In “Two anniversaries of political consequence,” (CR, June 21), George Weigel uses the attack by Israel of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in 1967 as a justification for preemptive war as a legitimate part of foreign policy. Left unsaid in the article is justification of our invasion or Iraq and the likely attack on Iran. It also provides justification for attacks on Somalia, which have occurred in the last year and, in truth, the attack on any nation. Mr. Weigle assumes that the outcome of the 1967 war was a good one. But was it? Clearly for the millions of Palestinians who now live as stateless refugees and for those on the West Bank and Gaza who have suffered under occupation since 1967, it was not. For the tens of thousands of Americans who have died or have been crippled in Iraq and the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died from deprivation and violence, it was not. Even the “winners,” the Israelis, live an uncertain existence, torn by guilt for stealing another people’s land and the anguish that comes from the realization their victims will not simply fade away.
I cannot imagine Mr. Weigel would consider our preemptive war in Iraq as producing a good outcome, but I may be wrong in that. Certainly he knows what most Iraqis think about that. I find it even more difficult that he would support a preemptive war on Iran, where the outcome is likely to be even more horrific, but I may be wrong there, too.
In bold relief to the article by George Weigel was the uplifting one by Sue Schultzenberg about Maryknoll Father Bob McCahill who has spent the last 32 years helping Muslims in villages in Bangladesh. Addressing the resentment that locals have of Christian missionaries looking to convert people, he “begins his work by explaining that a Christian missionary is a ‘servant of mankind’ and he explains he does what Jesus did, ‘doing good and healing,’ which is work they respect.”
Two very different Catholic viewpoints.