Eli McCarthy, Justice & Peace Director for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men’s Religious Congregations gives us an action alert: call our Members of Congress to oppose military intervention in Iraq, and support diplomatic efforts to resolve the roots of the conflict instead. President Obama said he is prepared to use “targeted and precise” military strikes in Iraq to combat the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Sending of 300 military advisors and conducting ramped-up intelligence and surveillance operations, lays the groundwork for U.S. military strikes. But military strikes will not address the root causes of the conflict–Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki’s alienation of Sunni and Kurdish communities. Military strikes in support of the Maliki government would almost certainly further inflame tensions. While there are no easy solutions to the current crisis in Iraq, the U.S. should support diplomatic efforts with all states in the region. We should involve all Iraqi groups that address the concerns of all of Iraq’s communities, rather than favoring one group over another. We should also provide resources to address the growing humanitarian crisis in Iraq: the UN estimates more than 650,000 people have fled in the last two weeks as a result of the violence. Eli McCarthy encourages us to reflect on 2 Corinthians 5:18, which reminds us God “reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” One part of our calling as followers of Christ is to work for reconciliation in situations of brokenness.
Daryl Charron, C.PP.S.