The winds of moral equivalence in the Middle East are persistent. As the war between terrorists in Gaza and the Israeli government escalates, the media resists the idea of taking sides. CNN contends there are valid positions on both sides of the divide. Ethan Bonner, The New York Times correspondent contends the wall separating Gaza from Israel and Israel from the West Bank is the real impediment to peace.
Michel de Montaigne, the sixteenth century essayist, noted the difference between “supercelestial talk and subterranean conduct.” While the difference was obvious in the Renaissance, it rages as a virtual definition of this moment.
It has been clear for some time that Mainline Protestants have gone through a complete transformation. This religious group led by Presbyterians has become a secular humanistic faith far more interested in same sex marriage, abortion privileges, equality in some abstract sense, and fashionable left wing ideologies and tropes than religious doctrines.
With the fall of Mosul to ISIS terrorists the goal of a new state incorporating territory in northern Iraq and Syria may be a reality. As I see it, this is more than a Sunni-Shia conflict within the confines of one region. It has the potential to be the catalyst of World War IV, the Cold War being World War III.
For a considerable period I have argued that President Obama’s foreign policy was feckless, a function of inexperience and amateurish advisement. The overarching goal of removing the U.S. from harm’s way seemed absurd since even if you want to avoid war, it sometimes has a way of finding you. But there is logic in a foreign policy position that avoids overreaching.
For intellectuals and government officials in Egypt, American foreign policy is an enigma. From Syria to Afghanistan questions are posed about the stance of the Obama administration. To cite one example, an official asked, how do you explain the president’s argument for bombing Syria only to end up not bombing Syria?
For Americans, military matters are rarely considered. After all, without a draft, less than one-half of one percent of the nation has any direct involvement with military issues. The Congress is in a similar state largely unaware of military concerns as a Chinese wall has been erected between the military brass and the civilian leadership that makes decisions about its future.
L’affaire Sterling is nearing an end. Almost every sentient human being is aware of Don Sterling’s rancid racist comments. He has been banned from the NBA forever and he is being forced to sell his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. All of this is known. Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA, has been heralded for his quick, and “appropriate” action. The legendary Michael Jordan summarized the view of players and owners by noting: “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. As a fellow player, I am completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”