Hello. My name is Chris Powell and this is my blog. I realize that most everyone knows this, but I feel as though I should reintroduce myself following my apparent blogging death. I have been extremely busy attending to the needs and process of having a little girl named Isabella join my family. (If you are interested in this story, then you can read more at my adoption blog.) This little girl has meant so much to Holly and I. I thought that I would re-enter the blog world by reflecting upon the recent visit of Georgy Bush to Isabella's homeland: Guatemala.
It was asked in the Bible if anything good could come from Nazareth. I remember thinking of this verse as I sat in Guatemala and heard of Bush's plan to visit the country. I immediately thought, "can anything good come from him coming to Guatemala?" Apparently, there were several that shared my sentiment. I was unsuccessful in finding a person in Guatemala, including both Guatemalan citizens and US citizens, that was hopeful of a good outcome to his trip. Let's face it, the man is not exactly God's gift to foreign policy.
I was riding with Holly and Isa into Guatemala City with our driver who was Guatemalan. I very carefully asked what he thought about the US and how it is handling its relationship with the rest of the world. What he stated astounded me. He was very well versed in US policy and was able to correctly identify the atrocities of US foreign policy. What surprised me the most was that this man seemed to know the big picture. I sat in the car and listened, saddened at the fact that most US citizens have been blinded so that they cannot see the simple truths that this man was pointing out. So, lest I criticize without offering a better way, here are some things that I offer up in the name of peace.
First of all, if you want to fight global terrorism Mr. Bush, end extreme poverty.
Secondly, if you want to help the Guatemalan people end poverty and corruption in their own country, declare a war on drugs. If there is crack in the US, chances are it was funneled through Guatemala before it got to the US. The resulting underground mafias and drug rings in Guatemala are tearing the country apart. (Just ask President Berger who is having to answer for some murders attributed to the national police)
Thirdly, work towards trade agreements that promote self-sufficiency in Latin America. It is always easy to send aid to a country that needs it. After all, it makes you look and feel good for doing such a deed. The problem is that sending aid becomes addictive or rather the feeling of domination that comes from the euphoria of giving to someone in need becomes addictive. As such it is not long before the giving of aid becomes nothing more than an emotional and economic form of colonialism. Perhaps it is time that we perpetuate self-sustenance with our aid and not dependence.
Fourth, let's promote a consistent ethic Mr. President. The people in Latin America, primarily in Venezuela are scared to death. Why? Because they have oil. The last time we chose to end a humanitarian crisis (or so it was labeled after not being able to find WMDs) we did so in a location that conveniently has oil reserves that we are dependent upon. I would have to say that I would be a little nervous if I lived in Venezuela as well. The people of Central America see that we have invaded and occupied a country in the name of freedom and under the banner of "Christian America." Simple deductive reasoning leads one to ask if the ethic we are perpetuating in our foreign policy is consistent with Christian ethics. The answer is no. So, what does one do when the leader of "Christian America" comes into your backyard and offers you a better way of life that is founded upon a "Christian ethic?" The answer is that you run as far away as you can in the opposite direction. Until our policies line up with the ethic that we are claiming (or better yet, loose the title "Christian America" as it has not been relevant for quite some time - if it ever was) we cannot expect people to take us seriously in our diplomatic efforts.
Finally, the above are merely suggestions. I do not mean to sound anti-American in all of this but I do believe that as Christians we should reclaim our prophetic voice and be able to speak into an empire.