Shrewd, Very Shrewd

Tuesday, August 20, AD 2013

10 Responses to Shrewd, Very Shrewd

  • Now a shrewd US politician needs to draw attention to the burning churches and perhaps wonder out loud why Obama and Kerry continue to support the burning of churches.

  • “…underlines in the minds of most Egyptians that if they are sick and tired of endless strife and destruction they must suppport the military in its struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood.”

    The problem is that there is a sizable percentage of the population of Egypt, sizable enough to get Morsi elected as PM, that is perfectly happy with strife and destruction as long as it is directed at their non-Salafi neighbors.
    We enable great evil when we mistake democracy for freedom. Democracy without the foundation of a moral society is simply tyranny with better press. As a whole, Egytian society, like American society is becoming, is unfit for democratic rule.

  • “The problem is that there is a sizable percentage of the population of Egypt, sizable enough to get Morsi elected as PM, that is perfectly happy with strife and destruction as long as it is directed at their non-Salafi neighbors.”

    They had the excuse of ignorance. It is one thing to be the supporter of a political faction agitating against an unpopular regime, and it is quite another to remain a supporter of a faction after it takes power and falls flat on its face. The Muslim Brotherhood had been a consistent enemy of the military regimes that had ruled Egypt since 1952. Rebels tend to be popular until they win.

  • It’s not so much Sisi’s cleverness/shrewdness.

    It’s more Obama’s, Clintion’s, Kerry’s, et alles leftist stupidity and knee-jerk support for any and all dystopian radicals.

  • If it’s a tactic, it depends on the rest of the world having the capacity to recognize and reward decent acts. It won’t impress those who don’t mind the suppression of Christianity in the Middle East.

    Then again, it could be a message to the people of Egypt. Consider the flag of the Egyptian Revolution of 1919 for an idea of what Egyptian national aspiration used to look like. That revolution was a big inspiration for the recent one.

  • Too cool. Political decency from an unexpected quarter. The Egyptian military obviously has a lot going for it!

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  • Pinky and everyone else,

    I would love to see the return of that flag, WOW!

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John Kerry, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Copts

Tuesday, August 20, AD 2013

 

 

John Kerry, our hapless Secretary of State, is backing the Muslim Brotherhood in the current incipient Civil War raging in Egypt between the Egypptian military, which removed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood former president of Egypt, and the supporters of the  military, and the Muslim Brotherhood.  Kerry’s fondness for the Muslim Brotherhood goes back quite a ways.  Here is an excerpt from a post by terrorist expert Andrew McCarthy at National Review Online from December 14, 2011:

 

Senator John Kerry (D., Mass.) is in Egypt, meeting with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood — the Islamist organization whose goals are to destroy Israel, “conquer Europe” and “conquer America” (to quote its most influential jurist, Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi).

The Brotherhood, which operates throughout the world, seeks the imposition by governments of strict sharia law (as outlined in Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law) and, eventually, a global caliphate. Naturally, the Obama administration describes it as a “largely secular” and moderate organization — and William Taylor, President Obama’s hand-picked “special coordinator for transitions in the Middle East,” announced last month that the administration would be quite “satisfied” with a Brotherhood victory in the Egyptian elections.

As the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports, Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and key Obama administration congressional ally, “welcomed the results of Egypt’s first democratic elections,” in which “voters gave the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) nearly 40% of seats, and more than 24% went to the ultra-conservative Salafi coalition led by al-Nour Party.” [ACM: by ultraconservative, IPT means al-Nour is somewhat more impatient than the Brotherhood for the imposition of supremacist Islam; as I’ve explained on other occasions, the Muslim Brotherhood is Salafist in its ideology.] 

In addition to praising the Brotherhood’s election as a model of transparency and integrity, Sen. Kerry also called for an infusion of cash from the International Monetary Fund to undergird Egypt’s new Islamist government.

The United States, though over $15 trillion in debt, is the leading contributor-nation to the IMF, providing close to a fifth of its funding. That is about three times as much as second-place Japan, more than four times as much as China, more than six times as much as the leading Islamist country (Saudi Arabia), and more than the combined contributions of the three top European donors — Germany, Britain and France. (See Wikipedia Table, here.)  Consequently, a cash infusion by the IMF to the Brotherhood-led Egyptian government would be a redistribution of wealth from American taxpayers to Islamists whose goal is to conquer American taxpayers — assuming, of course, there is any money left in the IMF after the Obama administration gets done using it as the device through which tapped out American taxpayers bail out, at least temporarily, Europe’s collapsing experiment in trans-continental socialism.

Ironically, Kerry’s overtures and pledge of support to the Brotherhood come only a few days after a federal appeals court upheld the convictions of five top Brotherhood operatives in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial, the Justice Department’s most significant terrorism support conspiracy prosecution in recent years. As the proof overwhelming demonstrated, the Brotherhood, through its American affiliates, channeled millions of dollars to Hamas to support terror operations against Israel. Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, and underwriting its campaign to destroy Israel has long been a top priority for the Brotherhood’s satellite organizations in the West — many of which were designated “unindicted coconspirators” by the Justice Department in the HLF case, and shown by the evidence to have abetted the Hamas-support scheme.

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16 Responses to John Kerry, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Copts

  • J. Christian Adams: “It’s Sunny at the White House! But not in Egypt if you are a Christian or a Franciscan nun.

    “All over Egypt, Christian churches are being burned, Christians murdered, and nuns paraded in the streets as ‘prisoners of war.’

    “The war can only mean a war of Islam vs. Christianity, right? What other ‘war’ could they be prisoners of? Their words, not mine.

    “The Muslim Brotherhood, and their thug adherents, are conducting a war of genocide against Christians, and trying to erase the Copts from the land, one of the oldest Christian groups in the world.”

  • I think we can safely put the final nail in “democracy.” It has been overrated for two centuries and frequently abused and exploited. At this point in the game I’ll take any form of government that will ensure rule of law. That seems to me the operative term.

  • I think that Democracy is the worst form of government Matt, as Churchill observed, except for all the other forms of government ever attempted. Our mistake is to view it as a panacea in situations where it is obvious that those elected will swiftly make sure that the only way they can be removed from office is by force rather than by the ballot box. Democracy is only successful if a clear majority of the citizenry are willing to play by its rules.

  • I think we can safely put the final nail in “democracy.” It has been overrated for two centuries and frequently abused and exploited. At this point in the game I’ll take any form of government that will ensure rule of law. That seems to me the operative term. –

    It generally bumps and grinds along passably enough most parts of the world, but it is a tall order in and among the Arab states and we are seeing that graphically demonstrated (though the Algerian disaster, 1988-99, should have instructed us well).

    The alternative to parliamentary government is seldom a dignified autocrat like Augusto Pinochet who makes good calls and generally only jails people who fancy they should be active in politics. You see them here and there, but mostly you get cack-handed military regimes (Argentina, 1943-83), kleptocracies (Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Mobutu and the Somoza crew), abattoirs (China, 1949-76), and cohorts of cousins who are happy to run their countries into the ground so long as they rule the ruins (the Duvaliers and the Assads).

  • To reverse Michelle Obama’s 2008 remark, this is the first time I am not particularly proud of my country.

  • Democracy is only successful if a clear majority of the citizenry are willing to play by its rules.

    I think ‘a clear majority of working politicians’ is closer to the actual prerequisite. You get publics who are fodder for capable demagogues (Adolph Hitler, Juan Domingo Peron, or Gamal Abdel Nasser), but some inscrutable process (or historical accident) must generate the demagogue to make use of the fodder.

    ==

    A real problem we face in the affluent Occident to day is the loss of any sense (in and among the chattering classes) that they compete with others and are engaged in argument. The social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has been trying to dissect this phenomenon. Raymond Aron spoke of the ‘unification of the elites’ and Angelo Codevilla speaks of the regime class v. the country class and it seems about right in our time. Conjoin that to very real structural defects in our political institutions (see Anthony Kennedy and Harry Reid) and you get multiple toxic brews.

    There is another problem which has come to the fore in recent years. It is not merely that the regime class cannot process disagreement, but that sections of the fancied opposition are readily suborned. You look at the doings of figures as disparate as John McCain, Reince Preibus, David Frum, Daniel McCarthy, and the crew currently in charge of the Institute on Religion and Public Life and you do wonder if some sort of common social psychological impulse is at work.

  • Yes, USA’s Kenyan Muslim president stumbles from one foreign policy disaster to another along with his enablers.
    It appears that a Coptic monastery was attacked and burned, and this will be the first time in 1600 years that Mass has not been celebrated there daily.
    The Egyptian Army had the common sense to get rid of Morsi.

  • So John FARC Kerry made more stupid comments! This is not news considering Kerry is the source.

    I have despised John FARC Kerry for years. Do you want to know why I call his middle name FARC? FARC is the Spanish acronym for the Marxist narcoterrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. You will hear nothing about what the FARC does in any American media outside of the Miami Herald. In 2003, David Horowitz of Frontpagemag.com quoted then Presidential candidate Kerry as saying, “The FARC has legitimate complaints.”

    Former Colombian President Uribe led the Colombian government to make tremendous gains against the FARC, whcih have been reversed since Santos took power there. Former House Speaker Nancy (“Brainless”) Pelosi blew off Uribe when Uribe visited Washington.

    Muslims have hated Christianity for centuries. Protestants, mainline Protestants, reformed Protestants and evangelical Protestants, rarely did any battle against Islam until Great Britain plunged into the Levant in the 19th century. Therefore, the evangelicals in America have no history of struggling against Islam. They haven’t a clue about Islam.

    The chattering class is, of course, stupid – about Islam and about all other things.

    Only the Catholic and Orthodox Churches have any history of successful struggle against Islam…..and the Vat II bunch likes to pretend it never happened.

    Unlike a golddigging, stupid politician such as Señorito FARC Kerry, I know my Catholic history. We have our heroes – Pelayo, Queen Isabel the Catholic, Servant of God, Don Juan of Austria, and the Polish Hussars led by John Sobieski. They knew what to do when faced with Islam.

    “No more will we hear the taunts of the Mohammedans – O Christians, where is your God?”……John Sobieski

    September 12, the Most Holy Name of Mary, due to the favor requested and received by John Sobieski from the Most Holy Mother of God when the Hussars made one last charge at the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna, will be observed in the Latin Church in just over three weeks. Chances are, most parishes will not even mention it in their weekly bulletins – because it is due to a victory in a successful battle. Pope Paul VI removed the Most Holy Name of Mary from the new Church Calendar. Pope John Paul II put it back – in both the new and Traditional Church calendars.

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  • ‘a clear majority of working politicians’ must consist of statesmen and patriots. The rest are a bunch of imposters, usurpers and pretenders.

  • In the Muslim Brotherhood if a woman is raped, she is put to death, but the rapist goes freeee. I’m am so glad John Kerry as Secretary of State is on the side of Justice and upholds the sanctions against rape of another sovereign person, male or female, or is that too much trouble for Kerry?.

  • Democracy just doesn’t work with Muslims.

    The best compromise is the secular republic model set up by Turkish nationalist hero Ataturk.

    Turkey is over 90% Muslim (large numbers of Greek Christians, Armenian Christians who lived in the area of modern day Turkey were pretty. Much killed off, ethically cleansed after World War I, Muslim Turks used to enslave, tax infidel Christians, but finally they got tired of this and did what Muslim Brotherhood is doing to Coptic Christians now).

    Anyway, the Atakurk secular republic system works OK, there is limited “democracy”, with the stipulation that Tuekey is a modern secular republic, looks to Europe for science, economics, women have education rights, any religious or Marxist groups threaten the secu,ar Republic, Turkish army steps in, kills, imprisons trouble makers. The Turkish mi,Italy has Stephen in a few times since World War II. Islamic parties are pushing their luck in Turkey now.

    In Middle East, secularly army rule in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Algeria is way better than Muslim mob rule.

  • It is a sad state of affairs. As history tends to repeat itself, it would be helpful to study that of the Turkish genocide of the Armenians from the late Nineteenth Century to the time during and somewhat after World War I. Several years ago, I wrote a book report of sorts about “The Burning Tigris” by Peter Balakian. If I may impose upon your time and space, I append it here:

    Armenian Amnesia
    Bill Walsh

    “Who today, after all, speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?” – Adolph Hitler, eight days before Nazi Germany invaded Poland.

    Are you old enough to remember your mother or father shaming you to eat everything on your plate by reminding you of the starving Armenians? Most children had little idea what had brought the Armenians to the point of starvation and death. Hitler was right, at least in that no one any longer spoke of it. How much does anyone today know about the terrible fate, between 1915 and 1919, at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, of nearly an entire people who were victims of a secret but entirely official plan of genocide?

    There had been previous murderous assaults against the Armenian people, who had lived two thousand years in their ancient homeland before the Seljuk Turks conquered it. Sultan Abdul Hamid II was responsible for the massacre of about 200,000 Armenians between 1894 and 1896. Behind the opaque veil of mere statistics there transpired vicious scene after vicious scene of unspeakable horror: “soldiers” falling upon them to “outrage” many to death and slaughtering others with sword and bayonet; children set in line to see how many could be killed with a single shot.

    Throughout these years, sadistic brutality raged against the Christian Armenian population of Turkey. Rarely, a fleeting opportunity of survival was offered when the troopers would crash into an occupied church and demand the congregation to deny Christ, and embrace Mohammed. When no one answered, the troops fell upon them, and the butchery commenced until martyr’s blood flowed from beneath the doors of the church.

    In 1909, another paroxysm of persecution occurred in Adana. Over four-thousand dwellings were torched, and thirty-thousand Armenians slain. These nightmares were but practice for the carefully planned genocide the Turkish government carried out behind the obscuring fog of the “Great War”.

    The government decided that the existence of a Christian minority impeded and threatened the destiny and integrity of an expanding Turkish Empire. On November 14, 1914, to marshal the Mussulmen for the task ahead, the sheikh-al-Islam, leader of all the Sunnis, proclaimed a jihad against “infidels and enemies of the faith”.

    The annihilation of one and a half million Armenians commenced on April 24, 1914. On that day, throughout the Armenian villages of Turkey, there appeared a town crier, accompanied by a boy beating a drum, announcing that in so many days they must be prepared to relocate, as part of the war effort, and to assemble at the town square.

    Once assembled, the men were marched out of town, and shot. The defenseless women and children were marched out to a worse fate. As they stretched out upon the roads away from their ancient homes, there lay in wait newly uniformed legions of released-for-the-purpose criminals eager to fall upon them with license to kill.

    One sympathetic witness, Armin T. Wegner, described the doomed deportees arrayed along the road as “like a weeping hedge that begs and screams, and from which rise a thousand pleading hands; we go by, our hearts full of shame.” Most were tortured to death. The thousands drowned by the boatload in the Black Sea suffered less.

    Such horrific atrocities as the Game of Swords, the Dance, and the Cross are too nightmarish to describe here. Those who can endure such lugubrious material should read Peter Balakian’s “The Burning Tigris” published by Harper Collins. Those who would prefer less graphic information may go to the Armenian National Institute’s website: http://www.armenian-genocide.org/index.html

    Is the Armenian massacre alone in the mists of modern amnesia? Are the Kulaks and other millions killed by Stalin in there too? Are hidden also the millions killed in China’s “Great Leap Forward”? Are Pol Pot’s victims in Cambodia and the poor souls we abandoned in Vietnam also lost to modern memory?

    They are where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.” We remain where such terrible things can happen again. We must firmly resolve to see that they do not.

  • William P. Walsh

    I highly recommend the (now banned) History Channel documentary – the Ottomon War Machine:

    http://m.youtube.com/?reload=2&rdm=uid0m1he

    (Search on google, it comes up on youtube)

    The documentary bends over backwards to be fair, respectful to the brutal Ottomon Muslim Turks, but the brutal truths co e through that the Muslims had an open policy of conquest, enslavement of European Christians. the Conquoring Muslims had a policy to grab White Christian girls as sexual slaves, concubines and the Sultans had an interesting policy of ensuring male successors through the children of his White harem.

  • Democracy just doesn’t work with Muslims.

    There are currently elected legislatures and civil peace in two (of three) Muslim states in the Far East, one (of two) states on the Indian subcontinent, 1 (of six) Muslim states in Central Asia, four Arab states, and five (of seven) Muslim states in West Africa. In Kuwait, this has been the case about 80% of the time since 1961 and in Morocco and Senegal this has been ongoing since about 1977.

  • There are currently elected legislatures and civil peace in two (of three) Muslim states in the Far East…

    Actually, that is a pretty dismal scorecard, especially when one takes a closer look at the exceptions (say, Boko Haram in Nigeria.) If anything, one might conclude you are reinforcing the post you reference, as opposed to refuting it.

    Perhaps a better way to analyze or refute any claims regarding the compatibility of orthodox Islam with democracy would be to observe whether a country transitioning into or out of Islamist rigor becomes more or less democratic (and more importantly, more respectful of minority rights). That particular scorecard is similarly not very encouraging (though it, too, contains exceptions — given what happened in Rwanda under Christian leaders, it would be difficult to claim that the rising number of Muslims there is going to make things much worse.)

    Granted, Catholic elites took a very long time to warm up to the notion of democracy, and oftentimes fell woefully short on matters of minority rights, but they have not traditionally punctuated their reservations with suicide vests and exploding underwear to the acclaim of millions of their followers.

Various and Sundry, 8/16/13

Friday, August 16, AD 2013

Egyptian Christians Under Assault

So a religious minority is being systematically attacked, and the news is greeted with crickets by the mainstream American press. But at least Al Jazeera (!) is there to report on it.

Security forces moved to violently disperse two protest camps by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on Wednesday morning, setting in motion a day of deadly violence that left at least 525 people dead in clashes across the country.

Amid the violence, alleged Morsi supporters carried out on dozens of attacks on churches and Christian-owned properties throughout the country.

Mina Thabet, an activist with Christian rights group the Maspero Youth Union, told Al Jazeera on Friday that at least 32 churches had been “completely destroyed, burned or looted” in eight different governorates over the previous two days. The group also recorded dozens of other attacks on Christian-owned shops, businesses and schools around the country.

Obamacare Pushing Americans into Part-Time Work

Wow, who could have predicted this development? Well, other than pretty much everyone who opposed Obamacare and said this would happen.

The Affordable Care Act requires mid-sized and large employers to sponsor health insurance for all full-time employees, which it defines as those who work 30 hours a week or more. Big labor unions, which had been in favor of the new law, are now sounding the alarm against it. They argue the sticker shock from the premium hikes is leading businesses to offset the impact by capping hours on employees, despite a recently announced one-year delay in that insurance mandate. If workers don’t clock 30 hours a week, the reasoning goes, employers won’t have to offer health insurance.

So the big labor unions who paid thousands to pretend to be pushed their grassroots activists to actively demonstrate their support for the bill are only now realizing that this will hurt their members?

NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times

I am not as strongly opposed to the NSA surveillance program as most of you, but this is more than a bit worrisome.

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.

Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.

Oddly enough, the typographical errors worry me more, because it signifies how easily your rights can be violated by a mammoth bureaucracy that has little accountability.

As Though TSA Agents Needed Another Excuse

Al-Qaeda’s chief bomb-maker Ibrahim al-Asiri is thought to have developed explosives that can be concealed in implants or bodily cavities and escape detection from airport scanners, according to The Mirror.

One staff member said: “There are genuine fears over this.

“We have been told to pay particular attention to females who may have concealed hidden explosives in their breasts.

Pamela Anderson has jumped to the top of the terrorist watch list.

How the Hobbit Should Have Ended

An alternative vision.

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Various and Sundry, 8/15/13

Thursday, August 15, AD 2013

Biblical Roots of the Teaching of the Assumption

Msgr. Pope drops some knowledge on this Feast Day.

The actual event of the Assumption is not described in Scripture. However, there are “assumptions” recorded in the Scriptures and the concept is thus biblical.

  1. It happened to Enoch in the Old Testament The Book of Genesis records: Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away (Gen. 5:24). Hebrews 11: 5 elaborates: By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was attested as having pleased God.

  2. It also happened to Elijah as he walked with Elisha: And as they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven….And he was seen no more. (2 Kings 2:11 ).

  3. Some say Moses too was taken up since his grave is not known. As we read in yesterday’s first reading at Mass: He was buried in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is (Dt. 34:6). The text of course does not say his body was taken up and if it was, it occurred after death and burial. Jude 1:9 hints at the fact when is says, But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses….. (Jude 1:9) Some further credibility is lent to the view of him being assumed by the fact that he appears alongside Elijah in the Transfiguration account. Some of the Church Fathers held this view and there is also a Jewish work from the 6th Century AD entitled The Assumption of Moses that represents the tradition of his assumption. But in the end the Assumption of Moses only a view held by some and it not officially held by the Church.

More at the link.

Obama worse than Nixon? Well duh.

Presidential powers have been expanding almost exponentially for about a century. We have seemingly reached a point where the President can act without Congressional authority for any reason at all. George Will captures why Obama’s administration has been especially pernicious.

Explaining his decision to unilaterally rewrite the Affordable Care Act (ACA), he said: “I didn’t simply choose to” ignore the statutory requirement for beginning in 2014 the employer mandate to provide employees with health care. No, “this was in consultation with businesses.”

He continued: “In a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the speaker and say, you know what, this is a tweak that doesn’t go to the essence of the law. . . . It looks like there may be some better ways to do this, let’s make a technical change to the law. That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do. But we’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to Obamacare. We did have the executive authority to do so, and we did so.”

Serving as props in the scripted charade of White House news conferences, journalists did not ask the pertinent question: “Wheredoes the Constitution confer upon presidents the ‘executive authority’ to ignore the separation of powers by revising laws?” The question could have elicited an Obama rarity: brevity. Because there is no such authority.

This inspires Will to compare Obama with Nixon.

In a 1977 interview with Richard Nixon, David Frost asked: “Would you say that there are certain situations . . . where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation . . . and do something illegal?”

Nixon: “Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

Frost: “By definition.”

Nixon: “Exactly, exactly.”

Nixon’s claim, although constitutionally grotesque, was less so than the claim implicit in Obama’s actions regarding the ACA. Nixon’s claim was confined to matters of national security or (he said to Frost) “a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude.” Obama’s audacity is more spacious; it encompasses a right to disregard any portion of any law pertaining to any subject at any time when the political “environment” is difficult.

Wounded Warriors Unable to Eat at Dining Hall

You just sometimes have to wonder if people inside the government are capable of rational thought.

The Glories of the Arab Spring Continue Apace

Well at least the UN is on the case.

The UN Security Council is calling on both the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood to exercise “maximum restraint” and end the violence spreading across the country, which has claimed more than 600 lives.

Council members called for national reconciliation, expressed regret at the loss of life and sent sympathy to the victims.

Up next: a very strongly worded letter.

One Step Forward, One Step Back

Leave it to Major League Baseball to come to its senses regarding replay, and then ruin this moment of clarity by aping the NFL’s absurd challenge system.

Mmmmmm. Bacon.

I heartily endorse this recipe. Store bought bacon will just never suffice again.

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Egypt and the Obama Doctrine

Friday, February 11, AD 2011

 

 

I was inclined to cut the Obama administration some slack initially in regard to the crisis in Egypt.  It is a tough situation and it was difficult to see anything that the US could or should do.  Mubarak has been a friend to the US during his 30 years in power, faithfully kept the peace with Israel, and worked with our intelligence agencies against Islamic terrorism.  However, there is no doubt that he is a dictator, albeit one of the best of a very bad lot in the Middle East where dictatorship is the norm outside of Israel, Turkey and Iraq, and no American can weep for his fall.  However, what replaces him could be far worse.  A tough situation and not a whole lot the US can do to influence events.  Therefore I was initially sympathetic to Obama’s dilemma.

However, the utter cluelessness of his administration throughout this mess has ended my sympathy.  Endless, feckless posturing, combined with impotence, is not a foreign policy but rather a vaudeville act.  This was on full display yesterday when Leon Panetta, CIA director, stated publicly that he had reports that indicated Mubarak would be stepping down yesterday. This was completely erroneous as events proved, but it made worldwide headlines.  It then turned out that Panetta was not basing his prediction on intelligence gathered by his spooks, but rather on media reports.  I can think of few better illustrations of the level of amateurish bungling that has been the hallmark of the Obama administration in regard to everything they have touched.  The Obama Doctrine consists of the following elements:

1.  Speak loudly and carry no stick.

2.  Watch a lot of tv to find out what is going on in the world.

3.  Make endless statements to the press and, never, ever, have a plan as to what to do if you actually have to back up the statements.

4.  Always remember to never let a crisis go to waste and attempt to get maximum positive press coverage out of it, because that is what all crises are truly about.

5.  Obama needs another Nobel Peace Prize to keep his first one company.

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12 Responses to Egypt and the Obama Doctrine

  • Panetta’s cluelessness was pathetic. Still bleary and without coffee to clear the cobwebs, I woke up Thursday knowing that Mubarak would effectively tell Obama to butt out. For 30 years, Hosni did our bidding, took our money, enriched himself and was a good boy. Now he is no more the useful idiot.

    Consider: 80 million people and 0.5% gather to demonstrate — a rabble at best — and this is supposed to be the spark of democracy, which has become the running media narrative. Had tens of thousands of protesters, fed up with high taxes and inflation, surrounded the White House and called for Obama to step down, they would have been branded Tea Party radicals and, not leaving and growing more restive, would have been arrested and hauled off to Gitmo for questioning.

    OK, an exaggeration, but the point being that it is palpably true that Presidents, past and presidents, pick and choose which dictators to support or oppose (Allende, Pinochet, Castro, Musharaf, The Shah Ahmedinejad, etc) solely on the basis of “national interest.” So what is the “national interest” in Obama pushing a known ally, Mubarak, out the door, in favor of an unknown person or entity. Such a power vacuum would not only be filled by radicals (Muslim Brotherhood, bent on destroying Israel, our best Mideast ally), or lead to civil war, which could have dire economic consequences if the Suez Canal is shut down. Talk about a world economic collapse!

    As I write this, CNN and all the other networks are broadcasting live shots of mobs chanting anti-Mubarak slogans, sticking microphones in some camel driver’s angry face, eliciting more invective, which purports to reflect the “mood of the people.” Egged on by the likes of Richard Engel of NBC, Ben Wedeman of CNN (both fluent Arabic speakers), ginned up by the anchors back home, hoping for some “action” – some blood would be good for starters but the best would be to see Mubarak dragged from the palace and be strung up like Mussolini. Can you imagine the ratings?

    “We warn viewers about the graphic images they are about to see. If you have children in the room you might want to tell them to leave. We’ll have exclusive new video of the Egyptian President’s gruesome death after this commercial break.”

    Turn off the TV cameras, let the Army restore order and by September Mubarak will be gone. But then that would ruin the show, wouldn’t it?

  • Panetta should’ve kept his mouth shut. But events have unfolded as the Obama Administration had planned. Mubarak screwed up his announcement, maybe intentionally.

  • On closer inspection, maybe the angry mob has lots of Steeler fans upset by the no-call on Big Ben’s failed 4th-down pass. : )

  • None of this makes sense if you think in a rational context. It makes a heck of a lot of sense if you consider that Obama and his minions are revolutionaries and use the power they have to instigate ‘change’. This smells a lot like 1789.

    Should we be surprised? The petrodollar oil regimes, the global financiers, the socialist/Marxists have been in control of the ‘education’ of Western bureaucrats, journalists, academia, think-tanks, private ‘philanthropic’ foundations for over 20 years. The level of indoctrination makes the Western view of Middle-East murky at best. What do the jihadists, autocrats, socialist/Marxists all have in common?

    The fear of American inspired democratic processes toppling the current order. Whether they want a Caliphate, a personal wealth enriching dictatorship, or a Marxist revolution is irrelevant so long as American ideas might gain ground. They intend to take out the common enemy, us, and then battle it out for domination. Unfortunately, we have been infected by a parasite at the highest levels – we have more Marxists and jihadists running things now than at the height of the Communist infiltration during the Cold War.

    American ideals and Marxism and Jihadism are not compatible. One or the other must win. How do you win a fight if you won’t acknowledge that you are actually in a fight?

  • I dunno. There’ve been some sloppy moments, but I don’t think President Obama has made any bad plays. There weren’t a lot of options.

  • Announcing that Mubarak is definitely stepping down, right before he says that he isn’t going anywhere, NOT a bad play?!? Please elaborate, this should be interesting.

  • It seems that the dog has caught the car. Now the dog has to figure out what to do with it. Tremble.

  • Did the President himself ever say that, other than in an open-ended way in reference to Mubarak’s statement that he’d step down after future elections? If he did, I missed it.

  • The chief executive is responsible for the public statements of those he manages and directs. Whether he said it directly or not, he certainly didn’t correct anyone who did say it.

    Voting ‘present’ may work for an Illinois state Senator, but it is not permissible for the chief executive.

  • It’s funny how Obama found out about today’s resignation (2-11-2011 AD) of Mubarak, which reflects Obama Doctrine #2 2. Watch a lot of tv to find out what is going on in the world..

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2672229/posts

    How feckless.

    I’ve haven’t seen feckless leadership like this since Cardinal George vacated the USCCB presidency.

  • Well at least the teleprompter wasn’t the one that told him.

  • Folks,

    Obama is an idiot with an ego just like the rest of the useless Democrats. And nope, I don’t put my faith in the RINOs either. Vote Constitution Party. At least their platform more closely conforms to Christian principles, and even though they can’t win, by voting for them you’re conscience will be clean.

What Would Bush Have Done?

Wednesday, February 2, AD 2011

As I watched the situation in Egypt descend into chaos and violence, I started to think about how Bush would have handled these situations. Bush’s foreign policy was predicated upon a belief that America had a duty to spread democracy. I wonder if Bush would have been more quick than the Obama administration to side with the protesters. Although I appreciate that the US has a very delicate situation here, I wonder if now we’ve acted too late and not presented the positive pro-democracy face we could have to the people of the Middle East.

I also wonder if we need to reevaluate our appraisal of Bush. After all, Bush was mocked for believing that bringing democracy to Iraq would help spark the fire of democracy in the Middle East. While I still think the Iraq war did not meet the requirements of a just war, it is hard today to say that Bush was completely wrong. We’ve already seen Iran’s people rise up (though they failed) and today we see the people of Yemen, Egypt, and Jordan protesting. I don’t know if they’ll be successful, and I don’t know how much our presence in Iraq has helped or hurt democracy in the Middle East.

But it does seem clear that the Middle East is seeking more and more to be democratic and that the United States may need to rethink its strategy and partners not only to improve its image in the area, but more importantly help the Arab people secure a free and democratic government.

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7 Responses to What Would Bush Have Done?

  • I don’t know what Bush would’ve done but I don’t think this improves his legacy. The Iraq War is even less connected to these protests than Obama’s Cairo speech.

  • I’m not really sure if this is attributable to the Bush Doctrine, though I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility out of hand. The difficulty is that what we’re witnessing in Egypt could blow up into something much worse than what we currently have in place, which just goes to show the folly of promoting democracy for democracy’s sake (which I’m not really sure was Bush’s platform, exactly). Considering the extent of the Muslim Brotherhood’s violent ideology, it’s eminently possible that what emerges in Egypt will make the theocracy in Iran look like a girl scout troupe. On the other hand, considering the relatively educated population of Egypt, the end result could be a democracy that eclipses what we have in Iraq. Ultimately I think we wind up with one of those two extremes.

  • I’m not sure how differently Bush would’ve acted, Michael… he valued (and values) loyalty and placed significant worth in relationship with allies… I can’t think of an instance wherein he publicly supported an uprising like this in an allied country.

  • Ultimately I think we wind up with one of those two extremes.

    Is the current government of Algeria one of those two extremes?

  • Bush is history.

    Key question: What will obama do?

    One, thing: Obie did nothing for Iranain democracy demonstrators. Let’s see what happems here and now.

  • Looks and smells a lot like Iran ’79 to me.

  • Yes, remember our efforts to prompt democratic reforms in the epicenter of radical Islamist ideology, Saudi Arabia, failed miserably….

Egypt Thought of the Day

Tuesday, February 1, AD 2011

Bryan Caplan asks, a propos of events in Egypt, why some revolutions end up making things better while others make things worse. His answer (which he admits is unconvincing) is that revolutions make things better when they are against totalitarian regimes and worse when they are against authoritarian regimes, because “the point of totalitarian regimes is to give people less freedom than the median voter wants, but the point of authoritarian regimes is often to give people more freedom than the median voter – or at least the median man of violence – wants.”

I don’t think that works. Marcos wasn’t a totalitarian, for example, and neither was Milosevic. When I consider which revolutions turned out badly and which turned out well, the thing that really jumps out at me is the degree to which the revolution in question was achieved by peaceful as opposed to violent means. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part violent revolutions have tended to end badly (very often making things even worse than before), whereas largely non-violent revolutions have tended to make things better. Violent revolutions end up being led by violent men, and once in charge they have a tendency to turn their talents on others. Whereas the leaders of non-violent revolutions tend to be better at democratic politics (and if they aren’t they don’t try to hold onto power by killing their opponents).

Something to think about.

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5 Responses to Egypt Thought of the Day

  • It might even be specified to violence inside of the new country– the US’s revolution wasn’t bloodless, but the target was outside, not part of the new country. France, on the other hand, killed… like, everybody?

    I generally figure that revolutions make things bad if the guys doing the revolution enjoy the power they got more than they care about the original reason for the revolution. (assuming the reason wasn’t “get in power”)

  • Our revolution was not especially peaceful, and not just against the British. There was also a fair amount of fighting between Patriots and Tories, both before and during the Revolutionary War. What we did have, which other revolutions lacked, was a long tradition of elections, and leaders who were used to helping run their colonies. I think that type of experienced leadership can make a vast difference in how a revolution turns out.

  • The same people who believe that miraculously in 48 hours Egypt will be blessed with a classical liberal, Jeffersonian democracy also believe that 310,000,000 Americans can generate all their energy needs with sunbeams and wind mills. Go ask the Spanish how that worked.

  • Off the top of my head, I’d say that national unity is an important factor. Really, a non-violent revolution can’t succeed unless there’s massive support for it. In that situation, it’s going to be a lot easier to govern the resulting state. A revolution that involves one sizable population overthrowing another is going to be violent, and is not likely to lead anywhere nice. The first scenario is Poland; the second is South Africa. Even the rare peaceful revolution with a divided population has the potential of leading to catastrophe – I’m thinking of the Indian subcontinent.

    If national unity is an important factor, that would bode well for possible uprisings in Egypt and Lebanon, but not for those in Sudan or Yemen. Of course, this being a Catholic blog, we have to recognize the risk that too much unity in Egypt or Lebanon could raise for the Christian minorities.

  • 1. What are the boundary conditions which define ‘revolution’ as opposed to some other sort of regime change?

    2. To what importance do you assign the different components of the common life in assessing whether conditions are better or worse?

    3. When you say conditions are better or worse, events over what interval of time would count as frictional costs which could be excluded from the assessment?

Egypt on the Brink, Obama Doing His Best Carter Imitation

Friday, January 28, AD 2011

[Updates at the bottom]

Egypt has sent out the army to the streets of Cairo with reports of gun-battles and deaths everywhere.  Media sources are reporting 870 wounded, but this can’t be confirmed as of now.

How important are the events occurring in Egypt today in reference to the United States?  Very important.

Any person of history understands that in the 20th and 21st century, how Egypt goes, goes the Middle East.  The most distinguished Islamic university is located in Cairo and militant Islamic organizations such as Al-Qaeda are off-shoots from the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist Muslim organization based in Egypt seeking to return to the days of Muhammad.

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30 Responses to Egypt on the Brink, Obama Doing His Best Carter Imitation

  • Egyptian Sphinx eats American dove . . .

  • It is a bad day when I have to rise to the defense of Obama, but I sincerely doubt there is much that cold be done by any American administration right now. Backing one faction or another could well backfire. Other than making public statements calling for a peaceful resolution and that this is a situation that Egyptians will have to work out, I doubt there is much that an American President can do. You can bet that the Israelis are looking at this closely. They have enjoyed a Cold Peace with Egypt since the days of Sadat. They have no guarantees that the government that follows the present one will keep the same policy.

  • This is looking more and more like Iran ’79.

    You are correct, this is about stability in the Middle East. Although I don’t mean to go into this point too deep, this here is one reason that Iraq was engaged by the Bush Admin. When a powerhouse falls in an Islamic country, it isn’t usually at the hands of peace loving democrats, instead it is often at the hands of the youth that scream for democracy, but handled oh too well by older and more powerful Islamic fundamentalists.

    One point though, I do have to agree somewhat with D. McClarey. It is hard for Obama to do a lot right now. There are reports that there has been some US ties to this ordeal dating back three years. http://bit.ly/gDS7hE
    If that is the case, we better do exactly what you say and back another more liberal leader, and not let the Muslim Brotherhood take the reins.

  • I do understand what Donald and Joe are saying about the lack of influence that the Obama administration has on the outcome, but they do have influence.

    So Obama’s actions can affect the outcome to certain degrees.

  • This is a fascinating situation to watch unfold, especially with regards to its wider impact across the globe.

    Note to Obama: this should be your lesson that an internet “kill switch” is NOT a good idea under any circumstances.

    Let’s see if Mubarak goes down and if the economic circumstances that ignited these revolts in Tunisia and Egypt spread to other corners of the globe. Remember: in recent times we’ve seen riots also in Iran, Greece, France and the UK. Yes, all these countries have vastly different domestic circumstances, but don’t think that the global economy does not string all these events together.

    Curious: what more will Wikileaks have to reveal?

    Also, Obama might not have a lot he can do right now, but don’t think that our foreign aid support to nations like Egypt does not contribute to the domestic powder keg.

  • President Obama just finished his speech on the situation in Egypt.

    Basically a bunch of nice words, but nothing that puts pressure on Mubarak to make reforms or action of support for the protesters.

    He just split the difference in his speech without making a difference.

    Pretty much ineffectual flowery ‘nothing’.

    Obama is pathetic.

  • There surely is precious little this 40-something, former community agitator (a glib Al Sharpton?) and gangs of aging, hate-America hippies who spent the last 2 years dismantling the evil, unjust United States . . .

  • · I hope people remind Obama that he supports reopening the internet in Egypt the next time talk of an internet kill switch occurs

    · Isn’t it sort of bad diplomacy to admit to the whole world that you spoke with Mubarak minutes after he finished his speech?

    · Doesn’t all of Obama’s talk of government by consent over coercion just sort of reek of contradiction considering our own coercive economic policies, to say nothing of the dubious last 10 years on “human rights,” whether it be on abortion, torture, secret prisons and Guantanamo?

    ·Agreed. This was a nothing speech, designed to make him look like he has some influence over world events. He doesn’t.

  • As usual, Donald sums things up well.

    Also, on an unusually old-world conservative note for me: This underlines that democracy itself is an unmitigated good. Mubarak is certainly a dictator, but he’s willing to keep the peace in the region. It’s entirely possible that a popular government would happily participate in kicking off a regional war in a region which, however “undeveloped” by Western standards could easily stage a WW2 size war in terms of people and technology.

  • Certainly, the Egyptians will heed the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner’s call for no violence as he conducts two wars in their neighborhood, and listen attentively to the Secretary of State whose husband bombed Serbia and whose Attorney General engineered the massacre of 74 innocents at Waco in 1993. Clearly, the U.S. has the high ground here.

  • I don’t understand. Aren’t we supposed to be ‘pro’ democratic uprising? Isn’t Mubarak essentially a dictator? Or do we only support democracy when we are confident that it will support our interests? Such seems to be the case with our support for the autocracies of Tunisia, Jordan, and Egypt. In any case, I don’t think it’s likely that Egypt will turn into an Iran. Will it be a state friendly to U.S. interests? Likely not. But then, again, it may ween us from our codependent relationship with Israel. Is that a good or a bad thing? Who knows? Augustine’s total political cynicism makes a great deal of sense in these situations. May not too many innocent die, no matter what happens.

  • Daniel Larison has characteristically excellent commentary on the situation here: http://www.amconmag.com/larison/

  • “I don’t understand. Aren’t we supposed to be ‘pro’ democratic uprising? Isn’t Mubarak essentially a dictator?”

    Oh, he is a dictator alright, a relatively benign one by the standards of his bad neighborhood where dictatorships are the norm, with the exception of Israel, Iraq and Turkey. I will weep no tears for his regime if it is toppled, but many people in Egypt and abroad will weep tears if he is replaced by an aggressive Islamist regime. At this point we do not know what will happen.

    “In any case, I don’t think it’s likely that Egypt will turn into an Iran.”

    Nasser was quite bad enough, and a Nasser II might be the most likely outcome. The Muslim Brotherhood would love to control Egypt as the mullahs control Iran. The Army might step in and take over. Many bad possibilities as well as good ones, and it is too early to tell how it will develop.

    “Will it be a state friendly to U.S. interests? Likely not.”

    Then that is a bad thing unless one subscribes to the isolationist fantasies of a Daniel Larison, who simply refuses to in habit this frame of reality.

    “But then, again, it may ween us from our codependent relationship with Israel.”

    Actually an Egypt hostile to Israel would likely drive the US and Israel closer together and make far more likely a general Middle Eastern war.

    It is too early to see how this Egyptian situation will play out. We should not indulge in either optimism or pessimism. We should watch and wait.

  • Donald,

    You too easily reduce the principled position of anti-interventionism to that favorite shibboleth of the post-Wilsonian: “isolationism.” Isolationism is not anti-interventionism. It does not involve the closing of borders, refusal of trade, abandonment of treaties, etc. It rather embodies a sense of limit and prudence, and recognizes the difficulties that attends involving oneself overmuch in the affairs of other countries. It is the position, more or less, of all of the Founders. One can disagree with this posiiton, of course, but it’s just not intellectually responsible to dismiss it as “isolationism”–this kind of language is name-calling masquerading as thought.

  • “It does not involve the closing of borders, refusal of trade, abandonment of treaties, etc.”

    By that standard WJ no one in American history has been an isolationist. Larison, acolyte for Pat Buchanan, isolationist in chief, is firmly in the tradition of the America Firsters, who they celebrate, who thought America could retreat into a Fortress America before Pearl Harbor. It was a foolish and dangerous policy at that time, and it is no less foolish and dangerous today. What worked for America in the Nineteenth Century, courtesy of the British Empire, will not work for America in the Twenty-First. Anti-interventionism is merely the latest gloss on, in the immortal words of Mel Brooks, “Let ’em all go to Hell, except Cave 76!”. That does not mean that American intervention is called for in all situations. As to the situation in Egypt, for example, I can’t think of anything we could do positive right now. But the idea that the US can simply ignore developments abroad and cultivate its garden here at home is merely a pleasant illusion and not a serious foreign policy.

  • Donald,
    But it’s simply *not true* that the position of Larison and Bacevich–to take two prominent contemporary anti-interventionists–is what you describe it as being: “ignore developments abroad and cultivate its garden here at home.” This is what I meant about your consistent tendency to reduce the arguments of anti-interventionists to the strawman of “isolationism.” As though the only two options were (1) involvement in *every* foreign crisis and (2) blithe ignorance of the goings on of other countries and how they affect our interests.

  • To the contrary WJ, a retreat into Fortress America is precisely the policy advocated by both Larison and Bacevich. That of course is why Bacevich, hilariously, endorsed Obama in 2008, thinking that Obama shared his isolationist predilections.

    “So why consider Obama? For one reason only: because this liberal Democrat has promised to end the U.S. combat role in Iraq. Contained within that promise, if fulfilled, lies some modest prospect of a conservative revival.

    To appreciate that possibility requires seeing the Iraq War in perspective. As an episode in modern military history, Iraq qualifies at best as a very small war. Yet the ripples from this small war will extend far into the future, with remembrance of the event likely to have greater significance than the event itself. How Americans choose to incorporate Iraq into the nation’s historical narrative will either affirm our post-Cold War trajectory toward empire or create opportunities to set a saner course.

    The neoconservatives understand this. If history renders a negative verdict on Iraq, that judgment will discredit the doctrine of preventive war. The “freedom agenda” will command as much authority as the domino theory. Advocates of “World War IV” will be treated with the derision they deserve. The claim that open-ended “global war” offers the proper antidote to Islamic radicalism will become subject to long overdue reconsideration.

    Give the neocons this much: they appreciate the stakes. This explains the intensity with which they proclaim that, even with the fighting in Iraq entering its sixth year, we are now “winning”—as if war were an athletic contest in which nothing matters except the final score. The neoconservatives brazenly ignore or minimize all that we have flung away in lives, dollars, political influence, moral standing, and lost opportunities. They have to: once acknowledged, those costs make the folly of the entire neoconservative project apparent. All those confident manifestos calling for the United States to liberate the world’s oppressed, exercise benign global hegemony, and extend forever the “unipolar moment” end up getting filed under dumb ideas.

    Yet history’s judgment of the Iraq War will affect matters well beyond the realm of foreign policy. As was true over 40 years ago when the issue was Vietnam, how we remember Iraq will have large political and even cultural implications.

    As part of the larger global war on terrorism, Iraq has provided a pretext for expanding further the already bloated prerogatives of the presidency. To see the Iraq War as anything but misguided, unnecessary, and an abject failure is to play into the hands of the fear-mongers who insist that when it comes to national security all Americans (members of Congress included) should defer to the judgment of the executive branch. Only the president, we are told, can “keep us safe.” Seeing the war as the debacle it has become refutes that notion and provides a first step toward restoring a semblance of balance among the three branches of government.

    Above all, there is this: the Iraq War represents the ultimate manifestation of the American expectation that the exercise of power abroad offers a corrective to whatever ailments afflict us at home. Rather than setting our own house in order, we insist on the world accommodating itself to our requirements. The problem is not that we are profligate or self-absorbed; it is that others are obstinate and bigoted. Therefore, they must change so that our own habits will remain beyond scrutiny.

    Of all the obstacles to a revival of genuine conservatism, this absence of self-awareness constitutes the greatest. As long as we refuse to see ourselves as we really are, the status quo will persist, and conservative values will continue to be marginalized. Here, too, recognition that the Iraq War has been a fool’s errand—that cheap oil, the essential lubricant of the American way of life, is gone for good—may have a salutary effect. Acknowledging failure just might open the door to self-reflection.

    None of these concerns number among those that inspired Barack Obama’s run for the White House. When it comes to foreign policy, Obama’s habit of spouting internationalist bromides suggests little affinity for serious realism. His views are those of a conventional liberal. Nor has Obama expressed any interest in shrinking the presidency to its pre-imperial proportions. He does not cite Calvin Coolidge among his role models. And however inspiring, Obama’s speeches are unlikely to make much of a dent in the culture. The next generation will continue to take its cues from Hollywood rather than from the Oval Office.

    Yet if Obama does become the nation’s 44th president, his election will constitute something approaching a definitive judgment of the Iraq War. As such, his ascent to the presidency will implicitly call into question the habits and expectations that propelled the United States into that war in the first place. Matters hitherto consigned to the political margin will become subject to close examination. Here, rather than in Obama’s age or race, lies the possibility of his being a truly transformative presidency.

    Whether conservatives will be able to seize the opportunities created by his ascent remains to be seen. Theirs will not be the only ideas on offer. A repudiation of the Iraq War and all that it signifies will rejuvenate the far Left as well. In the ensuing clash of visions, there is no guaranteeing that the conservative critique will prevail.”

    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2008/mar/24/0002/

    In hindsight of course this seems all completely laughable, but that is what Bacevich wrote at the time. Bacevich and Larison are isolationists, and to claim otherwise, to use your phrase, is not “intellectually honest”.

  • Nothing you’ve posted from Bacevich answers the objection I’ve raised. Opposition to the Iraq War, and a recognition of its enormous cost in lives, money, and its failure to promote the security for which it was purportedly undertaken–none of this entails “isolationism” as you continue to insist. Bacevich does articulate, briefly in that section, an anti-Wilsonian realism that is more legitimately conservative–a label that I would think most writers and readers on this blog would be proud to claim–than the ridiculous idealism that forms the vocabulary and, at times, the practice, of our foreign policy. That Bacevich was wrong about Obama, who is clearly no anti-interventionist, is irrelevant. One point of agreement that I have with you is that there was never any good reason for supposing that Obama would have the courage or ability to reverse the de facto interventionist stance that has marked the last several decades of our foreign policy. There Bacevich was suffering from an illusion. But I can’t see how that fact has any bearing on the merits of anti-interventionism as a corrective to the default position we are in today.

  • Isolationism has few advocates on the right WJ who are politically signficant. (I do not consider Ron Paul politically signifcant.) Support for a robust American foreign policy abroad has been the norm for the vast majority of conservatives in this country since December 7, 1941. As to Bacevich, he did not just oppose the Iraq war. He also believes that the Cold War was an unnecessary event against a largely illusory foe. He thinks American intervention in Korea, Vietnam, Central America, Afghanistan and Iraq were all mistakes. The man is a thorough going isolationist. I can only assume that you are unfamiliar with much of his writing.

  • A good review of the latest isolationist tome authored by Bacevich:

    http://afri.au.af.mil/review_full.asp?id=120

  • I am aware of Bacevich’s writing, and of his thesis that post-WWII America was unable rationally to reassess the benefits and liabilities to anti-interventionism on account of that War and its reception. We are just talking past each other now, as it seems clear to me that you believe anything *other* than Wilsonianism is “isolationism,” where I believe that one can be an anti-interventionist without being an isolationist, and that such anti-interventionism is, in fact, the conservative position. Eisenhower himself was deeply cognizant of the dangers that Wilsonianism would pose for post WWII America, and he was no isolationist. If you want to believe that any approach other than the largely failed and counterproducitve approach of military intervention is “isolationist,” then I suppose that’s your right. But it is historically unimaginative.

  • I would have bet money WJ that you were not a fan of Mr. Beck, but your use of Woodrow Wilson as a bogey-man makes me doubt that wager. 🙂 I consider both the Cold War and American interventions abroad to stop Communism to have been not romantic idealism but hard headedly realistic, just as I consider the current interventions to be. I think you mischaracterize Eisenhower, you are certainly not alone in this, as anyone familiar with the foreign policy he and John Foster Dulles pursued could not reasonably regard it as in any sense non-interventionist.

    Bacevich does not bring up reasoned critques of American interventions abroad. Reasonable people can an will disagree about particular interventions. His heated verbiage about an “American Empire” is in the best traditions of both Pat Buchanan and Noam Chomsky. In his world American intervention is ipso facto bad, and America should retreat to its shores and let the rest of the world get along as best it can. If this foreign policy is ever attempted by the US, I think we would not like the world produced by our attempted flight from responsibility and reality.

  • In regard to Bacevich, his transformation into a raging isolationist is fairly recent. Here, in part, is what he wrote in National Review back in 2003 when he supported the invasion of Iraq:

    “Such an approach would use the coming war against Iraq as a vehicle to persuade Arab governments that they themselves have a compelling interest in putting Islamic radicals out of business. In the Arab world, American values may not count for much, but American power counts for quite a bit. Concepts like parliaments or women’s rights may strike Saudi princes as alien. On the other hand, they have no difficulty grasping the significance of a B-2 bomber or a carrier battle group.
    The promptness with which U.S. forces dispatched the Taliban in the fall of 2001 has already provided an object lesson of what awaits any regime that knowingly harbors terrorists. By dispatching Saddam Hussein in the coming weeks, U.S. forces can provide a second lesson: that any ruler who flagrantly disregards international norms and engages in behavior that poses a threat to the United States— for example, by funding terrorist groups, subsidizing radical Islam, or nourishing anti-American hatred—can expect to share Saddam’s fate.

    Thus, taken in tandem, the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and in Iraq will define red lines that a regime will violate only at its peril. In that regard, the message to the Arab world from American officials needs to be explicit and unambiguous: Respect those red lines and we will respect your existing political arrangements; disregard them and we are coming after you, with or without allies, with or without the approval of the U.N. Security Council.

    In sum, what we should demand of Arab Leaders is not ideological fealty, but simply responsible behavior. And this demand is not negotiable. We will not insist that the House of Saud declare its adherence to the principles of Jeffersonian democracy. But we will insist—as the Bush administration has yet to do—that those who rule the kingdom will ensure that Saudi Arabia cease serving as an incubator of suicidal terrorists. On that point, we will be adamant and uncompromising. And on that point, with the examples, of Afghanistan and Iraq showing that we mean what we say, we can expect compliance.

    As it pertains to a post-Saddam Iraq, such an approach would find the United States extracting itself from Iraqi affairs with reasonable promptness. This is not to say that U.S. forces would withdraw in a matter of days or even weeks, but that we would not commit ourselves to a vain effort to remake Iraq in our image, which would require another semi-permanent U.S. military garrison. Once we have established a regime that is legitimate, friendly to the United States, able to maintain Iraq’s territorial integrity, and respectful of its people, Washington would do well to leave Iraq to the Iraqis.

    A foreign policy based on authentically conservative principles begins by accepting the fact that the world is not infinitely malleable. It recognizes that our own resources, although great, are limited. And it never loses sight of the fact that the freedom that U.S. officials are sworn to protect is our own.”

    [Andrew J. Bacevich, “Don’t Get Greedy! For sensible, limited war aims in Iraq,” National Review, February 10, 2003.]

    Anyone can change his mind, but I always find it surprising when someone of Bacevich’s vintage decides to do an ideological remake in the course of a very short period of time. A debate between Bacevich 2003 and Bacevich 2011 would be amusing if not illuminating.

  • Well, when you consider the lies, distortions, and mismanagement at play leading up to and in the war in Iraq, and you consider further that his son was killed in that war, then this might make more sense to you. But Bacevich was strongly critical of both the decision to invade Iraq and the conditions that made that invasion seem responsible well before the death of his son.

  • Your litany is a familiar one from Iraq war opponents Wj, but Bacevich is not simply an Iraq war opponent. In the space of about two years, 2003-2005, he went from being an advocate of both the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq into being the reincarnation of William Appleman Williams. Bacevich was 56 in 2003. I guess we have to assume that he simply wasn’t paying attention the first 56 years, most of it spent either in the United States Army, or as an academic specializing in defense and foreign policy. I haven’t seen such a radical makeover in such a short time since Gerald Naus, formerly of The Cafeteria is Closed, rediscovered his inner atheist, shut down his blog, and left the Church. When such about faces involve someone who is relatively young and inexperienced I find them more understandable than someone who is deep into middle age, and, one would have thought, would have had time and opportunity to better develop their views over the span of most of a lifetime.

  • I guess that one’s child dying for the cause is probably enough to spark introspection at any age.

  • I can’t wait until the democratic reformers in the new Weimar Egypt vote in Sharia.

  • “I guess that one’s child dying for the cause is probably enough to spark introspection at any age.”

    Perhaps Bob, except that First Lieutenant Andrew Bacevich, a 27 year old West Point graduate, was killed in Iraq in 2007, well after the transformation discussed below.

  • When was the young Bakevich first put in harm’s way in the cause of freeing Weimar Iraq from Kaiser Saddam? (I honestly don’t know. The point that one’s own flesh and blood on the altar tests one’s devotion may or may not apply here).

  • He was first sent to Iraq as a platoon leader in 2006. He enlisted in the Army in 2004. (A correction to my earlier entry. First Lieutenant Bacevich was not a West Point graduate. He graduated from Boston University in 2003. He earned his commission through Officer’s Candidate School in 2005.) Bacevich the father has indicated that he was opposed to the Iraq war prior to his son’s enlistment, as articles he wrote prior to that time would indicate, although he supported the war in 2003.

21 Coptic Christians Dead and What To Do About It

Saturday, January 1, AD 2011

A Muslim homicide bomber maimed 97 innocent Christians and killed (and still counting) 21 other innocent Christians at the conclusion of Mass outside a Coptic Church in Alexandria, Egypt.  Of course our impotent President Obama condemned… no one essentially, only the act itself.

First of all we as Christians here in the West should do is pray, pray, and pray more for the victims and perpetrators of this attack as well as our ignorant American president.

Secondly we should demand that President Obama tie foreign aid to countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, etc., to the protection of Christians in their respective countries.

If said countries sufficiently protect those Christian minorities, then said aid will flow.  If not, cut off all aid immediately.

A simple solution to an allegedly complex problem.

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29 Responses to 21 Coptic Christians Dead and What To Do About It

  • The best favor any Christian who lives in the West can do for any Christian who lives in an Islamic state is to get them a one way plane ticket to the West. The Copts of Egypt have faced this type of casual murder since the time of the Islamic conquest of Egypt in the Seventh Century. Some periods have been better than others, but, at best, the Copts exist as a barely tolerated and despised minority. Their fate is basically the fate of all Christians who live under the Crescent of Islam.

  • Tito, we should also send a lot of missionaries to the Middle East too. They’ll probably have to work underground for years, but we have to start evangelizing the Muslim world to save their souls and our Christian culture.

  • Obama condemned… no one essentially, only the act itself.

    Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do as Christians?

  • Stephen,
    Would you go into such a missionary life? When Isaac Jogues went into Indian territory, there was no TV, nor radios nor pamphets dropped from planes as a possible alternative in preaching the Gospel.. Now there are alternatives to risking your own de-capitation. If Islam was not impressed with Mother Teresa’s work into conversion….then Islam may be the swine Christ forbade us to cast pearls before.
    Let revisit what Christ said while imagining the beheadings that can take place:

    Mat 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.

    Christ seems to be warning us away from your missionary project. The blasphemy law of Pakistan has 60% public support. That’s a lot of non moderate Muslims we are spending billions on as we purchase their clothing in Macy’s. The other Pakistanis can easily access the gospel and dogma online….no need for
    Isaac Jocques to get his fingers chewed off again. If Mother Teresa could not do it, there will only be individual conversions and those can happen by the word…
    Paul…” Faith comes by hearing”. Good Muslims…anonymous Christians…can find the word online.

  • The Faith is built on the blood of martyrs.
    I have heard reports that there are literaly millions of Muslims each year converting to Christianity, and the witness of these people is probably the reason.
    I am not suggesting that this is a desireable thing, but we have to keep in mind the bigger picture, and prayer, and the entreaties of Our Lady to our God – the one whom the Muslims acknowledge as the virgin mother of Jesus, and the one who, as Fulton Sheen told us, will lead the Muslims to conversion.
    Did the English, in the 16th. and 17th centuries give up? No – and the fruits may only be being realised now after the visit by Benedict, and the issuing of Anglicanorum Coetibus.
    These evnts are certainly trajic to witness, and I do not claim to want to be in their place – but we cannot throw the toys out of the cot and give up.
    Prayer and fasting and being obedient in our own lives will be a start, and convincing/demanding our state leaders to speak out is paramount.

  • Don
    In 2006, Georgio Paolucci, the Italian editor of magazine, Avennire (Catholic) and a Libyan journalist, Camille Eid, wrote a book on Islamic converts to Christianity (Christian from Islam) published by Piemme and they were interviewed by Zenit. They spoke of “several hundred converts, from the countries of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.”
    Be sure to compare actual real world publishing…as in paper books…. on such topics when you read internet claims of millions by small zealous groups on you tube or the net. The latter groups just might never get published by a real publisher…because they would have to produce data and they probably cannot.

  • When I heard of this attack, something changed inside me – yes, pray for our enemies; yes, mortify any desire for revenge; yes, do our Christian duty…but doesn’t our Christian duty call us to succor the innocent who are suffering? Is it not time that we struck at Islam and let them know that we won’t allow their heresy to be used a justification for murdering our brothers and sisters?

    I don’t know what to do – but I do know that Christian men should not stand aside while women and children are butchered.

  • FYI: Osma bin Laden declared war on us in 1996. He killed hundreds of Africans at US embassies; in 2000 he killed our sailors on the Coles; on 9/11/2001 he killed 3,000 of us; . . .

    Muhammadan mass murder: not a question of if, when. Not who, but which one will do it; which will supply the weapons, food, funds, shelter, transport; which one will reconnoiter; which one will assist the scape and evasion; etc.

    Like Bush before him, Obama is not intent on winning the war. Unlike Dubya, B. Hussein actually hates America and our way of life.

    And, there are way too many Obama-worshipping morons. We’re ruined.

  • Bill,

    We should continue to evangelize that is certain.

    Don (McClarey),

    If worse comes to worse, it might be best to evacuate all Christians (if at all possible) and then cut all aid. Then when there is no good left in those Muslim majority countries, we’ll just watch what happens when there is a vacuum, evil will devour evil.

    Don the Kiwi,

    I truly believe that the blood of the martyrs will cause the rise of Christianity, but unlike everywhere else, Christians have been killed in the name of Mohammad for well over 13 centuries and not once have I see a Muslim country turn Christian.

    Is it because it will be on God’s time?

    If so, this surely breaks precedent because there will soon be no Christians left to be killed.

    Maybe the rise of Islam is the chastisement to the Orthodox for breaking from Rome (I certainly believe in this theory to a certain degree).

  • Tito,
    Run that chastisement theory past your favorite priest. Christ (Mt. 5:45) said God makes His rain to fall on the just and unjust. Chastisement happens but even the Church is silent on such matters. We are not Isaiah or Jeremiah. It was Divinely disclosed to them; they did not conjecture it or reason to it as to Israel and the exile….and it was due to something very akin to abortion within Baal worship.
    But run it past your favorite priest. The schism wasn’t yesterday. Punishment that is untimely teaches no one anything.

  • Mark Noonan,
    Yes, this is a difficult problem. But I, for one, think that we’ve been patient too long. To quote St. John Chrysostom–“That person who does not become irate when he has just cause to be, sins. For an unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices; it fosters negligence, and stimulates not only the wicked, but above all the good, to do wrong.”

    Indeed, I’ve been considering enlisting in the armed forces myself. It’s just too much to stand by and watch this sort of thing happening.

  • Tito.
    Christians have been killed in the name of Mohamed for well over 13 centuries and not once have I seen a muslim country turn Christian.

    All Muslim countries were once Christian. What about the Reconquista of Spain? – Muslim occupation started in the 8th century and it took till the 13th century to finally recover Spain for Christianity. Things are happening – Albania, and Egypt to a lesser extent. I saw on the news this evening the Coptic Chritsians of Alexandria mounting a very large protest at their govt. for not protecting Christians – not only Orthodox but Coptic Catholics as well.
    And I can’t agree with your thought that this is a chastisement on the Orthodox – Ours is a God of compassion, and these people have been persecuted on and off for centuries – I don’t think our God is directing it, all Christians are suffering in these regions.

  • There might be another side to the story. Of course, one could say it is damage control, but this side of the story, sometimes, turns out true (USS Liberty, never forget).

    Seems some are saying it was a set up by Mossad:

    A coalition of Egyptian lawyers accused Israel of being behind an terror attack in Alexandria that killed 22 members of the Christian Copt sect attending midnight mass on New Year’s eve, Army Radio reported Monday.

    “The Mossad carried out the the operation in a natural reaction to the latest uncovering of an Israeli espionage network,” the lawyers accused at a rally in memory of the victims, organized by the Egyptian Bar Association, according to the report.

    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=202019

    Now, of course, some will say “never.” But I know Mossad, and I can see this being done for such a purpose. I am not saying it was, but it is easy to forget that Israel is often causing trouble, and persecutes Christians too.

  • Henry,

    Sorry, I don’t buy that at all. What would Israel possibly have to gain by doing this? Sounds like the usual reflexive blame game practiced in most Middle Eastern nations.

    I am aware of the USS Liberty incident; that occurred during the Six-Day War and was most probably an attempt to prevent the ship from interfering in Israel’s war operations or gathering intelligence. I also am aware of Mossad’s “you don’t ever want to mess with them” reputation. But, how on earth are Copts attending a midnight Mass any threat to Israel’s security?

  • Well, considering that some Egyptians have blamed the Mossad for shark attacks,

    http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/07-12-2010/116083-shark_attacks_mossad-0/,

    I can understand why they also seek to blame the Israelis for this latest example of the 1300 year old game in Egypt of kill the Copts. Why anyone outside of a looney bin would take such an accusation seriously is another question.

  • Elaine

    What does Israel have to gain? Many things. The argument by the lawyers is revenge. But we must remember, Israel has a history of attacking even its allies, and trying to make it look like others were to blame. Israel likes to make more storms so as to garnish sympathy and support, all the while doing things to punish those they feel are going against their wishes.

    Do I accept it? I don’t know, I would have to be shown the evidence. But I do know that it happens.

    Oh, and Donald, so because some people think shark attacks happened because of Israel, Israel never does wrong? Talk about jumping the shark with a fallacious response!

    Remember the USS Liberty.

  • Don’t forget the Rand Corporation and the reverse vampires. Anybody could have been behind these attacks.

    But probably it was a whacked out Muslim.

  • Karslon, let me shorten your comment for you: “I blame the Joos!” I do appreciate however that you haven’t yet cited The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  • I’m not sure how killing innocent Copts garners sympathy for Israel, even if blame is deferred to Muslims, but let’s say that is satisfactory motivation, and that because of the USS Liberty incident 40 years ago that they are capable of doing such a nasty thing. It seems, based on recent history that Muslim groups and individuals have been responsible for the vast majority of these attacks, especially in Muslim countries. We also know that certain Muslim groups call for the killing of Christians and Jews and that they act on it. We also know from experience there are Muslims who may or may not agree with such means but nevertheless blame Israel. They also tend to blame Israel for every unfortunate thing that befalls them or those they identify with.

    I do not believe it is reasonable to suspect to Israel in any way given the information we have. One would be no further from the truth to blame Dick Cheney or the Dali Lama at this point.

  • The only possible thing Israel would have to gain from such an alleged act might be further antagonism of the West directed at Muslims leading to some sort of mid-east crackdown directed against its Arab neighbors. But this type of act will be excused/explained away by those who sympathize with Muslims, and those who don’t do not need further provocation. I find it really hard to believe it was a Mossad act, when Muslims do this rather frequently, and this is most likely just what it appears to be – another typical Muslim on Christian attack.

  • President Mubarak’s cold peace is the best that the Israelis can expect from the Egyptians. Why would they undermine his postion and turn the strongest Arab nation against themselves? Without the Egyptians to threathen Israel from across the Sinai; Syria, Hizballah and Hamas mean little to the Israelis in military terms.

  • When Christ commanded us to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us, he not only meant it, but then showed us what such love looks like: the cross. Two solutions were offered in this thread: missionary work and warfare. Only one looks like a cross.

    I take solace in the fact that Islam is doomed by its own fundamental error. Like secular humanism, like the idols of Rome, Greece, and every ancient kingdom (still waiting on the Hindus), the god of Islam will inevitably fall and be forgotten.

    The greater danger to the Church is not Islamic violence, but Islamic lies. To the extent that we response as Muslims would respond (death-dealing), we give in to their lies. To the extent that we respond as the Church and the Gospel and Jesus Christ teach us (“love of enemy constitutes the nucleus of the Christian revolution”), we shatter their lies.

  • 1. Muslim terrorists commit atrocity against their Christian neighbors–check.

    2. Fellow Muslims reflexively engage in conspiracy-theorizing and deflection tactics to avoid facing the atrocity and what it says about Muslim civil society–check.

    3. Select Westerners reinforce and nurture infantilization of deflecting Muslims–check.

    Must be a Monday.

  • Christ….the actual one…said this….Mat 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.”

    Catholics whether liberal or conservative do not quote the whole Christ. The Christ who said the above is warning you that He has rules about which crosses you choose. Cross is not an intrinsic good.
    Christ casts pearls before swine only…only….. when it was their day…” Jerusalem, Jerusalem…if thou hadst known IN THIS THY DAY the things that are for thy peace…”
    Every country now has a government unlike when Isaac Jogues was a missionary. If a Muslim government protects Christians, missionaries should go because Christ’s words about not casting pearls and being torn by swine is honored in virtue of Muslim police protecting missionaries. But if Muslim police in another country are not going to protect missionaries, then missionaries are not honoring Christ if they seek a cross that Christ warned against in Matthew. So no one here is going into danger anyway…..but to urge others into danger is to ignore the swine warning of Christ and is simply to ignore the real Christ who does not will each and every imaginable cross. He forbids a particular cross in the swine/tear passage.
    He actually wants safety not adventurism for his missionaries.

  • I am delighted to report that deflection and paranoia is not the only Muslim response to the massacre and overall increasing brutalization of the Copts:

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/UI/Front/NewsContentP/4/2977/Opinion/J%E2%80%99accuse.aspx

  • Saudi Arabia has just arrested a vulture for being a Jewish spy.

    This is all beginning to make sense.

    Many of my SSPV and independent Catholic chapel friends have flow charts detailing how the Free Masons, in coalition with the Illuminati, have been orchestrating attacks such as those on the Copts for years.

    It seems, through a combination of George Soros, the Rothschilds, and various other insidious Jewish families, have been funding Al-Qaeda, which is actually a puppet organization of the Free Mason-Illuminati.

    This plus orchestrating Hurricane Katrina and the dead-birds-falling-and-dead-fish-washing-on-shore phenomenom’s, I caught a clue when Kirk Cameron was claiming that the end wasn’t near, just the that the Rapture was imminent.

  • “Remember the USS Liberty”

    I say it was the Spanish. Remember the Maine!

  • I’ve never understood the conspiratorial perspective about the USS Liberty incident. Israel is in the middle of an all out war for its survival with several surrounding states decides to launch an unprovoked attack on an ally nation which is also one of the most powerful countries in the world. I thought the stereotype was that Jews are supposed to be really smart.

2 Responses to Egypt: Christian Convert Asks Obama for Help

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-13-2009

Wednesday, May 13, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1.  Mark Shea has accused the pro-life anti-abortion torture defenders for creating the ‘nightmare’ of Patriot Act abuse.  A homeschooled kid was arrested under suspicion of sending death threats to President Obama via his computer.  It seems as if someone hijacked his IP address to issue those death threats.  As of now he is in jail and hasn’t been allowed to meet his family nor lawyers.

To read Mark Shea’s posting on this click here.

2.  Child molesters in the Church again?  Nope, but the mainstream media isn’t picking up on the story of a Los Angeles school district ‘repeatedly’ returning child molesters to the classrooms.  In a front page story on May 10 the Los Angeles Times reported that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) “repeatedly” returned teachers and aides credibly accused of child molestation back to classrooms, and these individuals then molested children again.  The major networks, MSNBC, and CNN have failed to pick up on this story.

For the full story by Dave Pierre of NewBusters click here.

3.  It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.  Which is directly contrary to Pope Benedict XVI’s (as well as the Magisterium’s teaching) statement that condoms were not the solution to the problem of AIDS.  Fr. Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame, is a board member of Millennium Promise which promotes condom use to fight the spread of AIDS.

For the article click here.

[Update I:I want to make an addendum that so many of you insist I make.  I want to also add that Fr. John Jenkins seems to support abortion as well as condom usage.

Millenium Promise, the organization that Fr. John Jenkins is a board member of clearly states on their very own website the following:

(http://www.millenniumpromise.org/site/DocServer/Millennium_Development_Goals_Report_2008.pdf?docID=1841)

Which can be found on the main webpage of Millenium PromiseEmphasis mine.:

Page 84 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

Budget and Procurement. The budget for the HIV/AIDS response depends on a number of factors. On the treatment side, the major budgetary concern is the provision of ARV drugs to those in need. Beyond ARV costs, other costs include staffing, other medication, CD4 counts, prevention programming, condom provision, nutritional supplementation, and VHW support.

Page 85 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

Communication for Preventing Disease and Changing Behavior: Behavior change communication plays a key role in preventing the spread of HIV and must be seen as a central element in any response to HIV/AIDS. This core intervention includes education, awareness building, advocacy, condom distribution, and education (both male and female), rights building, and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) promotion among other activities.

Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

Contraception and family planning: Family planning and contraception services are critical to allow women to choose family size and birth spacing, to combat sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, and contribute to the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality. Services include: (1) Counseling; (2) Male and female condoms; (3) Pharmacologic contraceptives including oral, transdermal, intramuscular, and implanted methods; and (4) IUDs

Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on abortion:

Abortion services: In countries where abortion is legal, safe abortion services in controlled settings by skilled practitioners should be established. In villages with a nearby district center with sound surgical capacity, these services can be referred. However, in instances where no district center or alternate post for safe abortion practices is accessible, abortion services can be offered at the village level, provided that sufficient surgical capacity exists.]

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88 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-13-2009

  • It is unfortunate, but unsurprising, that Mr. Shea’s response to the evidence that there is more to the story – in fact, that the underlying premise is 100% false – is to retort, “But Charles Krauthammer is eeevil.” Well, perhaps, and I’m no supporter of Charles K’s stance on torture, but that doesn’t make the story one is relating any more true.

  • I’m a bit surprised by his statement, but that is what he wrote and I printed it word for word. I can understand his passion, but to paint a whole swath of good Catholics as part of the problem in abusing the Patriot Act is a bit much.

  • Yeah, it sounds like on Shea’s story, the kid was arrested on a standard federal warrant (no Patriot Act invocation), the charge is that he repeatedly called in false bomb threats to schools in return for money from students (who wanted the day off), and he’s a known internet prank caller — though his mother disputes that he ever made bomb threats, and he has in fact been charge and appeared in court several times along with a state appointed attourney.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/05/teenage-bomb-threat-suspect-was-an-internet-prank-phone-call-star/

    So nearly everything Shea is basing his post on is wrong, but aside from that…

    I hope this isn’t a sign of Bush derangement syndrome morphing seamlessly into Obama derangement syndrome. There are enough real bad things to decry about the current administration without people insisting that homeschoolers are being scooped up by a Patriot Act weilding Obama and imprisoned without charge.

  • Very good news from Egypt, though. Especially as per the discussion we were having on that topic last week.

  • These comments on Mark’s blog sum up the problem with his post:

    Some kid gets arrested because of a law passed in 1939 which, sensibly enough, makes it illegal to make bomb threats by phone. His mother believes him to be innocent and says that this law passed in 1939 is somehow connected to the Patriot Act. Obviously she’s partial in this, and doesn’t know anything about the law, and is upset by the charges against her son. But what’s Mark’s excuse? What would make Mark spread the lie that this is about the Patriot Act, or uncritically repeat the kid’s mother’s assertions of his innocence?
    Thomas | 05.10.09 – 11:00 am | #

    ——————————————————————————–

    I do not like cops or the government. However, from the press release issued by the Department of Justice, the kid was arrested under Title 18, USC Sec 844(e). The press release also states that the charge is unrelated to the Patriot Act. A Federal Warrant was issued which means a Judge signed off on it.
    Rafael | 05.10.09 – 1:18 pm | #

    I am saddened by this article from mark Shea. If time had been taken to read three or four “current” articles on this situation, one would clearly see that the Patriot Act was not used in this instance, that long standing law was utilized, that the initial stories from the mother have been retracted and further that the quote from Charles Krauthammer (sp) has nothing to do with this case and that the quote used actually misrepresents the article that it is taken from. I enjoy Mark Shea’s articles on theology and catholic belief but this article is shameful for its lack of research and representation of incorrect facts as truth.
    Mike in Lebanon Kentucky | 05.11.09 – 11:30 am | #

  • It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    This does not seem to be supported by the linked to article. Father Jenkins apparently sits on the board of an organization that supports the Millennium Development Goals. Well, the Vatican also supports the Millennium Development Goals. If the fact Father Jenkins sits on a board that supports the MDG means that he believes in promoting condom use to fight AIDS, then logically one would have to conclude that the Vatican also supports this, which is absurd.

  • Darwin,

    Yes that story from Egypt is heart-warming. The judge could still rule against the convert, thus denying his right to a new ID card showing him as a Christian. But the convert has all his paperwork in order, so it will be interesting how the judge rules and what reasoning he uses to deny his request to change his ID card to show that he is a Christian and not a Muslim.

  • Thomas,
    Furthermore, it is possible that the mother may not be as innocent as we might otherwise assume:
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519570,00.html

    Mike,
    Yes, Mark has a short trigger. He has sound moral instincts, and I’m sure he is a good egg, but he routinely lets himself get offended before he has all the facts. And as the facts come in he shifts to painting straw men with a very broad brush and then proceeds to vigorously argue with them. It is torturous to observe, and since I oppose torture I seldom visit there anymore.

  • Blackadder,

    The Vatican supports the MGD, but the Vatican is not on the Millennium Promise as a board member.

    Logically you don’t make sense.

  • Vatican is not on the Millennium Promise as a board member.

    That’s true but irrelevant. The supposedly bad thing about Father Jenkins being on the board of Millennium Promise is that the organization supports the Millennium Development Goals, which the Vatican also supports.

  • BlackadderIV,

    Yes, it is true that both the Vatican [ed.-actually, the Vatican doesn’t support MGD after further research] and Fr. Jenkins support the Millennium Development Goals, but the Vatican is not on the board of Millennium Promise and Fr. Jenkins is.

    Hence since Millennium Promise pushes condom use to prevent the further spread of AIDS and that Fr. Jenkins is a board member, then Fr. Jenkins by default supports condom usage.

    That in itself creates a scandal, even if the perception of a scandal is apparent, then Fr. Jenkins should not be a board member at all.

  • Hence since Millennium Promise pushes condom use to prevent the further spread of AIDS

    What is the evidence that Millennium Promise pushes condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS? The only evidence cited in the article is that the group supports the MDG. Clearly this is not good evidence, as the Vatican itself supports the MDG.

    Maybe Millennium Promise supports condoms. Maybe it supports Satanic child sacrifice. Who knows. All I know is that the linked to article provides no evidence in support of the claim that the group (and by extension, Father Jenkins) does support condoms.

  • BlackadderIV,

    The Vatican clearly does not support the MGD’s. You know it and I know it. The Vatican would not support condom usage and abortion. Besides, nowhere in the article does it say that the Vatican supports MGD’s.

    Fr. Jenkins on the other hand by his being a board member MP that supports condom usage and abortions, has not distanced himself from those MGD’s that support it.

  • Tito:

    I agree with Blackadder on this one. The article provides a weak link, too weak to charitably launch a criticism that assumes Jenkins is weak on contraception.

  • Michael Denton,

    As a board member of a pro-life organization I would not want my organization endorsing causes that go counter to Catholic teaching. I would resign or work towards amending the predicament.

    Fr. Jenkins has compromised himself by being a board member of said group. Fr. Jenkins is also president of Notre Dame, so we can assume he is very careful about what organizations he is a member of. He holds a high profile position and should be careful as a representative of the Catholic Church and her teachings. By being a board member he gives unwarranted assurances that it is o.k. to pass out condoms and procure abortions for whatever reasons.

    We can debate where the link is weak or not.

    The fact remains that it is causing scandal by his mere association, even more so now that he has made the monumental blunder of not only inviting the most pro-abortion president to speak, but also giving him an honorary degree in which creates more scandal.

  • The Vatican clearly does not support the MGD’s. You know it and I know it. The Vatican would not support condom usage and abortion. Besides, nowhere in the article does it say that the Vatican supports MGD’s.

    The title of the article from Zenit I linked to is “Holy See Promotes Millennium Goals at U.N.” The first sentence of the article states “The Holy See urged the United Nations to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals, saying that ‘it is an obligation in justice.'” I’m not sure how you can say that “nowhere in the article does it say that the Vatican supports MGD’s.”

    Fr. Jenkins on the other hand by his being a board member MP that supports condom usage and abortions

    Again, there’s no evidence that Millennium Promise does support condom usage and abortions. If you can produce some evidence that it does so, then okay, you’d have a point about Jenkins being a board member. But one shouldn’t accuse Father Jenkins (or anyone else) of supporting condom usage or belonging to an organization that supports condom usage unless one has some evidence that these claims are actually true.

  • BlackadderIV,

    I don’t have the link to the Zenit article you are referencing.

    The mere fact that MP supports MGD is enough to cause scandal. Even the perception of support is enough to cause scandal.

    Clearly you and I disagree on whether Fr. Jenkins supports condoms and abortion.

    We can leave it at that.

  • Tito,

    The link is here.

  • Here’s part of the article if you are having trouble with the link:

    NEW YORK, SEPT. 18, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- The Holy See urged the United Nations to deliver on the Millennium Development Goals, saying that “it is an obligation in justice.”

    Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, stressed the importance of the development goals, which include eradicating half of the world’s poverty by 2015, in his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday.

    “It remains an obligation in justice in the service of human dignity to attain and even to surpass the Millennium Development Goals, thereby establishing an essential pre-condition for peace and collective security, and for the elimination or substantial reduction of the threat from terrorism and international crime,” he said.

  • BlackAdderIV,

    Thank you for the link.

    It seems the Vatican is clearly backing the MGD’s in rectifying the situation of the poor. That’s what I read in the article.

    I do see where you are coming from and I do agree with it to an extent. But assuming you are correct, Fr. Jenkins is still causing scandal by the mere appearance of support of condom use.

    Thank you for the vibrant discussion. You never fail to offer a positive and constructive debate.

  • Btw, where did the stuff about abortion come from? You started out by saying that Father Jenkins supported condom use to fight AIDS, and then at some point started adding “and abortion” to the end of your claims that Father Jenkins supports condoms. What’s up with that?

  • Tito:

    Since you say:

    But assuming you are correct, Fr. Jenkins is still causing scandal by the mere appearance of support of condom use.

    I think that then you should alter these claims in the original post:

    It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    and

    Fr. Jenkins, the President of Notre Dame, is a board member of Millennium Promise which promotes condom use to fight the spread of AIDS.

  • But assuming you are correct, Fr. Jenkins is still causing scandal by the mere appearance of support of condom use.

    I don’t think scandal can be properly based on false accusations made against someone. Suppose I said that the American Catholic blog supported condoms, and repeated the claim a bunch of times. Would that mean that you should resign from the blog, because even the mere appearance of support of condom use was causing scandal? I don’t think so.

  • I continued reading the MGD and it shows that abortion is a contentious issue within the UN in further developing the MGD’s to include abortion.

    What’s up with your hostility?

  • Michael Denton,

    No such thing will be done.

  • BA,

    There is a clear link between the MGD and MP. You can debate until your face turns blue, but you can’t argue with facts.

  • I think Tito might have picked up on one of these articles:

    http://www.phatmass.com/phorum/index.php?s=228024285a02e66b8f754d589f7b900a&showtopic=93977&mode=threaded

    A further issue of concern is Millennium Development Goal #5 which is to “Improve Maternal Health.” In 2005 there was an enormous campaign to change MDG#5 to include women’s reproductive health – a code word for abortion. This campaign failed, but there is still an ongoing power struggle over this issue. Some organizations such as UNICEF and UNFPA have issued public documents stating that women’s reproductive health is indeed now included as part of the Millennium Development Goals.

    Since those seeking to incorporate abortion rights in the MDG failed in their efforts, it seems unfair to include abortion in the litany of accusations against Fr. Jenkins. That said, MDG#6 is pretty clear in its promotion of contraception.

  • I continued reading the MGD and it shows that abortion is a contentious issue within the UN in further developing the MGD’s to include abortion.

    It’s contentious, but for now abortion is not part of the MDGs. On that particular score, it thus unfair to imply that Fr. Jenkins has an abortion problem.

  • No such thing will be done.

    Y’see, Michael, Tito is infallible.

  • Michael I.,

    What are you studying again?

    Paul & BA4,

    I see where abortion hasn’t quite made it on the MGD agenda so I’ll refrain from accusing Fr. Jenkins on that point. Though he is still causing scandal for supporting condom distribution which is contrary to Catholic teaching.

  • Though he is still causing scandal for supporting condom distribution which is contrary to Catholic teaching.

    Even though I do agree that there’s an undeniable link between the Millennium Project and the Millennium Development Goals, and as a board member Fr. Jenkins is at least tacitly responsible for the end product, this still might be an over-reach. What was/is Fr. Jenkins role in developing those goals? Did he push back against MDG #6? Did he decide to continue to support the MDGs despite of this provision? And what of the Vatican’s seeming support?

    I don’t completely dismiss your concerns, but I think this matter deserves further serious exploration before we declare Fr. Jenkins to be a supporter of condom distribution.

  • I don’t completely dismiss [Tito’s] concerns, but I think this matter deserves further serious exploration before we declare Fr. Jenkins to be a supporter of condom distribution.

    Agreed.

  • I don’t completely dismiss [Tito’s] concerns, but I think this matter deserves further serious exploration before we declare Fr. Jenkins to be a supporter of condom distribution.

    Likewise, agreed.

  • I agree with the previous three commenters.

    Tito:

    You are out of line if you don’t retract. You have asserted that a priest openly rejects the teaching of the Church on contraception. This would be a very serious sin if true, and is a very serious charge, especially against a priest, and especially against a priest of high prominence.

    You, by your own admission, lack the evidence for such a charge. Perhaps Jenkins does support them, but you have not one bit of evidence other then “he’s on a group which is associated with this group that includes contraception.” You need much stronger evidence then that to accuse someone, particularly a Catholic priest, of such wrongdoing as you accuse.

    If you do not update the post with a correction, this post is calumny [ed.-if you continue to slander me you will be placed in moderation].

  • John,
    I agree as well. I do not think that being a board member of an organization that does has perfectly sound purposes but also supports condom distribution automatically makes one a supporter of condom distribution. For all we know Fr. Jenkins opposes condom distribution and has faithfully registered his objections at board meetings. One is not required by Catholic teaching to resign from each and every organization that takes actions or positions inimical to Church teaching — that is a prudential decision. That is exactly why we can have pro-life Democrats, and indeed it is good that we do. I have served on the local United Way board off and on for 15 years notwithstanding the fact that the local Planned Parenthood agency as a grantee. If fact, I have been instrumental in ensuring that donors can elect to direct their donations so as to exclude Planned Parenthood and helped devise the accounting procedures that give that actual effect. We cannot resign from the world. While one might argue that it is imprudent for Fr. J to remain a board member for reasons of potential confusion or scandal, that is a prudential calculus that belongs to him. The fact that he has chosen to remain a board member is very weak evidence that he actually supports condom distribution.
    All that said, perhaps Tito has other evidence and I missed it (in a hurry — lots to do).

  • Michael Denton,

    You will be guilty of slander if you continue with your uncharitable and dishonest accusations against me.

    I will not repeat what I’ve already explained why Fr. Jenkins seems to promote condom usage. Your obtuseness will not be tolerated if you continue with your behavior. This is your first and only warning. If you continue you will be placed on moderation.

  • Mike Petrik,

    By the simple fact that you are a board member of United Way makes you in formal cooperation with evil. United Way funds abortions and it is something not to be proud of. [ed.-I was wrong here, United Way operates independently at the local level.]

    I can see why there is hostility to my position. You clearly are going against church teachings.

    You cannot be publicly for abortion, but privately against it. Just like many typical ‘pro-life democrats’.

  • Everyone,

    That is the problem with complacency and nuance. By giving excuse after excuse to why Fr. Jenkin’s is on the board for an organization that promotes condom usage and quite possibly abortions is to fall into relativism.

    [ed.-edited for charity] Too many good and well-meaning Catholics make excuses for those Catholics that continue to drift away from Catholic teaching to the point that they are completely in camp with evil. Such as Fr. Jenkin’s honoring the most pro-abortion candidate in the history of the United States and Mike Petrik sitting on the board of an organization for 15 years that funds abortions is inexcusable.

    We need to change the culture, not be changed by it.

  • There is a clear link between the MGD and MP.

    First, it really should be MDG, not MDG. It’s Millennium Development Goals, after all, not Millennium Goals Development.

    Second, I’m not arguing that there’s no link between Millennium Promise and the Millennium Development Goals. That is very clear. The question is whether supporting the Millennium Development Goals means supporting condom use. Given the fact that the Vatican (which certainly does not support condom use) supports the Millennium Development Goals, I would argue the answer to this question is no.

    The specific MDG in question is number six, which is to “[c]ombat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.” Whatever some UN bureaucrat might say on the matter, isn’t it obvious that one could support that goal without supporting the use of condoms as a means to prevent the spread of AIDS?

  • BlackAdder4,

    I agree with your statement that you can support the goal without supporting the use of condoms as a means to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    What I say is that due to Fr. Jenkins actions of late he has brought the light of scandal upon himself. If he has done this, he may have made other mistakes as well. One of them being that he is a board member of MP. Assuming that he is there for the correct reasons, he is still causing scandal by bringing attention to such a scandalous position.

    And I do like MGD (Miller Genuine Draft), but yes, I was referring to MDG. Thank you for the fraternal correction.

  • Tito,

    No doubt Father Jenkins has made many mistakes and is open to criticism on many fronts. That doesn’t mean that one has free reign to accuse him of whatever one wishes.

    This doesn’t have to be difficult. You didn’t look into a matter very carefully, and ended up making a charge against Father Jenkins that isn’t supported by the evidence. Okay, it happens. The thing to do when this is pointed out to you is just to own up to the mistake, retract the charges, and move on. Retrenchment on such a matter will only serve to further damage your credibility.

  • Tito:

    Mike Petrik making excuses for those who actually support the very things you mention?

    My dear friend, you seem to be conflating one’s residence within a certain organization/entity with direct allegiance & support of the very activities it purportedly sponsors.

    If that were indeed the case, that this Guilt by Association automatically renders a person culpable of the very crimes you seem wont to prosecute him for, then that would make any citizen of the United States who pay their taxes guilty of similar crimes, given that the U.S. government provides monies to national abortion programs (and, even now, in light of Obama’s fierce Pro-abortion Crusade, it would seem globally as well); and, therefore, by that very same logic you’ve applied thus, makes every tax-paying U.S. citizen guilty of formal cooperation with evil, too.

    You’re better than this — or, at least, I should hope.

  • BlackAdder4,

    Again we can agree to disagree.

    I made no mistake and will not retract my facts on the matter.

    e.,

    Fr. Jenkins causes scandal by his mere association of such an organization.

  • Tito,

    The claim that “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS” is unsubstantiated, and I agree with Michael Denton’s recommendation that it should be retracted.

  • Christopher,

    I made no mistake and will not retract my facts on the matter.

    You have your opinions on the matter which are incorrect. Fr. John Jenkins is causing a scandal by his board membership to an organization that supports the promotion of condom use.

  • I think that the baseless of Tito’s accusation has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of everyone but Tito, and demonstrating it to his satisfaction does not seem to be possible, so I’ll leave the conversation here.

  • BlackAdder4,

    Just because your unsupported accusations are supported by others doesn’t make it right.

    You are not satisfied unless your able to smear me which is uncharitable to say the least.

    The conversation would have been better served if you hadn’t participated in the first place.

  • Re: Millenium Promise

    Millennium Villages Handbook

    Abortion services: In countries where abortion is legal, safe abortion services in
    controlled settings by skilled practitioners should be established. In villages with a
    nearby district center with sound surgical capacity, these services can be referred.
    However, in instances where no district center or alternate post for safe abortion
    practices is accessible, abortion services can be offered at the village level,
    provided that sufficient surgical capacity exists

    Contraception and family planning: Family planning and contraception services
    are critical to allow women to choose family size and birth spacing, to combat
    sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, and contribute to the
    reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality. Services include: (1) Counseling;
    (2) Male and female condoms; (3) Pharmacologic contraceptives including oral,
    transdermal, intramuscular, and implanted methods; and (4) IUDs

    So, while the absolute evidence is not in the articles, it is clearly in their approach.

    The insidious use of euphemisms like “prevention services”, “maternal health”, “reproductive health” etc. does not change the reality of what Millenium Promise is doing. None of us should be so naive as to believe they are being moral.

  • Off topic (and perhaps simply for comic relief at this point), is the icon typically used in Tito Edward’s posts a painting of the very man featured in the icon in blackadderiv’s posts?

  • Tito,

    Paul Zummo’s questions stand, and I note you have not bothered to respond:

    What was/is Fr. Jenkins role in developing those goals? Did he push back against MDG #6? Did he decide to continue to support the MDGs despite of this provision? And what of the Vatican’s seeming support?

    Until you actually provide evidence to substantiate your accusation, the claim that Fr. Jenkins personally support condom use is groundless.

    That you preface your claim with “it seems” indicates your own uncertainty in making the accusation.

  • Everyone,

    I am adding substantial evidence of Millenium Promise‘s goals for condom usage AND abortion to the posting.

    It will take a little while since Millenium Promise‘s handbooks have this burried in over 200 pages of “nuance”.

    Christopher Blosser,

    You continue to ignore my statement that Fr. Jenkins gives cause for scandal. [ed.-off topic]

  • e.,

    I use El Greco’s ‘Conde Ordaz’ picture.

    I’m not sure what Black Adder use’s but it’s not what I use.

  • Tito:

    Personally, I believe the charitable thing to do at this point is for you to retract your accusation.

    Although I can see your point concerning how the opinion of the mob does not automatically render theirs correct (argumentum ad populum); still, I can’t see how the accusation you’ve made against Jenkins can seriously be considered as anything but baseless at this point.

    While Jenkin’s own actions during the past months may appear downright reprehensible, I don’t think that faithful Catholics such as yourself should sink so low to the point of what appears to be calumny.

    As I’ve attempted to explain before, I don’t quite think that Jenkins simply being a board member automatically renders him guilty of personally perpetrating the very crime of which you seem to have prematurely prosecuted him for, no more than I would deem you — for simply being a tax-paying U.S. citizen — guilty of supporting national programs for abortion being that such programs are prominently financed by taxpayers’ monies.

  • Christopher,

    Until you actually provide evidence to substantiate your accusation, the claim that Fr. Jenkins personally support condom use is groundless.

    with respect, where exactly does Tito make the claim you are claiming he did? It is your own accusation which is groundless. Tito only claimed that Fr. Jenkins SEEMS to support condom use since he’s on a board of an organization, that despite suggestions to the contrary DISTRIBUTES CONDOMS and PROVIDES ABORTIONS.

    That you preface your claim with “it seems” indicates your own uncertainty in making the accusation.

    No, it’s a statement about APPEARANCE, in being on the board of an organization it APPEARS or SEEMS one is in support of their activities.

    Being on the board of an organization which spreads evil is clearly scandalous, if not outright material cooperation with evil, even if one does not personally support those evils.

  • Matt,

    “Being on the board of an organization which spreads evil is clearly scandalous, if not outright material cooperation with evil, even if one does not personally support those evils.”

    Are you quite serious about this?

    Do you also apply this same sort of logic to executive-level, middle management or even ordinary employees of companies, too? To even citizens of countries that happen to provide such monstrous support for abortion that they themselves do not personally advocate?

  • While we’re at it. Until the Church declares the particular techniques defended by some to be torture, it is completely uncharitable to refer to refer to those who defend them as “torture defenders”. The argument is clearly about the definition of torture, not whether or not we should be using torture, which, we should not, and most everyone in the debate agrees.

  • In regard to Mike Petrik there is no firmer pro-lifer.

    In regard to accusations, there should be evidence presented. As to Jenkins I think in order to claim that he supports condom use we need more than he is present on the board of Millenium Promise. I do agree with Tito that it strikes me as a fairly dubious organization.

  • I want to make an addendum that so many of you insist I make. I want to add that Fr. John Jenkins seems to support abortion as well as condom usage. I have added this to the original post as an addendum.

    Millenium Promise, the organization that Fr. John Jenkins is a board member of clearly states on their very own website the following:

    (http://www.millenniumpromise.org/site/DocServer/Millennium_Development_Goals_Report_2008.pdf?docID=1841)

    Which can be found on the main webpage of Millenium Promise. Emphasis mine.:

    Page 84 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

    Budget and Procurement. The budget for the HIV/AIDS response depends on a number of factors. On the treatment side, the major budgetary concern is the provision of ARV drugs to those in need. Beyond ARV costs, other costs include staffing, other medication, CD4 counts, prevention programming, condom provision, nutritional supplementation, and VHW support.

    Page 85 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

    Communication for Preventing Disease and Changing Behavior: Behavior change communication plays a key role in preventing the spread of HIV and must be seen as a central element in any response to HIV/AIDS. This core intervention includes education, awareness building, advocacy, condom distribution, and education (both male and female), rights building, and voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) promotion among other activities.

    Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on condom usage:

    Contraception and family planning: Family planning and contraception services are critical to allow women to choose family size and birth spacing, to combat sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection, and contribute to the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality. Services include: (1) Counseling; (2) Male and female condoms; (3) Pharmacologic contraceptives including oral, transdermal, intramuscular, and implanted methods; and (4) IUDs

    Page 92 of Millenium Villages Handbook on abortion:

    Abortion services: In countries where abortion is legal, safe abortion services in controlled settings by skilled practitioners should be established. In villages with a nearby district center with sound surgical capacity, these services can be referred. However, in instances where no district center or alternate post for safe abortion practices is accessible, abortion services can be offered at the village level, provided that sufficient surgical capacity exists.]

  • Tito, look at it this way. From another thread:

    The way Fr. Z links homosexuality with “rats” and the “devil” is scandalous and inappropriate for a priest of Jesus Christ.

    To which was replied:

    This is what Father Z wrote:

    “While it is true that the laborers in the Lord’s vinyard should be perfect enough in their spirit of dedication never to have to need any praise or thanks, they remain human beings. Furthermore, they are also under constant attack by the enemy of the soul.

    It takes but small crack for a rat to slip into a house. It takes hardly anything at all for the devil to insinuate his venom into a man’s daily reflections.”

    Would you agree that it was incorrect and wrong for the first person to say what he did? I think so. If you do, then please step back and see how what you’re saying about Fr Jenkins is similar (and I’m not sying Fr Jenkins isn’t wrong on a number of issues, but justice is justice).

  • e.,


    Matt said: being on the board of an organization which spreads evil is clearly scandalous, if not outright material cooperation with evil, even if one does not personally support those evils.”

    e. said: Are you quite serious about this?

    Absolutely. To clarify, I’m not talking about mundane evil, but the profound evils of abortion and contraception.

    Do you also apply this same sort of logic to executive-level

    Most probably yes.

    , middle management or even ordinary employees of companies, too?

    To a lesser extent, but yes in those cases too. This can be excused if there’s no direct involvement, and the individual has no choice to make a living for their family but to be employed at the organization. It would also depend on the amount of evil being spread. Let’s say Coca-Cola on the lower level, Proctor & Gamble in the middle, and Planned Parenthood at the highest. This group seems to be somewhere between P&G and PP in it’s promotion of evil.

    To even citizens of countries that happen to provide such monstrous support for abortion that they themselves do not personally advocate?

    Not to a substantial extent because citizenship is not a voluntary assocation. If the evil activity becomes so substantial that the nation is wholly corrupt, and there are alternatives we should leave, but in our current circumstances, I don’t see that as the case. There is still a “Culture War” going on, and really no safe haven elsewhere, we have no choice but to stay and fight.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    RE: Mike Petrik, I agree.

    RE: Tito’s suspicion about the organization, I agree.

    RE: Jenkin’s purportedly supporting those particular measures as detailed therein; that remains to be seen.

    Personally, even seeming to act on behalf of Jenkin’s is the last thing I’d ever countenance; however, given the subtle workings of certain boards I happen to be acquainted with, given its own “political” workup and their various agendas which not all unanimously agree to, this very detail would leave me initially skeptical.

  • Fr. Jenkins is on the board of a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization of Millennium Promises which at minimum gives scandal.

    I have not accused Fr. Jenkins of being personally for condom usage (or abortion). But I have said he seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization.

    Notwithstanding all the evidence that I have provided that many of you have chosen to ignore.

  • It would seem that self-described “pro-life Democrats”, by virtue of their being Democrats, are actually pro-abortion.

  • Tito:

    “But I have said he seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization.”

    Respectfully, the very same can be said almost about any one of us.

    If a person can automatically be condemned as being somebody who “seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization”, then a person who simply works for a corporation who also happens to do the same can likewise be condemned as such.

    Now, to be fair, Jenkins may well be guilty of having actually supported those very measures detailed in the handbook; however, as it stands, there is yet to be convincing evidence of the sort that would actually corroborate such a claim — even a claim as tentatively articulated as “he seems to be promoting these evils by associating himself with a pro-abortion and pro-condom organization”.

  • e.,

    Yes, I see your reasoning.

    The difference is that Fr. Jenkins is a Catholic priest. One who is the president of a world-renowned Catholic university. One that can be argued made a mistake of offering an honorary degree and an invitation to speak to Notre Dame’s graduates. He is now under the microscope because of his questionable actions. One can rightly say “is this a pattern of behavior?” Someone who goes contrary to Church teachings?

    It is only fair to ask if his example is giving scandal to others. His mere association with Millenium Promise gives credence that it’s ok to abort and use condoms since such a prominent Catholic is on a board of a UN NGO!

  • Just so we’re clear, my point was that Krauthammer says that if we have “the slightest belief” that torture will save “an innocent”, then this kid should, by Krauthammer’s own logic, be tortured. Obviously, the Feds have “the slightest belief” that his alleged bomb threats have some sort of substance to them or they wouldn’t still be holding him. So by Krauthammer’s logic it is a “moral obligation” to torture the kid, lest by some oversight he or his compatriots actually kill innocents. The post isn’t really about the Patriot Act: it’s about the logic of the rhetoric that is being put forward by major pundits and representatives of allegedly “conservative” thought. By Krauthammer’s standards, the Feds were actually neglectful of their moral obligations when they didn’t instantly start torturing him. Suppose the threat had been real!

  • With all due respect… (That being the general precursor to rhetorically laying into someone.)

    Obviously, the Feds have “the slightest belief” that his alleged bomb threats have some sort of substance to them or they wouldn’t still be holding him.

    Actually, that’s not clear at all. Calling in bomb threats is illegal even if they’re known to be false. From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty clear that he’s being prosecuted for making fake bomb threats, not on the suspicion that he was really going to bomb anything.

    it’s about the logic of the rhetoric that is being put forward by major pundits and representatives of allegedly “conservative” thought. By Krauthammer’s standards, the Feds were actually neglectful of their moral obligations when they didn’t instantly start torturing him. Suppose the threat had been real!

    I’m not really clear that his is put forward by “major pundits” or “representative of allegedly ‘conservative’ thought” either. Sometime along these lines was said by Krauthammer (a quirky sort of fellow himself, politically) once. I strongly doubt that, if ask, he would give the interpretation to his words that you are giving. And if one went around the country asking pundits and ordinary citizens the number (even among Fox News watchers) who would assert that the government has a moral obligation to torture anyone it has the least suspicion of being about to bomb innocent people is pretty clearly vanishingly small.

    I don’t think that your admirable witness against consequentialist arguments for torture is helped by assembling what amounts to a fairly preposterous straw man. Your arguments themselves are better than that.

  • Once again the clown Mark Shea has bombed. Certainly even now he’s scouring online archives, Krauthammer’s rubbish bin, Halliburton dumps, anything at all in a desperate attempt at uncovering some comeback lines. In this valiant Hamburger Hill like effort at misdirection he’ll be well advised to decline any offer of relief from Mr Comerford, the Walter Mitty of the blogosphere.

  • Ivan,

    Without the rudeness please?

  • Ditto Ivan’s remarks.

    Shea has sunk so low, he has himself become a self-parody; simply allow the guy to dig his own grave and he will… eventually.

  • Shea is no clown and needs no defense from the likes of e. and Ivan. They are best ignored.

  • Mark, Darwin Catholic

    I apologise for writing “the clown…”. I regretted that once it was posted.

  • “I apologise for writing ‘the clown'”

    Yeah, ‘Bozo’ would’ve been more apt where Shea is concerned!

    (apologies, Darwin Catholic — only messin’).

  • Christopher,

    Christopher Blosser Says:
    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 A.D. at 2:27 pm

    It would seem that self-described “pro-life Democrats”, by virtue of their being Democrats, are actually pro-abortion.

    You know that’s not what I or Tito said, so it’s simply a strawman.

    Since you asked though, membership in the Democrat party is material cooperation with evil and may be scandalous. Whether this is sinful or not would depend on a number of factors. Particularly to the degree one avoids apparent or actual support of the platform or pro-abortion candidates.

    Now, simple membership in a party is not the same thing as being on the board of an organization, which is done specifically to lend credibility to the cause and/or as a reward for faithful support. I have not heard Fr. Jenkins actively rejecting the approach of the group he is on the board of, and it’s likely that he would not be on that board if he was. As a prominent Catholic priest lending credibility to an organization which substantially spreads evil, he is giving scandal.

  • Matt,

    If Tito had expressed concern about Fr. Jenkin’s presence “lending credibility” to an organization that promotes condom use, I would be in complete agreement with him.

    In fact, I don’t think you would find a number of his colleagues voicing their dissent as happened on this post.

    But you and I both know he didn’t frame the argument in that manner.

    Rather, he publicly speculated that “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    One is an expression of charitable concern, voiced in a respectful manner.

    The other is a deliberate misrepresentation and an unsubstantiated charge.

  • Christopher Blosser,

    If Tito had expressed concern about Fr. Jenkin’s presence “lending credibility” to an organization that promotes condom use, I would be in complete agreement with him.

    That’s good.

    In fact, I don’t think you would find a number of his colleagues voicing their dissent as happened on this post.

    But you and I both know he didn’t frame the argument in that manner.

    Rather, he publicly speculated that “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    Chris, that is one of the most aggregious attempts at changing the substance of a persons statement by quoting out of context I’ve seen in awhile. All you had to do to present your Christian brother’s statement in a more reasonable light is to quote the WHOLE sentence, instead of slicing it up for your own purposes.

    What Tito actually said:
    It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.

    seem
    ??/sim/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [seem]

    –verb (used without object)
    1. to appear to be, feel, do, etc.: She seems better this morning.
    2. to appear to one’s own senses, mind, observation, judgment, etc.: It seems to me that someone is calling.
    3. to appear to exist: There seems no need to go now.
    4. to appear to be true, probable, or evident: It seems likely to rain.
    5. to give the outward appearance of being or to pretend to be: He only seems friendly because he wants you to like him.

    There is an appearance of support.

    One is an expression of charitable concern, voiced in a respectful manner.

    And that is what Tito was trying to do, regardless of whether or not he expressed it exactly as you wanted.

    The other is a deliberate misrepresentation and an unsubstantiated charge.

    And that is what CHRISTOPHER BLOSSER did by misquoting Tito’s statement.

  • Christopher,

    “Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    I said “seems”, not “believes”.

    I believe you misquoted me. Or it seems you misquoted me. See the difference?

    Which changes the entire context of what I wrote.

  • Tito,

    I thank you and Matt for proving my point.

    Let’s examine your sentence as a whole:

    “It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    We can see from this:

    1) Tito is uncertain that Fr. John Jenkins actually BELIEVES in the promotion of condom use.

    2) He qualifies it with “it seems”

    3) But in the simple fact of doing so, he plants the thought in the public realm and casts aspersion on Fr. Jenkins.

    Again, if Tito had framed the argument in such a manner as:

    1) Fr. Jenkins is a member of the board of an organization that endorses the Millenium Goals
    2) Said organization has been known to advocate contraception in the fulfillment of the “goal”
    3) Fr. Jenkins lends the appearance of advocacy to this by his being on the board

    I would have little objection, because rather than rumor-mongering, you instead extend the invitation to Fr. Jenkins for clarification, and treat him with Christian charity such as every Catholic deserves.

  • Christopher Blosser,


    I think you and Matt for proving my point.

    Let’s take your sentence as a whole:

    “It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS.”

    We can see from this:

    1) Tito is uncertain that Fr. John Jenkins actually BELIEVES in the promotion of condom use.

    2) He qualifies it with “it seems”

    3) But in the simple fact of doing so, he plants the thought in the public realm and casts an unsubstantiated charge against Fr. Jenkins.

    Are we clear on why I object to this?.

    Tito didn’t plant the thought in the public realm, Fr. Jenkins did by being ON THE BOARD OF A PRO-CONDOM, PRO-ABORTION ORGANIZATION, which is a further complication of his support for honoring a rabidly pro-abortion politician and rejecting the correction of his own bishop. Tito brought it up for discussion on the blog, it was always in the public realm. Tito revealed nothing.

    Are you HONESTLY denying that Fr. Jenkins position on that board implies support for it’s operations in the absence of strong evidence to the contrary, especially in light of his decision to reject the instruction of his bishop and honor a pro-abortion/condom politician?

  • Christopher,

    We are splitting hairs at this point.

    For me I take people at their word and I believe what you are saying is sincere. I take your fraternal actions to heart, but we’ve exhausted this debate well enough.

    Pax vobiscum.

  • Matt,

    I’ve stated my case. I’m done with this.

  • It “seems” that Tito does not fully understand the concept of material cooperation, but pontificates on it with great confidence anyway.
    It “seems” that Tito has no idea how United Ways are organized or governed, but pontificates on them with great confidence anyway.
    It “seems” that Tito feels he can reach factual conclusions with great confidence simply by taking bizarre inferential liberties.
    It “seems” that Tito thinks that he is entitled to make all manner of unfair accusations, most especially if he qualifies them with “seems.”

  • Mike,

    I’ll concede that you aren’t in material cooperation, but in remote material cooperation with abortion.

  • I’ll concede that you aren’t in material cooperation, but in remote material cooperation with abortion.

    No more than any of us who live in this society.

    Tito, are ad hominem attacks wrong? If so, how does “It seems that Fr. John Jenkins believes in the promotion of condom use to prevent the spread of AIDS” differ from what Mike said? Best I can tell, the only difference is that while Mike slipped in “it seems”, his observations can actually be connected to your own words, whereas there is much less to go on regarding Fr. Jenkins.

  • As far as the rest of your ad hominem attacks, you need to think twice before you post or you will be banned.

    Tito: You really need to relax. You have now generated into ad hominem and ridiculous charges against someone who is merely pointing out the spuriousness of your charges. If you feel like lashing out against and banning Mike and anyone else who shows even the slightest hint of disagreeing with you, then frankly I have no use in visiting this site anymore myself.

  • Rick,

    If you want to delve into moral relativism, be my guest.

    It is scandalous that a prominent Catholic priest is a board member of an organization that actively promotes condom usage and abortion.

    But if you want to mock me and what I wrote I am fine with it. You can attack the messenger, but the fact remains that Fr. John Jenkins is a board member, not a volunteer on a Sunday morning passing out flyers, but a board member that has the authority to debate the direction of an organization that actively promotes moral evils contrary to Catholic teaching.

    Go ahead and attack me, but you won’t distract from this very fact.

  • Everyone,

    We all need to cool down about this (me included).

    So I am closing down the comments for this thread.

    We all need to think twice before posting comments and remember that we are all children of Christ. It would behoove all of us to be more charitable in how we treat each other.

    I appreciate fraternal correction, but that can’t be used as a weapon to bludgeon someone you disagree with.

    Pax!

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