Yesterday marked the 10-year anniversary of the US-led invasion into Saddam’s Iraq, the first movements of the “shock-and-awe” campaign.
Last night, we prayed with our three boys for the Iraqis. Explaining war to kids is on one hand easy – they see it in all their Power Rangers and Bakugan shows; it’s surprising how normal war is in juvenile imagination. But on the other hand it’s hard to explain it in a way that’s not cartoonish, in a way that compels compassion rather than “coolness”. I’d like to think they understood as we prayed for the kids who were maimed, who lost their parents, and who still live without much safety and security. I was both encouraged and yet disturbed to be teaching my kids to pray for the Iraqis.
But what has disturbed me more has been the paucity of public Christian reflection on the Iraq War – 10 years later. Understandably, it’s hard not to talk about the war without jumping for the political hoop. War is political. But considering how American Christians felt about the war 10 years ago. Considering that 4,500 US soldiers, 3,500 US contractors, and 134,000 Iraqis (70% civilian) were killed. And considering just how much of our public consciousness has been about Iraq over the last 10 years, you’d think that there’d be more to be said and done.
How has the Iraq War affected how we, as American Christians think about and support or protest war? Our relationship with the government?
What responsibility do we feel for the growing persecution of Christians in Iraq since the war?
How does the present situation in Iraq call us to be act, even with grave risk as ambassadors of Christ, and not of any government?
I have little idea because of the lack of public reflection by Christian leaders, theologians, journalists, or even veterans. Check your Facebook and Twitter from yesterday. Check out Christianity Today or whatever source of Christian thought and news. There is little to nothing to nothing.