In the heat of World War II—Feb. 12, 1941—German Gen. Erwin Rommel arrived in Libya on the Mediterranean coast to lead the Axis advance across North Africa. Germany’s ally, Italy, had been trying for a year to conquer the territory up to the Suez Canal but had been defeated handily by Allied forces. Now, Hitler turned to Rommel.
In blitzkrieg fashion, Rommel’s German Africa Corps sped eastward across the desert. They reached the Egyptian border in two months. The German high command actually worried that Rommel was moving too fast. It sent a delegation to check Rommel’s advance and take stock of his supply levels. The report back to Berlin indicated that Rommel was in danger of shortages of ammunition and fuel.
The British intercepted this cable, and Winston Churchill then ordered an immediate attack on Rommel’s forces. Rommel, the “desert fox,” was ready for the attack and responded aggressively. For the next year and a half, the battle for North Africa raged. It was only through superior numbers and new material from the Americans that Rommel’s Africa Corps was sent into full retreat in mid-November 1942.
Many historians realize that had Churchill not been able to halt Rommel’s advance to control the Suez Canal, the entire Mediterranean theater would have been lost to the Nazis and could have changed the outcome of the war! Germany needed to dominate the Mediterranean in order to win. Since the Allies were able to control the Mediterranean and eventually drive Rommel out of Africa, the tide of the entire war changed in 1942.
Now, 70 years later, times are different. Instead of the World War ii Allied powers being in control, North Africa and the land around the Red Sea are governed by unstable dictatorships and radical Islamic terrorist groups that seek to bring the fight to Europe!
But this time around, Germany has learned its lesson.
It will not allow Europe’s soft underbelly to be controlled by its enemy. For this reason, Germany ismoving once again to conquer the Mediterranean.
Radical Islam’s Push
Germany isn’t the only rising power that understands the strategic value of the Mediterranean Sea. The forces of radical Islam, headed by the regime in Iran, have a design to dominate the sea-lane as well.
I first wrote about this in 2011. Since that time, we have seen a wave of radical Islam spread across North Africa, toppling governments in Libya, Egypt and Yemen. These jihadists want to take down and destroy the West.
Astute observers in Europe, especially Germany, see what is happening in North Africa. This is motivating European leaders to accelerate their own strategy to counter the Islamist tide.
This exact scenario was prophesied 2,500 years ago in the biblical book of Daniel!
As I wrote in 2011, Daniel 11:40-43 unlock the strategy of the radical Muslims headed by Iran, referred to here as “the king of the south.” (For proof of the prophetic identity of this power, request our free booklet The King of the South.)
These scriptures describe the time just ahead of us. Notice it: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (verse 40).
This verse shows a pushy foreign policy from the south being countered and destroyed by a far superior power from the north. But pay close attention to the verses that follow: They indicate the specific nations that will be part of this Iranian-led Islamic bloc and be conquered by the king of the north.
“He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape” (verse 42). As we have said for 20 years, this indicates that Egypt will join in an alliance with Iran. But notice who else will be in that alliance.
“But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.” “At his steps” means they will join his army or be under his authority. Why would Libya and Ethiopia be subjugated like this by the king of the north? They too were allied with the king of the south.
But why would Iran want an alliance with Libya and Ethiopia?
All you need to do is get a good map of the Middle East with the emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and then you can see why. These two countries border the two seas that comprise the most important trade route in the world.
Iran already dominates the Persian Gulf. Now it is working to take over the Red Sea—you can see this by how involved it is in Yemen. Iran also has a heavy influence in Somalia. It has had a long-standing relationship with Sudan, and prophecy tells us it will gain control of Ethiopia and Egypt. Egypt controls the Suez Canal, which is the gateway to the Mediterranean Sea.
Putting this together, you can see that Iran seeks to control the greatest trade route in the world!
This is leading to a major clash between the king of the south and the king of the north.
An Accelerated Timetable
Discussing Iran’s moves to take over Yemen, notice what Michael Segall wrote for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs: “If the Shia rebels gain control of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, Iran can attain a foothold in this sensitive region, giving access to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, a cause of concern not only for its sworn rivals Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf states, but also for Israel and European countries along the Mediterranean. Arab commentators in the Gulf have warned in recent years about this Iranian push” (Nov. 3, 2014; emphasis mine throughout). He actually used the same terminology that the Prophet Daniel used.
I think there are visionaries in Europe who see the beginning of this prophecy about Ethiopia, Libya and Egypt allying with or falling to radical Islam. Using a little imagination, they realize that Iran could gain control of these unstable nations. If that happened, it would be a real problem for Europe, because Iran could block European trade through the Suez Canal at will!
While the world is mostly blind to it, some in Europe are waking up to Iran’s plan to capture the Mediterranean. The Europeans see the king of the south pushing through this policy! It is creating a sense of urgency in them to counter this push.
Again, many Germans feel the reason they lost World War ii was that they didn’t have control of that sea. And since the early 1990s, a German-led Europe has been slowly working to ensure that won’t happen again.
The current push by the radical Islamist camp across North Africa has accelerated Germany’s timetable for its own plans to dominate the Mediterranean.
Already, Germany has positioned itself to take over the region far more effectively than it did in World War ii. And this time, it won’t be seen as the aggressor.
Access to the Adriatic
Germany’s renewed drive to control the Mediterranean was first visible when Berlin recognized the breakaway Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia in the early 1990s.
These two nations were Germany’s old World War ii allies. Germany fought to promote their independence in order to gain access to the Adriatic Sea, which leads into the Mediterranean. Virtually the whole world was against the breakup of Yugoslavia, but most eventually gave in when Germany and the Vatican refused to budge.
The New York Times reported at the time, “The Security Council backed away from a confrontation with Germany over Yugoslavia today after Germany’s European allies on the council decided that they did not want a major clash with Bonn”—West Germany’s capital at the time (Dec. 16, 1991). The UN backed down because it didn’t want to oppose Germany!
The Times article continued, “The incident underscored Germany’s growing political power in the 12-nation European Community, diplomats said. Some added that it marked the single-most visible demonstration of that power since reunification of the two Germanys more than a year ago [in 1990].”
Germany’s “single-most visible demonstration of that power” had everything to do with its strategy to control the Mediterranean.
“Moreover, in its unusual assertiveness in moving ahead with a plan to extend diplomatic recognition to the breakaway Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia, Germany has stirred troubling historical associations,” the article continued. “Nazi Germany dominated the two Yugoslav regions during World War ii, absorbing Slovenia into the Third Reich and creating a puppet regime in Croatia.”
Look at any map and you can see the strategic value of these two nations. The Adriatic Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean extending north to Croatia. However, it seems only Germany fully realizes the significance of these areas. The Germans are willing to fight the whole world to gain control of them. And nobody has asked whythese areas are so important to Germany!
Malta and Cyprus
During World War ii, one obstacle to Rommel’s advancement across North Africa was the Allied base on the island of Malta, between Italy and Tunisia. German forces tried extremely hard to take the island. Historian Andrew Roberts wrote that it was “the most heavily bombed place on Earth” during Germany’s Africa campaign. Yet Germany never succeeded. So Malta remained a valuable depot for supplying Allied forces in fighting Rommel.
Europe has ensured that scenario doesn’t repeat itself the next time.
Back in March 2000, former EU Commission President Romano Prodi was in Malta for a conference discussing Malta’s future entry into the Union. He stated, “Malta is the southern pillar of Europe …. I want to see Malta in the EU.” At the same conference, Gunter Verheugen, then European commissioner for enlargement, said that if Malta joined the EU it would “become a gateway. … For Europe, Malta has been described as a springboard to the whole Mediterranean region, and especially to the African and Middle Eastern shores.”
In 2004, Malta became a member of the EU.
Again, looking at a map, it is easy to see why the European Union wanted the tiny island of Malta to be a member. It was a strategic move that gave the EU a permanent presence right in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
Malta wasn’t the only country to join the EU in 2004. On the same day, Cyprus—another important island state, this time in the eastern Mediterranean—also joined. Again, this was done for purely strategic reasons.
When Germany led the United Nations Interim Task Force in Lebanon, its ships were based out of Cyprus. Even now, Germany regularly has ships patrolling Lebanon’s coast, and they use Cyprus as a base. As Stratfor wrote on June 28, 2012, “Cyprus’s location makes it an essential part of any security dynamic in the region.” Indeed it does!
It’s all about controlling the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus has historically been a launching pad for armies into the Middle East. And it will be so again!
Confrontation Over Libya
Since dictator Muammar Qadhafi was ousted by a Western bombing campaign in 2011, the northern African nation of Libya has been taken over by dueling militant factions and jihadist fighters. When Qadhafi was removed, I warned that what would take his place would be thousands of times worse.
Look at what has happened since! The resulting chaos has provoked hundreds of thousands of refugees to get on boats and head to Malta and southern Italy. Over 170,000 migrants landed in Italy in 2014! In 2015, the number of immigrants moving into Europe from Syria surpassed those from Libya. But now that the path to Europe through Turkey has been virtually closed, Europeans are once again seeing refugees move through Libya. Italian officials fear that as many as 270,000 migrants will try to get to Italy this year.
This is a major problem for Europe. The EU knows it needs to act! The situation in Libya is a good pretext for the Europeans to move down to secure this area so critical to controlling the Mediterranean.
Earlier this year, the United Nations Security Council backed a national unity government in Libya called the Government of National Accord (gna). German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told Bild magazine that such a unity government will “quickly need help to establish justice and order in this huge state and at the same time fight against Islamic terror” (January 18). She also said, “Germany will not be able to duck its responsibility to make a contribution”—hinting of deploying German troops as part of a European military force.
Soon after, there were reports of a European mission to train Libyan soldiers in Tunisia. But Germany’s Left party’s foreign-policy spokesman Jan van Aken said that the plans for Libya “go way beyond training Libyan soldiers.”
However, many Libyans have rejected the gna; they feel it has been forced upon them by the West. Indeed, in mid-March the EU began to sanction Libyans who would not accept the gna.
Still, with a Western-backed unity government having made it to the Libyan capital of Tripoli, will we begin to see Europeans once again land on the shores of Libya?
Already, German ships are just outside Libyan waters implementing Operation Sophia, a three-phased European plan to stop people smuggling out of Libya. So far 83 smuggler boats have been destroyed or impounded when found outside Libyan territorial waters on the way to Italy or Malta.
However, that is just phase one of the plan. According to a classified report obtained by Wikileaks earlier this year, Operation Sophia’s last two phases will see EU military operations inside Libyan territorial waters—and then, finally, European boots on the ground in Libya.
The classified document also urges EU authorities to speed up the process of forming a “reliable” government in Libya, which would be expected to give permission to extend the EU military operations onshore. Maybe the gna—a virtual creation of the EU and the international community—will serve that purpose.
Roderich Kiesewetter, president of the association of the Bundeswehr reservists and foreign-policy expert for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, stated firmly that “the Bundeswehr will send more than 1,200 soldiers in the anti-[Islamic State] fight.” nato will have to send ground troops into Libya, he explained, noting that “the German Air Force, Navy and German police officers can help to stabilize Jordan, Lebanon and Libya.” Already Germany has a strong presence in Mali, which many military leaders see as a launching pad for Libya.
The European Union and its Western allies have created a situation where German troops will once again set foot in Libya.
Once those troops get there, radical Islam will be there to confront them. Already, the Libyan Grand Mufti Sadiq al-Gheriani has called for “jihad against the gna.” Also, UN experts reported in March that the Islamic State “has been spreading a nationalistic narrative, portraying itself as the most important bulwark against foreign intervention,” reported Reuters (March 10).
Providing the perfect cover for German ambition, the European peacekeeping force will help Germany move closer to realizing Rommel’s goal of complete dominance of the Mediterranean!
It will also set up the titanic clash of Daniel 11:40. However, the clash with the king of the south will not end with Libya. As the prophecies in Daniel reveal, more nations will fall in the whirlwind created by this king of the north.
The Mediterranean Dream
May 12, 1943, marked the end of Axis resistance in North Africa. Encyclopedia Britannica says, “The British and United States forces got possession of the whole North African coast, and the threat to Egypt and the Suez Canal was ended, and the Italian dream of a great African empire had proved a costly failure.”
Italy and Germany had a dream of a great African empire and world empire. Their advance toward the Nile was part of it. Though most might not even think about it, Germany and many Europeans still have that dream today!
However, this time there will be no Allied victory in El Alamein to push back the German advance. Instead, Germany will be able to conquer all of North Africa and the Middle East, eventually making its way to Jerusalem (e.g. Daniel 8:9).
Watch the Mediterranean! Bible prophecy shows that it will be a major staging ground for battles that will escalate into world war!
However, prophecy also shows that this is ultimately very good news. As other passages in Daniel tell us, Germany’s dominance of the Middle East will end just as quickly as it began. This king of the north is destined to fall—because he will dare to fight Jesus Christ Himself! “[A]nd he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25).
With the armies of man defeated, Jesus Christ will reign supreme, ensuring that no man-made dreams of dominance will again threaten the peace of the Earth!