Saturday, April 14, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review for April 14, 2018

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

In response to the use of chemical agents in Eastern Ghouta on April 7, 2018, President Trump ordered a one time attack on select Syrian targets in conjunction with Britain and France.
 "Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, said the April 13 nighttime airstrikes "took out the heart" of Assad's chemical weapons arsenal. He said 105 U.S. and allied missiles were fired, of which 66 were Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from aboard three U.S. Navy ships and one Navy submarine. U.S., British and French attack aircraft, including two U.S. Air Force B-1B strategic bombers, launched stealthy, long-range missiles from outside Syrian airspace."
  On April 12, Russians announced that rebels in the village of Douma were given safe passage and the Eastern Ghouta region would come under the full control of the Assad government. Russian troops were instrumental in the safe passage and separation of forces. This is a huge step toward the reassertion of governmental authority in Syria.
The US attacks were done in a manner that minimized civilian and Russian damage.  This attack will give President Trump breathing room from US neoconservatives, Israel, Saudi and British forces who want US troops to commit to regime change in Syria.  The rebel forces in the southwestern part of Syria seen in the map below are serving as a buffer between Israel and Syria. Israel will not want to see those areas of Syria return to Syria. The Golan Heights are essential but an added buffer is even better.  Israel's goals with Syria are much more bellicose and destabilizing than ours. Nor can we minimize the aversion that the British security establishment has against any new alliance between the US and Russia. When the Brits say "The WEST"  they meant the White English Speaking Twosome and whoever else will go along.
 The President has actually given himself some room to meet with the Russians. There was a punitive gesture while there was also US Russia cooperation (none dare call it collusion) which limited the interaction. We are closer to ending the Syrian Civil War than a week ago. The overwhelming fact in a news world that doesn't care for facts is that the only legitimate government of Syria is now in control of a region that has been in a state of rebellion since 2011.  Nationalists believe that America and Israel should be safe and secure within defensible borders. Nationalists should also be clear that Syria, Lebanon, and Iran are sovereign nations as well. They must be allowed to establish authority within their own borders and be secure from foreign attacks.          



GAUDETE ET EXSULTATE - THE POPE ON THE CALL TO HOLINESS: In this beautiful and poetic exhortation, Pope Francis reminds us there is a real devil but first he grounds the universal call to holiness in our shared life with the saints and martyrs who have gone before us. He acknowledges the hidden stream of holiness all around us and reminds us of mother and grandmother who while not perfect kept us on the path. Read this beautiful message. It seems the best manifestation of how Pope Francis wants to proclaim the Good News of Christ's resurrection and his continued presence on earth in the Eucharist and our fellow humans in need. He reminds us there is no " God without Christ; no Christ without the Church ; and no Church without the people."  The Catholic conservative talking class lent a tepid reception. They are to the Pope what CNN is to the President.

Raymond de Souza at National Catholic Register.

"CONFERENCE ON CONFUSION" CHANNELS  "THE VOICE OF THE FAITHFUL"Final statement from those speaking with their authority as the baptized and confirmed.

AT CHRISTMAS THE WHOLE WORLD JOINS US, BUT FOR EASTER THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH BEARS THE WITNESS: Michael Pakaluk on the apostolic character of the Easter season - a penetrating insight from the Catholic University professor. Chesterton said Christianity is an empirical religion based on a fact reported by credible witnesses. Materialism is an ideology that asserts as a dogma there are no supernatural beings and no-one can rise from the dead. The facts of the matter as reported are to be dismissed in deference to the dogma which must believed. .. Ideology rules out the empiric event. Which approach holds better to the principles of knowing we associate with the sciences? When light was observed to act as BOTH a particle and a wave, it was the old dogma not the observed fact that was discarded.

THE FEMINIZATION OF CHRISTIANITY: The problem not the solution says Rod Dreher at American Conservative.


INTERVIEW WITH MbS BY JEFFREY GOLDBERGAn interviewer who has heard of the Wahhabis - though the Crown Prince hadn't. Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic magazine is the best foreign policy interviewer in journalism. He is a standard Democratic party liberal but he is also a serious journalist.

HOW THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION MADE A DEAL WITH MUHAMMED BIN SALMAN: Excellent reporting - a believable and frightening story.

PRESIDENT TRUMP AND UAEA very tiny base supports the young leaders of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Israelis see them as all they have got. The US has many more options.

PRESIDENT TRUMP, SYRIA, AND THE GENERALS: Since his campaign President Trump has had a different take on Syria then the Republican and military establishment. They want a long term presence for US with goal of overthrowing President Assad. As nationalists we must learn that national sovereignty applies to more nations than our own. The legitimate state authority in Syria is the Assad government. Shall we ally with Saudi Arabia and Israel and overthrow Assad or give him back his country as ISIS is finally being removed? Pat Buchanan presents the crucial policy dispute.
Syria was bombed today (see above).


DAY OF DELUSION AT PENTAGONA roundtable of female officers.

CARDINAL BURKE AND A PREDATOR BISHOP: IS EARLY RETIREMENT A SENTENCE? Homosexual clerics are safe with that prissy fellow they called "gay Ray" in his seminary years. The "scourge of Pope Francis", the "courageous defender of orthodoxy," Cardinal Ray Burke is unfortunately very much of the ilk of deposed Archbishop John Nienstedt of St Paul and well-fed capitalism guru Fr Robert Sirico of Acton Institute. Why Archbishop Apron of Guam was treated so politely by the Burke-led court has much more to do with the character of Cardinal Raymond Burke than the crimes of Anthony Apron (which are revolting). This story is just beginning. Cardinal Burke will be featured at the "Confusion in the Church" conference in Rome. He is all in on condemning the Pope on the "Hell interview". We had a somewhat different take.

T.H. WHITE AUTHOR OF THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING: “The Destiny of Man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.”

YADIER MOLINA STANDS UP FOR HIS MOMMA AND TEACHES AMERICA A LESSON ON LANGUAGE: St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina was surprised when Arizona manager Torey Lovullo came out to protest a strikeout and in arguing with the umpire looked at Molina and referred to him as a mother...r. Molina went after the Diamondback manager and in doing so had contact with the umpire. Sportswriters in this "no hit, no spank, no touch" era interviewed Molina on the possibility of his being fined for the "physical contact" with the umpire. Mr. Molina was much more focused and still angry about the "fighting words" which led to his anger. The umpire got between him and the object of his charge. Molina took the expression as a profound insult against his mother. Indeed his English is impeccable because the phrase is meant as an accusation of incest. It is a fighting insult. In the 1960's as the black civil rights movement became the black racial pride movement, the widespread use of that deeply transgressive and misogynist phrase became a badge of blackness. What a deep degradation of our language that the f-word became the ultimate utility player as an all purpose part of speech. That horrific phrase of "mf" once shocked. The abomination became commonplace. Words lost their meaning and the truth was slain again. God bless you, Mr. Molina. (The umpire said he understood he had placed himself between the men and he saw no reason to punish Molina. Lovullo apologized to Molina after the game.) A new series - Baseball as a Road to God.

BELGUIM AND EUTHANASIABelgium and Euthanasia - a very ugly tale of an ex-priest playing Dr Death. An excerpt:
In Belgium, euthanasia is embraced as an emblem of enlightenment and progress, a sign that the country has extricated itself from its Catholic, patriarchal roots. Distelmans, who was brought up as a Catholic and then rejected the Church, told me that his work is inspired by an aversion to all forms of paternalism. “Who am I to convince patients that they have to suffer longer than they want?” he said.


JORDAN PETERSON: A classical liberal is a better description than a modern conservative.

JACOB REES-MOGG OF THE UK: That peculiar blend of Catholic traditionalist and libertarian capitalist. An Acton Institute profile.

HUBERT HUMPHREY - A MORAL AND JOYOUS LIBERAL: A good reminder of the anti-Communist pro-civil rights "happy warrior" by James Traub.

THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: Here is a good remembrance of that 1969 book about the destruction of souls in American universities.  It was an era in which the canonical works of western civilization were being abandoned and the demands of violence threatening radicals were being embraced. The other truth in this story is that the 1950's intellectual life of the atheist European influenced professors (like the author) was not strong enough to quell rebellious teens. The Great Books professors shorn of religious authority and national loyalties were easy pickings for black male students who came from tough neighborhoods and their white male counterparts who were looking for action. The author of the book, Allan Bloom (1930-1992) was a homosexual and non-believing Jewish University professor. He was a student of Leo Strauss and a friend of Saul Bellow (Bellow's book Ravelstein was based on Bloom.) Bloom described his intellectual life as "beginning with Freud and ending with Plato". He was admitted to academic life at age 15. Allan Bloom passed as a "conservative thinker" in those days of rage. He never used that label for himself.  His fame as a "conservative" reveals the poverty of intellectual life divorced from religious, military, and masculine sensibilities.

JOHN BRENNAN AND THE KILLER DRONES: There was once a time that the liberal media saw CIA head or "Deputy President" John Brennan as a highly dishonest purveyor of the drone warfare. This "kill from the air" program minimized US casualties but made a lot of enemies in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. It was first initiated as the feminist way of war under Madeline Albright and Bill Clinton bombing the Orthodox Christians of Serbia.  When anyone writes about the "war on males" of the feminist left they might recall the peculiar foreign policy version of the Obama/Brtennan strategy. All males 18 and over killed in drone strikes were counted as combatants.

VIKTOR ORBAN OF HUNGARY: probably today's most important European national leader. In preparation for the Hungarian elections in April 2018, this Washington Post profile was meant to be a severe criticism. However, it is factual enough to show why Christians and nationalists would reelect him. (He and his nationalist party was reelected in a landslide).

Of special importance is his concept of spirit (Geist: sometimes also translated as "mind") as the historical manifestation of the logical concept. 
{This is closely allied with the Christian notion of the Logos acting out Divine Providence.}

His notion of  "sublation" (Aufhebung: integration without elimination or reduction) of seemingly contradictory or opposing factors; examples include the apparent opposition between nature and freedom and between immanence and transcendence. 
{This is a very Catholic and sacramental sensibility. It applies to the most fundamental reality-- the three in one Trinity. Pope Francis employs this synthetic approach to many problems he associates with "Mary, the Untier of knots." }

Hegel has been seen in the 20th century as the originator of the thesis, antithesis, synthesis triad. That is a misreading of a phrase originating with Johann Gottlieb Fichte. "
That notion is actually  quite different than  Aufehebung.

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