Discussing
My day at the NATO protests

Hollie Baker-Lutz

Breadwild
May 21, 2012

Question:
[please take this the right way] Are you that naive to think the media cares about recording anything but a physical clash between protesters and police? They want blood. The network media is not interested in promoting causes.

Robert Joustra
May 22, 2012

Hi Hollie,

Thanks for taking the time to write this out. A few thoughts that might nudge the conversation a little:

NATO was gathering to put a(nother) timetable on ending the Afghan conflict. No one - absolutely no one - suggests America and its NATO allies should persist in Afghanistan in perpetuity. The 70% of Americans that oppose the Afghan war is confusing; a statistic that could probably use some clarification (do you mean opposed to begin with in 2001, because that's untrue, or do you mean believes the war should end with prompt withdrawal, because then the number is probably higher).

NATO is a relic of the Cold War, but it's an important one. It's the only multilaterial institution capable of carrying out operations like those in Libya, Afghanistan and more. Secondarily, is the United States spending too much on its military? As a Canadian, I certainly think so, but then that has much less to do with the purpose of a gathering of the international alliance of NATO and much more to do with your own domestic politics.

Finally, how we enact justice is most certainly not between just "us and God" by definition. We must not act at all, in fact, at times it is far better if we don't - even if excruciatingly hard (as in Syria); right action is a devil in the details of international politics. Institutions like NATO are key to helping us have options - especially when it comes to things like R2P - that might otherwise be unavailable.

AlbertL
May 22, 2012

My concern about shutting down NATO is that we have allies that are there for us if we need them. If we don't have that alliance, they have the option to ally with others and that could cause more harm then good.

As far as protesting, I applaud you for going out and doing what you believe you should do. That is what makes this country great. But sadly, the media is not looking for recording any kind of protest to get the message right. They have a paper or show to sell so they go where the cash is and that is in conflict.

I've always wondered what the rest of the world would do if the US decided to mind their own business, pull all of our troops home and guard our borders. What would happen if we moved out of all those countries that were needing our help at one time or another?

How do we know that this would be a right thing or not?
We say "No war in Afghanistan!" and think that is the right thing to do. But is it? Do we allow terrorist groups, like Al-Qaeda, to retreat to their safe zones and regroup? Could this lead to larger attacks in the future? Some of these questions might not be able to be answered unless we make certain choices, I'm sure.

But one thing we need to be clear on is that, yes, we are free to make choices, but we are not free from the consequences of those choices.

What's curious is that we know, as Christians, that the only time there will be true peace is when Jesus comes back to reign for the 1000 years, right? So should we be fighting for peace at all until he comes back? Is that a futile endeavor?

Add your comment to join the discussion!