Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Iraq and El Salvador

Derrick Z. Jackson, a columnist for the Boston Globe, writes the first of a two-part series on America’s foreign policy in today’s paper, reflecting on the situation the Church opposed in El Salvador:
As auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chavez wonders if the United States learned anything from its murderous meddling in his nation. He remembers reading a magazine article shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, about how Americans surround themselves with information but much of it ''frivolous and superfluous." He said the article talked about how such shallow knowledge leads to US foreign policy being based on the moment, ''only looking at our navel as if the world ended at the border with Mexico."

Rosa Chavez wondered if the attacks would wake up the United States to look beyond the navel. He wondered if Americans would truly begin to ponder the question of ''Why do they hate us?" After the unprovoked invasion of Iraq under false pretenses in 2003, the answer was a terrible no.

''Pope John Paul called the war a 'defeat for humanity,' " Rosa Chavez said. ''The pope gave his condolences to the American people for Sept. 11. But we also needed to enter a new understanding that we are one world where we only have a future together if we get rid of barriers and walls. Preemptive war makes no sense . . . I worry the US will have to ask again, 'Why do they hate us?' "

You can read the rest of the column here.