We should maintain that if an interpretation of any word in any religion leads to disharmony and does not positively further the welfare of the many, then such an interpretation is to be regarded as wrong; that is, against the will of God, or as the working of Satan or Mara.

Buddhadasa Bikkhu, a Thai Buddhist Monk

Friday, July 13, 2012

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

It is already hard to remember that the United States ever engaged in a decade long armed conflict in Iraq.  Our troops have left.  And so have most of the reporters and news agencies that kept us informed of events in that nation.  We really have no sense of what has been happening in Iraq recently—no sense that unrest continues and terrorist violence is increasing once again.  The truth is we shouldn't be allowed to forget so easily.  Each time we make the mistake of  involving ourselves militarily in the affairs of nations like Vietnam and Iraq, our own nation pays a heavy price in lives lost, lives ruined, and treasure wasted.  Violence always begets violence and not just physical violence.  If we forget the pain we caused in the Middle East and in North America by our second war with Iraq, we only increase the chances that sooner or later we will make the same mistake again...and again...and again.  Robert Deryfuss' news posting, "Remember Iraq? Still A Mess, but the US Needs to Stay Out," reminds us of the importance of remembering Iraq and knowing what is going on there now, lest we forget.