Hilarious episode in St Peter’s square, where the two ohh doves, symbol of ohh peace, set free by the Bishop of Rome in one of those kindergarten stunts that are the most common mark of V II stupidity, have been immediately attacked by predatory birds in plain sight of the children present.
As Father Z informs us, several organisations have warned that the chances of survival of such “bringers of peace” aren’t better than those of the canary bird once freed from his cage by a solicitous, freedom-loving child. With the difference that Francis isn’t a child.
It is consoling to know that this time Francis has managed to teach the children something useful, and we should therefore charitably ignore the fact that this was most certainly not his intention. Still, there can be no doubt the children got a beautiful lesson, live and utterly cost-free, of what happens to pacifists the world over: they are free to flaunt their purity and whiteness as long as they are protected in a Vatican cage (or by an army), but are screwed very fast when their beautiful-sounding words are put into practice without third-party protection.
See, little ones? This is what happens to pacifists in real life. Let this be a lesson to you! He who lives by kindergarden rhetoric, dies by kindergarten rhetoric!
Thanks, Bishop Francis. This time you have been rather useful.
Yours truly cannot but look with some concern at the views and the mentality with which many of those opposed to a US intervention in Syria present their argument. Let me describe some of them, and add my two Catholic cents on them.
1. The US might become involved in a new war.
I do not know you, but I always thought that with power comes responsibility, and a superpower should have correspondent responsibilities. If we look at the past, it was the richest and most powerful who were asked to make the biggest effort – be it concerning the Crusades, the feeding of the poor, or the building of the next cathedral -. To be a superpower involves the continuous risk of being involved in undesired conflicts; the obvious counterpart, by the by, of the possibility of influencing each one of them.
2. War is bad/no more war/make love,not war/give peace a chance (and similar rubbish).
This kindergarten pacifism (a favourite pastime not only of hippies and assorted potheads, but also of Pope Paul VI, and Bishop Francis) has the consequence that Neville Chamberlain must be considered an excellent man at least until September 1939, and Winston Churchill a war-thirsty bastard who led countless young lives to a useless death. Every wholesale expression of war as a never acceptable option not only does not take account of reality, but positively helps evil fanatics the world over. At times, evil regimes must simply be kicked/bombed out of existence, and again to deny this means to be a Chamberlain of a particularly obtuse sort. Unfortunately, the bishop of Rome cannot escape this kindergarten logic; a logic which makes him look good with the kindergarten masses, and which he must therefore think very smart.
3. Violence must make way for negotiation.
The continuous calls for peace where peace is clearly not in the cards is, if we are honest, another piece of kindergarten stuff; whilst I expect calls to peace from a Pontiff, when it is the only plan of action this is what we hear from people who wants to look good on the cheap, and without taking risks. Wars – most of all, civil wars and/or religious wars – aren’t fought because the parts aren’t aware that there is the option of negotiations. As long as the military option seems more promising to at least one of the fighting parties, an armed confrontation is what you will get. Actually, in the presence of an extremely ideologically motivated side – say, Al Qaeda-near fighters; or the Vietcong – any ceasefire will only be used to regroup and go better prepared into the next military campaign, which is why in this situation any ceasefire now is probably going to be paid with more violence later. More in general, to ask what is clearly unrealistic merely in order to look good and please the crowds – yes, I am thinking of Francis again – is nothing to do with a serious analysis of the problem or an intelligent proposal for its solution. It is merely what Francis does all the time: pleasing the crowds.
4. Every Syrian was born equal.
This is very un-PC, but I think that it must be said. I am sick and tired of those appeals to peace who are generically addressed to the Syrian people as if its Christian population were not the most endangered part of it, and those who have most to fear from the collapse of the Syrian regime. It is the height of ecumenical stupidity not to have the interest of the poor Christians in Syria on a higher plane than the one of the Muslim population. If it were so, we should welcome a new regime merely because, say, deemed more honest, efficient, democratic, or near to the needs of the people. It is not so. One regime would treat Christians much, much worse than the other, and I see it as the duty of every Christian to put their safety before other consideration like “freedom” or “democracy”. When Bishop Francis manages to put Christians and Muslims in the same basket without addressing in a compelling way the special dangers of the Christians in Syria, I shudder.
“Well then, Mundabor” – you will say – “what is it, then, that you propose?”
What I propose is that we sensible Catholics stop the easy slogans – which lead nowhere and are only useful to let us feel good with ourselves – and start acting, in our own little sphere of influence (we aren’t Popes, are we…) according to well-probed principles of realism.
Personally, I consider the condition of Christians in Syria as far more important than the increase of prestige and power for Hizbollah if the Syrian government wins this war. Similarly, I consider the danger coming from mad Islamist militants – ready to uncork the fanatical madness that must be present in every prevalently Muslim country in virtue of its being… prevalently Muslim – as a far greater menace than the Assad regime they want to overthrow. A menace, I mean, immediate and all too evident for the Syrian Christians, but certainly very concrete for all Western Countries, as every child – bar Obama – must certainly see.
Therefore, I do not think that the usual empty calls for a “peaceful solution” should be supported. You won’t have any peace until Muslim fundamentalists are around in forces. What you will have is either violence now, or a ceasefire now in preparation of more violence tomorrow.
The sensible behaviour here, if you ask me, is not a generic call to “peace”, much less a “humanitarian” help to the destruction of Assad’s regime as the “help” pushed by the First Gay President. The solution is, on the contrary, massive military support for the Syrian government. There are many ways to do this avoiding both a painful loss of life from Western countries – say, with massive air strikes, and/or an extensive use of drones – and a massive re-armament of Hizbollah. The Syrian army isn’t the South Vietnamese one: the Syrian soldiers have been fighting rather well for years, and they well know what might happen to them if the other side wins. In no way can be said that the rebels have won the “hearts and minds” of the Syrians; actually the contrary is more probably the case.
The British Government, the Vatican and the other big and little powers should let the White House know that they have picked the wrong side, and the smart thing to do is: a) to help Assad’s regime to survive and b) to use its army to give the rebels a lesson that those of them who manage to survive will remember for a while. I never thought I’d see the day where Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel are de facto on the same side and the US are, to all intents and purposes, on the other, helping Al Qaeda and the persecutors of Christians. Many European countries are, behind the peace rhetoric, seeing the light, and are now listening to the likes of Israel rather than to an idiot in Washington only worried to look good and appear “concerned for the welfare of humanity”.
A pacific attitude is a beautiful, Christian thing. Pacifism, on the other hand, is the mother of holocausts, world wars, communist dictatorships and other horrible calamities.
Si vis pacem, para bellum. He who loves peace will have to be ready for war; he who does not want war will attract it, and his empty slogans will be of no use in the end.
I fear much for the destiny of the Syrian people, but most of all I fear for the destiny of the Syrian Christians. They should be, I think, our first concern, and we will not address this concern with generic calls for peace.
Two sides. One must lose.
Draw your conclusions.
One of the most common trait of every internet discussion – and of many discussion in the real world – is the unavoidable intervention of the compulsive do-gooder.
The compulsive do-gooder lives in a world made of platitudes and common places. He thrives so much in such an environment, that he googles around looking for controversial discussions on the Internet – this forum, or that blog – to intervene and dish his accustomed list of banalities.
For the do-gooder, war is always bad. He can’t countenance that some be rich, and many other poor (he is, well, certainly not rich himself; if he is, he feels guilty for that, but without becoming poor). He finds it extremely worthwhile to complain about “inequalities”, as if God had made a world dominated by equality, and men had decided to subvert God’s plan. That human beings have always possessed the most varied degrees of intelligence, wit, beauty, or physical strenght never occurred to him and hey presto, here’s the next platitude…..
Most of all, the compulsive do-gooder has no controversial opinions. He will tolerate everything and everyone, as long as he feels approved. He will throw “Jesus” in every discussion, and this will allow him to avoid taking a stance on whatever problem, or controversy, or perversion going against the thinking of the lazy, indifferent, fat mainstream. When the do-gooder is “against” something, it will be something that is, in principle, uncontroversial. He will be in favour of “peace”, “love”, “understanding”, “tolerance”, “prosperity for everyone” and “the environment”. In doing so, he will conveniently forget the very reasons why he should be in favour of all these beautiful things. He will be in favour of peace when confronted with Nazism, “love” when confronted with genocide, “understanding” when aeroplanes go against skyscrapers. He will want prosperity but will criticise the very Capitalist society that produces it in unprecedented measure. He will be in favour of the environment, but will never care for the danger that stupid environmentalism – and make no mistake, that’s what he will support – poses to the economy and, therefore, to peace, prosperity, and “understanding among the peoples”. If you disagree with him, he will consider you intolerant, for disagreeing with him.
The do-gooder lives in a parallel world. He fancies a planet where human beings behave exactly as they should – which invariably means : as he wants – instead of, well, like human beings. In his world no criminal, no dictator, no genocide is evil. No one is evil, though some are misunderstood. If we would just talk to them! Oh, how insensitive we all are!
When I was at school, and later too, the do-gooders invariably – which means, without exception – belonged to a particular group of people. Not very smart, very lazy, and not much esteemed. Mediocre in all they did, and dull in everything they said, they never received the consideration they clearly craved for and which their overflowing vanity demanded. Having nothing to impose them to other people’s attention, they needed to feed their vanity by imposing their own alleged moral superiority on them.
Their desperate need for vanity fodder created on the one hand an extreme egalitarianism born of their own mediocrity – if you are mediocre every talking of aspiration, striving, application, sacrifice will be marked as evil; therefore the do-gooder will be against grades in class, against better and worse and, very predictably, against richer and poorer – and on the other hand it produced an extremely strong need to take the moral high ground, to be considered better because they could not be considered smarter, and to condemn every form of competition because they couldn’t win it.
I saw these people at work, and was dumbfounded by the extreme stupidity of their behaviour and attitude. Being a somewhat outspoken guy, I never refrained from saying so and exposing them without any reserve in the public debates they so clearly desired and were the first to ask for – Italian schools were then, alas, the mecca of the stupid debates, with people barely able to grow a beard feeling so good whilst crucifying the entire Western Civilisation -. By doing so, I caused tsunamis of indignation and, invariably, savage accusations of insensitivity. But in my simple world, if you’re stupid you’re better off shutting up than trying to look intelligent, because it never works and you’re bound to find the one who’ll make you look the ass you are. Si tacuisses…. particularly then, when your stupidity goes against everything sacred, causes Communism to advance, and makes Holocausts possible.
The do-gooder is passive-aggressive, which works beautifully with most people, though sends them straight to the wall with those who can’t stand such a behaviour. He will start a discussion immediately aiming at the moral high ground, and at the first resistance will put his tent firmly there by claiming foul play, and emotional rape. How do you dare to expose his idiocy, he only wants a world where everyone lives in peaaace!
The do-gooder is a failure, perceived or – more often – real. He will either not have done anything sensible in his life beside stroking his vanity, or he will be frustrated because he doesn’t feel his achievements are valued enough by “society”. He might be a teacher whose brother-in-law- is a successful lawyer, or the ne’er-do-good daughter of a successful businessman, that is: people earning less than the former generation, or than their peer within the enlarged family. Nothing better to stimulate socialist thinking. Being very materialistic, the do-gooder will judge other people from the economic success they have, and will think everyone does the same; but being losers, they won’t have any. Ouch! Then, they will criticise the materialistic society, consumerism, and all those people who consider them good-for-nothing; exactly as they do, secretly, themselves.
It is, I think, a sad reality of our days that most champagne socialist are, in fact, unable to afford the champagne. They only like to mix with the few who can.
My impression is that an awful lot of do-gooders have become teachers, and very many have become social workers of some kind. Even more of them have become nothing at all, and now build tents in strange places, desperately trying to attract people’s attention on how oh so beautiful they are. Their motivation is the one that drives them in everything they do: to please their vanity, and to be considered an elite of fine thinkers rather than a motley crew of lazy asses.
Very few of them will choose the clerical profession. The one or other among them might become, say, a bishop of the Anglican so-called church, and one of them actually became the Archbishop of Canterbury. Some others may become Catholic Bishops, or Cardinals, and write about their strange theories of world government, and global monetary authority. These are among the very few that will be seen, from the world at large, as authoritative.
Still, make no mistake: they are waste of space, all of them.