This issue: May 16, 2011 (Vol. 16, No. 33)
Here’s what we posted on our website shortly after President Obama finished speaking Sunday night, May 1:
Congratulations to all those, from the president on down, who are responsible for the achievement of tracking down and killing Osama bin Laden. The wheels of justice may sometimes turn slowly, but turn they do—with the help of the United States armed forces and intelligence personnel. Justice has been done.
The killing of Osama bin Laden says a lot about the United States at war. It occurred almost a decade after 9/11, contradicting the notion ...
Islamic militancy preceded Osama bin Laden. Unfortunately, it will probably outlast him, too.
Will Osama bin Laden’s demise advance the evanescence of jihadism in the Islamic world? Probably, but not by much. Islamic extremism was intellectually in full bloom long before bin Laden arrived in Afghanistan to aid the mujahedeen against the Red Army.
Bin Ladenism—its leitmotif is a preference for attacking the “far enemy,” the United States, to weaken the “near enemy,” the despised Westernized autocrats of the Middle East—is essentially the same religious doctrine of rebellion propagated by the Egyptian revolutionary Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966) and the Iranian revolutionary Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (d. 1989). Although bin Laden took suicide bombing to new heights, death-wish holy warriors have a long history in Islam, among ...
The mixed history of strategic manhunts.
Before Osama bin Laden’s body was even cold—or wet, depending upon how quickly it was committed to the Arabian Sea—the debate over the ...
The Bluegrass State’s other horse race.
Kentucky is one of just four states electing governors this year, and the ...
Are they now the natural governing party of Canada?
Who’s the most powerful conservative leader in the Americas, north and south? That may sound ...
While the Muslim Brotherhood gets all the ink, the Salafists go on a rampage.
Judging the likely trajectory of post-Mubarak Egypt requires assessing the depth of public support for Islamism, and usually this has meant assessing the strength and intentions of the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Brotherhood remains central, however, the ...
But al Qaeda isn’t. We should build on our success in Abbottabad by redoubling our efforts to defeat his movement.
Osama bin Laden’s killing was a great moment for America and for decent people around the world. But allowing the euphoria of that moment to drive us to irresponsible decisions in South Asia would be devastating to America’s interests and security. Al Qaeda has not yet been dismantled or defeated.
Osama bin Laden’s death has no implications for the number of American or international forces in Afghanistan, for their mission, or for the timeline for their reduction. George W. Bush sent forces into Afghanistan not to kill bin Laden, but to oust al Qaeda from its safe haven there, defeat that organization, and create political conditions that ...
What did Pakistan’s military and intelligence agents know about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, and when did they know it?
In May 2010, in the aftermath of the attempted bombing of Times Square by a jihadist with ties to the Pakistani Taliban, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave an interview to 60 Minutes and made a startling claim about the government in Pakistan. ...
The year Delaware made history.
The Deadlocked Election of 1800
Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance
by James Roger Sharp
Kansas, 239 pp., $34.95
On my shelves stand six studies of the presidential election of 1800, two more than James Roger Sharp cites in this most recent and substantial of them. There may be more. Why so many? The election was, as Sharp writes, “one of the two great political and constitutional crises in our nation’s history” and, because of its cast of ...
When social pressures stand in the way of black success.
The Curious History of a Racial Slur
What religion means to politics, and vice versa.
Good and Bad Ways to Think About Religion and Politics
by Robert Benne
Making the case against mindless tinkering.
by John Pepall
They have seen the enemy, and it isn’t who you think.
This past month, as applicants to selective colleges received letters of acceptance, how many parents sat down with their 18-year-old, cast a stern regard, and said, “Okay, you’re ...
America’s favorite drugstore polemic goes Hollywood.
Directed by Paul Johansson
Irwin M. Stelzer, wedding watcher
Because we spend a lot of time in Britain, my wife, Cita, and I were especially interested in the reaction of American friends to the royal wedding. Some enjoyed the spectacle; many thought it rather nice that this beautiful commoner fit the glass slipper; many thought the whole process a silly anachronism—“twits in sashes,” one commentator joked. They are all right, but they miss the real importance of the event.
For the royal family, the wedding marked an end to what the British would call a rough patch. The emotionally obtuse Prince of Wales failed to convince his young wife, Diana, that men in his position traditionally had mistresses and ...
In the midst of the Osama bin Laden news last week occurred one of those quiet cultural transitions that catch The Scrapbook’s attention. We are speaking of the death, in Stamford, Connecticut, of 91-year-old Hubert J. Schlafly Jr.
Mr. Schlafly, who so far as The Scrapbook is aware was not closely related to Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum fame, was the onetime “director of television research” at 20th Century Fox. One day, in the late 1940s, he received a request from the vice president for radio and television at Fox, Irving Kahn. Kahn had been talking to a Broadway actor named Fred Barton, who told him that he had an idea for a ...
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