The question has arisen, were we justified in invading Iraq? Some say yes, some no. Some stake there political reputation on repudiating it, calling for us to withdraw, not tomorrow, but NOW. Other warn of dire consequences if we do. Many argue that we were wrong to be there in the first place. But, haven’t we heard that all before? History repeats after all…, and it can be a mighty fine teacher, if we let it. Maybe they are right… maybe we should have solved this problem before it began.
In the 1930’s there where two politicians, one older and wary, the other quite young and brash. The younger of the two had big ideals and dreams for his country. He was proud of his people and sought to bring greatness upon them. He believed they deserved a place of greatness and honor among the countries of the world and boldly strove to achieve this ‘greatness’. The older worried about this young brash politician. He saw that his reach was large. His ideals a bit extreme. Dangerous even. He tried to rally the world to take action against him. But the world saw it differently. The old politician was out of touch they said. His beliefs were old fashioned. Many said he was a “WARMONGER”. That HE was really the dangerous one. Ah, the new generation of politicians knew best! Yes HE was the one they needed to protect themselves against, the old ‘out of touch’ politician. HIS kind of rhetoric could jeopardize the peace of the region they protested. A hard won and carefully negotiated peace. And protest against that old politician they did. A million hands joined across Europe to protest against the “Warmongers!”. Who was that old politician? Winston Churchill. And the young one was Adolf Hitler.
I’m a child of the 1950’s. World War Two was a fresh memory in the minds of many that I grew up around. A question that often arose during my youth was why did it happen? Why didn’t they do something to prevent that war? Why didn’t we stop Hitler before it got sooo far? Everybody knew he was a madman, after all. We could have easily seen Germany’s build up to war, had we only chosen to open our eyes and look. But…our eyes stayed shut. After all there are “agreements” and “contracts” and what right is it of ours to meddle in the affairs of other nations. It would NEVER affect us anyway would it? Could it? Naw…if we bury our head in the sand it will all just go away…
Saddam Hussein was a madman. Every bit as mad as Hitler. He took power by the death of the man that brought him up out of obscurity. He seized and established his power by killing all who could oppose him, friend and foe alike. He maintained his power by killing anyone he suspected might oppose him. Untold numbers of people died. He’s killed Generals and Politicians alike, just to make a point. His own people he treated as an enemy. He gassed men, women, and children, just because their religion wasn’t the exact same as his. Their ‘tribe’ was not his. He made war against his neighbors out of greed. Again killing thousands. Yet…many say our fighting him was immoral. That WE were unjust in this fight. He had no gun to OUR head afterall…yet, anyway.
Too often throughout history the world has turned a blind eye to evil. Allowing unspeakable acts and making unholy alliances. Some in the name of ‘peace’. Many for greedy purpose. Often just because nobody cared. The killing fields of Cambodia comes to mind. And Vietnam. We stuck flowers in our hair while thousands of refugees, or “boatpeople”, died trying to escape the consequences of our “MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR” feel good attitudes, and the Jane Fonda’s of the world. Uganda’s Idi Amin. Beautiful Sarajevo. We talked a good game in Somalia, but we left when the going got rough…and a few hundred thousand more died. Bosnia, Kosovo? NO NO! they said. We shouldn’t go. Europe’s affair, don’t go there! And thousands had perished before we did. Ethiopia? The Sudan? Guatemala? Sri Lanka? The Ivory Coast ? Peru? Rwanda? Katmandu? Bulldozers and Bullets…Madmen with machetes…Bombs in baby carriages…Ireland? Lebanon? Israel? Palestine? Perhaps it’s not for what we did that they hate us so, but for what we did not do…And the list goes on and on… Armenia… Indonesia…
September 11, 2001 the push became a little bit more than a shove. Blind eyes were opened. The effect WAS here after all. We could see now, clearly. We HAD to act. And act we did. We knew we could no longer stand idle and allow these thugs free reign. It was US they were after. And on top of that, their own people were suffering at their hands. But…time goes on. Our eyes grow weary…After all, we are talking about “over there” aren’t we.
Terrorism is the use of the deaths of innocents to achieve political will. This war is against those that would use those innocent lives as pawns in seeking their goals. They use raw fear as a political tool. How can one that calls himself moral say that this war is unjust? How can one that seeks to please God turn a blind eye to the reason for this war? How can one tell the people of Iraq, who have suffered so, that they didn’t deserve to be free of this madman? How can one wish to cast them aside now? This war immoral? It would be immoral not to fight this war! “Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality” – John F. Kennedy. Read that again. It’s those that stand by and do nothing to stop the Hitlers’ and Husseins’ of the world that bring shame, and allows the violence to continue against the innocents of the world! BUT, there is a right and wrong. A just, and unjust. And those that recognize right and justice MUST act. Boldly act to stop these madmen of the world, if we are to ever live in peace. Read Luke 10:30-37, the story of the Good Samaritan. Who are we? Do we just walk on by…?