2009—Year of the Beast?
Time as calculated by the Gregorian calendar stood still for one second between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009. The reason was an international agreement to allow for official atomic clocks to adjust to the world’s irregular but gradually slowing rotation. So a leap second was inserted between 2008 and 2009.
It may have appeared to outsiders that time occasionally stood still for those who have been the prime movers behind the rebuilding of Europe into an imperial force yet again, following World War ii.
Yet, comparing the Europe of today with the shattered hulk it was 60 years ago, it becomes apparent that time has certainly not stood still for those of the World War ii generation who went underground in 1944 to recast their plans for world dominion following the failed Nazi/fascist attempt. Nor has it stood still for the next generation to whom they handed on the baton, to keep the imperial Germanic/Roman dream alive.
The collapse of the last bastion of freedom in the world, the Anglo-Saxon nations—led by the rapid decline of the British Empire over 50 years ago and now accelerated by the sudden collapse of the United States—has opened a vast geopolitical vacuum to be filled. 2009 may well be the year when the European Union suddenly leaps into view to be seen by all as that which it was always destined to become: the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire!
Opening Top Jobs
Three important jobs that impact the rise of Europe are up for grabs in 2009: president of the European Commission, president of the European Parliament and nato secretary general.
But the two most powerful positions that would come into being should the Lisbon Treaty be signed this year are EU president and EU foreign minister. Whether or not we shall see those posts filled in 2009 seems to depend on the Irish.
As is the habit of this most undemocratic of institutions, the EU has shown once again the futility of any of its member nations seeking to impose the will of their electorate on its grand imperialist agenda. Last year the Irish voted no to signing up to the Lisbon Treaty. That treaty is but the latest of a whole list of treaties out of which the present European Union has been crafted from that seemingly innocuous groundwork treaty originally establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ecsc). That original treaty entered into force on July 24, 1952. Multiple treaties later, the ecsc has evolved into first a common market, then a monetary union (for most of its members), then a political union; and it is now crafting strategies to form a powerful military union with the eyes of its elites centered on its becoming a world superpower!
To be truly classed as a global power of significance, the EU needs two more strings to its bow—a central ideology and a united European military structure. Should the Lisbon Treaty be ratified, it will pave the way for these two final elements of power to more speedily be attained.
What is largely not appreciated by observers of the European scene is that the ideology is already in place. It just needs to be activated. It is an ideology that has particular appeal in times of crisis such as Europe is now experiencing in the great global economic meltdown. It is an ideology to which the greater part of the EU’s populace at least pays lip service, even though many of Europe’s national governments have not promulgated it as state doctrine.
Yet the historical guardian and overseer of that ideology, the Vatican in Rome, is increasingly bringing political pressure to bear by direct influence on EU electoral and parliamentary processes and also by an increasingly dominant media presence. Significantly, the Vatican has worked to have that ideology recognized in the body of the Lisbon Treaty. In addition, significant pressure is being placed on the European Parliament to have Sunday officially recognized as the EU’s day of rest. The Vatican strategy to place the religion of Rome at the heart of a united Europe deserves separate treatment. It will be the subject of an upcoming Trumpet article.
The past 15 years have witnessed increasing effort to consolidate military manufactures within EU member nations to allow for a coordinated EU-wide defense industry.
The Western European Armaments Group (weag) launched in 1993 as part of the Western European Union (weu) to enhance the military capabilities of Western Europe. During 1998, France, Germany, the UK and Italy established the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (occar) to oversee major defense projects. Then in July 2004, the EU created the European Defense Agency (eda) to replace weag and to oversee the defense capabilities of 26 member states (all EU members except Denmark) to improve the EU’s ability to conduct military operations and to develop the defense industry (European Defense Co. UK).
The eda is answerable to the EU’s top governing institution, the European Council. It is headed by EU High Representative Javier Solana. Germany’s Alexander Weis is chief executive. In addition to concentrating on the key areas of command, control and communications, the eda works at identifying capability gaps and leads in the development of the EU’s armed forces for deployment in EU-led operations.
One of the driving forces behind EU defense has been Germany’s Military Command Council, in reality the resurrection of the old German High Command, a virtual joint chiefs of staff. Under its direction, German defense forces have rapidly joined the ranks of the most widely deployed of EU nations’ forces and Germany’s senior technocrats have become most influential in mounting initiatives to advance a combined EU defense industry underpinning a combined European defense force.
This is where the most alert observers of the European scene see the gravest of dangers. As Stratfor has observed, “Germany is a full and powerful member of the European community. More important, for the first time in centuries, there is no established political regime in Europe to counter German ambitions. … All of European history is a tale of Germany either expanding or being contained” (June 8, 2007; emphasis mine throughout).
It may have taken half a century for Germany to assume this role after its abject defeat in World War ii. However, as Stratfor notes, “Fifty years later, Germany has found its voice—and possesses the gravitas to set policy without even making a request. That has got to make a few stiff European upper lips unconsciously quiver“ (ibid., July 20, 2007).
In 1945, even before the Allied victory over the Nazi regime, one lone voice was warning of powers within Germany that had already planned for the resurgence of German military might in case of a defeat in World War ii. In a letter dated Jan. 23, 1945, Herbert W. Armstrong had this to say (emphasis his):
But even though the Germans surrender, and we gain another armistice, it will be only another recess! The Nazis will go immediately underground—plotting and preparing World War iii. We shall fail to bring about world peace, because we do not know the way to world peace!
More and more people all over this nation are beginning to see the stark, solemn, awful fate that is prophesied for this nation! It is a fate we can avoid—if, and only if—we repent of our sins—of our Babylonish customs and our ways contrary to God’s revealed laws, and turn unitedly to Almighty God for mercy, for protection, for help, for victory, and for peace!
Herbert Armstrong wrote that 60 years ago. Now, the Germans are getting restless.
On the diplomatic front, though it appears Russia and Germany have already done a deal under the table to ensure that neither encroaches on the other’s imperialist ambitions, Russia has shown that it is still prepared to use its energy weapon to keep its neighbor in Mitteleuropa on its toes. The latest tensions over Ukraine’s gas bill are just another of Vladimir Putin’s ploys to keep up the pressure on Europe as they work out where their mutual imperial goals will meet. It’s all about drawing a line in the sand to establish a clear border between east and west on the European continent.
Meanwhile, Germany, largely at the mercy of its unreliable Russian supplier of oil and gas, is looking hard at the Middle East as an alternative source of supply.
The Merkel administration has already indicated willingness for greater involvement in the Middle East in the post-Bush era ahead. Germany has taken on extra commitments around the region by stepping up its troop commitment to Afghanistan and strengthening its presence in the Persian Gulf.
Although most high-profile EU nations have, predictably, condemned Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza, Germany’s vice chancellor and foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, flying against the prevailing wind, has directed Hamas to cease firing rockets at Israel and condemned Hamas for instigating the fracas. In fact, as he flexes his political muscles in the run-up to Germany’s federal elections in September, Steinmeier seems to be stepping up to the line in a desire to return to the days of the Fischer diplomacy when Chancellor Schröder’s foreign minister was so vitally and directly involved in the Middle East peace process.
Having in mind the Bible prophecies that indicate Germany will be vitally involved in a “peacekeeping” role in the Middle East, encouraged to be so by Israel, watch for Germany to increasingly break step with the other EU nations and set its own agenda for direct involvement in mounting its solution to the Middle East question.
What to Watch
There are six main developments that bear watching in respect of the rise of the European superpower in 2009:
nato will convene its 60th anniversary summit in April 2009. France and Germany have offered to jointly host this important summit that could well decide the future role of nato in the wake of America’s progressive collapse. The city of Strasbourg in France and the nearby German town of Kehl are the planned venues.
In May, Pope Benedict xvi will visit Jerusalem, a city the Vatican has coveted from its earliest history. Ever the master diplomat, the pope will tread a fine line between the Israeli and the Palestinian approaches to a peace settlement. Prophecy indicates that his hand will be strengthened in preparation for the Vatican to be established in Jerusalem in the future, if only briefly.
In what is billed as the biggest transnational election in history, 496 million European Union citizens will elect 736 members to the European Parliament by proportional representation in the European parliamentary elections in June 2009. Watch for a lift in the number of Roman Catholic and right-wing candidates elected to Parliament.
German federal elections are slated for September 2009. On present indications, Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier may end the reign of Germany’s only postwar female chancellor, Angela Merkel. Steinmeier is worth watching considering his relationship with Russia’s Prime Minister Putin and close friendship with former Chancellor Schröder, who holds a senior position with Gazprom, one of Europe’s major suppliers of energy.
The Irish, forced into a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, will hold that vote in October 2009. If it follows the same trend as the second Irish vote for Monetary Union membership, it will return a yes result, thus releasing the treaty for enactment in 2010. This would have tremendous implications for Europe’s rise to superpower status in 2010, with its own president, foreign minister and diplomatic corps.
The sixth likely event to watch for in 2009 is the fall of Ukraine. Caught between Russia bearing down on its eastern flank and its aspirations for security within the EU receiving the cold shoulder from Brussels, a deal between the EU and Moscow on Ukraine’s future—given its importance as both a gas transit venue to Europe and a food basket for Russia—is inevitable. Will it be carved up between the two, or will it fall to Russia in concession for an EU deal over energy? Perhaps 2009 will be the year of the decider.
Many other important events will occur in Europe this year, but from all indications, these are the six most worthy of watching from a prophetic standpoint.
Whatever the outcome of each of these events of 2009, you can be sure the Trumpet will keep you right up to date with the latest links between history, current events and Bible prophecy in the countdown to the return of the King of kings to finally impose God’s peace on this strife-torn planet!
Read Daniel—Unsealed at Last! for a prophetic perspective on all of these events as they unfold.