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|A Choice of Life or Death||01/29/2004|
History is repeating itself in the Middle East. Long ago, Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in the hands of the Egyptians. Once captive, they were now free. But with this newfound freedom came a choice.
"I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction," Moses told them. Two paths lay ahead for these people. They could obey the law, as handed down through Moses, or they could reject it. "I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live..."
Thousands of years later, the people of Iraq have been delivered out of slavery in the hands of a merciless, bloodthirsty tyrant. In some ways similar to the Israelites, they have to make a choice with their newfound freedom. They can obey the law, as handed down by the Iraqi Council, or they can reject it.
Even as United Nations representatives attempt to study prospects for an early legislative election, suicide bombers terrorize the ambassadors, press corps and peacekeepers from the international community. Even before the new laws are drawn up, terrorists work to tear apart the country. Every Iraqi citizen and every coalition member who is attacked, injured or killed exemplifies what the terrorists intend to do in the United States and in every freedom-loving country on the face of this earth.
Two paths diverge in the desert. One leads to life, the other to death. Many people -- some from Iraq, some from other Arab nations -- are trying to drag the entire country down the path of destruction. This mindset is sick. It is immoral and depraved. It is, in the truest sense, evil.
President Bush declared in his State of the Union address, "I believe that God has planted in every human heart the desire to live in freedom."
The Iraqi people have been offered freedom. They have the opportunity to live in a society where individual thought and expression is allowed. Within the framework of a social law designed to protect freedom rather than suppress it, the path that leads to life stands before them.
But wherever freedom lives, terrorism strikes. Today, the major battleground is in Iraq, but the enemies are enemies of freedom everywhere. America must fight terrorism wherever it raises its deadly head. We must fight it everywhere and do everything to protect the American people. It is not our way of life that we seek to protect--it is freedom itself.
Because liberty looms large in the Middle East, the forces of fear have assembled and attacked. The front line in the war for independence runs through Baghdad, Tikrit and Kirkuk. Ultimately, the choice is theirs. America and her allies can help for a season. We can encourage them to choose life. We can inspire them to stand against the forces that would seek to enslave them once again. But in the end, the choice is theirs.
"The momentum of freedom in our world is unmistakable -- and it is not carried forward by our power alone," President Bush stated. "We can trust in that Greater Power who guides the unfolding of the years. And in all that is to come, we can know that His purposes are just and true."
America is right to stand for freedom. Yet America, like Moses, cannot force freedom upon the world. We can only stand strong and say, "Now choose life, so that you and your children may live."
It is my hope that the people of Iraq will spark freedom in the Middle East. It is my prayer that the people of Iraq will choose life.
Author: James Robison