God's Politics

the latest reports on the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, the Iraq war, Iran, the U.S. military, immigration, North Korea, nuclear weapons, federal prosecutors, the Supreme Court, global warming, anti-war Evangelicals, and select editorials

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Christian Peace Witness for Iraq. Christians gather in Washington, D.C. for protest against Iraq war – “Thousands of Christians prayed for peace at an anti-war service Friday night at the Washington National Cathedral, kicking off a weekend of protests aroundthe country to mark the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. Afterward, participants marched with battery-operated faux candles through snow and wind toward the White House, where police began arresting protesters shortly before midnight. Rousing, Emotional Start for War Protest – “Dozens of demonstrators, many of them Christian peace activists, were arrested outside the White House late last night and early this morning as part of a protest against the war in Iraq. … The protesters were part of a larger group that had assembled at the Washington National Cathedral for a service on the fourth anniversary of the start of the war. From the service, demonstrators marched through the wind, cold and dampness to the White House.”

Iraq-protests. In March, Protesters Recall War Anniversaries– “Thousands of demonstrators marched to the Pentagon on Saturday to mark both the fourth anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq and the 40th anniversary of the march along the same route to protest the Vietnam War. 4 Years After Start of War, Anger Reigns – “Thousands of demonstrators protesting the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq marched on the Pentagon, jeered along the way by large numbers of angry counter-protesters.” War Protests Mark Invasion Anniversary – “For a second consecutive day, thousands of protesters flowed through the streets of several cities Sunday to call for an end to the funding of the Iraq war or the immediate return of U.S. troops.” Antiwar activists march in D.C. – “They started turning out before daybreak in the bitter cold. The antiwar demonstrators amassed on the north side of the Lincoln Memorial chanting demands for peace now. The counterprotesters, fewer in number but no less vocal, gathered on the east side of the Vietnam Wall and shouted political taunts.”

Iraq-war. 7 troops die in Iraq, 4 on single patrol – “The casualties bring the U.S. military toll to 3,218 – U.S. military officials announced the deaths of seven American troops Sunday, and at least seven Iraqis were killed and 26 injured in a car bombing, as the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq neared.” Additional Support Troops Join Buildup in Iraq – “Thousands of additional U.S. military support troops are flowing into Iraq to bolster the increase of 21,500 combat troops ordered by President Bush in January, bringing the total to about 28,700.” Sunni Militants Disrupt Plan to Calm Baghdad – “when President Bush announced his plans to reinforce American troops in Baghdad, Shiite militias were seen as the main worry. … Instead, during the early weeks of the operation, deadly bombings by Sunni Arab militants have emerged as a greater danger.”

Iran. Iran Is Playing a Growing Role in Iraq Economy– “The economies of Iraq and Iran, the largest Shiite-majority countries in the world, are becoming closely integrated, with Iranian goods flooding Iraqi markets and Iraqi cities looking to Iran for basic services.” Iran’s President Vows to Keep Nuclear Project– “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed that Iran would never dismantle its nuclear program, even in the face of toughened sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.”

Military. Military Is Ill-Prepared For Other Conflicts – “Four years after the invasion of Iraq, the high and growing demand for U.S. troops there and in Afghanistan has left ground forces in the United States short of the training, personnel and equipment that would be vital to fight a major ground conflict elsewhere,” In terrorism fight, diplomacy gets shortchanged – “In recent years, the Pentagon has received a larger share of the counter-terrorism budget, whereas “indirect action” programs to win the campaign through diplomacy and other nonmilitary means have struggled for funding and attention,”

Immigration. McConnell eyes ‘bipartisan’ illegals bill – “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans are trying to craft a “bipartisan solution” to illegal immigration — generating concern among party members who consider President Bush’s goal to be amnesty.” Immigration Raid Rips Families – “During her two years working in a garment factory alongside hundreds of other immigrants, there were few assurances in Marta Escoto’s uncertain life. One of them was the promise she made to her children — I will always take care of you. It was a promise she was unable to keep this month. Escoto and at least 360 other illegal immigrants were taken into
custody here March 6 after a raid by federal agents on the Michael Bianco Inc. factory” Churches revive sanctuary crusade for illegal aliens – “Churches in a small number of U.S. cities are preparing to start a “sanctuary” movement to help illegal aliens avoid deportation and unite faith-based groups in a push for immigration reform.”

North Korea. US releases frozen N Korea funds – “Nuclear disarmament talks resumed in Beijing after the US resolved a financial dispute by agreeing to release frozen North Korean funds.” U.S. and North Korea End Frozen-Funds Impasse– “The United States and North Korea have resolved a standoff over North Korean funds frozen in a Macao bank, clearing the way for talks to focus on putting in place a nuclear disarmament accord,”

Nuclear weapons. Bush Urged to Develop Overall Nuclear Arms Policy – “A prestigious scientific committee made up of retired nuclear weapons lab directors and former Defense and Energy department officials is recommending that, before the United States moves ahead on the development of new nuclear warheads, the Bush administration should develop a bipartisan policy regarding the size of the future stockpile, testing and nonproliferation.”

Federal prosecutors. Senator Insists Bush Aides Testify Publicly– “The Democratic senator leading the inquiry into the dismissal of federal prosecutors insisted Sunday that Karl Rove and other top aides to President Bush must testify publicly and under oath, setting up a confrontation between Congress and the White House, which has said it is unlikely to agree to such a demand.” Attorney firing inquiry reaches impasse – “Congressional Democrats and the Bush administration hit an impasse in the probe into the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, with White House officials delaying decisions to turn over documents or allow officials to testify and the House Judiciary Committee threatening subpoenas to force them to comply.”

Supreme Court. Free-Speech Case Divides Bush and Religious Right– “A Supreme Court case about the free-speech rights of high school students, to be argued on Monday, has opened an unexpected fissure between the Bush administration and its usual allies on the religious right.”

Global warming. Early critic of warming steps up activist role – “The Dartmouth College crowd filled one auditorium on a cold afternoon this month, and spilled into a second with a big screen. The draw was Bill McKibben, one of the country’s leading environmental writers and activists, who was talking about the perils of global warming.”

Evangelicals against war. Evangelicals: Against abortion, and now war – “No polling data conclusively demonstrate that opinion among the broad national base of conservative evangelicals has shifted. But some prominent national evangelical leaders say that debate about — and, in some cases, outright opposition to — the war is breaking out among Christian conservatives whose support was key to President Bush’s election victories.”

Op-Ed. A more humane immigration policy (Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, Boston Globe) – “Whenever there is a human tragedy resulting from deeply flawed public policy, as we saw in the immigration raid last week in New Bedford, the immediate response is to seek out the villains.”


Boston Globe – Light on the Darfur darkness – “Future generations will not easily forgive the governments and international bodies that have allowed the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan to continue uninterrupted and unpunished year after year. So a report this week prepared for the United Nations Human Rights Council by a “High-Level Mission on the Situation of Human Rights in Darfur” should be welcome as a beam of bright light pointed into this 21st-century heart of darkness.”

Los Angeles Times – Smarter sanctions against Iran – “Economic sanctions have a bad reputation. That’s unfortunate, because the kind of sanctions the United States is proposing for Iran are more effective and more humane than sanctions used to be. They also happen to be more realistic than any of the other options regarding Tehran.”

Washington Post – Hypocrisy on Immigration– “The hypocrisyof U.S. immigration law was on lurid display last week in a raid on a defense contractor in New England. Accompanied by dogs and a helicopter swooping overhead, hundreds of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents charged into Michael Bianco Inc., a leather-goods factory in New Bedford, Mass., that makes backpacks, ammunition pouches and other gear for GIs.”

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