- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 2, 2006

Serving up Rice

Admirers crowned him “creator of the Reagan Doctrine,” critics considered him an “ideological gangster,” and adventurists christened him the “real Indiana Jones.”

The latter title is not surprising, considering Jack Wheeler, a former adviser to President Reagan, once rounded up enough elephants to retrace Hannibal’s route over the mountains, then got listed in the Guinness World Records after accomplishing the first free-fall sky-dive above the North Pole.

Now, having traversed the dangerous rope bridges and booby traps of talk radio and TV, Mr. Wheeler is leading Internet users to his “Oasis of Rational Conservatism” — www.tothepointnews.com — which isn’t short on predictions.

After all, 10 years before the Soviet Union crumbled, Mr. Wheeler predicted its exact demise. He won another bet as to when the Berlin Wall would be torn down.

Now Mr. Wheeler is predicting that Vice President Dick Cheney will resign before this year is out and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be nominated and confirmed as vice president.

In fact, he notes, President Bush has already nicknamed Miss Rice “Forty-Four” — as in the 44th president of the United States.

Award for terror?

There’s no better time to point out the “craziness of Hollywood.”

So says Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi of the Israel Project in Washington, noting that the Academy Awards on Sunday could give best foreign film honors to “Paradise Now” — a script where “the good guys are the suicide bombers.”

(“Paradise Now” has already been awarded a Golden Globe by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.)

Mrs. Mizrahi is a close friend to Yossi Zur, who lost his 16-year-old son to a suicide bomber in Israel on March 5, 2003, exactly three years before this year’s Hollywood awards night. He’s now worried about the message the film sends, noting that it follows the path of two young Palestinians from the moment they decided to strap on bombs to when they board a bus crowded with children, a story the world knows all too well.

“My son Asaf was almost 17 years old, an eleventh-grader studying computer sciences, when one day after school he boarded a bus in Israel to return home. On the way, a suicide bomber from Hebron, 21 years old and himself a computer sciences student in the Hebron Polytechnic, also boarded the bus and blew himself up,” says Mr. Zur. He is concerned that the movie condones murderous bombings as a legitimate tactic for those who feel they’ve exhausted all other means.

Fit to print

Distraught by the mainstream media’s focus on the negative aspects of the war on terrorism, Matt Williams, executive director of the American Security Council Foundation, has created “America’s Heroes,” a program to deliver “good news” from the front lines.

He aims to honor the heroic men and women fighting the war through national and regional print editorials and broadcast interviews.

Woman to know

Beth Solomon leaves her high-visibility position with the National Association of Manufacturers to join the New York-based executive search firm of Christian & Timbers, becoming director of its Washington office.

The office on 15th Street NW recently provided executive search services to the FBI director, the Internal Revenue Service commissioner, even to President Bush’s lieutenants.

Congrats, Sarge

John Fales, better known to readers of The Washington Times as “Sergeant Shaft,” was honored yesterday at the annual conference of the American Legion.

The Legion, which is holding its yearly Washington conference, gave its National Commander’s Public Relations Award to Mr. Fales, a Marine veteran whose decorations include the Purple Heart, during a luncheon banquet at the Hyatt-Regency Capitol Hill.

“Thanks to his efforts, veterans receive important and timely information about issues affecting their lives, including the rights and benefits they earned, and so richly deserve, through service to America as members of the armed forces,” said Tom Bock, the Legion’s national commander. “Additionally, John significantly raised public awareness of the need to restore to the American people their right to protect the United States flag from desecration and provided information regarding pertinent legislation.”

In addition to writing his column for The Times, which runs every Monday and in the National Weekly edition, Mr. Fales is president of the Blinded American Veterans Foundation.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

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