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Jewish World Review April 17, 2002 / 6 Iyar, 5762

Tony Snow

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Musings | Colin Powell can't buy a break in his ongoing tour of Europe and the Middle East. Everywhere he went, people are dissing him. People who owe their very survival to the U.S. are treating him like the biggest dope on earth.

Powell landed in Morocco, only to have that country's king ask why he was there instead of Jerusalem.

Next stop, Madrid, where a bunch of Europeans lectured him about the evils of supporting Israel.

In a response Powell equated Israeli military action with suicide bombings -- saying both forms of violence are wrong. In so doing, he provided a great argument for opposing America's war on terror -- and completely caught his own administration off-guard.

As a result, Israel's prime minister is calling the Powell mission a failure.

This is what happens when America confuses diplomacy with therapy -- asking other countries what we should do, rather than telling them what they should do. Right now, we need to lead. And Colin Powell is getting the message the hard way.

In an action with clear First Amendment implications, officials in Loyal, Wisconsin are considering an ordinance that would require diapers on horses that clop along public roadways. The rule takes aim at Amish locals, whose modes of transport leave distinctive and unpopular forms of exhaust.

Modern Loyalists -- I suppose that's what you call the town's inhabitants -- are tired of picking their way through manure, much as Washingtonians tire of having to wade through the offal that emanates from our legislative chambers.

Yet there's one problem with visionary legislation. It almost always falls victim to the unanticipated loophole, the unexpected exception, the off-the wall consequence that makes things worse.

And so it is in this case.

An Amish elder has warned city fathers that the horse-pucky ordinance could backfire: The waste collection devices could flop and slosh around -- spooking horses and creating pandemonium on the thoroughfares that would make citizens of Loyal long for the days when the worst they had to fear was some naturally occurring fertilizer.

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