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Hello, here is a letter I sent to some newspapers, that articulates where my peacemaking journey has taken me to this point. It was printed in at least one of the local papers
To the editor
Peacemaker views Iraq war
"Did you see all that?" he asked, his eyes filled with tears. "Did you see that little baby girl? I carried her body and buried it as best I could but I had no time. It really gets to me to see children being killed like this, but we had no choice."
Martin's distress was in contrast to the bitter satisfaction of some of his fellow marines as they surveyed the scene. "The Iraqis are sick people and we are the chemotherapy," said Corporal Ryan Dupre. "I am starting to hate this country. Wait till I get hold of a friggin' Iraqi. No, I won't get hold of one. I'll just kill him."
The London Times
March 30, 2003
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-628258,00.html (free registration required)
This is one of the hard to find accounts of what our soldiers say and experience in the actual battles. Would you want to sent your son or daughter to participate in such ? What does it mean for them upon return? Sleepless nights? Night mares? Depression? Psychological problems?
I in no way blame the troops. I blame the system that teaches them to hate so they can shoot and bomb people and think it is right. There are a number of alternatives which I call Jesus' third way options, that are not just passivity or rolling over and playing dead. The alternative which I support was proposed by former President Jimmy Carter; keep the inspectors there permanently. This would have cost the world a lot less in deaths, suffering, and money.
I say for now we should pay for the damages we caused, let the UN administer it, and bring our troops home.
I participate in the protest vigil at the Court House in Princeton, IL each Wed. 11:30-12:30. This is a way for me to say to the 2000 cars that pass by that I believe that our President and military are doing something drastically wrong. We need to change our country's ways, which have been to overcome evil with evil, and seek to find a path that follows Jesus' way of overcoming evil with good.
I gather each Sunday 7-8 PM with those who pray for peace in the park across from the Court House in Princeton, IL. I am so grateful to have this concentrated time to pray for our soldiers, particularly for the one I know in Iraq. I pray for a peaceful and quick end to the war, and protection of the soldiers and the kids, moms, and dads on all sides. Prayer gives me hope in the face of this awful war. It helps me realize that God's patience and love will one day triumph.This is a force far more powerful than this system of hate which is now running rampant in the world. Alleluia!!
I invite you to stop and visit at the vigil so I can hear your opinion,while I hold my sign which says "Mourning , Suffering,US Troops and Families".

Trying to follow Jesus,
Jim Fitz Tiskilwa,IL.

P.S.. Here is some more quotes from the above source.
It's just a bunch of Hajis," said one gunner from his turret, using
their nickname for Arabs. "Friggin' women and children, that's all."
When he came to jotting down [in his diary for his wife to read] the incident about the two babies getting
killed by his men he couldn't do it. But he said he would tell her when
he got home. I offered to let him call his wife on my satellite phone to
tell her he was okay. He turned down the offer and had me write and send
her an e-mail instead.
He was too emotional. If she heard his voice, he said, she would know
that something was wrong.
the below refers to our own troops casualties
"They are f****** dead, they are dead. Oh my God. Get in there. Get in
there now and pull them out," shouted a gunner in a state verging on
hysterical.
"Oh my God, I can't believe this. Did you see
his leg? It was blown off. It was blown off."
Now Pokorney, Jordan and their comrades lay among unspeakable carnage. An
older marine walked by carrying a huge chunk of flesh, so maimed it was
impossible to tell which body part it was. With tears in his eyes and
blood splattered over his flak jacket, he held the remains of his friend
in his arms until someone gave him a poncho to wrap them with.

Before last week the overwhelming majority of these young men had never
been in combat. Few had even seen a dead body. Now, their faces had
changed. Anger and fear were fueled by rumors that the bodies of
American soldiers had been dragged through Nasiriya's streets. Some
marines cried in the arms of friends, others sought comfort in the Bible.

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