Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011

Turn on the TV or radio, or log onto the Internet, and you can’t avoid the numerous remembrances of 2011, including tributes to those who bid adieu to this world in the year about to end. The deaths of Steve Jobs and Elizabeth Taylor received the most attention, but I’ll miss Peter Falk the most (Hail, Columbo! And The In-Laws!). Others who passed on this year include Jerry Lieber, who with Mike Stoller wrote “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” and many other rock ‘n’ roll classics, actor Cliff Robertson, and Sidney Lumet, who directed more than his share of great movies, but who I will always remember for Network, the most prescient film of the 1970s. Christopher Hitchens discovered, as everyone does in that final moment before death, that there is a God, but the revelation came too late for him to write about. Too bad. Imagine the book that could have resulted. What title would he have given it? Maybe something on the order of Uh-Oh, God Is Great, After All or Guess Who I Met in Hell?.
Barack Obama interrupted regular programming to tell us that Osama Bin Laden, the supposed mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks (but actually the scapegoat), had been killed, but no one saw a picture of the corpse. Then there was Muammar Gaddafi, dragged through the streets of Libya and murdered by his own people, undoubtedly with an assist from the CIA which has played a role in numerous revolutions during its 64 year history, including this year's so-called Arab Spring. The CIA was the secret hand behind at least two major revolutions in Iran. In 1951, when Prime Minister Muhammed Mossadegh nationalized the oil industry, the agency, with backing from the likes of David Rockefeller, mobilized Iranians who were hostile to the ruling powers and had him overthrown. Mossadegh was replaced with Mohammed Roza Pahlavi, the Shah, who would be ousted himself in 1979. In his memoirs, the Shah expressed the belief that the CIA was involved in his overthrow, too. In his place, the Ayatollah Khomeini took charge, turning Iran into the stronghold of Islamic radicalism that it remains today. Egypt’s recent revolution brought the Muslim brotherhood to power there, and now that Quadaffi has been kicked to the curb and killed, a more extreme Muslim government will almost certainly take the reins in Libya, a guarantee that events in the Middle East will continue to make headlines in 2012 and beyond.
The year 2011 was a dismal one on all fronts with more than a few of the “birth pangs” that the Bible warns are a sign of the end-times. The events in the Middle East may have the most damaging consequences in the long run, but don’t tell that to Japan. The earthquake that rocked the country in March registered an 8.9 on the Richter scale, assuring it a place as one of the worst natural disasters in history. In Luke 21:11, Jesus warned of the last days that “There will be great earthquakes in diverse places.” Those who dismiss Bible prophecy as so much superstitious claptrap would argue that there have always been earthquakes and natural disasters, but shortly after the 8.8 earthquake in Chile on February 27, 2010, World News and Prophecy put it in frightening perspective:

“If we look at the 12 strongest earthquakes registered in the world since measurements of them began some 300 years ago, four - or a third of the list - have occurred within the last six years.”

I don’t know which of those 12 earthquakes dropped off the list following this year’s disaster, but it’s now safe to say that five of the worst earthquakes in history occurred within seven years.

What does the world have in store for 2012?

© 2011 Brian W. Fairbanks


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