By Angelo Olayvar
“The death, wounds, and pain of war have touched us all. Iraqi lives, American lives, and those of the international community have been lost as a price of our violence against one another.” – 2004 Annual Conference Resolution: Iraq
In line with our 2004 Annual Conference “Resolution: Iraq,” 2006 Church of the Brethren “Resolution: An End to the War in Iraq,” and 2011 Church of the Brethren “Resolution on the War in Afghanistan,” the Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy along with our ecumenical and interfaith partners are watching and engaging with developments on the repeal of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (AUMF) and withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.
This resolution enacted by American legislators and the deployment of American troops in Afghanistan ostensibly aims to defend US national security against the threats posed by Iraq and terrorist organizations in the Middle East. However, these actions by the United States have only brought death, destruction, despair, instability, and violence in Iraq and other countries in the Middle East. Furthermore, it has drained our resources that are so desperately needed to relieve the suffering of people at home and around the world. Hence, it is just and right to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF as it is problematic, wasteful, irrelevant, and immoral. It is crucial to withdraw and bring home our American troops from Afghanistan as their lives and spirits have been affected in ways we cannot yet fully comprehend.
As cited in the Annual Conference resolutions, our historic peace church has called us to pray and repent for the catastrophic consequences that deployment of American troops have brought to millions of people around the world. The far-reaching consequences of the military actions of the United States have abused the bodies, minds, and spirits of millions of individuals around the world.
As brothers and sisters in Christ who have consistently spoken to the sinfulness of war, our faith and conscience dictate us to demonstrate steadfast support in repealing the 2002 Iraq AUMF and the withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan. However, it is necessary that we continue to be vigilant about the possibilities of drone warfare that may be expanded in order to maintain the power and influence of the United States in the region.
In the meantime, we must continue to work toward creating mechanisms that would create lasting peace in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other affected countries in the Middle East and around the globe. It is paramount that substantial work be done in order to achieve accountability for the victims of these conflicts that have claimed and devastated millions of lives.
–– Angelo Olayvar is an intern in the Church of the Brethren’s Office of Peacebuilding and Policy.
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