The Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday printed a great article by Andrew Greeley. The whole thing is worth reading (it's brief), but here's an excerpt:
[The current war] is not the first patriotic/revenge war on which the country has
embarked. Remember the Maine. Remember the Alamo. Remember Fort Sumter.
Remember Pearl Harbor. The psychology for whipping up revenge in the
name of patriotism has always worked. World War II was a just war, but
the mix of patriotism and revenge made it easy for the American
military to firebomb out of existence 50 Japanese cities and to destroy
a couple more with atom bombs.
Are the American people guilty of a war crime because of the Iraq
war? Surely the leaders who cooked up the excuses for the war are. So,
too, are the national media that allowed patriotism to silence them.
So, too, are those ordinary Americans who almost insisted on some kind
of patriotic gore. On this weekend in which we glorify -- with good
reason -- our patriotism, we might examine our conscience about what
phony patriotism has caused us to do. A third of the American
population supported the war and has now changed its mind. It might be
wise for such folk to prepare answers to the kinds of questions God
might ask about phony patriotism.
Remember John Prine: "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Any More."