Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Great Comment

There is a very interesting comment someone left on my last post that refers to the conflict between Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish Iraqis. It is true that these three groups are having to learn how to live together in ways that are very foreign to much of their history.

However, one thing that is even more important is that the real issues are not as much with the fighting between Iraqis, but the influence of outside nations, such as Iran and Syria. I'm not saying anything that isn't public knowledge when I refer to the fact that our government has said that fighters and weapons are coming from Iran and Syria. We know this. Those two nations are quite threatened by the prospect of a free Iraq.

Iran- a predominantly Shia nation- and Syria- a predominantly Sunni nation- have a military pact with each other. The point? Shia and Sunni Muslims CAN work together. These outside influences are trying to keep Iraqis from living together peacefully.

Earlier this year, a very important Shia holy site was bombed, which sparked huge infighting between Shias and Sunnis. Some of you may have seen that we just caught the person who planned it- who also happens to be the number 2 Al Qaeda operative in Iraq. So, we have outsiders with the desire to see Sunnis and Shias fight each other because that makes it tougher for democracy to take place. This operation- Iraqi Freedom- is absolutely critical to the greater war on terror.

This afternoon, as I was walking around the FOB, I had this idea pop into my head: some day, I want to be able to take my wife to Iraq and see the historial sites. I want us to be able to walk around Baghdad. My dream is that some day Iraq will be like South Korea, Japan, or Germany; free countries... safe, prosperous and allied with like-minded nations.

I believe that the vast majority of Iraqis want the same thing. I wonder if we Americans want it enough? Do we really believe they (the Iraqis) are worth it? Do most Americans think the Iraqis are worth the sacrifice? I hope so. My faith tells me they are.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


You and I share the same goal. To go to Iraq and tour the historical sites. However, where the motivaton of many may be based more on nostalgia, mine will be because of the pride I have in the role our military and their support at home played in freeing that country from a brutal, and misguided dictatorship. As with anywhere in the world, evil is at the root of all conflict. Whether it be greed, power, or simple hatred or intolerance, all conflict throughout history comes back to evil. Democracy will prevail, and evil will target yet a different venue.
The people who think that by simply capturing Saddam, or gaining control of Iraq is enough are mis informed. Once the job in Iraq is under control, we will simply need to focus attention somewhere else (Syria? Iran? N. Korea?) Evil will never be defeated until Christ returns, but it can be contained and resisted.
We at home have tremendous pride in the part you are playng, and support ALL of our troops across the world and at home in their effort to suppress evil and those that promote it.

It is easy for people in the US to make assumptions based on the liberal media, and I urge them, as have you, to form their own opinion, not just regurgitate that of someone else. BUT DO THE RESEARCH! Don't just succomb to the "majority rule".
A quote from President Bush's state of the union speech this year.... "hindsight is not knowledge, and second-guessing is not a strategy". Those that think we should be in, out, and home should take note of that!

God Blesss, and stay the course my friend!!

Larry Ethell

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Kris Baudler said...

"Evil will never be defeated until Christ returns, but it can be contained and resisted."

You're quite right. The evil dictator needed to go: he had invaded another country, lied to his people, killed thousands,even tens of thousands, caused massive damage with his WMDs, imposed his way of life on a nation, usurped the laws of the land, spied on the common citizenry, squandered millions of dollars, failed to rebuild a nation, and even did it in the name of God. We tried to kick him out in 2004, but his corrupt political machine once again robbed the electorate of its rights. Unfortunately we're stuck with this jackass until 2004. So keep your head down, impeach Bush, and bring the troops home. Now.

4:02 PM  

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