ASK Commentary
December 21, 2003 

Saddam Hussein Captured

Commentary for December 21, 2003 — Rat in a Hole, and Beyond

Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, was captured on December 14, 2003. It sent shockwaves throughout the Arab world. As the United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said in his December 16 briefing, Saddam was a symbol of power and resistance to the perceived suppression of Islam and the Arab world by the Western powers, led by the United States. He was proven to be impotent and a man of shame.

The downfall of Saddam and his capture in a dirt hole, unwilling to fight his captors, left a very bad impression in the minds of his supporters around the world. His own grandson died fighting when Saddam’s murderous sons, Uday and Qusay Hussein, were killed in a gun battle with U.S. troops during an attempt to capture them. Saddam on the other hand meekly gave himself up immediately.

Saddam asked others to die for Iraq, his regime, and for him. He gave up without fighting to the death, without even a small struggle, exclaiming that he was willing to “negotiate” from a very weak bargaining position. This was pure humiliation and recalls God’s promises of the end in store for those who commit great evil. Be assured that every Arab and Muslim has noted this event and its symbolic significance. You should do likewise.

What Comes Next

To paraphrase Winston Churchill: The capture of Saddam Hussein is not the end of American involvement in Iraq. It is not even the beginning of the end. However, it is the end of the beginning of the rebuilding of Iraq that will lead directly to the further rebuilding of Babylon. What began with the invasion of Iraq, ended with the capture of Saddam. That was the first stage of direct American and Coalition involvement in Iraq.

A massive Coalition military presence will eventually depart from Iraq. Some bases will remain and some American military presence will continue indefinitely. Other aspects of Coalition presence in Iraq will continue to be welcomed. This will involve investment and creation of infrastructure. This will eventually lead to Iraq becoming a center of financial power in the world. That will take time.

Problems will continue just as the process of creating a nation and rebuilding Iraq must continue. People will die and shootings, settling of old scores, murder and terrorism will continue, but on an ever-decreasing scale.

What we have occurring at present — in my opinion — is the normalization of Iraq by the Iraqi people. There comes a time in every conflict when the losing side realizes that further struggle is hopeless and decides to stop fighting. Often that time comes with a formal armistice, a surrender or a treaty of peace.

In the invasion of Iraq by the United States and the Coalition part of that surrender happened quickly when the Iraqi military laid down their arms and went home. The Iraqi army mostly refused to fight. This is exactly what the attacking Coalition wanted to happen. The majority of Iraqis resigned themselves to live with the new situation as best they can.

It is true that resentment against the Coalition as foreign conquerors continued. A lingering fear of Saddam and his sons persisted. Fighting continued piecemeal until Saddam’s sons were killed. Fighting will decrease now that Saddam has been captured and fears diminish that his regime may some day return. Confidence of a good future for themselves and their children will grow. When this occurs to a large enough portion of Iraqi people, foreign fighters against the Coalition will no longer be welcome and will receive swift retribution from the Iraqis themselves. This will likely occur in Iraq within a short time.

The Iraqi population will decide that the war is truly over. They need to rebuild and do the essential and basic tasks to make life better for their own people. Resources can now go toward simple things that build a forward-looking society. Those things are not the acquisition of exotic and powerful weapons or training large armies to fight wars to expand borders (which Iraq did in the 1980s and early 1990s), but they are basic things that greatly increase the quality of life and health.

Saddam as Nebuchadnezzar? — What a Laugh!

Saddam Hussein considered himself a type of Nebuchadnezzar. During Saddam’s rule Nebuchadnezzar likeness was often displayed prominently side-by-side with Saddam’s huge image.

One friend said that when he was captured Saddam looked more like Nebuchadnezzar after his 7 years of animal-like insanity (Daniel 4:28–37) than when Nebuchadnezzar was the glorious king and conqueror. That is certainly true.

Dr. Martin wrote in 1991 (reprinted in April 2003) in the article “The Prophetic Future of Iraq:”

“A future Nebuchadnezzar will come along who will be the King of Babylon. He will be an Assyrian (Assyria being a sister race of the Babylonians). He will head this coalition of Babylonian powers.

Going on in Jeremiah, ‘Because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate’ (Jeremiah 50:13), from that time on. That never happened to the Babylon of history, but it will happen to the Babylon to come up a few years from now. Verse 15 says of this future Babylon that the walls will be thrown down where you cannot even find them. But they are being raised up right now by the supposed new Nebuchadnezzar, Saddam Hussein. If he lasts any longer, he may continue to do so. If not, someone else will do it, because this Babylon will come back in power and authority. You can still see many of the walls of the city of Babylon over there.”

What Dr. Martin wrote in 1991 still holds true today. The prophecies of Jeremiah still need to be fulfilled. Babylon will rise. Then Babylon will be destroyed by God. See the two articles, “The Rebirth of Babylon” and “Will Babylon Be Rebuilt?”

Baghdad is not Babylon. Babylon has not been destroyed as God prophesied. Babylon will be rebuilt to the height of the glory of mankind, and then Babylon will be destroyed when it turns to become the evil city God prophesies it to be.

How Will This Happen? — Prologue

First the basics must be attended to. If a culture, a society or a civilization cannot provide the basics to their population, it will never have a leadership role in the world. Simply put, if a society cannot provide indoor plumbing for the majority of its people, they cannot effectively rule themselves or be leaders in today’s world. Therefore God will see to it that Iraq, and the entire Middle East, will be provided with the basics for a modern culture and civilization. (It will happen quickly (historically speaking), it will be thorough, and it will be revolutionary. See the article “ World Bank Ready to Rebuild Iraq.” This proposal was planned some 6 months before the Coalition invasion of Iraq ever happened.

Things that we take for granted, like indoor plumbing, do not come from leadership at the top, but from those local leaders who are the maintainers of a society. The land of Iraq was one of the first cultures to develop indoor plumbing and yet the majority of people in Iraq (or the Middle East) do not have what the Western world considers a basic benefit of civilized life, essential for modern culture.

The normal infrastructure that makes a great culture or civilization was unexpectedly found to be sadly lacking in Iraq. Iraqis have a heritage that is great and noble and rich. Historically, most of the creative inventions to provide regular food and water and sanitation and clothing for the majority of the society originally came from the region now known as Iraq. Yet Saddam Hussein did practically nothing to advance that infrastructure. His actions as ruler of Iraq were solely for one purpose, to loot and abuse that country to advance his own personal power, glory and ego. That has now ended.

The problems that the Coalition faces today in Iraq are not opposition by the Iraqi people or foreign fighters. The problems result from neglect of those basic infrastructure elements that allows a society to thrive and advance. These elements of food and water and sanitation and clothing must be made available to the majority of the population (beyond just the capital of Baghdad and other large cities). When this occurs Iraq will become an example to the Middle East and to the world.

One simple measure of a culture’s maturity and ability to accomplish great things is determined by the effectiveness of that infrastructure. Longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer (yes, I am paraphrasing him again) once said that a civilization’s worth is not determined by the size of the empire or army but by the quality of those who maintain the civilization and culture, in other words the maintenance men of that culture. It is those who maintain the infrastructure that truly determine the greatness of a civilization.

Iraq lacks that maintenance at present. Forgive what may seem as American bragging, but there are no better countries to lead and to show Iraq how to create and maintain the basics of civilization and culture than the United States and Britain. The United States and Britain have a “can do” attitude toward such things as running water, sanitation and food supply. Saddam neglected all such things except for himself and his ruling clique.

The rebuilding of Babylon and the great civilization that will arise from the mess of Saddam’s regime must literally start from the groundwater up, progress through proper sanitation and indoor plumbing and then proceed to do greater achievements of art, literature, culture and the heights of human creativity. All this will take time, but it will happen faster than ever before and faster than anyone can imagine. It will happen quickly because the supreme culture on earth (not morally superior, but supreme in all aspects of power) of America and Britain will make it happen. And, more importantly, God wants it to happen, so it will happen.

Good things will occur through to the completion of the rebuilding of Babylon. Out of that will proceed bad things. Mankind will pervert the good and then God will judge righteously.

God’s Judgment

In the Bible God most often judges the wealthy not because they are more evil than the poor, but because they have the ability and the power to do justice to others. The poor rarely have that ability or power. God judges nations and rulers and individuals based on the righteous or unrighteous judgments they make toward the poor.

Psalm 82 is an example. Psalm 82 shows God’s attitude toward righteous judgment and unjust judgment.

“A Psalm of Asaph. God stands in the congregation of the mighty; he judges among the gods [elohim]. How long will you judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.”

Psalm 82:1-5

For further understanding of God’s view toward unjust judgments see Psalm 58; Exodus 26:6–9; Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; and Proverbs 18:5. God takes such things very seriously. Saddam will receive judgment, both from God and man, based on this criteria.

God’s judgments on Babylon will come after the good things have happened and the bad things begin to occur. The judgments have not yet happened in history. They are prophesied to occur and they will occur.

How Will This Happen? — Conclusion

The capture of Saddam Hussein was a milestone in history and significant for Iraq. It signified the end of an era and the beginning of a new and better time for the people of Iraq who will have greater freedom and control of their lives.

Iraq, Babylon and the entire Middle East will benefit from what the Coalition (led by the United States and Great Britain) are doing to improve the lives of the people. Yes, the Coalition governments may be doing so from self interest and even from selfish motives, but the common people will benefit mightily.

Much remains to happen in the Middle East. As Iraq and surrounding areas begin to prosper and commerce flows freely, the dynamism that was once the center of the civilized world will once again flourish. Iraq and Babylon will become a major financial center of the world and eventually a major center of evil (Revelation chapter 18). But that is the nature of the world as God has created it. Good things come forth from God and man perverts them.

That too is a temporary situation that God will change soon, as the end of the age advances steadily to bring forth God’s salvation of the world.

David Sielaff
david@askelm.com

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