Wednesday, June 02, 2004


V.D. Hanson has an article here putting the recent terrorist attacks on Westerners in Saudi Arabia into perspective. He says a tough response is needed.

Daniel Pipes has a brief survey of Saudi Arabian history which manages to make some sense of the support GWB gives to the Saudi Arabian regime -- saying it is the lesser of two evils.

This article reports a poll of some American academic historians which produced the supremely unsurprising finding that they did not like GWB. One of my readers comments: "You will not be surprised by the overall results of the poll, but even I was startled at the level of sheer acrimonious bombast hurled at this president by historians trained to evenhandedly examine evidence (including the author, Prof. McElvaine). There is, for example, the repeated invocation of special treatment for Halliburton -- i.e. no competitive bidding -- even though the Clinton administration repeatedly awarded contracts to Halliburton in an analogous fashion; similarly, there is complaining about the administration's plan to cut down certain trees in national forests, even though there is ample evidence that old and rotting wood leads to forest fires." I myself was struck by this dotty charge against GWB in the article: He has supposedly "Overseen an economy in which the stock market suffered its worst decline in the first two years of any administration since Hoover's". That may be true. The economy does not change quickly. What went on in the early part of the Bush administration reflects what CLINTON did! And the Australian stockmarket hit an all time high a month or two ago so I imagine the Dow Jones did the same: The ASX tends to track Wall St. So GWB has in fact presided over a big economic recovery. What totally dishonest historians!

More crooked historians: "President Bush's nomination of Allen Weinstein - author of the definitive biography of Alger Hiss, "Perjury" - for the post of national archivist has triggered a furor. "The American people need a better custodian of their history," the Nation magazine editorialized. The Society of American Archivists and the Organization of American Historians are questioning Weinstein's credentials.... Far from being an unsuitable candidate, Weinstein is vastly more qualified for the job than the current archivist ... Weinstein brings a long record of first-rate scholarship ..... Weinstein has become a target for ... those who continue to insist that Hiss was never a spy for the Soviet Union".

"And in the most disgraceful essay of this new century, Susan Sontag, writing in The New York Times Magazine, associated the prisoner-abuse affair with the massacres in Rwanda and the Holocaust. Really? Does Ms. Sontag truly believe that Abu Ghraib equals Auschwitz? Does she know a single American soldier? How simple the world must look from behind her desk"

Muravchik, an honest historian: "On 9/11, however, the terrorists managed to kill us by thousands at a swoop, and what Bush understood was that our policy of passivity, like the West's efforts to appease Hitler in the 1930s, had only invited more audacious attacks. He saw that we had no choice but to go to war against the terrorists and their backers. If we did not destroy them, the terrorists would set their sanguinary sights higher until they succeeded in killing us by the tens or hundreds of thousands."



Jeff Jacoby summarizes the case for school vouchers. Excerpt: "Education policy in the United States treats Americans as too incompetent to provide for their children's schooling. Unlike food or clothing or health care -- where the market generates lots of options and parents are free to choose among them -- education is mostly supplied on the Soviet model: Schooling is "free," but the schools are owned and operated by the state.... Putting power in the hands of parents is the real key to equality -- and the key to excellence, too".

Hal Colebatch comments on the recent big surge in the polls of Australia's conservative government and sees every reason for a big win in the next election -- contrary to what most of the pundits have been saying.

Great news: Students at the University of Wisconsin -- birthplace in the 60s of the very radical SDS -- cheered every mention of GWB despite all the Leftist propaganda that had been poured out at them during their education.

"An article by Jeffrey Gedmin, Director of the Aspen Institute office in Berlin, in "Welt am Sonntag" (the Sunday edition the German daily "Welt") made my whole day. It was a breath of fresh air in contrast to the stale anti-American fare coming from the German media: "The two closely related ideologies, EU-nationalism and anti-Americanism like to keep themselves above mere facts. ... But perhaps you could ask yourself why, after the discovery of the American abuses in Abu Ghraib, a half a million Iraqis didn't march in protest on the streets of Baghdad."

Another stupid judge: "Millionaire Joe Gutnick slammed as "pathetic" yesterday the jail term that could see Jack Roche - the Muslim convert who plotted to assassinate the Jewish businessman - walk free in three years"

Hernando de Soto says: "The choice is simple. To build modern nations, we have to learn how the poor work and then structure law that fits their needs. In the end, Peruvians, Chinese, and Americans want essentially the same things: life, liberty, and property. And to get it, you have to build on a market economy based on the rule of law. Our real enemies are not Marx and others, but are essentially the people who do not believe in the potential of human beings liberated by the rule of law."

Good to see the "Anglosphere" idea getting a bit of press, even if pretty negative. This article in "The Australian" -- Australia's national daily -- gives one account of it. I myself think that the Anglosphere will always be important in an informal way only.

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


The Left cannot face the fact that the American intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq is fundamentally humanitarian. The most effective response to the 9/11 events and the one in America's own best interests would have been a retaliatory strike using nukes to take the whole of Afghanistan off the map -- followed by a threat that Mecca would go sky high if there were any further Islamic attacks on the USA or its allies. That would have made Islam a religion of peace overnight. But GWB rightly rejected that easy road because it would have involved the death of millions of innocents. He chose instead to go after just the bad guys -- an extremely difficult task. And its difficulty is causing continuing American deaths in Iraq to this day. But Americans have always given their blood in order to be humane. They did it in two world wars and in Vietnam and they are doing it now in the Middle East. The only alternative strategy that the Left have is to do nothing -- thus inviting more and more attacks.

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