Saturday, March 15, 2008

Iraq War

The ideas below are mine. This doesn’t mean I didn’t plagiarize. Far from it. I copied from various sources, one of which is the Ron Paul website. Some sentences below are word for word from there. If I had better writing skills, or more time, I might have found a way to make every word my own, but, alas, I confess. But what you see below is mine in that I take full responsibility for posting it here. If an idea is written below it means I am in agreement with it even if I didn’t coin the original phrase. The ideas below are for your discussion and not intended to be for your approval or disapproval.

There may be little in today’s world that is more important than understanding war and the reasons for war. We live in a world of war. Christians from all walks of life, throughout the world, have differing opinions on war, and specifically this war – the Iraq war.

For over a thousand years there has been a doctrine and Christian definition of what constitutes a just war. The Christian doctrine of a just war states that there should be an act of aggression against a country to justify a war. Does the Iraq classify as a just war?

Let it be very clear: There has never been an act of aggression against the United States by Iraq. We are 6,000 miles from that land. The doctrine of a just war states that all efforts at negotiations must be exhausted. There never was any effort of negotiation between the United States and Iraq. The only purported negotiation was a declaration for Sadam Hussein to destroy his weapons of mass destruction. We now know that he did not have any weapons of mass destruction. What was he to destroy?

Some have believed, and still believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the tragedy of 9/11. Saddam Hussein was not responsible for 9/11. He and Iraq did not physically attack or harm America or its people. President Bush told us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and he and Iraq were an imminent threat to America's security. Yet Iraq had shown no hostile intent, not fired a missile or a gun at America, nor had any troops even come near our shore. Even if Saddam Hussein had mass destruction weapons, he had never made a hostile move in recent years toward America, nor had he even threatened us. According to true Christian theology of a just war we did not have a just reason to attack and go to war with Iraq.

I believe the Iraq war is an unjust war. The United States did not have the right to destroy Saddam Hussein and kill his people just because we suspected he might eventually attack the U.S. The preemptive strike policy Bush has established is both unholy and not Christian. This is not new -- many pagan countries embrace it. No aggression is necessary to declare war, only suspicion. This is not true self-defense. When we go to war under this policy we are the aggressor and murderers. Also, we must ask this question -- who made us the judge over other nations to decide which ruler needs to fall? Who made us the policemen of the world? This is an extremely arrogant policy, which sets us up above other nations. The more we will attack other nations under this policy, the more the wrath of the world's countries will be toward us.

We have attacked a county halfway around the world that was no threat to us. We have justified this war by saying, "Saddam Hussein was an evil ruler", "the people needed to be freed from oppression", "Iraq was a threat to the U.S.," etc. But whatever the reasons, they do not justify this war. 9/11 does not give us the right to attack and destroy nations just because we have been attacked and are afraid to be attacked again. The invasion of Iraq and the continued presence there makes us no better than Saddam Hussein or Bin Laden.

Had Timothy McVeigh bombed the CN Tower in Toronto instead of Oklahoma City, would that give justification for Canada to invade the U.S. in response? Suppose instead they had invaded Mexico, explaining it was in the same "part of the world." Would this have been justice?

This is what the United States has down in the invasion of Iraq. In failing to catch those responsible for the murder of three thousand innocent Americans, instead The U.S. lashed out indiscriminately at persons of like ethnicity and faith. Bin Laden walks free while hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis uninvolved in his crimes have paid the ultimate penalty.

Politics creates strange bedfellows. When the Soviet Union stormed into their Afghanistan quagmire, the U.S. funded the Islamic extremists fighting them, not out of identifiable empathy but on the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. We did not call the Taliban or Al Qaeda ‘terrorists' then, but 'freedom-fighters.’ None other than Ronald Reagan called them that and he even said that about their leader – non other than Osama bin-Laden. Yes, the U.S. not only funded but also provided the military fire-power to those “freedom-fighters.” Those very U.S. supplied rifles and bombs are now being used to blow up young American men and women in Iraq.

The invasion of Iraq and the continued Iraq war has not made us safer. On the contrary: It has encouraged a revitalization of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. 3,000 United States citizens where murdered by Islamic fundamentalists. The response by the Bush Administration has taken the nation of Iraq, uninvolved in the attack on America, away from the secular socialist regime previously in power, and handed it over to . . . Islamic fundamentalists. Understand this: The Bush Administration has rewarded Islamic fundamentalists by turning over to them a major Mideast nation not previously in their possession.
President George Bush did a marvelous job of directing and mobilizing the country after 9-11. He should be praised for that job well done. He squandered that good-will however.

The Bush administration has been wrong about every claim they’ve made concern Iraq and the Iraq war. Prior to the invasion they claimed:
Iraq has Weapons of Mass Destruction: Wrong
Iraq supplied resources to Al-Qaeda: Wrong
Iraq was involved in 9/11: Wrong
There will be very few casualties: Wrong
It will cost less than one billion dollars: Wrong
It will be paid for with Iraqi oil: Wrong
They will great us as liberators with flower and candy: Wrong
We’ll be out in a few weeks: Wrong
Every claim the Bush Administration made prior to the invasion was wrong yet, some continue to believe the continued claims made by this administration now. Why are we to believe them now when they have not been right yet?
I’ll state this is as plainly as I can. I believe the Iraq war is one of the biggest blunders in the history of the United States. It was wrong before it began. It was wrong when it started. It continues to be wrong. There are more terrorists in Iraq today than there ever was under Hussein. The war bill is looking upwards of a TRILLION dollars and thousands of lives. It has destroyed a country. It has created hostilities throughout the world against the United States. The invasion has been the greatest recruiting tool the terrorists have ever had. Combine that with the thousands who will never forget that American arms killed their loved ones, and we have created virtually a whole new army of terrorists by invading Iraq. The planning for a post-war Iraq by this administration was horrendous -- there wasn’t any.
One successful outcome of the Iraq was is the creation of new set of millionaires. War profiteering is very big business. No bid contracts to connected political insiders has created a whole industry. Trust me on this: The war contractors do not want to end the invasion. The continued presence there will continue to line the pocket books of millionaires for years to come.
Now, some Christians want to continue to support the Iraq war as if there was no other option and as if Jesus himself was behind the invasion. In Jesus’ day his followers wanted Jesus to do something about the Romans. The Romans. Oppressors. Pagans. The Enemy. His followers expected Jesus to lead the revolt, to lash out, to defend them. They nearly demanded it of him. Jesus always refused. He taught that there is a better way. His ways are not the ways of this world. The people could not hear him. Today, are we like the followers of Jesus of old? Or can we hear the new message? Jesus came with a new teaching, a new message. Do we hear it?

We will never fulfill the true meaning of Jesus’ teachings as long as we look at war as being the only path to peace. As long as we see war as the “only” way, we will never see the Jesus way.