Monday Brief

Brief

Oct. 1, 2001

THE FOUNDATION

“In the state of nature every man is, under God, judge and sole judge of his own rights and of the injuries done him.” –Samuel Adams

INSIGHT

“The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.” –Paul Johnson

GOOD NEWS

“All our enemies have opened their mouths wide against us. We have suffered terror and pitfalls, ruin and destruction. Streams of tears flow from my eyes because my people are destroyed. My eyes will flow unceasingly, without relief until the Lord looks down from heaven and sees. What I see brings grief to my soul because of all the women of my city. Those who were my enemies without cause hunted me like a bird. They tried to end my life in a pit and threw stones at me: the waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to be cut off. I called on your name O Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: ‘Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.’ You came near when I called you, and you said, ‘Do not fear.’ O Lord, you took up my case: you redeemed my life. You have seen, O Lord, the wrong done to me. Uphold my cause! You have seen the depth of their vengeance, all their plots against me. O Lord, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long. Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs. Pay them back what they deserve, O Lord, for what their hands have done. Put a veil over their hearts, and may your curse be on them! Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:46-66)

ICTUS IMPRIMIS

“O Lord, let thyself be found with a good gift to everyone who needs it, that the happy may find courage to accept thy good gifts, that the sorrowful may find courage to accept thy perfect gifts. For to men there is a difference of joy and of sorrow, but for thee, O Lord, there is no difference in these things; everything that comes from thee is a good and perfect gift.” –Soren Kierkegaard

FAMILY

“How can Christian students keep their faith on today’s politicized campus? The answer is to learn to analyze worldviews, and it starts by understanding that Christianity itself is a worldview. The basic elements of the biblical message – creation, fall, and redemption – are not merely theological doctrines. They also represent the basic questions that every worldview must answer. Creation – where did we come from? Fall – what’s wrong with the world? Why is there evil and suffering? And finally, Redemption – how can it be fixed? How can we create a better world? By applying these categories to any worldview, we can test how well it answers the basic questions of life.” –Charles Colson

CULTURE

“Americans should be vigilant about the language we use throughout Operation Enduring Freedom and the ensuing War on Terror. The events of Sept. 11 were, indeed, monumentally tragic. But they also were calculated deeds of cataclysmic slaughter. Exterminating the bastards who perpetrated all of this unbridled cruelty will be arduous, painful and even may involve ugly domestic surprises along the way. Nonetheless, it will be vital throughout this endeavor to remember why we fight. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, even in the realm of rhetoric, this is no time to go wobbly.” –Deroy Murdock

LIBERTY

“We’re learning once again that freedom and liberty and the American way of life are not a birthright. It is time for us to pick up the mantle to destroy terrorism and remove this cancer.” –Navy Secretary Gordon England

OPINION IN BRIEF

“One widespread and pernicious illusion died a fiery death on September 11: The notion that America – the ‘world’s only superpower’ – was invulnerable and its people secure within their own borders against foreign attack was vaporized along with the World Trade Center towers, portions of the Pentagon and the hijacked jet aimed at the Capitol. It appears that two other dangerous illusions linger on, however. One involves the belief clung to by die-hard opponents of President Bush’s efforts to develop and deploy effective missile defenses that we can safely perpetuate our complete vulnerability to another, far more deadly attack from ballistic missiles. The second is, if anything, even more preposterous: The belief that there are some ‘good’ terrorists with whom we can prudently make common cause, at least temporarily, in waging war against the ‘bad’ terrorists responsible for the events of 9/11. …Those murdered in cold blood on September 11 will not have died in vain if we as a nation are spared the potentially far greater costs associated with these lingering illusions. It behooves President Bush and the Congress to work together to ensure that effective missile defenses are built and deployed at the earliest possible time and that any new alliance is made with fellow democracies who are victims of terrorism, not with terrorists who have violently assaulted them and us.” –Frank Gaffney

EDITORIAL EXEGESIS

“Arming commercial pilots – many of whom (if not the majority) are ex-military or in the reserves – seems to be a sound and eminently practical idea. All pilots must undergo extensive background checks, as well as psychological screening. Those lacking experience with firearms and gun safety could be trained in these areas. It is doubtful that armed pilots present any danger. No U.S. pilot in the history of American commercial aviation has ever ‘gone postal’ – and that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. Arming pilots, however, would provide at least some means of defense against terrorists or would-be hijackers. As it is, there’s no way to call 911 when you’re 30,000 feet in the air. Until the aircraft returns to the ground, it’s the unarmed and thus defenseless flight crew against the bad guys and whatever they manage to smuggle aboard the plane. In the Sept. 11 attacks, where the hijackers were apparently armed only with knives and box-cutters, an armed flight crew might have made all the difference in the world. …Giving pilots the means to defend themselves is an idea whose time has come. It makes sense – and is certainly more cost-effective than hiring armed ‘sky marshals’ and placing one on every commercial flight. Armed flight crews render the sky marshal concept superfluous, and it provides some much-needed leveling of the playing field between the good guys and the bad guys.” –Washington Times

THE GIPPER

“Nothing ends here.” –Ronald Reagan after the 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger

GOVERNMENT

“After the World Trade Center was bombed by Islamic fundamentalists in 1993, the country quickly chalked it up to a zany one-time attack and five minutes later decided we were all safe again. We weren’t. We aren’t now. They will strike again. Perhaps they will wait another eight years. But perhaps not. The enemy is in this country right now. And any terrorists who are not already here are free to immigrate. The government has been doing an excellent job rounding up suspects from the last two attacks. But what about the next attack? We thought there was only one murderous Islamic cell in America the last time, too. Congress has authority to pass a law tomorrow requiring aliens from suspect countries to leave. As far as the Constitution is concerned, aliens, which is to say non-citizens, are here at this country’s pleasure. They have no constitutional right to be here. Congress has it within its power to prevent the next attack, but it won’t. When the Sears Tower is attacked, the president is assassinated, St. Patrick’s Cathedral is vaporized, anthrax is released in the subway systems or Disneyland is nuked, remember: Congress could have stopped it, but didn’t.” –Ann Coulter

POLITICAL FUTURES

“Last November I broke the unwritten rule that requires journalists to be neutral political observers when I got embroiled in the controversy over the presidential election and publicly supported Al Gore. It was not just with friends that I passionately argued the election had been stolen and that Mr. Gore would be the better president. I was one of the signatories to the pompously titled ‘Emergency Committee of Concerned Citizens 2000,’ which took full-page ads in the New York Times demanding a revote in Palm Beach county. I wrote op-eds for Salon.com and the New York Daily News. On television talk shows … I made the case for Mr. Gore. In thousands of e-mails, I urged voters to deluge Clay Roberts, director of Florida’s Division of Elections, with appeals for a recount. Of course, I did not know whether the election had gone for Mr. Gore or George W. Bush. As a partisan, I did not care. I was convinced that Mr. Gore was by far the best-qualified candidate and the man most fit to lead the U.S. Mr. Bush was not only untested nationally, but he seemed to me bereft of the character or intellect to become a real leader, and I feared that four years, and possibly eight, under Mr. Bush would set the country back. How wrong I was. … Sometimes historians wonder whether great leaders are made by the crises they confront, or whether they would be great leaders even in untroubled times. More often than not, real leadership flourishes when faced with imminent threats and dangers. That is what America faces at the start of the 21st century from a radical perversion of Islam. And President Bush showed all of us who doubted him, and voted against him, that he is indeed a leader. … My late father used to tell me that one of the hallmarks of good character is the courage to admit mistakes. … Well, I was vocal last year in stating my firm belief that the wrong man was elected president. Now I am compelled to admit I was mistaken. The best man for this incredibly hard campaign is now president. I suspect many of my fellow Democrats feel exactly the same way.” –Gerald Posner

FROM THE LEFT

“[Hillary Clinton’s] behavior during President Bush’s address to Congress last week was abominable. At a time when even the most partisan of her Democratic colleagues stood united with the president, New York Sen. Clinton shunned patriotism for petulance. She grimaced. She sighed. She rolled her eyes. She fidgeted like a 5-year-old at an opera. And when Mrs. Clinton mustered enough energy to clap, she acted as if there were razor blades strapped to her palms. Although network talking heads refrained from comment, outraged Americans across the country spoke out. Teacher Kathie Larkin of Atlanta wrote to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ‘This is behavior I would not accept from my sixth-graders listening to a speaker, and I expected better of an adult from a state ripped apart by terrorist violence. Hillary needs to grow up.’ James Gale of Silver Spring, Md., wrote to The Washington Post: ‘She at times seemed bored and uninterested, clapping perfunctorily, and at other times she was talking during the speech. I thought her actions were unbecoming a senator at this difficult time.’ The Boston Herald, one of the few bold newspapers to take note of Clinton’s insolence, editorialized that she ‘looked like she was sucking on a lemon.’ And Karen Gauvreau of Clearwater, Fla., wrote to the St. Petersburg Times: ‘She would have been better off had she stayed home.’ Mrs. Clinton’s staff claims she was weary from traveling. What nerve. All she had to do last week was park her taxpayer-funded backside on a plane seat. Meanwhile, her constituents and volunteers from across the country pulled 13-hour shifts, sifting through rubble, sorting body parts, and collapsing on curbsides from exhaustion and grief… During last weekend’s prayer memorial at Yankee Stadium, she remained dour and tight-lipped as the tearful crowd of thousands sang the national anthem…Mrs. Clinton poses for photos with a strange sneer frozen on her stony face.” –Michelle Malkin

FOR THE RECORD

“In part [the terrorist] attack is a legacy of American liberal soft-minded thinking that since the Soviet empire collapsed we no longer live in a hostile world. We’ve restricted covert and undercover activities of our national security forces to infiltrate and gain information on foreign groups who’d do us harm. We’ve decided that handout spending is the legitimate function of the federal government and, if military spending threatens it, then military spending has to go. Right now, there are no inbound missiles – that means a missile defense system is not only uncalled for but a threat to prescription drugs, food stamps, corporate welfare and other handouts. With this vision, defense spending has fallen from 24 percent of the federal budget (5.2 percent of the GDP) in 1990 to 16 percent of the federal budget (3 percent of the GDP) in 2000. That’s on top of our ongoing social experiment, where we’re attempting to prove that there are no combat ability differences between men and women. In important ways, last week’s attack can be seen as a small part of Clinton’s legacy.” –Walter Williams

SELECT READER COMMENTS

“I just came from an informal, outdoor memorial service which Maj. Gen.Van Antwerp attended. … What I most wanted to share is a vignette Gen. Van Antwerp related about Pres. Bush and the general’s executive officer who was badly burned over 50% of his body in the Pentagon attack. Gen. Van Antwerp said that the president visited Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell at Washington Hospital. He spent time talking with Brian and prayed with him. As he was getting ready to leave, he went to the foot of Brian’s bed and saluted the officer. He then held that salute until Brian, with burned and bandaged arms, ever so slowly returned the salute. It wasn’t hard to picture the scene in my mind, and I think it says a lot about our Commander-in-Chief.”
Editor’s Reply: For those who don’t know, military protocol dictates that the first salute should have been from Lt. Col. Birdwell. No cameras were present for this visit – just a private moment demonstrating the high esteem in which our Commander-in-Chief holds his men – every one of them.

“It seems to me that the recent VOLUNTARY outpouring of funds to take care of people who are in need is the perfect example of federalist principles. When people are truly in need, and the rest of us are made aware, we will deliver the aid directly to them- no government agency required. President Bush should use the shining example of Americans helping each other to advance the proposition that if the government leaves us our money and gets out of the way…faith-based or not, we take the initiative.”

“Only when the cost of harboring, aiding, abetting, and/or allowing sanctuary, training grounds, and domicile is made so high as to dissuade these practices, will terrorism be truly snuffed out. That cost must indeed be tenfold the damage inflicted by those terrorists. Additionally, if the peoples of these countries want to dance in the streets, rejoicing at terrors effects, let’s provide them with real bright lights to dance by.”

“Reuters doesn’t use the word ‘terrorist.’ Right! And when the Nazis were bombing the heck out of them (Brits) in the 40’s Reuters called the Luftwaffe ‘freedom fighters.’”

“The ‘Office of Homeland Defense’ – sounds like the responsibility of the militia – and a case for the 2nd Amendment!”

“Glad to see that The Federalist hasn’t been distracted by the current events, and has remained focused on what’s really important: our Liberties and Freedoms. Thanks for pointing out the specter of socialism in the ‘Homeland Defense’ issue.”

“Bravo to The Federalist!! My brother is a Naval Officer and has served his country for nearly 30 years, now stationed in Norfolk, VA. He is a husband, father, Christian and a patriot. He did a wonderful thing three years ago by introducing me to the Federalist. You can’t get the truth from TV. You can even sit in a church pew full of people with good intentions, but not enough guts to take a real stand for what is right – even if it means offending someone. But you can read The Federalist and know you are hearing the truth. It doesn’t take someone long to realize the character and conviction behind your publication – that is not after selfish gain, but has a much Higher calling. Thank you!”

THE LAST WORD

“Our enemies are not mere anything. They have demonstrated that with a $2 box-cutter and an airliner full of fuel ($250 from any travel discounter: good price for a 757) you can do damage hitherto possible only with sustained attacks by heavy bombers. They’ve mangled the stock market, humiliated the United States, seem to be putting airlines out of business, cost hotels billions, grounded our crop-dusters, caused massive lay-offs, and seem to be, because of the stock market, about to keep a lot of kids from going to college. They have also frightened the country permanently. They may well turn us into a semi-police state, and have certainly caused us to go into a war of indeterminable outcome. All this for, presumably, under a thousand dollars. It is probably the best return on investment in military history.” –Fred Reed

It's Right. It's Free.