Monday, March 08, 2010

Despite violence, Obama hails election as "milestone" in history of Iraq

A BBC News report from yesterday reports on the praise U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama directed towards voters who turned out for national elections in Iraq despite bomb and mortar attacks that killed at least 35 people.

"Today, in the face of violence from those who would only destroy, Iraqis took a step forward in the hard work of building up their country," Mr. Obama is quoted as saying. He repeated his vow to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of August, and all the remaining U.S. forces by the end of next year, according to the report.

The first wave of attacks came early on election day. Dozens of mortar shells rained down in several neighborhoods in Baghdad. Other cities also came under mortar and grenade attack. The worst damage was caused by bomb attacks that destroyed two blocks of flats in the capital. Twenty-five people were killed in one of the blasts in the northern section of the city.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, looking to retain his power as head of his Shia-led coalition, gave a cryptic (perhaps prophetic?) message: "I urge all politicians to accept the results; he who wins today may lose tomorrow and he who loses today may win tomorrow."

Jeremiah the Hebrew prophet had this to say about the coalition forces' rebuilding efforts in Babylon: "Her high gates will be set on fire, so the peoples will toil for nothing, and the nations become exhausted (because of the) fire," (Jer 51:58). Then they will say to each other, "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 and towers to the very skies," (Jer 51:9). No success at reconstruction, but a wholesale abandonment out of frustration at its failure.

Despite the bombings, the cities did not burn on election day, March 7th, 1,163 days from Saddam's execution, the third judgment. When will the fires begin? Perhaps in 1,169 days, on Saturday, March 13th? The message of that day count would be this: "(1) I the Lord, (1) God, (6) have not completed (9) (my) judgments."

And that would be true, for the burning of the cities is only the fourth judgment out of the nine. Still to come -- abandonment, civil war, plundering, flood and drought. Nine judgments in all, leading to complete desolation; for "(God's) purpose is against Babylon to destroy it, for it is the vengeance of the LORD," (Jer 51:11).

Invasion (Jer 50:41-44), occupation (51:14), execution (50:31-32), burning (51:58), abandonment (51:9), civil war (51:27-30), plundering (50:10), flood (50:42) and drought (51:43). So spoke Jeremiah in his prophecy "concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans," (Jer 50:1).

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