Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why I wrote Pray for Peace as a Facebook Status the Other Day

Feeling pensive today. Probably going to get me into trouble.  

This week, I've had fewer children at home, which gave me time to do something I don't often get to do. I read the news.  And I posted "Pray for peace, pray for peace, pray for peace."  Someone asked afterwards, why in particular. 

Everything I read made me think of the quote. "War is upon us, whether we will it or not," as Aragon says.   The world feels topsy-turvy when the paper and the internet news sites frame the officials of Iran as reasonable for stating the obvious danger of ISIS in Iraq, and seem more morally solid than the United States.

But when I read deeper into the news, it is the same fight over again.  Iraq is ruled by Shi'te elite.  Iran also is run and ruled by Shi'te also known as Shia and Shiites (from what I could research).    The insurgence is Sunni.  It is a vicious cruel new chapter in the civil war between the Sunni and the Shia, one which will destroy anything we've done over since March 20 of 2003, and reveals the true complexity of this situation.  

The Shi'te cooperated with the US from the get go, ergo we deem them the good guys.  The Sunni followers are the largest Islamic sect.   Iran offering to help, is also Shi'te, Sunnis in Iran are not allowed to build mosques and has numerous restrictions on those who practice a Sunni as opposed to Shia form of Islam.   Abuses and attacts on this minority in Iran (9%) are common place.  So when Iran offers to help fend off the rising militancy of the Sunni in its neighbor Iraq, it's not exactly out of neighborly goodness or feeling shocked at the atrocities those engaged in ruthless rounding up and shooting of policemen, border troops, bombs of military buildings and government offices and public executions and beheadings.  It's a both and situation.  As the  al Qaeda backed leader of the insurgency chillingly boasted, "I'll see you in New York." 

These are terrorists, racing through Iraq, killing people and taking over cities.  They are militarized and obviously organized and armed with bombs, guns and a fierce and calloused will. 

And it is beginning again, as the United States is quietly sending  Iraq and I love the term, "300 military advisors." according to the New York Times.   There isn't a shining right answer, but like in math, there are an infinite number of wrong ones.  One of which is doing nothing, another of which is thinking we know everything.  I do not envy anyone in leadership right now.  I'm praying for them.

 We're going to have to decide how to act as a country, we know what is being done is wrong, rather than merely react to what happens.   If past is prologue, we will ignore until we get hurt, and then it has to really hurt, at which point, we will overreact in response.  I'm hoping we've learned something from history. Evil must always be opposed, or it spreads.  The question is how to oppose evil. 

That's why I wrote:  Pray for peace. Pray for peace. Pray for Peace.     

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