Friday, September 11, 2015
Let's Make a Deal
A significant political battle was won by President Obama's administration this week, and while this happened in the United States it is of global importance. A six-nation nuclear arms deal focussing on Iran's stockpiles of uranium cleared its final hurdles despite fierce opposition by Republicans and some Democrats. There was also a strong anti-deal lobby from a segment of the American Jewish community and of course Israeli's Benjamin Netanyahu was vocal in his criticism.
I see this as significant on several counts. The United States has finally chosen negotiation over armed conflict or military action. While claiming to be a Christian nation, military might has prevailed over diplomacy again and again, often with dismal results. This is not a deal predicated on trust. If anything the checks and balances are rooted in distrust, but it is step in a different direction.
This is also a significant blow to the politics of fear which seem to have gripped the American psyche. Often it is the theological right, or at least certain branches, which claims allegiance to the Christ whose love casts out fear and yet enthusiastically endorses military muscle. Fear-mongering was weakened by this deal, even if it isn't defeated.
Finally, for me anyway, there is hope that the United States will develop a new role on the international stage, one where there is credibility as a negotiator rather than the world's policeman. And can you imagine what might happen if some of the trillions of dollars spent on the military in the US was used for social programs at home and abroad? Why, they might even sponsor a few more refugees!
I know, silly talk. But the gospel of Jesus Christ is rather odd, with all that "blessed are the peacemakers" blather, and such.