Williams: Iraq War moves were "flawed." Criticizes "short-sighted" policies

January 23, 2007

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, conceding that he wonders whether he should have been more involved in the antiwar movement, in a radio interview attacked the decision by the U.S. and Britain to go to war in Iraq as having “moral and practical flaws.”

To a BBC interviewer December 29, Williams said, “I am wholly prepared to believe that those who made the decisions made them in good faith.” He added: “I think the moral and practical flaws have emerged as time has gone on—very painfully.”

That latest criticism of the Iraq invasion and occupation by the Church of England archbishop, who is also spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, came barely a week after he slammed the British and U.S. governments for their “short-sighted” and “ignorant” policies in Iraq that were putting the lives of Christians across the Middle East in danger.

“The first Christian believers were Middle Easterners,” Williams wrote in a December 23 commentary for the Times newspaper in London. “It’s a very sobering thought that we might live to see the last native Christian believers in the region.”

During a visit to Bethlehem over the Christmas period the archbishop said in Iraq alone “what we have seen in the last year or so . . . has been attacks on Christian priests, the murder of some Christian priests and the massive departure of large numbers of Christians.” –Religion News Service