Even after the Soviet collapse we continued to fund them. There was no hint of morality to any of this. No concern for the future or for the people who actually lived in the countries for which the U.S. supplied arms, communication, and other support for the enemies of our enemies. We have helped to create the terrorism that we claim to be fighting. Where will it end?
I am troubled by all of this. I have been trying to get a conversation going at Presbyterian Bloggers with other Presbyterian clergy and laypersons about the church's role in all of this. I admit, it is pretty difficult to get a conversation started. I have to conclude that the church is worthless. It doesn't care. It is so wrapped up in internal politics, fretting about finances and loss of members, and disputing theological minutiae, that it has lost its voice.
One person suggested that all we have left is sackcloth and ashes. Perhaps. My friend and colleague (and great lover of peace) who blogs Abundance Trek posted this article by James Carroll. I think he is the same James Carroll who wrote Constantine's Sword, but I haven't checked that out yet. The article is entitled, Americans Face a Moral Reckoning. Here are three paragraphs:
The sorrow is back. Everywhere you go, friends greet one another with a choked acknowledgment of a nearly unspeakable frustration at what unfolds in Iraq. This seems true whether people oppose the war absolutely, or only on pragmatic terms; whether they want US troops out at once, or over time. Even about those distinctions, little remains to be said. Bush’s contemptuous carelessness, his inner circle’s corrupt enabling, the Pentagon’s dependable launching of folly after folly, the Democrats’ ineffectual kibitzing, even your heartfelt concern for the troops — these subjects have exhausted themselves. The “surge” of the January escalation was preceded by the surge of public anguish that resulted in Republican losses in November. That election was a stirring rejection of the administration’s purposes in Iraq, a rejection promptly seconded by the Iraq Study Group. But so what? Bush’s purposes hold steady, and their poison tide now laps at Iran.
Why should you not be demoralized and depressed? But the sorrow of war goes deeper than the mistaken policies of a stubborn president. Next to Bao Ninh’s book on your shelf stands “The Sorrows of Empire” by Chalmers Johnson. That title suggests how far into the bone of your nation the pins of this problem are sunk. In effect, the disastrous American war in Iraq is the text, while America’s militarized way of being in the world is the context. Armed power at the service of US economic sway has made a putative enemy of a vast population around the globe, and that enemy’s vanguard are the terrorists. Violent opposition to the American agenda increases with each surge from Washington, whatever its character. Both text and context reveal that every dream of empire brings sorrow, obviously so to the victims of imperial violence, but also to the imperial dreamers, whether or not they consciously associate with what is being done in their name.
But the word sorrow implies more than grief and loss. The palpable sadness of a people reluctantly at war can push toward a fuller moral reckoning with the condition of a nation that has made its own economic supremacy an absolute value. To take on the question of an economy advanced with little regard for its sustainability, much less for its justice, implies a move away from the focus on Bush’s venality to a broader responsibility. How do the sorrows of war and empire implicate you? (Read More)
I am at the point where sorrow is all I have left.