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Author Topic: Hypocrisy? Or maybe I am just not getting it.  (Read 11796 times) Average Rating: 0
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Robert
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« on: March 18, 2003, 02:16:12 PM »

Forgive me if this sounds like Catholic bashing.

Why is Rome communing Protestants?
Why is Rome throwing a bigger deal over the war in Iraq, something they can't fix, than the priest scandal, which they can?
Why does the Catechism for the Catholic church say that war can be justified, yet http://www.stjosephsbyz.org/lent.htm
says it is 'mortal sin'.

Please answer these questions..
They are all contradictions

Bobby
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2003, 02:33:21 PM »

In my opinions:

It does not matter that Rome communed Blair; Roman Canon law allows for exceptions for Anglicans.  The problem, in my opinion, is that they used a silly justification, namely that "there was no Anglican Church available."  The Pope, as the absolute master of the Roman Church per Vatican I, could simply have said "we're making an exception for this guy because I want to" and no one would have been able to deny his authority to do it (although one can always disagree in a civil way with the prudence of such actions).

Of course Rome has to stand up for peace; the Church should stand for peace.  I am glad the Pope has merely repeated ad inifinitum that peace is what is needed, because it is.  The Church shouldn't butt into HOW that peace is to be obtained though; it should admit that many polititians and Catholics of good will (such as myself) believe the impending war to be just.  Rome should "be there" for both sides to help out if it can.  Heck, maybe the Pope should offer to Saddam that he can live in the Vatican under house arrest--it may have a good effect on him! haha  As far as Bp John Michael's statement on the war, I think he is overstepping his authority, and consequently, such political meddling by a bishop weakens his stature among the flock.  He should STAY OUT of the specifics.

I think you're being unreasonable, Robert, though when you say it's a contradiction.  The Catechism says some war is justified based on conditions x, y, and z.  The Pope and Bp John Michael interpret it to not include the war on Iraq.  I think they're wrong, but I don't see any contradiction.

In Christ,

anastasios

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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2003, 02:34:48 PM »

Bobby, I recognize that you're an Administrator, but don't these questions belong on the Orthodox-Catholic thread?

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Robert
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2003, 02:45:40 PM »

My bad, posted on the wrong thread.

It just seems to me that the Vatican is making a much bigger deal out of the war with Iraq than they did with the priest scandals that have occurred over the past year.

Perhaps contradiction was the wrong word, but from the actions that Rome has demonstrated, there is an element of illogicality.

I realize this is a sensitive subject, and Rome bashing isn't my objective. It just frustrates me in that Rome is trying to reform the world yet they can't even reform themselves.

Bobby
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2003, 02:50:43 PM »

In regard to your response anastasios, I don't find fault with the Vatican's stance against war. In fact I agree that their position is necessary and truthful.

But there just seems to be a conflict of interest. I didn't see such a strong public statement of condemnation when the priest scandals occurred.

Bobby
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2003, 02:54:36 PM »

"Why is Rome communing Protestants?"

There are conflicting accounts whether Blair was given communion or only a blessing.  Moreover, there are conflicting accounts whether he has already converted.  Stay tuned.

"Why is Rome throwing a bigger deal over the war in Iraq, something they can't fix, than the priest scandal, which they can?"

I don't know if Rome can do something about the Iraqi situation or not.  Perhaps they will play a big role in the rebuilding of that country.  There is some housecleaning being done against the corrupt priests.  Will it go further?  I don't know.

"Why does the Catechism for the Catholic church say that war can be justified, yet http://www.stjosephsbyz.org/lent.htm
says it is 'mortal sin'."

It is a mortal sin in most cases.  This particular war cannot be justified, says the Pope, based on the just war theory which limits the kinds of things that can justify a given war.  

What's particularly interesting about this war is that it hasn't happened yet.  What if Sadaam leaves before Wednesday?  What if this is the only way to get rid of the rascal?  Stay tuned.

Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2003, 02:57:17 PM »

In regard to your response anastasios, I don't find fault with the Vatican's stance against war. In fact I agree that their position is necessary and truthful.

But there just seems to be a conflict of interest. I didn't see such a strong public statement of condemnation when the priest scandals occurred.

Bobby

Bobby, this is where dadof10 can probably enter the fray and attempt to answer you, if he is willing.  IMHO, the priest scandals were too "close to home" for the Vatican, while Iraq is somewhat further removed and can take our minds off the priest scandals.

Hypo-Ortho


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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2003, 03:20:37 PM »

There is an interesting response to the Bishop's declaration at  http://mywebpages.comcast.net/enpeters/blog.htm by a Canon Lawyer.
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2003, 05:41:43 PM »

There is an interesting response to the Bishop's declaration at  http://mywebpages.comcast.net/enpeters/blog.htm by a Canon Lawyer.

You are, of course, referring to the statement made by Romanian Rite Byzantine Catholic Bishop Botean, Nik.  It really came across to me as if this bishop was "pontificating" in an "ex cathedra" manner reserved to the Pope in Roman Catholicism.  At least that was my take of Bishop Botean's binding declaration on his 5,000 eparchial subjects.  Any Catholics here have a different reaction to Bishop Botean's declaration different than my Eastern Orthodox one?

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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2003, 08:27:22 PM »

I know I'm not Catholic, but when I read that statement it sure sounded like he was infallibly declaring something...it was in the best traditions of Vatican I, I'd say.
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2003, 10:10:15 PM »

As most of you already guessed and is manifest on my blog, I agree with the Pope and Bishop John-Michael.

Quote
Why is Rome communing Protestants?

I've said my piece about the alleged incident with Tony Blair, but it seems it never happened, so no, Rome is not communing Protestants willy-nilly or for stupid, contrived, politically motivated reasons like 'he's the leader of an important country and there are no churches of his kind in the Vatican'.

Quote
Why is Rome throwing a bigger deal over the war in Iraq, something they can't fix, than the priest scandal, which they can?

Rome can, should and is making a big deal over Iraq, but I agree that covering up the crimes of gay priests is inexcusable, even if it's done at the top levels.

Quote
Why does the Catechism for the Catholic church say that war can be justified, yet http://www.stjosephsbyz.org/lent.htm
says it is 'mortal sin'.

I think Dan Lauffer answered this. There is no contradiction, no hypocrisy here. Bishop John-Michael isn't saying there's no such thing as a just war. He's saying this one is unjust, and he's right.

I find it ironic that some of the supporters of the war here are of draft age.

And doesn't Eastern Orthodoxy teach that wherever the local bishop is, holding the orthodox faith and in communion with all other such bishops, there you find the Church in its fullness? Yet people here are harshing on Bishop John-Michael for acting like the Church of Canton, Ohio. 'Who does he think he is - the Vicar of Christ?' Wink
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2003, 12:57:50 AM »


I think Dan Lauffer answered this. There is no contradiction, no hypocrisy here. Bishop John-Michael isn't saying there's no such thing as a just war. He's saying this one is unjust, and he's right.

No, he's dead wrong.  I have been doing some reading about this war more and more and as I read, the more I have to come out in support of ending Saddam Hussein's career.  He is evil, he kills his own people by violent torture, we have the power to stop him, we should, end of story. It's the Christian thing to do.

We have the evidence from sattelite photos that Saddam is training terrorists; here is one article discussing it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/11/09/wirq09.xml

Terrorists are a direct affront to the USA, so we have the right to stop it.  Plus, he will keep on killing if he gets the chance, and we again have the power to stop it.  We must.

We can't let the French stand in the way of world peace just because they want to earn the oil contracts.  No, President Bush was right last night; the oil wells belong to the Iraqi people.  Whoever says WE are just doing it for the oil never mentions the immense profit the FRENCH stand to gain if Hussein outlasts the embargo against him.

anastasios

PS This part is directed towards Serge personally: Serge, you say the bishop is right.  But wouldn't you be mad if YOUR bishop came out and said the war was RIGHT?  You would be upset and alienated, just like I am from this bishop now.  That's why I believe bishops should pray for peace but keep out of war politics.
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« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2003, 03:09:51 AM »

It is a valid argument that a double standard can be observed in the highly unsatisfactory manner the sex scandals were handled and the lack of a proper response to it.  This does not diminish the urgency of the Catholic Church's duty in protesting this obvious wrong and yes, evil, to be committed by the U.S., nor does it take away from the meritorious nature of any response directed against the war.

Anastasios, cool those jets, will ya?


"I think Dan Lauffer answered this. There is no contradiction, no hypocrisy here. Bishop John-Michael isn't saying there's no such thing as a just war. He's saying this one is unjust, and he's right."

No, he's dead wrong.  

No, he's dead right, and I am delighted to see something as unexpected as this blatant statement finally come out.  Now, I only hope Metropolitan Philip and Metropolitan John (Elya) follow suit.

In IC XC
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« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2003, 07:03:52 AM »

Samer, I think we can agree to disagree on this.  I have been watching programs on Saddam's longterm antics, including genocide (which the peaceniks conveniently fail to mention or take into account) and torture against peoples in Iraq, especially Kurds and political dissidents, for several evenings on PBS now.  The man is a danger to his own people, not only to us.  He has to go.

While I respect the views of those opposed to war (as I am, in most cases), I wonder how many among them (except for those like Serge) are as adamantly opposed to abortion (like the Pope).  Or are they selective in which lives they consider important and worth saving, i.e., those already born.

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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2003, 12:07:27 PM »

Thanks, Samer. anastasios, I still disagree with you and don't buy this war. Again, I find it ironic that someone of draft age supports it. If you want to volunteer to fight another country's war, be it a civil war in Iraq, or join a Kurdish force vs. Hussein, etc. (and if American Jews want to volunteer to fight for Israel... like the Americans who joined the RAF and RCAF [Canadian air force] in 1940 and 1941), be my guest. It's not America's war. My position is clear: butt out of Palestine, and have free trade with all and political entanglements with none. You seem to have bought into the neocons' myth, part of American culture since WWII and even the Civil War, of a benevolent, omnipotent American federal government, an imperium Americanum.

Quote
While I respect the views of those opposed to war (as I am, in most cases), I wonder how many among them (except for those like Serge) are as adamantly opposed to abortion (like the Pope).  Or are they selective in which lives they consider important and worth saving, i.e., those already born.

Thanks, Hypo-Ortho. See my blog - the irony didn't escape me.

Quote
This part is directed towards Serge personally: Serge, you say the bishop is right.  But wouldn't you be mad if YOUR bishop came out and said the war was RIGHT?  You would be upset and alienated, just like I am from this bishop now.  That's why I believe bishops should pray for peace but keep out of war politics.

I surely would be angry. On one hand this hypothetical scenario makes a magisterium look pretty good, as both Bishop John-Michael and the Pope stand on one. On the other hand, priests in the jurisdiction you refer to have signed some of the same antiwar petitions I have.
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2003, 12:42:50 PM »

First off, I apologize to everyone for my err strong post last night.  I strongly believe in what I wrote but maybe I came on too strong...?

Now to my friend Serge (glad we can disagree and still be good friends),

>>>Thanks, Samer. anastasios, I still disagree with you and don't buy this war. Again, I find it ironic that someone of draft age supports it. If you want to volunteer to fight another country's war, be it a civil war in Iraq, or join a Kurdish force vs. Hussein, etc. (and if American Jews want to volunteer to fight for Israel... like the Americans who joined the RAF and RCAF [Canadian air force] in 1940 and 1941), be my guest. It's not America's war. My position is clear: butt out of Palestine, and have free trade with all and political entanglements with none. You seem to have bought into the neocons' myth, part of American culture since WWII and even the Civil War, of a benevolent, omnipotent American federal government, an imperium Americanum.<<<

Serge, I respect generally your anti-war views.  I agree with you that WWI, Vietnam, the Spanish-American War, the Panamanian intervention of 1989, the Nicaraguan intervention, and the DEA in Columbia spraying cocaine fields are all stupid and immoral interventions.  However, you have built this view into such an ideology that you are not willing to see the sufferings of a people and support their liberation.  We have the power, and we should act.  If not us, then who?  I for one can't sit back and say "my views on war preclude me from supporting this intervention" while I look at the reality of what life is like in Iraq, combined with the terrorist forces Saddam is training, etc.  People die every day there and we can sit back and let it happen or take action.  The world doesn't have to operate on a strictly "what am I gonna get out of it model"; no, we can take action based on principles.

If I saw a person being killed on the street I would step in and try to save them.  If I am called to help save innocents in Iraq then I will do it.  I wouldn't have fought in the Vietnam war because that war was unjust not to mention unwinnable--the people of Vietnam were against it.  The people of Iraq, however, are generally not against our intervention as report after report coming out of Iraq shows.  Our intelligence shows that the Iraqis have special army units whose sole purpose is to stand in the back of the line and kill the many would-be defectors so that the whole army doesn't just surrender.  If I am called to serve, I will go because that is my responsiblitity to my country.  By the way, I could always turn the tables and say, "if you don't like the war Serge, you can run for office and vote against it."  Grin

I do believe this is America's war.  We are the world's superpower and there is no way we can "turn back."  We created the world in which we live, so now we have to deal with it.  Arguments that "this doesn't concern our nation" don't hold water for me because we are all interconnected now.  Globalism is here to stay.  Nations were a 16th century Protestant thing, they were here for awhile, but now it's time to go back to multi-cultural "empires" like the Roman empire which have nothing to do with race, ethnicity, etc.  People need to keep coming together and integrating more closely.

I agree with you that we should get out of Israel and I support Palestinians.

Please don't try to label me as buying into the neocon myth.  First, I am not convinced that there even *is* such a thing as a neocon.  Second, I took this quiz http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=zeron and I was classified as a Liberarian! haha  A quick reading of "neocon" on Lew's site does suggest that is what I am but the more I dig into it the more I realize, "that's not me."  I take the facts and digest them, but don't like to put labels on them.  FYI, I *don't* buy the notion of a benevolent federal government.  I believe the federal government is neutral, made up of good and bad people, it can do bad or good, but that it is not "alive" or "a thing" that can be "bad" like so many Libertarians and Republicans think.  It's just what it is, and we can influence it.

You know that I am really a monarchist anyway.

Your friend,

anastasios (aka Emperor Anastasios III of New Rome and all Crestwood!)
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2003, 01:49:40 PM »

I took the quiz at http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=zeron too Anastasios and it ranked me as such:

#1 Conservative
#2 Paleoconservative
#3 Neoconservative
#4 Centrist
#5 Paleo-libertarian
#6 Libertarian
#7 Liberal
#8 Radical
#9 Third Way
#10 Left-libertarian

Perhaps we should all take it and report back our posts?
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2003, 02:16:49 PM »

1. Libertarian
2. Paleo-libertarian
3. Left-libertarian
4. Paleo-conservative
5. Radical
6. Conservative
7. Centrist
8. Third Way
9. Liberal
10. Neo-conservative
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2003, 03:25:22 PM »

#1 Neoconservative
#2 Radical
#3 Liberal
#4 Conservative
#5 Centrist
#6 Libertarian
#7 Paleoconservative
#8 Third Way
#9 Paleo-libertarian
#10 Left-libertarian
 
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2003, 05:30:25 PM »

There is an interesting response to the Bishop's declaration at  http://mywebpages.comcast.net/enpeters/blog.htm by a Canon Lawyer.

Personally, I find the Lenten message of Bishop John A. Elya, the Melkite Greek-Catholic Eparch of Newton, to be far more balanced and stable than that of Romanian Rite Bishop Botean:

DIOCESE OF NEWTON
Eparch's Lenten Message, 2003

(To be read from the pulpit and/or to be distributed with the weekly bulletin)

The Great and Holy Lent is upon us. With it come both an invitation to grow and a challenge to change through prayer, fasting, and good works. Lent is a time of grace. Lent is a time of preparation. Lent is a time of joyful sacrifice and prayer.

In the early Church, there was a certain expectant faith that in many ways we have lost today.  There was an expectation for the second coming of the Lord Jesus.  Christians had a great desire for Heaven, much greater than today.  I think of the strong emphasis on eternal life and an even a greater desire for it in the writings of the Fathers of the Church.  I invite our people, clergy and laity alike, to live this Lenten season with a greater desire and a greater sense of urgency. Let us repeat wholeheartedly with the First Christians: "Marana tha! Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!" (1 Corinthians 16:22 & Revelation 22:20)  Let us mean it every time when we say it in the Nicene Creed (probably, without giving it all our attention): "We look forward for the Resurrection of the dead and the life in the world to come." By the end of Lent, we remind ourselves several times a day in our prayers: "Behold the Bridegroom is coming in the middle of the night. Blessed is the servant whom He finds awake!" (Bridegroom Service on the first four days of Holy Week)

Our longing is for union with God, life in Christ, and eventually eternal life with the Lord in Heaven.  In this life we strive for sanctification and deification.  At the same time, we await our glorification, "an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for" us. (I Peter 1:4)

Our sense of urgency is compounded by the struggles of today. We live under a constant threat of terrorism. World leaders are working to avert a major war. We are striving for healing and hope in the Church after sinful and shameful abuse by some of our Catholic clergy. The weakening of the family unit and moral fiber of our society, poverty, homelessness, the killing of the unborn, and many other injustices continue to grow daily. There truly is an urgent need for the unconditional love, boundless mercy and healing power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My profound hope is that our ascetic spiritual exercises recommended during this sacred period of Lent will sharpen our longing for the "world to come." An old song comes to mind - I am quoting it from memory:


"This earth is not my own. I am a pilgrim here.
I saw amidst this world The other world appear.
My life is now transformed, Though earthly as before;
And I can't feel at home In this world anymore

The holy time of Lent has been called the "Spring of the Soul." As the season of spring, it is a propitious time of renewal and rejuvenation. This year, during Great Lent, I encourage a more serious effort from all of us for holiness.  The call to holiness begins with a call to love Jesus. Abba Paul shares his wisdom from the desert, "Keep close to Jesus."  From this loving relationship with Jesus comes a desire to communicate with Him in prayer and please Him with a life of virtue and holiness. "Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance; but, as He who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, 'Be holy because I am holy." (I Peter 1:14-16)

On the 4th Sunday of Great Lent, we remember Saint John Climacus and his Ladder of Divine Ascent.  In his chapter on prayer (Step 28), Saint John Climacus tells us that "Prayer is by nature a dialogue of man and woman with God.  Its effect is to hold the world together. It achieves a reconciliation with God.  "  Maybe one reason that the world is in such need today is lack of prayer. You and I can do something about this. You and I can make a difference. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes us.

A famous Latin Rite Saint, John Marie Vianney, said that the purpose of man and woman "is to pray and to love."  Our beloved Archbishop Joseph Tawil, known and loved by us all, often reminded us that holiness is the call of everyone.  He would often exhort us to spend more time in prayer.  He would remind us that as the Fathers taught, we all have the vocation to be monksGǪto be saints.  I remind you today, beloved in Christ, that holiness is not the luxury of a few, but it is the call and duty of all Christians.

Saint Ignatius of Antioch exhorted the Christians in the early Church, and I remind us all today. "Try to gather together more frequently to give thanks to God and to praise Him. For when you come together frequently, Satan's powers are undermined GǪ" (Letter to the Ephesians) I encourage you all to attend the Lenten services provided by your Parishes as much as you can.  Even if it's a sacrifice to attend, I encourage you to make this sacrifice.  At the moment of death, no one regrets time spent in prayer, time spent with the Lord, time spent with the Church in prayer.  Pray with your family.  Take the children and young people with you to services. Our youth are not only the future of the Church, they are the Church.  We must train them in the ways of the Lord.  God is more important than sports, television, computers, or any of the other 'priorities' we hold.

Many of us remember the faith in God and devotion to the Church of our grandparents and parents.  They blessed us with their strong faith in Christ and love for the Church.  It is now our duty to pass that 'gift' to our children and grandchildren. What better way is there than to bring our family with us to weekly Lenten services, and most importantly to Divine Liturgy every Sunday. Oh! How I cherish the memory of me, as an eight year old child, holding the hand of my mother in our way to the prayer of Great Complines (Salaat Ya Rabbal Quwwaat).

The time of Lent is a time of purification with Christ who fasted for forty days and forty nights. Giving up food, which our bodies crave, enhances the will power of our souls. Yet, in addition to the traditional Lenten fast, we could fast from things like idle gossip, television, computer games, or any other legitimate pleasure allowed only to serve us, but not to enslave us.  We could use the time gained for prayer, spiritual reading, family meals, family time, or good works. We may adopt as motto: "More of Jesus, less of me." The Shepherd's Care Program to feed the hungry and help the needy in America and abroad through our fasting during the holy time of Lent has been for years a good way to help alleviate some of the suffering in the universe, while sacrificing our own legitimate pleasure.

If our experience of Great Lent is more disciplined and committed, our time of the Resurrection of Jesus will be more joyful and fruitful. Be assured of my love and prayers for you all. I especially remember in prayer and in my heart all those who are home bound because of sickness or old age. I pray that our blessed Lord, Who fasted and prayed for forty days in the desert, will bless and comfort you. May you unite your sufferings to His as we all pray to grow in love and virtue.

"The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love to all of you in Christ Jesus." (I Corinthians 16:23-24)

+ John A. Elya
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2003, 05:37:09 PM »

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« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2003, 06:11:05 PM »

Hypo-Ortho, as you know, we Melkites have very strong reservations when it comes to the current Code.  For starters, we find..... Lips Sealed ....hmmm..hmm....

I'm afraid your Latin tendencies towards legal nitpicking are showing.  Wink  As is your now suspiciously convenient favouritism towards Bishop John (just joking).  I thought you didn't like much of what he says....Melkite revisionism and all.  Wink

In any case, I find a quoted canon interesting.  Is this supposed neocon (of the religious sort; they always tend to be canon lawyers for some reason) asking for the sanctioning of this bishop?  Well, just maybe, the Roman See will ratify the bishop's statement, and he can accuse the Pope of being unduly unreasonable (please, Your Holiness, we are supposed to be papal loyalists; don't force us to do this; defending Assisi was fine by us, but you've really crossed the line this time) or violating canon law or something similiar.

Maybe our canon lawyer should just get a real job. Wink

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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2003, 06:17:07 PM »

#1 Paleo-libertarian

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#3 Libertarian

#4 Left-libertarian

#5 Conservative

#6 Centrist

#7 Radical

#8 Neoconservative

#9 Third Way

#10 Liberal

Damn, Serge. One step short of a paleo.  What's up with that?

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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2003, 12:02:17 AM »

Sam B<<I'm afraid your Latin tendencies towards legal nitpicking are showing.    As is your now suspiciously convenient favouritism towards Bishop John (just joking).  I thought you didn't like much of what he says....Melkite revisionism and all. >>

Hey, when Bishop John is right, he's right, and I'll say so.  And please don't forget I know His Grace personally: he was one of my teachers (at the time he was pastor of Our Lady of the Cedars Melkite Church in Manchester, NH) when I was in the Diaconate Program of the Melkite Eparchy years ago, a program approved for me by my then Ruthenian Rite Byzantine Catholic bishop, Michael J. Dudick of Passaic, now in retirement.

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« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2003, 12:42:37 AM »

Hypo, I was jesting with you.  

Take it easy.

Do you still keep some contact with His Grace?

It's not often one knows a bishop from his years as a priest.

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« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2003, 09:10:54 AM »

Hypo, I was jesting with you.  

Take it easy.

Do you still keep some contact with His Grace?

It's not often one knows a bishop from his years as a priest.

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Samer, no problem, I knew you were jesting!    Grin

No, I no longer am in contact with Bishop John.  I pretty much burned all bridges behind me when I "adjusted" from the Unia to Orthodoxy.

I also knew the late Bishop Innocent [Gula] of Anchorage (OCA), later titular Bishop of Hagerstown, former Auxiliary to (now-retired) Metropolitan Theodosius, from his years as a priest (he was then Fr. George Gula, "superior" of the Annunciation Monastery [ACROD], Tuxedo Park, NY).  Sad to say, Bishop Innocent died while under his second suspension for disobedience to the OCA's Holy Synod of Bishops and was deprived of an Orthodox funeral.

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« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2003, 10:33:39 AM »

I will request the moderators' indulgence with this one.  What I am posting below may seem strong, but rest assured no personal attack is intended here.  I think the commentary is needed. I've included snippets from two posts.

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He is evil, he kills his own people by violent torture, we have the power to stop him, we should, end of story. It's the Christian thing to do.

No.  It's not Christian to incinerate Iraqis and destabilize a region, and rub shoulders with Turks who are looking for a piece of the pie, whom you have already permitted to bomb Kurds in the illegal no fly zones, Kurds you betrayed in the past.  There are also more ruthless tyrants than this one amongst countless others, who call for your attention. If human rights are America's concern, then Israel is the primary antagonist in that department.  Maybe Mr. Bush should renege his commitment of friendship and lap-dog service to a bone-fied butcher, who more than likely is clinically insane.  Perhaps he should break ties with the fundamentalist nutcases who search Scripture for hidden meanings every time Sharon breaks wind.  Also, I assure you that living under Saddam would have done me much less harm from a religious angle than the U.S. government's friends the Saudis, who would have me eat shit were I to merely step into Mecca.  Who allied themselves with Pol Pot, for God's sake?  Do you think Saddam amounts to anything in comparison to your government's fomer buddy?

The bizarreness of this entire propaganda blitz is how the spin doctors have so personalized Saddam.  This tone of a global Crusade against an "Evil Man" (a truly insignificant one) is genuinely baffling in the world of realpolitik where we know that interests are at play.  Do the bureaucrats in Washington honestly believe the American people are that stupid?  To not suspect that interests are at play?

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We can't let the French stand in the way of world peace just because they want to earn the oil contracts.

Anastasios, world peace?GǪerrrGǪ."World Peace"?  I'm sorry, but you're losing me bud.  You're not making sense anymore.  

What are the objectives of this war again?  And how does directly opposing an unnecessary war, death, and mayhem, rather than supporting them, stand in the way of world peace?

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No, President Bush was right last night; the oil wells belong to the Iraqi people.  Whoever says WE are just doing it for the oil never mentions the immense profit the FRENCH stand to gain if Hussein outlasts the embargo against him.

Casting suspicion on the motives of opponents of war does not undermine the argument against the war.  Oil, Israel, imperial ambitions, securing military bases (please get out of Germany already) and with this President and his supporters, possibly religious nuttery and delusions of apocalyptic grandeur, are the interests being served from your end.

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That's why I believe bishops should pray for peace but keep out of war politics.

You honestly don't understand the Middle East and the important role the bishops and Patriarchs play in commenting on the political climate and affairs of such a nature.  I am sorry, but the model you have in mind here is utterly surreal, where I come from.  It is not necessary at all if you merely want hierarchs to remain a far cry from Communist Latin American bishops actively participating in politics and scandalizing the Church.

I think the bishops have every right to ask your government to stop sending your country's young men to their deaths, and have it leave us the hell alone.

I for one can't sit back and say "my views on war preclude me from supporting this intervention" while I look at the reality of what life is like in Iraq,

Anastasios, welcome to the world my friend.  Hurt and pain exist.  Iraq is a drop in an ocean, if one likes to seek misery and persecution.  Iraq should not be made a showcase just because the media's daily digest of propaganda happens to now focus exclusively on the career of this one man.  There are places far worse in which to live if one wishes to speak of repression, and some of these are ruled by your allies.  You possess the natural instincts that recoil in hurt and rebellion at the sight of suffering from which you and many folks living in First World countries are spared, but which to us is a natural state of affairs.  That is good, but you are channeling these feelings in the wrong direction frankly, and I believe, allowing your emotions compounded with your inexperience with and lack of knowledge of the complexity of Middle Eastern politics and history to cloud your judgement, especially if you are intent at grasping at straws with this untenable myth that there is a link between Saddam and fundamentalist Islamic militants, a point laughable on its face for us who live there, and one that can only be made tangible in the twilight zone.

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combined with the terrorist forces Saddam is training, etc.


The only "terrorist forces" that this man is training are the ones getting ready to defend their country.  Don't be quick to believe anything some clod has to say.  Defectors are notoriously inaccurate and even contradictory.

As for the claims of links between Hussein and fundies and mujahedeen, the British have an expression just for these kinds of things anastasios: a load of old cobblers.  The reaction of laughter, of Englishmen to such assertions would be fatal were they sitting on a terrace enjoying tea and eating cucumber sandwiches.  Clinging now to any semblance of this idea is grasping at straws in the wind.  These panic-stricken people are out of their league here in trying to set up any such pro-war argument based on this rediculous premise.  In fact, allow me to direct you to the Kurds for that one, the fundamentalists amongst whom are more likely to have ties with al Qaida types than the mustached menace would  No one who lives in the region I come from can take such a crazy notion seriously, much less the assertion that Saddam has any intentions of actually attacking (!) the U.S.  For someone from the Middle East to even consider this involves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the suspension of his rational faculties for the duration of the investigation.

A bit on intelligence.  The squawks of Chicken Little defectors are and have always been a dime a dozen, including some hilarious ones warning of nuclear bombs to be found in a country that can barely let off a firecracker or defend its own airspace.  Stirring up hysteria viz a viz danger to Americans, is rediculous at this juncture when the only threat Saddam poses is to his political enemies within his country.  Let me remind you that defectors are one of the most unreliable sources of information, and citing some individual from mukhabaraat as the article you provided for us has done, is hardly impressive.  Also, these folks have their own interests to serve; they are not beacons of clarity and objective reporting.  Any Middle Easterner, and anyone versed in the basics of politics understands this.  Khidir Hamza, another defector, tried to place the blame of the anthrax episode—now known to have originated domestically—on Iraq.  Don't just believe whatever some dolt has to say.

A point by the way: Saddam's son-in-law, a class A defector, himself stated that Iraq has no W.M.D.'s (in its inflated definition; in the past this category did not encompass biological and chemical weapons); this was evidence that wasn't flaunted out in the open, I'm afraid.  I wonder why.  Neither is the evidence against the official version of Halabja.

Understand that the U.S. government has been found guilty by many of sloppy intelligence, and some of the most crude, embarrasing, and clumsy incidents of misinformation and freshman level plagiarizing as to rival the predictability of Arabic state propaganda.  (Look at the lengths these politicians went to in Gulf War I with their bogus "babies in incubators" stories—and of course the recent slew of fabricated "intelligence").  There isn't a leg for these clowns in Washington to stand on where intelligence, and epiphanies and revelations derived therefrom are concerned.  The government personnel couldn't see 11/9 happening under their very noses here in the U.S., and one expects them to discover in a country whose language few in intelligence can understand, clear incriminating evidence that even the inspectors can't get to, of an absurd plot to strike heavy at the U.S.  Balderdash.  I've seen the West's propaganda like its military deteriorate, and become ever more unsophisticated, careless, and ever more resembling plain bullsh*t since Gulf War I.  Kosovo and now Gulf War II are two cases in point.  The level of propaganda quality seems to be a good guage of either the aggregate intelligence of the American populace on world affairs, or of the contemptous degree the government condescendingly thinks the people under its jurisdictions to be saps.  In respect for knowing that many conscientous and smart Americans exist, I will say the latter.

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People die every day there


Bomb the abortion "clinics" then, by that logic.  The unborn get slaughtered in the multitudes daily, and there's more killing of the unborn going on where you live than the people Saddam has ever killed.

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and we can sit back and let it happen or take action.
 

Noble motives, but to paraphrase Thomas Woods, creating a world void of such suffering is beyond the capabilities of the angels themselves.  This is the world, and as Serge and I have pointed out oftentimes before, if one is swayed to a side in the conflict, he is free to join or fund one side.  Don't open the Pandora's box, and give license to the American government to undertake a global crusade against whomever fits its description of an oppressor*.  Believe me, if so, then America's work will never be done.

*which I certainly consider the American government to be towards those under its own jurisdiction--in fact, I see it as a monster that facilitates the killing of both the bodies and souls of many Americans, in some avenues having reached macabre extremes that surpass any tinpot dictator's crimes.  Abortion and exporting this credo abroad is only one of them.  Waco is another, an example of how the state can administer torturous deaths with gas, to kids AND pretend through endless justifications to the public that its shocktroopers did something heroic.  I doubt even Saddam would stoop so low as to poison the souls of children like a sick puppy, by teaching them the wonders of homerasty.  That's just the domestic; the foreign features a black track record miles long.  Some unfortunate Japanese in '45 come to mind, casualties of a despicable Mason** and of the only use of the ultimate weapons of mass destruction in the history of warfare. I would gladly love to see this usurping Leviathan that masquerades as the Republic of the Founding Fathers, crushed, and the localism that once identified the United States (in the plural) restored, but I won't advocate a war to that effect by other countries who have a chance against American forces unless they are attacked directly (in fact, were it not merely for the principle of proportionality, many countries would have a just case of war against your government).  For the sake of genuine freedom from the little Caesar and all those to follow him, I would very likely support any local secessionist movement by any part of the country.

**a despicable man whose engineering of foreign policy favourable towards Israel, in binding the former nation to the latter by commitment, was decided on his asking how many Arab voters there were in America.  My comment: a pox on democracy, a model made for tyrants.   To the conspiracy theorists amongst Orthodox, if there's anything concering the late Patriarch Athenagoras that deserves worry, it is his having called Truman a "good man".

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The world doesn't have to operate on a strictly "what am I gonna get out of it model"; no, we can take action based on principles.

Not governments I'm afraid.  And those who think they can tame that monster for their own ends, no matter how laudable and commendable their motives may be, should disabuse themselves of this notion, and also take heed that they themselves do not be corrupted should the reins of power fall into their lap.

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If I saw a person being killed on the street I would step in and try to save them.

Read Fr. Seraphim Rose, and note the contrast he would make between your Christian conduct in the matter of an individual case, in adherence to Christ's command to clothe the naked, feed the hungry etc., and the epic-scale statist enterprise of Pax Americana.  He distrusted misguided attempts to "change the world" or fullfill Christ's commandments on the national scale you propose,only implementable through the instrument of the state.

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If I am called to help save innocents in Iraq then I will do it.
 

You are not undertaking the task of thinking out of the narrow confines of this box, and of realizing the resultant consequences of your government's actions on the stability of the region.  Things are never as simple as you think they are, and with all due respect, it takes more than the reading you have accomplished so far to grant you the necessary understanding of Middle Eastern affairs and politics that you need in order to confidently assert that it's time to shout "Bombs away."  As for Saddam, the political aftermath that will accompany his fall may prove worse than him by far.  Flashing Saddam's "ruthless dictator" credentials does absolutely nothing to further the argument for war.  In fact it's bloody annoying and cynical, implying that there is a lack of acknowledgement on the obvious.

You are free to join or fund local resistance movements, but should refrain from using the State, with its gargantuan capacity for destruction, as your instrument.  Plus it is fueled by stolen loot, otherwise known as tax dollars, for such purposes.  Perhaps the money's rightful owners do not wish their hard-earned labour which produced their wealth to have gone in the service of something they disapprove of as murder.  Build your own treasury of funds and go recruit combatants to join in the Iraqi battlefield.

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I wouldn't have fought in the Vietnam war because that war was unjust not to mention unwinnable--the people of Vietnam were against it.
 

You bring the principle of proportionality into the equation.  Well then, I highly suggest you take a good number of years living in and studying the entire Middle East and its modern history, so as you can start unravelling the subtleties and nuances behind the geopolitics of that region, and realizing what kind of a volcano you will cause to erupt once the bull elephant that is your military forces breaks into town.  I also strongly recommend the history of the Balkans as a cross-reference.  You have a whole decade of American intervention and blunders in that wretched, fractured part of the world to study, and a good idea of how a historically and geographically myopic, yet frighteningly strong world power can wreak havoc when it steps into these quagmires, especially when it waves the "humanitarian mission" placard as its credentials. You will also realize the depth of ignorance that the government is confident pervades the populace when you observe how the American government can make a mess of things and still call such a victory as was the case in Afghanistan and Kosovo for example. You will hopefully realize that this Iraqi campaign is not, and can not be a simple case of good guys beat bad guys, and liberated populace lives happily ever after.  That's schpeel.

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The people of Iraq, however, are generally not against our intervention as report after report coming out of Iraq shows.
 

After the hell and misery your sanctions and bombing have put them through and the state to which they have been reduced, you find that surprising?!  When you falsely promise them an end to the sufferings you caused (I say falsely in light of difficulties to come), but for which your government blamed Saddam, Americans are supposed to seek solace in the moral permissibility of their strikes supposedly given them by the miserable Iraqis' cries for relief from all this?

Regardless, conerning the quoted paragraph above, wrong, despite statements of defectors out of harm's way to the contrary.  Three points need mentioning.  Folks are not prone to welcoming liberation via incineration.  Second, America (and unfortunately, as is sometimes the case, the people by association, another example of the danger the U.S. government poses to its own civilian populace) is loathed by Iraqis and many Arabs, and propaganda is entirely unnecessary for that when you've seen the carnage caused by American military and economic weapons that I've seen.  Third, for those who have experienced injustice or suffering by Saddam firsthand, and have been driven to despair and desparation by sanctions--a repugnant form of killing (which shares the same idiosyncracies as abortions in targeting the helpless) that aims at waging a sick Soviet-style psychological warfare against the populace to have them revolt against whomever Washington doesn't like--I can expect such to have had their suffering made so acute, that they will not be reflecting over the political ramifications of this strike.  Everyone knows Saddam is a cutthroat, and I doubt you fill find more than a handful of Arabs who will not gladly slit his throat.  Therefore, any commentary on his bad behaviour is a red herring and diversion from the core of the argument: the balkanization that will ensue, and the interests of fundamentalist Islamism and the butcher par extraordinaire, TurkeyGǪ.and Israel!  Keep your eye on Palestine in the coming days ahead.

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If I am called to serve, I will go because that is my responsiblitity to my country.

Getting yourself involved in other people's wars is a responsibility you owe to no one, anastasios.  And it doesn't serve your country, but imperils it. Your country is your native sod, and you are bound to love and protect it.  Your country is not Washington government headquarters.

I'm afraid at this point I will have to call your attention to the change in the mission objectives of your country as you see it.  Notice how what first was supposed to be a war strictly for the purpose of eliminating a "threat" to American security, is now, by your words, turned it into a "humanitarian" campaign.  I'm afraid the upper echelons can't make up their minds on how to clearly define the purposes of this war, at least without telling the people the truth.

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I do believe this is America's war.  We are the world's superpower and there is no way we can "turn back."  We created the world in which we live, so now we have to deal with it.  Arguments that "this doesn't concern our nation" don't hold water for me because we are all interconnected now.  Globalism is here to stay.  Nations were a 16th century Protestant thing, they were here for awhile, but now it's time to go back to multi-cultural "empires" like the Roman empire which have nothing to do with race, ethnicity, etc.  People need to keep coming together and integrating more closely.
 

Anastasios, a neocon credo if I ever saw one.  

I think a eulogy for the republic is fitting.

As one of a libertarian persuasion, I believe in free trade (not exporting "democracy" and New Dealish mixed economies [misnamed "capitalism"] at gunpoint)--though I, along with Austrians (followers of the economics school), see NAFTA to be to free trade what Sharon is to peace, imposters in drag--and cultural interaction and exchange such as what the Arabs engaged in in the past.  We have always been merchants and traders and these commercial activities foster peace and goodwill.

And I believe this, quite frankly, frightening blueprint that you draw up here of military globalism, imperium Americanum, and the dissolution of national sovereignty, is the antithesis of the aforementioned principles.  As for your plans regarding ethnicity, keep it to your parish, but keep it out of my country.  Without advocating isolation or opposing healthy cultural interaction, I am certainly not too crazy about the idea of disasatrous social engineering ("integration") getting exported over there, or the structure of American society being used as a template for a global scale model of same.

In closing, no harsh remark was at all intended against your person anastasios, but I believe the foregoing had to be said.  I think you have good motives, but your vision and perception of things I will have to disagree with vehemently.  I pray for the lives of soldiers on both sides, and knowing a war veteran, I have respect for soldiers as opposed to their unscrupulous civilian commanders.  But make no mistake; your forces are the enemy from our point of view, and without malice directed at their persons, I hope to see them defeated in combat, though that is an impossibility.  This intention is in effect as of now, since your forces are already attacking as we speak.  

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« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2003, 10:59:45 AM »

I have respect for soldiers as opposed to their unscrupulous civilian commanders.  However, should a U.S. soldier let off one bullet or bomb that would harm an Iraqi, I will hope to God his plane comes down...

Real Christian attitude in hoping someone's plane goes down Samer. BTW we have no civilian commanders in America.
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« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2003, 11:19:37 AM »

Samer,

HEAR, HEAR!

There's more on my blog.
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« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2003, 11:24:40 AM »

That is blunt, I'll admit.  I'll withdraw the statement if your prefer.

No, my prayer is ultimately that none lose their lives, but if inevitably I had to choose between a combatant successfully engaging in bombing that snuffs out Iraqi lives, and that plane not flying any more such sorties, the latter is the lesser of two evils.  If you wish I will take out that statement.

"Civilian commanders" refers to armchair generals.

Again I harbour no malice against soldiers, though I can be tempted to do so; I have a friend who can always remind me of the details of what they have to go through.  So, may God insure a successful ejection from every downed plane, though the downing of a plane is not likely to occur anywhere close to frequently in this war.  And may God see the safe return of every soldier from both sides to their homes.

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« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2003, 06:37:06 PM »

I'm still preparing a response to Samer, but I thought you would all like to known that the Assyrian Church of the East bishop Mar Bawai Soro supports the war on Iraq (recorded yesterday): http://105live.vaticanradio.org/audio/03_21_ohzone.ram

I'm going to stick with his opinion as an Iraqi and as someone familiar with Iraq, over Bp Michael Botean who is working in a theoretical world of his own.

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« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2003, 07:06:10 PM »

For those interested:

The Archpastoral Message of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman and the Holy Synod of Bishops on the Beginning of the Conflict in Iraq:

  http://www.oca.org/pages/news/news.asp?ID=335
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2003, 10:08:50 PM »

Thanks, Stephen, I missed this (and I check the www.oca.org website DAILY too).

I forwarded the link you provided to my priest in case he's unaware of it, and he can add the petitions during time of war to the Divine Services--it may be too late to include the Metropolitan's Archpastoral Letter in this Sunday's bulletin though.

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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2003, 10:18:38 PM »

One of the most reckless possibilities that can come out of this war is the proliferation of secessionist activity on the part of Kurdish groups. People will probably start pressing for independence and separation, resulting in the creation of micro-client states.

From operations against Japan in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam to the present, the U.S. has a negligent record of fostering tribalism and separatism in countries governed by parties/groups that it opposes.  

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"Civilian commanders" refers to armchair generals.

I thought you were referring to the loud mouth Department of Defense warmongers like Donald Rumsfeld who themselves have never served in the military and are at the same time the most gung ho about going to war. It is telling that folks who were actually in the military, and in combat, as well as the analysis branch in the intelligence services are much more reserved in this regard than the draft dodgers on Bush’s team.

btw, a recent study of the U.S. Legislature has found that out of the 500+ law makers only one of them has a child, of military age, actually serving in the military.
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« Reply #34 on: March 21, 2003, 10:30:45 PM »

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"Civilian commanders" refers to armchair generals.

I thought you were referring to the loud mouth Department of Defense warmongers like Donald Rumsfeld

Them too (which is obvious of course); I was pointing out that it ironically wouldn't be too hyperbolically sarcastic to grant that label to the armchair generals as well.  Aside from the "nuke Mecca" bit, you could say troops are under their direct commands.

Of course, a true superior and commander to a soldier should be a military senior, and they're all not too enthusiastic about this conflict, as you mention, Schwartzkopff included.

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« Reply #35 on: March 21, 2003, 10:52:59 PM »

I'm going to stick with his opinion as an Iraqi and as someone familiar with Iraq, over Bp Michael Botean who is working in a theoretical world of his own.

Fair enough on that point, but the Maronite and Syriac Patriarch's previously mentioned statements should be considered as well, and we must keep in mind that the Arab World (at least that part separate from Africa and the rich Gulf) for all its divisions is also a regional whole, and the Patriarchs, albeit not Iraqis, are not mere outsiders like American and Western hierarchs, so their opinions count.  To return to His Grace, I respect his opinion coming from him as one who is concerned over the fate of his people and one who is protective of the interests of his Assyrian flock, whose concerns are not only religious but cultural (insulating the Aramaic heritage and identity from Arabizing counterforces, Arab nationalism being a cornerstone of Ba'ath and other nationalists), but am more interested in the opinions of the Patriarch, and the bishops who actually live in Iraq, and who don't live within American territory.  I think His Grace's flattery towards the U.S. government (Wisdom?  Folks, there's something called realpolitik.  I may call a king wise [though not necessarily a smart politician], like Emperor Haile Selassie , referring to his person.  I don't think the councils of politicians radiate that quality) is over the top.  Back to the point, I respect his opinion as one that manifests his community's hardships, and those of other Iraqis, under the present Iraq.  And when it does come to communities whose sufferings have been made acute especially by the draconian sanctions set in place, I do not expect there to be any other reflexive desire than to see the present regime come to its end.  But it is rather inappropriate that His Grace is hijacking the old "just war" concept of the West here as a convenient soundbyte.  And as Easterners are content to shun the concept of just war as an example of Western theological idiosyncracy, I will venture to say that the Western Church is better versed in that tradition and better equipped in determining whether the Iraqi war is indeed one that meets the criteria, which according to its head is so off the mark, and nowhere near first base, that he has called it a crime.

Futhermore, much in His Grace's statements omits reflection over and a proper examination of post-war developments, which I feel are the crux of the arguments against war.  I think his anticipation of the good Americans securing a good political future is not realistic. The Turks, Kurds, and fundamentalists, all but the second of whom, will stand to gain from the post-war fracturing of the country, all threaten the Assyrians, and some may prove infinitely worse than anything under Saddam (discounting the compounded suffering that Iraqis experience indirectly from Saddam Hussein being used as an excuse by the U.S. to directly kill them through sanctions).  I speak as a Syrian who knows how we Christians consider the Ba'ath in our country as a buffer against what is our worst fear, and in my opinion as a Byzantine whose Church is politically angled towards the Arabist camp (Rum Ortodox/Rum Katoleek), a threat of danger immeasurably more serious than the Arabization posed by Arab nationalism towards non-Arabist-oriented national, ethnic Churches.  That is fundamentalist Islamism, and the irony is that were it not for the crackdown at Ham'ma, God knows what we would have had to face.

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« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2003, 11:44:46 PM »

Hypo-Ortho,

You're most welcome. I also printed out the text of the
Archpastoral Message and the petitions for our pastor (Holy Trinity Randolph, NJ).  He'll probably read the Message during the homily.

BTW you'll need to check the OCA website a couple of times a day like I do. It's what I do while I look for a job  Wink.
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« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2003, 08:03:01 AM »

This is not the complete article but enough for you to get the point...the similarities are striking.--A.S.

Imperialist Rhetoric: This Is to Help You

Lawrence James, The Independent

LONDON, 21 March 2003 — The rhetoric of imperialism is back: Its reality may soon follow. “To stop is dangerous; to recede ruin”; President Bush justifying war against Iraq? No; an Indian proconsul in 1805 defending the East India Company’s policy of pre-emptive hammerblows against any native ruler who showed signs of intransigence. “Britain has always been the one friend of the oppressed. It has been our policy for generations, and we are known the world over as a race who love freedom and hate the oppressor.” British Prime Minister Tony Blair outlining his vision of liberated Iraq? No, a fictional officer in Somaliland 100 years ago, explaining the humanitarian mission of empire in a novel for schoolboys.

Each statement suggests parallels between past and present and the contradictions of imperialism. Can the miseries of war be outweighed by the blessings of peace delivered by a benevolent victor?

Like the modern United States, the East India Company was preoccupied with prestige. Its crab-like progress across the Indian Subcontinent was marked by wars which demonstrated that its modern, well-trained armies were invincible. But the margin of technological advantage was thin, and native princes did all in their power to narrow it further. In the 1790s Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore, decided on the path that would be followed by Saddam Hussein. He imported French muskets and artillery and European officers to train his men. Not quite weapons of mass destruction, but frightening enough at the time. They scared the company and the government in London, then at war with revolutionary France.

The upshot was an ultimatum: Disarm or be overrun. Mysore was invaded and Tipu killed at Seringapatam in 1799. The same formula was applied in the next 50 years against the Maratha states, Nepal and the Sikhs, who obligingly invaded the company’s territories, removing the need for an ultimatum. The principle was one that is understood in the White House: A dominant power’s authority rests on a monopoly of modern weaponry and the will to use it ruthlessly.
When the security of British India was imperiled, its rulers used force to neutralize the threat. Ironically this tactic was once applied against the United States. During the 1837 rebellion in Canada, a number of Americans collected arms for the insurgents and hired a vessel to carry them across the St Lawrence. Alerted, the British sent a small force across the river, landed at Buffalo, seized the ship, set it on fire and sent it downstream and over the Niagara Falls. Although its sovereignty had been violated, the US government conceded that this coup de main was legal on the grounds that Canada’s security was endangered.

This established a precedent in international law. More commonly, imperial powers turned to the pre-emptive strike as an instrument for enhancing prestige, maintaining a favorable balance of power, and to unnerve potential challengers. When the Zulu king Cetewayo began buying repeating rifles for his impis, a British Army invaded Zululand in 1879. The Zulu defeat at Ulundi by massive firepower was a warning to the region that Britain had the weapons to induce cooperation or submission. The same message was conveyed by the Allies in the first Gulf War.

While the redcoats trudged through Zululand, the press was demonizing Cetewayo. He was a warlike tyrant, master of a formidable killing machine, who ruled through fear and witchcraft. This was comforting news for the public, for whom the empire now represented the extension of peace and civilization. Sharp, unequal tropical wars were presented as a prelude to a golden age of impartial, honest government under which Queen Victoria’s new subjects would enjoy personal security and opportunities for moral and physical betterment.
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« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2003, 01:54:11 PM »

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r
 
 A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."
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« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2003, 02:36:31 PM »

Hypo-Ortho,

You're most welcome. I also printed out the text of the
Archpastoral Message and the petitions for our pastor (Holy Trinity Randolph, NJ).  He'll probably read the Message during the homily.
<snip>

Stephen, I emailed the link to my priest immediately after you posted it here.  He already used the special petitions for wartime during the Reiterant Ektenia at the Soul Saturday Memorial Divine Liturgy this morning and thanked me after Liturgy and Panikhida for sending the link to him.  He also devoted his homily after the Gospel reading of the Liturgy to the subject of peace.

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« Reply #40 on: March 22, 2003, 11:11:29 PM »

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r
 A group of American anti-war demonstrators who came to Iraq with Japanese human shield volunteers made it across the border today with 14 hours of uncensored video, all shot without Iraqi government minders present. Kenneth Joseph, a young American pastor with the Assyrian Church of the East, told UPI the trip "had shocked me back to reality." Some of the Iraqis he interviewed on camera "told me they would commit suicide if American bombing didn't start. They were willing to see their homes demolished to gain their freedom from Saddam's bloody tyranny. They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists. Their tales of slow torture and killing made me ill, such as people put in a huge shredder for plastic products, feet first so they could hear their screams as bodies got chewed up from foot to head."

Here's some more quotes from the recently liberated Safwan, taken from the Guardian, no less:
 
 Afraid that the US and Britain will abandon them, the people of Safwan did not touch the portraits and murals of Saddam Hussein hanging everywhere. It was left to the marines to tear them down. It did not mean there was not heartfelt gladness at the marines' arrival. Ajami Saadoun Khlis, whose son and brother were executed under the Saddam regime, sobbed like a child on the shoulder of the Guardian's Egyptian translator. He mopped the tears but they kept coming.
 
 "You just arrived," he said. "You're late. What took you so long? God help you become victorious. I want to say hello to Bush, to shake his hand. We came out of the grave."
 
 "For a long time we've been saying: 'Let them come'," his wife, Zahara, said. "Last night we were afraid, but we said: 'Never mind, as long as they get rid of him, as long as they overthrow him, no problem'." Their 29-year-old son was executed in July 2001, accused of harbouring warm feelings for Iran.
 
 "He was a farmer, he had a car, he sold tomatoes, and we had a life that we were satisfied with," said Khlis. "He was in prison for a whole year, and I raised 75m dinars in bribes. It didn't work. The money was gone, and he was gone. They sent me a telegram. They gave me the body."
 
 The marines rolled into the border town after a bombardment which left up to a dozen people dead. Residents gave different figures. A farmer, Haider, who knew one of the men killed, Sharif Badoun, said: "Killing some is worth it, to end the injustice and suffering."
 
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« Reply #41 on: March 24, 2003, 12:14:06 AM »

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r
They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists.

Yes that he is. And he was the same “monster” when he was being backed and financed by the U.S. At the time that he committed his crimes of gassing Kurds he was America’s ally. It did not provoke a negative reaction then and was even watered down in the press when it happened.

Sadaam is and has always been a sadistic killer, even when he was supported by the U.S. He was no different than the U.S. backed and armed mass murdering, death squad supporting, Catholic priest killing regime that ruled in El Salvador in the same era.
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« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2003, 12:53:23 AM »

http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030321-023627-5923r
They convinced me that Saddam was a monster the likes of which the world had not seen since Stalin and Hitler. He and his sons are sick sadists.

Yes that he is. And he was the same “monster” when he was being backed and financed by the U.S. At the time that he committed his crimes of gassing Kurds he was America’s ally. It did not provoke a negative reaction then and was even watered down in the press when it happened.

Sadaam is and has always been a sadistic killer, even when he was supported by the U.S. He was no different than the U.S. backed and armed mass murdering, death squad supporting, Catholic priest killing regime that ruled in El Salvador in the same era.  

Like that makes a difference?  We've made significant progress in the world in the past 20 years.  It doesn't matter that we once supported Saddam.  Or that we overlooked his evil then.  We have "grown up" and recognize that it is wrong to support tyrants just because they are nice to U.S. interests.  Do we still have sticky connections with tyrants? Yes.  On the same level as before? No.  Do we have a commitment to encouraging freedom for all peoples, that we did not have a few decades ago? Yes.

As far as El Salvador, you really show your left-wing bias. My many, many friends from El Salvador by and large felt that BOTH sides were to blame, but in general supported the right wingers over the crazy FLMN, especially since the right wing death squads.  Many of my friends were at schools that were attacked by the FLMN when they stole the children and forced them into guerilla slavery.  On top of that, why were the right-wing death squads formed in the first place? As a *reaction* to the FLMN.  And who supported the FLMN? The communists!  So I have to ask,what's your point?  El Salvador and Iraq are totally different situations!

Certainly I don't support what the Death Squads did to Catholic priests, BUT we have to also examine each case to see if and how far the Catholic Church was wrapped up in aiding and abetting the FLMN terrorists err freedom fighters during the heyday of 1970's "liberation theology".  I don't have any hard and fast stats on this issue but I simply wonder, what were the Catholic priests that got killed doing (especially since the majority of priests didn't get killed)?  Romero was certainly a saint but what about the others?  Were they helping out the FLMN?  Or were they killed simply because they helped the poor?  One has to dig deeper on this than just surface accusations.  If I were still at NC State Univ. I could go dig up some facts; anyone else care to do so?

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« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2003, 01:22:44 AM »

h



Certainly I don't support what the Death Squads did to Catholic priests, BUT we have to also examine each case to see if and how far the Catholic Church was wrapped up in aiding and abetting the FLMN terrorists err freedom fighters during the heyday of 1970's "liberation theology".  I don't have any hard and fast stats on this issue but I simply wonder, what were the Catholic priests that got killed doing (especially since the majority of priests didn't get killed)?  Romero was certainly a saint but what about the others?  Were they helping out the FLMN?  Or were they killed simply because they helped the poor?  One has to dig deeper on this than just surface accusations.  If I were still at NC State Univ. I could go dig up some facts; anyone else care to do so?

anastasios


 Anastasios,

         i am surprised a seminarian would say such a wickedly amoral thing.  What were these priests "doing" to deserve their torture and death?HuhHuh?  As you should know,  no one deserves that and I know priests who were in El Salvador and GUatamala and saw the terrible poverty and the oppression of the people there.  Yes, criticize the FMLN (Amnesty and Human Rights Watch did too) but you can't ignore the terrible poverty of the people and the indifference of the rich that created such conditions and often the divide between the Indian population and the Criollos.  I am just more flabbergasted that you would ask what these priests were "doing" to deserve such a death.  



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« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2003, 03:18:10 AM »

Like that makes a difference?  We've made significant progress in the world in the past 20 years.
progress? Shocked Huh

Anastasios, with all due respect, you need to spend some time living somewhere other than the USA for a while. I hear Kosovo is beautiful in the Spring, at least it used to be.

John.
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