This week has witnessed the full eruption of war between the US led “coalition of the willing” and the country of Iraq.
A peaceful solution to this conflict was unobtainable–not in the United Nations and not between the adversaries themselves.
In both the Moslem world and the Western nations, live coverage pervades the media. A new component of war is the “embed”. This term describes reporters who are traveling with coalition forces–embedded within the various elements of this massive onslaught. New technology such as the latest video phones has brought this war into our living rooms as we watch events unfold on our television sets.
As war rages and the world watches, many are expressing their outrage. Worldwide demonstrations against this war are mounting. The hope for a peaceful aftermath of this conflict is quickly fading. There is a flood of resentment now taking root across the globe. This quote from The Associated Press on 3/25/03 highlights the problem: ” ‘Hatred against America is increasing,’ said Shahid Shamsi, spokesman for the United Action forum, a hard-line Islamic group in Pakistan, where an estimated 100,000 people marched through the city of Lahore Sunday.”
Protestors are effectively organizing via the internet. Well timed rallies are being orchestrated in nations around the world.
And although the US, Britain and the rest of the coalition are claiming the moral high ground to justify this war, it appears that a permanent erosion and ultimate division is being created with those nations and peoples who are in opposition.
UN ROLE IN POST-WAR IRAQ?
Even as the war in Iraq has entered an intense period, nations are jockeying for a role in its aftermath. Once again, it appears to be a proposition that will continue to isolate the United States. Tony Blair was in the US this week to lobby for some reconciliation with the UN and its recalcitrant members. From Reuters, 3/26/03, “British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew to Washington Wednesday for a war council with President Bush, insisting that the United Nations must play a central role in post-war Iraq. But his twin aims of healing a transatlantic rift between America and Europe, and binding the United Nations into reconstruction of Iraq, represents a huge challenge while Washington is still smarting at a snub from the Security Council.”
Again from Reuters, 3/26/03, “The United States will not cede control of Iraq to the United Nations if and when it overthrows President Saddam Hussein, Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Wednesday. “We didn’t take on this huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have a significant dominating control over how it unfolds in the future,” Powell told a House of Representatives subcommittee.”
In another article, this from globeandmail.com, 3/26/03: “the United States appears committed to a scheme for postwar Iraq that would give the United Nations a limited role in humanitarian relief but exclude it from the country’s administration.”
This article notes an immediate problem that will occur, ‘It’s going to confirm in the eyes of so many that this is a U.S. colonial enterprise,’ said Robert Malley, Middle East project director for the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank.” Continuing, “Without UN involvement, key members of the world organization could be reluctant to help the United States pay for reconstruction efforts in Iraq. A recent report by the New-York-based Council on Foreign Relations said rebuilding could cost $20-billion (U.S.) a year for several years.”
The EU has positioned its support directly with the UN. From Daily Nation on the Web, 3/26/03: “We believe that the UN must continue to play a central role during and after the current crisis. The UN system has a unique capacity and practical experience in coordinating assistance in post-conflict states. The Security Council should give the United Nations a strong mandate for this mission,” said the EU statement.
WILL THERE BE PEACE?
The humanitarian effort that will be necessary after the Iraq war is now being heralded as perhaps the greatest in history.
The logistical aspects of feeding and caring for a nation the size of Iraq will take years, and at this point it doesn’t appear that the “coalition of the willing” will get much help from those major nations that did not sanction this war. Deep divisions were created leading up to the war, and comments ablaze in press reports point to ongoing if not deeper rifts in the immediate future.
Behind the scenes, events continue to show that the US role as a world super-power doing what it chooses will not go unchallenged. In a report from Parade this past Sunday, 3/23/03, titled “Former Enemies May Form European Supernation”, this stunning scenario takes form. “For centuries, they were bitter enemies, but now Germany and France are talking about merging into a kind of European supernation. Their leaders have proposed offering dual citizenship to French citizens living in Germany and Germans living in France. They held a joint meeting of both parliaments. Now the two are considering the creation of a confederation with joint government agencies, joint diplomatic missions abroad and shared defense and foreign policies. (They recently were united at the UN in opposing President Bush’s Iraq initiatives.) Germany and France already are each other’s biggest trading partners and share a common currency, the Euro. If they unite on other fronts, they would present a formidable force within Europe and the European Union – perhaps forcing others, especially Britain, to cultivate their own strategic alliances in an effort to curb the duo’s power.”
The sad truth is that after this current war in Iraq, peace will not be the outcome. The stage is already being set for even deeper problems that will lead to greater and greater difficulties for Britain and the US. In Deuteronomy 29, God sternly warns Israel of old to carefully heed the warnings and consequences for disobedience. In particular, verse 19 states, “and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, even though I follow the dictates of my heart as though the drunkard could be included with the sober.”
Neither nations nor individuals will ever find peace by following the dictates of their own heart–although all proclaim, “peace, peace” (Cp Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11). Peace will not come to this earth through its wars. Peace will only come when God sends His Son to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth