THERE was always bound to be a multitude of opinions and views on the right and wrongs of a war in Afghanistan.
In a multicultural, multi-religious society, some are always going to blame others for the wrongs of the world. As Christians we must believe in tolerance, non-violence and peace even to the point of us being killed ourselves. This is the example that Jesus gave through ridicule, torture and bloody execution and his victory over his killers.
While the FBI were issuing statements that there was absolutely no evidence to link anyone from Afghanistan, including Osama bin Laden, with anything to do with the World Trade Centre attack, President George Bush was decreeing that the Saudi rebel should be captured dead or alive and that Afghanistan would be punished for sheltering him. All of a sudden terrorists have more in common with Jesus and Martin Luthur King. Think about it.
In ‘Have Your Say’ (CL 21/10/01), Chaplain Gary Stone from Enogerra Barracks, while doing God’s great work among the many men in the defence forces, does his job to try to justify Australian men going to a foreign place to fight people who are not their enemies, as revenge for an attack which was not against Australia.
Osama bin Laden and his followers still wear the US Army uniforms which were issued to them while they were being trained and armed by the CIA. The US has taken part in 133 wars and conflicts around the world in the last 100 years.
America’s own CIA have been predicting that attacks like those on September 11 were coming for the past 10 years. They term such attacks ‘blowback’ because American foreign policy and secret wars incited such flames of hatred in some of the world’s poorest and oppressed countries that eventually some of this energy would ‘blowback’.
Already promises not to attack the civilian population in Afghanistan have become lies. Hundreds have died as weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction shower down on the country. Water, sewerage and power plants, hospitals and food distribution depots were some of the first targets of US bombs and missiles.
Is this what some call a ‘just war’? Is this what Australia is about to become part of – lust for revenge? If a fraction of the arms and ammunition costs of this war were used for the common good, to build hospitals, schools and industries, the terrorists of the region would become insignificant and have trouble recruiting members.
The way of Jesus is not killing, revenge, hatred and lies. He teaches to not only understand but also to love our enemy.
Let us not become worse than the terrorists. At least they have a belief and a cause to follow. We run the danger of becoming vengeful killers and risk breeding more terrorists willing to take up where the last ones left off.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.