jump to navigation

I’m Not Wrong, I’m Just Ahead of My Time November 9, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, cultural marxism, General Catholic, history, reading, scandals, sickness, Society, true leadership, unadulterated evil, unbelievable BS.
7 comments

Four years ago, I posted my opinion, based on quite a bit of evidence, that the United States irrevocably lost the war in Vietnam after the Kennedy administration approved, and helped instigate, the assassination of the only patriot leader of sufficient standing and capability to lead the fledgling nation of South Vietnam through a domestic insurgency and foreign invasion, Ngo Dinh Diem.  I didn’t get much flak for that post – I think it was outside most reader’s area of interest – but I was gratified to see last week that an author has written a book advancing just my point – that Diem was falsely maligned by the US press and a Kennedy administration that badly wanted a pliant stooge leading Vietnam, rather than a dedicated patriot who was vehemently opposed to seeing mass US ground troops taking over the war in his country.  Diem knew that a US takeover of the war would de-legitimize his government and be the perfect propaganda piece for the communists to convince rightly nationalist Vietnamese to oppose the southern government.  This is, to a very large extent, what happened.  US involvement post-Diem expanded massively, successive unstable puppet governments ruled the country until the ineffectual and autocratic Thieu took over, and support for the government of South Vietnam remained divided and tepid, at best.

There is a long post on the book at The Federalist, which my friend, fellow Catholic, and Vietnamese Patriot Hiep Nguyen sent me.  Some excerpts below:

That man is Ngo Dinh Diem, president of the Republic of Vietnam (better known as South Vietnam) from 1955 to 1963, his rule and life cruelly ended in a military coup tacitly supported by the U.S. government. A recent book on Diem’s life, “The Lost Mandate of Heaven: The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam,” by military historian Geoffrey Shaw clarifies why Americans would do well to mourn the tragic loss of a man many deemed to be Vietnam’s best chance of defeating communism……..

[Follows an interlude in which the dominant leftist narrative of Diem as a grasping, incompetent autocrat is described at length.  We’ll skip that]

……..Shaw’s biography of Diem paints a far different picture of “America’s Mandarin.” For starters, Diem was a deeply religious man, whose Catholic faith was central to every decision in his life. Often attracted to the religious life, Diem had to be constantly pushed to embrace his natural skills as an administrator and politician.

Diem had a reputation both as an ascetic scholar and a capable bureaucratic, one who seemed to perfectly fit the role of the ideal Vietnamese Confucian leader. Indeed, as Shaw shows, Ho Chi Minh admired Diem’s austerity, and likely sought to emulate it. Even at the height of his power, Diem lived meagerly, and was known to constantly give money away to any in need. He was known to rise early every day to attend Mass, and worked brutal 16-hour days………

…….The Buddhist protesters who so famously undermined Diem’s regime in the months leading up to his ouster were in fact a minority within the south, incited by Buddhist extremist leaders very likely supported by the communists. Rather than a reflection of the teetering authority of the government, the Buddhist crisis was more likely a propaganda effort to obstruct what so many contemporary accounts and historical documents suggest: Diem and his brother were incrementally winning on both the political and military fronts. [Winning, but as the author notes, incrementally, and not nearly fast enough for the nascent 24 hours news cycle-dominated American politics of the time.  Of course, the problem of instantaneous victory increased exponentially after mass American ground forces were committed, which is the very thing Diem refused to countenance.  He wanted to win the war for the long haul and build up a survivable independent nation at the same time, and had done a good enough job that the North under Nguyen Tat Thanh (Ho Chi Minh) was compelled to basically invade the South with massive ground forces to keep the Viet Cong from being crushed]

So how have we come to have such a skewed perception of Diem and his reign as president of South Vietnam? According to Shaw, two sources share the majority of the blame: an American press heavily biased against Diem, and a circle of senior government officials — led by Averell Harriman and Roger Hilsman — hell-bent on replacing him.

Correspondents from such publications as The New York Times and Washington Post, contrary to their portrayal by Burns and Novick’s television series, were often junior reporters in search of the next sexy story to burnish their credentials. Many spent most of their time in Saigon and other major cities, inevitably drawn into the circles of rumor and intrigue that represented only a segment of Vietnamese society. This created a skewed perception of Vietnamese popular opinion, which was particularly troublesome given that Diem’s efforts were focused largely on protecting and improving the lot of poor South Vietnamese farmers, who made up a majority of the population.

Throughout the Kennedy administration, the press corps published article after article condemning just about everything Diem did, while urging his removal. The media’s presentation of events on the ground were far more negative than those military assessments offered, or those of U.S. Ambassador Frederick Nolting, who supported Diem’s regime. The media’s hatchet job was so over-the-top that U.S. officials on a number of occasions complained directly to the editors of the New York Times and Washington Post[So here we have it, fake news a la the 1960s.  The author is right, most of the reporters in South Vietnam in the early 60s were very junior, and very ambitious.  They were not as intellectually and physically lazy as today’s media, but they were not nearly so well informed as they thought.  They were also heavily biased against Diem for a wide variety of reasons, but more importantly, generally had no idea what they were writing or talking about.  The intricacies of South Vietnamese politics, still confusing even 50 years after the fact, were way, way beyond them. They sought simplistic “good guy bad guy” scenarios to create narratives for the public back home, just as the media does to this day.]

……….As for Kennedy’s administration, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Averell Harriman  [A nominal Republican, but a very liberal, Rockefeller type] led a cadre of officials within the government vehemently opposed to Diem’s regime. Much of this stemmed from Harriman’s distaste for Diem’s attempts to maintain autonomy over his government, the latter often spurning U.S. directives he viewed as misguided, if not a threat to the survival of his country.

Probably the most famous example is Harriman’s support for the neutrality of neighboring Laos, a policy that allowed the communists to take over large parts of the Laotian countryside and use it to transfer fighters and materiel to communist insurgents (the notorious Vietcong) in the south. The route through Laos became known, jokingly, as the “Averell Harriman Memorial Highway.” Diem was adamant in calling this out for what it was: a direct attack on his nation’s security and viability. Harriman, a classic example of a condescending WASP bureaucrat, was widely known to despise Diem for resisting U.S. policy.

Shaw’s research shows it was Harriman who instigated and led growing support within the Kennedy administration for Diem’s removal, consistently setting the tone of cabinet discussions as explicitly anti-Diem. As would be expected, he sought to sideline those individuals — like Nolting — who offered a different, more sympathetic take……….

…………Harriman’s argument — that Diem’s persecution of Buddhists had “made it impossible for the United States to back him” — eventually won in the White House, despite a congressional fact-finding mission in late October 1963 (the month before the assassination) that concluded Washington should stick with Diem. The White House ignored the report, and a wealth of other information, and communicated to Vietnamese military coup plotters they would not oppose Diem’s removal.

The men who supported the coup surely must have known what would happen to Diem and his brother. When the two were discovered inside the Church of Saint Francis Xavier in Cholon on 2 November, soldiers acting on coup leaders’ orders secured them inside a personnel carrier, where their executioner “cut out their gallbladders while they were still alive, and then shot them.”

This was the ignominious end to an American ally, a man whom observers — Americans, French, British, Australian, and even North Vietnamese — believed (or in the case of the communists, feared) was Saigon’s best chance to preserve an independent South Vietnam.

………Ngo Dinh Diem came to power in South Vietnam through the help of the United States. Burns-Novick’s film and Karnow suggest even this was a farce, given Diem’s ultimate rejection of the planned 1956 nationwide elections, though Shaw’s careful research proves this a problematic thesis, as well. Although the communists quite expectedly called “foul” when Diem demurred on elections, Ho Chi Minh’s government had already been in direct violation of the 1954 Geneva Accords by building up their military forces and supporting communist insurgent networks in the south.

Meanwhile, in the north, the communists were busy suppressing revolts, murdering thousands of people during their unpopular and poorly contrived land reform efforts. Moreover, as Shaw argues, their flagrant violation of the Laotian neutrality agreement years later proves the communists would never have allowed a free and fair nationwide election anyway. Diem simply saw the sham for what it was.

Indeed.  Those purported elections, upon which so much of the left-wing criticism of Diem rest, was always going to be a sham. First of all, the North outnumbered the South, even after 1 million mostly Catholic North Vietnamese fled south during the brief period of UN control after the French collapse.  Secondly, with a violently repressive communist government, anyone but a leftist bonehead could predict that the North Vietnamese would vote 100% for the communist government, just as the people of the Soviet Union used to vote 100% for the single-party commie candidate in their sham elections.  Thirdly, as noted, the North had already violated the 1954 accords on numerous fronts.  Only an idiot would submit to an election under such circumstances.

And I think this is the ultimate rub – not so much for the mainline democrats of the day (1956), which were a very different crowd than the democrats of today – for the hardcore leftists in the media and academia who have always held such opprobrium for Diem.  They wanted the North to win. The North were part of the great leftist utopian machine, and thus sacred parts of the worldwide leftist revolutionary element.  Many of these people are the same ones who marched in demonstrations against the war shouting “Ho Ho Ho Chi Minh, NLF (National Liberation Front – the Viet Cong) are going to win!”  Diem, an ardent Catholic and anti-communist, was the antithesis in what they wanted to see in government.  Bringing him down would go a very far way to seeing through the ultimate goal of a North Vietnamese communist victory.

I say that is the largely unstated motivation of the historians and media personalities who have blighted Diem’s name.  The government officials complicit in the plot to murder Diem were generally not of this cohort, they were simply liberally minded American incompetents horribly out of their depth and seeking to cover up their role in an unfolding catastrophe.

I think as time goes on there will be a general re-appraisal of Diem’s role and the inevitable events that followed after his death.  I think this historian Shaw (and I have not read the book) is very much on the right track.  Diem was a flawed man, as all men are, but he was by far the best leader the South Vietnamese had, and the one most likely to prevent the country from falling to communism.  It is quite possible to imagine a much different history to that still suffering nation had he not been betrayed by his erstwhile “allies.”

Advertisements

St. Louis Martin Novena for Anxiety, Depression, and Mental Disorders November 9, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Interior Life, Novenas, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
5 comments

Lordy I’ve been having my share of anxiety lately with a heart that goes bumpity bump, so this Novena is quite timely for me.  My wife found this and sent it in.

UPDATE:  Well, shame on me, I only read the first couple of days of the Novena before posting. Yikes, what a train wreck that turned out to be.  I don’t know who is responsible for crafting this Novena, but it had some seriously deranged material.  Rather than throw it all out, I edited out the objectionable content.  I don’t know where anyone would get the idea that St. Therese either lost her faith – she never even came close, but she did experience extreme spiritual dryness, which is something altogether different – or that she contemplated suicide. Please.  I read through it quick to edit it, if I find any more problems, I’ll scrap the whole thing.

Whatever problems one may have with the post-conciliar canonization process, especially John Paul II’s elimination of the office of devil’s advocate and requiring only a single miracle, I don’t think anyone can doubt the great sanctity of Monsieur Martin, patriarch of one of the holiest families in recent Church history.  I’ve long had a devotion to most members of the family.  I have great faith in his intercessory abilities.

The Novena is one of those lengthy ones with different prayers every day (and it’s really sad that Aleteia would turn this Novena into click bait, requiring hitting 9 different links (each one with an autoplay video and so many ads the page barely loads even in Chrome!) to get through it.  C’mon folks, are we Catholic, or are money grubbing worldlings? To save the effort and frustrate a morally dubious tactic,  I’m going to just post the whole thing).

This Novena is not tied to any particular feast; it can be prayed at any time.

Day 1

St. Louis, you knew great happiness and deep suffering, and in both you remained strong in faith. Help us to keep God in sight through our trials, even when we cry out with the Psalmist:

How long, O Lord?
Wilt thou forget me for ever?
How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul,
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? (Psalm 13)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Amen

Day 2

St. Louis, along with Zelie you filled your household with such love that it produced saints, but even great piety does not spare us from loss and the sadness that accompanies it. With those who mourn and grieve, we say

My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! (Psalm 119)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Amen

Day 3

St. Louis, you knew the challenge of a suffering soul. Carry our prayers to our Father in heaven that we may have peace in our hearts and in our lives.

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Amen

Day 4

St. Louis, your daughter Therese suffered a period of deep suffering and loss of spiritual consolations, yet she remained stalwart in faith. May we be there for others even in our own trials.

Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. (Psalm 31)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Amen

Day 5

St. Louis, may those around us remember what your daughter St. Therese wrote: “A word or a smile is often enough to put fresh life in a despondent soul.” Give strength to the loved ones and caregivers of those who struggle with mental problems.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God. (Psalm 42)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Amen

Day 6

St. Louis, like you, may we unite our suffering to that of Christ, and be close to Him as we carry our own crosses.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Amen

Day 7

St. Louis, your family, fiends, and caretakers gave you support and loving kindness through your illness. Help those around us — strangers and friends — to open their eyes to those suffering mental anguish and reach out with the love of good Samaritan to bind their wounds and lift them up.

I am bowed and brought to my knees.
I go mourning all the day long.
Spent and utterly crushed,
I cry aloud in anguish of heart.
O Lord, do not forsake me!
My God, do not stay far off!
Make haste and come to help,
O Lord, my God, my savior! (Psalm 38)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Day 8

St. Louis, you trusted in the Lord although it must have seemed at times that He was silent in the face of your trials. May we always trust that the God of love can never forget us, even when we feel most forgotten.

But I have trusted in thy steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Day 9

St. Louis, pray for us, and for all those who suffer depression, mental illness, and anxiety, as well as for those who care for them.

I will heal my people and lead them;
I will give full comfort
To them and to those who mourn for them,
I, the Creator, who gave them life.
Peace, peace to the far and the near,
Says the Lord;
And I will heal them. (Isaiah 57)

O Lord, through the intervention of St. Louis Martin, lift up those who are suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental problems and lead them out of the darkness and into Your light.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Cremation is Implicitly a Negation of the Faith and Always Disordered November 9, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, catachesis, cultural marxism, error, Four Last Things, General Catholic, Interior Life, Revolution, scandals, secularism, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
11 comments

So says Father Albert of the traditional Dominicans of Belgium in the question and answer video below from The Fatima Center.

The question as originally asked is a bit on the silly side, asking if God can bodily resurrect those bodies that have been reduced to ashes through cremation. Goodness.  God is the Lord and Creator of the universe, of all that is, was, and ever shall be – if one decided to ride a Mk 17 20 MT nuclear bomb down to initiation a la Colonel Kong in Dr. Strangelove so that not even components of atoms remained after death, God could still resurrect that body.  God’s power is infinitely greater than our puny human acts, and nothing we could possibly do could ever interrupt His Will.

Having said that, on a philosophical, moral, and theological level, there are severe problems with the entire concept of cremation, which is why the Church opposed the practice for centuries.  Indeed, from a standpoint of historical etymology, cremation was first advanced by several anti-Catholic sects during the long history of the Church as a way to deny core Catholic Doctrines, such as the Christ’s Resurrection and Ascension and His role as our unique Savior.

Father expounds at some length on the dual nature of the human person, that of the soul united to the body, and the unique role each plays in man’s natural and supernatural existence. In this present life, the supernatural is more confined to the soul, and initially after death we shall be disembodied souls, but after the general Resurrection, both shall be united and we shall be complete, in a sense, again.  This is the promise revealed to us by divinely inspired and inerrant Scripture, and the constant belief and practice of the Faith. But even more, from a standpoint of logic, man was created by God out of matter to have a physical body, and shall not be complete after death until body and soul are reunited.  Thus, man’s ultimate end cannot be achieved until this Resurrection has taken place.

Note that the increased permission for cremation was tied into the general collapse of moral, theological, and ecclesiastical standards that were ushered in under John XXIII, even before the disastrous Council of the 1960s.  It can never be stated enough, Vatican II was not orchestrated in a vacuum, while much sleight of hand, subterfuge, and even immoral methods may have been used to produce the various approved documents, approved they were, and almost unanimously by thousands of bishops who should have, must have, known better.  Wheels were flying off all over the place even before the first session met.  But of course Vatican II advanced this process immensely, solidified it, and left us with a human element of the Church as broken as it has ever been.

Ranting to the choir, I am.  However, while there were hugely impacting individual elements of the 1960s conciliar revolution, much of the damage to the faith of millions came from a sort of death of a thousand cuts.  Cremation may, taken entirely by itself, not have a huge impact on the belief and practice of many Catholics (at the same time, however, it may well) who opt for it, but as part of a general process of disbelief, rejection of Tradition, and acceptance of cultural mores, it just becomes one more injury to the foundation of faith.  And in the present context, where tens of millions of self-described practicing Catholics are, in actuality, practicing heretics if not outright apostates, this practice can be a warning sign of seriously deranged belief.

I think Father Albert sums it up quite well when he says cremation is implicitly a negation of faith in the bodily resurrection and a dangerous, disordered practice.

So sayeth the shepherd, so sayeth the flock.