by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. PRESIDENT OBAMA, POLICY, AND PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS
PRESIDENT OBAMA TO THE NATION: President Obama's speech. The President asks Congress to have a debate on a war strategy. Mr Trump says stop all Muslim immigration "until our country's representatives can figure out what's going on." That is not so outlandish as it sounds. What is outlandish is that our deliberative institutions -- the Senate and the House of Representatives -- have not put together a clear strategic definition of who we are fighting and why. They owe this to our nation and our military. President Obama is right not to make some major military strategic change because of a single terror attack in California. He is right to say that we cannot be in a "war between Islam and America," He has also said: "It is the responsibility of all Americans - of every faith - to reject discrimination... It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country. It's our responsibility to reject proposals that Muslim-Americans should somehow be treated differently."
But the way not to fight all of Islam is to delineate the particular Muslims we are fighting. You might call that an act of discrimination, which is exactly what we have not had enough of in this conflict. He could not be more mistaken in saying we cannot discriminate against Muslims. Mr Trump is exactly right when he says: "Where this hatred comes from and why, we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life." Trump is saying, quite correctly, that fifteen years after the Twin Towers, we don't understand the danger facing us. Like the president, he calls on Congress to debate and figure this out.
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S RELIGION: Reading this interview with his favorite female theologian-novelist, Marilynne Robinson and the President is a good way to understand President Obama's approach to Christianity. There are no public claims about Christ, history and the Church but there is an abiding sense of the dignity of every human soul (when the soul begins is not addressed). In a strange way, it is an anthropology for libertarians.
THE MASCULINE PROTECTIVE BOND - OUR HISTORIC NATIONAL STRATEGY UNDER ATTACK: Reducing the Civil Rights Movement to an effort to end all discrimination has broken down the fundamental anthropological bonds which rest on sexual distinctions and bind the human species into families and nations. The male-female bond of marriage and the all-male bond of territorial protection are bonds which are fatally undermined by losing their sexual character.
This Marine study on unit performance sees the male-female integration plan as an historic mistake.
When Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that the Pentagon was opening up combat jobs to women, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford was not present. When Dunford was the Marine commandant, he requested exemption for the Marines from the Secretary of the Navy's ruling to open all combat positions to women. President Obama understands the fidelity of soldiers to the military chain of command will help him use this warrior's integrity for the policy of sexual disruption.
The Defense Department seeks an opinion from Justice department to reevaluate the male-only draft registration policy. This setting aside of all American men, ages 18-26, is the remnant of our traditional protective sex roles. We have argued at AOA that the male territorial protective group is as fundamental a communal unit as the male-female character of marriage. Most men in special ops seem to agree.
OBAMA'S STRATEGY: An unfolding strategy is better than a hasty attack. This is the plus side to the president's overall temperament which will allow a true change in alliances in the future.
PARIS CONFERENCE: THE END OF FOSSIL FUELS OR ANOTHER GLOBAL BUREAUCRACY:
The Paris agreement on fossil fuels: hype as hope. How to measure and regulate climate costs -- India asks for justice in an already murky field of study.
WHY THE MEDIA HATES MR. TRUMP: Pat Buchanan on the Fourth Estate and the long battle of the silent majority with the elite media.
II. PUTIN'S RUSSIAN ALTERNATIVE: MEN AND RELIGION
MEN AND MAPS: A look inside Putin's War Room. This is how men learn about the world, from the viewpoint of their own nation.
RUSSIA'S CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE: After the downing of a Russian plane by Turkish forces for a minor violation of airspace, the Russians propose a goodwill gesture: Return the Hagia Sophia.
III. ISLAM, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND TERRORISM
RELIGIOUS WAR IN YEMEN: The US is aiding the purge of Shiites by air attack. Mindful of the British strategy toward the Boers: "If you can't beat their men, make them homeless." One way to see the world through the eyes of Shia is to look at SHIAPAC. A large Shia protest in Washington D.C. shows a voice we have not heard from. We should not ban all Muslims from the US. We must ban some Muslims, however, and we will best learn who they are and how to fight them from other Muslims who are our allies in fighting our common enemies.
TERRORISM IN PAKISTAN: Forty-four Muslims killed on a bus in Pakistan - no provocation. The headline names an ethnic group as victims but guess who shot and who got shot if you distinguish Sunni and Shiite? From the 'Times of India,' in three paragraphs, we are told about the shooters and the war we are in. It is a war that India has been waging for decades. See this good primer from West Point on Deobandi Islam (south Asia's form of Wahhabi Islam). In Naming the Enemy, 'American Conservative' offers the clearest take yet on the enemy within Islam -- not Shia, but Salafist Sunnis. The 'NY Times' offers a good profile of the San Bernardino female shooter: a Saudi girl in Pakistan.
MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE - DANIEL PIPES: This site has a lot of good information. It very much takes the Likud position on all things Israeli, and then assumes this must be best for America. America owes to our ally Israel that we do not become entwined in their deadly embrace with Saudi Arabia. Their fixation with Iran is part of this party line approach, which I think some day will change very suddenly. Then all the neoconservative Mideast experts will suddenly see Iran in a longer perspective, and look again into the deadly eyes of the Saudi royal kingdom and the real nuclear danger in the area: Pakistan.
TERRORISM IN CHINA: A four-part series on the nature of the terrorist threat facing China.