THE WANDERER, May 24, 2007


Ollie the Revolutionary Feminist

     One of the perennial problems we face in this world 
is people who don't listen to others. An even worse 
problem is the number of people who don't listen to 

     On May 14, Mother's Day, THE WASHINGTON TIMES 
featured an amazing column by Oliver North warning that 
if the United States loses the war in Iraq to Islamic 
militants, the consequences will be especially dire for 
all women throughout the Muslim world: loss of the vote, 
denial of basic education, sexual abuse and mutilation, 
and various legal disabilities. And North extended this 
list of horrors with furious indignation, calling the 
U.S. Armed Forces "the principal protectors of Muslim 
women in the world today."

     If the U.S loses in Iraq, in other words, things 
will be about what they have traditionally been under 
Islam. I call this argument amazing because it assumes it 
is our duty to bring a feminist revolution to the entire 
Islamic world. And this infernal hooey appeared in a 
supposedly =conservative= newspaper -- the one that 
offers itself as the capital's alternative to the liberal 
POST, the one in which the virtues of limited government 
are routinely affirmed as self-evident truths!

     North didn't explain what part of the U.S. 
Constitution authorizes or requires the federal 
government to undertake this ambitious program, but 
President Bush and Condoleezza Rice would probably agree 
with him. It would seem, after all, to follow from their 
own agenda of promoting "global democratic revolution."

     We have gone beyond the mere =nation=-building Bush 
deplored during the 2000 campaign; now we are looking at 
a foreign policy of universal =culture=-building. A New 
World Order with a vengeance! North might as well have 
added the further warning that unless the U.S. wins in 
Iraq, Muslim women may never get abortion rights.

     North also accused Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats of 
failing the cause of women by refusing to support Bush's 
war. Republican partisanship seems to have devoured 
whatever was left of the genuine conservatism that wants 
to preserve our culture rather than spoon-feed it to the 
Third World.

     Step back for a moment. Today's "conservatives" have 
gone far beyond the wildest dreams of the old 
one-worlders and utopians of the last generation or two. 
They make Franklin D. Roosevelt, by comparison, seem like 
a modest Midwest isolationist.

     You can understand how the old liberalism gone 
hog-wild might eventually reach this level of derangement 
-- but conservatism? Nothing even faintly implicit in the 
writings of such seminal conservative thinkers as Russell 
Kirk, Willmoore Kendall, or Michael Oakeshott could 
possibly be construed to support or foreshadow such 

     If we believe that conservatism can turn into this 
goofy totalitarianism within a generation, then it 
becomes much easier to suppose that swarthy gorillas 
could eventually evolve into porcelain blondes. I suppose 
it goes to show that when people abandon their 
principles, they are apt to wind up reversing them.

The Future of Ron Paul

     A curious feature of this war is that one of its 
most controversial original reasons is no longer 
mentioned: the security of the state of Israel. In the 
beginning, as you may recall, Bush, Rice, and their 
supporters kept insisting that Iraq posed a threat to 
Israel; opponents of the war denied either the fact or 
its relevance (or both). Now nobody on either side talks 
about it.

     The neoconservative hawks still defend the war, but 
they no longer want to claim credit for it; nor do they 
want to remind the public of Israel's supposed interest 
in it.

     Today we still hear, even from Bush himself, the 
puzzling argument that unless we fight the enemy in Iraq 
we will have to fight him here. I wish Bush would at 
least offer a plausible scenario explaining how that 
enemy might solve the logistical problem of getting 
"here" with enough resources to conquer us.

     Long before the 9/11 attacks, by the way, John 
McCain gave a speech saying the U.S. should go to war to 
protect Israel even if it weren't in the American 
interest to do so. But this is now ancient history.

     And in the latest Republican candidates' debate, the 
assiduously pandering Rudy Giuliani took full advantage 
of Ron Paul's courage and honesty when Paul quite 
correctly called those attacks "blowback" for U.S. 
interventionist policy in the Middle East. Giuliani, ever 
the New York demagogue, sneered that this was "absurd."

     Yet Paul's radiant integrity and relentless logic 
continue to win respect and support from thinking people. 
He won first place in an early post-debate poll. Giuliani 
gets cheers from the Republican hordes around the 
country; verily, he has his reward. Paul, the last Robert 
Taft Republican, is loved and honored.

     Paul had good words for Ronald Reagan; but he is, 
and always has been, much better than Reagan. My dream 
scenario is not, I think, very far-fetched:

     The liberal, pro-war, pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, 
thrice-married "Catholic" Giuliani gets the Republican 
nomination next year. This drives real conservatives out 
of the GOP; they turn to the Constitution Party, which 
nominates Paul, the only principled and anti-abortion 
candidate in the race. The Democrats win the White House 
this time, but a major realignment occurs, the 
Republicans going the way of the old Whigs they once 

My Week

     What a week! After working till dawn one morning, I 
awoke from a diabetic swoon to find myself being carried 
to an ambulance. Somehow, after medical tests and 
reciting Shakespeare for my amused nurses, I got home 
quickly and met my deadlines. My grandson Joe turned 20; 
my two newest grandsons came to visit as I prepared to 
move to a small apartment from my home of 14 years. (It 
was the all-night ardors of writing and packing books 
that put me back in the hospital.)

     I found time for Mass, Confession, a couple of 
rosaries, a biography of St. Therese, and the first 
major-league baseball game I've attended in many years. 
While I was in the hospital, my son Mike told me that the 
county government, ever helpful, had confiscated our poor 
old dog to protect her from us; we don't expect to see 
her again.

     I'm leaving out the dull stretches. Have I mentioned 
Jonathan Yardley's lovely tribute to James Thurber? A 
very full week indeed.

     Yet I can't complain; on the contrary, I knew 
throughout that the good Lord was taking most tender care 
of me. How blessed I am! No space here to list all the 
people I suspect of praying for me; but thanks. "The 
communion of saints."

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     "A full century ago, on May 22, 1907, Laurence Kerr 
Olivier was born." REGIME CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME -- a new 
selection of my Confessions of a Reactionary Utopian -- 
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                                        --- Joseph Sobran


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