"Four years after the US-led invasion, the ICRC says the conflict is inflicting immense suffering, and calls for greater protection of civilians Women found it "simply unbearable" to confront their children with the (dead bodies) morning after morning as they tried to take them to school The Red Cross says every aspect of life in Iraq is getting worse - a trip to the market has become a matter of life and death."
"Iraqis Face 'Immense' Suffering," BBC World News Online April 11, 2007
There can be no victory when the price of it is the suffering and death of countless thousands of human beings who are the 'collateral damage' of that victory.
There can be no security, when the hearts of many more explode with grief, rage, despair, and helplessness, accompanied by a desire to do whatever is necessary to rid the country of the 'oppressor'.
All that is holy cries out at the disregard for individual human life by all sides engaged in this conflict so that precious life becomes merely an expenditure that is the price of war, if it is added up at all. The heart cries out for more responsibility to be taken for the place of purity and sanctity within the human heart to prevail against the forces of darkness that inflame and justify so many deaths, so much carnage, so much loss.
If it were possible to hear its voice, we would hear the earth herself crying out in protest, crying out at the death of innocents, at the flimsy justification of the destruction of one group by another, of the action of Cain against Abel. We would hear the earth cry out and the heavens as well, for these are not actions taken as a result of Divine ordination. These are actions taken from the place of darkness that resides within the human breast that can look away from the bodies lying in the streets, from the refugees fleeing their homes, from the children who suddenly and often in the presence of spilt blood, become orphans. Except in the very largest sense in which everything, including darkness, exists within God, these are actions and a path of destruction that are being initiated from the darkness as it gains hold of human consciousness, and that can only be eliminated and brought to an end by the advent of greater light.
Let us pray for that light to arrive quickly so that not another soul dies at the hands of an unseen explosive device in the road or at the hands of what looked like another shopper who blew herself up in a crowded market. Let us pray for the light to arrive so that the fuel that gives rise to hatred and paranoia, to the need to destroy in order to 'protect', dries up this fuel that the forces of darkness are so good at replenishing.
Let us pray that what we witness today shall have no place in tomorrow, and that the heart-wrenching drama of human catastrophe will finally come to an end, everywhere.
And in all of our prayers, let us bear in mind that what we do, think, say, has an effect upon what happens at a distance. We make a difference to this sorrow by holding it as our own. We make a difference to this balance of light and darkness by holding light and love within our hearts and acting from this foundation. When we refuse to turn away from either the sorrow or the light, but remain steadfast in our trust and our hope, we help to bring forward the light that will redeem the darkness and bring peace to the earth.