- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 3, 2002

Let Bush be Bush?
"On the evidence of the past couple of weeks, there's one person above all on the Bush foreign policy team whom we can trust to wage the war on terrorism effectively," Robert Kagan and William Kristol suggest in the Weekly Standard. "The good news is that this person is George W. Bush. The bad news is that the president occasionally defers to his colleagues when he should trust his own judgment.
"We're going to go out on a limb and assert that the unfortunate detour in America's war on terrorism of the past two weeks a detour that began with Vice President Cheney's ill-fated trip to the Middle East and ended, we hope, with last week's Arab League summit farce was not President Bush's idea."
The "give peace a chance" approach of his advisers has "backfired," the writers say. "Whatever happened to the president's clear formulation that anyone who harbors a terrorist or helps a terrorist will be treated as a terrorist? That is one of the core principles of the Bush Doctrine. Yet on one day Secretary of State Colin Powell was officially designating one of Yasser Arafat's organizations a terrorist entity, and the next day the administration was trying to help Arafat get on a plane to Beirut. It's time for plain speaking and plain thinking."
They conclude: "Today, we strongly suspect that no one understands the war on terrorism, and how to win it, better than George W. Bush. Let's hope that from now on, he trusts his own understanding."

Joe says no
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., known as the "nation's toughest sheriff," yesterday announced he won't run for governor, ending weeks of speculation about his candidacy.
Sheriff Arpaio, 69, said his decision to remain in his current job "is the right thing to do."
"I just want to go out into the sunset as a law enforcement officer," he said, according to the Associated Press.
Polls had shown Sheriff Arpaio and former Rep. Matt Salmon in a dead heat for the Sept. 10 primary among likely Republican voters. Republican Gov. Jane Dee Hull is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Strong horse
"Polls show Americans are clear about the need to strike Saddam Hussein before he attacks us with weapons of mass destruction," Barbara Lerner observes in National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"But when it comes to means, clarity vanishes in the fog of 'conventional wisdom' endlessly recycled by Western pack journalists.
"That wisdom is summed up in the self-defeating non sequitur that could be heard, hourly, on every newscast in America as Vice President Cheney toured the Middle East: To make war on Iraq repeat after me 'We need Arab allies.' There are two main problems with this journalistic cliche: first that it isn't true, and second that it's against our interests."
The conventional wisdom about maintaining "stability in the Middle East," Miss Lerner says, "means the maintenance of the status quo in all the corrupt, despotic Arab states that repress and impoverish their subjects."
She concludes: "It's time to stop genuflecting to the Arabs, compromising our interests and principles on the absurd assumption that we can't do whatever we need to do attack Iraq, defend Israel, support freedom in Iran, and openly acknowledge the manifest superiority of the Turkish model for all Muslim nations without Arab blessings. Afterwards, relations may well improve since, as bin Laden himself put it, 'People naturally prefer the strong horse,' i.e., everybody loves a winner. We are the winners; let's act like it."

'Nothing but trouble'
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, now at the center of the bloody conflict in Israel, had been in exile for more than 25 years before President Clinton negotiated a September 1993 peace deal that put the PLO chairman in charge of his own autonomous territory.
"The well-meaning folks who thought there was a 'peaceful, diplomatic' solution to the problem have been proven wrong," George Melloan writes in the Wall Street Journal. "Israel has no choice but to defeat the Arab terrorists or be nibbled to death by them."
Mr. Melloan writes: "To win, Israel, much to its distaste, will have to effectively reoccupy the territories it turned over to Arafat in 1993, when [former [SoftReturn]Israeli Prime Minister] Yitzhak Rabin and Bill Clinton anointed him as the legitimate leader of the Palestinian people. He has brought nothing but trouble to both the Palestinians and Israelis ever since."

The Rev. Jerry Falwell is taking on www.jerryfalwell.com, reports Mark Helm of Hearst Newspapers.
Created by Gary Cohn, a Highland Park, Ill., Internet designer, the Web site parodies Mr. Falwell's speeches and fund-raising activities and contains sections called "Faith Ba$ed" and "Jerry's Lies."
Mr. Falwell, a Baptist minister and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., founded the Moral Majority in 1979.
Last November, Mr. Falwell's attorneys filed a complaint against the Cohn site with the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, an arbiter for Internet disputes.
Mr. Falwell says the site violates a common-law trademark on his name and will lead Internet users toward "false thinking" about the Bible.
In a response filed yesterday, Paul Alan Levy, Mr. Cohn's lawyer, said his client has "every right" to use Mr. Falwell's name when criticizing him.

Stark raving Pete
With Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., Ohio Democrat, now "busy defending himself" in a federal trial in Ohio, says Roll Call columnist Ed Henry, "it's up to Rep. Pete Stark [California Democrat] to fill the void with outlandish floor statements."
In his Heard on the Hill column, Mr. Henry reports: "During the March 20 floor consideration of the Republican budget resolution, Stark was clearly unhappy with the way the debate was structured. …
"Stark said that the behavior of House Republicans reminded him of the 1930s, 'when Hitler suspended the Bundestag to promote conservative ideology and not let people speak.'
"Stark suggested that Democratic amendments were being denied 'in a rather fascist manner,' and that Republicans were following the example of Attorney General John Ashcroft, 'who feels trampling on the Constitution is the way that fascist governments should run.'
"This proved too much for Budget Chairman Jim Nussle [Iowa Republican], who said, 'Mr. Chairman, could the record be read back? Did the gentleman just call our government a fascist government?'
"'Mr. Chairman, no,' Stark replied helpfully. 'I talked about the fascist wing of the Republican Party.'"

Speaking of crazy …
Princeton University economist Paul Krugman claimed yesterday in his regular New York Times column that Social Security is the target of a vast right-wing conspiracy. The Heritage Foundation, "with financial backing from Joseph Coors and Richard Mellon Scaife," has joined the Bush administration in the plot "to do away with Social Security," says Mr. Krugman.
Which means Mr. Krugman has finally "lost it," says liberal pundit Mickey Kaus.
"I've resisted the general urge to say that Krugman has gone overboard with his defensive post-Enron anti-right-wing paranoia that he's 'lost it,'" Mr. Kaus writes on his www.kausfiles.com site. But after yesterday's column, "I'm abandoning my resistance. … He had a beautiful mind! … He's been getting Sidney Blumenthal's e-mails … that's it, isn't it?"

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