By Thomas Horn
Earlier this week the president of the Nuclear Control Institute testified before the Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs Subcommittee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "important questions about Iraq's nulear-weapons program remain unanswered." He further charged that "Key nuclear-bomb components and weapons designs that were known to exist were never surrendered by Iraq to UN inspectors."
The testimony of Paul Leventhal, president of the Washington, D.C. based Nuclear Control Institute, follows conclusions by the Institute that "crucial issues about Saddam's bomb program [remain] unresolved--including the whereabouts of three complete sets of nuclear-bomb components, lacking only the fissile material to make them operational."
Leventhal underscored that "Prior to the Gulf War, the 'traditional safeguards system' failed completely to detect Saddam Hussein's muti-billion-dollar Manhattan Project." "Iraq will not permit the IAEA inspectors to see anything that might be remotely incriminating," he said.
According to Leventhal the threat of nuclear development by Iraq is greater than its chemical and biological efforts. Over 200 Iraqi nuclear specialists are working on undisclosed projects while Saddam procures shipments of foreign technologies into Iraq from Turkey. Most of these trucks are never inspected.
American Intelligence agencies are most concerned about Israel's retaliation in the event of a Nuclear threat by Saddam Hussein. In 1997, British military officials reported that Israel had reached an agreement with the United States to drop a neutron bomb on Iraq "if necessary." The neutron bomb was selected because of its ability to kill large numbers of people while doing minimal damage to buildings.
THE ANCIENT SPIRIT
In the Bible we read of the prophet Daniel fasting and praying for twenty-one days. He had chastened his heart before the Lord, hoping to gain insights into Israel's future.
On the twenty-first day of his fast, while standing on the bank of the Tigris River, the angel Gabriel appeared before Daniel in stunning splendor. Gabriel informed Daniel, "...from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words" (Dan. 10:12).
Why did it take the angel twenty-one days to arrive? Gabriel provided the answer by explaining that a powerful Persian demon had opposed him for twenty-one days. Not until Michael, the archangel, came to assist in the confrontation was Gabriel free to continue his journey.
In Persian theology the opposing spirit would have been identified as Arimanius. According to the ancient Persian religion of Zorastrianism, Arimanius was the Death-dealer--the powerful and self-existing evil spirit, from whom war and all other evils had their origin.
Arimanius was the chief of the cacodaemons, or fallen angels, expelled from heaven for their sins. After their expulsion, the cacodaemons endeavored to settle down in various parts of the earth, but were always rejected, and out of revenge found pleasure in destyroying the inhabitants of the earth.
Arimanius and his followers finally took up their abode in the space between heaven and earth and there established their domain called Ariman-abad. From this location, the cacodaemons could intrude upon and attempt to corrupt human governments, especially those hostile to God's people.
BUT WHO IS ARIMANIUS, REALLY?
In Daniel, chapter 10, the opposing spirit is biblically identified as "the prince of the kingdom of Persia" (Iraq). In an earlier vision (chapter 7), God revealed four different types of kingdom influences: the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greek, and the Roman, each of which was a mere human agency under the control of supernatural powers. The principality of the Medo-Persian kingdom is depicted as a warmongering spirit seeking to dominate through military power, while its predecessor Babylonia is characterized by the foolishness of humanism pretending to the throne of God. Throughout the Bible, spiritual Babylon is depicted as being hostile to God. The beginning of Babylon was the tower of Babel, where at the macrolevel Satan's strategy to formulate an evil, anti-God system, was first attempted.
To the Jews, Arimanius not only controlled the territory of ancient Iraq/Iran, but was comparable to Beelzeboul, the "lord of the height." Some Bible expositors believe when Paul referred to the "third heaven" (2 Cor. 12:2), he was speaking from his scholarly upbringing as a Pharisee concerning three heavens which included a domain of air (the height) controlled by Arimanius (or Satan).
We read about the mysterious region in Spiritual Warfare: The Invisible Invasion:
In Pharisaical thought, the first heaven was simply the place where the birds fly, anything removed from and not attached to the surface of the earth. On the other end of the spectrum and of a different substance was the third heaven--the dwelling place of God. This was the place from which the Hajoth-Hakados (angelic spheres) spread outward. Between the first heaven where the birds fly and the third heaven "where dwells the throne room of God" was a war zone called the second heaven. This was the kosmos--the Hebrew equivalent of the Persian Arhiman-abad--the place where Satan abides as the prince of the power of the "air" (aer, the lower air, circumambient), a sort of gasket heaven, the domain of Satan [Arimanius] encompassing the surface of the earth.
Ancient Persians and Hebrews alike believed the Arimanian "height" not only influenced earth's governments and puppeted Saddam-like human counterparts, but that Satan's minions sought to close the heavens above such controlled territories so that God's blessings or angels (Daniel 10:13) could not flow into them. Later, it was believed that when saints bent their knees in prayer, they had to pray through walls of opposition within this gasket heaven. The level of opposition depended on how far the territory had come under the control of Arimanius.
IS ARIMANIUS'S NUCLEAR CLOCK TICKING?
In recent years, the prince of the kingdom of Persia has emerged once again as an opposing spirit seeking to conflict with the security of the nation of Israel. Firing the first shot in the war against Iran, invading the small country of Kuwait, deploying scud missiles against Israel, and most currently seeking nuclear capabilities, Iraq has risen to a place of concern among global nuclear monitors.
Until recently the most powerful weapon contemporary Persia had in its arsenal was called the Tammuz missile (according to Babylonian religion, Tammuz was the son of Nimrod by Semiramus and dwelt in the regions of the underworld). But the Nuclear Control Institute warns that things have changed: Iraq either has or is developing nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
Experts in Bible prophecy believe the Hebrew prophets foresaw such twentieth-century technology, including the use of nuclear warheads. Zechariah may have described the use of a nuclear bomb by Israel:
And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth (Zech. 14:12)
But do such verses warn of nuclear war between Israel and Iraq? Will the threat of nuclear confrontation between Saddam Hussein and Israel draw the United Nations or Israel's allies into military conflict in the near future? Perhaps. The prophet Isaiah described an alliance of many nations that will come up against Iraq in the end times "to destroy the whole land" (Isa. 13:4-5).
Either way, as the world lunges forward toward its climactic encounter with Jesus Christ, the belligerence of the Prince of Persia will undouptedly escalate. Can anything be done about it? Christian Coalition President Pat Robertson made headlines a while back, saying assassinating rogue world leaders like Saddam Hussein would be more practical than U.S. policy that bans such killings.
"I know it sounds somewhat Machiavellian and evil," Robertson said. "But isn't it better...to take out (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein, rather than to spend billions of dollars on a war that harms innocent civilians and destroys the infrastructure of a country?"
Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Barry Lynn, responded, "In my Bible, Jesus never said anything about assassinating heads of state."
As far as I'm concerned, God will take care of the Prince of Persia. If Saddam Hussein attempts a nuclear strike against the Jewish nation, it will be his undoing.
By Thomas Horn