February 15, 2007


Caption: Snow isn't the only thing that's piling up these days.

It occurs to El Cabrero that, for an administration that relies on military solutions for almost every problem, this one doesn't have the best record for listening to the military or for treating its personnel very well.

The following item from McClatchy Newspapers is encouraging:
A day after the U.S. military charged Iran's government with shipping powerful explosive devices to Shiite Muslim fighters in Iraq to use against American troops, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday that he hasn't seen any intelligence to support the claim.

Marine Gen. Peter Pace's comment could make it harder for the Bush administration, its credibility about Iran questioned because of its false pre-war claims about Saddam Hussein, to make its case that Iranian meddling in Iraq is fueling sectarian violence and causing U.S. casualties.

I wish somebody would listen this time, but it looks like the judge, jury and executioner has spoken...

ENCOURAGING SIGNS. One thing that has become clearer since the 2004 elections is the reality that the religious right doesn't speak for all Christians or indeed for all evangelicals.

Further, it's becoming pretty clear that a wide variety of Christians are consider things like poverty to be moral issues.

A recent example is the formation by Sojourners and Call to Renewal of A Covenant for a New America, which aims to "overcome poverty with religious commitment and political leadership."

Recognizing the biblical imperative of social justice, particularly for the poor, the campaign holds up this vision:

*Work must work and provide for family economic success and security. Those who work responsibly should have a living family income in which a combination of a family's earnings, and supports for transportation, health care, nutrition, child care, education, housing, and other basic needs provide a decent standard of living. Those unable to work should be supported with dignity

*Children should not be poor. We also need specific and concrete commitments to brighter futures for our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. We will never end the cycle of poverty if we continue to allow lack of opportunity to be the formative aspect of a child's life. Our nation should develop and commit to a plan that reduces child poverty by half over 10 years.

*Extreme global poverty must end. The U.S. should support effective aid, good governance, just trade policies, and debt cancellation in order to lift billions of people out of extreme poverty. U.S. international development assistance should be increased by an additional one percent of the federal budget to honor our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, designed to cut global poverty in half by the year 2015.

More Jesus + less jihad = better religion.

OPPOSING TORTURE. Another group bringing an authentic moral voice to public issues is the National Religious Coalition Against Torture, which recently issued the following release:

(Washington, DC) – The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) today announced its support for legislation introduced by Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Russell Feingold (D-WI), and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) to rollback key provisions of the Military Commissions Act signed into law in October of last year by President Bush. The bill, "Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007 -- A Bill to Provide for the Effective Prosecution of Terrorists and to Guarantee Due Process Rights", would restore the right of habeas corpus, reinstate the United States' commitment to the Geneva Conventions with respect to the treatment of detainees, and restore important elements of due process to hearing procedures for detainees currently held at Guantanamo Bay.

"This legislation is urgently needed," Jeanne Herrick-Stare, Chair of NRCAT Coordinating Committee, said, "to not only restore the core elements of due process to our treatment of detainees, but also to restore the United States’ role as a world leader in human rights. Enactment of the Military Commissions Act was a dark day in our nation's history; the legislation introduced today -- if enacted -- will help restore a measure of dignity to an America we can again believe in."

NRCAT empowers members of America’s faith community to join one another in religious witness to ensure torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment never plays a role in U.S. policy. Since its formation in January 2006, 100 religious organizations have joined NRCAT, including representatives of the Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Mainline Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities. NRCAT’s “Torture Is a Moral Issue” statement has been endorsed by prominent religions leaders and organizations such as Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Jimmy Carter and Eli Weisel.

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE WV LEGISLATURE... the word is that the House of Delegates will be debating a resolution in support of the federal Employee Free Choice Act, which would restore the right of workers to organize. These resolutions send a message to congress and the debate is usually pretty entertaining. There will also be a rally for EFCA. More on this tomorrow.



Unknown said...

Have you seen the video "Why We Fight?" It is long but well worth the viewing time:


El Cabrero said...

That was a good one.

Comrade O'Brien said...

Attention Comrades,
While you're co-sponsoring Dodd's bill, don't forget about the Ministry of Love at http://ministryoflove.wordpresss.com
We were protesting the MCA before it was all trendy...

El Cabrero said...

Cool blog! I love the concept. Thanks for the note.