Pope Francis returned yet again to something he says frequently: that evil arms merchants are behind wars:
“This is serious. Some powerful people make their living with the production of arms and sell them to one country for them to use against another country,” the Pope was cited by AGI news agency as saying.
Go here to read the rest. It was appropriate that the Pope was addressing kids when he said this, because his belief is a childish fable without a shred of evidence to support it. It was a popular belief back in the thirties, and no doubt the Pope grew up hearing it. It remains a popular belief in some sectors of the Left, and the Pope on many issues is definitely a man of the Left. The sad fact of course is that wars have quite a few causes, and that arms merchants, except as sources of weaponry, figure in very few of them. For example, the war over the Falklands in 1982. The Falkland Islands are basically worthless, but Argentinians have been taught for generations that they are the Malvinas Islands and that they belong to Argentina. Thus when the Argentinian junta moved to seize the islands from Great Britain, all sectors of Argentinian public opinion overwhelmingly supported the move. The ensuing Argentinian humiliating defeat at the hands of the ghost of the British Empire helped speed up the return to civilian rule in Argentina as the military junta was now treated with contempt by the Argentine public for the loss.
The Pope’s reference to the bogey-man of arms merchants as an explanation for wars leaves us with two distressing alternatives: he knows better but blames arms merchants for some Machiavellian purpose, or he does not know better and blames arms merchants because he is simply bone ignorant and impervious to contrary evidence. PopeWatch would prefer the Machiavellian interpretation but fears that the latter explanation is the correct one.
Update: Apparently the Pope believes that merchants of death are behind all wars unless Argentinian interests are at stake:
During a Mass on April 2 last year to mark the 30th anniversary of the start of the war, Bergoglio called for the vindication of “all” of those who fought against the British over the Falklands Islands.
Go here to read the rest.