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Aggression, Or: Looking For That Fort Sumter Moment.

Lincoln forced the Confederates to shoot the first cannon shot at Fort Sumter, which gave him the ammunition he needed for his aggression.

Roosevelt put sanctions on Japan that gradually became so aggressive as to force the exact event he wanted: an attack on the US which would then precipitate a war against both Japan and (which he also wanted) Germany.

Lyndon Johnson used something that actually never even happened (the Tonkin Incident “Part 2” on the 4 August 1967) to start a massive, ultimately failed adventure in Vietnam.

The truth is: the American People are, and always were, a very peaceful bunch. They are no friends of expeditionary wars. They prefer, as a whole, to leave their lives in peace, in their own pretty unassailable Country, knowing that it is not their job, or their moral duty, to heal the ailments of the world. To them, Manchuria should not be an American problem.

As a result, when ideology, or geopolitical interest, or even well-intentioned Patriotism persuade a US President that it is time for war, he will have to fabricate the pretext for one.

It’s as simple as that. Ask Lincoln.

Fast forward to 2022: a number of hawks in Washington, who lack the most elementary knowledge of military things, think that the Ukraine is a beautiful way to stab Russia in the heart or, if that does not work, at least kick it in the balls. But they also know that, nowadays, you can’t just invent a Tonkino Incident and “get to work”.

They will, therefore, first find the useful idiots willing to do the dying as the US does the paying. They will sabotage the Minsk agreements as Ukraine is heavily rearmed; they will look the other way as the Ukraine kills 13,000 civilians; they will build fortifications everywhere, and wait for the right moment.

Starting from the 18th February 2022, they will instruct the Ukrainian Government to multiply their shelling of Donbas civilians, from 200 to unbelievable 2000 shells a day. This will force, literally force Putin to do what he never wanted to do: give the Ukrainian a good spanking.

And there you have it, the famous “war of aggression”. Now you have, finally, “the people” on your side. Slava Ukraini!! What follows is an expensive, bloody geopolitical game, where the armament lobbies in the US get $100bn in gifts (they will be very thankful to a lot of people of both sides of the aisle), Ukraine gets massacred, and the grand Sanctions Plan fails so spectacularly that , in comparison, the British Suez adventure in 1956 looks like the work of a genius.

I wonder what happens now. Even Lindsay Graham by now understands that the sanctions have failed, and Russia will crush the Ukraine like a nut at Christmas time. But does he understand that the US absolutely cannot fight Russia in a conventional war, or is he as stupid as the great love of his life, John McCain? How many Grahams walk along the corridors of power in Washington? How many of them are linked to the Military Industrial Complex? How many of them think, perhaps in perfect good faith (you see, I am trying to be fair to Lincoln here) that the time has come for a Roosevelt 2.0?

I think there is more than some. A gas pipeline was blown up (yes, pal: by the US). The Soviet-era tanks came first, to the hundreds. They were destroyed. The Western tanks were taboo, and they are now also coming to the hundreds. The warplanes were also taboo, and they are now in the headlines every day. You will forgive me for thinking that it’s as if someone wanted the Russians to absolutely attack NATO installations, so they have their Fort Sumter moment.

There is a time for peace and a time for war. I agree that, should that time come, faithful Catholics will be found on both sides of the trenches. I am also ready to admit that there are good patriots on both sides.

But, my dear US, and European, reader, pay attention to this: there are people who are trying to sucker you in a conflict that you didn’t want….

because “aggression”.

Great Man, Great Soldier, And Great Priest: Father Capodanno.

Courtesy of TFP Student Action, a beautiful video and story. Visit the site to see the video.

A photo and some excerpt from the site:

Fr. Capodanno in the field

He shared his salary, rations and cigarettes with anyone in need. He could always be counted upon for a cold soda or a book from his reading library. When Christmas came around and soldiers felt forgotten, Father Vincent saw to it that no Marine was without gifts which he obtained through a relentless campaign from friends and organizations all over the world.

More importantly, he heard confessions for hours on end, instructed converts, and administered the sacraments. His granting of General Absolution before battle unburdened the consciences of the Marines and instilled in them the courage to fight. His mere presence in a unit was enough to lift the morale of all on patrol.

When men died, he was at their side so they would not die alone. He gave them Last Rites encouraging them to repent and persevere. In addition, he wrote countless letters of personal condolence to parents of wounded and dead Marines and offered solid grounding and hope to fellow Marines who lost friends.

When the pseudo-peace movement began to oppose the war
, Fr. Vincent raised the spirits of demoralized soldiers in the field. He encouraged his men to oppose that same brutal communist system, which still oppresses Vietnam today.


However, it was in battle where Father Capodanno excelled and inspired. He would find out from friends in military intelligence which unit was most likely to encounter the heaviest contact and volunteer for those assignments.

Marines would find him walking dangerous perimeters and keeping company with them in distant jungle outposts. The Grunt Padre could be seen leaping out of a helicopter in the midst of battle. He would care for the wounded, bless troops, and give Communion to Catholics, before taking off for another battle zone.
When his tour of duty came to an end, he obtained an extension. Despite the prosaic conditions of battle and an ecumenical chaplain corps, nothing could turn him away from his burning desire to give everything in the service of God, the Church and his men.


Although wounded three times in the course of the battle, Fr. Capodanno refused to be medi-vacked [=evacuated by air transport, n.d.r.]. Like a ray of hope in the midst of the storm, he went up and down the line caring for the wounded and anointing the dying.

During the fierce fighting, the chaplain spotted a wounded corpsman hit by a burst of automatic fire and unable to move. Fr. Capodanno ran to his aid and began to care for his wounds. A Viet Cong machine gunner opened fire. With 27 bullet wounds in his spine, neck, and head, the Grunt Padre fell in battle, serving his men to the end.

All over Vietnam, the Marines mourned their Padre.


Despite the pacifist objections of 73 Maryknoll priests, brothers and seminarians, the Navy commissioned a destroyer escort in 1973: the U.S.S. Capodanno. Numerous other memorials and statues have gone up in his memory.


Isn’t there some discordant note in this beautiful story? It begins with M…

I haven’t many doubts (though of course it is not for me to say) where Father Capodanno (Italian for “New Year’s Day”, a typical day of hope for poor Italian immigrants and certainly adopted as new family name for a reason) now is.

I have some doubts more for the 73 Maryknoll chaps, though.

U.S.S. Capodanno. It sounds really good…


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