Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Dangerous Threat

On the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton said that if Iran attacked Israel America would be able to “totally obliterate them.” That was a foolish threat then and it's even more dangerous now. Yet, last week, she again brought up the possibility of a “preemptive strike, “ by “someone”, saying, “If they believe that the United States might attack them the way that we did attack Iraq, for example…”

George Stephanopolos interrupted her, “Before they attack, as a first strike?”

“That’s right, as a first strike … to make clear to the Iranians that their pursuit of nuclear weapons will actually trigger greater insecurity, because right now, many of the nations in the neighborhood, as you very well…

Stephonopolic interrupted her again, “Because Israel will strike before they can finish?

Clinton: “Well, but not only that. I mean, other countries, other Arab countries are deeply concerned about Iran having nuclear weapons.”

Throughout the entire interview Clinton made it, “clear to the Iranians that an attack on Israel would incur massive retaliation from the United States.” [1]

Is the new Secretary of State claiming the right to commit genocide against the people of Iran if their government does not cease its effort to obtain nuclear power?

My main concern is the casual way in which she addresses the subject of going to war. Has she forgotten the wars we are already in and cannot afford or seem to get out of?

Jim Wallis spoke to the Celeste Zappala, the mother of a fallen soldier in Iraq about the cost of war:

“What happens,” she asked, to the “souls of soldiers who have picked up their friends in pieces, or fearfully fired into a moving car – to discover a shattered Iraqi family a moment later?” She talked about the many victims, on two continents. “An Iraqi mother searches a morgue for the familiar curve of the hand of her child beneath the pale sheet; an American father watches his son beheaded on videotape; an Iraqi child wakes up in a shabby hospital in excruciating pain and without his arm; an American girl writes letters to her dead soldier father; a young vet wraps a garden hose around his neck and leaps away from the nightmares that beset him.” And she recites the tragic numbers: “1,950 U.S. kids lost a parent; 25,000 wounded and struggling through the V.A. system; scores and scores of suicides; 500,000 and more dead Iraqis; 2 million refugees…”[2]

No one is suggesting that there are not some dangerous people out there. But maybe pre-emptive strikes are not the best way to deal with them. Wallis says, “Fighting evil with evil, as recent events show, just adds fuel to the fire. How about overcoming evil with good? If you want to deprive jihadists of ammunition, make it hard for them to persuade others to hate us.”[3]

We could seek to put clean water in every sick and hungry village on the globe. Or, we could stop bombing Arab nations for oil. Or, we could cease protecting Israel’s crimes with our U.N. vetoes. Or, at least, we could cease threatening to obliterate Iran with our military force if it seeks to defend itself against an Israeli attack.

Do you think the Apostle Paul might have been on to something when he said , “Live in harmony with one another…Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in sight of all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God…No, if your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12: 16-21) Sounds risky, but does anyone actually still think that violence can be defeated by more violence? Can’t we find ways to defeat our enemies without killing them?

Thomas Are
June 12, 2009
[1] This Week, with George Stephanopoulos, ABC, June 7, 2009.
[2] Jim Wallis, The Great Awakening, (Harper One, New York, 2008) p.242.
[3] Jim Wallis, ibid, p. 262.

No comments:

Post a Comment