- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2001

Tribute to himself
"Michael Jackson is surveying his kingdom.
"Surrounded by an elite entourage that includes Macaulay Culkin and Elizabeth [Taylor], as well as his parents, Jackson sits with the regal impassivity of a Roman emperor in a box to the right of Madison Square Garden's stage. It's Friday, Sept. 7, and the King of Pop is drinking in the first of two star-studded tribute concerts he's decided to throw for himself in New York.
"There was a time, in the '80s, when Michael Jackson relished the tabloids for their outrageousness. That, of course, was in their heyday, before the supermarket rags began running those nasty tales of alleged child molestation and paparazzi images of the face that could front a scare campaign by Concerned Citizens Against Extreme Plastic Surgery. Those were different times, an era when we were all still awestruck by 'Thriller' and 'Billie Jean' and the moonwalk, and the King of Pop could lay legitimate claim to his self-bestowed title.
"Who but a man determined to convince us of his continued relevance as an artist would organize two massive tribute concerts for the obvious purpose of promoting his first album in seven years?"
Tom Sinclair, writing on "Wanna Be Stoppin' Somethin,'" in the Sept. 21 issue of Entertainment Weekly

They hate us
"Palestinians see what the Israelis do to them as terrorism, and certainly the Israelis and much of the world see the Palestinian and other suicide bombers who've attacked inside Israel to be terrorism of the most gruesome order. Palestinians will be happy to see this attack on the United States today. So take a look at a scene from Jerusalem not too long ago in which there is some celebration, that the powerful United States has been harmed, has been seen to be vulnerable, has been hurt I suppose in the broadest sense of the word.
"[T]his terrorism has come, had its genesis or had its roots somewhere in the Middle East, or at least in people who are just filled, brimming with anger at the United States.
"[I]t is certainly a motivating factor that the hatred of the United States as a patron of Israel whether you're from Afghanistan, or whether you're from Iran, Iraq or inside the Palestinian territories is so intense at some levels, and has become more intense in recent months, that very many people will not be surprised at this attack today, though like everybody else will be amazed at the magnitude and success of it."
Peter Jennings of ABC News, describing Palestinian celebrations on Sept. 11

Not our friends
"We need to revisit the myth of the 'moderate' Arab countries. Most are moderate in only a relative sense, the way an opportunist like Franco was a moderate fascist in comparison to Hitler, or a wily Tito a moderate Communist as opposed to Stalin.
"We must accept the bitter truth that states like Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and others despite American deference and occasional aid are not our friends, much less our allies. Their citizens do not vote freely; their media is controlled and censored; women are not fully liberated, if at all; and they are growing less, not more, tolerant of religious and cultural diversity.
"While the United States should not gratuitously incite societies like Jordan (a supporter of Iraq in the Gulf War), Egypt, or Saudi Arabia, we must re-examine our relationships with them from military assistance to foreign aid to travel and immigration.
One of the more frustrating facets of the American media has been their reluctance (or inability) to show the grass-roots celebration going on in the streets of Palestine, Pakistan, Egypt, and other countries of 6,000 American deaths."
Victor Davis Hanson, writing on "War Myths," Thursday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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