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This Month's Scripture Verse:

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Reason For Hopelessness: Our (Homi/Sui)cidal Leaders

It seems like what John Lennon said in 1968 (see the video above) applies in full force today. For if we are not talking about how to treat Iran over its nuclear aspirations, we are talking about the US sending troops to nations that border Russia--no need to mention the nuclear capabilities of the nations involved here--as the West has broken its promises of not moving east in exchange for the reunification of Germany. And one of the Russian responses to America's policies suggested a nuclear strike on Yellowstone and the San Andreas fault in order to trigger catastrophic results (click here). It isn't certain whether that analyst understands that if Yellowstone erupts,  not only will America be decimated, much of the whole world will be put at risk (click here). Of course, we should include how Russia has been trying force its way into the Ukraine as the U.S. and the 

And while Netanyahu wants a better, though perhaps unrealistic, deal with Iran (click here and there), Republican leaders and wannabe leaders are calling for the possible bombing of Iran (click here and there). Netanyahu's worries here include the financial recovery for Iran and a Middle East Arms race. Note how, in the MSNBC video, the Israeli representative calls on Iran to act as a "normal" nation if it wants to be treated as one. But consider the source. How has Israel treated both Lebanon and the Palestinians? Is Russia a normal country? Then what about Chechnya and the Ukraine? Is the U.S. normal country? No need to list the number of interventions on our part? How about France or Great Britain? Haven't they joined us in interventions or had some of their own?

The concern that the Israeli representative(see the video linked to above) shows for Iran obtaining nuclear weapons too soon is too limited and selective. When Israel has its way with the Palestinians, shouldn't it expect challenges? What kind of reaction did Russia receive when it did the same in Chechnya? And we weren't greeted as liberators in Iraq, were we?

What the Iran controversy is about is the tension that exists from the desires of a nation, which exists in the lowest tier of a multi-tier international pecking order, to switch tiers and move on up in the world. Meanwhile, the big fish in the pond, Israel, feels threatened about the change and for some understandable reasons. Being on the recipient end of chants that say 'Death to Israel' can understandably put you on edge. Seeing how the nation calling for that is moving up in the world in terms of its economy and its technological capabilities can be disconcerting. 

But the moving up of nations from the lower tiers to upper tiers is not only a normal occurrence in history, it is facilitated by the spread of technology. And perhaps, that is the real issue both now and in the future. Technology is spreading and as it does, it brings more parity between nations and even groups. Parity brings a change in the pecking order. And changes in the pecking order can also bring calls for retaliation. So those nations that have taken full advantage of being upper tier nations could have many legitimate concerns when nations change the tier in which they are in.

This changing tiers among nations is perhaps the biggest argument for relying on the rule of law, rather than the rule of force, especially when one's nation is in the upper tier. Relying on the rule of force could be very expedient today, but it can put one at great risk in the future. This is why the Iran nuclear deal has become such a sensitive issue. Iran wants to advance so that it can change tiers. Israel is worried that once Iran does, it will be in a better position to settle some old scores. In addition, Israel won't have as free a reign over the region as it once did.

As technology advances, our only hope for survival is to coexist as equal partners with all others. And, for good reason, while many can point to history and say that such coexistence is the impossible dream, the future is saying that relying on a pecking order is not survivable. For either we will always be stuck in a cycle of maintaining the international status quo by bombing suspect nations into the past until we are overwhelmed by a growing number of enemies, or we will fall a peg or two because keeping our current place in the world is simply not sustainable. With either scenario, we make ourselves, and others, increasingly vulnerable in the future.

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