The Enemy of my Enemy is My Friend
Vol: 4 Issue: 22 Tuesday, January 22, 2002
There have been rumors of backroom agreements between Iran and Iraq as the war on terror progresses. In a further signal of possible secret rapprochement, Iran released nearly 200 Iraqi POWs it captured on its border in 1991 — the first of 697 POW s it promised to return to Baghdad. The remaining five hundred prisoners have been held by Iran for almost 20 years and will be released over the next few weeks. An Iraqi foreign ministry spokesman said the two sides would also exchange the bodies of 1,183 Iraqis and 574 Iranians who had died in prison.
Iran and Iraq are bitter enemies who fought a debilitating 8-year war to a stalemate in 1988. One million Iranians and Iraqis died. At the last, Iran was throwing waves of ill-equipped, untrained teenagers at the Iraqi lines. It was all Tehran had left with which to fight. The war ended when each side ran out of troops and materiel to prosecute it, rather than in a victory for one side followed by a peace agreement.
Individually, Iran and Iraq are Israel’s two most implacable enemies. They are also recognized state sponsors of terror and prime candidates to become targets of the US war on terror. The shared threat from Washington — together with their shared hatred of Israel — are forcing the two nations together.
Iran and Iraq together form a much greater threat to global security than either pose separately. This is a very important development, viewed from the perspective of strategic intelligence and Bible prophecy. Ezekiel s Gog-Magog war line-up includes Persia, which in Ezekiel s day included both modern Iran and Iraq an alliance that seemed extremely unlikely even a year ago. No longer.
Last Independent TV Pulled By Moscow
Russia s TV-6 was the last remaining independent national television station to survive a series of takeovers that returned control of the airwaves to Moscow. The Russian Media Ministry has decided not to renew its broadcasting license, claiming the privately operated station was losing money .
TV-6 was an outspoken critic of the government and especially of Moscow s war in Chechnya. Moscow had previously offered to do a deal with the station, under which its journalists could stay on air as long as they broke with TV-6’s owner, Boris Berezovsky – a sharp critic of the government. The journalists initially agreed, then backed out. Then the state apparatus fell on them. It looks like some kind of television coup, said TV-6 director Yevgeny Kiselyov. “The authorities today showed that their single goal is to gag us.” He said power supplies, telephone lines and internet connections had all been cut off.
New Wine, Old Bottles
President Putin has been quietly reversing Russia s direction, claiming to champion democracy to the global audience, but systematically seizing control of what the domestic audience can hear. The old Russians mostly pulled from the rosters of the former KGB, are running the new Russia. Jesus observed that no man puts new wine in old bottles [Mark 2:22].
Russia has a date with destiny. Ezekiel said that when Russia makes its move against Israel, it would be like having a hook in their jaw that God says He will use to bring thee [Russia] forth [Ezek: 38:4]. The Russians will be pulled — almost against their better judgment — by strategic alliance and circumstance, into the conflict in the Middle East. The media and the diplomats say a new era has arrived in US Russian relations. Intelligence indicates it is more like the calm before the coming storm.
US Assures Allies On Iraq
Washington has reassured allies that it does not plan to launch an attack on Iraq ‘over the coming weeks’. The message was relayed by the Bush administration to Turkey. President George Bush was said to have reassured Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that Washington was not planning an ‘imminent’ attack on Baghdad.
“The United States has been assessing a possible military operation against Iraq,” Ecevit said. “The United States does not plan to launch a military operation against Iraq in short term. Turkey’s strategical [sic] importance is vital. Turkey has a significant position in the region.”
The ‘reassurance’ does not say there won’t be an attack on Iraq, simply that it won’t come over the ‘coming weeks’. It really means our buildup isn’t ready.
Turkey is concerned that US war plans will work against Ankara s own strategic national security interests. Washington wants to use Iraqi opposition forces to fight the ground war to overthrow Saddam. The fiercest “Iraqi opposition forces” are the Iraqi Kurds. The Kurds are fighting a war of independence against Turkey. Turkey is a stalwart US ally and the only Muslim country in NATO. It is central to maintaining the balance of power in the region.
Strategically, Turkey s importance to the US can t be overstated. If Washington loses Turkey, it loses vital military installations necessary to successfully prosecuting any war with either Iraq or Iran. Moreover, Turkey is the only state in the region and the only Muslim state on earth — that has a military cooperation agreement with Israel.
Washington can’t please everybody, and Saddam is on the short list for elimination, no matter who objects. So every day, the fuse on the Middle East powder keg gets a little shorter. And every day, Bible prophecy for the last days grows that much clearer. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” [Luke 21:28]