Thursday, April 06, 2006



The European Counterweight : A Leaderless Superpower

With its expansion to 25 member states, the European Union is poised to become a vast federal superstate. As it seeks to be a “counterweight” to U.S. Global interests, will Europe replace America as the world’s leading superpower?
It has more people (454.7 million) than the United States—a larger consumer market—more troops (collectively, almost two million armed forces personnel)—and, with more votes on the United Nations Security Council and every other international body, stronger political muscle.
It has a president, a legislative body, a flag, a national anthem, a motto (“Unity in Diversity”), open borders between member states, a constitution (yet to be ratified), a Bill of Rights, and a court system that can overrule the highest of any member court.

It also has an emerging common culture that speaks a common language: English. (ONE SINGLE LANGUAGE, MODERN DAY TOWER OF BABEL).

The decades-old European dream of becoming a kind of “United States of Europe” is becoming a reality. Speaking at the Carnegie Council’s “Books for Breakfast” program, T.R. Reid, bureau chief for The Washington Post and author of the book The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy, observed, “I think it’s fair to say that
Europe is more united today than at any time since the Roman Empire.

Let Europe Arise!”

Within a 75-year span, the European continent was ravaged by three brutal war campaigns: the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), World War I (1914-18) and World War II (1939-45). Together, an estimated 60 to 70 million Europeans were killed. In the aftermath of WWII, the United States became a world-leading superpower, countered by the Soviet Union. As the Iron
Curtain came down on Europe, dividing East from West, war-torn nations on both sides raced to rebuild their armed forces.

Another continental war seemed to loom on the horizon. And so leaders, thinkers, idealists and religionists set out to fulfill a vision: a reorganized Europe free from nationalist strife, military competition and arms races. On September 19, 1946, in Zurich, Switzerland, Winston Churchill gave a speech that addressed the state of Europe and its future. “If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance,” he said, “there would be no limit to the happiness, to the prosperity and the glory which its three or four hundred million people would enjoy.

…all the while there is a remedy which, if it were generally and spontaneously adopted by the great majority of people in many lands, would as if by a miracle transform the whole scene, and would in a few years make all Europe, or the greater part of it, as free and as happy as Switzerland is today.

What is this sovereign remedy? It is to re-create the European Family, or as much of it as we can, and to provide it with a structure under which it can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom. We must build a kind of United States of Europe.”Churchill proposed that this unified European state be spearheaded by a partnership between France and Germany. Continuing, he said, “The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Small nations will count as much as large ones and gain their honor by their contribution to the common cause.

we must re-create the European Family in a regional structure called, it may be, the United States of Europe. And the first practical step would be to form a Council of Europe. If at first all the States of Europe are not willing or able to join the Union, we must nevertheless proceed to assemble and combine those who will and those who can. The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude must be established on solid foundations and must be guarded by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than submit to tyranny.

In all this urgent work, France and Germany must take the lead together. Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America and I trust Soviet Russia—for then indeed all would be well—must be the friends and sponsors of the new Europe and must champion its right to live and shine.

“Therefore I say to you: let Europe arise!

Churchill’s speech laid the groundwork for today’s European Union—and marked the prophetic path it will take.

From “Military Pygmy” to “Flabby Giant

Before the EU’s expansion to 25 members, the commander of NATO called Europe a “military pygmy.” Since then, the EU’s combined military manpower has grown to almost two million armed forces personnel—more than the United States. Yet the same commander upgraded Europe to being only a “flabby giant,” because its troops are not united into a large, single
military force. There still remains a technological gap between European forces and the U.S. military, especially in transportation, intelligence and modern weapons technology. But the EU would rather spend funds on its burgeoning welfare programs and let the U.S. protect it from external threats.

Indeed, one of the key reasons for forming the EU was to find an alternative to war. Today, European politicians and academics tend to view the use of military force as a relic held over from the era of colonialism and world-spanning empires. In their secular thinking, war is judged as a waste of time and money, and is immoral. Yet this thinking is bound to change as the European Union grows into an economic, political and, potentially, military juggernaut. It already possesses virtually every component necessary to be a counterweight to American supremacy.

Could men, when given access to such power, deny human nature and pass up the opportunity to become the global leader in all arenas? With 25 democratic nations each having a say in EU affairs, the government is too large and unwieldy to govern efficiently and effectively. Only when the member states concentrate on countering U.S. interests are they unified and unanimous. Just as a corporation, school system or church cannot be successfully governed by committee, neither can a government. Someone must be in charge—someone must take responsibility for when things go wrong—someone must captain the ship.

To become a federal superstate with supranational governance, capable of executing decisions with speed and precision, Europe must have a strong leader guiding the way.

Plans are already in the works.

A Future EU Foreign Minister?

To do away with bureaucratic confusion and institutional frictions, and to establish a stronger foreign policy presence, the EU Constitution introduced the creation of a future office: EU Minister for Foreign Affairs. This individual’s role would be to represent the EU’s foreign interests and positions—to allow the 25 member-states of Europe to speak with one voice and act jointly in international affairs.

The future EU foreign minister would also be vice-president of the European Commission, responsible for external relations—development issues, human rights, foreign and security policies, etc.—and chair the Foreign Affairs Council. To assist in carrying out the functions of this office, the EU Constitutional Treaty calls for the creation of the European External Action Service (EEAS), which would be an administrative body the foreign minister would preside over, and from which he would appoint EU ambassadors.

Issues have already arisen, such as working out and agreeing to the foreign minister’s powers and duties; deciding if he will have his own independent secretariat, or be part of the Council or the Commission; and determining whether he should be authorized to represent the EU in trade and development policy. Suppose that this new office successfully allows Europe to carry out its foreign policy and interests speedily and effectively. Would EU leaders conclude that a similar office needs to be created—one that would handle Europe’s internal affairs?

A “Club Within a Club”

The EU requires unanimity in deciding key issues. Yet, ever since expanding to its present size—25 nations, all desiring a say in how the government should operate—administration has become unwieldy. For instance, EU members cannot agree as to how Europe should address the economy and high unemployment within member nations. Such division keeps the EU from effectively challenging America’s financial clout, or China’s increasing economic presence.

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has offered a bold solution: the creation of an EU core. This “United States of Europe,” a name Mr. Verhofstadt has proposed, would function as a “club within a club” of the EU political machine. Only a small group of member-states bound closely together, he argues, would solve the current administrative logjam.

The model for Mr. Verhofstadt’s proposal already exists: The 12-nation single currency euro zone—Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal and Spain. “Twelve countries within the European Union have already handed control over their monetary policy to the European Central Bank. When EU finance ministers meet, the 12 ministers from the euro zone hold talks among themselves before they meet the 13 colleagues whose countries haven’t adopted the euro.

“In that pre-meeting, the most important decisions for the euro zone are made—in the club of the avant-garde. And it’s a model that could conceivable be transferred from finance policy to other areas—with the euro zone core leading the way” (“European Union’s Future: A Club Within a Club,” Der Spiegel). Both Paris and Berlin have shown interest in this proposal.

How Will It All Come Together?

With Europe weighed down by bureaucracy and regulations, and inefficiently governed by committee, dramatic changes in government must take place before the EU can surpass America’s global leadership. Imagine this future scenario: The materialistic morals and values of secular Europe have left a spiritual hunger in the lives of millions, waiting to be satisfied. Conditions are ripe for a charismatic religious leader to fill this spiritual void. Through
awesome miraculous powers—bleeding statues, signs in the sky?—this leader sparks a religious revival throughout the continent; Europe’s spiritual roots are re-awakened.

As was done for centuries in European history, this religious leader, backed by throngs of fervent believers, will use his new-found standing to influence government policy and civil laws. Through him, religion gains a voice in state affairs. He then uses his clout to endorse a popular European statesman who shares his values and vision for Europe—perhaps a “rising star” whom many see as destined for a bright political future. (Could this man’s shrewdness, charm and deft diplomacy become evident with his successful tenure as the EU’s foreign minister?)

The religious leader uses his increasing authority to influence—even pressure—the heads of the “club within a club” to hand over governing powers and authority to his political counterpart. Europe is no longer ruled by committee, but by one man—one voice—one will and purpose.
Does this sound far-fetched? Is it even conceivable that secular Europe would zealously embrace religion and transform itself from democracy to one-man rule?

Before you answer, remember the world before 9/11: Who would have dreamed that a group of terrorists could hijack four U.S. planes, demolish the twin towers of the World Trade Center and destroy a portion of the Pentagon? Who would have imagined that the U.S. and its allies would wage a worldwide war on terrorism, invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and toppling the
government of Saddam Hussein?

This may come as a surprise, but this hard-to-believe scenario was foretold long ago in an ancient book of historic records, poetic writings and religious text. It’s called the Bible. While it continues to be the world’s leading bestseller, the Bible is greatly misunderstood and sorely misinterpreted by hundreds of millions of readers.

Even the overwhelming majority of Christians and their most highly educated religious leaders cannot comprehend its teachings. For instance, very few know or understand that an estimated one-third of the Bible is prophecy, 90% of which pertains to our time—now—and to “the world to come” (Heb. 2:5; 6:5). It speaks of a future leader who, endorsed by a powerful religious
leader, will receive government authority from ten heads of European nations (or groups of nations)—possibly a “club within the club”? (See Revelation 13:1-10.)(REVELATION 17:12-13)(DANIEL 7:23-24)

Europe’s rise to global preeminence will become a reality—and, to worldwide astonishment, the United Kingdom and USA will not be a part of this!

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