- The Washington Times - Friday, August 24, 2001

Arafat's incentives
"The legitimacy of [Palestinian leader] Yasser Arafat, and the legitimacy of most of the murdering hoodlums who pass for political leaders in the Arab world, is based in part upon demonizing the Jews and Israel.
"When you've built your career on egging on the most extreme elements in your base, it gets somewhat tricky to turn around and tell them that the Great Satan has just made you an offer you can't refuse.
"That's likely to make your followers a little confused. And as soon as they are confused, there's always another demagogue to cure their confusion and oust you from power. So Arafat did what he always does: He acts perfectly sanely in his own self-interest. I imagine part of him said to himself as he came back from Camp David, 'Phew, that was a close one. Better get a few Jews killed quick to make sure that doesn't happen again.'
"It's also a Western liberal fantasy that somehow the PLO really wants its own state. This is part of the same Western fantasy that believes the IRA really wants a united Ireland.
"At some point in the distant past, that may have been the case. But after decades of war, both organizations develop their institutional self-interest. They are murder machines, criminal entities that need some shred of political justification for external purposes, but underneath are built around the rationale of never-ending war. The last thing on earth these criminals want is the challenge of actually running a country."
—Andrew Sullivan, writing on "Deconstructing Arafat," Monday in Slate at www.slate.com

Southern classic
"'Thunder Road' remains a cult classic today. When it was released, it was a hit that recycled across the South for years. And to know 'Thunder Road,' you have to know [Robert] Mitchum, who wrote the story, wrote the songs, produced the film and starred in it, and hired his son, James, to play his brother.
"'Thunder Road' is a thriller about a whiskey-runner, Luke Doolin, who is chased by the revenuers and muscled by the encroaching Mob. His combative temperament is offset by his melancholy, because he knows he does not fit in with developments. As he says, 'Someday, I've got to fall.' Paradoxically, the technological advancement that soups up his Fords will also render his people's way of life obsolete. Luke is doomed.
"There is a lot to say about 'Thunder Road' as a Southern movie — more than a movie set in the South, it's a movie about the South."—J.O. Tate, writing on "The Whippoorwill," in the September issue of Chronicles

Feminism and football
"Your son's football team coached by a woman? That's the goal of feminist groups and Title IX advocates.
"While women's groups want to take as much opportunity as they can away from male athletes, they also want to take over the head coaching positions, too — on men's teams.
"The latest example of this misguided effort is Geraldine Fuhr.
"Fuhr was turned down for the position of head coach of the boys varsity basketball team at Hazel Park High School in Hazel Park, Mich., in favor of a male candidate with less experience. She sued and, this month, was awarded $455,000 in damages by an all-female jury. Even more ludicrous, Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley compared Fuhr to Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony.
"In her suit, Fuhr contended she was the victim of sex discrimination — that the school district didn't hire her because she's a woman. But what's so wrong about that?
"Coaching high school boys is one of many jobs where sex discrimination is not only justified, it should be a requirement. Young, high-school-aged boys need a male coach. They need a father figure on the sidelines — a man to show them how to be a man."
—Debbie Schlussel, writing on "When Coach Is a Chick," Tuesday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com


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