While much of our attention in recent days has been focused on discussing the ongoing nuclear threats emanating from the nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan, the situation in North Africa and the nations of the Middle East likewise continues to deteriorate, as various national governments continue to take violent action against their own citizens in order to preserve the status quo.
"And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."
Matthew 24:6-8, KJV
As some of you will know, a number of years ago, I in fact wrote a fourteen-part series -- entitled Fulfilled Prophecy: The Beginning Of Sorrows -- which centers around those very verses, and which seeks to demonstrate -- by offering verifiable data from a variety of respected government and academic sources -- that Jesus's words are indeed coming to pass in our modern day.
Concerning "wars and rumours of wars", as most of you will know by now, on Friday, March 18th, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973, which authorizes member states to use all means necessary -- including military force -- to protect the civilian population of Libya from the military onslaughts of their unhinged dictator, Moammar al-Gaddafi. Among other things, Resolution 1973 authorizes a no-fly zone over Libya, as well as aerial bombardment of the Libyan government's military assets.
As I write this, even now Gaddafi's forces are nearing the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on the Mediterranean coast in eastern Libya. While the government of Moammar al-Gaddafi has supposedly declared a cease-fire, the primary members behind the United Nations resolution -- the United States, Great Britain and France -- are taking the Libyan leader's declaration of a cease-fire with a grain of salt, and have insisted that actions on the ground will be required, in order to persuade them to halt the impending military assault against Libya.
It is interesting to note that five of the fifteen members of the UN Security Council -- Brazil, China, Russia, India and Germany -- abstained from the vote, possibly due to their own ties to the government of Libya, and other strategic considerations.
While the civilian populations of Tunisia and Egypt continue to work towards building new democratic governments in their lands, protest movements in other nations of the Middle East are not faring nearly as well. Latest media reports indicate that approximately forty-five protesters were killed on Friday by government security forces in Sana, Yemen. In Sunni-controlled Bahrain, Friday also saw the government destroying a monument at the center of the Pearl Roundabout in the capital city of Manama, which had become a symbol of pro-democracy for the protesters. What may come next in Bahrain is anyone's guess.
Concerning United Nations Resolution 1973 and the involvement in, and commitment of the American government to the same, I have very mixed emotions. Obviously, like most other law-abiding, decent people, I am opposed to any government which oppresses, persecutes and kills its own citizens, and my heart truly goes out to those people who are victimized by the same.
However, at the same time, as a peace-loving Christian who abhors all manner of violence and war in accordance with Jesus' own teachings -- Matthew 26:52, John 18:36, etc. -- I must question the wisdom, legality and motivations behind the Obama administration making this decision. In recent days, certain officials of the Obama administration have publicly stated that Libya is not a "vital national interest", yet once again, we find the American government becoming embroiled in yet another foreign war, supposedly motivated by humanitarian concerns.
Of course, as I have stated many times before, the very fact that the US government is now supporting these democracy movements and revolutions in the nations of North Africa and the Middle East stinks terribly of hypocrisy; because in some cases, for decades the American government has supported the very same thugs and dictators which it is now condemning and helping to remove from power. American administration after American administration basically ignored the atrocities that these despicable leaders where committing against their own people, all for the sake of keeping the oil flowing, and maintaining some level of peace and stability in the Middle East.
What I also find troubling is the fact that this new war has not received congressional approval -- as is mandated by American law -- and neither does it have overwhelming public support either. Furthermore, by even committing itself to Resolution 1973, the United States -- and other UN member nations -- are basically declaring war on a sovereign nation. While these governments may attempt to cloak their actions under the umbrella of humanitarianism -- and there is indeed some legitimacy to this claim -- the bottom line is that they are continuing the questionable policy of previous American presidents; and that is forceful regime change.
While UN Resolution 1973 clearly prohibits the deployment of ground troops in Libya, as other writers have already noted, and as recent history in Iraq and elsewhere clearly demonstrates, an aerial assault is never enough to achieve military objectives. Sooner or later, unless the rebel forces in Libya are able to achieve military superiority, the American government -- and other UN member states -- will be forced to commit ground troops to Libya.
While US president Barack Obama has pledged that this is not going to happen, the situation on the ground may soon force his hand, whether he likes it or not, and America will find itself embroiled in at least three foreign wars all at the same time. In the meantime, competitors such as Russia and China -- who abstained from the UN vote -- will sit back and watch as the United States continues to spread itself thin, and depletes its military assets. Then what?
While Barack Obama obviously recognizes some of the serious mistakes that have been made in Iraq, it seems that against his better judgment, he has allowed pressure from his critics -- who have painted him as being weak -- to control his decision to support and promote UN Resolution 1973. While other nations -- including a few Arab League nations -- have pledged to go the distance with the USA, if recent history is any indication, the United States may very well find itself holding the bag at the end of the day, as the Libyans -- who are divided by their loyalties to their individual tribes -- struggle to create a united, democratic nation in a post-Gaddafi Libya. Again, look at the ongoing nightmare between Sunnis, Shi'ites and Kurds that is now Iraq, or look at the corrupt government in Afghanistan.
Furthermore, there is no doubt in my mind, that Western governments -- led by the USA -- simultaneously involved in three wars in Muslim nations, is not going to sit well with many Muslims around the world. Such involvement only feeds and confirms their fears. Furthermore, it is this writer's view that UN Resolution 1973 may basically amount to free advertising for al-Qaeda, and similar Muslim extremist networks. Time will certainly tell.
Finally, it should be of concern to us all that with each passing year, the United Nations appears to be more willing to become directly involved -- including militarily involved -- in the affairs of sovereign nations. Between the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and a military force comprised of the forces of UN Security Council states, are we slowly seeing the emergence of a One World Government whose decisions and actions will override those of sovereign nations? If we stop to consider how much the world is already connected through trade agreements, global financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, intelligence databases, etc., the revelation of a One World Government does not seem so far-fetched.
What do you think?