Review of Horton, Covenant Ecclesiology Part Two

Horton recapitulates the argument of his book in chapter 6. Chapter 1 argued the where of Christ’s presence (Ascension), chapters 2-5 argued the how of Christ’s presence (Covenantal Speech-Act), and chapter 6 argues the what of identity on earth. In what sense is the church one and many?

Horton makes several key distinctions between “unity” and “unicity.” Unity is a healthy respecting of differences best seen in a covenantal community. This can only be by the Spirit. Noting Leslie Newbigin’s poignant remark, when we make the church an “extension of the Incarnation,” we confuse sarx (Christ’s flesh) with soma (his body as the church). In such a move any union is at the level of fused essences flowing downward in a hierarchy (as is necessary in all Platonic and Dionysian visions; 187). Rather, our union with Christ is through the Spirit in anticipation of the age to come.

This has important practical applications. When faced with high-church claims to “unity over Protestant divisions,” one may rightly ask if unity is even possible on a Roman or Orthodox position? Does not their own version of unity reduce all to sameness, in a sense losing unity altogether for unicity? If they hold to a Dionysian ontology in which differences are overcome through an ascent on the divine ladder (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 34), do they not lose the many to the one? Indeed, to borrow a line from the postmoderns, does not differance become violence?

Throughout this discussion Horton engages in some very important analyses of John Zizioulas and Miroslav Volf, thus adding a particular relevance to his work

Horton correctly condemns the political maneuvering of Urban II (259ff), but fundamentally misses the point and result of the first crusade. While many knights did see themselves as waging war against the infidel, the first crusade is better seen as a sustained defensive measure against Islam (remember, the Muslims invaded first). Further, he then invokes–ironically, in almost a religious manner–liberal democracies litany of “bad guy countries:” South Africa, “colonialism,” and Serbia.

Normally, I would let it slide but since I probably know more about Serbia than 90% of Americans, I feel compelled to expand the point. Serbs before 1999 simply did not see themselves as King David. Milosevic remained an atheist until shortly before his murder in The Hague. He only claimed the mantle of Tsar Lazar on Kosovo Poltje in the final days of the war–and that for political, not religious reasons. As Orthodox theologian Vladimir Moss points out, Serbia was the most secular post-Communist country in the 1990s (with also the highest abortion rate). As C.I.A. analyst John Schindler (Unholy Terror) remarks, “The sad irony is that Serbia was already close to Hilary Clinton’s vision of a secular state in the new world order.” To make the irony worse, Serbia only became interested in its religious heritage as a response to Hillary’s War. I only belabor the point because it seems to contrast with Horton’s earlier (and admirable) resisting the collapse of cult and cultus. Is not his endorsing–however seriously he meant the statement–the litany of liberal democracy a similar collapsing? (To be fair, he later critiqued the nigh-ubiquitous equation of the Kingdom with liberal democracy, p. 287 n.100) I share his suspicion to Christian Reconstructionism, for example, and I am equally skeptical of Van Tillians’ chanting “No neutrality,” but this may be the one area they actually have a point.

Concerning the Temple (or “Temple-speak” as I shall call it), Horton is correct to note that the person and work of Christ replaced the Temple economy with its sacrifices (268ff). Further, he is correct that we should not as Christians seek a rebuilt Temple. While Horton’s final conclusions may indeed be correct, the inference does not follow that because Revelation “spiritualizes” (whatever that word means) a Temple that all prophetic references to “Temple-speak” are necessarily about Jesus. What then is the point of a temple, one may ask? The answer to that question hinges on several eschatological presuppositions, but those aside, one may posit that a newly-built temple, while having no relevance for Christian worship (indeed, it would be blasphemy) is necessary to Anti-Christ’s false covenant with the Jews.

Oddly enough, Horton quotes Jurgen Moltmann with approval (Moltmann elsewhere has given one of the most penetrating critiques of ideological amillennialism). At this point, almost without warning (270-271), Horton shifts from his “spiritual temple” to why Christian activism in politics is wrong.

While his section on “Holy War” has much promise, I am skeptical of Horton’s invoking Meredith Kline’s “intrusion ethics” (272). Whatever merits intrusion ethics may have, and while it does mitigate some of the harsher passages in the OT for today’s application, I doubt it would have been of much comfort to the Canaanites! (Admittedly, Horton realizes “intrusion” is a terrible ethical term, as it implies relativistic ethics. His use of “irruption,” while perhaps not allaying all of the difficulties in his position, is much better and doesn’t have the situation-ethics overtones). While “irruption ethics” sounds good in broad, general outlines, it is by no means clear that it automatically follows “mean texts” (which itself is a subjective judgment). Horton, in responding to Kant, says that “imprecatory psalms” are delayed because God delayed his judgment (277). Maybe so, but he is reading that into the passage.

Intrusion ethics becomes particularly troubling in this quote, “Other examples of intrusion ethics appear in the ‘sacrifice’ of Isaac and Hosea’s marriage” (ibid). Admittedly, these are ethical nightmares (the former more so than the latter) for any systematic theologian, but Horton’s position at this point seems to reduce to a voluntaristic Divine-command ethic, which is odd given his commitment to natural law.

While perhaps not a criticism of Horton, in another place we see how tenuous the sharp divide between cult and cultus is. While we should be wary of “killin ‘em terrorists for Jesus” (GOP?), Horton himself shows, even if does not realize it, how difficult it is to dichotomize one’s life: “As throughout the history recounted above, the cosmic battle is waged through earthly agents; personal and institutional; religious and social; cultic and cultural; rhetorical and political. Yet the church knows the real enemy behind behind these penultimate agents” (283). He is correct that this battle is taking place in history. And he is correct that we cannot take an AK-47 against the “real agents,” but the unspoken conclusion hangs heavy in the room, a conclusion I suspect he would disavow: may we not, acting as good citizens in the Kingdom of God’s Left Hand (actually a good name for a political party!), take the AK-47 against the penultimate agents? On a 2 Kingdoms ethic it’s hard to see why not (all other things . Even more, as Horton states this battle is in history, we are historical beings (per his correct critique of Karl Barth), we cannot divorce our lives from this history. As Aragorn tells King Theoden, “Open war is upon you, whether you wish it or not.” This has always been the fatal flaw in neo-Two Kingdoms ethics: as long as the state says its not acting as the church, it’s hard to see how any one program the state is wrong. Natural law ethics helps but only to an extent.

Parallel Between History of Arians and NWO “Church”

“Parallels between History of the Arians and the New World Order Church”

 

I do not intend the following to be strictly theology.  Further I am aware that I run the danger of “correlation = causation;” that is, simply because two situations are similar, it is not the case that one caused the other or that one is simply a new manifestation of the other.  That is true.   On the other hand, given the fact that theological issues are often at the roots of political and social decisions,[1] one is at least somewhat justified in using theological material, particularly the heroic struggles of the saints and martyrs, as “templates” in articulating a modern witness against prevalent evil.  If one does this carefully and with an eye to ancient sources, one can note real similarities.   Further, if the ancient sources suggest something like this can happen, one is on more solid ground.   At the end of the essay I will explore Serbia as a test case.

Before I begin I should note with caution a few remarks concerning “apocalyptic theology.”  The section of Christian theology that deals with the end times is called “eschatology.”   Specifically it deals with the return of Christ.  The Church has always confessed that Christ will bodily return at the end of history.   What the church has not confessed as been a specific aberration of this teaching known as “dispensationalism.”  Among its distinctives is that history is divided into at least seven epochs, or “dispensations,” and history will regress cumulatively with regard to morality and culture, and at the final moment of history, Christ will return to earth and secretly “rapture” his church to heaven.  With the Church gone God can then get back to his original plan regarding the nation-state of Israel.

The short theology lesson was necessary to ward off any misunderstanding.  The historical Church has always rejected this teaching.  However, many of the holy fathers did suggest that history will darken and at times the world will get worse.[2]  Therefore, any similarities between what I say and what some dispensationalists might says is purely accidental.

ST. ATHANASIOS’S SITUATION

St. Athanasios documents the recent history of the Arian attacks on the Orthodox Church.   He notes how Arian leaders poisoned the mind of Emperor Constantius, who then carried out an intense, though ultimately brief persecution of the Orthodox Church.   The attacks on Athanasios go from slander and libel to outright physical threat (and eventual exile).  God eventually vindicates St. Athanasios in the end.

One should note that Arianism, while a cancerous heresy, did not become particularly dangerous until it was backed by the State.   (This raises the problem of church-state relations, which is beyond the scope of this paper.  Suffice to say the writer rejects the narrative of the Enlightenment, which advocates a complete divorce of church and state, practically leaving the state autonomous and immune to moral and theological critique.   On the other hand, the church (by definition) is separate from the state because it is not the state.)

ST. ATHANASIOS WARNS OF THE COMING OF ANTICHRIST

The interesting thing about biblical and ancient sources on the antichrist figure is that they say relatively little about it.   The later Russian fathers will expound in detail on what we should expect concerning antichrist.[3]  St. Athanasios, though, in a manner similar to a skilled novelist, does not mention much concerning the reign and nature of antichrist.

He does not several indications of antichrist’s coming.  He notes the Arian attacks on the church and writes, “It was an insurrection of impiety against godliness; it was zeal for the Arian heresy, and a prelude to the coming of Antichrist, for whom Constantius is thus preparing the way.[4]”  One can note a warning in St. Athanasios’ text—and echoed by other fathers—that would normally go unnoticed:  the danger is not so much having to live during Antichrist’s reign, but to miss the warning signs of the times.   The Christian struggler is called to be watchful, sober, and not to be caught sleeping (or unaware, or perhaps living in some unrepentant sin).

ECUMENICISM:  THE CHURCH OF ANTICHRIST[5]

Unfortunately, it is even difficult to speak about ecumenicism.  The word has different connotations (and sometimes denotations) to different people.[6]  I am using the word to denote the view that all traditions are faulty, no tradition has the truth, and the only way to know the truth is to gather at ecumenical meetings and find some “lowest-common denominator” upon which all can agree.

I expect many Protestant readers would agree that the above view is wrong (and epistemologically flawed).  In order for the above view to work it must negate the teaching of Scripture that says “to contend for the faith once delivered to all the saints” (Jude 3).  St Jude says there was a deposit of faith that was truly passed down to the church.  Further, this faith is recognizable, which means it has boundaries.  However else one interprets this passage, and regardless of whether one believes the Roman Catholic Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Coptic Church, or the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church is the true inheritor of the deposit, it cannot be denied that there was a deposit.[7]

WHEN HERESY BECOMES POLITICALLY DANGEROUS

If that were all the ecumenical church were about, one should not worry too much.  Most ecumenical bodies are liberal, and liberal churches, especially in the West, are losing members at an alarming (or encouraging, depending on one’s perspective!) rate.   In other words, left to itself, the ecumenical church would die out in a generation.   Unfortunately, after World War II the ecumenical church often found itself arm and arm with supranational bodies.   Given the administrative, economic, and military power of these bodies (e.g., the European Union, the United Nations, NATO, the World Council of Churches, the International Criminal Court, etc.), the ecumenical church has become quite powerful in one sense (obviously it lacks the power of godliness in another sense).

Of course, the ecumenical church is not strictly synonymous with the World Council of Churches (WCC).  The former is a broad umbrella of mainstream Christian groups while the latter is a specific manifestation of this mentality in institutional form.  The WCC’s nefarious origins are well-known and will not be repeated in great detail, suffice to say it was in part a brain-child of globalist John Rockefeller.[8]

A TEMPLATE FOR US TODAY

One is not presently arguing that the situations in St. Athanasios’ time and our time are necessarily the same.  Nor is one arguing that today’s ecumenical church is the antichrist (or its modern forerunner) that Athanasios predicted.[9] What one can argue, though, is that Athanasios’ time provides a template of witness and resistance for our own time.  While examples can be multiplied, a ready one is found for us in the disaster happening in present-day Serbia.

In the mid- to late 1990s Serbia found itself under the increasingly watchful eye of the Western bankers.   Under the aegis of “stopping a genocide” (and implicitly allowing another one), the “West” (a collective name for most Western European countries and America, including a cabal of central banks, corporations, and globalists) had to find a way to access and exploit Serbia’s resources and key geopolitical location, something a nationalist like Slobodan Milosevic would not allow.[10]

Since then Serbia has degenerated into chaos.  Her rulers openly hate their people, and want nothing more than to cater to the latest demands from Washington and Brussels. If it were simply political chaos and attacks on ethnic identity, there would be little to merit attention to this fact, since this is the norm in Europe.   However, the attacks upon the nation are simultaneously attacks upon the faith of the people of that nation.   Since the division of Kosovo from Serbia is a specifically postmodern question concerning identity[11], and ultimately, one’s commitments to “democracy” and the New World Order, one’s stance on Kosovo determines one’s stance on the New World Order.[12]  Therefore, clergy who take hard stands on Kosovo are clergy that resist the New World Order[13].   Since this is an obstacle to the globalists in Belgrade and Brussels, such clergy must be removed.

Against the Nation, Against the Church

While it is chic to decry the nation-state, such attacks unwittingly (or knowingly) presuppose a globalist alternative—a globalism with acknowledged anti-Christian goals.  Secondly, at least from the time of the Clinton Administration, Western governments have seen ethno-nationalist identities and religions claiming absolute truth as two wings of the same bird.[14]  Logically, one cannot attack one without attacking the other.  Christians may protest that the claims of Christ transcend that of the nation, and that is true, but such protests are irrelevant to those who deem what is and is not acceptable behavior.  As the most vocal opponents of the New World Order are clergy, and since Byzantine times the clergy have been the pulse of the nation, the Regime saw that it must clamp down on the clergy.   An obvious example is Bishop Arimije’s resistance to the Tadic regime.[15]

Lest this be seen as pro-Serb hagiography, the Media Elite agree with the assessment, but with obvious difference in how to solve the problem.  Following the arrest of General Ratko Mladic, Geoffrey Robertson urges a hard crack-down on the Serbian clergy.  He writes,

“Clean out the Serb orthodox church, whose priests blessed the death squads at Srebrenica. Without their blessing, I believe that some soldiers would have disobeyed their orders to shoot defenceless, hog-tied, men and boys. It is widely known that the church has harboured Hague fugitives in its monasteries and has been deeply implicit with the murderous aspects of Serb nationalism… They should remember … the fact that the wheels of international justice grind slowly but they grind exceedingly small.

As Trifkovic noted, this sounds like it is from a Soviet jurist in 1937.[16]  Obviously, these facts are highly contested, not merely by Serb and Russian nationalists, but also by CIA analysts.[17]  Further, Trifkovic notes elswhere concerning Bishop Artimije

chorus of condemnation and indignant disgust against Metropolitan Amfilohije came simultaneously from the usual standard-bearers of “all progressive humanity”—Helsinki human-rights groups, sociology professors, foreign-sponsored “independent analysts,” Soros-financed media outlets—and all had a common accusation: By daring to mention Sodom and Gomorrah, Metropolitan Amfilohije is “objectively” condoning violence and promoting discrimination. Ergo he is guilty of practicing violence and discrimination, of inspiring “far-right groups and all other extremists”: “Their goal is to force the Church into internal exile, just like under communism. This goal is the raison d’etre of many NGOs in Serbia. They always react swiftly and indignantly when the Church adopts a position, treating it as something inherently illegitimate. The Metropolitan’s scriptural reference threw them into rage, as witnessed by the media conglomerate B92, which has assumed the role of ideological prosecutors and star chamber. His reminder that ‘the tree that bears no fruit is cut down’ was twisted in the best tradition of the French Revolution and Bolshevism.”

Possible Conclusions

Above anything else, I do not want to “predict” what is going to happen next.  I simply do not know.   I will suggest what one can expect to happen, and upon these suggestions, make some tentative conclusions.  If Tadic continues his anti-Serbian rule, dividing the country even more[18], he will drive the moderates in Serbia to increasingly pro-Russian positions, even to the extremes of several parties arguing for the merger of Russia and Serbia as one country.[19]   As the economic situation worsens in Europe, and few see it getting better[20], moderate Serbs are likely to say “hell with the EU.  They will never let us in, and even if they do, we will end up like Greece or Portugal.”   As NATO is bogged down in various wars across the globe, and most NATO members are growing weary of the project, NATO will cease to be a viable option to Serbs.   The latter two realities will cement Russia as the only real alternative to the West.

The religious question remains an interesting question.   Serbia, as some have noted, was highly secular at the end of the Cold War.  (The sad irony is it was closer to Hillary Clinton’s vision of an open-society before she started bombing).  There are signs of hope, though.   The funeral for Patriarch Pavle revealed something in the spiritual psyche that even secularism was unable to remove.  Another moment is when Serb nationalists protested the gay pride march in Belgrade.  The Regime mandated that Belgrade demonstrate their obeisance to “Europe” and “human rights” by having a gay pride march, something anathema in all Orthodox countries.  The response was classic.[21] (Follow the link, but one should really watch the YouTube video.)

The struggle is not over.  As C. S. Lewis said, “If the game can be played, it can be lost.”   But it can also be won.


[1] Cf. Joseph P. Farrell, “Prolegomena to God, History, and Dialectic:  The Theological Foundations of the Two Europes.”  AnthonyFlood.com.  3 April 2011  http://www.anthonyflood.com/farrellghdprolegomena.htm

[2] Cf. Fr Seraphim Rose, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future,  Platina, CA:  St. Herman’s Press, 1997.  One will note that I spend relatively little time discussing “the return of Christ.”   I do not have much to add that is not found in 1 Thessalonians 4.  Christians usually go astray when the speak beyond the limits of Scripture and Tradition.

[3] Vladimir Moss, “Has the Reign of Antichrist Begun?” Orthodox Christian Books. 3 April 2011 http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/206/has-reign-antichrist-begun/

[4] St. Athanasios, “History of the Arians,” Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers (series II), vol. 4 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2004), 287.

[5] Despite the title of this paper, I don’t intend to speak too much about antichrist’s reign, of which Scripture says little.   Rather, I speak on coming of antichrist, and of signs that precede his coming.   I am relying on the testimony both of Scripture and the holy fathers, the latter as the vehicle of Scripture’s truth today.

[6] Something similar can be said for the word “Protestant.”  While both evangelical Protestants and the liberal unbelieving bishop in New Jersey are both outside the Orthodox Church (with which they would agree by definition), one must admit that there is a substantial difference between the two groups.

[7] While I am dancing through exegetical minefields, I will add another premise to the argument.  If one takes seriously Christ’s words to Peter in Matthew 16, then one must draw the further conclusion that this church (and deposit) is still present today!

[8] “The Founding of the Theological Education Fund—1958: Ghana Assembly International Missionary Council,” Ministerial Formation  Ecumenical Theological Education, Ecumenical Institute/WCC Geneva 110 (April 2008), 13.

[9] That is a valid position, though one I am not ready to defend.  Today’s ecumenical churches are by and large Arian in terms of liturgy and theology.

[10] For the larger story, see William Engdhal’s Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order (Baton Rouge, LA: ), 2009.

[11] Srjda Trifkovic, “Kosovo as a Symbol of Anti-Postmodernism.”  Chronicles Magazine Online. 22 June 2011 http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2007/12/03/kosovo-as-a-symbol-of-anti-postmodernism/.

[12] Obviously, few people are ultimately consistent with their presuppositions.  Some may support the division of Kosovo yet still resist the globalists.   They are inconsistent.

[13] “Bishop ARTEMIJE of Kosovo Protests Bush Meeting with ‘Terrorist, War Criminal, and Racketeer’ Hashim Thaci.”  American Council for Kosovo. 22 June 2011.  http://www.savekosovo.org/?p=9&sp=511

[14] Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen identified religious absolutism with extreme nationalism and that both must be stopped (or bombed).  He mentioned this in an address to Naval graduates.  I currently cannot locate this address online.

[15] “Bishop Artimije Returns to Kosovo and Metohija.”  American Council for Kosovo. 19 November 2010.  http://www.savekosovo.org/default.asp?p=9&sp=559

[16] Srdja Trifkovic, “General Mladic: The Facts.”  Chronicles Magazine Online.  1 June 2011.  http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2011/06/01/general-mladic-the-facts/

[17] John Schindler, Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al Qa’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad. ( St Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2007).  Also see Thomas E. Woods, 33 Questions About American History You are Not Supposed to Ask (New York: Crown Forum, 2007), pp. 38-44; 252-259.

[18] James George Jatras, “Vladimir Putin Visits a Serbia on the Edge of Collapse.”  Modern Tokyo Times.  22 June 2011.   http://moderntokyotimes.com/2011/04/02/vladimir-putin-visits-a-serbia-on-the-edge-of-collapse/ .

[19] “New Party in Serbia Supports Merging With Russia.”  Russia Today.  31 August 2010.  http://rt.com/politics/party-serbia-merging-russia/.  When this first came out, few seriously entertained the notion.  As the current Belgrade regime continues to support cultural and national suicide, the merger with Russia is becoming more and more understandable.

[20] Stephen Walt, “Can Anything Save Greece?”  Foreign Policy.   21 June 2011.  http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/21/can_anything_save_greece

[21] Nebojsa Malic, “Clinton Does the Balkans” The Gray Falcon.   12 October 2010.  http://grayfalcon.blogspot.com/2010/10/clinton-does-balkans.html

The Media’s War against Mladic, Serbia, and Christian Nationalism

The following essay has several aims:  to respond to the current excitement concerning General Mladic’s arrest, the nature of Western interventionism, not only in Serbia, but wherever they choose in the world, and to partially review John Norris’s Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo (I didn’t get a chance to read the entire book.  It was on loan from the library but that doesn’t matter.  It is pure CNN propoganda.   If you watched any of the news concerning the Balkans in the past ten years, or read an issue of Time on some such matter, you can predict, almost word-for-word (since the media operates via sloganeering) what Norris will say.

Mladic, Srebenica, and War Crimes

Both Serbian commentators and CIA analysts have thoroughly debunked the claim that Srebenica was a “genocide.”  I will do little more than summarize Schindler’s conclusion,

The one area of the war that always gets mentioned is the final Serb assault on the town of Srebenica, with the alleged slaughter of 7,000 Muslim men and boys.   Several things must be noted:  1) it is acknowledged that 7,000 men of the Bosnian Muslim infantry were executed in military fashion; 2) Muslims recruit boys to fight for them;[3] 3) the town was not surrounded by the Serbs, thus allowing noncombatants to leave the city; 4) given that the city was controlled by Muslims gang leaders, many Muslims actually deserted to the Serb camp—this fact alone demonstrates how untenable the Hague narrative is:  if the Serbs simply wanted to ethnically-cleanse the entire town, they would have done a better job of surrounding it and killing those leaving the city; 5) Alija Izetbegovic knew that he could never defeat the Serbian army alone and had to find a way to enlist outside help.   The Clintonistas knew they couldn’t actually start attacking the Serbs without provocation.  A deal was made:  Izetbegovic would abandon his own people to be slaughtered, provoking international outcry and response.

What is Nationalism?

Christian conservatives in America, weary of the war-mongering of the past few generations, and rightly suspicious that many grass-roots Americans are identifying God and Country, decry this as “nationalism.”  I maintain nothing is the sort.  Nationalism springs from the ethnos and is an organic development of the community.    Nationalism is certainly not this American phenomenon for several reasons:   1) America has no identifiabl “ethnos” (aside, perhaps, from the vague “white” and “black” races, but even then that is highly disputable), and 2) what these conservative Christians are rightly decrying is the neo-con/neo-lib projection of late 20th century market values over other communal and religious traditions.   Therefore, nationalism is not what these conservatives fear, for what they fear is actually trying to destroy nationalism! (for the ultimate proof of this, consider how the media, whether right-wing or left-wing, condemns any kind of “bad guy” as an “ultra-nationalist).

Kosovo:  The Coming Russian Confrontation

Norris, John.  Collision Course:  Nato, Russia, and Kosovo.  Westport, CT: Praeger, 2005.

This book is essentially a manifesto for neo-liberal interventionism.  It makes little attempt at objectivity.   The leaders of the Slavic world can do nothing correctly, except as they agree to Western dictums.   The book itself is quite valuable, if not necessarily for the reasons the author and publisher think:  it documents the inevitable failure of a country (e.g., empire) trying to impose outside values upon traditional and regional communities.

In many ways the book summarizes the lead-up to the war, the nature of the Allied coalition, and the political consequences throughout and following the war.  This review will largely avoid those issues as they are thoroughly covered elsewhere.   Rather, the reviewing will focus on insights from Norris’ experiences and thoughts resulting from those insights.

The book begins on a painful note.  The author of the foreword, Strobe Talbott, is acting like a Clintonian cheerleader.  He is guilty of “loaded language” and bias.  His particular argument asks, quite rightly, what should be the conditions for empire, I mean, intervention.  He notes that military force should only be used when diplomatic means are exhausted, that it guarantees safety to both the “victims” of the aggression and the regular citizenry, and that it ensures stability in the region.  Talbott claims it gloriously met all of those goals.   The truth, though, is that NATO failed in all of the above:  It was the Russians, not NATO bombers, that brought Milosevic to the table; the United States rejected numerous diplomatic proposals from the Bosnian Serbs and actually urged Izetbegovic to reject peace and go to war[i] (!), and Serbs living in Bosnia and Kosovo today are facing a genuine ethnic cleansing on the level of which Milosevic was accused.

Reading Between the Lines 

While NATO was technically victorious, it nearly lost the war and created several far greater disasters.  Many of the Allies did not even want to proceed with air strikes, and the more traditional and Christian members like Italy and Greece, nearly withdraw when NATO insisted on bombing Orthodox Christians during Pascha.   Another point of contention was Russia.  When Russia advised Serbia in this war, Russia was weak, bankrupt, and internally divided.   That said, Russian special forces nearly captured several key airports in Kosovo.  They actually could have done this quite easily, but Yeltsin was not committed.  Had Russia proceeded, and American brass admits it could not have stopped Russia, then a combined Russian-Serbian movement would have easily won the war.[ii]  Think about it for a second:  if a poorly equipped, disillusioned Russian force under Yeltsin could have accomplished this, imagine what a modern Russian army under Putin could have done?[iii]

Had several Allies withdrawn from the campaign (which even US State officials expected them to do), combined with Russian forces seizing key Kosovar airports, along with NATO’s inability to decide on air strikes or sending ground troops, and with the general instability of the region (Norris, 30), NATO—or more precisely, the Anglo-Americans—would have lost this war.  While sending ground troops would have ended the conflict quickly, the costs would have been enormous.   The Serbs, holed up in the mountains, have a history of breaking empires.  It would have been Afghanistan/Iraq to the nth power.

Presuppositions Determine Evidence

Despite the flaws and biases of this book, CNN, and the Clinton Administration, Serbophiles have to face up to the fact of genocide and war crimes.   Did Milosevic carry out ethnic cleansing against the Albanians?    Given the fact that the Hague could never decisively prove this at the ICC (along with Milosevic’s mysterious death), the answer has to be “no.”  Were Serbs guilty of violence against the Albanians?  Probably, but this was no different from the Allied treatment of German civilians during WWII (Dresden, anyone?).

As other CIA analysts (Schindler) have noted, Muslim forces have long used “safe havens” as staging points for attacks on Serb forces; therefore, when the Serbs retaliate, it seems like they are attacking civilians.

Conclusion

Despite the “CNN-idolizing” feel of the book, the author has correctly identified Kosovo has a symbolic defining point between East and West.[iv]  In other words, the actions in Kosovo will determine not only Russia-America relations, but also how the “international community” can respond to situations within national borders.

The most obvious reason leading to American bombing is the alleged ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians by Milosevic.  I say “alleged” because the charges against Milosevic were never proven at The Hague.  (There is a reason Milosevic died under mysterious circumstances).  In fact, one cannot escape the impression that the West orchestrated this war.   The West routinely rejected halts to the bombing and rejected several overtures at peace, overtures largely favorable to NATO and brokered by Russia (p. 19-21).[v]  As other analysts have made clear, NATO needed Kosovo as an oil transit.[vi] Accordingly, peace was unacceptable as long as Kosovo remained in Serb hands.

One other point of contention:  The CIA had already identified the Kosovo Liberation Army as a terrorist group.   Given that, how come Norris never discussed the criminal (and violently anti-American) actions of the KLA?  The fact he doesn’t mention this shows how much this book is pure propaganda.  (Milosevic pointed this out to Albright, which Albright derisively dismissed.  One thinks the reason is obvious).

Given that this book is written by an “Establishment man,” and to a large degree, the author’s protests notwithstanding, this book unofficially represents the Western Establishment on interventionism.   Given that high pedigree, high standards are required of the book.  Unfortunately, this book fails on a scholarly level.  I do not fault the author for citing sources—much of the information can be found elsewhere, and the author does give a thorough bibliography and an extensive index.   Rather, the author uses loaded language on every page.    I think if one looks beneath this language one sees a “quiet desperation.”  The Clinton Administration must justify its position continually.  Kosovo today is a failure by anyone’s reckoning.   The administration knows it has broken international law in intervening, and the record since then is a poor one.  In other words, the Regime (rightly) suspects its authority and dignity is now illegitimate and it lacks moral force for any of its actions.   Clinton, Talbott, and Norris are right to be nervous.  The international community and nationalists elsewhere are calling their bluff.


[i] Cf. John Schindler, Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al Qai’ida, and the Rise of Global Jihad. St. Paul: MN, Zenith Press, 2007.

[ii] And likely started a nuclear WWIII.

[iii] This is a very real question.  The Kosovo question is still under discussion and NATO’s sabre-rattling towards Russia has not helped.

[iv] For more on the “East vs. West” conflict, see Samuel Huntingdon’s rightly famous The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,  New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 1996.

[v] One cannot help but see just how sick and evil Madeline Albright truly is.   She refused peace at any price—refusing to even tell Milosevic how he could stop the war aside from the vague refrain “stop the killing.”  Milosevic’s response to Albright was cold, brutal, and perfect:  “Who is killing the Albanians when the bombs are falling?”

[vi] Cf. F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, Baton Rouge, LA: Third Millennium Press, 2009.

Review of Unholy Terror

Schindler, John.  Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qai’da, and the Rise of Global Jihad.  St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2007.

 

Schindler’s argument is simple:  If Western intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980s created the modern mujahidin, Western intervention in the Balkans in the 1990s globalized it (Schindler, 316).   While it is logically impossible to be a consistent Muslim and a consistent secularist (The Koran, Surah 9:5), post-Communist Bosnia was something close to it.[1] The Western Anglo-American elite wanted to believe that an Islamic Bosnia would be a beacon of multi-cultural European values:  democracy, women’s rights, and tolerance.    While the regime under Alija Izetbegovic never achieved anything similar to that, the tragic irony is that if left alone, Bosnia would have remained nominally Islam and relatively secular:  something the Western elites wanted.

In the following essay I will advance several theses:  1) The Clinton Administration (hereafter known as the “Clintonistas”) facilitated the rise of al-Qai’da as a global network; 2) The Clintonistas established a radically Islamic state in the heart of Europe; and 3) the tragedy of the Serbo-Croat-Bosnian war demonstrates a fundamental (and ultimately fatal) dialectic within the heart of the Western mind, whether “conservative” or “liberal.”

Other authors have documented the US’s facilitating the mujahidin against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.   It is becoming clear that such a move proved not only disastrous but also unnecessary (Primakov, Russia and the Arabs), as the Soviet Union had already fallen economically and would soon fall politically.   Granted, hindsight is 20-20 and one cannot fault the Carter Administration too much for not knowing what radical Muslims would do with advanced NATO weaponry.   Unfortunately, Carter’s mistake was repeated with glee by the Clintonistas, with the ultimate effects seen in the falling of the twin towers.

Schindler gives a brief, but fine overview of recent Balkan history from the 19th century until the post-World War 2 era.  He sheds helpful light on an area few Westerners understand.   To understand the problems in the Balkans, one must realize that religion and nationality are never far apart, contra recent works (Glenny, The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers: 1804-1999).[2] In short, Croatia is Roman Catholic and has political affiliations with Germany.   Serbia is Eastern Orthodox and looks to Russia for protection.    Bosnia and Albania are Muslim and look to the Middle East for culture and religion.   This much could be found in any encyclopedia.    Schindler points out the obvious elephant in the room:  the reason that Bosnia is Muslim is because the Ottoman Empire enslaved the Balkans and implicitly pressured many Slavs to convert.

Schindler notes that during World War 2 Croatia and parts of Bosnia joined sides with the Nazis while the Serbs (divided between the Chetniks and Tito’s Partisans) fought alongside the Allies.   While he only notes it briefly, one must point out that Churchill and Co., abandoned the Chetnik monarchists to the Communists, whom the Communists subsequently executed (with Allied complicity).

 

Alija Itzebegovic’s Goal

Izetbegovic pulled one of the more incredible stunts in modern political history.  He was able to tell Western media outlets and governments that he stood for democracy and pluralism while simultaneously ethnically-cleansing Christians, Jews, and secular Muslims from Bosnia.   This makes one wonder whether the West was hypocritical or simply stupid (obviously, the answer is “both”).  The result is that Western media outlets would report Serb atrocities but deliberately look the other way at Bosniak atrocities.

 

The U.S.-Iranian Connection

 

For reasons that defy common sense, the U.S. government facilitated not only the arrival of jihadist mujahidin into Bosnia, but also Iranian arms, intel networks, and soldiers into Bosnia.   While other European forces had no love for the Serbs, the French and Germans were increasingly worried about the U.S. allowing armed Iranians into the heart of Europe.  Indeed, as many Europeans noted, the numerous C-130s landing in Bosnia (violating the UN arms embargo) could only have been US planes or US-allowed planes.

 

The Srebenica “Massacre”

The one area of the war that always gets mentioned is the final Serb assault on the town of Srebenica, with the alleged slaughter of 7,000 Muslim men and boys.   Several things must be noted:  1) it is acknowledged that 7,000 men of the Bosnian Muslim infantry were executed in military fashion; 2) Muslims recruit boys to fight for them;[3] 3) the town was not surrounded by the Serbs, thus allowing noncombatants to leave the city; 4) given that the city was controlled by Muslims gang leaders, many Muslims actually deserted to the Serb camp—this fact alone demonstrates how untenable the Hague narrative is:  if the Serbs simply wanted to ethnically-cleanse the entire town, they would have done a better job of surrounding it and killing those leaving the city; 5) Alija Izetbegovic knew that he could never defeat the Serbian army alone and had to find a way to enlist outside help.   The Clintonistas knew they couldn’t actually start attacking the Serbs without provocation.  A deal was made:  Izetbegovic would abandon his own people to be slaughtered, provoking international outcry and response.

 

The Dialectic Breaks Down Neo-Liberalism

 

Part of my thesis is that the Bosnian war of 1993-1995 (and the Kosovar War of 1999) destroys the way the Beltway Regime (along with the media puppets) views the world.    The Clintonistas wanted to see a multi-cultural, tolerant but largely Islamic center in the heart of Europe.  The problem is that Izetbegovic acted just like a good, Koranic Muslim.  He promised tolerance to the West and marginalized those inside his country who did not share his Islamic vision.  Therefore, the neo-liberals are presented with a dilemma: on one hand there is dynamic of multi-cultural, yet fully Koranic Islam (which has been demonstrated to collapse simply into radical Islam) and nationalism on the other hand (e.g., by nationalism I mean local and ethnically geographic communities deciding their own fates).   Yet, both of these options are unacceptable for the neo-liberals.  The only way the neo-liberal paradigm can function is by forcibly asserting its own narrative.  Therefore, the neo-liberal paradigm is reduced to violence.

 

The Dialectic Breaks Down Neo-Conservatism

 

The contrasts are more stark in this case.  Neocons do not want to identify with neo-liberal paradigms, yet I maintain they ultimately do.  Neo-conservatives hate Islam (or only when Islam threatens Israel), thus it seems counter-intuitive that neo-conservatives would back radically Islamic leaders like Hashim Thaci and Alija Izetbegovic, men whose regimes openly state their enemies are Jews and Christians, and who openly state they will kill Jews and Christians.   But the problem is deeper for neocons: they cannot oppose Islam in this case because identifying with the Serbs would identify them with a non-communist, yet fully nationalist Russia (Huntingdon, Clash of Civilizations).

 

Therefore, the neo-conservative paradigm is forced to choose between radical Islam on one hand and a Serbo-Russian identification on the other hand.  Both choices are anathema to the neo-conservatives, but given that foreign interventionism is in the essence of the neo-conservative paradigm, a choice has to be made.  But any choice that is made will contradict (and ultimately deconstruct) one of the (stated) tenets of neo-conservatism (anti-Islamic, anti-Russian).  Therefore, the neo-conservative must choose between the deconstruction of his paradigm or opt out for the violence option.   Of course, it goes without saying that neo-conservatism is reduced to violence.  The only way the neo-conservative can escape the dialectic is to acknowledge another premise:  as evil as radical Islam is, Russia is worse.  The American involvement in the Balkans, therefore, must be seen as a miniature war against Russia (Norris, Collision Course: Nato, Russia, and Kosovo).[4]

 

Final Thoughts on the Book

 

Schindler’s book deserves widest possible dissemination.  He openly exposes the Clintonistas as criminals who are in cohorts with the most odious criminals in the world.  There are a few lapses in Schindler’s reading, though.  He mentions that Slobodan Milosevic wanted to create a “Greater Serbia.”  Perhaps Milosevic stated as much, but even as Schindler’s own reading demonstrates, Milosevic did a poor job of creating a “Greater Serbia.”  Indeed, if such were his goal would he not have aided Karadvic and Mladic more?   It’s irrelevant that the two leaders were at odds with Belgrade.  Both sides would have certainly realized that a combined effort would have easily and quickly won the war—yet this effort never came.

Schindler’s proposal for defeating radical Islam is commendable, but ultimately flawed.  It is simply a continuation of the “War on Terror.”   To be fair to Schindler, it’s different from the neo-con/neo-lib definition of the War on Terror.  Schindler identifies the enemy as a consistently Koranic Islam.  However, Schindler’s proposal for “more intel, more arms” against the Muslims will not work.  Until the West regains its Christian moral vision, and decides to not cast another vote of “no-confidence” in itself, arms will never defeat Islam.

Practically, this means recognizing that Europe’s cultural and moral roots can never be divorced from the Christian vision (Trifkovic, Defeating Jihad).   Europe is faced with two practical options: Nihilism or the Nazarene. Corollaries to this vision:  recognize Russia and Serbia as fighting the same enemy (and obviously, to stop funding jihadists in the Balkans, Cyprus, and Chechnya), put a moratorium on immigration from the Middle East, and place the leaders of the Hague on trial for treason against the European and American people.

Sadly, Americans paid the price for the Clinton error, also.   By assistinig al-Qai’da in Bosnia, the Clintonistas provided bin-Laden with a competent network from which he would later launch his strikes against the United States.

 

Works Cited

 

F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. Baton Rouge, LA: Third Millennium Press, 2009.

 

Demons, The Koran, Jihadist Press.

 

<span>Glenny, Misha. The Balkans: Nationalism, War, and the Great Powers: 1804-1999.  New York: Penguin Books, 1999.

 

Huntingdon, Samuel.  The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.  New York: Simon & Schuster Papebacks, 1996.

 

Norris, John.  Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo.  Westport, CT.  Praeger Publishers, 2005

 

Primakov, Yevgeny. Russia and the Arabs: Behind the Scenes in the Middle East From the Cold War to the Present. New York: Basic Books, 2009.

 

Schindler, John.  Unholy Terror: Bosnia, Al-Qai’da, and the Rise of Global Jihad.  St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2007.

 

Trifkovic, Serge.  Defeating Jihad: How the War on Terror May be Won in Spite of Ourselves.  Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox Press, 2006

 

 


[1] Of course this means they were bad Muslims.

[2] Misha Glenny’s work provides a valuable overview of recent Balkan history, and Glenny is one of the rare Balkan correspondents who do not simply parrot what CNN tells them to.  Glenny’s thesis is that the real tragedies in the Balkans stem from the Great Powers (England, France, German, and Russia) interfering with smaller Balkan countries as opposed to reducing all of the problems to “religion” and “nationalism.”  Glenny is to be commended for providing valuable insight into this area, but he does not seem to realize how extensive religion and nationalism are in this area.

[3] Executing boys is inexcusable, but one wonders why the Muslims were not seen as guilty for conscripting young boys into battle.  Perhaps Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic should be tried as war criminals, but they should be tried by an impartial court.  The Hague is both jury and prosecuting attourney.

[4] Of course, the true geo-political reason the U.S. went to such great lengths against Russia was to take control of key Central Asian pipelines running from the Caspian Sea to southern Europe.  See William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy and the New World Order (Baton Rouge, LA: Third Millennium Press), 2009.

 

Homosexuality and the Fight for Serbia’s Soul

People always ask me, “What’s so bad about NATO?  Why are you always attacking NATO and the EU?”  Many are now seeing that the neo-conservative and neo-liberal subjugation of Serbia is not a good thing.  I confess–I had always attacked that on the wrong front.  I had always pointed out that attacking Serbia created an Islamic state in the heart of Europe.    That’s true, but that is not the problem.

The problem is more sinister than that.  Whatever the problems of the Milosevic regime, Yugoslavia was an old-school nationalist state that resisted the one-world designs of the EU and the Anglo-American bankers.

But it is darker still.  Serbia has been an American colony for ten years.  The Americans have been quite tolerant of their subjects.  The Serbs are allowed to have their churches and they can even pretend they have Kosovo.  Those are merely words.  America wants Serbia integrated into the Euro-international sphere.

But as heinous as that is, that isn’t even the problem.  NATO/EU/US has one condition:  tolerate homosexuality.  The Overlords are quite gracious, actually.  They are not saying support homosexuality in the public sphere, but merely tolerate it.  Allow a gay-pride march.  Srdja Trifkovic, writing a few days before the October 10 march, notes the issues at stake.

While the march took place under government orders, it appears that the heart of the population was not in it.  Nebosja Malic nicely summarizes what happened.  The average Serb in Belgrade, it seems, fought back against their subjugators.

It appears America actually fired up nationalist sentiments.  Who knew?

Did Black Magic Destroy Serbia?

No, I don’t think Merlin cast a spell to that affect. (While it’s fairly certain that Merlin is a real character, I doubt he would do black magic against Christians).   For a year I’ve been reading and thinking about Joseph Farrell’s corpus.  I’m not entirely sure how much I buy his whole “cosmic war” theory, and whether he is right or wrong about “deep physics,” I do not have the intelligence to judge that situation.

I do know something about economics, though, being schooled (though firmly rejecting) in the Misesian tradition.  I’m currently reading Babylon’s Banksters.  Any reservations I have about the book deal with the chapters on deep physics.  Farrell’s reading of the economic situation, while innovative, appears to be sound.

Farrell summarizes his earlier books in a few pages in this book.  While my problems with the “cosmic war” thesis deal with my inability to harmonize it with the biblical narrative on early man (sorry, I won’t budge on this issue), I do accept that Farrell is on to something very important.

He makes the argument that an international banking cartel has existed for hundreds (perhaps thousands) of years.  There is a religious dimension to this cartel, though there endgame is primarily money and power.  The Federal Reserve is only the most recent manifestation of this cartel.

In some circles I’m known as an ardent defender of Serbia, and that’s true enough.   I do grant that Arkan and Milosevic are guilty of war crimes (same as NATO); nor was Serbia as “holy” as many made her out to be.  That said, one can often identify oneself accurately enough by one’s enemies.  While ultimately I ascribe spiritual and theological causes to major events in history, I do realize that the saying “follow the money” is accurate on one level.  What did the Anglo-American establishment stand to gain on removing the social nationalist government of Serbia?

Fr Raphael has given a good summary of the goals of the New World Order on Serbia.  The West knew if it could get a pipeline running from central asia into Europe, it could bypass Russia and be set for its energy needs.  Serbia, sitting in a natural transit route, seemed the best location.  Problem being, Serbia was a Social Nationalist state and for all of Milosevic’s evils, he opposed global capitalism and the New World Order.   Therefore, the NWO had to do several things:  1) secure the oil transit, 2) destroy a strong Social Nationalism regime, and 3) prove to the world that it could bypass international law and depose leaders at will.

While I say that Black Magic destroyed Serbia, I don’t want to overmystify the reality.  Black magic is tied to fiat money, reserve banking, and the creation of wealth from nothing.  I do believe there are sinister religious dimensions to the New World Order; I just don’t want to use that as a hypothesis yet.

Review of Great Martyr Tsar-Lazar

A modern exercise in hagiagraphy.  Briefly tells the story of St Tsar Lazar of Serbia, and his heroic sacrifice for the political salvation of Europe against the Muslim horde (financed today by the Anglo-American elites).
Biographies on Tsar Lazar are few in the English language–and this is by no means an adequate biography–but this is a decent start.  Lazar came to the throne of Serbia in a time of increasing political turmoil.  His reign can be compared to that of Great King David, but without the familial and personal sins (Christ have mercy!).
As the Turkish army was on the rise, Lazar knew his options were limited.  In the best case scenario he could fight the Turks to a standstill, giving his people a precarious peace.  Even this goal, however, was in doubt.  (The author gives us specifics of Lazar’s reign–of how he rebuilt churches and gave alms to the poor.)
Ultimately, though, the Turks could not be avoided.  St Lazar knew he must give battle.  There was no human way he could win. Legend has it–and piety and reason see no cause as to why it should be doubted–the Virgin Mary appeared to St Lazar in a dream and offered him a choice–earthly victory tomorrow but nothing else, or sacrifice on the fields–defeat–but entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven, preserving the soul of his people.  St Lazar–being the ultimate example of Christian heroism– chose heavenly glory.
He met the Turks on Kosovo Poltje.  His army was crushed and Lazar himself martyred on the field of battle.  Several conclusions may be drawn from his story:
  • True monarchs reign, not “lord it over” their subjects.  A monarch is an icon of heaven.  When we pray “thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven,” we are acknowledging that the earthly rule should mirror the divine rule.  Heaven is a monarchy, not a democracy.
  • While certainty is impossible, one may suppose that had Lazar not given battle to the heathen, the Turks would have hit Vienna full strength–and conquered it.  This would have eventually opened much of the Northern European Plain to the Muslim armies.  Given that 300 years later Europe barely withstood the Muslims, it is doubtful they would have earlier.  Lazar and Serbia likely saved Europe.
  • It makes one wonder why neo-conservatives support NATO’s attack on Serbia, given that it strengthens Islamic terror cells in the Balkans?  Neocons have never given a good answer to that question.

The book ends with several services to Tsar Lazar.