by David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
ABORTION: A SIN REQUIRING MERCY … COME TO OUR PRIESTS AND CONFESS:
Maybe Pope Francis is better at framing a message than his critics allow. The Year of Mercy may feature the Confessional more than the Communion rail. The Church as field hospital and the sacrament of healing available wherever there is a priest.
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
THINKING ABOUT SHIA GOVERNANCE BEFORE THE INVASION OF IRAQ:
Good reporters from the Left piece together how the Bush administration was thinking about the prospects of a Shia government replacing Sunni but secular Saddam Hussein. The alliance of a smaller Shia-based Iraqi state with Iran is the end result. This wasn't predicted but is a very understandable consequence of allowing religiously-based cultures to govern themselves. Now what state will rule the Sunnis in the middle?
THE NEOCONS AND MIDEAST NUCLEAR WEAPONS:
A fascinating history of the neocon project from Wohlstetter to Wolfowitz to Libby in Washington. The commitment to destroy States in the Mideast which might assemble nuclear weapons. A pivotal document written in 1996 by Richard Perle and others for Benjamin Netanyahu advocating a new Israeli policy built on regime change for possible nuclear states in the Mideast(starting with Iraq) in the name of Western values - A Clean Break.
THE 'NYTIMES' TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT SAUDIS--THE LEADING SPONSORS OF WORLD WIDE TERRORISM:
From Thomas Friedman, a long overdue truth in defense of Nuclear deal with Iran.
SAUDI STRATEGY - ADJUSTING TO REALITY:
Walter Russell Mead with his take on the Saudi general interview.
WAR AGAINST SHIA OF YEMEN - NOW A GROUND INVASION:
One site that has reported the ongoing war by Saudi Arabia against the Shiite Houthis of Yemen is the 'American Conservative.' They seem to miss how central the religious aspect of the war is. They downplay this possibly because they think it will feed into the Houthis as a Shiite proxy for Iran. At least they have reported this shameful war which remains beneath the radar of most of the American press. Saudis against Shiite Houthis while letting Salafist Sunni AQAP reap the benefits.
TURKEY AT WAR BUT NOT WITH ISIS:
Another "ally," Turkey, has its peculiar idea of the enemy as they aim their firepower at one of the few groups consistently fighting ISIS - the Kurds.
PAKISTAN: A MIDEAST COUNTRY THAT ACTUALLY HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS:
They are building more. This is the real "Islam's bomb" and it is in a very unstable land.
SEEING POLAND CLEARLY:
Peter Strzelecki Rieth of the 'Imaginative Conservative' discusses the new Polish president, President Andrzej Duda, the Polish Law and Justice Party, the animus of Anne Applebaum, and his hopes that Russia and Poland can recognize one another as religious nations not beholden to the atheist West.
COSMOPOLITANS AND NATIONALISTS-ETHNIC STATES AND REFUGEES IN EUROPE:
A short insightful look at Czechoslovakia and the anti-immigrant feelings so deep in European ethnic-linguistic nations.
IV. UNITED STATES
FOSTERING SOCIOPATHS, FATHERING PROTECTORS: The news is stranger than fiction but there is a certain clarity about clear juxtapositions of the heroism of the Good and the depravity of the Evil. The aggrieved black, gay sociopath murdering on a selfie vs. the interracial American brotherhood of protectors on a Paris train are pretty stark opposites. These events and characters give us the sharpest colors on the palette to paint a true picture of our nation's spiritual battle and the communal forms we must adopt for victory.
THE SIZE OF THE NAVY: A short primer on US Navy strength - 273 ships and 10 carriers.
DEMAGOGUES and the ADMINISTRATIVE STATE - HISTORY LESSONS
Once a week Hugh Hewitt devotes an hour of his three-hour radio show to discussion with a faculty member of Hillsdale College. It is usually with the president Larry Arnn, but this week with Paul Rahe about the need for the "big man" leader in times of confusion. A tribute to Mr. Hewitt and his use of radio for extended public discourse informed by history. This program ranges from the Persian invasion of Greek city states by an imperialist religious monotheistic culture to a look at the differences between Cromwell and Caesar as military and political leaders.