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March 18, 2003

"War is a crime against peace which cries for vengeance before God"

A quote from an Islamic fundamentalist?

Well, no, actually-- a Christian one who speaks on behalf of billions:

MILITARY intervention against Iraq would be a crime against peace demanding vengeance before God, the head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has said.

"War is a crime against peace which cries for vengeance before God," said Archbishop Renato Raffaele Martino, speaking on Vatican Radio.

He stressed the deeply unjust and immoral nature of war, saying it was condemned by God because civilians were the worst sufferers.

Martino, formerly Vatican permanent representative to the United Nations, strongly denounced the determination of the United States and its allies to disarm Iraq by force...

"I want to remind UN members and particularly those who make up the Security Council that the use of force is the last resort after having exhausted all peaceful solutions, as stipulated by the UN charter," the Pope told tens of thousands of worshippers gathered in St Peter's Square.

"I lived through World War II and I survived the Second World War. For this reason, I have the duty to say 'Never again war'.

Bush wanted to be a uniter, not a divider. Well he's united Muslims and Christians worldwide in condeming his illegal and unilateralist war.

Posted by Nathan at March 18, 2003 11:08 AM

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"Unilateralist" : yeah, right.

Posted by: Jack Stephens at March 18, 2003 11:38 PM

"Illegal" : yeah, right.

Posted by: Jack Stephens at March 18, 2003 11:48 PM

Illegal? Well, Kofi Annan says it is a violation of the UN Charter, and I'll take his word on it. Of course, he's black, and he's not American, so you're welcome to ignore him.
Now if Bush goes in without a declaration of war from Congress, there is a strong case that that is also unconstitutional. It all hinges on whether Congress can delegate the power to declare war.
We could get into the international law another time.
The Pope speaks for about 1.2 billion Catholics. Most American Catholics are cafeteria Catholics, but that's less true of, say, Latin America or Ireland.

Posted by: John Isbell at March 19, 2003 12:05 AM

Mr. Isbell,
Kofi Annan is a career bureaucrat at the UN, and not a legal scholar.
It surprises me not at all that you hold Annan's desire to defend his institution over President Bush's sworn responsibility to protect this country.

President Bush already has a joint resolution of Congress authorizing him to "use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq ...."

Posted by: Jack Stephens at March 19, 2003 03:04 AM

Jack, there are no courts for Security Council resolutions, so as the chief executive of the Security Council, Annan is in the full position to interpret what 1441 means, far more than one member of the Security Council. By your logic, any Senator can go interpret the law and act as law enforcement, superseding the executive branch interpretation.

Although I don't disagree that Congress cravenly ceded the ability to go to war based on Bush's lies about Iraq's connections to Al Qaeda, lies based on now proven forged documents and misinformation.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at March 19, 2003 05:45 AM

Ronald Reagan was a career actor. When he made decisions, he had advisors. It's funny how that works.
The question, as I pointed out, is: does Congress have the authority to cede its authority to declare war? If you'll take a look at the Constitution, you'll see that there is no remark to that effect. I'm sure that you, like Kofi Annan or Ronald Reagan, can get legal advice on that question. But on the face of it (i.e., the Constitution), you have a tough case.

Posted by: John Isbell at March 19, 2003 11:05 AM

What the hell. Your best argument will probably be precedent. The question then will be, how those precedents compare with the present case.

Posted by: John Isbell at March 19, 2003 11:12 AM

Bush is violating his sworn duty to protect this country. Everyone knows the war will increase terrorist attacks, including the FBI. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35147-2003Mar16.html

Moreover, these attacks will be a huge threat for years to come - in direct retaliation for our actions in Iraq.

I know all of this is nothing new, but in light of Jack's comments it apparently merits repeating.

And the Reps, along with some Dems, have also increased the liklihood of harm to Americans by refusing to pass important legislation. They don't want to piss off their paymasters. It is easy enough to see where the priorities of the Republican party lie - and it ain't with protecting us!

And how about those lucrative contracts to rebuild
Iraq. More corporate welfare for Rep donors.

Read it and weep Jack - and pass it on to your like-minded buddies. I know you are just crying to be persuaded or you wouldn't take such interest in Nathan's site.

Posted by: Eric Bruce at March 19, 2003 11:40 AM

Eric, you will need to keep repeating your arguments, because the overwhelming majority of Americans don't see it that way.

Pass that on to your like-minded buddies.

And Nathan, United States Senators are legislators in a sovereign republic. That's s-o-v-e-r-e-i-g-n.

Posted by: Jack Stephens at March 19, 2003 03:12 PM

Jack, you crack me up :)

I didn't know you were such a comedian.

Talking about "sovereigny" as we violate Iraq's sovereignty-- you must kill at the Comedy Cellar. The whole point is that the US is violating international law precisely because we are violating Iraq's sovereignty, the pillar of international norms and law, without a converse authorization by the United Nations.

Not that I take international law or sovereignty that seriously without an enforcement mechanism, but Bush rattling on about Iraq's violations of UN resolutions-- the justification for the war-- makes his whole hypocrisy on the issue overwhelming.

As for the "surge" of public support, you can't take the "rally around the troops" results as a serious change in the American viewpoint from their skepticism a week ago.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at March 19, 2003 03:30 PM

I'am a Christian and respect the Holy See very much....but I also realize they are a political body. I ask in return to the statement by the archbishop "Where were your threats of vengence when Saddam Hussain sleighed over 500,000 kurds by use of Sarin gas...and where were your threats when Saddam Hussain waged war against the Iranians (also with chemical weopons). It seems that being the most powerful nation in the world even makes the pope a little jealous.

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 20, 2003 11:16 PM

I believe that the verb is "slew," not "sleighed." I've never seen it spelled that way before.

In any case, to those who think that the U.S. has some special commission, as handed down from on high, to be the world's enforcer, let's let God be the judge of these things. Wasn't it in World War I where every different nation claimed that God was "on our side?" That's a very dangerous assumption to make, obviously. OTOH if you avoid war and work to keep the peace, it's not a stretch to claim the moral high ground.

U.S. efforts at any kind of diplomatic solution have been a joke precisely because the people who have been wanting to do this believe strictly in U.S. military might and reject any form of international framework. The intention was never there to have the U.N. bless this operation. Bush et al. and his prime hard right constituency people want no constraint of any form; they only want to take international law into their own hands. What else can you call that but 'might makes right?'

Even though Saddam Hussein is not a good guy and he has a history of brutality, I take issue with handling this in the fashion that the U.S. is doing when there have been alternatives all along, if the administration had been determined to use them, which they clearly haven't been.

Posted by: Richard P. at March 22, 2003 03:14 PM

I'd like to ask a question to all who will listen. What other options did President Bush have other than Military Conflict, that were not shot down by the U.N. entirly or wouldn't result to further holding of WMD's by Saddam Hussain. Anybody? -Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 23, 2003 06:24 PM

Respectfully, let's keep a couple of facts in mind: first, Iraq has not been shown to be in possession of any nuclear weapons, and, second, hasn't attacked any of its neighbors since 1990. As of yet, U.S. military forces have not found any stockpiles of chemical or bio weapons, either.

Iraq was/is no direct threat at all to the U.S., period. That's even clearer now than ever. Moreover, Iraq's neighbors seem not to have felt very threatened for their part. Maybe containment along with inspections was not a total failure.

Who's to say that the latest group of inspectors was definitely bound to reach an impasse, and, even if that were the case, that the U.S. was right in plugging the plug on everything so abruptly?

All evidence points to an impatient administration that had determined to go to war months ago.

However, there were plenty of options in between doing absolutely nothing and outright invasion and occupation. The latter, as the administration is finally carrying out, has to be viewed as the most drastic, most costly and riskiest solution of all. There were several ideas being floated around, such as 'coercive inspections' that could have been tried, if the administration had been sincere about keeping the invasion option only as a last resort, however they weren't.

Posted by: Richard P. at March 24, 2003 10:52 AM

If Saddam Hussain is not in possesion of chemical or biological weopons, why do his elite soldiers have so many chemical suits and gas masks on there front lines. -Respectfully
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 31, 2003 08:59 PM

Maybe the Iraqi's were expecting the U.S. forces to use bio and chem weapons. The U.S. does have more of them than any other country.

However, the issue is whether or not Iraq poses/posed such an imminent direct threat to the U.S. as to justify invasion and occupation and doing so as abruptly as they have done.

It's interesting how Turkey, Iran, Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia apparently didn't feel so threatened as to allow the U.S. to use their territory as a staging area, but here we are anyway unable to even wait for all of the troops to get into position before we have to go in.

This is a war of aggression on the U.S.' part, pure and simple, and not a legitimate, morally sound war of self-defense, in any way.

Posted by: Richard P. at April 1, 2003 10:18 AM

We may have the 2nd (not first, Mr.P) largest stocks of chem/bio weopons in the world, we have never used them in combat. Iraq HAS, and would havn't of hesitated to give them to terrorists to use against us. -Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 8, 2003 10:23 PM

Where exactly are the bio and chemical weapons in Iraq, pray tell?

Posted by: Richard P. at April 14, 2003 11:04 AM

Just wait and see, Rick.
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 14, 2003 05:26 PM

What does it tell you that at this point trying to find the chemical weapons is a low priority for the troops that are still in Iraq when the military is now in the process of winding things down and the last words that Rumsfeld said about the subject was that our troops would be relying on Iraqi's to point them to the stores of such weapons that he believes exists?

That tells me that we don't have and we never had the intelligence information as to specific locations where they're stored, if the weapons really exist, and if we don't have that information it's really a stretch to be stating with certainty that they do exist.

It also seems that if there are any chemical weapons that they must have been deeply buried or well hidden. If so, then that makes little sense. Iraq was with its back to the wall and yet still unwilling to have its most potent weapons accessible for use? The Iraqi regime that was supposedly of such a mind to lash out aggressively that it was supposed to be ready and willing to use such weapons out of the blue or to hand over to some terrorists to do so on behalf of the regime? Interesting.

Posted by: Richard P. at April 15, 2003 11:20 AM

We know they have them, just wait and see, Rick. We've recently found mobile biological labs in trucks that were built after the first gulf war. Thats all I'm gonna say for now, just wait and see, Rick. Don't tell me I didn't warn you. -Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 15, 2003 09:38 PM

I see that they're now going to promise rewards to Iraqi's for help in locating chemical and bio weapons.

This from the same Bush administration who was so positive that Iraq had massive stocks of these weapons that they didn't even want to wait and let the inspectors finish up or reach a point of impasse...amazing.

Either they had bad information as to the locations of the stocks of weapons or they were lying.

Posted by: Richard P. at April 16, 2003 12:20 AM

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