Fr. James Schall, S.J., offers a brief war primer, and to be more precise, a primer on this war, the War on Terror. It is straightforward and does not sugarcoat the situation. He identifies the was as “civilizational” and the enemy, not as the ideologically austere term “terrorists, but as specific groups within Islam, a religion that is diametrically opposed to foundational Christian principles and dedicated to the conversion of the world, by force if necessary.
He acknowledges that while democracy is an ideal form of government, Islam and democracy are not compatible. Nevertheless he advocates the attempt to create democracy in Islamic countries.
Fr. Schall also has criticism for a certain kind of pacifism exhibited by certain bishops in the face of war:
Religious opposition to war is based on a laudable preference for “peaceful” means, such as dialogue or unending negotiations. No dialogue is possible with this particular enemy except as a tactic to gain time. ... It is unfortunate in this case that religious leaders have not accurately seen the nature of this enemy, what he is capable of, and how and why he must be stopped, indeed of his religious motives. The older tradition in which religious leaders better understood the need, even for religion’s sake, of a measured and adequate creation and use of force would have better served the only real peace that is possible as long as the world-conquering intention of al-Qaeda types is present and operative.
A good piece and worth reading.