ASK Commentary
March 24, 2003 

Wars and Rumors of Wars, Part 3

Commentary for March 24, 2003 — Dangers of War and Peace

Allow me to indulge in some comments. President Bush stated in his March 19, 2003 address to the United States and the world that the purpose of the military operations by coalition forces into Iraq was “to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.” These are noble goals.

Background

Iraq attacked Iran in 1980. Iran fought Iraq to a standstill in an 8-year war that saw estimated casualties for both countries to be 1,500,000 men dead and injured. Iraqi troops under Sadaam Hussein exhibited sophisticated maneuvers toward the end of the war when Iraq soundly defeated Iran to an armistice. The authors of a nonclassified study written in 1990, just before the first Gulf War, Iraqi Power and U.S. Security in the Middle East by Pelletiere, Johnson, and Rosenberger (Carlisle Barracks, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 1990) considered Iraq would be the major power opposing Israel in the 1990s. They were mistaken because Iraq made the miscalculation to invade Kuwait and was driven out in 1991. In the first Gulf War, the Iraqi army fought with great cleverness, even though they were totally outmatched and mostly ran when confronted. Those who stood to fight were captured or killed. The United States mistakenly did not complete that conflict. As is made clear in the book The General’s War The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf by Gordon and Trainor (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995), Iraq could have been kept under control by the coalition nations at that time maintaining a stranglehold of Basra and the Iraqi port city of Al Faw. It would not have been necessary to capture Baghdad at that time. However, what was done was done. Now a new coalition is fighting in Iraq, mostly composed of forces from the United States and Great Britain.

The Current Situation

As of this date the war has been going on for 5 days with 4 days of ground fighting. Let me provide some facts about this conflict:

» On the first day of the bombing, Sadaam Hussein was the target. He apparently survived a powerful attack. This demonstrates not that Hussein is lucky, but that God is in control as to who rules nations, and the time when rulers are changed.

» The United States and British troops accomplished in one day what Iran was not able to do in 8 years of heavy fighting.

» Iraq has not used any weapons of mass destruction. This may change.

» The Iraqi air force has not put in an appearance, just as in the first Gulf War. They may make a surprise attack using chemical weapons.

» Iraq has not fired Scud missiles at Israel. Such missiles are not militarily significant, but they are politically important. The United States military is on the ground in western Iraq where most of the Scud missile launching sites are located. Missiles being fired at Kuwait are not Scuds.

» The price of oil is coming down from fearful pre-war prices. It is speculated that Iraq has the world’s largest oil reserves, not Saudi Arabia. This makes a peaceable Iraq a more valuable trading partner in the future.

» United States ground forces are knocking at the defenses of Baghdad. They have likely passed near to Babylon.

» Iraqi resistance has not been organized, although when they have fought they have fought hard — and died.

» Large demonstrations are occurring in Arab countries protesting the United States military action, but no dangerous riots are occurring that threaten regimes friendly to the United States.

» Surprisingly refugees have not been flooding to the borders of Iraq, trying to escape the war zone as they did in 1991.

» The United Nations is an observer in the war, demonstrating its impotence to influence events.

» Many of the technologies and war-fighting implements of today were first used effectively 60+ years ago in World War. These included tank combat, air attacks on land forces and cities, cruise missiles (V-1 buzz-bomb rockets in World War 2), ballistic missiles (V-2 rockets), commando raids, and vertical envelopment (by parachute, glider, or today by helicopter).

» To me the public statements made by Sadaam Hussein do not sound normal. They sound like the channeled speech of a possessed person.

» The United States Army’s 3rd Mechanized Division near Baghdad has 20,000 troops and is the best equipped, most powerful land force unit in the history of the world. It has every weapon in the arsenal of the United States at its disposal. It can call upon even more firepower to fall upon enemies from planes in the sky.

More Kings Coming on the Scene?

Dr. Martin has written in the past that kings will be present in the world as we near the end times. In one article “The Balkans in Prophecy,” he discusses the coming kings in the Middle East. In light of recent events let me quote a particular paragraph from the “Expansion and Portability of Zion” article,

“So, keep your eyes on King Abdullah (the new young ruler of the Kingdom of Jordan) and also Bashar Assad (the new young ruler of Syria at his capital of Damascus). Remember, Damascus is to play a decisive role at the time God intervenes directly in world affairs. This will not be an obscure kind of dwelling for God in Damascus. The whole world is destined to acknowledge it. All people will begin to view God as having had (or, as having) a 'residence' at or around the City of Damascus. The attention of the world should return to what happened (or, happens) at and near Damascus. There is even more reason to keep our eyes on Jerusalem and the Palestinian authorities in this regard. Get ready for the main prophetic events of the Scripture to start their fulfillment. We are on the verge of religious revolution. It is just on the horizon. All things are soon to be restored and reinstated. Even the Temple that Solomon once built (and rebuilt by Zerubbabel and then by Herod) will also become important and people will want to rebuild it again in the area of Jerusalem. We are soon to witness some exciting times.”
I recommend you reread that article to get the full context and background of the issues. Dr. Martin was not a prophet, as he so readily acknowledged. However, he was a keen student and analyst of the Bible and current events. Yet he judiciously avoided reading current events into prophecy. It appears that his analysis may have some substance and a soon result. King Mohammad Zaher Shah of Afghanistan returned to that country from exile as a unifying force with advisory power of tradition. See the United States Department of State article, "U.S. Welcomes Return of King to Afghanistan: Reeker says Zaher Shah has a ‘significant symbolic role’." The U.S. State Department webpage states that the King's role will be important to the future growth and development of Afghanistan.

A King for Iraq?

Iraq’s last king, King Feisal, was assassinated on July 14, 1958 (since that time Iraq has been governed as a supposed “republic”). Feisal was a Hashemite king whose great-grandfather was appointed King of the Arabs in Iraq by the British (actually by Winston Churchill) after World War I. Feisal was a cousin to the late King Hussein of Jordan, the father of the current King Abdullah of Jordan. One possible outcome of this war would be for Iraq to gain a King after the present war. This is being considered as a serious possibility. In an article in the January 27, 2003 internet edition of Haaretz, “Jordan to Consider Request to Extend Auspices Over Iraq,” Ora Coren writes that according to sources,

“Jordanian King Abdallah [Hussein] would favorably consider an American request to extend the auspices of the monarchy over Iraq for a temporary period after the expected U.S.-led attack on Sadaam Hussein’s regime, if the Americans ask, according to senior political sources participating in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. ... “After an interim period of 2–3 years, they said, if the temporary regime in Iraq asks from the Jordanian monarchy to extend its auspices over Iraq, King Abdallah would likely consider the request favorably. But Jordanian officials examining U.S. overtures on the matter made clear that Abdallah would need to carefully consider the repercussions such a move would have on Jordan’s stability. ...”
King Abdallah was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he said that he believed that war was inevitable. He was correct. In an article in the website of the World Economic Forum www.weforum.org, titled “Dialogue with the King of Jordan,” King Abdullah spoke as a Muslim moderate,
“The King said that it is high time for the Muslim silent majority to speak up: ‘9/11 was a wake-up call for Muslims and sparked a dialogue within our community. It is not about East versus West; it is a conflict within Islam. We are the next target for extremists.’”
The article considered King Abdallah becoming King of Iraq as part of the larger “roadmap” agreement regarding Israel and Palestine. Logically Jordan would perhaps trade some territory in Iraq and in return give some territory to the Palestinians.
“According to sources, immediately following the war in Iraq, international pressure will resume on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reach a stage of preparing for the creation of an independent Palestinian state and a final peace agreement within three years, in accordance with the 'road map' proposed by the Quartet — the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia.”
King Abdallah is not the only contender to the throne of Iraq. His cousin Prince Hassan, an elderly brother of Abdallah’s father, King Hussein of Jordan, is also in line for the throne of Iraq.

Monarchs in the World

For an interesting visit through the list of monarchies in the world today, see the Monarchist Society Homepage. It is interesting how many royal families are now present or in exile in the nations of the world.

God Loves Sadaam, Just as He Loves You

At the risk of being redundant, remember this simple fact that God,

“… will have all men [even Sadaam] to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men [even Sadaam], the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all [even Sadaam], to be testified in due time.”

1 Timothy 2:4–6

David Sielaff
david@askelm.com

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