Update 12 April : Bishop Athanasius Schneider has now also signed this petition. We are very grateful for his voice of reason and peace.
There are now more than 3,000 signatories of the petition.
Last week, we raised our concern about the possibility of an upcoming and widening war with regard to the ongoing conflict in Syria. We then put that growing likelihood into the context of Our Lady of Fatima’s own warnings and her message of peace, asking those in Rome who would be able to speak to tell us more about her fuller message of merciful warning and conditional peace.
Today, we have seen some heated discussions and threatening proclamations about Syria, to include accusations about the purported recent 8 April gas attack on civilians in the Eastern Ghouta region of Syria, and also the potential conflict with Russia. As President Donald Trump coarsely tweeted today:
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
Not only does President Trump call the President of another sovereign country an “animal,” he also announces that he will enter into a military conflict with Russia, once Russia dares to defend Syria against a U.S. military retaliation. Trump just assumes President Assad is responsible for the recent gas attack, even though there still is no clear evidence for that claim. A thorough and neutral investigation into the matter has not yet taken place.
Patrick Buchanan, the well-respected Catholic commentator and author, has just posted articles in which he shows himself very concerned about Trump’s putting together a “war cabinet” and about Trump’s possibly attacking a country – Syria – which has not attacked the U.S. Since Russia has announced a military defense of Syria, we are potentially heading into a larger war, even a world war. This would have grave consequences for many innocent civilians, to include women and children.
Thus, today, my husband and I wrote a petition in order to call on President Trump to stop this cycle of war that he has chosen to enter into. My husband, Dr. Robert Hickson, is himself a West Point Graduate, a Special Forces Officer once, and a former professor at different U.S. military colleges and universities. He himself had resisted the 2003 Iraq war which he considered to be irrational and unjust. He warned the U.S. military against fragmenting and destabilizing a whole country, which is exactly what then happened. As we remember, the war was started under the pretext of Saddam Hussein’s possessing biological weapons – which subsequently were never found.
Only recently, I myself conducted an interview with our Italian colleague, Marco Tosatti, on the issue of Syria which is close to his heart, and about which he himself keeps on reporting on his own blog Stilum Curiae. Tosatti opposed last year’s U.S. military retaliation against Syria, and does so now again. He considers these military acts to be unjust acts of war.
Additionally, the Human Rights scholar, Professor Alfred de Zayas, is calling for a process according to international law which would require “an international investigation into all allegations of the use of chemical weapons in Syria (and elsewhere).” He asks “to pause for a moment and give reason and law a chance.”
This is the text of our petition:
In the face of the current tense and disorderly situation with regard to Syria where President Donald Trump has announced that he will make a military retaliation against Syria and where Russia has declared it will defend Syria against such a military act, many people in the world are concerned that a larger war could be developing now. Thus we post the following declaration and ask as many people as possible to sign it as a voice for a just and merciful peace.
We, the undersigned, hereby make public our resistance against President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will, within the next hours or days, retaliate militarily against the sovereign state of Syria, with the argument that the Syrian government is guilty of the the use of chemical weapons against civilians in the Ghouta region on 8 April.
Such a military retaliation is unjust because the purported gas attack has not yet even been sufficiently and carefully investigated by a neutral investigatory expert body. Since the facts are not yet even clear about who committed such a possible crime, how could we then already punish Syria?
Such a military retaliation would also provoke a military response from Russia which has a military presence in Syria upon request from Syria itself in order to help the country free itself from ISIS and other rebel groups.
Thus, a military intervention on the side of President Trump and his allies might very well provoke a war with Russia which could lead to a widening war involving Europe – to include Turkey – and other regions in the world.
Following Just War Doctrine, we insist upon a fair investigation of the facts before entering a war. We remind President Trump of the principle of self-defense, which means that a country may only use military force against another sovereign country when it has been attacked by it. We insist upon prudence and truth. We refer our readers to an excellent statement written on 10 April by Patrick Buchanan.
We ask the world leaders to do everything in their power to stop this cycle of civil and imperial wars.
Some of us remember World War II and the effects on so many innocent civilians.
Let us prevent another, potentially more disastrous world war.
We are pleased to let our readers know that some sincerely earnest and reflective persons have already signed this petition. The first ten signatories were:
Dr. Robert Moynihan, editor-in-chief of Inside the Vatican (USA)
Dr. Markus Büning, theologian, lawyer, and book author (Germany)
Marco Tosatti, journalist (Italy)
Father Reto Nay, editor-in-chief of Gloria.tv (Switzerland),
Dr. Thomas Stark, Professor of Philosophy (Austria),
Dr. Peter Chojnowski, Professor of Philosophy (USA),
Brother Andre Marie, M.I.C.M., Superior of the Saint Benedict Center (USA),
Deacon Eugene McGuirk (USA)
Dr. Robert Hickson, retired Special Forces Officer, retired Professor of Literature, Strategy, and Cultural History (USA)
Dr. Maike Hickson, journalist (USA)
Subsequently, some additional persons of substance have added their own names to the declaration:
Dr. Josef Seifert, Professor of Philosophy (em.) (Austria)
Secretary of State, Ministry of Defense, (ret.) (Germany),
Dr. Eva-Maria Föllmer-Müller, psychologist (Switzerland),
Karl-Jürgen Müller, teacher (Germany and Switzerland)
Dr. Cyrille Dounot, Professor of Law (France)
Dr. h.c. Michael Hesemann (Germany)
Guillaume de Thieulloy, editor of the French blog Le Salon Beige (France),
Professor Paolo Pasqualucci (Italy)
Riccardo Cascioli, editor-in-chief of La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana (Italy)
Dr. h.c. Harry Veryser, Professor of Economics, University of Detroit Mercy (USA)
Pedro Luis Llera, Director of the John Paul II School of Puerto Real (Spain)
Reed Armstrong, artist (USA)
Steve Skojec, Founder and Publisher of OnePeterFive (USA)
Dr. E. Michael Jones, Founder and Editor of Culture Wars (USA)
Additional Signatories as of 12 April:
Dr. Till Kinzel, Professor of Literature (Germany)
Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Kazakhstan)
Axel Grunow, teacher (Switzerland)
Andrea Grunow, teacher (Switzerland)
Dr Anthony McCarthy, SPUC, bioethicists and author of Ethical Sex and Abortion Matters (UK)
Dr. Claudio Pierantoni, Professor of Medieval Philosophy (Universidad de Chile)
Additional signatories as of 13 April:
Maria Guarini, chiesa e postconcilio blog (Italy)
Dr. Stephen Sniegoski, historian (USA)
Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, journalist, essayist, and author (USA)
Matt Gaspers, Editor of Catholic Family News (USA)
Additional signatories as of 15 April:
Prof. Dr. Alfred de Zayas, Geneva (Switzerland)
Additional signatories as of 16 April:
Hugh Owen, Director, Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation (USA)
Additional signatories as of 17 April:
Donna F. Bethell, J.D. (USA)
John-Henry Westen, co-founder of LifeSiteNews.com
Additional signatories as of 18 April:
Marco Tosatti has already reported on this new initiative on his own blog, Stilum Curiae. Others have announced that they will do the same. Thus, we invite all of you to give your personal testimony as a voice of justice and peace. More than 1200 people have already signed the petition since we posted it this afternoon. May the world not enter further into another war, ignited by a gas attack whose perpetrators have not yet even been reliably determined.
May our Church leaders themselves also raise their voices of deliberate reason and of justice so that such a widening war could – and would – be prevented.
There are more good reasons now to have the full revelation of the Message of Fatima and thereby reverently consecrate Russia herself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
UPDATE, 12 April: The Spanish website, infocatolica, now also reports on this declaration.
UPDATE II, 12 April: Bishop Athanasius Schneider (Kazakhstan), also signed our petition. Additionally, Dr. Till Kinzel, Axel Grunow and Andrea Grunow wished to give their public support, as well.
UPDATE, 13 April: The Italian blog chiesaepostconcilio now also posted the petition.
Dr. Robert Moynihan had his own report on this declaration, and he added some more reflections on the Catholic Just War Doctrine. (His report has been posted on this website.)
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.