Vatican Newspaper Opposes "Preventive War" on Iraq

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 31, 2003 ( L’Osservatore Romano strongly criticized the concept of a «preventive war» and drew attention to the plight of the Iraqi people.

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«To define a preventive war as an act of sensibleness means not to have or not to know how to exercise the intelligence that would be necessary at certain levels,» the semiofficial Vatican newspaper states in Saturday’s Italian edition.

The article criticizes the thesis of Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino, who Thursday defended the concept of a preventive war. He also faulted the position of several Church figures on the possible war.

The newspaper particularly opposes the Defense Minister’s affirmations, according to which there is no «alternative» to «preventive armed intervention.»

In another article, it states that «the international media, determined to understand in the nuances of diplomatic statements the possible development of the Iraqi situation, often forget to concentrate attention on the principal victim of the crisis: the civilian population.»

«Tested by a long embargo and vexed by a dictatorial regime, the Iraqi people [have] lived for months under the exhausting threat of a conflict,» it says.

This suffering becomes more acute «daily by the announcements of imminent armed attacks and deferments to an indefinite time,» the article adds.

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