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Robert Musil has posted a thoughtful critique on his blog, Man Without Qualities, of “After the War,” my recent piece for City Journal on the problems and prospects of bringing democracy to Iraq. In “After the War,” I argue that Japan’s long tradition of Westernization, and even democratization, means that the post-WWII MacArthur experience is not the right analogy for what we will face in Iraq. India’s route to democracy under the British is the better model, I claim. Musil makes two points against this argument. Turkish democracy, he notes, emerged from the Islamic Ottoman Empire, without being imposed by the West. So if an Islamic society like Turkey can democratize, asks Musil, why can’t Iraq? Then Musil points to various ways in which pre-World War II Japan was not democratic. So why, if we could change autocratic Japan, asks Musil, can’t we change autocratic Iraq?

Portland Has Freaks Too!


So say dozens of Corner readers from the Portland area. I like this email:

God forbid anyone should argue there weren’t freaks at Portland’s protest.

I inadvertently found myself, my wife and my parents riding mass transit along with a number of unwashed returning from the activist duties earlier
that morning.

Although our freaks were peaceful (I actually saw a group of riot cops laughing), one of them was carrying a sign that was new to me and I can only take stabs at figuring out.
It said: “War is menstrual envy”
Right. Because I’m soooo envious of that.




My humble desktop computer which lasted me through the entire Lewsinsky saga, and all my years with National Review is going through horrible, horrible death spasms. Loading OSX seems to have killed it. I will be on the phone with tech-support much of the morning. Just to be interesting, I personally blame all Corner readers wearing red sweaters.

Web Briefing: April 17, 2014

Could Blackmail Be The Reason?


People have wondered why Scott Ritter, the former weapons inspector did such a 180, becoming a mouthpiece for Saddam Hussein. Today the New York Post editorial page writes on news that he had an unsavory arrest here in the U.S. two years ago. We have no way of knowing, of course, but, could the desire to keep this kind of thing quiet help someone change his tune regarding a totalitarian regime?


Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys...


This Is Just Wrong


Government officials seen hugging Jesse Jackson should immediately be forced to resign.

What Did People Do Without Email?


I’m getting phone call after phone calls from people. “But didn;t you get my email?” “But I sent it to you.” I’ve hired a homing pigeon for the rest of the week. Meanwhile, if you need to get me something, remember to send it to [email protected]. (NOTE: If it is an invitation for Rod to some granola party, I am NOT forwarding it.) Thanks.

Sprawl Shmawl


The estimable blogger Anne Wilson is ticked off at the Boston Globe for editorializing against urban sprawl.

She writes: “The omissions glare like headlamps. First off, the editorial makes no mention whatever of the bitter Boston desegregation battle, where white students were forcibly bussed to achieve racial integration within the city schools. Sprawl today is largely the consequence of these racial battles of 25-30 years ago, as people moved outside the bounds of court-ordered bussing.”

Believe it or not, the Boston Globe editorialist argues that sprawl is making American kids fatter by keeping them from walking to school. Wilson ain’t buying it. For the record, I hate the way sprawl looks, and believe that more intelligent design could mitigate the worst aspects of sprawl. But all it takes is riding the NYC subway daily, and having to live with fear and loathing of the violent, profane and altogether anti-social teenagers who make public spaces here their playpens, to understand why middle-class people get fed up and move the hell out of town to raise their kids.

Still No E-Mail


NR’s e-mail system is down … still. The only good thing about this is thinking about how frustrated the spammers — the porn freaks, penis-enlargers, African get-rich-quick schemers, et alia — must be. I’d say 90 percent of my e-mail is crap like this. I’ve had to apologize to a couple of people lately for inadvertently deleting their e-mails as I’ve cleaned out the day’s muck. There’s so much garbage in there to delete unread that I occasionally throw out something I was supposed to read. Sorry, but you know how it is with spam (and if you don’t, count yourself lucky).

Don’t Apologize, Jonah


Not that you would, but still, the anti-war demo was a freak show. Here’s photographic evidence, via Andrew Sullivan. Some anti-war comedian was on Conan O’Brien’s show the other night, and complained that every time you have one of these demos, the Left turns it into a kitchen-sink display of their own pathologies. Guy wanted to know what the hell “Free Mumia!” had to do with the war. I agree that the more people see of the personal character of the war’s opposition, the better for the pro-war forces. I have a few conservative friends who are passionately against the war. I’m glad I don’t have to have the kinds of people in these photos on my side.



Shocking: Portlanders Are Liberal!


Here’s on email I like. And, for the record I made it clear in my initial CNN comments and later that I was referring to the leadership of the DC march, not every fuzzy-wuzzy accountant and (non-right wing) homebuilder in the crowd:

Mr. Goldberg – -

I just watched you on Blitzer’s show, describing the “freak show” that you considered to be the protests across the country yesterday. WOW — how does it work? Does Karl Rove hand you your script, pat you on the head and send you in front of the camera?

I, along with about 19,999 others, marched in Portland, Oregon yesterday. I was with a group of 15 people, most in their mid-40’s, a few in their 60’s, and we consisted of: 4 accountants a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines 3 school teachers 1 fundraiser/development director for a senior citizens nonprofit organization 1 sales and marketing rep for the homebuilding industry (a very right-wing industry) 2 nurses 3 retirees who are veterans and think this “war” is an insane notion.

There were MANY people just like us. Lots and lots of them. As a matter of fact, one of the speakers had people raise their hands as she asked “how many of you are with church groups?” (lots of hands), “how many of you are school teachers?” (lots of hands), “how many of you are veterans?” (LOTS of hands), “how many of you have NEVER participated in a peace march before, this is your first time?” HALF the crowd raised their hands, followed by a long and thunderous applause. That was great, and spoke volumes about the way so many are feeling right now. I was standing up high on a concrete divider (in front of the Portland Art Museum), and was able to get a very good look at the crowd as the hands were raised.

Maybe you can let your buddy/ultimate boss Karl (and your buddy/ultimate boss George W.) know that these protests consist of many, many mainstream, hard working people, who are watching the insanity of Dr. Strangelove (Rumsfeld) and his gang, and taking to the streets out of extreme concern. As one sign pointed out, “the pro-life president is anxious to start killing” I’m sure your people are very, very nervous that so much anti-war rallying is already happening, and need to use you as much as possible, while they paint a picture for the Americans who rely only on your words to make their voting decisions.

you might want to re-visit the notion of telling TV audiences that the only people who attend these rallies are “freaks” You are wrong. Just because Karl tells you to say it, doesn’t mean that it’s true, Mr. Goldberg. My whole “clean cut” group joined with a lot of others who looked just like us, in Portland Oregon yesterday.

Oh No! The Protestors Are Mad At Me


Yesterday on CNN’s Final Round I offered my opinion what I think about the “anti-war movement.” Since then I’ve been getting deluged with email from peaceniks angry at me for calling them nut-jobs.

WOLF BLITZER: Jonah, is the anti-war momentum growing?

GOLDBERG: Yes, I think it is. The problem is, is that the momentum is growing in the wrong direction. If this had been an anti- war movement organized by, say, the National Council of Churches or somebody like that, you wouldn’t have had the freak show that you had in Washington this weekend.

The problem is, is the people running the anti-war movement aren’t honest, conscientious, liberal sort of people who are against war or have a reasonable argument about this stuff.

It is run by this group ANSWER and some other coalition groups that are basically a bunch of pachouli-soaked nut jobs, who are Marxists, anarchists, who have all sorts of bizarre agendas about what the world should be about. And their biggest problem for the anti-war movement today is that whenever their leaders speak, they discredit themselves.

Dawn of An Era (For Me At Least)


Today begins the Fair Jessica’s maternity leave. Though she has not commenced official maternity yet. This means she will be home with me until baby makes three and well beyond. This highlights just one of the reasons why the G-File has been so sporadic in its appearances of late. I am trying to drop down to two columns a week for NRO (while providing increased or at least sustained Corner content). The hope is that when the baby arrives (Feb 7 still official due date) I will stick to that frequency. K-Lo and I haven’t worked out all the timing issues yet, in part becaue we haven’t had to. Anyway, just wanted people to know I that I haven’t lost myself in the bottle.

Mlk Day: Why Now?


Last year, Steve Sailer said it should be moved to a week before Labor Day. It made sense to me then, and still does now.

On The Other Hand


King No; Mugabe Yes


The mayor of south Florida’s Broward County, who happens to be Hispanic, was asked months ago to be the grand marshal of the town’s MLK Day parade. Alas for her, she stated publicly last week that a black local official, the elections commissioner, should resign because of her incompetence on the job. Saying King wouldn’t approve, the parade committee disinvited the Hispanic woman. What a crock. Did King really stand for the right for black public officials not to have to hear criticism for the work they do? I do believe these jerks really revere not King, but Robert Mugabe. What a pack of racists.

The Huffer


Arianna Huffington always had an emetic quality for me, even when she was supposedly “on the Right,” and I’m happy she’s veered left in recent years. But while the Nation and Barbara Ehrenreich are aware of her remodeling, the New York Times is a little slower on the uptake. “You’re thought of as a conservative. . .” is how one question put to her in a Times Magazine interview starts. Nope. She’s all yours.

Protecting Kinsey


Somebody’s making a movie about Dr. Alfred Kinsey, the notorious American sexologist. Well, the guy was a pederast, or at least a fellow traveler. Dr. Judith Reisman wanted to point out that Hollywood was in danger of glorifying a monster. But Variety, the entertainment biz bible, won’t run her ad.

“Hooking Up”


Here’s a bracing account of the latest thing in the sociology of high-school sex: “hooking up.” Seems that the done thing now is to have lots of casual sex partners — except it’s not “sex” to these kids, because fellatio doesn’t count. The sadness and degradation among these girls is incredibly depressing. The thing that caught my eye was the description of the sexually permissive and aggressive girl culture as “Ally McBeal sexuality.” In other words, these girls want to explore and express their “right” to unfettered sex-on-demand, just like the TV character. What was I telling you just last week about Sex and the City, mass media, and the mainstreaming of dildo parties for middle-American women?


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