Aug 2, 2010
Afghanistan: The Endless War
Last week, the website WikiLeaks.com published "The Afghan War Diaries," a collection of 91,000 classified documents on the military operations in Afghanistan. The information consists of tens of thousands of field reports that give personal, first-hand views of the fighting.
Comparisons are being made with the "Pentagon papers," which were leaked to the press in 1971 by an unhappy analyst of the Vietnam War. Those papers told an American public what it did not know about the war. There is no smoking gun in this pile of documents. According to the New York Times, the "documents do not contradict official accounts of the war."
The war in Afghanistan is the longest conflict in our nationís history, but it is also our least costly in terms of lives lost. The Department of Defense has identified 1,192 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan War. The Vietnam War cost the lives of 58,159 soldiers. The Civil War remains America's deadliest, with more than 600,000 deaths.
President George W. Bush ordered troops into Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Our goal was to defeat the Taliban and create a democratic Afghan government complete with an army and a police force that can maintain stability.
I have long maintained that it is not in our national interest to stay in Afghanistan. The war has cost the U.S. taxpayers over $1.2 trillion. With this kind of money, we could have totally rebuilt our crumbling infrastructure.
If Afghanistan were the last holdout for evil on the planet, it would be wise for us to stay the course. Unfortunately, plenty of other hot spots could soon demand our attention.
North Korea and the standoff over Iran's nuclear program are the most likely candidates for a new conflict. I seriously doubt we could afford another trillion-dollar conflict, and I'm sure our enemies realize this fact in their war planning.
The endless fighting is having a profoundly negative impact on our military readiness. The Army has lowered its standards in order to get new recruits. People who beforehand would have been barred as mentally unfit are now on active duty. The suicide rate, long below that of the general population, has now soared above that average.
At the core of the problem are the Afghan people. They have failed to show any real desire to take advantage of the opportunities we have provided them. We liberated them from the clutches of the Taliban, and they are unwilling to form a government that can supply basic needs. The Afghan government operates almost exclusively on bribes and kickbacks.
Only a handful of Afghan military units stand qualified to defend the country. In 1987, it only took me six weeks to learn how to be an Air Force airman. We've been training Afghans for nearly a decade.
I recently saw a revealing news report about ground troops. One segment featured an Army sergeant venting his consternation over having to deal with local Afghan soldiers who stopped by the local hashish bar to get stoned out of their minds right before coming on patrol with him.
It is unfortunate that we donít have leaders in Washington who comprehend the spiritual nature of those in the Middle East. If we did, they would understand why itís impossible for us to ever make friends with the Muslim world. Just this week, the White House had to admit that elements of Pakistan's army are providing aid to Afghan militants. It would require the logic of an insane man to make sense of a situation in which money we give to Pakistan is being used to kill our own soldiers.
We are long past the time when we should have packed up and left this quagmire. Because Bible prophecy promises a future busy with military conflicts, anyone who lusts for battle will have plenty of opportunity in the coming years to get his fill.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: Ö For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matt. 24:6-8)
The Real Crisis
Politicians currently in majority power in the United States government have steered the American ship onto the deadly, rock-strewn shores of economic ruin. They have used the rudder of crises to do this dastardly deed.
They first created, whether unwittingly or deliberately, the so-called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac housing disaster. They, in effect, made it mandatory for lenders to sell homes to buyers who had nowhere near the income or other means to secure the high-priced houses they purchased.
This led to the crisis of banks and other lending institutions facing defaults on payment, thus insolvency and/or bankruptcy in many cases. These banks and institutions were deemed too big to fail, in terms of importance to the national economy. Thus the politicians in charge, who also had the votes in Congress to do so, declared that national and worldwide economic catastrophe was inevitable if huge amounts of money weren't immediately voted to defuse the pending calamity.
The United States has come to the point of national shipwreck by years, even decades, of political chicanery. This scuttling has progressed more swiftly as of late through the federal government taking multi-trillions of dollars from non-existent Treasury funds for bailouts and taking over some private companies, such as General Motors, Chrysler, and several large banks. Government has thereby indentured future generations of American citizens, saddling them with debt that can never be repaid.
Perhaps the following quote by presidential chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has been overused: "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." But his declaration is quite telling in explaining the otherwise irrationality of this country's being steered through crises mismanagement toward an economic crash. In my view, the whole process is to bring America to European-style socialism, a course that has in effect wrecked--or is in the process of wrecking--all of Europe.
As disturbing as is the crisis America faces in so many areas of the nation's well being, there exists a crisis of infinitely more intense magnitude. Like the worldwide economic and other crises, this one has profound, biblically prophetic import on an even greater scale.
The crisis about which I write is the almost-total blindness the church (born-again believers; see John 3:3) suffers from while America and the nations of planet earth reel and stagger toward the time of Tribulation. America's deliberately directed breakup, and the nations of earth tearing apart in the aftermath of her carnage, as well as the church's deliberately directed, head-in-the-sand blindness, are major parts of the end-times picture. It's Bible prophecy in the final, stage-setting phase.
As stated previously, the blindness of the church constitutes the far more virulent of the crises. That is because the venom it injects is done so in a benign, peaceful, even soothing way by the crisis managers--the religionists who purvey feel-good sophistry. These, like their political counterparts in the case of directing America onto the shoals of destruction, steer the people in their pews toward the inward-turning course of destructive selfism. It is theological mumbo-jumbo that sequesters God's people within do-goodism and feel-goodism and immerses them in a Laodicean-like, financial prosperity gospel.
The words of the resurrected Christ to John are chilling, considering the churches today who fall under the Lord's omniscient, condemning eyes.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;" and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. (Rev. 3:15-17)
This inward-turning, wealth-oriented false theology is so egregious because it blinds its adherents to the real world around them--a world that needs Jesus Christ. He is the only remedy for the crises the people of earth face. Yet the people in churches, whose leaderships seek to insulate Christians from the realities of the lost, perishing masses, can think only of ways to make their own lives comfortable and entertaining.
Again, this is not to paint all large church bodies with the same broad brush. Many strive to teach and preach absolute truth from God's Holy Word. But the churches that fit the Laodicean mold create the crisis that is far greater than any spawned from political treacheries.
Such false teaching has dumbed down God's people to the point that there is little discernment of the prophetic times--the end times--in which this generation finds itself. These congregants, for example, haven't any idea for the most part that Israel is the key signal of where we are on God's prophetic timeline. Or that the peace process Israel is being pressured to join, trying to force the nation to give up land God gave it to enemies who want to wipe the Jewish state from the earth, is the number-one signal that the Lord is very near the time when He will call the church to Himself in the Rapture.
These haven't a clue--except in the distant, disinterested sense--that Christianity has been invaded by those who make this the time of Jesus' words:
Also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:28-30).
A recent news item frames the crisis created by the church's inward-turning:
SAN FRANCISCO Ė Seven pastors who work in the San Francisco Bay area and were barred from serving in the nation's largest Lutheran group because of a policy that required gay clergy to be celibate are being welcomed into the denomination...
"It's going to be an extremely glorious and festive ceremony because it's the culmination of decades of work to welcome LGBT people into the ELCA," said Amalia Vagts, executive director of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, a nonprofit that credentials openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people for ministry. (Sudhin Thanawala, "Evangelical Lutheran Pulpits Welcome Non-celibate Gay Pastors," 7/25/2010).
The crisis builds. There comes less and less outcry from the true church of Jesus Christ about the corruption within its ranks. It is a sure sign that the church is abdicating its assigned duty as being the salt and light in this dark, dying world. Jesus said of such a time as this:
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matt 24:42-44)