Actium Was Won Before The Younger Men Were Born
The most terrifying words I've read today are,
"The US administration had additional information about the attack that it would make public in the days ahead, he added."
We live in an age of war without end, with leaders of the same mindset as Louis XIV, who on his deathbed repented that he had made war too lightly. Send up a drone, fire a missile, give us your sons to spike their guns...what violent men and women lead us. In his translation of the 'Annals Of Imperial Rome', the late, great Professor Michael Grant gave Tacitus a voice with which to speak the truth, over the span of two millenia, about those who lead us now, those who've never picked up a gun but who call for guns to be levelled at others. He let Tacitus say that 'Actium was won before the younger men were born'. Those who remembered Actium had no desire to ever see an Actium being fought again. It seems that even as short a time as ten years is too long for some of those in power now to have to wait before they start another war.
I thank God that I found God, or more properly that God salvaged me, while I was young enough to be able to repent of my sin of having so vocally supported the invasion of Iraq, even to the extent of writing this (click with extreme caution), an act of which I have firmly repented but which sometimes make me fearful of my own judgement (and it says much for the spiritual benefits of a Jesuit education that you can have lapsed for eleven years by that point and still sound as if you're in the front pew at Mass every Sunday; convincing, wasn't it?). After having done that, after having added my own puny squeaks to that foul chorus, I don't want ever want to see anyone living in an Arab country ever getting clusterbombed, or flakked, or droned, or shot, or whatever by any entity which I financially support ever again. Sorry, folks, but it's 'Not In My Name' time. Have we not inflicted enough harm on these poor people, for goodness' sake? What good are we going to do by indiscriminately killing more of them now? Don't they all start out with two eyes, two ears, a nose, a mouth and a backside like the rest of us, and use them to perform the same functions we do? What is our problem with them? We wonder why peoples we've never been able to leave alone in peace can't live in peace with each other - and we think they're the dysfunctional ones? As I go into my wee boy's bedroom to watch him sleeping peacefully, it breaks my heart to think that there are other children of his age and younger whom the British and American governments seem to want to deprive of sleep, or even to send to sleep forever; if only because recent history suggests that's just Western interventions do. 'Contingencies' and 'kill ratios' are euphemisms for the killing of children for no apparently discernible reason whatsoever, never mind any legitimate one. Since when did we have the authority to set 'red lines' for the parents of Arab children, and for their societies? Is being an Arab in an Arab land now enough to allow us to kill you in your bed, with or without recourse to the UN Security Council?
I would also have a word of caution for those Christian commentators who focus on the sectarian murders of Christians in Arab countries. Mobs are mobs are mobs; murderous sectarian mobs are no different from murderous nationalist mobs and murderous racist mobs, insofar as they are all murderous mobs. The victims of the murderous sectarian mobs in Syria and Egypt (and India, lest we forget, a country with which we don't seem to have any intention of going to war) now bear martyrs' crowns; in having won Paradise they have well and truly knocked it off, and while it is very right and proper to deplore their murders we must also pray for their murderers, that they may repent and work for peace. Father, please forgive those who kill your children in the Middle East, grant them the grace to know that they have sinned and to repent of their sins, and may your sublime peace spread across the whole of your creation. Amen.
The gas atrocities in Syria have been committed while WMD inspectors are in the country. Let the investigators investigate, and the inspectors inspect. We must always hope that common sense and common humanity will prevail, that all of the horrible killing will end by peaceful means and that those who used a gas weapon or weapons will face the appropriate civil justice by civil means without recourse to foreign military intervention. The experience of having become a father has converted me to radical pacifism, and if that makes me a coward then a coward is what I am. I'd rather be cried a coward than a warmonger. The Iraqi precedent might give one little cause for hope for peace, but we must have hope. If we lose hope we have nothing.