Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Great Coral Reef a Gravesite?

I am going to start posting all of the stories about weather anomalies and other signs of environmental peril. Here's just one more in a string of stories that is increasing in frequency:

Ghostly coral bleaching

The world needs to wake up before we reach a point of no return.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Bush Visit to India

Does it bother anyone else to watch the events surrounding the Bush visit to India?

Okay, so here we are chastising Iran for trying to get nuclear power (and the possibility of weapons production) while we welcome India into 'the club'.

AND we are opening the door wide open for the sale of military weaponry, such as fighter planes, that will only further destabilize that region. India did't like it when we sold weapons to Pakistan, and Pakistan has to be scratching its head at ensuring that their rival neighbor has them, too!

I just feel like crying out to God: Why, Lord? Why have you abandoned us to the reckless and irresponsible leadership of George Bush?

What can we do to stop this madness, Lord? We need you now more than ever!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Bono at Prayer Breakfast: CNN Video Feed

It's about 20 minutes long --and it's worth every minute:

http://www.cnn.com/video/player/player.html?url=/video/us/2006/02/02/bono.speaks.cnn&wm=10

Bono Asks Bush to Give More to the Poor

Bono is my hero and his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast are excellent:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060202/ap_en_mu/bono_bush

What I like about Bono is that he is consistent and creative, and he grounds everything he does (including all of the band's music) in Scripture. Plus, he has a perspective that transcends national boundaries.

If this guy does not win the Nobel Prize in the next couple years, I will be very disappointed.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The "Long War"

Lending support to my previous post, I stumbled upon two weblogs by William Arkin in which he discusses the Pentagon's new name for the war on terror (the long war) and the Pentagon's stand alone plan for US military aggression.

In the article, "Goodbye War on Terrorism, Hello Long War", Arkin explains that, like the Cold War, the long war will evolve semantically to become a part of the English lexicon so that one day in the not too distant future it will be written with capital letters. The Pentagon projects a 20-year period for this constant state of tension and transformation.

In the article "Rumsfeld's new war plan," one learns that this OPLAN 71 "constitutes the first stand-alone U.S. military offensive plan to fight the global war on terrorism."

My response is: if we plan for war, war will be our reality. If we plan for peace, peace may be a possibility.

Just as institutions and individuals establish strategic plans that will shape their future, so is the United States formulating a road map for its citizens to travel for the next two decades.

But who bears the brunt of the load down that road?

Is it the military tacticians who are creating the plan? I think not. My guess is that most of the men and women who are responsible for putting the plan in place will retire within the next 20 years and probably sooner.

No, isn't it their sons and daughters and the sons and daughters of their fellow citizens who will be the pawns for this policy?

Is it really a legacy of peace that they leave behind, as if somehow after a hard-won fight of roughly 20 years, the world will be better because the United States will have defeated all of its foes?

Is the price of that victory worth the lost lives -- both American and foreign -- as the military budget balloons, precipitating painful cuts in other important programs, and all done in order to achieve a pax Americana?

The answers to these questions are difficult to discern, but my mind would be eased a bit if I knew that the State Department had an equally ambitious strategic plan to build up our global neighbors, perhaps most especially in those places where pronounced poverty and illness destabilize already perilous circumstances.

Would it not be more responsbile foreign policy to stand two bold plans side by side -- one that seeks to assist with the contruction of better lives in addition to this OPLAN that seeks the destruction of all those people who are now (or who eventually will be) opposed to our interests?

Yes, nation-building is a long and risky process, but it sounds like the Pentagon is strapping itself in for a long journey with war as the norm. Which route to peace would we rather take?

Does fundamentalism breed fundamentalism?

For the past 4-5 years, it seems that fundamentalism -- in all its forms -- is on the rise. Conservative fundamentalists control the United States White House and Congress; Al Quaeda is founded upon Islamic fundamentalist beliefs, fundamentalist Evangelicals in the US have never enjoyed greater influence and the Roman Catholic church seems to be leaning philosophically toward a more fundamentalist approach again after three decades of sorting out Vatican II. The recent victory of Hamas in the Palestinian election is one more example and this Associated Press article suggests that Iraq -- a largely secular nation prior to the US invasion -- may see an upswing in fundamentalism as well.

What I believe we are seeing is the fruit of fundamentalism: fear. And the only way to break that cycle of fear and fighting is for the United States to take a different approach in its foreign policy, to stop building our weapons arsenal and military strength and to start doing more to provide aid to impoverished nations...and maybe, if we are truly a nation built on a Christian foundation, we would do so most especially for those nations that we consider our "enemies."

North Korea Counterfeiting Complicates Nuclear Issue

It seems that North Korea has been creating counterfeit US dollar bills in an effort to prop up their economy and to destabilize American currency worldwide.

The New York Times article linked above suggests that South Korea is shying away from joining the US in its hard line stance as it continues to hold out hope that one day the Koreas will be reunited.

In addition, the US has little leverage due to its efforts to coax North Korea into stopping its development of a nuclear weapons program.

Let us pray that our nations will find a resolution to this situation in which the United States can build trust with North Korea and rather than designating it as "rogue nation", that we engage one another as partners in peace.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bono -- Seeing Red

Bono continues to be at the cutting edge with a new form of "conscientious commerce" called "Product Red" in which 40% of proceeds will go toward the global fight against AIDS.

Is he starting a new movement?

I can't wait to see what other companies participate...and to support them in this sign of responsible stewardship.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Pope's Shooter Wants to Promote Peace

Is the decision by Pope John Paul II's attempted assassin to pursue peace activism a result of his experience of forgiveness by the former Pontiff?

My sense is that this profound event -- in which the person you attempted to murder makes a personal visit to say 'I forgive you' -- would spark some serious reflection for the person.

The Pope's action, in which he humbled himself and 'turned the other cheek', is a clear example of the kind of vulnerability that humans and even nations must have before one another. It is the only true path to peace.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Reconciliation Among Darfur Rebels

Pray that resolve may come to this situation.