Preludes to war

 

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PRELUDES TO WAR

This article is an excerpt of Hans Bratteruds upcoming book about the endtime.
 

During recent years there have been a number of events that can be seen as preludes to World War III. Among these are the Gulf War of 1991, the recent unrest in the Balkans, and the War on Terrorism since 9-11-01. These together with the explosive growth of the number of Islamist suicide bombings in Israel and elsewhere, seem to indicate that the Muslim world is in the process of preparing itself for a huge confrontation with the West in a final bid for world dominance.


It is noteworthy that in America at the time when all of this is happening there is a President who does not seem to want this type of events to continue unchecked. He has vowed to fight against and to conquer terrorism, saying, This country will define our times, not be defined by them.[i] In the following two chapters we shall examine the events in recent history and Biblical clues that especially seem to point in the direction of a third world war.


The Gulf War of 1991.
During the Gulf War of 1991 UN forces led by USA under President Bush Sr. attacked Iraq in order to liberate Kuwait, which had been occupied by Iraq in August of 1990. America's motivation to become involved in this crisis was, besides the moral obligation to liberate a country that had been forcefully occupied by a hostile neighbor, to secure regular supply of oil from the Persian Gulf region for herself and the free world. The stability of the whole region had been shaken by Iraqs invasion of Kuwait. The UN coalition was able to unite most of the Arab regimes in the area, thus isolating Iraq. Among local regimes only Jordan and the Palestinian authority remained allied with Iraq during this conflict.

Russia was at first passively allied with Iraq during this war although a rapprochement with the West was in full swing. But Russia had her own interests in the Gulf Region. There was some concern among Arab leaders that because the Soviet Union would soon have to start importing oil on account of its growing needs primarily within the satellite states outside of Russia proper, they would simply try to 'conquer an oilfield.'[ii] But the Soviet Union, together with France and Germany, had also contributed strongly to the arming of Iraq, and they had much on-going business with the Iraqi regime. Thus, for the moment, it looked like the Soviets and these other European regimes were content with the idea of trading Iraqi oil for weapons.

The Soviet Union was, however, in 1990 both economically and politically on the verge of collapse and wanted to get support from the West. The Soviet Union therefore in the UN Security Council meeting of November 29, 1990, gave their approval of a resolution giving the US-led coalition the right to use force against Iraq in order to liberate Kuwait. China, the world's most populous country, declined the use of her veto rights and abstained from casting a vote, thus contributing to the making of the UN decision. Only Cuba and Yemen voted against the resolution, but they had no veto rights.[iii]

The Russian war machine remained passive during the entire Gulf war, which started on January 17, 1991, when more than 2000 allied bombers started systematic attacks on military targets in Iraq and Kuwait. After 39 days of air bombardment a ground offensive was initiated. This lasted for only 100 hours until the UN alliance on the 28th of February 1991 called off their campaign after having won a crushing victory over Iraq and thus reached their goal of liberating Kuwait.[iv]

About one million soldiers fought against each other in this war, half a million on each side. Iraq's losses were estimated at more than 100,000 killed while the UN alliance only lost a total of 358 killed, of which 148 in combat, and they had a total of 513 wounded. Iraq lost 249 aircraft, or 51% of her total air power&rsq while the allied lost 36 aircraft, less than 2% of their air power. Furthermore, Iraq lost 39% of her artillery and 45% of her tanks. From being the world's fourth largest war machine after the Soviet Union, USA, and China, Iraq's war potential now became drastically reduced, but not totally destroyed.[v]

Next to Israel, Iraq was the strongest military power in the Middle East, and it had the most advanced program for long distance missiles. In addition, Iraq had developed the potential of biological, chemical, and nuclear warfare. None of these programs were totally destroyed during the war or by the inspectors after the war. Thus it was fully possible that Iraq once again could emerge as an enemy of peace and stability in the world. Moreover, within the Muslim world many people had a lot of admiration for Saddam Hussein for daring to defy even the USA, so in many Islamic countries there had long been strong forces sympathetic to his cause.

Therefore, when Iraq attacked Israel during the war with a total of 39 Scud rockets, it was obviously with the intent of drawing Israel into the war and thus influencing countries like Egypt and Syria to break out of the US-led coalition. But surprisingly Israel kept aloof during that entire war, not retaliating at all and thus contributing to the success of the coalition. During World War III this situation will be different in that we will probably see a much stronger Islamic alliance on the one hand, fighting against another US-led coalition, with or without the UN, but with Israel this time actively participating in the coalition.


Radicalization of Islam.
One important side effect of the Gulf War of 1991 has been the effect it has had on leading Islamists such as Al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden who has lamented the profaning of Muslim land by infidels in that American troops were allowed to remain on Saudi soil after the war. At the time of the Gulf War he had recently returned to his native Saudi Arabia together with a band of battle hardened mujahideen (Jihad fighters) from Afghanistan where they had seen the successful ouster of a superpower, the Soviet Union, from Muslim territory. Now they saw the opposite happening in the heartland of Islam, and they were furious.

In fact, Islamists call the Gulf War and the subsequent stationing of US troops on Saudi soil al-Azma, the Crisis, second only to al-Naqba, the 'Holocaust' of Islam, which they call the establishment of Israel.[vi] Bin Laden&rsqs opposition to having US troops on Saudi soil led to his estrangement from the political elite in Saudi Arabia and forced him into exile in Sudan where he soon became a major leader within the international network of Islamist organizations, eventually linking himself solidly to the government of Iran as his sponsor.[vii] The Gulf War of 1991, therefore, indirectly contributed to the further radicalization of Islam, which since the early 1990s seems to have been dramatically speeded up worldwide.

Thus, in recent years the dream of an Islamic world empire has been radically revived, and events like the September 11, 2001 attacks on the USA and the subsequent explosive growth of suicide attacks in Israel show that a fast growing number of Muslims are willing to give their lives to realize the dream of Islamic world dominance. The suicide attacks are, of course, based on the Koran's promises of special blessings in the hereafter to all who die in jihad, holy war for Islam.[viii] The same phenomena has, moreover, been seen in all the recent wars in which Muslim forces have been involved, such as the Gulf War of 1991, the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-90, and the 5 Arab-Israeli wars since 1948.

The Gulf War of 1991, then, can be seen as foreshadowing World War III in that a strong US-led coalition attacked and subdued an Islamic country intent on destroying Israel and the West. Where World War III will be different from the Gulf War, however, is first of all in the much larger scope of the coming war. It will definitely be a world war in that as many as ¼ of the entire world population will be killed, as we shall see in chapter 8 of this book.

But just as importantly, World War III will probably differ from the 1991 Gulf War in that this time the majority of the Muslim countries of the world may go together in a strong global alliance connected to the Trans-Asian Axis, which we shall discuss in chapters 5 and 6. Most of the Muslim countries will then probably not be a part of the US led coalition but instead take the decisive step to fight against the western coalition on the side of the Islamic world allied with China. But all of this we shall study more closely in the following chapters.



Unrest In The Balkans.

The underlying conflicts that exploded upon the world scene in World War I are very similar to the conflicts brewing at the beginning of the third millennium AD, which are expected to lead up to World War III. Before World War I (1914-18) there were two Balkan wars (1912-13), and similarly, during the 1990s there were several armed conflicts in the Balkans. World War I even started, as we know, in the Balkans, after the Austro-Hungarian throne pretender, Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, were killed in Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia on June 28, 1914.[ix]

It was soon after this assassination that Roman Catholic Austria-Hungary first declared war on Orthodox Serbia, because the assassin was a Serb. The German Empire based in Berlin was originally Protestant but had become more and more Roman Catholic oriented and allied to Austria. It declared war on Orthodox Russia a couple of days after Austria had declared war on Serbia.[x] Russia naturally supported Serbia, and Germany of course supported her ally, Austria/Hungary, which recently had conquered Bosnia-Herzegovina.[xi]

Germany had also her own imperialistic interests in the Balkans, e.g. in Bulgaria, and she was working on a new railroad from Germany through the Balkans and Turkey, all the way to Baghdad and the Persian Gulf.[xii] However, by the end of World War I, all the great empires had fallen: The German Empire collapsed as the Emperor abdicated; the Austro-Hungarian Empire lost all its possessions, retaining only Austria; the Russian Empire collapsed and the Czar and his family were killed by the Communists.

Even the great Muslim Empire that ruled from Istanbul, Turkey, collapsed, and in the Far East the 5000-year-old Chinese Empire also collapsed around the time of World War I. Thus, the only empire that survived that war was the British, which lasted till after World War II, when it too lost most of its possessions. All of this goes to show that great changes in the world were indeed taking place around the time of World War I, and it seems likely that similarly great changes are to take place during the time of World War III, especially in the Middle East.

After the communist collapse in Eastern Europe in 1989 there have, as noted above, once again been numerous armed conflicts in the Balkans as Yugoslavia disintegrated into a number of different countries, each one claiming its own independence. What is so special about the Balkans is that here we find three great contenders for world dominance locked in a battle with worldwide ramifications: Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and Roman Catholic Christianity.

Especially in tiny Bosnia these three religious and political forces are lined up against each other in a small geographic area: Roman Catholicism traditionally supported from the West, viz. Austria, is now also supported by the two recently independent countries of Croatia and Slovenia. Orthodox Christianity, traditionally supported from Russia in the north, has also strong bases in Serbia and Macedonia besides in Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania. Islam, of course, has traditionally been supported from Turkey in the east, and also from Albania southeast of Bosnia.


Spiritual clues.
As the world is seeking to find clues to what is really causing the great conflicts threatening once more to erupt into a major war, people are increasingly turning to the Bible for answers. And many are finding a basic explanation in the great statue described in chapter 2 of the Book of Daniel. Here King Nebuchadnezzar around 600 BC sees a vision, which is interpreted by Daniel to reveal the future of the world until the climax of history, when the Messiah comes and unseats all the earthly kingdoms and establishes His eternal kingdom of peace.

The great statue in Daniel 2 is divided into 4 parts: First, the head of gold representing the Babylonian Empire. Then the chest and arms of silver represented the Persian Empire; the belly and thighs of bronze represented the Greek Empire; and the legs and feet of iron and clay represented the Roman Empire. There is the idea that the various parts of the statue represent not only earthly empires following each other chronologically, but that they also represent major spiritual forces operating simultaneously. Thus, the head of gold is the spirit of good government with individual freedoms at all times, and the other three parts represent the spiritual forces identified as the Princes of Persia, Greece and Rome respectively.[xiii]

In our time the Prince of Rome seems to be represented by the Roman Catholic Church, the Prince of Greece by the Greek/Russian Orthodox churches, and the Prince of Persia by Islam. It is interesting that it is the ancient country of Persia, now called Iran, which seems to more and more control the development within the entire Islamic world. This has been the case since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. His radical brand of fundamentalist Islam has been exported worldwide through Iran's sponsorship of organizations like HisbAllah, Al Qaida, and Islamic Jihad.[xiv]

The Prince of Greece, then, in our time controls the dominant spiritual force of the people of Russia and other nations where Orthodox Christianity is prevalent, as well as a network of communities around the world. And the Prince of Rome, elsewhere in the Bible called The Great Harlot,[xv] is the spiritual force behind the European Union (EU) and other parts of the world that are heavily influenced by Roman Catholicism, such as South- and Central America, parts of Africa, and certain pockets in Asia and the rest of the world.

The Balkan Peninsula, then, is the geographic area on earth where the territories of all three of these spiritual forces come in contact with each other, and where all of their respective designs for world dominance are pitted against each other. In a way this can also be said of the Middle East, particularly Israel, but there the main forces opposing each other are Islam (under the Prince of Persia), and Israel (under the Archangel Michael), the only people and country designated as the centerpiece of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Thus World War III will probably chiefly be centered on the Middle East. But the recent unrest in the Balkans is an important indicator of the larger picture where we see the underlying conflicts shaping the future of the world. The first of these conflicts to break forth into a major war seems to be Islam's final bid for world dominance to be played out during the fast approaching World War III.




[i] Address by President George W. Bush for a joint session of Congress and the American People on September 20, 2001: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html

[ii]Yamani p 413-14.

[iii]DH 90 p 284. DH 91 p 63.

[iv] DH 91 p 63.
[v] Coalition Deaths Fewer Thean in 1991: Cnn.com/world, April 17, 2003.
[vi] Bodansky, p 33.
[vii] Bodansky, p 158.

[viii] The Quran, 3:16; 3:170-172; 4:58; 37:49-50; 52:17-20; 56:10-39; 76:5-22.

[ix] CVH16 p 60.

[x] CVH 16, p 105.

[xi] CVH 16, p 80.

[xii] CVH 16, p 81, 85.

[xiii] Cf. chp 1, section 2 of this book, on the Prince of Persia and the Prince of Greece opposed by Michael. Dan 10:20-21; Rev 12:7ff.

[xiv] Cf Bodansky&rsqs account of The Committee of Three in Bin Laden, p 158.

[xv] Rev 17 and 18.

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