Monday, October 3, 2011


Photo--Christopher Griffin, via Reuters---from As the West Celebrates a Cleric’s Death, the Mideast Shrugs” NYT 10-1-11
Alleged terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, touted as the prime English-speaking Al Qaeda recruiter, is killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen, and the media proclaims another War on Terrorism victory.  The spiritual reality is that the U.S. moral fiber has taken another body blow.

wlaki was a U.S. born radical Muslim cleric who did advocate violent jihad.  There is no proof any of his alleged plots against us ever resulted in murder of U.S. citizens.  He was never charged with any crime.  He was an avowed enemy.   But killing by drone is an extrajudicial killing, an assassination, against our own & international law, without benefit of even a hanging judge, done from hiding by a killing machine.  Even Ronald Reagan, in his Western movies persona, would have been disgusted by such shots-in-the-back.  The vast majority of the Middle East’s peoples, and most law abiding counties of the world are dismayed by these tactical murders.  These acts recruit more terrorists, by announcing that our righteous USA has adopted the methods of its most evil opponents.
Though some certain few of those who oppose us have done terrible deeds, my Republican father has always taught me, two wrongs do not make a right.  We are always left with the deeper abyss, of two wrongs.   As a Christian with a personal relationship with Jesus, I find only mercy and love of enemy in his person and message, conquering evil with good.   His kingdom is not of this world’s, which do so routinely kill to preserve survival, power, and privilege.

Jesus and Judas--The Taking of Christ, by Caravaggio
We are called to encounter the enemy, feet on the ground {not hovering above watching from remote death machines}, pursuing a practical path that comes to recognize their language and culture.  May we pray for the grace to follow the narrow way of Jesus---and not Caesar, Pilate, and Awlaki’s wide violent highway to perdition.

A footnote on the efficacy of our latest tactical” success” from “As the West Celebrates a Cleric’s Death, the Mideast Shrugs”  NYT 10-1-11
“I don’t think your average Middle Easterner knows who Anwar al-Awlaki is,” said Emad Shahin, a scholar of political Islam at Notre Dame University. …   [Arabs] don’t care about Awlaki. … many saw Mr. Awlaki’s death as an essentially American story: here was a man that American attention helped create, and its Hellfire missiles killed, in a campaign born out of American fears of homegrown militancy. 

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

1 comment:

  1. Patricia McRae BaleyOctober 3, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Good thoughts. I just have a little correction for attribution of one of the illustrations. The Taking of Christ is by Caravaggio (born Michelangelo Merisi) not the High Renaissance giant Michelangelo (Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simone). It's one of my favorites of the Baroque.
    Thanks, and keep up the thoughtful insights.