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"Christians Must Call For This War to End "

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:38 PM
Original message
"Christians Must Call For This War to End "
mods: this is the content of an email from SOJO, and they want it passed around. Thank you.

"I didn't want to die, now, but I didn't have any fear of doing what I had to do. I knew what was happening was wrong. And I had an opportunity to do something about it."
- Catherine Burks-Brooks, 71, who, as a senior at Tennessee A&I State University, took part in the first Freedom Ride in May 1961. (Source: USA Today)

There is no more room or time for excuses. The war in Afghanistan -- now the longest war in American history -- no longer has any justification, and I am calling upon Christians, along with other people of good, moral sense, to lead the effort to finally end this war and bring our troops home. On moral, financial, and strategic grounds, the continuation of the war in Afghanistan cannot be justified. The completion of the largest and most expensive manhunt in history for Osama bin Laden must be a turning point to completely rethink our response to terrorism. The threats of terrorists are still real, but it is now clear that full-scale military action is not the most effective response.

It was the campaign against bin Laden and al Qaeda that was always used to justify the war in Afghanistan. General David Petraeus has said there are about 100 al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan. We have more than 100,000 American troops and another 40,000 coalition soldiers in Afghanistan. That means 1,400 soldiers for each al Qaeda fighter. It costs about $1 million a year to deploy and support each American soldier or more than $100 billion a year total. That breaks down to our country spending $1 billion per year, per al Qaeda fighter. Every deficit hawk in America should now oppose this war. The cost is simply too high, especially when compared with all the painful budget choices this failed war is causing us to make.

Even more important is the human cost of 1,570 Americans killed, more than 10,000 wounded, and many more families separated -- lives disrupted and changed forever. And Christians must always care about the casualties on the other side, especially innocent lives who are the collateral damage of war. From 2007 to 2010 that number is at least 10,000. This war is not worth that human cost. The damages it causes far outweigh the possible results, and that makes this war unjustifiable. As Chuck Colson recently said, Maintaining 100,000 troops in Afghanistan no longer meets the just war criteria.

Continuing the war will lead to greater human and financial costs without a clear understanding of what success could even look like. What began as an understandable action to pursue those who launched the attack on September 11, has now become a war of occupation in Afghanistan; a massive counter-insurgency; the defense of an utterly corrupt and incompetent government; and an impossible effort at military-led nation-building. Long term and sustained strategies of development and democracy building will not be accomplished by an endless, massive military occupation and counter-insurgency; in fact, our current strategy will prevent long-term nation-building.

As more and more people have pointed out, the operation that found and killed bin Laden was not the massive war of counter-insurgency in Afghanistan. It was the result of smart intelligence, good detective work, and aggressive law-enforcement work -- policing, rather than war-making. Even many conservatives have pointed this out, as George Will recently wrote, bin Laden was brought down by intelligence gathering that more resembles excellent police work than a military operation.

I met with veterans three weeks ago and heard them say one word over and over again as their moral judgment on what they saw and experienced in Afghanistan -- cost. The cost of this war, in any terms, is just too high, and the war must end. This is a nonpartisan issue. I was honored to stand at that same press conference with two of the most consistent and courageous congressional voices, against this war, Democrat Jim McGovern and Republican Walter Jones. What convinced Jones was his regular visits to the wounded veterans of his home district. He saw and felt their pain, he saw the results of the war, and concluded it was not worth the cost.

The time has come to end the war in Afghanistan. Many have shown how it is possible to end it responsibly. (See Sojourners magazines March issue.) The war must end now, and I believe the faith community must lead the way.

Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery, and CEO of Sojourners. He blogs at www.godspolitics.com. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. Military action did reduce their headcount to "about 100 al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan"
...over the last few years. We did accomplish that.

The US *has* to withdraw now because our supply lines are through Pakistan and the "relationship" Pakistan has become unsustainable. So said Thomas Ricks on NPR a few mornings ago.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. Quakers, Mennonites and Church of the Brethren already at that lonely post
"All War Is Sin."

We welcome others to join us, but since these are the three smallest sects in American Christianity, there's probably something at work here besides following Jesus. We're such suspicious characters in my denomination that we don't even put a national flag in the sanctuary.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Absolutely, they have always been in the forefront. I'm with you on the flags.
I understand the symbol, but I don't like what it seems to lead to so often. :(
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
14. Which of the three denominations are you? I once worked for a Mennonite
organization. If I were a lay person, I'd be either Mennonite or Brethren. Probably Brethren, since I have roots in German pietism, so would probably feel most at home there. Being ordained, changing denominations is a royal pain in the ass, but I keep annoying the UCC by being a pacifist whether they like it or not (they don't).

Keep up the good work, peace church people!
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Church of the Brethren
There are a few congregations out west with dual alignment. I like the UCCs out here a lot.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. The UCC is not a peace church by any means. In fact,
the UCC is the only mainline denomination that doesn't have a peace fellowship. The UCC is good on lgbt and other issues. But it completely sucks on peace issues.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
4. .
:kick:
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Bluerthanblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
5. K&R-
just got this e-mail today. thanks for posting it.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. You get SOJO too? I'll let you handle them, then. ^_^
Thanks!
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:03 PM
Response to Original message
6. KnR
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krabigirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:22 PM
Response to Original message
7. Good for them. Honestly, I would just like to see Democrats asking for an end to the wars.
Where are they now?
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louslobbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R
Lou
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
10. K&R
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Bryn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:23 PM
Response to Original message
11. Shared on my facebook
K&R
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thank you so much, Bryn!
:yourock:
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. My sister is married to a prominent Mennonite family.
Edited on Fri May-06-11 10:42 PM by riderinthestorm
Her husband's family are known as the sect that brought over "Russian Wheat" and tranformed midwestern agriculture. They are internationally know Mennonites. So every family gathering has a full array of religious orders weighing in on current events!

Bobbie, have you considered joining a christian order like the orthodox church? You post a lot about how religious orders have helped you, and how you admire catholic nun orders. The orthodox church does not have any age requirements and your posts have a strongly religious bent.

My sister's association with the Brethren Church has been an eye-opener to say the least, for me. While I am an atheist, I can admire those orgs that truly "get" the message.

edited to add, I also shared this on my facebook accts, and sent it far and wide via email
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
15. I used to listen to Jim Wallis on Sunday mornings. His take on Christianity
is what I believe is the real deal.

He is an extremely intelligent and enlightened person.

I wish more Christians understood their spirituality like Jim Wallis does.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. PLUS, he is the only one who really speaks regularly on Poverty.
Well, take that partway back... Jesse Jackson does, but they aren't really in the same field.

Wallis brings together leaders to lobby Capitol Hill on behalf of poor people. He may be the only lobbyist we have!
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cleanhippie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
16. "calling upon Christians, along with other people of good, moral sense,.." Are you saying
that christians AUTOMATICALLY have a good moral sense?
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick
one time
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Zax2me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-07-11 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
21. Next, we get Muslims to stop the eternal jihad
And poof - world peace!
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-08-11 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. There will never be peace so long as people like you stir up racism.
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