Thursday, August 3, 2006

Occasional Note

I've been incredibly busy this summer. But the good news is I am now able to the reader to those sites which help shape my daily view of the world. To point out the obvious, a lot has been going on that I would like to write about. My main area of pre-occupation is the Israeli-Hezbollah stand-off, which has shown that the Vatican needs a new take on the Middle East. The best short commentary I have found on this is Joseph Bottom, editor of First Things, writing in The Weekly Standard. As usual, Italian Vaticanista, Sandro Magister, weighs in with thoughtful criticism on the matter and does a fine job of illustrating the subtle, gentle, yet firm way Benedict XVI is getting a grip on ecclesiam ad extra by continuing to show the folly of Cardinal Sodano's deeply flawed view of the world. in two articles published in Chiesa Israel Is Fighting for its Life, but the Vatican "Deplores" a and At the Summit on the Middle East, Benedict XVI Preaches the Cross of Jesus.

Alas, I haven't time at present to write my own coherent thoughts on the matter, but will soon, God willing. As far as war and ethics, a particular and personal concern of mine, Michael Walzer, a philosopher at Princeton and one of the people responsible for the revival of Just War Theory in during our long involvement in Vietnam. In War Fair, he makes some points regarding how Israel is conducting its response to Hebollah's provocation, lest I get too one-sided. This is not to take the heat off Hezbollah, whose tactics are from the get-go are contrary to all laws of war and ethics, including Islamic morals. Despite decisions to attack civilian infrastructure, Israel is trying to attack only mlitary targets, which is made difficult due to Hezbollah hiding behind civilians, including women and children and using a hospital as a communications and logistics center. Providing these links should give the thoughtful Catholic much to ponder while we, in union with the Holy Father, "entrust this sorrowful petition to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Prince of Peace and Queen of Peace, so venerated in Mideast countries, where we hope to see soon reign this reconciliation for which the Lord Jesus has offered his precious Blood."

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