Paul Weyrich and Wars

Jon Basil Utley, December 22, 2008

Paul Weyrich, who died last Thursday, was one of the half dozen leaders who brought forth the conservative victory in Washington. With the Iraq war, as most Republicans were overcome by the siren songs of big government and world empire, Weyrich remained an extraordinary defender of freedom and limited government.

He opposed starting confrontations with Russia, the egregious violations of the Patriot Act and unending wars. An old cold war warrior, he immediately changed when communism fell and went dozens of times to various Russians cities with delegations to teach and train political activists. I went with him on one of the trips. Rare among most conservatives, he learned about how other nations view America and, later, tried to assuage Russian nervousness about the expansion of NATO to its borders by urging that Russia be invited to join NATO too. Last August he warned of the reason for opposition in Washington, “Because cold war warriors, who have made careers of fighting the Russians and justified ever increasing defense budgets accordingly, put an end to it.”

I first met Paul 30 years ago and, since 2002 have regularly attended his famous Wednesday luncheon meetings of conservative organizations in Washington. After 9-11 it was difficult for any Republican to oppose the war on Iraq and post-war occupation policies. All the big conservative media and think tanks wanted war on Iraq. Individuals opposed feared that any open opposition would cut access, careers and funding. Neoconservatives controlled the big money foundations — Bradley, Olin, Smith-Richardson and Scaife which funded many of them. The Washington Times, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, National Review, Human Events, FOX News, Rush Limbaugh — all wanted war and precluded any debate or questioning of the Bush Cheney lies and policies. Weyrich let me speak up and distribute anti-war material (much of it from Antiwar.com) at every meeting. After one argument I got a hand written note from him explaining how a dozen of the organizations had petitioned him to disinvite me from the meetings and to please not make it too difficult for him. Over the years I got other notes from Paul encouraging me to go on fighting. I treasure them greatly. In March, ’05, he wrote me, “I know it is tough representing the minority view, but sooner or later our views will look much better as the war drags on and on.”

My nemesis at the meetings was smooth talking Frank Gaffney, consistently terrifying the social conservatives, most of whom knew very little about the outside world, with visions of fanatical foreigners, while urging support for ever more military aggressiveness and for the Likud West Bank settlements in Israel. Gaffney was influential and Weyrich did put him in later years in charge of the Stanton Group, which met monthly on foreign policy and from which I was excluded. I understood the trade offs as Paul could not be too up front in opposing the war when it first started.

The founding of the American Conservative magazine in late 2002 by Scott McConnell, Pat Buchanan and Taki finally gave me “real” ammunition and I began distributing copies of the magazine at every meeting. It was of tremendous importance in finally providing a place to publish for conservatives and libertarians opposed to the war and excluded from traditional conservative media.

Another of Paul’s great activities was to support and house William Lind, one of the most original military thinkers in Washington. Lind is an expert on Fourth Generation Warfare and constantly opposed the Rumsfeld Cheney neocon war measures. Lind never attended the luncheons because his ideas were so alien to the weekly war promotions of White House spokesman. Lind’s essays are published on Antiwar.com. Weyrich also funded for several years an e-mail letter on protecting constitutional freedoms and often invited former Congressman Bob Barr to speak on the Patriot Act and such issues.

Weyrich’s Free Congress Foundation never got the big money from War Party foundations and lobbying interests and funding was always a struggle, although he had been a co-founder of the Heritage Foundation in the 1970’s. Weyrich’s writings on war and freedom remain prophetic as he warned that “empire abroad almost certainly means eventual extinction of liberty here at home.” His essay, “A Conservative Foreign Policy” is a wonderful distillation of arguments for preserving Americans’ freedom and prosperity by limiting military actions abroad. It also takes much from former Senator Robert A. Taft.

Jon Basil Utley is associate publisher of The American Conservative. He was a correspondent for Knight Ridder newspapers in South America during the 1970’s and a commentator for the Voice of America during the Reagan years. Utley was a co-founder in 1990 of the Committee to Avert a Mideast Holocaust against the first Iraq war and an activist against the second one. He is director of Americans Against World Empire and a writer for Antiwar.com.




33 Responses to “Paul Weyrich and Wars”

  1. “Weyrich remained an extraordinary defender of freedom and limited government.”

    Uh, no.

    Weyrich was always a champion of the religious Right and their attempts to install theocracy by incremental steps on America, which is by its very nature alien to freedom. His Heritage Foundation was one of many religio-conservatives stink tanks that sought that installation, and he was well-known for his involvement with the ACLJ, the anti-ACLU.

    To sing his praises in such an vastly overstated manner while pointedly ignoring his overwhelming anti-freedom activities is inaccurate to say the least. Weyrich was no hero. In fact, he was one of the select group of Religious Right leaders who are very culpable in attempting to screw up America. We are all fortunate that he failed.

  2. Thanks for that, Tannim. He may have opposed empire abroad, but he didn’t oppose Christofascism at home. He claimed he wasn’t a theocrat, but what do you call someone whose every action demonstrated contempt for the Establishment Clause? He notably wanted a Christian boycott of the US military until the military kicked out the Wiccans. Where’s the freedom in that?
    “The official approval of satanism and witchcraft by the Army is a direct assault on the Christian faith that generations of American soldiers have fought and died for.” -Paul Weyrich

    That sounds like a theocrat to me! If you allow Christian superstition, why not Wiccan superstition?

  3. There is no way the Weyrich was fundamentally sound across the board, but Utley’s point is that he broke with the neocons over the issues of war and government power. Weyrich was an important figure in forcing the split after the end of the Cold War.

    Weyrich did have a sense of humor. In 1988, writing for a libertarian newsletter, Justin Raimondo attacked Weyrich’s politics and called him a fascist. Weyrich wrote a letter to the editor: he didn’t protest Justin’s identification of him, instead he pointed out that “as a member of the board of AmTrak, I am responsible for making the trains run on time.”

  4. The first two comments above made me laugh. “Christofascism”? Ha!

    If you’re a Christian in this country, you are constantly attacked by the government, government-controlled “universities,” government-allied media, and the government-sponsored “popular” culture. The government schools, which 90% of American kids are forced to attend, are functionally atheist.

    Sky-high taxation crushes families under its weight. Absurd U.S. Supreme Court rulings prevent you from passing local or state laws to protect unborn children. Your tax money is used to perform grisly, Frankenstein-style experiments on unborn children called “stem-cell research” — a kind if infant cannibalism.

    Foreign policy is run by the secularized Eastern Elite that exports abortion and anti-family policies. The rancid Bush regime’s unjust, unconstitutional, and unconscionable invasion of Iraq destroyed that country’s ancient Christian community.

    The Iraq war’s immense cost was paid for by inflation, deficits, and debt, which now have imploded the economy — bringing more misery to everyone and launching into power the most anti-Christian regime ever.

    If you’re a Christian, 21st Century cacacombs await you.

  5. Jon, your man should have never cozied up to Barr, the GOP wolf in sheep’s clothing. Though I like his sleek new frames. And the New Yorker had a nice write-up on Barr before the Pantomime on 11/4.

  6. And Paul Weyrich, whom I met several times, was a great Christian and patriot. Whatever his flaws, he desired peace. In his later years, he tried to restore some sense to a conservative movement that he helped to create, but which after 9/11 lost its reason and became obsessed with international vendettas against all Muslims, instead of going after the actual perpetrators of 9/11.

    He will be greatly missed.

  7. “…the actual perpetrators of 9/11.”

    compiling a suspect list by using the traditional parameters of motive, means, opportunity and character, and looking for evidence of premeditation, who would you include on your list of “actual perpetrators of 9/11″?

    especially in view of the fact that nobody’s been able to find any evidence of bin laden’s participation, and 9/11 does not appear on the list of crimes he’s wanted for on the FBI’s wanted poster…

    …and further in view of the fact that netanyahu thought 9/11 was “very good”, and the PNAC think tank said they needed “a new pearl harbor” to get their project started… seems to be evidence of motive, and the PNAC/AEI guys and gals had means, opportunity, character in spades, didnt they…? …once they were installed into government by an election recount in a state governed by the president-elect’s brother and PNAC member, jeb bush.

  8. Badreligion,

    “If you allow Christian superstition, why not Wiccan superstition?”

    Its not enough for you simply to disagree with the faith of Christians, but rather to calm your own inner doubts about their beliefs you find it necessary to belittle them also? That’s egregiously dishonest and cowardly. A suggestion for you, filth: Take you personal insecurites and stick ‘em where the moon don’t shine.

  9. John Seiler,

    “And Paul Weyrich, whom I met several times, was a great Christian and patriot.”

    I’d sure dispute that. A great Republican perhaps, but a great Christian, hardly. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the apologetic of the Bush stem-cell compromise Weyrich launched in 2001, and that in the teeth of the clear opposition of the Vatican and the UCCB. I even contended with him about it in a letter to FirstThings whose editor at the time, Richard Neuhaus, also couldn’t quite bring himself to oppose Bush on the question. No, there’s nothing particularly pro-life about these two bozos. Also, whatever merit Weyrich may have had concerning the war was certainly kept carefully enough concealed. Utley even refers to his obvious cowardice in this connection when he mentions above Weyrich’s puscillanimousness when it came to the vigorous raising of objection to the war. Here was a man concerned more with reputation than the cause of Christ in the world or he would have found it possible to have spoken boldly on both of these questions.

  10. Couple of good points there, John Lowell.

    Maybe it just goes to show that Bush corrupted everybody he touched. Only those who stayed far away remained immune from the corruption, if that was possible during these 8 hideous years.

  11. I think Weyrich was a fine man who did what he could in the poisonous climate of Washington politics.

  12. John Seiler

    “Maybe it just goes to show that Bush corrupted everybody he touched.”

    Or that at least some of those he touched allowed themselves to be corrupted, eh? I’ve used of Neuhaus in the past the term “Reichschurch” and have felt justified in doing so; of any “Christian” leader, actually, who supported the war and/or the stem-cell compromise and there were many: Dobson, Colson, etc. A Catholic, I have been particularly galled by so called “orthodox” figures like Novak, Weigel and Neuhaus who have turned out to be little more than neo-con shills. Bush even sent Novak on a trip to the Vatican with his poisoned understanding of “Just War” teaching in the hope of gaining the support of the CDF. He wasn’t even granted an audience there. This whole crowd has taken the self-same attitude toward the Republican Party that the early Martin Niemoller took toward the Nazis. And I’ve yet to hear one of them come around the way that Niemoller did.

  13. John Lowell,

    I agree with you completely regarding Weigel, Novak, Neuhaus and their neo-con compliance. However, I’ve assumed that Bush was on the right side of the stem cell issue (for Catholics) and that he threw social conservatives a bone. I’d love to be wrong about that. Can you explain how you see this issue?

  14. John Seiler writes………

    “In his later years, he tried to restore some sense to a conservative movement that he helped to create, but which after 9/11 lost its reason and became obsessed with international vendettas against all Muslims, instead of going after the actual perpetrators of 9/11.”

    911 was the shot heard round the world… It felled the “OLD ORDER”

    The bait and switch tactics were necessary. Their pre-established boogyman safe & profitable.

    No need to tamper with the 911 apparatus that spun the wave that they were all riding…..

    When they could make war in boogyland and OWN the wave FOREVER…… Or till the oil was gone

    “Who could think the Reich would start such a fire ??”

    Those that do not learn [from] history are DOOMED to …….

  15. Take you personal insecurites and stick ‘em where the moon don’t shine.

    Ah! The latest iteration of the meme which started so long ago with “If you can’t tolerate my intolerance, you are a bigot”
    So comparison with any other belief system “belittles” Christianity? Yeah, Sure. I guess that’s because Christianity has been proved true, unlike that shoddy Wiccan system.
    Anyway, I hope nobody lets their “insecurites” loose on you. They’re worse than the Inquisition!

  16. Weyrich was no hero. In fact, he was one of the select group of Religious Right leaders who are very culpable in attempting to screw up America. We are all fortunate that he failed.

    Well said. While it’s possible that Weyrich might have “seen the light” in the last decade of his life (although I’ve seen no evidence of such), he and others of the pseudo-evangelical Right were the immediate precursors to (and catalysts fo) the neocon reign of horror and thus largely culpable in the current debacle in which we as a nation find ourselves mired.

  17. If you’re a Christian in this country, you are constantly attacked by the government…

    This is true, but not for the reasons you state. If you’re a true Christian in this country, you’re attacked by the State because your adherence to the truths contained in the Gospels puts you at odds with everything the government does (i.e., conscription, war, confiscatory taxation, etc.), regardless of the fact that the Amerikan regime puts a “Christian” face on itself with cheap and transparent cosmetics.

    Paul Weyrich, unfortunately, represented the Constantinian version of “Christianity” that has been prevalent in the Western World for the last 1,700 years (i.e., the conflation of the Holy Trinity with the secular state).

  18. Ray Kelly,

    “However, I’ve assumed that Bush was on the right side of the stem cell issue (for Catholics) and that he threw social conservatives a bone.”

    Hardly, Ray. The focus of the issue was always federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research, a research that always results in the death of the embryo. Bush sought to satisfy both sides by prohibiting funding for future such research but, at the same time, by authorizing it for sixty stem cell “lines” that already existed. This authorization meant that the government, in fact, would be complicit in the grisly, Menegelean process of dismembering the bodies of these poor little ones, as if the privately funded practice of killing and dismembering them weren’t enough. It was said at the time most callously, “What difference does it make morally, they’re dead anyway, aren’t they”? One might have expected comments of this kind from the guards at Auschwitz who extracted the gold from the teeth of the Jews they gassed there. Well, the CDF Instruction, Donum Vitae, makes clear exactly what difference such a practice actually does make morally. It states:

    “To use human embryos or fetuses as the object or instrument of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings having a right to the same respect that is due to the child already born and to every human person…
    The corpses of human embryos and fetuses, whether they have been deliberately aborted or not, must be respected just as the remains of other human beings. ….Furthermore, the moral requirements must be safeguarded, that there be no complicity in deliberate abortion and that the risk of scandal be avoided” (I.4).
    “It is a duty to condemn the particular gravity of the voluntary destruction of human embryos obtained ‘in vitro’ for the sole purpose of research…” (I.5).

    Yet there were three takes on this decision by religious people after the compromise was announced: (1) Support, largely from the most prominent Evangelical leadership, including Robertson, Land, Dobson, Colson and others, notably the Catholic, Weyrich; (2) opposition from the USCCB, the Vatican and from a decided minority of the Evangelical leadership, including a courageous Ken Connor at FRC who, it is said, was replaced there by Dobson not long afterward; and, (3) Richard Neuhaus, who in his inimitable way, stated that he felt a convincing argument supporting the compromise could, in fact, be made, this, mind you, after the opposition of the Church heirarchy had been publically announced. As you know, Einsatzguppenfeuhrer Neuhaus went on not long afterward to apologize enthusiastically for the Iraq aggression. And we used to think that the gravest threat to Catholic orthodoxy came from feminist nuns and theologians like Hans Kung and Richard McBrien. :-)

    Hope this explanation helps.

  19. Thanks John Lowell. I had forgotten about the stem cell issue and gave away unnecessary ground to pro lifers singing Bush’s praises. These are important distinctions you’ve made. Calling Fr. “Himmler” Neuhaus and company enemies of orthodoxy always elicits a shocked response–funny.

  20. Mooser,

    “So comparison with any other belief system “belittles” Christianity?”

    Reach you personally about similar insecurities, did I, douche-nozzle? Do I have really have to explain to you that the point was in the use of the word “superstition”, not in any comparison to Wiccan belief? I saw Wiccan belief as similarly belittled, actually. You’re really a bit slow, now, aren’t you?

    Oh, and by the way, if you can reach him, inquire of BadReligion if he can manage to find a place for you as well where the moon don’t shine. I’d suspect he’d be comodious enough for something like that.

  21. Ray,

    “Calling Fr. “Himmler” Neuhaus and company enemies of orthodoxy always elicits a shocked response–funny.”

    Yes, in my time I’ve irritated more than one supercilious, ideological Catholic with such statements. They wish to be secure in their imagined “orthodoxy”, thinking somehow that its best defined at National Review and not by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I’m said by them to be lacking in charity. Now can you possibly imagine? :-)

    Incidently, if you are looking for some of the deeper reasons why the ideological Catholicism of the Novaks, Weigels and Neuhauses is hardly to be considered definitive, you’ll be enlarged by the contestations that took place between Neuhaus and Communio North American Editor, David Schindler, on the pages of Communio, International Catholic Review, during the 1990s. Schindler accurately accused Neuhaus of holding to a compromised vision of the relation of nature and grace – the now long discredited, neo-scholastic, two-tiered vision – that was so profoundly rejected at the Second Vatican Council. Neuhaus, it would seem, is a theological anachronism. But who’s surprized by that? If you need anything more from me in this connection, simply let me know.

    Best regards.

  22. Awwwww, did I touch a nerve? GOOD! Why does religion get a free pass? If something is scientifically, historically, logically, factually wrong, we should be able to say so. All religion/spirituality/etc. is wrong, for all of the above reasons, and as such is superstition. I will continue to say so.
    “Unborn child” is a contradiction in terms. Stem-cell research holds enormous scientific potential for the advancement of humanity, but it’s consistenly held back by the objections of the superstitious. What’s your problem, anyway? Don’t you religious types think that the “souls” in question just go to “heaven” anyway? Why would you want to bring them into this world, possibly jeopardizing their salvation?
    You talk about atheism as if it’s a bad thing. You make a reference to the “Eastern Elite,” forgetting that right-wing members of that elite make war with the knowledge that they have to win the support of the rubes of this country. I hope I don’t have to explain to you how they did that before the Iraq war, for instance. Besides, if you needed surgery, wouldn’t you want an elite doctor?
    Are you opposed to international family planning? You should have loved the Bush Administration, which threw huge wrenches into efforts to improve the health and economic well-being of women around the world. The war against Iraq did indeed do massive damage to the country’s Christian community, and, as I suggested in the previous paragraph, evangelical Christians were and are among its most fervent backers.
    I think your responses reveal a lot about your own insecurities. Do you have nagging doubts about your invisible sky fairy, your ark full of animals, your talking snake, and so on? You’re clearly smart enough to see through imperialist lies, but are you smart enough to see through the fairy tales?

  23. BadReligion,

    Do the human race a favor, bigot, draw a tub of hot water and start looking around for a razor blade.

  24. Everyone is not entitled to their own facts. Espousing facts supported by empirical data is not bigotry, nor is pointing out the silliness behind “beliefs” unsupported by such facts. You’re arguing in support of a dangerous form of relativism. I also think it’s obvious to everyone here that you’re the one espousing violence on an antiwar site.

  25. BadReligion,

    Whilst not a religious man myself, I must object to your categorization of religion as “superstition”. Religion, as an all-encompassing cognitive framework whose icons and narratives (parables, if you like) carry immense ethical, psychological, and personal significance. It is not to be compared with the disjointed body of notions about the nature of things commonly referred to as “superstition”, and to dismiss it as such is to blithely cast aside centuries of rather weighty theorizing that attempt to answer the pressing questions of cosmology and morality in terms relevant to humanity’s quotidian existence. A simple epistemic classification of religious belief does not suffice to either understand or pass judgement upon it.

  26. BadReligion,

    Alright, filth, if you’re so put-off by the hot water remedy, try self-defenestration. What with the economic crisis, I understand it to be considerable more in vogue at the moment and there would always be the entertainment you’d provide as you were trying to fly, of course.

  27. Reach you personally about similar insecurities, did I

    Who are you? Yoda?

  28. Re-read your comments. Do you think that’s what Jesus would say?

    I think I just beat you at your own game.

  29. Ah, yes, BadReligion transmogrified as theological peritus. Now that’s truly comical. :-)

    Haven’t yet managed to find an open window in a suitably tall building, bigot? If that’s a problem, there’s still the hot water idea you know, that or, in a pinch, turning on the gas. Keep working on it. Maybe one day we’ll have the good fortune notice that you’ve failed to show up here and the joy of speculating as to the reason.

  30. Abraham,

    Who are you, Woody Allen?

  31. A few answers or comments by Jon Basil Utley

    For those who argue that Weyrich should have come out early on forthrightly against the war, one forgets the rabid hunger for war which pervaded the media and the Republican “base.” In the political world leaders must compromise and wait their turn, lest they get trampled by their own herd behind them. Weyrich would have lost leadership had he bucked the super popular Bush. However, he allowed and invited me, William Lind, and others to publicly attack the war wanters. This was not allowed by the Big Conservative media. In the article I forget to mention the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, surely the worst war monger in the nation for any and every war.

    The religious commentary reinforces the wisdom of our founding fathers. Still fresh in their minds were the murderous religious wars in Europe which killed off 30% of its population during the 17th Century. They had the great wisdom to try to totally separate church and state. Our problems are that big, omnipotent government makes both secular and religious interests believe that they must try to control political power in Washington.

    Liberranter writes “he and others of the pseudo-evangelical Right were the immediate precursors to (and catalysts for) the neocon reign of horror and thus largely culpable……” Yes, there is some truth to that. Most of them knew and cared little about foreign policy and so were easily taken over by the smart, Ivy educated, mission dedicated neocons who played upon their nationalism and fear of the outside world. However, by not means should one forget all the other War Party interests in Washington, particularly the billions of dollars farmed out to nearly every congressional district for war profiteering. (please see TheWarParty.com)

    John Seiler’s comments remind one that the Christian Right was a reaction to Big Government intrusions into their lives, e.g. eliminating school prayer, subsidizing family breakups, etc. These made them react and became politically active as they had not been before. They then went to extremes such as trying to impose creationism in the schools. Seiler then writes, “Weyrich tried to restore some sense to a conservative movement that he helped to create, but which after 9/11 lost its reason and became obsessed with international vendettas.” I agree totally. Their passion for war undermined their political legitimacy and ended up crippling their political power.. Their leaders also allow the most rabid fantasies of Armageddon (I have written about them, I call them Armageddonites) to legitimize undermining every effort at peace in the Middle East.

  32. Jon,

    “For those who argue that Weyrich should have come out early on forthrightly against the war, one forgets the rabid hunger for war which pervaded the media and the Republican ‘base’.”

    With all respect, Jon, one remembers all too well, the “rabid hunger” for war which pervaded the media and Republican base. One also remembers that the interlude between 9/11 and the aggression itself involved a period of almost 18 months, plenty of time for one to reflect without haste on the morality of the question, and certainly someone in Weyrich’s position, a regular commentator on events and, presumably, one who thought about them in a correspondingly reflective way. Infinitely more important is the fact that Weyrich is a Catholic, a deacon of the Church, and minimally bound in conscience to give more than short shrift to the opinions of the Holy Father and the majesterium on a question of this kind. Was he ashamed of John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who both had so publically condemned the war, or did he think that he was in a better position to judge moral questions than they were? At best, Weyrich was a coward, concerned first with his relationships within the Republican Party and his alleged “faith” second. No thank you, the imbecile enthusiasms of the time do not exculpate Weyrich. As he had at the time of the stem-cell decision, with the war, Weyrich proved himself the worst sort of “Reichschurch” lickspittle. He now carries that legacy to the portals of heaven.

  33. “If you’re a Christian in this country, you are constantly attacked by the government, government-controlled “universities,” government-allied media, and the government-sponsored “popular” culture.”

    True Christians walk the walk of the Christ, not try to use the power of the state to shove it down everyone else’s throats. The false Christians are the ones who do the latter, and they deserve to be attacked for their actions. We have separation of church and state for a reason.

    “The government schools, which 90% of American kids are forced to attend, are functionally atheist.”

    As they should be, until such day they up and die. Religion is best taught in the homes and churches, not the schools. It is better for the schools to focus on such things like balancing a checkbook, knowing history and science, and proper grammar and mathematics, not to mention critical thinking.

    “Sky-high taxation crushes families under its weight.”

    Agreed 1 million percent.

    “Absurd U.S. Supreme Court rulings prevent you from passing local or state laws to protect unborn children.”

    Disagree 1 million percent. Have you ever read Griswold, then Roe? If not, I suggest you do.

    “Your tax money is used to perform grisly, Frankenstein-style experiments on unborn children called “stem-cell research” — a kind if infant cannibalism.”

    Nope, study your science. There is a far cry between an embryo and a viable person. Your religious beliefs seem to be getting in the way of scientific fact.

    “Foreign policy is run by the secularized Eastern Elite that exports abortion and anti-family policies.”

    Prove that vague and overly broad statement.

    “The rancid Bush regime’s unjust, unconstitutional, and unconscionable invasion of Iraq destroyed that country’s ancient Christian community.”

    Funny, I’d be more concerned about that invasion destroying the cradle of most civilization, which is older and far beyond the tiny Christian minority of the region.

    “The Iraq war’s immense cost was paid for by inflation, deficits, and debt, which now have imploded the economy — bringing more misery to everyone and launching into power the most anti-Christian regime ever.”

    Agreed on the first part, not on the last, because that hasn’t happened yet. Wait and see, not prejudge. Didn’t your Christ instruct to not prejudge?

    “If you’re a Christian, 21st Century cacacombs await you.”

    What’s a “cacacomb”? Oh yeah, a catacomb without a spell-checker. I recall they’re right next to the first-century Roman catacombs with the high priestesses, where a lot of old things decay into oblivion, right?

    John, you really need to take off the religion-covered glasses when dealing with the realities of politics and international relations, because the lack of doing so throughout history has produced some of its darkest hours. The world does not revolve around any religious book or its tenets. In fact, the world functions depsite religion, not because of it.