The Religious Foundations of Magna Carta’s Legacy of Liberty

Issued by England’s King John in 1215, Magna Carta sets a series of constraints on the monarchy that became a fundamental part of the British constitution, and a direct line can be traced from this charter to the traditions of limited government that underpin the American founding. It is also, as Walter Russell Mead, Jonathan Silver, and Catherine Pakaluk explain, a document that places religion front and center. Mead observes that it opens with a “reassertion of the rights of the church,” and takes as axiomatic that “freedom and liberty if not grounded in reverence and faith sooner or later will go badly.” To Mead, the lesson to be learned from Magna Carta is that the cause of liberty and the preservation of tradition go hand in hand. (Video, 77 minutes.)

Read more at Providence

More about: American founding, England, Freedom, Religion and politics

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security