"The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Fate of Humanity

"When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society." -Pope John Paul II

The following report from Fallujah by Guiliana Sgrena may well have something to do with why the U.S. may not have wanted her to leave Iraq alive: "This month of November will be remembered as one of the bloodiest of the occupation. Since the beginning of the month, which is not yet finished, 109 Marines have been killed, a figure already greater than that of the earlier attack on Fallujah, last April. But it is above all the Iraqis who are paying the highest tribute : 2,085 killed in the attack according to the information given out by Iraqi Security Minister Quassim Daud, without specifying the number of civilians. The problem, says the Minister, is that of identification, as many of the victims were not carrying documents. But many observers say that the problem is that many of the bodies were unrecognisable because they were so carbonised that the use of napalm was suspected. At the same time as the victim count from Fallujah, more disturbing news is arriving from Oslo in the form of the report of an investigation conducted by the Iraqi Health Ministry, in conjunction with the Norwegian FAFO Institute for applied international studies and UNDP, into the health of Iraqi children. The report states that since the beginning of the war (March 2003) the number of Iraqi children under the age of 5 suffering from acute malnutrition has doubled, passing from 4 to 7.7%. Further, over 400,000 are suffering from chronic diarrhoea and protein deficit." - Il Manifesto, March 10, 2005.

Let us pray for the children of Iraq. May they be wiser than those who have burned the flesh of those whose human needs they could not understand, who use chemicals to destroy the faces that will one day gaze on them, perhaps with forgiveness. Let us beg God for this forgiveness for ourselves and them.

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