Thursday, December 18, 2008

governments stopping evil?

Whatever one thinks of Rick Warren's controversial statements on abortion and gay rights, I think by far the most disqualifying thing about him fto deliver the invocation at Obama's inauguration is that he supports the assassination of foreign leaders... specifically Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Responding to Hannity’s assertion that “we need to take him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out,” Warren agreed, saying that stopping evil “is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers.”

Words fail me here. Does Warren think that invading and destabilizing Iraq, leading to the deaths of as many as a million people and the displacement of one sixth of the Iraqi population, was a just use of governmnent because it "punished" the evildoing Saddam Hussein? Would war with Iran, with the immense casualties that would come with it, be an example of fighting evil? And would a world where assassinating unfavorable leaders is acceptable -- this is against US government policy, by the way -- be a world of justice? Killing Allende and Lumumba and removing Mossadeqh... OK?

Ultimately, the main problems here -- problems that afflict foreign policy in general are:
-- the assumption that anyone that is opposing US geopolitical interests is "evil"
-- the assumption that the use of force to remove a bad actor like Ahmadinejad will improve the situation in Iran, the Middle East, or for the United States
-- the Messianic belief in spreading American values by whatever means, a tactic guaranteed to pit foreign American values against domestic nationalism, a battle which nationalism will always win

Thankfully Warren won't get within a hundred yards of the Obama Administration's foreign policy, but it's a little annoying that he'll be standing right next to the President giving a speech on his inauguration day. Hopefully the speech will skirt around foreign affairs.

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