Victims Piling Up,
Blaming the Victim
US troops were accused of killing 11 family members, including several children, in a raid on a house where suspected Al Queda member was captured. Reuters reported that "community leaders said they were outraged" by the killings.
On Wednesday, many more Iraqis fell victim to the sectarian civil war. This phrase will be used here henceforth, without apology. The political debate about it iseems to us fraudulent and diversionary. At least 22 bodies were found in Baghdad; several more were killed by bombs and shootings; and three US soldiers died as well. Leading clerics also acknowledged that they are losing their restraining influence over sectarian militias and other insurgent groups.
Meantime, there was no news Wednesday of the three CPT peaeceworkers held captive in Iraq.
In Washington, a new "blue-ribbon "task force" of ten former top government officials has been created to advise Congress on how to produe an "honest assessment" of the US involvement in Iraq and find ways to "go forward" there.
One of its co-chairmen, former secretary of state James Baker, added that one purpose of the group was to "take this out of politics."
From here, however, this remark seems patently false. Far from being outside of politics, such a group's main goal is entirely political, namely to gain the attention of a one-person audience in Washington DC, the man in the White House specifically.
In this, the group is highly reminiscent of the informal group of "Wise men" who told President Lyndon Johnson in early 1968 that the Vietnam war was a lost cause. Johnson, greatly to his credit, listened to them, stopped increasing the troop level in Vietnam, and did not run for re-election.
Can this new gaggle of "wise men" bring about some equivalent? Quakers are not supposed to wager but I wouldn't bet the ranch on it. They are faced with an audience that has cultivated the habit of not listening into a high art.
Finally, on Wednesday columnist Cal Thomas, a longtime mouthpiece of the religious right, published an article trashing Tom Fox and CPT as phony Christians and fake peacemakers. View the column here with Chuck Fager's has response.