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February 07, 2008

Comments

Jamie Beu

Very interesting, but I think Iran might be wanting to employ a "wait-and-see" approach to MidEast diplomacy. There are no timetables forcing Iran on anything, and "one long year" is a subjective term. For us in the U.S.A., with all the primaries and campaigning and such, this will be a long year. To the Iranians (especially those that have yearned and worked for centuries toward the goal of a worldwide caliphate), 1 year is a trifle.

If Ahmadinejad can keep Bush at bay for another 11+ months, then they'll have complete freedom to act as they please, once Hillary Barack McCain takes office.

Tom Simon

especially those that have yearned and worked for centuries toward the goal of a worldwide caliphate

Which centuries would these be? The centuries since Khomeini's coup in 1979? Before that, Shi'a Islam was essentially on the defensive for over a millennium; their principal goal was to prevent the establishment of a worldwide caliphate by the Sunnis.

deusdonat

Al Qaeda is essentially dead? I don't know in what fantasy dream-world the author is living in, but maybe he should ask the 200+ people who died in suicide bomb blasts this last week alone whether Al Qaeda is dead.

Wishing something away doesn't really work.

quasimodo

deusdonat:
I don't know if AlQaeda is dead or not. It does seem they are seriously wounded - mostly by their own hand. That is, Islam has always needed the fiction that "Moslems don't kill Moslems." They have damaged that cherished image so much that they have lost a lot of support.

You can't tell the health of an organization by the body count. Check out Timothy McVeigh's body count and there were only two or three of them - and McVeigh could probably have carried it out all by himself with a little luck and a little more time.

deusdonat

Quasimodo, I agree with most of what you are saying there, with the exception that Al Qaeda seems "seriously wounded". As you say, you can't tell the "health"of a terrorist organization from the body count they inflict. But look at what has happened over the last month: 5+ bombing attacks killing hundreds of Iraqi civilians and I believe 15 US military. The assasination of former Pakistani president Benazir Bhutto. The usage of new strategies (i.e. using mentally disabled victims to carry bombs into crowded areas), and the discovery of training videos showing pre-teens learning to use and detonate weopons. To me, this shows that Al Qaeda is indeed live and well enough to execute intricate plans in ways not previously encountered.

Regarding your other comment re Mohammedans using the "Muslims don't kill Muslims" propaganda, it is of course as false as "Islam is the fastest growing religion". I don't think anyone beleives the former anymore. And hopefully there are enough sources out there for people to discover the errancy in the latter.

ajesquire

Is the article referring to the actual Al Qaida (the one still based in Northeastern Afghanistan and Northwestern Pakistan), or the "Al Qaida In Iraq" (which didn't exist until George Bush invaded?

David B.

ajesquire,


Al Qaida had some training bases in Iraq before the U.S., not 'George Bush' invaded. I'm not saying Saddam made 9/11 happen. Just saying he and terrorists were not unfriendly towards one another.

deusdonat

Al Qaida had some training bases in Iraq before the U.S

This is absolutely and utterly false. There is no legitimate source, including the 9/11 commission which has ever stated this. Saddam even stated in his interview after captivity that he had nothing but contempt for Ossama Bin Ladin. Why? Not because Saddam was a good guy, but because during Saddam's reign there were only 3 challenges to his absolute authority: the US, Iran/Shi'ites and the Radical Sunnis.

Don't ever forget that th people Saddam persecuted are the same ones blowing up our marines right now.

Shane

The 9/11 Commission report stated that Saddam Hussein had been helpful to Al Qaeda.

ajesquire

The only remote al-qaida connection in Iraq prior to George Bush's invasion was on operative who was camped out in Northern Iraq, in Kurdish territory that we basically had control over.

We could've taken him out. The military was ready to go several times but were called off by the Pentagon so that the pretext for the invasion could be preserved.

Zeno

We could've taken him out. The military was ready to go several times but were called off by the Pentagon so that the pretext for the invasion could be preserved.

The same argument could be made with the Clinton administration when they had Osama Bin Laden in their sights but then decided not to take him out.

David B.

Don't ever forget that th people Saddam persecuted are the same ones blowing up our marines right now.

Are you daring to suggest that U.S. soldiers are purposely killing civilians?


I said: Al Qaida had some training bases in Iraq before the U.S

You said: This is absolutely and utterly false. There is no legitimate source, including the 9/11 commission which has ever stated this.

FYI, the 9/11 commission didn't state a lot of things. There were Al Qaida terrorists, not directly associated with Osama, who were in N. Iraq. They received founding from Saddam.

I didn't say they had anything to do with 9/11. I'm just contradicting pointless revisionist history. That the group existed doesn't effect the moral justification for the war.

P.S. What is utterly false is the idea that killing Osama Bin Laden will end anything other than his life. Terrorism can be carried out by anyone who's crazy enough.

David B.

Don't ever forget that th people Saddam persecuted are the same ones blowing up our marines right now.

Are you daring to suggest that U.S. soldiers are purposely killing civilians?

I withdraw my above question.

David B.

...Though I wonder what you statement's relevance is. Saddam's victims are killing Marines. What is the significance?

Zeno

P.S. What is utterly false is the idea that killing Osama Bin Laden will end anything other than his life. Terrorism can be carried out by anyone who's crazy enough.

Where was such a contention made?

The fact of the matter is that Bin Laden was the force behind the 9/11 attacks. Although having killed him in the late 90s wouldn't have necessarily ended terrorism, it would have certainly crippled it and perhaps to the point wherein 9/11 may never have happend.

Why such compassion in your tone (i.e., killing Osama Bin Laden will end anything other than his life) toward such a man?

J.R. Stoodley

Jamie Beu,

I don't see the justification in ranking McCain with Obama and Hillary. ESPECIALLY regarding national defense, foreign relations, etc.

Are you daring to suggest that U.S. soldiers are purposely killing civilians?

Geeze. There are just some people that are incapable of having a decent conversation without resorting to baseless insinuation and character assasination. Why not simply ask "are you saying the Marines are baby killers you unpatriotic communist??"

Grow up and learn some reading comprehension skills.

mightyduk

A few things to keep in mind for this discussion:

1. Saddam Hussein links to Al Queda/9-11 was not identified as a justification for the invasion of Iraq by the US.

2. The Iraqi core of the insurgency is Sunni and is largely not the people who were oppressed by Saddam but where participants in in his regime.

3. The real core of the insurgency including it's leadership is made up of foreigners not Iraqi's

4. Iran is not a rational state, it is fomenting resistance to the US participation in the rebuilding of Iraq by sending assistance to both Shi'a and Sunni factions, including the most deadly EFP type of IED's.

5. McCain's policy towards Iraq, Iran, or any other components in the war against Islam Jihadist/Fascists would be at least as strong as the Bush administration.

6. Hillary, Obama rhymes with Osama policy towards Islam Jihadist/Fascists would amount to unconditional surrender.

7. The war between the Christian world and the Jihadists is over 1000 years old, and while it has had periods of uneasy peace, it is fundamentally a war of aggression by the Jihadists with the end of an absolutist world domination.

8. It is clear that Al Queda in Iraq is on the run because this week they strapped explosives on 2 women with Down Syndrome and used them in homicide attacks against innocent Iraqi's and US Soldiers. If they can't recruit willing fighters they are doomed.


God Bless,

Matt

thomas tucker

This analysis is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read. Having heard Stratfor's analyses on a local radio station for several years, I must point out that they were big supporters of Bush and his Iraqi War before the invasion began on the pretext of finding WMD's.
The only reason violence is down in Iraq is because we have partitioned the country, including areas of Baghad so that warring factions can't get at one another. What happens we leave? They tear down the partitions and go at each other. So, we have to stay as an imperial occupying power for who knows how long. Thanks, President Bush.

matt

Thomas,

In case you haven't noticed, the US is at war. Not just George Bush. What do you recommend? Surrender? Lose the battle to the Jihadists? You probably would have advised this to the defenders of Vienna.

Remember Lepanto!

God Bless,

Matt

thomas tucker

No, Matt, I would not have. Nor would I have recommened invading Turkey. The Iraqi invasion has done more harm than good, squandered the goodwill that the world offered to us after 9/11, embroiled us in a no-win situation, caused more deaths than Saddam ever did,engendered the rise of more terrorists etc etc. THere are better and less obvious ways to fight than military invasion.
Or perhaps you know better than the two popes who were against this?

Memphis Aggie

How do you know whether invading Iraq has done more harm than good? Saddam was authentically dangerous and his removal stimulated Libya to confess it's weapons plans. Much has happened both good and bad and only God knows clearly the accounting. How easy it is to sit here safe and sound and without any responsibility and say "I would have x or y".

bill912

Correct, Memphis Aggie. To say one knows whether invading Iraq has done more harm than good requires knowing what would have happened had we not invaded. As for "caused more deaths than Saddam ever did, engendered the rise of more terrorists", I'd love to see the numbers to back up those statements. The only ones I'm aware of are the ones Rosie O'Donnell pulled out of her favorite fever-swamp websites.

deusdonat

To say one knows whether invading Iraq has done more harm than good requires knowing what would have happened had we not invaded

We can look to the decade prior to the invasion as a good measuring stick. There was no Al Qaeda operating in Iraq, Christians in Iraq numbered over a million, and we did not have our troops dying year after year in a sustained conflict.

Looks pretty clear to me.

Memphis Aggie

Past performance is not a reliable predictor of the future.

Matthew A. Siekierski

Thomas,

We still have troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. If the basis for determining the "end" of a war is the complete removal of US troops from a given territory, then we haven't finished up with WWI yet.

deusdonat

Past performance is not a reliable predictor of the future.

I disagree. Past performance factoring in current conditions (socio-economic, political and environmental) is highly effective and reliable. It's what most focus and think-tanks use as an asessment for possible outcomes.

Zeno

Past performance is not a reliable predictor of the future.

I disagree. Past performance factoring in current conditions (socio-economic, political and environmental) is highly effective and reliable.

I take it, then, that we should fight the war on terrorism as we did the Cold War?

Memphis Aggie

One other point I'm not conceding that fewer people died under Saddam than have after him. They just weren't the same groups of people. He murdered numerous personal enemies and their families and countless Kurds and projected his power outside of Iraq whenever he was allowed to do so. Your notion is localized: you have only sympathy for the Christians and Americans and while I can completely understand that it does not mean that Saddam was less bloody than Al Qaeda.

David B.

Zeno,

Where was such a contention made?

No. But many people believe as much.

The fact of the matter is that Bin Laden was the force behind the 9/11 attacks. Although having killed him in the late 90s wouldn't have necessarily ended terrorism, it would have certainly crippled it and perhaps to the point wherein 9/11 may never have happend.

I agree with 100% of the above. And I apologize to Deusdonat for misreading his earlier comments.

Why such compassion in your tone (i.e., killing Osama Bin Laden will end anything other than his life) toward such a man?

Saying That killing Osama Bin Laden will only end his life has nothing to do with compassion. It is an opinion. It confronts the idea that Al Qaida is much like a regular organization.

Anonymous said:

There are just some people that are incapable of having a decent conversation without resorting to baseless insinuation and character assasination.

Look. I read deusdonat's comments too quickly. I apologize again. That's not something I usually do. Had he said what I thought he said, my comments would have, I think, been justified (though still too strongly worded). But he didn't, so they weren't.


Grow up and learn some reading comprehension skills.

Well, I believe I can read well enough. As for 'growing up,' I don't think someone who refuses to trouble himself about Rule #21, and who violates Rule #1 while responding to my hasty question to Deusdonat can lecture me about 'growing up.'

For your convenience:

Rule 1. "People are welcome to disagree with me in the comments boxes as long as they are polite. I don't mind disagreement. I do mind rudeness. (Be sure and see Rule 20 for how disagreement should be expressed in certain cases!) Rudeness towards others on the blog is also out of bounds."

Rule "21. Commenters in the combox are to use either their real name or a (non-offensive, non-spiteful) handle that distinguishes them from others when posting comments. They are not to post comments while leaving the "Name" field blank. It's rude to expect people to interact with you and give them no way to refer to you."

deusdonat

I take it, then, that we should fight the war on terrorism as we did the Cold War?

Since the cold war was primarily against a nation-state (the former Soviet Union) exporting its influence militarily and ideologically, then the answer to your brash, ill-conceived question is painfully obvious and not really worth commenting on further.

you have only sympathy for the Christians and Americans

You have no clue or right to make that statement, which is actually completely false. Yes, my primary concern is Christians - worldwide, but especially in the middle east where Christians are routinely persecuted and killed. It galls me the arrogance of people who put forth such statements as "you only care about Christians!" Well, ask yourself why you don't. And before you cry crocodile tears for all those poor Muslim fanatics that were killed under Saddam, why not tell us a bit about what you did to help them all those years the US was supporting Saddam.

It's been my experience that people who make those types of comments couldn't have even located Iraq on a map before the conflict began (assuming they can now).

Zeno

David B.,

The fact of the matter is that Bin Laden was the force behind the 9/11 attacks. Although having killed him in the late 90s wouldn't have necessarily ended terrorism, it would have certainly crippled it and perhaps to the point wherein 9/11 may never have happend.

I agree with 100% of the above. And I apologize to Deusdonat for misreading his earlier comments.


David B.,

Why are you apologizing to deusdonut?

I was the one who stated the above -- not him.

But thanks for the sentiments though.

Zeno

Since the cold war was primarily against a nation-state (the former Soviet Union) exporting its influence militarily and ideologically, then the answer to your brash, ill-conceived question is painfully obvious and not really worth commenting on further.


It should've been 'painfully obvious' that the question was merely rhetorical.

Needless to say, I agree with Memphis Aggie.

Zeno

deusdonut,

It galls me the arrogance of people who put forth such statements as "you only care about Christians!" Well, ask yourself why you don't. And before you cry crocodile tears for all those poor Muslim fanatics that were killed under Saddam, why not tell us a bit about what you did to help them all those years the US was supporting Saddam.

Memphis Aggie can speak for himself on the statements you've made to him here; but I am rather curious -- allow me to turn the tables here in your query to Memphis Aggie --what have you done to help all those persecuted Christians in the Middle East all these years?

David B.

Zeno,

Why are you apologizing to deusdonut?

I was the one who stated the above -- not him.

I know. I'm sorry about the confusion.I guess I wasn't being clear. I apologized to Deusdonat for misreading his comments and for asking: Are you daring to suggest that U.S. soldiers are purposely killing civilians?

I just looked over my past comments, I don't see where I attacked you for your comments. I posted a comment, about the belief that Al Qaida can only survive with Osama Bin Laden, directly after you did, but I didn't mean that to come off as a rebuttal of your post. I just posted after you did.

Is there some post I've forgotten, that Jimmy deleted, in which I said something to offend you? If so, I'm really sorry.

Memphis Aggie

No need to be "galled by my arrogance", please. I'm just reiterating what you wrote and noting the fact that you excluded the Kurds and other groups in your convenient moral accounting. So while you piously suggest you know which course of action is better I'm telling you it's not that clear cut. On balance I think it was a good thing to rid the world of Saddam and to stand and fight in Iraq. I think it has prevented other battles that might have been, but I don't pretend to know for certain, that would be -- how to put it ? arrogant. I'm not going to pretend I don't have stronger sympathies for some groups over others, I do and I see you do as well. Don't be so sensitive, we are all human beings here, fallible and working with incomplete information and that's all I'm trying to say.

deusdonat

what have you done to help all those persecuted Christians in the Middle East all these years?

Since this is the internet and you don't know me from Atom, I will tell you (and normally I wouldn't since I don't want to appear as boasting). I spent time in a refugee camp in Southern Sudan, have been (and am currently) a member of several organizations which seek to raise awareness of persecuted people, such as Amnesty International, Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, and Copt.net

I highly urge EVERYONE who calls him or herself a Christian to get involved with these causes. Even if you cannot physically go and help, youc an write letters, speak to your representatives or just send money (a little goes a VERY long way).

Zeno

deusdonut,

Since this is the internet and you don't know me from Atom

Then, if you really believe thus; why your character-assasinating remarks toward Memphis Aggie?

You don't know Memphis Aggie from Atom; for that matter, you don't know me as well.

deusdonat

Zeno,

You asked what I have done/am doing and I answered. Please refrain from childish behavior by mispelling my handle. It is latin for "God gives" as in the biblical quote "God gives and God takes away". Please be respectful of scripture.

I have not assassinated anyone's character, yours or Memphis'. I made an observation and left it open for you (and him, who you seem awfully intent on speaking for) to either prove or disprove it.

Zeno

deusdonAt,

I admire the fact that you support Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, who very much are in need of our assistance as they provide help to the persecuted Christians in the Middle East -- many of whom are impoverished, homeless, and suffer constant attacks daily.

However, when commenting on the threads, it would be best not to write in such an insulting manner as you did to Memphis Aggies; implying that he was arrogant, callous to the situation of Middle East Christians and not giving a damn about them while being so considerate to 'those poor Muslim fanatics'.

That is not engaging in the discussion; that is engaging in ad hominem.

deusdonat

That is not engaging in the discussion; that is engaging in ad hominem.

And that is the pot calling the kettle black.

Aggie seems like a big boy. Why don't you worry about yourself and let him speak for himself for now on.

Zeno

deusdonut,

And that is the pot calling the kettle black.

Where, exactly, have I remarked in such a similar manner?

This thread is littered with your transgressions.

deusdonat

AGGIE I'm just reiterating what you wrote and noting the fact that you excluded the Kurds and other groups in your convenient moral accounting.

I guess Reagan, Bush Sr, Rumsfeld are among those who also excluded the Kurds since they continued to support Saddam during and after his Kurdish campaign. FYI, Muslim Kurds are notorious for persecuting Christians, especially Christian Kurds.

So while you piously suggest you know which course of action is better I'm telling you it's not that clear cut.

For me it is.

I don't pretend to know for certain

Neither do I. I just apply logical criteria to create an analysis, as well as look to experts, namely JP II and Pope Benedict (may God grant him 100 years).

we are all human beings here, fallible and working with incomplete information and that's all I'm trying to say.

LOL. That's NOT "all you were trying to say". If it were, then there would have been no argument here. It was the rest of what you had to say that I took issue with.

mightyduk

thomas,
No, Matt, I would not have. Nor would I have recommened invading Turkey. The Iraqi invasion has done more harm than good, squandered the goodwill that the world offered to us after 9/11, embroiled us in a no-win situation, caused more deaths than Saddam ever did,engendered the rise of more terrorists etc etc. THere are better and less obvious ways to fight than military invasion.
Or perhaps you know better than the two popes who were against this?

silly little straw man. Can't you do better than that?

My point is that we need to not abandon the democratically elected government of Iraq and the people who risked death and died to elect it. The current Holy Father has not called for a withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, he has said that MORE needs to be done to end the bloodshed there.

Furthermore, while the invasion of Iraq may not have beeen justified in the war against jihad, continued presence there is absolutely justified and absolutely critical in wining that war.

God Bless,

Matt

Memphis Aggie

Duesdonat,

I'll not defend Bush Sr. on the Kurds, but Reagan? He was out of office then. Or are you saying he should have intervened in the Iraq-Iran war?

Also Amnesty International? Weren't they recently chastised by the Vatican over abortion support?

You say you are someone who doesn't pretend to know for certain yet it's all pretty clear cut to you. You don't recognize the contradiction?

Look you are right in that any war is morally perilous. However inaction or incomplete action is likewise perilous. Iran is dangerous today and Lebanon a disaster because we failed to act in 1979. This second Iraq war was the result of our failure to complete the first war. How many millions died in Vietnam and Cambodia because of our failure to complete the Vietnam War? Sure not acting is a reasonable option and one that should always be examined carefully but you are ignoring the real dangers of inaction. That is also dangerous. Are you such a pacifist that you would not fight in any war for any cause? Do you recognize that not fighting unties the restraints on local tryants and emboldens them to act ever more agressively? There are two sides to this arguement. Feel free to argue your side but don't dismiss out of hand the real consequences of inaction.

deusdonat

I'll not defend Bush Sr. on the Kurds, but Reagan? He was out of office then.

The Anfal campaign against the Kurds began in 1986, squarely when Reagan was in office. Please research the facts before you make comments like that. It really slows the conversation.

Also Amnesty International? Weren't they recently chastised by the Vatican over abortion support?

Yes. And last I checked the US government supports and pays for abortions. This doesn't mean I must stop supporting the government, which still does much good. As does AA. AA wasn't always pro-abortion. It is a stance adopted by the new guard of their leadership, and I have since distanced myself until they change their stance. But this does not in any way negate the countless lives they/we have saved by simply making hostile governments aware that we are watching and concerned about specific individuals at risk.

You say you are someone who doesn't pretend to know for certain yet it's all pretty clear cut to you. You don't recognize the contradiction?

I don't know for certain what heaven looks like, but it's clear it exists. You need to learn the defition of faith and good judgement.

Iran is dangerous today and Lebanon a disaster because we failed to act in 1979.

I agree on these points. You can once again blame Reagan for this (and add Carter to the mix).

This second Iraq war was the result of our failure to complete the first war.

Agreed. THAT was the time to act. The US had the moral high ground and support of the UN. And now it is a disaster. Thank Bush Sr for that.

How many millions died in Vietnam and Cambodia because of our failure to complete the Vietnam War?

You can't be serious. There was/is no military solution to the Vietnam and Cambodian war other than complete anihilation, which obviously would have brought a much higher death toll. Had the US invested wiser in other options (i.e. industry in the region) then the outcome would have been much different. (and...pssst! guess who's trading with Vietnam right now...)

you are ignoring the real dangers of inaction.

No, I'm not. That is an uneducated and poor observation on your part.

Are you such a pacifist that you would not fight in any war for any cause?

No. I have made my stance clear. There are just wars as per the church, and I am 100% in agreement.

Do you recognize that not fighting unties the restraints on local tryants and emboldens them to act ever more agressively?

There are ways of acting which do not involve fighting. War is only to be used as a last resort to the failure of diplomacy. In the case of Saddam, the fact is we now know that all the monitoring and embargos after gulf war I WORKED. He HAD NO WMD's. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq. There were no ties to 9/11 or Ossama. When will you people realize 2+2 does not = 5? I swear some of you people swallow enough propaganda to make Mao smile in his grave.

Feel free to argue your side but don't dismiss out of hand the real consequences of inaction.

I haven't. There are many tyrants around the world: Omar Bahir of Sudan, Kim Il Jung of N. Korea, Qaddafi of Lybia, Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Than Shwe of Burma. Under your logic we need to "fight 'em all" right? I mean, fair's fair. Can't go after one dangerous tyrant without going after another....

Memphis Aggie

"The Anfal campaign against the Kurds began in 1986, squarely when Reagan was in office. Please research the facts before you make comments like that. It really slows the conversation."

True enough but I'm not advocating entering into every conflict, just as you are not. I am arguing that the effects of inaction be considered, that is all. Bush Sr. had a responsibilty to clean up once he had destabilzed the region. Reagan mererly decided not to enter into an existing situation perhaps concerned about widening the effects. That seems to be your position about Saddam. So how can you possibly blame Reagan but absolve yourself? Mighty convenient thinking.
Also I said 1979: the failure in Iran was Jimmy Carter's - you may recall they sent the hostages home the day Reagan was sworn in and by then the will to fight was gone in Congress at least. Again you blame Reagan for something that was not his fault. Now if you want to say he should have been more vigorous in his response to Hezbollah in Lebanon I'm with you, but I'm not going to claim it was totally clear cut here either.

"Please research the facts before you make comments like that. It really slows the conversation."
Please reference the facts yourself before you slander someone. Is this elitist tone necessary?


"That is an uneducated and poor observation on your part"

Is that what passes for charity in your house? If you recognize the dangers of inaction it is not evident in your words. I don't know you at all - I only know what I read here. If you don't address an issue it may be that you don't care - in other words you're ignoring it.

If you read what I've said here I do not expect to agree with you. That would be absurd, but I am asking that that your at least address the other side of the issue with civility.

Yes Vietnam was likely technically winnable without total annihilation. You must be unaware of how weak the North was militarily. However we were weaker in will; that is, politically. That is why they won: not because they won on the battlefield, that's a myth, but because they won in the mind of the public. Those that advocate that we leave Iraq at any cost right this minute are aching to repeat the disaster.


I'm glad you're not a strict pacifist and I am not advocating we enter into every existing situation. Nor do I think there's a straight forward way to sort which ones to choose. Should we have gone into Rwanda for example? Should we go into Darfur today? I can see arguements for and against.

I'm not even arguing specifically for a given engagement, but rather for a method of discussion/disagreement that is civil. You and I disagree on so many fundamentals there is no real chance for a common ground. The best we can do is to understand each others position. Since we are both brothers in the faith, we should at least be able to disagree with less animus and more grace.

Zeno

This second Iraq war was the result of our failure to complete the first war.

Agreed. THAT was the time to act. The US had the moral high ground and support of the UN. And now it is a disaster. Thank Bush Sr for that.


Thank Bush Sr???

Get your facts straight:

"On the advice of General Colin Powell, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bush decided not to press on to Baghdad or to destroy all Iraq's Republican Guard units. Hussein proceeded to crush challenges to his authority from the Kurds in northern Iraq and Shi'ite dissidents in the south. In the first instance, Bush was restrained by the interests of Turkey, which also contained a large Kurdish minority. In the latter case, he was restrained by fear that Iran's Shi'ite regime might try to expand its own reach at Iraq's expense. U.S. forces did provide humanitarian relief to 1,000,000 Kurdish refugees and enforce no-fly zones to stop Iraqi attacks on civilians, but American policy clearly meant to uphold Iraqi unity so as to preserve the regional balance of power. Bush probably expected Hussein to be overthrown by the Iraqis themselves, but the dictator suppressed a military coup on July 2, 1992, and was still in power long after Bush himself was out of office."


How many millions died in Vietnam and Cambodia because of our failure to complete the Vietnam War?

You can't be serious. There was/is no military solution to the Vietnam and Cambodian war other than complete anihilation, which obviously would have brought a much higher death toll. Had the US invested wiser in other options (i.e. industry in the region) then the outcome would have been much different. (and...pssst! guess who's trading with Vietnam right now...)


Perhaps the failure of the U.S. then was operating and your profound principle that 'Past performance factoring in current conditions (socio-economic, political and environmental) is highly effective and reliable.'

The U.S. believed it could utilize the same type of war tactics that were successful in the past; yet they failed to consider the fact that guerilla warfare, such as that which they first encountered in Vietnam, was something that demanded a whole other strategy altogether.


There are ways of acting which do not involve fighting. War is only to be used as a last resort to the failure of diplomacy.

Reminds me of the Isolationist vs. Interventionist arguments of the past.

It is men like you that would actually do nothing to thwart the evil of men (like Hussein) but instead allow them to go unchallenged!

NewsFlash: There were several attempts at diplomacy with Hussein, but as the historical record proves (even in the first persian gulf war where even then he refused such diplomatic efforts); such diplomacy is futile where he is concerned as he tends to look at diplomacy with such contempt and disregard.


you are ignoring the real dangers of inaction.

No, I'm not. That is an uneducated and poor observation on your part.

Is there any discussion where you do not so pompously put down your opponents with such condescending remarks?

Or is this characteristic of your Pre-Vatican II definition of being "Catholic", as I see on another thread you had similarly insulted a good number of others such as Jordan Potter?

deusdonat

So how can you possibly blame Reagan but absolve yourself?

I am not blaming Reagan. I was showing the inconsistency in YOUR tone in browbeating anyone who is apparently guilty of "innaction" (i.e. not intervening militarily) since in this case, YOU would have to blame Reagan for the same regarding the Kurds. AND, do you truly believe just because the hostages came home the day Reagan took office that this somehow absolves him of any action or responsibility? That's pretty odd reasoning (or lack thereof). And I already said Carter was added to the mix of blame there (he obviously holds the lion's share).

Please reference the facts yourself before you slander someone.

I have and do reference facts which is why I told you to do your own homework as you were clearly wrong about the Anfal campaign occurring during the Reagan years. And another error is your use of the word "slander". I have not "slandered" you in any way. I have merely corrected you/proven you wrong and admonished you to research your facts so you don't look ignorant. This is not "slander", which means "a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name." I did none of these, as you were clearly wrong. Do you see the difference? If not, please go to dicitonary.com so you can research the meanings of words you are unfamiliar with or need help on.

I am asking that that your at least address the other side of the issue with civility.

As am I. Which is why I will ask you to refrain from making comments about me such as "you have only sympathy for the Christians and Americans" or "you are ignoring the dangers of innaction". These comments are blatantly false and DO fit the dictionary definition of slander. You would do well to say, "it appears from your comment "x" that..." or something to that effect rather than make a bold slanderous comment about someone you do not know. You really should stop playing the martyr here as it doesn't fit you in light of what you have already said.

Regarding Vietnam, that subject is just too large to get into here. But I rest upon the points I have already made and my accurate understanding of timeline, cause and effect and church teaching here.

Should we have gone into Rwanda for example? Should we go into Darfur today?

Funny, you mention Darfur but leave out South Sudan, where it is estimated over 1 million Christian and Tribals were killed at the hands of Muslims. What does this say about your knowledge of world conflict? Here is my observation: you don't seem to know much other than talking points or "hot issues" from specific sources. Meaning you don't understand the background or wider picture. Do you care that so many Christians were killed in South Sudan at the hands of Muslims? If you do, have you done anything about it? Were you unaware? If so, why? Why do you seem more concerned about Muslim Darfurians dying at the hands of their co-religionists than the Christian conflict?

Please answer these questions as it will help me understand where you are coming from. Obviously you understand my view on the subject.

Memphis Aggie

Actually I don't understand your point of view at all. I really don't. It's entirely from another world to me.

I was referring to your slander of Reagan not to me. If you've landed a blow on me I haven't noticed.

Also I stand by the "ignoring" comment I was asking you to address it, which you did in a way I found confusing. Now I don't assign much moral weight to the idea that you may be ignoring part of the story. Maybe you think it's irrelevant or simply less important. I meant nothing malicious by it and neither was I judging you. It was a call to address another issue, one important to my point of view, which is what you just asked for. How ironic.

Darfur in my head is short hand for the entire Sudanese debacle Muslim and Christian. Obviously that's too imprecise for you. I suggest that a charitable reader might ask more gently if we mean the same thing.

Speaking of ignoring things and charity - let's get back to that point because whether we agree or are right or wrong is less important , in my view, than how we treat each other. You and I will likely never cast the deciding vote on a war. However we can here and now decide to discuss it as the Christian gentlemen we both aspire to be. I quite honestly haven't the slightest sense of why you believe as you do. I have dear family members who believe as you do and I never expect to agree with them, but I do know that we can manage civil contact. I don't understand them either. We don't just disagree on policy we disagree on principle, history etc. I expect you won't understand me either. Don't sweat it. My views are not that important. I'm sure that at the end of time God will reveal the right choices and I don't expect to get 100% on that test. I'm relying on His Mercy instead. What's more important is why two Catholics can not converse charitably.


Zeno

"Speaking of ignoring things and charity - let's get back to that point because whether we agree or are right or wrong is less important , in my view, than how we treat each other. You and I will likely never cast the deciding vote on a war. However we can here and now decide to discuss it as the Christian gentlemen we both aspire to be. I quite honestly haven't the slightest sense of why you believe as you do. I have dear family members who believe as you do and I never expect to agree with them, but I do know that we can manage civil contact. I don't understand them either. We don't just disagree on policy we disagree on principle, history etc. I expect you won't understand me either. Don't sweat it. My views are not that important. I'm sure that at the end of time God will reveal the right choices and I don't expect to get 100% on that test. I'm relying on His Mercy instead. What's more important is why two Catholics can not converse charitably."

AMEN to Memphis Aggie's above comments.

It's how a "Catholic" ought to engage in civil discussion.

deusdonat

Now I don't assign much moral weight to the idea that you may be ignoring part of the story.

OK, now I'm lost. I haven't been ignoring anything. I think there have been just too many points and questions in our posts to address all of them, and something you may have been trying to emphasize got missed or something. So, here's your chance: ask me point blank as succinctly and charitably as you can and I will absolutely answer. Repeat: Not ignoring you.

Darfur in my head is short hand for the entire Sudanese debacle Muslim and Christian. Obviously that's too imprecise for you.

It absolutely SHOULD NOT BE. They are two ENTIRELY separate conflicts. It's like equating the Vietnam war with the Iraq war simply because the US was involved in both. Darfur = Muslim on Muslim violence which began AFTER the Southern Sudanese conflict, which was Muslim on Christian/Tribal repression. The Darfur conflict was entirely about land. The Souther Sudanese conflict was about the Christian Sudanese' right to exist (i.e. breath air). Two completely separate issues at stake. Now you have no reason and/or excuse to make this "shorthand" again : )

What's more important is why two Catholics can not converse charitably.

Who says they/we can't? I have forgiven you for slandering me. Let's just move on.

Memphis Aggie

Good lets see what we can manage. Please let's not rehash the whole thread, if that's OK with you. I probably missed some of your earlier points and we are not likely to agree on them anyway.

Let's talk about the Sudan and I will defer to your greater knowledge. I have not followed it in any detail. Now, in your opinion is it too late to intervene in the Sudan? Do you think there was a good time to intervene?

Memphis Aggie

For clarity sake I mean the Southern Christians in the Sudan and whether a just war can be mounted in their defense, assuming it's not too late

Memphis Aggie

Deusdonat,

If you don't mind I'd like to change the subject to an area where you may have greater insight. I heard a interview with Christopher West the other day. He has written on the Theology of the Body - but he said something that had my full attention. He said that one on the reasons we have divisions left and right
body and soul, man and woman, Man and nature and most crucially Man and God was original sin. Not a new idea by itself, but here's the interesting part. He explained environmentalists by this divide saying they could see only part of the story loving trees (Nature) but not caring for the unborn (Mankind). It made me wonder - what pieces am I missing, improperly integrating as a conservative. My guess is that as a liberal (is it fair to call you liberal? I don't really know if you fit that definition - perhaps you see yourself a a moderate?) you might have the special insight of an outsider into what is missing on the right from a Catholic point of view. I have my own ideas but I do not want to bias your choices. There is usually some valid core to the criticisms thrown left and right and I find it instructive to think about them.

It's like the story of the blind men and the elephant. I have only part of the animal and I think you hold on to a different part. Together we may get a greater image of the whole.

This is the question that really intrigues me.


deusdonat

I will answer your 3rd post, but first I want you to read this http://southsudanfriends.org/southernsudan.html>Page here. It is only 1 page long, but will give you I believe information and amunition you need to understand the Sudanese Civil war. Then you tell ME if we should be/should have been doing. I'll look forward to your response here.

My guess is that as a liberal (is it fair to call you liberal? I don't really know if you fit that definition - perhaps you see yourself a a moderate?)

I believe in the sanctity of life from conception to death. I adhere and defer to the teachings of the church in all issues, from the just war theory to unions, to homosexual marriage, to social welfare. And I currently have an almost fanatical reverence for the Pope due to his orthodoxy, character and commitment to restoring our church. I am registered as a Republican but will only vote my conscience and never swallow any party line. If this makes me a liberal or conservative in your mind I have no clue. Nor does it really matter in the grand scheme, does it? It shouldn't, as it has no bearing on how we should treat or address each other.

you might have the special insight of an outsider into what is missing on the right from a Catholic point of view.

That depends on what you mean by "the right". Do you mean Republican? I know many other Republicans (in and out of office) who share my views. If you mean "conservatives" then that's a bit more nebulous. I guess I'm asking what your definition of "the right" is.

It's like the story of the blind men and the elephant. I have only part of the animal and I think you hold on to a different part. Together we may get a greater image of the whole
.

I think the only place we disagree is on the church teaching of the Just War theory. I support and adhere to it. In the case of Iraq, I follwed the leaders of my church over those of my party. And I think that is one thing that is missing on the "right" AND the "left". Too many people who call themselves Catholic fail to look to the church on social, economic and other issues before making decisions. We must remember: we are the light of the world. That means we are (Catholic) Christians above all else. We are held to a higher standard in this world and the next.

I hope this explains my view here.

deusdonat

Unfortanately I believe links are disabled, so please go to this abovementioned URL http://southsudanfriends.org/southernsudan.html

Memphis Aggie

OK I'll dig into your post - by my reading you are more right than left and better schooled on just war theory than I am. I am drifting in some of my conservative views out of respect for Church teaching (i.e. death penalty) but my views on war have not moved much. To be completely frank I need to learn more about just war theory but I will read the page and give you my instinct which you should read as untaught.

deusdonat

I am drifting in some of my conservative views out of respect for Church teaching (i.e. death penalty)

Good luck there. That was (IS) my hardest issue with Catholicism. I was born Catholic but also come from a very clanish culture where honor is everything. The idea of revenge against anyone who commits an offense against anyone in your family comes first, at the cost of Christian principles such as forgiveness. So, it takes every fiber of my being to defer to church teaching here on the death penalty. And I am not too proud to say that some days are better than others. It definitely does not come natural to me.

Zeno

So, it takes every fiber of my being to defer to church teaching here on the death penalty.

You don't know what Church Teaching is on death penalty.

The Church hasn't stated that the Death Penalty is wrong.

In fact, it has even declared it a necessity in certain situations.

Memphis Aggie

From that article it seems clear where sympathies should lie. Now here's the really hard part: do we go in force and if so to what degree? I have no doubt we can create partition in the Sudan if we want to. To do so will cost American lives, but we will save many. We might have to remain for years and the men and women who remain will be exposed to attack - it really has interesting parallels to Iraq of course the Christian dimension adds to it. I want to send troops but I see that I cannot make a good distinction between this fight and say Zimbabwe or Cuba. Further I worry that we can't sustain things or make it worse etc. Obviously you've reminded me of something I think already knew: my views are less rational than emotional on issues of war.

Zeno

Memphis Aggie,

You should watch "Church in Need" on EWTN.

They've often showed the suffering of the Sudanese Christians as well as the plight of other persecuted Christians elsewhere.

deusdonat

do we go in force and if so to what degree?

Since 2005 Southern Sudan has been granted autonomy and there has been a general peace. I was in the region last Sept (not allowed into Sudan again yet tho) and spoke with many people who said the peace is stable and there are a number of UN forces around to protect people. But government forces from the North have still not withdrawn. There will be a referendum in 2011 for full seccession (independence) and 90% of the population will vote for it. So, there is really no need for intervention. Vigiliance, yes.

You are right about the parallels with Iraq though. Only Sudan was actually notorious for harboring Al Qaeda and other terrorists (among them Osama Bin Ladin until he was kicked out). Sudan has also gassed their own people, made WMD's, sponsored and exported terrorism etc. and...get this...it has OIL. Lots of it. So, why go into Iraq to depose one despot and leave the other? One thing George Bush Jr has done is put an imense amount of pressure to stop the violence. He is largely responsible for the peace in Southern Sudan. And he did it without military intervention. There is a lesson here.

Obviously you've reminded me of something I think already knew: my views are less rational than emotional on issues of war.

No more or less so than most of us, I think. It's a very sensitive issue. I often have to take 2 steps back and think. And to be very honest, before I heard the arguments to the contrary (i.e. from the church), I was in favor of invading Iraq. It lasted about a week until JP II came out and spoke against it (this was before the actual invasion).

Duesdonat,

On the death penalty I have your answer: read St Faustinas Diary. It's about seeking undeserved mercy and therefore giving it in return and that is the only way to understand it. That said Zeno is right the Church opposes the death penalty, but not absolutely. However it does definately oppose the death penalty as a means of vengeance - no doubt about it.


I have come to undertand that I am holding positions for historical/emotional reasons and if I am to truly put on the mind of Christ I must offer up those beliefs to His Will. Easily said but I find I can only manage it bit by bit. I am too proud and I must learn humility to survive.

Memphis Aggie

Sorry that last one was me

deusdonat

I have come to undertand that I am holding positions for historical/emotional reasons and if I am to truly put on the mind of Christ I must offer up those beliefs to His Will.

So am I, and every other Catholic breathing. When I say I was "born Catholic" this is actually a misstatement as none of us are really "born Catholic". It is something we all grow into (or away from). Our family, environment, personal feelings etc all contribute to our beleif systems, which at times don't jibe with church teachings. There are countless tales of Saints who have spent/dedicated their entire lives trying to reconcile their personal issues or ideas on morality with the teachings of Our Savior. Why should we be any different?

Easily said but I find I can only manage it bit by bit.

Unless your surname is "Christ" or are capable of performing a virgin birth, then that's all that is expected of you. As you said previously, we are all fallible. "All have fallen short of the glory of God." But we keep trying to walk down the narrow path.

Zeno

When I say I was "born Catholic" this is actually a misstatement as none of us are really "born Catholic". It is something we all grow into (or away from). Our family, environment, personal feelings etc all contribute to our beleif systems, which at times don't jibe with church teachings. There are countless tales of Saints who have spent/dedicated their entire lives trying to reconcile their personal issues or ideas on morality with the teachings of Our Savior. Why should we be any different?

God is Good -- One's Catholicism finally shines through!


Now this is civil discussion!

Matt

Zeno,
Pre-Vatican II definition of being "Catholic",

ALL the saints adhered to a pre-Vatican II definition of being Catholic, should you wish to repose with them I'd advise you to adhere to one as well. It is a false distinction borne out of error that the definition would be any different after Vatican II.


deusdonat,

nice to see you and Memphis being more generous to each other.

I have to take issue with this:
I think the only place we disagree is on the church teaching of the Just War theory. I support and adhere to it. In the case of Iraq, I follwed the leaders of my church over those of my party.

This is the type of statement that raises peoples tempers, it is inflammatory and suggests the argument is over before it's begun. You imply Memphis is not simply wrong in his prudential judgement of the facts, but is rejecting the teaching of the Church. You surely know that the Pope did not bind the Catholic conscience to his opposition to the war, but only to carefully consider his judgement of the facts and apply Catholic teaching that he illuminates in relation to them. That means someone who supported the initial invasion is "probably" wrong and is in dangerous territory. This is the same as the case of capital punishment.

With regard to your comment about still supporting Amnesty International, it's not possible to equate it with paying your taxes. One is entirely a voluntary association, with many legitimate alternatives, the other is a legal and moral obligation. Given the hydra-like nature of government in general, and the US federal government in particular, it's not fair to say that the US government as an entity is in favor of abortion "rights". At any given time there are numerous arms of the government who are battling each other over the appropriate stance. Sadly, the Catholic Church as a human organisation has similar problems. There are many Church sanctioned organizations which support, fund and even perform abortions and other violations of fundamental human dignity. What portion of your tithe goes to these perversions would depend on your diocese, how much you give to Catholic Charites, your "Catholic" Alma Mater, "Catholic" health services and other organisations which cross the line in various places.

God Bless,

Matt
ps. another note on Amnesty, is it me or do they make a grossly disproportionate response to the very limited alleged human rights abuses of the US in relation to such regimes as North Korea, China, Iran, and just about every Islamic controlled country in the world? Where the US executes a convicted criminal, given that it is possibly unjust, it is infinitely less in gravity and significantly less in number than virtually any other nation.

Memphis Aggie

Matt,

I have to defend Deusdonat on the following of Just War theory. The Pope and the President where in fact pointing in two opposite directions. The Pope did not require our obedience on the point but he did in fact disapprove of the wars in Iraq, although not the one in Afghanistan.

Now you can certainly argue that we are free on this point to follow the party but nothing in Deusdonats comment is false. It's just the uncomfortable truth that politics and religion collide.

deusdonat

MATT You surely know that the Pope did not bind the Catholic conscience to his opposition to the war, but only to carefully consider his judgement of the facts and apply Catholic teaching that he illuminates in relation to them. That means someone who supported the initial invasion is "probably" wrong and is in dangerous territory. This is the same as the case of capital punishment.

Correct. I guess my point is that it is always best to defer to the supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic church on all issues of faith and morals, in this particular case that of the just war theory and Iraq.

With regard to your comment about still supporting Amnesty International, it's not possible to equate it with paying your taxes.

I didn't. I said supporting the government. We support the government by voting, contributing to campaigns (monetarily and through outreach) as well as any other interaction with elected officials. I have not given money to Amnesty International for some time now, yet I still participate in letter-writing campaigns to get individuals out of prison/police detention when necessary. This act saves human lives and has nothing to do with abortion.

Given the hydra-like nature of government in general, and the US federal government in particular, it's not fair to say that the US government as an entity is in favor of abortion "rights".

Yes, it is. You can moralize/rationalize all you want. But it is ingrained in our culture from the top down. There are too many high-profile pro-abortion Republicans in office at this stage to count on one's hands and feet. To say that the US govt as a whole does not support abortion is either naive or dishonest.

At any given time there are numerous arms of the government who are battling each other over the appropriate stance.

Very true. But as long as the laws are on the books, the government, which makes and upholds them, supports abortion. Facts are facts.

Sadly, the Catholic Church as a human organisation has similar problems. There are many Church sanctioned organizations which support, fund and even perform abortions and other violations of fundamental human dignity. What portion of your tithe goes to these perversions would depend on your diocese, how much you give to Catholic Charites, your "Catholic" Alma Mater, "Catholic" health services and other organisations which cross the line in various places.

I haven't tithed to my diocese in over 7 years now. Not a penny. All my money goes to Catholic Relief Services, Catholic charities, individual chapels and fraternal societies (hint hint). I'm curious though; what Catholic institutions peform abortions? I'd like some specifics here (please include references).

Zeno

Matt,

ALL the saints adhered to a pre-Vatican II definition of being Catholic, should you wish to repose with them I'd advise you to adhere to one as well. It is a false distinction borne out of error that the definition would be any different after Vatican II.

My comments there were an inside-reference (if you will) to deusdonat's previous remarks in other threads.

deusdonat

MATT ps. another note on Amnesty, is it me or do they make a grossly disproportionate response to the very limited alleged human rights abuses of the US in relation to such regimes as North Korea, China, Iran, and just about every Islamic controlled country in the world?

I have found that to be the case as well. But the local "chapters" of AA focus on their own territories. Meaning, for AA in the US, the issues of alleged torture, prisoner abuse, detainees held without due process etc are the hot issues. I get regular emails on this and simply delete them to be honest. My focus is on other geographic areas, which I feel are much more critical (i.e. life and death).

But if you go to their main website, you can get up-to-date info by country or cause. The website itself (which is globally focused) is pretty well-rounded.

And I have to say this, for all their faults, if I were ever taken prisoner for reasons of conscience, beliefs or political affiliation, I'd want AA to be aware of it. I don't think ANYONE would refuse their attention in such a circumstance.

Memphis Aggie

I think it's fair to say that Amnesty International has a truly good mission: to highlight the plight of the falsely accused and unjustly imprisoned. Where they fall down is when they intermix political objectives with their stated mission. So the underlying goal is fundamentally worthwhile if the practice leaves a lot to be desired. The same thing could said of the Church in reference to recent Priest scandals.

By contrast organizations like Planned Parenthood are so intrinsically evil that if they drifted off focus onto another cause they may actually be less dangerous.

Why Amnesty drifted off point is an interesting question - it seems to happen to many institutions over time.

Zeno

The same thing could said of the Church in reference to recent Priest scandals.

By contrast organizations like Planned Parenthood are so intrinsically evil that if they drifted off focus onto another cause they may actually be less dangerous.

Why Amnesty drifted off point is an interesting question - it seems to happen to many institutions over time.

While the leaders in the Church may have their faults and weaknesses; the Church entire has yet to drift off, as evidenced by its doctrines and a Tradition, which have remained ever consistent and unadulterated since the days of the early church.

"[I]t may happen to many institutions over time", but not to the Church founded by the Our Lord & Saviour.

If this should ever happen, then all of what Scripture has taught and revealed since the beginning is nothing but a lie.

deusdonat

I think it's fair to say that Amnesty International has a truly good mission: to highlight the plight of the falsely accused and unjustly imprisoned. Where they fall down is when they intermix political objectives with their stated mission.

ABSOLUTELY TRUE. And one should never confuse loyalty to the principle mission statement with the errant/wayward objectives and agenda of the current leadership. If "supporting a woman's right to choose" gets put into their mission statement, then I would several all ties. But you rightly point out, it is just a political leaning/sympathy of some in leadership, and really has nothing to do with why the organization was founded.

So the underlying goal is fundamentally worthwhile if the practice leaves a lot to be desired. The same thing could said of the Church in reference to recent Priest scandals.

I'll leave that in the "don't get me started" category, since it is a topic which makes my blood boil and I have some definite opinions on the subject. Hence my comment on why I have not tithed to my archdiocese in over 7 years.

Why Amnesty drifted off point is an interesting question - it seems to happen to many institutions over time.

My take on it is this: when it was founded in 1961 (aka during the height of the cold war) the focus was on prisoners of conscience, which happened to be for a large part in the Soviet bloc. So, by convenience the organization attracted support from Catholics and the church in general. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been no "bogey man" to use in order to garnor support. Therefore, AA has tried to gain support through the typical celebrity (Hollywood) venues, which happen to be very liberal for the most part. And with the liberal supporters comes a more liberal agenda which accounts for the drift.

Memphis Aggie

Zeno,

I don't mean that the Church has drifted off focus but rather that while it's mission is pure but it's practice is often flawed. The statement is linked to the prior sentence not the next set. I believe the Gates of hell will not prevail against the Catholic Church, but that does not mean there will not be an ongoing fight within it until Christ judges the world.

Zeno

I believe the Gates of hell will not prevail against the Catholic Church, but that does not mean there will not be an ongoing fight within it until Christ judges the world.


Well put --

But I would argue that this would more so refer to the individuals themselves rather than to the Church as a whole.

mightyduk

Memphis,

I have to defend Deusdonat on the following of Just War theory. The Pope and the President where in fact pointing in two opposite directions. The Pope did not require our obedience on the point but he did in fact disapprove of the wars in Iraq, although not the one in Afghanistan.

Now you can certainly argue that we are free on this point to follow the party but nothing in Deusdonats comment is false. It's just the uncomfortable truth that politics and religion collide.

I'm not sure if you're disagreeing with my point or not. We are certainly not free to 'just follow the party' blindly.
We're not free to disagree with the principles, but we are free to disagree with the assessment of the facts. The Holy Father is not privy to all of the intelligence information the leaders of the US have, nor is he in the best position to judge the threat that Saddam poses. I'm not saying he was wrong, however, I suspect that if the US tactics had better accounted for the insurgency that ensued, we would not be arguing about this today.

deusdonat,
I guess my point is that it is always best to defer to the supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic church on all issues of faith and morals, in this particular case that of the just war theory and Iraq.

It's obligatory to defer to the Holy Father on matters of faith and morals. Just War Theory is a matter of faith and morals. The facts of the situation in Iraq are not.

I didn't. I said supporting the government. We support the government by voting, contributing to campaigns (monetarily and through outreach) as well as any other interaction with elected officials.

Well, that's not exactly supporting the government, so much as seeking to guide the government's actions, which is laudable.

I have not given money to Amnesty International for some time now, yet I still participate in letter-writing campaigns to get individuals out of prison/police detention when necessary. This act saves human lives and has nothing to do with abortion.

Well I would not consider that supporting Amnesty, so much as the individual causes, and as such, is laudable as well.


Given the hydra-like nature of government in general, and the US federal government in particular, it's not fair to say that the US government as an entity is in favor of abortion "rights".

Yes, it is. You can moralize/rationalize all you want.

See, now you're getting nasty again. I am not moralizing or rationalizign. I'm simply pointing out a FACT. Their are numerous government leaders who ARE pro-life and attempt to act accordingly. George Bush is not a perfect example, he is not entirely pro-life, but he does oppose abortion on demand, and government funding of abortion. He has vetoed attempts to fund abortion and embryonic stem-cell research. On the other hand there other elements of the government which actively promote abortion.

But it is ingrained in our culture from the top down. There are too many high-profile pro-abortion Republicans in office at this stage to count on one's hands and feet. To say that the US govt as a whole does not support abortion is either naive or dishonest.

It is you who are naive or dishonest (and being nasty again), since I have demonstrated that there are elements of the US govt who largely oppose abortion, and even elements that wholly oppose them.

I haven't tithed to my diocese in over 7 years now. Not a penny. All my money goes to Catholic Relief Services, Catholic charities, individual chapels and fraternal societies (hint hint). I'm curious though; what Catholic institutions peform abortions? I'd like some specifics here (please include references).

Laudable! I stick to my parish and pro-life charities. I assume by Catholic charities you don't mean "Catholic Charities" which is rife with liberal thought on a myriad of issues including abortion.

There a nunmber of so-called Catholic health facilities that provide abortifaecents, especially in the case of rape (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/sep/07092807.html). They also refer women to abortion facilities (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/mar/06032007.html), and aid in the procurement of abortion (http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/apr/05042905.html). There is also strong evidence (granted it is not conclusive) that some of them delay abortion until viability in order to bypass the strict guidelines that are supposed to be enforced on them (http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=40465).

I have found that to be the case as well. But the local "chapters" of AA focus on their own territories. Meaning, for AA in the US, the issues of alleged torture, prisoner abuse, detainees held without due process etc are the hot issues. I get regular emails on this and simply delete them to be honest. My focus is on other geographic areas, which I feel are much more critical (i.e. life and death).

I appreciate and respect your response, I wish most AA people would make the distinction you do.

And I have to say this, for all their faults, if I were ever taken prisoner for reasons of conscience, beliefs or political affiliation, I'd want AA to be aware of it. I don't think ANYONE would refuse their attention in such a circumstance.

Granted, but I doubt that most of us would consider a man who cuts reporter's heads off and blows up school children to qualify for that type of attention.

God Bless,

Matt

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