April 29, 2004

Muqtada al-Sadr warns of suicide bombers

As a 21st Century American, I personally can’t imagine why any human being would want to take his/her life in order to kill other human beings, much less order others to do so. So, I conducted an informal survey here at The Big Needle (Pine Needle Retirement Home). I asked residents these two questions.
1. Does it seem normal to you that one person would be willing to kill himself or herself in order that others he or she does not like would also be killed?
2. Would you be able to do such a thing?
Some residents refused to answer the questions. One even said, “You’re crazy! What kind of idiotic questions are these? Why would I want to consider answering them? Go away!”

But, the resident was right. I am, at this point in time, willing to concede that a fundamental difference between our Christian religious practice and culture and Islamic religious practice and culture is that the Muslim religion finds a place for such an ignominious exercise. In the West, suicide is considered sinful. On the other hand, though a fundamental Christian would find a suicide bombing to be unacceptable, our invasion of Iraq and the subsequent deaths of 10,000 women and children is acceptable. In some indirect and barely discernible way this last translates into the lack of forethought on the part of Mr. Bush, his cabinet, congress, and many of us ordinary citizens in the USA concerning the invasion of Iraq. Religious enthusiasm prevents rational thought, and our invasion of Iraq is the proof of the statement. Additionally the over 700 deaths of American armed forces personnel, the standoff at Najaf, Karbala, Falluga, and other cities in Iraq, and al-Sadr’s threat of suicide bombers is the direct result of our lack of forethought.

Should we be able to prevent a second term in office for Mr. Bush, Senator Kerry’s first point of order will be how to resolve the question of Iraq? For the rest of us, we must resolve the following quandaries. What if any lessons did we learn in Vietnam? Have we gained new wisdom in Iraq? Finally, how do we prevent such arrogance on our part in the future since we have failed to do so two times within the past half century?

"Iraqi Cleric Warns US Against Attacking Najaf"AOL News,4/22/04, 5:22 AM EDT (viewed 5/22/04, 10:32 A.M. EDT)

* “Today’s News Photos,” Al-Jazeerah, http://aljazeerah.com, July 24-26, 2003 (visited on April 28, 2004, 10:02 P.M.)

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