Reynolds, Supreme Pontiff of the Blogosphere and hater
things Catholic, was demanding an apology
from Pope John Paul II for opposing the "liberation" of Iraq,
rumors were rife that the Vatican was threatened
by a possible terrorist attack launched by Al Qaeda. All
the bad guys, no matter what branch of evil they adhere to,
hate the Holy Father because he represents the one force with
international stature that stands against
the eve of the Iraq invasion, the Vatican carried out a full-scale
and theological assault on the War Party. The Pope sent
his representative to Baghdad, and tried to arrange a
peaceful settlement: the Iraqis, as we now know, were amenable.
But this effort was disdainfully rejected by Washington –
and viciously attacked
by the neoconservatives, who
initiated a round of anti-Papist
not seen since the 1880s, when the Republican party rallied
the nation against "rum, Romanism, and rebellion."
imagine the uproar if
this had happened to a rabbi.
millions mobilized in the streets, the Pope sent a message to Catholic
military chaplains endorsing the antiwar movement in rather
explicit terms: this showed, he said,
that a "large part of humanity" has rejected war, except in
self-defense against an aggressor, and, he added, the peace
movement gave him a great deal of "comfort and hope."
2002 Christmas message, John Paul had called on the governments
of the world to make an urgent effort "in the Middle East,
to extinguish the ominous smoldering of a conflict which,
with the joint efforts of all, can be avoided." This year,
with resistance to the American occupation growing, and domestic
antiwar sentiment persisting, the War Party was nervously
anticipating his annual "Urbi et Orbi" (the City and the World)
message, and he
did not disappoint:
us from the great evils which rend humanity in these first
years of the third millennium. Save us from the wars and armed
conflicts which lay waste whole areas of the world, from the
scourge of terrorism and from the many forms of violence which
assail the weak and the vulnerable. Save us from discouragement
as we face the paths to peace, difficult paths indeed, yet
possible and therefore necessary; paths which are always and
everywhere urgent, especially in the Land where You were born,
the Prince of Peace."
save us from George W. Bush. Save us from his neocon advisors,
who would rather plunge us into what they call World War
IV than ask Ariel Sharon to give an inch of ground. Save
us from a Vice President who sends out a creepy Christmas card citing Benjamin
Franklin's remark to the Constitutional Convention:
if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice,
is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?'
Church stands foursquare
against the hubris of earthly kings who delude themselves
into thinking they can act like gods. It is the main organized
obstacle to any
nation with pretensions of universal hegemony, and the papacy
of John Paul II has exemplified the role of the Church as
the protector of humanity against the depredations of the
State. What is astonishing to see is the sheer superhuman
strength of this man, whose suffering is a modern-day reenactment
of the Stations
of the Cross.
we have an 83-year-old burdened by a series of physical ailments
that would have any ordinary human being curled up in a fetal position,
yet he has just finished up a grueling
him to at least three continents. This Pope
is the peace party's Gandalf: no matter how battered, incapacitated,
and beaten down he may seem, he always comes back at Sauron.
John Paul is Gandalf, then Michael Novak, the neocons' pet "theologian,"
is Saruman, the liar and
deceiver. Novak and a delegation including
William Bennett and Andrew Sullivan, two of the biggest
in the Western world were sent to Rome by the
Department to convince the Vatican to support the war:
or, at least, to neutralize Catholic opposition. During the
course of a two-hour symposium attended by some 150 invited
guests, including lower-level Vatican officials, Novak made
the transparently spurious argument that the war was not a
preemptive one, but rather a war for self-defense:
one side, Iraq maintains weapons of mass destruction, and
on the other, international terrorists are seeking to procure
that is lacking between these two incendiary elements is a
spark of contact,' Novak said."
Saddam's proven record in the use of such weapons, and given
his recognized contempt for international law, only an imprudent
or even foolhardy statesman could trust that these two forces
will stay apart forever. At any time they could combine, in
secret, to murder tens of thousands of innocent and unsuspecting
citizens,' he said."
U.S. government officials, he argued, have the inside knowledge
about Saddam's possession of such weapons, and we must trust
in them – and not in the Pope – to make these decisions. That
these officials were
lying, and their case for war a web a deceit, does
not have Novak begging the Holy Father's forgiveness. Novak
and his cohorts, far from repentant, are walking arguments
in favor of the Pope's power to excommunicate heretics.
I was raised a Catholic, I am not a believer. But I must recognize
the moral stature of a man like John Paul II, who stood up to the Communist
would-be hegemon and is now standing up to another. As
he said in a
speech to the Vatican diplomatic corps:
are we to say of the threat of a war that could strike the
people of Iraq, the land of the prophets, a people already
sorely tried by more than 12 years of embargo? War is never
just another means that one can choose to employ for settling
differences between nations. As the Charter of the United
Nations Organization and international law itself remind us,
war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring
the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance
with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences
for the civilian population both during and after the military
the most hardcore militant atheists in the antiwar movement
must recognize and salute the moral authority of the Church,
whose foreign minister, Archbishop
Jean-Louis Tauran, expressed the view of those of us in
the U.S. who resist the rise of an American empire:
single member of the international community cannot decide:
'I'm doing this and you others can either help me or stay
home.' If that were the case, the entire system of international
rules would collapse. We'd risk the jungle."
Renato Martino, head of the Peace and Justice Commission
– known as the Donald Rumsfeld of the Vatican because of his
tough-as-nails approach to promulgating the Pope's mission
of peace – put it succinctly
cannot think that there is a universal policeman who takes
it upon himself to punish those who act badly.... The United
States, being part of the international assembly, has to adapt
to the exigencies of others."
is no universal policeman and ruler of mortal mien worthy
of the task, and any scheme to set one up is necessarily Satanic.
may come as news to militantly
secular antiwar lefties, and nasty left-libertarians willfully
ignorant of all things theological,
but the institutional power of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic
hierarchy has been a mighty weapon in the arsenal of peace.
John Paul II, a giant among men, who has single-handedly taken
on the power of the War Party and who towers so far above
his critics that the distance can only be measured in light
years – is our Man of the Year.
IN THE MARGIN
campaign to get loudmouth
warmonger Neal Boortz booted from the podium of the Libertarian
Party's upcoming national convention has suffered a setback.
The Libertarian National Committee recently voted to affirm
their invitation to the noted Bush shill: the vote was 9 to
6. Here is the text of the resolution they passed:
LNC supports our Convention Committee's invitation to Neal
Boortz to speak at our national convention in Atlanta in May
2004. We do not condition participation at our convention
on membership in the LP or on 100% compliance with the national
party platform. We welcome the continued efforts of Mr. Boortz
and many others to further the freedom movement in whatever
way they choose."
hypocrites! If Boortz opposed the legalization of, say, marijuana,
cloning, or any of the other favored left-libertarian hobby-horses,
we all know he wouldn't be able to get within a country mile
of the speakers' platform in Atlanta. Leave it to the politically
clueless "leadership" of the LP to consign the party's opposition
to the war – the one platform plank with potentially
broad appeal this election year – to the junk heap. No wonder
they've begun to limit their pathetic electoral efforts to
elected to local county water board and community
college and sewer
districts. The LP doesn't care about the bad
public relations this decision is already generating –
they stupidly believe that any publicity is good publicity.
What a way to commit suicide.
well, don't get mad – get even! There's just one way to register
your disapproval of the LP NatCom's decision: if you're planning
to contribute to the Libertarian Party, to renew your membership,
or vote for their generally dumb-ass candidates, don't
let them know why.
email to the convention coordinator, Nancy Neale (who just
happens to be the wife of the current National Chairman),
call the National Libertarian Party, at: (202) 333-0008, or
contact members of the Libertarian Party National
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