The Battle Lines Broaden
For almost 40 years, the post-war world experienced a Cold-War-induced hiatus—a period of comparative peace, stability and prosperity under a unique balance of power, as the United States and its allies faced off the Soviet Union over massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
Then, for ten years, following the implosion of the Soviet economic and political system, a singular superpower, the United States, held sway as global policeman, maintaining the tenuous peace in the post-Cold War period.
In the first quarter of this year, geopolitical events clearly indicated that the world had crossed the threshold from that brief epoch of U.S. dominance into a time described by foreign policy analyst Henry Kissinger of “perhaps the most profound and widespread upheavals the world has ever seen” (Does America Need A Foreign Policy?, p. 19). We had entered a phase which George Friedman of Stratfor described as a time when the whole global system was at stake, as a great geopolitical game was being played out in the new millennium. Nations, groups and alliances of nations began to jostle for leadership and influence in the wake of obvious U.S. decline.
Then came the horror of the worst aspects of militant religious war, perpetrated in the unprecedented terrorist attacks on Manhattan Island and Washington d.c.
Since September 11, the world has skidded dramatically into an up-tempo polarization of power among three specific geopolitical groups that are destined to increasingly hold sway over the next half decade: the Islamic Crescent, a United Europe, and the East Asian bloc.
The demarcation between these three great power blocs will become increasingly evident in the months ahead.
Just a century ago, the world-ruling superpower was Great Britain. No nation has ever controlled so much territory, possessed such great resources, secured by so many strategic land and sea gates, backed by such a powerful naval force, as the nation of Great Britain at its peak of empire at the turn of the 19th century.
Today, Britain’s vast empire is gone—the power of its naval and military forces vastly diminished, its moral character and imperial vigor sapped. The once highly effective and influential British diplomacy and the famous British methods of administration are now whittled down to the point where its efforts on the world scene are likened to those of a “silly dove without heart” (Hos. 7:11).
Even as Great Britain’s rise to power preceded that of its brother nation, the United States of America, so has its demise.
But now it is the turn of the American nation. Having reigned supreme as sole world superpower, the U.S. is entering its greatest time of trouble, that which Jesus Christ calls “the beginning of sorrows” (Matt. 24:8).
Though Britain has endured terrorism for decades, courtesy of the villainous Irish Republican Army, the U.S. was untouched by terrorist attacks on its mainland until that initial attack in 1993 on the World Trade Center. Then, in one brief hour on September 11, the reality of terror struck America—at the very heartbeat of two of its greatest icons, the financial hub of Manhattan, and the military brains of the Pentagon.
“On September 11, 2001, there occurred a discontinuity of such millennial proportions that it has been said that ‘the world will never be the same again.’ … This harsh discontinuity, exploiting the element of surprise, affected everyone, paralyzing economic activity in the developed countries for the best part of a week or more, and altering the psychology of the West, and indeed of the whole world. In the nanoseconds in which around 7,000 were incinerated and murdered, economic agents, including of course consumers, lost confidence in humanity, in the future for themselves and their children, and in the likelihood of their very survival” (Economic Intelligence Review, Sept.-Oct. 2001).
Oil, Politics and the Saudis
Americans, in their extreme penchant for even-handedness, have been selling themselves the lie that most Muslims are peaceful folks. If this be the case, why is it that America’s own media continue to throw up perpetual video images of hundreds, even thousands, in Iraq and Pakistan, demonstrating against the U.S. and baying for the blood of American men, women and children?
Granted, the terrorists themselves represent the extreme of violent Islamic hatred. Writing for the British Spectator magazine, Stephen Schwartz indicates that the militant Islamic sect from which the terrorists hailed is the Wahhabi, dating from the very establishment of Islam in the seventh century. Schwartz indicates that the Wahhabi “are best described as Islamo-fascists, although they have much in common with Bolsheviks” (Sept. 22). (Small wonder, then, that they find some of their greatest sympathizers in the rank and file of neo-Nazi groups. “German investigators into terrorist ‘sleepers’ have switched their attention to right-wing extremists who could join forces with Islamic fundamentalists. Neo-Nazi groups applauded the 11 September suicide attacks on the United States, and thanked the terrorists for ‘knocking out’ the ‘common enemy’” (Observer, Oct. 7).)
Christopher Story, editor of Economic Intelligence Review, states that the Wahhabi preach “extremism of the most demonic kind.” Osama bin Laden is a Wahhabi, as are the suicide bombers in Israel. Wahhabi form extreme elements in Egypt, in Algeria, the Taliban of Afghanistan, and the Kashmiri murderers of Hindus.
Among the 10 million-strong Islamic community in America, the Wahhabi doctrine is rampant—as it is among over 2 million Muslims in Britain and over 1 million in Australia. It is estimated that over 80 percent of the mosques in the U.S. are under the influence, if not control, of Wahhabi imams (leaders), daily preaching extremism within the very nation which has given them freedoms and blessings they could never experience in their home countries.
Why is this tolerated? Why the big lie—in the face of the history of Islam and the fact that its founder, Muhammad, was a religious warrior—foisted onto Anglo-Americans that Islam is a peace-loving religion? The answer is simple: oil!
The apparent paradox is that, although Osama bin Laden has publicly sworn to destroy the royal family of Saudi Arabia, it is the Saudi princes who subsidize the Wahhabi extremists. And the wealth they enjoy, in turn, comes from the United States’ exploitation of Saudi Arabian oil.
American statesmen such as George Bush Sr. and James Baker have, since the 1960s, supported the ruling house of Saudi Arabia in the interests of maintaining the flow of oil from that country. In reality, by condemning every country that houses and supports those who contribute to the terrorist ideal, America condemns itself!
Although its adherents will not agree, Islam, by its very nature, is inherently extreme. In its purest form, it tolerates no accord with those who do not submit to its claims. They are collectively regarded as “the infidel.”
In this sense, Islam and Roman Catholicism, in particular as practiced by the Vatican via the Crusades of old, are on a par. While they both preach peace, it is ultimately a peace which can only be obtained by either the forceful conversion or elimination of the unbeliever. The ira and its political lackey, Sinn Fein, are the Wahhabi of the Roman Catholic Church. Britain has suffered their demented attacks for decades.
All Fall Together
In four massive blows on September 11, the U.S. has now been brought into the bloody limelight of overt terrorism suffered by both Britain and the tiny nation of Israel during much of the post-war period.
A placard held aloft by an Islamic demonstrator in the wake of the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan said it all: “Kill Bin Laden—no!—Bush, Blair and Sharon yes!” How prophetic is the reality of the murderous thought behind that statement.
Over two-and-a-half millennia ago, a prophet of Almighty God declared such a curse would descend on the houses of Israel and Judah, primarily the U.S. and British Commonwealth and the Jews of today. All three of these cultures exhibit deep, self-inflicted wounds at their moral and spiritual core. Their wounds appear irreversible, given their continuing rebellion against God.
In a most condemning prophecy, the Eternal God declares of biblical Israel (primarily the Anglo-American peoples today), Ephraim (Great Britain) and Judah (the modern nation of Israel), “I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled. They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord. And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them” (Hos. 5:3-5).
The U.S. and Britain, and their allies, supported by Israel, have entered what is basically an unwinnable war. It is a war which, as Stratfor declares, must be fought on four or more fronts. A war that risks sapping the energy, morale, economies and social cohesion of the allies. A protracted, debilitating war that will gnaw at the vitals of declining Anglo-American influence in this world, leaving them most vulnerable to the whim of the emerging three great power blocs that will seize the opportunity to divide control of the global system among themselves.
The Beast Arises
The European Union’s reaction to events on September 11 is worth noting.
Surprisingly, German President Johannes Rau publicly stated that this horrific terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland gave no reason for the U.S. to go to war! He preferred a civil action against the perpetrators. While the British and French leaders lost no time visiting Washington in displays of support, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder bode his time and belatedly visited New York a month after the attack. Within three weeks of agreeing to support U.S. retaliation for the strikes on New York and Washington, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, whose country currently holds the EU rotating presidency, asked the EU to re-evaluate its support in relation to whether or not the U.S. strikes in Afghanistan were “targeted.”
The EU treads a wary line between its intentions to become the prime peace negotiator in the Middle East and its concern at reports that extremist Islamic terrorists active in Britain, Germany and Italy were plotting chemical weapons attacks in Europe.
Another concern that the EU has is that, having decided to pursue development of its own electronic-satellite intelligence and gps-equivalent systems separate from those of the U.S., it not be compromised in any effort by the Anglo-Americans to share in intelligence-gathering in the war against terrorism.
Hard on the heels of a German declaration of support to the global coalition effort to fight terrorism, the German cabinet rushed through a us$1.4 billion financing package to accelerate the outfitting of Germany’s armed forces, in particular the Luftwaffe, military-commando and special-operations units.
Chancellor Schröder, seeking German parliamentary support for a German contribution to the war against terrorism, declared, “The attacks on New York and Washington have nothing to do with religion” (The Week in Germany, Sept. 21).
This statement seemed at odds with Germany Interior Minister Otto Schily. Months earlier he had pushed for the deployment of special police detachments to control dissent within EU countries. He has since foreshadowed further draconian measures, promising to change German laws to restrict the free practice of religion.
All of these moves by Germany and the EU may appear appropriate, given the prevailing psychology following September 11. In reality they give excuse to those within the EU, particularly its leading nation, Germany, to accelerate an EU police-state of a nature that the world will soon regret.
Under the apt subhead “Make hay while the sun shines,” the European Foundation Intelligence Digest had this to say: “The European Union is seizing the chance to centralize police and judicial powers in the flurry of activity which has been generated by the response to the terror attacks. … In the longer term, the full centralization of domestic and judicial policy—as originally foreseen in Maastricht—is to be implemented …. [T]he extension of Europol’s powers is already on the agenda for a meeting of the 15 EU interior and justice ministers next week. It is therefore likely that one of the last bastions of national sovereignty, justice and home affairs, will now finally fall to the EU: Brussels knows that the attacks in the USA mean that pressure can more easily be exerted in that direction. A list of measures is therefore being prepared, by, among others, the German Interior Minister, Otto Schily, to create an anti-terror unit within Europol. Schily knows a thing or two about terrorism, having himself been the lawyer for members of the Baader-Meinhof gang in the 1970s” (Sept. 20).
In a startling piece, unthinkable a generation ago, the Washington Post reported one other remarkable result flowing from the September attacks on the U.S.: “The nato alliance plans to send five European radar planes to help protect the East Coast of the United States from attack, taking over responsibilities normally handled by U.S. aircraft that are taking part in the Afghanistan strikes …. The joint cooperation will place European troops, in this case Germans, in charge of securing the safety of an American coastline” (Oct. 9; emphasis mine).
The attacks on New York and Washington have, in effect, given the green light to Germany in another area where they have deliberately held back, given their recent history. The Bush administration now has the opportunity to follow through on an early pre-election promise: the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Europe, giving Germany an ideal window of opportunity.
“From the start, the Bush administration has let it be known that as the operation unfolds, the United States will need to redeploy some forces out of the Balkans. … ‘We have some specialized units in the Balkans and committed elsewhere in Western Europe to specific European missions,’ said a U.S. diplomat. … ‘[W]e may have to pull out temporarily for some counter-terrorism operations’” (ibid.).
Sensing the time was right, Mr. Schröder made a move which Deutschland observers have awaited since the unification of Germany ten years ago: He declared that Germany’s militarily timid postwar role in world affairs has “irrevocably passed” and that the country is ready and willing to send troops abroad “in defense of freedom and human rights.”
“The speech gave voice to a clear shift in German public opinion toward acceptance of the use of the military abroad, a taboo first broken in 1999 when German warplanes joined in nato’s bombardment of Yugoslavia. … Political analysts here said immediately that today’s speech, building on the 1999 decision to send Germans into combat for the first time since World War ii, represented an important broadening of Germany’s international role” (Washington Post Foreign Service, Oct. 12; see related article, p. 21).
How ironic that America’s hour of trial becomes Germany’s window of opportunity. Schröder’s declaration is but further affirmation of the reality of our editor-in-chief’s declaration in May this year that we have, indeed, entered that last hour of man’s civilization. Write for a copy of our booklet Germany in Prophecy for a full explanation.
King of the South
Though the EU behemoth, under German leadership, emerges from the events of September 11 with its agenda for global domination greatly enhanced, it is truly the biblical king of the south, the Islamic Crescent of nations, dominated by the extremely anti-West Iran, which is the big winner in the wake of this horror.
Post-war Arabic history has been littered with division, strife and disorder—Arab pitted against Arab. Yet, increasingly over the past 40 years, and most particularly since the 1967 Mideast war, the Islamic movement has accelerated apace. The revival of Islam has spread rapidly throughout the Middle East, the Anatolian Peninsula and Eurasia up to the Caucasus, parts of the Balkans and Indonesia.
In parallel with this Islamic religious revival, the radicalism which has bred the anti-West terrorist movements has spread across the globe, depositing many of its adherents within the Anglo-American nations!
While there exist many of these fundamentalist extremist groups, they have lacked cohesion—even, at times, warring against each other. Yet, paradoxically, the threat to their existence posed by the U.S.-led coalition efforts could prove to be the very catalyst that unites them into a force that may inflame Muslim fervor in a great crusade against the decadent West.
“The predictable and recently begun military campaign against bin Laden and the Taliban threatens to embolden these fringe groups, expand their support base and give them an opportunity to revive popular opposition to their respective governments. … As the U.S.-led military campaign against the Taliban heats up and fighting in Afghanistan pulls in a variety of factions, radical fringe groups in many Islamic countries are likely to grow” (www.stratfor.com, Oct. 8).
It may well be that the majority of Muslims are peace-loving people. But the point is that the most aggressive force within Islam on the political and religious fronts is the Wahhabi movement that has spawned terrorism.
An apt parallel exists in Ireland. Most Protestants and Catholics in Ireland would choose to get on with their lives peacefully, without the disruption of terrorism. Yet it is the extremist minority of the ira-Sinn Fein which is the most powerful force in Irish politics today. As our editor in chief has explained with regard to Islamic fundamentalism, “Only a superior power could ever stop this extreme Islamic movement!” (The King of the South, p. 7; write for your free copy).
Biding its time as events shape up in the Middle East is the most dominant Muslim nation of all: Iran. The Iranians have a long-term goal in mind which was concisely articulated at the close of the Gulf War: “The political significance of a revitalized oil industry, although not clearly spelled out by Iranian officials, is obvious. Becoming second to Saudi Arabia as a world oil power, Iran expects to further its greater ambition of being the most important regional power in the Persian Gulf, a long-held foreign-policy objective” (New York Times, Nov. 7, 1992).
The rising Euro-empire, the biblical “king of the north,” is even more heavily dependent upon Middle East oil than is the U.S. It will probably be concern for continuance of supply of this vital energy source that brings the king of the south, an Iran-led Muslim combine, to blows with the king of the north.
The Eastern Hordes
Biblical prophecy indicates that the Asiatic hordes of the East will be dominated by a combine of China and Russia (Rev. 16:12; Ezek. 38:2). Both the Russians and the Chinese have long memories and tend to think much longer term into the future than do the Anglo-Americans.
As Stratfor points out, “If the United States wants to fight an effective military campaign in Afghanistan, an alliance with Russia is essential” (www. stratfor.com, Oct. 2). During the 1980s, America supported Afghanistan in their war against the Soviets by providing arms. Choosing to war in Afghanistan places the U.S. at the behest of Russia. Russia’s failure in its Afghan war heavily contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thus, Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the box seat.
“There are only two bases from which to operate. One is Pakistan, highly unstable and capable of turning on the United States should certain factions gain control. The other base comprises the three independent [Russian-influenced] republics lining Afghanistan’s northern border: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It would be very difficult to mount an effective military campaign without this Central Asian base” (ibid.). This gives Putin powerful leverage over the U.S.-led coalition.
Watch for Putin to extract his pound of flesh from the U.S. America will have to pay a price for the continuance of this war in Afghanistan. “Such a price always strengthens someone who has the potential to become your future enemy” (ibid.).
China’s interests in the war on terrorism hinge on their fears that any initiative mounted by the U.S.-led coalition that impinges on their borders may ignite a war on a wider front which could spread through Asia. Added to this is the prospect of Islamic separatism in China (such as obtains with the ethnic Uighurs in its western provinces) being exacerbated by U.S.-led action in Eurasia.
“[A]ny unilateral responses by Washington could trigger a wider war that could spread through Asia. … [Beijing] fears Washington setting an international precedent for unilateral actions against sovereign nations, something that could work against China in the future. … Chinese officials are concerned that domestic Islamic separatism may intensify in the wake of the attacks on the United States and any counterstrikes by Washington. … Even more pressing for China, however, is preventing the United States from triggering a broader Islamic militant war. Regional media have already linked the Uighurs to Osama bin Laden and Pakistani militants, and China has long worried that they have ties to other Central Asian groups. With major Islamic communities spread around the nation, Beijing wants to avoid a repeat of the attacks in New York City and Washington in Shanghai or Beijing” (www.stratfor.com, Sept. 20).
For centuries, the Sino-Russian relationship has seesawed between enmity and collusion. Will it be their combined fear of Islamic incursions—within Russian territory from the Caucasus and within China from its western provinces—that finally binds these two great powers together? They are prophesied to descend on the king of the north after it takes over control of the Middle East. This is the great prophetic climax that leads to Christ’s return.
Biblical prophecies forecast a global climatic change that dries up the great Euphrates River (Rev. 9:14-16). This opens up the route for the “kings of the east” to sweep across Eurasia and into Armageddon in the Middle East in preparation for the greatest battle of all. There the remains of the armies of the north, south and east will gather to mount a final great combined resistance to the return of the King of kings (Rev. 16:14-16). (Write for your copy of our booklet Russia and China in Prophecy for a full explanation).
The Good News
While the U.S., Britain and Israel have entered a darkened hour of terror (Lev. 26:14-16), this last hour of man’s civilization is but a prelude to the first hour of a new beginning for mankind!
The hope of this new hour—which will introduce a new age, with a new global system guaranteed to bring peace and harmony among the nations—is bound up in the acceptance by the U.S., Britain and Israel of their God-invoked punishment for their national sins (vv. 40-41). This great national punishment will eventually yield a humility among these nations such that God will remember His perpetual covenant with Israel: “But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord” (v. 45).
Yes, the British, American and Jewish peoples, with the descendants of the other tribes of ancient Israel, will, once again, be given the opportunity to become model nations to the world, living by and teaching all nations the statutes, judgments and laws of God, which alone, under the rule of the King of kings and saints of God, will bring to mankind the peace which has been the desire of ages (v. 46).