Sunday 28th May 2017

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Not A Butterfly World . . . Will Trump’s New Foreign Path Follow Ruts Of Others’ Failures?

April 15, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Walking to church for evening stations of the cross on a Lenten April 7, I saw two tiny white butterflies playfully circling each other as I waited for the stoplight before crossing a busy street.
Like my sister, I think of a butterfly sighting as a little reminder from God for carefree trust, often hard to attain in a world shuddering under the Devil’s thrusts. Regardless of whatever is actually in the colorful bug’s minuscule mind, its fluttering from flower to flower in apparent abandonment to the moment suggests faith and assurance.
And this Friday sighting was even better because there were two of the little fellas in tandem. Fanciful thoughts occurred of a boyfriend and girlfriend off on a date for some honey. But the happy vision quickly turned into whatever horror an adult male can feel over the fate of two bugs whose wingspan was no more than the breadth of a man’s thumbnail.
Instead of staying with the flowers, they headed into the street, not far above the asphalt. As they fluttered around each other, traffic zoomed toward them. A pickup truck rushed by and they were gone.
I hoped that, in all their fragility, they’d perhaps been sucked into the slipstream and would resume their evening after shaking off the shock. But how many motorists’ grilles are covered with splattered insects that no one mourns for even a moment? Still, I walked on to the stations, where one recalls the physical death of God’s Son, with a more somber feeling.
If we’re into grieving smashed butterflies, what of the rest of the shuddering world? Whole schools of small fish disappear into sharks’ stomachs every day, bears kill Bambi to feed bear cubs, the world before us is a war of the strong against the small, from insects — what does the mantis prey on except tiny victims? — to muscular, mechanized human armies.
Lest landscape painters become too romantic about the sunset, the Victorian poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, reminded readers shortly before 1850 that those “who trusted God was love indeed” must also acknowledge that “Nature, red in tooth and claw . . . shriek’d against His creed.”
National radio talk host Laura Ingraham reminded her listeners on April 11, “There are atrocities all over the world and have been throughout human history.”
Ingraham, an early and strong supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, was distressed that his foreign policy recently rapidly had become “180 degrees different” than his emphatic “America first” pledge.
Even while hosting Communist Chinese totalitarian boss Xi Jinping in Florida at Mar-a-Lago, Trump announced on April 6 that he ordered targeted missile strikes against a Syrian airbase after dictator Bashar al-Assad gassed some of his own people again.
“It was a slow and brutal death for so many,” Trump said. “Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.”
The Protestant president used a Catholic concept of the afterlife when he also said, “We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who passed.”
Praying for the souls of the dead essentially isn’t a recognized practice for those who don’t believe in Purgatory, because the dead either would be in Heaven, where prayers for the deliverance of their souls is unnecessary, or in Hell, where prayer would be futile.
One might hope that Trump would employ his fittingly somber manner during the Syria announcement at some other occasions as well, instead of reinforcing a reputation for brashness sometimes unsuitable.
He probably won over some voters last fall who were tired of politicians not speaking forthrightly, but does he stand to lose many of them now who see Trump as betraying his “America first” platform?
And some have asked: What constitutional authority did he have for the attack without consulting Congress?
Talk host Ingraham wondered how the U.S. could be attacking Syria for its ruler’s barbarity while at the very same time toasting Communist China’s bloody Xi, whose government family planners bash in the heads of unauthorized-birth babies in villages.
Indeed, the Trump administration in early April announced it was cutting off taxpayer money to the UN Population Fund because of its support for this very same China’s forced abortions and sterilizations.
Diplomacy may mean a smiling mask to conceal a frowning face.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka had her own little daughter sing for Xi in Florida.
Was power-hungry Xi smiling at the little girl because he saw the U.S. getting tied down in Syria?
Some reports said Ivanka persuaded the president to launch the Syrian attack because of the barbarity there.
However, some pundits like conservative Pat Buchanan, a strong Trump supporter, had their doubts that Assad ordered the gassing. “For it makes no sense,” Buchanan wrote. “Why would Assad, who is winning the (civil) war and had been told America was no longer demanding his removal, order a nerve-gas attack on children, certain to ignite America’s rage, for no military gain?”
No one can doubt that dictatorial evildoers should be made to pay, but how often has well-meaning America been made to pay instead for overconfidently plunging in as a world policeman? It’s not as if President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 that started disastrous dominoes toppling is so long ago as to be forgotten.
Proverbs plainly says, “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” However, there can be wiser or worse ways of following this admonition.
Syria is a case, like many others, where a truly impartial “world policeman” like the United Nations would be called on to right wrongs without drawing opprobrium as a meddling nationalistic power.
At least, that once had been the hope for a UN that subsequently proved itself disreputable at the least, deeply morally corrupt at the worst. If you were told that UN “peacekeepers” — a/k/a soldiers — were assuming military control somewhere in the U.S., that would be a nightmare, not assurance of impartial power and justice.
And if Trump’s U.S. needs to act in its immediate self-interest, how about offering to help reform contiguous, corrupt Mexico, repulsive to so many of its own people, rather than the other side of the world?
When talk host Ingraham contrasted the old Trump with the new Trump of April, she touched a key point. The president’s foreign policy was being drawn toward conventional establishmentarian priorities.
Wall Street Journal columnist Gerald Seib wrote in the April 11 issue, “The Trump approach is starting to look — dare we say it? — almost conventional. America-first, neo-isolationist tendencies have faded.” The attack against Syria “was a mainstream move that won bipartisan praise.”
Indeed, The Hill national political news site reported on April 11 that when Tulsi Gabbard, a liberal Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii, criticized Trump’s Syria attack, there was “an outcry from some establishment Democrats, including former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who want her out of Congress.”
The Hill said “congressional leaders from both parties have endorsed the president’s response.”
Only days earlier Democratic honchos seemed united in blasting every breath Trump took as an impeachable act, yet now the threat of Trump stumbling into deeper Mideast involvement brought bipartisan cheers.
Ingraham said Trump’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, was the voice of war hawks like Republican U.S. Senators John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida.
Another big bonus, in the establishment’s eyes, was Russia increasingly coming to be seen as an international threat, even though only a few months ago both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin were hopeful for a better future between their nations.
If Moscow so easily now was assumed to be at dagger point with the U.S. over Russian ally Syria, how much prospect for cooperation had there really been recently?
Many U.S. liberals hate non-Communist Russia as they never had the aggressive, atheist Soviet Union, but what had been wrong with Trump’s hopes for handshakes with a Moscow where, piquantly, both long-suppressed Christian religion and new American-style hamburger hangouts emerged in the post-Soviet spring?
Trump’s new approach to foreign policy revealed a gap between some of his conservative supporters, with conservative national radio talk host Mark Levin enthusiastically endorsing Trump in this arena, even though Levin frequently makes plain that he’s free to speak critically whenever he thinks the president mistaken.
Praising Trump’s conduct as competent and measured, Levin told his audience on April 11 this is a necessary reversal of course by the president after Barack Obama had projected such an image of U.S. weakness.
On April 5 and 6 Levin had called for a U.S. attack on Syria, repeatedly citing gruesome video evidence of gassed babies helplessly flopping around on the ground like fish. He praised Trump’s attack when it was revealed.
Levin is no neoconservative eager for wider wars, but a self-described “constitutionalist” wary of government growth.

Peace Through Strength

The Wanderer asked strong Trump supporter Rob Haney for his reaction to the April 6 attack on Syria, noting that it “alarmed a number of his supporters.” Haney is retired chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, headquartered in Phoenix.
“I am a strong believer in the old axiom, peace through strength,” Haney emailed on April 11. “Bullies are a part of life from grade school to international relations. If you don’t stand up to them, you will be devoured by them. Chamberlain’s failure to stand up to Hitler is the most often-cited example of a disastrous consequence resulting from timidity in the face of tyranny.
“The bullies of the world have witnessed the decline of America’s military power and influence once again under Democrat President Obama, as they witnessed under Democrat Presidents Carter and Clinton,” Haney said. “North Korea, Iran, China, and Russia are now exploiting our weaknesses and flying the intimidation flags, expecting us to surrender.
“Obama’s eight years of retreat and decimation of our military services may have made it too late for our adversaries to back down without first testing our mettle through military conflict. We can either back down until we are devoured or refuse to be bullied into submission. I am grateful that Republican President Trump appears to have chosen the latter course,” he said.
San Francisco Bay area conservative commentator Barbara Simpson told The Wanderer on April 10: “So Donald Trump decided to make his position known about Syria and the attacks on Christians — and, not surprisingly, he is under attack for what he did. Was the attack on Syrian airfields legitimate, or was it a means of getting attention focused on the wrong goal?
“At what point,” she asked, “do we decide the evil deeds of despots need to be stopped, and those who seek freedom have the right to pursue their goals for their country and those around the world who want freedom?
“For those who are upset that Trump’s children may have influenced his decision…forget it,” Simpson said. “Every president is influenced by his family. The children of Donald Trump are adults and entitled to their opinions. Whether you agree or not isn’t the issue. The key is that they and their ideas are part of the mix of what we call the Trump administration.”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Trump Is Pushed and Pulled on Climate Change, A Year After Pledging to Cancel Paris Deal

(CNSNews.com) – Exactly one year after pledging in a speech to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, President Trump will attend a Group of Seven summit Friday in Sicily where he’s expected to come under sustained pressure from his counterparts to…Continue Reading

St. Louis archbishop resists law requiring Catholics to hire abortion activists: ‘We will not comply’

LOUIS, Missouri, May 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis, led by the Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, has drawn a line in the sand for the protection of innocent human life. In February, the city…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood Closing Multiple Abortion Clinics in Iowa After State Defunds It

The abortion chain Planned Parenthood announced plans Thursday to close four Iowa clinics as a result of a new state law that defunds it. At the end of June, Planned Parenthood facilities in Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City, Iowa will…Continue Reading

Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencement

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony. Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak…Continue Reading

Trump nominates Callista Gingrich for ambassador to the Vatican

President Trump has nominated Callista Gingrich, the wife of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), as ambassador to the Holy See, the White House announced Friday. The nomination comes just five days before Trump is set to meet with Pope Francis…Continue Reading

The murder case of Blessed Oscar Romero has been reopened

San Salvador, El Salvador, May 19, 2017 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A nearly 40 year-old murder case was reopened this week to properly prosecute the suspected killer behind the Salvadorian archbishop’s martyrdom. Because of an amnesty law that prohibited…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Protest of Pence Twists Catholic Social Teaching

This Sunday, vice president Mike Pence will return to his home state of Indiana to deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. For the third time in several years, the school’s graduation ceremony will be plagued by…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood is Ditching the Failed “Pro-Choice” Label. Here’s Why

The “pro-choice” label has not been working out so well for the abortion chain Planned Parenthood. The labels pro-choice and pro-life have been used for decades to help identify people’s positions on abortion, but young adults seem to be moving…Continue Reading

Bishop Conley: The Pro-Choice Political Dictatorship of Relativism

In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would soon be elected Pope Benedict XVI, preached that “we are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and…Continue Reading

These Republicans Voted Against the Bill to Defund the Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday voted for a Reconciliation bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. This was the second attempt to get enough votes on the reconciliation bill that would not only defund the nation’s…Continue Reading

Cecile Richards Comes Unglued After House Defunds Planned Parenthood: Republicans Hate Women

Planned Parenthood abortion business president Cecile Richards it’s not happy that the House of Representatives voted yesterday to defund Planned Parenthood. The main response of the CEO of the nation’s biggest abortion conglomerate can be summed up in three words:…Continue Reading

Despite pro-life provisions, healthcare bill raises serious concerns

Vatican City, May 4, 2017 / 05:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The House passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement health care bill on Thursday, but one bishop warned that the new bill poses serious problems for…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

US bishop says Trump budget at odds with Catholic, American ideals

Louisville, Ky., May 26, 2017 / 05:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The former head of the US bishops decried President Trump’s budget plan, claiming its cuts to social services conflict with both the Catholic faith and American principles. “Whether through Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps or foreign aid, our nation has recognized that our worth is judged by how we treat the most vulnerable among us,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky said in a May…Continue Reading

Cardinal Müller on Amoris Laetitia, Paul Ehrlich, Antonio Spadaro and the Three Dismissed Priests

muller

Yesterday, 25 May, the Catholic channel EWTN aired an interview of Raymond Arroyo’s The World Over which was conducted a week ago with Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). In this interview – which was conducted in English – the German cardinal touches upon several important matters which are of interest to the larger Catholic world. When Raymond Arroyo asks Cardinal Müller about the post-synodal exhortation…Continue Reading

‘Comfortable’ Catholics are ‘unwilling’ to see dangers facing Church: Scholar

ROME, May 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Too many Catholics are caught up in a “comfortable” Catholicism that makes them unwilling, and even unable, to see the “grave problems” currently besetting the Church, said a renowned theologian and one of the world’s top Catholic experts on the Church Fathers. “Most Catholics seem to live their life on a sort of comfortable zone, just the way that a lot of bishops live in a sort of safety-first…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops denounce a Trump budget championed by Mulvaney – a lifelong Catholic

On the day that President Donald Trump met with Pope Francis in Rome, a top administration official defended a proposed budget that America’s Catholic bishops have strongly criticized for hurting the poor. The Trump administration official in the hot seat: budget chief Mick Mulvaney, a lifelong Catholic who grew up in Charlotte. Speaking Wednesday to the House Budget Committee, Mulvaney called Trump’s budget plan a “moral” document that puts “taxpayers first.” And he defended the…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Receives US President Donald J. Trump

Pope Francis received President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, today, May 24, 2017, at about 8:30 a.m. in the Apostolic Palace, before Francis’ weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The meeting was broadcasted by Vatican Television and can be watched via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVCm1-toVFg According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, the discussions, which lasted about 30 minutes, were cordial.

Serious Hitchcock Errors… Mean That Book Must Be Corrected

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — I loved to read St. Louis, Mo., historian James Hitchcock’s opinion column some decades ago in the National Catholic Register, when I also wrote for that paper. I was pleased, of course, when he occasionally referred favorably to something I’d written. In his August 30, 1981, Register column, Hitchcock cited…Continue Reading

The Blessed Virgin And St. Joseph… A Marriage Truly Made In Heaven

By JAMES MONTI For several centuries there was on the liturgical calendars of several religious orders a feast day that few know of today — Desponsatio beatae Mariae Virginis — the Espousal of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a celebration of the marriage of Our Lady to St. Joseph. Although the Sacred Scriptures recount scarcely more…Continue Reading

A New Birth Control Commission?

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: At this point, reports about a possible new birth control commission are unconfirmed. This commentary first appeared on http://nfpandmore.org/wordpress/.) + + + The week of May 13th started wonderfully with widespread efforts to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Fatima. The work week was quickly dimmed,…Continue Reading

Wanda Poltawska… The Stubborn Insistence On Being Human

By DONALD DeMARCO The city was Toledo, Ohio. The year was 1990. The venue was the dining room in a private home. The audience consisted of several pro-life people, including myself. The speaker was Wanda Poltawska who was relating a series of events in her life that we were most privileged to hear. In 1962,…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… “Outcasts” And True Social Justice

By REY FLORES “A bold example of social justice in action” — Follow the cameras of Grassroots Films, the Award-Winning producers of The Human Experience and Child 31, on an unexpected journey across the globe. Travel to the prisons of Central America, walk the dark city streets of London, New York, and Ireland’s most treacherous…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Our Savior And Redeemer… The Redemption

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 9 In his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope, Pope John Paul II made a few interesting statements about Islam, which I quote in the following two paragraphs: “Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible…Continue Reading

Penance As A Laborious Kind Of Baptism

By DON FIER Sin, its dire consequences, and man’s continual need for conversion are realities that are often dismissed or even outrightly denied in modern secularized societies enamored, as they are, with materialistic pursuits. As noted last week, recent Roman Pontiffs, beginning with Pope Pius XII in 1946, cite as an underlying reason for this troubling phenomenon a “loss of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In his parish bulletin recently, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City recalled the famous words of the great jazz singer Al Jolson: “You ain’t heard nothing yet” and compared them with the words of Jesus: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John…Continue Reading

Discover God’s Gifts And His Will

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Pentecost Sunday (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:1-11 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23 In the first reading today we hear about the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles as they were gathered in prayer. The event was marked by some extraordinary phenomena: the noise like a driving wind filling the house and the tongues of fire.…Continue Reading

The Canonization Mass For Jacinta And Francisco . . . Pope Francis Says: “Dear Pilgrims, We Have A Mother”

(Editor’s Note: Pope Francis on May 13 canonized Jacinta and Francesco Marto, as the highlight of his May 12-13 Apostolic Pilgrimage to Fatima. Below is the Vatican translation of the Pope’s homily during the Mass, as provided by ZENIT News Agency. (It is followed by the text of Pietro Cardinal Parolin’s homily at the vigil. Earlier at the vigil, the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Sanz And Companions

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1748, the Viceroy of Peking with great frustration asked, “What are we to do with these men? Their lives are certainly irreproachable. . . . Their jailers and their families become their disciples and embrace their religion. To prolong this state is only to give them the opportunity of increasing the number of Christians.” Thus Peter…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Celestine V

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the death of Pope St. John Paul II, faithful Catholics rejoiced at the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the next Vicar of Christ. The German prelate took the name of Benedict XVI for two reasons: in memory of Pope Benedict XV who led the Church during the turbulent times of World War I, seeking peace…Continue Reading