“Point Of View”

By Garner Ted Armstrong

To millions of citizens in America and Britain, the war in Iraq is a war of liberation. To millions in Iraq, and across the entire Islamic world, the war in Iraq is an invasion; an attempt to overthrow a sovereign nation and occupy it.

Arabic television shows images, night and day, of civilian casualties and bombed-out civilian structures. US and UK television show pictures of precision weapons, striking tanks, armored personnel carriers, or military and regime targets. One such video picture showed a precision weapon taking out a military vehicle hiding beneath a bridge, yet sparing the bridge.

An Iraqi “information minister” said today, sadly shaking his head, that “They are bombing the civilian population.”

To Americans and Britons, the frantic effort to clear mines so as to secure the port of Um Qasr, and allow humanitarian supplies to reach Basra and southern Iraq is a noble effort to alleviate civilian suffering. The regime deliberately cut off the water supply. Television footage shows frantic civilians fighting over boxes of food and water containers, with the soldiers who are delivering the supplies unable to hold them back.

To millions across the Islamic world, such attempts are to “colonize Iraq,” and are an attempt by the “American, British, Zionist” forces to “evangelize” Islam!

All this is called “point of view.”

One subliminal aspect of war is the battle for the hearts and minds of the enemy. The attacker seeks to bend the will of the enemy to the attacker’s will; forcing the enemy to obey. For centuries, the Islamists pursued the policy of “converting” millions at the edge of the Arabic scimitar, as hordes of Muhammadans swept into Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, and into the Balkans.

Today, the Islamic nation of Albania (the poorest nation in Europe or the Balkans) remains as mute testimony to the advance of Islamic armies to the very gates of Vienna, in Austria. Eventually, the green Islamic flag was to conquer nearly half of Africa, the entire Middle East, and to find its way into the subcontinent of Asia, and to Indonesia and the Philippines.

Then, it was perfectly rational, “holy” and justifiable for the “one and only true religion” to be forcibly brought to lesser races; to be brutally applied to “infidels,” whether they were living in Sidi Ifni, Bangladesh, Sudan, or Morocco.

Even casual students of history may remember that significant aspects of Spanish culture came from the Moors. One can hear the very same plaintive wailing in the “Flamenco” songs and dances as in Arabic music of the Middle East.

For a very long time, Spain was under Islamic dominance.

It was in 711 AD that a Berber Muslim army (the Berbers were a north African tribe, later known as “Moors”), under a leader with a familiar Islamic name, one Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Straits of Gibraltar into the Iberian Peninsula. The Arabic pronunciation of the peninsula anciently called “Heber” made the “H” silent. Likewise, one of the principal rivers of Spain, the “Quadalquivir” was originally the “Wadi el Heber.” It was those of the half tribe of Dan (who abode in ships [Judges 5:17]) who left the name of their eponymous ancestor, Dan, as well as their ancient forebear, Heber, on way places during their journeys. It has been suggested that “Gibraltar” comes from “Altar of the Hebrews,” or “Hebraltar,” if the “G” is given the Spanish “J” sound.

The invasion of the Iberian Peninsula by Islamic armies resulted in the defeat of Roderick, last of the Visigothic kings of Spain, who was defeated at the Battle of Río Barbate. By 719 the invading forces were supreme from the coast to the Pyrenees. Their progress north was arrested at a battle fought in France, between Tours and Poitiers, in 732 by the Frankish ruler Charles Martel.

The first years of their rule, the Islamic Moors, as the Berber conquerors came to be known, controlled all of Spain except for the Basque country. Spain became a dependency of the Province of North Africa, a division of the caliphate of Damascus. After 717 the country was ruled by emirs, appointed by the caliphs. The term “Caliph” means “Successor” of the prophet Mohammed. Eventually, there became a struggle between the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties for control of the caliphate. The last of the Spanish emirs, Yusuf, favored the Abbasids, but the local officials of the empire supported the Umayyads. The Umayyad faction invited Abd-ar-Rahman I, a member of the family, to become the independent ruler of Spain. In 756 Abd-ar-Rahman founded the powerful and independent emirate, which later developed into the caliphate of Cordoba.

The Muslims remained mostly in control of Spain until about 1056, when Ferdinand came to the throne.

The point is, and there are more than a dozen countries whose histories prove it, that the spread of Islam was at the point of the sword – bloody warfare and brutal suppression of populations – rather than patient teaching and missionary work.

Never forget, education is that attempt by the older generation to instill in the younger generation the values, religion, beliefs and practices of the older generation. History is filled with lies, exaggerations and minimizations. In many cases, history is the study of the garbage dumps of societies, or the perusal of the lies written against them by their enemies.

See those precious little Iraqi children, coming forward hesitantly with their little brown eyes, receiving food and water from an American soldier?

Their parents have already planted the seeds, and will nourish and fertilize those seeds of Islamic fundamentalism, anti-Americanism (and anti-West, anti-Jewish) sentiments, until, by age fifteen or sixteen, they will join the millions of others who regularly take to the streets in Jordan, Cairo, Gaza, Damascus, Jidda and Baghdad, bouncing, dancing, waving their hands in the air, as they demonstrate against the “Great Satan.”

It is called “point of view.”

Do Iraqi citizens BELIEVE the US and UK are engaged in a war against civilians? Yes. Do they BELIEVE we are in a war of conquest, not liberation? Yes. Do they BELIEVE what their clerics and parents tell them? Yes.

Many are drawing analogies from the days of the Crusades. To them, this entire struggle is nothing short of an attempt by the nominal Christian forces of the West to evangelize the Middle East, to abolish Islam, and force them into an unwanted western culture.

No less a monstrous tyrant than Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”

The news media of the Islamic world spews out a daily torrent of lies, distortions, propaganda, hate and nationalistic and religious fervor. Those who watch it, listen to it, and read it BELIEVE it and accept it as truth.

To help you understand this sad fact, do you remember the elderly gentleman who denied that Americans had ever landed on the Moon? When shown actual pictures, he shook his head sadly, and opined that the pictures had been “shot in the Arizona desert.”

Do you want to see how far some of the leftist, liberal information media go in their “reporting” of the news, even in western societies? Here is a sickening example: “Far more terrible than the pictures of dead British soldiers, however, is the tape from Basra's largest hospital [shown on “Al Jazeera” Arabic television] that shows victims of the Anglo-American bombardment being brought to the operating rooms shrieking in pain.

“A middle-aged man is carried into the hospital in pajamas, soaked head to foot in blood. A little girl of perhaps four is brought into the operating room on a trolley, staring at a heap of her own intestines protruding from the left side of her stomach. A blue-uniformed doctor pours water over the little girl's guts and then gently applies a bandage before beginning surgery. A woman in black with what appears to be a stomach wound cries out as doctors try to strip her for surgery. In another sequence, a trail of blood leads from the impact of an incoming – presumably British – shell. Next to the crater is a pair of plastic slippers.

“The al-Jazeera tapes, most of which have never been seen, are the first vivid proof that Basra remains totally outside British control.” This report, which appeared on a liberal web site, is indicative of the kind of emphasis placed on civilian injury and death which re-supports the twisted beliefs of millions of believers in Islam. Hatred knows not truth or objectivity, it knows only blinded emotion. And, the “fog of war” is indeed blinding.

God says, “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

“Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.

“We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.

“We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

“For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;

“In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter” (Isaiah 59:8-14).

As has been said, “Truth is the first casualty of war.” Will the millions of Islamists ever know the truth? Not until the time of the world rulership of Jesus Christ! THEN they will know, but not until then.

No wonder Christ commands us to pray, “...Thy kingdom come!”

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