21 May 2005

Weekend PS: Iraq, George Bush, and Calvin College

In an column entitled "The Best P.R.: Straight Talk,"New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman reflects on the White House tactic of blaming Newsweek magazine for the fatal riots that followed the Koran-trashing rumor. It's a great example of a communication policy that is both wrong and ineffective. In the "war of ideas" in the Muslim world, "We are spending way too much time debating with ourselves, or playing defense, and way too little time actually looking Arab Muslims in the eye and telling them the truth as we see it."

Friedman goes on to suggest that President Bush's response to the riots should have been, in part:

"Look, Newsweek may have violated journalistic rules, but what jihadist terrorists are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan - blowing up innocent Muslims struggling to build an alternative society to dictatorship - surely destroys the Koran. They are the real enemies of Islam because they are depriving Muslims of a better future. From what I know of Islam, it teaches that you show reverence to God by showing reverence for his creations, not just his words. Why don't your spiritual leaders say that? I am asking, because I want to know."
I wish I could believe that Bush truly wants to know, and is truly ready to engage in that kind of dialogue.

For nearly four years, I have yearned for this kind of robust, candid dialogue between the USA's president, acting as our national representative responding to the horrible attack of September 11, and the leadership of the sector of the Muslim world that attacked us. In this weblog ("Public Christianity," August 12, 2004) I cited such communication as part of the minimum we should expect in response to Jesus's direct command to love our enemies. I still want to see President Bush debate our enemies' grievances - to acknowledge where they are right, to dispute vigorously where they are wrong, and not to fudge issues by looking for disloyalty in the ranks, by insulting our enemies, or by emitting nice platitudes about the Muslims we approve of.

In advocating a direct rhetorical confrontation with Osama bin Laden or his most accessible allies and spokespeople, I am not arguing for legitimizing his tactics by entering into negotiations. Nor would I want to see the kind of limp approach taken by Christians who go into Christian-Muslim dialogues mumbling historically uninformed apologies for the Crusades. I just want the whole Muslim world to see our president, our leadership, demonstrating both integrity and Christian humility, even a bold and nearly unprecedented level of courtesy, by taking on the whole radical-Islamic case against the USA with the kind of directness and candor that Friedman advocates.

And guess what? Doing so would cost a lot less than $300 billion. It would in fact cost a tiny fraction of what it costs to run the facilities at Guantanamo.

Instead, our leaders continue to act as if they believe sending our young men and women into intolerably ambiguous hairtrigger situations, and harvesting the inevitable corpses on all sides, all the while continuing to lay down smokescreens of diversion and outright lies, will win the religious and intellectual conflicts behind the Afghanistan/Iraq war.

On my trip home from Moscow, I spoke with a retired couple from Lexington, Virginia, who were well-educated, friendly, intelligent, widely traveled, and in touch with the world. When I said (in a long conversation that touched on many subjects) that I was hoping to be a Friends missionary, they couldn't believe that Friends had missionaries. The only Friends they knew thought that there was no reason to spread a particular message, because all religions were basically the same.

When I talked about evangelical Friends, they were even more mystified (but to their credit remained in the conversation!) - if we were against war, how could we possibly be evangelical? It turned out that they were totally unaware that large numbers of evangelical Christians have not been "blinded by might" (to appropriate the title of the Cal Thomas/Ed Dobson book) and do not accept certain far-right politicians or ideologies as adequate reflections of the Gospel.

Now comes Calvin College, the location of today's George W. Bush commencement speech. (Calvin's own coverage of the event is here.) Having done some work with this gem of a school, I was not surprised that Calvin's brand of evangelical integrity would lead to courteous but assertive expressions of dissatisfaction with Bush's policies.

An open letter signed by nearly 800 students, faculty and alumni, published as a full-page ad The Grand Rapids Press yesterday, said: "In our view, the policies and actions of your administration, both domestically and internationally over the past four years, violate many deeply held principles of Calvin College."

In a Sojourners commentary, graduating student Elise Elzinga explains her own participation in the dissent surrounding Bush's commencement visit at Calvin:
"For me to sit silently on the sidelines as Bush addresses Calvin and not stand up for what I believe about these issues would be to ignore my personal faith convictions about working for justice. The goal of Calvin student dissent at graduation is not to be disruptive, disrespectful, or unpatriotic, but rather to apply the lessons we've learned about engaging the world as responsible and informed citizens. That's why I - along with other students and some administration and faculty members - will be wearing an armband or button as a non-disruptive display of disapproval."
I hope that this news made its way to certain retirees in Lexington, Virginia.


Anonymous said...

See below for notes and comments on this “article” about lefists at Calvin and President Bush’s commencement visit on Saturday..

POMP AND POLITICS IN GRAND RAPIDS: Bush visit brings controversy

[some liberals at Calvin bring the controversy, Bush doesn’t]

[Some liberal] Students and faculty to protest Christian school's commencement speaker

May 19, 2005




Calvin College may be predominantly Republican, but a visit from President George W. Bush on Saturday is stirring up some discontent among [liberal and leftist] students, faculty and alumni. [see http://www.discoverthenetwork.org for linkages]

One-third of the faculty members have signed a letter of protest that will appear in a half-page ad in the Grand Rapids Press on Saturday, the day Bush is to deliver the commencement address to 900 graduating seniors at Calvin. The ad cost $2,600.

[I did not know there were that many liberals and leftist professors at Calvin but it is good to know. I am glad this event flushed them out. Now we can address them directly and defeat their failed liberal ideas in the arena of ideas. We can also keep a close eye on them to make sure they do not inject their wrong-headed politics into the classroom.]

"As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort," the letter says. "We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq."

[The liberal and leftist faculty members are wrong in their beliefs. Let’s take them one at a time:]

"As Christians, we are called to be peacemakers and to initiate war only as a last resort"

[I’m sorry to say it, but to me that is nothing but sheer cowardice and refined selfishness.

Don’t you get it? We fight wars not to have peace, but to have a peace worth having.

As a strong Christian, President Bush is a peacemaker and he does initiate war only as a last resort. For Calvin professors to present the leftist canards of Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Teddy Kennedy and Michael Moore as “Christian” beliefs is arrogant and wrong. What gives you the right to say that Christ did not want us to protect the safety and freedom of all Americans, while liberating 50 million innocent people in two countries?

And if you think the Iraqi people are not happy we liberated them, I think you need a hug. See: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/allpolitics/0502/gallery.sotu.big/content.1.11.html

It’s interesting to see how are the current leftist Democrats are linked to other extremist groups, George Soros, radical environmentalists, pro-abortion extremists, and so on. See http://www.discoverthenetwork.org

Leftists at Calvin, I ask you to think about this serious question: do you think Bush and Americans love war, or do they love peace?

Think about it seriously, Leftists at Calvin: I am not asking you to regurgitate the same old liberal mantras…I am asking you to really think…

Leftists at Calvin: I, and Bush, do not feel America is right to attempt to help spread democracy in the world because it is our way and therefore the right way.

Nor do I think America should attempt to encourage Democracy because we are Western and feel everyone should be Western. Not everyone should be Western, and not everything we do as a culture, a people or an international force is right.

Rather, we have a national-security obligation to foster democracy in the world because democracy tends to be the most peaceful form of government.

Democracies tend to be slower than dictatorships to take up arms, to cross borders and attempt to subdue neighbors, to fight wars.

Democracies are on balance less likely to wreak violence upon the world because democracies are composed of voters many of whom are parents, especially mothers, who do not wish to see their sons go to war. Democracy is not only idealistic, it is practical.

Leftists at Calvin, Americans and Bush are by nature peaceful. Americans don't want to send their sons, or daughters, off to war. They don't like that kind of excitement, or they don't like it for long. This is part of why we used to be called Isolationists.

We weren't and aren't isolationists--we just have a bias for peace. Can that bias be overcome? Of course. Pearl Harbor overcame it. The Soviet desire to expand and impose communism overcame it. Sept. 11 did too.

Leftists at Calvin, on Iraq: I think that there's no way 'round it but through it. We have to stay, and we have to win.

I define winning in Iraq as the yielding up of, at the least, a relatively stable society unafflicted by governmental sadism and dictatorship, and, at the most, a stable society in a fledgling democracy that demonstrates, with time, that the forces of Arab moderation, tolerance and peacefulness can triumph.

Such an outcome would give so much good to the world. What a brilliant beacon this Iraq could be, and what a setback to terrorists, who thrive in darkness.

Here is one thing I like about President Bush. He has the moral clarity to make it clear that he hates war, really hates it, and loves peace.

Bush always made it clear he thought the impending and then ongoing war a painful tragedy. Mr. Bush has made it clear, repeatedly, that he hopes for peace, yearns for peace, loves it. Bush does not enjoy war and he hopes and prays we can defeat the terrorists so they will not longer be a problem.

So, Leftists at Calvin, PLEASE stop bashing President Bush, and pretending you do it because you are Christian and he is not. Take the plank out of your own eye before you pay attention to the speck of sawdust in your brother, President Bush’s eye. How can you vote for Demcrats who aggressively promote the killing of innocent unborn baby American boys and girls, through the painful and bloody procedure of abortion? 40 million innocent children have been summarily executed, and you prance around carrying signs and putting your little letters in the papers due to your partisan hatred of Bush. You lost the election, get over it! Sure, you may have policy differences with President Bush, and with 20/20 vision you may critique how one technique or another turned out in the war, please please stop the partisan Bush bashing under the guise of “Christianity”.

With that said, Leftists at Calvin, I'd like to address this constant reference to "Blessed are the peacemakers", as an attempt to further your anti-American and leftist views. Some take quotes from Sermon on the Mount, and make ethical mistakes with it. Leftists at Calvin, the Sermon on the Mount is a declaration of personal Christian ethics, not the rules corporations and states should be run by. If you read Romans Chapter 13, you will see how God says governments should be run: with justice, mercy and grace.

Jesus said to "turn the other cheek". Imagine someone has broken into your house, broke your face, you sue him and take him to court. The judge says "did you hit this man?" The perp answers "Yes". Then imagine if the judge said: "Don’t you go to church?" Perp: "yes". Judge: "well, this is simple, turn the other check, take another whack at him, buster!"

Why does that seem out of order? For a very uncomplicated reason: it is not the judges cheek! Duh! If he were standing there with a broken jaw and missing teeth, he wouldn’t like that judgment.

Leftists at Calvin, the Sermon on the Mount says that we should give to those who ask. So imagine you are the President of a bank, and a homeless man walks in and says "I’d like to borrow $100,000. "Do you have any collateral?" "No" "Why do you think you can borrow $100,000 from this bank?" "Jesus says, ‘turn thou not away .’ What’s wrong here?

It’s not his money, it’s yours that the bank president is giving away. Leftists at Calvin, this is a PERSONAL Christian ethic. He can give his own $100,000, that would not be a problem.

Leftists at Calvin, Romans 13 states: rulers are the messengers of God, the ambassadors of God, they are rending vengeance on evil doers, they are commanded by God to do that. They bear not the sword in vain. The sword is the symbol of capital punishment. The duty of government is justice. Our duty is to live in peace as much as possible.

As long as you have men that are as wicked in the extreme...Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, men of incredible wickedness, then I believe force must be used to bring them to cease their wickedness. Saddam has killed 2 million Iraqis, and caused 6 million more to flee the nation. Not to mention the number of Iranians he has killed. In Iran, veterans of war with Iraq are emaciated, dying a slow death from the poison he used on them. They are dying a slow death that had already taken 22 years in the hospital.

Ann Clwyd, from the British Parliament, talked about Saddam's use of a plastic shredder. Saddam’s opponents were dropped into it, and they were forced to watch…head first, or feet first and died screaming. Witnesses saw 30 people die like this, and their remains were collected and used to feed the fish in their ponds. They saw Kusi, Saddam’s son, personally supervise this torture. Others were dropped into acid which ate them alive.

Leftists at Calvin, how does anyone argue with the fact that such a man needs to be removed from power?

The Bible makes it clear force must be used to stop evil -- Jesus used force to cleanse the temple. He will use far greater force when he comes to end the war with Satan and his minions. The decisive battle with Satan was fought on blackened hill called Golgatha. There was great glee in hell, at last Satan thought he had the arch pretender in his grasp. There was delight in hell, when Jesus uttered his last words, "it is finished". Satan thought he had won the victory. Until that glorious morning when, as the sun rose above the horizon, spreading across the dome of the temple. People saw the tomb was empty, Christ had risen from the dead, Conqueror. The decisive battle has been won, and this is just a clean up operation until he comes back again.

The victory belongs to Christ and those who belong in him.

Now let’s address this liberal lie that Bush did not initiate war as a last resort.

Leftists at Calvin, not every situation requires military action. As a matter of fact, military action is the very last resort for us. As you noticed, for example in North Korea, we've chosen to put together a multinational strategy to deal with Mr. Kim Jong-Il.

And a reminder, Leftists at Calvin : When you mentioned Saddam Hussein, I just wanted to remind you that the Barbaric mass murderer and former tyrant dictator Saddam Hussein’s military action took place after innumerable United Nations Security Council resolutions were passed -- not one, two or three, but 17 unanimous UN Resolutions.

Leftists at Calvin, the liberation of Iraq and the disarming of Saddam was justified over 14 years, 17 UN resolutions, 2 bipartisan and bicameral overwhelming resolutions, and the overwhelming support of the American people. We were further justified by the Iraqi Survey Group report detailing the WMD, and the linkages found between Saddam and al Qaida.

For more details on the linkages between Saddam and al Qaeda see:

Al-Qaeda's "Boogie to Baghdad"


Case Closed (Osama and Saddam link found)


Liberals like to say “There is no connection between Islamic terrorists and the Saddam Hussein regime.” This statement represents one of the few examples of anti-war activists disagreeing with the official line of the Iraqi government. Saddam and his killers always emphasized the proud support of the heroic and revolutionary Iraqi people for Islamic fighters everywhere, including the holy warriors of al-Qaida.

Meanwhile, the al-Qaida crew similarly expresses its solidarity with Saddam – as they did in their Internet statement claiming credit for the recent Kenya attacks, and linking future assaults to potential war against their friends, the Iraqis. If Iraq expresses solidarity with al-Qaida, and al-Qaida expresses solidarity with Iraq, peaceniks face a difficult challenge in arguing that they represent utterly disconnected phenomena.

Furthermore, the disarming of Saddam by force is not based on any links between al Qaeda and Iraq, even though they do exist. They are based on 14 years of flaunting the UN Resolutions and building WMD with the intention of destroying America. We disarmed Saddam for the protection of our people. Thank You President Bush and Thank You Troops!!!

In a videotaped message, the al-Qaida "military commander" for Europe claimed credit for the bombings, saying that the terrorist attack was meant to punish Spain for supporting the war in Iraq. The message came as a total shock to liberals who have been furiously insisting that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaida.

Apparently al-Qaida didn't think so. After the Madrid bombings, it looks like liberals and terrorists will have to powwow on whether there was an Iraq/al-Qaida link. Two hundred dead Spaniards say there was. Another liberal lie bites the dust.

Al Qaida ADMITTED they are linked to Iraq terrorists after they bombed Spain! So much for the liberal mantra, "no links between al Qaida and Saddam"!

And so, Leftists at Calvin, this nation is very reluctant to use military force. We try to enforce doctrine peacefully, or through alliances or multinational forums. And we will continue to do so.

Leftists at Calvin, we must never forget the lessons of September the 11th. The terrorists will strike, and they will kill innocent life, not only in front of a Red Cross headquarters, they will strike and kill in America, too. We are at war.

Leftists at Calvin, as Bush said right after September the 11th, this would be a different kind of war; sometimes you'd see action and sometimes you wouldn't. It's a different kind of war than what we're used to. And Iraq is a front on the war on terror. And we will win this particular battle in the war on terror.

The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waiver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. President Bush has kept his word to the American people and the world on this.]

Leftist Calvin professors also said:

"We believe your administration has launched an unjust and unjustified war in Iraq."

[“Unjust and Unjustified”? Come on, Leftists at Calvin!

Leftists at Calvin, the democrats are looking for détente with the terrorists...they are playing for a tie. Republicans are playing to win. Democrats don’t believe in a victorious America.

Leftists at Calvin, how would what the democrats are doing now be any different than if they were openly supporting our enemies?

Leftists at Calvin, pacifism and appeasement, in the face of unimaginable inhumanity, is not peace. You may think it is, but try being the victim like the Iraqis under Saddam, and tell me if it's peace!

“Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay--and claims a halo for his dishonesty." -Robert A. Heinlein

Leftists at Calvin, you liberals used to care about atrocities, you used to care about human rights. Apparently you haven’t been moved by the 300,000 mass graves we found in Iraq... http://www.npr.org/news/specials/iraq2003/joyce_030514.html

I thought you liberals cared about ATROCITIES!! How can you see men shredded, then say you don't back war to liberate Iraqis!? http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3284-614607,00.html Saddam threw people into plastic shredders and fed the remains to fish, Saddam raped wives in front of their familes.

Leftists at Calvin, what part of tyranny and murder, using WMD on his own people, hiding WMD production from the UN, and consorting with terrorists do you NOT consider a good reason to disarm Saddam?

If you go back to the 14 month national discussion about going to Iraq, you will see many reasons were discussed for the liberation and disarming of Iraq...and they have all been proven true by events

Leftists at Calvin, you seem to be saying “War is not the answer” ... that depends on what the question is now doesn’t it? War ended slavery, fascism, The Taliban harboring al qaeda, ba’athism, Soviet totalitarianism, but other than that, it has a limited repertoire.

Apparently your answer is to have America take no action against barbaric despots who seek America’s destruction.

Leftists at Calvin, Saddam and his supporters wished and planned for the death of every man, woman, and child in America, and Osama has declared since 1998 that every American, civilian or military, adult or child, richly deserves to die. And strong linkages between Osama and Saddam have been documented at: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains of slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” -- Patrick Henry (March 23, 1775)

Leftists at Calvin ... Slavery is “peace”. Tyranny is “peace”. For that matter, genocide is “peace” when you get right down to it. Are YOU willing to sit by and do nothing and put up with THAT kind of “peace”?


Leftists at Calvin, if you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Leftists at Calvin, the historical consequences of your philosophy predicated on the notion of no war at any cost are families flying to the Super Bowl accompanied by three or four trusted slaves and a Europe devoid of a single living Jew.

Leftists at Calvin, war has never solved anything except for ending slavary, fascism, and communism, Talibanism, and ba’athism.

Leftists at Calvin, it would be nice if there were a way around this. History, not merely my opinion, shows us that there is not.

Leftists at Calvin, we must face the hard and bitter truth that good people can walk away from a fight, but when they do, bad people will have the field and we have seen the horrors they can inflict. For example, Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden...

Leftists at Calvin, if all you are willing to do is think happy thoughts, then those are the consequences. If you want justice, and freedom, and safety, and prosperity, then sometimes you have to fight for them.

Leftists at Calvin, the liberation of Iraq and the disarming of Saddam was justified over 14 years, 17 UN resolutions, 2 bipartisan and bicameral overwhelming resolutions, and the overwhelming support of the American people. We were further justified by the David Kay and Duelfer reports detailing the WMD capabilities Saddam was hiding and building, and the linkages found between Saddam and al qaeda.

Leftists at Calvin .......the Iraqi people are preparing a constitution that provides the same level of civil and personal freedoms that vitually every western country enjoys. Freedom of religion, of expression, of the press. The idea that this is morally equivalant to a brutal dictatorship shows a sharp lack of understanding of the horrors of Saddam's regime, and the freedoms you yourself enjoy.

So the liberal lie you push is that Bush “rushed to war”, and this is an “unjust and unjustified” war. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

For 14 long years, our country and the world had and open and free discussion on disarming Saddam. I, for one, am glad that Bush and the large coalition of countries have liberated Iraqis, and Iraqi citizens are free to discuss issues without the fear of a dictator torturing them for speaking up. And I’m glad we have a thoughtful, Christian President who has thought through all these issues carefully and thoroughly, along with the best minds we have had in an administration in a long time. We discussed this issue since way before 9-11-01, at our kitchen tables, in our churches and schools, in the UN, inside the Bush Administration and in the US Congress. Senators and congressmen from both sides of the aisle discussed all angles of this issue and voted overwhelmingly to authorize the President to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein and enforce the 17 UN Resolutions demanding that he disarm now.

I followed the arguments on both sides through the congressional debate, and saw the result: two (2) overwhelmingly supported bipartisan congressional approvals. The first one gave the President the authority to use force against those nations he determines aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent an future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

On 9-14-01, Congress approved the "Joint Resolution To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces" (Resolution 23) In this Resolution, the US Congress gave THE PRESIDENT, George W. Bush, the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons HE DETERMINES planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.


House Joint Resolution 64: Passed the House 420-1. September 14, 2001.

Senate Joint Resolution 23: Passed the Senate 98-0. September 14, 2001.

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.

So President Bush was given the authority, in September of 2001, to use force against nations that harbored terrorists, which includes Iraq. But, he wanted to go above and beyond, he wanted to move slowly and deliberately, and make sure he got the approval of the American people and both houses of Congress. So Oct 2, 2002, Joint Resolution 114, the "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq" was overwhelmingly approved by a bipartisan House and Senate. This joint resolution specifically gave President Bush authority to use force, "Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution."

Full text of the October 2002 Resolution:


Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.


This joint resolution may be cited as the "Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq".


(a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq.

I watched as President Bush spurred the UN Security council to action with a September 12 speech to the U.N. General Assembly. I then followed the arguments as Bush, the United States, and the world moved deliberately and slowly, avoiding a rush to war. In November 2002 the UN Security Council issued Resolution 1441, the 16th resolution in 12 years, demanding once again that Saddam Hussein disarm.

The Resolution confirmed that Iraq is and has been in material breach of the 16 previous UN resolutions, and they offered him one last chance to disarm. He was told once again to actively cooperate with the inspectors…bring out your Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and let the inspectors verify their destruction. If not, he was told he would face the serious consequences of using force to disarm him.

This “final chance” resolution, Resolution 1441, was passed unanimously in November 2002 by all 15 countries in the UN Security Council: France, Syria, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, the Russian Federation, Mexico, Ireland, Bulgaria, Norway, Singapore, Colombia, Cameroon, Guinea and Mauritius. The vote was 15-0.

Nothing in the resolution constrained any Member State from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq, or to enforce United Nations resolutions protecting world peace and security.


“Recognizing the threat Iraq's non-compliance with Council resolutions and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles poses to international peace and security…”

See the entire UN Resolution 1441 at:


So, after ALL THAT careful deliberation and overwhelming support for disarming Saddam, you lefists at Calvin want to go back and rewrite history. Well, I have news for you: we are not going to let you get away with it. You will keep losing elections if you keep promoting these lies, because you no longer have a monopoly on the news sources like you did in the past. The truth will win out.

After all, before the war, President Bush's foes warn of body bags. There will be body bags. But the question does not seem to be "invade and get body bags" versus "don't invade and no body bags." If that were so we'd all say fine, no invasion. The question is: "invasion body bags or noninvasion body bags?" Removing Saddam and taking losses, or not removing Saddam and waiting for the losses that will no doubt follow. Saddam is a body-bag bringer. Where he is, loss follows.

From “Gut Time - Colin Powell has persuaded me” by Peggy Noonan


Thank God Bush made the right decision to disarm Saddam and liberated the 25 million people of Iraq. Saddam will NOT be passing any dangerous WMD through terrorist groups to have them show up in American cities, which would have killed 10s if not 100s of thousands of innocent Americans. Liberals, have you forgotten 9-11-01 already? If so, Shame on you.

But let us address this accusation of an “unjust” war directly. Liberals like to say that the war to liberate Iraq and disarm Saddam did not meet the long established standards of a “Just War” Just War doctrine or tradition was formulated and promoted 1,600 years ago by Augustine, refined by Aquinas and de Vitoria must address the criteria of:

• Last resort with all other means to resolve the conflict being exhausted,

This WAS the last resort, we tried diplomacy for over 12 years and he continued to build and use WMD. We didn’t want to wait until we see a mushroom cloud over an American city before we disarm him.

• Sanctioned by the society and outsiders to the society, a recognized legitimate authority,

We have a large coalition of countries with us, including many Arab countries. The US Congress voted overwhelmingly for the use of force against Iraq for not complying with UN resolutions, and the UN voted 15-0 to use force if they didn’t comply given one last chance. Furthermore, the Iraqi people themselves wanted to be liberated from this madman that was terrorizing their families.

• Redress of “wrongs” suffered - - - with the “right” intentions (revenge is not in the list of right intentions)

We did not disarm Saddam out of “revenge”…we disarmed him to protect the citizens of the United States and our allies. This redressed the wrongs of his 12 years of contempt for the will of the UN, and his continued torture and building and proliferating WMD through terrorist groups.

• Violence employed must be proportional to the violence suffered (proportionality),

We only used the proportional, necessary force needed to disarm Saddam for the sake of peace.

• There must be a reasonable chance of success; lives lost in hopeless causes are not morally justifiable,

No one doubted the US and our allies would be successful, and we have been. In fact, the war has been an overwhelming success. If you only listen to the liberal mainstream media, you may not know this, so read:

A Look Back (Victor Davis Hanson)



How Far We’ve Come (Victor Davis Hanson)



Better or Worse? (Victor Davis Hanson)


• Peace established after the war must be preferable to the peaces that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought,

Peace after the war, without Saddam in the picture, is much more preferable to the non-peace we had when Saddam was in power...we had torture, mayhem, tyranny, and starving of citizens for the express purpose of building more weapons of mass murder, like chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

• Risk to innocents / noncombatants of injury must be minimized and avoided. Combatants and noncombatants role must be distinguishable to avoid civilian casualties.

Risks to innocents and noncombatants was minimized in this war, America has the best technology available and did everything possible to avoid civilian casualties.

Michael Novak is a conservative Catholic theologian and author of numerous books. He addresses the “just war” issue in an article attached below. He points out that the Catholic Catechism assigns primary responsibility not to distant commentators, but to public authorities themselves. This makes sense because “First, they bear the primary vocational role and constitutional duty to protect the lives and rights of their people. Second, they are closest to the facts of the case and - given the nature of war by clandestine terror networks today - privy to highly restricted intelligence. Others have a right and duty to voice their own judgments of conscience, but the final judgment belongs to public authorities”

“What is new in the world of Just War theory in the 21st century is the concept of "asymmetrical warfare." This concept has been developed by international terrorist groups that are not responsible to any public authority.”

“No one today denies that international terrorism is a deliberate assault on the very possibility of international order, or that public authorities have a duty to confront this terrorism, and to defeat it. Either the world community now upholds international order or it backs down from its own solemn agreements. In the latter case, individual sovereign nations will refuse to be complicit in the policy of appeasement. To do otherwise would be to join Saddam's conspiracy against international order, and to accrue responsibility for anything he might do.

Let us hope that Saddam Hussein as a last resort decides to obey his solemn obligations under the negotiated peace of 1991, and thus at last meets the minimum requirement of international order. In that case, there will be no war. In that case, the policy of the United States will have succeeded without the need for war.”

Michael Novak, The London Times | February 13, 2003


Now, back to the POMP AND POLITICS IN GRAND RAPIDS article:]

More than 800 students, faculty and alumni also have signed a letter protesting Bush's visit that will appear Friday as a full-page ad in the Grand Rapids paper. The ad cost more than $9,500. [you have wasted your money…America rejects your Bush bashing and America bashing]

"We are alumni, students, faculty and friends of Calvin College who are deeply troubled that you will be the commencement speaker at Calvin," the letter states. "In our view, the policies and actions of your administration, both domestically and internationally over the past four years, violate many deeply held principles of Calvin College."

[OK, I addressed the liberal canard on the war above, but this is a new one! “Domestic” policies and actions violate many deeply held principles of Calvin College? Really? How dare you speak for “Calvin College” in public! Next time please say “violate many deeply held principles of liberals and Leftists at Calvin College."

Besides, what “domestic” policies could possibly be construed as “violating deeply held principles of Calvin”? You mean Bush’s tax relief for all working Americans? That let working Americans at ALL income levels keep more of their own wages, to be spent on what THEY deem important to their families. Is it a “deeply held principle” of “Calvin” that the government should confiscate more and more of our money and waste it on government programs as they see fit?

What other domestic policies are you talking about? Bush’s No Child Left Behind program, with record high funding for education that uses testing, accountability, and high standards to help ensure educational excellence for every child. What is wrong with that?

Or was it Bush’s policies and actions on abortion that go against Calvin’s deeply held principles? The last time I checked, one of Calvin’s and Christ’s principles was to respect life created in the image of God. Bush has fought hard to promote a culture of life, against the aggressive pro-abortion stance of Democrats and their strong supporters, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way, National Abortion Federation, NOW, The Democratic Party, Emily’s List, and so on. See the details and linkages at http://www.discoverthenetwork.org ]

And about 100 students are expected to adorn their graduation gowns with armbands and buttons bearing the slogan: "God is not a Republican or Democrat."

[Are these Calvin students really going to wear armbands with THAT slogan? “I know

Liberals always try to impugn and ridicule Bush’s faith, and try to scare-monger that he is waging war somehow because “God told him to”. This reflects a misunderstanding about Mr. Bush's faith. Bush actually prays for guidance, for wisdom, for strength. Mr. Bush told an audience the other day that he thinks the most generous gift one person can give another is a prayer. Bush said, "I pray for strength. . . . I pray for forgiveness. And I pray to offer my thanks for a kind and generous Almighty God." This doesn't make Bush strange. It puts him in the normal range of Americans.

Bush doesn't think ‘I'm God's guy, he agrees with everything I do’. If he did it would be disturbing to say the least. But Bush is not John Brown saying God himself told me to start this war, and he's not an ayatollah saying death to the Great Satan. Bush is just a Christian asking God for help and trying in turn to do what is helpful. When you do this you're acknowledging your inadequacy and dependence. It's a declaration not of pride but of humility. To a Christian it's like declaring reality. It's like saying, "There's weather outside."

So Mr. Bush doesn't shy from conclusions and he isn't embarrassed that he asks for and needs God's help.” From “Gut Time” http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110003048 ]

"I'm definitely worried about a Christian school being affiliated with the Christian right," said Elise Elzinga, a 22-year-old Lambertville resident who will graduate Saturday with a degree in political science and international relations.

[What worries you about a Christian school being affiliated with the majority of Christians in America, Elise?]

Elzinga sometimes has felt isolated during her years at Calvin because of her views. She volunteered for Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign last year. In a poll before the 2004 elections, 80 percent of Calvin's student body said they planned to vote for Bush.

[Elise, maybe you should examine your soul. ]

But the visit from Bush also has aroused [liberal] alumni and faculty.

David Crump, a professor of religion at the college for the past eight years, said even though he's not scheduled to get tenure until this summer, he felt he had to speak out.

"The largest part of our concern is the way in which our religious discourse in this country has largely been co-opted by the religious right and their wholesale endorsement of this administration," he said.

[David: there is no “wholesale endorsement of this administration”…just a thoughtful analysis of the facts, and the application of intelligence guided by experience.]

Others said they're concerned that the Bush speech will politicize the event.

[Oh really! Well, if the unhinged left wants to make a big fuss, they can. But don’t blame it on Bush or his supporters, please.]

"I can see that the Bush administration is gaining capital from this appearance, but I don't see what it does for Calvin," said Dale Van Kley, who was a history professor at Calvin for 28 years before he joined the staff at Ohio State University in 1998.

[Dale, how arrogant of you! Bush is not doing this to “gain capital”! It is an HONOR for Calvin to be chosen as one of two schools where Bush will make a commencement address. And as President Byker said, "It provides an opportunity for Calvin to communicate its distinctiveness to a broad audience.”]

"What it will mean for the students is that they will be objects of a kind of campaign appearance."

[Dale!? A “campaign appearance”?! Are you familiar with the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? Bush is not running again! You may not have ever read the U.S. Constitution, or you may see it as an obstacle to implementing liberalism, but here it is just in case:

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/help/constRedir.html ]

Many faculty members don't share those views.

Randall Bytwerk, a communication arts and sciences professor at Calvin, said this week that he's thrilled that the president will speak to students. [As are most Americans.]

"It will make commencement memorable. Unless it's somebody really interesting, it's low on people's list of memories," he said. "But no one is going to forget this." Administrators at the college tried to address concerns raised about the Bush visit in a letter to parents of seniors.

In the letter, President Gaylen Byker said it is an honor for Calvin to be chosen as one of only two sites where Bush will speak to graduates. The other is the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

[Yes, thank you President Byker, and thank you for not backing down to the radical left.]

"It provides an opportunity for Calvin to communicate its distinctiveness to a broad audience," he wrote. "Please know that accepting this request from the White House does not identify Calvin as an institution that is necessarily aligned with the person or the politics of the president."

Nick Monsma, a junior at Calvin, will return to the college Saturday to volunteer at the commencement ceremonies. He views the president's visit as a historic opportunity for Calvin.

"It will be a neat opportunity to get close to a sitting president," the 21-year-old Hudsonville native said.

[Thank you for your work, Nick! You are a great American!]

He said he's disappointed that students, faculty and alumni are protesting the visit.

[Yes, Nick, we are all disappointed with the embarrassing students, faculty and alumni that are protesting the visit. Hopefully they will examine their souls and rethink their mistakes, or at the very least show some civility and maturity.]

"There's a certain forum for that kind of discussion and I don't think this is the right forum."

[You are 100% correct, Nick. The forum was the campaign for the 2004 election, and liberals lost the argument. They can express their views in other forums but please don’t disrupt this happy Calvin Graduation occasion and this great American president, George W. Bush.]

Anonymous said...

Anonymous says, early in a long post: We fight wars not to have peace, but to have a peace worth having.

Can anyone tell me where Jesus teaches that?