For the Sake of a Shrine

I just want to see if I've got this straight: We're being very careful in Najaf (search) not to damage a shrine being used by gunmen trying to kill us?

Last time I checked, shrines were for praying, meditating and maybe even mulling. But not once, to my knowledge, for murdering.

For months now, the revered Imam Ali (search) Shrine has become a fortress: a Koran-bless Alamo. Only the Alamo wasn't a church. Just like this place is no longer a shrine.

It stopped being a shrine when they replaced the prayer books with A-K 47s and swapped hymns for the whirr of rocket propelled grenades.

It stopped being a shrine when they stopped praying, and started killing.

Yes, it's a grand, old structure. And we've done our best not to harm it. But the guys in there are harming us and their fellow Iraqis.

Under the cover of a dome meant to promote peace, they promote bloodshed. We condone it. Would that they be so considerate.

Are we the only ones who value these shrines? Or are they the only ones who know we are the only ones who do?

We are so careful not to offend. So much so, that we allow some of our guys to die for the sake of a holy shrine now used for the most unholy of purposes.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather save a Marine than a piece of marble. But that's just me.

It's one thing to honor a building whose purpose was all good. It's quite another to lose sight of the bastards inside it whose purpose is clearly all evil.

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