- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 9, 2006

Another ‘tool’?

“Why in the world would anyone want to be the next Wesley Clark? In the 2004 election Gen. Clark played Ashley Wilkes to Dan Rather’s Scarlett O’Hara. Clark went wacky early, doing his best to endear himself to the Howard Dean lefties by making a habit of statements such as his call for a criminal investigation into the president’s decision on the Iraq war. Clark’s only achievement was to make of himself a useful tool of the Clinton machine.

“Comes now … Gen. Anthony Zinni, and his book, ‘The Battle for Peace.’ Zinni, a decorated combat soldier and no fool, is turning his book tour into a tour de farce for the left. …

“As an apolitical soldier, he could have aligned himself with neither the Republicans nor the Democrats and explained why both are wrong in his experienced judgment. Instead, Zinni has cut in on Wes Clark’s tango with Hillary … Like John Kerry and the Army Old Thinkers Zinni reveres … Zinni is reverting to the failed nostrums of Vietnam. He told Tim Russert, ‘We’re not fighting the Waffen SS here. You know, we’re fighting a bunch of ragtag people with AK-47s and [improvised explosive devices] and [rocket-propelled grenades]. They can be policed up if the people turn against them. We haven’t won the hearts and minds yet.’”

— Jed Babbin, writing on “Fighting for a Ticket on the Titanic,” April 7 in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Lies, all lies

“It seems to me there are two reasons, which go deep into our national culture, and which help explain the vulnerability of the press and of the citizenry to outrageous lies whose consequences bring death to tens of thousands of people. … One is in the dimension of time, that is, an absence of historical perspective. …

“If we don’t know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives. … But if we know some history, if we know how many times Presidents have made similar declarations to the country, and how they turned out to be lies, we will not be fooled. …

“President Polk lied to the nation about the reason for going to war with Mexico in 1846. … Polk, and the slave-owning aristocracy, coveted half of Mexico. We would point out that President McKinley lied in 1898 about the reason for invading Cuba. …

“President Woodrow Wilson … lied about the reasons for entering the First World War … [which] was really a war to make the world safe for the Western imperial powers. Harry Truman lied when he said the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima because it was ‘a military target.’”

— Howard Zinn, writing in the April issue of the Progressive

Pop and rock

“When I got my first break … there was something new happening in music — they were calling it ‘rock and roll.’ …

“The fans of pop music … liked well-crafted, melodic, catchy and memorable songs. … But this new stuff [was] … too primal to be confused with ‘Tin Pan Alley.’ …

“But while this new music phenomenon swept across the world … the tunesmiths were working feverishly back in Tin Pan Alley. More than anybody, they saw what was happening, and they wanted to be in the middle of it. Writers like Carole King and Neil Diamond and Neil Sedaka, Lieber and Stoller, and Ellie Greenwich caught the spirit and beat, and added wonderful lyrics and very imaginative ideas to the excitement. … ‘Up on the Roof’ and ‘Stand By Me,’ ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,’ and ‘Spanish Harlem’ come to mind.”

— Pat Boone, writing on “When Worst is ‘Best,’” April 8 in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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