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Bad faith

“Outraged human-rights activists rightly say ‘never again’ as they urge action to stop the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan. But the world is perfectly content with ‘again.’ It is heartening to see left-wing celebrities like George Clooney, who headlined a Darfur protest in Washington, D.C., over the weekend, publicize the cause. But it would be even better if they realized that, in this context, multilateralism kills.

“On Darfur, the ‘international community’ offers only bad faith, selfish business deals, absurd political pandering, and moral obtuseness. With any truly nettlesome international issue, it is almost always thus, which is why the world leadership of the United States is so important. The Left pours scorn on the administration’s concept of ‘coalitions of the willing,’ since it is associated with the Iraq war that the Left so hates. But often the only alternative that traditional international [forums] offer to such ad hoc alliances is coalitions of the complacent, cowardly, and cretinous.”

Rich Lowry, writing on “Multilateralism Kills,” Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Left nowhere

“Timothy Brennan, a professor of comparative literature, cultural studies, and English at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities … writes in ‘Wars of Position: The Cultural Politics of Left and Right’ that during the last quarter-century, ‘cultural scholars in universities were instrumental in shaping public sentiment,’ ‘their influence was for the most part mixed, at times even disastrous,’ and that ‘the humanities played a large and influential part in the descending spiral of political options since 1980.’ …

“As at many junctures when revolutionaries suffer defeat — as in the early 1970s, when the New Left unraveled in fratricide — they conclude they must have been stabbed in the back. …

“Professor Brennan is right that the academic left is nowhere today. … The reason is that its faith-based politics has crashed and burned. It specializes in detraction. It offers no plausible picture of the world. … But the academic left is too busy guarding the flame of nullification.”

Todd Gitlin, writing on “The Self-Inflicted Wounds of the Academic Left,” in the May 5 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education

No market

“Just past its second birthday, Air America, the Left’s great hope to defeat the Right in the talk radio wars, has no reason to celebrate. Winter 2006 Arbitron ratings … show Air America registering a weak 1.0 share in Los Angeles, an even tinier share in Chicago, and a catastrophic drop in New York City, where flagship station WLIB hemorrhaged nearly half its listenership. …

“You’d think that the public’s growing dissatisfaction with President Bush and the Iraq war would translate into lots of listeners for Air America’s ‘progressive’ talk, especially with the fawning free publicity the network and its top host, comedian Al Franken, have enjoyed from the mainstream press. But even hard-core liberals … must find Air America’s incessant and often moronic Bush bashing monotonous and unentertaining — the kiss of death for talk radio. …

“Conservative and libertarian voices dominate the radio dial because they offer a much-needed response to the liberal media mainstream. … Air America, created and kept afloat by a handful of wealthy liberal financiers, meets no such market demand.”

Brian C. Anderson, writing on “Air America Deflates,” Saturday in City Journal Online at www.city-journal.org

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