Who Wants To Be A Millenarian?
A report published this year predicts nuclear war, megadroughts, famine, mass migrations and rioting around the world by 2020 as abrupt climate change causes massive disruption of the world’s food and water supplies.
By 2007 violent storms smash coastal barriers rendering large parts of the Netherlands uninhabitable. Cities like The Hague are abandoned. Levees in the Sacramento river delta are breached, disrupting the aqueducts transporting water south.
Between 2010 and 2020 Europe is hardest hit with an average annual temperature drop of 6°F. Britain becomes colder and drier as weather patterns begin to resemble Siberia. War and famine deaths run into the millions until the planet’s population is reduced by such an extent the Earth can cope. A “significant drop” in the planet’s ability to sustain its present population will become apparent over the next 20 years.
Riots and conflict tear apart India, S. Africa and Indonesia. Access to water becomes a major battleground. The Nile, Danube and Amazon are all mentioned as being high risk. Nuclear arms proliferation is inevitable. Japan, South Korea, and Germany develop nuclear-weapons capabilities, as do Iran, Egypt and North Korea. Israel, China, India and Pakistan also are poised to use the bomb.
By 2010 the U.S. and Europe will experience a third more days with peak temperatures above 90F. Climate becomes an “economic nuisance” as storms, droughts and hot spells create havoc for farmers.
Mega-droughts affect the world’s major breadbaskets, including America’s Midwest, where strong winds bring soil loss. Bangladesh will become nearly uninhabitable because of rising sea levels which contaminate inland water supplies.
Military showdowns could be fast and furious: In 2015, conflict in Europe over supplies of food and water leads to strained relations. In 2022, France and Germany battle over the Rhine River’s water. In 2025, the United States and China square off over access to Saudi Arabian oil.
This report did not come from some fruitcake environmentalist thinktank, but from that paragon of rationality and pricipled endeavours, the Pentagon. The fact that the Pentagon should be considering these doomsday scenarios as possible, even probable in the near future should be worrying for us insignificant minions, when we consider who is occupying the seats of power in the US today.
In recent issues of Rachel’s Environment and Health News (www.rachel.org) is a wellresearched series of articles about the religious right in the US and its influence over the Bush administration. It shows that the U.S. is pursuing contradictory and seemingly selfdestructive nuclear policies: Bush stresses that the two greatest dangers facing the U.S. are the spread of nuclear materials and know-how into the hands of (a) terrorists and (b) erratic and belligerent countries.
Meanwhile Vice-President Cheney and the Commerce Department are promoting the sale of nuclear power plants around the world even though it is widely acknowledged that nuclear power provides a sure path to nuclear weapons.
Bush has initiated a “second nuclear age” ordering up a new generation of small atomic bombs which are needed because they are “more usable”. Bush has announced provocative new war policies, including the threat of pre-emptive nuclear strikes against even enemies without nuclear arms.
The U.S. is deliberately dragging its feet in efforts to secure thousands of loose nuclear weapons in countries of the former Soviet Union, and is failing to retrieve tons of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium that were given or lent to 40 or more countries under the “atoms for peace” program.
It’s as if U.S. leaders — or the political supporters to whom they are beholden — believe that the rogue detonation of a nuclear device in some key city like Jerusalem or even New York is inevitable and can’t be stopped, or perhaps might even be beneficial in some way and therefore should be enabled.
Certain fundamentalist Christian leaders within the United States say they believe that World War III is inevitable (some even say desirable) because it is part of God’s plan, and those same Christian leaders control the political agenda of the Republican Party, which in turn controls the Congress and the Executive Branch.
These fundamentalist Christian leaders are, therefore, in the best position to promote the spread of nuclear technologies abroad, and to slow U.S. efforts to retrieve and secure weapons-grade nuclear materials. Many of them also preach that a fiery conflagration is required to defeat the armies of the Antichrist and thus usher in Christ’s thousand-year reign of peace.
Christian fundamentalist leaders are much further along toward their goal of dominion than most people realize. They control the Congress and the White House, and they are now working methodically to take over the courts. Perhaps because religious beliefs are considered to be a private matter in the U.S., the mass media have largely ignored this, the most important political story of our time. These leaders believe that before Christ returns to Earth he will physically transport to heaven (“rapture”) all those who have been saved, whether they be dead or still living. As the Reverend Billy Graham wrote in 1984, “The day is fast approaching when Jesus Christ will come back to ‘snatch away’ His followers from all the graveyards of the world, and those of us who are alive and remain will join them in the great escape!”
Reverend Jerry Falwell boasts that he can mobilize 70 million dispensationalists (36% of all U.S. adults); others say the true number of dispensationalists is no more than 40 million (20% of all adults). Either number is politically significant because only 50.99 million people voted for Al Gore in 2000 and even fewer voted for George W. Bush.
For people holding such views, the present U.S. invasion of Iraq may hold special meaning because it can be seen as an essential step toward the second coming of Christ. Indeed, President Bush describes his own role in the Iraq war in deeply religious terms. When the President visited the Middle East a year ago, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which is owned by the New York Times, reported that the President said, “God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did....”
In short, the mightiest military machine the world has ever seen is in the hands of nutcases. Modern Day equivalents of Ghengis Khan have at their disposal a far greater power than any tyrant has ever wielded. Yet they are the same in that they believe they are fulfilling some great prophecy or destiny. Any revolutionary strategy has to take this madness into account.
We cannot assume that our enemies think or operate in anything like the way ‘normal’ people do. Nor should we underestimate their power and dedication.