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When It Comes to War: Listen to the Pope, Not the Armchair Warriors


When It Comes to War: Listen to the Pope, Not the Armchair Warriors

Katrina vanden Heuvel

In his historic visit to the United States, Pope Francis spoke frequently about the importance of peace and of negotiation and cooperation. His words clashed with a U.S. presidential debate marked by the bellicose postures of candidates in both parties. Francis speaks from a religious, not a political, frame, but ironically, he may have a greater grasp on American public opinion than many of those seeking to lead this country.


This Pope is a spiritual leader and has more good sense in his right toe than the whole Republican macho clown show put together.

So while the Pope clearly articulates that the trade in arms is what fuels war, and that it makes a few entities financially happy; Ms. Vanden Heuvel reverts back to the MSM deception through this framing:

"Jeb Bush indicts Obama for being weak, even as he stumbles over his brother’s calamitous Iraq war, arguing that getting rid of Saddam Hussein was a “pretty good deal.” He’ssurrounded himself with the worst of the neoconservative claque that has learned nothing from the Iraq debacle."

The matter clearly is not about what is arguably learned or otherwise. It's that these frauds (and sadly, too many from the Dem. camp, too) serve the Military-industrial-media complex that now runs this nation and defines the vast majority of its foreign and domestic policy determinations.

Still, Robert Parry uses the "nothing learned" frame as does Tom Engelhardt and too many others. It's as much an MSM talking point as any of the pro-war uniform memes also widely circulated.

If the increasing conflation between militarism and the nation's fuller identity was not continually being made (by the MIC and its supporters), then all this war fever tied to the purported meaning of leadership would not go on.

The following characterization of Sanders is a far cry from the one used by his opponents on C.D. They try to paint him as another willing accomplice to militarism (all might, all the time) as usual:

"On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders has shattered all expectations. While the Vermont senator has focused on his economic message, he is also a longtime advocate of peace and negotiation. He voted against the Iraq war and dissented from the Libyan mess. He has embraced the Iran deal and opposes increasing U.S. military forces in the Middle East. He has supported multilateral sanctions against Putin in Ukraine but has cautioned against any threat of military force. He argues that unending wars are too costly in lives and resources and are weakening the United States."


Couldn't agree, more. The perception that there are good wars and bad wars, successful wars or failed wars, "legal" or "illegal" wars is a tacit endorsement of the warrior ethic and culture. It keeps war on the table as a policy option. Bush, Cheney, Obama, Clinton and and company should not be held to task for failed wars or an illegal wars; they should be charged for the crime of war, period. Calling them out because the wars they have engineered went "wrong" is like saying that the only bank robberies we should prosecute are the ones that failed.