Russia’s Attack Signals Dangerous New Era
Russia’s attack on Georgia in August marks the beginning of a dangerous new era in history. This was the first military strike of a rising Asian superpower—and there will be more!
It is critical you understand the meaning behind this attack.
The Baku region on the western Caspian Sea is a vital area of Russian energy infrastructure. The Baku-Supsa oil pipeline cuts right through Georgia, and until recently it transported oil through this strategic area free from Russian control. Since Russia’s invasion, that is no longer the case. Russia now has control over the oil and gas going through those pipelines, amounting to many billions of dollars’ worth!
Russia is determined to be an energy superpower in an age when the whole modern world is hungry for energy. If Russia sees its primary source of oil being threatened, it is going to fight!
We can understand Russia’s violent actions far better in light of some recent history in the Balkans.
Breaking Promises to Russia
“U.S. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton had promised the Russians that nato would not expand into the former Soviet Union empire,” wrote George Friedman of Stratfor. “That promise had already been broken in 1998 by nato’s expansion to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic—and again in the 2004 expansion, which absorbed not only the rest of the former Soviet satellites in what is now Central Europe, but also the three Baltic states, which had been components of the Soviet Union” (August 12).
Today, you have the son of one of those presidents trying to also bring Georgia and Ukraine into nato. I don’t believe Russia will ever allow that to happen.
Dr. Friedman went on to describe Russia’s response to the decision by Europe and the U.S. to support Kosovo separating from Serbia. Moscow was against it because it didn’t want similar independence movements in Russian territories getting any stronger. “The Russians publicly and privately asked that Kosovo not be given formal independence, but instead continue its informal autonomy, which was the same thing in practical terms. Russia’s requests were ignored. …
“From the Kosovo experience, [Moscow] concluded that the United States and Europe were not prepared to consider Russian wishes even in fairly minor affairs. That was the breaking point. If Russian desires could not be accommodated even in a minor matter like this, then clearly Russia and the West were in conflict. For the Russians, as we said, the question was how to respond. Having declined to respond in Kosovo, the Russians decided to respond where they had all the cards: in South Ossetia” (ibid.).
Russia wanted a war—and for an important reason! Kosovo was the breaking point.
Remember that history. Germany supported the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. All of Europe and America were openly hostile to Germany’s action at that time, but Europe caved in when Germany threatened to pull out of the European Union. Soon, civil war broke out in Yugoslavia. The U.S. secretary of state at the time said Germany was responsible for the war in the Balkans—but he quickly shut his mouth. The “superpower” America fell in step with Germany!
This foreign-policy shift in 1991 enraged America’s traditional allies Britain, France and the Netherlands. These nations saw what Germany was doing, not only in Yugoslavia, but all over Europe. Postwar Europe had hoped to keep powerful Germany under control—with help from the U.S.! Instead, America helped Germany enforce its will on Europe!
Once the U.S. released and then supported this European beast in Croatia and Slovenia, there was no stopping it. It didn’t cease until all of Yugoslavia was under its strong influence or control!
Kosovo was a turning point in the Yugoslavia war. After this state essentially came under German influence and control, the rest of Yugoslavia was certain to fall. When Germany’s oppressive influence moved beyond Croatia and Slovenia, the careful observer could see that Germany’s ambition was to control all of Yugoslavia.
Germany’s defense minister at the time, Volker Rühe, urged the use of force against Serbia regardless of backing from the United Nations. “We must avoid to be dependent on a Russian veto,” he said at a meeting of nato defense ministers. He said that the relationship between nato and Russia meant that “Russia has no veto whenever nato needs to act.” Russia was going to veto it, and Germany wanted to get around that—and convinced the U.S. to join in!
So Germany led the U.S. into breaking its promises to Russia.
You can read about this history in my booklet The Rising Beast—Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans. In that booklet, I called Yugoslavia “the first military victim of World War III”—that is how significant this was!
Russia rightly blames the U.S. for what happened. We lied to Russia about expanding nato, and then ignored Russia over Yugoslavia, which culminated in Kosovo declaring independence this year.
The U.S. allowed itself to be a tool of Europe—and helped its rise! America bombed Serbia into submission and then handed it over to a German-led European Union! If you know Europe’s history and prophecy, you realize what a shameful act that truly was! America likes to think of itself as squeaky clean and righteous, driven by only the purest motives. But this was truly an act of treachery—and incredible weakness.
Russia shrewdly evaluated these events and saw an opportunity.
In not taking action over the Kosovo issue, “Moscow had two motives, the lesser of which was as a tit-for-tat over Kosovo,” George Friedman observed. “If Kosovo could be declared independent under Western sponsorship, then South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two breakaway regions of Georgia, could be declared independent under Russian sponsorship.” Those two breakaway regions have many Russian sympathizers. “Any objections from the United States and Europe would simply confirm their hypocrisy.” In other words, Russia could say, Hey—that’s what you did in Kosovo and the Balkans—you just went in and conquered the whole area! Don’t accuse us for simply doing what you did!
This strategy worked to perfection once Russia invaded Georgia. “The Russians knew the United States would denounce their attack,” Friedman wrote. “This actually plays into Russian hands. The more vocal senior leaders are, the greater the contrast with their inaction, and the Russians wanted to drive home the idea that American guarantees are empty talk” (op. cit.).
Does Russia fear America? Not very much. And it is using this opportunity to make the U.S. look stupid and weak before the whole world!
Look at the response of the U.S. to this catastrophe. Russia knew it would be weak and timid—and it was right!
Vladimir Putin is called the prime minister of Russia, but that is a cover-up. He really is the dictator of Russia. He called the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.” That gives you some insight into his thinking. He is trying to resurrect the Soviet empire. He may not want to exercise the kind of brutality of some of his predecessors, but he certainly is intent on using whatever power is necessary to secure his country’s resources! When this former kgb agent calls the Soviet collapse a “disaster,” you have to believe he is going to do something about it! Remember how Adolf Hitler told the world exactly what he was going to do in his book Mein Kampf, years before he did it? Why will we never heed such warnings?
Friedman concluded, “The war in Georgia, therefore, is Russia’s public return to great power status.”
That is exactly right. The Bible warns us to expect a great power rising from the East. It calls it “the kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12). The attack on Georgia was the first act of war from the kings of the east!
Russia and Germany—Behind the Scenes
Let’s look more deeply at some evidence of what may be occurring behind the scenes with Russia’s invasion.
Russia has much at stake in the Caucasus. It is extremely sensitive to anyone getting close to that area. Again, it doesn’t fear the U.S. much—but it does fear Germany, and will do what it needs to in order to neutralize it.
Actually, Russia and Germany fear each other. Russia supplies quite a lot of Europe’s energy—especially Germany’s—and that gives it power.
By attacking Georgia, Ralph Peters wrote, “The Kremlin is telling Europe: We not only have the power to turn off Siberian gas, we can turn off every tap in the region, any time we choose” (op. cit.).
The Wall Street Journal added, “… Putin’s Russia got its hands around the energy-needy throats of Germans, the French, Italians and many other Europeans.” This is a cutthroat business! “When this crisis ends, Georgia will be either a model for a world that works or a world whose members do business with knives,” it said. “If the world’s foreign ministries, ceos, investors and policy intellectuals can’t see the implications for their world in Georgia’s fate, it’s time to reorder our best efforts to playing by Mr. Putin’s rules” (August 14).
That is the way it is so often in this world! That is reality—and it is about to get even more fiercely competitive!
But look at history. Every time competition between Russia and Germany heats up, they form a deal with one another—just before going to war!
On April 1 on theTrumpet.com, we wrote, “On the one hand, Russia needs Ukraine and Georgia to be aligned with itself. It cannot afford to have nato forces based in countries so crucial for its own national security. … Recently, however, U.S. President George W. Bush met with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. At this meeting, Bush said that Washington would push for Georgia to be given a Membership Action Plan (map), a road map to entry into nato. Bush also said it would do the same for Ukraine.
“By pushing for nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine, the United States pits itself directly against Russia.”
Many in nato are all for giving out the maps. Last year, the Merkel administration said it supported giving maps to Ukraine and Georgia. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German minister of foreign affairs, also sounded like he was in favor of Georgia joining nato.
However, Steinmeier, for one, has since come out against the plan. “Now Berlin is arguing strongly against a Georgian map,” we wrote in April. “It says Georgia is not qualified for a map because of unresolved conflicts on its territory. Berlin has also argued, off the record, that ‘Russia has no veto, but Russia’s views must be taken into account’; ‘Russia is a factor [in decision making] and this is undeniable,’ and ‘Russian concerns cannot be ignored if we want a real partnership with Russia.’ This is the opposite of what Germany said a year ago. Steinmeier is now saying, ‘I cannot hide my skepticism’ about Georgia and Ukraine joining the alliance.”
Why would Steinmeier suddenly be so against moving toward nato membership for Georgia or Ukraine? Germany is sending mixed signals to the world. But what are the German leaders saying privately to the Russians about Georgia and Ukraine?
I believe it is very likely Germany and Russia have already cut a deal.
Russia has Germany—and all of Europe—over a barrel. Cutting off part of the flow of gas to a country would wreak havoc on the economy!
Germany knows Russia can be very brutal. Perhaps Putin told Germany, We didn’t do anything about Kosovo and the Serbs—you’d better stay out of the Caucasus! If you give us problems over Georgia or Ukraine, we’re cutting off your energy—or we’re going to war! And we have a lot of nuclear weapons!
I believe Germany may well have been complicit in Russia’s plan to attack Georgia! If Russia formed an agreement with Germany over the Georgia situation, then Russia would know the only possible other nation it would have to be concerned about is the U.S. And Russia knew that America was too weak to do anything about it!
It would not surprise me at all if Germany and Russia cut an agreement that would put the U.S. in the worst possible light, looking so weak before the world.
Steinmeier’s about-face on Ukraine and Georgia smells rotten! The U.S. is extremely foolish to trust in this nation—to treat it as a “lover.” That ignorance is sure to end in the greatest possible disaster!
The fact that Steinmeier was so quick to dismiss the idea of nato membership for Georgia and Ukraine tells you something else: Germany sees that it doesn’t have a future with nato anyway! Its ultimate plan is to kick nato aside and stand as an independent power! It doesn’t respect America’s view on these nations. So America ends up being a dupe all along the way.
The relationship between Russia and Germany is very tense right now. Germany ignored Russia over Kosovo—but Russia will not be ignored anymore.
The presence of a deal between these two nations is not a sign of peace. Like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and so many others before it, it is a sign of exactly the opposite. Both of these nations are looking to secure their shared border—so they can pursue their imperialistic aims elsewhere! It is a precursor to war! That is the way they operate! And the U.S. has no clue.
What to Watch
The prophecy in Daniel 2, along with several others, speaks of coming European empire comprised of “ten kings,” which could represent 10 nations or groups of nations. Herbert W. Armstrong often taught that a political or economic crisis would spark these “ten kings” to strongly unite very quickly.
The fact that Russia has launched a war shows just how easily such a crisis could occur!
Will the Georgia strike actually spark European unification? Will a crisis occur over Ukraine? That area is the breadbasket of Russia, and surely it is willing to wage war over that as well.
We have witnessed the beginning of a new era! We saw an extraordinary military strike by one of the kings of the east! And don’t forget China, another of those “kings.” It is making inroads all over the world. What power those kings of the east are amassing—and so quickly! Europe can see it! And it is formulating a counterstrategy.
The whole world should see this developing and realize: This will inevitably end in nuclear war!
Watch Europe to see how it responds to these dramatic developments in Asia. Another prophecy in Daniel shows what we should be looking for. It says that Europe is about to be taken over by “a king of fierce countenance” (Daniel 8:23). He will be an extremely shrewd, cunning, deceitful strongman.
Watch for the rise of this strongman very soon—perhaps even months from now! As Russia gets stronger, as the world grows more dangerous, as economic problems escalate, the Germans will be crying out for strong leadership! They are looking for a king—with a fierce enough countenance to stand up to Vladimir Putin!
“And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft [or deceit, fraud, falsehood, treachery] to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many …” (verses 24-25).
Is Angela Merkel going to be that “king of fierce countenance”? No. Germans will be looking for a strongman!
Keep your eyes on how the situation between Russia and Germany develops. It has revealed much about where we are in the timeline of biblical prophecy right now. It is much closer to the end of this age of man—and the dawn of a new age, governed by Jesus Christ—than most people realize!
Are you ready for what is about to occur?