Thursday, 13 September 2012

Once More the Game's Afoot (Bumped)

(Originally posted March, 2011)
For what it's worth...

Regarding This...
.....US and UK vessels launch missile strike against Gadhafi's limited air defences in Libya

Iraq, Afghanistan, now this?

Without editorializing, I found my self thinking of this passage of Scripture, even though the context is not exactly the same.
That day will be darkness, not light.
It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear,as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.
Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? (Amos 5:18b-20)


I wonder what we're getting ourselves into this time. As I said, just thinkin'

Take Care

(Updated with further thoughts)
What I mean is this; we (the West) have gone into Iraq and Afghanistan and been stuck there in what we may have called a, "transition period," until stability can be restored in these areas. But even if we don't end up physically occupying them, what are we going to see in the various countries of North Africa in which we are seeing such change and turmoil recently. Is what replaces the status quo going to be better or worse than that which is being replaced? What is going to fill these vaccuums, freedom or increased tyranny and repression? More tolerance for the rights of minorities or less?

We don't yet know, do we?

Take Care

(Updated Sept 13/12)
But we plunged in anyway,didn't we?
See also here..



"Into the valley of Death rode the six hundred..." - Tennyson - The Charge of the Light Brigade.


I believe it is time to stop interfering around the world, however noble we feel is the motive. The white man's burden is passe. Let's stop trying to export democracy to those who either don't want it or who have no clue how to use it.

Take even more Care


20 comments:

Warren said...

Since Canada never went into Iraq, I'm curious about your use of "we" in your post.

John K said...

I was kinda considering myself an honorary American.

Warren said...

I can't join you. The more I'm around them and immersed in their culture, the more striking I find the differences between Canadians and Americans - and the more I yearn to return to my own culture (which will happen in June). That said, we've made some good friendships that I expect will continue into the future.

Warren said...

Did Canada interfere in Haiti following the earthquake? Is missions, in a traditional sense, interference?

Your spam blocker continues to frustrate, and apparently is impassable from an iPad.

John K said...

Ah... I'm probably missing dozens of comments from iPads :>). Sorry.
I'm not talking about missions, but I don't think what we did in Libya could be counted as a mission. It seems to me that Ghaddafi (sp?) had rather come to a point of coexistence with us. My suspicion is that we saw what we thought was the inevitable 'Arab Spring' coming and thought that if we helped the rebels, maybe they would be nice to us. How'd that work out? Being complicit in his murder and the overthrow of his regime seems to have won us no points at all.
Jesus said to go into all the world and make disciples. He did not say to introduce democracy. He said nothing about enforcing our form of government on anyone. He himself, along with all the first-generation Christians, did not live in a democracy, far from it, and they did not campaign to change it.

Warren said...

So, if you had to bear the responsibility of public office, what "test" would you apply to determine if "interference" is warranted? Do treaties and international agreements have any bearing? Are the colour and beliefs of the people being subject to violence of any relevance? Is the historical connection with the nation in question of pertinence? Must the outcome be sure before any action can be contemplated?

Warren said...

My previous comment did not well address your last comment. Sorry.

Since I access your site most of the time from my iPad, you never know; maybe you are missing a bunch of comments. Much of what you write is probably more worthy of comment than the drivel that appears on many other sites, but most people prefer reality TV too.

When I said "missions", I meant Christian missionary work. The "white man's burden" in the sense of converting the heathen. Many would consider that interference - including the governments and populations where mission work is often targeted.

When you say "we", I assume you mostly lump Canada together with the US. That doesn't work for me, and I do not use the first person to mean more than Canada (and even that is being very presumptuous).

How did things work out in Libya? Give it 10 or 20 years, and then let's have the conversation. Do you have any evidence that Canada is trying to enforce its form of government on anyone?

John K said...

Hi Warren,
I will try to give my opinion on the points you raise.
1. "Christian missions" is a response to the command Jesus gave us, so our actions in this area are in obedience to him. Also, if we believe that this is a matter of eternal, not merely temporal significance, the yes, I think we have to take it seriously. As far as other governments seeing this as a threat, it is a natural human response, but it doesn't need to be the case, at least not in any secular sense. Christians should be the best citizens under whatever government they live, as long as that government does not directly demand they disobey God. Jesus never called for the overthrow of the Roman government, even though his followers later found it necessary to 'obey god rather than men.' And any 'Christian' government should not prevent the free exercise of any other religion, unlike what seems to be the case when Muslims are in power.
2. When I say, 'we,' I include Canada in our actions in Libya because we took part. And the oft-stated aim in our (the West's) encouragement of the Arab Spring was blatantly to see 'democracy' come to the area.

10 or 20 years is a long time, and a lot of people can die in that time. Who knows what things will be like then, and what will be the result of present-day actions. My concern was what we did in the short term, and if what we did was the right thing at all.

The picture I have is that we saw a tree we thought needed pruning, but we cut off a branch that contained a hornets' nest and when it hit the ground, it released a swarm more deadly than we anticipated.
Complicated issues and perhaps worthy of more thought than I've had time to give them here, but that's it for now.

Warren said...

So it's okay to go where you aren't wanted when it involves spreading the gospel, but not if you want to stop atrocities (just playin' the devil's advocate)?

I guess I don't know what you mean by "we". I'm quite familiar with the role played by Canada in the Libya campaign. Has any hostility been shown against Canada by any faction in Libya since the campaign (I don't know myself). Many countries other than the US played a role. Has hostility been shown towards them? Lot's of people hate the US for many reasons. The feeling certainly isn't unique to Islamic countries.

Although the recent embassy attack wasn't warranted, the US can play as dirty as any country or extremist group out there - and they carry a much bigger stick.

sharperthanatwoedgedsword said...

John, this falls right in with the ideas I've been trying to express on my blog, and I re-blogged this post there...thanks for saying it better than I did!

John K said...

Hi Warren,
To answer you by paragraph;
1. I ask not,"what would Jesus do?" but, "What did Jesus do?"
2. My point is not what was the reaction to what Canada or any other nation did, but, was it the right thing to do?
Did we stop atrocities? Ask Christians in those countries.
Ask the American ambassador to Libya. Again I ask, is what we have now any better than what we had then?
3. You're right, but the US went in there with their big stick and look at the consequences.

Warren said...

Since much of your argument hinges on it, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and ask you to explain what you mean by, "went in their with their big stick".

John K said...

I guess I mean the headline at the top of this post. (I see the link is broken, but The headline speaks for itself).

Warren said...

I could be mistaken, but I suspect that you've made assumptions about who did what during the Libya campaign that are incorrect.

John K said...

So then I suppose I could be mistaken. What actually happened? Who did what?

Warren said...

Not my place to say. I think enough can be found through open sources (with some motivation to do the research) to develop a reasonably accurate picture.

John K said...

I don't know Warren. You almost sound like a conspiracy theorist. Are you saying that what was reported didn't actually happen? All I'm saying is that I think we got involved where we shouldn't have and it has, and will continue to, come back to bite us. Anyone who thinks that if we help these people they will be our friends is completely deluded. Appeasement will not work. The current US administration seems to be taking their lead from Neville Chamberlain.

Warren said...

This thread is an example of failed communication (but all too typical of blog discussions in general).

Okay, you say Canada should not have gotten involved in Libya. I say you have provided no convincing argument for that position. I'm not aware of anything having bitten us (by which i mean Canada) and, in that regard, pointing to the attack on the US embassy is a red herring. I'm not aware of our government having ever used "making friends" as the rationale for getting involved, suggesting so represents a overly simplistic understanding of the events and decision making that led up to the military intervention by NATO. Frankly, neither of us have much knowledge of the events and decision making that led up to the intervention.

With respect to who did what during the campaign, your suggestion that I am a conspiracy theorist is misplaced. I was not there, but I work with several people who were (including my immediate boss), and my job involved providing support to Canadians who were in theatre. As I said before, I will not divulge any information, but I have no doubt that open sources can provide a good sense of the role and relative importance of the nations involved. If several of theses nations have been "bitten", you should provide evidence.

John K said...

Hello again Warren,
Perhaps we got sidetracked, but my only point was to ask whether the state of things in North Africa now is better, more stable, more peaceful, more respectful of human rights, whatever, than what it was before. Did our interference accomplish the results we wanted, or hoped for? My opinion, or at least my suspicion, uninformed as it may be, is no.

Warren said...

John, I don't know if anything has been made better by Canada's involvement in Libya. I doubt I could even define what "better" means in this context. However, there probably are a lot of people alive today that otherwise wouldn't be. Maybe this has value regardless of how they may feel about us.

There were doubtlessly many reasons that our government had for getting involved - some noble and some likely self serving - and I don't presume to know which way I would have inclined had all of the information been available to me. Outcomes are rarely certain in situations like this and it is all too easy to look back after the fact and cast judgement. I don't know how history will judge us, but, had Canada not gotten involved, the view may be less favorable. In the big scheme of things, our involvement cost Canadians very little.