(…a replay of an ancient story…in reverse)

Some three thousand years ago or so the entire Middle East was shaken up and left in chaos, much as it is today.

The cause, back then, seems to have been a cataclysmic event on the island of Thera (Santorini) in the Aegean Sea, when its volcanic foundation suddenly exploded with a force estimated as the equivalent of 150 atomic bombs going off at the same time.

Its explosion was so huge it literally blew a mile deep hole in the sea, leaving only fragments of the Thera island that we see barely standing above water today. The effects of that explosion sent devastating tsunamis racing in every direction, particularly impacting certain parts of Greece and Turkey, along with a massive pyroclastic “death cloud” which swept over the islands of Crete and Cyprus, to end up slamming into the shores of ancient Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, the echoes of which having come down to us in ancient Egyptian archives, with Plato’s story about a lost world once called Atlantis, and even referred to in Old Testament scriptures.

The destructive aftermath of that event was such that it led to waves of surviving refugees fleeing by sea in search of whatever safe havens they could find, causing all sorts of conflicts with and disrupting the existing social orders in what are today Turkey, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. These were the so-called “sea peoples” as recorded in Egyptian writings and inscriptions.

Today, we are seeing the impacts of another cataclysmic event called – The Arab Spring – which, from Morocco to Iran, instead of bringing about a hoped for new order of democracy and peaceful co-existence, has ended instead in sectarian conflicts, destruction, starvation, and disease, the uprooting entire populations to send them off as refugees in frantic search of safe havens from all that. To these upheavals, are also added all those from across the African continent. Thus, today’s “sea peoples” that we see and hear of in the news… attempting to reach southern European shores from North Africa and the Middle East, by making desperate voyages in anything that floats, are simply replaying an ancient story…in reverse.

What long range impacts that will have on the nations of today’s Europe we cannot say, except, that impacts will occur, changing the old national order of things, just as it did in those ancient times. But the overwhelming humanitarian needs this will cause will probably be more than what any of those nations will be able to accommodate or take care of, so anti-refugee/immigrant sentiment will undoubtedly grow because of that, making peaceful integration and adjustments extremely difficult…if not impossible.

Meanwhile, more and more of these latter-day sea peoples will fill our daily doses of media shots of capsized and sinking boats, with desperate non-swimmers crying vainly for rescue, and bodies washing up on shores like so much flotsam and jetsam tossed up by the sea.

That ancient event caused the collapse of Minoan Civilization and that of the Hittite Empire in Turkey, added further chaos to the warring states of ancient Syria, hastened the destruction of the Canaanite culture among the principalities of Palestine, and rocked the Egyptian Empire into temporary decline, until eventually a new order of things prevailed, but the region was never been the same again.

So what we are seeing today may bring about similar and just as drastic changes among the nations of Western Europe, and, a period equivalent to its Dark Ages, for North Africa, the Middle East, and much of sub-Saharan Africa.