Saturday, December 6, 2014

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, December 6

Religion and Geopolitics this week includes:
The cardinal rules of policing are a good place to start in any discussion of Ferguson and New York. The police are the public and the public are the police.

Before Hitler established the German Reich on blood and soil, Alfred Rosenberg's Myth of the 20th Century alluded to ridding the multinational empires of extra nationalities. His book was considered an intellectual cornerstone of Nazi ideology. The new German Reich would annex Austria but not take in all the warring nationalities which caused WWI Germans to describe their alliance with the Austrian Empire as "being tied to a corpse." The young Turks who emerged from the multinational Ottoman Empire would define their new nation in more restricted ethnic terms. They cleansed the Orthodox Armenians and Hitler noted their methods decades before his own nation-building by racial cleansing. The emergence of Turkey was more a secular racial nationalism than a quest for an Islamic identity. Pakistan was the one truly deliberately Muslim nation, just as Israel was a deliberately Jewish homeland. Interestingly, the founders were not as religiously motivated as they were building national walls that would protect them from their enemies. Whether Saudi Arabia can be considered a state built to protect Islamic holy lands or a family exploiting the holy sites of Mecca and Medina is considered here.

The most disastrous foreign policy error of the baby-boomer presidents has been the failure to normalize relations with Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Here is a good one year review of the aftermath of our Ukraine policy.

Here is a very helpful essay in understanding the historical ups and downs of the Islamic understanding of the Caliphate -- not surprisingly, a far cry from the reverberations of today's media.

On November 30, the Feast of St. Andrew, Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I signed a joint declaration regarding their wishes for full communion between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Preceding the signing, both the Pope and Patriarch addressed each other in terms of the apostolic fraternity in Christ that bound the brothers Peter and Andrew more deeply than family. Here are the texts of the two addresses and the joint declaration.

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