jeudi, juin 08, 2006

No complacency about evil

"After twice narrowly escaping capture by American troops in the past 18 months, Mr. Zarqawi became increasingly bold in recent months, issuing videotaped speeches on Islamic militant Web sites, vowing victory against the "crusaders" who had invaded Iraq, meaning American, British and other Western forces. The speeches also called on Sunni Arabs to kill "converters," meaning Iraqi Shiites, effectively inciting civil war here.
American military commanders have said that Mr. Zarqawi personally beheaded some of those kidnapped by his followers, and identified him as the mastermind of one of the first major suicide bombing attacks, a strike in August 2003 that destroyed the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad and killed 22 people, including Sergio Viera de Mello, the head of the United Nations Mission here.
A message posted by Al Qaeda on one of its Web sites, confirming Mr. Zarqawi's death, vowed to continue what it called "the holy war" in Iraq. "We want to give you the joyous news of the martyrdom of the mujahid sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," the message said. It was signed by a man calling himself Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi," who was identified as the deputy "emir," or leader, of Al Qaeda in Iraq."
Excerpt from NY Times article June 8, 2006
Early this morning we learned officially that international forces, operating collaboratively in Baghad, had killed Abu Musab al-Zarqaqi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. News like this often makes death-penalty opponents like me squirm. On the one hand, I ascribe to the tradtional Catholic creed that life is sacred, from before birth to the end of life. Yet my first reaction was one I probably shared with millions of my fellow Americans. I was thankful that someone filled with this much hate was gone
Driven by the power of a religious ideology or by hate, or by both, Mr. Zarqawi apparently hoped to establish a strict Islamic "caliphate" under" in Iraq. He personally beheaded contractor Nicholas Berg, and was responsible for many bombing attacks that claimed untold Iraqi lives. As one commentator said, he was "the face of evil" in Iraq.
On the whole, I'm very glad that coalition forces pursued Mr. Zarqawi. Though we should be under no illusion that his death will mean a stop to the torture and murder of innocent civilians, one potent force for evil is gone. Like others, I have become dulled by the constant news about casaulties. I may have even given in to the temptation to think that in a misbegotten war such horror was inevitable. Yet Christians, wherever they are, have a duty to be on guard against evil, whether it is in their own hearts or lurking in a safe house in a foreign country. We cannot let ourselves become numbed to the horrors being visited on innocents, or give in to the notion that we have no role in combatting evil. Every believer has a duty to oppose hatred and protect the innocent.
Having said that doesn't mean that I approve of this war, or of the rhetoric used to justify it, or of the abuses that accompany it. Those in themselves may be sinful. But I do think that passivity is not a choice for the faithful Christian. If our brother or sister is suffering, our place is beside them in the name of the Christ who defended the vulnerable, and the poor, and the innocent ones most precious to him. At the same time, it is comforting to remember that He is the one in charge...not only now, but for eternity.

1 commentaire:

Catherine + a dit…

Excellently done, Elizabeth. Your writing is stirring but rational. Kudos!