SOME THOUGHTS ON IRAQ
by Peter Wagner
May 3, 2007
The perspective I bring to expressing these thoughts is that of a professional missiologist, one who specializes in the cross-cultural communication of the gospel of the kingdom of God. My supposition is that there might be some insights from missiology that could help us to understand and pray more clearly about the current situation in Iraq.
Let me be clear that I agree that Saddam Hussein was an international criminal who deserved to be removed and punished. George Bush the father should have and could have removed him, but it took George Bush the son to do the job.
However the design for rebuilding Iraq was flawed from the beginning because it was based on four questionable assumptions, all of them derived from the premise that if everyone in the world had a free choice they would want to be like Americans and would want their nation to be governed like America. This is very similar to the faulty presumption on the part of early American missionaries that churches all over the world should look and behave like churches in America.
The first questionable assumption was that the government of a nation like Iraq could move from a dictatorship to a democracy in a relatively short time as long as there is a superior military force to impose a new government. Most Americans believed that as soon as Saddam Hussein was removed, there would be rejoicing in the streets all over Iraq, that everyone would embrace democracy, and that Iraq would live happily ever after. The reality is that the transition from totalitarianism to freedom is an extremely slow process that requires a time line, undoubtedly a much longer one than the corporate patience of America could endure.
The second questionable assumption was that Iraq is a nation and that Iraqi nationalism would trump any internal cultural and religious differences. The reality is that Iraq is only a pseudo-nation, not created by the will of its own people but with boundaries imposed from the beginning by outside forces. Missiologists know that loyalty to the homogeneous cultural unit is, in fact, the highest social loyalty. In Iraq, Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites have a greater loyalty to their respective people group than to their artificial nation. Realistically, they should be regarded as three nations who do not particularly like each other. Think, for example, of trying to create one nation from Germans, French and Spanish.
The third questionable assumption was that democracy and free national elections would produce strong national leadership. The reality is that under Saddam Hussein there was no second in command on a national level. Shiites are the majority and their leadership, with virtually no past experience of leading a nation, would predictably take charge in a democratic election, but they could not expect to be accepted as leaders by the others, especially by the Sunnis. The Sunnis could not use the democratic process to change this, so their resource becomes force.
The fourth questionable assumption was that Allah is just another name for the true God. This was a great victory for the enemy who is attempting to control the spiritual atmosphere over Iraq. The reality is that Allah is a high-ranking demonic spirit who has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy. As long as Iraqi people worship him, he has legal right to accomplish his vile purposes in their nation. Political correctness may attempt to deny this spiritual reality, but it only plays into the hands of the evil principalities and powers over Babylon. Intercessors need to recognize that in the invisible world this is a clash of kingdoms. The question is: Who will rule? The kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light?
In conclusion, it would be well to recognize that "E. Pluribus Unum" has not worked in Iraq, just like it could not work in Yugoslavia. Why, then, did it work in America? It worked because the 13 colonies agreed on a common enemy. They overthrew the enemy from the ground up, not by the will of outside forces. They had strong indigenous leadership such as Washington and Jefferson. They agreed on a national ideology through the Federalist Papers, largely written by Alexander Hamilton. Most of all, they enjoyed the blessing of God. Not all were Christian believers, but none of the founders of America, as far as we know, openly worshiped a false god such as Allah. This cleared the heavens for the work of the prophetic intercessors and the leaders of the church and allowed the United States to be established and to succeed.
(Source: Chuck Pierce: Prayer News Alert
May 3, 2007
"IRAQ: A Need for Understanding and Insight NOW!")