- The Washington Times - Monday, September 18, 2006

Get over it

“Stop apologizing, already,” wrote John Hinderaker of Power Line yesterday.

“Now Pope Benedict says he’s ‘deeply sorry’ that he offended Muslims. Meanwhile, no Muslim leader has been reported apologizing, or even expressing regret over, the murder of an Italian nun in Somalia.Witnesses to the murder say it ‘appeared to be linked’ to Muslim hysteria over the Pope’s speech; those witnesses spoke ‘on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.’ Reprisals? From members of the Religion of Peace? Why on earth would they be worried about reprisals?”

“The Pope has nothing to apologize for, and the last thing he should do is chase after Muslim spokesman with an ever-more-abject series of apologies. They can’t be satisfied … . There is a fundamental conflict here between many Muslim leaders, who demand that no one say anything about Islam except as approved by them, and the West, which recognizes freedom of speech. Pope Benedict serves neither himself nor the West when he appears to recognize as legitimate Muslim demands for a veto on all discussion of their religion and their place in the world. The Pope’s message to Muslims should not be an apology; it should be: Get over it.”

Self-absorbed affairs

“Why is the left afraid to face up to the threat of radical Islam?” asked Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal Online yesterday.

“Here’s a puzzle: Why is it so frequently the case that the people who have the most at stake in the battle against Islamic extremism and the most to lose when Islamism gains — namely, liberals — are typically the most reluctant to fight it?” Mr. Stephens added. “An instinct for pacifism surely goes some way toward explaining the left’s curious unwillingness to sign up for a war to defend its core values.”

Mr. Stephens later concludes: “Whatever else distinguishes Islamism from liberalism, both are remarkably self-absorbed affairs, obsessed with maintaining the purity of their own values no matter what the cost … Liberal beliefs deserve to be protected and fought for. A liberalism that abandons its own defense to others does not, something liberals everywhere might usefully dwell on during this season of sad remembrance.”

Tsk-tsk, tut-tut

Heavy-duty Democratic donor George Soros conceded on CNN yesterday that his claim made in his new book “The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror” — that “the Bush administration and the Nazi and communist regimes all engaged in the politics of fear” — was dicey, at best.

“Maybe I did go over the line. But I think that on the whole, my assessment is balanced,” Mr. Soros insisted to host Wolf Blitzer, later saying, “But I should have probably kept it to myself.”

Mr. Blitzer observed, “I guess you acknowledge you went over the top.”

Not too shabby

President Bush is receiving his highest job-performance numbers in a few months,” according to a Harris poll of 1,004 adults surveyed between Sept. 8 and 11 that was released yesterday.

According to the respondents, 12 percent said Mr. Bush’s job performance was “excellent,” 27 percent felt it was “pretty good” and 22 percent deemed it “fair.” Thirty-eight percent said it was “poor.”

Tending the fires

The America of yesterday has vanished and the America of tomorrow holds promise of becoming a land our parents would not recognize,” cautions Pat Buchanan in the September edition of the American Conservative magazine, declaring that the nation “rose from kin and culture, not an abstract proposition.”

Mr. Buchanan later continues, “Before Americans ever adopted a creed, Americans were a people and a nation. Those who equate that creed with the nation rewrite that history to convert America into something she never was: an imperial democracy imposing her ideology on a resisting world, to the ruin of the Republic she was meant to be. And they will turn America into something she cannot survive becoming: a multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual Tower of Babel.”

“If we are a creedal nation, united by a commitment to democracy, equality and liberty, with a mandate and a mission to impose those ideas and ideals on mankind, we shall have a foreign policy like that of George W. Bush. But if we are a traditional nation, our national interests will be traditional: the defense of the land and the preservations of the lives and liberty of our people.”

Fit to print?

Beginning today, the New York Times begins a campaign to convince the public that it’s still the newspaper of record, even in the post-Jayson Blair era. The paper has inaugurated a new “branding campaign” for itself which it calls “These times demand the Times.”

The marketing blitz will use 30- and 60-second TV spots to highlight how the news is reported while showcasing select reporters and columnists with “vignettes of their personal stories.”

“Journalism is everything to the New York Times,” observed spokeswoman Alyse Myers.

Bubba yes, Scooter no

Some conservatives wonder if they should defend the honor of I.Lewis “Scooter” Libby in charges related to the Valerie Plame matter when they previously called for the impeachment of President Clinton on charges of perjury.

“Unlike Libby, Clinton was not indicted despite overwhelming evidence of his actionable lies and obstructions. Indeed, Clinton’s offenses went so far as lying under oath during a deposition overseen by a federal judge, who later held him in contempt of court,” pointed out Mark Levin on National Review Online yesterday.

“Clinton never challenged the judge’s holding. During the course of that sworn deposition, he also knowingly lied to his attorney and knowingly allowed his lawyer to submit an affidavit at the deposition he knew to be false and, in fact, helped to concoct,” he wrote.

“Clinton’s lies had nothing to do with issues of recollection or confusion, but were both overt and conspiratorial — including suborning perjury. Clinton led the cover-up, and Clinton sought to fix the sexual-harassment lawsuit filed against him,” Levin continued.

“Unlike Libby, Clinton was the subject of the investigation. Libby was a bit player. Clinton had every reason to lie and cover-up his conduct as both the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky matters would be politically devastating and expose him to civil liability. Libby had no reason to conceal anything about his discussions with reporters as those discussions were not criminal and, as we now know for certain, he was not part of some White House cabal to destroy Valerie Plame, as critics have long (and falsely) asserted.”

Contact Jennifer Harper at 202/636-3085 or jharper@washingtontimes.com

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