Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.’s The Hunt for Karl Rove:
What you failed to mention in the article is that filthy politics is what the voters in America want. Face it folks, in my opinion we had two terms, eight years, of Bill Clinton. There were days when it was difficult to distinguish between a latrine and the Whitehouse and the people love him.
We now have left-wing control of the House and Senate and we have a party that seems to be fighting for the Taliban and Iraq insurgents. And the voters put them in charge. Time to wake up and smell the coffee folks. That’s what America wants. After all, in the end, it’s votes that count isn’t it?
Just look at what Bush has accomplished these past six years. Look at tax cuts, jobs, tax receipts, a record-breaking stock market, no domestic terrorist attacks since 911 and on and on. Now you may not like everything Bush has done, I sure don’t, but overall, his approval rating is in the toilet. Why you might ask? Because the voters want the filth. How else can you explain an ultra left wing control of the House and Senate? And it’s going to get worse folks. Can you say president Hillary Clinton boys and girls?
— Jim L
East Sandwich, Massachusetts
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. touches on a theme I talked about yesterday:
What we have here is the criminalization of politics. Nothing Rove has done is criminal, but by dragging him before congressional hearings and even better grand juries his political opponents hope that they will catch him in a misstatement that can be prosecuted as perjury.
Actually, though, they mean to do something even better. They hope to do precisely what Richard Cohen acknowledged worked for him, the Liberal’s liberal. Cohen said that even if each of the charges (on another matter) could be refuted, nevertheless he was able to discern guilt based upon the ESSENCE of the charges!
I’m a bit surprised that so far I haven’t read any columnist taking Cohen to task for such a breathtakingly unfair conclusion, even for a Liberal’s liberal.
And he’s not alone…one of the more outspoken critics of the Duke lacrosse team, as the charges against them began to fall apart, concluded that even though they weren’t individually guilty that somehow as a class of people they were. Privileged white males were simply guilty of racism, no matter what they did or did not do to deserve the charge.
As Cohen explained, it’s not a matter of the charges being false, or refutable. What we might call a stinking pile, liberal Democrats smell as a fragrant essence.
— Gregg Calkins
Democrats seem to be doing a re-make of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations with Karl Rove as “Pip” the orphaned boy who made it big. “Able Magwitch” is Pips benefactor who of course is played by President Bush. And “Jaggers” the lawyer guiding Pip is cast as the Republican Party.
“Estella,” Pip’s love interest, is played by Chuck Hagel. “Miss Havisham” is played by the Senate. And “Dolge Orlick,” the embodiment of evil, is ably played by Senator Leahy. Senator Leahy could also be the star of “The Most Uninspiring Man I Ever Met.”
— Howard Lohmuller
All these witch-hunts of Republicans would be a lot more enjoyable if Republicans would fight back with the simple truth about the Democrat party.
But they remain gutless, and doubtful of the rightness of their own philosophy, seemingly ever eager to compromise leading to their own downfall. Every Republican that lost their office in the recent elections did so because they lost their principles.
— P. Aaron Jones
Huntington Woods, Michigan
AL QAEDA’S ARCADIA
Re: Christopher Orlet’s Geneva Revisited:
Christopher Orlet’s “special report” article titled “Geneva Revisited” is full of inaccuracies. To mention just one of the serious gaffes contained in the piece, Orlet’s enumeration of four “al-Qaeda-affiliated terror groups” in fact contains only one group that might be labeled as such, though not without significant qualifications.
* The Front Pembela Islam (Front for the Defence of Islam) is a purely domestic and nationalist political movement whose ranks contain many unemployed street toughs (sometimes manipulated by the hyper-secular police and military) that seeks to enforce Indonesian laws that authorities corruptly ignore and to fill in gaps where state force is ineffective;
* Darul Islam is an historical nationalist movement that predates al-Qa’idah by several generations — and that had only domestic political aspirations;
* Laskar Jihad is a militia movement that operates in areas where primarily ethnic violence (often misrepresented as religious) rooted in transmigration policies of the Soeharto regime is not well controlled by Indonesia’s security forces on either the “Christian” or “Muslim” side.
None of these groups can be labeled terrorist; neither FPI nor LJ are forbidden organizations in Indonesia. Only Jemaah Islamiah has demonstrable practical ties to al-Qa’idah, but these are about as meaningful as the ties between Jakarta-based Jaringan Islam Liberal (Liberal Islam Network) and its supporters in international governmental, NGO and philanthropic groups. The fact that JIL has received support in several forms from the Ford Foundation and USAID doesn’t make it an affiliate or puppet of those organizations; the same is true of JI with its loose financial links to AQ.
Orlet’s bilious dislike for Islam is evident in the color of every paragraph. His distortion and/or ignorance of fact likewise. As for Amsterdam being on the verge of becoming an Islamist dominated city, I haven’t noticed any decline in the bustling crowds visiting the Walletjes or stopping for a smoke at a Coffee House. Orlet should cast his research net more broadly and try both.
— Tim Behrend
Auckland, New Zealand
Christopher Orlet replies:
Mr. Behrend seems to think Indonesia’s militant Islamic groups are peaceful, philanthropic organizations. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Mr. Behrend grudgingly admits that Jemaah Islamianh is affiliated with al Qaeda. As for the other militant groups:
FPI seeks to establish strict Sharia law throughout Indonesia (it is already in force in the province of Aceh) and has a long history of raiding saloons and other establishments that offer adult beverages. FPI’s leader Habib Rizieq Shihab served a seven-month sentence for ordering his followers to attack Jakarta nightclubs. He objected vociferously to Western humanitarian aid workers after the tsunami, fearing it was a ruse to corrupt Muslims or lead to an eventual takeover. Time magazine has reported that both FPI and Laskar Jihad are suspected of receiving al Qaeda funds.
Darul Islam, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda-affiliated Jemaah Islamianh (many JI members are the children of Darul Islam members), has fought for an Islamic state and sent volunteers to Afghanistan to help fight the US.
Laskar Jihad is a paramilitary organization fighting a holy war against Christians. It’s leader, Jafar Umar Thalib — a cleric of Yemini descent — fought with the Afghan Mujahideen against occupying Soviet forces and met Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan in 1987. In 2002 the BBC reported that “U.S. officials have also voiced concerns that Osama Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network could be helping Laskar Jihad.”
If “none of these groups can be labeled terrorist,” as Mr. Behrend argues, then the word means nothing.
O’REILLY ACE OF SPITE
Re: Florence King’s Chapter and Verve:
He was good when he was starting out and trying to build an audience at Fox several years ago…
But, I fear he’s taken himself sooo very seriously, he’s become almost intolerable — especially when he continually fails to ask the reverend Al about Tawana or Freddy’s. (Chris Wallace did — but, then again, Chris didn’t punch Billy out when he pointed that nasty index finger at ’em; I would’ve!)
And, until he actually confronts Al Sharpton about those aforementioned topics (or was that a precondition for Al showing up?), color me gone.
I think O’Reilly is a closet liberal. The excerpts from the article make O’Reilly sound like John F. Kerry, the Vietnam Veteran. In my opinion, O’Reilly is nothing but a bloviating blowhard. Listening to O’Reilly is like listening to a baby crying for 5 hours in the seat behind you on a Trans-Atlantic flight. It’s torture.
THE REST OF US
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder’s Methane He Doth Protest Too Much:
Whew! That was a right good skewering of Al Gore — but a well-deserved one.
Putting aside the science, it’s hard to take the Global Warming cultists seriously when their high priest is such a conspicuous energy glutton. Mr. Gore would need to cut back his energy consumption by some 95 percent to be consistent with…oh…let’s say…the average American. That is, the Rest of Us — we, who must reduce our energy use to make Al happy. I don’t know if Al has decreed that the Rest of Us cut down on carbon dioxide emissions by exhaling less often, but that may be required next.
Mr. Gore may eventually put his money where his CO2 orifice is, but I’m not holding my breath.
— Doug Roll
TALLINN AND STALIN
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Another Red Square Bites the Dust:
Thank you for printing “Another Red Square Bites the Dust.” The history that was swept under the carpet after the Allied Victory is a vital part of knowledge that is required to make Europe a peaceful place. The vigilance of the Wiesenthal Institute in promoting the teaching of the Holocaust in all the history texts of countries around the world is needed in promoting the inclusion in text-books of the virtual holocaust millions suffered in the empire-building of Russia’s various rulers, most notoriously those of Soviet Russia. Were young Russians as aware of their own history as Germans are of their past, the percentage of Putin-supporters would no doubt be considerably smaller. Their eyes would also be open to how Putin is destroying their own liberties.
Most Russians who are willing to wage attacks against post-Soviet countries who mourn the loss of innocent citizens are doing so under the ignorant belief that these countries are not countries at all . For them, the Soviet Union was a country, synonymous with Russia. (And until the nineties, many North American journalists in their early reports on the “breakaway” republics implied something similar.) For them small countries like Estonia and big countries like the Ukraine are simply separatist elements or rogue ethnic groups bent on destroying Russia and its great-empire heritage. There are progressive Russians who know their history and who would want the rest of their country to know it as well and base their future on a decent respect for neighboring countries. Many such Russians in Estonia today are as distressed as the indigenous population. They just want the hooliganism to go away.
— Mare Britton
I want to congratulate you on your well-researched and comprehensive special report in The American Spectator entitled, “Another Red Square Bites the Dust.” I wish some of the other people writing articles about the recent Russian riots in Tallinn and the siege of the Estonian Embassy in Moscow would have taken the time, like you, to place the story into a solid historical context.
I’m one of those fortunate Estonian refugees who escaped from my city of birth, Tallinn, on September 19th, 1944. Unfortunately, my mother and sister were not so lucky. I never saw my mother again (she died of thyroid cancer in Tallinn in 1952) and I saw my sister, Mainu, for the first time in the summer of 1982. She still lives in Tallinn today. I’ve told the story in Aftermath. The Introduction and Chapter 1 are on my website.
I want to personally thank you on behalf of the people of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland for putting the situation into a very balanced and accurate historical framework. The world needs more people like you who can, “tell it like it is!”
— Charles (Kalev) Ehin, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Management
The Gore School of Business
Salt Lake City, Utah
Thank you for Shawn Macomber’s article “Another Red Square Bites the Dust” in today’s [Wednesday’s] edition of the Spectator on-line.
Unfortunately the situation in Estonia has not quite calmed down yet. The Russians have demanded the resignation of Estonia’s prime minister over the moving of the Red Army statue; Estonia’s ambassador in Moscow is being harassed by roving “youths” today; even the Swedish ambassador’s car in Moscow was attacked by the same “youths” on its way to the Estonian embassy. The Finnish Secretary of State, Ilkka Kanerva, is visiting Estonia today in a show of support; and even the linguini-spined EU-crats are finally taking some action and sending a delegation to Moscow in an effort to end the Russian saber rattling.
I realize that the Baltic states are a very small corner of the world, but the bullying of this independent state by Russia is extremely disturbing. I hope that The American Spectator keeps an eye on what is happening and will continue to report on the ugly behavior of Putin’s goons.
— Pia Klein
Re: Steven M. Warshawsky’s Newt’s Unusual Walking Tour:
In reading “Newt’s Unusual Walking Tour” as reviewed by Steven M. Warshawsky, I recall the many times I have stood at the foot of Lincoln’s statue in his memorial in D.C. I have marveled at the words inscribed on that building’s walls and then at the view down the mall across the reflecting pool. The stretch of land to the Capitol building is full of honor and remembrance. This review inspires me to buy Newt Gingrich’s book and reminds me of the central tenet that inspires me to continue to support the U.S. as a nation, flaws and all. The world would be lost without this great nation. I am in awe of the abiding strength that God plays in its history, its future and in its peoples; may long this continue.
— G. Constable
formerly Oxford, England
now Sydney, Australia
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III’s A Knife to the Throat and Dan Waun’s letter (under “New Republicans”) in Reader Mail’s Tear Down That Statue:
I have been a registered Republican and a conservative all of my life. Any of the Democrats who are running will be truly a “knife to the throat of conservatism.”
Rudy would not be as conservative as I am, but better than Hillary or any Dem, and Rudy would be the only Republican in this country who might — just might — take New York!!
— Judith Bierman
Dan Waun says the Republican Party has been “hijacked” by social conservatives. That is like saying Christians have “hijacked” the Presbyterian Religion. Ever since Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party has had a “pro-life” plank in its platform. The Republican Party has not been “hijacked” by anyone, especially social conservatives since they make up the majority of its members.
The following statement is from the RNCLife.org:
Speaking through its Platforms adopted in 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000, the Republican Party has consistently upheld the right to life of unborn babies ever since the Roe v. Wade decision.
The text has remained remarkably constant ever since 1984 and offers the voters a clear difference from the Democratic Platform.
Why do liberals like Dan Waun always try to make their points through hyperbole? The answer is they have no logical consistency to their arguments. In one sentence Waun complains that the true conservative, Fred Thompson, is losing badly and that Giuliani is much more popular and the only hope for the Republicans to win in ’08. Then three sentences down Waun warns that 60% of young people from the ages of 30 to 18 are Democrats. Evidently, Giuliani is not so popular after all. He has had six years to convince those young people to become Republicans and he hasn’t been very effective. Maybe the newcomer Fred Thompson will get out a message that will lead them to the Republican side of the political aisle. After all, isn’t leadership what it is all about?
Social conservatives are a subgroup of conservatives who have made logical, consistent, and vigorous arguments in favor of their principles. As a result, they have persuaded — not “hijacked” — the majority of Americans, not just Republicans, that abortion is wrong, that the family is the most important part of a healthy society, and that traditional marriage is the heart and soul of a stable family. Just look at the number of new, dare I say it, “blue dog” Democrats elected in ’06. Just listen to all the references to family values made by the radicalized Democratic left’s candidates Clinton and Obama.
I believe that all conservatives are people who support the founding fathers vision of America, whereupon local governments decide the majority of social public policy -not the Federal Government. All conservatives and most Republicans share this principle. We should focus on this common ground and make compromise among our fellow Republicans where possible. We should not alienate either faction by using labels and loaded weasel words.
If Rudy Giuliani is true to the concept of smaller government, if he actually reduces the power and influence of the Federal Government by cutting taxes, securing the borders, and stemming the tide of regulation, all conservatives win, all of America wins. Even a SoCo like myself will vote for him if he beats out Thompson. We live in a “representative” democracy. That means I can’t get the exact representative who follows every principle I believe in and support, but at least I can influence him and make him bend my way a little.
— Charles D. Sampson
If I understand Dan Waun correctly, Ronald Reagan and his social conservative supporters hijacked the Republican Party and now 26 years later the American public is sobering up and falling into the ranks of the Rudy Giuliani army. Yeah, as I remember, there were a lot of “practical minded” Republicans who didn’t like Ronald Reagan at all. They assured all that without a doubt that a Reagan nomination in 1980 would lead to certain defeat. Reagan was a threat to the new, matured GOP of deficit hawks and detente foreign policy. And we all remember what a smashing success the “grownup GOP” was before Reagan ruined it.
Now we are assured Giuliani is the voice of the future GOP. In my opinion, except for a small band of true believers, support for Giuliani is only an inch deep. Worst of all, we “SoCo’s” suspect Giuliani will revert to the same standard operating procedure as the rest of the “real Republicans.” You don’t deliver on your “rock solid” promises and you don’t deliver the votes.
I do not know which survey Mr. Waun referred to; but as far as sixty percent of the young 18-30 year old voters going Democrat it has been much worse. If the radicalism of my generation actually carried through to adulthood the Black Panthers would be the President’s Secret Service. The open secret is young voters (who typically have a poor voter turnout) are Democrats BECAUSE THEY CAN AFFORD TO BE. There is a well-studied progression of young adults becoming more conservative as they age — particularly after marriage and especially after having children. While we shouldn’t take this progression for granted, it is not an iron law that today’s young Democrats are the wave of the future.
If there is anything disrupting the message of the present Republican Party it is that cadre of malcontents who are libertarians in Republican clothing. They are people who want lower taxes and abortion too. There was a long fight for the soul of the GOP and they lost and never got over it.
While some say Giuliani is the only electable Republican, one thing is for sure. We will never know how electable a social conservative Republican is until he fights his way to the campaign for the White House. Social Conservatives will not get anything they want unless they push for it. They will not just give a free pass to Giuliani because he has proven to be a tough cookie. He needs to be more than that. It is that important.
— Mike Dooley
Sounds like G. Tracy Mehan, III would like for the GOP to have a very small tent. Not sure if the Gipper, who was far more flexible than many of his admirers recall, would be pleased…
— Jason Davis
Re: Abe Grossman’s letter (under “Myth Stream Media”) in Reader Mail’s Tear Down That Statue:
These “Carbon Footprint Credits” actually appear to be nothing more than uncollectable and worthless IOU’s, and how anyone can take them seriously is beyond comprehension.
Oh, another quick thing. While I may rarely agree with him, I sure like hearing from Abe Grossman. Seems to be a very thoughtful guy, stimulating and interesting.
— Geoff Brandt
I’m never sure what to make of reader Abe Grossman; he’s either a very droll man, a hopeless, gullible Leftist, or a talented propagandist. Perhaps he’s all three. His latest missive, swallows whole, the hottest Leftist canard; that the MSM is and has been too cozy with the Bush Administration, especially over the war in Iraq. For his proof, he quotes the N.Y. Times‘s propagandist- in- chief, Frank Rich. This Orwellian, tin foiled hat groupthink, was recently hatched at some media symposium, by none other than the Bush apologist-in-chief, Dan Rather. He, like Bill Moyers and Mr. Grossman, after his Mea Culpa for being too soft on Bush and the war, sees Rupert Murdoch and Fox News as way too much conservatism in today’s media.
This, in addition to talk radio and web sites like TAS, make these people downright nervous. It’s hard to run a leftist media hegemony with dissenters like Murdoch and Bob Tyrrell around. Next, Mr. Grossman will write and tell us that for our own good, we need to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine.” To folks like Mr. Grossman, I say; “You can’t fool all the people all of the time, but you can fool some of the people all of the time, then, go look in the mirror.
— A. DiPentima
Re: Byron Keith’s letter (under “Conservatives of the World, Unite”) in Reader Mail’s Tear Down That Statue:
Thank you, Byron Keith. I stand solid with you.
— Raymond Barton
Fort Worth, Texas