Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Still relevant

“[Ayn] Rand was, despite her exile from the conservative movement, a fan of Barry Goldwater, the modern Right’s first serious presidential candidate. She told him, ‘I regard you as the only hope of the anti-collectivist side on today’s political scene, and I have defended your position at every opportunity.’ For his part, Goldwater said that ‘I have enjoyed very few books in my life as much as ‘Atlas Shrugged.’

“Why does she matter to modern politics? It’s not like she is around for conservatives to seek her endorsement. But it is worthwhile for political activists to remember that Ayn Rand was utterly uncompromising on how government needed to respect the inalienable right of Americans to live their own lives, and of American business to grow, thrive, innovate and improve our lives without niggling interference.”

Brian Doherty, writing on “Rand and the Right,” Friday in the Wall Street Journal

Naming the enemy

“Western democracies and their political and military leaders do not fully comprehend the multifaceted threats represented by radical Muslim nonstate actors. In this, they violate the most famous dictum of Sun Tzu, the Chinese strategic genius of 2,500 years ago: ‘If you know yourself and understand your opponent, you will never put your victory in jeopardy in any conflict.’ …

“The broad support that al Qaeda jihadis and radical Islamist militias such as Hamas and Hezbollah enjoy in the Muslim world and in the global Muslim diaspora, as well as among non-Muslim anti-American political forces around the world demonstrates that describing the global Islamic insurgency as a fringe or minority phenomenon is unrealistic and self-defeating. …

“The Bush administration lost valuable time before it finally defined radical Islam as the premier national security threat in October 2005. Initially in the post-9/11 period, the president targeted ‘evildoers’ and “terrorism’ as the enemy. Moreover, Islam was declared a ‘religion of peace’ and Saudi Arabia, which has spent the last 30 years spreading its Wahhabi/Salafi gospel, was labeled as ‘our friend.’ Unsurprisingly, the nation and the military were somewhat disoriented.”

Ariel Cohen, writing on “Knowing the enemy,” in the October/November issue of Policy Review

Chief executioner

“Oct. 9, 2007, marked the 40th anniversary of Che Guevara‘s death. The predictable outlets are gushing forth with the predictable tributes. …

“Unsurprisingly, the New York Times had a correspondent in the Cuban city of Santa Clara for the teary commemoration at Che’s mausoleum … where Raul Castro presided and a solemn message from Fidel was read. Castro referred to his regime’s chief executioner as ‘a flower that was plucked from his stem prematurely.’

“And nary a mention, amidst all the adulation, of the one genuine accomplishment in Che Guevara’s life: the mass murder of defenseless men and boys. At everything else, Che Guevara failed abysmally, even comically.”

Humberto Fontova, writing on “Che Guevara RIP,” Monday at

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