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Posts Tagged ‘war’

I can’t read the guy’s mind, of course, but after the initial, natural response of “Yeah, I got it goin’ on,” I’m thinking this is what President Obama must’ve really been thinking upon hearing that he’d won the Nobel Peace Prize

Dang it! It’s a great honor and all, but I really don’t need this right now. I’ve got wars in Afghanistan and Iraq—not to mention nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea. Man, don’t they know I’ve still got health-care reform and the economic downturn to figure out at home? And on top of that, this will just be more fodder for all the haters who want to see me fail no matter what. Couldn’t they have put me on the list for 2017?

Well, at least that’s what I would’ve been thinking if I were in his shoes.

I also was shocked to hear the news this morning that Obama had won the Peace Prize. Clearly, he has yet to accomplish anything concrete that would naturally point to his selection. However, I do agree in part with Fareed Zakaria’s take over at CNN.com that this is more of an award to America—a challenge and encouragement to us (and the world) to pursue the high rhetoric of hope and international cooperation that Obama has advocated.

What’s more, the award is also a recognition of what happened in the U.S. last November when we elected Obama. It’s a salute to America’s ability to finally rise up to the ideals of equality, freedom, and strength through diversity that it was founded on. I think if our country is truly serious about living up to those ideals, we will ultimately prove the Nobel committee members to have been correct in their decision, whether we like Obama or not.

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Did anyone else hear the NPR story this morning about how heroin and opium addiction are destroying Afghan families? Sadly, even mothers and their young children are being lured into the grip of these drugs. An excerpt from the report:

“When I smoke this, I don’t experience any unhappiness. My nerves calm down. If I don’t do this I go crazy,” says Karima, an addict who is the mother of six children. She shares her home with her addicted parents and other relatives in a poor hillside neighborhood in Kabul. 

Her young children suffer ill effects of being bathed by opium and heroin smoke since birth. They do not attend school. The oldest is Fahima. At 12, she is the size of a child half her age. She has big brown eyes and bald spots on her head from malnutrition.

Fahima is the one her mother sends out to buy drugs to stoke her habit. “My mom nags me to go get hashish and opium so she can be happy. If she doesn’t use it, she gets angry and hits us all,” Fahima says.

The soaring rates of drug abuse are driven in part by Afghanistan’s widespread unemployment and social upheaval under the Taliban and the U.S.-led war, begun in 2001. Another factor is the flood of returning Afghan refugees from Iran, many of whom became heroin addicts there.

And fueling it all is an overabundance of opium and heroin in Afghanistan, the world’s largest cultivator of poppies in the world.

The addicts say that heroin is a cheap way to forget their miserable existence.

My wife and I were both quiet after listening to this report. We were particulary saddened by the reporter’s final description of the 12-year-old Fahima. 

Please join me in praying for the situation in Afghanistan, especially for the innocent lives that are being devastated by the side effects of war and oppression.

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I’ll admit that I’m a bit slow in understanding all the details of the current Israeli-Gaza conflict that’s tearing apart the Middle East and causing the deaths of countless innocent men, women, and children. I know the bloody history and understand that Israel must defend itself. And what’s more, as an American evangelical, I know the expected response is for us to automatically side with Israel. But, as always, there’s more than one side to the story. And in this case, people who have nothing to do with the central conflict have become the primary victims of the violence. So, as Christians, how are we to think about this thing?

I’m serious about that last question. I’d really like to hear from you regarding your thoughts on this issue. If there are articles, books, blog posts, etc. that have been particularly helpful to you in sorting out this issue, please share your recommendations here. I, for one, need to brush up on the history and its relationship to the present crisis. For instance, I found the perspective in this op-ed from Wednesday’s New York Times to be very informative.

For you strong supporters of Israel out there, please don’t take this post the wrong way. I’m not anti-Israel; I’m genuinely trying to make sense of this thing. So, I look forward to your suggestions for resources.

In many ways, I feel like Glenn Loury in this Bloggingheads.tv clip—shocked, saddened, exasperated. I know how I feel, but how should I be thinking? And, more important, how exactly should we be praying for peace in this situation?

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