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Blind Chihuahua

More to religion
than pleasing
your imaginary friend

My fellow pacifists:

My personal devotion to pacifism dates from the dawn of my political awareness, when I was 13 years old, on hearing of the murder of John Lennon. I began reading about the Vietnam war, the peace protests, Martin Luther King Jr.'s non-violent civil rights work, etc. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my philosophical heroes (his personal life is another matter irrelevant to his philosophy). I am a Christian who weeps when I listen to Lennon's "Imagine" because Christ was not meant to be used as an excuse to kill people.

I have also read a lot about the Holocaust. America did not respond to Germany's Kristallnacht (the Nazi government-incited nationwide riot against Jews and Jewish businesses) because it was an "internal matter." We did not respond to the German invasion of neighboring nations because it wasn't our business. We didn't even boycott the Berlin Olympics. How many millions of Jews, Romany, homosexuals, and other "undesirables" might have been saved if we had responded militarily before Hitler had gained so much power? How else would he have been stopped without using military power? When we routed him, his scientists were trying to develop nuclear weapons as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles (yes, the German rockets were that much better than ours). Do you really think he wouldn't have used them on that conspiracy-theory "refuge" (how bloody ironic, considering what we've done to them ourselves) of Jews, America?

I assure you that the similarities are more than coincidental. Many proponents of maintaining peace with Iraq no matter what cite the rallies in Iraq in support of Saddam Hussein as a sign we should mind our own business. A lot of "good Germans" participated in rallies in support of Hitler — does that mean we should have left him alone? Kenneth Pollack, a CIA analyst whose job for 15 years was to get inside Saddam's head, and one of three people in the entire government to predict the invasion of Kuwait (everyone else said Saddam wouldn't be that stupid), asserts that Saddam cannot be reasoned with diplomatically, because his reasoning abilities are grossly impaired (the man shoots to death, right then and there, people who disagree with him in his version of Cabinet meetings). I highly recommend reading Pollack's book, The Threatening Storm: the Case for Invading Iraq. I recently listened to him in a discussion group, and I changed my mind about war with Iraq.

For the Iraqi point of view, there was also in the discussion group a former high-ranking Iraqi government official who is now an exile. His life changed when he made a small joke about Saddam (about something unimportant, like the size of his nose) and was overheard by one of Saddam's numerous secret police (can you say, "SS?"). His parents' home, where he lived, was invaded by the secret police in the middle of the night. His family members were beaten as the police searched for him. He and his brother were violently stripped and removed from the house and taken to a secret prison, where he and his brother were kept with 40-50 other naked men in a 10ft X 12ft cell with no toilet or water for 40-something days. They received moldy food or dirty water every few days (never both together). They received torture every day, sometimes several times in one day. When they were finally released, they were given videotapes of the female members of their family being raped by state-employed rapists. Does any of this sound similar to what happened to members of resistance cells or rescuers of Jews in WW II?

Yes, the Iraqi government actually employs people specifically to rape the female members of dissidents' families. Other countries condone torture performed by their secret police or soldiers, and the torturers frequently include rape in their repertoire, but Iraq is the only country to employ people solely as rapists. According to this former official, 1 in 6 Iraqis have died since Saddam came to power, and 1 in 5 have fled the country. Those who fled because they were dissidents receive videotapes of their female family members being raped, to alert them both that their actions had horrible consequences for their loved ones left behind and that they can be found whenever Saddam wants them found. Nor does Saddam focus on a single ethnic group, though he did try to obliterate the Kurds (so many of whom have permanent genetic damage done by Saddam's chemical weapons that their ethnic survival may be in doubt, according to a "60 Minutes" interview of a geneticist working for a relief agency involved in the area), he is an equal opportunity eliminator who will kill any group if one member gets in his way.

Or should we disbelieve the exiled Iraqi official described above, because he has a beef with Saddam? When he was asked by an audience member why the Iraqis don't just get rid of Saddam by themselves, why don't they just revolt, if they hate him that much, if he's really that terrible; he replied, in effect, "Why did the Jews not just get rid of Hitler if he was that bad? Why didn't the American black slaves just revolt against their oppressors, why did white men have to fight and die to free them? The Iraqis who have tried to revolt, because he is that bad, are among the 1 in 6 who have been killed by Saddam and his Nazi-like Bath party. The rest learned the lesson he was teaching, just like the slaves learned from the torture and murders they saw, and chose to survive."

Besides, we assisted Saddam's rise to power (the Iraqis did not want him) because we were so paranoid about Iran. Shouldn't we clean up the mess we helped make? In a way done as well as the Marshall Plan?

Regarding the argument that war will cause only more suffering for the women and children of Iraq, the responsibility for their current suffering rests solely on Saddam.  The sanctions that everyone decries as being so cruel to Iraqi women and children were quickly amended to allow the purchase of as much medication and basic food for the poor as needed.  No one seems to remember that. The only reason these poor people are without food and medicine is because Saddam absolutely refuses to buy it, preferring instead to spend money on building more palaces for himself.  A war that removes Saddam will allow these people to finally be able to obtain all the medicine and food Iraq's oil money can buy.

As the saying goes, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." I might paraphrase Martin Niemoeller:

Saddam came for the Iranians, we didn't like them, so we helped him, forget speaking up. He came for the Kurds, we weren't one of those, so we didn't speak up. He came for the Iraqi dissident, we weren't one of those, so we didn't speak up. Then he came for us. There was no one left to speak up.

For Christian pacifists:

What would Jesus do?

I believe, after much prayer and soul-searching, that the "Life of Christ" example for this situation is when He violently overturned the moneychangers' tables and drove them out of the Temple in a righteous rage over their evil. Besides, did He not consider the oppressed and mistreated our neighbor, whom we should love second only to God? Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for another.

Another perfectly good pacifist brainwashed by Halliburton.

This was part of a series of reactions to the 9/11 attack and its aftermath, that in later years would have been blog entries.

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For an ongoing summary see our Jihad/Hirabah page.