To All A Merry Christmas...
In Jalalabad, Afghanistan, It's a Punk Rock Christmas

Prayers in Iraq

Our friends at Daily KOS have a warning for you.


Bibles and guns. Copies of the Koran and guns...

Could it be any plainer ?

You might call the image, to the right, the ghost of Christmas future. Let me suggest a productive frame for the picture which depicts a parallel that is both real but which has not yet fully emerged as a dominant dynamic.

The dynamic is that of religious war, a phenomenon that has an old and evil history especially in the Middle East.

But, that future - religious war - does not have to prevail. It is a danger as long as there are US troops in Iraq, because  US troops in basic training, as detailed in a new Military Religious Freedom Foundation report, are being indoctrinated in the ideology of religious war and the cultivation of the mentality of religious war...

I've got a military-issued Bible.  The cover is in ACU pattern, and it has the heraldry of the Third Infantry Division.  Unlike our friends at DK, I've actually attended US-military chaplain-led religious services in Iraq.  Would you like to know what we were told?

There was indeed a certain amount of talk from the chaplain about the proper attitude for soldiers towards the situation in Iraq.  We were directed to pray for peace, and the healing of the land; and to celebrate the brotherhood of men.

Who do you suppose protected the Shi'a pilgrims at Ashura this past year?  Or the ten thousand Iraqis who went on Hajj this year, without incident?  Our brothers in the Iraqi Army; and we ourselves.

I hope all Americans enjoy a Merry Christmas, and a fine Yuletide.  For the people of Iraq, I can think of no better prayer than that the chaplain gave me:  that their land may finally know peace; and that Americans and the good people of Iraq, in future days, will regard each other as brothers. 

Some of us already do.