A Devil’s Advocate may have changed history
A person known as a Devil’s Advocate has often been involved in the critical examination of evidence to determine whether a person should be declared Blessed or Saint in the Catholic Church. In particular, this prson’s job is to speak out against a person being declared Blessed or a Saint. I was wondering how history might have been different if we had a Devil’s Advocate in our government.
In 1953, our CIA played a major role in replacing the democratically elected prime minister of Iran with the Shah (king). It was a better deal for us concerning oil but in 1979 a revolution led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran. A Devil’s Advocate might question whether our involvement was good for democracy and what was the democratic government of Iran.
In 1980 Iraq invaded Iran. The Iranians considered this war a creation of the United States in order to throttle the Islamic Revolution. It wasn’t until years later, when Iran was threatening to move on Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, that the United States called for a cease fire. Approximately 500,000 were killed, over a million people injured and it cost more than one trillion dollars. It also involved the most extensive use of weapons of mass destruction since Japan in 1945. “The war led almost inevitably to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 as Saddam Hussein desperately sought to pay off the billions of dollars of loans he had made to finance the war.” Once again, had we a Devil’s Advocate who would have convinced President Reagan to call for a cease fire at the beginning of hostilities, the Iranians may not have considered it a war imposed by the United States and Iraq might not have been billions in debt and invaded Kuwait.
In 1990 the U.N. put sanctions on Iraq, which ended up lasting until 2003. According to an article in the Pax Christi (Peace of Christ) quarterly news letter, these sanctions were responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 Iraqi under the age of five. Then came March 20, 2003, the day that we invaded Iraq, justifying it by saying that they had weapons of mass destruction. A Devil’s Advocate might point out that using that as a justification for war, could place many countries open to being attacked, including ourselves.
On May 1, 2003 President Bush declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq. Unfortunately the people of Iraq (and many others) were not prepared for what was to come. That was Isis, the same group that orchestrated the destruction of 9/11. Seeing the power vacuum in Syria and Iraq, they decided it would be a good time to take over parts of Syria, Iraq and Iran and establish a Caliphate. It took a few years to put together a coalition to battle Isis.
In an article titled “Sofeimani and the United States worked Together To Defeat ISIS,” we find these words: “Adib-Moghaddam says it was Iran, along with Russian air power and Kurdish forces that “dealt the decisive blows.” And Soleimani was the mastermind behind it. “Irrespective of the politics and biography of the man, the killing of Soleimani made the world that much more dangerous to live in,” says Adib Moghaddam, “and this insecurity is the real bond that binds common Iranians and Americans together and which should mobilize them as a part of a global movement against war, both here and there.”To millions of Kurds, Iraqi and Iranians, Qassam Soleimani is a hero and a martyr. He has made it possible for so many of them to return to the place they called home. I can hear the Devil’s Advocate quote to us from Turtullian, an early Christian writer: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church”. What would our response have been? What will the blood of Soleimani be?