RELIGION, NATION, MARRIAGE: THE LOYALTIES OF MEN
PRAY, WORK, STUDY, PROTECT: THE DUTIES OF MEN


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, August 19

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch


THE WEEKLY BRIEF

A Charlottesville resident Jason Kessler organized a Unite the Right rally in his town on Saturday Aug 12 to gather around the statue of Robert E Lee in Emancipation Park (renamed from Lee Park in June 2017) to protest the decision of the City Council (Feb 6,2017) to remove the statue. Like the old leftist United Front campaigns, this was meant to garner wide support for a popular cause while giving cover to organizations with deeper ideological commitments(to white supremacy, racial purity, anti Jewish theories). Part of these groups are "white identitarians" who demand in the world of diversity identities to have one of their own. On Friday evening before the demonstration there was a dramatic torch parade led by the white supremacist anti Jewish forces through the campus of UVA. The best reporting of this was done by VICE news. This woman is a true reporter letting the participants tell the story by speaking themselves.

The leftist counter protesters had a permit for a neighboring park but brought their group close enough to direct their outrage at the the rightists. CNN has a good report on ANTIFA.  Here is a tribute to ANTIFA from  minsters who say ANTIFA  saved their lives. The counter protesters had multiple Communist and old left sponsors but identifying that sponsoring list is difficult to find in most news stories. (except for NYTimes behind a paywall).    The Governor declared the city in a state of emergency a few minutes after the demonstration was to start. The role of the police in keeping the peace is in dispute. There is significant evidence that the same troubling tendency of urban police to stand back as leftist protesters use violence against "the right" was a major part of the whole story in Charlottesville. What is different here from Trump rallies and college speeches by Ann Coulter is that many elements of the Unite the Right came prepared to fight back. With no police in between, they had plenty of opportunities.  James Alex Fields of Ohio is under arrest after driving his car into large group of the counter protesters and killing a 32 y.o. woman, Heather Heyer. Was the driver trying to kill as many people as possible or was he in fear of a Reginald Denny incident? That will be the question at his trial.  He was fatherless from childhood and has a significant history of violence and racism.

President Trump in his first press conference on the day of the violence condemned bigotry, hate and violence on both sides. At his next press conference, he condemned neo nazis and white supremacists specifically but again said there was violence on both sides and that there were plenty of good people opposed to removing statues of Robert E Lee from our public spaces. "Where will it end?  ...Washington? ... Jefferson?" .   None of this has been enough for the mainstream and neoconservative "never Trump" media. They tell a narrative of  Donald Trump supporting white supremacy and white supremacists supporting Donald Trump. The media have been repetitive in publicizing a David Duke tweet thanking the President for calling out left wing violence. This was reported as definitive proof that white supremacists are Trump men and Trump is in his heart  one of them.  Watch the VICE video though and see how white supremacists are anti Trump and livid that he would betray the race by allowing "his beautiful daughter" to marry the Jew Jared Kushner. That disavowal of Trump by a major racist player in the protest has yet to be noted by most media.
The alt right is a very loose term for all conservatives and libertarians who used the internet and alternative(alt) media to take on the "fake right" which they defined as the Republican party of Bob Dole and George Bush and the neocon saturated Fox News. Plenty of white racists include themselves in this broad term and in fact enjoy the big tent hiding space. But to call the alt right a white supremacist movement would be like calling  the US labor struggle a Trotskyite movement.  Ever since Donald Trump presented himself for the Presidency,  there has been a concerted widespread movement to identify American nationalism with racism. There are ethnic nationalists like Pat Buchanan who accept that label  without the Nazi addendum.  But there is a much bigger movement of American nationalists who believe that our borders define a territorial community which includes  every color and class--this is called civic nationalism. It was the creed of both John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The southern military tradition that fought for the Confederacy has also bled for the Union in the American revolution and disproportionally in our wars of the 20th century. Those statues have been redeemed by the blood of Southern soldier patriots. Those honored civic patriots can teach all of our young men about manly duty and the fraternity of citizenship. As Robert Lee knew, patriotism begins with the land around you. His example can help educate our young men who have been  tricked by black power and now are deceived by white power. They need to think like mature men-like protectors of a shared space and bounded community. That is what our cities and states as well as our nation really are.

 Black men and white men have carried our American flag and have died for it. We are American brothers under God.   Religious, civic, economic and territorial nationalism is not the enemy. There is a message here  for the Ivy League globalists who scoff at their unwashed countrymen to network with their white Swedish and Canadian counterparts in the media, universities and high finance. Quit defacing our flag by equating nationalism with white racism! Your careers in the WASPish power couple empire are not as important as jobs for black, brown and white men who work with their hands. Quit inflaming the men who will fight and do physical work  by deliberately confusing the discussion of national loyalty and identity. We must reorient our loves to God and country.  Only such a communal identity and purpose can socialize young males from the temptations of drug use, promiscuity and predation. Love of nation under God and a decent respect for the office of the Presidency is not the problem. It is the religious and interracial solution to the atheistic chaos of our troubled times. It is especially needed for our young men in search of that transcendent  communal duty which gives them their identity as men. Charlottesville is a great place to start talking about that.          

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

MARRIAGE AND CATHOLIC LAWExcellent article. Here is one of the comparisons of Canon Law 1917 and Canon Law 1983. Consent is called the “efficient cause” of marriage. Without it, there is no marriage. The Catechism explains it well:
1. 1626: “The Church holds the exchange of consent between the spouses to be the indispensable element that ‘makes marriage.’ If consent is lacking, there is no marriage.”

2. It has been a shift the 1983 Code took from its predecessor, the 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code in this particular issue.
Let’s go back to the wording. The new Canon says that the content of marriage consent is the act of the will of a man and a woman to give and accept each other (as spouses) to establish marriage. Compare it to the previous wording of the 1917 Code, where it was established that marriage consent was the act of the will where the parties agreed to give and accept the rights to the body (ius ad corpus), perpetual and exclusive, for the purpose of performing the actions apt by their nature to procreate children. This is an example of the iuscorporalism that prevailed in the 1917 Code. The new Code reflects the vision of Vatican II, a personalist one. You accept the other person as your spouse, not merely a perpetual and exclusive right over his/her body to have children.



II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST

AFGHANISTAN - AN EXCELLENT HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF OUR PRESENT PREDICAMENT. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS WERE LESS HELPFUL BECAUSE ROLES FOR INDIA (OF THE "OUTER CIRCLE") AND IRAN (OF THE "INNER CIRCLE") WERE LEFT UNDEVELOPEDThe Brookings report with good maps and dialogue format. Especially heed Bruce Reidel. Missing is a better discussion of a role for Iran. Iran is the western neighbor of Afghanistan. A water dispute is a present issue of contention. But there are much deeper ties between the neighbors, especially from central Afghanistan. Iran fought with the the US and Afghans in ousting Al Qaeda. But the long term resilience of the Taliban has led Iran to grant them some eastern hegemony as the Iranians' link to the Hazara in the central part of the country was well as the main government. The Hazaras are the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan. They speak a Persian language variant and are overwhelmingly Shiite. What the Afghan Pashtuns are to Pakistan and southeast Afghanistan so are the Hazaras to Iran.

A few excepts from the discussion:
JOHN ALLEN: On the similarity of Taliban in Afghanistan and leftist revolutionaries in Columbia. ...the forensics on the Taliban as a threat. I would propose to you that the threat is a triangular one, where you have the ideological insurgency; you have, very importantly and perhaps even more prominent, the criminal patronage networks; and then you have the drug enterprise that fuels both of the first two. These three aspects of the threat have been present the entire time.

BRUCE RIEDEL: The Afghan Taliban is very resilient for many reasons, one of which is that they represent the aspirations in the Pashtun community—not all of the Pashtun community, but a significant portion of it. They also have successfully portrayed themselves as fighting against foreign interference—in particular, non-Muslim interference; this is why one of the problems of our allied force posture in Afghanistan is that there are always too many Christians and not enough Muslims, and it’s unlikely we are going to be able to fix that problem any time in the future. So the Taliban’s appeals to deeply-rooted Pashtun interests, to nationalism, and to Islamic values all at once, are an important part of their resilience.

But in my view, none of this would be as dangerous as it is if the Taliban didn’t have safe haven and sanctuary in Pakistan—and confidence that, no matter what we do to them in Afghanistan, they can reconstitute. It’s not just the Pakistani intelligence services; there is a sizeable part of the Islamic clerical establishment in Pakistan that is openly supportive of the Afghan Taliban, and sees the conflict as a righteous and holy war, and therefore facilitates fundraising in Pakistan, and even more fundraising in Dubai. While I think there’s a lot of fundraising in Saudi Arabia, Dubai seems to be at the heart of it.

So if these are the sources of the Afghan Taliban’s resilience, then we have to ask ourselves what among those things we can fundamentally change? We are not going to change Pashtun identity—not in 10 years, not in 20 years, not in 200 years.

BRUCE RIEDEL: The Saudis have some leverage in Pakistan. But they have lost the influence they once had due to the war in Yemen. Two years ago, Pakistan’s parliament voted unanimously to reject Saudi requests for Pakistani troops to fight in Yemen. Criticism of the kingdom has become widespread. So I’m skeptical that the Saudis will be a player. China is the most important player for the Pakistani military.

BRUCE RIEDEL: It seems to me there have been two concentric circles here. The outer circle is huge, and it includes Japan, Russia, China, India, the Gulf countries, and the Europeans. We have engaged fitfully with those partners. Former U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke succeeded in creating a counterpart in nearly every one of those countries—and the few who still endure are desperate to find someone to talk to in Washington. That engagement is well worth doing and important to do. But it’s an outer circle.

The inner circle features the two countries—Pakistan and Iran—that have the longest borders with Afghanistan. One of our problems all along has been that one of those countries is beyond the pale. The one period where we were actually making a lot of progress quickly is 2002, when we enlisted the Iranians as a co-partner in Afghanistan. But if the current administration has now determined that Iran is the number-one threat to world peace, I don’t see how we’re going to get much help there. In fact, I already see signs that the Iranians are looking at Afghanistan as one of the places to stick it to the Americans if they want to pursue a significant anti-Iran policy; Iraq, obviously, is another. There’s a definite uptick in Iranian interaction with the Afghan Taliban, and that’s not good.

Then there’s Pakistan. There is no single Pakistani policy on Afghanistan; there are multiple Pakistani policies. Even within the Pakistani army, there are multiple Pakistani army policies on Afghanistan. I’ll save the “what-to-do-about-Pakistan” part of this until we get to policy recommendations. But I think the Iran problem is a big hole here, and it’s going to get worse.
CONGRESS AND AFGHANISTAN - ISN'T THAT ONE OF THEIR JOBS? Andrew Bacevich reminds Congress that Afghanistan is their Vietnam.

PAKISTAN - A LEADER DISPLACED:
One brother out, another brother in. 



III. NORTH KOREA AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY IN ASIA

KOREA: ULTIMATELY IT IS A QUESTION OF WHOSE SIDE IS CHINA ON? Trump is clear about the consequences of any incursion on American soil (which means Guam most of all). Tillerson proposes diplomacy to escape the inevitable fury of war. Standard American Jacksonian foreign policy. A good history lessonDavid Ignatius unlike so many journalists understands history and it often shows in his writing about foreign policy. Graham Allison of Harvard has written on the likelihood of a US-China war. He sees the North Korean crisis in terms of a war with China. That is how every president saw it until the last decade and we should see it now. Mark Bowden lists options with Korea. None are good; some are catastrophic. From our Map on Monday series: Korea.

American targets for North Korea. US footprint. In South Korea there are 30,000 troops with 200,000 Americans in the whole country. Most of the troops are in the 35 mile area between the DMZ (165-mile boundary between North and South Korea) and Seoul, the South Korean capital with 25 million people in the metro area. There are 50,000 American troops in Japan. Half are on Okinawa, a Japanese island 470 square miles in size 1000 miles from North Korea. The US forces are not universally welcome (an understatement). There are another 50,000 American civilians throughout Japan.

Guam is a US territory unlike the bases our military and civilians occupy in South Korea and Japan. Guam has an 85% Catholic population (like their Philippine neighbors, this is a gift from their Spanish heritage). The target in Guam is not just the 4,000 military personnel and Anderson Airbase. The 160,000 US citizens who live there do not appreciate the way they have been discussed in the press. They are part of the Mariannas island chain (WWII marines remember Tinian and Saipan especially). The 53,000 commonwealth residents of North Marriannas qualify to be US citizens.

North Korea will not target the South Korean population. Their first target will be American military bases and ships, then possibly the American citizen population on Guam. North Korea must establish this as a fight between Asian nations and the American imperialist. "America wants your nuclear weapons," they will tell Pakistan and India. Look what happened to Gadaffi after he gave up his weapons and see how well the Iran nuclear deal is going for the Iranians who turned over weapons grade uranium. Asian nations all cheered when tiny Japan beat Russia in 1905. On August 10, 2017 the US provoked China by sailing within 12 miles of a Chinese naval island they built off their own coast in the South China Sea for border defense. The Chinese see the US threats to North Korea in light of a 200-year history of western powers meddling in the lives of the nations of the East. There is a possibility that China could help the US resolve this matter but the likelihood is that China will see the US disarmament project as quite self serving as the US threatens the much more modest defense building of China. Henry Kissinger has reminded us in his must-read China that the one issue China will go to war over is infringing on their borders or threatening their near neighbors (see Korean War 1950-53).

GUAM, THE PHILIPPINES, AND THE CARELESS APPROACH OF THE CATHOLIC HIERARCHY TO THE NATIVE BOYS OF ASIA: Their Catholic Church in Guam is in "episcopal receivership" after the Archbishop was relieved of his duties by Pope Francis in 2016. There has been a long history of homosexual clerical collusion at the highest levels in abuse of young males - many more male teens as usual than small children. This is mindful of the other Catholic Asian country we once counted as an American ally. Their Catholic clergy was also corrupt in these matters. The new President of the Philippines talked about this in a compelling interview on his leadership and his new foreign policy alliances with Russia and China. His experiences as an abuse victim of Catholic clergy is part of his sensibility that the US and Europe speak with a double tongue. He says the clergy didn't take seriously the abuse of native boys. He closed that part of the interview with this: "Let me clear. I believe in God but not in priests."

JAPAN - THE RISE OF NATIONALISMA critical video, but there is plenty here to learn from. Vox is left wing but often very reliable source of news based on history.

DUTERTE INTERVIEW ON USE OF VIOLENCE AS A RULERInterview on his "predicament of facing large contamination of drugs against children and country." He says America speaks with double talk, so does EU. So he seeks China and Russia as allies.


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

ST LOUIS - A KING AND A RULER: We need many more heroes and tales of men of authority. Without just men who will physically protect, the weak will always be vulnerable and the poor always oppressed. Without authority, there is no community.

THE STRATEGIC ALLIANCE OF FEMINIST DEMOCRATIC HAWKS AND REPUBLICAN NEOCONS: The female editor of Nation magazine has the best analysis of the anti-Trump Washington establishment driving us to war with Russia and Iran.

AT GOOGLE, A YOUNG MAN JAMES DAMORE WRITES A MEMO POSITING THERE ARE BIOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN GENDERS WHICH MAY BE A BETTER EXPLANATION OF MALE PREPONDERANCE IN TECH INDUSTRIES THAN SEXISM: He was fired as a heretic against the abiding state religion of Diversity enforced primarily by Google, large corporations, and government employers through human resource firing practices. This "your job or your soul " blackmail is rampant in the national military as well as state and local law enforcement agencies. This human resource strategy has been one of the few enforceable ethics/thought systems which have transcended tenure claims in universities. His full memo with citations.

This recalls the firing of once Harvard President Lawrence Summers. He too thought gender differences might explain the lack of females in the highest positions in mathematics and engineering fields. His suggestions were mild. His punishment swift. Summers had an interesting relationship with Elena Kagan at Harvard. Though he first opened a big door for her, female careerists did a lot better than men who spoke too freely. Under now Supreme Court Justice Kagan, the US military was never given the fast track access that has marked her remarkable career rise.

His treatment is a prime example of ritual defamation. He is right about gender differences. "The no gender differences crowd are the young earth proponents of the left."

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