From a WaPo story regarding a Harvard graduate student accused of murdering (via stabbing) another man following a late night scuffle. A relative of the victim said, "Human nature will tell you smart people still do stupid things."
I vote for making that the new motto of Harvard (and most other universities).
THE VIOLENCE OF NON-VIOLENCE Today after dropping my son off at pre-school, one of the kids in his room -- let's call him Little Saddam -- came up to him and bonked him on the head. I was rather pissed off, and corrected the child. The amazing thing is that this kind of behavior (which is common for Little Saddam) comes with very minimal punishment. Lots of "time outs" but no terse language to tell the child that this is not appropriate. In fact, they usually send him to time out with a voice that sound more like Winnie the Pooh begging Piglet for more honey. Is it any wonder that this kid is always uppity? Word has it that my son is one of the best behaved, in large part because Mom and Dad give him firm boundaries. I may sound harsh at times, but it comes with lots of long-term love for my child. (As for spanking, we do accept that as a possibility, but we found that you don't have to use it when you give appropriate boundaries.)
This lesson is very appropos for foreign relations as well. Ingrates and malcontents need to be treated with firm discipline and serious consequences for bad behavior. Got that Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong Il?
FYI, my reference to "Little Saddam" was not laced with racist overtones. The kid in question is caucasian. The reference is meant to by a hyperbole for his behavior.
At this very moment, President Bush made a comment about the 7 POWs rescued in Iraq. He said, "they were sustained by The Almighty." JL's prediction: There will be a firestorm about that statement on several grounds: 1) most obviously that he is, via his rhetoric, mixing religion and politics; and 2) that this statement implies that the POWs who died at the hands of sick bastard Iraqis were not sustained by The Almighty.
The first criticism cannot be avoided as there will always be hypersensitive people and those trying to fault with anything Bush says. But realize that Carter, Clinton, Gore or any other president would have likely included some religious reference in a similar situation. The second criticism reads too much into the statement (via postmodernist influences) and fails to recognize that that there are people in this world who like to include uplifting messages of hope and praise in their rhetoric. That some people find this troubling is rather indicative about the mindset of those critics. What miserable people.
So who says we shouldn't worry about Iraq because North Korea is a bigger problem? This story from MSNBC puts the lie to that story. It was quite amazing to me all the scholars of international relations who forgot about the very potent doctrine of "resolve." Simply put, bad guys won't do bad things if they think the good guys won't tolerate it.