THE CODA LEAST OF ALL:

April 16, 2007

THE ANGLOSPHERE VS. JIHAD: a review of A HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES SINCE 1900 BY ANDREW ROBERTS (JOHN O’SULLIVAN, April 15, 2007, NY Post)

‘LES Anglo-Saxons,” argues Andrew Roberts, were united by the English language and by the Common Law. Still more links were listed by Winston Churchill in 1943: “Common conceptions of what is right and decent, a marked regard for fair play, especially to the weak and poor, a stern sentiment of impartial justice and above all a love of personal freedom . . . these are the common conceptions on both sides of the ocean among the English-speaking peoples.”

Roberts has built “A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900” around four great ideological challenges to the dominance of the English-speaking world and its liberal values: Prussian militarism in 1914, Nazi-Fascist aggression in 1939, Soviet Communist aggression in the Cold War and the Islamist jihad against the West today. He tells the story of how these conflicts were begun and (with the exception of the last) resolved.

Roberts’ message is essentially optimistic. The first three challenges, he points out, were formidable; all seemed, at times, to be within reach of their goals; all benefited initially from a reluctance of their intended victims to take them seriously, but all eventually lost because “les Anglo-Saxons,” once aroused, were powerful and determined enough to crush them.

The fundamental insight of the


WE'RE TRANSNATIONALISTS, WE'RE HERE TO HELP:

April 2, 2007

Forty years of perverse “social responsibility” (Paul Driessen, April 2, 2007, Enter Stage Right)

Forty years ago, Environmental Defense (ED) was launched to secure a ban on DDT and, in the words of co-founder Charles Wurster, “achieve a level of authority” that environmentalists never had before. Its high-pressure campaign persuaded EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus to ignore the findings of his own scientific panel and ban DDT in the US in 1972.

The panel had concluded that DDT is not harmful to people, birds or the environment. That’s especially true when small quantities are sprayed on walls to repel mosquitoes and prevent malaria. However, ED and allied groups continued their misinformation campaign, until the chemical (and other insecticides) were banished even from most global healthcare programs.

Thankfully, DDT had already helped eradicate malaria in the United States and Europe. But the disease still sickens 500 million people a year and kills 2 million, mostly African women and children. Since 1972, tens of millions have died who might well have lived if their countries had been able to keep DDT in their disease control arsenals.

A year ago – after an extensive public education effort by the Congress of Racial Equality, Africa Fighting Malaria, Kill Malarial Mosquitoes NOW Coalition and other health and human rights groups- the USAID and World Health Organization finally began supporting DDT use once again. But ED, Pesticide Action Network and other agitators still promote ridiculous anti-DDT themes on their websites, claiming it is “associated with” low birth weights in babies and shortened lactation in nursing mothers.

Even if these assertions were true, notes Uganda’s Fiona Kobusingye, such risks “are nothing compared to the constant danger of losing more babies and mothers to malaria.” She has had malaria at least 20 times and lost her son, two sisters and five nephews to the disease. “How can US environmentalists tell us we should be more worried about insecticides than about malaria?” she asks. “Their attitudes are immoral eco-imperialism – a crime against humanity.”

None of these anti-insecticide pressure groups has ever apologized for their disingenuous campaigns or atoned in any way for the misery and death they helped perpetuate – much less been held accountable. Instead, they blame today’s horrendous malaria rates on global warming.

MORE:
-AUDIO/VIDEO: Redefining Sovereignty: Paul Driessen, Senior Fellow, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (Heritage Foundation, July 20, 2006)


GAIA'S GONNA GETCHA:

December 20, 2006

Climate ideology control (Paul Driessen, December 20, 2006, Washington Post)

Al Gore bristles at anyone who raises inconvenient truths about climate alarmism. Greenpeace calls us “climate criminals.” Grist magazine wants “Nuremberg-style war crimes trials” for climate disaster skeptics, probably followed by hangings, since burning at the stake would release greenhouse gases.

Climate catastrophist Ross Gelbspan told a Washington, D.C., audience: “Not only do journalists not have a responsibility to report what skeptical scientists have to say about global warming. They have a responsibility not to report what those scientists say.”

Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, shamefully treated physician-scientist-author Michael Crichton like a child molester during a congressional hearing, for suggesting climate change theories be reviewed by double-blind studies and evidentiary standards akin to what the Food and Drug Administration uses for new medicine. And Sens. Olympia Snowe of Maine and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia have issued a “gag order” against ExxonMobil. “Its message: Start toeing the senators’ line on climate change, or else,” said the Wall Street Journal.

Earth-centered-universe dogmas have been replaced by a far more intolerant Church of Gaia catechism of cataclysm. We have entered an era of climate McCarthyism and eco-Inquisitions, whose goal appears to be slashing energy use and economic growth, by making activists, politicians and bureaucrats the final arbiters of every energy and economic decision.


YOU CAN SERVE THE INSTITUTION'S BUREAUCRACY OR ITS PRINCIPLES–HO CHOSE BADLY:

December 17, 2006

Kofi’s stain: UN chief wronged U.S., coddled dictators and ignored corruption (NILE GARDINER, 12/17/06, NY Daiuly News)

[A]nnan has been no friend of the American people, or of the Iraqi people. At every opportunity, he has undermined U.S. global leadership, most recently making a habit of deriding America’s decision to remove Saddam from power as “illegal.” People of good will can debate whether that decision was right or wrong – but it was Saddam, not Bush, who thumbed his nose at a dozen UN resolutions and systematically oppressed the Iraqi people.

Annan has a long track record of cozying up to dictators. He has consistently failed to condemn African tyrants such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe or Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan. And aside from a few perfunctory criticisms, he has been noticeably quiet about the threats against Israel posed by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Annan gave only a low-key response to Iran’s state-sponsored Holocaust denial conference, which sparked international outrage this week. To his credit, incoming Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has already strongly denounced it.

As a result of this and more, the UN’s standing as a moral authority on the world stage – not exactly stellar at the start of Annan’s tenure – has plummeted during his 10-year reign. He was forced to disband the UN Commission on Human Rights after Western complaints over human-rights abusers (Cuba, Libya, et al.) running the show. Yet his “reform” solution, the much-vaunted Human Rights Council, is just as bad. It has been unwilling even to condemn the regime in Khartoum over the crisis in Darfur.

Even worse, amid a culture of weak and permissive leadership, UN peacekeepers entrusted with protecting some of the world’s most vulnerable people have raped and abused hundreds of refugees in the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and other war zones. Before he became secretary general, Annan was in charge of UN peacekeeping operations during the Rwanda slaughter and the mass killing at Srebrenica, in Bosnia. Suffice to say, in that capacity, he did not earn the top job.

The free world should not shed a tear at Annan’s departure. Rather, let New York bid good riddance to the most weak-kneed secretary general in the history of the United Nations, a shameless appeaser of despotism and tyranny. He may well be remembered as the Neville Chamberlain of our time.


JUST WAIT FOR THE CHAPTERS WE HAVEN'T WRITTEN YET…:

November 28, 2006

Once upon a time in the west: a review of DANGEROUS NATION: America and the World 1600-1898 by Robert Kagan (Robert Cooper, Sunday Times of London)

The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 — that the US would not accept European interference in the Western hemisphere — was unilateral, like all subsequent American “doctrines”. But America also retained an ideological preference for Britain over the continental powers; if not a republic, it was at least a liberal monarchy. This was not the special relationship that the British still like to imagine. Britain was the superpower of the day; and it is this that accounts for the remarkable survival of Canada on a continent where the United States took everything else within reach. Dealing with America is always easier if you are powerful.

Why was the nation dangerous? Because it believed in itself and in its cause. America, Kagan tells us, was never a status quo power. It wanted to remake the world in its own image; and because its cause was righteous it saw no reason to limit its power. Reacting to the American wish to be rid altogether of the French and Indians, Edmund Burke argued for a balance of power in America. The idea that you could feel secure “only by having no other Nation near you was alien and repulsive to the European mind”. The search for absolute security — which was American policy then and now — represented, like the search for absolute power, immoderation; and that was dangerous.

So are idealism and democracy. The unnecessary wars that America fought in the 19th century — in 1812 against Britain, and in1898 against Spain — began on a wave of popular enthusiasm. (By contrast, America entered the necessary wars of the 20th century with reluctance.) Throughout this period the United States was long on ambition but short on the power to impose its ideals. But by the end of the century it had taken over most of the continent, settled the question of slavery, and was sending gunboats to Samoa, Brazil and Korea.

Dangerous Nation’s emphasis on democracy as a constant goal, accompanied occasionally by regime change (starting 200 years ago, during the war on piracy, with an attempt to overthrow the Pasha of Tripoli), make this a neoconservative history. Perhaps, but the case is well put and is beautifully written. This reader could not put it down, and cannot wait for part two.

MORE:
Back to the Future (Fouad Ajami, November 26, 2006, US News)

The sin of George W. Bush, to hear his critics tell it, is that he unleashed the forces of freedom in Arab-Islamic lands only to beget a terrible storm. In Iraq and in Lebanon, the furies of sectarianism are on the loose; and in that greater Middle East stretching from Pakistan to Morocco, the forces of freedom and reform appear chastened. Autocracy is fashionable once again, and that bet on freedom made in the aftermath of the American venture into Iraq now seems, to the skeptics, fatally compromised. For decades, we had lived with Arab autocracies, befriended them, taken their rule as the age-old dominion in lands unfit for freedom. Then came this Wilsonian moment proclaimed in the course of the war on Iraq. To the “realists,” it had been naive and foolhardy to hold out to the Arabs the promise of freedom. We had bet on the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, thrilled to these young people in Beirut’s plazas reclaiming their country from Syrian tyranny. But that promise, too, has been battered, and in the shadows, the old policy of ceding Lebanon to the rule of Syria’s informers and policemen now claims a measure of vindication. On the surface of things, it is the moment of the “realists,” then: They speak with greater confidence. The world had lived down, as it were, to their expectations. And now they wish to return history to its old rhythm.

But in truth there can be no return to the bosom of the old order. American power and the very force of what had played out in the Arab-Islamic lands in recent years have rendered the old order hollow, mocked its claims to primacy and coherence. The moment our soldiers flushed Saddam Hussein from his filthy spider hole, we had put on display the farce and swindle of Arab authority.

Primacy and power. We can’t shy away from the very history we unleashed. We had demonstrated to the Arabs that the rulers are not deities; we had given birth to the principle of political accountability. In the same vein, we may not be comfortable with all the manifestations of an emancipated Arab Shiism–we recoil, as we should, from the Mahdi Army in Iraq and from Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut–but the Shiite stepchildren of the Arab world have been given a new claim on the Arab political order of primacy and power. In the annals of Arab history, this is nothing short of revolutionary. The Sunni Arab regimes have a dread of the emancipation of the Shiites. But American power is under no obligation to protect their phobias and privileges. History has served notice on their world and their biases. We can’t fall for their legends, and we ought to remember that the road to all these perditions, and the terrors of 9/11, had led through Sunni movements that originated in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


SOME DO:

November 13, 2006

The Democratic Challenge (DAVID SHRIBMAN, November 13, 2006, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

No longer is it good enough to say that the president prevaricated getting us into Iraq and bumbled once we got there. Now the Democrats have to say how they would win or leave. No longer is it good enough to say that the president’s plans for Social Security are a radical departure from the 1935 vision of Franklin Roosevelt. Now the Democrats have to say what they would do to keep the system secure, or whether they would change public expectations of how much help Social Security will provide Americans when they retire.

These two choices — win or leave, strengthen Social Security or cut public expectations and public disbursements — may seem stark. But those are the choices. Neither problem, both signature challenges of our era, is ripe for fuzzy responses or fuzzy math. Choose one, make the argument, take a vote, live with the consequences.

There are scores of other choices like those. The war on terror, which no one wants to abandon. Climate change, which every industrial nation but America has at least tried to address. Education, where every problem cannot be solved by having students take tests and having teachers teach to those tests. Competitiveness, a word from the 1980s, perhaps, but a challenge for the 21st century. The tax system, which hasn’t been overhauled for 20 years and isn’t getting any more rational. The balance between religious life and civic life, a challenge Americans have struggled with for two centuries, but which seems even more stubborn in an age of rapid technological change.

One thing no one, including the ascendant Democrats, says about President Bush is that he is unwilling to make a choice and live with it. A short time after September 11, 2001, Thomas Rath, the New Hampshire political strategist, encountered the president at a White House event. Mr. Rath is a congenial man, his impulse unfailingly to offer comfort. To Mr. Bush, like the rest of the country still dealing with the immediate shock of the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York, he said something along these lines: “Nobody asks to deal with something like this.” Mr. Bush responded immediately and forcefully: “Some people do.”

So the next time you see congressional leaders wringing their hands at the difficulties posed by Social Security or Iraq or whatever the next crisis is, remember that encounter between Messrs. Rath and Bush. It isn’t as if nobody asked to deal with problems like those the newly empowered Democrats face. They asked.


October 24, 2006

Brothers Judd review of Jed Rubenfeld’s