The War on Terrorism

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America is Safe: You Can Thank a Muslim

In all the remembrance of 9/11 I heard little said about Muslims, except faint echoes of fear and continued mistrust. For Christians this response is anything but right. Not only does it reflect fear and loathing but it is simply not warranted. Let me explain.

Chicago Tribune syndicated columnist Steve Chapman wrote a wonderful editorial on September 9 showing why we should all be thankful to the American Muslim community for our continued safety. I know this sounds crazy to some people but it is the truth.

Following 9/11 many leaders predicted we would be attacked again. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee said, “You can just about bet on it.” Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “I anticipate another attack.” And Gary Stubblefield, who directed the Naval Special Warfare Task Unity in the Pacific area, said (as paraphrased in the Denver Post), “the question is not if but when dozens of terrorist cells in the United States will unleash biological, chemical and perhaps nuclear weapons against U.S. cities.” FBI Director Robert Mueller estimates the U.S. harbored “several hundred” extremists affiliated with al-Qaeda.

Who is not

By |October 1st, 2011|Categories: Islam, The War on Terrorism|

What is the Future of a Post 9-11 World for America?

iraq war The war in Iraq has been a disaster from almost every perspective worth considering. And the war in Afghanistan, combined with the severity of the Great Recession, have profoundly impacted the minds of most leaders on the need to rethink the role of American military might in the world. I welcome this new direction.

Consider that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, has called the national debt the "biggest single threat to national security." (Read that again!) The Pentagon, which is often the last to admit that it should ask for cuts, actually proposed its own cuts several months ago. On April 13, weeks before the death of bin Laden, the president announced his proposal to reduce defense spending. He framed this proposal—cuts as great as $400 billion over ten years—not only as a response to the fiscal crisis but also as part of a "fundamental review of America's missions, capabilities and our role in a changing world." Only the most

Did America Lose Focus in the War on Terror?

osama-bin-laden-seated On this Memorial Day, 2011, I am thanking God for those who gave their life for the freedom that you and I enjoy. I am also thinking about the debate over America’s policy on terrorism now that Osama bin Laden is gone. How should we have prosecuted the war on terror? How do we go forward in the coming years? Is the terminology of a “War on Terror” even the correct way to understand what our response should have been post-9-11? Everyone has a view. I admit that mine is based on political, moral and practical opinion. And it is mine and very subject to how I see things.

First, I believe we were right to go into Afghanistan, and after the Taliban, for harboring al Qaeda terrorists who directed and staged 9-11. Our focus was clear, strong and right. The world, in general, agreed with us. We quickly pursued the leaders of the attack and removed many of them. We narrowly missed bin Laden but finally succeeded

Pray and Speak Up for Christians in Iraq

PHO-10Nov17-269656_th On October 31 two priests and 51 parishioners were murdered by Islamic terrorists in Baghdad at a Syriac Catholic Cathedral. The primary reason for this attack seems to have been the determination of certain militant Islamic forces to prevent a religiously plural central government in Iraq. Pope Benedict XVI called these attacks “savage” and “absurd.” The descriptions of what happened, even to children, are gruesome.

Joseph Kassab, executive director of the Chaldean Federation of America (CFA), the largest and oldest association of Chaldean organizations in the nation, said: “Iraqi Christians are being systematically murdered and driven from their homeland. This situation must, repeat must, be addressed by an international security coalition with members from Iraq, the U.S. and the U.N.”

Many Iraqi Christians believe their suffering is invisible to most Christians in the U.S. I have to agree. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issued a statement on this recent attack and did not even mention the cathedral or use the word Christian in condemning the attack. Several members

Conscientious Objection to War

n324366294921_5771 The history of Christian response to war and service in military combat is one filled with twists and turns. Every person must realize, if they exercise a modicum of thought, that this issue is deeply painful and troubling. Early Christians did not always serve in the military, though Roman soldiers were numbered among converts to the faith. Most of what we know about the early church suggests that, at least generally, Christians did not serve in the military. Over time the church developed what is called a “Just War Doctrine.” This doctrine is rather complex and has been carefully thought out over the course of centuries. But this doctrine is not of one type or expression. There are variations within it and every single Christian should think carefully about what they believe and why.

Modern complexities often create new challenges to traditional just war thinking. I have retained a modified just war position but I admit it is sometimes

By |March 14th, 2010|Categories: Ethics, The War on Terrorism|

When Is It Right to Blame the President for Failure?

It is generally believed, at least among pundits and political critics, that a president gets a one-year pass on many issues. He does inherit the impact of previous decisions and he must be given time to put his own people and approaches in place. I accept this “rule of thumb” and have thus withheld criticism of President Obama on many issues. I have done the same with previous presidents, both Republican and Democrat.

Index I have criticized President Obama on two primary fronts in his first year in office. One is his radically pro-choice stance. He talks about slowing the number of abortions but his actions are consistently pro-abortion in the most radical ways. Even his best Christian friends cannot defend his actions in this area of policy with any degree of conviction. Second, I have criticized President Obama's general approach to the economy, especially the health care plans that both houses of Congress are seeking to combine into one bill for the

By |January 5th, 2010|Categories: Politics, The War on Terrorism|

Another 9/11: September Dawn

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More than a hundred years before September 11, 2001, another terrorist attack took place on American soil that most of us know nothing about. I refer to the Mountain Meadow Massacre on September 11, 1857, in the Utah territory. The disturbing and horrific film September Dawn tells the story of the actual events of this attack. The film story is woven around a fictitious love story that gives a certain human texture to what would otherwise have been a documentary in the end.

Historians do not agree about the full story but even Mormon historians now admit the massacre actually happened. They put a spin on it and the debate rages on in many circles. But raw facts have a way of forcing you to admit the truth, even about your own religious fathers, when 150-plus years have transpired. Meanwhile the debate about whether Brigham Young actually knew and approved of this massacre still rages on in Mormon circles. You can read

By |September 10th, 2008|Categories: The War on Terrorism|

Does Yellowcake Uranium Mean Anything?

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It’s a little known fact that, after invading Iraq in 2003, the U.S. found massive amounts of uranium yellowcake, the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel, at a facility in Tuwaitha outside of Baghdad. It does seem to me that this fact is little known because the mainstream media simply doesn’t tell us information like this when it goes against the storyline they have created for five plus years. All we have heard is: "There were no WMDs thus the war was begun on false pretense."

Now I am not a big defender of the initial arguments for going into Iraq and I will always remain a tad skeptical until history allows more and more to come out in a dispassionate context. Time will tell, as they say. But in recent weeks, the U.S. secretly has helped the Iraqi government ship this yellowcake uranium to Canada, where it was bought by a Canadian company for further processing

By |July 19th, 2008|Categories: The War on Terrorism|

Bishop N. T. Wright Misses the Mark on Terrorism

Readers of this site know that I have huge respect for the biblical theological contributions of Dr. N. T. Wright, the esteemed bishop of Durham (Anglican). Wright is one of the finest biblical scholars in the world. Readers should see his books on the gospels, Jesus and Paul. Though there are areas of biblical interpretation with which you can disagree with Wright, for sure, no current writer is saying more that is so vitally important to biblical theology.

Some years ago we did a two-part interview of Wright in our quaterly journal, which is no longer published. In that interview Wright revealed some of his post-9/11 ideas politically and I chalked them up to his "Britishness" at the time. As I have continued to read him I have grown more and more distressed by his very unbalanced thinking about nations, social theory and public policy. Because a man like Tom Wright is genuinely brilliant in one area does not mean, in any case, that he is universally brilliant. Wright demonstrates this plainly in his most recent comments about the war on terror

By |October 26th, 2007|Categories: The War on Terrorism|
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