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May 27, 2009

Daily roundup

Kim Jong Il: Crazier Than a Bedbug

Amd_jong-il So what do you do when you're 68, have suffered a recent stroke, and worry that any one of a number of your generals would like to assume your throne? Apparently, you throw some crockery against the wall and resume the Korean War.

That's what we appear to be dealing with in North Korea's "Dear Leader," Kim Jong Il. It's hard to take a man seriously who, in addition to starving huge numbers of his own people while he airlifts lobster and caviar, has enjoyed establishing 20 concentration camps for political dissenters. Also, Kim has taken a shine to making feature films and operas from his beloved father's writings. 

All this would be purely laughable except that Kim has the fifth largest standing army in the world and now nuclear capabilities. The capital of South Korea, Seoul, is very close to the North Korean border, making it at least possible for Kim to take down millions of people with him should he have a death wish of his own.

Christian worldview question: Is it ever appropriate to ask for God to remove a true tyrant from the scene?Well, while the "love your neighbor" ethic applies to everyone, not just saints, it also applies to all the individual souls whose unfortunate lot it is to be in the path of a human windstorm. Christian theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer finally accepted, after much spiritual wrestling, that having Hitler gone was the only way to save many other souls. 

Bonhoeffer doesn't strike me as merely utilitarian here. Kim needs to be stopped for his own soul's needs, too. He's obviously sick and needs to not have anymore innocent deaths on his record. Beyond anyone's concern for him is the plight of millions, on both sides of the 38th Parallel.

Whether Kim is hit by another stroke or by one of his generals, his removal from power seems necessary for the people of North Asia to have a sigh of relief. A crazy man with nukes and a large army may be one of history's oddities, but here we are. Let's pray that the Lord, who does work in mysterious ways, finds a peaceable way to remove Kim's finger from the nuclear button.

(Image courtesy of GettyImages)

May 21, 2009

Daily roundup

Government Health Care and Your Health

As President Obama is promoting government-run health care, we Americans might want to think twice about it. In a recent issue of World magazine, in the Quick Takes section, is a blurb titled "Vision Quest" (subscribers only) that represents shades of things to come if Obama gets his way.

In real estate, it's location, location, location. Vision care in the United Kingdom apparently works the same way. Lesley Fletcher says the NHS, the government's socialized health-care service, is refusing to pay for medicine that will prevent her from going blind—just because of where she lives. Most local trusts will provide British citizens with Lucentis with a prescription, but Fletcher's local NHS trust west of Leeds is an exception. At $1,200 per treatment, her local NHS trust has deemed the treatment too expensive to be cost effective. And unless Fletcher can convince higher-ups in the bureaucracy to change their policy, her myopic macular degeneration will likely lead to sight loss.

I don't know about you, but I don't want the government involved in my health care.

May 19, 2009

Daily roundup

May 18, 2009

As We Forgive Sightings (and Soundings)

As We Forgive 2 I thought Point readers might be interested in hearing an interview I did recently with theologian and radio personality, Steve Brown, about my book, As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda. You can download it to your iPod or MP3 player or just listen online. I talk about forgiveness, reconciliation and the Rwandan genocide.

If you haven't heard of Steve Brown or his Key Life Radio program before I hope this will be a good excuse for you to get acquainted with him. He's one of the most authentic yet grounded Christian radio personalities you'll find. And he's always delightfully entertaining to listen to.

Also, if you are interested in seeing the film by Laura Waters Hinson which inspired my book, it will be airing on PBS this month on quite a few stations across the U.S. So if you haven't had a chance to attend a screening or buy a copy yourself, you'll get the opportunity to check it out for free.

Lastly, an interview I did with Ed Gilbreath over at Urban Faith is available. Ed used to work for Christianity Today and is the author of the book Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's View of White Christianity.

(Image © Zondervan)

May 15, 2009

Daily roundup

’The world will know’

Soraya The words above are the last words spoken in the shattering film The Stoning of Soraya M. Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo), the aunt of the young woman who has just been murdered by family and friends, has succeeded in making sure that the crime will not be hidden. Unable to protect her beloved niece, Zahra nevertheless ends the film with this triumph over the evil that destroyed Soraya (Mozhan Marnò).

The story, based on a real case that took place in the 1980s, is told simply and straightforwardly. French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam (Jim Caviezel) is stranded in a small Iraqi village when his car breaks down. Seeing the tape recorder poking out of his bag, Zahra persuades him to come to her home while his car is being fixed, and tells him what happened to her niece just the day before.

Via one extended flashback, we see Soraya's husband, Ali, plotting with other men of the village, including the mullah, to get rid of his "inconvenient wife" so he can marry a 14-year-old girl and move to the city. Ordered to work for a widower and his son who need help, Soraya is then accused of sleeping with her employer, and he is pressured into confessing the adultery that never happened.

The conspiracy ends where the title promised it would: with the gentle wife and mother bound, buried up to the waist in a pit, and bombarded with stones by her father, husband, sons, and neighbors. The stoning of Soraya is graphic, bloody, and painfully slow, and explains the film's R rating. (I had hoped against hope they would rush through that part. They didn't.) 

Continue reading "’The world will know’" »

May 14, 2009

’Slumdog’ actor’s home destroyed

Ismail The BBC reports that Azharuddin Ismail, one of the child actors from the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, lost his home (a tent in the slums of Mumbai), which was demolished by city authorities with the accusation that the family had been squatting on the land.

Controversy had already erupted over fair compensation for a few of the child actors from the film (two, including Ismail, actually came from the slums they were representing in the film).

(Image © Fox Searchlight)

May 13, 2009

Daily roundup

May 12, 2009

Gender-based abortions OK in Sweden

Well, what did we expect? Any reason is a good reason, according to Swedish health authorities....

Read here.

May 11, 2009

Daily roundup

May 08, 2009

Daily roundup

May 07, 2009

Daily roundup

May 06, 2009

Daily roundup

The Stoning of Soraya M.

It looks like Gina and I might be attending a sneak preview of the film which won the coveted People's Choice Award at the Toronto International film festival, The Stoning of Soraya M.

Mind you, that's an award which such terrific films as Slumdog Millionaire, Bella, Tsotsi, and Hotel Rwanda have won in years past. It looks like this film, based on a true story, has an important message. And they've got a stellar actor in Jim Caviezel. I've been very impressed how he continues to navigate Hollywood with his strong faith, choosing films which don't compromise him. Here's the trailer:

Re: Surely This Couldn’t Happen Here

Cigarette Dave,

Here's what comes to mind:

  1. On the one hand, we seem to be determined to follow Western Europe's lead, no matter how badly and obviously we see those cultures and states weaken before our eyes. Given the greater European appreciation for the cigarette, and given the current American governmental appetite for buying $timulu$ with taxpayer dollars, one could almost imagine something as hilariously pathetic as required cigarette consumption. "Drag deep, men, and silently thank Saint Keynes for giving us his Magic Multiplier."
  2. On the other hand, there's too much Clinton-era precedent for directing the full power of the state against Evil Big Tobacco. And you've got liberal Meddlers In Chief like Mayor Bloomberg who believe it their job to save the ignorant hoi polloi from their precious vices. So it's hard to see us going pro-cig in our policy.
  3. Then again, the anti-smoking lobby believed the 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between Big Tobacco and the states' attorneys general constituted a perverse incentive for smoking. So ... maybe our policy precedent is a tad unclear.
  4. Last thought: For now, we thankfully lack China's coming population implosion. Math is the harshest of taskmasters, and it does not bode well for the retirement of China's older generations, given the comparatively tiny financial base upon which those retirees will rely. So ... you know ... maybe the Chinese government is trying to hook the older workers on devil tobaccy to, er, whittle away at those retiree numbers!

I humbly submit all of these decidedly subpar thoughts for your consideration.

Allen

May 05, 2009

Daily roundup

2000 Reasons to Celebrate

A friend of mine (who will remain anonymous for security reasons) is currently in India conducting Bible classes for children. Last week, she and her team reached 1400 children; this week, they'll reach 600 more.

Please be in prayer for the salvation and spiritual growth of all these children -- and their parents -- who have had a chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed clearly, boldly, and with such obvious love. I've heard much good news coming out of India in the past few years, especially from missionaries who minister to those "lowest" on the social and economic scale in India. How true are Christ's words that the "last will be first" in His kingdom!

The Blog Tour Continues

This week I'm talking with Dan Cruver at Together for Adoption about As We Forgive. Here's a little from their website on what they are all about:

Together for Adoption (T4A) sponsors adoption conferences that focus primarily on vertical adoption (i.e., God adopting us in Christ), with a secondary focus on its implications for orphan care and horizontal adoption (i.e., couples adopting children). In fulfillment of our objectives, we desire to see conference attendees walk away from a T4A event:

  • understanding why it is that vertical adoption is the highest blessing of the gospel
  • rejoicing afresh in the gospel
  • moved to act on James 1:27 both locally and globally

I'm giving special emphasis in this interview to the stories in the book that center on the lives of Rwanda's orphans.

Also, yesterday, the book got a mention at Touchstone's Mere Comments. Thanks to Jordan Ballor of the Acton Institute for the shout out!

May 04, 2009

Daily roundup

Surely This Couldn’t Happen Here

Reason #274 why government should stick to governing, not running economies: Local Chinese officials have ordered state employees to smoke. The reason? To stimulate the economy by supporting local tobacco companies. Should also do wonders long-term for the state-run health care system, which will have plenty of new cancer patients in the future.

I hope Allen Thornburgh doesn't see this . . .

May 01, 2009

Daily roundup

’The Crossing’

080608_p16_crossing In the first half hour or so of The Crossing, the pregnant wife of former North Korean soccer star Yong-Soo (Cha In-pyo) develops tuberculosis from malnutrition, and their neighbors are arrested for hiding Bibles in their house. By the time the family is driven to eating their dog, you'll have grasped that this movie is not for the squeamish. Though the violence and the depictions of poverty and sickness are only occasionally explicit, the struggles of the characters in this film -- based on the stories of real North Korean refugees -- are heartbreaking and tragic. (We're approaching Boy in the Striped Pajamas territory here.)

It's one thing to read newspaper stories about oppression in places like North Korea, but to watch the fears, hopes, and sufferings of these characters opens a viewer's eyes in a whole new way. And when the desperate father cries, "Does Jesus Christ only live in South Korea?" it makes you think about just how much we take our blessings for granted, and our responsibility as the Body of Christ toward our persecuted brothers and sisters.

To the best of my knowledge, the DVD of the film is not yet widely available, but you can check its website and the North Korea Freedom Coalition's website to find out about possible screenings in your area and to keep track of DVD release plans.

(Image courtesy of Big House-Vantage Holdings)

How to make a bad situation worse

Surrogates "Forced abortions shake up China wombs-for-rent industry"

(Image © Reuters UK)

April 29, 2009

Daily roundup

Europe Syndrome

What's happening? Call it the Europe syndrome. Last April I had occasion to speak in Zurich, where I made some of these same points. After the speech, a few of the twenty-something members of the audience approached and said plainly that the phrase "a life well-lived" did not have meaning for them. They were having a great time with their current sex partner and new BMW and the vacation home in Majorca, and saw no voids in their lives that needed filling.

~ Charles Murray, The 2009 Irving Kristol Lecture, March 12, 2009

Author and political scientist Charles Murray recently delivered the address at the American Enterprise Institute's annual dinner. His talk was entitled "The Happiness of the People" and is posted on AEI's website.

Murray's lecture is a great worldview read. What he calls the "Europe Syndrome" is a way of thinking ... in other words, a worldview. Though Murray admires Europe in some ways, he unpacks some of the core beliefs of the modern worldview that has shaped Western Europe -- a worldview that is spreading like the swine flu among many of America's elites and current leaders. Murray describes a core belief of this worldview in the following way.

Human beings are a collection of chemicals that activate and, after a period of time, deactivate. The purpose of life is to while away the intervening time as pleasantly as possible.

If that's the purpose of life, then work is not a vocation, but something that interferes with the higher good of leisure. If that's the purpose of life, why have a child, when children are so much trouble--and, after all, what good are they, really? If that's the purpose of life, why spend it worrying about neighbors? If that's the purpose of life, what could possibly be the attraction of a religion that says otherwise?

Government's job, therefore, is to minimize unpleasantness so that we can while away the intervening time between our activation and deactivation. European-style social democracies are quite successful toward this end. This line of thinking also explains current European trends such as below-replacement birthrates, increased leisure time, fewer hours spent working, and lots of beautiful but empty cathedrals and churches.

Continue reading "Europe Syndrome" »

Margaret Sanger’s Real Views

Main_sanger A year or so ago, the Women's Studies program at my university sponsored a bulletin board in praise of Margaret Sanger. I wanted to gag, because every poster hailed Sanger as some great female liberator.  Obviously, none of the students who created those posters had ever bothered to move beyond the propaganda and actually read what Sanger wrote, especially her views on eugenics. This article sheds light on Sanger's destructive philosophy -- and shows just how little our current Secretary of State knows about a woman she is in "awe" of.   

(Image © AP)

April 28, 2009

Daily roundup

Why Islamic leaders don’t apologize for Armenian genocide

A Washington Times article, written by Julia Duin, excellently explains the problem of Islam as an actor in international politics. With countries such as Iran playing an important role in the relations between world leaders, it is important to understand why Muslims, of any sort, have never apologized for the Armenian genocide. Even in his recent trip to Turkey, President Obama never referred to the acts against the Christian Armenians as "genocide." Any clarity and understanding we can glean from this tragedy will assist us in identifying future consequences of Western/Islamic relations.

The Turks of the Committee of Union and Progress, or the “Young Turks” as they were known in the West, decided that the best way to save the Muslim Turkish nation was to reduce the Christian population, which happened to be mostly Armenians. Subsequently, all Christian Armenians were driven out of the Ottoman capital at the end of swords and bayonets. The cause of death for most Armenians was murder, starvation, and exhaustion in concentration camps. 

So, I ask the question: Why have Muslims, especially those that make up the 99.8% of the Turkish population, never apologized for a genocide against Christian Armenians?

As Duin points out, Muslims have no concept of national repentance. Georgetown professor John Voll explains that Muslims don't believe in original sin, because God didn't curse Adam and Eve; rather he just expelled them from the garden of Eden. 

Additionally, Muslims do not believe in apologizing for things that happened in the past. Even if Muslims did have this sentiment, the current Kamalist Turkey is a separate political entity from the Ottoman Empire which perpetrated the genocide--though I doubt the descendants of a nation murdered by extremist Muslims feel better about this trivial legal distinction.

Friday, April 24, was Armenia's Genocide Remembrance Day. Let us join them in prayer for the lives lost and the families left behind in the name of Islamic political power.

At some point, it just has to stop, doesn’t it?

Embryo bank Well, we should have seen this coming, of course: the British now have a choice to make, whether to let their government allow human "embryo banks" to be used for more than procreation efforts. That means having those nice little humans around for....spare parts. Read more here.

I think we really need to start bringing these kinds of absurdities to light more often, because we seem to be living in an age where most people think this kind of "progress" is inevitable. Why? Because so many people don't care, and those who keep pushing this mad agenda are determined folk.

But that kind of thinking would have prevented Wilberforce from working to end the slave trade. So instead of nibbling around the margins on these topics, how about let's start drawing some real lines in the sand and holding our elected leaders accountable? If you support anything like using embryos for spare parts, no more re-election for you. All that many politicians really respect is power. If they think they can get away with a controversial vote to cultivate a biotech donor, they'll oftentimes do it. 

So it's up to us to let them know what fates await their careers if they go there. Write your leaders and encourate your friends to do the same if this monstrous effort blows across the Atlantic to our shores.

(Image © EPA) 

Smiling at Evil

Obama Chavez We've all been treated recently to photos of our president smiling broadly and making cooing noises toward dictators like Hugo Chavez.  Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an Obama supporter, is disturbed by this seeming show of affection for modern-day Hitlers, if for no other reason than that it is "disheartening" for those living under tyranny to see the leader of the free world cozying up to despots and terrorists.  Read his article here and tell us what you think. 

(Image © AP)

April 27, 2009

Daily roundup

April 23, 2009

Daily roundup

April 22, 2009

Bound to Happen: Christians Penalized in Workplace

Mouth_gagged

Frankly, I'm surprised we don't hear more about Christians having their jobs threatened for not going along and getting along with every facet of political correctness. This story from Britain tells the tale.

It goes without saying that we live in a highly pluralistic age and that we must be civil and possessed of a Christ-like demeanor towards all those at work. But what hypocrisy abounds when everyone is taught to honor one group's beliefs while Christian perspectives are viewed with grave suspicion. 

The writer here puts the old saying well: "And yes, it’s quite possible to condemn someone’s actions and behaviors, but love the individual as you love yourself."

The truth is that sincere Christians oftentimes care more than the average person for gay people, whom we know to be made in God's image, even if they, like we, engage in behaviors that do not glorify their Creator. There is no hierarchy of sins in Christianity. Only sin. And while many gay people may honestly not know how it is that they arrived at their orientation, Christianity simply and consistently asserts that it is not something God intended for them.

Sincere Christians should not be homophobic, nor should they feel the need to sacrifice their understanding of God and human sexuality just to fit in. Rather, they should try, when possible, to show any gay co-worker that they see in them a fellow human being and rejoice in all the true gifts God has given them. A person is far more than his or her sexual orientation, important though it is, and on that basis there is much common ground to be found.

If only our workplaces would allow such candid, healing conversations to take place. But instead, we all tiptoe around one another, solving little.

(Image courtesy of LaVrai.com)

April 21, 2009

School Girl Told to Choose: Country or Parents

(Adapted from my original post at The Living Rice).

This story from CNN caught my attention. A Filipino family is making news in Japan because of immigration matters that left a 13-year-old girl separated from her parents.

The parents of Noriko Calderon have been deported back to the Philippines for entering and working in Japan illegally. Noriko was asked to choose between her parents and the country she considers her home. Part of me feels bad that this has to end this way. This could be very traumatizing for a 13 year old. However, part of me also feels that somehow, justice has been served for the parents who have broken serious immigration laws in Japan. They should have known that their actions and disobedience to the law have consequences. I somehow know how they feel because a few years back my family faced a similar tight spot with my wife’s U.S. immigration status. It was a tough decision, but we decided abiding by immigration laws is God's best for our family, rather than violating them.

In the U.S., there may be as many as 20 million illegal immigrants today, and many families may be in the same ethical dilemma and threatened with separation. Is there a balance between showing compassion to “aliens and strangers in our midst” and upholding the rule of law in immigration? If you were to propose a solution, what would it be?

What Social Conditions Promote Reconciliation?

As We Forgive 2 Jordan Ballor over at Acton's Power Blog turns his attention to As We Forgive in week two of my fourteen-week blog tour. (Aren't familiar with a blog tour? It's the poor man's--er woman's book tour.) I'm hoping to use these 100 days to raise awareness and support for reconciliation in Rwanda. As the week unfolds, look for a review of the book on Acton's site, some personal reflections, and some Acton Institute folks weighing in on a recent trip to Rwanda.

Ballor introduces the Power Blog's question of the week: What social conditions promote reconciliation? I'd be interested in hearing our Point readers weigh in on that one as well.

By the way, I just heard that As We Forgive has already gone into its second printing!

April 20, 2009

What he’s spending his prize money on

Merga Deriba Merga, who just won the 113th Boston Marathon, plans, according to those covering the run, to spend the $150,000 prize money (plus additional money from various product endorsements) on supporting his extended family back in Ethiopia. Race commentators say that back home, $150 a month supports a family of four quite well. This means Merga has just become the Bill Gates of his hometown.

I was rooting for the American runners (male and female) to win until I heard this. While I'm sure the money would have been nice for American winners, it's probably lifesaving for those who run out of desperation, so they can feed their children and give them a better life.

I watched the race live this morning--my husband was participating, and finished with a good time.  

(Yes, Dave, I'll have that BreakPoint script ready on time....)

(Image © AFP)

April 17, 2009

Daily roundup

I reject your accusation, Mr. President

I was stunned speechless when our president recently stood before European leaders and called us folks back home arrogant, dismissive and derisive -- thereby adding to Europe's already considerable contempt for America. That's why I appreciate this writer's reaction. My question is why more Americans aren't upset by our president's condemnatory remarks.

April 14, 2009

Survivor’s guilt

25korea.1_600x379 As we approach North Korea Freedom Week, the Washington Post offers a moving portrait of the struggles of those who escape the oppressive regime.

At the Hangyoreh school, none of the defectors arrives with a clear idea of what career to pursue, according to Gwak [Jong-moon], the principal.

He said they come to school, instead, with fears that often overwhelm their ability to concentrate: They are afraid that someone will harm them, that someone will punish their family in North Korea, that they will fail in South Korea.

"These things really weigh them down," Gwak said. "When they start to make progress, they feel guilty. One hundred percent of the time, when you throw a birthday party for these young people, they cry for the family they left behind."

Their long-term ambitions, he said, are easy to explain: "They want to eat warm rice with their families again."

Image © Seokyong Lee for the New York Times

’As We Forgive’: Glimpsing the face of Jesus

Speaking of As We Forgive, Mary DeMuth has the sixth and last part of her interview with Catherine up at the My Family Secrets blog.

April 13, 2009

Daily roundup

April 09, 2009

America’s Sovereignty and Liberty Are Hanging in the Balance

I can't decide which is worse: In an audacious power grab, Obama fires a CEO of a private company, or a hostile foreign power makes a power grab of its own.  

Please let me know which one you think is worse--give me some background material too!

Hey, did you know your client is the Taliban?

It sounds like a Dilbert cartoon. Unfortunately, it's not.

April 08, 2009

Daily roundup

Principles mean more than favorability to the Pope? Heaven forbid!

200px-BentoXVI-30-10052007 Pope Benedict XVI has sparked international outrage with his statements regarding his rejection of using condoms to fight the AIDS epidemic. From time to time I see this happen, and I never understand why people suddenly act outraged at teachings the Catholic Church has always held.

The Catholic Church rejects the use of condoms because they create a barrier to life within the marriage that is contrary to the natural order. But condoms distract us from the real problem. The Catholic Church doesn’t say an unmarried couple shouldn’t use condoms. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the Church teaches abstinence as the only legitimate way of protecting the physical and spiritual life of the persons in question.

Just like the economic crisis, the AIDS epidemic materialized from a moral problem. Whether a lack of control in spending, or a lack of control in sexual behavior, eventually the consequences of our actions surface.

Rebecca Hodes, head of policy, communication and research for the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, doesn’t understand the problem. In a recent statement made to the Huffington Post she demonstrated the very ignorance that brought about this problem and the weight it bears, when she separated our actions from their moral consequences. Her misplaced frustrations were exposed when she said, “[Pope Benedict’s] opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.”

The Pope holds so firmly to religious dogma BECAUSE of his love for the lives, both physical and spiritual, of those in Africa.

Continue reading "Principles mean more than favorability to the Pope? Heaven forbid!" »

The Economics of Reconciliation

Rsz_coffeeshop__017 The other night I had the privilege to speak on a panel at the Center for American Progress. The event, titled "15 Years Later: The State of Rwandan Reconciliation," was sponsored by Indego Africa and the Rwanda International Network Association, a group of Rwandans living in the United States. Its intent was to mark the 15th anniversary of the genocide and to present an in-depth look at the state of political and ethnic reconciliation in Rwanda. 

Jackson Mvunganyi, co-host of Up Front on Voice of America radio moderated the panel, which aside from me included:

  • Matthew Mitro, Founder and CEO of Indego Africa
  • Karol Boudreaux, Professor of Law at George Mason University; Lead Researcher at Enterprise Africa! a project of the Mercatus Center
  • Augustin Mutemberize, International Trade Specialist, Africa Trade Office; formerly of the Rwandan Ministry of Finance
  • Andrew Jones, Director of Policy Analysis, CARE USA; former Program Director, CARE Rwanda.

When I wasn't speaking, I was listening intently! There's a lot of fascinating research happening today in the intersection of social entrepreneurship, economics and reconciliation.

Continue reading "The Economics of Reconciliation" »

April 07, 2009

Daily roundup

They’re only words

Obama in Turkey That must have been what President Obama thought when he decided to renege on yet another campaign promise. Ironically, his campaign promise would have addressed just that line of thinking.  

In January, when he was still just a candidate for the presidency, Obama declared, "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide." Fine sounding words. Trouble is, once he set foot in Turkey, the land where this genocide occurred nearly a century ago, Mr. Obama seemed to forget all about the atrocities that once stained the streets and countryside of that nation. 

Lest you think the label we use for an event that took place almost 100 years ago is trivial, modern-day Turkey is still waging this war of words. Journalists and novelists, among others, have been tried, imprisoned and even murdered for calling the systematic annihilation of Armenians a genocide. You can read more about the genocide and some of those who have been persecuted for using this term in an article I wrote for BreakPoint WorldView a few years ago.

It's too bad the man who represents the land of the free and the home of the brave couldn't find the words to denounce tyranny and cowardice. That's a campaign promise that deserved to be kept.

(Image © UPI/Pete Souza/White House)