ONE MAN'S VIEW:

"GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS!"

Bill Baker

The title above is perhaps the most repeated phrase of the past two years, uttered by self-proclaimed Christians, warmongers, haters of all types, and "church" pastors and "their" flocks. Bumper stickers and huge outdoor signs reiterated the rallying cry for all "true" Americans to support the brutal war against Iraq.

Now, the bombings have stopped; the Iraqi military has withdrawn from Kuwait, and the guns of war have been silent for several months. Yet the "victory" of the United States and its cash register coalition is still trumpeted as proof positive that AMERICA IS BACK! The Vietnam "syndrome" is no more, and America can once again lift its collective head with pride and honor in the world community. The political prostitutes in Washington, beginning with George Bush, now vie with one another in order to "take credit" for "the mother of all victories'.

As I look back on the past two years, it is with a great deal of shame and disgust for not only the bloodthirsty secular American population, but especially the so-called Christian community of believers. Where were their voices of opposition before the first shot was fired, the first 5,000 pound bomb was dropped on the first innocent civilians huddled in a fall out shelter in the city of Baghdad? My wife and I wondered where the Christians were hiding, while we publicly debated the moral merits of an unnecessary, politically motivated, attempted genocide against an innocent people. Night after night the biased news anchors of all the television networks preached their pro-war sermons, refusing to present any opposing facts which might offset the growing blood lust of .the American people. My wife and I spoke at public rallies opposing the war, subjecting ourselves to the venom and hate of so-called "patriots" who festooned their cars and trucks with yellow ribbons and bumper stickers. The litmus test for American citizenship and patriotism quickly became one's public support for one of the most unnecessary slaughters of a civilian population in American history.

"GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS"

Predictably, the war quickly became a "test of fellowship" as to one's personal faith, belief and commitment to Jesus Christ. Congregations across the country held "Victory" prayer sessions and a multitude of pro-military dinners, fund raisers, etc. In the midst of the "Christian" expression of hate and death against the Iraqi people, not one solitary "leader" came for ward to call true believers to remember the only commission given by Christ OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF, as opposed to Bush and America's new messiah, Norman Swartzkoff.

"There go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).

"Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:9110).

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with yon, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).

It would seem that many "church" leaders received a new revelation from God with a brand new interpretation of these texts. Christians are to go to, witness to, love and care for, all men EXCEPT THE IRAQI PEOPLE! Falwell, Graham, Swaggart and the rest of their kind commanded God Almighty to serve as the official "chaplain" to U.S. forces as they prepared to decimate a small third world country, nonetheless a unique country m a region of the world where the United States and its colonialist allies and other assorted cronies had already carried out vast numbers of covert civil wars, murders, assassinations and death. There was no line of "preachers" and their followers waiting to send the Scriptures, missionaries, teachers and others to win the Iraqi people to Christ. Rather, most were to be found in line waiting to receive more yellow ribbons, more bumper stickers, more war propaganda.

ONE MAN AND THE TRUTH IS A MAJORITY

Unwilling to resign ourselves to allowing an immoral President and Congress to misrepresent not only the U.S. Constitution, but our faith and understanding of Scripture, we decided to DO SOMETHING! Thus, after raising as much money as possible, I traveled to Ammon Jordan and Iraq in September of 1991, for the purpose of letting 20 million souls know that at least two Christian Americans loved them and opposed the U.S. aggression.

OUR TRIUMPH IN THE GULF

As one of the first and few Americans to enter Iraq after the bombing ceased, I have yet to read, hear about, or see any video or audio tapes of the carnage and wanton destruction of the civilian population of Iraq. In Basra, the second largest city in Iraq, I saw hospitals bombed despite huge red crosses which were painted on the roofs, clearly visible to any aircraft. Three hospitals were totally destroyed, while adjacent buildings across the street from them and filled with military equipment, were left standing and unscathed. Yet we were told over and over, night after night by the television networks and "experts" of "pinpoint accuracy, smart bombs, and only occasional "collateral damage." Bush constantly told us he had no desire to punish the Iraqi people, but this is PRECISELY what was done! Consider the following destruction I personally witnessed:

FOOD PRODUCTION

The largest date processing plant was bombed three times in a row, obviously not a "mistake'. The only seed plant, also bombed three times; a veterinary complex used to manufacture vaccines totally destroyed; the only infant milk complex, a joint venture with the country of France, demolished! Add to this the countless bakeries, food processing plants, distribution centers, warehouses, and assorted food products' companies, which were bombed, and it becomes obvious the U.S. planned to destroy Iraq's capability of feeding its population.

INFRASTRUCTURE

All eight major dams used for the production of hydroelectricity and irrigation were totally destroyed. All pumping stations, thirty-two separate food storage centers, 90% of the poultry production, and 80% of the fisheries were completely destroyed. I visited what remained of the very first and state-of-the-art hospital capable of perforating organ transplants and open heart surgery in the entire Middle East. It was targeted and bombed the first day by U.S. planes.

Iraq and its people suffered from what former Attorney General Ramsay Clark called "the bloodiest use of military might in history." While standing in the bomb-cratered streets watching old men and women drinking stagnant water from those same craters, I remembered hearing the Air Force Chief of Staff, General Dugan, in, September of 1990, who, when asked by another committee" of weak-kneed Congressmen what would happen if the U.S. went to with Iraq, replied: "The cutting edge would be m downtown Baghdad. We will make Baghdad a parking lot. So much for the "kinder and gentler" America and its politicians. I saw the small children and infants lying on the floors of old tents and gutted buildings, their tiny arms and legs torn from their bodies by our "smart bombs." I saw thousands who were burned from incendiary bombs developed to incinerate human beings as well as human structures.

I shall never forget the response of a Pentagon official when asked if Iraqi children maimed and horribly disfigured were "legitimate" military targets, and he replied: "I don't know. Burned women and children all look the same don't they?"

YELLOW RIBBONS, BANDS, PARADES, AND TONS OF BOMBS FOR JUSTICE!

The U.S. government told the American people that all bombing targets were military and selected so as to diminish injuries to Iraqi civilians. We were told of "smart" bombs which were capable of being guided with near-miraculous precision to their targets. Now, as more reports and Pentagon documents surface, we learn that the majority of Iraqi deaths and injuries were caused by dumb" bombs and the 16 million bomblets which were released by 80,000 cluster bombs. We now know that 90% of all bombs dropped on Iraq were of the "dumb" type, and more than 70% of those bombs missed their targets. The so-called "smart" bombs seen on nightly news programs comprised a mere 7% of the total 110,000 TONS of bombs dropped. More bombs were dropped on Iraq than in all of the years of all-out war in Vietnam and Korea combined.

"Is (true benevolence) not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood" (Isaiah 58:7).

"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God" (Proverbs 22:16).

"The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed" {Proverbs 16:11).

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed" (Psalms 82:3).

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12).

As only two servants of Christ, Ginny and I were able to feed 1100 refugee families for two weeks; we were able to purchase 450 pounds of infant milk powder, 3500 pounds of fruit, 150 blankets, as well as provide small quantities of vital medicines and medical supplies.

Dear readers and.fellow believers, we are called to serve our risen, reigning Savior, not a political agenda of professional politicians and charlatan televangelists. The Christian's task is clear and distinct in the Scripture. We are "in the world but not of it; we are mere pilgrims passing through on our way to that eternal land and dwelling place not made by human hands." As followers of Christ, we are under His commands to love all men, so that all men and nations, including Iraq, may come to know Him as Lord! To those of you who bathed your homes and cars in yellow ribbons, who felt an inner warmth while watching buildings and human beings blown to pieces by "our" military; to those who even now, parrot like mindless robots the popular phrase "We didn't finish the job, we need to go back in and finish" (assassinating Saddam Hussein and more Iraqi people): and to those who claim Christ as Lord and Master of their lives, thoughts, emotions and being, to you I can only encourage you to obey this biblical command:

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance, and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love" (2 Peter 1:5-7).

"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness" (I John 2:9).

"Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him" (I John 3:15).

NOTE: "Deception in the Gulf," a manuscript written by William Baker after returning from Iraq, is available from him. His report further documents the real reasons behind the war with Iraq which have yet to be exposed to the American public.