"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, September 18, 2004

Solidarity with the Iraqi People

"The bodies of 30 people killed in Zoba were brought to Falluja general hospital as well as 40 wounded," Dr Ahmad Khalil said earlier in the day, adding that many of the victims were women and children.
Khalil also said two Iraqi women were killed and eight other people wounded in another raid on Falluja.
The US military called the attack a "precision strike and destroyed a terrorist compound known to be used by the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi", a Jordanian suspected of heading a network linked to al-Qaida." Al-Jazeera, Sept. 17, 2004.

"In Haifa Street last week, US helicopters fired twice into a crowd, killing 13 people, while claiming that they had come under anti-aircraft fire. But footage of the moments before the rockets struck, killing the al-Arabiyah satellite television correspondent, proved that there was no gunfire." The Independent, Sept. 19, 2004.

The Iraqis are our brothers and sisters, our wives and our children. This cannot be proclaimed too loudly or too often. In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph #1941: "Socio-economic problems can be resolved only with the help of all the forms of solidarity: solidarity of the poor among themselves, between rich and poor, of workers among themselves, between employers and employees in a business, solidarity among nations and peoples. International solidarity is a requirement of the moral order; world peace depends in part upon this."

Precision becomes an obscenity when it strikes the lives of the innocent. According to the Geneva conventions, "The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible:
(a) Without prejudice to Article 49 of the Fourth Convention, endeavour to remove the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control from the vicinity of military objectives;
(b) Avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas;
(c) Take the other necessary precautions to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects under their control against the dangers resulting from military operations."

In the words of the U.S. Catholic Bishops: "We must begin with a commitment never to intentionally kill, or collude in the killing, of any innocent human life, no matter how broken, unformed, disabled or desperate that life may seem...This same teaching against direct killing of the innocent condemns all direct attacks on innocent civilians in time of war." - "Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics", U.S. Bishops, 1998

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Iraq. May the U.S. turn to the God who sees the worth and dignity of every human person, the sacredness of all human life.

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