On April 24, 1999, an event occurred that may prove to be one of the most prophetically significant of our time.
An Emergent Empire?
The Bible generally presents history - both historic and prophetic - through the "lens" of Israel. Notable exceptions occur in Daniel Chapters 2 and 7, which summarize the Gentile empires that are to transpire between the Babylonian empire of that time until the final empire that will be interrupted by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. There are to be four: the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek, and the Roman - this fourth in two distinct phases.
For centuries, Biblical scholars have been anticipating the re-emergence of this 4th empire in its final form. The re-emergence of Europe in recent decades would appear to be setting the stage for the final climax which the Bible portrays in such fascinating detail. (A review of the Daniel passages, and the history of the events leading up to the Treaties of Rome, the Maastricht Treaty, and other recent developments in the European Union have been included in our most recent briefing package, An Empire Reborn?.1
New EU President
The entire European Union's 20-member commission resigned in March due to extensive corruption scandals. The Council of Ministers unanimously voted to appoint the former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi as the new president of the commission. (This appointment must be yet approved by the European Parliament. He is expected to assume the position as Brussels's most powerful bureaucrat by late summer 1999.)
Romano Prodi is known in his own country for bringing down inflation and unemployment rates. He has also enthusiastically endorsed the rooting out of corruption within the ranks of the 17,000 employees of the European bureaucracy, and has garnered praise from the members of the European Parliament for his strong statements regarding reform.
However, according to conservative members of the British Parliament, Prodi's appointment may be more of a nightmare than a dream. It appears that Prodi is an ardent federalist, who is ready, willing and able to expedite the formation of the EU superstate. Prodi has stated in no uncertain terms that he is in favor of giving the EU more power and curtailing the rights of the member nations' veto power. He has also advocated the creation of an European defense force, calling for a new treaty to make this possible. He has said in speeches that he sees no other way for Europe to effectively handle foreign affairs without a military option. In addition, Prodi has called for the union to commit itself to further expansion into central and eastern Europe and to expedite the process by setting dates for the admission of new members, a move that is resisted by the heads of the EU government.
Prodi has applauded the progress made by the European Monetary Union in introducing the new super-national currency, the Euro. He said in an interview with the Financial Times that the Euro currency was "not just a bankers' decision or a technical decision. It was a decision that completely changed the nature of the member states." He has told the British that they won't be able to avoid joining the Euro.
The U.N. Assumption
Most observers of the "New World Order," and the trend toward a global government, tend to assume that it will emerge from the United Nations. However, as we have had opportunity to interview European leaders, we have noted that Europe views the U.N. with some disdain.2 They view the U.N. as an American venture, domiciled on U.S. soil, sponsored by the Rockefellers, and they frequently point to its unblemished track record of failure. They, too, assume that an eventual global government will emerge but that it will be Euro-centered.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed in 1949 as a defensive alliance in which each member was pledged to come to the aid of any of its members which were attacked militarily. However, at the 50th Anniversary Summit in Washington on April 23-24, 1999, NATO redefined itself in terms which appear to be a startling impetus toward the creation of a major new trans-global alliance. The new definition, as opposed to contributing toward regional and global stability, uncompromisingly identifies the alliance as an offensive military threat to its neighbors. NATO is now an ideological construct which is prepared to use force to impose its concept of world order on its neighbors and beyond.3
The initiatives against Kosovo are one thing, sandwiched between two member states - Greece and Hungary - but this now betrays a larger agenda. The new strategic concept declares that NATO's "essential and enduring purpose...is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means." This sounds fine until it is understood how broadly - both conceptually and geographically - this "security" is to be defined. The new definition states:
The security of the Alliance remains subject to a wide variety of military and non-military risks...These risks include uncertainty and instability in and around the Euro-Atlantic area and the possibility of regional crises at the periphery of the Alliance which could evolve rapidly. Some countries in and around the Euro-Atlantic area face serious economic, social and political difficulties. Ethnic and religious rivalries, territorial disputes, inadequate or failed efforts at reform, the abuse of human rights, and the dissolution of states can lead to local and even regional instability. The resulting tensions could lead to crises affecting Euro-Atlantic stability, to human suffering, and to armed conflicts. Such conflicts could affect the security of the Alliance by spilling over into neighboring countries, including NATO countries, or in other ways, and could also affect the security of other states.
And, if that does not give NATO a wide enough scope for military intervention in the affairs of its neighbors, the new strategic definition adds:
Alliance security interests can be affected by other risks of a wider nature, including acts of terrorism, sabotage and organized crime, and by the disruption of the flow of vital resources. The uncontrolled movement of large numbers of people, particularly as a consequence of armed conflicts, can also pose problems for security and stability affecting the Alliance.
The new strategic definition also says that attempts to acquire nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and delivery means "can pose a direct military threat to the Allies' populations, territories and forces."
It would be hard to add to this list of threats to which NATO now says it may respond to with military force. But if the potential excuses for NATO military actions appear limitless, what about the geographic arena in which it might contemplate action?
Although the official document is vague on this, General Klaus Naumann, Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, in a speech ahead of the Washington Summit, was more specific, including the areas posing security risks for the Alliance "the nations resting on its periphery from Morocco to the Indian Ocean." This would include the whole of North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt), the Near East (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel), the whole of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, the smaller Gulf monarchies, and Yemen), and the Persian Gulf states of Iraq and Iran.
But that's not all. On the very specific point of the Ukraine, the new definition says: "The Alliance continues to support Ukranian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, economic prosperity, and its status as a non-nuclear weapons state as key factors of security in central and eastern Europe and in Europe as a whole."
Thus, NATO considers the stationing of Russian nuclear weapons on Ukranian soil to be sufficient reason for going to war.
National Sovereignty Obsolete
The new strategic concept virtually declares national sovereignty obsolete. It is not just the sovereignty of the neighboring states that is threatened, but the individual members as well. The intention is to reduce the number of decision-making voices within NATO from 19 (and growing) to 3 or 4.
To prevent the renationalization of defense policies, military structures are to be integrated for:
...collective force planning; common funding; common operational planning; multinational formations, headquarters and command arrangements; an integrated air defence system; a balance of roles and responsibilities among the Allies; the stationing and deployment of forces outside home territory when required; arrangements, including planning, for crisis management and reinforcement; common standards and procedures for equipment, training and logistics; joint and combined doctrines and exercises when appropriate; and infrastructure, armaments and logistics cooperation.
These will tie each member state to the corporate whole and, ultimately, a single European voice on defense matters. "All European Allies should be involved in...the progressive framing of a common defense policy...as called for in the Amsterdam Treaty." (The Amster-dam Treaty, signed in June 1997, was a revision of the European Union's Maastricht Treaty, and one of the most controversial elements concerned the strengthening of the European Union's role in defense matters.)
The major issue raised by the NATO-Yugoslavia confrontation is the inviolability of a country's sovereignty, and under what circumstances an intervention in an independent state's internal affairs is permissible and who should be allowed to intervene. Many of the states opposing the NATO action fear it will set a precedent of support for separatist movements which could be used against China in Tibet (as well as Xinjiang and Taiwan), against Russia in Chechnya, against India in Kashmir, and against Israel and the PLO.
Having totally bypassed the U.N., NATO has now become the self-appointed policeman of the world. Stand back and watch the global events move us inexorably toward the grand climax which the Bible has laid out in such detail. It is, indeed, time to do our homework.
Behold ye among the nations, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you. -Habakkuk 1:5
* * *