- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Eminem Presley
"Could it be that in just two years the scourge of bourgeois values is now entering the American mainstream? We may find out when the country is blanketed with Eminem's debut as a movie star in '8 Mile,' a film loosely based on his life.
"Moral scolds can condemn each new rock phenomenon as loudly as they like as they have been doing since the 1950s but the music is just too contagious and the money too dizzying for anyone in authority to counter the power of a roaring market. Thus has Mick Jagger become both a knight and an establishment corporate franchise, celebrated as a CEO on the cover of Fortune. Ozzy Osbourne is a loveable TV star. Yesterday's 'Revolution' can always be tomorrow's Nike commercial.
"If there's a particular template for Eminem's career at this early point, it's that of the young Elvis (a comparison that Eminem hates). Both men took a musical form invented by African-Americans and gave it a popular white face."
Frank Rich, writing on "Mr. Ambassador," in Sunday's New York Times Magazine

Confronting Stalin
"[Martin] Amis reports that he read 'yards' of books about Stalin to write 'Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million' a meditation on the monstrousness of Stalin and the consequent historical vulnerability of a left that has never fully dealt with its past complicity in mass murder.
"Confront Stalin for what he really was, and the superstructure of the left's intellectual and cultural heroes the generation of men and women who served him and rationalized him collapses on its base. Thus, when the appalling 'Black Book of Communism' appeared in 1999, it was dismissed as propaganda in such publications as Le Monde and the Atlantic.
"Stalin was reportedly fond of a certain saying: 'There is a man, there is a problem. No man, no problem.' The left, to save the history it wants to embrace, has removed Stalin from it. No Stalin, no problem."
Charles Paul Freund, writing on "Memory Hole," in the December issue of Reason

Jihad reformers
"Islamists seeking to advance their agenda within Western, non-Muslim environments for example, as lobbyists in Washington, D.C. cannot frankly divulge their views and still remain players in the political game.
"So as not to arouse fears and so as not to isolate themselves, these individuals and organizations usually cloak their true outlook in moderate language, at least when addressing the non-Muslim public. When referring to jihad, they adopt the terminology of reformists, presenting warfare as decidedly secondary to the goal of inner struggle and social betterment.
"Thus, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) insists that jihad 'does not mean "holy war"' but rather is a 'broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression.'
"This sort of talk is pure disinformation, reminiscent of the language of Soviet front groups in decades past. A dramatic example of it was on offer at the trial of John Walker Lindh, the Marin County teenager who went off to wage jihad on behalf of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. At his sentencing in early October, Lindh told the court that he himself understood jihad as a variety of activities ranging 'from striving to overcome one's own personal faults, to speaking out for the truth in adverse circumstances, to military action in defense of justice.'
"That a jihadist should unashamedly proffer so mealy-mouthed a definition of his actions may seem extraordinary. But it is perfectly in tune with the explaining-away of jihad promoted by academic specialists, as well as by Islamist organizations engaging in public relations."
Daniel Pipes, writing on "Jihad and the Professors," in the November issue of Commentary

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