It is with great anger and utter disgust that I read the news today regarding the two young American soldiers who were captured in Iraq and found dead. Not only were they found dead but also they had been tortured and beheaded. It will take DNA tests to positively identify the bodies. I find it difficult to put into words my revulsion not only at what has transpired, but also of the lack of concern expressed by the political leadership in Washington, D.C.
Why are we there? Why did we invade Iraq? Why do we stay when the Iraqi leadership has asked us to go more than once? America has given more than 2500 of her young to this war and almost 20,000 have been maimed. Our costs exceed the three hundred billion dollar mark and there is no end in site. I am tired of the propaganda put out by the white house in which they attempt to justify this insanity with one lie after another. It would appear that neither the current white house press secretary nor his predecessor would not know the truth if it popped up and performed a vasectomy on them! Simply put, there is no justification for our being in Iraq. As for Congress – they bare an equal share of the blame. Both parties have funded this war from day one and continue to do so through the current period. If the democrats want to stop this war and bring home our soldiers, airmen, and naval personnel, then cut off the funding that pays for this atrocity. If the majority party fights this action, than shut down the house and senate. Let no business proceed until orders are given to conduct a withdrawal from Iraq.
When speaking to Congresswoman Pelosi’s office in Washington, I was told that they are doing all they can. Well Congresswoman, that isn’t good enough! You as leader of the loyal opposition need to move this war to the top of your priority list. Nothing is more important than getting us out of Iraq. It is affecting every aspect of American life whether the public realizes it or not. The billions being spent on war could have been spent on social programs like health care for the nation. The price of gasoline and heating oil certainly has not gone down as a result of this immoral war. Exactly what has been the benefit of this horrendous sacrifice by America? If you ask the current White House, they will tell you we are “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” Nonsense. Once more it bears repeating: Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Nothing. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. None. Iraq was containing regional radical Islamic fundamentalists who are now quite free to cause as much havoc as they can for not only the U.S. but for our other interests in the region. So, again, why are we there? Another reason that surfaces is even more ludicrous: God told George Bush to invade Iraq. God cannot be blamed for the war lust of those in power who have the ability to strike at will wherever they wish. The civilians who lead this war have perverted the legitimate role of our military.
In looking at the record of Senator Reid who is both the Senate minority leader as well as a senior member of the Appropriations committee that funds the defense budget and this war, I find that the Senator recently voted for over $700 Billion dollars that will keep this war going. Both democrats and republicans must bear the responsibility for the continuation of this war. It is time to get out of Iraq now — it is another Vietnam, and we still have not learned from the past.
I pray for the souls of these two soldiers as well as all other soldiers who have been killed since we invaded Iraq. May the continued sacrifice of these lives end quickly.
Archbishop Bruce J. Simpson, OSJB, is the author of “The Gay Face of God” and “If He’s Queer He Musta Done It”. A Vietnam Era Veteran, former Police Officer of the Year, a Federal Agent, a Federal Magistrate, an armed bodyguard to Saudi Royalty, a senior Federal Government executive, and recipient of awards from the Vice President of the United States and the Secretary of Treasury.
While studying at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary and Theological College at the Catholic University of America, he decided that his own conflict of conscience would not allow him to go on to ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. He was ordained a deacon in the Old Catholic Church in 1995, a Priest six months later, and was called to the Episcopacy in early 1999. On January 30th, he was consecrated a Bishop of the Catholic Church. In 2002, he was consecrated sub-conditione by a Roman Catholic Archbishop, three times removed from Pope Paul the Sixth.