- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 10, 2003

Robertson vs. Bush

The leader of the Christian Coalition, the Rev. Pat Robertson, has another beef with President Bush. Mr. Robertson is a big supporter of Liberian President Charles Taylor, whom Mr. Robertson considers a Christian figure in mortal combat with Africa’s Muslims. Never mind Mr. Taylor’s thuggishness, dictatorial methods, links with international terrorism and original coup d’etat. He may be a thug, but he’s a Baptist thug! “The United States State Departmentis paving the way for the Muslims to take over Liberia,” Mr. Robertson argued on his “700 Club show.” He went on: “Howdarethe presidentofthe United States say to the duly elected president of another country, ‘You’ve got to step down.’ ” Saddam Hussein, anyone? Mr. Robertson denies that his own financial investments in Liberia have anything to do with his position. According to The Washington Post, “In an interview yesterday, he said he has ‘written off in my own mind’ an $8 million investment in a gold mining venture that he made four years ago under an agreement with Taylor’s government. Yet, he added: ‘Hope springs eternal. Once the dust has cleared on this thing, chances are there will be some investors from someplace who want to invest. If I could find some people to sell it to, I’d be more than delighted.’ ” Great to see religious leaders working the capital markets, isn’t it?

Patriotic rap

Here’s a lyric even social conservatives could support:

“Draft me, pass me the M-16

Give me a buzz cut, ask me if I give a [expletive]

I’m comin’ out blastin’

Military four fashion

Twelve close castin’, for weapons of mass-distraction

Outlastin’ all the privates in my company

Fightin’ for my family, and the cats that grew up with me

My band of brothers, rarely just smother the enemy

Razor blades cut ya face and leave a scar so you remember me

Lurkin’ to leave y’all with bloody red turbans

Screamin’ “Jihad!” while y’all pray to a false god”

A little crude, I guess. But it’s hip-hop. And it’s not a pose. Rapper Canibus, who wrote the song, joined up, finished his military training at Fort Knox, and is now a cavalry scout/reconnaissance specialist.

Raines of terror

I was long criticized for using this column to expose the extraordinary attempt by Howell Raines to turn the New York Times into his personal vehicle for quixotic left-liberal causes — or simply to throw his weight around. He was an insufferable, arrogant tyrant. As more details come out, the most paranoid anti-Raines arguments gain more traction. Now here comes David Margolick’s piece in Vanity Fair. I offer a single example:

“Worse, Raines would not let facts get in the way of a story he had ordered up or a point he decided to make. “Howell wanted a thought inserted high in one of my stories,” says a metro reporter. “The only problem was, it wasn’t true. Mind you, this was on my beat, a beat he didn’t really know about. I said to the editor who was the message-bearer that it wasn’t true, and it didn’t belong in the story, period. A while later he came back to me and said, ‘Well, you’re right, but Howell wants it anyway.’ It became clear that the editor had not fully conveyed my arguments to Howell, because he was afraid to. I said, ‘[expletive] that — I’ll tell him myself.’ And he literally seized my arm and said, ‘You don’t want to do that.’ And ultimately the editor-intermediary and I compromised on a version of what Howell wanted that was just vague enough not to mean much, but still close enough to a falsehood to make me very uncomfortable.”

It was as bad as we thought. Even worse, actually.

Derbyshire award nominee

“Our original Constitution divided the powers of the government and put restrictions on those powers, in a Bill of Rights, and in the retention by the states of much of their sovereign power. Lincoln’s War overthrew that Constitution. When 11 ‘free and independent states’ sought peacefully to depart from the Union, they were dragged back in, by invasion and war. By 1884, Woodrow Wilson was writing in his “Congressional Government,” “we are really living under a constitution essentially different from that which we have been so long worshiping as our own peculiar and incomparable possession.” — Pat Buchanan, yearning for the Confederacy. At this rate, it’s only a matter of time before he defends slavery.


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