In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, many news sources referred to the “Humiliation of Iraq and Saddam Hussein.” As this article goes to print, Hussein is reported to have a limited time left in power, as his own soldiers attempt to overthrow him.
The Muslim world was looking for a hero in Saddam Hussein. Instead they found a cruel man exposed in all of his vicious brutality. The humiliation of Iraq tells the story of the many people groups living in this area. Within Iraq there are Persians, Arabs, Palestinians, Kurdish and many other nationalities. The political boundary lines of Iraq do not speak of one nation, but of the cruel oppression of many.
This is similar to the conquest of Asia by the Japanese, when they surrendered after their defeat in World War II. The Emperor of Japan, Hirohito, surrendered not only his weapons and military forces but also surrendered his gods, believing that they were inadequate and unable to help the Japanese people. Observing the kindness in which the United States soldiers treated the defeated Japanese, he stated that he had never seen an army like the Americans, that did not rape, pillage and brutalize the captured foe.
Because of this, he requested that Christian missionaries be sent to Japan to teach the Japanese about the God of the Christians. General Douglas McArthur asked for 1000 missionaries to come to the broken and receptive people of Japan. The church yawned and very few responded to the call. Today, Japan has become an economic giant but has a spiritual vacuum for a heart.
Perhaps nothing stands out more in the aftermath of the Gulf War than the contrast of the way the U.S. troops treated Iraqi POW’s with the way Iraqis treated not only POW’s, but the people of Kuwait as well as its own soldiers. Who could forget the scenes of allied airmen paraded before the camera who had obviously been beaten. Some of the first Iraqi soldiers to defect where poorly clothed, covered with lice. Many had wounds and sores that had not been treated. They were in desperate need of food.
After the ground war was underway, it was evident that many of the Iraqi soldiers were waiting to surrender. One soldier who was bare chested came out of his bunker clutching the piece of paper the allies had air dropped to tell the soldiers how to surrender. He laid down on the ground and his hands were tied behind his back, A U.S. soldier knelt down beside him and began to give him a drink of water.
There were other images of Iraqi soldiers coming out of their bunkers and kissing the hands of the U.S. soldiers to whom they were surrendering. Scenes of American soldiers giving medical aid to the wounded stand out in stark contrast to the gouged out eyes, cut off ears, and the sliced limbs and faces of the people of Kuwait who were treated so ruthlessly by their Iraqi captors.
Whether every American soldier professes to be a Christian or not, the American forces acted in principle according to the teachings of Jesus, “Love your enemies” and the teachings of Peter, “not returning evil for evil, or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead.” The impact of that Christian witness upon the Iraqi soldiers who received mercy left their imprint.
Christian mercy could be observed being extended through Norman Swartzcoff. As he walked toward the tent where he would take the official surrender from the Iraqi Generals, he instructed his aids, “Don’t do anything to publicly humiliate these men. I don’t want any of them to be embarrassed.” They were searched in a tent privately before the meeting.
Although the American troops were not allowed to publicly display a Bible or cross while in Saudi Arabia, behind the scenes revival fires were burning as young men separated from American comfort and entertainment looked the possibility of death and immortality in the face. Many turned to God. Bible studies were held nightly from tent to tent.
Army Specialist Brad J. White wrote in a letter to his wife, “I’ve taken advantage of the endless hours of waiting. I’ve been going to a Bible study a couple of nights a week. It’s really enlightening. I can fully understand now why God placed key figures of biblical times into the desert for days, months even years at a time. In some ways it’s very cleansing.” (Newsweek, “I Don’t Want Any Tears”, March 4, 1991, pp. 30-31)
In the meantime, some Iraqis began to loose hope in Allah. Iraqi women could be seen going to Orthodox churches to seek the help from the Christian God, as an ABC News video clip attested. “Humiliation” is closely related to the word “humility” which speaks of a humble and contrite heart. This is the heart revealed in these women – the willingness to open up in a new way to God.
The Christian witness, prayer and worship to God in the heart of Islamic territory did much to break the spiritual powers over the region. The war in the natural was a mirror of the war that was going on in the heavenlies as God moved to break the power of Islam in order to open up Muslim nations for the gospel. The Kuwaiti people are thankful to Americans for their liberty. Something they say that has created a bond between Kuwait and the American people that will always be there.
And now the Resistance Front wants democracy for Kuwait. The Resistance who worked during Iraq’s occupation to protect the Iraqi people is demanding democracy, freedom of the speech, and freedom of press. The women are demanding a right to vote. They said the Emir can maintain his title as long as he doesn’t stand in the way of liberty. This strikes at the heart of Islam which is dictatorial in nature and is on a collision course with free markets, free voting and free press. As the winds of freedom blow, Islamic nations will begin to open up to the gospel.
God is overturning nations on a massive scale never seen before. When the Lord of All Nations strikes down a great nation, brace yourself for action. Prepare for massive changes! The God of History will not lose the Great War for the Earth! Pray for laborers to be thrust into the harvest!