The Pope has spoken out on the situation (from Reuters again):
July 17, 2006 — INTROD, Italy – Pope Benedict yesterday condemned Hezbollah’s "terrorist acts" and Israel’s "reprisals," calling the cross-border violence unjustifiable.
In his first public comments on the crisis, he said the violations at its root cannot be used to sanction bloodshed. He called for a resumption of dialogue.
"The causes of such fierce confrontation are, unfortunately, objective situations of violation of law and justice," the pope said from his holiday retreat in the Aosta Valley.
In my eyes, this is still only 1/2 right. Hezbollah (or however one wishes to spell it) started this current instance. Israel, in the past, has ignored most of the past infractions, but has finally (and rightfully) decided to protect its citizens.
There are a number of commenters out in the ‘Sphere that has said the same thing so I will apply it here. What if it was the case that Italy had entered the Vatican and kidnapped a couple of the Swiss Guards? What if Italy was lobbing shells or rockets into the Vatican proper?
And if the Vatican had been been under attack for the last 60 years?
The answer would be, not much, as the analogy breaks down in the example of the Vatican – they really have no way to defend themselves. But if one looks at almost 60 years of attacks on Israel, one has to recognize that dialogue, the place of diplomacy, has failed. Israel has asked to be left alone after removing itself from Gaza and southern Lebanon. The results? More attacks.
Full Disclosure: I am not Catholic, therefore I do not recognize his spiritual authority. However, he is the head of a sovereign nation (the Vatican) and the head of the Church that has suffered the most (perhaps with the exception of the Jews) from acts stemming from the Religion of Islam. For that, he needs to be listened to.
From Yahoo News, a report from Reuters. My running commentary:
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano said Pope Benedict and his aides were very worried that the developments in the Middle East risked degenerating into "a conflict with international repercussions."
No kidding about the "international repercussions"? Really? Sorry, on this, you get the "this IS rather obvious" award. And you are going to do what about it?
"In particular, the Holy See deplores right now the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and assures its closeness to these people who already have suffered so much to defend their independence," he told Vatican Radio.
And Israel is NOT a sovereign nation? That had its borders violated by terrorists hiding inside Lebanon ? Yes, the Lebanese have suffered much….and the Jews haven’t? The State of Israel has been under attack and having to defend itself pretty much since it became a nation as a result of the nascent UN and the Brits creating it (along with pretty much everything else out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire).
Sodano said the Vatican condemned both "terroristic attacks" and military reprisals.
Gee, if someone attacks you, "a free and sovereign nation" you’re not allowed to defend yourself and go after those that have attacked? Gee, didn’t a proclamation just recently come out of the Vatican to the effect that Islamists should start acting nice? Or was that just be nice to Christians?
But Sodano reserved his harshest words for Israel.
"The right of defence on the part of a state does not exempt it from its responsibility to respect international law, particularly regarding the safeguarding of civilian populations," he said.
Let’s see, Israel originally went into Lebanon and set up a buffer area because the Lebanese government could not control (read: stop) Hizbullah from attacking, shelling, or staging rocket attacks against Israel. They finally pull out, having the UN do the survey to make sure "everything was out". What happens? Hizbullah goes right back to the border and starts it all over again.
This is a shameless statement by the Vatican – "safeguarding the civilians". Ya think the terrorists do as much as Israel (and the US) to attack only military targets and protect civilians? All one has to do is do a little research to find out where the rockets are falling.
Sorry, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano – if you are going to call one kettle black for a fallascious reason, at least have the temerity and the courage to call the other kettle black too – the one that is actually doing what you accuse the other .
After all, they want your church too.