God's Politics

God's Politics


Jim Wallis: The Timetable Begins Now

posted by God's Politics

In the few weeks of the defense authorization debate in the Senate, Republican senators began falling like dominoes—Chuck Hagel (NE), Susan Collins (ME), Richard Lugar (IN), George Voinovich (OH), Pete Domenici (NM), Olympia Snowe (ME), and even John Warner (VA) are looking for a way out, although not all are willing to vote for a withdrawal timetable. The Republican defections are bolstered by public opinion. Columnist Robert Novak wrote about Sen. Hagel: “As the first in a succession of Republican senators to be critical of Bush’s Iraq policy, Hagel feared the worst when he returned home to conservative Nebraska for Fourth of July parades. Instead, he was pleasantly surprised by cheers and calls for the troops to be brought home.” And the Democrats seem to be getting stronger in their willingness to follow the public mandate against this war that gave them a congressional majority in 2006.


The most recent USA Today/Gallup Poll showed that change in public opinion. Sixty-two percent now say the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, the first time that number has topped 60 percent.


U.S. casualties now exceed 3,600, with the number of those wounded or emotionally and mentally scarred almost as countless now as the stories about returning veterans not receiving the help and attention they need. The human cost of this war has been as enormous as it has been discriminatory and unjust, with almost all the burden borne by working-class families whose sons and daughters chose military service, and not by the families and children of the elites who fabricated the case for it, grossly mismanaged its prosecution, and politically force its continuance.


The financial cost is staggering—a new Congressional Research Service study reported that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan now cost $12 billion per month. When that monthly price tag is compared to the $10 billion per year it would cost to educate the world’s 800 million children under six years old, the contrast opens up a real debate on what truly makes for national and global security.


While the troop “surge” has failed to bring the stability and security it promised, the progress report on Iraqi political benchmarks remains completely unsatisfactory. Nobody even pretends any longer that American young men and women are not dying daily in the cross-hairs of a civil war. Meanwhile Iraq has become an unlivable country, bleeding itself to death in a tribal sectarian conflict that is modeled by its so-called political leaders and not just by its violent insurgents.


And while the president continues to talk about the threat of al Qaeda, the Los Angeles Times reported the following on the author of a new “National Intelligence Estimate on the Terrorist Threat to the U.S. Homeland,” released this week: “During a briefing with reporters, the principal author of the estimate, Edward Gistaro, the national intelligence officer for transnational threats, said flatly that Al Qaeda in Iraq did not exist before the U.S. invasion. He also said that the group’s ‘overwhelming focus’ remains confined to the conflict in Iraq.”


As the legislative battle continues into the fall, our message must be clear. Bring all U.S. troops home safely on a timetable that begins now. They are caught in the middle of a civil war where the U.S. occupation is the problem. The solution to Iraq is political, not military. The war was wrong and it’s time to do our best to right the wrong.


This brutal, ugly, and wholly unnecessary war may finally be coming to an end. And the role of the church could and should be decisive in making it so. I hear no more voices who still say this is a “just war.” Many of us don’t believe it ever was and that the nonviolent path of Jesus has again been vindicated. But regardless of past positions, we should all now agree that unjust wars must be ended as an obligation of faith.



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Moderatelad

posted July 19, 2007 at 1:44 pm


I hear no more voices who still say this is a “just war.” Many of us don’t believe it ever was…
Guess Kennedy (the Ph.D not the Senator/driver), Dobson, Colson etc. are voices that you do not hear maybe because you mihgt not respect them for their stance on the war? Colson has made a great argument for the Just War and Iraq.
If a gang of thugs are coming toward my house with guns and knives threating me and my family. PLEASE, do not get in the way and try to talk them out of it. I would not want to you be wounded or killed by them doing something that is really hopeless. I also do not want you in my line of fire as I dispatch a few of them while protecting my wife and children.
The biggest thing that is unjust about this war with Nancy and Harry playing politics with the budget etc costing more US millitary lives. (can we inpeach them – I am not in favor of that) May God forginve them for their actions and their uncaring attitude for so many world wide because right now I can not – God will have to work on me a little longer. (Guaranteed, that if Clinton had done the samething as Bush – there would not be the hate of him as there is for the current Pres. – period. The Clinton’s Presidency hated the military)
Blessings -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:10 pm


Moderatelad — Forgiveness is the least of your issues, based on that post; unwillingness to accept legitimate criticism of your views and the people that support them is the real question. Colson, Dobson and Kennedy are on their way out and quickly becoming irrelevant because, when it comes to their unquestioned support of conservative politicians, they have not “acted justly, loved mercy and walked humbly with God.” Simply put, they have been proven wrong.



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Ben Wheaton

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:21 pm


Rick, yes, perhaps these fine Christian gentlemen are on their way out; but then so is Jim Wallis and his unquestioning support and campaigning for the Democratic party.



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Sarasotakid

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:30 pm


“I hear no more voices who still say this is a “just war.” Jim Wallis
I guess he doesn’t read some of the posts of the loopy neo-conservatives who post on his blog then!



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Gus

posted July 19, 2007 at 2:59 pm


While I agree with much of what Jim Wallis is saying here, I wonder if anyone has checked his facts on “$10 billion per year it would cost to educate the world’s 800 million children under six years old”. Doesn’t that come to $12.50 per year per child? Can it really be accomplished at this rate? Wouldn’t that be nice.
Using questionable or unrealistic statistics can undermine rather that bolster a good argument.



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Anna S.

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:05 pm


No one who understood just war theory has ever thought that this was a just war. That was a soundbyte invented by people who wanted justification to go fight.
In the actual, philosophical writings on just war theory (read Michael Walzer for a good base understanding of the field, or just google ‘just war theory’), there’s no such thing as a pre-emptive war. Ethicists generally agree that even in the event of a clear and overwhelming threat (as in, if the Soviet Union phoned the President and said ‘we’re launching missiles in five minutes’), pre-emptive war still isn’t obviously the right or good thing to do, though there are arguments to be made there. In the case of an undefined threat and no clear plan for attack (as in the Iraq war) there isn’t even an argument to be had. The ‘pre-emptors’ don’t have the moral high ground.
It’s always amused me to hear politicians throw terms like “just war” around, often with no idea what they’re actually talking about. In the case of Iraq, it saddened me.
Anna



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Ross

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:18 pm


Nice! It only costs $12.50 per head to educate all those kids? Now we can cut the DC school budget down from the $13,000/student they waste here.



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ceguidos

posted July 19, 2007 at 3:56 pm


once again, there are many people who still “don’t catch, don’t throw, and don’t let anyone else go to bat”…. fine to do, from your nice place and your nice job. But since it is our children – the working-class children, that are dying, you know, the same ones that end up encarcerated or in low-paying jobs because of lack of opportunities due to lack of quality education; I ask that you please think about us and stop okeying the spending abroad… if that sight is still eludes you, take a look at the lives of farmworkers anywhere in the US… and then talk about how that money is well spent in Iraq… yes, who are the profiteers!? It’s incredible to see some of the postings here. Some of you are so far removed from poverty in the U.S. it’s no surprise why you continue to vote for war at our expense. Not even Jesus will save you.



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jo

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:04 pm


I agree wholeheartedly that this was a huge mistake, and the war never should have happened. The Bush admin lied, and they changed their story several times, and they are horribly corrupt. It did not begin as a just war, and has never been a just war. The pope tried to talk Bush out of the war, too, for goodness sake. I know that. I have studied international conflicts, and I actually wrote a paper for an international studies class specifically outlining why this was not a just war. However, and I’m not sure a military pullout now will help anyone but our soldiers who will not have to be caught in the crosshairs anymore. Al Qaida was not in Iraq before. That, I agree with. However, they are there now, and it has become a regional nightmare with Syria and Iran trying to destabilize the region. I agree that it needs a political solution, but I don’t think a political solution will come if we withdraw troops, either. The Bush administration has seriously destroyed the region with this war, and I am afraid that pulling out troops will make things worse. I would vote instead for an enormous UN peacekeeping operation with an adequate mandate to quell the violence, and for other Islamic and Arab countries to do more to help the political process along. Or, an objective third party, a non-western country (like from Asia with no religious biases) would have to help broker the peace process. I think this is the best chance, but I doubt it will happen, because the UN security council has to deal with Russia and China, who block so many initiatives. We aren’t improving the situation there, but I think our soldiers are protecting some people, and if we leave, I do believe the Bush admin when they say that it will get much worse. Lastly, as an aside, I don’t trust American public opinion that much when it comes to the right decisions on complicated foreign policy. Public opinion in 2003 blindly listening to Bush and in support of the war is part of what helped create this mess in the first place!!



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Lovemercy

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:12 pm


When did Colson make his argument,moderate lad? By the way, moderatelad is a misnomer if there ever was one! It must have been before Bush said that Iraq was not responsible for 9/11. Did he and you miss that? It has come out of the mouth of our president several times, not that the media made much of it. So, the thugs that you are talking about were not from Iraq. Al Quaida didn’t exist in Iraq until we went to war and the country started to fall apart. Saddam’s regime was secular. There were not any radicals there or, if there were, they would have been killed. Thus, Colson’s and your arugment don’t work. If he said this in 2003 when the war began, I could understand his ignorance. All we heard from our president was that Iraq was behind 9/11. Since then, he has admitted that wasn’t the case. How, then, is this a just war? Even if you believe some wars are just, how is this one? We should have spent the effort, money, lives, etc. on finishing what we started in Afganistan. Now the Taliban is back in business and Bin Laden is somewhere between the Pakistan and Afganistan border. This war has made the world more unsafe. What will it take to convince you and your ilk that this was wrong? What can you possibly say that is right about it? I’d really like to know. Lovemercy



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John

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:16 pm


A couple of comments -
Most of Just War theory was developed long before serious WMDs. (Please leave aside, for the moment, the whole ‘did Iraq have WMDs?’ issue) The idea of preemptive war is extremely dangerous, but in the WMD era, we must recognize that a first strike can be a debilitating strike. Second-guessing our war in Iraq is difficult. The USA finds itself in the position of being the only really strong kid on the block. If the UN keeps making threats and backing off, sooner or later the objects of the threats will learn to not take them seriously (try raising children with empty threats and watch the chaos ensue!) In my view, Sadaam had to be deposed because he was not keeping the terms of his surrender following his ouster from Kuwait (a foreign country he invaded… clearly showing his willingness to not only talk tough but actually act agressively). When the UN wouldn’t follow through on its own resolutions, we either had to do the job or watch the chaos. Whether Sadaam actually had WMDs is beside the point. He acted as though he had them. He had used them before on his own people. And he had show his willingness to invade other countries.
The difficulty with the above paragraph is that it puts the US in the roll of following up on UN resolutions that the UN won’t follow up on — the world’s disciplinarian. But, if no one else will do it, perhaps we are stuck doing it.
Regarding the $$ to educate the world thing… That is a silly political comment on the order of Jim’s reasonable criticism of politicians using ‘Just War Theory’ as a sound bite. Feeding and educating the world is not a money problem. Very often whatever aid we send simply goes to the powerful in a particular country. And sending aid to governments to educate children in Sharia (sp?) Law is counterproductive. It’s a big, difficult problem.



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Ngchen

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:17 pm


In terms of educationg the 800 million children, well I’m assuming that we’re talking about the 800 million in the least developed countries, and an education that is the most basic primary school type. People who aren’t familiar with the third world often are amazed by how much a little bit of hard currency can buy in those places wheere people live off of less than a dollar a day. So while I applaud the readers for being alert to the facts, the figure is not totally “off-the-wall,” so to speak.



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Dr. Myron S. Augsburger

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:18 pm


Thank God for the prophetic voice of Jim Wallis, and for the challenge for us who are evangelical to share in God’s love for the world, all peoples, in our concern that all may come to know his saving love. I am also thankful that the presentations are of the whole Jesus, not a truncated Jesus whom we would use to save us without recognizing that “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature” and then by faith living this new life here and now. Jesus still calls us to love all peoples, to love enemies so that as Abram Lincoln said, we destroy enemies by making friends of them. This is costly for each of us, just as forgiveness is costly, but without paying this price there would be a loss of “salt and light” in the world. His Kingdom is the one and only work worth investing our lives.



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Julie

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:24 pm


This article saddened me, as my country saw six of its soldiers killed by an IED in southern Afghanistan last week. We like you tend to focus on our own casualties, with scarcely a mention of the continued hell both Iraqis and Afghanis live through. And we never seem to mention that this hell of death, violence and extreme injury is largely the result of decades of Northern countries’ interference in Iraq and Afghanistan’s affairs (and oil, or land over which we want oil pipelines to run).
So I grieve your dead and maimed soldiers, and ours. But I wonder at our societies’ inability to even acknowledge in passing the piles of dead in the countries in which our military has a presence. I think Sojourners missed the boat on this one. What would Jesus do? I doubt the Son of the God who created us all would draw a distinction or priority between “our” dead and “theirs”. may we learn to do the same.
Julie, Toronto



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J

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:28 pm


This war was a terrible idea. No news there.
Why will no one who wants to pull out now deal with the fact that we created the civil war now pulling Iraq apart and without the presense of US troops they chaos we now see daily will just be the tip of the iceburg?
We created the mess, we have to clean it up.
Why won’t Jim and the Democrats really face the facts on the ground.
Can some one offer some clarity?
J



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Julie

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:34 pm


In Canada as in the US, the media only ever mentions our casualties. I would have expected better of this article– while the deaths and maiming of your soldiers and ours should be cause for compassion, support, and incessant questioning of our countries’ military ventures, I question our sense of humanity and commitment to Christ’s way when we consistently fail to even acknowledge the horrendous death tolls, injuries and trauma in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have an active hand in furthering the violence in both nations and as such are accountable to them and to God. I hope that we as Christians could do better. Is Christ not brother to us all, whether Christian or Muslim? What would he have to say to us?
Julie, Toronto



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kevin s.

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:38 pm


“Some of you are so far removed from poverty in the U.S. it’s no surprise why you continue to vote for war at our expense. Not even Jesus will save you.”
So Republicans are beyond saving by Christ? That’s, um, blasphemous.
It is ludicrous to suggest that a country cannot dispose of an imminent threat in accordance with just war theory. If we have a nuclear missile pointed at us, we have every right to take it out.
Would be interested in seeing someone address John’s arguments, instead of pretending to cast Republicans to hell or piling on childish insults.



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Bill Ramsey

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:38 pm


I found at least to four crucial omissions from this post.
1)The President and now the Democratic Congress’
benchmarks, are cited without any analysis their justness or of the morality of invading a country, setting up a new government, and then demanding that it meet your conditions, so that the evader’s intervention can be justified and called successful. If the war was wrong from the beginning, how can demanding that it be ended on the our terms be right?
2)As the costs of the war are laid out in this post there is no mention of the tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, likely hundreds of thousands.
3)There in no mention of the Pentagon’s growing reliance on areal bombardment and strafing, which according to all reports are making the war increasingly dangerous for civilians
4)Missing from the message that Jim calls for is any mention of U.S. responsibility for the reconstruction of Iraq. Who will make sure that the over 1 million displaced people in Iraq and refugee camps in Syria and Jordan are able to return home safely on a timetable that begins now?
Who is responsible to provide the funding to rebuild their devastated communities?



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moderatelad

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:46 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | July 19, 2007 2:10 PM
…unwillingness to accept legitimate criticism of your views and the people that support them is the real question. Colson, Dobson and Kennedy are on their way out and quickly becoming irrelevant because…
I will accept any criticism – legitimate or not.
‘on their way out?’
Define ‘out’. How big is Sojo/Wallis’ budget for his ministry? I don’t know but I wonder if he is over 5 million dollors a year. I think that is about one months expenditure on ministry for Focus on the Family or the BGEA.
Like I said before – I have heard all the arguments on this site before from other ‘Wallis’ of the past. They play well for awhile but fade all too fast. Wallis has all the freedom and rights to say and do what he wants to do. He has the ability to be critical of others of the same faith and not worry about reprisal. If he were of another faith (you fill in the blank) and wrote a book blasting others (I think he did…) for what he sees as errors in their judgement. They might put out a ‘marker’ on him and he would be – shall we say – ‘swimmin with the fishes’. Too bad – so sad. The very thing that we hope and are trying to help the Iraqi people obtain – he does not see as worth our effort to try to give them.
Critize all you want – I have big shoulders. (but I have lost 30 lbs.)
Have a nice day -
.



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Bill Ramsey

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:47 pm


I just arrived at the bottom of the page of this post to find an ad for mortgage loans for homes in the range of $310,000-$805,000. I thought Sojourner’s was devoted the the elimination of poverty? What is “beliefnet?” Where are the ads encouraging people to invest in micro-loans and
subsidized housing?



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esther

posted July 19, 2007 at 4:55 pm


What would Jesus do? I doubt the Son of the God who created us all would draw a distinction or priority between “our” dead and “theirs”. may we learn to do the same.
It struck me when my Jordanian friend expressed frustration at the fact that our push for troop withdrawal revolved mainly around the number of our troops lost in Iraq/amount of money spent on the war. I hadn’t thought about it before, but I suppose with this reasoning we’re still evading the core issue: our occupancy in Iraq was a mistake and is destroying the country. Sure, we have sustained a sad loss, and it shouldn’t be ignored. But as we remember our loss, it would be good to realize the loss and upheaval of the many, many Iraqi.
http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
(and some say up to 4 million refugees)
esther



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jovita

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:22 pm


Rev. Jim is so right about unjust wars coming to an end and the church as an institution needs to be involved as a matter of faith. So far the Church as an institution have come on board to condemn and denounce abortion, homosexuality and stemcell research and the ever present issue of immigration yet all their caring and claims of faith has faild to acknowledge the devastation of the Iraqi people, their country and their culture by this brutal occupation and high-tech thevery of their oil. This makes me ask the question, are they really Christian? It seems the Mormons, the Muslims and even the athiests appear to embody Christianity in conparisom. Hopefully they can come to grips with their hyprocicy and lead the way to end this occupation (removing the military bases, etc. )and rebuild Iraq and help its people with the sincerity of the Good Samaritan.



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Leonard

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:33 pm


No one wants the war to end more than George Bush. All of America wants out, but most of America realizes that we have to be in Iraq, Afganistan, and any other middle east nation that supports Islamic killers. We are in WW111 now,a nd we have to win wherever the killers reside.



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John

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:33 pm


Regarding jovita writing:
———————-
yet all their caring and claims of faith has faild to acknowledge the devastation of the Iraqi people, their country and their culture by this brutal occupation and high-tech thevery of their oil.
———————-
I don’t think it’s as simple as that. The former government of Iraq was brutal as well. Whether or not there were WMDs at the time of the invasion, there certainly were beforehand, as evidenced by Sadaam gassing a while village of Kurds. Also, Sadaam had demonstrated his willingness to invade other countries. I’m not such a pollyanna that I think this was was altruistically fought on behalf of the Iraqie people. Regardless of whether the war was a mistake, to simply yank our troops out now is the least caring thing I can think of for the Iraqi people. I can’t imagine the bloodbath that would go on.
Outta time, perhaps more later…



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Jim B

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:43 pm


My concern is Bush thinks this is a just war and beyond that he believes that God put him into office to wage this war. He has said this several times. I do not see any credible defense of this war which has cost several Billion dollars and moving closer everyday to 4000 deaths plus the other casualities, mental and physical, which we are slowly learning about. Plus what we have done to the sovereign nation of Iraq is immoral and sinful. (I am not suggesting that Hussein was just)
How do we deal with a deluded President and Vice President who will not listen to 60% of the American public and a majority (growing larger everyday) of Senators and Representatives? The only solution I can see is impeachment of both of them. Perhaps if they realized that we could impeach them, they would begin to consider withdrawal.
This may be slightly off the subject, but it is what I have been contemplating as I read about more and more deaths and destruction. As true believers, I think we have to stand with those who sincerely are working to end this war and bring our troops home and bring the civil war to an end.
I submit for your consideration with a sincere prayer for peace.



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Cheddar Cheese

posted July 19, 2007 at 5:54 pm


Reading the points and counterpoints, discussing this issue with people of faith, and trying to convince someone to take an “intelligent” position is largely fruitless. Faith, belief, values, and politics are non-intelligent. They are emotional and experiential. They determine a person’s position on the war, education, economy, relition, etc. They determine what “truth” they find whether Christian or otherwise. So, until a person has a personal and emotional experience that re-frames their life, they will continue to believe what they already believe. They will reject views that question their position, they will accept information that supports their position no matter how dumb the source is, and they will go to great lengths to rationalize. Just look at the prior posts.
I recently read in the Times that 80% of Republicans still support Bush in spite of the obvious lies, deception, and corruption. About the same amount of Democrats support their favorite leaders regardless of the lies or graft exposed.
I see huge disingenuousness by most Christians. They simply believe what fits into their own worldview and reject the rest. Most Evangelicals refuse to accept or act upon the heart of Jesus’ message about the Kingdom – justice, peacemaking, stewardship, forgiveness, etc. The justification of our war is inconsistent with Jesus’ message, plain and simple. But most evangelicals are so emotionally invested in their position that they will defend it until they have a significant experience to even crack their comfortable shell.
I dare you to think outside your box. But that’s asking too much of most Christians. They are locked in emotionally and I find discussion with them rather shallow and tiresome – yet here I am…because I get hooked emotionally.



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rgrande

posted July 19, 2007 at 6:23 pm


“No one wants the war to end more than George Bush.”
You must be joking. George Bush is a sociopath with a thirst for blood and violence since he was a child. He has no intention of ending this war for any reason. If he could he would expand it even more.
The Cheney cabal picked him purposely because of his psychological make-up and inability to care even though he fools a LOT of you with his pretense. He was and is perfect for their needs. God and religion and caring have nothing to do with it. You’d think as people of true “faith” that it would be screaming at you. Bush is a very lost soul, there will be no redemption for him in this life no matter how much some of you seem to love and respect him.



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ND

posted July 19, 2007 at 6:51 pm


Thank you, Jim Wallis, for stating what must be said in a way that those with the ears to listen can hear. It is time for the Way of Christ, and that blood has already been spilled.
When will we ever learn? Vengence is God’s. Ours is a course that follows Christ’s teachings, and He would never choose the way of violence.
Christians, it is time to live as we believe. If we truly believe in an Almighty God, we will not live in fear of our enemies. If we truly believe in the Prince of Peace, we must stay our own hands and that of our government’s and let His power reign. Period. End of story.



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Sali

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:29 pm


While I have always been against the war and saw the outcome before it began, I do worry a great deal that we are more concerned about the tragic cost to ourselves over the future of the Iraqis who have lost everything (as Julie pointed out). Don’t we have a moral obligation to Iraqis to do what we can to clean up the mess we’ve made of their country? I’m not saying that we’ve been cleaning anything up already; I just am bothered that I have yet to hear a clear, realistic plan for the pull-out “timetable” that takes this obligation into account–and certainly not enough popular dialog about it.
I know many of us just want the government to quit squandering incredible amounts of money on this war and bring our troops back (and my family does have many, many military friends, so I do understand that), but I also feel that it’s actually within our best interest (even if we didn’t care about the future of the Iraqi people) to not leave a massive power vacuum as we pull out–which was one of our more tragic mistakes in the beginning of the war.
Not only this, but our country has continued to ignore the fact that our instant-gratification mentality will not work in such situations–many of us who have not been raised with this kind of mentality knew from the beginning that “shock and awe” was a frivolous idea–and many Iraqis and our own military analysts/experts/officers have tried to warn us of the consequences of our impatience and lack of long-term commitment to plans that will take much longer to show immediate results. As an American who has lived much of my life outside the country, I am often so disturbed at Americans’ general lack of understanding or care for the rest of the world or our place in it.
I would assume that those in favor of a pull-out happening soon have thought through all the implications and repercussions, but I feel that not many politicians have been clear about an actual down-to-earth plan. We’ve all heard the rhetoric about why we need to ‘end’ this war, but now we need to hear what and how we’re going to begin this long process in an ethical way. I just want to know that our plan for Iraq is morally responsible and stems from a clear understanding of the big picture. Sorry for the long post.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 19, 2007 at 7:41 pm


Rick, yes, perhaps these fine Christian gentlemen are on their way out; but then so is Jim Wallis and his unquestioning support and campaigning for the Democratic party.
Only a committed conservative Republican would say something that ridiculous — Wallis actually was disinvited to the Clinton White House for challenging him on welfare reform. Besides, Wallis has been doing this kind of thing since the early 1970s; you probably weren’t even aware of him then (or maybe even born).
How big is Sojo/Wallis’ budget for his ministry? I don’t know but I wonder if he is over 5 million dollors a year.
I would doubt that. It’s probably picked up over the past three years, but I seriously doubt that he has that kind of income.
It is ludicrous to suggest that a country cannot dispose of an imminent threat in accordance with just war theory. If we have a nuclear missile pointed at us, we have every right to take it out.
Except we’re not talking about an “imminent threat.” Most terrorist activities, especially the most recent ones, have proved to be the work of rank amateurs driven exclusively by ideology but with little or no technical expertise. On another thread months ago some of us freaked out when we thought that Iran might get a nuke, never mind that it takes years and cash to develop — and we’ve had plenty of nukes ourselves since the 1940s! So, where’s the proportion?



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kevin s.

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:13 pm


“You must be joking. George Bush is a sociopath with a thirst for blood and violence since he was a child.”
On what evidence? This is an unhinged tirade.
“I dare you to think outside your box.”
And think inside of yours instead? You are in a box as much as anyone and, from the perspective of your box, Christians are led entirely by blind allegiance and non-intelligence.
“They are locked in emotionally and I find discussion with them rather shallow”
You’re not exactly blowing my mind with your depth here, dude. Do you want to discourse, or simply dismiss?
” It seems the Mormons, the Muslims and even the athiests appear to embody Christianity in conparisom.”
The definition of Christianity is not whether you agree or disagree with this war. Christians who support this war do not do so because we wish ill on others. If you believe that is the case, then you are simply attacking a straw man.



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Stephen Brown

posted July 19, 2007 at 8:47 pm


When asked by one of his students if he should leave the underground church for a Reich church where he could be a witness in a terrible setting, Dietrich Bonhoeffer told him,” It doesn’t matter if you are walking in the right direction if the train you are on is going the wrong way.”
We have destroyed a culture in the name of democracy and the time of our staying and/or leaving just postpones the disaster awaiting Iraq. There is no military solution and we must not sacrifice our young men and women for the likes of Moktada al-Sadr and others who kill our soldiers and each other.
We are the problem, not the solution. We must ask forgiveness and repent “turn around” and begin to listen and pray before we sound the war klaxons again.



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Patricia Salsich

posted July 19, 2007 at 9:29 pm


It should be noted that although many prominent long-term Senators deserted the President in speeches, etc., they lacked the intestinal fortitude to bring the count up to the 60 votes required to insist on a pullout date for our troops, and voted against the measure.



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Anonymous

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:17 am


Posted by: rgrande | July 19, 2007 6:23 PM
Bush never wanted this war and had no intention of going to war. The 911 hit and things changed and they had to change. If Clinton had been using the head that he was given to think with and responded to the attacks against the US – USS Kohl – the Embaseies in Africa – etc, we might not be in this situation. It would be nice to know what he knew about this situation prior to the end of his adm. But YEH – that is not going to happen because those records most likely went missing in Sandy Burgers BVD’s
Again the only answer for all the world’s ills from the liberals is Impeach Bush. The world is a little more complecated that than rgrande.
Do have a great evening -
.



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Annie

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:50 am


Why does everyone (including our senators) think he/she knows that the recently-begun surge is not working? How is everyone so knowledgeable about what goes on in Iraq??? All we hear is what the media want to report, and that is only a negative snippet here or there.
I say let the military personnel and diplomatics who are there carry on their work and report to us in September as originally planned at the authorization for the surge. I was not in favor of going into Iraq, but I agree with those who have said we have some moral, ethical obligation to the people of Iraq at this point. Above all, let us be models of peace on this blog and stop indulging in name-calling!



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sharp

posted July 20, 2007 at 7:42 am


“Bush never wanted this war and had no intention of going to war. The(n) 911 hit…”
That is categorically untrue. It has been documented, especially by Bob Woodward’s eyewitness accounts, that Bush (and especially Cheney) took office on January 20, 2001 with Saddam’s ouster high on their agenda. When 9/11 happened, Cheney was thrilled we had an excuse dumped in our laps to finally enter Iraq. Cheney was more interested in going after Saddam than he was the Al Qaeda/Taliban regime in Afghanistan that actually sponsored the attack. It was/is an obsession.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 8:21 am


Posted by: sharp | July 20, 2007 7:42 AM
‘…took office on January 20, 2001 with Saddam’s ouster high on their…
Regime change was part of the Clinton Adm. talking points too. There could have been any number of ways that change could have happened – not just war. Saddam – and it has been documented – was one of the largest contributors to terrorism around the world. You cut off the flow of funds – you weaken others abilities to cause terror. Woodward, the author of ‘confirmation by non denial’ of that is a great way to establish credibility.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 8:28 am


Posted by: Stephen Brown | July 19, 2007 8:47 PM
We are the problem, not the solution.
Had we taken your position – the east coast would be speaking German and the Japanese would have Alaska and Hawaii.
The Iraqi people will have the culture, a culture that respects the individual to allow them to prosper. It is a minority of radicals that are causing the problem. Marginalize them and the rest of the people can keep the peace and have ‘their’ country.
Later -



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Sean Callaghan

posted July 20, 2007 at 9:40 am


I really dont want to enter the Just War or Should We Have Gone To War debate. I want to ask a simple question:
“How do we make right for what we have done in Iraq?”
We need a Marshall Plan for the Midle East.
I would support troop withdrawal but I would suggest that the US Congress should vote to extend the “Iraq war budget” to now pay for reconstruction of a society that has been devestated by US involvement.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:22 am


Posted by: Sean Callaghan | July 20, 2007 9:40 AM
‘…for reconstruction…’
I would access that it is happening as we speak. There are schools that are bring repaired and opened for students to attend. After years of neglect – the infirstructure is being repaired so that sewer – water – electricity is available.
Iraq now is in better shape in several areas than it was prior to the conflict. We have to finish the job.
Have a great day!



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JeremyT

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:35 am


Has anyone asked the Iraqi people and those we trusted with putting together a constitution? It seems when I hear Iraqi leaders looking for peace across all lines of division, they ask for America to stay until things settle down. yesterday on NPR an Iraqi was saying that Americans aren’t causing the violence but they are suppressing it in many parts of the country.
I don’t believe violence is ever an answer. In fact, I do not believe war can ever be just. Violence is a ring of power that should be cast off into the fire rather than assumed that we can wield its power which is what Jesus did at the cross by forgiving those who tortured him and what Stephen proved we can do with the help of the Holy Spirit when he was stoned.
However, we made a real mess in Iraq by not asking the Iraqi people during every step of the campaign and is the troop pullout going to be another bruise because we did not ask them?
I am all for pulling our troops home, as long as we send over a few more thousand members of Christian Peacemaking Teams and other like ministries. It’s not American but it is Christ-like.
Power vacuums will prey on the powerless so we can’t just pull out, however, it is a true statement that the more we pay for this war, the less we combat poverty both here in the states and abroad. According to Rev. Dr. King, Jr., Vietnam did the same thing.
–No easy answers, but hopefully the discussion and our actions can challenge us to think outside conservative and liberal streams of thought.



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Steve

posted July 20, 2007 at 10:46 am


Excellent article, Jim. We as Christians need to say loudly that this war was illegal, immoral, and unjustified from the very beginning, and hold accountable our “Christian” political leaders for their lies.
Moderatelad said:
“Had we taken your position – the east coast would be speaking German and the Japanese would have Alaska and Hawaii.”
Anybody with a basic knowledge of history knows this could never have happened. The Japanese and Germans no more had the capacity to conduct long-range amphibious invasions and hold those territories than we have the ability to bring peace in Iraq or Afghanistan–one of the lessons I regularly teach my history students is that western invasions of the Middle East are inevitably doomed to failure.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:13 am


Posted by: Steve | July 20, 2007 10:46 AM
‘…Japanese and Germans no more had the capacity to conduct long-range amphibious invasions and hold those territories…’
That was not known in the late 30′s and early 40′s of the last century. If anything – there were people in England and the US that claimed that we could not win against them and that we should use diplomatic channels to come to an agreement so that we would not have to fight the war. So glad we did not listen to them.
I remember that slogan from WWII “Loose Lips Sink Ships”. Hello Nancy, Harry and Hillary – you want us to lay out a plan of what we are going to do over the next few years for all to see – what are you smoking?
We need to bring this war to an end soon and establish a free, independant and secure Iraq. Then let the world know that we, the US will never enter another conflict ever again. I’m calling it the Peloci Plan. Then I am going to sit back and watch all the 3rd world thugs attacking anything and anyone they desire. They will because there is no US that is committed to world peace and protect – we are going to stay home. Everytime that Sojo or others comment about ‘something has to be done’. I am going to remind them of the Peloci Plan and that we need to send the UN over to bring the situation to a peaceful conclusion. Send any diplomate that you can find to go over there, not sure who would be willing to go because we will not be able to protect them because we are operating under the Peloci Plan.
War is the last act of a rational soceity to deal with an irrational enity. Let the ‘irrational reigen’ bacause the rational doesn’t give a %^&* for their fellow man.
have a great weekend!
.



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Ben Wheaton

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:26 am


Rick Nowlin:”Rick, yes, perhaps these fine Christian gentlemen are on their way out; but then so is Jim Wallis and his unquestioning support and campaigning for the Democratic party.”
Only a committed conservative Republican would say something that ridiculous — Wallis actually was disinvited to the Clinton White House for challenging him on welfare reform. Besides, Wallis has been doing this kind of thing since the early 1970s; you probably weren’t even aware of him then (or maybe even born).
—-
Hey, what happened to no personal attacks? At any rate, that statement of mine was probably a little too angsty. Sorry. I am not a Republican, but do have the highest respect for Colson et al. (not perhaps Robertson). Colson is still contributing heavily to Evangelical political theory, for example his statements on Separate Spheres for the various institutions of society. Wallis is just parroting the talking points of the Democratic left.



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Jo

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:34 am


Mr. Wallis,
your words fall on me like fesh rainwater…These are toughts I have held in my heart for a long time. Politics and war have brought much hate on this nation,as the daily barrage of talking heads will show you. Well meaning and not so well meaning Christian conservatives – idealogues – do not understand those of us who grieve these days and wonder in astonishment at how blind so many are to the spiritual truths and teachings of Jesus. Let us not, however, forget to forguve and love our enemies – those who oppose us , for they are many – even in our own families! Thank you Sojourners for your continued efforts toward achieving dialog and peace.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:48 pm


There could have been any number of ways that change could have happened — not just war. Saddam — and it has been documented — was one of the largest contributors to terrorism around the world.
And guess who propped him up in the early 1980s? Besides, I seriously doubt he would have supported al-Qaeda because Osama bin Laden also wanted his destruction.
Colson is still contributing heavily to Evangelical political theory, for example his statements on Separate Spheres for the various institutions of society. Wallis is just parroting the talking points of the Democratic left.
Those are two different issues taken by two different Christians. Colson was still wrong to defend Nixon after all of these years, and a number of Christians gave him heck after he did so. Wallis, on the other hand, has a totally different focus.



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Don

posted July 20, 2007 at 12:51 pm


“I say let the military personnel and diplomatics who are there carry on their work and report to us in September as originally planned at the authorization for the surge. ”
Except, Annie, they’re now asking for more time–at least until November. See this recent article:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19864538/
Sure, now they’re backpedling and saying it really doesn’t mean a delay of the original Sept. deadline. Nevertheless, I’m interpreting it to mean that the military leaders really aren’t sure the ‘surge’ is working, and probably won’t know in September, either.
Yes we have a moral obligation to help reconstruct Iraq. We also had a moral obligation to help reconstruct Afghanistan, but we left that job unfinished when we turned our attention to Iraq (and where, oh where, are Osama bin Laden and Muhammad Omar?).
The way forward was proposed by the Baker-Hamilton comission: a full-court diplomatic press involving all Iraq’s neighbors, including the Islamic Republic to the east. This solution was rejected out of hand by our intractable administration.
Peace!



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kevin s.

posted July 20, 2007 at 2:48 pm


“This solution was rejected out of hand by our intractable administration.”
It wasn’t rejected out of hand. A surge in troops was on the table. Calling bringing Iran and Syria to the table a “full-court diplomatic press” is a little misleading, considering they are the forces actively thwarting our efforts in Iraq. What leverage do we have with them, from a diplomatic standpoint?



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Anonymous

posted July 20, 2007 at 2:56 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | July 20, 2007 12:48 PM
Colson was still wrong to defend Nixon after all of these years, and a number of Christians gave him heck after he did so.
So – to discredit Colson we dig up Nixon – wow. (and I get blasted for looking at history – and history that is more recent) Colson did not Carde Blanc support Nixon but did support the former Pres. in some areas and pointed out where Nixon errored. Nixon was a ‘cover-up’ for ‘aids gone wild’ and he should have let the system deal with them. It was never proven that he knew about what they were doing prior to them getting caught.
The First article of impeachment on Nixon was that ‘he lied to the American people’. (not under oath I might add)
Also it came out years later – almost two decades that Colson when to prison because he had one FBI file that ‘they’ said he should not have had in his possesion. ONE. The material contained in that file would have cleared him of the charges against him but to do so would have ‘outted’ operatives around the world and put them in harms way. Colson could not let that info out. (dare I say Valerie P.) But the Democratic leadership in congress at that time didn’t give a %^&* about it and they knew what the information was in the file. They also knew that Colson would fall on the sword to make sure that it did not become public. So the leadership in the Dem party on capital hill was willing to put someone in prison when they knew the evidence was false and did not care about operatives safety that were friendly to the US. Talk about lack of character. But then again – it is history and they got away with it which is all that matters to them.
Got to love a liberal – they will beat you to a bloody pulp and still claim they didn’t do it.
whatever -
.



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Don

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:11 pm


“A surge in troops was on the table.”
It was one of the options considered in the Baker-Hamilton report. It wasn’t the option that the authors of the report were verbally promoting at the time the report was issued.
“…considering they are the forces actively thwarting our efforts in Iraq.”
We don’t know to what extent this is true. Some reports indicate it is relatively minor. At any rate, there’s little indication that the insurgency is being actively supported by the governments of those two countries.
“What leverage do we have with them, from a diplomatic standpoint?”
We won’t know until we start talking, will we? The assumption behind this statement, however, is that we have none. We don’t know that either.
Peace!



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carl copas

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:20 pm


ceguidos: “It’s incredible to see some of the postings here. Some of you are so far removed from poverty in the U.S. it’s no surprise why you continue to vote for war at our expense. Not even Jesus will save you.”
Amen brother.
moderatelad: “Had we taken your position – the east coast would be speaking German and the Japanese would have Alaska and Hawaii.” This is such an egregious misuse of history one hardly knows how to respond. Al Quaida = Hitler? Saddamn = Hitler?



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:28 pm


Posted by: carl copas | July 20, 2007 3:20 PM
No you have it wrong – with Sojo, it is Bush = Hitler. Something about what was good is now bad and bad is good. Little more water, little less regular coffee. (now that is snarkie)
Have a great day -
.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 3:56 pm


Nixon was a ‘cover-up’ for ‘aides gone wild’ and he should have let the system deal with them. It was never proven that he knew about what they were doing prior to them getting caught.
If that were truly the case, the Post would have had no story, period. And besides that, it was Barry Goldwater, no Democrat and certainly no liberal, who told him directly that his goose was cooked, and that’s when he stepped down. Thus, blaming this one on the Democrats just won’t fly.
Rather, the conservatives were so angry with the Post they decided to found their own media that they would hopefully use to nail a Democratic president, as I mentioned before, and as a result they went full-bore after Clinton. Ironically, it was those same media that caused their eventual downfall because it turned out that they had been feeding what turned out to be false information to mainstream media (which is why Hillary’s complaint about the “vast right-wing conspiracy,” far from just letting off steam, marked a turning point — after some investigating and receiving other tips, the mainstream media actually realized she was right and they had been had).
I bring this up because right-wing media now have been horribly discredited, which is one reason Bush and Cheney are in serious trouble now politically — believe me, they would protect them if they could. On another thread someone brought up a 2003 Weekly Standard article that suggested that al-Qaeda was in cahoots with Saddam Hussein; that proved a hoax. Two-and-a-half years ago, with support for the war plunging, the Fox News Channel started a phony “War on Christmas” to distract viewers and spark more outrage to keep its ratings up. Thing is, no one is fooled today.



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Moderatelad

posted July 20, 2007 at 4:25 pm


Posted by: Rick Nowlin | July 20, 2007 3:56 PM
It was not only Goldwater but several Rep. that went to Nixon and told him that the office of the Pres. had been damaged to the point that he had to leave. Nixon also knew that the House was veto proof so that there was no way he would get a fair trial. They smelled blood in the water and the sharks attacked. Even HHHumphery when asked about the breakin commented ‘what’s the big deal – we’ve all done it’.
found their own media
What media did they have? I can not recall of a major news paper – TV news program et al that would fill that statement. If I give you the argument that FOX is for the Rep. That hardly out-weighs ABC-CBS-NBC-CNN who support the Dems. Yes they have a few publications that are conservative but nothing like the Post – Time etc.
The War On Christmas had nothing to do with the Dem. party. It was showing where fring groups were using the legal system etc to attack the publics ability to say Merry Christmas and such. I was yelled at for saying Merry Christmas to a co-worker as we were going to see each other at a party that evening. I was told that I was allowed to say Happy Holidays. I explained to the person that I was fine with that, (after they put a letter of repremand in my personnel file) and said that the term ‘holiday’ was holy and day put together and therefore more ‘religious’ than Merry Christmas in my opinion. There is a war on Christ – Christianity and I welcome it. Bring it on and may it be a title wave that washes over the whole earth. Go ahead – attack my Jesus anyway you wish NYT, blast my faith WP. Stomp on the Ten Commandments all you want because I know the truth and it has set me free and it can do the same for you. Slap me with any thing you desire to make sure that people know that being a Follower of Christ can cost. I read the end of the book – we win.
I am now going home and having a beer on my deck.
see you again soon and we can have some more fun slapping me around – I might rather learn to enjoy it.
Blessings and remember – Beer is proof that God Loves Us and wants us to be happy. Ben Franklin.
.



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jerry

posted July 20, 2007 at 6:07 pm


jim;
3000 people a year are killed in california, from gunshot, cars, beatings etc.
california has 170,000 convicted prisoners in prison.
etc. etc. etc. get a march together and clean up california. where is your moral outrage over this? no money in it?



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Sarasotakid

posted July 20, 2007 at 7:36 pm


There is a war on Christ – Christianity and I welcome it. Bring it on and may it be a title wave that washes over the whole earth. Moderatlad
Hey Modlad, I hate to burst your big overbloated Christian bubble but those words- “Bring it on” sound strangely reminiscent of a leader who thought he was going to win big but ended up screwing things up. They’re kind of on par with “Mission accomplished” Wouldn’t ya say?



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Tinker

posted July 20, 2007 at 7:48 pm


Settle down, folks. What happened to “Blessed are the peacemakers”?????



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 20, 2007 at 11:48 pm


What media did they have?
National Review. The American Spectator. The Weekly Standard. The right-wing newspaper in my city (which first published the Vince Foster non-story). The Washington Times and United Press International, both owned by Sun Myung Moon. The Western Journalism Center. And, yes, the Fox News Channel. (And there may be more I can’t remember now.) They managed to get their false stories in major media, first CNN and then the broadcast networks and even in major mainstream newspapers looking for a scoop.
But there was a specific method to the madness. The right-wing media made up all these allegations of Clinton’s corruption and the major media, assuming that they also had done their homework, started broadcasting them without checking — and before they found out that there was nothing to find the next scandal came along. That kept on until a guy named David Brock, who wrote the American Spectator story that then-Gov. Clinton had used Arkansas state troopers to get women and later retracted it because he learned it was false, turned the tables — it was he who, second-hand, told Hillary. After the impeachment, voila — no more “scandals.”
The War On Christmas had nothing to do with the Dem. party. It was showing where fring groups were using the legal system etc to attack the publics ability to say Merry Christmas and such.
And, as such, it was generally bogus — because they were generally isolated incidents likely blown out of proportion. When it was happening a friend of mine sent me two particular items that had been reported on Fox News; one I couldn’t find in any other medium and Fox didn’t give the entire story on the other. I didn’t say it had anything to do with the Democratic Party, only that people got wise to its slanted coverage of the war in Iraq and it needed something to keep its viewers.
Stomp on the Ten Commandments all you want because I know the truth and it has set me free and it can do the same for you. Slap me with any thing you desire to make sure that people know that being a Follower of Christ can cost. I read the end of the book – we win.
Uh — you forget that I too am a Christian, and an evangelical at that — have been for nearly 30 years. However, in that time I’ve never subcribed to modern American conservative ideology because I’ve always believed it a form of idolatry.



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Kevin Wayne

posted July 21, 2007 at 1:47 pm


Ron Paul is a Republican and a candidate for president who admits, I highligh here- he ADMITS- that “the war was sold to us with fals einformation.” I wonder why so many of you loyal rightwingers still aren’t willing to?



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 21, 2007 at 6:00 pm


Kevin Wayne — Because he is at heart a Libertarian — he was once belonged to that party — and dedicated to principle. The true “right” has no stomach for that kind. Besides, they have a hard time admitting that they might be wrong.



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canucklehead

posted July 21, 2007 at 8:59 pm


>>>In Canada as in the US, the media only ever mentions our casualties. I would have expected better of this article– while the deaths and maiming of your soldiers and ours should be cause for compassion, support, and incessant questioning of our countries’ military ventures, I question our sense of humanity and commitment to Christ’s way when we consistently fail to even acknowledge the horrendous death tolls, injuries and trauma in Iraq and Afghanistan. Julie
Julie – Don Martin reported from Afghanistan in today’s National Post that the Canadian army (ie. gov’t) specifically doesn’t announce the numbers of dead Taliban and/or civilians in the interests of not giving the Taliban further fuel for their fire. It’s not simply a matter of overlooking such as you seem to think



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canucklehead

posted July 21, 2007 at 9:13 pm


>>>I am now going home and having a beer on my deck. Mod Lad
shouldn’t that be “another” beer? Or twelve.
>>>Hey Modlad, I hate to burst your big overbloated Christian bubble but those words- “Bring it on” sound strangely reminiscent of a leader who thought he was going to win big but ended up screwing things up. They’re kind of on par with “Mission accomplished” Wouldn’t ya say?
Posted by: Sarasotakid | July 20, 2007 7:36 PM
Hey Sara – it’s but another indication that the guy never shuts up long enough to actually think.



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kevin s.

posted July 22, 2007 at 1:00 am


“The true “right” has no stomach for that kind. ”
Because the true right is conservative, which is at odd with libertarians on a lot of issues. Of those more moderate Republicans, many are moderate in ways that draw even further from libertarian viewpoints. It’s our primary. Why should we vote for someone with whom we disagree? I don’t see any culturally conservative populists garnering votes on the Dem side.



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Jon B

posted July 22, 2007 at 7:42 am


As I read (Jim Wallis: The Timetable Begins Now)…All I can think is …What will happen to the people of Iraq after a US pullout. I think that they will be caught up in another genacide. Of course this will be brought to us daily via our “unbiased media” and of course it will all be George Bush’s fault. And this will be played out my the Dems to show how bad war is. This media spectical will be for US politcal purposes, while Iraqi’s die each day.
Don’t you think that groups like Hamas would love to move into Iraq? Friends what do you really think will happen after a pullout???
The way we need to show our compassion is to win the battle for Iraq and the sow the seeds of freeedom in that region.
When I see what is going to happen after a US Pullout….I really question the Heart of people like Wallis.
Did anyone listen to the Dem. Presidential Debate in New Hampshire? It was interesting hearing Obama and company try to figure out how to both use the military and yet not use the military to stabilize Sudan. The reason I bring that up is because this is another place that as soon as you put western troops on the ground…they will become a magnet for the extremists. But unfortunately when you want to try to help the people you have to put enough “good guys” with guns on the ground to make it secure for all of the humanitaian efforts.
The only thing that you left out of your article is the lowest public oppinion rating…EVER… for Congress. Maybe the timetable you were talking about was the one for resonable leadership in Congress.
JRB



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 8:35 am


It’s our primary. Why should we vote for someone with whom we disagree? I don’t see any culturally conservative populists garnering votes on the Dem side.
And you full well know why that is.
Besides, do you want to be “right” or win elections? These days you can’t have it both ways.



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Rick Nowlin

posted July 22, 2007 at 8:39 am


All I can think is …What will happen to the people of Iraq after a US pullout. I think that they will be caught up in another genocide.
Excuse me, but have you noticed that it’s already happening with us there? I think about at least 10 times more Iraqis have died since the war started than American soldiers, yet that’s not highlighted.
Oh, and that low approval rating for Congress? That’s misleading — because most people think, “My Congressperson is fine, but yours has got to go.”



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Anonymous

posted July 22, 2007 at 12:49 pm


Posted by: canucklehead | July 21, 2007 9:13 PM
“Bring it on” I believe was first coinged in a movie back in the 70′s – not too origional or cleaver but a statement that has been used by many.
shouldn’t that be “another” beer? Or twelve.
So – you think it is a beer that it talking or that I never ‘shuts up long enough to actually think’.
Truth be told I have a 24 case of Killians Red in my frige in the basement that is about 4 weeks old and a little over half full. Not a big drinker but a cold one after mowing the lawn is nice. But for the benefit of the two of you – I will shut up. You don’t have to read my postings as I do not plan on replying to yours. It is interesting how you like to label and denigrate people for having a different opinion – so then the ^&* with you. And no Ms “P” – I am not a victim – never have been and never will be.
Do have fun blasting others to make yourself feel better.
(I would bless you – but not sure what you would say about that -)
.



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kevin s.

posted July 22, 2007 at 3:00 pm


“And you full well know why that is.”
It’s the same reason a libertarian won’t gain traction in a Republican primary.
“Oh, and that low approval rating for Congress? That’s misleading — because most people think, “My Congressperson is fine, but yours has got to go.”
If you are analyzing how congressional approval translates into votes, this statement is relevant. In this context, it is not. At any rate, quite a few more people think “your congressperson has to go” than they did in February.
People wanted a change of course in Iraq and pork reform. What the Dems have delivered is a ongoing political charade designed to culminate in fall of 2008 with a cutoff of funding. Find me one objective Washington observer who does not believe this. If it works, it works. Until then, they are going to be mighty unpopular.
And pork reform is a pipe dream. The Democratic lobbyists (or justice fighters, as Rick would call them) have made themselves at home. Nice farm bill, guys.



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Kevin Wayne

posted July 22, 2007 at 7:30 pm


Because the true right is conservative, which is at odd with libertarians on a lot of issues. Of those more moderate Republicans, many are moderate in ways that draw even further from libertarian viewpoints. It’s our primary. Why should we vote for someone with whom we disagree? I don’t see any culturally conservative populists garnering votes on the Dem side.
Posted by: kevin s. | July 22, 2007 1:00 AM

Quite funny! :) Google the phrase “Key California Republican Group Endorses Ron Paul”- and you will find the following:
“ARLINGTON, VA – The United Republicans of California (UROC) have unanimously endorsed Congressman Ron Paul for president of the United States. UROC, formed in 1963 to support Barry Goldwater, represents the traditional conservative wing of the California Republican Party.
“The unanimous endorsement from the United Republicans of California proves what the campaign has been saying all along,” said campaign chairman Kent Snyder.
“Ron Paul is the only true conservative and real Republican in the race.
And if you study Ron Paul’s view further, you will find him much in agreement with the Constitution Party, which is more conservative than the GOP! :)



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kevin s.

posted July 23, 2007 at 12:06 pm


“Quite funny! :) Google the phrase “Key California Republican Group Endorses Ron Paul”- and you will find the following:”
Goldwater had a very strong libertarian bent, as does this group. It is imprecise to call the Constitution party more conservative than the GOP. It’s a different continuum. I will agree that the GOP could be more conservative.



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Kevin Wayne

posted July 23, 2007 at 1:22 pm


“It is imprecise to call the Constitution party more conservative than the GOP.”
No, I would say that it’s quite accurate, if your continuum is the politics of the country as a whole :)
Either way, Ron Paul is more consistent- you worry about health or education at the federal level but support billions of dollars being wasted in Iraq- Paul is against both. Although I do appreciate that healtcare and education could still continue on a local level in his world.



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kevin s.

posted July 24, 2007 at 11:41 am


“No, I would say that it’s quite accurate, if your continuum is the politics of the country as a whole :)”
Correct. You can be accurate, but imprecise.
“Either way, Ron Paul is more consistent- you worry about health or education at the federal level but support billions of dollars being wasted in Iraq- Paul is against both.”
And liberals oppose war spending, but advocate national spending on health and education. By your definition (not mine), they are equally inconsistent.
Conservatives (though many disagree with this particular war effort) believe that the government’s primary obligation is to protect the safety of it’s citizenry.
Hence, we have no problem with funding police forces, armies etc…



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Kevin Wayne

posted July 24, 2007 at 3:28 pm


And liberals oppose war spending, but advocate national spending on health and education. By your definition (not mine), they are equally inconsistent
Nope. Nice try, but no cigar. :) They are not libertarian or conservative, so they don’t hold to the same (non-federal interferrence) standard. Therefore they cannot be inconsistent. You conservatives do support that standard. The liberals support life affirming spending, where as you only support it at the federal level if you get to kill other people.
Which, incendeally is against the Bible. Never once do you see Yahwaeh’s people supporting a war Yahweh didn’t start. And it’s against the historic witness of the early church which was pacifist and believed that those who accept Christ the Messiah (not the secualar Zionist regime) are the true Israel. :)



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Kevin Wayne

posted July 24, 2007 at 3:34 pm


Although I know a true pacifst would never be President, still I was encouraged by Ron Paul’s statement of faith I recently ran accross. Hear what he says in regards to the Augsitnian just War doctrine:
Statement of Faith By Rep. Ron Paul, MD.
The Covenant News ~ July 21, 2007
http://www.covenantnews.com/ronpaul070721.htm
We live in times of great uncertainty when men of faith must stand up for our values and our traditions lest they be washed away in a sea of fear and relativism. As you likely know, I am running for President of the United States, and I am asking for your support.
I have never been one who is comfortable talking about my faith in the political arena. In fact, the pandering that typically occurs in the election season I find to be distasteful. But for those who have asked, I freely confess that Jesus Christ is my personal Savior, and that I seek His guidance in all that I do. I know, as you do, that our freedoms come not from man, but from God. My record of public service reflects my reverence for the Natural Rights with which we have been endowed by a loving Creator.
I have worked tirelessly to defend and restore those rights for all Americans, born and unborn alike. The right of an innocent, unborn child to life is at the heart of the American ideal of liberty. My professional and legislative record demonstrates my strong commitment to this pro-life principle.
In 40 years of medical practice, I never once considered performing an abortion, nor did I ever find abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman. In Congress, I have authored legislation that seeks to define life as beginning at conception, H.R. 1094. I am also the prime sponsor of H.R. 300, which would negate the effect of Roe v Wade by removing the ability of federal courts to interfere with state legislation to protect life. This is a practical, direct approach to ending federal court tyranny which threatens our constitutional republic and has caused the deaths of 45 million of the unborn. I have also authored H.R. 1095, which prevents federal funds to be used for so-called “population control.” Many talk about being pro-life. I have taken and will continue to advocate direct action to restore protection for the unborn.
I have also acted to protect the lives of Americans by my adherence to the doctrine of “just war.” This doctrine, as articulated by Augustine, suggested that war must only be waged as a last resort— for a discernible moral and public good, with the right intentions, vetted through established legal authorities (a constitutionally required declaration of the Congress), and with a likely probability of success.
It has been and remains my firm belief that the current United Nations-mandated, no-win police action in Iraq fails to meet the high moral threshold required to wage just war. That is why I have offered moral and practical opposition to the invasion, occupation and social engineering police exercise now underway in Iraq. It is my belief, borne out by five years of abject failure and tens of thousands of lost lives, that the Iraq operation has been a dangerous diversion from the rightful and appropriate focus of our efforts to bring to justice to the jihadists that have attacked us and seek still to undermine our nation, our values, and our way of life.
I opposed giving the president power to wage unlimited and unchecked aggression, However, I did vote to support the use of force in Afghanistan. I also authored H.R. 3076, the September 11 Marque and Reprisal Act of 2001. A letter of marque and reprisal is a constitutional tool specifically designed to give the president the authority to respond with appropriate force to those non-state actors who wage aggression against the United States while limiting his authority to only those responsible for the atrocities of that day. Such a limited authorization is consistent with the doctrine of just war and the practical aim of keeping Americans safe while minimizing the costs in blood and treasure of waging such an operation.
On September 17, 2001, I stated on the house floor that “…striking out at six or eight or even ten different countries could well expand this war of which we wanted no part. Without defining the enemy there is no way to know our precise goal or to know when the war is over. Inadvertently more casual acceptance of civilian deaths as part of this war I’m certain will prolong the agony and increase the chances of even more American casualties. We must guard against this if at all possible.” I’m sorry to say that history has proven this to be true.
I am running for president to restore the rule of law and to stand up for our divinely inspired Constitution. I have never voted for legislation that is not specifically authorized by the Constitution. As president, I will never sign a piece of legislation, nor use the power of the executive, in a manner inconsistent with the limitations that the founders envisioned.
Many have given up on America as an exemplar for the world, as a model of freedom, self-government, and self-control. I have not. There is hope for America. I ask you to join me, and to be a part of it.
Sincerely,
Ron Paul
___________
Well… “divnely inspired constitution” may be a bit much. :) But I’ve talked to people in the millitary who have pointed out that the founding fathers never intended the US have alliances- only treaties. Seems like that would be a good start.



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Kevin Wayne

posted July 24, 2007 at 3:38 pm


One more tibit on Ron Paul. From Fox news:
Ron Paul, the Real Republican?
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,252847,00.html



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Isa

posted July 25, 2007 at 7:46 am


I havr read and heard so much about politics and war and peace – amd I havre seen (and would like to forget) the shocking images some courageous journalist have taken. There is no doubt things were not right before. There is no doubt things are so much worse now. I do not question the courage, the effort and trauma of soldiers. I have a brother who haswas obliged to fight for 4 years and is now suffering physically and mentally. I also cannot forget the Gulf War which seems to have been an experience for further wars. Do we all remember that the US soldiers on the gound were struck by fragments of US bombing (bombs well “developed” with enriched urannium? Those who survived are now suffering terribly of “unknown diseases” -Officially they are ill because of other things… This is so shameful on the part of those at Defense Dept.
If this is how US soldiers are compensated by their effots and lives – guess the rest.
Most people would like to live just in peace, have a job, be able to feed theisr children and send them to school… without the women being raped by whoever soldiers pass by.
Moreover the children who will survive this HELL will remember and will want justice.
This is not doing anything for peace either abroad or at home. IT IS BRINGING TROUBLE HOME.
Please use your imagination and effort for other ways to ensure a better world.
It used to be a beautiful world when I was a kid-
long ago.



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