Among the columns today is “The Left vs. Robert E. Lee By Greg Richards…. “. It brought to mind one of the best biographies I ever read many years ago.
LEE by Douglas Southall Freeman (Author), Richard Harwell (Editor), James M. McPherson (Foreword) Read it before it is expunged by the frenzied folk who wish to erase any unbiased accounting of one of the great and noble generals of the Civil War.
“Douglas Southall Freeman’s Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Robert E. Lee was greeted with critical acclaim when it was first published in 1935. Stephen Vincent Benét said “There is a monument—and a fine one—to Robert E. Lee at Lexington. But this one, I think, will last as long.” This reissue of Richard Harwell’s abridgment fulfills Benét’s prophecy, chronicling all the major aspects and highlights of the general’s military career, from his stunning accomplishments in the Mexican War to the humbling surrender at Appomattox.
More than just a military leader, Lee embodied all the conflicts of his time. The son of a Revolutionary War hero and related by marriage to George Washington, he was the product of young America’s elite. When Abraham Lincoln offered him command of the United States Army, however, he choose to lead the confederate ranks, convinced that his first loyalty lay with his native Virginia. Although a member of the planter class, he felt that slavery was “a moral and political evil.” Aloof and somber, he nevertheless continually inspired his men by his deep concern for their personal welfare.
Freeman’s achievement is the full portrait of a great American—a distinguished, scholarly, yet eminently readable classic that has linked Freeman to Lee as irrevocably as Boswell to Dr. Johnson.”
Reuters, June 8, 2015, Cairo, Egypt. British and Pakistani archeologists working at an undisclosed site in Jordan have found what they say is hard evidence that the founder of the Islamic religion committed suicide.
While analyzing scrolls dating back approximately to the year 630 A.D., Dr. Jummara Hashish, chief archeologist of the Islamabad Institute of Islamic Studies in Pakistan, says a hand-written note at the bottom of a common prayer scroll revealed that one of Mohammed’s wives witnessed the suicide. She later wrote a brief account of the event, and hid it and the suicide note in a clay pot used for storing grain, along with several other scrolls. It is believed by scholars that the documents are authentic. They and the other documents found in the jar were subjected to carbon-14 and other tests to determine their age.
Lefties are notorious for being sore losers and even sorer winners. Their behavior in the wake of the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage — even as they ironically proclaim “love wins” — is no exception to this rule.
Case in point: J.R. Salzman is a disabled Iraq war veteran who lost his right arm below the elbow. His left hand was pulverized when his vehicle was struck by an explosively formed penetrator in December of 2006. After commenting on the Supreme Court decision on Twitter, he came under vicious attack by despicable people who mocked him for losing an arm and for being a veteran who engaged in ”killing children and raping women.” Salzman noted in one of his tweets that although he’s experienced a lot of hate on Twitter, “by far the worst has been from the #LovesWins crowd.”
American singer Mariah Carey became the latest in a long line of celebrities to take vacations or perform in Israel this year, despite the efforts of boycotters. She toured Jerusalem yesterday with her twin children Monroe and Moroccan. Above, at Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Sunday.
Michael Herzog (Israeli Labour Party leader Herzog’s brother, writing in today’s Financial Times): “Israel is not at the table negotiating the deal on Iran’s nuclear programme. Yet it is Israel’s national security, perhaps more than anyone else’s, that will be affected. Threatened by Iran’s nuclear and hegemonic ambitions, Israel and most of its Arab neighbours question whether the expected agreement will stem either. The choice is not between a good deal and a bad deal. A good deal – permanently rolling back Iran’s nuclear capacity, as was done in Libya – is no longer possible. The question is whether the deal is acceptable, given the confines of the framework agreed in April.”
▪ “Even as negotiations were under way, Israelis have watched Mr. Khamenei tweet nine “key questions about the elimination of Israel” (the third was: what is the proper way of eliminating Israel?). If the U.S. and its partners do not stand firm in the coming days and years, Israelis feel they may be left alone to face the ayatollahs – enemies who might one day wield the ultimate weapon.”
▪ Demonstrating outside the Iran talks in Vienna. Raimund Fastenbauer, leader of Vienna’s Jewish Community: “Whoever negotiates with the ayatollahs, but ignores the Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei’s Holocaust denial, has already fallen for Hassan Rouhani’s and Mohammad Zarif’s charm offensive. And whoever ignores the permanently repeated Iranian annihilation threats against Israel is actually putting up the Jewish State’s existence for negotiation.”
With the revulsion against Confederate symbols that has resulted from shooter Dylann Roof’s internet picture with the Confederate battle flag, Robert E. Lee has been put in the gunsights of social radicals. Lee was one of the two great generals of the Civil War and due in part to his good fortune in having an excellent biographer in Douglas Southall Freeman, is generally regarded as the greatest, although it should be noted that Grant won the war.
Lee came from one of the oldest families in Virginia and arguably its most distinguished. His father, Light Horse Harry Lee, was a general in the Revolutionary War and a relative, Richard Henry Lee, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Winfield Scott, general in chief of the Army before the Civil War, thought Lee the best soldier he had ever seen. Lee was offered the command of the Union army but resigned his commission to fight, as he saw it, for his homeland, Virginia. Before the Civil War, the country was referred to as “these United States.” After the Civil War, it was “the United States.” So, ante bellum, there was a different view of the country than we have now.
In a commonsense decision, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a case that decided that people registering to vote in federal election don’t have to prove their citizenship. That means that people registering to vote won’t be bullied into proving citizenship, which now seems to be an irrelevant criterion for voting.
“I am very pleased, obviously,” said Dolores Furtado, president of the Kansas chapter of the League of Women Voters. “It’s a good feeling because we’re truly trying to help” people get registered to vote.
Furtado said the league’s main interest is in increasing participation in the democratic process “rather than trying to make more hoops, more steps, to go through.”
INDONESIA, population 210 million, is in shambles, possibly facing total anarchy. A civil war is raging in Sudan. AIDS is decimating sub-Saharan Africa. There are violent separatist movements in France. In Columbia and Venezuela, it is a question whether the gangsters are in charge, or the government. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein is the government, the whole government. Robert M. Steele says there are 26 limited but severe conflicts, 78 lesser conflicts, 15 genocidal campaigns and 178 violent political struggles. That’s normal.
So why does what’s happening in Israel almost invariably get more attention in the media than all the rest put together?
Jesus was born there. According to the Bible, Moses saw it dimly across the Jordan. Muslims believe that the prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven from the Dome of the Rock. It’s got history.
It’s a journalist’s dream town and easy to cover. The beaches are beautiful. The babes in bikinis on the beaches are beautiful. Tel Aviv has a night life. The distinguished Jerusalem Post is an English language newspaper. Ha-Aretz, the so-called New York Times of Israel, publishes an English edition. It’s pretty safe; more Israelis have been killed in automobile accidents than by Palestinians since the beginning of Intafada II. Your byline gets on the front page; your face gets on the evening news.
Inside the career of Ben Wattenberg, who died Sunday at age 81, you could write a history of the modern Democratic Party. To a great extent Wattenberg wrote it himself.
Wattenberg was a Bronx-born Jew whose early jobs in politics included writing speeches and providing advice to the quintessential Southern Democrat, President Lyndon Johnson. He then worked on the 1970 Senate race of the man whose name was a synonym for Democratic liberals, Hubert Humphrey.
In the 1970s, Wattenberg worked tirelessly on behalf of the presidential ambitions of his friend, Washington Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, whose own name is associated with what have come to be known as “national security Democrats.”
Ben Wattenberg has passed away. Ben gave me my first job in Washington when he was a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. I worked for and with Ben for much of the 1990s. I was his research assistant and later became a producer for the production company behind his weekly PBS series Think Tank and his various documentary projects. As Yuval suggests, Ben was hard to classify intellectually or ideologically. Though it was not always as difficult as it is today because the tribe he represented — variously described as Scoop Jackson Democrat, Democratic neoconservative, Reagan Democrat, New Democrat, democratic triumphalist etc — no longer much exists. Obviously, the key word there is “Democrat.” But while his devotion to the partisan label with a capital-D waned over the years (without ever vanishing), his devotion to democracy itself was undying and infectious. I had my differences with Ben, ideologically, and at times personally,
During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union established a nuclear relationship commonly called Mutual Assured Destruction, known by the pejorative acronym MAD. The basic notion was that Washington and Moscow each possessed sufficient nuclear capability to destroy the other’s society, however a war might start. This mutual vulnerability was expected to ensure that each would be deterred from severely provoking the other. This condition of mutual deterrence, enforced by mutual nuclear vulnerability, was thought to create a “stable balance of terror” that would help prevent large-scale war. That hope was expressed by Sir Winston Churchill when he suggested that “safety will be the sturdy child of terror, and survival the twin brother of annihilation.”