Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A Tale of Two Soldiers

Both Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger publicly stated their opposition to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. As late as March 16, 2003 Pope John Paul II reiterated his opposition to the war in his Angelus address.

That is why, in the face of the tremendous consequences that an international military operation would have for the population of Iraq and for the balance of the Middle East region, already sorely tried, and for the extremisms that could stem from it, I say to all:  There is still time to negotiate; there is still room for peace, it is never too late to come to an understanding and to continue discussions.

The war began two days later. In an April 2003 interview in 30 Days Cardinal Ratzinger expanded upon the pope's thoughts.

The Pope has very clearly expressed his thoughts, not only as the thoughts of an individual, but as the thoughts of a man of conscience occupying the highest functions in the Catholic Church. Of course, he has not imposed this position as a doctrine of the Church, but as the appeal of a conscience enlightened by the faith. This judgment of the Holy Father is convincing from a rational point of view also: reasons sufficient for unleashing a war against Iraq did not exist. First of all it was clear from the very beginning that proportion between the possible positive consequences and the sure negative effect of the conflict was not guaranteed. On the contrary, it seems clear that the negative consequences will be greater than anything positive that might be obtained. Without considering then that we must begin asking ourselves whether as things stand, with new weapons that cause destruction that goes well beyond the groups involved in the fight, it is still licit to allow that a “just war” might exist.

Kim Rivera is a US soldier who refused to return to Iraq, entering Canada in 2007. She has been outspoken in her opposition to the war. She and her family have been living in Parkdale awaiting the outcome of her refugee claim. She has just lost her last appeal, complying with a deportation order on September 20, 2012. Having surrendered herself at the border, she is being held at Fort Drum awaiting trial. She is the mother of four children, two of whom were born in Canada.

Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen born in Scarborough on September 19, 1986 of Egyptian Canadian parents. He spent much of his youth in Pakistan where his father was involved in various activities in support of the insurgents in Afghanistan. At the age of 15 he became involved in the war himself and was captured in a firefight on July 27, 2002. He has just returned to Canada to serve out the remainder of the sentence handed down in the plea bargain he agreed to at Guantanamo.

Why are we deporting a conscientious objector to the Iraq war and welcoming al-Qaeda sympathizers who would send their 15 year old child to fight in Afghanistan?


Barona said...

Interesting juxtaposition between the progeny of a terrorist family (allowed to run riot in Canada due to the racism of lower expectations), and a person who in conscience refuses to partake in violence. I cannot imagine for a minute that the police, the social services would stand by for a minute if they heard that a white, European immigrant family was involved in international terrorism, and to the degree of involving a teenage son etc.

Given that I am not an expert in the details terrorist links of the terrorist family, I'll leave it up to someone who is; Tarek Fatah. To listen to his Sept. 30th radio Show, please link here:

Barona said...

One detail seems to be overlooked - the death of US army medic Christopher Speers at the hands of Khadr.

Freyr said...

It was not overlooked. It's not about who can garner the most sympathy.