Monday, January 9, 2012

Blackwater Settles with Families in Iraqi Killings: Keeping Moral Focus Honest in 2012 U.S. Elections

Here's another of those pictures from the Iraqi war that I cannot allow myself to forget, once having seen it.  It's a picture of Ali Kinani, who was murdered in Baghdad on 16 Sept. 2007 by the U.S. hired mercenary firm Blackwater.  As Common Dreams reports, Blackwater (which subsequently took the name Xe and now Academi) reached a settlement last week with families of those killed in the 2007 incident and another in 2004.

And so why keep thinking about these matters?

Because it's altogether too easy to pretend that they're in the past and don't affect me.  

Because we Americans, who are ultimately responsible, are now involved in a national election process in which the real moral issues that ought to concern us are hardly ever on the table, while far less significant and sometimes outright bogus moral issues receive laserlike attention in our national political discussions and media.

Because those among us who most loudly profess to be "pro-life" are also almost always most vociferously pro-war.  

Because Erik Prince, the man behind Blackwater/Xe/Academi, is, as I am, a Catholic.  And, with his (and his family's) wealth and their close ties to the major political party whose presidential candidates are now being vetted, I have no choice except to be concerned.  Because the candidates of the political party to which he is closely allied love to represent themselves as God's anointed leaders.

And because my fellow Catholics who ally themselves with this political party and its rhetoric like to represent my Catholic church as a component of the Republican party.

Since the Republican party is "pro-life."

But how can it be "pro-life" when it is so thickly connected to an organization that can murder a 9 year-old boy?  I have to keep thinking about this.  And I have to keep asking questions.

Since I live in the nation funding such murder, and this implicates me.

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