by David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. REMEMBERING 9/11
II. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
POPE FRANCIS: The Pope on the beauty of the fraternity of the priesthood. Continuing the theme of mercy, this Pope (called antagonistic to traditionalists) has extended an incredible act of mercy to those who take confession seriously and go to priests of the Society of Pius X.
III. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
SAUDI SON OF A KING AND THE RELIGIOUS WAR TO HELP HIS CLAIM ON THE THRONE: Saudi King Salman is 79. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef is 56. The king's son Mohammed bin Salman is 30. He is deputy Crown Prince (second in line) as well as Defense Minister and chief economic planner. The young son of the King has been the impetus behind the slaughter of Yemen's Houthis, mostly by air war. This increases his legitimacy with the other major force in the Saudi State -- the Wahhabi Salafists who have never seen a war against Shia Muslims that they did not like. Sadly the US has helped in this disgraceful mixture of religious persecution and dynastic maneuvering.
IV. REFUGEES IN THE NEWS AND HISTORY
SYRIAN REFUGEES - THE BORDER COUNTRIES: Syria's border countries (not Israel) have taken in the most refugees. Lebanon (population 4.4 million; REF: 1.7 million), Jordan (population 6.5 million; REF: 630,000), and Turkey (population 75 million; REF: 2 million). Our Sunni Gulf Arab allies of UAE and Saudi Arabia have been non-actors in befriending this overwhelming Sunni Arab population.
REFUGEES TO EUROPE: WHY NOW? A short essay explaining the best routes for Syrian refugees to get to Germany and the invitation to come to Germany by Mrs. Merkel that set off the wave. Then Germany said they would not follow the rule in the EU that refugees seeking asylum must seek it in the country of entry. But Germany announced it won't ask which EU countries you came through, but simply: do you need asylum? Halfway through the year Germany had 200,000 applicants. Most were from Syria but the second leading country of origin was Kosovo. The Germans tend to deny those from Kosovo, saying they don't qualify as refugees from a country in danger but are job seekers. The Hungarians did not extend this invitation to the Syrians and are trying to build their commonwealth as a Catholic country. If Germany invites all the Syrians and then demands that each country take a quota, the Visegrad Four (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech Republic) will not comply. The 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees defines a refugee as someone who has left his own country, and is unable or unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Economic betterment does not confer refugee status.
GREATEST REFUGEE MIGRATIONS POST WWII: The expulsion of over ten million Germans from their homes in Eastern Europe is not well known. The 1947 Partition of Pakistan and India dispossessed over ten million refugees.
DIFFERENT MEMORIES - GERMANY DESIRES TO REPENT; HUNGARY TO RENEW CHRISTIAN IDENTITY: For Germans to be saluted as the national champions of human justice and mercy regardless of race or religion is just what they need to forge their post-WWII communal identity. Will this be as the leaders of Europeans or as a new Germany that turns the steel forges of war into the melting pot of a new civic nationalism? There are other nations of Europe that do not harbor so much guilt. They desire to regain the Christian roots of their communal identities that were repressed under the rule of the atheist ideologies of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The Germans must be sure that their own admirable bid for national redemption doesn't swallow other spiritual bodies who are living out very different national roles under Providence.
V. GENERAL R&G ROUNDUP
LEO STRAUS IN DEFENSE OF WAR IN POLITICAL LIFE - HEAR O ISRAEL: A review of a book on Leo Strauss. The review, not the book, is a convincing intellectual history of the esoteric philosopher. He believed states must act with authority above all. His latest defender trying to save him from nasty right-wing neoconservatives calls him a man of peace, and then tells his story with nary a word about his defense of Zionism and the Jewish State. Such defenders do a disservice. This reviewer is much more helpful than the book author, both to the memory of Strauss and the understanding of readers.