National Commentary

The Pope & Putin Vs. War Mongers

nfbenton-mugWhile some may be worrying that a potential direct clash between the U.S. and Russia over Syria could trigger a new march to thermonuclear war, I don’t think so.

On the contrary, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ famous “Doomsday Clock” at the University of Chicago could more likely be pushed back a couple minutes on the basis of some extraordinary events of the last month.

That clock now has us at three minutes before “doomsday” mostly because of the effects of unaddressed global climate change.

But some mighty powerful forces on this spinning little orb have begun stirring in the last month.

In addition to the on-going success of the Obama administration’s commendable peace-through-diplomacy strategy, Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S. and the messages he delivered, combined with a fresh resolve by one major world leader to actually step up and erase the Isis menace.

(I could be way off, but I don’t think so. If I am, well, then how much will it matter as we’re likely to be soon incinerated as a planet?)

One key indicator is the extent to which the U.S. and the Russians are talking. As long as they are, we’ll be OK.

It all makes more sense when viewed from the standpoint that what the world is up against is the pro-doomsday madness of what has long been called the “military industrial complex” that spreads beyond the U.S. and Europe.

This faction, whose mouthpieces in the U.S. are all the rug-chewing Congressmen calling for the U.S. to go back to war in the Middle East, is responsible for the creation of ISIS. Make no mistake.

Putin knows this, and he’s decided to help the Obama administration rid the world of the ISIS menace. Good for him.

Not only the cruel slaughter and mayhem in the ISIS controlled areas, but the refugee crisis flooding Europe as a result, has cried out for decisive action.

A lot of the angry rhetoric from the U.S. side on the Russian offensive in Syria is just so many words. The reality is that ISIS is done for, and just a month or so ago, it was seeming like it might never happen.

Putin has gained entry to carry out this operation because he’s willing to work with Syrian President Assad and therefore is coming in with Assad’s blessing, something obviously the U.S. does not have. Obama may have been duped into going along with the dump-Assad policy before realizing that its authors are also the authors of ISIS.

The other big plus on the cosmic scale for Planet Earth was the Pope’s visit to the U.S. and his ongoing efforts. Here is a man with a global stature to put all the haters and their ilk in the U.S. to shame.

Up against this Pope, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the Tea Party fanatics and everybody associated with promoting the descent of America into fascism, are exposed to be like the scrawny little minions that Ursula bossed around in “The Little Mermaids.”

Pope Francis’ speech to the joint session of Congress was truly history-making, but he didn’t stop there. It was like President Obama was being bullied, and his big brother wearing the big white robe showed up to embrace him and shoo away the bad guys.

Global climate change, of course, was a major theme of the Pope’s visit, but so were the pursuit of peace, the treatment of the poor and homeless, and the toxic nature of religious extremism.
Despite efforts by the Pope’s enemies to stick him with circumstances that could be defined as discriminatory, the Pope rose above them, as in the case where he warmly welcomed a gay couple to his apartment.

The Catholic Church is not going to do an about face on some social issues overnight, but it would be a grave mistake not to give Pope Francis the “props” he deserves for humanizing the church to the extent he has and is doing for this sorry world.

The initial meeting of President Obama and Pope Francis when the Pope first landed here was one of the most hopeful scenes I’d seen for a long time.