I feel bad for the British, and that’s not being a bit ironic. Tony Blair did the bidding of George Bush and now David Cameron is doing that of the present self-appointed leader of the free world. It’s almost as if, beyond gaining independence of the Crown in 1776, the Americans made Britain a suffragan of her Colonies. Do the British really have to do all the illegal, ill-advised, ham-handed, and unjust things that any given U.S. government decides to do? If I were British, I would resent it.
Maybe the Americans should ask al-Qa’ida for intelligence help – after all, this is the group with “boots on the ground”, something the Americans have no interest in doing. And maybe al-Qa’ida could offer some target information facilities to the country which usually claims that the supporters of al-Qa’ida, rather than the Syrians, are the most wanted men in the world.
There will be some ironies, of course. While the Americans drone al-Qa’ida to death in Yemen and Pakistan – along, of course, with the usual flock of civilians – they will be giving them, with the help of Messrs Cameron, Hollande and the other Little General-politicians, material assistance in Syria by hitting al-Qa’ida’s enemies. Indeed, you can bet your bottom dollar that the one target the Americans will not strike in Syria will be al-Qa’ida or the Nusra front.
And our own Prime Minister will applaud whatever the Americans do, thus allying himself with al-Qa’ida, whose London bombings may have slipped his mind.
The last two popes condemned America’s wars in the Middle East. That is a fact, whether or not conflicted Catholic neocon war hawks like Rick Santorum consider it binding on their consciences. As it turns out, their Holinesses were correct, for those who benefited were the monied interests, while whose who suffered were mostly the Christians. And, oh yes, almost 7,000 Americans have died in these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Peace and stability were not achieved, nor was the god of democracy enshrined. Regarding Syria, Pope Francis does not exactly seem optimistic about military intervention. And the Syrian Chaldean Catholic Bishop of Aleppo, Bishop Antoine Audo said to Vatican Radio: “If there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war. That risk has returned.”
Pope Benedict XV was ignored, too, with frightful results.
When will the war hawks learn?