Monday, September 26, 2005


The anti-war demonstrations across the USA and in Britain over the weekend still leave those of us opposed to the geopolitics of military adventurism in a quandry. While the new Church of England bishops' report is right to call for a major shift in policy and perspective, washing our hands of the bloody quagmire in Iraq cannot be an acceptable alternative. Mere anti-Bushism is smugness not politics; it is the contemporary equivalent of crying "peace, peace!" when there is no peace and no justice (Jeremiah 6.14), but instead the real threat of collapse and civil war. The moral failure of much of the anti-war movement to recognise this is deeply disturbing. Almost as disturbing in its own way as the failure of many in the US and UK governments to see that "carrying on regardless" is digging the policy grave deeper and deeper. For this reason, and though they have beenmocked and vilified by the likes of Melanie Philips for saying it, the bishops are also right to talk of sackcloth and ashes. Admitting the collective mess we are all in is not surrender. It is the beginning of any hope of fresh wisdom. [There is more useful linkage and comment on Countering Terrorism: Power, Violence and Democracy Post 9/11 on the ever-pertinent Bartholomew's Notes on Religion.]

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