Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

3/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We need to seriously examine the Second Iraq War in order to learn its lessons

Before the intervention on March 19, 2003, I disturbed some colleagues and friends by publicly opposing intervention in what came to be called Iraq II. I had supported the first intervention in Iraq, after the Kuwaitis requested our assistance against an unjust aggressor named Saddam Hussein.  However, in light of the teaching of the Catholic Church, and based upon my own efforts to inform my conscience by it, I opposed the Second Iraq War. I even contributed a chapter to a book dedicated to such opposition.

Iraqi Christians face extraordinary dangers ten years after the intervention in Iraq

Iraqi Christians face extraordinary dangers ten years after the intervention in Iraq

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/21/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Iraq War, shock and awe, Iraq II, Invasion of Iraq, George Bush, Barrack Obama, neoconservative, Iraqi conflict, Iraq anniversary, just war, Deacon Keith Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Tuesday, March 19, 2013 brought the joyous celebration of the installation of Pope Francis in Rome. Like many Christians who write on daily news events from a perspective of faith, I was delighted to have such a joyous occasion to write about. 

However, March 19, 2013 brought another historic event to mind. An event which must be seriously reconsidered - and from which we must learn the lessons which desperately need to be learned. It marked the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the US intervention in Iraq referred to as the Second Iraq War. Fifty six people were killed in a series of deadly bombings in Baghdad and beyond. The violence and the consequences of the intervention ten years ago continue. 

Reports filled the media commemorating the ten year Anniversary of the Second Iraqi conflict. One of them, entitled People turned on Christians': Persecuted Iraqi minority reflects on life after Saddam  touched upon one of the underreported stories of the Iraq War, the dramatic increase in the persecution of Christians in Iraq since the US intervention ten years ago. I, along with others at Catholic Online have written numerous articles seeking to call attention to our persecuted Christian brethren in Iraq. Their plight has grown worse since the intervention on March 19, 2003. 

Before the intervention on March 19, 2003, I disturbed some colleagues and friends by publicly opposing intervention in what came to be called Iraq II. I had supported the first intervention in Iraq, after the Kuwaitis requested our assistance against an unjust aggressor named Saddam Hussein.  However, in light of the teaching of the Catholic Church, and based upon my own efforts to inform my conscience by it, I opposed the Second Iraq War. I even contributed a chapter to a book dedicated to such opposition.

I concluded back then that the decision to engage in what was called a pre-emptive war with Iraq failed to meet the conditions, commonly referred to as the Just War theory, summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2309):

"the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain; all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective; there must be serious prospects of success; the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated."

"The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine. The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good."

I also came to the conclusion that the very notion of a pre-emptive war was antithetical to this analysis. The determination as to whether any war can be justified is rooted in the broader understanding of self defense. The entry of the United States into Iraq on March 19, 2003 was not an act of self defense. Neither was it a legitimate response to the horror unleashed against our Nation on September 11, 2001.

In spite of what some sincere Catholics - whom I respected - sought to say back then, the leaders of the Catholic Church were overwhelming in their unified opposition to beginning the Second Iraq war. They were unanimous in their conviction that no attack was imminent, and, as a result, war was far from justifiable.

Deep reservations were raised by numerous Bishops' Councils; then Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State; Cardinal Martino, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; and most ardently by Blessed John Paul II, the Holy Father back then, who clearly stated that not only was war a human failure but that specific war was unjustified.

After the intervention, as time progressed, my opposition became moot. The War had become such a debacle and the brave men and women of our heroic Armed Forces deserved our unflagging support. Those who initially supported the second Iraq war and those who opposed it, agreed that we could not abandon the Iraqi people in their great hour of need. The Holy See expressed its continuing concern for the people of Iraq after the intervention.

However, looking back, ten years later, we need to seriously examine the Second Iraq War in order to learn its lessons. On the day of the tenth anniversary Brown University released the results of its Cost of War Project. As we pause and consider the anniversary, we need to be aware of some of these startling statistics:

$2.2 trillion - The cost of the Iraq War, including cost related to caring for veterans. Initial estimates were $50-60 billion.

$500 billion - The cost of caring for Iraq War veterans through 2053.

134,000 - The number of Iraqi civilians who died of direct war violence. That number is about 70 percent of total war deaths.

4,488 - The number of U.S. service members killed in Iraq.

3,400 - The number of U.S. contractors killed in Iraq.

231 - The number of journalists killed in Iraq. 62 humanitarian aid workers have also died.

$60 billion - The amount spent, so far, on reconstruction in Iraq.

2.8 million - People displaced from their homes by Iraq War.

13,500 - Contractors, most serving as security personnel, still in Iraq

2.5 million - The number of U.S. service people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Most have served more than one tour.

106,000 - The number of U.S. service members wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan

750,000 - Disability claims approved by the Veterans Administration related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

38 - The number per 100,000 of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans using VA health care that have committed suicide, compared with 11.5 deaths per 100,000 for the general public.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Middle East

(WARNING: Graphic Photos) ISIS throws another 'gay' man off rooftop to die Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has, once again, resorted to throwing a man to his death off a high building. With a large crowd witnessing the procedures, the Islamic State carries out a guilty charge to a man accused of being a "child of lot." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Destroying culture: New Islamic State video shows priceless statues beheaded Watch

Image of The five-minute video shows men going at statue after statue, knocking them to the ground and destroying them with sledgehammers and jackhammers.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In another atrocity perpetrated against world history and culture, members of Islamic State are shown destroying priceless works of art in a museum in Mosul, Iraq. Some statues are beheaded in the manner of IS' squirming victims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


ISIS' leading man, the masked Jihadi John's true identity revealed Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The man behind the mask in brutal ISIS execution videos, known as Jihadi John, is assumed to be a British man named Mohammed Emwazi. Jihadi John appears in the beheading videos of American hostages, James Foley and Steven Sotloff and Britan hostages, Alan Henning and ... continue reading


Islamic State butchers 15 captured Christians, calls for Muslims to watch murder of 350 more Watch

Image of Islamic State fighters captured almost 400 Syrian Christians, and are reported to have executed 15.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New reports from Syria reveal that the Islamic State may have murdered 15 of the more than 300 Christians it had captured earlier this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Catholic humanitarian group, Aid to the Church in Need, issued a report that the 15 of ... continue reading


Saudi Arabian man sentenced to death after rebelliously tearing up copy of Koran Watch

Image of Protesters simulate a flogging in front of the Saudi embassy in Washington DC in protest against the 10-year prison sentence given to a blogger.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saudi Arabia has long been a friend to the United States and its allies, a very important hedge against militant Islamist groups and nations in the Middle East. This alignment does have limits - Western diplomats are expected to address the kingdom's many human ... continue reading


ISIS kidnaps 90 Christians from Assyrian villages Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

ISIS has kidnapped at least 90 Christians - mainly women and children - from their homes after launching dawn raids on Assyrian villages. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The ISIS fighters bust past a few men guarding the village of Tal Shamiram around 4 a.m. (9 ... continue reading


TRAPPED FOREVER: A first hand account on the horrific daily life in ISIS' terror captial, Raqqa Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Forced blood donations, daily executions, airstrikes and forced marriages are just a few things those stuck in ISIS' capital city, Raqqa experience. Getting in with ISIS is not the hard part; getting out alive is impossible. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Abu ... continue reading


Young Iraqi Christian's unexpected plans for ISIS will leave you stunned Watch

Image of Young Persecuted Christian's remain in good spirit despite losing everything.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Every day a Christian is persecuted or murdered at the hands of ISIS. Every day someone is forced to run from their homes in Iraq or Syria. It doesn't matter if it is a child or an adult; ISIS doesn't care. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Being uprooted and forced ... continue reading


'Coming to a mall near you' Islamic State threatens shopping malls and other public places around the world Watch

Image of Groups swearing fealty to the Islamic State have sprung up in North Africa and other Middle Eastern nations.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Islamic State is not a problem for Syria, Iraq or their neighbors. Its reach has spread, with affiliated groups popping up in northern Africa and lone wolves operating on its behalf in Europe and North America, and it now poses a massive threat to the West. ... continue reading


CHILLING VIDEO surfaces of children being indoctrinated into Islamic State's World of Hate Watch

Image of The nine-minute video posted online depicts camouflage-clad boys standing in formation and obeying the commands of a militant teacher.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In yet another shocking video, Islamic State has now released yet another propaganda video showing boys as young as five being indoctrinated at military-style training camp for "cubs." Seen as a "public reaction" ploy by the terror group, children are shown ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
4 I pleaded with Yahweh my God and made this ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 116:10, 15, 16-17, 18-19
15 Costly in Yahweh's sight is the death of his ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 9:2-10
2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James ... Read More

Reading 2, Romans 8:31-34
31 After saying this, what can we add? If God is for ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 1st, 2015 Image

St. David
March 1: According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter