OUR FRAGILE WORLD
Nothing in recent experience has so emblazoned the precariousness of our “modern” world as the outbreak of terror attacks.
On Sunday of this week, a deadly bomb killed at least 181 people on the island of Bali in Indonesia. Just as fear has stifled air travel in the U.S. following 9-11, now the world is on notice that Muslim extremists are prepared to disrupt any nation for their cause–and the world is reeling as terror finds new footholds in which to emerge.
Based on the French tanker explosion off Yemen a week ago and the shooting of two U.S. Marines on an island off Kuwait, a report in “The Straits Times Interactive” (a Pacific area newspaper) quotes the following: “American officials say they fear that attacks attributed to al-Qaeda in the past week and taped messages from the group’s leaders signal the beginning of a NEW WAVE OF TERRORIST ACTIVITY and possibly a large-scale attack.”
Events such as these highlight how inter-dependent the world has grown in this first decade of the twenty-first century. The actions of a few well-trained and determined individuals can completely disrupt the economy and safety of whole nations. Likewise, the recent West Coast dock strike in the U.S. pinpointed how a small group could stagnate an economy that is now totally dependent on “just-in-time” production arrangements. President Bush was forced to implement an executive order through the courts in order to send the dock workers back to their jobs.
As we have begun to witness, single events can sweep across international boundaries and literally cause such upheavals and disruptions that the whole world is seriously undermined. Yet, we know from Matthew 24 and other prophetic warnings, there is MORE turmoil ahead. As we watch and consider these things, we are further encouraged by Jesus Christ with these words:
“But he who ENDURES TO THE END shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13).
NUCLEAR NORTH KOREA
On Thursday, ominous news has broken as North Korea admits to having a well entrenched nuclear production program. This flies in the face of several signed agreements with Western nations in which Korea expressly agreed to limit such activity in exchange for Western aid. Now, it appears that the West will be held hostage with this threatening capability. All of this goes on while the North Korean people are literally starving. The underlying fear is that some of the terrorist groups will be able to purchase a complete nuclear weapon from North Korea in the near future.
POPE LAX ON PEDOPHILIA
Vatican rejection of key elements of the American Bishops’ new policy for dealing with sexual predators within the priesthood has many people voicing shock and outrage. Although the full response of Catholic hierarchy is due to be announced on Friday, it is said that the partial rejection will essentially strip this agreement of any practical usefulness.
As this week draws to a conclusion, the search for the East Coast sniper does not. Military surveillance aircraft have been brought into the investigation to aid law enforcement–although the military of the U.S. cannot, by statute, actively engage in this hunt beyond aid to civilian authorities. Also, there is a growing banter calling for an isolation of potential terrorists. This, in specific terms, would mean a kind of concentration camp mentality. This kind of groundswell attitude is merely talk at this point. In this same context, CIA director George Tennet, in testimony before the House and Senate Intelligence committees, summarized that America was just as vulnerable to terrorism now as it was before 9/11, because the terrorists are still out there, still determined to strike. This week’s events forewarn of ominous measures in the near future–both from the terrorists and from governments that will be forced to take stronger and stronger methods to defend against terrorism.