Reading Rick Francona’s bio makes me feel like I’ve hardly left my home office. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force as an intelligence officer, and he worked with the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Balkans.
He flew aerial reconnaissance missions over Laos and Vietnam, worked as a liaison officer to the Iraqi armed forces directorate of military intelligence during the Iran-Iraq War, flew sorties with the Iraqi air force, tried to foment a revolution and a military coup against the government of Saddam Hussein, and led a special operations team on a manhunt against Serbian war criminals in the Balkans. He is fluent in Arabic and Vietnamese and was inducted into the Defense Language Institute Hall of Fame in 2006.
Francona knows Iraq and the Gulf, and the Levant and the crucial parts of North Africa. I spent several days with him in Israel during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and recently met up with him again at his home in Oregon where we discussed the wave of revolutions sweeping the Middle East.
Some interesting insights emerge from this interview, which details the current affairs in the Middle East, something of great interest to a prophecy watcher:
In the long run, though, the changes in Egypt will likely have the greatest effect on the region. Egypt is the cultural center of the Arab world. It sets the tone for much of the political thought in the Middle East. It shares a border with Israel and, along with Jordan, has made peace with the Jewish state.
Egypt is extremely important not only to us but to the whole area. If there is a major shift in Egypt’s government structure, it could collapse the peace process as we know it.
The following quotes look as if they were lifted directly from the pages of biblical prophecy:
If the Israelis can’t count on a stable southwestern border, they will truly feel surrounded. They’ve got Lebanon to the north which is now basically run by Hezbollah.
They’ve got the continuing problem with Syria to the northeast.
They look across to Jordan which has a weak government where the Hashemites survive through compromise.
And without the Egyptians providing some stability in the region, this could get ugly. And we get tied up with what the Israelis are doing whether we like it or not.
I’m a little concerned with what I see as the American willingness to allow the Muslim Brotherhood to play a greater role in Egypt than maybe they should. They’re going to be involved. There’s no escaping that—it’s just reality—but legitimizing them by saying we want the “non-secular” players in the equation isn’t helping.
But I’m not sanguine about the Brotherhood’s motives. They say what they know we want to hear. They’re planning for the long term. We’re looking to the next election, but they’re looking decades down the road where they might create an Islamic state
We can see the long-term plans by the Muslim Brotherhood:
I think the Muslim Brotherhood is somewhat pragmatic. I mean, they know what they want, but they also know they can’t do just anything to get it. They have to be smart. Starting off small might be the first step.
They’ll agree to be part of the parliament and probably win 25-30 percent of the seats if there’s a free and fair election. Thirty percent isn’t bad. It’s a good start. Look how far Hezbollah gets in Lebanon with 30 percent. Hezbollah and its allies had 11 seats out of 30 in the cabinet and were able to collapse the government.
What about Jordan?
If you talk to people in Jordan you’ll hear a lot of Islamic sentiment. Jordan might have a problem down the road. I don’t see a real problem right away, but there’s a strong undercurrent of fundamentalist Islam.
All the Arab countries facing upheaval right now, with the exception of Libya, are at least nominal US allies. We could end up losing the entire Middle East. Lebanon, as far as I’m concerned, is already gone.
This is a fascinating article, filled with insights from Iraq to Iran to Egypt to Lebanon; much more than quoted above.
But this interview brings to light one important aspect: The Muslim Brotherhood is making their moves into Egyptian rule, and they have a tangible, long term plan to do so. We also read where Egypt falling into the hands of radical Islam will complete the "circle" of Israel's enemies, who surround her, threatening the Nation of Israel's very existance.
Things are moving rapidly in the region. The alliances that we know will ultimately invade Israel are consolidating as we watch.
And everything we see happening is completely consistent with biblical prophecy - in this case, as described by the prophet Zechariah, as he described Israel's status in these last days - an Israel who would be surrounded by enemies - enemies who are sworn to destroy Israel.
Its all happening according to plan. The biblical plan. God's plan.
We know this because we have the future contained in our book: The Holy Bible.