How I Got to be So Hysterical

On April 4th, it was my birthday, and like every other April 4th preceding it, I called my Dad because it was his birthday too. (Yup, I was born on my Dad’s birthday.) We talked for an hour and a half, and at the end of our conversation, my Dad said, “your mother and I watch the Glenn Beck show on the Internet.” I thought, “oh yeah, that Glenn Beck guy.” My Aunt and a couple other friends watch that show, too.

April 5th was a slow day, so I tootled over to the Glenn Beck website, and up popped the April 4th show. Interesting things were said, and my curiosity was piqued. So, when the show was over, I clicked the link for the April 1st show. It was even a bit more interesting… It was a quiet day, and I had some extra time. So, I clicked the March 31 show, and that’s when the bomb went off.

That March 31st show presented me with some information that I should have known, but didn’t. I did my own checking and found out that it was all horrifyingly true.

We have a gun pointed at our head, and we’re pretty certain that it’s loaded. But, we just don’t know when they are going to pull the trigger.

Boy, that sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?

But, let’s take a step back and look at the Middle East again.

My History with the Middle East

I have been completely fascinated by the Arab-Israeli conflict since I was a teenager, more than 30 years ago. I ate up anything and everything that I could find on the subject. I even went so far as to move to Jerusalem and live there for something like 15 years.

What a completely fascinating place. Peace and war are fought in every battlefield you can imagine, and in a few that you cannot. The best and worst of humanity is writ large there, and I am privileged to have been something of an observer. I could go into detail here, but that would be silly ‘cuz you have my blog. Read that, and you’ll understand what I mean.

Throughout all this, Iran remained a fringe player in events. They armed Hezbollah in Lebanon and eventually started helping out Hamas. They dabbled in assassination and covert action, but they didn’t seem to do much more than that. They were a problem, but not an existential threat.

Oh how times have changed.

In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini died and Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyin Khamenei was appointed to take his place. He looked like a fairly decent fellow – scholarly with a bit of a twinkle in his eye. His pictures were certainly less austere than the ones depicting Khomeini. Maybe things in Iran were looking up? But, it didn’t really seem to matter much because they were always something of a bit player in the Middle East. Little did we know that kindly-looking Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyin Khamenei would be at the heart of a growing madness within the Islamic Republic of Iran.

We first started to notice something wrong in 2005 when little-known Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mayor of Tehran, came from nowhere to defeat the urbane incumbent Mohammad Khatami to become the next president of Iran. It was a surprise, but we sighed at the craziness of life and continued on with our business. There were other things to think about. (I mean, I was desperately single, and you know how distracting THAT is.)

Then trouble between the IAEA and Iran escalated. Iran seemed (at least to me) less and less willing to be open about it’s nuclear intentions. Iran, the bit player, was rapidly moving down the road to becoming an active threat to our modern way of life.

I watched the progression of that threat with unease. I had hoped that the West would do something. I had hoped that they would treat this growing threat seriously. But, they didn’t. But, life was like that, and we told ourselves that we had time to neutralize the threat. We said to ourselves that we could handle Iran. And frankly, we could.

We had anti-missile systems and the ability strike deeply into Iran. We had a powerful military and an active intelligence service. What could Iran do that we couldn’t defend against? We stared down the Soviet Union, so we told ourselves that we’ll stare this threat down too.

But, that was before they started to test the remote detonation of ballistic missiles in low earth orbit.

Doomsday, the 2007 Version

I didn’t know that they were doing so at the time, but I did know that Ahmadinejad seemed to believe that he could hasten the coming of the Islamic Messiah (the Mahdi) by bringing down the US and Israel. And, he seemed awfully confident that his country could deliver.

My thought at the time was, “oh, really?”

At the same time, people were getting hysterical about the coming expiration of the Mayan Calendar. According to some, the world was going to end in 2012, so I thought that it would be ‘fun’ to see how the Iranians could make that happen.

That’s when I sat down to write a doomsday scenario, playing out what the end of the world would look like if it was done Iranian style. I knew that they would only have been able to produce a handful of nuclear weapons, and that didn’t seem like enough to really do the job. I mean, it’s true that one nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day, and a series of them would certainly hurt – but, it wouldn’t destroy us.

That’s why I diligently researched blast radii, fallout and kill zones. And then I came across Iran’s testing of remote detonation of ballistic missiles in low earth orbit.

When I asked why they should do such a thing, the answer was chilling. The Iranians seemed to have found a way destroy us. All they had to do was detonate a few nuclear weapons in low orbit (or maybe even just one), and the EMP effect would turn our civilization into toast. Just do a search for “High-altitude Electromagnetic Pulse”.

Of course, there were other details to think about. Much would happen before the Iranians would be in a position to do this, so I thought of those. Out came a doomsday scenario that seemed so ‘doable’ that… well, it made me incredibly depressed. It really looked like Iran could pull it off.

We are now four years into my scenario, so let’s check to see how events have coincided with my apocalyptic fantasy.

Please remember that this wasn’t so much a prediction as a ‘what if’. What if the Iranians were on a path that would cause our world to crumble right around December 21, 2012.

So, let’s look at what has occurred that corresponds with the scenario I cooked up in 2007:

  • A Democrat did win the Whitehouse
  • We did have a Recession (although MUCH worse)
  • Troops in Iraq were repositioned away from active combat duty.
  • Plans for a troop withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan have been finalized.
  • Iran and Turkey have moved closer and closer to each other.
  • Turkey’s re-Islamization has accelerated.

But, Russia didn’t move quite so quickly to build alliances southwards, and Iran’s nuclear weapons program has suffered serious setbacks. (That Stuxnet virus was brilliant.)

With the knowledge that the world wasn’t ending anytime soon, I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to my complacent meander through life.

Oh, and just for the record, the World is NOT going to end on December 21, 2012. That idea is ridiculous. (Although, wouldn’t it be cool if it did?)

So, my doomsday scenario gathered dust until April 4th, 2011. That was when I made my fateful phone call to my Dad. And, it was the next day that I saw the March 31st show that has changed my view of the immediate future.

On that March 31st show, a guest called Reza Khalili (not his real name) shared information with us that the Iranian leadership was operating under a 5 year time clock to fulfill the prophecy of the Shoaib bin Saleh, who will supposedly bring in the Mahdi. And, he said that their five year time clock was going to be finished this summer. I thought, “no way,” and went and checked out the information. It was true, and worse, I uncovered the video produced by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard illustrating that they truly believed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the Shoaib bin Saleh.

Not only did it check out, but it seemed that the situation was even worse than I thought. The Iranian leadership believed all this stuff, and the REAL badguy was that ‘kindly spiritual leader’ Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyin Khamenei. He was the biggest nutjob of all, and the only thing that I didn’t know was how long he’s been preparing to spring his version of Armageddon on us.

Did he just now think this stuff up? Or, has he had time to put plans into effect and make it all happen? I didn’t know, and I still don’t know.

A New Possibility for Doom

Then, I thought about all the ways that our lovely Ayatollah could take us down.

It has occurred to me that he doesn’t need nukes. All he needs to do, in this time of terrible financial instability, is to take out strategic parts of Saudi Arabia’s oil production infrastructure and send the cost of oil rocketing to $200, even $300 a barrel.

That would be bad. How bad? Well, think about how vulnerable our financial system and economy are right now. We are teetering on the brink of yet another Great Depression. And, to have the oil turned off in Saudi Arabia? In a time when food for the average American travels between 1200 and 1500 miles? At a time when the real US jobless rate is still astronomically high? With businesses still struggling to keep their doors open?

Normally we’d go straight into a recession, right? But we’ve already been through the worst recession since the Great Depression, and we’re still not out of it.

No, I’m afraid that $200/barrel for oil would crash the system. Gas prices would shoot through the roof. Farmers would have to charge far, far more for their grain because they would otherwise not be able to harvest it. Truckers would have to charge hideous transportation fees to deliver the grain, or leave it in their silos. Cattle farmers would have to charge astronomical prices for their beef because grain had gotten so expensive, and that’s not taking into account THEIR cost for fuel. And on and on the dominoes would tumble.

Businesses would be forced to shut their doors because their costs would be too high. Businesses shutting down or cutting staff would send the jobless rate higher than the 25% we saw in The Great Depression. We’re already close to something like 20% in real unemployment already. If the Iranians succeed in getting oil prices to the $200 and $300 level, we would have yet another Great Depression, but this time far, far worse than we’ve ever seen before, and we aren’t prepared for it.

In the 1930s most people still lived on a farm and had a better idea about what it took to survive than those of us today. And, they didn’t do so well in surviving. Out of a population of 123 million in 1930, approximately 7 million died of starvation and starvation-related diseases. That is about 5.7% of the US population at the time. Our current population in the US is about 310 million. 5.7% of that is almost 18 million people.

If a similar Great Depression should hit us, at least 18 million people would die of starvation and starvation-related disease. At least. We might be lucky to see only that many die. I mean, how good are your survival skills when food, money and gasoline are scarce? If the Iranians succeed in throwing the West back to the stone age for a couple years we would be far more helpless than we were then – and less willing to help, even if we could. We don’t have a fraction of the integrity, honor and community spirit that Americans had 80 years ago.

I am convinced that 18 million dead would be just a START. If you don’t believe me, just look at the census data. We had 106 million in 1920, 123 million in 1930, 132 million in 1940 and 151 million in 1950. According to projections, the population in the US should have grown by 18 million between 1930 and 1940. It didn’t. It grew by only 9 million. Somewhere during that time period, 9 million people went unaccounted for. Where are these 9 million?

Well, some of them would just never have been born because their parents died before they could do so. But, most of the deaths would have been the elderly and the young. People of child-bearing years tend to survive starvation better than those younger and older.

We face yet another Great Depression, and might be in the midst of one right now (I’ve been seeing reports of REAL unemployment at 20%). The problem is that the US government has done nothing to prepare for such an eventuality. The stimulus packages that the government has introduced is only holding off the inevitable. Stimulus is never going to fix the problems of the US economy. In fact, these stimuli are only making things worse by adding an even greater debt burden on the US government. When the stimulus money runs out, the system will start to come unglued.

When that happens they’ll throw in another stimulus package, and the economy will come unglued even faster and harder. Eventually, we will no longer be able to stimulate the economy and everything will come to a grinding halt. The result will be a crash of unimaginable proportion.

But It Gets Worse

What would happen if Iran delayed in its attempt to take the US down? What if they waited until we were REALLY vulnerable? When we get to the point where we have run out of money to borrow? Where stimulus packages will cease to become viable? What if they attack THEN? And what if they have those nuclear weapons that they’ve been trying to develop?

The Iranians are already hoping to mount an EMP attack on America and Europe. If they succeed in knocking out America’s infrastructure, the United States of America will cease to exist. There will be so many deaths that 18 million will be nothing by comparison.

This leads me to the spiritual side of things.

Gog and MaGog

I have been utterly fascinated with the bible’s description of what happens in the end times – the end of this age.

Now, please remember that I’m a true believer. If the bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it – which, for some of you, puts me up there with Mahmoud Ahmadina-nutjob. (Which might be why I understand the president of Iran so well.)

But, with as much time as I have spent reading my bible, I have never really seen how these prophecies would work. I had faith that they would happen. I didn’t even understand how they COULD happen. It was all a mystery to me.

I started to see how the last days prophecies could happen when I wrote my doomsday piece in 2007. But, that piece was an intellectual exercise. But, on April 5th, 2011, my intellectual exercise abruptly stopped being theoretical.

The coalition for war against Israel that is described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 is actually coming together, today. The prophecies are happening in front of our eyes.

To those of you who are looking forward to the coming of the Lord, this is a very good thing. A very, very good thing. But, that doesn’t mean that we are to sit on our hands and sit back to enjoy the ride.

Jesus tells His disciples (and us) what is going to happen, but He ends his discussion with these words:

Luke 21: 34-36

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

He commands us to watch and pray…. So that we might escape. (or, at least have the option to escape.)

There is great evil descending upon the world, and we have an obligation to act. We are to watch, to warn. We need to clean up our lives and be ready for whatever comes. And pray. Please, let us not forget to pray that we would be found worthy to escape what is about to come upon us.

In a later post, I hope to tell you something about what that escape might look like.

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