Paris, Washington and WAR with Iraq
Perhaps if Napoleon was still at the helm, a war with Iraq
would already have commenced. Meanwhile, Washington and Paris are at odds over
the Iraqi issue. President Jacque Chirac of France, (ironically the first
foreign leader to cross the Atlantic to support President Bush after the
traumatic happenings of 911) is standing in way of the Bush Administration -–
saying that war should come only as a last resort, and that a US attack of Iraq
without UN sanction would be illegal. Keep in mind that Chirac has been dealing
with Arab issues for over thirty years, and has remained pro-USA
regardless of the criticism he is currently receiving for being anti-American.
Such critics are taking a very shallow view of the situation and discounting
the historical relationship between Chirac and America.
According to many commentators, Chirac's stance on Iraq
represents a view that many world leaders hold, but are afraid to voice for fear
of getting offside with the 'Super US'. Many feel that attacking Iraq is
simply wrong, for the following reasons:
Civilian casualties would be huge -– military action by
Western forces will serve as a unifying force, inviting a Muslim uprising,
destabilising the whole Middle East including Israel -– terrorism would
increase (keep in mind that around 10% of Frances population are Muslim)
There's a sobering thought behind all of this. In the
bigger picture, we are not talking about a 'single enemy' -– like Iraq, or
al-Qaeda, or the Taleban. We're talking about a very powerful religious
persuasion, where the sum of the parts are greater than we can comprehend.
Before I continue let me clarify once again, the Muslim people are precious to
God (every bit as precious to Him as you and I), but adhere to teaching from a
book which is not about love, nor is it about peace. Peace for Islam comes only
after taking care of the infidel (the Jews and Christians), and calls for
the merciless, atrocious treatment of fellow human beings.
From the Observer newspaper, writer Jason Burke talks of his
experience in Afghanistan "None of the men I saw as I bounced across the
rutted tracks that pass as roads in Afghanistan were members of "al-Qaeda".
Nor indeed were many of the fighters from Chechnya, Yemen, Egypt, Algeria and,
of course, Iraq who were scattering through the mountains and deserts in an
attempt to escape the US-led onslaught. They were certainly militants, full of
hatred of the West and the "Crusader-Zionist" Alliance that they blamed for
the problems of their homelands and those of the Islamic world more generally.
They were all undoubtedly committed to the violent holy struggle that they saw
as their duty of jihad. That is why they were in Afghanistan. But, though they
may have admired bin Laden, they were not his operatives...groups from dozens of
countries -– with Pakistani's, Egyptians, and Uzbecks most prominent -–
concluded pragmatic and mutually beneficial alliances with the hard-line Islamic
militia. So of course did al-Qaeda. So too did al-Zarqawi and his little band of
Jordanians. All lived and worked together in Afghanistan, cooperating on some
things, arguing over others. Afghanistan with its security and the facilities
that bin Laden and others were able to develop, saw a temporary coalescing of
different radical groups. In all they represented the full range of modern
Islamic militancy. All had their own agendas and their own backgrounds...al-Zarqawi
is not an al-Qaeda operative. If there is a link between bin Laden and Saddam
Hussein he is not it. His story is the story of modern Islamic militancy. It is
also the story of why the American-led "war on terror" risks backfiring
badly. Al-Zarqawi is not even on close examination, an "al-Qaeda associate"...this
is a movement that is rooted in broads trends of the Middle East, in the
economic, social and political failure of governments, both locally and in the
West, to fulfil the aspirations of hundreds of millions of people. Islamic
militancy is a multivalent, diverse and complex phenomenon."
So, the good guys bad guys scenario does not wash with
everybody -– and the nature of the true enemy does not yet seem to be openly
acknowledged. Perhaps if the truth about 'the size of the enemy' were to be
published, world opinion would turn completely against the Bush Administration
plans for war, and the pending battle lines would be quickly rubbed out.
The game of cat and mouse continues in Iraq, with Saddam just
one or two steps ahead of UN weapons inspectors, and US troops being flown into
the area by commercial aircraft -– part of the "Civil Defence Air Fleet".
Evidence of the existence of 'Weapons of mass destruction' may or may not be
found, (some intelligence groups say that these items of interest were moved to
Syria long ago).
War affects everybody
Fuel and food prices soar -– significant delays in travel
and added security complications in places of commerce...
According to world political and business leaders attending
the World Economic Forum in Switzerland -– the global economy for 2003 will be
greatly impacted by the timing, length and outcome of any war with Iraq.
Growth in industry will be slow (if at all) until whatever is going to happen
happens. The market sits waiting.
One of the worst hit sectors should war eventuate is 'Broadcasting'.
The costs associated with providing coverage of a war are huge, and
advertisers tend to withdraw their promotions, not wanting them to be seen on
the screen at the same time as military activity. Further, programming tends to
be edited back, with many shows being omitted from schedules to allow for war
The USA -– has other foreign policy issues to deal with
Talk about things coming back to haunt us.
In April 2002, the US supported an attempted political coup
in Venezuela which failed. Ironically, the aftermath of the whole embarrassing
experience has now become a damaging general strike -– which is in its 6th
week. "This has crippled Venezuelan oil exports, of which 13% go to the US
market. Without that supply, US retail prices have increased sharply, and worse
yet, the US may have to dip into its strategic oil reserves if it is to
prosecute the war on Iraq while the Venezuelan crisis remains unresolved" NZ
Herald 03.02.03. So, pressure on US oil reserves is growing.
And North Korea has strategically removed itself from the 'International
Atomic Energy Association', and resumed non-sanctioned nuclear activities -–
amidst stern warnings from the US. North Korea makes all sorts of
weapons/munitions, and supplies them on the 'black market'-– and yes, trade
with Iraq is part of the equation. North Korea can also strike US targets
anywhere in the world ""In case there is a self defensive measure, the
attack can be taken to all military personnel and all military commands of the
United States in the world" according to senior foreign ministry official Ri
Kwang Hyok in Pyongyang. "There's no limit to our attack ability. The strike
force of the Korean Peoples Army will take on the enemy wherever he is" Ri
said." The Press 14.02.03
That sounds like a challenge to me -– and if the US is to be
seen to be impartial, North Korea must be dealt with in the same way Iraq is
being handled. Where does this all lead?
This author believes that God will use this situation to
reduce the USA to less than a super power -– that His Word may be
fulfilled regarding the 'final world empire' spoken about by the prophet
Daniel. Watch also as China rises to prominence -– ready to come down on the
mountains of Israel in a day to come.
EU -– and America's war?
Generally - Five countries support US: Britain, Italy, Spain,
The Netherlands and Denmark. Six countries oppose US war effort: Germany,
France, Greece, Austria, Belgium and Luxemberg. The final four are neutral:
Ireland, Sweden, Portugal and Finland.
The EU is generally on favourable terms with the Arab world
at this time -– where development aid and sympathy for the 'Palestinian cause'
have been communicated for some time.