Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review Dec. 30, 2002 / 25 Teves, 5763

Diana West

Diana West
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Questions for reflection on 2002 | I'm not reading about Time magazine's "persons" of the year. Nothing against chosen "persons" Cynthia Cooper, Sherron Watkins or Coleen Rowley -- "women who took huge risks to blow the whistle on what went wrong at Worldcom, Enron, and the FBI." And nothing against their having been styled for the cover into promotional poses easily taken for characters on "The Practice." The fact is, at this fraught and final hiccup of the year, retrospection is hard enough without trying to force the past 12 months through the narrow-gauge grinder by which Time has improbably designated 2002 "The year of the whistleblower."

That's not to say I wouldn't want to have seen the selection process through which these gals were chosen. (And where Ms. Rowley's male counterpart, FBI agent Kenneth Williams, was eliminated, probably for excessive y chromosomes.) After all, it's not every day you get to see grown editors render news judgments by crossing their eyes, holding their breath and balancing on one leg. Which has to be what it took for Time's honchos to convince themselves that 2002 -- the year of the run-up to probable war, and a historic Republican electoral triumph -- was not the year of George W. Bush and his consolidation of political power.

It's not worth wasting too many question marks over Time's choice: The journalistic cocktail of implicit feminism and explicit corporate greed, with an FBI agent for political cover, was obviously intoxicating. More pressing questions linger at year's end, ones without easy answers -- or answers at all. Worse still are the questions that aren't even being asked. What follows, in no particular order, are a few of my own. 1) Why is there still no Manhattan Project-style effort underway to develop non-oil-based fuel sources?

Personally, I have no problem with more, better, cleaner drilling for domestic oil, but that's not only a non-starter, it remains a stopgap strategy. We need something else -- and not just windmills off Cape Cod, or solar panels amid the redwoods. What's required is a big fat brain trust. Successful or not, the project's a winner: Either it stanches the flow of money and power from the Western world to OPEC, reducing threats of global blackmail, or it at least shakes cartel confidence.

2) When was the concept of a Palestinian state transformed from the sparking third rail of American politics into a seemingly non-negotiable plank of every political party? Could it have been when the Palestinian Authority dismantled the terrorist infrastructure? (Didn't happen.) Ended its official incitement to violence? (Didn't happen.) Elected new leaders not compromised by terror? (Didn't happen.) Built a democracy based on tolerance and liberty? (Hah.) All of the above are conditions set down by President Bush 26 weeks ago to warrant American support for a Palestinian state (see Zionist Organization of America's weekly rundown of Palestinian Arab noncompliance at Why, despite the appalling breach, do we continue to talk of statehood in terms of ever-more detailed "roadmaps" and timetables?

3) Why isn't the potentially revolutionary (counter-revolutionary?) student movement in Iran getting the attention it deserves? National-security expert and author and JWR columnist Michael Ledeen calls the growing Iranian student movement "the biggest story in the world." In their demands for a secular, democratic government, the students could very well be the key to change in the Middle East. Shockingly, their nonviolent efforts to break the Islamo-fascist mullahocracy, which now include pro-Western statements against "the promoters of anti-Semitism and terrorism" -- are relegated to the odd article or wire-service brief. Meanwhile, U.S. government broadcasts into Iran have been "upgraded" from once-substantive news programming to a vacuous pop music format. Go figure.

4) Is there any link between the administration's letdown of a decision to allow North Korean Scud missiles into the Persian Gulf region via Somalia, and a seemingly emboldened North Korea's hysterical nuclear threats? 5) And when will the mainstream media decide to report on Democratic Sen. Patty Murray's mind-boggling remarks on Osama bin Laden's supposed nation-building efforts in the Middle East? (Taliban Online picked up the story originally reported in the Vancouver, Wash., Columbian newspaper, but that doesn't count.)

6) Finally, what of Jane Fonda and Sean Penn? As the celebri-mats hit the latest political hot spots, trailing strings of reporters, we need to decide which one better represents America. Is it 42-year-old Mr. Penn? In declaring Saddam Hussein in compliance of whatever, he warned: "It's very possible that we are facing the first century that will complete itself without mankind -- and that's not the future I want for my children."

Or is it Ms. Fonda? While touring Israel with playwright Eve "Vagina Monologues" Ensler, the 64-year-old actress-activist Fonda mentioned several earlier trips to the Holy Land, adding, "But I never thought I'd come here as a soldier in the Vagina Army."

The choice is clear: Some questions are best left unanswered.

Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

12/16/02: The pre-emptive war goes Hollywood
12/09/02: Protest Augusta? Why not Sudan?
11/25/02: Something to contemplate this Ramadan
11/08/02: Does Eminem now fit in?
11/04/02: No time for gloating
11/04/02: What's in a name when the name is Muhammad?
10/28/02: Jihad as a First Amendment right
10/21/02: When speaking out isn't allowed
10/14/02: Terrorism in Maryland and abroad
09/30/02: So long urgency, hello indulgence
09/24/02: That one, sturdy, missing word
09/17/02: Fingerprinting, finally
09/09/02: When 'healing' overshadows reality
09/04/02: Tales from the Techno Valley and Forest
08/16/02: Elvis shall rise again
08/14/02: War with Iraq won't harm war on terror
08/06/02: Clinton snaps over Somalia
08/01/02: 9-11 anniversary shouldn't come with apology
07/27/02: An unstable common ground
07/25/02: Hillary fights hard for soft money
07/12/02: Goretheus unbound
07/10/02: Rosie takes a shine to Republicans
07/08/02: Are you still shocked, Sami?
07/02/02: Can Britney win hearts of the Middle East?
06/28/02: A war on terror or Islamists?
06/25/02: Blame the murderer, and the messenger
06/21/02: Up front and personal with Atta
06/18/02: Terrorism at the United Nations
06/11/02: Who's policing the INS?
06/07/02: Spa Gitmo
06/04/02: Can rock gods save the queen?
05/31/02: Hillary's war
05/29/02: Have you forgotten we're at war?
05/24/02: An antiquated luxury of the past
05/21/02: From terrorists to tourists
05/19/02: Hate U.
05/07/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
05/03/02: Pioneering television
05/01/02: Western self-loathing numbs us to violence
04/29/02: It's the misconduct, stupid
04/24/02: Medal of diss-honor
04/17/02: Holy sanctuary or terrorist shield?
04/12/02: Egyptian clerics solicit martyrs for murder
04/09/02: Defining terrorism down
04/05/02: The Wilder life
04/02/02: Acting, equality and the Academy
03/31/02: Speeding to conclusions
03/25/02: Hard to remove blood (libel) stains
03/21/02: The tale of Nixon's tapes --- again
03/19/02: The Big Lie lives on
03/15/02: The tunnel vision of '9/11'
03/13/02: The American Auschwitz?
03/08/02: Hating the indoctrination of hate
03/05/02: Clinton and Enron: Old friends
03/01/02: Pickering doesn't polarize, the process does
02/26/02: Destiny's prefabricated child
02/22/02: The White House heist
02/20/02: Making the grade
02/11/02: Studying student visas
02/06/02: Understanding arrogance
02/04/02: The professor's war
01/29/02: Disconnected dialogue
01/23/02: Anti-Indiscrimination
01/18/02: How much is enough?
01/15/02: Oh brothers, where art thou?
01/10/02: Air on the side of caution
01/04/02: Blacks seeing red at Harvard
01/02/02: Clinton's campaign continues
12/26/01: A tale of two exhibitions
12/24/01: Taliban Idyll
12/19/01: Right is right
12/17/01: Hillary strikes out
12/13/01: Lost files, lost presidency
12/10/01: Revolutionaries never grow up
12/05/01: Immigration reform talk is not just for 'haters' anymore
12/03/01: A new symbol of justice
11/30/01: Beyond morality
11/26/01: Can't keep a good man down
11/20/01: Tough talk at the United Nations
11/19/01: Hollywood's other battle
11/14/01: What's the matter with Sara Jane?
11/09/01: A beef with bin Laden's Beef Noodles
11/07/01: Facing up to the FBI's past mistakes
11/02/01: A school that teaches patriots to shutup
10/30/01: The gap between Islam and peace
10/26/01: The ties that bind (and gag)
10/24/01: This war is more than Afghanistan
10/22/01: The fatuous fatwa
10/19/01: Left out
10/16/01: Whose definition of terrorism?
10/11/01: Post-stress disorder
10/08/01: How the West has won
10/01/01: Good, bad or ... diplomacy
09/28/01: Drawing a line in stone
09/21/01: Prejudice or prudence?
09/14/01: When our dead will finally rest in hallowed ground
09/07/01: We want our #$%^&*() audience back!
08/24/01: The transformation from Green Mountain State to Green Activist State is all but complete
08/17/01: Enlightenment at Yale
08/10/01: From oppressors to victims, a metamorphosis
08/03/01: Opening the dormitory door: College romance in the New Century
08/01/01: How-To Hackdom: The dubious art of writing books about writing books
07/20/01: Hemming about Hemmings
07/13/01: Justice has not been served in the Loiuma police brutality case
06/22/01: When PC parades are too 'mainstream'
06/22/01: When "viewpoint discrimination" in our schools was not nearly so gnarly a notion
06/15/01: Lieberman flaunts mantle of perpetual aggrievement
06/07/01: Is graciousness the culprit?
06/01/01: The bright side of the Jeffords defection
05/29/01: Campus liberals should be more careful
05/18/01: 'Honest Bill' Clinton and other Ratheresian Logic
05/11/01: Dodging balls, Bugs, and 'brilliance'
05/04/01: Foot in mouth disease and little lost Tories
04/20/01:The last classic Clinton cover-up
04/20/01: D-Day, Schmee-Day
04/06/01: For heaven's sake, a little decency!
03/30/01: The sweet sound of slamming doors and clucking feminists
03/23/01: America's magazines and the 'ick-factor'
03/09/01: Felony neglect
03/02/01: Who's sorry now?
02/23/01: 'Ecumenical niceness' and other latter-day American gifts to the world
02/16/01: Elton and Eminem: Royal dirge-icist meets violent fantasist
02/12/01: If only ...

© 2001, Diana West