ASK Commentary
February 12, 2003 

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Commentary for February 12, 2003 — Iraq and International Relations

King Solomon wrote about the state of the world,

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ... A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8

For background to this Commentary, see my article “Recent Events in the Middle East” from April 22, 2002. Much of what I wrote then still applies to today, a year later.

A year before that in April 2001, Dr. Martin wrote an article that each of you should read again, “The Prophesied State of Palestine.” Take time to look at the map at the bottom of the article. (The borders are necessarily variable and indistinct, but the map gives general outlines of future boundaries.) Note also the text accompanying the map at the bottom of the page. Dr. Martin wrote:

The rogue nation of Iraq will be eliminated and the world will accept the name ‘Assyria’ for the new state, and its modern capital will be at a renewed "Babylon." This is the primary teaching of Psalm 83 in prophecy.”
This is a specific prediction. Whether the national Psalm 83 will take place soon or some 20+ years in the future, the decision is in God’s hands. God is sovereign and does what he wishes in the affairs of men.
“I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.”

Jeremiah 27:5–7

The apostle Paul later re-emphasized God's the total control and power over nations and their boundaries,
[God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, ...

Acts 17:26–27

War Soon

It appears that the world will soon see a time of war, however brief. The sovereign nation of Iraq is about to be invaded from most every direction, primarily by the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, the United States. The United States (with the sanction and tacit agreement of the United Nations) has declared that the rights of sovereignty of Iraq will no longer be observed, that Iraq must disarm all weapons of mass destruction, and barring that disarmament, the present rulers and government of Iraq must change. Iraq has refused to do as commanded, appears unlikely to do so, and so the United States is ready to impose changes to the regime of Iraq. That will be done through an invasion.

National Sovereignty

The sovereignty of a nation means that supreme control, boundaries, independence, autonomy and rule over the people of a country are determined (usually by the wealthy and powerful) and accepted by the rest of the people within the country. This helps form a national identity.

The governing authority of a nation exerts its national sovereignty through its ultimate power over life and death, and taxation and spending — all on “behalf” of its citizens. Other nations rarely intervene. There is no higher power or authority that nations recognize beyond their own sovereignty, except the rule of force from outside. Each country’s autonomy of control over its citizens is generally recognized as valid by other sovereign nations, so long as internal control and national integrity is maintained and conflicts with other sovereign nations are held in check. Only other sovereign nations can challenge another nation’s power and authority.

United States Action

The United States, as of the date of my writing this Commentary, will go to war within a few days. Ships carrying necessary military equipment that left port several weeks ago will arrive within the next two weeks. Military movements have speeded up to where troops are being flown to their positions in leased commercial airliners. Those troops require about one to two weeks to become acclimated to their new conditions, climate and pre-placed equipment before they are ready for combat. Combat troops, the tip of the spear so to speak, have already been positioned for several weeks and months. Iraq is split into thirds by virtue of "no-fly zones" imposed by the United Nations over large portions of northern and southern Iraq. Iraqi military flights over those territories are not allowed.

( If there would be a new terrorist attack on the scale of September 11, 2001 in the United States, the U.S. military could move immediately, without waiting for the final placement of its forces. )
What May Come ...

What follows are some possibilities to look for in the region:

» Even if Iraq disarms or its leadership under Sadaam Hussein is removed from power, the troops of the United States will surely move into Iraq, if for no other reason than to keep order within the country.

» While the United States and its coalition members previously stated they seek to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq, that policy has been dropped. The borders of Iraq will change; its territorial integrity will be lost. The country will be broken up into at least two parts, maybe more.

» Turkish troops are massing on Iraq’s border and will likely move into the northern portion of Iraq to obtain access to the substantial oil fields in the north, and they will try to keep the oil for themselves. If Turkey does not annex a portion of northern Iraq, then the Kurds (the people of ancient Assyria) may attempt to form their own government and achieve nationhood and sovereignty, with or without Turkish approval.

» If Dr. Martin’s analysis of Psalm 83 is correct (and I believe it is), buffer states will be created on Israel’s eastern border, separating Israel from Saudi Arabia and Iraq (Assyria).

» Look for a movement and call for an Iraqi king to return to the throne to provide a stabilizing force to the country.

» The Tigris and Euphrates rivers (both of which are navigable for a substantial portion of their length) will play a major role in the economic recovery of Iraq’s economy as well as the development of Iran.

» Iraq and Iran will actively trade, to the great benefit of both countries. Many of their differences (such as the long year war between the two nations in the 1980s) will be resolved.

» Iran will continue to grow more powerful in the region. Its 48 million people is the largest population of any country in the Persian Gulf area.

» Babylon will be rebuilt. We shall see if Baghdad is depopulated, abandoned or destroyed. (See the articles “The Rebirth of Babylon” and “Will Babylon be Rebuilt?.” Babylon must be rebuilt first before it can become a financial center that will receive a large portion of the world’s wealth. Read Revelation 18.

» Somehow Turkey, at least in the western portion, will have Christian churches reconstituted in the same 7 cities as presented in Revelation 2 and 3. Each church is stated to be active and thriving at the Second Advent of Christ to this earth. Whether this indicates a large conversion of the mass of the Turkish people to the grace of Christ, or whether these churches will be small minority churches as in the 1st century C.E. remains to be seen.

» The nation of Jordan will likely dissolve.

Events are speeding up in the world and major changes are beginning. Pray that God allows us to clearly understand and analyze His prophecies that are given to us through His Word, the Bible.

David Sielaff
david@askelm.com

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