Category Archives: war

North Korea, Nukes, and President Trump The Prudential and Moral Considerations of a Just War

BreakPoint: North Korea, Nukes, and President Trump
The Prudential and Moral Considerations of a Just War

by: John Stonestreet & G. Shane Morris

The war rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. turned nuclear this week, literally. Thankfully, Christians have thought about these things before.

U.S. intelligence now believes that North Korea—currently under the rule of a despicable, evil, irrational dictatorship—has capability to mount a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Kim Jong Un has said he’ll never give up his pursuit of nuclear weapons, and just this week, he threatened attacks on the U.S. mainland and the
U. S. territory of Guam.

In response, President Trump warned that if these threats continue, North Korea will face “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Rhetoric aside, the President does face a very grave dilemma: how to prevent North Korea from following through on its threats. The prudential and moral considerations here are colossal. He and our entire national security team need our prayers.

What he doesn’t need is bad advice. One evangelical advisor made headlines saying that the president had been anointed by God to “take out” Kim Jong Un by “by any means possible.”

“By any means possible” is a Machiavellian response, not a Christian one. And I know Chuck Colson would have said so too.

Chuck, a former Marine Captain and advisor to President Nixon, was no pacifist. But he was a disciplined Christian thinker who talked frequently about “just war theory.” He knew the rich wisdom about war from those who had gone before was an antidote to hyper-emotional reactionism.

To give you a taste, here’s Chuck, from 2009:

Chuck Colson: For nearly two millennia, Christian thinkers starting with Augustine… have developed what is known as the just war theory. For a war to be seen as just, it must meet several conditions. It must be waged by legitimate authority. The cause itself must be just, as well as the intention behind going to war. War must be a last resort, waged by means proportional to the threat. We must not target non-combatants, and we must have a reasonable chance of success.

John: Let’s unpack this criteria. First, the intent of the war has to be just. Is preventing an irrational dictatorship from using nuclear weapons a just cause? Yes, but it raises other questions. Is a preemptive strike morally just? Chuck felt so in certain cases and he cited Christian precedent. But in the years after the preemptive invasion of Iraq, he admitted that hindsight showed the intelligence leading to the attack was faulty. So U. S. intelligence must be correct about the status of North Korea’s capabilities.

Second, for a war to be just, there must be a reasonable chance of success. That means success must be achievable, and it must be defined. In this case, is it the toppling of Kim Jong Un, or just removing his capability of producing and delivering nuclear weapons?

Third, is war a last resort? Are all other avenues closed? This is almost always the final hinge on which a just decision swings.

Fourth, we must not target non-combatants. A U. S. attack on North Korea should focus on their leadership and nuclear facilities. But we must also consider civilian cost to our allies. If North Korea has time to retaliate against an attack, experts warn of hundreds of thousands if not millions of South Korean, perhaps even Japanese, civilian casualties.

Fifth, is our response proportional to the threat? “Fire and fury like the world has never seen” is a vague answer to that question. Are we talking cruise missiles here, or tactical nuclear weapons?

As Chuck said back in 2009, these are tough questions for any leader. And he knew, having served in the White House at the side of a president.

So Christian, we must pray to the God of history and nations for wisdom for our leaders and for a just end to the evil regime in North Korea. And, in our words, whether we’re advising the President or own children about this situation, we must be thoughtful and morally considerate, not emotionally reactive.

Trump Bans Transgender People Serving in Military (Good for him )

It is good to have a President who knows the job of the military is to fight, and win wars, not to advance some group’s agenda. Here is the story.

Pastor Falwell speaks for, ( should ) for all Evangelical Pastors, and churches 

This video goes back awhile, but still it has a good message for us who call ourselves Evangelical followers of Jesus. 

video )

Nebraska Husker football players kneeling protest spurs ex-Marine to call for Memorial Stadium plaques honoring fallen Nebraskans

LINCOLN — A hotel sales manager and former Marine wants Memorial Stadium to truly memorialize fallen Nebraska soldiers.
Richard Zierke of Lincoln told the University of Nebraska Board of Regents that a plan never came to fruition in the early 1920s to put a plaque on the stadium to honor the Nebraskans who died in World War I.

Zierke, 65, told the regents he decided to make this push after three Husker football players knelt this season during the national anthem.

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Today December 7th a day which will live in infamy 

Today is December 7 – a day that President Roosevelt said would be “a date which will live in infamy.” On that fateful morning of December 7, 1941, America was attacked without warning. More than 2,400 Americans died and 1,100 were wounded. Our country was changed forever. This attack led us into war, and the citizens of America responded with courage and resolve. So it may be well to reflect on what took place and how we today…

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A missile strike kills the beloved clown of Aleppo

As the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tightens the noose on rebel-held enclaves in the city of Aleppo, its relentless shelling of civilian areas claimed yet another casualty. According to news reports, Anas al-Basha, a 24-year-old social worker who dressed as a clown to entertain children, died in a suspected regime or Russian missile strike Tuesday in the Mashhad neighborhood of eastern Aleppo.
Basha’s death was confirmed in a tweet by a man who identified himself as Basha’s brother:

According to the Associated Press, Basha chose to stay in the city and continue his work even as other members of his family, including his parents, left Aleppo. Samar Hijazi, Basha’s supervisor, recalled her slain colleague to the AP. “He would act out skits for the children to break the walls between them,” she said, adding that “all of us in this field [of child care] are exhausted, and we have to find strength to provide psychological support and continue with our work.”
Mahmoud al-Basha, who identified himself as Anas’s brother, lamented his passing in a Facebook post.
Anas “lived to make children laugh and happy in the darkest most dangerous place,” he wrote. “… Anas who refused to leave Aleppo and decided to stay there to continue his work as a volunteer, to help the civilians and give gifts for the children in the streets to bring hope for them.”

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Ruth Gruber dies at 105; journalist and author brought Jewish refugees to U.S. during WWII

When Ruth Gruber saw a report during World War II that 1,000 Jewish refugees were being brought to the United States, she rushed straight to her job with the Secretary of the Interior.
“I got rid of my breakfast and rushed to the office and said, ‘I have to see the secretary.’ I told him, ‘Somebody has to go over and hold their hands; they’re going to be terrified,'” Gruber said in a 2010 interview in the Sunday Telegraph of London.

That somebody turned out to be her, and as she accompanied the refugees to the U.S., she interviewed them, which became the basis of “Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America,” one of her many books but only one part of Gruber’s long, trailblazing life. The book inspired the 2001 television miniseries “Haven,” in which the late Natasha Richardson portrayed Gruber. 
The journalist and humanitarian died Thursday at her home in Manhattan, according to her editor, Philip Turner. She was 105.

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ISIS-destroyed parish

There were gasps, followed by tears at a small church in northern Iraq as a group of Christians returned to their parish Sunday to find that everything had been destroyed, including the statue of the Virgin Mary which Islamic State militants had decapitated before they left.

A confession booth turned into a closet, a desecrated tomb, red prayer benches burnt. As Father Thabet Habib recited prayers at the Saint Addai church, the sound of broken glass crunched underneath worshippers’ feet.

Keramlis, a Christian town on the Nineveh plains in northern Iraq, fell to the Islamic State in August 2014, two months after the extremist group took Iraq’s second city of Mosul and surrounding areas, sending most of its inhabitants fleeing.

The town was liberated around three weeks ago as part of the push for Mosul, but most of its homes have been destroyed in the process.

( Read more )

Honoring the unknown Soldier tomb 

*Today is Veterans Day, a day when we honor the men who have served our country and to thank them for their service and sacrifice to defend us. This holiday was originally known as Armistice Day, was established to remember the 1918 signing of the Armistice Treaty and to honor the heroes of World War I. 

In 1921, Congress ordered the building a tomb to honor the men who had given their lives. One unknown American soldier was chosen to be buried in the tomb. When the Navy ship Olympia arrived in Washington with the body of that fallen soldier, America responded. The Band played “Onward Christian Soldiers” as the casket was taken to the U.S. Capitol, where the soldier was laid in state. ( More )

Another slap in the face to all who defend our nation everyday regardless of their color

He did it again, and this time he had company.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick continued his protest of the national anthem, taking a knee while “The Star Spangled Banner” played at the preseason finale in San Diego tonight.
This time, he was joined by safety Eric Reid, who was not in uniform. The crowd booed as both players kneeled, while Kaepernick was jeered mercilessly when he played.

( Kaepernick Kneels for National Anthem to Continue Protest )