Australia’s warmer spring days of September signal the juvenile chrysalises of the cicada—often referred to colloquially as locusts—to emerge into daylight and begin their extremely short but raucous lives as flying insects.

So too, it would seem, the minds of Australians have finally emerged from a winter cocoon of blindness and self-delusion about what is happening in the real world. Suddenly and collectively, Australians have awakened this southern spring to the prospect of joining such world flash points as the Middle East, Central Africa, Northern Ireland, the Balkans and the Indian sub-continent.

Australia’s nearest neighbor—Indonesia—is on the verge of exploding into perhaps the greatest threat of all to the safety of Australians. This threat is only a few hundred kilometers from the northern Australian coastline, and in recent months, Australia’s complete inability to defend that coastline has been dramatically exposed.

While Australians were immersing themselves in debate and compromise about republicanism, constitutional preambles, aboriginal reconciliation and tax reform, their nearest neighbor was going through the pantomime of a United Nations-supervised ballot to determine the future of the small part-island province of East Timor. This former Portuguese colony was illegally annexed by Indonesia 25 years ago, while a condescending and disinterested world, including Australia and the U.S., looked on and did nothing.

Australia’s—and indeed the world’s—misguided reliance on the Indonesian government to put adequate and proper safeguards in place to ensure resolution of the self-determination issue, even in the face of the obvious terrorist behavior of the minority—less than 20 percent according to the recent independence vote—has triggered a bloodbath no less horrifying than in any of the world’s other hot spots.

Despite the pro-integration militia, so obviously supported and armed by the Indonesian military, threatening genocide and ethnic cleansing in the event of the ballot for independence being successful, the world stood by and made no contingency plan to protect the Timorese people.

News broadcasts reporting the bodies of decapitated victims lying in the streets of the capital, Dili, severed heads being placed on spikes, the murder of 200 victims on a nearby beach and mass evacuation of the terrified population into an unknown future across the border into West Timor, have been greeted with shock, horror and disbelief by a suddenly awakened and angered Australian population.

The reality of sudden military involvement in a UN-sponsored 7,000-strong “peace-keeping” force dominated by Australians but including troops from New Zealand, Canada, Thailand, Britain and Portugal is hitting home. Despite pressure from Australian Prime Minister John Howard, America is still resisting direct involvement militarily. However, the possible involvement of nato and other countries has been suggested.

Who might those “other countries” be?

Very few Australians would recall the fact that in May 1997, none other than Helmut Kohl, former German Chancellor, arrived in the north Queensland resort city of Cairns as part of an 11-day tour of Asia. The Sydney Morning Herald of May 2, 1997, reported the visit “was aimed at reinforcing Germany’s newfound interest in Australia and the fast-moving economies in the region.

“In the four years since Dr. Kohl unveiled his government’s ‘Asien-Strategie,’ There has been a dramatic change in relations between the two nations. Corporate Germany has rapidly expanded its business links with Australia to take advantage of the country as a springboard into Asia.

“From common interests in Asia, these growing political ties have broadened into a range of international issues, from nuclear weapons to mining in the Antarctic…. In terms of Asia, Australia and Germany operate ‘not in competitive, but in complementary roles,’ said Dr. Eckhard Rohrkamm, who is chief of the German industrial giant Thyssen Industrie AG, and president of the German-Australia-New Zealand-South Pacific Association….

“Dr. Kohl is likely to devote much of his energy during the visit in focusing on the prospects for closer co-operation with Indonesia and China in particular. Apart from China, where Germany has emerged as a major investor, Dr. Kohl has forged close personal links with the Indonesian leadership….

“In return, Asia has seen Germany’s interest in the region as a chance to build bridges into Europe—under the auspices of Europe’s leading statesman.”

Of course Dr. Kohl is no longer the German leader, but could the legacy of his 1997 visit be such that Germany would have more than a passing interest in the social and economic breakdown of Indonesia and the continuing descent into civil war in East Timor as well as a number of its other provinces?

The late Herbert W. Armstrong once hinted that, of the Israelitish countries blessed by the ancient covenant between the great Creator God and Abraham, underpopulated Australia could be one of the first to fall into the hands of the Gentile nations as God replaces the blessings with curses for failing to keep this covenant.

Why should 20 million Australians be surprised about the threat currently posed by 200 million people immediately to their north? The republican push amounts to nothing less than a repudiation of its Ephraimitish heritage and the consequent blessings of the Eternal God!

Is Australia about to experience the extent of God’s wrath, by His letting loose the swarming, crawling, chewing and consuming locusts spoken about by the prophet Joel? “That which the palmerworm [chewing locust] hath left hath the [swarming] locust has eaten; and that which the [swarming] locust hath left hath the cankerworm [crawling locust] eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar [consuming locust] eaten”(Joel 1:4).

Speaking of the future restoration of Israel, following the times of the Gentiles, God says “And I will restore to you the years that the [swarming locust] hath eaten, the [crawling locust], and the [consuming locust], and the [chewing locust], my great army which I sent among you” (Joel 2:25).

In the book of Revelation, God also uses the analogy of “locusts” to describe the Gentile war machines. “And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men” (Rev. 9:7).

So too did the prophet Joel! “The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run” (Joel 2:4).

Unless the U.S. or a U.S.-backed force much stronger than the measly 7,000 currently mooted to stabilize East Timor is forthcoming, Australia risks being left out in the cold, easy bait for the descending locusts from the north!