God's Politics

God's Politics


Bruce Whitfield: Oppose All ‘War-Mongering’

posted by gp_intern

I have often felt that the U.S. has been duped into making Muslims the enemy du jour. It’s clear that the business with the Shah of Iran effected a major change in U.S.-Muslim relations. Before that they were our fierce allies; we even gave weapons and training to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Then suddenly we were bitter enemies.

But I have to ask a serious question: All the antiwar advocacy I see seems to be only directed against the current war in Iraq. Why isn’t there advocacy against U.S. war-mongering in its entirety?

Let me be clear. I am not defending Republican war-mongering; I am attacking both Republican and Democratic war-mongering. I do not see any difference between what Bush is doing in Iraq/Afghanistan and what Clinton did in Bosnia/Herzegovina. We still have a military presence in Bosnia/Herzegovina and our presence there has accomplished nothing but the peace of the gun. Or what about Reagan’s efforts in Nicaragua, or Carter’s efforts with the Shah and Iran/Iraq? Or countless others?

Since most of the advocacy seems to originate with one of the parties, it always seems to only address what the opponent party is doing wrong. It never seems to address the root cause – that the U.S. thinks military action is the solution to all the world’s troubles. There’s money in war and we profit mightily from it (or at least some U.S. businesses do). From selling tanks in World War II to being the world’s largest and most stable offshore bank, the U.S. makes big money from military action.

Until the corporations that profit from our wars are called to account for it, it won’t stop. Only the places we invade will change. If the Republicans really hated what Clinton did in Bosnia/Herzegovina, as they loudly proclaimed, why didn’t they pull the troops out of there when Bush came into office? It’s the same reason the Democrats will make hay with the Iraq war, but will never completely remove the U.S. military from Iraq now that we are entrenched there. Do we ever leave any place we get a military foothold?

One of the major reasons I have chosen to work abroad is because I want to be a part of finding peaceful solutions to the problems of poor nations in the hopes that the U.S. won’t someday have to invade them.

Bruce Whitfield is a retired attorney currently living and doing volunteer work in Costa Rica.



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kevin s.

posted May 8, 2007 at 4:10 pm


I don’t agree with Mr. Whitfield, but I admire his honesty and consistency.



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Don

posted May 8, 2007 at 4:16 pm


Bruce: Good question. I sometimes get blank stares when I suggest that WWII was the last legal (i.e., constitutional) war we fought–the last time we had a war that began with the constitutionally-mandated declaration of war from Congress. But I suppose militarism comes with the territory when one is a world power–just look at the Roman Empire. A bigger problem for me is the entrenchment of militarism with what I call Christian nationalism here in the USA. Although I’m not a complete pacifist, I like the approach the Mennonites have toward church and state. Too many USA churches, in my view, mix Americanism with Christianity in one unhealthy form or another. I like to remind people that our primary citizenship is in heaven, not in the USA. I suggest that before we can fix the militarism problem in the USA at large, we might begin by fixing it in our churches–focusing on our true identity as Christians.Sean bendiciones de dios por su trabajo en Costa Rica! Paz,



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 8, 2007 at 4:17 pm


Is it any wonder the world thinks the “W” stands for Warmonger?



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Mike Hayes

posted May 8, 2007 at 7:54 pm


“…I am not defending Republican war-mongering; I am attacking both Republican and Democratic war-mongering…”. What about the 1991 attack against Iraq? I think there is a difference when diplomacy leads to a joint decision by many countries to attack or support an attack against a common enemy. Bruce may also be thinking along those lines.



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Ngchen

posted May 8, 2007 at 8:38 pm


True, war often is profitable for certain corporations. But if you ask any honest economist, he/she’ll tell you that war as a whole leads to a economic loss, a la the broken window fallacy. Economic strains from war inevitably will put a stop to additional interventions, as economics isn’t subject to majority vote. People all too often forget that war, due to its horrors, is a last resort for good reason. The US would have far fewer enemies in the world if it truly acted as an honest broker all the time, which alas it has not done so.



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TimR

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:33 am


Does sending troups into Darfur to defend the citizens count as War-mongering? If not, why?



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Donny

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:54 am


Look, the hypocrisy of the progressive stance about war-mogering takes on sickening proportions wheh Islam is treated like a social club. Muslims have been at war since they took Mecca by going to war with the inhabitants while Mohammad was still alive and absolutely in charge. Muslims started the war with Europe that is called the Cruades by slaughtering Christian inhabitatnts of Jerusalem so many years ago. They are still killing people today in war after war after war. What is wrong with the Progressive thought process when it comes to reality? If you are going to oppose war-mogers, please atart with Islam. It literally is the history of that religion. Some honesty huh?



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moderatelad

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:29 pm


To label this as a USvs Iraq or the US vs Islam is wrong. It is the US (and several allies) vs Radical Islam. Radical Islam knows no single race, nationality, gender, etc. Radical Islam is defined by the hatred in the heart and the poison in the mind. They are bent on world domination and the eradication of all religions but Islam. Any means is acceptable to achieve their goal. (yes – Christianity has their flaws too…) But as an example – the world community begged the leaders in Afganistan to leave the Buddas on the side of the mountain alone. They just flipped the world off and blew up the statues on the side of the mountain. If they have no respect for great examples of history – you think they are at all conserned about humans that they see as immoral and view them as pigs and monkeys? Have a great day .



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Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 3:05 am


A bigger problem for me is the entrenchment of militarism with what I call Christian nationalism here in the USA. Although I’m not a complete pacifist, I like the approach the Mennonites have toward church and state. Too many USA churches, in my view, mix Americanism with Christianity in one unhealthy form or another. I like to remind people that our primary citizenship is in heaven, not in the USA. Don Amen Don!!! That is why I took my kid out of a “community” church and put him in a Mennonite one. I simply could not stand the blatant nationalism.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 3:06 am


I don’t agree with Mr. Whitfield, but I admire his honesty and consistency. Kevin s.Thanks, Kevin (and I don’t mean that sarcastically).Peace.



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Canucklehead

posted May 10, 2007 at 6:17 am


“Too many USA churches, in my view, mix Americanism with Christianity in one unhealthy form or another. I like to remind people that our primary citizenship is in heaven, not in the USA.” Don I remember once when I was about 8 years old crossing the border into Washington state and going to a local evangelical church. During the course of his sermon, the pastor walked over to the U.S. flag hanging on a pole in a stand and literally wrapped/draped himself in it while he held forth on some point in his sermon. Before I knew it my (fundamentalist) father was herding us out to get into the car, muttering to Mom about “how blasphemous some of these Americans can be in the way they mix their politics and their Christianity.” To this day, I find great amusement in listening to/watching some of your prominent preachers hold forth implicitly suggesting that the U.S. is the new Israel and associated malarkey. My 20-year old son accompanied me on a trip to Florida this past winter right around the time of the story of that nutso shuttle astronaut who had driven from Texas to Orlando to assault a competitor for her lover. One night in the hotel, my son was flipping through the TV channels and would pause at all the religious channels (there are very few Christian TV/radio stations in Canada) where some Zealot was declaring the truth once for all delivered for all the American saints. On about the fourth of these, there’s some young pastor telling a story of how God had recently told him to leave Texas and move to Orlando to start a church. My son starts laughing b/c he was convinced the guy was just spoofing the astronaut story – when I finally got him to believe that the guy was serious, his only response was to gaze disbelievingly at the screen and muse, “how come they let so many of these wackos on the air down here?” We had a long discussion in which I tried to explain to him some of the fundamental differences between U.S. and Cdn society when it comes to the role of Christianity in the public sector.



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Don

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:22 pm


Canucklehead: I’m dealing with it right now, at least in my mind. Haven’t spoken to our pastor about it yet. But May 27 is Pentecost this year. It’s also Memorial Day weekend here in the USA. I’m not sure which observance will “win out” in our worship service that day. I really dislike the fact that I’m even wondering about that; it shouldn’t even be an issue. But in our May church newsletter, a request for names of all who have served in the armed forces went out. I’m still thinking of sending the pastor the names of a few recent Christian martyrs in lieu of the names of servicepeople. And Saturday, May 19 is listed as “Armed Services Day” on my published calendar. I don’t recall ever hearing of such an observance before, or what is done to observe it for that matter. But why two observances of essentially the same thing during the same month? I still have some hair left, but for how long? Later,



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curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:53 pm


“Some honesty huh?” You know NOTHING of “honesty”, Donny.



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