- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 3, 2002

Global failure
"It was supposed to be a banner weekend for the anti-globalization movement, with thousands of activists converging on Washington, D.C., to 'shut down the city' during the International Monetary Fund's annual meeting. And on Saturday afternoon, I was in the thick of it, in the shadow of the Washington monument, surrounded by placards and puppets and leather-lunged protesters.
"They expected 20,000 people, but maybe 5,000 showed up. They hoped to shut down the city, but after a rain-drenched Friday in which hundreds were arrested and D.C. went on with business as usual, the rest of the weekend trailed off into well-mannered sloganeering ('They say privatize, we say democratize!').
"It didn't help that organized labor, one-third of the anti-globalization movement's supposed triple threat of 'workers, students, and activists,' largely stayed away. Maybe the unions were uncomfortable with the anti-American fervor that animated many of the protesters after September 11, flag-burning and Amerika-bashing might be hard to justify to the AFL-CIO's rank and file.
"Whatever the reason, in the unions' absence all that remained was a sea of students, activists and student-activists in long hair and shaggy beards. For a movement that claims to represent the oppressed, the sea of young, white, college-educated faces must have been a tad disheartening."
Ross Douthat, writing on "Protesting Too Much," Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Laughable liberals
"Being a potential juror is a solemn constitutional obligation for which even lawyers are summoned. While waiting in a line recently to do my duty at the courthouse, I noticed that a woman in front of me was holding a copy of Ann Coulter's book, 'Slander.'
"Possession of such contraband, and the spontaneous laughter it creates, might eliminate her from jury duty, I thought. But she had a different reason for having the book. 'This is a viewpoint the public doesn't get very often,' she told me.
"What is it that makes this book so funny? Much of it is the laughter born out of recognition, while some is the laughter of tragic-comedy. Ann's barbs strike the funny bone because she speaks albeit irreverently the truth.
"For example, Coulter says our country's international conflict with terrorism puts the domestic cultural divide in stark relief. 'Liberals hate America, they hate "flag-wavers," they hate abortion opponents, they hate all religions except Islam. Even Islamic terrorists don't hate America like liberals do. They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now.'"
Alan E. Sears, writing on "Laughing Out Loud With Ann Coulter," Monday in Crosswalk at www.crosswalk.com

Extreme beliefs
"I'd noticed in the U.S. press that the old Chamber of Commerce idea of the world still dominated: Everybody's a nice guy. Everybody means well. Even if the Koran is really, truly a book about destroying the enemy.
"I found it astonishing that those aspects of radical Islam were ignored by the major newspapers and even the alternative weeklies. Not all Muslims are as extreme or as interested in jihad, but let's say only 10 percent are. That's 120 million people worldwide a significant number of people.
"I believe Osama bin Laden, if you examine the Koran, is closer to the Koran and the prophet Mohammed's beliefs than the hope that Islam can be democratic. It's not a very democratic belief system. To say that it is comes out of a wish that has nothing to do with Islam. It comes from the idea that everything good has to do with democracy or democratic ideals. Well, there are different ideals at work in the world, and we need to come to grips with that."
Adam Parfrey, editor of the new book "Extreme Islam," interviewed by Brian Doherty in the November issue of Reason

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