Commentary Magazine


Posts For: April 21, 2008

Democrats’ Media Relations

This rather innocuous blog mention of Barack Obama swatting away a reporter’s question gets big play in the national media. Why? Because it fits into a pattern of snippy interchanges with the press and an unwillingness to respond spontaneously to queries.

Meanwhile, in today’s media call, the Clinton team tried to set the bar for Pennsylvania. According to Howard Wolfson and Geoff Garin, since Obama has outspent them 3 to 1 and forked over $7M in TV ads, he must win–or it’s more evidence of his inability to knock Hillary out. They rebuffed media questions, suggesting the bar for “success” was really a double digit win. And as for that latest ad: Wolfson and Garin insisted that it’s “positive” and not a dig at Obama for whining in the debate.

The reporters generally weren’t buying it, nor did they seem to appreciate the Clinton camp’s distinction between Obama’s admission that McCain would be an improvement over President Bush (which the Clinton camp jumped on for being inconsistent with the entire Democratic general election message) and Clinton’s own admission that McCain had passed the commander-in-chief test. So when the McCain camp complains about less than glowing coverage, his staff should perhaps consider that their opponents aren’t exactly getting bouquets from the working press, either.

This rather innocuous blog mention of Barack Obama swatting away a reporter’s question gets big play in the national media. Why? Because it fits into a pattern of snippy interchanges with the press and an unwillingness to respond spontaneously to queries.

Meanwhile, in today’s media call, the Clinton team tried to set the bar for Pennsylvania. According to Howard Wolfson and Geoff Garin, since Obama has outspent them 3 to 1 and forked over $7M in TV ads, he must win–or it’s more evidence of his inability to knock Hillary out. They rebuffed media questions, suggesting the bar for “success” was really a double digit win. And as for that latest ad: Wolfson and Garin insisted that it’s “positive” and not a dig at Obama for whining in the debate.

The reporters generally weren’t buying it, nor did they seem to appreciate the Clinton camp’s distinction between Obama’s admission that McCain would be an improvement over President Bush (which the Clinton camp jumped on for being inconsistent with the entire Democratic general election message) and Clinton’s own admission that McCain had passed the commander-in-chief test. So when the McCain camp complains about less than glowing coverage, his staff should perhaps consider that their opponents aren’t exactly getting bouquets from the working press, either.

Read Less

Unhinged

The Left is losing it. Not the election. Just any semblance of sanity. From one Barack Obama fan we learn, “This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women.” And these are Democrats, mind you. As for John McCain, the same blogger frets about those white male voters:

[T]he outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.

Then we have a list of 40 journalists who signed a vitriolic letter to ABC complaining about the debate moderators. (It is nice actually to have a list of putative journos who no longer have any claim to objectivity and whose views can be comfortably discounted as spin from the Obama camp.) And to cap it off we have the latest frothing from Michael Moore.

Why all the anger and hostility in support of the post-partisan, post-nasty Agent of Change? Perhaps these supporters assumed Obama would knock out Clinton in Pennsylvania, a result which seems unlikely now. Or perhaps they are worried about all those voters who say they won’t vote for Obama in the general election. Whatever the reason, they seem very, very mad.

The Left is losing it. Not the election. Just any semblance of sanity. From one Barack Obama fan we learn, “This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women.” And these are Democrats, mind you. As for John McCain, the same blogger frets about those white male voters:

[T]he outcome of the general election will depend on whether enough of them vote for McCain. A lot of them will: white men cannot be relied on, as all of us know who have spent a lifetime dating them. And McCain is a compelling candidate, particularly because of the Torture Thing. As for the Democratic hope that McCain’s temper will be a problem, don’t bet on it. A lot of white men have terrible tempers, and what’s more, they think it’s normal.

Then we have a list of 40 journalists who signed a vitriolic letter to ABC complaining about the debate moderators. (It is nice actually to have a list of putative journos who no longer have any claim to objectivity and whose views can be comfortably discounted as spin from the Obama camp.) And to cap it off we have the latest frothing from Michael Moore.

Why all the anger and hostility in support of the post-partisan, post-nasty Agent of Change? Perhaps these supporters assumed Obama would knock out Clinton in Pennsylvania, a result which seems unlikely now. Or perhaps they are worried about all those voters who say they won’t vote for Obama in the general election. Whatever the reason, they seem very, very mad.

Read Less

With Apologies to George Steinbrenner . . .

Why does this remind me of this? Probably because I expect that Hamas will do something like this.

Why does this remind me of this? Probably because I expect that Hamas will do something like this.

Read Less

Scott Wilson’s War

An interesting ombudsman column in Sunday’s Washington Post: Back in December 2007, Scott Wilson, then the Post‘s Jerusalem bureau chief, wrote a piece entitled “For Israel’s Arab Citizens, Isolation and Exclusion.” The story included the following assertion, which is simply and flatly false: “Except for a relatively small Druze population, Arabs are excluded also from military service.”

The Post‘s ombudsman asks: was “excluded” the wrong word to describe the treatment of Israeli Arabs by the IDF? According to the dictionary, “excluded” means “to prevent the entrance of” or to “shut out from consideration.” It would mean, in Scott Wilson’s telling, that save for a few Druze, there are no Israeli Arabs in the Israeli military.

Well, there is in fact no prohibition against or exclusion of Israeli Arabs in the IDF. What does exist is a sensible if regrettable accommodation that has been struck on behalf of the social harmony of everyone involved. For the Israeli Arabs, it derives from a general desire not to serve in the Jewish state’s army; for the IDF, it derives from an entirely legitimate fear of security risks from soldiers whose loyalties are not to the IDF. As is typical, such nuance had no place in Wilson’s story, and the ombudsman says that “The Post‘s Wilson is firm on his word choice.”

But reality has a way of correcting fantasy. Here is a paragraph from today’s Haaretz story about Hamas’s attempt to crash through the Gaza border on Passover eve:

IDF success depends greatly on the quick judgment of the commander in the field. Saturday it was the Bedouin Desert Battalion deputy commander, Major Wahid, who correctly foresaw the impending explosion of a booby-trapped vehicle, and ordered his men into protected vehicles, certainly limiting casualties.

Major Wahid? Oops.

An interesting ombudsman column in Sunday’s Washington Post: Back in December 2007, Scott Wilson, then the Post‘s Jerusalem bureau chief, wrote a piece entitled “For Israel’s Arab Citizens, Isolation and Exclusion.” The story included the following assertion, which is simply and flatly false: “Except for a relatively small Druze population, Arabs are excluded also from military service.”

The Post‘s ombudsman asks: was “excluded” the wrong word to describe the treatment of Israeli Arabs by the IDF? According to the dictionary, “excluded” means “to prevent the entrance of” or to “shut out from consideration.” It would mean, in Scott Wilson’s telling, that save for a few Druze, there are no Israeli Arabs in the Israeli military.

Well, there is in fact no prohibition against or exclusion of Israeli Arabs in the IDF. What does exist is a sensible if regrettable accommodation that has been struck on behalf of the social harmony of everyone involved. For the Israeli Arabs, it derives from a general desire not to serve in the Jewish state’s army; for the IDF, it derives from an entirely legitimate fear of security risks from soldiers whose loyalties are not to the IDF. As is typical, such nuance had no place in Wilson’s story, and the ombudsman says that “The Post‘s Wilson is firm on his word choice.”

But reality has a way of correcting fantasy. Here is a paragraph from today’s Haaretz story about Hamas’s attempt to crash through the Gaza border on Passover eve:

IDF success depends greatly on the quick judgment of the commander in the field. Saturday it was the Bedouin Desert Battalion deputy commander, Major Wahid, who correctly foresaw the impending explosion of a booby-trapped vehicle, and ordered his men into protected vehicles, certainly limiting casualties.

Major Wahid? Oops.

Read Less

McCain’s Base

The media coverage is catching up with reality, at least on John McCain’s acceptance by the conservative base. Gone are the “James Dobson is not pleased” and “Conservatives aren’t happy” stories. Now, grudging “Conservatives respect McCain but they aren’t enthusiastic” reporting dominates the scene.

Conservative support (as reflected in polling) hasn’t changed much. The coverage has. Why? Partially because conservatives may be willing to speak up on McCain’s behalf in the wake of the negative coverage of Barack Obama. Partially because of a fear that Obama will bring a grab-bag of 1960′s counterculture characters to the White House. Certainly conservative talk show hosts have a plethora of targets (e.g. Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers) far juicier than McCain’s past violations of conservative orthodoxy. (Even Rick Santorum offers McCain grudging support because, after all, “He’s not Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.”) At some point, also, it becomes silly to trot out more “conservatives aren’t happy” tale. The real story in base defection and fragmentation is, of course, on the Democratic side, where more and more incidents reflect the looming challenge in healing the wounds left by an increasingly vitriolic primary race. Even commentators on the left have begun to recognize this.

The media coverage is catching up with reality, at least on John McCain’s acceptance by the conservative base. Gone are the “James Dobson is not pleased” and “Conservatives aren’t happy” stories. Now, grudging “Conservatives respect McCain but they aren’t enthusiastic” reporting dominates the scene.

Conservative support (as reflected in polling) hasn’t changed much. The coverage has. Why? Partially because conservatives may be willing to speak up on McCain’s behalf in the wake of the negative coverage of Barack Obama. Partially because of a fear that Obama will bring a grab-bag of 1960′s counterculture characters to the White House. Certainly conservative talk show hosts have a plethora of targets (e.g. Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers) far juicier than McCain’s past violations of conservative orthodoxy. (Even Rick Santorum offers McCain grudging support because, after all, “He’s not Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.”) At some point, also, it becomes silly to trot out more “conservatives aren’t happy” tale. The real story in base defection and fragmentation is, of course, on the Democratic side, where more and more incidents reflect the looming challenge in healing the wounds left by an increasingly vitriolic primary race. Even commentators on the left have begun to recognize this.

Read Less

Carter, Back from Syria

Jimmy Carter, peacemaker extraordinaire (at least in his own mind), has returned from meeting with Hamas’s leadership in Syria with news that Hamas is ready to make peace. This terrorist organization, according to Carter,

said that they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, if approved by Palestinians and that they would accept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor next door in peace.

If that is in fact Hamas’s view, they have a funny way of showing it. For instance, on Saturday, Hamas terrorists drove jeeps and armored personnel carriers loaded with explosives into one of the crossing points with Israel that is used to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza also continue to fire hundreds of rockets into southern Israel. Meanwhile, as summed up in this New York Times report, a new Israeli study has found that Hamas “is engaged in the broadest and most significant military buildup in its history with help from Syria and Iran,” stockpiling “more and more powerful weapons, especially longer-range rockets against Israel‘s southern communities.”

Yet if Carter is to believed, Hamas is happy to set itself on an entirely different course–if only Israel and the United States would engage in direct negotiations with it. This is the kind of thing that, well, only Jimmy Carter could possibly believe.

While it may be possible that Hamas is willing to engage in a hudna–a temporary truce–it would be only for the purposes of strengthening itself in preparation for what it imagines to be that glorious day when Israel would be wiped off the map. As its charter puts it: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

The charter goes on to say:

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgment Day.

One might add that if no “Palestinian or Arab . . . king or president” can induce Hamas to give up its claim to “the land of Palestine” it is doubtful that an infidel former leader of the Great Satan can do so.

Jimmy Carter, peacemaker extraordinaire (at least in his own mind), has returned from meeting with Hamas’s leadership in Syria with news that Hamas is ready to make peace. This terrorist organization, according to Carter,

said that they would accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, if approved by Palestinians and that they would accept the right of Israel to live as a neighbor next door in peace.

If that is in fact Hamas’s view, they have a funny way of showing it. For instance, on Saturday, Hamas terrorists drove jeeps and armored personnel carriers loaded with explosives into one of the crossing points with Israel that is used to deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza also continue to fire hundreds of rockets into southern Israel. Meanwhile, as summed up in this New York Times report, a new Israeli study has found that Hamas “is engaged in the broadest and most significant military buildup in its history with help from Syria and Iran,” stockpiling “more and more powerful weapons, especially longer-range rockets against Israel‘s southern communities.”

Yet if Carter is to believed, Hamas is happy to set itself on an entirely different course–if only Israel and the United States would engage in direct negotiations with it. This is the kind of thing that, well, only Jimmy Carter could possibly believe.

While it may be possible that Hamas is willing to engage in a hudna–a temporary truce–it would be only for the purposes of strengthening itself in preparation for what it imagines to be that glorious day when Israel would be wiped off the map. As its charter puts it: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

The charter goes on to say:

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgment Day.

One might add that if no “Palestinian or Arab . . . king or president” can induce Hamas to give up its claim to “the land of Palestine” it is doubtful that an infidel former leader of the Great Satan can do so.

Read Less

What Matters?

ABC’s This Week Roundtable featured a thoughtful debate on a fundamental question in presidential politics: is it the policy or the person that matters most? Cokie Roberts posited that the elections are decided more on a “gut check” and that voters pay less attention to the details of tax, healthcare, or other policy matters. But George Will thinks that much of the “gut check” involves a consideration of where candidates stand on those policy issues. This is the more troubling issue for Obama’s supporters: how a far-left candidate is going to sell himself to a center-right electorate.

The McCain team seems to believe Roberts. McCain’s staffers are trying to set up a contrast between Obama and McCain mostly on character questions. The danger? In those debates in the fall, when the entire country is watching, Obama will seem the picture of middle-class virtue and voters will conclude that he doesn’t seem nearly as bad as all those 527 ads have painted him to be. So at some point it may behoove McCain to engage on Obama on the issues. Such criticism may be harder for Obama to explain away than his collegial relationship with Bill Ayers. That is, unless Obama seeks to repudiate his positions (articulated during the Democratic primary) on taxes, trade, Iraq, abortion, etc.

For that reason, although Ms. Roberts may be correct in emphasizing the “gut check,” McCain may have no choice but to start engaging Obama in a battle of political philosophy.

ABC’s This Week Roundtable featured a thoughtful debate on a fundamental question in presidential politics: is it the policy or the person that matters most? Cokie Roberts posited that the elections are decided more on a “gut check” and that voters pay less attention to the details of tax, healthcare, or other policy matters. But George Will thinks that much of the “gut check” involves a consideration of where candidates stand on those policy issues. This is the more troubling issue for Obama’s supporters: how a far-left candidate is going to sell himself to a center-right electorate.

The McCain team seems to believe Roberts. McCain’s staffers are trying to set up a contrast between Obama and McCain mostly on character questions. The danger? In those debates in the fall, when the entire country is watching, Obama will seem the picture of middle-class virtue and voters will conclude that he doesn’t seem nearly as bad as all those 527 ads have painted him to be. So at some point it may behoove McCain to engage on Obama on the issues. Such criticism may be harder for Obama to explain away than his collegial relationship with Bill Ayers. That is, unless Obama seeks to repudiate his positions (articulated during the Democratic primary) on taxes, trade, Iraq, abortion, etc.

For that reason, although Ms. Roberts may be correct in emphasizing the “gut check,” McCain may have no choice but to start engaging Obama in a battle of political philosophy.

Read Less

Never Forget (The Stupid Thing I Said)

Conventional wisdom dictates that candidates are best served when they get beyond their campaign slip-ups as soon as possible. Yet, in recent weeks, only John McCain seems to have understood this. McCain’s most embarrassing moment–his incorrect claim that Iran is training al-Qaeda during a news conference in Jordan–quickly evaporated from the news, as McCain acknowledged his error and moved on. Meanwhile, both Democratic candidates have done the exact opposite: their campaigns have responded to fumbles by dwelling on them, keeping their errors in the headlines well beyond their expected shelf-lives.

First came Hillary Clinton’s assertion that she had landed “under sniper fired” during a 1996 trip to Bosnia. When CBS footage of Hillary smiling on the runway of Tuzla airport during that trip immediately discredited this fabrication, she apologized for having “misspoken” and sought to put the affair behind her. Yet husband Bill, continuing his impressive streak of always saying the wrong thing, refused to let the controversy die. Two weeks later, he attempted to use Hillary’s lie to her advantage, arguing that even if snipers didn’t actually fire at Hillary, his wife had shown immense courage in visiting Bosnia at all. Of course, this backfired completely, with Hillary’s distortion immediately returning to the headlines.

Now Barack Obama has followed up with his own refusal to let a recent faux pas die. For the past two weeks, Obama has confronted charges of elitism, stemming from his description of working-class Pennsylvanians as “bitter” and clinging to “guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Well, just in case voters haven’t ingested enough of Hillary’s references to the “bitter” remark, Obama has provided his own reminder, with his campaign website declaring “There’s nothing ‘elitist’ about 1,365,019 people donating to our campaign for change.” Can there be anything more self-defeating than referencing a campaign low point when publicizing such an impressive figure?

Conventional wisdom dictates that candidates are best served when they get beyond their campaign slip-ups as soon as possible. Yet, in recent weeks, only John McCain seems to have understood this. McCain’s most embarrassing moment–his incorrect claim that Iran is training al-Qaeda during a news conference in Jordan–quickly evaporated from the news, as McCain acknowledged his error and moved on. Meanwhile, both Democratic candidates have done the exact opposite: their campaigns have responded to fumbles by dwelling on them, keeping their errors in the headlines well beyond their expected shelf-lives.

First came Hillary Clinton’s assertion that she had landed “under sniper fired” during a 1996 trip to Bosnia. When CBS footage of Hillary smiling on the runway of Tuzla airport during that trip immediately discredited this fabrication, she apologized for having “misspoken” and sought to put the affair behind her. Yet husband Bill, continuing his impressive streak of always saying the wrong thing, refused to let the controversy die. Two weeks later, he attempted to use Hillary’s lie to her advantage, arguing that even if snipers didn’t actually fire at Hillary, his wife had shown immense courage in visiting Bosnia at all. Of course, this backfired completely, with Hillary’s distortion immediately returning to the headlines.

Now Barack Obama has followed up with his own refusal to let a recent faux pas die. For the past two weeks, Obama has confronted charges of elitism, stemming from his description of working-class Pennsylvanians as “bitter” and clinging to “guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” Well, just in case voters haven’t ingested enough of Hillary’s references to the “bitter” remark, Obama has provided his own reminder, with his campaign website declaring “There’s nothing ‘elitist’ about 1,365,019 people donating to our campaign for change.” Can there be anything more self-defeating than referencing a campaign low point when publicizing such an impressive figure?

Read Less

McCain Takes On Bill Ayers

John McCain, in an interview on Sunday, went on the offensive against Barack Obama on the subject of Bill Ayers:

Because if you’re going to associate and have as a friend and serve on a board and have a guy kick off your campaign that says he’s unrepentant, that he wished bombed more — and then, the worst thing of all, that, I think, really indicates Senator Obama’s attitude, is he had the incredible statement that he compared Mr. Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist, with Senator Tom Coburn, Senator Coburn, a physician who goes to Oklahoma on the weekends and brings babies into life — comparing those two — I mean, that’s not –that’s an attitude, frankly, that certainly isn’t in keeping with the overall attitude… And it’s very insulting to a great man, a great doctor, a great humanitarian, to compare to him with a guy who says, after 2001, I wish we had bombed more. . . But how can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings which could have or did kill innocent people…”

And he wasn’t buying Obama’s excuse that he was only eight at the time of the bombings:

But he became friends with him and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities as a member of a terrorist organization, the Weathermen. I don’t — and then to compare him with Dr. Tom Coburn, who spends so much of his life bringing babies into this world — that, in my view is really — borders out outrage.

And so it went. Obviously, this is an issue it makes sense for McCain to focus on: it raises questions about Obama which McCain wants voters to ponder. You can expect to hear from his team about Obama’s support from groups like Hamas and his association with individuals like Wright and Ayers. The challenge for Obama will be to explain why voters shouldn’t hold his associations with Wright, Ayers, and many others against him.

John McCain, in an interview on Sunday, went on the offensive against Barack Obama on the subject of Bill Ayers:

Because if you’re going to associate and have as a friend and serve on a board and have a guy kick off your campaign that says he’s unrepentant, that he wished bombed more — and then, the worst thing of all, that, I think, really indicates Senator Obama’s attitude, is he had the incredible statement that he compared Mr. Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist, with Senator Tom Coburn, Senator Coburn, a physician who goes to Oklahoma on the weekends and brings babies into life — comparing those two — I mean, that’s not –that’s an attitude, frankly, that certainly isn’t in keeping with the overall attitude… And it’s very insulting to a great man, a great doctor, a great humanitarian, to compare to him with a guy who says, after 2001, I wish we had bombed more. . . But how can you countenance someone who was engaged in bombings which could have or did kill innocent people…”

And he wasn’t buying Obama’s excuse that he was only eight at the time of the bombings:

But he became friends with him and spent time with him while the guy was unrepentant over his activities as a member of a terrorist organization, the Weathermen. I don’t — and then to compare him with Dr. Tom Coburn, who spends so much of his life bringing babies into this world — that, in my view is really — borders out outrage.

And so it went. Obviously, this is an issue it makes sense for McCain to focus on: it raises questions about Obama which McCain wants voters to ponder. You can expect to hear from his team about Obama’s support from groups like Hamas and his association with individuals like Wright and Ayers. The challenge for Obama will be to explain why voters shouldn’t hold his associations with Wright, Ayers, and many others against him.

Read Less

Hot Water

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. What happens to it at 99,000 degrees?. That was the temperature of the water in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean after the United States tested a thermonuclear device there in 1954.

The expected yield was to be in the neighborhood of four to six megatons. In the event, the bomb was significantly more powerful: fifteen megatons. Forty-two species of coral never recovered from boiling at temperatures so high. Indeed, they were vaporized along with much of Bikini Atoll, the test site.

But National Geographic reports that an amazing recovery is under way:

It was awesome to see coral cover as high as 80 percent and large treelike branching formations with trunks 30 centimeters (11 inches) thick,” Zoe Richards of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies said in a statement.

Nonetheless, anyone who watches a video of the blast itself, available here, will understand that even if coral recovers nicely after half a century, it would be wise to keep these weapons out of the hands of Iranian ayatollahs.

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. What happens to it at 99,000 degrees?. That was the temperature of the water in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean after the United States tested a thermonuclear device there in 1954.

The expected yield was to be in the neighborhood of four to six megatons. In the event, the bomb was significantly more powerful: fifteen megatons. Forty-two species of coral never recovered from boiling at temperatures so high. Indeed, they were vaporized along with much of Bikini Atoll, the test site.

But National Geographic reports that an amazing recovery is under way:

It was awesome to see coral cover as high as 80 percent and large treelike branching formations with trunks 30 centimeters (11 inches) thick,” Zoe Richards of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies said in a statement.

Nonetheless, anyone who watches a video of the blast itself, available here, will understand that even if coral recovers nicely after half a century, it would be wise to keep these weapons out of the hands of Iranian ayatollahs.

Read Less




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.