I. THE MIDDLE EAST, ISIS, AND TERRORISM
WAR IN YEMEN - KILLING SHIA WITH COLUMBIANS: A very disturbing profile of paid mercenaries for UAE. The Sunni royals are better at organizing the kill than being in the hunt. The hired soldiers are from South America, especially Columbia.
MEMO TO OBAMA ON SAUDI ARABIA FROM A FAVORITE ADVISER: Bruce Riedel of the Brookings Institute is a major advisor to President Obama on South Asia as well as the Mideast. His books and talks on Pakistan and India are full of authoritative insights which could help realign our alliances in South Asia. His views in this memorandum to President Obama about the necessity of our relationship to the House of Saud in the Mideast are quite conventional and thus troubling.
WHY DOES ISIS FIGHT: This recruitment video has enough truth in it to demand a true masculine Christian response.
JIHADIST POWER COUPLE - LINKS TO WHAT TWO COUNTRIES?: The more we have studied the roots of the 9/11 attack and the subsequent rise of modern-day jihadists, the more we come back to the Salafist religious teachings in two countries whom America has treated as allies for half a century. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan turn out to be our most deadly enemies, while Turkey may soon imitate their methods.
Hopefully, the San Bernardino shooters will help us consider the role of those two countries in the spread of jihad. What will explain the killings? A) Lack of gun control laws in California; B) workplace violence responding to a hostile bullying environment against a Muslim; or C) a couple living out the major directives of Wahhabi Islam taught in Saudi Arabia, and Deobandi Islam taught in Pakistan.
Do not be misdirected by claims of ISIS to be the source of their iniquity. ISIS, like our young couple, is a creature of a centuries-old religious reform movement. Look deeper at the established states where this religious movement has dug its deepest roots.
II. GEOPOLITICS AND THE NATIONS
STRATEGY, HISTORY, ANALOGY: What Kissinger understood.
RUSSIA AND TURKEY: A good history lesson. Pat Buchanan asks if we want Turkey to lead us into war with Russia.
INDIA AND NEPAL: A good primer.
III. POPE FRANCIS AND GERMAN BISHOPS
I have never seen any kind of talk by previous popes, faced with the same facts, even remotely as critical as this from Pope Francis to the German bishops. Pope Francis has been willing to criticize clerics and he does it to their faces. When he speaks of mercy in the Church, he says it comes through the confessional. These are traits of the Pope seldom noted by the growing ranks of his conservative intellectual critics.
The German bishops' website explains the inadequacy of African Catholics in dealing with complexities. Americans tend to yell 'racism' too quickly, but it may be the best explanation of this dismissive attitude toward the Cardinal Lion of Africa by his soft critics in the German Episcopacy.
IV. AMERICA: SEARCHING FOR RELIGIOUS PRESIDENTS, MALE PROTECTORS
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, RUBIO, ON HIS FAITH CATHOLIC: A convincing testimony for Senator Rubio.
'ALL COMBAT POSITIONS FOR WOMEN' ANNOUNCES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CARTER - A DEAFENING SILENCE FROM CONSERVATIVES: After appointing a homosexual man as Secretary of the Army, the Pentagon has now announced all combat positions will be integrated male and female. It is clear that neither Leon Panetta nor Ash Carter could have been appointed as Secretary od Defense if they were not fully prepared to implement this sea change in American protective culture. It is similar to the kind of personnel decisions made in Catholic seminaries as acceptance of homosexual priests and collaborative ministries with female liturgical directors became a litmus test for hiring faculty and ordaining candidates. This sexual revolution corrupted the fraternal character of the apostolic priesthood as surely as American protective culture in the military and police departments is now being eroded in the name of gender ideology. If gay marriage is the spear, this is its shield.
Studies by the US Marines showing that units with female members are less effective than all-male troops were brushed aside. If it takes a village to raise a child, maybe it takes a brotherhood to protect a city and guard a nation. Let's see which religious or political leader can talk communal identity and masculine citizen bonds as the heart of our military and civil-defense culture rather than the technocratic "competent individuals" of the new volunteer and outsourcing Defense Department.