Some Random Thoughts


This is my Creators Syndicate column for this week. I have known Nancy Pelosi since 1980, when I had a very friendly dinner with her and her husband, both of whom struck me then and continue to strike me now as very nice and very intelligent people. But I fear she got over her head in her trip to Damascus. "Friendship" and "hope" are not enough to protect us in a dangerous world.

Public-opinion polling continues to indicate that Americans are downbeat about the nation's economy. Yet as these numbers from the Examiner indicate, our economy is more robust today than it was when Bill Clinton was president.

In National Review's the Corner, Stanley Kurtz makes the point that Iran's nuclear program constitutes "a threat of exactly the sort that everyone agreed would justify action in Iraq." Which is not to say that a military response is appropriate, but it does raise the question. Interestingly, a recent poll shows that Europeans say they would support airstrikes against nuclear-armed Iran. But most Europeans don't want their countries to spend more on defense. They evidently want the United States to do the dirty work of eliminating Iranian nuclear weapons–and to be free to criticize that action themselves. There is a word for this combination of attitudes: adolescent. Teenagers expect their parents to protect them. But they want to be able to gripe about it anyway.

Astonishing Double Standards Department, Example 1: Officials at San Francisco State University (in Pelosi's district) took disciplinary action against College Republicans who burned images of the flags of Hezbollah and Hamas. This was "incivility" and "a hostile environment." Yet four years ago SFSU refused to take action against students who plastered the campus with pictures of dead babies labeled "canned Palestinian children meat, slaughtered according to Jewish rites under American license."

Astonishing Double Standards Department, Example 2: In this blistering blog post, the Daily Telegraph's Toby Harnden, who served in the Royal Navy on HMS Cornwall, takes aim at the British hostages who kowtowed to their Iranian captors and to the approval expressed by their military superiors. Contrast that with the recent decision by the BBC to cancel a 90-minute documentary on Pvt. Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for "valor of the highest order" in his service in Iraq. Cowards being feted as heroes; a hero's story rejected as "too positive."