Column/Where’s the peace?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 7, 2006

We are celebrating this month an event that was arguably the single most significant in human history – the birth of Jesus.

In celebration of that birth, angels gave a message that is the hope of every person on the planet – “And on earth, peace, goodwill to men.”

Here we are, more than 2,000 years later. Jesus came. He gave us lessons for life. In fact, he gave us the outline to follow in order to have peace.

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Yet, human nature being what it is, we can’t seem to get there.

On Wednesday, a commission gave an assessment of Iraq, noting that President Bush’s policies were not working.

That’s being reported as if it’s news.

Who didn’t know that the policies weren’t working?

The Associated Press reported that “after nearly four years of war and the deaths of more than 2,900 U.S. troops, the situation is ‘grave and deteriorating’ and the United States’ ability ‘to influence events within Iraq is diminishing,'” the commission warned.

According to AP, the report said Bush should engage Syria and Iran (a member of the “axis of evil”) in helping secure the situation in Iraq.

And the report calls for slow withdrawal of troops.

What’s been interesting is listening to political pundits on television. Everyone wants to say we’re not “winning” the war in Iraq.

Or, they ask what would it take to “win” the war in Iraq.

I think the first thing our elected officials should do is acknowledge that there is no “winning” when it comes to war.

It’s like a family going to court against one another.

Sure, the judge will eventually rule in favor of one party, but does that mean they “win?” If the family is irreparably damaged and split, then the answer is “no.”

Nobody wins in that type of situation.

Same with war.

Yes, one side will have control over the other, but does that justify the lives lost in the conflict? Or does it mean those soldiers died for a cause – because we won and the other side lost?

The idea of “peace on earth and goodwill to men” takes on a different meaning when we enter the holiday season with soldiers in harm’s way.

You know the question, “What would Jesus do?”

The answer has already been provided for us. It’s just too tough – too contrary to human nature – to practice what He preached:

“Turn the other cheek.”

“Anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.”

“If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Already 2,900 soldiers have given their lives for this conflict – almost the same number of civilians who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Ask an American who has a son, daughter or loved one

in Iraq what “winning” the war would mean for them.

Winning for the family of a soldier simply means that

individual comes back home – alive, and mentally and physically whole.

Not one more casualty.

That would be a victory.

Tammy Leytham is editor of The Selma Times-Journal.