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September 27, 2009

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Shaun

This article reminds me of something my uncle, who is a southern Baptist preacher, would say. Don't get me wrong, I partly agree with this guy on his criticism of Obama. Obama has in my opinion walked into one strategic debacle after another and he seems hell bent on comforting our enemies and alienating our friends. However, some of his examples are horrible and I do wonder what principle he’s calling for when he talks about Israel striking Iran, but I'll get to that in a second.

First, this laughable quote: "If we have a pure ally in the world today, it is Israel." While I don't doubt that Israel and the States have some common ground and ideals, to think Israel is anything other than a self serving nation out to meet its own ends is dangerously naive. A good ally you say, tell that to the surviving family members of the USS Liberty. Our dear ally attacked this ship in broad daylight inflicting near 200 U.S casualties (do the research to learn more). Let us not forget the Israeli government still honors the surviving members of the "Lavon" affair where Israeli agents attacked Americans in Egypt and tried to blame the Egyptians to instigate us into war. Yup, good friends alright, I'd wager that if we withdrew our billions in foreign aid they would label us evil and renew covert terrorism against us.

In regards to my second comment about foreign policy. I do often wonder if there is such a thing as a Christian foreign policy. I have had many conversations about this with many people and even with my Uncle preacher, whom I dearly love, I get a whole myriad of answers. Does the word of God really justify any type of pre emptive action? Old Testament excluded you have a real hard time finding any kind of evidence to support any foreign policy outside of non-interventionism. Some will say America is doing God's will by defending "God's chosen people" aka Israel, I say BS. This issue get's real tricky real fast and short of writing a full research paper I can't address this fully but surely people can see the weakness in this John Hagee do or die for Israel approach.

I’ll conclude for now that I agree that Mr. Walker has sound logic on his criticism of Obama. I just don't understand why so many get infatuated with these minor powers that have little direct impact on our way of life. Who cares if Mr. A doesn't believe in the holocaust and hates Jews? What are we going to do, bomb his reactors, support a coup d’état (for the second time), and build an even greater hatred for us in a country that has Islamic roots going back to the 6th century? Outside of commerce and aid in times of disaster how many foreign policy expeditions have been successful for the Unites States? (I guess that depends on what your definition of success is :-) How many have the wisdom to see the ends of their ways? None. That is why traditional conservatism has always voiced we stay clear of foreign entanglements.

Shaun

Andrew

I flinched when I first saw the title "Ugly American" on a Marine Corps general's reading list. I read the book and it was great!

The book primarily covers the issue you are discussing above. The best diplomats and representatives of the United States are not the elected officials, bureaucrats or foreign service officers, but regular Americans. The regular U.S. citizen who lives amongst a foreign people who they truly love and pick to be amongst on their own is the best face of America.

The United States is truly hated for its politicians and high level bureaucrats, who tell half truths, don't necessarily love their own country or other countries and make petty decisions off of political calculations. Most foreigners believe since the U.S. elects officials that we condone them 100%; they don't understand that we have to vote from a select pool of candidates because of the power paradigm.

Walt

Shaun Said,...to think Israel is anything other than a self serving nation out to meet its own ends is dangerously naive.

Shaun, What is the primary, first and foremost, function of a nation? My answer, to protect its borders (followed by language and culture). WHy should Israel be anyting other than "self serving"; it is a matter of basic survival first. The enemies of Israel have been true to their word in the past and present. Their very existence is challenged every day by Iranian funded Hamas and Hesbolah, rocket attacks. I would expect any country that was surrounded totaly by enemies that wanted them all dead based only upon their lineage would be self serving. This is survival. Are we ready for the War of Gog and Magog (for you non-Bible thumpers the USA sits this one out. Iran and Russia versus Israel alone...Israel wins but not without a huge cost.)? With BHO in play it is shaping up quite nicely.

I do not want to live in the day where the US does not stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.

Shaun

Walt,

As always I appreciate your input to my reply and take what you say into consideration. I would first respond by saying that although I single Israel out several times in my note I am not particularly anti-Israel/Jewish and in fact understand and appreciate their situation. When you say any state is looking out for their best interests, I understand this to be the first and foremost goal of any state. We are not in disagreement here. The point where I fall into disagreement is when we (Americans) lift Israel into something higher than they are. First, let me make an observation from a Biblical standpoint. Who/what is Israel?

1. We know that God made several promises to the people named Israel in the Old Testament and I would bet that we believe God to keep his word.

2. This is where it gets tricky. Who/what is Israel? If I convert to Judaism am I somehow a child of God? What If I am an American born in Israel, am I now biblical Israel? What If I really am a pure seed of one of the twelve tribes do I inherit the promises made by God? If so what about Trotsky for example? What If I’m half Levite/half gentile? My basic point here is we Christians all too often make Israel(modern sate) out to be some blessed gift of God where If we don't support every one of their actions were committing some kind of sin (there are several verses in Romans used to support this). I believe Israel is just another state created by men. Granted, God has special plans for mankind and according to biblical prophecy (our best attempt at translation) Israel’s destiny is somehow intertwined. I just don't buy into this spiritual brotherhood Jews and Christians supposedly share. I treat a Jew/Israelite just like I would any other man.
Let me ask you a question Walt. You say you do not want to live in a day where Israel and the US stand shoulder to shoulder, why? Is this because you believe Israel and God have a special relation? If so, ask yourself what constitutes Israel in regards to my section 2. Then ask yourself at what lengths am I prepared to follow Israel. If Israel commits open genocide against Palestinians are they still children of God? What if they next decide Poland is the great Satan and want to preemptively strike them?
I know I’m ranting a bit so let me close with this. Is there such thing as a Christian foreign policy? How much need we concern ourselves with earthly matters? I for one believe “God’s chosen” are those who accept Christ as savior. I believe Israel is no more scared territory than Kurt Cobaine’s gravesite. I will pray for Israel and respect their sovereignty, but I just can’t raise them to an Idol like the John Hagee’s or the Jerry Falwell’s.

Shaun

*correction* where Israel and the united states don't stand shoulder to shoulder.

Shaun

Goodness. Someone pointed out another error in my post. In the last paragraph I meant sacred not scared.

Walt

Shaun,

First of all and most importantly in this day and age let me say I recognize Israel as a sovereign state, with a people of common heritage. I say this because they have documented historical deed to the property which they now inhabit. Many in the world believe they do not; that is the crux of the issue. Why do I support Israel?

You asked, "Is this because you believe Israel and God have a special relation?"

Whether I believe this or not my answer does not change. The God of the Bible does not ask us to act irrationally; we can make an easy case to stand with Israel without Biblical backing.

1) Israel is sovereign. We should stand shoulder to shoulder with all of our allies. Israel happens to be smack dab in the middle of the continent, "Shit for Brains," while other strong allies are not, such as the UK, Australia, Canada and so on. If the UK or Australia was getting rocket attacks daily should we back away? A friend is a friend some times you need them and sometimes you don't; they need us now just as the UK needed us during WW2.

2) Israel is a great trade partner and Americans have many interests over there. Against all odds Israel took a piece of land that would barely keep a herd of camels alive and turned it into a thriving vibrant land; a land that’s productivity the whole world has benefited from. Why? Their culture...

3) Their culture is similar to ours. We both hold the same basic structure of morality and virtue. The Jews raise their children to be respectful, productive and caring; that is their culture, and similar to how some of ours is and most of it was. This well organized culture with its foundation in a belief in God and the subsequent morality is the recipe for success. This success is exactly why they are and have been hated.

So there are three reasons without bringing up Biblical perspectives why we should stand by Israel. As a nation we must have principles and not just alliances of convenience. Israel needs us! They have offered to help us many times in the past. If China wanted Australia or Japan should we look away because it might be tough?

Lastly just as a curiosity, don't you thing the Biblical prophecy of the War of Gog and Magog is just a bit off the wall and a bit too close to home?
1

Philip France

Dear Andrew,

Welcome to the family! Your points are profound and I hope to see you post here more often.

To my dear friend Shaun, may I offer the following:

Mosaic law (the law of Moses) expired with the advent of Christ. In this you are correct, and in this is the invitation to your confusion. Please allow me to help you understand.

The laws of God, including Mosaic law, are immutable. Just like the law of gravity and the laws of physics. The Jews of today, of which I surmise very few of them are the actual descendants of the sons of Jacob and Isaac and Abraham, still honor the timeless principles of the Torah (the Pentateuch, or the five books of Moses and the Old Testament of the Bible).

This is Holy Writ and, as such, it is immutable. If you practice the law of God, you obtain the results of His promises relative to that law.

In Western and Christian theology, we believe and trust that the life and ministry (and subsequent death and resurrection) of Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled and transcended the law of Moses and rightly so. But please understand that the fulfillment and transcendence of Mosaic law did not negate these laws, which are immutable.

To simplify this point in our current geo-political perspective, please allow me to state the following:

The nation of Israel is the canary in the coal mine of Western society and social culture that is based on Judeo-Christian understanding. As Isreal goes, so goes Western culture and Judeo/Christian ideaology is next.

Rev. Falwell and Pastor Heagy (sp. ?) are/were Biblically correct to defend our nation's support for Israel. You should support them too.

Shaun, I consider you a dear friend, an intelligent man and a passionate human being. I implore you to consider my thoughts as from a man a bit more wise by life's experience and much hunger for learning... a trait that we mutually share but I have simply had moe time at it than you.

May God bless your precious heart and your desire for Truth.

Shaun

Philip,


Thank you for the kind words and the thought and time with your post. In regards to the subject of Israel I think there is a lot we have in common but there is a disconnect somewhere.. I'll think about what you said and reply when I have given it some thought.

Shaun

Robert

Good for you for remembering the Liberty. Too bad our government doesn't.

Robert

Yes sir! Israel is a great friend of the United States. Look at all the help they've given us over the years. That's one of the reasons things are going so well for us in the Mid-East. Let's send them more money and arms. They are great; really protecting America's interests in the world. Plus, it's a nice spot for all the Bible Friends of Israel nuts to go on holiday.

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