from a New YorkTimes editorial, Nov 29, 05.

The United States should be leading the world, not dragging its feet, when it comes to this sort of issue – because it’s right and because all of us, including Americans, are safer in a world in which certain forms of conduct are regarded as too inhumane even for war. That is why torture should be banned in American prisons. And it is why the United States should stop using white phosphorus.

This short paragraph is full of moral and verbal riches.

  • “The United States should be leading the world, not dragging its feet”
  • “because it’s right”
  • “because all of us, including Americans, are safer”
  • “a world in which certain forms of conduct are regarded as too inhumane even for war.”
  • “torture should be banned in American prisons.”
  • “the United States should stop using white phosphorus.”

We memorize songs, poetry, Scripture. Have you ever memorized a paragraph from a newspaper editorial?

Here’s a comment from another article, by William Rivers Pitt (Aegis and USIS are mercenary military units hired by the US government – at much higher pay rates than our legitimate troops):

“The charges against Aegis [random ‘sport’ shooting of Iraqi civilians] have not been proven. The charges against USIS have not been proven. The charge that the US military aimed white phosphorous chemical weapons at civilians has not been proven. In each instance, however, the charges are supported by substantial evidence.”

Journalist Seymour Hersh, in a recent New Yorker article titled ‘Up In the Air,’ described the administration’s view of the spiraling madness taking place in Iraq. He recounts the comments of a former defense official who served in Bush’s first term. According to Hersh, “‘The President is more determined than ever to stay the course,'” the former defense official said. “‘He doesn’t feel any pain. Bush is a believer in the adage “People may suffer and die, but the Church advances.”‘”

Which “church” I wonder. Jesus said we would know them by their fruits. Friends, it’s past time to opt out of Bush’s “church.”

“He said that the President had become more detached,” continued Hersh, “leaving more issues to Karl Rove and Vice-President Cheney.” “‘They keep him in the gray world of religious idealism, where he wants to be anyway,'” the former defense official said. Bush’s public appearances, for example, are generally scheduled in front of friendly audiences, most often at military bases. Four decades ago, President Lyndon Johnson, who was also confronted with an increasingly unpopular war, was limited to similar public forums. “‘Johnson knew he was a prisoner in the White House,'” the former official said, “‘but Bush has no idea.‘”

“Religious idealism” eh? Not an attractive religion; not high ideals. The religion I subscribe to preaches things like this (from Isaiah 1:15,16):

“When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.

Your hands are full of blood;
wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong …”