Monthly Archives: February 2004

A flag that bears witness

For the past several months we have proudly posted exclusive reports from our man in Afghanistan, a Minneapolis reservist called to serve with the forces deployed in that remote theater of the war. Our man in Afghanistan is an Army major who seems to be using his special skills to help detain the bad guys. He has served continuously in theater without a break for more than a year and »

More Passion

Margaret Marteen gently attributes my negative reaction to “The Passion of the Christ” to my having seen a different film than the one she did: “More Passion.” HINDROCKET adds: William Safire saw the same movie you did, Trunk, and his reaction appears to be almost exactly the same as yours. »

Gandelman’s blog of the day

Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice has named Power Line its blog of the day. Joe’s praise sets a high standard for us that we hope to live up to: Power Line presents some facts, then clearly gives you its point of view. It’s honest with readers… A key to Power Line’s quality — showing you that they will go that extra mile for their readers (and themselves) — can »

Tangled up in Bob

While it may not be the favorite album of most Dylan fans, “Blood on the Tracks” seems to be loved by all of them. It’s an adult, emotional album inspired by the breakup of his marriage to Sara Lowndes — the source of the blood on the tracks. Dylan originally recorded the songs at Columbia’s New York studio in September 1974, mostly with Eric Weissberg and his band. Dylan continued »

Bush Predicts Victory

Matt Drudge has an interesting account (apparently based at least in part on an upcoming Time story) of a dinner President Bush gave for five governors after his speech to the Republican governors on Monday: “Bush was jovial, confident,” TIME reports. “He told the group »

It’s Bush’s Fault

Haiti, that is. How could it be otherwise, in the Democrats’ monomaniacal world? Today John Kerry and John Edwards both blamed the turmoil in that long-troubled country on President Bush. “He’s late, as usual,” Kerry said. John Edwards called for the U.S. to be part of a multilateral U.N. intervention, which I assume is what will probably happen. What exactly the administration should have done to prop up Aristide, and »

The Gulag speaks

I don’t know how we missed this story when it appeared in the New York Times this past Tuesday, but it warrants attention: “Comes the thaw, the Gulag’s bones tell their dark tales.” »

The UN supervises Saddam

Today’s New York Times carries an engrossing account of the massive corruption in the UN-supervised Iraqi oil-for-food program: “Hussein’s regime skimmed billions for aid program.” The article is deficient only in failing to disclose how the billions of dollars in kickbacks on oil contracts were spent, but it is mandatory reading. The United Nations bureaucrats come off as complicit fools: United Nations overseers say they were unaware of the systematic »

For a more nuanced view of the State Department

see this column by Bret Stephens in the Jerusalem Post . If you’re still in the mood for a nuanced view after reading Glick’s piece, that is. »

The International Court of Justice, Foggy Bottom Division

Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post wonders “How is it that, after three and a half years of absorbing massacre after massacre, Israel now finds itself on trial” at the Hague? Glick thinks that “the answer to this question is found in part in the latest State Department Human Rights Report.” The report, “aside from condemning every action Israel has taken to combat terrorism and thereby equating actions aimed at »

Iran Blackmails Libya?

The Telegraph will report tomorrow that Iran is using a group of Libyan extremists as blackmail to prevent Libya from revealing secrets about Iran’s nuclear program, and perhaps about its support for international terrorism: Western intelligence specialists have learned from interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects, captured close to Afghanistan’s border with Iran, that a militant group of Libyan extremists is being protected and trained by terrorism experts from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. »

The Zen of CNN

Is a 5.6% unemployment rate high or low? Tim Blair has done some digging in the CNN archives, and the answer is, it all depends. You can probably guess the key variable. »

The memory perplex

Frederick Crews is the literary critic who wrote the satiric gem The Pooh Perplex in the 1960’s. He appears to have turned his disenchantment with Fredian psychoanalysis to good use by relentlessly debunking the junk science underlying the “recovered memory” craze and the related wave of child abuse prosecutions that ended in the mid-1990’s. His article in the current issue of the New York Review of Books revisits the issues »

Slandering Republican Presidents

It’s the New York Times’ favorite pastime. But Abraham Lincoln? Alas, not even Lincoln is exempt from the Times’ overriding editorial imperative. Today’s Corrections section includes this item: A Washington Talk article on Feb. 10 about the role of politicians in shaping military campaigns during wartime referred incorrectly to Abraham Lincoln’s influence on the decision to seize Atlanta during the Civil War. He approved an overall plan by Gen. Ulysses »

A spaghetti eastern

“The Passion of the Christ” has already elicited a lot of unusual tributes, as well as some intelligent writing on related points. In the former category, Michael Novak’s National Review Online piece provides a compelling account of his reponse to the film: “Brother Gibson’s Passion.” S.T. Karnick’s “Violence to scripture?” is to the same effect. Also in the former category, Matt Labash has a piece written from a believer’s perspective »

Wedge this

Charles Krauthammer nails the gay marriage issue as far as I’m concerned, especially the comical attempts to claim that President Bush is driving a wedge: “Wedge? Marriage has been around for, oh, 5,000 years. In every society, in every place, in every time it has been defined as an opposite-sex union. Then four robed eminences in Boston decree otherwise. With the stroke of a pen, they radically redefine the most »

A bridge to his past

A while back, I compared John Kerry’s candidacy to that of Robert Dole in 1996. I arguied that Kerry was similar to Dole in that he was a safe candidate from the mainstream of his party who wouldl win essentially all of the votes that a Democrat should win, given the president’s standing, but no more. I still view Kerry that way, but now believe that this number of votes »