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12.30.2006    |    Feel safer?
The evil dictator whose crimes against humanity caused us to invade the historical fiction that is called "Iraq" has now been put down like the dog he was. There's a lot of blather about "milestones" and "closure" and "justice being done." All true, to a certain extent.

Then, Iraq being a nation of tribal and sectarian hatreds, there will also be the usual screams of "death to..." Fill in the blank. The Sunnis will vow revenge against the Shiites; Some Shiites will perhaps feel emboldened to continue to attempt ethnic cleansing, for which you may read "genocide," against the Sunnis.

All factions will continue to distrust, to the point of hatred, the Americans who had to do the job of removing Saddam. And apologists for the tribal cultures of Iraq will warn us to be sensitive to the Arabs sense of "honor," as if there were any to be found in the killing of those whose confession differs.

The essential question, which is as yet unanswered, is, can Iraq be salvaged as an actual, functioning nation-state? My sense is, based on evidence available, is, "no."

The various sectarian and tribal groups that make up the colonial conceit that became "Iraq" are simply too much at odds. They don't agree on matters of faith; they certainly aren't going to agree to let someone else's tribe lord it over their own.

In the Middle East, this is what it comes down to: the only model for successful governance appears to be the iron fist and the hobnailed boot. Will Saddam's passing change this?

Doubtful. We are all, Americans, Sunni Iraqis, Shiia Iraqis, Kurds, members of the same fallen species: humankind. Muslims and atheists don't get a pass from this fundamentally correct Calvinist point.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.