by David Pence
A NUCLEAR AGREEMENT REINTEGRATES NATIONS OF THE NORTH FROM FRANCE TO CHINA WITH IRAN
Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia, and China were the other countries (besides US and Iran) who agreed to a regulatory plan for Iran's nuclear program on Holy Thursday April 2, 2015. If the US Senate blocks the agreement, those other countries will not continue economic sanctions against Iran. Those countries share a security interest with Iran as well. All of them are fighting their own variants of the Salafist Sunni jihadist movement, in the same way as the Shia state of Iran does in fighting ISIS. A resumption of arms sales from Russia to Iran is one beginning of many new relations which will reintegrate Iran in the intercourse of nations.
Significant elements of Israeli security veterans have not agreed with the Netanyahu "nihilist" approach to negotiations with Iran.
Iran is a Shiite country in a sea of Sunnis. The purification movement that is leading to a renewal of Shia/Sunni war is coming from one faction of Sunnis, not all Sunnis and not the Shia. This agreement on a framework has already removed the pariah status of Iran. We are going to start hearing "their side of the story" from the nations they reconciled with over the last months. Israel has been Iran's sworn enemy since a religious people overthrew the Shah and organized their society around that religion. Israel has nuclear weapons, as does Pakistan, which is working closely with Iran's other avowed enemy -- the Sunni monarchy and the Wahhabi clerics of Saudi Arabia. Which of us, if we were the rulers of Iran, would not consider a nuclear weapon a needed defense in such a neighborhood?
IN NIGERIA, THE MUSLIM BEATS THE CHRISTIAN; AND THAT WILL HELP STOP BOKO HARAM AND GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION
In an April 2015 election Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim from the North, defeated Goodluck Jonathan by several million votes in Nigeria's Presidential election. Nigeria is the largest of the African nations (175 million), and divided into oil-rich Christian southern states and northern Muslim states where Boko Haram has thrived in the last years. The election of an austere Muslim may be very good news for the country as it clearly needed new leadership to provide basic security as well as clean up rampant corruption. The former military leader is no fan of Boko Haram and civil disorder.
Here is a good short review of communal loyalties and Nigeria. Many Chrisian-majority districts voted for the new president as many Nigerians believe their country can be a model for how Muslims and Christians can live together in an orderly civic society.
It is great failure of today's emasculated Catholic culture that huge populations of the Christian world which need a much more robust protective and fraternal understanding of the nation are not creating personalities who can rule. Muslims, leftists, and economic secularists all seem to better prepare men to exercise the authority needed to rule a state. We must remember the real meaning of that beatitude about the development of civic order: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
SAUDI ARABIA UNLEASHES THEIR AIR FORCE -- THEY PASS OVER AL QAEDA AND TARGET SHIA HOUTHIS FIGHTING AQAP IN YEMEN
The multi-monarch coalition which the Sauds have assembled to bomb the Houthis of Yemen is a formidable force against an ancient tribe which has a long history of autonomy fights in Yemen. It is a major escalation by the Sauds in actually organizing a strike force which they have not done against the two worst Salafist opponents of the US: the Islamic State in Iraq/Syria and AQAP in Yemen. It is cartoon history to label this Saudi intervention as an innocent play to keep the bad wolf of Iran out of the Arabian Pennisula. This Saudi intervention marks another front in the war that will oppose any armed Shia, Jewish, or Christian state in the House of Islam as defined by the Wahhabi-Salafist school of Sunni Muslims. Here is the Saudi argument.
A good recap of Saudi Arabia/Yemen conflict in maps.
The US has joined this attack against Yemen's Kurds, while the enemies of the Houthis know where to find them to maximize damage: ISIS in Yemen.
Should the US really ally with the Saudis crossing a national border to suppress a form of Islamic worship they despise?
Just to remind us how "our ally Saudi Arabia" treats freedom of religion for Christians: Grand Mufti on Christian churches.
The Saudi-Sunni tie to nuclear weapons is through their alliance with Pakistan.
ANOTHER FAILURE TO PROTECT IN AFRICA -- MUSLIM SOMALIA CROSSES INTO CHRISTIAN KENYA
On Holy Thursday of 2015 members of al Shabab (the Youth-a Salafist Sunni extremist movement) crossed 120 miles outside their Somalian border to kill 150 Christian college students at Gerissa University in eastern Kenya.
Early in the history of Al Qaeda there was criticism by Muslim scholars that too many Muslims were being killed in terrorist attacks. This diminshed their religious legitimacy. The radical Sunni variant in Somalia (al Shabab) has corrected that indiscriminate killing by separating, then killing, Christians in Holy Week. Somalia is a country of 10 million, with 99% Sunni and 83% of Somalian ethnic origin. Kenya (44 million population: 83% Christian 11% Muslim with 3/4 Sunni) and Ethiopia (94 million population: 63% Christian and 34% Muslim) are their western neighbors.
IN INDIANA, MIKE PENCE PLAYS PILATE AS THE MOB SEEKS BLOOD
Elijah told the Israelites they could no longer limp along serving two masters: the Living God or Baal. The reason the Indiana Legislature passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was to protect Christians from undue involvement in three new civil-rights areas that Catholics consider a desacralization of nature: sodomy, contraception, and abortion. When asked if this act might involve discrimination against gays, a very level-headed and good man (Governor Michael Pence) became the stuttering Pilate. The only honest answer to that query is to say "yes" -- it would give Christians a chance to raise a religious defense if they were being asked to cooperate in some significant manner with an immoral act. This act would not have been enacted if there was not some deep disagreement about what is holy and what is an abomination in America. The capitulation of the political leadership to the corporations and gay activists is understandable. Until religious leaders begin to talk in a very different language about these sexual taboos, we cannot expect civic leaders to recover the language that reminds us sacred Selma was never intended to be a bridge to Sodom.