Mainline church leaders are expressing opposition to President Bush’s plan to escalate U.S. troop presence in Iraq. Some clergy drew parallels to Martin Luther King’s impassioned pleas decades ago against the ultimately fruitless American war in Vietnam.
The president told a nationwide television audience on January 10 that the only way to achieve victory in Iraq is to send some 21,500 more troops to help the Iraqi government, beset by sectarian killings, to achieve stability in and around Baghdad.
“We are disappointed by the lack of vision and imagination which sees more force as the only answer,” said Jim Winkler, the chief social justice spokesperson for the United Methodist Church, of which Bush is a member. “This is not a time to escalate a failed policy of war but to begin a serious attempt at a robust diplomatic effort.”