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Wednesday November 12, 2003

Daniel Pipes on the latest speech by President Bush:

"Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe."

This sentence, spoken last week by George W. Bush, is about the most jaw-dropping repudiation of an established bipartisan policy ever made by a US president.

Not only does it break with a policy the US government has pursued since first becoming a major player in the Middle East, but the speech is audacious in ambition, grounded in history, and programmatically specific. It's the sort of challenge to existing ways one expects to hear from a columnist, essayist, or scholar not from the leader of a great power.

Yes, September 11th changed everything. No longer are we able to tolerate these risks because the costs, we have now realized, are too high. As long as terrorist activity occurred "over there" we didn't sense the danger. No longer.

More liberal bias detected by The Wall St. Journal (via FreeRepublic). Excerpt,

We have detected a pattern of editorialized commentary throughout the decade. Liberal senators were granted near-immunity from any disparaging remarks regarding their ideological position: Sen. Harkin is "a liberal intellectual"; Sen. Barbara Boxer of California is "a reliably outspoken liberal"; Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois is "a respected Midwestern liberal"; Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York is "difficult to categorize politically"; Sen. Kennedy is "a liberal icon" and "liberal abortion rights stalwart"; and Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey is a man whose "politics are liberal to moderate."

While references to liberal senators in the Times evoke a brave defense of the liberal platform (key words: icon and stalwart), the newspaper portrays conservatives as cantankerous lawmakers seeking to push their agenda down America's throat. Descriptions of conservative senators include "unyielding," "hard-line" and "firebrand." A taste of Times quotes on conservatives during the period of 1990-2000: Sen. Nickles is "a fierce conservative" and "a rock-ribbed conservative"; Sen. Helms is "perhaps the most tenacious and quarrelsome conservative in the Senate, and with his "right-wing isolationist ideology" he is the "best-known mischief maker." Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona is "a Republican hard-liner"; Sen. Robert C. Smith is "a granite-hard Republican conservative"; Sen. Gramm takes "aggressively conservative stands" and has "touched on many red-meat conservative topics," as "the highly partisan conservative Texan"; Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas is "hard-core conservative," "considerably more conservative . . . less pragmatic," "hard-line conservative . . . one of Newt Gingrich's foot soldiers," and "a hard-charging conservative"; Sen. Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas is "a staunch conservative"; and Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho is "an arch-conservative."

Doug Patton ponders what it would have like if Ernie Pyle had worked for CNN. Excerpt,

Dateline London - 6 June 1944
"This is Ernie Pyle, reporting for CNN from the front here at Omaha Beach... An unprecedented -- and some say unjustified -- invasion of France is under way at this hour. As you can see from the carnage behind me, American boys are dying on the beaches of Normandy -- perhaps your boy, Mr. and Mrs. America. This reporter can confirm that American troops are sustaining massive casualties, here and on Utah Beach, against heavily armed German fortifications. Of course, the question that will be asked is "why?" Why did it have to come to this? Why was it necessary to sacrifice so many young men -- the bright and shining future of America -- in an invasion that many said didn't need to happen...

Meanwhile, on the home front, Republican members of Congress are calling for an investigation into the intelligence failures that led to the Navy's inability to prepare for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This is Ernie Pyle, reporting from the front, for CNN..."

Well, here's something that's perfectly acceptable.

The new Iraqi blogger, The Messopotamian, believes that Iraqis are getting fed up with the terrorists in their midst and look forward to a better day. Excerpt,

Today there were bombs in the streets, near a courthouse, near a bus stop in Basrah, here and there. They tried to murder an oil functionary in Mosul, and killed his son.

They are attacking the common people, they want to stop life. They want to paralyze everyday life. Check out Ays for a kind of log of everyday incident.

But you all must know this, directly from Baghdad. The people are not going to be intimidated and go about their business quite normally. My boy goes to school. The eldest who has just finished his college, has found a job and goes out in the morning and doesn't come back untill sunset to break the fast. He is now dreaming to finish his studies in the U.S. having heard the Fullbright Foundation has a program for young Iraqis. He is so exited about it.

This is important, the people must begin to see the benefits of partnership with the Great Power. Little things count, It's a bit like dealing with women. Little gestures count. Huge sums of money may be spent without the common people feeling quickly the benefits. Little things which may not cost much may be far more telling.

Well, that doesn't exactly jibe with this CIA analysis. Excerpt,

The CIA analysis, which was issued to senior U.S. officials on Monday, suggests that the escalation of the U.S. military campaign against guerrillas could cause new civilian casualties and drive more Iraqis to the side of the insurgents, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, the inability of U.S. forces to crush the insurgents is convincing growing numbers of Iraqis that the occupation can be defeated, the newspaper said.

Patrick J. Buchanan whacks the Democratic party:

If the national Democrats loathe a heritage many in the South love, if they think millions of white Southerners are Nazis or bigots, if they hate the flags and symbols of the Old Confederacy that so many Southerners cherish, why should a self-respecting Southerner want to belong to a party run by people like that, people who openly despise him?