- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 18, 2007

‘Unlikely choice’

“Jerry Falwell was an unlikely choice to become one of the most recognized faces and influential clergymen of the 20th century. …

“His father was once a bootlegger and disliked preachers of all sorts. His grandfather was a committed atheist. …

“Falwell was 34 when I met him in 1968. …

“But even then there was something special about Jerry. Though he was no intellectual, he was an educator … who respected the life of the mind and wanted Christians to be culturally literate as well as biblically informed. …

“The Jerry I remember poured his life into countless young people. I will always be grateful that I was one of them.”

Timothy George, writing on “The Jerry I Remember,” in the July issue of Christianity Today

No ‘Plan B’

“The war in Iraq is vital to America’s national security, and to the Global War on Terror. It is a fight which we are not currently losing on the ground, and which we will not lose if we simply put petty partisan politics aside and commit to victory, rather than seeking to take the easy way out (in the short term) and abandoning yet another battlefield to the enemy. …

“There is no ‘Plan B’ to success in Iraq. If we fail there, the Iraqi government and its security institutions will almost certainly crumble under the pressure of widespread sectarian violence, ethnic cleansing and extrajudicial killing. The chaos, which would spread across the country like wildfire, could very well engulf the region. Even if it did not reach that far, our withdrawal would give al Qaeda exactly what they have so often asked for: a base of operations outside of Afghanistan, from which they can carry out attacks on American interests and on our homeland itself.

“The American military can win this fight. The effort will take time, as all successful counterinsurgencies have. Whether or not our fast-food, instant-gratification culture can demonstrate the requisite patience remains to be seen; however, without time and patience, failure is all but assured. America will stand no chance in this or any future conflicts, as those we fight will constantly have the advantage of far greater dedication and patience than we will allow ourselves to display.”

Jeff Emanuel, “A Surge in Ignorance and Defeatism,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Obsolete ideals?

“The modern conservative movement has always relied on striking personalities to deliver its message. Bill Buckley outfitted National Review with some of the finest thinkers of the day, but its success owed at least as much to frequent television appearances in which his cool demeanor and witty bon mots won many followers and imitators.

“[Ronald] Reagan’s genial manner and his gentle ribbing of ‘folks in Washington’ made his reform-minded medicine go down easy. But the candidacy of Fred Thompson invites a warning: a personality may help carry ideas, but it is not a substitute for them.

“When a product is outdated, the only thing left is its brand-appeal, and Thompson, recognizing that no one has taken up the Reagan brand, is claiming it for himself. …

“But the ‘80s were a long time ago. And nostalgia can’t mask the fact that the conservative movement’s ideals, as formulated during the Cold War and embodied in the person of Reagan, are obsolete in the first decade of the new century.”

Michael Brendan Dougherty, writing on “Reagan Clone Wanted,” in the July 16 issue of the American Conservative

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