Jul 14, 2008

"MEDITERRANEAN UNION" IS BORN: Intriguing, Disturbing, and Prophetic

By Joel Rosenberg

An intriguing new geopolitical entity was born over the weekend that could in ways small and large dramatically change the course of Europe and the Middle East in the years ahead. At a series of ceremonies in Paris -- in a palace overlooking the River Seine -- leaders from 43 countries comprising 756 million people met officially to form the "Mediterranean Union," to fight terrorism, end WMD proliferation, enhance regional security, and promote free trade, economic development, and tourism.

The brainchild of French President Nicolas Sarkzozy, the M.U. is certainly not a formal military or economic alliance by any stretch. Not yet, at least. But significantly, it does include all the nations of the European Union, Israel and all the countries of North Africa. The sole exception is Libya, whose leader, Muammar Gadaffi, denounced the organization as the rise of a "another Roman Empire." Gadaffi is right. That's precisely what we're seeing. It disturbs me, in no small part because of the fact that Syria's thuggish President Bashar Assad was allowed to strut out onto the international stage again at Sarkozy's invitation despite the fact that the world has done so much to isolate Assad for his atrocities in Lebanon, Iraq and within his own country.

Nevertheless, Sarkozy and his colleagues are ecstatic about what they're doing and where it could lead. They see a unified Europe setting the model for a unified planet. A one world system, run by Europe. And the first step, in the eyes of the "Eurocrats" is to expand their territory southward. "The European and the Mediterranean dreams are inseparable," Sarkozy said at the opening festivities. "We will succeed together; we will fail together....We will build peace in the Mediterranean together, like yesterday we built peace in Europe...not north against south, not Europe against the rest, but united....We dreamed about a Union for the Mediterranean, and now it is a reality." U.N. Secretary General Ki Ban Moon likewise gushed, "The new Union for the Mediterranean is well timed to help you all shoulder this collective responsibility. But this initiative also has the potential to deliver on a much wider agenda. I believe this far-reaching multilateral initiative can work to address the complex trans-border issues the region faces, and provide a framework for the pooling of resources and the development of collective action. And I hope the Union will become a vibrant partner of the entire United Nations family, across the range of the Union's areas of focus -- from energy and environment to security cooperation, education and science."

Skeptics and cynics abound as to what will really come of all this. But as I have written about before, it is worth noting that Bible prophecies indicate that in the last days the world will witness the resurrection of the Roman Empire. The Scriptures tell us that eventually a global dictator who will come to be known to the world as the "Antichrist" will be a European leader of Roman origin. I have absolutely no idea who that person will be, but that is not the point. The point is that sixty years ago, Europe was the most war-torn, economically ravaged and politically divided continent on the planet. It had just waged two horrific world wars, committed genocide, and would soon launch a fifty year Cold War (complete with the Berlin Wall, NATO and the Warsaw Pact) as well. During those dark years, few could have imagined that in 2007, Europe would have one currency, one increasingly unified political system, borderless crossings, and that all this would be based on a treaty signed in Rome on March 25, 1957. Indeed the first draft of the new European constitution was signed in Rome as well, on October 29, 2004. It has been ratified by 18 of 27 countries. It's not yet clear how soon it will be ratified by the rest, but for better or for worse, Europe's new leaders not only want to get it done -- they now want to expand their Union to include Israel and as many Mideast countries as possible.

Another trend worth watching closely.