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Gazans might have shot off fireworks in celebration, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas may have put in a congratulatory call, but there was obviously no joy in Jerusalem on Tuesday at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s victory – and that of his party – in Sunday’s election.

Erdogan, who supports Hamas and is vitriolic in his rhetoric against Israel, again plunged Israeli-Turkish ties to a low point just a month before the elections by “temporarily” expelling Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, and recalling his own ambassador, following Israel’s response to the riots along the security fence in Gaza.

Israel responded by “temporarily” expelling Turkey’s consul-general in Jerusalem, who has responsibility for Turkey’s relations with east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Turkey has poured massive amounts of money into Turkish-supported Islamic institutions and organizations in east Jerusalem, and has also used the consul general as the address to funnel aid into Gaza.

While there were some who attributed Erdogan’s expelling of the Israeli ambassador to the election campaign, few in Jerusalem believe now that the campaign is over – and Erdogan has often used his anti-Israeli positions to boost his electoral prospects – the relationship between the two countries will improve in any significant manner.

There is a debate, however, about what Israel should do now.

Should Israel try to salvage what is salvageable in the relationship with Turkey, believing that economic, business and cultural ties between the countries are still important and worth fostering, out of the belief that Erdogan will not last forever? Or should it write Turkey off as a loss, not worth the effort and not as strategically important as it once was to Israel?

An early sign of which direction Israel is heading on this matter may come as early as Tuesday, when the Knesset might debate a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide. This motion was on the agenda previously, but as of Monday evening it was not clear whether it will be brought up as originally anticipated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acceded to a recommendation from the Foreign Ministry earlier this month to postpone discussion of the bill until after the elections in Turkey so as not to help Erdogan at the polls.

A decision to further postpone movement on the bill could mean that Israel wants to see whether – now that the elections are over – Erdogan wants to return relations to where they were before he kicked out Israel’s ambassador.

REGARDING HOW Israel should proceed now that Erdogan has won again, The Jerusalem Post spoke with two Israeli academics who follow Turkey closely, and who have opposing views of what Israel should do next regarding Turkey: Nimrod Goren, the head of Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies and a lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Emmanuel Navon, a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies and a lecturer in international relations at Tel Aviv University and the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center.

Goren said one thing Israel needs to internalize following the elections is that Jerusalem will have to deal with Erdogan for a number of more years – and the hope many harbored that the elections would bring about a change at the top in Turkey did not materialize.

As such, he said, “The goal should be to maintain a working relationship” with Erdogan and his government.

He said it is easy to “fortify oneself behind an aggressive position toward Erdogan – and he created the conditions for that – but the two countries have found a way to work together and advance economic interests in the past, and I think that is worth continuing to do.”

Goren said, at the end of the day, the relationship with Turkey is an important strategic relationship for Israel since it is a large Muslim country with which Israel has had relations since 1949. “There are not that many countries in the region with which Israel is able to work openly,” he said, adding that this is something worth keeping.

He said, however, Israel must be sober and realize that the obstacles in moving the ties forward with Turkey – Gaza, Jerusalem and the Palestinians – will not go away, and that every time there is a crisis with the Palestinians or an escalation in the violence, then Erdogan “will not act any differently than he has.”

AT THE same time, Goren said, Erdogan has been careful not to take the crisis in ties with Israel too far, and not supported a recent move in parliament to freeze economic ties with it. He also noted that even with the expulsion of the ambassador, there has been no formal Turkish declaration downgrading the relationship.

While the rhetoric is tough and has been so since 2008 and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, there are significant economic ties between the countries that Goren said should be promoted.

The first thing we should do, Goren said, “is recognize that the ties with Turkey are worth preserving, and that with all the anger toward Erdogan, Turkey is still an important country with a government now that will be in power for years.” Israel, he said, should attempt to create other channels of communication with Turkey to restore the situation at last back to it was before the Gaza riots and the expulsion of the ambassador and the consul general.

Navon, however, could not disagree more. He said that following the elections, Erdogan is going to continue to openly support Hamas and make “outrageous statements on Israel.”

“My take is that the relations with Israel will continue to deteriorate, and that Israel should really work on its relationship with Greece and Cyprus,” he said.

Asked what interest Erdogan had in a further deterioration of ties, Navon said: “He is an Islamist, his foreign policy is Islamist, he supports Iran, he supports Hamas, he has a deeply ingrained hatred for Israel and the Jews, and this works for him internationally because it turned him into the leader of the Muslim world.”

Navon recalled that soon after his election in 2002, Erdogan barred US troops from using bases in Turkey on the way to the invasion of Iraq, something that made him a hero in the Arab and Muslim world, and catapulted him to a leadership position. He has pursued similar policies ever since, Navon said.

“The more he is aggressive toward Israel, the more he is seen as the only leader in the Muslim world who speaks out and is willing to confront the US and Israel,” Navon said, something that adds to his stature in Arab and Muslim countries.

Rather than chasing Erdogan, Israel should make it clear that its natural gas will go through Cyprus and Greece, not via a pipeline through Turkey, Navon said. He also said Israel should also use its influence in Washington to push for Congress to recognize the Armenian genocide.

“One of the reasons Turkey got close to Israel in the 1990s was because they wanted to use the Israel lobby in the US to stop Congress from recognizing the Armenian genocide,” he said.

“Now we should use that card, and tell him that if he is going to burn his bridges with us, we should make him pay a price for this policies.”

Navon disagrees with those who say Israel should salvage what it can with Turkey.

“Israel is a very powerful country, with a strong economy,” he said. “It is a strong geopolitical player with strong ties with the US and elsewhere. We’re not in the 1960s anymore, and it’s about time we realized that.”

Asked whether Israel did not need Turkey, Navon replied simply: “For what?”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9267

BABYLON RISING: Jesuit Pope Francis Functioning More Like A King As EU Rulers Look To Vatican For Leadership

The tete-a-tete between the Argentine pontiff Pope Francis and Macron in the Vatican’s ornate library lasted 57 minutes — the longest between Francis and a head of state. They also discussed secularism, inter-religious dialogue and climate change, the French presidency said in a statement that described a “very free and very intense exchange”. Macron’s visit with the pope, who has called for “solidarity” with migrants, came as the thorny issue of migration casts deep divisions within the European Union.

 

by Geoffrey Grider June 26, 2018

 

French President Emmanuel Macron held an “intense” meeting with Pope Francis during his first official visit to the Vatican on Tuesday, discussing global issues including the fate of migrants coming to Europe.

“And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Revelation 17:1,2 (KJV)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Why so many of the European Union’s political leaders turning to Pope Francis, a religious figure,  for leadership and guidance? Because Revelation 17 and 18 says that the Vatican is Whore of Babylon with whom the ‘kings of the earth’ will enriched themselves by bowing down to her. This is why you see so much political posturing from Pope Francis as he begins to assume the kingly role that Revelation says the end time pope will have. And in a fascinating turn of events worthy of inclusion in a Left Behind novel, Francis awarded French president Macron with something called an honorary canon of the basilica of St. John Lateran. I know you likely have never heard of it, but it’s packed with prophetical intrigue. St. John Lateran is the very first Vatican building built by Rome, as it was in the processing of swallowing whole the Christian Church that Jesus started, in a hostile takeover in the early 300’s. Looks like King Francis in 2018 is planning on expanding the Vatican empire. 

The tete-a-tete between the Argentine pontiff Pope Francis and Macron in the Vatican’s ornate library lasted 57 minutes — the longest between Francis and a head of state. They also discussed secularism, inter-religious dialogue and climate change, the French presidency said in a statement that described a “very free and very intense exchange”.

Macron’s visit with the pope, who has called for “solidarity” with migrants, came as the thorny issue of migration casts deep divisions within the European Union.

After the meeting, Macron said France will be one of six European countries to take in some of the 233 migrants on board the NGO rescue ship Lifeline, which has been stranded for days in the Mediterranean after being turned away by Italy.

The French president earlier had breakfast with Rome’s Community of Sant’Egidio — a charity with ties to the Vatican that plays a role in welcoming migrants, and organising “humanitarian corridors” bringing Syrian refugees to Europe.

The programme, which is open to vulnerable Muslims and Christians alike, is an alternative to dangerous smuggling routes.

After his meeting with Pope Francis, Macron attended a ceremony where he was made an honorary canon of St John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome. The tradition dates back to the 15th century when the French state and church were indistinguishable.

The French president said he was “truly moved” by the honour in a speech.

Several of Macron’s predecessors declined to go to the Vatican to accept the title, including socialists Francois Mitterrand and Francois Hollande, in order to avoid associating themselves with religious imagery.

Macron’s decision to attend the ceremony has drawn criticism in France, which is strictly secular under a landmark 1905 law that separated the state from the church.

“I decided to accept this invitation because it belongs to a tradition of harmony and friendship between France and the Vatican to which I am attached”, Macron said in his speech. Francis and the French president smiled and embraced each other as they left their meeting.

The French president offered the Pope a 1949 edition in Italian of “The Diary of a Country Priest” by French Catholic writer Georges Bernanos. Francis presented Macron with a bronze medal of Saint Martin, a fourth century symbol of generosity, and the main texts from his papacy.

Giving the medal to Macron, the Pope said it was the “vocation of those in government to protect the poorest”. After the meeting, Macron said he had met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday evening, but kept the informal talk discreet out of respect for Vatican protocol.

Past talks between the pope and a president have never exceeded 50 minutes — Francis spoke with former US president Barack Obama for 50 minutes and with his successor Donald Trump for 30 minutes.

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