by Jacob G. Hornberger
President Obama and the Pentagon make the following joint announcement:
Our fellow Americans, now that we have brought democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq with our military invasions and occupations, third on our list is Vatican City, a country that has never permitted full democracy to the citizens of that country. We are today implementing Operation Vatican Freedom, whose goal will be to bring full and complete democracy to Vatican City, where all the citizens of that country, rather than appointed bishops from around the world, will have the opportunity to vote on the Pope.
The invasion takes place, with the results being the same as those in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Many Vatican City citizens, along with many foreigners who come to help defend the country, are killed, maimed, incarcerated, and abused. Museums and antiquities, such as the Sistine Chapel, are damaged or destroyed. Several U.S. soldiers lose their lives in the operation.
Ultimately, however, the U.S. Empire prevails. The Pope surrenders and abdicates. Elections are called, and a new Pope is elected by the citizens of Vatican City. Advocates of democracy all over the world cheer.
Pentagon officials announce, “Mission accomplished!” They say to Americans:
This has been a tough war, but today your troops are coming home as heroes. They have fought bravely and accomplished a great feat. They have brought democracy to a country long known for its non-democratic values. Unfortunately, there has been much loss of life, especially on the Vatican side, which we deeply regret, but obviously Vatican officials bear responsibility for all the death and destruction for resisting our invasion of liberation. In any event, all those deaths have been worth it because the survivors get to experience the benefits of democracy.
We are counting on our fellow Americans to welcome home the troops for the heroes they are. By faithfully following the orders of the president, they have fulfilled their oaths to support and defend the Constitution. As in Afghanistan and Iraq, the troops have risked their lives to bring democracy to Vatican City. In the process they have defended the rights and freedoms of the American people. We are truly an exceptional nation, as reflected by the heroism and goodness of our troops.
However, a fierce resistance breaks out against U.S. occupation troops in Vatican City. Among the resisters are Catholic sympathizers from all over the world who are angry and outraged over what the U.S. Empire has done. Refusing to don Vatican City uniforms, these Catholic terrorists begin attacking U.S. occupation troops.
These terrorists (or “illegal enemy combatants”) — are taken into custody and whisked away to Guantanamo, along with some altar boys who were caught throwing grenades at the troops. These terrorists are to be held at Guantanamo for years, or at least until the war on terrorism is officially over. In the process, like terrorists from Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere, they are denied any semblance of jury trials, due process of law, and speedy trials or the benefits of the Geneva Conventions.
One day, some radical Catholics from Ireland enter the United States legally as tourists. They blow up the Empire State Building and attack the Pentagon.
Immediately, interventionists condemn the Catholic crusade against America. “The Catholics are still angry over the Reformation!” the interventionists cry. “They’ve never gotten over what Luther did! This is what this is all about — a holy war by the Catholofascists against America.”
Libertarians respond, “That’s just crazy talk. The terrorists happen to be Catholic because when the president and Pentagon attacked Vatican City, most of the people they killed, maimed, and destroyed were Catholics. Therefore, it’s logical that Catholics worldwide would get angry and that some would seek to retaliate for U.S. foreign policy. But that doesn’t make the matter a religious issue.”
Interventionists respond, “Oh, you libertarians are so naive. This situation is no different than it is with the Islamofascists. They’re attacking America because the Koran requires them to. And it’s the same with the Catholofacists. Have you forgotten how much violence there is in the Bible? Have you never heard of the Crusades?”
Libertarians respond, “Well, that’s just more crazy talk. The president and the Pentagon targeted two countries — Afghanistan and Iraq — whose populations were predominantly Muslim. Therefore, it is not surprising that people of Muslim faith would be angry and outraged at all the death and destruction being wreaked on Muslims. But that doesn’t convert the matter into a religious motivation any more than it has with the Pentagon’s attack on Vatican City.”
One day, the Catholic bishop for the New York City diocese proposes a new Catholic church and community center near the Empire State Building site. Interventionists go ballistic. “Are you kidding? I am so offended! Our loved ones died in the Empire State building at the hands of the Catholofascist terrorists! How could we sleep at night knowing that a Catholic church and community center were located nearby? That’s outrageous! Don’t our feelings matter? They might have a right to do it but let’s pressure them into building elsewhere.”
Libertarians respond, “But not all Catholics are responsible for what the terrorists did in retaliation for the Empire’s attack on Vatican City. Again, this is not something that relates to Catholics or Catholicism per se. It relates to anger among Catholics based on what the U.S. Empire did to Vatican City.”
The debate goes on incessantly. Meanwhile, the president and the Pentagon announce the identity of Country No. 4 on their democracy-spreading list.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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