- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2003

Dying for Dominique
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin refused during a question-and-answer session on the war with Iraq to answer the question: "Who do you want to win the war?"
So writes Britain's Sky News after Mr. de Villepin's lecture this week at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies. The network said it was the foreign minister's first visit to Britain since the start of the U.S.-led war, which France has fiercely opposed.
Should Mr. de Villepin be asked again who he's rooting for, he might recall two important historical facts:
1. The United States provided $2.71 billion in aid to France to alleviate post-World War II starvation and desolation.
2. The bodies of 81,172 U.S. soldiers who died in World Wars I and II are buried in 14 cemeteries in France and Belgium.

Radical problem
Islamic affairs analyst and author Anthony J. Dennis weighs in on this column's discussion surrounding the motive of Army Sgt. Asan Akbar, a Muslim soldier suspected to have killed two and wounded 13 of his fellow 101st Airborne Division troops in a grenade and gun attack in Kuwait.
Mr. Dennis, author of "Osama Bin Laden: A Psychological and Political Portrait" and "The Rise of the Islamic Empire and the Threat to the West," says the attack raises questions about security risks posed by "radical Muslims" who may be serving in the U.S. military, the CIA and the FBI.
Mr. Dennis says there are several lessons from this incident: "First, according to the Defense Department there are over 4,000 Muslims serving in the armed services and we haven't had 4,000 incidents like this. So, Islam is not the problem, radical Muslims are. We're talking about a subset of people."
Second, he says, military and federal agencies need training to spot "early warning" signs of security risks, including "abrupt changes in behavior, deeply offensive anti-American statements, changing one's name and self-identity to reflect one's radical Islamic beliefs."
He cites FBI Agent Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, who refused to perform certain duties that included tape-recording Muslim terrorism suspects.
"I think it's pretty obvious the military is doing back flips in an effort to avoid saying this was a religiously motivated attack," Mr. Dennis opines of Sgt. Akbar. "The FBI has acted in a similar manner."

Mag trade
After a record year that included seven New York Times best sellers, Al Regnery is leaving his post as president and publisher of Washington's Regnery Publishing Inc.
"I've been doing this for a long time and I'm looking for a new challenge," Mr. Regnery tells Inside the Beltway. "I have no dissatisfaction with what I do, I love it. … It's just a great way to wind up a career doing magazines instead of books."
Yes, Mr. Regnery is becoming publisher of the American Spectator, a conservative magazine for which he has grand plans.
Marji Ross takes over as president and publisher of Regnery Publishing. Mr. Regnery will remain on the company's board.

Cooking out?
Shelves of local hardware stores, rapidly depleted of duct tape during a recent shopping spree by terrified soccer moms who tried to tape would-be terrorists out of their McMansions, are once again brimming with rolls of the sticky stuff.
So what's a family that's overstocked with duct tape to do?
"Jim and Tim, the Duct Tape Guys" (www.ducttapeguys.com), publishers of "Duct Tape Books" long before Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge sent duct tape stock prices soaring, bring us other useful duct tape hints.
"Because duct tape is gender neutral, may we suggest that gals can end that age-old argument by duct taping the toilet seat down," say the two. "Don't worry guys, you can go right in and duct tape it up."
In addition, always ensure you have a roll of duct tape when you travel, as "a roll of duct tape taped to the dashboard of your car makes a great pop can holder."
One guy "used duct to secure a board five feet outside of his third-story apartment so he could barbecue outdoors."
Finally, there's duct tape suggestions for "practical jokers" (note: duct tape in the wrong hands can be a dangerous weapon). One is the old "Roof Top Soda" trick: "Secure a 32 ounce soda cup to the top of your car with duct tape on the bottom of the cup. As if you had left it there by mistake, drive merrily along with the radio loud so you can't hear the people yelling to get your drink off the car.
"When they point and wave, act like they are waving at you, smile and wave back. You would not believe the reactions to this in traffic. People will get out of their vehicle and tap on the window to tell you about the cup!"

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