Robber of Zork's blog

Revolutionary, and Conservative By Christopher Hitchens

The Wall Street Journal

Revolutionary, and Conservative
By CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS
January 17, 2006; Page A16

It might seem a little extreme to compare the Philadelphia of the 18th century A.D. with the Athens of the fifth century B.C., but seldom can any one city have been the center of so much learning, inquiry and innovation. And not just a center -- for work in astronomy, medicine, law and other fields -- but also a magnet. When Joseph Priestley, the virtual discoverer of oxygen, had his laboratory smashed by the mob that shouted "Church and King," he quit Birmingham, England, and removed his scientific instruments and his heretical religious opinions to Philadelphia. So did Thomas Paine, the self-taught customs officer and designer of the first iron bridge. Paine, the moral author of the Declaration of Independence, was lucky in his timing but also lucky in his patronage. Across the Atlantic, he bore with him a letter of recommendation from Dr. Benjamin Franklin in London. And if Philadelphia was Athens at all, then Franklin was, as well as its senior citizen, its Socrates.

'Better Than Well Said' By Pete du Pont

WSJ.com OpinionJournal

OUTSIDE THE BOX
'Better Than Well Said'
Ben Franklin understood the need for secrecy in matters of national security.

BY PETE DU PONT
Tuesday, January 17, 2006 12:01 a.m.

Has President Bush exceeded his constitutional authority or acted illegally in authorizing wiretaps without a warrant on calls between American citizens in the United States and people abroad who are, or are suspected of having ties to, terrorists?

Benjamin Franklin (whose 300th birthday is today) would not have thought so. In 1776 he and his four colleagues on the Continental Congress's foreign affairs committee (called the Committee of Secret Correspondence) unanimously agreed that they could not tell the Congress about the covert assistance France was giving the American Revolution, because it would be harmful to America if the information leaked, and "we find by fatal experience that Congress consists of too many members to keep secrets."

Saddam's Terror Training Camps by Stephen F. Hayes

The Weekly Standard

Saddam's Terror Training Camps
What the documents captured from the former Iraqi regime reveal--and why they should all be made public.

by Stephen F. Hayes
01/16/2006, Volume 011, Issue 17

THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

Kwanzaa: A Holiday From The FBI By Ann Coulter

KWANZAA: A HOLIDAY FROM THE FBI

By Ann Coulter
Thu Dec 29, 6:23 PM ET

President Bush's 2005 Kwanzaa message began with the patently absurd statement: "African-Americans and people around the world reflect on African heritage during Kwanzaa."

I believe more African-Americans spent this season reflecting on the birth of Christ than some phony non-Christian holiday invented a few decades ago by an FBI stooge. Kwanzaa is a holiday for white liberals, not blacks.

Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam by Abdurrahman Wahid

The Wall Street Journal

Right Islam vs. Wrong Islam
By ABDURRAHMAN WAHID

December 30, 2005; Page A16

JAKARTA -- News organizations report that Osama bin Laden has obtained a religious edict from a misguided Saudi cleric, justifying the use of nuclear weapons against America and the infliction of mass casualties. It requires great emotional strength to confront the potential ramifications of this fact. Yet can anyone doubt that those who joyfully incinerate the occupants of office buildings, commuter trains, hotels and nightclubs would leap at the chance to magnify their damage a thousandfold?

Imagine the impact of a single nuclear bomb detonated in New York, London, Paris, Sydney or L.A.! What about two or three? The entire edifice of modern civilization is built on economic and technological foundations that terrorists hope to collapse with nuclear attacks like so many fishing huts in the wake of a tsunami.

Disraeli and us. by David Gelernter

The Weekly Standard

The Inventor of Modern Conservatism

Disraeli and us.
by David Gelernter
02/07/2005, Volume 010, Issue 20

BENJAMIN DISRAELI--TWICE PRIME minister of Great Britain, romantic novelist, inventor of modern conservatism--was a neocon in the plain sense of the word, a "new conservative" who began his career on the left. Conservative thinking dates to the dawn of organized society, but modern conservatism--a mass movement, a philosophy not for aristocrats and the rich but for everybody--was Disraeli's creation. That modern conservatism should have been invented by a 19th-century neocon is thought provoking. More surprising:His redefinition of conservatism is still fresh, and his political philosophy has never been more apt.

How Islamic Group's Ties Reveal Europe's Challenge By Ian Johnson

The Wall Street Journal

How Islamic Group's Ties Reveal Europe's Challenge
A Conduit to Mainstream, Muslim Lobbyist Also Has
Some Fundamentalist Links

By IAN JOHNSON
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
December 29, 2005; Page A1

MARKFIELD, England -- As Europe wrestles with the dissatisfactions of its 20 million Muslims and the spread of radical Islam, greater scrutiny is falling on its Islamic groups.

The largest and most important of these is the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, a lobbying group representing Muslims in 22 countries. Its leader, Ahmed al-Rawi, has advised national politicians and testified before the European Parliament. This year, he attended Pope John Paul II's funeral.

FISA vs. the Constitution By Robert F. Turner

FISA vs. the Constitution
Congress can't usurp the president's power to spy on America's enemies.

BY ROBERT F. TURNER
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 12:01 a.m.

In the continuing saga of the surveillance "scandal," with some congressional Democrats denouncing President Bush as a lawbreaker and even suggesting that impeachment hearings may be in order, it is important to step back and put things in historical context. First of all, the Founding Fathers knew from experience that Congress could not keep secrets. In 1776, Benjamin Franklin and his four colleagues on the Committee of Secret Correspondence unanimously concluded that they could not tell the Continental Congress about covert assistance being provided by France to the American Revolution, because "we find by fatal experience that Congress consists of too many members to keep secrets."

The Gray Lady Toys With Treason ~ Editorial

New York Post

THE GRAY LADY TOYS WITH TREASON
December 27, 2005

Has The New York Times declared itself to be on the front line in the war against the War on Terror?

The self-styled paper of record seems to be trying to reclaim the loyalty of those radical lefties who ludicrously accused it of uncritically reporting on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.

Yet the paper has done more than merely try to embarrass the Bush administration these last few months.

When Torture Is Necessary By Hillel Halkin

When Torture Is Necessary

BY HILLEL HALKIN
December 27, 2005

From the perspective of Israel, whose high court quite sensibly permitted in a 1998 ruling the use of "moderate physical force" in the interrogation of terrorist suspects, there is something both impressive and slightly surreal about the debate on torture that has been going on in the United States. Impressive because, at least in part, its intellectual level - one thinks, for example, of the recent exchange between Charles Krauthammer, writing in The Weekly Standard, and Andrew Sullivan, taking issue with him in The New Republic - has been very high. In Israel, which has known similar arguments over the years, they rarely have risen above the level of journalistic advocacy.

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