The New Order

How the political ripple from the Madrid bombing has altered the power balance in Europe

While bureaucrats were bickering over the European Union draft constitution, analysts were announcing the end of the dreams of a federal Europe. At that time, just before the constitution talks ended in shambles last December, we printed an article titled “Are We Wrong About Europe?” It has been our position for decades that Europe would unite to become a temporarily unmatched, global superpower—in a revival of the old Holy Roman Empire.

Some of our favorite analysts were pronouncing the certain death of the EU. We didn’t take exception to the fact that this particular political experiment might fail; rather, we said that if it did, it would only be replaced by a more stable alternative—moving Europe closer to economic, political and military cohesion. However it would happen, we knew issues such as voting rights and foreign policy would first have to be resolved.

Why was our prediction so different from the rest? Because we simply believe Bible prophecy, which says that Europe will soon be united, with the Vatican and Germany holding the reins.

Recent events in Europe gave these prophecies renewed clarity.

For the last few years, Europe has been comprised of two major alliances. In one corner were France and Germany—the EU’s strongest nations—moving for quicker political and defense integration before the entrance of 10 more nations to the Union this month. In the other corner were Italy, Spain and Poland—speaking on behalf of those who didn’t want to see Berlin and Paris have too big a slice of the pie. Poland (set to join the EU this month) and Spain supported the United States and its war on terror, an alliance that gave them added confidence in dealing with “Old Europe.” Also with Spain and Poland were the other EU hopefuls—the smaller, weaker Eastern nations, which wanted assurance that Berlin and Paris wouldn’t trump certain national rights. Then there was Britain, clear friend of the U.S. and of some of the European underdogs, trying to play its historical balancing act between the two camps.

Europe, though squabbling, had a certain equilibrium—an equilibrium born of a temporary balance of divisions between the Franco-German alliance and those opposed to their bullying tactics. The smaller, weaker Eastern nations could be assured that Spain, and even Britain on some issues, would check France and Germany. These Eastern candidates, which in March became official members of nato (a U.S.-dominated alliance), felt safer too, believing that the U.S. also could watch over them.

Then came March 11. The horrific Madrid train bombings may have changed Europe more dramatically than any single event since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Shortly after the bombings, public opinion in Spain swung toward Jose Luis Zapatero, a socialist with strong connections to Berlin, who embodied the sentiment that America’s presence in Iraq was unjustified. Four days later he was elected prime minister. This one event, probably more tumultuous than the bombs that took roughly 200 lives, transformed the political landscape of Europe.

Within days, Spain pledged it would withdraw troops from Iraq, rethink its relations with Washington and align more with Europe—i.e. Germany and France. A month later, after his inauguration, Zapatero ordered his defense minister to get the 1,300 Spanish troops home “in the shortest time possible.”

The temporary equilibrium was disturbed. Spain’s move leaves Poland isolated. And the voting-rights issue that kept Madrid and Warsaw from signing the draft constitution suddenly doesn’t seem that big of a deal now that Spain has new leadership. Poland has begun to concede. Everyone is pushing for a resolution to the draft constitution by mid-June so that the expanded Union can have a stronger legal infrastructure.

Whether this happens or not is still anyone’s guess. But here’s what it means.

To create equilibrium, nations must “balance” other nations. But in today’s Europe, who will check France and Germany? What can the U.S. do if the nations that once looked to it for leverage against a domineering Germany and France are now happy to march to Old Europe’s drum? If everyone is on board with the Franco-German agenda, what’s to limit the most powerful nations from gaining too much power in the Union?

With Europe uniting, the real balance of power is not so much within Europe as it is between Europe and outside threats.

Because of the Madrid bombing, the EU now sees that it needs a unified front to deal with the reality of terrorism. It has awakened to the need for more security and military cooperation Continent-wide—as well as even the sharing of intelligence among certain EU members.

This was the result of one, dramatic crisis event—200 people killed in Madrid. What would happen if Europe suffered a larger attack?

We will soon see the birth of a unified, federalist empire—ready to take its seat on the throne of world superpower. That’s what the book of Daniel says. The main catalyst is a “king of the south”—what we have shown to be Islamic extremism (request our free booklet The King of the South for more information). The crisis resulting from a “push” by this other growing global power will hasten the nations of Europe to put aside petty differences even further and give their power to those strong leading nations.

Madrid is the beginning. Watch as future threats produce an even stronger, more cohesive resolve in Europe to meet even greater peril soon to come to its doorstep.