I've written the last couple of WND columns about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Israel, specifically, and the Middle East in general. So this week, I determined to tackle something else.
It just didn't turn out that way. Events surrounding Israel and the descendents of Abraham's feuding sons, Isaac and Ishmael, are far too important, too critical and are disintegrating too rapidly to write about something of lesser importance simply for variety's sake.
To say that the present Middle East situation is explosive is a gross understatement. The issues of war and peace in the region are monumental in and of themselves. But war or peace in the Middle East has global implications. A war of the magnitude that is developing there will especially have profound effects on the oil driven economies of the West. In the most extreme scenario, the coming war could force the U.S. military to get involved directly ? it could draw in Russia and Europe as well. Weapons of mass destruction, which are bristling in the inventories of all the potential combatants, could cause an appalling loss of life and render some of the oil-rich Middle East regions uninhabitable for decades.
According to the most recent Israeli intelligence assessments, a regional war is a foregone conclusion by 2002. Personally, I think that is an overly optimistic time schedule.
The following review of recent developments shows that a war may be only a matter of days or weeks ahead. The events themselves are taking on a life of their own that leads down an all too familiar path that ends in war ? and this time, a war of cataclysmic scope.
Iraq has already begun sending infiltrators into Jerusalem via Jordan. As WorldNetDaily reported (almost exclusively) Jordan and Israel have already found it necessary to launch unprecedented joint military action against Iraqi commandos within Jordan's borders within the past week. Iraq now has missiles that can accurately hit Israel with both biological and chemical warheads. Iraq may possibly also have two or three crude atomic bombs.
Both Syria and Egypt have threatened war should Israel go further in its battle with the Palestinian Authority than they think prudent. Iran is arming Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Hezbollah is reported to have more than 8,000 Katyusha rockets airlifted from Tehran via Damascus with instructions from Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i to use them against the "cancer" of Israel. Both Syria and Egypt have missiles that can accurately hit Israel with biological and chemical warheads.
In the event any of these nations launch such a weapon on Israel, the Israelis have already promised a massive nuclear counterstrike ? and they have over 400 nukes with which to make the promise good. Sometimes the Muslim nations seem like children playing in a sand pile with nitroglycerin ? with no understanding or forethought of the deadly, far-reaching consequences.
Yasser Arafat has reversed his long-standing opposition to Hezbollah as a "tool of Iran to destabilize the peace process" and is allowing Hezbollah to set up offices in cities throughout the PA controlled areas.
And WND reported on Monday that even the Saudis may join any regional war against Israel. The Saudi ambassador to the UK said that the best way to defeat Israel is to launch a war on two simultaneous fronts.
Meanwhile the Israelis continue their policy of preventing terrorism by killing the terrorists first. The world continues to condemn the policy, despite the fact Sharon rightly points out that Arafat agreed to arrest them, but never did. As Sharon put it, "Arafat didn't take care of it, so we have to."
Arafat continues to call for an international monitoring force to "enforce" the ceasefire. The United Nations admitted this week that it indeed lied about possessing videotape evidence of a kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers last October. The U.N. tape purportedly shows Hezbollah guerillas, dressed in U.N. peacekeeping uniforms and using U.N. equipment. The U.N. wants to obscure the faces of the terrorists so the Arabs can't say they are providing intelligence information to Israel.
But they swear the U.N. troops that stood by when the kidnapping took place didn't help, even though Israel has evidence they were bribed. And the U.N. promised greater cooperation with Israel in the future.
Kofi Annan's fuller cooperation is a tacit admission that the U.N.'s previous efforts have been less than even-handed in the past. To translate diplomat double-speak into English, "We lied to you before, but now we're telling the truth, honest. And this time, we're really and truly going to be fair. Trust us."
Viewed from any angle, the heart of the conflict is, was and shall always be Jerusalem. Most secular analysts call Jerusalem a "powder-keg." Twenty five hundred years ago, the prophet Zechariah called it a "stumbling-block and a burdensome stone" that would burden all nations ? eventually dragging them into a global war. Zechariah wrote centuries before Mohammed, before Islam or before Yasser Arafat. Indeed, it was written before the nation of Israel was destroyed, scattered throughout the world, re-gathered and reborn in 1948 ? events anticipated by Zechariah and many other ancient Hebrew prophets.
It is my prayer that some miracle will postpone this war. But if it is postponed for the present, it will certainly come a little later. It is written in the prophecies of the Bible, and they have never been wrong. The only thing in doubt for the moment is the timing ? and the prophetic timetable is counting down ever more rapidly.
On a personal level, the real question is, "Where do you stand with Jesus Christ?" He came the first time to purchase a pardon for you by giving his life to pay the debt of your sins. Will you receive the gift of pardon he purchased for you? If you do, you will change your eternal destiny right there. Do it and find out about the wonder of knowing God personally.
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