Bush Gets "Peace" Award
selection of Rev. Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church to deliver the invocation at his inauguration ceremony sends a mixed message to the Muslim world.
During his election campaign, Obama expressed his readiness to enter into a dialogue with Iran -- a key piece of his foreign policy platform for which he was berated by Republicans, including John McCain. Warren seems to defy Obama's message of openness and reasonable mindedness toward Iran: During a recent appearance on FOX's "Hannity & Colmes," he sounded as if he wanted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be taken out.
HANNITY: Can you talk to rogue dictators? Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust, wants to wipe Israel off the map, is seeking nuclear weapons.
HANNITY: I think we need to take him out.
HANNITY: Am I advocating something dark, evil or something righteous?
WARREN: Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped. And I believe...
HANNITY: By force?
WARREN: Well, if necessary. In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers.
Warren's message alienates not only Iran, a pivotal player in the Middle East, but also shows a great deal of disrespect to the Muslim world. If Obama wants to enter into an effective dialogue with the Iranian government about its nuclear program and maintaining stability in Iraq so that U.S. troops can be withdrawn, the last thing he should do is give Warren this important symbolic role.