April 29, 2005

Letters to the Editor

For our letter writing policy, click here

Pope John Paul II’s legacy

Thank you for your editorial of April 8, 2005, “John Paul the Great.” His accomplishments are legendary. The historical reference to the isolation of the Vatican during the years following Vatican I emphasized the need for the transformation of the papacy.

The greatest accomplishments of Pope John Paul II can be seen as positive responses to Vatican II, which called for a new relationship with the world, other religions and the laity. Instead of a prisoner of the world, he saw himself as a traveler of the world. Instead of isolating Catholicism from other religions, he saw the Jews as our brothers in faith and mosques as holy places of prayer.

The new relationship with the rest of the Church is now left to Pope Benedict. Let us celebrate the accomplishments of John Paul II and pray for his successor.

-Tom Madden, Greenwood


Sometimes war is necessary

I would like to offer a differing view to columnist Tony Magliano that ran in The Criterion on April 1 concerning the recent and ongoing Iraq liberation. It is obvious that Mr. Magliano opposes wars in general, but the reasons he cites for his opposition to United States involvement in Iraq are flawed. He states, “It is foolish, insensitive and immoral to kill innocent people, destroy a nation, arouse immense resentment and waste billions of dollars in order to capture one brutal dictator.” So let’s look at this.

Killing innocent people is serious. Saddam Hussein killed far more innocents than the coalition forces have. And he did it on purpose! We did not and do not choose the battlefields in Iraq.

Destroy a nation. I think that Saddam Hussein had already done a pretty good job of that before we got there. Iraq would have collapsed economically by this time or sooner due to the sanctions imposed by the United Nations, which Saddam continued to flout to line his own pockets. And, might I ask, who is rebuilding that country after decades of neglect as well as the damage of war?

Arouse immense resentment. Once again, Saddam was the champion. Just ask any of the Iraqis who had fled the country and his brutal reign. It is no secret that the “insurgency” (criminals I call them) come from many foreign countries and have ties to Osama bin Laden or al Zarqawi. The average Iraqi is just as glad to see us there now as they were when they tore down Saddam’s statue in Baghdad. Just look at all those upraised fingers during the recent voting!

Waste billions of dollars. I believe I have shown that, in my opinion, the war was justified. There was some corruption with regard to Haliburton Inc. and its subsidiaries, and certainly some mismanagement, but I doubt that is what Mr. Magliano was referring to.

Saddam would have remained entrenched without United States and coalition involvement. He fostered a confrontational atmosphere, which caused fear in other Arab states around the Persian Gulf. He supported radical elements, which still seek to eliminate Israel and attack the United States. He routinely slaughtered his own people if any of them sought to overturn his rule or even disagree with him.

No, I don’t like war. But just as Jesus cleared the temple of money-changers and the ancient Israelites cleared the Holy Land under Aaron, sometimes it is necessary. Mr. Magliano refers to the late Pope John Paul II’s comments about Europe and the fall of the Iron Curtain as proof that change can happen without war. They overlook the massive armies and navies that stood ready to wage that war if it was necessary.

Perhaps he should visit Norfolk, Va., or any other place where sailors, Marines, soldiers and airmen regularly deploy to protect the peace and security he enjoys here. I made many of those deployments myself during my 21 years in the Navy. Peace was only maintained through strength, giving those people in Europe their chance. It was the collapse of the Soviet Union’s economy and President Gorbachev’s willingness to negotiate with President Reagan which formed the basis for the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.

I long for the day when Jesus returns and God establishes his kingdom on earth … . Then wars will cease for real.

-Robert Rose, Indianapolis


Local site Links: