God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: Marching Orders

posted by gp_intern

On Friday, I shared a preview of my speech for the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq. Here is the full text of my message at the National Cathedral, where I and other religious leaders spoke to a capacity crowd before processing to the White House.

+ Dowload audio of the speech (mp3)

Four years ago today, my son Jack was born – two days before the war began. I always know how long this awful war has gone on.

The war in Iraq is personal for me. It’s personal for you too, or you wouldn’t be here tonight.

It’s personal for the families and loved ones of the more than 3,200 American soldiers who have lost the precious gift of life. The stories I hear every day on the radio and TV break my heart. They are so young to die, and it is so unnecessary. When I look at my son and celebrate his birthday, I think of all the children whose fathers or mothers won’t be coming back from the war to celebrate theirs.

It’s personal for the tens of thousands of service men and women who have lost their limbs or their mental and emotional health, and who now feel abandoned and mistreated.

It’s personal for all the Iraqis who have lost their loved ones, as many as hundreds of thousands. What would it be like to wait in line at morgues to check dead bodies, desperately hoping that you don’t recognize someone you love? I can only imagine. And when I look at my son, I think of all the Iraqi children who will never celebrate another birthday.

This isn’t just political; it’s personal for millions of us now. And for all of us here tonight, the war in Iraq is actually more than personal – it has become a matter of faith.

By our deepest convictions about Christian standards and teaching, the war in Iraq was not just a well-intended mistake or only mismanaged. This war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong – and was from the very start. It cannot be justified with either the teaching of Jesus Christ or the criteria of St. Augustine’s just war. It simply doesn’t pass either test, and did not from its beginning. This war is not just an offense against the young Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice or the Iraqis who have paid such a horrible price. This war is not only an offense to the poor at home and around the world who have paid the price of misdirected resources and priorities – this war is also an offense against God.

And so we are here tonight, very simply and resolutely, to begin to end the war in Iraq – not by anger, though we are angry; not just by politics, though it will take political courage; but by faith, because we are people of faith.

This service and procession are not just another political protest, but an act of faith, an act of prayer, an act of non-violent witness. Politics led us into this war, and politics is unlikely to save us by itself. The American people have voted against the war in Iraq, but political proposals keep failing one after the other.

I believe it will take faith to end this war. It will take prayer to end it. It will take a mobilization of the faith community to end it – to change the political climate, to change the wind. It will take a revolution of love to end it, because this endless war in Iraq is based ultimately on fear, and Jesus says that only perfect love will cast out fear.

So tonight we say, as people of faith, as followers of Jesus, that the deep fear that has paralyzed the conscience of this nation, which has caused us to become the kind of people that we are not called to be, that has allowed us to tolerate violations of our most basic values, and that has perpetuated an endless cycle of violence and counter-violence must be exorcised as the demon it is – this fear must be cast out!

And to cast out that fear, we must act in faith, in prayer, in love, and in hope – so we might help to heal the fears that keep this war going. Tonight we march not in belligerence, or to attack individuals (even those leaders directly responsible for the war), or to use human suffering for partisan political purposes. Rather, we process to the White House tonight as an act of faith, believing that only faith can save us now.

Ironically, this war has often been cloaked in the name and symbols of our faith, confused American imperial designs with God’s purposes, and tragically discredited Christian faith around the world, having so tied it to flawed American behavior and agendas. Millions of people around the world sadly believe this is a Christian war. So as people of faith, let us say tonight to our brothers and sisters around the world, and as clearly as we can – America is not the hope of the earth and the light of the world, Jesus Christ is! And it is his way that we follow, and not the flawed path of our nation’s leaders who prosecute this war. As an evangelical Christian, I must say that the war in Iraq has hindered the cause of Christ and, in this season of Lent, we must repent of this war!

So let us march tonight, believing that faith is stronger than fear;

Let us march tonight, believing that hope is stronger than hate;

Let us march tonight, believing that perfect love can cast out both hate and fear.

And let us march tonight, believing that the peace of Christ is stronger than the ways of war;

Let us march tonight, to say to a nation still captive to fear but weary of war, “May the peace of Christ be with you!”

Let’s march tonight, as Dr. Martin Luther King told us in another magnificent house of worship 40 years ago this spring, to “rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter-but beautiful-struggle for a new world.”

And then let us return to our homes from the 48 states represented here tonight and generate a flood of public pressure that can wash away the blind intransigence of our White House and the cautious procrastination of our divided Congress. Your letters, phone calls, lobby visits, and actions at home will put a megaphone behind the sound of your feet today.

And all of this must be wrapped in the power of prayer. Because we believe that God can still work miracles in and through our prayers – and that prayer followed by action can turn valleys of despair into mountains of hope. God has acted before in history and we believe that God will act again through us. Tonight we leave this Cathedral humbly hoping to be God’s instruments of peace and the earthly agents of the kingdom of God.

It sometimes appears that the light of peace has almost gone out in America, but tonight we re-light the candle and take the light of peace to the White House!

Tonight, by faith, we begin to end the war in Iraq!

The peace of Christ be with you!



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Wolverine

posted March 19, 2007 at 9:50 pm


Jim, I was just wondering, what exactly is it you think we are afraid of? Wolverine



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(the other) Brian

posted March 19, 2007 at 11:14 pm


Jim, I was just wondering what-in-the-world kind of stole you are wearing?!?! Whoa man. I thought we are in Lent? Is Kwanzaa a liturgical festival?



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Tim Tetrault

posted March 19, 2007 at 11:35 pm


And also with you, Jim.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 19, 2007 at 11:39 pm


I was just wondering, what exactly is it you think we are afraid of? Being wrong.



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jesse

posted March 19, 2007 at 11:40 pm


I very much disagree with the idea that all fear is bad. Fear prepares us to act when confronted with a potential threat. For example, if one were in the water with a man-eating shark, it would be appropriate to experience fear, and no one would argue that this is the kind of fear that the Bible speaks against. The “bad fear” is the kind that is either irrational or futile, or comes from not trusting in God. This distinction is an important one to make. Should we be afraid of militant Islam? I’d hope that fear of terrorism wouldn’t keep us up at night, and I doubt “fear” is doing that to Bush or any conservative. But it’s important to acknowledge militant Islam as a threat and to prepare for it accordingly.Fear is just an emotion that is produced by a perceived threat. The relevant issue is whether you perceive militant Islam/terrorism as a threat. Does Wallis?



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 19, 2007 at 11:46 pm


Should we be afraid of militant Islam? I’d hope that fear of terrorism wouldn’t keep us up at night, and I doubt “fear” is doing that to Bush or any conservative. But it’s important to acknowledge militant Islam as a threat and to prepare for it accordingly. This isn’t a fair question because only other religious “militants” who fear loss of influence would ask it. In fact, “militant Christianity” has been the bane of this country for the past 25 or so years, and it is THE reason we’re hated around the world, especially in the Middle East. We have allowed ourselves to play the same game that we accuse “Islamists” of playing, and in fact that’s exactly what they want.



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kevin s.

posted March 19, 2007 at 11:53 pm


” In fact, “militant Christianity” has been the bane of this country for the past 25 or so years, and it is THE reason we’re hated around the world, especially in the Middle East.” No it isn’t. We have been hated since before the inception of our Republic. Europeans hate our capitalistic urges, our media, or leadership, and have done so for centuries. We are hated in the Middle East for our support of Israel, which has nothing to do with “militant Christianity”. Israel has bi-partisan support, as well it should. The idea that only religious militants should fear religious militants is a statement so absurd I don’t even begin to know how to address it.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 12:00 am


No it isn’t. We have been hated since before the inception of our Republic. Europeans hate our capitalistic urges, our media, or leadership, and have done so for centuries. Get serious — that’s simply an arrogant statement on your part. We are hated in the Middle East for our support of Israel, which has nothing to do with “militant Christianity”. Israel has bi-partisan support, as well it should. Oh, yes, it does have to do with “militant Christianity,” especially the Western imperialism they feel is married to it.



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Hali

posted March 20, 2007 at 12:01 am


Salaam aleikum, shalom alechem, and l’chaim!



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jesse

posted March 20, 2007 at 12:25 am


This isn’t a fair question because only other religious “militants” who fear loss of influence would ask it. –I’m asking it. Millions of people in other parts of the world–religious and secular–are asking it. Including manyh European leaders. Most see a threat in militant Islam. Are all who see such things “religious militants”?



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 12:30 am


Rick, You speak of “militant Christianity”. Would you mind giving us a definition, or at least a couple examples? Wolverine



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justintime

posted March 20, 2007 at 12:33 am


Well there was the Crusades. What part of militant do you not understant, Wolvie? .



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 1:32 am


justintime snarked: What part of militant do you not understant, Wolvie? Look, I just want to be clear what Mr. Nowlin meant when he used the phrase. Obviously, in justintime’s worldview, there is such a thing as a dumb question, and I guess I just asked one. Very sorry folks. I promise never to go out of my way to make sure I understand what you guys are saying. Wolverine



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Hali

posted March 20, 2007 at 1:57 am


I thought some of you might appreciate this article. I am not familiar with the author – I just found here while surfing BeliefNet – but she’s pretty insightful. “Loving the Storm-Drenched” by Frederica Matthewes-Green [Christianity Today, March 2006]http://www.frederica.com/writings/loving-the-storm-drenched.html excerpt: Conservatives and liberals agree that it is admirable to be rebellious and challenge authority, and both sides are at pains to present the other side as authority.More serious, however, is a tone of voice we adopt from the culture: sarcastic, smart-alecky, jabbing, and self-righteous. We feel the sting of such treatment, and give it right back; we feel anger or even wounded hatred toward those on the other side. But God does not hate them; he loves them so much he sent his Son to die for them.



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justintime

posted March 20, 2007 at 2:05 am


Militancy is a form of madness driven by fear. There’s a dark side to militancy. It’s us against them. And it’s good against evil. Militancy is extremely contagious. When militancy infects a society it creates an enemy. Militant Christians, militant Muslims, militant Jews, militant Hindus – they all need each other to sustain a sphere of fear around the planet. The fearosphere obscures reality, allows obsessions and militancy to thrive in the darkness. Let’s take down the fearosphere! Cast out your own fear. Start thinking clearly before dealing with your enemy. Whatever it is. .



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 3:53 am


justintime, Just wondering about something. Do you believe that you are unaffected by fear? Wolverine



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Esther

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:15 am


Sigh…when will we humans learn that Love is stronger than fear?



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justintime

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:30 am


Affected but not obsessed. .



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:32 am


But God does not hate them; he loves them so much he sent his Son to die for them. HaliIf they send young people to die for a lie I hate “them”, now I’m not God. Killing my babies really pisses me off and making excuses for those who do pisses me off. I make no truce with the devil!



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neuro_nurse

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:39 am


The relevant issue is whether you perceive militant Islam/terrorism as a threat. jesse Do you believe that you are unaffected by fear? Wolverine Do I fear militant Islam? No. I am affected by fear? Absolutely! I’m afraid that when I ride my bike to school someone is going to run me over. (Neuro_nurse is more than just a moniker, it’s my profession: wear a helmet when you ride!) I’m afraid I may not be meeting all of my wife’s needs for love and affection. I’m afraid most especially of my own sinful nature. I’m afraid of the misperceptions people have from the media. I’m afraid of the damage Iraq war and American Imperialism are having on the rest of the world’s perception of the United States. I’m sure you’d like to argue that I should be afraid of militant Islamists, but I’m more afrad of you for trying to convince me of that. Peace!



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Pacific231

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:43 am


I was just wondering what-in-the-world kind of stole you are wearing?!?! Whoa man. I thought we are in Lent? Is Kwanzaa a liturgical festival? A sure sign hat THOSE Christians are beginning to run out of rhetoric…”the other brian” has nothing to say about Wallis’ powerhouse message, so rather than consider Wallis’ message (mustn’t have any of that now!), he takes a self-gratifying, faithless snipe at Wallis’ stole, a nod to tolerance and respect, which are 4 letter words to THOSE Christians. Hey “the other brian” – thanks for sharing.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:50 am


Start thinking clearly before dealing with your enemy. Whatever it is. justintimeAnd those who would come here to confuse, diffuse and interfere with clear thinking piss me off. These are serious matters that require clear thinking.



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:05 am


The comments here are verrrry revealing. First, neuronurse admits to being afraid that he fears my trying to convince him to take the islamic militants seriously. In fact he fears this more than the islamic militants themselves. Funny, I don’t recall any of us slamming an airplane into a skyscraper. And while I understand why you might be concerned about the war in Iraq, believe me: Bush didn’t start that war just to prove a point to you. The left has its fears too. Let me tell you what I think they are: You fear a world governed on the basis of western values of freedom and openness. You fear American hegemony — the “empire” as you like to call it. You fear a world in which violence cannot be wished away. You are confused, and frightened, by a world in which well-meaning men sometimes take up arms and attack men from other nations. Many of these fears are understandable. But there are other threats out there. And yes (steady neuronurse!) one of them is islamic radicalism, a religious ideology that has shown a remarkable propensity for violence and a total disregard of the rights of others to live their lives in peace. Does this justify the Iraq War? I’ll repeat what I said before: I’m a lot less sure of that than I once was. But when I read that you’re more afraid of a debate about radical muslims than about the radical muslims themselves, well… Let’s put it this way. There are lots of things that might scare me. Debates are not one of them. Wolverine



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justintime

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:15 am


Wolvie sez: Let’s put it this way. There are lots of things that might scare me. Debates are not one of them. Why don’t you lead off with a strategy for dealing with your greatest fear, which seems to be Islamic radicalism. .



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:17 am


Funny, I don’t recall any of us slamming an airplane into a skyscraper. Wolv 18 nut bags with some support and a really small amount of money (in worldwide terms) managed to turn our life upside down. I really think that was the main point and when we stop spending our lives, money and reputation they will launch another attack to make us behave poorly again. Their only win is to scare us to death. I’m afraid of those who are afraid of “islamist”.



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jerry

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:29 am


right on wolverine. me thinks that justintime wants to go meet with the islams and explain our fears to them. explain their koran to them, explain their habit of world terrorism to them. his lack of fear will allow him to do that for us. i do not fear islamic radicalism, i’m more afraid of fundamental islam because of what it stands for and what it’s leaders preach.



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jerry

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:32 am


oh boy….now we can send butch along with justintime and mckibben can be there leader since he has already estaablished really nice contacts there.



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kevin s.

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:33 am


“Well there was the Crusades. What part of militant do you not understant, Wolvie?” The Crusades have been the bane of our existence for the past 25 years?



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l'etranger

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:35 am


We have been hated since before the inception of our Republic. Europeans hate our capitalistic urges, our media, or leadership, and have done so for centuries.kevin s. If I might be allowed to speak as a European, we Europeans have a word for this sort of comment “bollocks” What we hate is the sort of arrogance that assumes that one’s country is specially chosen by God, and therefore the usual standards don’t apply. We Europeans learned what a load of nonsense that was the hard way – we managed to wipe out half a generation of young men in Northern France in four and a half years of the early part of the 20th century. Having lived with Americans I know that an increasing majority of them know this is nonsense too – as witnessed to by the last mid-terms. Unfortunately the increasingly small percentage that still believe this heresy include the current occupants of the white house and their apologists here.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:39 am


We got scared and now we have unwarrented wire taps.



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jerry

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:41 am


l’etranger. i am slowly learning spanish. i suggest you start on arabic. and please tell me what are the “usual standards”.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:43 am


i’m more afraid of fundamental islam because of what it stands for and what it’s leaders preach. jerry What muslim cleric do you know and how many sermons have you heard. And how old are you? You sound like a punk kid.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:44 am


You speak of “militant Christianity”. Would you mind giving us a definition, or at least a couple examples? Much past foreign missionary work was such, not so much because of that but the Western cultural baggage that went along with it. The “religious right” is another example.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:50 am


The Crusades have been the bane of our existence for the past 25 years? kevin s. I read your first post and could not figure what you were up to, now I see. Say something silly to cause us to try to figure it out. You are slick!



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:50 am


And yes (steady neuronurse!) one of them is islamic radicalism, a religious ideology that has shown a remarkable propensity for violence and a total disregard of the rights of others to live their lives in peace. And we’re any different? I mean, look at all the anti-terrorism measures since 9/11, the racism, indefinite imprisonment of “enemy combatants” and other things. Does this justify the Iraq War? I’ll repeat what I said before: I’m a lot less sure of that than I once was. But when I read that you’re more afraid of a debate about radical muslims than about the radical muslims themselves, well… This is where the true Gospel should shine, that we act, think and live differently than radical Muslims. You say they want to kill us — they really can’t if we hold strong; we actually have the capacity to outlast them.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:51 am


We got scared and committed Abu Grarub.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:55 am


We got scared and now the patriot act has a clause that allows the president to call the National Guard to put down public unrest. Look it up.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:00 am


We got scared and the language has a new definition for rendered. Even typing the word makes me sick and ashamed to be an American.



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justintime

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:01 am


I’m waiting for some clear headed thinking from the Bushies that could lead to successful strategy for dealing with Islamic radical terrorism, which is apparently the worst fear they can think of to project onto the American people. I’ve noticed the present Bush strategy for the ‘War on Terror’ isn’t working very well. If the Bushies are expecting America to be at perpetual war with the Islamic world, maybe they’re not interested in ending the problem, but rather keep it festering while they pick away at America’s Constitution.All the Bushies on this blog have come up with so far is ‘stay the course’ or ‘surge’ or ‘fight the terrorists over there rather than on American soil’- all shopworn doubletalk excuses for pouring more money and lives down a rathole, while we all helplessly sit and watch. The Bushies accuse the Dems of ‘cut and run’ while they ‘sit and watch’. Bush/Cheney arrogance has taken negotiations with Iran and Syria ‘off the table’ while they provoke Iran into another war. Have you been thinking clearly about your worst fear, Jerry? And have you got a real strategy for dealing with it? Bring it on. .



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l'etranger

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:02 am


Jerry I think you’ll struggle to find either l’etranger (french) or an anglo saxon word in a spanish book, or indeed an arabic one. The usual standards? Oh you know little things, not torturing people, not attempting genocide, not starting pre-emptive and unjust wars, not lying to populations about your intentions. The Spanish did this sort of thing in the 17th century and the British in the late 19th century, both convincing themselves that they were specially favored by God (Habsburgian catholocism and the British Israelite movement come tom mind) and within 50 years they had fallen from being the world’s most powerful empires.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:02 am


We got scared and started calling Geneva Conventions quaint.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:10 am


within 50 years they had fallen from being the world’s most powerful empires. l’etranger Our arrogance makes us think we can spend our fortune and lives and good name and not lose our place in the world. It has happened to every arrogant power since the beginning of time.



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l'etranger

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:11 am


butch – I agree



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Donny

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:16 am


Jim, I’d like to know if you really believe you are leading anybody, other than Democrat loyalists? Have you ever thought of preaching and protesting for peace TO Muslims? How many millions are living in Islamic slavery TODAY? How many are being slaughtered by Muslims TODAY? “Sectarian violence.” That means Muslims are killing people. Each other, and of course non-Muslims. How many died this week from Islamic war????? Ever thought Jim, of actually living a Christian life? As in preaching the Gospel to the lost? I know you consider my words a hate crime, Jim, but the Christians that brought us the Church didn’t think so. As I am folloing their words without editing. The monologue of the Christian Right is the only voice trying to bring the Gospel of Christ Jesus to the suffering world. Including those dying from AIDS in Africa and the United States of America. Europe is a write off. Hugo Chavez, your pal, is also due only dust from shoes. The monologue of the Christian Right is the only voice that’s compatible to the voices in the New Testament. The voices that brought us the Gospel record. So far the monologue of the Christian Right is going strong. The drones and whines of the Left (whatever you call yourselves) is the same as it was when it was mockingly shrieked at Noah, Lot, Moses and Christ Jesus and His Apostles. Until you try to stop war being waged by Jihadists, you are just a gong ringing ever so loudly.



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justintime

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:20 am


Got a plan Donny? Let’s hear it. No plan? Think harder. .>



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:21 am


l’etranger I think we need clear headed study of history looking for lessons to guide our behavior. We really are creating our future. I’m retired and worked part time as a hotel clerk that had a large amount of international travel. So, I engaged everyone who would talk. Those who opened up, every single one said that Americans have no idea what the rest of the world thinks of us.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:24 am


Got a plan Donny? Let’s hear it. No plan? Think harder. . justintime You silly goose why do you engage Donny. Find a nice schizophrenic to debate world affairs.



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l'etranger

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:30 am


Donny Why do you come here? You have no interest in dialoging with anyone. You have no interest in or respect for any Christian who disagrees politically with you. You come here only to insult, denigrate, and frankly lie. You demonstrate hate for the poor and needy, contempt for those who minister to them. You reduce the gospel to a crude numbers game. You make (even in your last post) ill-informed and racist comments about Europeans, Arabs and Latin Americans. Many here – especially neuro-nurse – have shown you christian compassion and understanding, have sought to reason with you, to understand and engage with your viewpoint. But your attitude is one of the least christ-like I have ever seen, even on the internet. I have no doubt that you see yourself as a prophetic voice but the truth is that you have detached yourself from the gospel and see only the gaining of power. You falsely and dangerously conflate America and Christianity, salvation and political power. You reduce the gospel to counting souls saved because you want our side to be bigger than their side. In short you are disgracing the Christ you claim to serve. There are other conservatives here who are worth listening too, and who I can learn from even if I disagree with them. Don’t think about coming back to me with one of your intemperate, ungrammatical rants. I am following our Lord’s advice in Matthew 10:14 and I think others would be wise to do the same.



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l'etranger

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:36 am


Butch – thanks I have to say that I am actually someone who really likes Americans – I’ve chosen to live among them and found much that I like in the people and their kindness and generosity. I have also to say that many of these people have been Republicans, and conservatives. I would also consider myself (in the 18th century meaning of the word) and evangelical. I, like many, have despaired over the GW Bush administration – but I know that many Americans share that view too (not a time here I think to get into the stolen election(s) stories) – and I think the alignment of Christianity with modern conservatism is just wrong, theologically and intellectually – although there are parts of the conservative agenda that I think align with scripture, there are many more that don’t. In Peace



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kevin s.

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:58 am


“We got scared and now the patriot act has a clause that allows the president to call the National Guard to put down public unrest. Look it up.” So, previously, the national guard was prohibited from putting down public unrest?



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:13 am


I have to say that I am actually someone who really likes Americans i’etranger It was an interesting dichotomy; they talked about our general ignorance about the rest of the world and how much they liked us. They talked like a parent saying something like why are you misbehaving badly while they still loved us. Don’t be fooled, if we squander our power and fortune no one will give it back.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:15 am


Look it up.” So, previously, the national guard was prohibited from putting down public unrest? kevin s. Look it up and correct me from knowledge if you can?



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Tim

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:39 am


And, speaking of nutbags, Wolvie, might not that same label be applied to the key players in the scenario currently being played out in a Chicago court room involving the Sun-Times versus its former owner, Conrad Black, who is charged with pillaging his company Hollinger at the time it owned the Sun-Times? This scenario has been multiplied scores of times just since 9/11 – think Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, etc, etc! How many people’s lives have been terrorized by the actions of capitalist terrorists right inside the good ol’ U.S.A? Scripture suggests that the love of money is the root of ALL evil – when people who couldn’t spend in twelve lifetimes all the money they have accumulated in this one still feel the urge to do whatever they have to do to acquire more, now that’s something that scares me and, from what I can tell, such mindsets are not the sole preserve of Islamic radicals!



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Tim

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:45 am


“The monologue of the Christian Right is the only voice trying to bring the Gospel of Christ Jesus to the suffering world.” – Donny I think you can get now get medication for such nonsense, can’t you?



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kevin s.

posted March 20, 2007 at 8:01 am


“Look it up and correct me from knowledge if you can?” Off the top of my head, the L.A. Riots?



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Joseph Tracy

posted March 20, 2007 at 8:15 am


The idea that Islamic terrorists have lost ground because of our invasion and occupation of Iraq and attempted theft of Iraqi oil, is a form of delusion which is unsupported by the facts. Violent acts of terror have increased around the world 8 fold.There is abundant historical research showing that the type of imperial warfare occupation and destabilization we have engaged in will inevitably produce violent resistance.If you want peace and friendly relations, sow it. You reap what you sow.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 8:29 am


Butch “Look it up and correct me from knowledge if you can?” Off the top of my head, the L.A. Riots? kevin s.Kevin the Republi-nazi you are to good, thought you would look it up and have to out your bosses. I misspoke myself and said National Guard when it was the Army. So, I’ll go into more detail which makes the significance apparent. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 installed safeguards against military use against citizens and the Insurrection Act of 1807, which limits a president s domestic use of the military to putting down lawlessness, insurrection and rebellion where a state is violating federal law or depriving the people of their constitutional rights. Under these new provisions, the president can now use the military as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, disease outbreak, terrorist attack or to any another condition According to the new law, Bush doesn t even have to notify congress of his intent to use military force against the American people he just has to notify them once he has done so.



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Donny

posted March 20, 2007 at 2:24 pm


The Rick Nowlin’s of the world are far too ignorant and far too ubiquitous. Look into who built our Universities and Hospitals. They were in the Army of the Lord. Militant Christianity is a tiny little happening that came and went in human history, that anti-Christ’s have built an entire mountain ON. Militant Christianity was eliminated by Biblical Evangelical Christians. Now, what is being taught in our once-founded by Christians Universities? Debauchery 101. The Nick Rowlin’s of the world are a wierd and ignorant bunch. But now they have all the teaching positions in the once Christian Universities. And the violence in our city streets is skyrocketing.



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Donny

posted March 20, 2007 at 2:38 pm


And, The “Crusades” were IN RESPONSE TO . . . Islamic war! Try a little truth with your Progressive indoctrination. It is amazing what you can learn when you are not fed by Secular Humanists.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 2:38 pm


Donny — Is that all you can do, insult people and display your pure ignorance? Why are you on this blog? Your diatribe is not worth responding to, so I won’t, except to say this: Hospitals were founded by people like Jim Wallis, not James Dobson.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 20, 2007 at 2:38 pm


Why am I not afraid of Islamic extremists? Maybe because I grew up under the specter of Mutually Assured Destruction, in which everything I knew and everyone I loved could be incinerated at a moment s notice. Maybe because I ve lived in Muslim countries and I know that Muslim extremists are the exception, not the rule. More likely though is that I don t trust a system that tells me I should live in fear. I don t trust our government, particularly under the present leadership, and I trust bush apologists even less. But the bottom line is that I trust God. God bless!



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Don

posted March 20, 2007 at 2:54 pm


I agree with Neuro_nurse here. I cannot fear the Islamists. I trust (and fear–in the biblical sense) God much more than any human cause. That doesn’t mean, however, that we should ignore or pooh-pooh the threat. But we should put it in perspective. An excellent book to read, which I just finished, is Paul Barrett’s “American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion.” Barrett profiles seven American Muslims. When reading these profiles, we learn about the threat that Islamists pose to other Muslims and to the Islamic religion itself. Muslims may well have more to be concerned about than non-Muslims do. Just like the influence the religious right has on Christianity here in the USA, Islamist teachings are influencing Islamic thinking throughout the Muslim world. And a growing intolerance for Muslims who do not agree with the Islamists is one result. Islamist teachigs are bcoming increasingly influential throughout the Islamic world, in large part because of Saudi proseletyzing (that’s financed primarily by the West’s petroleum addiction). It’s becoming difficult and dangerous for Muslims to speak out against these teachings, but Barrett’s book profiles a few Muslim Americans that are corageously standing against these hateful teachings. Salaam,



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steve

posted March 20, 2007 at 3:53 pm


“This war, from a Christian point of view, is morally wrong and was from the very start.” I fail to see why this war is “morally wrong.” As Christians we are supposed to share the good news with the world; even in Iraq. AT the same time, there is also the issue of freedom – “God made all people equal, endowed by their creator with certain rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (I know I didn’t get the quote exact). But, God wants the Iraqis to have freedom, and freedom from a dictator like Saddam Husein seems preferable, even if it comes with a little more danger.



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 3:55 pm


justintime wrote: Why don’t you lead off with a strategy for dealing with your greatest fear, which seems to be Islamic radicalism. Okay, I’ll give it a shot. First off, we need to get a handle on the problem, which is that there are a significant number of committed radicals within Islam who believe that they are called by God to spread their religion by force. Now for the really hard part: the relationship that these radicals have with mainstream Islam is complicated. Most Muslims are not prepared to resort to violence, but they are either unwilling or afraid to confront the radicals. The radicals draw significant support from governments throughout the middle east. Some of this is explicit, especially in Iran. Some of this is under the table, as in the case of Syria. Then there’s the peculiar case of Saudi Arabia, a kleptocratic “kingdom” with a ruling family that preserves itself through copious amounts of financial support to a particularly noxious sect of Islam known as Wahhabism. Saudi support has made Wahhabism the fastest growing sect in Islam, displacing local variants that are usually less prone to violence. At its worst, radical Islam can be as brutal as the worst western ideology, and shares three particular vices with National Socialism: rank anti-semitism, a tendency to nurse grudges, and fantasies of global domination. To this, they add a bizarre religious outlook in which not only is dying for the cause a guaranteed path to heaven, but heaven is a wild sexual fantasy that most of the rest of us grow out of by our 18th birthday. This makes Islamic radicalism especially attractive to immature and unbalanced men. Now, for the strategy: 1. Radical Islamic states, and those states that support radical Islam, must not gain access to weapons of mass destruction, especially not nuclear weapons. A nuclear Soviet Union was tolerable because Soviet leadership was generally sane. The same cannot be said for radical Islam. Without WMD attacks, the west should be able to outlast the radicals, much as we outlasted the Soviet Union. 2. Otherwise, we should attempt to contain Islam. Yes, I didn’t say “radical Islam” but Islam itself. That is because, given the ambiguous relationship between mainstream and radical strains of the faith, where there is a sizeable Muslim community radicalism is likely to gain a toehold. If and when mainstream Islam is able to repudiate radicalism, our strategy here can and should change. Until then, Islam itself should not be allowed to gain influence outside of its traditional areas. 3. Generally speaking, there is little need for us to invade Muslim countries as long as they are not pursuing WMDs. 4. There is a strong case to be made that the Iraq invasion was a mistake. The WMD program was not substantial as we had been led to believe. This error does not, however, negate the basic principle that states that support radical Islam must not be permitted to develop weapons of mass destruction. 5. Our goal for Iraq should be to salvage as much as possible: establish a stable government (or governments), and remove (or at least limit) radical Islamic influence. Once that is secured, US forces should leave. We should not feel the need to apologize too profusely for the Iraq War. Saddam Hussein played a game of cat-and-mouse with the UN sanctions regime. His fall serves as a useful example to other leaders in the area: this is not a game. 6. The US should not rule out the use of force against Iran to negate its nuclear weapons program. 7. It is a sad thing that this must be spelled out, but Israel should be permitted to take whatever reasonable steps it believes are necessary to ensure its security. Many readers of this blog have strong sympathies for the Palestinians, and this is understandable, but Palestinians, as much as anyone, have been victimized by a radical Islamic ideology that makes peace with Israel impossible. There’s little we can do to help them until radical Islam loses influence in the Middle East.8. Individual Muslims in the west should be allowed to live in peace, although mosques should be watched closely for signs of radical influence. Most of this monitoring can be achieved using usual police methods. More invasive measures, including wiretaps, should be reserved for suspected radicals. It should be said that this is for the good of most peace-loving Muslims, who hope to avoid being caught up in violent confrontations. 9. Immigration from Muslim countries should be limited, and Muslims residing in the west should be encourage to integrate into western society. American diplomacy in Europe, in particular, should seek to persuade European leaders to enforce local laws, especially regarding the fair treatment of women, in Muslim sections of European cities. This process will isolate radicals, and give the moderates within Islam needed “breathing room”. 10. The west should seek ways to defund Islamic radicalism. Oil is their lifeline, without it, Wahhabism in particular is likely to whither. Over the longer term alternative energy sources should be pursued. In the shorter term increased use of domestic oil sources, such as ANWR, will reduce oil purchases from the middle east and should help to reduce Wahhabi influence in particular. 11. In the end Islam isn’t so much in need of dramatic reform as it is in need of a purge of radicalism. Once that happens, the battle is halfway done. Wolverine



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Don

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:21 pm


Steve, yes, God wants the Iraqis to have freedom, but do you think our strategy gave it to them? Or did it, perhaps, increase the oppression? And is it the USA’s responsibility to demand that all tyrants relinquish their unjust power or else? Was it possible that another strategy to dislodge Saddam Hussein that did not involve military invasion could have been tried first, and that such a strategy just might have worked? One of the major criteria of “just war” is that *all* non-combat options be exhausted first. Did the Bush aministration exercise restraint; did they exhaust all diplomatic options? Or did they rush into this invasion before all other options were tried and before they had taken account of the possible consequences of this action? I think you know the answer to that last question. Peace,



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:48 pm


Don, Among the many tragic aspects of the Iraq invasion was this: the corruption of the UN made peaceful means nearly impossible. Too many high-ranking officials at the UN had been bought off by Hussein due to the corruption of the Oil for Food program, and this prevented the enforcement of sanctions that would be critical to any realistic plan to bring Hussein down by peaceful means. Don, it seems to me that you are playing the Sojo game of turning Just War into pacifism by setting unrealistically high standards. Yes, all realistic diplomatic methods should be attempted before war is waged, but that does not mean that the President was obligated to spend much effort on lost causes. And the UN was a lost cause, in no small part because the internationalist left failed to hold UN leaders accountable for systemic corruption. I still think that the UN could do a great deal of good, but right now it has all the strength of a broken reed. And those who would judge Bush need to account for that. Wolverine



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Don

posted March 20, 2007 at 4:58 pm


Wolverine, the notion that the UN was a lost cause is a matter of opinion. Further, it was another talking point of the Bushies. They made the same assumptions you are making here, but I’m not sure they were valid then or now. We didn’t even give the UN a chance to play out the resumption of inspections that was OUR (USA’s) OWN proposal. Remember? And the UN wasn’t the only player in 2003. Other voices were urging restraint, and even Sojourners had a plan on the table that just might have worked to dislodge Hussein. At least it should have been triedI’m not convinced diplomacy couldn’t have worked. The neocons wanted the invasion so badly they could almost taste it, and Bush went reclessly along with them. The diplomacy was a sham. We didn’t really try to deal with Saddam short of the invasion. Late,



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Paul

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:08 pm


Don, You state: “The diplomacy was a sham. We didn’t really try to deal with Saddam short of the invasion.” What sort of evidence would it take to show you that you are mistaken? cheers, Paul



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:37 pm


What sort of evidence would it take to show you that you are mistaken? You assume he is — remember, Saddam was our ally when we were fighting “Islamic extremism” in Iran.



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Paul

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:40 pm


Rick Nowlin, No, that is not what I am assuming. Again you are missing the point. cheers, Paul



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Carl Copas

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:47 pm


Hali, thank you for the link to the article by Frederika Mathewes-Green. Her analysis calls to mind Gregory Boyd’s recent critique of the notion of the US as a Christian Nation.



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Carl Copas

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:57 pm


Wolverine, I disagree sharply with most of your 11-point analysis above. But thank you for having the courage, and the energy, to lay out a thoughtful post.Much better than name-calling, potted history, and talk-radio rhetorical styles.



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Jeff

posted March 20, 2007 at 5:59 pm


Hospitals were founded by people like Jim Wallis, not James Dobson. Really? That may be hard to prove. My guess is that hospitals where founded by both types.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Really? That may be hard to prove. My guess is that hospitals where founded by both types. Check the historical record — the church was splitting even in those days, with the conservatives complaining about the heretical “social Gospel” diluting the faith. A quarter-century ago I took a course in American religious history taught by a conservative evangelical, and that’s where I learned.



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:12 pm


Don wrote: Wolverine, the notion that the UN was a lost cause is a matter of opinion. Further, it was another talking point of the Bushies. They made the same assumptions you are making here, but I’m not sure they were valid then or now. We didn’t even give the UN a chance to play out the resumption of inspections that was OUR (USA’s) OWN proposal. Remember? Actually, whether or not we gave UN inspections enough time is debatable. There was nearly a year’s buildup prior to the war, during which time the inspectors were constantly hassled by the Iraqi government. What’s beyond dispute is that the UN was severely compromised by the Oil for Food scandal. Oil for Food boodle was eventually linked to Kojo Annan (UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s son) and the French foreign ministry (France holding a security council veto) This is not a Bush talking point, this is widely accepted as fact. Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil-for-Food_Programme Look, I’m not saying that the Iraq invasion was smart or even justified. What I am saying is that Bush’s critics need to acknowledge the difficult situation that Bush was put in, and the fact that the UN’s own pervasive corruption limited the administration’s options. Wolverine



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Don

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:43 pm


Paul asks what evidence would convince me that the Bush administration was taking diplomacy seriously back in 2002-03, and that it wasn’t a sham. I’m not sure such evidence exists, but I’m willing to read or listen to whatever you might have. I can only speak for myself. I can only speak for what I observed, read, and saw at the time (2002-03). I do not speak as a lackey for Sojourners or anyone else. I’m not a pacifist; I supported our effort against Al Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I don’t speak as a liberal Democrat–I’m neither–who hated the Bush administration from the start–I didn’t. I voted for Bush in 2000. (I refused to vote for him in 2004 because of what I saw and read and heard in 2002-03. And that was the first time since I cast my first vote for president in 1972 that I did not support the Republican candidate.) This is only my gut feeling, based on what I observed at the time. It seemed obvious to me from the beginning that the Bush administration was never serious about engaging diplomacy to reslove the Saddam Hussein situation. I read and heard their statements; I watched them on the TV news; I read their body language. I stayed up late to watch the Security Council’s debate on the resolution authorizing the invasion. I saw the Bush officials’ half-hearted, so-called “last ditch” attempt at reaching an agreement with the Security Council on the eve of the invasion. Everything, everything, I read and heard and saw told me that what the Bush administration officials really were saying was, “We want our invasion, we’re gonna have our invastion, and we’re not gonna let anyone or anything get in the way of our invasion. And if we have to have our invasion alone, so be it, and the rest of the world can go to hell.” That was my impression at the time, and I have seen or read no evidence that would lead me to reconsider that impression. Challenge that impression if you can. I’m interested in knowing what kind of evidence you might have. But I think I would have a difficult time being able to see differently what seemed to have been so clear and obvious to me at the time. Later,



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Carl Copas

posted March 20, 2007 at 6:47 pm


Wolverine: “What I am saying is that Bush’s critics need to acknowledge the difficult situation that Bush was put in” Wolverine, I simply can’t acknowledge this. Bush put himself in this situation by his administration’s obsession with attacking Iraq, which seems to have predated 9/11/01. This was a crisis manufactured by Bush and co. Rather than go after Al Quaida in Afghanistan, his administration tried to stretch the war on terror into an invasion of Iraq, on the grounds of trumped-up evidence, to remake the entire Middle East. The plan was deceitful, wildly grandiose, and done in bad faith with the American people. I can point you to all sorts of references–mainstream as well as progressive/leftist–you might start with Bob Woodward’s latest book, Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco, and Gordon and Trainor’s book. To suggest that somehow Bush was forced to choose from the least odious of a range of options is to swallow the Orwellian history that the administration has been trying to write for over 5 years.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:02 pm


I don t trust our government, particularly under the present leadership, and I trust bush apologists even less. neuro nurse Be afraid of any government and don’t give any power you don’t have to and be prepared to take it back at the drop of a hat. The apologist will always be there, you and I are probably in the more liberal camp, if politics change then there will be apologist saying every welfare program should be made law and funded. The middle is the place to look for.



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Paul

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:15 pm


Don, Thanks for the reply. The point I was making is this. Is your position, in principle falsafiable? It is the difference between “belief” statements, and statements of “fact”. If there is no possible evidence to the contrary, then your statement may be a true reflection of your belief, but it then has nothing to do with what is “in fact” the case. Statements of belief may be interesting to observe, but to try to engage them in terms of what is in fact the case, is a useless enterprise. As much of the verbalizing here graphically shows. Thanks for the time and attention. cheers, Paul



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Tim

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:26 pm


Wolvie, I’m not sure Wikipedia is the most reliable source in the world to be citing on the UN or on anything for that matter after what’s just come out about the false qualifications of one of their prime “researchers.”



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:38 pm


Wolverine, I disagree sharply with most of your 11-point analysis above. But thank you for having the courage, and the energy, to lay out a thoughtful post. Much better than name-calling, potted history, and talk-radio rhetorical styles. Carl Copas I would rather take his points one by one and discuss them carefully.



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Hali

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:47 pm


Neuro_nurse “Maybe because I grew up under the specter of Mutually Assured Destruction, in which everything I knew and everyone I loved could be incinerated at a moment s notice.” I think that makes us contemporaries. How quickly we’ve forgotten the “Cold” War! Things were supposed to be all better after the fall of the Soviet Union. It doesn’t seem to have worked out that way, after all.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 7:52 pm


I’m listening to the “American Conservative Union” making points that I’ve made here and comes republi-nazi telling me I’m wrong. I was born and raised a Baptist Republican Conservative and firmly believe that neo-cons have hijacked my Republican Conservatism. I walked door to door with my grandfather trying to get out the Republican vote.Now let me tell you what he did, he stole votes. This honest hard working man did wrong in the name of partisan politics. I think we have allowed modern day neo-cons (Republicans) to do terrible things because some are partisan Republicans. Bruce Fein deputy attorney general under Reagan is talking about rolling back executive power. Nixon s grab for power drove me out of the Republican party. Go true conservatives, I’m there for you.



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butch

posted March 20, 2007 at 8:20 pm


It doesn’t seem to have worked out that way, after all. HaliI hate to make this point, military spending and the contribution to our economy weapon production contributes is the largest single number. Surely you know what Ike said about the military industrial complex. Our economy would be in trouble if we stopped making weapons and selling them around the world.



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Sarasotakid

posted March 20, 2007 at 8:30 pm


“No it isn’t. We have been hated since before the inception of our Republic. Europeans hate our capitalistic urges, our media, or leadership, and have done so for centuries.” Kevin S. Unmitigated nonsense and blathering, Kevin. Just how many centuries have we existed for them to hate our capitalistic urges etc. What Europeans are put off by, Kevin, is the arrogant ethnocentric, condescending tone in posts like the one you did. And they don’t care for the arrogance in not seeing any fault in the US but finding it with every other country. To l’entranger: Bien dit je suis d’accord avec vous! Translation: Well said. I agree with you!



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kevin s.

posted March 20, 2007 at 9:06 pm


“Unmitigated nonsense and blathering, Kevin.” No it isn’t. Europe has looked down on America for centuries. That is simply fact. “Just how many centuries have we existed for them to hate our capitalistic urges etc” Ummm… Are you insinuating that it is inappropriate to measure in centuries? Are you under the impression that America is under 100 years old? What is your point here?



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 9:11 pm


I was born and raised a Baptist Republican Conservative and firmly believe that neo-cons have hijacked my Republican Conservatism. From the view of us who never were in the conservative camp, what you’re seeing today with George W. Bush is a natural consequence and was inevitable. I saw this way back in 1980 when Reagan was first elected, especially as the “religious right” became more visible (if not more powerful). In an atmosphere of religion being used as an excuse for the “will to power,” and especially since modern conservatism started with the Cold War, there was no way that religious folks were going to allow people to “do their own thing” when doing so violated what they considered religious principles.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 20, 2007 at 9:16 pm


Are you insinuating that it is inappropriate to measure in centuries? Are you under the impression that America is under 100 years old? What is your point here? The point is that America is only about three or four centuries old (just over two officially), which makes it a relative blip on the historical radar compared the Europe.



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Payshun

posted March 20, 2007 at 9:25 pm


Fear and power. You leave for a couple of days and this really interesting discussion takes place. Rick, Donny is foolish. Let him worship the pro white supramicist, women hating men of the past. He represents everything that was wrong w/ the country circa 1850. That’s funny and at the same time pathetic. To all, I guess I agree w/ people that are a tad more critical of our (American) history. We don’t have a great track record of bringing peace to everything we touch and often times we don’t even try. But there are some shining exceptions it’s just that we as a people should really urge and command our government to do more to make peace. The question is how do we do that and how do we sow that in our daily lives? That is all. p



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Wolverine

posted March 20, 2007 at 9:28 pm


Butch wrote: I was born and raised a Baptist Republican Conservative and firmly believe that neo-cons have hijacked my Republican Conservatism. Here we go with the neocons again. Sigh. Butch, don’t take this the wrong way, but somehow I find it hard to imagine you pining for the pre-neocon conservatism of a Howard Taft or a Russell Kirk. Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted March 20, 2007 at 9:44 pm


No it isn’t. Europe has looked down on America for centuries. That is simply fact. Kevin S. Attitudes like yours wouldn’t be adding any fuel to that fire, would they Kevin? Keep up with the sweeing generalities. Very revealing.



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Hali

posted March 20, 2007 at 9:57 pm


On Militancy: Militancy is not peculiar to one religion or set of ideologies, by any means. Some of Wolverine’s strategy for containing Islam is as horrific as the Islamic radicalism he purports to defend against, and he uses the same sort of language. I’m sure he doesn’t see himself as a radical. How many people do? A friend of mine grew up in China under Mao – including being sent to the countryside for “re-education” during the Cultural Revolution. During her youth, she attended Christian services in secret (partly because it was a rebellious thing to do). When she was able to emigrate to the West, she attended Christian church services but quickly stopped. She says that they were too much like the Maoist lectures she was forced to attend, where everyone had to listen to one point of view and agree or be condemned. She is a very spiritual person, but she refuses to come to church for this reason. Jesus challenged us, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5) It’s very sensible advice, but we humans have a very hard time following it.



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jerry

posted March 21, 2007 at 1:00 am


l’etranger; i am so glad that we have the european government models to help guide our ways. i know how proper and socially advanced they have become since the united states bailed them out of hitler’s clutches. and butch and justintime, i am ashamed that you are americans too. and for all of you who don’t think diplomacy was used before the attack on iraq, you are sadly mistaken and you know it. bush, clinton, united nations united kingdom, russia and bush and others all worked pretty hard to curb a war. just as they are working to stop iran and n. korea from doing atomic bombs. you can’t stand the fact that they all failed using your ideas.



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Carl Copas

posted March 21, 2007 at 1:20 am


Jerry, why are you ashamed of butch and justintime? Because they exercised the right of free speech? Just curious.



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Tim

posted March 21, 2007 at 1:22 am


“…since the United States bailed them out of Hitler’s clutches” er, jerry, tell me, my friend, precisely WHEN did the U.S.A. officially enter WW2? yeah, that’s right, more than two years AFTER the conflict on the continent started – by then, the Allied forces, sans the USA, had put a significant dent in Hitler’s cause, so enough already with the bs why do some people despise Americans? in part, b/c some of you guys have so swallowed the Yankee spin on history you’ve been spoon-fed that you can’t even get the facts straight!!



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:13 am


Tim – you are of course correct Jerry – I’m trying to work out whether your response is a deliberate parody of the ignorant yankee stereotype or whether you really do believe the “if it wasn’t for us you’d all be speaking German nonsense”. If the former I think you’re being rather unfair on the vast majority of sensible and charming Americans one meets. If, on the other hand, you really do believe this I suggest that you give up trying to converse with grown ups and go and read some history of World War 2 and look up “battle of britain” and “stalingrad” before you join in again. This sort of nonsense simply makes people pity you. You might also want to consider that the “godless” Western European countries have lower abortion rates, lower divorce rates, much lower murder rates, higher median age of first sexual encounter, lower drug abuse rates, and massively smaller pornography industries than the US, and ponder why this is.



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:17 am


No it isn’t. Europe has looked down on America for centuries. That is simply fact. Kevin S. You might actually want to read some of the enthusiasm of the figures of the European enlightenment for the founding fathers (and vice versa) before you start spouting this drivel. Indeed just about any European (as opposed to British USA and UK at war for significant periods during this time – of course) writing prior to about 1960 will show this enthusiasm for the US, its vitality, friendliness, moral imperative and can-do spirit. Indeed this enthusiasm was so great that the crimes against Native and African-Americans were overlooked. Foreign adventurism and the racism of Jim Crow are the prime reasons for criticism since then and until recently most was still phrased in terms of a critical friend. But what we actually look down on are tedious little blow-hards jumping up and down to tell us how much better they are than us, how awful we are, how they are always right about everything and how they have a unique relationship with God which allows them to do whatever they want. Most nationalities tend to share this prejudice against such people, you may find. In our prejudice against such people we are entirely nationality-blind; indeed we are happy to deprecate those from our countries who behave in the same way. The fact that currently the US is poorly regarded in the rest of the world reflects the fact that said blow-hards now have untrammeled power without the sagacity to use it. In general US presidents have not had this trait. This is the reason why Europeans have and have had tremendous respect for Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower (and even a fair amount of affection, if disappointment, for the likes of Wilson, LBJ and Clinton), why the US has traditionally been admired by most Europeans as a force for good, and why we generally have contempt for the gang of crooks and liars around Shrub. SarasotakidMerci monsieur vous etes un homme aimable et sage Thank you sir you are a wise and kind man



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Wolverine

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:20 am


Tim, One of these days you might want to read a history book or something. You might find out something useful. At the time the US entered World War Two, Hitler pretty much controlled western Europe. France had been overrun, along with the Netherlands and Belgium. Without the US there would have been no landings at Normandy, and the Russians might have lost in the east too because German forces tied up in the west would have gone to fight the Soviets. Now none of this justifies the Iraq War, of course, and I don’t think we should just blow off European opinion. But the fact is that Hitler was winning the war before the US was attacked, and probably would have won without US forces involved. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:23 am


l’etranger, One word: Vichy. Wolverine



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HASH(0x11b9019c)

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:24 am


Wolverine you might like to follow my advice to Jerry. Hitler had ground to a hold in Britain and Russia prior to the American entry into the war in Europe. Stalingrad was the pivotal battle of the war, and Hitler’s defeat more than anything can be attributed to his desire to go east – effectively to kill Jews. It is a nice irony, and to me a good proof for the existence of God, that Hitler was destroyed by his own moral obscenity I do worry about the teaching of history in American schools.



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:25 am


3 words Battle of Britain



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Wolverine

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:34 am


Well, never imagined I’d be arguing WWII, but what the heck. Yes, the Battle of Britain was a brave and proud moment for the English. I dare say they acquitted themselves better than a certain continental nation to the west of Germany I could mention. What you forget was that the Battle of Britain was a defenseive battle. To dislodge Hitler required an offensive, and that required a far stronger force than Britain and the Free French could put together. DeGalle was (honestly) a brilliant man but he couldn’t create a French army out of the English Channel. And Stalingrad was a turning point precisely because it was Herr Hitler’s last chance at a breakout in the east. After that, he had to tend to the defense of North Africa, Italy, and eventually Normandy. No, the US did not win the war alone, but without US forces around there was not enough strength in Europe to remove him. Wolverine



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Tim

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:41 am


“Tim, One of these days you might want to read a history book or something. You might find out something useful. Wolverine” Thanks for the chuckle. I’ll abandon my doctoral studies in history posthaste so that I might immediately enroll in a university that properly dispatches The Gospel According to America.Have you ever been outside the lower 48?



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:48 am


No, the US did not win the war alone Thanks for conceding that – I appreciate your graciousness. I disagree on the relative importance of the eastern front, which i think you underplay, but hey we can disagree without being disagreeable… What irritates Europeans is the jerry mentally of America winning the whole thing alone. British and particularly Russian sacrifices were rather greater.



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Wolverine

posted March 21, 2007 at 2:57 am


Tim, As a matter of fact, I have. I’ve even been to Europe. In fact, a little more than a year ago I went there as the guest of a German think tank. Met some Euro MPs and some folks from the foreign ministry. Had an interesting time. My German could use some work, especially spoken but I read Die Welt and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung regularly. Lemme ask you: have you ever studied military history? Maybe I’m mistaken, but I get the feeling you’re more the postmodern gender studies type. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted March 21, 2007 at 3:31 am


l’etranger, Actually, I wasn’t trying to be gracious, just stating a fact. And you have a point about the eastern front. Funny thing is, it was an acquaintance of mine who went to the US Military Academy at West Point who got me to realize that it really was the Russians who bore most of the burden of beating Hitler. It’s not so much that GI Joe was the hero of the whole thing as much as it was that WWII in Europe was a close-run thing. Any of a half dozen things could have swung matters the other way around, including Hitler calling off Operation Barbarossa. (Or Operation Barbarella as I once mistakenly wrote it on a history exam — as far as I know my prof is still chuckling over that one.) At any rate, while I would hope this not-too-distant history (certainly more recent than the crusades) would buy us a little benefit of the doubt, I wouldn’t argue that what happened in WWII obliges Europe to support everything the US does. Wolverine



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 3:43 am


Wolverine thanks – really glad we are communicating like this I would really like to agree on benefit of the doubt. I love Americans and America, and think that it has broadly been a force for good for the world – and certainly its record as top dog compares favourably with most countries that have had that position – including my own. I also supported the Afghanistan war and think that it is possible to make a justifiable case for the Iraq war But… well the way it has been executed leads me to believe that this justifiable case was not on the minds of the Bush administration, and the more that I have found out about their behavior the more worried I become. I guess we will disagree on many things – but I’m glad we’re doing it in a non-disagreeable way. Thank you and God Bless



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jerry

posted March 21, 2007 at 4:35 am


l’etranger, no parody here. just stating my opinion of what happened after hitler overran europe and when the americans came into the war. and after the war the effort to keep europe going until it could Get on it’s feet. if you can’t accept that then you have been caught up in the european version of history. i don’t have to repeatedly list my degrees and travel history to bolster my statements. and i do enjoy reading comments on your comments that seem to challenge you assertions. your comments would be lost on the streets but i’m sure they play well in academia. stay in your studies and pray that the muslim terrorists don’t decide to bomb your house. or…support the world wide war on terror and help end it. tell me just what are the europeans doing to promote peace? enlighten me. thank you and God bless.



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butch

posted March 21, 2007 at 4:55 am


l’etranger and Wolverine, interesting little discussion or pissing contest, don’t know which. We talk about Iraq which is here and now, while we get a little history lesson. Please and I’m sincere, talk about how to deal with here and now. If necessary take a minute to accuse me of the same, guilty can we move on.



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Rick Nowlin

posted March 21, 2007 at 4:55 am


if you can’t accept that then you have been caught up in the european version of history. i don’t have to repeatedly list my degrees and travel history to bolster my statements. and i do enjoy reading comments on your comments that seem to challenge you assertions. your comments would be lost on the streets but i’m sure they play well in academia. stay in your studies and pray that the muslim terrorists don’t decide to bomb your house. or…support the world wide war on terror and help end it. tell me just what are the europeans doing to promote peace? enlighten me. thank you and God bless. That’s the kind of shortsightedness that got us into Iraq in the first place. With that kind of attitude we will be fighting this “war on terror” for the next two generations with no end in sight because, really, it’s nothing more than a game of chicken — and, BTW, the Islamists know this.



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justintime

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:01 am


Kudos to Wolvie for helping us move discussion of peace strategy in a constructive direction. He gave the situation some careful thought and laid it out for us to examine. I partly agree with his assessment of the present situation. I agree that Islamic radicals are dangerous and the need to defend ourselves against this threat. It s obvious we need to isolate radical militant Islamic movements from the mainstream of Islamic society. If we can be successful in this radicals will lose their influence in the Islamic world. But we disagree on strategy. Wolvie proposes strategies already proven to be counterproductive. Political instability in the Middle East is primarily a problem in global economics and anger management. Hateful anger can only be managed if one understands the source. Why do they hate us? Bush says they hate us because of our freedoms.This makes no sense to me. What are really the points of bitter contention raised by Islamic radicals? If you read transcripts of Osama Bin Laden’s and Amedinejad’s inflammatory speeches you will find what’s behind their insanely militant outrage. In my opinion, these Islamic fundamentalists are no more deluded than many Christian and Jewish fundamentalists. Islamic militancy feeds off a deep sense of victim hood, injustice and the shame of helplessness. Their insane militancy is more desperate because they re surrounded by poverty, death and destruction. 1. Muslims watch as oil resources in the Islamic world are plundered by western capital interests. When America was being exploited by an Imperial power we started the War of Independence. We need to achieve independence from imported oil. The project to achieve America s energy independence will create jobs, exportable products and wealth. In the long run, independence from imported oil will prove to be a lot cheaper than stealing it. The cost of Bush s failed invasion of Iraq demonstrates this. Achieving independence from imported oil counts toward solving the climate change problem. 2. Islamic radicals see the corrupted Saudi kingdom and the oil sheikdoms as the principal obstacles preventing Islamic culture from finding its rightful place in the modern world. The oil kingdoms really are corrupt. And if we weren t addicted to Saudi oil, we wouldn t have to associate with dictators and the enemies of militant Islamic radicals. 3. Is it hard to understand why Islamic radicals will never accept American military power operating out of Saudi Arabia? They view the Saudi kingdom as a corrupt enemy of Islamic culture. America is the Great Satan, exploiting the material resources of Islam in collusion with the enemy Saudi regime. We would be a more credible peace partner if we weren t so in bed with the Saudis. 4. Israel s presence in Palestine is the utmost insult to the Islamic world. Why? In the aftermath of WWII, European guilt for the Holocaust needed to be assuaged. But no one asked the Palestinians if it was OK to sacrifice their homeland for the new Jewish homeland. Israel is a symbol of injustice, outrage and the shame of helplessness for Muslims around the world. Israel s militant intransigence makes them a principal target of radical Islamic violence. Palestinian refugee camps have become permanent evidence that after 60 years the injustice remains. Amadinejad denies the Holocaust and threatens to drive the Jews out of Palestine. America s Middle East policy is crafted to serve interests of Israel and the global petroleum industry. America is the steadfast supporter of Israel because Israel is an American beachhead in the Middle East. The American Jewish lobby is extremely well entrenched in Washington. peace in Palestine would have been much easier to achieve before Ariel Sharon took over. Militant Jewish fundamentalists, a small minority, have driven Israeli leadership to the extreme right. Radical and militant American Jews support illegal settlements. If America wasn t so accommodating to Israeli interests we could operate more effectively as a broker of peace in the Middle East.If these four radical Islam major points of contention from are understood and addressed effectively, the radicals will become increasingly isolated and lose their influence over the Islamic world. I believe this is the only to way to successfully defeat global terrorism. I also believe peace in Palestine is the key to peace on the planet. I think this is where we should begin to dismantle the fearosphere. We need to focus worldwide diplomatic energy on achieving peace in Palestine. Success will be impossible without the participation of the United Nations, as imperfect as it is. And nothing will happen until the Bush administration is removed from office. .



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:38 am


Jerry – you are perfectly at liberty to state any opinion you like, including that the world is flat and the moon is made of green cheese. Unfortunately both are about as accurate as your knowledge of modern european history. I don’t know what streets truth would get lost on but hey there we go. A close colleague of mine was murdered in the 7/7 London subway bombings, so I may have had more experience of this than you. What I do not believe is that Iraq has anything to do with the war on terror or Islamic radicalism. Indeed with the growing menace of the Taliban in Afghanistan it is if anything a diversion from it.



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:39 am


PS Jerry I have not once listed my degrees and have made very little mention of my travel history beyond implying truthfully that I am European and currently living in the US



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l'etranger

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:41 am


Butch peace brother not into pissing contsts with Wolverine – genuinely trying to dialog and I think we have. Solution to here and now? Really wish I knew. All I’ve tried to articulate is the view that Europeans don’t hate America or Americans and that opposition to the Bush regime does not equate to anti-Americanism In peace



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Mike Hayes

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:44 am


May we luck out and get out and may the Iraqis have a better life.



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Tim

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:58 am


green cheese Jerry says: “tell me just what are the europeans doing to promote peace?” well, for starters, most of them are staying at home and minding their own business…



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butch

posted March 21, 2007 at 6:09 am


peace brother not into pissing contsts with Wolverine – genuinely trying to dialog and I think we have. I think you both were and we, the US, needs the lesson I think. My question is should it be here and now. And Wolv tried to address several points about the big picture. These matters are so big and important that I think we should try to stay on point.



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Tim

posted March 21, 2007 at 6:19 am


Wolvie – too many years ago now my undergrad studies focused on the Canadian army’s role as “lackey” (my interp!) to British interests in WWs 1 & 2 but, to answer your question, no, other than a personal interest which has prompted me to read widely in military history, my subsequent studies have been in European church history and, more recently, in the history of North American Protestant fundamentalism; I earned my skepticism for some Americans’ Americentric view of history/the world while doing grad studies for five yrs in the U.S. Midwest where I heard some profs speak as if in the beginning God created Washington and I sincerely appreciate your acknowledgement of the Russian role on the eastern front b/c I think that reality is often overshadowed by the harshness of the subsequent Cold War living and writing in the middle of western Canada’s oilpatch, I am regularly chastized for seeing the U.S. intervention in Iraq as much ado about oil, but as I watch my Canuckistan comrade Conrad Black being currently roasted in a Chicago courtroom, I guess I’m just too cynical about the Bush family’s ties to big oil and the Cheney/Haliburton connection to see it otherwise if the U.S. would sign Kyoto or even come up w/ some meaningful attempt to address its addiction to hydrocarbons, I’d be more inclined to be forgiving of Uncle Sam’s abandonment of the man in the five-star cave somewhere



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butch

posted March 21, 2007 at 7:05 am


Tim, can we face ourselves and find our way out of this debacle. Charlie Rose had William Odom US Army retired on tonight with much interesting to say.



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Don

posted March 21, 2007 at 1:59 pm


Jerry wrote: “and for all of you who don’t think diplomacy was used before the attack on iraq, you are sadly mistaken and you know it. bush, clinton, united nations united kingdom, russia and bush and others all worked pretty hard to curb a war. just as they are working to stop iran and n. korea from doing atomic bombs. you can’t stand the fact that they all failed using your ideas.” I began thinking about what I wrote yesterday, and have concluded that some of the statments I made were actually at odds with my observations of the diplomacy period (2002-03). I previously said that I said that didn’t think the Bush team was serious about diplomacy at all and that the diplomatic effort was a sham. I now think that I was wrong on that point. They *were* serious about engaging in diplomacy during that period, and they didn’t give it up until it failed; to that extent, Jerry’s statement above is correct. The question, however, is, what were the aims and goals of their diplomacy? The answer, I believe, is that their aim was not to avert a war or prevent an invasion; rather, it was to secure international support for the invasion that they had already decided would take place. So I take issue with Jerrry on this point–the Bush diplomatic team wasn’t “trying to curb a war,” they were trying to get the world community behind their already-agreed-upon decision to go to war. Indeed, they did try very hard to achieve this objective. It did fail, of course, and so the US led the invasion with those nations who were willing to go along with it, and scorned those (in particular the French and to a lesser extent the Germans) who refused to go along. The Bush team wasn’t interested in pursuing any diplomatic solution that would or might have aborted the planned invasion. To that extent, I believe my comments earlier standl true. Later,



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Paul

posted March 21, 2007 at 3:31 pm


Don, ” The Bush team wasn’t interested in pursuing any diplomatic solution that would or might have aborted the planned invasion. To that extent, I believe my comments earlier standl true.” How could you possibly be in any position to have the evidence necessary to support that claim? Again, I understand that is what you “believe”, but your attempt to claim that it is in fact the case is not supported. Have you met with any of them, how could you possibly know what is in their hearts? To make the claims to fact that you do, on the basis provided would rightly be laughed out of any court worthy of the name. Sorry, Don, you know how much I appreciate you, but this is really really sad. cheers, Paul



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Don

posted March 21, 2007 at 4:18 pm


Paul: You have evidence to show that the Bush diplomats were trying to avert or prevent an invasion? If so, produce it. I’m interested in reading or hearing it. Here’s a fact, and you can check this out if you aren’t sure I have this right: Bush launched the invasion immediately after the last attempt to secure Security Council approval for the invasion failed. At the time Bush gave his ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, Hans Blix and the UN weapons inspection team were still in Iraq. They had not yet finished their inspections work, and they had to find a quick exit from Iraq before the invasion started. If the Bush team had had any desire to try to avoid invading Iraq, why did they not wait until the weapons inspectors had completed their work and made their report before launching the invasion? Cheers,



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Paul

posted March 21, 2007 at 4:27 pm


Don, Again, to claim that this evidence proves the claim is absurd. Integrity would demand saying we don’t know for sure yet. cheers, Paul



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Don

posted March 21, 2007 at 4:50 pm


Okay, maybe we don’t know for sure. But I have to ask you, what direction do you think this evidence points? When our nation is contemplating something as serious and far-reaching as going to war, integrity demands that our leaders engage in every effort to try and resolve the conflict without resort to arms. That would include, in this particular case, waiting until the arms inspectors had finished their work and then evaluating their report. (At least that much should have been done.) That includes consulting with our allies to try and develop a method of resolving the situation short of armed conflict, if at all possible. I just don’t see that any of that was done in this case. The evidence that I’m aware of points in exactly the opposite direction: the neocons who were driving American foreign policy wanted to invade Iraq to take out Saddam Hussein, at least some of them were proposing such an invasion before George W. Bush was even running for president, and they were able to capitalize on the 9/11 aftermath in order to realize these goals. They seemed not interested in a diplomatic solution to the Saddam Hussein problem. If you have evidence that points in another direction, I really would like to see it.



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justintime

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:09 pm


Paul, If you had been carefully watching the buildup to the Iraq invasion, you would not need any ‘proof’ that the decision to invade Iraq was made years prior. Bush’s gestures toward diplomacy were all in bad faith, intended to cover up his prior decision. If you are serious and really want to get to the bottom of this, I suggest you do some research on your own. There are many books written about the origins of Bush’s ill fated invasion of Iraq and the evidence you are asking for is in plain sight, accessible to anyone who wants to know the truth. I would be happy to provide you with a list of references if you are sincere in seeking the truth about the Iraq invasion. Expecting others to provide you with ‘proof’ tells me that you’ve already made up your mind, really don’t want to know the truth and wouldn’t accept it even if you were holding it in your hands. By the way, Paul, I wrote you a response to your message about protests on the ‘Ending the War is a Matter of Faith’ thread. Perhaps you missed it. Cheers, .



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Paul

posted March 21, 2007 at 5:16 pm


Don, Thanks for the reply. The problem is that the standard “to do everything possible” is impossible to meet. No matter how much is done, people will always be able to claim that something else could have been done. Most of the critiques against Bush et al have been blaming them for not being omniscient, infallible, and omnipotent, and how fair is it to impose those standards? As to knowing everything, even God when he saw how evil man turned out was sorry that he had made them. Gen. 6:6. In light of that, I am prepared to grant Bush some more slack than is evident among many here. Bush many be wrong, but from the evidence I have seen so far, it was reasonably so. If it turns out he was deliberately wrong, then he will face a terrible judgement, and I am convinced that noone knows that better than he. cheers, Paul



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Carl Copas

posted March 21, 2007 at 6:07 pm


Paul: “If it turns out he [Bush] was deliberately wrong, then he will face a terrible judgement, and I am convinced that noone knows that better than he.” There’s good evidence that Cheney and others massaged (i.e., manipulated) evidence on Iraq and WMD program to justify invasion on grounds of Iraqi possesson and potential misuse of WMD. Will repeat an earlier comment I made: powerful people in this administration appear to have been looking for an excuse to invade Iraq, even before 9/11. The WTC and Pentagon attacks provided the opening. Butch, since I have a Ph.D. in history and have been teaching American diplomatic history in higher education for over 20 years, I rather like people referencing things such as WW2 when they debate current foreign policy. If anyone Googles “Carl Copas” you won’t find it, at least as an academic historian. It’s a pen name. If anyone is interested, would be willing to explain why I use a nom de plume.



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Don

posted March 21, 2007 at 6:20 pm


Paul, I’ve been quite willing to give GW Bush slack. As I mentioned earlier, I voted for him in 2000. And I don’t believe he stole the 2000 election, either. (Justintime will object, I know. The Supreme Court, well, that’s quite another matter, but one for another discussion at another time. But in short, since I mentioned it, the Constitution outlines a procedure to follow for disputed presidential elections, and the Supreme Court had no business hijacking the constitutional process, which is what they did. Talk about judicial activism!) I supported his call for the Taliban leaders to hand bin Laden over to face justice, and I supported his invasion of Afghanistan when they did not. Although I disagreed with him on some domestic issues, especially his tax policies (when deficits started skyroketing), I didn’t think his domestic policies were so far out of line I could no longer support him as president. But I turned away from him when he started beating the war drums against Iraq. I won’t repeat my reasons why here–I think I’vde already done that. I will just leave you with one more thought. You said that doing everything possible to avoid armed conflict is an impossible thing to meet, and that there will always be some who would say not enough was done. Fair enough.But doing virtually nothing to avoid armed conflict (indeed, doing almost everything possible to assure it) certainly doesn’t come anywhere close. Peace,



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Carl Copas

posted March 21, 2007 at 6:42 pm


“But doing virtually nothing to avoid armed conflict (indeed, doing almost everything possible to assure it) certainly doesn’t come anywhere close.” Hear hear!!



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Paul

posted March 22, 2007 at 5:11 am


This from two guys who refuse to deal with the content of John Burns comments, because of where they were quoted. Have a good day. cheers, Paul



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Payshun

posted March 22, 2007 at 7:47 am


Don,Justintime is not the only one that would object. Many of us feel he stole the second one two but that’s a whole other debate and not part of this discussion. Paul, But the thing is Bush did not even wait to fulfill his own words. he said he would give them enough time to finish and he did not. he lost patience and decided to invade. That’s the real problem. this president lacks wisdom. p



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Ms. Cynthia

posted March 22, 2007 at 12:39 pm


Has anyone been watching Charlie Rose this week. He has had some very informative sources who have had their ear to the ground in Iraq and Baghdad for the length of the war. They had some very useful observations. Two more eveings left. Try to catch it. Its must see TV. He also had Waxman on talking about how Brenner basically funded a civil war by passing out 13 Billion dollars in cash to ministries in the Government who were headed by Shia sympathizers.



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Don

posted March 22, 2007 at 2:18 pm


Paul: I read John Burns’ comments, like I said I would; I just didn’t comment on them online. I didn’t really have much to say about them. But I’m not sure of the connection between what he said and this discussion. He simply says that it would have been impossible for the war planners to forsee the level of violence we’re now witnessing in Iraq. I don’t really disagree with that–though I think some foresighted individuals’ concerns were ignored by the administration in their war planning. My questioning has been based on whether it was moral, ethical, and just to invade Iraq in the first place. Burns thinks so; I think not. I thought not at the time. I thought, and I am repeating myslf, that non-military options to deal with Saddam needed to be tried first. If they had, and if they then had failed, then maybe a military option would have become necssary. But if they had succeeded, wouldn’t we all be better off? Unfortunately, the Bush officials were too hungry for war to even consider other options. That is the heart of my opposition to this war, and it always has been. Later,



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Carl Copas

posted March 22, 2007 at 6:21 pm


Paul, I’m not finding the original reference to the Burns piece.



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Don

posted March 22, 2007 at 7:13 pm


Carl: I think it was on a different thread. But here it is: http://newsbusters.org/node/10626



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justintime

posted March 22, 2007 at 7:21 pm


Ms Cynthia He also had Waxman on talking about how Brenner basically funded a civil war by passing out 13 Billion dollars in cash to ministries in the Government who were headed by Shia sympathizers. Waxman makes a good point. And whatever happened to the $8 billion that vanished? .



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justintime

posted March 22, 2007 at 7:48 pm


The road to peace on earth goes through Jerusalem. To follow up on the proposed peace offensive in Palestine (see my post upstairs): An excellent article on the Jewish Lobby in America, aka The America Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). “Can American Jews Unplug the Israel Lobby?” http://www.salon.com/opinion/kamiya/2007/03/20/aipac/index.html?source=rss Another good article on AIPAC: “Inside America’s Powerful Israel Lobby” http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/03/16/aipac/index.html What happened to Wolvie? .



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justintime

posted March 22, 2007 at 8:02 pm


Paul, I’ve reposted below my response to your post on protesting that was on a previous thread. Did you miss it? _______________________ Paul, My hat’s off to you for getting arrested in Red Square in 1973. I’d like to hear about that. About the same time you got arrested I became active in the peace movement, got involved in teach-ins and marched in anti war demonstrations, never got arrested, but did lose an academic position when I went ‘over the top’ with zeal. After the war ended we started our family and stayed on the sidelines for decades after that. Working in downtown Seattle, I had a ringside seat for the 1999 World Trade Organization protest – my daughter marched along with 50-70,000 others. WTO 1999 was tarnished by anarchist violence and the resultant police riot, ending in ‘peace officers’ storming a residential neighborhood with tear gas, rubber bullets and billies. The vast majority of the marchers were appalled at the anarchist violence and tried to stop them but they were surprisingly well organized and succeeded in spooking the peace officers. The Police overreacted with the entire crowd targeted as ‘enemy’. The TV media also misidentified the enemy and reported from behind police lines. There were several days of conflict in downtown Seattle, the police chief lost his job and the mayor lost the next election over their incompetence in handling the initial violence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ WTO…rotest_activity But what me back into political activism was watching the Bushies steal the Presidency in 2000. My wife and I marched in the same streets of Seattle on Bush’s fraudulent inaguration day. I wore my businessman’s costume, carried an American flag and a sign reading “Supreme Court Corrupted – Treason”. It’s annoying to serious demonstrators when a minority turns the protest into a circus or baits the police and creates a riot. I had about the same reaction as Don when I visited the Newsbusters site that you linked. Let me suggest you visit the Media Matters site for a fair and balanced assessment of the news from outside the Republican echo chamber: http://mediamatters.org/ .



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Carl Copas

posted March 22, 2007 at 8:22 pm


Don, thanks for the link to the Burns thing. What was Paul’s point? Of course, he can answer for himself.



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Wolverine

posted March 22, 2007 at 9:28 pm


justintime asked: What happened to Wolvie? Wolvie’s church just blew itself up. All my precious goof-off time has been taken up by that. Wolverine



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Leland Wilson

posted March 22, 2007 at 10:21 pm


Jim Wallis, The spirit, the tone, the content of your message at the Washington Cathedral, prior to the demonstrations in Washington, were truly in the Spirit of Christ. It reflects a concern, not only for ending the war in Iraq, but also for those who are caught up in warmaking. I have copied your speech and have sent it to many friends. Shalom! Leland Wilson Gold Canyon, AZ



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mary beth

posted March 22, 2007 at 10:31 pm


Dear Folks, The questions of fear, right&wrong, blame, and such could keep us all BUSY a lifetime. Meanwhile . . . well, maybe there are other things we might wish to consider. OK, I was opposed to this war on moral grounds before we even invaded Iraq. I stand with my “Peace is every step” sign at all peace vigils and rallies, most all of which are currently asking to “bring the troops home.” However, I’m deeply concerned about the morality of pulling out our troops too soon. I do not see how we can leave the Iraqis in a civil war that we ourselves facilitated by removing the “iron hand” that held the major factions (Sunnis and Shia)in check. As far as I can recall from readings, it was clear to our Middle East specialists and other leaders in international affairs that Saddam Hussein was indeed keeping the country out of sectarian warfare, however despotic the role he played in doing so. That said, I do not see, morally speaking, how we can fail to do all in our power to protect the people whose lives have become more and more a nightmare as we have destroyed the physical, political, and legal infrastructure that enabled them to live without war. (I cannot help but think of Thomas Hobbes here . . . who warned us in the 17th century that even living under a tyrant is better than war.)Whether you believe the US has been wise or foolish in pursuing this war, the question needs to be asked. From a moral point of view, IF WE DID INDEED KNOW WHAT WOULD BE UNLEASHED UPON THE IRAQS, do we not have an obligation to off the peaceloving among them some form of sustained protection from the sectarian violence our own actions unleashed? Though it is for others to figure out how to implement such a thing, it seems at the least, we need to provide a substantial force of PEACEKEEPERS there. Further, where peaceloving Iraqis are willing, it would seem morally encumbant upon us to transport them to safe camps which would be guarded by peacekeeping troops. Thank you for listening. Mary Beth



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Tom Snyder, Ph.D.

posted March 22, 2007 at 10:53 pm


Jim Wallis clearly does not understand biblical teachings the Christian Just War Theory. Overthrowing Hussein and supporting a new, reasonably democratic and non-aggressive, and anti-terrorist is clearly justified under Jus ad bellum rules of Christian Just War Theory on the simple basis that Hussein continually violated the ceasfire agreement that ended the first Iraq War. Neither Iraq War is illegal or immoral. The real question is, Was either war prudent? If Mr. Wallis adopted Christian conservative principles as taught by the late Russell Kirk and Pat Buchanan, he would have a better leg to stand on. Since, however, Mr. Wallis is some kind of knee-jerk progressive Christian, it appears that he will continue to violate the political principles set forth in the Old and New Testaments, which clearly oppose the kind of Christian pacificism and socialism that Mr. Wallis seems to espouse. Tom Snyder Simi Valley, CA http://www.answers.org



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Carl Copas

posted March 23, 2007 at 12:20 am


Tom Snyder: “If Mr. Wallis adopted Christian conservative principles as taught by the late Russell Kirk and Pat Buchanan, he would have a better leg to stand on.” Russell Kirk perhaps. But Pat Buchanan??!! What principles would Buchanan’s be, the antisemitic, nativistic principles of a reactionary Irish Catholic?



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justintime

posted March 23, 2007 at 2:17 am


Tom: Jim Wallis clearly does not understand biblical teachings the ‘Christian Just War Theory’. Tom, Just for entertainment, why don’t you set Jim Wallis straight on ‘Christian Just War Theory’, . Even though Christian Just War Theory is irrelevant to Bush’s illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq, I’d be interested in having you explain how it works. Tom: Neither Iraq War is illegal or immoral. The real question is, Was either war prudent? Tom, Bush’s invasion was executed under the unprecedented ‘Bush doctrine of preemptive war’ which is in clear violation of international laws to which the United States is signatory.Bush’s Iraq invasion was also immoral in that it was based on lies and deception. Iraq was a sovereign nation under international law and was no threat to the security of the United States whatsoever. Bush’s Iraq invasion was also the worst foreign policy disaster in American History. So Bush’s invasion of Iraq was illegal, immoral and really, really stupid. George W. Bush, Richard B. Cheney, Donald R. Rumsfeld and others in the criminal Bush administration will eventually be tried in the International Court for War Crimes, just like Slobodan Milosevic. .



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Paul

posted March 23, 2007 at 2:36 am


I thank Jim Wallis for his challenging message to live up to our ideals. I have also been opposed to this war from the beginning along with many who have posted here. I have also been concerned about the morality of leaving as is Mary Beth. When I think of all the energy that has been put into marching against the war here in the U.S., I think of the Chrisian PeaceMakers who are living our ideals on a daily basis. I just wish more of us were willing to march for peace and stand for peace in the places that really matter, on the battle lines. My prayers are with those who do so!



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justintime

posted March 23, 2007 at 2:45 am


Mary Beth, Like you, my family and friends did everything we could think of to stop the madness of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Many of us predicted at that time it would end in the tragedy of a civil war, with our troops caught in the crossfire. Much of the world was against the war and millions protested worldwide, but Bush had decided to invade several years prior and all his gesturing at diplomacy was a sham to cover his warmongering. Bush listens to no one but Cheney and the neoconservative warmongers. So here we are, what can we do? I understand your concern about innocent Iraqi citizens. Most observors think American troops provoke much of the violence For the sake of innocent Iraqi civilians the United States needs to use diplomacy in the region to bring this tragedy to an end. We need to be talking with all of Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria. But Bush won’t listen and won’t talk to Iran and Syria. Bush won’t let go of the Iraqi oil resource. His personal ego might be damaged if he were to try diplomacy. Nothing productive is likely to happen until the Bush administration is removed from office. .



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justintime

posted March 23, 2007 at 2:56 am


Wolvie’s church just blew itself up. All my precious goof-off time has been taken up by that. Is that what you were doing here – just goofing off? .



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Ana Sanchez

posted March 23, 2007 at 6:28 am


Tom: the basic premise of Christian Just War theory is that the only morally defensible war is one of sel-defense. Since Bush sent our troops 7000 miles from home to invade a country that had not harmed us, you can hardly consider this invasion an act of self-defense. Carl: I don’t think you can call Pat Buchanan “anti-semitic” just because he criticizes Israeli policies anymore than you can call me “anti-American” because I oppose the wars that my government has started. Mr. Buchanan has a valid point when he says that pro-Israeli lobbies pushed for the war against Iraq (like they’re pushing for war against Iran now) and the main beneficiary of these wars is Israel, not us. Ana Sanchez



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alex d. chapman,jr.

posted March 23, 2007 at 5:29 pm


Amen. This maybe the best prayer since Jesus said the Our Father. It updates that 2,000 year old prayer but amazingly the problems of mankind hasn’t changed much.



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Wolverine

posted March 23, 2007 at 6:21 pm


justintime asked me: Is that what you were doing here – just goofing off? Well, technically I’m not paid to post to God’s Politics. I have a real job and can only post so many comments to blogs before my boss starts getting suspicious. Uh oh, gotta get back to my oar — the captain’s just signalled ramming speed! Wolverine



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Carl Copas

posted March 23, 2007 at 6:38 pm


Ana, I’m not calling Buchanan “antisemitic” because of his stand on Israel. Indeed, I’m far more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israel.I’m referring to Buchanan’s crypto-antisemitism in a number of books, speeches, and articles.



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HASH(0x116cfd68)

posted March 23, 2007 at 7:09 pm


What motivated over 3,000 people from 48 states to brave the cold temperatures and icy roads Friday night to walk three miles from the National Cathedral to the White House? What prompted these brave souls to want to join others and raise their candles?Quite simple, we have had enough. We have a message for our government–America should be about building bridges, not bombs. We surged into the nation’s Capitol to let the President know they are tired of this war. We believe that violence does not solve problems. These are people who are concerned that this country is losing its soul. We want to remind America that values like compassion, respect and generosity can bring change.One speaker noted that the country has its priorities misplaced. He pointed to spending billions to bomb Iraq and Afghanistan, while being unwilling to spend enough to rebuild our own New Orleans. America needs to listen to this message. For too long our leaders have argued about how many soldiers it takes to kill insurgents. We need to change the discussion to “How do we reach out to our Muslim brothers and sisters and find common ground?”If we want true security in America, we need to listen to these prophets.



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justintime

posted March 23, 2007 at 7:58 pm


Wolvie: Uh oh, gotta get back to my oar — the captain’s just signalled ramming speed! I assume you’re with the Athenians, so after you win the battle of Salamais, come back here and take up where you left off, strategizing the defeat of global terrorism. See my response to your post upstairs. .



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Rev. Dr. Steve Craig

posted March 23, 2007 at 8:22 pm


Thanks again Jim for speaking the words that are in this pastor’s heart. As an evangelical Christian who cares about social justice, you continue to inspire and encourage me. Our own prayer service for peace in Iraq last Friday — which I led with my dad, also a pastor — was a defining moment for me, personally. God bless you!



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Rev. Dr. Steve Craig

posted March 23, 2007 at 8:25 pm


Jim, Thanks again for speaking the words that are in this pastor’s heart. As an evangelical Presbyterian who cares about social justice and wants to see an end to this very sad war, you continue to inspire and encourage me. Our prayer service for peace in Iraq last Friday, which I led with my dad (also a pastor) was a defining moment for me personally. God bless you!



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d julien

posted March 25, 2007 at 11:12 pm


As Jimi Hendrix once said: “When the Power of Love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace”. This “love of power” is all too prevalent in religious institutions (Christian and Muslim, etc.) as well as in political institutions. Extremism seems to be marked by this love of power. I am concerned with Christian extremism as well as Muslim extremism as well as U.S. and other national extremisms. As an American, I need to address the extremism in this country primarily because, #1, I have(theoretically, anyway) more say in diffusing it and #2, as the more potent extremist force(militarily, economically, politically) the actions of our nation have tremendous consequences, good and bad, on the world situation. Extremists feed off of eachother. Bush is the best friend Osama ever had and visa versa. Let’s do our part to try to stop the cycle of violence, narrow-mindedness and hatred.



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Gail Merrill

posted March 25, 2007 at 11:44 pm


Jim, I would like to be able to submit an article about the current campaign to establish a cabinet-level US Dept. of Peace. Please check out the website at thepeacealliance.org. If ever there was a humanitarian effort to break the cycle of violence in our country and abroad, this is it. Please let me know who I might contact about sharing this information. Thank you, Gail Merrill



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lysel

posted March 27, 2007 at 12:55 pm


jerry says in response to l’etranger: “please tell me what are the “usual standards”. Let’s start with the Geneva Conventions, the “usual standards” we have violated… Unlawful “extraordinary renditions”, i.e. turning “suspects” over to rogue governments for torture” … Holding suspects without charging them, and without due process or a trial within a reasonable time frame, These are all “Human Rights Violations” which we have accused other governments of engaging in, and brought them before the UN for sanctions, UN Security Council Resolutions, etc. Wiretapping and spying on US citizens, Peace groups, and dissidents opposed to the GOP and their cronies. The current Administration uses fear to keep the American public silent on these issues. Intimidation and threats are the first resort of scoundrels. Wrapping oneself in the American Flag and claiming to protect us, while accusing those in opposition of being “unpatriotic” is another. I strongly suggest a thorough reading of the US Constitution, with a particular emphasis on the first 10 Amendments, otherwise known as “the Bill of Rights”. A thorough reading of Jesus’s words and teachings, with a particular emphasis on what he had to say to and about the Pharisees should also be an eyeopener! The current leadership would ridicule Him as a “Liberal” out of step with the mainstream, for his views on justice, poverty, peace, etc. The “Sermon on the Mount” is a good starting point. If Christianity were to embrace these principles, and live as Christ taught, “Radical Islam” wouldn’t have a chance … it would probably not even exist!



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lysel

posted March 27, 2007 at 1:32 pm


l’etranger said: “What irritates Europeans is the jerry mentally of America winning the whole thing alone. British and particularly Russian sacrifices were rather greater. Thanks! The Russians lost 25 million people during the war. My father was captured during the Battle of Stalingrad! My mum was a taken to Germany to serve four years as forced labor. It took sacrifice from many to put an end to Hitler, but most of the sacrifice was European (East and West). The US never had a bomb dropped (or any destruction) on her soil. Those who lived with the daily bombings and death, find this arrogance difficult to take.



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