The Coming “Strong Man” of Europe
In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist assault on the United States, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder enlarged his vision for Europe’s future by demanding independent European Union foreign and security policies.
“We are ready to make Europe into an international player with global influence,” Mr. Schröder told Germany’s parliament the day before the October 19 EU conference on terrorism in Ghent, Belgium. “The terrorist threat is also a test for the common foreign and security policy of the EU. The diplomatic activities of the EU and member states must join together to a conclusive foreign and security policy,” he said (Morning Star, Oct. 19).
“I am referring not only to peacekeeping and the creation of security on the Continent and on the fringes of the European Union,” he stated. “I mean Europe’s global responsibility in the struggle against hunger, oppression, instability and terrorism.”
Mr. Schröder added that a united European effort against terrorism could serve as a “new force to drive the integration process,” offering further evidence that the EU’s emerging “defense identity” is designed to promote greater European unification.
On October 29, in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Mr. Schröder reaffirmed his position that Germany’s post-war role as a secondary player had irrevocably passed: “We Germans were made to accept the idea of being an economic giant and a political dwarf. We were comfortable with it. But now, no one will allow us to maintain such an attitude.”
The chancellor had already announced earlier in the year that Berlin would participate in future military operations under the aegis of the EU.
There’s no doubt Mr. Schröder has big plans for Germany and Europe. In January, he asserted that his country would make full political integration within Europe one of its major objectives for this decade. Then, in April, he proposed sweeping changes to the EU’s governing institutions to create a centralized EU government with a two-chamber parliament and expanded powers.
Chancellor Schröder’s initiatives, if accepted at a special EU summit in Laeken, Belgium, on December 13, could further the creation of what many pro-integrationists see ultimately as a United States of Europe. According to the November 4 edition of London’s Sunday Telegraph, Mr. Schröder said, “We have a very good chance of a completely positive result at Laeken.”
EU observers perceive that Berlin is attempting to carve out for itself a greater leadership role in Europe. Mr. Schröder’s desire to accelerate EU military and political integration clearly reflects Germany’s historic quest for dominance. But the idea of a unified, German-led Europe, which certainly would weaken the authority of other national governments and parliaments, remains a bone of contention within the 15-nation federation. Indeed, the EU has reached an impasse.
Wanted: A Strong Leader
The recent Ghent summit of EU leaders proved once again that Europe will remain disparate until someone—a strong leader—arises and takes control of Europe’s future.
Stratfor wrote in its October 24 briefing that Europe is “struggling for a common vision.” The analysis stated that the Ghent summit “was a colossal failure in its attempt to demonstrate the depth of European unity.”
Stratfor believes that because of a combination of recent political blunders, “miscalculations and distractions dominating Europe’s political agenda,” there is little the Union can do to promote economic growth and move forward as a stable, cohesive power bloc.
However, notice their startling conclusion in light of these facts: “The summit’s failure demonstrated in startling clarity that Europe has no leader capable of forging a European vision. Until that leader emerges, the European Union will be strained simply to finish what is on its plate already, much less commence any new projects. … Eventually someone will arise to fill this vacuum and seize control of the agenda” (emphasis mine throughout).
So far, Germany seems like the only nation poised to fill the power void in Europe. But not everyone is thrilled with this idea. In a speech before British Parliament on July 4, mp Bill Cash warned, “[W]hat is happening is the creation of a Europe that is based fundamentally on the predominance of Germany. The German people know and understand that. … We are in danger of taking a one-way ticket on a route to an undemocratic and unsustainable Europe.”
The German vision is likely to receive a hostile reaction from Britons and others in the United Kingdom who are for a European superpower, but against a European superstate. The French, Danish, Swedish and Finnish governments are also likely to give Mr. Schröder’s initiatives a cool reception. Nevertheless, the current disparity in the EU begs for a common vision and agenda—something that will require a strong leader from someplace!
The Coming “Strong Man”
Some 2,500 years ago, the Prophet Daniel described an end-time union that would fill the power void in Europe in the end time. The union would rise up and fight for world dominance; it would be a union geographically located within the region of the former Roman Empire, the fourth world-ruling empire revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar in his dream of a great human image.
The Roman Empire is represented by the legs of iron on the great image of Daniel 2. Yet the feet and toes of this image were made up of a brittle mixture of iron and clay (Dan. 2:41). The ten toes symbolize ten contemporaneous kings or leaders united in a massive political-military bloc—a United States of Europe—that will work together in the years ahead to resurrect the Roman Empire one final time. It will be short-lived, because iron cannot mix with clay. Even so, while it lasts, it will have the strength of iron.
For more than half a century, the late Herbert W. Armstrong, founder of the Plain Truth magazine, spoke and wrote about this prophesied ten-
nation combine, dominated by Germany. Concerning the coming United States of Europe, he forecast over three decades ago, “The world appears bereft of ‘great men.’ But a world-recognized ‘Strong Man’ in all probability will now very soon appear. … There will be ten, ruling ten nations or groups of nations in the area of the once-great Holy Roman Empire. But there will be one super-king over the ten” (Plain Truth, May 1969).
Concerning that “super-king,” Mr. Armstrong astutely predicted, “All Europe is … waiting for the confidence-inspiring leader—an international all-European Hitler, and it is on the way. That man is there somewhere” (Plain Truth, Nov./Dec., 1954).
Mr. Armstrong was right! Though conditions weren’t quite ready for such a “strong man” to emerge back then, we now see that the world stage is set for his appearance today! And he is out there somewhere!
Since the Trumpet’s genesis in 1990, this German “strong man”—whom the Bible says will become a world dictator in the years just ahead—has been a subject of further incisive analysis and reporting. Editor in Chief Gerald Flurry has stated unequivocally, “Soon, Germany will be ruled by a man more cunning and deceitful than Adolf Hitler” (Nahum: An End-Time Prophecy for Germany; write for a free copy).
Who Will He Be?
Europe is searching for a leader who has the capacity to be his own powerful voice in a world of escalating change, confusion, terrorism and impending cataclysm. Europeans want a man who can bring about safety, provide them with economic and social peace of mind, and offer long-range stability.
Will the coming “strong man” of Europe be Gerhard Schröder—or will someone, now virtually unknown, arise? Mr. Schröder is presently the nearest thing to a “strong man.” At least, he is quickly becoming the most outspoken and visible. Even if many Europeans disagree with his plans, his initiatives nonetheless mirror the discontent felt by many toward the current state of EU affairs. History will record whether his vision for the EU will be realized.
One thing is for certain: Mr. Schröder’s recent calls for a more muscular EU policy proclaim the message, loud and clear, of Germany’s determination to fill the leadership void and seize control of Europe’s agenda.
Whether Europe’s strong man will be a president, a king or a führer, only time will tell. But neither the Germans nor Europe will wait forever. Soon now, the German masses—and all Europe—will again be swept off their feet and enticed to loyally follow a man of the hour into a new, glorious “golden age.” And, though it may seem unbelievable, he will lead them on a quest for global domination—so says your Bible!
Watch Germany—and watch for the coming “strong man” of Europe! His rise will drastically affect your life!