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The Battle of Taranto
On the night of 11 to 12 November 1940, British Naval forces under Admiral Andrew Cunningham, including Aircraft Carrier HMS Illustrious, launched Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers in the Mediterranean Sea to attack the Regia Marina Battle Fleet at anchor in the harbour of Taranto. Despite the shallow depth of the water, the aerial torpedoes proved devastatingly effective, crippling the Italian Navy, which lost half of its capital ships in one night.
Naval Air Power
The Royal Navy raid on Taranto Bay marked the ascendency of air power over sea power. The Fleet Air Arm proved to be the Navy's most devastating weapon.
Trained By the Royal Navy
As the Imperial Japanese Navy had initially been trained by the Royal Navy and studied the Royal Navy's tactics and strategies most carefully, it should have been obvious that the Imperial Japanese Navy, the third most powerful Navy in the world in 1941, with 10 Fleet carriers, would begin practicing with torpedo bombers and carefully evaluate the possibility of them being used against the American Pacific Fleet based in Pearl Harbour. Japan had the largest and most modern carrier Fleet in the world in 1941. By comparison the USA had 7 aircraft carriers (only 3 of which operated in the Pacific) and Britain had 8 aircraft carriers (of which only one operated in the Indian and Pacific Oceans).
The Danger of Torpedo Attack
The claim that no one could have anticipated torpedo attacks in the shallow waters of a harbour before 7 December 1941, is false. The British had proved that torpedoes could be effective in their attack on the Italian Navy at Taranto, 11 November 1940. The Royal Navy used Swordfish Bi-planes to deliver the torpedoes. The US Navy had discussed this new threat in a June 1941 Memorandum. Torpedo nets were considered to be installed in Pearl Harbour as a precautionary measure.
Overruled by Politicians in Washington D.C.
Admiral Kimmel and his staff testified that the decision not to install torpedo nets and booms had been made by the Navy Department in Washington DC, not in Hawaii.
Classified Documents Denied to the Public
There are many documents relating to Pearl Harbour which are still classified by the United States government and have not yet been made public. Many of the documents were destroyed during the war. Some of the public records of the United Kingdom containing Churchill's "Most Secret" war time intelligence briefs, were marked as "closed for 75 years", including the sections dealing with events from November 1941 through March 1942.
Was the Japanese Raid on Pearl Harbour Unprecedented?
Seventeen months before Pearl Harbour, the British Royal Navy attacked the French Fleet at anchor on the coast of French Algeria. The Battle of Mers-el-Kébir on 3 July 1940, resulted in the deaths of 1,297 French servicemen, the sinking of a French battleship and the damaging of 5 other ships. The combined air and sea attack was carried out against Britain's official ally - France.
Attacking an Ally
The attack remains controversial and created much hostility between France and Britain. Britain argued that "the times were desperate; invasion seemed imminent; and the British government simply could not afford to risk Germany seizing control of the French Fleet… the prominent British motive was thus dire necessity and self-preservation." However the French insisted that, as their terms of surrender with Germany did not require them handing over their Fleet, which was still in French controlled territory, the British action was treacherous.
Swift and Surprising Action
French ships that were in Alexandria and believed that they were allies of Britain were shocked to be blockaded, boarded and seized by the Royal Navy at the same time. Also on 3 July, French ships in Plymouth and Portsmouth, England, were boarded and captured. This included the French submarine, Surcouf (the largest submarine in the world at that time), four other submarines, the battleships Paris and Courbet, destroyers Triomphant and Leopard. Some officers and sailors were killed in the struggles. These attacks were justified by the British strategy of Copenhagening the Fleet.
Copenhagening the Fleet
Admiral Horatio Nelson's famous battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801 was a clear inspiration for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, 1941. Although Denmark was officially neutral during the Napoleonic Wars, Britain feared that her Navy may be seized by the French, if Denmark fell to the French.
The Battle of Copenhagen was a result of multiple failures of diplomacy. With Britain enforcing a strict blockade of France and any country trading with France, even neutral nations, such as Denmark, Sweden and Prussia, were regarded as legitimate targets.
The Battle of Copenhagen
Admiral Sir Hyde Parker and Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson led the attack on the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The British attack, during which Admiral Nelson famously placed his telescope to his blind eye ignoring a command to withdraw, was, from the British perspective, spectacularly successful. 1,600 Danish soldiers and sailors were killed, or wounded and most of the Danish Navy either sunk, severely damaged, or captured.
The Second Battle of Copenhagen
Although ostensibly neutral, Denmark was again attacked by the Royal Navy 16 August - 5 September 1807, when the Royal Navy bombarded Copenhagen, seized the Danish Fleet "as a precaution" in case Denmark did choose to join the French. 3,000 soldiers and civilians, including 195 children, in Copenhagen died as a result of the bombardment. As the majority of the Danish Army was at the Southern border to protect against a possible attack from the French, this second assault on a neutral country was a scandal at the time.
Ignoring Historic Precedents
Knowing that the Imperial Japanese Navy was modelled on the Royal Navy, these famous battles, strategies and tactics of Copenhagening the Fleets of even neutral countries where a potential threat was perceived, including against Britain's French allies and most tellingly at the Battle of Taranto where aircraft launched from aircraft carriers using torpedoes had crippled a battle Fleet, should have been taken into consideration.
Deception by Entertainment
As modern American films such as Tora! Tora! Tora! and Pearl Harbour tend to ignore these historic precedents and pretend that the attack on Pearl Harbour was both "unprecedented" and "unexpected" and "the first surprise attack by aircraft on ships," generations have been deceived into thinking that Pearl Harbour was a treacherous, unexpected and unprecedented attack "A day that will live in infamy!"
"Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted… Now all these things happened to them as examples and they were written for our admonition…" 1 Corinthians 10:6-11
Desperately Seeking War
William Henry Chamberlin in America's Second Crusade (1950) wrote: "It is scarcely possible, in the light of this and many other known facts, to avoid the conclusion that the Roosevelt Administration sought the war which began at Pearl Harbour. The steps which made armed conflict inevitable would take months before the conflict broke out." (Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoovers Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath).
Failing to Give US Servicemen a Fighting Chance
General Albert C. Wedemeyer is quoted by Herbert Hoover in Freedom Betrayed as stating: "When on, December 6, our intercepts told us that the Japanese were going to attack somewhere the very next day, whether in the Central Pacific, or to the South in the Philippines and Dutch East Indies, the president of the United States, as Commander in Chief of our Military Forces… could have gone on the radio and broadcast to the wide world that he had irrefutable evidence of an immediate Japanese intention to strike. This would have alerted everybody from Singapore to Pearl Harbour. Even though inadequate in some cases to defend effectively, nevertheless, our forces would have been able to take a toll, which would have blunted the Japanese attack. In Hawaii, the capital ships might have been moved out of the congested harbour to sea, where Admiral Kimmel at least had the foresight to keep the far more vital aircraft carriers. Furthermore, our Carrier taskforce in the mid-Pacific might have attacked the Japanese taskforce when its planes were aloft. There are many possibilities which could have given our men a fighting chance."
Blind Service to Stalin and the Soviet Union
"Roosevelt ignored the whole communist infiltration into his administration. Much of it was to be exposed before his death. But of more importance, he ignored the whole international purpose of communism and its morals in International relations. Its purposes and methods had been blatantly stated to the world ever since 1917 and its statements in books were widely distributed in the United States. Roosevelt was not a communist. His leanings towards Stalin and blindness to communistic activities arose partly from his own Leftist-leaning and partly from the usefulness of the communists in support of his administration politically throughout his 13 years in office."
Co-operating with Communism
"His leanings towards Stalin and the communist began with the recognition of the Soviet Union immediately upon taking his office in 1933... During 15 years prior to the recognition, Democratic and Republican administrations alike had barred any relations with a country which had returned huge numbers of mankind to slavery and was constantly conspiring against the welfare of other peoples. By recognition, Roosevelt gave the Soviet Union certain respectability in the family of nations, but also of importance. By that act, he had opened the door to communist penetration and conspiracies in the United States."
A Madman's Desire to Get US into War
In Herbert Hoover's Freedom Betrayed, General Douglas McArthur's views are reported that: "the whole Japanese war was a madman's desire to get us into war." McArthur was convinced that the "Financial sanctions in July 1941 were not only provocative but that Japan was bound to fight even if it were suicide, unless they could be removed, as the sanctions carried every penalty of war except killing and destruction and no nation of dignity would take them for long."
An Unnecessary War
McArthur said that: "Roosevelt could have made peace with Konoye in September 1941 and could have obtained all of the American objectives in the Pacific and the freedom of China and probably Manchuria. Konoye was authorized by the Emperor to agree to complete withdrawal."
Callous Indifference to the American Army Beleaguered in the Philippines
McArthur was bitter about: "Roosevelt's starvation of supplies to him at a time when the whole fate of the South Pacific and their allies in Asia was at stake." "Roosevelt had shown his vindictiveness in many ways."
The Truth about Pearl Harbour
In September 1944, John Flynn, a member of the America First Committee, published The Truth about Pearl Harbour:
Provoking Japan to Get America into the War
Rear Admiral Frank Beatty, who at the time of the Pearl Harbour attack was an aide to the Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, testified: "Prior to 7 December, it was evident even to me… that we were pushing Japan into a corner. I believe that it was the desire of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill that we get into the war, as they felt their allies could not win without us and all our efforts to cause the Germans to declare war on us had failed. The conditions we imposed upon Japan were so severe that we knew the nation could not accept them. We were forcing her so severely that we could have known that she would react towards the United States. All her preparations in a military way - and we knew their overall import - pointed that way."
"Worth the Price"
Jonathan Daniels, Roosevelt's administrative assistant at that time of Pearl Harbour, presented an eye-witness viewpoint: "The blow was heavier than he had hoped it would necessarily be… But the risks paid off; even the loss was worth the price..." ("1941: Pearl Harbour Sunday: The End of an Era").
To Save the Soviet Union from Collapse in Europe
In Day of Deceit, by Robert Stinnett, a memorandum prepared by Commander McCollun stated that a memorandum issued in the immediate pre-war period declared that only a direct attack on US interests would sway the American public, or Congress, to favour direct involvement in the European war. Anderson and Secretary Knox, offered eight specific plans to aggrieve the Japanese Empire "If by these means Japan could be led to commit an overt active war, so much the better." The McCollun memo of 7 October 1940, remained classified until 1994.
Reckless and Irresponsible
Admiral James Richardson was fired by President Roosevelt for complaining about the president's order to station the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbour. Admiral Richardson blamed the president for the "initial defeats in the Pacific" as "direct, real and personal." Richardson believed that stationing the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbour made the ships "extremely vulnerable to attack" and provided "a poor and nonstrategic defence."
A Travesty of History
"No reasonably informed person can now believe that Japan made a villainous unexpected attack on the United States. An attack was not only fully expected, but was actually desired. It is beyond doubt that President Roosevelt wanted to get his country into the war, but for political reasons, was most anxious to ensure that the first act of hostility came from the other side; for which reason he caused increasing pressure to be put on the Japanese, to a point that no self-respecting nation could endure without resort to arms. Japan was meant, by the American President, to attack the United States. As Mr Oliver Lyttelton, then British Minister of Production, said in 1944: 'Japan was provoked into attacking America's Pearl Harbour. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war'." - British Historian Captain Russell Grenfell Main Fleet to Singapore as quoted by President Herbert Hoover in Freedom Betrayed.
Dereliction of Duty
Captain L.F. Safford, US Navy, in charge of the Communications Security Section of Naval Communications in Washington, testified before the Admiral Hart Board that: "On 4 December 1941, we received definite information from two independent sources that Japan would attack the United States and Britain… at 9pm Washington time, 6 December 1941, we received positive information that Japan would declare war against the United States at a time to be specified thereafter. This information was positive and unmistakable and was made available to Military Intelligence virtually at the moment of its decoding. Finally at 10:15am Washington time, 7 December 1941, we received positive information from Signal Intelligence Service, War Department, that the Japanese Declaration of War would be presented to the Secretary of State at 1pm, Washington time that date; when it was 1pm in Washington, it would be day break in Hawaii and approximately midnight in the Philippines, which indicated a surprise air raid in Pearl Harbour in about three hours. President Roosevelt had ample time to broadcast a warning."
An Army Enquiry conducted July to October 1944, condemned negligence by General Marshall and other senior officers for having prior knowledge of the attacks from the intercepts and for not having alerted the Military Commander at Pearl Harbour. Congress was not satisfied with the Military investigations and reports and from November 1945 to May 1946, the Congressional Pearl Harbour Investigation, a Minority Report by Senate Members of the Committee condemned the endeavour to "throw as soft a light as possible on Washington."
Attempted Cover Ups
"The Roberts Commission Report was so hasty, inconclusive and incomplete. Some witnesses were examined under oath, others were not. Much testimony was not even recorded… several records were missing and most inadequate explanations were supplied… Army and Navy information indicated growing imminence of war was delivered to the highest authorities… including the President. The fatal error of Washington was to undertake a world campaign and world responsibilities without first making provision for the security of the United States, which was their prime constitutional obligation. High Washington authorities did not communicate to Admiral Kimmel and General Short adequate information of diplomatic negotiations and of intercepted diplomatic intelligence, which, if communicated with them, would have informed them of the imminent menace of a Japanese attack in time for them to fully alert and prepare the defence of Pearl Harbour… the failure to perform the responsibilities indispensably essential to the defence of Pearl Harbour rest upon Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry L. Stimson, Frank Knox and George C. Marshall…" (Freedom Betrayed)
Dragging a Reluctant America into War
George Morgenstern in his book, Pearl Harbour: The Story of the Secret War, published in 1947, wrote: "With absolute knowledge of war, they refused to communicate that knowledge clearly, unequivocally and in time, to the people in the field, upon whom the blow would fall… Pearl Harbour provided the American War party with the means of escaping dependence on a hesitant Congress in taking a reluctant people into war… Pearl Harbour was the first action of the Acknowledged War and the last battle of a Secret War, upon which the administration had long since embarked.
The Secret War of Deception and Propaganda
"The Secret War was waged against nations which the leadership of this country had chosen as enemies’ months before they became formal enemies, by declaration of war. It was waged also by psychological means by propaganda and deception against the American people… the people were told that acts which were equivalent to war were intended to keep the nation out of war. Constitutional processes existed only to be circumvented. Until finally the war making power of Congress was reduced to the act of ratifying an accomplished fact."
Rejecting Every Overture for Peace
Herbert Hoover declares in his book Freedom Betrayed: "It can never be forgotten that three times during 1941 Japan made overtures for peace negotiation. America never made one unless a futile proposal to the Emperor the day before Pearl Harbour could be called peace. A peace could have been made in the Pacific that would have saved China from ravishment and would have protected the American Pacific flank. If Roosevelt was still determined to carry on his undeclared war with Germany, until it provoked reprisals, that Pacific protection was the only sane course. It would have limited our engagement in any case to the European theatre. As a result of this policy - an undeclared war upon Japan - we suffered the greatest military defeat in our history - with immeasurable consequences.
Fanning the Flames of Hate by a Mass of Lies
"Public opinion was overwhelmingly against our being involved in the war up to the day of Pearl Harbour… America came into World War One 33 months after its outbreak. She came into World War Two 27 months after it started. The processes and the months of lag were the same: the appeal to crusade for freedom, for independence of nations, for lasting peace; the same pictures of atrocities; the fanning of hate and above all, the mass of lies and stimulation of fear of invasion - they were identical. But in World War Two the people believed much less of it and they believed much more that they were being deliberately pushed into the war. They dimly recognised that they were being ground in the mills of power politics and the personal ambitions of men."
Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt's War
"The First World War had been conducted in the Allied side in the name of 'the peoples'. This war was in the name of Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. At times the whole political and military scene seemed their personal property - as it was." (Herbert Hoover, Freedom Betrayed).
Many Recognised they Were Being Forced and Deceived into War
"In the first World War, our sons marched to war with flowers in their rifles. Bands and cheering people were on every platform. There were no bands, no flowers and no cheers on the railway platforms to World War Two. There was little singing of war ballades by soldiers or civilians, except at the urging of paid conductors of propaganda. The station platforms were stages for grieving and tears. The promises, the speeches, the propaganda filled the air as in World War One, but this time the people received it grimly and with little believing." - Herbert Hoover.
President Herbert Hoover in Freedom Betrayed documents: "Roosevelt's contemptuous refusal of Prime Minister Konoe's proposals for peace in the Pacific of September, 1941 was a lost opportunity. The acceptance of these proposals was prayerfully urged by both the American and British Ambassadors in Japan. The terms Konoye proposed would have accomplished every American purpose except possibly the return of Manchuria - and even this was thrown open to discussion. The cynic will recall that Roosevelt was willing to provoke a great war on his flank over this remote question and then gave Manchuria to Communist Russia."
The Threat of Communism
Herbert Hoover documents in Freedom Betrayed that American Military officials strongly urged FDR to accept the Three Months' Stand-Still Agreement offered by the Emperor of Japan in November 1941. Japan was alarmed at the threat of the Soviet Union and a 90-days delay could have kept war out of the Pacific. Secretary of War, Stimson, in his Diary, disclosed that Roosevelt and his officials were seeking for a method to stimulate an overt act of aggression from the Japanese.
The Betrayal of China
"Then Secretary of State, Hull, issued his foolish ultimatum and we were defeated at Pearl Harbour. By Roosevelt insisting that Chinese Premiere Chiang Kai-shek include Mao Tse-Tung's communists in a Coalition government and Roosevelt's Secret Agreement at Yalta to betray Mongolia and Manchuria to Russia, future generations were betrayed. All of China was sacrificed to the communists in the years of President Truman - at the insistence of his Left-wing advisors and General Marshall. The Second World War ended with 450 Million Asiatic peoples betrayed under communist dictatorship." (Freedom Betrayed)
The Only Beneficiary was Communism
Herbert Hoover in Freedom Betrayed declared: "I had warned the American people time and again against becoming involved. I stated repeatedly its only end would be to promote Communism over the earth; that we would impoverish the United States and the whole world. The situation of the world today is my vindication."
"Despite these physical losses and these moral political disasters and these international follies… Despite the drift to collectivism, despite degeneration in government, despite the demagogic intellectuals, despite the corruption in our government and the moral corruptions of our people, we still hold to Christianity, we still have the old ingenuity in our scientific and industrial progress."
The Public School Front
"We have 35 million children marching through our schools and 2.5 million in our institutions of higher learning…
Hope in the Homes
"The promise of a greater America abides in the millions of cottages throughout the land, where men and women are still resolute in freedom. In their hearts the spirit of America still lives. The boys and girls from those homes will someday throw off these disasters and frustrations and will re-create their America again."
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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Mitsuo Fuchida - From Pearl Harbour to Calvary
Were Atomic Bombs Necessary to End World War Two?
The Assassination of General George S. Patton
Freedom Betrayed – Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of America’s Involvement in the Second World War and its Aftermath
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In Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, 21 November 2017, parliament was the scene of unprecedented jubilation as the Speaker of the House read Robert Mugabe’s resignation letter. The House erupted in cheers, singing, dancing, clapping and celebrations – with Members of the Parliament leaping up, jumping on their chairs and tables, flinging their arms high above their heads, shouting with joy and exuberance.
Euphoria Throughout Zimbabwe
The atmosphere was electric throughout the country as people by the hundreds-of-thousands poured into the streets to cheer, shout, dance and sing at the news.
Dancing in the Streets
There were extraordinary scenes of people dancing, car horns blaring and flags waving with jubilation and singing in the streets. Tuesday, 21 November, will be remembered and celebrated for a very long time in Zimbabwe as the day in which Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe, finally gave in to decades of protests and pressure to force him to give up his despotic misrule.
Record Breaking Catastrophe
At 93 years old, Robert Mugabe was the oldest and longest-running dictator still in power in the world. For 37 years, the people of Zimbabwe have been brutalised, terrorised and oppressed by his Marxist ZANU-PF reign of terror.
Insulting the Matabele
Earlier this month at a ZANU-PF party rally in Bulawayo, the capital of Matabeleland, Mugabe aggravated the Matabele people by speaking in Shona. As his wife, Grace Mugabe (often called Gucci Grace because of her exorbitant lavish lifestyle) was heckled with the people chanting at her: “You know nothing!” and singing the Matabele song “Oyenzayo Siyaizonda” which translates to: “We hate what you do!” Grace responded to the crowd: “I don’t care, I am powerful!”; “Even if I become vice president, is there anything wrong with that?” The people continued to sing: “We hate what you do!”
Arrogance and Threats
The visibly incensed Robert Mugabe poured out his wrath on his Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa (nicknamed the crocodile), publically threatening to fire him. “If I made a mistake by appointing Mnangagwa… tell me. I will drop him as early as tomorrow. We are not afraid of anyone. We can decide even here!” Mugabe roared. Mugabe was openly booed by many in the crowd of Matabele in Bulawayo. When Mugabe followed this up by actually sacking his Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, this provoked the Zimbabwe Defence Force (ZDF) to swing into action.
Military Action to Restore the Vice President
On 14 November, armoured personnel carriers rumbled into Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. The president was taken into what the military described as “protective custody”. The ZDF secured the public broadcaster and other strategic points. The commander of the armed forces declared that they were “targeting criminals around Mugabe who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country, in order to bring them to justice.”
It was clear that the crisis was caused by the power struggle over who would succeed the 93-year-old dictator. It marked the end of the political ambitions of Mugabe’s 52-year-old wife, Grace Mugabe. It was the high profile firing of Vice President Mnangagwa and the purging of party loyalists who did not support Grace Mugabe’s aspirations to become the next President that was the final straw.
Assault and Intrigue
Grace Mugabe has been involved in a number of assaults, including in August this year, when she lashed a model with a plug in a hotel in South Africa. The South African ANC government allowed her to claim diplomatic immunity and escape prosecution. She has been behind the dismissal of many party favourites of ZANU-PF, including former Vice President, Joice Mujuru.
A Trail of Treachery
Robert Mugabe will be remembered as the Marxist who was propelled into power by Jimmy Carter’s State Department and the British Foreign Office, in violation of the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979.
Lord Arthur Christopher Soames, a son-in-law of Winston Churchill and the British-appointed Governor of Rhodesia during the transition period, was responsible to ensure free and fair elections in accordance with the Lancaster House Agreement. However, while Soames acknowledged that Mugabe’s ZANU-PF was engaged in widespread, systematic violations and terrorism, intimidating the voters, he refused to dismiss the obviously fraudulent votes in favour of Mugabe. In blatant violation of the Lancaster House Agreement, Soames handed over the government of Rhodesia to Mugabe and his disqualified terrorist movement, with disastrous consequences to all.
Massacres in Matabeleland
Mugabe mobilised his North Korean Fifth Brigade to conduct wholesale massacres in Matabeleland from 1983 to 1984. Termed Gukurahundi (loosely translated from the Shona it refers to “the early rain which washes away the chaff before the spring rains”). Mugabe is from the majority Shona tribe and the Matabele are the minority tribe. The Matabele are descendants of the Zulu. Tens-of-thousands of Matabele civilians were brutally massacred by Mugabe’s ZANU 5th Brigade.
The Long Fields
Disused mineshafts such as Antelope and Attica Mine were used for dumping many of the bodies of murdered Matabele. Researchers such as Dr. Stuart Doran documented that Robert Mugabe ordered the Gukurahundi killings to remove and suppress political opposition within Matabeleland. This was in order to make possible Mugabe’s plans to impose a one-party state in 1985.
The Fifth Brigade Terror
The members for the 5th Brigade were all ZANU-PF party members drawn from 3,500 ZANLA troops at the Tongogara Assembly point, named after Josiah Tongogara, the ZANLA Commander. Under the command of Colonel Perence Shiri, the North Korean trained 5th Brigade were distinguished by their red berets. All young men in Matabeleland were considered potential dissidents and were summarily detained or executed.
Most were shot in front of family and fellow villagers in public executions, after being forced to dig their own graves. Sometimes groups of all ages, including women and children, were shot, such as at Lupane, on the banks of the Cewale River, when 62 were massacred. We know of this massacre because seven victims survived despite severe gunshot wounds.
Targeting the Matabele
On numerous occasions, large numbers of people were herded into huts and burned alive. This was done in Tsholotsho. The 5th Brigade would routinely round up hundreds of civilians, march them to a central place, such as a school, where they would be forced to sing Shona songs praising ZANU, while they were beaten with sticks and whips. These gatherings usually ended up with public executions. This could be the local chief, or anyone chosen at random.
Breaking the Silence
The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe produced a document Breaking the Silence with 2,000 names of known Matabele victims of the Gukurahundi. In February 1983, the International Red Cross produced documentation of 1,200 Matabele murdered in just that month alone. In 2005, the International Association of Genocide Scholars estimated the death toll in Matabeleland as at least 20,000.
Moven Mahachi, Defence Minister in 1992, became the first ZANU official who acknowledged the execution and torture of civilians by the 5th Brigade. In 1997, former Defence Minister, Enos Enkala, described his involvement with Gukurahundi as “eternal hell” and blamed president Mugabe for orchestrating it. Even Robert Mugabe speaking at Joshua Nkomo’s Memorial service, 2 July 2000, admitted that thousands had been killed during the Gukurahundi campaign. “Hate evil, love good; establish justice in the gate…” Amos 5:15
Mugabe will most be remembered for having implemented the disastrous Socialist policies and land invasions, as well as Zimbabwe’s military adventurism in the Congo, which led to the worst hyperinflation ever seen in history. A Hundred Trillion Dollar note could not even buy a quarter of a loaf of bread in 2008 and that was after having dropped sixteen zeroes from the currency! It became difficult to measure Zimbabwe hyperinflation because the government of Zimbabwe stopped filing official inflation statistics. However, by November 2008, inflation was estimated at 79.6 billion %! By 2009, Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency and began using the United States Dollar, South African Rand and Botswanan Pula.
Looting the Whole Country
The destruction of savings, earnings and pensions was absolutely catastrophic, destroying lifetimes of savings and earnings. Yet, while it destroyed the livelihood of most Zimbabweans, it made many of the ZANU-PF elite spectacularly wealthy. “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery…” Isaiah 61:8
From Bread Basket to Basket Case
Mugabe also managed to take a country, which had been a breadbasket of Africa to the basket case of Africa. He turned the paradise of Rhodesia into the hell of Zimbabwe. He took a country, which had flourished even under International sanctions and in the midst of a vicious war against Soviet and Red Chinese backed terrorists, into a failed state and that even with massive International Foreign Aid! Under Mugabe, Zimbabwe collapsed into economic chaos with over 85% unemployment. More than half of the total population voted with their feet by fleeing the country.
Obscene Opulence and Extravagant Excesses
Despite Zimbabwe becoming one of the poorest countries in the world, Robert Mugabe became one of the wealthiest people in the world with a personal net worth of well over US $1 Billion. Mugabe owns the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company, which has allowed Red China to strip the country of its natural assets. In 2001, Wikileaks estimated Robert Mugabe’s net worth as US $1.75 Billion invested as far afield as Switzerland, the Channel Islands and the Bahamas to castles in Scotland. At his 90th birthday celebrations, Mugabe boasted of dining on elephant and lion meat! The obscene extravagance of Mugabe, his wives and sons, is in stark contrast with the destitution of most of the people suffering under his maladministration.
Converted to Communism
Mugabe has described his political ideology as Marxist Leninism. He was educated at Kutama College and University of Fort Hare. Then he worked as a schoolteacher in Rhodesia and Ghana. Mugabe testified that it was the scholarship he received in 1949 to study at the University at Fort Hare in South Africa that led to his involvement in politics. He joined the African National Congress and was introduced to Marxist ideas by Jewish South African communists. He described his time at Fort Hare as the “turning point” in his life. Mugabe was convicted of sedition and imprisoned between 1964 and 1974 during which time he studied further. Released in the 1974 Amnesty, he moved to Mozambique to oversee ZANU’s Revolutionary terrorism campaign.
How Liberators Become Oppressors
Elections in Zimbabwe have been dominated by state violence and blatant electoral fraud. Even when defeated, such as in the 2002, 2008 and 2013 presidential elections, Mugabe stayed in power and continued to brutalise and terrorise the population that he claimed to serve. “How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered? Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished...” Jeremiah 12:4
How to Destroy Any Economy
As Robert Guest, the African Editor of The Economist, observed in his book, The Shackled Continent: “For half a century now, the continent has been deluged with Foreign Aid, but this aid has failed to make Africa any less poor… it has bankrolled tyrants… or idealists with hopeless economic policies… both types of aid have been wasted… doing business in Africa can be tricky. Bad roads, punctured by road blocks, manned by bribe-hungry policemen, make it slow and costly to move goods, even short distances… local firms, meanwhile, have been held back by arbitrary government regulations, dysfunctional legal systems and the difficulty, without political connections, of raising capital… if Africa was better governed it would be richer… Africans are poor, largely because they are not yet free. They live under predatory, incompetent governments which… impoverish them in many ways: through corruption, through bad economic policies and sometimes, as in Zimbabwe, by creating an atmosphere of terror…” “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity…” 2 Peter 2:19
The Fall of Mugabe is Not Necessarily the End of the Oppression in Zimbabwe
We cannot anticipate too much change in policy as Mnangagwa was a loyal Mugabe henchman until very recently. He has been complicit in all the crimes of the Mugabe ZANU-PF gangsters over the last 37 years. Those that think only Mugabe has been the problem, do not understand the insidious role of communism. After Vladimir Lenin, there was Stalin, then Khrushchev, then Brezhnev and so on. Mugabe is just one of many Marxist mass-murdering thugs available to ZANU-PF. “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.” Psalm 71:4
Freedom Requires the Eradication of Communism and Corruption
Although the regime governing Zimbabwe will try to make it appear that freedom has come, to entice investment, which they can overtax and later confiscate, things are bound to continue to deteriorate until the people of Zimbabwe rise up to overthrow the whole communist structure and uproot its destructive ideology which has permeated and poisoned the country. “Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets.” Psalm 55:11
Desperate for Hope and Real Change
However, the masses of people who have turned out in the hundreds-of-thousands to celebrate the downfall of Robert Mugabe are desperate for hope and real change. We need to continue to pray and to work for Biblical Reformation and spiritual Revival. “When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” Proverbs 21:15
Serving the Suffering
Frontline Fellowship has been dedicated to missionary work in Zimbabwe since 1982. For over 35 years, we have been distributing Bibles and Bible teaching materials, conducting Leadership Training Seminars, Evangelism Workshops, ministering in schools, prisons, hospitals, in the streets and market places, seeking to lay solid Biblical foundations for long-term Biblical Reformation.
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear and are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Deuteronomy 30:15-19
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Evaluating Mugabe’s Legacy in the Light of Eternity
What is Happening in Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe and Zambia - A Tale of Two Countries and Three Religions
Hope for Zimbabwe
Fraud, Failure and Farce in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe at the Crossroads
Zimbabwe - A Lesson in How to Destroy Christian Civilisation
Mugabe's Tsunami in Zimbabwe
Crimes Against Humanity in Zimbabwe
Evicted Farmers Continue to Feed Zimbabwe
Power Failures in Zimbabwe
Chinese Colonialism in Zimbabwe
Who Won the War and Who Initiated the Peace?
How the Greatest Century of Missions Was Derailed Into the Worst Century of Persecution
16 November 1855 – Scottish Missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, sighted, explored, measured and named Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River in Central Africa.
“The Smoke that Thunders”
Seeing enormous columns of spray and hearing a thunderous roar miles away, Missionary David Livingstone asked local people what was there? In response, he was told: “Mosi-oa-Tunya,” (“the smoke that thunders”). Some villagers described it as “Seongo” or “Chongwe,” which means, “the place of the rainbow.”
Fear and Superstition
When asked what caused the smoke and the thunder, he was told that this was the work of the spirits. Apparently, nobody had dared venture close enough to actually see what made the smoke thunder. Most were too afraid to go with Dr. Livingstone to explore it, so great was the hold of superstition and fear.
“A Scene so Lovely Angels Must have Gazed Upon It”
Borrowing a canoe, Dr. Livingstone travelled downstream and could clearly see: “the high columns of vapour which were called by the villagers, smoke. From a distance, it looked as though large tracts of grass were being burned.” As he drew closer, he could see “five distinct columns, bending in the direction of the wind. They seemed placed against a lower ridge covered with trees. The tops of the columns at this distance appeared to mingle with the clouds. They were white below and higher up became dark, so as to simulate smoke very closely. The whole scene was extremely beautiful; the banks and islands dotted over the river are adorned with sylvan vegetation of great variety of colour and thorn… no one can imagine the beauty of the view from anything witnessed in England. It had never been seen before by European eyes; but a scene so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”
Lush Rain Forest
“The Falls are bounded by three sides by ridges 300, or 400, feet in height, which are covered with forest, with the red soil appearing amongst the trees.”
The View from Livingstone Island
Dr. Livingstone beached his canoe on an island situated in the middle of the river, (today this is called Livingstone Island) and crawled to the edge to gaze at a most wondrous sight, as “on both sides, the water rolled off into deep gorges. In coming hither there was danger of being swept down by the streams which rushed along on each side of the river; but the river was now low… the vast body of water seemed to lose itself in the earth, the opposite lip of the fissure, into which it disappeared, was only 80 feet distant. Creeping with awe to the verge, I peered down into a large rent, which had been made from bank to bank of the broad Zambezi River and saw a stream of over 1,000 yards broad leap down hundreds of feet and then became suddenly compressed in a space of 15, or 20, yards wide.”
“The Most Wonderful Sight in Africa”
“The entire Falls are simply a crack made in hard basaltic rock from the right to the left bank of the Zambezi and then prolonged from the left bank by way through 30, or 40, miles of hills. If one imagines the Thames filled with low, tree covered hills, immediately beyond the tunnel, extending as far as Graves End, the bed of black basaltic rock instead of London mud and a fissure made therein from one end of the tunnel, to the other, down through the keystones of the arch and prolonged from the left end of the tunnel through 30 miles of hills, the pathway being over 100 feet down from the bed of the river, instead of what it is, with the lips of the fissure from 80 to 100 feet apart, then fancy the Thames leaping bodily in the gulf and forced there to change its direction and flow from the right to the left bank and then rush boiling and roaring through the hills, you may have some idea of what takes place at this, the most wonderful sight I had witnessed in Africa.”
The Rainbow in the Cloud
“In looking down into the fissure, on the right of the island, one sees nothing but a dense white cloud, with two bright rainbows in it. From this cloud rushed up a great jet of vapour, exactly like steam and it mounted 200, or 300, feet high; there condensing it changed its hue to that of dark smoke and came back in a constant shower,” which saturated Livingstone to the skin.
Shimmering Sights of Steam, Steel and Snow
On the left of the island he saw: “water at the bottom, a white rolling mass, moving away to the prolongation of the fissure, which branches off near the left bank of the river…. The walls of this giant crack are perpendicular and composed of one homogenous mass of rock. The edge of that side over which the water falls is worn off 2, or 3, feet and pieces have fallen away, so as to give it somewhat of a serrated appearance. That over which the water does not fall is quite straight, except at the left corner, where a rent appears and a piece seems inclined to fall off upon the whole; it is nearly in the state in which it was left at the period of its formation… on the left side of the island we had a good view of the massive water which causes one of the columns of vapour to ascend and it leaps quite clear of the rock and forms a thick unbroken fleece all the way to the bottom. Its whiteness gave the idea of snow, a sight I had not seen for many a day. As it broke into pieces of water, all rushing on in the same direction, each gave off several rays of foam, exactly like bits of steel being burned in oxygen gas gives off rays of sparks. A snow white sheet which seemed like myriads of small comets rushing on in one direction, each of which left behind its nucleus rays of foam.”
Measuring Victoria Falls
Ever the Scientist and Geographer, Livingstone now began to measure the Falls and to draw sketches of it. He let down a weighted string and measured the distance from the lip of Livingstone Island down to the bottom of the gorge at 310 feet deep. He then calculated that the width of Victoria Falls was 1,860 yards. He paced the distance between the first and the second gorge at 400 paces on the left side at 150 paces on the right. The accuracy of these initial measurements have been confirmed by later scientific measurements.
The Largest Waterfall in the World
Victoria Falls is classified as the largest waterfall in the world, with a combined width of 1,708 metres (5,604 feet) and a height of 108 meters (354 feet) on average. It results in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and over twice the width of Horse Shoe Falls. It is bigger than Argentina and Brazil’s Iguazu Falls. Victoria Falls has recorded up to 12,800 tonnes of water per second passing over the edge. Victoria Falls has been identified as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
A Major Tourist Destination
Dr. Livingstone named it after Queen Victoria and it has been a major tourist destination ever since. By the end of the 1990s, almost 400,000 people were visiting Victoria Falls each year. Most of the tourists go to the Zambian side, because of the political instability in Zimbabwe. There are two national Game Reserves at Victoria Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia and Victoria Falls National Park in Zimbabwe.
Wildlife Sanctuary Painted by Thomas Baines
On his Zambezi expedition, Dr. Livingstone was accompanied by Victorian artist, Thomas Baines, whose colour paintings of Victoria Falls are famous. They also documented the tremendous concentration of wildlife in the area around Victoria Falls. Evidently, it was, for generations, a major wildlife sanctuary, as none of the local people dared venture near a place which the superstitious viewed with fear.
Victoria Falls Will Always Be Associated with David Livingstone
Some may question if David Livingstone was the first to see Victoria Falls. However, there is absolutely no question that he was the first to name it, measure it, sketch it and make it known to the world. There are major monuments to Dr. David Livingstone on both the Zambezi and Zimbabwean sides of Victoria Falls. On the Zambian side is situated the city of Livingstone, which has the Livingstone Museum and the David Livingstone Teacher Training College.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
The Challenge of Livingstone Today – also, audio link
The Life and Legacy of David Livingstone – also audio & video link
See The Greatest Century of Missions and Victorious Christians Who Changed the World, by Dr. Peter Hammond. These books are available from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, Tel: 021-689-7478, Fax: 086-551-7490, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.
To view The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall on Vimeo, click here.
To listen to the audio lecture of The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall, click here.
9 November, marks the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
A speech at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, 5 March 1946, declared, “An Iron Curtain has descended across the continent”. From Stettin in the North to Trieste in the South barbed wire and barricades, walls and machine gun towers were going up, sealing off the captive nations occupied by the Soviet Union from their neighbours in the West. The Iron Curtain divided a continent and trapped hundreds of millions of people under communism. Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, declared that the Second World War was not a disaster but “a great opportunity” to extend communism into the very heart of Europe.
Even Poland, for whose freedom Great Britain had ostensibly entered the war, was now little more than a satellite of the Soviet Empire ruled by men chosen by Moscow. Its population was now imprisoned behind a line of barbed wire, watchtowers and minefields - a physical iron curtain.
To spy on its captive populations the Soviet empire set up secret police. In the Soviet Union it was the KGB, in Bulgaria it was the DS, in Czechoslovakia the StB, in Hungary the AVB, in Poland the SB, in Romania the Securitatae and in East Germany it was the STASI (the Ministry of State Security). The STASI maintained a huge network of 90,000 secret police and 175,000 paid informants. They kept files on 4,000,000 East Germans - a quarter of the population.
The Berlin Wall was manned by 15,000 guards - the so-called Volkspolizei (VOPOS). When Joseph Stalin attempted to starve West Berlin into submission by cutting off all electricity and supplies on 23 June 1948 the Western powers responded with the Berlin Airlift. The Berlin blockade was the first serious global crisis of the Cold War. West Berlin was kept alive by an airlift of over 150 aircraft supplying an average of 5,000 tons per day. By the time the Soviets ended the blockade on 12 May 1949 over 2.5 million tons had been delivered at the cost of 60 aircrew who had died in aircraft crashes.
There were numerous hot fronts in the Cold War. The Cold War included a full-scale military war in Korea where 2 million died in the three-year conflict. Evidence has since surfaced that Stalin was planning to follow up the Korean attack with a military offensive in Europe. He was deterred by the quick international response in Korea.
Protests in Berlin
After the death of Joseph Stalin (5/3/53), over 100,000 East Berlin workers protested against the Soviet occupation. Two Soviet armoured divisions were sent into East Berlin to crush the protest in June 1953. Over 100 civilians were killed and 25,000 protesters arrested.
Uprising in Hungary
In July 1956, a full scale uprising in Hungary shook the Soviet Empire. Mass demonstrations demanded the withdrawal of Soviet troops and in Budapest, a massive statue of Stalin was toppled. Soviet troops poured into Hungary and over 20,000 Hungarians were killed in the repression. Tens-of-thousands more were arrested and imprisoned. 250,000 Hungarians fled to the West.
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was concrete proof of the failure of “scientific socialism”.
To prevent Germans in the Soviet zone from fleeing to the Western zone in Berlin, a 165 km wall was constructed to seal off West Berlin's island of freedom from Soviet occupied communist East Germany.
The Berlin Wall included 302 concrete observation posts/machine gun towers and 123 km of electric fencing.
A further death strip stretching 1,393 km along the border between communist East Germany and free West Germany was constructed with:
724 observation posts/machine gun towers,
1,161 km of electric fencing,
54, 000 self-firing devices and
190 km of mine fields.
Just between 13 August 1961 and 30 July 1983, 73 people were killed by the communists while attempting to escape over the Berlin Wall, 182 more people were killed attempting to escape from East Germany across the border into West Germany, 60,000 people were imprisoned for “preparation, assistance or complicity”, in attempting to escape from East to West Germany (with sentences ranging from 16 months to life imprisonment). By 1989, at least 239 escapees from East Berlin were known to have been killed just at the Berlin Wall alone. More than a thousand died, trying to flee across the Iron Curtain.
Voting With their Feet
Yet from the founding of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1949, more than 4,500,000 (over one quarter of the population) voted with their feet by fleeing to West Germany. 38,515 escaped from East to West Berlin by tunnels, by improvised air machines or hot air balloons, hidden inside vehicles travelling from East to West Berlin. 2,768 East German soldiers and officers on duty (including a Colonel) escaped to the West.
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cold War almost went nuclear during the Cuban missile crisis, October 1962. The vicious conflicts in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia (1963 - 1975) were hot parts of the Cold War.
Invasion of Czechoslovakia
Anyone who believed that communism could be reformed from within was shaken by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 when Czech communist party chief, Alexander Dubcek, attempted to create “socialism with a human face.” As a result of economic reforms in Czechoslovakia, the other East European satellite states complained that their positions were being undermined by the reforms in Czechoslovakia. The Soviet response was: Leonid Brezhnev ordered a full-scale Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia to restore orthodox communism. The Prague Spring ended in August 1968 as half-a-million Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia and overwhelmed the courageous resistance of Czech patriots
The Soviet Empire reached its peak during the period of Détente, as they sponsored, trained and armed revolutionaries to seize power in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in 1975, Ethiopia in 1974, Guinea Bissau, Angola and Mozambique in 1975, Grenada and Nicaragua in 1979 and Rhodesia/Zimbabwe in 1980. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 was a major wake up call to those in the West who still believed in Détente.
Freedom on the Offensive
As a result of this unprecedented Soviet advance, there was a backlash throughout the West, epitomised by staunch anti-communist US President, Ronald Reagan, British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, West German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl and South Africa’s P.W. Botha. South Africa confronted and defeated the Soviets and their Cuban surrogates in Angola. The West went on the offensive, directly supporting the anti-communist Solidarity trade union movement in Poland, which soon organised nationwide strikes and protests against the Soviet occupation. The USA began to arm and support anti-communist resistance movements as far afield as in Nicaragua, Afghanistan and Angola.
Bankrupting the Soviets
Ronald Reagan's policies forced the Soviets back onto the defensive and strategically undermined their economy. Spectacular re-armament programmes and the space based Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) quickly left the Soviets far behind in the arms race and totally bankrupted the Soviet Union in their futile attempt to keep up with America.
The Iron Lady
British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher's determination to fight to reclaim the Falkland Islands, after the Argentinean invasion, helped convince the Soviets that the West was not nearly so decadent and weak as they had imagined. Thatcher's success in reviving the British economy also helped demonstrate that capitalism had a future even while communism was bankrupting the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. The Iron Lady had this to say about the Berlin Wall: “The Berlin Wall stands as concrete proof that when people have a choice, they choose to be free Freedom has its problems but we've never needed to build walls to keep our people in.”
Defeating the Communists
Brave anti-communist resistance fighters in Mozambique, Angola, Nicaragua and Afghanistan severely bled the Soviet forces, inflicting serious defeats upon them. The Rhodesian resistance throughout the 60s and 70s had set back the advance of communism in Southern Africa and the destruction of entire Cuban mechanised divisions in Angola by South African conventional forces in the battles on the Lomba River in 1987 and 1988 convinced the Soviet Union that they would not even be able to win a conventional war against the West.
Russian soldiers began to refer to Afghanistan as their 'Vietnam'. As Russian casualties mounted in that conflict, the ongoing political crisis in Poland and widespread resistance to communism throughout the Soviet empire helped convince the Soviet leaders that their bankrupt system was doomed.
The Glasnost Gulag
Even under Gorbachev's much-acclaimed Glasnost, the Soviet Gulag imprisoned millions. When US President, Ronald Reagan, stood at the Berlin Wall and challenged: “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” the Soviet Union operated 1,976 concentration camps, 273 prisons, 85 psychiatric prisons and 41 death camps. In this Soviet Gulag, over 5,000,000 political and religious prisoners were incarcerated. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago, documented that between 1918 and 1953 (under Lenin and Stalin's rule) over 50,000,000 Russians served long sentences in the Soviet concentration camps - with millions perishing
The Hypocrisy of Communism
It was pointed out that while the communists claimed to have liberated Russia from the oppression of the Czars, there were 5000 times more official executions under communist rule in Russia as occurred under Czarist rule in the same time period. By comparison with Russia under Czarist rule where the highest figure of political prisoners was 183,949, the communists imprisoned seventy times as many people at any one time.
Callous Disregard for Life
Vladimir Lenin famously declared that it did not matter if three quarters of the population of Russia perished, as long as the remaining quarter were communist.
Joseph Stalin observed: “The death of one person is a tragedy; whereas the death of a million is just a statistic!”
Prayer and Protests
As candlelit prayer vigils and protests spread from Leipzig, through Dresden, to all of East Germany, the East German government was bankrupt and tottering. Gorbachev's Soviet Union was also bankrupt and could no longer bail them out. So, Erich Honecker, the dictator of East Germany, turned to the West Germans (who in the past had always been willing to provide enough to keep East Germany going). This time, however, the West German Federal Government was not willing to bail them out. They demanded reforms.
The Fall of the Wall
While governments negotiated, the people in both East and West Berlin rose up to breach the wall and began to dismantle it physically. The leaders were overwhelmed by events. Days after the Berlin Wall collapsed, mass demonstrations broke out in Czechoslovakia. Vaclav Havel, long-time leader of the Resistance movement and prisoner of the communists, rose to power and dismantled communism in Czechoslovakia.
The Christmas Revolution
Street fighting erupted in Romania to overthrow the brutal communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Soon resistance spread to Bulgaria where the communists were overthrown in December 1989. In Hungary, the communist government was overthrown in October 1990. In Albania, the first free elections were held in March 1991. Yugoslavia split into different republics as each broke away from the communist control in Belgrade. Soon the Baltic Republics - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - were demanding and achieving their independence from the Soviet Union.
The End of the Soviet Union
In August 1991, a coup in the Soviet Union was frustrated in its attempt to return the country to hard line communism. Boldly waving the white, blue and red Russian flag, Boris Yeltsin abolished the Soviet Union and pulled down the Soviet Flag. The Cold War had formally ended.
Terrorist Threat from the Middle East
Even as the Cold War with Soviet Union communism ended, a new war was starting with radical Islamic terrorists declaring war on the West.
Victory Over Communism
“There is nothing they despise more than weakness. There is nothing they respect more than strength.” The Cold War was won by a combination of Christian courage by persecuted Christians who endured decades of brutality, steadfast resistance by brave anti-communist soldiers who fought the Soviets to a standstill, persistent prayer and pressure from Christians in the West and the bold strategy of Ronald Reagan, which dismantled the Evil Empire.
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption…” 2 Peter 2:19
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Obtain Going Through – Even if the Door is Closed book, by Bill Bathman, for the incredible story of ministry behind the Iron Curtain and how the Wall was breached.
The Greatest Killer
To listen to an audio of the Greatest Killer, click here
To see a Video of The Greatest Killer, click here
The Heart and Soul of Karl Marx
The Failure of Atheism and the Triumph of Faith in the Soviet Union
The Fall of the Berlin Wall
The 20th Century proved to be the bloodiest century in all of history. Humanism has proven to be the most destructive religion of all time. Far more people have been killed in the name of Atheism than by all other religions combined.
The Worst Century
Historian Paul Johnson has observed that “the 20th Century state has proved itself the greatest killer of all time.” The 20th Century has seen the worst atrocities ever committed. The word “genocide”, a new term coined in the 20th Century, describes what has occurred repeatedly in secular humanist states, which had first disarmed their populations.
Darwinian evolutionism, with its “survival of the fittest” ideology, has devalued human life. If man is not created in the image of God and if there is no God in heaven who will judge the living and the dead, if there are no objective standards of right and wrong, then life becomes cheap. When you devalue God, you devalue life. “You came from nothing! You are going nowhere! Life is meaningless!”
You can listen to the latest From the Frontline podcast on 70 Years of Communism in China.
What is there to Celebrate?
October 2019 marks 70 years since the Communist Party seized power in China.
What is the true legacy of Communism in the world’s most populous nation?
What we can learn from the Persecuted Church?
How we can best serve the Persecuted?
There are some dramatic developments and encouraging reports of spectacular growth of the Church in China. “…on this rock I will build My Church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
The Catastrophic Consequences of Communism
As some celebrate 70 years of Communism in China and incredible numbers of Christians in the West identify them as “Christian Socialists”, or even as Communists, it is necessary that we take an objective look at the catastrophic consequences of Communism. We need to be aware of the human cost of Communist economic and social theories and their application in Communist states which espouse the “goodness of man.” “Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:13
Revolution in China
The Communist Revolution in Red China, in 1949, was followed by the Great Leap Forward in 1958 and by the Second Phase of the Revolution from 1966 to 1976. This Second Phase of the Revolution, or the Cultural Revolution in China, included massive seizures of property, widespread “Land Reform”, confiscation without compensation, public humiliation ceremonies of religious and cultural leaders, arbitrary imprisonments, torture, hard labour and vast numbers of mass executions. It is calculated that over 69 million people died in this Second Phase of the Revolution in China alone.
The Cultural Revolution
The Cultural Revolution in China also included purging “The Party” of any deemed “disloyal” - which even included the president, Liu Shaoqi and Commander of the Red Army, General Lou Ruiqing. Mao Tse Tung mobilised his Red Guards to sweep into every farm and village of the vast country to purge “reactionaries”, “counter revolutionaries” and all others not deemed sufficiently enthusiastic for the Revolution. The result was the destruction of thousands of years of culture and crippling the country economically. It impoverished China intellectually and culturally. Mao was able to mobilise the young Red Guards for this destructive campaign because they had never known life in nationalist China and had been effectively indoctrinated in the state schools with Marxist propaganda and Mao’s Little Red Book.
The Black Book of Communism
The Black Book of Communism, published by Harvard University Press, is a scholarly, detailed account of the crimes of Communism starting with the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia and continuing through Eastern Europe, Red China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola and Afghanistan. The Black Book’s exhaustive indictment of Communism is all the more compelling because all 6 of its authors were once communists, or "fellow travellers" with communism, researchers, professors and journalists associated with the Paris based Centre for the Study of History and Sociology of Communism. The editor of The Black Book, Stephane Courtois was also the editor of the "Communisme" magazine.
Facing the Facts
"Communism has committed a multitude of crimes not only against individual human beings but also against world civilization and national cultures… during Mao’s Cultural Revolution, priceless treasures were smashed, or burned by the Red Guards… firing squads, hanging, drowning, battering… destruction of the population by starvation, through man-made famine, the withholding of food, or both; deportation, through which death can occur in transit (either through physical exhaustion, or through confinement in an enclosed space)… or through forced labour (exhaustion, illness, hunger, cold)…"
A Harvest of Horror
The Black Book presents a very conservative estimate of the number of civilians murdered by Red China as at least 65 million. “…Communism is… a tragedy of planetary dimensions… the Communist record offers the most colossal case of political carnage in history… Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and his Cultural Revolution…” Communist regimes did not just commit criminal acts; "they were criminal enterprises in their very essence, on principle, so to speak, they all ruled lawlessly, by violence and without regard for human life." The Black Book concludes that our current history books and social and political judgements are scandalously out of line with the 20th Century’s real balance sheet of political crime. "They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity…" 2 Peter 2:19
Death by Government
“Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Lord Acton
Although governments are meant to protect their citizens, secular socialist states in the 20th Century murdered over 169 million of their own citizens! This astonishing statistic is the result of decades of research by political science Professor R.J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii. Prof. Rummel’s shocking research is presented in the 500-page book: Death By Government (2006, Transaction Publishers, New Branswick, NJ). The charts and statistics measuring the life taking propensities of state governments were developed from the Professor’s analysis of 8,200 sources, involved over 4,200 consolidations and calculations, which were organised into appendix tables totalling more than 18,100 rows.
Recognise Political Realities
Prof. Rummel notes that textbooks on Political Science need to be modernised to recognise political realities. While most textbooks refer to the functions of government as: “Law and Order”, “Safety and Security”, “Cultural Maintenance” and “Social Welfare”, the fact is that “We have numerous examples of governments that killed hundreds of thousands and even millions of their own citizens, enslaved the rest and abolished traditional culture… Power kills; absolute power kills absolutely… The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects. The more constrained the powers of governments, the more power is diffused, checked and balanced, the less it will aggress on others… totalitarian Communist governments have slaughtered their people by the tens of millions…”
The Greatest Killers in History
The Soviet Union and Red China accounted for most of the deaths by government in the 20th Century. “Death by Government” calculates that up to 105 million people were murdered by the Communist Party of China, from 1949 to 1987. Rummel’s exhaustive documentation in “Death By Government” exhibits the sheer lethality of power. “Power gradually extirpates from the mind every humane and gentle virtue” Edmund Burke
Tyrants Prefer Disarmed Victims
Prof. Rummel’s colossal masterpiece “Death By Government” conclusively proves that far from governments being the solution to crime and violence, historically governments have been the prime culprits for crime and violence. Far from governments being the solution, they are more often than not the problem. Most government policies to deal with crime and poverty are counterproductive, creating more crime and more poverty. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in the state attempts to disarm civilians. Every genocide of the 20th Century was preceded by gun control and disarmament of civilians. Just as criminals prefer unarmed victims, tyrants prefer disarmed citizens. A government that does not trust its citizens with weapons cannot be trusted with power. Freedom is when the government fears the people. Tyranny is when the people fear the government. No government can be trusted with a monopoly of force. Decentralisation of power, the rule of law and armed citizens are essential foundation for freedom.
Atrocities and Persecution
Red China may now be practising a version of capitalism, but there are still over a million Christians in concentration camps for their Faith, many are slaves and organ harvesting for transplants are often done using prisoners, many of whom are Christians.
The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail
Notice how people in Hong Kong are protesting against the communist threats to their freedoms there. The survival and growth of the Christian Church in China is an incredible answer to prayer. Despite vicious persecution and oppression by a brutal atheistic regime, the Church in Red China is now over 100 million strong. Operation World reports that there are over 1,119,000 congregations, 75 million Church members and over 105 million adherents, or affiliates, in China.
Mobilise Prayer and Support for the Persecuted
Mobilise your family and friends and congregations to pray for these persecuted.
“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them…” Hebrews 13:3
10 November is International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted.
For resources to mobilise your congregation to serve the suffering, visit www.IDOP-Africa.org.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
The Heart and Soul of Karl Marx.
Going Through and Going On by Rev. Bill Bathman
The Greatest Killer, available on Sermon Audio as an audio.
Cuba, Castro and Communism, available as an audio.
KGB, Active Measures, Disinformation and Subversion, available as an audio.
How Marxists Subvert Churches and Society, available as an audio, as well as an Interview on Marxism.
The Failure of Atheism and the Triumph of Faith in Russia, available as a video and audio.
“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the Judgment.” Hebrews 9:27
It Is Appointed for Men to Die and Face Judgement
To some the doctrine of Eternal Judgment is a great comfort. To others it is a terrifying concept. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
Man Knows Not His Time
The world was informed that the longest ruling dictator in Africa, Marxist terrorist, Robert Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore. How various people reacted to this news speaks volumes.
DA Leader Praises Murderous Dictator
DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, sent his condolences to the family of “former President Mugabe. May his soul rest in peace.” Mmusi Maimane claims to be a Christian and a democrat, yet he calls the brutal dictator “President” and assumes that “his soul [will] rest in peace!” DA leader, Mmusi Maimane also described Mugabe as “a liberator!” One wonders where Maimane has been since 1980? Has he not noticed the tragic destruction of neighbouring Zimbabwe under the despotic tyranny of ZANU and Mugabe?
Promised Paradise but Delivered Perdition
The eulogies from leaders praising Robert Mugabe are in sharp contrast to the celebrations in Zimbabwe over the demise of the Marxist dictator, who promised them a paradise and delivered perdition. “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19
Fake Leaders and Fake News
The Fake Leaders and Fake News reports: “guerrilla leader”, “hero”, “liberated his people from colonialism”, “instituted land reform”! Audacious, outrageous, deception and dishonesty are pervasive. The lamestream media has again disgraced itself as the purveyors of fake news and Marxist propaganda.
“A Perfect Human Being”
EFF leader, Julius Malema called Mugabe a “Hero”, “Liberator” and “a perfect human being”! “president” Emmerson Mnangagwa praised Mugabe as an “icon of liberation.” “It is with the utmost sadness that I announce the passing on of Zimbabwe’s founding father and former president Comrade Robert Mugabe.” So said the new dictator who seized power from his previous leader in a 2017 coup.
Incredibly Mnangagwa described the deceased dictator as a “National hero!”, “Comrade Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in eternal peace!” Calling Mugabe “a great teacher and mentor.” And “a remarkable statesman of our century!” Mnangagwa instituted an official mourning period.
Facts Can Ruin a Good Story
Riddled with so many lies and hypocrisies, this is worthy of study to refute every phrase. Marxists do not believe that man has a soul, nor do they believe in “eternal peace!” Mugabe’s actual contribution was tyranny, brutality, cruelty, massacres, starvation, corruption, hyperinflation and the systematic destruction of a once safe, stable, productive country that used to be self-sufficient, even exporting food, to a disastrous basket state, beggar nation dependant on foreign aid and charity to even survive. More than half of all Zimbabweans have voted with their feet, a vote of no confidence in Mugabe’s ZANU ruled failed state, by fleeing endemic corruption and brutality in Zimbabwe to neighbouring countries.
Self-Serving and Selfish
Mugabe was not dedicated to “emancipating and empowering” the people of Zimbabwe! Mugabe was one of the most corrupt, self-serving and selfish leaders in history. Living in opulent decadence, feasting on giraffe meat while his destitute people starved. Mugabe enslaved and disempowered the people of Zimbabwe.
Rhodesia Was Not a Colony
Yet, ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa’s, described the despot as “a champion of Africa’s cause against colonialism who inspired our own struggle against apartheid!” Well, Mugabe never fought against colonialism because Rhodesia was not a colony. Rhodesia was a self-governing country from 1923, Independent from 1965 and a Republic from 1970. Rhodesia was self-funded from the beginning, providing its own security. Rhodesia never needed British funding, nor British troops. Rhodesia never needed any foreign aid.
Mugabe Never Liberated Anybody
Mugabe waged a brutal terrorist war against black civilians, white farmers, Christian missionaries and Red Cross ambulance workers. Mugabe never liberated anybody. Mugabe was a Marxist terrorist, dictator and corrupt blood diamond criminal.
Inspiration for the ANC
His communist corruption certainly inspired the ANC “struggle” for state capture gangster-state looting of our country though. Mugabe’s tactic of distracting attention from his government’s failures and atrocities, by make scapegoats of the small minority of whites and promising free land, also inspired the disastrous ANC policy of EWC (Expropriation Without Compensation).
Insulting the Intelligence of their Readers and Viewers
Western media have also insulted the intelligence of their readers, or viewers, with misleading reports like this Associated Press (AP) article: “Former Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe, an ex-guerrilla chief who took power when the African country shook off white minority rule and presided for decades white economic turmoil and human rights violations eroded its early promise has died in Singapore.” AP writers, Farai Mutsaka and Cristopher Torchia claimed: “Mugabe enjoyed strong support from Zimbabwe’s people…!”
Truth Does Not Fear Investigation
How can any journalist be so ill-informed, or dishonest, as to lie so blatantly! No, Mugabe did not enjoy popular support. Millions of Zimbabweans celebrated his fall from power. As another point of fact: Mugabe was never a guerrilla. Mugabe had the popular ZANLA guerrilla leader, Josiah Tongogara, murdered, 26 December 1979, so that he could lead ZANU. Mugabe was a politician, never a soldier, not even a guerrilla/insurgent.
A Travesty of Justice
Nor did Mugabe “take power”, it was handed to him by British governor, Lord Soames (son-in-law of Winston Churchill), after a very flawed “election” where all agreed that, in terms of the Lancaster House Agreement, Mugabe’s ZANU should have been disqualified for its systematic “intimidation” (terrorism) of the voters and flagrant violations of the accord and electoral code of conduct. As Ian Smith declared: “We were never defeated by our enemies, we were betrayed by our friends.”
Reality vs. Rhetoric
Most importantly, Mugabe was not an innocent victim of “economic turmoil and human rights violations”! Mugabe was the prime human agent responsible for the socialist policies which destroyed the robust economy inherited from Rhodesia. Mugabe initiated the communist revolution that violated human rights, including the Gukurahundi massacres of tens-of-thousands of civilians in Matabeleland, the chaotic farm invasions, the blood diamond wars in the Congo and Zimbabwe’s own blood diamond scandals in the Marange diamond fields, South East of Zimbabwe, since 2008. “Destructive forces are at work in the city, threats and lies never leave is streets.” Psalm 55:11
Learning from the Mistakes of Others
At “independence”, Mugabe declared to Newsweek: “We are not going to make the same mistakes the rest of Black Africa has made. We are going to learn from their mistakes.” It is hard to think of anything he learned… except how to lie, steal, cheat and murder. What mistakes, or crimes, did Mugabe fail to implement?
Mugabe’s True Legacy of Corruption, Brutality, Starvation and Disease
Starvation, disease, corruption and brutality were the hallmarks of Mugabe’s Marxist ZANU in Zimbabwe. Hospitals ran out of medicine. Shops ran out of food. Fuel stations ran out of petrol. Banks ran out of money. Water failed to flow though the pipes. Electricity power failures became the norm. Tuberculosis, HIV, Cholera and Malaria spread like wildfire. Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic reached 10 X (1,000%) the African average, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Zimbabwean life expectancy plummeted under Mugabe, from over 60 years in 1980, to 37 years for men and 34 years for women by 2006, the lowest in the world.
Ignoring Disastrous Track Record
Yet, despite his disastrous track record, Mugabe was elected president of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Chairman of the African Union (AU and UN “Goodwill Ambassador” for the World Health Organisation (WHO)! The intense suffering of the people of Zimbabwe apparently did not matter to the AU, UN, SADC, or CNN and the BBC for that matter.
Truth is Stranger than Fiction
It all sounds like a bizarre Monty Python comic satire. The lunatics are running the asylum. If this was part of a scripted plot in a fiction film or book, it would be dismissed as: “Unbelievable!”
Why was Mugabe in a Hospital in Singapore?
The fact that Mugabe died in a hospital in Singapore is most revealing. Mugabe and his destructive socialist policies had so destroyed the once advanced and excellent hospitals built up by Rhodesia that he had to fly to previous British colony Singapore where free enterprise provides better health care than any socialist state. Why did Mugabe not go to a Zimbabwean hospital? Or, a communist state? Or, at least an African hospital? Why Singapore, far away in Asia? What an indictment on the catastrophic communist failure of Mugabe and ZANU!
The Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation
Yet, as they once praised Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Fidel Castro, the BBC gushed with ridiculous praise for Mugabe: “broadening access to health care and education for the black majority!” Are there no genuine investigative journalists left at the BBC? As anyone who has actually lived in Zimbabwe could testify: Mugabe’s thug’s looted hospitals, closed hospitals, burned schools, beat up teachers, kidnapped and brutalised students and closed schools. The health care and education standards were vastly better for black people in Rhodesia. Zimbabwe became a failed state under Mugabe lowering life expectancy to almost half that of Rhodesia and taking a country with the lowest unemployment in Africa (under 4%) to the highest, 95% unemployment! That was even after half the population had fled the country! “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:32. “Hate evil, love good, establish justice in the gate…” Amos 5:15
Blasphemous Bolshevik False Prophet
Mugabe blasphemously boasted that he had beaten Jesus Christ, by rising from the dead more times than Christ, who had only risen from the dead once! Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. “When Justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” Proverbs 21:15. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.
Witnessing to Mugabe
I have been asked: “Have you shared the Gospel with Mugabe?” Yes, we have. I have written to him and one of our Board Members, Bishop Bwanali Phiri, met with and prayed with Robert Mugabe and presented him with the gift of a Bible.
How Are We as Believers to Respond to Death?
The Bible mandates capital punishment for murder, rape and kidnapping. Believers are to pray the imprecatory Psalms of justice against the wicked. God will ensure justice in eternity. “For I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery.” Isaiah 61:8
The Choices Before Us
We are in the middle of a world war of worldviews. A battle for the mind. A battle for the heart.
A battle for the future. The choice before us is clear:
The lies of the world, or the truth of the Word of God?
Indoctrination or education?
Communism or Christianity?
The broad road to destruction, or the narrow way to life?
Heaven or hell?
The grace of God, or the wrath of God?
Is Jesus Christ your Saviour and Lord?
If not, He will be your Judge.
“It is appointed unto men once to die and after that to face Judgement…” Hebrews 9:27
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Zimbabwe Celebrates as Mugabe Falls
Mugabe’s Blood Diamonds
Mugabe Tsunami in Zimbabwe
The National Suicide of Zimbabwe
Let My People Go!
“So Moses and Aaron came in to Pharaoh and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of the Hebrews: ‘How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me’.” Exodus 10:3
The nation of Israel grew out of secession from Egypt. In the Bible, a nation is an ethnolinguistic people group with a shared faith. The Scriptures make it clear that the Hebrews remained Hebrews, even after 480 years in Egypt. They never became Egyptians. We are not geographic accidents, but demographic descendants. The Scripture emphasises that all the families of the nations of the earth are to sing the praises of the Creator in every language and tongue. “And they sang a new song, saying: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals; for You were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your Blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” Revelation 5:9
Confusion About What a Nation Is
Unfortunately, many today are confused about the concept of nations. This could be because there are a group of state representatives in New York calling themselves the “United Nations”. Of course, most of them have no legitimacy at all. The United Nations is the largest collection of unelected dictators, mass murderers, drug traffickers and human traffickers on the planet. Most of them are actually gangsters with flags.
“One Nation Under God, Indivisible…”
The United States deludes itself that it is “one nation under God, indivisible…”. Why 50 states in a voluntary union should be considered indivisible, seems incomprehensible to most of us. Yet, Americans are expected to make this pledge on a regular basis. Abraham Lincoln waged a ruinous war in which over 650,000 people died to preserve the union of what was meant to be a confederation. Since that War between the States concluded in 1865, America has become more and more centralised with central government overruling state governments on such matters as legalised abortion and state mandated education.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
When the Soviet Union (USSR) broke up, this was considered a good thing and there was much rejoicing as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Georgia and many others seceded from the Union – the Soviet Union. It is a good thing for freedom that the Soviet Union was not indivisible!
The Destructive Legacy of Versailles
There never was such a concept as Yugoslavia or Czechoslovakia before the vindictive and destructive Versailles Treaty of 1919 and those entities do not exist today either. They were bad ideas from the beginning. Free and independent nations have broken away from those empires. Yugoslavia, meaning the land of the South Slavs, included Slovenia and Croatia, who definitely are not Slavic, formerly part of the Austrian empire and with Germanic language and culture. However, from 1945 to 1989, the fragile political entity called Yugoslavia was composed of six republics, five nationalities, four languages, three major religions, two alphabets, but only one political party – communist. Another kaleidoscope nation created by the Versailles Treaty, Czechoslovakia, did not long survive the fall of the Iron Curtain and the withdrawal of Soviet armies of occupation. In 1993, Slovakia seceded from Czechoslovakia, peacefully after a referendum.
The Secession of the Ten Northern Tribes of Israel from Judah and Benjamin
In 1 Kings 12, we read of the secession of the ten Northern tribes from the United Kingdom of Israel. After the reigns of King Saul, King David and King Solomon, the United Kingdom was divided when Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, foolishly dismissed the wise counsel of the elders who had stood before his father, Solomon. Instead Rehoboam chose to rather listen to the irresponsible advice of the young men who had grown up with him. As a result, he arrogantly dismissed the petition of his subjects and threatened to tax them even heavier and to burden them with more oppressive laws than they had ever experienced before. “Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: ‘What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, O Israel! Now, see to your own house, O David!’ So Israel departed to their tents.” 1 Kings 12:16
This Is of the Lord
“So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day… There was none who followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.” 1 Kings 12:19-20. When king Rehoboam assembled 180,000 warriors to fight against the house of Israel to restore the United Kingdom, God stopped them, declaring that this secession was of Him.
You Shall Not Fight Against Your Brethren
“But the Word of God came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, ‘Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, to all the house of Judah and Benjamin and to the rest of the people, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord: ‘You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing is from Me.’ Therefore they obeyed the Word of the Lord, and turned back, according to the Word of the Lord.” 1 Kings 12:22-24
Ten Key Principles of Freedom
Centralisation of power in a unitary state has always been a pagan tendency, as seen in Nineveh and Babel (Genesis 10:11; 11:1). Because power corrupts, it is wise to limit and divide the powers of civil government in a system of checks and balances. God established in the government of Israel, ten key principles of freedom:
All Authority is Limited, Delegated and Accountable
To the Roman governor, Pilate, the Lord Jesus Christ declared: “…You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above…” John 19:11. Civil authority is clearly delegated by God, limited and answerable to God (Romans 13:1-4; Revelation 1:5; 11:15). The sanctity of human life was the foundation for the establishment of government (Genesis 9:6). The priority of any government should be to protect the right to life of the preborn and every other member of society who is law-abiding.
Civil Government is to Serve Its Citizens
In the teachings of our Lord, it is clear that civil authorities are to be public servants (Matthew 20:25-28). “…‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger and he who governs as he who serves.” Luke 22:25-26. The concept that civil government is a servant of its citizens is a uniquely Christian idea that originated from these verses. Hence, the term prime minister – as the first servant. Cabinet ministers are to be deacons of God for justice.
Before the Reformation the general view of government was summarised in the Latin phrase “Rex Lex – The king is law.” The king’s word is law. The king is above the law. The Reformation inverted this Latin phrase to Lex Rex – The Law is King. The king is under the Law. Samuel Rutherford, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, wrote the book: Lex Rex, published in 1644. Utilising arguments from Scripture and building on Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos, Lex Rex attacked the idea of absolutism and statism, emphasizing the importance of covenant and the rule of law. As the prince, or the king, may command loyalty, the king owes his subjects protection. If government fails to provide protection and the rule of law, respect for life and property, then the citizens are absolved of any loyalty to such an abusive ruler who has failed to fulfil his duty.
In Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants
Junius Brutus, In Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants, had argued that as we owe our king loyalty, so the King of kings requires loyalty and obedience from all kings who are under Him. If our rulers are in rebellion to the King of kings, we must not join them in their war against God and against His Laws. If a ruler commands that which is against the Law of God, we must obey God, rather than man. If a ruler infringes on the Laws of God and seeks to ruin His Church, it is our right and duty to resist him. “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God”. This was also emphasised by Scottish Reformer, John Knox.
The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate
The Reformers taught that if the central government is corrupt, wicked and oppressive, then the lesser magistrates have the duty to resist. Provincial governors, mayors and magistrates may and must resist and suppress tyrants in central government. Rulers are not permitted to rule for their own self-interests. If central government fails in their promises and duties, the people are exempt from obedience and taxes, the contract is null and void.
The Duties of Civil Government
Romans 13 makes clear what the duties of civil government are. Civil authorities are to be ministers of justice, under God. All authority is delegated authority and is accountable to Almighty God, the Creator and Eternal Judge. Civil government is to be a terror to evil, a minister of justice, executing wrath on those who practice evil. Civil government is not to be a terror to those who do good, but is to protect the law-abiding (Romans 13:1-7).
War Against God
Throughout history there have been those who have attempted to impose their political and religious will on the world, such as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and Caesar Nero of Rome, who commanded everyone in the empire to worship him. People were required to place the ash of the incense they had burned before Nero’s image on their forehead, before they were allowed to trade in the market place. From Babel to Babylon, from Rome to the French Revolution and from the Soviet Union to Red China, those who seek to impose a one-world government and one-world religion, also seek to control the economy. They pour out blasphemies against God and His people, persecuting those who refuse to bow to their political and religious will. They make war on the saints and attempt to stamp their mark on all that they have power over (Revelation 13:6-17).
We Must Obey God Rather Than Man
God's people have always been called to resist stateism and tyranny. Christians were not persecuted in the Roman Empire for worshipping Christ, they were persecuted for refusing to worship Caesar. “And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death.” Revelation 12:11. Those who wage war against God will lose.
The Great Commission and All Nations
When the Lord gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 …to make disciples of all nations, He used the word ethne for nations. Ethne is the root word for ethnic. In the Bible, a nation is an ethnolinguistic people group with a shared faith. We are not merely to make disciples of the 212 countries that claim to be member states of the United Nations. Missiologists have identified over 12,000 ethnolinguistic people groups. Wycliffe Bible Translators identifies 6,909 distinct languages, of which 2,197 are spoken in Asia. Operation World reports that the World Christian Database identifies 13,674 different people groups. The Joshua Project lists 16,350 distinct people groups. Gospel Recordings Network estimates there are over 10,000 spoken languages and dialects. The World Christian Encyclopaedia identifies 13,511 languages and dialects.
Successful Secessions in History - Switzerland
Switzerland seceded from Austria in 1291. Inspired by the story of expert marksman William Tell, who refused to bow before the hat of Albrecht Gessler, raised on a pole in the market square of Altdorf. When William Tell refused to bow, Gessler’s cruel wrath, mixed with a curiosity to test William Tell’s legendary marksmanship, commanded him to shoot an apple off his son’s head with his crossbow bolt. When William Tell succeeded in splitting an apple with his arrow, saving the life of both his son and himself, Gessler asked why he had readied two arrows. William Tell stated that if he had missed with the first, then he would not have missed with the second, in Gessler’s heart! Enraged, Gessler had William Tell arrested and taken by boat across Lake Lucerne to Kussnacht, to spend the rest of his life in a dungeon. A fierce storm enabled William Tell to escape to shore, where he later ambushed and killed Gessler with an arrow, launching the young confederacy’s secession from Austrian rule. The first three cantons which formed the Swiss confederacy, 1291, were Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden. The oldest republic in the world, Switzerland now consists of 26 cantons.
An Island of Peace on a Continent Often Torn by War
Despite Switzerland occupying the crossroads of Germanic and Romansh Europe, as reflected in its form of linguistic and cultural regions, German, French, Italian and Romansh, its confederal, decentralised, direct democracy policy of armed neutrality, enabled Switzerland to stay out of the ruinous world wars. Despite French, Germans and Italians killing one another by the hundreds-of-thousands, Switzerland successfully protected its territorial integrity and stayed out of the conflicts.
Caring for Its Neighbours
Switzerland is the birthplace of the Red Cross, one of the world’s oldest and best known humanitarian organisations and is home to many international organisations and missions which have brought relief to suffering prisoners during the World Wars and provided sanctuary for those fleeing from those colossal conflicts.
An Example of Excellence
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries of the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the highest per capita Gross Domestic Product in the world. In terms of quality of life, three cities of Geneva have been ranked amongst the ten top cities in the world: Zurich, Geneva and Basel. Switzerland is an example of excellence of how people of different nationalities, languages and religious affiliations can live together in peace and harmony – by decentralisation, referendums and Landsgemeinde – community gatherings.
American Independence and Magna Carta
The United States of America seceded from Great Britain in 1776. Demanding their chartered rights as Englishmen under Magna Carta of 1215, the thirteen colonies constitute themselves as the United States of America with their Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776. They maintained that as the English government had failed to protect them and provide their rights, as guaranteed by Magna Carta, 1215, they were absolved of allegiance to the British government in London.
Other Successful Secessions
Led by Prince William of Orange, the Netherlands seceded from Spain, beginning in 1568.
Belgium later seceded from the Netherlands in 1830.
Texas seceded from Mexico in 1836. The Battle of the Alamo (23 February – 6 March 1836) was a pivotal event in the war of independence for Texas. The cruelty and arbitrary lawlessness of president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, led other Texans to rise up and defeat the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, 21 April 1836, securing the independence of Texas from Mexico.
Nicaragua seceded from Guatemala in 1838.
Norway seceded from Sweden in 1905. Price Carl of Denmark was unanimously elected King by the Norwegian parliament, the first king of a fully independent Norway in 508 years. He took the name Haakon VII. A national referendum confirmed the people’s preference for a monarchy over a republic and the peaceful separation of Norway from Sweden was effected on 7 June 1905.
Finland seceded from Russia in 1917. In reaction to the Bolshevik Revolution, which was tearing Russia apart, the Finns set up their own parliament which declared independence from Russia, 6 December 1917.
The Republic of Ireland seceded from Great Britain in 1922.
Pakistan seceded from India in 1947.
Taiwan seceded from China in 1949.
Singapore seceded from Malaysia in 1965 and has turned an unpromising island swamp into one of the most potent economic powerhouses in Asia.
Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan in 1970.
Namibia seceded from South Africa in 1990.
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia seceded from Russia in 1991.
Croatia and Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Eritrea seceded from Ethiopia in 1991.
Slovakia seceded from Czechoslovakia in 1993.
East Timor seceded from Indonesia in 2002.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011.
The Nuba of South Kordofan are at this moment fighting for their independence from Sudan and the Kurds of Turkey, Iraq and Iran are seeking their own country of Kurdistan.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Eyewitness to Successful Secession Movements
A Case for Cape Independence
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Power Sharing Agreement Signed by Military Council and Civilian Opposition Alliance
On 17 August, it was reported that General Mohamed Hamdan “Hemeti”Dagolo and Lt. General Abdal Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan for the Military Council and Ahmed Al-Rabie for the Alliance for Freedom and Change signed an agreement to usher in a new governing council to include both civilians and military generals to pave the way towards elections and civilian rule within 3 years.
War Criminal Pledges to Honour Agreement
General Hemeti Dagolo, considered the dominant figure in the Military Council, pledged in an interview to the BBC: “We will stick to every single letter we have agreed on. Even without the agreement, we have to work in this direction because it is in the country’s interest. Therefore we have to carry out the agreement, stick to it and support it.” Hemeti is the Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) which grew out of the notorious Janjaweed militia, which was accused of carrying out genocide in the Darfur region of Western Sudan.
Tarnishing the Reputation of Murderers
The RSF have been blamed for the violent repression of protests, including the 3 June 2019 massacre, which reportedly killed more than 120 people, many of whom were dumped in the Nile River. In the BBC interview, Hemeti described that there had been “a systematic plotting and conspiracy” to “tarnish the reputation” of the RSF, which he described as “protectors - not killers”.
Revolutions, Coup d’Etats and War
Sudan has been afflicted by a series of 7 revolutions and coup d'états and a series of wars since the British handed over their protectorate, 1 January 1956 and granted its independence.
Uprising Paralyses Khartoum
The present crisis can be traced back to December 2018, when Dictator Omar Al Bashir’s regime imposed emergency austerity measures cutting bread and fuel subsidies. This sparked demonstrations which brought the capital city of Khartoum to a standstill.
War Crimes and Genocide
Omar Al Bashir came to power in 1989 as a brigadier in the Sudanese Army when he led a military coup that ousted the government of prime minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi. In March 2009, Al Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes including “mass killing, rape and pillage” against civilians in Darfur. The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court accused Al Bashir of “genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes”. On 12 July 2010, the court issued a second warrant containing 3 separate accounts of genocide.
Ignoring Genocide and War Crimes – Focusing on Corruption
Although the Military Council reports that they have removed Omar Al Bashir from office because of allegations of corruption, there is no talk of handing him over to the ICC to face trial for genocide and war crimes. Despite his pledge to end the decades long civil war that had been afflicting the country when he took power in 1989, Bashir prolonged and intensified the war. The ICC Chief Prosecutor, Louis Marena–Ocampo, reported that US$9 Billion of ill-gotten gains had been “stashed in London banks” by Al Bashir. As there is no talk of handing Al Bashir over to the ICC, nor of indicting him for the genocide perpetrated against Christians in South Sudan and the Nuba Mountains, many question whether Al Bashir has genuinely been ousted from power, or whether he is being protected by the Transitional Military Council.
Overthrow of Bashir
In April, after unprecedented large demonstrations, the dictator Omar Al Bashir, who had been ruling for 30 years, was reportedly overthrown by the military. The council of generals led by Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah Abdel Rahman Burhan assumed power.
Forces of Freedom and Change
However the demonstrators stayed put outside the military headquarters, insisting that it transfer authority to a civilian administration. Various protest groups came together under the umbrella Forces of Freedom and Change. Tens-of-thousands of protestors took to the streets to force the Junta to have talks on a power sharing arrangement.
Who and What are the Rapid Support Forces?
The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been identified as the real ruling power in Sudan. They represent a new kind of regime – a hybrid of ethnic militia and criminal business enterprise, a transnational mercenary force that has captured a state. The RSF was formally established by decree by Omar Al Bashir in 2013. Although their core of 5,000 militiamen had been armed and active long before that time. Dictator Al Bashir mobilised the Janjaweed to fight against Black African Muslim insurgents in Darfur in 2003. The Janjaweed were soon formalised by Al Bashir into a paramilitary force called the Border Intelligence Units. The brigade active in South Darfur was under Mohamed Dagolo, known as Hemeti, because of his baby-faced looks – Hemeti, being a mother’s endearing term for little Mohamed. This force mutinied when the government failed to pay them. Hemeti recruited volunteers from Darfur’s Black African Fur ethnic group into his army to fight alongside his Arabs, their former enemies. Although Hemeti’s commanders are all from his Mahariya Arabic clan, he has been quick to enlist men from all ethnic groups, even absorbing a breakaway Darfur faction of the rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA). The RSFs strength has grown in recent years tenfold, but its command structure has remained Darfuran Arabs. All of its generals share the Dagolo name. With reportedly 70,000 men and more than 10,000 armed land cruisers, pickup trucks, the RSF is Sudan’s De facte military, capable of controlling the streets, borders and the capital.
Transnational Mercenary Proxy Force
Hemeti negotiated a deal with Al Bashir’s government whereby he became a Brigadier General and received massive cash payment in exchange for placing his troops under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) who had at that time were organising a proxy war with Chad. Some of Hemeti’sfighters then served under the banner of the Chad opposition even taking its capital N’Djamena in 2008.
Mutinous Mercenaries Became Bashir’s Private Army
While the army Chief of Staff did not like this hiring of a mutinous mercenary, preferring the money to go to strengthen their regular forces, Omar Al Bashir found the RSF useful, purchased their loyalty and made them answerable to Bashir himself, who gave Hemeti the nickname Himayti – meaning “my protector.”
Effective Jihadists in Darfur – Defeated in the Nuba Mountains
Hundreds of land cruiser pickup trucks were imported and fitted out with machine guns for Hemeti’s RSF. While the RSF did well against the Black Muslim rebels in Darfur, they were decisively defeated by the Christian Nuba in South Kordofan.
Gold Rush in Darfur
When gold was discovered in Jabul Amir in North Darfur in 2012, just as Sudan was facing economic crisis, the gold seemed like a blessing, but it quickly developed into a curse. Tens-of-thousands of Arabs flocked to the remote corner of Darfur in a gold rush where many were crushed in collapsing shafts, or poisoned by the mercury and arsenic used to process the gold nuggets. Some gold was sold to the government which paid above market prices, as it was so desperate to get its hands on gold, which it could sell in Dubai for hard currency.
Smuggling and Slavery
However, other gold was smuggled across the border to Chad, where it was profitably exchanged in a racket involving buying stolen vehicles and smuggling them back into Sudan. In Chad, a 1.5kg bar of gold could be bartered for land cruisers, which were probably stolen from aid agencies and then driven back to Darfur, to be fitted out. The RSF are policing Sudan’s borders, extracting bribes, levies and ransoms and engaging in human trafficking/slavery.
Mercenaries for Hire
Dubai is the destination for most of Sudan’s gold, official or smuggled. Hemeti’s contacts with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are extensive. Under a 2015 agreement, the Sudanese government sends units of its army to serve with the Saudi Arabian/Emirate Coalition Forces in Yemen. The UAE has struck a parallel deal with Hemeti to send a much larger force of RSF fighters to combat in South Yemen. Hemeti also provides units to guard the Saudi Arabian border with Yemen. Sudan has 16,000 troops securing the Saudi Arabian – Yemen border.
Political, Military and Economic Power Broker
Therefore, using gold and mercenary activity, Hemeti controls Sudan’s largest political budget without the need to give any account. The Al-Junaid company run by his relatives have become a vast conglomerate covering investment, mining, transport, car rental and iron and steel amongst others. Hemeti is now one of the richest men in Sudan with more ready cash than any other politician. He is at the centre of a web of patronage, secret security deals and political pay-offs. Every week, Hemeti is in the news, handing out cash to police, electric workers, teachers and gifting cars to tribal chiefs.
Darfur, Libya, Blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains
As the UN-African Union Peace Keeping Force were going to downscale in Darfur, the RSF just took over their camps. Hemeti also dispatched a brigade to Libya to fight alongside the rogue general Khalifa Haftar. Human Rights Watch accuses Hemeti Dagolo of responsibility for torture, extra judicial killings and mass rapes by his forces in Darfur, Southern Blue Nile and South Kordofan/the Nuba Mountains.
Criminal Entrepreneur Hires Canadian Public Relations Firm to Improve His Image
Like the mercenary free booters of the 19th century, who publically swore allegiance to the Kedive of Egypt, but set up and ruled their own private empires, Hemeti is a military – political entrepreneur, whose paramilitary criminal business empire transcends boundaries. He has been described as the most powerful individual in Sudan today. To improve his image internationally, Hemeti has enlisted the services of a Canadian public relations firm.
Regional Power Play Pits Two Forms of Totalitarianism Against One Another
While Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are supporting Sudan’s military, Turkey and Qatar are more closely aligned with the Sudanese Islamists. So it would appear that what is going on in Sudan is not some kind of popular uprising of civilians, as much as a regional power play backing two versions of totalitarianism. Neither side would appear to be at all interested in freedom and justice.
Opposition leaders in Sudan warn that their military rulers are being exploited by foreign powers, eager to take advantage of the country’s natural resources and strategic location. The United Arab Emirates is Sudan’s main destination for exports, buying most of the country’s gold. China imports significant amounts of Sudan’s oil. Saudi Arabia buys most of Sudan’s livestock. Turkey and Qatar have signed a deal last year for US$4 Billion to support Sudan in developing of the Port of Suakin, South of Port Sudan. This highly strategic move could allow Turkey to establish a military presence on the Red Sea. Saudi Arabia and UAE are trying to put pressure on Sudan to cancel the deal. Since 2015, Sudan’s foreign policy has shifted away from its previous close ties with Iran towards Saudi Arabia and its allies.
Understand the Historic Context of the Current Crisis
To understand Sudan’s history, read Faith Under Fire in Sudan and obtain the Sudan: The Hidden Holocaust and Terrorism and Persecution – Understanding Islamic Jihad films from
Christian Liberty Books,
PO Box 358,
and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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28 June marks the anniversary of the assassination that sparked the First World War.
A Disastrous Date
On 28 June 1914, the heir to the throne of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, Archduke Frans Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
Considering the catastrophic consequences, it is remarkable how little is generally known about that fateful day and what led up to it. Security personnel and bodyguards can learn no end of lessons of what not to do from the catalogue of security failings of that day.
Violent and Volatile
First of all, the scheduled visit of Archduke Frans Ferdinand to Bosnia, was published as early as March. Sarajevo was a volatile cosmopolitan, half-oriental community of 42,000 people. For hundreds of years it had been under Ottoman-Turkish-Muslim rule. The Austrians had liberated Bosnia and Herzegovina from the Ottoman-Turkish Empire in 1878. In 1908, the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were incorporated formally into the Austria-Hungarian Empire.
Those Who Forget the Lessons of History are Doomed to Repeat It
The date chosen for the state visit of Archduke Frans Ferdinand to Sarajevo was a date of painful historic significance for the Serbs – it was the anniversary of the disastrous defeat, 28 June 1389, at the hands of the Ottoman-Turks at Kosovo.
Despite Austria playing the leading role in liberating the Balkans from centuries of Ottoman-Turkish oppression, the neighbouring country of Serbia was intensely hostile to Austria and wanted to greatly expand its territory to include all the Slavs of the Balkans, including Bosnia and Herzegovina into Serbia.
Serbia was a monarchy and having tasted victory against the Turks in the Balkan War of 1912, deluded itself that it was a great power, able to even take on the Austria-Hungarian Empire!
The Black Hand
The head of Serbian Military Intelligence, Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic, known by his code name Apis (after the Egyptian bull god), also controlled The Black Hand, an international terrorist group run by Major Vojin Tankosic. It was this group which provided The Young Bosnians, including Gavrilo Princip, with 4 Browning semi-automatic pistols, 6 bombs and cyanide capsules. This was in May 1914. Princip received some training in pistol target practice in the park in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.
The Devious Dragutin
Colonel Dragutin Dimitrijevic was described as: "a revolutionary fanatic, pale, bald, heavy, enigmatic, like a giant Mongolian." Dragutin never married. He was devoted to the movement of Serb-nationalism and international terrorism.
He required his revolutionaries to undergo a hooded initiation ritual, which included a seal engraved with skull and crossbones, a dagger, a bomb and poison.
Murder was his Business
Murder had been his business since his involvement in the 1903 assassination of King Alexander and Queen Draga of Serbia. The king and queen were murdered in their own palace bedroom by a group of Serbian army officers which included Dragutin.
A Rogue State
Hardly a democracy, Serbia was described by many as a rogue state whose rulers were intimately involved in international terrorism. The evidence is overwhelming that the young Bosnian terrorists who murdered Archduke Frans Ferdinand received their weapons from the Serbian military and their basic training in Belgrade Park.
The Serbian Prime Minister Pasic informed the cabinet at the end of May that assassins were on their way to Sarajevo to kill Frans Ferdinand. Serbian state documents include details about the movements of the assassins and of the bombs and pistols in their luggage. The Interior Ministry in Belgrade was fully briefed on all aspects of their mission. Yet no warning was forwarded to the Austrian authorities of the planned assassination.
From the Austrian side, the lack of rudimentary security arrangements on that tragic day is astounding. Acts of terrorism in and from, the Balkans were a clear and present danger.
British newspapers published cartoons of Serbian anarchists asking one another: "What time is it by your bomb?" As Archduke Frans Ferdinand left his estate on 23 June to travel by train to Bosnia, he commented: "Our journey starts… down there they will throw bombs at us!"
A Trail of Terror
The Emperor of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, Frans Joseph, had lost his wife, the Empress Elizabeth, when she was stabbed to death by an anarchist in 1889. She was boarding a steamer to Geneva at the time. In 1908, a 20-year old Slav student assassinated Count Potocki, the Governor of Galicia.
When is Murder Justified?
At the trial of an American born Croat, who had fired at a member of the royal family, the judge asked if he thought killing people was justified. The man responded: "In this case it is! It is the general opinion in America and behind me are 500,000 American Croats!"
Bombing a Wedding
In 1906 an anarchist bombed the wedding procession of King Alfonso XIII of Spain. King Alfonso was marrying a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Shots in Sarajevo
In June 1908, a young Bosnian, Bogdan Zerajic, had failed in his attempt to assassinate the Emperor in Mostar. Later he had travelled to Sarajevo and fired at General Marijan Varesanin. It was alleged that The Black Hand of Serbia had provided his revolver.
Bullets and Bombs
In June 1912, the Governor of Croatia was fired upon in Zagreb. Although the governor was missed, a member of his administration was wounded. In March 1914, the Vicar-General of Transylvania was killed by a time-bomb sent through the post from Romania. Numerous conspiracies to assassinate officials were detected and prevented by the Austrian police.
Interestingly enough Gavrilo Princip was known by the Austrian police to be a potential threat. Yet, when General Oskar Potiorek, the Governor of Bosnia was warned of the threat from The Young Bosnians, he only laughed. The officials at Sarajevo spent more energy discussing dinner menus and the correct temperature at which to serve the wines than to issues of security.
A Date of Infamy
So, on 28 June 1914, a date of intense significance for the Serbians, the Archduke Frans Ferdinand set out in the uniform of a Cavalry General: blue tunic, gold collar, three silver stars and black trousers with red stripe. His wife, Sophie, wore a white hat with a veil and long white silk dress with red and white fabric roses tucked into the red sash.
On the morning of 28 June, in accordance with the published schedule, the motorcade left Sarajevo railway station and shortly before reaching its first scheduled stop, a bomb thrown by Nedeliko Cabrinovic, struck the car of Frans Ferdinand, but bounced off the hood before it exploded, wounding two bystanders. As Cabrinovic was arrested and led away, he shouted loudly: "I am a Serbian hero!" The other conspirators lost their nerve and failed to use their weapons.
A Wrong Turn
Despite the attack, the Archduke continued with his published schedule, meeting the governor general, where he watched two local girls perform a folklore dance and then he went to visit the hospital where those wounded by the bomb were being treated. Upon leaving the hospital the driver took a wrong turn, turning left after crossing the bridge. The driver was told to stop and turn back. As the car had no reverse gear, it had to be pushed backwards into the Appel Quay.
The Shots that Sparked the Great War
It was at this point that Gavrilo Princip walked up to the open car and fired at Frans and Sophie Ferdinand at point blank range. The last words of the Archduke were: "Sophie! Sophie! Do not die! Stay alive for our children!" They were survived by their daughter and two sons. 28 June 1914 was Frans and Sophie Ferdinand's 14th Wedding anniversary.
The Remorseless Revolutionary
The district judge Leo Pfeffer, commented on Princip: "It was difficult to imagine that so frail a looking individual could have committed so serious a deed." In fact, when Princip had volunteered to fight for Serbia, in the First Balkan War in 1912, he was rejected as being too small. At his first interrogation by the police in Sarajevo, Princip had declared that throughout his life, wherever he went, people took him for a weakling and he wanted to prove them wrong. Within days all the conspirators were in custody, except the Muslim Mehmed Mehemedbasic who escaped to Montenegro. As Austria did not execute adolescents and Princip was either 17, or 18, years old at the time, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison and died of natural causes (Tuberculosis) in April 1918. Before he died, he was asked by the prison psychiatrist if he had any regrets that his deed has sparked a world war and the death of millions? Princip made it clear that he had no regrets!
Murdering a Moderate
Interestingly, Princip had killed the one man in the Austrian Empire who was committed to averting war with either Serbia or Russia. Frans Ferdinand had been the one member of the Austrian royal family who had good relations with the Russians and was on record declaring: "I shall never lead a war against Russia. I shall make sacrifices to avoid it. A war between Austria and Russia would end either with the overthrow of the Romanovs or the overthrow of the Hapsburgs – or perhaps the overthrow of both!"
He once wrote to the foreign minister: "Let us not play Balkan warriors ourselves. Let us not stoop to this hooliganism. Let us stay aloof and watch the scum bash in each other's skulls. It would be unforgivable, insane, to start something that would pit us against Russia." Frans Ferdinand's moderate stand was clearly seen by how, despite all the threats, he chose to make a state visit to one of the most volatile cities, in one of the most unstable parts of Europe, in an open car, with almost no security. However, it is the practise of terrorists to assassinate moderates, to provoke reaction.
The British Ambassador in Germany declared that the assassination was: "a dreadful act of which the political consequences are incalculable." In St. Petersburg, Russia, journalists dismissed the assassination as: "a characteristic bit of Balkan savagery." Almost every country in Europe had suffered the effects of assassinations by communist revolutionary anarchists like Princip and there was general sympathy for Austria and disgust for Serbia's obvious role. Yet, just over a month later, most of Europe would mobilise against Austria’s attempts to deal with the Serbian terrorist threat. "…'Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.'" 2 Chronicles 19:2
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
The Audio CD of this lecture, as presented to The Reformation Society and other historic lectures, are available from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, tel: 021-689-7478, fax: 086-551-7490, email: email@example.com and website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.
Surprising Facts About the First World War
The Causes, Consequences and Catastrophe of the First World War
Versailles – 100 Years Ago
How Propaganda Changes Perceptions and People
Brest-Litovsk and the Present Day Boundaries of Eastern Europe