WAR IS THE HEALTH OF THE STATE.
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Earlier today, B-52 bombers loaded with cruise missiles took off from England headed towards
Serbia. As this is being published to the internet, bombs are falling upon Serbia. Think how this
will benefit our economy! Those cruise missiles aren't cheap, if we manage to blow up a bunch
of them, their makers' profits will increase. Their stock price will climb. If an airplane is
destroyed, it must be replaced. The stockholders of these corporations will receive larger
dividends, they will pay more taxes, payrolls will increase, political contributions will flow into
the coffers of the Democratic and Republican parties. The Gross National Product will climb.
Everybody benefits -- except, of course, those who are dead. But don't worry, if people are
killed, nothing is deducted from the Gross National Product, nor from the profit margins of the
munitions corporations, nor from the campaign bank accounts of the Democrats and the
Republicans. The citizens will go about their normal business, nobody will much care that our
bombs are raining down upon another nation (except for the loved ones of those our leaders have
so cynically sent into harms way). To those who measure and count, dead babies are "collateral
damage," and don't show up on anybody's bank accounts.
Daily we are reminded of the utter moral bankruptcy of the regime in Washington, D.C.
President Clinton is shaping up as one of the all-time butchers that have led this Republic. He
does not shrink in his pursuit of political opportunity from demonizing the weak, the powerless,
the ones who do not give him campaign contributions or money to pay his legal bills. His
Republican allies posture as "pro-life," while advocating murderous policies that oppress and kill
the poor. The blood of the numerous victims of our bi-partisan foreign and domestic policies
cries out from across the world for justice.
Is there an alternative to war? The politicians say NO! WE ARE BEING FORCED TO DO
THIS! Which, of course, is what they always say. They will not admit that their own lust for
power and profit has brought us to this bitter day. They will not open our doors to receive the
Kosovar Albanians as refugees -- "we the people" would whine. Politicians would rant about
the dependency of the poor and the disincentives of welfare, while voting ever larger welfare
subsidies for the same transnational corporations that are already making profits on our
aggressive worldwide military posture.
We the people praise and defend those who murder the poor -- we turn our eyes away from the
blood dripping from the hands of our leaders, we care only that the "good times are rolling" and
that we, personally, are benefitting from the murderous policies of our government. How many
more innocent children will we sacrifice on the idolatrous altars of complacency and good times
before we demand that this madness cease? The only political "choice" in United States politics
is between two deep and appalling evils.
But God will not be mocked forever. "When all the prisoners in a country are crushed underfoot,
when human rights are overridden in defiance of the Most High, when someone is cheated of
justice, does not the Lord see it?" (Lamentations 3:34-36)
We who are citizens of a mighty and cruel military empire should be afraid of these events. The
more injustices we commit, the sooner the judgement of God will fall upon us. God casts down
the mighty, we read in Holy Scripture -- and who are the mighty these days? God punishes
those who oppress the poor -- and who oppresses the poor these days? God confounds the
proud and the arrogant -- and who are the proud and the arrogant these days?
If we do not turn from our sin, and call to God for forgiveness, and cease to do wickedness, God
will destroy the United States.
We will fall onto the ash heap of history, driven there in our own new cars by the inevitable
outcomes of our deceit, pride, murder, and oppression of the poor. Animals and birds will nest in
the national capitol, rubble and bones will fill the streets, our proud highways will be broken by
time and erosion, books and libraries will burn and crumble into dust, the internet will vanish,
blood will flow in the streets.
This is the place that our leaders are taking us. And when it comes upon us, we have no one to
blame but ourselves. We are the ones who voted for these people. We are the ones who steal the
food stamps from the hands of the poor. We are the ones whose taxes bought the bombs and the
poison gas and the nuclear weapons. We are the ones who defend those who trash the poor. We
are the ones who support dictators and teach their military officers to violate human rights. We
are the ones who close our borders to refugees. Each time we reject the good and embrace the
bad, we vote for the destruction of our own nation.
Of course, even though this kind of collapse has happened in many other times and places, we
think it can't happen here. We are too smart, too rich, We Are The Americans! God is on OUR
side! (NOT!) We are like ancient Israel, who sang, "The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the
Lord, nothing can harm us, the overwhelming scourge will pass us by." But when push came to
shove and the Babylonians were before the City gates, God turned his face from their cries and
allowed the destiny they had asked for from the moment they turned away from God's laws to
fall upon them. The glorious Temple of Solomon was destroyed, the palace was plundered, and
thousands were led away as slaves and captives into exile.
"God roars from on high, he thunders from his holy dwelling-place,
loudly he roars at his own fold, shouts aloud like those who tread the grape
at all the inhabitants of the land.
"The noise resounds to the remotest parts of the earth,
For God is indicting the nations,
arraigning all humanity for judgement;
the wicked he assigns to the sword, God declares.
"The Lord God says this:
Look, disaster is spreading
from nation to nation,
a mighty tempest is rising
from the far ends of the earth.
I have just listened to the words of our President on the radio. He cloaks himself in
righteousness, claims that "everybody is doing it," and justifies our evil by the evil of others.
"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," he rants, "Murder and kill in the name of
goodness and mercy. War is peace and slavery is freedom!"
Woe to the wicked, it will go ill with him,
for he will be treated as his actions deserve.
O my people, their oppressors pillage them
and extortioners rule over them!
O my people, your rulers mislead you
and efface the paths you ought to follow!
God has risen to accuse,
is standing to pass judgement on the people.
God is about to try the elders and the princes of his people,
'You are the ones who have ravaged the vineyard,
the spoils of the poor are in your houses.
By what right do you crush my people
and grind the faces of the poor?'
Says the Lord God Sabaoth.
Robert Waldrop, Justpeace Webservant
on the remembrance of the martyrdom of Oscar Romero, AD 1999
Let us pray:
Our Lady of Sorrows,
We pray today for all those who may die
this week because of war and economic chaos,
especially the children.
Prepare them for the agony, despair,
and terror of the violence that is upon them.
Comfort them and
hold them close to the bosom of
thy most Immaculate Heart
as they drink deeply of the bitter cup
which is forced upon them.
Wipe their tears, calm their fears,
welcome them to peace and safety.
Eternal rest grant to them,
and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May all rise in judgment against the
the wickedness that brings this violence
upon the world.
Overturn the thrones of tyranny,
scatter the unjust,
judge the bloody rulers who make the
cry of the widow and orphan rise to heaven
with the same mercy they have shown to the poor.
Give us your grace and strength to
stand against the demonic powers
which prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Grant that peace with justice
will come to all the world. Amen.
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