Peace on earth? The end of the Iraq war
(Washington Post) -- by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite --
...If Jesus came heralded as bringing “Peace on earth,” then the Christian view should be that all war is an offense to God because all war destroys peace.
The Iraq war was a particular offense, however. The attack on Iraq was an example of unjust war, a war of choice that should never have been authorized and never been waged, has come to a quiet end. But the pain of loss, injury and destruction endures. The statistics on what the Iraq war cost are staggering. On the American side, there were 4, 486 casualties and 32, 226 seriously wounded. The seriously wounded may require care for the rest of their lives. The number of Iraqi deaths has been highly contested; the Web site “Iraq Body Count” indicates over 100,000. That we do not even have an accurate number on the deaths of Iraqis is itself chilling, and a testimony to the contempt for human life that war can bring about.
About $1 trillion U.S. taxpayer dollars have been authorized to be spent in Iraq through 2011. There’s also $9 billion of U.S. taxpayer money “lost and unaccounted for” in this conflict, much of it equipment including guns. Whom did we arm with these weapons? How will this waste fuel the next war? This is shameful.
But peace took another hit in the Iraq war. In addition to the loss of many lives, the appalling injuries, and the loss of taxpayer dollars that could have been funding schools and roads and job training at home, we lost something else. We lost our national soul.
The Iraq war is the war most infamous for the torture uncovered at the Abu Ghraib prison. In 2004, in the pages of The Chicago Tribune, I wrote, Can a nation lose its soul? Coming to terms with the conscience of the United States and the torture of Iraqi prisoners. I argued that the “soul” should not just be understood as belonging to an individual, but that indeed whole nations can have souls. The soul is not a ‘ghost in the machine,’ but the relationship between your actions and your values. That’s why, when someone betrays their values, we say “he sold his soul.” “What does it profit someone to gain the whole world and lose their soul?” (Mark 8:36)...MORE...LINK