Category Archives: Forgivness

MAKING SENSE OUT OF THE NEWTOWN TRAGEDY

            Please forgive me for digressing from my usual analysis of conditions in the Middle East. The tragedy that has consumed America’s attention demands a response.

            Some decades ago, I wrote When There Is No Miracle, trying to help people understand and face tragedy. I came to the conclusion that there is no satisfactory answer to explain why it happened. The only recourse is to ask what can we do in response. This insight is particularly true in Newtown, Connecticut. No explanation can be spoken to the parents of the 20 innocent children or the kin of the six adults that will unravel the mystery of such a draconian disaster. But we must consider what can be done.

We can do more to stop these senseless catastrophes. I do know something about the after effects. I grew up in Bailey, Colorado where a lunatic entered the local high school and killed 16 year-old Emily Keyes. She had been my server on Saturdays at a local cafe. I know many of the local students still struggling with the impact of this senseless tragedy. Littleton’s Columbine High School where two boys shot 12 students and killed one teacher is not that far away. Last summer, I awoke one July morning to discover that Aurora’s movie theater had been the scene of 12 being killed and 58 injured by crazy James Holmes. I have observed the problem up close.

Extreme gun advocates like the NRA have their slogans in response to these tragedies such as, “Guns Don’t Kill, People Kill.” Really? The children in Newtown weren’t shot by bow and arrows? Obviously, guns do kill. The better slogan would be “Guns and People Kill.” We must face the fact that guns are intricate to this national problem. In the USA, there are more gun dealers than grocery stores or McDonalds.

Moreover, evil lays at the heart of the matter. Our national refusal to bring automatic weapons under control has provided the Evil One with a draconian means of completing his purposes. Yes, many of these killings came from disturbed and mentally ill persons. Our society has many such individuals wandering around. Can you think of a better reason to bring weaponry under control?

Certainly the issue isn’t intruding on hunters with sportsmen’s intentions or home owners protecting their property. They have a right to own weapons. The problem before us are the Mossberg 715T Tactical semi-automatic rifles, the Ar-15’s, the M-16’s, and a host of weapons that should have no place in a civilized society. Yes, we can crack down on gun registration and the ability to obtain weapons at gun shows as easily as buying groceries. We can do infinitely better in reining in these killing machines. We halted slavery; we can reduce shootings. Remember when you could smoke on an airplane and in a restaurant? If we reduced the cancer sticks, we can certainly restrict assault weapons.

Oh yes, the argument will be, “but you can’t stop criminals from getting guns.”

The trouble is these public mass murderers weren’t committed by hardened criminals. Just local folks.

Part of the irony of the Newtown tragedy is that shooter Adam Lanza’s mother killed that day was a gun enthusiast. The Glock and Sig Sauer pistols as well as the .223 caliber rifle carried by Lanza were from her stockpile of weapons. Not only did her personal arsenal not protect her, but she died because of it.

The time has come to wake up. We can make a significant inroad into these horrendous tragedies. We don’t need any more evidence. I can’t tell you why it happened, but here are suggestions for what we can do.

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WHAT’S COOKING IN EGYPT?

WHAT’S COOKING IN EGYPT?

            The results of elections appears to be universal. Candidates kiss babies, grin, wave, and promise everything from taking care of your old age to rejuvenating the country, And what happens? The week after the elcction when the dancing in the streets is done, the politicans get down to business and it’s nothing like they promised.

Today, the politicians in Egypt are getting down to business. The dust is clearing and the squeeze is on. What does it mean? Well, there’s good news and bad news.

Egypt’s new president Mohamed Morsi fired the military’s chief of staff and just threw out one of the major provisions that the military imposed on the government. Will Morsi’s actions stick? Hard to say. The military will probably wait and see what comes next.  Morsi has definitely taken a major step forward in asserting the power of his office and propelling himself into an authoriative position over the military. How long he can prevail is a “wait and see” proposition. After it’s said and done, the military has the bullets and are well positioned to resist.

On the other hand, the most radical ideals of the Moslem Brotherhood don’t seem to be materializing. As is generally true of politicans, Mohamed Morsi has come face-to-face with political realities and that produces compromise. Morsi has made some of his own adjustments that involve backing away from some of his campaign promises. On of these compromises appears to be dropping the idea of changing the peace treaty with Israel. Such an adaptation takes a step toward a more peaceful Middle East.

In addition, recent visits by Secretary Hillary Clinton and Defense Secrerary Leon Penetta seem to be paying off in an unexpected way. In a recent blog, I noted Clinton got a nasty reception from Cairo demonstrators. However, she did come down on the side of constitutional government which put her on Morsi’s side in that struggle. During the visit, she warned of security issues in the Sinai and offered American help. Subsequently, terrorist gunmen in the Sinai attacked Egyptian border posts and comandeered two military vehicles used to storm the Israeli border. The unanticipated attacks deeply shook Morsi’s government. Morsi’s response is now viewed as an important test of the nascent presidency.

Indicating a renewned confidence in the United States, Egypt has now accelerated talks about American assistance in protecting the Sinai, including acquiring military equipment with electronic and aerial surveilance as well as police training. The American State Department warned that the Sinai is being used as a base for smuggling arms into Gaza for Palestinian extremists. Moreover, the USA has 700 American soliders in the Sinai as part of an international peacekeeping force in the area. Secretary Clinton expressed concern about the welfare of these American troops. While Egypt has always been sensitive about American direct involvment in its security, they do receive $1.5 billion dollars a year in assistance.

Egyptian troops, light tanks, attack helicopters are now pouring into the Sinai desert to root out the increasingly agressive Islamic militants. Egypt’s military action reflects a key provision of the l979 peace treaty which promised the demilitarization of the Sinai peninsula. Egypt’s push to secure the border is an important step indicating a continuing alliance with both America and Israel.

Morsi’s govenment’s actions seems to indicate the train may be back on the track in terms

 

of American and Israeli relationships. The next question is where the train is actually going.

 

Question: Is it possible for Egypt to come out of the current struggle in better shape than was previously thought?

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MAKING SENSE OUT OF ISRAEL TODAY

MAKING SENSE OUT OF ISRAEL TODAY

            Recently, a friend who follows this blog ask me to evaluate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As I explained how different and complicated the Israel political system is, I remembered a statement the the Prime Minister once made to President Bill Clinton. “Mr. President, you know that Israel has very few friends, and these Evangelical Christian leaders are the best friends that Israel has in all the world.”

No matter what else one says about the Prime Minister, he certainly knows who he can count on.

Often identifying themselves as “Christian Zionists,” this large and significant group support Israel with financial, political, and spiritual influence. When any attack comes, these Evangelicals are ready to respond … and will!

In the present political environment, disillusionment with the current American administration may have a significant effect on how these Evangelicals vote in the fall. Obama is not a popular figure in Israel and is currently blamed for failure to act decisively. Christian Zionists attacked Secretary of State Clinton for having a Moslem aide, Huma Abedin. They fear the administration may have ties to the Moselm Brotherhood and display a lack of balance toward Israel in the United Nations. While the opposition would oppose many of these accusations, they may still effect Evangelical voters as the fall approaches. Regardless of who is elected, Evangelical Christians argue they will remain the most valuable asset Israel has in America.

Netanyahu understands this fact and will not be shy about using their influence.

At the same time, other voices fear that Israel may be faced with the specter of a “fading democracy.” Former speaker of the Knesset and the chairman of Molad, the Center for Renewnal of Democracy recently expressed such fears in the August 5, 2012 edition of The New York Times.  Burg deplored recent comments in Israel by the Republican presidential candidate urging Israel to strike Iran. Burg perceives such talk as reflective of a shift in both countries, moving away from mutually positive values toward a new set of interests in bombs, fear, and war. Brug worries Netayahu is bending toward the pressure applied by a fundamentalist coalition within Israel.

Israel began as a secular democratic country framing its hopes by the example of Western European democracies. Avraham Burg believes this motivation has shifted because the most extreme Orthodox groups lean hard on the government. Any observer can see that the country has become less secular and is now defined far more in religious terms, The country is also less modern. He writes, “the winds of isolation and narrowness are blowing through Israel.”

How the nation of Israel deals with the creation of a Palestinian state will possible provide the answer for which way Israel is going. Coercion and indifference toward other people’s right could radically derail the country. Israel is standing at an extremely important crossroads. All of which brings us back to Benjamin Netanyahu and the caliber of job he is doing.

The real answer lies in the decisions he makes about Israel’s destiny. The issue is much larger than simply bombing Iran.  Does Iran have it coming if they start building a bomb? Of course. But the fate of the nation is much more complex than Mitt Romney understands. It’s time for genuine soul searching in the Prime Minister’s office. (585 words)

Question: What can be done to keep the exteme Orthodox from turning Israel into a Jewish expression  of the same factors than control a country like Iran?

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BOOKS YOU’LL LOVE: THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY

BOOKS YOU’LL LOVE: THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY

    “And why did you write that story?”
     Authors hear the question everyday. What’s hidden within the folds of the story? What secrets created the tale I’m telling. When the book is non-fiction,
the riddle may even be more intriguing. During the decades that I wrote my 32 published books, these are the back pages behind the headline episodes.
Here are the fascinating scenes behind the big picture!

 

 

THE ASSASSINS

            The Assassins features three Russian killers: Alex Orlov, Sergei Lapin, and Nikolai Markov. The books notes a “remarkable sameness” in these men because I attempted to pattern them after Russians I met in different capacities during my travels in the Soviet Union. I saw pudgy-cheeked men, fattened from eating too much pastry and a consumption of vodka and cognac that to this day remains legendary. Often, one sees eyebrows that remind an observer of Leonid Brezhnev. Plum cheeks squeezing the eyes are in every public setting.

Why so similar and predicable?

Because that’s the way Russian society looks. Too much lard and grease in the diet.

As I traveled from Moscow to Minsk and on to St. Petersburg, I found the travel guides tried to impress me on how affluent their society really was. However, once you strolled down the main street of any city and then turned down a side street, you immediately realized that there weren’t any curbing on the streets. A visit to Kum’s Department store near the Kremlin revealed not a plush mall, but stalls boxed together like a flea market. During the Stalinist era, all resources went into armaments and the rest of the society dangled on the end of a thin thread. The Russian heritage had been to create illusions that were nothing more than cardboard and plywood store fronts with nothing behind them.

I wanted these assassins to fit the scenery that exists behind the illusions. Some years ago Gorbachev was briefly deposed by men in the Kremlin who appeared on television wearing the same gray suits, sitting together discussing why Gorbachev had to go. I think that particular coupe last three days, but during that time we got to see plenty of the “grayness” of official Soviet bureaucracy. My three assassins reflect the same bland, meaninglessness of the Soviet system.

Someone might protest that these three killers seem flat, colorness, and animalistic. Correct. Americans have become adjusted to exciting villians in the movies. We get everything from the Joker to Hannibal Lecter. We’ve come to expect exciting and challenging “bad guys.”

Even Vito Corleone and his sons became the anti-heros who were better than the other criminals so we ended up cheering for the Corlione family. Are genuine real-life criminals like this?

No.

For some time I worked as a counselor in a 3,000 prisoner institution. At the end of the day, I’d generally went home depressed. The vast majority of the prisioners were not very bright and many were borderline normal. Their crimes were stupid and their behavior often ridiculous.  Once they were released, many quickly returned for crimes ranging from shop lifting to holding up a small grocery store with a toy pistol. Coming from broken and deprived homes, their behavior tended to be predictable, meaningless, and often frighteningly destructive.

I wanted the assassins in my story to reflect the real world. Killers of this sort are definitely sociopathic and probably on the psychopathic side. That means they don’t feel the pain they inflict on others. Murderers are self-preoccupied and indifferent to the chaos they impose on other.

Only Masha Khaykina in the story was different. In her struggle to survive, she remained in touch with human values.

I hope my explanation  makes the character a tad more real for you.

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TAKING A SECOND LOOK AT THE BATTLEFIELD

 

 

TAKING A SECOND LOOK AT THE BATTLEFIELD

SYRIA

            In the July 22, 2012 New York Times, Janine Giovanni reports on her just completed experience traveling in Syria. Ms. Giovanni describes her disconcerting encounters one receives in the midst of a civil war. The continuing degeneration of Syria lay in rubble everywhere along with a near-total media blackout. While Syrians earlier identified themselves by their national origin, they now describe themselves as Alawites, Christians, Sunnis, Shias, and Druze. The core of the country is crumbling.

Disintegration also appears on the diplomatic front. Kofi Annan tried and failed. Universally, we now recognize cease-fire actually means buying time for more killing. With Russian vetos at the U.N. protecting their own interests,  Giovanni perceives another Bosnia looms on the horizon. Boundaries become indistinguishable. I know what she means.

More by accident than intention, some years ago I traveled through the Bosnian conflict on my way down to the Adriatic Sea. Through the windshield, I recognized we were approaching a sandbagged machine gun outpost. We pulled up and I ask where we were. The soldier leaned over his weapon and said, “In the middle of the war.” No signs said, “War straight ahead: Detour.” Needless to say, we quickly moved on!

Janine Giovanni’s point is that no one’s in charge in Syria.

Recently, I received a blog response from Italian journalist Alessandra Nucci warning about distortions in the media reporting on the war. She makes two points worth remembering. First, many stories may reflect personal opinions that may be political bias. She’s right on the money; particularly in a civil war with a news blackout. You have to view the situation from many angles to get the total picture. Recently, a United Kingdom source claimed the “Arab Springtime” was planned by Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama. From the very beginning U.S. Secret Service agents were behind the uprisings. Sheer nonsense, but it makes her point.  The Manchester Guardian seemed to believe Assad had been framed. Come on, folks. Let’s get real.

Second, Nucci notes that ending the Assad regime may only bring more chaos, not improvement. Right again.

Many Israelis are not supporting the overthrow of Assad for this very reason. Former Mossad head Meir Dagan noted that the devil you know is to be preferred to the devil your don’t know. Alessandra Nucci makes the point that Assad may well be replaced by a more radical Islamic fundamentalist regime. Anticipating this possibility, the United States has been supplying material and weapons to the rebels. Obviously, hoping to come out on their good side.

Ms. Nucci warns that overthrow of Assad could result in hundreds of thousands of Christians fleeing the country after a rebel victory or being murdered by Muslims. It is true that the Christian population has supported Assad because his government has protected minorities (Assad, the Alawit, comes from a minority)

So what can we conclude today? One can’t overlook Assad’s atrocities and cruelty. At the same time, assessing the rebels may not yield better expectations. The civil war keeps going back and forth so our currents opinions could be proven wrong. We won’t know for sure until the war is completely over.

 

Question.

What do you think might end the Syrian conflict?

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EGYPT: FIRING THE SECOND SHOT

EGYPT: FIRING THE SECOND SHOT

In the last blog, I examined President Mohammed Morsi’s challenge to the generals. On the heels of that confrontation, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton arrived in town. The exchange wasn’t much better.
Of course, the United States is concerned. Hosni Mubarak proved to be a good ally. Even with the problems of his administration, the strong man helped both the USA and Israel. A period of relative peace provided prosperity for Egypt. Clinton wisely wanted to encourage the relationship. Unfortunately, the new day remains filled with old wounds. Clinton’s initial encounter didn’t come off any better than Morsi’s first dance with the generals.

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EGYPT: FIRING THE FIRST SHOT

EGYPT: FIRING THE FIRST SHOT

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi enters office.
His first act? Challenge the military.
Sorry. That’s not the way to kick-off the football game!
The new Egyptian President appears to be dead set on a confrontation with the military. Even thought the Supreme Court had ruled to the contrary, Morsi reconvened the parliament that had been dissolved by the generals. His actions were a direct confrontation with the military establishment which in fact rules the country. So, what is going on in Egypt?
The military has the tanks, guns, ammo, and equipment. The truth is that they control the country and aren’t about to relinquish that role. Morsi only won the election by the slightest margin, but knows that he has the complete backing of the more radical Moslem Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has the ability to fill the streets with protestors screaming and carrying signs. They can pack out Tahrir Square in the snap of a finger. Who do you think is going to win that confrontation? Not Morsi.
Possibly, Mohammed Morsi has chosen a confrontational road in hopes of forcing the military to back down and make way for the rise of an Islamic state. At first blush, it would appear Morsi envisons a state something like Iran. Islamic law rules and everyone is on their knees with their faces on the ground. Will that fly with the military? Obviously not.
There are a number of varieties of Islamic faith. What we hear most about these days is the more extreme right-wing variety. Leaders like Anwar Sadat were not of this stripe, and remained wary of such extreme expressions. Since the Iranian revolution, what has emerged in recent years in that country is an aggressive expression of belief like what the West experienced with Osama Ben Laden. Morsi seems to be heading in this direction of such a fundamentalist government. The recent close vote suggests that at least half of the country are not sympathetic with this confrontational expression of their Moslem faith. However, fundamentalist don’t have a history of paying attention to such factions. Because they believe they are absolutely right, they plow ahead regardless of the struggle and assume their ideas will prevail no matter how formidable the enemy. Some of history’s most tragic battles have resulted from this form of reasoning.
Is Mohammed Morsi going down this rocky road? Let’s hope not. Possibly, he is only trying a political ploy to draw the military out and see if adjustments can be made. On the other hand, with the Moslem Brotherhood’s record, he probably isn’t. If he prevails, get ready for another Iran to emerge. If he fails, the headlines will tell another sad story. Not a good scene no matter which way you throw the dice.

Question: Can the West trust Mohammed Morse? Your opinion.

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READING THE TOP DOGS CORRECTLY

Two significant men are key factors in much of what is currently happening in the Middle East. While it is not always easy to get a definite reading on either man, I believe it is important to access them as clearly as possible. We’re talking about Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu.
In an election year, anything said about President Obama ends up in a political context with the assumption that I’m either promoting or denigrating the candidate. Hopefully, you’ll recognize the tendency and side step the temptation to interpret me in that light. What follows is a candid attempt at an evaluation of the man. While President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize within months of his election, many observers believed the award to be questionable. In fact, Obama’s record has not been what would normally expect of a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
A brief reading of the historic record reveals the following: More military aggression than most presidents have displayed in decades. Not only was Osama Ben Laden taken out, but Al Qaeda’s leadership has been decimated. Drone attacks in Pakistan have not won friends in that government, but have made it clear that Obama isn’t backing down. Effective covert wars in Yemen and Somalia along with a three-fold increase in American troops in Afghanistan made it evident that the president had no problem in waging war. Obama was the first American president to authorize the assassination of a citizen when Anwar Al-Awlaki (born in New Mexico) was hit by a drone attack in Yemen.
Liberals who worked to elect Obama probably don’t rejoice in this record. Nevertheless, when Obama accepted the Nobel Peace prize, he articulated his position on war and made it clear that he was not a pacificist. He said, “For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world.”
In a similar fashion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also offers surprises. Politics in Israel can be wilder than what unfolds in America. On May 8, Netanyahu demonstrated what a clever and innovative politician he really is. Former political battles had been with Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni. Certainly Livni is a woman of significant capacity and drive. However, she had been forced from party leadership after failing to join the Netanyahu coalition following the last election. On May 8, the prime minister made a public appearance to announce that Shaul Mofaz, the current head of Kadima, had joined his government, creating a new coalition.
No one in Israel anticipated this engagement that signaled what a significant politician Netanyahu is. The prime minister’s surprise move brought enduring stability to his government, guaranteeing survival until the next scheduled election in October, 2013. Not only is perseverance and continuity guaranteed, Netanyahu has the firm grip to persue any policy he wishes sue. Say, for example, — bombing Iran. (Which Ehud Barak is itching to do!)
The point? Both men do not back away from conflict. Neither is afraid to strike and both are capable of recognizing the expedient military path. Political opponents should be weary of pushing either leader into a corner. Obama and Netanyahu now stand ready to take any road that best serves their country and their purposes without worrying about internal opposition stopping them.
Don’t let the American election environment with bizarre charges misguide you. Both men are capable, ready, and willing.

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Update on Jordan

UNDATE ON JORDAN

In a recent blog, I noted that King Abdullah had missed the target by 10 feet in some of his recent remarks he made about the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Jordanian miscalculations are not a new experience. The Soviet Union had urged King Hussein, Abdullah’s father, to join the attack on Israel during theYom Kippur War, promising him full military support. The result was that Jordan lost the West bank, their portion of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount. A miscalculation indeed!

In his statements a few weeks back, Abdullah blamed Israel for the failure of peace talks without mentioning that the Palestinians had pulled out, gone to the United Nations, and sought independent recognition for statehood. Of course, the Palestinian ploy has gone nowhere.

I felt it might be helpful to note how the situation in Jordan appears to be developing subsequently. Once again, King Abdullah may have, at the least, a portion of his head in the sand. The larger issue is his personal concern for his government’s survival. With the Arab spring breaking out across the Middle East, Jordan is not exempted. In America, springtime seems to be coming a bit early this year. I’ve got a hunch that Abdullah may be concerned about unexpected tulips springing up in his own front yard.

A revolution in Jordan might roll in like a spring tornado.

The truth is that Palestinians are discriminated against in Jordan. King Hussein ran Yassar Arafat and his followers our of Jordan and into Lebanon because they became a threat to the country’s solidarity. In public statements Abdullah has called on Jordanians to end class divisions that “have marginalized Palestinians citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom.” Unfortunately, the public statements don’t fit his private practice. Two former senior Jordanian officials have said Abdullah’s actual policy has been to sustain discrimination. One of the Wikileaks expose’s was statements from former prime minister Tahir Masri as well as one of Abdullah’s former senior adviser’s, Adnan Abu Odeh. They confirmed Abdullah’s discrimination policy.

Even though Abdullah’s wife is from a Palestinian refugee family, his discriminatory policies extended to withdrawing passports from Palestinians. Human Rights Watch Middle East Director Sarah Lean Whitson commented, “Jordan is playing politics with the basic rights of thousands of its citizens.” Additional issues and problems currently exist in Jordan.

Today the Palestinians constitute a majority in Jordan. In spite of his public comments, King Abdullah has private worries.  The Palestinian population could turn on him and knock his government into the stream flowing through the Arab spring. The truth is that Jordan’s Palestinians are fed up with him. Ant-Israeli rhetoric won’t heal the discontents of dispossessed people. He gets no exemptions from his problems by attacking Israel. King Abdullah has best keep his eyes on his backyard and make sure the gate stays locked. I bet he keep his personal body guards on high alert.

Stand by! The news from Ammon could heat up this spring!

Question:

Do you believe Jordan could experience an Arab upraising against the King and the Hashemite Kingdom like Egypt and other Arab countries have experienced? Would King Abdullah survive?

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UPDATE! UPDATE! BARBIE GETS THE BOOT IN IRAN!

UPDATE! UPDATE! BARBIE GETS THE BOOT IN IRAN!

Citizens alert! Barbie’s passport has been cancelled in Tehran!

You think I’m kidding? The police have closed dozens of toy shops for selling the Barbie doll in Iranian stories. In a society where woman must wear head carves and men and women can’t swim together, Barbie’s swim suit and miniskirt collection have done her in. Branded a “Trojan Horse” by a government agency, Barbie is now considered a spy, smuggling in Western harmful trends like makeup or what they consider to be revealing clothes. Importing other Western toys has also been discouraged. Can you dig that?

Could this be the beginning of the fulfillment of John 24:7, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of sufferings.”?

Well, does it strike you that the Islamists and Mullahs might be a tad over the top in Iran? Maybe, it isn’t quite time to take out earthquake insurance. Pushing that little bit of nonsense to the back burner, there is a trickle of good news filtering out of Tehran. It appears in their confrontation with America the current regime has blinked first.

In contrast to the warning that a return of American warships to the Persian gulf would bring a dangerous response, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp. now says it considers a return of American military ships to be a routine activity. Further, Iran is backing away from the threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. The oil-market squeeze and the shortage of American dollars (created by U.S. policy) has whacked the Iranian currency, knocking it to its lowest level ever against the dollar. The leaders of Iran (whoever they may really be) appear to be re-thinking their situation.

Barbie’s still in trouble, but a real crisis may have been averted.

While much of Iran’s political situation remains an enigma, it also remains difficult to discern who actually is in control of the country. Certainly, the mullahs sit at the top, but there’s tension up and down the political ladder. The Revolutionary Guard appears to have viewpoints that don’t always line up with Prime Minister Ahmadinejad. We also know the country was recently rocked by citizen’s political riots. There are good signs that there remains considerable unrest in the country inspite of politically bellicose statements to the media.

Here’s the point.

An intelligence expert on Iran believes “Iran is deterred now from crossing the Rubicon and developing nuclear weapons.” While there’s no way to discover if this is true, it’s certain a sign of hope.

It appears a better verse for today might be Jeremiah 31:17, “There is hope for your future, says the Lord.” Buck up, Barbie. Tomorrow may prove to be a better day.

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