Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at roger@preachitteachit.org.

Dear Lots of Readers,

I’ve received many requests this week to share my thoughts on the current turmoil in the Middle East. So, I will share a small part of my own opinions of the current political and strategic analysis and then lay out the five biblical guidelines for a Just War. With these guidelines in hand, I think you can better draw your opinions about how the President and Congress can attempt to develop a workable and godly foreign policy—or not.

Wicked, arrogant, selfish, power-hungry, evil, mentally ill men are loose in the world, and in places of leadership in many nations.

  • Terrorists attacked the Trade Center on 9-11 and killed thousands.
  • Hitler’s Holocaust murdered over six million Jews, Homosexuals and Gypsies.
  • Saddam Hussein set out to destroy an entire race when he used poison gas against the Kurds in northern Iraq.
  • Joseph Stalin murdered, shot and tortured to death an estimated 40,000,000 Russians during and after World War Two. He was psychotic and paranoid, with a borderline personality disorder.
  • The Khmer Rouge utilized genocide in Cambodia to wipe out over one-half of a nation’s innocent citizens.

American is not exempt from inflicting mayhem.

  • American settlers decimated the Cherokee Indians in Kentucky in 1790.
  • What we did to the Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee was unquestionably immoral and wicked.
  • We slaughtered Philippine freedom fighters as we invaded the Philippines in the 1920s and 30s for political conquest.

Most recently, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria has killed over two million civilians and has now unleashed poisonous sarin nerve gas.

Last year President Obama drew a red line not to be crossed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. If he unleashed chemical weapons against his own people, President Obama promised that massive American military involvement would destroy both his presidency and the Syrian regular army while bringing peace and prosperity to Syria.

Syria has crossed the line and the President is now eating his words. How embarrassing for America.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, President Obama has no idea how to handle this genocidal devastation. He is reaching out to Congress for help in finding a workable solution. My opinion is that he has excluded Congress for so long that many of them find it difficult to support him in anything.

The Monroe Doctrine is dead and gone. We need a new foreign policy doctrine.

Teddy Roosevelt's foreign policy was characterized by his slogan: "Speak softly and carry a big stick." He used it to complete the Panama Canal; send the Great White Fleet on a world tour to demonstrate American power; and negotiated an end to the Russo-Japanese War, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Today we are doing the opposite. We are speaking loudly and carrying a little stick.

It is time for President Obama to chart a new foreign policy course to give us a strategic plan for handling problems and conflicts in the Middle East. None seems forthcoming.

President Bashar al-Assad is mocking President Obama by declaring that America has not won a war in over 65 years! We lost in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and essentially the Taliban. America has lost the respect of the world, says the Syrian president, and I believe that he is right.