A new religion is being created

July 31, 2008

Too many in the West are searching for meaning in the wrong places.  They have decided, a priori, to reject Christ (or at least not even give Him a chance).  Therefore they flock to fads that promise meaning: Global Warming, Al Gore (like John the Baptist who preaches repentance and points to the One) and now Obama (who as a blank slate gets projected to be the One)… after all didn’t Obama say that the oceans will stop rising if people elect him?

It really is more about the flock than Obama… and it is quite pitiful.  Once again the True Savior is rejected for a political savior (think Barrabas).  He is right in front of us calling to us, but is neglected and rejected…  a new religion pops up in its place again… with its own rules for salvation (recycle, drive a hybrid, change your lightbulbs, use mass transit, protest, watch a stupid movie, and now vote Obama)…  It is not about Obama so much as following the rules of the new religion.

You know the main topic of conversations at neighborhood parties and other adult parties here where I live: what “green” things people have done.  One neighbor talks about switching to green power—supposedly all the power in her house comes from wind energy (what happens when the wind does not blow).  Another neighbor spends a ton to put solar panels on—good for him but not feasible for most of us.  Another neighbor buys a hybrid car… These days keeping up with the Jones’ means outgreening the next person.  The individual acts are fine and well but they are a symptom of something that is repulsive… a new kind of stepford wives where one does not dare throw an aluminum can in the trash without feeling guilty or in fear of being observed… it’s a kind of inquisition atmosphere…

Instead of the freedom offered through Christ people chose bondage to a new set of rules like the 10 commandments but all green.  So go ahead and neglect the widow living next to you as long as you drive a hybrid and have energy efficient windows installed in your house.  Love your neighbor does not require actually loving your neighbor but recylcing and keeping your carbon count down (to save the planet)… it also means people think they are actually saving the planet through these acts…. when real salvation cannot be earned or achieved but granted to us by God through Christ… it is a trap and a form of bondage, even while green actions are fine and good on their own… but all together this is a religion that distracts from what we are really called to do: love our neighbors and make disciples of Christ and bring people to a salvation that is by grace not deeds—true freedom.

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Netroots: Will he pull out in time?

July 21, 2008

Now that Obama is seeing the results of the surge during his trip to Iraq, the netroots have to be nervous. Will Obama—if he wins—pull out in time? Or will he pull troops out based on conditions on the ground allowing the possibility of combat troops remaining for longer than 16 months? My guess is that he will further nuance his position and say something like, “if we continue to have the success we are seeing now due to the surge, we will pull out in 16 months?”

The netroots must be as nervous as girl who agreed to get in bed with her boyfriend on the promise that he would “pull out in time.” The netroots “got in bed” with Obama instead of Hillary mostly because he agreed to pull out in time and Hillary didn’t. Of course Obama also gave them tingles up their legs providing further incentive.

He might also parse his words and redefine “residual forces” and “combat troops” to mean anything he wants at anytime and to mean the same thing when he wants. He gets to be right no matter what he says and does.

I wouldn’t get in bed with him based on any of his promises—even if I was a girl.

Results of the war in Iraq

June 11, 2008

Hat tip to Ed at Hot Air: The Guardian has an article today on the defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Looking at this article and other news, it seems the long-term result of the war in Iraq is the following:

(in no particular order)

It deposed a dictator who was a threat to the region and his people and a supporter of terrorists;

It drew al Qaeda in a big way into Iraq where we could kill them far away from our own civilian populations;

It led to the discredit of al Qaeda and their ideology by defeating them and exposing their tactics as the wrong way for the entire Islamic world;

It allowed the development of a 3rd way of political organization in the Islamic world that shows signs of promise (the 3rd way is representative government vs. secular or religious dictatorships—the 1st and 2nd ways).

It allowed Sunnis (and Shias) the opportunity to kill al Qaeda members with joy further discrediting them and their ideology and provided the opportunity for grassroots level Iraqis to take control over their own lives and decide for themselves to invest in a new Iraq.

It allowed a model of actual cooperation and peace to develop between Shia and Sunni (although it came after a local war and thousands of dead Iraqis to get there, but that’s better than another regional war between Iraq and Iran that would kill millions).

It created an environment where Islamic scholars and leaders around the world finally now have the courage of their convictions to speak openly against al Qaeda’s ideology (after they saw what side was winning in Iraq and Afghanistan);

It provided further evidence that kicking al Qaeda’s butt is better than kissing it.

It may make Bush look like a genius looking back in 20 years.

Updated 16 June 2008 with a list from a friend on the ground in Mosul working with a PRT:

– Within Iraq, it opened the doors for technical advancement in science and social structure;

– Within Iraq, it established the mechanism for shared (between national and local level) budgeting and funding of governmental functions;

– Within Iraq, it has created a dynamic, well trained and equipped and capable police and Iraqi armed forces.

– Within Iraq, it has established the only possible solution/approach for Middle East peace;

– Within Iraq, it has initiated a mechanism for a (true) united national identity.

Updated 27 June 2008:

Gerard Baker in the Times of London article today makes many of the same points…  Al Qaeda on the run, their ideology being marginalized within the Muslim community etc.  Worth reading (hat tip to Hot Air)

King Obama

March 5, 2008

March 2008

While McCain is familiar and his record is fairly clear, Obama is a Rohrshach Test: what you see really reflects your inner desires rather than reflecting Obama himself.

I see a similarity to when the Israelites—not satisfied being ruled by judges—demanded a king. They were not satisfied with God as King ruling from heaven with judges to advise on the ground. Security concerns and other reasons led people to want a king and strong, centralized rule.

It seems that many Obama enthusiasts really want a King… someone who can, through proclamation, make new laws and start new programs. This is the way he talks… as if there will be no politics if he is president. Just elect him and all the politics will go away and everything he promises will come to pass. These are not powers of a president, but an absolute monarch. It is naive. It is dangerous. It is naive because our system does not give absolute authority and dangerous that so many want Obama to have these powers.

Too many Americans want a King… meaning a federal government with many more central powers… to push through a lot of grandiose and expensive liberal ideas… on the basis that they are for the good of all of us (at least those who are not rich)… they don’t feel the need for checks and balances as long as Obama is president.

Obama is our country’s Rohrshach Ink Blot and enthusiasm for him reflects very un-American desires.  We remember that the left admires Europe so much with its centralized power and history of monarchy. We would never say directly we want a king but the Ink Blot tells us otherwise.

Let’s Stay United For the Good of the Country

May 18, 2007

ALLAHPUNDIT (Hot Air) writes about the immigration debate helping Democrats win in 2008. In my opinion, this danger comes from potentially splitting independents off from the coalition that put Bush back in office in 2004.

What convinced many independent/neocons—who voted for Democrats in 2000 (remember Al got the popular vote)—to vote for Republicans in 2004 was unity over the war. We were mugged by reality on 9/11 and have not yet let continuing violence or opinion polls sway us back to Democrats.

Many of us are not strongly invested in the immigration debate apart from better border security. There may be a variety of acceptable ideas to this group about what is done with the 12 million illegal aliens here now apart from sending them all back (like serving in the military).

My point is that this group is not really invested in the argument over whether such and such bill is really providing ‘amnesty’ or not. Making too much of this (vs. border security) simply reinforces the stereotype of Republicans as kneejerk “meanies” and racists. This was an appeal of Democrats before 9/11—that they are nice (even if naive). And given the distance from 9/11, pushing this ‘amnesty’ argument gives the Democrats the popular vote again and our biggest concern over everything else: a Commander in Chief who wants to surrender.

I think the unifying argument that wins is strong border security + strong prosecution of the war (no surrender).

Perhaps taking the position of having no immigration bill, until adequate border security is in place, is the best approach for the country and the best chance of having a “No surrender” president. in 2008.

Let’s Just WIN… Okay!

January 20, 2007

Once you commit, you leave your doubts behind and focus on winning. We do not need to surrender. We can win if we have patience and continue to adapt when things are not working. War is always a battle of wills. Once we commit, we decide we will never surrender. Our will shall not falter. At least mine won’t. Will yours?

Why can’t today’s Democrats get this? We can’t return to the past before the war. We have only one choice now: win.

We all need a new WIN button like we had in the ’70s. Whip Insurgents Now!

Creating Dependence?

January 19, 2007

Today, Lee Hamilton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that with the planned surge in Baghdad, “you delay the date of completion of the training mission, you delay the date of handing responsibility to the Iraqis. You delay the date of departure of U.S. troops.” Why are democrats all of sudden worried about our government creating dependency—the idea that increasing the number of troops in Baghdad will only make the Iraqi Army more dependent on us and prevent them from stepping up? Why ‘welfare’ reform overseas but no worries about creating dependency at home? Perhaps the ‘dependent’ class in Iraq doesn’t vote for Democrats, but the one at home does. Hypocrisy.

Which ‘ism’ is it important to address?

January 19, 2007

Many blogs and opinion articles have provided the opinion that critics of the surge really want America to lose because they have ‘Bush derangement syndrome’, and any win for America is a win for Bush. Or, the critics may want America to lose to hasten the country’s return to humility.

Another reason for being against the surge and a last try at winning, in my opinion, is that the careers of many on the left are focused on addressing ‘isms” other than militant extremism: racism, civil liberties-ism, anti-capitalism, poverty, health insurance for all, global warming-ism, etc. Since 9/11 they are angry that we are devoting so much attention to ‘terrorism’ or ‘militant extremism’, rather than their pet ‘isms.’ I think it is a deep-seeded psychological need of many on the left to get back to our ‘holiday from history’ of the 90s and focus on the their ‘isms.’

Many on the left seem to believe that there is no real danger from leaving Iraq; that there is no terrorism fight there in anyway at all—it’s only sectarian violence created by us . Let’s pretend that terrorism is only a reaction to America’s aggression and therefore if we just stop all will be well. Let us pretend that terrorism is a fleeting danger and that, for example, the administration’s surveillance efforts of Al Qaeda contacts with Americans are a greater threat (‘civil liberties-ism’).

I believe we are facing the great ideological struggle of our time. That among the many ‘isms’, militant or muslim extremism is the most important to address. Many on the left resent this and therefore chose to minimize it and any difficult efforts to address it (such as the surge).

It is not surprising, therefore, that Speaker Pelosi would bring out the global warming panel idea now. She won’t de-fund the surge and placates her base by turning Congress’s focus back to the ‘isms’ they care about (such as global warming-ism)—certainly not terror-ism.

Is it only a matter of Iraqi will?

January 18, 2007

There has been a lot of discussion lately about strategy/tactics/methods in Iraq. There is still little clarity or confirmation of the objective in Iraq on the part of “surge” critics. Discussion of strategy/methods should begin with each person’s clarification of their objectives.

It is clear that the troops want to win. A loss would be devastating to the military and officer corps—as it was after Vietnam. I want a win, no matter how long it takes. I define ‘win’ as the administration does in terms of a government that is representative of its people, a friend of the west, and not a sanctuary for terrorists/extremists. If at first we don’t succeed (and obviously we have not), try and try again. We need to use our minds to figure out how to win, instead of giving up because the task is daunting or our base wants us to.

However, even among critics that seem to have a “win” objective, they assume that it is only a matter of will on the part of the Iraq government. Thus, removing our troops and putting more pressure on the Iraq government would make sense and the surge would be wrong if true. This should be the key debating point. Is the lack of current progress primarily a matter of will on the part of the Iraq government? I agree it is in part, but that this is an insufficient explanation. The troops also seem to disagree that the lack of security is only due to a lack of will on the Iraqi side.

Those who think the surge as worth trying, need to continue to make this point: lack of security is the main impediment to creating the political will, and that Iraq is not ready to create a good security environment in Baghdad on its own. Pulling our troops out of Baghdad is not the answer; rather than create an incentive for Iraqis to provide security, it will likely provide the incentive toward increased sectarian identity—the greatest threat toward winning. We need a new “WIN” button: Whip Insurgents Now.

Still a Neocon

January 18, 2007

While Neocons are chided for being naive in their methods, I still hold to the main objectives of supporting democracy and freedom as the best answer to extremist ideologies. I do believe we are in the great ideological struggle of our time. There is a lot of room for discussion, for how forward leaning and active we are in promoting these goals. This blog’s purpose is to support the goals of the Neoconservative movement with an openness to critical thinking about methods.

Update: Neo-NeoCon writes better than I can:

Democracy, its spread, and the neocons (Part I).

Neocons believe that the spread of liberal democracy–democracy with safeguards for human rights and liberties–would be of general benefit to the US, to the citizens of the countries involved, and to the world.

Although I’m sure there are some exceptions, most neocons also believe that the spread of liberal democracy to countries that have not known it before, or that knew it only briefly and/or erratically, is neither inevitable nor easy. But they believe it is possible rather than impossible.

Contrary to the notion of some critics, however, neocons neither prefer nor require that such transformation to democracy be accomplished by force–a peaceful evolution, relatively sudden or relatively gradual, is far superior. However, neocons are unwilling to rule out force under certain circumstances. A circumstance that could justify the use of force would be a country or leader constituting a serious threat to the US or its allies, one that doesn’t appear containable by other means. Neocons most definitely do not advocate warring on nation after nation for the sole purpose of installing democracies…

…But there’s no denying that the present form of liberal democracy in both Germany and Japan are direct results of their defeat in war, and a subsequent occupation and rebuilding effort spearheaded by the US. So it’s at least possible, under certain circumstances. (14 Feb 2007)