Monthly Archives: April 2006

Riding a fake horse

The public statements of Secretary of State Rice, collected in this piece by William Kristol, reflect a softness on Iran that one would expect from the Clinton administration. According to Kristol, however, that some of President Bush’s supporters claim that the administrator’s true position regarding Iran is tougher than Rice’s statements suggest. Unfortunately, as Kristol suggests, even as spun privately for the benefit of hard-liners, the administration’s posture reeks of »

Georgia on my mind

Republicans are playing defense this year when it comes to maintaining control of the House of Representatives. However, the Washington Times reports that redistricting in Georgia has created the opportunity for the GOP to pick up two seats. Not only have the 8th and 13th district been redrawn in a way that should benefit Republicans, but the party has fielded two former House members to compete for the seats. Former »

Comedy Criticism

The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is always a news story of sorts. This time, there was buzz about the fact that Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame would be there. They did indeed show up, but didn’t seem to figure in any news. Commentary this year focused on the comedy: President Bush showed up with a look-alike version of himself who uttered the President’s real thoughts while Bush stuck to »

Correcting Where It Counts

The New York Times is exquisitely sensitive to the possibility that its reporters could have conflicts of interest, or undisclosed angles on the stories they report. When such possible conficts are sniffed out, the Times takes a rigorous, Caesar’s wife approach. As in this morning’s Corrections section: An article last week in Sunday Styles described a rising generation of male socialites — men whose lives revolve around attending parties in »

Change In Strategy for al Qaeda In Iraq?

The London Times reports this morning that Zarqawi and his al Qaeda associates are changing their strategy, due to a “shortage of foreign fighters willing to undertake suicide missions.” Relying on “US intelligence sources,” the Times says that Zarqawi intends to assemble an actual military force: Zarqawi wants to turn his group into a more traditional force mounting co-ordinated guerrilla raids on coalition targets. Al-Qaeda is sending training and planning »


I’m a huge fan of Jay Nordlinger’s Impromptus column at NRO. In his column this past Wednesday — “Preferreing free false teeth, &c.” — Jay notes his attendance at the debut of the opera “Miss Lonelyhearts” (his New York Sun review is here). Jay writes: Got to tell you something hilarious, from last night. I attend the premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s opera Miss Lonelyhearts, at the Juilliard School. And there’s »

“Diss ain’t a Jefferson quote”

Mark Steyn devotes his column to a discussion of the fraudulent Jefferson quote: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Jefferson never said it. Dissent is not the highest form of patriotism. Jefferson, on the other hand, did write “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” There doesn’t seem »

Birth and death of the Bush Doctrine?

Daniel Henninger tracked down former Secretary of State George Shultz for an interview at Shultz’s apartment in San Francisco. Shultz had sent Henninger a speech on the basis of which Henninger suggests that Shultz is the “father of the Bush Doctrine.” According to Henninger, it was Shultz who introduced Condoleezza Rice to President Bush in 1998. In light of Secretary Rice’s recent comments on Iran, Bill Kristol argues in the »

Meet Michael Metrinko

Mark Bowden’s long-awaited (by me) book on the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis — Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam — was released this past Tuesday. Bowden is of course the former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter and author of distinguished books including Black Hawk Down. I spoke briefly with Bowden this past November in connection with the first excerpt of his book in the Atlantic, »

Rogues’ Gallery

There was a modest turnout for an anti-war demonstration in New York today. Check out this shot of some of the rally’s leaders: Jesse Jackson, Cindy Sheehan, Al Sharpton and Susan Sarandon: And the National Organization for Women; what’s their theory? That a Baathist/al Qaeda takeover would be good for the women of Iraq? Then there’s this: Can anyone explain what that sign is supposed to mean? It’s an article »

Second Hour Podcast

In our second hour today, we talked about the hot-button issues of the day: gasoline prices and illegal immigration. Then we presented our weekly “This Week in Gatekeeping” award to a seemingly mathematics-challenged newspaper. We finished with a few thoughts on video on the web. Listen to (or download) the podcast by going here, or subscribe to all of our podcasts at iTunes by going here. »

Podcasting Resumes!

After a two-week hiatus, I was back on the Northern Alliance Radio Network today, and the first hour of our show is ready for download. We talked about the Pulitzer Prizes and the NSA and “secret prisons” leaks. We had some good callers, including a liberal who did his best to uphold the left wing’s position on terrorist surveillance. We finished the hour with our weekly “Loon of the Week” »

The upside of Neil Young

In the midst of my second thoughts about last night’s frolic and detour to Neil Young’s new recording comes this message from reader Harold Oster: I read your post about Neil Young and was intrigued and very much impressed. For the past 25 years or more, Neil Young and Paul Simon have been my music heroes, for lack of a better word. Ninety percent of what I listen to has »

Defeatism, From One of the Usual Suspects

Andrew Sullivan reviews current data from Iraq, and concludes: They’re grim. 100,000 families have so far forced to flee their homes; U.S. fatalities were sharply up in April; 8,300 civilian Iraqis were murdered by terrorist insurgents in 2005. In terms of civilian deaths, adjusted for population size, Iraq endured something like twenty-five 9/11s last year. Let’s put it another way: a territory controlled by U.S. forces accounted for 50 percent »

Meanwhile, South of the Border…

With everything else going on, it’s hard to pay attention to Latin America, where recent developments are generally ominous, with leftist candidates doing well in elections across much of South America. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Bolivia’s Evo Morales have signed a triple alliance among the three far-left leaders that is designed to counter American influence in the region. One of the many unfortunate consequences of the current »

Revenge of the footnotes, cont’d

In his superb column on the Mearsheimer/Walt “Israel Lobby” paper, Professor Samuel Freedman observes: The best analog to their paper on the Israel Lobby is a 1991 publication by the Nation of Islam entitled The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. Like the professors’ paper, the Black Muslim tract is not a forgery or fabrication akin to the Protocols. It is, rather, an adroit exercise in cherry-picking, a document that »

Give war a chance

I came downstairs to read and write this morning with a copy of Professor Derek Leebaert’s Cold War history The Fifty-Year Wound in hand. My friend Steve Hayward considers the book “a classic of Cold War historiography” (see Steve’s CRB review). I’m taking another look at The Fifty-Year Wound while taking a stab at Professor Leebaert’s new history of special operations through the millennia, To Dare & To Conquer, about »