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Influential Catholic journal says US strike on Iraq could be justified

The authoritative Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica has argued that an American military strike on Iraq would be legitimate if there is an imminent danger of aggression by Iraqi regime.

But the Italian journal says that a purely "preventive" military strike cannot be justified.

The analysis of American policy, which will appear in the magazine's issue dated tomorrow, carries special weight because the articles in Civilta Cattolica are screened in advance by the Vatican Secretariat of State.

The magazine argues that ordinarily, any military action would require the approval of the international community-- specifically, the UN. However, there is one possible exception to that rule, Civilta Cattolica says: Every government has the right to defend itself against aggression. The article defines aggression to mean "the first use of force," but goes on to explain that the definition could apply to a country "which threatens to use force."

Taking note of the declarations by American President George Bush that Iraq has amassed weapons of mass destruction, the journal says that these weapons "constitute a permanent danger for the countries of the Middle East and for the interests of the United States and the Western world."

Catholic World News

La Civilta Cattolica

1 Nov 2002