Monday, March 2, 2015


I remember my recent trip to Chiapas en el Santuario de Nuestro Senor de Tila atop one of the old city’s hills.  Time spent waiting in relative silence, in the present moment, a beautiful moment—like looking up at the point at the center of the dome of the cathedral—of the whole universe as it slowly turns round within the loving creator.  First procession arrives, the faithful crowd, mariachis and incense.  Here comes the crucified King—carried aloft on shoulders of strong young men, who in no time at all will barely walk themselves.

ack home there’s news.  Rumblings of the duty to sell weapons to the good guys, this time in Syria, and Yemen—fight ISIS, fight Assad, fight Al Qaeda, fight the Houthis [but problems of good guy recognition persist, see below for some details of our involvement in these violent quagmires].
Those who sell weapons do not want peace.  {Except for the peace of self-satisfaction critiqued by Thomas Merton—image below}  They sell war and the protection of empires and oil consumption.  Real peace is against their nature of profit motivation wedded to national security.  Those who planned our invasion of Iraq are not dumb.  They understood that violating the delicate balance of the predominantly Muslim territories would guarantee hatreds leading to lasting wars in the Middle East—more than adequate to replace the brief weapons market decline at the end of the Cold War.

At the 2010 SOFEX {Special Operations Force Exhibition} Middle East's arms bazaar - 14th annual

SOFEX takes place every two years in Amman, and is largely the brainchild of Jordan’s king, Abdullah II, who has a penchant for special operations and massive displays of artillery. Over the course of a week, more than 12,000 attendees tromped around 30-odd tents staked across the desert, hosting approximately 300 vendors. The atmosphere was insidious but open, an organized free-for-all in which American companies like Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and General Dynamics sold weapons to almost anyone who could afford them.
Be sure to find the time to watch this video, and the “see more” at their site--VICE Media.

Let’s face it.  Many of our leaders do not want peace.  It’s bad for business, and the business of the military-industrial-complex rules in the USA.  No one can tell us to give up our guns and military superpower—except Jesus, the disarmer-in-chief, who leads without weapons to eternal life, who tells us to put away the swords.  The only way to follow him—mercy—the only way to lasting peace.

{Click on any image to enlarge}

Thomas Merton's thoughts on peace, in his chapter, "The Root of War is Fear"
This is from the program booklet of our marriage mass , 1978

Illumination by Kathy Brahney


More on our troubles in Yemen next week, the proxy war between the tribes and big oil.

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