by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
POPE SAYS RELIGIONS ARE NOT AT WAR - IS THAT RIGHT? There are many on the right who are quite offended when the Pope says the slitting of the priest’s throat during Mass was not part of a war between religions. The Pope, like President Bush and President Obama, has refused to cast the conflict as a war of Islam vs. America, or Islam vs. Christianity. Marion Le Pen of France calls the enemy ISLAMISM. American Republicans have said we should call them RADICAL ISLAM. Islam means submission to the will of God. It is not the will of God that Christians be beheaded, that Jews be hated, and that Shiites be murdered. What should we call the Salafist jihadists who consider themselves a purified form of Islam? Any term which links the violence to Islam but makes distinctions from the religion as a whole is a far better solution than treating terrorists as individual criminals with peculiar violent pathologies. We do not like either of these expressions because they further a narrative of religion as a carrier of irrational violence. We must keep our eyes on both of the enemies which are flanking us - the jihadists and the atheist gender ideologues. Each are hiding under the cover of a good - one speaks for God and the other speaks for freedom. In the name of individual freedom the sexual ideologues are preventing the natural protective alignment needed for war - males united guarding the periphery under strong male leadership.
It is not a war among religions. Religions obligate men to God. This is a war with men who are not obligated to God or their fellow men. There are demonic forces twisting both Islam and Christianity. Muslims who love God and desire to fulfill His will (and there are plenty of them), and Muslims who believe in national communities as worthy of fundamental if not ultimate loyalties - these Muslims will help us fight the jihadists.
The Salafist jihadi movement which has many armed fronts such as ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Al Shabaab should be identified as agents of Satan -- not men of religion. That is the naming which gives religious men the license to take up arms. Yes, we really do think we have God on our side. Only God is big enough to enclose the coalition of Christian and Muslim nations needed to erase the jihadists. Men of religion have an obligation to fight these forces. It is not the will of God to behead Christians, teach hatred of Jews, bomb the Shiites of Yemen, and slit the throat of a priest during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We look for Muslims who will break with the epicenter of this ideology -- the Wahhabi cult holding Mecca and Medina under the protection of the Saudis. These Muslims will have to be radically clear that their allegiance is to the will of God, not the twisted movement that now infects so much of Sunni Islam. (In that sense, truly radical Islamists are allies, but we understand that language is not helpful). Our Muslim allies have to be radically tuned to God’s will, not the deceit and blackmail of the Salafist jihadists. They will have to fight in some national form or seek some new national protectorate for the Holy Cities. Islam (submitting to the will of God) is the spiritual force which must defeat the demonic jihadist ideology. As Christians we call it the primary petition in the Lord’s prayer: that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Submitting to God’s will can unite Muslims with Christian men who also seek to do God’s will and fight His true enemies. The Pope will not organize this coalition - temporal national leaders with religious sensibilities must. It is the men of religion against the men of Satan. For those who say we cannot call these killers demonic - what shall we call them? Too fervent Muslims? And to those who are against calling Christian men as Christian men to protect Christians around the world and in our own countries, would they rather have our foreign policy dictated by atheists who have a Darwinian view of friends and enemies? Religions are not at war. Men of God and our communal forms - religions and nations - are at war with Satan and those who are spreading the cult of death in both jihad and the sexual revolution. Father Jacques Hamel was the priest killed while saying Mass in France. He had been a soldier in the Algerian war. He kicked at his killers before they killed him. He resisted their order to kneel. His last words named the enemy and have given us our battle cry- ‘Va-t’en, Satan!’ — ‘Begone, Satan!’”
FRANCE: Marion Le Pen says we kill Islamism or they kill us. Much more importantly, she urged Christians to join the military. She is a serious Catholic who accepts the secularity of the French government and the cultural dominance of Christianity in France. Pierre Manent on France after the death of a priest.
MODERNITY AS METAPHYSICAL COLLAPSE: One of the best articles I have ever read.
II. NATIONS R&G ROUND UP
ISRAEL AMONG THE NATIONS - NETANYAHU'S MAP TO SHOW FOREIGN POLICY (SEVERAL SURPRISES): Let’s hope this Men & Maps approach to explaining the world catches on. This formulation by Netanyahu should cause a good deal of American conversation. The Prime Minister shows with his color-coded map that Israel has five active enemies: Iran, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea. Among the countries in red (newer better relations) are Russia, India, China and Turkey. His new allies are very encouraging - the way he assembles his enemies, however, is at odds with much of US strategy. This deep division with “our primary Mideast ally” has to be resolved. We should stop talking about Palestine and start trying to build a coherent strategy in which Israel and the US are fighting the same enemies and cultivating the same allies.
RUSSIA, DUGIN, AND MACKINDER - UNDERSTANDING THE GEOPOLITICS OF RUSSIA NATIONALISM: An excerpt from new book by Charles Clover on Russian nationalism.
III. ISLAM, WAR, AND THE MIDDLE EAST
COULD TURKEY BE THE SUNNI NATION THAT WILL HELP AGAINST THE JIHADISTS OR DOES IT SEEK THE CALIPHATE ONCE MORE: Interesting musings by William Kilpatrick. Turkey has 50 US nuclear warheads. Is NATO looking like an alliance or a danger for the US? Or will Turkey help Europe look south and stop ISIS? A history of coups have never meant exit from NATO. De-Gulenification - a good thing, a bad thing? It is definitely happening. More on the intra-Islamic battle.
HOW DO YOU FIGHT AN IDEOLOGY AND A MOVEMENT, NOT AN ORGANIZATION: Good distinctions by George Friedman of Stratfor.
HOMELAND SECURITY - PREOCCUPIED WITH AIRPLANES, OBLIVIOUS TO MORE FUNDAMENTAL THREATS: Real 'civil defense' - now more than ever.
ARMS DEALERS - ARE THEIR CONCERNS OUR CONCERNS: Whenever I hear that arms dealers are the cause of war, I think of old 1920 pacifists blaming them for WWI. But now, I think there is more story here than we usually ascribe.