In keeping with the deadline of a Jan. 1 agreement between the U.S. and the Iraqi government, American forces completed the pullback from Iraqi cities today, June 30th, 2009. The event was celebrated in Baghdad by Iraqis with parades, fireworks and a national holiday, according to Alissa J. Rubin's New York Times report found here.
120,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq, now living in rural military encampments and out of sight of the residents of Iraqi cities and towns. U.S. President Barack Obama has personally pledged he will withdraw all troops from Iraq completely by the end of August of 2010, even though an official previous binding security agreement had set the deadline for final withdrawal by Dec. 31, 2011, according to this report at Yahoo news on-line.
According to the prophecy of nine judgments on Babylon -- modern-day Iraq -- found in Jeremiah 50-51, which judgments began with the invasion (Jer. 50:41-46) and occupation (Jer. 51:14,30-31) of Iraq followed by the execution of its leader (Jer. 31-32), the next two judgments due are the burning of the cities (Jer. 50:32; 51:58) and the subsequent abandonment of the nation by the occupying forces out of frustration that reconstruction has failed -- "We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed; forsake her and let us each go to his own country, for her judgment has reached to heaven..." (Jer. 51:9).
And so should the withdrawal of all U.S. troops occur without any major conflagration of the Iraqi cities, and that pullout be hailed as a success of reconstruction, that would then prove decisively that these events of the occupation of Iraq by coalition forces is NOT the fulfillment of Jeremiah's prophecy of doom upon Babylon.
However, should the cities of Iraq burn, and by that burning the occupying forces leave out of a sense of hopeless abandonment, the prophecy will have ticked off two more judgments, for a completion of 5 of the 9. Four judgments would remain: civil war with the Kurds and defeat at their hands, plundering of the treasures by the Kurds, a catastrophic flood event, and a final and utter desolation by the subsequent drought so that Babylon -- modern-day Iraq -- remains completely uninhabited and uninhabitable.
Today's troop withdrawal? A stepping out of harm's way so the cities may burn in judgment -- "(After) the arrogant one will stumble and fall with no one to raise him up, ... I shall set fire to his cities, and it will devour all his environs... And (Babylon's) high gates will be set on fire; so the peoples will (have) toil(ed) for nothing, and the nations become exhausted (because of the) fire" (Jer. 50:32; 51:58).
Labels: Judgment 5 - Abandonment