From the President's speech tonight: "This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations."
The Spectacle Blog
I would like to pay tribute today to Jason Sabbag, a high school friend of mine. Jason went to Georgetown, worked for Fiduciary Trust, and was only 26 years old just five years ago.
He worked at the World Trade Center.
Jason: you were a good friend, a fun classmate, and are missed by many.
God bless you.
That's about the only charitable explanation I can find for this dunderheaded editorial.
I could go into detail about why this thing is so absurd, but I'll leave most of that to our readers. Please comment away.
I'll just point out this. In the middle the editorialists claim:
The long war against the insurgency in Iraq has further inflamed Mideast opinion against the United States without enhancing US security.
Toward the end they claim that Bush can point to some successes such as "the decision of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy to end his support for terrorists."
As I recall, Khadafy made that decision in the wake of the Iraq War. Well, if Khadafy's decision enhances US security, and he made that decision after seeing what happened to Hussein, the logical conclusion is that the Iraq War has made us more secure.
But logic is hard to employ when you're taking puffs from the pipe.
Jonathan Rauch says that:
Now is therefore as good a time as any to jump to a conclusion: the question history will ask is whether Bush's presidency was as bad as Richard Nixon's or only as bad as Jimmy Carter's.
For the disenchanted--again, including me--the relevant points of reference now are not Churchill or Truman but Nixon and Carter.
Is there no middle ground between Truman and Carter? Maybe an Eisenhower or Woodrow Wilson?
Rauch says there are four things that will lead to Bush being compared to Carter and Nixon: the fiscal mess, the Iraq mess, international opprobrium (i.e., the international community doesn't like us), and the extralegal terrorism war (i.e., wiretapping).
I'll largely concede the fiscal mess, although Bush might still get some relief on that one if the deficit keeps heading in the direction it currently is.
For all the talk today about outreach to the Muslim community and communicaions, there is one man who has played a critical role in doing it the "right" way. Kenneth Y. Tomlinson.
We have a number of friends who formerly worked with Tomlinson at the Voice of America and at Reader's Digest, before it went leftish and became irrelevant. Everyone sings Tomlinson's praises for his leadership and vision.
Now Democrats on Capitol Hill are using the tried and true smear tactic of a leaked "investigation" into Tomlinson's management of the office that oversees all foreign broadcasts, including the successful Arab-language programming, to block his re-nomination to the board. This op-ed in yesterday's Washington Times lays out the non-case pretty well.
Conservatives should be paying attention to this fight. They should do what they can to defend Tomlinson and not let another left-wing smear undercut a true giant in the conservative movement.
Hitchens' bit on 9/11 in the WSJ is a welcome bit of fire in an otherwise maudlin series of tributes:
I'd like to talk about doors for just a minute. When I was little, my boxer dog's bark meant that Dad was coming through the back door. He was finally home, and the fun could begin. When I became a married man, walking through the kitchen door was the happiest moment in my day. Everything that had been occupying my concerns was suddenly unimportant. When my boys were growing up, my passage through the back door meant I'd soon be tackled, rolled to the floor, and engaged in a tickling contest. Now the boys have grown, married and have children of their own. When Christmas vacation approaches, they make their way home. No matter the busyness of the moment or the lateness of the hour, Ann and my ears are perked. When the door opens, celebration begins.
Rudy Giuliani writing in today's USA Today:
There is a reason thousands of rescue personnel rushed into enormous danger to save men and women who were strangers to them. The reason was respect for the value of human life. It can also be described as love -- the kind of love expressed in a biblical phrase, "Man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his friend." This respect for human life and love for others, including strangers, form the core of Western civilization. It is the driving force that helped us create freedom.
What I learned from
Sept. 11, 2001/>, is that free people have much greater strength than they realize. Ultimately, free people prevail over oppression.
As they say, read the whole thing.
From The White House:
A Proclamation by the President of the
On the fifth anniversary of the attacks of