Can the Blind Lead…?
“And he spoke a parable unto them, can the blind lead the blind? Shall they not both fall into the ditch?” —Luke 6:39
Barely weeks away from the end of the present millennium (according to the Gregorian calendar), there are pundits aplenty seeking to predict the prospects of the third millennium. Many see a horizon bright with the possibilities of peace and reconciliation between nations. A few predict doom. The cold hard realists look at the sad history of the final century of this millennium, a century dominated by wars and rumors of wars, and wonder, could it possibly happen again? Is it possible in the next century that we would match or even surpass the obliteration of 140 million souls in this century’s wars, massacres, slaughters and oppressions? Will the total number of people who died due to man-made famine, often resulting from war, in the next 100 years equal or exceed the 40 million who wasted away in the agony of starvation over the past century?
Can we really look into tomorrow and predict with any degree of certainty what the next century will bring, let alone the next millennium? Well, before taking a peek into the future, we’d better heed the words of Jesus Christ. He gave His disciples a clear warning not to be led astray by the blind. Ample evidence exists of the masses being taken in by seers, false prophets and futurologists over the past two millennia since Jesus Christ spoke these words of wisdom.
Herman Kahn made his name in the 1960s and 1970s when futurology was a fashionable pseudo-science. He predicted a world flush with the gadgetry of high technology, populations with masses of leisure time and little work to do, the elimination of famine and disease, man approaching the resolution of all problems—man’s way. He believed that the threat of nuclear war would end.
Herman Kahn is now dead. What of his ideas? Were his predictions, upon which many based their plans for the future, correct?
Perhaps no futurologist has gained such fame in the 20th century as Alvin Toffler. As co-author with his wife, Heidi, of the book War and Anti-War, Toffler predicts new dangers for America and the world at the edge of the 21st century. Unlike the rosy predictions for the new millennium painted by Herman Kahn 20 years ago, Dr. Toffler and his wife sketch a frightening scenario of possibilities for the next century.
In War and Anti-War, the authors refer to “the civilianization of war,” a term used to describe the spread of civilian technologies and products which may be easily converted to military use. They predict the uncontrolled spread not only of military weapons but of advanced technologies with which to make them in a civilian setting! In that context, we’ve all heard about the nuclear suitcase bombs.
In addition to the micro-warfare possibilities of terrorist groups using civilian technologies to wage their reign of terror, on the macro war front the trend is to the age of precision warfare. The Tofflers predict the demise of the age of mass warfare, dependent as it is upon mass production of massive inventories of military machines, and masses of manpower to drive the machines. Interviewed by Sam Whitmore of PC Week, Alvin Toffler declared that “the U.S. has the best, most elegant, most well-trained, best armed, smartest military in the world…but it would be a mistake to assume that lead is permanent.”
It could be argued that, since the cold war’s ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union, the only thing which has stopped anarchic confusion between many of the nations of the world is that the U.S. was prepared to play policeman and had the power to back that role up. Yet, as the final decade of the current century wanes, more and more nations, it seems, are becoming emboldened by perceptions of American reluctance to use its massive power advantage.
The world grew concerned as the U.S. turned its back on Rwanda in 1994 and allowed the blood to flow amid that country’s ethnic warfare. The U.S. had promised order in Somalia but left the country in chaos. American military initiatives to restore democracy in Haiti resulted in them leaving that country in anarchy. The U.S. bombed Bosnia in the interests of national unity but then brokered a deal which left them presiding over a de facto partition.
In 1998 the U.S. returned to combat in the skies over Iraq to put an end to Saddam Hussein’s shenanigans, but a year later the combat continues—and Saddam is rumored to be aligning with Arab neighbors and Russia to thumb his nose at America by contemplating a war against Israel.
Then to cap things off, earlier this year, in a decision that defied all reason, the Clinton administration focused the vast might of U.S. foreign policy on a self-styled “humanitarian mission” in a small Balkan province of no strategic value to America. This “mini-war” in Kosovo left 7,500 mostly civilian deaths and 1.4 million refugees in its wake, for the sake of between 10 and 26 military targets destroyed, depending on which figures you believe. As Michael Mandelbaum, Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, describes it, “This made the war, as a deliberate act of policy, a perfect failure” (Foreign Affairs, Sep./Oct. 1999).
Small wonder that, when a “humanitarian mission” was called for in strife-torn, Indonesia-occupied East Timor, off the coast of Australia, the Clinton government’s initial response was, “Let the Indonesians work it out themselves.” That’s what happens when the world’s policeman grows weary of international criticism for its efforts, or lack thereof, and fearful of the reaction of the electorate in the run-up to a presidential election back home.
What use is all the overwhelming military might of America, without the wit, the will and the wisdom to employ it in an effective and timely manner?
High Risk Vs. Low Risk
So as we enter the new millennium, with isolationism drawing the U.S. back into its shell, is the world at high risk or low risk of a reversion to hot war, only ten years on from the cessation of the cold war?
Look at the facts:
- Smart weaponry has become user-friendly to the civilian, giving the average Joe on the street with a terrorist chip on his shoulder the capacity to blow New York sky high out of a suitcase.
- More and more nations have access to intermediate- and long-range space weaponry. Witness China’s threat to the U.S. last year during the Taiwan tension. One of China’s senior officials declared, “We can reach Los Angeles with our missiles.”
- Grave danger of the proliferation of nuclear weaponry exists due to the breakdown of the old Soviet, now Russian, military. The demoralization of the Russian army and the breakdown of order in its command structures leaves somewhere between 27,000 and 30,000 tactical nuclear warheads in very unstable hands. Toffler has declared, “The likelihood that some of those nukes will escape into the hands of very unpleasant figures around the world…in my judgment is a high likelihood” (ibid.).
Add these high-tension risks presently extant in the world to the increasing reluctance of the world’s greatest military power, the U.S., to deploy its might in the interests of maintaining real peace for fear of further international criticism and fear of the loss of American lives. Surely we then have to agree with Alvin Toffler when he states, “The idea that we’re living in a threatless environment is a fool’s myth!” (ibid.).
Yet, some still insist on believing and trying to convince others of this myth!
“War is losing its hold on the world.” I could not believe my eyes. I had just read that headline in a U.S. provincial newspaper. At our News Bureau we see a lot of unusual reports, odd journalistic forays and crazy ideas in print about why things in the world are as they are. But this one had to take the cake.
All day long in our television studio and in our News Bureau, field television footage of news events around the world are beamed to us from London, courtesy of Associated Press Television News. Aptn is the primary news footage supplier to the television stations of the world. The view from this end is not good. Reel upon reel of video footage rolls past our TV screens detailing the news as it happens on any particular day. Flood, fire, famine, war and rumors of war, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, suicide, massacre, earthquake, conflict, death. No good news!
Overwhelmingly, the greatest amount of news footage we receive at our office is devoted to WAR!
So when a report comes across our news desk headlined “Peace Prevails,” it really arrests our attention! Is the author’s head buried deep in the sands of delusion? Well, actually the article was authored by two leading academics—double trouble! And they are serious, very serious; and that’s scary. It’s scary because one writer is the director of a major university’s “Center for International Development and Conflict Management”; the other is a politics and government professor and director of a “minorities at risk” project. The trouble is, he’s put majorities at risk by publishing this article in at least two major newspapers—at risk of having the blind lead the blind!
Here is just one unbelievable statement which the authors make: “…the evidence shows a steady downward trend in conflicts since the early 1990s. Peacemaking is prevailing over war making” (ibid.). Can you believe that? I mean, really?
Well, when you read a follow-up statement by the authors, we can believe they could make such a hugely false and misleading statement. Listen to this: “Northern Ireland has never been closer to a long-term peace.” What? The mind boggles! Here is a “peace process” in which neither the Irish Republican Army nor the Ulster paramilitaries have been directed to lay down their arms; bombs continue to go off, men are still being crippled through “knee capping” (being shot through each knee), the antagonists are still spraying bullets at each other, weapons shipments are still coming into the country bound for terrorists’ arsenals, hundreds of murdering ira affiliates are being loosed from Irish jails to re-establish themselves in the ira network—and these intellectuals have the gall to declare that “Northern Ireland has never been closer to a long-term peace.”
Well, as you shake your head over that one, consider this: These academics probably come from the same post-Vietnam, flower-power school as the spin doctors of the age who pen the rhetoric spouted by today’s pack of lackluster leaders as they strut their stuff on the international stage. Of the same genre are those who withdraw the penalty of sanctions on rogue state North Korea, based solely on a promise that they will refrain from test-firing a ballistic missile which has a range that could hit Alaska or Hawaii! Are you prepared to pin your future on the promise of a rogue nation?
The North Korean situation presents a stark contrast between the gross naivete of Israelitish-U.S. diplomacy compared with that of the more cunning, practical and definitive approach of another (Gentile) nation—Japan. Upon hearing that the U.S. secretary of state was prepared to ease sanctions on North Korea based on “understandings and expectations” that North Korea will “refrain from testing any long-range missiles for the duration of negotiations aimed at improving our relations,” Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura’s response was quite clear and to the point: “Japan will not follow the United States in easing sanctions against North Korea unless Tokyo determines Pyongyang has scrapped a plan to test-fire a ballistic missile” (Kyodo World Service, Sept. 14).
There’s the difference between the addle-headed leaders of modern-day biblical Israel (primarily Britain and America) and the “stranger” (or Gentile non-Israelite). Such “stranger” nations are prophesied to become the head, while Britain and America become the tail, as the end of the age approaches (Deut. 28:43-44).
The difference between the pre-World War II-educated political leaders in the U.S. and Britain and those educated post-World War II is stark. Contrast the following statements, reflective of each type of mind, on the subject of Japan.
“During the 20th century as a whole, no country has more consistently regarded itself as in essential conflict with the United States than has Japan, and no country has been more uniformly looked upon as a potential enemy by Americans,” wrote Edwin O. Reischauer, former ambassador to Japan, in 1953 (George Friedman and Meredith Labard, The Coming War With Japan).
“Richard Holbrooke, the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, says he intends to campaign vigorously for Japan to get a permanent seat on the UN security council…. ‘I believe that the U.S.-Japanese relationship is our most important bilateral relationship,’ he said” (Associated Press, Sept. 14).
Two different mind sets are reflected in the above statements; two vastly different ways of looking at a nation. The first view, that of Ambassador Reischauer, is born of a realistic assessment of history underpinned by an education founded on Bible-based absolutes—creationism, cause and effect, and a system of values based on the Ten Commandments.
The second attitude is conceived of a mind that was shaped by intellectuals who questioned the notion of absolute truth and sought to replace it, within our Western education system, with German rationalist thought, having its genesis in the warped, deceived and godless “thinking” of such intellectuals as Nietzsche, Hegel, Vogt and Marx, underpinned by evolutionary Darwinism and embellished by the false psychology of Freud.
The former education produced leaders of empire in Britain and pioneers of the greatest single nation on earth, the United States of America. The latter type of education has produced a generation of leaders, in Britain and America in particular, described in biblical prophecy as having the mind of an infant (Isa. 3:4).
In an inspired statement reflective of Jesus Christ’s own words, quoted at the beginning of this article, Isaiah prophesies of today’s blind leaders. “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isa. 3:12).
Now contrast Ambassador Holbrooke’s latter statement with the following assessment of the cold, hard reality on the future of relations between the U.S. and Japan. “With the end of the cold war, Japan’s life as Cinderella must come to an end. Japan must become a normal nation again. It must cease being a protectorate of the United States: Japan must once again have a foreign policy and a military of its own…. Japan will have them because it is historically unavoidable. If Japan is a normal nation again, it will necessarily begin behaving normally” (Friedman and Lebard, op. cit., p. 379).
And, historically, just what is that normal behavior? “The U.S. will compete economically with Japan for domination of the Asian markets…. The clash between American economic power and Japan’s military power will center on the flow of minerals that are the lifeblood of Japan. The great choke points of Japan’s oil and mineral trade—Hormuz, Malacca, Lombok, and the countries that supply Japan’s raw materials—will again become an arena for the struggle between Japanese and American interests. Thus, inexorably, the economic conflict will become a political conflict, and the political conflict will become military” (ibid., pp. 394-395).
That’s a refreshingly realistic, pragmatic assessment of the inevitable outcome of the current strains between the U.S. and Japan, based on a clear view of history. You see, it’s an appreciation of history that the present flower-power generation of leaders in America and Britain lack so greatly. Their policies are not so much driven within a historical perspective as within the liberal socialist ideological dreamland into which their minds were sucked by the phenomenon of the 1960s and ’70s which professor Allan Bloom described as the “closing of the American mind.” This is its legacy—leaders who construct foreign policy in the fantasy fairyland which convinces them that terrorists will become peacemakers, sworn enemies of the past have become their true lovers, and if we just act nicely to nations which threaten to bury us, they’ll quietly walk away and behave as all good nations should. Dream on!
New World Order
Back in the summer of 1989, on the eve of President Bush’s first trip to Eastern Europe, White House adviser Brent Scowcroft mused, “I think we are at an historic transition period in world history.” Scowcroft spoke on the eve of the end of the cold war, which event suddenly plunged the world into a period of change so pervasive that 50 years of assumptions about foreign policy were suddenly made obsolete.
The world had become accustomed to, perhaps even comfortable with, the balance of power held by two great superpowers, Russia and the U.S. Then, in 1990, the Soviet Union seemed to catastrophically implode. Shortly thereafter came the Gulf War of January 1991 and the “victory” of America’s armed forces (supported by a global alliance with 27 other nations) over Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi military power, the fourth-largest army in the world at that time.
President Bush was euphoric, and his words expressed not only his mood, but the mood of America at the time: “Until now, the world we’ve known has been a world divided—a world of barbed wire and concrete blocks, conflict and cold war,” the president said that night. “Now we can see a new world coming into view, a world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order…a world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.”
Suddenly one superpower was astride the world like a colossal policeman. Surely now, given the perceived success of the famous American dream, the U.S. would become the guarantor of prevailing world peace!
It didn’t quite turn out that way. “Despite the proclamations of a ‘new world order,’ the hallmark of the early 1990s was not harmony, but burgeoning disorder. For every problem solved, a new and equally pressing crisis unfolded. After two years of tumultuous change, the world was trapped in a troubled transition that was proving bloodier, costlier and more confusing than anyone had anticipated” (Robin Wright and Doyle McManus, Flash Points, p. 215).
With the umbrella of the cold war drawn back from overshadowing all interpretations of foreign policy, age-old economic rivalries—social, ethnic, cultural and in particular religious differences—contained under the surface for half a century, suddenly boiled over. The clouds of international chaos gathered on the horizon.
Perhaps in no other place than the beautiful Indian state of Kashmir, an idyllic tourist haven of the rich for decades, did this new age of chaos better demonstrate its lethal potential.
Since the dawn of the 1990s, India’s only state with a Muslim majority became locked in the vice of a vicious and deadly civil war. An earthly paradise was suddenly converted into a fiery hell. But it was more than the death and destruction wrought by this insurrection in the streets of its capital, Srinigar, that swung world attention to this Himalayan hideaway. Behind the powerful weaponry of the combatants lay a sobering reality: The two nations which bordered either side of the vale of Kashmir, India and Pakistan, could lock in hot war over this disputed territory, and both now had nuclear capabilities!
Peace prevails—war is losing its hold. Was there ever a more foolish notion given headline status in the press? The reality is that at least 40 contemporary conflicts currently light up the globe, from Colombia to East Timor, from Northern Ireland to Angola. Ten of the world’s leading 15 arms importers are in the third world. These include the unstable regimes of Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Angola and North Korea. Operation Desert Storm demonstrated that a third-world country can rapidly build such firepower that it takes the combined force of 28 nations to counter it.
Whether it be Zulu against Xosa, Georgian against Ossetian, Albanian against Serb, North Korean against South Korean, mainland Chinese against Taiwanese, Hindu against Muslim, Muslim against Eastern Orthodox, Catholic against Protestant—whatever the difference between human beings culturally, religiously, economically or ethnically—in the world of the new millennium any one of these can be, and is being, exploited by ruthless political movements to gain their ends.
Yet, the “Peace Prevails” article says that “democracies have replaced autocratic regimes in virtually every region in the world. As new democracies become more globally engaged, wars and insecurity fall off” (op. cit.). Unreal! Might we suggest to the authors that a study of “democracy” on the continent of Africa may be well worth their time—in particular a historical comparison between the “autocratic” governments which the British Empire brought to Africa compared with the “democratic” governments which superceded the dismantling of colonization.
“The ability of peacemakers to promote settlements of wars within nation-states has improved dramatically” (op. cit.). Unbelievable! Name one successful, lasting peace process—just one—that has succeeded in the past ten years. There isn’t one! Not one!
The plain fact of the clearly documented and detailed history of the final decade of the 20th century is that the much-touted “new world order” never happened. Any efforts in that direction were quickly overtaken by a rampant new global disorder.
As Wright and McManus reported, “Far from a halcyon new dawn, the transition to a new era brought one unexpected nightmare after another” (op. cit.). They ought to know. Far from pontificating from the halls of academia on false rumors of peace, these two authors have reported from more than 70 countries and between them covered 14 wars.
Yet, the “peace prevails” academics do make one valid point. In their conclusion they state that “more sustained international engagement, not less, is needed to keep peace up and conflict down.” Quite true. But it’s a matter of who engages whom on the international scene. History shows that, left to man, “more sustained international engagement” will inevitably break down. Sooner or later the engaging parties will find a point of dissension and start arguing. International arguments spawn disengagement. Disengagement engenders conflict. Conflict sparks war. And so the cycle has gone from age to age since Cain slaughtered his brother Abel.
The Future Reality
“The new world will not take shape by accident. Navigating the transition will require not only deliberate direction but leadership of a high order. The policy decisions and steps taken to diffuse these flash points will be the beginning. How quickly and decisively they are made may well determine how long the transition lasts—and how soon the world settles into a new era” (Flash Points, pp. 223-224). The reality is, a new world order is rapidly approaching—and it will be no accident! It will receive very deliberate direction from the highest-caliber leadership in the universe. The policy decisions and steps taken to diffuse earthly flash points will be based upon immutable, unchangeable, God-guaranteed law. The transition will be immediate and permanent. The lead up to the dawning of this new era for man is well under way and nearing its great consummation.
The whole international community is about to be engaged. But the engagement will not stem from the international level, nor from the interplanetary level; not even from the intergalactic level. The engagement will be initiated from the northward parts of the outer edge of the universe. It has been willed by the Almighty “father of lights” (James 1:17) that the Word, who abode with Him forever, Creator of this earth and all that is in it including humankind, will return to this earth and put down all rebellion and insurrection, and stop all wars—forever!
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war…. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Rev. 19:11, 16). He is Supreme Field Marshal of mighty armies immune to puny man’s physical weaponry. “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”
Time is almost up. The Eternal God of the universe has had enough. Mankind has tried every form of government under the sun—and none of them work! The One who brought this earth into being and spun it on its axis, creating a perfect environment for man to thrive within (Gen. 1:31), is about to intervene in your life. You are about to witness that intervention in the not-too-distant future. It’s as sure as tomorrow’s rising sun.
And when He does finally intervene, peace will prevail. Not the sham peace brokered by the hand of man under duress from terrorist enterprises. No! This will be true, everlasting peace, the kind of “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). This will be a peace which prevails for a whole millennium of time.
Yes! A new millennium is coming—not one miscalculated by a human pope and foisted off on an unsuspecting public as the real thing by a massive, worldly religion.
No! This will be a peace crafted by the very architect of true peace (Heb. 7:1-2). A peace which will, once and for all, fulfill the desires of President Abraham Lincoln, for which he pleaded in his second inaugural address: “a just and lasting peace among ourselves and all nations.” Write now for your copy of The Incredible Human Potential and discover how you can start working to achieve that peace.