by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
TRUMP AT THE UN: WAS THAT WOODROW WILSON OR NIKITA KRUSHCHEV?
There were two speeches interwoven when President Trump addressed the UN General Assembly on September 19, 2017. There was the man "standing here in my own home town as a representative of the American people addressing the people of the world." He was calling for "a great reawakening of the nations for a revival of their spirits, their pride, their patriotism, and their people." He praised "the institution founded in the aftermath of two world wars...on a vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect sovereignty, preserve security and promote prosperity." He reminded the nations that Americans since the end of WWI have stood against empire and for the self-determination of peoples and nations. This included rebuilding the defeated enemy nations of Japan and Germany after WWII. President Trump's eloquent message from New York is going to resonate deeply through the next decades. The message of nations under God will be carried by actors we cannot even imagine a week after his speech. Woodrow Wilson's ringing endorsement of self determination at Versailles was embraced by national liberation movements through the century. From Egypt to Vietnam, political men heard Wilson's very American non British call to the nations (Wilson may not have impressed the Boston Brahmins of the US Senate but his affect on anti colonial nationalism was undeniable. See The Wilsonian Moment.) Trump's speech will have a similar galvanizing resonance with a new generation of strong male nationalist leaders. The nations especially of South America are ready to move beyond the capitalist vs socialist paradigm to renew the patriotic love of country at the heart of economic nationalism. Men with "sacred souls" under an almighty God love their countries and will seek to escape the twisted knots and dead ends of the Cold War. President Trump evoked these deep spiritual loves in a speech that would be inconceivable to the Clinton/Bush/McCain/ party elites. It was as if the vision of Woodrow Wilson and the Atlantic Charter of FDR were being explained by Theodore Roosevelt. There is a true eloquence and international political vision here that should be carefully read and absorbed by patriots of nations, small and large alike.
Then Nikita Khrushchev showed up banging his shoe and promising a burial. "We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." The "small group of rogue regimes" which the many righteous must oppose was another way to say "an axis of evil". Russia in the Ukraine and China in the South China Sea were warned to stay inside their own borders. It wasn't clear if the security and cultural regional concerns of our two WWII allies would be managed by the U.S. from across the sea or the U.N. from within the bureaucracy. Socialism faithfully applied in Venezuela and still applied in Cuba was properly mocked and then unimaginatively isolated. Economic sanctions remain the cruel weapon of choice for free market democracies. Except for drones, it is hard to imagine a more effete and elitist form of conflict.
Iran was numbered among the rogues and the Saudi invasion of Yemen was blamed on Iran's outside meddling. President Trump has now become the clearest proponent of the Saudi-Israeli vision of the Mideast. He also seems to be embracing the American foreign policy establishment's notion that regional powers like Iran, Russia and China are not to be granted hegemony in their own regions. We should thank him for his clarity and learn from his invigorating nationalist internationalism. We should seriously contest his strategic assessment of our allies and foes amidst the religious and national wars that mark our age.
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
"DOGMA LIVES LOUDLY WITHIN YOU": "Nature will always defeat ideology." A good round up of sexual clarity and insanity by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput
MARY IS PERFECT; PETER MAKES MISTAKES: Two dimensions of the Church.
THE VIETNAMESE BISHOP FROM AUSTRALIA IS MUCH MORE OPEN TO HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS THAN OTHERS: Does his history of being homosexually assaulted make him an expert with insight or a victim with a twisted memory?
THE DEATH OF A CARDINAL: An unsettling review of the life and times of Britain's leading cleric - Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.
CARDINAL SARAH ON THE FRENCH REVOLUTION,THE VENDEE AND COUNTRY CHRISTIANS AGAINST SECULAR ELITES: A perceptive historical review by the French-speaking African.
INTRODUCING JERRY SALYER: The author who highlights the Cardinal Sarah insights is a Catholic philosopher from Kentucky, Jerry Salyer. A crisp writer who is bringing a wider historical and patriotic perspective to the world of Catholic orthodoxy. Salyer on Bannon and Christopher Lasch. Salyer, Chesterton, and Pope John Paul II on love of country. Salyer on the White Rose pamphlets against Hitler. From one of those White Rose pamphlets:
Behind the concrete, the visible events, behind all objective, logical considerations, we find the irrational element: The struggle against the demon, against the servants of the Antichrist. Everywhere and at all times demons have been lurking in the dark, waiting for the moment when man is weak; when of his own volition he leaves his place in the order of Creation as founded for him by God in freedom; when he yields to the force of evil, separates himself from the powers of a higher order; and after voluntarily taking the first step, he is driven on to the next and the next at a furiously accelerating rate. Everywhere and at all times of greatest trial men have appeared, prophets and saints who cherished their freedom, who preached the One God and who His help brought the people to a reversal of their downward course. Man is free, to be sure, but without the true God he is defenseless against the principle of evil.
II. NATIONS R&G ROUND UP
JAPAN'S ABE ON NORTH KOREA: Intolerable.
ON RUSSIA: EAST OR WEST? EUROPE OR ASIA? A good synthesis by a St. Paul man, Matthew Franklin Cooper.
IN PRAISE OF BORDERS: Nice 'First Things' essay.
SPAIN AND CATALONIA: Comparisons before Catalonia;s October 1 vote for secession from Spain (NB That vote will not accomplish the deed).
SAUDIS, IRANIANS, AND TERROR: Who did blow up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996 killing 19 US servicemen? The Saudis eventually settled on a Shiite Iran led attack though there are many who saw this as a Salafist Sunni al Qaeda operation. It makes a difference. US troops moved to central Saudi Arabia where they could be better protected and eventually Oman. A central concern of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda has been the desecration of the Saudi kingdom by the presence of Crusader foreign troops. The Shiites had a very different perspective on the Royal Saudis and the Holy Cities. The identification of the worldwide salafist Sunni movement of jihadist terror with the establishment of a Shiite nation in Iran continues to be one of the great religious/political confusions of our times.
III. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
VIOLENCE AND FREEDOM: FROM WHENCE THE THREAT? Pat Buchanan.
RACE AND SEX INTERSECT ON CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT TRIALS: Who could have guessed it?