What is interesting, though likely not all that surprising, is how prescient and clear-minded he was:
“This is the seventh anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel,” Einstein opened. “The establishment of this State was internationally approved and recognised largely for the purpose of rescuing the remnant of the Jewish people from unspeakable horrors of persecution and oppression.”
“Thus, the establishment of Israel is an event which actively engages the conscience of this generation,” he continued. “It is, therefore, a bitter paradox to find that a State which was destined to be a shelter for a martyred people is itself threatened by grave dangers to its own security. The universal conscience cannot be indifferent to such peril.”
Einstein was critical, too, of those who would place a disproportionate amount of blame on Israel for tensions in the region. And he didn’t mince words when he said, “It is anomalous that world opinion should only criticize Israel’s response to hostility and should not actively seek to bring an end to the Arab hostility which is the root cause of the tension.”
Einstein is someone whose memory gets shape-shifted a lot and to whom are attributed many beliefs he didn't truly have (see: a personal God who cares about us). In particular, though, anti-war people always want to turn him into a pacifist, which he was not. Of course, he would have preferred, as would all sane people, that we not have to engage in warfare, but he was realistic and we shouldn't ever forget that he was one of the driving forces behind encouraging FDR to build the bomb.
My favourite Doors song. And yeah, I think Jim was sexy and yeah, I went to his grave when I lived in Paris. There were German hippies smoking pot there, so it was easy to find. They say that Ray Manzarek -- who died today -- was the real talent and driving force behind the group's success.
Very sorry to hear about Neil Reynolds' death. He and I were both given grants to attend the Mont Pelerin Society conference in Guatemala in 2006 and that is how I met Neil and his lovely wife, Donna (she is also a journalist). They made my trip that much more enjoyable and subsequent conversations with them confirmed what good people they were (and are, in the case of Donna). Neil was a libertarian, but not a crazy one, thankfully. In fact, he and I talked in Guatemala about the crazy libertarians and how disturbing we found their views to be (more or less anarchists, often anti-Semites masquerading as "anti-Zionists", paranoid crackpots).
When I started seeing my boyfriend a year after meeting Neil, I discovered -- to my delight -- that Neil had given a very positive review to the beau's first book.
As information about the apparent Israeli strikes on targets inside Syria continues to pour in, it’s easy to lose sight of the central fact: the two reported Israeli attacks are part of an ongoing war, the big war against the West. While the attacks were in Syria, the mission was primarily a major strike against Iran and Russia, two key components of the global alliance arrayed against us. Both are desperately trying to shore up the Assad regime in Damascus.
The fall of Assad would be a devastating blow to Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei’s tyranny in Tehran, would gravely weaken Russia’s strategic position in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, and would threaten the strength (and even the survival) of Hezbollah, the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization and the creation of Iran’s founding tyrant, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Once again, Israel is doing the West’s dirty work. While the Obama administration hems and haws about intervening in the Syrian civil war – 75,000 dead and counting – the Israelis do the needful thing.
Over the weekend Israeli air strikes destroyed stocks of Iranian-supplied Fateh-110 missiles, which have a 200-mile range and precision guidance systems held near Damascus. Israel subsequently sought to reassure both the Syrian rebels and the Assad regime that it wasn’t trying to do a number on their country. That it was attack to keep sophisticated weaponry out of the hands of the Lebanese-based terrorist group Hezbollah.
I have been interested -- and pleased -- to see President Sparky back Israel on these matters. I think he has finally sussed out that no matter how much grovelling and apologizing he does to certain Muslim leaders, they still refuse to be reasonable. Of course, had he paid any attention to world affairs prior to becoming president, this would not have been something he needed to learn.
For Berry and the others to be rescued, in other words, two things had to happen: she had to never forget who she was, and that who she was mattered; and Ramsey needed to not care who she might be at all—to think that all that mattered was that a woman was trapped behind a door that wouldn’t open, and to walk onto the porch.
A friend sent me this fascinating essay about Anthony Burgess and his views on religious divisions in Europe as well as the relationship/conflict between the West and Islam. There is an awful lot in the essay but I'll single out one thing I hadn't known, though it didn't surprise me -- that Burgess had the entirely correct response to the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie in 1989.
Anthony Burgess was not slow in his response to these developments. Just two days after the fatwa was issued, on 16 February 1989, he published an article under the headline ‘Islam’s gangster tactics’ in The Independent newspaper.39 In Britain, Rushdie’s adopted home country, much of the response to the fatwa was highly equivocal, or even (as in the case of some prominent members of the British Government and the academic establishment) cravenly appeasing, with university professors and Members of Parliament blaming Rushdie for having brought his plight upon himself and accepting sympathetically and at face value the claims of book-burning, murder-inciting Muslims that they were the victims of an outrage rather than the perpetrators of one.40 Burgess, however, was forthright and uncompromising in his expressions of disgust with and opposition to the fatwa, in his championing of free speech and in his rejection of any Islam-inspired attempt to impose thought-control upon the people of a non-Islamic country: ‘What a secular society thinks of the prophet Mohamed’, he declared, ‘is its own affair’.41 Burgess condemned Khomeini’s fatwa as ‘a declaration of war on the citizens of a free country’ motivated by ‘political opportunism’, and dismissed Muslims’ anti-Rushdie protests as ‘unjustified by argument, thought or anything more intellectual than the throwing of stones and the striking of matches’.
Pay no attention to that man (Pavel Nedved) on the left and thank the high heavens for shirtless Pirlo. Yesterday, Juventus won the Scudetto and to me, that means but one thing: good-looking men stripping off their clothes and pouring champagne all over each other. Now that is what I'm talking about!
I've always said history would redeem him, and it is beginning to do so. This Charles Krauthammer column is particularly interesting to me, because years ago I read David McCullough's book about Truman and thought, "Bush is our generation's Truman."
Like Bush, Harry Truman left office widely scorned, largely because of the inconclusive war he left behind. In time, however, Korea came to be seen as but one battle in a much larger Cold War that Truman was instrumental in winning. He established the institutional and policy infrastructure (CIA, NATO, Truman Doctrine, etc.) that made possible ultimate victory almost a half-century later. I suspect history will similarly see Bush as the man who, by trial and error but also with prescience and principle, established the structures that will take us through another long twilight struggle, and enable us to prevail.