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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The war in Iraq

With news of the invasion in the Iraqi city of Falluja, I am again burdened by the gravity of the choice the American people have supported in declaring war against the regime of Saddam Hussein to bring about the much-desired democracy that all freedom loving people earnestly want.

Al-Zarqawi, the leader of the Iraqi insurgency, has fortified his position and become a thorn in the side of both the Iraqi government and the American occupation’s mission.

In a recent letter to the President of the United States, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, had asked the Bush administration to reconsider the invasion of Falluja.

The invasion, he argued, will only further alienate the Sunni people, jeopardize the 2005 election, and further undermine the role of Western respect and influence in the Middle East.

The insurgency’s willingness to resist, he warns, will only lead to continued warfare and may even draw in Iraqi nationals who had previously sat on the fence (BBC Sat. Nov 6, 2004).

This new decision facing our country’s leadership is another reminder of the unfolding sequence of events that has led all of the world’s people down this bloody path.

Freedom has always come at a significant price. Yet the process of delivering freedom to a people who have not demanded it is a questionable endeavor. The line blurs between deliverance and colonialism.

In the vein of missionary efforts gone awry, have our own deeply embedded value systems become puritanical h arbingers of salvation shoved down the throats of a tyrannized Muslim nation? Have distorted fears of national invasion become a catalyst for preemptive global aggression?

Reinforcing this national argument are distinct worldviews that defy conclusion or compromise. Our own national division has been laid bare this past election. What new paradigm can unite Americans in terms of religion and politics and moral values? Sigmund Freud called it the “narcissism of minor differences.” In the gospel of Luke, Jesus reminded his followers that a “kingdom divided against itself will be ruined.”

What ideologies must be sacrificed so that the blood in Iraq will no longer run like tears on children’s faces? I do not know this answer.

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