- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Slanderous star

” ‘We’ve killed over 400,000 of their citizens.’ That’s what actor Tim Robbins thinks U.S. troops have been doing in Iraq. He made [that statement] … in an appearance on HBO’s ‘Real Time with Bill Maher.’

“He’s wrong, of course. American soldiers have not been slaughtering 300 Iraqis a day for the last four years. Even for one of Hollywood’s most feculent personalities, this is an appalling slander of U.S. troops.

“The Iraq Body Count is an antiwar Web site that tallies all civilian deaths in Iraq as reported in the news media. Theirs is a comprehensive count that seeks to hold the United States and Britain accountable for a wide range of civilian deaths. …

“The antiwar group’s ‘maximum count’? At the moment, 77,555. That’s one-fifth the number concocted by Robbins’s overactive imagination.”

From “Hollywood Hates the Troops,” in the Sept. 10 issue of the Weekly Standard

‘The peace racket’

“ ’If you want peace, prepare for war,’ counseled the Roman general Flavius Vegetius Renatus more than 1,600 years ago, echoing the sage advice given nine centuries earlier by the Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu. …

“Conflict happens, power matters, and it’s better to be strong than to be weak. Human history has demonstrated repeatedly that you’re safer if your enemies know you’ll stand up for yourself than if you’re proudly outspoken about your defenselessness or your unwillingness to fight. …

“Decent people prefer peace to war, life to death, nonviolence to violence. But they also prefer freedom to tyranny — and the peace studies movement, all too often, promotes a mentality that plays directly into the hands of despots. …

“If so many young Americans have grown up insulated from the realities that Vegetius and Sun Tzu elucidated centuries ago, and are therefore easy marks for the peace racket, it’s thanks to the success of the very things the peace racket despises — American capitalism and American military preparedness.”

Bruce Bawer, writing on “The peace racket,” Sept. 2 in the Los Angeles Times

Elite injustice

“Privileged, rowdy white jocks at an elite, Southern college, a poor, young black stripper, and an alleged rape: It was a juicy, made-for-the-media story of race, class and sex, and it was told and retold for months with a ferocious, moralistic intensity. Reporters and pundits ripped into Duke University, the white race and the young lacrosse players at the center of the episode, and the local justice system quickly handed up indictments. …

“There was plenty of wrongdoing, of course, but it had very little to do with Duke’s lacrosse players. It was perpetrated instead by a rogue district attorney determined to win re-election in a racially divided, town-gown … city; ideologically driven reporters and their pseudo-expert sources; censorious faculty members driven by the imperatives of political correctness; a craven university president; and black community leaders seemingly ready to believe any charge of black victimization. …

“[T]he Duke affair … was not some odd, outlier incident, but the product of an elite culture’s most treasured assumptions about American life, not least about America’s supposed racial divide.”

Abigail Thernstrom, writing on “The Massacre of Innocence,” Thursday in Opinion Journal.com

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