Monthly Archives: July 2006

Sudden jihad syndrome: A case study?

This past March, Daniel Pipes tentatively identified the phenomenon of “sudden jihad syndrome.” The perpetrator of yesterday’s rampage in Seattle appears to offer a case study in the phenomenon. Michelle Malkin makes the introduction: “Meet the Muslim shooting suspect.” The Seattle Times story on the shootings has more here. The Times also looks into the perpetrator’s background here. At NRO’s Corner, Andrew McCarthy describes the shootings as “militant Islam in »


In keeping with the summer silly season, James Bamford has written a piece — part laughable, part despicable — for Rolling Stone that deals with Michael Ledeen and with Bamford’s fantasies about Israel. While Ledeen may be flattered by all the attention (Vanity Fair ran a 25,000-word slime a couple of months ago), it has now reached the point where these endlessly recycled falsehoods need to be demolished. Given the »

Gibbon on global warming

Yale University Professor Charles Hill is one of the Yale faculty’s notable polymaths. Before joining the Yale faculty as diplomat in residence and lecturer in international politics, he seems to have been everywhere and done everything. His former student Molly Worthen titled her biography of Professor Hill The Man On Whom Nothing Was Lost (a book we wrote about here, here and here). Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal carried a letter »

Such a deal

According to this AP report, the Lebanese government, with the consent of its Hezbollah faction, has approved a cease-fire offer which it hopes will become the framework for an end to hostilities. The key elements are: (1) an immediate cease fire, (2) the release of Lebanese and Israeli prisoners, (3) Israeli withdrawal behind the border, (4) resolution of the status of Chebaa Farms, a small piece of land held by »

One Step Closer to the Slammer

Great, great news: A former National Security Agency employee has been subpoenaed by a U.S. grand jury as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information. The subpoena — issued Wednesday by two FBI agents to whistleblower Russ Tice outside his Maryland home — was drawn up by federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, and the letter accompanying it is signed by an attorney from Justice Department »

Ballots or bullets

In his first message to Congress in special session on July 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln set forth with his accustomed lucidity the reasoning underlying his efforts to subdue the rebellion in the southern states: Our popular government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it, our people have already settled,–the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains,–its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt »

Seattle Jewish Federation Attacked

The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle was attacked by at least one gunman a little while ago. There were casualties, but early reports are fragmentary. Apparently at least one man has been taken into custody. There have been reports of Hezbollah activating overseas sleeper cells, so the concern is obvious. It’s more likely to be one or more home-grown would-be jihadists. Or possibly something completely different, although that seems like »

Blog of the Week: Vital Perspective

This week’s Blog of the Week is Vital Perspective, one of the top sites on the web dealing mostly with Middle Eastern issues. This is how the proprietors describe themselves: Vital Perspective is operated by two foreign policy specialists focused on the Middle East who share deep concerns over the growing threat of Islamic extremism to the U.S. and our allies. Currently, the site features terrific coverage of the crisis »

House Republican prospects — the case for pessimism

This poll conducted for National Public Radio by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg and Republican pollster Glenn Bolger focused on the 50 House races that are thought to be competitive. The pollsters talked to 1,000 likely voters in these districts and found that respondents currently favor the Democratic candidate over the Republican by a margin of about 6 percentage points. In 2004, according to NPR, Republicans had the advantage in these »

Not taking the ABA seriously

The Washington Post editorial page has a sensible discussion of presidential signing statements, an issue I wrote about yesterday. Giving it the weight it deserves, the Post has little to say directly about the ABA’s report on this issue, which concluded that President Bush’s use of signing statements usurps legislative powers. But the Post makes clear its disagreement with that position, noting for example, that presidential signing statements “have no »

Has Hezbollah Won?

Only hours ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in Malaysia, resisted calls for her to return to the Middle East to broker an immediate cease-fire: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she would return to the Middle East “when it is right” but gave no timetable, dashing hopes she would launch a new Middle East peace drive on Friday. It was unclear where she would go to next but »

Opportunism with a liberal face

I think it’s fair to say that Democrats as a party oppose President Bush’s foreign policy — so much so that they are willing to make purely opportunistic attacks on it that are wildly dissonant with the gist of their own critique of that foreign policy. They apparently think the public doesn’t pay sufficient attention to note the dissonance. Insufficient attention is not a fault that can be attributed to »

The Right Man for the Job

That’s John Bolton, of course. Consider these excerpts from the opening statement he delivered at his confirmation hearing today: We are actively engaged in New York to identify lasting solutions to bring about a permanent peace in the Middle East. To do so, however, requires that we have a shared understanding of the problem. The United States has held the firm view that the root cause of the problem is »


Sophisticated observers are often equipped with theories about things that can’t happen. Like, for example, the theory that the Nazis couldn’t possibly collaborate with Communists, since they were polar opposites. As it turned out, they were barely distinguishable–sort of like the Crips and the Bloods–and when it came to dividing up Poland, they were more than happy to cooperate. Likewise, not long ago sophisticates told us that Iraq couldn’t possibly »

Hezbollah Used U.N. Post as Shield

If you haven’t already seen it, this Ottawa Citizen report indicates pretty clearly that Hezbollah terrorists used the U.N. observation post at which four U.N. employees were accidentally killed by an Israeli bomb as a shield. Ironically, the evidence comes from an email sent by one of the observers, a Canadian, who was killed a few days later. »

Bold Words; But What Reality?

In a speech this afternoon that Fox News termed “defiant,” Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz: …vowed that Hezbollah will “not return to what it was” and that “anyone who attacks Israel” awaits the same fate. The Jewish state “will not allow the Hezbollah flag to be flown on the borders of Israel,” Peretz said, adding that Israel had no intention of waging war against Syria. The Defense Minister’s speech followed »

A “neo-conservative-in-the-street” interview

On my way to the bank today, I was stopped by a reporter and a cameraman from German television. They wanted to do a “man-in-the-street” interview with me about the situation in Lebanon. I went on for several minutes, presenting pretty much the same views I’ve espoused on Power Line. I made sure to take a few polite shots at the Europeans, resisting the urge truly to offend. The interviewer »