This month marked the 16th anniversary of the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan. With every day that passes, that conflict sets a new record in the category of “longest lasting American war.” And for many of these 16 years, we as a nation have simultaneously carried on other conflicts, as […]Read More
War and Peace
President Obama’s recent speech at the National Defense University was billed as a major speech on US counterterrorism policy, especially on drones and Guantanamo. The New York Times was among those organizations that billed it as a significant change. Following the speech, debate arose over the true extent of that shift. Then came the Snowden release, […]Read More
In the blockbuster 1999 movie The Matrix, released on the eve of the new millennium, Morpheus, the leader of a band of “freedom fighters” against an invisible totalitarian mind control system, offers the film’s young hero Neo a fateful choice. Neo can swallow a red pill which will take him […]Read More
In this post, Brethren minister Brian R. Gumm reflects on the political & eschatological vision of kingdom come in the movie version of Les Misérables, and suggests that violent revolution should not be conflated with righteousness and work for Christ’s peaceable kingdom.Read More
Review of “We Meant Well: how I helped lose the battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people” by Peter Van Buren
It strikes me that not all theology or theological nourishment can come from books catalogued under the rubrics of the Dewey Decimal system as such. Peter Van Buren in his narrative history of his year in Iraq serving with the United States State Department is one of those which might […]Read More
What do the widespread demonstrations against the anti-Islamic YouTube video “The Innocence of Muslims” teach us about the state of the world at this time in our history? Now that the hype has gone and the dust is beginning to settle around this episode it is a useful time to examine the lessons we can learn from the global Muslim protests against the film.
First, and foremost we need to once again make it unequivocally clear that the loss of innocent lives is to be condemned in the strongest terms. The depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in a negative and profane manner was a clear and deliberate provocation, but the sanctity of human life is a supreme value in Islam and nothing is worth the cost of a human life….Read More
About two years ago, the Arab World was stricken by a series of radical and overwhelming revolutions that left on its context, and seems to be going to leave on the entire world, an impact that is as indelible, profound and pivotal. I was personally fully engulfed and deeply personally […]Read More
We must guard ourselves against becoming complicit in regarding deaths of innocent Americans or Europeans abroad as being more tragic and senseless than the deaths and killings of innocent Iraqi, Afghani or Yemeni citizens. We should be expressing our outrage equally if not more, at the deaths and killings of the many men, women and children who have lost their lives violently at the hands of US and NATO forces in the ongoing illegitimate ‘wars of invasion’. Under international law those responsible for the mass killing of innocent people must be prosecuted, whether the wars are legal or not….Read More
The New York Times recently ran a story highlighting the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church opposes any international intervention in Syria to overthrow the current regime there. This news may have surprised many Western Christians who have viewed events in Syria as a conflict between forces of democracy and […]Read More
How fickle friendship can be. After all the years of close co-operation, the dinners out together, the help we provided, and the dirty work we did for them, its come to this.
Yesterday I was a reformist; today I’m a war criminal. Mubarak, Gaddafi, Ben Ali, Saleh, I feel your pain.Read More
From Police Bombing after WWI to Drone Attacks Today: An Ethical Reflection on Some Differences, and Similarities
Drone warfare also continues the attitude towards technology that has marked the history of aerial warfare, the attitude that we need just one more technical fix to make it work the way we think it should. The history of warfare in the twentieth century is replete with advantages gained with a new technology but these advantages did not last long. Should we assume that nowhere in the world is there a group of bright engineers trying to design and produce a counter to the drone? We do so at our peril.Read More