The Writers Voice
Wars and Rumors of Wars
Gregory J. Rummo
OCTOBER 30, 2002
The news has been terrible recently.
Terrorist attacks in Bali, France and the Philippines along with the ongoing carnage from suicide bombers in the Middle East have claimed the lives of many innocent people.
U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley was murdered in Jordan by unknown assailants believed to be linked to Muslim fundamentalist leader Abu Sayaff.
In Moscow, 117 civilian deaths resulted from blanketing a theater with an opium-based gas used to anesthetize Chechen terrorists holding over 700 hostages. The terrorists had threatened: “Each one of us is willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of God and the independence of Chechnya… I swear by God that we are more keen on dying than you are on living.” An inquiry calling for reasons heavily armed Chechen guerrillas were successful in taking over a packed theater only a few miles from the Kremlin bears a striking similarity to our own Congressional hearings into alleged CIA and FBI lapses that allowed 19 terrorists to hijack planes and fly them into buildings on 9/11.
We continue to learn more about John Allen Muhammad, a man characterized by syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell III as having “affections for the Nation of Islam (not to mention al-Qaeda),” and John Lee Malvo, who together, in their jihad against American civilians may have started their reign of terror in Washington State with the murder of a Tacoma woman and a shooting at a synagogue.
It seems as though the whole world is suddenly involved in a war with terrorism.
And it is. But where is it all leading?
During his daily press briefing on Oct 29, General Tommy Franks, the Commander of the U.S. Central Command was asked by a reporter if World War III had begun. Earlier in the week, Walter Cronkite, the veteran newsman warned that if the United States invades Iraq, it could be the ignition point for another world war. “I see the possibility if we do that of really setting forth World War III,” he said.
None of this should be a surprise to anyone. We were warned of this possibility less than a year ago by George W. Bush. The president told us that we were entering into a war against terrorism that would be worldwide and not soon over.
In his State of the Union delivered in January, the president said: “What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from ending there, our war against terror is only beginning. Most of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September the 11th were trained in Afghanistan's camps, and so were tens of thousands of others. Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs, set to go off without warning.”
The president continued, explaining that our enemies were “arming to threaten the peace of the world.” He then used the now infamous expression, “axis of evil,” to characterize them and conjure up images from another era and of another world war.
His words riveted the nation ten months ago. As the president continues to be proven correct in his initial assessment, his words take on a more ominous meaning. While some pundits decried what he said, claiming it was too heavy handed, I believe it was because many of them didn’t want to face the awful reality of how much the world changed on that single, terrible day in September.
Perhaps now it is starting to sink in.
“I expressed the hope that life would return to normal,” the president said. “In some ways, it has. In others, it never will.”
But then President Bush offered these words of hope: “Steadfast in our purpose, we now press on. We have known freedom's price. We have shown freedom's power. And in this great conflict, my fellow Americans, we will see freedom's victory.”
Jesus also warned there would come a time when mankind would “hear of wars and rumors of wars.” But then he too added words of hope and encouragement: “See that you are not troubled.”
"Who wants to read a newspaper anyway?" My doctor’s words echoed in my mind as I left her office. Maybe her advice wasn’t so bad after all. In these troubling times when it seems as if the entire world is perched on the brink of destruction, the Bible still offers the only lasting solution to man’s greatest fears.
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