The Things That Make for Peace

As [Jesus] came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!" —Luke 19:41

The war with Iraq was justified mainly on the basis of fear. Trappist monk Thomas Merton said it well years ago: "The root of war is fear." Since Sept. 11, 2001, our nation has been terrified, and with good reason. But I believe Americans are also hungry for peace. A recent New York Times headline read, "U.S. is Now in Battle for Peace after Winning the War in Iraq." What are the things that make for peace?

Those who now lead this nation believe that peace comes through unquestioned military superiority. Presidential words from aircraft carriers point the way. A new Pax Americana is now being offered quite openly in the aftermath of the military conquest of Iraq. Words like "empire" are being used in a positive way. William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and a leading proponent of American empire, claims that there is nothing wrong with dominance as long as it is for the "right values."

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 2003
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