John wrote a rather impassioned article on the future of the Catholic church He recites the usual checklist of items that the secularists want ticked off to 'modernize' the Church. If there's one aspect about the democratic mentality that I so loath is that every human activity has to be 'democratic' or else the society risks becoming illegitmate. Unfortunately, people often forget the paradox that a democratic society functions best when there are pockets of non-democratic behaviour and institutions.
John asserts that ordaining women and allowing married men to the priesthood would somehow resolve the Church's problems. I disagree with his implicit assumption that by adopting both measures, among others, the Church will finally modernize. But guess what? I don't want the Church to modernize and to reflect contemporary society. I dislike a lot about the society that I live in. I loath the culture of death where the unborn, the aged, the sick can be killed off because they're 'useless'. I'm appalled by the increase in various forms of mental illness and the chemical addiction to alleviate what essentially loneliness and loss of a sense of belonging. I particularly despise a lot of what passes for culture these days. It's crass, it's vulgar, it's immature and sick.
The Church needs to make changes but it isn't abandoning its principles or its rules that'll resolve the priest scandals or harness women's contributions and talents.
I enjoy reading Strategy page I learn a lot about military thought, strategy, history and equipment. Unfortunately, I must take exception to Ted Wade's current article on French strategic thought The French weren't the only ones who were overwhelmed by the blitzkrieg and Germany's successful incorporation of the new tactical revolution brought at the end of WW I. It's curious how the British are excluded from the same critique. The British army, though it had the seminal figures on mobile warfare such as Liddle-Hart and Fuller, the former no more incorporated the lesson than the French. Dunkirk was the strangest piece of good luck for a defeated army and the rescue effort resulted in the Brits losing all their heavy equipment. Contrast that the German withdrawal from the Straits of Messina in 1943.
Further,the British didn't distinguish themselves either in Asia- Singapore is as shameful a defeat as the French surrender in 1940. In North Africa, once the Germans intervened, the Brits were frankly losing the campaign- the fall of Toburk was a very serious defeat. It was mainly thanks to the appointment of Montgomery- a British genneral as innovative as Rommel-, generous Lend-Lease assistance and the Italo-German failure to neutralize Malta that finally turned the tide.
Let's face it, during the first 3 years of the war (1939-42) The Brits and the Allies were outclassed, outfoxed and outsmarted by their enemies. True, the Allies did learn their lessons and went on to win stunning victories that ended the war. However, it still took 3 years for the Allies to learn.
One last thing, it's curious that Ted cites the French's Indochina war as an example of 'enslaving' its Asian and African colonies but says nothing about the Malayasian war (1948-1960) that the Brits waged at roughly the same time. Couldn't a similar argument be advanced towards the British in Malaysia? In actuality, Ted's comment smacks of the same niavété that the immediate postwar American administration succumbed to: that if America opposed colonialism and empires, the Third world would become pro-Western out of gratitude. That alignment didn't happen as the Americans underestimated the depth of Communist infiltration or influence within the national liberation movements. Further, there was the understandable, if gratuitous, anti-Western attitudes that the independent advocates advanced.
I've written enough on the subject but suffice to say that had the Americans allowed the British and the French empire to persist as networked spheres of influence combined with containment, I suspect that communism would've ended much sooner. If an African or Asian country under the Franco-British spheres of influence consistently outperformed 'advanced countries' like East Germany or Czechoslavkia under Soviet rule, the Eastern Europeans, North Koreans and others would've revolted as Marxist theory simply couldn't explain how 'third world' countries could possible be richer and more productive than they.
One last thought, the Americans haven't distinguished themselves either with respect to strategic thinking on 4th generation warfare. So there's enough blame for everyone; my challenge is let's all of us correct our flawed strategic thinking