- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2002

Stalin's terror

"The left's romance with Stalinism ended decisively 30 years ago with the publication of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's 'The Gulag Archipelago.' For the true believers, things have only gotten worse.

"A country deliberately forced into famine so bad (in 1932 and '33) that parents ate their children. So many dead that the bodies were stacked in the streets, only to be frozen in the Russian winter whose snow turned, in the spring thaw, into infected water that ran through the streets and killed even more. A 1937 census, commissioned by Stalin, uncovered statistical proof of those who had died and therefore caused the census takers to be shot.

"For many of us on the left, anti-communism has so often led to the excesses of the right that it became an ideological taint to avoid. Who, for instance, would want to believe in Alger Hiss' guilt when that meant finding oneself on the same side as Richard Nixon? But neither McCarthyism nor the execution of the Rosenbergs (who were, of course, guilty) is an adequate excuse for denying the facts of Stalin's terror, or Mao's Great Leap Forward, or on a lesser scale Castro's persecution of homosexuals, among other groups."

Charles Taylor, reviewing Martin Amis' new book "Koba the Dread" on Tuesday in Salon at www.salon.com

Extremist press

"When the shooter who chose July 4 to start a gunbattle at Los Angeles airport's El Al ticket counter turned out to be Hesham Mohamed Hadayet an Egyptian native with a 'Read Koran' sticker on his apartment door many people not unreasonably wondered if he had picked up his hostility to America and Israel at an extremist mosque.

"No evidence of Hadayet's mosque attendance has been reported. What's gone unremarked is that he could just as easily have been incited by the steady diet of violent rhetoric served up by the American Muslim community media periodicals with names like The Minaret, Islamic Horizons, the Weekly Mirror International, and the Muslim Observer, which toe the anti-American, anti-Israel line of Saudi Arabia's Islamofascist Wahhabi sect.

"While the 'mainstream' Islamic establishment offers perfunctory support for the anti-terror war and hovers around President Bush for photo ops in mosques, the poison pens of its media produce an unceasing stream of insult and loathing directed against America.

"These publications make no attempt to hide their attachments to international extremist groups."

Stephen Schwartz, writing on "All the Hate That's Fit to Print," in the July 22 issue of the Weekly Standard

Photo cliche

"The Dow dropped another 45 points [Monday] giving us, by some measurements, more of the worst bear market since the Great Depression. But in the unlikely event you haven't read about the market's current losing streak, you would have been clued in by the return of the 'sorrowful trader.' You know, the photos the media use to illustrate their market-slide stories, which show stock traders on the floor of the exchange anxiously looking up at the board, hanging their heads in sadness over the day's wipeout or perhaps even wiping tears from their eyes.

"The 'sorrowful trader' is that rarity, a cliche of photojournalism. When you see this image, you know things are bad in the markets because it appears without fail at every serious drop of the Dow. Put aside for a moment the question of whether these pictures are actually representative of the mood on the floor. The 'sorrowful trader' would seem to be the only tool photographers and photo editors have at their disposal to illustrate this kind of story.

"Perhaps we should be grateful for these photographic cliches; they tell us that the economic turmoil is largely confined to the stock market. If the business news truly were dire, we might be waking up to images of unemployment lines."

Taylor Holliday, writing on "Dour on the Floor," in Tuesday's Wall Street Journali>


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