I was running errands yesterday afternoon, listening to the local Catholic radio station. Al Kresta, of whom I have written before, was on the air. He was interviewing Catholic author Matthew Bunson, and the topic was the US push to attack Syria. Dr Bunson was saying that every Christian leader in the Middle East, whether Orthodox, Coptic, Maronite, Melkite or Chaldean, had condemned an American attack. He also mentioned that Pope Francis had said that peace can only come by negotiation, not by more war.
To my surprise Mr Kresta agreed, and said that American intervention had produced only evil in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This was a shock; Mr Kresta in the past has been unequivocal in his support of American interventionism. I heard him, around 2003, interview an Iraqi Chaldean bishop who, to Kresta’s apparent surprise, bitterly criticized the US bombing and invasion of his country. He was cut off, almost in mid-sentence.
A cynic might think Mr Kresta’s newfound critical attitude the fruit of the president’s name being Obama, not McCain or Romney, but let us give him the benefit of the doubt. He apparently has learned something from experience, not that this would take a lot of reflection, given the state of the nations we have occupied in the last decade: Iraq, almost daily, has deadly sectarian bombings and Afghanistan is clearly unwinnable. Only the most diehard neocons still defend those wars, and the American people, so easily whipped into war fever, appear to be finally exhausted.
But let us thank God for the small miracle of the conversion of Al Kresta.