Syria - Broken Beyond Repair
Friday, April 14, 2017
I debated about writing another article about Syria this week. By the time this is read the topic will have been exhausted. Others, much smarter than I am, have already offered their analyses. This is one of those frequent times I wish Jack Kinsella could offer me his astute observations.
Even so, I do have my own thoughts. While they could prove to be off-base, here they are. To begin with, Vox provides a helpful summary on the history of the Syrian civil war: Who is Fighting and Why. See also CNN's Fast Facts and I Am Syria.
The following comment from the National Review sums the current situation up fairly well:
Syria has only gotten more complicated since the last time a president considered retaliating against Assad’s use of chemical weapons. President Obama’s red-line fiasco led to a sham “deal” in which Syria pretended to agree to destroy its chemical arsenal, and in which the U.S. ultimately gave Russia a free hand to intervene in the Syrian civil war.
In order to refresh our memories on that red-line fiasco and the Obama Administration's walk-away policy on the Middle-East, I recommend Joseph Klein's 2013 article.
Klein observed that Putin had checkmated Obama in order to set himself up for regional dominance. He noted that while Putin "projects a peacemaking image to the world" he's also supplying arms to Assad and Iran (and ultimately Hezbollah). Essentially President Trump has inherited a long-existing problem exacerbated by the previous administration.
Following the recent US attack on the Syrian airbase, David French stated that:
Donald Trump is learning the same lessons that each of his six predecessors learned. America’s Middle Eastern enemies are evil, and they are hell-bent on killing us, destroying our allies, and, often, committing murder on a genocidal scale.
Some postulate that the chemical attack on Syrian civilians originated from the Rebel Coalition. The evidence appears to weigh against Assad. Unless I'm missing something, logic would suggest that given the Russians were forewarned of the attack, they would have quickly protested Assad's innocence.
Innocent or not, Assad is a bad guy. In fact they're all bad. As bad as Assad is, he's the preference for many Syrians. Crux Now cites Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo as saying that, if there was an election now, Assad would still get 80% support of Christian support. Why?
In general, many Christians in the Middle East feel they can’t afford dreams of a thriving democracy. In reality, they believe, the alternative to a police state is more likely to be an Islamic theocracy, and, in such a situation, they don’t like their odds. For them, the lesson of Iraq looms very large.
I vividly recall a short conversation with a taxi driver who fled Iraq after strong man Saddam Hussein was ousted from power. As oppressive as Hussein was, he kept an order. Once he was gone, many Christians fled the region because Islamist extremists began unchecked murdering sprees.
Who replaces Assad if he's weakened and ousted - someone from the mixed Rebel Coalition?
David French's comments are germane. The reason he's right is because Muhammad's original conquering Islam has never been revised. Sadly, for irrational ideological reasons, the West denies the fundamental nature of the problem. Muhammad's Islam is why Syria and Iraq can't be fixed. It's also why Israel's and the West's terrorism problems will only worsen.
This brings me back to the attack on the Syrian base and subsequent military posturing by the US and Russia. There's a feeling of euphoria among some commentators that America is back. Trump has sent a clear message to Russia, Iran and even China and North Korea.
China needs good trade relations with the West and will strive to walk North Korea back. However, North Korea is a defiant loose cannon. And I can't see Putin or the Iranian regime suddenly folding up their chess boards because a strong player has made assertive moves. They've put too much work into their goals. Putin has his national pride and Iran has its apocalyptic ambitions.
Some believe Trump might become a well intentioned catalyst to an escalation of conflict. George W. Bush's administration abated terrorism somewhat, but couldn't ultimately stop it. His efforts attracted strong criticism and (at least partly) led to Senator Obama's eventual election victory. President Trump may soon encounter similar obstacles.
As all previous presidents, Trump may also eventually become encumbered with home related problems. Voters are fickle and he has a finite term to appease them. Sympathizers of the previous administration are deeply entrenched in government and media. The Resistance will make Trump's term as difficult as possible, and is already setting him up for the next election battle.
Situated in all this Middle East mess is Israel. There has been a lot of talk in prophecy circles surrounding Isaiah 17 (the destruction of Damascus) and the Gog-Magog war. I tend to shy away from detailed speculation. The big picture is always safer. And then there are the scoffers.
Yet it seems to me that, regardless of one's position on Isaiah 17, Damascus is surrounded by destruction and in imminent danger of collapse. Go Google the pics for yourself. It isn't too difficult to see that the ingredients of a Gog-Magog event are present as well. Shouldn't we be paying attention?
Perhaps the scoffers might consider sending a memo to all the Middle-East players to tell them to cease and desist, given that prophecy is a croc. Good luck with that.
I will be accused of being a pessimistic premillennialist. But Syria cannot be ultimately fixed by human intervention. It is profoundly broken, just like the rest of the world. It can only be fully redeemed by Christ's return at the Second Advent to save Israel and usher in God's Kingdom (Zech 14:1-4).
Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness; Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the LORD. For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth. Psalm 96:11-13
Keep looking up!
Aboout Alf Cengia
Last week: Is Archangel Michael the Restrainer?
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