Has John McCain Accepted Jesus?

[Need spiritual guidance about politics -- or political guidance about spirituality? Want to know how to judge a candidate without being judgmental? Are your politics messier than your desk? Send your question to Stumped. Questions may be edited.]

Dear Stumped,

For many Christian evangelical voters, whether they decide to support John McCain will come down to the answer to one fundamental question: Has he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal savior? Do we know the answer to that question?

Wondering from Hawaii,
Marco Albert

Dear Marco,

Well, I can understand evangelical voters caring about a candidate's values, but it's sad if they can only bring themselves to vote for fellow Christians. But to answer your question, I turned to one of the world's foremost experts on all things McCain, my "good friend" (that's a McCainism for you) Matt Welch, editor of Reason magazine and author of "McCain: The Myth of a Maverick."

Matt vouches for McCain's Christian bona fides, at least on paper, informing me that McCain was raised an Episcopalian. Then there is the moving story McCain tells (and features in one of his ads) about a North Vietnamese prison guard who showed kindness toward him and once silently drew a cross in the dirt next to McCain. McCain, Matt adds, now attends a Baptist church in Phoenix.

That said, McCain isn't a politician who is comfortable wearing his religion on his sleeve, and in his 2000 race he was harshly critical of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, calling them "agents of intolerance." Since then, he's engaged in a much-chronicled effort to mend ties with the religious right (to the disappointment of his Democratic and independent fans).

Matt tells me that McCain's 2005 book, "Character is Destiny," which discusses historical figures through a Christian prism, contains plenty of capital-H Him's and He's. The whole exercise, according to my good friend, feels utterly unconvincing. Which is hardly a shocker for a made-for-campaign book, but hardly ideal for a book subtitled, "Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember."

I suppose only John McCain and the deities know the status of their relationship, which is why he is right to have been wary in the past of those who seek too much publicity about their godliness.

Dear Stumped,
 


I'm not sure whom I should vote for in the Californian Republican primary. I really think that Mitt Romney just wants to be president to avenge his father's failure to reach that office; he's a classic case of a politician who wants the office for the prestige, and not because he has a core set of ideas that he wants to advance. McCain has put his finger in conservatives' eyes so many times I can't count: Opposing tax cuts, limiting free speech, open borders -- he's been pandering to the press ever since he was a member of the Keating Five. Huckabee, while no doubt a decent man, is essentially a leftist. He wants bigger government in all areas (no smoking anywhere!), and is uninformed and naive on national security. God bless Ron Paul, but he fails to understand that we are in the early stages of clash of civilizations.

I'm leaning Romney, but even if he gets the nomination I doubt that he could stand up to the Clintons' tooth-and-claw attacks, or that he could connect with voters. What should I do?

-- Torn


Dear Torn,

I feel your pain. Not only are you deeply unsatisfied with your party's candidates, you also appear to live in fear of the Clintons. How do you sleep?

I am not going to quibble with your incisive assessment of the Republican field. But I will part ways with you on your implied sense that Hillary Clinton is your most formidable opponent. I agree she'd be favored over Mitt Romney in November, but I think Barack Obama would be the stronger candidate for the Democrats in November.

Too bad you didn't change your registration to independent in order to avail yourself of the hospitality of Democrats' primary, which allows the unaffiliated to crash their party. Then you could do yourself a favor and -- I know, this is tough for you, but suck it up -- vote for Hillary.

[Editor's note: An earlier version of this column recommended that "Torn" just vote in the Democratic primary. Unfortunately, he can't do that unless he's registered as an independent. The paragraph above reflects this information.]

Dear Stumped,

Why do many politicians, including President Bush, John McCain and Mike Huckabee, refer to military spending as a percentage of GDP? Are they trying to hide the dollar amount? Why is the GDP relevant to military spending?

Sincerely,
Shannon

Dear Shannon,

If I told you that the Democratic Republic of Congo's military spending is estimated to be $1 billion, what would you make of that? Is it a lot? A little? Who knows, right? Well, what puts the figure in perspective is comparing that amount to the size of the overall economy. When you do so, Congo's $1 billion in military spending is huge, accounting for more than 20 percent of that poor nation's GDP. That is why using GDP as a benchmark to measure things like military spending -- or spending on welfare or the size of the federal deficit -- is a useful, context-providing practice.

The Bush administration's proposed military budget for 2009 is a staggering $515 billion, which amounts to about 3.4 percent of GDP. (Adding the separately appropriated war costs bumps it up to about 4 percent of GDP.) That's on the higher end of the scale compared to most rich nations, but a lot less than Congo.

The GDP benchmark also helps us make historical comparisons of spending. By the end of World War II, for instance, Washington's military spending came in at 34.5 percent of GDP; during the Vietnam conflict it was 9 percent. If I gave you the actual dollar amounts, they would be meaningless without the context.

At the same time, you can always choose respectable statistics and benchmarks to make your point. While 4 percent of GDP seems manageable, the New York Times yesterday chose another way to go with this alarmist headline: "Proposed Military Spending Is Highest Since WWII."

Really? The paper chose to disregard the less exciting GDP benchmark (until the fifth "to be sure" paragraph) in favor of simply adjusting military spending for inflation. This is a convenient metric for comparison if you prefer a more sensationalist outcome, and it would be perfectly appropriate if we were comparing the cost of, say, a candy bar now and then. (I like Hershey's.) But it feels awfully incomplete given that the overall economy hasn't grown at the rate of inflation, and that the nature of military spending -- what you get for the money -- is so different now than it was then.

Overall, the GDP benchmark is the most honest one. But when it comes to federal deficits, which are about to start escalating, you may see the Bush administration downplaying it -- because it does put the burgeoning deficit in stark perspective.

By Andres Martinez |  February 5, 2008; 12:00 AM ET
Previous: In the Democratic Primary, W.W.A.G.D.? | Next: The Three Kinds of Conservatives

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Posted by: buspar and headache | August 20, 2008 11:47 PM

byqnul ptkbnyv ylojre
http://loangov.envy.nu/geodon-consumer-information.html geodon consumer information

Posted by: geodon consumer information | August 17, 2008 9:37 PM

lpmdgh xyuf lkxpje zyuj
http://loangov.envy.nu/does-lexapro-make-you-feel-good.html does lexapro make you feel good

Posted by: does lexapro make you feel good | August 17, 2008 8:26 PM

Posted by: effexor withdrawal | August 17, 2008 2:49 PM

wqtdimo fgjco bjytmz hgwk
http://knotlyri.lookseekpages.com/is-prozac-descibed-for-sleeplessness.html is prozac descibed for sleeplessness

Posted by: is prozac descibed for sleeplessness | August 17, 2008 2:37 PM

Posted by: elavil medication type | August 17, 2008 9:18 AM

Posted by: zyban directions | August 17, 2008 1:20 AM

xrwzlck gnrh uwlp
http://sandiego1.jvl.com/remeron-mirtazapine-side-effects.html remeron mirtazapine side effects

Posted by: remeron mirtazapine side effects | August 16, 2008 3:32 PM

Posted by: effexor xr and wellburin together | August 15, 2008 8:14 PM

hbxl lszfjdm
http://imnipiteh.150m.com/adverse-side-effects-of-lexapro.html adverse side effects of lexapro

Posted by: adverse side effects of lexapro | August 15, 2008 2:49 PM

ikdfm ptxsfue yoedblu
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4853 propecia hair loss medication

Posted by: propecia hair loss medication | May 12, 2008 10:12 AM

Posted by: how propecia works | May 12, 2008 9:28 AM

Posted by: buy cheap ultram wall | May 11, 2008 7:26 AM

Posted by: buy cheap ultram wall | May 11, 2008 7:26 AM

Posted by: 50 mg ultram | May 11, 2008 6:03 AM

kzjspyb nxliaq msvhyze
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4587 cheap online ultram

Posted by: cheap online ultram | May 10, 2008 10:42 PM

heabzpl zwfiy ympdxj zdop
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4528 purchase ultram online

Posted by: purchase ultram online | May 10, 2008 8:42 PM

Posted by: buy dir ultram | May 10, 2008 6:47 PM

Posted by: buy dir ultram | May 10, 2008 6:47 PM

Posted by: ultram abuse | May 10, 2008 5:54 PM

vxgoafe pcnhl dujlica
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4554 cheap generic ultram

Posted by: cheap generic ultram | May 10, 2008 5:50 PM

oecdf exfg aqmo cqhnyk
http://www.yourhealthforum.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4463 drug effects more side ultram

Posted by: drug effects more side ultram | May 10, 2008 3:16 PM

sjwhrcem nvmuetqfa wpmvtauhz kbausn zljycmdk xmjowsp iexvdc http://www.krbz.nhulfpm.com

Posted by: nqrlsjt oqeuga | April 16, 2008 11:30 AM

hiyk pqhw olqm xlhifncv ilxstam gwyc dzla

Posted by: oufhyb lewa | April 16, 2008 11:30 AM

McCain ain't seeing nothing but his own power, like Hillary and Obama. I'd rather see Thompson as POTUS. There's no self aggrandizement there with him; he don't thirst for power of the Presidency like the others. Like Geo. Washington, I'd rather have him who is called rather than one who really really knows what's best for you.

Posted by: Downer | February 6, 2008 10:37 PM

From this side of the pond it is all too easy to see Mc Cain as an avuncular benign conservative . This is 'conservative ' sans neo.
He must shed the wretchedness of the neocons and yet remain an attractive candidate to the GOP faithful.
But his POW status notwithstanding is it sufficient to reward a man who was probably heroic in Vietnam , with the Presidency just because he does'nt appear to have any skeletons in the cubbard.
There are some murmurings about shady dealy but they seem far too nebulous to make manifest allegations against him.
But from hear I'm hearing a language which speaks with some derision about the white flag.
If the war is a failure and they have to leave as ignominiously as they did after the fall of Saigon it would be far more noble and compassionate for the servicemen in Iraq that they at least negotiate a truce and withdraw with some degree of honour.
But will they do that and leave the big capitalists there , and moreover lose control of oil in the Middle East , which is what it was always about.
MC Cain comes from a military family , something he is not afraid to trumpet as if it were that he was handed the keys of the kingdom ; the heir of his patrimony .
We like to think of him as 'a bit Irish , even if he does'nt make the claim as overtly as he might.
Mr MC Cain has made his position on Iraq clear enough to forewarn the electorate.
What about Iran . Would he show the restraint to nuke or otherwise interfere there.?
What about the road to Baghdad being through Jerusalem , ;the implication here being that if the USA were seen to be honest brokers in establishing dual statehood for Israel and the Palestinians ; would he be as partisan towards the Israelis as the Bush administration has been ?
Remember that while Bush visited the region for the first and only time in recent weeks , that even when he was talking about realigning historical borders , at that very time the Israelis were actually continuing with their carve up of occupied territories; dividing farms , denying farmers from access to their olive groves ;
diverting the water from these farms .; strangulating the occupied territories from essential supplies ,
I have served as a doctor on 6 missions with the UN , have visited these farms , have had discussions with young Israelis about their alleged hegemony and military supremacy. Most are conscious of their ( Israeli) disproportionate war in Lebanon - which was mostly against Lebanese citizens and destroyed an economic and infra- structure the Lebanese had struggled so hard to reconstruct.
I have seen the devastation in Northern Israel ,caused by Hamaz rockets launched from Southern Lebanon .
I have also seen the resullt of operation Grapes of Wrath , launched by the Israelis on civilliant sheltering in the Fijian battallion HQ and the memory will neber ever leave me.
I have visited the Holocost Museum and was equally revolted .
The mutual distrust is manifest in everything everyday.
The situation there and elsewhere requires a less belicose voice than Mr Mc Cain's .
It requires the vision , imagination , compassion of someone like Obama.
One senses that despite his relative inexperience , his mind is suffeciently open to be that honest broker.
He would certainly refrain from any designs in Iran.
Maybe mine is a naive hope , but we all look to the USA for a renewed international integrity . We depend on the US for stability in world economics.
I would plead with the uncommitted American voter to take pause .
This is the most defining time for the US sense of equality , freedom , and the right to pursue happiness. ,
Could the avuncular Mc Cain succeed in this very fragile area while he still talks of disdaining the white flag.

Posted by: donkykemore | February 6, 2008 7:35 PM

Last I checked

the word Christos was FAR from 'personal'.

The idea is that people are bound through a common shared belief, a culture-

I find it insulting that someone would even THINK of being selfish in the scope of eternity and only seeking 'personal' salvation.

I like to invest in the ENTIRE universe - what's that line from Hendix's Message to Love 'Cause in the eyes of god, we're all children to him'

Once peopel start personalizing the afterlife sheesh, what's next ? white robes ?

Posted by: DrDetroit | February 6, 2008 9:48 AM

Who care? JFK dealt with this.

Posted by: larry jackson | February 5, 2008 10:53 PM

"For many Christian evangelical voters, whether they decide to support John McCain will come down to the answer to one fundamental question: Has he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal savior?"

What an absolutely TERRIBLE question! Does this individual have ANY idea as to what the country is supposed to stand for, or what is appropriate criteria for selecting a President?! That question clearly illustrates Marco does not.

I am horrified that this person is allowed to vote. Go to Iran if you want a theocracy!

Posted by: Fred Evil | February 5, 2008 7:01 PM

Jim wrote:

"GDP vs. $ aside. The comparison of WWII to Defense spending today is absurd. Iraq and Afghanistan are mere police actions compared to WWII."

I think you're making the opposite point of what you intended. The absurdity of this comparison is what makes it truly amazing. I mean, can you believe that the United States has spent more money to fight two "police actions" than it was spending at the height of WWII to defeat two military superpowers, Germany and Japan, with our troops scattered all across the globe? How can you not find this fact to be simply astonishing? It would be one thing if we were actually WINNING in either Afghanistan or Iraq, but what on earth are we getting for our money?

Posted by: Steve | February 5, 2008 6:04 PM

Garak's response at 7:43 a.m. remains the most appropropriate one in the bunch: what someone's personal religious beliefs are is totally irrelevant to their qualifications to hold public office. And even if John McCain "accepts" Jesus, how does he then rationalize dropping tons of bombs on helpless Vietnamese civilians? Or was the POW camp his epiphany where he "found" Jesus? So far, it sounds like the only thing he wants to talk about finding there was Ronald Reagan. Talk about skewed priorities!

Posted by: eomcmars | February 5, 2008 5:14 PM

The Born Again Killer in Office now has and look at all the great Killings and Torturing the Religious Hypocrite Fraud has achieved.

Anyone who supports the Born Again, Faith Based, Pro Life Lying War Criminal Mass Murderer Serial Killer in Chief and the VP of Torture should never be in the WH. Anyone who supports wasting a couple of trillion dollars of taxpayers funds in Illegal Invasions of Sovereign States should never be our leader. If one had any courage, one would call for the Axis of Evil to be indicted for War Crimes. People who support Mission Accomplished is equally guilty in the thousands of Murders. These Killers need to face Justice at the International Criminal Court. There is no Statue of Limitations on War Crimes.

What Would Jesus Kill?

All of these Religious Extremist Psychos are Frauds. Only Deluded Ignorant Idiots would believe any of them.

http://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/99_corr/2.htm
PART 2. JURISDICTION, ADMISSIBILITY AND APPLICABLE LAW

Posted by: mawt | February 5, 2008 4:44 PM

The Born Again Killer in Office now has and look at all the great Killings and Torturing the Religious Hypocrite Fraud has achieved.

Anyone who supports the Born Again, Faith Based, Pro Life Lying War Criminal Mass Murderer Serial Killer in Chief and the VP of Torture should never be in the WH. Anyone who supports wasting a couple of trillion dollars of taxpayers funds in Illegal Invasions of Sovereign States should never be our leader. If one had any courage, one would call for the Axis of Evil to be indicted for War Crimes. People who support Mission Accomplished is equally guilty in the thousands of Murders. These Killers need to face Justice at the International Criminal Court. There is no Statue of Limitations on War Crimes.

What Would Jesus Kill?

All of these Religious Extremist Psychos are Frauds. Only Deluded Ignorant Idiots would believe any of them.

http://www.un.org/law/icc/statute/99_corr/2.htm
PART 2. JURISDICTION, ADMISSIBILITY AND APPLICABLE LAW
PART 2. JURISDICTION, ADMISSIBILITY AND APPLICABLE LAW

Article 5
Crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court
1. The jurisdiction of the Court shall be limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The Court has jurisdiction in accordance with this Statute with respect to the following crimes:

(a) The crime of genocide;
(b) Crimes against humanity;

(c) War crimes;

(d) The crime of aggression.


2. The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime. Such a provision shall be consistent with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 6
Genocide
For the purpose of this Statute, "genocide" means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.


Article 7
Crimes against humanity
1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination;

(c) Enslavement;

(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;

(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;

(f) Torture;

(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;

(j) The crime of apartheid;

(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.


2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:
(a) "Attack directed against any civilian population" means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack;
(b) "Extermination" includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population;

(c) "Enslavement" means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children;

(d) "Deportation or forcible transfer of population" means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law;

(e) "Torture" means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions;

(f) "Forced pregnancy" means the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population or carrying out other grave violations of international law. This definition shall not in any way be interpreted as affecting national laws relating to pregnancy;

(g) "Persecution" means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity;

(h) "The crime of apartheid" means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime;

(i) "Enforced disappearance of persons" means the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.


3. For the purpose of this Statute, it is understood that the term "gender" refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the context of society. The term "gender" does not indicate any meaning different from the above.


Article 8
War crimes

1. The Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular when committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes.

2. For the purpose of this Statute, "war crimes" means:
(a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention:
(i) Wilful killing;
(ii) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments;

(iii) Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;

(iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;

(v) Compelling a prisoner of war or other protected person to serve in the forces of a hostile Power;

(vi) Wilfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of the rights of fair and regular trial;

(vii) Unlawful deportation or transfer or unlawful confinement;

(viii) Taking of hostages.

(b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
(i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
(ii) Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives;

(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict;

(iv) Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;

(v) Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives;

(vi) Killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion;

(vii) Making improper use of a flag of truce, of the flag or of the military insignia and uniform of the enemy or of the United Nations, as well as of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions, resulting in death or serious personal injury;

(viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;

(ix) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives;

(x) Subjecting persons who are in the power of an adverse party to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are neither justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his or her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the health of such person or persons;

(xi) Killing or wounding treacherously individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army;

(xii) Declaring that no quarter will be given;

(xiii) Destroying or seizing the enemy's property unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war;

(xiv) Declaring abolished, suspended or inadmissible in a court of law the rights and actions of the nationals of the hostile party;

(xv) Compelling the nationals of the hostile party to take part in the operations of war directed against their own country, even if they were in the belligerent's service before the commencement of the war;

(xvi) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault;

(xvii) Employing poison or poisoned weapons;

(xviii) Employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices;

(xix) Employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions;

(xx) Employing weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare which are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering or which are inherently indiscriminate in violation of the international law of armed conflict, provided that such weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare are the subject of a comprehensive prohibition and are included in an annex to this Statute, by an amendment in accordance with the relevant provisions set forth in articles 121 and 123;

(xxi) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(xxii) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence also constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions;

(xxiii) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations;

(xxiv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;

(xxv) Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions;

(xxvi) Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into the national armed forces or using them to participate actively in hostilities.

(c) In the case of an armed conflict not of an international character, serious violations of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts committed against persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention or any other cause:

(i) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(ii) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

(iii) Taking of hostages;

(iv) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgement pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all judicial guarantees which are generally recognized as indispensable.

(d) Paragraph 2 (c) applies to armed conflicts not of an international character and thus does not apply to situations of internal disturbances and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts of a similar nature.
(e) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in armed conflicts not of an international character, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

(i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
(ii) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;

(iii) Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict;

(iv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives;

(v) Pillaging a town or place, even when taken by assault;

(vi) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced sterilization, and any other form of sexual violence also constituting a serious violation of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions;

(vii) Conscripting or enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces or groups or using them to participate actively in hostilities;

(viii) Ordering the displacement of the civilian population for reasons related to the conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand;

(ix) Killing or wounding treacherously a combatant adversary;

(x) Declaring that no quarter will be given;

(xi) Subjecting persons who are in the power of another party to the conflict to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are neither justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the person concerned nor carried out in his or her interest, and which cause death to or seriously endanger the health of such person or persons;

(xii) Destroying or seizing the property of an adversary unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of the conflict;

(f) Paragraph 2 (e) applies to armed conflicts not of an international character and thus does not apply to situations of internal disturbances and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence or other acts of a similar nature. It applies to armed conflicts that take place in the territory of a State when there is protracted armed conflict between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups.

3. Nothing in paragraph 2 (c) and (e) shall affect the responsibility of a Government to maintain or re-establish law and order in the State or to defend the unity and territorial integrity of the State, by all legitimate means.


Article 9
Elements of Crimes

Posted by: mawt | February 5, 2008 4:43 PM

The question should be: Would Jesus accept John McCain?

Posted by: A.Lincoln | February 5, 2008 4:17 PM

Anyone who accepts this "Jesus" as his/her savior is a failed animal. Walked on water, rose from the dead, conceived in a virgin? YEAH RIGHT! Your religion is only meant for keeping a few people in power, always has been.

Church groups do good for people, the poor, sick, homeless, no doubt. But the lies that are perpetuated by these same groups will destroy civilization.

Time to wake up humans, and move on!

Posted by: Eric | February 5, 2008 2:18 PM


Has he accepted Jesus?
Has anyone stopped to consider that Jesus might not accept HIM?
Remember His words: "Repent, and sin no more"
McCain isn't doing any repenting, and his 100 additional years of warmongering and oil stealing in the Middle East isn't going to constitute "sinning no more", is it?

Leave Jesus out of this. The man is damaged and cannot think straight. Pity him, and try to find a good president amongst the good, decent, wise and intelligent Americans we all meet every day.

Posted by: wardropper | February 5, 2008 1:27 PM

Which belief system are you referring to? How many religions and sub sets of religion are there? Which one is the "WAY"? Man created God and then had the audacity to state that God created man in his image.. There may be or there may not be. If there is--GOD does not interfere in the lives of mere mortals. We are mentally and physically symmetrical. We can make choices of. Let's go on down the road together!

Posted by: ghostcommander | February 5, 2008 1:26 PM

I can understand why someone would want a presidential candidate who has accepted Jesus. In theory, it would be a good thing. The problem is, everyone is a lying hypocrite who pretends to follow Jesus and instead worships money.

Posted by: Fred | February 5, 2008 1:18 PM

Has McCain accepted Jesus as his personal savior? I for one, don't really care. I actually would prefer him to be the old fashioned kind of Christian who read the Bible and tried his best to do what's right instead of the more more modern, "Jesus is my personal best buddy who cares about me, me, me" type of Christian.

Since when do people think they get 'personal' saviors? Personally, I think Jesus is way too busy looking after the poor and sick to bother with the going on of me or John McCain.

Posted by: Unrepentant Liberal | February 5, 2008 1:00 PM

Judging military expenditures as a percentage of GDP is a very telling statistic of those who use it. It indicates they think that military expenditures are designed to protect not people, but wealth. As a country gets wealthier, its expenditures as a percentage of GDP should drop, not stay the same. At least according to my religion.

Posted by: John Dillinger | February 5, 2008 12:23 PM


This series of comments and answers is awfully witty and entertaining.

Thank you.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 5, 2008 12:09 PM

It is astounding how many Jesus experts there are. Last night, in a dream, a little, semitic looking man appeared. He said as follows, "Tell e'm, from 'did lil' Jew-boy, to STOP invo'kin' mah name, to get a LIFE, and a real JOB !". "Jesus-blabbin' ain't no job, it be free-loadin'...".

Posted by: Wilfred Ruiz | February 5, 2008 11:23 AM

Annual deficits as a percentage of GDP are a useful way to evaluate them. However, the cumulative debt of the government as a percentage of GDP shouldn't be ignored. It is now approaching 10 trillion in relation to the 14 trillion dollar GDP. When piling on more debt we shouldn't ignore the amount of our existing debt.

Posted by: tom shoe | February 5, 2008 10:48 AM

Andres,

The problem with using %GDP as a measure of military spending is that we don't measure *anything* else in the budget this way. For example, tell us what the %GDP of education or transportation spending is today and historically? Do you know?

More interesting is military spending as a percent of the budget. Depending on how you crunch the numbers (and the gov't goes to some trouble to make it hard on us), military spending is between a fifth & half of the annual federal budget.

Non-military discretionary spending (ie everything the public typically thinks of as "government spending") is actually less than 20% of the budget. If we can't get entitlements & military spending under control we're going bankrupt the country.

The primary rationale behind looking at military spending as %GDP is to hide this reality from people.

Posted by: Ray42 | February 5, 2008 9:53 AM

WHO cares about accepting Issa.. Issa is irrelevent.. but his messages were of world wide importance.

ISSA

Posted by: ISSA | February 5, 2008 9:30 AM

I have no understanding of economics, so will only state that when I vote, I will NOT vote for the candidate that puts emphasis on his 'loving Jesus' and being a 'good Christian' as we've already been down that path with Bush2 and look where it has gotten us.

Posted by: Margery | February 5, 2008 9:17 AM

GDP vs. $ aside. The comparison of WWII to Defense spending today is absurd. Iraq and Afghanistan are mere police actions compared to WWII.

McCain likes to bring of the Bridge to Nowhere at $250M. You're certainly not going to see him mention it as a percentage of GDP. Face reality $250M in a $3.1T budget is much smaller than round off error. [Figure out the $ range of the budget when rounded will result in $3.1T. It's a lot larger than $250M.

Here's another comparison of the Bridge to Nowhere that I'd like to see my friend President Bush make:

That would be the Bridge to Nowhere that cost the taxpayers $250 million dollars. That would be the same Bridge to Nowhere that his fellow conservative, Ted Stevens of Alaska threatened to hold up the Appropriations bill if he didn't get his $250M Bridge to Nowhere. He got it and it's costing us $250M.

Keep in mind that Alaska is so plush with oil and gas revenues that it doesn't have any State income tax. In fact Alaska gives their residents money just for living there. But they can't afford their own damn Bridge to Nowhere. They have to make us [the other 49 States] pay for it.

But then I was thinking .... Maybe it's not so bad. President Bush has racked up a nearly $4.5 Trillion debt so far. Just the interest on that debt, at 5%, is $250B dollars a year. Every year. That would be the equivalent of 1,000 Bridges to Nowhere. And don't we even get one bridge that goes nowhere, which would at least create some jobs. This is every year. Every year and every year for the foreseeable future we're going to be paying for 1,000 Bridges to Nowhere and not get one damn bridge.

And I didn't even have to use % GDP.

Jim

Posted by: Jim | February 5, 2008 8:24 AM

... still more examples of a "religion" feature as imagined by the Post...meaning a "religion" feature done by atheists.

Look at yesterday's "religion" headline: something about some crazed man in Texas who killed his wife while performing an exorcism on her.

The only real "god" the Post serves of course is the phony god of "diversity." If you religious beliefs are a mish-mash of a little of this, and a little of that, with no firm belief in anything, then the Post will deify you. Anyone else will just be subjected to ridicule.

Posted by: Mark | February 5, 2008 8:23 AM

On Shannon's question on the military budget I would argue the opposite of Andres. Of course the purpose of referring to defense spending as a share of GDP rather than in absoulte terms is exactly what Shannon proposes: making it sound like less (4% rather than $515 bln). You'll never hear the President or Senator McCain or anyone else of similar persuasions refer to a proposed Democratic tax increase as "0.13% of GDP", in that case you'll get the dollar amount and the purpose should be quite obvious.

The US economy can handle the Gov't spending 4% of GDP on its military, just like it can handle spending an extra 4% on health care or allocating it all to arborsculpture ("The War on Ugly Trees"?) but is that really the most important question.

The level of military spending should, of course, be judged on the merits, what are the needs and how much are we willing to give up in higher taxes and/or reduced domestic spending in order to accomodate those needs. Treating military spending as something that should be as high as possible as long as the economy can bear it is a peculiar notion that seems to be found both in the media and in politics.

Why Andres, does it make more sense to compare defense spending today with defense spending during 'Nam rather than comparing it with other expenditures today, like on energy: $24 bln or 0.17% of GDP.

It seems completely arbitrary to me.

Posted by: Oscar | February 5, 2008 8:12 AM

Has John McCain accepted Jesus? The correct answer is...

Who cares?

No, I take that back. I care. The last thing we need is some nutcase Armageddonist with his finger on the button, thinking, hey, if I start WW III, Jesus will come and save me. Then we all die in a nuclear holocaust so this religious nutcase (sorry for the redundancy) can take us with him on his hallucinatory trip to death. Iran has to worry about the Muslim version of this with Ahmadinejad. We shouldn't have to worry about a Christian version of Ahmadinjad sending the rest of us to our deaths as he sits there with rapture on his face waiting for the make-believe Messiah that will never come 'cause he never existed in the first place.

Posted by: Garak | February 5, 2008 7:43 AM

The more appropriate question here - and one that might be posed regarding any candidate is whether Jesus has accepted John McCain.

That is, whether John McCain's political positions are consonant with the true teachings of Jesus.

(As I read the New Testament, Jesus was a decidedly liberal fellow. And the New not the Old Testament is where his teachings are.)

Those of different religious persuasions should feel free to substitute the name of their teacher, e.g., the Buddha etc.

Posted by: R49Thomas | February 5, 2008 7:17 AM

On the military budget question, to understand fully what a country is spending you need to look at three numbers: spending as a percent of GDP, total spending, and the budgets of your most likely adversaries. When you consider the U.S. military budget in those terms, you can see just how grossly excessive it is.

Posted by: Keith in Arlington | February 5, 2008 6:43 AM

the black budget is unknown for "offensive" spending.

the US and Coalition of the Killing could transform the world with the expenditure alloted to death, oppression, and carnage.

just adequate care for the veterans of the current US wars is going to cost trillions in current weak dollars.

what is the cost of nuclear waste and proliferation?

thanks to the Apocalyptic Christians, dr. strangelove is a very real possibility.


how much is the earth worth?


much less to those with keys to the underground bunkers and nasa space colony plans.

Posted by: bloggod | February 5, 2008 4:43 AM

Andres Martinez:
You deceive and lie, the normal traits of the right-wing Christian demagogue, with the title of your column.

A better title would be: Religious Right-Wing Apologist.

Other bloggers here have pointed out the fallacy and deception of your attempt to pretend we're not blowing trillions on the military, while Bush submits a la-la land budget of such Draconian cruelty and criminal military spending...the neocons continue their attempt to leave budget deficits so large with illegal wars that there is nothing left for social spending - money spent on the PEOPLE.

Let me point out the hypocrisy of caring so much for McCain's religious views, and caring not for the continuing war criminality of the Bush administration and their murder of our soldiers and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, policies that McCain apparently wants to extend to 100 years, while the middle class shrinks to peasant status under our rich corporate feudal lords.

Thanks for your loving Christian thoughts.

Do you think your peaceful Jesus might smack you silly for such hubris?

As usual, you care for control, not love and help for your fellow man. You care for power and riches in the hands of the fascist few.

Please resign and find a profession to which you're better suited, like speechwriter for Pat Roberston.

Posted by: Steve | February 5, 2008 2:59 AM

The worst possible voter is one who will vote for a candidate who claims (or even does) 'accept Jesus' but will not vote for one who does not without regard to actual values and policies. Do you people have any idea how many evil people have believed in Jesus? So you would vote for... I don't know, an IRA bomber instead of a Jewish Statesman? Would you vote for a Pablo Escobar before a Ghandi?

Or to take it to a more real level, would you vote for a Nixon, Regan, AND Clinton (all stated believers in Christianity) or would you get to decide who among these is not a 'real' believer? Your Christian beliefs may be different than mine; I would appreciate, therefore, if you could look beyond dogma and leave it at Church so that religion and politics may both be more pure instead of becoming intermingled and sickened by one another.

Posted by: E Thorn | February 5, 2008 1:52 AM

Mr. Albert of Hawaii might be interested to know why our founders didn't merely omit to require but went so far as to prohibit via our Constitution any religious test for public office. (That does not deny us the right, of course, to our private religious test.) To paraphrase, "Nothing is easier to fake than piety, making a religious test merely an opening for liars that turns out honest doubters. Men (sic) should be judged by nothing more nor less than their good works."

Posted by: jhbyer | February 5, 2008 1:42 AM

Umm, Andres, before you invite registered Republican voters to mess with the Democratic primary here in California, you might want to re-read just how far the Democrats' "hospitality" actually extends.

In CA, only "decline-to-state" (ie., INDEPENDENT) voters may request a Dem ballot. Republicans like Torn(*) are stuck with their party's dispiriting range of candidates.

(*)The CA GOP has closed their primary completely, so if Torn is contemplating Romney vs. McCain, he must be a registered Repub, not an independent.

Posted by: youarestillidiots | February 5, 2008 1:23 AM

Defense spending as a percentage of GDP is a valid apple to apple comparison but it is also important to consider it in absolute terms. If we are 10-20 more powerful than any other nation (512 time more than Congo) then this is overkill and wasteful.
We waste too much money on "defensive" weapon systems that will never get used or could easily be circumvented (like star wars). Most of our expense on toys do not protect us from terror and do not protect our soldiers. And it is now clear that long term intelligent policy is much more cost effective than belligerence and elective "wars".

Posted by: rich Rosenthal | February 5, 2008 1:15 AM

I am amazed that so many of the media are pverwhelmingly endorsing McCain, but then, having sold his soul to AIPAC, should we be surprised? McCain will take us into as many wars as the neo-cons and his hypocrite Gen. Petraeus friend will tell him to go. If you want the Bush policies to continue on higher level, then vote for McCain and don't worry whether he believe in Jesus or not. He will not be allowed to pronounce his name just as Mr. Bush avoided mentioning Jesus while visiting the Church of the Nativity in his recent visit to Israel.

Posted by: Steve | February 5, 2008 12:55 AM

"The Bush administration's proposed military budget for 2009 is a staggering $515 billion, which amounts to about 4 percent of GDP.
The GDP benchmark also helps us make historical comparisons of spending. By the end of World War II, for instance, Washington's military spending came in at 34.5 percent of GDP; during the Vietnam conflict it was 9 percent."

Wrong.
The $515B does not include the costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars (now about 200B a year). So a correct GDP comparison would be to the time of World War II or Vietnam war, excluding the direct cost of those wars.
Which is a completely ridiculous idea, illustrating the idiocy of the administration exluding the costs of the current wars from the budget.

Of course Mr Martinez misleads as usual.

Posted by: LOL | February 5, 2008 12:35 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 

© 2007 The Washington Post Company