The Real News of the Month

May 2003
Volume 10, Number 5

Editor: Joe Sobran
Publisher: Fran Griffin (Griffin Communications)
Managing Editor: Ronald N. Neff
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{{ Material dropped from features or changed solely for 
reasons of space appears in double curly brackets. 
Emphasis is indicated by the presence of asterisks around 
the emphasized words.}}

  -> Christ and the War
  -> Wartime Journal (plus Exclusives to this edition)
  -> Our Boys and Theirs
  -> Innocents Amok
Nuggets (plus Exclusives to this edition)
List of Columns Reprinted


Christ and the War
(page 1)

[[ Material dropped from features or changed solely for 
reasons of space appears in double curly brackets. 
Emphasis is indicated by the presence of asterisks around 
the emphasized words. ]]

     Asked to name his favorite philosopher, George W. 
Bush famously replied, "Jesus Christ." One thinks of 
Blake's couplet:

         The vision of Christ that thou dost see
         Is my vision's greatest enemy.

     At least Bush does acknowledge Christ. The usual 
modern strategy for dealing with our Lord is to praise 
him as "a great moral teacher," who "never made the 
claims the churches later made for him" -- and then to 
ignore his great moral teachings, whatever they may be. 
As one wag has put it, Christ's message is typically 
reduced to "being nice," which hardly seems a crucifying 
offense, even in the rugged Roman Empire. Is that all the 
mob at Calvary was screaming about? Is "Be nice" what 
caused men to say, "This is a hard saying; who can accept 

     He was the Son of God, which is why he is still 
hated and avoided in the third millennium since his 
birth. But he was, indeed, a great moral teacher, the 
supremely challenging one. He faced the ultimate test of 
his life with perfect poise. When St. Peter tried to 
protect him from those who had come to arrest him, he 
instantly applied his own teaching "Do not resist evil" 
with the immortal rebuke: "Those who live by the sword 
will perish by the sword."

     This is one of Christ's hardest teachings. The 
impulse to strike back at evil is well-nigh irresistible. 
It is powerfully seductive even for good people, often 
*because* they are good. Was any sword ever raised more 
righteously than St. Peter's?

     Good Christians, who have no appetite for war, often 
argue that a truly fiendish man like Saddam Hussein can't 
be allowed to stay in power. And who but the United 
States has the means to depose him? This was the only 
morally serious argument for the war on Iraq.

     But the same kind of reasoning led to the Vietnam 
war. Who but the United States could resist the global 
advance of Communism? Wasn't it our duty to assume the 
mission of defeating it? Communism caused untold 
suffering to a billion people, including tortures as 
horrible as Hussein's.

     But from this remove we should be able to see the 
*Christian* "lesson of Vietnam." The United States 
fought Communism with the wrong means: the sword. The 
evil of Communism itself was compounded by a war that 
took nearly three million lives, including more than 
50,000 Americans who died by the sword without defeating 

     There are some things that must not be done, even 
against as terrible a scourge as Communism. And even 
against so diabolical a man as Saddam Hussein. We are 
forbidden to do evil in the hope that good may come of 
it. And war is always a great evil. At some point it may 
be permissible -- to defend the innocent, for example -- 
but not if it also entails *killing* the innocent, as 
the war on Iraq did. No vague calculus of "minimizing 
civilian casualties" can justify maiming, even 
"unintentionally," a single child -- or for that matter 
wounding a single soldier defending his homeland.

     [[ Some Christians -- Bush is said to be one of them 
-- justify U.S. intervention in the Middle East, and 
particularly support for Israel, on "biblical" or even 
"End Times" grounds, in order to fulfill God's plan. But 
God's plan is unknown to us. It is not for man to 
fulfill; and even if it were, it couldn't be fulfilled by 
violating God's own commandments, including those Christ 
added to the Mosaic law. ]]  The war on Iraq was one to 
which no Christian should have assented.

(page 2)

     The U.S. side of the war went pretty much according 
to plan -- how could it not? -- but the Iraqis didn't 
keep up their end. They were supposed to throw down their 
arms and welcome their liberators with a hearty chorus of 
"Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead," and instead showed 
a marked aversion to the embrace of Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam 
had genially pledged to snuff out no more than a 
reasonable number of civilians this time; but of course 
his charm began to wear thin back in 1991, when, less 
solicitously, he bombed water and electrical facilities, 
causing thousands of noncombatant mortalities. Then came 
the postwar sanctions ... A few soreheads are old enough 
to remember, it seems.

*          *          *

     France's president, Jacques Chirac, appeared on 
60 MINUTES to explain his country's reasons for opposing 
the Iraq war. He denied any hostility to the United 
States, saying that when you see a friend heading for 
trouble, the friendly thing to do is to try to prevent 
it. I found him quite impressive. France has at least one 
thing we don't have: a president who speaks fluent 
English. As for the French causing us problems, we should 
recall that Charles de Gaulle, citing France's recent 
experience, warned John Kennedy against getting into war 
in Vietnam.

*          *          *

     One unexpected casualty of the war is Michael Kelly, 
who died at 46 when his humvee plunged into a canal near 
Baghdad. He was a brilliant writer and editor (most 
recently of THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY). Sad. He wanted this 
war, but let's not draw facile morals from his odd death. 
I prefer to remember him for his hilariously trenchant 
anti-Clinton columns, which provoked Martin Peretz to 
fire him from THE NEW REPUBLIC as a "right-wing wacko."

*          *          *

     I always like to see a young man make good, but I'm 
at a loss to explain the success of radio talk-show host 
Sean Hannity. He's what passes for a conservative these 
days -- loud, crude, jingoistic, accusing, unacquainted 
with any truly conservative thought. And, naturally, he's 
a compleat Israel toady. Rush Limbaugh is bad enough, but 
at least Rush has some talent: an occasional good point, 
a dash of humor. Hannity, totally devoid of talent and 
ideas, incapable of memorable expression, won't even let 
an opponent finish a sentence and can turn any debate 
into a petty quarrel. For him these tactics are probably 
prudent: he can lose an argument even to his own straw 

*          *          *

     Pat Moynihan is gone at 76, and he is sincerely 
mourned in Washington. Even I felt a pang. He was a 
thoughtful liberal and an instantly charming gent, with a 
lot of personality even for a bibulous Irishman. Yet as a 
politician, he could and should have been so much better 
than he was, because he knew so much better than the 
others. He wasn't the worst man in Washington, not by a 
long shot; he was only the most disappointing.

*          *          *

     Friends, we frankly need your help! Tempers are 
high, and the war is taking its toll even on our 
subscriber list. (Puzzling. Did anyone think we were 
going to *endorse* this war?) If you enjoy SOBRAN'S, 
please tell your friends about us. If you can enlist even 
one new reader, we'd consider that a great service. Many 

Exclusive to the electronic version:

     We are told that "the separation of church and 
state" requires public schools to be "religiously 
neutral," and that this forbids even nondenominational 
school prayer in public schools, lest some atheist within 
earshot be offended. So why doesn't it also forbid the 
teaching of evolution, which is a direct *denial* of 
many people's religion? Is atheistic materialism 
"religiously neutral"? Only to liberals.

*          *          *

     Which do Americans know more about: Michael 
Jackson's nose or their own political tradition? When 
Michael was a little brown boy, his nose looked like it 
was built to last. Now it looks like what your parents 
warned you would happen if you kept picking it. The 
Constitution also looked built to last, but has come to a 
similar end.

Our Boys and Theirs
(page 3-5)

     In its first few days, the war on Iraq proved to be 
something more difficult for the U.S. forces than the 
predicted cakewalk. The Iraqis put up a very brave and 
tough resistance, not necessarily for Saddam Hussein, but 
for their country, against a foreign invasion; just as 
Russians once fought, not for Stalin, but for Russia, 
against a German invasion. Abstract promises of 
"democracy," coming from the invaders, have little 
plausibility or appeal when people's homes and families 
are under terrific assault.

     Many of the soldiers themselves were disillusioned 
after less than a fortnight: they were assured that the 
Iraqis would welcome their "liberators." The American 
press was full of color photos of Marines holding little 
Iraqi girls (wounded or orphaned), but the rest of the 
world saw different pictures: of mangled bodies, faceless 
corpses, sobbing parents, and other "collateral damage." 
The vaunted high-tech American bombs and missiles turned 
out to be somewhat less discriminating than promised. So 
far, the war has given us little to be proud of.

     Do Americans really support this war? In a sense, 
yes. Polls show large majorities -- 70 per cent or so -- 
answering in the affirmative. But whether "yes" means 
"With all my heart!" or "Yeah, I guess so" is another 

     There was no popular demand for this war. After the 
9/11 attacks the country was in the mood for the "war on 
terror" President Bush called for at the time. But nobody 
below the rank of elite journalist interpreted that as a 
war on Iraq. The government first made war on 
Afghanistan, on grounds that its Taliban regime had 
harbored al-Qaeda, and few objected. Then Bush and his 
circle, egged on by the neoconservative press, shifted 
their aim to Iraq, giving several reasons that had little 
if any connection to 9/11 -- and little relation to each 
other -- but fed on the anger 9/11 had ignited. The 
reasons ranged from Iraq's suspected possession of 
forbidden weapons to its suspected backing of terrorists 
to its dictator's extreme nastiness.

     These reasons depended heavily on popular ignorance. 
Polls also show that many who supported the war assumed, 
without evidence, that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden 
are "linked" -- or even that they are the same man! Hard 
telling these evil Arabs apart, you know. And Bush is not 
one to emphasize subtle distinctions, such as the 
difference between Hussein's secular Ba'athist regime and 
the fanatical Islamic creed of al-Qaeda, which are bitter 
enemies. (Al-Qaeda has tried to assassinate Hussein, whom 
bin Laden calls a "socialist" and "apostate.") But Bush 
is shameless enough to welcome the support of ignorant, 
knee-jerk patriots who can't find Iraq on a map, just 
because he needs it.

     Reservations about the war, and opposition to it, 
are likewise strongest among those who are reasonably 
well informed about the Middle East, including Jews. Only 
Likudnik journalists -- "neoconservatives" -- unanimously 
favor war; they have also been Bush's fiercest and vilest 

     Bush also enjoys the backing of the great mass in 
the middle who didn't necessarily want the war as such, 
but who feel a patriotic duty to "support our president" 
or "support our troops." It seems to be lost on them that 
the government is supposed to be directed by the people. 
That's the official national creed, anyway -- We the 
People, and all that. The people aren't supposed to be 
awaiting orders from the executive branch.

     There was no congressional declaration of war. 
Instead, a rubber-stamp Congress gave Bush carte blanche 
to make war when and where it pleaseth him. Not exactly 
the original idea. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution 
defined tyranny as the concentration of too much power in 
too few hands. A president who can make war at his 
discretion -- a "war of choice," as this one was called 
-- meets the definition of a tyrant. Congress abdicated 
both its power and its duty.

     So have the American people, particularly those who 
say we must "patriotically" refrain from criticizing the 
president during wartime -- and who were complaining 
about dissenters even before the war started! Refusing to 
let the hawks monopolize the national conversation became 
"anti-Americanism," next thing to treason. Even 
traditional U.S. allies were expected to fall in behind 
Bush, regardless of their own moral judgment and national 
interests; the shameful campaign of invective against 
France typifies this attitude. The hawks don't want 

     Abraham Lincoln was the first president to use war 
as an excuse to criminalize free speech, jailing 
thousands of citizens and closing hundreds of newspapers 
for the crime of objecting to his war on the Confederacy. 
Lincoln said the war was being fought for the principle 
of self-government; but free discussion is absolutely 
essential to any self-government worthy of the name. 
After all, self-government means government by persuasion 
rather than raw force. It simply can't exist unless 
citizens are free to speak their minds to each other. 
It's absurd to say that the people may use their votes, 
but not their voices.

     American conservatives seem to forget this. They 
have allowed the Left to claim freedom of speech as its 
own cause, especially during war. Naturally, the Left has 
made the cause seem dubious at times, as when it claims 
protection for pornography under the First Amendment. But 
the real principle at stake is something nobler than nude 
dancing: it's the God-given right to use our God-given 
reason in civic conversation. Under a form of government 
in which the people are sovereign, the government can 
have no authority to silence the people -- or even any 
single person. When the government and its supporters 
monopolize speech, there is no real speech at all -- only 
propaganda. And propaganda is addressed to passions, not 
to reason. It seeks not to persuade, but to overwhelm.

     But of course many citizens are always ready to 
allow the government to silence other citizens, and even 
to lend a hand. Worse yet, many are willing to forswear 
exercising their own reason and freedom of speech out of 
misplaced loyalty to "the government" -- meaning its 
martial aspect. During both world wars, Americans by and 
large submitted willingly to the suppression of free 
speech, just when free speech was most urgently needed. 
That baneful tradition began to crack during the Vietnam 
war, though protesters were still widely viewed as 

     In the United States, of all places, patriotism 
shouldn't be equated with mere submission to the elected 
government. But of course it usually is, though such 
submission is really, properly speaking, servile -- and 
therefore unworthy of the free men we boast ourselves to 
be. A real patriot wants to take pride in his country; 
but for that very reason he won't refrain from piping up 
when its government does something shameful, wounding its 
own best traditions.

     And just as a good family man respects other 
people's families as well as his own, a real patriot will 
respect other people's patriotism. That's why it should 
be so grievous to our patriotic feelings to see Iraqis 
dying to defend their country against Americans, as the 
rest of the world looks on with moral outrage against us.

     Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld, crass avatars of raw 
American power, don't understand this. "A decent respect 
to the opinions of mankind" is lost on them. As far as 
they are concerned, mankind will just have to deal with 
it. America equals "freedom" by definition.

     Rational protest against this war was especially 
urgent once the war was under way. Street demonstrations 
are fine, not because they prove that the war is wrong -- 
marches in themselves prove nothing -- but because they 
encourage people to express their doubts in the 
confidence that they aren't alone. But they are really 
valuable only insofar as they lead to persuasion. 
Otherwise they can easily become no more than another 
form of propaganda.

     Besides, the war on Iraq may only be the first phase 
-- the Polish phase, as it were -- of a new world war. 
Neoconservative advocates like Eliot Cohen and Norman 
Podhoretz are already calling for what they openly call 
"World War IV" (the Cold War being "World War III"). 
Michael Ledeen doesn't consider the Iraq war a war in 
itself, but "just one battle in a broader war." Echoed by 
Richard Perle, Ledeen calls Iran "the mother of modern 
terrorism." Ariel Sharon has let it be known that he 
would like the United States to attack Iran and Syria 
next. And Rumsfeld has just threatened both countries.

     All this dovetails with Bush's announced agenda of 
inducing "regime change" throughout the Middle East. He 
makes it sound positive, of course -- "democracy" for 
all, in the interest of peace and stability. Can he 
really be obtuse enough to believe that popular 
government in the Islamic world would be pro-American 
(and friendly to Israel), or does he intend to make sure 
that the new "democracies" are U.S. satellites?

     Protest did not stop the late war, but it can help 
prevent it from expanding into the wider war Sharon and 
the neocons (and the Bush team?) seek. The neocons have 
already been smoked out; they are no longer able to hide 
behind the scenes, concealing their motive. Their desire 
to promote Israel's interest -- as defined by Sharon and 
the Likud -- is now discussed in the mainstream media. We 
no longer have to pretend not to notice what they're up 
to, and Perle himself has come into disgrace for his 
apparent conflicts of interest.

     The most important fact about the "neoconservatives" 
is that they are not, in any significant sense, 
conservative. Their goal has always been war between the 
United States and the Arab-Muslim world, nothing more. 
Max Boot, one of their number, recently wrote that 
support for Israel is "a chief tenet of neoconservatism," 
but this is a little disingenuous. Support for Israel is 
*the* chief tenet, the sine qua non, the very raison 
d'etre of neoconservatism.

     The neoconservatives formed an alliance with anti-
Communist conservatives during the Cold War and, joining 
the Republican Party, quickly found positions of 
influence in the Reagan administration. As Democrats they 
had accepted the New Deal and the Great Society, but the 
party's McGovernite, "peacenik" turn had marginalized 
Zionists, making support for Israel and war against Arabs 
problematic; so, without changing their principles, they 
changed parties.

     This wasn't mass conversion, as conservatives hoped; 
it was mere infiltration. The neoconservatives aped 
conservative rhetoric, much as Communists had once aped 
liberal rhetoric in order to infiltrate liberalism; but, 
like the Communists, they had done so strictly for their 
own purposes.

     As it turns out, it was the conservatives who 
underwent the mass conversion. I can bear witness.

     Twenty years ago, when I worked at NATIONAL REVIEW, 
I was introduced to a bright young Jew named David Frum, 
who has lately gained his 15 minutes as the author of 
Bush's "Axis of Evil" speech, laying the rhetorical 
groundwork for Ledeen's "broader war." In those days Frum 
was fresh from Yale and had just written an article for 
NATIONAL REVIEW protesting Reagan's sale of spy planes to 
Saudi Arabia. Frum argued that this was bad for Israel 
and would alienate many people from the conservative 

     It struck me as an odd article for a conservative 
and Reaganite magazine to run. Shouldn't the question be 
whether the plane sale was good for the United States, 
not whether it was good for Israel? I was still rather 
naive about the neocons.

     Beyond that, Frum made no reference to conservative 
principles. Conservatism was a pretty wide-ranging 
political philosophy. Despite many differences among 
them, conservatives generally agreed on such principles 
as Natural Law, tradition, constitutional restraints, 
prudence, limited government. Who would reject all these 
tenets of sound governance over a single arms sale?

     The neocons, that's who. Philosophies and principles 
meant nothing to them, except to the extent that they 
were useful to Israel. For a long time I could hardly 
comprehend this, but it is absolutely essential to any 
understanding of "neoconservatism." If the neocons had 
found Bolshevism or white supremacism "good for Israel," 
they would have embraced it as readily as they did 

     To this day, most conservatives don't get it, as 
witness such "conservative" pundits as Rush Limbaugh. 
Older conservatives, like the venerable Russell Kirk, saw 
just what was happening. When Kirk said so, the neocons 
immediately accused him of "anti-Semitism," their all-
purpose mot juste for the semitically incorrect. Pat 
Buchanan and I would later get the same treatment.

     NATIONAL REVIEW, meanwhile, has continued down the 
road to perdition, and is now hardly even vestigially 
conservative. Bill Buckley's magazine, originally a 
staunch defender of Whittaker Chambers, has gone the way 
of Alger Hiss. It is completely pro-war and abjectly pro-
Israel. Neocons roost in its pages like bats in an old 

     Lo, a recent issue of the magazine [April 7, 2003]
 features a long cover story -- a harangue, really -- 
denouncing "paleoconservatives," the sort of 
conservatives who founded the magazine itself, as 
"unpatriotic conservatives" who are waging "a war against 
America." Buchanan, Samuel Francis, Robert Novak, 
Llewellyn Rockwell, and I are named among the warriors 
against America.

     The author: none other than David Frum!

     Throughout the article, Frum, as ever, makes no 
appeal to classical conservative thinkers or principles. 
He makes no effort to define conservatism (apart from 
militant anti-Communism, which is an application of 
principle rather than a principle in itself), or to 
identify genuinely American traditions. He merely 
asserts, without offering evidence, that we paleocons 
"explicitly yearn for the victory of their nation's 
enemies." He even swipes at "the editors of this 
magazine, [who] questioned and opposed the civil rights 

     The sublime irony of having one's patriotism 
challenged by a neocon ... Frum, born and raised in 
Canada, has recently become a U.S. citizen, but his 
loyalties appear not to have changed. He produces 
quotations to show that paleocons are -- horrors! -- 
suspicious of Israel, but he never explains how this 
amounts to a "war on America." In fact, his whole attack 
on the paleocons is exactly the sort of thing liberals 
used to write about NATIONAL REVIEW, back in its 
conservative days; but neither he nor the magazine's 
current editors would know about that.

     In the end, loving America is a rather different 
thing from merely finding it useful to other interests. I 
suspect that the simplest Iraqi soldier proved with his 
blood and courage that he loves his country infinitely 
more than Frum and his kind, whatever their passports may 
say, will ever love this one..

Innocents Amok
(page 6)

     Terry Teachout, the film reviewer of the neo-
Catholic magazine CRISIS, accuses THE QUIET AMERICAN of 
"anti-Americanism." Otherwise, he admits, "it is -- up to 
a point -- a very good movie."

     Fearing just that dreaded label, the film's studio, 
Miramax, withheld it from release for a year after 9/11. 
The country was in no mood for criticism just when it was 
most timely. But the star, Michael Caine, pushed hard to 
have it distributed, and it won a couple of Academy 
Awards (and a nomination for Caine himself) along with 
raves from most reviewers.

     To call the film "anti-American" is to convey 
nothing of its flavor. It's a subtle, searching story, 
from Graham Greene's short novel, of a tragic, well-
meaning young American, Alden Pyle, in Vietnam during the 
days when the Vietnam war was being handled by the 
French, with the United States waiting in the wings.

     Pyle, played by Brendan Fraser, arrives in Saigon in 
the early Fifties, ostensibly on a medical relief 
mission. He meets an aging British journalist named 
Fowler (Caine) with a beautiful young Vietnamese mistress 
(Do Hai Yen). Fowler can't marry the girl; his Catholic 
wife back home won't give him a divorce. He takes an 
immediate liking to Pyle, who also falls in love with the 

     It transpires that Pyle is actually working for the 
CIA, trying to prop up a native democratic "third force" 
as an alternative to the French colonialists and the 
Communists. The ruthless "third force" proves to be a 
fatal illusion, and Pyle is fatally compromised. He is 
already dead at the beginning of the story, and the whole 
film, narrated by Fowler, explains how he got that way.

     The handsome Fraser, familiar from countless dumb 
comedies, plays Pyle convincingly and winningly. You see 
why Fowler likes him and even puts up with his 
eccentrically earnest courtship of Fowler's exquisitely 
beautiful mistress. Pyle wants to make an honest woman of 
her by offering her the marriage Fowler can't offer, just 
as he wants to redeem Vietnam itself from Communism. Both 
these noble aims turn out to be beyond Pyle's power; his 
best efforts only make matters worse.

     Several of Greene's novels have made excellent 
films; the greatest of these films, THE THIRD MAN, was 
actually scripted by Greene before he turned it into a 
novel. It is this one THE QUIET AMERICAN immediately 
recalls, with its earnest, bumbling American hero, Holly 
Martins (played so memorably by Joseph Cotten).

     Graham could be excessively scathing about America 
-- in 1952 he compared this country unfavorably with the 
Soviet Union -- but his novelist's imagination was fairer 
than his top-of-the-head opinions. Pyle, like Martins, is 
impossible to hate or despise. We recognize him as a man 
of generous instincts. Even Fowler is touched by this.

     The director, the Australian Philip Noyce, captures 
Saigon in the Fifties nearly as poignantly as Carol Reed 
captured Vienna in the earlier film. He shows a world 
that can't last, but which nonetheless has its own 
distinctive look, sound, and flavor; you almost wish 
you'd been there before it was destroyed forever. The 
girl epitomizes it. When a night-club chanteuse sings (in 
French, of course) "Mademoiselle de Paris," you feel the 
beauty of a lost way of life and the cruelty of time 
itself. Why did this have to end?

     But Fowler, corrupt as he is, appreciates this 
Saigon in a way Pyle can't. It has become his home. He 
can do nothing to save it, and he knows it; Pyle merely 
thinks he can, but remains a naive outsider. If he really 
knew the place, he wouldn't have optimistic illusions 
about it, but he might love it all the more for being 
doomed. Trying to save it from Communism -- at least with 
dubious weapons -- only makes things worse.

     Is this "anti-Americanism"? It's not an "ism" at 
all. It's a wise recognition of ineradicable evils in 
this world, a recognition Americans tend to be blind to. 
Holly Martins has illusions much like Pyle's. There is no 
implied endorsement of evil in the awareness of tragedy.

     Finally Pyle is dead, as we knew he would be. The 
film updates the novel by showing headlines from the 
years after the book was written, recording America's 
growing role in the Vietnamese tragedy -- and implying so 
much more in more recent times. THE THIRD MAN remains a 
great film in large part because of its total 
indifference to the propaganda of its time, right after 
World War II. THE QUIET AMERICAN has the same quality of 
aloofness without inhumanity.

     This time, the hero gets the girl, but you're not 
sure he's the hero. Maybe the movie is anti-British. 
Whatever it is, THE QUIET AMERICAN is the most moving 
film I've seen in years.


WELL-HIDDEN: Not only did the U.S. and the UN inspectors 
fail to find those "weapons of mass destruction": in his 
hour of need, apparently Saddam Hussein couldn't find 
them either. (page 7)

QUERY: What's the difference between women and 
neoconservatives? Answer: You can get a few women to go 
into combat. The pretty Private Jessica Lynch should be 
the lasting symbol of the Iraq war. Perhaps the new 
American battle cry could be "Jessica! You go, girl!" 
(page 9)

PROPHECY: Another easy win for the United States over a 
feeble foe advertised as a deadly global threat. But as 
always, the bill will come in later, when we discover 
that this triumph has bred us new and unforeseen enemies 
and problems. Meanwhile, Osama bin Laden (remember him?) 
should find business booming. (page 10)

BUT OF COURSE: The losers will be tried for war crimes. 
They will also shoulder the blame for all the civilian 
casualties the victors tried so hard to minimize, as well 
as for the foreign journalists who were accidentally 
killed while covering the war from the wrong angle.
(page 11)

SURPRISE! As we go to press, the United States appears to 
have defeated Iraq. Fuller comment will have to wait till 
next month. Meanwhile, the victors have drawn the usual 
moral: the righteous side has inevitably won. Not that 
anyone doubted the outcome; yet Americans are gloating as 
if their big war machine proved them the Master Race. But 
if this war had been decided by valor alone, the doomed 
Iraqi soldiers, who defended their country to the death 
against hopeless odds, would have won -- in a cakewalk. 
(page 12)

Exclusive to the electronic version:

CONSOLATION: If there is a silver lining in this war, 
it's that the designs of the pro-Israel neoconservatives 
who planned it for years before 9/11 (the supposed reason 
for the war) have been exposed for all to see. This will 
make it harder for them to expand this battle into the 
wider war they covet -- a "World War IV" against the 
entire Arab-Muslim world, starting with Iran and Syria.

WELCOME LIBERATORS! The U.S. media featured images of 
jubilant Iraqis celebrating the U.S. victory, thereby 
proving to the dullest mind (and few others) that 
President Bush was right to call this a war of 
"liberation." Some were no doubt truly relieved to be rid 
of Saddam Hussein; others were simply grateful to be 
alive and unharmed. And no conqueror has ever lacked 
eager collaborators. Hitler analogies, anyone? 


* Wilson, Bush, and History (March 11, 2003)

* What Would Jesus Do? (March 13, 2003)

* Benign Bombers (March 27, 2003)

* The Media War (April 1, 2003)

* Telling the Story (April 3, 2003)

* Minimizing Civilian Casualties (April 8, 2003)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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