Maybe they read this blog in Geneva (I’m not holding my breath). Or maybe the general secretary of the World Council of Churches finally woke up and realized how ridiculous he looked for getting all ferocious about the Gaza flotilla and never mentioning the sinking of a South Korean warship by North Korea two months ago. In any case, Olav Fykse Tveit finally bestirs himself to comment upon the recent unpleasantness in the Yellow Sea:
It is with deep concern that I write this to you as the people of the Korean peninsula face, yet again, another precarious situation, that is, the recent tragedy of the sinking of the Cheonan in which forty-six sailors lost their lives. We pray that the Lord almighty will console the bereaved families and friends and give them hope and strength to withstand the challenges ahead.
While we join with the people and the churches in South Korea in their national grief, we also share your common concern that the unfolding events have endangered the prospects for peace on the Korean peninsula and also in the entire North East Asia region. The recent events confirm the fears expressed earlier by the World Council of Churches that the Korean peninsula remains a flashpoint in the North East Asia region and has the potential to ignite a major conflagration, unless the international community, especially the six-party talk nations, try to ensure lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.
Experience has shown us that violence can never be the way to settle disputes either on the Korean peninsula or anywhere else. Therefore, the World Council of Churches reiterates its strong condemnation of all sorts of violence.
And that, believe it or not, is as close as he ever comes to actually naming the perpetrator of the crime. Most of the rest of this missive is, believe it or not, a restatement of the WCC’s commitment to reunification of the Koreas. There is no mention of North Korea, no righteous indignation over a blatant act of war, no siding with victims against aggressor. There is just this extraordinarily wimpy tone of, “isn’t it a tragedy, we’re so sorry, wouldn’t it be great if everyone would just play nice?”
This isn’t even a matter of contrast between the way the WCC talks about Israel and the way it doesn’t talk about the world’s most repressive regime. It’s simply a repetition of the way the WCC has always treated Communist states, wiht kid gloves so soft that they wouldn’t leave a mark if you slapped someone with them. Old dogs and new tricks.