The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Archive for March 6th, 2008

American cluster bombs still blasting Laotian children

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Paul CottleCouple of weeks ago, I posted the story of Paul Cottle, who left his job when his company was taken over by ATK, maker of cluster bombs. A comment showed up this week, from a reader named Dan, like so:

Way to go Paul! It’s heartening to see such courage. If you have a second, check out the open letter to Paul from the U.S. Campaign to Ban Landmines at http://www.uscbl.org.

I followed the link, and found these remarkable paragraphs:

On April 30, 1975 Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces, finally ending U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. …

From 1964 to 1973 the United States dropped 90 million cluster bomblets on neighboring Laos in 580,000 bombing missions—equivalent to one planeload every 8 minutes, 24 hours-a-day, for 9 years.

Up to 30% of the cluster bomblets failed to detonate, leaving as many as 25-30 million unexploded bomblets covering more than one-third of Laos at war’s end. It is estimated that there are at least 10 million cluster submunitions still littering the land. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

March 6, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Posted in Politics

We see abstractions; Jesus sees people (sermon for March 2, 08)

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Jesus heals the man born blindFourth Sunday in Lent (March 2, 2008)

John 9:1-41; Ephesians 5:8-14; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23

Jesus and his disciples are in Jerusalem. Watch what happens . . .

John 9:1-41
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

So they see a guy who’s blind. Their thoughts go one place: somebody’s been bad.

For 2,000 years what’s about to happen will be talked about. But the possibility of this poor guy getting well doesn’t even seem to have occurred to them. Read the rest of this entry »

What a Billion Muslims Really Think

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“[N]o one in Washington had any idea what 1.3 billion Muslims were thinking, and yet we were working on intricate strategies that were going to change the world for all time.” (-Jim Clifton, Gallup Chairman and CEO.) But there’s good news:

Muslims prayingIn order to discover what Muslims truly think, Gallup spent 6 years interviewing nearly 50,000 Muslims from 35 countries representing the most comprehensive analysis of the wishes, desires, grievances, complaints, and opinions of nearly 1.3 billion Muslims.

The results were collected and analyzed by John L. Esposito, a leading American expert on Islam and University Professor at Georgetown, and Dalia Mogahed, a senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, in their new, groundbreaking work: “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.

Get it? For the first time, ever, we have a basis for saying “most Muslims are of the opinion … “ And the conclusions may shake things up.

clipped from www.counterpunch.org
When Muslims are asked, “Do they admire anything about the West?” contrast that to Americans when asked, “What do you admire about Muslims?” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

March 6, 2008 at 12:33 pm