Saturday, March 27, 2010

Are the Attacks on the Pope a Prelude to Attacks on Iran?

I had begun to think there might be something serious in the recent allegations from the manufacturers of public opinion, until they jumped the shark by giving a has-been celebrity an authoritative voice not only in the WaPoTo Sinead O'Connor, Pope Benedict's apology for church sex abuse rings hollow — but also on CNN as well — Video: Sinead O'Connor on the Catholic Church abuse scandal. (Full disclosure: I was among the 1000 or so attendees at her first American concert at Buffalo State College in 1987 before she hit it big, and had myself a grand old time.)

Yes, she's Irish and thinks herself a member of the clergy, but come on. The Spoof says it best — Sinead O'Connor Calls Pope a Criminal . . . Again. That first publicity stunt, back in 1992, ironically, as it will be seen, was done during her rendition of The Hon. Robert Nesta Marley's song War. She "chang[ed] one of Marley's lines so that it referred to 'sexual abuse' instead of 'racial injustice'" and "produced a copy of a photograph of Pope John Paul II, which she ripped into pieces" — Sinead O'Connor Rips It Up. (So, the stories were already old by the time they broke a decade later, in 2002, in the U.S., and 18 years later in Ireland.) Five years after her act of defiance, "she asked the Holy Father to forgive her," confessing "a ridiculous act, the gesture of a girl rebel," which she did "because I was in rebellion against the faith, but I was still within the faith."

Enough about that fool Irishwoman; the Grey Lady has jumped into the fray — NYTimes vs. Pope Benedict: Paper Seeks to Implicate Pope in Abuse Cases. This is the "Paper of Record," so never mind that the "coverage included no new information that has not already been soundly refuted, and, in another, that the paper had unfairly targeted the pope and the Vatican for having declined to defrock a priest whose alleged crimes had occurred over two decades previous, and who was dying at the time the Vatican was informed about his misdeeds."

The last such feeding frenzy, like this one with decades-old allegations that have suddenly, mysteriously come to light, was in 2002, just in time to lessen the sting, among Americans at least, from this inevitable story, and to make it all the easier to flush down the Orwellian memory hole — Pope condemns war in Iraq. The future pope, horrible right-wing Nazi that he was and is, was of a like mind — Cardinal Ratzinger Says U.S. Attack on Iraq Not Morally Justifiable.

Fast forward to a little more than two years ago, and it was reported that "Iranian officials [were] quietly laying the groundwork necessary to turn to Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican diplomats for mediation if the showdown with the United States should escalate toward a military intervention" — Iran's Secret Weapon: The Pope. Iraq saw and Iran sees in the Vatican a voice crying out in the wilderness of interventionism and aggressive warfare; that voice was and will be effectively silenced by the manufacturers of public opinion.

No, this post hasn't proven anything, but perhaps you'll remember it when the bombs start falling on Persia. The crucial question remains: Cui bono? As Black Sabbath sang in War Pigs, "Satan laughing spreads his wings."

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Blogger elena maria vidal said...

I think you are on to something. There is a very good reason why all of this stuff from the past is suddenly surfacing.

11:45 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Thanks. I was worried the first commenter might call me a "conspiracy theorist."

Suddenly, all these old stories are news again, just like they were in 2002.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good I hate Iran.

12:54 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Pope-haters and Persia-haters share lot in common, such as ignorance.

1:21 AM  
Anonymous Steven P. Cornett said...

They also share the obvious: hatred.

More to the point, the stuff is being recycled and, in the minds of the public, mixed up. The man on the street can't keep track of it all, and it all mixes into one vast, sanctioned, conspiracy with the Pope on top.

I heard something like this expressed at work with the words, "the Pope is in hiding!" I just stated that the media usually, when it comes to the Catholic Church, usually makes stuff up.

The other factor in play at the time was an expansion of the domestic version of the War to Abolish Man: abortion. Then it was the Embryonic Stem Cell Research, now it's the Package of Abominations. In both periods, this media event effectively silenced the voice of the Church on these matters. Thus I don't think the rise of this "scandal" and the passage of the Package are at all coincidental.

I'm not saying a bombing in Persia isn't in the works. I am saying there is a domestic side to the same agenda, and the actions by the 5th Column Media work for both.

2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pray you're wrong, but fear you're not.

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had been thinking that the recent attack on the Pope was to discredit Catholics for having mounted an attack on abortion-on-demand-paid-for-by-taxpayers in the U.S. Health Care Bill.

I had always believed that the 2003 attack on the Church was to discredit the only moral authority that was against the War in Iraq.

Your post makes sense; this could be a thing about Iran, too.

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's "cui bono."

5:23 AM  
Anonymous KJJ said...

The idea that this controversy is being accelerated by Iran-hating hawks to discredit an anti-war voice is a fearful one. It occurred to me a week ago when I woke from an evening nap. It was one of the most terrible suspicions I've had.

I fear such a theory ignores the other anti-papal factions in the media and the Church. The British press is preparing for the papal visit, and the Irish press was reacting to the papal letter on abuse.

Rumors of a hawk-controlled media also risk ignoring genuine wrongdoing, if there was any.

(I've heard the claim that sex abuse stories of 2002 were also fanned by hawkish interests, but I don't believe I saw any evidence other than speculation.)

Didn't you link here to the story about the Christian leaders (including some Catholics) backing the Iran embargo? Those who can be are co-opted, those who can't are marginalized.

But I'm sick of titillating speculation. If there are warmongering interests fanning the flames, how can they be exposed?

9:11 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Thank you, all, for the comments, and Anon for the correction of my fool mistake. I need a proofreader.

9:15 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Another possible typo- did you mean 1987 rather than 1997 when you saw Sinead O'Connor at Buffalo State? Her first album came out in '87 after all...

9:23 PM  
Blogger The Perpetual Malcontent said...

Respectfully disagreeing sir:

1) It doesn't jive with current administration's tendency to appease Muslims. It'll probably let Iran get its way in the Middle East rather than attacking it.

2) In line with #1, the Pope is probably the last person the administration would bother to take note given its inclination towards Muslims.

3) The Pope will be attacked for any reason and for any season. It's just the way it is these days.

4) The attacks are probably more related to the current Health care reform agenda in order to discredit the US Church and weaken the its stand against it. I know the Bill has passed, but opposition to it has not been subdued entirely and the current attacks might be part of a mopping-up operation to make sure that reversal of the law fails.

Just my opinion.

10:16 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

David, right. Thanks.

Perpetual Malcontent, I don't see much of an inclination toward Muslims, but I think you might be on to something about healthcare.

1:56 AM  
Blogger Jack Reylan said...

Professors molest more youth than clergy do. Lawyers malpractice more than doctors. Professors, lawyers and labor unions abuse more funds than Wall Street. We should hit their constituencies when they hit ours. Blame professulas whose posh pensions graze on stumbent loan interest from vacuous degrees in basket weaving commie nutty organizing. Turn grant grubbing blatherers into fuel, especially perverts like mayor crotch who gas for obsama zbin biden. Your islamosympathic gutterswabbing clothing and pierced privates spread disease. If you weren't such baby killing, vermin snuggling perverts you wouldn't be driving up our health costs, then collecting disability for your commie nutty organizing dementia. Your passive aggressive labor unions grab our guns, cars (congestion pricing), balls (SONDA), wallets, and homes but we will grab your throats and dang you from trailer bone tolls. Apply Sarbanes Oxley to non-profits! Repeal the seventeenth amendment before any VAT. All the homeless are drugged out hippies. Second Amendment is the ONLY Homeland Security. Wait until we waste all your stumbent subprimes, so you need to sell your affectation glutton art and work instead of diverting tuition and Y2K scams to soviet freezeniks! Deport for multiple visits to same country. If you controlled your own pension neither your boss nor the government could abuse it. Lynch soviet wealth fund abetting aghadhimmic peakies when oil plummets! Parasites complain about salaries but pig out with benefits. Global warming is a grant grubbing extortion racket. Urban sprawl annoys terrorists. Hazards and pollution stem mostly from mandates. Aqua volte! This land wasn't build by bullocraps

6:18 AM  

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