(From Agence France Presse)
Pope John Paul II is making one last throw of the dice to halt a conflagration in Iraq -- and with it a resurgence of religious tension between the West and Islam -- as he prepares to receive Iraq's deputy prime minister and awaits news from a trusted envoy dispatched to Baghdad.
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray is the Vatican's man with a mission, bearing a papal message for Iraq's President Saddam Hussein when the two meet on Thursday.
Etchegaray is in Baghdad to "invite the Iraqi authorities to respect the United Nations resolution and international law," said a Vatican source.
But the 80-year-old French prelate, a …