by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
INCREDIBLE GROWTH OF CATHOLIC CHURCH: Worldwide the boom continues.
RETHINKING RUSSIA AND REMEMBERING THE ATHEISTS WHO BUTCHERED THE ORTHODOX: Rod Dreher distills two excellent articles on Russia vs. the Soviets.
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX IN FRANCE: Not all are pleased.
POPE BENEDICT GAVE A SERMON TO THE WEST AND A NUN WAS KILLED IN SOMALIA: What he was saying in his address at Regensburg, 2006.
AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT SPENCER AND AN ORTHODOX PRIEST: Spencer is excellent teacher when moderated by the presence of this priest. Lots to learn, lots to disagree with.
TIM KAINE PROMISES CATHOLIC CHURCH WILL CHANGE ON MARRIAGE: Something happens when Democrats talk to LGBT groups.
PRAYING AT ASSISI: The original intent of St. John Paul II and a long, helpful reflection.
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
PUTIN, BIBI, AND TRUMP: What we can learn from Israel-Russia relations.
ISRAEL, NUKES, AND ANOTHER COLIN POWELL EMAIL: A Colin Powell email defending the Obama Administration nuclear deal with Iran stated that Israel has 200 nuclear weapons pointed at Iran. This highlights a little-known peculiar anomaly in American-Israeli relations. The fact that Israel has nuclear weapons is considered "secret intelligence" so US officials cannot discuss the matter in public. Thus, the US has a huge debate about denying Iran centrifuges for the making high grade nuclear material but cannot discuss Israel nuclear weapons and a delivery system already in place. The lack of proportion in discussing the danger of Iran to the Mideast feeds the obfuscation plan of Saudi supporters and aids the warlike posture of the Israeli government. Those two powers (one our natural ally and the other our greatest foe) have dictated and confused our own understanding of who our friends and enemies are in the war against Satanic jihadists.
HOW DOES JIHADISM END -- THE LOGIC OF NATION BUILDING: A substantial argument about military strategy and compromise proposing a military strategy that must end with established nations to keep the order.
"Compromise between opposing preferences is the key to success in politics but to failure in military strategy. Political leaders…tend to resolve political debates about whether to use force massively or not at all by choosing military half-measures, which serve no strategic objectives at all.”THE MAN WHO SAVED US FROM WAR WITH IRAN OVER A NAVIGATION MISTAKE HAS BEEN PUNISHED: Interview with Naval Officer David Nartker. He seems to have a point that Fox News is missing.
THE WAR IN SYRIA - REPORTERS MISS THE KEY PLAYERS: Mr. Kinzer at the Boston Globe has told this story better than anyone.
CHINA NOW AN ALLY OF SYRIAN GOVERNMENT: Consider the support for Syria from Russia, Iran, and China as well as Syrian Christians - doesn’t an obvious alliance take shape?
THE KILLING IN YEMEN - BRITAIN AND US AID A HUMANITARIAN DISASTER: Part of the great "Saudi smokescreen" is that stories like this just don’t get told. This week 27 US senators voted against further arm sales to Saudis in their brutal war against the Shiites of Yemen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky, Chris Murphy (D) of Connecticut and Al Franken (D) of Minnesota are in the lead. There is also a real possibility that families of the 9/11 victims will be able to make a court case against the Saudis for their involvement in the Twin Towers attack. A sea change in our policy toward Saudi Arabia is coming no matter who is elected president!
It is unfortunate that instead of the Senate recognizing our national enemy (71 senators sided with the Saudi arms deal), we have to resort to a lawsuit to attain a serious public forum to rectify the misdirection that has so confused our war against the jihadists.
SAUDI LOBBY -- NOT FOR LOVE
"The kingdom added another three lobbying contracts to its roster, retaining the services of former Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and former Democratic Sen. John Breaux of Louisiana as part of a $100,000 monthly contract with Squire Patton Boggs [law firm], according to documents filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act."
Anthony Podesta, a major financial bundler for Hillary Clinton, is a paid lobbyist for the Saudis. Podesta’s brother, John, is HC campaign chairman, and previous chief of staff for President Bill Clinton.
Norm Coleman, the former Republican Senator from Minnesota, is also a paid lobbyist for the Saudis. He helps head up the Congressional Leadership Fund - a super PAC to influence Republican House races.
The Saudis were a significant source of money for ads opposing the Iran nuclear deal.
TERROR AND WAHHABIS - THE IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MAKES THE AOA ARGUMENT IN THE NY TIMES: The problem is Wahhabism - this should be the foreign policy issue of the campaign.
ISRAEL WARS IN LEBANON AND THE GAZA STRIP: An interesting review.
A CHRISTIAN HOMELAND? A Nineveh proposal.
MUSLIMS WOULD LIKE THE RECONQUEST OF EUROPE. THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE SHOULD DEFEND EUROPE WHIMPERS THE CARDINAL: The Cardinal of Vienna, Christoph Schonborn, is one of the more public and passive cardinals in the Church today. He was a principal writer of the Catechism and had the trust of several popes. He is "gay friendly" to a fault, and is hopelessly pacifistic in his understanding of the nation-state. A great beauty of the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church is that all of us are reminded by our feast days that once there were Catholic personalities who ruled in a more masculine and religious era. Cardinal Schonborn got a little tongue--twisted on the feast of the "Holy Name of Mary." The holiday commemorated the victory of several Catholic princes over the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 (most notably that fighting Polish leader - Jan Sobieski - King of Poland and Archduke of Lithuania).The cardinal noted that Muslims see that Europe is dying and many of them desire that its culture will be filled with a more theo-centric way of life -- think Islam. The cardinal lamented that Europe has lost its Christian character. He then showed his own utterly emasculated sense of public Christianity by reassuring all that this doesn’t mean we should regulate the young male refugees flooding Europe or in any way fight back.
It is the soft princes of the Catholic Church like Schonborn who remind us that when Christianity collapsed as a public force in governance, the fascists took Italy, the Nazis got Germany, and the Soviets captured Russia.
THE FIRST DRONE: A short history in the war against al Qaeda.
III. PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS
ON HILLARY: You cannot learn about people if you don’t start with some empathy. So this article is a good place to learn more about Mrs. Clinton.
COLIN POWELL EMAIL ON HILLARY: "A 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still d---ing bimbos at home (according to the NY Post)," Powell wrote.
IV. AROUND THE WORLD R&G ROUND UP
SHORT HISTORY OF INDONESIA - MALAYSIA WAR (1963-66) THAT LED TO A.S.E.A.N.: Malyasia Independence and Indonesia opposition.
THE UN - WHO SHOULD RUN IT? Very seldom is there an interesting article about UN inner workings. But this piece on Chinese and Russian attempts to wrest some high offices from the American-Euro axis is different. The Pope has actually joined forces with the global South in advocating that the ruling structure of the UN begin to look like the world of nations as they exist. Why are England and France, but not Germany or India or Indonesia or Japan or Brazil or Nigeria part of the Security Council? Asia is underrepresented; and Africa, South America, and Islamic nations are all absent from the Security Council. To make the UN a more international organization, the US should quit paying so much money and argue for a less "Western, victors of WWII-approach" to our international forum.
'FIRST THINGS' EDITOR RUSTY RENO BREAKS THE MOLD - ON NATIONALISM AND DISRAELI: There was a time that First Things magazine was the place to go for incisive blending of religion and politics. Then there was a period after the death of Fr. Neuhaus (and actually in his last years) where there seemed a stricture on the writing - maybe a combination of bowing to a subtle feminism and not so subtle neocon bias. It seems George Weigel and Robert George are still evidence of such "petrified and principled" writing. But the editor of First Things is R.R. Reno and he suddenly seems to dealing the cards a bit differently. Two excellent essays - on nationalism and on Disraeli.
FIGHTING SATAN: Christian brotherhood is a fundamental form of Christian love because one of the mandates to the apostles was to "cast out demons." To fight and expel such a mighty and devious foe from the earth will take a fellowship of holy priests and righteous nations.
Brotherhood is not a sexless formless sentiment. Political brotherhood is made of men who take up their cross and risk death to provide protection in a particular time and space -- a tribe, a city, or a nation. The two ways of brotherhood -- the liturgical road of the priests and the political road of the Christian nationalists -- will meet in the end at the Lord’s Coming. I always think in 'Lord of the Rings' that Frodo is the priest doing a liturgical act (destroying the ring) while the laymen are gathering as the national armies of different allies. Two paths to fight the same enemy and serve the same King.
WHY THERE IS NO MIDDLE WAY ON SACRALIZING SODOMY: The Civil Rights Commission tells us what’s in store.