(quote) ED-20630 said: William,
I have some agreement and some disagreement with your post....
To the extent that Putin's words turn out to be genuine, I applaud them. Perhaps Pope Francis's communication with Putin may have done some good. I'll believe it when I see it.
I think that is is foolish though to believe that Putin is "taking the Catholic position here", as you stated. Putin is taking a position that is beneficial to him and Assad. It just so happens that his words seem to coincide with a more Catholic position. He couldn't care less whether he is seen as a friend of Catholics or other Christians. This position just serves Putin's purpose at this time. If an Italian mob boss were to donate generously to the Catholic Church, should one say that the mob boss is a friend of the Catholic Church? I think not. The mob boss has other motives.
I think that you made a LARGE, but subtle error in you last post. You wrote .... "As Catholics, we should all be applauding Putin's actions.....". You are confusing words with actions. All Putin has done so far is to say some nice-sounding words. There have been no actions (so far) by Putin or Assad to show that the words are genuine. I think it is foolish to applaud Putin's words until he follows up with actions.
Finally, if Putin is such a peace-wanting, Christian-liking person, why is he saying just within the last 12 hours that he will do what he can to provide arms and some sort of nuclear deal to Iran (see below)? How does this conform to the "Catholic postition"? ..... Not very well, I think.
Putin to offer Iran 'arms, nuclear deal' at summithttp://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/369221/putin-to-offer-iran-arms-nuclear-deal-at-summit
Actions matter. Words are rather disposable. This is no time to be wearing rose-colored glasses in regard to Putin or Assad.
Putin had a delivery of parts to Iran that was suspended at the request of the US and Israel. In hindsight, it appears to have been a gentleman's agreement that Putin would "play nice" if the US and Israel "played nice." If the US or Israel did not "play nice," then Putin would no longer "play nice" and would go ahead and complete the delivery of what I believe to be parts for a reactor in Iran. (This new offer may also be missiles or missile components as well.)
If the US were to attack Syria without conclusive evidence that the Assad regime had gassed citizens (and the evidence that our government has provided is not, in fact, conclusive), then because we were not "playing nice," then neither would Putin.
Putin has very little leverage over the US. This is the one issue that would get our attention and Israel's, because Israel is terrified of a nuclear-powered Iran, and they are more terrified of an Iran that could deter an attack against itself.
Let's keep in mind what started this whole thing. It wasn't Putin. It was Obama. It was Obama racing towards an attack against Syria, which could literally start World War III. Putin is responding to our mouth-breathing president and his sycophants in Congress. (Obama was far more than inept here, by the way. He was leading us towards an attack on a country. This wasn't a simple gaffe.)
Putin did not ask for the spotllight which the US unwittingly gave him. He is not asking for the grief that the members of Catholic Match are heaping on him. In all of your thoughts and words on this subject, please keep in mind that it is Putin who is responding to an overly-aggressive American president.
Ed, for all of your concern about Putin's record to human rights, let's look at this president's record as well as his predecessor's.
During the war in Iraq, 109,000 Iraqis died. We know this because this is a CIA estimate that came out in a Wikileaks dump. Before anyone responds that the Americans didn't kill all of these people (through accident or by design), I would remind that person that the US completely turned a country upside down and smashed its infrastructure. The infrastructure that had been in place to protect the citizens of Iraq was gone, and there was nobody left to protect them. (I'm not trying to change the focus of the thread.)
Our foreign policy in the Middle East (courtesy of both Obama and his predecessor), has led to absolute mayhem in countries where we were perfectly willing to do business with their secular leaders until we turned on them on a dime. Hussein, Mubarak, Qaddafi are either dead or in jail, and their citizens have had their lives completely thrown upside down and torn inside out. Many of our Christian brothers and sisters are either dead or living in a foreign country because of asinine decisions US presidents have made.
And all I hear is how untrustworthy Putin is. Ask Saddam Hussein how trustworthy Donald Rumsfeld is, as Donald Rumsfeld met with him and shook his hand back during the Reagan Administration. Oh, wait. You can't ask Saddam Hussein, because Saddam Hussein is dead. Ask Qaddaffi how trustworthy the Americans are; he gave up his pursuit of nuclear weapons because George Bush asked him nicely to do so. Oh, wait. You can't ask Qaddaffi, because Qaddaffi is dead.
Putin stepped in and averted what may have been WWIII, and we are looking past the log jammed in our eye and pointing to each other about the splinter in his own.