Saturday, September 21, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

by A. Joseph Lynch with Commentary from Dr. David Pence


On September 14, Houthi rebels of Yemen staged a drone strike on Saudi Arabian oilfields, an attack that led to temporarily shutting down 50% of Saudi oil output or 5% of the world's oil supply. It was a daring strike on the part of the Houthis, 70,000 of whom have been killed by the Saudis. But the attack was perhaps more symbolic than permanent. The Saudis say their facilities will be fully restored by the end of September and any drop off in production will be replaced with their oil reserves.

Although the Houthis declared they were responsible for the strike and Iran stated it had nothing to do with the attack, Saudi officials declared Iranian responsibility and U.S. officials went so far as to claim the attacks originated in Iran rather than Yemen. President Trump declared the U.S. was "locked and loaded" to fight the culprit behind the attack. Should it be found that the Houthis were responsible, attacking Saudi oil fields as part of a five year war is certainly in the realm of legitimate military targets and should merit no response from the U.S. unless the U.S. wishes to declare war on Yemen and participate more fully in Saudi Arabia's genocidal war with the third world country. The Houthis have now declared an halt to their attacks in hopes of cease fire negotiations with the Saudis. Will we facilitate talks?

More importantly, can we avoid war with Iran and take a more sensible nationalist approach to the region? In our Weekly Brief from May 5, 2018, Dr. Pence argued for a nationalist approach to the Mideast. In it he made the following argument against war with Iran and called for a re-shaping of our foreign policy:
War against Iran will quickly pit us against Iraq, the very country we liberated a decade ago. This will also set us against the two major countries that President Trump should be seeking in a new post Cold War concert of powers: Russia and China. It is time for journalists and senators to elevate the national conversation about our place among the nations as a nation... Our national journalists should be dealing with a war that is looming and a peace that is possible. We must deal in our public discourse with the life and death national decisions facing the President we elected. We have to show him true loyalty as our president so we can have a fruitful discussion with him on policy. We must think like men, like nation-men with a world map shaping our shared imaginations and a historical timeline informing our corporate memory. Candidate Trump once suggested restrictive policies on Muslim immigration until we figure out "what the hell is going on." With Iran, Israel and the salafist jihadists of Saudi Arabia, we have not yet figured out what the hell is going on. We haven't really paid back those murderers who attacked our beloved New York. Can we talk?
While Pat Buchanan declared, "John Bolton may be gone from the West Wing, but his soul is marching on," and he makes some good arguments why our current policy has pressed Iran towards war, we have some hope that the president will pull back from the brink. Rather than launching attacks on Iran and starting an all-out war, the president has declared new sanctions - the bare minimum response based on his past rhetoric regarding Iran. We are troubled, however, that plans are in place to send U.S. troops to defend Saudi Arabia. Putting our men in harms way to protect a nation neither part of NATO nor in an official treaty relationship risks pulling us into war should one soldier be injured or killed. And let's not forget that it was the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia leading up the first Gulf War that led to the terror attacks of 9/11. The president needs guidance and wisdom. Attacking Iran would be his biggest mistake. We hope the cool-headed approach of the president's new NSA will help us come back from the brink.


NO MAGIC BULLET: Church Militant's episode of the The Vortex explains there is no single magic bullet, not even the Latin Mass, that can change the course of our current trajectory. Many, many years of prayer and work are ahead of us.

BISHOPS VS. MARTIN: Some bishops, including Chaput of Philadelphia, are raising concerns about pro-LGBT Jesuit priest, Fr. James Marin, SJ (or SJW?). Are the concerns lip service to "conservatives" or signs of something more? The cordial exchange between Chaput and Martin seems to indicate the former. Liberals like Martin follow in the footsteps of von Balthasar, undercutting truth while skillfully claiming to support it. It's time the bishops channel the warrior spirit of the Church fathers, rather than the diplomatic courtesies of the scholar.

MEGA CHURCH PASTOR SUICIDE: Jarrid Wilson was a husband and father - and a mega church pastor worth upwards of a million dollars.


O'BRIEN AS NSA: President Trump has selected Robert O'Brien as his new National Security Adviser, the fourth of his presidency (following Flynn, McMaster, and Bolton). O'Brien is Trump's chief hostage negotiator, helping to release hostages from North Korea - which should give him some rapport with the Koreans. A lawyer by trade with no military background, he is quite different from the previous NSAs Trump has selected. One commentator describes him as "affable, friendly, a manager, a negotiator - not [a] sort of sharp-elbowed, outspoken figure."

TRUMP AHEAD OF OBAMA: Even Newsweek has to face the facts - Trump is polling ahead of Obama at the same point of his presidency. Good news for Trump.

NYT WALK BACK: The NY Times has had to walk back a tweet and report on Justice Kavanaugh. The paper picked up new allegations against Kavanaugh without reporting that the supposed victim didn't recall the reported incident. And in a now-deleted tweet, the paper pressed the allegations were true despite the lack of evidence or memory on the part of the supposed victim. This didn't stop Democrats from calling for Kavanaugh's impeachment. We hope he sues.

MAHER MOCKS NEVER TRUMPERS: The far left commentator, Bill Maher, mocked conservative Never Trumpers who have joined the liberal media to attack the president. Nichole Wallace, Steve Schmidt, and former RNC chairman Michael Steele are all good examples. In interviewing Steele, Maher asked Steele if he was a Never Trumper - to which he said "No." But when asked if he could ever vote for Trump, his second negative reply was met by the obvious from Maher: "Well that's a Never Trumper!" In the great shift within the parties, liberal media outlets must begin to include the voices of nationalists conservatives rather than the voices of out-of-touch and outdated neoconservatives.

WHO DID ILHAN OMAR MARRY? New reports and deleted tweets emerge yet questions remain.


BLACK FACED PM: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada is embroiled in two scandals. One involves the firing of his attorney general and the other involves multiple photos of him in black face. With his leadership on the line as voters hit the polls on October 21, is Trudeau finished?

MY FAVORITE DICTATOR: Shock waves reverberated as President Trump called Egypt's president, el-Sisi, his "favorite dictator." This stems from the military coup that took place in Egypt, overthrowing the democratically elected Morsi. Some commentary from Dr. Pence on el-Sisi vs. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood:
The Muslim Brotherhood won the 2012 election by a million votes and without fraud. They are part of the Salafist Sunni movement but work through elections and education. Their "democratic" government, however, was a real threat to the Coptic Christians of Egypt and the few Egyptian Shiites (less than a million) and the Egyptian secularists. The Saudi ruling family viewed the Muslim Brotherhood and its populist tactics  as a threat to their royalist ideology. The Saudis actually supported the 2013 military coup by Egyptian General Abdel el-Sisi against President Mohammed Morsi, who is now in prison under a death sentence. President el-Sisi has gone to Coptic Easter services as a sign of religious toleration. In January 2015, he made a major speech to Islamic scholars and said, "We are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world is waiting for your next move." So, we have a government which overthrew a democratically elected salafist party (the Muslim Brotherhood) but protects religious minorities. 

ITALY'S LEFTIST RULE ON THE BRINK: "Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi announced on Tuesday that he was leaving the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) to form his own party, potentially destabilizing the days-old ruling coalition." Dr. Steve Turley weighs in.


TUCKER VS. BIG BUSINESS: Tucker Carlson presents a strong conservative nationalist-populist critique of big business and libertarianism.

LISA BLOOM ADMITS MISTAKE: Lisa Bloom is the only child of civil rights attorney Gloria Alred. While she claims to fight for women's rights, her representation of Harvey Weinstein - which she now says was a mistake - speaks otherwise.

OLDEST PARENTS IN ICU: There's a reason why God made us to bear children at a younger age rather than rely on artificial insemination... in our 70s.

MARTIN VS. TOLKIEN: George R.R. Martin, author of the unfinished Game of Thrones books, has criticized Tolkien for not explaining Aragorn's foreign policy. We suggest he finish his own novels before casting shade at those who have finished theirs... especially when you're criticizing the book of the century

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