The Propagandist Strikes Back…and Strikes Out

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Why does a respected Catholic author indulge in rhetorical venom that could give aid and comfort to sworn enemies of the United States and Israel?

Mark Shea, whom FPM exposed March 8 in “A Catholic Writer’s Propaganda For Iran,” offered this defense on his blog:

“In point of fact, I affirm Israel’s existence and think Jews, like Palestinians, deserve a homeland. I’m big on people having a home. I merely reject the propositions that a) Israel is immaculately conceived and preserved from all sin, both original and actual b) it’s our job to defend Israel (or Germany, Japan, Korea and the scores of other countries our Empire extends to)and c) we need to pound the drums for war with Iran.”

Let’s examine these propositions.

Regarding Israel, nobody would regard it as “immaculately conceived and preserved from all sin, both original and actual.” This rhetorical straw man caricatures pro-Israel opinion, and allows Shea not only to disregard Israeli concerns about self-defense but also the likelihood of an independent Palestinian state dedicating itself to Israel’s destruction.

In addition, Shea uses his “immaculate conception” meme to browbeat Israel’s supporters. On March 30, Shea condemned Benjamin Kirstein’s assertion that criticizing Israel “is either subjectively anti-Semitic, in that it consciously and intentionally furthers the goals of the campaign (to destroy Israel); or it is objectively anti-Semitic, in that it unconsciously and unintentionally does the same thing.”

Shea labeled Kerstein’s assertion “a particularly idiotic act of idolatry” and accused Kerstein of calling Israel a “sinless utopia,” which Kerstein never even implied.

Besides, since when did opposing anti-Semitic genocide — even clumsily –become a particularly idiotic act of idolatry?

Also, since when did the United States become an “empire”? If the United States is an “empire,” why did it withdraw troops from Iraq? Why didn’t it turn Iraq into a colony when it had the chance? Why does Iraq have an independent government? Why is the United States contemplating withdrawing troops from Afghanistan?

Moreover, why did the United States close military bases once the Cold War ended?

Yet Shea persists and contends that any pre-emptive attack against Iran would result in world war. As Shea declared March 12, while linking to comments from Russian and Chinese generals:

“And if Russia doesn’t appreciate your chickenhawk class’ election year need to look tough and throw some crappy little country against the wall just to show you mean business, you might discover that China wasn’t just whistling dixie when she warned of WWIII as a result of your rash pre-emptive war.”

On the same day — in a post sarcastically entitled “Today’s Pro-Mullah Propaganda”– Shea linked to a story on the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers’ warnings to the United States about attacking Iran.

“Actually, it’s just the common sense proposition that pre-emptive war is unjust, not to mention stupid and dangerous. One need not support the goons in Iran to see this.”

Shea believes pre-emptive attacks violate Catholic ethics. Logically, he cites for support the military and diplomatic leaders of two nations that not only are tone-deaf to Catholicism but also are cavalier about human rights.

Shea reinforces the “empire” myth by exploiting the travails of American troops. On March 14, Shea posted about Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians:

“The real criminals will never be charged in the mass murder in Afghanistan. These would be the members of our Ruling Classes who sent a brain-injured soldier back into battle for yet another tour of duty (his fourth!)…Sending this valiant and deeply self-sacrificial all-volunteer force back into battle again and again and again in order to maintain the empire–and in such a massive exercise in futility as our Afghan experiment in nation-building — is the real crime here….Leave Afghanistan. Now.”

Shea amplified that theme April 10:

“Not surprisingly, our armed forces, stretched to the breaking point by ten years of being used as lab rats in our ongoing experiments, are now massively medicated. You would be too if you and your family were shoveled around like concrete and your life was being thrown away on a colossal exercise in futility. Not one more drop of blood from our young men and women. Get us out of Afghanistan now.”

Shea ended with a hysterical, violent demand:

“Strip our legislative and executive branches of all wages and earnings except their pay for their office, and give it as a fund for wounded vets. If they complain, jail them until their experimental wars are over.”

Shea’s patronizing rhetoric demeans and insults American soldiers. It portrays them as slaves and dupes of an ostensibly evil political system. It is subtle, manipulative, cynical and beyond despicable.

It also ignores the reason for the invasion and occupation: to prevent Islamic terrorists from establishing a base for more attacks against civilians.

“Al-Qaeda is still present in Afghanistan,” U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker told London’s Daily Telegraph, which reported that about 100 al-Qaeda irregulars have returned, according to NATO estimates, with hundreds stationed in Pakistan.

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  • southwood

    Shea was probably praying that Merah would be granted a shorter stay in purgatory. There is no such place in scripture. Merah died while trying to kill as many security forces as he could. No repentance; he thought he was going to Muslim paradise. He must be actiually in hell according to the Bible.

    • Mike Smith

      Catholics voted strongly for Obama, and are on a track to do so again this fall, in part due to Catholics like this anti-war moron. Catholic liberalism probably did more to elect Obama than the highly-discussed Latino and Black votes. Now liberals (Catholic and otherwise) are angry because Obama has followed fairly closely (albeit hap-hassardly) the track laid out by Bush as regards the middle east. I just wonder whether these anti-war liberals will revolt against Obama in the end, and push a far-left 3rd-Party candidate?

  • jacob

    I wouldn't give this moron the importance his ranting and raving are given….after all, I'm not sure he, as
    many newspeople and politicians are not bought with Arab money, as candidly stated by an ex-Saudi ambassador

    I stick to facts and not to wishful thinking….

    Hadn't ISRAELpreemptied the Arab threat from NASSER, ASSAD, SADDAM HUSSEIN, etc, at the SIX
    DAYS WAR, there would have been no more Israel, much to the chagrin of the media and SHEAS
    of the world and proof of it was the near disaster of the YOM KIPPUR war for the reasons known to

    Besides, needless to say, THERE WILL NEVER BE PEACE BETWEEN JEWS AND MUSLIMS, unless
    one is as stupid as to call "PEACE" what still exists between EGYPT and ISRAEL, just because Egypt
    is not firing on Israel
    To Muslims, rhe Middle East is the same as the Mediterranean was to ancient ROME :
    Their "MARE NOSTRUM" (Our sea) in which there was room for any ships but ROMANS.
    Conversely, there is no room in the ME for anything but Muslims and this is what is written in the
    "constitutions" of both PA and HAMAS

  • Stephen E Dalton

    What I don't understand about Shea is why he's so anti-military. He was raised in a military family and spent the early years of his life on an army base. Did something happen to him in his growing up years that embittered him against our government and military? He seems to want to believe and tell the most outragous lies about our armed services.

    • intrcptr2

      Looking at the clearly 4-F individual in that photo up there, it would seem plently happened that turned him off.

  • Ghostwriter

    After reading more of Shea's stuff,he goes from pinhead to full-blown idiot.

  • intrcptr2

    What I do not get is why he is respected…

  • RonCarnine

    One wise man said, "it's better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt". This young man doesn't seem to know what he wants and therefore speaks and then later has to apologize, to himself, for being such an idiot. Our fighting forces are the very best in the world. Brave and intelligent they follow the orders of their country. It is a volunteer military, no one is forced to serve, they serve because they want to and are to be commended. This young man is condemning that which he does not know, putting your butt on the line for someone who has never been there. I hope someday he does find true wisdom.

  • H&R_ Barack

    Today the Catholic Church unveiled its new policy.- Don't ask, don't confess.

    • wctaqiyya

      Good one H&R. Yep, it's not like calling yourself a Catholic spokesman imparts any credibility, eh? Unless maybe the subject is their hopelessly desperate, ongoing efforts to justify, rationalize and minimize the homosexual infestation of the Catholic Church. Get off your duff Pope and clean house already!

      I would only add this observation to Joe's effective article. Leaving aside the religious component to the discussion, full justification for support of Israel is based on the fact that we are supporting the only civilized nation in a sea of barbarity. Is not civilization a worthy cause? I thought so.

  • Amused

    And therein lies the problem of the internet . Every idiots get their own soap box , and is bestowed with apparent credulity and authority . Opinion becomes FACT , history is replaced with revisionism , objectivity and logic discarded ,and denial is the victor in arguments .

  • Amused

    lol….and this bird is not all that different than some /most " editorialists " right here . Differing agendas same half truths and lies .

  • Schlomotion

    Hippolito wantonly accuses Shea of both treason and violence because he does not war with Iran. It takes two whole pages of inverted language for him to structure surreality in such a way to make common sense look like contrived lunacy. He is a libeler and worse, he purports to dictate morality to people when they object to war.

  • Ghostwriter

    Or Schlockmotion,Mr. Hippolito wants to prevent Iran's mad Mullahs from getting a nuclear weapon. You,on the other hand,want Israel wiped off the face of the earth along with the A-jad and his pals. It's not Mr. Hippolito's morality I'm condemning,it's yours.

  • Mark Shea
  • Anonymous

    Mark Shea only posts to make money – here he is admitting it. He is a peddler of the Gospel and a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He gets paid money every time someone clicks on his blog page, so be makes a career out of sowing discord amongst Christians in order to profit thereby.