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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Irish Elk - Blogged


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Irish Elk
Saturday, December 28, 2002  
Innocents, Holy and otherwise

On Iraq, the politics of Baghdad Sean Penn (above right) appear to prevail at the Holy See.

Here's Spicoli in a paid newspaper ad appealing to the president: I beg you, help save America before yours is a legacy of shame and horror…[S]acrificing American soldiers or innocent civilians in an unprecedented preemptive attack on a separate sovereign nation ... may well prove itself a most temporary medicine.

And here's the Vatican's former envoy to the United Nations: Archbishop Renato Martino told reports only last week that a war against Iraq as threatened by the United States and Britain could not be "just"… Archbishop Martino, who is also the prefect of the Vatican's Council for Justice and Peace, said that a preventive war against Saddam Hussein was a "war of aggression" and therefore not a "just war".

Today being the Feast of the Holy Innocents, here is a link to an article by Jeffrey Goldberg published earlier this year in the New Yorker that reports in chilling detail on Saddam Hussein's use of lethal gas against the Kurds of Iraq.

There is little doubt what Saddam might do with an atomic bomb or with his stocks of biological and chemical weapons. When I talked about Saddam's past with the medical geneticist Christine Gosden, she said, "Please understand, the Kurds were for practice."

A British government dossier on Saddam's weapons program reports on the notorious chemical-weapon attack on Halabja in 1988. "In places," the dossier says, "streets were piled with corpses."

Meantime, an op-ed piece ran this past weekend by Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor who knows the face of evil. His message: War on Saddam is the only option.

It was a year ago in November that the liberation of Kabul was brought about by the exercise of American military power.

The children were flying kites in Kabul yesterday, little squares of homemade paper, one of them dancing in the thin breeze over the derelict hulk of the headquarters of the Taliban's religious police. When the children had gone to bed the night before, kites were a forbidden joy. When they got up, the kite-haters had vanished.
Yesterday a city of one million souls woke from a bad dream that had lasted five years. In Kabul the Taliban were not a screaming nightmare like 20th century dictators but a nagging, vicious, nonsensical head fever, where men were to despise women, daughters were to be illiterate, and drums and kites were evil.

Recall it was in the name of these very Afghan citizens that arguments were made against the military action that freed them. It was in the purported cause of civilian safety that arguments were made against a realistic effort to end the oppression of those same civilians. Had the peace lobby been heeded, the day-to-day suffering of millions at the hands of the Taliban would have continued unabated.

Perhaps to mark today's Feast of the Holy Innocents, the Vatican, in keeping with its theme of Christmas week past, will issue another clarion call for inaction in the face of brutality.

Perhaps the Holy See will explain why it is better for tyranny's victims that their oppressors not be compelled to stop. Perhaps more will be forthcoming on the injustice of aggression against evil, and the blessings of peace through appeasement.

On the War on Terror, ubi Petrus, ibi idiotarianism.

Matthew Paris comments at Catholic Light: It has ever been the way for Christians to fight evil. Unfortunately, this has often meant taking up arms in the defense of good. It is a fact that those who do nothing to oppose evil are helping it.

And this from the Accidental Catechist:

We are living in time where we are being called to defend all that is good against all that is evil and those that wish to do us harm. It is one thing to doubt our goodness, for we know that we are at times blinded to our own faults, and another thing to let our doubts paralyze is into inaction. Yes, we must remove the plank from our own eyes before calling evil for what it is, but nonetheless, evil must be pointed out and appropriately dispensed with. Jesus did not say that we could not remove the plank, but we are to call out those that are doing wrong with a sense of humility and an understanding of our own failings. Similar to the action in "The Two Towers", there are dark forces that wish to eliminate our way of life. They are not interested in our natural, economic or human resources. They are only interested in the destruction of our culture. At least the barbarians that swept through the Roman Empire wanted the civil life of Rome. The terrorist and rogue states of today have no such desire for civilization. The question posed at the end of the "The Two Towers" asks us if we are ready to fight for and to defend all that we hold as good or do we capitulate and let evil to destroy the peace, freedom, and love that has been given unto us?


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