"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
This is the most powerful question in the world today: Why not here? People in Eastern Europe looked at people in Western Europe and asked, Why not here? People in Ukraine looked at people in Georgia and asked, Why not here? People around the Arab world look at voters in Iraq and ask, Why not here?
Thomas Kuhn famously argued that science advances not gradually but in jolts, through a series of raw and jagged paradigm shifts. Somebody sees a problem differently, and suddenly everybody's vantage point changes.
"Why not here?" is a Kuhnian question, and as you open the newspaper these days, you see it flitting around the world like a thought contagion. Wherever it is asked, people seem to feel that the rules have changed. New possibilities have opened up.
The question is being asked now in Lebanon. Walid Jumblatt made his much circulated observation to David Ignatius of The Washington Post: "It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, eight million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world."
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The Washington Post's David Ignatius writes on "Beirut's Berlin Wall":
"Enough!" That's one of the simple slogans you see scrawled on the walls around Rafiq Hariri's grave site here. And it sums up the movement for political change that has suddenly coalesced in Lebanon and is slowly gathering force elsewhere in the Arab world.
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Just four weeks after the Iraqi election of January 30, 2005, it seems increasingly likely that date will turn out to have been a genuine turning point, the Weekly Standard's William Kristol writes:
HISTORY IS BEST VIEWED IN the rear-view mirror. It's hard to grasp the significance of events as they happen. It's even harder to forecast their meaning when they're only scheduled to happen. And once they occur, it's usually the case that possible historical turning points, tipping points, inflection points, or just points of interest turn out in the cold glare of history to have been of merely passing importance.
But sometimes not. Just four weeks after the Iraqi election of January 30, 2005, it seems increasingly likely that that date will turn out to have been a genuine turning point. The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, ended an era. September 11, 2001, ended an interregnum. In the new era in which we now live, 1/30/05 could be a key moment--perhaps the key moment so far--in vindicating the Bush Doctrine as the right response to 9/11. And now there is the prospect of further and accelerating progress.
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OxBlog discovers even NYT editorialists writing: Promoting democracy is America's proper vocation, and not just in fair weather.
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Meantime, in Vermont, radical "peace activists" highjack New England Town Meetings to protest the American military efforts that are helping spark democracy in the Middle East.
Rock drew some of his biggest laughs with political jabs aimed at President George W. Bush, the involuntary star of Michael Moore's scathing documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."
Rock noted that Moore's film, though shut out of the Oscar competition, was breaking box office records at the time Bush was running for reelection.
"Can you imagine applying for a job, and while you're applying for that job there's a movie in every theatre in the country that shows how much you suck in that job?" Rock said. "It would be hard to get hired, wouldn't it?"
They support the troops, of course:
[I]n a reminder that Hollywood remains a quintessentially American institution after all, Rock took a moment at the start of the show to "send some love out to all our troops fighting all over the world for freedom right now."
Oh, the troops are fighting all over the world for freedom -- separate, apparently, from the idiot war-mongering policies of the punch-line chimp president and his neo-con advisors.
Consistency is the hobgoblin of non-celebrity minds.