Friday, November 12, 2004

Friday 11/12 links

Some very big stuff evidently leaked to New York Sun reporter Jamie Dettmer: Karl Rove wants Don Rumsfeld out. Dick Cheney is attempting to protect him, and will manage to keep him around until spring. Condi Rice wants Defense, and will likely move out the neocons. Douglas Feith has already announced he is leaving. Colin Powell will probably stay a few months longer than Rumsfeld.

There clearly is a concerted campaign starting here: the World Tribune quotes anonymous sources more-than-willing to leak the news that Pres. Bush intends to shake up his personnel and involve himself more in the Israel-Palestinian situation. Which is bad news for Israel.

Washington Post columnist
George F. Will urgently catalogues "What Hinges on Fallujah": "Success in Iraq, people here believe, is contingent on three ifs: if Iraqi military and security forces can stay intact during contacts with the insurgents; if insurgents are killed in sufficient numbers to convince the Sunni political class that it must invest its hope in politics; and if neighboring states, especially Syria, will cooperate in slowing the flow of money and other aid to the insurgency. If so, then the United States can -- this is the preferred verb -- 'stand up' an Iraqi state and recede from a dominant role."

Belmont Club blogger
"Wretchard" explains that "the battle for the Sunni Triangle is a single, integrated theater which does not consist of Fallujah alone."

Re the accolades to Yasir Arafat pouring in from the Arab world, London Times foreign editor
Bronwen Maddox warns that "it would be wrong to interpret these words as indicative of deep, unqualified mourning. The tributes conceal more than three decades of mutual mistrust between the Palestinian leader and the Arab world. Arafat tried to play them off against each other and ended up losing the support and respect of almost all. They found his cause useful to them — until he became an embarrassment and even a threat. "

Washington Times columnist
Cal Thomas: "As part of its obituary, The New York Times said, 'Arafat led a long and failed effort for statehood' for the Palestinians. He did no such thing. Arafat led a long reign of terror, the purpose of which was to kill Jews and eliminate the state of Israel."

US News & World Report guest columnist
Fouad Ajami: "Character is destiny. And in the end, character doomed Arafat."

London Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips also blogs, and supplies two interesting items today.
First, "a permant cessation of Palestanian violence will not happen while Blair and the Europeans insist on piling the pressure not on Palestinians such as [Gaza strongman Mohammed] Dahlan but instead upon Israel to stop defending itself, leaving Bush alone to champion the victims of terror against their slaughterers, and uphold right against wrong." And second, she is appalled to observe that "the degradation and corruption of British and western society, not to mention the United Nations, are now on sickening display for all with eyes to see from the disgusting response to the death of Arafat." Not here.

Perhaps the world's media are finally willing to hint at the cause of Arafat's death. International Herald Tribune writer
Elisabeth Rosenthal: "Low platelet counts in the blood are a common finding in a wide range of illnesses, including severe infections, liver disease, end-stage cancer, and even AIDS."

Kaddoumi and Jibril and Dahlan, oh my! Tel Aviv Ha'aretz columnist
Bradley Burston supplies a roster of Arafat's feuding would-be successors. A useful guide.

Wall Street Journal columnist
Daniel Henninger: "In the Information Age, authority is a priceless franchise. But it is this franchise that Big Media, incredibly, has just thrown away. It did so by choosing to go into overt opposition to one party's candidate, a sitting president. It stooped to conquer."

Washington Post writers
Glenn Kessler and Al Kamen report that senior White House aide Robert Blackwill resigned after hurting an embassy secretary in Kuwait. Just as well--the top Iraq guy in the White House was an old-school State Dept. Arabist.

Wall Street Journal columnist
Bret Stephens makes a splendid point: "What makes liberals think they have the right to decide what's acceptable to say?"

Classicist/National Review Online columnist
Victor Davis Hanson warns of "The Ironies Ahead--What George W. Bush faces."

Washington Post columnist
Charles Krauthammer has the numbers to comprehensively refute the "'Moral Values' Myth" and concludes: "This does not deter the myth of the Bigoted Christian Redneck from dominating the thinking of liberals and infecting the blue-state media. They need their moral superiority like oxygen, and they cannot have it cut off by mere facts. Once again they angrily claim the moral high ground, while standing in the ruins of yet another humiliating electoral defeat."

London Spectator columnist
Paul Johnson is pleased to note that "English marches on in the age of Bush and Blair."

Prolific blog satirist ScrappleFace
Scott Ott: "Bush Applauds Arafat's 'New Attitude.'"