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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Sunday, December 27, 2015
Obama signature on present Middle East 'chaos'
'Hundreds of thousands' dead after 'dramatic shift in foreign policy toward Muslim world'
Thousands of refugees flee Syria (Photo: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)
The civil war in Syria could trigger a global conflict, as did Sarajevo in 1914, largely because of the “apocalyptic” aims of the “moderate Islamists” President Obama has been supporting, according to a variety of observers.
“The world is presently teetering on the edge of World War III,” Joel Richardson told WND. “This is not an overly sensationalized statement.”
Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan slammed the anti-Russian stance of many Republican candidates during the most recent presidential debate and warned of the potential for “Syria in 2016 to become what Sarajevo became in 1914, the powder keg that explodes into a world war.”
And political and religious leaders such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Pope Francis and Michele Bachmann have issued recent warnings that World War III could be imminent.
Richardson, an evangelist with experience in the Middle East and the director of a documentary on Middle Eastern geopolitics titled “End Times Eyewitness,” contends Barack Obama is “squarely to blame” for the current instability.
“While seeking to cast itself as the dovish yin to the hawkish Bush’s yang, the reality is the new foreign policy implemented by President Obama has resulted in the present chaos in the Middle East, leading to the death of literally hundreds of thousands of people, and has pushed the world to the brink of World War III,” Richardson said.
He blames Obama’s “dramatic shift in foreign policy toward the Muslim world.”
“Obama decided that rather than deal with these various dictators in place, we would seek to place so-called moderate Islamist governments in power,” Richardson explained. “Turkey, Obama thought, would be the model. Thus, the toppling of the region’s strongmen began.”
Richardson said “Obama’s Middle East” began with American “meddling” in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Though the Muslim Brotherhood soon fell from power, Richardson argues Obama’s “inferno of change” had more catastrophic effects in Libya, which Richardson calls an “ISIS hellhole.”
“No honest party can justify what we did there,” Richardson said.
Richardson also has his own explanation for the Benghazi attack, the Obama administration’s cover-up and the murder of U.S. State Department officials, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. He sees Syria at the root of the violence in Libya.
“Simply stated, the Benghazi massacre was allowed to cover up the fact that we were using Benghazi to send weapons to the Sunni rebels in Syria,” Richardson alleged. “Why would we do that? Because we were seeking to overthrow Syria’s strong-man, Bashar Assad. Many of these rebels consequently (along with the weapons we were supplying them) went on to join Jabhat Al-Nusra (al-Qaida Syria) or ISIS.”
Syria is seen as the crucial battleground in the emerging global conflict, as a wide array of great powers with disparate agendas are fighting over territory long held to be important in the end times literature of different religions.
ISIS’ version of eschatology even became an issue in the recent Republican presidential debate, when Rick Santorum warned against sending American ground troops into the Syrian town of Dabiq, a town where many Sunnis believe a final battle will be fought between Muslims and “infidels.”
However, Richardson argues much of the conflict in the region is actually driven by a struggle within the Muslim world, with Shiite Iran confronting Sunni Turkey.
He explained: “In an effort to spread its Islamic Revolution, Iran has been using various proxies, or partners in the region, to carry out its work. These proxies include Assad in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and, again, the government of Iraq.
“So while Iran is doing all it can through its proxy-partners, Turkey has emerged as another major regional player with its own neo-Ottoman regional aspirations. It wants to revive the Ottoman Empire and control once again the whole Middle East. Thus, Turkey has been using ISIS as its Sunni alternative to Iran’s proxies. Turkey is also using ISIS against the Kurds in Syria, which are also a thorn in Turkey’s side.”
But though Turkey is backing ISIS, Assad is not without allies. Besides Iran, Assad can also count on the support of Russia.
The tensions between Turkey and Russia escalated dramatically when Turkey shot down a Russian plane, an action Russian President Vladimir Putin alleged was motivated by Turkey’s desire to protect its oil trade with ISIS.
The emerging conflict between Turkey and Russia could easily draw in the United States, as Turkey is a member of NATO. And even Democrats have charged the Obama administration’s support for overthrowing Assad is actually helping Islamic extremists and increasing the possibility of war.
A Democrat member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, argued Obama’s foreign policy toward Syria “puts us in that position of a potential direct head-to-head conflict with Russia … a potential World War III situation.”
Indeed, some conservative commentators, notably Glenn Beck, have even alleged the United States is acting as a de facto ally of ISIS. Beck recently charged Obama is using ISIS as a “pawn.” Beck claimed Obama’s real goal is “Assad out and to have a proxy war with Iran and Russia,” which he called “shocking” and “infuriating.”
“This is not right-wing conspiracy theory nonsense,” Richardson said of Beck’s claims.
He argued America is continuing to side with Turkey, putting itself on the opposite side of a larger geopolitical struggle with Iran and Russia that could easily turn into a general war.
“With Russia having entering the Middle East, everything has changed,” he warned. “The ante has been upped dramatically. This conflict is no longer one of proxies, but is slowly developing into a genuine regional war. So the Turkish downing of a Russian plane and the subsequent rhetoric is not to be ignored. The United States, of course, continues to side with Turkey; it’s a NATO ally. In fact, through NATO, we are obligated to side with Turkey. And so, now we are not simply at odds with Iran, but also with Russia.”
Carl Gallups, a pastor and author of “Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation,” said the present instability in the Middle East and possibility of global conflict is leading “an increasing number of people to wake up to the fact the beginnings of World War III may be staring us in the face.”
“Many students of Bible prophecy see the possibility of a building global war scenario (especially centered around Muslim donation attempts, Middle East turmoil and the attempted destruction of Israel) as a direct link to the soon return of Jesus Christ,” Gallups told WND.
Gallups said the intervention of Russia and even China in Middle Eastern affairs is an ominous sign.
“For several centuries, biblical commentators have speculated that an end times global war would involve Russia and perhaps China,” Gallups said. “To my knowledge, the world has never seen Russian and Chinese military equipment, troops, and naval fleets in the Middle East at the same time (and even with a level of cooperation) until now. And, of course, all of this is happening in the days in which Israel has returned to the land – a 2,500-year-old direct fulfillment of biblical end times prophecy.”
Richardson said the seriousness of the situation can’t be overstated.
“There are over 200,000 dead in Syria,” he said. “Over 5 million refugees. Europe in crisis. The world is teetering on the edge of a legitimate world war. This is where we presently find ourselves.”
Gallups told WND, “It is practically impossible for any biblically literate person to miss what is happening right before our eyes.”
He explained: “Israel is back in the land and surrounded by enemies on every side, the nations of the world (including the U.S.) are turning their backs on Israel, Islamic terrorism is melding into a possible World War III scenario, and the nations of Ezekiel 38 are continually building the coalition prophesied in that passage. And now Russia and China have arrived in the Middle East.”
Gallups admitted Christians are divided on eschatology and critical questions such as the identity of the Antichrist. But he said one thing he knows for sure: “We are living in very prophetic times.”