Friday, August 25, 2006

France vs the US, God vs Satan

While clarifying the number and role of French peacekeepers to be deployed to Lebanon, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie takes a few swipes at good ol' America:

Ms. Alliot-Marie ridiculed critics -- especially the U.S. -- who had accused France of weakness.

She said the criticism was ironic as it "…came from citizens of a country which has no one in the ground in Lebanon and which had announced its intentions not to send any." Both the U.S. and U.K. have said they won't send troops to Lebanon.

In a reference to the U.S., she said it was "amusing" to see people who usually attack the U.N. for ineffectiveness criticize France for first wanting to ensure the effectiveness of a U.N. military force before committing troops.

She's got a point. If we are serious about multi-lateral enforcement of a cease-fire, we should put our troops where our mouths are. And speaking of our mouths, American critics of French involvement in Lebanon should probably preface their vitriol with a big fat merci beaucoup for France's help in whisking Americans out of harm's way when the Israeli clusterbombs started falling.

Meanwhile, for those keeping track of body counts, how many human deaths would you guess are attributable to God in the Bible, versus those attributable to Satan? The answer may surprise you.


Blogger sexyretard said...

I'm hardly surprised. In fact, I'd be quite surprised if the opposite were true.

The problem I see with mainline "spirituality" is that it claims fealty to a milksop deity hardly capable of sitting the right way on a toilet seat.

I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God, which is frankly not easy. Problems with such a theology are legion, including children dying of cancer and AIDS, taysachs (sp), the French, etc.

Yet and still, I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God. I would say an unsovereign God is not worth worshipping, but gladly such a god does not exist.

So I would say that God has so far overseen the killing of over 6 billion people. The devil, for his, part, has yet to kill anyone without permission. I'm told that the ancient Jews believed that what God permits, God commits.

God became a Man and died to satisfy both justice and mercy. Without the Jesus part of the calculus, nothing makes sense whatsoever, and one might as well blog on, and dwell in Caligula.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"I would say an unsovereign God is not worth worshipping, but gladly such a god does not exist."

Most people since the beginning of people worshipped unsovereign gods. In what way does that not make "sense"?

As for Lebanon, I think it's appropriate that France should take the lead and contribute most of the troops, and the fact that they are failing to do so is yet another example of the learned helplessness that results in a world where one superpower calls the shots. Look at the absurdity of the EU doing nothing when war broke out on its doorstep back in the 90s. I don't think this has anything to do with the "character" of any of the European players. We've all been on teams where one bigshot talks and does the most, and it's the natural tendency of most others to let him do so, both because it means less work for them and because they risk less.

10:37 AM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

I think the French get off the hook too easily on the fact that wherever they seem to have set up shop, the areas are fucked to this day. I am told that Haiti is such a shitpile that one can tell where the border is with the Dominican Republic from a plane, because of how destitute Haiti's very landscape is. Senegal has become a desert, and merci beaucoup to the French for giving us Vietnam.

So, hell yeah the French need to step up and bring many scores of troops to the region, but, yes, thank you French for helping get some Americans out of harm's way. Now that's only 2.6 million favors you owe us.

Jeff, sure people worship unsovereign gods, but one wonders why. Would not the enterprising pagan seek to dethrone the champ?

3:49 PM  
Blogger Germanicu$ said...

Wherefore all this anti-gallic misanthropy? Both Jeff and sexyretard imply that France has some obligation to pacify Lebanon, since they ruthlessly colonized it a few generations ago. France may have a responsibility to assist the peacekeeping effort because they are a leading first-world nation, they have the resources to spare, they are well-situated to assist, they have cultural ties and other interests in the region, it is the right thing to do, etc etc etc. But calling them out to fix this problem because "they started it" is ridiculous. If you'd care to elaborate your case, I'd be happy to tear it to shreds.

"France, which administered Lebanon under a League of Nations mandate from 1920 to the early 1940s, was wary of committing more troops until it had a better understanding of the rules of engagement in the event buffer troops encounter hostile action. Hezbollah -- which killed 58 French peacekeepers in 1983 -- remains a well-armed force and stiffly opposes the presence of foreigners in Lebanon."

This cuts precisely to the heart of what has been problematic for peacekeeping forces with a muddy mandate to keep the peace - the situation with the Balkans is a fine example. Good for France for demanding clarification of their role before jumping in to it. Strange as it may sound on the surface, we need more peacekeeping forces that aren't afraid to kill.

Tard: by "sovereign", are you trying to distinguish between a god who is powerful but does not demand fealty, and another, the worship of whom is mandatory? I don't think I get the subtler meaning of the word, which your entire belief system seems to be based on. Buddhists do not worship a "sovereign" - are they then in your eyes atheists?

4:29 PM  
Blogger sexyretard said...

The French must be stopped somehow. I suggest smothering fried sole with ketchup.

I'm not saying that those who do not worship a sovereign god are atheists; I'm saying that they are in error (and might as well see if better options exist down the street).

I'm not equating sovereignty with the demanding of worship, but rather I'm defining sovereignty as the power to do, or stop, anything one chooses to. As such, a sovereign God oversees beautiful and excellent events like the birth of a healthy child, as well as horrific events like the holocaust and hurricane Katrina.

I believe that God is both sovereign and good; I also believe that milquetoast Christianity lets Him off too easily. Why God allows bad things to happen, so very often to the best of people, ought not be explained away in fuzzy terms. A God who cannot prevent disaster is no "God" at all. But God can prevent disaster--why He makes the choices He makes is not always clear, but Calvary does prove that this is a loving God, no matter how unsearchable His thoughts.

5:38 PM  

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