Saturday, January 27, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, January 27

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch



The eleven page summary of the 2018 US Defense Strategy signed by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is a blueprint for a globalist military policy. (This costs $620 billion a year for 800 bases in 70 countries. We spend three times the next largest spender China and as much as the combined spending of China and the next top seven defense spenders.) President Trump filled his administration with military men of high character, proven competence under fire and unquestioned loyalty to America. Given the rabid, disloyal and threatening opposition to him in the State and Justice Departments as well as the FBI and National Security Agency, he was very prudent to surround himself with patriotic soldiers. Unfortunately, all of these soldiers especially Secretary Mattis share a  "globalist" strategic worldview. Almost all of our military's intellectual and strategic training has pictured a world in which the US as a global superpower would organize coalitions in different regions to prevent the largest power of the area from "regional hegemony". This has led to what we call "the three encirclements": against Russia by NATO members in Europe; against China by an East Pacific (expanding to Indopacific?) coalition; and against Iran (82 mill pop) by Gulf Sunni States and Israel.

In the words of General Mattis:

The dangers: "China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors. As well, North Korea’s outlaw actions and reckless rhetoric continue despite United Nation’s censure and sanctions. Iran continues to sow violence and remains the most significant challenge to Middle East stability." The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers. It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions. Rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran are destabilizing regions through their pursuit of nuclear weapons and increased sponsorship of terrorism."

A non-inspiring globalist litany of what we fight for: "Failure to meet our defense objectives will result in decreasing U.S. global influence, eroding cohesion among allies and partners, and reduced access to markets that will contribute to a decline in our prosperity and standard of living."

There will be no nationalist agenda in foreign policy until the American nation and our President control the government. President Trump's nationalist foreign policy has barely been formulated as he works to gain control of the actual police apparatus of government that was set against him in the late campaign and after his election victory. For this he needs to keep the present military team around him. Loyalty, courage, level headedness, and institutional patriotism come before all.
The President brings a very different approach to the large nations in the post cold war environment.  President Trump wants to treat Russia as a great nation, a great civilization, with Vladimir Putin as its leader. The President, Jared Kushner, and Henry Kissinger want the same approach toward China and Xi Jinping. His Russian approach is not shared by Vice President Pence nor UN Representative Nikki Haley.  Both of those ex governors have adopted the anti-Russia, anti-Iran line of "hardline Republican realists." The President's openness to China despite his tough trade rhetoric was vigorously opposed by Steve Bannon and almost all Republican hardliners. The President's ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman Jr. is one of the few high level Republicans who gets the new paradigm.
A nationalist strategy toward Israel means first and foremost maintaining the defensible territorial borders which Israel won in in the 1967 Six-Day War.  The President and Vice President are strongly committed to the territorial national integrity of Israel. Their emphasis treats Jerusalem as the capital of a spiritual nation and will eventually put the two-state fantasy to rest. Unfortunately there is no one to make a nationalist argument for the Iranian nation and the Persian/ Islamic civilization it represents. The inability of President Trump to understand that Persian Shiites have established their own legitimate religious expression of national life could become his Achilles heel.

There is no mention in the Strategy Document of the coalition or strategy shaping our fight in Afghanistan. We need other actors to bring peace there and that includes their near borders Iran and Pakistan as well as three strategic perimeter nations-China, India and Russia. There is nothing in the document about the jihadist Sunni movement of Salafism in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Access to global markets and prosperity have a central place. The globalist mentality still sets the vocabulary. . The role of religion in shaping national behavior and the civilizational roles of dominant regional nations seem absent from this conventional inadequate analysis.

We have not seen a real understanding of the religious nature of Salafist terrorism nor a truly  nationalist policy toward Russia and China. A nationalist policy understands other nations in terms of their own "The nation first" perspective. We won't really see "Trump be Trump" and the full implications of a new nationalist foreign policy until the elected president controls his own government. It turns out it takes more than an election. The mass hysteria of the coastal elites allowed an atmosphere of treasonous betrayal by high officials in the name of "saving democracy from the white racist tyrant". This drama must unfold before President Trump will be free to make new alliances with former adversaries like Russia and China.  The Mattis document could have come from fifty signatories of the foreign policy think tanks who so deeply opposed the president in the campaign and still do today.  And yet it is men like Mattis who are most needed at the President's side in these dangerous days.


THE POPE INTERVIEW COMING HOME FROM CHILE AND PERUThe text of papal interview distinguishing proof and evidence. Here is Juan Carlos Cruz - a witness against Bishop Barros. Saying his word is not proof but certainly evidence.

CIVILIZATION AND CHRISTIANITY: From graduate student Paul Krause at Crisis:
Christians, in this civilizational struggle, need to be awakened from their slumber, moral malaise, and decades of being driven into oblivion by political elites who are destroying the spatial revolution from which 2,000 years of Christian fertility has nurtured and guided Western man. Like Frederick Barbarossa entombed at Kyffhäuser waiting to be awakened, so too is the body of Christ waiting to be awakened from its long slumber and retreat. Politics is about how to organize a body, and religion—but especially Christianity—is also about how to organize a body. Christianity is political because man, as Aristotle knew, is a political animal. The abdication of political responsibility by Christians is the great tragedy of our age.
Another article by Krause on love of country. If he is a new kind of university intellectual, we have to reassess our prejudices.

JUDAISM CHRISTIANITY AND THE CONSERVATIVE ALLIANCE: Rabbi Meir Soloveichik and Gary Bauer in video of their talks. The rabbi quotes his 19th century ancestor saying the reconciliation of Jacob and Esau in brotherhood is now the paradigm for Jews and Christians. The rabbi quotes Rabbi Soltoveitchik that dogma not be discussed between Christians and Jews. However the union of Christians and Jews finds each other in the use of a moral language grounded in the sacred. It is a language rejected by the secular elite (and the secular elite is over-represented by Jews). Rabbi Soloveichik argues that the Evangelicals have become the new canary in the American calming. Gary Bauer sees Judaeo-Christian alliance as the heart of the West. He sees Russia and China as enemies as well as "rogue nations". America he says is based on the Torah and New Testament which would regulate the passions of men to allow self governance. The Torah and New Testament are the basis of the second paragraph of the Declaration that acknowledge "truths" and a "Creator".

EVOLUTION AND CHRISTIANITY: An excellent discussion. The author is capable of a good look at biology and metaphysics. And from Darwin himself:
"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes (that is, the ones which look most like the savages in structure) … will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope … the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla."
CHINA AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: One view is that the underground faithful church is being sold out. Another view is that there is no fundamental conflict between a Chinese nation and a Catholic Church and the Chinese are best served by an accord between them. The Chinese government is very aware of the "Christian civil war - the Taiping Rebellion" of the 19th century that cost 20 million lives. They are also aware that Marxism is not a sustainable worldview for the nation's future. Christianity may be. A report on attempts to settle the "bishop problem".

FR. GEORGE RUTLER ON CHURCHMEN WITHOUT CHESTS: In his Idea of a University, Newman wrote:
In his Idea of a University, Newman wrote: "Neither Livy, nor Tacitus, nor Terence, nor Seneca, nor Pliny, nor Quintillian, is an adequate spokesman for the Imperial City. They write Latin; Cicero writes Roman.” The Church needs a Roman vigor that persuades men to rise above self-consciousness. An English bishop reflected: “Wherever St. Paul went, there was a riot. Wherever I go, they serve tea.” In spiritual combat, there is no teatime, and effective strategies cannot be plotted at conferences, synods, workshops, and costly conventions at resort hotels with multiple “break-out” sessions and mellow music. One fears that a fly on the wall at any of those conversations would drop to the floor out of boredom. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8)
GUY BENSON - CHRISTIAN, AMERICAN, CONSERVATIVE, AND GAY--YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT? His Prager University video is articulate. He defines himself by "his ideas". He says leftists define people by gender, race, sexual orientation and other immutable characteristics. He is a good man to talk to about how wrong his theology, metaphysics, and anthropology is. There is a disturbing group of "conservatives" who say they are against "identity politics." But what does that mean? Let's all be disembodied intellectuals? Check your bodies and your country at the door? I consider my gender and territorial living place to be immutable determinants of my political identity as an American male citizen with a set of unchosen obligations and duties that stem directly from that identity. Mr. Benson seems calm, reasonable and a poster boy for conservatism as "ideas". He is very confused.


US IN SYRIA: A clash with Turkey coming? Will US troops be a new buffer between Israel and Syria as well? Syrian Policy outlined by Secretary of State Tillerson at Stanford includes ridding Syria of Assad and stopping "Iranian influence".

ALLIANCES AND AMERICAN TROOPS AS TRIPWIRES: The dangers of entangling alliances and a historical review of American commitments in Europe.

CHINA, KUSHNER, AND CARRYING OUT A NEW POLICY TOWARD CHINA: Jared Kushner ready to treat China as nation and great civilization not an enemy. More insight into China - the proud nation and ancient civilization from interview with Chinese director Wu Jing of the most popular movie in China - Wolf Warrior Two. Making China Great Again.

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