We were told 10 years ago

“proportion between the possible positive consequences and the sure negative effect of the conflict was not guaranteed. On the contrary, it seems clear that the negative consequences will be greater than anything positive that might be obtained.” Cardinal Ratzinger, April 2003


The irony is painfully acute. Eleven years ago, in response to a terrorist attack by a group of anti-American religious fanatics, the United States invaded an Arab country with hardly any jihadis, or very few of them, to overthrow a secular dictator. Today, with much blood and money having been spent, northern and western Iraq is full of jihadis, and the U.S. government is figuring out how to prevent them from overrunning the rest of the country.”

Every Catholic who pushed and pressed and lobbied for this war needs to take full responsibility for what is now happening in Iraq, ask for mercy and forgiveness, receive it, and refuse to be played by the same fools and criminals who played us a decade ago.

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  • Willard

    There are few votes I’ve been more proud of in my life than my decision to vote for President Obama over Senator McCain in 2008. I shudder to think of how many wars we would be involved in if that man had been elected.

    • Dave G.

      I read on CNN that Obama is open to the possibility of air strikes too, though still says no intervention by troops. Sort of like Libya perhaps.

      • chezami

        Maybe he’ll bomb an aspirin factory and declare victory.

        • Dave G.

          Yeah, I wonder about this idea that it’s OK if we just fly in and bomb places.

          • Marthe Lépine

            In addition, if the rumors I have heard as a child about the accuracy of US bombers during WWII are true, I would have to wonder what they will end up destroying…

            • Dave G.

              Yes, it was discovered that the accuracy of the famous Norden bombsight wasn’t anywhere near what they believed. After the war, they found out even more how inaccurate it could be. Of course that was then and this is today with better tech. But still, there’s a point behind it.

              • Alexander S Anderson

                Well now the bombs tend to miss their “targets” because of bad intel. I don’t think we can fix that. Even with good intel, we do things like bomb weddings because there may be bad guys there.

    • Jared Clark

      Criticize McCain all you want, but don’t buy into the delusions of Obama being a peacemaker. Too many innocents blown apart by our drones for him to be allowed to keep that image

    • Marthe Lépine

      And I, as a Canadian, am very proud of our former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who refused to support the US in that endeavor and was criticized at the time for “refusing to help an ally in its time of need”.

      • Heather

        I seem to recall actually voting Liberal in the federal election around that time, specifically because Stephen Harper had wanted to go into Iraq. It took us long enough and cost us enough lives to get out of Afghanistan, I can’t imagine if we’d gone into that mess as well.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      Translated from willardese:
      “This joint makes the best shit sandwich in town!”

    • chezami

      We’re talking about the guy who drones weddings and funerals and assassinates teenagers, right?

      • Willard

        Yes but the election wasn’t between “Perfect Catholic Candidate” and John McCain. There were only two men who could have won the election in 2008. One, unfortunately, uses drones. The other approves the use of drones AND would have had us killing innocents from Iran to Ukraine.

    • Peggy

      The errors of McCain do not excuse the evil that Obama perpetrates. Proud to vote for a radically pro-abortion man? Who won’t let babies live out of convenience to their mothers?

      I had a colleague die in Iraq. He went back as a diplomat time and again and reportedly was making much progress in establishing basic services and functions of govt and society. He was killed after O’s election when it was known that his drawdowns would commence.

      • kenofken

        I’m sorry about your friend, but he wasn’t on the brink of some turnaround in Iraq doomed at the last turn by Obama’s lack of resolve. Whatever modest progress was happening happened solely because we were watching over them with guns and bribing them or otherwise incentivizing them with aid to behave a certain way. There was no government or civic society functioning in Iraq because Iraq is not a nation. It never was a nation and it never will be. It was a colonial creation and the fiefdom of a particularly brutal and efficient warlord held in power largely to serve our own ends, until he didn’t. We didn’t fight terrorism in that war, we created the perfect incubator for it. We didn’t plant democracy there because there is not a single element in the civic culture required to support it. Every single life and dollar lost in that country was for absolutely nothing. It is beyond delusional to assert that any part of our ruling class is “pro-life” in any way.

  • Dave G.

    I remember when Colin Powell appeared at the UN and gave his testimony. If memory serves, that’s what pushed it over the line and brought on more support than existed beforehand. Eventually 73% of Americans supported the invasion. For a short time. Bad, bad decision. Like so many things in our nation, one more example of a lost cause dragging out the inevitable. My boys ask me why the terrorists won on 9/11. I tell them, ‘look at us, what did you expect?’ May God and future generations forgive us.

    • HornOrSilk

      When he was talking to the UN, I was showing even then, he was giving false info; it was easy to prove on the spot, even then. That’s the shame of it all.

  • Elmwood

    It’s sad that so few U.S. catholic bishops spoke out against this unjust war. But that is because it might have offended too many GOP catholics who are more concerned about people’s sexual activities than the 1,000’s of innocent people getting killed by our military industrial complex.

    how can you call yourself “pro-life” when you support unjust wars and the death penalty?

    • Rose C

      If people are poorly informed they need to hold themselves to task don’t follow today’s leaders who have a very dark side recognize that through prayer and penance and do good in your own circle and those you come in contact with

    • Rose C

      We were told it was a just war the problem was sad dam was given lots of time to move any weapons that may have been around

      • chezami

        Oh brother. There were no weapons. You were lied to. Stop making excuses.

    • chezami

      All lefties believe the bishops (who did speak against the war) are Republicans and all Republicans think the bishops are the Democratic party at prayer.

      • Elmwood

        here is the 2002 bishop’s statement on the iraq war. seems pretty milquetoast but that’s just me considering the Holy Father’s strong opposition.

  • Nordog6561

    >>Eleven years ago, in response to a terrorist attack by a group of anti-American religious fanatics, the United States invaded an Arab country with hardly any jihadis, or very few of them, to overthrow a secular dictator. <<

    What Arab country did we invade eleven years ago?

  • Hematite

    I hereby take responsibility for my part in supporting my country’s invasion of Iraq, and I beg pardon and forgiveness from Our Lord and my neighbors for my pride and rash judgment for trusting in princes and chariots and not in the prophetic warnings of the Holy Father against this tragic folly.

  • David W

    Seems to me the necessary cause of the current crisis is the fact that we left before Iraq was ready. But what you’re saying Mr. Shea implies willful ignorance on the part of people who were led to believe the war was necessary–something I very much question, given that then Cardinal Ratzinger did indicate that St. John Paul II’s words against the war were not intended to be a binding teaching on the faithful.

    What angers me about the whole Iraq situation was not the Bush invasion (though in hindsight we can agree it was wrong) but that on account of election promises in 2012 we left the country a mess before it was ready to defend itself.

    But… I’m sure I’ll be labelled a “right wing stooge” here, even though I support neither party and vote according to my best understanding of what Catholic teaching requires.