- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 29, 2001

Clinton's war
"If you want to understand why we are fighting this war, and how we became so vulnerable to our enemies, get yourself a copy of Barbara Olson's last book, 'The Final Days.' It's a delightful read, bursting with Barbara's passion for America and her contempt for the corrupt Clintons who did so much to weaken both our virtue and our awareness of our international mission.
"It is eerie to listen to Barbara list all the terrorists pardoned by the Clintons. All those Puerto Rican killers their group carried out 130 bombings between 1974 and 1983 pardoned in time for Hillary's Senate run in New York.
"To those who criticized him for the wholesale indulgences provided this striking array of terrorists, Clinton responded in his usual way: with a lie. For example, he blandly denied that any of the Puerto Rican terrorists had ever been convicted of 'crimes involving the killing or maiming of any individual.' They had actually killed and maimed several individuals.
"Barbara knew better than most that lies have consequences, and presidential lying about the gravity of terrorism contributed to our moral and intellectual disarmament during the Clinton years. He never devised a serious strategy to fight the terrorists because he didn't want to fight them. For Clinton, the entire issue was purely political, and a serious fight would have forced him to make real commitments and thereby limit his political options."
Michael Ledeen, writing on "The Barbara Olson Bomb," Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Pop flop
"It's not nostalgia for Michael Jackson's past that prevents us from thinking about him in the present tense it's his own pompous embrace of it. His post-'Thriller' career is littered with projects that have egomaniacal titles and songs that don't live up to them, from 'Bad' through 'HIStory' to his recent self-canonizing concerts at Madison Square Garden, and 'Invincible,' his first album in more than six years.
"Nothing on 'Invincible' is exactly terrible. Instead, 'Invincible' is an assembly-line bore."
Ethan Brown, writing on "Inexplicable," in the Nov. 26 issue of New York magazine

Feminist fury
"The feminist left is sorely irritated at the White House's decision to have Laura Bush use the president's regularly scheduled Saturday radio address to talk about the horrors of life for women under the Taliban.
"The New York Times' Maureen Dowd rushed into print an accusation that Mrs. Bush's Nov. 17 speech was only a cynical ploy to narrow the so-called gender gap. Gloria Steinem insisted that unless the administration forced the Afghans to include women at the highest level of government, it would be guilty of collaborating in 'gender apartheid.'
"Lest Ms. Steinem et al. forget, it was the professional feminists' favorite president, Bill Clinton, who was in office when the Taliban came to power and imposed their misogynist version of militant Islam on Afghanistan.
"By providing the muscle to topple the Taliban, the Bush administration has done more for women's liberation in Afghanistan than the professional feminists ever did. Women are shedding their burkhas, meeting publicly and sending their daughters back to school in the liberated areas.
"What needs to be remembered is the deep contradiction at the core of the feminist complaint. On the one hand, the multicultural left likes to prate about the need to respect 'cultural differences.' On the other, it is confronted by the need to deny that the Taliban or some less brutal but still strict interpretation of Islam might constitute a legitimate culture."
Thomas J. Bray, writing on "What Do Women Want?" Tuesday in Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com


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