where is NT Wright in the war on terror

for some out there, Mr Wright has come down the mountain with words of peace from heaven. in my eyes though, he's only been plagiarizing Churchill's predecessor, Chamberlain, infamous for his appeasement of the Germans before WW2. he writes,
As a subset of this fourth problem, I draw attention to the fact that the very notion of a ‘war on terror’ strikes a false note. It wasn’t, of course, invented by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld; Bill Clinton and other earlier presidents used similar language, and the western powers have engaged in military action against terrorists and those who harbour them long before September 11. But the oddity of the notion itself, and the illogicality of actions which were bound to encourage terrorism rather than quieten it down, should tell us we’re in a moral mess. Rather than think things out properly, we have relied on the same methods as we used in the nineteenth century: if in doubt, send in the gunboats and teach Johnny Foreigner a lesson he won’t forget. The only way to fight terror is by working for mutual understanding and respect – winning hearts and minds, often said but not often done. Throwing stones at a wasp’s nest because one wasp has come out and stung you is not the best way of addressing, let alone solving, the problem.
no one denies he writes well. but if wasps are harassing your home, reasoning with them won't get the results that a can of Raid does. The US helped Afghanistan liberate themselves from the Soviet empire and showed good faith to the country. In turn, it let the Taliban come to power, a repressive political regime for a repressive religious regime. This new wasps nest let the terroristic Islamic bands set up training camps and send out raiders around the world, especially US interests. Clinton threw some rocks at the nest, but he didn't knock the nest down. Bush destroyed the nest. the wasps have scattered and the US hasn't been victimized since. why would Islamic fanatics consent to working for mutual respect and understanding with infidels? they will only accept an Islamic government in the US. negotiation isn't an option for them. what is there for an Anglican Bishop to understand about a culture of pedophilia and rape and female oppression? that last one is the norm for most Islamic political structures. hearts and minds are won with the good news of Jesus Christ, but that's anathema in today's Western political climate. who dares point out the repugnance of so much of the Islamic culture? it was very nice of the Caliphates to save ancient Greek and Latin works, but does this good deed whitewash all the evil? Hitler wasn't original in making Jews where stars, the Caliphs were doing that to the Christians and Jews long before him. it made it easier to remember who would be paying the tax for not converting.

Wright's political theory for Christians is thus
Third, therefore, it is part of the inalienable task of God’s people, of those who worship the creator God, whom we see in Jesus and know through the Spirit, to speak the truth to power: to remind governments, local councillors, authorities in every sphere, including church leaders, of their calling to selfless stewardship, and to point out fearlessly where this trust is being abused in whatever way. Once more, God is not nearly so interested in how rulers get to be rulers as he is in how they behave as rulers, and in the vital task of reminding them of their proper vocation and of calling them to account.

but believers in those Islamic regimes have no voice once they are put in prison for using it. human rights is based on the dignity of all people who are created in God's image, a philosophy mostly found in Christianity. its nice that liberals can protest here in Western nations, or riot if you are a Muslim in Western Europe, but its not legal in most Islamic regimes. but, in those regimes, believers are minorities and therefore suffer what most minorities in any political system suffer. but at least minorities in the West are allowed to make noise, and even achieve an improvement in their status. followers of Christ in Arabia are imprisoned. converts in other places are executed, either by the state or with its tacit approval by locals.

Wright urges
then we must think according to the pattern of Jesus Christ. And that means that the first place we should look for God in the War on Terror would be in the smouldering ruins of the Twin Towers, in the tears of the widows and children on that terrible day five years ago, and then in the ruins of Baghdad and Basra, the shattered homes and lives of the tens of thousands who have through no fault of their own been in the wrong place at the wrong time as the angry superpower, like a rogue elephant teased by a little dog, has gone on the rampage stamping on everything that moves in the hope of killing the dog by killing everything within reach.
the Iraqis themselves are the ones trampling on the innocents, not the rogue US elephant. its ridiculous to consider the rantings of Osama bin Laden as coherent. he claims his atacks on US properties was the result of US bases in Arabia in the first Gulf War when the US liberated another Islamic state from Saddam Hussein. did he forget that the infidels also helped liberate Afghanistan from atheists? the US outspent the other superpower and now Afghanistan is safe from the outside. its the internal threat that he presents that is the greatest fear. oppression by any political or religious party is still horrific. and Jesus is with those who suffer. but he is also with those who oppose the oppression of his image bearers.

is there a theology behind violence? if a man is beating his wife, reasoning with him between blows may not preserve her life. tackling him has a better chance. reasoning with al queda didn't stop bombings. bombing them has certainly diminished the scope of their violence. invading afghanistan resulted in a better result than not invading. invading Iraq, under deceptive circumstances has resulted in justice for the 10,000's he's massacared. there is peace in Kurdistan. but gangsters are still at large in the rest of the country. unfortunately, Iraq is surrounded by gangster governments who supply weapons and demonic ideology. if God is not on their side, could he be on the side of those who are trying to protect the innocents? is it coincidental that the side trying to protect the innocents is composed of many Christians?

however says Wright
But the way to make sure that the causes of terror are diminished and if possible eliminated altogether is not – of course it is not! – to drop bombs on potential terrorists until they get the point. That is to fight one kind of terror with another, which of course not only keeps terror in circulation but tends to stir up more. The way to eliminate the causes of terror is to seize every opportunity to work together, to talk together, to discover what makes people tick within worldviews quite unlike our own, and in short – as has been said within Iraq, but without much visible effect – to win hearts and minds not necessarily to a Christian worldview, certainly not to a modern secular western worldview, but to a shared worldview of common humanity, incoporating what the great majority of human beings want, genuine justice and genuine peace. Part of the task of the church in this generation is, I believe, to encourage all those who are working in this way, and to remind our politicians and our media that this is the direction we all ought to be travelling.
now he could use some clarification on military terminology. a regular army dresses its soldiers as to discriminate them from innocent civilians. terrorists use civilian garb and put innocents at risk. the Israeli army warned civilians in areas of south lebanon before bombing them. terrorist Hamas indiscriminately shot at civilian targets and not military ones. US bombs are predominantly dropped on terrorist infrastructure and military targets. the government is chastened when those objectives are nor primary, whether intentional or not. the US did work in Afghanistan before and during the Taliban. the taliban kicked out the US and Christian aid workers. they don't want to work together. the US brought incredible resources to aid in Muslim countries in their times of need, whether tsunamis or earthquakes or cyclones. instead, the US government is ascribed great powers by Islamic conspiracists who think the US caused these disasters as a cover to help and bring infidels into Muslim countries. oh yeah, even US citizen conspiracists ascribe incredible powers. so if the terrorists have refused dialog with the West, what options does the West have to protect the non-combatants? no good deeds are enough. its always goes like this... if the US had just done this other thing over here, the Finns are. i guess its hard to live up to the super powers the conspirators ascribe. the concept of shared humanity is mostly a Christian philosophy and not an option for those Wright wants to dialog with.

i think God is with the soldier opposing regimes of terror. i'm not sure if Wright supports that soldier. it doesn't seem so. i too support my believing siblings who are engaging Muslims, but i also know that their positions are not secure. some are at risk for expulsion from the countries they work in. they are bringing God's kingdom into the spheres that God has called them to and they are often pleasantly surprised to hear Jesus has gone before them in dreams and visions to Muslims. that's how God's kingdom comes, one repentant heart at a time. it for this reason i esteem his emissaries, his missionaries, on a mission to announce the good news that eternal life can be had and sins can be forgiven by consenting to be loved.


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