Thursday, November 30, 2006

Monbiot.com � Defence Against What?

Last week, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) quietly secured a £1.7bn increase in its budget(1). The spending for 2006-7 was allocated months ago, which means that another fund must have been raided to find the extra money. It’s the equivalent of half the annual budget for the Department for International Development(2). But another billion or two doesn’t make much difference when we are already sloshing out £32bn a year on a programme whose purpose is a mystery(3).


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Asserting Our Right to Kill and Maim Civilians

The central mystery of the modern state is this. The necessary resources, both economic and political, will always be found for the purpose of terminating life. The project of preserving it will always struggle. When did you last see a soldier shaking a tin for a new rifle? Or a sponsored marathon raising money for nuclear weapons? But we must beg and cajole each other for funds whenever a hospital wants a new dialysis machine. If the money and determination expended on waging war with Iraq had been used to tackle climate change, our carbon emissions would already be in freefall. If as much money were spent on foreign aid as on fighter planes, no one would ever go hungry.

Monbiot.com � Asserting Our Right to Kill and Maim Civilians
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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Narrative ethics and the Old Testament

Here's a taster of the thing.
the theological point of this story is that God doesn’t depend on military generals to accomplish divine purposes. And what forces actually defeat the Caananites in Judges 5? God sends rain from heaven and the Caananite chariots are sunk in the mud. You notice a pattern here? The chariots of the Pharaoh are drowned in the sea; the chariots of the Caananites get stuck in the mud. God uses Nature Power and Girl Power (those things considered weak in the eyes of the world) to overthrow chariots and generals. (Chariots were the cutting edge of military technology in the ancient Near East, kind of like the billion-dollar-a-piece Stealth bombers or thousands of weapons of mass destruction America produces today.) A repeated refrain in the OT is “do not put your trust in chariots and military alliances…not by might, not by strength, but by my Spirit says the Lord.”

I think it's worth bookmarking.

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