"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.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

War Crimes in Fallujah

"'The first time you get shot at from a building, it's rubble," [Capt. Paul]Fowler told his platoon leaders. ''No questions asked."

Suspected enemy buildings were to be ''cleared by fire" before troops entered. ''No boots on the ground unless you're looking for body parts," Fowler said.

Guerrillas kept attacking the Iraqi troops as they tried to hold the hospital. A row of houses nearby was nearly demolished. ''We're just cleaning up the trash," Fowler said." - Reports from the Battle of Fallujah, November, 2004.

"To attain the good of peace there must be a clear and conscious acknowledgment that violence is an unacceptable evil and that it never solves problems. "Violence is a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith, the truth of our humanity. Violence destroys what it claims to defend: the dignity, the life, the freedom of human beings'" - Message for the World Day of Peace, 2005, John Paul II.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Christian Leadership

"The Americans shot every boat on the river because people were trying to escape Fallujah by the river. They shot all the sheep, any animal people owned was shot. Helicopters shot all the animals and anything that moved in all the villages surrounding Fallujah during the fighting.

He said that none of the roads into Fallujah, or around Fallujah were passable because anyone on them was shot. 'I know one family that were all killed.'" - Iraq Dispatches, Dahr Jamail, Dec. 9, 2004.

Precision-Guided Missiles

Anglican bishops speak out:

"The figures for ’collateral damage’ that are emerging are unacceptable in a society that prides itself on civilised values.

It is essential that immediate aid is delivered to the most vulnerable in Fallujah and that long-term assistance is guaranteed for the rebuilding of the homes and infrastructure that have been obliterated.

Secondly, we need to acknowledge that huge numbers of Iraqi Muslims, and in particular those from the Sunni Triangle, increasingly regard the current military action as a war between religions.

The battle for Fallujah began on one of the holiest days on the Muslim calendar, the day when the giving of the Koran is celebrated." - Fallujah Civilian Deaths Not Acceptable, Say Bishops, Scotsman, Nov. 16, 2004.

We are still awaiting word from any of our readers with similar statements from Catholic bishops. The Red Cross estimates that as many as 6000 were killed in the attack on Fallujah. Those with sufficient stomach can see photographic evidence of U.S. efforts to liberate Iraq at http://dahrjamailiraq.com/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=album28&page=1.

Where are the Christian voices to cry out with the people of Iraq in saying, "Iraq is burning with wrath, anger and sadness…the people of Fallujah are dear to us. They are our brothers and sisters and we are so saddened by what is happening in that city." - Iraq Dispatches, Dahr Jamail, Dec. 8, 2004.

Dear Lord, give us the gift of sadness and wrath. Leave us not to stew in our distractions while our means are spent to murder families, that "sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2205) in their homes. Open our eyes to see brothers and sisters rather than insurgents and terrorists.