The geopolitical reporting & analysis powerhouse STRATFOR reported earlier this month (March 9th–I’m behind as usual) that the “Summer of Rage” — a term coined to describe the violence anticipated by British intelligence this year — may be off to an early start in the British Isles and Europe. The reason? The global economy:
But this fragile peace agreement thus far has seen only times of prosperity for both the United Kingdom and Ireland. Now, amid the financial crisis, both countries are among some of the hardest-hit in Europe (especially Western Europe). Well before the economic crisis rooted itself on the British islands, Northern Ireland’s deepest-seated problem was its poor economy and grave poverty. Of the four economies in the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland’s is the smallest, and it traditionally has been an industrial economy. Heavy industry there has been declining for a while, and nothing has replaced it. What is left of heavy industry in Northern Ireland could be crushed under the weight of the financial crisis.
That’s part of the challenge of bad economic times that some do not consider: those disagreements and dissatisfactions that have simmered under the surface during times of peace and prosperity find it much easier to boil up to the surface when the crust that has helped to keep them seemingly submerged begins to crack. Here’s the final paragraph in the report:
The political landscape in Northern Ireland has changed enough that a major breakdown in the country is not likely; however, the economic situation could be enough to rejuvenate the fight against London and plunge the country back into a security crisis. And the idea of such a crisis comes as the leadership of the United Kingdom is overwhelmed with problems: It is fighting two domestically unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and watching its banking sector crumble, and the United Kingdom’s population is counting the days until Prime Minister Gordon Brown steps aside. Violence across Europe prompted by economic troubles has already begun, and British officials expect a much larger backlash this summer, which has already been dubbed the “Summer of Rage.” In Northern Ireland, such violence is about more than reacting to the government, though it merges with the issue of keeping the United Kingdom intact.
We have been warned: the end times will, indeed, be “perilous times” full of “brutal” men “without self-control” (2 Tim. 3:1ff). And to think that “Summers of Rage” are the sort of thing that only happen “over there” and that they are not possible here in the good ol’ USA is to pretend things like the LA riots never happened. We’re sadly used to seeing images of burning tires in France. When will a few Goodyears begin to go up in flames here?
Check it out yourself here: “An Early Start to the ‘Summer of Rage’?”
(STRATFOR is an amazing daily resource for those interested in geopolitics, by the way. Some of you out there might want to take advantage of the free subscription to their daily e-mailed briefings. Then add to that an equally free subscription to Tomorrow’s World magazine to see what the Bible has to say about the same topics.)