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.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The Capacity to Fight
"In the long run, a people can be held in subjection most effectively not by brute force but by gutting them of the capacity to fight for themselves." - Hal Draper
Words of wisdom from soldiers in Iraq: "In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are - an army of occupation - and force our withdrawal.
Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities." The Iraq war as we see it, by seven soldiers stationed in Iraq.
Even the most generous interpretation of our invasion of Iraq leaves the people there gutted of their dignity and self-respect. The more accurate interpretation - control of energy supplies - leaves them with every good reason to fight.
Just as in Vietnam, soldiers are leading the way out, the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has decided to fight with the weapons of peace: "IVAW formally voted this weekend to launch a campaign this Fall in support of the GI resistance, in effect, encouraging troops to refuse to fight. To underscore the point, IVAW elected Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia chair of its board of directors. In the winter of 2003, Camilo was the first soldier to refuse to return to fight in Iraq after an initial tour in the war zone. 'There's a sort of revolution taking place in the streets. It's not being reported by the mainstream media, but we in the antiwar movement know what's going on. There is a rebellion going on in the ranks of the military that is not being reported," Camilo noted to reporter Aaron Glantz.'" - Courage to Resist
Christians must return to the roots of their faith, as in the pre-Constantinian times when killing in war was considered contrary to the gospel of Christ, as it was then and remains today. Christians must shelter and support those willing to lay down their guns and stop violating the image of God in the face of their Iraqi brothers. It is time to tell soldiers to give up their arms, to stop fighting for powers that have nothing but hatred and contempt for those they use to enforce their bitter will. The powers of dominion cannot maintain their hegemony without the arms of willing soldiers - their power depends on violence.
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