And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. (Rev. 12:7)
What looked like a way for Iran to avoid being referred to the UN Security Council for sanctions, while depriving the US and Israel of justification for a pre-emptive strike, has apparently hit the skids. The plan was for Russia to operate Iran’s nuclear fuel enrichment program in Russian territory with spent fuel rods being returned to Russia to insure no weapons grade enrichment took place in Iran. Iran agreed to part of the plan but has refused to stop its own enrichment program. This is a deal breaker, so the EU 3 are meeting with Iranonce more in a last ditch effort to avoid the UN referral.
Iran has consistently said that its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes only, so why not take advantage of this opportunity resolve the issue?
The answer lies in Shiite Islam’s definition of peace. To them it’s a condition that will exist only after Israel and Islam’s other enemies are destroyed and all the world is brought under submission. Only then can the Moslem Messiah, al Mahdi, establish the world wide Islamic rule that brings peace.
According to Moslem oral traditions (not written in the Koran) al Mahdi, who they believe disappeared in 941AD, will return to Earth when conditions have become so chaotic and desperate that he alone can save us. Iranian President Ahmadinejad believes he has been brought to power specifically to hasten al Mahdi’s return by plunging the world into such a state, and he believes he can accomplish this within 2 years.
He’s also said that the US is the major obstacle to this plan, even going so far as accusing the US of trying to usurp al Mahdi’s role by imposing its own brand of peace upon the world.
So What’s The Problem?
When Iran’s President says he wants peace, he really means that he wants to bring the world to the brink of disaster by wiping Israel off the map and destroying the US so he can accelerate al Mahdis’ return to establish the world wide Islamic rule that brings lasting peace to Earth. Accepting Russia’s solution to his enrichment problems would have the opposite effect, so he can’t do it.
US President Bush says he wants peace too. But what he really means is that he wants to facilitate regime changes (start revolutions) in certain Middle Eastern countries, unseating their oppressive governments. He believes that given the alternative, the newly liberated people in these countries would choose democracy, and that the increased personal freedom and economic opportunity that a democratic form of government brings would foster a climate of lasting peace.
While these two strategies appear to have the same ultimate goal in view, and while both presidents have alluded to divine purpose in their lives (obviously from different sources), their approaches to achieving that goal couldn’t possibly be more incompatible. Islamic rule is not democratic, and a democracy can’t tolerate an all powerful clergy imposing religious law.
Compounding the problem, Western mentality says that when two parties with similar goals disagree over implementation they sit down to negotiate and compromise until their differences are resolved. In Islam the only condition under which compromise is acceptable is when it buys the Moslem party enough time to gain the strength necessary to destroy the non-Moslem. So while the EU 3 has been working with US support to negotiate a compromise to accommodate Iran’s nuclear aspirations, Iran has been using the time to secretly gain the strength it will need to succeed in imposing its will on the world. Sooner or later this dance has to end as the parties’ real intentions become known.
That time may soon be upon us. Even the multi-culturally minded Europeans can only be pushed so far and the recent “cartoon Jihad” might have been the last straw. “Freedom of speech is not up for negotiation,” declared Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, summing up a consensus that has only grown stronger as the cries of outrage from the Muslim world grow louder.
“We demand a new social contract,” says Jan Wolter Wabeke, High Court Judge in The Hague. “We no longer accept that people don’t learn our language, we require that they send their daughters to school, and we demand they stop bringing in young brides from the desert and locking them up in third-floor apartments.” It’s finally dawning on Europeans that multi-culturalism is not part of the Islamic lexicon.
Before long it will become obvious even in diplomatic circles that Iran is intent on fomenting an international crisis, and that no amount of appeasement will put them off the track.
Déjà vu All Over Again
We all witnessed these tactics on a slightly smaller scale a few years ago when Yasser Arafat turned down the best deal Israel could ever offer in the land for peace negotiations. Bill Clinton was desperate to end his presidency with a victory big enough to overshadow his disgraceful behavior while in office, and he saw Middle East Peace as his ticket to redemption.
Under intense pressure from Clinton, Israeli PM Ehud Barak offered Arafat everything he could ever have hoped for, and more. But like he’d been saying to all who would listen right from the start, Arafat didn’t want peace. He wanted Israel destroyed, and was only buying time till he was strong enough to do it. So he turned down the deal, went home and started the Intifada. When he later told Clinton what a great man he was, Clinton replied, “I am a failure, and you have made me one.”
My God Is Bigger Than Yours
If President Ahmadinejad really is the religious zealot he appears to be, then for him bringing the world to the brink of disaster is a matter of religious integrity. It’s the fulfillment of his calling, an act of obedience to his god. No amount of negotiation, appeasement or compromise will deter him.
And if that’s true, it’s well past time for the rest of us to realize that no strategy of man can prevail against him. If the US or Israel launches a pre-emptive attack, he’s won. If we give in to his demands, he’ll just keep upping the ante until someone does strike. His goal is chaos, and anything short of that means failing his god.
As Christians we know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephes. 6:12). The world is not used to thinking in these terms, but in this next few months we may well see a lot more than just a test of will between two powerful nations. We just might be witnessing the run-up to war in the heavenlies. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.