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September 1, 2006     Cape Gazette
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iii :'iiiiii.. ..... i:,ii:, :::: :=,il)i)i??i m iil)ii rm Jim Westhoff photo Chaplain Col. Richard Bower speaks at Grace Church in Milton about Iraq's significant role in the Bible. Army chaplain visits Biblical sites in Iraq By Jim Westhoff Cape Gazette staff The Garden of Eden was in Iraq. Noah's Arc and the Tower of Babel were built there, and Babylon was once a city in lraq. Iraq has tremendous biblical importance, said U.S. Army Chaplain Col. Richard Bower, who spoke about Iraq Sunday, Aug. 27, at Grace Church in Milton. During the 642 days Bower spent in the war-torn country, he was able to track down legendary biblical sites. "No other nation except Israel is mentioned more in the Bible than Iraq," he said. "From Genesis to Revelations, the Bible speaks about Iraq," he said. Bower said the Garden of Eden, the birthplace of mankind, is at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which is in Iraq. "When I visited that area, I told some of the soldiers I was travel- ing with that this used to be the Garden of Eden," Bower said. "The soldiers looked over the fiat, barren, sandy landscape and said, 'Come on Chappy, look at this place - no way this was the Garden of Eden.' So I asked them what is oil made from. They told me that oil comes from degraded vegetation. So I told them that a lot of oil means a lot of vegeta- tion." Abraham, considered the patri- arch of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, was likely born in Ur, a city in Iraq, Bower said. "There is a small mosque there, about a mile from the nearest road," Bower said. The legendary city Babylon is ruins now, except some areas that were being rebuilt by Saddam Hussein before the war began. Bower said Hussein was rebuild- ing the ancient city because he saw himself as one of the great Mesopotamian rulers. According to the Book of Revelations, Babylon will rise again before the end times, Bower said. Reasoning with extremists Bower said western societies such as Europe and the United States, need to understand that Iraqis have a thought process that is entirely different from their own. "For us to take some action, "it either has to make rational sense or just feel good," Bower said. But people of the Middle East are highly motivated to follow what they believe to be the bill of Allah. "We can try to reason with them, but they are going to listen to Allah," he said. There is no effective way to reason with someone who believes he or she is performing the will of God, he said. Helping with emotions As a chaplain in a war zone, Bower spent time counseling sol- diers who were emotionally strug- gling with some of their actions. "I counseled one young man who fired his weapon at a car that was approaching a checkpoint. A woman was driving the car with three children passengers. "There were signs posted that told the drivers to stop, but the car kept coming," Bower said. "I told that young man that he did not wound those people, the person who put her in the car did." Bower said soldiers are now trained to shoot at the road in front of the vehicle so that if the vehicle drives into the bullets, the soldier did not really shoot the people. Bower is stationed with the 77th Army Regiment in upstate New York and was invited to speak locally by Grace Church members. Yale Psychiatrist Paul A. Lange, M.D. 302-381-9334 DrPaulLange@aol.com Waiting time 1 to 4 days. Confidential Appointments Rehoboth Beach Georgetown Wilmington College Putting Students First Whatever career goals you have in mind, Wilmington College can help you achieve them. We make higher education more convenient, affordable and accessible with multiple locations and flexible class hours. Call for more information about our undergraduate and graduate degree programs today. 1-877-967-5464 WILMINGTON COLLEGE Achieve Balance. Achieve Success. wilmcoll.edu New Castle Dover Georgetown