Thursday, November 02, 2006

The God of war

I came across a report of Seymour Hersch speaking at McGill University about US forces causing civilian casualties in Iraq:

At times in 2003 I wondered about how many civilians were being killed. We kept trying to kill Iraqi leaders with "surgical" attacks, but killed many civilians in the process without killing the leaders. I wondered if we would continue with such attacks anyway. We did for a time. I have heard an ex-CIA employee say we don't care about who gets in the way of an assassination. That would make us even more ruthless than the Mafia.

Then as we entered Baghdad, there was footage of how our troops fired on any vehicle moving toward them, causing many civilian casualties. The issue has continued in the form of arguing over estimates of total civilian casualties in Iraq and how many are caused by US troops. I haven't heard politicians say our tactics cause excessive casualties as Hersch argues. I don't suppose there are many votes in making that accusation.

In looking at blogs that mentioned Hersch's remarks, I found The response there was to call Hersch names and wonder which level of hell is his. One comment said that only 1/3 of Iraqi deaths are from US troops. So why not 1/10? I didn't find one word that it was even possible that Hersch was at all right in saying some civilians were killed when they didn't have to be. I suppose the only people who deserve to live are US troops and Republicans, right?

It especially interests me how those who are proud of the war in Iraq think God is right there with them. Why of course Seymour Hersch should be in hell as a traitor. If he opposes the war, he must oppose God.

I don't know that God. The God I know tells me He never has favored a war. Many wars are in self-defense, such as World War II. God tells me He has not tried to prevent such a war or even tell people that war should be a last resort. He just never has started a war, even those the Old Testament claims were following God's orders.

Those who believe God started those wars might think God still starts wars, no matter who gets hurt. It's a logical inference. I can't condemn thinking that. I just think it's wrong. It's not the God I know. Human beings are the gods of war, not the God who is love. It's not a simple issue. God knows that. But those who are sure God is with them in their war don't know that. There are plenty of clues to teach them otherwise. Any kind of people dying for no good reason is a clue.

No comments: