- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2001

Political distinction
"The suicide terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and Haifa, killing and injuring scores of people, illustrate the difficulties of the war on terrorism and why they are likely to increase. President Bush has declared that we are waging war against those terrorists with a global reach. This distinction was made to keep the Israeli-Palestinian struggle out of the way.
Hamas, the group responsible for previous suicide attacks, and the self-proclaimed organizer of the most recent ones, operates only in and around Israel. It has, for example, never targeted Americans. It does not have global reach, in other words, and thus is not a target of the war on terrorism, at least as the U.S. government currently defines that war.
Thus, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East that support Hamas can assist in the war on terrorism because Hamas is not a target in that war.
"This careful distinction that includes the Taliban in the war but excludes Hamas is entirely political. In no other way does the distinction make sense. We have declared that we are acting in self-defense following the attacks of September 11 and will not negotiate with either the Taliban or al Qaeda, whom we hold responsible for the attacks. Yet we have sent special envoys to Israel one was in Israel at the time of the attacks to try to get Israel back to negotiating with the Palestinian Authority, from whose territory Hamas launches its attacks. Except for our political requirements, it is difficult to see the difference we assert between our war on terrorism and Israel's."
David Tucker, writing on "And Now for the Hard Part," a December editorial from the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at www.ashbrook.org

Grumpy George
"There's no point in pretending that George Harrison was anything other than the third-most talented Beatle. 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' may be inordinately lovely, but it didn't cause a whole generation to scream until they wet themselves and then want to invent the future, like Paul and John's songs did. But rock and roll isn't about compiling lists. It's about moments and intentions and people coping in the face of heroic stupidity, and George Harrison acquitted himself with gentlemanly aplomb in all three.
"I love that George got grumpy. Grumpiness is one of the few artistically under-explored emotions left. I find it very pleasing that one of only four Beatles the world has ever had spent the entirety of his Beatledom in a mood, and continued to be quite [grumpy] about it until he died."
Caitlin Moran, writing on "Grumpy George Saw Through the Facade of Fame and Fortune" Saturday in the Times of London

Pop commissars
"[A]s the father of eight children, it's up to me to find out what my kids are listening to. And what I hear is often revolting. Songs by popular artists like Eminem and Marilyn Manson routinely contain graphic depictions of violence, drug use, rape and murder. Why does today's pop culture push such filth onto our children?
"The answer lies in the decades-old system by which the major record labels use their P.R. machines and market power to set the trends that target our youth. In effect, a few cultural commissars pick and choose what is to be promoted, then shape marketing strategies to create mass-market hits. By the time parents can actually listen to a song let alone read the lyrics its popularity is a foregone conclusion.
"We do have choices. I choose Faith Hill over Snoop Dogg. But when some of the options arrive smothered in pop-culture hype and paraded before young people who have yet to form a value system, are they really choices at all? I don't think so."
Rep. Christopher B. Cannon, Utah Republican, writing on "Free the Music," in the November/December issue of the American Spectator

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