WHEN AMERICA WAS ATTACKED ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, ITS REACTION WAS TO DECLARE WAR ON TERROR. For the next 13 years the US fought to defeat tyranny, destroy weapons of mass destruction, and promote democracy and Western ideals. It was hoped that American firepower would make the world a better place.
The opposite happened.
On the Iraq and Afghanistan battlefields alone, some 2.5 MILLION American military men and women put their lives on the line. Yet an Iraqi civil war and an indefatigable Taliban are destroying everything America built to date. In Somalia and Yemen, American drones rain fire on enemies below, yet America’s allies are on the run. In Egypt, US pressure helped topple a dictator ally and replace him with a democratically elected terrorist who hated the US. Another coup soon followed, along with a new dictator. In Libya, America bombed Muammar Qadhafi. In his wake came warring militias with terrorist links, a murdered US ambassador plus three staff, and an ongoing deadly civil war that has killed tens of thousands.
America has great political and military power, but in locations all over the globe our foreign policy is failing dramatically. Why? The truth is that God is no longer on our side. The Bible says very clearly, “I will break the pride of your power…and your strength shall be spent in vain.” (Leviticus 26: 19-20). America continues to tell God over and over again, in many different ways, that we do not need Him or want Him. We have a president who tells us he is quoting from the Bible but has no clue that his quoted passage does not appear anywhere in Scripture. We have a Supreme Court which upholds abortion and same-sex marriage, and our churches think nothing of installing gay pastors in their pulpits.
The following examples show further the truth of the above Leviticus prophecy.
In 1967 Co. Muammar Qadhafi inherited one of the poorest nations in Africa. By the time he was assinated, Libya was Africa’s wealthiest nation. Libya had the highest live expectancy and highest gross domestic product per capita on the entire continent. Fewer people lived below the poverty line than in the Netherlands. Libya was sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of Africa. Wealth was being generated; schools hospitals were running and were free. In 2011 the US led an air campaign supporting the “Arab Spring” and Qadhafi was ousted from leadership. The result was catastrophic. Oil production was cut in half to 810,000 barrels per day. Since 2011, 32,000 people have been killed. The nation is locked in war. It is a terrorist haven, and some 250 militias now control what once was the wealthiest country in Africa.
In 2003 Iraq was invaded by a US-led coalition to remove dictator Saddam Hussein, destroy weapons of mass destruction, and create a democracy. Eight years later, 7,888 US soldiers and contractors were dead, along with 190,000 Iraqi civilians. Total cost including reconstruction: $2.2 TRILLION. Less than two years after America said “mission complete,” the US-built Iraqi army had virtually collapsed, the radical Islamic State had proclaimed itself to be in charge, Iraq was engulfed in a Sunnis vs. Shiites civil war, and over 24,000 more people were dead. Today, Iraq is essentially split into three warring regions: the area controlled by the Islamic State in the middle, a Kurdish autonomous region in the north, and a Shiite-controlled south. On November 7th, the US president was forced to send 1500 additional US troops back to Iraq to support the 1500 who had previously returned. Obviously, our exit from Iraq could be called nothing if not premature.
Washington is trying to help the Somali government to (1) retake control of vast parts of its country lost to the Iran-sponsored terror group called Al-Shabaab, and (2) maintain a foothold on the strategic Gulf of Aden waterway. In October of 2013 Mr. Obama approved the sending of US military to act as advisers. So far about 220 terrorist operatives have been killed by US drone strikes, while at least $700 million has been spent propping up the Somali National Army and training African Union forces to combat Al-Shabaab. So far, this terror group appears to be completely unfazed and undeterred.
In early 2011 America helped push long-standing ally Hosni Mubarak from the presidency. This ushered in an era of instability and violence. Three leaders later, GDP growth has been cut in half from 4 percent to less than 2 percent; unemployment has jumped from 9 percent to 12 percent; and external debt has climbed from $34.7 billion to $45.3 billion. At the same time vehicle thefts have quadrupled; homicides have tripled; and armed robberies have risen from 233 the year before Mubarak’s resignation, to 2807 in the year 2012. Politically this one-time US ally now views America with skepticism and suspicion.
In 2009 Obama approved a drone-bombing campaign to help the Yemeni government combat Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the north. America’s involvement turned the local citizenry against the ruling government. By 2011, the Yemeni army and US drones were also fighting Al Qaeda in the south. Today the country is deep in civil war, its capital city is controlled by the Houthi, and the US-backed government faces collapse.
After more than 13 years of war and the death of Osama bin Laden, America is bringing its troops home. The war cost $710 billion and the lives of 2349 American military. After spending $56 billion to equip the Afghan army, it is unclear whether that army will continue to fight the Taliban, or switch sides and join it. At the start of this war the Taliban consisted of approximately 2000 terrorist radicals; that number has now swelled to 60,000. The US has failed in other ways, too. We invested nearly $8 billion in trying to dismantle opium production, but the opium crop is at least twice as large as when we first entered the country. Because we acted as we did in Iraq and announced ahead of time our planned Afghan departure date, Afghan leaders now appear to be cutting deals with the Taliban in preparation for our impending exit.
[From a recent article in The Philadelphia Trumpet]
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis