Heavy thinkers, longtime critics of President Bush, are taking him to task on Iraq specifically and foreign policy in general. On Iraq, the complaint is that the United States should not have taken out Saddam Hussein, that the failure to find weapons of mass destruction sustains the falsity of Bush's invasion pretext and that the rising number of American deaths proves we are hated there - as in Vietnam - and should come home.
Responds Bush, "The enemy in Iraq believes America will run. That's why they're willing to kill innocent civilians, relief workers, (and) coalition troops. America will never run."
On foreign policy generally, in the words of UVa's Gerard Alexander, "The charge boils down to this: Bush is creating new enemies faster than he is deterring old ones." Alexander concludes:
"(Yet) instead of the verdict's being in, and favoring the administration's critics, the jury is still out. There is no persuasive evidence that U.S. policy is provoking the seismic shift in America's reputation that Bush's critics detect. ... If the jury is still out, [then] shouldn't we err on the side of caution? Not if doing so means we are so constrained by multilateralism that we deny ourselves the tools we need to protect ourselves effectively. The possible nexus - made far more imaginable by 9/11 - between international terrorist groups and rogue states bent on developing weapons of mass destruction means we are in the unhappy position of asking which risks we should run, not whether we should run any at all."
At his consecration, New Hampshire's new openly gay Episcopal bishop said this to those in attendance: "It's not about me; it's about so many other people who find themselves at the margins. Your presence here is a welcome sign for those people to be brought into the center." Thereby, he touched upon the long-held essence of homosexual aspiration: acceptance as normal.
Scripture postulates homosexuality - both preference and practice - as deviant, even sin. Yet now U.S. Episcopalianism officially has raised up a homosexual as not sinful or even deviant but normal. That is what offends - outrages - many Episcopalians here and a majority abroad.
Even now, objecting American Episcopalians are being isolated on the fringe, dismissed as fractious judgmental kooks unwilling to see the higher importance of inclusiveness and church unity. But these "kooks" have Anglican Communion allies abroad representing many times the Episcopalians here embracing homosexuality as normal.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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