At the time of this writing there remains much to do in "Operation: Iraqi Freedom," yet the past three weeks have certainly changed the entire strategic landscape of the Middle East.
Furthermore, despite the unprecedented and intensive coverage of the operations of "Iraqi Freedom," the media has totally overlooked the missing city: from a strategic perspective, ultimately, the most significant city in Iraq is not Baghdad, but a city that you have not heard on the news channels: Babylon, about 58 miles south of Baghdad. To the Biblically sensitive observer, this entire conflict may be an essential step to advance toward the Biblical scenario. To fully understand its significance one needs an in-depth prophetic perspective.1
Many have conjectured that Syria may be next on the "list." If so, we should sneak a peek at Isaiah 17:1, which might soon be fulfilled.
The Reality Landscape in America
The dramatic events of the past few weeks have also revealed a reality of the landscape right here in America. And embarrassment to the "naysayers." We've seen:
- Retired generals embedded in the safety of their TV studios;
- Political wanna-be's prostituting themselves for some airtime at the expense of our troops in harm's way. Many of them having exchanged their moral integrity for perceptions of "political correctness," thus revealing both their spiritual and moral bankruptcy.
- The spectacle of uneducated and uninformed celebrities making fools of themselves; pandering for the foreign rights of films at the expense of the American enterprise was despicable but not unexpected.
To have objections to a war while it is under consideration is certainly appropriate in a free society. However, once the Commander-in-Chief has given the order, and our troops are engaged with the enemy and in harm's way, any lack of support and encouragement is anti-American, however "well intentioned" it may appear. These subversives - so-called "liberals" - showed their true color: anti-Americanism.
We need to understand the importance of vocabulary: The homosexuals have been successful in foisting the euphemism "gay" for the immoral and ungodly lifestyle that was deemed an abomination in the Word of God. We need to find a more descriptive term than "liberal," which sounds constructive but is actually misleading. Liberal implies "openness," "broad-minded," etc. However, they believe in freedom of speech only when we agree with them; otherwise, they condemn and malign their opposition and resort to character assassination, the last resort of a desperate opinion devoid of any real foundation. I suggest that we substitute and establish the term "subversive": our military cemeteries are filled with patriots who died fighting everything they stand for! (France may choose to disparage their contributions, but we must never forget them!)
In any case, historians will clearly record this as the most extraordinary military achievement in history! There were at least four clear, astonishing surprises:
The weapons in our arsenal are simply astonishing. I have spent 30 years in the strategic arena, and I must confess I stand back in amazement. The extraordinary sacrifices to protect civilians - in vivid contrast to the thugs who killed, tortured and maimed the innocent - were unprecedented.
Electronic Integration of the Battlefield
The total connectivity of strategic and tactical elements has been the traditional dream fantasy of military planners, and it was incredible to actually watch it in action! Only 45 minutes elapsed from a tactical intelligence break to the delivery of four GBU-28 Bunker-Busters precisely on target! Contrast this with WWII, when we had to modify B-25s and carry gas cans to get our bombers to Tokyo, or the critical 24-hour delay to get a message from an aircraft spotter to our fleet, etc.
Integration of Services
I couldn't help but notice on one TV report a tank crewman with an Air Force insignia: his connection with his air cover was direct and personal. The teamwork evident everywhere was impressive.
The planning, delegation, and professionalism of our leadership was the most impressive I've ever seen. We had a top team in place that was the most experienced and competent we have ever had: President George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and, of course, Don Rumsfeld and his teammates, Dick Myers, Tommy Franks, et al. We will be able to tell our grandchildren that we had the unique privilege of knowing these men. Their critics will be tossed on the ash heap of the forgotten, the discredited, and the ignored. Even the UN was challenged by Bush to "stand up or face irrelevancy!" They made their choice.
And, of course, the real heroes are the troops in the field. We have a new generation of soldiers, and one we can be proud of. Let us never forget that being a soldier is the noblest profession of all:
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:13
It may come as a surprise to many that the Bible has much to say about war. There is a time for peace and a time for war.2 Israel was, on occasion, told to go to war, with extensive instructions. 3 The Torah gives extensive instructions when you go to war: provide your adversary an opportunity to surrender first; yet, resort to war as a final resort; then, don't be afraid, etc.
Regarding evil doers in government, there are warnings: for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. -Romans 13:4
God uses war to accomplish His purposes,4 but we must never be guilty of presumption in this regard!
The Unseen Technology: Prayer
South of Baghdad, there were reports that soldiers discovered an unused weapons cache larger than our two largest Marine bases (Pendleton and Lejune) - so large that if they had blown it up it might have had the appearance of a nuclear blast many miles away! Another news reports indicated that there were medium range missiles with warheads ready to fire, yet were found unused! Why?
Many of us have received the forwarded email from the wife of Paul Yeskoo, a U.S. Foreign Service Officer serving in Shanghai who had a personal encounter with President Bush a couple of months ago. They had the opportunity to confirm to him personally that they prayed for him everyday. President Bush paused in the reception line and responded with intense encouragement to persist in it on behalf of himself and for the nation. He specifically urged that the threat against America is very great and that one of our specific focuses in prayer to God needs to be for "the shielding of America" and for wisdom for these challenging times. I have no way of checking this out, but it would not surprise me to learn that more has been accomplished during this war by prayer than we have any conception of!
The Challenge Ahead
One of the greatest challenges facing us will be the hazard of pride! We are justly proud of our troops and their leaders. But we must also guard against the dangers of pride. Remember David's sin of numbering the people. 5 It was Satan's provocation to tempt David to self-reliance, even self-exaltation.6 Joab recognized the danger and objected. And David was swiftly judged. We, too, can fall into a false comfort with numbers and technology. And remember the lessons of Peter: after his excellence at Caesarea Philippi,7 he miserably failed only a few verses later.8 An A-plus can easily lead to an F-minus. Let us remember the true source of victory:
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. -Zechariah 4:6
Where's America in Bible Prophecy?
One of the most-asked questions we continue to encounter is "Where is America in Bible Prophecy?" I don't happen to agree those who see the United States in Isaiah 18, Revelation 18, or Ezekiel 38, etc. But I do see it as a "type" in Isaiah 5, and Hosea 4-14, etc. In Isaiah 5 there are six "woes" pronounced upon the unfaithful nation: Materialism (Isa 5:8-10); Hedonism (Isa 5:11-17); Flaunting Sin (Isa 5:18-19); Relativism (Isa 5:20); Denial of the Word of God (Isa 5:2); and, Lack of Justice (Isa 5:22-23). The remedy? The Word of the Holy One of Israel (And then the prophet indicates Assyria now, Babylon later. Could this also be a type?9)
The Northern Kingdom was in the same predicament that opens Charles Dickens' Tale of Two Cities: "It was the best of times and it was the worst of times." From their point of view they were prosperous and it was, indeed, the "Best of Times." However, God dispatched Hosea to deliver His indictment: after two centuries, they had abandoned their heritage and committed themselves to idolatry, violence, social injustice, and everything God abhors. It was, actually, the worst of times, from God's point of view. And He was going to use their enemies as His instrument of judgment. They soon would be history. Is there a parallel with America? Check it out for yourself.10
The American Challenge
[This is the 10th and most important of the "Strategic Trends" we attempt to track on our website!]
I'm reminded of the quote by Thomas Jefferson:
And Robert Bork, from his book, Slouching Toward Gomorrah:
God has gone on record with a national principle that I believe we can claim:
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14
This is not addressed to the Pagan Left nor the subversives who find themselves in the corridors of power; it is addressed to "My people, who are called by My name." It is the Believers who need to "turn from their wicked ways," etc. We, ourselves, are in the way of what God wants to do. Without Him we can't. Without us, He won't.
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