The upheaval continues in the Middle East. This week's speech by President Obama fell short of a complete explanation and strategy for the intervention in Libya's current civil war.
In 2004 the Libyan dictator turned his back on development of nuclear weapons. He feared what might happen from America should he develop the ultimate weapon. Remember, this was a year after America led an intervention in Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein. Ghadafi feared the same would happen to him.
Had he proceeded with his plans and developed the bomb, would he have been tempted to use it on his own people in the present uprising? Probably so. There is a reason the dictator has remained in power for more than 40 years.
The hesitant nature of this present intervention by the United States and Europe has not interfered with the risk calculation of the region's nations as they figure the rewards and consequences of their actions.
Iran has proceeded forward with their nuclear plans. In the wake of Egypt's crisis and what is now happening in Syria, they are moving ships and arms through the Suez Canal and into position for future use. Should they sense that America will not act, they could be emboldened to actions that could tip the region into further upheaval.
Michael Oren wrote this week in The Wall Street Journal, "The Iranian regime is the pre- eminent sponsor of terror in the world, a danger to pro-Western states, and the enemy of its own people who strive for democracy. It poses all of these hazards without nuclear weapons. Imagine the catastrophes it could inflict with them" (What if Ghadafi Had Gone Nuclear?" March 29, 2011).
When Iran develops the bomb it will spur other countries to acquire the same. When a future Arab leader feels his position or his country's existence is threatened, what would prevent him from pushing the button? If America's influence in the region has been diminished, from where will arise the moral force to dissuade an action that could ignite a fire larger than anyone can imagine? It is a scary thought.
The fact that America's leadership in the region is changing is reflected in a statement made by Stratfor in a piece titled, "Why Washington is Reluctant to Arm Libya's Eastern Rebels." Commenting on the uncertain strategy of the coalition's intervention into Libya and NATO's involvement, they say, "What the United States really wants out of the Libyan intervention is an opportunity to transfer responsibility for a multilateral conflict to the Europeans" (Stratfor, March 31, 2011).
We look for European involvement in the Middle East to increase. America's lack of leadership in the recent turmoil throughout the region has added to the turmoil that will lead to a new geopolitical map in the region. Bible prophecy shows us a European power will intervene in the region, and Libya is specifically referenced. See Daniel 11:11-43 Daniel 11:11-43  And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he shall set forth a great multitude; but the multitude shall be given into his hand.
 And when he has taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up; and he shall cast down many ten thousands: but he shall not be strengthened by it.
 For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.
 And in those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the robbers of your people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.
 But he that comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
 He shall also set his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom, and upright ones with him; thus shall he do: and he shall give him the daughter of women, corrupting her: but she shall not stand on his side, neither be for him.
 After this shall he turn his face to the isles, and shall take many: but a prince for his own behalf shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn on him.
 Then he shall turn his face toward the fort of his own land: but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.
 Then shall stand up in his estate a raiser of taxes in the glory of the kingdom: but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflowed from before him, and shall be broken; yes, also the prince of the covenant.
 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
 He shall enter peaceably even on the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yes, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.
 Yes, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
 And both of these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land.
 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter.
 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.
 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that makes desolate.
 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
 Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help: but many shall join to them with flatteries.
 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.
 But in his estate shall he honor the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
 He shall stretch forth his hand also on the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
American King James Version×. Any movement of a European based power into the Middle East should be carefully watched. We may well be seeing changes take place that will lead to these prophesied events.
Our booklet, The Middle East in Bible Prophecy, fills in the details. Read it online for a full picture of what lies ahead in this critical region of the world.