Monday, June 1, 2015


CAMP DAVID, Md. — “President Barack Obama announced Thursday [5-14-15] that he would streamline weapon sales and increase joint military exercises with Persian Gulf allies…”
Camp David was once the site of an attempted peace process, now it hosts a council of protracted war in the Middle East.  Israel was not present at this Arab gathering, but it has special status also, as customer of our military wares.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Matthew 7:16

And in Iraq the war cauldron boils over. 
Scant days after the U.S. supported a prolonged Iraqi troops battle [bolstered by Iranian
Shiite militias] to win back the northern Iraqi city of Tikrit from ISIS control, ISIS overruns the major city of Ramadi, thousands of Iraqi troops we’ve  trained flee, and the whole of Anbar province is lost to our newest enemy.

5-28-15 NYT--Iraqi civilians fleeing fighting in Ramadi crossed the Bzebiz Bridge, which offers passage into Baghdad from Anbar Province-- photo by Karim Kadim--AP

From the 5-21-15 NYT, U.S. to Send Rockets to Iraq for ISIS Fight
"The immediate American objective over the past four days, the official said, has been to work with Iraqi political leaders and commanders to consolidate the retreating Iraqi forces [from Ramadi] — many of whom were physically and psychologically traumatized by car bombs roughly the magnitude [and construction] of those used in the Oklahoma City attack in 1995 — and prevent any further retreat [shades of Timothy McVeigh, executed by electrocution for that bomb attack, who learned his bomb-making with the U.S. military, and served in Iraq's Gulf War] .    …  A major flaw in the Iraqi security forces remains the lack of credible Sunni ground forces.   …  When Islamic State militants stormed an operations center in Anbar on Sunday, they captured a large cache of weapons, including arms supplied by both the United States and Russia, according to a security official who had been stationed there. … On Sunday, Iraqi reinforcements sent into the city center came under immediate fire and quickly started to retreat, the official said. That set in motion a chain reaction, with other Iraqi forces who had been holding in place also fleeing the city.  …  As American advisers in Iraq sought to help Iraqi forces regroup, administration officials voiced new concerns about 3,000 Shiite militia fighters, many supported by Iran [a major reason we recently “won” in Tikrit], who have arrived at a military base near Ramadi as part of the effort to reclaim the city."

raq, a country we’ve worked so hard to train, our way, sinks deeper and deeper in to chaos.
From the 5-28-15 NYT, Sunnis Fleeing ISIS Find Few Doors Open Elsewhere in Iraq
"Officials are preparing for the crisis to get only worse as the Iraqi government, allied militias and the international coalition led by the United States prepare for offensives against the Islamic State in Anbar and then Mosul, in the north. United Nations officials believe that more than one million more civilians could be displaced from operations in Anbar and elsewhere, before a campaign for Mosul even begins." [with just now neighbor city Tikrit tenuously re-taken from ISIS]. 

Our response to ISIS gains, and increased Iranian influence fighting on our side against ISIS yet against us in other ways, is to send newer and more weapons to the side in the Iraqi conflict we most favor at this moment.  And we hope to bolster almost all states in the Middle East [except Iran, though we paradoxically need them too] with the best armaments that money can buy, most made in the USA, much purchased on credit.

Iraq and ISIS, the whole Middle East.  Our interventions now testify against us.  A textbook case in that our military industrial strategists have reached the predictable critical mass of simultaneous implosion-explosion.  Wars of convenience/preemptive wars are doomed to be abysmal failures, and they are morally grave occasions of sin—directly connected to the original sin of pride/disobedience to an all-loving all-knowing God.

Celtic wall art by Ande McCarthy

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

The Most Holy Trinity -- our parish namesake --Choose life, not death  

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