Over the last couple of years I've really enjoyed my subscription to First Things. It's a great magazine and reminds me of the great old magazines where you had deep, erudite essays and thoughtful disagreement.
It takes a least a week for me to reach each issue because it is not something to just flip through idly. I have to contemplate - and sometimes savor - the various articles. Often the ones that look least promising have something to say.
One of the marquee talents there is George Weigel, who needs no introduction in Catholic literary circles, but who was not particularly well-known to me. I'd encountered him here and there, but never dug into his body of work.
In addition to the print edition, there is extensive digital content over at their web site, and Weigel has written the most bloodthirsty call to carnage since the start of the Iraq War.
How else can you describe a screed that demands unending slaughter until the borders of Ukraine are fully restored? Remember, the conflict is a borders dispute in Eastern Europe of all places, where there never have been fixed frontiers.
Another jarring feature: this isn't about Russia's leaders, it's about Russians themselves. Apparent Pope George has pronounced all of them anathema and demanded no peace without a bloody chastisement.
The bill of Russian crimes is ludicrous. Here's a particularly egregious example:
We have learned that the Russian way of war includes the use of cluster munitions and unguided missiles specifically forbidden by international law.
This is simply false. Unguided munitions are the norm across the world - guided ones are luxury items. As for cluster munitions, the United States still has them and still plans on using them.
Talk about a plank in the eye.
Weigel reminds me of no one so much as a World War I jingoist, demanding to hang the Kaiser no matter the cost. Meanwhile, millions were ground up in brutal fighting and millions more succumbed to disease and privation. Is Weigel suggesting that a compromise peace is worse than no peace at all?
Conservatives like to imagine that liberals are intellectually a breed apart, but we are just as prone to falling prey to sinful ways. For all his Catholic writings, Weigel is indistinguishable from a cancel culture zealot.
He should serious reconsider what he is advocating. Prolonging the slaughter in the east and spreading further hunger must be carefully weighed against whatever supposed chastisement will result. It is particularly unbecoming when used by an influential Christian.