Oct 17, 2009

Doomsday for Damascus?

Michael G. MickeyBy Michael G. Mickey

Examining current events through the lens of bible prophecy continues to paint a more accurate picture of the end times as detailed in Scripture, seemingly by the hour.

In this commentary I want to illustrate how events presently taking place in Lebanon may be setting the stage for Damascus, Syria - the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world - to cease to exist.

The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap (Isaiah 17:1).
Damascus is today a city of well over 1.5 million inhabitants. Thus, the magnitude of an event occurring that would lead to it being so utterly destroyed it would no longer remain a city brings frightening, even apocalyptic, imagery to mind. But could it happen, potentially very soon? As I'm about to detail, there is little doubt.

Syrian Nuclear Weapons Goals

As many recall, I'm sure, Israel bombed what was believed to be a covert nuclear weapons facility in Syria in September of 2007 which is believed to have been provided nuclear weapons grade plutonium by North Korea.

In the aftermath of the Israeli bombing, which neither Israel nor Syria seemed eager to discuss, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the IAEA or International Atomic Energy Agency, asked and was eventually permitted to inspect the site of the bombing. The inspection wasn't permitted to occur before Syria had completely razed what was left of the bombed facility, of course, but the IAEA was eventually allowed to inspect the general area around which the facility had stood. The results of that investigative inquiry? Despite an exhaustive Syrian effort to prevent the IAEA from gaining any insight into what had been on the site, potential evidence was recovered indicating the site may well have been precisely what Israel suspected it was, despite Syria's insistence that radioactive materials recovered from the area were deposited there by Israeli bombs.

Adding fuel to tensions between Israel and Syria from the 2007 bombing forward, rumors have persisted that Damascus is continuing its efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, potentially having multiple sites where research and development is underway.

The following is an excerpt from a Jerusalem Post article on that topic dated 9-11-09:
Syria may be operating more nuclear sites, apart from the reactor at Deir Azour which was bombed by Israel on September 6, 2007 in what came to be known as Operation Orchard, former US envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Gregory Schulte told Channel 10 Thursday evening.

"I think there were other activities that gave us concern, that gave the IAEA concern… IAEA inspectors actually asked to go to a number of other sites, and the Syrians wouldn't let them go there; they claimed they were military sites. They claimed the uranium particles that the inspectors found at the destroyed reactor came from Israeli bombs," Schulte said.
Adding to the threat posed to both Israel and Damascus' safety by the Syrian government's nuclear ambitions is the very real prospect that Syria has passed the point of no return in its hatred of Israel, having foolishly supplied a terrorist organization (Hizbullah in Lebanon) with weapons of mass destruction (chemical weapons and missile delivery systems).

The Evidence a WMD Attack Against Israel May Be in the Works

Israel National News, in a report dated 9-3-09, indicated a mysterious explosion that occurred recently in a Hizbullah weapons storehouse involved chemical weaponry. And where did the chemical munitions of that incident come from? According to the report, which quoted the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasi, they were from Iran but had been smuggled into Lebanon, not surprisingly, by Syria.

Not only did Syria aid Hizbullah in procuring weapons of mass destruction from Iran by smuggling chemical weapons into Lebanon, if the Kuwaiti al Jarida can be trusted as a news source, Syria has generously supplied Hizbullah with almost twenty-five percent of its missile arsenal and is presently, alongside Iranian military advisors, teaching Hizbullah how to fire the missiles which are capable of hitting "every part of Israel" according to the Jerusalem Post.

The Deadly Consequences of WMD Warfare by Proxy

From my perspective, it seems that both Iran and Syria, already walking a tightrope of sorts with the international community, have decided to permit Hizbullah to wage war on Israel on their behalf, placing the Lebanese people and Lebanon itself in grave danger, particularly if Hizbullah is planning a WMD attack on the Jewish state as seems to be the case.

Should Hizbullah proceed with a WMD attack on Israel, it would pose an existential threat, particularly at this time when Israel is piecing together the reality that it can't count on anything tantamount to genuine support from the United States under the leadership of Barack Obama. In my humble opinion, one of Israel's first moves, in response to an existential threat to its survival posed by weapons of mass destruction, will, by necessity, be to demonstrate its absolute willingness to do whatever it must to ensure the survival of its nation and people. And that, believers in bible prophecy, could spell doomsday for Damascus.

As the old saying goes, if you play with fire long enough you're going to get burned. And why is that true? Because the more confident one becomes that tinkering with danger never results in any serious harm, despite the potential it could at any moment, the more likely it is one is going to get reckless and subsequently, make a costly error in judgment. As I look at this situation, it seems clear to me that Syria, Hizbullah and Iran have become so bloodthirsty in their zeal to destroy Israel they've placed thousands of their own people, if not millions literally, in grave danger of destruction.

Bible prophecy makes it clear that Iran is going to remain militarily viable until the prophesied battle of Gog-Magog foretold in Ezekiel 38-39 occurs, but Syria? It doesn't appear the Syria we're presently familiar with is going to be a participant. In due season we'll understand why that seems to be the case, but from where we are right now? It isn't hard for me to imagine Syria's role as a troublemaker in the Middle East being greatly diminished, potentially very soon.

Keep looking up, Church! Jesus Christ is Lord and He is coming soon!

Related Links

Syria looks for peace, trade with Saudi help - Global Arab Network
Israel: Syria to Move Weaponry in its Possession to Hizbullah - Naharnet
Israel Unexpectedly Frees Syrian Prisoners - CBS News
Damascus the World's Most Dangerous Destination! - Bible Prophecy Today (Bill Salus)
Israel vows long fight against UN report on Gaza - Daily Times