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Cardinal says smell of victory blinding US to moral issues

Milan's Cardinal Carlo Martini has suggested that the US-led war in Afghanistan has begun to slide into the "excessiveness of revenge".

In a speech for the Feast of St Ambrose, Martini acknowledged that the right to legitimate self defence must be upheld.

He said "it was felt that" the necessary "principles of caution" were present in the first days of the reaction to the 11 September attacks.

"But what point are we at now?" he asked. "Is there perhaps not the anxiety of victory and the dynamism of the violence gotten the upper hand, decreasing the threshold of vigilance over the actions of war that could be not necessarily strictly linked to the original goals and above all ones which strike unarmed populations?"

Terrorismo, ritorsione, legittima difesa, guerra e pace: Discorso per la vigilia di s. Ambrogio 2001

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