(Investigator 93, 2003 November)
Man lords it over man to his own hurt. (Ecclesiastes 8:9)
Local terror to achieve political reform likewise has a long history. In the Middle East, Muslim "Assassins" murdered officials for 200 years. (Nour 2002) In India "Thugs", for centuries, strangled victims as part of their worship of the goddess Kali. (Daraul 1965) In Judea, in Jesus time, "Zealots" murdered Roman legionnaires and Jews sympathetic to Rome.
Barabbas, the man released
when Jesus was
crucified, was a murderer and probably a Zealot. (Mark 15:7; Acts 3:14)
TODAY'S GLOBAL NETWORK OF TERROR
After World War II the major terror targets were European colonies and conflict-areas between Communism and the Free World. Later came Muslim terrorists seeking to establish Islamic states.
In recent years terrorism has gone from regional groups to a global network. September 11 (New York 2001) and October 12 (Bali 2002) are well publicized.
More Americans died on September 11 than at Pearl Harbor – 2,792 compared to 2,334.
The event was orchestrated by the world's chief terrorist organization, al-Qaida, led by Arabian millionaire Osama bin Laden. The Bali bombing was perpetrated by Jemaah Islamaiah a South East Asian religious terrorist group.
Forgotten by most are numerous other terrorist bombings in Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Kashmir, Philippines, Israel, Russia, Tunisia, Iraq, etc.
Besides attacks on Westerners, Islamic fascism conducts a global campaign to remove moderate and pro-Western governments in Islamic lands. In Kuala Lumpur in 2001 three Muslim extremists were sentenced to hang and 16 others got life imprisonment for plotting to replace the government with an Islamic state.
In Indonesia Jemaah Islamaiah, a religious terrorist group friendly with al-Quaida, "aspires to create a pan-Islamic state across South East Asia centred on Indonesia." It wants to wreck Indonesian democracy and the moderate Islam of Indonesian society. Most terrorists were indoctrinated in Muslim-run schools that taught hatred of the West. (Nahdar 2003)
The most numerous
terrorist bombings are
in Israel – 103 in the three years to mid October 2003:
There's a myth that
terrorism is due to poverty
and poor education and the cure, therefore, is transfer of Western
Yet the poorest areas like the Sahara and East Timor have least
whereas many terrorist leaders are wealthy. Bin Laden's wealth was
at $100 million! Israeli journalist Ronni Shaked says:
- Create a climate of fear amenable to terrorist exploitation;
- Create Muslim states ruled by Islamic Law;
- Destroy Western freedom and democracy—in a video tape bin Laden called for "Jihad" against the USA and declared, "We can destroy the American empire by destroying its economy."
- Destroy Israel.
- Increased security costs but decreased revenue from tourism and trade;
- Medical and psychological treatment of survivors, many maimed;
- Hunting and imprisoning terrorists and financing court trials;
- Establishing and protecting new democratic governments – in 2002 Afghanistan cost the West $19 billion, and in mid 2003 the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq cost America $4 billion per month.
During the Cold War (1945 to 1990) the USA had a "no first strike" policy coupled with maintaining strong alliances and heavy investment in nuclear weapons. It won the Cold War economically when the Soviet Union could no longer afford the pace and disintegrated. Before September 11 America's Bush administration favored reducing overseas commitment to focus on domestic affairs.
After September 11
President Bush declared
war on terrorists and on governments that harbor terrorists.
the policies of no pre-emption and reduced overseas involvement ceased.
Waiting for a first strike when the "striker" is invisible and seeking
weapons of mass destruction (WMD), i.e. biological, chemical and
could be tantamount to national suicide.
FEAR AND THE BIBLE
- A sense of reverence and awe;
- The sensation of apprehension when threatened with pain, loss or other evil.
Fear is a theme of the
Bible – from the first
fear by the first people (Genesis 3:10; 4:14) to the end of fear (in
"2") in the future.
Terrorists who murder willy-nilly without accusing their victims of specific crimes and letting them defend in court are – in Biblical language – "an abomination to the LORD."
AFGHANISTAN and IRAQ
Many governments give refuge to terrorists. China supported Pol Pot, murderer of 1½ million Cambodians. Arabia harbored Idi Amin murderer of 400,000 Ugandans. Afghanistan's Taliban harbored the instigators of September 11.
President Bush demanded, "The Taliban must…hand over the terrorists or share in their fate." The Taliban refused. America's first "pre-emptive war", therefore, was Afghanistan – after September 11.
America's second pre-emptive war was Iraq.
Iraq's president, Saddam, paid $17,000 to families of Palestinian suicide bombers. He re-called thousands of scientists in readiness to restart his WMD programs. He practiced genocide, used chemical weapons on his own people, started a war (with Iran) that killed 1,000,000, and pledged to "liberate" Jerusalem. Saddam impoverished Iraq but spent $billions on himself.
The water table in Jordan is dropping and Turkey is building dams across the Euphrates River. Rising populations, decreasing water reserves, and murderous dictators seeking WMD while preaching Israel's destruction is a dangerous mix!
However, Democracies rarely declare war on each other. If the Middle East became Democratic peace might prevail and oil wealth benefit everyone.
America ousted Saddam's
regime in April 2003
We sometimes hear of "terrorist states". Precise definition is difficult but they include Iran, Korea and previously Iraq – countries President Bush called an "Axis of evil…"
The Korean War, 1950-1953, killed 3,000,000 people but it saved South Korea from perpetual misery. North Korea is among the poorest countries where famine has killed 2 to 3 million since 1995. The regime governs through terror and hundreds of thousands linger in prison camps.
North Korea wants to unite both Koreas, has one million troops, sells weapons to terrorists, has – US analysts believe – two nuclear bombs and, by using plutonium from spent nuclear fuel rods, can make six more. (Wadhams 2003)
Iran identifies America with "Satan", denies Israel's right to exist, and may also be developing nuclear weapons: "…secret Iranian facilities [were] discovered by US satellite." (The Advertiser, December 14, 2002, p.57)
Pakistan has democratic
government but terrorists
want to destroy this to gain control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. If
they succeed Pakistan could become a "terrorist state".
The "war on terror" has
in dozens of countries. For example:
- A plot to explode numerous truck bombs across Singapore was foiled in 2001.
- South-East Asia's most wanted man, mastermind of the Jemaah Islamiyah terrorist campaign, was captured in Thailand in 2003.
- In Naples, Italy, in February 2003, police arrested 28 Pakistanis who possessed explosives and hundreds of forged documents.
- In America a British-born convert to Islam who tried to blow up a flight from Paris got a life sentence. (Rose, 2003)
- Pakistani forces killed eight Taliban and captured 18. (Hussain, 2003)
ISRAEL, PALESTINE, JERUSALEM
Many first-century Christians were murdered by people who thought such murder was, "service to God." Jesus' words in John 16:2 teach what psychology and history confirm – that people are able to redefine any evil as "good".
Palestinian suicide bombers also believe they are giving "service to God" by killing people. The perpetrators are indoctrinated and equipped by terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Palestine Islamic Jihad, and al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. (Genuine "service to God" excludes murder and is described in Romans chapter 12.)
Palestinians call suicide bombers "martyrs". In Western lands "martyr" referred to Christians murdered in Roman arenas for observing their faith. The Palestinian use of the word – applying it to murderers, not to the murdered – is the reverse.
Bible prophecy predicts
future world conflict
- If extremist religious Jews demolish Islam's Dome of the Rock – where the Jewish temple stood until 70 AD – and rebuild the Jewish temple.
- If a future Western energy crisis becomes an Arab bargaining chip to gain allies against Israel. Geologist Kenneth Deffeyes, in Hubbert's Peak, argues that world oil production will peak by 2008.
Terrorism is leading to increased controls and increased surveillance: "Proof of identity will be required to buy common garden fertilizers under a plan to prevent explosive or toxic materials falling into terrorist hands." (Kearney 2002)
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Smallpox killed 60 million
in the 18th
century. It spreads readily by close contact and as aerosol. It's one
many "terrifying threats":
- Smallpox poses a terrifying threat… Smallpox is untreatable and two-thirds of those who survive suffer extensive facial scaring and possible blindness. (Gaffney 2003)
- Among the main biological weapons are anthrax, botulism, plague and encephalitis…a single attack on a mid-sized US city with 100kg of anthrax spores could kill 1 million to 3 million people. (Sheridan 1998)
- GENETIC engineers are now able to devise a lethal bio-weapon for terrorists and rogue states. Small changes in the DNA of well-known bacteria and viruses could turn these agents into mass killers… (The Advertiser, May 17, 2001, p.36)
- There is a real and current threat by terrorists to contaminate food supplies, the UN's World Health Organization has warned. (Sunday Mail, February 2, 2003, p.29)
- A plan to attack Western targets with home-made nuclear bombs has put all British embassies in South-East Asia on full alert. Thai police arrested a man carrying 30kg of radioactive substance…which could be combined with other materials to make a dirty bomb. (Shears 2003)
Terrorists could also
cripple countries if
- Destroy livestock with Foot and Mouth disease;
- Destroy wheat production with the wheat-streak mosaic virus;
- Poison the reservoirs.
In past centuries life was "nasty, brutish and short." War, ignorance, oppression, poverty and disease produced average life spans of 15 years – compared to today's 50 in Africa and 70 in Europe.
The USA is benign compared to past empires. It promotes "human rights", produces much of the world's medicine and new technology, and defends freedom including Muslim freedom (e.g. Kuwait, Kosovo and Afghanistan). The US gives more aid to Muslim countries than to Israel or Christian countries.
In urging attacks on America bin Laden said, "If their economy is finished, they will become too busy to enslave oppressed people." (Eccleston 2001)
Actually oppression is rife in Muslim lands. Clayton (2002) reported that 12,000 Bantus of Somalia were being flown to a new life in America. The Bantus were, "former slaves… robbed, raped, bullied and chased into exile."
Wherever Islamic terrorists operate they cause death, poverty and despair. Contrast this with 5 million US Muslims who enjoy the world's highest living standards!
The liberal democracy and
of the West is derived from two main institutions:
- Roman law which was a secular and universal jurisdiction;
- Christianity which separated church and state.
In practice many Islamic
nations are ruled
by tyrants supported by the religious establishment. It's a system
on Western science and achievement yet hates the sources of that
– church/state separation, education, judicial equality of males and
and freedom of speech and religion. (Burns 1994)
Abdolkarim Soroush said, "Research cannot flourish…if you cannot
your ideas freely, or have to hide part of them lest you be arrested."
FAINTING WITH FEAR
However, Jesus warned in
Luke 21:26 that
there is more to come.
WHY TERROR IF GOD IS GOOD?
A simplified Biblical
explanation why an
almighty and loving God seems powerless is:
- Most humans think they "know" right from wrong, and choose to act according to this "knowledge" and contrary to God;
- God has distanced himself to let humans find out from experience what their "knowledge" is worth.
Human effort to discover
right from wrong
has occurred during Earth's most favourable era geologically,
and astronomically. Take astronomy:
Eventually, the Bible
self-rule by their own standards will be terminated. Evil caused by
including terrorism, will then be gone forever:
Anonymous. Asteroids and
Their Impact. Investigator
No. 62, September 1998
Burns, R E 1994 The Wrath of Allah, A Ghosh, Texas.
Clayton, J. Coming to America: 12,000 Somali 'lost' people, The Weekend Australian, July 20-21, 2002, p.14
Daraul, A. 1965 Secret Societies, Tandem, Great Britain, Chapter 18.
Deffeyes, K. 2001 Hubbert's Peak: The impending world oil shortage, Princeton University Press.
Eccleston, R. Fears of Nuclear build-up. The Weekend Australian, March 16-17, 2002, p.15
Eccleston, R. Hit the economy, says bin Laden. The Weekend Australian, December 29-30, 2001, p.7
Fleming, T. Killing Innocents Terror a Weapon of War, America's New War, 2001, pp 8-11
Gaffney, D. Smallpox poses terrifying threat. The Weekend Australian, May 17-18, 2003, p.4
Harran, P. Diseases a terror threat, Sunday Mail, August 17, 2003, p.6
Hoffman, B. The ultimate Smart Bombs, The Weekend Australian, August 23-24, 2003, p.17
Hussain, Z. Pakistan claims Taliban losses in sweep. The Weekend Australian, October 4-5, 2003, p.12
Jones, N. & Marchant, J. Here comes Big Brother, Time, 22 September, 2001, pp 12-13
Lyall, K. Hydra now thinking with one world goal, The Weekend Australian, October 19-20, 2002, p.26
MacKenzie, D. Bioarmageddon. New Scientist, September 19 1998, pp. 42-46
Masood, E. Come the revolution, New Scientist, 16 August, 2003, p.38
Nahdar, S. Warning on closing Islamic schools. The Weekend Australian, October 4-5, 2003, p.10
Nour, S. Perspectives, Military History, October 2002, pp 10-14, 28
Rose, D. The two-bit terrorist. The Advertiser, February 1, 2003, p. 52
Shears, R. Dirty bomb terror alert in SE Asia, Sunday Mail, June 15, 2003, p.19
Sheridan, G. The New Arms Race. The Weekend Australian, June 13-14, 1998, p.24
Theodoulou, M. Missionary shot dead in fresh attacks on US targets. The Weekend Australian, November 23-24, 2002, p.13
Verschuur, G. L. Impact Hazards, Truth and Consequences, Sky and Telescope, June 1998, pp 27-34
Wadhams, N. N Korea's nuclear future hangs in balance. The Weekend Australian, October 4-5, 2003, p.57