Casus belli

Thanks to BlueForceTracker for republishing.

BlueForceTracker is a useful bridge between military and civilian understandings of current events, providing insightful analysis by military personnel and veterans.  But in one recent article, the prolific Nolan Peterson skips a couple of important items.

In “Yes, countries with McDonald’s do go to war with each other,” Peterson effectively identifies human nature as a source of interstate conflict.  He joins classical realists like Clausewitz and Hans Morgenthau, and Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes before them.  As a military pilot, diplomat, and journalist, Peterson has seen more of human nature’s dark sides than most people.  But he omits some of the important parts of the framework – the “McDonalds peace” – in which he structures his argument. Continue reading “Casus belli”

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In Defense of Christians

summit of leaders from churches across the Middle East began today (Sept 9) in Washington, with representatives from  Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Melkite Greek Catholic, Chaldean, Antiochian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Assyrian Church of the East, and more. It continues Sept 10-11.

The format of the opening prayer service was apparently one which was last done by St John Paul II in 1987, and had never been done in the United States. It was based on 3rd and 4th century customs, and in several languages.

The messages were simple, and clear:  history divides us but faith [and desperation?] unites us; we must fight the most difficult way: with love; when in doubt, follow the Golden Rule.  The homily was one from St John Chrysostrum: you are the salt of the earth and St Matthew calls you to work for the whole world.   Continue reading “In Defense of Christians”