Monthly Archives: June 2005

Democrats and Terrorists

Interesting: a member of the Inquirer editorial board says Karl Rove has a point about liberals and 9/11.

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What to Teach: History or Ide0logy

Is the Philadelphia School District’s African American history requirement a good idea?

Saint Rachel

Another view of the leftist martyr Rachel Corrie. Check out the reverential articles in the Guardian newspaper.

Multicultural Math

Here’s the full Diane Ravitch article on “ethnomathematics” published in the Wall Street Journal last week.

Was Rove Wrong?

Was Karl Rove wrong when he said, “Liberals saw what happened to us [on September 11, 2001] and said, `We must understand our enemies.'”?

To the Editor [of the New York Times]:

Immediately after 9/11, nobody proposed understanding – in the sense of sympathy – for the terrorists. But many people asked themselves, “Why do they hate us so?”

While the Republicans believe that war is the only response to the terrorist threat, the Democrats believe that we can never defeat the terrorists through military means alone – a belief seemingly corroborated by Porter J. Goss, the director of central intelligence, who told Congress earlier this year that the Iraq war is creating “a potential pool of contacts to build transnational terrorist cells, groups and networks in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries.”

Until we seek to understand what fuels Muslim hatred of the United States and how we might change our foreign policy to lessen that hatred, we will continually be under threat of attack.

Lynn Stern

New York, June 24, 2005

I think not.

As Fouad Ajami once noted, there are two ways to look at Muslim terrorism: what’s wrong with us, or what’s wrong with them. He subscribes to the latter.

Those Dastardly CIA Agents

From Robert Cherry in his own words:

So nice to see in today’s NY Times how the Italians help the US and England fight terrorism by putting out an arrest warrant for 13 CIA members. I almost pray for the day that the Islamists take over France and Italy, so the progressive members of those societies (who presently hate America and will do almost anything to undermine our efforts) can experience how their Arab brethren react once they assume power in France or Italy–how churches and museums and newspapers and television and businesses and intellectuals, and universities and Catholics, and Jews, and agnostics, and Moonies and Buddhists and homosexuals are treated under, and in, a Muslim state. I would like to see that happen for one year, during which time Italians and Frenchmen would try to swim across the Atlantic, if necessary, seeking aid and comfort from and in America.

Weapon of Weakness

Watching the Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee trying to eviscerate Donald Rumsfeld yesterday, I had the feeling the Democrats have concluded that an “insurgency” victory is a done deal. I also got the feeling they see this “inevitable” defeat for America as a path to victory in next year’s midterm elections and a ticket back to the White House in 2008.

The “insurgent’s'” weapon of choice in Iraq is the suicide bomber. I’m not an expert on the origins of the suicide attack, but I suspect it came from Iran through its creation Hezbollah, who imported it to Israel by way of Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations. But it’s interesting to note the evolution of Western liberal thinking about suicide bombers.

The natural response to such a tactic is of course horror: what kind of culture could produce people who would manipulate credulous teenagers, motivated by the promise of a quick trip to heaven with 46 or whatever virgins, to strap on explosives and blow themselves up on a crowded bus? Normal people see such a culture as extremely creepy at best.

But with the Left, politics trumps normal human feelings. So when suicide bombing became the tactic of choice during the Palestinian “intifada,” Western leftists promoted the bombings as an understandable weapon of a “desperate people who have suffered at the hands of the American backed Israeli occupiers of Arab lands.” The Arabs are weak and the Israelis are strong; sending their sons and daughters to their death is their only recourse. Or so we were told.

Today in Iraq, the “insurgents” use the same weapon, but this time suicide attacks are seen by the Left not as evidence of weakness but of strength. Before the Iraqi elections last January, the Left could claim that the insurgents represented the real aspirations of the Iraqi people to be free of the American occupation. The 8 million plus Iraqis who voted, despite threats from the insurgents to kill anyone who dared to vote, put an end to that line. No anti-American demonstrations now sprout up after the daily car bombings, nor does any Iraqi politician or religious leader call for the withdrawal of American troops. What is clear is that the bombers have no support in Iraq except for the Sadaamites and their patrons in Iran and Syria.

But the bombers do have support in the Western Left, who have turned a weapon of weakness into a propaganda tool to convince the American public that the effort in Iraq is doomed to defeat. I have faith the obstinate Bush will stare down the Bidens and Kennedys who seek to return to power in the wake of an American defeat.

Better Than They Deserve

I’ve been mystified by the left’s apparent belief that “prisoner abuse” is a winner for them in their war against Bush. Now the American public weighs in.

The European Death Wish

It’s amazing: the Europeans routinely release terrorists for reasons of “insufficient evidence,” but they have plenty of “evidence” to prosecute Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci for “vilification” of Islam.

Marxist Math for Multiculturalists

Diane Ravitch, in a column available in the print edition and to online subscribers, describes the latest nonsense from our politically correct educational establishment:

Now mathematics is being nudged into a specifically political direction by educators who call themselves “critical theorists.” They advocate using mathematics as a tool to advance social justice. Social justice math relies on political and cultural relevance to guide math instruction. One of its precepts is “ethnomathematics,” that is, the belief that different cultures have evolved different ways of using mathematics, and that students will learn best if taught in the ways that relate to their ancestral culture. From this perspective, traditional mathematics — the mathematics taught in universities around the world — is the property of Western Civilization and is inexorably linked with the values of the oppressors and conquerors. The culturally attuned teacher will learn about the counting system of the ancient Mayans, ancient Africans, Papua New Guineans, and other “non-mainstream” cultures.

Partisans of social justice mathematics advocate an explicitly political agenda in the classroom. A new textbook, “Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers,” shows how problem solving, ethnomathematics and political action can be merged. Among its topics are: “Sweatshop Accounting,” with units on poverty, globalization, and the unequal distribution of wealth. Another topic, drawn directly from ethnomathematics, is “Chicanos Have Math in Their Blood.” Others include “The Transnational Capital Auction,” “Multicultural Math,” and “Home Buying While Brown or Black.” Units of study include racial profiling, the war in Iraq, corporate control of the media, and environmental racism. The theory behind the book is that “teaching math in a neutral manner is not possible.” Teachers are supposed to vary the teaching of mathematics in relation to their students’ race, gender, ethnicity, and community.