This article primarily contains responses to my July 31 article titled, “Why is the world so dangerous?” In that article I invited anyone with facts relative to this title to write me and I committed to include their pertinent facts which I am now doing.
The most frequent criticism was that I didn’t include the U.S. intervention in Iraq. For starters let’s not forget that 9/11 had just happened. Further the House voted by 296 to 133 and the Senate by 77 to 23 for a War Powers Resolution to invade Iraq. Please do not bring up the Boogeyman about President Bush deliberately using false information about weapons of mass destruction to get this overwhelming vote because that has NEVER been proven!
The second most criticism was that I am too partisan. Here I realize that my conservative political principles and Christian faith serve me well and were tested as a state legislator for 12 years on domestic issues. However, I do not have core principals that are as well tested in foreign affairs so think with me. Do we agree Vietnam was a mistake? I do, but I’m not so ready to give up on what the lives of 4,500 of our bravest may yet accomplish in Iraq. A foreign affairs expert who responded said of democracy, “It isn’t the first election after a democracy is established it is the second or third with a transfer of power that matters.” With Prime Minister Maliki agreeing to step down so his duly elected replacement can become prime minister we may just have that critical step that “matters.”
Continuing our group think, do we agree we cannot be sending troops all over the world to protect ourselves? What about agreeing we cannot be buying our “allies” using foreign aid? I hope we have 100 percent agreement that we must always defend our country from foreign invasion and terrorist attacks. This list primarily came from a respondent with solid Department of Defense expertise. He concluded his list, which I have abbreviated, with “protect and strengthen our economic and ethical bonds with our friends and allies.”
Sensing consensus on this list, perhaps we can agree with a respondent with excellent State Department expertise who said, “I would argue that more bipartisanship would strengthen our effectiveness in foreign policy.” If so, we’ve both taken a step to be more bipartisan.
My comments in regard to what I feel are significant foreign policy errors by the administration in regard to Israel evoked the greatest number of supporting opinions/additional facts. This comment is typical: “There is no room to negotiate. Israel is in a battle for its life. Hamas is fixated on Israel’s destruction. And America is on the wrong side, for the first time in our history.”
In the prior article, I said one of the reasons for the world becoming more dangerous was a weakening of our military. To this one respondent said that we spend more on our military than the next 15 countries combined. However, his numbers did show a decrease in the Department of Defense budget over the past several years.
I had a number of respondents citing the history of Muslims. It would be foolish to say of that history “so what!” However, nothing has dissuaded me from saying the number one secular answer to my question posed in the title of the prior article “Why is the world so dangerous,” is without a doubt the growth of radical Muslims! For those of you who want to stress that most Muslims are peaceful know that of the 1.2 billion Muslims an estimated 15 to 25 percent are radical, so on the low side there are 200,000,000 radical Muslims!
Even more to that point is a video response by Bridgette Gabriel to a young Muslim woman who tried to make that point which you can view at http://www.mrctv.org/videos/heritage-foundation-panelist-radical-islam. In summary, Bridgette pointed out that “German, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese atrocities totaled 142,000,000, killings while each had a peaceful majority. In each case this peaceful majority was irrelevant!”
I hope I’ve somewhat reflected, “the world would be a better place if all of us could understand each others’ history and humanity along with the agendas of those who fear such enlightenment” suggested by one respondent.
All of the above said the best advice since writing the original article came Sunday, when Dr Bill Conine preached on Psalm 46 and quoted Reformation leader John Calvin answering a question of how should a person live in times like these. Calvin said, “How a person lives ultimately depends on that person’s view of God.”
Jeff Brown is a retired state representative. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.