Headlines from the New York Times for Thursday, March 22, 2018
Trump’s Talk Worries Me, Like the Talk Before the Iraq War
(This is an excerpt from an editorial by Nicholas Kristof. I hope you get a chance to read the entire article in the New York Times.)
“We will be greeted as liberators” upon invading Iraq, Vice President Dick Cheney counseled in 2003 on the eve of the war. He had already relayed a prediction that the streets in Basra and Baghdad are “sure to erupt in joy.”
President George W. Bush declared that there was “no doubt” that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that an invasion would be largely self-financing and that it would last “five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer.”
So 15 years ago this week, the United States careered into one of the most cataclysmic, expensive and idiotic blunders of the last half-century: We invaded Iraq.
The financial cost alone to the United States will top $3 trillion, according to the estimates of the economists Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, or about $24,000 per American household. Some 4,400 American soldiers died in Iraq, along with approximately 500,000 Iraqis, according to a survey and academic study.
The war helped trigger the Syria war, the genocide against the Yazidi and Middle East Christians, the rise of the Islamic State, the strengthening of Iran and a broader Sunni-Shiite conflict in the Middle East that will claim lives for years to come.
We should try to learn from these calamitous misjudgments, but I have a grim feeling in my belly, a bit like I had in the run-up to the Iraq war, that we have a president who is leading us toward reckless, catastrophic conflict.
Readings from the Gospel of John for Thursday, March 22, 2018
John 5 tells the story of a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years. After Jesus and the man conversed, Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” John reports that at once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. (See John 5.8-9).
When God makes clear his will to us and when we respond to it with faith, God’s power is free to move.
One of the best ways to recognize God’s will is to prayerfully and systematically read the Bible. Prayerful Bible readers use the Bible to connect with God on a regular basis. They don’t simply hunt for Bible verses that support their views. Rather, they read in an orderly fashion. This provides an opportunity for God to encounter them with his direction.
Once we hear from God, it requires faith to act on it. Dr. Henry Blackaby says that God often gives us “God-sized” direction that only God can accomplish. As we trust God, he provides the power for his activity.
I believe God wants to be glorified in bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula. I trust that there are thousands of South Koreans, who are praying every day for God’s intervention in the peace process. I regularly join them in praying for God’s activity to bring peace to their region.
Prayers for Thursday, March 22, 2018
Dear God, we ask that you bring peace to the Korean Peninsula.