I think part of being a spiritual person is to think and act about contemporary affairs in light of the gospel. As Karl Barth put it, Christians ought to be reading with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. One of the most important world events over the last five years has been the Iraq war. The Wall Street Journal published a very insightful editorial recently entitled “America and Iraq“.
This article did a good job of acknowledging the mistakes that have been made while also pointing out what really is at stake, not only for Iraq, but also for Afghanistan, and for the worldwide war against Islamic fascism.
What we’re fighting is not a ‘War on Terror’. We’re only concerned about Islamic fascist terrorism. We’re not fighting against terrorism per se, nor against Islam per se. Why not just state this plainly?
Another aspect of the article that I think is very helpful is the notion that one of the reasons for our invasion of Iraq was to provide a strategic counter-balance to both Iran’s Shiite Islam and Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Islam. This makes sense to me, but again, why wasn’t this explained at the time, and why isn’t it being explained now?
Has invading Iraq been worth the 4,000 American lives that have now been lost? If it helps prevent a nuclear detonation in an American city, which would claim many many more lives than 4,000, absolutely. This is a real danger that we must face squarely.
This war has touched my family personally. Some friends of ours lost their 22 year-old daughter to this war. Another acquaintance of ours was one the Marines who led the assault on Fallujah. I treasure the freedom we have in this country, and believe that it is worth fighting for, and must sometimes be fought for. This is one of those times.