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[casi] Vatican Blasts US Again over Iraq

Beautiful! Once again, good for the Vatican!
Reuters. 16 January 2003. Vatican-sanctioned journal blasts U.S. over Iraq.

VATICAN CITY -- A Vatican-sanctioned journal on Thursday attacked the United
States' justification for a war in Iraq, saying it was motivated by
economics, and would spark a wave of terrorism and destabilise the Middle

The views of the Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica are authoritative because
its articles are approved by the Vatican's Secretariat of State and reflect
Vatican opinion.

A 10-page editorial picked apart the reasons given by the U.S. administration
to justify an eventual war against Iraq and said they were often

"One can foresee the destabilisation of the entire Middle East because the
more politicised Islamic masses, which already harbour a deep hate for the
West, will see it as an act of war against Islam and against Arab and Muslim
countries," it said.

"The gravest consequence of a war against Iraq, however, would be a flare-up
of terrorism against the United States and against allied Western countries,"
it added.

The editorial appeared four days after Pope John Paul put the Vatican on a
diplomatic collision course with Washington by saying war was avoidable and
would be a "defeat for humanity."

Civilta Cattolica contested the U.S. justification of an eventual conflict
and suggested that oil was an ulterior motive.

The journal said that while it was "probable" Iraq had chemical and
biological weapons of mass destruction "there is no certain and documented
evidence about how much there is and about (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's
ability to use them."

It said a number of countries, including the United States and Russia,
produced and stored chemical and biological weapons.

The editorial said the reasons given for attacking Iraq were "not cogent or
sufficient to justify a war, and a 'preventive' one at that."

The concept of a 'preventive' war was dangerous because it could lead to
unending conflicts, it said.

"If every country that feels threatened attacks first in order to prevent the
threat of being attacked, there would be war without end on the whole
planet," it said.

It added that a preventive war was morally justified only in the case of an
imminent attack.

The twice-monthly Civilta Cattolica said the "naked truth" was that if "U.N.
inspectors have not yet found weapons of mass destruction, a war against Iraq
would not be carried out for the reasons given but also for political and
economic reasons."

It said that while some observers saw Saddam as a dictator, there were many
dictatorial regimes in the world -- some of them no less "harsh and
ferocious" than the Iraqi regime.

"Some of them are friends of the United States and enjoy political protection
and economic aid," it said.

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