This issue: March 17, 2003 (Vol. 8, No. 26)
From the March 17, 2003 issue: Finally, Saddam Hussein will be forced off the world's stage.
"There is an alternative: to open our eyes, to do more than sit and wait for the next crisis, and to shift fundamentally the direction of U.S. policy toward Saddam. Containment is no longer enough. Rather than try to contain Saddam, a strategy that has failed, our policy should now aim to remove him from power by any and all means necessary. . . . We hope the president and his advisers will begin to . . . prepare for the coming crisis. And we hope that Republicans rouse themselves from their post-Cold War torpor and see the Iraqi threat for what it is. Said President Clinton, 'This is not just a replay of the Gulf War. This is about the security of the 21st century and the problems everybody is going to have to face dealing with chemical weapons.' This is the truth. We should act on it."
So the editors of this magazine wrote in the December 1, 1997, issue, whose cover proclaimed, not so subtly, "Saddam Must Go." Saddam will soon be gone, thanks to the ...
From the March 17, 2003 issue: The Democrats were all for unity against Saddam--when Clinton was president.
"DEMOCRATS LAMBASTE BUSH ON IRAQ." So declared the front page headline in the Washington Post the morning after the president's press conference. Leading the attack are Senate minority leader Tom Daschle and his House counterpart Nancy Pelosi, who are "escalating their criticism of Bush," the Post said, "because they think war is imminent and because Russia, Germany and France seem more opposed to it." Shortly before Bush's press conference, Daschle claimed that the administration is "rushing to war without adequate concern for the ramifications of doing so unilaterally or with a very small coalition of nations."
It is unusual, to say the least, that congressional Democrats would attack the president--with more than 200,000 American troops already deployed in the Persian Gulf--"because they think war is imminent." And it is astonishingly inconsistent. Forget the fact that Daschle voted with an overwhelming congressional majority last fall to authorize the use of ...
From the March 17, 2003 issue: Contrary to what his critics say, Bush's religion is in the American mainstream.
MICHAEL GERSON, the chief White House speechwriter, was recently asked by a reporter if he understood how the windup to President Bush's State of the Union address in January might have offended some people. Gerson was stunned. What Bush had said was: "The liberty we prize is not America's ...
Chirac worries about "angry Muslims"--for good reason.
UNDER THE ADAGE "save us from our friends," France's president Jacques Chirac has added to his long list of reasons for opposing a U.S.-led campaign to disarm Iraq the desire to "protect" Americans from fighting "angry Muslims." According to a French Defense Ministry official quoted in the ...
And the solution we keep ignoring.
NO SUBJECT gets talked to death more than "diminishing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil." Yet as conflict with Iraq looms, what do we face but another Energy Crisis?
Between January and late February, the price of a barrel of oil rose from $32 to $40, highest since the first Gulf ...
The great Republican divide over how to fight for Bush's judicial nominee.
IT'S NOT CLEAR whether the constitutional definition of "advice and consent" will become a casualty of Miguel Estrada's fight for a seat on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the possibility is serious and sobering. In a 55-44 vote, Democrats last week defeated a Republican attempt to ...
Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan makes waves.
"AM I TOTALLY BORING, or what?" asks Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
Styling himself a "big supply-sider," "a policy guy," and a "political entrepreneur," Ryan happily holds forth on some of the driest topics Congress deals with--tax reform, market-based revamping of Social Security and ...
From the March 17, 2003 issue: Why Arafat's new PM won't matter.
Editor's Note: President Bush said Friday that the new Palestinian prime minister must have "real authority," which means the power to conduct negotiations on a peace settlement with Israel. Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian Authority leader, wants to retain the job of handling foreign ...
From the March 17, 2003 issue: Make way for the Big Three.
IF IT WERE WORKING PROPERLY, a world organization like the United Nations could offer the United States official sanction for an upcoming bout, and assure the world that the heavyweight champion (no matter what kind of lowlife he is up against) will play by the rules and rein himself in; will hit clean and fight fair. Of course this is insulting. The United States has repeatedly proved that it follows the rules and fights fair. All the same, conservatives who hate the U.N. for many good reasons must acknowledge that there has never been a hyperpower heavyweight before, and that the idea of one remains frightening to many world-politics fans. The United States is wisely led today, but hasn't always been.
America's problem is not with the idea of a world organization; its problem is with the U.N. The U.N. is no good. Too often it can't do the right thing, and so it does the wrong thing in order to do something. This pattern doesn't always hold (the U.N. does good ...
From the March 17, 2003 issue: America might have created the U.N., said Dean Acheson, but "I personally am free of the slightest suspicion of paternity."
IN AN ADMINISTRATION full of "unilateralists," many observers expected Secretary of State Colin Powell to be the most reliable friend of the United Nations--and perhaps he was, until French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin sandbagged him on Iraq at a meeting Powell thought had been ...
From the March 17, 2003 issue: A bad idea for Ground Zero.
DANIEL LIBESKIND'S victory in the architectural competition for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site is a victory for what we might call the "permanent institution of the revolution." It looks as though we will never be able to revolt against that revolt--never be able to rid ourselves of the avant-garde that ceased being avant-garde ages ago.
Now fifty-six years old, Libeskind immigrated to the United States in his early teens, graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, and studied architecture at Cooper Union. He is a product of the postmodern academy with deep intellectual roots in deconstructionism, and, as one might expect, his "Memory Foundations" scheme for Ground Zero is fundamentally conceptualist (as opposed to artistic) in nature.
Even at that, his conceptualist scheme has already been seriously compromised. His original intention was to leave fully exposed the slurry wall lining one side of the deep "bathtub" below the obliterated Twin ...
Resurrecting the work of Christopher Dawson.
The Dynamics of World History
by Christopher Dawson
ISI, 512 pp., $29.95
ON EASTER DAY 1909, a nineteen-year-old Englishman sat ...
A big novel of little ideas.
The Time of Our Singing
by Richard Powers
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 631 pp., $28
EVER SINCE 1985, when he published his first novel, ...
Rick Marin knows the answer.
Confessions of a Toxic Bachelor
by Rick Marin
Hyperion, 284 pp., $23.95
THE WORD "CAD" was never exactly a compliment. But at least ...
In brief: Robert Louis Wilken's "The Spirit of Early Christian Thought."
The Faith of the Fathers
WERE A GENUINELY DISINTERESTED SCHOLAR--or, more likely, the proverbial Martian--to arrive and contemplate the contemporary American university, among his first observations would be the absence of Christian theology. Constituting the major thread ...
David Brooks, trend-getter.
ASIDE FROM the one you're holding in your hands and a few others, the best magazine in existence is American Demographics. This thin journal serves up on a monthly basis a relentless stream of facts, data, and theories that seem at first glance to be highly significant and culturally revealing. I pay nearly $60 a year of my own money to subscribe to this periodical, and when it comes I take out my pen, underline the amazing statistics packed into its stories, and rip out the important pages and file them away. Usually I can't find them later, but at least for a moment I have my finger on the pulse of the American public.
For example, you probably don't know who eats more frequently, female teenagers or male teenagers. But I do, because I have the March issue of American Demographics open in front of me. Male teens eat on average 4.6 times a day. Female teens eat only 4.2 times. Female teens are more than twice as likely as males to drink diet soda, but the males are more ...
The Agent Who Wouldn't Wear a Wire
For almost a year now, a handful of current and former federal investigators and prosecutors based in Chicago have been complaining that an unnamed "Muslim FBI agent" had stymied their pre-9/11 probe of businesses associated with Saudi multimillionaire Yassin Al-Kadi.
Sometime in 2000, according to his accusers, the agent in question refused to wear a wire for electronic surveillance in the Al-Kadi investigation, on grounds that "Muslims do not eavesdrop on other Muslims"--that sort of thing. These people further contend that they reported the matter through channels to FBI headquarters at the time, but senior Bureau officials unaccountably backed up their recalcitrant Muslim employee--and ordered that the probe of Al-Kadi, who has ties to the Saudi royal family, be shut down. Weirder still, the refusenik agent was subsequently promoted and reassigned to a sensitive post as an attaché to the U.S. embassy in ...
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