Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 22, 2007
Catholic leaders oppose U.S. escalation in Iraq
Expanded U.S. military action in Iraq will bring only more violence and bloodshed, will not end the conflict and will further destabilize that country and the region, said the heads of 13 Catholic organizations.
In a joint statement, the organizations said "the escalation of military presence" in a nation that finds itself in the midst of a civil war is "detrimental" to those in the armed forces, to the Iraqi people and others in the region, to the desires of U.S. citizens and to the economic future of the United States.
"We oppose the proposed escalation of U.S. troops in Iraq, noting that prior escalations have not resulted in increased peace and stability," the Catholic leaders said.
They noted troop escalations in late 2006 "resulted in increased violence and death for both U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians.
"Military action only brings more violence and bloodshed and no end to this conflict," the leaders said.
Groups backing the statement included the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Pax Christi USA, various Catholic justice and peace organizations and representatives of some religious orders.
The statement was issued in the aftermath of U.S. President George W. Bush's new plan to send more soldiers to Iraq.
Fuelling the strife
Claiming that their response to the Bush administration initiative is based upon the Gospel call "to be people of peace and to love our enemies," the 13 leaders stressed that political and economic issues are "fueling the continuing strife.
"Only solutions that combine the political, diplomatic, economic and religious issues Iraqis face will effectively resolve the underlying conflict and bring peace to Iraq.
"A surge of diplomacy, not an escalation of troops, is what is required," they said.
(© Catholic Online 2007, www.catholic.org)