By Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler, Senior Minister, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ & Director & Chief Visionary, Faith Strategies, LLC
Twenty years ago, planes crashed into the World Trade Centers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. There was disbelief, weeping, and shock as people in the affected areas looked for their loved ones. There was a deep eeriness in the air, and grief and disbelief set in, and then the tone began to shift to revenge and retribution. Chants began to arise like “USA! USA! USA!” Politicians and preachers began to use the phrase “God bless America,” as if America was somehow more deserving of God’s blessings than anywhere else.
Three days later I was speaking on the phone with an insurance company representative about a personal matter, and the insurance representative paused the call so that the entire office could sing “God Bless America.” The news sources were all rattling their proverbial sabers, and it would only be a short amount of time before all the pistons would be firing in the war engine. It was a time 20 years ago, a moment, and a setting that the American public could be cajoled and sold anything seemingly patriotic and retaliatory, and it was. The military went into Afghanistan to dislodge Al Qaeda, and it stayed to create a new government and country. Something that the Soviets had tried to do previously. But that was not a history that the US learned from because the neo-cons and the defense contractors with the military industrialists decided that it was an opportunity to reconstruct a region in its own image, control the natural resources of the region, and to create governments loyal to the interest of the west and particularly the US.Continue reading “It Is Harder to End a War Than Begin One”