Monday, October 30, 2017

Map on Monday: Current (Nov 2017) Maps showing military areas of control in Iraq and Syria

These excellent maps are from Al Jazeera-the Arabic/English news agency based in Qatar that Saudi Arabia has demanded be shut down in their campaign against Qatar. {ed: Maps were uploaded on Nov 3} See our review of Syria here (at the end of our review article is a 7 minute history video from VOX that has been viewed 100 million times--the best short history of the Syrian civil war anywhere). AOA on how the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has added Yemen and Qatar to the enemy list of the salafist regime which is our real enemy in the Mideast. Our thoughts on the need for a more religiously coherent nationalist strategy after the expulsion of ISIS.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, October 28

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (32yo) of Saudi Arabia says Saudi Arabia will be returning to the "moderate form of Islam" it practiced before thirty years of confusion caused by the desire of many countries to imitate "the 1979 revolution in Iran". For the guardians of Wahhabi Islam since its inception this is a stunning claim. The young Crown Prince is jumping over numerous more competent elder relatives to receive control of the Kingdom from his father. He knows he needs the Wahhabi religious establishment to back his claims to the throne and he has courted them with an aggressive anti Shiite campaign against the Houthis of Yemen(clearly his war since 2015) to the Shiite Persians of Iran to the Sunni collaborators of Qatar (he initiated the isolation policies against Qatar for their open relations with Shiite Iran and their support of less monarchical forms of political Islam). This man is certainly trying to consolidate power. He has a clear strategy of allying with clerics inside the Kingdom and with the US and Israel outside. That hardly makes him a reformer of Islam.  If the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina  were to be governed moderately "again" the Saudis would have to return their care to the Hashemites(who ruled until they were expelled by Abdulaziz ibn Saud  and his Ikwan military brotherhood in 1924). If not the Hashemites(the present King of Jordan) then some more inclusive body in Islam might safeguard the pilgrimage sites without imposing the rules of the Salafists on the pilgrims. There is a spiritual blindness among Americans in understanding the Saudis. For different reasons, the Bushes, McCains, and Clintons have been played for decades by the desert monarchs who are much stronger personalities, much more substantial men, in bending policies toward their own interests. The situation is quite different for Israel. The Israelis under the Likkud party are neither as weak nor ahistorical as the paper tiger American elite. The Israelis want to overthrow the Iranian government and keep the Syrians too weak to contest the Golan Heights. With eyes wide open, they see Saudi Arabia's ideological enmity to all Shiite forms of authority( including Israel's enemies the states of Iran and  Syria) as a useful ally. The Israelis as personalities are also much stronger characters than the Democrat and Republican officials who have done their bidding for decades.
President Trump has significantly improved American governance by replacing feminist careerist Hillary Clinton with American patriot and international executive Rex Tillerson at the State Department. Trump discusses America's place in the world with General McMaster at NSA in place of Susan Rice. He has a Marine General James Mattis at Defense instead of a Democratic party operative Leon Pancetta. President Trump is a strong man and he has surrounded himself with strong men. But at the heart of out Mideast policy, even with this band of patriots, there is a spiritual blindness to the nature of the war we are fighting. Journalists, academics, patriots and senators are needed to debate and deepen the public understanding of our present dilemma. That can only help our good willed leaders.  


THE CHURCH AND THE REPUBLICAn excellent essay on Orestes Brownson - the American religious-political thinker who ended up Catholic. Like the American bishops at the first Baltimore Council, he argues that the Protestant anti Catholic American founders built a republic most hospitable to the one, true, and holy Catholic Church. No-one articulated the deep bonds of  American patriotism and the Christian religion better than the great Catholic patriarch-Archbishop John Ireland of Minnesota. Our argument at AOA is that the greatest fruits of the Protestant Reformation are the Christian nations most notably the USA.

REALITY MEANS TO FIRST LOVE GOD. SPEAKING OF REALITY, YOU NEED THE ANGELS TO FIGHT SATAN: The Pope puts our loves in order and in the spirit of the mission to the nations beatifies more Spanish martyrs who died in the scientific revolution of atheistic communism against God, church and nation. We need the angels to fight Satan. A good interview on the martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. On the liturgy front, the Pope corrects his Liturgy chief reiterating that translations really are a local function.

THE AGE OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY RESTED ON EXPLORING A UNIVERSE: ...with a personal Creator who had a plan, a design, and operated by the laws He had made. Regis Nichol makes a most succinct argument about the real relationship of religion and the sciences.

FATIMA: The miracle of the Sun - what we have been told to do. A Living God who acts in History.

RUSSIAN CATHOLICS RECALL THE GULAG: From National Catholic Reporter:
"The preachers of materialism and atheism, who proclaim man's self-sufficiency, are preparing indescribable darkness and horror for mankind under the guise of renovation and resurrection," Dostoevsky had written prophetically.

"They conceive of arranging things justly. But having repudiated Christ, they will end by flooding the world with blood."

The revolution's mastermind, Vladimir Lenin, had sworn to emasculate Russia's Orthodox clergy — those "agents in cassocks" who had been used by the Tsar to "sweeten and embellish the lot of the oppressed with empty promises of a heavenly kingdom."

But he was contemptuous of religion as a whole.

To call it the "opium of the people" was too kind, Lenin had written in 1909, paraphrasing Karl Marx. It was rather "a kind of spiritual rotgut, by which the slaves of capital blacken their human figure and their aspirations for a more dignified human life."

The very word God had become an "object of mockery," Mandelstam recalled, while the new possessors of "scientific truth" claimed god-like authority.


SHIITE MILITIAS - THEY ARE IRAQIS NOT IRANIAN: A review. The news is often full of pejorative remarks about the "Shiite militias" in Iraq. The reportage makes it sound like they are hit squads from Iran. In fact they are Iraqis who want to fight with coreligionists.

WHY WOULDN'T SHIA MILITIAS IN IRAQ FORMED TO FIGHT ISIS ALLY WITH IRANIANS?  A REMINDER FROM MIDDLE EAST FORUM: "The Shi'a militias of the PMU were raised in June 2014, following a fatwa from renowned Iraqi Shi'a cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. At that time, ISIS was heading for Baghdad, hence the need for the rapid mobilization of auxiliary fighters. The PMU's forces now consist of about120,000 fighters in total. And while dozens of militias are associated with it, a handful of larger formations form its central pillars. The three most important groups are all pro-Iranian and directly connected to the Revolutionary Guards. These are Ktaeb Hizballah, headed by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis; Asaib Ahl al-Haq, headed by Qais al-Khazali; and the Badr Organization, commanded by Hadi al-Ameri. All three of these leaders are closely linked to Qods Force Commander General Qassem Suleimani."

It has been a bloody week in Afghanistan. A string of suicide bombings killed nearly 200 people— and still more attacks were foiled before they could cause even more deaths. Taliban suicide bombers broke through security checkpoints at several police and military compounds, allowing fighters to storm the gates in commando-style raids. In one case, an attack nearly wiped out all 60 Afghan National Army soldiers at a post in Kandahar province; 43 soldiers died, and nine more were wounded. Other attacks included the bombing of a Shiite mosque in Kabul that killed 54 people and injured 55, and a rocket attack on the NATO compound inside the city’s fortified “Green Zone” that caused no injuries.
TURKEY AND IRAN: Together against independent Kurds.

REGIME CHANGE IN IRAN: How President Trump became a believer. Whaled Phares was a Trump advisor. His argument for regime change in Iran. This line of argument preceded the Iraq incursion and there are many who say the real strategy of neocons had always been regime change in Iraq, then Syria, then Iran.

ISIS IS BEING DRIVEN OUT OF IRAQ AND SYRIA: This astonishing strategic success of the Trump administration in devising an effective anti-ISIS victory has escaped much of the US press. Looking for a good summary article of what has been done and the new status of all concerned countries has been hard to find. In Iraq the problem will be the proper relations between the Iraq government and the Kurds. Iran is Iraq's ally. They fought and died together. It is good when one's neighbor is one's ally. The US fought to free Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. They are now free. They have ended the salafist nightmare of ISIS. They are a Shia majority with a significant Sunni minority. They make their own alliances. In Syria as ISIS is being driven out, the Syrian civil war resumes. The Syrian government is going to assert its right to govern. The Russians and Iranians and Lebanese Shiite allies (read Hezbollah) will all support Assad's claim. The Israelis will add Syria to their list of countries "taken over by Iran" and may engage in more aggressive military strikes. As a candidate President Trump believed if the US would stop fighting Russia and Syria, then the fall of ISIS would be eminent. He stopped fighting them and all the momentum is with the anti ISIS forces. But now his desire to placate Israel and his antipathy to Iran places the US in danger of fighting Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon at the behest of our allies. President Trump needs to modulate his world view by seeing the Russian perspective. The continued Russian investigation is hindering the US by depriving us of the natural benefits of diplomacy. A bipartisan victory and a multinational victory ousts ISIS.

THE BOMBING OF YEMEN AND THE CHOLERA EPIDEMIC CONTINUE: Frontline reports the consequences of Saudi bombing. The war against Shiites in the name of fighting Iran has a very ugly face in Yemen. Both President Obama and President Trump have acquiesced in this policy.

ISRAEL'S THREE ENEMIES: HEZBOLLAH IN LEBANON, THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT TO ITS NORTH, AND, MOST OF ALL, IRAN: All are Shiites and thus they are also the enemies of the salafist Sunni movement to unify Muslims led by the Wahhabi clerics of Saudi Arabia. The US in the Mideast has become embroiled in a war against the enemies of our allies. But is the war against Shiites who arm themselves effectively by governing states really our war? This is certainly not the war of Mideast Christians who are protected by Assad's Syria and allied with Lebanon's Hezbollah.


BILL CLINTON AND STROBE TALBOT - HOW THE BABY BOOMERS LOST THE PEACE: The incompetence of Bill and friends in the aftermath of the Cold War is outlined in several books. The authors don't use such biting language. The expansion of NATO and the false flag of the liberal democratic West against the rest is the great error of the baby boomers inheriting a victory in the Cold War and then "losing the peace."

CHINA AND XI JINPINGEstablishing his rule. Whether the "Chinese Dream" will be Marxian, Confucian or Christian is a question. That the Chinese nation is alive and well is not in doubt. The Communist Party if it can reform itself will provide the means of governance. It may survive as an administrative mechanism long after the ideology. A new era and two geopolitical imperatives for the Chinese from the Xi Jinping speech. The East China Sea and South China Sea: How China thinks about its maritime border. Excellent short review with maps of Chinese maritime choke points.

INDIA AND DIWALIHindus celebrate the lights.

RUSSIA, TRUMP, CLINTON: The Trump dossier was given to the FBI by John McCain. It certainly was an attempt to influence the election by smearing the candidate that neither Republicans nor Democrats favored. Will the mainstream press hunt this fox?
One way to reducing CO2 in producing energy is to use uranium. Uranium is considered a strategic asset. Here is another kind of Russian story featuring ownership of Uranium, a very big paycheck for Bill Clinton, and the third female secretary of state. The story has not fully matured.


IS LIBERALISM DYING? Christians should stop moaning that we are living in a post-Christian era. Christianity is booming. It is the secular modern west that is dying. Why any Catholic man would weep for the death of a direction (the "west") that gave us Darwin, Marx, Freud and Betty Friedan is not apparent. Christianity and the nations are emerging. The sexual religious confusion of the modern West is as much in eclipse in America and Europe as Marxism was in Russia in the 1990's. Let us rejoice and be glad.

THOUGHTFULS VS. ROUGHNECKS: Austin Ruse is getting at something very fundamental about the Catholic debate about Fr. James Martin and homosexuality in the Catholic priesthood. A fundamental category distinction in all religious thought is the sacred, the profane, and the abominations. When dealing with abominations, a "respectful dialogue" may not be the right approach. When a man emerges defending the homosexual predators who sustained the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, it might be time to make an ad hominem argument. James Martin is that man.

MASCULINITY IN HOLLYWOOD: The trouble with Harvey Weinstein is not that he is hyper-male.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, October 21

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch 


Driving ISIS out of its territorial base in Iraq and Syria is an incredible accomplishment. Iran, Russia, the Syrian government, Iraq's regular army and their Shiite militias, the noble Kurds and the SDF all can share credit. Likewise an initial strategy of President Obama and an intensification of efforts by President Trump deserve praise.  The desire of the internationally recognized Syrian government to reestablish control over its territory, the desire of the Kurds for autonomy, and the Israeli desire for a fragmented Syria which doesn't threaten the Golan Heights are now all in play.

The "war on terror" meanwhile will continue on many fronts. There are three religious errors we see confusing the public debate. 1) From Niger to Mozambique to the Philippines, the terrorists are all products of the Salafist Sunni schools of Islam championed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan. Yet we have targeted Shiites in Iran, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain as enemies in our alliance with the Saudis and Israelis.  2) The greatest need in Africa will be strong states capable of exercising lethal authority to safeguard their people. This is why the US will have military advisors in multiple countries buttressing states most Americans could not find on map. Meanwhile Catholic intellectuals in the worldwide Church are following the pacifist/homosexual wing of the clergy in developing theories of the state which "morally prohibit" waging war or inflicting capital punishment. It is another instance of the  "modern west" betraying the southern Christians. The Charmin (soft and white) Catholics want to weaken authority, nations and men. The southern nations (including South America) need strong states and strong religious national male leaders to establish civic order to insure economic justice. We may not hear that from peace and justice seminars at the Vatican.  3) In the fight against atheist communism, it was necessary to divide in order to conquer. In the fight against jihadists, it does not help to lump all of Islam as the source of violence.  This is both a religious disservice and a strategic blunder. Conservative anti communists opposed the opening to China of President Nixon and Kissinger. Many of them thought Ronald Reagan had given away the store to Gorbachev as well. Those moves split the Communist monolith and were absolutely necessary in the subsequent collapse.  While the "liberal" Christian press cannot see any relation of Islam to jihad, the conservative Christian press can see no difference between a Sufi and a salafist or a Shiite nation state and the Hanbali law tradition.  Many "conservative Christians" reject that the Muslims worship God and put forth an argument that the West is at war with all of Islam. This is particularly convienent for those trying to equate Israel's war with Shiite Iran to the US war against Salafist jihadists. American military men from McMaster to Mattis have fought alongside  Muslim soldiers and they never say we are at war with all of Islam. It takes intellectuals to propose that formula.  The American military spear is sharp and strong but our strategy is as muddled as ever. As ISIS loses its territorial base, it will be more essential than ever to understand the religious roots of the multi headed monsters that will now emerge.              


THE DEEP STATE AND THE BOGUS THREAT FROM IRANDavid Stockman tells a persuasive tale of an overwrought military complex in perpetual search of threats. Is war inevitable with Iran? President Trump has a more bellicose approach than his advisers but he has support from the Republican Senate, Israel under the Likkud and the ruling clan of the Saudi royal family. Pat Buchanan's analysis is geographical, historical and adult.

DEADLY ATTACK IN SOMALIA - WERE THEY SHIITES OR SALAFIST SUNNIS? Educated in mosques paid for by Saudi money. The most effective opposition to the Salafists in Somalia may be a rekindling of Somalian Muslim nationalism with soldiers trained by Turkey. Turkey was the first nation state with a Muslim majority to emerge from the Ottoman empire. Turkey renounced public Islam in its hyper secular founding but has now reembraced Islam as its cultural core. Somalia has a common language and religion but needs nationalist institutions and a unifying leader to prevent tribal disintegration which has devastated the country for thirty years. In Niger, the jihadists are also from the salafist Sunni branch of Islam. There can be no real strategy against the new face of Jihadism unless we understand its religious home.


NETANYAHU ON IRAN - NOT SO HIDDEN MESSAGE THAT ROGUE NATIONS HAVE NO RIGHTS OF SOVEREIGNTY: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Fox News on Sunday,Oct 15: "Iran is the foremost terrorist state of our time. It hangs gays, jails journalists, subjugates women, and foments terrorism throughout the world and wild aggression in the Middle East. To have a regime like this, whose economy is 30 times the size of North Korea...acquire an arsenal of nuclear weapons in 10 years' time, which is what the Iran agreement now provides Iran to do, is a terrible folly." "The president is right to put that forward now and to say I'm not going to authorize the continuation of a very bad deal that will give a rogue criminal state the power to threaten the United States mainland." President Trump seems to be in full accord with the Israeli Prime Minister.  We have long argued that Iran and Israel are both nation states who will eventually help us in the fight against the salafist jihadist movement in Sunni Islam. Israel's shortsighted alliance with Saudi Arabia should not be US foreign policy. The attempt by the Obama administration to engage the great civilization of Persian Shiite Iran was its highest diplomatic accomplishment. This was a case where President Obama, Secretary Kerry and Advisor Ben Rhodes broke with the "think tank foreign policy establishment" They were pulling out of that swamp (See these  last foreign policy interview/profiles with President Obama and Ben Rhodes).


KOREA: In Korea President Trump has inherited a situation he has decided we cannot live with. Can this be done without war with China? That has always been the question in Korea since the 1950's. The wick of war seems lit.

IN EASTERN EUROPE RELIGION AND NATIONS REASSERT THEMSELVESFrom the Polish Borders Rosary to a disruption at a Romanian opera.

IN AUSTRIA, THE NATIONALISTS UNSEAT THE LEFTThey will need the libertarians to form a coalition government but this is a sea change for a country of 8 million (75% Catholic). Germany has ten times the population and is divided in thirds among Catholic, Protestant and "None".   5% of Germans are Muslims.

THE KURDS ARE A REAL PEOPLEBut the most important oil resource in the region now belongs to a bigger entity. Iraq takes Kirkuk.

REX TILLERSON: A revealing profile article on the Secretary of State, Qatar and the State Department.


JUDGE MOORE AND HIS FOX NEWS/WEEKLY STANDARD CRITICS: How biblically based Christans are still the social outcasts at Fox.

ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGELDefend us in battle.

MEN IN TRENCHESA football poem in the military news.

ONE TAKE ONBowe Bergdahl.

POLISH PHLOSOPHER LEGUTKOAn interview about the similar dangers of secular liberal democracy and communism. They turn out to be two forms of an atheist anthropology.

Legutko: One of the main elements of my book is a reflection on the anthropological assumptions that underlie our political choices. Both democracy and liberalism have assumed a minimalist concept of human nature, devoid of any higher dimensions, metaphysical or moral. Christianity has an entirely different view of human nature, similar in many respects to what we find in antiquity. On the one hand, man is defined, like Aristotle’s political man, by his existence in a society in which he — as a person, not as an individual — can acquire moral virtues, and on the other hand, by his metaphysical status, having been created in the image of God. To put it differently, the liberal-democratic man is a flat character whose higher aspirations are considered either as personal idiosyncrasies or politically dangerous ambitions to overthrow equality. In Christianity, as in antiquity, human existence is represented vertically — it has its highs and lows and is strained between sainthood and sin. In Christianity, we hope to live up to that for which we were created, but we also fear failure. In the flat anthropology of liberal democracy, there is not much people hope for and not much they fear. Even God is reduced to a liberal-democratic dimension in that He resembles a nice, easygoing philanthropist more than the God we read about in the Bible.

All Christians who believe that liberal-democratic ideology is like an ordinary coat, no different from any other, that they can put on to be able to move around more easily and comfortably but inside which they will still remain the same Christians, make a mistake — and a double one to boot. The first mistake is a wrong choice of strategy. The liberal-democracy ideology uses — no matter that it does so fraudulently — the rhetoric of multiculturalism, which is supposed to give justice to the existence of different “cultures,” which, precisely because they are different, are said to contribute to the richness and diversity of society. But if this were true, then Christians should compete with others for a visible presence and for influence — after all, this is what the coexistence of different groups in a liberal democracy should amount to — and in order to be a successful competitor they should act as an energetic and full-blooded group, strongly committed to their cause, openly determined to imprint their mark on the world. The opposite strategy — obliterating the boundaries, diluting their message in liberal jargon, cajoling the idols of modernity, paying homage to today’s superstitions, self-effacing their identity — condemns Christians to a sad defeat with no dignity and no progeny.

THE PARIS STATEMENT - A EUROPE WE CAN BELIEVE IN: A ringing celebration of a European identity based on a community of nations, a renewal of marriage and a Christian heritage. The signers of this declaration counter the "false Europe" with the "true Europe". An inspiring assertion of Christian culture, national identity and marriage as the true Europe under siege by the arrogant "generation of 68". The Anthropology of Accord argument for a new concord of Christian nations and a repudiation of the sixties sexual revolution is close to the heart of this statement. Some favorite authors had a hand in it including Remi Brague and Ryszard Legutko. A few excerpts:
THE LOSS OF RELIGION; THE PROGRESS MYTH AND THE FALSE EUROPE: It is no accident that the decline of Christian faith in Europe has been accompanied by renewed efforts to establish political unity—an empire of money and regulations, covered with sentiments of pseudo-religious universalism, that is being constructed by the European Union. The patrons of the false Europe are bewitched by superstitions of inevitable progress. They believe that History is on their side, and this faith makes them haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing. Moreover, they are ignorant of the true sources of the humane decencies they themselves hold dear—as do we. They ignore, even repudiate the Christian roots of Europe.

THE TRUE EUROPE: A European spirit of unity allows us to trust others in the public square, even when we are strangers. The public parks, central squares and broad boulevards of European towns and cities express the European political spirit: We share our common life and the res publica. The true Europe is a community of nations. We have our own languages, traditions and borders. Yet we have always recognized a kinship with one another, even when we have been at odds—or at war. This unity-in-diversity seems natural to us.

CHRISTIANITY FRAMED THE NATION STATE AS THE POLITICAL FORM AND MARRIAGE AS THE DOMESTIC COMMUNION: The allure of the imperial form endured, but the nation-state prevailed, the political form that joins peoplehood with sovereignty. The nation-state thereby became the hallmark of European civilization.We do not seek the imposed, enforced unity of empire. Instead, European cosmopolitanism recognizes that patriotic love and civic loyalty open out to a wider world. The true Europe has been marked by Christianity. The universal spiritual empire of the Church brought cultural unity to Europe, but did so without political empire. This has allowed for particular civic loyalties to flourish within a shared European culture.

Christianity revolutionized the relationship between men and women, valuing love and mutual fidelity in an unprecedented way. The bond of marriage allows both men and women to flourish in communion. Most of the sacrifices we make are for the sake of our spouses and children. This spirit of self-giving is yet another Christian contribution to the Europe we love. Europe did not begin with the Enlightenment. Our beloved home will not be fulfilled with the European Union. The real Europe is, and always will be, a community of nations at once insular, sometimes fiercely so, and yet united by a spiritual legacy that, together, we debate, develop, share—and love.

FALSE EUROPE IS THE GENERATION OF 68 MASQUERADING THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS AS LIBERATION: As the patrons of the false Europe construct their faux Christendom of universal human rights, we are losing our home.The false Europe boasts of an unprecedented commitment to human liberty. This liberty, however, is very one-sided. It sells itself as liberation from all restraints: sexual freedom, freedom of self-expression, freedom to “be oneself.” The Generation of ’68 regards these freedoms as precious victories over a once almighty and oppressive cultural regime. They see themselves as great liberators, and their transgressions are acclaimed as noble moral achievements, for which the whole world should be grateful. Libertine hedonism often leads to boredom and a profound sense of purposelessness. The bond of marriage has weakened. In the roiling sea of sexual liberty, the deep desires of our young people to marry and form families are often frustrated. A liberty that frustrates our heart’s deepest longings becomes a curse. Our societies seem to be falling into individualism, isolation and aimlessness. Instead of freedom, we are condemned to the empty conformity of consumer- and media-driven culture. It is our duty to speak the truth: The Generation of ’68 destroyed but did not build. They created a vacuum now filled by social media, cheap tourism and pornography.

UNLIMITED HEDONISM LEADS TO PROLIFERATION OF REGULATIONS: At the same time that we hear boasts of unprecedented liberty, European life is more and more comprehensively regulated. Rules—often confected by faceless technocrats in league with powerful interests—govern our work relationships, our business decisions, our educational qualifications, our news and entertainment media.

THE UNIVERSITY BETRAYED; A NEW GENERATION WITHOUT GUIDANCE OR ORIENTING CATEGORIES: ...our universities are one of the glories of European civilization. But where once they sought to transmit to each new generation the wisdom of past ages, today most within the universities equate critical thinking with a simpleminded repudiation of the past.

MARRIAGE: Marriage is the foundation of civil society and the basis for harmony between men and women. It is the intimate bond organized around sustaining a household and raising children. We affirm that our most fundamental roles in society and as human beings are as fathers and mothers.

THE ONE TERRITORIAL LOYALTY LEFT: The fanaticism of our football loyalties is a desperate sign of the deeply human need for solidarity, a need that otherwise goes unfulfilled in the false Europe.

NATION MEN NEEDED: A good political leader stewards the commonweal of a particular people. A good statesman views our shared European inheritance and our particular national traditions as magnificent and life-giving, but also fragile gifts. He does not reject that inheritance, nor does he chance losing it all for utopian dreams. Such leaders covet the honors bestowed upon them by their people; they do not lust for the approbation of the ‘international community,’ which is in fact the public relations apparatus of an oligarchy.

LOVE GOD, LOVE COUNTRY, LOVE EUROPE--THE ORDERED LOVES OF THE TRUE EUROPE: We reject as false the claim that there is no responsible alternative to the artificial, soulless solidarity of a unified market, a transnational bureaucracy, and glib entertainment. Bread and circuses are not enough. The responsible alternative is the true Europe. In this moment, we ask all Europeans to join us in rejecting the utopian fantasy of a multicultural world without borders. We rightly love our homelands, and we seek to hand on to our children every noble thing that we have ourselves received as our patrimony. As Europeans, we also share a common heritage, and this heritage asks us to live together in peace as a Europe of nations. Let us renew national sovereignty, and recover the dignity of a shared political responsibility for Europe’s future.

The Paris Statement lines up well with the nationalist philosophy behind the Trump UN speech.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, October 14

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

Harvey Weinstein and James Martin: The Crimes and Criminals of the Sexual Left
Last week we pondered the shootings in Las Vegas.  We thought the President's response that this was pure evil was closer to the truh than so many "religious leaders" who appeared shocked and confused by the raw display of such hatred for humanity.  If men spend most of their lives deflecting their eyes from the evil before them, they are shocked when the dragon briefly emerges in his true form as a remorseless murderer. The active agent of Evil  prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls. He was a Murderer and a Liar from the beginning.  Dante placed Satan not in fire but in ice at the lowest point in hell. As heaven is the deepest and widest communion, hell is the most harrowing isolation. Frozen Satan could not speak to anyone. The cold expanding dispersing outer space has just that feel to it. As far as one can see and feel, it is so cold, it burns. We know the murderers who have killed in the name of mass movements. There are others who massacre alone. They are hard to detect and in some ways are more pure evil than the ISIS recruit.
There is another face of evil we have a much better chance of exposing and dethroning. It is an evil much more pervasive with more blood on its hands than the mass shooter.  Harvey Weinstein is just the tip of the atheist Hollywood pornography cult. Exploiting actresses in this inverted cult is actually less common than the young male meat market. But who will write that story?  Like the overwhelming homosexual nature of Catholic clergy abuse--the journalists of the sexual left cannot face that huge group of chicken hawks who dominate so much of Catholic social services and so much of the predominantly Jewish porn industry. Cardinal Bernadine of Chicago, Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee and still prancing Uncle Ted Cardinal McCarrick of Washington DC could give Hollywood's Weinstein and the porn racketeers a run for their money in gross depravity. There is a sick male dominated libido cult in our country that hates God, the flag of brotherhood, the purity of feminine virginity and the sanctity of motherhood. This cult is represented in public not by male homosexuals and porn millionaires but by feminist careerists, many Republican but most Democrat. They entered  the big league by showing they would kill for the gang--they championed abortion. They have insured that the term  domestic violence  never includes the deliberate killing of an unborn baby by her mom. Don't let it matter that there is nothing so violent as killing and nothing so domestic as a mother's womb. In the fake news world of the sexual left, taking God's Name in vain is free speech, abortion is women's liberation and sodomy is marriage. What if that strange trifecta of lies was linked and exposed? Is that over the top or is it about time?
The atheist nature of the sexual left, its Aztecan approach to child sacrifice, and its despoiling the flag of brotherhood with the stench of Sodom is a house of cards more vulnerable than the good name of Harvey Weinstein. Just a little light will scatter the predators once it is shined in just the right direction.  Ronan Farrow in the New Yorker tells the story of Weinstein with much more insight and horror than the New York Times reporters who got to press before him. He is the son of Woody Allen and that is not incidental to his feel for the story.
 The "journalist" who is exactly the opposite of Farrow on the question of sexual exploitation is  Jesuit James Martin and his new book on building bridges between homosexuals and the Catholic Church. Homosexuals don't need a bridge into the Catholic clergy any more than the Greeks inside the Trojan Horse needed access to the city of Troy. They were already brought inside the city walls.    Martin is not an advocate for the young confused homosexual on the streets. He is acting as an advocate for the older clerical homosexual males who are already inside the gates and could be subject to serious Church and civil punishments if the clergy sex abuse story is ever told honestly.  Male homosexuals have been welcome for decades in Martin's Jesuit order as well as the Catholic episcopacy and seminaries of America. They are the perpetrators and coverup artists of the ongoing sexual abuse scandal. Their ideology dominates a sizable fraction of Catholic clerical life and Catholic educational institutions. They have many friends in the gay and feminist world of urban politics, law enforcement, Protestant church bureaucracies, journalism, higher public education and media. They don't push urban Democratic politicians on abortion and the politicians don't push them on the abuse of teenage males.  The huge homosexual cartel in Catholic chanceries and religious orders are all in line for pensions as diocese after diocese is bankrupted. Is there any story here? James Martin isn't telling it. 


OCTOBER 13 AND THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR: When the Pope and a French King betrayed a brotherhood.

LUTHER - 500 YEARSLuther and anthropocentric Christianity. Turning Christianity from building the Kingdom of God to assuring the individual of personal salvation.

BRAD GREGORY - AUTHOR OF THE UNINTENDED REFORMATIONTerrific biographical summary of why he teaches at Notre Dame and not Stanford. A short excellent argument of how taking the Living God seriously is not really allowed in secular universities. He says "metaphysical naturalism" is the mandated framework of secular universities.

SOLZHENITSYN, RUSSIA, AND GOD: A review of his March, 1917. The role of the Russian writer and the soul of the nation. Penetrating review at The New Criterion by Gary Saul Morson. The culmination of the godless Modern West was the armed science of Marxism which overthrew Orthodox Russia and Confucian China. Solzhenitsyn was the Christian Russian writer who best described the religious catastrophe. He was popular in the 1970's until he turned his pen to linking the degeneracy of the West to the horrors of the Gulag as two historical expressions of public Atheism.

THE COMMUNIST REVOLUTION - 100 YEARS: From France, a reminder of the globalist revolution that initiated the 20th century. He reminds us that in many ways the Clinton Dynasty and the Tony Blairs were heirs to the leftist project. But they had none of the sacrificial discipline of the first revolutionaries. They went for fame and fortune and now they are "swept away". There is a great anger rising against the globalist capitalists. The bones of the buried revolution seem to be rattling. But there is no coherent shared vision like Marx provided to unite the Bolivian and the Chinese with the urban worker of Germany. (What a successful global ideology it was!) The writer does not understand global Christianity but he is a poet about that god who failed. The most successful armed globalist ideology of the modern west was Communism. "Democracy" and Individualism will not replace the "specter that haunted Europe".


BANNING FEMALE FACIAL COVERING: Is the problem in Europe that women are too covered or not covered enough? Austria has its say.

TO THE CATHOLICS, HEZBOLLAH IS NOT THE ENEMY: Why Catholic Americans should oppose the demonization of Shiites in the Mideast.


UNCOVERING PREDATORS: From Weinstein in Hollywood to Keoghan in Boston. Would this story have been told if Hillary Clinton was President?


ON SPORTS AND POLITICS: Sporting events are high civic culture and can embody our public life together in a local loyalty. They are not a distraction from life but an affirmation of the deeper currents tat bond us in communion and contest.

GIRLS IN BOY SCOUTS: Because girls should be Eagle Scouts, too. As more dioceses sever ties with Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts being increasingly taken over by ideologues of the sexual revolution, perhaps Catholic scouting organizations like the Troops of St. George should be considered.


IS CATALONIA A NATION? No says this author and.  in fact, this movement is diabolic. A more nuanced view.   A very good historical review: Catalonia and Spain like Quebec and Canada.        Catalonians speak a different language than the Spanish. They were on the republican side of the Civil war and their language was suppressed and leader executed with the victory of Franco. For many of the Catalonians their movement is a "post nationalist" separatism which will be more modern and inclusive than Spanish culture.  One very good writer on international politics sees something else in the countryside of Catalonia. From a David Goldman column on nationalism:
"The spiritual centre of the Catalan nationalist movement lies at the ancient Benedictine monastery of Montserrat, where Father Sergi d’Assís Gelpí has preached support for separatism from his pulpit. Four hundred Catholic priests, including several bishops, signed a declaration in support of independence in September, so outraging Spain’s central government that the country’s ambassador to the Vatican filed a formal protest. There are economic grounds for separatist sentiment in Catalonia, certainly. Spain’s richest province contributes a disproportionate share of Spanish taxes, and the Catalans would rather spend their money at home."

POLAND IS A NATION: They pray at their borders on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary understanding that borders must be defended.

CHINA, COAL, THE MIDEAST, AND THE U.S.: An energy situation we might not consider.

REX TILLERSON - SECRETARY OF STATE: A profile from the New Yorker.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, October 7

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

A great evil is loosed upon our land. He prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls. He is real. He was a murderer and a liar from the beginning. He has no religious affiliation.  After great acts of evil, we turn to prayer. Our prayers are meant to align us with the Father God who protects us and has shaped us in His image as guardians of life. The Bible teaches that the nations are fundamental protective covenants to safeguard the peoples of the earth in an orderly way from evil.
A culture of life is a culture of protection. Let us return our nation to honoring God's Name. Let us build among American men a deeper political consciousness that we are a protective brotherhood of fathers as fellow citizens. Our brotherhood knows no class or color. This brotherhood is formalized and led by our officers in local and state police forces. We never know when or where we may be called upon to come together against the predator wolf. Let us be attentive. Let us heed the example of the protectors who limited the horror of the Las Vegas shooting by their bravery. The protective response was by citizens and first responders alike. The armed police response was effective and rapid. It was the worst of times that showed the best of men.
 God created man and woman to bring forth life in the sanctuary of the Garden. He made men to be sons of God as a brotherhood of protective warriors to rule the earth by expelling the Evil One. Those who forever  decry "senseless violence" seem oblivious to human history.  The Earth is a battlefield. God named his chosen nation,  "one who struggles." There was a brotherhood in Las Vegas that limited the evil that was wrought. We honor this protective brotherhood every time we reverence our flag. In this battle we must depend, as the President said, on our love for one another.  Let us strengthen the ordered loves of religion, nation and family. Let us reject the counterfeit loves that are the work of the Evil One. Our lives depend on it.  


A BILL TO WITHDRAW US SUPPORT FOR SAUDI BOMBING OF YEMENTwo Republicans, Two Democrats - an American coalition. A review of consequences of US involvement in supporting Saudi Arabia. When the hysteria clears on Russian involvement in US elections, we might all turn our collective mind to the foreign government which has most confused and influenced our foreign policy since 9/11. Exposing and ending US collusion in the Saudi war against the Houthi Shiites of Yemen may wake us to the larger evil we have allowed these last decades. We should not expect Bushes, Clintons or McCains to help explain, but honest antiwar Democrats and the new generation of lawmakers who are Iraq veterans could play pivotal roles. There is a far better case for an honest declaration of war against the Saudis than embracing these "allies" who have so grievously betrayed us and caused the deaths of our countrymen.  The leading sponsor of global terrorism is not Iran. It is the Saudi Royal family and their state goal of protecting the Wahhabi brand of Salafist ideology.

IF JUDGE MOORE GOES TO WASHINGTON: Then there will be a trumpet for God.


ROBERT MERRY ON DAVID BROOKS: The NY Times columnist (Brooks) was hired as a voice of conservatism. His criticism of Trump betrays a Hillary-like disdain for American nationalists. He presents his arguments in a much more refined and intellectual manner but he does not understand the religious, territorial, masculine character of American economic nationalism.


For the first time since the shooting of the Republican Congressman  in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 14, 2017, we have a real report of what happened. Bryan Porter is the elected attorney of the Commonwealth of the City of Alexandria. His report was to determine if there was justified use of lethal force by police officers. Reviewing the details of the shootings serves another important purpose. It is required reading for law enforcement to help them think through responses to similar situations in the future. Reconstructing details as accurately as possible is even more important than Monday morning reviewing game films. From the beginning  there seemed big chunks of the story which were unclear. Even more maddening it seemed there were no reporters curious about the details of the hunt and kill. Just the mechanics of Capitol special agents with handguns bringing down a rifleman with several hundred yards of open space between them should have driven some reporter to seek the details of such heroism. "Lesbian Capitol policewoman saves homophobic Republican" was one storyline. The Alexandria police chief did hold a news conference five days later  since three of his officers played pivotal roles in the event. A primary purpose of that conference however was to defend the female Alexandria officer who never fired a shot. This full report is no exoneration of the lady. People speak of Flight or Fight responses to danger. There is also Freeze which appears the best description in her case.
    It turns out a young white male officer who used a rifle disabled the shooter enough with his second shot that the assailant discarded his rifle for a handgun. That helped the special agent and other Alexandria police officer who were approaching him while firing their own handguns.  The black male special agent (Bailey) showed the most raw courage in the whole episode in drawing the shooter toward him with his first burst of ten handgun shots that drew the shooter from his perch at third base to come toward the agent. (The Alexandria police chief erroneously credited this act of bravery to both special agents which would be akin to saying all the apostles were arrested with Christ in Gethsemane.) Special Agent Bailey shot over 25 shots. It was his handgun against the rifle that pulled the social justice shooter away from shooting white Congressmen in favor of eliminating that pesky black guy who was spoiling the turkey shoot. One of Bailey's later shots hit the shooter in the chest. The police rifleman (Ofc Jensen) shot a third bullet which "neutralized" the shooter. The older Alexandria officer (Kolbe) and SA Bailey then handcuffed the assailant who died soon after.  The white Alexandria female officer who approached the shooter from a different angle never fired a shot. The lesbian special agent heroine hid behind her car through the entire episode but left her foot dangling and was shot in the ankle. She got off nine shots. One hates to bring a binary lens to this tale but  the three male officers involved all worked together effectively to hunt and kill the predator. The older white officer (Kolbe) had the presence of mind to alert the two incoming officers not to drive right into the situation allowing the vantage point of the rifleman (Jensen) that led to the death of the leftist assailant. So much of hunting is vantage point. From the first call to the Alexandria police force to the "neutralization" of the shooter was less than 10 minutes. This lifesaving unbelievably rapid and effective response of the local policemen was barely mentioned in almost all the "reporting" of the event. Go back and read any ten stories a day after the events and then compare it to what happened. There is a reason people talk about fake news.  

THE MORMON APOSTOLIC QUORUM: The Mormons have been highly successful in maintaining masculine fraternity and patriarchy.Their authoritative ruling body reiterate again the impossibility of "gay" marriage.

HUGH HEFNER (1926-2017) THE INDOORS MAN DOTH PASS: He made stripping females a matter of fame not shame. With those who daily take the name of God in vain and those who sanctioned flag burning he inverted our honor code by desecrating what was sacred. Playboys and feminists had no love for each other but they desecrated the same holy goods. Reversing the sexual revolution is the great religious task before us as a people if we are to reform our nation. The Chinese faced a similar dilemma in clearing the ruins of their own cultural revolution. Russ Douthat's excellent obituary. At the New Yorker, Adam Gopnik can't help but praise a man so instrumental in erecting the culture of his own magazine and social class.

PROFESSOR JORDAN PETERSON: A terrific psychological thinker who understands the fundamental categories of Christianity better than most theologians and pastors. Very accessible to that big group of well-intentioned young people who are not Christian because they think religion is intellectually dishonest.

JORDAN PETERSON INTERVIEWS CAMILLE PAGLIA: She says the graduate schools were taken over by careerists. The real revolutionaries of the sixties stayed out of school she says or destroyed themselves with drugs. Post-modernism she asserts is a fraud and has nothing to do with the communal movement of the sixties.

LEPANTO AND TOURS: This week in October, two great battles were fought to defend Europe from Islamic invasions of existential proportions. In AD 732, Islamic forces attempted to complete their invasion of western Europe (Spain had already been taken) by expanding north into France. Charles Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne, held them off in a stunning victory at Tours on October 10. On this day in 1571, a great naval battle at Lepanto witnessed a vastly outnumbered Catholic fleet destroying an Islamic fleet set to invade the Catholic nations of the northern Mediterranean. Due to Marian intercession, October 7 became known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory - now called Our Lady of the Rosary. The lesson from these battles is that Christian nations  must respond to warring Islam with acts of war. However while the sword is aimed at jihadists, the great majority of praying Muslims should be approached in a more fraternal way. This is Archbishop Fulton Sheen's insight:

Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Muslims will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ Himself is born. In any apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which people already accept. Because the Muslims have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion, with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Muslims the rest of the way to her Divine Son. She is forever a 'traitor' in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, but will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her Divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the Divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief.
…It now remains to use another approach, namely, that of taking the forty-first chapter of the Koran, and showing them that it was taken out of the Gospel of Luke, that Mary could not be, even in their own eyes, the most blessed of all the women of Heaven if she had not also borne One Who was the Savior of the world. If Judith and Esther of the Old Testament were prefigures of Mary, then it may very well be that Fatima herself was a postfigure of Mary! The Muslims should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing.

(from "The World’s First Love" by Bishop Sheen)


SUNRISE SUNSET - NOBEL PRIZE: The circadian rhythms are essential links between man and nature. Every night Catholics pray in Night Prayer: "Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep; that awake, we may keep watch with Christ and asleep, rest in His peace."

FATHER THOMAS JOSEPH WHITE OP: An interview about his new book The Light of Christ. We cannot love what we do not know. Dogmas are teachings. They are signposts to reality. They make us more in touch with reality, not less.

KNIGHTS OF ST. TARCISIUS: A fraternity of young Catholic men, bound together by devotion to the Eucharist and their bishop. The Knights of St. Tarcisius was started in Kansas City by our own A. Joseph Lynch. The Archdiocesan newspaper is covering the program's rapid growth.