Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Human Sacrifice

Sadly, the commander-in-chief tonight called for more blood to be spilled on Iraqi soil in what he considers the defining ideological struggle of our time. He wants to fight fire with fire. He wants an eye for an eye. There is no doubt that he is on a crusade. He knows in his gut that crusaders can never retreat for there is no option other than completely conquering the enemy in order to suppress that ideology. He feels he is valiant in preserving freedom, protecting his tribe and spreading his unquestioned ideology.

What I heard in his speech tonight is that the bloody times that lie ahead are necessary and inevitable. I heard that innocents abroad will pay the price for domestic tranquility. I heard that this Christian president trusts only the power of the sword and not the power of the word, trusts only the power of human might, not the power of an almighty God of love. He shot across the bows of Syria and Iran, surely the place where the armies will march next if they can ever extract themselves from the violent quagmire of Iraq.

Mr. Bush, as your father would say, read my lips: violence only begets violence. If you insist on surging American power throughout the world at the end of a rifle you will increase the hostility toward our people. And those who suffer and then choose vengeance will have a legitimate claim for an American pound of flesh in the ideological battle of vengeance. And that, sir, is the problem with your version of this defining ideological battle, you have chosen to oppose the ideology of terrorism using their own weapons. If you want the author of freedom to empower you, then choose freedom as your tool. Offer to the world's hurting people succor from the great storehouse of American goodwill. Offer to the world the balm of humanitarian relief. Offer to the world the one gift that you can issue with the stroke of a pen, the end of hostilities.

Am I suggesting that we cut and run? Absolutely! Warfare has no winners, everyone loses. Even tonight you told us that we won't see victories like our fathers and grandfathers saw. Let us today accept the reality that things have gone horribly wrong in this conflict and more of the same will only bring more horrible wrongness. Moloch has drunk too deeply already of the human sacrifice you have authorized. I pray there is a way to stop the tremendous mistake you have called for tonight.


David J said...

awseome picture!

Ian said...

Borrowed from a Slate article about W's desire for revenge. Read it here

Hollands Opus said...

with all due respect, you are the last guy I would want as a neighbor when while I am at work, my wife and children are assaulted in my back yard, and you decide to "trust God" and pray. No my friend, violence sometimes is not merely the only answer, but a good answer and a holy response to evil and one that God himself has used in times past. God killed Ananias and Saphira, and God killed the sons of Aaron.

I think that you tend to draw moral equivelency between all violence and your understanding of peace actually promotes the death of innocents ( though of course not deliberately), as those who could otherwise help stand back and let morally corrupt people attack and kill for evil purposes.

When policemen gun down and kill a man attacking people with guns and shooting up a neighborhood of innocent people, it is a good use of violence.

When America was attacked by the Taliban, our violent response was appropriate. By the way, I did not see the Radical Islam dropping leaflets, food and promises of help in Manhattan.

As to your ability to discern motive and ascribe false motive to President Bush, I stand in frightened awe of the gentle pastor from Brimfield that claims to be a dove and not a hawk.

I am unsure that Molech had much more of an appetite after the number of unborn humans he is fed on a daily basis. He is burping up the placenta of human greed, feminism and coveteousness.

As it is, Pres. Bush has done nothing to convince me that more troops will solve the problem, and very frankly it is hard to trust him. I am glad he admitted error, but do not celebrate it. We tried something and it failed and we did not respond when it did, and so more innocents died than was necessary despite our attempts.

The only response to radical Islam is to capture or kill the radical Islamists.

No, violence does not only beget violence. In right measure, violence stops and restrains evil as I have cleary articulated above.

My invitation for coffee (my treat) still stands. I want to know you as more than just an opposing point of view, but as a fellow human being who sees things quite a bit differently than I .

David J said...

Ho, I think you are ascribing traits to Ian without really knowing who he is. If you think your neighbors are all going to rush to your aid if you or your family is attacked you live in neverland. I am somewhat surprised at your overbearance on injecting violence, war and gore (not Al) with such glee and malfiesence. "Peace actually promotes death" Ok. Blessed are the warmongers, for they shall inherit the earth. You seem too glib in bringing God in when he's wiped out the likes of two somewhat non-deserving slobs who held back some of what was supposedly meant for God. Your picture of God is one that's painted with a brush that has blood on it. "He is burping up the placenta of human greed, feminism and coveteousnes." Is any wonder Christians can't get a hearing in the marketplace of ideas? How do you respond to such eloquence?

Ian said...

When an administration's policy is violence first and a near total rejection of diplomacy and/or economic development or pressure, I don't believe it is too great a leap to ascribe motive since they have tipped their hand.

Was I harsh? Yes. It was a cathartic, visceral response to the prospect of more human sacrifice for the wrong objectives. This war is not making anyone safer, nor is it furthering or stabilizing democracy. A strong case can be made that it is doing just the opposite.

If someone were attacking your family and I were present would I respond? Of course I would. The violence of the attacker would indeed beget violence in me, so yes, there can be a measured response. Thus I disagree with your estimation that the only response to radical Islam is capture and kill them. There is no need to kill those you have captured. An armed attacker does not need to be killed. An armed attacker needs to be disarmed. There are many ways to incapacitate an attack, violence is only one of them.

sojourner said...

What ways would you have "incapacitated" the attack on the Twin Towers, Ian? In what ways would you disarm a perpetrator of violence on your neighbor?

Hollands Opus said...

I have made some atempts here to concede that I am no longer a supporter of the war. I do not know the answer. My comments about violence are of a more general nature. I did say capture or kill not capture and kill. And my point remains a very good one, as you have admitted to - violence is sometimes necessary. We seem to disagree on extent, but we surely agree that sometimes violence is the only and best answer.

Also, there was a plethora of sanctions against Iraq. ANd when we sent food in return for allowing Iraq to sel some oil, the food was put in large barns and never got to teh starving masses. 17 final UN warning were given. But that was then, when the war was just. It no longer is. We also have sent amazing amounts of aid in food, medicine, education. So your criticism is not only out of balance, it is unfair and unjust.

" a fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind". Proverbs sumpnerutta.

David J said...

I love the quotes, and I wish I were so adept at the art of word slaying...

David J said...

Also, the accusation still stands that Ian would somehow not come to my rescue if I were attacked by radical muslims. I'm not sure that was adequately addressed and should be put in context. There is so much presupposition going on here that it looks like the prophets have made their triumphant return.

I defend you brother Ian against the onslaught of conservative angst and assumption. I will come to your aid as I sip my liberal kool aid and drink the thought poison of one who's watched too much CNN and read too many liberal books (like 2). I will save you from these ills and more. Trust me. God Bless this blog and God Bless America!!!

mkz said...

Ian, say that you could disarm the foe. The tens of millions, correction, lets just suppose the several million muslims that are devout, let`s not include the liberal muslim contingent that selectively believe the Koran is the word of Allah, given to Mohamed.
You`ve disarmed them, now what? imprison them for the crimes of hate and prejudice they have perpetrated against the jew, the christian and the athiest? Maybe a big island somewhere. What now. they are stripped of their impliments of war, and their freedom. Do we begin religous reeducation? How do we convince several million people to abandon that which they believe to be a mandate from God to kill all those who reject their idea of divivity? Ian you yourself with all your knowledge of scripture, and your respected station in the community, can not even with the promise of Salvation, forgiveness, fellowship, love, and peace change the apathetic mind of one man in your congregation to love his neighbor as himself unless he has the desire to do so. How do you propose to convince millions that 1200 years of muslim theology is wrong, and that killing those that do not believe as they do is not the way to live in peace?

David J said...

You guys do seem pretty opposed to any sort of non-violent action. I think there may be a point where diplomacy could actually work. Nobody is advocating we not defend ourselves. The constitution says just that. But that's the caveat. It says ONLY that. The unconsitutionality as defined by Jefferson (et. all) of this war is a very settled matter. i have yet to hear why this war is constitutional.

mkz said...

David, without the war that won our independance from the rule of a monarchy, we would not have a constitution, or a country. OP is right, there are time when war is the only option. I put the same question to you, if your foe does not want peace, and will only be satisfied when he has obeyed his god by ending your life, and he will only use your attempted diplomacy to buy time to strike you again, what alternative does one have?

David J said...

I understand your view, and I agree with it. But our enemy is Al-Queda, not the Iraqi insurgents. Now granted, you can make these people out to be the same. In a sense they are, but in another sense they are not. The taliban was Al Queda. Saddam Hussein's bunch is not. With the same logic, we should certainly attack Hamas, Syria and Somolia. And we should do it with same vigor we pursued the WMD's in Iraq. Iran is likely building a nuke. Shouldn't we intervene and stop them? We do not have the military might to handle all of this third world aggression.

Our search warrant in Iraq expired once the WMD's weren't found. We had the right to kick in the door, but once we found the place empty, we were obligated to leave. Saddam is gone and that's good. But we have stirred up a hornet's nest that is far different from the insects we fought in WWI and II. We are dealing with humans who care little about whom they destroy and how they do it. This is why we need to choose our battles with great care.

Ian said...

Let's see, I have read this book called the Bible that leads me to believe that love is disarming. So much so that this guy named Jesus told me to love my enemies. Hmm, maybe that is some Greek idiom for "nuke 'em."

C'mon folks, don't provoke me to more unbecoming sarcasm. There is value in laying down one's life, it is indeed the greatest love. The same cannot be said for taking another's life, no matter how justifiable. We are having the wrong debates time and time again. We have not attempted kindness and patience to the extent that I believe our faith calls us to.

The vast majority of world opinion before the Iraq war was that the sanctions and inspections needed more time to work. Why did American and Britain have to be so impatient?

How would I attempt to disarm an attacker? First I would attempt words. Then I would hope I would be brave and loving enough to offer myself as a shield. Then there are any number of ways of using the energy of the attacker against the attacker to disarm. That is how most of us would approach an inter-personal conflict, there is no reason not to apply the same logic at the international level.

Hollands Opus said...

I think America has done all of those things you suggest Ian. We have put ourselves in the path. We have had the might to tell radical murders NO! 17 UN reslutions with the threat of force. MKZ in another place has detailed American restraint.

No brother, I do not accept your definition of patience and love. Neither are they Jesus' definition.

We used diplomacy. We used several final warnings, and then we acted. WE did all of that right. Al of the world believed Saddam had WMD - all of it. Add a good part of the world preferred self indulgent cowardice in response to unrestrained evil.

God also stretched out his habd to Israel "all day long" and when they would not relent he raised up the Chaldeans, Babylonians and a host of other "ians" (no pun intended!!) to crush them. Study Habbakuk and see what God planned for there.

Does that mean the US is God and is doing his work? By no menas. I am simply pointing out that God, who "is love" inflicted tremendous violence againt people and even destroyed all or part of the earth ( I am a local flood guy, not global.) Violence is indeed, sometimes the answer and I am glad for it. And at the same time, I can lay down my life for my friend and love my enemy.

I have already alluded to the failure of sanctions in Iraq. The poor alone suffered, and when we allowed Iraq to sell oil and receive food etc., they storehoused it and possibly made sweet oil delas with France and stockpiled thier Russian weapons.

mkz said...

Ian, once we as the strongest nation militarily on earth, lay down our lives before the Islamic radical onslaught, and are steamrolled because they do not want our peace, but desire our deaths, who will defend the billions of inocents that are left who do not have the strenght to resist the will of religous tyrants?
I will ask again, when the enemy will not hear or respond to diplomacy in any way other than to use the time spent in it to prepare for more war,(ie; the 10 years we waited for Iraq to comply with international will) and it becomes clear that the enemies only goal( conversion or death by the sword)is our demise, you advocate passive submission to the beheadings? I can hear the blades being sharpened in hungry anticipation now, and I pray that you take comfort in your position as they kneel you and your family before the schimitar. I however will stand in defense in the democratic nation that God has ordained here in America, and if necessary give my life in defense of the institution and constitution of the United States of America!

PeaceBang said...

Fellas, I gotta say it: This reads to me like a bunch of macho "Dirty Harry" mentality parading around as serious religious conversation.

Reality check: the attack on 9/11 wasn't "The Taliban." It was a random assortment of Islamist fanatics from various nations.

Reality check: You don't "disarm" a random group of rogue murderers AFTER THE FACT by making war on a sovereign nation and then spuriously claiming that it was in some way responsible for the terrorist assault "in your back yard."

Reality check: Anyone who thinks that war is "a good and holy response to evil" isn't a Christian. Period. You may be right in your claim, but you're in direct and obvious violation of your Master's teachings. Hey, I don't like it either. But I don't make the rules.

Reality check: There are many examples in our own Bible where OUR God indicates that heretics and infidels should die a bloody and horrible death. When you have as deep and intimate acquaintance with the Quran as you do with the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, then you will have earned the right to make broad, sweeping generalizations about what their Holy Scripture really calls Muslims to do and be in the world. Not before then, 'kay?

Reality check: To whoever it was that wrote about Moloch "burping the placenta of feminism" -- wow! What great purple prose! How many precious UNBORN babies do you think we could support for life with the money that your trusted leader, Mr. Bush, is spending on this war?
How many thousands? Maybe millions?

mkz said...

Peacebang, hello, it is good to hear from you on Ians blog, even though we disagree.
The Bible in no place asserts that souls are to be converted, or put to the sword. This is a primary driver for orthodox muslims.Fortunately there are, I know for a fact many liberal muslims that select the comfortable pieces of the Qu`Aran to follow, much as do christians of errant liberal theology.
What you and Ian fail to address is this very fact. Do you deny that conversion by force is dictated in the Qu`Aran? For an orthodox muslim would they not be in a state of blasphemy to deny this tenant of the Isalmic faith?
We all want peace. When the enemy desires only conflict, and is indeed commanded by the god he worships to wage war untill the infidel is destroyed or they die a martyr, we are left with two choices, turn a blind eye to the truth of a basic Islamic beliefe and pay the ultimate price for that myopia, or defend against the assault whith the resorces God has provided us with, to protect our freedom, our nation, and our God given right to worship in Jesus name.
I am puzzled, do you believe David was incorrect to respond to the Philistines whith violence? Maybe he should have thrown food and flowers at Goliath with his sling?
You are incorrect in your assumption that to war is not christian, we are called to spiritual war against the enemy daily, and we are also called to follow the will of our leaders, as God has appointed them in His soverienty. Or do you believe George Bush and his decisions are outside the will of God? Or that God has not allowed this conflict to rage for our ultimate good? Check the Scriptures, and find the chapter and verse in context that forbids us to wage war in defense of our nation, freedom, and right to worship in the name of the Savior.

David J said...

First off, Peace bang, that was absolutely brilliant, stunning and fantastic reading. Amen. I can imagine that we are likely light years apart on our political views, but all your statements validate my cries, my pleas, my cajoles- that this is an unconstitutional endeavor. Your reasoning also documents the change in reasoning as to why we went to Iraq. I'm not against war in every circumstance. I would say that Christians out to emulate Christ and "turn the other cheek" as much as possible. Thank you Peace Bang for making my point better than I could have.

Hollands Opus said...

1. Osama Bin Laden helped fund and plan the 911 attack, and the Taliban hid and lied about him. You stand corrected in your over simplistic analysis.

2. You are additionally in substantial error in your understanding of scripture. Nothing Jesus said precludes the use of violence or draws the moral equivalency of all forms of violence that you and other pacificists press for. I would welcome your citation of scripture as the same relates to your comment. Also, my comment more specifically was about violence and its obvious utility in appropriate situations. If you are more careful than your reaction suggests, you will conclude I am no longer a fan of this war.

3. Unless you are expert in the Qur'an you should be careful with your exhortations. As it is, I have said little about that to this point, but I have indeed studied some of the Qur'an, and never assume anyone is in right context with their claims until I have checked the claims in context in my copy of the Qur'an, which sits on my bookshelf next to my copy of the Book of Mormon and the rest of my spiritual library. Also, I have read books, listened to audio debates and attended lectures by Arab men that left Islam and embraced the true savior, the Triune God. Since they grew up memorizing the Qur’an, praying five times a day and traveling to Mecca, I shall consider them expert. I have studied the Islamic concept of God and find it wanting inconsistent with Christianity or Judaism. Jesus would agree. Jesus did agree.

4. In no way does our God in the Holy Bible order the bloody and horrible death of infidels. He did in history specify the elimination of various peoples, and unless you are prepared to discuss the religio-philosophical realities that attend a biblical discussion of God's right to purge his entire earth or part of it from the evil that pollutes it, then your out of context, wrongly interpreted offering remains just that. Nowhere in scripture will you find an ongoing command to kill heretics. Rather, we have admonition to humbly teach those in opposition if perhaps God would grant them repentance and they would come to knowledge of the truth, escaping the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by the devil. You will find that in the second epistle to Timothy.

5. I wrote the prose you so enjoyed about Molech in response to Ian. My point was very obvious, that Molech may easily satisfy his appetite (though of course he does not exist) on the enormous number of unborn males and females of all races and economic backgrounds that perish daily from abortion. Your question about how many of those unborn we could have supported with war funds entirely misses the point. It has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with hypocrisy. Human sacrifice is taking place everyday with considerable profit.

Finally, I find it ironic that you would opt to describe our exchange in the negative parlance of machismo, when you go on to deride your interlocutors with condescension and sarcasm; as if your manner is more demonstrative of a proper dialogue.

By the way, if you must align me with macho male types, I prefer the gladiator/Russell Crowe image, it is more in keeping with a zeal for righteous government, family and religious practice that is absent from the more gratuitous Dirty Harry type.

cleanhead said...

Hey guys! A little more action over here.

PeaceBang my new hero.

There is no, none, 0- military solution to Iraq and or the middle east problem in general. Unless you call encircling the area with enough troops to keep the mess inside the geographic boundry

mkz said...

Hello Mr. Cleanhead! Good to hear your voice in this part of the galaxy! Even if we do not agree.
Bravo OP! My hero! Thank you for the Brilliant defense of the orthodox position and manhood in general. Mrs. Peacebang`s gender bias attack was unwarrented. Your linguistic artistry is a wonder, and a blessing to the ear.(eye)
YBIC, mkz

David J said...

Again guys as Kirk said to Kahn in Star Trek (The Wrath of Kahn) you keep firing but you keep missing the target!


I'd love to hear that argument. Honestly. I would. Carry on.

mkz said...

By the provision of the Constitution, the power to wage war is in the hands of the president, and congress. It was decided by our founding fathers that this is the allowance for hostilities. The war may not have a basis in the definition of the constitution, it does not need one. The president proposed the war, and I believe all but two members of congress radified the proposal, by the letter of our establishing document, it is so made `legal`.
OP, your thoughts on this?

David J said...

Mkz said " The war may not have a basis in the definition of the constitution, it does not need one"

Oh, contrare amigo, it does need to meet constitutional requirements as directed by our founders as a protection against a rogue leader that would send us into conflicts that did not meet these criteria. Thomas Jefferson and crew are likely spinning in their graves, as their whole reason for doing this was to not be (as England was) interventionalists who wanted to conquer the world. But more importantly they recognized war needed to be waged against a clear and present danger. Again, we had a warrant, we executed a search, and we found no WMD's. We even toppled some statues and our martyr dictator Saddam. It's done. Finis. So why are we still there? What's the mission? How do we buck centuries of blood lust and tribal warfare to "install a democracy".

Using this logic we should be installing democracies whereever they are not. We are not capable of spreading our way of life to all nations-and some as we've seen so vividly don't want it. How do explain to Jesus the insane amount of collateral damage done in the name of liberation?

My point still stands, and I believe I'm with Jefferson, Franklin and Washington. I'd rather keep company with the likes of these fellows than with President Cheney and Mad Dr.Rove.

Ian said...

When are we going to "instill democracy" in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait?

And didn't the war become illegal when the benchmarks in the authorization bill voted by congress were met and yet the war continued? And if not at that point, then certainly the president has no legal footing for his current action since the congress only authorized the use of force to discover WMDs and remove Saddam.

mkz said...

Does not the constitution demand a declairation of war by the president, and radification by congress to make the action legal by the rules of the document?
The anti-colonial clause realy does not take presidence in this issue, we never had any intent to start world domination with an invasion of Iraq.
We acted with consent of the United Nations, many allies, and the assention of congress to depose a dictator defying the will of the international community. We as a nation admittedly had other concerns, WMD's, and the rapid growth of radical Islam. We are aware that Saddam's regiem was largely secular, but his population, as we can plainly see by their willingness to kill members of opposing Islamic sects, is not. We have indeed put ourselves in a precarious position, and leaving now will only leave a void that Iran and the radical Islamic jihadists will rush to fill, and use as a platrorm to launch attacks against the rest of the non-muslim world, beginning with Isreal, and ending with us. All in all, we fight them there now, or we fight them on our own soil later, but they will make sure there is a fight, the word of their god insists upon it.

David J said...

Ok, MZK, I'm going to try to prove that patience is a virtue, this is your quote "as a nation admittedly had other concerns, WMD's, and the rapid growth of radical Islam".

First are all the folks in Iraq radical? Some are some are not. And it begs the question, why Iraq and not Iran and not Syria, and why not finish jobs before we start new ones, I. E.-the Taliban?

We had other concerns, and they were in Afganistan. We switched gears in mid-stream wihout much justification. We could have weakened Saddam and toppled that regime without firing a shot. It's called sanctions, diplomacy and coalitions. How are we to stop "the growth of radical Islam?" Do we just get a password and then shoot? Why should American soldiers continue to be sitting ducks, and sending more of them makes for more sitting ducks.

I don't know how you "stop the growth". But what I think we did was tip over a hornets nest and now we have no idea how to contain it. You could turn Iraq into a parking lot. But guess what? Millions will die because we had no point being there other than to quell a weapons build up. No weapons, no need to stay. Our soldiers could be in 50 other hot spots doing more than just being victims of roadside bombs.

mkz said...

Sanctions, diplomacy and coalitions did nothing for Iraq in 10 years. Sanctions and economic embargos against Iran will do nothing but give them the time they need to complete a nuclear weapon. When they have one, and they will, when they use it against Isreal, or an American target, and you know they will, they have stated as much. Can we then, after tens of thousands have died in an atomic blast and thousands more suffer a lingering death from radiation sickness, set the false hope of a diplomatic solution aside and see the truth? These people who wage the war of Islam DO NOT WANT PEACE. I continualy bring this point up, ask the question, and pose the problem before this audience, and this point is sidesteped, ignored and unaddressed. We could leave Iraq today, bring our soldiers home from Africa and all of the Middle East, mothball our military and the war will still go on, it will be brought to our shores, to our cities and to our neighborhoods. Running away will not stop it, diplomacy will not stop it. This is a sad and terrible truth David, We tried to ignore the advance of world domination by madmen in before WW II, and it came to us, this new battle is only different in the fact that we are fighting a new enemy with unlimited resorces of oil and bodies that believes dying to kill those who do not believe as they do, gives them an instant pass to heaven! This type of ferocity and fanaticism can not be reasoned with, bargained with, or ignored.

Ian said...

mkz, your oft-repeated assertion has not been ignored. Perhaps you are simply ignoring our disagreement with your assumption. The jury was out on whether sanctions were working, or would work at the time of the invasion. In fact, far from the world agreeing with us, the world was against us. Call it weakness and cowardice on their part, but there was certainly no consensus that the Bush administration was correct in their assessment and impatience.

Everyone can be listened to, and everyone can be reasoned with. The results may not be what one wants, but that doesn't mean the process should be abandoned preemptively on an assumption of failure.

Even with the terrorists stating goals including death to America, that doesn't mean that they don't have claims that perhaps need to be heeded. I posed a question earlier about Bin Laden's reason for anger. No one answered. Have we all forgotten (or did you never know) that one of the things that angered him was the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia on land he considered holy. Would it have been so terrible to remove the troops to avoid 9/11? And don't tell me that it would have happened anyway, since you don't know that any more than I know that removing the troops would have prevented it. The point is that it would have been a reasonable conversation to have had before hostilities escalated. If the reason for not doing so is simply that we don't negotiate with terrorists, then we are left with the national hubris that leads to the quagmire we find ourselves in now.

I'll acknowledge that my assumptions are not facts, but neither will I concede that your assumptions are facts.

David J said...

MKZ, the main point is we didn't have to invade Iraq. Starting a war on a sovereign nation is serious business, and we had better be certain we were right.

So let's ask this question one more time..why are we still there? I have to say that you continue to focus on only part of my question, and you still have failed to present the justification based on Jeffersonian principles as to why we went in.

I agree that there is an enemy. But we've all been color coded into thinking that the enemy is whereever a Muslim is standing.

I am starting to think that the Bush presidency would have become an episode of Seinfeld if it weren't for this war. If Bush's new strategy fails he will go down as one of our worst presidents ever.

cleanhead said...

Regardless of whether or not his "new plan" does anything positve in Iraq he is the worst president we've ever had. I think he's be in the bottom 5 without Iraq. Environment, deficits, education... where has this presidency had a success?

Hollands Opus said...

Good morning gentledudes,
Good arguments seem to being made here. I do not think that there will be much progress on the why did we go in question. Everyone agreed to do it. We went in, and regime change was the focus. Bill Clinton signed the “Iraq Liberation Act” into law. It read in part:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Now that does not mean it had to be done by military. But given the realities I have oft repeated that the ease of sanctions to provide basic humanitarian support ended up with food being stored in warehouses by Saddam Hussein, sanctions were not working - they only hurt the poor and disloyal. As my Christian brothers may know, the injustice addressed in the OT particularly addressed this type of situation, where the wealthy, the regime, denied the poor what was given them. Starvation and poverty were quite common under Saddam.

Once we found no WMD, which was of course legitimate as all agreed he had those weapons, and given the increased presence of Al Qaida around the world and the types of nations that foster Islamic violence, we had good reason to use our might to topple the regime. Now of course a nation that lived in abject fear of being passed through the wood chipper and meat grinder, were slow to take up arms. And I would insist that more Iraqi's should be willing to have thier mosques blown up to kill the terrorists hiding in there, and to have thier homes destroyed if necessary. Freedom is costly, as our founding fathers found out.

But Ian and Dave, don't you think that even if we were gone, the Iraqi's would have to kill or capture Al Qaida? I mean, it is not as if we left that the fighting will stop. So, I WAS in favor of training the Iraqi's. And the neglected reports of great success in other parts of Iraq at least deserve mention do they not? Can we acknowledge that? Can we acknowledge freedom and women's rights and national parks and conservation land and education and schools and hospitals in the North and South Iraqi regions?

David, I do believe that you seek common ground, but it does seem you have a hard time refraining from provoking ire when you say things like the presidency would have been a Seinfeld episode. After all Pres. Bush one in the second election by a wider margin than the first and the Republican (failed) congress held record numbers as people were willing give it a try. Americans are like that. Pres. Bush was a Harvard grad with a pretty good average. His camera and PR presence - not so much! I am not condemning you. I am asking you to try to not do that. You have pointed out some things about my manner at times and I am listening. I know I can bully sometimes, and I really am going to pay attention to that. I appreciate anyone pointing that out if they see it or feel it.

Anyway, we are presently at 4.6% unemployment. Our Labor Dept. has always considered that virtual full employment. Anyone that wants "a job" can get one. I do not mean to intend wages are fair or all is well. But I am recognizing common areas that we should acknowledge. Pres. Pres. Bush had more minorities and women in high office than any other president. He has failed in many areas too though.

I offer another post below detailing Islamic aggression and the obvious patience of America. Thank you for your attention.

Hollands Opus said...

Here is the list. Americans did not attack and bomb etc. to any meaningful extent when all of this happened. I think it fair to say we gave peace a chance, and that we have to stop radical Islam because we are the only people capable (whether or not we succeed is another question, of course)

— November 1979: Muslim extremists (Iranian variety) seized the U.S. embassy in Iran and held 52 American hostages for 444 days.

— 1982: Muslim extremists (mostly Hezbollah) began a nearly decade-long habit of taking Americans and Europeans hostage in Lebanon, killing William Buckley and holding Terry Anderson for 6 1/2 years.

— April 1983: Muslim extremists (Islamic Jihad or possibly Hezbollah) bombed the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 16 Americans.

— October 1983: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) blew up the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut airport, killing 241 Marines.

— December 1983: Muslim extremists (al-Dawa) blew up the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, killing five and injuring 80.

— September 1984: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) exploded a truck bomb at the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut, killing 24 people, including two U.S. servicemen.

— December 1984: Muslim extremists (probably Hezbollah) hijacked a Kuwait Airways airplane, landed in Iran and demanded the release of the 17 members of al-Dawa who had been arrested for the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, killing two Americans before the siege was over.

— June 14, 1985: Muslim extremists (Hezbollah) hijacked TWA Flight 847 out of Athens, diverting it to Beirut, taking the passengers hostage in return for the release of the Kuwait 17 as well as another 700 prisoners held by Israel. When their demands were not met, the Muslims shot U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem and dumped his body on the tarmac.

— October 1985: Muslim extremists (Palestine Liberation Front backed by Libya) seized an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro, killing 69-year-old American Leon Klinghoffer by shooting him and then tossing his body overboard.

— December 1985: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed airports in Rome and Vienna, killing 20 people, including five Americans.

— April 1986: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed a discotheque frequented by U.S. servicemen in West Berlin, injuring hundreds and killing two, including a U.S. soldier.

— December 1988: Muslim extremists (backed by Libya) bombed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 on board and 11 on the ground.

— February 1993: Muslim extremists (al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, possibly with involvement of friendly rival al-Qaida) set off a bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center, killing six and wounding more than 1,000.

— Spring 1993: Muslim extremists (al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, the Sudanese Islamic Front and at least one member of Hamas) plot to blow up the Lincoln and Holland tunnels, the U.N. complex, and the FBI's lower Manhattan headquarters.

— November 1995: Muslim extremists (possibly Iranian "Party of God") explode a car bomb at U.S. military headquarters in Saudi Arabia, killing five U.S. military servicemen.

— June 1996: Muslim extremists (13 Saudis and a Lebanese member of Hezbollah, probably with involvement of al-Qaida) explode a truck bomb outside the Khobar Towers military complex, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds.

— August 1998: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) explode truck bombs at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 and injuring thousands.

— October 2000: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) blow up the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole, killing 17 U.S. sailors.

— Sept. 11, 2001: Muslim extremists (al-Qaida) hijack commercial aircraft and fly planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 Americans.

cleanhead said...

Op I'll be blunt I wouldn't call what you do bullying what you try to do is bury the truth under an avalanche of words(it's called BS is some less civilized circles). Hoping by the time the reader's head starts spinning he or she will decide ..."well he sounds smart he must be right...". Your dismissal of others arguments is usually condescending and disrespectful.

Hollands Opus said...

Cleanhead, from this point on I will delete anything that you post on my blog and will not respond to your comments on other blogs.

cleanhead said...

Thats not necessary from my view Op. I generally enjoy everyones posts and try to understand where they're coming from.

You stated you were aware you bullied sometimes and asked for it to be pointed out when we saw it. I responded to that with my opinion. Perhaps I should've qualified it with "...lately your posts seem..." .

Don't take your ball and go home you've ayed into me plenty get thats what makes this fun.

Ian said...

OP, your list is an important contribution to the debate, but since it now seems to be getting buried in the comments on this thread perhaps it warrants it's own post? The comments on this post seem to have meandered a bit. I can't say that I have a lot of energy left for this discussion, but you may want to strike it up anew on your blog.

My thoughts in this area are heading in a different direction which may appear as new blog post at some point.

Psalmist said...

Hmmm...Muslim extremists, muslim extremists, muslim extremists...

No wonder so many said "Muslim extremists" claim the U.S. is waging war against Islam (the religion of said muslim extremists).
Our President says we're waging war against terrorists. I fear that in many American minds, Muslim = terrorist. We're hardly bothering to make much distinction. When so many Christians in the U.S. are using the Bible to justify waging war against Muslims, just how is that substantially different from Muslims using the Q'uran to justify waging war against Christians?


mkz said...

OP, thank you for illustrating my point on the tenacity and absolute commitment of orthodox radical Islam so much better than I did.
Ian and David, I feel we have flagellated this terminal equestrian to a bloody emulsion.
Suffice it to say that we disagree on a lot of points, and nothing we say or do here will ever change the mind of fanatics bent on the destruction of those who do not worship as they do, when their god tells them to convert them or kill them.
David, I may well not understand the Jeffersonian values enough to explain the necessity of the war we wage by those terms. However I feel that if Thomas Jefferson was a voting member of congress from 1991 on till today, and had seen the shocking devastation of the WTC, and heard the rhetoric of the radical Islamic world and it's mandate to destroy all who do not worship Allah, he may have a different opinion on what constitutes a `legal` war.
We are in a bad situation, no doubt. The road ahead holds only more bloodshed either turn we take. Turn left and leave the war to the Islamic factions, and we will fight a stronger and emboldened enemy later on our own soil, with dire and unimaginable consequences for all the free world.
Turn right, stay in the fight and we will see thousands more American soldiers die on the television, and the war expand into Iran and Syria, and last for years, or until nuclear light flashes over the middle east and jihadists and innocents are broken alike.
Either way the future is going to be difficult. And it seems likely that we will live long enough to see the worst of it unfold.
Jesus, come in Glory and establish your Kingdom soon I pray.

mkz said...

Welcome Psalmist!
Always good to hear a new voice.
If you follow my posts, you will see that I equate`Radical Islam` to orthodox Islam. Any Religion that advocates conversion or death as a basic tenant poses a problem in peaceful relations with neighbors.
There are millions of liberal Muslims who, like liberal Christians pick and choose what they feel comfortable in believing. These are not a threat to anyone as they are willing to accommodate any change in theology to make everyone happy.
I have never found a passage in the bible that advocates war to bring a sinner to salvation.

Ian said...

I echo mkz's welcome of Psalmist, whose point made even me feel a twinge of guilt for even using the term Muslim extremist (although I think I used Radical Islam...same point). Actually, that is the area in which I need to reflect and where the next post on the topic may be.

mkz, you may be correct that the Bible doesn't suggest violence as an evangelistic tool, it simply demands the death of infidels who inhabit the Promised Land. I guess that explains the "Christian Extremists" who blindly support Israel? (flame away, I only provoke to make the point, I'm not going to debate the point seriously)

Hollands Opus said...

thanks for hosting this important topic. Indeed, we can move on to others! I plan to do my next blog on the limitations of blogging!

Hello Psalmist, if you see my response to Peacebang I offer comment on the difference between God's specific command to kill a certain people at a certain time in the past to purge His land (this is not a standing order) and His command in the NT to gently persuade (something I need some work on at times!) This is in contrast to an ongoing open command to kill the infidels endorsed by the Qur'an, though many Muslims have rightly foresaken that command. Fortunaltey, estimates place the radical Islamists at only about 15% of thier population - but when there are millions - the math is scary.


mkz said...

Thank you again OP, for filling in my blanks, you save me lots of fingerdancing.

David J said...

HO, I sometimes interject things like humor, to make a point or to add levity. Sorry again. This is a presidency about nothing, and the economic stats are deceiving as Lou Dobbs as elequently pointed out in his new book about the shrinking middle class. To some of your other points: I could care less if Jimmy Carter signed the warrant to invade Iraq-that warrant has expired. Politically speaking, George Bush is on life number 8. His handlers have stated as much.

The underlying question still remains, and I will continue to point this out until this server shuts down, this war is illegal and anticonstitutional, and I would impeach Ronald Reagan, JFK or Teddy Roosevelt if they were guilty of the same malfiecience.

One final thought here is that some responses do not deserve a reply if they continue to stir up the same sludge without shedding new light on the issue. HO, your myriad of stats and endless sources makes for great footnoting,but in the world of blogging has become very tedious. You may want to engage the Harvard faculty or MIT grads instead of turnips like yours truly.

David J said...

Another point of order is this is Ian's blog
and he has taken great pains to make his views known;
his theology and his stance on issues. In all these
he has been consistent, eloquent and civil. HO, it
seems every time you make a point you inject a
type of moral intellectual superiority that intentionally
draws some kind of divisive line in the sand. Whether
you use loaded language or an avalanche of stats,
your task is to bury the reader and as cleanhead aptly
put it, dope them into thinking you are somehow more
learned. You nailed me on my blog regarding humilty,
but thus far I have seen zero from your keypad. You
err in your estimation of those who blog here and who
keep score in this world. All the elegant prose you can
muster won't save you from the realities of this life.
I would advise you to restrain from picking fights as
they are unbecoming to one who professes Christ as
Jesus shunned them and went to a bloody death to
avoid one. In all seriousness, you owe the bloggers
here, especially cleanhead an apology and I expect
you to come clean and act like a Christian.

Hollands Opus said...

David, I asked for input from you and otehrs because, as I stated, I am listening. You have chosen to kick a man who has reached out. That is difficult to understand. Perhaps the old addage hurt people hurt people applies here.

I owe no other apologies than those I have issued in the past, and I have never levied the type of accusation that you and cleanhead have - the accusation that I am not serious about my deliberations, but that I am merely trying to bury people, that I am seeking to avoid the realities of life through elegant prose. That is to accuse me of deliberate deception and not caring about truth, indeed not caring about God. David, your judgement is so far off. You even commended cleanhead for his post.

Stats and facts are what one must consider, not raw emotion. Any time I offer stats to challenge a point, you rebut with personal insult. It is almost as if to disagree with you is to insult you. Ian's post are often as long or longer than mine, but tend more towards personal opinion and subjectivity. It seems that objectivity has place in the search for common ground.

In the presence of many words sin is not lacking. I have been insensitive to the differences between style, and content etc. I admitted to bullying and I apologize for those things.

Again though, I owe no other apology and none is forthcoming, my conscinece bears witness and God is my judge, not Dave. And scripture gives the prescription for approaching a brother you think is in sin. "If you see a brother overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual go to him in a spirit of humility and seek to restore him". If you were genuinely concerned about those things David, God has given you a way.

As it is, I sense you have little concern for me as a person, and feel treated like an obstacle to be overcome in your personal journey. That is not comon ground. And I disrespect your dumping on my soul in public.

Still, I favor reconcilliation, and I hope you prefer likewise.

mkz said...

Please excuse me Ian, but I feel this needs to be said. If you find that I have overstepped on your site, then I request that you edit this comment out.
David, I feel the need to admonish you over the tirade you issued toward OP.
Not because I agree with him on so many points, but because you have let frustration and emotion overrun your sense of judgment.
OP has a gift of intellect and vocabulary that few others exhibit. He also has a passion for fact finding and presentation in a concise way. Mr Cleanhead, who very often brings fuel but no marshmallows to the campfire of debate, chooses to refute well constructed arguments and researched facts with anger and bile. I surmise this because he consistently has little to offer in the way of valid justification for the points he presents in his posts. Frankly he can not handle the heat, but stays in the kitchen and screams about the burn.
While you may sometimes struggle with the content and volume of OP`s posts, I offer that you would do well to aspire to better research, and presentation rather than emotional responses aimed to demean a brother.
OP offered apology for is valid offenses, and you have done nothing less than slap the cheek he turned to you. As a Christian brother your response to his overture is shameful, and your support of Mr. Cleanheads poorly considered post is disappointing.

Ian said...

OK, the view from the blog owner here (who will act as moderator for the time being) is that everyone has some valid points and some concessions/apologies would be nice, but we don't need to go there. Let's just stay on topic or move on.

I think that HO may be on to something in thinking about the limitations of blogging. I also agree with him that meeting in real life is helpful. I did just that with Dave today and the dialogue was much more natural and easy to understand. Some of what I said to him was playfully sarcastic, not biting, but amusing. He understood me because I was sitting across the table from him. This is simply not possible here. He even suggested that I post some of what I was saying, but the truth is that I couldn't make it sound the way I want by writing it here.

It is a tricky thing to be passionate without sounding judgmental or downright condescending. It is even possible to "bury people with facts" and thus be offensive without intending it. Maybe we all need to agree not to suggest how another ought to behave but never give up our right to state how someone else has made us feel. Stating one's feelings doesn't mean that the other intentionally tried to make you feel that way, but it might help the other to see the impact of his or her words.

I don't mean to psychoanalyze this discussion, but I don't want our common dialogue to end because of hurt feelings that can be avoided.

David J said...

First of all you've just demonstrated that you
needed to bury me in your expanation as to why you
don't need to apologize. I have no idea how to respond
to someone who seems eager to cite the humility to
clause, but fails to exercise the same to others.
Cleanhead is a case study in reaching out to more
than those in the cloistered fundamentalist camp
that nod their heads, say amen and drink the kool
aid. You have chosen the road you want to follow-
you may want to look where you're going though
as many are getting run over in your wake.

At the beginning, I took the approach that I would
not respond to your invective and even ignore it. But
the chorus of agreement is getting too loud to ignore
the fact that the condescension and tone and defense
you mount are all poor witnesses to your belief in the
risen Christ. You can say what you will on this thread
but this is my last post on the matter. I will take care
to pussyfoot around you and your statements, as
there seems no way to make my statements without
the wrath of HO.