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Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Policy’

Ruth_and_Naomi_Leave_Moab

Ruth and Naomi Leave Moab, 1860, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872).

Up to this point, most of this series on immigration has been destructive. I have examined immigration stances of various groups – secular and religious liberal, secular and religious conservative, Roman Catholic, globalist – and found them wanting. With this installment, Lord willing, I intend to being building the Reformed, Biblical case for immigration.

The Principle of Free Movement

One error nearly all participants in the immigration debate get wrong is the purpose of borders. As John Robbins pointed out when questioned about immigration, the purpose of borders is to separate rulers, not people, form each other. It’s not the job of governments to tell people where they are to live.

On the immigration restrictionist side we see this misunderstanding represented by the desire to build walls and enact ever tighter immigration laws.

On the open borders side, men who support mass immigration fail to understand that the principle of free movement does not obligate the people of the receiving country to foot the bill for people who wish to come. Immigrants are responsible to pay their own freight. Further, many open borders advocates take the position they do, not because they are interested helping people attain life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but to subvert nations and push a globalist agenda.

The idea of free movement of people can be traced to the Old Testament. For example, when Abraham was called by God to leave Ur of the Chaldees for Canaan, he did not require a passport or any sort of governmental document. He and his family simply up and left. He did not have to negotiate a byzantine bureaucracy to do so.

Likewise when Jacob left to visit Laban. He simply left and went to live with his extended family in another country.

When Jacob was old during the famine, his sons travelled to Egypt to buy grain without any hindrance mentioned in Scripture. Late he and his whole family moved to Egypt.

In the law of Moses, the Israelites were consistently enjoined to welcome the stranger, because they themselves were strangers in Egypt.

On the other hand, restrictions on free movement and deportations were characteristic of big-government imperial powers. For example, the Assyrians deported the population of the Northern Kingdom following the fall of Samaria in 722 BC. In like fashion, Babylon carried off the people of Judah in waves, the last talking place after the conquest of Jerusalem in 586 BC.

According to one source, the earliest known example of a passport was issued by the king of Persia. The account is found in the Book of Nehemiah. In chapter two of that book, Nehemiah requests and is given letters from the king to ensure his safe passage from the Persian capital of Susa to Jerusalem. That these letters served as the equivalent of a modern passport can been see from the words of Nehemiah, who reports that he “gave [the governors in the regions through which he passed] the king’s letters.”

In the New Testament, Acts 18 reports that Paul met a Jewish couple, Aquila and Priscilla, at Corinth. As verse 2 tells us, they were in Corinth, because they had been driven from Rome by a decree of the Emperor Claudius, who had ordered all Jews to leave the city.

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Kim Jong Un_Missile

North Korean dictator Kim John-un and one of his missiles.

The conflict between the US and North Korea, long simmering on the back burner, has in recent times threatened once again to come to a full boil, with the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump threatening to become a war of bullets and bombs and ICBMs.

In August, Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress lent his support to the war option, saying in an interview with the Washington Post
that God has given Donald Trump the go-ahead to “use whatever means necessary – including war…to take out Kim Jong Un.”

Jeffress justified his stance by appealing to Romans 13, which, he said, “gives the government…the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jonh Un.”

What are Christians to make of Jeffress’ statements? Do they comport with what the Bible teaches about war and foreign policy or not? Before exploring those questions, a little history is in order.

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F18

An F-18 takes off from a US aircraft carrier.

My apologies for the rather bland headline this week. I just couldn’t think of a catch title for this edition of the Review. Well, I’ll try to do better next week. And without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s stories.

Syrian Crisis Escalates

Perhaps the biggest story this past week was the downing of a Syrian government SU-22 jet by US F-18s from the aircraft carrier George Bush. The incident, which occurred Sunday 6/18, is said to represent the first time a US jet has downed a foreign manned aircraft since 1999.

The US has claimed that the jet was attacking fighters of the US backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), but, as Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams reported this week, this clam has been contradicted by the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights, which stated “sources confirmed that the warplane did not target the Syria Democratic Forces in their controlled areas.”

As Daniel McAdams pointed out, the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights is generally considered to be pro- US backed rebels. The group has even been cited the US government. As such, it is surprising for this group to contradict the storyline put out by the US.

The Syrian government claims that the jet, rather than attacking the SDF, actually was going after ISIS at the time it was shot down. If what Damascus says is true, it would be another piece of evidence backing the contention that the US, in fact, supports ISIS.

Although this may sound like a shocking claim, the logic of it is simple and compelling. The US and ISIS have a common goal in Syria, both want to overthrow Syrian president Bashar Assad. And if they have this common goal, would it be such a stretch to believe that the US would shoot down a Syrian government jet that was attacking ISIS?

Syria’s ally Russia reacted angrily, announcing it would no longer us a communication channel designed to prevent the targeting of US aircraft operating in Syrian airspace.

The big takeaway in all this is that the US and Russia took another step closer to war in the middle east, a place where the US has no legitimate security interests, but which could serve the powder keg that sets off a major regional or world war.

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North-Korea-condemns-US-for-ICBM-launch-from-California

North Korea expresed outrage after the U.S. Air force announced the successful launch of an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile, the Minuteman III, on Wednesday.  Photo by Ian Dudley/U.S. Air Force/UPI.

Long long ago, in a strip mall far far away, nerdy teenagers used to hang out in now almost mythical places known as video arcades.

 

For a quarter, you could zap space invaders, blow up asteroids, or play the part of some Italian plumber named Mario.

I know all this, you see, because I lived it. Yes, I was a first generation gamer, tokens in pocket, hanging out with my fellow freaks and geeks in the backroom of Baker Street Books – yes, believe it or not, the local bookstore had a game room – to see who could get high score on Gorf.

In an age of Xboxs, 60 inch flat panel monitors, and online gaming, I suppose all that sounds pretty quaint. But this was the golden age of the video arcade, and we had a blast.

One of the most popular games from this period was Missile Command. The goal of the player was to protect his cities from being nuked by using anti-ballistic missiles to shoot down the enemy’s incoming ICBMs. If you lost your cities, it was, in classic video game lingo, GAME OVER.

In retrospect, I suppose a game like that, inspired by the Cold War as it was, served to add a bit a levity to what was the deadly serious, ever present threat of nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union.

And speaking of the Cold War, all the headlines about North Korea and nuclear bombs this past week brought back memories of those bad old days when we were regularly treated to newscasts featuring stony faced Leonid Brezhnev, massive eyebrows and all, watching columns of Red Army soldiers, tanks and missiles pass before his reviewing stand in the Kremlin.

Those same headlines also got me to thinking about the foolishness of America’s interventionist foreign policy, and how intervention, once the decision is made to start it, can take on a life of its own.

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Trump_Syria_MissilesThis past week, what has it brought? Quite a bit and nothing good. At least that’s how it looks from where I sit. Among the gifts that came our way were a flip-flopping president, wars and rumors of wars, and the traditional IRS tax deadline.

Put Not Your Trust In Princes

The psalmist tells us, “Put not your trust in princes, not in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” Wise words those, and one’s that Christians would do well to heed when talking politics. And the words and actions of President Trump drove this point home this past week.

America First. That was a consistent motto of Trump the candidate.

This platform was not original with Trump. It hearkened back to the days prior to WWII when a movement by that name arose. The goal America Firsters was to keep America out of WWII.

In Trump’s case, it was a reference to the many ongoing conflicts the US has found itself in.

Trump made a number of excellent statements during the campaign about having better relations with Russia and ending America’s involvement in Syria.

Trump questioned NATO calling it obsolete. And he was exactly correct in doing so.

But this past week, Trump repudiated all this.

Late last week, on the flimsiest pretext, he lobbed 59 Cruise missiles at Russia’s ally Syria. This one act likely destroyed any hope of Trump ever repairing relations with Russia and embroiled the US deeper than ever in the Syrian conflict, a war which the US has no business fighting.

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Susan_Rice,

Susan Rice

The news came fast and furious this past week I seem to say that a lot, but the past seven days have been off the charts. Let’s take a look at it.

On Trump

It seems like longer than that, but it was just last weekend that alt-media superstar Mike Cernovich revealed that Obama administration official Susan Rice was the one who requested the unmasking of Trump transition team officials.

In March Trump sent and outraged tweet claiming that Obama “wiretapped” him, which prompted howls of protest from the mainstream media. Trump had no proof they said. What do they say now?

If one were to take the term “wiretap” in the strictest literal sense, then the revelations about Rice do not support Trump’s allegation. But if we understand “wiretap” as a general term for surveillance, then, yes, the story certainly does back up Trump.

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Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

– John Quincy Adams

Stay out of foreign wars. Time was when Americans, from then least of them to the greatest of them, understood this simple, Biblical maxim of foreign policy.

But beginning with William McKinley and the Spanish American War in 1898, America got into the vulgar business of empire. Over the following century, the language of war, once foreign to American patriots, became the nation’s native tongue.

I was born during the Vietnam war. As a nine year old, I recall watching the nightly news as a helicopter evacuated the last remaining personnel from US embassy in Saigon, signaling the end of US intervention there.

Seven years later there was the intervention in Grenada.

In October 1983, America was shocked to hear that 241 Marines were killed in their barracks by a suicide bomber driving a truck.

In the late 90’s as the Soviet Union went belly up, war hawks went into panic mode as talk of a “peace dividend” was in the air.

There were no more monsters. What’s an interventionist to do?

But never underestimate a globalist. Indeed, they are a determined lot.

And it wasn’t long before the found just what they were looking for in the person of former ally Saddam Hussein.

Gulf War I quickly followed.

Then came Somalia, the Balkans, Gulf War II, Afghanistan, Libya, and more drone strikes and covert interventions than I could begin to name.

All of it, naturally, in the name of defending “our freedoms,” which were daily being consumed by the burgeoning security state fostered by the same folks who brought us the wars.

Now as I write Thursday night, across my phone comes the headline, “Trump launches attack on Syria with more than 50 tomahawk missiles.”

The search for monsters once again has found its mark.


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