Great name for this coffee house in Port Townsend WA.
Mass conversions to Christianity will not save the world unless it is a type of Christianity that transforms the ethical life of the believer. This transformation does not happen automatically.
The Washington Post ran an interesting article about a recent study by the Rand Corp that shows the problems with a “war on terror.”
The Bush administration’s terrorism-fighting strategy has not significantly undermined al-Qaeda’s capabilities, according to a major new study that argues the struggle against terrorism is better waged by law enforcement agencies than by armies.
The study by the nonpartisan Rand Corp. also contends that the administration committed a fundamental error in portraying the conflict with al-Qaeda as a “war on terrorism.” The phrase falsely suggests that there can be a battlefield solution to terrorism, and symbolically conveys warrior status on terrorists, it said.
“Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors,” authors Seth Jones and Martin Libicki write.
“In most cases, military force isn’t the best instrument,” said Jones, a terrorism expert and the report’s lead author.
The current war on terror has not disabled al-Qaeda. In fact, al-Qaeda has been more successful since September 11 than it was before.
Addressing the U.S. campaign against al-Qaeda, the study noted successes in disrupting terrorist financing, but said the group remains a formidable foe. Al-Qaeda is “strong and competent,” and has succeeded in carrying out more violent attacks since Sept. 11, 2001, than in all of its previous history.
If military solutions don’t work, what should we do?
The authors call for a strategy that includes a greater reliance on law enforcement and intelligence agencies in disrupting the group’s networks and in arresting its leaders. They say that when military forces are needed, the emphasis should be on local troops, which understand the terrain and culture and tend to have greater legitimacy.
In Muslim countries in particular, there should be a “light U.S. military footprint or none at all,” the report contends.
“The U.S. military can play a critical role in building indigenous capacity,” it said, “but should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim societies, since its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment.”
One of the reasons we love the Olympics is viewing stories of triumph against overwhelming odds in sports as a metaphor for life. Sometimes that metaphor is all to real.
Lopez Lomong has been chosen to carry the US flag in the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Lomong, born in Sudan, was abducted by Sudanese soldiers when he was 6. He escaped and ran to Kenya where he was lived in a refugee camp. At age 16 he was relocated to the United States.
I highly recommend listening to the NPR story about Lomong here. His story is both a celebration of human triumph, and a reminder of the continuing tragedy in Darfur/Sudan.
Note: China is an ally of the Sudanese government. Lomong’s selection as the US flag carrier is a great exmple of surbversive resistance against the Chinese government’s oppression of reporters who speak against Sudan.
With the start of the 2008 Summer Olympics today, I encourage you to make an intentional effort to pray daily for human rights in China.
China was awarded theses Olympic Games with the promise that it would greatly improve human rights in its country. But instead of getting better, things have actually gotten worse.
In the run-up to the Olympics, the Chinese authorities have locked up, put under house arrest and forcibly removed individuals they believe may threaten the image of “stability” and “harmony” they want to present to the world.
“By continuing to persecute and punish those who speak out for human rights, the Chinese authorities have lost sight of the promises they made when they were granted the Games seven years ago,” said Roseann Rife, Asia-Pacific Deputy Director at Amnesty International.
–Amnesty International Report
Would you join me each day of these Summer Olympics in praying for the protection of the human dignity of ever person?
6.7 billion people …
Top 1 billion … consumes 32 times the bottom 1 billion
Top 1 percent … owns 40% of the wealth
Top 5 percent … owns 70% of the wealth
Top 20 percent … earns 83 times more than the bottom 20 percent
Since 1950, the global economic output has increased by 600%. But 80% of the gains have been shared by 20% of the population.
The rich share in the gross national product. The poor share in the gross national destruct.
The video to Nickelback’s “If Everyone Cared” was played in our Worship Gathering this morning. A great song with an even better video. I love the way they overlay stories of people who made a huge difference in the world.
Take a look if you haven’t seen it yet.