101) First – False Messiahs Stir Up Strife

Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4)

Is that name / title specifically “Christ”? Not when Yeshua’s speech was documented it wasn’t. The title was Messiah, understood to be The Savior, Prophesied Deliverer from Evil Oppression.

Inevitably that role includes protecting his own chosen people through threats of retaliation with war.

  1. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars…
  2. and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places… (Matthew 24:4-9)

Belief in false messiahs has caused untold Jewish suffering over the past 2,000 years, and threatens us today.The medieval sage Maimonides, considered a heretic in his day, but now venerated by today’s Orthodox, declared that all Jews must affirm, “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the messiah and even if he tarries, nevertheless, I will await him every day.” For the Orthodox, perfect faith means “blind faith” and provides a perfect storm for disaster. History confirms Einstein’s observation that “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of the truth.”

The word “dis-aster” literally means a bad star, and one of the greatest disasters in Jewish history was brought about by the so-called, “son of a star,” or in Aramaic Bar Kochba, the false messiah, who was heralded by Orthodox legend Rabbi Akiva, as the long awaited Jewish king, who would deliver the Jews from Roman occupation. This irrational claim led to an ill-advised Jewish revolt against Rome in 135 CE, which resulted in the loss of our homeland and nearly 2,000 years of bitter exile and tragedy for the Jews.

On Dec. 25, we recall an even more famous false Jewish messiah with dire consequences, when Christians celebrate the alleged birth of Jesus, who was also claimed to be born under a star. Absurdly believing that a crucified failed leader of a Jewish revolt against Rome was the messiah, these misguided Jews, spread a crazed messianic fervor to even less informed non-Jews that produced a pagan off-shoot of Judaism that subjected millions of Jews to centuries of ghettos, inquisitions, crusades, pogroms and the Holocaust, because of our refusal to accept idolatrous, mythological beliefs about Jesus.

Given the pagan off-shoot of Judaism that became Christianity, and the horrific history of persecution of the Jews by Christianity, this rabbi’s rejection of the leader(s) of that corrupted belief system is on target. Christianity replaced the lowly Jewish Yeshua hamashiach with the socially acceptable Sol Invictus. Unfortunately this rabbi overshoots as he tracks back in time to pinpoint the false messiahs, but he is on target in current events.

Today, this blind messianic fervor takes an innocuous form in some Orthodox Jews who declare the late Rebbe Menachem Schneerson as the messiah, but is far more sinister when it comes to the abject, craven genuflection of many right wing Jews to Donald Trump. Like Sabbatai Zevi, Trump approved and shared by twitter the blasphemous claim by one of his “nitwitter” followers, that he is “the King of Israel and the second coming of God.” Trump also denounced most American Jews as disloyal, (an old anti-Semitic canard), if they do not support him. Rather than defending fellow Jews and the Jewish religion from sacrilege, most right wing Jews place their blind faith in Trump over their Jewish faith.

You do realize that this does applies equally to right-wing Christians who place their blind faith in American Presidents over biblical faith.

Ethnocentricity can veil understanding for Christians as much as Jews. The “anti-christ” in Christian parlance is quite different from what “the messiah” means in different ethnicities.

Messianism is the belief in the advent of a messiah who acts as the savior or liberator of a group of people. Messianism originated as an Abrahamic religious belief, but other religions have messianism-related concepts…

“Christ” is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered “Messiah”, so Yeshua, speaking Aramaic or Hebrew to his disciples, would have said, “Many shall come in my name, saying, I am Messiah”. And this clarifies what to expect. Remember, a name is an attribute, specifically of power, like “Spiderman” or “Ironman.” The one thing all messiahs offer is victory against oppression.

In Islam, Isa Ibn Mariam, al-Masih (“Jesus son of Mary, the Messiah”) is believed to have been anointed from birth by Allah with the specific task of being a prophet and a king. In Islam, the Mahdi is believed to hold the task of establishing the truth and fighting against divisions of Islam, uniting all sects before the return of Jesus who will kill the false messiah Al-Masih ad-Dajjal(similar to the Antichrist in Christianity)…Mahdi’s final task will be to become a just king and to re-establish justice. After the death of Mahdi, Jesus’ reign of the messianic King will begin bringing eternal peace and monotheism in the world ending all religions besides Islam…

He whom God shall make manifest (Arabicمن يظهر الله‎, Persianمظهر کلّیه الهی‎) is a messianic figure in the religion of Bábism…described…as the origin of all divine attributes, and stated that his command was equivalent to God’s command…The prediction is widely recognized as being fulfilled by Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baháʼí Faith

Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor of the historic Śākyamuni Buddha, founder of Buddhism. The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya…is accepted by most Buddhists as a statement about an actual event that will take place in the distant future…Although…Buddhists in different historical contexts have conceived of Maitreya Buddha in different ways…

In Hinduism, Kalki (Devanagari: कल्कि; also rendered by some as Kalkin and Kalaki) is the tenth and final Maha Avatara (great incarnation) of Vishnu who will come to end the present age of darkness and destruction known as Kali Yuga. The…Sanskrit word “kalka“…refers to dirt…and hence denotes the “destroyer of foulness…”

There has been significant literature on the potential religious aspects of NazismIn his book on the connection between Lanz von Liebenfelsand Hitler, Daim published a reprint of an alleged document of a session on “the unconditional abolishment of all religious commitments (Religionsbekenntnisse) after the final victory (Endsieg) … with a simultaneous proclamation of Adolf Hitler as the new messiah…”

Romantic Slavic messianism held that the Slavs, especially the Russians, suffer in order that other European nations, and eventually all of humanity, may be redeemed. This theme had a profound impact in the development of Pan-Slavism and Russian and Soviet imperialism; it also appears in…the Books of the Genesis of the Ukrainian People” (Brotherhood of Saints Cyril and Methodius Manifesto), in which…Ukraine will expand universal freedom and faith in all Slavic countries…

Around the 3rd century CE, religious Taoism developed eschatological ideas. A number of scriptures  predict the end of the world cycle, the deluge, epidemics, and coming of the saviour Li Hong 李弘…

Aradia...a Messiah who was sent to Earth in order to teach the oppressed peasants how to perform witchcraft to use against the Roman Catholic Church and the upper classes…Aradia has become “arguably one of the central figures of the modern pagan witchcraft revival…” in various forms of Neopaganism, including Wicca and Stregheria, as an actual deity…

The one distinctive claim of the Jewish Messiah Yeshua of Nazareth in ~30 A.D. is victory over death, proven by witnesses to his resurrection. This is not “blind belief.” This is a fact proven forensically – scientifically for legal purposes – beyond any other historic or scientific finding offered to establish one’s faith in claims of ability to save from politic or physical catastrophe.

“And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will…

Look at the facial expressions in the photo with a beaming US President flanked by two very unhappy Middle Eastern Presidents whose will he overcame in the peace talks.  And the President of the United States is hailed as the Prince of Peace through strength.

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donald_rumsfeld_saddam_hussein_shake_hands_20dec1983_aAnd the king of the south shall be strong, and one of his [the US President’s] princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.

Saddam Hussein dominating world-wide oil supplies.

the robbers of thy people shall exalt themselves to establish the vision

The United Nations exploiting the plight of the Palestinian people without every using its power to end their suffering.

43rd plenary meeting of the General Assembly 67th session: Question of Palestine

He [President of US] that cometh against him [Saddam Hussein] shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before himincluding Russia, European leaders, UN.

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there shall stand up a vile / despised, contemptible person. And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. He shall enter peaceably

The President of Russia, a “small” people after the breakup of the USSR.

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And both of these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one tableand have intelligence with them [in Israel] that forsake the holy covenant. And arms shall stand on his part…And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries.

[Published in 2019] Russia and “Israel” are allies, so much so that one can even speak about them as a singular political entity nowadays using the neologism “Putinyahu’s Rusrael“. The hyperlinked source in the preceding sentence is chock full of proof supporting this assertion, but the smoking gun if one was even needed at this point came on Monday during the Herzliya Conference, a yearly security forum held in the self-professed “Jewish State”. Mossad chief Yossi Cohen made it clear just how important of an ally “Israel” regards Russia as being when he credited “channels of communication with the Kremlin” for contributing to what he described as the “one-time window of opportunity” to clinch an “Israeli”-Arab peace deal “for the first time in Middle East history”

trump-e1573039791366.jpgAnd the king shall do according to his will; [by the repetition of this phrase and the examples in history we can deduce that this is the first king, i.e. the President of the United States, not Russia] and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods…nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.

But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces / strongholds: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honourin the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them [in context must be the lesser gods under the God of forces] to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain...And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain

Mr. Trump decided to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because he likes to keep campaign promises made to his base…That included right-wing American Jews whose message was amplified by the conservative orthodox Jews dominating Mr Trump’s inner circle.

It also included evangelicals whose voice was amplified by the devout Christian in the White House, Vice-President Mike Pence. “God decided Jerusalem was the capital of Israel more than 3,000 years ago during the time of King David,” I was told by Dallas evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress, who cited Biblical history. He and another leading voice in the pro-Israel part of the Christian world delivered prayers at the opening ceremony.

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  • nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

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  • three [in succession not simultaneously] kings / rulers in Persia / Iran; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia / Westerners whose culture is rooted in Greece.
  • 20200624_huda_shaarawi_172e71780d8_original-ratiothe king’s daughter of the south / always means Egypt shall come to the king of the north / Great Britain to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm:

In 1914 as a result of the declaration of war with the Ottoman Empire…Britain declared a Protectorate over Egypt…A group known as the Wafd Delegation attended the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 to demand Egypt’s independence. Included in the group was political leader, Saad Zaghlul, who would later become Prime Minister. When the group was arrested and deported to the island of Malta, a huge uprising occurred in Egypt… To the surprise of the British authorities, Egyptian women also demonstrated, led by Huda Sha‘rawi(1879–1947), who would become the leading feminist voice in Egypt in the first half of the twentieth century….

In deference to the growing nationalism…the UK unilaterally declared Egyptian independence on 28 February 1922. Britain, however, continued in control of what was renamed the Kingdom of Egypt. British guided the king and retained control of the Canal Zone, Sudan and Egypt’s external and military affairs. 

But out of a branch of her roots shall one stand up in his estate, which shall come with an army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail: And shall also carry captives into Egypt their gods, with their princes, and with their precious vessels of silver and of gold; and he shall continue more years than the king of the north.

King Fuad died in 1936 and King Farouk inherited the throne…when Italy invaded Ethiopia, he signed the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty, requiring Britain to withdraw all troops from Egypt by 1949, except at the Suez Canal. During World War II, British troops used Egypt as its primary base for all Allied operations throughout the region. British troops were withdrawn to the Suez Canal area in 1947, but nationalist, anti-British feelings continued to grow after the war.

But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: And the king of the south shall be moved with choler, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north: and he [king of the south] shall set forth a great multitude;

On 22–26 July 1952…Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew [British supported] King Farouk, whom the military blamed for Egypt’s poor performance in the 1948 war with Israel…and declared Egypt a republic on 18 June 1953.

Nasser evolved into a charismatic leader, not only of Egypt but of the Arab world, promoting and implementing “Arab socialism.”

United Arab Republic[edit]

In 1958 Egypt joined with the Republic of Syria and annexed the Gaza Strip, ruled by the All-Palestine Government, to form a state called the United Arab Republic. It existed until Syria’s secession in 1961, although Egypt continued to be known as the UAR until 1971.

Nasser helped establish with India and Yugoslavia the Non-Aligned Movement of developing countries in September 1961, and continued to be a leading force in the movement until his death.

Regional intervention

Nasser ruled as an autocrat but remained extremely popular within Egypt and throughout the Arab world. His willingness to stand up to the Western powers and to Israel won him support throughout the region. However, Nasser’s foreign and military policies were central in provoking the Six-Day War in 1967. This conflict saw the Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian armed forces routed by the Israelis.

Keep in mind the time frame. Before WWII Great Britain was the world empire, AKA The Fourth Kingdom, but the United States took control after the war.

but [yet] the multitude shall be given into his [king of the north’s] hand. For the king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former, and shall certainly come after certain years with a great army and with much riches.  he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him.

After Nasser’s death…Vice President Anwar el-Sadat, was elected President of Egypt…

In the months before the 1973 war Sadat engaged in a diplomatic offensive and by the fall of 1973 had support for a war of more than a hundred states, including most of the countries of the Arab League, Non-Aligned Movement, and Organization of African Unity. Syria agreed to join Egypt in attacking Israel.

In October 1973, Egypt’s armed forces achieved initial successes in the Crossing and advanced 15 km, reaching the depth of the range of safe coverage of its own air force. After Syrian forces were being repulsed, the Syrian government urged Sadat to move his forces deeper into Sinai. Without air cover, the Egyptian army suffered huge losses…In the meantime, the United States initiated a strategic airlift to provide replacement weapons and supplies to Israel and appropriate $2.2 billion in emergency aid. OPEC oil ministers, led by Saudi Arabia retaliated with an oil embargo against the US. A UN resolution supported by the United States and the Soviet Union called for an end to hostilities and for peace talks to begin.

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries [in context, those in the Middle East like Syria] shall be overthrown:

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but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab,  and the chief of the children of Ammon [Jordan]. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

Under American influence

The outcome was the historic Camp David accords, signed by Egypt and Israel and witnessed by the US on 17 September 1978. The accords led to 26 March 1979, signing of the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty, by which Egypt regained control of the Sinai in May 1982. Throughout this period, US–Egyptian relations steadily improved, and Egypt became one of America’s largest recipients of foreign aid. Sadat’s willingness to break ranks by making peace with Israel earned him the enmity of most other Arab states, however.

But tidings out of the east / Iraq and Iran and out of the north / Turkey shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 

Ever since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire’s Eastern leg of the Roman Empire, the Western leg of the Roman Empire – Britain then America – has engaged in intractable wars to absorb Babylon / Iraq, Persia / Iran, and Greece / Turkey into one giant Fourth Empire. According to prophecy, this will not happen. The Fourth Empire remains split into two parts until the end, with the Eastern leg composed of the previous three unique empires now consolidated under one religion of Islam.

America’s relationship with these disparate nations, unified by religion and hatred of the West, is the ultimate identification of America as the current manifestation of the Fourth Empire’s Western leg.

Greece / Asia Minor

Historically, a Western-backed ruler in Asia Minor has ruled the land of Canaan / Israel since the times of the Greeks and Romans. See the post The Separating Church for details. So let’s take a look at the current relationship between Christian America and Islamic Turkey.

The U.S.-Turkey friendship dates to 1831, when the United States established diplomatic relations with the Ottoman Empire...Turkey is a key NATO Ally and critical regional partner, and the United States is committed to improving the relationship between our two countries…Turkey is an important U.S. security partner…vital eastern anchor.

Turkey controls the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates gives it…the ability to cut off the supply of water to Syria and Iraq.

If Turkey were actually to do this, it would constitute the equivalent of an act of war…

It is the fear that Turkey might reduce the water flow, through upriver diversions for its own agricultural development purposes, that can give Turkey considerable influence over Arab politics.

A relatively new geopolitical fact that is often overlooked is…the Ataturk Dam…near the Syrian border…

The whole Euphrates River dam system…built in the 1980s and 1990s, which actually has the capacity to pump water as far as the water-starved West Bank in Palestine, will make Turkey a greater power in the Arab Middle East in the 21st century than it was in the 20th.

The heightened political profile that Turkey has adopted of late should be seen in the context of this new geographical reality.

Interesting. Does anyone remember that the Babylonian Empire, modern Iraq, fell when the Euphrates river was diverted?

America’s oil supplies depend on Iraq. Any Iraqi actions which jeopardize those interests trigger an American response allied with other like-minded politicians. These allies can often act on behalf of the main player so that the main player doesn’t get his hands dirty and lose support back home.

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm Wednesday that US nuclear weapons are being housed at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, making him the first US official to publicly acknowledge what has been considered an open secret for years…

Trump was asked if he is concerned about the safety of “as many as 50 nuclear weapons at Incirlik Air Base” given the ongoing Turkish incursion into Syria — a situation that has prompted bipartisan condemnation from members of Congress and suggestions that the weapons should be moved to another location…

“We’re confident, and we have a great — a great air base there, a very powerful air base. That air base alone can take anyplace. It’s a large, powerful air base,” Trump responded, apparently acknowledging that US nuclear weapons are being stored in Turkey.

“And, you know, Turkey — just so people remember — Turkey is a NATO member. We’re supposed to get along with our NATO members, and Turkey is a NATO member. Do people want us to start shooting at a NATO member? That would be a first. And that’s all involved having to do with NATO,” he added.

“The next question to Trump (and DoD) should be why is the United States continuing to store nuclear weapons in Turkey given that Turkey is an increasingly unreliable ally” and “the proximity of the weapons to a war zone,”

Persia / Iran

  • 1901 British Empire assumes control through exclusive oil concession of Anglo-Persian Oil Company
  • 1941 During WWII Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin ally to depose Reza Shah, replacing him with their puppet, his 20-year-old son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi who allows their two nations to occupy Iran and protect oil essential for the war effort for the duration of World War II.
  • 1946 The United States takes control via terms of Lend-Lease Act with Great Britain. President Truman ousts the Soviet Union by threatening nuclear attacks
  • Frenemies: Iran and America since 1900 – 
  • 1949 – The American CIA funds hundreds of mercenaries who overthrow democratically elected Iranian Parlimentary leader Mossedegh and props up and increasingly autocratic Shah when the democratically elected Iranian parliament nationalizes the petroleum industry after calls for the same 50-50 profits split arranged with Venezuela and Saudi Arabia were refused by the British.
  • 1957 – The CIA helps the Shah set up the SAVAK (a Farsi acronym for State Information and Security Organization), systematically silencing all opposition to his autocracy by imprisoning and torturing thousands of anti-Pahlavi activists.
  • 1955 – The United States places electronic surveillance posts along Iran’s northern border with Russia.
  • 1954 –  Three U.S. petroleum giants are included in a new international oil consortium established by the Shah.
  • 1964 – Ruhollah Khomeini, a 61-year-old ayatollah is exiled by the Shah when he ridicules the Shah as a U.S. puppet.
  • 1972 – 1977 – The U.S. sells $13 billion worth of military weapons to the Shah as America’s partner in the Persian Gulf.
  • 1978 – 1979 – After Iranian troops injure thousands and kill hundreds of Iranian citizens gathered in the streets protesting wasteful military spending and demanding democratic reforms, the US accepts his unavoidable exile, and Ayatollah Khomeini returns to Iran vowing to cleanse the country of all remaining influences of “the Great Satan”. That’s the United States, not the Shah. When the Shah arrives in New York City, suspecting another CIA-backed conspiracy as had happened with Mossesdegh, Iranian students storm the U.S. embassy and take 53 American diplomats hostage for 444 days.
  • 1980 – 1988 – U.S. provides Saddam Hussein with aircraft and satellite reconnaissance of battlefields in the Iran-Iraq War which claims half a million lives, two-thirds of them Iranian.
  • 2003 – American-controlled Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad faces opposition from Iranian intelligence working closely with Shi’a militants in Iraq waging a guerrilla war against American presence and control
  • 2005 – America becomes the target of a jihad by newly elected hard-line Islamist who vows to make Iran a nuclear power as soon as possible.
  • Currently – The governments of America and Iran continue to view each other with fear and suspicion well into the second decade of the new millennium. If history repeats itself, Iran, like Iraq, will be brought under American control by war, not diplomacy.
  • Babylon / Iraq is at the head of of history past, present and future due to the gold produced by its oil.
    • 1918 Absorbed by British Empire after breakup of Ottoman Empire.
    • 1932 became an independent country called Iraq
    • The U.S. Institute of Peace has worked without interruption in Iraq since 2003 and maintains offices in Baghdad and Erbil.
    • After Saddam Hussein’s ouster in 2003, Iraq’s new leaders struggled to chart a democratic course after decades of dictatorship. Two events were pivotal. First, the U.S…created a political vacuum. Second, disbanding the military—alienating hundreds of thousands of trained men with no alternative—left a security void. Iraq suffered through a civil war, political turmoil, widespread corruption, sectarian tensions and an extremist insurgency that seized a third of the country. Iraq has evolved through four rocky phases.
      • between 2003 and 2007 a U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, a self-declared occupying force, was responsible for national security, but at least 100,000 people died during its eight-year intervention (some estimates were as high as half a million).
      • 2007 to 2011 was marked by the U.S. military surge of an additional 30,000 troops—adding to 130,000 already deployed—to help stem the escalating bloodshed. The surge overlapped with the so-called “Awakening” among Iraq’s Sunni tribes…the collaboration initially contained ISI. By 2011, the United States opted to withdraw from Iraq, with an understanding from the Baghdad government that it would incorporate the Sunni tribes into the Iraqi security forces to contain the sectarian divide.
      • between 2012 and 2017, the government of Iraq did not follow through on promises to employ and pay the minority Sunnis who had fought the jihadis…tens of thousands of Sunnis participated in anti-government protests…underground extremist movement  ISI recruited thousands of Sunnis, including beyond Iraq’s borders…expanded into Syria and rebranded again as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)…Despite having far more numbers, the Iraqi army crumbled…ISIS took control of a third of the country. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the creation of an Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, and named himself caliph. It instituted a reign of terror that included rape, abductions, executions, mass murder, pillaging, extortion, seizure of state resources, and smuggling…Tens of thousands of men, mostly Shia, joined new and old militias, many supported by Iran…The rise of ISIS also led to foreign intervention a second time. Iran was the first to provide military assistance, partly because Sunni jihadis came within 25 miles of its border. In September 2014, the United States formed “The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS,” made up of 79 countries and institutions, including NATO, the European Union, and the Arab League. The Obama administration re-deployed U.S. troops to retrain and advise the Iraqi Army; it also launched airstrikes that continued for more than three years until the Islamic State collapsed. Turkey deployed its own troops in northern Iraq to help protect Sunnis and Turkmen, but also to contain the influence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that operated in both Iraq and Turkey.
      • in 2018 after the government regained control over all Iraqi territory…Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr led an unlikely coalition with secular Sunnis and communists that won the largest number of seats while an Iran-backed block came second…they were unable to usher the changes in governance and reform that Iraq needed. In October 2019, hundreds of thousands of protestors took to the street to demand change and reform. However, the response from government forces and armed groups was lethal, leaving over 20,000 people injured and more than 450 people killed.Iraq’s turbulent transition reflected the wider changes and challenges across the Middle East in the 21st century:
        • The biggest threat is not conventional warfare but asymmetrical conflict launched by militias and non-state actors. Despite losing its territory in 2017, ISIS remnants continued to attack civilian and military targets in Iraq. Jihadism remained a threat to several Arab governments by playing on Sunni grievances still not addressed by governments.
        • Instability made Iraq vulnerable to regional and international rivalries. The U.S.-led invasion and occupation triggered deeper intervention by Iran…also…in Iran’s campaign to save the government of President Bashar al-Assad in neighboring Syria.
        • For all its turbulence, Iraq’s transition produced some positive changes…many Iraqis wanted to limit outside influence by Iran, Turkey and others. In 2018, Iraq produced oil at record levels. The economic wellbeing of many Iraqis improved, although unemployment and poverty were still serious problems.
    • The U.S. Mission in Iraq is dedicated to our enduring strategic partnership with the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi people...Iraq is now a key partner for the United States in the region…The United States maintains vigorous and broad engagement with Iraq on diplomatic, political, economic, and security issues in accordance with the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA)…$7.0 billion of Iraqi exports to the United States, almost entirely consisting of crude oil…On the margins of the August 2020 bilateral Strategic Dialogue the Government of Iraq signed MOUs totaling $8 billion in potential deals with U.S. companies.

“and there shall be famines, and pestilences”  (Matthew 24:7)

An inevitable feature of refugee camps of displaced persons from war.

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At least 37 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the wars fought by the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, according to a new report from Brown University’s Costs of War project. That figure exceeds those displaced by conflict since 1900, the authors say, with the exception of World War II.

The findings were published on Tuesday, weeks before the United States enters its 20th year of fighting the war on terror, which began with the invasion of Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001; yet, the report says it is the first time the number of people displaced by U.S. military involvement during this period has been calculated. The findings come at a time when the United States and other Western countries have become increasingly opposed to welcoming refugees, as anti-migrant fears bolster favor for closed-border policies.

The report accounts for the number of people, mostly civilians, displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria, where fighting has been the most significant, and says the figure is a conservative estimate — the real number may range from 48 million to 59 million. The calculation does not include the millions of other people who have been displaced in countries with smaller U.S. counterterrorism operations, according to the report, including those in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Niger.

“This has been one of the major forms of damage, of course along with the deaths and injuries, that have been caused by these wars,” said David Vine, a professor of anthropology at American University and the lead author of the report. “It tells us that U.S. involvement in these countries has been horrifically catastrophic, horrifically damaging in ways that I don’t think that most people in the United States, in many ways myself included, have grappled with or reckoned with in even the slightest terms.”

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and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress. and he shall cast down many ten thousandsthe king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount / besiege, and take the most fenced / fortified cities: he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.” (Daniel 11:10) 

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I realize that accusing the US President of being antichrist is only acceptable when he leads the opposition party. Let’s put party preferences aside. There is only one true savior, but there are many antichrists.  Both presidential candidates can be deceiving us. Prophecy and policy provide the ID badges for both Christ and Antichrist.

Any leader who promises to solve problems by changing circumstances and defeating an external enemy is a false savior. We’ve had the abysmally failed War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, The War on Terror, none of which puts responsibility on the individual.

The true savior and his representatives preach that the problem is sinful human nature and the real solution is the transformation by individuals to a holy nature empowering changed behavior.

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