20 January 2018

MI5, Ulster Loyalist Paramilitaries and an Assassination Plot

This article raises more questions than it is able to answer. It suggests there were elements within the British Establishment that were less than happy with Thatcher's overtures vis-à-vis the Irish Republic.

16 January 2018

History Rears its Head: The Revival of German Militarism

There is nothing remarkable about this article. It is but part of a growing chorus calling for German militarism and rearmament. Aside from that ominous call, it tries to dress up the arguments with diplomatic lingo and pretentious ethics. It's a call for Germany to rise up and become once again... the master of Europe.
These are strange words to hear post-1945 but history has come full circle or to put it another way, it has reared its head.

13 January 2018

Can Western Evangelicals Condemn the Kremlin's Ban on The Watchtower Society?

There's a sad irony here. Russian Evangelicals are right to condemn and reject the state's ban on The Watchtower Society. While the Watchtower represents a rejection of the Biblical Gospel it nevertheless should be allowed to exist and its followers should be permitted to pursue their own path.
Western Evangelical condemnations of the ban, instigated by the Anti-Western Kremlin and the anti-Evangelical campaign flowing from the Orthodox Patriarchate, are often more rooted in pragmatics and politics.

11 January 2018

Libyan Betrayals

Some will find it shocking that in order to make peace with Gaddafi in the wake of 9/11, the British (and Americans) were willing to help him in his dirty work and eliminate his enemies.
I don't find it shocking at all but I reckon the episode (as reported in this Guardian piece) instructive in this regard. When Gaddafi was an enemy, especially during the 1980's, Britain gave refuge to his political enemies. Washington did the same as some of the figures opposing Gaddafi were directly supported by the CIA.

09 January 2018

The Politicisation of Christianity in Pakistan

Christians in the Subcontinent are suffering. Of that there can be no doubt, and yet this move by the Trump administration is unfortunate. It once again puts them in the middle and gives Islamabad every reason to look the other way when jihadists attack Christian gatherings.

07 January 2018

Brazil is Heating Up

This article makes for a disturbing read and while I don't wish to dwell on the particulars I simply wanted to post something about the changes taking place in Brazil. The Evangelicals are on the rise and it would seem Brazil is headed toward a culture war.

The First Shot: Brussels vs. ÖVP Austria

The ÖVP has introduced its first attempt at nationalist legislation. They're not the first to do so, but others have backed down. The Austrian Right is trying to keep Austrian money within Austria which of course undermines the larger EU project and the authority of Brussels.

06 January 2018

Plan Honduras

As I'm just finishing a book on the School of the Americas I stumbled across this Intercept article on Honduras. Since the US backed coup in 2009, the entirety of Latin America has been experiencing an episode of 'Rollback'. Right-wing governments are coming into power and as this Honduras episode demonstrates, it would seem the old playbook has been dusted off and reactivated.

01 January 2018

Trump +346: UN Funding, the American Empire and the Rise of Multipolarity

The Trump administration recently declared it would further cut US payments to the United Nations. This is particularly damaging to the international body as the US pays a significant portion of its budget. American conservatives have long argued that the UN works against American interests and thus they are particularly bitter about the fact that US tax money helps to fund the organisation.

31 December 2017

Evangelicalism Divided and Destitute

updated 6 January 2018

Labeling leading Evangelicals as enemies seems a bit extreme to some, even if they will grant that most of the names on the Newsmax list are problematic.
And yet as I've mentioned on numerous occasions, Iain Murray all but did the same back in 2000. And yet he did it in such a way that few seemed to grasp the full import of what he was saying.

30 December 2017

The Nepal Elections and OBOR

For nations like Nepal, caught between the larger powers, the side to choose is becoming obvious. A move toward India would mean inviting in the financiers and New Delhi's war footing-policy based on the new alliance with Washington. Kathmandu doesn't want to be caught in the middle of India's conflict with Beijing.

29 December 2017

Eco-Technology and the Resource Wars: Congo and Afghanistan

Below is a link to a brief video clip from Al Jazeera's business programme 'Counting the Cost'. There have actually been a lot of stories and reports about Cobalt, Lithium and the costs of supporting the new tech economy but I wonder how many people know or care?
I don't believe it's something that gets a lot of attention in the mainstream press.
But what to do? I don't know, but it just adds another layer to the moral component of technology... the aspects and questions of the debate that few seem to wrestle with. Not only are there ethical implications for how we use technology but we should also consider the sources and the larger question of human cost.

26 December 2017

Influential Evangelicals: The Enemies List

Most in Confessional circles will be less than pleased by the majority of the names placed on this list. Many are outright heretics and others, despite their abundant popularity are a source of frustration with regard to the testimony and goals of both the Evangelical and Confessional Protestant Churches.  

24 December 2017

Michael of Romania (1921-2017)

I meant to post this a couple of weeks ago. I apologise for the seeming lack of productivity. I have barely had time to sit down lately. Sometimes days go by and I don't even turn my computer on. When I do I often just keep labouring on whatever project I have going, take a look at the news and avoid everything else. I know I have emails to get to and I will try to do so.

20 December 2017

Dominionism on the March in Spain

I'm not sure why, but it continues to amaze me. A re-worked form of Dominionism is rapidly extending to Evangelical communities in Europe. The Lausanne Movement has really done its work.
Modern Dominionist teaching insists that Medieval Catholicism split the sacred and the secular. They will point to the fact that to be 'holy' one had to become a cleric or live in a monastery.

16 December 2017

Humanitarian Politics and Myanmar

Beware the so-called humanitarians arguing for war.
Humanitarian politics has become a basis for war in the post Cold War era. This was a growing theme during the 1990's as the US intervened in places like Somalia and NATO began to rapidly expand in Europe. Even the disastrous genocide in Rwanda was spun as a call to arms for future interventions.

11 December 2017

09 December 2017

Update on La Guerra Sucia or Argentina's Dirty War

The mid-1970s were by many reckonings a dark time. For the United States it was the Post-Vietnam/Post-Watergate era of economic depression and cultural decline. The Cold War wasn't going well and America's future was uncertain.

06 December 2017

False Narratives Regarding the War in Yemen

The War in Yemen has taken some radical turns in recent days. The death of Saleh represents a possible watershed in the larger war. The war is but a facet within a larger geopolitical puzzle which encompasses not only the Middle East but the entirety of the globe.
The Cold War was simple by comparison.

04 December 2017

Controversies Surrounding Bergoglio (Francis)

For those interested in following the struggles and intrigues of the Vatican this article from The Guardian warrants a look.
It helps to explain some of the recent battles, actions and rhetoric taking place between the Papacy and groups like the Knights of Malta. These events have received what could be described as somewhat muddled coverage.

29 November 2017

Mladic and ICC Hypocrisy

Mladic is undoubtedly a criminal. Personally I think all combat commanders are, but even by the twisted standards of 'legal' or 'just' war, the Serbian general was guilty of wanton slaughter.

28 November 2017

Indonesia: A Forgotten Genocide by Proxy

This is another ghost from the past, another story that has for the most part been flushed down the memory hole. The BBC retains some value in that it will at least provide some coverage to stories like this but for real investigative journalism one must turn elsewhere. As is so often the case, their coverage allows them to retain journalistic credibility... but then functions as a 'move-along, nothing to see here' piece.

25 November 2017

Neo-McCarthyism, the First Amendment and the Compromise of the Humanitarian/NGO Complex

I offer this link as an excellent summary of what has aptly been described as Neo-McCarthyism. The current climate is a strange one and while the Establishment media has always played fast and loose with the truth there are seasons in which the lies seem to be pervasive, dominant, oppressive and overbearing.

23 November 2017

The Challenge to Christianity in China

I'm not a fan of World Magazine. It's been a Dominionist publication from the beginning. That said, like all news media it is not without some value, sometimes for reasons the editors and publishers don't intend.

18 November 2017

Assange's Game and The Atlantic's Fraud

Of course the previously linked Washington Post story regarding the Brazile revelations keeps changing, as indeed they will continue to 'update' the story. Such updates can themselves be a subject of study.
I wrote the Brazile post on 6 Nov and it's been sitting in my folder for almost two weeks. Already the story has faded and the current buzz is over Donald Trump Jr. and his contacts with Wikileaks.

Brazile's Challenge to the Clinton Narrative

Bernie Sanders is either corrupt, stupid or some kind of megalomaniac. Of course these categories are not mutually exclusive and he may be all of these things. The 2016 election was a farce on so many fronts and while the Trump people are dirty and corrupt and clearly sought (and seek) to profit on every relationship and diplomatic exchange, the Clintons and the people heading the DNC have demonstrated they are cut from the same cloth.

14 November 2017

Reflections on a Russian Conference Report

In some ways this was a rather disappointing read.
I can only say that I've experienced a great deal of disappointment in the writings and opinions of Roberts. I think he has a poor grasp of the issues he addresses as well as the tradition he purports to represent. And while he and others seek to protect the Russian Reformed community from errors they are in fact doing damage themselves. They misrepresent Historical Theology, the nature of doctrine and the teaching of Scripture.

12 November 2017

Suspicions Everywhere: Radiation Clouds and Fire at the SVR

While at this point there's no evidence of arson, the fire at the headquarters of one of Russia's top intelligence agencies (the SVR) is suspicious. Yes, there was remodeling work being done which may explain its origin but it must also be admitted that construction and renovation provide one of the easiest and most convenient scenarios for sabotage. This is especially true when subcontractors are used.

Niebuhrian Transformation: Anabaptists in the Wake of WWII

What can we say about modern Mennonites? They have lost their way. Despite what differences I might have with them I could say that Anabaptist theology used to focus on Bible.

10 November 2017

The India-Israel Alliance

This episode of Inside Story is noteworthy in that the relationship between Israel and India is beginning to become more overt. A longstanding reality it is based on mutual interests.

Remembering The Sand Pebbles

This article caught my eye because it referenced The Sand Pebbles and I immediately thought of the old Steve McQueen movie. I remember watching it many years ago and being baffled... why were American troops in China during the 1920's? It got me to digging.

07 November 2017

A Kosovar Ploy

This story is actually somewhat amusing. Thaci, long a US asset is now president of a nation created by and wholly dependent on Washington's support. Thaci fears a fall from power because he has a lot of enemies and potentially faces charges for the war crimes he was involved in.

05 November 2017

NATO on the Korean Peninsula

This story is something of a stunner and it has received almost no coverage in the West, certainly not in the American mainstream news.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has been touring Japan and South Korea and even visited the contentious DMZ. What is the head of NATO doing in Northeast Asia on the Pacific Rim? The timing is also noteworthy as he's passing through just days before Donald Trump's visit to the region.

04 November 2017

Berlusconi and Leaden Ghosts

Obviously this story is still up in the air and there are a lot of unanswered questions. The Wikipedia article on the Via dei Georgofili bombing is quite unsatisfactory and presents the issue as concluded, when it's clear that not even the authorities actually believe that to be the case.

01 November 2017

The Intercept, the Israeli Lobby and Selective Ethics

The story is merited in that it attests to the tremendous power wielded by the Israel lobby which continues to shape and affect legislation. The growing movement challenging Israel has been a cause for concern for the leaders of the Zionist state.

30 October 2017

The Mueller Indictments

What a soap opera. This story is hard to write about because it constantly changes. But despite the clamour in the media, it's pretty safe to say that virtually every angle of the Russia Conspiracy has all but collapsed.
And then today, three indictments were handed down. But what does it mean?

29 October 2017

Fiendish Facebook

This article/extract should be read by all. Franklin Foer does well in explaining the transformational nature of power in our new social dynamic and how people [sic] like Zuckerberg are able to wield it.

25 October 2017

The Trump Transformation of Evangelicalism

Trump just plays these people like a fiddle. Drunk on power and the prospect of it they are incapable of understanding how hypocritical they look, how foolish they are, indeed how heretical is their understanding of the Kingdom and its ethics.
While heresy and apostasy were already rampant in the American Church it has (if possible) gotten worse over the past year and a half. The Trump effect was of course already bringing about its rotten harvest during the 2016 campaign.

23 October 2017

Iraqi Kurds Betrayed Again: A Quick Summary

The Kurds of Iraq were backed by the US through the Shah of Iran during the 1970s. This was when Tehran was a close US ally and Saddam Hussein had been pushed into the arms of the Soviets and thus had become Washington's enemy.

21 October 2017

The Sin of Transgenderism

I watched some of the video clips of the parents on the news in the UK. I was struck by their confusion and inability to articulate their concerns. They appeared petty, arbitrary and unprincipled. Perhaps they're timid? I don't know. Perhaps they fear the ferocious backlash were they to speak out in a more direct fashion.
If they were trying to take an easy road, they have certainly learned by now that it didn't work.

19 October 2017

Syria and the Media Dilemma

This Fisk article raises several points of interest.
Apart from the very suspicious evidence that someone is collaborating with ISIS... which could just as easily be the Israelis as it is the Americans, it also presents a view of the Syrian War absolutely unknown in Western media.

16 October 2017

Murder and the Panama Papers

We've had countless incidents like this in the United States. Investigators and journalists have been killed under the most suspicious of circumstances and they're deemed accidents.
Of course a car bomb cannot be written off and yet once again in the US I would not be surprised if it were chalked up as a leaking fuel line or something to that effect. There have been some pretty outrageous rulings that beggar belief.

14 October 2017

Turkey and Questions of Kurdish Independence

Turkey continues to move away from NATO in both symbolic and concrete terms. Erdogan continues to dismantle Kemalism, the legacy of the country's founder Mustapha Kemal Ataturk. Turkey was formed in the wake of the Ottoman Empire and it was created on the basis of a secular pro-Western ideology which has dominated the country since its founding almost a century ago. The turn away from this foundation has all but destroyed the basis for Turkey's relationship with Europe and the United States. While Erdogan's dreams of Neo-Ottomanism have been wounded and waylaid they have not been abandoned. Erdogan hopes to bring Turkey into a position of power by means of its geography, cultural influence and its ability to project power within its unique and varied sphere.

13 October 2017

Catalonia, Kosovo and Crimea: Separatism, Hypocrisy and the Tenuous Status of the Nation State

Aleksandar Vučić is of course absolutely right. There is a double standard and we also see it at work with regard to Crimea. It is simply unthinkable to the Western Establishment that the people of Crimea would voluntarily and democratically seek to ratify the Russian annexation. Of course the history of Crimea has been all but ignored by Western media. I'm referring to its Imperial history, its Soviet history and even the attitudes and political maneuvers taking place in the 1990s.

11 October 2017

Inbox: What about Carroll Quigley's Tragedy and Hope?

I'm somewhat familiar with Quigley. I don't actually own the book but a local library has a copy and I've checked it out before. It's massive and I'll confess I didn't read it all. I pretty much focused on the conspiratorial Round Table sections everyone talks about. And mind you, it's been a good fifteen years or more since I looked at it.

10 October 2017

Years of Lead, Years on the Run

Battisti is one of those enigmatic figures from the Years of Lead. This period (mainly the 1970s and 1980s) so-named by the Italians due to the constant threat of terrorism and the many deaths and injuries that resulted from attacks, is still shrouded in unanswered questions.
Many crimes haven't been solved. Many officials and reporters insist that suspects are being protected and many of the investigatory trails lead back to intelligence services. Left-wing organisations like the Red Brigades were heavily infiltrated by Right-wing fascists. While Italy wasn't the only place this was happening, in many ways its legacy continues to be the most complex and mysterious. The ties extend not only to the Mafia and the Vatican but to South America and even some former Nazis.

09 October 2017

Placing the American Empire in its Present Context

I found this article too generous in its assessment of the American Empire and the 'good' it does around the world.
I will grant that the Empire does bring a degree of stability and stability can be a good thing. And yet at what cost? And is stability an end? Are a host of grave sins permissible for the sake of stability? Is this not yet another case of the ends justifying the means?
Many of course would say in the realm of international politics that's about as good as you can hope to get.
While that adage may be true in terms of worldly wisdom, we as Christians should be able to come up with something better.

07 October 2017

The Empire in East Africa

The Intercept ran this story on Ethiopia and its relationship with the NSA. While it fails to expand on the wider context of the US-Ethiopian relationship it nevertheless provides some useful information in understanding the nature of the US footprint with the Horn of Africa. There is a great game afoot as the US seeks to control the region and do what it can to check Chinese economic influence.

04 October 2017

30 September 2017

Ken Burns and Vietnam Revisionism

I haven't watched the Ken Burns series on Vietnam and there's a good chance I won't bother with it. Why not? Because despite all the hype and praises heaped upon it I expected it to be more or less as the author of this link has described it.
Burns is only going to go so far in criticising the United States. Tied to the Establishment he's not going to risk burning his bridges with PBS, the educational mandarins and the host of foundations and corporations that promote and fund works such as his.

24 September 2017

Hezbollah's Victory, the Fall of ISIS and Principles of Historical Interpretation

This story has received almost no coverage in the West but it's significant. And though it undoubtedly vexes a good number of people in both Israel and America, it is nevertheless true.
Hezbollah, born of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, shocked everyone in 2006 by presenting a serious challenge to Israel on the battlefield. Since then it has grown even stronger and has recently scored significant victories in Syria. Hezbollah, a Shiite paramilitary organisation allied with Iran, waged a fierce war against the Sunni extremists of ISIS.

23 September 2017

Trump +247: Mueller, the 9/11 Cover-up and the DNC Crisis

Robert Mueller is considered to be a man of integrity, of impeccable credentials and character. His appointment to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 election was lauded by the Establishment political class, media and a great deal of the public.
And yet the same media is utterly failing to connect his name to the recent Saudi scandal that's been quietly making the news. It seems the media would rather this story just went away.
For years some of the families associated with the victims of 9/11 have been dissatisfied with the official investigation. With good reason they view it as insufficient, truncated and even corrupt.

22 September 2017

12 September 2017

Kony, Kagame and AFRICOM

Some readers will no doubt remember the Kony 2012 movie sensation. It was a flash in the pan that was quickly eclipsed by other events, especially the Chibok girls in 2014. All of these stories, from al-Shabaab's 2012 Church attacks in Kenya to the 2013 attack on the Westgate Mall have played a role in shaping Western public opinion with regard to Western military interventions in Africa.