May 21, 2004
Jessica Lynch Gone Bad
"It's almost too perfect. Two young working-class women from opposite ends of West Virginia go off to war. One is blond and has aspirations to be a schoolteacher. The other is dark, a smoker, divorced and now carrying an out-of-wedlock baby. One becomes the heroic poster child for Operation Iraqi Freedom, the subject of a hagiographic book and TV movie; the other becomes the hideous, leering face of American wartime criminality, Exhibit A in the indictment of our country's descent into the gulag." - Arts editor Frank Rich, May 16.
"Mild-Mannered" Tom Daschle?
"Mr. Daschle is a favorite target of Republicans, who blame the usually mild-mannered lawmaker for stalling their favored legislation in the Senate and just generally tying the place in knots." - Reporter Carl Hulse's May 10 web entry for the nytimes.com Internet feature "Times on the Trail."
What happens when Rush Limbaugh attacks those of us in public life is that people arent satisfied just to listen. They want to act because they get emotionally invested. And so, you know, the threats to those of us in public life go up dramatically.... We see it in foreign countries and we think, well my God, how can this religious fundamentalism become so violent? Well, its that same shrill rhetoric. Its that same shrill power that motivates....Pretty soon its a foment that becomes physical in addition to just verbal, and thats happening in this country. - Democratic Senate leader Tom Daschle, Nov. 20, 2002.
Except for the "Killing U.S. Troops" Part, Of Course
"Question: What do the Shiite extremist leader Moktada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army have in common with the extremist Jewish settlers in Israel? Answer: More than you'd think. Both movements combine religious messianism, and a willingness to sacrifice their followers and others for absolutist visions, along with a certain disdain for man-made laws, as opposed to those from God. The big question in both Iraq and Israel today is also similar: Will the silent majorities in both countries finally turn against these extremist minorities to save their future?" - Columnist Tom Friedman, May 16.
Paul Krugman, Mr. Cut and Run in Iraq
"So how will it all end? The cries of 'stay the course' are getting fainter, while the calls for a quick exit are growing. In other words, it seems increasingly likely that the nation will end up disowning Mr. Bush and his debts. That will mean settling for an outcome in Iraq that, however we spin it, will look a lot like defeat-and the nation's prestige will be damaged by that outcome. But lost prestige is better than ruin." - Columnist Paul Krugman, May 18.
Jesse Jackson, "Civil Rights Leader"
"Among the prominent civil rights leaders who made their way to both events were the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, who did not speak at either event, and Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, a Democrat who is chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and who delivered a similar statement at the rallies." - Adam Naguorney and Richard Stevenson on rallies in Topeka marking the 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education, May 18.
"Patriotic" Michael Moore's "Moving" Anti-Bush Documentary
"Its bill of particulars against Mr. Bush can be found in a number of recently published books, and it is unapologetically polemical. It is also the best film Mr. Moore has made so far, a powerful and passionate expression of outraged patriotism, leavened with humor and freighted with sorrow. Yes, I said patriotism, though there will inevitably be those, pointing to the film's enthusiastic reception in France, who will insist that it is the opposite. They should (unlike Disney's board of directors) see it first.'Fahrenheit 9/11,' his most disciplined and powerful movie to date, suggests that he is also, arguably, a great filmmaker. Using interviews and archival video clips (including a tape made by the staff at the Florida elementary school Mr. Bush was visiting on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001), he has assembled a moving and invigorating documentary. Is it partisan? Of course. But there are not many important films that haven't been." - Movie critic A.O. Scott, May 18.
Denying the Sacrament = Political "Tactic"
"The tactic of denying the sacrament has been urged for years by anti-abortion groups like the American Life League, Legatus and the National Right to Life Committee, said Deal Hudson, publisher of Crisis, a conservative Catholic magazine." - Laurie Goodstein, May 20.
"Anger" Over Bush Policy to Blame for Attempted Kidnap
"In a highly unusual incident, at least three Palestinian men attempted to kidnap this reporter here Wednesday night. The reporter, who had identified himself at Al Najar hospital as an American, was speaking on a cellular telephone in the street in front of the hospital when a stranger approached offering a handshake, a smile and the word, 'Welcome.' When the reporter took his hand, the stranger and another man grabbed him and attempted to shove him into an aging Mercedes sedan that pulled up, its rear door open. A struggle and cries for help brought Palestinian police officers at the hospital running, and after a further struggle, the men jumped in the car and disappeared. Anger at Americans has been building here for three years over the Bush administration's perceived tilt toward Israel, the occupation of Iraq and, most recently, images of prisoner abuse in Iraq. An American might also be considered valuable for use in bargaining with Israel." - James Bennet from the Gaza Strip, May 20.