Friday, January 26, 2007

A Spot of War and the Beating of the Drum Head

I have generally avoided talking war and politics on this blog, prinicipally because I believe that since I don't have all the information the higher-ups do, I am not in the position to make specific observations about the current situation in Iraq. With that said, I have to confess a certain confusion over the situation namely given that it seems as though there were so many other places which were and are still more threatening, at least as it appears to me. Take North Korea, for example. Disproportionate sized army, leader with strange behavior patterns, widespread oppression of populace through starvation and isolation from the outside world, confirmed intelligence that N.K. has weaponized smallpox, possibly obtained from the collapsed Soviet Union. I don't know about you but this seems much more of a threat, but again, I don't have all the intel, so I am just guessing here.

Now I am seeing further reports that Iran now may become the next source of conflict. Granted, Iran has never been one of my favorite countries and I don't, for one instant, buy the suggestion by the Iranian president that nuclear power is needed for energy for his country. For the love of Pete, they are sitting on an enormous well of oil and natural gas. It seems to me however though that many of our problems in the Middle East are problems created by American Foreign Policy. The whole situation with the shah is a simple case in point. Further, that the administration went into Iraq before tightening down the situation in Afghanistan (a military intervention which seems more obviously moral to me) and/or addressing the mounting problems in Iran leaves me ill at ease. In my more pessimistic moments, I am forced to ask myself: "Does controlling oil reserves qualify as eliminating a threat to our country? Where's the just war theory clarification kit when you need it?"

And we aren't done, folks. Now we have a problem brewing in Venezuela. Chavez is showing the signs of becoming the heir apparent of Castro to the banana republic quasi-Communist leader. I would ask though if an ambassdor is not to offer input and improve inter-country relations, then why have ambassadors at all?

All of this musing got started today because of the Gospel from today's Mass for Sts. Timothy and Titus. I used the common Gospel passage assigned for today in which the Lord sends out disciples with message of Peace. Peace is not a cessation of armed conflict; it is the fruit of forgiveness. It seems to me more and more that peace is increasingly difficult to achieve because forgiveness, reconciliation, and humility are not in play. It's like people playing Monopoly with the future but have left out the dice, the properties and the Chance cards. This is not a slam against our own country; it looks like the state of affairs all around the globe. And before you ask, no, I don't know how to make that sort of forgiveness a concrete part of policy. All I am able to do is diagnose a problem.

Today, pray for peace. Peace in your heart, in your family, in your parish, in your country where you made read Ragemonkey, and in the world at large.

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