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, July 01, 2007

A Wisdom that comes from Many Tears.




"The Iraqi Islamic Party, a Sunni political faction in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's cabinet, published a statement on Sunday alleging that more than 350 people have been killed by a US military operation in Baquba to hunt down al-Qaeda-affiliated members.

They termed the operations 'collective punishment' in Baquba, the capital of Diyala province which lies 57 kilometers north-east of Baghdad...

The forces shelled these neighborhoods with helicopters, destroying more than 150 houses and killing more than 350 citizens, their bodies still under wreckage, in addition to arresting scores of citizens,' the statement added."

"A representative of al-Sadr who spoke to the media in Najaf said that four members of one family, including women, were killed by a US bomb, and another 16 young men died. 'There were no clashes between the Mahdi army and occupation forces,” he said. “We are condemning this attack, which targeted the innocent people in their homes, and we are calling on the government to open an investigation with the occupation forces to find out what happened.'"

"Basheer Ahmed, a Sadr City resident, said, 'At about 4 a.m., a big American convoy with tanks came and began to open fire on houses, bombing them. What did we do? We didn’t even retaliate. There was no resistance.'" -wsws.org

And who did you say would share in the rewards?

"The new oil law is universally presented in Washington as a policy aimed at guaranteeing that oil revenues are shared by 'all Iraqis'. The reality is that the entry of US and other energy giants into Iraq’s oil industry will lead to wholesale plunder. Iraq’s oil minister has predicted that as many as 65 of the 80 known undeveloped oil fields will come under foreign control. If the oil industry was developed to its full production potential, it could pump 6 million barrels a day and generate annual revenues of more than $130 billion, with the profits as high as 20 percent for the transnational companies.

It is this prize that has cost the lives of over 700,000 Iraqis and close to 4,000 occupation troops and left the country’s infrastructure devastated. Washington’s perspective is to transform Iraq into a lucrative source of wealth for American corporate interests and a military base in the Middle East to extend US domination over the resource-rich region. To achieve this, it requires both a fig leaf of legality from the puppet Iraqi parliament in Baghdad and an end to the anti-occupation insurgency wracking the country."

Violence always destroys itself because it is born of the despair of God. It usually achieves its immediate goals, petty as they always are, in this case, the control of the Iraqi oil pool, but unforeseen consequences always raise their their unlucky heads. In the words of Shane Claiborne, "Violence kills the image of God in us." The murder of that image always wreaks untold consequences. Violence is the weak and cowardly cry of those in whom the hope for God has suffocated. It is our job as peacemakers to keep this hope alive.

As we tolerate violence, the image of God dies within us. The death of this image always leads to suicide in one form or another. It could be suicide which is the other face of American prosperity or the suicide which comes when emptiness is accepted in place of God's fullness. But violence will always twist toward the inner face of suicide sooner or later.

Again, in the words of Shane Claiborne, "May we love loudly."

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