Friday, June 12, 2015

Putin, Russia, the Ukraine, Germany, and Europe

Here are links to a couple of interesting stories about the Ukraine situation and how it is affecting Germany and Russia.

The first story is titled, "Will Russia force Germany to become a European power once more?", dated June 11, 2015, 10:30 a.m. ET, from Vox World. Here is a link:

The article shows there has been a massive shift in the view of the German leadership about Russia. Before the crisis over the Ukraine, Germany had more trust in Vladimir Putin and in Russia and did not view Russia much as a security threat. Now all that has changed. German leaders realize that the old policy has failed and that a new policy is needed. But they have not decided what new policy should replace the old.

Many German leaders are realizing that Germany needs to be stronger militarily and politically and not just rely on United States leadership and power. But there is a reluctance in German, and European, public opinion to build a strong military and prepare to use force to defend against Russian aggression.

Here is a related article that shows how the public in many western countries views the use of force to defend against a Russian attack: "This chart should terrify Russia's neighbors", dated June 11, 2015, 1:27 p.m. ET, link:

I have studied the history of World War II for a long time, and I see parallels between what Vladimir Putin and Russia are doing now and what Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany did then. Prior to World War II, Germany increased its strength. Then they began to take over neighboring states, using dissidents from the inside of those states to stir up trouble whenever they could so they could make the excuse that they were only helping the people of the country they were invading. During this process, Britain and France tried to compromise and avoid confrontation with Hitler. Neville Chamberlain, prime minister of Britain, thought Hitler was a man that could be negotiated with and trusted. Most people in western nations, with the memories of World War I in their minds, wanted to make every effort to avoid war and were even reluctant to take measures to prepare for war.

But eventually, the people and leaders of Britain and France could no longer delude themselves. Hitler's actions made clear that he could not be trusted or negotiated with, and that nothing but force could stop him. There was a turning of public opinion and the views of western European leadership.

That may be beginning in Europe right now. It has started in the German leadership. German leaders are realizing that they need to take action to make Germany stronger. They are realizing that Putin can only be restrained by strength, not compromise or negotiation. Eventually, public opinion will realize that also. That may take time, but it is starting.

The west has been putting pressure on Russia. One possible reason gas prices may be low right now is that the United States and the west have persuaded friendly gulf oil states such as Saudi Arabia to increase oil production to force lower prices, for a few years. Lower oil prices hurts Russia economically because Russia is an oil exporting country. But economic pressure will not be enough to restrain Russia from taking over the Ukraine and other nearby states. German leaders are beginning to realize that, and the general public will begin to realize it also.

And things can get much worse very soon. If Putin views Obama as weak, and so far Obama seems to have shown himself to be weak during this crisis, he may view Obama's presidency as a window of opportunity. Not knowing if the next president will be strong, and he might be, Putin may be motivated to go as far as he can before Obama's presidency ends and a new president takes office, just about a year and a half from now. On the other hand, he may look to the effect of his aggressiveness on the coming U.S. presidential election, not wanting to provoke a response from U.S. voters that will bring a strong, hard-line president into office. But I wouldn't count on that. Perhaps the most dangerous period will be from after the election in early November till the new president takes office in January, while Obama is a "lame duck" president. This will also be a time, being winter, when the European Community is most dependent on natural gas for heating piped from Russia.

What are the possible effects of Russian aggression in terms of fulfillment of Bible prophecy?

One effect is to provoke the Europeans, and especially Germany, into becoming more unified and building their military power so they can defend themselves from Russian aggression.

Another response, which can work in combination with the above, is to eventually make some kind of deal with Russia, and that deal may include a turning away from the United States and towards Russia. I don't anticipate this in the near future, but it can happen before the beast power attacks the United States. This also has a parallel with World War II. Hitler made a deal with Stalin. That deal included a non-aggression treaty between them, which gave Germany a free hand to deal with France and Britain without having to worry about a war with Russia at the same time. It also included a trade agreement. And it also included an agreement to divide up Poland between them. This deal came as a surprise to many who understood Hitler's and the Nazis' view of Communist Russia. Hitler and the Nazis had always been mortal enemies of Communism, and they also viewed Russia's land as future "living space" that Germany should take from Russia. So they wondered how and why Hitler could make a deal with Stalin (and why Stalin would make a deal with Hitler).

The answer was that both regarded the deal as a temporary expedient. Hitler wanted to first conquer France before taking on Russia, and he did not want to fight them both at the same time. He planned from the beginning to break his treaty with Stalin and attack Russia, after defeating France and Britain. Stalin made the agreement because he needed time to repair and build up Russia's military before fighting Germany. A few years before, Stalin had killed the majority of the best and most professional officers in the Russian army and replaced them with those he regarded as more loyal to him and to Communism, and this had a weakening effect on the Russian army. But then he attacked Finland, and in the war with Finland Stalin found out how weak his army had become. Now he needed time to repair the damage, to restore strong officer leadership to the army, and to build the tanks, planes, and other armaments he needed. He also thought the war between Germany and France and Britain would be a long one and both sides would wear themselves out.

What may happen with Russia and Germany now is that Russia may become increasingly aggressive towards the Ukraine and other neighboring states, especially as the end of Obama's term nears, but also afterwards, and that his aggression may provoke a military buildup in Europe as a whole, but especially in Germany.

Germany is relatively weak, but it would not take very many years for that to change. Germany is already a nuclear power in a couple of respects. One, United States nuclear weapons are stationed on German soil, and those weapons can be taken over by Germany and placed under total German control. Two, Germany is able to build and stockpile its own nuclear weapons because it manufactures nuclear weapons for France right now. But Germany overall needs a stronger military to confront Russia, and for that there needs to be a change in public opinion in Germany. Putin by his aggressiveness can provoke that change in opinion. He can scare the Germans out of their pacifism.

But while Europe becomes stronger, they will still want to avoid war with Russia. At some point, perhaps several years from now, Russia may provoke a severe crisis with Europe and use that as a bargaining chip to cause Germany and some other European nations to severe their military and political ties with the United States. Russia may offer Germany and part of Europe a deal - break your NATO alliance with the United States and make an alliance with Russia. Russia is already allied with China, so this would bring Germany and Europe into a Eurasian alliance. As the United States declines, this option may seem attractive to some Germans.

With Russia as an ally, the beast power would be well positioned to confront the United States. It is also likely, because of similar religious background of Europe and Latin America, that Mexico, Central America, and South America would also be allied with the beast power. With Russia's nuclear umbrella and German nuclear weapons, German elite troops, and masses of troops from Mexico and South America, the beast power and its allies would be in a position to attack the United States and win, IF the United States has been sufficiently weakened internally first, and that is happening right now.

The European Union, at some point, may "sell out" the United States and Britain to Russia, in a sense. Russia may become a factor both in motivating Europe to become militarily strong and to turn against the United States and Britain. And an alliance with Russia may strengthen Germany and Europe in a war against the English speaking peoples.

Russia is already trying to build an economic trade union with former members of the U.S.S.R. Russia also has close trade and political and even military relations with China and other Asian powers. Suppose the economic union Russia is building in Asia became partners with the European Union. It could become an association between two economic blogs that would remove tariffs and trade barriers. It can involve a military alliance with cooperation and coordination, just as Europe has with the United States within NATO. Europe can bring security to Russia (from Germany and from the USA) plus economic support and wealth. Russia can bring to the EU guaranteed natural resources plus instant military power. Russia can also bring its favorable relations with China and India into the bargain.

If Russia and Europe come together, that can bring much the military power Europe needs to overturn the USA. Instantly. Such an alliance would be temporary, just as the agreement between Hitler and Stalin was temporary, but it could serve a purpose for a while.

So when German-dominated Europe attacks the US, who might its allies be? Mexico and South America, Russia, China, and India. Also, Russia has allies among Moslem countries such as Syria and Iran. Not all of these would engage in direct warfare, but they could help Europe in various ways, direct and indirect.

No comments: