I am literally praying that President Obama's gamble of sending more troops is vindicated because there is no way he or anyone else can really know how this will turn out. He's had to pick up the ball President Bush dropped by starting a war of choice (for no good reason) in Iraq that added years to the deadly "life" of the war in Afghanistan through near criminal neglect.
Had Bush done a better job we'd be out by now and bin Laden would be dead. As it is Obama faces bad choices he inherited but I believe that he's making the best of it and showing great courage.
Having said that I absolutely support our President, our troops and our country. It just saddens me immeasurably that what Obama laid out in his speech and what we are doing now, we should and could have done 8 years ago as a united country. Had we acted then, when bin Laden was cornered in Tora Bora, we would have gotten him.
I also remain proud of my son John for having volunteered to serve his country, when he joined the Marines (in 1999), and for having served in two deployments to Afghanistan. He, like all our troops, paid his own price.
On a very personal note I'd like to see my son's sacrifice vindicated by eventual American success. I wish the President well and have virtually unlimited admiration for this moderate, humble, brilliant and thoughtful leader.
It seems to me that it is time to pray for our troops and our president. Speaking of which... Here is a guest blog by Kurt Queller
(Departments of English and Foreign Languages University of Idaho)
A bible verse recently made Google’s “Trends” list of most-searched items. The reason was a new line of bumper stickers and other paraphernalia sporting the slogan “Pray for Obama—Psalm 109:8.”
That verse reads: “May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership.” [NIV]
Some portray this as a joke. But the very next verse continues: “May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
There is a bitter irony here. Psalm 109 is a plea for vindication against attackers. The psalm begins and ends with the psalmist’s own prayers for protection (vv. 1-5, 20-31). The intervening passage (including v. 8) quotes the accusers’ slanders and curses.
Biblical Hebrew doesn’t expllcitly mark quotations, but here it signals one through shifting pronouns. The psalmist seeks defense against a “they” (plural) who falsely “accuse me” (singular). The hateful imprecations of vv. 6-19, meanwhile, are directed against a single man; their “may he…/ may his…” petitions reflect curses maliciously hurled against the psalmist. This is clearly marked in some translations (“They say:…” [v. 6 NRSV, NIV footnote…]).
To fellow Christians tempted to propagate this nasty “Pray for Obama” meme by hitting the “forward” button (let alone by displaying it on a bumper, laptop or T-shirt), I say: please reflect, and repent.
We might well pray Psalm 109 on Obama’s behalf. If so, let’s not stupidly and maliciously invoke the curses of the psalmist’s accusers. Instead, let’s recall his own final words of trust in a God who stands beside those wrongly vilified and threatened (vv. 28ff):
“They may curse, but you will bless; when they attack they will be put to shame, but your servant will rejoice. … For [the Lord] stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save his life from those who condemn him.”
To which I and my family add a simple Amen