- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Carter's remarks
Former President Jimmy Carter has endorsed the Daily Mirror, a left-wing British newspaper, in its campaign to prevent military action against Iraq, according to Daily Mirror correspondent Alexandra Williams.
Mr. Carter "is backing the Daily Mirror's Not in My Name campaign," the reporter said in a dispatch from Plains, Ga., where she met with the former president.
"The Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the only U.S. president since 1945 never to order American soldiers into war, endorsed our stance on war with Iraq, saying: 'You're doing a good job. I am glad about that. War is evil,'" the reporter said.
The newspaper also quoted Mr. Carter as saying: "There has been a virtual declaration of war but a case for pre-emptive action against Iraq has not been made. We want Saddam Hussein to disarm but we want to achieve this through peaceful means.
"He obviously has the capability and desire to build prohibited weapons and probably has some hidden in his country.
"A sustained and enlarged U.N. inspection team is required."
Mr. Carter said an opinion poll that rated the United States as the country posing the greatest danger to world peace was a "very embarrassing thing."
Looking at a copy of the Mirror, he said: "I know the Daily Mirror, of course. I know it well. It's getting the message across."
Collision course
"However it turns out, the Senate Democratic filibuster against President Bush's nomination of Miguel A. Estrada to a U.S. appellate court is a straw in the wind. It's a signal that in the months ahead, the political conflict at home is likely to be as intense as the military conflict abroad," Ronald Brownstein writes in the Los Angeles Times.
"If the United States goes to war with Iraq, don't look for the kind of home-front unity that followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Across the full range of issues, the gap between the parties is expanding at an increasing velocity. Each side's trajectory points toward a tumultuous congressional session and a 2004 presidential election that will present the country with the starkest choice it has faced since 1984 and arguably 1972," Mr. Brownstein said.
"On almost every front, the internal pressures on Bush and his potential Democratic rivals for 2004 are widening the distance between them. From the outset of his presidency, Bush has appeared determined at times almost fixated on deepening his support among base Republican voters whose disillusionment helped sink his father's re-election campaign in 1992.
"Even amid his planning for war, Bush this year has produced a domestic agenda of stunning ambition from massive tax cuts to fundamental restructuring of social programs that excites these voters as much as it stuns and angers Democrats. The prospect of war with Iraq has only deepened the lines of division. Unlike the pursuit of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, this war is substantially dividing the public along lines of partisanship and ideology, polls show."
A rod of judgment
"We are so habituated to the progressive income tax that most conservatives, fiddling at the margins, fail to focus their ire on the basic immorality of that progressive income tax, and the social damage it has caused," Michael Novak writes in the Wall Street Journal.
"For decades, progressive economists have tried to make what one called 'the uneasy case for the progressive income tax' without success. That is why the debate about President Bush's tax reforms does not go nearly deep enough. The problem is the progressive income tax itself, and how it has become a cornerstone of the punish-the-rich mentality of the Democratic Party," said Mr. Novak, who holds a chair in philosophy, religion and policy at the American Enterprise Institute.
"At some time during the 20th century, the Democratic Party came to believe that the state is not a fickle abuser of human liberty (as liberals once held); instead, the state could be an angel of good whose mission is to bring about the equality between rich and poor which dreamers have always dreamed about. The means: redistribution of income. For the left, redistribution became a rod of judgment, separating wolves from sheep. Those in favor are noble, those opposed 'mean-spirited.' Only by understanding this does one grasp the vituperation that Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and others heap upon the Bush tax proposals."
Jittery in Georgia
Some Georgia business leaders are criticizing as divisive the governor's proposed referendum on whether to bring back the old state flag with its big Confederate emblem.
"In my opinion, the citizens of the state should not be asked to vote on a flag that's repugnant to a significant portion of the state," said Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons football team.
The new Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue said last week that he wants the nonbinding vote to be held the same day as the state's presidential primary in March 2004.
The executive committee of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the officers of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce planned to discuss the proposal this week. The Georgia Chamber will meet next week to discuss it, the Associated Press reports.
Business executives warned that a public flap over the flag could hurt Atlanta's chances to host a future Super Bowl and its bid for the future headquarters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Sigh of relief
"Friends of school choice in Milwaukee are breathing a sigh of relief, because it looks like their model program will survive a major political transition," John J. Miller writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"Last month, Jim Doyle was sworn in as Wisconsin's first Democratic governor since Tommy Thompson created America's biggest and most important school-choice project more than a decade ago. Thompson's brainchild currently enables some 11,600 low-income kids to attend private schools. Doyle didn't run on an anti-voucher platform, but the state's powerful teachers union endorsed him, and its members would love nothing more than to abolish school choice in its birthplace," Mr. Miller said.
"In December, however, Doyle announced a truce: 'I'm against any expansion of the voucher program, but I think keeping it at about its current level is where it should be.' This was consistent with a pledge Doyle made to school-choice supporters earlier in the year, when he was in a three-way primary."
Mr. Miller added: "This is an important moment for the school-choice movement, because it marks the first time that one of its three showcase projects has operated with a Democrat in the governor's office. In Ohio, the Cleveland scholarship program sprang to life under GOP Gov. George Voinovich (now a senator), and continues under Republican Bob Taft. The Florida initiative is a Jeb Bush product."
New world order
"What is emerging right now is the real 'new world order,'" Peggy Noonan writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.
"Twelve years ago when the Soviet Union fell, the first President Bush declared it had arrived, but it is this President Bush on whom it has come to call," she said.
"Old alliances fall, new ones rise. The 21st century takes its shape. The 'old West' is damaged, strained and on the brink. This is obvious not only in the stark disagreement on our current and crucial question of world security, but in the manner in which the disagreement is expressed. It is one thing for France and Germany to oppose America's stand that, after all these years, is not news but quite another for representatives of those countries to treat a Colin Powell with such disdain, the kind of disdain you might use toward the emissary of an old enemy, not the representative of an old friend.
"The new world reality is a division, a sharp split, between the civilized world on one side and those who comprise, or refuse to thwart, the uncivilized world."


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