The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
Melkite Catholic, Alexander T., Raphael1999, Adrián Badida, fr nick
5641 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
2 registered members (AllCatholic, 1 invisible), 175 guests, and 247 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Byzantine Nebraska
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,839
Posts412,477
Members5,641
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say #383069 07/19/12 05:06 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
T
Tomassus Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
T
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 643
Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say

Cardinals Erdo, Michalik and Bagnasco have signed an appeal stating: “it is never too late to understand each other, to negotiate and build together a common future”

vatican insider staff
rome
7/19/2012
vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/world-news/detail/articolo/siria-syria-16913/

European bishops have responded to the extremely delicate situation in Syria with a joint statement signed by the President of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CEEE) and Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest Péter Card. Erdő and the two Vice Presidents Angelo Bagnasco and Józef Michalik.

“For some months – the statement reads – the Church and the whole international community have been following with great anxiety and profound sadness the escalation of violence in Syria, where weapons seem to have replaced dialogue.”

“We hope – the text continues – that the country’s authorities, the people and all believers, of whatever religion, may look towards God and find the path which will bring an end to all hostilities, lay down arms and embark on the path of dialogue, reconciliation and peace. This conflict can only bring inevitable grief, destruction and serious consequences for the noble Syrian people. War is a dead end. Happiness can only be achieved together, never through the misuse of power by one group against another.”

Then comes their exhortation: “The next few days can be decisive for the outcome of this crisis. Therefore we exhort all Europe’s Christians to increase their commitment in prayer for peace in that region. Our faith leads us to hope that a solution to the crisis is possible, a solution which is fair and constructive, respectful of everyone’s interests. It is necessary to find once again the room for a dialogue of peace; it is never too late to understand each other, to negotiate and build together a common future.”

The statement concludes by saying: “We are sure that, with God’s help, good sense may prevail and produce a peaceful living in harmony in truth, justice, love, freedom and respect for all minorities, especially the nation’s Christians.”

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383079 07/19/12 07:39 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
StuartK Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
It is my observation as a military historian that "prayers for peace" are most efficacious when accompanied by boots on the ground. An unpleasant fact, but true, nonetheless.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383094 07/19/12 10:39 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
S
sielos ilgesys Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,208
I think the 3 cardinals are mistaken. Typical Vaticanese mealy-mouthed, naive handwringing. It's OFTEN way too late "to understand each other, to negotiate and build together a common future."

Chamberlain tried that with Hitler. Hitler was easily understandable. He had no interest in negotiation. The future he envisioned was, as is said in German-NSDAP-speak, "judenfrei." And it it hadn't been for the boots on the ground, as StuartK rightly says, no amount of prayers would have prevented him from achieving that particular future.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: sielos ilgesys] #383100 07/19/12 11:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Nelson Chase Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
The problem with Syria is that there are two sides that are both murderers. One is a ruthless dictator and the others want to impose an Islamist state. So, we should invade and put in Islamist who hate the United States and Christians? (At least the Syrians pose no threat to us now under a secular ruler)

We should look at how things are going in Iraq (Islamist on the rise) and Egypt (no pro-western democracy on the horizon there). Intervention is not always the best solution, in fact it can make things worse. Ask a Chaldean Catholic if things are better for Christians pre or post our invasion.

We should listen to the Christian leaders on the ground and stay out of another civil war.

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/19/12 11:34 PM.
Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383130 07/20/12 02:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,186
Carson Daniel Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,186
If one looks at the history of Muslim nations in particular Arab Muslim nations one finds a recurring theme. A strongman gains leadership usually by ruthless means. After a while other strongmen arise and one succeeds in grasping control. Until the control is secured there is chaos. Then order, then revolt, chaos, order, ad infinitum. All the while Christians and Jews suffer but rarely if ever are strong enough to influence the outcomes. Occasionally the strongman sees the value in not killing all of the Christians and Jews but finds a way to use them. Mohammad did that. So did Sadaam Hussein.

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that if we can do anything to get a strongman to treat the Jews and Christians as Dhimmi that's about the best the US can do. If Muslims groups do any harm to outsiders then beat the crap out of them for a few months and withdraw.

That's it.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Carson Daniel] #383139 07/20/12 06:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Nelson Chase Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Quote
If Muslims groups do any harm to outsiders then beat the crap out of them for a few months and withdraw.


Only problem with that is the possibility of collateral damage, which can/will turn moderate peoples into radicals. The University of Chicago, I believe, funded by the U.S. Government did a study of suicide bombing (both secular and religious motivated) and found that it is directly related to foreign occupation/intervention.

Professor Pape's study on suicide bombing is very interesting. It can viewed here.

Let me put it this way- if China bombed us every time we did something they didn't like do you think most Americans wouldn't react and dislike China?

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/20/12 06:37 PM.
Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383143 07/20/12 07:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,186
Carson Daniel Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,186
Yes, we would dislike China. I'll ask the obvious questions. Is killing innocent people now simply something people simply "don't like?" Is pirating ships and killing people something simply not to be "liked?" Name some of the things that the US has done to China that is comparable to say killing innocent civilians in downtown Jerusalem. How about something comparable to blowing up passenger trains in London and Spain? How about naming something comparable to running loaded passenger planes into skyscrapers full of people? How many of those kinds of things have we done to China that might cause them to perform suicide bombings against us? Let me ask you this: How many Muslim nations have we forced to convert to Christianity or die? I will look at Professor Pape's study but I find it irrelevant to the issue.

For that matter what side should we back in this civil war in Syria? My point was until they bother us or unless we suddenly become concerned about what aggressors are doing to our Christian brothers and sisters we ought to do as we usually do, Namely, nothing.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383144 07/20/12 07:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
StuartK Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
I read that study, Nelson, and it was pure horsecrap. They started with their conclusion and worked backwards.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383145 07/20/12 07:45 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
StuartK Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Now, if all the bishops of Europe decided to fly to Syria and physically interpose their bodies between the warring sides, I might have a little more respect for their position, and their integrity. But issuing statements "deeply deploring" the killing and "praying that good sense may prevail" is just moral preening.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: StuartK] #383148 07/20/12 08:59 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Nelson Chase Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Quote
I read that study, Nelson, and it was pure horsecrap. They started with their conclusion and worked backwards.


Ahh... Stuart you are also so enlightening with your commentary. Perhaps they should have just consulted you before they did their study... Give me a break.

I can't remember from my graduate school days but is "horsecrap" an acceptable academic term for someone who disagrees with another scholars work? Hmm... Rather sophomoric don't you think?

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/20/12 09:10 PM.
Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383149 07/20/12 09:05 PM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,186
Carson Daniel Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,186
B... S... was the acceptable retort when I was in grad school.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Carson Daniel] #383150 07/20/12 09:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Nelson Chase Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Quote
B... S... was the acceptable retort when I was in grad school.


I rather like that one...I thought that when I read Carl Marxs for the first time. grin

Last edited by Nelson Chase; 07/20/12 09:09 PM.
Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383156 07/21/12 12:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
StuartK Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Quote
Ahh... Stuart you are also so enlightening with your commentary. Perhaps they should have just consulted you before they did their study... Give me a break.


They should have. I'm better qualified. War's been my business since I was 19, and I forget more about this stuff before breakfast than most people will ever know, which is fine with me, except when they decide to do "groundbreaking" research which turns out to be anything but.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383157 07/21/12 12:57 AM
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
S
StuartK Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Here, for instance, is just one of many critiques of Pape's research (he also wrote a book on the same subject, by the way, as well as giving out innumerable interviews touting his results--he's a real one-trick pony) from fellow Melkite Robert Spenser's Jihad Watch organization: Robert Pape is Wrong

It includes this snippet from Jonathan Fine's "Contrasting Secular and Religious Terrorism" in The Middle East Quarterly (which I suggest you read in full, and then go on to read the papers cited in the Fine's references):


Quote
University of Chicago political scientist Robert Pape argues, for example, that Islam has little to do with suicide bombing. Rather, he suggests, that suicide bombers, wherever they are in the world, are motivated much more by tactical goals. He juxtaposes the suicide terrorism of the (non-Islamic) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with Islamist suicide bombing to demonstrate that a desire to end occupation is the common factor rather than religion. Therefore, he suggests focus upon religion is a distraction and that policymakers seeking to stop the scourge of suicide attacks should work instead to address root causes, which he sees as the presence of troops or interests in disputed or occupied lands.[2]

Despite the revisionism advanced by Pape and others, the fact remains that most suicide bombings since 1980 in the world in general and in the Middle East in particular are sponsored by Islamist and not secular terrorist groups. Pape avoids this conclusion by gerrymandering his data so that he does not need to include the significant numbers of suicide bombings conducted by Sunnis against Shi‘a in Iraq.[3]

Middle East expert Martin Kramer suggests that Pape's theses may be comforting to Western readers who want to believe that if only the United States were to pull its military forces from the Persian Gulf and if only all occupation in the Middle East would end, that there would be no more suicide bombings. Western thinking admires empirics, metrics, and pie charts. The secular emphasis of Pape's theories also comforts. But comfort does not correlate with reality. Islamism is an ideology, and that it does not fit neatly into existing political theory should be beside the point.[4]


Fine's analysis is consistent with my own. Looking back over centuries of conventional and irregular warfare, as well as indigenous resistance to foreign occupations, one does not see deliberate, pre-panned suicide attacks as a formal "strategic" option, except in two contexts: first, the Japanese suicide attack corps of 1944-45 (of which the Kamikazes were but one example); and second, modern Islamic terrorism. Both have one thing in common--a socio-religious imperative.

Note that the Marxists and Palestinian terrorists of the 1970s (Black September, PLFP, Red Army Faction, Red Brigades, Bader-Meinhof Kommando, etc.) frequently did commit suicide, but never as their principal objective: they resorted to self-destruction only when captured, or when capture became inevitable. Their objective was always to inflict maximum damage and to get away, so they could do it again. Martyrdom was not their style.

Indeed, it's not really the style of Islamic terrorists today, since suicide bombing constitutes only a small fraction of all bombings and other terrorist acts. Finding volunteers for self-immolation became harder and harder for al-Qaeda in Iraq and for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Indeed, the Japanese had the same problem with their suicide forces, and by the middle of 1945 were actually drafting men into the Kamikaze; rather than willing volunteers, they were reluctant conscripts constrained by circumstance and social conditioning from protesting their fate.

Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan likewise ended up "drafting" people to drive their suicide cars or put on their explosive vests. A number of suicide car bombers, for instance, were found chained to their vehicles or duct-taped to the steering wheel, so they could not run away; in some cases, the bomb in the vehicle was detonated remotely. Often, the bombers were forced to cooperate by threats to their families, as well as by cash inducements (if you help us, we'll make sure your family doesn't lack for money; if you don't, well torture and kill them, and then we'll kill you). In several notorious cases, mentally retarded men and women were put into suicide vests and dispatched to the market, where they were blown up, never knowing what was happening to them.

In short, the number of real volunteers for "martyrdom operations" is, and will continue to be very small, and for the most part limited to borderline personality types whose principal motivation is self-glorification, not objective military or political results. For the suicide bomber, it's not about "the occupation", it's about him.

So, how did Pape come to his contrarian conclusion? The way that has become all to common in academic circles these days: having come to a conclusion (U.S. occupation of Arab lands inspires suicide attacks), he set out to prove his point by (a) universalizing his finding; and (b) cherry picking the evidence to sustain his hypothesis. It was shoddy work, academically dishonest, and something for which he ought to be kicked out of his research position.

Fortunately for Pape, he said what a lot of important people wanted to hear, and so he gets away with it.

Re: Syria: “War is a dead end” European bishops say [Re: Tomassus] #383258 07/24/12 03:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 38
S
Soson Kyrie Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 38
Stuart,

It seems to me your discussion of reasons is more psychological than religious - either in the bombers (self glorification) or in the selectors (even in coercive cases, one would presumably target the psycholigcally vulnerable and then egg them on with carrots and sticks. And I'd assume jihadist leadership understands the necessary street psychology very well). Granted that socio-religious-political factors and narratives motivate it.....

Page 1 of 2 1 2

The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3