Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A few words on Terri Schiavo

The Terri Schiavo case has made big news over recent time. There's absolutely no end to the amount of sources one can find on this incident; from mainstream news to individual blogs. Of course one can add this particular blog to the countless others that are commenting on this. However, I'm choosing to make my commentary brief. Not because I don't have much to say on this, but rather out of a sense of humility towards the others who have already commented on this. I could add my own personal commentary on this incident, but I feel I'd just repeat arguments made elsewhere by other people. So rather than plagiarize off them, I'll give them their due credit.

Pat Buchanan sums up very well much of my position on this incident in his latest commentary The Culture of Death Advances. A very good source to thoughtful commentaries on this issue and its wider social and political effects can be found at Catholics in the Public Sphere**. This blog in particular certainly has devoted more time and effort in covering and commenting on this than I ever could. Indeed there are many more people I could give credit to (far too many to link to); people who have made and articulated so many good arguments that I myself could never think of. So I guess I'll speak for those who support Terri's life but could not fully express their arguments and say thank you to those people who could!

The only thing I can say is that many people who support Terri's right to life place far too much faith in Bush(both President and Governor) and the Republican Party. If Michael Schiavo's supporters have one good argument, it's how the supposed concerns of these people for Terri is a complete farce! Possibly my one criticism of the Pro-Terri camp.

It seems clear that Terri will probably die. Let's hope that her death will at least awaken in peoples' hearts the true value and sanctity of all human life. The fact that the value of life has become so degraded in our society that such an incident as this is possible is truly revolting. The culture of death has fully exposed its true face for all to see!

That's all I can really say about this.

**Im referring to posts made during Feburary, March, and April of 2005

Monday, March 21, 2005

Make Up Your Mind Putin!

A resurgent Russia under the fine leadership of Vladimir Putin is set to take on American hegemony on the world stage. Of course we’ve been told this for several years, and just recently Jephraim P Gundzik of the Asia Times Online has spouted the same nonsense. All the signs are there: Russia is building closer ties to China, Syria, Iran – all of which are adversaries of the US. Of course Gundzik tries to make it sound like as if this is something new. Anybody who has followed Russian foreign policy developments for some time knows that it is not. This was a key element to Putin’s foreign policy during the early part of his presidency. Of course then the world changed on 9/11. Putin went from being the main geo-political challenger to the US, to being its closest geo-political ally. Putin certainly had no problems allowing American forces to be stationed in Central Asia as it prepared to attack Afghanistan. Gundzik actually admits Putin’s staunch support for Bush’s “War on Terrorism”, but began to have second thoughts once the war turned to Iraq. Really? Putin did voice some opposition to Bush’s planned war in Iraq, but was relatively mute when compared to the French.

Putin along with aides did voice concern over NATO expansion into the Baltic States back in March 2004. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov voiced similar concerns in August 2004, concerning NATO air patrols over the three Baltic countries. Yet for some reason Putin had no problems endorsing Bush in the last presidential elections just a few months later. A further irony is that Putin’s endorsement came a month before Russia and the US came to blows over the election in Ukraine.

It’s quite clear to any fool that Bush’s administration has set a course of confrontation with Russia, so much so that even some Americans are beginning to voice concern how this could lead to a new Cold War. Why Putin went so much out of his way in trying to appease this administration is anybody’s guess. Maybe now Putin has discovered the obvious truth, but that’s only the best-case scenario.

So basically it seems that Putin wishes to return to the same foreign policy (or at least something closely resembling it) he pursued before 9/11. Problem is, the geo-political situation is much different now for Russia. American forces are stationed on its southern wing in Central Asia, and are set to set up bases in Georgia in the Caucasus. America has taken out one of Russia’s possible allies in Iraq. Not to mention NATO has expanded into the Baltic, right on Russia’s borders. Ukraine itself has made known its intentions to join NATO. So if Putin really wants Russia to challenge US hegemony, I’d say he’s got quite a lot of work ahead of himself. Right now America clearly has the upper hand in this fight. Putin needs to make up his mind once and for all, is Russia going to challenge American hegemony or is it going to fully endorse it. Russia has already paid dearly on the geo-political stage for Putin’s continual sucking up to the US. So much so that John Laughland even nicknamed the Russian president Putin the Poodle .

Moses the Archetypical Nationalist

Last Saturday, ABC Network did a showing of the 1956 classic epic film The Ten Commandments , starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. It tells the story of how Moses freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as told in the Biblical book of Exodus. ABC often does a showing of this film every year around Easter time. It’s actually quite surprised me personally that they still do this (considering how multi-culturalists despise when Christianity is imposed on non-Christians, especially on television). But thank God they still do, for this has to be one of the greatest films ever made. Of course it’s also a great personal favorite of mine ever since I first watched it at the age of seven.

Of course why shouldn’t it? It’s based on one of the greatest and influential stories ever told. The story of Moses and the Exodus has served as a story of inspiration for millions around the world across history. Of course we hear about how Black slaves in America looked to this story to inspire hope in their eventual freedom from slavery. Sadly this is the only paradigm allowed when discussing this story, an ancient tale promoting a Marxist-style agenda of master vs. slave class warfare. Certainly there is that element to the story, but the major message of the story is lost when we look at it that way.

The Exodus is not a story of slaves rebelling against their masters (at least not per se), but the story of the birth of a nation from oppression. Moses is commanded by God to free the Israelites so they may live free and build a great nation under divine guidance in the Promised Land. Moses is not some ancient Marxist but is really an ancient forefather of modern nationalist leaders. Indeed, the story of Exodus and the model of Moses have served as examples to nationalists throughout history. When Bogdan Khmelnytsky freed the Ukrainian nation from Polish rule in 1648, he was hailed as the “Ukrainian Moses” who liberated his people from captivity. When the Boers made their Great Trek across southern Africa, they constantly invoked the Exodus story to explain their situation; how they fled from the “British Pharaoh” into the wilderness to find their own “Promised Land”. Jean-Jacques Rousseau paid homage to the example of Moses as a model nation builder in his Considerations for the Government of Poland, when lecturing the Poles on how to become a nation themselves. Even Niccolo Machiavelli paid his respects to Moses as one of the models for his ideal prince who would unite Italy. Yet sadly we never hear about this today when learning about the story of Exodus and its impact on the world. Moses can easily be considered the archetypical nationalist and nation-builder, whose example has shaped the world. A very good book that deals with the topic of the influence the story of Moses had on the development of nationalism is Anthony D. Smith’s book Chosen Peoples: Sacred Sources of National Identity, which features Rembrandt’s painting Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law on its cover.

Many of the nationalist components of the story are certainly portrayed in The Ten Commandments. Moses (played by Charlton Heston) is raised in the luxury of the Egyptian royal household, far away from his original Hebrew roots. Yet sooner or later he discovers his true heritage and immediately sets out to know the ways of his people. In the process he ends up killing an Egyptian official who he knew personally for the sake of protecting a fellow Hebrew from being killed. Fortunately Pharaoh (Yul Brynner) spares his life and sends him into exile. There he lives contently among Bedouins and even among them takes a bride. Of course he is later called upon God himself to go back to Egypt and free his people from bondage. Throughout the movie, Moses is compelled by the devotion to his own people to give up his comfortable existence for their sake. He does this twice; first when forsaking royal privilege (even the chance to becoming Pharaoh himself!) to live among his enslaved people and then forsaking his content life as a common shepherd to liberate them. Is this not what we would expect from a man truly devoted to the well being of his nation? So certainly Ten Commandments is a must-see movie for any nationalist who seeks historical role models to emulate; a story of how, as the narrator in the movie states, “a nation arose and freedom was born into the world”.

Recent news has come out of a remake of this great classic. While many Christians are happy with this news, I really cannot join them. I just can’t think of the ways in which Hollywood political correctness will ruin not only the legacy of a great movie, but the legacy of a great story from antiquity as well. It’s really sad when you think about it!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Fourth-Generation Armies in Iraq

William S. Lind has given a very interesting analysis of the current situation in Iraq. In his most recent commentary When Is a Militia not a Militia? he remarks on the sudden rise of well militias in Iraq; while the US military of course refuses to acknowledge them as such out of political correctness. As Lind himself remarks; ”Well, that certainly solves the problem. A militia isn't a militia if we don't call it a militia. And we can't call it a militia, because we have decreed there shall be no militias in Iraq.”

Lind goes on to explain why such militias are becoming more widespread not only in Iraq but elsewhere, namely that they arise when there is a lack of central authority. Militias and similar forms of military organization are common features of what Lind refers to as “Fourth-Generation” warfare. Basically that means a high-tech return to the form of warfare that was commonplace during the medieval period. So according to Lind, the army of the future will bear more resemblance to the Anglo-Saxon Fyrd than to the science fiction fantasy soldiers that the Pentagon seems obsessed with.

Certainly the idea of a nation’s defense depending on an armed citizenry organized along a militia-style system figures very strongly with Third Positionist attitudes towards the matter, as I outlined here. So this is a potentially positive development going on in Iraq, but perhaps it’s too soon to tell. I certainly agree with Lind’s call for the immediate withdrawal of American forces from Iraq (but that’s another topic to discuss).

Monday, March 07, 2005

Bad News for Multi-Culturalism in Europe

Well it seems that Europeans are beginning to wake-up to the fact that multi-culturalism simply doesn't work. The BBC reported today that anti-Muslim views are becoming more widespread in Europe. Everything from French laws forbidding the wearing of traditional Islamic headscarves to a poll conducted in Germany claiming that 80% of people associate Islam with terrorism and the oppression of women. Of course the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) is concerned and wishes to use the media to try to promote tolerance. Will that really change many peoples' opinions, which are based on real-world experiences?

The hard truth is multi-culturalism simply doesn't work, and we only have to look to the experiences of the Balkans and even the former Soviet Union to see the tragic consequences of such experiments. A more sane alternative is what Alain de Benoist terms ethno-pluralism. Like multi-culturalism, ethno-pluralism celebrates the full diversity of cultures and ethnicities around the world. But unlike multi-culturalism, ethno-pluralism recognizes that true diversity can only flourish in their appropriate social contexts. Arab culture can only flourish within Arab societies, European culture can only flourish in European societies, etc. This is certainly different from the multi-culturalist paradigm that several cultures can flourish together within the same society. Arab and European culture simply cannot flourish side by side within an European society and vice versa. The two cultures adhere to completely different value systems; and in large because Arab society is based on Islamic teachings while European society has largely been based on Christian teachings. The two cultures are simply not compatible, which is why they have often gone to war with each other (remember something called the Crusades?). A good book that further articulates this is Roger Scruton's The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat.

So hopefully for Europe this is a step in the right direction. Only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Europe trying to match American military power, at what cost?

Apparently now Europe(i.e. the EU) is trying to catch up to America's "edge" in military technology, as the Times Online reported today. In order to do this, a newly created European Defense Agency (E.D.A.) has been set up to manage the initiative. The E.U. wishes to transform itself from being purely a political power "in charge of policies such as agriculture and trade, to a military one, capable of sending troops around the world to enforce a foreign policy agreed by its member states."

Of course not everybody is happy about this. Both Sweden and the Irish Republic fear that this will threaten their traditional stances of neutrality in world affairs. Indeed what would be the cost of this new endeavor? The E.U. already wishes to take away the right of Europe's nations to decide its own political fate. This just seems another step down the road, since as Clausewitz famously said "War is politics by other means."

Nicolo Machiavelli also stressed the strong links between political sovereignty and military power. Once a nation gives up its right to manage its own self-defense, the nation ceases to exist. National independence is always measured by that nation's ability to defend itself. Since the E.U. wishes to undermine the political independence of Europe's nations, what better way to achieve that than by undermining their ability to defend themselves militarily!

So yes Sweden, the Irish Republic, and indeed all Europe need to be fearful of this. The E.U. wishes to impose greater control over the destiny of Europe's nations by taking away one of their most fundamental rights. As the article itself states: Concern about Europe's military weakness came to the fore in the 1990s when it was unable to prevent civil war in the Balkans. Since then, the European Union has been developing a common foreign policy and set up the EDA to increase its military power.

The events in the Balkans, however tragic, were about the need for individual nations to assert their own independence against the power of supranational entities. Now the E.U. is concerned about its apparent weakness to suppress that.

As one familiar with military affairs, I could give a commentary on the strictly military aspects of this issue, but I believe the political implications far outweighed the military ones. I urge all of Europe's nations to reject this initiative from the E.U. and defend your fundamental right to manage the self-defense of your own individual nation. Adopt a military system built on Third Position principles, which is based on a foreign policy of armed neutrality and an armed forces based on a patriotic armed citizenry - very much in line with the system that the Swiss operate on.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Roman Catholic Faithful Pray for Pope

Well apparently the recent ordeals of the Pope concerning his health has caused much anxiety among Catholics the world-over as Yahoo news has reported today. Almost every kind of religious activity it seems is being done, from simple prayers to special masses, in honour of the Pope.

I certainly wish no harm upon the Pope, but as a Traditionalist Catholic I simply cannot ignore the great damage he and his followers have exacted on the church, too much to even be outlined briefly here. Only in areas of sexual morals (particularly on abortion) has the Pope shown any true strength. Even if the Pope does die (which is certainly not too far off), I sincerely doubt much will change at least at the institutional level. The clergy has been captured by the forces of the Cultural Revolution, and the drive to return the church back to its age-old traditions will largely fall upon the laity. Even if the next pope is another Pius X, which is highly unlikely, he will still face considerable obstacles to implementing any real change. As Father Benedict Groeshecl frankly explained on EWTN, "It took us 30 years to get into this mess, it will take us 30 years to get out of it."

Possibly the most shocking element I read in this article was how the organizers of the Oscar awards said they would have paid homage to the Pope during the event if he happened to have died. This is of course a complete sham since Hollywood is well known for its anti-Catholic attitudes, and the way they snuffed Mel Gibson's film out of the awards, except for in minor categories. This alone shows the hypocrisy of Hollywood, and its amazing that so many people take them seriously.

What does this have to with Third Positionism? Well I think Cardinal Julian Herranz of Spain probably makes an interesting statement in his interview with the newspaper La Stampa and recorded at the end of the Yahoo article:
John Paul, the cardinal said, is "proving that in a world that only seems to appreciate youth, strength, beauty, power, hedonism and wealth, old age and sickness are also values."

Disrespect for elderly people has become rampant in our age. Traditional societies on the other hand value the wisdom that comes with old age. But I hardly think John Paul is a good example of eldery wisdom, since he's always tried hard to be "relevant" to young people. This included at one point allowing break dancers to perform at the Vatican. Then the World Youth Day celebrations, which are nothing more than Woodstock-style gatherings trying to cloak themselves in Catholic truth.

No its not disrespect for the eldery that's at the heart of the matter here really. In my opinion, the real issue is that spirituality still has a strong force in the world, despite all attempts at eradicating it. Third Positionism believes in the primacy of spirituality in the social order, and we're seeing outbursts of it the world-over in response to the Pope's illness. So strong is this spiritual outburst, that even the secularist outpost of Hollywood had to bow to it in a way. Now of course much of this outburst is over a Pope who has done much to cripple the true Catholic tradition, and many elements of these outbursts are clearly hypocritical and a total sham. Nevertheless, the power of the spiritual impulse cannot be suppressed or erased from the hearts of man. We can at least be hopeful knowing this truth, as we struggle against the rampant materialism and other forces that wish to destroy spirituality, which lies at the heart of any truely great culture.