Greetings from Tyler,

Hopefully we all enjoyed the temporary lull in the international economic crisis, because the lull is over.  Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean island grafted on as an appendage to the EU, ordered its banks and financial markets closed earlier in the week to avoid a run on the cash that threatened to precipitate a breakdown that might have spread into the rest of Europe.  It looks like there will be another bail-out from Europe, with all kinds of strings attached.  Let’s review now.  How many European countries have had to be rescued from the abyss of socialism?  Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy and now Cyprus?  How long will Germany and the northern nations be willing to subsidise these economic failures to preserve the illusion of a cohesive Europe?  It would be nice to know the answers to all these questions, but we don’t.

What we do know is that the eventual parameters of a united Europe will be considerably smaller than that of the far flung EU.  We also know that the Germans and their neighbours are not comfortable with the open ended economic commitments that have been forced upon them, again and again.  But neither do they want a run on their own banks as the result of a default somewhere as remote as Cyprus.  It is increasingly obvious that the social, cultural and economic gaps that separate northern and southern Europe will never be bridged by the single currency, and sooner or later reality will have to be faced.  Just not in the middle of a minor economic crack-up like the one in Cyprus, that could collapse the whole house of cards if not solved at least temporarily.

As you look elsewhere in European news, the main thing you see is all the writhing about the Islamic situation.  Germany convulses over what to do about the growth of radical groups within their borders that issue death threats against their politicians, and openly espouse their intent to expand their “empire” into Europe, and ultimately everywhere else.  Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has been widely quoted of late discussing the threat, “The groups aim to change our society in an aggressive, belligerent way so that democracy would be replaced by a Salafist system, and the rule of law replaced by sharia law.”

In what may be a glimpse of the broader future, a major German newspaper quoted a German Salafist from an internet video saying, “Our troops are already there (in Germany), you will bleed, your heads will roll… Oh allah, give the German people what they deserve!”  He went on to call for violent uprisings and political assassinations this summer.

Meanwhile, it is a serious crime to so much as say anything that would be construed as an insult to “minorities” in several northern European nations, and several writers and politicians have seen their lives re-defined by that fact.

You can’t have missed some of the highlights of the current American president’s first visit to Israel.  The Knesset found themselves being lectured about how badly young “palestinians” want peace.  If you remember the infamous Cairo speech of four years ago, largely credited with having instigated the “Arab spring,” then you know the drift of it.  It appears that the current administration may intend on using economic clout to force Israel to accept the “two state solution,” meaning that “Palestine” would become a sovereign nation with its capitol at …  Well, there’s the rub.  They’ll claim Jerusalem as their capitol.

That might just clear the way for Jerusalem to be designated as an “international city,” where the new pope would have the opportunity to exert influence.  He apparently intends his legacy to be one of intervention on behalf of the “poor.”  That stance is not far removed from the ideology of “social justice” that claims a need to redistribute property and wealth in the name of fairness and compassion.  It is anathema to the rights and privileges of ownership and private property that were enshrined by our founders.  It also runs contrary to the work ethic that has enabled Israel to create a thriving and prosperous nation.  But it may in fact be the ideology that will shape the future, given the fact that everybody is being bribed or threatened into compliance.

Of course the Iranian nuclear threat has also been a point of discussion during the presidential visit to Israel.  Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly referred to a “red line” that Iran must not be allowed to cross in its quest for nuclear weapons.  And the “supreme” Iranian ayatollah Khameini burst forth with a retort this week promising to “destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa” if its nuclear installations are attacked.

Syria is awash in civil war, as the whole world knows.  Everybody is calling for President Assad to step aside and let nature take its course.  The problem is that the Muslim Brotherhood is at the heart of the insurgency in Syria, and although we’ve already watched as they’ve taken over Egypt and extended their influence throughout the Arab Middle East, it is the United States and Europe that are arming the rebels in Syria!  Even “conservative” American senators are calling for deeper U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war.  To what end?

Panel members on an Egyptian network recently told viewers that American aid (a billion and a half or two) should be treated as rightly earned jizya, a tribute Muslim nations demand from conquered infidels.  So there you have it.  The Islamic radicals in Egypt believe they’ve already conquered us, and the ill-advised foreign aid we send them is the price we must pay so they will “leave us alone.”  Unfortunately, there may be something to it.

As we enter this season of solemn occasions, we see quite a wave of events that show us just where we are in the grand scheme of world history.  And it is more than a little unnerving.  Not only the events in Europe and the Middle East, but also Australia, Canada and the United States.  There is every attempt underway to curtail our rights and freedoms and redistribute them.  Australia just had a very close call with freedom of the press.  Freedom of speech, at least for those of European descent is also under attack.  We, however, intend to make full use of it for as long as God intends.

We hope you’ll have a good and wonderful Sabbath, followed by the Passover, Night to be Remembered,  and Days of Unleavened Bread.  Our respect and thanks go out to all who labor in the field on behalf of others and on behalf of the Work.

Mark Armstrong

Weekly Update from Mark Armstrong – 22 March 2013