US to encourage resistance in Baghdad
The US has said that it intends to surround Baghdad in the hope that its people will rise up against the regime, adopting in part an idea that was been suggested by Christians for avoiding war.
The encouragement of non-violent resistance by the Iraqi people was one of the options that was suggested by a delegation of US church leaders who met the Prime Minister in February. It has also been proposed by the theological think-tank Ekklesia as a strategy for removing Saddam Hussein from power without military action.
The church leaders from most of the main denominations in the USA urged amongst other things that the Iraqi leader be indicted for war crimes to undermine his authority, and that aid be given to the Iraqi people to demonstrate support for them by the West.
The strategy now being pursued by the US Government however is notably different in that it encourages spontaneous violence rather than more careful and planned resistance, which many leaves the Iraqi population more vulnerable.
David Coburn, a member of Christian Peacemaker teams, and a post-graduate in Peace Studies from Bradford University said; ìsuccessful non-violent resistance needs envisioning, training and discipline, or it can expose people to terrible attacks.î