Congress says women must register for the draft

Now that women soldiers must fight in combat, just like men, it follows that they could be drafted into military service, should the country need to re-institute the draft.  So Congress has added language to the defense spending bill requiring that young women register for the draft. [Read more…]

Pentagon-backed rebels are fighting CIA-backed rebels

In Syria, rebels backed by the Pentagon are fighting rebels backed by the CIA.  Yet more proof, says Jonah Goldberg channelling Kevin Williamson, that the government should be in charge of everything.

Less sarcastically, it is proof of the incoherence of our foreign policy, the ineptness of the current administration’s attempts at intervention, and our inability to impose our will in a chaotic civil war.

[Read more…]

The end of the “noble savage”

Archaeologists have discovered the site of a deadly massacre in which 27 people were killed by primitive weapons.  The researchers date the site at some 10,000 years ago and say the people were hunter-gatherers.  This upsets the theory that warfare and organized violence appeared only when early humans settled down into permanent settlements.

This also upsets the perhaps related theory of the “noble savage” of Jacques Rousseau, according to which primitive people in “the state of nature” live lives of peace and virtue, with violence and other evils coming only as a result of “civilization.”  Apparently, human beings have been fallen and sinful as far back as we can see. [Read more…]

Women will now serve in combat, all military jobs

The Defense Secretary has opened all combat units to women.  All branches of the military must now allow women to serve in any and all positions.  [Read more…]

Russian Orthodox declare “holy war” against terrorism

The Orthodox church has once against assumed its traditional role in Russia, giving moral support to the reigning regime.  Now in support of the Russian military intervention in Syria, the church has declared a “holy war” against terrorism.

Could any of you Orthodox readers explain the relationship between the various branches of your church?  I know that there is supposed to be a doctrinal unity between them all, and they all uphold the authority of the bishops.  Do the actions of these Russian bishops carry weight with you?  (I know, for example, that the murdered Czar and his family members have been or are being canonized by the Russian church.  So, if you are Antiochan Orthodox, are you obliged also to recognize them as saints?)

But can there really be a Christian jihad?

[Read more…]

NATO member shoots down Russian plane–Putin threatens

Turkish fighters shot down a Russian attack aircraft over Syria, after accusations that it invaded Turkish air space (which Russia denies).  The two pilots ejected but were  reportedly killed by gunfire from the ground as they parachuted.  A Russian marine on a helicopter rescue mission was also shot.

Vladimir Putin called this a “stab in the back” and said Turkey will face “significant consequences.”   President Obama defended Turkey’s right to defend its air space.

As this unfolds, keep in mind that Turkey belongs to NATO, and, by treaty, an attack on one NATO member is treated as an attack on them all.

UPDATE:  Russia is bombing the area of Syria where the plane came down, hitting both Al Qaeda and Turkmen (Syria’s ethnic Turks) anti-Assad insurgents.  Russia says one of its pilots is alive, though the Turkmen claim to have killed them both.

[Read more…]


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