"Praying for a new Catholic US president."
As the CPP/NPA tries to revive its urban assassination squads (although references to those squads were, not surprisingly, dropped from their social media sites), this Australian government document on the CPP/NPA (“reference nos. 353 and 353a”) provides helpful background:
“The NPA/CPP is an entity that is controlled directly by persons that commit terrorist acts…The NPA/CPP have been engaging in protracted peace talks with the GoP for 24 years, and have previously undertaken ceasefires that have not lasted…Accordingly, the NPA/CPP continue to pose a terrorism risk in that it still has capability to engage in terrorism and has not yet renounced violence as a method for achieving its political goals.”
* * *
Across the world from us, the liberal-left American media and the Democratic party are now out in full force swinging their axes. After persuading the country to vote in their candidate Biden—with a lot of assistance from the arrogance and truculence of incumbent Trump—the American left is dead set on wiping out every vestige of what used to be the conservative agenda and majority.
The writing appeared on the wall when liberal commentators, like Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, pronounced Biden’s victory a “gigantic disappointment” simply because this only gave them the White House. They didn’t feel much better after they retained their majority in the House, and even after the Georgia state vote split the Senate down the middle, with the tie-breaking vote held by Democratic VP Kamala as presiding officer.
Nope, the left is after even bigger fish to fry. With the conservatives now enjoying a comfortable 6-3 majority in the Supreme Court after Trump’s appointment of Judge Amy Barrett, the Dems will use their new legislative clout to try and expand the High Court from nine to 15 justices. This way, Biden appointees don’t have to wait for conservative incumbents to die or retire. It’s an ominous scenario that bears close watching.
* * *
It didn’t help matters at all when a motley crew of mostly white Trump supporters—reportedly egged on by rightwing militia, who don’t deserve to be supported by anyone of any color anyway—assaulted the US Capitol last week, at a cost of five lives no less. Public hand-wringing subsequently has been hot and heavy.
The criticism I liked most is that the Capitol invasion destroyed the “exceptionalism” long flaunted by America abroad. Unfortunately, a large swath of those critics come from the BLM/Antifa persuasion, who themselves have long been trying to destroy that exceptionalism by calling it nothing but racism, sexism, genderism, imperialism, and what else have you.
Much of the rest of the world has long dismissed such exceptionalist, even triumphalist, claims in the wake of the sins committed abroad by the US—although, to be fair, many of these sins were called forth by the burden it assumed of becoming the world’s policeman, most recently against all sorts of cross-border terrorism.
* * *
The new President Biden will now have his hands full trying to repair the already fraying foreign alliances and partnerships that Trump went on to leave in tatters. And he will be doing so under the ever-lengthening shadow of China, the only major world economy that posted positive growth last year and is now single-mindedly expanding its global influence.
In our part of the world, it’s the US-China face-off that really matters. It’s a Thucydides’ trap where two stars--one ascendant, the other descendant--attempt to avoid collision (think Barbra and Kris, or Lady Gaga and Bradley, in “A Star is Born”). And it’s a battle that promises to be fought on multiple fronts—in the air and on the sea, in boardrooms and classrooms, but most especially for the world’s hearts and minds.
* * *
As that battle escalates, we might turn for guidance to today’s first Mass reading, where the Pauline writer to the Hebrews (Heb 2: 5-12) asks God a rhetorical question: “What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, subjecting all things under his feet.”
Unfortunately, one area where the world’s two superpowers agree upon, is their essential indifference to human life, regardless of its elevated stature under God. In its most egregious form, the most innocent lives—those of unborn babies—are in equal danger of being snuffed out in the womb: in the West, because it might inconvenience the parents; in China, because an essentially amoral Communist party has little regard for the individual.
Neither choice is particularly attractive especially to Asians, who love their children and their families. This year, we can pray that a President Biden—a baptized Catholic—will understand that and begin to act accordingly.
Readers can write me at [email protected]