Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ocean Highways

The Coming Siege
By Ron Fraser
Any world power with vast overseas commitments must control the seaways necessary for safe passage of its goods, its citizens and its military forces. Why then have Britain and America so casually yielded up this power they once guarded so jealously?

Geography is the most stable factor on which the power of a nation depends.

Two thirds of the Earth’s surface is ocean. Two thirds of its inhabited land embraces the great land mass of Eurasia and Africa. The remainder, which we call the Western Hemisphere, is, by comparison, an island in the midst of the oceans.

Take a look at the polar map (right). Viewed from a perspective directly above the North Pole, the geography of the Earth’s surface becomes quite plain to the eye. The great “World Island”—as the early 20th-century British geographer Sir Halford Mackinder described Eurasia and the conjoined landmass of Africa—dominates the planet south of the Arctic to the Indian Ocean, east to the South China Sea and west to the Atlantic.

Considering this reality, it is amazing that, despite the fact that most of the nations of the Earth dwell on this singularly massive piece of real estate, the greater part of the globe has been dominated since the 19th century by an English-speaking peoples hailing largely from island nations lying off its western perimeter. Yet, especially in the days of the dominance of the British Empire during most of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century, it was the peoples on the periphery of this giant land mass, those of the British Isles and its dominions—the island nation collective of Australia and New Zealand, plus Canada in the northern segment of the Americas—that generally held sway over much of Eurasia and Africa.

How could this have come about? There is a very clear strategic reality that explains this phenomenon of which most remain ignorant. This ignorance as to the reason this strategic reality was gifted to the Anglo-American peoples is placing them at great risk of its total loss!

Ray S. Cline served as deputy director of Intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1962-1966 and played a major role in the Cuba missile crisis of 1962. He died in 1996. A principal thesis of his strategic studies was based on turn-of-the-20th-century geographer Sir Halford Mackinder’s concept of the globe.

Mackinder “feared a day when Eurasia and land-linked Africa might become a united base of sea power, capable of outbuilding and outmanning the island nations” (Ray S. Cline, The Power of Nations in the 1990s). This clear-thinking student of geography had the presence of mind, even during the peak of Britain’s naval power, to fear the day when the ability to control traffic through the world’s sea lanes would be lost to the English-speaking peoples and vested in the hands of those from the World Island, the world’s largest single land and population mass.

Barely a century has passed since Mackinder wrote his essay on this subject. Britain lost its remarkable command of the high seas, together with its empire, decades ago. In more recent times, the United States gave away control of its crucial southern gateway of Panama and its northern sea gate of the Bering Strait. Mackinder’s worst fears are in the process of rapidly being realized.

The Fight for the World Island

Over the past two centuries, four demagogues attempted to seize control of the World Island land mass. Napoleon tried and was defeated by the Russian winter in 1812. A century later, after Kaiser Wilhelm had pounded the drums of war, German general Erich Ludendorff attempted an eastern strategy, gaining a spectacular victory over the Russians at the Battle of Tannenberg in 1914, before his subsequent failure on the Western front. Hitler tried in 1941 and was repulsed by the Soviet counter-offensive. At the end of World War ii, Stalin, by rolling his tanks clear on into Berlin, commenced the Soviet Union’s attempts to seize control of Eurasia and Africa. The ussr then followed up with deliberate incursions into the Asian and African theaters by infiltrating those regions with insurgents and promoting conflict. Though this ultimately led to the anc-Communist takeover of South Africa in 1994, Communist efforts in Asia stalled in Korea and Vietnam.

Despite America’s natural tendency toward isolationism—a fact allowable by a combination of its unique positioning (separated from the World Island by two great oceans) and its being blessed with abundant natural resources—earlier generations of military men certainly appreciated the reality behind Mackinder’s thesis. One such was Rear Adm. Alfred Thayer Mahan, a United States Navy officer, renowned geostrategist and educator.

Admiral Mahan is still considered the world’s most prominent theorist of military sea power. A contemporary and friend of Theodore Roosevelt, he authored The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783, widely read as the definitive text on the strategic employment of naval power. Mahan’s main premise was that domination of the sea through the exercise of naval power was critical to the control of seaborne commerce and thus a crucial element to obtain the advantage in war. His book became widely influential in strategic circles in his day, particularly within those nations that later found themselves engaged in World War i.

So what has happened to change the present-day military strategists’ view of this fundamental principle of maintaining the power of a nation?

The Great Sea Gate Giveaway

From a purely human perspective, we may perhaps allow that Great Britain, broke and exhausted following two great wars fought in defense of its far-flung empire, might have had no choice but to yield up to its former colonies the precious territory guarding its sea gates.

Yet what excuse does the U.S. have for literally handing over its sovereign right to Panama, bought and paid for by the taxes of a previous generation? And why did the U.S., five years ago, meekly give the Russians the islands and territorial seas—including the assets and seabed—of the Bering Strait for so little in return? This sea gate embraces prime territory for radar and satellite-tracking locations, missile-deployment systems, and missile submarine pens that would threaten the northwestern coast and interior of the U.S.

The result of these giveaways should be obvious to any child of elementary-school age, or any player of the popular game of Risk: It simply poses the probable loss of passage to American warships through the Panama Canal and the Bering Strait should the new possessor of this sea gate choose to close it down by naval barricade! This handover of America’s northwestern and southern gateways would appear to be, based on all recognized authorities on naval strategy, akin to national suicide!

Yet geography was never the real strength of the average American. To so many Americans, isn’t the United States the center of the universe? Don’t we have the very best form of government? Isn’t our god the God of the universe? Aren’t we a really good people? Don’t we have the answers to all the world’s problems? Isn’t Utopia our preserve? Isn’t our navy so powerful that no nation would attempt to withstand it?

Well, the plain fact is, that very un-humble American mindset—of taking so much for granted—is a fairly modern phenomenon. But what hasn’t changed is the gross ignorance the average American has of the geography of the planet on which he or she lives. Sixty years ago, the American people were shocked into the reality that there was, indeed, a whole wide world out there beyond the Americas, and it was largely hostile to their peace-loving populace!

After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told his speechwriter, “I am going to ask the American people to take out their maps. I’m going to speak about strange places that many of them never heard of—places that are now the battleground of civilization.” That was way back in 1942. The Americans, or at least many of them, dutifully pulled out their maps of the world from their family libraries and discovered a whole world lying beyond the shores of their own island of peculiar isolation.

Track forward 60 years to 9/11.

This time the hit is far closer to home. Not just on the outlying state of Hawaii, as in 1941, but right at the heart and core of the corporate and the political headquarters of America—New York and Washington! That one event skewed U.S. policymakers’ minds toward the enactment of a “war on terror,” with its primary focus on the Middle East.

But now, with so many minds, so many assets, and a huge portion of funds devoted to this effort, the U.S. risks failing to secure the very strategic areas where it is most vulnerable.

Loss of Isolation

The fact of its separation by the natural barriers of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from the World Island has worked in America’s favor ever since its founding as a nation. These great oceans were natural barriers to incursion by foreign foes, only twice breached by surprise air attack, in 1941 and 2001. The U.S. mainland has never suffered a successful attack on its shores by a seaborne enemy.

But, even as Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo was very much aware of in 1941, such a maritime nation as the U.S., in contrast to any landlocked country, must maintain a serviceable navy of proportions that enable adequate defense of its shorelines, in particular, its ports and harbors.

Great Britain, until recent times, was historically able to defend its island nation, and later its far-flung empire, by great naval strength, a strength that is no more. In recent years, at times Britain’s vastly reduced navy has not had sufficient fuel to leave port, has not had enough shells to fire in maritime exercises and has literally had to borrow vessels from foreign countries to meet the most minimal of needs.

In contrast, U.S. naval power is overwhelmingly the greatest of any nation on Earth. Yet, what good is a navy if it is denied access to various ports of call necessary to carry out its function? Unless that navy controls or substantially influences the nations bordering the sea gates through which it must pass, it may as well stay put in its home ports. This is the very weakness in U.S. defense that strategists seem to be largely ignoring.

In the European theater, America has rested on its laurels, progressively drawing down its military presence following the grand Soviet Union implosion of the early 1990s. Especially since the conclusion of the Balkan wars, U.S. focus has swung to the Islamic crescent that arcs from northern Africa, across the Middle East to the Caucasus. This has involved concentrating military assets and strategy in Afghanistan, Iraq and in foreign countries, such as Turkey, which give ready access to this theater. But as the U.S. concentrates on this patch of the Earth’s surface, and on a transient enemy that is proving most elusive, it seems to have lost sight of the devil at its back door.

If, as Sir Winston Churchill mused, the Mediterranean is indeed the “soft underbelly” of Europe, then Latin America is that of the U.S.

The U.S. currently faces two glaring challenges to its security as a nation: surprise attack from Islamic extremists, and a continuing incursion of illegal aliens through its highly porous southern border. While America’s military strategists devote substantial energies to the war on terror, a scattered, grossly undermanned band of state authorities attempt to limit the overwhelming tide of illegals daily crossing the southern borders of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. This is becoming a hot potato that is proving to be practically, economically and politically impossible for the U.S. administration to effectively handle.

Yet quite apart from these twin security headaches, the most vital challenge to U.S. security gets little press, and when it does, it gains little credence. It is simply the massive strategic potential that China has quietly and steadily gained.

China’s Gain

Over the past decade, China has been buying up controlling interests in the crucial sea gates once almost totally controlled by Anglo-American interests at the time of British and American global supremacy. See the maps below to compare the way it was when Britain and the U.S. controlled every major sea gate at the zenith of their power, and the way it is today.

China, the most populous nation on the World Island, exhibiting the fastest growth rate of any national economy in the world, is reaching out beyond its singular eastern coastline in a grand strategic effort to turn the tables on the Western Hemisphere to which it has played second fiddle for centuries. This grand strategy will eventually see China do more than possess most of the world’s crucial sea gates—which it already does. As its naval strength gains rapidly from the present massive expenditure being devoted to it, China, allied with two other great naval powers, will ultimately be able to compete on a scale far better than equal with the U.S. naval presence in the major shipping lanes of the world. One factor that limits this potential is the present political divide between China and Japan.

Already, in step with the biblical prophecy of our times, Russia and China have been making friendly overtures to each other, even conducting joint naval exercises in the South China Sea. The combined navies of China and Russia would present a considerable force to any nation with which one or the other, or both, had a disagreement.

But consider. Japan has the second-largest navy in the world. What if China, Japan and Russia were able to patch up the various differences they have over disputed territory and form a defensive alliance? Japan’s naval might, added to the combined nuclear naval strength of China and Russia, would present a formidable force to the West.

In fact, should these three ally—even for a moment in time—with a united Europe, with all four of them increasingly exploiting controlling interests in various regions of Africa, the worst fears of Sir Halford Mackinder would be realized!

Such an alliance would literally present “a united base of sea power,” capable of closing down inbound trade to the island nations.

The result? Siege by naval blockade!

Sound crazy? Check your Bible.

The Coming Siege

“Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee … The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth … And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee” (Deuteronomy 28:45, 49-52).

Believe it or not, God gave the major island land masses of the world to Britain and America—not for any goodness on their part, but in fulfillment of ancient promises to a biblical patriarch (explained in our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy).

Neither nation has given God due credit and honor for these blessings. Instead, the Anglo-Americans have strayed far from their God; their morals lie in the pits; their greed and selfishness wax strong in the age of consumerism. Current economic “good times” are a fa├žade, masking the uncontrollable hugeness of national and personal debt. Outsourcing might be the buzzword of the age, but, in reality, it bespeaks a nation that has handed over its once-greatly prized self-sufficiency by transferring its productive knowledge, skills and abilities offshore to nations of the World Island. In reality, we have simply transferred the ability to effectively exploit the benefits of our God-given national blessings to foreign nations, thereby strengthening them and weakening ourselves.

God will not be mocked. He will have His day—and soon! The writing is on the wall already for those with eyes to see it. Ezekiel’s prophecy clearly predicts that the hordes of the World Island will ultimately gather together in a grand alliance (Ezekiel 38:1-7). The prophecies of Revelation 13, 17 and 18 all point to a European superpower actually ruling the world for a short time, with the merchants, the great international corporations that traffic their wares through the world’s seaways, being complicit, just as in World War ii, in their support of a tyrant’s regime. Such an event would need an alliance with the powers that control the world’s sea gates and sea lanes at the time. That is coming, believe it or not, short though its life is destined to be.

The groundwork of a punishing siege against Anglo-Americans is being laid. It remains for the right moment to arrive when Chinese, Japanese, Russian and European economic and political will combine to mount a monetary siege against the dollar—and it will consummate in literal naval blockade of the now largely China-owned sea gates through which the bulk of Anglo-American trade must pass.

The results of this siege are prophesied to be horrific! Read it for yourself in Deuteronomy 28:53. In fact, read the whole chapter and realize that God declared this rising scenario fully 3,500 years ago through the Prophet Moses!

But does it all end there, with the U.S., Britain and its dominions, the great island nations of the West, enslaved by the hordes of the World Island?

Thank God it doesn’t!

The Choice

The one true God is a God of great mercy and compassion, but He commands obedience. Why? Because the law He has put in motion guarantees blessings to be lavished upon those who conform willingly to it. The same God commanded the nation of ancient Israel, from whose roots came today’s Anglo-American peoples: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).

We simply have a choice! Choose to submit to and obey your Creator, and gain life and “length of days.” The consequences of refusing that call to obey your Creator are unfathomably painful, given the reality of the speed at which the prophecies of Deuteronomy 28 are racing toward fulfillment!

On the surface, it seems a simple and obvious choice: Choose life and length of days under God’s protection—or choose rebellion against the Creator and endure the coming siege, and then, in pain, acknowledge that you and yours could have avoided the greatest suffering yet known to man (Matthew 24:21-22).

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