Can Good Intentions Mix With Bias?

United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon is more sensitive than we thought. The South Korean diplomat is apparently quite upset about criticisms that a speech he gave last week blaming Israel for the lack of peace in the Middle East and ascribing Palestinian violence to “human nature.” His point was to say that if Palestinians were lashing out it was an understandable if regrettable reaction to the injustice that Israelis were subjecting them to. But not satisfied with having blasted the Israelis during a special session of the UN Security Council on “the situation in the Middle East,” Ban took to the op-ed page of the New York Times to double down on his stand and to vent his hurt feelings about the willingness of some supporters of Israel to take exception to the notion that the “stabbing intifada” was a matter of “human nature” rather than the function of both deliberate incitement on the part of Palestinian leaders and an ideology that sees no room for compromise. According to Ban, he’s not only innocent of the charge of excusing terror but also merely a “messenger” that Israelis would do well to heed.

20
Shares
Google+ Print

Can Good Intentions Mix With Bias?

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Niger Ambush and the Neoconservative World

The demands of the post-9/11 world.

On October 4, four U.S. Special Forces soldiers were killed amid an ambush by Islamist insurgents in Niger. In grief and shock, Americans are starting to ask why the United States is so extended abroad, even to places like Sub-Saharan Africa where our geopolitical interests are unclear. Something went wrong in Niger. It is incumbent on both the press and Congress to seek out answers as to what happened. Without jeopardizing it, American voters deserve to have a fuller understanding of the U.S. mission in North Africa. Some, however, have used these deaths to vindicate their preexisting antipathy toward American troop commitments abroad. The impulse to posture scandalized about U.S. forward positioning is not just logically flawed; it is reflective of a misunderstanding of America’s role in a post-9/11 world.

10
Shares
Google+ Print

$32 Million? Oh, Really? No, O’Reilly

Podcast: A misconception about the war on terror.

On this week’s first COMMENTARY podcast, we stand agog at the personal $32 million payout by former #1 cable news star Bill O’Reilly and what it means about the sexual harassment scandals and the way they are changing the rules. Then we move on to simpler matters, like American foreign policy and the ambush in Niger. Give a listen.

3
Shares
Google+ Print

John Kelly Changed the Game

When Trump fights on values, he wins.

For approximately 18 minutes, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly accomplished the impossible: He got America’s journalists and political opinion writers to shut up and listen.

45
Shares
Google+ Print

Bush’s Finest Hour

More than just Trump.

On Thursday, George W. Bush delivered a speech at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” event in New York City. Headlines are touting the speech as an attack on Trumpism. That’s accurate, so far as it goes. But it’s clear from Bush’s words that he was aiming for (and achieved) something loftier than yet another complaint about the 45th president. Bush was making the case against the pervasive discontent that’s driven many citizens throughout the Democratic West to a politics of grievance and revenge. Trumpism is but one example.

52
Shares
Google+ Print

The Danger of the Me Too Campaign

Denunciations.

Silence, Wordsworth wrote, “is a privilege of the grave, a right of the departed. Let him, therefore, who infringes that right by speaking publicly of, for, or against, those who cannot speak for themselves, take heed that he opens not his mouth without a sufficient sanction.”

41
Shares
Google+ Print