by David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
THE GREATEST NUCLEAR THREAT IN THE MIDEAST: The 'American Interest' gives a short course on Pakistan nuclear weapons. For their weapons to be a threat to Israel would necessitate a shift in Pakistan Muslim attention from its nationalist archenemy India to its role in the Islamic revival in the Mideast. Is there any precedence for a nation understanding itself more in terms of the long religious history of its people than its short communal life as a nation state? Here is AOA Map on Monday of Pakistan.
PUTIN OUTLINES A STRATEGY FOR THE MIDEAST - FIGHT ISIS, NOT IRAN OR ASSAD: A synopsis of Putin's argument at the UN. If Russia is supporting the Assad regime as a stable force to help fight ISIS and the US is supporting forces trying to overthrow Assad (not fight ISIS) then we should not be surprised that Russia will be fighting against forces we are helping overthrow Assad. Assad in Syria, Iran and Iraq governments, and the Shiites in Yemen are all willing to fight ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Salafist Sunnis. We either help these forces or fight against them. The battle lines are being drawn much the way we have argued they must be if the nature of this war is an attempt by Shiitte Muslims, Christians, and legitimate Sunni Muslim states to defeat the Salafist jihad of Salafist Sunnis. We argued that the US should ally with Russia and Assad two years ago in a September 11th article: Christian awakening on the road to Damascus.
ISRAEL DE FACTO ALLIANCE WITH SAUDI ARABIA: It is not spoken about in public but it is obvious to all that the Israelis are riding on an unstable new ally. Several new reports documenting and another highlighting the cynical practice called "pink washing" which justifies military excursions against countries (like Yemen) because they are "anti-gay." Hamas, always a radical Sunni group, was supported by Iran as an ally against Israel. They are returning to their more traditional base of support: Saudi Arabia. Not all Israelis think this conjuring of the Saudi princes and the Israelis is without problems. An older commentary on this unholy alliance: It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes (Psalm 118).
ISLAM'S GREATEST HISTORIAN: Ed West of the Catholic Herald has a penetrating article and new e-book about a great Islamic historical thinker whom he says "every Catholic should know." The classic work of world history by an Islamic thinker is The Muqaddimah by Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406). A dominant idea is the role of asabiyyah - a pre-Islamic word for group feeling or social cohesion. Asabiyyah is the basic force in history driving the rise and fall of civilizations. This is the kind of inter-religious literacy that we need to supplant the impoverished diatribes of our atheistic intellectuals in making decisions of war, peace, and fraternity among nations.
II. CHRISTIANITY AND THE NATIONS
SPREADING CHRISTIANITY-- ONCE YOU TASTE IT; YOU NEED TO SHARE IT: Nigeria, like the Christian nations of the 16th and 17th centuries, spreads the Good Word. This is similar to the contention by Los Angeles Archbishop Gomez that the religious key to American history is to see a continent where three Christian powers (France from the north, England from the East, and Spain from the South and West) came to spread the Gospel.
CAN PUBLIC CHRISTIANITY AND PUBLIC ISLAM LIVE TOGETHER? Russia says "yes" with a new Cathedral Mosque.
III. THE NEED FOR FIGHTING MALES TO PROTECT AGAINST EVIL
MALE GROUPS AND FIGHTING UNITS -- A BISHOP''S TRUMPET: Another fundamental argument against the folly of "sexually integrating combat units." A bishop steps to the front and speaks to Catholic men about fatherhood, fraternity, and manhood: Into the Breach. It is a great encouragement to see a bishop write like a man - which makes him sound a lot more like a bishop. A high official in the Vatican takes the bait and comes out publicly about his double life in an open homosexual relationship. He is part of a very large influential homosexual subculture at the highest levels of the Church. He happily played his charade under John Paul II and Benedict XVI. These are the kind of situations in which Pope Francis will clearly answer his own question showing who he is to judge this horrendous abuse of the sacred priesthood. The so-called orthodox Catholics should stop focusing on getting more statements of orthodoxy, and ask that the priesthood truly be purged of the homosexual subculture that is dominating so many countries and institutions.
WAS IT GUNS OR THE DEVIL? AS THE DEVIL IS PROWLING ABOUT OUR COUNTRY, HOW BEST TO FIGHT HIM? From the Oregon shooter: “I’ve been forced to align myself with these demons and become one of them. At first, it was involuntary, but now I am aligned with them. I now serve. When I die I will become one of them,” the gunman continued, according to the People magazine source. “My success in Hell is assured.”