The Spectacle Blog

Zawahiri and the Queen

By on 11.13.05 | 7:46AM

We can't prove a cause and effect relationship between the two events, but al-Queda's condemnation of Queen Elizabeth as "one of the severest enemies of Islam" comes only a few days after Tony Blair's parliamentary defeat on one of his proposals to toughen Brit law on terrorism. The message -- in a videotape of UBL's #2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is viewed by Brit security as a direct threat to the Queen.

The timing of the message is worth thinking about. Parliament - faced with Blair's proposal that terrorist suspects be held for up to 90 days without charge -- quailed. Because the July London bombers were all apparently Brit citizens, something has to be done to increase police power to interdict terrorist attacks, and to keep suspects in custody who would otherwise certainly flee or carry out attacks. Blair's first big attempt to do that has failed. In response - perhaps - comes this threat to the Queen. We hope al-Q lacks the power to attack the Queen, but whether it does or not, this whole exercise is a propaganda coup for al-Q at Britain's expense and - ultimately - ours as well.

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Re: My Way

By on 11.12.05 | 1:31PM

Here's a better link to that October 27 column, with the aforementioned prediction intact (the Spectator.org version was updated midday, after the Miers withdrawal announcement, into a hybrid between the original column and the brief for Ted Olson that ran the next day in the New York Sun).

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Pol Roger?

By on 11.12.05 | 12:56PM

Bob: Pol Roger? Well, I suppose if you have to drink French, that's permissible. But I assume nothing would pass your lips short of the Winston Churchill cuvee.

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My Way

By on 11.12.05 | 12:26PM

Looking back at the lovely month of October and pronunciamentos made by me during the month I am startled.

History is going my way. In my October 27 column I predicted that Harriet Miers's ill-conceived nomination to the high court would be withdrawn owing to the White House's perfectly sensible reluctance to allow the snoops of the Senate to see documents relating to her work as White House counsel. Whamo! By the next day she was withdrawing for that very reason.

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Izzat al Duri?

By on 11.12.05 | 12:08PM

Reports of the death (by peaceful means) of Saddam's former right-hand thug Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri are still unconfirmed. If al-Duri is dead, it would be a terrific blow against the terrorist insurgency in Iraq. While we remain focused on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the top al-Queda man in Iraq, al-Duri was (is?) one of the primary commanders of the Sunni insurgents. If he's dead, that's big time good news.

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Some Offense, Finally

By on 11.11.05 | 8:07PM

The President brought his A game today.  Finally, after months of suffering the most outrageous slanders his political opponents could dish out, the Commander in Chief answered the bell and came out swinging.

The weak response from the likes of Ted Kennedy and John Kerry only shows how devoid of honor and dignity the Democrats truly are. The President had finally had enough of their lies. And this President has finally learned that these are not his friends, nor are they reasonable people with whom one can find some common ground. Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and the rest seem so small and shrill and insignificant in the wake of the President's thunder.

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More Wilson Meltdown

By on 11.11.05 | 4:59PM

Earlier this afternoon, I had a very unpleasant conversation with Mr. Larry Johnson, a former CIA officer who is now out and about defending Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. Johnson, in my interview with him, confirmed some things, left some open, but revealed something startling: the defense of Joe Wilson is apparently being run from inside the CIA.

Johnson came up on the scope when he accused Gens. Paul Vallely and Tom McInerny of falsely attacking Wilson. Vallely, you may recall, said last week on John Batchelor's ABC radio show that Wilson -- husband of CIA employee Valerie Plame -- had told Vallely (a year before Robert Novak outed Plame) that Plame was a CIA employee. I asked Johnson about several points regarding his defense of Wilson and attack on Vallely. Johnson was very specific about certain things.

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On Patriotism

By on 11.11.05 | 3:11PM

Applauding Bush's Veteran's Day speech (GatewayPundit has several video links), Glenn Reynolds writes:

The White House needs to go on the offensive here in a big way -- and Bush needs to be very plain that this is all about Democratic politicans pandering to the antiwar base, that it's deeply dishonest, and that it hurts our troops abroad.

And yes, he should question their patriotism. Because they're acting unpatriotically.

[...]

UPDATE: Reader Kathleen Boerger emails: "Could you do me a favor and define 'patriotism' please?"

I think it starts with not uttering falsehoods that damage the country in time of war, simply because your donor base wants to hear them.

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Sy Heart Syria

By on 11.11.05 | 2:42PM

Michael Young notes the latest chapter in Seymour Hersh's squalid public-speaking career.

See also Chris Sullentrop's eye-opening New York profile of the factually-challenged Hersh from April.

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Veterans’ Day

By on 11.11.05 | 1:43PM

Today, as we remember all those who have served in America's fights for freedom -- especially those who gave their lives -- we should take the opportunity to do something for those who are now on active duty. If you, your family, your business or your community group wants to do something for the troops, AmericaSupportsYou is the website to visit. Through it, you can get messages and gifts straight through the pipe to those in harm's way. Bless 'em all.

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