Justice, Politics, Religion

Progressives of Faith Step Up on Iraq

On Monday,

The Union for Reform Judaism’s Executive Committee […] overwhelmingly adopted a resolution opposing the escalation in troops in the War in Iraq and calling on President Bush to set and announce a specific timetable for the phased withdrawal of troops.
The vote of the 80-member Executive Committee, which includes representatives of the 900 Reform congregations and all affiliate bodies of the Movement, came 15 months after the Reform Movement’s vote to urge the President to begin the phased withdrawal of troops.

Read the full press release here. A PDF of the resolution is here.


Tomorrow, 3,500 Christian leaders from 48 states will gather in Washington, DC to pray for peace and to call for an end to the Iraq War. 700 are expected to risk arrest by staging a pray-in around the White House. More details at Christian Peace Witness for Iraq.
Now, if the URJ would get 3,500 Reform leaders to show up for an act of civil disobedience in DC…

Arthur Waskow looks at why North American Jewish organizations, by and large, are remaining mum on Iraq despite the overwhelming consensus within the Jewish community against the war.

11 thoughts on “Progressives of Faith Step Up on Iraq

  1. Too little, too late. I have yet to see the URJ confess their sins in public, namely accepting the Bush lies to start the war. John Edwards has apologized and admitted he was wrong; the URJ is taking the cowards path, admitting no error and just changing with the times.
    How about some teshuva for endorsing the war and then spending years on the sidelines folks?

  2. I don’t get why the escalation is the target of so many anti-war folks’ ire when the escalation is one of the few affirmative ideas anyone has had for trying to put an end to the war. One of the Bush team’s greatest faults–among many, many faults–has been their arrogance and unwillingness to admit mistakes. The escalation represents a rare instance where they’ve actually acknowledged that they’re doing something wrong (trying to put out a fire with too few firefighters) and sought to correct it (by sending more firefighters to battle the blaze). Perhaps it’s too little too late, but I believe that it has a far greater chance of bringing peace than simply pulling out our troops.
    I believe the Iraq war has been a travesty and that the Bush team is almost entirely to blame. But it really seems that many anti-war folks are so consumed with Bush hatred that the only thing they know how to do is to oppose anything Bush proposes–even when it may be the right thing. A phased withdrawal is not a plan for ending the war. It’s a plan for abandoning the war. I’m equally annoyed by all the “stay the course” BS that comes from right without an accompanying plan for ending the war, and it pains me every time I read about another US soldier or innocent Iraqi killed or maimed. But I also firmly believe that if we pull out our troops without a real internationally-backed plan for what comes next, all we’re going to do is see the true evil of which the various Iraqi sectarian forces are capable as they rip their once-beautiful country to shreds.
    At this point the US military’s mission is not war against an enemy (no matter what Bush calls it), but a peacekeeping mission. And until somebody shows me a plausible plan for how the peace will be kept in our absence, I believe we need more–not less–US peacekeepers.

  3. Our arrogance and invasion caused the war. Our earnest desire to make teshuvah and exit Iraq are preconditions for ending it. This is a case where the US has failed, utterly and completely, and the effort to somehow end on a positive note will only make it worse. It just needs to end.

  4. It just needs to end.

    This is exactly the kind of position I don’t understand. I too wish the whole thing would just go away. I also agree that U.S. (namely, Bushite) arrogance is the number one cause of the U.S.’s current predicament in Iraq, and that the war has been a miserable failure. But do you really believe that by pulling out our troops the war will end? It certainly won’t end for the Iraqis.
    Seriously, is there a plan for bringing peace to Iraq following a US pullout? Or are we just hoping that by cementing Bush’s failure once and for all, suddently all the anti-Bush people of the world will unite in triumph, with the Mahdi Army and Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Baathists finally seeing the errors of their ways and learning to love each other as brothers? Or perhaps the pro-pullout crowd is simply content to sit back and watch Iraqis slaughter each other?
    I generally don’t consider myself a hawk or a conservative and I certainly never voted for Bush, but I do consider myself a realist. There may be a good post-pullout plan, and I just haven’t seen it. But everything I have seen and heard from the “progressive” camp (with whom I usually agree) seems far more focused on washing our hands of our leaders’ wrongs rather than on truly ending the war or bringing peace to Iraq. And what kind of “progress” is that?

  5. whatever you thought about going in. it’s immoral to leave. as with vietnam it is only the troops and their families committed to keeping peace in iraq that are truly concerned about compassion for humanity. for many politicians and armchair quarterbacks in america they feel no compunction about leaving iraqis alone and in the dirt, but ask a vietnam veteran how devestated he was about abandoning the vietnamese. americans have many opinions, but it might be nice if they listened to the people in the fray instead of bloggers, politicos and talking heads on tv. then they might understand true compassion is not about carrying around a placard with a peace sign.
    peace is not the absence of war.- spinoza

  6. Hmmm… I’m guilty of being overly righteous and moralizing. And I’m definitely not in the ‘realist’ camp. Maybe this will make it more clear…
    I don’t care too much about what happens with Iraq, except for three outcomes.
    1. I want US power eroded throughout the world, because I think it is, on balance, the main cause of war and suffering in the world.
    2. I want Iraqi oil, and Middle East oil in general, to be truly owned by the peoples of that part of the world and not by the US, directly or indirectly.
    3. I don’t want the US to present a live target in the Middle East, as this will reduce the tension that produces more jihadis and terrorists. Iraq is now a factory for the production of terrorists, fueled by US occupation.
    Of course, I would like to see peace and human rights in Iraq as soon as possible too, but I see the goals above as preconditions.

  7. well Jew Guevara you’ve staked out a pretty clear (and odious) position:
    erosion of US power at all costs; to hell with the lives of innocent Iraqis.
    (peace, freedom and human rights for the Iraqi people would be nice fringe benefits if they ever materialize, but are not the real goals.)

  8. you oppose US power because it is the cause of suffering in the world, and yet you would cause even more suffering in the world in an effort to end US power.
    that, my friend, makes no sense at all.

  9. If you don’t see US power as a primary source of harm in the world, then why would you accept sacrifices in the struggle to reduce it? While I disagree with most of what radical Islamists stand for, on the principle matter of kicking the US out of the Middle East, I agree with them. The US has had soldiers and authority in the ME without any deep connection to what their political mood was at the time. We invaded, occupied, and propped up odious regimes from the 50s onward, because we replaced the British and French as an imperial power.
    Time for teshuva, Americans. End your empire. God punishes arrogant, unaccountable power.

  10. Evangelical Christians attack use of torture by US:

    The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), which represents about 45,000 churches across America, endorsed a declaration against torture drafted by 17 evangelical scholars. The authors, who call themselves Evangelicals for Human Rights and campaign for “zero tolerance” on torture, say that the US administration has crossed “boundaries of what is legally and morally permissible” in the treatment of detainees.

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