In my humble opinion, he was the single most influential factor in the downfall of the Soviet Union, much more so than Reagan or even the economic war by a long shot. His vigorous support of Lech Walesa and the Solidarity movement in his homeland of Poland was a driving force that helped change the mindset of key leadership in the Politburo and crashed the Polish Communist government and ultimately, the Soviet Union itself.
But his status got an even bigger boost in my eyes when I stumbled upon this article in the Catholic New Times. It seems that even the Pope had a really low opinion of the Shrub and worked tirelessly to thwart the Evil One’s machinations:
Catholic New Times, May 18, 2003 WASHINGTON DC -- According to freelance journalist Wayne Madsden, "George W Bush's blood lust, his repeated commitment to Christian beliefs and his constant references to 'evil doers,' in the eyes of many devout Catholic leaders, bear all the hallmarks of the one warned about in the Book of Revelations--the anti-Christ."
Madsen, a Washington-based writer and columnist, who often writes for Counterpunch, says that people close to the pope claim that amid these concerns, the pontiff wishes he was younger and in better health to confront the possibility that Bush may represent the person prophesized in Revelations. John Paul II has always believed the world was on the precipice of the final confrontation between Good and Evil as foretold in the New Testament.
Before he became pope, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla said, "We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel." The pope worked tirelessly to convince leaders of nations on the UN Security Council to oppose Bush's war resolution on Iraq.
Vatican sources claim they had not seen the pope more animated and determined since he fell ill to Parkinson's Disease. In the end, the pope did convince the leaders of Mexico, Chile, Cameroon and Guinea to oppose the U.S. resolution.
Madsen contends that "Bush is a dangerous right-wing ideologue who couples his political fanaticism with a neo-Christian blood cult."
COPYRIGHT 2003 Catholic New Times, Inc.COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group
The author of the above piece has expounded on the Pope’s belief in other articles. From the Wilderness.com carried this piece:
The Pope, who grew up facing the evils of Hitler and Stalin, knows evil when he sees it.
Although we can all endlessly argue over the Pope's effectiveness in curtailing abuses within his Church, his accomplishments external to Catholicism are impressive.
According to journalists close to the Vatican, the Pope and his closest advisers are also concerned that the ultimate acts of evil - the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon - were known in advance by senior Bush administration officials. By permitting the attacks to take their course, there is a perception within the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy that a coup d'etat was implemented, one that gave Bush and his leadership near-dictatorial powers to carry out their agenda.
Some people have complained today about the flags across the US that were flown at half mast. For various reasons, I support this symbolic gesture. With the passing of this Pope, we lost an ardent and powerful friend and ally in the battle against totalitarianism, triumphalism and neo-conservatism.
I, for one, will miss him.