A Gotterdammerung Moment :: by Matt Ward

Gotterdammerung is a term that comes from the work of composer Richard Wagner. It refers to the final, dramatic moment at the conclusion of Hitler’s favorite opera, “Der Ring des Nibellungren.” In this scene the mass destruction of all the protagonists and everything they knew or once cared about is decreed.

It is a depiction of a final, fatal and spiteful self-destruction from which nothing can or does survive. It was their Gotterdammerung moment, the final nihilistic act of utter rebellion that ensured their own, and everybody else’s destruction. It inspired Hitler immensely. He thought there was “poetic justice” in it. The last few days and weeks of Hitler’s life have come to be known as his own “Gotterdammerung moment.”

It was the time when Hitler, at the very conclusion of the European war, was confined to his famous Fuhrer bunker, deep under the Reich’s chancellery in Berlin. He was a dead man walking at this point and he knew it. It was this last phase of his life, more than any other, which saw Hitler descend into unrestrained delusional madness.

The spark which began this final descent into madness came a little while before when Hitler received a telegram from Hermann Goering, on April 23rd, 1945. It read:

My Fuhrer! In view of your decision to remain in post in the fortress of Berlin, do you agree that I take over at once that total leadership of the Reich, with full freedom of action, at home and abroad, as your deputy in accordance with your decree of 29th June 1941? If no reply is received by 10 o’clock tonight, I shall take it for granted that you have lost your freedom of action, and shall consider the conditions of your decree as fulfilled, and shall act in the best interests of our country and our people. You know what I feel for you in this gravest hour of my life. Words fail me to express myself. May God protect you, and speed you quickly here in spite of all.

Your loyal Hermann Goering.

Goering was abandoning Hitler and Hitler was incensed by it. From this point the blows came thick and fast. Next, it was revealed to Hitler that Heinrich Himmler, the most loyal of the loyal, had been secretly negotiating a surrender with the allies behind his back. Hitler was apoplectic with rage and ordered Himmler’s summary on the spot execution.

The final hammer blow came when Hitler learned of the complete destruction of his treasured home near Berchtesgaden—to an allied air raid, his “Eagles Nest.” Berchtesgaden had come to represent all of his aspirations—his vision for a perfect Aryan utopia. Now it was destroyed, it laid in ruins. These events shattered Hitler. They broke him and enraged him at the same time.

It was at this moment, during the savage and brutal fighting in the Battle for Berlin, that Hitler ordered the total destruction of his capital city in order to punish those who he believed had betrayed him. It was Hitler’s own Gotterdammerung moment.

Donald J. Trump fully intends to rip Barack Obama’s entire legacy up by their roots. Obama, in the final weeks of his presidency has to sit and watch the increasingly detailed and public planning for the systematic dismantling of all he has worked towards over the past eight years. Still the formal occupant of the Oval Office, Obama can do next to nothing to thwart Trump at this point. The forthcoming destruction of his legacy will come at the hands of a man completely ideologically opposed to him. It must gall Obama to the core.

Highlighting this unease, Obama has recently voiced his “concerns” over president-elect Trump, noting that the two “could not be more different.” Obama has good cause for concern because Donald Trump, if he is true in any way to his pre-election mandate, is going to expunge the achievements Obama holds most dear from American history altogether.

Everything Obama has come to cherish about his time in government is going to be wiped out. Obama’s flagship policy of Obamacare will be heavily amended, repealed or revoked under Trump.  The major international climate change accords signed by President Obama which encompass some of the toughest climate rules in history will be left by the wayside, to the chagrin of many on the left, at the UN and in Europe.

Indeed, Donald Trump does not even really believe in or accept climate change as being legitimate science, and he may even go so far as to scrap climate regulations altogether for American business and industry.

Obama’s example on LGBTQ issues will not be something the incoming administration wishes to emulate. Instead of packing the Supreme Court with far left leaning judges, Trump will select candidates distinctly right of centre. It will impact upon American civil society in a very specific, much more conservative way.

Trump intends to dismantle the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, with the abolishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Financial Stability Oversight Council, to the consternation of many “social justice warriors” on the left. Stealing from the rich to give to the poor is not going to become a reality of Donald Trump’s presidency, as they imagined it might with Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office.

Surprisingly though, in light of how much domestic change Trump will likely attempt, it will be in the fields of foreign policy that he will be able to make the most immediate and significant impact. Obama’s policy of assuaging Iran, sometimes irrespective of their flagrant breaches of recently signed accords, will almost certainly end.

Indeed it is highly probable that at some point in the near future we may witness a surgical military strike against Iran from America, as a way of demonstrating U.S. displeasure at Iran’s refusal to live up to its side of the nuclear accord, signed under Obama. Especially, since they have been recipients of billions of freed up U.S. sanctions money recently.

Obama’s recent Cuba deal will also likely be reversed by Trump. The president-elect has stated quite clearly that he intends to reverse the deal struck by Obama until Cuba restores political freedoms to its people, “…all of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro regime were done with Executive order, which means the next president can reverse them. And that is what I will do unless the Castro regime meets our demands.”

As well as these obvious initial changes, Trump also seems intent upon building a barrier of  sorts between Mexico and the United States—as well as seriously examining the possibility of restricting Muslim immigration into the U.S., especially from known “trouble spots” around the world.

Before this election, Barack Obama must genuinely have believed that he was going to be recorded by history as one of the most important presidents of recent times, certainly since Ronald Reagan. He must have believed he was going to be remembered as liberal icon, a president who genuinely reshaped the government.

That dream now lays in tatters, and his legacy is greatly imperiled. Trump’s agenda is pure anti-Obamaism, and Obama knows it. Worse for Obama, Trump can initiate most of these changes  by Executive power alone. For everything else there is the strong support of a newly elected Republican Congress.

Obama is totally powerless to stop Trump at this point, with one notable exception—Israel. The Middle East and the so-called peace process remain the single area where Obama, in the time still left to him as president, can make his mark on both history and also leave an indelible and lasting legacy.

It is entirely possible that Obama may now decide to use his remaining months in the White House to ensure that a UN resolution recommending the recognition of a Palestinian state be permitted to pass.

Such an act, should it be permitted by America, or even actively supported or pushed, would be to cross God’s clearly defined red line for Israel. Yet it seems likely that this may soon happen.

Camille Mansour, former Soborne Professor and international advisor to the Palestinian leadership has recently stated, “Now that he is freed from elections-related political shackles, he can allow for Palestine to join the UN as a state under occupation.”

It is a view shared by many in the international arena, by many at the UN, many within Europe, and especially amongst the political left in America. It is a great paradox, but many have now come to believe that it is only because of this defeat to a man like Trump, that Barack Obama will now act.

Many feel that now is the time for Obama to step forward and either acquiesce if a proposal is put forward, or actively seek UN sponsored recognition for a Palestinian state on either the 1967 lines or, even more radically, on the 1948 lines.

If Obama led America in either of these directions in the closing weeks of his presidency he would effectively be handing Trump a fait accompli on January 20th. There would be an internationally recognized Palestinian State, Israeli land would be divided to provide for it, and there would be absolutely nothing Trump could do to change it.

Daniel 9:27 tells us that the ruler to come, the man of lawlessness will, “…confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’” The Antichrist will not initiate a covenant, he will confirm one that is already in place.

It is possible that in his last months in office President Barack Obama will allow, or will actively participate in enforcing a Palestinian state upon Israel at the UN. If he does, then it is highly likely that this agreement, if it were to take place, could be the one later “confirmed” by the Antichrist himself, an event which would begin the clock on the Tribulation period.

“Your covenant with death will be annulled; your agreement with the realm of the dead will not stand. When the overwhelming scourge sweeps by, you will be beaten down by it.” (Isaiah 28:18)

Is this a part of the potential future agreement that God describes as being with “the realm of the dead,” an agreement that God has said He annuls? Is this what Barack Obama may be seeking in the final weeks of his presidency?

Only time will tell.

If Obama does take this path he will certainly have ensured a unique legacy for himself. Yet it would be a legacy of eternal infamy. He would have also decreed his own personal Gotterdammerung moment, a final moment wherein he ensures his own personal judgment.

However, ominously, because he is still the president of the United States and therefore acting in an official capacity, it would have national consequences, too. With a decision such as this, dividing the land of Israel and disinheriting the Jewish people of their God-given right to the land, it is almost certain that the hammer blow of judgment would also come to the nation he leads as well.

The Bible is abundantly clear: The Lord Almighty will judge all nations who divide the land of Israel. Such a decision would be a Gotterdammerung moment for the United States too, not just for Obama personally. In one of his final acts as president, Obama could pull America over the abyss with him.

Truly, the United States has never faced such a potentially perilous time as in the next two months. We have much to watch for and pray.