Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
but as the war moved into the city and spread across its suburbs they have begun to accept weapons from the Syrian army and joined forces with Armenian groups to repel opposition guerrillas.
“Everybody is fighting everybody,” said George, an Armenian Christian from the city.
But Christian militia fighters told the Daily Telegraph it was they who had first attacked the FSA there.
“The FSA were hiding in Farhat Square in Jdeideh. The Church committees stormed in and cleansed the area. Then the Syrian army joined us. They claimed the victory on State television,” said George,
OP article posted
See, this is hardly "self-defense" and we shouldn't be condoning Christians getting involved in civil war in the forward operation sense. By taking weapons from the government they've chosen sides, and this is dangerous. By taking government weapons our people or no longer civilians, they are open combatants and in a war zone that makes them fair game to be targeted
THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT IS DANGEROUS ABOUT ARMING OURSELVES, WE MAKE OURSELVES TARGETS. If folks were arming themselves to protect themselves that would be one thing, but for folks to form government armed and sanctioned militias to go out and fight? Lord have His mercy, how can we support that?
Saddam and his fellow strong men across the region were hardly stupid men. They fully understood the tribal nature underlying the cultures and history of their 'nations' - mostly paper creations made by the west following Versailles and the end of the first war- and they exploited that history, with all of the blood feuds and jealousies inherent therein, in order to maintain power. Now that being said, one could argue that a century's worth of western miscalculation about the nature of those societies, the ability of 'democracy' as we understand it in the Greaco-Roman-Anglo context and capitalism to quickly transform those societies resulted in the stagnation in the development of a more modern sense of 'civitas' in the post world war two era. (Just to poke those of you who would think that this is unique to the mideast, I remind you of the false nations drawn onto the map of Europe following Versailles as well - one imploded with deadly consequences (Yugoslavia) while another (Czechoslovkia) failed as a state as well being at the vortex of the second world war and finally peacefully dissolving upon the lessening of the hand of political occupation by the Soviets.)
I think that the idealistic neo-Wilsonians who were the backbone of the so-called neo-conservatives could not get past the belief as first articulated in the west by Wilson that the grafting of our values onto that part of the world , coupled with selective military interventions, would somehow transform it more quickly and with less pain and suffering than the west itself endured as it transformed itself from a feudal, tribal set of competing cultures through the industrial revolution into our modern world. Frankly, if oil hadn't been so essential to the 20th century, I wonder if the west would have cared at all about Islam and that region.
Anyway, as the Bible tells us there is a time for war and a time for peace, and in the end it is the peacemakers who are blessed. Let us pray for all of the innocents caught in the maelstrom.
I'm not promoting a George Bush II style Democratization in the Arab world. I study Africa, and her history is parallel with Arab and Middle Eastern countries whose maps were arbitrarily drawn by Europeans. Further, I understand that "democracy" in the Western sense is incompatible with the cultures and climates and attitudes of such regions. Lord have His Mercy, I'm not quite sure its been working out too well in Europe or America either
However, my criticism is the sheer use of pure and lethal force to quell civil unrest and societal variation.
There are more culturally relevant mechanisms of negotiating, community development, and inclusion which can be implemented rather then simply crushing your opponents.
Saddam was not stupid, but he did make many criminal and genocidal evil mistakes, and he is dead and his country is in shambles because of it. Iraq survived the Iran war, and yet didn't survive its own civil war in the 2000s. Saddam had held to many pieces of the country together by force, in reality Haile Selassie's Ethiopia was very similar by the 1970s. However force was no HIM sole objective, as it was with other caudillos we find in the Arab world today. These folks are not just working within a cultural system of war-lords which they inherited, they are playing the game cruelly at that. We rightfully say you reap what you sow, and if you try to crush your own nation, even if divided they will temporarily unite to crush you. We as Christians need to then be even smarter about the long arc push and pull factors going on. We can't side with the strong man with sincere loyalty. For example, here in Syria we sided with them for years, and it worked out, fine and well, but NOW the situation has changed and we can see that it won't work. In Egypt it is the same. No one is saying they like the Brotherhood, but lets not kid ourselves, we didn't really like Saddam or Mubarek or Al-Assad either. We always knew they were crooks and war-criminals, we just looked the other way for our own security. These folks no longer provide our security, its time to reevaluate our strategy. This is no philosophical or political matter, this is a pragmatic reality, at this very moment people's live are on the line