Saturday, January 9, 2016

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, January 9

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch


THE SAUDI WAR AGAINST SHIITES - IRAN VS THE HOUSE OF SAUD: The Saudi regime has accelerated its religious oppression of Shiites throughout Saudi Arabia and in its southern neighbor, Yemen. All of this is abetted by US policy which turns a blind eye to this repression as long as the excuse that all Shiites are Iranian proxies is repeated enough times. Christians who desire an American foreign policy that protects Christians in the Mideast and Africa must begin by defending the religious liberty of the Shiites against the brutal tactics of the regime that nurtured 15 of our 9-11 hijackers. Saudi Arabia executes leading Shiite cleric. Protesters in Iran burned the Saudi embassy.  Hopefully, American statesmen will begin to make arguments of how the US should relate to this conflict.

A Primer on Sunni-Shiite differences. Two states joined Saudi Arabia in cutting ties with Iran: UAE (along with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia the only state to recognize the Taliban in their pre-9/11 existence) and Bahrain (the only Shiite-majority country ruled by Sunni tyrants). See our short revealing profiles (Gulf States Communal Loyalties). Once again, Pat Buchanan tells the most complete story on being dragged into war by our "allies" before us. But suddenly there are articles aplenty looking at our Saudi alliance. This is a development all Americans can cheer, though what is needed now is a candidate or group of congressmen who become associated with a true re-set with Russia, alliance with India against Pakistan-inspired terrorism, and a defense of Shia religious freedom against Salafist Sunnis. King Salman and his Deputy Crown Prince son have severely narrowed their ruling base in the royal family so they must depend on the Wahhabi  religious base for support against their estranged relatives. They solidify this support by accelerating the salafist war against the Shiites in Yemen, in Saudi Arabia, in Bahrain, and in Iran.

NORTHERN AFRICA - THE SALAFIST SUNNIS HAVE MORE THAN A BEACHHEAD: A short excellent article, with a good map, on the expansion of the African Salalfist jihadists. Our African Command suffers greatly from the dominance of strategic thinking in the Mideast that highlights the anti-Shiite goals of our allies Saudi Arabia and Israel. However, it is jihadist Salafist Sunnis who are proposing a new set of non-national Muslim loyalties throughout Northern Africa. To their north they can infiltrate the porous borders of Europe; while to their south they militarily terrorize the politically weak African Christians.


NGO AS NEW MISSIONARIES - THAT'S NOT A COMPLIMENT: A critical look at NGOs and African Development.

RUSSIA AND THE JEWS: Another perspective that Putin's Russia seeks a very different relationship with Russian Jews than Stalin's Soviet Union.

CHINA - THE RETURN OF TRADITION AND THE PERSISTENCE OF THE BUREAUCRATS: A fascinating interview on Chinese meritocracy and a good reminder of the enduring strategies of bureaucrats depending on the strength of leaders.

REALISM AND KISSINGER, RELIGION AND MAHAN: John Bew teaches history and foreign policy at Kings College London War Studies Department. This excerpt on Henry Kissinger and Foreign Policy is from his book, Realpolitik: A History (2015).

The most influential thinker in the development of 20th century American sea-power is Alfred Thayer Mahan. The review makes me eager to read this unique book on Mahan's religious life. It feels like there is more in the book than the reviewer may have seen, but maybe there is more spiritual content in Mahan's geopolitical worldview than the author could find. It is certainly true that only when an author studied the religious life of Ronald Reagan did we get a coherent view of his role in history.

RACE IN AMERICA: In DC a chasm in school achievement.

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