Brendan Miniter has a very good op-ed on the Vatican’s role in the Iraq crisis. His thesis is that the Vatican’s views are welcome whether you agree with the conclusions or not and he concludes that what the Vatican is asking for from the US is actually being met: tryign to avoid war until all other reasonable avenues have been explored. My favorite part, however, was this little bit that began the piece:
When Saddam Hussein met with papal emissary Cardinal Roger Etchegaray in Baghdad a few weeks ago, the Iraqi dictator responded to questions about why he wasn’t cooperating with United Nations weapons inspectors by drawing a long knife. Holding it for the cardinal to see, he ran his finger along the sharp edge of the blade—it was an obvious gesture at intimidation.
But Mr. Etchegaray wasn’t stricken with fear. He simply reached into his pocket and drew out a rosary.
“We Christians have weapons too,” the cardinal told the dictator.
Priceless! It’s definitely an unequal battle, too.