An Iraqi policeman stands over a house, damaged in Falluja battle between the U.S military and insurgents in 2004 on November 12, 2009 in the city of Falluja---Photo by Muhannad Fala'ah--Getty Images
The day we lost Fallujah was not this past week when the flag of al Qaeda was firmly raised above it, but on the very day the U.S. invaded Iraq, for the second time, on March 19, 2003. The Bush-Enron-Rove-oil politics financials groups have proven themselves incapable of appreciating the lessons of history, realities of human nature, and limitations of military power.Our soldiers who’ve been there know much better. After all the bloodshed in Fallujah, infamous battle of 2004, it’s been taken over by Sunni militants again, who’ve kicked the Iraqi Shiite government out of their predominantly Sunni city. It takes a special scorecard to keep players straight in Iraq and Syria now. These Sunni militants from Iraq’s northwestern Anbar province have been among the ones we’ve been actively supporting, in a fight against Syria’s [Shiite allied with Iran] government across the border to the north. We’ve armed them there, and now they take over one of Iraq’s cities our U.S. forces fought hardest to win, a decade ago. We won no hearts and minds.
Black flags over fallujah--photo from 1-20-14 The Weekly Standard
“’Could someone smart convince me that the black flag of al-Qaeda flying over Fallujah isn’t analogous to the fall of Saigon?’ former Army captain Matt Gallagher asked” quoted in a 1-11-14 Washington Post article, U.S. Veterans despondent over al Qaeda resurgence in Iraq. There is much soul searching over our lives lost in Iraq—the lives the Iraqis lost remain uncounted and continuing. Every life lost is remembered, and demands ongoing personal response in those close to them, no matter what side they’re on. We lost thousands; they lost hundreds of thousands, and in the battlefield that is still their home.
hese recurrent blowback defeats in Anbar province are caused in great part by our arming Sunnis [many who fled our battles with them in Iraq becoming refugees in Syria] to fight Shiites in Syria. They now return, equipped by us to win back their original homes. This could eventually overthrow the Iraqi Shiite government it took us a decade of all-out war to establish. These Sunnis regard the border created between their part of Iraq and Syria as artificial. It held some respect, until the huge influx of our imported war machine has now thrown the whole region into uproar.
Please read more on this [below] and pray for more healing to this part of our war-torn world. Also write our President and Congress—no more bombs, bullets or soldiers to be sent or deployed in the Middle East. An international moratorium on all arms sales to all Middle Eastern countries is desperately needed, as a first step towards beating swords into plowshares everywhere. Prayer and fasting and active dedication stopped an escalation of the war in Syria. More is required. Faith does conquer sin and death.
1-4-14 NYT “The violence in Ramadi and Falluja had implications beyond Anbar’s borders, as the Sunni militants fought beneath the same banner as the most hard-line jihadists they have inspired in Syria — the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.”http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/world/middleeast/Al-Qaeda-threatens-Iraqi-cities.html?src=recg&pagewanted=all
“Nearly one-third of the American soldiers killed in the war died trying to pacify Anbar, and Americans fought two battles for control of Falluja, in some of the bloodiest combat that American troops had faced since Vietnam.”
1-5-14 NYT -- Qaeda-Linked Militants in Iraq Secure Nearly Full Control of Fallujahttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/world/middleeast/shelling-in-iraqi-city-held-by-qaeda-linked-militants-kills-at-least-8.html?ref=world&_r=0
Illumination by Kathy Brahney
Words of Dr Martin Luther King, remembered on his Jan. 15th birthday, from the time of his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech.
“We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation. We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace and justice throughout the developing world – a world that borders on our doors.
“If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality and strength without sight.”