Sep 15 2012
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, September 15, 2012
The visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Lebanon is historic and bridges what can be described as a deadly vacuum. But it has come too late in its timing after the suffering and grievances of Christian denominations in Iraq, the heart of the bleeding East.
Here we are not referring to his Holiness but to the Vatican as an establishment and the course it has pursued in modern history.
The Pope’s landing in Lebanon with his peace message to a region in which several wars are raging is at least one decade late.
Had there been such a moral mobilization as the one that has accompanied the current visit by the Pope, the blood thirsty warlord – George W. Bush and Tony Blair – would have thought twice before opening the gates of hell in the Middle East through their illegal invasion of Iraq.
What is happening in Syria is in one of its aspect an extension of the flame that burned Iraq, and is currently coloring Syria’s popular revolution for change and liberation.
The Vatican has great moral power. This power the world has started to respect particularly after Vatican’s reconciliation with the Jews.
But unfortunately, the Vatican has not exploited this moral weight at the right time to stop catastrophes among them the inhuman embargo that was imposed on Iraq in the 1990s and which resulted in untold miseries for a nation of 30 million and the death of hundreds of thousands.
The catastrophe in Syria is raging for 17 months. Its death toll has surpassed 30,000 with hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons.
And still on arrival in the Middle East the Pope makes statements in which he equates between the victims and the victimizers as evidenced by his call for a halt to the delivery of weapons to Syria, which in reality covers the opposition and excludes the government side that has been deploying heavy weaponry disproportionately.
We should welcome the Pope as he arrives in our bleeding East, because humanity is in need of a voice of peace.
However, we have to remember, that governments only heed the thunder of guns to protect themselves at the expense of their own people.
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