Politics & Policy

Questions, Questions

Monday Morning Wisdom

Must-reading column by William Safire this morning, 13 early conclusions, culminating in the most fascinating question of them all: What will happen to Iraq’s secret police files? Will they reveal connections between Iraq and Western political figures? If so, what?

I’d amplify Safire’s questions with one of my own. French politicians don’t get paid much better than their American counterparts do – and relatively few of them begin their careers by making an early success in business. Yet a surprisingly high number of them seem to live in very nice houses.

#ad#President Chirac, for example, owns a 16th century chateau on spacious grounds in a charming town in the southwest of France, in addition to an apartment in the pricey Sixth Arrondissement. It’s an imposing home for a person who has devoted his entire career to politics – even one whose wife inherited a modest fortune. I wonder how he manages it? As the Daily Telegraph <a href="

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/08/22/wchir22.xml”>reports, Chirac’s income seems to be topped up in various mysterious ways by anonymous friends inside France.

I wonder though whether M. Chirac also has admirers in the Middle East? And whether we are shortly to learn more about those admirers? And whether M. Chirac’s desire to discourage such curiosity has in any way affected the foreign policy of the idealistic Republic he heads?

The Great Mark Steyn

If you are not in the habit of reading Mark Steyn – well, start. The man tosses off masterpieces like Michelangelo on speed. His latest on press coverage of the war is as usual indispensable:

“After a little more than a week, is this war coverage in trouble? Already questions are being raised about whether the media’s war plan was fatally flawed. Several analysts are surprised that despite overwhelming dominance of the air, television and radio divisions have so quickly repeated the mistakes of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, on the ground, rapidly advancing columns become stalled in Vietnam-style quagmires around the second paragraph.”

And don’t stop there …. Read also his amazing directory of quotations from the Afghan campaign, including this gem from Arthur Schlesinger Jr. “Our leaders gambled on the supposition that the unpopularity of the regime would bring about the Taleban’s rapid collapse. …”

Up North

Another pro-US rally in Canada, this time in Calgary. There will be a big one in Toronto on April 4 as well.

Support for the Iraq war continues to rise in Canada, at least outside Quebec. A new poll finds that a majority, 51%, of Canadians in the nine English-speaking provinces condemn the Chretien government’s policies as “turning our back” on an ally in a time of need.

My friends out west report that American flags are suddenly flying over homes and cars – just as they did after 9/11.

The Paleos Are Heard

Much unhappiness in paleo land about Robert Novak’s attempt to disassociate from the groupuscule. Here’s the gist, from Thomas Fleming’s March 30 “Hard Right” column:

“Alas, the days when Mr. Novak practiced the trade of a journalist are long gone, as is clear from his entirely self-serving reply to David Frum. He and Pat Buchanan are just fine, he says, but he entirely repudiates any implied association with the bigoted paleoconservatives whom he says he has never read. [But if] Pat Buchanan is not a bigot, why does he associate with “bigots” like Taki and Scott McConnell, with whom he has joined forces to publish the American Conservative, and why did he accept the help of Justin Raimondo and Lew Rockwell, if they are so evil, in his political campaigns? And, if the editors of Chronicles are bigots, then Pat Buchanan, long-time subscriber, writer, booster, and supporter must be a bigot also, and, since we are dealing with guilt by association, what exempts Mr. Novak?”

Tough questions all.

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