Ten years ago our country was led into a war of choice we were told was a necessity. In order to stop the threat of Saddam Hussein and his alleged "weapons of mass destruction," we had to massively destroy a country with our own weapons, bought and paid for by the American people to enrich American corporations. We were lied to, bamboozled and fooled into killing thousands of Iraqi men, women and children. Our ideals of freedom, democracy and equality were contorted into a misguided ideology left thousands of our own men and women dead and maimed, some physically and perhaps all psychologically.
Whether you were for or against the war, whether you were duped or defied the powers that tried to instill fear into your heart, we all agree now that the Iraqi War was an egregious mistake and a blot on the nation's, if not the world's, conscious. If you do not agree that the war was a mistake or that our leaders along with the media should be held accountable for war crimes, please consider:
- A new BBC-Guardian expose on how our military and one man in particular used training for Latin American death squads and torture methods in Iraq to instigate the sectarian war and violence that continues to today.
- A powerful story of an ex-soldier who signed up a few days after 9/11 only to be sent to Iraq and become paralyzed. He is now choosing to end his life slowly due to the immense pain and discomfort he feels.
We continue to try and "fight terror with terror." Obama has escalated drone warfare, even though it isn't cheap, surgical or decisive and is causing similar damaging psychological effects as those in more direct combat, to say nothing of those in constant fear of being watched, targeted and killed. Fighting with terror doesn't work. It doesn't bring peace. Terror is not one of "the things that make for peace," as Jesus urges us to dwell and act upon (Luke:19:42).
As long as America refuses to be a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC), our population will continue to pass judgment on the likes of Joseph Kony while not holding accountable our own leaders accused of war crimes, except on national television of the likes of Michael Moore. I am not saying fight violence with violence. I am saying we should hold other world leaders to the same standard as our own, and we should act in ways that prevent and contain those who would act violently.
May our hearts be every filled with peace, even in the most trying of circumstances.