Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Onward Christian Soldiers?
e-mail from Christian Counter Culture | 04/01/2003 | Michael S. Horton, PhD

Posted on 04/01/2003 8:19:03 AM PST by sheltonmac

Onward Christian Soldiers?
Michael S. Horton

Recent events have once more invited a flurry of apocalyptic scenarios and rekindled the zeal of a distinctly American kind of patriotic piety. Left Behind, the series of runaway bestsellers by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, has reached its apogee now in a final installment that reportedly centers on Iraq (New Babylon) as the seat of Antichrist. Needless to say, this seat has been considerably mobile over the last several decades, depending on the most current nemesis of the United States.

The Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa, Oklahoma, announced a nationwide prayer assault in the following terms:

In the Old Testament, God's armies were always led by the priests. When the waters parted in the Jordan, it was the priests' feet which first hit the turbulent river. In the New Testament, Christians are also referred to as priests... all Christians. We must, therefore, go in first. As the possibility of war approaches with Hussein and Iraq, we are asking the priests to step in first... ahead of our military. Let us be setting up camp for our soldiers' entrance into the conflict. How? By prayer. Let us be sending in 'prayer missiles,' 'cruise and scud prayers' to target enemy plans. 'Patriot prayers' to shoot down incoming threats.

One wonders whether Iraqi Christians (there are a good number, after all) could pray this same prayer. It is fairly obvious, in fact, that they couldn't, since it is not a Christian prayer for the aversion of war or for limited casualties in the event of war, but an American prayer for military victory.

We at Memorial are praying for two things: (1) that the enemy leaders become confused, disoriented, and distrustful of each other; that their entire system of attack fall apart, and (2) that in God's wildest ways, these enemies would become aware of His deep love for them and the war Jesus has already fought for them, personally, on the cross. God had Gideon reduce his army from 32,000 to 300 men. He then equipped them with nothing but trumpets, pitchers, and torches. What an odd combination to fight off well-armed soldiers. When Gideon gave the command, the Bible says the enemy fled crying and turned on each other... all because God messed with enemy plans.

Despite the appeal to God to show them how much he loves them, it is clear that they are enemies of God inasmuch as they are America's enemies. One might be forgiven for missing the part about God's forgiving grace at the cross, lost as it is in a cloud of imprecatory appeals ("patriot prayers") for Iraq's military defeat. Our brothers and sisters in Tulsa conclude,

When our men and women of uniform arrive on the scene, may they be surprised at how God had camp set up before they ever got there.

That there is real evil in the world a Christian can hardly doubt and that there are just wars to be reluctantly but valiantly waged is part of the inevitable reality of a fallen world. Yet even American foreign policy is sometimes laden with the rhetorical overtones of a war between Christ (America and its democratic allies) and Anti-Christ (the current enemy). It is not enough that Christian theology allows wars under some carefully defined circumstances (just war); nearly any U. S. military action is practically considered a "holy war" by many evangelical Christians.

We talk a lot about the Muslim concept of Jihad, which (at least for radical Islamists) entails holy war, but ever since the victory of Constantine in 312 at the Milvian Bridge, where the recently converted emperor claimed to have seen a vision of a cross with the emblem, "In this sign conquer," the sad legacy of confusing the kingdom of God with the kingdoms of the world has left untold wreckage in its path. Casting themselves in the role of successors to King David, quite apart from any biblical warrant, medieval princes sent their knights into "holy war" to drive out of the land whatever "Canaanites" happen to oppose the kingdom of God: the holy Roman empire.

The problem with this imaginative narrative that justified atrocities from the crusades to slavery, manifest destiny and apartheid is that it not only finds no support from the Bible but is utterly antithetical to the way Christian scripture treats the relation of the kingdom of God to the kingdoms of this world. In the Old Testament, to be sure, a lot of space is given to telling the stories of holy wars and holy land, but that is because (as believers understand it, anyway) Israel was in fact elected by God out of the nations of the world to belong to the God of the covenant. However, Israel's tenure in the land was conditioned on faithfulness to that covenant and, as the Hebrew prophets recount in tragic terms, the outcome of that probation was their expulsion from the land and exile in Babylon. When will the exile be over? That was the question that everybody was asking in Palestine when Jesus was born and the New Testament answers it by saying that the Messiah himself, as Israel's representative, bore the sins of his people, Jew and gentile, and that now this international community of those who have faith in Christ constitutes the true children of Abraham.

If this is true, no nation can claim God as its political protector--if not the modern nation-state of Israel, then certainly not the United States. God does not covenant with nations, but (according to Revelation 5:9) with believing families "from every tribe, kindred, tongue, people and nation" who together constitute "a kingdom of priests to our God."

And if no nation can claim God's blessing in general, then it cannot presume on God's blessings with respect to war in particular. Many revolutionary zealots at Jesus' side were expecting the Messiah to overthrow Roman domination and reconstitute Israel as the holy land, cleansing the temple and driving out the godless. When Jesus came "not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance," evidenced by his penchant for hanging out with the wrong crowd, and even chastised his own disciples for wanting to execute the Last Judgment themselves here and now, confusion grew about what Jesus was all about after all. There was a time when God did ride into battle ahead of Israel's armies and maintain his presence in the Temple, but "the time is coming and now is," he said, when God's true worshipers will come to him as the locus of God's earthly presence. He is the Temple, the place where God dwells among his people. When he entered Jerusalem on a donkey, he was hailed as king by the throngs that turned against him, disappointed, when it appeared that his kingdom ended in defeat at the hands of the Romans. They did not recognize the true nature of that kingdom and what its king was up to in the way he established it.

There will be a time of final judgment, when he returns in glory, Jesus insisted. However, that time is not yet. For now, the wheat and weeds grow together. It is the planting and growing season, not the final harvest. It is the time of grace, forgiveness of sins, the announcement of God's "good news" to the ends of the earth. Only on the last day will there be a clear distinction between, much less separation of, the children of light and the rest.

The repeated emphases in the New Testament, then, is not that the Old Testament was wrong, but that it was provisional — a "schoolmaster to lead us to Christ," as Paul said. Through its myriad shadows and anticipatory figures, it pointed to the one greater than Moses, the faithful Seed of Abraham, who would fulfill God's destiny for Israel as the "light to the nations." If we are not to return to the shadows of the Old Testament theocracy, still less are we to invent national covenants that God has not authorized. Jesus Christ is David's greater Son, and to draw a line from David to anyone else or from Israel to any existing nation other than Christ and his international body is to tell a completely different story than the one the Bible tells.
Does that mean that there is no place for a Christian understanding of war? Not at all. Ever since the church father Augustine, who distinguished between the City of God and the City of Man in the ways we've been considering, attempts have been made to wrestle with how it is that people who profess to be Christians can go to war. The so-called just war theory, the premise of most western concepts of the ethics of war, is the product of that reflection. According to this approach, since no wars are divinely authorized in this age, any declaration of war made by a secular state must eschew confusion with any notion of holy war. The Christian's warfare, said St. Paul, involves spiritual rather than physical militancy.

Yet, Christians who serve in government, in the military and as citizens participate in the defense of national interests must engage in one way or another in physical conflict. While Christian convictions have long underwritten humane, principled and restrained just war ethics, the failure of Christians over the centuries to recognize their military engagements as purely secular affairs and their confusion of earthly empires with the kingdom of God have ended up taking with the left hand what was given with the right. No war is more vicious, no atrocities more freely legitimized, nor evil more easily justified, than those that purport to be executing God's redemptive purposes in history.

So between the extremes of pacifism and militarism, Christians ought to embrace a clear distinction between the kingdom of God and earthly conquests while allowing the just war ethic a renewed prominence in our reflection on when -- and when not -- to engage in that terrible action that is all too common and yet still all too necessary in this time that the apostles called "this present evil age."

A Few Guiding Thoughts in the Current Climate

1. Distinguish our heavenly and earthly citizenship without separating them or setting them at odds. This is the most difficult and yet foundational move in this matter. Jesus taught us to "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's." Even with the diabolical Nero in office, the Apostle Paul recognized the temporal authority, going so far as to call secular rulers "ministers of God" to hold evil and disorder in check. John Calvin's comments are to the point. Remember, he says, that we are "under a two-fold government,... so that we do not (as commonly happens) unwisely mingle these two, which have a completely different nature....Yet this distinction does not lead us to consider the whole nature of government a thing polluted, which has nothing to do with Christian men." Although these two kingdoms are different, "we must know that they are not at variance." Christians can and should be concerned about and involved in civil affairs, including patriotic support for troops, but in no way confusing national interests with those of the kingdom of Christ.

2. Recognize that while all effort should be made to avert any particular war, the fact of war is inevitable in a fallen world, where earthly judgment of evil must necessarily take place. Tyrants must be restrained as much as possible, injustices must be confronted, and borders must be protected. Christians do not simply put their faith in a closet for the time being when such actions are deemed necessary, but affirm the necessity of such defenses in a fallen world. By not confusing the kingdom God with either political and military pacifism or patriotism, they are better able to treat specific military conflicts as purely secular affairs. They neither curse nor bless military operations on any explicitly Christian basis. This does not mean, of course, that Christian convictions do not offer wisdom that leaders should heed when contemplating this ultimate and tragic option. As argued above, centuries of Christian reflection gave rise to the just war ethic that has had enormously positive benefits. Even when western nations, including the United States, have engaged in unjust aggression and committed flagrant atrocities, they have been called to account by fellow powers and their own people precisely on the basis of their supposed commitment to these higher principles. It is perhaps time to re-educate ourselves in just war theory, working our way through Augustine, Luther, Calvin and more recent writers on the subject.

3. Bear in mind that God's providence is mysterious and secret. Based on Deuteronomy 29:29, we are to carefully distinguish God's secret predestination from his revealed will and plans. We know, for instance, that God hates injustice; we do not know that he wants Saddam Hussein to be evicted from Iraq. The former is revealed in scripture, while the latter is not. Apart from scripture, we do not know what God has planned for Iraq, America or any other nation. This is true in our own guidance as individuals. Scripture gives us tremendous wisdom for our decision-making, but it does not give us access to God's predetermined plans.

4. Don't read the Bible as though it were "tea leaves." The Bible is about God and his plan of redemption for the world in Jesus Christ; it is not about America or the headlines on CNN. Nostradamus is not a part of the biblical canon. Illustrated in the examples above (end-times scenarios like Left Behind and patriotic prayer movements), scripture is often misused by means of allegorizing. Allegorizing is a common fallacy in the history of biblical interpretation. For example, we are all familiar with the ways in which Old Testament Bible stories become moral lessons: "Dare to Be a Daniel"; "Five Smooth Stones for the Goliaths in Your Life," etc. Often, these stories are taken out of their context. We forget what God is doing then and there at a certain point in redemptive history and instead we simply use these stories for our own purposes. This happens also when we allegorize the history of Israel as our own individual story or as the story of our nation, our particular congregation, etc. "Christendom" is the history of one long allegory. It is the tale of a secular empire re-telling the story of Israel around itself instead of, as the New Testament does, around the person and work of Christ. This fallacy is alive and well in our day, as the examples I've cited illustrate.

5. Think critically and pray diligently. Since there are no easy answers, we have to analyze news reports, official statements and the arguments of experts drawing largely on common sense. But common sense does not equal common conclusions. We must give each other latitude in coming to different conclusions. In hindsight, it is easy even for those who supported the Vietnam conflict to now be more critical of entering and sustaining the war. Similarly, committed Christians will have honest disagreements about whether war with Iraq is justified under the present circumstances. Even those who agree in principle (viz., just war theory) will find disagreements in practice (strategy, execution, policy, etc.). There just is no "Christian" position on the latter, including whether to go to war in any specific instance. Christian leaders and citizens must therefore turn to God for wisdom, through prayer and meditation on scripture. Although this will not give them any justification for claiming to know God's will beyond what is revealed in scripture, God has promised to give wisdom to those who seek it from him.

6. Remember that all civil actions taken in this age, whether by Christian or non-Christian rulers, serve the same purpose: to restrain evil, not to eliminate it; to hinder injustice, not to banish it; to execute temporal and provisional judgments not eternal and final ones. An earlier strike on Iraq was given the code name "Operation Ultimate Justice," but this is in effect to claim to be God ourselves. Our hope is in the Lord who made the heavens and the earth and who became flesh in order to save not only souls but people and not only people but "the whole creation," as Romans 8 so marvelously explains. This gives us an "already" / "not yet" eschatology. In other words, "the age to come" is breaking in on us through the preaching of the Gospel in word and sacrament, but only on the last day will the announcement be heard, "Now have the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ and he shall reign forever." For now, the kingdom of Christ lies hidden, like Christ in his earthly ministry, under the form of suffering and the cross. Only when Christ returns will his body be transformed into his glorious likeness. And only then will Christ's kingdom be victorious in power, driving evil from the earth and executing a final judgment of the world. Until then, we need the secular sword to restrain evil, but we also must not mistake that secular power for the eschatological judgment that awaits the world on the Day of the Lord.

7. Finally, we need to constantly recall that the church of Christ (though not America!) is in a missionary situation during this age between Christ's two advents. While there will be wars and rumors of wars until the end, some of which will involve Christians (sometimes on both sides of the battlefield), the church as the church does not take sides. When it does (as the examples above again illustrate), our witness in the world is considerably weakened. At his holy table, Christ does not ask whether a communicant is Iraqi (even an Iraqi soldier) or American, but whether he or she comes to him in repentance and faith. Are public prayers for American soldiers offered in such a way as to give the impression that God is our national mascot? One thinks of war memorials and regimental flags hanging in English churches or American flags in the front of our own sanctuaries and wonders whether there is still some confusion in our understanding of the great commission and the spiritual and international character of Christ's kingdom. There is nothing wrong with attaching "Old Glory" to our car antennas, but let us leave them in the parking lot on the Lord's Day. May we do our duty to both our heavenly and national citizenship without giving to either a cause for reproach.

Michael S. Horton, Ph.D., is president of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and associate professor of apologetics and historical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in California (Escondido, California). 


TOPICS: General Discusssion; History; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 04/01/2003 8:19:03 AM PST by sheltonmac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: sola gracia; George Frm Br00klyn Park; JenB; Jerry_M; LibertyBelt; BibChr; Askel5; webstersII; ...
PING for comments...
2 posted on 04/01/2003 8:20:03 AM PST by sheltonmac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
Francis Schaefer produced a film series about this very thing. It's also a very good overview of Christianity through the ages. It's called "How Shall We Then Live." I highly recommend it.
3 posted on 04/01/2003 8:45:50 AM PST by nightdriver
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
Excellent presentation by brother Horton. He is indeed a gentleman and a scholar.
4 posted on 04/01/2003 9:00:13 AM PST by sola gracia (a Jew in the ultimate sense.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: drstevej; OrthodoxPresbyterian; JenB; Thinkin' Gal; Jerry_M; BibChr; enemy of the people; ...
Someone is getting it right for a change.
5 posted on 04/01/2003 9:01:26 AM PST by sola gracia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: sola gracia
Really? Who would that be?

Dan
6 posted on 04/01/2003 9:08:23 AM PST by BibChr (Liberalism means never even having to admit to yourself that you SHOULD be sorry)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac; OrthodoxPresbyterian; RnMomof7; Matchett-PI; the_doc; Jean Chauvin; drstevej; ...
At last, some sanity on the Religion Forum. It is good to remember that God has chosen a PEOPLE, not a Nation. i am so sick of the "God is a Republican, and Rush Limbaugh is His Prophet" crowd spouting off their nonsense, that i thought Christianity was doomed to become Nationalism in God's name
7 posted on 04/01/2003 9:10:17 AM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sola gracia
Excellent article. Thanks for the ping.
8 posted on 04/01/2003 9:26:30 AM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
I am also tired of people using the simplified "Good vs. Evil" comparison, in which the U.S. symbolizes ultimate good and (fill in name of current enemy) symbolizes ultimate evil. They seem to forget that we're talking about earthly politics and earthly governments.
9 posted on 04/01/2003 9:31:55 AM PST by sheltonmac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
the failure of Christians over the centuries to recognize their military engagements as purely secular affairs and their confusion of earthly empires with the kingdom of God have ended up taking with the left hand what was given with the right.

I think this needs to be emphasised. I think we are on opposite sides on the necessity of this war but I doubt we are on opposite sides in regards to how the Kingdom of God is seperate from secular govermments.

10 posted on 04/01/2003 9:40:59 AM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
Excellent article!
11 posted on 04/01/2003 10:03:54 AM PST by Frumanchu (mene mene tekel upharsin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
ping!
12 posted on 04/01/2003 10:06:54 AM PST by Alex Murphy (Athanasius contra mundum!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: lockeliberty
I think this needs to be emphasised. I think we are on opposite sides on the necessity of this war but I doubt we are on opposite sides in regards to how the Kingdom of God is seperate from secular govermments.

If any nation claims that they are "God's chosen", or have a leader that is "God's mouthpiece", than every sort of behavior by that people can be rationalised away as "God's Will". Witness Mullah Ohmar in Afghanistan in our day.

Our Founders realised this when they created our Constitution.

BTW, i don't argue for this being a just war, my last comment to OrthodoxPresbyterian on another thread makes it clear that i see plenty of justification for the war... i simply question the relative importance of Iraq in light of our other enemies who pose a more serious threat. Yes this war had to happen, but not until we got some other "bad guys" out of the way.

13 posted on 04/01/2003 10:12:46 AM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
Link to article.
14 posted on 04/01/2003 10:19:30 AM PST by Tares
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tares
I received the e-mail from Christian Counter Culture, but couldn't find the article on the web. Thanks for the link!
15 posted on 04/01/2003 10:28:30 AM PST by sheltonmac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
Which position will allow the message of Jesus Christ to flow? I contend that a free Iraq will be able to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ freely whereas a ruthless dictatorship will not. I therefore conclude that the war against Iraq IS a "just war" since and the Pope is WRONG, since on religious grounds, apparently, he claimed it was not. The clear intent of God according to the Bible was to have the message of the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ preached; it is much easier to do that within a country wherein the citizen has freedoms to do so.
Diana
16 posted on 04/01/2003 10:35:50 AM PST by DianaN (Eternal Freedom)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DianaN
The clear intent of God according to the Bible was to have the message of the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ preached

The eastern block fell without a shot being fired.Spreading the gospel is not the intent of this war.

17 posted on 04/01/2003 10:50:07 AM PST by Codie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
I believe it’s dangerous to wrap the Bible in the flag. I don’t believe Jesus is a Republican. But I do believe that a conservative philosophy is more consistent with faith and a biblical worldview than competing philosophies. Whereas libertarianism is primarily a philosophy of government, conservatism is a philosophy of life. This philosophy embraces various traditional values, and faith in God and religious belief are among these values, typically. Liberalism, on the other hand, tends to side more with a humanistic worldview.

While we need to be careful interpreting scripture from the perspective of our patriotism, I believe that the scriptures are dynamic, and while David, for instance, may have written down a psalm from his experience living in a cave escaping his opposition, the sentiment of that psalm and what it reveals about the nature of evil, or the nature and character of God, can be applied to situations we find ourselves in in our day and age.

Consequently, it’s hard not to see the contemporary relevance to such passages as…

A mandate to pray for the nations, and against those nations which follow evil policies:
Let the godly ones exult in glory; Let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, To bind their kings with chains And their nobles with fetters of iron, To execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. -- Ps. 149:5-9

To pray for the supremacy of God over rogue nations:
O clap your hands all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy. For the Lord Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us, and nations under our feet…God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne – Ps. 47:1-3, 7-9

To pray that God will bring down wicked regimes:
The Lord judges the peoples…Oh let the evil of the wicked come to an end, but establish the righteous; for the righteous, God tries the hearts and minds. My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. – Ps. 7:8-10

To pray that God would bring judgment on the "evildoers":
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against evildoers, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. – Ps. 34:15-16

To pray for righteous, humble, servant leadership, and against narcissistic or self-serving leadership:
When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, people groan…. The king gives stability to the land by justice, but a man who takes bribes overthrows it….If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, all his ministers become wicked. – Prov. 29:2, 4, 12

To pray against partisan spin-meisters:
Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God endures all day long. Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit. You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right. You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue. But God will break you down forever; He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent, And uproot you from the land of the living. – Ps. 52:1-5

To pray for an impartial judiciary:
A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. – Prov. 11:1

To pray God’s protection against our adversaries:
Through Thee we will push back our adversaries; through Thy name we will trample down those who rise up against us. For I will not trust in my bow, nor will my sword save me, but Thou hast saved us from our adversaries, and Thou hast put to shame those who hate us. -- Ps. 44:5-7

To pray for the destruction of those who claim to speak for God, but who worship a false god, and who do evil in that god’s name:
When the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. But You, O LORD, are on high forever. For, behold, Your enemies, O LORD, for, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered. -- Ps. 92:7-9

To pray for destruction of evildoers and evil regimes:
The wicked plots against the righteous, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him; for He sees his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow, to cast down the afflicted and the needy, to slay those who are upright in conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart, and their bows will be broken. -- Ps. 37:12-15

To pray on behalf of our troops:
Blessed be the Lord, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle…[God] my lovingkindness and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer; my shield and He in whom I take refuge. -- Ps. 144:1-2

To pray in this manner for bin Laden and Saddam:
Appoint a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him come forth guilty, and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. Let his children wander about and beg; and let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes. Let the creditor seize all that he has, and let strangers plunder the product of his labor. Let there be none to extend lovingkindness to him, nor any to be gracious to his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; in a following generation let their name be blotted out. -- Ps. 109:6-13

18 posted on 04/01/2003 11:38:48 AM PST by My2Cents ("...The bombing begins in 5 minutes.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
Ignorance!

Iraq is not Babylon, nor has Babylon ever been Iraq.

Babylon is not a place; it's a thing, a government, Satan's earthly government to be specific. . It has been located at various geographic locations in times past, such as on the plain of Shinnar, Tyre, and Rome, but those places were not Babylon.

Does anyone here really believe that we are attacking Babylon by fighting this war? I hope not. IMO this is a just war, but how can people get so confused as to think that Iraq is Babylon?

Where is the political power of this world? Do you know? Wherever it is, that is where Babylon is. It's surely not Iraq.

19 posted on 04/01/2003 11:43:51 AM PST by editor-surveyor ( . Best policy RE: Environmentalists, - ZERO TOLERANCE !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Codie; DianaN
"Spreading the gospel is not the intent of this war."

Nor should it be. Evangelism at the point of the gun is NOT supported by scripture. Besides, history has shown that the church tends to flourish under persecution. China is a good example of that.

20 posted on 04/01/2003 11:45:41 AM PST by sheltonmac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
"Besides, history has shown that the church tends to flourish under persecution."

A fact that I don't think that any of us wish to fully comprehend.

21 posted on 04/01/2003 11:56:27 AM PST by editor-surveyor ( . Best policy RE: Environmentalists, - ZERO TOLERANCE !!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
BTW, i don't argue for this being a just war, my last comment to OrthodoxPresbyterian on another thread makes it clear that i see plenty of justification for the war... i simply question the relative importance of Iraq in light of our other enemies who pose a more serious threat. Yes this war had to happen, but not until we got some other "bad guys" out of the way.

I hadn't seen those posts until now. I must say I derive great pleasure following how the both of you are able to construct cogent and articulate arguments.

Your point regarding a greater enemy is well-taken and something I have wrestled with. I think I have come to the conclusion this is the right enemy at the right time for the following reasons:

1. A war with Iraq as opposed to N. Korea, assuming that you regard N. Korea as a greater threat, is justified based on the Just War theory of keeping casualities as low as possible. Since N. Korea already possesses nueclar bombs the potential for causalities is far greater.

2. Another arguement for Iraq as opposed to N. Korea that I have heard have been along the line that since N. Korea already possess nueclar bombs it is more important at this stage to prevent Iraq the ability to develop them. This seems to be the proliferation arguement. Additionally, since Saddam has proven that he will use WMD and N. Korea has not, to my knowledge anyway, there is far greater justification for war against Iraq.

3. Theologically speaking, it seems wise to me that justice is carried out against a nation in which we dominate as a sign to other countries that evil will not be tolerated. In executing this war in both a just and merciful way we demonstrate as an example to other nations not only that there will be retribution for evil but also mercy (read: humanitarian aid) for those who resist from evil. In the Old Testament God often showed retribution and mercy to individuals as an example to the people of Israel. My prayer is that our greater enemies will see the consequences of engaging in evil acts and resist their tendencies to engage in those actions. I find the pyschological and spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of the people of this world to be extremely important. Notice how the devil is using his puppets, such as Peter Arnet, to try and convince the world that the U.S. is losing this war or encountering such stiff resistance that it needs to readjust it's war policies. By any objective historical criteria this war has been both one of the quickest land grabs and at the same time inflicted a minimium of civilian casualities yet the devil is active in trying to convince the world we are losing and inflicting great harm on civilians. Our victory and mercy are both vitally important to future events.

4. This war is about oil. Not as the liberals contend that this war is about enriching Bush and his cronies. Rather, from a world economic viewpoint this region is more important than N. Korea. I think this falls within the Just War theory too. If we allowed this region to become so destabilized as to cause a world economic depression our governments would be failing it's citzens in allowing their people to suffer because of their failure to act.

The negative aspect of advancing against a weaker enemy is that we are giving a preview to our greater enemy of our military strengths and tactics. When weighed in the balance I still come out in the direction we are proceeding. I'm sure you have a different perspective and I would appreciate your opinion.

22 posted on 04/01/2003 12:08:17 PM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: LionsDaughter
This is a great article. I emailed it to you, but you ought to print it out and refer to it when you encounter the arguement, "Christians can't be for war."

BTW, Myron is no longer a Mennonite.
23 posted on 04/01/2003 12:17:01 PM PST by Jemian (Ignorance is Blix {LD, You wrote your mother!})
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: editor-surveyor
Babylon and the anti-christ

In one way I agree with you - we are warring not against flesh and blood but against wicked powers in heavenly places - those places being the souls of men - but in another way there is a manifestation of Babylon in humans who are permitted by God to express their total depravity without restraint and surely Saddam and his sons have been permitted by God go give full expression to a depravity that exists in all of us sons of Adam.

Have you read the book "I was Saddam's son" by Yatif - he was forced to be Uday's double and he documents the expressions of depravity that I have never read in any other book on this topic. Here on the earth in Iraq there has been a hell above ground for many people there and the war we are waging is not against the flesh and blood of Saddam but the depravity and evil he has been expressing their from his heart. Nations who seek to destroy him and his sons and regime are not in a war only against him but against the principalities and powers that have been permitted to stir up that depravity in these wicked men that actually exists in all of us fallen creatures.

So this war against Iraq has another layer to it but we are not to sit by and watch idly as tortures are perpetrated where we may have the power to stop those tortures, are we?
24 posted on 04/01/2003 12:26:29 PM PST by kkindt (knightforhire.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: sheltonmac
China isn't free yet.And God allowed 70 years to past before he freed Russia.Why the hurry on Iraq?
25 posted on 04/01/2003 12:35:58 PM PST by Codie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: BibChr
Amen Who?
26 posted on 04/01/2003 1:02:32 PM PST by STD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
Wait until the uranium enrichment facilities come to light. Then you will have to munch a bunch of crow.
27 posted on 04/01/2003 1:05:15 PM PST by STD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Codie
Wrong, millions of bullets were involved in the "cold war"
Millions of people did die. Were you sleeping during Korea, Vietnam,,,etc
28 posted on 04/01/2003 1:07:46 PM PST by STD
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: lockeliberty; OrthodoxPresbyterian
I hadn't seen those posts until now. I must say I derive great pleasure following how the both of you are able to construct cogent and articulate arguments.

i thank you for those kind words, and i am certain that OP does as well (though i do not presume to speak for him). It is always a challenge that is probably beyond my abilities to take on his arguments. None the less, these "war games" that we have a tendacy to play with each other does tend to sharpen the both of us:

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17 KJV

Your point regarding a greater enemy is well-taken and something I have wrestled with. I think I have come to the conclusion this is the right enemy at the right time for the following reasons:

1. A war with Iraq as opposed to N. Korea, assuming that you regard N. Korea as a greater threat, is justified based on the Just War theory of keeping casualities as low as possible. Since N. Korea already possesses nueclar bombs the potential for causalities is far greater.

The questions becomes how hiqh our casualties actually would be, and do we simply reckon US casualties in the equation?

In terms of US casualties, we should probably assume minimal among forces in Korea. The great myth is that US Ground Forces need be committed in mass numbers. This is not so. The ROK army is quite capable of dealing with the DPRK since they have superior material of war, and an attacker has required at least a 3 to 1 advantage to overwhelm a defensive position. US support would be in terms of Air Power, and Sea Launched missles. i would not be surprised to discover that one or more Ohio Class ballistic missle submarines are sitting just off the coast, waiting to take out Kim Jong Il's nuke production facilities with a cruise missle strike (got to be careful about how we do that, a run away nuke pile is worse than a bomb, a bomb blows, and the fallout produced is limited, you can't "shut off" a core meltdown). Oddly enough, most of the fighters besides the ROK will be Japanese, who are VERY concerned, concerned enough to consider violating their own Constitution and launch a preemptive strike against the DPRK. They consider Kim's missle tests to be a serious threat in light of his recent threatening statements against the ROK and The USA, which leads us into the next issue.

2. Another arguement for Iraq as opposed to N. Korea that I have heard have been along the line that since N. Korea already possess nueclar bombs it is more important at this stage to prevent Iraq the ability to develop them. This seems to be the proliferation arguement. Additionally, since Saddam has proven that he will use WMD and N. Korea has not, to my knowledge anyway, there is far greater justification for war against Iraq.

The DPRK has demonstrated the willingness to ship WMD technology and material aid to Iraq and other enemies of the US. You may recall a recently intercepted shipment of SCUD missles from the DPRK to Yemen. As far as intent Kim Jong Il has made a great many threatening statements as of late, including the threat to launch Nuclear War against the United States. Many of those statements have been posted here on FR, although i have not bookmarked any of the threads. Frankly, we don't know What Kim has committed against his own population, aside from starving them to death in order to continue to indulge his lifestyle, and provide material for his army. The reports that we do get from the survivers suggest someone who was far worse than Hitler ever dreamed of being.

3. Theologically speaking, it seems wise to me that justice is carried out against a nation in which we dominate as a sign to other countries that evil will not be tolerated. In executing this war in both a just and merciful way we demonstrate as an example to other nations not only that there will be retribution for evil but also mercy (read: humanitarian aid) for those who resist from evil. In the Old Testament God often showed retribution and mercy to individuals as an example to the people of Israel. My prayer is that our greater enemies will see the consequences of engaging in evil acts and resist their tendencies to engage in those actions. I find the pyschological and spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of the people of this world to be extremely important. Notice how the devil is using his puppets, such as Peter Arnet, to try and convince the world that the U.S. is losing this war or encountering such stiff resistance that it needs to readjust it's war policies. By any objective historical criteria this war has been both one of the quickest land grabs and at the same time inflicted a minimium of civilian casualities yet the devil is active in trying to convince the world we are losing and inflicting great harm on civilians. Our victory and mercy are both vitally important to future events.

We may have a slight disagreement here in deterrence. i strongly believe that if one "beats" up the biggest bully boy in the school, the "lesser" bullies are inclined to re-think their intentions in light of the example given to them.

Since the population of the DPRK is starving on a basis that staggers the imagination, the US will have plenty of opportunity to demonstrate mercy in simply feeding and caring for that population, and ministering the Love of Christ to them. It will also serve as a test for the Christians in the ROK, most of whom are of the Reformed faith (in my own denomination we have two exclusively Korean expatriot congregations), and would serve to as an example to the nations of East Asia, where the Gospel has made relatively few inroads.

4. This war is about oil. Not as the liberals contend that this war is about enriching Bush and his cronies. Rather, from a world economic viewpoint this region is more important than N. Korea. I think this falls within the Just War theory too. If we allowed this region to become so destabilized as to cause a world economic depression our governments would be failing it's citzens in allowing their people to suffer because of their failure to act.

This is a contention that i have strongly disagreed with, Rush Limbaugh's arguments not withstanding. Fact is: If the Middle East does not sell it's oil to the United States, it simply cannot enrich itself to the extent that it has. Were we to boycott Middle East Crude, those nations would soon collapse. Worse comes to worse, we have the capability of blockading the Persian Gulf, and completly shutting off the flow of oil to the world, esentially starving off the Arab States. Those nations should thank the True God that we have never contemplated doing so.

i do agree with Limbaugh on one point: We will continue to buy oil at fair market price as we always have, no matter who is in charge. While we will face some short term disadvantage when we begin to rebuild Iraq, the sanctions will go away, and the Iraqi People will be quite capable of paying for what assistance they require to put their nation back together. We get little to no oil from Iraq as it is, so the oil argument does not affect us at all.

As per the economy, What do you suppose disruption of the production of goods and services from Korea, Japan, China, and Taiwan caused by a DPRK initiated strike would do to the world economy? Be aware that Japan buys the majourity of it's oil from the United States.

Iran on the other hand is turning into an enigma. The population, and the government are fed up with the Religious Fanatics on the courts, and we may see a regime change. While they are doing Nuclear research, and have a weapons programme, they do not Love Saddam, and are (at the moment) not a threat in this war.

i have been skeptical about the Iranian threat since the book Winds of Change by Reza Pahlavi (son of the Sha of Iran) came out.

29 posted on 04/01/2003 1:47:22 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: STD
God brought down the wall,and the prayers of alot of grandmothers.No shots where fired.
30 posted on 04/01/2003 1:48:21 PM PST by Codie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: STD
Wait until the uranium enrichment facilities come to light. Then you will have to munch a bunch of crow.

Will not be the first time, and probably not the last.

i do seem to recall that in Colin Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council, he mentioned that the Iraqis were trying to procure High Strength Aluminum tubes, implying that if the Iraqis do have a Weapons Programme, they have not developed it to the point where it is at present a threat to us. Kim Jong Il on the other hand, does have the bomb, and is a threat at this very moment.

31 posted on 04/01/2003 1:57:10 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: sola gracia
I got this in my inbox this morning, good read. Good points, too....
32 posted on 04/01/2003 3:05:53 PM PST by jude24 ("Facts? You can use facts to prove anything that's even REMOTELY true!" - Homer Simpson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
i am so sick of the "God is a Republican, and Rush Limbaugh is His Prophet" crowd spouting off their nonsense, that i thought Christianity was doomed to become Nationalism in God's name

Amen, brother!

I'm good friends with several Canadians, and that is one of the major shortcomings they see in American Christians.

33 posted on 04/01/2003 3:15:47 PM PST by jude24 ("Facts? You can use facts to prove anything that's even REMOTELY true!" - Homer Simpson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
As usual I see that I am "outgunned" intellectually. Suffer me if you would some additional questions regarding your position.

The questions becomes how hiqh our casualties actually would be, and do we simply reckon US casualties in the equation? In terms of US casualties, we should probably assume minimal among forces in Korea. The great myth is that US Ground Forces need be committed in mass numbers. This is not so. The ROK army is quite capable of dealing with the DPRK since they have superior material of war, and an attacker has required at least a 3 to 1 advantage to overwhelm a defensive position.

Considering the current S. Korean government and it's opposition to current U.S. strategy how well can we depend on the S. Koreans government to support any action? My understanding is that we have in the neighborhood of 50,000 U.S. troops in S. Korea. If we were to intiate action what are the probabilites that the N. Koreans could launch a nuclear bomb towards S. Korea killing most of our troops and countless S. Koreans?

The DPRK has demonstrated the willingness to ship WMD technology and material aid to Iraq and other enemies of the US. You may recall a recently intercepted shipment of SCUD missles from the DPRK to Yemen. As far as intent Kim Jong Il has made a great many threatening statements as of late, including the threat to launch Nuclear War against the United States.

Excellent points and certainly a concern. Yet I think we must weight the actual evidence of the use of WMD far higher than a threat of implementation. Additionally, I have read on this forum that China cut off oil supplies to N. Korea. Your point regarding Japan's insecurity regarding N. Korea is well-taken. It seems to me that the geopolitical pressures in Aisa are far greater than they are in the Middle East for a variety of reasons. Based on these reasons I sense that the threat from N.Korea to be contained in a more manageable way than the Middle Eastern scenario. It seems to me that China's economic well-being is so inextricably tied to the U.S. economy that they will continue to pressure N. Korea to restrain without the concerns of any religous baggage in their decision making that seems to hinder the geopolitical pressures in the Middle East. Is my analysis of geopolitical pressures misguided?

We may have a slight disagreement here in deterrence. i strongly believe that if one "beats" up the biggest bully boy in the school, the "lesser" bullies are inclined to re-think their intentions in light of the example given to them. Since the population of the DPRK is starving on a basis that staggers the imagination, the US will have plenty of opportunity to demonstrate mercy in simply feeding and caring for that population, and ministering the Love of Christ to them. It will also serve as a test for the Christians in the ROK, most of whom are of the Reformed faith (in my own denomination we have two exclusively Korean expatriot congregations), and would serve to as an example to the nations of East Asia, where the Gospel has made relatively few inroads.

I would agree that it would be optimal to "beat" up the bigger bully but considering the other contingent factors I've listed I still think the bigger bully will gain a respect (fear) of our abilities in such a way that it may restrain their evil actions. Reagan's "peace through strength" agenda effectively ended the Cold War without a major conflict. A display of our strength in this case should send an even clearer message to N. Korea that we are serious. I also agree that the starvation problem in N. Korea is horrendous. Yet remember we agree to a seperation between the actions of the Church and secular government. The oppression against it's own citzens by N. Korea is certainly a factor in any aggression but does not rise above the threshold of actual aggression against the U.S. or any evidence of the use of WMD. In this case I would suggest our government employ all diplomatic means available to demonstrate our mercy at least until N. Korea crosses the threshold that requires retribution. What is your view on the role of the U.S. against governments that oppress their own people?

Fact is: If the Middle East does not sell it's oil to the United States, it simply cannot enrich itself to the extent that it has.

True. Fact is: The U.S. still buys 50% of it's oil from the Middle East. If the U.S. was cut off from 50% of it's oil it would send our economy into a tailspin that would make the Great Depression seem like a minor recession. This would, of course, send the rest of the world into an economic depression. My arguement is not about Iraqi oil per se but rather about the political stabilization of the region through the removal of the major disrupting influence in the region and the effect would be a stabilization of the oil markets. A major strike by N. Korea against the U.S. would result in a unity of the world for the removal of the regime that would not include the silly gymnastics of the U.N. and the regimes removal would occur quickly and the economic effects on the world markets would be relatively short-term. If the world economy was dependent upon some resource in this region as it is dependent upon oil from the Middle East I would agree with your assesment. Do you really think our politicians could summon the political will for a Persian Gulf blockade?

34 posted on 04/01/2003 7:19:44 PM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: lockeliberty
i can assure you that you are not outgunned in any sense. Point of fact is that you have punched a few holes in my worldview by introducing factors that i had not taken into consideration. We shall deal with them here as much as possible.

Considering the current S. Korean government and it's opposition to current U.S. strategy how well can we depend on the S. Koreans government to support any action? My understanding is that we have in the neighborhood of 50,000 U.S. troops in S. Korea. If we were to intiate action what are the probabilites that the N. Koreans could launch a nuclear bomb towards S. Korea killing most of our troops and countless S. Koreans?

The response to this particular point takes two general tacts.

1) The first question is how strong that opposition really is? It is a fact that every year close to final exams the youth of South Korea demonstrate, usually againist the oppression of their own Government, but they have been known to demonstrate against the American "occupation" of their country. One must ask a second question, Is this Government opposition, or a civil opposition. It is a legitimate question, because there are few left who remember the first Korean War. The view has i suspect recently changed, due to the fact that the DPRK "tested" a missle in the Sea of Japan during the inaguration of the new South Korean President. Both Secretary of State Powell, and the Japanese Prime Minister were in attendance in Seoul that day.

2) The second point is that the 37,000 army troops (the rest are Air force and other services), and of those army troops, only two brigades of the Second Infantry Division (about 10,000 men), are the real combat power of the United States in Korea. The remnant of the Second Infantry is stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington BTW. This force is a drop in the bucket compared to South Korean Forces available. So the fact is that our deterrence is at best symbolic. There is no strategic reason to have those forces in South Korea. Recently, the call to remove those forces has been again heard in congress, and i expect that there will be more ears to hear this time.
A final factor to consider is that due to the close proximity of Puynyang to Seoul, an ICBM is overkill in delivering a nuclear strike. A Scud would suffice. The United States does have a limited Theater Missle Defense system that is capable of intercepting such a missle. No, those Long Range missles are designed to strike the United States and possibly Japan (The Koreans, North and South have an history with Japan that is not a pleasant one), not South Korea. Other types of WMD, especially Chemical weapons are a serious threat.

Excellent points and certainly a concern. Yet I think we must weight the actual evidence of the use of WMD far higher than a threat of implementation. Additionally, I have read on this forum that China cut off oil supplies to N. Korea. Your point regarding Japan's insecurity regarding N. Korea is well-taken. It seems to me that the geopolitical pressures in Aisa are far greater than they are in the Middle East for a variety of reasons. Based on these reasons I sense that the threat from N.Korea to be contained in a more manageable way than the Middle Eastern scenario. It seems to me that China's economic well-being is so inextricably tied to the U.S. economy that they will continue to pressure N. Korea to restrain without the concerns of any religous baggage in their decision making that seems to hinder the geopolitical pressures in the Middle East. Is my analysis of geopolitical pressures misguided?

Let's address the China question first, as it is the easiest. China does Lots of business with South Korea, and has a vested interest in keeping things peaceful. You also may not be aware that China lost over 1,000,000 men in the Korean war. i'll give that one to you. Unfortuantely, Kim Jong Il never was very good at listening to anyone except himself. i don't know how Kim will respond to the shut off of oil, but he didn't respond in an acceptable way to the shut off of food from the United States and Austrailia.

Concerning your first point, Kim is not rational. We should not expect him to make a rational response to any incentive. The second matter is that Kim has absolutely nothing to loose. Philosophy and ideology does play into this equation. Kim is schooled in the Stalinist version of Marxism as was his father, Kim Il Sung (the elder Kim was actually quite rational though). Although not rational, within that Stalinist paradign, Kim Jong Il is not wastefull. Like Stalin, his view is "Why kill people and gain nothing from it, when it is far easier to work them to death in the Gulag, and get some productive use out of them?" In this sense, he is more intelligent than Saddam. As i posted to you previously, we don't know what all is going on in Kim's death camps, perhaps the testing of WMD, we have never been able to find out as those who live to tell about it are few. If war breaks out, do not be surprised to see China open a Northern front against Kim.

I would agree that it would be optimal to "beat" up the bigger bully but considering the other contingent factors I've listed I still think the bigger bully will gain a respect (fear) of our abilities in such a way that it may restrain their evil actions. Reagan's "peace through strength" agenda effectively ended the Cold War without a major conflict. A display of our strength in this case should send an even clearer message to N. Korea that we are serious. I also agree that the starvation problem in N. Korea is horrendous. Yet remember we agree to a seperation between the actions of the Church and secular government. The oppression against it's own citzens by N. Korea is certainly a factor in any aggression but does not rise above the threshold of actual aggression against the U.S. or any evidence of the use of WMD. In this case I would suggest our government employ all diplomatic means available to demonstrate our mercy at least until N. Korea crosses the threshold that requires retribution. What is your view on the role of the U.S. against governments that oppress their own people?

Again, this idea presumes a rational person making those decisions. Even Kim Il Song was not that rational.

On the second issue of this paragraph, i quite agree with you: STARVING NORTH KOREANS ARE NOT AN ACCEPTABLE CRITERIA FOR A JUST WAR.

That being said, we have plenty of justification in the Aquinas sense for a war. Even in my days as a soldier, American Soldiers were being murdered by North Korean forces. Violations of the cease fire agreement of 1953 have been made by North Korea. US property has been interdicted by North Korean forces. i don't know how old you are, but the USS San Pueblo incident almost restarted the war. That ship still sits as illegally seized US property. In my army days, two American soldiers on United Nations territorial bounds in the DMZ were murdered by North Korean Forces who violated that territorial integredy. You may recall hearing about the multitudes of tunnels under the DMZ (we blow them up as we find them, but conceed that we have not found all of them) in direct violation of the Armistice that the North Korean Government signed with the United States. We have a multitude of causes for a Just war without worrying about others.

True. Fact is: The U.S. still buys 50% of it's oil from the Middle East. If the U.S. was cut off from 50% of it's oil it would send our economy into a tailspin that would make the Great Depression seem like a minor recession. This would, of course, send the rest of the world into an economic depression. My arguement is not about Iraqi oil per se but rather about the political stabilization of the region through the removal of the major disrupting influence in the region and the effect would be a stabilization of the oil markets. A major strike by N. Korea against the U.S. would result in a unity of the world for the removal of the regime that would not include the silly gymnastics of the U.N. and the regimes removal would occur quickly and the economic effects on the world markets would be relatively short-term. If the world economy was dependent upon some resource in this region as it is dependent upon oil from the Middle East I would agree with your assesment. Do you really think our politicians could summon the political will for a Persian Gulf blockade?

Fact of the matter is that the oil market was stable before this war began, and the price raise had nothing to do with the middle East, rather the continuing civil unrest in Venezeula, a major supplier of oil. A crisis in the Gulf may be our best friend in the long run, because the Enviro-pagan objection to drilling in the US would die that day. As per the Pacific Rim, we may end up fighting a war over Oil there. The Sprately Islands, oil rich, are claimed by the Chineese, the Philippeans, and the Vietnamese as well as Thaiwan. That could be a bloody conflict. Indonesia also has oil as well as Borneo, and Russian Siberia may actually outproduce the Gulf in the not-so-distant-future. On the final point, as alluded to above, North Korea has crossed that threshold on far too many occasions. Continued indifference to those actions begin to take on the scent of appeasement.

35 posted on 04/01/2003 10:33:57 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: lockeliberty
A lesson for all of us: never try to post when it is way past one's bed time!
36 posted on 04/01/2003 10:36:07 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord; lockeliberty; the_doc; RnMomof7; CCWoody; Jerry_M; xzins; Torie
thank you for those kind words, and i am certain that OP does as well (though i do not presume to speak for him). It is always a challenge that is probably beyond my abilities to take on his arguments.

"Calvinist Dark Lord" is entirely too kind to me, and entirely too generous to me. (Ahhh, but these are rather soft criticisms on my part, given that our opponents often accuse us Calvinists of being too hard-nosed and "too smart" for our own good. Indeed, I secretly harbor the opinion that they accuse Calvinists of being too Biblical for our own Good -- a criticism I am prepared to accept!!)

C_D_L may have lost Formal Debates to the infamous David_K... but then again, who, on the entire East Coast, hasn't? He is entirely capable of answering my Arguments when I am ready to re-join the Discussion... he is just too humble to admit it (grin).

I miss FR a lot.

I have just been wrapped up on Business. Despite the deathly-morbid economic climate, it is looking like a good month for me.

Shockingly enough.... but Busy. (word to the wise -- with War Deficits approaching $500 Billion, buy TIPS Bonds while they are still cheap. You're probably wrong about the "salad days of TIPS Bonds being over", Torie -- they are only priced 100 basis points beneath Treasuries, which is HILARIOUSLY cheap in an inflationary War Economy).

Anyway, I really want to get back to FR when I have the chance.

In the meantime... Calvinist, Libertarian, et cetera -- CDL is well-qualified to speak for me. If needs be, he can always check it against Nymeyer.

Gosh, between Jesus, Paul, Dabney, Schlissel, Lee, and Nymeyer, you have pretty much the whole gamut of "OP's Calvinism" pretty well figgered out. ;-)

37 posted on 04/01/2003 11:12:11 PM PST by OrthodoxPresbyterian (We are unworthy Servants; We have only done our Duty)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
If you didn't have voices like Rush, you would have had Al Gore for youdr president today!

After 911 you would have had the Likes of an Albright and anothers trying to understand Saddam and OBL for them being upset with us!

There would be no homeland security etc.

It is amazing people are never thankful for whatever instrument the Lord uses to get the job done.

Maybe in the furture the Lord should get your approval for who is to facilitate the Lord mission.

38 posted on 04/02/2003 1:48:31 AM PST by restornu ("For every bad thing you say it takes seven positive things to make it better")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: restornu
Rest, i had intended to FReepmail you on another subject a few days ago, but i got caught up doing some "make a living stuff" and forgot all about it. Now i can't remember what the bloody subject was, sorry about that.

If you didn't have voices like Rush, you would have had Al Gore for youdr president today!

So what did Rush Limbaugh have to do with the election? Did he change a single vote? We can't ever know.

Here is the facts about the 2k elections:

Vice President Gore did not loose the election because of the vote in Florida.

Vice President Gore lost the election because he lost the state of West Virginia (the last time they went Republican was...nobody knows)

Vice President Gore lost the election because he lost the state of Arkansas the home state of William Jefferson Blythe Clinton

Vice President Gore lost the election because he lost his own home state of Tennessee
i don't know what Rush Limbaugh had to do with that, but i don't suspect that there was that much to it.

i suspect more that even in the midst of the depravity THAT WE ALL SHARE DUE TO OUR SIN IN ADAM, God moved the population to disgust over the previous eight years of ammorality.

After 911 you would have had the Likes of an Albright and anothers trying to understand Saddam and OBL for them being upset with us!

Personally, i leave trying to predict an ALTERNATE HISTORY for the "chrystal ball/tin-foil-hat" crowd, and the excellent writers who publish that kind of work to entertain their audiences (Harry Turtledove bump here!!!)

The fact is, we cannot even determine IF 9/11 would have happened had Gore won the election

There would be no homeland security etc.

The fact is that many people who are concerned about their liberty have serious objections about the Department of Homeland Security. You know, the last time i took a look at the Constitution of the United States, i discovered that we already had a Department of Homeland Security
ARTICLE I SECTION VIII PARAGRAPH I:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;"
ARTICLE I SECTION VIII PARAGRAPH X:
"To define and Punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;"
ARTICLE I SECTION VIII PARAGRAPH XI:
"To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and to make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;"
ARTICLE I SECTION VIII PARAGRAPH XV:
"To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of hte Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;"
ARTICLE I SECTION VIII PARAGRAPH XVI:
"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescrebed by Congress;
AMENDMENTS ARTICLE II:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
We didn't need John Ashcroft or Tom Ridge (spit!) to infringe on the OTHER RIGHTS that we were gauranteed under that Constitution.

It is amazing people are never thankful for whatever instrument the Lord uses to get the job done.

i'm certain that Judas Iscariot was God's chosen instrument to "get the job done", but he is still in Hell.

Maybe in the furture the Lord should get your approval for who is to facilitate the Lord mission.

We already have that --it is called the election. The point simply remains THE UNITED STATES HAVE NOT BEEN, ARE NOT NOW, AND WILL NEVER BE "GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE" ANY MORE OR LESS THAN ANY OTHER NATION ON THIS EARTH

39 posted on 04/02/2003 8:37:46 AM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
Well, I figured you had additional facts and knowledge that backed your position. I'm glad I asked those questions. A couple of passing thoughts.

1) The first question is how strong that opposition really is? It is a fact that every year close to final exams the youth of South Korea demonstrate, usually againist the oppression of their own Government, but they have been known to demonstrate against the American "occupation" of their country. One must ask a second question, Is this Government opposition, or a civil opposition. It is a legitimate question, because there are few left who remember the first Korean War. The view has i suspect recently changed, due to the fact that the DPRK "tested" a missle in the Sea of Japan during the inaguration of the new South Korean President. Both Secretary of State Powell, and the Japanese Prime Minister were in attendance in Seoul that day.

My concern was not about a few silly college students protesting but rather my understanding was that the newly elected President was elected based on an anti-American platform. With any politician I understand that they emphasis certain policies in order to get elected and then back off a pure idealogical position once they are elected. Nevertheless, if the current President is against action in N. Korea it appears we would have to spend a considerable amount of political capital secure his support for an ROK invasion of N. Korea. Your point about the missle launch is the type of event that could sway their government and hopefully renewed cooperation. Your contention that are troops in S. Korea are only a symbolic deterrence appears to me to be correct. However, that symbolism seems to me to be important and the removal of those troops would send a message to the region that would not be to our benefit in the short term.

Let's address the China question first, as it is the easiest. China does Lots of business with South Korea, and has a vested interest in keeping things peaceful. You also may not be aware that China lost over 1,000,000 men in the Korean war. i'll give that one to you. Unfortuantely, Kim Jong Il never was very good at listening to anyone except himself. i don't know how Kim will respond to the shut off of oil, but he didn't respond in an acceptable way to the shut off of food from the United States and Austrailia.

The China question seems to me to be most delicate and complex in this situation. Potentially I see China as our greatest threat in the long run. It would not surprise me to learn that China offered to the U.S. the willingness to take out Kim Jong but the U.S. refused not wanting China to occupy half the Korean peninsula. Your analysis about Kim's lack of rational decsion making abilities and his Marxist ideology seems to me to be the strongest arguements for action against his regime. Without China's support Kim must feel "boxed in" and his willingness to engage in evil actions because he has nothing to lose probably increased.

That being said, we have plenty of justification in the Aquinas sense for a war. Even in my days as a soldier, American Soldiers were being murdered by North Korean forces. Violations of the cease fire agreement of 1953 have been made by North Korea. US property has been interdicted by North Korean forces. i don't know how old you are, but the USS San Pueblo incident almost restarted the war. That ship still sits as illegally seized US property. In my army days, two American soldiers on United Nations territorial bounds in the DMZ were murdered by North Korean Forces who violated that territorial integredy. You may recall hearing about the multitudes of tunnels under the DMZ (we blow them up as we find them, but conceed that we have not found all of them) in direct violation of the Armistice that the North Korean Government signed with the United States. We have a multitude of causes for a Just war without worrying about others.

I was unaware of much of that information. (38) My senses tell me that once Saddam's regime is gone and we feel relatively comfortable regarding the security of Iraq we will start to spend the political capital necessary to resolve the N. Korean problem. While I believe the case against N. Korea will be driven by more contemporary issues the facts you provided should certainly be part of our case against N. Korea.

Fact of the matter is that the oil market was stable before this war began, and the price raise had nothing to do with the middle East, rather the continuing civil unrest in Venezeula, a major supplier of oil. A crisis in the Gulf may be our best friend in the long run, because the Enviro-pagan objection to drilling in the US would die that day. As per the Pacific Rim, we may end up fighting a war over Oil there. The Sprately Islands, oil rich, are claimed by the Chineese, the Philippeans, and the Vietnamese as well as Thaiwan. That could be a bloody conflict. Indonesia also has oil as well as Borneo, and Russian Siberia may actually outproduce the Gulf in the not-so-distant-future. On the final point, as alluded to above, North Korea has crossed that threshold on far too many occasions. Continued indifference to those actions begin to take on the scent of appeasement.

Again, thanks for facts that I was unaware of. I had heard that Russian Siberia was oil rich but unaware of the Sprately Islands. It puzzles me why Russia has not taken greater advantage of that resource. I can only guess that they are still developing these wells for production. I agree we have appeased N. Korea long enough and hope to see the screws start to tighten here very soon. Thanks for your service to our country.

40 posted on 04/02/2003 10:10:54 AM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: OrthodoxPresbyterian; Calvinist_Dark_Lord
Keep me pinged when you guys resume your debates.

P.S. Thanks for the investment TIPS.
41 posted on 04/02/2003 10:33:52 AM PST by lockeliberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
I was very leary of GWB, all I could of was GB and NWO etc.

It was ruff for me to thing a Buch could really be so American!

It was Rush pointing out certain things over time I saw things that I had missed. I am so glad that I VOTED for Bush and he won! Even if my voted didn't count. I knew it was the right choice.

What I don't understand is why when we have voices out there who help keep the moral and focus on GOOD. Courage and strength that others feel the need to nick away at the foundation.

I don't understand faulfinders, underminders etc?

No one is perfect if some one is echoing some of my thoughts, and good is winning that is all that is important!

I will go for weeks or days and not listen to Rush or Hannity etc.

But I thank God they are there!

42 posted on 04/02/2003 2:25:12 PM PST by restornu ("For every bad thing you say it takes seven positive things to make it better")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: lockeliberty
My concern was not about a few silly college students protesting but rather my understanding was that the newly elected President was elected based on an anti-American platform. With any politician I understand that they emphasis certain policies in order to get elected and then back off a pure idealogical position once they are elected. Nevertheless, if the current President is against action in N. Korea it appears we would have to spend a considerable amount of political capital secure his support for an ROK invasion of N. Korea. Your point about the missle launch is the type of event that could sway their government and hopefully renewed cooperation. Your contention that are troops in S. Korea are only a symbolic deterrence appears to me to be correct. However, that symbolism seems to me to be important and the removal of those troops would send a message to the region that would not be to our benefit in the short term.

i am not certain that i have made my point clear for which i am at fault. My contention is that Kim Jong Il has all but taken out an advertisement in the Washington Post saying that he has hostile intentions and will attack either the United States or the Republic of Korea (south Korea). i seriously doubt that we will have to worry about initiating combat with the DPRK.

Let me tell you this about our South Korean allies: They have one of the toughest armies on the planet! The Korean Capitol Division joined the United States in the Vietnam war. Within two months the Viet Cong and NVA AVOIDED their sector! The Koreans had a rather unique and accurate way of doing "body counts"...they simply cut an ear off a dead enemy, and put it on a necklace. In point of fact, the ROK has been preparing for this war since the last one ended. Colonel David Hackworth, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam conflict visited Korea in 1994 when Kim Il Song died and his observations of the preparations of the ROK for that war are interesting. His conclusion then was that we ought to pull our forces out of Korea, and perhaps back to Japan. The Koreans of both North and South have an almost religious fanaticism about protecting their land from foreign invasion, including each other.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the People's army of the DPRK is pretty tough too. When that conflict flares up (not "if"), The Eighth US Army will be on the short end of the stick for a while, having only half of the Second Infantry, the 25th Light Infantry Division out of Hawaii, the Third Marine expiditionary force out of Okinawa and the other half of the 2nd ID out of Ft. Lewis, WA. The Japanese, only being about 500 miles away will no doubt send an entire Corps (3-5 divisions) for a start, and the Austrailians will no doubt send a division.

Iraq it will NOT be! You can count on the fact that we and our allies are going to take HUGH causualties on the ground, and inflict even larger ones.

The China question seems to me to be most delicate and complex in this situation. Potentially I see China as our greatest threat in the long run. It would not surprise me to learn that China offered to the U.S. the willingness to take out Kim Jong but the U.S. refused not wanting China to occupy half the Korean peninsula. Your analysis about Kim's lack of rational decsion making abilities and his Marxist ideology seems to me to be the strongest arguements for action against his regime. Without China's support Kim must feel "boxed in" and his willingness to engage in evil actions because he has nothing to lose probably increased.

China is indeed, the real big question. Will they support us? Will they move on Thaiwan? (i doubt this, they don't have the amphibious assets to put troops ashore, and it is suspected that Thaiwan has nukes too, not something that you want to find to be true the hard way!). As i have posted previously though, they do business with the ROK to the benefit of both, and want that to continue, and Kim Jong Il just may be crazy enough to launch one at Bejing if his back is against the wall.

I was unaware of much of that information. (38) My senses tell me that once Saddam's regime is gone and we feel relatively comfortable regarding the security of Iraq we will start to spend the political capital necessary to resolve the N. Korean problem. While I believe the case against N. Korea will be driven by more contemporary issues the facts you provided should certainly be part of our case against N. Korea.

The main problem i see in our future is logistical. Those units in Iraq will have to be rested, refurbished, and refitted, (assuming that they are not tied up with years of "occupation duty"). We have neither sufficient combat power to project, nor the rapid deployment capability to get what we do have to a certain point quickly. Rumsfeld's comments about being able to fight a two-front war are pipe dreams. Maybe we could do it if we took every cargo ship, airliner, and activated all Reserve and National Guard formations in the country, And took veterans my age (mid to late 40's) and younger who would only need a refresher basic (i'm still in decent shape).

We should not be so "doom and gloom", because in the final analysis, God is STILL sovereign over His Universe. i am actually optomistic, because i see it ending differently than in a big mushroom cloud. Look, the N. Korean Generals are not stupid, (else they wouldn't be generals), and can count just as well as we can. They know that they can only sustain operations for about 60 days given their logistical base, and they know how the conflict Must end. It would not surprise me to see one of those generals ensure that the "Dear Leader" dies from "acute Lead Poisoning" (rapidly ingested!), and they cut a deal with the allies as quickly as possible.

Again, thanks for facts that I was unaware of. I had heard that Russian Siberia was oil rich but unaware of the Sprately Islands. It puzzles me why Russia has not taken greater advantage of that resource. I can only guess that they are still developing these wells for production. I agree we have appeased N. Korea long enough and hope to see the screws start to tighten here very soon. Thanks for your service to our country.

Put simply, Capitol. Siberia is one of the most hostile environments on the Planet, second only to Antartica. There is virtually no infastructure, and the climate is hospitable only about three months of the year. The Russians have simply never had the money to exploit what is the world's biggest treasure house. Putin's reforms are stablising the government, so look for that to happen soon.

My service was no big deal, it was in the worst US army in history, the post-Vietnam army of Ford and Carter. It amases me the madness that a human being will tolerate.

43 posted on 04/02/2003 2:34:55 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (He must increase, but I must decrease)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson