The view of the war on terror from Rome

The view of the war on terror from Rome

I’m just getting around to reading John Allen’s “Word From Rome” column of Sept. 10. In it he talks about an Italian peace conference and I’m struck by how he bookends an eyewitness account of the atrocities at Beslan, Russia, with the viewpoint of those who criticize the US approach to the War on Terror.

First, we’re treated to accusations against the US, and specifically our troops, of committing human rights abuses and war crimes, and even that they’re worse than Saddam! Let’s get some perspective here. Has John Kerry been advising these people? Speaking of Kerry, we’re also told that in a straw poll of this mainly left-wing group, that Kerry is their clear preference. That would be good if Kerry were running for UN secretary general, but he’s not, and since he’s running for US president, I don’t much care what these people want. Besides, I wonder if you took a straw poll of the people of Beslan, who they would want as president.

On the other side of an Orthodox bishop’s firsthand account of what he saw in Beslan, We hear from Cardinal Renato Martino who wants to put terrorists on trial, but first of all to seek the causes. As I’ve said before, finding causes is good as long as you’re ready to deal with the causes as they are. This isn’t primarily about poverty or the decadence of the West or politics. It is about an evil radical sect of Islam, which is itself a twisting of the Judeo-Christian faith, and this sect indoctrinates gullible believers into the idea that the triumph of Islam will be brought about by death of infidels on a massive scale. This evil ideology is spread through madrassahs funded mainly by Saudi money and spread through lies and propaganda. To be sure, if more Muslims were not so poor, so ill educated, and dominated by corrupt totalitarian governments, this ideology would have a difficult time gaining a foothold. But this is the way it is.

We can try to bring about a change in these conditions, and it is part of the long-term solution to this problem, but in the meantime, we can’t just ignore the terrorists and their sponsors. While we’re trying to change the conditions that breed terrorists, we must still kill or capture the terrorists we have now and prevent them doing more of the unspeakable.

  • “Kerry for UN Secretary General”…? Now there’s a thought! Or maybe – French Premier…?

    But certainly not – US President.

  • Martino is the same individual who expressed public sympathy for Saddam upon his capture in December. Any remarks he makes on Islamic terrorism must be viewed in that light.

    He also was the former Vatican observer to the UN. Consequently, he’s more likely to believe that non-governmental organizations have a fundamental role in peacekeeping than others.

    I suggest you read the following links. They’ll explain why people like Martino and his cohorts in Rome think the way they do:

  • Joe, I’ve been writing and reading about Martino for years. I know plenty about him.

    Just a side word, too, please: You’ve mentioned your articles several times before in comments, but please try to tone down the self-promotion a bit. On my blog, the only self-promoter will be me. smile

  • We tend to assume that the terror in Beslan came from Islamic/Arab sources.  There have been a few hints it may have been funded by a Russian political source.  Does anyone think there is any merit to the second possibility, and that the terrorists themselves were merely dupes for a covert purpose?

  • It may well have been funded by a Russian political source, but political mercenaries don’t tend to be suicidal. My guess is that Russian political money was funneled to Chechen/radical Muslims. Otherwise the details don’t add up: individual terrorists identified; the fighting amongst them; the women wearing the bombs. It’s all too similar to what happened in the Moscow theater.

    Plus Putin doesn’t have any incentive to re-direct the public’s ire. If he knew it was a political rival, he’d say it publicly and then take him down. He doesn’t seem to be squeamish about totalitarian tactics.

  • Maximum chaos means maximum loss of freedom in the name of establishing control.  Funding Muslim terrorists would serve Putin’s totalitarian aspirations.  It was never clear to me what the Muslims had to gain, other than increasing their world visibility and the world’s fear of them.  I just have the nagging sense that we don’t know all of the facts and may never know them.  We know who is on our side in the war on terrorism, but we don’t really know who is on the opposing side.  What if the whole terrorism thing has been scripted?


  • The only comment to make now is a hope that his voice does not reduce the Church’s credibility in the global struggle against terror, or our resolve in the real struggle where we must kill or capture the killers who were in Beslan, the WTC (1993,2004), the Pentagon, etc.  Brave Italian and Americans are risking death now so that the next “front” in the war is not San Francisci a Paula ad Montes, the Cardinal’s own titular church.