The National Scene

Occasionally… well, regularly I take a look at the national scene. Here are some teasers with links – and of course, my commentary – to some of my favorite articles from the past week. Let me know if you like this sort of thing.

Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates
Christopher Hitchens
America’s first confrontation with the Islamic world helped forge a new nation’s character.
When I first began to plan my short biography of Thomas Jefferson, I found it difficult to research the chapter concerning the so-called Barbary Wars: an event or series of events that had seemingly receded over the lost horizon of American history. Henry Adams, in his discussion of our third president, had some boyhood reminiscences of the widespread hero-worship of naval officer Stephen Decatur, and other fragments and shards showed up in other quarries, but a sound general history of the subject was hard to come by. When I asked a professional military historian—a man with direct access to Defense Department archives—if there was any book that he could recommend, he came back with a slight shrug.

Comment: Hitchens is a big lefty, but he is right on the war. This piece is not about Iraq specifically, but about the same conflict of cultures. I must also say that reading Hitchens is always a joy – he is both a brilliant writer and historian. He is sort of William F. Buckley Jr.’s evil twin. Both men are brilliant, superb writers – as though struck in the same mint. On one side of the coin, the Catholic Conservative; on the other, the atheist lefty. Reading the work of either author will leave you with the feeling you get from doing half a Quaalude.

Hillary’s Open Borders Disgrace
By John Perazzo
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s position on illegal immigration is an unmitigated disgrace, and American voters ought to be aware of it.
Let’s take a look at the man who spoke these words, and who was entrusted by Mrs. Clinton to fill one of the most vital positions in her campaign.
For fully three decades, from 1974 to 2004, Yzaguirre served as President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, an organization that:

Comment: Nothing surprising here for Hillary watchers, but it is a good reminder to watch what she does, not what she says. I would also add that this appointment is more evidence of her anti-Americanism.

Harry’s War
Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq.

We’re going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding.

–Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, April 12.

Gen. David Petraeus is in Washington this week, where on Monday he briefed President Bush on the progress of the new military strategy in Iraq. Today he will give similar briefings on Capitol Hill, but maybe he should save his breath. As fellow four-star Harry Reid recently informed America, the war Gen. Petraeus is fighting and trying to win is already “lost.”

Comment: Our friends at the Wall Street Journal offer some clear-headed straight talk regarding the Democrat’s twisted approach to the war. The major parties are often (in some circles) referred to as the “Evil Party and the Stupid Party.” Any doubt about which one is the evil?

The Democrats’ Gonzales
By David S. Broder
Here’s a Washington political riddle where you fill in the blanks: As Alberto Gonzales is to the Republicans, Blank Blank is to the Democrats — a continuing embarrassment thanks to his amateurish performance.
If you answered ” Harry Reid,” give yourself an A. And join the long list of senators of both parties who are ready for these two springtime exhibitions of ineptitude to end.

Comment: Yikes! Washington Post lefty David Broder has had enough of Harry Reid. It’s encouraging to see some criticism of this despicable character.

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