Monthly Archives: June 2002

The London Times, not usually

The London Times, not usually a friend of the Bush Administration, is crediting the US with defusing the India/Pakistan crisis: “The Bush Administration has been almost faultless in its handling of the most dangerous nuclear confrontation since 1962. Its envoys, notably the astute Richard Armitage, have bluntly warned Delhi and Islamabad of the dangers and won commitmemts to restraint….[T]hey have acted with calm and brutal insistence.” No such kudos yet »

It is often said that

It is often said that history is written by the winners (with the implication that we should on that account be suspicious of it). This silly cliche sounds like it ought to be true, but isn’t. On the contrary, it is interesting to observe how often the history that we know comes from the losing side. Most of what we know of the Romans’ crushing of the Jewish rebellion comes »

It’s curious that our government

It’s curious that our government is making a point of saying that they got information on the “dirty bomber” from Zubaydah. This is not the first time they have credited Zubaydah with being the source of useful intelligence. Why would they do this? If Zubaydah really were talking, wouldn’t it be easier to use his information effectively if we kept his cooperation quiet? This is pure speculation, but I doubt »

Debka File is reporting some

Debka File is reporting some optimistic rumors about progress in the war against Iraq. Debka says that the recent flurry of Israel/Palestinian activity is mostly a cover for more serious events in Iraq. Supposedly George Tenet, and even President Bush, have been meeting with Kurdish leaders planning a campaign against Saddam Hussein. Reportedly Special Forces and CIA units are already stationed in Iraq, and Iraq has been redeploying troops to »

Meanwhile, as the world is

Meanwhile, as the world is focused on the Middle East and the Muslim world, Africa continues its downhill slide. The West’s inexplicable reluctance to assert the moral and material superiority of its civilization has had many disastrous effects, but nowhere more so than in Africa. »

The story about Mohamed Atta’s

The story about Mohamed Atta’s attempt to borrow money from the federal government to buy an airplane is hilarious. The guy sounds like one of the characters in Mad magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy” comics of the 1960’s. The only thing he was lacking was one of those round black bombs with a burning fuse. I suppose the story must be true, even though it reads like something in the Onion, »

You may have seen reports

You may have seen reports of this Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, which shows President Bush holding steady at a 74% job approval rating. But there are some interesting data if you keep reading. One oddity is that Bush’s personal favorability rating has dropped rather suddenly from the upper 70’s to 69%. Maybe this is random variation; there is no obvious explanation. It seems noteworthy, however, that Bush’s job performance rating »

For what seems to be

For what seems to be an inside view of events in the Middle East, check out the Debka File. How reliable it is, I don’t know, but its analysis of why various powers do not necessarily have an interest in peace between India and Pakistan is very interesting. »

Richard Tofel argues that the

Richard Tofel argues that the Democrats should outflank Bush to the right on the war. He’s right; there is plenty of room to be more hawkish than the Administration. If more attacks come, no one is going to be interested in watching the President visit mosques and talk about how Islam is a “religion of peace.” But it will never happen. Many people, maybe most people, only learn one story »

The oddest news item of

The oddest news item of the last couple of days was the EPA’s release of a paper on global warming that undercut the Administration’s position, followed by the President’s observation that the paper had been ground out by “the bureaucracy” and didn’t represent a change in position. I don’t get it: I know the President isn’t omnipotent and has to pick his fights with the bureaucRATS, but still, can’t Bush »

Here is a sad commentary

Here is a sad commentary on our times, and especially on our educational system: Noam Chomsky’s latest tract, 9-11, now ranks # 483 on Amazon’s best seller list. To illlustrate how well Chomsky’s latest attack on America is selling, my brother’s current American history text ranks at # 1,988,922. What makes Chomsky’s success on college campuses and elsewhere remarkable is that the man is completely insane. He pens invectives that »

Once upon a time, young

Once upon a time, young readers enjoyed the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe’s “tales of terror” are both horrifying and unforgettable; they bear the stamp of deeply felt nightmares. Poe’s “tales of ratiocination” are fascinating as detective stories, and Poe was of course the inventor of the genre. Not even being required to read Poe in school could destroy the pleasure provided by his work. Does anyone now »

On May 21 the United

On May 21 the United States Department of State released its Patterns of Global Terrorism-2001report. At the time of its release the report’s somewhat unreal discussion of terrorism in the Middle East was widely noted. The report continues the State Department’s dishonorable practice of covering up the substantial and now thoroughly documented terrorist activities of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority with diplomatic double talk. Almost unbelievably, however, instead of »