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Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Terrorism and Iraq

For those of you that missed it, James posted a comment on my last post:
"Ive been thinking about these wars etc lately and thinking what the appropriate response should or should have been...
I agree we all need to get along. At the same time we need to realise theres people who just dont want peace... How do we move forward?

Tough questions but they need to be addressed!
Id love to see what you think about this way forward?"
James and I then had a little bit more of a chat about this on Monday night, but it got me to thinking and so I wanted to note down a few thoughts.

Firstly, in the book "The War on Terrorism and the Terror of God" I came across a quote from a prominent terrorism expert who said that "all definitions of terrorism are subjective." It is good to hear an 'expert' make that statement.

Secondly I just want to highlight a few facts about the war in Iraq:

1) None of the countries in the Coalition of the Willing officially declared war on Iraq or the regime of Saddam Hussein.
2) No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq
3) It has been proven that there were no links between Al-Queda and Saddam's regime.
4) Lots of soldiers from the Coalition countries are dying.
5) Over 100 Iraqis are dying a day, or 30,000 a year, as a result of violence.
6) According to a recent survey 7 out of 10 Iraqis want American troops to leave their country.
7) Conditions in Iraq, in the vast majority of tangible measures, are worse now than they were under Saddam. (Just listen to any journalist who actually talks to Iraqi people)
8) Large corporations (mostly American) have made lots of money from reconstruction contracts in Iraq.
9) A dictator and a government representing the interests of a powerful minority were removed from power
10) Iraq is now embroiled in, or best case on the brink of, a civil war.
11) Removing Saddam from power has not stopped terrorist acts from occurring.

So James asked how do we move forward when we need to get along but there are people who just don't want peace?

On September 11 2001 a terrible terrorist attack was carried out on America. Very few people would deny the horror of what happened.
The question remains however, who are the people who just don't want peace?

America responded to the terrorist attack by using their own tactics to instil terror, however they called it 'shock and awe'.
America then went and attacked Iraq, using the cloak of hitting back at 'terrorism' and searching for WMDs.

Now I get to hang out with children a fair bit.
If one of the children hit another child, they would be told off because that isn't a nice thing to do.
If the second child hit the first back, "they hit me first" wouldn't be a justifiable excuse.

Violence begets violence. Terrorism begets terrorism.
As James said some people don't want peace, but fighting back is then giving them what they want.

Forgetting the chorus of dissent that sprung up against plans to invade Iraq, let us just look back with the 20/20 vision that comes from hindsight.
How many of the above 11 facts are positives, either for the people of Iraq or for the coalition of the willing?
No weapons of mass destruction were found.
Big American corporations have made lots of money.
A dictator and his minority government have been removed.

Perhaps the way forward is not to repay violence with violence.
Jesus spoke of turning the other cheek. This was not a passive stance, but rather an attempt to shame the aggressor by remaining defenceless.

Can the teachings of Jesus apply to global politics as much as they apply to personal moral ethics, or isn't he powerful enough?

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Thanks for replying liam!

I guess I was sorta coming from is that people/nations/religions are using violence and war to get what they want... Like you said violence begets violence...

I wonder what would have happened if america used 'love' to get what they want...so maybe helping the country out by giving aid etc...

but then we're still left with the dictator who kills people etc... then how do u get rid of him? with love or force?love sometimes comes with force...

but then theres a whole bunch of people who are loyal to him and are violent... how do u deal with them?

as a christian we say turn the other cheek, pray for your enemies etc but these people arent Christians...

is there an ethic for Christians as we have God to defend and justify us etc? and a different ethic for those who dont have God?

Im beginning to think that the law of LOVE is the best way to go...it sounds week as a response, but if its pro active very poewrfull...

i get confused because i know that freedom often comes with violence.Jesus is a great example.Bangladesh's freedom came through war as do many other countries independance...

and what about protecting kids etc? if we 'let' the enemy keep taking swipes at us are we failing to love and care for them?

what im saying is this, we need to be pro-actively loving, but how do we deal with the current problems and still be accountable to our 'own' people etc?
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