Saturday, December 10, 2016

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, December 10

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch 


TRUMP’S FOREIGN POLICY - WHAT IT ISN'T AND WHAT IT MIGHT BE: Chapter Ten from a George Schultz tome called 'Blueprint for America'. Incoming Secretary of Defense Matis is a second author of this chapter on national security( Hoover Institution). This conventional Republican approach to foreign policy is the policy Mr. Trump argued against and defeated in the Republican primary. This Matis chapter is no more an indication of a Trump foreign policy than the Mike Pence stance on Russia in the VP debates. We summarize this because it is a succinct statement of a dominant pattern of thinking in the Republican Senate and House. We summarize it because this is the foreign policy our nation needs to change to put America first and put an end to the interventionism of the globalists:
Their Threat Assessment - A Decline in Management of State System:

  • "Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations, exercising veto authority over the diplomatic, economic, and security interests of nation states in Russia’s “near abroad” and attempting to carve a recidivist sphere of influence that is out of step with modern international practice on sovereignty.
  • China is doing the same, demanding veto authority over the rights of its neighbors in the South China Sea. is behavior follows a classical Chinese “tribute” model that demands deference from “lesser” nations in Beijing’s sphere of interest."

"In the Middle East, two brands of violent jihadists attack the state system using religious affiliation:

  • Sunni brand (Al Qaeda and associated movements) declared war on the West in the 1990s. More recently, ISIS has declared a caliphate, bulldozed the border between Iraq and Syria, and is still winning a war in the geopolitical heart of the Middle East. It is now striking outward, regionally and globally, exactly as it said it would do.
  • Shia brand (Hezbollah, Hamas, and others supported by Iran) declared war on the United States in 1983, arms and trains terrorist organizations, acts as kingmaker in Lebanon, and across the Middle East supports the revolutionary cause it espouses, also challenging state legitimacy. Iranian negotiators have achieved a good outcome from the nuclear talks. e unfortunate aspects of that agreement were a result, in no small part, of the perception that the United States needed a deal more desperately than the Iranians and of the belief among all involved that America would not exercise a military option."

A Ringing Indictment of our Debt: (they have this right for sure)
"Our national debt is the primary determinant of our strategic latitude. No national security strategy is possible if we fail to reduce our debt payments. Seen from a broader perspective, America’s current fiscal situation is our central national security challenge. Our fiscal house is in disarray and we are on an unsustainable spending path. Even if interest rates remain at the current historically low rates, the end of this decade will see us paying more tax dollars to service our debt—interest paid to Riyadh, Moscow, and Beijing—than we have available to fund all of the Defense Department."

Finally, our top allies and priority enemies: "Our strategy must restore strengthened military ties with allies: NATO, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Middle Eastern nations ( Jordan, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia)...

Priority challenges we would confront are: Russian belligerence, Chinese activities in the South China Sea, ISIS and Iranian aggressiveness, and drug-gang activity south of our border. Developing specific counterweights to these challenges would dictate the military alliances we develop. These goals would be to use the strength of our military alliances to help create constructive relations with Russia and China; to crush ISIS, Al Qaeda, and their franchises; to checkmate Iran’s mischief; and to secure our borders."
COMMENT ON LIMITS OF THIS ANALYSIS AND HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP MAY CHART A DIFFERENT COURSE: The linkage of all Shia movements to Iranian jihad and the absence of any similar indictment of the Saudis instigating Sunni jihadists is exactly backwards. Our "ally Bahrain" is a Shia population ruled by a Sunni king upheld by the Saudis. The political forms of Shia Islam are not comparable to the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia. Iran has been at war with Israel since 1979, and the US until just recently. Iran's support of Hamas (who are jihadist Sunnis not Shiites) was temporary and part of their state war against the State of Israel. Acts of war between belligerent countries do not constitute the same terrorist threat to world order as the worldwide Wahhabi jihad movement which is set against states and religions not submitting to their caliphate.
The chapter characterizes Iran as the most threatening hegemon in the Mideast. There is no mention of its role as a national bulwark in the Mideast against the Salafist Sunni movement that has given us Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS (not mentioning every jihadist who has struck the US homeland and France, as well as Al-Shabaab in Somalia, the Chechnyan rebels in Russia, and Boko Haram in Nigeria). This is another Washington think-tank report which seems incapable of making crucial religiously-based distinctions at the heart of our conflict.
The “State Management System” which they fear is breaking down is not about nations as much as a dog whistle to globalists and international bureaucrats who use the “rule based system" of international courts and agencies to impose their brave new globalist order against the natural bonds of religion, nation and family.

Regarding Russia and China: these two sovereign countries are treated as criminal nations as they exercise regional authority. These great civilizational nations are going to practice "their own Monroe Doctrines." We should seek a concert of great powers with them and acknowledge their important dominant roles in their own regions. This is in fundamental opposition to the encircling "balancing of allies" strategy we have employed for decades. Mr. Trump will talk tough to China on trade but he will be much more respectful to them as a great nation. President Trump will not be organizing coalitions of "the little guys" who harass their bigger neighbors and then come hide under the American shield. Hopefully President Trump and a strong Secretary of State will know how to approach the leaders of large nations ("the big guys”) as respectful partners in forging a stable peace as a concert of powers.

The alliances in this region are changing as we speak. Of special note is Egypt’s growing acceptance of the Assad-Russia alliance. Egypt and Jordan are the most important Sunni Arab allies needed in a new formulation of Mideast policy. They are both more reliable to Israel than the Saudis. Neither of them has participated in an assault on our homeland. Mr Trump’s proposed alliance with Russia will place him in a unique position to consolidate these new alliances. This will allow a way out for the Israelis from their once necessary, but now deadly, embrace of the Saudis. If the US could bring an end to the Israel-Iran war and renounce any intention of breaking Israel into two states, an utterly different paradigm would be presented for the Arab nations to relate to. This would allow Sunni Arabs to consolidate themselves in the national forms best suited to submit to the will of God and  eradicate the demonic Wahhabi ideology from their Holy Cities. (See a new strategy).

NIALL FERGUSON, BRITAIN’S BEST HISTORIAN ON KISSINGER, TRUMP, AND WORLD ORDER: An excellent summary of Kissinger insights on goals in China relation. It is unfortunate that, in the televised interview with Fareed Zakaria and Kissinger, that these notions were not better discussed. Mr Zakaria was so intent on besmirching President-elect Trump that he sabotaged his own interview. Kissinger was clearly annoyed with his host’s immaturity. Above all for Kissinger, he does not want America to contest China’s role in its own region. Republican hawks have never understood China like Mr Kissinger. The Thucydides Trap is the tendency of a dominant power to go to war with a regional ascending power. Kissinger is right to warn that this be avoided. For too many US war hawks, a clash with China is inevitable. Thus we should prepare and initiate when most advantageous. The linked article shows the advantage of employing a few historians to balance the female careerists and "principled conservatives" who have formulated our State Department policy for a generation. Since the end of WWII, mainland China and the government of Taiwan have said there is one China. Each laid claim to be the legitimate ruler. When Nixon went to China, we withdrew recognition of Taiwan as the representative of China, and Mao’s government took their place at the UN. The US no longer recognized the Taiwan government as the ruler of China nor as deserving a representative in the UN. The US trades arms with Taiwan, and lets China know we would resist the use of force to unite the country. There is a substantial movement in Taiwan to be considered an independent country. The US has never agreed to support independence.

McCAIN AND GRAHAM SEEK TO PROTECT SAUDIS FROM 9/11 FAMILIES: The Senate odd couple from Saudi Arabia have obfuscated the foreign policy about the source of 9/11 terrorism for over a decade. A new debate is emerging. A McCain connection to the Saudis. One of the great travesties of our debased foreign policy has been the role of John McCain as the temperamental veteran so ready for war, and yet so void of culturally informed strategic thinking.


WHY KEEP THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE (from another source): There are 3,141 counties in the United States. Trump won 3,084 of them. Clinton won 57. There are 62 counties in New York State. Trump won 46 of them. Clinton won 16. Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes. In the 5 counties that encompass NYC -- Bronx, Brooklyn (Kings), Manhattan (New York), Staten Island (Richmond) & Queens -- Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond). Therefore these 5 counties more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country. These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles. The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

IN FRANCE, CATHOLIC FILLON AND NATIONALIST LE PEN - NO LEFT-WINGERS IN SIGHT:  Fred Siegel of City Journal on the strange reconfiguration in the upcoming French election.


BALTIC STATES: RELIGION AND ETHNICITY: "Catholics make up about 78 per cent of Lithuania’s 3 million inhabitants, compared to about 20 per cent in Latvia (pop 2mill) and less than 1 per cent in Estonia (pop 1.3mill). Latvia and Estonia were once 80% Lutheran. The atheistic Nazi and Soviet regimes helped reduce the Protestants to 30% (Latvia) and 10% (Estonia) today. All three Baltic States are home to Russian minorities: 6 per cent in Lithuania, 26 per cent in Latvia and 25 per cent in Estonia. Latvia has barred Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and at least one prominent Orthodox priest from entering the country."
"Lithuanian Archbishop Gintaras Grusas said citizens are anxious about military threats from neighbouring Russia but said support from Europe and the United States helped calm those fears. The US-born archbishop, president of the Lithuanian bishops’ conference, told Catholic News Service, 'The old Soviet empire mentality is still alive, and there are many in Russia who consider the three Baltic states part of that empire.' "

THOSE QUOTATIONS ARE FROM CATHOLIC HERALD IN THE UK: Is there some irony that the head of Lithuania Church being quoted about Russian threats is an American? Is there any suggestion that it might be a violation of religious liberty to keep the spiritual head (the Russian Patriarch) of 15% of Latvia's citizens out of their own country? Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia -- the Baltic States where religion, ethnicity, and nations intersect in a dangerous neighborhood. Pay special attention to Latvia and Estonia with their Orthodox minorities and 1/4 Russian-ethnic populations.

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