EDITORIAL

Against Infanticide

BY JOHN MCCORMACK

Barbarism in Philadelphia cover

The massacre of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut, last December rightly sparked a national conversation about policies that might be enacted to prevent such atrocities in the future. But where is the national conversation in response to the massacre of innocents carried out in Philadelphia by Kermit Gosnell?

Gosnell stands before a jury accused of murdering newborn babies over the course of a long, gruesome career as a doctor specializing in late-term abortion. These were infants old enough to “scream” and “jump,” according to court testimony, when Gosnell or one of his employees stabbed scissors into their necks.

Gosnell is not alone. Last week the pro-life group Live Action released undercover videos in which a woman six months pregnant is seen approaching several late-term abortionists to ask what would happen if her ...

Obama and Assad

Losing the Game

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

There was one moment in President Obama’s world-weary press conference last Tuesday when he seemed genuinely interested and engaged. At the very end,

President Obama

Waiting for 2014

BY FRED BARNES

At his press conference last week, President Obama renewed his request for Republicans to negotiate a grand bargain with the White House on spending, taxes, and deficit reduction. Yet he knows Republican ...

ARTICLES

The Benghazi Talking Points

And how they were changed to obscure the truth

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

The Embassy in Benghazi burns

Even as the White House strove last week to move beyond questions about the Benghazi attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2012, fresh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults. The Weekly Standard has obtained a timeline briefed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence detailing the heavy substantive revisions made to the CIA’s talking points, just six weeks before the 2012 presidential election, and additional information about why the changes were made and by whom. 

As intelligence officials pieced together the puzzle of events unfolding in Libya, they concluded even before the assaults had ended that al Qaeda-linked terrorists were involved. Senior administration officials, however, ...

Bruce Freed

The ‘Transparency’ Agenda

It’s a murky business.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

Last September, Ronald Robins Jr., a senior vice president at Abercrombie & Fitch, received a letter urging the company “to join with over a hundred major companies and make political spending ...

Beverly Hill

Cheaters in School

And they aren’t students.

BY GEOFFREY NORMAN

The front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution one day in late March was almost completely taken up by news of indictments of 35 public ...

obamaheaddown

Disappearing Red Lines

Obama’s mess of a Syria policy.

BY LEE SMITH

In his April 30 White House press conference, President Obama explained that there’s evidence chemical weapons have been used in Syria, but “we don’t know how they were used, ...

FEATURES

Special Operators at Work

Training the Afghan Local Police

BY WILLY STERN

Afghan Local Policemen receive certificates

Undisclosed location in Afghanistan
Meet Captain John (last name not allowed). He’s a bearded, thoughtful, and articulate young Army Green Beret. Since last summer, he’s lived in a tiny, rough compound in the remote village of Shagowlay, in the Qarah Bagh district of Ghazni Province. That’s Nowhere, Afghanistan. 

John tells a story: In the dusty, scorching summer of 2012, he and 11 Special Forces colleagues showed up, wearing Kevlar vests, helmets, and carrying a lot of weaponry. The Taliban owned the village. “A young boy walked up to us and asked, ‘Are you crazy?’ ” The kid’s point was well taken. What could 12 American Green Berets do in the face of the many hardened Taliban fighters rooted into Shagowlay?

The going was nasty at first. John’s team had a fight on its hands. A vicious fight. One of his buddies suffered a head injury; another, nasty ...

David Clark

The Fall of Rome

Bankrupt and bloodied, Italy’s political elite clings to power

BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

Rome
Italians have been told not to worry too much about Luigi Preiti, the 46-year-old businessman who opened fire at the April 28 swearing-in of new prime minister Enrico Letta, wounding two policemen. Preiti, press ...

Carter and Reagan

The Talent Contest

What makes a political winner? Ideology and party platforms are overrated.

BY NOEMIE EMERY

The GOP may have a problem, but few seem to know what it is. Such appeal as the party had, it seems to have lost. In the later-stage Cold War, between 1968 and ...

Books & Arts

A Little Learning

The left-wing contribution to the shouting match.

BY JOSEPH KNIPPENBERG

‘George Washington Addresses the Constitutional Convention’

There is a genre of books about politics written by ideologues on both sides of the divide. Their aim is to inform their fellow partisans about the misinformation, misdeeds, and malign intentions of the people on the other side, offering talking points to rally the troops for the next confrontation. The authors are often prominent media figures—Glenn Beck, for example. To tell the truth, I don’t pay much attention to them: Not only is my blood pressure too high already, but soundbites are really for television and radio, not for books.

Wrong and Dangerous, written for “ordinary Americans” (at least those who regard today’s conservatives as the natural heirs to Anti-Federalists, slavemasters, racist ideologues, and neo-Nazis, among others), is a left-wing contribution to this canon. Law professor Garrett Epps joins con-serv-a-tive talkers and liberal pundits in excoriating his ...

Hart and Rodgers, ca. 1930

Little Boy Blue

The brief, unhappy transit of Lorenz Hart.

BY KATE LIGHT

Alec Wilder met Lorenz Hart in 1942, while listening to Mabel Mercer at Tony’s on 52nd Street in New York. At the time, Hart was working on All’s Fair, to become By Jupiter, his last show with ...

J. H. Elliott awarded an honorary degree at Alcalá University, Spain (2012)

A Scholar’s Journey

From 17th-century Spain to the world at large.

BY JAMES M. BANNER

Historians’ memoirs have become a distinct subgenre of the memoir form. They’ve even been the subject of their own study: Jeremy D. Popkin’s History, Historians, and Autobiography. But why should historians’ memoirs be of interest to anyone, even to ...

The Bundy family of ‘Married .  .  . With Children’ (ca. 1997)

Fathers and Sons

‘Special’ children in a less-than-special world.

BY TEMMA EHRENFELD

Every Christmas I receive a charming letter from a college friend I’ll call Doug. Because we live far from each other, I have never met his three children. Reading his letters carefully, I could see that one child wasn’t flourishing as well as the others. So this past ...

Cauliflower

Defining Vegetables Down

The more we know about, say, cauliflower, the less we like it.

BY JOE QUEENAN

Recently I read a story in my local newspaper reporting that high school kids routinely throw out tons of vegetables because the food in their school lunches is so awful. It would seem that the youth of America particularly object to the lettuce. 

The Rock, Mark Wahlberg

Idiot’s Delight

The ‘American dream’ survives an armed assault.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

Wildly successful movie directors often bemoan their successes and say they long for a time when they will be able to just make smaller and more personal films. Then they don’t. 

George Lucas said it for ...

CASUAL

Call Me Ethan

Ethan Epstein, pronounced stiiiine

BY ETHAN EPSTEIN

Hello, I'm Banana

Why is it so irritating to be called by the wrong name? I’m not just talking about being misidentified by people who know you—that’s obnoxious because it feels like a personal slight. What I’m wondering is, why do I wince when the guy at the coffee shop calls out my order by the name “Ian” instead of “Ethan,” as happened again just last week? I think it’s because my name feels inherent, even absolute. Simply put: I am Ethan, and to be called anything else is profoundly disturbing.

But it turns out that’s not a universal sentiment. A recent Reuters story from Beijing quoted someone named “Brooklyn Zhang.” Now, if you think that Ms. Zhang was born with the name “Brooklyn,” then I have a bridge to sell you in a certain borough. As I’ve learned on several visits to China, ...

SCRAPBOOK

Back to the 1980s

Oak Ridge

Readers of the Washington Post might have thought a time warp had collided with the zeitgeist last week when they turned to their Style section. For there, staring at them from the front page, and stretching well beyond, was a seven-page, -14-part package entitled “The Prophets of Oak Ridge,” written by a Style reporter named Dan Zak, featuring 28 illustrations, three graphs, and five original works of art, suitable for framing. 

Not since art critic Philip Kennicott’s profusely illustrated (including bird’s-eye map with guide) tribute to the Occupy Washington encampment (2011) has the Post gone to such extravagant lengths to waste space, annoy subscribers, ignore actual news, offend local sensibilities, and generally ...

Call It the Richardson Prevention Act

Call It the Richardson Prevention Act

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un may have been incensed last week at having been knocked out of the headlines by a gay NBA player, or perhaps he was just having a bad day. His solution? Send an ...

LA times prepares to hit the panic button.

Preemptively Biting the Hand . . .

Over the past few weeks, there have been rumblings of a potential buyer for the Tribune newspaper company, which owns the Los Angeles ...

Mixed up Captions in the Washington Post

Sobering Advice

Slate column reprinted in the Washington Post

Wolf Pack

PARODY

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