Iraq lashed by sandstorms and battling drought
BAGHDAD (AP) — Below-average rainfall and insufficient water in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers have left Iraq bone dry for a second straight year, wrecking swaths of farm land, threatening drinking water supplies and intensifying fierce sandstorms that have coated the country in brown dust.
The drought has dealt a harsh blow to hopes that reductions in sectarian violence over the last year would fuel an economic recovery. Instead, the government's budget suffered a double-hit: Lower than expected oil prices have crimped revenues and the scarcity of water will force Iraq to spend money to import most of the crops, especially wheat and rice, to meet domestic demand.
"Look at this land. There is no water," said Ashur Mohamed Ahmood, slipping the tip of his black cane into deep cracks in his parched field. He cautioned children not to run, fearing their small bare feet would get stuck in the crevices crisscrossing the farm on the outskirts of Baghdad.
"Without water there are no plants. This is the plant," he says, uprooting a weed and throwing it back to the ground.
The prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) said this about Iraq at the end of days:
(50:12, 38; 51:36, 43) ...behold the end of the nations is desert, wasteland, and a barren plain. ...A drought is upon her waters, and they shall dry up, ....I will dry up her sea and dry up her fountain. ...Her cities became desolate, a dry land and a desert....
Astounding? Amazing? Just keep in mind that the same prophet wrote the following words which will prove to be just as true---
(51:45) ...Go out of its midst, My people, and each one save his life, from the burning wrath of the Lord.
(Paraphrase) The judgment that is befalling the nations is not meant for you. Come home where I've prepared for you a place of protection.
(49:4, 5) ...In those days and in that time, says the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together; they shall go along weeping, and they shall seek the Lord their God. They shall inquire of Zion; their faces are directed hitherward. "Come and join the Lord [with] an everlasting covenant that shall not be forgotten."