Sunday, December 24, 2023

Bill Crawford: In the Face of Conflict, We Celebrate Christmas

 Conflict – the key word to describe the world, and the United States, as 2023 comes to a close.

Armed conflicts: The annual Armed Conflict Survey published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London identified 183 armed conflicts in 2023. Russia continued its merciless aggression into the Ukraine sparking NATO build-ups in Eastern Europe. Israel waged war on Hamas, invading Gaza. Civil wars and insurgencies raged across the bulk of Africa and much of Southeast Asia. Civil war continued in Yemen leading to attacks on commerce in the Red Sea. China, India, and Pakistan skirmished along their common borders. Iran backed forces led attacks in Iraq, Lebanon, and the West Bank. Turkey continued its attacks against Kurdish areas in Syria. Gang violence surged in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, and El Salvador. Columbia continued to struggle with insurgencies.

Looming armed conflicts: China upped its aggression in the South China Sea impacting the Philippines as well as Taiwan. Armenia and Azerbaijan deployed troops as tensions tightened. Finland closed its border with Russia for land-crossings. North Korea deployed new strategic missiles that can reach the United States as friction increased with South Korea.

Major protests: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reported new protests erupted in 83 countries in 2023.

The United States is actively engaged in many of the international conflicts while struggling with intensifying conflicts at home. “Some scholars claim that Americans are so polarized they are on the brink of civil war,” reads a Carnegie Endowment article, while others argue such general “polarization is an illusion.” However, “American politicians are highly ideologically polarized.”

Against this backdrop of conflict we are now to celebrate the birth of the “Prince of Peace.” At his birth in Bethlehem angels proclaimed “peace on earth to men of goodwill.”

How perturbing, then, is this report: “BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Officials in Bethlehem said Christmas celebrations will be canceled in Jesus’ traditional birthplace due to the Israel-Hamas war.”

Oh, if Jesus’ birth, his teachings, and his sacrifice had sparked and sustained worldwide peace…or at least brought lasting harmony to Christian leaning nations like the United States. Perhaps if most of us had lived up to “you shall love your neighbor as yourself?”  

Alas, Jesus told us that would not happen. “In me you may have peace,” he said in John 16:33. “In the world you will have tribulation.”

This Christmas we must be content with his final words in that verse. “But be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

“For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” – Ephesians 2:10.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.


Anonymous said...

Israel waged war on Hamas? What an inaccurate way of reporting the war. Who started the war Mr. Crawford?

Anonymous said...


Agree 👍

Anonymous said...

October 7, 2023 Bill I believe Hamas raided and killed 1,200 innocent Israelis and you say Israel waged war on Hamas and invaded Gaza? You are full of shit as usual but Merry Christmas and personally I hope Israel drives Hamas to the Red Sea.

Anonymous said...

Based on writing style and other tip offs I've suspected for a long time that Crawford comments here anonymously. There is one paragraph is today's column that 99% confirms it for me.

Anonymous said...

Crawford, again it appears you got the cart ahead of the a$$.

Anonymous said...

Any objective study of human history will reveal that war and conflict are the norm only punctuated by sporadic periods of "peace" when the conquerors have so subjugated the conquered that they are disarmed and unable to resist. In terms of the human experience, this is a relatively peaceful time. Bad news?

Anonymous said...

Israel did not start the war, but Israel will end the war and Hamas (for a while).

Anonymous said...

Amen to 1:28 PM

Anonymous said...

" Israel waged war on Hamas, invading Gaza. "

What a fucking liar. On October 7 Hamas TRIED to wage war on Israel. They are paying the cost of that stupidity now, and will hopefully pay it until no one on earth need fear them again. We're sick of their shit.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS