Monday, February 07, 2005
( 8:17 AM )
What the Rest of the World Saw
...on Inauguration Day. Sister Joan is typically and always worth reading, but this article is stunning in its examination of the very issues we are constantly wrestling with.
Dublin, on U.S. Inauguration Day, didn't seem to notice. Oh, they played a few clips that night of the American president saying, "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands."
But that was not their lead story.
The picture on the front page of The Irish Times was a large four-color picture of a small Iraqi girl. Her little body was a coil of steel. She sat knees up, cowering, screaming madly into the dark night. Her white clothes and spread hands and small tight face were blood-spattered. The blood was the blood of her father and mother, shot through the car window in Tal Afar by American soldiers while she sat beside her parents in the car, her four brothers and sisters in the back seat.
The pictures swept across Europe the morning that Bush was being sworn in a second time. But what Sister Joan asks is what we all need to really be asking ourselves:
In Iraq, for every dead U.S. soldier, there are 14 other deaths, 93 percent of them are civilian. But those things happen in war, the story says. It's all for a greater good, we have to remember. It's all to free them. It's all being done to spread "liberty."
From where I stand, the only question now is who or what will free us from the 21st century's new definition of bravery. Who will free us from the notion that killing children or their civilian parents takes courage?
If we're not wrestling still with what our leaders are doing in our name, then we have lost our sense of moral direction. We must continue to question and continue to challenge this slippage of a moral compass in our country.