Sometimes it’s the small news items that are really the biggest. Even items that are completely overlooked by the mainstream media may turn out to be of the greatest significance.
Washington takes the 64-year-old NATO alliance for granted, expecting other member countries to follow the US lead. Remember how critical Americans were when the French refused to invade Iraq? The alliance is now under greater strain, partly due to Edward Snowden’s revelations that the US has been spying on some EU members and European leaders.
Even trade talks between the US and EU have been halted as the lack of trust takes hold. Successful trade talks could have boosted employment on both sides of the Atlantic by 5%, it has been claimed.
Sources claim that “the EU is planning to assemble an independent intelligence body of its own ‘in an urgent response’ to the recent revelation that the US has been spying on EU officials as well as European citizens.” (Voice of Russia, 29th July).
Meanwhile, Deutsche Welle claimed that: “Germans suspect America’s Army bases spy on them.” Again, this follows leaks from former NSA employee Edward Snowden.
The Wall Street Journal revealed August 5th a further rift between the two biggest economic powers, this time over aviation agreements. “Rift stalls US-EU Aviation Discussions” ran the headline, highlighting the fact that if agreement is not reached, it will negatively affect all air traffic between North America and Europe.
Unfortunately, train travel is not an option for trans-Atlantic travel. But trains are boosting trade between Germany and China, as the following news item from euronews shows:
“The first freight train from the eastern Chinese city of Zhengzdou has arrived in Hamburg, Germany. It covered more than ten thousand kilometres in just 15 days – halving the normal travel time by sea. Officials say heavy cargo that cannot be transported by air, car parts and electronics will benefit from the new service. It is hoped the transport link will lead to even stronger trade ties between the two cities.”
Meanwhile, Germany, Europe’s economic powerhouse, hosted a meeting of Europe’s four German speaking countries at which North Africa and the Middle East was the focus. Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein attended the quadripartite gathering. According to GermanForeignPolicy.com, “Berlin is advancing its political positions in the middle of Europe by coordinating exclusive meetings of the four German speaking countries’ foreign ministers.”
Europe is increasingly focused on the neighboring Muslim world at a time when the US seems to be backing off. The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton last week became the first foreign dignitary to see deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
Laurence Norman reported from Brussels in the Wall Street Journal:
“BRUSSELS – Egyptian authorities’ decision to let European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton meet with Mohammed Morsi – the first person outside the military reported to have visited the ousted president since his imprisonment early July – highlighted the growing role European diplomats are playing in Cairo and the region.
“With the U.S. facing mounting suspicions from many of the region’s new political forces, the EU has sought, throughout Egypt’s crisis, to step in. It is a role blessed by Washington, according to diplomats and officials, and at which EU diplomats, often left on the margins by member state ambitions, have jumped.” (“Amid Egypt’s Crisis, Europe Steps Up”, August 1st).
Each one of these news items is of considerable significance but not one received much attention in the US. It’s clear the EU is not happy with the US following Mr. Snowden’s revelations; it’s also clear that Germany is increasing its influence in Europe, and that the EU is increasingly involved in the Middle East.
Students of Bible prophecy will know that the Middle East and Europe are at the center of the end-time events prophesied in the Word of God. Keep looking for those small news items that are overlooked by the media, but may turn out to be of the greatest significance.