02.16.2015 12:14 PM

It is lawful to stop an unjust aggressor

So says no less than Pope Francis, in response to ISIS’ barbaric killing of 27 Egyptian Christians:

“The Pope departed from the script of an address on Monday to emphasise the unity of all Christians regardless of the sect they follow.

“Their only words were: ‘Jesus, help me!’ They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians,” Francis said while addressing members of the Church of Scotland. He spoke in his native Spanish, departing from the Italian he uses at most formal events.

The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, who has said it is “lawful” to stop an unjust aggressor, went on: “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians!”

Again, as before: at what point do those who object to military action against ISIS change their view? What new atrocity must take place before they acknowledge that they were wrong?


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    davie says:

    Things were going okay for investments in oil facilities for western based fossil fuel business when there was a Shia dominated government in Baghdad, and that government had an agreement with the Kurds in Northern Iraq who controlled many of those facilities. The Sunni of Iraq were marginalized, just a bomb or two each day keeping them in place (I’m not sure those murderers made and published videos of their handiwork)
    Next door, in Syria the drought caused much upset in large parts of rural Syria, and pipeline politics for the lines from Iran across Iraq and Syria to market Iranian products to Europe were opposed by Western interests, so street protests against a secretive and arbitrary government attracted Western meddling, and continues to do so.
    One group of rebels in Syria was funded by Gulf States, providing weapons and support to this faith based group.
    This group, as some others, committed terrible crimes against people in Syria for over two years. Then the group moved into Iraq, where it was welcomed by local Sunni communities. The group attracted foreign fighters, much like the West encouraged fighters to join the rebels in Syria.
    But then, the worst thing happened: this Sunni group in Iraq grabbed oil facilities that Western companies had investments in. So we were hit with a wave of videos of beheadings (not from Saudi Arabia, where they are hard on women and behead dozens of people each year), but purportedly from this faith based group in Iraq.
    Our citizenry was outraged. We forgot about the mass surveillance in our own lands, about he recent revelations of how we torture people as a day to day part of our security business, and we listened as our leaders and media told us that this Islamic State was the major global threat of our time.
    So we sent a half dozen war planes to bomb Sunni Iraqis (as we Westerners have been bombing them, off and on, for over two dozen years), and, to train and spot targets, we sent special forces (‘special’ I assume because no one reports what they do to make sure they act lawfully).

    Recently we had the video worthy of a 1950’s Kurasawa production of the immolation of a prisoner of war. So the king of Jordan dressed in his pilot togs and the reports are that he and his squadrons of war planes have stepped up their bombings of Sunnis in Iraq.

    We are already at war. Like previous wars, there will be all kinds of after the fact propaganda to justify going to war.

    What I would like a pro war, anti Sunni type to do, is explain why we are doing so little against this villainous(we have seen the Youtube vids) global threat to Canadians unlike any threat we have ever faced.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Did you happen to catch the late Bob Simon’s Sixty Minutes report on the Copts of Egypt? If memory serves, Muslims and Christians have been at war for at least twenty years — during Mubarak’s term and subsequently.

    Same damned nightmare in Nigeria, Indonesia, to name but a few.

    Yours truly will admit an error only if the war is actually won, whether Canada is in or not. IMHO, that day will never come.

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    sezme says:

    Interesting that he’s willing to extend his tribe to “Christians” but no further. I thought this guy was supposed to believe in the brotherhood of man. Or maybe that was John Lennon?

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    Kelly says:

    I’m not sure what it will take…maybe a full scale military assault on a sovereign country under false pretenses in the name of freedom…oh, wait…

    How is this latest atrocity any worse (don’t get me wrong…it’s a crime against humanity) than making mincemeat out of a whole village with daisy cutter bombs or giving kids cancer with depleted uranium, or burning families alive — by the hundreds — with 500 lb bombs flopped from 20,000 feet?

    I’m serious. Is it ONLY because we disagree with Isis’s murderous contortion of Islam? Because the atrocity itself jsn’t a good enough reason for more killing in light of what came before. The “winners” don’t really get to write the history anymore.

    We’ve already lost the war. We call for more violence and celebrate our own enslavement while we race to pass new laws that inch us closer toward the establishment of a police state.

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      Paul Schratz says:

      Do you think this is going to stop at beheadings and burnings in the Middle East? Copenhagen, Paris, Sydney, Ottawa, Boko Haram…

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        Kelly says:

        Of course not. But going and blowing up people in the middle east will cause MORE of it. Islam has to deal with this too. It’s an idea now…and it feeds on violence.

        One more thing. Let’s keep this in perspective. As horrible as this incident was, more kids were killed by one guy in Sandy Hook. More women were killed by 1 disturbed Canadian soldier at Ecole Polytechnique and hundreds of thousands more Muslims – and Christians through collateral damage — by Bush Era Republican war mongers than IS has killed. IS is scum, but so are large parts of select Western governments.

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          cgh says:

          Liar. Gamil Gharbi aka Marc Lepine attempted to join the Canadian armed forces in 1981. He was rejected. To call him “a Canadian soldier” is a disgusting slander.

          You also seem to have difficulty distinguishing between atrocities committed by lunatics, and deliberate massacres perpetrated by a death cult. So yes, let’s indeed keep things in perspective; yours is clearly insane.

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            smelter rat says:

            So death cults aren’t lunatics? Good to know.

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            wsam says:

            Secularists have murdered way more people than the religious of whatever stripe. Stalin. Hitler. Mao. Pol Pot.

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    edward nuff says:

    There is an elephant in the room. We know what Saddam would have done. He’d have marked off 1000 square miles to take in all of Isis and gassed them because to end Isis you have to destroy every rock they hide under including the human ones. End of story. Anybody want to play the part? Hello? Anybody there? Didn’t think so but hey let’s send in boots on the ground as long as they aren’t ours.
    We’d be better off marking ten square miles in Northern Iraq at the foot of the mountains and escorting every woman and child we can where we could protect them and then doing what needs to be done. Realpolitik is how you defeat the likes of Isis but what a price would have to be paid.

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      Kelly says:

      And then one guy with an AK in Paris would kill 12 people before you could read the headlines of the “ultimate solution” you’re proposing. This won’t be won through violence. We’re losing now because of violence.

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        edward nuff says:

        so the hell with possibly saving millions of women and children at no cost beyond patrolling a no go zone around a giant refugee camp because someone might shoot someone else in Paris. what an idiot. if the Americans could create and carry out the Berlin airlift they could for sure protect and maintain a large zone of safety in Iraq. It’s what they are very good at.

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    Africon says:

    Ironic isn’t it that every day thousands of young “Muslims” risk their lives to reach Christian Europe to start a new life while thousands of other
    young “Muslims” risk their own lives to take out any “Muslim” – sunni or shia, Kurd, Yazidi, Jew, Copt or Christian who will not submit to their dictates.
    Still more ironic – that some of these “Muslims” are returning from Europe to put to the sword any that they disagree with or that won’t submit.

    It took the Christian/Europeans over 500+ years from the time of the Magna Carta to the French and other revolutions – the European spring? to get past tribalism and reach some
    semblance of settling our differences in debate at parliament. Could the Arab/Muslims really accomplish the same in less than a hundred years?
    Sure as heck won’t do it in a decade or two, with or without western military “assistance”.

    After 50 years of independence, African politics is still all tribal just like most of the middle east.

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      wsam says:

      All politics is tribal. Canada is no different.

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    Africon says:

    Did the Pope mention Russian Orthodox Christan – big supporters of Putin and the Ukrainian Christians ?
    Both feel that they are “stopping an unlawful aggressor”.

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    patrick says:

    The objection is that intervention against a tactic is pointless and counter productive. And their atrocities prove it. All the military in the world can’t stop psychotic pockets of hate. ISIS will wither from it’s glorification of it’s horrific brutality because in the short term and long term they have nothing to offer the world and they are repulsive. Going to war against a phantom and leaving a scorched earth just perpetuates their supply of recruits.
    And there are all sorts of atrocities around the world. Shouldn’t we be bombing every spot where there are nasty groups we don’t approve of. What’s so special about ISIS?

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    M-J says:

    “At what point do those who object to military action against ISIS change their view?”

    At what point do those in favour of using military action as the western response to these atrocities admit that these bombings and invasions are the problem not the solution.

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    terence quinn says:

    Events can change opinions.

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    wsam says:

    Never support Team Dumb. War is serious. It needs to be taken seriously. Especially because George W Bush’s mistakes are what allowed ISIL to thrive and expand. Responsible citizens should resist populist tub-thumping.

    Of course ISIL is a threat and its success remains contrary to Western Interests. But. What is the plan? What is the plan to not make the situation worse. The Americans clearly do not have a plan. They are bombing because they lack other options and “have to do something.” Canada is participating because ‘we are going along to get along’. Stephen Harper promised that under his leadership the days of Canada just ‘going along to get along’ were over. Canada’s foreign policy would be defined by his moral clarity and taking tough stands to advance Canadian values and interests. Canada’s support of Benjamin Netanyahu’s neo-conservative political project is often cited as evidence of Stephen Harper’s value-driven foriegn policy.

    Last weekend Patrick Martin had a lengthy article in the Globe about how the Sunni areas of Iraq are being cleansed by the Iranian-trained and partly-led Shia militias. Canadian planes are helping to provide these militias with air cover. This is being reported in the Globe & Mail. Not in some esoteric war-blog or specialist journal. The Globe has reported how Canada is helping Iran. Canada is helping central Iraq be cleansed of an entire ethnic group.

    Stephen Harper closed Canada’s embassy in Iran. He has publically condemned the regime there. Now we are helping Iran. Stephen Harper needs to tell Canadians why? He needs to be held to account.

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    wsam says:

    Apparently central Iraq is being cleansed of Sunnis. Shia militias are reportedly not allowing Sunnis to return to their homes after they have cleared the area of ISIL. Even if ISIL is defeated a new group will form to fight for the Sunnis, most likely funded by one of Saudi Arabia’s competing factions. This is going to get a lot worse and it is going to be going on for a long time.

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    iBall says:

    Does “stop” mean cease and desist… or does it mean shoot the basturds and take no prisoners? Surely turning the other cheek and professing Christian love doesn’t work in these situations.

    Is the Pope green-lighting the dispatching of the muslim extremists to their Paradise so we can live in peace and harmony on Earth? Should we let the dogs of war out again but this time without observing the Geneva Convention? Eradication, not reeducation?

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    wsam says:

    When have we ever respected the Geneva Conventions?

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      iBall says:

      Hail Mary and pass the ammo because the barbarians are storming over the hill…!!!! Or as the Israelis say ” if it’s him or me I vote me”!

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    iBall says:

    Does anybody here have any objection or pangs of conscience to eliminating the ISIS “warriors” with extreme prejudice…. all 30,000+ of them?

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    wsam says:

    The latest estimate I read had ISIL at around 200,000. Though many of those would be conscripts. They control a population of more than 7 million people. Do you suggest killing all of them?

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