Saturday, August 12, 2006

Meanwhile, In Iraq

While the media is spinning its collective wheels covering the Israel-Hezbollah war, the social order in Iraq flies out of control. Almost 2,000 bodies were taken to Baghdad's morgue alone during the month of July. Nearly 90% had their lives extinguished by sectarian violence. "Most of the cases have gunshot wounds to the head. Some of them were strangled and others were beaten to death with clubs," said morgue assistant manager Abdul Razzaq al-Obaidi.

Sunnis accuse Shi'ite militias of running death squads and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has a problem. He has promised to reign in Shi'ite marauders but can't because some of these groups have close ties to his government. Likewise, Shi'ite clerics such as Moqtada al-Sadr are able to mobilize huge crowds of anti-American protesters chanting "death to America."

Do you remember all the promises anymore? We would find WMDs, be greeted as liberators by the people of Iraq--it will be cakewalk they chortled. Iraq, we were assured, would serve as a beacon for freedom-lovers everywhere, and "democratic" and "Western" values would spread across the Middle East.

Yet all that is spreading is war and misery. Baghdad is dying, Iraqi Christians have largely fled their homeland and our Lebanese brethren are having their towns seized and destroyed.

Evangelical Christians bear some responsibility for the mayhem and tragedy unfolding before our eyes. The leadership and laity of the "Christian Right," now seamlessly entangled with the GOP and war mongerging neoconservatives, provided the political shock troops that allowed the administration to drive us over the cliff.

The church is to serve as a preservative for what is good, and to be a light to a dark and dying world. Instead, we are increasingly little more than a political interest group, wielded by neocons to advance their sinister foreign policy goals.

Even with the wreckage strewn everywhere, you have ostensibly Christian pastors creating lobbying organizations and calling for "a pre-emptive military strike in Iran."

The costs of the ever-expanding war are huge in terms of blood, treasure and national prestige. Moreover, the witness of the Gospel itself is harmed when Christians are more concerned with ticking prophetic clocks and spreading destruction than with bringing the Word of Truth to the nations.

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