The freedom to change one’s mind is a human right, and we can only celebrate when someone rejects moral error in favor of truth. For that reason, we can hail the crowd of intellectuals and politicians who are turning from their support of the War on Iraq toward skepticism and rejection.
Far more problematic are the intellectuals, particularly religious intellectuals such as Michael Novak, Jerry "God-is-pro-war" Falwell, and the Rev. Richard J. Neuhaus.
The net is filled with rumors that Fr. Neuhaus, for example, is inching toward an antiwar stance, which, again, we can only praise. Fr. Neuhaus played a very important role in urging people to mute their consciences, ignore the Vatican, and march in lockstep with the Bush administration.
But let’s look back. As the blood lust of the Bush administration increased, many religious Catholics were getting nervous, since there was no sense in which an attack on Iraq could be reconciled with Just War teaching. It was not a defensive war, not a last-resort war, not a proportionate war, not a war aimed only at the military, and it was not authorized by the competent authority. It was an imperial adventure to satisfy the longings of a lunatic, and it has ended in complete catastrophe, economically and morally.