Weekly Updates From Headquarters
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28 February 2014
Greetings from Tyler,
No doubt you are aware of the dicey situation playing out in Ukraine. Russia obviously isn't prepared to see that country slip out of its orbit, and is engaging in a round of intimidating war games on its eastern border. There are also reports of (disguised, but apparently Russian) commandos taking control of airports and government buildings. U.S. response has been the same as we've seen so many times before, with talk of “consequences if lines are crossed.” That line of rhetoric has been ignored in Syria, Egypt and elsewhere, and is extremely unlikely to have any bearing on the situation this time.
At a time when Russia is building modernizing its military and behaving provocatively, Washington announced this week a major scaling back of the American military. Some wonder aloud whether the United States is being weakened intentionally according to social justice logic which holds that the world’s worst actors hate America because of its superior military strength. That logic has never before driven U.S. policy, with the possible exception of the Jimmy Carter era. U.S. foreign policy has traditionally held that peace can only be maintained from a position of strength, and it is apparent that current leadership disagrees.
Apart from telegraphing the first Egyptian revolution that overthrew the Mubarak government and the toppling of the Libyan regime, the U.S. has had precious little influence in the Middle East of late. Iran scoffs at any responsibility to abide by recent agreements concluded with the U.S. Secretary of State in Vienna, and Israel remains in a state of limbo in the face of numerous threats as all involved struggle to perceive which side the United States is on these days. Many stateside are equally baffled.
Meanwhile there are rumors and reports that Israel is prepared, in fact negotiating to turn control over Mt. Zion to the Vatican. The hill designated as Mt. Zion is outside the walls of the Old City, and does not include the area of the Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. If it did, you can bet the Israelis would be up in arms and the Muslims would be going crazy. But Mt. Zion is reputed to be the site of certain “holy places” such as the traditional “Hall of the Last Supper” and David's tomb. However those designations are in doubt, as are the reports and rumors that Israel is negotiating to turn them over to Vatican control. If true, it would certainly represent a troubling precedent, and one that would fuel speculation as to the future of the Temple Mount itself.
Bible prophecy indicates that the Temple Mount will become the site of another desecration, and seems to invoke a papal personality claiming the power and authority of God. This report and speculation about Mt. Zion does not appear to rise anywhere near that level, but certainly will raise a lot of eyebrows about the future if it should be borne out.
The new monthly letter has been mailed, and should be arriving in a mailbox near you any day now. Plus, the new issue of 21st Century WATCH is printed and was just delivered back to our offices today. We believe that it holds to the standard of the last one, and we hope it will prove a beneficial publication for members as well as something that can be distributed to public reading areas perhaps with a card inserted giving times and locations of local meetings. We'll make additional copies available to all our groups for that purpose, and stand by to be of further assistance if needed. We are thankful that California is finally getting some rain, and hoping no one gets washed away. Winter isn't through with us here in Texas, and another sub-freezing snap is due Sunday or Monday. But it is nothing compared to the deep freeze north and east of us. They're in for another round of global-warming-caused deep freeze, if you believe the desperate explanations of the environmentalist brigade. So batten down the hatches, it’s the Sabbath, and time for a day of rest!