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The Rise of ISIS and the Immoral Equivalency of War

The Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore by Jay Sekulow is an extended essay attempting to draw a stark distinction between good guys (the U.S. and Israel) and bad guys (ISIS and Hamas). The author’s sole purpose is to justify the destruction of the bad guys by the good guys in good conscience and without remorse. That Jay Sekulow fails in his task is in no way due to the fact that real goodness and evil ...

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One My Lai A Month

“When somebody asks, ‘Why do you do it to a gook, why do you do this to people?’ your answer is, ‘So what, they’re just gooks, they’re not people. It doesn’t make any difference what you do to them; they’re not human.’ “And this thing is built into you,” Cpl. John Geymann testified almost 44 years ago at the Winter Soldier Investigation, held in Detroit, which was sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the W ...

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Our Souls Turned Into Weapons

“During basic training, we are weaponized: our souls turned into weapons.” Jacob George’s suicide last month — a few days after President Obama announced that the US was launching its war against ISIS — opens a deep, terrible hole in the national identity. George: singer, banjo player, poet, peace warrior, vet. He served three tours in Afghanistan. He brought the war home. He tried to repair the damage. Fin ...

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The Lieutenant of Inishmore: Playing With Violence

If you’ve ever seen a Martin McDonagh play, you know that he finds humor in the most unlikely places and his macabre dark comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore is no exception. Now being staged by the Chicago theater gem, AstonRep, audiences find themselves roaring with laughter at the very unfunny problem of the plague of Irish terrorism known as “The Troubles”. Scene after scene weaves together the horrific ...

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The Cancer of Violent Extremism

“As we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail so much progress. And that is the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world.” The cancer of violent extremism . . . I listen to the president’s words and stare into the void. All I can think about is white phosphorous and burn pits and the horrific, DNA-wrecking genotoxins of war. All I can ...

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Traces of Evil

Barack Obama’s central dilemma last week, when he tried to sell a new war to the American public on the eve of the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11, was to speak convincingly about the wisdom and effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy over the last decade-plus while at the same time, alas, dropping the bad news that it didn’t work. Thus: “Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is saf ...

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Lessons Learned in the Bucca Camp

Editor's Note: Kathy Kelly , friend and contributor to The Raven Foundation, is a peacemaker working tirelessly to promote effective, compassionate solutions to the devastation and brutality of war. In addition to taking part in antiwar demonstrations throughout the nation, she has lived alongside the people of various countries in times of war, including Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia and Nicaragua bui ...

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Fast-Draw Morality

“So you want to disarm cops LOL yeah that’s an intelligent thing to do the gang bangers would love that surely they will unilaterally disarm too.” I’m used to semi-anonymous sarcasm by now, like this Huffington Post comment beneath a recent column I wrote on the militarization of the police and the possibility of disarmament, and I have no interest in “fighting it out” with the guy. But there it is, perfect ...

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How Should Christians Respond to President Obama: On Fear, Violence, and Safety

Do you feel safe? President Obama made his case for war against ISIS during his address to the nation last night. He juxtaposed two statements that sum up the contradictory message that American presidents have been telling us with a straight face since at least the Vietnam War: America is safer. Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. I don’t feel safe. We’ve been fighting the “War on Terror” for 13 ...

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A Future That Values Everyone

“I think if we had a gun we would have been shot immediately.” This is as good a place to start as any, at the logical limits of violent self-defense. The speaker is Andres Gutierrez of Nonviolent Peaceforce, a nonprofit organization that has engaged in peacekeeping work in troubled regions of the world for the last decade. Gutierrez, the organization’s team leader in South Sudan, along with colleague Derek ...

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