Thank you, Curt Schilling, for a well explained position piece…
Speaking GOD’s truth is not passing (human) “judgment” on our fellows. GOD has given us both truth in natural law and intelligence for ease of discernment as part of his masterful design. How many times do you hear these words, “Don’t judge me” or “it’s wrong to judge?” Judging others while applying one’s own human opinion or deontological or consequentialist ethic may, indeed, be just awful. My opinion on this aside, what about GOD’s truth? The Bible tells us that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). But how can we even begin to understand that truth?
Love and tolerance are, firstly, NOT the same thing. Tolerance in itself is not love. It is more a characteristic of apathy. If a baby reaches for a paring knife, indeed, tolerance may mean death. Love is decisive and relentless, as assuredly as saving the litter of puppies from a burning building is not an act of tolerance.
Modern progressive thought is largely devoid of truth (and oddly, love) in its pursuit of so-called tolerance and social justice. Its underlying theme is the oft-used term “political correctness” and all of the dispassionate moderation it prescribes of our behavior towards others. The hypocrisy, however, is that this “tolerance” in practice only ever seemingly extends to ideas friendly to self-perpetuating progressive thought. Insofar as progressivism begets progressivism, well then, tolerance is the word. The standard bearers of “Peace and Love” who occupy parks and campuses seemingly have little regard for objective truths in the natural realm, while avoiding entirely the subjective truths given through GOD’s revelation to man. But, of course, through all of our “progress” and modern wisdom, we know better (claim the architects of successful societies nowhere).
The left’s hostility toward discourse that challenges their subjective “truth” is widely displayed for all to see in the pervasive and shameless “ideological fascism” on college campuses (more on that later).
So, where is the truth to be found, by which we can honestly judge right from wrong? Truth certainly can be found in Natural Law, which St. Thomas Acquinas defended–as do I–that man’s innate capability to reason and discern (i.e., morality) is as immutable as the other observable and indisputable physical and metaphysical facts conferred through GOD’s creation. Science is often viewed as the enemy of Christianity, whereas, it can and must be understood as wholly compatible (*unlike the “young-earth” Christian view that GOD must certainly be testing our faith through scientific evidence that contradicts scripture).
Acquinas makes a case for this synergy in his Summa Theologiae, and often as filtered through the School of Salamanca. This view was also delineated by Anglcan C.S. Lewis in his works Mere Christianity and The Abolition of Man.
Those in the church who hold these truths to be self-evident understand human beings to consist of body and mind, the physical and the non-physical (i.e., soul), and that the two are inextricably linked. Humans are capable of discerning the difference between good and evil because they have a conscience. This is not randomly “evolved” through synthesis of chemical and cellular reactions, but is fundamental to GOD’s ontological design.
There are many manifestations of the good that we can pursue. Some, like procreation, are common to other animals, while others, like the pursuit of truth, are inclinations peculiar to the capacities of human beings.
To know what is right, one must use one’s reason and apply it to Aquinas’ precepts. This reason is believed to be embodied, in its most abstract form, in the concept of a primary precept: “Good is to be sought, evil avoided.”
St. Thomas explains that:
“there belongs to the natural law, first, certain most general precepts, that are known to all; and secondly, certain secondary and more detailed precepts, which are, as it were, conclusions following closely from first principles. As to those general principles, the natural law, in the abstract, can nowise be blotted out from men’s hearts. But it is blotted out in the case of a particular action, insofar as reason is hindered from applying the general principle to a particular point of practice, on account of concupiscence or some other passion, as stated above (77, 2). But as to the other, i.e., the secondary precepts, the natural law can be blotted out from the human heart, either by evil persuasions, just as in speculative matters errors occur in respect of necessary conclusions; or by vicious customs and corrupt habits, as among some men, theft, and even unnatural vices, as the Apostle states (Rm. i), were not esteemed sinful.”
Many of the seemingly obvious precepts Acquinas references are suddenly out of favor now, many thousands of years into the human experience. And, the ideological left has made more than a few sweeping revisions to these precepts in recent history, calling it all “truth” and vowing to discredit anyone who presumes to challenge them.
Even Kirsten Powers–a self-described liberal–is brave enough to recognize and call out the intolerance of the “tolerant left.” In 2015, she authored The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech, published by Regenery Press. While I would argue that her case is easily made by any intellectually honest person, this is tantamount to high treason in her ideological tribe, and it must have taken fortitude to stand up to the “tolerance” bullies.
Ideological facism is practiced where avoidance of uncomfortable ideas (through healthy debate) becomes a protected entitlement, or worse, ensured by way of demagoguery, public humiliation, “hate” legislation and academic enforcement (i.e., simply call it “hate speech” and assassinate the character of the perpetrator with names like racist, sexist, bigot). Free thought, a long-held pillar of secularism, is now aggressively suppressed by hostile, whiny and self-entitled voices favoring arbitrary, yet, perhaps, popular “human law” inventions and Pragmatic Ethics at the expense of discernment, let alone truth.
No one has made the case for this better than Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, when he weighed in with a letter to the campus community back in November 2015:
“This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable.
I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.”
I have a message for this young man and all others who care to listen. That feeling of discomfort you have after listening to a sermon is called a conscience! An altar call is supposed to make you feel bad! It is supposed to make you feel guilty! The goal of many a good sermon is to get you to confess your sins — not coddle you in your selfishness. The primary objective of the Church and the Christian faith is your confession, not your self-actualization!
So here’s my advice:
If you want the chaplain to tell you you’re a victim rather than tell you that you need virtue, this may not be the university you’re looking for. If you want to complain about a sermon that makes you feel less than loving for not showing love, this might be the wrong place.
If you’re more interested in playing the “hater” card than you are in confessing your own hate; if you want to arrogantly lecture, rather than humbly learn; if you don’t want to feel guilt in your soul when you are guilty of sin; if you want to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.
At OKWU, we teach you to be selfless rather than self-centered. We are more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge. We want you to model interpersonal reconciliation rather than foment personal conflict. We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty and we don’t issue “trigger warnings” before altar calls.
Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about others; that the bad feeling you have while listening to a sermon is called guilt; that the way to address it is to repent of everything that’s wrong with you rather than blame others for everything that’s wrong with them. This is a place where you will quickly learn that you need to grow up!
This is not a day care. This is a university!”
Kudos to Dr. Piper. Christians are often accused of “judging” or intolerance when they speak out against sin. But opposing sin is not wrong. Holding aloft the standard of righteousness naturally defines unrighteousness and draws the slings and arrows of those who choose sin over godliness. John the Baptist incurred the ire of Herodias when he spoke out against her adultery with Herod (Mark 6:18–19). She eventually silenced John, but she could not silence the truth (Isaiah 40:8).
Believers are warned against judging others unfairly or unrighteously, but Jesus commends “right judgment” (John 7:24, ESV). We are to be discerning (Colossians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). We are to preach the whole counsel of God, including the Bible’s teaching on sin (Acts 20:27; 2 Timothy 4:2). We are to gently confront erring brothers or sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:1). We are to practice church discipline (Matthew 18:15–17). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).
|You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
-William J. H. Boetcker
“Keep The Bible in One Hand and the Newspaper in the Other” –unknown
As it were–and as it always seems to be–I heard exactly what I needed to hear from the Lord yesterday. And today. And every day… In men’s’ bible study this morning, the lesson (which was merely in sequence by way of our exegesis of the Book of I Peter) spoke directly to me on the week’s horrific events and the inevitable question about faith: “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The original intent of the lesson was already the fascinating study of the crucible in which our faith is tested and refined like gold, so the backdrop of current events only further crystallized it for us…
By the week’s events, I am referring to the Charleston church massacre at Emmanuel AME. By all accounts, these were the good guys–the best of the best–who met with unimaginable evil inside a church, and during a prayer service, no less. Why would this happen? How could this happen? If ever we needed people like South Carolina State Senator and Pastor Clementa Pinckney to teach us a lesson in love and mercy, it would be right now.
In the immediate aftermath, the president was quick to assume the press room podium (like he has done fourteen times before) to grandstand and to politicize the tragedy—not to assuage the hurt and urge healing. No. Barack Obama used the moment to narrate, yet, another diatribe about the instrument of death (not the root cause) and his agenda to curtail ownership of said instrument. There was no room in his conjured outrage to address the real problem: the hearts and minds—the very souls—of this increasingly GODless and hostile nation. Let’s be clear, the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham did not include a gun, and moreover, the nutcase du jour in Charleston could have used a homemade bomb too. These events have nothing to do with gun availability. Ask Charlie Hebdo how stricter gun enforcement works to preclude terrorist intent.
Obama’s “Hope & Change” slogan has only given rise to the worst race relations in a generation. Hold on. The first black president has had all of the time in the world (7+ years) to inspire the marginalized and the oppressed to aspire to a better life and to set aside resentments of the past, right?
In reality, how could anyone feel empowered when GOD is relegated to an occasional, gratuitous sidebar at his perfunctory prayer breakfasts and is being removed from all aspects of public life? Hope is absent in this administration’s insistence on secularism, and any spare “change” has been only for the worse. Riots in poor black communities are all too common. Confidence in government, authority, organized religion and law enforcement has never been lower (I won’t even bother to touch foreign relations this time).
The mantra of all secular progressives is one of despair and division. They seek to impose so-called “progressive” changes all across our society without any presumption nor evidence of their success. And, when these uncalculated risks of “progress” are assumed, then the pundits all sit around incredulously, wondering why their GOD-free agenda hasn’t worked.
We hear people in the media–like Don Lemon of CNN–ask about the rumblings of a new race war. Wait, what? Yes, that is what he suggested yesterday: A Race War. Fortunately, that question was posed to a great man of faith (and a sinner, no less, sure), the former SC governor, Mark Sanford. The governor reminded Don Lemon that this attention-seeking and self-serving Judas is an “outlier” and not within the “standard deviation” of society as a whole. To listen to Rachel Maddow fulminate daily is to wait for the sky to fall.
Fortunately, great people of faith in Charleston have modeled the Spirit of GOD in the wake of tremendous horror and sorrow. Fortunately again, agent provocateurs in the business of sensational news coverage and race baiting, purveyors of liberation theology and emancipation, Al Sharpton and the rest of his ilk… they were all outshined by multicolored Christians sharing grace, comfort, love and mercy.
The point is that the Bible is simply the only place in which we can find hope in times like these. The secular, the GODless, the pagans and the scientific communities are all left blank. They cannot compute how these awful acts of evil can continue to beset such an erudite, enlightened and advanced society such as ours. We are not getting better? How can that be?
In reading scripture, this is all crystal clear. From cover-to-cover is an expansive explanation of GOD’s revelation. There is no “Prosperity Gospel.” There is no free pass for the righteous. Suffering, hardship and tests of our mettle are inevitable. Unfortunately, of the greatest people, many of whom have already passed their Earthly tests and were called home, whilst these tribulations for the living continue in earnest. Only the Bible provides us guidance and hope for things eternal, from which we might learn and make sense of why GOD would allow these nine beautiful people in Charleston to perish.
By all accounts, these nine were among the short list, the “A-Team,” of the citizenry we especially need and could use about now. After the Ferguson and Baltimore civil unrest amid their respective Democratic regime’s socioeconomic disasters, there was little reason to think this would be any different. Surely, riots and arson would soon engulf this, the next epicenter of despair. But, wait…
The Charleston community has been hit not once of late, but twice, with major tests of patience and restraint in this latest culture of overly exploited tragedies involving white-on-black crime. A lesser community would have buckled a long time ago, so what is different down here in the oft-maligned South? Charleston, known by some as the “Holy City,” is a place that has been tested and refined by time in the crucible of extreme sociopolitical “heat”—where prayers and songs of worship are still heard, Bibles are still seen, pastors are also Senators, and Church steeples rise above the city to dominate the skyline. GOD is still worshiped and glorified in this community…where, yes, bad things still happen.
Father Reid Hensarling and I had a poignant discussion after his riveting lesson this morning. We evoked memories of other Christian soldiers and martyrs who suffered and died (only seemingly) prematurely. “Only the good die young” is more than a cliché; it is downright axiomatic. From Jesus Christ to his Apostles to men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King Jr. and Clementa Pinckney…all men of great faith who left us too soon for our liking . They were all men from whom we needed so much more and for so much longer than we had them. “Why does GOD do this to us,” we ask. “It’s not fair,” we cry! Why, why, why???
When we assess “fairness,” it is always through a secular lens. We are socialized by the culture to constantly seek fairness in the context of social justice. Liberation theology has no place in the Bible. Egalitarianism and equity can be found nowhere in the Bible. Life is not fair. It’s also “not fair” in the purely worldly sense for Christians neither, despite what Joel Osteen says to the contrary. Life does not get easier—just because you believe. GOD’s grace and mercy is undeserved, lest we forget. As Romans 9:16 reminds us: it does not depend upon human desire or effort, but of GOD’s mercy. The blessed assurance for believers is in the imperishable inheritance we will receive when we are called home to be with the Lord, our GOD, in his glory—and most surely, at the time of his choosing.
We must always show tremendous mercy and grace and rejoice, despite of our circumstances. Praise GOD continuously. If you are wealthy in things of this world, praise GOD. If you are poor, praise GOD. As Romans 9:14 asks, “Is GOD unjust?” Paul goes on to say, “Not at all, for he said to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” GOD is sovereign, and we can rest easy in the fact that we do not have to understand everything that happens in this life. Remember Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth (verses 16-18): “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
Treasures in Jars of Clay
…16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God’s Sovereign Choice
…13 Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! 15 For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.”…
2 Chronicles 19:7
Now let the fear of the LORD be on you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
“So listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do evil, from the Almighty to do wrong.
proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”
For God does not show favoritism.
But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;
Treasury of Scripture
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Is there unrighteousness?
This blog post is excerpted from Dr. Martin Luther King’s Nobel Lecture from Dec. 11, 1964, entitled “The Quest for Peace and Justice.” Read the full speech here.
“The word that symbolizes the spirit and the outward form of our encounter is nonviolence, and it is doubtless that factor which made it seem appropriate to award a peace prize to one identified with struggle. Broadly speaking, nonviolence in the civil rights struggle has meant not relying on arms and weapons of struggle. It has meant noncooperation with customs and laws which are institutional aspects of a regime of discrimination and enslavement. It has meant direct participation of masses in protest, rather than reliance on indirect methods which frequently do not involve masses in action at all.
Nonviolence has also meant that my people in the agonizing struggles of recent years have taken suffering upon themselves instead of inflicting it on others. It has meant, as I said, that we are no longer afraid and cowed. But in some substantial degree it has meant that we do not want to instill fear in others or into the society of which we are a part. The movement does not seek to liberate Negroes at the expense of the humiliation and enslavement of whites. It seeks no victory over anyone. It seeks to liberate American society and to share in the self-liberation of all the people.
Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. I am not unmindful of the fact that violence often brings about momentary results. Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”
Why you should flee from liberalism… The depravity prescribed below is precisely the tyranny described ago…
Now that the euphoria of the mid-term elections has diminished several decibels, I want to tell you about an Op-Ed run by the New York Times (NYT) on the day before the elections. The opinion piece was written by a liberal Duke University professor and one of his brainwashed students. It was titled: Cancel the Midterms and effectively calls for an end to democracy. That the NYT editorial board would run such a piece of blather demonstrates the Grey Lady is suffering from late stage Alzheimer’s disease.
The National Review Online provides the details:
… Schanzer and Sullivan have a proposal that’s more inane than simply canceling Tuesday’s vote. They want to eliminate the gross injustice of having members of Congress justify their jobs every two years. “There was a time,” they write, “when midterm elections made sense — at our nation’s founding, the Constitution represented a new form of republican…
View original post 376 more words
What’s in a word? Artful obfuscation? Maybe rhetorical window dressing? Lipstick on a pig? If it looks like war, walks like war and talks like war, it’s…um, well, it’s a counter-terrorism cupcake party. Don’t say the “w” word. Shhhhhhh…
Get real. Political correctness and crafty word selection does NOT magically impute a new reality into a very real situation. You may smack a fresh coat of paint on a rotting wooden board, call it lovely, but the board is still rotten. This White House takes us for wide-eyed school kids hanging on his every shifty word. If he suddenly suggests, “the sky is green” when it is clearly blue, we are to blindly believe it.
If we keep calling Islam a “peaceful religion,” it will not make it so. Even Bill Maher–an avowed enemy of all religions–was able to make a clear distinction between Islam and “peaceful” religions when he now famously spoke to Charlie Rose recently…
When Rose asked Maher how he knows that “vast majorities of Muslims” actually “condone violence,” he said many Muslims “shout it.” He also cited a Pew poll conducted in Egypt previously that showed more than 80 percent of Muslims believe stoning is an appropriate punishment for adultery.
“So, to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naive and plain wrong. It is not like other religions,” Maher added.
Whether it’s Islamic attacks on our embassies or Islamic attacks at Fort Hood, Boston Marathon, the World Trade Center et al and etc., calling it some sort of certified PC bogus baloney is intentionally misleading and demeaning. We know what we see.
Repeatedly asserting Islam is peaceful or suggesting war is “workplace violence” or some other euphemistic strife is a “core principle of (his) presidency.” To be sure, his hypnotic semantics are impressive. He will undoubtedly make millions selling the “PC Thesaurus” on his post-war book tour. But, I think he believes that we believe him. He is that powerful. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi and the Jedi mind trick, he’s got this.
It might work for his mindless groupies, but the rest of us are insulted by his pompous notion that what we can clearly see with our own eyes is not that at all–that it is somehow something else entirely. It is absurd.
The president must have been daydreaming about his pitching wedge during his daily intelligence briefings or dismissed what he was hearing when they repeatedly warned about he ISIS/ ISIL threat. Maybe in his unwavering arrogance, he is already “intelligent” enough. So, while he was lost in deep thought over his golf swing, the “JV team” (his expressed description of ISIS) got their proverbial “letter sweater.” Or, perhaps, Obama did not want to hear what his chiefs of staff and military advisors were telling him, because it did not square with his “peace and love” narrative. After all, he is the “post-racial,” “post-partisan” and “post-war” president. Yeah. How’s that working out for ya’? The Magician-In-Chief is an escape artist and a Jedi. Slick Willie was JV!
He tells us that ISIS is not Islamic. Are you serious? Obama did not just say that. Yes, I’m afraid so. Is he that naive? Ignorant? Hardly. He is really that smug, that his wondrous power of suggestion can jive us. I’ll put it like this, if ISIS is not Islamic, then well, the NFL is not football.
Some semantic hardships for the president:
*”Boots on the ground”
*”Terrorist Attack” (i.e., “Hate Video” – Benghazi, “Workplace Violence” – Fort Hood) *”War on Terror”
John McCain seems as if he is going to have an aneurysm when he hears this administration do things like announce our troop withdrawals and our proclamations of “disarmament. Last week, he quoted John Kerry as calling potential action in Syria as an “Unbelievably Small” attack. I suppose that is like a “kinetic military action” in Libya.
One day, we will go to Congress to authorize military action for WAR. Until then, Obama will just be shoveling the same ole shit and calling it sugar.
This is spot-on!
Fifty years after the race riots and protest marches that rocked America in the sixties and the passage of numerous civil rights laws, race is still an issue in America. Sadly, America did not fulfill Martin Luther King’s dream.
Victor Davis Hanson wrote an opinion piece on the fiasco taking place in Ferguson, Missouri. He ended his essay with this paragraph:
What will save us are not more elite and self-serving “conversations” about racial difference, but a new classically liberal effort to consider race irrelevant in our shared American culture. Perhaps if we started treating people as unique individuals and not as hyphenated and anonymous groups, we could deal with these tragic shootings as individual tragedies rather than collective conspiracies.
Clearly Hanson is right. The color of Michael Brown’s and officer Darren Wilson’s skin should be irrelevant. An incident occurred and should be fully investigated under the rules of law…
View original post 770 more words
There is no organizing principle in this White House’s leadership, because there is no coherent strategy. “Not doing stupid stuff” is not a strategy. Thanks, Hillary, for the crafty rendition of innocent bystander here, just before your political campaign begins in earnest. Your attempt at distance from the current foreign policy is pretty hollow…
Obama has taken a feckless and detrimentally cautious position on foreign policy, and he projects weakness to both our allies and foes. His delusional “Nobel Peace Prize” approach to leading on the world stage is essentially three-pronged: a) Do no harm; b) Apologize for American strength; and c) Talk more with (i.e., appease) our enemies. *A possible fourth prong is: “filibuster” whenever asked about the first three.
He must have napped in History class when the 1940s were covered, concerning appeasement of irrational evil. ISIS is not waiting around for a more representative government in Baghdad. Give me a break. Pursuant to the Obama doctrine, we stand by (eg., golf vacation) and wait for bad things to happen; then, we react out of chaos and without leverage.
The Iraq withdrawal was a blunder on a colossal scale from which Obama cannot separate himself nor blame the Bush Administration. Although he tries to deflect blame, he owns this. Taking a premature victory lap, he gloatingly withdrew our troops in a “Mission Accomplished” styled pomp and display. His delusions of peace and appeasement harken back to his tired refrain, “Al Qaeda is on the run.” Now, it is more delusion with, “No victors; nor vanquished?” “Push ISIS back?” How do we “push ISIS back? Back to where? They’re home.
We can blame the impotent Iraqi government all day long for not supporting a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), but let’s face it, any competent administration would have gotten correct one or more of the following observations:
1) The central Iraqi government was losing control under Nuri al-Maliki and was creating a political powder keg with lopsided Shia representation and disenfranchised Sunni factions;
2) Our abrupt withdrawal (instead of calculated draw-down) would create a catastrophic vacuum;
3) ISIS is not the “JV Team,” and I seriously doubt our military intelligence got that wrong, as our satellites captured them storming across the region beheading men, women and children.
Obama’s approach to everything is “managing our decline,” as opposed to leading us forward. As John Huntsman has claimed, he is a partisan divider with no idea how to negotiate a deal–neither home nor abroad. In international diplomacy, he feebly tries to walk a fine line between peace/ reason and strength while sliding about like the town drunk, arguing and picking fights with anyone who tries to discuss the car keys.
He now talks about building an inclusive government in Baghdad? Too late. That should have been done prior to withdrawal. The city is surrounded by ISIS now, and they are not interested in compromise. We have no strategy with targeted pea shooter strikes. The president refuses to say that ISIS has to be eliminated. There is no other Iraqi government anymore. The government in Baghdad is a municipal government. His only option now is a frantic reactive effort to arm the Kurds–hoping they can sweep up the mess.