Weekly Update by Mark Armstrong – 23 January 2015

Greetings from Tyler,

We’ve seen not one, but three bombshells rock whatever status quo remained of the Middle East equation in just a matter of days. Yemen, publicly touted by the current administration as a success story of its “policy” toward the region, has fallen completely apart. The president of Yemen and his cabinet have all resigned under intolerable pressure from “militants” who had occupied government facilities. Now they’ve got thousands in the streets of the capitol, Sanaa, chanting, “Death to Israel, Death to America.”

From this vantage point, and with a lack of inside information about the battling Shiite and Sunni factions, all we know for now is that there is a power vacuum in Yemen, and no telling which brand of Islamic zealots will emerge with power. There is some suspicion that the Shiite “Houthi” faction may have been acting at the behest of Iran in driving the president from power. But it was the Sunni al Qaeda terrorists that Yemen was allowing U.S. drones to target.

Yemen is on the southern border of Saudi Arabia, where King Abdullah just died. Saudi Arabia is frightened of Iran, its nuclear program, and the sphere of influence Iran commands from Lebanon to Syria and Iraq. The Saudis hate the fact that the U.S. is “negotiating” with Iran, and are feeling increasingly insecure.

On top of that, Israeli photographs show that Iran now has a long range intercontinental ballistic missile parked on a launch pad just outside Tehran. This one may be able to reach the United States. As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, Iran has for some time had missiles capable of hitting Israel. This addition to Iran’s arsenal has USA written all over it. But the negotiations continue with Iran, having already blown through at least two deadlines. Neither Israel nor Saudi Arabia want to see an agreement between the Obama administration and Iran, because they believe that Iran will achieve nuclear capability regardless.

But America’s relationship with Israel has never been more tenuous. Prime Minister Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to address Congress in March, and apparently did so without consulting the White House. Now the president’s aides are accusing Netanyahu of having “spat in the face” of the current U.S. president. Apparently, there will be no meeting between the two during Netanyahu’s visit. It is expected that Netanyahu will urge new sanctions against Iran (which the president vehemently opposes) and possibly call for military strikes against its nuclear facilities. It is blindingly obvious that there is no love lost between the American president and the Israeli Prime Minister.

ISIS (or whatever) has continued to expand its territorial holdings in spite of the American bombing campaign, and now holds more of Iraq and Syria than ever. Obviously the “bombing campaign” was a political maneuver and not a serious attempt to wipe out ISIS. Meanwhile, they’re about to cut off the heads of two Japanese men they’re holding prisoner.

But our government is currently interested to retrain police departments so they’ll understand how racially biased they are. We also need higher taxes and new government programs to make community colleges “free.” Don’t forget global warming, and serious action that we must take to “save the planet.”

Last week we were looking hard at the troubles brewing in Europe socially, because of the large angry Muslim populations and their intention to overthrow western society. Nothing has been solved, or even coherently addressed. But Europeans seem to be awakened to the mounting dangers and taking them seriously.

In the U.S., we’re living in an alternate reality where everything is great and the “shadow of crisis has passed.” At least that’s the view that was offered in this week’s State of the Union address. But nothing could be further from the truth. No crisis to date can rival the one where Iran makes demands with its finger on a nuclear trigger. If not for the expectations inspired by the church’s teachings on Bible prophecy and the reality of our current leadership, we’d never have believed that the United States of America would stand by and allow such a thing to happen.

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Mark Armstrong

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