Life is made up of hard decisions, some harder than others, they tell us. U.S. involvement in Iraq is one of those -- and it is getting harder by the day.
From Where I Stand
As the world prepared to celebrate World Peace Day, Saddam Hussein walked to the gallows in Baghdad. "The Americans," commentators pronounced solemnly, "had handed him over to the Iraqis."
The phrase carried with it eerie echoes of another moment in time when another ruler also maneuvered to avoid responsibility for the death of another prisoner. And just as surely as Pilate is remembered for the death of Jesus, so will the United States be remembered for the death of Hussein, however intently we argue that the execution was "the work of the young democracy" in Iraq.
A woman I know was murdered in September, a fact which in itself is bad enough. But this woman was not the victim of a random shooting or a back alley mugging or a rape or even of the far too common problem of domestic violence.
We are living through a very unsettling time in U.S. history. Let no one take pleasure in it -- neither Democrat nor Republican.
The movie "Everest," now showing at the local IMAX theater, sent chills down my spine. There, in the middle of the Himalayas, a group of climbers found themselves blocked on their way to the summit by a fracture in the snow 90 feet deep. The crevasse was too wide to jump, but at the same time too narrow to simply accept as the end of their 30,000-foot attempt to conquer the highest mountain in the world. So they opened up a telescoped pole ladder, laid it across the icy ravine and in large, clunky, steel-clawed boots walked across the open spaces between its rungs, toes on one rundle, heels on the other.
The day our small delegation from the Woman's Global Peace Initiative arrived in Syria, CNN ran a ticker tape news flash announcing that a "huge storm was swirling around the tip of Saturn." I smiled at the sight of it. Frankly, I was more concerned about the huge political storm in Syria. Saturn, I figured would take care of itself. Syria, I wasn't sure.
Sr. Joan Chittister is traveling in the Middle East Nov. 8-15 and has asked for prayers. She is traveling as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, an organization sponsored by the United Nations.
I remember where I was the day Congress approved the decision of the president to invade Iraq. In fact, I wrote about it in this column. I was in Ireland where I had been watching the British Parliament debate the issue on public television for days.
Brace yourself. It's election season. If you're hoping to get the kind of information you need to make an informed decision in a polling booth, forget it. Judging from the level of talk-show fare we're seeing these days, things are only about to get worse.
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