America Must Take The 'Special Way' Of Prayer Or Face Global War With Muslims
By Michael H. Brown
Before engaging in Iraq, the United States should study the situation closely. We're not speaking about scuds or anti-aircraft radar. We're speaking of potential spiritual consequences and how those consequences should factor in the way we deal with this difficult situation. First we should revisit what occurred during the last Gulf War. Although the president at the time, George Bush's father, was phenomenally popular immediately after the war (with a favorable rating of more than eighty percent), he soon ran into one problem after another, as if cursed, and ended up losing the next presidential election to Bill Clinton, bringing the country into eight years of difficult spiritual atmosphere. While the U.S. appeared to be the crushing victor of that first Gulf War, and on the surface was, it was this conflict and especially America's presence in Saudi Arabia (home of mecca), that turned the focus of al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorists toward the U.S., and in 1993 was the first attack on the World Trade Center. Moreover, while a relatively small handful of Americans appeared to have been lost in that war, during subsequent years came news of "Gulf War syndrome," which sickened thousands of veterans and appears to have been the result of chemical or biological agents, an assault that was either not detected or not reported to the public. Then there was Oklahoma City. The main culprit was Timothy McVeigh -- a Gulf War veteran and one who was said to have turned against his country when he witnessed the carnage during the war.
The bottom line is that the 1990 Gulf War boded ill for the U.S. and was a victory only on the surface.
At the same time, our current president obviously has to do something to halt terrorism, and obviously Saddam Hussein (although not the innocent Iraqi public) is a threat that must be confronted. We don't know about Oklahoma City (which some even claim was tied to Iraqi agents), but when it comes to terrorism, we believe the public has not been fully apprised of what's occurring. We maintain serious questions about the crash of several airliners in the 1990s (including TWA Flight 800, which some claim was hit by a Kenya-like missile), and believe the extent of terrorism has been more widespread than reported. There is a good chance that Iraq or some terrorist outfit was behind the anthrax attacks last year, and now we see cruise ships on which hundreds -- more than a thousand -- have been sickened. This of course is pronounced as a coincidence, although the fact that more than one cruise ship has suffered a mysterious outbreak and one of them is owned by Disney (long named as a potential terrorist target) makes one wonder. We wonder about a lot of things. We even wonder about West Nile: it is widely reported that years ago Saddam Hussein boasted about how his scientists were manipulating this virus.
Is this the coming face of a long global war? Will this be like the oppression of Arabs on Europe during the Middle Ages -- a centuries-long onslaught?
Whether or not there is really terrorism behind those and other events can not yet be known, but the truth sets us free and the truth is that another war in the Gulf, if for the wrong reasons, if as brutal as the last -- if out of God's Will -- will lead to even greater consequences. As the Catholic News Service reports today: "In recent speeches, Pope John Paul II has described terrorism in new and dramatic terminology, calling it an international evil capable of provoking a 'clash of civilizations.' The Pope's words represent an evolution and reflect a growing conviction at the Vatican that the global consequences of terrorism must be combated in a special way, said informed Vatican sources."
The question is what that "special way" is. Catholic leaders from the Vatican to the bishops of U.S. and Europe and Australia have urged that the U.S. not simply go into Iraq and mow down another 25,000 to 75,000 Iraqis (the estimated toll of the 1990 war), nor to cause hundreds of thousands more to die during following years due to sanctions (as also happened). This brought a cloud over the West. For the U.S., the consequences were largely shielded -- took years to unravel -- but now, more than a decade later, are starting to come to the surface. We believe that the "special way" of approaching Iraq is to pray. Through prayer, God will give us a way of dealing with Iraq -- and Libya and Sudan and Indonesia and Syria and Saudi Arabia and Iran and Pakistan and Afghanistan. On the other hand, if we go in blasting without adequate spiritual preparation (and we are not yet spiritually prepared), we will see a long succession of greater terrorist acts. Do we have to do something? Yes. We have to protect ourselves. But we have to know God's way. Right now, says the great Venezuelan seer, Maria Esperanza, the Lord is keeping back the arm of terrorists. But it remains to be seen how long He will do that. It's obvious -- in the fact that September 11 has not been repeated during the last year and so many terrorist plots have been foiled -- that there has been Divine intervention. God has kept many terrorists at bay. Believe that. But such intervention will vanish if we go about a war in the wrong way and repeat what occurred in 1990. Then, the cloud will only thicken. There will be horrible plots that will aim at our leadership itself. And in the end, it hurries us further down what we warned about a year ago: the shaping global battle, the coming world war, between Muslims and Christians.
Indeed, right after September 11, some of the most amazing displays of aurora borealis or "northern lights" were seen. We said at the time that it reminded us of the "great sign" in 1938 -- when according to Fatima seer Lucia dos Santos a similarly unusual display forewarned of World War Two. That war didn't start instantly, but the "great sign" presaged the march of Hitler into Vienna, which occurred just a month later. This began the rock rolling down a mossy ravine and within a year was the invasion of Poland.
Look for matters to unfold in a similar way -- this time with a war that will last much longer unless we take the "special way," unless we consider the plight of innocent Iraqis, unless we rid our own evil (in addition to the evil of terrorists) and unless we maintain the grace of God's intervention, which is all that has kept us from something bigger than what occurred at the World Trade Center.
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