Archive for the ‘nation’ Category

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan, March 4, 2007

March 4, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

Thanks God that I see you in action again. What the name should be given to our relation, but I admit I have special relation with you. Actually you have played a big role in liberation of tribesmen from the cruel terrorists. We will not forget your cooperation and kindness with us. A lot of thanks.

Situation in Pakistan is critical as usual. Terrorists have been carrying out suicide attacks with immunity. I think Musharraf must assert his authorities. According to Nation editorial, in what happens to be the third deadly suicide attack in a week’s time, 40 tribal elders were killed near Darra Adamkhel on Sunday.

The attacks have taken place within days of the Interior Minister’s claim that militancy had been brought under control.

Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Nawaz, who had earlier accused India, Afghanistan and the US of being behind the prevailing lawlessness and terror attacks, has now maintained, after protests from Washington, that this was in fact the popular perception rather than his government’s view.

While the suicide attacks underline the lack of competence in the caretaker set-up headed by General Musharraf, it is highly ominous that they have increased as the time for the transfer of power draws near.

There were also other incidents of violence on Sunday.

Rockets were fired at Bannu cantonment and a Levies official was abducted and another injured in Bajaur Agency. In the meanwhile Maulana Fazlullah once again declared war against the government.

The recent suicide attacks strengthen the argument that the government’s policy to control militancy through force alone has failed to produce the desired results. The situation in the tribal areas has further worsened because of the continuing attacks from the Afghan side of the border in defiance of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

A leading American paper has claimed that a secret deal was recently concluded to allow Washington to deploy drones to attack militants inside Pakistan.

Another report in The New York Times tells of the US planning to send 100 trainers to work with the FC.

What is perturbing is that they could eventually accompany Pakistani troops on missions “to the point of contact”. This is simply unacceptable. The tribal areas of Pakistan are not Iraq where experiments of the sort have reportedly succeeded.

The fiercely independent tribesmen are likely to react sharply to any such move, with the likelihood of suicide bombing further increasing in the country.

Power is going to be transferred to the newly elected government within a couple of weeks. The leaders of the three parties who have formed an alliance to rule the Centre and the provinces have vowed to resolve the issue of militancy mainly through talks.

The caretaker set up led by President Musharraf must leave policy decisions in this regard to the next government. Those involved in suicide attacks also have to understand that their actions are destabilizing Pakistan. Instead of thus playing into the hands of the country’s enemies they must give the next government sufficient time to address whatever grievances they might have, through peaceful methods.

Dear Sir, just keep in mind that you are in the thoughts of millions of tribesmen living on Pak-Afghan border.Again thank you very muchYours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan

Colin Powell Upbeat on Obama

January 8, 2008

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell praised Barack Obama on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, crediting the Illinois Senator for breaking barriers while running as “an American man” who can represent the entire nation. In an interview with PBS host Tavis Smiley, Powell said he was “taking joy” in Obama’s rise and he said citizens across the country can “enjoy this moment where a person like Barack Obama can knock down all of these old barriers that people thought existed with respect to the opportunities that are available to African Americans.”Powell, the first black person to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, National Security Advisor, and Secretary of State, also firmly rebutted the idea that reporters or voters should assess whether a candidate is white or black “enough.”

This argument about him not being black enough, that’s just absolute nonsense. He is putting himself forward not as a black man but as an American man who wants to be president of the United States of America. We should see Barack as a candidate for president who happens to be black, and not a black candidate for president.

For more on Powell, Obama and breaking barriers in our “segregated power structure,” check out the new Nation essay, Obama, Race and the Presidency. (at:
http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080107/melber_web)

Democrats in Denial

January 4, 2008

 By Michael Gerson
The Washington Post
Friday, January 4, 2008; Page A21

If 2006 was a year of denial for the Bush administration — demonstrating that patience in pursuit of a failing military strategy is not a virtue — 2007 was a period of awakening. Like Abraham Lincoln before him, the president discovered the cathartic pleasure of replacing generals. In Petraeus, Bush found his Grant. He also found that war, like politics, is the art of adjustment.

As the political blitzkrieg of 2008 begins in earnest, it is the Democrats who, on a number of key issues, are living in a state of denial.

Instead of criticizing an increasingly successful Iraq strategy, it would be helpful to hear some realistic proposals to improve American prospects in Afghanistan, where violence has reached its highest level in four years. NATO‘s military efforts in that country are uncoordinated, even incoherent — demonstrating the risks of multilateralism. The resolve of some European nations is wavering. An al-Qaeda ministate is developing across the Pakistan border. How would a Democratic response differ from the current one?

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/
AR2008010303329.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Thanksgiving: The Bounty and Goodness of Our God

November 22, 2007

By Chuck Colson
Thanksgiving

It has become the worst drought in the history of the Southeast. The ground is parched; crops are dying. And last week, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue decided to do something about it. He urged Georgians to pray for desperately needed rain.

Despite much ridicule and some protest, last week, Gov. Perdue led a prayer vigil on the steps of the State Capitol. Praying along with him were pastors from several denominations and hundreds of Georgians.

Gov. Perdue may not have realized it, but he was following in the steps of our Pilgrim fathers and mothers nearly 400 years ago: Joining together with neighbors for prayer was a familiar ritual for the Pilgrims. For example, in April of 1623—three years after the first Pilgrims landed—the transplanted Englishmen and women planted corn and other crops. A good harvest was essential to their survival. But in the weeks following the planting, it became clear that a dry spell was turning into a drought.

Pilgrim father Edward Winslow recorded their distress in his diary. “It pleased God, for our further chastisement,” he wrote, “to send a great drought; insomuch as in six weeks . . . there scarce fell any rain.” The crops began to shrivel up “as though they had been scorched before the fire . . . God,” Winslow wrote, “which hitherto had been our only shield and supporter, now seemed in His anger to arm Himself against us. And who can withstand the fierceness of His wrath?”

The Pilgrims decided the only solution was to humble themselves before God in fasting and in prayer. They appointed a day of prayer and set aside all other employments.

Winslow describes what happened next. “In the morning,” he wrote, “when we assembled together, the heavens were as clear, and the drought as like to continue as it ever was.” But by late afternoon—after eight or nine hours of prayer—“the weather was overcast, the clouds gathered on all sides,” Winslow wrote. The next morning brought “soft, sweet and moderate shows of rain, continuing some fourteen days.” The needed rain was “mixed with such seasonable weather,” he wrote, “as it was hard to say whether our withered corn or drooping affections were most quickened or revived, such was the bounty and goodness of our God.”

This dramatic answer to prayer was a witness to the local Indians. As Winslow notes, “The Indians . . . took notice . . . all of them admired the goodness of our God towards us, that wrought so great a change in so short of time, showing the difference between their conjuration and our invocation on the name of God for rain.”

The harvest that fall was abundant—and the Pilgrims survived yet another year.

Today is Thanksgiving—the day on which we recall the three-day celebration in 1621 in which the Pilgrims invited local Indians to join them in thanking God for His blessings on them—not, as some school children are taught today in class, giving thanks to Indians. And Americans ever since have been celebrating this, an occasion recognized and enshrined by Congress. We ought to take time to thank God for His manifold blessings on us today.

By the way, the day after Governor Perdue prayed on the Capitol steps, rains swept the state—nearly an inch in places. But the drought has continued. So, as we give thanks today, let’s remember those in the drought-stricken Southeast and ask the Giver of all good gifts to bless the land with rain.

Related:

America’s First Thanksgiving

Our Nation: Based Upon God, Not Fiction

The United States: A Nation of Prayer and Hope