Against The Somber Background Of World Events, Libby's Indictment Is Just A Blip
It is too early to say who is behind today's explosions in New Delhi, where bombs in three markets killed 61 persons, but they occur just as the Indian and Pakistani governments are in talks to allow more cooperation between the two old enemies in providing relief to thousands of earthquake victims in Kashmir.
It is often the case that a peaceful gesture or talks looking to reconcile differences are followed by more devastating attacks, a reminder that al Queda and other barbaric organizations and governments pursue their war against civilized interests on a wide front. This is why liberal critics of the Bush Administration must be reminded, the U.S. and its allies must fight a War On Terrorism.
The Israeli withdrawal from Gaza over the summer has been followed by more attacks by extremists in Islamic Jihad supported by an Iranian government whose thuggish President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has just threatened to "wipe Israel off the map." It is impossible to believe he is kidding when Iran pursues work on atomic weapons and backs an organization that continues suicide bombings. Here, after all, is a man who probably stole the Iranian presidential election last June.
Meanwhile, Iran's ally in the Syrian government, Bashar Assad, is implicated in a U.N. report on the assassination of the Lebanese leader Rafic Hariri last February. It was Assad's brother-in-law who, we are told, arranged the crime. The U.S. Britain and France have been trying to formulate steps against Assad, who has also been allowing jihadists to cross Syria to attack U.S. forces in Iraq.
The press in Washington has been so busy following the doings of the special prosecutor that it has had little time to notice that U.S. troop strength in Iraq, as the December parliamentary elections approach, has had to be increased to 161,000, the highest level yet. Just last week, terrorists attempted a coordinated suicide bombing against two press-occupied hotels in Baghdad.
In the aftermath of new attacks by Islamic fanatics in the Caucasus, the L.A. Times runs an article on Page 1 suggesting the answer is Russian retreat.
Meanwhile, the always appeasement-oriented L.A. Times Calendar section runs a front-page sympathetic review of a film about suicide bombers in Israel. The New York Times review, I noticed, was more objective, indicating that suicide bombing is not desirable, even for the participants. But the L.A. Times movie critic, Kenneth Turan, seldom sees a lousy movie he doesn't like.
In short, there are a lot of people today who want to stick their heads in the sand and try to ignore what is going on.
I persist in thinking we can't afford to do this. I daresay I'd rather rely on Lewis Libby and New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who, with the many mistakes they may have made, are still on the side of freedom.