Thursday, November 09, 2006

NOR Right on Just War

The So-Called War on Terror

November 2006

We received a letter from Joe Furka of High Bridge, New Jersey: "You've done yeoman's work putting forth the argument that the war in Iraq is unjust. I hate you for it. As an ardent supporter of the war when it started, you've brought me kicking and screaming to see it in a light I never imagined -- and it sickens me. I'm left with one question: Can you offer your readers insights into how you think this ‘war on terror' could be fought justly?"

Yes, we'd be happy to. There would be no need for any U.S. "war on terror" if the U.S. had an evenhanded policy in the Middle East.

Before 9/11, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda had grievances against Israel for its presence in Jerusalem and its treatment of Palestinians. Listen to the 2004 9/11 Commission Report: The "mastermind of the 9/11 attacks" was Khalid Sheik Muhammed, and his "animus toward the United States stemmed…from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel." And listen to Osama bin Laden's videotape of October 29, 2004, explaining the reasons for the 9/11 attack: "Our patience ran out and we saw the unjustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon [prior to the war in the summer of 2006]…. Contrary to Bush's claim that we hate freedom, let him explain to us why we don't strike, for example, Sweden?"

Because the U.S. has not been a neutral and honest broker in the Mid-East and has overwhelmingly sided with Israel, radical Muslims have resorted to terror. And there are many imitators of Osama, and terror has spread far and wide. This is not good for America or the world. Both the Republican and Democratic parties -- in their majorities -- are stridently pro-Israel, and neither has an evenhanded policy in the Mid-East. All the U.S. would have to do is have a fair-minded policy in the Mid-East. Why is that so hard to do?

One answer, given by two academics of the realist conservative school of foreign policy, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, is that the Israel Lobby -- particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) -- has a stranglehold on U.S. policy in the Mid-East (The London Review of Books, March 23, 2006). Of course, Mearsheimer and Walt were smeared as "anti-Semites." But they're said to be Jewish; however, we can't confirm that. Over the past thirty years, Israel has taken 33 percent of U.S. foreign aid.

The NOR condemns terror, because it is objectively murder. Why can there not be nonviolent resistance? Why is there no Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., or Lech Walesa when we need them? Unfortunately, many groups have resorted to terrorism, even the Zionists when they were trying to establish the state of Israel. And the U.S. resorted to terrorism on a massive scale. The U.S. deliberately and intentionally murdered innocent civilians toward the end of World War II. At a time when Germany and Japan were essentially defeated, the U.S. firebombed Dresden and other German cities, and used nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At that time, General Curtis LeMay said, "There are no innocent civilians," and that's what Osama says. America's hands are definitely not clean.

The Muslims resent the U.S. for its cultural decadence -- its music, films, pornography, feminism, homosexualism, etc. -- that's been foisted on their Islamic culture. Who can blame them? That's their problem, and we hope they can overcome it. But they shouldn't resort to terrorism because of that.

The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- by the way, the democratically elected President -- said that "Israel must be wiped off the map." There is no way Iran could wipe Israel off the map. Israel has nuclear weapons (an estimated 200 nuclear warheads). At this point, Iran has none.

What has seldom been reported is that Ahmadinejad said the Zionist state should be moved to Europe or North America. Before World War I, among the sites under consideration for a Jewish homeland were Argentina and British East Africa -- so this is not such an outrageous idea. Richard Cohen, writing in the Washington Post (July 18 and 25), referring to the recent Israeli-Hezbollah war, says he supports the Israeli's "disproportionate military response" in Lebanon, saying, "You slap me, I will punch out your lights." Nevertheless, Cohen says, "Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, [Israel's] most formidable" enemies. Cohen says, "Israel is, as I have often said, unfortunately located…[in] a pretty bad neighborhood."

Nevertheless, the NOR has no objection to the Zionist state being where it is right now, if that's where the Zionist state wants to be.

However, David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father and the first Prime Minister of Israel, said, "If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel…. We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that [the Arabs'] fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country" (Nahum Goldmann, The Jewish Paradox). You can understand why Ahmadinejad said the Zionist state should be moved to Europe or North America. Certainly, the Israelis would live in peace there. Moreover, the ultra-orthodox Jews oppose the state of Israel, saying the restoration of Israel can only be accomplished by the expected Messiah. And the overwhelming majority of Israelis are secular Jews, so they don't believe the state of Israel is "God's Promised Land."

Nevertheless, Israel is an established fact in the Mid-East, and some Arab countries have made peace with Israel. If the U.S. had an evenhanded policy in the Mid-East, we think that the Israelis and Muslims could live in peace.

Because of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan (on Iran's eastern border) and Iraq (on Iran's western border), and because of the U.S.'s relentless hostility to Iran, the Iranians are said to want nuclear weapons. Why? Because no nation with nuclear weapons has ever been attacked by another nation. It's called deterrence.

If the U.S. could live with 30,000 Soviet nuclear weapons and missiles, the U.S. and Israel can easily live with a smattering of Iranian nuclear weapons. The NOR believes all nuclear weapons should be done away with. The Nonproliferation Treaty was signed in 1970 and committed member states to impending nuclear disarmament. It was led by the U.S. However, Israel did not sign the Nonproliferation Treaty.

There are worries that if the Iranians intend to get nuclear weapons, they could pass some of their nuclear weapons to terrorists. If Iran were to do that -- and it's extremely unlikely -- the U.S. would no doubt bomb the Iranians back into the Stone Age. And the Iranians know it. Much more likely is that terrorists would get nuclear weapons from the still-unsecured ex-Soviet nuclear sites.

As for the U.S. "war on terror," the U.S. is bogged down in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is making a comeback and Osama has not been caught, and in Iraq, where the principal winners are the Shia fundamentalists, who are close allies of Iran. (Moreover, the U.S. knocked off Saddam, Iran's arch-enemy.)

The U.S. is creating more terrorists than it is eliminating. But don't take it from us: A leaked classified National Intelligence Estimate ("Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States") reported that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has triggered a new generation of Islamic radicalism without any direct connection to al-Qaeda, that overall terrorism has increased since the 9/11 attacks, and that Muslim terrorism has spread across the world. All this because of our invasion of Iraq. The National Intelligence Estimates are the most authoritative documents in the intelligence community, and they are approved by John Negroponte, the Director of National Intelligence (The New York Times, Sept. 24).

This "war on terror" makes no sense. As H.L. Mencken said, "The American public…detest more violently…those who try to tell them the truth."

Senator Ernest Hollings wrote an op-ed in the Charleston Post and Courier (May 7, 2004): "With Iraq no threat [to the U.S.], why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel." Sen. Hollings said this right after announcing his retirement from the Senate. Nothing to lose. Of course, he was branded an anti-Semite by the neocon Weekly Standard and the Anti-Defamation League. This was intended to choke off debate. And it usually works. We have received many letters criticizing Israel, but most of their authors insist on withholding their names, because they fear being slurred as anti-Semitic (some letters are anti-Semitic, but most are not).

To automatically brand anyone who criticizes Israel as anti-Semitic is the last refuge of a scoundrel. It's just diversionary name-calling. Or, as the Catechism says, it would be "rash judgment" and "calumny" (#2477).

When Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki recently expressed some support for Hezbollah, Howard Dean, the Chairman of the Democratic Party, blasted him as anti-Semitic. How would he know? We do believe Mel Gibson is anti-Semitic -- in vino veritas (one speaks freely under the influence of alcohol) -- and that takes nothing away from his magnificent Passion of the Christ. But how would Dean know whether al-Maliki is anti-Semitic?

To criticize Israel is seldom anti-Semitic. As Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, said in a lecture on February 28, 2002, "We are wrong to see all criticism of the State of Israel as anti-Zionism, let alone anti-Semitism. No nation is perfect. No nation is above criticism."

Nevertheless, to this day one dare not criticize Israel or the Jews, but you can dump on the Arabs and Muslims all you want. There is such a thing as anti-Semitism, but can there be no such thing as anti-Islamicism? (Hey, we think we just made up a new word!) Insult Israel or the Jews and you're cast into the outer darkness, but insult the Arabs and Muslims and you'll be praised and lionized.

In a story in the Washington Post (Aug. 16, 2002), titled "Israel Urges U.S. to Attack," it was reported that "Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq's Saddam Hussein." Michael Kinsley, an American Jewish columnist, said at Slate magazine ( on October 24, 2002, that Israel's primary role in the upcoming war on Iraq is "the proverbial elephant in the room. Everybody sees it, no one mentions it." Kinsley noted that it was the fear of being tarred as an "anti-Semite." Kinsley is an honest man, but maybe only Jews can point to Israel as the major factor in the Iraq war, but even they do so at their own risk (being called Jew-hating Jews).

In the Washington Post (Nov. 27, 2002), it was reported that American political consultants who had advised Israeli politicians had drafted a memo to Israeli and Jewish leaders on the best way to frame the war on Iraq: "If your goal is regime change…. you do not want Americans to believe that the war on Iraq is being waged to protect Israel [but] rather…to protect America."

And remember that both the Republican and Democratic parties -- in their majorities -- supported the invasion of Iraq. Only when the invasion and occupation of Iraq wasn't going so well did the Dems (in part) object to it, but not to the so-called war on terror.

When Israel bombarded Lebanon in the summer of 2006, virtually all of the Democrats and Republicans supported Israel. Never mind that Israel's was an incredibly disproportionate response: One of the criteria for a just war is that "the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated" (Catechism, #2309).

Oddly, Saddam Hussein protected Christians in Iraq (mostly Catholics), and they thrived. Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, half of all Iraqi Christians have fled Iraq. Apparently, the U.S. doesn't care about Iraqi Christians, and their exodus is certainly downplayed by the media.

Israel would be happy to have the U.S. fight its wars -- and who wouldn't? The U.S. is Israel's sugar daddy. The pro-Israeli neocons have a dominating influence on Bush's foreign-policy establishment; however, these neocons do not reflect the Jewish community in America. Poll after poll shows that America's Jews are more opposed to the war on Iraq than the overall American population. The perennial Jewish question is: "Is it good for the Jews?" The invasion of Iraq is not good for the Jews. It has inflamed the Muslims and Arabs. After there were no WMDs to be found in Iraq, Bush tried to justify his war on the grounds that it would bring democracy to the Mid-East. But that too is backfiring. Through democratic elections, Hamas has come to power in Gaza and the West Bank, Ahmadinejad is the President of Iran, Iraq is now dominated by pro-Iranian Shia fundamentalists, Hezbollah has a dozen seats in the Lebanese Parliament, and in Egypt the radical Muslim Brotherhood has been strengthened. All this because of democratic elections.

There are more terrorists than ever before. Iran is the winner in the Iraq war. Israel is too small a country to subjugate the Muslims and Arabs -- it will never work. So don't blame the Jews; blame it on the lunatic neocon domination of U.S. foreign policy. Why do we call them lunatics? Because U.S. policy in the Mid-East is not working, and the U.S. is losing in Iraq. But don't take our word for it: "Israel's top military historian, Martin van Creveld of Tel Aviv University, whose book The Transformation of War is required reading for all U.S. military officers, has called the U.S. invasion of Iraq the biggest military blunder since Augustus Caesar invaded Germany 2,000 years ago. Writing for the Jewish weekly, The Forward, November 25 [2005], van Creveld declared that…the United States has lost" (The Wanderer, Dec. 8, 2005). More cautious is neocon Max Boot, a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. An ardent supporter of the war in Iraq, Boot now says the U.S. is "losing" (San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 27, 2006). And Newt Gingrich, a Republican who supports the war in Iraq, said, "this campaign to create a free and stable Iraq is clearly failing" (National Review, Sept. 11, 2006).

The U.S. can live with North Korean nuclear weapons; the U.S. can live with Chinese nuclear weapons; but Israel cannot live with one Iranian nuclear weapon (which would take three to ten years to develop). Israel has an estimated 200 nuclear warheads, with more in the works. Regarding Iran, Bush said in March 2006 that "we will use military might to protect our ally, Israel." Both the Republican and Democratic parties -- in their majorities -- will use military might to protect Israel. Again, it's all about Israel.

And the so-called war on terror goes right back to Israel. The Muslim terrorists say so themselves. On CBS's Face the Nation (Sept. 3), Howard Dean said the Dems are as committed to the war on terror as the Republicans, but the Dems will fight it more effectively. It doesn't matter who will fight it more effectively. There will be no relief from terrorism in the world until the U.S. has an evenhanded policy in the Mid-East. Why can't the U.S. figure that out? If the U.S. doesn't figure that out, the so-called war on terror will go on and on and on, ad infinitum.

The Christian Zionists do want war in the Mid-East, nuclear war, especially nuclear war with Iran. There are about 25 to 30 million Christian Zionists in America. They are represented by Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Benny Hinn, Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, and many others who support Israel to the hilt. These Christian Zionists are right about abortion, homosexuality, pornography, etc. but they are wrong about the Mid-East. The Christian Zionist eschatology is basically dispensational premillenialism, therefore the more turmoil and terrorism there is in the Mid-East, the sooner the battle of Armageddon, the rapture, and the Second Coming of Christ will occur. This is heresy for Catholics. Moreover, many Christian Zionists support Israel's interests over American interests.

If there is a war with Iran, the same Just War principles that applied to the war on Iraq will apply to Iran. Preventive wars, which the war on Iraq was and any war on Iran would be (barring the extremely unlikely event of Iran attacking the U.S. first), are automatically immoral and unjust and wars of aggression, according to Catholic Just War doctrine.

If there is war with Iran, you can expect neocon Catholics to champion the American Empire (for the benefit of Israel) and spurn Catholic Just War doctrine. On his website, the former Editor of The Catholic World Report, the neocon Domenico Bettinelli Jr., has an advertisement for T-shirts that say "NUKE IRAN." On Ave Maria Radio, filling in for Catholic Al Kresta was Catholic Michael Coren, who said the U.S. should strike Iran with nuclear weapons (Sept. 6, 2006). And they call themselves Catholics? If the U.S. used tactical nuclear weapons on Iran's nuclear facilities, the Defense Department estimates that it would kill (actually, murder) up to a million or more people -- that is, indiscriminately. That makes 9/11 look like child's play. As the Catechism says: "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation" (#2314).

An Editorial in The Forward (April 14), an American Jewish weekly, said that an attack on Iran "fought for Israel's benefit is a delusion," because it would have "disastrous consequences," and quoting Jack Straw (the Foreign Minister of Britain, our most reliable ally) said it would be "completely nuts." Iran could hardly fight back against a U.S. attack, but it would unleash massive terrorism, primarily on Israel via Hamas and Hezbollah, and secondarily on U.S. soldiers in Iraq via the Iraqi Shia militias. Perhaps most ominous of all, on Iran's eastern border and Afghanistan's southern border is Pakistan, whose wobbly dictator is a U.S. ally. He would surely be overthrown by Islamic fundamentalists with close ties to Osama. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons.

No, an attack on Iran would not be good for the Jews. Nor would it be good for Catholics. We commend the National Catholic Register (May 21-27) for printing a letter from Michelle Coldiron: "I believe that Islamic fundamentalism is a ruse, thrown at us by the devil in order to confound us and allow a victory on his part. The real enemy in this world war is secularism. And what is secularism? It is ourselves." We couldn't have said it better.

On 9/11 there were 3,000 murders. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortion has murdered 50,000,000 babies -- that's five times the number of people murdered in Hitler's death camps. It's so much easier to fight wars -- rally 'round the flag, shock and awe, we'll punch your lights out -- than to confront abortion. You can see why Satan wants to take our eyes off the Abortion Holocaust.

The war on terror is a delusion.

DOSSIER: Iraq & the Just War


Blogger Louise said...

Wow, what a great, great blog! You may like the following which I found elsewhere:


The 19th century roots of militant Christian Zionism (and Armageddonism), a present-day crusade supporting American politics and even military action to hurry up the End, are now revealed in Dave MacPherson's book "The Rapture Plot."
The roots of this vengeful and power-mad campaign have been traced by MacPherson to a quarterly British journal "The Morning Watch" which, in its Sep. 1830 issue, had the first public teaching of the "pre-tribulation rapture" (the most popular feature of a system known as "dispensationalism").
In that issue one writer stated that the raptured Christians would then collectively become "the victorious ministerer of the great tribulation" upon those left behind!
An 1832 issue of the same journal taught that the "vials" of wrath in the book of Revelation "shall be poured out by the risen [raptured] saints," and a few months later another issue went even further and declared that the collective group of raptured ones will "wield the thunders of its power against the dragon (Satan) and his angels, and cast them down from heaven"!
(Note to scholars: Southeastern Baptist Seminary in North Carolina is the only North American institution that has a complete set of every issue of "The Morning Watch," published from 1829-1832.)
But where in the Bible, asks MacPherson, did those British fanatics find support for such "rapture rage," and where are the followers of Christ commanded to pick up a sword and conquer or convert non-believers with it - or even support such sword-bearers?
The above is a tiny fraction of Dave MacPherson's 300-page book "The Rapture Plot," the most detailed and documented history of the "pre-tribulation rapture" view merchandised big time by John Hagee, Tim LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Hal Lindsey, Jimmy Swaggart, Jack Van Impe etc. for their agendas - an escapist view that was never taught by any church before 1830!
MacPherson, by the way, has stated that all of his royalties have always gone to a nonprofit corporation and not to himself. To obtain a copy of his unique, eye-opening book, call 800.643.4645 or visit online bookstores. (Type in "Scholars Weigh My Research" on Google to read endorsements of it by many leading scholars.)
Do Hagee and his fellow preachers really love Jewish persons as much as they say they do? Then why do they pervert Scripture to try to get themselves raptured off earth before the final "tribulation" instead of wanting to be on earth during that period to minister love to ALL of earth's citizens?
Hagee stated on July 19, 2006 that "The United States must join Israel in a pre-emptive military strike against Iran to fulfill God's plan for both Israel and the West...." Which Bible verse inspired him to utter this - the one that says "Love ye your enemies" or the one saying "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord"?
It would appear that Hagee, Falwell and other rapture merchandisers and Christian Zionists are trying to identify with the predicted group whose love will "wax cold" (a la Matthew 24:12) during earth's darkest days!

11:25 PM  

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