Four years ago, I wrote about Iran’s EMP weapons program. EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse. Experts say it’s one of the few ways in which the UScould be defeated militarily, first because it’s a relatively unsophisticated weapon so our enemies could make one, and second because we don’t have a reliable defense against it. Recently (July 2008) this type of weapon was in the news again because of Congressional hearings about our continuing vulnerability.
An EMP weapon works like this. You fire a missile (Scuds are obtainable on the weapons market for about $100K, but Iran has its own Shehab-3) loaded with a small nuclear warhead (also obtainable) from the deck of a nondescript merchant ship (there are currently 130,000 of them registered in 195 countries including Iran … Al Qaeda reportedly has 80 or so) a little ways off the coast. You don’t need pinpoint accuracy because you’re going to detonate it at high altitude above your target area.
As you do, the explosion creates an electromagnetic pulse that travels at the speed of light down to the earth’s surface, destroying all surface and airborne electronic equipment within a circle whose size is determined by the altitude and power of the explosion. If you could get your missile high enough you could wipe out all the computers, phones, weapons guidance systems and other electronic equipment in the entire US with one shot. It would take months or even years to repair the damage.
By buying your missile on the black market and using an old tramp steamer as your launch platform your target wouldn’t know who to retaliate against, even if they still had the capability. According to experts, a launcher covered by an old tarp on the deck of some rust bucket can’t be distinguished from a stack of hay bales or a bunch of bananas by even the most sophisticated spy satellite.
Earlier this year Iran was conducting missile tests that observers contended were failures because the missiles exploded at the top of their trajectory. But Irancalled them successful. Were they test firing EMP weapons? Some think there could be no other reason for Iran to be experimenting with mid-air detonation of missiles than for the planning of an EMP-style attack
The US is especially vulnerable to this kind of attack because we’re by far the most advanced in our use of computers to run things, and therefore the most dependent on them. Remember the Y2K scare? This one is real and could be worse. “Doomsdayers” say this kind of attack could happen any time now, since we aren’t protected against it and our highly motivated enemies probably have the required capability.
But Wait There’s More
I also reported that Iran would break the dollar’s monopoly on world oil purchases, which has happened. As of December 2007, only 15% of Iran’s oil production was sold in dollars. Other countries have followed suit, and today more than 30% of the world’s oil is sold in other currencies.
And Iran and Syria have without a doubt extended our stay in Iraq by funding and staffing terrorist groups determined to prevent us from establishing a stable government there, costing hundreds of additional American deaths and untold millions of dollars. Iran is also steadfastly refusing to back away from its nuclear program, even offering to share its technology with Syria to pick up where North Korea left off. More and more it appears likely that sometime between the November election and the January inauguration. Pres. Bush will team up with Israel to give Iran its due, and most experts agree that together we could do them some serious damage. And of course they’ve promised to give as good as they get.
Why is Iran goading us this way? Well, aside from wanting to defeat a sworn enemy, their particular brand of Islam holds that the 12th Imam (12th descendant of Mohammed), who disappeared while still a child some 1300 years ago, will one day return to earth to set up a world wide Islamic society. But this can’t happen until the world is experiencing enough oppression, misery, tyranny and sorrow to warrant his coming. So to hasten his return, Iran’s leaders believe in provoking as much chaos as possible, arguing that not doing so delays his coming and their redemption.
There are other clues that Islam will likely govern the End Times. Beheading is their preferred method of execution. Some forms of Islam support a convert or die policy and Rev. 20:4 talks about the souls beheaded for Christ. The other day I was reading an article on the number of large banks that have quietly instituted Sharia banking practices, having sold major interests in their organizations to Islamic investors to cover their losses. It occurred to me that having these Sharia laws in place will make it a lot easier for the anti-Christ to exclude believers from the End Times economy. Plunging the world into economic chaos and buying up financial institutions is therefore a desirable step toward achieving a worldwide conversion to Islam. And like the EMP weapon it’s a goal that could be within reach, and against which there’s currently no defense.
In the mean time, we’re doing a pretty good job of making ourselves as vulnerable in the financial arena as we are against EMP weapons. We have yet to see the end of the mortgage crisis and in August more mortgages will be due for rate adjustments than in any other month so far. Foreclosures are 50% higher than last year at this time, and there are now over 2 million homes for sale in the US. Three banks have been closed recently and there are 90 more on a government watch list. Ford just posted it’s biggest loss ever and GM stock is at a 50 year low. Nobody even mentions Chrysler any more. The former number 3 auto maker will likely file a chapter 11 bankruptcy before the end of August.
Some experts are saying that Washington has its back to the wall. They say that with interest rates having been kept too low and debt having gotten too high there’s no place to go. Between the soaring price of oil and a trillion dollars of foreign owned debt, other countries effectively have veto power over American financial policy now.
It’s only fair to say that we’re not in this alone. Europe and Asia are actually worse off than we are. It’s really only the oil producing giants who will escape what some believe is becoming a serious world wide recession.
What Was The Question?
But here’s the real question. If our enemies have the necessary capability to do destroy us on several fronts, and if we’re so vulnerable, why haven’t they already acted? It’s certainly not from lack of desire.
But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. (Psalm 94:22)
In spite of near fanatical attempts by some to have God expelled from our schools, erased off our currency, and kicked out of our lives, there are still too many believers around for them to fully succeed. And as long as we’re here the Lord will continue to restrain the forces of evil until in His perfect time He removes us and releases them to do their worst (2 Thes. 2:7-8). The birth pangs of war, natural disaster, and pestilence we’re experiencing now are to remind us that our reliance on money, jobs, or government will soon prove to be an unsound strategy. So He’s stripping away every trace of the false sense of security these things have provided for us in the past, teaching us to look to Him instead.
And they remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their redeemer. (Psalm 78:35)
From the study of prophecy it seems likely that the US will decline suddenly and dramatically, perhaps in the same manner as the Soviet Union which was literally there one day and gone the next. Whether it happens because our computers suddenly die or our currency loses what’s left of its value, the change will be abrupt. Many of those who’ve built their spiritual houses on the sand of humanism instead of The Rock will find it catastrophic. Investments and savings accounts will shrink overnight, equity disappearing with the snap of a finger. Worse than the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, it will cause many to be left unable to face the future.
(If you live in the US, you may not have noticed how dramatic the change in the dollar’s value has been, and may be thinking I sound like an alarmist. But in Mexico where I live it’s much more obvious. The same dollar that was worth 11 pesos just a few months ago is now worth 9.5 pesos. The orphanage we work with is a good example of what this means. They get most of their donations in dollars, but have to pay a lot of their bills in pesos. The dollar’s decline means that it now takes 1,000 more dollars each month to pay their peso denominated bills.)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)
But people of faith have a certain defense, impervious to our changing circumstances. We know that we have One Who is pledged to our protection, Who will never leave us or forsake us. Even in the most difficult of times He will carry us through until that glorious day when in the twinkling of an eye, we disappear forever. Until then,
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall (Psalm 55:22)
Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt. 6:31-33)