I already dealt with the true meaning of The Regensburg Address, but apparently it did not reach the caves in Northern Pakistan. Maybe this will, but I doubt it.
Osama bin Laden, the putative mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and wanna-be Caliph, has released a new single today, sure to be the biggest hit on iTunes al Qaeda. In the new tape bin Laden claims that the Pope has called for another crusade. Apparently the 2006 Regensburg Address has finally been brought to his attention by way, I might add, of a neo-con courier. Ever since the Regensburg Address, neo-cons like George Weigel and Richard John Neuhaus have been trying to make people believe that Papa Ratzi is on their side in the war on terror and the project to wipe Islam off the map with the imposition of (neo-) liberal democracy. Well, Papa Ratzi is not on their side. Merely printing out The Regensburg Address will indicate as much. Only one page is devoted to a critique of Islam, and seven pages are devoted to a critique of the modern democratic West, and the address itself is barely nine!
Yes, it is true that Papa Ratzi's uses the harshest language of the address in the Islam critique, and Weigel and Neuhaus have repeatedly drawn attention to this in their mendacious campaign to make the Pope a fellow honorary lackey of Norm Podhoretz. What they don't tell you is that by the end of the Address it is clear to anyone with reading comprehension at the sophomore highschool level (and I assume that both Neuhaus and Weigel made it through their sophomore years--at least) that Papa Ratzi applies that critique of Islam to the modern democratic West. For just as the Byzantine Emperor imagines Islam to be, the modern West has severed ties with a metaphysics of reason and can communicate its values only by force of a blind, irrational will. Therefore, the modern west can spread its new faith, liberal democracy, only by violence.
Well, what intellectual movement in the West devotes all their intellectualism to the proposition that we must bomb the world into liberal democratic freedom? If you said, "The Neo-Cons,", you can take pride that you are smarter than both Weigel and Neuhaus, but don't let it go to your head for such a feat is not hard at all. The Regensburg Address, if you actually take time to read it, is not a neo-con document at all; it is, in fact, a pointed condemnation of the neo-con project.
If bin Laden had actually read the address, he probably still would be pissed for Papa Ratzi does say at the very least that Islam's theology is dangerously voluntaristic but would, I hope, know better not to lump him in with those wanna-be neo-crusaders. Ratzinger's address was, if anything, a clarion call for the return to the quiet study of metaphysics, and that is hardly a shrieking reprise of Deus vult, much less an endorsement of Bush and McCain's puerile warmongering.
But, perhaps, Osama bin Laden is as dumb and as metaphysically tone-deaf as the neo-cons. That would not surprise, although I would not put it past the neo-cons to have infiltrated Al Qaeda simply to get bin Laden all riled up about what Papa Ratzi really did not say. And then bin Laden will order an attack on the Vatican, and the CIA and roaming Israeli Exchange Students will tell the Italian Intelligence to let the attack happen. The Vatican will be bombed. The Pope will die, Europe will be sufficiently ginned up to enlist in Norm Podhoretz's World War IV and we will have apocalyptic chaos, and the neo-cons will all fiddle in giddy excitement while the world as we know it burns away.