by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
WEEKLY BRIEFPresident Trump's visit to three sacred lands was a dramatic reformulation of the war on terror in a religious key. In Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, the home of Mecca and Medina, President Trump addressed fifty Sunni and Arab heads of states. His major message was that civilized nations must form a coalition against "barbaric criminals." Religious language and national loyalties were unmistakable. "Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death." "If we do not stand in condemnation of this we will be judged not only by our people and by history [the Marxists' favorite line] but we will be judged BY GOD." "The nations of the Mideast cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. A better future is possible only if your nations drive out the extremists and terrorists. Drive. Them. Out. DRIVE THEM out of your places of worship. DRIVE THEM out of your communities. DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land. And DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH. " "This means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires." "Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: barbarism will deliver you no glory. Piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED."
This the exactly the religious message that must be delivered to Sunni nations and young Muslim men. For the greatest conflict within Islam is not Shia vs Sunni, but one type of Sunni against everyone else. In Trump's speech there was a specific condemnation of two Shiite groups: Iran and the Houthis of Yemen. However, this was a talk to a "coalition of nations" about Sunni jihadists (the Wahhabi salafists) who specifically reject the nation as a non-Islamic form of social organization. Especially when King Salman dies, what will it mean for a coalition of Muslim nations set against the Salafist death cult to "drive them out of your holy land"?
In Israel he was the first President ever to visit the Western Wall and pray. He visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher where Jesus was buried, as well. He called Jerusalem "a sacred city" and the Western Wall "a monument to God's presence and man's perseverance." This was not lost on Israeli reporters who said it was the real-estate trader Trump who first brought God to land negotiations in the Promised Land.
At the Vatican he met with the Pope for thirty minutes and promised at the end, "I will remember what you said." The "great honor" of that meeting left President Trump "more than ever committed to peace in the world." Trump's peace platform set him apart from the huge Republican field of war hawks he defeated in the primaries. This is never mentioned in sophisticated conservative Catholic commentaries because long ago to win tepid pro-life support from Republicans like John McCain the Catholic "intellectuals" gave their considerably more fervent support to a Darwinist foreign policy agenda. Trump is still fighting the 'perpetual war' foreign policy neocons and their Fox news allies in the first months of his presidency. After Mr. Trump and the pope met, there was an equally important but longer discussion at the Vatican. The 50-minute meeting between Trump, McMaster, Kushner and Tillerson with the top two Vatican diplomats is a welcome signal that a US-Vatican Axis is being developed for the diplomatic peacemaking ahead.
Trump's speech to NATO leaders telling them to pay their share for defense rather than promising immediate war with Russia over border incidents was a great disappointment to Republican war hawks, the new Democrat war hawks, and the old Fox News Russian despiser, Charles Krauthammer.
Finally, the beautiful women of the presidential party wore no veils in Riyadh but respected the sexual segregation of worship at the wall in Jerusalem. They were looking quite modest and beautiful in their Vatican mantillas. In this year of Fatima, Mrs. Trump from Catholic Slovenia asked the Pope to bless her rosary. The world's oldest living cultures sanctify the separation of the sexes. They reveal in their customs and organization of space that a culture of life must be a culture of protection, and a culture of protection separates the mothers from the soldiers.
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE PATRIARCH AND THE POPE: Patriarch Kirill on meeting with Pope Francis emphasizes persecuted Christians.
THE MISSION OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA: Alexander Schmemann.
NIAGARA FALLS, FR. HENNEPIN, ROBERT MOSES AND THE GLORY OF GOD: A beautiful tale.
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
IRAN'S ELECTION: Before the Vote, After the Vote. Reformers win in Tehran and country.
TWENTY TWO YOUNG PEOPLE SLAIN -- CANDLELIGHT VIGILS MAY NOT BE ENOUGH: The righteous anger of citizens. The father of the killer in Manchester was a "salafist jihadist" who fled the Khadafi regime in Libya. The father said his son was headed to Saudi Arabia in a few days and everything seemed normal. This is a preliminary report but it reminds us that the Salafist jihadist form of Islam is particularly appealing to young males not in traditional Muslim villages raised under the three largest legal traditions in Sunni Islam. Fed by Saudi ideology, the "de-territorial" Muslim is especially ready for the Salafist murder narrative of Islam. This kid was not rebelling against his father. Once again the grand narrative and the ties of this terrorist will not be linked to Shia Iran but to the Hanbali school of Salafist jihadism taught in Saudi Arabia for export.
DUTERTE DECLARES MARTIAL LAW IN PHILIPPINES FOR ISLAND COMMUNITY OF 22 MILLION: A police chief beheaded, a priest kidnapped, the southern isles and the Salafists. AOA background map and profile of the Philippines.
A TALE OF TWO CITIES - BETHLEHEM AND NAZARETH: One of these cities switched from control by Israel to control by Palestinians in 1995. Since then, the Christian population dropped from 20% to 2%.
III. THE NATIONS R&G ROUND UP
LEARNING ABOUT GERMANY BY LEARNING ABOUT FREDERICK THE GREAT: A book review.
SOLZHENITSYN, CHRISTIANITY, RUSSIA, AND THE WEST: By Joseph Pearce. "At another point in the interview, Solzhenitsyn declared that he no longer saw Russia as being distinct from the West but that, on the contrary, Russia and the West were essentially part of the same threatened Christian civilization, and that both had succumbed to the evils of post-Enlightenment modernity."
Our argument at AOA is that Russia and America are two parts of Christian civilization reemerging from godless Modernism which was an attempt to construct a civilization based on science and technology without God. The West elevated democracy and individualism while Russia fell to Marxism -- a form of science applied to social structure. Marxism is an utterly Western ideology and another bitter fruit of Modernists. Feminism has taken its place and settled over the "West"-- a polite word for the white peoples of Europe and the US with the old white dominions of the British Empire. A Christian Europe with Russia as a member allied with the Christian Americas could bring world peace. But we have to shake the godless paradigm. As A. Joseph Lynch wrote, "Weep not for the West, build global Christianity."
LEAKING SECURITY IS DEADLY -- THE CHINESE EXPOSURE AND EXECUTION OF US SPIES: The NYTimes is still a newspaper. This is good reporting of a deadly business. Does the Times see its own willingness to compromise present-day national security leaks may have dire consequences as well?
LEAKING TRUMP PHONE CALLS IS THE REAL DANGER TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE ABILITY OF THE PRESIDENT TO FUNCTION: A solution from clearheaded Pat Buchanan.
The national security leaks by Americans to the NY Times about the name of the Manchester bomber, pictures of the early carnage and descriptions of the bomb were properly condemned by Britain's leaders as harmful to their ongoing police response to the terror. The Brits expected that intel to US agencies would not reach the US press and tip off terrorists about what officials knew about them. This national security official leaking to the press hurt an ongoing operation by our ally rather than their usual target: President Trump. Maybe this will wake government and press alike. This should be an ample trigger for patriots of both parties to understand the urgency of sealing presidential and top intel information from betrayal. Much more than "campaign collusion by Russians," this security betrayal by Americans is real news demanding that President Trump and our government get control of the ship of state.