God's Politics

the latest news on the Saddam Hussein verdict, the Iraq war, election coverage, Darfur, the Episcopal Church, Ted Haggard, and (lack of) antiwar protest
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Iraq-Saddam Hussein. Saddam sentenced to hang – “Saddam Hussein, who ruled Iraq for 24 brutal years before being ousted by the US-led invasion in 2003, was sentenced to death by hanging in a Baghdad court yesterday for crimes against humanity.” Hussein Is Sentenced to Death by Hanging  – “An automatic appeal of the death sentence will delay it, but some Iraqi judicial officials privately held out the possibility that Mr. Hussein could go to the gallows in a matter of months, perhaps before next spring.” Verdict stirs fury, praise among Iraqis – “The trial of Saddam Hussein that ended Sunday with a guilty verdict and death sentence for the former Iraqi leader, once viewed as a means of reconciliation and justice, instead seemed to fuel the sectarian division that grips the country.” Bush Trumpets Iraq Verdict to Rally Support – “President Bush seized on the conviction of Saddam Hussein as a milestone in Iraq, seeking to rally Republican voters with the issue of national security as some polls suggested that his party might be making gains in the final hours of the campaign.” As races get tighter, Iraq still the focus – “Citing an Iraqi court’s verdict that former President Saddam Hussein was guilty of crimes against humanity, President Bush told voters during a preelection travel swing Sunday that their decisions could determine how the United States fights terrorism and the war in Iraq. Democrats, meanwhile, used the verdict to remind voters that the administration’s overall Iraq strategy was not working.”

Iraq-war. Cheney Vows ‘Full Speed Ahead’ on Iraq War – “The Bush administration is determined to continue “full speed ahead” with its policy in Iraq, regardless of Tuesday’s midterm elections, Vice President Cheney said Friday.  Cheney said in an interview with ABC News that the administration is convinced that it is pursuing the right path in Iraq.”  Perle says he should not have backed Iraq war – “Richard N. Perle, the former Pentagon advisor regarded as the intellectual godfather of the Iraq war, now believes he should not have backed the U.S.-led invasion, and he holds President Bush responsible for failing to make timely decisions to stem the rising violence,” Time For Rumsfeld To Go  (Army Times editorial) – “Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.  This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth: Donald Rumsfeld must go.”

Election. National Issues, Led by Iraq, Dominate Final Appeals in Congressional Campaigns – “Across the country, candidates clashed Sunday over the war, immigration, the economy, ethics and the Bush administration, seeking advantage in the closing hours of an election that will determine control of the House and the Senate.” Voters in center may get their say  “this year it appears that reports of the death of the swing voter are premature. In races in virtually every corner of the country, key Republican House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are facing imposing, sometimes cavernous deficits in the traditional center of the electorate, among voters who describe themselves as independents and moderates.” Evangelicals no longer lock for the GOP – “In the world of safe bets, oddsmakers could count on white evangelical Christians to vote Republican, three out of four times, because those voters and the GOP shared the same values. In this midterm election, however, the one-sided nature of that relationship may be changing and along with it the very definition of values.” Turnout efforts focus on new bloc | Immigrant groups mobilizing for vote – “Community groups say they are signing up growing numbers of immigrants, both citizens and noncitizens, to help register neighbors and encourage them to go to the polls.”

Darfur. Darfur villagers mourn slain children – “Wearing pristine uniforms and carrying new guns, Arab militia on horses and camels rode into Mariam Abakr Yehya’s Darfur village early in the morning of Oct. 29, witnesses said. …The militia attacked three villages and one refugee camp, singling out mostly children, the witnesses said. Residents put the death toll at 60. The United Nations put the toll at about 50. More than half the victims were children.”

Episcopal Church. A Woman Is Installed as Top Episcopal Bishop – “As the thousands gathered at the National Cathedral rang out a deep “amen” and then burst into cheers, Katharine Jefferts Schori formally took office as chief pastor and presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, making her the first woman to hold such a post in the worldwide Anglican Communion.” Fema
le Bishop Takes Helm of Episcopal Church
– “Jefferts Schori, 52, a pilot, rock climber and former oceanographer whose surprise election in June deepened existing rifts over homosexuality and the authority of scripture, did not delve into those issues in her opening sermon as presiding bishop. But she did call for peace, intoning the Hebrew word “shalom” no fewer than seven times.”

Ted Haggard. Haggard bares his soul in note to congregation – “In the hush of a Sunday morning, believers grieved, struggled and forgave as their pastor, the Rev. Ted Haggard, confessed his sins.” Disgraced Minister’s Church Wrestles With His Absence – “ Members of a Colorado church gathered to cope with the downfall of the church’s founder, who was dismissed for “sexually immoral conduct.” Pastor Dismissed for ‘Sexually Immoral Conduct’ – “In the wake of accusations by a former male escort that the Rev. Ted Haggard had a three-year sexual relationship with him, an independent oversight board at Mr. Haggard’s New Life Church on Saturday found that he had “committed sexually immoral conduct” and dismissed him as senior pastor.”

Antiwar protest. Where’s the protest? – “The war in Iraq is as unpopular today as the Vietnam War was at its height — yet there are no mass demonstrations on America’s streets. Can an antiwar movement confined largely to the Internet and the voting booth change the course of a war?”

Op-Ed.  (James Carroll, Boston Globe) What it will take to end war – “It is one thing to feel uneasy about your nation’s war, or even to move to a position of outright opposition. It is another to face the harsh fact that the only way out of the war is to accept defeat. The goal of “peace with honor” assumes that the nation’s honor has not already been squandered.”

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