Gradually the truth about the enormity of the evil which the U.S. has unleashed upon the world is penetrating the consciousness of Americans. We need to have a national conversation about what has happened and perhaps the passage of time and the breathtaking collapse of American government illusions about the “success” of its Middle Eastern policies have given us an opportunity to reflect.
Here is an another example of the evidence which is mounting that our government leaders had numerous warnings about the dangers which they chose to ignore:
According to the author of a new book, in 2003 both South African President Mbeki and former President Nelson Mandela tried to warn Bush and Blair that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The Guardian reports that
“He [Mbeki] warned that the wholesale removal of Saddam’s Ba’ath party could lead to a national resistance to the occupying coalition forces. But with huge military deployments already under way, Blair’s mind was clearly made up.”
And here’s the latest from Mike Flynn, former head of DIA. Flynn expresses regret in an interview over the invasion of Iraq. He describes U.S. policy and actions variously as a “mistake,” a “strategic failure,” a “huge error.” Flynn says that “History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.” A Catholic looking at the story without blinders on might well conclude that it was pure evil, not just a mistake, and that this evil U.S. policy led directly and inexorably to the rise of Islamic State.
“Petraeus and Steele would unleash this local force on the Sunni population as well as the insurgents and their supporters and anyone else who was unlucky enough to get in the way. It was classic counterinsurgency. It was also letting a lethal, sectarian genie out of the bottle. The consequences for Iraqi society would be catastrophic. At the height of the civil war two years later 3,000 bodies a month were turning up on the streets of Iraq — many of them innocent civilians of sectarian war.”
Is it possible for an entire nation to repent for its sins? We need to find out fast because that is the only possible chance for saving America. Being an optimist by nature, I think it can happen if Catholics lead the way. But the surest way to short circuit the process is to advocate a new American all out war and invasion to “degrade and destroy” ISIS. Do you think that might be what the “Father of Lies” has prescribed for the world at this time? The Army of the Head Choppers against the Army of the Baby Choppers.Be afraid, be very afraid! But pray all the time, be Catholic all the time, and never give in to despair.
“On a Theme from Julian’s Chapter XX” by Denise Levertov
Six hours outstretched in the sun, yes, hot wood, the nails, blood trickling into the eyes, yes — but the thieves on their neighbor crosses survived till after the soldiers had come to fracture their legs, or longer. Why single out the agony? What’s a mere six hours? Torture then, torture now, the same, the pain’s the same, immemorial branding iron, electric prod. Hasn’t a child dazed in the hospital ward they reserve for the most abused, known worse? The air we’re breathing, these very clouds, ephemeral billows languid upon the sky’s moody ocean, we share with women and men who’ve held out days and weeks on the rack — and in the ancient dust of the world what particles of the long tormented, what ashes.
But Julian’s lucid spirit leapt to the difference: perceived why no awe could measure that brief day’s endless length, why among all the tortured One only is “King of Grief.” The oneing, she saw, the oneing with the Godhead opened him utterly to the pain of all minds, all bodies — sands of the sea, of the desert — from first beginning to last day. The great wonder is that the human cells of His flesh and bone didn’t explode when utmost imagination rose in that flood of knowledge. Unique in agony, Infinite strength, Incarnate, empowered Him to endure inside of history, through those hours when he took to Himself the sum total of anguish and drank even the lees of that cup:
within the mesh of the web, Himself woven within it, yet seeing it, seeing it whole. Every sorrow and desolation He saw, and sorrowed in kinship.
Taken from Breathing the Water by Denise Levertov (New York: New Directions Press, 1987)
Saint Colman of Stockerau was an Irish or Scottish pilgrim who was martyred in Austria in 1012 while on the way to the Holy Land. He was mistaken for a spy because of his strange appearance. Because he spoke no German, he could give no account of himself. He did nothing wrong, and was in fact a very holy man, but he was tortured and eventually hanged. His feast day is October 13.
“In Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the statement on political responsibility that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued in November 2007 in preparation for the 2008 national elections, the bishops referred to the issue of torture five times. Echoing the catechism, they declared that torture is ‘intrinsically evil’ and ‘can never be justified’ and stated categorically: ‘The use of torture must be rejected as fundamentally incompatible with the dignity of the human person and ultimately counterproductive in the effort to combat terrorism.’ It is counterproductive not only because experts tell us that it does not work, but also because it undermines the very good it hopes to achieve: the common good of all.'”