Global News: May 2003 Archives

Abraham the missionary

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In NRO today, David Klinghoffer (who is Jewish) argues that there shouldn't be objections to Christians communicating the Gospel as they bring supplies and help to the Iraqi people. After all, Abraham, revered by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, was a missionary for monotheism, and used hospitality to create opportunities for his message:

Abraham was pretty aggressive. In another cryptic verse in Genesis, he's said to have planted an "eshel" in Beersheba (21:33). If that is just a kind of tree, as many translators say, who cares that he planted one? According to the Talmud, this eshel refers to an inn Abraham established in the wilderness, a hospice where he taught wayfarers to acknowledge God. The patriarch would give them food, then ask them to say grace.

Sound familiar? As Christian missionaries understand, food creates fellowship. We eat with our friends. And it is friendship that, more than food itself, leads to conversions.

How could any religious believer, who thinks his faith has the answers to ultimate questions, not share those answers with others? The patriarch operated in a free market of ideas, where he was able to share his conception of the One God. Part of his legacy is missionary work. Another part is the liberty to make friends by offering food, and then to tell them about your God.

Time to drain Foggy Bottom

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Not a day goes by without a report that employees of our State Department (motto: "To protect and to serve... Saudi interests") is in some way undermining the policies of their nominal boss, President Bush.

Donna M. Hughes, Women's Studies Professor at the University of Rhode Island, reports on NRO that the State Department seems to be touting legalized prostitution to foreign countries as a solution to the problem of global sex trafficking:

Last week, the State Department took a Southeast Asian delegation for a tour of a brothel in Nevada. As a part of the International Visitor's Program, nine people from the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia visited the Moonlite Bunny Ranch and heard lectures on legal prostitution....

Taking foreign visitors to brothels in Nevada seems to be an ongoing practice of the State Department. In August 1999, I gave a presentation on trafficking of women and children for prostitution to a group of U.S. Information Agency visitors from East Asia. They told me they too had visited a brothel in Nevada as part of their tour....

The purpose of these particular State Department visitors' tours is to teach the participants about human trafficking and how the U.S. is combating the problem. One might conclude from the program of a visiting brothel and a pro-prostitution organization that the State Department is telling international visitors that legalization of prostitution is a solution to trafficking.

Meanwhile, the Washington Times reports on morale over at State Department HQ:

Walk the halls of the State Department's main offices in Washington these days, and you'll encounter an abundance of political cartoons something you could not have found even three years ago. It's not that the diplomats at Foggy Bottom have suddenly developed a sense of humor, but rather a newfound contempt for the leader of the free world. The cartoons overwhelmingly lampoon President Bush as a simpleton who doesn't understand the "complexities" of the foreign policy.

Foreign Service sneering at a president is nothing new, of course, but such open disrespect for a commander-in-chief hasn't existed since Foggy Bottom's diplomats decried Ronald Reagan's description of the Soviet Union as an "evil empire." But at least then-Secretary of State George Schultz was able to keep something of a handle on his lieutenants and foot soldiers. Colin Powell has not.

Consider an example with deep policy ramifications. On March 31, representatives of the North Korean government told State Department officials, for the first time, that they were reprocessing plutonium, a key step in developing nuclear weapons. The Pentagon and the White House did not learn of this stunning announcement until Pyongyang told them during previously scheduled talks with North Korea in China on April 18. The State Department intentionally withheld this vital piece of information, fearing that, if the White House knew, officials there might call off the meeting. The White House was reportedly furious about this deception, but it has done nothing concrete to make sure it doesn't happen again.

And if you want more reason to get mad, read through NRO's archive of reporting by Joel Mowbray, who has relentlessly covered the State Department's policy of expediting visas for Saudi nationals, obstructing efforts to release abducted American children being held in Saudi Arabia, and undermining our relationship with Turkey.

Does the State Department exist to represent U. S. interests abroad, or to influence U. S. policy for the benefit of foreign countries? Is there corruption -- bribery -- behind this behavior? Or is it that people attracted to the Foreign Service are more likely to be enamored of foreign countries and disdainful of America? Does the glamour of jetting around the world and attending peace conferences in fancy hotels lead to a preference for "peace process" over real peace (which usually only results from the measured application of military force)?

Perhaps we ought to fire the whole lot and start from scratch. A government agency charged with representing our interests around the world ought to by manned by people who identify with those interests. Yes, Foreign Service employees should have an appreciation for foreign cultures, but they ought to passionately love our culture, our way of life, and our traditions of liberty and rule of law, and seek to defend them against all threats.

If someone views himself more as a "citizen of the World" then as an American, let him go join the French Foreign Legion. He doesn't belong in the U. S. Foreign Service.

A hat tip to Little Green Footballs for the link to the Washington Times op-ed. LGF is another source for a long litany of State Department outrages.

There's more to the story of Abigail Litle. About a month after her murder by a terrorist, her father Phil, a friend of mine from college, collected his thoughts and remembrances of his daughter, of learning of her murder, mourning her death, and celebrating her victory over death through her faith in Christ. With Phil's approval and encouragement, I want to make her story known as widely as possible. The full text is below. (You can also download the original PDF from Phil. It's a large file, 961 KB, which included some color photos, but the text is identical to what you see here.)

Here's a quote from Phil's introductory letter, which is an apt summary of the article.

The measure of our love for Abigail can be found in the depth of our pain. How it hurts that we can no longer hold her, that our partnership in the dreams she dreamt is broken and that our dreams which included her being here on earth with us are over. But we are finding comfort and strength in the Lord through the prayers of the multitudes who are interceding for us -- many who we have never met. We are thankful that we can know that we will hold her once again as we share together in our Heavenly Father's Kingdom.

We have tried to record some of the events and our experiences beginning with the moments we first heard of the bus bombing in Haifa. Our desire is that the Lord would enourage your hearts and strengthen you as you pray for us in the weeks and months ahead.

More victims of hate

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Charles Johnson is reporting that there has been another terror attack in Jerusalem, in addition to a bus bombing earlier today. There is no negotiating with these people, and it is time the US stopped pushing Israel into committing national suicide.

If you care about the Middle East and want the unvarnished truth about our "partners in peace", you should visit Charles Johnson's website, Little Green Footballs, every day.

What follows is an article I wrote back in March. The article was written two weeks after the daughter of some dear friends of mine was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on a bus in Haifa, Israel on March 5, 2003. I am re-publishing it here for the convenience of the readers of this weblog, who may not have had the chance to read it before. I also wanted to make a couple of corrections to reflect some better information that I received subsequent to its original publication. Here's a quote from the article; follow the link at the end of this entry to read the whole thing:

Two American young women died violent deaths in Israel in recent weeks. Much has been written about Rachel Corrie, the 23 year old radical, killed accidently when she chose to throw herself in front of a bulldozer as she tried to protect tunnels used by Palestinian terrorists. For some reason, the media hasn't given as much attention to the other victim, a teenage girl riding a bus. Let me tell you about her.

Wednesday, March 5, 2003, Abigail Litle, a 14-year-old American living in Haifa, a Christian attending a predominantly Jewish school, was going about her routine. She was taking the bus from her high school to a tutoring appointment for help with her dyslexia. Riding with her was a schoolmate, Juval Mendelevich. Juval was on his cell phone, telling his dad how his day had been. It was their last conversation.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Global News category from May 2003.

Global News: June 2003 is the next archive.

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