A House Divided … Will Fall
Amos and Andy, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Tom and Dick Smothers, The Three Stooges, The Marx Brothers, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello: Young and old alike remember these famous entertainment teams that brought relief through comedy to the troubled world of their time … The Great Depression, World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Cold War, and all of the perilous times in between. One of my favorite routines was Abbott and Costello’s classic, Who’s on First? It was the favorite of millions, including President Franklin Roosevelt for whom Abbott and Costello performed the skit several times.
Do you remember? Have you seen it on syndicated television or the internet? Abbott attempts to explain the players on a baseball team to an uninformed Costello; that many players have nicknames. In those days several major league baseball players had colorful nicknames such as Dizzy Dean and Daffy Dean, pitchers for the St. Louis Cardinals. In the parody, Abbott names the first baseman, Who; the second baseman, What; and the third baseman, I don’t know. Other positions are named such as the shortstop, I don’t care, but it’s the three basemen that, until the very end, thoroughly confuse Lou Costello to the point of exasperation. It’s a comedy routine that is brilliantly and hilariously nonsensical.
Sometimes dissimilarity is the best form of evaluation. In general, I’m using these comedy teams in stark contrast to the incredibly complex, dizzying array of terrorist groups in the Middle East; whose alliances, with or against each other, with or without host supporting nations, with certain ethnic groups, or against minority groups such as Christians and Jews, can literally change from one year to the next. And Abbott and Costello’s routine as a specific example of the perplexity within the ranks of terrorist cells, alongside the bewilderment and utter horror of terrorist’s victims all over the world.
Were it not for their radically malevolent objectives and the brutal expression of torture and killing to accomplish their evil agenda, the never-ending merry-go-round of Who’s on First (Who shall we follow today), What’s on Second (What shall we do about those who use to be on our team), followed by I Don’t Know (Who or What to fight for now) would be downright laughable. On the contrary, these teams of terrorism are extremely dangerous … no laughing matter.
The terrorists are constantly asking themselves: “Tell me again: Whose side are we on? Are you sure they’re on our side? Can we trust them? If they’re the enemy of our enemies, then they must be our friend? First we conquer the enemy, then we’ll deal with our friends!” I would venture to say that many terrorists are just as confused about their alliances, as those who deplore the very existence of terrorism are profoundly perplexed and shocked by the vicious tactics of extremists.
Let’s identify a few of the major players on this field of terrorism in which the deadly game of racial, ethnic cleansing and Islamic conquest is played out without any civilized moral rules of conduct that humanity has recognized even in times of war. Such as the double war crime perpetrated by Hamas: killing innocent Israeli civilians while sacrificing their own Palestinian civilians by using them as human shields.
Terrorists Equal Muslims
Before we list some of the more well-known terrorist groups, we need to once again remember that all of the Middle East terrorists are Muslims or those who support Islam, with two primary sects that frequently fight each other for supremacy in whatever countries they operate: Sunni and Shi’ite. Time/space does not permit an in-depth analysis of the basic differences between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam; except to say that Sunnis comprise the more liberal, secular Muslims, and the Shi’ites the more conservative, religious Muslims. Yet both sects can be equally malicious in pursuit of their wicked and warped goals. Plus, there are other smaller but even more radical sects of Islam such as the Taliban, Islamic Jihad or the Wahhabi movement (Wahhabism) that claims several million Muslim followers in Qatar, UAE, but mostly in Saudi Arabia. This is the ultra orthodox Sunni group that produced some 15 of the 19 terrorists who took down the Twin Towers and part of the Pentagon, planned by the infamous Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda cronies.
Moreover, the greater majority of Muslims are Arabs, but not all … such as the majority population of Iran which are Persians, and Turkey which are Turks. The major Islamic nations involved are: Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and the non-State Palestinian occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank within Israel. For example: Iraq’s civil war which has intensified since withdrawal of US troops in 2011 was and still is between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims.
Originally the United States’ excursion into Iraq was to remove Saddam Hussein from his reign of terror and to rid the country of WMDs (many of which Hussein transferred to Syria before arrival of US troops). Hussein was the ruthless leader of the dominant Sunni minority, with Shi’ites comprising the majority of the populace. How confusing is that? The minority as the dominant force of Muslim control over its people. But that’s also the current situation in Saudi Arabia, where a minority sect of Islam rules via super-wealthy sheiks. Yet, deposing Saddam Hussein took less than two years; the following eight years saw a bloody campaign to prevent Sunnis and Shi’ites from destroying each other.
The biggest tragedy of all: Whoever is fighting whom, invariably there are thousands of innocent civilian deaths and injuries … in Syria hundreds of thousands. And hundreds of thousands more are refugees—stripped of jobs, housing, and personal possessions by their own leaders and/or rebels fighting against those leaders.
The sum total of these destructive regional, civil-war type of conflicts is an exact fulfillment of what Jesus said would occur in the last days: “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom….” (Matthew 24:7). Nation and kingdoms are not the same words used here by The Lord. One means a country, the other refers more specifically to racial or ethnic groups within a region or nation.
In the 20th Century we witnessed two World Wars (nations against nations) and several other smaller wars all over the globe. In the latter part of the 20th and now in the 21st Century, we are experiencing racial, ethnic, and religious clashes like never before in the history of mankind (kingdom against kingdom). The vast majority of these hostilities are initiated and perpetrated by Muslims against other Muslims, but also against Jews and Christians.
Don’t let anyone mislead you into thinking that these conflicts are generated primarily by national domestic interests or objectives. They are almost exclusively racial and/or religious in nature, i.e. Muslim Arabs seeking to impose their brand of Islam on other Muslims or non-Arabs or non-Muslims through a religious ideology and system that is diametrically opposed to the Judeo-Christian faith, values, and heritage. Or, non-Arab Muslims intent on suppressing and eventually stamping out both Christianity and Judaism in their country, region, and ultimately the entire globe. For both the terrorist and nations that support certain terrorist cells, there’s no better or more final method to reach these satanic objectives than to kill Jews, Christians, and even rival Muslims. World-wide Jihad is in full gear, and there’s absolutely no evidence that it will slow down.
Major Terrorist Groups
The following is a highly condensed, tip-of-the-iceberg summary of countless studies of and articles/books written by geopolitical experts about terrorist groups and the nations in which they operate.
Muslim Brotherhood: This is the Qatar supported Sunni dominated movement in Egypt that finally rose to power when their leader Mohammed Morsi becoming Egypt’s President in 2012 in an ouster of long-standing President Hosni Mubarak; only for Morsi to fall out of favor in just over a year’s time with the greater populace … but most significantly, the military. The United States endorsed Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood’s overthrow of Mubarak, and now has supported President Abdel al Sissi as Morsi’s replacement. For all practical purposes, the Egyptian military is in control. The current Egyptian military-civilian coalition is now backed by Saudi Arabia, which formerly opposed the Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas: The Palestinian quasi-government slash (/) terrorist group that operates in the Gaza Strip, originally affiliated with and backed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Supported by Egypt in 2011-2012, then Egypt turned against Hamas when the Muslim Brotherhood government was ousted earlier this year. Actual headquarters of Hamas was moved from Syria, to Egypt, to Qatar, which is now its main sponsor. Since Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in 2006-2007, it has been a staunch rival of the Palestinian Authority which is the administrative agency for Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank. The West Bank (so named because this Palestinian occupied territory is just west of the Jordan River) is located in a fairly large swath of central Israel which historically is part of the Judea, Samaria region of Israel. I and many others who support Israel normally refer to this part of Israel as Judea and Samaria. The term of West Bank is only a few decades old.
Just a few weeks ago, a surprising unity treaty was struck between Hamas and the PA, only in the past few days to be significantly weakened by an exposed Hamas plot to overthrow Mohammed Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Do you know who exposed and foiled this plot? None other than the Israeli Secret Service Shin Bet, who provided details of this plot to Abbas! Go Israel! And this occurred near the end of the 50-day war that just concluded (we think) between Israel and Hamas.
Talk about who’s on first … who’s in charge? Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority claim to represent the Palestinians against their sworn mutual enemy Israel, but neither entity can decide just how to wage this campaign; whether to combine forces or continue with their own strategies, independent of the other. Actually, this bitter in-fighting among Palestinian Muslims is advantageous to Israel, as any division within an enemy’s ranks is beneficial to a country or people struggling for their very survival. And, despite being a United Nations recognized sovereign state, some six million Jews are indeed fighting for their very lives against hundreds of millions of Arabs and Muslims who will not acknowledge that even one square mile of Israel belongs to the Jews.
Also, Iran has supported Hamas off and on. But in 2011 Hamas turned against Iran after Iran took sides with Syria’s President Assad. But Hamas doesn’t back the moderate Muslim rebels fighting against Assad; rather they support the ultra-radical rebels whose militants come from both al-Qaeda and the newly formed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Are you confused? You should be … you have every right to be. One good thing about evil: If it isn’t crushed by those who represent what is good, right and just, it will eventually self-destruct from within. We who value life and liberty can only hope that the self-destruct button is pushed sooner than later.
Hezbollah: For the past few years all is quiet on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, which is where Hezbollah is located and from where it exercises a great deal of control of the government and populace. However, this semblance of peace could change any day, as there are reports of terrorist’s cells taking over the Golan Heights in Syria, poised to strike northern Israeli towns.
In 2006 Israel and Hezbollah fought a bitter war that, like nearly all other conflicts with Israel, ended in a tenuous cease-fire. Hezbollah is staunchly backed by Iran, and Iran by Russia; thus, Hezbollah is fighting alongside Syria’s Dictator President Bashar Assad against the free-Syrian Army freedom fighters. As indicated, the (moderate free-Syrian) rebels are also fighting against other more radical Shi’ite and Sunni rebels from several countries. Both are battling Assad and his Alawite troops for ultimate control of Syria. Thus, all three warring factions must constantly look over both shoulders, as each as two different enemies!
These radical rebels are now aligned mostly with ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), recently shortened to Islamic State due to this despicable terrorist group’s stated intentions of establishing a Islamic Caliphate (religious state) in the entire Middle East. Recently, however, Hezbollah’s infrastructure and leadership was severely undermined by a combination of factors, including a newly formed government in Lebanon. The US backed Lebanese Armed Forces are working together with Hezbollah to confront Sunni extremists in Lebanon—which are part of the ISIS terrorist group. I guess than means that Hezbollah is no longer an extremist group?!
Who’s on first is anybody’s guess. What will happen second depends on who’s on first. After that, I simply don’t know. Do you? Madness, sheer madness!
Al-Qaeda: Continues as a force, although more splintered and less organized, to be reckoned with all through the Middle East, even after the US Navy Seals assassination of its leader, Osama bin Laden. But is no longer the most feared or ruthless terrorist cell. That designation now belongs to:
Islamic State: As if terrorism couldn’t get much more cruel or cold-blooded or merciless, along comes a daunting more conventional military threat from the most militant of radical Muslims. Even Al-Qaeda has distanced itself from this new Muslim kid on the block! Mostly because Al-Qaeda is both jealous and fearful of the increasing power of this newly formed terrorist group. Who among us has not heard of the inhumanly ruthless beheading of yet a second American journalist just a few days ago?
In fact, the more significant national players on the Middle East playing field such as Iran, the Shi’ite government in Iraq which is desperately trying to fend off the military onslaught of ISIS, Syria’s still formidable government led by Assad; also Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan … all have voiced their apprehension and opposition to what is now the most gruesome and barbaric revolutionary faction in our supposedly civilized world. This brutal regime includes men (and a few woman) from nations all over the world, many from Great Britain and some even from the United States, several from my childhood State of Minnesota. Mostly they are malcontents, dissidents who are a combination of mercenaries and ideological misfits who would join any cause that gave vent to their love of power and domination through subjugation and killing of anyone who stands in their way. It’s all too clear: They love violence as much as the merciless Muslim Arabs alongside of them.
If you’re not yet confused enough, then try this on for size: The current Shiite militia in Iraq, called the Peace Brigades, formed to counterattack the Islamic State, is led by cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who previously led the Iran-backed Mahdi Army that fought furiously against the United States during the Iraq War. Now, the United States is casting its allegiance and lending its support (through aircraft bombing of Islamic State terrorists and humanitarian aid to ISIS’s victims) to al-Sadr and the Peace Brigades. Rightfully so, but please …. Someone make sense of it all!
Will the Terror of Evil Ever End?
Arabs fighting against Arabs, Muslims against Muslims. Muslims against Jews, against Christians, against ethnic groups like the Kurds in Iraq. Name a non-Muslim or even Muslim ethnic, racial, or religious group in the Middle East, including northern African countries, and you can be sure that they are under attack from Islamic terrorist cells or soon will be.
Yes, for the present time, the House of Islam is divided. That’s bad for the innocent victims of Jihad including their own people; but, for the most part, this internal division is good for Israel and the Western World.
We will continue this line of thought in next week’s article, to include in-fighting of Muslims against Muslims as one of three primary strategies used by God to deal with ungodly Gentile nations and kingdoms, particularly those that seek to destroy Israel.
*Note: One day soon, very soon, someone will make sense of it all, by ending it all … meaning the carnage of war and human suffering and evil itself. None other than the Prince of Peace. I repeat for emphasis: Very soon.
“On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the Lord who goes before them! For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12: 8-9).
Things to Ponder
Jesus said that a kingdom divided against itself is doomed. A family or city split by feuding will fall (Matthew 12: 25-29). The in-fighting between Muslim nations and terrorist cells is actually a good thing for Israel and for democracy. Certainly Israel and all who value what is true, just, and right, deplore the horrendous suffering of innocent people caused by sectarian strife and so-called holy wars. But if all Arab and Muslim nations agreed to set aside their differences and pursue their one common denominator objective to destroy the Jews, then the entire Middle East, indeed the globe, would be engulfed in World War III.
Tragically, the entire world will be aflame with war, but not until after the Rapture during the Great Tribulation. As hideous as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah is and can be; as ominous as a nuclear equipped Iran would be, their differences are currently too abundant to accomplish their unified ultimate objective to destroy Israel. The future assault on Israel will come first from a Russian led-coalition, then a second attack from the Antichrist and his coalition of nations, to include some Muslim countries. Until then, Israel will not be overcome. But innocent people will continue to suffer.
Click on to the following video. Listen to an IDF soldier’s poignant description of the recent war between Israel and Hamas.