An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "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.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Melting Skin for Peace

In case you haven't been following the white phosphorous controversy, there are two facts that most news coverage is completely missing. First, the accusations of white phosphorous usage are not new, but were documented at the time of the second attack on Fallujah by unembedded journalist Dahr Jamail based on interviews with Fallujah refugees. These facts were commented on rather extensively here at Nonviolent Jesus. Secondly, and this is what should aid any anti-war actions or speeches that your group may be carrying out - the Army has admitted that it uses white phosphorous as a weapon. Here is the relevant section from the March Field Artillery magazine: "WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] proved to be an effective and versatile munition. We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired 'shake and bake' missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out."

The Italian film from RAI which can be viewed here: http://movies.crooksandliars.com/fallujah_ING~1.wmv extensively documents the weapons use with eye-witness accounts. In fact, if you look at the material collected by Daily Kos, http://www.dailykos.com/tag/White%20phosphorus, it's clear that even at the time, such radical left-wing publications as the Washington Post documented the use of white phosphorous as a weapon, which the Army did not dispute at the time.

White phosphorous is a weapon of terror, which burns the skin of its victims to the bone and can't be extinguished with water. The teaching of the Church on operations such as razing the city of Fallujah and treating every person in the city as an insurgent is clear: "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation. A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons-especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons- to commit such crimes." Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2314.

I have to admit I'm often afraid that I'm speaking to the void, a voice crying in the wilderness that no one hears. Yes, there are blogs that speak about these things, but hardly ever from a Christian perspective. Where are my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who see Christ's face in the massacred inhabits of Fallujah? Where is the outrage among Catholic bishops over the destruction of a city and the use of chemical weapons to melt away the skin of innocent men, women, and children? Yes, there will probably be commission one day that will conclude, long after the witnesses of the time have died or moved on, that perhaps it was a crime that was committed in 2004. Why were these voices silent in the year 2004 when they might have saved a life or two?

1 comment:

Chris Sullivan said...

Where are my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who see Christ's face in the massacred inhabits of Fallujah?

I think our inability to see Christ in others is a sign of our lack of faith. We see "collateral damage" or "it's better that one man die than the Romans come" where we ought to see God.

Not much has changed since Calvary.

God Bless