Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and the opening of the iron curtain, observers of the world scene have noted an increasing inability to resolve mounting global difficulties. They look back on the Truman-Marshall-Acheson era following World War II with considerable nostalgia.
Think of the Marshall Plan, which bailed Europe out of its economic difficulties. Recall Truman's rescue of Greece from communism. Remember the creation of NATO, which spared Western Europe from a total communist takeover. The Korean War (1950-1953) ended in a stalemate, but the allied effort rescued South Korea from communism, which for decades has impoverished North Korea and isolated it from the rest of the world.
More recent times tell a very different story. Where do we begin? The global economic order is gradually weakening. India dug in its heels at the fairly recent Doha world trade talks and they collapsed in tatters. Also, Russia and China derailed UN sanctions designed to put pressure on the rogue nation of Zimbabwe. China's desire for Sudan's oil effectively blocked Western efforts to prevent genocide in Darfur .
In the Middle East, Iran continues to play political games with the West while proceeding with its nuclear ambitions. Some Israeli observers fear that America has changed direction and is now appeasing Iran. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is bogged down with talks going nowhere.
Pakistan is in political chaos with many believing that former President Musharraf was responsible for all that country's problems, but with no consensus on how to solve them now. Russia appears to be taking steps to reclaim the states of the former Soviet empire. The country of Georgia, recently invaded by Russia, remains under grave threat, and the Ukraine is deeply worried about Russian intentions.
Traditionally, first Great Britain and then the United States took the lead in policing and controlling world problems. Now American and Western authority appears to be waning in the world. President George W. Bush's domestic approval ratings are hovering at around 29 percent, with Japan's Yasuo Fukuda at 26 percent and Britain's Gordon Brown at only 17 percent.
Germany's Angela Merkel, France's Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi's ratings in Europe are somewhat higher, but nowhere near what they should be to effectively lead their respective nations. The inescapable conclusion is that citizens don't have much faith in their political leaders. The mantle of authority has grown ragged, and rogue regimes defiantly push their agendas.
It appears that we are living in a unique period in world history—a time of transition from this age of man to the millennial period when Jesus Christ and His saints will rule over all nations. Only the Bible can put these confusing global happenings into a proper perspective. To understand how, request or download our free booklet Are We Living in the Time of the End? (Source: International Herald Tribune.)