A Cautious Man
December 16, 2003
 
If You Liked the Clark and Dean Speeches, You'll Love This ...
A Vatican official expressed concern about how pictures of the captured Saddam Hussein were presented, with pictures of an examination of his mouth and head.
"Seeing him like this, a man in his tragedy, despite all the heavy blame he bears, I had a sense of compassion for him," he said in answer to questions about Saddam's arrest.
From the news reports, it's hard to tell if it was more of an off-hand comment, since the main point of the news conference was to present the World Day of Peace message. Nevertheless, famous blogger "Instapundit" has a roundup of some anti-Catholic responses.

Those folks will really love the Pope's World Day of Peace message for this year, which includes the following:
Today international law is hard pressed to provide solutions to situations of conflict arising from the changed landscape of the contemporary world. These situations of conflict frequently involve agents which are not themselves States but rather entities derived from the collapse of States, or connected to independence movements, or linked to trained criminal organizations. A legal system made up of norms established down the centuries as a means of disciplining relations between sovereign States finds it difficult to deal with conflicts which also involve entities incapable of being considered States in the traditional sense. This is particularly the case with terrorist groups.

The scourge of terrorism has become more virulent in recent years and has produced brutal massacres which have in turn put even greater obstacles in the way of dialogue and negotiation, increasing tensions and aggravating problems, especially in the Middle East.

Even so, if it is to be won, the fight against terrorism cannot be limited solely to repressive and punitive operations. It is essential that the use of force, even when necessary, be accompanied by a courageous and lucid analysis of the reasons behind terrorist attacks. The fight against terrorism must be conducted also on the political and educational levels: on the one hand, by eliminating the underlying causes of situations of injustice which frequently drive people to more desperate and violent acts; and on the other hand, by insisting on an education inspired by respect for human life in every situation: the unity of the human race is a more powerful reality than any contingent divisions separating individuals and people.

In the necessary fight against terrorism, international law is now called to develop legal instruments provided with effective means for the prevention, monitoring and suppression of crime. In any event, democratic governments know well that the use of force against terrorists cannot justify a renunciation of the principles of the rule of law. Political decisions would be unacceptable were they to seek success without consideration for fundamental human rights, since the end never justifies the means.
As "Instapundit" would say, "Indeed".

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