The Feast of Saint Pius of Petrelcina (Padre Pio)
The United States of America and five Arab countries launched a wide ranging series of air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria from Aleppo to the Iraq border last night. So the question now before us are as follows: has the United States recovered from the confusion it has suffered since its exit from Iraq in 2011? Will, in six months time, the names of the Islamic State and the erstwhile successor of Muhammad the Caliph Ibrahim a.k.a. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi be relegated to mere historical oddities and footnotes. Will Syria, the Middle East, and the world enjoy greater peace and prosperity as a result of this action? We shall see.
Only the Lord of history knows the answer to these questions. Though I can say that in my life I have seen one or two US military operations begin with all sorts of flash and flare and high sounding promises and then descend into the muck and mud of chaos and confusion. I remember watching live on television as ‘shock and awe’ descended on Baghdad on the night of March 21, 2003 with the high explosive power and pinpoint accuracy of American cruise missiles and satellite guided bombs that would obliterate one building and leave the structure standing next to it without a scratch. One would have said that night that no one could ever stand up to United States’ military might and its awe inspiring technological supremacy. Yet it was men who devised primitive explosives and hid them inside of donkey carcasses on the side of the road who unraveled all of the American plans for Iraq.
There is not much really to tell at this point. The coming days and weeks will give us the answers, all in due time. The advance of the Islamic State toward the Syrian/Turkish border over the last week has sent a tidal wave of humanity across that border. This undoubtedly helped to provoke the American attack on Syria. The world today is not the same as the world of 2003 or the world of 1991 when the United States crushed Saddam Hussein’s army in southern Iraq and pushed it out of Kuwait. Russia today strongly condemned the US action in Syria and as that country is making its presence felt more mightily in the international arena than at any time in the last thirty years its opinion can no longer just be ignored.
So after all the massive explosions and high flown rhetoric on television are done with the world still will have a mess on its hands. An we shall see where that leads us.
Pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary on Monday for the See of Constantinople, the Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday for the See of Antioch, the Glorious Mysteries on Wednesday for the See of Jerusalem, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday for the See of Alexandria, and the Sorrowful Mysteries on Friday for the See of Carthage; for their liberty and their salvation and the restoration of their ancient position as pillars of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church in communion with the See of Peter in Rome; for the conversion of the Jewish people and the conversion of the Muslim peoples. And join the Rosary Confraternity!