Thursday, June 07, 2007

As for this ...

It strikes me that Mark has yet to understand the difference between imperialism and Empire, though this is probably a minor point.

Mark writes:
Yesterday, I posted briefly about the fact that Ron Paul--who has been subjected to all sorts of "He must not be allowed to share the stage with *decent* men like Rudy Giuliani!" agitprop since the first GOP debate--had, in fact, been one of the few GOP candidates to actually take seriously what JPII said when the Bushies and their media shill were agitating for war. I was particularly irritated that FOXNewscritters Hannity and O'Reilly had denounced JPII, that FOXNewscritters had fished for (and gotten) pledges of fealty to the New Bush Torture Ethic from virtually the whole field of candidates except McCain and Paul--and yet Paul was being treated like the Mad Uncle in the Attic. I found that too absurd to swallow.

To the best of my knowledge, no serious figure has criticized Ron Paul or suggested that he be barred from the debates due to his position on torture. It is instead because of his isolationist foreign policy views that he is currently ostracized by a majority of conservatives. And while McCain is hated or at least strongly disliked by any number of conservative figures, I suspect that you'll find his views on torture pale greatly compared to those who hate him because of McCain-Feingold, immigration, or the "Gang of 14." Indeed, most conservatives who criticize him because of his views on torture are at least willing to acknowledge that he holds a principled position on the matter - possibly because his views as he has expressed them are far more reasonable than those expoused by Mark Shea.

Also, this is just rich:
n fact, I remain cordialy skeptical of Libertarianism. However, if Paul remains as sensible on the few things I've noticed him talking about in the press, I'm willing to give him a listen. Until his Libertarianism makes war on the Catholic teaching concerning the common good, I have no problem with it. If it never reaches that point, then he may get my vote. So far he's impressed me. But if he turns out to be a kook (as Libertarians often do), I'll have to reconsider. Small kookiness I don't mind. Big kookiness can be dangerous. So far, on the big issues, his main kookiness has been of the right kind: he does not want the GOP to become the Big Tent of Torture and Abortion. If that's kooky, we need more of it.

Big talk from someone who has repeatedly derided libertarianism for years as an ideology for selfish people without children. But hey, I guess it goes to show how fast principles can be compromised in pursuit of the correct course of action. Incidentally, if Ron Paul's kookiness were only about torture and abortion, I suspect that he would not currently be a pariah among conservatives. It's his whole isolationist foreign policy argument that we tend to find the most repugnant.


nowickis said...

Again though (as I wrote below), since when is supporting isolationism worse than supporting abortion? The first is, at worst, an error of judgment; the second is an intrinsic evil. Why then the greater tolerance for such as Guilani than for such as R. Paul?

Christopher said...

It is the very fact of his "Libertarianism" that he should be excluded from the GOP debates. Why Mark thinks that Libertarians are entitled to a seat on the Republican debate panel confounds me. Why not let Hillary in as well?

Anonymous said...

The Blackadder says:

Hillary is not a Republican. Ron Paul is. Therein lies the difference.

Christopher said...


He is either a Republican or a Libertarian but not both. Mark and the authors here and I all seem to agree that he's really a Libertarian. It is from this that we proceed. Mark himself calls Paul a Libertarian, but insists he should be in the Republican debates. That is my point.

Just because he happens to have been elected to his particular congressional district as a Republican does not necessarily make it so.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

(Ron Paul was) one of the few GOP candidates to actually take seriously what JPII said when the Bushies and their media shill were agitating for war. I was particularly irritated that FOXNewscritters Hannity and O'Reilly had denounced JPII...

It probably would surprise The Ignorant Mr. Shea the the late pope not only supported but actually encouraged the war in Kosovo -- which, arguably, was more destructive of civilian life than the war in Iraq is today.

I suggest that not only TIMS but also every Catholic read the following articles from Sandro Magister, perhaps the best Vatican journalist around:

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblic...p?id=6973& eng=y

http://chiesa.espresso.repubblic...?id=43322& eng=y

The first details JPII's stance regarding Islam as an ally against secularism and materialism, and his fear of a "clash of civilization." JPII's stance was so adamant that he was willing to sacrifice Middle Eastern Christians to it, as Renzo Guolo said in the article:

But the pope´s approach, which some in the Catholic world define as "dialogue to the point of extremism," generates widespread criticism among the bishops and even in the Roman curia....Moreover, it transforms ecumenism into a sort of syncretism in which every religion seems as good as the next. This is tough criticism, which out of respect for papal authority and the state of John Paul II´s health does not manifest itself as open dissent, but it nevertheless deeply marks the ecclesial body.

The pope´s approach was rejected by the majority of cardinals during the 1994 consistory at which John Paul II expressed his intention of asking forgiveness for the "wrongs" of his predecessors. But despite the contrary opinion of many ecclesial sectors, and not only the openly traditionalist ones, the pope decided to proceed with his plan. Many responded with hostile silence: some of them recalled how Wotyla, who ordinarily speaks about all topics, had spread a veil of silence over the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.

The second article details the Vatican's approach to geopolitics. The following is quoted from that piece:

John Paul II...put up direct opposition against the war of 1990-91 conducted by the United States and its allies against Iraq, in spite of the fact that it had UN approval and was intended to restore legitimate sovereignty to an invaded state, Kuwait. Among the “interests” motivating the pope’s opposition...was the proposition of establishing a relationship, not of conflict, but of dialogue between the Church and the Muslim world, analogous to the one established with the Soviet bloc during the years of Ostpolitik.

The 1990-91 Gulf War, which had UN support, was designed to expel Iraq from Kuwait, which Saddam had invaded and annexed. Had the world listened to the late pope, that annexation would have stood unopposed and Kuwaitis would have known first-hand Saddam's tender mercies.

In effect, during the years that followed, the Holy See would protect its overtures of dialogue with the Muslim world through a general silence on the aggressions coming from that world, even when these struck Christians....

Apparently, JPII The Great threw Middle Eastern Christians under the bus a lot earlier than The Evil Torture-Mongerer-In Chief did.

Whatever Hannity's and O'Reilly's flaws (and they can be considerable), I will take their "shilling" for the long-term defense of the innocent over TIMS' blind, sycophantic, fellatisic admiration for a "great" pope who was willing to sacrifice the innocent for his geopolitical agendas.

Joseph D'Hippolito said...

That last bold, italicized comment was a quote from the second article I cited.

torquemada05 said...


I don't have a greater tolerance for Giuliani than I do Paul, as I think my writings here have reflected. As to the issue of supporting an intrinsic evil as opposed to supporting an error in prudential judgement, I definitely agree that it is a major criticism ... for self-professed Catholic supporters of Giuliani. I think that a lot of the support for Giuliani however is not among self-professed Catholics but rather coming from the three categories that Publius correctly identified as social liberals, uberhawks, and political pragmatists. I would also include party loyalist hacks since Rudy is clearly trying to position himself as the establishment candidate and the Only One Who Can Defeat Hillary Clinton. While there are self-professed Catholics within at least three of the four categories, I don't think that they necessarily dominate those categories. As I think I noted here, I have an extremely low opinion of Bill Simon due to his willingness to sell out his positions in order to serve as an apologist and shill for Giuliani.

I would also say that among the rank-and-file conservatives and indeed many pundits, there is quite a bit of ignorance about Rudy's true positions that is deliberately supported by the Giuliani campaign. Hence all that crap about how Rudy is "functionally pro-life" and his unwillingness to depart for message while asserting a priori that he can do so much of a better job fighting terrorism because he was mayor on 9/11.