Dividing The Middle East: False Prophets and Promises

By Greg O’Brien, Codfish Press
Taking two steps forward before a ceremonial step backwards, Israeli tanks and soldiers pressed deeper into Southern Lebanon on the eve of a U.N. Security Council cease-fire plan expected to be implemented today, widening a buffer zone to hinder Hezbollah rockets from hitting their targets—but don’t count on it. After Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah gave his averse consent to the tenuous truce, the Israel’s cabinet agreed to the cease-fire, which seeks to end hostilities and reach a lasting solution between the two parties that have called for each other’s extinction.

Without an all-embracing phased withdrawal, an immediate discharge into the abyss of both the Lebanese army and an international peace-keeping force, strict enforcement of a previous U.N. resolution to disarm Hezbollah, and the continued resolve of the United States, France and other Western allies, the cease-fire has about as much chance of succeeding as Yasser Arafat has of another term. This is no time for cruise control in the Middle East.

As evangelist Billy Graham, in the twilight of his ministry, observed of the Middle East in a cover profile in the current Newsweek, “…history began there, and it is going to end there.” While no one knows the time or place of the last great battle—Armageddon, as Revelations 16:16 calls it—the tumblers, Graham suggests, are slowly clicking into place. Any Middle East strategy that does not take this divinely ordained truth into account is doomed to collapse. Despite claims of false political prophets, there is no enduring solution to the Middle East crisis, only delay tactics that still ought to be pursued aggressively. Middle East stratagems also should take into account the fact that so long as the United States embraces Israel—as we should—we will continue to be targets at home and abroad.

With radical countries like Syria and Iran freely supplying Hezbollah, the Lebanese conflict has demonstrated the ease with which proxy wars can be fought. The “Party of God’s” surprise success and its influence over the weedy Lebanese will likely encourage other hostile Middle Eastern countries to wage future proxy battles against Israel and its supporters through fanatic organizations like Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and others.

In light of this—along with last week’s foiled terrorist attempt to detonate concealed liquid explosives aboard as many as ten commercial flights from Britain to the United States, and the critical need for a foreign policy that adjusts to the realities of the world today—we must get real ourselves, and in the coming months broaden the definition of our “Big Brother” moniker to better protect the safety of siblings at home. As we extend support to others in the world, we must be less reactive and more proactive to escalating threats in our own backyard.

Concedes Michael Jackson, deputy secretary for Homeland Security, in a New York Times Sunday interview, “We can do more, and we can do better. And we must.”

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