Friday, September 13, 2013

Some Valid Criticism of Vatican and Papal Policy On Syria

William McGurn in the New York Post I think brings up some valid and fair points of discussion about Vatican and Papal policy toward Syria. See The Prez v. the Pope . These are questions I have been thinking about myself.

 We see this in papal tweets such as “War never again! Never again war” — which is curious, given that the Syrian people are already at war and have been for two years. We see it in statements such as “Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.” Not only is this false — wars from the American Revolution to the defeat of Japan and the invasion of Grenada have sometimes begat free societies, not more war — it makes no distinction between violence (what, say, Bashar al-Assad did when he gassed those children) and a just use of force (what we might do to stop further atrocities). 

A more realistic warning about war would be a reminder that even when successful it carries a high human price

.I think that last line is very right . At Mirrors of Justice recently there was a good excerpt from St Augustine where he reminds us that even Just wars and related actions carry a horrid price at times.

Later on he says :

  Most troubling, it’s hard not to notice that papal anti-war flurries seem to occur only when Uncle Sam enters the frame — as if Russia hasn’t been abetting war by its arms shipments to Syria, as if Iran hadn’t been sending troops as well as arms, and as if the Assad mafia hasn’t been butchering innocent Syrians for decades. In fairness to Pope Francis, on these questions he is continuing down a muddled path set by his two predecessors.

In this case I think that is the  issue no one wants to be too blunt about. That is  is the fact of Syrian Christians and fear that those could replace Assad could be far far far worse for Christians in the area. Thus certain immoral actions of the Assad regime ( use of weapons of mass destruction ) have to be weighed against other very bad alternatives.

Now this might be very legitimate.  The very well respected Mark L. Movsesian recently made a case that in the big scope of things its perfectly valid to recognize that our obligations and allegiances to other Christians in the world and in this case Syria should outweigh other concerns.

That very well might be true !

Anyway my position is muddled itself. I support the need to make sure Assad does not use chemical weapons again ( even strikes ) , but I have to admit I am not sure at this point I want him thrown out .On that point the rather 2 year constant Christian media campaign by Syrian Christians that tends to be Pro Assad has been effective .

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