by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. ISLAM, ISRAEL, AND THE MIDDLE EAST
DID US KILL OMAR THE CHECHEN? Here is a profile of one of ISIS' top military commanders possibly killed in March 2016. Note, again, the role of Saudi-funded mosques in the radicalization of Muslims of Georgia and Chechnya. Note as well the recruiting power of charismatic men willing to fight and die for a cause.
DEAD NUNS AND A REVIVED ISIS IN YEMEN: Four sisters of the Daughters of Charity were killed by ISIS gunmen in Aden, as the Saudi war against Shiite Houthis of Yemen clears areas for Salafist Sunni expansion.
ISRAEL FOREIGN POLICY AND U.S. NOT ALWAYS THE SAME: From Foreign Policy article:
On the Israeli side, top officials have confirmed that Hezbollah continues to be one of the country’s top security threats and raised the possibility of a large-scale offensive against the group. “Iran is waging a war against Israel via proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon, who today poses the most serious threat to Israel,” said Israeli army chief Gadi Eizenkot, architect of the 'Dahiya doctrine,' named after a southern suburb of Beirut, which calls for a disproportionate use of force to achieve military objectives.THE REMARKABLE PEW SURVEY IN ISRAEL: Do almost half of Israeli Jews favor transfer or expulsion of Arabs from Israel? If you believe this incredibly enlightening Pew Survey you will see that about the same number of Israelis disagree. The differences between American Jews and Israelis, and the tremendous diversity inside of Israel makes this a fascinating study.
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon went even further. “In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State, I choose the Islamic State,” he said during a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies last month. “Iran determines the future of Syria, and if it leads to perpetuation, Iranian hegemony in Syria will be a huge challenge for Israel.”
“Now Hezbollah has the ability to strike guided munitions across Israel; they can hit targets inside Israel — including central and southern areas — with increased accuracy, including command posts, airfields, and major economic targets,” said Jeffrey W.
ETHIOPIA, EGYPT AND WATER: Daniel Pipes on (63% Christian, 34% Muslim) Ethiopia (population 90 million) high altitude source of 90% of the water of the Nile and Muslim Egypt (population 90 million), in serious need of more water to serve its growing population. The average water supply worldwide is 1,240 cubic meters/per capita. The minimum necessary is considered 1,000 cubic meters/person.
II. PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS
RELIGION AND US VOTING - THE UNCHURCHED AS THE MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2012 Presidential Vote by State and Religious Belief. Source: Exit poll conducted by Edison Media Research.
CONSERVATIVE CATHOLIC INTELLECTUALS ISSUE STATEMENT DEPICTING TRUMP AS THREAT TO REPUBLICAN PARTY AS A VEHICLE FOR CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING: In their statement a visceral disgust emanates which did not chastise Republican Rick Santorum when the pro-life champ played the anti-immigrant card against Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican primaries. Nor from these intellectuals was there a similar emotional revulsion calling for the impeachment of the five Supreme Court judges who sacralized sodomy. And there was no paternal recoil from any of them when candidates Rubio and Bush welcomed the registering of their daughters in the Selective Service System. Not from any of this crowd has there been a willingness to discuss by name the "morally unfit" legion of homosexual priests and bishops who fill the chanceries of the Catholic church in America. But their moral opposition to Trump is deeply emotional and by name. (Let it be clear that having deep social emotions and naming villains by name is a necessary and positive good in public life).
At the heart of the intellectuals' complaint is that Mr. Trump might change the Republican party as a vehicle (though imperfect) of Catholic social teaching. If you think Mr. Trump is arrogant, wait till you hear the professors. High-tech corporate chiefs, the largely atheist Republican foreign policy establishment, the party chieftains who backed Bush and Rubio, the Fox News and talk-radio media are now joined by the Catholic intellectual conservatives. It might have been better for "public intellectuals" to present a Christian narrative of this redefining moment for our nation. This would acknowledge the utter failure of Republican/Democratic partisans to untie the present knot which prevents a Christian American polity from emerging to act in a world caught between the atheist gender ideology of the decadent West and the exuberant world movement of salafist jihadists. (That depiction is from an African cardinal who like Pope Francis has a very different assessment of our times than Ross Douthat and the old Catholic neocons). Instead, they post a preening statement to shun Mr. Trump's working class nationalist movement. A left-wing crowd showed their disapproval a week later in Chicago. They were a little more physical than the professors, which apparently was Mr. Trump's fault too. An Appeal to Our Fellow Catholics.
III. R&G ROUNDUP
THE WEST WAVING SABERS AT CHINA: War With China - considerations of Australian military strategy. John Bolton and conservatives on threats versus diplomacy in relations with China.
BISHOP FABIAN BUSKEWITZ: An interview with a gallant bishop on gender ideology and sexual anarchy in which "a tiny minority of the human race is seeking not just tolerance but acquiescence and support for a perversion that is repulsive to natural human beings."