News Review - 7 Aug 2020
Trade War 2020

US expands draconian sanctions… pulls out 12,000 troops from Germany… an assault on Europe’s sovereignty… this is…

Trade War 2020

Are trade wars good or bad? According to President Trump, they are “good and easy to win!” Hardly a week goes by without some article on trade wars appearing in our news. They appear to be a serious end time problem.

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore - we win big. It’s easy!(Donald J Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018)

The Warning Went Out

Over 50 years ago, an article in the Plain Truth Magazine gave the following stark warning:

Germany, and all Europe, would not escape unscathed in a hot trade war between the Common Market and the United States. Terrible economic disasters would result! And the result from such disasters? A NEW NAZI GERMANY!( The Plain Truth, December 1963)

Over 20 years later, Mr Armstrong repeated the warning in a Co-Worker Letter – May 16, 1985:

“Slowly but surely events are working toward a coming conflict between Europe and the United States as prophesied in the Bible. US Secretary of Labor William Brock has issued a public statement threatening a trade war between the United States and Europe. All these events are tending to drive Europe and the US further and further apart. Trouble is definitely on the horizon as God has forewarned in prophecy.” ( Co-Worker Letter – May 16, 1985)

No Need For Europe To Buy US Gas At Triple The Price

June 2018 - “The US is force-feeding Europe its liquefied natural gas, which is three times more expensive than buying it from Russia, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said after signing a gas-supply contract with Moscow until 2040. ‘It makes little sense in purely economic terms to replace Russian gas with American LNG,’ Van der Bellen said at a press conference after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Vienna on Tuesday. OMV and Gazprom are now implementing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which seeks to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream. The project has faced opposition from the US, which is seeking to ramp up LNG exports to Europe.( rt.com)

Europe Already Relies On Russian Energy

“This year, Russia provided record supplies of gas to the European market to meet the region’s growing demand. But some nations, particularly the US, Poland and the Baltic states, still insist Europe can do without Russian energy.

Here are the key Russian pipelines supplying oil and gas to Europe, which Washington and allies are trying to obstruct.

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

This project, which is almost complete, aims to deliver more natural gas from Russia to the EU. It involves the construction of two pipelines with a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, spanning from the Russian coast to Germany and further on to other European customers through the Baltic Sea.

This week, Washington and Warsaw called the Russian gas pipeline a ‘threat’ to European energy security.

Nord Stream gas pipeline

The first gas pipeline to establish direct Russian energy supplies, Nord Stream, was opened in 2011. It pumps gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany and the rest of Europe, bypassing transit countries. With a length of 1,224km, the pipeline’s annual capacity is 55 billion cubic meters of gas.

Druzhba oil pipeline

One of the longest and biggest oil pipeline networks in the world, Druzhba was put into operation in 1964. It carries oil some 4,000km from the eastern part of European Russia to Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Germany.

Yamal-Europe gas pipeline

The transnational Yamal-Europe route supplies Russian gas to Western Europe, running across Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany. The pipeline’s construction started in 1994 and in 2006 Yamal-Europe reached its design capacity of 32.9 billion cubic meters. The pipeline’s total length is over 2,000km. It has become an additional export corridor that has increased the flexibility and reliability of Russian gas supplies to Western Europe.” ( rt.com)

Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Will Significantly Cut Gas Prices In Europe, Energy Consultancy Says

“European consumers will benefit from lower gas prices if the underwater pipeline from Russia to Germany, the Nord Stream 2, is completed, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said as the US is up in arms trying to stop the project.

Analysts expect the price for the blue fuel in Europe to drop by up to 25 percent after Russia starts pumping natural gas via the 1,200km route stretching across the Baltic Sea to Germany.

However, the completion of the Russia-developed pipeline would challenge US plans to boost its own shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the region. An increase in imports from Russia would come at the expense of US LNG exporters, according to Wood Mackenzie’s forecast.

‘If sales to Europe are constrained again, as they have been this year, that will put downward pressure on Henry Hub prices. The net impact of that in terms of lost revenues for upstream US gas producers could be significant,’ the report reads.” ( rt.com)

The US Viewpoint

President Trump says US won’t protect Germany as it ‘pays Russia billions for energy’ in first tweet after Pentagon announces troop withdrawal.

“US President Donald Trump has defended his decision to pull out almost 12,000 troops from Germany by invoking its gas imports from Russia. Washington has recently ramped up its efforts to block the deliveries.

‘Germany pays Russia billions of dollars a year for Energy, and we are supposed to protect Germany from Russia. What’s that all about?…’ Trump tweeted, shortly after Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the US would move out some 11,900 US soldiers from Germany, as opposed to the initial plan to withdraw some 9,500 personnel.

Trump has also cited the long-running row over NATO contributions, accusing Germany of failing to fork out its fair share of the costs for the military alliance.

‘… Also Germany is very delinquent in their 2% fee to NATO. We are therefore moving some troops out of Germany!’ Trump added, referring to the alliance’s minimum spending requirement for member states. German politicians see it as a move that will only drive a wedge deeper between Berlin and Washington.( rt.com)

US Expands Draconian Sanctions Against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline

“The US has long opposed Nord Stream 2, claiming it would grant Moscow political leverage over Europe by increasing the latter’s dependency on Russian gas. Washington has been actively lobbying European countries to buy its pricier liquefied natural gas instead of Russian pipeline gas, calling it ‘freedom gas’.” ( rt.com)

“A Dangerous Precedent”

“Business representatives draw attention to the fact that the USA had tried to torpedo German-Russian energy relations, beginning already with those between West Germany and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1980s, but ultimately had to yield each time.( german-foreign-policy.com)

The German Viewpoint

“The new sanctions by Washington targeting Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline are ‘absolutely unacceptable,’ Klaus Ernst, chairman of the Bundestag Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy, told RT.

He explained that sanctions could stop the completion of the project, and if the pipeline is not finished, ‘this will increase gas prices in the EU.’

‘The US is trying to accomplish its economic interests through illegal extraterritorial sanctions, which it directs at their partners and allies. I assume this as an assault on Europe’s sovereignty. These actions are seriously damaging the transatlantic relationship,’ explained Ernst.

‘I am convinced that the US is just trying to get their expensive LNG gas into the European market by disturbing the well-established EU-Russian energy relations. By doing this, they violate German and European economic and geopolitical interests, because they hinder their European friends from buying cheap gas from Russia and from maintaining good relations with their eastern neighbor.’

Germany should also use its EU presidency to discuss the relationship with the US again, as well as reconsider EU sanctions against Russia ‘as soon as possible,’ he said.

‘If we just accept the continued breaches of international law with which the US is trying to enforce its interests, they will feel encouraged to do more of this in the future. I think the German government should do their very best to convince their European partners that we should defend our sovereignty together’.” ( rt.com)

“An Assault On Europe’s Sovereignty”

This is the German view of US actions. They see it as “An assault on Europe’s sovereignty” and a ploy to stop Germany from… “ maintaining good relations with their eastern neighbor .”

Attempted extortion’: Germany reaffirms commitment to Russian gas project despite US threats

Berlin has no intention of changing its stance on the Russia-developed Nord Stream 2 pipeline as the Trump administration ratcheted up pressure against the project, threatening investors with sanctions.

‘We have taken into account the US secretary of state’s statement. The German government’s position on Nord Stream 2 has been expressed many times and remains unchanged,’ a government representative told TASS on Thursday.

Moscow earlier called Washington’s threat another example of US political pressure for the sake of unfair competition. According to President Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the US simply wants to force Europeans to buy its more expensive gas. The US has been actively lobbying EU states to switch to its liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of Russian blue fuel.

The Nord Stream 2 project is 90 percent complete. After its launch, scheduled for the end of the year, the underwater pipeline will supply Europe with up to 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year, on top of the 55 bcm annually supplied through Nord Stream 1.” ( rt.com)

New Head Of Board Of Directors Of Russian Oil Firm Rosneft

Germany makes its goals clear. They want good relations with the Russian energy industry – and good relations with Russia itself.

“Former Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schroeder told the Rheinische Post about his work at Rosneft, as well as his attitude towards Vladimir Putin. Schroeder stressed that good relations with Rosneft and with Russia as a whole are in the interests of Europe, and Germany will eventually benefit from them.” ( fort-russ.com)

US-EU Alliance Could Now End

The Germans see the attitude of the US as “ a deliberate termination of the transatlantic partnership.” Over the last year, attitudes in Germany have hardened. Germany refused to buy the F35 fighter, refused to pay for US troops stationed in Germany, refused to obey US sanctions on Iran, is continuing with the gas pipeline supplying natural gas from Russia against US demands, and is involving China in the setting up of the 5G internet system in Germany. Do they still regard America as an ally?

Before World War II, a mutual accord had been made between Germany and Russia. History often repeats itself.( The Plain Truth, October 1985)

America is forcing Germany to look more towards Russia for help. But Germany is under no illusions about Russian intent. They are pushing for an European defence force, totally independent from NATO – and hence America!

“Former Chancellor Schröder sees the relations with the USA as ‘heavily burdened’ by ‘escalating tariffs [trade wars] and going it alone’ policy by the Americans. Schröder writes: ‘Economic fines against a NATO ally during the current economic recession are nothing other than a deliberate termination of the transatlantic partnership’.” ( thesaker.is)

Back in 1982, Mr Armstrong had this to say regarding this situation…

[Europe] is losing confidence in the United States as having a military umbrella over them to protect them, and they want their own military force to protect themselves. That’s the way they feel over there. Now that is a chief incentive to unite them and that is taking place.” ( Sermon - United States Of Europe Is Coming - November 27, 1982)

End Of Transatlantic Bond – Former German Chancellor

“Aside from being an affront to EU sovereignty and an imminent threat to European jobs, the sweeping US sanctions targeting the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline mark the end of the Transatlantic partnership, Gerhard Schroeder has said. A sanctions bill currently being debated in the US Congress is ‘a widespread, unjustified attack on the European economy and unacceptable interference with EU sovereignty and energy security in Western Europe,’ former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder argued in a position paper drafted ahead of parliamentary hearings on the matter. The penalties – which affect ‘over 120 shipbuilding, engineering, environmental and security companies that work or have worked with Nord Stream 2’ – mark the ‘definite termination of the Transatlantic partnership,’ the retired chancellor’s statement said, as cited by the German business daily Handelsblatt. At the hearing, there was no shortage of speakers bashing the US for meddling in German and European affairs.( rt.com)

“The Writing Is On The Wall”

From the beginning of the end time work of God, the message never changed. The focal point has always been the creation of a resurrected German-led Holy Roman Empire and one of the main factors leading up to its creation would be trade wars.

Less than a year before he died, Mr Armstrong issued the following warning:

“Slowly but surely events are working toward a coming conflict between Europe and the United States as prophesied in the Bible. US Secretary of Labor William Brock has issued a public statement threatening a trade war between the United States and Europe. All these events are tending to drive Europe and the US further and further apart. Trouble is definitely on the horizon as God has forewarned in prophecy.” ( Co-Worker Letter – May 16, 1985)

Fast forward to 2020:

…the German foreign minister above all identifies the US as the opponent. Seventy-five years after the end of World War II, transatlantic relations are about to turn into open hostility.” ( wsws.org)


“‘The US is trying to accomplish its economic interests through illegal extraterritorial sanctions, which it directs at their partners and allies. I assume this as an assault on Europe’s sovereignty. These actions are seriously damaging the transatlantic relationship,’ explained Ernst.” ( rt.com)


“I think the German government should do their very best to convince their European partners that we should defend our sovereignty together.” ( rt.com)


NOTE!

Germany now views “ the US as the opponent…
…who is mounting “ an assault on Europe’s sovereignty…
…so “ we [Europe] should defend our sovereignty together.

Way back in 1955, talking about the restoration of the Holy Roman Empire, Mr Armstrong warned:

“In its final phase, to appear in our day, will merely be a restoration of that ancient Roman Empire – a United States of Europe which WE are beginning to foster within the confines of the ancient Roman Empire! WE are building the Frankenstein Monster that is destined to destroy us!( The Plain Truth, June 1955)

The Spiritual Reason

As we approach the end time – the culmination of 6,000 years of Satan’s misrule – we in God’s church should be clearly recognising the spiritual basis behind all that we are witnessing in this world. That very much includes trade wars. There is a reason – a cause for every effect – and God gives us that reason very clearly in the book of James:

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:1-3)

In the last few years of his life, Mr Armstrong would repeatedly bring this in-coming frame of mind to our attention – the very basis behind the trade wars that we are now witnessing – but he would also show clearly the opposite “way of give” that is destined to bring the only true solution to the problem:

“Now the way of get, the way of this world, is self-centeredness. It’s everything comes to me. I, me, I’m number one. I don’t care about you. I’m only concerned about me. No one else is going to look after my interests if I don’t. I want to get what I can get. I want to take whatever I can take. If I am a child, I want to take the other child’s toy and play. I want to get everything I can get. I want to have what I can have. I want to have this, and I’ll cry if I don’t get it. Now that is the way of vanity then, of self-love, of self-centeredness; and it is the way of coveting what someone else has, or the way of lust and greed. It is also the way toward other people of envy and jealousy and the way of competition, to compete with others…

…But now GIVE, that’s the way of love going out towards others, the giving way. Not lust, but LOVE. And love is giving. And the greatest giver of all is God. God is the Great Giver. Now the way of love is cooperation, not competition. It is the way of giving instead of taking away from others. It is the way of SHARING. You say, ‘I have it, I want others to enjoy what I have too. I want to share it with them if I can’.” ( Sermon - Times and Seasons - March 15, 1980)