Bertone trumpets “prophecy” about Iraq war

Bertone trumpets “prophecy” about Iraq war

This is the sort of thing that I was talking about yesterday in commenting on Amy’s blog post. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the incoming head of the Vatican Secretariat of State, said the situation in Iraq shows warnings from Rome about the war were “prophetic”. In what way were they “prophetic”? Doesn’t the choice of words strike you as if the cardinal is saying that it was God Himself warning against the war, which would mean that this wasn’t a matter of prudential judgment, but a matter of doctrine and obedience.

In addition, such after the fact claims assume that the world—and especially Iraq—would have been better off were Saddam still in power. If we hadn’t had the Iraq war, would al Qaeda have been more likely or less likely to be able to carry out 9/11 and “8/10” style terror attacks? What would all those now-dead terrorists (i.e. “foreign insurgents in Iraq”) be doing today? Certainly Libya would not have given up its WMD program like it did.

I think in the cardinal’s case, it’s a bit early to declare a victory for “prophecy” about Iraq. Some critics of World War II observing Germany and Japan in 1948 made similar declarations of vindication for the “prophecies” too because of the state of those countries. Come back in 2033 and tell me how we’re doing then.

This isn’t to say that I disagree with the cardinal’s other remarks, especially those regarding the pressure that international institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund put on countries to compromise their values.

“Some technocrats, especially those of multinationals, the World Bank and the (International) Monetary Fund, have imposed unacceptable conditions on the poor populations, like forced sterilization and obligatory closing of Catholic schools,” he said.

On the whole, I think Cardinal Bertone will be a large improvement in that office. He’s just giving evidence of that condition that bothers Amy, and me, and others about certain pronouncements by Vatican officials.

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  • Maybe the Italians ought to be worrying less about the rather normal hostilitiies in the East and more about their own demographics.  The data says that the problems of the Middle East will simply spread to Italy and other European countries if they don’t attend to demographics.

    As an example, consider England—full of first and second generation middle easterners now who are bent on the destruction of the west. 

    Where is this going?  If I told you where I think it will go, you’d probably protest mightily.  Dom, you’d probably throw me out of here.  I am only hoping that the US wakes up and takes notice in time to avoid all the awful alternatives.

  • Oh, and BTW, what does the good cardinal have to say about the faith of Catholics, eternal life and the pursuit of holiness?  I thought that was his business, not international intrigue. 

    Perhaps His Eminence ought to stick to what he understands and leave the details of war to those better equipped to understand it.

  • Our Lady of Fatima said that War was a punishment for sin.  Mother Theresa said that the fruit of abortion is nuclear War. Jesus said “You reap what you sow”.  The state of the world reflects the state of the Church. Woe to you shepherds!!!!!


  • Pope John Paul II, of happy memory, counseled against invading Iraq on several occasions. As a result, he was pilloried severely on the conservative blogs and web forums. He was right, however.

    We have turned the most Christian-friendly country in the Middle East into a rat’s nest of Islamic terrorists, all in the pursuit of the secular god of democracy and at the price of thousands of American dead. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt and other supposed US allies, Christians were free to go about their business in Saddam’s Iraq. Iraq is now more of a threat to the US than it ever was under Saddam, who for all his rhetoric, was a secular megalomaniac with no love for fundamentalist Islam.

  • Oh yes, Iraq was very “Christian=friendly”… unless you happened to be one of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who were considered enemies of Saddam. How many Christians were fed feet-first into the plastic chippers? How Christian girls were abducted off the streets to be raped by Saddam’s sons? How many Christians were on the Iraqi Olympic soccer team who were killed because they lost?

    Saying Christians were better off under Saddam is like saying that people rode the trains in pre-war Germany were better off because Hitler made the trains run on time.

  • Marshmallow, *we* didn’t do it.  You can’t make anyone do anything; only they can choose it and they have.

    They are the ones trying to blow up planes.  Not us.