Monday, April 13, 2015


Praying for a slain relative at the platform on the Tigris River where Islamic State fighters are believed to have killed hundreds of Iraqi soldiers last June. Credit Khalid Mohammed/Associated Press

Once again we count the chickens of war before they’re hatched in Iraq.  Tikrit has fallen.  Most recently this was announced three times during the past month.  ISIS did finally leave, but now the fight breaks out in many other sites in the region.
Maybe Tikrit will stay in Iraqi government U.S. supported control a little longer now, with Shiite [backed by our enemy Iran?] Iraqi troops in place to occupy for us what we took from Saddam in his Sunni stronghold once before in 2003, with our invading soldiers.  But much more likely Sunni forces, in the person of ISIS or some other guise, will eventually prevail.  Tikrit has been Sunni for centuries.  What always hatches from war is an insatiable rapacious disfigured bird of prey, and not the iconic democratic benevolent American [nor Roman, nor any other empire’s] eagle.
Shiite fighters near a suicide bomb attack Thursday on the southern edge of Tikrit, site of an offensive by Iraqi government forces. Credit Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters   March 12, 2015

ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, is a by-product of our invasion of Iraq.  ISIS would not exist if not for hatreds en-kindled by our avarice and quest for god-like war powers in Iraq, and then Syria. 
Once again we win a small foot-hold battle in the Middle East, as we further lose our souls to the gods of war, and their empty promises.  Soon most of us without thinking will offer up the first fruits of our labor [one half of our income taxes] on April 15, 2015, to the biggest war machine ever assembled.   We place the most trust in these weapons and armies to save and protect us, as we contribute much less to our faith communities and churches.

We will never be on the path to the heavenly kingdom promised by Christ’s Resurrection, if we constantly pursue the present path of permanent pre-emptive wars on other peoples, launched to protect our worldly kingdom since the attack of Sept. 11, 2001.   This is not Christian response.
 This Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, has been designated Divine Mercy Sunday
A deacon at our Port Huron church has named what we need to be working and praying for—Jesus’ pre-emptive mercy.   This is what Jesus calls us to, the answer to all threats of personal, community, and international evils.  This is spiritual social and political science—the Easter promise.  The only thing that works on the level of our souls.   Pre-emptive mercy, not war.

he whole nation will soon render monetary tribute to an ultimately impotent Caesar.  April 15th is a good day to reflect on the truth of the nonviolent all-merciful God, revealed by the life, death, and resurrection of God’s Son Jesus.  What would Jesus do with our contributions?  How can we more perfectly follow?

There are many places in Iraq and the Middle East where the futility of our violent battles for back and forth control can be documented. See this link for one of them.


A U.S. Concession to Reality in the Battle Against Islamic State

Art and Illumination by Kathy Brahney

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