Author’s Note: This booklet is part of a unique series covering the subject of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. While each booklet stands alone, the reader will only gain a full understanding if the series is read in the following order, reflecting the sequence described in Revelation 6 and Matthew 24:
The horror of war has swept the world since Cain killed Abel. It has been the result of man’s unrelenting murderous rage toward his fellow man. Its fruits are terror, destruction, economic upheaval, orphaned children, population displacement, widespread devastation of the land, rape, hunger, disease, untold suffering, misery, despair, maiming and crippling, atrocities, death and even genocide. All of this yields greater hatred and revenge, endless retaliation and more war, because nothing is ever permanently resolved through military conflict. No matter the diligence or sincerity of their efforts, men and nations cannot find a way to peace!
Setting the Stage
Let’s begin by reading Revelation 6:4: “And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.” John’s vision has grave implications for all people today.
Compare the parallel passage in Matthew 24:6-7 to better understand the meaning of this symbolic horseman: “And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”
We find that the rider of the red horse has the power to “take peace from the earth”—which of course means that war replaces it! He represents the dreadful devastation of armed conflict between and within nations.
The phrase “wars and rumors of wars” refers to a general condition of warfare that would be amplified just before Christ’s Return. The next statement—“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom”—indicates a further intensified state of war to emerge (“kingdom against kingdom”), at this point near the very end—total world war.
Luke 21:9 adds a broader understanding of these events: “But when you shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.” The Greek word for “commotions” means “disorder,” “confusion” and “tumult.” An expanded definition could include acts and effects of terrorism, such as bombings. Could any thinking person doubt this condition has arrived in full force?
But war has existed from the beginning of mankind. How then could Jesus use “wars and rumors of wars” as a special sign announcing the arrival of “the last days”?
The answer: The ever-present grim specter of war has reintroduced itself, having morphed into something with potential for destruction far beyond what has ever been seen before. In fact, this has already begun. Now time is running out.
A Bloody Track Record
It has been observed that human history has primarily been a chronicle of war. What began as family or tribal conflicts later developed into ones between nations. Some international conflicts begin with one-sided action, others with mutual aggression. Additionally, long-standing ethnic, tribal and religious differences, coupled with boundary disputes and outright intent to seize the land or property of others, have always served to fuel the next war fought between the same peoples or nations.
War has affected all nations in every period of history. In fact many nations have made war their primary means of livelihood—not just a means of defense, as so many claim. Those that chose not to actively pursue war were still forced to expend much time, money and effort to protect themselves—sometimes having to “buy” peace by paying tribute to powers that could have dominated or destroyed them.
War has been the chief manner in which nations have settled disputes throughout history. War has been considered a natural state of equilibrium, while peace has been considered a period of recuperation from the previous campaign in which preparations were being made for the next venture or conquest. A quote by Georges Clemenceau, the WWI French statesman, sums up this idea: “I do not know whether war is an interlude in peace, or whether peace is an interlude in war” (Quotes for the Air Force Logistician, United States Air Force Logistics Management Agency, pg. 66).
In the mid-1960s, a Norwegian statistician programmed a computer to count all of the wars through the 6,000 years of mankind’s history. It concluded that 14,531 wars had been fought. But this was merely the number that were known and recorded. How many more were not? And consider that this was several decades ago. Countless more have been fought since then. Of course, this does not count the endless stream of individual terrorist acts, such as suicide bombings and other assaults, which occur in undeclared wars.
The presidential historian and columnist, Peggy Noonan, summarized the jumbled, awful course that has been man’s history: “In the long ribbon of history, life has been one long stained and tangled mess, full of famine, horror, war and disease. We must have thought we had it better because man had improved. But man doesn’t really ‘improve,’ does he? Man is man. Human nature is human nature; the impulse to destroy coexists with the desire to build and create and make better” (“America’s Age of Uncertainty,” Akron Beacon Journal, Nov. 9, 2001).
My Family History
I grew up in a family filled with Army and Navy officers—some of them senior career officers. Even both of my female cousins married Naval officers. A step-cousin was an army officer. His younger brother attended Annapolis, and I was also appointed to Annapolis, though I declined because God was calling me into His truth at that time.
My father was an Army officer and pilot in WWII, and his older brother, also a pilot (who later rose to the rank of Captain in the Navy—equal to a full Colonel in the Army), was present at Pearl Harbor during the attack. Their father (my grandfather) fought in WWI. I was born on December 7, 1948, and my mother referred to me as her “Pearl Harbor baby.” My uncle (on my mother’s side) studied the Civil War most of his life. Much of his enormous Civil War library (with other sections about General Grant, Custer and Napoleon) was passed to me. He was also a signal corpsman in WWII.
I have visited Pearl Harbor, West Point and Annapolis, Arlington National Cemetery and other military cemeteries, endless forts, and many Civil War, as well as Revolutionary War, battlefields. I have also been to the site of the Battle of Little Big Horn, among so many other sites, including Jerusalem, the Masada, Jericho and many battlefields in Israel. Then there are all the books I have read about war beginning as a child.
I am a classic example of how some grow up hearing and learning much about war. Stories from military history were a large part of my childhood. So was learning about (many) ancestors who always seemed to have fought in wars, where some of them died. I understand Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3, which speak of those who “learn war.”
Truly, speaking personally, war is the worst of “man’s inhumanity to man.”
Of the nations familiar from biblical history and prophecy, Egypt was among the first to develop the art of war as an organized endeavor.
Yet it was the Assyrians who developed and perfected many military techniques. In fact, the sword—the weapon held by the red horse’s rider—is said to have been introduced into war by the Assyrians.
Assyrian military advances far surpassed all other powers, due to their ability to borrow effective techniques pioneered by others alongside their own inventions. Illustrating their success, the following quotes come from The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History:
“The Egyptian chariot was a mobile firing platform for well-trained archers…The Assyrians developed chariot warfare to its greatest sophistication in Western Asia, with light chariots for archers and heavier chariots carrying as many as four spearmen.”
“After 1000 B.C., more order was introduced into warfare by the Egyptians, who certainly understood and employed maneuver by well-organized and disciplined units. Soon afterward the Assyrians contributed even more order, organization, and discipline into military affairs, both on and off the battlefield.”
The book continues: “No effort was spared that would contribute to the efficiency of the army or assure continued Assyrian supremacy over all possible foes…[King] Tiglath-Pileser I saw to it that this technical superiority was maintained by constant and systematic improvement of weapons, and by the careful training of the soldiers in the use of their arms.”
“…it was the skill and organization of employment which brought success to Assyrian siegecraft…Terror was another factor contributing greatly to Assyrian success. Their exceptional cruelty and ferocity were possibly reflections of callousness developed over centuries…But theirs was also a calculated policy of terror—possibly the earliest example of organized psychological warfare. It was not unusual for them to kill every man, woman, and child in captured cities. Sometimes they would carry away entire populations into captivity.”
God has often used the Assyrians to punish the nation of Israel as His “rod of correction” (Isa. 10:5-6). But there were times that He suppressed the Assyrians’ power so that they would be out of the picture for a while. One example was the deliverance of Judah’s King Hezekiah and Jerusalem from Sennacherib and his army of 185,000 elite soldiers that besieged the city: “Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians” (Isa. 37:36).
God took away Assyria’s pride overnight. This greatly weakened the proud nation and removed them from the picture for a time, in order for the Babylonian Empire to emerge—serving the next step in God’s Purpose.
After the Babylonian Empire came the Medo-Persian Empire, which defeated Babylon in 539 BC. During the height of this empire, the advancement of the Persians was effectively halted in the Eastern Mediterranean by formidable warriors, including the Spartans. Later, Alexander the Great led the Greek Empire to victory over the Persians in 331 BC. For a period of time, the Greco-Macedonian Empire reigned supreme.
The Roman Empire, which emerged about 31 BC to supplant Greece, is described in the Bible as “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly” (Dan. 7:7).
Records of the Jewish War of AD 69-70 illustrate the Roman Empire’s brutality. While Jerusalem was under siege, and in dire need of food and water, many Jews were captured trying to escape or bring in desperately needed supplies.
This account by Josephus illustrates in graphic detail the utterly unmerciful bloodlust of Roman legions and soldiers:
“So, now Titus’s banks [mounds of earth used to breach the walls of Jerusalem] were advanced a great way, notwithstanding his soldiers had been very much distressed from the wall. He then sent a party of horsemen, and ordered they should lay ambushes for those that went out into the valleys to gather food…and when they were going to be taken, they were forced to defend themselves, for fear of being punished; as, after they had fought, they thought it too late to make any supplications for mercy; so they were first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures before they died, and were then crucified before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pity them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews; nay, some days they caught more…The main reason why he did not forbid that cruelty was this, that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight, out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest; when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses…” (Wars of the Jews, bk. V, ch. XI, sec. 1).
During the period of the Holy Roman Empire, the same merciless brutality abounded. As the booklet on the white horse established, the decisions were not made by military generals but by a church! The most merciless of all wars was the campaign instigated by the Roman church to murder, by the thousands, citizens of entire towns and villages in Europe (later in the area of Jerusalem and Palestine). This came to be known as the Crusades. The victims were mostly civilians.
Continental Europe would continue to be torn by war through the centuries, usually triggered by animosity between the Universal Church and other religious belief systems, primarily Protestantism or Islam.
World War Arrives
It was also on European soil, but many centuries later, that the horror of war was redefined. Conflict on an unprecedented scale ushered in a new phenomenon: world war.
The infamous battle of Verdun (France), fought during World War I, was one of the most costly battles ever, in terms of human lives. Fought from February 1916 until November 1918—two years and nine months—it was also one of the longest single battles in history. It captured the very essence of a “war of attrition.” Nearly one million soldiers died!
Visitors to the battle area (over 250 square kilometers) are cautioned not to stray from designated walkways. The danger of the multiple thousands of unexploded shells, which still occasionally kill or maim, awaits any who dare to wander onto the battlefield. Imagine the state of the land after artillery had hit every square meter many times.
Today, just scraping the surface with a shoe reveals rusted belt and canteen strap buckles, rifle shell casings and similar items. It would take many pages to adequately describe the scope of just this one battle. The constant artillery, as well as chlorine, mustard and nerve gases used, stand as further stark testimony to man’s inhumanity to man.
Here is a summary of just the first two days of battle:
“On February 21st 1916, at 7:15 a.m., the enemy opened fire on the two banks of the Meuse [River], over a front of 40 kilometers. Simultaneously Verdun was systematically bombarded, the last residents being evacuated by the military authority at midday on the 25th.
“For ten hours, all the enemy guns and trench mortars kept up a running fire without intermission. In all the woods adjoining the front it was a regular firework display. A feature of this overwhelming bombardment was the enormous proportion of heavy caliber shells, 150’s and 210’s coming over like hailstones.
“Under this deluge of projectiles all trenches were levelled, the woods became a twisted mass of trunks and branches, and villages collapsed and were blotted out.
“The infantry attack was launched at 5.15 p.m.…”
“Three [German] army corps...advanced. They thought that they had only to march, with their rifles slung, over ground like a ploughed field.
“The [French] 51st…and 72nd Divisions…sustained the first shock and...covered the arrival of French re-enforcements.
“A heroic combat followed the most formidable artillery preparation hitherto known. The chasseurs [light cavalry troops] of Colonel Driant resisted the attack, inch by inch, in the wood of Caures. By nightfall the advance of the enemy was insignificant compared with their losses…
“[The next morning], with snow falling, the bombardment was resumed with, if possible, greater intensity. Colonel Driant in the wood of Caures was outflanked on both sides and died fighting, after first evacuating his chasseurs to Beaumont” (Verdun, an Illustrated Historical Guide).
This long battle was waged back and forth over a single piece of ground! Today the battlefields are quiet, reminiscent of when the German soldiers famously reported to their superiors in Erich Maria Remarque’s novel, “All quiet on the western front,” because things were temporarily static on the French front lines.
The Era of Total War
Some of the most telling effects of war are seen through statistics. These paint a clear picture in terms of casualties and financial burdens, proving that the severity of wars has intensified, beginning primarily with WWI.
During this war, the total mobilized military force of the Allied nations (France, the British Empire, Russia, Italy, the U.S., and six other smaller countries) was more than 42 million. Of this number, about 5 million were killed in action, with over 3 million civilian casualties. The cost incurred by the Allies was approximately $194 billion. The total mobilized military force of the Central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria) was about 23 million, of which over 3 million were killed in action. Their cost was something over $86 billion. (It took until September 2010 for Germany’s WWI debt to finally be paid off.)
World War I was the first war in which aircraft were more widely used—primarily for reconnaissance purposes. Also, the internal combustion engine allowed for much better logistical support (mobility of troops and munitions). Not-seen-before poison gas delivered by artillery was another “innovation.”
Another telling statistic of WWI is the percentage of mobilized forces lost in battle. The following is a sampling of some of the major participants: Germany, 16.4 percent—France, 16.1 percent—the British Empire, 10.2 percent. The U.S. lost only about 1.2 percent, partly due to the relatively short time that it was involved in the conflict before the Armistice (The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History).
Some statistics from World War II, which reflected a war with far more sophisticated weaponry, demonstrate heavier losses. Aircraft had evolved into fighters, dive-bombers, heavy bombers, heavy transports, troop carriers for paratroopers and other specialized aerial-combat machines. Bazookas, rocket launchers, and a host of other “advancements” were used on the battlefields. Tank divisions were also a force to be reckoned with. Artillery had far greater ranges than previously achieved.
As a child, my father told me stories of his harrowing time as a reconnaissance pilot near Remagen, Germany, at the Battle of the Bulge, while another Lieutenant beside him in the cockpit of his tiny Piper Cub directed American artillery in its effort to destroy German artillery, which was trying to destroy the Bridge at Remagen, and thus halt the Allied advance into Germany toward Berlin as the war was coming to an end.
Here are some of the statistics pertaining to the combined figures for both the Allies and Axis powers: 105 million total mobilized forces, of which 15 million were killed in action, with up to 34 million civilians killed. The total cost this time was $1.6 trillion!
The world learned that “total war” casualties draw no boundary between military and civilian. Never before were so many civilians in harm’s way. The percentage of mobilized forces lost in WWII: Germany, 22.8 percent—France, 3.5 percent—the United Kingdom, 6.4 percent—Soviet Union, 30 percent—Japan, 20.4 percent. The U.S. was just under 2 percent. One factor that accounted for the lower numbers of France and Britain was that they had not recovered from their staggering battlefield losses of WWI and were not in a position to field nearly as many troops as they needed. Also, France was overrun and defeated in 1940 and thereafter only fielded smaller resistance forces.
Although the U.S. entered the conflict in December 1941 in the Pacific, and only a little later in the European theater, it is miraculous their percentage of military losses was so low. Part of the explanation is that no air attacks were launched on the homeland other than Pearl Harbor. There was also God’s hand then still at work on America’s behalf.
No discussion of horror related to WWII would be complete without mention of the Holocaust. This was Adolf Hitler’s “final solution” to the “Jewish question”—and, for those with eyes to see, a foretaste of what will happen again.
The Wannsee Conference of January 1942 was convened for the purpose of formalizing a plan to exterminate all Jews within the confines of nations to the east, which were later occupied by Germany. For the next three and a half years, until the defeat of Germany in mid-1945, this “final solution” was implemented: “There were more than nine thousand camps scattered throughout German-occupied Europe. They included transit camps, prisoner-of-war camps, private industrial camps, work-education camps, foreign labor camps, police detention camps, even camps for children whose parents had been sent to slave-labor camps. More than three hundred camps were for women only.
“By mid-1942, within a few months of the Wannsee Conference, six camps served as killing centers where the victims were gassed: Treblinka, Sobibór, Belzec, Chelmno, Auschwitz / Birkenau, and Majdanek. The last two also doubled as slave-labor and penal camps” (The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as Told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Berenbaum, p. 116).
These six killing centers were located in Poland. Multiple railroad lines facilitated a constant flow of trainloads of victims. At Treblinka, some 750,000 or more Jews were murdered by a staff of approximately 150. Fewer than 100 known survivors of Treblinka were found.
At Sobibór, up to 250,000 Jews were murdered in carbon monoxide gas chambers. A revolt was staged there by 300 prisoners in the camp. While attempting to escape, many were killed. By the end of the war, there were only 50 known survivors of Sobibór.
At Belzec, up to 600,000 Jews and a few thousand Gypsies were murdered, and at Chelmno, up to 360,000 Jews were killed. Here, thousands of Gypsies, Poles and Soviet prisoners of war were also exterminated.
Birkenau (Auschwitz II) was the largest and deadliest of all the Nazi death camps. Here were the biggest, newest and most efficient gas chambers, which used the vapors from “Zyklon B” pellets to kill Jews, Poles, Gypsies and Soviet prisoners of war. Many more Jews (1.1 million) were killed here than the other groups represented.
At Majdanek, nearly 500,000, from 28 different countries, were murdered. According to Polish sources, about 360,000—more than 70 percent, many of which were Poles—died there from starvation, exhaustion, disease and beatings. Seven gas chambers were employed (using “Zyklon B” pellets), as were the camp’s two wooden gallows (ibid., pp. 123-124).
Many contemporary historians and scholars view the Holocaust as an anomaly—a freak occurrence, impossible to happen again. They believe that man has now developed to a higher order, more “considerate” and “tolerant” than the ancients.
The memory of the Holocaust should obliterate modern man’s idealistic reasoning. All “baser instincts” are still with us. This action by the Germans was in the tradition of their forefathers, the ancient Assyrians. These also believed themselves a master race, and carried out organized deportation and genocide whenever they saw fit.
In a 1995 television interview, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher stated of Germany, “I, to this day, cannot understand why so many Germans, who are so highly intellectual…let Hitler do the things he did…There is something in the character of the German people which led to things which should never have happened…Some people say, ‘You have got to anchor Germany into Europe, to stop these features ever coming out again.’ You have not anchored Germany to Europe. You have anchored Europe to a newly dominant, large Germany…In the end, my friends, it will not work” (Houston PBS).
New Destructive Capability
Beginning with the conclusion of World War I—originally called the Great War or “The War to End All Wars”—the world slowly began to ratchet up toward the next great world conflict, only 20 years later. Near the end of World War II, the world entered a new and yet more frightening era.
On August 6, 1945, man’s destructive capabilities greatly intensified, and the scope of warfare would never be the same. Mankind had come to a turning point—when all life on Earth could now be erased in a single brief orgy of war!
Fast-forward to the present: weapon proliferation is today escalating at an alarming rate, with a number of volatile, aggressive nations seeking to join the nuclear club. The power that once destroyed a city—the atomic bomb—now serves as a mere “trigger” for the hydrogen bomb!
Weapons of mass destruction, so incomprehensibly destructive that they boggle the mind, now threaten humanity as never before.
Notice Christ’s words: “Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:22). At the end of 6,000 years of man going his own way, he is approaching the brink of extinction on a number of fronts.
The awesome evil of nuclear weapons, unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States, sobered prominent leaders and thinkers. They realized that survival of the human race was now at stake. Consider their words:
- “…no physical peril greater than atomic war has confronted mortal man since the Flood.” – Adlai Stevenson
- “Never since human beings first existed have they been faced with so great a danger as that which they have brought upon themselves by a combination of unrivaled skill and unrivaled folly.” – Bertrand Russell
- “Rifle bullets kill men, but atomic bombs kill cities. A tank is a defense against a bullet, but there is no defense in science against a weapon which can destroy civilization.” – Albert Einstein
- “To destroy these weapons by common consent, to enter the commitment not to manufacture any others, to open up all territories to reciprocal supervision, there is no other hope for the future of our species.” – French President Charles de Gaulle
With the dropping of the first atomic bomb, war forever changed. No longer were large standing armies the sign of a nation’s strength. According to an article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica on the advent of the nuclear age, “These revolutionary characteristics of nuclear weapons have given rise to a phenomenon that is entirely new: there is no longer any relation between power and numbers.”
Suddenly, political influence and the balance of world power could shift instantly.
The Bible summarizes the decadent condition of human character in the last days. Let’s read: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (II Tim. 3:1-5).
Brutal dictators and despots, who would do anything to stay in power, have always existed. Now, in this age, we are witnessing individuals of the worst character ever having access to the worst weapons ever! In our time exists the ultimate nightmare!
The world entered what authorities called the Age of Conflict, and set the stage for what the Bible terms the red horse and rider—wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom—in the years following World War II. But were governments sufficiently horrified by the mushroom clouds over Japan to say, “This must never happen again”?
The thundering answer is NO, they were not!
In fact, the occurrence of war has increased nearly four times since 1946, unleashing an incredible arms race. Dr. Herbert F. York, an American nuclear physicist who helped unleash the devastating power of nuclear weapons as a member of the Manhattan Project, and Jerome B. Weisner, a science advisor to President John F. Kennedy, warned, “…the arms race is a steady downward spiral to oblivion.”
Little Time Remains!
Consider: From 1900 to 1946 the world experienced more than 120 armed conflicts—over two per year. Between 1946 and 2001 there were 225 wars—over four per year.
In his book Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the Twenty-first Century, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski estimated that 87.5 million people lost their lives from war between 1900 and 1999. (This included about 33.5 million military deaths and 54 million civilian deaths.) But there are higher estimates.
Above those directly killed in warfare, Brzezinski estimates no fewer than 167 million more people died as a result of war-related oppression in just the twentieth century. Together, these numbers are “the approximate equivalent of the total population of France, Italy, and Great Britain; or over two-thirds of the total current population of the United States…This is more than the total killed in all previous wars, civil conflicts, and religious persecutions throughout human history.”
Consider a few of the many wars, conflicts, revolutions, civil wars and coups that occurred just between 1967 and 1987: The Six-Day War (Israel vs. Egypt, Syria, Jordan); India vs. Pakistan; the Vietnam War; Iran vs. Iraq; Afghanistan vs. USSR; civil wars in Angola, El Salvador, Nicaragua and South Africa; the Falkland Islands (Great Britain vs. Argentina); Grenada; France vs. Libya and Chad—the list goes on.
Dozens of countries today, such as Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan, have armed guerilla groups seeking the overthrow of their governments. What is taking place in the world today far outpaces anything seen by Alexander the Great or even George Patton, the renowned WWII general.
Also, considered only a footnote by most, there is the problem of landmines. Around the world, huge numbers of unexploded mines—in 1996 the UN estimated 110 million—have never been retrieved. These cause adults, and often little children, to lose limbs and sometimes their lives. Easy to lay down, they are difficult to recover.
Incredible new weapons technology has permanently altered the face of war. “Smart” bombs, which are laser-guided to bring precision and efficiency to the art of killing, have replaced many types of “dumb” bombs. Military scientists have now developed cluster bombs, called “daisy cutters.” Named after the pattern of explosion, these cut down large numbers of human beings like a lawnmower cuts grass. Also, there are “bunker-buster” bombs that before detonating can penetrate deep into the earth in pursuit of enemies hiding in caves.
More and better precision-guided missiles are also continually appearing. But these are nothing compared to the defensive missiles, called “kill vehicles,” that are now reported to be “loitering” in outer space awaiting a signal to seek and destroy, regarding any nuclear launch that needs to be quickly knocked out after offensive missiles containing warheads have become airborne.
Various highly sophisticated and incredibly lethal attack aircraft now exist—helicopters, jets, bombers, gunships and drones—that have brought conventional warfare to a pinnacle of destructive capability never before known. Large, precision, satellite-guided bombs have gigantic “kill zones” of more than a thousand yards. Then there is the so-called “MOAB,” or Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (also known in the military as the “Mother of All Bombs”), which is a conventional bomb that creates almost the same blast effect as a small nuclear weapon.
Of course, all of these kill and maim indiscriminately. So this can sometimes involve “friendly fire” casualties, in which one’s own troops or civilians are hit. This is generally considered to be “acceptable and necessary collateral damage.”
Modern military thinkers and strategists now speak in terms of protection from, or delivery of, “weapons of mass destruction.” The killing capability of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and, now, radiological or “dirty bombs,” is indescribably horrible. Yet these weapons are now apparently in the hands of unstable countries and regimes, which may not be capable of controlling their use or safeguarding their inventory.
This is why the famous American General Douglas MacArthur, while attending the signing of Imperial Japan’s surrender on September 2, 1945, said, “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace…Military Alliances, Balances of Power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blots out this alternative. We have had our last chance.
“If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh…” (The Reports of General MacArthur).
Bear in mind that MacArthur spoke 60 years ago! Since then, it seems the whole world has become a “killing field.”
The twenty-first century has seen the rise of a new kind of warfare. This form transcends all national borders. Its battlefields are moveable and know no limits. Its combatants often look just like ordinary citizens, wearing no uniform and carrying no visible weapons. And it has no qualms about civilian casualties—in fact, they are usually the intended targets.
This describes the scourge of terrorism.
The events of September 11, 2001, changed forever the thinking of all Americans. Prior to this attack, it was common thought that the mainland of the United States was secure. America’s strong military and missile defense system was felt to be adequate protection against invasion—war had always been thought of as something that happened somewhere else—to someone else. It stunned the nation to realize what just a handful of terrorists could do. In a moment, Americans in New York City, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania faced the horror that has been experienced daily by citizens in the Middle East and elsewhere.
A new term was introduced to the American mindset—“Homeland Security,” with budget-busting safety measures introduced across the country. For the first time since the Civil War, the front lines were in every state in America, not just faraway locales.
In the wake of this whole-world-changing trend, other attacks, smaller in scale but still devastating in effect, hit Spain, the United Kingdom and other countries.
Many nations are learning to live “on alert” to terrorist “cells,” which can strike anywhere without notice. Enemies once kept outside a nation’s borders are now living among the populace. Citizens who sympathize with the cause of extremists can evolve into homegrown terrorists. Often, they train themselves via the Internet, but many sympathizers also train abroad with groups such as the Taliban or al-Qaeda. It has become impossible to keep track of these groups as they form independent covert cells both in cities and rural areas.
The lengths to which terrorists will go are limitless. British intelligence has reported that terrorists have now devised explosive breast implants designed to bypass airport scanners! The new modern world!
The EUobserver reported that the number of arrests connected to terrorism doubled in the European Union in 2007. The EU Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove said, “Al-Qaida is still and will continue to dominate international terrorism for years to come.” The news site further stated, “Out of the total 1044 arrested last year, the vast majority was EU citizens suspected of membership in a militant organization. In cases of Islamic extremism, the would-be attackers appear to increasingly have been born in the union’s territory and having EU citizenship.”
Speaking about the failed attack on a Detroit-bound plane in December 2009, Andrew Thomas, aviation expert at the University of Akron in Ohio, told The Christian Science Monitor, “The terrorists are constantly developing more sophisticated attacks. They are hyper-motivated, they’re not going to stop.” The paper continued, “Meanwhile, the range of explosive devices that terrorists are developing is outstripping the ability of screening systems to catch them. Last August, an alleged suicide bomber who had explosives implanted in his body injured Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. Even controversial full body scans don’t pick up such hidden devices.”
Recognize that terrorism is also financial and psychological warfare. On September 11, with 19 people, a terror network in a single attack took $1 trillion out of the American economy, and for weeks after the attack, Manhattan offices were frequently evacuated and society brought to a standstill as a result of false alarms.
Drug cartels in Mexico have introduced the concept of “narco-terror.” What is happening in Mexico and on America’s southern border is a form of war—and one in which the stated goal of the narco-terrorist combatants is to bring chaos through the slaughter of Mexican officials and civilians.
In the coming years, terrorism on a much larger and horrific scale will be experienced by Westerners. Leviticus 26:14-16 states, “But if you [the nations of modern Israel in context] will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments; and if you shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that you will not do all My commandments, but that you break My covenant: I [God] also will do this unto you; I [God] will even appoint over you terror…”
We can now ask: What does God’s Word say about the reasons that nations continually go to war? You will be shocked at its simplicity! But will you accept it?
First, recognize that no war can be fought unless there is an aggressor! Someone has to initiate or begin it. Like a football game, one team has to be on offense while the other plays defense. Yet, almost all nations speak in terms of their “Department of Defense” or of their “Defense Budget.” Theoretically, if all nations merely defended themselves, there would be no wars because there would be no aggressors. While someone must “start it,” combatants invariably see themselves as defending their interests, territory or rights.
Speaking from the human, worldly approach, military preparation is an absolute prerequisite for existence in a hostile world. The citizens of all nations pay a huge price to maintain their national sovereignty. Without a ready military, there is the constant threat from a plundering, destructive invading force, seeking to secure land, wealth or power.
The Bible reveals the true cause of war: “From where come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts...You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts” (Jms. 4:1-3). God says war comes when people lust for what belongs to others. When all else fails, men scheme to obtain what they want by brute force.
After a life of revolutionizing both science and war, Albert Einstein wrote, “…it is a problem not of physics but of ethics…it is easier to denature plutonium than it is to denature the evil spirit of man…the real problem is in the minds and hearts of men” (The New York Times).
Abraham Lincoln saw it this way: “Human action can be modified to some extent, but human nature cannot be changed” (The Lincoln Encyclopedia).
After examining Vietnam-era U.S. Secretary of State Robert McNamara’s life lessons in the documentary Fog of War, filmmaker Errol Morris concluded: “You can’t change human nature. It tells you that all of the other lessons are valueless, that the human situation is indeed hopeless.”
Long ago the Bible outlined man’s true nature: “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goes there shall not know peace” (Isa. 59:8).
Exercise in Futility
Despite this, man continues to profess a yearning for peace in the era of world war. Two international organizations have been inaugurated to help promote peace and settle disputes. They represent man’s best attempt to bring world peace—and the extent to which he has miserably failed to reach this goal.
After the Armistice of 1918, the League of Nations was instituted in an international effort to prevent, through arbitration, the outbreak of war in the future. The establishment of this organization became part of the treaty that ended WWI. One of its weaknesses from the outset was the refusal of the U.S. and various other key nations to join the league. The League of Nations was able to head off only a tiny few of the dozens of outbreaks of smaller wars between WWI and the outset of WWII. It was completely unable to defuse the inevitable developments that later resulted in the next round of total war! The League collapsed.
The end of WWII brought another attempt by mankind to establish “peace on Earth.” The United Nations was formed to be a more perfect instrument to ensure such peace. Hundreds of smaller wars, fought around the world since the UN’s inception, testify to its utter failure as a “guardian of peace.” It is essentially a toothless bureaucracy, issuing condemnations that are ignored and sanctions that are rarely enforced.
Peace Will Remain Elusive
Today the world is fast approaching 7 billion people. Though global leaders strive to find “peace” through international conferences and meetings, war and its aftermath continue to be felt the world over.
Man, in his rebellion against God, likes to present his own versions of civilization in the best possible light, often ignoring harsh reality. In like manner, the false prophets of Israel, as Jeremiah foretold of our time, will soon declare, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (6:14).
God shows that peace will be elusive to those who forsake His ways. Ezekiel 7:23-25 foretells the coming tumult to engulf Israel: “The land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence. Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen, and they shall possess their houses: I will also make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled. Destruction comes; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none.”
This cycle of war is destined to grow much worse!
“Wars and Rumors of Wars”
The Real Truth magazine, of which I am editor-in-chief, reports on global conditions as nations on every continent edge toward all-out war. Here are but a few snapshots from our regular “World News Desk” feature:
China Upgrades Nuclear Arsenal: After marked increases in military spending, China announced that it must possess second-strike capability—which would enable it to defend itself against a nuclear attack—and said it is in the process of upgrading and expanding its nuclear forces with increasingly sophisticated weaponry.
“Like all the nuclear weapons states, China is secretive about its arsenal, developed from a first atomic test explosion in 1964. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has estimated that by 2009 China possessed 186 deployed strategic nuclear warheads” (Reuters).
As major world powers collectively attempt to contain nuclear proliferation, China is moving away from easily monitored, silo-based, liquid-fueled rockets and opting for highly mobile, solid-fuel-powered rockets that are easier to launch and difficult to track. Among its upgrades are anti-satellite and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles that arm the nation’s new generation Jin-class nuclear ballistic submarines.
A retired Chinese general stated the upgraded missile system “is able, should a foe launch an initial nuclear strike, to really possess, and to convince the other side that it faces, an intolerable second-strike nuclear capability, thereby deterring an enemy from using nuclear weapons against us.
“It must make them grasp, without the least ambiguity, that we possess a deterrent” (ibid).
Germany Calls for an EU Army: Germany has expressed a desire for the European Union to create an army under the political control of the EU, according to the nation’s Foreign Minister.
“The long-term goal is the establishment of a European army under full parliamentary control. The European Union must live up to its political role as a global player. It must be able to manage crises independently. It must be able to respond quickly, flexibly and to take a united stand,” he said (AFP).
At the Munich Security Conference, held earlier this year (2010), he stated that the door for a European army was opened by the passing of the Lisbon Treaty, a revised version of an EU constitution draft, and that this army would be a cohesive factor in creating a European defense policy.
Iran Declares Itself a Nuclear State: In early 2010, Iran’s president declared that Iran was now a nuclear state: “I want to announce with a loud voice here that the first consignment of 20 percent enriched uranium was produced and was put at the disposal of the scientists,” he said to a gathering of thousands waving flags and banners to demonstrate their support.
While Iran maintains its nuclear work is for generating electricity and producing radioactive isotopes to be used for therapy in hospitals, world powers, particularly Western nations, are not convinced.
The German newspaper Der Spiegel claimed to have access to an intelligence dossier showing the existence of a secret military branch of Iran’s nuclear research program, whose aim of producing a bomb has reached an advanced stage. According to the paper, “Experts believe that Iran’s scientists could produce a primitive, truck-sized version of the bomb this year, but that it would have to be compressed to a size that would fit into a nuclear warhead to yield the strategic threat potential that has Israel and the West so alarmed—and that they could reach that stage by sometime between 2012 and 2014.”
South America Increases Military Spending As Poverty Grows: Leaders of South American nations have embarked on record military spending, while their citizens face the worst level of poverty in years!
Tension between neighboring countries and the Colombian government’s decision to forge closer ties with the United States in its fight against drugs have fueled what some are calling an arms race.
Massive arms spending includes an air defense system, combat aircraft and tanks for Venezuela, as well as military aircraft for Chile and Ecuador. Other countries in the region have also increased their military budget. (Venezuela, an ally of Iran, is the most recent nation to openly tell the world that it too will now develop nuclear weapons.)
“In 2008 the 12 South American countries together channeled more than $50 billion into military expenditures, about 30 percent more than in 2007. Most prominent among countries where arms buying went up are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela” (UPI). This is virtually every country.
North Korea – Demanding World Attention: A statement from North Korea’s Central News Agency read, “If the U.S. imperialists start another war, the army and people of Korea will...wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all.”
This bellicose assertion came just days after Japanese intelligence sources reported that North Korea would fire a missile toward Hawaii, possibly on America’s Independence Day.
The next day, marking the 59th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities in the Korean War, Pyongyang’s rhetoric continued. This time, the nation threatened a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” for any attack. State news sources were filled—more than usual—with venom against the U.S. for its military action in 1950, and with charges that Washington is seeking another opportunity to show aggression toward North Korea.
October 2006 saw the nation provoke worldwide outrage with its first nuclear test, which violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty it had signed years before. A second underground test took place on May 25, 2009 (America’s Memorial Day), followed by a number of offshore missile tests. Two days later, the Central News Agency reiterated that it was not bound by the 1953 armistice that set its southern boundary.
The Human Toll
Other news sources also demonstrate the never-ending, awful toll that the many forms of war take on human lives:
The Associated Press: “Southern parts of this impoverished Central Asian nation [Kyrgyzstan] were thrown into chaos by five days of ethnic violence, mostly Kyrgyz attacks on ethnic Uzbek neighborhoods. The violence followed a bloody uprising in April that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.”
Guardian (of London): “Mobs of Kyrgyz men rampaged through southern Kyrgyzstan today, slaughtering ethnic Uzbeks and burning down houses in a third day of ethnic bloodshed...The country’s interim government granted its security forces shoot-to-kill powers and promised to send a volunteer force to the region—but the violence continued to rage, taking the death toll…to more than 100. At least 1,100 have been wounded in what are the country’s worst ethnic clashes in 20 years.”
The Los Angeles Times: “At least 50 people were killed…in attacks west of Baghdad, including a double suicide bombing against Sunni Arab paramilitary members waiting to receive their paychecks outside a military base.”
The Washington Post: “Peshawar, Pakistan – The death toll in a massive suicide bombing climbed to more than 100 victims…115 [more were] wounded, making it Pakistan’s deadliest attack of the year...The bombing targeted government offices and a prison in Pakistan’s volatile tribal borderlands. The blast tore through a large crowd, including disabled people who were at the government center in the Mohmand Agency to collect wheelchairs, Pakistani officials said.”
The Christian Science Monitor: “In the...Congo, sexual violence has become so common that the eastern provinces are sometimes called ‘the ground zero of rape.’ Tens of thousands of women here have been raped by armed combatants seeking to destroy communities by assaulting the women, who are often shunned and sometimes abandoned after sexual assaults. In Congo, it has become common to say rape is a weapon of war.”
The New York Times: “I’ve never reported on a war more barbaric than Congo’s, and it haunts me. In Congo, I’ve seen women who have been mutilated, children who have been forced to eat their parents’ flesh, girls who have been subjected to rapes that destroyed their insides.”
Sadly, almost before these stories are even printed, they are out of date—overtaken by another round of atrocities.
The “Just War” Concept
Nations have sought to justify this state of affairs through rationalizing and moralizing about the “inevitability” and “necessity” of going to war, and with the concept of the “just war.” Understand. It is at this point that the white horse and rider are directly connected to war in a central way!
First we must ask: Is it possible for human beings to come together to fight and kill each other and be even a little bit noble, just or righteous—or even godly—in their cause? A greater question: Are human beings inherently capable of making correct judgments about war—or for that matter about other fundamental issues in life? The answer to these questions has much to do with why the world is filled with turmoil, strife and war.
Let’s look at what God says regarding human nature and judgment. This is vital to understand.
Wise King Solomon recorded several Proverbs that, when placed together, present a sobering picture. He wrote that “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weighs the spirits” (16:2) and that, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord ponders the hearts” (21:2). Together, these similar passages make a profound statement. Anyone who has ever tried to correct someone who was wrong will have no difficulty believing their message.
However, another Proverb reveals that this natural tendency of human beings—to believe that all that they do is clean and right—carries an even greater implication: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes” (12:15).
When combined, these three verses reveal that all people are born naturally foolish! If all men and all fools see themselves as right—clean—then they are naturally one and the same.
Stop and ponder the impact of these verses—and then notice another twice-recorded Proverb: “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (14:12; 16:25).
War may seem right to puny, foolish men who do not consider they have chosen a “crooked” path that leads to death—both now, and eternally, if they do not repent of it. The carnal human mind always deceives itself—Jeremiah 17:9!—into thinking that its ways are clean and right. People do not naturally feel a need to seek God’s view on matters. They believe that they are inherently qualified to correctly make their own judgments. But Jeremiah also wrote, “The way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps” (10:23).
In the end, God is not truly consulted or included in men’s thoughts or plans, even on the most complicated social issues. The human reasoning of “experts” guides policy on abortion, the cloning of human beings, pornography, the definition of immorality, the definition of a family, the acceptability of “alternative lifestyles,” “mercy killing,” political correctness and many other issues.
Men devise ways to justify whatever they do. War, the greatest of all social problems, is no exception! And man’s pattern of not asking God what He thinks is also no exception. When nations have already decided it is in their best interest to go to war, all that remains is the task of spelling out the human rationale to justify what they have pre-determined to do! Enter the moralists, ethicists, philosophers, politicians and religionists for support.
Here is an example. Some time ago, when several soldiers were killed in a U.S. war by “friendly fire,” it was said that they died “for a noble and just cause.” This was said to soften the grief of the families they had left behind. But who decided that their deaths were “noble and just”? Certainly not God!
In the same conflict, a very high government official offered his assessment of why the war in question was being fought in the way that it was. He spoke of the “infinite judgment of the world community” that stood behind the war. He stated that “thoughtful people believe…” such and such. He made other similar references to what world leaders, the United Nations, moralists and military strategists thought or felt.
But he neglected entirely to reference any opinion or instruction that God might hold in the matter!
During every war, endless television talk shows parade politicians, generals, colonels, war heroes and other “analysts” before the cameras. They offer nonstop “insight” into what it all means, what must be done and why. For instance, they speak of being “bold” and “innovative” in the world’s war on terror because it is a “new kind of war.” Each “expert” seems to have a different opinion on what will, or will not, work. Where God is absent, disagreement abounds!
Again, not once have I heard a single one of these leaders, generals, war heroes or military planners ask what GOD thinks about war!
I have certainly heard many ministers, evangelists, religionists and theologians—usually representing well-known church denominations, ministries or organizations—express their own personal view about particular wars. But their views are nothing more than what they think or feel! Almost without exception, such “religious” thinkers believe that war can be “just and noble” in purpose. Also, virtually without exception, these same churchmen were part of the country that was attacked. Is it surprising that they agreed with the opinion of the overwhelming majority surrounding them, which was already driving the course of the country?
Modern religious leaders lack the moral and spiritual strength to reflect what God commands, so they cave to national peer pressure.
However, I have heard nearly all of these same churchmen beseech God—after the fact—to bless what men had already decided to do through means of war. In their weakness, they have the gall to ask God to bless their sin—war!
In reference to a particular U.S. war, a large conference of religious leaders said that it was “regrettable but necessary,” and that they felt military action was “appropriate” as long as “the principles of morality and human dignity” were followed. Another group of leaders stated the hope that a “wise, just and effective” response could occur. All of these statements flow from human reasoning. None are based on the Bible—and none of these groups or individuals made a pretense that they were.
Asking God to bless the horrific nature of war is like asking Him to work through a Frankenstein monster! (My booklet War, Killing and the Military) tells the truth of what God’s Word really teaches on this subject.)
In Their Own Words
Let’s now hear from religious leaders in their own words. First comes Rome. Authors Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, in a book about papal diplomacy, wrote this in the 1980s about influential Philadelphia archbishop John Krol’s views, which “are in keeping with the church’s position, itself based upon St. Augustine’s original ‘just war’ theory, which had been refined and developed by Thomas Aquinas and other theologians. The theory…is that a war can be ‘just’ when it is declared by a legitimate authority, when it is conducted for a ‘righteous cause,’ when it is launched with ‘good intentions,’ when it is a ‘last resort’…” (Averting Armageddon).
The authors added, “Nine years after Hiroshima, he [Pope Pius XII] had approved the use of atomic, bacteriological, and chemical weapons only if ‘they did not totally escape from the control of man’ or produce ‘annihilation of all human life within the radius of action,’” and further added that, in an address to the United Nations in June 1982, John Paul II said that nuclear “deterrence” was “morally acceptable” (ibid.).
Rome’s daughters agree—and have from the beginning. Martin Luther, the father of the Reformation, said, “He who starts a war is wrong and that it is just for him who draws the sword first to be defeated or at least to be punished in the end” (What Luther Says, vol. 3, Ewald Martin Plass).
Before the first Gulf War, America’s most famous televangelist stated, “There is an ethical responsibility that goes with power, and sometimes it becomes necessary to fight the strong in order to protect the weak…There come times when we have to fight for peace” (Billy Graham, quoted in the Los Angeles Times).
Another famous minister asserted, “If one depends on the Bible as a guidepost for living, it is readily apparent that war is sometimes a necessary option” (“God is pro-war,” Jerry Falwell, WorldNetDaily).
A Southern Baptist Convention official wrote, “Conducting war in a just manner is an act of Christian love that seeks to accomplish the divinely ordained duty of the state: to punish and restrain evil and to protect and reward good. The Bush administration’s policy vis-à-vis Saddam Hussein fits well within the framework of Just War theory” (“The Time Has Arrived,” Richard Land).
Before World War I, the American Federal Council of Churches declared, “As American citizens, members of Christian churches…we are here to pledge both support and allegiance in unstinted measure…the hour lays upon us special duties…to keep ever before the eyes of our allies and ourselves the ends for which we fight…” (The Churches of Christ in Time of War, Charles S. MacFarland, pp. 129, 131).
It is religious leaders, throughout professing Christianity, who have validated—and even suggested and promoted—such thinking about war. Yet ask: How could they endorse and empower such AWESOME EVIL in Christ’s name?
The answer? Ignoring God’s instructions has never been a problem for a universal religious system long unconcerned with what GOD says! Lost are such simple statements as this from Jesus about war: “My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then [and not otherwise] would My servants fight” (John 18:36).
One Honest Man
Some have been willing to tell the truth. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, a famous Baptist minister, told the League of Nations in 1925 (emphasis mine):
“We cannot reconcile Jesus Christ and war—that is the essence of the matter. That is the challenge which today should stir the conscience of Christendom. War is the most colossal and ruinous social sin that afflicts mankind; it is utterly and irremediably unchristian; in its total method and effect it means everything that Jesus did not mean and it means nothing that He did mean; it is a more blatant denial of every Christian doctrine about God and man than all the theoretical atheists on earth ever could devise. It would be worthwhile, would it not, to see the Christian Church claim as her own this greatest moral issue of our time, to see her lift once more, as in our fathers’ days, a clear standard against the paganism of this present world and, refusing to hold her conscience at the beck and call of belligerent states, put the Kingdom of God above nationalism and call the world to peace? That would not be the denial of patriotism but its apotheosis” (Best Sermons 1926, Joseph Fort Newton).
Never believe that, given opportunity, the system which “fornicates with the kings of the earth” will even hesitate to empower generals looking for moral and religious authority to butcher vast millions with weapons of mass destruction. It becomes clear why God will use war—from Him!—to destroy the whole war-making universal system, with her daughters.
Nowhere to Hide
Horrific events will unfold in affluent First World nations. While the inhabitants of the West bask in hedonism, and live the “good life” on borrowed funds, horses’ hooves can be heard in the distance. The sword in the hand of the red horse rider will first slash across all nations of the world. It will then move to the comfortable suburbs and idyllic countryside of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Scandinavia, and certain other countries—before returning to again assault the entire inhabited world in the greatest way ever.