Aftermath of the Afghan Exodus and What’s Left

Effective August 31, 2021, the U.S. and NATO forces have officially left Afghanistan, leaving the country back in the Taliban’s hands. Taliban celebrated their victory and return to power.
That being said, the U.S. still has some homework left over. There are still Americans in Afghanistan. Out of the 250,000 Afghan folks that assisted the U.S. forces, more than 100,000 are still in Afghanistan.
During the White House briefing today, a question arose as to the rescue plan for those remaining in Afghanistan after the August 31 deadline. The Chief of Press gave somewhat of an ambiguous answer but promised that anyone who has helped the U.S. that wants to come to the States would be given chances to do so, along with any American still stuck in Afghanistan.
Last Thursday, 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of Afghans were killed when a suicide bomber detonated the bomb at the gate of Kabul International Airport. Pres. Biden has promised that the U.S. would retaliate against ISIS-K for the attack and did so briefly after the attack.
Since the withdrawal began, Pres. Biden has seen a significant drop in approval rating, both in the execution of the withdrawal and in the quick overtaking of Afghanistan by the Taliban despite billions of dollars that had gone into training the Afghan military.
Many Americans are questioning the purpose of the Afghanistan campaign; some are even comparing it to the Vietnam war. The hardest struck are the Veterans of the Afghanistan-Iran conflict, who are now wondering why they went to a 20-year war where the result was the Taliban’s quick return and takeover of Afghanistan.
There are stories of U.S. citizens and green card holders being turned away at Taliban checkpoints and being beaten; it is unclear as to whether all U.S. citizens and green card holders have made it out safely.
With ISIS-K’s attack last Thursday, it is truly questionable as to whether the U.S. even succeeded at wiping out the terrorist threat to the safety of U.S. democracy.

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Death Sentence of Arsonist that Killed 9 SC Church Parishioners Affirmed

Dylann Roof, the individual behind the 2015 massacre at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, was convicted and sentenced to death. He appealed the sentence. On Wednesday, a federal appeals court upheld the conviction and the death sentence. It was a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel, which affirmed the trial judge’s finding that Roof was competent to stand trial. Roof had argued that he could not stand trial due to a mental illness.

Roof’s defense team will likely appeal the decision to the Supreme Court; meanwhile, there are currently no executions scheduled while the Justice Department reviews the death penalty policies put in place during ex-Pres. Trump’s presidency, where record number of executions were performed.

While Pres. Biden is personally opposed to capital punishment, his administration continues to support the execution of Roof, who was convicted of killing 9 black parishioners as they were praying during bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church; he is the first to be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime.

In a statement, US attorney’s office in South Carolina has praised the court’s decision.

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Al-Qaeda Congratulates the Taliban Day after Taliban’s Denouncement

The Taliban recently submitted an official statement denouncing their links with all Al-Qaeda groups and promised that Al-Qaeda would not be present in Afghanistan or pose a threat to the U.S.; however, a day after this announcement, Al-Qaeda’s South Asian branch congratulated the Taliban on the military victory on a statement on Monday. The announcement was written in Urdu and praised the Taliban for winning against the United States, going as far to claim it as a “highly sacred moment” for Muslims around the world.

Al-Qaeda also called for more to come out to join the jihad in defending themselves against the “invaders.” Al-Qaeda’s letter also explained that while it cannot win against West-backed democratic process, it would win out on the field. Two other groups associated with Al-Qaeda also released messages of support for the Taliban: The Global Islamic Media Front (propaganda organization) and Jama’at Nasr Al-Islam wal Muslimin, Al-Qaeda’s branch in Sahel region of Africa. The Global Islamic Media Front called it vindication of the power of religious conviction, whereas Jama’at Nasr Al-Islam wal Muslimin simply congratulated the Afghan people.

Taliban maintains that there are no Al-Qaeda presence in Afghanistan and that it would not be protecting Al-Qaeda within its territories; however, the United Nations estimates Al-Qaeda has presence in at least 15 provinces, while Al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent has operated under Taliban protection for quite some time.

In the meantime, the Biden administration is being pressured to stay in Afghanistan past the deadline of August 31, 2021 to guarantee that all American soldiers and any vulnerable refugees can come over to the United States.

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US leaving Afghanistan, China staying

As the Taliban closed in on Kabul, China has contacted the Taliban to seek the guarantee of safety for its citizens still in Afghanistan; for example, the Chinese embassy in Kabul has reported that it intends to remain in Kabul and had contacted the Taliban, stating that it was trusting Taliban’s declaration that it would transition the country under an “open, inclusive Islamic nation,” and ensure the safety of Afghan citizens and foreign missions be carried out.

This is in stark contrast to the behaviors of the western powers’ sudden and immediate departure from the country as the Taliban closed in on Kabul. However, one cannot help but wonder how China’s relationship with the Taliban might actually play out, given China’s own behavior towards its Islamic minority in Xinjiang region. According to a 2002 paper by Wang Yaning, lecturer at the Chinese Armed Police Force Academy, more than 400 “separatists” were known to be trained in light and heavy weapons and explosive devices in Taliban training camps.

While the opportunity exists for China to play a bigger role in Afghanistan, a land filled with precious metals that are becoming ever more important. Of course, some argue that continued U.S. presence would have been much easier on Beijing to deal with than the Taliban; nonetheless, China is attempting to build a relationship with Afghanistan while they shuffle in their minority Muslim population into “work camps” reminiscent of concentration camps in various regions in Xinjiang.

China also might have to deal with the influx of Afghani refugees, as some choose to leave their homes to avoid persecution from Taliban rule. There is also the issue of detention camps in Xinjiang and radicalization of Uyghur population with growing anti-Chinese sentiment. However, even that number’s validity is unclear as some argue that Chinese government inflated the numbers to justify its actions.

Depending on what position the Taliban takes as it takes over Afghanistan, China might actually deal have much to deal with on its plate, very far from the only positive outcome, which would be access to rare earth metals while maintaining its control over Xinjiang. It might be that China could be stuck between a rock and hard place, as it loses the safety on the borders over Central Asia, loses out on possible access to precious metals, with extremist radical population seeking independence as it deals with the dissonance’s breaking point in its political system and the economic policies. At the moment, only time will tell.

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Taliban’s Fast Take Over of Afghanistan leads to Conflicts and Confusions

After 9/11 in 2001, under the presidency of G. W. Bush, the United States began the “War on Terror” with the goal of defeating Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The US troops entered Afghanistan to retaliate against terrorists who used several US aircrafts to kill thousands of U.S. citizens and take down the Twin Towers in Manhattan, New York.

By 2011, during the Obama Presidency, the U.S. forces located Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts as somewhere in Pakistan. Soon after, he was killed during the ambush and buried at sea. Many had hoped that this would end the war in Afghanistan and Iraq; however, the war continued.

The Trump administration promised that it would pull US troops out of the middle east but failed to do so. Now, with Pres. Biden in the White House, US troops are planned to be completely removed by September 2021. However, after two decades of staying in Afghanistan, fighting against the Taliban, and implementing certain US-based policies such as allowing girls to attend school, women to walk about freely, and receiving help from the local Afghanistani citizens, the US is now facing criticism on all front as the Taliban recently overtook Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan.

On Monday, during the White House press conference, Pres. Biden accepted the responsibility of the withdrawal of the US military from Afghanistan, adding that he didn’t expect the Taliban to oust the Afghan government so quickly.

In remarks, he stated that “The truth is this did unfold more quickly than we anticipated,” and added, “I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision.” The Taliban is also using US military equipment in overtaking the Afghanistan territories.

The women have risen up in Afghanistan. Fearful of the return of Taliban’s extremist policies, their tendency to rape and kill women for the tiniest of “errors,” and to protect the safety of the children, women are rising up to fight against the Taliban. While the Taliban has promised that it would not punish any of the US sympathizers, it is not clear whether they would keep their promises and what they would now do, that the country is slowly falling back into their hands.

Although news stations are busily murking up the waters on winning and losing, many Americans, global citizens, and most importantly, the Veterans and US troops, are angry at this result, as it is clear to all but those in power that this was a significant loss in the US “policing power.”

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Church Clinic Series: Faith Productivity high

On July 26, 2021, at 7:30 PM, Church Clinic will sponsor another lecture on the series: Change to Church by the Pandemic.

미디어를 통한 다양한 사역을 통해 복음의 생산성을 높여보자

교회 함께 가자 처치클리닉(대표 손기성 목사)에서는 오는 26() 저녁7:30 팬데믹이 바꾼 교회 환경, 미디어와 교회라는 주제로 7 강좌가 진행된다. 강의는 빅토빌예수마음교회를 감임한 김성일 목사가맡아 한다. 김목사는 다양한 미디어들을 활용하여 어려운 이민 목회 사역과 지역 목회자들 간의 관계들을 돈독케했다. 그는 KAPC 교단 내에서도 미디어에 관련해서 교단과 교회에 여러 도움들을 주었고, 지역언론이나 매체들을 통해 기고하여 많은 관심있는 많은 분들에게 도움을 주기도 했다.  현재는 교단 총무로 섬기고있다.  목사는 오랜 시간 동교단에서 봐왔는데 홈페이지를 만들고 사이트를 관리하는 작업이 아닌 주변에간단하게 보고 접할  있는 미디어 기기들을 통해 복음을 전하고 사역을 효과적으로 강화해 나가는 방법을 이용하시는 분이다. 본인이 직접 미디어를 통한 목회를 다양하게 펼쳐온 부분을 제시할 것이다. 어렵지않게 쉽게 목회자들이 따라하면  도움이 되리라 본다. 특히 펜대믹의 상황이 쉽게 진정될 것같지 않은 지금 상황과 목회자들이 자신이 처한 환경속에서 사역의 생상성을 극대화 시켜볼  있는 기회를 경험하게 것이라 생각한다. 목회자  아니라 요즘 줌이나 유튜버 같은 소셜미디어들을 통해 당양한 사역들을 경험하고 있고, 생각이 있는 분이라면 누구나 참여가 가능하다.” 했다. 자세한 문의는 703-334-7602 혹은[email protected] 하면된다. 온라인으로 진행되며 사전접수가 필요하다

The lecture will be presented by Pastor Sung-Il Kim, who has used social media extensively to reach out to the public about the Word of faith. He will explain how to do more than just maintaining a website in promulgating the Word of God.

Anyone interested may attend the lecture; it will be available online. Registration will also be open online, and registration prior to the event is necessary.

Those interested may call 1-703-334-7602 or e-mail [email protected]

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without express written permission.

Israel’s Air Strikes Kill Doctors

Photo from Google Images

On Sunday, Israelis struck GAZA strips leaving the Palestinian people devastated. Among the victims was Dr. Abu al-Ouf, who was there with his extended families, which included his mother and father, his wife Reem, and their 17-year-old son Tawfik and their 12-year-old-daughter Tala. According to BBC, Dr. Ayman Abu al-Ouf was the head of internal medicine at the Palestinian territory’s main hospital, and he had dedicated his life to the people who live in very poor conditions in Palestine.

“This is a really big loss not just for us personally because we knew Ayman – this is also a loss for his patients and students,” Dr. Ghaith al-Zaanin, a close friend and former colleague who lives in Canada, told the BBC. Dr. Abu al-Ouf was a Coronavirus responder, and he had treated many Palestinian patients and had taught many new generation doctors who are in mourning for the death of their well-respected doctor and teacher.

Dr. Abu al-Ouf lived in Gaza City’s al-Wahda street, which is lined with apartment buildings, shops. He had left the hospital to go home just one hour before hitting the airstrike. He was rescued from his collapsed home 12 hours after the airstrike, but it was too late, as he died at the hospital.

The Israeli military said that it had, “struck an underground military structure” belonging to Hamas, and “The underground foundations collapsed, causing the civilian housing above them to collapse, causing unintended casualties.” Nonetheless, more than 200 people (including 61 women and 36 children) have died and 1,500 are injured in Gaza, while Israeli death includes 10 people, including 2 children.

President Biden reached out to Israel’s PM Netanyahu that he expects ‘de-escalating conflict’ and to a cease-fire on Gaza to prevent continued death of innocent people, but Netanyahu responded on his Twitter that, “[he is] determined to continue this operation until its goal is achieved.”

It is unclear as to how the world sees Israel’s behavior, but tensions are growing as they’re beginning to see Israel as the aggressor and Palestine as the victim.

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미래학자 최윤식 박사 : Church and Faith in Post-Pandemic Future: Clinic Open to All

“미래학자, 최윤식 박사와 함께 미래 통찰력을 경험하라”

“교회 함께 가자”처치 클리닉(대표 손기성)에서는 4월 26일 (월) 오후 7:30 분 오픈 강좌를 진행한다. 4월 강좌의 강사는 미래학자로 널리 알려진 최윤식 박사가 진행한다.  최윤식 박사는 ‘2030 대담한 미래’ ‘앞으로 5년 한국의 미래 시나리오’ ‘제 4의 물결이 온다’ 등 미래에 나타날 다양한 현상들을 예견한 서적들을 출간하고 독자들에게 많은 통찰력을 가질 수 있는 기회를 제공해왔다. 최박사는 지난 2014년에도 처치클리닉을 통해 워싱턴 지역 사회와 소통을 하기도 했으며, 당시 세미나를 통해 많은 사람들에게 미래에 대한 사고를 넓히는 계기를 마련해 주기도 했다.

손기성 목사는 “현재 나타나는 펜데믹 시대의 현상을 학자로서 명확하게 분석하고, 교회가 나아가야 할 방향성과 신앙인으로 준비하며 살아야 할 삶의 태도 들을 또 한번 제시하는 시간이 될 것이다.” 그리고” 펜데믹으로 인해 변화될 미래에 대한 고민은 목회자 뿐 아니라 일반 성도들에게도 절실한 부분이다. 그러기에 더 없이 유익한 시간이 될 것이다.” 고 말했다.

참가비는 없으며, 줌을 통한 화상 강의로 진행되기 때문에 반드시 사전접수가 필요하다.

접수 및 문의는 (703) 334-7602 나 [email protected] 으로 하거나 카카오톡 아이디 churchclinic 을 통해 쉽게 할 수 있다.

The Church Clinic announced that it will invite futurist scholar Dr. Yoonsic Choi through an online zoom method to give a lecture on the future of church and faith after the pandemic. The open course will be held on the evening of the 26th at 7:30 (EST), and anyone who interested can participate after making a reservation in advance.

The event is free to all, although they do ask that you come with the love of faith.

Reservation: www.churchclinic.net or [email protected]

phone: (703) 334-7602

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission.

 

 

Church Clinic opens door for Church goers

Due to the Pandemic, Christians have not been able to attend church worships for safety purposes, and everything has been limited to online meetings.

Church Clinic, led by Pastor Gi-Sung Son, invites everyone to an online zoom conference meeting between February 22 to 23, 2021 from 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM to meet Pastor Won-Ho Park and discuss what Christians should do during the Coronavirus pandemic as it continues. The official title is “The Pandemic era, Church and God’s World.”

Anyone is welcome to join the event once they register at http://www.churchclinic.net, and they may email for more information at [email protected] The telephone number is 703-334-7602. Pastor Park will attempt to convey God’s words and encouragement for everyone in attendance.

Thanks to Pastor Gi-Sung Son for arranging this clinic for souls struggling during this very global and difficult event. Hope to see many of you there!

 

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.