Just appalling, to be frank, was the Vatican’s statement today on the current war in the Middle East, as quoted here by Reuters.
The Vatican on Friday strongly deplored Israel’s strikes on Lebanon, saying they were “an attack” on a sovereign and free nation.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano said Pope Benedict and his aides were very worried that the developments in the Middle East risked degenerating into “a conflict with international repercussions.”
“In particular, the Holy See deplores right now the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and assures its closeness to these people who already have suffered so much to defend their independence,” he told Vatican Radio.
[...] Sodano reserved his harshest words for Israel.
“The right of defence on the part of a state does not exempt it from its responsibility to respect international law, particularly regarding the safeguarding of civilian populations,” he said.
So, Israel has dared to attack a “sovereign and free nation” that permits its foreign policy and war policy to be determined by a heavily armed quasi-military group which dominates its southern border. Israel should just say, “Whoops, guess you guys in Beirut are not able to deal with all that. Don’t sweat it! We’ll just go on taking the hits.”
The richest remark is that the developments in the Middle East risk degenerating into “a conflict with international repercussions.” That would be pretty unprecedented, huh?
And what’s the implicit message there? “We don’t mind if you go on killing eachother. Just don’t do it to the extent that it might upset neighboring countries.”
Tell me why the Vatican has a “Secretary of State,” again? To impart this kind of wisdom to us in cases such as these?
Seems to me there’s plenty of sheep sorely in need of shepherding in churches everywhere — Cardinal Sodano and his ilk could be much better occupied, surely.
Should George Dubya go to Jerusalem? Yes, says Bill Kristol (who shouldn’t be underestimated) in The Weekly Standard, in a piece in which he argues why this is not an “ordinary” Arab-Israeli war, and why, in particular, it is our war.