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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Speaking of Accountability

The folks at Sojourner offer this Call to Lament and Repent, as we approach the fifth anniversary of the Iraq War. The Call includes the following:
As a sign of repentance and commitment to lead our nation toward a new path, I pledge to:

● Pray for our nation to learn lasting lessons from the tragedy of the war in Iraq and commit to greater wisdom in the future.

● Help heal our nation by talking and listening to our fellow Christians, finding better ways to resolve conflicts—by seeking the reconciliation of our divisions and working together for a more peaceful world.

● Reach out to the veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who often, after making terrible sacrifices, feel abandoned.

● Urge our elected representatives to:

* pursue a foreign policy consistent with moral principles, wise political judgments, and international law
* ensure that veterans and their families are provided with the medical, psychological, financial, and spiritual support they need
* fulfill our responsibility, working with the international community, to stabilize and rebuild Iraq, provide humanitarian support, and resettle those displaced by war.
I like two components of this pledge particularly. First, it makes it clear that the Iraq War was wrong. Whatever the next step is, the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, it was a sin. It is something we are paying for and will continue to pay for in years to come. Not because an Almighty on a cloud will shoot lightening bolts at us, but because there are consequences to reckless disregard for wise counsel and anxiousness to go to war.
Second, this pledge does not suggest a reckless withdrawal. It suggests a shifting of responsibility to the international community and the Iraqis. It does not suggest, what I've heard from some, that its the Iraqis fault for not fulling embracing our gift of freedom to them, so screw them.

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