Sunday, May 20, 2007


By Greg Sheridan

Paul Wolfowitz is a good man brought down by a shabby, politicised witch-hunt. The terms under which he was forced to deal with his partner when he joined the World Bank may well indicate that he was set up for a fall. Wolfowitz tried hard to avoid personnel issues surrounding his partner. He sought advice, and followed it. The spouses of other executives had been allowed to keep working at the bank but the hostility to Wolfowitz, which is a displaced enmity for US President George W.Bush, exacerbated by Wolfowitz's exotic name and reputation as an architect of the operation in Iraq, was present from day one.

I have known Wolfowitz for many years. He is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful men I know, the very opposite of the idiotic caricature of him as a Dr Strangelove super hawk. He was one of Washington's most committed proponents of engagement with Islam, and long before 9/11. He was a superb and popular ambassador to Indonesia, is deeply concerned with human rights and has supported many Asian dissidents.

He is formidable, if donnish, and an intensely hard worker. The last time I saw him was several months ago. His days started early but he was happy to talk policy at 9pm in his Washington office. Wolfowitz had his faults but he is a dedicated servant of humanity. He was disliked at the complacent and incompetent bureaucracy of the World Bank because he shook things up, insisting on a better vision for fighting poverty and corruption. His likely replacement is Bob Zoellick, a former US deputy secretary of state, who would be a fine World Bank president.


Test Shows Conservatives More Mentally Complex Than Liberals

Post excerpted from Cheat-seeking Missiles

I'm not sure that this is what Jonathan Haidt, associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, set out to do, but his research into the basis of our morality has shown what is obvious to most of us: Liberals run on a pretty simple clock, whereas the clockwork of conservatives is far more advanced and complex. Did he really say that? You bet:

Haidt argues that human morality is a cultural construction built on top of - and constrained by - a small set of evolved psychological systems. He presents evidence that political liberals rely primarily on two of these systems, involving emotional sensitivities to harm and fairness. Conservatives, however, construct their moral understandings on those two systems plus three others, which involve emotional sensitivities to in-group boundaries, authority and spiritual purity.

Got that? Liberals are worried that the guppy doesn't get hurt and that everyone sings Kumbaya with perfectly balanced voice quality. Conservatives are all for not harming and being fair, but create a much more complex structure for their moral measurements.

Adding in-group boundaries basically means we conservatives are conformists and are more likely to find immorality in the wanton destruction of social mores than liberals, who tend to see such destruction as a moral attribute. Rage against the machine, fight the man. Authority means, of course, respect for authority. Liberals get no moral readings from that attribute, but it's big to conservatives.

Haidt's last point is interesting: the spiritual roots of moral decisions. I think he's wrong here because his survey focuses on religion, not on beliefs. Dennis Prager correctly states that there is more dogma in the Liberal faith system (environmentalism, human rights, tolerance) than in any established religion. If Haidt had designed his survey instrument differently, I believe "core belief systems" would have scored as high with the liberals as with the conservatives, if not higher.



Immigration is a hot topic at the moment with a new bill going through Congress. I will not be saying anything about it here. Why? Because I have a whole blog devoted to immigration matters -- and I am certainly following it there.

We see here clear proof that the Democrats do NOT support the troops

It seems that former ambassador John Bolton gave the BBC a bit of a shock.

More Leftist hypocrisy: "Associated Press writer Nancy Benac plays the "diversity" card with a piece tallying up how many women and minorities service in power positions for the various presidential candidates. The hit piece slamming Republicans for not promoting enough non-white people is titled "Democrats seek diversity in advisers:"... Perhaps Ms. Benac--journalistic concern troll for "diversity"--should start counting the racial and ethnic beans at her own organization. Take a look at the [all white] AP Board of Directors. Not unsurprisingly, it's "Do as we say, not as we do" with the liberal media elite."

Israel surges economically: "A bloody and costly war, the constant threat of terror attacks, a string of political scandals and a land almost devoid of natural resources. Only in Israel could this be the backdrop for the most impressive economic success story of the modern Middle East. Despite the war with Lebanon, 2006 was a golden year for the economy of the region's only liberal democracy. GDP grew by 5.1 per cent, competitiveness improved sharply and the stock market surged. Israel came fifteenth in the World Economic Forum's global competitive index, topping the list of Middle East states and up from 23rd place the previous year. Its nearest regional rival, the United Arab Emirates, came 32nd. In recent years, this small state has turned itself into a "world technology powerhouse", according to Augusto Lopez Claros, the WEF's chief economist. Much of the credit must go to Binyamin Netanyahu, who as Finance Minister in 2003 cut a deal with the Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, that gave him free rein to push through market reforms. Mr Netanyahu sold off state assets, liberalised Israel's monolithic banks and slashed its corporation taxes."

Mubarak knows Hamas: "Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has admitted what we have known for a long time, but which still seems to elude policymakers in Europe and Washington: Hamas will never make peace with Israel: "Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak expressed great concern over the increasing strength of Hamas in talks with senior diplomatic officials on Wednesday, declaring that the organization will never sign a peace agreement with Israel, Haaretz has learned. He said that the Egyptian government is at a loss regarding the future of the Gaza Strip. However, he also proclaimed that Egypt is making great efforts to end the Hamas government and support Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. "With Hamas no way," he reportedly said. Mubarak painted a dark picture of the situation with Hamas and said there was no chance for peace with the organization. "Hamas will never sign a peace agreement with Israel if it stays in power," the Egyptian president said"


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


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