Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson issued an urgent call this week imploring Christians to pray for the ongoing conflicts involving Georgia, South Ossetia and Russia, as well as Israel and Iran. He claimed an escalating conflict in the region could place 40 percent of the world’s oil at risk.
He said pipelines running through Russia from Siberia supply natural gas and oil to Western Europe and Ukraine, and a pipeline from the Caspian Sea has been bringing 1 million barrels a day of non-Russian oil through Georgia to Turkey and the Mediterranean Sea.
“Russia wants to control all of those vital pipelines,” he said.
On Wednesday an official from the U.S. State Department echoed Robertson’s assertion that Russia could be seeking to control the distribution of such a large portion of the world’s oil.
The Russian assault on Georgia should “serve as a wake-up call to strengthen the southern energy and transport corridor from the Caspian region to Europe,” said Matthew J. Bryza, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.
“Russia’s past willingness to use energy as a means of coercion had already cast doubt upon its reliability as a supplier,” Bryza said. “The new willingness to use force to change borders on its periphery makes Russia an even more dangerous and unpredictable partner.”
Robertson also warned that if Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is able to control Caspian oil and Persian Gulf oil, Russia “will gain a stronghold over the economies of most of the world and can then act to bring America to its knees.”
Putin attempted to assure the West Thursday that military action in Georgia was only a response to what Moscow perceived as Georgian aggression toward the breakaway state of South Ossetia and that Russia has no intention of engaging in another Cold War. “We have no desire and no grounds to encroach on the sovereignty of former Soviet republics,” he said, according to the Moscow Times.
Meanwhile, Robertson claimed it was all but inevitable that Israel would soon need to launch preemptive strikes on Iran’s nuclear reactors—most likely after the U.S. presidential elections.
“Western powers have left Israel no choice but to strike Iranian nuclear facilities now,” he said, calling the party of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has threatened to annihilate Israel, “a fanatical group of Shiite Muslim clerics.”
And because Russia has allegedly helped neighboring Iran build its two aggressive nuclear facilities, Robertson claimed any preemptive action by Israel against Iran would probably not go uncontested by Russia and might even leave the Jewish state unprotected by its most powerful ally, the U.S.
“The Russians have enough long-range nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles aimed at the United States to annihilate all of our cities,” Robertson said. The U.S. would probably not be willing “to play a nuclear game of chicken with Russia to save Israel.”
The aging televangelist, known for his decades of strong support for the state of Israel, said that in his opinion the West has three to four months before “the Middle East starts spinning out of control.”
“If there was ever a time for fervent prayer, it is now,” he said. “The stakes for the world in the next couple of years are beyond description. Please prepare your heart for earnest, prevailing prayer.”
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