- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 8, 2003

Nobles: Former President Ronald Reagan, who turned 92 on Thursday.
Mr. Reagan remains a fixture in the minds of most of us, but there have been several striking reminders lately. Many of us have taken comfort from the parallels between our troubled times the Columbia disaster, fear from the axis of evil and a soft economy and those that Mr. Reagan guided us through.
We mourn Mr. Reagan's illness, the great solitude he bears, even with Nancy at his side. It's proper that we do so. But as we sorrow for him and reflect on his better years, we should take his current suffering as a marker of the struggle he took up cheerfully each day one that brought the return of Americans to space, the end of the evil empire and a long span of peace and prosperity.
To arrive at that new morning in America, Mr. Reagan had to battle stagflation, a stubborn Congress and falling hopes. On this anniversary last year, Peggy Noonan remarked that being Reaganesque meant, "To recognize the struggle, accept the struggle, and fight it each day with as much joy as you can."
In his poem, "Be Strong," Maltbie D. Babcock, wrote lines Mr. Reagan lived by:
"Be strong!
"It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong,
"How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
"Faint not fight on!
"Tomorrow comes the song."
Here's ours, "Happy birthday, Mr. Reagan, happy birthday to you."
Knaves: Our honorable allies the Saudis, for giving aid and succor, not to mention safe passage and airline tickets, to the wife of a suspected collaborator of the September 11 terrorists.

The Saudis are honorable allies. So honorable that they had to act when they heard about the plight of their citizen Maha Marri. Mrs. Marri had been ill, her husband had been kept from her for more than a year, her five children had not been in school for a while, and she had been delayed (one might almost say detained) in the United States for some months.
These honorable men took sympathy on her they gave her a $3,000 stipend each month to live on, they set her up in an apartment in Falls Church, they paid for her limousine rides and even put up nearly $200,000 for her lawyers (more on that in a minute). To top it all off, when the honorable men in the Saudi Embassy realized that neither Mrs. Marri nor her children had valid passports, they provided new papers and quietly put them on a plane back to Saudi Arabia. She and her children landed Nov. 10, shortly after her lawyer's last contact with federal authorities, according to The Washington Post, which broke the story.
Federal authorities thought she might be able to tell them about the activities of her husband, Ali S. Marri, who was indicted last month for lying to the FBI regarding phone calls he made to a suspected manager of one of the bank accounts used by the September 11 terrorists. Perjury was probably the least of his crimes. When the FBI turned over his apartment (he was taken into custody as a material witness in December 2001), agents found, among others things, a computer with bookmarked Web sites with information on highly hazardous chemical agents and their purchase; an almanac bookmarked to the locations of U.S. railroads, dams and waterways; and audio files of Osama bin Laden.
Is it any wonder that the FBI had pulled Mrs. Marri's passport or that a federal grand jury had issued her a subpoena to testify? An embassy spokesman said that Mrs. Marri would be happy to answer any questions U.S. authorities have for her from her safe haven in her homeland.
Let the questioning begin.

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