Thursday, June 22, 2006


It has been like watching a train wreck in slow motion. First, Iraq and now Afghanistan are increasingly out of control. In 2002 the talk about invading Iraq sounded so unreal I could not believe it was real. Why would the Bush administration want to attack Iraq before they had finished the job in Afghanistan? They had not, even after a year, found Osama. The Taliban were on the run but Osama was successfully eluding capture. Also, ominously, households all around Pakistan and elsewhere in the Middle East were naming their sons Osama. The war for “hearts and minds” was far from won.

I was involved in a meeting in Washington on how to rebuild Afghanistan after the defeat of the Taliban. There I met an old friend who then held a major position in the South Asia section of the State Department. At one point I asked him and other experienced hands what was behind Bush’s push to attack Iraq. They did not really know: they thought it arose from the old grudge against Saddam Husain because of his disdain for George Bush senior.

As talk about Iraq continued it became clear that the administration was going through with it. I did all I could to persuade friends that such an act was insane. I had no idea what the consequence of such madness would be, but I knew that the administration’s claim that Saddam Husain and Osama bin Laden were in league was a total fabrication. It was no secret that Saddam hated the Islamists, indeed wiped out any religious figure of any importance within his reach; also that Osama hated the secularism of the Ba’athists. As preparations advanced, as more claims were made about Saddam’s threat to the West I felt helpless, like so many other Americans. The idea of sending our troops into battle into another war before we had completed the first one seemed beyond reason. The war on terror was a fabrication: Osama’s Al Qaeda attack on 9/11/01 was deliberately conflated with Saddam Husain in order to persuade the American people that the attack on Iraq was necessary and urgent. The whole affair seemed bizarre – an administration lying, an American public being misled, a war in Afghanistan unfinished, an army being sent into an unknowable situation for false reasons.

I’m sure many people felt as helpless as I did. One needs to do something even if it isn’t much. This was when I started working on a website, a new experience for me. I didn’t know what else to do: I just started assembling all the evidence of the craziness I could find. The number of articles detailing the blunders, the distortions of truth, the dangers created by entering a region poorly understood by the administration has now grown far larger than I ever intended.

Now I realize I have been watching a train wreck in slow motion. What to do? No one seems remotely able to think of a realistic solution. And as always there is the continual reassurance by officials who claim to have secret information that we are going to make it, that was right to do it. Who can’t see now that the Bush administration is desperate? The course for them is already built in; they have no choice now: they have to lie. Once you start lying you have to keep on lying lest the whole stream of mis-statements, misunderstanding, misrepresentations, open and deliberate falsifications, become evident to all. And putrid to all, when the horror of it all will be unmasked. So many lives lost. So many beautiful young people destroyed. So many good men and women sacrificed for this arrogant folly. The tragedy is not over. The wreck is still happening. Day by day, frame by frame we are seeing it in slow motion.

I feel so helpless. So sad for my country, for our people, for those who in good faith have obediently served, risked their lives [and given them up, over 2500 now] for a boondoggle. I wonder if our country will ever live this down. So far the wreck is just now unfolding. In slow motion. And we watch helplessly.

Psalm 62:1-4. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; … How long will you set upon a man to shatter him, all of you, …? They take pleasure in falsehood. They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.

Psalm 144: 5-8. Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down! Stretch forth thy hand from on high, rescue me and deliver me from the many waters, from the hand of aliens, whose mouths speak lies, and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Psalm 146: 3-7 Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help. … Happy is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith for ever; who executes justice for the oppressed; …

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Reason to worry about the Christian Coalition

This movement was essentially a white movement, without respect to the perspective of the Afro-American church. Consider the following:
The Christian Coalition arose against Jimmy Carter, the only President who had a Bible class before being elected President and who returned to his Bible class afterward. He was abandoned by the "Christian Coalition" for this reason: [according to Ralph Reed:] "The greatest spark of the movement was not abortion but an attempt by the Carter-appointed head of the Internal Revenue Service to require Christian and parochial schools and academies to prove that they were not established to preserve segregation or they would risk losing their tax-exampt status. ... For conservative evangelicals it was nothing less than a declaration of war on their schools, their churches, and their children. More than any other single episode, the IRS move against Christian schools sparked the explosion of the movement that would become known as the religious right." [Active Faith, p. 105]

Compare the Christianity of the Bible. "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." {Colossians 3:11}