Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Faithful Way Out of Iraq

Led by the Rev. Tony Campolo and Rabbi Michael Lerner, religious leaders have proposed an Ethical Way to End the War in Iraq. At its foundation are the concepts of repentance and generosity as central to the way to the end this illegal and immoral war. The plan has three parts:

First, that American and British troops be replaced by an international police force composed of those who better understand the Iraqi culture...Americans and Brits are not only devoid of any grasp of the language and the religion of the Iraqi people, but are defined by many Muslims as a Christian army that has invaded a sacred Islamic land. Our army’s presence is perceived by many in the Muslim world as a rebirth of the medieval crusades.

Second, that the United States appropriate $50 billion to rebuild the towns and cities that the invasion of Iraq has left in shambles. This would be a small price to pay, considering the $2 billion we are presently spending every week in order to keep this war going.

Third, that our president go before the United Nations and ask the world to forgive America for what we have done to Iraq, and how we have set back efforts for world peace...

This way forward calls for a new worldview where safety and security comes not from toughness and the barrel of a gun but from generosity and caring for others, and that when we've done something wrong, we need to acknowledge it as a society. It's a radical proposal, but it's not new. It was embodied in the life and death of a prophet from Nazareth over 2,000 years ago. But maybe, just maybe, it's day has finally come.

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