This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bush and the Plight of Prophets

Jonah to Ninevans
Is George Bush a modern day prophet? Because the story of the prophet Jonah is quoted by Jews for Yom Kipper this week, two editorial writers, Michael Oren and Mark Gerson, were inspired to editorialize in the Wall Street Journal regarding the plight of prophets.

Ordered by God to go down and call the people of Ninevah to repentance in order to escape destruction, Jonah found himself in a Catch 22. He realized if the people of Ninevah listened to him, destruction would not come. Then when nothing happened, they would be furious at him for making them give up their good times for no reason. On the other hand, if he did not go and they were destroyed, he would have to live with that. So Jonah cut and ran. Forced later to prophesy anyway to the people, everything happened like he expected. The people were angry with him.

The writers then give modern examples of Jonah’s dilemma. Churchill predicted that a rising Germany was a threat. But, if he pre-emptively attacked, would people thank him for averting World War II or accuse him of unnecessarily starting it. Truman prophesied that Japan would never surrender and that a quarter million Gis would die taking the mainland. He dropped the bombs, ending the war. Then he faced the judgement of historians who claimed it was unnecessary. God alone knows if those two made the right decisions and He is not telling us.

Which leads to George Bush. He prophesied that Islamic fascists would get weapons of mass destruction. He took the battle to them. Has that action kept the jihadists off balance for these past five years of no attacks on our homeland, or caused the problem, as some charge? Only God knows. We can never know.

The next president also has to be a prophet. Should we nuke the rogue nations before they use theirs and risk accusations of provoking Armageddon? Or, do we wait and see what happens? No wonder Jonah tried to high tail it out of town. Why does anyone want to be a leader?
Posted by Don Clark from the WSJ 9/21/07


Stevie Joe Parker said...

Unfortunately, the column offers a false choice between attacking an enemy and doing nothing. The reality is that there are a number of options available to any leader.

The other problem with this column is the fact that the WSJ did not reveal exactly who Oren and Gerson are. They did not point out that one lives in Israel, fought as an officer in the Israeli Army, and assisted the US during the first Gulf War.

They also did not disclose that the other is a member of the Project for a New American Century which is the neoconservative think-tank responsible for much of the Bush administration's foreign policy.

It is obvious that these two men have an agenda. I don't have a problem with that, but the WSJ is being dishonest in failing to disclose the background of their columnists.

I've written further on it on my own blog.

Stevie Joe Parker

Blogger said...

On Stevie Joe's website, he posted the following: “Surprisingly, Don agrees with Mikey and Marky, but I've added my own two bits in the comments section of Mr. Clark's blog. We'll see if and how he replies.”

So Don replies: Stevie, I am just glad to have someone as bright as you understand what they read (my tone not sarcastic, but sincere). Do some of the other solutions include those of childlike Liberals who believe that if we just talk to people and make nice, they will come to love and understand us?

Blogger said...

Stevie, By the way, I did not know the background of the men. Thanks. I love Israel, so I am even more pleased with the article now.

Stevie Joe Parker said...

There are no simple answers. That is key. War, diplomacy, and inaction are not three choices, they are an infinite number of choices. How many ways can you use military action to obtain an objective? How many ways can you use diplomacy? You also have to consider what can be done in order to prevent such crises from ever happening.

Hitler didn't rise to power all on his own. He had to have just the right environment to exploit. Same with Hussein, bin Laden, Ahmadinejad, or any of the other nuts we have to deal with. So, what can be done to nip these problems in the bud so we won't have to use military force some time down the road?

Now, that's a tough thing to figure out, and why we need the best possible leaders. Deciding whether to bomb an Iranian nuclear facility is an easy decision in comparison. We need people who can figure out the hard stuff so we can avoid unpleasant choices later.

No, I'm not running,
Stevie Joe Parker

Blogger said...

Stevie, I am not enough of an historian nor am I creative enough to be able to come up with an infinite number of ideas. However, I have lived a long life, and I do have reason to be scared when I heard all the Democrat candidates last night refuse to say they would keep the military option on the table in confronting a nuclear armed Iran.
Also, they were given the following scenario: They had in custody a man who knew where a bomb was that would kill thousands of Americans tomorrow. All but one of the candidates said that they would never stoop to torture to get the information. (They squirmed out by hiding behind some generals who had told them torture would not work. Do you suppose they talked to anyone in foreign intelligence services?

Stevie Joe Parker said...

Iran is a good example of what I am talking about. The current crisis is the end result of thousands upon thousands of foreign policy decisions made over a number of decades. What we need is leadership wise enough to chart a course that avoids situations where a military attack is our only option.

Now, Stevie Joe wouldn't torture anyone because I think that it's wrong. Apparently, you disagree. I'm pretty tight with JC and believe that he is not a big supporter of torture, war, and whatnot. Perhaps, your religious background offers a different perspective.

Peace out,
Stevie Joe Parker

Blogger said...

Stevie, Glad you brought up Iran. Browse through the following article.
Groveling at the United Nations How not to get Iran to do anything other than what Iran wants.

Blogger said...

Stevie, You wrote “I'm pretty tight with JC and believe that he is not a big supporter of torture, war, and whatnot. Perhaps, your religious background offers a different perspective.” In response, my guess is that my approach is different from yours. Also, I had not wanted to discuss the JC topic on this blog, not only because I have another blog which addresses the topic, but we have some readers who might freak out.
But your challenge forces me to respond and so to give you a flavor, the following is my e-mail to Chritiane Amanpour following her recent series on God’s Warriors. I wrote her that she had missed the real Christian Warriors. I told her: “This group of Gods Warriors believes that the cultural and religious war has to be fought not on this plane, but on another plane of reality. St. Paul in the book of Ephesians 6:12 puts it this way: ‘For ours is no struggle against enemies of flesh and blood but against all the various Powers of Evil that holds sway in the Darkness around us.’ And again in 1 Cor. 10:4 ‘The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.’ In other words, the battle against secularism as well as the battle against radical Islam is to be fought not against an earthly enemy but against the spiritual forces that are behind that enemy and that energizes it. This approach is much closer to New Testament Christianity than any you described.” (End of quote)
Hope this helps you place me, Stevie, but I still wish you had not made me answer.

Stevie Joe Parker said...

Oh no, you're not really going to use the National Review to bolster your arguments, are you? I read the linked article and agree that the current Iranian administration is a pretty nasty one. However, they are not alone, and some of the nasty guys are friends of the US.

However, that is all beside the point. What is important is how to chart a course where we don't get into such a predicament to begin with. Churchill agonized over how to deal with Hitler, but the problem was how Hitler came into power to begin with.

Every war can be avoided but only by leaders smart enough keep war from becoming necessary.

Stevie Joe Parker