One Dictator is Dead, by the new year Three thousand US military will be dead.

Tonight, December 29th, reports are that in Iraq 2996 US military deaths have occured. By the new year that number will likely have risen to 3000.

Tonight, December 29th, reports confirm that
Saddam Hussein has been hanged.

While Anglican Church leaders need not comment on either of these realities and perhaps their relative powerlessness makes it unnecesary to do so. Still, we know that the televangelists will produce some commentary on the execution of Saddam Hussein, so it might be useful to say something.

And about the 3000, what is to be said?

So, at the risk of being damned by silence, let me say that Saddam Hussein's death is on our heads, as is the death of the 3000, the wounding of over 22,000, and the deaths of many thousands of Iraqi citizens.

This matter makes our moral mutterings about this or that way of loving one another, the blessing of people, the proper sorts of persons to be parents, and a wide variety of so called moral issues less than inspiring.


  1. My memory is that the draft constitution produced for Iraq by British and American scholars explicitly forbade the death penalty. The Iraqi's insisted, on Islamic grounds, that the draft be changed. So, while I am not happy about the execution, I have a hard time taking that much responsibility for it.

    While I think the decision to go into Iraq was an error, it is difficult for me to think that leaving him in place would have been a moral act. I keep thinking there should be a better way -- some sort of international standard beyound which the world has to intervene. ;;sigh;; I suppose that is not gonna happen.

    I also think we need to get out of the surrogate business. Mr. Hussain caused the death of thousands of Iranians with the collaberation of the Reagan adminestration.

    One wonders at times why God bothers with mankind. I am in that bleak place this evening.


  2. Peace on Earth seems ever so far away this Fifth Day of Christmas ... and yet, our prayers rise as incense into the bleak midwinter night ...

    Eternal God, Creator of the universe, there is no God but You.
    Great and wonderful are Your works, wondrous are your ways.
    Thank You for the many splendoured variety of Your creation.
    Thank You for the many ways we affirm Your presence and purpose,
    and the freedom to do so.
    Forgive our violation of Your creation.
    Forgive our violence toward each other.
    We stand in awe and gratitude for Your persistent love
    for each and all of Your children:
    Christian, Jew, Muslim, as well as those with other faiths.
    Grant to all and our leaders attributes of the strong;
    mutual respect in words and deed,
    restraint in the exercise of power,
    and the will for peace with justice, for all.
    Eternal God, Creator of the universe, there is no God but You.

    (Iraq Peace Prayer from the World Council of Churches website)

  3. Desi at Miaculpa.blogspot.com said that we had already hit the 11 September 2001 number of US personnel deaths on Christmas Day. It is really hard to keep track because AP figures lag a day or two behind the military figures.

    May God have mercy on us all.

  4. The death of Sadam Hussein was a just act of retributive justice for the hundreds of thousands that died at his orders.

    I do not rejoice in his death, but I believe that killing him took him seriously as a moral actor and were in proportion to the crimes he committed.

    If we had left him alive and some people had engineered his release (probably by force) and he returned to power, what would you say to the mothers and sons and daughters and fathers of the thousands that would die at his hands in the future?

    Phil Snyder

  5. Mark Harris: "...and the deaths of many thousands of Iraqi citizens."

    we do not know precisely how many Iraqi citizens were killed, we can only estimate. our military refuses to count. this is a form of deliberate ignorance. on the Day of Judgment, God will judge those the perpetrators, as well as those who suborned them. let us call our leaders to account, and not be numbered among the latter category.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.