I have been travelling in the Philippines where news of increased troop levels and warfare in Iraq reaches us. Although it has been many months since I was in Baghdad, where I listened to the stories of detainees, I have a clear image of the increased burden of violence. I imagine with horror the columns of military vehicles weaving their way in narrow streets where homes and storefronts of my friends' neighbourhoods abound.
‚ÄúDon't wait for the last judgment - it takes place every day‚Äù, remarked Albert Camus, the existentialist philosopher of life in the face of the absurd. An atheist himself, he also once challengingly declared: ‚ÄúWhat the world requires of the Christians is that they should continue to be Christians.‚Äù You don't get more theological than that.
The general secretary of the Church of the Brethren general board, Stanley J. Noffsinger, is among the first US Anabaptist leaders to respond to President Bush's recent speech about the Iraq conflict ‚Ä' with a call to make peace rather than war.
Peace and security in Iraq will not come from increased levels of US troops and more warring ‚Ä' it will be achieved only by diplomacy, political processes, reconciliation, and reconstruction, says leading Quaker agency the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).