Jesus of Nazareth
Politics of Religion
AN APPEAL TO WOMEN AND MEN OF EVERY FAITH GROUP AS THE ISLAMIC AND CHRISTIAN YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSEI have oft complained that many North Americans have little knowledge or interest in History. As Christmas of 2006 and the Hajj of 1427 approaches, history is repeating itself in the Middle East as events surrounding Iran and her nuclear intentions ride the monorail that encompasses her fundamentalist Islamic leadership; their thought processes and their clearly stated agenda.
Let me state quite clearly that Christianity is not without an awful responsibility for unfolding events: sins for which the Christian Churches will undoubtedly pay the price. This is not an essay that pits Islam against Christianity. Nor do I intend to examine the rights and wrongs of the current situation; point 'the finger of blame'; review the historical perspective and its accompanying 'justifications', or to make predictions of Armageddon. Rather, it is my intention to lay out a few incontrovertible facts relating to the geopolitical situation which is running 'real-time', now and as we speak, and then to add some of the global 'wild cards' that may or may not come into play as events unfold. It is my hope and prayer that as intelligent, sane readers review this simple precis of events they will see clearly the real and present danger that exists in the Middle East. Once that danger is identified it is my further hope that these folk will contact their MPs, congressmen, Prime Minister or President and tell them that the time for shuttle diplomacy is over.
The only action that has any hope of halting that Islamic monorail must be taken by the United Nations [without veto or the slightest disagreement between China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America] on behalf of the Earth's nations. The message must unequivocally state that Iran and North Korea will cease the manufacture of weapons grade plutonium forthwith, hand over any weapons grade plutonium already in their possession and dismantle all nuclear facilities under strict and impartial UN supervision. The consequences for non-compliance within a short but reasonable period must be so grave to those two nations than their leaders see compliance as the only conceivable option. If you feel that achieving the foregoing is impossible, do not read on: there is little to be gained by gratuitously subjecting yourself to nightmares. This is not a Hollywood movie plot.
IRAN AND ISLAMIC INTENTIONS
There is no doubt that most Muslims are not Islamic extremists, but all Islamic extremist are Muslims. As soon as we start having the courage to examine Islam with objectivity, as well as looking at the Islamic politics back to Mohammed himself, we will come to see matters as the Islamists see them, namely that there exists an aggressive war of Islam against Christianity. Right now, in 2006 [or 1427 if you are Islamic] the front line is Israel.
There is a radical difference between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other governments with nuclear weapons except, perhaps, Pakistan. This difference is expressed in what can only be described as the apocalyptic worldview of Iran's present rulers. This worldview and expectation, vividly expressed in speeches, articles and even schoolbooks, clearly shapes the perception and therefore the policies of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his disciples.
Even in the past it was clear that terrorists claiming to act in the name of Islam had no compunction in slaughtering large numbers of fellow Muslims. The phrase 'Allah will know his own' is usually used to explain such apparently callous unconcern; it means that while infidel, non-Muslim, victims will go to a well-deserved punishment in hell, Muslims will be sent straight to heaven. According to this view, the bombers are in fact doing their Muslim victims a favor by giving them a quick pass to heaven and its delights—the rewards without the struggles of martyrdom. School textbooks tell young Iranians to be ready for a final global struggle [once Israel is 'wiped of the map'] against an evil enemy, named as the United States and other so-called Christianized nations and to prepare themselves for the privileges of martyrdom.
For Canadians who think that the bloodbath will miraculously stop at the forty-ninth parallel, it is time to wake up. North America is viewed by Islam as one entity, and while the Canadian Navy probably does not strike fear in anybody's heart, the logistics of any attack place all facilities and infrastructure of military importance high on the target list. In case you still do not get it, it usually takes a matter of hours for an east coast storm to travel from New York to Halifax, so why should radioactive fall out take significantly longer?
This then is the legacy of Ayatollah Khomeini who once stated flatly. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another’s hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."
So much for mutual assured destruction [MAD], the deterrent that worked so well during the Cold War, Armageddon will produce massive general destruction anyway. The only matter of concern will be the final destination of the dead—hell for the infidels and heaven for the believers. For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint, it is an inducement.
How then can one confront such an enemy, with such a view of life and death? The answer appears to be: 'one does not'. Anybody who can tear themselves away from life's trivia to analyze such world news as is currently available to the layman will have come to the conclusion that Condoleezza Rice might have enough frequent flyer points to simply retire and travel; however, her efforts to achieve a diplomatic solution are as efficacious as those of Neville Chamberlain who naively helped Adolf Hitler bring the world the horrors of WWII.
Shuttle diplomacy and an ineffective 'paper tiger' known as the United Nations have achieved absolutely nothing!
ISRAEL STANDS ALONE
This is not about Israel's right to exist [she exists] or anti Semitism [it's a fact of life] or whether Israel is right or wrong [we are way past that] but rather what will Israel do and when.
Israeli military analysts believe that Iran will reach a critical stage in its pursuit of nuclear capability sometime within the next few months. This is a terrifying new development, far more worrisome than the wars and uprisings that have plagued the Middle East to date. It seems likely that Israel will strike before these facilities go 'hot' in order to minimize civilian casualties. This gives Israel at most a sixty to ninety day window of opportunity.
The alternate has already been discussed and is a matter of public knowledge throughout Israel: Israelis can go like a lamb to the slaughter, just as the Jews went in their millions to Hitler's death camps, or Israelis can abandon Judea/Palestine in large numbers causing the economic collapse of the country before the nuclear holocaust is unleashed; finally, Israelis can stand and fight using all options at their disposal.
It has been stated by many that the first option will never happen again. The government of Israel is well aware that option two is unavoidable if no action is taken, which leaves option three as the only course available.
Israel may be coy about its status as a nuclear power; however, there is zero doubt that she has thermonuclear warheads in her arsenal in sufficient quantities to hold the balance of power in the Middle East. Israel has three submarines, probably armed with nuclear weapons: one on station in the Mediterranean and one in the Persian Gulf. The third rotates on standby. Israel has an effective intelligence and special operations service [Mossad], combat hardened troops and pilots, super computers and technology, state of the art battle tanks and aircraft, and access to ordinance, including missiles, [Israel took delivery of 500 US bunker buster bombs this year] from one of her allies.
Early this year, Israel [on what appeared to be a flimsy pretext] moved to significantly neutralized Hezbollah positions in Lebanon reducing or eliminating the risk of a flanking attack from Syria or Syrian supported Islamic extremists; the precedent for a pre-emptive strike against a nuclear facility was set in the early eighties when Israel attacked Iraq's Osirak nuclear complex near Baghdad; we can speculate that on November 13, 2006 Prime Minister Olmert received the tacit approval and an 'amber light' for a second pre-emptive attack from President Bush, this time against Iran.
According to a recent report, Israel has built replicas of Iran's nuclear facilities in the Negev Desert, where their fighter-bombers have been practicing test runs for months. The decision of which type of armament to be used remains to be seen. Military analysts point out that such an attack using conventional weapons will simply set the Iranian nuclear program back around two years. This would provide breathing space for more shuttle diplomacy, the end result of which would simply leave Ms. Rice et al with air miles that they could not live long enough to use. To penetrate and destroy centrifuges hidden seventy-five feet under ground will require the use of tactical thermonuclear warheads of the type declared 'strategic' and 'safe' for the civilian population. If this option is employed it will usher in the first nuclear war of the twenty-first century.
All that remains is to determine the date and here, of course, I am guessing. Id al Adha is Islam's Feast of Sacrifice or the Day of Sacrifice, it occurs during the twelfth month of the Islamic year following the Hajj or Pilgrimage to Mecca. It recalls the day when Abraham intended to follow the instructions of God, and sacrifice his son Ishmael. [NB: Muslims believe that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his elder son Ishmael; Judeo-Christians believe that it was Isaac who was involved in the near sacrifice]. December 31, 2006, the New Year and Id al Adha: a time of global celebration when fireworks are traditional and people [Islamic and Christian] are preoccupied with other distractions.
THE GLOBAL WILD CARDS
Rumour places Osama bin Laden [OSB] under the protection of the mullahs in Iran. Now, OSB might not seem a likely candidate for recognition as the 'Hidden Inman' and a messianic place in Islam's end of times, but I for one would not rule him out.
Russia [a wild card if ever there was one] has been a teeny bit careless with its inventory of SS20 ICBMs and suitcase bombs since the crash of the iron curtain. It is certain that Putin and his government will prostitute themselves at any time to meet their need for hard currency, which oil rich Gulf States have a-plenty: they have sold the plutonium, the heavy water, the technology, the missiles, the defense systems and only God knows what else. Russia's two-faced double dealing is a major causative factor in the current crisis, and remember the Russian military machine has not been idling away its days in the interim.
China may have turned communism into capitalism, but she too has been frantically re-arming and, like Russia, is a nuclear power to be reckoned with.
The United States of America is heavily involved in the Middle East and may be drawn into conflict if Israel uses US controlled Iraqi airspace to attack Iran or if troops on the ground in Iraq are attacked by Islamic coalition forces.
Christian extremists. While on the subject of the USA, not all the extremists are Islamic: there is any number of fundamentalist Christians who are trying to force the rapture and the return of Christ. Brace yourselves! The belief in a rapture stems from the false interpretation of several biblical passages and modern interpretation. The strange part about this particular cultish belief, is the fact that the US government is very much involved in nourishing this belief throughout the world—you might remember the misguided statement recently made by none other than Condoleezza Rice: "The Lord is going to come on time - if we just wait."
The rapture doctrine, as it is taught and believed today, vaguely details the bodily removal of Christians from the earth, but only after certain world events have come to pass. It is these events that some believe the Bush Administration are actively trying to orchestrate. In other words, they are trying to force the rapture and the return of Christ by deliberately engaging in actions toward their prophetic 'fulfillment'. The contradiction and impossibility of this lunatic behavior is unconscionable: if it is true, it means, simply stated, that the Bush Administration, with the support of the fundamentalist churches worldwide are seeking to deliberately force WW III on the world, which will include the destruction of most of the Middle East [notably Iran and Syria among others] and the United States. This war will be between Israel, Russia, China and the United States and will even include a civil war within the borders of the USA; it will employ the exchange of nuclear weapons, with tens of millions of innocent deaths.
On the subject of religious extremists, Benedict XVI, bizarrely no stranger to World Wars chose 'just now' to inflame the world of Islam. Popes, Presidents and Prime Ministers seldom, if ever, make speeches or pronouncements off the cuff, so what is this latest Papal Bull all about?
It has been mentioned that with the serious decline in adherents and the associated crises within the catholic priesthood and at the Vatican Bank that major strife between Islam and Christianity could have a welcome polarizing effect, which would drive the fickle [un]faithful back into the cold empty pews. Is it possible that Herr Ratzinger is forcing the rapture himself? Personally, I would be very careful about that: some WWIII scenarios depict Rome and the Italian peninsular as the recipients of any number of unwanted kilotons.
Then there is Pakistan. If Israel [with or without America's tacit approval] bombs Iran, Iran will attack Israel and the US troops in Iraq. At best Pakistan will probably threaten to bomb American cities if the US delivers a nuclear reply strategic or otherwise to Iran. And on it goes. For those of you who have no imagination and want the appalling scenario in black and white try a web search for Four Day War, The Iran/Israel conflagration, a history by Claude Salhani.
A final word based on very hard facts, and not speculation or wild cards. It occurs to this writer that Israel has only limited choices because her back is firmly against the Wailing Wall.
She can do nothing and wait for the incoming ballistic missiles to show up on her radar and then respond in kind.
She can launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran with conventional weapons and buy a few months breathing space for more diplomacy, or she can use nuclear weapons and put Iran out of the arms race.
I do not think I have ever seen a more depressing scenario; I will leave the last words to two people who knew Adolf Hitler very well: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, upon his return from Munich in 1938, stated, "I have spoken to Mr. Hitler, and we shall have peace in our time." Walter L Shirer, a journalist and historian, and a wiser man by far than his political contemporaries, pointed out in 1959 that,
"In our new age of terrifying, lethal gadgets [an age that followed WWII] the first aggressive war if it should come, will be launched by suicidal little madmen pressing an electronic button. Such a war will not last long and none will ever follow it. There will be no conquerors and no conquests, but only the charred bones of the dead on an uninhabited planet."
The writer acknowledges numerous sources on the worldwide web to which all credit is due and thanks is most gratefully extended.
Author: Rev. Malachy Egan
Article Date: 10 December 2006
and love your neighbour as yourself."