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Outbursts, ejaculations, scream therapy.

Three Choices, Mr. President By Richard Holbrooke

Three Choices, Mr. President

October 27, 2006

Dear Mr. President:

As soon as the midterm elections are over — and regardless of their outcome — you will have to make the most consequential decision of your presidency, probably the most complicated any president has had to make since Lyndon Johnson decided to escalate in Vietnam in 1965, and far more difficult than your decisions after September 11, 2001. Then, you rallied a nation in shock, overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and confronted Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs — acting in all cases with self-confidence and overwhelming national approval. Now all four projects are in peril. With far less public support, and time running out on your presidency, you must reverse the recent decline in Afghanistan, get North Korea back to the six-party talks, isolate a cocky, dangerous Iran that thinks events are going its way, and above all, figure out what to do with Iraq. So allow me to offer some very unsolicited suggestions on that war.

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Benedict's Opposite By Bret Stephens

The Wall Street Journal


Benedict's Opposite
September 26, 2006; Page A15

"Constantinople was conquered, and the second part of the [prophet Muhammad's] prophecy remains, that is, the conquest of Romiyya [Rome]. . . . Islam entered Europe twice and left it. . . . Perhaps the next conquest, Allah willing, will be by means of preaching and ideology."

-- Yusuf al-Qaradawi on al-Jazeera
Jan. 24, 1999

Who knows whether the Vatican ever sought an apology from Mr. Qaradawi for suggesting that Catholicism will one day be extinguished in its heartland and uprooted from its capital. But it's never too late to demand one, especially now that the good sheikh is in a lather over Pope Benedict's recent remarks about Islam.

In an era without a caliph, the Egyptian-born, 80-year-old Mr. Qaradawi is the nearest thing Sunni Islam has to a pope. His weekly al-Jazeera talk show, "Shariah and Life," reaches tens of millions of Arabic-speakers in the Middle East and Europe. His fatwas, or religious edicts on matters personal or political, are widely considered definitive among Sunnis. As the de facto spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Qaradawi is a theological traditionalist, although he is also associated with the "new wave" Islamism that seeks to attract a younger, more modern audience. Mr. Qaradawi is also occasionally at odds with the violent asceticism of Salafist clerics, which gives him, among Muslims and to some extent in the West, a reputation as a moderate.

Socrates or Muhammad? By Lee Harris

The Weekly Standard

Socrates or Muhammad?
Joseph Ratzinger on the destiny of reason.
by Lee Harris

10/02/2006, Volume 012, Issue 03

To the memory of Oriana Fallaci
On September 12, Pope Benedict XVI delivered an astonishing speech at the Uni versity of Regensburg. Entitled "Faith, Reason, and the University," it has been widely discussed, but far less widely understood. The New York Times, for example, headlined its article on the Regensburg address, "The Pope Assails Secularism, with a Note on Jihad." The word "secularism" does not appear in the speech, nor does the pope assail or attack modernity or the Enlightenment. He states quite clearly that he is attempting "a critique of modern reason from within," and he notes that this project "has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly."

Benedict, in short, is not issuing a contemporary Syllabus of Errors. Instead, he is asking those in the West who "share the responsi bility for the right use of reason" to return to the kind of self-critical examination of their own beliefs that was the hallmark of ancient Greek thought at its best. The spirit that animates Benedict's address is not the spirit of Pius IX; it is the spirit of Socrates. Benedict is inviting all of us to ask ourselves, Do we really know what we are talking about when we talk about faith, reason, God, and community?

It’s 1938 All Over Again By Michael Novak

National Review Online

September 21, 2006, 6:28 a.m.

It’s 1938 All Over Again
A decisive battle.

By Michael Novak

The atmosphere these days is marked by the same mists that those who were in Paris and Berlin in 1938 can still recall. The air was heavy with ominous feelings that war was about to burst on Europe, like a violent autumn storm, with jagged lightning and clattering thunder.

The whole continent was in denial. There would be peace, there had to be peace. But there was not going to be peace. One could feel it in the air.

It feels like 1938 all over again.

Joe Wilson: The End Of An Error By Ann Coulter

by Ann Coulter

September 6, 2006

As National Public Radio described the story behind Joe Wilson's amusingly titled book, "The Politics of Truth: Inside blah blah blah blah, A Diplomat's Memoir" (available on the $1 table in fine bookstores everywhere), in May 2004:

"Last July Wilson wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times saying that this particular intelligence regarding Iraq was false. A week later, columnist Robert Novak revealed that Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was a CIA operative."

This is like saying: "John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan; Reagan later died." Every word of that is true, but what it implies — that Hinckley killed Reagan — is false.

In the exact same way, the grand White House conspiracy promoted by Wilson and the mainstream media cites chronological events to prove causation.

Seduce And Betray By Nidra Poller

The Wall Street Journal


Seduce and Betray
August 24, 2006

Jacques Chirac, like Hassan Nasrallah, is always victorious. France is always first and foremost: first to promise to send troops, first to back down on the promise. Triumphant newscasters announce: Fifty French combat engineers have been dispatched on an urgent mission to Lebanon! One hundred fifty more are on the way! While the rest of the world dithers, France springs into action!

The French, who were supposed to be the backbone of the beefed-up United Nations contingent, announced from the get-go that their troops wouldn't step in until Hezbollah was disarmed. At the same time, France mustered all its diplomatic power to stop the only army, the Israeli Defense Forces, that could actually achieve this. Paris knew that the Lebanese government couldn't disarm Hezbollah, and that Hezbollah wouldn't do so voluntarily. In a smashing non sequitur, France reduced its promise from 3,000 battle-ready soldiers to 200 engineers. Some backbone! Now, probably embarrassed by the waves of ridicule this deflation provoked, they are denying they ever promised thousands, while pledging to do better than 200, surely emboldened by the U.N. promise that these troops will not, heaven forbid, be asked to disarm Hezbullah.

The Olmert government must go by Caroline Glick

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Our World: The Olmert government must go
Caroline Glick, THE JERUSALEM POST Aug. 14, 2006

From all sides of the political spectrum calls are being raised for the establishment of an official commission of inquiry to investigate the Olmert government's incompetent management of the war in Lebanon. These calls are misguided.

We do not need a commission to know what happened or what has to happen. The Olmert government has failed on every level. The Olmert government must go.

The Knesset must vote no confidence in this government and new elections must be carried out as soon as the law permits. If the Knesset hesitates in taking this required step, then the people of Israel must take to the streets in mass demonstrations and demand that our representatives send Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Amir Peretz and their comrades out to pasture.

When Will They Ever Learn... by David Gelernter

The Weekly Standard

When Will They Ever Learn...
Why do so many American Jews hate the president who stands by Israel?

by David Gelernter
07/31/2006, Volume 011, Issue 43

FOR YEARS I have watched the Palestinians do absurdly self-destructive things, and have never understood them until now. But watching the Bush administration stoutly defend Israel this week against the background of an American Jewish population that vocally (often sneeringly) dislikes him and his administration, and consistently votes by massive majorities for his Democratic opponents, I start to understand the Palestinians just a little.

Hostage to Hezbollah By Fouad Ajami

The Wall Street Journal

Hostage to Hezbollah
July 21, 2006; Page A14

Pity Lebanon: In a world of states, it has not had a state of its own. A garden without fences, was the way Beirut, its capital city, was once described.

A cleric by the name of Hassan Nasrallah, at the helm of the Hezbollah movement, handed Lebanon a calamity right as the summer tourist season had begun. Beirut had dug its way out of the rubble of a long war: Nasrallah plunged it into a new season of loss and ruin. He presented the country with a fait accompli: the "gift" of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped across an international frontier. Nasrallah never let the Lebanese government in on his venture. He was giddy with triumphalism and defiance when this crisis began. And men and women cooped up in the destitution of the Shiite districts of Beirut were sent out into the streets to celebrate Hezbollah's latest deed.

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