The article linked here, Red October, from the secular news source Stratfor.com , is troubling. The gist of the Stratfor analysis below is that Russia is making a move to oust the US from its present influence in the former Soviet Union countries like Georgia, Ukraine, and the Baltic republics. This would be in exchange for Russia not providing the Iranians with air defense and nuclear technology. Today's news also has articles about the French warning the Iranians that war may be coming their way. Stratfor.com of course is a "real-politik" news source. They don't ask or answer moral questions about our policy, they just report and comment. But as part of the "being wise as serpents and harmless as doves", I think we need to keep an eye on what they are saying.
And what they are saying is that we may be moving towards an old-fashioned super-power confrontation, US versus Russia, with Iran as a surrogate battlefield. "The more things change, the more they remain the same." See also "those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them."
If nothing else, read with "Catholic Worker" eyes, it seems to me that the American Empire's "last man standing" strategy seems to be moving to a new stage and may expand to include an "air war" in Iran.
I note that the US bishops haven't had much to say about Iran, and they remain fixated on their "responsible transition" newspeak, even though the whole idea of "transition" in the nationalist conversation about Iraq is passe, "last year's news". We are in Iraq to stay, and even if the Democrats sweep the nationalist elections in 2008, I think we will continue to stay until we are forced to leave (either military force or circumstances such as money/resource constraints). The Empire is "all in", as they say down at the Texas hold-em poker tables. Victory or bust.
It would be nice if the Catholic Church could play a heroic role in a movement for peace, but alas, that ain't happenin'.
Even so, we know which side the Lord Jesus Christ and his most blessed Mother are on. . .
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo, dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes,
He has shown strength with his arm and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.
Note that in this equation, the United States is not the "lowly" nor are we the "hungry". We are the mighty who will be cast down, the conceited proud who will be scattered, and the rich who are sent away empty.
Meanwhile, the price of oil hit another all-time high in trading earlier today, and in England, a major bank run continues that has seen $4 billion withdrawn from one banking institution in only 4 days. There are fears that the crisis of confidence in the banking system could spread.
We've spent over a trillion dollars on the Iraq war, as well as an additional trillion on other "war" expenditures since Sept 11, 2001.
So it comes to pass that the rich are getting richer, and everybody else is getting poorer. But note how the financial press regularly blames the mess on "sub-prime loans" made to lower income people with higher credit risks. We're not supposed to think about the 2 trillion dollars squandered on war and destruction. Nor should we focus on the hundreds of billions we pay for our petroleum gluttony. Everyone is clearly instructed to ignore the man behind the curtain. Where is Toto when we need him?
Well, possessed by the spirit of the intrepid Toto, in England, some bank depositors have decided they don't like the looks of the man behind the curtain and they are in "take the money and run" mode. I am not sure where they can run to with it, but they are certainly moving right along with it. They are being blamed by the "Establishment" for their "irrational fears about the banking system". "How dare you lose faith in one of our Fine Honest Banks!"
A bank run here, a few record high prices for oil over there, and a new "splendid little air war" as icing on the cake. This is what it looks like as a great empire edges towards the ash heap of history.
Please pray for peace on all military and economic battlefields.
Please continue to build new structures among these collapsing ruins of the old. The day is coming when we will desperately need them.
Bob Waldrop, picketing St. Joseph in Oklahoma City