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TERRORISM AND TINY ZIBBS

This extraordinary photo is of the two Finance Coordinators of the 2003 meeting of the governing boards for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, held this week in Dubai. Geetha Ezhuvath is on the left. She is not a Moslem. Sara Al Kaabi on the right, most obviously is.

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KICKING RUDY’S TIRES

Rudy Giuliani is casting a long shadow over the Democratic as well as the Republican presidential races.  Opinion polls indicate the former New York mayor has a large lead not only among likely GOP voters, but in match ups with the leading Democratic contenders as well. It defies conventional wisdom that a candidate who is pro-choice on abortion and pro-gay rights could be a serious contender for the Republican nomination.  But two events have stood the conventional wisdom on its head. For most conservatives, winning the war on terror is the paramount issue, because nothing else matters much if we lose.  Mr. Giuliani arguably has the best credentials on the paramount issue. 

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THE RELIGION OF PEACE

Earlier this week I had lunch with one of the most extraordinary human beings gracing our planet -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Our gracious hosts were Lalit Mansingh, Indian Ambassador to the US, and his wife Indira at their Residence in Washington. I congratulated Ambassador Mansingh on his country being a sanctuary where Tibetan culture and religion still freely flourishes, such as in the regions of Ladakh and Zanskar.

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A HILARIOUS INCONVENIENCE

It doesn't take much to be the funniest moment in an Academy Awards show that Washington Post television critic Tom Shales described as "alternately a bore and a horror."  But I thought it hilarious when Algore won the Oscar for best documentary for "An Inconvenient Truth." Documentaries ought to bear some relationship to reality.  "An Inconvenient Truth" is a cheesy propaganda film. Dr. Richard Lindzen of the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, who is to climate science what Tom Brady is to football, has described it as "shrill alarmism." "You'd think that a science-based, call to action film from a guy who flunked out of divinity school...would be received with a certain amount of skepticism, but in officially atheist Hollywood, Albert Arnold Algore Jr. is the second coming of Moses, Maimonides, Martin Luther, all rolled into one," wrote "David Kahane," a nom de plume for a screenwriter in Hollywood.

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CHILDISHNESS IN IRAQ

The good news in Iraq is that things are much, much better than the gloomy picture painted daily by the propaganda organ of the Democratic Party, the LME (The Liberal Media Establishment, consisting primarily of Time-Newsweek-New York Times in print, Rather-Brokaw-Jennings-CNN in television, and NPR in radio). Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz are directing the military in continuing a superb performance, Jerry Bremer is following their lead and not his putative bosses at State, oil production will soon hit one million barrels a day, and over 90% of Iraq's population is living under peace and increasing prosperity. The bad news is that State Department and CIA bureaucrats resolutely continue to be in the way of all of this. This is best exemplified by their personal vendetta against the one man who could lead Iraq out of chaos and into a flourishing democracy: Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress.

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BUSH AND THE COPPERHEADS

What if we win in Iraq?  If the thought makes you break out in a cold sweat, you could be a Democrat candidate for president. American history has a grave lesson for the Democrats.  They need to be reminded that their Democrat Party clamored for a U.S. defeat during the Civil War.  Back then, the leaders of their party called themselves "Peace Democrats," who urged Union soldiers to desert and hated Abraham Lincoln as much as their political descendants hate George Bush today.  They were confident of capturing the White House in 1864. Then Sherman captured Atlanta two months before the 1864 elections.  The "Copperheads," as the Republicans called the Democrats after a venomous snake, got creamed by the voters who thought victory was nigh.  And it was: at Appomattox five months later (April 9, 1865). President Bush may have his Atlanta before the primaries begin.

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AMERICA’S CURSE

In a talk entitled "The Map of the Future" I gave last week in Dallas, I discussed which countries throughout the world were or could become the greatest threats to America's national security. At the top of the list, more dangerous than Iran or North Korea or China, I placed Mexico. The bottomless inferiority complex that Mexico feels towards America is summed up in an old saying known to all Mexicans as "Mexico's Curse," the lament that their country is "So far from God, so close to the United States." The truth, however, is the reverse. Today, Americans lament "America's Curse," that their country is so close to Mexico.

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A KAFKA PROSECUTION

Scooter Libby must feel as if he were a character in a Seinfeld episode written by Franz Kafka. Seinfeld was the fabulously successful  1990s sitcom "about nothing."  In Kafka's novels, his protagonists are trapped in situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical. The fate of Mr. Libby, who used to be chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is now in the hands of the jury.  He is charged by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald with having lied about something that isn't a crime, because his memory of an event differs from that of journalists, whose memories also are faulty. Cross examination revealed that virtually every prosecution witness has serious memory problems.  But only Mr. Libby's memory is on trial.

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ELEPHANTS IN THE SAHARA

elephantsinthesahara.jpgThe picture here is of my son, Jackson, next to a prehistoric pictograph of an elephant in the heart of the Sahara Desert. It was carved in the rock thousands of years ago by ancient hunters when the Sahara was like East Africa is today, a well-watered grassland teeming with life.

Hannibal was able to acquire Saharan elephants for his army when he famously crossed the Alps to attack Rome in 218 BC. 2,197 years later, I conducted an expedition that retraced Hannibal’s route over the pass he used — the Col du Clapier on the French-Italian border — with

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TRUTH, CONSENSUS, AND INTELLIGENCE FAILURES

The Mother of All Corrections issued by the Washington Post Saturday (2/10) illustrates what is wrong with our intelligence agencies, and -- especially -- with news coverage of them. The inspector general of the Department of Defense had been asked by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich, then the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee (and now, alas, its chairman), to determine whether the intelligence analysis on Iraq done by the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans under then Under Secretary Douglas Feith violated the law. On Feb. 8, acting Inspector General Thomas Gimble issued his report.  Washington Post reporters Walter Pincus and R. Jeffrey Smith wrote a story about it, which appeared on the front page of last Friday's paper.  They managed to confuse the IG report with a press release sent out by Sen. Levin over two years ago.

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