One year ago, we reported that while the west was scrambling to assure the world that it wasn't collapsing courtesy of record central bank debt monetization even as number of people not in the US labor force steadily approaches 100 million, while peripheral Europe is saddled with 25% unemployment and 50%+ youth unemployment (but... but.. the stock markets are at all time highs), China was busy colonizing a new continent not only infrastructurally.....
.. .but militarily, in this case in the southern African nation which recently had achieved the pinnacle of Keynesian economic dogma: hyperinflation through currency debasement. Recall what the Zimbabwean wrote in March of 2014:
China is planning to set up a modern high-tech military base in the diamond-rich Marange fields, says a German-based website, Telescope News.
The news of the agreement to set up the first Chinese military airbase in Africa comes amid increasing bilateral cooperation between Zimbabwe and China – notably in mining, agriculture and preferential trade. China is the only country exempted from the indigenisation laws which force all foreign investors to cede 51% of their shareholding to carefully selected indigenous Zimbabweans.
The Marange story quoted unnamed military officials and a diplomat admitting knowledge of the plan to set up the base. Efforts to get a comment from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces were fruitless, as spokesperson Lt Col Alphios Makotore was consistently unavailable and did not respond to emails by the time of going to press.
The website speculated that China could be positioning itself for future “gunboat diplomacy” where its military presence would give it bargaining power against superpowers like the US. It would also be safeguarding its significant economic interests in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa.
And while this is not a story about Zimbabwe, we should remind readers that Zimbabwe's despotic ruler, a person widely loathed by the west (after being an object of "democratic" admiration in the 1980s and 1990s), Robert Mugabe has recently become a pawn of none other than China:
Bottom line: one year ago China was well on its way to marking its territory in southern Africa, with a core military presence near the all important for global trade Cape of Good Hope which is the transit point for about 10% of global seaborne-traded oil.
Fast forward to today when AFP reports that after securing Southen Africa, China is now in process of securing the second critical geopolitical area in Africa: the horn, which just happens to be right next to the infamous Bab el-Mandeb Strait located by the recently infamous country of Yemen, which in recent months has been overrun by US-armed Houthi Rebels.
According to AFP, China is negotiating a military base in the strategic port of Djibouti, the president said, raising the prospect of US and Chinese bases side-by-side in the tiny Horn of Africa nation. "Discussions are ongoing," President Ismail Omar Guelleh told AFP in an interview in Djibouti, saying Beijing's presence would be "welcome".
Why Djibouti? So China can have a bird's eye view of everything that happens at the Bab el-Mandeb Strait: one of the top 5 oil choke points in the world: "An estimated 3.8 million bbl/d of crude oil and refined petroleum products flowed through this waterway in 2013 toward Europe, the United States, and Asia, an increase from 2.9 million bbl/d in 2009. Oil shipped through the strait decreased by almost one-third in 2009 because of the global economic downturn and the decline in northbound oil shipments to Europe. Northbound oil shipments increased through Bab el-Mandeb Strait in 2013, and more than half of the traffic, about 2.1 million bbl/d, moved northbound to the Suez Canal and SUMED Pipeline."
Ironically, Djibouti is already home to Camp Lemonnier, the US military headquarters on the continent, used for covert, anti-terror and other operations in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere across Africa.
The US is not alone: France and Japan also have bases in the port, a former French colony that guards the entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, and which has been used by European and other international navies as a base in the fight against piracy from neighbouring Somalia.
The US will be very angry, especially since Washington was already angry when Djibouti and Beijing signed a military agreement allowing the Chinese navy to use Djibouti port in February 2014. Surely the US top diplomat will not be happy to learn that now China aims to install a permanent military base in Obock, Djibouti's northern port city.
Meanwhile, China's colonization - both peaceful and military - of Africa will continue, as will its increasing presence in determining who decides which way the world's oil flows.
Part of China’s rapidly developing space program consists of testing new anti-space technologies, even though the country publicly pledges not to militarize space, the Pentagon said in a report to Congress.
“By the end of October 2014, China had launched 16 spacecraft, either domestically or via a commercial space launch provider. These spacecraft mostly expanded China’s SATCOM and ISR capabilities, while a few others tested new space technologies,” said the report detailing potential threats from China, which the US DoD released Friday.
Among the latest achievements by China the report mentions the first-ever launch of a satellite capable of sub-meter resolution imaging, the Chang’e-5 lunar mission and the completion of a new space launch facility on Hainan Island.
While acquiring new space assets of its own, China is developing “a variety of capabilities designed to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by adversaries during a crisis or conflict, including the development of directed-energy weapons and satellite jammers,” the report said.
Of particular interest for the US military was the July 23, 2014 launch, which the Pentagon says was a follow-up of the 2007 destruction of an in-orbit defunct weather satellite.
Another Chinese space mission in May 2013 sent an object on a ballistic trajectory peaking above 30,000 km. The trajectory was nearly high enough to reach geosynchronous orbit, in which many nations place communication and earth-sensing satellites.
The report says the mission did not place anything into the orbit and was inconsistent with “with traditional space-launch vehicles, ballistic missiles or sounding rocket launches used for scientific research” pointing to a possible test of an anti-satellite weapon.
“China’s continued development of destructive space technologies represented a threat to all peaceful space-faring nations,” the report said.
Another emergent threat the report focuses on is China’s closer defense cooperation with Russia, particularly on the acquisition of advanced weapon technologies.
“As Russia has come under pressure from sanctions imposed by the West over its actions in Ukraine, Russia is turning to China for investment to avert a recession and is now granting China access to advanced weapon systems that it once restricted,” the document said.
"Russia’s concerns about intellectual property protections affect the types and quantities of advanced arms or associated production technologies it is willing to transfer to China, but resistance is waning as Russia looks to China to relieve the effects of Western sanctions,” it said.
China is expected to become the first foreign country to buy S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia and is planning to purchase advanced Su-35 fighter jets. There were reports of an arms deal for an unnamed Russian anti-ship cruise missile on the table.
The two countries are also expanding their joint military exercise program, with a first-ever naval drill in the Mediterranean coming this month.
As Msgr. Charles Pope and Johnette Benkovic point out, persecution of a hated segment of society begins gradually and accelerates stage by stage. Christians in America should recognize they are well into the first stages of persecution.
The first stage begins with attempts to stereotype the targeted group. Our current president summed up the Christian-hating left’s views of people of faith when in 2008, he categorized working-class voters in the following way: "[I]t's not surprising, then, that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
For Obama, as well as for nearly all the left, people of faith are the inhibitors of “progress,” and they deserve being caricatured as Bible-thumpers, and therefore ignorant, uneducated, backward hicks and rednecks.
Msgr. Pope elaborates:
Catholics, in particular, were also accused of having neurotic guilt and a hatred of or aversion to sexuality. We were denounced as a sexist institution filled with clergy who were sexually repressed, homosexuals, or pedophiles. We were labeled an authoritarian institution stuck in the past, one with too many restrictive rules. Basically, as the stereotype goes, Catholics and Bible-believing Christians are a sad, angry, boring, backward, repressed lot. To many who accept the stereotype, we are a laughable—even tragic—group caught in a superstitious past, incapable of throwing off the ‘shackles’ of faith.
The second stage of persecution involves justifying hatred of a particular group. As the progressive religion accelerates and consolidates its agenda, it justifies vilification of Christians who refuse to embrace its tenets of faith. Christians are portrayed as regressive troglodytes who are determined to resist the hope and change forced on them by the almighty State. Those who oppose the fundamental transformation the left desires are “described as close-minded, harmful to human dignity and freedom, intolerant, hateful, bigoted, unfair, homophobic, reactionary, and just plain mean and basically bad people.”
Of course, it follows that the history of the Christian church is seen as little more than unrelieved episodes of crusades, inquisitions, repression of scientific knowledge – the repository of everything bad. Meanwhile, the current-day intellectual heirs of the Enlightenment are held up as the only light Western civilization has known or will ever know.
The end result, Pope writes, is that “all of this has the effect of creating a self-righteous indignation toward believers and of making anti-Catholic and anti-Christian attitudes a permissible bigotry for many today.
Stage three involves marginalizing Christians’ role in society. Because Christianity is seen by the left as harmful to society at large, its immense contributions are downplayed or scorned. In fact, religion should be exterminated if a just and equal, fundamentally transformed United States is to arise like the proverbial phoenix from the cremation of the superstitious, irrational Christian past and present. If the Church is allowed to exist, its skeletal remains should exist only within select ossuaries, wherein its outdated and harmful rituals may – just may – be performed by and for the drugged and deluded.
In practice, Monsignor Pope writes, the left’s hatred of religion means that public prayer must be forbidden, Christian influence in public policy eliminated, and Christian holidays secularized.
As Chris Matthews recently suggested, Christians, particularly conservative evangelical Christians, have no place in American politics. “If you’re a politician and believe in God first, that’s all good. Just don’t run for government office, run for church office,” he tweeted. Not to be outdone, Mike Dickinson, a Virginia Democrat running for a House seat, tweeted, “Said it proudly! Want to decimate the Tea Party, The NRA, bible thumpers and Fox News zombies? Vote for me!”
The fourth stage of persecution involves criminalizing Christians and their churches, businesses, and educational institutions. Monsignor Pope writes:
An increasing amount of litigation is being directed against the Church and other Christians for daring to live out our faith[.] … It is clear that attempts to criminalize Christian behavior is a growth sector in this culture and it signals the beginning of the steady erosion of religious liberty. Many indeed feel quite righteous, quite politically correct in their work to separate the practice of the faith from the public square.
One of the righteous who openly advocates excision of Christianity from the entire culture is Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who recently stated at the Sixth annual Women in the World Summit that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed” for the sake of giving women access to “reproductive health care and safe childbirth. Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice – not just on paper.”
Stage five involves persecuting Christians outright. It may involve forcing Christians to go against historic teaching of the Church by insisting that priests and pastors marry gays, as Frank Bruni of the NY Times recently advocated. It then may move on to make religious institutions adhere to government “health” mandates, including provision of abortion services.
It may include the levying of heavy fines, such as the proposed $135,000 fineagainst bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. The general idea is to force the person to perform acts odious to him because of his deeply rooted faith, much like the SS forcing Jews to eat pork on Yom Kippur.
All of this is to say nothing of the filing of lawsuits against Christians who practice their faith and the proposed denial of tax-exempt status formerly routinely given to churches and Christian charitable and educational institutions. Persecution could well accelerate to include Henry VIII-style seizure of church property and monies because of Christian leaders’ refusal to bow to the doctrines of the State. As Pope notes, even jail time for Christians is quite possible: “Already in Canada and in parts of Europe, Catholic clergy have been arrested and charged with ‘hate crimes’ for preaching Catholic doctrine on homosexual activity.”
Finally, as noted at the beginning of this article, the last stage of persecution of Christians ends in their death.
How should American Christians respond? What should be done?
First, the American Christian church must rid itself of its neo-Gnostic separation from the world, recognizing that though “not of this world,” it is still in it. It must forsake its spiritual agoraphobia, its self-limitation to and passive acceptance of a backwater subculture. It must shake off the temptation to fight old and futile battles and see clearly the new battles before it. It must shake off its torpor and fight for the rights it has held for hundreds of years.
Christians also must realize they have been deceived by the terms of the left, which successfully persecutes Christians in the name of civil rights and equality. The battle against Christians in the name of “equality” and “rights” must be seen for what it is; namely, a battle between two inimically opposed religious world views, one of which is historic Christianity, the other of which is a tyrannous statism that seeks to ram its views down Christians’ throats.
Next, it is up to the priests, pastors and other church leaders to educate their congregations as to what is transpiring here in the land of the free. Last, pastors and priests must prepare themselves and their flocks for civil disobedience.
The very existence of the Church and Christianity in America is at stake.
|ER||I Felt A (not Listed) Earthquake||May 10 23:59||4.6||0||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||North Atlantic Ocean||May 10 23:32||4.9||10||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|EMSC||North Atlantic Ocean||May 10 23:32||4.9||12||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||New Britain Region, P.n.g.||May 10 22:52||4.8||40||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Taron, Papua New Guinea||May 10 22:52||4.8||45||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|GEOFON||New Britain Region, P.n.g.||May 10 22:52||5.0||10||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Northern Iran||May 10 22:09||4.7||2||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 10 21:25||5.6||17||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Southeast Of Honshu, Japan||May 10 21:25||5.8||10||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 10 21:25||6.1||2||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|USGS||Kokopo, Papua New Guinea||May 10 18:28||5.0||52||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|EMSC||New Britain Region, P.n.g.||May 10 18:28||4.8||53||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||New Britain Region, P.n.g.||May 10 18:28||4.7||10||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|USGS||Hachijo-jima, Japan||May 10 17:18||4.7||25||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|EMSC||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 10 17:18||4.7||26||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|USGS||Hachijo-jima, Japan||May 10 17:14||5.1||10||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 10 17:14||5.1||10||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Southeast Of Honshu, Japan||May 10 17:14||4.7||10||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 10 17:08||4.8||10||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 10 17:08||4.9||10||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|GEOFON||Southeast Of Honshu, Japan||May 10 17:08||4.9||10||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Hachijo-jima, Japan||May 10 16:54||5.3||6||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|GEOFON||Southeast Of Honshu, Japan||May 10 16:54||5.2||10||MAP I Felt It|
|EMSC||Izu Islands, Japan Region||May 10 16:54||5.4||10||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|USGS||Port-olry, Vanuatu||May 10 14:07||4.9||102||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|EMSC||Vanuatu||May 10 14:07||4.9||92||MAP I Felt It|
|GEOFON||Vanuatu Islands||May 10 14:07||5.0||82||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|EMSC||Solomon Islands||May 10 11:57||4.8||10||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|USGS||Honiara, Solomon Islands||May 10 11:57||4.8||10||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|EMSC||Fiji||May 10 05:57||4.7||25||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|USGS||Lautoka, Fiji||May 10 05:57||4.7||25||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|EMSC||Off Coast Of Chiapas, Mexico||May 10 00:50||5.6||10||MAP I Felt It INFO|
|GEOFON||Off Coast Of Chiapas, Mexico||May 10 00:50||5.4||10||MAP I Felt It|
|USGS||Tres Picos, Mexico||May 10 00:50||5.6||6||MAP I Felt It|
Data sources courtesy : USGS – EMSC – GFZ – GEONET (New Zealand only)