Posts Tagged ‘The Bible and Foreign Policy’

Joe Biden delivers a speech in Warsaw, Poland on 3/26/2022, in which he appeared to call for the removal of Vladimir Putin. Administration officials have denied this was Biden’s intent.

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger

  • Proverbs 15:1

“For God’s sake, this man [Vladimir Putin] cannot remain in power.”

So concluded American President Joe Biden in his Saturday speech in Poland.

Let Biden’s words sink in for a moment.  Here’s the President of the United States uttering words that could reasonably be interpreted as a declaration of war on a sovereign, nuclear-armed power. 

Growing up during the cold war, I well remember the constant tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.  But for all that, I don’t ever recall hearing the sort of threat that Biden uttered in his speech on Saturday.

Biden has held political office of one sort or another for about fifty years.  As a lawyer and as a politician he, of all people, should understand the importance of choosing the right words. 

It was King Solomon who penned the words “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Perhaps those words need to be tattooed on the forehead of Biden and his advisors, for they seem to have forgotten, or perhaps never learned them.

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Ukrainian tanks move into the city of Mariupol on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized his military to move into eastern Ukraine. Reuters.

“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

  • Matthew 7:12

In his essay “The Religious Wars of the 21st Century,” John Robbins wrote, “The conservative movement in the United States has abandoned the American (and Biblical) foreign policy of strategic independence pursued by our government since 1776 for a policy of global interventionism that has angered many foreign nations and peoples, most recently the Muslims.”

To our 21st century ears, the idea of conducting a foreign policy of “strategic independence,”, a foreign policy that avoids foreign entanglements, minds one’s own business, and treats other nations in the same way we’d like to be treated, sounds strange. 

Growing up as I did during the Cold War, I thought it was perfectly normal to have American troops stationed all over the world.  Germany, Japan, Korea, and many other nations all were occupied by American forces. 

Although I dreaded the idea of the military draft as a young man, had you asked me at the time I would have said I supported it as it was all about doing my duty. 

It was only later after I became a Christian and after I read the work of John Robbins, that I began to develop a Biblical view of foreign policy.

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Ghislaine Maxwell Is Finally on Trial!” by Philip Giraldi, The Council For The National Interest, 11/30/2021

Jonathan Pollard,” Wikipedia

9/11 Suspects: Dancing Israelis,” James Corbett, The Corbett Report, 9/11/2016

Israel accused of planting mysterious spy devices near the White House,” by Daniel Lippman, Politico, 9/12/2019

Biden administration blacklists NSO Group over Pegasus spyware,” by Drew Harwell, Ellen Nakashima and Craig Timberg, The Washington Post, 11/3/2021

Who Really Owns the ‘Holy Land’?” by Robert L. Reymond, The Trinity Foundation, June-July 2006

The Religious Wars of the 21st Century” by John W. Robbins, The Trinity Foundation, August 2006


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Foreign Policy_Syria2

Before and after in Aleppo.

The great law of morality ought to have a national as well as a personal and individual application. We should act toward other nations as we wish them to act toward us.

– Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States , 1850 State of the Union Address

Back during the 2012 Presidential campaign, I wrote a post critical of an article by Uri Friedman, who showed his utter disdain for candidate Ron Paul by accusing him of invoking the Millard Fillmore doctrine, which as the quote above indicates, is the application of the Golden Rule to foreign policy. Fillmore, notes Friedman, was “undistinguished” and “uninspiring” and self-evidently not worthy of emulation in any respect. Friedman goes on to write that Paul was both booed an laughed at when he presented his version of the “Golden Rule” approach to foreign policy on the campaign trail.

It is absurd to think that the Golden Rule has anything whatsoever to do with foreign policy, so opines Friedman. And not only is it wrong to suggest that it does, but it’s actually laughable. This we know because Millard Fillmore believed the Golden Rule was the standard for a proper policy and it’s just obvious that Millard Fillmore was a dunce, a boob and a fool. What is more, so are all those, such as Ron Paul, who follow him. That’s the sum of Friedman’s argument, who, as one writing in Foreign Policy, the house organ of the Council on Foreign Relations, could be said to be echoing the views of the American foreign policy establishment.

Perhaps if the accomplishments of America’s foreign policy establishment – dating back to the Spanish American War at the end of the 19th century, America’s leaders have rejected the nation’s original foreign policy of staying out of foreign wars in favor of a policy of interventionism – were more impressive, it would make sense to give ear to Friedman’s snarky dismissal of Fillmore and Paul. But after more than a century of foreign wars that seem only to set the stage for the next conflict, perhaps it’s worth asking just how much the sages at the Council on Foreign Relations actually know about foreign policy. It seems the this author that the answer is, not very much at all.


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