by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
POPE FRANCIS, CARDINAL BURKE, AND THE KNIGHTS OF MALTA:
According to Vatican Insider. A strange report. As this settles out, Cardinal Burke will not fare well.
The Pope and the Knights in Argentina.
Pope accepts resignation, nullifys previous firing as the Council agrees
Disorder in the Order by Edward Pentin at Nat Catholic Register. The Background Story.
The New York Times: Adding some facts and some slant to the tale. The Knights and the Pope
CATHOLICS IN THE CONGO: The Church and the nation.
CATHOLICS IN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION - JFK DEMOCRATS HAVE A NEW LEADER: Profiles of a new lineup.
CATHOLIC PRIESTS, LAWYERS, AND SNAP: A lawsuit against the so-called sex abuse victims group SNAP. It has always seemed that the abuse lawyers and SNAP were much more interested in robbing the deep pockets of the Catholic Church rather than clearing the homosexual-sexual predators and the lavender cover-up culture in the American episcopacy and priesthood. This lawsuit is no surprise.
CATHOLICS IN CONFESSION: The miracle of the confessional box and the presence of Christ on earth.
POPE ON TRUMP AND POPULISM: On Trump the Pope said to wait and see. On populism he said sometimes people look for a savior and Hitler and Germany are a European example. But Pope Francis like Trump is no fan of globalism. He is a populist when the populism is structured by the loyalties of the nation. He is much more Juan Peron than Karl Marx or Adam Smith. Don’t look now but that is true of President Trump as well. Pope Francis did not refer to his Argentine roots but gave another nationalist example that is his favorite. You will not read about this in a media that never quotes all of Pope Francis and always tries to recruit anti Trump interpretations.
(FROM MOYNIHAN VATICAN LETTERS REPORT) In this context, it seems interesting that, a few paragraphs later in this same interview - in a passage that has not been picked up yet by many journalists - the Pope speaks in a positive way of a "populist" phenomenon in Latin American politics which he praises and says was "heroic" in defending the life of the people and nation of Paraguay from those who were "selling out" the nation.
Francis says: "So Latin America must rearm itself with political groups that recover the strength of the people. The biggest example for me is Paraguay after the war. The country lost the War of the Triple Alliance and was left almost entirely in the hands of women. And the Paraguayan woman felt that she had to rebuild the nation, defend their faith, defend their culture and defend their language, and she did it. The Paraguayan woman. She wasn't a cipaya [a word the Pope defines as "the one who sells his homeland to the foreign power who pays him the most"], she defended what was hers, at the expense of anything, but she defended it, and she repopulated the country. I think that she is the most glorious woman in the Americas. That is the case of a position that never gave up. Of heroism.”
JANUARY 28, THE FEAST OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS
Let us now praise famous men.
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST GO TO SYRIA: THE ANTIWAR LEFT TAKES A WELCOME INITIATIVE: Kucinich and Tulsi Gabbard meet Syrian President Assad. Gabbard's video of her trip, praying with Christians whose protector is Assad.
IN BAHRAIN, THE SHIITES TORTURED THEN EXECUTED: The Shiite majority country is ruled by Sunni royalists and militarily supported by the Saudis. Policemen were definitely killed. Now Shiites have been definitely killed. The suppression of Shiite populations wherever they try to overthrow Sunni tyranny goes on.
AN EGYPT-SAUDI RIFT - IS AN ALLIANCE ENDING? This is a highway we want to drive through, supporting Egypt as a true Sunni Arab nation state.
THE SAUDI-ISRAELI ALLIANCE - A GOOD HISTORY: By Michael Totten at World Affairs. We don’t agree with a continuation of this strategy which undermines the US goal of displacing Salafist Jihadism in Sunni Islam. But this is excellent historical reporting of how we got here.
SUMMARY OF SYRIA BY JOSHUA LANDIS - AMERICA’S TRUE EXPERT DOESN'T BUY THE THINK TANK LINE: Excellent interview and summary including present alternatives for Trump administration. The Russians and Assad read the situation. The democracy revolution of McCain and Clinton was western hubris. By arming the revolution which failed we added to the death toll without advancing freedom. Democracy was never a goal and the idea of a unified Syrian national identity apart from the Assad coalition is a fantasy.
THE GLOBALISTS ARE ALL NATIONALISTS FOR THE ONE NATION THAT DOES NOT EXIST: Jimmy Carter and Palestine. The Vatican calls Palestine a State while encouraging European integration and disdaining borders. One man who died for the mythical Palestinian nationalism was Robert Kennedy. One man who killed for his "country" was Sirhan Sirhan. He was not an Islamic terrorist but a Christian Arab nationalist who killed for the cause. There is a real nation-state in the region of Palestine. It is called Israel with an eastern border at the Jordan River. Most of the Mideast nations do not recognize her as a nation-state. That is a very big problem for international order. Erecting a new nation-state in the midst of Israel for a "national community" that only defined itself after they were no longer under the rule of Jordan’s King is one of the principal errors in clear thinking about religion, ethnicity, and the nations in the Mideast.
TWO MEETINGS ON THE SAME DAY -- ONE REALITY BASED ABOUT WATER AND INFRASTRUCTURE; ONE A GLOBAL FANTASY ABOUT AN IMAGINED COMMUNITY (JAN 15, 2017):
Netanyahu - Paris Conference Pushes Peace Further Away: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: "The conference convening in Paris today is a useless conference. It is being coordinated between the French and the Palestinians. Its goal is to try and force terms on Israel that conflict with our national needs. Of course it pushes peace further away because it hardens the Palestinian positions and it also pushes them away from direct negotiations without preconditions. I must say that this conference is among the last twitches of yesterday's world. Tomorrow's world will be different - and it is very near." (Prime Minister's Office)
Israel, PA to Renew Joint Water Committee after Six Years: Israel and the PA signed an agreement on Sunday to renew the activity of the Joint Water Committee to improve and modernize the West Bank water infrastructure. The committee has not met regularly for six years. The agreement will allow the laying of new pipes for water and sewage quickly and efficiently. Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), said, "The signing of this water agreement proves that it's possible to reach understandings and agreements when we discuss issues substantively, bilaterally, clean of extraneous issues, regarding natural resources and additional infrastructures that affect the entire population. Over the past year and a half we've signed four agreements: on electricity, water, mail and 3G cellular infrastructure, which is intended to improve the quality of life for all the populations...
III. PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS
HOPES FOR THE NEW PRESIDENT: On President Trump's inauguration.
PARDONS AND COMMUTATIONS: To Rivera of FALN (Armed Forces of Liberation for Puerto Rico); to Bradley Manning (aka Chelsea).
TRUMP NATIONAL AGENDA VS GLOBALISTS: Pat Buchanan warns about old entangling alliances that serve us no more.
Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.
TRUMP, THE ELITES AND THE ROTARY: Catholic commentator Austin Ruse at his best.
BEN RHODES REFLECTING ON FOREIGN POLICY AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION:
Lets say you have 10 minutes to read an interview and you want to learn more about the real world we live in and what America’s role should be. You can choose between Madeline Albright, Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, John McCain, or Ben Rhodes of the Obama administration. Do not hesitate. Read Ben Rhodes. The most important characteristic of the Obama administration he says was "engagement." This preference for diplomacy over military action was a sea change from the neocon and liberal interventionism which united Hillary Clinton, George Bush, John McCain, and Marco Rubio. If we can get conservatives to stop calling President Obama the worst president ever and ask progressives to stop labeling President Trump as a new Hitler, we will see that what Trump advocates and Obama and Rhodes came to see have remarkable similarities. There are several examples but the most important is that President Obama resisted the "Washington Playbook" and did not escalate against president Assad of Syria. That would have made the new alliance with Syria and Russia against ISIS impossible for President Trump. President Obama allowed himself to be called weak, puny and a reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain. But we are engaged with Iran and not in direct military conflict with Russia and Syria because of his initiatives. This leaves a pathway for Mr. Trump to "unite the civilized world" against ISIS and the Salafist jihadists who are the real enemy.
TUCKER CARLSON ON TRUMP: From a year ago.
IV. EUROPE, RUSSIA, AND NATIONALISM
IN EUROPE A PRESIDENT OF A NATION WHO IS CALLED PRO-RUSSIAN BECAUSE HE WILL MEET WITH HIS REGIONAL NEIGHBOR: Czech President to meet with President Trump.
THE WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT IS NOT POPULISM BUT A RETURN OF THE NATION-STATE: A meeting of different national leaders in Koblenz, Germany. These are not "protesters or anti-establishment." They are adults who understand the nature of political life and the centrality of the nation-state as a military and economic actor. This is true inter-nationalism.
THE CASE FOR A GRAND ALLIANCE WITH RUSSIA: Pieto at National Interest. AOA on Russia as an ally and as a nation. Buchanan on Putin -- a cultural take. Kissinger on Putin, Trump, and Tillerson.
SUPPORT FOR EUROPEAN UNION - RELIGIOUS DIVIDE: Catholics have always been more for integration while Protestants much less: Why?
DAVOS MAN - THE INTERNATIONALIST ELITE AFTER TRUMP AND BREXIT: A good NYTimes reflection with some embarrassing quotes.