The Continuing Crisis
Tyrrell, R. Emmett, Jr., The American Spectator
January passed, all 31 days of it, with the casualty list of history's deadliest tsunami climbing steadily towards 200,000 and probably beyond. Yet still no Islamofascist terror group has appeared on Al Jazeera, the Arab world's equivalent of CNN, to take credit for the calamity. It was definitely a missed public relations opportunity for the dirty-necked indignados, though the Rev. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's faithful have taken full responsibility for murdering hundreds of Iraqi citizens-men, women, and children-pursuant to disrupting that country's first free elections in over half a century. The effort apparently made perfect sense to Old Europe and to the leadership of the Democratic Party, all of whom seemed to approve of the Rev. Zarqawi's goal while remaining deeply disappointed by his methods. In one incident during Election Day in Iraq, the terrorists actually transformed a child suffering Down's syndrome into a suicide bomber. No European or anti-war Democrat would approve of that, though some Democratic leaders did go pretty far into the wilderness.
On the very day that the Iraqi election was proving to be a colossal success, Senator Jean-François Kerry appeared on Meet the Press and warned his fellow citizens not to "overhype this election." Nor, of course, would he have them underhype it. Even to hype the election might be deemed an impropriety by the haughty Francophile who had already on January 14 met personally with French President Jacques Chirac, possibly to protest recent findings by scientists at the UK's Cranfield University. The scientists have found that French cheese is the most foulsmelling in the world. During his Meet the Press interview, when asked if he agreed with Senator Edward Kennedy's pre-Election Day exhortation to withdraw American troops from Iraq, the Hon. Kerry said categorically, "No." Then, nine words later he said, "I agree with Senator Kennedy's perceptions of the problem and of how you deal with it"-so categorically, yes. Throughout the remainder of the interview the Democrats' incomparable 2004 presidential marvel followed his famous rhetorical formula of Affirmation and Contradiction, Affirmation and Contradiction, suggesting once again that the Democratic Party is the Party of Obliviousness.
Throughout the month no Democrat was more oblivious than the Hon. Kennedy. In grilling attorney general nominee Mr. Alberto Gonzales during confirmation hearings, it fell to Senator Kennedy to badger Mr. Gonzales about a particular Abu Ghraib torture called water-boarding. What Democratic wag encouraged the anile Senator Kennedy into this embarrassing exercise remains unknown. The Hero of Chappaquiddick was actually heard to lament the atrocity: "water-boarding... with all... its descriptions about drowning someone." That "someone" almost invariably was a captured Iraqi thug, not the abandoned young woman whom Senator Kennedy water-boarded three and a half decades ago. On January 15 Abu Ghraib's leading water-boarder, Army Spc. Charles Graner, Jr., was sentenced to ten years. Senator Kennedy remains at large. CNN reported a "massive cow manure mound" burning out of control in Milford, Nebraska.
Yet Senator Kennedy could retrieve at least one bit of good news in January, and in the unlikely occurrence of the aforementioned tsunami. In the remote islands of Andaman and Nicobar, an Indian helicopter dropping aid to some of the disaster's presumed victims was driven off by tribesmen using bows and arrows, thus suggesting that quite possibly the small amount of money Senator Kennedy would appropriate for the Pentagon's Strategic Defense Initiative is perfectly sufficient to America's defense needs-at least, if the anticipated aggressor is from the Indian subcontinent. From Morgantown, West Virginia, comes word that the fun is over for employees of the Pilgrim's Pride chicken processing corporation. After People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a secretly recorded tape showing workers in a slaughterhouse stomping and kicking chickens to death and in some instances slamming them against walls, Pilgrim's Pride has fired the insensitive employees and is auspicating a re-education program in all its 24 North American Plants to end to this tomfoolery. …