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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Media Scrambling to Rewrite History

The Charleston (WV) Gazette is famous for having the most rabidly leftist editorial staff in America today. And deservedly so. But the folks there are not particularly famous for being deep thinkers. And deservedly so.

In an editorial today entitled, "Iraq debate, White House defense," (link) an attempt is made to alter history. A really feeble attempt. And to try to draw painfully skewed conclusions from unrelated facts.

First, recent history:
REP. John Murtha, D-Pa., has done a wonderful thing. He has changed the climate of debate in Washington over the war in Iraq.
How, you're wondering?
Because he is a decorated Vietnam vet and often a proponent of military action, Murtha has the credentials to criticize. Freshman Rep. Jean Schmidt tried to paint the old soldier as a coward and was quickly slapped down. Now both President Bush and Vice President Cheney have declared that opposing the war is not an act of disloyalty.

How has Murtha's military resume altered "the climate of debate" in Washington? It hasn't. Unless you think John Kerry's resume (he drove a boat for the government 40 years ago) "changed the climate of debate" in Washington as well. Not only did his resume fail to affect any climate conditions, it failed to even change his employment status.

Most would argue that the climate of debate hasn't changed at all. It's still as divisive as ever. Others would even argue that it's high time the climate of debate heated up - dramatically.

As for rewriting history, the people at the Gazette would have you believe the Democrats in Congress were duped into voting for the War on Terror.
Both Cheney and Bush have tried lamely to score points by saying that Democrats in Congress originally went along with their assessment of danger from Iraq, based on the same intelligence the administration used. That is demonstrably false. Members of Congress — including members of the Senate Intelligence Committee — are angry precisely because they were denied access to the same intelligence.

Interesting defense: "We were useful idiots."

Then there's this:
The administration also contends that the Clinton White House agreed Saddam Hussein was a threat. That’s true — but Clinton and his colleagues concluded that the Iraq threat was adequately contained. Clinton did not launch a needless war.
Uh, Clinton did launch a war, and it proved useful, even if it was halfhearted and - as was his wont - half-assed. And he started his war for the very same reasons and against the very same enemy as President Bush did in 2003. Because containment wasn't working. From CNN.com:

CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons. (link)

I'll bet the people at the Gazette find facts to be so annoying. If they could find them. If they knew what one looked like.

There was a (brief) time when leftists sequestered in editorial board rooms around the country decided how history was going to be written. That day is gone. The modem and the weblog have seen to that. And just as history revisionism has seen its day, so has the reputation of the Charleston Gazette.

An Assessment

You are probably all wondering what I think of Boston, having been here since Monday. Here's my observations: Boston is wet. And foggy. And now cold.

I was able to get out and see some tourist attractions yesterday. I sat next to a young man with a purple spiked mohawk and lip ring at Elliot's Deli at lunchtime. He looked like his blind mother dressed him in the morning and he was eating corned beef on rye as if he was in some contest to fit the largest portion of a sandwich in his mouth at one time. That was interesting.

Quote Of The Day

Not Evil?

The Canadian Press reports on a Toronto speech by TV host Chris Matthews:

Four years after 9/11 and the "crazy zeitgeist" that permeated the United States, most Americans have still not learned to know their enemies instead of just hating them, U.S. political journalist Chris Matthews says. . . .

"The period between 9/11 and Iraq was not a good time for America. There wasn't a robust discussion of what we were doing," Matthews said.

"If we stop trying to figure out the other side, we've given up. The person on the other side is not evil--they just have a different perspective."

Possibly this very brief account is unfair to Matthews. But if this is really what he said, it's rather stunningly clueless. Of course it's true that one should know one's enemy, and merely saying al Qaeda is "evil" is far from sufficient to understand the terror group. But surely it's necessary. If Matthews thinks people who wantonly murder the innocent are "not evil," he knows nothing.

James Taranto, "Best of the Web," November 23, 2005

Gays Banned

Say what you will about it, and there will be plenty of people with something to say, the Catholic church did the right thing in banishing homosexuals from the priesthood.
Vatican Closes Door on Gay Seminarians
By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Writer

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican is toughening its stand against gay candidates for the priesthood, specifying in a new document that even men with "transitory" homosexual tendencies must overcome their urges for at least three years before entering the clergy.

A long-awaited "Instruction," due to be released next week, was posted Tuesday on the Internet by the Italian Catholic news agency Adista. A church official who has read the document confirmed its authenticity; he asked that his name not be used because the piece has not been published by the Vatican. (link)
One can argue that the church doesn't have a problem with homosexuals; rather that it has a huge issue with pedophiles. But one cannot argue with this: the vast majority of crimes committed against children has dealt with young boys.

And then there's this startling statistic:
Estimates of the percentage of gays in U.S. seminaries and the priesthood range from 25 percent to 50 percent, according to a research review by the Rev. Donald Cozzens, an author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood."

What is going on here?