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The good and the bad...

web posted February 24, 2003

"[L]et us once again recommit ourselves to those values which define us. ... Let us renew our commitment to standing for life, and liberty, and peace for all people. Let us renew our commitment to working with all nations to conquer want, and hunger, and disease in every corner of the globe. Let us accept our responsibility to defend the freedom which we are so privileged to enjoy. If terror and tragedy spur us to rediscover and strengthen these commitments, then we can truly say that some good has come from great loss. And in all the trials that may lie ahead, we will carry these commitments close to our heart so we may leave a better world for those who follow. This is our prayer for our Nation and our people. This is our prayer for all Nations and all peoples. Lord, hear our prayer." -- Condoleezza Rice

"This may be the most difficult war we have ever fought, because the front line is less on a foreign battlefield than it is in our will. For a few, no amount of dead Americans will be enough to warrant an all-out war abroad and resolving the problem at home. But for the vast majority, who may soon see -- if there are more terrorist attacks -- just how serious the threat to our way of life has become, we are going to have to rally ourselves as our ancestors did during the American Revolution." -- Cal Thomas

"Modern liberalism was born during the Vietnam War, when anti-war activists [thought] America was an international bully, a supporter of tyrants on the 'wrong side of history' and a deeply immoral nation. The sharpness of that indictment has blurred over the intervening years, but it remains the picture that liberals carry around in their mental wallets." -- Mona Charen

"The only way to bring any lasting peace to the Persian Gulf is to give war a chance. ...We may never get France or Germany to love us. If we destroy Saddam's weapons and liberate Iraq, however, it won't matter. Better that we earn the respect and fear of our enemies than the undying affection of our faint-hearted friends." -- Linda Chavez

"When they look back at this period, what will they say of us? Have we properly recognized the seriousness of the threat, the nexus between weapons of mass destruction, terrorist states and terrorist networks? Will they say we stood still-paralyzed by a straightjacket of indecision and 20th century thinking -- while dangers gathered? Or will they say that we recognized the coming danger, united, and took action before it was too late?" -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

"The tension that is now rising within the Western alliance, NATO and the UN over how to deal with Iraq is deeply disturbing. It raises fears that the postwar security system, which stabilized the world for 50 years, could come unglued if America intervenes alone in Iraq. At the birth of this security system, Secretary of State Dean Acheson wrote a memoir titled 'Present at the Creation.' Can we deal with Iraq and still ensure that Secretary of State Colin Powell's memoir is not titled 'Present at the Destruction'? ... Yes, we can -- if we, the Russians, the Chinese and the French all take a deep breath, understand our common interests and pursue them with a little more common sense and a little less bluster." -- Thomas Friedman

"We are so habituated to the progressive income tax that most conservatives, fiddling at the margins, fail to focus their ire on the basic immorality of that progressive income tax, and the social damage it has caused. ...At some time during the 20th century, the Democratic Party came to believe that the state is not a fickle abuser of human liberty (as liberals once held); instead, the state could be an angel of good whose mission is to bring about the equality between rich and poor which dreamers have always dreamed about. The means: redistribution of income. For the Left, redistribution became a rod of judgment, separating wolves from sheep. Those in favor are noble, those opposed 'mean-spirited.' Only by understanding this does one grasp the vituperation that Tom Daschle, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and others heap upon the Bush tax proposals." -- Michael Novak

"Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that with vital operations coming up against Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a roomful of supermodels who've just had their drugs taken away." -- Dennis Miller

"In politics intentions count for nothing; actions are what matter." -- David Horowitz

"Different regions may require different strategies, as President Bush has noted, but not different basic principles. It's either collective security or selective security." -- William Safire

"[6th Circuit Court Nominee Miguel] Estrada, who in 1979 was a 17-year-old non-English speaking immigrant from Honduras, is now a 41-year-old Washington, DC, lawyer talked about as a future Supreme Court justice. He has encountered the Clarence Thomas problem: relentless opposition by the Democratic high command to any conservative member of a minority group whose leaders are wedded to the Democratic Party." -- Robert Novak

"The real threat to world stability is not too much American power. It is too little American power." -- Michael Mandelbaum, Johns Hopkins University

"Government does best when it helps people help themselves. Human dignity is found not in a handout but in being able to do for one's self." -- Trent Lott

"The Founders understood that democracy was important, but if you didn't filter it through a republican system you'd be just as likely to end up with a tyranny of the majority as you would with a healthy society. Don't worry, I won't quote the Federalist Papers, but trust me, it's in there." -- Jonah Goldberg

"The French are not doing well in the American press. The New York Post cover featured a doctored color photo depicting French and German delegates to the United Nations as a pair of weasels in fancy suits. ... 'Cheese-eating surrender monkeys,' a phrase borrowed from 'The Simpsons' cartoon show, recently surfaced in the National Review magazine and has been echoed in the global media for days. ... 'Next time the French need their chestnuts pulled from the fire, it either will or will not be in our interest to do it. If not: Hard cheese, Jacques,' Human Events, a conservative newsweekly, stated yesterday, suggesting France change its tri-colored flag -- removing the red and blue, but leaving the white." -- The Washington Times

"At last count, there were 34 nations prepared to help in this. ...It's not unilateral when it's 16 to 3! Can't you count?" -- Fox commentator Brit Hume, responding to NPR's Juan Williams, noting that 16 of 19 NATO nations and 34 countries in all have already signed up for the "coalition of the willing" to defend against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's deadly threats

"I thought [Fidel Castro] was warm and bright. He's a very driven man, a very moral man. He's very concerned about his country. He's selfless in that way." -- Oliver Stone, reflecting on his encounters with Cuban dictator while filming his new Castro documentary, "Comandante"

"Do you know how many Frenchmen it takes to defend Paris? It's not known, it's never been tried. ...Somebody was telling me about the French Army rifle that was being advertised on eBay the other day -- the description was, 'Never shot. Dropped once'." -- Missouri Republican Rep. Roy Blunt

web posted February 17, 2003

"One secret to President Bush's success is that he has always been willing to settle for what he could get in terms of taxes, so long as the principle is not compromised and it is enacted into law. Thus, he will concede to long phase-ins, if necessary, and then ask for the tax cuts to be speeded up. He is satisfied with such compromises because they always move the law in his direction, and that is what is important. ... By Bush's second term, it is possible that we will have made enough incremental progress toward a flat rate consumption tax that we may finally see fundamental tax reform fully enacted into law. If so, it will be testament to a very clever, yet bold strategy that was initially invisible even to people like me, who study such things for a living. I am impressed." -- Bruce Bartlett

"History tends to judge harshly those who saw all the warning signs and had the chance to act, but failed to do so." -- Rachel Marsden

"Once again, Bush is putting the monkey where it belongs -- on the UN's back. Will the members of the Security Council fecklessly deny the undeniable? Will they demonstrate -- not for the first time -- the UN's irrelevance and impotence by acknowledging Saddam's perfidy but nevertheless urging a policy of inaction and appeasement, a policy they know the United States will reject?" -- Clifford D. May

"An institution that...would permit Iraq, a terrorist state that refuses to disarm, to become soon the chair of the United Nations Commission on Disarmament, and which recently elected Libya -- a terrorist state -- to chair the United Nations Commission on Human Rights of all things, seems not to be even struggling to regain credibility. That these acts of irresponsibility could happen now, at this moment in history, is breathtaking." -- U.S. Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

"The president offered France, Germany, Russia, China and other pouting members of the United Nations one last chance to save face and to keep their national egos fully inflated." -- Wesley Pruden

"You can't beat the Americans on the battlefield, but you can tie them down limb by limb in the UN and other supranational bodies. ...But through it all France is admirably upfront in its unilateralism: It reserves the right to treat French Africa as its colonies, Middle Eastern dictators as its clients, the European Union as a Greater France and the UN as a kind of global condom to prevent the spread of Americanization." -- Mark Steyn

"Some worry of a 'wider war' if we attack Iraq. We are already in that wider war. The question is, will we recognize it now, or will we be forced to realize it later after more of us are killed? If a killer is coming after you, it's better to intercept him before he gets to your door." -- Cal Thomas

"[W]e can't dodge history. History won't let us. We'll have to deal with it, do our best, lead for the good. Iraq is part of the pattern of world terror. To move against it is a gamble. But to do nothing is a gamble too. It's gambling on Saddam's future goodwill, a new reluctance on his part to use what he has, a change of heart, mind and character. Does that strike you as a safe bet? A good one? Me neither." -- Peggy Noonan

"Clearly we have to make some tough decisions as a country. And one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry and exit system so that if we're going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let's have a system that keeps track of least a visa ID, some kind of an entry and exit ID. And, you know, perhaps, although I'm not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton

"The lack of civility he [Rush Limbaugh] demonstrates toward liberal politicians is really dangerous to our political public. I hate to say it, but I wish the guy would have gone deaf. I shouldn't say that, but on behalf of the country, it would be better without Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners." -- Eric Alterman on "civility" in the current Esquire

"The Pentagon said today there's been a sudden rise in suicide attempts by al-Qa'ida prisoners in Guantanmo Bay. Yeah, and the problem is?" -- Jay Leno

"Tony Blair said he and President Bush prefer another UN resolution before a war in Iraq. Their problem is the Security Council." -- Argus Hamilton

web posted February 10, 2003

"Rather than advocating more federal involvement in education, President Bush should work toward reducing or abolishing the federal Department of Education and returning education to the state, local, and family level as provided by the Constitution. The president should announce efforts to repeal the many regulations and mandates governing education and free states from their addiction to federal funds by ending federal subsidies to schools." -- David Salisbury

"But, if you think a nation is the collective, accumulated wisdom of a shared past, then a dependence on immigration alone for population replenishment will leave you lost and diminished. God's first injunction to humanity couldn't have been plainer: Go forth and multiply. ...A society whose political class elevates 'a woman's right to choose' above 'go forth and multiply' is a society with a death wish. So today we're the endangered species, not the spotted owl. We're the dwindling resource, not the oil. ...Next time you're in a rundown diner and the 17-year-old waitress is eight months pregnant, don't tut 'What a tragedy' and point her to the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic. Leave her a large tip instead. She's doing the right thing, not just for her, but for all of us." -- Mark Steyn

"A few years ago, a film called The Truman Show came out. It featured a man in his thirties whose entire life from the moment of his birth had been filmed and -- unbeknownst to him -- watched by a vast television audience twenty-four hours a day. The small town he lived in was actually a giant movie set. The people he thought were family and friends were actors. He had the illusion of living a normal life in a normal town -- but it was just that: an illusion. It was a fascinating movie -- and it also serves as an illustration of what's happening to our democracy. We Americans think we enjoy self-government. We have all the trappings of self-government, like elections. But in reality, we have gradually lost many of our rights to govern ourselves. We have the form of self-government, but only some of the substance. We are, in a sense, a nation run by a handful of judges who often enforce, not the law, but their personal opinions." -- Chuck Colson

"[President Bush's] critics demand a smoking gun [before attacking Iraq], but the problem with waiting till one is found is that a smoking gun has just been fired. It will be too late." -- Paul Greenberg

"The game is over." -- U.S. President George W. Bush

"There is simply no substitute for forceful American leadership. Sometimes the best way to get allies is to be willing to forge ahead alone." -- Rich Lowry

"The overriding issue which Colin Powell presented to the UN Security Council this morning was this: Will the UN act with the same intent -- to establish a rule of law -- as the Security Council did in 1950 when it supported the war in Korea against Communist aggression and when it stood behind the U.S. in Adlai Stevenson's exposé of Soviet missiles in Cuba? If the UN fails in this regard, namely, if it stalls in the enforcement of UN Resolution 1441, it will go the way of the League of Nations. And deservedly so." -- Arnold Beichman

"Following the lead of Ronald Reagan and maybe, just maybe, George W. Bush, the Republicans are on their way to becoming the people's party, grotesque as that idea may be to reflexive Democrats. And it is the Democrats, once the party of Harry Truman and Scoop Jackson, who have become so enamored of their pet hates and loves, somehow simultaneously coarsening and softening their ideas, that they've set up their own dark little shop, and the old man in back fingering his resentments looks an awful lot like James Carville." -- Paul Greenberg

"We saw it in Hitler's Germany. We saw it in the Soviet Union. We saw it in Cambodia, and eventually we will see it in Cuba. And once Saddam fails and falls, the Iraqi people will shock and disgust the world by revealing the full, ghastly scope of Saddam's oppression." -- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

"I don't understand those who want to wait until the threat [from Iraq] is imminent. Do we wait until the missiles are launched, until the smallpox is in the country? The consequences of error could be catastrophic." --Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.

"For a few years now, I've been urging parents to send their kids to private religious schools and/or homeschool them. I truly see no other options for raising and educating children to be morally fit, well informed, appreciative Americans and contributing members of society. A shortage of teachers, a kaleidoscope of standards, endemic failure, annual budget shortfalls, states taking over local school districts and guns in the classroom are unavoidable signs of public-school collapse. I think Oregon may have the right idea. They are looking to shorten the school year by 15 days. How long before it's clear to them and to us, that we should simply close them altogether?" -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger

"As George Bush pointed out in his State of the Union address, dictators are not in the habit of 'politely putting us on notice before they strike.' By the time a threat is 'imminent,' Chicago will be gone." -- Ann Coulter

"But unlike William the Zipper, who pondered issues of war and peace in late-night pizza party rap sessions with 20-something interns in the Oval Office, President George W. Bush intends to do more than 'think' about the threats that imperil liberty and world order." -- Oliver North

"The latest rumor is the United States is looking behind the scenes to try and find a safe haven for Saddam Hussein. See, if he agrees to step down and leave Iraq, then we will relocate him. What a nightmare that is? Where are you going to send a guy who thinks America is a nest of greedy imperialists intent on bleeding the Third World of all their resources? Where do you send a guy like that? Besides Berkeley." -- Jay Leno

web posted February 3, 2003

"Whether or not the 'Axis of Evil' holds regular board meetings, there does seem to be a remarkable amount of interdepartmental coordination. For a year now, whenever the Americans look set to take on Saddam, some fortuitous diversion has come along: last spring's ferocious intensification of the Palestinian intifada, Crown Prince Abdullah's entirely fictitious peace plan, and now North Korea's nuclear capability. The idea, eagerly taken up by the West's many Saddamites, is that Iraq is something you never get around to: oh, no, you gotta put Baghdad on the back burner till you solve the Palestinian question, North Korea's nuclear standoff, the East Midlands borough council reorganization crisis, whatever." -- Mark Steyn

"We now have the biggest, most expensive federal government in history. Federal employees are thicker than maggots on a rotting carcass. So, why not start by abolishing vacant positions in every department except Defense and Homeland Security. Congress could set the example by cutting our own staff to show that we are willing to stop feeding the hungry beast. [We] need that tax-cutting Texan to also become a budget-cutting president. We need more members of Congress to decide that now is the time to cut taxes and at the same time tighten our belt. It's simple: Collect fewer dollars; spend fewer dollars." -- Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga)

"You do have to concede to the French their place in military history: As warriors, the French have always made superb pastry chefs. A French war begins with a retreat on Paris, followed by a scream for help, usually American, and four years of peaceful collaboration. They're the only country I know of that has a stack of surrender documents addressed To Whom It May Concern. I've seen fiercer geese." -- Fred Reed

"The Stars and Stripes are not very popular, which is sad. When you are on top everyone likes throwing stones at you. Australia has been dragged into it. We've been side by side with the Americans in every war America has fought. We are great, loyal allies. It is what Australia has to do. Wherever America goes, Australia is going to be with it, a la Bali. We should be there [in Iraq], absolutely ... we have to be with them. We have a lot of what democratic society gives us, our freedom of speech. If we lose that ..." -- Golfer Greg Norman



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