DAILY CATHOLIC   FRI-SAT-SUN   November 13-15, 1998   vol. 9, no. 223

CATHOLIC PewPOINT

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The Siege that should seige our collective conscience.

          We live within earshot of Camp Pendleton Marine Base in Oceanside, California, one of the largest military bases in the world. Right now we have an inkling of what those in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, the Gaza Strip, Chiapas, and countless other countries including Iraq are encountering or have experienced. The difference is that, as these explosions rattle the earlobes, that's all they shatter here in Southern California and the United States. Whereas, in the nations listed above, nerves and hopes have been or are being shattered because the artillery isn't just "practice war games" such as the Marines are presently practicing, but the real thing...and the real thing is war! We're not sure just who said it but they had an excellent perspective on the whole gamut of warfare when they said, "War is hell!" The movie "Saving Private Ryan!" gave us a glimpse of what it's really like, but unless one truly goes through this gruesome experience, one really doesn't know what it's like or what hell is really like. The question is: are we about to discover how? We ask this in light of the recent military buildup over another Iraq "instant crisis" that has been going on now for nearly a decade. It's kind of like a "hot cold war!" It seems like out of the blue Saddam Hussein once again is tweaking the pride and vanity of the United States of America; not that the former is lacking in those vices and more!    America is called "the great satan" by Saddam and his cronies, but that's like the pot calling the kettle black since Hussein is often referred to as an "antichrist" though we believe he, like his counterpart in the White House who plays fast and loose with morals and integrity, are both merely puppets of the antichrist. Like most wars the leaders make the decisions and sacrifice others for their own gains. The victims are the poor Iraqui people who Pope John Paul II has said deserve to be afforded freedom from aggression and from embargo that seriously threaten their lives through starvation. Remember the Chaldean Church is in total alignment with Rome and therefore our brothers and sisters in the universal Church. Many of these suffer greatly because of Saddam's stubbornness. Remember, also, that the young men and women sent to the Gulf are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, former classmates here in the United States and suffer confusion and loneliness in separation from family because of Washington's stubbornness. Don't be fooled that this is about freedom or democracy. That's a joke. From the time President George Bush launched the first strike in early 1991 to today when Bill Clinton is trying to sound so righteous, the main reason the armed forces of the mighty USA is so concerned with Iraq is OIL and the expediency of what was good for America! If America truly cared about the people they would not have enforced the embargo which has not hurt Hussein, but devastated the common populace. Kurds continue to be killed at an alarming rate as Saddam clings to the culture of death and here in the good ol' USA innocent preborns continue to be killed at an even more alarming rate as Clinton and his cronies promote the amoral attitude that it's "no big thing!"

          Well, we strongly feel it is a "big thing" in God's eyes and we ask how much longer both atrocities can go on in Iraq and America before vengence is wrought. We quote an interview we did with Father Ken Roberts in our third issue we ever printed in A Call To Peace back in January 1991. He said, in referring to the Gulf War, "America didn't start this war. Saddam Hussein did! America didn't want war, neither did the United Nations. They gave the man five months to get out of Kuwait. We prayed that he would. So our prayer was that peace would come about by getting out and giving back the country he stole. Naturally he didn't do it. Now we're disappointed. We believe our prayers haven't been answered. We're at war. How do we answer that one? Someone just gave me a very persuasive article about the other side of how we pray for peace so we would not have a war and yet we started one. Very convincing. Journalists are convincing. I ought to know - I'm a journalist myself. But the point is that's one opinion. A human opinion. Again, our plan may not be God's plan. We have to remember it's God's priority that counts...not ours. Let's suppose that five years from now Saddam got an atom bomb or a nuclear bomb he's been working on. And, according to our intelligence, he would have had one within five years. So what would happen in the future when we might not just be threatened with chemical warfare but atomic warfare as well? Do you think that mad man would drop an atom bomb? ...Now I believe in peace and so does the Church. I pray daily for peace. But we learn from history."

          Father's words strike a chord that reminds us we haven't learned from history. We let Saddam off the schneid possibly because Bush was too much of a humanitarian and did not follow through when our troops were on Bagdhad's doorstep and Iraq's belligerent leader was ripe for the taking. Instead he has had time - more than five years - to regroup, to possibly construct this nuclear bomb and other weapons. That, we are told, is the reason America is ready to strike once more. But are we ready for the consequences? We live in a country that has not tasted warfare on our soil since the Civil War. Though America has given much in wealth and expertise to others, we have been immune from true suffering. Though we hear and see the devastation of war in foreign countries and see the terrible damage done by natural disasters that have nearly wiped out the Central American countries of Honduras and Nicaragua, not to mention Guatamala, we still cannot fathom what it is like unless we also "walk in another man's moccasins." Here in America our biggest concern is the economy as we greedily forge our modernism and ideas of population control on the world. Yet, to the credit of countless Americans and Catholics they have responded in kind and kindly, giving from their heart and pocketbook to the poor deluged victims of Central America from clothing, food and supplies to donations collected at Mass. God keeps tabs on this kind of charity and, we firmly believe, it is because of this outpouring of the heart, that America, to this point, has been spared the destruction of war and natural disasters of biblical proportions. But that alone won't protect this great country in these times that have been foretold in Sacred Scripture and reinforced by the Blessed Mother in a plethora of messages imparted to visionaries and messengers in these last few decades. In every one of her messages, Our Lady has reaffirmed that the only way to preserve the soul and the souls of others is through Prayer, Penance, Fasting, Conversion of Heart and Obedience to God's Holy Will.

          To this point America has been spared, but we're living on borrowed time and only by adhering to God's time can we survive the chastisements that will, sooner or later, catch up with a country that has snubbed the Almighty through lifestyle and legislation and a country which Our Lady has verified is "worse than Sodom and Gomorrah." It would seem ironic that, on the same weekend when war once again with Iraq seems inevitable, Hollywood is debuting a controversial movie about Islamic terrorism on our shores called "The Siege". Is this a coincidence or a cleverly planned publicity stunt? After all, Clinton and Tinsel Town are close "bosom buddies." We don't think they're that clever and we seriously doubt it's any of those theories. Rather we truly believe it is all part of the prophecies that have been imparted to many from Rue de Bac to Akita and beyond, specifically Saint Bernadette of Soubirous to whom the Blessed Virgin purportedly conveyed a powerful prophecy that was given to Pope Leo XIII and which we detailed a few months ago on these pages. One of those was that there would be a "final clash between the followers of Mohammed and the Christian nations of the world" that would end "on the eve of the year 2000" with a "bomb of great power [that] will fall on a city in Persia" where over five and a half million soldiers would be killed and would be the final armaggeddon before the purification in which millions upon millions would come back to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church for "in the fullness of time, the sign of the cross will prevail and all of Islam will be forced to convert to Christianity." It will usher in the "century of peace and joy" and "no family on earth will know poverty or hunger."

          That is truly a powerful and exciting omen of things to come, but we can't just take it for granted. There is a price to pay for this reward. We must accept our cross of suffering. We must do our part as Our Lady and her Divine Son Jesus ask through His representative on earth - our beloved Holy Father. God, through His Holy Church, is the one Hope left in a world gone astray, a world obsessed with material possessions, a world possessed by satan and his legions, a world in the throes of natural disasters that have claimed the lives and livelihoods of so many, a world that through abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and a belittling of man's rights, have eroded the dignity and worth of the sanctity of life. That is the Siege we must be concerned with. As the nearby military artillery continues to echo in our ears and the windows rattle, our thoughts waft towards what's really at stake: the threat to our everlasting souls. That is the Siege that should seige our collective conscience.

Michael Cain, editor