In a discussion on the Albert Mohler Show and from his Henry Institute weblog, Dr. Russell Moore defends the Israeli response. "I, for one, support Israel's response (so far) to the terrorist attacks against it. It seems to me to be well within the framework of Romans 13 for a state to defend itself against aggressive evildoers in this way," writes Moore.
Moore's view is restrained and reasonable compared to most of the callers to his show. It is clear that a Dispensational reading of Scripture vis a vis Israel is the majority report among Evangelicals sitting in the pews of our churches.
Moore, and his listeners, completely neglects the issue of proportionality. As Buchanan writes, Israel "is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian."
Pat's morality is obviously confused. He should talk to US United Nations ambassador, John Bolton. Commenting on the deaths of 8 Canadian citizens in southern Lebanon as a result of an Israeli strike, Bolton said, "It's simply not the same thing to say that it's the same act to deliberately target innocent civilians, to desire their deaths, to fire rockets and use explosive devices or kidnapping versus the sad and highly unfortunate consequences of self-defense." OK, just a second. What was the act that precipitated the most recent action by the Israelis? It was the kidnapping of two SOLDIERS by Hezbollah. Soldiers are legitimate military targets, civilians are not.
Meanwhile, numerous eggheads in "conservative" think-tanks are upset with the Bushies. Apparently they're not being quite aggressive enough. What we need, they say, is more war. Invade Syria, Iran, North Korea...blah, blah, blah. Newt Gingrich says, "We have accepted the lawyer-diplomatic fantasy that talking while North Korea builds bombs and missiles and talking while the Iranians build bombs and missiles is progress. Is the next stage for Condi to go dancing with Kim Jong Il?" Ken "Cakewalk" Adelman says, "What they are doing on North Korea or Iran is what [Sen. John F.] Kerry would do, what a normal middle-of-the-road president would do," he said. "This administration prided itself on molding history, not just reacting to events. Its a normal foreign policy right now. It's the triumph of Kerryism." From his perch at the Weekly Reader, Bill Kristol says that what's happening in the Middle East is "our war." "For while Syria and Iran are enemies of Israel, they are also enemies of the United States. We have done a poor job of standing up to them and weakening them. They are now testing us more boldly than one would have thought possible a few years ago. Weakness is provocative. We have been too weak, and have allowed ourselves to be perceived as weak." At least George Will is beginning to come around. In his column yesterday, he wrote, "The administration, justly criticized for its Iraq premises and their execution, is suddenly receiving some criticism so untethered from reality as to defy caricature. The national, ethnic and religious dynamics of the Middle East are opaque to most people, but to the Weekly Standard -- voice of a spectacularly misnamed radicalism, "neoconservatism" -- everything is crystal clear: Iran is the key to everything."
William Lind wonders if we are about to re-play the summer of 1914.
In political news, Ralph Reed took it on the chin in Georgia, dragged down by his connection with Jack Abramoff. Well, at least Ralph can go back to ringin' up the cash register. McPaper asks, "Will Christian right embrace — and support — one of its own?" Speaking of Sam Brownback's potential presidential run, SBC bigwig Richard Land says, "I love Sam Brownback. Sam Brownback is a great man, and Sam Brownback is a great senator. Whether he is a credible presidential candidate is up to Sam to prove." Brownback would like to apologize for slavery--and possibly open the till to pay reparations, he supports unlimited immigration, and seems prepared to send American troops into Darfur. To top it off, Richard Land says he's "a great man." Doesn't this give you some idea what's wrong with the "religious right?"
The war is going so well in Iraq that the Pentagon thinks we can leave--in 2016. Meanwhile, the civilian death toll in Iraq has climbed to 100 a day, with nearly 6,000 dying in May and June. Recall that this is a country 1/8 the size of the U. S. If you extrapolate the numbers, they become even more dire.