Saturday, August 10, 2013

LCG's John Ogwyn's Failed Prophecy on Iraq

Before he died in 2005 LCG's John Ogwyn wrote an article, What Lies Ahead for Iraq?

He said that Iraq would splinter apart into separate nation states with the border running along the Euphrates River.
The United States, as we went into Iraq at the beginning of the war, stated that the objective was that Iraq would become a bastion of peace and democracy in the Middle East. Well, my friends, it hasn't worked out that way at all, has it? We've got all sorts of problems that are going on, and here we are on the verge of turning Iraq over to the Iraqis—that's what we say we are going to do. What are we going to have as a result of that? Is it going to be a unified country? Is there going to be peace? Is there going to be democracy? Absolutely not! ...

 The nation of Iraq really consists of three primary regions, three primary groups. ...

You see, Iraq has three roughly defined regions developing on their own paths. The south is under the sway of Shiite Muslim clerics, many of whom want to form an Islamic state. The Sunni Muslims in the center are increasingly influenced by members of the former regime—many of them Arab nationalists. And in the north there is the desire for Kurdish autonomy at the very least—and, most likely, Kurdish independence. In fact, the longer an effective central government is delayed, the longer the country's three regions will continue on their diverging trajectories.
He then cites Revelation 9 and 16 to argue that the Euphrates River will become a political boundary in the future.
My friends, if you look at a map and you look these three ethnic groups, you realize that as Iraq moves toward disintegration into three major components, you will find that the Euphrates River is going to emerge as a boundary. That is the natural boundary there, and very likely we are going to see, in the time ahead, the disintegration of Iraq—and ultimately the emergence of the Euphrates River as a prominent boundary just as indicated in the book of Revelation.
As it turned out Iraq did not fracture and separate into separate states.

With the unmatched valor of Iraqi, US and Coalition soldiers the Sunni insurgents, such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, were crushed and rendered unable to overthrow the government, partly because of courageous mass defections away from al Qaeda in what is called the Anbar Awakening. Anti-government Shiite militias such as Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army and the "Special Groups" (other anti-government Shiite militias), partly supported by the Iranians, were also crushed and rendered unable to overthrow the government. By 2008 violence had greatly decreased.

John Ogwyn did not see the surge coming.

John Ogwyn did not see the Anbar Awakening coming.

What happened in Iraq is somewhat similar to other successful counter-insurgency campaigns (Malaysia 1948-60, Peru 1979-92, etc.). There is a period of intense strife and violence. At times it seems as though the government will surely fall to the insurgents. But eventually the insurgency is defanged and rendered unable to realistically overthrow the government, although it may linger long after any prospect of national conquest has gone for them.

In Malaysia the Communist insurgency was rendered unable to overthrow the government by 1960, however the Communist guerrillas continued to operate and fought against the government until surrendering in 1990 after the fall of the Iron Curtain. 

In Peru the Shining Path Maoist guerrillas were able to make huge strides against government forces in the 1980s, but after their leader was captured in 1992 the guerrillas fell apart and splintered. They degraded to a great extent and were no longer a serious threat to the government. However to this day a few roving bands of armed men continue to evade capture by the authorities, a pathetic shadow of what they used to be.

In the same way it seems to me that the various anti-Iraqi government insurgencies were rendered unable to overthrow the government by 2008, but remnants of them may very well continue using violence for a long time to come.

There is still far too much violence within Iraq. There is still much to do in rebuilding Iraq, but John Ogwyn's prediction that it would splinter apart into separate nation states with a border along the Euphrates River has failed miserably. It is unfortunate that he died before seeing this happen with his own eyes.

May peace and prosperity soon come to Iraq.


  1. Maybe this is why God killed off John Ogwyn. When's he going to pay Rod Meridith a visit?

  2. What Armstrongism has never understood, apparently, is the fact that there are lots of symbols, types, and metaphors used in Scriptures. Paul understood the meaning of sharing the manna in Ex.16(II Cor.8:14-15)and how to apply it to helping others.
    Same thing with the word "river," because in Isa.8:7, the Assyrian is said to "river [that]overflow his banks." So the Euphrates in Rev.9 and 16 are most likely symbolic of leaders, not the literal river.