The Corner

Second and Third Thoughts Re Boykin

Since NR’s editors are still considering their editorial viewpoint on Gen. Boykin, may I complicate matters further by adding these notes?

(1) It’s clear that the elite media do not care a whit if a three-star general who has devoted his life to the most perilous kind of warfare (special ops) is trashed and thrown away for sport or partisan politics.

A practicing evangelical Christian (not illegal yet), Gen. Boykin gave some talks to fellow evangelicals in churches. A columnist with an ax to grind (as Hugh Hewitt has revealed) secretly taped him, released only excerpts, the media gave the worst possible spin to those excerpts, branded him a bigot and demanded that he be fired and perhaps prosecuted.

Is that anyway to run a railroad?

(2) It also should be said that Gen. Boykin is playing in the big leagues here. He wears a uniform. He serves in the DoD. He should have been very careful of his words. He had an obligation to make sure he was echoing his bosses, Rumsfeld and Bush, and not causing them trouble.

Also, the brass at the Pentagon should have assigned him a speechwriter or media advisor or something. This is one area in which they should not be looking for cost savings.

(3) Fareed Zakaria wrote that it wasn’t only Gen. Boykin’s anti-Muslim bias that bothered him. In addition, he added, the General’s “dissembling gets almost comic over another one of his comments. Boykin routinely told audiences that God elevated George W. Bush to the presidency.”

Funny how no one – certainly not Mr. Zakaria – found it laughable enough to comment when Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, in his speech to the Islamic Summit Conference on Oct. 16, said: “We who have been raised by Allah above our fellow Muslims to rule our countries have never really tried to act in concert.”

Clifford D. MayClifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...


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