Remembering the dead in Iraq.

In Iraq, there are tens of thousands of “unknown dead”.   A body was found, but no identification.  So on one hand, there are cemetaries full of graves marked only with numbers, and on the other hands, there are hundreds of thousands of family and friends who have no idea what happened to their loved ones.

Do you suppose they love the United States for bringing this upon them?

Today’s NY Times has a poignant story of one family’s search, and the byzantine bureaucratic barriers they had to surmound to find the grave of their husband, father, and son.  Restoring names to Iraqi’s war dead.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi Catholic bishops says that the US betrayed his country and its Christians.

That the great saint Karol Wojtyla was right to condemn the war in Iraq. It created far more problems than it resolved. Given how it’s ended up, it would have been better not to intervene. The recourse to force has simply meant destruction, without producing any benefit for the country. Economic profit was put at the center of everything, the protection of foreign interests, and not the defense of values, of conscience, and of the common good. Thus in the streets of our cities there’s no trace of democracy, only fear and violence. We’re paying an extremely high price in blood and terror.

The United States thought exclusively about their own financial interests, and no one worried about the welfare of Iraq and the Iraqis. We’re suffering from the absence of a stable government. Without real authority and an effective sovereign, chaos rules. With car bombs, kamikazes, kidnappings and clan-related violence, we’ve become the cradle of every kind of terrorism. Bands of assassins move around as they want, inside and outside the borders. There’s never been even the most minimal concrete commitment to teaching true democracy, to help it grow and mature in the souls of our people. The democratic spirit can’t be imposed, nor exported through war. Today, the reasons for the Vatican’s “˜No’ to the armed intervention in Iraq are tragically clear to everyone. Before there was a dictatorship, but the people lived fairly well. Today there’s total insecurity. No one is certain of being able to return home safely at night. Every night, there’s some new insignia for terrorists.

In noting the betrayal of the people of Iraq and its Christian community by the United States, we must also say that the US Catholic Bishops were part and parcel of this betrayal.  Because of their material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war, the blood of the innocent of that land are upon their hands too, just as surely as if they had dropped the bombs and shot the guns themselves.

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