England witnessed one of the largest (if not the largest) demonstration opposed to the waging of the “war of liberation” on Iraq by the U.S. and its allies. Continuing in this most appreciated act by the British people the BBC reports that:
Church of England bishops have suggested Christian leaders apologise to
Muslim leaders for the war in Iraq.
A report from a working group of bishops says the war was one of a “long litany
of errors” relating to Iraq. As the government is unlikely to offer an apology,
a meeting of religious leaders would provide a “public act of institutional
repentance”, it said.
This sounds good and maybe long overdue, but the apology should be to the entire people of Iraq regardless of their religious affiliation. Unless this reconciliation and/or apology is intended as a message to appease the Moslems of Europe and to reduce the growing tensions that are building up as a result of the wars.
The bombs did not discriminate the churches from the mosques. Organized and planned looting destroyed the museums, libraries and ministries of all the Iraqis, liberating them from their contents. The governments of the allies that invaded Iraq should offer compensations in addition to their apologies. Equivalents of billions of dollars of wealth were and are still being stolen from Iraq. This is said bearing in mind that nothing can compensate for the tens of thousands of civilians killed during and after the invasion not to mention those injured.
The report goes on to suggest:
…the meeting would be an opportunity to apologise for the way the West has contributed to the situation in Iraq, including the war.
The Church of England has criticised the war, saying it was not a “just war”.
But a dilemma now exists for those within the Church – to pull out of Iraq without a
stable democracy in place would be irresponsible, but to stay suggests collusion
with a “gravely mistaken” war, the bishops said.
How can we help with this dilemma? Should we pray? Maybe if the bishops seek the help of the wise advisors of Pres. Bush, they might find some answers.
As for those who might say that the war resulted in the “glorious liberation” of the Iraqis from Saddam the report stated that:
…errors in the West’s handling of Iraq included support of Saddam Hussein over many years as a strategic ally against Iran, a willingness to sell him weapons and the suffering caused to the Iraqi people by sanctions.
…the war appeared to be “as much for reasons of American national interest as it was for the well-being of the Iraqi people”.