Pope Francis told the ragtag leftists exactly what they wanted to hear: that capitalism, not socialism, is the source of their poverty. “The new colonialism takes on different faces. At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor,” he said.
He went into a familiar pout about the “offenses of the Church,” referred to capitalism as the “dung of the devil,” and urged the crowd to keep “organizing”:
You, the lowly, the exploited, the poor and underprivileged, can do, and are doing, a lot. I would even say that the future of humanity is in great measure in your own hands, through your ability to organize and carry out creative alternatives, through your daily efforts to ensure the three “L’s” (labor, lodging, land) and through your proactive participation in the great processes of change on the national, regional and global levels. Don’t lose heart!”
Many Marxist churchmen on the long march to the papacy pegged out during the journey. But they have enjoyed a posthumous victory under Pope Francis. He frequently romanticizes red prelates, such as the late Mexican bishop Samuel Ruiz.
During his 2016 visit to Mexico, Pope Francis made a point of visiting Ruiz’s tomb. Ruiz was known for pushing liberation theology, third-world ideologies, the rights of indigenous peoples, and playing fast and loose with the sacraments, which eventually led Pope John Paul II’s Vatican to condemn him. Ruiz’s admirers were thrilled when they heard that Pope Francis was going to visit his tomb, interpreting it as a moment of vindication for the liberation theologians banned by the Church. “Pope Francis is a Latin American, and his duty now is to pick up the work that men like Ruiz have done in the past,” Bishop Raul Vera said.
“I believe that a key moment in the Pope’s journey to Mexico will be his visit to the tomb of Bishop Samuel Ruiz García in Chiapas,” said liberation theologian Leonardo Boff, who helped draft the pope’s encyclical pushing climate-change activism. “This is a reparation and a lesson for the Roman Curia, which is aware of having persecuted and impeded the advancement of a truly indigenous pastoral ministry from the indigenous people themselves and from their culture.”
This week the socialist Catholic left found even more to celebrate after Pope Francis elevated the El Salvadoran bishop Gregorio Rosa Chavez to the college of cardinals. Commonweal gushed:
The communists used to say that they would kill the last king with the guts of the last pope. But they don’t say that anymore. Now they celebrate the papacy, marveling at the relentless left-wing propaganda of Pope Francis, whose election, as the late 1960s radical Tom Hayden once put it, was “more miraculous” than the rise of Barack Obama.
But the McCain Institute — created in 2012 with an $8.7 million donation of funds remaining from McCain’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign — refused Monday to disclose the amounts it received from its biggest donors who gave $100,000 or more.
The Institute did note that it has a list of donors on its website. But DC also pointed out that the amount donated is not listed and not disclosed.
The weapons are foreign, the fighters are foreign, the agenda is foreign. As Syrian forces fight to wrest control of their country back and restore order within their borders, the myth of the “Syrian civil war” continues on. Undoubtedly there are Syrians who oppose the Syrian government and even Syrians who have taken up arms against the government and in turn, against the Syrian people, but from the beginning (in fact before the beginning) this war has been driven from abroad. Calling it a “civil war” is a misnomer as much as calling those taking up arms “opposition.” It is not a “civil war,” and those fighting the Syrian government are not “opposition.”
Those calling this a civil war and the terrorists fighting the Syrian state “opposition” hope that their audience never wanders too far from their lies to understand the full context of this conflict, the moves made before it even started and where those moves were made from.
If the Syrian conflict was created by foreign interests fueling militant groups it has used for decades as an instrument of executing foreign policy (in and out of Syria), amounting to what is essentially a proxy invasion, not a civil war, how exactly can a “settlement” be reached?
Who should the Syrian government be talking to in order to reach this settlement? Should it be talking to the heads of Al Nusra and IS who clearly dominate the militants fighting Damascus? Or should it be talking to those who have been the paramount factor in perpetuating the conflict, Riyadh, Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington, all of whom appear involved in supporting even the most extreme among these militant groups?
If Damascus finds itself talking with political leaders in these foreign capitals, is it settling a “civil war” or a war it is fighting with these foreign powers? Upon the world stage, it is clear that these foreign capitals speak entirely for the militants, and to no one’s surprise, these militants seem to want exactly what these foreign capitals want.
Being honest about what sort of conflict Syria is really fighting is the first step in finding a real solution to end it. The West continues to insist this is a “civil war.” This allows them to continue trying to influence the outcome of the conflict and the political state Syria will exist in upon its conclusion. By claiming that the Syrian government has lost all legitimacy, the West further strengthens its hand in this context.
Attempts to strip the government of legitimacy predicated on the fact that it stood and fought groups of armed militants arrayed against it by an axis of foreign interests would set a very dangerous and unacceptable precedent. It is no surprise that Syria finds itself with an increasing number of allies in this fight as other nations realize they will be next if the “Syria model” is a success.
For those who have been trying to make sense of the Syrian “civil war” since 2011 with little luck, the explanation is simple, it isn’t a civil war and it never was. Understanding it as a proxy conflict from the very beginning (or even before it began) will give one a clarity in perception that will aid one immeasurably in understanding what the obvious solutions are, but only when they come to this understanding.