I am sharing this newsletter I received last year because you asked a question and this is one man's understanding of it.
I personally have no idea about the issue. This is just what I read. Sorry it didn't copy real well from the pdf file so it duplicated some words.
The Morning Star Prophetic Bulletin
Has our policy in Iraq failed? Civil war in Iraq is now a reality; it is only leftto be determined how long and devastating it will be. Even though there hasbeen a noble attempt to avoid such an internal conflict, it was probably inevitable andshould surprise no one. Even so, the progress toward stable and lasting reform inIraq has been truly remarkable. In fact, things are going so well that we shouldnot have much doubt that it is possible for Iraq to become one of the moststable and prosperous democracies in the world. This will not happen fastor be easy, but even with the outbreak of civil war we can have confidencethat it will happen.When Iraq is stable again, we can then expect to see movementtoward Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt joining with Iraq to form astrong alliance, for good and not evil. Eventually, they will become allieswith Israel, making the Middle East one of the most stable, prosperous,and powerful regions of the world. That may not fit with some peopleseschatology, but some eschatology does not fit with a lot of Scriptures. Thescenario I am describing here is plainly stated in Isaiah 19:19-25:In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of theland of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord near its border.And it will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts inthe land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because ofthe land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because ofthe land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because ofthe land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because ofthe land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because ofoppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion,and He will deliver them.Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt,Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt,Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt,Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt,Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt,and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that dayand the Egyptians will know the Lord in that dayand the Egyptians will know the Lord in that dayand the Egyptians will know the Lord in that dayand the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They. They. They. They. Theywill even worship with sacrifice and offering, and willwill even worship with sacrifice and offering, and willwill even worship with sacrifice and offering, and willwill even worship with sacrifice and offering, and willwill even worship with sacrifice and offering, and willmake a vow to the Lord and perform it.And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will returnto the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them.In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrianswill come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians willwill come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians willwill come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians willwill come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians willwill come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians willworship with the Assyrians.worship with the Assyrians.worship with the Assyrians.worship with the Assyrians.worship with the Assyrians.In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing inthe midst of the earth,whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed is Egypt My people, andwhom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed is Egypt My people, andwhom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed is Egypt My people, andwhom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed is Egypt My people, andwhom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed is Egypt My people, andAssyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.BETWEEN IRAQand a Hard PlaceBYRICKJOYNER
2Biblical Assyria includes all of the territoryfrom present day Iraq to Egypt. What isprophesied here has never happened before inhistory, so we know it must happen before theend of this age. The stage is now being set forthis. That whole region of the world is going tobecome a blessing in the midst of the earth. Asincomprehensible as this may seem with thepresent conflicts, it will surely happen. The sonsof Ishmael and Isaac will unite in a powerfulalliance that is a blessing to the whole earth.Human politics or diplomacy could neverachieve this, but Gods purposes are not subjectto human politics. We must also keep in mind thatGods victories often look like defeats to the natu-ral mind. The cross is the most obvious exampleof this. What looked like Jesus total failure inHis mission was the greatest victory over evilever. The reverse is also trueevents that havelooked for a time like great successes have turnedout to be some of the worst tragedies.The present situation in Iraq sounds like itis out of control, but this is mostly due to thenature of the news coverage. Remember whensharks seemed to be attacking beach goers in anunprecedented way a couple of summers ago?That year shark attacks were actually less thannormal, but because there was not much else toreport at the time, the coverage of shark attackswas far out of proportion than usual, making it seemthat shark attacks were escalating. The mediacan have a huge influence over our impressionsjust by what they cover and how they cover it.There has been good news taking place inIraq which the media does not report any morethan it does the good news at home. Have youever tried to gage the percentage of good newson newscasts? You can watch the news forweeks without seeing one bit of good newsreported. Almost nothing is as bad as the mediamakes it seem. This constant drumbeat ofnegativity has placed a pall of depression anddarkness on just about everything. If we aregoing to walk in the light, we must get ourdiscernment from a source other than thepresent news media. Some, like Fox News, havebucked this cynical trend and their ratings soaredsimply because they were trying to be fair andbalanced, actually reporting the positive side ofstories. They are like a fresh breeze in the midstof a choking smog.There are dozens of people dying almost dailyin Iraq, but we should be surprised this is not inthe hundreds, if not thousands. There are majorproblems to overcome, but for anyone to haveexpected things to work out any faster or easieris unrealistic, especially given the factor of theoutside agitation by the insurgents. It is notwrong to hope things go better and faster, but toexpect them to was not practical.Also, the struggle that Iraq is now goingthrough will make it much stronger when theprocess is over. Just as the struggle which abutterfly endures by freeing itself of its cocoon isthe most difficult it will ever face, and withoutthis struggle it would not be strong enough to flapits large wings, a government achieved withoutstruggle will not likely be strong enough to lastvery long.Struggle does not guarantee success, butit does help work out the issues that wouldotherwise have to be dealt with later. Majorissues are being worked out between the differ-ent factions in Iraq right now. The violence isilluminating the issues and forcing them to befaced. This is dangerous, but also a crucialprocess for the ultimate health of the nation.Swift Action Wins Battles, PatienceWins WarsAfter two of the most brilliant, swift, and rela-tively painless military victories in modern timesin Afghanistan and Iraq, America and her allieshave had a difficult time with the slow pace ofnation building. The media and rival politiciansdo not help by promoting unreal expectations, anidealism that can be the worst enemy of trueprogress. It is not that we should not strive forthe highest ideals, but idealism promotes bothBETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACETHE MEDIA CAN HAVE A HUGEINFLUENCE OVER OUR IMPRESSIONSJUST BY WHAT THEY COVERAND HOW THEY COVER IT.
3impatience and impractical solutions, andcan therefore be the biggest hindrance tothe step-by-step endurance that true, lastingprogress requires.It is right to mourn the loss of a single life,and it is right to be deeply concerned about thedifficulties and suffering that the Iraqis are nowenduring. However, all that they are goingthrough now will work out for good, but again, itwill not happen fast or easily. Anything thathappens too fast or too easily is almost alwaysinsignificant, and Iraq has a significant purposeand future.Iraq is where the very headwaters ofcivilization originated. It has been the greatand difficult struggles that have produced thegreatest achievements and advances for civiliza-tion, and Iraq yet has major contributions in thisarea. The fact that what is taking place inIraq now is hard or taking longer than expected,will not discourage the truly wise, but willonly increase their resolve and thereby theireffectiveness.Because the military victories in overthrowingthe tyrannical governments of both Afghanistanand Iraq were possibly unprecedented in theirbrilliance and execution, they did tend to breedunrealistic expectations for their consolidationas genuine democracies, but this is a veryworthy and important goal. Contrary to theircritics, this is not the imposition of Westernvalues on these nations, but rather a nobleattempt to help them gain the liberty to realizetheir own destiny free from the imposition ofoutside interests. Viewed from the perspectiveof history, instead of through the eyes of thosecontrolled by the tyranny of the immediate,for these two countries to have made suchquick progress is truly remarkable and border-line miraculous.A History of HopeAlmost no one thought that either Germanyor Japan could ever become democraciesafter World War II. Today they are two of thestrongest and most stable in the world. However,even in these progressive nations it took manyyears of patient and wise leadership, hard work,and the wisdom and resolve to overcome manyseemingly impossible struggles to fully accomplishwhat today people are demanding be accom-plished in Iraq almost instantly. Such impatienceis profound naivety and foolishness whenviewed in the light of history. However, theculture in the West is increasingly addicted toimmediate results, which usually meanssuperficial results. This is already causingserious problems and could very well be the seedsof its own downfall if not corrected.There are some Japanese companies whichhave five hundred year plans. That may seemfoolish to us, but there is something veryrighteous about this. The present leaders arenot just selfishly planning for themselves, butfor generations to come. This mentality alsobreeds a more long-term perspective for view-ing everything, which has enabled the Japaneseto ride out political and cultural storms that fewthought they could survive.The foundation of courage and a widespreaddesire for democracy in Iraq is probably greaterthan it was in either Germany or Japan afterWorld War II. The percentage of Iraqis who linedup to vote, at the risk of their lives, was one ofthe great and courageous events of our time.When attacked by mortars or suicide bombers,the voters still refused to leave the lines.They stepped over bodies and body parts, andsaid they would rather die than not vote. Manyin America will not vote if they have to go out inthe rain. Such courage and devotion to freedomby the Iraqis has probably not been witnessedsince Patrick Henry gave his Give me liberty orgive me death! speech.In spite of the difficulties and maybe becauseof them, what we are witnessing in Iraq andAfghanistan is one of the great transformationswithin a culture, a veritable civilizational seismicshift. This will not happen without some violence,but both nations are facing it with courage andIT IS RIGHT TO MOURN THE LOSS OF ASINGLE LIFE, AND IT IS RIGHT TO BEDEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEDIFFICULTIES AND SUFFERING THATTHEIRAQIS ARE NOW ENDURING.BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE
4resolve. It is hard and dangerous, but what ishappening there does have the potential to helpbring stability to the most unstable part of theworld. It is worth fighting for.Of course, if you watch the news, you willget a different picture from the Iraqis who areinterviewed by our media, which has been farfrom fair and balanced in its coverage. It is notlikely to show the positive interviews or thepositive news. Things in Iraq and in much of theworld are very different from the way ourmedia portrays them, but this is old news itself,as the medias fallen credibility proves.The School of LeadershipOne of the great benefits of the presentstruggle in Iraq is that it will also help to ensurethat America will remain strong for at leastanother generation. Like it or not, agree withit or not, war prepares the greatest leaders inalmost every field better than any other kindof school or experience. To a large degree, theextraordinary strength and success of Americain the last half century is due to the leadersproduced by the wars we fought. The remarkablestrength and resilience of Japan and Germanyis to a large extent due to the leadershipproduced in World War II, even though theywere on the losing side. After war, almost anyproblem seems small and more easily overcome.There is a focus, resolve, and strength when inthe midst of problems which enables a warriorto prevail where others could not.One may point to the number of VietnamWar veterans and protest that the experienceseriously confused and wrecked the lives ofmany of them. Some are damaged like thisin every conflict, but those who are not toopsychologically wounded by the experience areinevitably made much stronger. The rejectionshowed to the Vietnam War veterans may havecontributed to more than the usual number ofveterans having serious problems, but it alsoseems to have made those who overcame iteven stronger, wiser, and more resilient. Someof the strongest leaders ever in America areVietnam War veterans.War is the greatest scourge on humanity. Itis always a tragedy and represents a terriblefailure of the more noble qualities. No onedisdains war more than the military who willbear the brunt of its scourge, but war, and theessentials of military training, prepares the bestleaders. The discipline, courage, and understand-ing of and devotion to teamwork, that ourmilitary produces in the young men and womenis helping to prepare strong leadership for thenation for a long time into the future, not just fora strong military, but in every field. When thereis real conflict, such as there has been in thePersian Gulf War and the recent and continuingconflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, this invaluabletraining is not only accelerated, but goes muchdeeper into society. In the years to come, theveterans tried by the fire in these conflicts willstart rising to the top in every field.God forbid that we should ever want a war,or any kind of conflict just to help train ourfuture leaders. But, when wars are inevitablewe must fight when we have to fight. We mustfight to win and take every advantage of them,which includes the training of our future lead-ers. Not just a strong military is necessary forAmerica to continue to fulfill its purpose in theworld, but also strong leaders for every fieldthat the military helps to produce. As the presentleader of the world, the conflicts we are nowinvolved in can help the U.S. to remain strongfor decades to come. If the U.S. does remainstrong and proactive in confronting threats toworld peace, it will help maintain peace andstability in the world much longer.Like it or not, it is the burden of leadership tobe the policemen of the world, which is in fact tobe the peacekeepers of the world. There mayhave never been a more noble or capable nationthan the U.S. for doing this. What other nationin history not only set its vanquished enemiesfree, but helped to rebuild them at its ownexpense? As one nations leader said jokingly,the fastest way for any nation to prosper is tostart a war with the U.S., lose fast, and then getIN THE YEARS TO COME, THEVETERANS TRIED BY THE FIRE INTHESE CONFLICTS WILL START RISINGTO THE TOP IN EVERY FIELD.BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE
5ready for the billions in aid. The benevolence ofthe U.S. toward even its enemies has beenremarkable and unique in history, even thoughit is seldom appreciated, or even acknowledged.However, whether anyone acknowledges it, it isright that we should be this way.We must maintain our benevolence, but forAmerica to fulfill its purpose it must remainstrong and aggressive. In fact, it must be awarrior nation. It must be ready, willing, andcapable of taking strong, decisive action whenaction is required. The enemies that civilizationitself is facing today interpret the desire tonegotiate as weakness just like Hitler did. Weare in fact dealing with the same spirit as thatwhich manifested in Germany in the last cen-tury. It has one assignmentdestroy the Jewishpeople and the true Christians because Satanknows very well their destiny at the end of thisage and he is doing all that he can to thwart it.Just because those who are of the same spiritas Hitler will be emboldened by the tendency oftheir enemies to negotiate and just talk, that doesnot mean we should not try to resolve thingsdiplomatically. But, there is a limit we shouldaccept before we take real, decisive action. If itbecomes known that we will take action whentalks are not going anywhere, then the talks willhave a much better chance of working.History Repeating ItselfIn 1938, British Prime Minister NevilleChamberlain boasted that he had achieved peacein his time by negotiating a deal with Hitler.Within a year of that boast, war broke outacross Europe and Asia that would take morethan 100 million lives. The physical destructionof property lost by this war was possibly greaterthan all previous natural disasters and warscombined. How could Chamberlain have beenso wrong?The British and French felt that they hadachieved peace for their time by compromisingwith Hitler. They were convinced that Hitlerhad been appeased by giving him Czechoslova-kia. We now know that Hitler interpreted thisdiplomatic capitulation on the part of the Frenchand British as a sure sign of their weakness andlack of resolve, convincing him they could easilybe defeated. When we compromise with thosewith his type of mentality, they will inevitablypress even harder for more and they will neverbe satisfied until they have it all.For a few months, Chamberlains diplomacywas considered a brilliant stroke of diplomaticgenius. He was considered a hero to his nation,and by most of Europe was even being lauded asthe greatest statesmen of his time. As they criedPeace! Peace! sudden destruction came uponthem, and they were not prepared. They couldnot have been more wrong. Amazingly, the samementality continues to grip liberal idealiststhroughout Europe and America today. It seemsthat if anything was learned from the terriblewars of the twentieth century, it is that nothingwas learned.Winston Churchill had been warning aboutthe threat of Nazi Germany continuously foryears. Almost no one agreed with him. Even so,he remained resolute to the degree that he waschided as being an annoying drumbeat. In theParliament, in the press, and in Europe, Churchillwas called archaic, foolish, and stubborn forhis refusal to understand that the world was toocivilized to fall into another world war. In justmonths Chamberlain fell from hero to villain andis now universally considered one of the mostnaive and foolish statesmen of all time. Churchillwould ultimately be lauded as the greatest leaderof the twentieth century.Give War a ChanceHow might history have been changed ifChamberlain had refused to negotiate with Hitlerover Czechoslovakia, but had rather met Hitlersaggression with military action? World War II,with its one hundred million plus dead, andcountless other casualties, as well as its trillionsof dollars in damage, would have almost certainlybeen reduced to a minor clash. When theGerman generals entered Czechoslovakia, theyconfessed that the Czech army fortifications wereso strong that it was unlikely that the Germanarmy could have defeated them at that time.While the German army was bogged downBETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE
6trying to defeat the Czechs, if the U.K. andFrench armies had made good their vows tomeet German aggression with an advancefrom the West, Germany would have easily beenstopped in 1938, likely with very few casualties.This is not just speculation about what couldhave happened; it could have easily happened ifthe political leadership of the time had been strongand decisive instead of weak and compromising.There would have been a conflict, but onethat would have likely cost a few thousand livesinstead of over one hundred million.If this scenario had taken place, Chamber-lain probably would not have been lauded for afew months as the great statesman of his time,but could actually have been accused of being awarmonger. No one would have known that hehad actually saved millions of lives. However, yousimply cannot lead effectively if you are overlyconcerned about what human history will thinkof you. God has His own history recorded inThe Books of Life. On that great JudgmentDay, the truth about all will be fully known. Thoseare the only books that we should care abouthaving our names written in.There are some people who you cannotnegotiate with and will never be appeased. Thelonger you wait to confront them with resolve,the more terrible the price the world will haveto pay for its procrastination. The differencebetween Britain, France, and Czechoslovakiaconfronting Germany in 1938 and 1939 wasprobably more than one thousand times worse.The worlds leaders are facing nearly thesame choices again today in regard to Iran,North Korea, and the forces of terrorism. Theprocrastination, rising pacifism, and anti-warmovements are clearly giving more boldness toall of these enemies of our future.Again, if anything has been learned bythe terrible wars of the twentieth century, itis that little seems to have been learned fromthem. Europeans cling tenaciously to the samedelusions that made it inevitable that theprevious wars were so destructive. The proverbthat those who do not learn from history aredoomed to repeat it continues to echo with noone listening. The same voices of appeasementand compromise are dominating the media andpolitical debates. No one in their right mind wantswar, but the choices we face are not whetherthere is going to be conflict, but how big and howdevastating it will have to be.If the issues of Iran, North Korea, andterrorism in general are not faced with resolvein the next two years, the whole world will paya terrible, terrible price. Instead of losingthousands, we will lose millions. These enemiesof civilization will use our foolishness andidealism to their own advantage, striking withdevastating resolve when they do, just as Hitlerdid in 1939 and 1940. We are dealing with thesame mentality again, and there is no questionthat there will be conflict. The only question ishow devastating it will have to be because of theprocrastination of those who must confront. It iscertainly good and right to love peace, but notwhen there can be no peace.Encouraging EvilTerrorists were emboldened by the wayAmerica fled Lebanon after the Marine barracksbombing in the mid-1980s, and then again by howwe withdrew from Mogadishu in the early 1990safter losing a few men. This promoted thewidespread doctrine among our enemies that ifyou just inflict a few casualties on America, shewill turn tail and run. This led to the attacks onthe World Trade Center. The resolve we showedas a nation after the 9-11 attacks sent themreeling for a time, reconsidering this beliefabout Americans. However, with the recent riseof the peace at any price mentality in America,and the corresponding impatience with the waythings are going in Iraq, they are beingemboldened again.Like it or not, believe it or not, the presentAdministrations strategy has accomplishedNO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANTSWAR, BUT THE CHOICES WE FACE ARENOT WHETHER THERE IS GOING TO BECONFLICT, BUT HOW BIG AND HOWDEVASTATING IT WILL HAVE TO BE.BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE
7something no one thought possibleit hasprotected America from another major terroristattack for over five years. Why has no oneseemed to notice this? Hardly anyone on theplanet thought that this could be done, eventhe Administration. Without question, wehave had Divine help. We need to also givecredit where credit is due. Our intelligencecommunity, law enforcement, military, andthe Administrations handling of them, havebeen brilliant.It is tragic that we are losing a few soldiersevery week in Iraq. However, it is likely thatour solders in Iraq are safer there than theywould be on the U.S. highways. The safety andprotection of our forces should be high on thepriority of any commander, but the forces existfor the safety and protection of the nation. Notonly is our way of life being threatened, butour very lives are threatened. There are nowmany thousands of radicals in this world whobelieve one of the most virtuous acts they canperform is to kill Americans or Jews. They arefocusing their lives and resources on doingthis. Many of these radicals are right now beingdrawn into Iraq like flypaper, and they arebeing eliminated.It is good that we are not doing a bodycount again as was tried in Vietnam. Evenso, Iraq in its present state is allowing theelimination of hordes of those who would likelybe trying to get at Americans in other ways andin other places, including in America. It is right,even courageous for our present leadership notto talk about this strategy, but it is brilliant and itis working. You may think that this is good forus, but not for Iraqis. But they, too, will be muchbetter off in the years to come if this battle isfought now.With the medias constant drumbeat of whythe conflict in Iraq is going so badly, why do theynot mention that the overwhelming majority ofveterans of this conflict are for continuing it? Itwas amazing to learn the high percentage ofwounded veterans here who wanted to returnto Iraq when they healed. The media has toscour hard to find a veteran against continuingour policy in Iraq, and then they have to wearout their story. For so much attention and spaceto be given to someone like Cindy Sheehan hasto be one of the most convincing cases for thepoverty of substance in the anti-Iraq policymovement. For anyone who thinks about thenews and does not just accept it as presented, ithas to be obvious how the media makes amountain out of mole hills with any bad news.They are not even covering the good thingsthat are happening in Iraq, which almost everyveteran will gladly talk about.I am thankful to live in a country that esteemslife and takes casualties with such seriousness,but we need to demand truth and accuracy inreporting. America is actually losing many timesmore people on our highways every day thansoldiers in Iraq. There are far less casualtiesin Iraq than there were in Vietnam, and the stakesin Iraq are many times higher. We will lose thewar against terrorism, the war for our futureexistence, and tyranny will prevail in the worldif America does not become much stronger inhandling the cost of leadership and in dealing withcasualties. There will be some, and at times therewill be many. This is the cost of leadership andliberty. The alternative is to surrender.What Do We Do?The upcoming mid-term elections are farmore important than possibly any othermid-term elections in our history. As Christians,we must be proactive in this world if we aregoing to be the salt and light we are called to be.If we do not do our part and vote, then we havefailed our own nation in a very basic way.Vote, and become proactive in the crucial issuesfacing our nation in these times. Above all, bethe salt and light by being true, living by thehighest standards of integrity and morality,and praying for the Divine intervention thatwe must have in these times. Pray for Iraq. Prayfor Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, the Palestinians, andIsrael, that now would be the time for Isaiah 19to come to pass.IF WE DO NOT DO OUR PART ANDVOTE, THEN WE HAVE FAILED OUROWN NATION IN A VERY BASIC WAY.BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE