The Absurdity of the War in Iraq

25Sep07

Every time I attempt to write my views on the Iraq War I become frustrated. I consider myself to be a rational person and to have a great appreciation of rational discourse. It is difficult to respond to this war in a rational way. The Iraq War is a lie, a miscalculation, an abomination and a tragedy and the list could go on without getting any better.

We as a nation have allowed our government to lead us into a prolonged war (which looks to become the longest in our history) on the basis of misrepresentation, at the very least. It is a war based on an impossibility – it is impossible to establish (or force) a democracy for a nation by an outside force. It is, at least, extremely unlikely that you can go to war against a country and then have a democracy emerge which will establish a government that is favorable to your interests, but, of course, we would not accept anything less.

So we have wound up with a situation in which our nation is in a kind of paralysis. Our government has no discernible plan of action to insure a successful conclusion to the war in the foreseeable future. In fact it would probably be impossible to say exactly what our government would accept as a successful conclusion short of having control of the region’s oil reserves.

The public, despite what appears to be nearly overwhelming opposition to the war, seems to be powerless to effect change and the rest of the world seems to be content to witness the rapid rise and fall of what some in the current administration deemed an American empire.

Perhaps the best way to put it is that the Iraq War has become both a tragedy and an absurdity. A tragedy because of the immense suffering which has been inflicted on the people of Iraq, the vast majority of whom for which there is absolutely no evidence that they participated or had any intent of participating in any action against the United States. An absurdity because no one seems to be able to say how to bring the war to a successful ending or even to define, in terms that most could agree on, what a successful ending means. In the mean time Twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dee sit in Washington trying to figure out how to convince us that, if we would just allow them to run the world, everything would be okay (well, at least, for the people who count!)

If anything about this war makes any sense in regard to our claim to be a Christian nation, it escapes me. If there is any meaning to what defines a Christian nation and we want a good ending to this war then we should pray for peace first and then for forgiveness. Most of all we should pray for the healing of the wounds that have been inflicted on the people of Iraq as a result of this war.

We need to understand, in a new way, that whether the bullet or the bomb comes from a terrorist or from a nation which has declared war, the wounds inflicted are still the same and those who die are just as dead. Until we can understand that, we will continue to live in an absurd world.

Posted by Larry Munden, writer & Catholic Worker

Boise Catholic Worker is a group of Lay Catholics who study and live the social teachings of the Catholic Church in their daily lives through the guidelines set down by Catholic Worker Movement founder Dorothy Day. Catholic Workers give comfort to the homeless and suffering as well as promote social justice through education efforts and action. We welcome all faith based volunteers to Boise Catholic Worker.

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2 Responses to “The Absurdity of the War in Iraq”

  1. Help Create Democracy 2.0

    Week Released: September 17-21, 2007

    The Millennial Generation, including myself, is interested in being an
    active part of changing public policy. This interest led me to be a part of
    Mobilize.org¹s Democracy 2.0 Campaign.

    On July 4, Mobilize.org began the Democracy 2.0 project to call attention to
    the ways that our democratic process and institutions are properly serving
    and failing to serve the interests of Americans, specifically young
    Americans. The purpose of Democracy 2.0 is to call attention to the main
    problems of our current political system, highlight the distinct
    characteristics of the Millennial Generation, and provide guidelines for
    change to help cultivate a renewed political process in America.

    Currently, our political system is trying to manage a 21st century society
    with 18th century political institutions. Democracy 2.0 will upgrade our
    current political system, empowering citizens to identify community
    problems, propose solutions, be a part of the implementation of these
    solutions, and change the way politics is done in this country.

    To begin this endeavor, Mobilize.org asked a series of questions and
    collected data from youth, ages 16-30 that will be reviewed and evaluated by
    Democracy 2.0 Ambassadors at the Democracy 2.0 Summit on October 3, 2007,
    with the intention of releasing the Democracy 2.0 Declaration of Our
    Generation. The Declaration of our Generation is a short statement of
    principles describing a citizen-centered approach to democracy. The
    Declaration will focus on three themes: 1) What currently works and what
    does not work in our democracy; 2) What defines our generation; and 3) What
    Democracy 2.0 should look like.

    The Declaration will call attention to areas in which the government is
    succeeding and failing to serve the public interest, highlight the unique
    and defining characteristics of our generation, and provide guidelines that
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    I wanted to mention this opportunity since every posting here has an
    interest in this. Mobilize.org is looking for people who want to serve as
    Democracy 2.0 Online Ambassadors to be a part of the drafting process. If
    you have any questions, please shoot me an e-mail at brendan.chan@mail.utexas.edu.

  2. “The Iraq War is a lie, a miscalculation, an abomination and a tragedy and the list could go on without getting any better.”

    Ok I have only been reading for a few seconds and you are already wrong… There is a gigantic difference between a “miscalculation” and a “lie”.

    To lie is to intentionally deceive. Now I will concede to you that the war was a miscalculation, but not a lie. Choose you words carefully.

    Do you know what would be required to intentionally deceive the world into believing the intelligence? MORE then you know. The better explanation is that the intel was wrong but everyone believed it to be right. Is this a lie?? If you are blind, and in your mind you visualize the color purple when someone tells you green, are you lying to yourself, or are you just misinformed?


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