God's Politics

God's Politics


And the Killing Will Go On (by Jim Wallis)

posted by God's Politics

It was a big day for a general on Capitol Hill yesterday, as Gen. David Petraeus made his long-awaited “progress report” to a joint House committee. But one congressman remembered the last time a general’s testimony drew such public attention. It was on April 1967 that Gen. William Westmoreland made his speech to Congress about how much progress we were making in Vietnam. Later, in November 1967, the general spoke to the National Press Club saying, “With 1968, a new phase is starting … we have reached an important point where the end begins to come into view.” It was in that speech where we heard the historic phrase about the “light at the end of the tunnel.” Then, January 1968 saw the Tet Offensive and the beginning of the painful end of Vietnam.
U.S. deaths in the war from 1956 to 1967 totaled 19,560. But after 1968, there were 38,633 more (including those who died from wounds after the war ended with the ignominious departure of U.S. troops in 1973). More than twice as many of the names on the black wall that is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial came after it had become clear that the war strategy had failed.
There were lots of “facts” offered up yesterday by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. While the security situation is mixed, said the general, the Bush “surge” is working and things are getting better. He recommended that the increased force levels be maintained through next spring and into the summer (give or take a brigade or two). Crocker, while admitting the political situation is “difficult” and “will take time,” suggested that a unified and democratic central government in Iraq is “attainable.”
Of course, independent and nonpartisan assessments of the levels of violence, the continuing sectarian conflict, and the success of the Iraqi government are quite different. According to The Washington Post, Comptroller Gen. David M. Walker, head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), painted a far bleaker picture of Iraqi progress last week, issuing a report that said the Baghdad government has failed to meet 11 of the 18 political benchmarks established by the U.S. Congress. And despite the U.S. troop surge, the report concluded that it is “unclear whether sectarian violence in Iraq has decreased.” In his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Walker and the GAO labeled the Iraqi government “dysfunctional” and reported that “overall key legislation has not been passed, violence remains high and it is unclear whether the Iraqi government will spend $10 billon in reconstruction funds.”
The Post also reported on a second independent report ordered by Congress, which called the national police “dysfunctional” and riddled with sectarianism and corruption. The 20-member commission, headed by retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones Jr., said Iraq’s security forces will not be able to fulfill its obligations for at least 12 to 18 months. The report called for a “strategic shift” in Iraq, with U.S. forces reducing their massive “footprint” in the country where we have the clear perception as “occupiers.”
President Bush said the “surge” was to create “breathing space” for political reconciliation among Iraq’s warring factions. And that has clearly not happened, despite the reports of mild security improvements in some areas. In fact, on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Gen. Jones said the opposite was true — that real security in Iraq was not possible without political reconciliation. And because there has been no political reconciliation because of the surge, it is so far a policy failure. Despite the surge, sectarian violence still reigns in Iraq, young Americans remain caught in the crosshairs of a civil war, and the bloody insurgency/counter-insurgency continues the kill each week.
But the general with four stars on his shoulders and a chest full of medals says we should soldier on, which is what we all knew the president had already decided to do. When was the last time you saw a general saying he was losing a war?
Where there has been real progress on security, like in Anbar province, it is because of tribal leaders (other Muslims) getting tired of the religious extremism of al Qaeda terrorists — it is not because of the surge. In addition, because the area is virtually all Sunni, the promise of Sunni/Shiite reconciliation is low. But in the undermining of support for Islamic radicalism among other Sunni Muslims, there are clearly lessons to learn about strategy — but more than military strategies.
Yet the Bush administration still refuses to learn any lessons from the 9/11 anniversary other than military responses and, indeed with Iraq, in a misguided and disastrous military response. Iraq was not the central theater of the “war on terrorism” until the U.S. intervention turned it into a terrorist training camp and recruiting ground for a new generation of suicide bombers.
The Iraq debacle reveals military solutions to be among the least effective in the battle against terrorism. Bin Laden’s latest video reminds us that he is still out there. Does anybody really think we are safer than we were before 9/11 or that Iraq has made us more secure?
And the Bush administration has not even begun to learn the biggest lesson of 9/11 — that unilateral strategies are the most ineffective response to the real threats of global terrorism. But the new and creative multilateral strategies we most need to undermine and defeat religious extremism and political terrorism are blocked from emerging in the kind of unipolar world that the U.S. still wants to dominate.
For example, any serious opponent of the war in Iraq knows that having so disastrously intervened, the U.S. is indeed responsible for stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq in ways that protect against the potential post-war bloodletting that the White House continually warns us about. But how we best do that is the critical question. A real argument for international involvement and multilateral solutions can be made for that very task, one that includes a primary focus on regional diplomacy to prevent more destabilization in the Middle East. But it is, in fact, the continued U.S. occupation that most obstructs the possible international interventions that could save Iraq and the region.
In the meantime, it is the human cost of the continuing war that is most painful. Every week more Americans will die, along with an untold number of Iraqis. And there is no end to the killing in sight with President Bush’s intransigence and Gen. Petraeus’ promises. After today’s testimonies on Capitol Hill, it’s clear that the next war is already being prepared — a war with Iran. A state of permanent warfare is now the U.S. strategy for defeating terrorism, which will only make it worse.
John McCain keeps talking about “honor” and hopes the surge will help his wilting presidential campaign to surge again. But there is no honor in a war that was fought on false pretenses, that sends young Americans on hopeless missions only to die, that slaughters the innocents in even greater numbers and doesn’t even bother to count the dead, and learns nothing from its mistake of relying on military solutions instead of political ones. Because George Bush now compares Iraq to Vietnam, I will too. The endless killing of my generation in Vietnam was justified by one changing rationale after another, but the last justification for continuing the killing was reduced to “bringing our boys home with their heads high.” We’re hearing that again now in talk about “winning” and “credibility” and “honor.” Well, the Vietnam boys came home with their heads disillusioned, their bodies broken, and their hearts sickened.
We probably won’t end this strategy of destruction and defeat until fathers (like me) and mothers decide that their sons and daughters won’t participate in it anymore. So last night, I talked to my 9- and 4-year-old sons and told them I never want them to fight in America’s misbegotten wars.



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e-dubya

posted September 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm


Yes, the Iran comments so frightened me. There can be no other meaning than laying the groundwork for a war with Iran. When will our aging leaders get it? This is NOT the 1950′s, 1960′s or event the 1980′s? Iraq is not Russia. This is NOT the cold war with one clear enemy. The terrorists who are our ACTUAL enemies are not located in ONE country with ONE boundary. The ONLY way to defeat them is to gain allegiances with our neighbors and globalize our cause. We have failed diplomatically. And THAT failure will be catastrophic. Our children and grandchildren have not only inherited the monetary cost of this war but also the diplomatic cost of this war. Our war in Iraq has created what some estimate as 5 million refuges into surrounding regions. Who are these refuges? Potential enemies, now. Was Al Quada in Iraq before we went in with military force? Maybe. No one is sure. Are they a presence now? YES, they are seen as the SAVIORS for many embittered by our warmongering. How sad that so many are blind to this fact. I hope it really is not too late to turn this around. It will take the courage of humility, which seems a nonexistent value in the current administration.



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Wolverine

posted September 11, 2007 at 1:51 pm


Jim Wallis wrote:
There were lots of “facts” offered up yesterday by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq.
Ah, the old scare quote. What exactly did Petreus get wrong? There is little conflict between what Petreus said and the GAO report — Petreus addressed the military situation, while GAO focused on the political aspects. So the military aspects of the surge are working better than the political. But even if you assume that only the political goals really count, the surge has produced some successes.
When was the last time you saw a general saying he was losing a war?
About the same time that Jim Wallis failed to spin any issue as far as possible in favor of the Democratic party.
Bin Laden’s latest video reminds us that he is still out there.
Not sure whether this is a fact or a “fact”. There are a lot of folks out there who are not convinced that the man on the tape is actually Bin Laden. Maybe this should be rewritten:
“Bin Laden’s” latest “video” reminds us that he is still “out there”.
Yeah, that’s more like it.
Wolverine



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Anonymous

posted September 11, 2007 at 1:58 pm


I used to think the “evangelical” left wanted to be “prophetic” and speak “truth” to “power” but it turns out that all they wanted to do was relieve the “drama” of the “new” left’s cultural rebellion of the 1960s and 70s.
Wallis seems to “want” the U.S. military to meet “defeat” wherever they go – Vietnam, Iraq.
Mock quotes are fun but they sure don’t make an argument more convincing, do they?



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Moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 2:00 pm


So last night, I talked to my 9- and 4-year-old sons and told them I never want them to fight in America’s misbegotten wars.
So Mr. Wallis. Under what conditions would you say we should go to war with another nation. Just interested in what and how you would define as an ‘un-misbegotten war’.
Blessings -
.



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RL

posted September 11, 2007 at 2:13 pm


It will be very interesting if a democrat wins the whitehouse in November, and continues the current policies in Iraq if Mr. Wallis will be singing another tune.



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kevin s.

posted September 11, 2007 at 2:20 pm


I wonder if Wallis waited a day to see if Moveon’s insipid Petraeus-”Betray Us” gambit would pay off. Other than that, he has essentially cut and pasted their talking points.
Wallis curiously ceases his comparison between Vietnam and Iraq before nothing that hundreds of thousands of deaths that occurred after we left. Wallis wants to talk about our reasons for going to war, and how it was a bad idea. I don’t blame him, since it gives him something to rant about, but it has nothing to do with Gen. Petraeus’ testimony.
Wallis cites the GAO study, which simply concludes that it measuring trends in violence is too difficult. The study is convenient in light of the recent 50% drop in violent civilian deaths. Would he cite the same study if there is a pronounced uptick in violence? Of course not.
Wallis points to the fact that we are responsible for the bloodletting that is occurring, and that our continued presence inhibits the “diplomacy” that would somehow stop the sectarian violence. He offers no evidence that withdrawing our troops would open doors to diplomacy, and fails to explain why diplomacy will result in a reduction of civilian deaths.
So, on the basis of his own (vague) assertions, Wallis faults Petraeus for saying that we ought not pull out. Any “serious” opponent of the war (which Wallis apparently claims to be) would note that our continued military presence is necessary to prevent bloodshed of a much greater magnitude.
Wallis leaves the door open to the possibility of that this is all correct, and aside from adorning the word “facts” with scare quotes, makes no effort to rebut any of Petraeus’ substantive arguments. But Wallis also eats his cake in suggesting that our continued presence is undesirable. Were the prophets this schizophrenic? No. But then, they weren’t political hacks.



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kevin s.

posted September 11, 2007 at 2:45 pm


moderatelad,
We’re still on for beer, yes? 5:08 or so? Great day for a beer on a patio.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 11, 2007 at 2:51 pm


moderatelad, kevin s., wolverine,
Wallis’ comments on Petraeus’ report were predictable, just as were your responses to it.
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
Seek peace and pursue it.



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justintime

posted September 11, 2007 at 2:53 pm


On the patio, lifting steins for perpetual war and terror for all.



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Daniel

posted September 11, 2007 at 3:06 pm


Syria has so far accepted (at least) 1.5 million Iraqi refugees. (CBS)
With 2 million Iraqis who have fled their country, and 2.2 million more who are “displaced internally” (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees), how can it be said that the surge is ‘working’?
The fact that one out of every six Iraqis has fled their home seems like it ought to be relevant to any discussion of the security situation in that country. Am I missing something?
And “the Bush administration’s plan is to admit 10,000 to 12,000 Iraqis a year” (Denver Post), up from the current average of 191.
This is obscene.



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Greg H.

posted September 11, 2007 at 3:13 pm


I’m old enough to have participated in the anti-war demonstrations of 1969-72, and I must say, in hindsight, that it saddens me how wrong both sides were in that terribly divisive debate. The seekers of “peace with honor” sacrificed thousands of soldiers’ lives to that vain quest, but we disparaged those soldiers and their service, to our everlasting shame.
I’m tired of the knee-jerk anti-war crowd, and I’m heartened that Jim Wallis dares to depart from their mindless sloganeering and name-calling. I would go Wallis one further, though, and applaud the moderate, reasoned, considerate tone of the hearings yesterday.
It’s clear that the Democratic majority has forced a more honest reporting of the war’s progress. I believe that that honesty (from Petraeus and others in the military leadership) is contributing to a much-needed, long-awaited sharpness of focus to our mission in Iraq.
Both sides need to keep pressing the debate, forcing some critical thinking from each other. But we also need prayer, and I thank Mr. Wallis for calling us all to offer that gift to our nation’s leaders.



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Moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 3:17 pm


Posted by: justintime | September 11, 2007 2:53 PM
On the patio, lifting steins for perpetual war and terror for all.
justintime – you can do better than that. Lifeing steins to stronger 401k’s and better than cost of living wages in ’07 – ’08. I will even drink to the good health of you and ‘he’ who I am not commenting with. (tee hee)
Blessings -
.



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canucklehead

posted September 11, 2007 at 3:22 pm


Theyz a part of the “in” crowd, Neuro.
intractable, intransigent, incorrigible



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Cads

posted September 11, 2007 at 3:40 pm


Just to point out that Wallis misspoke when he said that “after 1968, there were 38,633 more” deaths. He meant to say “after 1967″, since there were 16,592 deaths in 1968 and a total of 22,041 thereafter.



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squeaky

posted September 11, 2007 at 4:05 pm


“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
Ain’t that the truth.



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kevin s.

posted September 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm


“On the patio, lifting steins for perpetual war and terror for all.”
Justintime, this is completely offensive and incorrect…
We’ll be lifting pint glasses, not steins.



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Moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm


Posted by: kevin s. | September 11, 2007 4:14 PM
We’ll be lifting pint glasses, not steins.
Humor – arr arr!



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Anonymous

posted September 11, 2007 at 4:28 pm


Jim Wallis wrote:
We probably won’t end this strategy of destruction and defeat until fathers (like me) and mothers decide that their sons and daughters won’t participate in it anymore. So last night, I talked to my 9- and 4-year-old sons and told them I never want them to fight in America’s misbegotten wars.
Jim,
If (God forbid) we are at war in ten years or so, your older son will get to make up his own mind about whether or not he “participates”*. And in fifteen years your younger son may have to make a similar decision. And while you are certainly free to give whatever advice you feel appropriate, the decision will be theirs, not yours.
It is not in the power of fathers or mothers as such to bring warfare to an end and you should not delude yourself or your readers into thinking that you can. In fact, if you lay this kind of thing on too thick, it’s possible your son could join the military as a form of rebellion.
Wolverine
*This is not a scare quote. Though the irony is intentional, this is a reference to Jim Wallis’ own words



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squeaky

posted September 11, 2007 at 4:37 pm


I hope those pint glasses will be filled with ROOT beer!



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squeaky

posted September 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm


Moderatelad,
“Humor – arr arr!”
Here’s a pop culture quiz for you:
Where did that “expression” originate?



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Wolverine

posted September 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm


Moderatelad, Kevin,
Wish I could be there. Enjoy the brewskis!
Wolverine



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 11, 2007 at 5:55 pm


“Bin Laden’s” latest “video” reminds us that he is still “out there”.
The issue is whether Bush believes that he is still “out there.” The truth is, the longer we stay in Iraq the easier it is for bin Laden to recruit for al-Qaeda — because he knows full well that Bush doesn’t want to look weak (which, in fact, he actually is). It was not for nothing that he made an “appearance” before the 2004 election.
Lifeing steins to stronger 401k’s and better than cost of living wages in ’07 – ’08.
You wish.



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jesse

posted September 11, 2007 at 6:23 pm


And because there has been no political reconciliation because of the surge, it is so far a policy failure.
–I get the logic…nothing our military does can result in any good, and everything bad happens because of our military.
This site’s been up for almost a year and I have yet to see Wallis provide any serious plan for resolving the conflict in Iraq. I can understand that he is a functional pacifist, but his “tone” here comes across as “so” “obnoxious.”
Do you understand that Sadaam was removed from power years ago and we are presently there at the behest of the Iraqi people? Don’t you believe we have a moral obligation to help Iraq? Is it so horrible to assist people who want us to help bring stability to their region? Do you oppose police forces in our own country who do the same thing?
This slandering of Petraeus’ character based on ambiguous charges is also remarkable to see coming from a minister. But these are the kind of partisan rants I’ve come to expect from Wallis.



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Chardino

posted September 11, 2007 at 6:24 pm


Oh, Jim — looking at the log in our own eye again. I’m glad for that , and we should do so. But I think you want us to really get spanked for our misdeeds by bailing out of there and admitting to the rest of the peaceful world how bad we are. And if the region erupts into chaos after we leave, will you actually be GLAD to scold us even further? Will you have any of your “stop the killing” prayer requests when that happens? I doubt it. Instead, we will be treated to more trips to the woodshed…”just look at what YOU did!” and so on. So , Jim, start a new prayer rush –it could say, “Urgent! Pray for American failure! Pray for more armor-piercing mines to shred US soldiers so they can be blessed unto repentance. Pray for more suicide bombs in the market places so we will all see how horrible we are for driving SUV’s and shopping at Wal Mart.” Do it , JIm! Say what you really mean! That way you won’t have to say slightly less direct things like “progress report.”
OOOPs — I didn’t sound exactly “loving,” and maybe I should have tried to counter your “statements” with actual arguments. I guess my old “sin nature” got the best of “me.”



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History Nut

posted September 11, 2007 at 6:59 pm


Moderatelad wrote: “Under what conditions would you say we should go to war with another nation. Just interested in what and how you would define as an ‘un-misbegotten war’.”
I think this is a good question, and similar to one I posted on another entry. I understand why people choose pacifism, but I have a hard time embracing it myself because I don’t know that diplomacy will always be the answer when dealing with hostile countries that choose aggression instead.
**Does Jim Wallis allow for America, or any country for that matter, to ever wage a war of self-defense or in support of a noble cause? Are ALL wars “misbegotten”? Should the North have waited the South out on the slavery issue since we reached a diplomatic and political impasse with the Confederacy?
Thanks for considering this.
History Nut



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justintime

posted September 11, 2007 at 7:03 pm


Hey, Kevin, ML, Wolvie:
Al Franken would like to buy a round.
No strings attached.



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jesse anderson

posted September 11, 2007 at 7:06 pm


You are right about our childrens getting this one in the near future but when you think about what we did not do and what we were suppose to do when I was in the U.S.ARMY the beruit killing come to mind and that is when we begin to back up from those peoples,now that they are doing all this kill in Iraq is as good as it get,to me being a army man, I would not want to set up a base in lebanon because it would be a bad idea, but the good idea is to get them all in one place peoples like the Iran, syria,etc would follow and try to do us harm so while they are trying to do their best to turn the world on us,at least Israel is safe.



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justintime

posted September 11, 2007 at 7:06 pm


History Nut:
Jim Wallis never posts on his own diary.
So what do YOU think about ‘just war’?



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History Nut

posted September 11, 2007 at 7:20 pm


One more thing . . .
It is interesting that Sojourners’ seems to apply different standards of “truth” to different people. Non-leftists come under a lot more scrutiny and criticism. For example, Wallis seems to imply that the testimonies yesterday were less than truthful when he wrote, “There were lots of “facts” offered up yesterday by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq” and Wallis also stated later on that a general would never pass by the opportunity to “solider on,” apparently willing to look the other way on a “debacle” (implying a willingness to sacrifice needlessly American lives for political ends).
And yet, Sojourners is willing to look the other way on leftist liberties with the truth. Take, for example, the exposed deceit and exaggerations of Rigoberta Menchu. This leads me to believe that as long as your political agenda matches Sojourners politics, then you get a big pass on the truth thing.
From my post on thought of the day:
Rigoberta Menchu is a questionable choice for words of wisdom. Not only has Menchu distanced herself from “I, Rigoberta . . .” but as the New York Times and other publications reported in 1998, her “story” is full of fabrications and false claims that have been demonstrated as untrue by an anthropologist, David Stoll, who conducted interviews and detailed research into the claims of Menchu.
In all, Menchu is in no way a spiritual or social authority given her penchant for deceiving people with exaggerations for the sake of a political agenda.
“Tarnished Laureate,” Larry Rohter, NYT, 12/15/1998
Posted by: History Nut | September 11, 2007 12:58 PM



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History Nut

posted September 11, 2007 at 8:08 pm


justintime wrote:
“Jim Wallis never posts on his own diary.
So what do YOU think about ‘just war’?”
That’s too bad that Wallis never responds to comments. I guess his posts are more of a one-way conversation then and less of a dialogue.
So I pose the same question to people who agree with Wallis’ assessments on Iraq. Is there such a thing as a war that is not “misbegotten”? Would there be any circumstances where defensive force is necessary?
As for what I think about war – well, I thought it was pretty obvious in my post above that I regard pacifism as noble, but lacking a compelling solution/response for situations where diplomacy has clearly failed.
So, if you hoping for me to say that there is such a thing as “just” war, I am not sure I can oblige since I doubt a war is ever entirely just. War is hell on earth and the result of humanity’s corruption. But, that said, it seems there would be instances where war would be a legitimate response to the aggression of an enemy or nation-state that refuses to pursue diplomatic solutions.



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Moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 8:15 pm


Just got home from the ‘Beer on the patio with kivin s. What a great time and the chicken wings are great. Nice to add another friend to my list.
squeaky. Wolverine. neuro_nurse.
If you are ever in Minneapolis MN – the two of us would like to have a beer with you too.
I would be willing to meet a few others too.
Blessings on all – I now have to go and get rid of a beer.
.



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moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 8:18 pm


Posted by: justintime | September 11, 2007 7:03 PM
OK – justintime, you can come too.
Leave Al at home.
Blessigs -
.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 11, 2007 at 8:18 pm


“I hope those pint glasses will be filled with ROOT beer!” squeaky
I am a rarity: a Catholic teetotaler.
Pardon my metaphor;
I guy talks his wife into buying a new car – “great car, can’t live without.” The wife reluctantly goes along with the decision, but the car turns out to be a real lemon.
“If you’d just listened to me.”
Of course the wife realizes the loss that would be incurred by dumping the car, which no one in their right mind would want to take off their hands, but she can’t help noticing how much money is going into repairs bills, not to mention paying off the loan.
She’s also annoyed that her husband keeps telling her that they can’t afford health insurance.
The invasion of Iraq was a stupid idea, and now we’re stuck with it, and our children will be paying this one off for many years.
To all of the Ethiopians out there: Happy New Year!
Seek peace and pursue it.



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Moderatelad

posted September 11, 2007 at 8:20 pm


Posted by: squeaky | September 11, 2007 4:42 PM
I believe the answer is (drum roll please)
Mork and Mindt
Blessings -
.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 11, 2007 at 8:21 pm


“Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.”
There were no URLs in the comment I attempted to post – it looks like I’ve been tagged as a trouble-maker by Beliefnet!



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Donny

posted September 11, 2007 at 9:09 pm


Send “Sojouners” employees and volunteers to Muslim countries that are murdering people in the name of Islam. Get them to become Christians. That will stop all of the violence.



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jesse

posted September 11, 2007 at 9:25 pm


neuronurse,
i’m having the same problem with posting comments (without url’s). what gives? so much for this “so-called democracy” ;-)



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justintime

posted September 11, 2007 at 9:53 pm


Hey Donny,
Do you have a list of Muslim countries to choose from for the free tickets you’re offering?
Iran would be my choice.
Send me a ticket and I’ll debunk your phony claims from Tehran, the heart of the Axis of Evil.
These are round trip tickets, right?
Put up or shut up.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted September 11, 2007 at 9:57 pm


“So last night, I talked to my 9- and 4-year-old sons and told them I never want them to fight in America’s misbegotten wars.”
So, tonight, and daily while I homeschool my 3 boys 7, 4 and 2, that to join the military is an honorable thing. Those that serve sacrifice much, and the history of those who have served is an honorable one.
Paul



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neuro_nurse

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:01 pm


justintime,
I lived in Iran in 1978 and would love to go back.
Donny should know by now that I plan to work in developing countries and have no fear of or hesitation to live and work in a Muslim country – none – but then, Donny seems to think I have to dodge bullets every time I leave my house here in New Orleans.
Seek peace and pursue it.



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justintime

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:02 pm


“Your comment has been received and held for approval by the blog owner.”
There were no URLs in the comment I attempted to post – it looks like I’ve been tagged as a trouble-maker by Beliefnet!
neuronurse
……….
Me too.
Big brother is watching us, intercepting and censoring our messages.
Does big brother monitor the genuine trolls and troublemakers on this blog?
Who are the brain police?



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justintime

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:09 pm


‘So, tonight, and daily while I homeschool my 3 boys 7, 4 and 2, that to join the military is an honorable thing. Those that serve sacrifice much, and the history of those who have served is an honorable one.’
Paul Quillman
……
This seems too young for politics and war.
Do you allow them to play with war toys?



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Anonymous

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:10 pm


The lag time between submitting comments for posting and their actual appearance on the page is getting pretty annoying. Enough to discourage one from participating in the discussion.
Maybe that’s the point?
justintime – who are the trolls – the people who don’t agree with Wallis or the people who predictably take on the tics of the far left and right?



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Ben Wheaton

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:35 pm


justintime,
All young boys should be able to play with war toys. It’s part of growing up–or else they’ll find sticks and use ‘em as bazookas.



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James

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:36 pm


Today is a worse 911 than the first one. Today we learned that 4000 Americans and countless Iraqis died for no reason–just as dead as if a tower collapsed on them. When asked if we’re fighting in Iraq to America safer, General Petraeus said, “I don’t know.”
At least the terrorists knew what they were fighting for. We have no excuse.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:37 pm


Justin
Growing up, I was not allowed to have toy guns. My mom said she watched trators like Fonda broadcast the Vietnam War on tv, and she has hated guns ever since. I have never agreed with her. I have intentionally allowed my sons to have toy guns. There is absolutley no need for my kids to be afraid of guns. THey are learning to respect the potential power that a gun has, but not to fear one.
As to politics, my oldest son knows what the Constitution is, and all of my chikdren will be completely versed in the history of the US political process by the time they are in Jr High. They also will know and understand what Biblical government looks like, what Biblical citizenship in 2 kingdoms looks like, how Scripture has seperate callings for the Church as well as for civil government. It is never too early, it is just a matter of finding ways to relate the information to what they can handle at the moment.
Paul



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:49 pm


So, tonight, and daily while I homeschool my 3 boys 7, 4 and 2, that to join the military is an honorable thing. Those that serve sacrifice much, and the history of those who have served is an honorable one.
I agree, and I myself would never put the military down. But when my mom asked me to consider joining in my early 20s, I refused — because I figured that Reagan, who was in office at the time would get us into an unnecessary war. (I was off by a generation, of course, as things turned out.) I say that because if you think you’re right and everyone else is wrong that leaves essentially no room for negotiation and people end up being goaded into fights.
I think that’s what Wallis was getting at. More to the point, I submit that he was talking not so much about war itself but the politics that can cause it. So many, many times have leaders started or continued wars just to stay in power (most obviously, LBJ).
FWIW, I never played much with toy guns — for me, baseball did the trick.



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BeliefnetPat

posted September 11, 2007 at 11:41 pm


I’m sorry some of you are having problems posting today. Bnet is not holding any posts for approval. The blog system is tagging some posts as possible spam and depositing them in a Junk file. We go through these files several times a day and release the posts tagged in error.
You’re welcome to email me at community@beliefnetstaff.com when you notice your post isn’t showing, and I’ll do a quick search and release as soon as possible.
Thanks!
BeliefnetPat
Asst Community Manager
Beliefnet.com



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gaspar

posted September 12, 2007 at 12:23 am


I belive we went into war too fast and should have done more to pull together other countries to work a peaceful solution/investigate more. BUT, that really does not matter at this point.
What I do not understand is everyone agains the war is saying we need to pull out. The will leave a vacuum and the poor inicint people not hurt / left the country already will be in a bad position and it is our fault.
So pulling out sounds like a nice little answer, but where does that leave “the least of these”?
Again, I was/am against the war, but do not se pulling out right now a answer, since it wil have devastation for the innocent? What are your thoughts on this?



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BeSt

posted September 12, 2007 at 2:57 am


Dear readers,
I am a german guy age 55 – that means a socalled 68er here in old Europe. I lived in Berlins midst of the changes since 1989 in a mulicultural surrounding – mostly turkish an arabic. I loved that vivid inspiring differences to average german areas. Now I live in a small town near Berlin.
I have great sympathies for every political philosophy that seriously deals with questions of justice and freedom.
I am proud of America since without it there would not have been a free Europe. Hitlers final victory would have produced a totally different history throughout the whole world.
Still – this is never an excuse for later political injustice: I have been on the streets in my hometown Nuernberg / Bavaria in the late 60ties against war in vietnam.
The day when George Bush became president I said to my dear wife: That man looks dangerous (I knew he confesses christian faith).
Still – militant Islamism (as we call the phaenomenon of militant radical muslims here) is a severe threat to our daily climate of living here. Saddam Hussein was not Hitler (not enough inhumanity)! IRANS leader today? Who knows the future!
States that foster terrorism must be taken serious by political leaders. Could the to me very sympathetic Bill Clinton have done better in preventing activities against terorists? I think so. Was he to hip? Would You call this “irresponsibility”?
Of course: The Irak war has promoted terrorism. It could be foretold. I knew – many here in Europe knew.
Still: Militant Islamism is not RAF, is not the same as left terrorists in the 60ties and 70ties. Those were materialist philosophers – never having the sympathy of the masses. Religious radicalsims can radicalise masses other than pure political ideas do. Radical Islamism is the fashist heart of Islam. I beliefe there is another heart in Islam – that suffers from radicalism. It must not be abandoned by the rest of the world. Islamic people are a big part of world inhabitants.
BeSt



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Bob

posted September 12, 2007 at 3:17 am


No easy solution to this debate.
A- I never saw starting this war as justified; and those who justified it never could stick to one clear reason. It was the brainchild of people who had been itching for it for 10 years, and just used 9/11 as a reason. The pre-war policy under Bush 1 and Clinton was not glorious either. But the US went to war.
B- As predicted by anyone who knew a little about the region, its history, and did not get a paycheck from Rumsfeld or Cheney, there is now a civil war going on, and it’s not going to stop soon. On top of that you have Al Qaeda, Inc. coming to do in Iraq on a greater scale what the Moujahidin did in Afghanistan with the Soviets. More oil on the fire.
C- Should the US withdraw now, it is clear that utter chaos and more deaths would take place. The foreign terrorist elements would not have GIs to target, but would try to consolidate their gains by playing sides (not necessarily the same) in the ensuing full scale civil war. As in civil wars before, one side ends up winning after enough blood has been spilled. Most likely Iraq would become a Shii’ Republic with law and order, and the Sunnis would be on the opposite end of the stick (compared to the Saddam years). [let's remember that for 30 years before Mr Bush Jr learned to speak in public, the thrust of the US policy in that country was to prevent such a thing, even if it meant supporting and arming Saddam Hussein, chemical Ali and consors.]
D- So, to avoid that bloodshed and the birth of a new Shii’ Islamic Republic, should then the US stay — regardless of the misguided decision to go in the first place? And if it stays it’s not a matter of staying 10 more months, but 10 more years.
E- I believe the answer to that question rests with the credibility the US has in the region in the long term and the validity / the soundness of its political vision for the region. If it had a sound vision and credible role, you could expect that pacifying the country and avoiding full scale civil war would be worth the cost. If on the other end, you think the US’s Middle East policy is deeply flawed, destabilizing and ultimately destructive, then it can only delay the bloodshed, not ultimately reduce it. US presence makes the bloodshed chronic rather than acute, and since it will ultimately leave, the same might still occur.
F- Some people seem to think that the US is inherently right in all it does, in spite of mistakes here and there. “The shining city on the hill.” Others seem very suspicious of every US endeavor, always suspect of colonialism – the “Babylon Empire.”
I see some greatness in past US interventions–I saw Verdun and I saw the beaches of Normandy.
The question is not about the US. We don’t need another chosen people! The question is about the US policy at a given time and in a given context.
In today’s Middle East, there is a need for great powers to play a constructive role. My conclusion is that for the moment, there is no such great power: not the US, not the EU, not Russia. There is one powerful one, but it doesn’t understand the region; it’s vision is now strongly captured by dogma and the dangerous political ideology of the neo-cons. It has an internal political discourse (this includes the Dems), which largely misses the serious questions.
My conclusion is that it doesn’t matter much anymore whether the US stays in or leaves Iraq: it is part of the great big mess of the Middle East today. There will be suffering and bloodshed if it stays. And suffering and bloodshed if it leaves.
As I pray for this region and its people, I certainly don’t place much hope on Mr Bush; the Congress; and whoever will be the next president (the few candidates I could have hope for are not going to get the nomination of either party).
Sometimes, once you’ve made your bed, you have to lie in it.
The question is not stay or leave. The first question is how does the US want to relate to the people of the Middle East? What values will the US translate into policies? [Other world powers face other questions--which they may not have answered either. The diffence is they didn't put a quarter of a million men on the ground.]
Until these questions have some sort of social consensus–enough to push the Congress and a future elected President–the question of withdrawing the troops or not is merely a tactical one: do we want to bleed in installments or pay cash?
Lord, have mercy.



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Anonymous

posted September 12, 2007 at 5:26 am


Its interesting that Bin Laden always makes his appearances just when George Bush needs him. Its actually becoming quite suspicious.
Yes. Its inevitable whether we stay in or leave Bhagdad. We need to take responsibility for the refugees streaming out of Iraq. Get ready for Arabic restuarants, music and belly dancing. They may soon out number even the Mexian or Chinese fast food.
At least 1200 potential immigrants from Iraq per year, there will be plenty of work for ESL teachers again. We will have Drs and Lawyers teaching Arabic in our high schools (we will need the next generation to be smart enough to keep out out of trouble in the M.E.)
Maybe this is Bushes answer to the housing crisis.
Children take to heart what you tell them before the age of 8. Its what you tell them as teens that they repell. So go ahead make pacifist out of your sons while they are impressionable. It will be too late after the age of 9.
How do we get the Sunnis and the Shia to finnaly make up and kiss. Threaten to send George Bush to Iraq and leave him there.



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jesse

posted September 12, 2007 at 7:50 am


And because there has been no political reconciliation because of the surge, it is so far a policy failure.
–I get the logic…nothing our military does can result in any good, and everything bad happens because of our military.
This site’s been up for almost a year and I have yet to see Wallis provide any serious plan for resolving the conflict in Iraq. I can understand that he is a functional pacifist, but his “tone” here comes across as “so” “obnoxious.”
Do you understand that Sadaam was removed from power years ago and we are presently there at the behest of the Iraqi people? Don’t you believe we have a moral obligation to help Iraq? Is it so horrible to assist people who want us to help bring stability to their region? Do you oppose police forces in our own country who do the same thing?
This slandering of Petraeus’ character based on ambiguous charges is also remarkable to see coming from a minister.



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Donny

posted September 12, 2007 at 8:31 am


My money is safe:
“Hey Donny,
Do you have a list of Muslim countries to choose from for the free tickets you’re offering?
Iran would be my choice.
Send me a ticket and I’ll debunk your phony claims from Tehran, the heart of the Axis of Evil.
These are round trip tickets, right?
Put up or shut up.”
Posted by: justintime | September 11, 2007 9:53 PM
\\\\
My sarcasm and my money is oh so safe. And they would be one-way tickets. Since you love “Islam” so much.



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Moderatelad

posted September 12, 2007 at 8:52 am


Posted by: Donny | September 12, 2007 8:31 AM
Back down the sarcasm a little Mr. Donny – please. Your message – which much of it is worth reading – is getting lost in the delivery. You are to the ‘right’ what ‘he’ who will not be replyed to is to the ‘left’.
Present your message to the people – don’t lampoon them with a harpoon.
Blessings -
.



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squeaky

posted September 12, 2007 at 9:16 am


Moderatelad,
“squeaky. Wolverine. neuro_nurse.
If you are ever in Minneapolis MN – the two of us would like to have a beer with you too. ”
I’ll let you know–I get home for Christmas and maybe spring break, but my 12+ hour drive from hoosierville doesn’t give me a lot of excitement for a drive to the Cities. I still often get down there to visit friends, so I’ll let you know if I do…any “good” beer, or is it all variations of Miller?
And you win the prize on my pop quiz! I don’t think many would get that!
Cheers



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squeaky

posted September 12, 2007 at 9:21 am


Donny,
Out of the condition of the heart the mouth speaks (or the fingers type, as the case may be). Where is the love of Christ in you? I haven’t seen it yet. I really haven’t, and that should trouble you deeply. The fact it doesn’t seem to trouble you should trouble you…
May Christ’s love envelope you and may you see and understand His love for everyone. He died for all, even Muslims and liberal progressives. May you reflect that love in your thoughts, words, and deeds.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 12, 2007 at 10:34 am


States that foster terrorism must be taken serious by political leaders. Could the to me very sympathetic Bill Clinton have done better in preventing activities against terorists? I think so. Was he to hip? Would You call this “irresponsibility”?
Truth be told, Clinton was onto al-Qaeda from jumpstreet — the guys who did the truck bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 are all now doing hard time. He also foiled a number of other terrorists acts, such as blowing up the Los Angeles airport at the end of 1999.
It’s also important to know that Osama bin Laden fully expects us to drain our resources fighting him. I don’t think for a second that he is improvising at all; every move he makes is completely calculated and he knows us so well that he knows just how we’ll react. So, in one respect, he’s already won.
You are to the ‘right’ what ‘he’ who will not be replyed to is to the ‘left’.
Not even close. He just spouts off stuff he knows nothing about; I have facts.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 12, 2007 at 10:53 am


“Who are the brain police?” justintime
That song has been playing in my head for weeks – what a Freak Out!



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History Nut

posted September 12, 2007 at 10:53 am


I had hoped to find dialogue and a place to really talk through the difficulty of being Christian and citizen in today’s world.
I have decided after only 1 week of posting that this really isn’t the place to do that. This post by Wallis in particular is really disturbing because of the lack of any middle ground or reasonableness in his position.
A common complaint on this website is the way religious conservatives were “used” by their secular counterparts. From my vantage point it looks like the religious left doesn’t fare much better in modern political alliances. Like other special interest groups and minority positions within the big tent of the Democrat party it looks like Sojourners and the evangelical left in general have little, if no influence on tempering or directing Democrat policy.
Lastly, Wallis’ inability to transcend the particularities of his own anti-war experiences and ideas of the 1960s and 70s really seems to hamper his ability to deal with today’s issues on their own terms. Does the Iraq War have problems? Of course. Is history cyclical and every war doomed to be a repeat of Vietnam? Of course not. Ideology and partisanship seem to trump the details of reality (whether past or present) far too often.
Good luck to all you centrists and center right people trying to help shape this discussion. To all my brothers and sisters who are leftists – that’s fine by me and viable position to hold. Please, for the sake of Christian unity and civility, would you be willing to temper your attacks on the right? You harm your own message and inject a level of vitriol that keeps your viewpoint from having more influence.
Bye for now since there are other, more productive uses of my limited time.
Blessings,
History Nut



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Wolverine

posted September 12, 2007 at 11:06 am


“He who will not be replied to”? What is this? Has Voldemort entered our happy little blog?
Wolverine



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squeaky

posted September 12, 2007 at 11:58 am


Arr-Arr. Good one, Wolverine!



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Paul Maurice Martin

posted September 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm


Good for you. I heard a grandfather on an NPR call in show say he’s had the same conversation with his grandchildren.
Paul – originalfaith.com



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Paul Maurice Martin

posted September 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm


Good for you. I heard a grandfather on an NPR call in show say he’s had the same conversation with his grandchildren.
Paul – originalfaith.com



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Moderatelad

posted September 12, 2007 at 12:06 pm


Posted by: Wolverine | September 12, 2007 11:06 AM
Thanks for the chuckle.
Have a great day
Blessings -
.



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neuro_nurse

posted September 12, 2007 at 12:21 pm


“don’t lampoon them with a harpoon.”
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.” Isaiah 54:17 (See also: Bob Marley & the Wailers, “Small Axe”)
I’ll spare you my metaphors about Donny’s ‘harpoon.’
“Since you love “Islam” so much.”
God loves Muslims too, you know – more than you or I ever could.
Seek peace and pursue it.



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Moderatelad

posted September 12, 2007 at 1:52 pm


Posted by: neuro_nurse | September 12, 2007 12:21 PM
God loves Muslims too, you know – more than you or I ever could.
Yes, I know. I believe that they fall into the area of ‘while we were yet sinners – Christ died for us’.
But do they understand when Christ said ‘I and the Father are one’. Or the passage ‘…no one comes to the Father but by Me.’
Blessings -
.



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Bounce

posted September 12, 2007 at 3:09 pm


We can only hope General David Petraeus’ assessment on Iraq was totally honest and objective. He must not allow himself to be used by President Bush like Colin Powell was. Since we’ve been misled so many times over the past six years, it is hard not to be skeptical of reports coming from Commander-in-Chief Bush and those military leaders under his command.
No more American soldiers should have to die for Bush’s huge mistake of leading us to invade and occupy Iraq. Congress must not let Bush keep our troops there until a new president takes over in January, 2009. Our commander-in chief should swallow his excessive pride, admit going to Iraq was a mistake and bring our troops home now.



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sangerinde

posted September 12, 2007 at 3:10 pm


I’d just like to thank neuro_nurse for being himself, and for being here. There are days when these comment boards would be unreadable if it weren’t for his sane voice. (Squeaky, you’re pretty reliable, too–thanks!)
It’s a little embarrassing how badly all we Christians need NN’s constant reminder to “seek peace and pursue it.” But we do, NN, we do!!



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you sleigh me

posted September 12, 2007 at 3:55 pm


History Nut said: “Good luck to all you centrists and center right people trying to help shape this discussion. To all my brothers and sisters who are leftists – that’s fine by me and viable position to hold. Please, for the sake of Christian unity and civility, would you be willing to temper your attacks on the right? You harm your own message and inject a level of vitriol that keeps your viewpoint from having more influence.”
oh, come on – vitriol comes from both sides in equal proportions. no need for the martyr routine. i say that in all christian love. just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean they’re “injecting vitriol”.
and what about the Center Left people? or does even a little Left a Leftist make?



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bren

posted September 12, 2007 at 4:39 pm


It’s difficult to know the truth of Petreus’ statements because, of course, as a military person he is required to follow the orders of his Commander-in-Chief. How did this affect his statements? We have no way of knowing.
What we do know is that the U.S. presence in Iraq was a POLITICAL decision not a military one; the military are the means to achieving a political end. Unfortunately, there was little to no study made of Iraq history, and no people with a fluent knowlege of Arabic were used to contribute information not available in English. It really seems as though a decision was made, and then every square peg was squeezed to fit into the round whole of the decision. Even if one can say they didn’t need this information to make the decision to go to war, surely they need to know more about the country and the people in the country and the history of those various peoples if anything useful is to come of all of this death and destruction. How can you rebuild a country if you know nothing about its culture and traditions?



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neuro_nurse

posted September 12, 2007 at 4:49 pm


sangerinde,
Me – sane?! Are you crazy? My dear wife agrees with me when I wonder out loud if I’m not completely nuts sometimes.
Years of therapy haven’t changed my feeling uneasy when someone pays me a compliment – I just know I can never live up to it – but thank you anyway!
“But do [Muslims] understand when Christ said ‘I and the Father are one’. Or the passage ‘…no one comes to the Father but by Me’[?]” moderatelad
I don’t know, you’ll have to ask a Muslim or two that question.
Knowing that God loves the Muslims, what should our attitude towards them be?
And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” Genesis 17:18,
“And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.” Genesis 17:20
Salaam alaikum



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Annie (UK)

posted September 12, 2007 at 5:26 pm


Send “Sojouners” employees and volunteers to Muslim countries that are murdering people in the name of Islam. Get them to become Christians. That will stop all of the violence.
Posted by: Donny | September 11, 2007 9:09 PM
How exactly does people becoming Christians stop violence Donny? Do you read any History? Christians have been guilty of appalling acts of violence against non-Christians from the third century onwards. Christians fighting each other also started about the same time. Centuries later have you not read about the 30 years War between oppossing Christian factions 1618-1648? Later still there were Christians on both sides of the two World Wars who belived they were doing their duty by supporting their own country. Similarly I believe there were Christians on both sides of your American Civil War.
I suspect you want Muslims to “convert” to American ideas of democracy and materialism as much as you want themm to discover the gospel message of love and forgiveness that is offered to us all in Christ. Populist American Evangelical Christianity is not New Testemant Christianity as anyone who reads their Bible is aware.



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you sleigh me

posted September 12, 2007 at 5:34 pm


a lot of people here have made witty, yet predictable, statements regarding jim’s bias and character (some folks here have become quite the one-trick ponies). but none of you have provided any substantial facts disputing his statements in this particular posting.
like it or not, what he’s saying is not from the mouths of democrats, it’s from the mouths of middle eastern foreign policy experts. are we to believe all of them are just towing the democratic line too?
case in point: anbar province. jim has the facts 100% right. successes in anbar have nothing to do with american policy, they have to do with iraqis getting tired of a different (non-US) group of foreigners killing their friends and family. and, as a sunni area, anbar successes have nothing to do with national reconciliation, something that is absolutely essential to peace yet almost no progress has been made on (nor does the surge policy even address in a direct way).
despite these facts (no parentheses needed), the administration and its backers have pointed to anbar province of proof of our successes in iraq and in particular, of the surge policy. how can this *not* anger you? i don’t care if you’re a democrat, republican, steelers fan, etc. now the administration is even talking about the baker-hamilton findings, something they ignored a year ago and many of you on this message board dismissed point by point.
as an aside, i can’t believe more people aren’t talking about petraeus’ response to the “are we more safe because of iraq” question: “i don’t know”. this is an astonishing and terrifying response – if the answer is yes in the end, then we can debate the costs versus benefits of this war. but if the answer is no (the more probable outcome, if one follows recent american / middle eastern history), what will we say to the hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by this war? deposing saddam hardly seems like a defensible answer.
for the record, i’m pretty sure that if a democrat started the war in iraq and we found ourselves in the same place that we are now under democratic leadership, jim wallis would be just as active in his protest. i mean, i seem to remember a couple of democrats being pretty heavily involved in the vietnam war, and i’m pretty sure jim was against that one too…



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Bill R. Yungclas

posted September 12, 2007 at 5:44 pm


If you home school your children, do you also home war them?



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 12, 2007 at 8:00 pm


Please, for the sake of Christian unity and civility, would you be willing to temper your attacks on the right?
From my perspective, that’s the last thing we need. For openers, the right has consistently refused to be confronted about its mistakes, lies and sins; before there can be “unity” there has to be confession, then reconcilition. The cross happened because of the blackness of our hearts; while God through Christ takes the penalty away we still have to deal with its effects. The right still wants to be seen as correct even in the face of evidence that it isn’t. (Does the left do this? Not yet, because it doesn’t have the institutional heft.)
In “God’s Politics,” Jim Wallis told the moving story about his reconciliation with the late Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, after they had a public spat beginning in the 1970s. Anyway, they got to talking about each other’s respective spiritual journey, and the most important part of the entire book was Wallis receiving a check for Sojouners the day Bright died. Yet, did you know that the conservatives who frequent this blog have completely dismissed that story? That tells me that reconciliation and relationship, the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is of no value to them.



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N.M. Rod

posted September 12, 2007 at 9:41 pm


There is no doubt that we are in the beginnings of a long war to control diminishing natural resources.
People are beginning to realise that it’s not possible for 6 or 7 billion persons to ever enjoy the living standards of middle America – McMansions, three car garages, swimming pools, cottages, vacations, multiple new cars, retirement funds and advanced health care, an over-abundance of and indulgence in every food imaginable.
But most of those billions want just that. The Hollywood dream factory is the imagination of the world and it’s created an incredible market for materialist demand – one that it’s not actually possible to satisfy.
As globalisation proceeds, resources are strained as these demands grow.
We are now deployed around the globe to try to control those resources in order to “defend our way of life.” That way of life is all of the above.
The elites certainly see this endless resource war as another profit center, as it is for them. They, too, are fighting for THEIR way of life, and everyone else’s is disposable. Actually, even that of the American middle class with whom they are creating common cause.
It was a rare observation by a Southern Baptist pastor – “Wars are started to take what belongs to someone else.”



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Jodi

posted September 12, 2007 at 10:07 pm


“So last night, I talked to my 9- and 4-year-old sons and told them I never want them to fight in America’s misbegotten wars.”
I find it interesting that Jim Wallis also thought of his children. At supper prayers about 1 week ago, I asked to pray for those fighting and an end to this war. My 8 year old daughter asked the question i think many of us are asking, “When will this war end?” and then an even deeper question, “What is this war about?” And i couldn’t give a good answer to my 8 year old, because i don’t know. I have talked as honestly as i could to my children about war, and how i hope they always choose peace. And as I told her that i don’t know when the war will end, she, looking very sad, prayed, “God, help us all put an end to this war.” I don’t know about you, but as we sit here and debate over logistics, strategies, exit plans, we adults have forgotten to ask the questions of a child – “When will this war end? What is this war about?” If we can’t honestly and simply answer our 8 year olds, i wonder if we don’t have a real answer. And for that i pray for an end to this unanswerable war.



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anna

posted September 13, 2007 at 6:41 am


Quoting from comments above:
“Bin Laden’s latest video reminds us that he is still out there.
Not sure whether this is a fact or a “fact”. There are a lot of folks out there who are not convinced that the man on the tape is actually Bin Laden.”(by Wolverine). Agree, it is convenient!
“Its interesting that Bin Laden always makes his appearances just when George Bush needs him. Its actually becoming quite suspicious.”(by Spt 12)
“There is no doubt that we are in the beginnings of a long war to control diminishing natural resources.” …” We are now deployed around the globe to try to control those resources in order to “defend our way of life.” (by Rod)
THESE ARE SUCH IMPORTANT QUESTIONS THAT THEY DESERVE MORE THOUGHT, more comments. I agree with these statements and the underlying issues.
The topic being WAR AND RESOURCES + MANIPULATING PUBLIC OPINION.
May I add that the Catholic Inquisition (lasted until the 19th C) used religion to extract property from their owners.
Lately I was surprised to see, in TV news, Mrs Thatcher friendly speaking with Pinochet, the subject being Pinochet’s lawyer now being hired by the McCann family. Small world.
MY POINT IS: many news and events SERVE TO DISTRACT PEOPLE (AND FORM OPININONS) from the important issues which a group of 8 or so world leaders discuss in secret among themselves.
PLEASE BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS AND FALSE NEWS.
THE CHINESE LEADERS STATED THEY ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT U.S. FINANCIAL CRISIS WITH SUBPRIME BECAUSE THEIR OWN INVESTMENTS AND CREDITS ARE PUT ON U.S. TRESURY FUNDS.
THE 3rs World War IS about natural resorces. ATTENTION SHOULD GO TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENT.
Our way of life should change; also our attitude – not passive waiting and commenting decisions, but being proactive in matters that affect us all.
Christ is said to state (St. Luke’s): “Do not complain that you have no sword: if you don’t, sell your cape and get one!”
No illusions. Peace needs laying down arms on all sides.
Blessings,
Anna



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Paul C. Quillman

posted September 13, 2007 at 8:24 am


If you home school your children, do you also home war them?
Posted by: Bill R. Yungclas | September 12, 2007 5:44 PM
Bill, can you rephrase that question? I do not understand what you are getting at.
Paul



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Steve

posted September 13, 2007 at 8:38 am


“History Nut” wrote:
‘So I pose the same question to people who agree with Wallis’ assessments on Iraq. Is there such a thing as a war that is not “misbegotten”? Would there be any circumstances where defensive force is necessary?’
How would Jesus answer the question (whether or not he agrees with Wallis’ assessments)?
What does the Bible, taken as a whole, say?
It’s pretty clear that God wants to take care of the security situation for us.
It’s pretty clear that God doesn’t want us to conform to this world, but be transformed to be citizens of God’s kingdom.
So my pacifist answer is that wars are never justified, that we should never compromise from doing what is right and take up arms to defend ourselves. I can imagine a truly God-commanded war, but remember the example of Gideon: “Hey, you got too many men. Send most of them home and only field a token force so it is clear that I am the one doing the fighting”. I set this up as an alternate Just War criterion — we must be so hopelessly overpowered from a human perspective that it is clear that the victory is God’s.



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kevin s.

posted September 13, 2007 at 9:54 am


“Yet, did you know that the conservatives who frequent this blog have completely dismissed that story? ”
What do you mean by “dismissed”? Also, I am not a conservative because of the blackness of my heart, thank you very much.



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Kay Shively

posted September 13, 2007 at 10:01 am


Those who favor the war in Iraq have nothing to stand on unless they can continue to try to tie bin Laden and terrorism to that war. I’m amazed that some of these respondents are still hanging onto that lie. But then . . . if they admit the truth, how will they justify our government’s action?



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 13, 2007 at 10:21 am


What do you mean by “dismissed”? Also, I am not a conservative because of the blackness of my heart, thank you very much.
By “dismissed,” I mean that they said, “Well, Wallis told that story because Bright came over to his side.” That’s not the case — they put aside their differences and learned that they had more in common than they realized. I think that story is on page 360.
And as for the “blackness of their hearts,” their comtempt for Bill and Hillary Clinton convicted them long ago. I’ve already mentioned that most of what you’ve heard about him I know to be just plain false, and nothing you say will change that. The fact that you believe all the gossip about them because you hate their agenda, which BTW is a separate issue, virtually cancels out any spiritual blessing. (Their “corruption” is only a convenient excuse.)
Tell you something else. While meeting with my chiropractor, a Christian, yesterday he told me he attended a local Rotary Club meeting during which an editor of the right-wing newspaper denounced liberalism. He said to him, “Your brand of conservatism is turning us away,” and other people who attended expressed similar sentiments. Now, these are not hard-core leftists — these are businesspeople whom the right always tried to covet.
Thus, suggesting that we can just “get along” under those circumstances without a sense of understanding right or wrong — that is, justice — is as ridiculous as asking conservatives to accept homosexuality in the church as normal behavior to be tolerated and celebrated. (FWIW, I don’t buy that either; 10 years ago I wrote a piece about that in my paper.)



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Paul C. Quillman

posted September 13, 2007 at 10:29 am


Kay,
My support for the war is based on Saddams actions, specifically two of them:
1) Saddam agreed to a “No Fly Zone”. He agreed, as a condition of cease fire in the 90′s, not to fly over Kurdish airspace, and to leave the UK and US planes, enforcing that nofly zone, alone. He did not. I don’t think that he kept that for more than a couple of months. He fired on planes he agreed he would not. We should have taken him out then, but we are not evil war mongers, and we let it slide. And if you are about to say we never should have gone in the first place, Kuwait is an ally, and they asked for help when Saddam illegally invaded. We were obligated to assist an ally in whatever way we were able to.
2) Saddam also agreed in the cease fire that he would disclose all of his WMD’s, and cease all WMD manufacturing. He did not fully disclose, a very important point that the media and liberals choose to ignore. We know he had them, partly because we gave him some to keep Iraq and Iran occupied with each other. Like it or not, we gave Saddam some WMD’s, and he did not fully account for all of his WMD’s. He stalled, fooled, and lied to the useless un inspectors, which, btw, isn’t hard to do, as the inspectors that were sent never did seem to be terribly bright. Bottom line is, Saddam broke the cease fire agreement. He suffered the consequences of his actions, albeit quite a bit later than it should have been.
Paul



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Richard Salmonson

posted September 13, 2007 at 10:42 am


A wise person once said that “the first casualty of war is truth.” And the beat goes on, spin, spin, spin.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 13, 2007 at 10:48 am


Paul — Here’s the problem: When did Saddam all of a sudden become an enemy? Reagan tried to enlist him as an ally during Iraq’s war with Iran, and even then he was the “Butcher of Baghdad.” The Iraqi military was virtually destroyed after Gulf War I, which almost everyone supported. Bush himself even said that he went after Saddam because “he tried to kill my dad.” I’m sorry, but all these reasons you gave for our going into Iraq four years ago sound like excuses to me.



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kevin s.

posted September 13, 2007 at 11:19 am


” Bush himself even said that he went after Saddam because “he tried to kill my dad.””
No he didn’t. He used the fact that Saddam tried to kill his dad (aka a sitting president) as an example of the ongoing threat he posed to America.
“I’m sorry, but all these reasons you gave for our going into Iraq four years ago sound like excuses to me.”
Excuses for what? A war that was inevitably going to cost him politically?



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 13, 2007 at 11:29 am


He used the fact that Saddam tried to kill his dad (aka a sitting president) as an example of the ongoing threat he posed to America.
That was not how he put it at the time.
Excuses for what? A war that was inevitably going to cost him politically?
Do you think for a second that he would have done so if he thought he didn’t feel he wasn’t absolutely right and that the country would eventually follow him? Remember, he was under the spell of the neo-con coterie, which convinced itself that Saddam was the only obstacle to peace and democracy in Iraq.



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CRP

posted September 13, 2007 at 5:13 pm


” Areal argument for international involvement and multilateral solutions can be made for that very task, one that includes a primary focus on regional diplomacy to prevent more destabilization in the Middle East. But it is, in fact, the continued U.S. occupation that most obstructs the possible international interventions that could save Iraq and the region.”
Yep. Get the US out and the UN in.



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Italian88

posted September 13, 2007 at 5:40 pm


I have a hard time grasping the theology behind Jim Wallis’ objection to the Iraq War, even as he insists in his blog that “I think the real issue is our theology and ecclesiology.”
(1) It appears that Jim believes the U.S. should behave like a “Christian nation,” even though I would think he would eschew that label as it is used by Christian conservatives.
I don’t find any such theological justification for this idea, either as used by the Right or the Left. A Christian is an individual who follows Christ. Period. A nation cannot be Christian or non Christian, or at least I see nothing in Scripture that teaches otherwise.
(2) It is a misguided exegetical approach (in my humble opinion, and so on throughout this post, believe me) that takes a principle of Christian behavior (“Blessed are the peacemakers”) and seeks to force a government to operate accordingly. It seems to me that governments sometimes wage war according to what they think are its best interests.
(3) Can those governments be wrong in their assessments? Absolutely. They are run by fallen men and women. But how is “wrong” determined?
They can be wrong factually, or politically or militarily. Thus, it appears that the U.S. began this war in Iraq under the assumption that Sadam had WMDs. Maybe that was a smokescreen, maybe it was a tragic mistake. I doubt anyone on this blog will know the truth for many years to come, but the truth will surely come out once former administration officials find work elsewhere, classified documents are released, etc. So the U.S. erred in its initially proposed reckoning.
But a government can err before God, and that is a different matter, it seems to me. Christians search the Scriptures for criteria and rely on Christian thinkers like Augustine, but this is far from being a precise process. (Even Augustine, being human, could err, although he was far smarter than I could even dream of being.)
The fact of the matter is Scripture does not provide a detailed blueprint for government policy. We cannot simply say that a government is wrong before God because it does not, for example, adhere to a policy of peace-making. That is, again, an individual Christian responsibility, not a blanket government responsibility.
Oddly enough, most of what seems to drive Jim’s disgust with this war falls under the first category (it’s a political mistake, a military disaster, etc.) rather than the second (it violates such-and-such Biblical principle).
So that’s the longhand version of my question: Can anyone tell me precisely what is Jim Wallis’ Scripture-based argument against this war?



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Paul C. Quillman

posted September 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm


Rick
Saddam became an enemy when he invaded Kuwait and we had to kick him out. Again, Saddam is deposed and dead because of his own choices. He did not comply with the cease fire agreement he signed. Saddam broke the agreement, 15 years and 17 worthless un resolutions later, he is dead, suffering the consequences of his actions. I am still waiting for a liberal somewhere to stop dismissing the facts, and start living in the reality that thoughts and deeds have consequences.
Paul



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kevin s.

posted September 13, 2007 at 7:48 pm


“That was not how he put it at the time.”
Yes it was. Read the stories. If you can find me the quote that says “we are going to Iraq because Saddam tried to kill my dad”, then I will concede your point.
“Do you think for a second that he would have done so if he thought he didn’t feel he wasn’t absolutely right and that the country would eventually follow him? ”
He has political advisors. Successful or no, this war would become unpopular over time, and he knew that.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 13, 2007 at 9:15 pm


If you can find me the quote that says “we are going to Iraq because Saddam tried to kill my dad”, then I will concede your point.
I saw it on a news broadcast, probably ABC (because that’s what I usually watch). The context was pretty clear to me — he wanted revenge.
Successful or no, this war would become unpopular over time, and he knew that.
Most people probably disagree — after all, those same advisors said it would be a cakewalk. Besides, Rumsfeld believed we could take out Saddam and install a new Iraqi government with little more than a commando raid, because Bush didn’t want to spend the money to do it right.



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 13, 2007 at 9:18 pm


Saddam became an enemy when he invaded Kuwait and we had to kick him out.
And do you know why he did? Because it turned out that the Kuwaitis were stealing oil from inside Iraq. And besides, he also did so with the justification that Kuwait was once a part of Iraq (which was true, though I’m not justifying the invasion).



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Paul C. Quillman

posted September 14, 2007 at 12:08 am


Rick,
Can you back your claim up? I have never heard that



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Rick Nowlin

posted September 14, 2007 at 10:43 am


I wish I had the specific references to Kuwait stealing oil, but I heard about that just after the invasion and it sounded credible to me. As for Kuwait being a part of Iraq, it’s well-known that the British redrew the Middle Eastern map at the turn of the last century, with native tribes in each newly-formed nation fighting each other — not unlike what we see today. (That was the idea, so the British could remain in control.)



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Conservative-Liberal Episcopalian

posted September 14, 2007 at 11:18 am


Jim Wallis I click on “your plan” and must admit I didn’t find a concrete proposal ~~~I keep waiting for someone to have a plan that includes calling on the UN and/or the peace-through-strength minded leaders in the world including whoever they are in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Russia, US (Sam Nunn). ~~ The Iraqis seem to be in a stalemate because, they, like we, can not vote out of power a leadership that has lost the confidence of not only the Legislative Branches but also THE PEOPLE. ~~ Iraq needs a Marshall Plan even more than Japan and Germany needed it after WW-2. ~~ Because we broke it we have to help fix it, but it’s time we, the country that went it alone, must ask help to keep Iraq a country. ~~~~~~~ And then we need to re-instate (maybe it still exists, I’m not too informed) the GI BIll to reward our soldiers, who served, the highest level of education they can achieve.“



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A Methodist

posted September 18, 2007 at 8:40 pm


Jim, you really scare me. By failing to understand the global impact of a “lost” Iraq or understanding the paradigm of reconciliation that history has taught us (time!), ignoring that any good has or will come out of this from a moral, economic, self-defense, or preservation of our freedom that out of necessity we have fought for to have and to hold, your rationale is a non sequitor at best, policitical at its worse. We need less political commentary and more truthful discussion from you and others to effect true change, if that indeed is what is in order.



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Bet Patterson

posted July 31, 2008 at 5:07 pm


Our husbands in Iraq and also wounded vets need to
hear of this Biblical discovery.
Suppose it could be documented that this Bible prophecy
was demonstrated to have been fulfilled in our day
concerning the Iraq war?
Thousands of people are entering this web sight
named…
http://www.eternaltruth.net
Critics have sought to rip this biblical discovery a
part in order to disprove it.
Such attempts continue to fail as ambitious Bible
critics seek to expose it as another hoax.
Critics eventually fade as the people who see
value in this fulfilled prophecy are moved to
inform others of this possible miracle arriving in
our day!
Could God have revealed an actual Bible prophecy
supporting America going into Iraq? Everyone is
invited to prove or disprove this newly discovered
prophecy.
If you can demonstrate a way to disprove this claim
you may become a guest on Glenn Becks show or even
Shaun Hannity. If you can bring a case forward
which supports this prophecy as being true you
may also become a guest.
This Bible discovery was mentioned on the Rush
Limbaugh show where millions heard of this web sight.
If you can find any evidence disputing this claim
or any evidence confirming it true, please contact
Shaun at…
“Media track” dogtrack88hotmail.com
Or contact Glenn Beck and make your case
to him. glennbeck.com You may contact
Rush Limbaugh if possible?
For additional information
concerning this matter contact
Ed Cook at ecdistibutions or
edmund@eternaltruth.net or 208 251 3519
You could receive national recognition for worthy evidence
if your information is convincing. Why?
If no one can dispute this biblical claim this discovery
can be submitted in the media as an actual fulfillment of
biblical prophecy. If not it may also be exposed as
a hoax.
The new President of the united states may be determined
by the condition of our economy and the war in Iraq.
What could a Bible prophecy depicting America as
the biblical eagle bringing freedom to Iraq have upon
this presidential election?
Could it perhaps reveal the presidential election from a new
spiritual perspective?
This biblical prophecy could unite our American resolve
for supporting the Iraq war and help our troops.
A subsidiary of Salem communications has already
declared this work to be a monumental discovery of “biblical
proportions” in their recent national press release.
To confirm this national press release go to the Salem
Xulon press release at- http://www.eternaltruth.net or enter
their Salem web sight.
There has been no theological criticism having any
teeth which has demonstrated convincing red flags
which cast doubt upon this claim. The Bible can be spun
by people who often take things out of proper context.
Today modern writers cleverly manufacture their own
evidences from the Bible and years later we then discover
such insights were false.
This means that the specific criteria for documenting
a fulfilled Bible prophecy is even more difficult to accomplish
than many secular discoveries which also require high
standards from sound research.
We need a consensus from several credible Christians
who can collaberate a consistency of legitamate insights
which identify key prophetic types and shadows clearly
identifying the cyclic nature of true prophecy within
Bible history.
Such an insight for understanding true Bible prophecy
should not require a degree in theology. We welcome
either.
We welcome the critics who aspire to prove this wrong.
No credable evidence has been presented showing
any confirmed manipulation of the biblical text nor its
context.
Watch the you tube video as it takes you through
specific Bible scriptures which reveal the
great modern eagle (America)l transforming Iraq
into a free nation in the end times..
Locate now..
“Bible prophecies of 9-11
http://www.eternaltruth.net
sincerely,
Bet Patterson
ecdistribution
.
.
.



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jediSwiftPirate

posted October 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm


holy sheit i vibrantly love BACON!



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Normally I don’t read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.



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форум вампиров

posted June 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Video. Regards



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