More Sandals on the Ground: A Buddhist Methodist Solution in Afghanistan

“An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.”—Thomas Paine  

I admit that for me, to pray for our Minority President and his generals and their approach to Afghanistan– —to meditate such that I can think of them and their plans without losing my peace—this presents  a Mt. Everest- size challenge.  Nevertheless, as a practicing Buddhist Methodist, this is my challenge. read more

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Nobody “Won” in Mosul

Recently, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi flew into the tragically besieged city of Mosul and declared “victory” over ISIS.  Here’s a  photo of what Mosul looked like after this “victory.” 

Does anybody ever “win” an earthquake?  How do you win an orphanage fire? Who wins when the senior center collapses? Here’s a very simple observation: nobody ever “wins” a war of destruction, a war conducted with weapons. read more

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EVERY Air Strike Is a War Crime

Hearing about the thousands of US air strikes that have not been reported— (even the airstrikes that have been reported are tragic and sad)– I wrote and posted this today on my Dads Against Martyr and Military Mindsets (DAMMM) site.  We can’t pretend such air strikes– reported or not– are legal, or moral or make sense in any way whatsoever.

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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Recent Polar Vortex: National Media say, “It could happen.” 

 

“Our faithful soldiers were behind the recent polar vortex that let the  infidels in North America freeze their asses off,” a spokesman for ISIS claimed from his secret hideout in an anonymous Algerian Starbucks with free wifi.

“Sacrificing their own lives, two brave Muslim Eskimos stole two trucks belonging to the oil companies and drove them directly into the Arctic jet stream, causing the stream to loop southward and thus bringing the record breaking low temperatures across the entire infidel country,” the spokesman said. When asked about the fact that some Muslims were among those who froze their asses off, the spokesman said, “Allah understands. They will be warmed up when they get to heaven.”

National Media-—from Fox News to the New York Times to the Des Moines Register—all agreed, “it could happen,” and so printed the ISIS claims as if they were real news.

The recent claim of the ISIS controlled Polar Vortex comes on the tailwind of the claim that ISIS was behind the recent Berlin Christmas tragedy. “Just because the high school dropout, Anis Amri, the crazy man who drove a truck into the Berlin crowd had a personal history of drunkenness, repeated theft, prison, and setting fire to his own lodging, just because his last words were “poliziotti bastardi” — police bastards. that doesn’t mean he wasn’t one of our faithful soldiers,” the spokesman wrote.

The ISIS spokesman continued. “In fact, anything bad that happens to anybody anywhere in the world —anybody who isn’t one of us–  when something bad happens, we made it happen,” the spokesman continued.

“It could happen,” the national media people said again. “So if they claim responsibility, we’ll report it. What could go wrong with stoking the fires of Islamaphobia? Giving ISIS more power than it actually has. And besides, fear and loathing generates ad clicks, and sells newspapers.”

“Is this fake news?” A 6th grader from Burlington, Idaho asked.

“What do you mean by ‘fake’?” a national media spokesman asked back, seeming a bit miffed at the implication.

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American Sniper in Iraq

Came across a beautifully crafted review of that sad new movie, American Sniper  by an actual American Sniper in Iraq. I posted it on my website, Dads Against Martyr and Military Madness, which you can read here.   Let’s war no more.

 

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Let’s DON’T Help the Syrian Rebels

(This is a recent post I wrote for my DAMMM website)

    Let’s help the Syrian people instead.

    And simultaneously bring a stimulus to the U.S. economy.
    What we do is drop into Syria a billion dollars’ worth of I-phones and Androids, another billion or two of the 2011 cars not yet sold by Ford and General Motors, and a half a billion or so each of Dell and the Hewlett Packard computers. We could also drop a billion dollars or so worth of grain and food surpluses from Cargill, Con-Agra and Kraft. We also drop a half a billion bucks worth of the about to be outdated Windows software from Microsoft. We could make it an international effort by buying up several Walmart distribution centers and dropping the whole lot of Chinese made products.
   All of this would be much less expensive, and much more practical and compassionate than if we were to offer military aid to the Syrian rebels, particularly the disorganized ragamuffins who call themselves the Free Syrian Army. Aiding any group that is taking up arms against the obviously heartless, bloody and ruthless Assad regime would only intensify and prolong the killing, prolong the bloodshed. Such military aid would be both impractical and unethical, immoral, as opposed to the more humane approach offered above.

    We’re only half joking here. And we are not being naïve. We desperately want to help others in bringing a quick end to the horrors ongoing in Syria, where over 18,000 men, women and children have died at a result of the uprising, and over a million people displaced from their homes. How best to do this?

    Hilary Clinton has promised $25 million in “non-lethal” communication gear to the rebels, which can only increase the violence. (What else are the rebels going to communicate about?)

    Although not mentioned much in the mainstream press, there is a widespread urge toward non-violent resistance amongst the Syrian people that Ms. Clinton’s offer does little to support. One of the most dramatic expressions of this urge toward non-violence happened earlier this year when a young female Syrian refugee worker, Rima Dali stood outside the Syrian parliament with a banner that read, ‘Stop the killing, we want to build a country for all Syrians.” She poured red and white paint over her body. Arrested and released four days later, she continues to be a spokesperson for the non-violence movement.

    “The government wanted to push people into violence because that’s their game and they don’t know how to deal with nonviolence,” Ms. Dali said.

    Military aid to the Syrian rebels is currently being offered by very non-democratic governments such as Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, and outside religious groups hoping to make Syria the next battleground. “The situation is no longer in the hands of Syrians. We are pawns in a big game,” said Youssef Abdelke, a leading Syrian artist.

    The U.S. has a long history of playing such games, and attempting to apply military solutions to the world’s human problems. In this new millennium we need more and more voices speaking out to break that sad direction in U.S. foreign policy. Let’s don’t supply military aid to Syrian rebels. Let’s offer real aid, and real hope for an end to the bloodshed, to the Syrian people.

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