Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Killing the Boss's Flunky, Life Issues, and the Vatican

There's this fellow who was Saddam Hussein's deputy prime minister from 1979 to 2003. The folks who run Iraq now want to kill him.

They may have reason for wanting blood.

Mr. Hussein's reign in Iraq was - unpleasant, to say the least. For folks who weren't on his 'approved' list, anyway. The current rulers of Iraq killed Saddam Hussein in 2006, after a trial. They may still be unhappy about what Hussein did to their country. They can't kill Saddam Hussein again, so maybe a deputy prime minister is a suitable stand-in.

Or, maybe Tariq Aziz actually is guilty of crimes which deserve death. Iraq's government had a trial and everything.

I don't know enough about the former deputy prime minister's career to know whether he's guilty or not.

War is Not Nice, and Other Opinions

I'd better get a few points out of the way before discussing life issues, Catholic teaching, and recent news from Iraq and Rome.
  • war is not nice
    • In my opinion
    (Another War-on-Terror Blog (February 15, 2010))
  • Saddam Hussein was not a nice man
    • My personal opinion which
      • Matters to me
      • Does not significantly influence others
    • A considered decision made by
      • The United Nations Security Council
      • A few dozen nations
      • Which authorized removing Hussein from office
        • By force
    (Another War-on-Terror Blog (August 9, 2007))
  • The Catholic Church does not teach pacifism
    • We're not imperialistic running-dog warmongers, either
    • I've mentioned the just war doctrine before
      (June 7, 2009)
I think the Catholic Church's failure to drop neatly into one of contemporary culture's convenient stereotype slots is one reason why we're so heartily disliked - and that's another topic.

Iraq, News, and the Catholic Church

As I said, the folks who are running Iraq now want to kill Saddam Hussein's former deputy prime minister. Odds are that they will.

Maybe he deserves to die.

Amnesty International and the Vatican are trying to save the former d.p.m.'s life.
"Iraqi court sentences Tariq Aziz to death"
CNN World (October 27, 2010)

"Tariq Aziz, one of the best-known faces of the Iraqi government for more than two decades, was sentenced to death Tuesday by the Iraqi High Tribunal for his role in eliminating religious parties during Saddam Hussein's regime, court officials told CNN.

"His family was shocked by the verdict, his daughter told CNN...."

"...Amnesty International urged Iraq not to carry out the sentences, even as it acknowledged the brutality of Hussein's regime....

"...The Vatican also opposed the death sentence, spokesman Federico Lombardi told CNN.

" 'This is not the most adequate way to promote reconciliation and reconstruction of justice and peace in a country that has suffered so much,' he said."
That's all CNN had to say about the Vatican's position on whether or not Iraq should kill someone in their custody. There's more, from
"Vatican: Death of Tarek Aziz Will Not Help Iraq" (October 26, 2010)

"...Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, issued the Vatican statement today after Iraq's supreme court sentenced Aziz to death by hanging for involvement in the suppression of religious political parties.

" 'The position of the Catholic Church on the death penality[!] is known,' the statement affirmed. 'It is hoped, then, that the sentence against Tarek Aziz is not applied, precisely to promote reconciliation and reconstruction of justice and peace in Iraq, after it has suffered so much.'..."

Tariq Aziz? Tarek Aziz? Mikhail Yuhanna?!

CNN spells the man's name Tariq, uses the Tarek spelling. I compared the number of Google hits for the two spellings, and got this:
  • Tarek Aziz
    • 8,140,000
  • Tariq Aziz
    • 383,000
  • Mikhail Yuhanna
    • 3,040
Looks like "Tarek Aziz" is used more than "Tariq Aziz." I'm not surprised that there are two fairly common spellings of his name - in English. We use a variation of the Latin alphabet. Not everybody does. Arabic has been used in Iraq - and that language comes with its own alphabet. Spellings in languages using Latin-derived alphabets depend on how someone decided to interpret sounds and/or letters.

As for Mikhail Yuhanna? That's the baptismal name of Tarek/Tariq Aziz. He was baptized as a Chaldean Catholic, according to Which should lead to some imaginative conspiracy theories, if it hasn't already.

The Catholic Church: Run by Pacifist Warmonger Liberal Conservative Capitalistic Commies

The position of the Catholic Church on capital punishment is, as Father Federico Lombardi said, known. Or, rather, it should be. I've discussed the reasons for killing people who have it coming - and for letting them live - before. (October 2, 2008)

In the case of the former deputy prime minister, I don't have to guess what the Holy See's position is. The decision is that Aziz should live.

Odds are he'll be killed, anyway.

Since Amnesty International also wants the death sentence reversed, and since capital punishment is something that 'those liberals' don't like: it's 'obvious' that the Catholic Church is one of those bleeding-heart leftist commie pinko enemies of the flag, motherhood, and apple pie.

Actually, we're taught that life is precious. Which is why we're not supposed to kill - unless there is really no other option and a good chance that violence will prevent (more) harm.

You want simple? Tune in some feel-good preacher.

The Catholic Church's basic principles are simple. It's applying that Matthew 22:36-40 thing that gets complicated. Like I've said before, when human beings are involved, things get complicated: fast.

This time around, the Holy See is 'obviously' liberal: because we're trying to save a human life.

When it comes to abortion, we're 'obviously' conservative: for the same reason.

Then there's our insistence on marrying within our own species - but a member of the opposite sex. 'Obviously' conservative again.

And that headline last year: "Pope blasts capitalism...." 'Obviously' liberal. The establishment news got it wrong, by the way. (July 17, 2009)

Vague? No: Consistent

It's not that the Catholic Church is 'vague' on issues. I think we may seem that way because, for the last two millennia, we've been teaching the same thing: no matter what worldview is favored by the local village shaman, emperor, or journalist.

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.