picks of the day

Two picks today – one about the War, the other about the 9/11 commission.

The first link is to a report by Niall Ferguson, a historian who is both a professor at New York University and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford. Ferguson’s piece is in The New York Times and may require registration, but the hassle is well worth it, for The Times, though presently the captive of a cult of anti-American leftists under Pinch Sulzberger, is nevertheless still our national newspaper of record. And this essay -- which, by the way, urges ruthless suppression of the Iraqi uprising – discuses a vital aspect of Iraq history most Americans probably don’t know: that the British ruled it, first directly and then indirectly – and by necessity with an iron hand -- from 1920 until 1955. Alas, the entire chain of command running U.S. operations in Iraq is apparently ignorant of this critical history -- a profound indictment, breathtaking in its implication the conditions exposed nearly 50 years ago by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer in The Ugly American still cripple our foreign policy today. The Ferguson piece is available here.

The second link is to an essay about increasing partisanship on the 9/11 commission and how it is compromising the commission’s credibility, with author John Carlson approaching the issue from a refreshing new perspective: instead of damning the commissioners who have already become notorious for their partisan demagoguery, Carlson focuses on the most non-partisan member of all, Commissioner Slade Gorton. Carlson notes that though Gorton was a Republican U.S. Senator from Washington state for 18 years, Gorton's questioning of witnesses is both unique and exemplary in its cool objectivity, an essential characteristic for all other commissioners to adopt -- that is, if the commission is to achieve the ends for which it was officially convened. I agree – and suspect Gorton’s example is likely to be ignored (if not deliberately suppressed) by the national media -- but I post the essay for another reason too: Gorton is not well known outside of Washington state. For example, few non-Washingtonians know that he is man of uncompromised principles – a gentleman of the first order. He is also a true defender of the Second Amendment, and before he was elected senator, he was probably the finest attorney general in the state’s history -- one of Gorton’s accomplishments was to give Washington the toughest, most user-friendly consumer protection law in the nation. After winning his Senate seat and two re-elections, always by easy margins, his defeat by Maria Cantwell in the 2000 election was a loss not only for Washingtonians but for all America. Gorton was beaten by only 2,229 votes, one of the many dismal consequences of the takeover of the state Republican Party by genuinely Talibanic Christian Fundamentalists during the 1990s. By their intolerance of all other viewpoints – especially their advocacy of defacto theocracy – the fundamentalists drove some 60,000 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents out of the GOP and into the Libertarian camp. The Democrats – in Washington primarily a party of the far (and often venomously anti-American) Left – have securely dominated the state ever since. The lesson – and its application to November 2004 – should be obvious. Hence this link to introduce readers of Civilization Calls to Gorton, and thereby illustrate something of the magnitude of the loss that – thanks to the authoritarian fundamentalists – we Washingtonians sustained in 2000 election.

posted by on April 19, 2004 11:41 AM