The Real News of the Month

November 2003
Volume 10, Number 11

Editor: Joe Sobran
Publisher: Fran Griffin (Griffin Communications)
Managing Editor: Ronald N. Neff
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  -> The Neocon Heresy
  -> Current Notes (plus Exclusives to this edition)
  -> The Jackson Heresy
  -> Recognizing Evil
Nuggets (plus Exclusives to this edition)
List of Columns Reprinted in This Issue


{{ 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.}}

The Neocon Heresy
(page 1)

Prestowitz argues that the United States has needlessly 
alienated much of the rest of the world, including its 
traditional allies. He thinks the problem has gotten 
worse during the Bush administration, particularly with 
its misguided war on Iraq, the occupation of which should 
be terminated as soon as feasible.

     We're used to hearing this sort of talk from 
liberals, but Prestowitz is a self-identified 
conservative who believes the U.S. Government has 
permitted "its view of reality to be distorted by 
intensely self-interested groups ... [and] key positions 
[to be] occupied by dedicated minorities that are 
sometimes heavily influenced by foreign elements whose 
interests are directly at odds with those of the United 

     Chief among these foreign interests are those of 
Israel. "Unless the lobbies and the Congress and the 
White House wake up," he warns, "the prospect is for the 
United States to pour more billions of dollars into 
expansion of Israeli settlements. This policy will 
catalyze violence and lead to brutal reprisal that will 
bring more global disdain for the United States."

     "The imperial project of the so-called 
neoconservatives," Prestowitz goes on, "is not 
conservatism at all but radicalism, egotism, and 
adventurism articulated in the stirring rhetoric of 
traditional patriotism. Real conservatives have never 
been messianic or doctrinaire." The neoconservative 
foreign policy, resulting in bigger government and 
stupendous spending, "is neither conservatism nor 
liberalism but simple irresponsibility."

     The Iraq war has been a mixed blessing for the 
neocons. The very fact that it occurred is a mark of 
their success and inordinate influence, in the media and 
in government. But this has also brought them publicity 
and unaccustomed scrutiny. As the occupation has gone 
sour and the official reasons for war have been exposed 
as dubious or worse, much of the blame has fallen on the 
small cabal of pro-Israel neocon intellectuals who were 
pushing for war on Iraq long before 9/11 and all that.

     {{ As Prestowitz suggests, the term 
"neoconservatism" is misleading. Neoconservatism has 
little to do with traditional conservatism; in fact, the 
two things are almost opposites. The neocons aren't 
interested in such conservative principles as prudence, 
limited government, and constitutional order. I learned 
long ago that the quickest way to get yawns and puzzled 
stares at neocon gatherings is to mention the Tenth 
Amendment. }}

     {{ What the neocons *are* interested in is power. I 
don't just mean that they want it for themselves, 
ambitious as they are; I mean that they exemplify the 
type Michael Oakeshott warned against when he said that 
some people can only see government as "a vast reservoir 
of power," which inspires them to use the state for pet 
projects (such as war). Oakeshott contrasted this view 
with conservatism, which sees governing as disinterested 
umpiring between clashing desires. }}

     Within the conservative movement, the neocons are 
like those liberals and pragmatists within Christian 
churches who want to ignore or even discard ancient 
dogmas. For "progressive" Christians, the old doctrines
-- the Redemption, the Resurrection, and the rest -- are 
inessential and disposable; the real action is elsewhere, 
in current concerns, and the Church must be where the 
action is. But for the orthodox, those doctrines are the 
very essence of Christian faith, and without them there 
is no point in calling yourself Christian. The two sides 
have opposing, and irreconcilable, views of the Church's 
raison d'etre.

     In the same way, the neocons deny the centrality of 
the values conservatives have generally seen as defining 
and indispensable. They don't so much reject those values 
as fail to see why anyone should attach much importance 
to them. It's not as if any principle were at stake, is 

     So we have the oddity of two sides talking at cross-
purposes and imagining they're the same side.

Current Notes
(page 2)

     Arnold Schwarzenegger, a baptized Catholic, is 
married to Maria Shriver, niece of the first Catholic 
U.S. president. Yet nobody thinks it's noteworthy that 
he's pro-abortion and generally liberal on "social 
issues." Hard to recall that John Kennedy's religion was 
the most intensely discussed topic of the 1960 campaign. 
Many Protestants feared that the Vatican would rule 
America through the Kennedys. Yet as Arnold's 
gubernatorial candidacy and win show, the real effect of 
the Kennedy era was not just to promote tolerance, but to 
trivialize religion in American public life. The real 
Kennedy legacy is that nobody now need worry that 
Catholic politicians will stand for any Catholic 

*          *          *

     We can go further. To read any current textbook, 
you'd never guess that religion had ever played an 
important role in American history, society, or culture. 
Because today's secularism ignores it, you get the 
impression that Americans have always ignored it. Most 
people would be amazed to learn, for example, that many 
of the best-selling books of the nineteenth century were 
volumes of sermons. Until the 1960s, even lots of 
Hollywood's biggest hits were films with religious 
several versions of BEN-HUR, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, and 
KING OF KINGS, not to mention many others with Christian 

*          *          *

     Case in point: ON THE WATERFRONT, directed by the 
recently deceased Elia Kazan, starring Marlon Brando as a 
young dockworker who wrestles with his conscience over 
whether to testify against a corrupt labor union. The 
film is a melodrama, but it's full of religious symbols, 
and Brando's better angel is a priest, forcefully played 
by Karl Malden. Kazan, widely hated in Hollywood for 
testifying against his own Communist former friends, had 
the audacity to portray informing as a courageous -- and 
Christian -- act.

*          *          *

     Less than six months after a popular military 
victory, George W. Bush's approval ratings are plunging 
and Iraq has become a tar baby. The reasons he gave for 
going to war now ring so hollow that he has been forced 
to change his tune somewhat; those Iraqi WMDs still 
haven't been found. Nor has the rest of the Axis of Evil 
been deterred: Iran still has a nuclear program, and 
North Korea says it's stepping up its own nuke 
production. Meanwhile, as attacks on occupation troops 
increase, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, commander 
of U.S. forces in Iraq, says, "The enemy has evolved -- a 
little bit more lethal, a little more complex, a little 
more sophisticated, and in some cases a little bit more 
tenacious. The evolution is about what we expected to see 
over time." Maybe so, but that's not what the American 
public was led to expect. It sounds as if the "evolution" 
really means that the resistance is something quite 
distinct from the original enemy -- neither Saddam 
Hussein's loyalists nor al-Qaeda, but a popular movement 
that didn't exist when all this started.

*          *          *

     So once again our government has succeeded in making 
itself -- and us -- new enemies. It defines these enemies 
as "terrorists," then cites them as justification for the 
"war on terrorism."

*          *          *

     Don't forget to tell your friends about SOBRAN'S! May 
we also suggest gift subscriptions for Christmas or 

Exclusive to the electronic version:

     Rush Limbaugh may have been wrong, unfair, and out 
of line in charging that the media have been overrating 
quarterback Donovan McNabb because he's black. I can't 
judge. But the National Football League has invited such 
suspicions with its affirmative action program, under 
which the Detroit Lions were fined $200,000 for hiring a 
white coach without interviewing a black candidate first. 
If you make race a job qualification, what is more 
natural than for others to wonder whether people are 
being favored because of their race? As usual, liberals 
want to have it both ways.

*          *          *

     Limbaugh also got in trouble on another front: 
purchasing prescription drugs illegally. Zev Chafets of 
New York's DAILY NEWS scores him for supporting the 
Federal Government's War on Drugs, which is currently 
incarcerating more than 400,000 people in the United 
States. Most of these are "luckless nobodies," Chafets 
observes -- not violent criminals, but young black and 
Hispanic men who can't afford good lawyers. Few whites 
who violate drug laws (and the majority of offenders are 
white) face prison sentences. He hopes Limbaugh will 
learn from his own experience and pipe up against this 
iniquity. I heartily agree.

The Jackson Heresy
(pages 3-5)

     What most Americans call the Civil War, many 
Southerners still prefer to call the War Between the 
States, since it wasn't a civil war in the sense of a 
struggle for supremacy between two rival factions. Others 
call it the War of Northern Aggression; still others, the 
War for Southern Independence. It might also be called 
the War *Against* the States, since its ground and result 
was the denial of state sovereignty. Most Northerners 
failed to see that if the Union won, their own states 
would lose the status of "Free and Independent States" 
claimed for them by the Declaration of Independence.

     The stage was set for the war by an unlikely figure: 
Andrew Jackson. Old Hickory was a fierce, Jeffersonian 
advocate of states' rights who took a severe view of the 
limits of Federal power. One of his chief presidential 
accomplishments was the abolition of the first national 
bank of the United States, which he believed (as 
Jefferson had) to be beyond the constitutional power of 
the Federal Government.

     In his first inaugural address (1829), Jackson 
promised, "in regard to the rights of the separate 
States," that he would be "animated by a proper respect 
for those sovereign [!] members of our Union, taking care 
not to confound the powers they have reserved to 
themselves with those they have granted to the 
Confederacy" (a synonym, then, for the Union). In his 
second inaugural address (1833) he pledged to veto 
measures which threatened to "encroach upon the rights of 
the States or tend to consolidate all political power in 
the General Government." The Federal Government, he 
emphasized, should exercise "those powers only that are 
clearly delegated [to it]."

     How, then, could Jackson pave the way for Abraham 
Lincoln's war on the states? Well, he did so. During the 
Nullification crisis of 1832, he set forth the doctrine 
that Lincoln would invoke in his own first inaugural 
address in 1861.

     Bitterly angry at the "Tariff of Abominations," 
which protected Northern industry at the expense of 
Southern cotton interests, South Carolina threatened to 
resist collection of the tariff within its borders. This 
step was the brainchild of Senator John C. Calhoun, 
formerly Jackson's vice president. Calhoun adopted the 
logic of Jefferson's 1798 Kentucky Resolutions, which 
asserts the right of any state to declare any act of the 
Federal Government null and void on its territory if the 
state deems the act unconstitutional.

     If the Federal Government tried to enforce the 
tariff, South Carolina warned that it would resist with 
force. Then it would leave the Union.

     Jackson was not a man to take this sitting down. He 
was the most autocratic of American presidents, and a 
remarkably tough hombre before whom hardened criminals 
quailed. He had fought more than 70 duels; once a doctor 
had cut a bullet from his shoulder (this was before 
anesthetics, of course) and he had returned immediately 
to work.

     Whatever his abstract principles, Jackson would hear 
none of this secession talk. He announced that he was 
prepared to invade South Carolina to compel submission.

     But there was more. The issues at stake aroused the 
country. A memorable debate was held in the U.S. Senate. 
Robert Hayne of South Carolina made the Jeffersonian case 
for states' rights and secession. Daniel Webster of 
Massachusetts, the most powerful orator of the time, 
answered with a resounding pair of replies, the second of 
which became a classic for its great peroration, "Liberty 
and Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable!" 
Northern schoolboys would declaim these words for 

     But eloquence is not logic. Jackson made his own 
reply in a proclamation denying the state sovereignty he 
had once acknowledged. Contrary to Jefferson, he argued, 
the Union was no mere agreement among the states; it was 
the creation of the American people as a whole, and no 
state could break it. The Union was older than the 
Constitution itself -- a theme Lincoln would later adopt. 
Sovereignty belonged to the people, not to the individual 
states. The Union was "indesoluble" (Jackson, like 
Lincoln, was an erratic speller), unless the people as a 
whole chose to dissolve it. South Carolina's threatened 
resistance to the laws of the Union was "treason."

     The Constitution, Jackson asserted, "forms a 
*government,* not a league." It makes the United States 
"a single nation," whose member states do not "possess 
any right to secede." The states gave up "essential parts 
of sovereignty" in "becoming parts of a nation."

     Jackson was rejecting the whole states' rights 
philosophy Jefferson had set forth in the Kentucky 
Resolutions. He was also adopting the nationalist or 
"consolidationist" philosophy of Jefferson's enemies, 
Alexander Hamilton and John Marshall, according to which 
the American people had, in ratifying the Constitution, 
bestowed irrevocable sovereignty, including vast "implied 
powers," on the Federal Government. Jackson took a 
narrower view than these men had of the implied powers, 
but when push came to shove, he thought, the Federal 
Government had to be boss.

     Jackson was enraged when he learned that Calhoun, 
even as his vice president, had secretly led the 
nullifiers and secessionists. He privately roared that he 
should have hanged Calhoun. Soon the breach became open, 
and Calhoun emerged as the great Southern spokesman of 
the age, carrying the torch of Jefferson for the 
sovereign states.

     Robert V. Remini, Jackson's recent biographer, 
writes, "[Jackson] was the first American statesman to 
offer the doctrine of the Union as a perpetual entity. 
His arguments and conclusions provide a complete brief 
against the right of a state to secede. In terms of 
constitutional arguments, Jackson's statement is far 
greater than Daniel Webster's more famous reply to Hayne. 
Webster relied on a sentimental appeal, arguing for the 
Union 'as a blessing to mankind.' Jackson went beyond 
sentiment. He offered history and a dynamic new reading 
of constitutional law."

     Remini adds, "President Jackson marks an important 
break with the past. He is the first and only statesman 
of the early national period to deny publicly the right 
of secession. Secession was a doctrine no longer in 
keeping with a democratic society, no longer congenial to 
the idea of 'a Federal Union founded upon the great 
principle of popular representation.' Whether at some 
point in time secession had any validity no longer 
mattered. It was a dead issue as far as Old Hickory was 
concerned, annihilated by the historical evolution of a 
democratic society."

     It was a break with the past, all right. Remini's 
words -- "new," "dynamic," "first," "no longer," "at some 
point in time," and "historical evolution" -- admit, 
approvingly, that Jackson's doctrine was an innovation, a 
departure from the original consensus. He was asserting 
that the states were not, and never had been, the "Free 
and Independent States" Jefferson had insisted they 
continued to be under the Constitution.

     Jackson would have disdained Remini's defense of 
him. That defense rests on the modern view -- variously 
called historicist, relativist, et cetera -- that 
principles "evolve," so that what is "true" for one age 
may be false for the next, and no truths can be
self-evident, permanent, or eternal. Jackson was still 
Jeffersonian enough to reject this confused nonsense, 
which hardly deserves to be called a doctrine. He didn't 
think the right of secession was outdated; he denied that 
it had ever existed, or could exist, at all.

     Jackson's position split his own party, and even 
Webster was shocked by his threat to make war on South 
Carolina. As Hamilton, no champion of states' rights, had 
said, "To coerce the States is one of the maddest 
projects that was ever devised." Late in his life Webster 
went back on his own arguments, agreeing that if the 
Northern states should violate the Constitution 
"deliberately, habitually, and of fixed purpose ... the 
South would no longer be bound to observe the compact. A 
bargain can not be broken on one side, and still bind the 
other side."

     Congress obliged Jackson by passing a Force Bill 
authorizing him to coerce South Carolina, if necessary, 
but both sides backed away from a bloody settlement and 
reached a compromise on the tariff. Still, in point of 
history, Jackson's idea of national sovereignty was 
wrong. Sovereignty belonged, by general agreement, to the 
people of the separate states. Madison, even when he 
shared Hamilton's hope for a stronger central government 
and weaker states, spoke of the states as "thirteen 
sovereignties." In the political literature of the 
founding period, the Union was usually called a 
"voluntary confederation" (or "confederacy") and the 
states were almost monotonously described as "free, 
sovereign, and independent." America might be spoken of 
as "the nation," but the United States were merely a 
limited confederation, each member retaining its 

     The Constitution itself had never referred to the 
United States as a nation or denied state sovereignty. As 
an agreement between the states, it was often called a 
"compact" -- even at times by Webster, who later forgot, 
when attacking the compact theory, that he himself had 
used the term. As Jefferson Davis would point out, the 
Constitution stipulated that ratification would make it 
binding "between" the states, not *over* the states. The 
Federal Government was not endowed with sovereignty; 
that, the states kept.

     As Davis and others argued, sovereignty was crucial, 
and it couldn't be surrendered by mere implication. The 
Tenth Amendment made plain the principle that the states 
gave up *nothing* by implication. This was to be a 
central issue in the controversies leading up to the War 
Between the States.

     Jackson's most important disciple would be Abraham 
Lincoln. Before becoming president, Lincoln was guarded 
in his views on secession. He created a nationwide agony 
of tension with his four-month silence on the subject 
between his election and his inauguration. But as he 
prepared his first inaugural address, he studied 
Jackson's words on sovereignty and secession with the 
utmost care.

     The result was not Lincoln's greatest speech, but it 
was certainly his most significant. Despite its 
conciliatory and euphemistic expression, the South 
correctly took it as a threat of war. It was the full 
fruit of Jackson's heresy.

     Echoing Jackson, Lincoln held that the Union was 
even older than the Constitution -- older than the 
Declaration of Independence itself -- and was "perpetual" 
and indissoluble. No state could secede from it under the 
Constitution. There could be no compromise on that.

     Still, he promised not to invade the states, not to 
interfere with slavery where it existed already, and not 
to take any military action beyond what was necessary to 
secure Federal property. But, he warned, he was bound by 
his oath of office to preserve the Union.

     In fact, he was not. His oath required him to uphold 
the Constitution; it said nothing about preserving the 
Union. The Constitution granted no power, either to 
Congress or the president, to prevent secession. Federal 
forces could be sent into a state only if the state 
requested them.

     Lincoln committed the fallacy of confusing the 
Federal Government with the Constitution. For him, 
abiding by the Constitution meant maintaining, or 
submitting to, the government. He thus identified the 
Constitution with a concrete body of power, regardless of 
whether that power was actually being used according to 
the terms of the Constitution.

     By this Jacksonian logic, "saving the Union" might 
justify or require *violating* the Constitution. Lincoln 
later came close to saying as much: "Are all the laws, 
*but one,* to go unexecuted, and the government itself go 
to pieces, lest that one be violated?" One Ohio 
congressman ridiculed this question by quoting an Irish 
politician who said, "We must stand prepared to sacrifice 
a part of the Constitution, or even the whole of it, in 
order to save the remainder!"

     Lincoln stood prepared to sacrifice as much of the 
Constitution as necessary. Here were "implied powers" 
with a vengeance. If his highest duty was to "preserve 
the Union" -- by preventing secession -- then he might 
have to assume any powers necessary to that end, no 
matter what the Constitution itself said.

     In the name of saving the Union, the Constitution, 
self-government, and liberty itself, Lincoln, in the 
words of Harry V. Jaffa (quoted here last month), 
"discovered the reservoir of constitutional power 
contained within that presidential oath." He 
"discovered," inter alia, his power to arrest state 
legislators and other elected officials; to suspend 
habeas corpus; to raise, deploy, and finance an army 
without consulting Congress; to postpone elections 
indefinitely; to close hundreds of dissenting newspapers 
and arrest thousands of critics; to install puppet 
military governments directly answerable to himself; and 
to rig elections to ensure the victory of "loyal" forces.

     Jaffa thinks that all these measures were not only 
justified, but fully consistent with Jefferson's 
principles! They may not look much like constitutional 
rule or self-government, but at least they are logical -- 
if you accept the premise that the Federal Government is 
sovereign and a president's supreme duty is to prevent 

     The problem is that this proves far too much. The 
supposed duty to prevent secession -- which can only be 
an *implied* duty, since the Constitution says absolutely 
nothing about it -- can obviously generate an indefinite 
number of "implied" powers for that purpose. The powers 
in Lincoln's "reservoir" are already far broader, and far 
more numerous, than the presidential powers expressly 
granted in the Constitution. As his critics observed in 
his own time, they are arbitrary and dictatorial, often 
directly transgressing the Constitution's letter.

     In effect, Lincoln claimed a constitutional power to 
suspend the Constitution. In his inaugural address, he 
remarked that no government had ever provided for its own 
termination. Yet he thought the Constitution virtually 
provided for its own destruction; which is what he 
finally achieved. Lincoln's administration brought to an 
end the voluntary confederation of sovereign states. Here 
was the answer to Webster's cry: liberty and Union proved 
anything but "inseparable."

     Jefferson Davis called his memoirs THE RISE AND FALL 
OF THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT. His treatment of secession 
amounts to a full and brilliant expansion, a hundred 
pages long, of the Kentucky Resolutions, one that 
Jefferson would have been proud and grateful to have 
inspired. An equally apt title would have been THE RISE 

Recognizing Evil
(page 6)

     Orson Welles once recalled meeting Adolf Hitler at a 
dinner party before Hitler came to power. Asked what 
impression the future dictator made on him, Welles said, 
in effect, None at all. Hitler struck him as a totally 
uninteresting personality, a blank.

     Welles's remarks came to mind when I heard that the 
legendary film director Leni Riefenstahl had died at 101. 
Her death was greeted with predictable sermons asking how 
she could have lent her great talent to glorifying evil. 
This is of course a reference to her most famous film, 
TRIUMPH OF THE WILL, an ecstatic record of the 1934 
Nuremburg Party Convention that is widely considered, as 
one film historian puts it, "the most powerful propaganda 
film ever made."

     Riefenstahl insisted to the end that the film was a 
documentary, not propaganda. She denied that she was ever 
a Nazi or (as sometimes rumored) Hitler's mistress. After 
World War II she spent four years in and out of prison on 
various charges, chiefly supplying Nazi propaganda -- 
never mind that her two films that became notorious (the 
other was OLYMPIA, a brilliant documentary of the 1936 
Berlin Olympic Games) were produced long before the war. 
She was eventually exonerated, but her career in film was 
over. (She did make a final short documentary shortly 
before her hundredth birthday.)

     There is no use denying that TRIUMPH OF THE WILL is, 
and was meant to be, a thrilling piece of work. It 
conveys Hitler's appeal to a Germany still recovering 
from the defeat of World War I; yet it's not at all what 
we expect Nazi propaganda to be like, after decades of 
fanatical anti-Nazi propaganda (which has never 
relented). There is no Jew-baiting in it; in fact, no 
mention of Jews at all. Instead, there is an impression 
of innocence, of ordinary Germans letting their hair down 
and having a lot of fun. The early reels, for example, 
show men in bathing suits playfully squirting each other 
with hoses, to background oom-pah music. When the 
ceremonies begin, we see Nazi dignitaries giving speeches 
whose theme is national regeneration and hope. The dark 
side of National Socialism is yet to emerge.

     Subsequent history has made it hard to see the film 
in the spirit in which Riefenstahl made it. She shows 
Hitler and his ensemble as they must have seemed to their 
adherents at the beginning -- not so different from the 
way Franklin Roosevelt must have seemed to Democrats at 
the same time, as they hailed him with "Happy Days Are 
Here Again."

     Which raises the question, What if Hitler had won 
the war? What if Germany had devastated, conquered, and 
occupied America and Russia? What if Joseph Goebbels had 
controlled the postwar propaganda that saturated the 
Western world?

     In that case, Roosevelt and his cronies, not the 
Nazis, might have become the symbols of ultimate evil. 
Roosevelt's bombing of cities, his efforts to develop 
nuclear weapons of mass destruction, his filthy alliance 
with the unspeakable Stalin, and much more would have 
made this view plausible. The world would have seen 
grisly photographs not of German concentration camps, but 
of the Gulag Archipelago. The great lesson would have 
been not the horrid effects of racism, but those of 
worshiping the idol of equality.

     And the postwar purges would have targeted the 
followers of Roosevelt and Stalin. How, men would ask, 
could anyone have supported these manifest monsters? We 
can imagine aging liberals, Communists, and
fellow-travelers being hunted to their graves. Popular 
movie directors like Frank Capra might have been hanged 
as "war criminals" for producing American propaganda. 
Ordinary Democrats would tearfully confess their guilt, 
insist that they never knew what Roosevelt was doing, or 
deny they'd ever really been all that enthusiastic about 
him anyway.

     But as Welles's words imply, evil men aren't always 
easy to pick out at their first appearance. In fact, they 
may give no outward indication of their latent capacity 
for evil. In 1935 there was no reason to suppose that 
Hitler would be remembered as an ogre; Roosevelt struck 
his early critics as no more than a cheerful mediocrity. 
Nobody could imagine what he would later do. Much the 
same is true of Stalin. He was able to succeed Lenin 
because he didn't inspire the kind of fear the dynamic 
Trotsky stirred in their Communist colleagues. {{ (Nikita 
Khrushchev would later succeed Stalin because his peers 
regarded him as a harmless buffoon.) }}

     Today Hitler and Stalin are infamous, but a new book 
by the publisher Conrad Black bears the title FRANKLIN 
after his squalid death, Roosevelt is still lionized. 
Liberal historians like Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and 
Doris Kearns Goodwin hail him as the greatest man of the 
twentieth century.

     If World War II had ended differently, the world 
might still have lost all sense of proportion -- it 
generally does -- but it would probably have done so in 
an entirely different way. And Leni Riefenstahl might 
have gone on to make dozens of other brilliant films.


AS OTHERS SEE US: Maybe it isn't Puccini or Wagner, but 
JERRY SPRINGER -- THE OPERA is packing 'em in over in 
London. And it says here it's soon coming to Broadway. 
According to one witness, it "mercilessly satirizes 
Americans as grossly fat, oversexed, foul-mouthed 
exhibitionists." (page 7)

HE MADE 'EM LAUGH: Death can be such a damned shame, 
especially when it strikes down the young. But also when 
it takes someone like Donald O'Connor, who, though 
technically 78 when he died, will live forever as Gene 
Kelly's madcap youthful pal in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Who 
next? Mickey Rooney? Heaven forbid. (page 8)

EXPLAINING TERRORISM: A suicide bomber in Israel has 
killed 19 people, in addition to herself. The killer was 
a 29-year-old woman who had just graduated from law 
school. Israeli authorities are blaming Yassir Arafat for 
the incident. There may be another explanation: in June 
she watched as Israeli troops killed her brother and 
cousin at her family home. (page 8)

TRUE ENOUGH: "There are no affairs which men so much seek 
to cover up as public affairs." -- G.K. Chesterton 
(page 11)

Exclusive to the electronic version:

READY FOR HIGH OFFICE? On the eve of California's recall 
vote, allegations that Arnold Schwarzenegger groped lots 
of women decades ago brought gasps of horror from 
Democrats who were recently forgiving Bill Clinton for 
groping women in the Oval Office. Such behavior is 
outrageous, but at least Arnold wasn't carrying a Bible 
when he did it.

(pages 7-12)

* A King in Close-up (September 16, 2003)

* Lowly Origins (September 18, 2003)

* The Night I Met Gwyneth Paltrow (September 23, 2003)

* Nutty Patriotism (September 25, 2003)

* A New Constitution -- Coming Up! (September 30, 2003)

* Looking Back at Reagan (October 2, 2003)


All articles are written by Joe Sobran

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