Returning artifacts to Iraq

One of the unfortunate tools and consequences of war is the destruction of the history and cultural heritage of tribes, ethnic groups, and even nations.

We have learned time and again that one of the preconditions for an enduring peace is a group or nation’s healthy sense of pride and identity. We would do well to keep this in mind now that the war is winding down in Iraq.

American museums and universities might consider what could only be regarded as an expression of profound respect for the Iraqi people and their contributions to civilization: to help rebuild the Iraq National Museum by returning to Iraq cultural artifacts from that region that are currently part of collections here in the United States.

Such an extraordinary gesture of good will would go a long way toward healing wounds inflicted by this war.

Carol Bragg
Via email

Sick and tired of war

The Sept. 11 catastrophe brought the most basic reality of war to our country: namely, the senseless and cold blooded murder of innocent people. I think it made most of the people in the United States realize that war is not the answer to any nation’s problems and that we must find our way through all the muck and mire of racial and national oppression to a peaceful resolution of conflict.

Judging by the response of the massive peace movement, I would venture to say that humankind as a whole is sick and tired of war.

The rich, wealthy, arrogant and powerful have always been willing to go to war to eliminate any and all threats to their rule. For the twin towers blown up Sept. 11 we have leveled two countries with massive bombings, and have subjected untold numbers of the elderly, as well as women and children to the horrors of war.

Karl Marx once said, history repeats itself the first time as tragedy and the second time as farce. The days of colonial conquest, of looting countries under the guise of spreading civilization, are gone the Blair-Bush coalition notwithstanding.

But in the final analysis things turn into their opposites. The lie runs its ill-fated course and the truth crushed to earth rises again. The peace movement will endure and triumph because it represents the huddled masses of the world yearning for peace.

Frank Chapman
Via email

Imagine the possibilities

The amazing technology of warfare is generated by the intelligence, talent and resource of those who create weapons of war. Imagine if all that intellect, all that talent, all that resourcefulness; that vast army of individuals who lean over the drafting boards, work out the mathematical formulas and put their minds to the problem of creating weapons of war were, instead, to turn their energies to solving other problems. To solving the problem of poverty and the host of other problems that plague the world.

Imagine, for instance, what would occur if all those individuals who bring into existence the weapons that decimated Iraq were to use their abilities instead to bring into existence a viable society in which all individuals regardless of political, religious, economic or philosophical beliefs could go about living their lives in complete fulfullment of their ambitions. Just imagine!

Fred DiDomenico
Honey Brook PA

Bush vs. the Methodist Church

I am a member of the United Methodist Church, a Christian denomination that prides itself on a long tradition of openness, tolerance, and a historic commitment to social justice issues. The Methodist movement began in England during the Industrial Revolution and its first followers fought against both the slave trade and the oppression of working-class miners. United Methodists have ordained women to the ministry since the 1950’s and the current motto of the United Methodist Church is: “Open hearts, Open minds, Open doors.”

Most recently, United Methodist Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, was arrested on March 26 along with 70 other protesters at a peace rally in front of the White House. Sprague said, “The Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church has sought four times to have an audience with President Bush. There has been no response.”

So I am left with one question: To whom is George W. Bush accountable? He certainly does not feel any accountability to the bishops of his own religious denomination. I can only raise my voice with those of my bishops and declare: “Mr. Bush, we WILL NOT allow you to make the world in your image and in the image of big business.” Amen and solidarity.

Daniel Klawitter
Via email