Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Iraq: How would Jesus leave?

In a brief diversion from ecclesiastical trials and tribulations, my mind had returned to a question I have often mulled over as the presidential campaigns of various Republicans and Democrats continues, with Iraq as the centerpiece. Let us assume that invading Iraq in the first place was a mistake, that our presence there is at best neutral (we're both provoking insurgency and also preventing it), and that we are headed for a pullout of our troops. Attempting, as with the ecclesiastical turmoil, to be both present and non-anxious, my question is: how might we leave in a way that both admits that, in a profound understatement, "mistakes were made" but also doesn't simply wash our hands of the troubles in Iraq? While I believe that we should leave Iraq, it hardly seems like anything but cowardice for us to simply say "Ooops, we made a mistake. Hope you can clean it up!" as we fly and float away, licking our wounds.

So, I'm wondering how, in the Christian sense, we might align our will with God's will and use this whole situation for good while not perpetuating the problem by remaining in Iraq one second longer than our presence is beneficial. I don't have the answer to that question, and probably don't have even a tenth of the information to even speculate, but I haven't heard the question posed by any of the candidates running for President. I would think that such a holistic departure plan, with or without a time-line, would seem prudent given the current political environment.

So, in other words, the question is: How would Jesus leave? How would Jesus have us leave?

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