Monthly Archives: April 2004

An action for every faction

Reul Marc Gerecht provides his analysis of what we should do in Iraq, offering a plan for dealing with each faction. Gerecht’s central (and almost certainly correct) thesis is: “If we lose the Shia, we lose Iraq.” He therefore believes that we are playing with fire if we permit the Algerian Sunni, Lakhdar Brahimi, to persuade us to tilt more towards the Sunnis when it comes to power sharing, or »

A word from Winston Churchill

In his closing remarks Thursday evening at his debate with David Corn, Rich Lowry quoted the December 8, 1941 diary entry of Winston Churchill. Churchill’s words have been echoing in my mind in connection with the news of Pat Tillman’s death. Here they are as quoted and commented on in a recent speech by Paul Wolfowitz : “I knew the United States now was in the war up to the »

History marches on in Iraq

Francis Fukuyama finds that history hasn’t ended after all; it has simply moved to the Middle East. Fukuyama provides a sobering assessment of the history yet to made in Iraq. He believes that, to accomplish our goals, our military will need to remain actively engaged for many years, and that the costs of reconstruction will far exceed current estimates. And even if all eventually goes reasonably well, the Iraqi state »

Toomey Has a Shot

The latest poll from Pennsylvania shows Arlen Specter’s lead over Pat Toomey down to 47-39. Pollster Kellyanne Conway interprets this as meaning that Toomey has a legitimate chance, and I agree. I’m pretty sure that most Pennsylvania Republicans would rather see Toomey in the Senate than Specter. Specter’s main advantages are “electability” and inevitability. If Republican voters perceive that the race is wide open, many of them will swing to »

Kerry Losing Youth Support

That’s Newsweek’s spin on the latest Genext poll, although the poll still shows Kerry leading Bush by three points among registered voters aged 18 to 29. Given the historically low turnout rates among voters in this age group, I don’t think a registered voter poll means much. I like this line, though, from Newsweek’s article on the poll: [Y]oung voters »

How to read the Times

The article by David Halbfinger in this morning’s New York Times covers John Kerry’s VVAW days. In some respects the article is a case study in how the Times treats the lead feet of the heroes of the paper’s story lines: “Kerry role in antiwar veterans is delicate issue in his campaign.” The article catches up with a month-old story that refuses to die, the story of Kerry’s possilbe attendance »

What the flag stands for

The Washington Post story on Pat Tillman’s death is “Ex-NFL player Tillman killed in combat.” The Post story is a good one, recalling Tillman’s telling explanation of himself: On Sept. 11, 2001, Tillman walked into the media room at the Cardinals’ training facility and sat with reporters watching the coverage of the terror attacks, transfixed by the events of the day. In his last on-camera interview, the next day, Tillman »

Wishful Thinking at the Times

From this morning’s New York Times Corrections section: A picture with an entry in the National Briefing column on Thursday about an appeals court ruling upholding the murder conviction of Ernest Avants in the 1966 killing of a sharecropper, Ben Chester White, was published in error. It showed Peter H. Coors, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Senate in Colorado, not Mr. Avants. Well, it’s an easy mistake to »

How to read Woodward

The cover story of the new issue of the Weekly Standard is Andrew Ferguson’s piece on the new book by Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack: “Bob Woodward’s Washington.” Ferguson brings a writer’s flair and a gimlet eye to his account of the book, providing a highly entertaining lesson in how to read Woodward. Here are a two highlights, beginning with Ferguson’s puzzlement over the White House’s promotion of the book: »

The top nine reasons why Kerry is slipping

Newsweek’s Howard Fineman offers nine reasons why John Kerry has lost ground to President Bush. Fineman puts two of the most important reasons — the economy and Kerry himself — at or near the bottom of the list. At the top is Richard Ben-Veniste, followed a bit later by Bob Woodward. While I don’t agree, I love the sentiment. »

The Lowry wrap

Rich Lowry provides the wrap-up on the debate at St. Thomas and the good times that followed — with meticulous accuracy. I have received several thank you messages from the Lowry fans who met up with us for beer, pizza and conservative fellowship at the Green Mill Brewery in St. Paul, but Rich was solely responsible for the fun and the good feelings. »

Worse than SMERSH

William F. Buckley urges Pennsylvania Republicans to vote for Pat Toomey in next Tuesday’s Senate primary. Toomey, of course, is running against liberal Republican Arlen Specter, whom President Bush has endorsed. The argument in favor of Specter is that he is more likely to win in November, thus helping Republicans keep control of the Senate. However, Buckley argues that for control of the Senate to change hands, nearly all of »

Pat Tillman, RIP

We wrote about Pat Tillman here, and here, and here. Peggy Noonan considered the example he set when he abandoned his NFL career to join the Army: “Privileged to serve.” He is an American hero, his death a horrible loss: “Former NFL player killed in Afghanistan.” We must strive harder to be worthy of the sacrifice made on our behalf. RIP. HINDROCKET adds: I returned home tonight from another week »

Peddling dishonor

In the piece posted earlier today by Trunk, Charles Krauthammer ridicules John Kerry’s proposed solution to the problem of Iraq — going to the U.N. Krauthammer explains that this position is a loser politically because “Americans are a serious people, war is a serious business, and what John Kerry is offering is simply not serious. Americans may be unsure whether Bush has a plan for success in Iraq. But they »

Brandini speaks

The man John Kerry frequently refers to as Brandini (Lakhdar Brahimi, former Algerian Foreign Minister and an Arab nationalist) is the figure promoted by the State Department to oversee the development of a future Iraqi government, and the White House has signed on to that. Laurie Mylroie directs us to this article from Ha’aretz in which Brahimi calls Israeli policy “the biggest poison in the region” and asks: “Is this »

The Baghdad connection

Laurie Mylroie has directed us to Edward Jay Epstein’s latest Question of the Week, this one on the Baghdad connection to al Qaeda. Epstein writes: Question: Three years have passed since the putative meeting in Prague between hijacker Mohammed Atta and Iraq Consul al-Ani. What has the CIA, FBI, Czech intelligence (BIS) and other intelligence services established about the activities of the alleged participants at this meeting? Answer: 1) Ahmad »

The fourth Gorelickian oration

In the fourth Catiline oration, Cicero mulled over the punishment befitting Catiline for conspiring against the republic. Cicero was a Roman patriot, a sound thinker and, not surprisingly, a proponent of the death penalty. Is it possible that the Gorelick conspiracy might find its Cicero in a collective call to action? CNN reports: “Senate Republicans call on Gorelick to testify”: The senators want Gorelick to testify about her role in »