The Corner

Tractor Man

This morning’s New York Times story on that tractor freak, Dwight Ware Watson, predictably does not mention what the Washington Post reported yesterday: The man’s opposed to war with Iraq. The story in today’s Washington Post also drops the reference, curiously. Some might argue that Watson’s views on Iraq don’t matter, because apparently he’s more ticked off about falling subsidies for tobacco farmers like himself. Yet Watson’s views on Iraq are essential: The guy has closed a few buildings in D.C. with his bomb threat, and traffic is snarled. He’s giving the authorities a chance to practice their response to terrorism. So far, their wait-and-see approach doesn’t seem to be doing a great job of removing the threat, though Watson also has said he might surrender on Thursday. At any rate, an anti-war terrorist has a large section of the National Mall plus the surrounding area, and we’re just letting him sit there.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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