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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

War is Coming

By Justin Edwards

I wrote the following paper in 2005 and believe it holds even more significance today as we are ever closer to all out war in the Middle East. Since 2005, Russian aggression, confidence, and relations with Islamic nations has increased; Iran and Syria have strengthened their war pacts; the 2006 Lebanon War and the 2009 Gaza War served to promise future conflict as neither ended hostilities with finality; Hezbollah's arsenal has been reinforced with Scud missiles capable of carrying chemical warheads that can reach virtually every square inch of Israel if launched from Lebanon; Iran has reached the point of no return with its nuclear ambitions and a preemptive strike by Israel seems to be the only option remaining; the world continues to turn against Israel, notably the United States during the current Obama administration; and the Israeli raid of the so-called peaceful Pro-Palestinian activist flotilla has sparked another volatile crisis that very well may lead to a widespread conflict.

I wrote this paper with the idea that a major war could abrupt between 2005 and 2007. Although it hasn't yet occurred, I believe the current geopolitical environment only makes an incredible conflict all the more likely. The paper was written to a secular audience, but make no mistake, the prophecies of Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, and Ezekiel 38-39 are casting their shadows over the Middle East. Many voices have predicted war to break out this summer, and this new crisis may be the beginning. If you have been playing games with your faith and waiting for God to show you a sign in order for you to "get right with God", I implore you to consider this to be your sign. Jesus is coming as He said - the signs are evident. The closer we get to the tribulation hour, the more imminent His return. Don't wait any longer, clean out your closet, and come to repentance. The King is coming!

The Coming War

What do Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Russia have in common? They will all be a part of a new axis that confronts Israel in the next, and perhaps last, great war. Recent headlines report the tensions between these countries and Israel and it is only a matter of time before the pot boils over. In fact, the Middle East is on the brink of all out nuclear war. This summer could prove to be the beginning of the end for this world as we know it. With deep routes of terrorism residing in the said Middle Eastern countries, terrorism will play an intricate role in the war in addition to the state sponsors, Syria and Iran, who may potentially launch their known weapons of mass destruction. Lebanon’s biggest role in the conflict will result from the terrorist group, Hezbollah, participating in what may be there final march in their fight against Israel. Russia fits nicely into the scenario with its historical interest in the region, namely oil, and its recent transactions of the nuclear deal with Iran and arms deal with Syria. Russia has not been so intimately involved in the Middle East since the Cold War, and its renewed relations with these countries are indeed affecting ties with the United States. This paper attempts to show the imminence of such a war; the only question remains is exactly when.

A Brief History of Israel

The modern conflict among these nations goes back to the late 1800’s when Jews began to migrate to Palestine to rid the land of swamps and malaria in preparation for the “rebirth of Israel.” They were accompanied by Arabs from neighboring areas seeking jobs and better living conditions. Because no people had claimed the land of Palestine since the Jews did 2000 years before, the British looked favorably on creating a homeland for the Jewish people. In 1923, the British divided the land between what is today Jordan and Israel. This was only 25% of the original land proposed for Israel. Palestinian Jews made up the land west of the Jordan River while Palestinian Arabs made up east of the Jordan River, which became known as Trans-Jordan, the first and true Palestinian state. In 1947, U.N. Resolution 181 sought to divide the remaining 25% of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states. Jewish Palestinians accepted but the Palestinian Arabs rejected and wanted 100% of the land.

On May 14, 1948, Jewish Palestinians declared themselves their own State of Israel. The next day, seven neighboring Arab armies- Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Yemen- invaded Israel. These Arab countries told the Arabs living in the declared Israeli territory to leave during the removal of the Jews and would be rewarded Jewish property upon their return. But it did not quite work out like that. After 19 months, Israel survived and even lost 1% of their population. The Arabs that stayed became Israeli-Arab citizens while those that fled became the first wave of “Palestinian Arab refugees” (1).

For the next 20 years Israel would suffer terrorist attacks based out of Jordan, from whence the Palestinian Liberation Organization was founded (PLO); Syria, which is separated from Israel by the Golan Heights; and Egypt, Israel’s long-time enemy. Jordan and Egypt occupied the West Bank and Gaza, respectively. Although the Arabs now owned 85% of Palestine, this was still not the 100%. In 1967, these countries used the Golan Heights, Gaza, and the West Bank to launch an attack strictly aimed at destroying the State of Israel. Much of the rhetoric used then is still used today, i.e. “drive the Jews into the sea!” and “slaughter the Jews!” It took only 6 days for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to wipe out all three armies. Israel seized the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the Golan Heights from Syria, and the West Bank from Jordan.

What is ultimately mind-blowing are Israel’s efforts to create and maintain relations with its Arab neighbors, despite their hatred for Israel. Since the Six-Day War, Israel has given the entire region of Sinai back to Egypt, which is rich in oil and strategic for air bases and a security buffer (1). Furthermore, they have withdrawn from the Golan Heights and have hoped for a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, which the late Yasser Arafat continuously rejected.

Terrorist Roots: State and Non-State Organizations Against Israel

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” --Covent of the Islamic Resistance Movement, HAMAS (2).
“Kill so many Jews that they will eventually abandon Palestine." --Ibrahim Sarbal, Leader of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine - Al-Aqsa Brigades (2).
“Six million descendants of monkeys [i.e., Jews] now rule in all the nations of the world, but their day, too, will come. Allah! Kill them all, do not leave even one!" --Imam Sheik Ahmad Ibrahim, HAMAS leader, in a sermon at the Palestine Mosque in Gaza (2).

These examples represent the malevolent rhetoric spewed by the mouths of the Islamic extremists who wish to see the destruction of Israel. The following sections reveal the roots of terrorism against Israel.


Hamas stems from the Muslim Brotherhood Movement, which was founded in Egypt in 1928 and has spread throughout the Arab world (2). It has become the Palestinian’s largest and most influential fundamentalist Muslim movement. It has gained popularity amongst the Palestinian people through its funding of healthcare, mosques, schools, soup kitchens, clinics, orphanages, and sport leagues, which the PA often fails to do (3). HAMAS joins the Muslim Brotherhood Movement in its denouncement of Western and Communistic values as well as its seeking of a pan-Islamic state in the Middle East on the basis of Islamic law. Both movements share the ideology that Israel is Islam’s theological archenemy and see Israel as the agent for the West (2). Sheik Ahmed Yassin preached and did charitable work in the Gaza Strip and West Bank following the Six-Day War and in 1973 established the Islamic Center to coordinate Muslim Brotherhood activities.

In 1987, Yassin founded Hamas as the Muslim Brotherhood’s local political arm in Gaza after the first Intifada was launched against Israel for control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The first homicide bombing took place in 1993, and five months later the Oslo accords were signed between the PA and Israel, which later unraveled during the second Intifada in 2000. Today, Hamas continues to attack Israel. The result has led to the death of innocent Palestinians and Israelis. The above graph depicts the death toll since September 29, 2000 to April 3, 2005. 963 Israelis have been killed while 3,609 Palestinians have perished (4).


It is not so much Lebanon that will make war with Israel; but it is the Islamic terrorist group, Hezbollah, that will rise up against the Jewish nation. Hezbollah may be the most funded and supported terrorist organization in the world with its backing from Syria and Iran, who have both been identified by the United States as state sponsors of terrorism (5). The organization was formed in 1982 following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (6). Israel’s invasion was based on previous terrorist attacks stemming from Lebanon and one final provocation by Abu Nidal (7). The foundations of Hezbollah were laid by Iran in an effort to export the Islamic Revolution and to establish terrorism as an integral part of its national security policy. Hezbollah seeks to create an Islamic state modeled after Iran and is a devout foe of Israel. It is believed since 1988 that Hezbollah has delivered nearly 200 attacks, killing more than 800 people. The organization is tightly woven into Lebanese politics with its support and funding of schools, hospitals, and agricultural services for thousands of Lebanese Shiite Muslims (6).


The U.S. State Department has declared Iran the number one state sponsor of terrorism. It remains the ideological center for American hatred saturating the Middle East (8). Iran supports many different terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East with training, funding, weapons, and sanctuary. Iran has been a strict Islamic state ever since Muslim clerics overtook the American-backed Shah in 1979. It is now lead by two leaders: Muhammad Khatami, who is the reform-minded, popularly elected president, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader whose anti-American, anti-Western hard-line ideology still dominates the Iranian military and intelligence services. Iran has been involved in terrorism since its occupation of the American Embassy in 1979 where student revolutionaries took hostage 52 American for 444 days. Other activities include prior knowledge to Hezbollah terror attacks, such as a Marine kidnapping and killing and the bombings of Jewish cultural institutions in Argentina in 1992 and 1994. Iran also supported and inspired the group behind the truck bombing that killed 19 U.S. servicemen at a U.S. military residence in Saudi Arabia in 1996 (9).

Iran shaped Hezbollah’s ideology, granted it political backing, and built up its operational capability (5). It possesses weapons of mass destruction including chemicals that can induce bleeding, blistering, and choking, as well as the bombs and artillery shells to deliver these agents. Iran has an active biological weapons program as well, which is driven by its acquisition of “dual use” technologies—supplies and machinery that can be put to either harmless or deadly uses, like the nuclear power plant currently being built. Iran also has hundreds of Scuds and other short-range ballistic missiles to deliver WMDs.


Syria has been on the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism since its inception in 1979. It also has one of the world’s worst human right’s records. Although it has not been involved in terrorist activity since 1986, it still supports several terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah. Although Syria helped the U.S. drive Saddam out of Kuwait during the first Gulf War, ties between Iraq and Syria warmed over the years, allowing them to sign a free trade agreement that made Syria Iraq’s number one oil conduit, against U.N. sanctions. It is purported Saddam was able to ship his WMDs to Syria where they remain today. Syria has an extensive chemical weapons program, including the means to deliver them.

The Bear from the North

It appears that Russia is returning to its Soviet-era days, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, “when it played countries like chess pieces” (11). It has officially aligned itself on the side of Syria and Iran and their conflicts with the West. While relations between Russia and the United States have been somewhat amiable since the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia is increasingly weaving its way back into international politics and conflicts, in particular with Middle Eastern interests. President Bush returned empty-handed from a visit at the Kremlin in March when Russia signed the nuclear deal with Iran, supplying the Islamic state with nuclear fuel that will make Iran capable of producing a nuclear weapon. Russia has also supplied Syria with surface to air missiles, surface to surface missiles, tanks and armored personnel carriers, and small arms. The missiles can easily infiltrate Israeli borders (12). The Russians have indeed thumbed their noses at the U.S. and European Union without regard. Russia also has an interest in Syria since its only foreign naval base is located there.

Tying It All Together

The tensions among the countries of the world today have never been so high. Consider recent political strife between the United States and Europe, human rights issues with China as well as China’s threats to Taiwan, the North Korean issue, conflict between Pakistan and India, and, of course, the hot bed of the world- the Middle East. The line in the sand has been drawn and many countries are beginning to take sides. It is obvious which countries will line up together: Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. With the backing of Russia, China, and North Korea, at least concerning arms sells and nuclear proliferation, the Arab countries and their allies pose an even greater threat. It seems that Israel’s lone friend is the United States, with the EU sitting on the fence post and partial backers such as Australia and Great Britain still riding America’s coattails.

One cannot deny oil being a considerable issue underlying much of the contention, especially with poverty-stricken Russia. However, the whole world is suffering due to the oil crisis. But more than that, there is a great cause to remove the United States presence and Israeli existence in the Middle East, mostly by Islamic fundamentalist Iran and its ideological-shared cohorts. While the war in Iraq is indeed subsiding with their recent elections and buildup of its own military force, the region is far from stable. Syria’s recent transaction with Russia has ruffled Israel’s feathers and poses a greater threat to the Jewish country. Also, the pullout of Syria’s troops from Lebanon should become an interesting situation. The last Syrian soldier is scheduled to pullout on April 30, 2005. Even more interesting is the relocation of the troops. They have been pulling out to the Beka Valley, which is at Israel’s doorstep.

Iran is a greater threat than most people realize. They are not building their nuclear program for defensive purposes. Remember they have the ideology of “death to the Jews and Americans!” This is not merely hate speech. Once they have the capability, they will not hesitate to launch an attack. Israel, the United States, and several European nations have warned that Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon. In fact, there are war games being conducted in Israel with Israeli and American troops, who are preparing for a coming confrontation. If no resolution can be implemented, Israel will not hesitate to take out Iran’s nuclear facilities. The United States will be forced to come in and back Israel. Likewise, any American attacks within Iranian or Syrian borders will automatically bring Israel into a war. Iran and Syria have recently declared that they will unite on all fronts if either country’s livelihoods are challenged or threatened. Whatever the situation may be, it will be all eyes on Israel.

Concerning the United States’ War on Terror, it is inevitable that a coming conflict will come. After the attacks of 9/11, the American public was told time after time that this is going to be a very long war that could last years, perhaps decades. Well, the war is only four years old and is hardly over. There still remains numerous terrorist organizations and countries that harbor, support, and train these groups as well as conduct terrorist activities themselves. The mere existence of these entities poses a great threat to all of the people of the world, not just the United States. Iran or Syria is next on the list. Whether they strike first is another question. Nevertheless, the world will be in total havoc. Furthermore, one cannot ignore Russia’s true intentions, or know what they are for that matter. They have already announced support for Syria and Iran; but how much support? Is getting their military involved an option? Absolutely! Russia has much at stake in the Middle East with trade agreements, oil, and a base in Syria. They see Israel as a thorn in its side. The Russian bear has been sleeping for quite some time and with its current leadership it is finally awakening. An attack on Israel is not out of the question!

China and North Korea cannot be forgotten. If and when war breaks out in the Middle East, North Korea may see this as their chance to rattle its saber and perhaps get bold enough to do something about it. China’s increasing conflict between itself and Taiwan has turned out to be a very dangerous situation. The United States has vouched full support for Taiwan while China has written in law that it is an internal conflict and other countries need to stay out. They signed into the law that military force is an option and they need no excuse to use it.

The bottom line is as follows: the world is on the brink of World War III. A world war is a military conflict affecting the majority of the world's countries. World wars usually span multiple continents, and are very bloody and destructive (13). There is already war in Iraq, although it is dwindling. A spark between U.S. forces or Israel and an Arab country will escalate into full scale war in the region. The threat in Asia is looming more than ever. Whichever region blows the top first, the other will soon follow. More countries, if not all countries, will be brought into both conflicts and the world may very well see the most death and destruction it has ever suffered. Nuclear weapons will most certainly be used and other WMDs such as biological and chemical weapons are indeed a great possibility. These things could begin as soon as this summer, but no later than a couple of years. The world has been primed for a great war, which could very well be the last. This planet’s fate is at hand.



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