We continue to watch events unravel in the Middle East this week as America is showing more impotence, and Russia is pushing itself forward.
America Fumbles the Middle East Ball
Several news stations in the United States have been reacting with horror to the lame-duck policies of President Obama when it comes to dealing with President Putin of Russia. Many believe Obama has fumbled the Middle-East ball for the American team, and Putin has intercepted and picked it up for Russian.
Retired Lt Col. Ralph Peters was interviewed on the Lou Dobbs Tonight program where he discussed Putin’s end run on Obama:
Ralph, thanks for being with us. Let’s first to what I really believe is a formidable, if not historic,
geopolitical military maneuver by Vladimir Putin. He is attacking NATO politically, he has moved military against Ukraine and Crimea, he has positioned himself in such a way to expand his influence throughout the Middle East, and re-insinuate himself into the European discussion. Your file?
Lt. Colonel Ralph Peters
“Vladimir Putin, he may be vulgar, he may be crude, but he is brilliant. Western elites underestimate him consistently because he didn’t go to the right prep school. The Paris attacks, Lou, were a gift to Vladimir Putin. Notice, right after that he suddenly was able to come out and say, “Yes, it was a bomb that blew up our airliner”. Before that he was hesitant because it would have reflected on his Syria policy, after the Paris attacks he could say, “See it is an attack on all civilization, we must stand together in solidarity.” He also was brilliant with how he reached out to France quickly with some serious military offers. Whereas the United States, we gave them some old targets we were reluctant to hit because of collateral damages etc. President Hollande of France asked the United States, he asked President Obama to help France, so let’s all get on the team! And Obama’s response was that dreadful pressroom Monday morning in Antalya Turkey. What did Putin do? Putin has now sent in strategic bombers, the TU series bomber, Tupalov bombers, that is the equivalent of the US sending in B52’s….
Well look, my sympathies were with President Hollande. If you are in a knife fight, who do you want to be on your team? A fighter, or a faculty lounge philosopher like President Obama? It is a no-brainer. France has been attacked, and President Obama dismissed, five hundred, almost 500 people killed or wounded in France, and Obama says it is a setback! John Kerry basically said, Charlie Hebdo attack was justified! This is offensive, we manage to insult the French, Vladimir Putin is helping them, this is a use said, a tremendous geo-strategic advance for Vladimir Putin…
So even the world is seeing this as a “formidable, if not historic, geopolitical military maneuver”. The maneuver isn’t limited to France and Europe.
Earlier this week, Putin went to meet the Iranian president to shore up his support in the Middle East. On the same program, Lou Dobbs Tonight, K.T. McFarland, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs under President Ronald Reagan was interviewed and stated:
… leading from behind, we’ve now been left behind in the events in the Middle East. Putin is now calling the shots. He has got an alliance with Russia, Iran, Iraq and Assad (Syria), France is going to end up joining this alliance too. France had said Assad has got to go, they are not sayi
ng that anymore, they want Russian help in destroying ISIS….
K.T. MacFarland, former Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan
Here’s the problem, it was the President who said we have contained ISIS, right? And then within a few hours ISIS attacks in Paris. Secretary Kerry said, we’ve got Al-Qaida on the ropes, and Al-Qaida attacks in Mali. You could go on and on and on. We’re at the point where now the president says, ISIS is just a bunch of weirdo computer hackers in their granny’s basement, who are really good on social media while the rest of Europe is on lock-down….
Where is Hollande going after he meets with Obama? He’s going to Moscow, he’s meeting with Putin. He knows that Putin is the guy who is making things happen in the Middle East.
So following up from last week’s Bible in the News we see America’s failure in the Middle East, and Putin’s successful move to trump the US and park itself as the dominant and active player in the Middle East.
Germany to Join to Grand Coalition
Friday saw a memorial service in France to honor the fallen dead in a ceremony in the courtyard of the historic Les Invalides complex, the first time civilian dead have been honored in this military institution.
Hollande attends a memorial ceremony for France's victims of Terrorism at the Les Invalides
The Associated press reported:
A subdued France paid homage Friday to those killed two weeks ago in the attacks that gripped Paris in fear and mourning, honouring each of the 130 dead by name as the president pledged to "destroy the army of fanatics" who claimed so many young lives.
Hollande pledged France “will operate relentlessly to protect its children.".
As was mentioned last week, Hollande didn’t evoke article 5 of the NATO treaty, instead he evoked the clause in the European Lisbon Treaty dealing with defense, and called upon his fellow compatriots in Europe to join in.
The Guardian Newspaper reported this week on the growing European resolve:
A strong emphasis is being placed on rallying support from European states because, as the French president put it, Isis didn’t just strike at Paris but at Europe as a whole.
Building up a unified European resolve is especially important because no one is under any illusion that the Obama administration wants to embroil itself deeper in the Middle East: America, miles across the Atlantic, simply doesn’t feel its own security is on the line. But Europe’s is. The Middle East is spewing out its violence on to our continent. Germany has announced it will contribute surveillance and refueling planes over Syria.
This comes on the heels of a terrorist plot being uncovered in Germany: YNET Daily reported,
Israel reportedly helped thwart a terror attack in the German city of Hanover only days after the devastating terror attacks in Paris, according to a story published on Wednesday in German magazine Stern.
Stern cites German government sources that said Israel provided crucial intelligence about an imminent terror attack targeting the friendly match between Germany and Holland's soccer teams. This led to the cancelation of the game and the evacuation of the stadium, only 90 minutes before the game was to start.
An hour after the stadium was evacuated, the terror alert was applied to the entire city, and police called on residents to remain at home and avoid crowded places. Shortly after that, a suspected bomb was found at the train station in Hanover, and it too was evacuated.
It is quite significant that Germany is being pulled into the conflict in the Middle East as an ally of France, and consequently Russia. When we consider the grand coalition described in the Bible – it is militarized one comprised of Russia, France and Germany:
“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog (the area of Eastern Europe including East-Germany), the prince of Rosh (Russia), Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tubolsk), and prophesy against him…Gomer (which is comprised of France and German), and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” (Ezekiel 38:26)
The coalition includes the nations from Land of Magog, which sits between the river Don and the River Danube (covering what we used to call the Warsaw Pact or Eastern Europe), and the tribes of Gomer which, which we looked at last week, that include the areas of France and Germany. This group is to be a militarized group:
“And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:” (Ezekiel 38:4)
Since the Second World War, Germany has taken the backseat to any military involvement. The Wall Street Journal stated this week:
Germany, which has adopted a largely pacifist stance since the end of World War II, has been reluctant to intervene in the conflict in Syria thus far. Ms. Merkel’s move last year to send arms and military trainers to support Kurdish militants fighting Islamic State in northern Iraq was widely viewed as the limit of what the public would support.
Germany's Merkel with France's Hollande
However, the Paris attacks appear to have shaken parts of the German public out of its antiwar attitude.
So Germany’s “largely pacifist stance since the end of World War II” has to change, according to the scriptures. This is exactly what we have seen taking place during this past week.
A Wall Street Journal article stated:
Germany plans to send a warship and reconnaissance planes to support the fight against Islamic State in Syria, senior government officials said Thursday, a move that shows the Paris attacks have forced one of Europe’s least militaristic nations to reconsider its stance.
“The German government has today agreed on difficult, but important and necessary steps,” Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told reporters after a meeting with lawmakers of the ruling coalition parties. “We have jointly agreed on this in the knowledge that we stand close alongside France.”
Turkey Pokes the Russian Bear
While all this is going on, the headlines were splattered with scenes of the Russian jet being downed by Turkish forces. The News of Europe reported,
Relations between Moscow and Ankara have plunged into crisis since the incident on Tuesday. Turkey claims the jet had violated its airspace while flying over northern Syria.
Russian jet shot down by Turkey
The Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet was shot down on Tuesday morning by a Turkish F-16 jet after 10 warnings not to violate Turkish airspace, the Turkish military claimed. Russia vehemently denies it violated Ankara's airspace.
The two pilots ejected from the plane but one was killed while another was rescued several hours later.
In retaliation for Turkey's actions, Russia prepared to impose punishing economic sanctions against Turkey, including abandoning a flagship pipeline project and a $20bn nuclear power deal.
Reuters reported the following statement from Putin during a meeting with Jordan’s king Hussein, where he stated:
"Today's loss is linked to a stab in the back delivered to us by accomplices of terrorists. I cannot qualify what happened today as anything else… And now we get stabbed in our back and our planes, which are fighting terrorism, are struck. This despite the fact that we signed an agreement with our American partners to warn each other about air-to-air incidents and Turkey ... announced it was allegedly fighting against terrorism as part of the U.S. coalition."
What is shocking is the impudence of Turkey after the attack. Rather than an apology or explanation, Turkey boastfully claimed responsibility. As Russia responds with sanctions and diplomatic measures, Turkey continues to threaten:
Reuter’s reported on Friday:
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned Russia on Friday not to "play with fire", citing reports Turkish businessmen had been detained in Russia, while Moscow said it would suspend visa-free travel with Turkey….
Russia has threatened economic retaliation, a response Erdogan has dismissed as emotional and indecorous.
Political Cartoon: The Turks poke the Russian Bear
The same article cited Russian politicians demanding a military response:
Lower house speaker Sergei Naryshkin called the incident an "intentional murder" of its soldiers, saying Russia had the right to mount a military response.
This is of great significance because of what the Bible prophets have to say. Turkey will be the impetus that triggers Russia’s eventual invasion of the Middle East. Daniel describes the scene:
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him….” (Daniel 11:40)
The “him” mentioned in this passage is Turkey. This corresponds with the Ottoman Euphratean river power of Revelation 16:
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.” (Revelation 16:12)
The “four angels” who had overflowed the Euphrates in Revelation 9 included the nations who passed over the Euphrates River and brought judgment on the Byzantine Empire. These included Togrul Beg and the Seljuk Turks, Genghis Khan and the Mongols, Tamerlane and the Moguls, and the Ottoman Turks who overran the Byzantium capital and turned St. Sophia’s, (the St. Peter’s Basilica of the Eastern Orthodox Church), into a Mosque. The overflowing Euphratean powers would be dried up in preparation for the kingdom. The power of the Ottoman Turks was dried up in 1917 when the “king of the south” forces pushed at the Ottoman Turks, driving them out of the Middle East under General Allenby and the infamous Lawrence of Arabia.
Daniel goes on to describe the coming invasion of the same power by Russia:
“…and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” (Daniel 11:40)
Russia is to invade Turkey, and take back St. Sophia’s that they have coveted since 1453 when the Muslims took it over on May 29. The Russian cross that tops the Kremlin Churches anticipates the future victory of Christianity over Islam with the cross shown to conquer Islam.
Following the invasion of Turkey, the King of the North would not stop, but would overflow and passover, stopping next in Israel:
“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” (Daniel 11:41–42)
So the bellicose gobbling of Turkey, inciting the Russian bear is of great significance when we look at Bible prophecy and what the prophets tell us is still to take place.
Israel still the target of the United Nations
Much of the world stands in solidarity with Paris over the terrorist attacks. Israel has its own kind of solidarity. In October 74 Israeli’s were killed or wounded by terrorist attacks. In November (to date) 59 Israeli’s have been killed or wounded in Terrorist attacks. There have been more separate incidents of terror in Israel than in any other country in the world in the past two months.
So how does the world respond to terror in Israel, following the Paris attacks? Reuters reported on Wednesday:
In a move dubbed "surreal" by a leading UN watchdog, and as a campaign of daily Palestinian terrorist attacks continues to target Israelis, the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday adopted six resolutions - all of which bar none condemned Israel.
Voting at the United Nations against Israel after Terror attacks.
Not a single mention was made of the Palestinian attacks, which have left 22 Israelis dead and hundreds wounded, nor did any other countries - even serial human rights violators such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia and others - receive any of the General Assembly's attention. More disturbingly still, five of the the UNGA resolutions were sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, while the sixth was sponsored by none other than Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria.
The article noted on of the vote:
One resolution condemned the Jewish state for retaining the Golan Heights, demanding Israel hand it over to the Syrian regime.
The resolution's adoption - by 105 votes to 6, with 56 abstentions - elicited warm words of praise from Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari, who expressed his "heartfelt appreciation and gratitude" to the UN for its Golan resolution, and without any sense of irony accused Israel of "occupation killing policies," "expansion," "racism," and "aggression."
Another vote which passed 153 to 7 - claimed that Israel has "no right" to "impose" its sovereignty over "the Holy City of Jerusalem."
"It’s astonishing," said Neuer. "At a time when the Syrian regime is massacring its own people, how can the UN call for more people to be subject to Assad’s rule? The timing is morally galling and logically absurd."
So while the world stands with Paris, it still stands against Israel, God’s chosen people.
As we see the nations preparing themselves for the Great Day of God Almighty, we need to prepare ourselves for the stealthy advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the coming Kingdom of God to be centered in Jerusalem when a real solution will be imposed on the nations of the world, and peace will truly be achieved.
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen.