“After all those years of hailing him as a fellow conservative Reaganite, he betrays us by daring to fear that war with Iraq could have disastrous consequences and by fretting about the fact that the Christians fare far worse under US allies like Saudi Arabia than under Saddam!” said numerous contributors to St. Blog’s comments boxes. “It’s like he thinks his duty is to bear witness to radical gospel values of peace and forbearance and not simply rubber stamp American foreign policy choices and the cynical appeals to raw power that is realpolitik! Sheesh! Julius II thought war was terrific! Led troops in battle himself! What’s the matter with this Polish weenie? War is a matter of survival, not morality! We’re sick of all this fretting over just war theory! Just push the damn button!”
The Pope, in his continuing Olympian unaccountability to anybody, says that he does not read blogs and was unaware of the outcry of St. Blog’s foreign policy experts against him.
Snide mode off. I personally favor war with Iraq and think Saddam has to go. But I also have enough moral imagination to think that the Pope’s fears about war are not simply inconceivable by a rational mind or are due to cowardice, stupidity or unalloyed evil. Indeed, I have close friends of good will who, like the Pope, think that war with Iraq is a bad idea and not warranted by just war analysis. But some of the more cocksure members of St. Blog’s comments boxes do seem to think that everything the Pope says or does is due entirely to cowardice, stupidity and/or evil, not to an honestly different reading of just war theory. It amazes me that these plump suburbanites, sitting at their terminals surrounded by old candy bar wrappers and blathering on like they are God Almighty, can be so frickin’ sure of themselves and have so ready a will to condemn him at every turn. Is it not possible for these people to even consider the possibility that people of good will can disagree here and be honorable? Apparently not, judging from the bellicose bile I see directed at this great saint from popinjays who are unworthy to lace his sandals, yet who feel themselves competent to decide the fate of nations.
End of rant.