Goodbye, Damascus! As Syria plans war, a look at ancient prophecies predicting the demise of Damascus

Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor In recent weeks, there's been an explosion of intelligence information that all seems to point toward an impending war of annihilation between Israel and Syria. The accidental explosion at a Syrian base near Aleppo that Damascus attributed to weather detonating a stockpile of explosives was really a chemical weapons accident. It's since been established by multiple sources that the explosion killed 'dozens' of Iranian weapons engineers and their Syrian counterparts whom they were assisting in mounting chemical warheads on Scud-C missiles. The explosion released VX gas, sarin gas and mustard gas blistering agent throughout the area. VX gas is one of the most dangerous chemicals ever created by man. It can be inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. It takes less than a single drop to kill a human being. VX is so adhesive that it is virtually impossible to remove from the surface that it is in contact with. VX has extremely low votility, which means it does not evaporate or decompose. An area oversprayed with VX in a military attack stays stuck to surfaces, with the potential to kill anyone who comes near them. VX kills by cutting off the nervous system. It binds to the enzyme that transmits signals to the nerves and inhibits them. Therefore the nerves become isolated and uncontrollable. In the movie, "The Rock," Nicolas Cage's character describes the effect in graphic Hollywood fashion, saying, the victim "convulses until he snaps his own spine." Sarin is a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid that has no odor in its pure form. Sarin rapidly evaporates into a gaseous vapor that spreads rapidly into the atmosphere. It can be inhaled, or absorbed through exposed eyes or skin. It mixes easily with water. Contaminated water will kill anyone touching or drinking it. Sarin also contaminates and poisons food. Exposure to even tiny amounts of sarin results in loss of consciousness, convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure. Severe exposure means certain death. The third chemical agent being fitted to Syrian missiles is reportedly a "mustard gas blistering agent." Since mustard gas has been around since the 1st World War, it somehow doesn't sound as ominously lethal as VX or sarin. In its pure form, mustard blistering agent is colorless, odorless, viscous liquid. In its gaseous form, it is yellow-brown in color and smells a bit like mustard plants or horseradish. Mustard gas is ranked a Schedule 1 chemical weapon by the UN Chemical Weapons Convention, the same classification as VX and sarin. Those exposed usually suffer no immediate symptoms. Within 4 to 24 hours the exposure develops into deep, itching or burning blisters wherever the mustard contacted the skin; the eyes (if exposed) become sore and the eyelids swollen, possibly leading to conjunctivitis and blindness. At very high concentrations, if inhaled, it causes bleeding and blistering within the respiratory system, damaging the mucous membrane and causing pulmonary edema. Blister agent exposure over more than 50% body surface area is usually fatal. These are three of the weapons that Syria is preparing, with Iranian assistance, for use against the Israeli population. It has been an open secret that Syria has been stockpiling vast quantities of chemical and biological weapons and delivery systems for at least a decade. I recall reporting in mid-1990's that Syria's chemical and biological arsenal was already the largest in the Middle East. (And that was before Saddam Hussein's rumored stockpiles mysteriously 'vanished' into Syria in early 2003.) Nobody, except the Israelis, Syrians and North Koreans (and none of them are talking) know exactly what Israel destroyed in the Syrian desert. About the only thing that seems certain was that it was nuclear in nature, and that it originated in North Korea. (As an aside, it is worth remembering that the world is much smaller now, thanks to the Caracas-Damascus-Tehran air corridor. Whatever is in Syria today could be in Caracas in 12 hours and at the US-Mexican border in a week.) Tensions between Israel and Syria are so jumpy that recently the IAF scrambled three Israeli fighters to respond to a flock of migrating birds. A Syrian opposition party newspaper reprinted a December, 2006 report from the Kuwait daily, Al-Siyasa, which reported that Syria was conducting "an advanced nuclear program" in Hasakah, a province in northeastern Syria. The report quoted British sources as having identified Colonel Maher Assad, a relative of Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Rami Mahmouf as the two people "supervising" the project. According to the report in Al-Siyasa, the Syrian nuclear program used Iraqi materials smuggled by Saddam Hussein's sons prior to the US invasion in March, 2003. On September 20, weeks after the accident exposed Syria's chemical weapons program and the Israeli air strike exposed Syria's nuclear program, the International Atomic Energy Agency adopted an Egyptian-sponsored resolution declaring the Middle East a "nuclear weapons free" zone. The resolution, which would require Israel to dismantle its existing nuclear arsenal, was pushed through by a 53-nation Arab bloc, despite abstentions from, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Ghana and Zambia. The measure passed 53 for, 2 against (US and Israel) and 47 'courageous' abstentions. But it was the reports of the Syrian chemical weapons accident that may have ultimately sealed the fate of Damascus, despite the machinations at the UN. Once the news went public, Israeli public opinion instantly hardened. "We will not attack them first. But if they ever use these weapons against Israel, then we must be clear — it will be the end of this evil and brutal dictatorship," Yuval Steinitz, a right-wing member of the Israeli parliament, told the Daily News yesterday. In addition to its nuclear arsenal, (whose existence Israel will neither confirm nor deny) is Israel's arsenal of neutron bombs. In 1997, Jane's Defense News reported on an Israeli plan to retaliate against a feared chemical attack from Saddam Hussein "with a devastating neutron bomb barrage." The neutron bomb kills by irradiating the area of detonation with untold trillions of neutrons that kill all humans and animals, but leave all buildings and vehicles intact. This bomb also releases very little radiation, so the area formerly inhabited by living people can be immediately occupied. The Prophet Isaiah, as we've discussed, prophesied the "burden of Damascus" which predicts the utter destruction of Damascus at Israeli hands over what amounts to weak global objections. Damascus, the world's oldest continuously-inhabited city, is prophesied to become a 'ruinous heap'. But Damascus is only 135 miles from Jerusalem. The total nuclear destruction of Damascus would threaten much of Israel with radioactive fallout, not to mention the results of the blast. Israel has small yield nuclear artillery that would effect much destruction, but the kind of destruction that 'removes Damascus from being a city' would demand a combination of low-yield nukes and a neutron barrage. The problem of proximity is complicated by the fact that any war with Syria will include Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, right along Israel's border, and with Hamas from Gaza and the PA from the West Bank. Still, the Prophet Obadiah predicts the destruction of House of Esau by 'the fire' of the House of Jacob, leaving no survivors among the House of Esau. (Obadiah 18) And the Prophet Zechariah describes the scene from the perspective of the battlefield, describing 21st century warfare using a 5th century BC vocabulary: "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." (Zechariah 14:12) We've devoted most of the past week to studying and updating the situation on the ground between Israel and Syria and its possible implications to unfolding Bible prophecy. I confess it's been a terrifying scenario to contemplate, but it is the scenario that exists, and ignoring it won't make it go away. This may -- or it may not be -- a prelude to the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of the destruction of Damascus. It is still possible, although unlikely, that Assad will realize his peril and suddenly stand down. And in the event war does break out, Damascus may -- or it may not -- survive. While it is difficult to imagine, given the circumstances, that it could turn out any other way, there is no way of knowing if THIS is the fulfillment until after it happens. That isn't the point. The issue isn't whether or not Isaiah got his prediction right, but rather one of whether or not I am reading the timeline correctly. I could be wrong on the timeline with Isaiah's accuracy remaining untouched. I'm not hedging on Isaiah -- I'm hedging on Jack. I'm not a prophet -- just a student of prophecy. Even if Damascus manages to survive this confrontation, it is just a matter of time before Syria miscalculates and uses chemicals against Israeli targets. And THAT is the point. More than two thousand, five hundred years before the fact, the Hebrew Prophets had already predicted this precise scenario would unfold. They predicted who the antagonists would be, by name and region. They predicted that the target would be Israel, twenty-five centuries before there WAS an Israel. And they predicted, from their various (and different) vantage points in geography and history, all these events would occur at the same point on the timeline, just before the coming of the Messiah-King. Everything that they predicted that could come to pass HAS come to pass, literally, and not allegorically, from the restoration of Israel to the alignment of nations to the effects of 21st century battlefield weaponry in the field -- with 100% accuracy. There is no reason to believe that, given such stunning accuracy so far, those prophecies remaining to be fulfilled will be fulfilled any less accurately or literally in the days ahead. Be confident, despite the chaos and uncertainty. All is according to God's Plan, outlined for us in advance so we would KNOW the signs of the times and rejoice in them, rather than fear them, for we know what they mean. "The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25)


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