The war on terror (a title set up by the media, the appropriate title is “Global War on Terrorism”) seems to be “ill-titled.” For one, terror is primarily defined as “a state of intense fear” (Webster), and “intense, sharp, overmastering fear” (Dictionary.com). If that is the only meaning, then this war would be fought in laboratories where psychologists (alongside others in the mental and/or behavioral analysis fields) would analyze patients under the duress of phobia, in order to develop a cure or a way for them to cope. It would be a psychological war. However, that is not the only meaning of “the war on terror”. The war is on America’s perception of terror personified—Osama Bin Laden’s brand of Islamic Jihadists.
The war’s objective is to rid the American public of terror, and it intends to do so by targeting and exterminating the agents (persons or events) that cause terror. Reflecting further…the “war on terror” is actually a vague title. It can be applied to any effort made to eradicate the cause of extreme fear. As seen in Genesis 3, the personification of supernatural terror—the terrorist known as Satan—manifested and brought extreme fear (not to mention death and destruction). Bible-believing Christians, extracting from two chapters in the Nevi’im (the prophets), trace the war further back to God’s heavenly temple (Ez. 28, Isa. 14, cf. Rev. 12).
The terrorists that Americans are fighting in this war are creatures of their own making. They are products of programs, developed and run by CIA and Special Forces, to stop the Soviets’ attempt to dominate the entire Eurasian landmass in the late 1970s. The Americans trained Islamic fighters—funded by rich Saudi families—and equipped them with intelligence in order to stop the advance of the Soviets in Afghanistan (Paulien, 14-17).
The Americans are attempting to cure the plague by cutting off funds and sending special operative forces to eradicate the evil man across the world in the mountains—Osama Bin Laden. These surgical maneuvers, though seemingly effective, will only cause the plague to lie dormant. Some may believe that if they cut the head of this snake, the body will continue to fight for a while, but eventually die. This, however, is not the case. This mystical snake will grow a new head and fight on. The dead militants will be glorified as martyrs. Their deaths will serve as adrenaline to drive the motor of the terrorist war machine.
It is hard to kick against the pricks (Acts 9:5, KJV). America is fighting a war against an enemy that anchors its sentiments in religious ideology. It is not Islam that calls for such persons; it is because such persons base their agendas on their interpretation of the Qur’an. This is a war that cannot be won because the root of it is inaccessible to American cruise missiles. Ideologies can be defeated but never extinguished; they lie in wait seeking the next charismatic figure to lure into speaking their oracles.
America will never win the war on terror because it cannot destroy the source. The source is the devil who “ has come down, having great wrath” (as if “wrath” needed an adjective [Rev. 12:12 NASB]). His roar is heard in the minds and through the voices of those who have given themselves to him; and with the thirst of a Lion, he walks around looking for someone to devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Terror is a result of the activities and influences of the devil and his angles. He is the antitypical terrorist from whom all other terrorists arise.
God has given us the promise that the terrorist will be destroyed. Satan will be thrown “into the lake of fire and brimstone” (Rev. 20:10). Man is in a war that he cannot win. All our attempts are futile and don’t even bandage the wounds; but God will split the heavens and come down to wipe out terror once and for all. There will be a new world in which terror, and the agents of it, will never be seen or felt (Rev. 21).
Paulien, Jon. Armageddon at the Door. Hagerstown: Autumn House Publishing, a division of Review and Herald Publishing, 2008.