“I have read that Americans are peace-loving,” 58-year-old Pakistani writer Syed Zubair Ashraf told the Washington Post. “But their government has interfered in every country. Why?”

That is an excellent question, and one to which Americans ought to give serious consideration, especially as a presidential election approaches. Few Americans would consider themselves warlike. Who among us would choose to drop bombs on a foreign country at his own expense and risk? Yet the U.S. government, claiming to represent the American people, does so routinely — and then blames the inevitable retaliation on foreigners’ hatred of the United States’ liberty, not its government’s foreign policy.

A pastor in Iran who has twice refused to renounce his Christian faith may be executed within days, reported Baptist Press News. It would be the first time in over 20 years that the Iranian government has executed someone for apostasy against Islam. The Baptist news site reported that “Yousef Nadarkhani [pictured at left], who leads a 400-person house church movement, refused in court on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26 to recant Christianity and was scheduled to get two more chances on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28, according to the British-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), which monitors religious freedom.” The organization noted in a press release that without recanting, Nadarkhani would most likely be put to death.

Item: The New York Times for August 26 reported that Chinese defense officials had “denounced” a Pentagon “report that called China’s military buildup ‘potentially destabilizing.’” The paper cited a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman saying, “The report does not hold water as it severely distorted the facts.” The spokesman added: “China unswervingly adheres to the path of peaceful development, and its national defense policy is defensive in nature.”

The United Nations is preparing for what is sure to be a contentious showdown, as on September 23 the Palestinians sought recognition from the world body as an independent state.

Fox News reports:

In an effort touted as one to reduce tensions with the rest of the world, Iran has pledged to release two Americans held hostage in the country. The announcement comes just as Iranian President Ahmadinejad plans to visit the United Nations in New York to discuss nuclear talks.

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