- The Washington Times - Friday, November 12, 2004

Nobles: Karl Rove, for designing a strategy that not only re-elected his boss, but moved the country in the right direction.

On Sunday, President Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove, appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”In tribute to Mr. Arafat, Mr. Annan ordered the U.N. flags at half-staff on Thursday. Speaking about the election, Mr. Rove said, “The country is still close, but it has moved in a Republican direction, and this election confirmed that.” Indeed it did, and in no small degree because of Mr. Rove himself.

Perhaps poking a little fun at Mr. Rove’s critics, of which there are many, in his victory speech on Nov. 3, Mr. Bush thanked Mr. Rove, calling him the “architect.” The president was right to recognize his friend of many years for an achievement which cannot be minimized. At the same time, what is lost on many of his critics is that Mr. Rove’s job is to get his boss elected, and to this end Mr. Rove has one of the best records of any strategist in American history.

Yet, Mr. Rove achieved something more than a technical victory in Election 2004. As a student of America, Mr. Rove understands Americans in a way that the liberal elite never will. It is no surprise, then, that Mr. Rove’s grass-roots efforts in the counties soundly beat the Democrats’. By appealing to what Americans hold most dear, Mr. Rove’s strategy advanced a noble cause that managed to transcend mere politics.

For a well-earned victory, Mr. Rove is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, for a week of sympathizing with terrorists.

Where to begin with the secretary-general?

Well, for starters, Mr. Annan offered a rebuke to American and coalition allies, which at this point includes Iraqis, for taking the battle to militants in Fallujah this week. In a letter to Mr. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Mr. Annan wrote, “I wish to share with you my increasing concern at the prospect of an escalation in violence, which I fear could be very disruptive for Iraq’s political transition.” There was more, but you get the idea. Mr. Allawi’s reply will suffice as an appropriate rebuttal: “I was a little surprised by the lack of any mention in your letter of the atrocities which these groups have committed … The same group who murdered so many of your staff in the bombing of the U.N. headquarters last year, has since murdered hundreds of innocent Iraqis and committed countless other atrocities.”

Yet Mr. Annan has a soft spot for terrorists, as witnessed also this week by his mourning for late uber-terrorist Yasser Arafat. Gushing, Mr. Annan released a statement which reads in part: “President Arafat will always be remembered for having … led the Palestinians to accept the principle of peaceful coexistence between Israel and a future Palestinian state. By signing the Oslo accords in 1993 he took a giant step towards the realization of this vision.” In tribute to Mr. Arafat, Mr. Annan ordered the U.N. flags at half-staff on Thursday.

For the record, from the signing of the Oslo accords on Sept. 13, 1993, until September 2000, 256 Israeli civilians and soldiers were killed by Palestinian terrorist attacks. Since then, as the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes, 1,032 people have been killed. Giving Mr. Annan the benefit of the doubt that “President” Arafat was such a promoter of peace, he was amazingly ineffective.

For honoring a mass murderer and dishonoring the true champions of peace, Mr. Annan is the Knave of the week.

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