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America’s Foreign Policy Suffers – Unemployment Soars – Religion Goes Toxic

October 26, 2008

US worldviews world’s apart

By Jim Lobe:  WASHINGTON – While the ongoing financial crisis has almost entirely displaced foreign policy and even the Iraq War as the main concern of voters in the United States, differences in approach to the world beyond US borders between Republican candidate Senator John McCain and his Democratic rival Senator Barack Obama remain substantial. In broad terms, McCain identifies closely with the unilateralist instincts and Manichean worldview of the coalition of Israel-centered neo-conservatives and aggressive nationalists who dominated the first term of President George W Bush’s administration and place a premium on military power, as opposed to diplomacy or other forms of “soft power”. Obama, on the other hand, is generally seen as grounded in the “liberal internationalist” school, whose founding is credited to president Woodrow Wilson and which became the basis for the US – and Western-led multilateral order – presided over by the United Nations, the two Bretton Woods institutions, and an embryonic World Trade Organization – elaborated in large part by president Franklin Roosevelt in the waning days of World War II. … whoever wins the November 4 election is likely to come to office in January with a foreign policy team that spans a fairly broad spectrum of advisers susceptible to fundamental disagreements regarding the definition of US national interests, the appropriate use of military force and the degree to which Washington should rely on multilateral institutions, as opposed to taking unilateral action, if those interests are threatened. [more]

So, we have the official numbers from the Department of Labor.  The presidential election and economic disaster have taken America’s eye off the ball, again.  The only good part is that the number one focus is no longer Paris Hilton, O.J. Simpson, American Idol or Dancing with the stars.  America’s short attention span has been grabbed by personal survival and courted by political and religious philosophies.

America’s founders believed religious freedom to be the “first liberty.” The content of this site is concerned with issues of religious freedom in the U.S. and around the world.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA In the week ending Sept. 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 493,000, an increase of 32,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 461,000. It is estimated that the effects of Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana and the effects of Hurricane Ike in Texas added approximately 50,000 claims to the total. The 4-week moving average was 462,500, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 446,500. UNADJUSTED DATA The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 395,601 in the week ending Sept. 20, an increase of 10,544 from the previous week. There were 247,643 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.

US layoffs mount, home foreclosures rise

Ten Years of Promoting Religious Freedom Through U.S. Foreign Policy

Oct. 27 marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the International Religious Freedom Act, a law that made the promotion of religious freedom a basic aim of U.S. foreign policy. The passage of the legislation marked the culmination of a campaign of unlikely religious allies, who went on to champion other international human rights causes. Pew Forum Visiting Senior Fellow Allen Hertzke, an eyewitness observer of the birth and growth of the international religious freedom movement and author of Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights (2004), recounts what he witnessed in Washington, D.C., a decade ago and discusses the difference the landmark legislation has made in promoting religious freedom worldwide. [more]

H. R. 2431 – This Act may be cited as the ‘‘International Religious Freedom Act of 1998’’

Religion becomes a trump card when enough people suffer.  Misused, as we witness today, Religion becomes the number one excuse for misbehavior, human rights abuse, civil rights abuse and class warfare.  Toxic rhetoric is spewed from pulpits to give suffering congregations a sense of privilege. Regardless which religion, the George Bush administration has polarized religious communities against one another.  Making religion his tool for policy decisions and making “faith based” programs a part of government funded social policies, George Bush cannot put this genie back into the bottle.  Hitler used the economic suffering of the German people, gave them a target to blame and proceeded to take the world into the horror of global war.  As the world hurtles into the economic abyss created by Kleptocratic world powers, George Bush moved the Republican Party into the philosophy of being a privileged class …  his current religious abuse supports this.

Religion is supposed to be a tool for personal support, instead of a tool for social division.  Taking religion to this level has guaranteed conflict on a global scale.  Becaused Bush has bought in to the Armageddon philosophy, whether true or false, he has endorsed a self-fulfilling prophesy.  Not satisfied with the natural process of allowing the world to approach a catastrophe, recognize it and take evasive action. Bush chose to embrace catastrophe and take the world into the abyss with him.  To avoid it, at this point, the perilous US Presidential election is the crucial step.  The world watches with baited breath.  Whoever wins US leadership will tip the scale toward disaster or recovery.

Beware the misuse of campaign rhetoric claiming that government responsibility is socialism.  Hearing candidates turn to fear mongering to attract a population that has digested half truths, fed by their own politicians, this election will show the world how gullible and uninformed America really is.  How the world will react to the United States depends on who is elected.

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