World News and Trends: Is the West in Decline?

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Is the West in Decline?

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The editor of the British cultural and political magazine Standpoint stated that "war, famine and pandemic have been familiar since the horsemen of the Apocalypse. More remarkable is the fact that Western civilisation constantly overcomes these terrors, renews itself and enables all humanity to share in its prosperity . . . Our civilisation has withstood dictators and depressions before" (Daniel Johnson, January 2009, p. 3, emphasis added throughout).

The bold title of his editorial is "We Decline to Decline." But will the West be able to forestall all the forces arrayed against it?

The United States is still the hub of Western civilization. Is American power waning? The prognosis of some insightful observers is not that encouraging.

The BBC News Web site reported on Nov. 21, 2008: "US economic, military and political dominance is likely to decline over the next two decades, according to a new intelligence report on global trends. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) predicts China, India and Russia will increasingly challenge our influence" ("US Global Dominance 'Set to Wane'").

(Europe, meanwhile, is a sleeper not yet in the picture of most intelligence services. But according to biblical prophecy, a new European-centered superpower will emerge to dominate much of the world. The Good News and its sister publication World News & Prophecy continually watch and report on developments within the European Union, a likely predecessor to a much more sinister, powerful and supremely authoritarian configuration.)

Paul Kennedy, professor of history and director of International Security Studies at Yale University, wrote that "overspending and military overstretch are contributing to U.S. decline and Asia's rise" ("American Power Is on the Wane," The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 15, 2009, p. 14). In another feature article this insightful observer said, "But it looks as if we— America, much of the rest of the world and its peoples—are in for a rough ride as 2009 unfolds" ("When Soft Power Meets Hard Choices," The Sunday Times, Jan. 25, 2009).

Former President George W. Bush threw some much-needed light on this fundamental question of decline in his farewell address. "He underlined that, in facing challenges, the US must 'maintain our moral clarity' as he came close to reprising his famous 'axis of evil' speech. He said: 'I have often spoken to you about good and evil. This has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two there can be no compromise'" (Tom Baldwin, " Bush Calls on America to Keep Its Moral Clarity," The Times, Jan. 16, 2009, p. 41).

In the end, the fate of America and Western civilization depends much more on our moral status with God than any other factor. For example, how is the nation doing in observing the Ten Commandments?

In actuality the Bible foretells the direction in which the leading Western countries have been and are headed. To understand more, request or download our free booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy. (Sources: BBC News, The Times [London], The Sunday Times [London], Standpoint, The Wall Street Journal.)