'37 Days' is a television series which I also have as a DVD. It details 'behind the political scenes' leading up to WWI in August 1914. It gives a warts and all very luminous account of Europe's leaders and their key people as to how individuals became inflexible leading to millions of people losing their lives.
Having watched that series, several times now, the political intrigue, I am not surprised at anything. What actually takes place and the things 'written and said' quite often is not what it appears to be.
After 11 September 2001 (9/11) when Muslim terrorists piloted passenger aircraft into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC, the great debate was whether the security forces were asleep on the job. Numerous articles and television documentaries since, have illustrated where the mistakes were made and how information was not passed on to other security agencies, to the point that's it's a wonder more terrorism had not succeeded.
The security forces of every western nation went on full alert double time, and so the question posed, is why are we so surprised when we learn of secrets and highly classified material being leaked or stolen or whatever. Think Wikileaks.
In a Sydney Morning Herald report a few years ago now was of a young Israeli journalist who was facing serious espionage charges as she allegedly stole more than 2200 classified documents while completing her compulsory military service in 2007.
Anat Kam, 23, who has been under house arrest since December, worked as a desk clerk in the office of the commander of the Israel Defence Forces' central command office. This office oversees the occupation of the Palestinian West Bank territory's and had access to a daily flow of information - summaries of classified meetings, situation assessments and secret investigations - described by the director of Israel's domestic security agency as ''the fantasy of every intelligence organisation' .
In my view, we should not be surprised that Israel has a secret service with secret information, and that Israel's security people are involved in activities that will undoubtedly prevent future terrorist attacks against its people. In fact, one must have been immune from any news cast over the past sixty years not to have known this.
There is a wellspring of opinion that 'had' US security agents been as aggressive and determined, as Israeli security personnel appear to be, there may not have been a 9/11.
I recall a home bible study which included an elderly gentleman who migrated from Germany after WWII, who quite rightly pointed out that 9/11 occurred because the US security agencies didn't follow through 'every' lead. He recounted WWII Wehrmacht ABVAR intelligence stories where every 'tid bit' of information was tracked with thorough German efficiency.
One must have been oblivious to post war history not no know that the Israeli secret services have likewise followed through leads, and sometimes with results years later. This was illustrated by the movie Munich which starred Australian actor Eric Bana, tracking down each and every person involved in the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre of Jewish athletes.
No one should therefore be surprised that a nosey and inquisitive young journalist came across 'secret and explosive' material while working in such a highly classified office.
ANZAC in reality is a commemoration of such 'righteous' intrigue and we can celebrate the work of Bletchley Park in Britain during WWII which broke the German codes, similarly US and Australian secret agencies that broken the Japanese codes.
Each and every nation engages in this sort of intrigue, yes including the US, Russia, Britain, France, Australia, Canada …. and political espionage too. It's no secret.
The Bible too is full of this sort of intrigue. Joshua sent his spies into Jericho. Caleb sent spies into the Promised land. The Christians in Damascus thought Saul (Paul) was a spy when he came to them, having met Christ on the road into their city.
It has been said, the best defence is offence, and this means, an intelligence service getting to a situation before 'the bad guys' do their best to engage in the nasty. Do not be surprised, there are those wanting to destroy our way of life and in some cases, kill every Christian they can find. We saw this three weeks ago in Egypt on Palm Sunday with two suicide bombings on Coptic Christians.
We should not be surprised. ANZAC should alert us as a reminder. It starts with free speech. That is Gospel 101. Where-ever there is freedom of speech so too Christianity has been the hallmark of their society.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html