Ever since the Gulf War, I have had the nagging feeling that recent Western military efforts may be doing more harm than good. I am certainly not a political analyst, but I thought it would help Western Christians to know what many of their brothers and sisters on the other side of the world go through when the West engages in military offensives.
The so-called (Orthodox) Christian Serbs have treated the Muslim ethnic Albanians terribly. I was relieved that for once "Christian" powers were fighting to protect a group of Muslims. I believe we are called to "love the Muslims into the kingdom," but so often we see them as enemies. Nevertheless, I kept wondering whether this bombing, with so much loss of life and suffering, is the answer to this problem.
It would be naive to draw a direct connection between the war in Yugoslavia and the shooting in Littleton, Colorado. But the tragedy resurfaced in me the feeling that the use of force—outside the laws of a given country or state—to fight "wrong" can establish serious precedents and dangerous attitudes that in turn prompt the use of force in a terrible way, as happened in Littleton. When people we consider bad are indiscriminately bumped off outside the legal procedures of the land, it fosters a vigilante culture. This unfortunately is what we are seeing in Sri Lanka, my country. Some years ago we saw state-sponsored bumping off of the "wicked" outside the law. Now we have given birth to a culture that looks to the gun to get all sorts of agendas fulfilled.
On the other hand, I remember that so many on the outside were silent when the Nazis were exterminating Jews and when the Khmer Rouge were exterminating millions in Cambodia. So I see the dilemma and the potential ...1
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