Monday, August 30, 2010

Broken promises, broken Iraq

An August 30, 2010 article at English.xinhuanet.com gives a pretty good synopsis of the events of the Iraq conflict thus far, which can be compared to the initial judgments of Jeremiah upon Babylon:

A secure, stable and free Iraq, it's what the United States promised after its tanks and armored vehicles rumbled into the center of Baghdad and toppled former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein. Yet, as the U.S. troops are leaving "as promised and on schedule," for Maher Abbas, a Bagdhad lawyer, the world is as broken and dangerous as these promises could be.
"Broken" -- just as Jeremiah saw the land of the Chaldeans after the invasion by "a great nation and many kings... aroused from the remote parts of the earth," (Jer 50:41): "Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; wail over her!" (Jer 51:8). The invasion of those forces foretold: "Surely I will fill you with a population like locusts, and they will cry out with shouts of victory over you," (Jer 51:14) along with the capture of the capital: "Tell the king of Babylon that his city has been captured from end to end," (Jer 51:31) and the 'toppling' of Saddam: "I am against you, O arrogant one... for your day has come, the time when I shall punish you. And the arrogant one will stumble and fall with no one to raise him up," (Jer 50:31-32a).

The 'broken promise' of a secure, stable and free Iraq was also foretold: "Bring balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed. We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed," (Jer 51:8b-9a). And the abandonment at the failure of reconstruction: "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 heaven and towers up to the very skies," (Jer 51:9).
Abbas, 34, is a Sunni resident living in the capital's western neighborhood of Khadraa with his family.He said that the U.S. invasion and the following seven years were devastating to Iraqi society.
"Devastating," just as Jeremiah prophesied: "I shall dispatch foreigners to Babylon that they may winnow her and may devastate her land," (Jer 51:2).
"It created deep cracks between the Iraqi factions who used to live together for hundreds and thousands of years," he said with an apparent anguish.
And so the specter of civil war looms, just as Jeremiah foresaw, not war between factions of Islam, but between Chaldean (Iraqi) and Mede (Kurd): "Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! The LORD has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose is against Babylon to destroy it... The kings of the Medes, their governors and all their prefects, and every land of their dominion... The sound of an outcry from Babylon, and of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! For the LORD is going to destroy Babylon... And her mighty men will be captured, their bows are shattered," (Jer 51:11,28,54,56).
Seven years and five months ago, the Americans rushed to war. Now they are trying to leave the mess of their own making by convincing their victims that they could put things strait [sic] all by themselves. [...] As Iraqis are taking over the baton, they are destined to face the consequence of similar broken promises. The only difference, if any, is the Iraqis may have to struggle much longer and with far greater efforts to put their broken homeland back to normal life.

According to Jeremiah, there will never be another normal in Babylon.

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