Jewish World Review Dec. 9, 2005/ 8 Kislev, 5766

Wesley Pruden

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White flags on the road to ‘peace’

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | It's easy to mock Nancy Pelosi, to dare the San Francisco Democrats to say something sensible. They're determined to resurrect the '60s, with all that noise, dirty hair, B.O., and the strategy that George McGovern employed to drive the party into exile for a generation.


The white-flag Democrats want to get America out of Iraq at any price, to give "peace" a chance. But a summer of love is particularly risky now in San Francisco, where the Age of Aquarius has morphed into the Age of AIDS.


Nevertheless, peace is nice, even in Iraq, and good citizens have a responsibility to seek peace, if not necessarily at any price at least at any place. So no mocking, no slanging. This is a time for sharing, for healing, for sensitivity.


In the spirit of the search for a nice peace — none of that Velveeta imitation, either, but the real unprocessed McCoy — we direct the attention of peace-lovers everywhere to the Pear Orchard in Tewkesbury, a somnolent village in peaceful Gloucestershire. There's gold in those orchards of Old Blighty.


Jill Divine of Tewkesbury is by her own admission a novelist. She writes not for capitalist profit but to promote peace, even if to do it she has to sell a few books about war (bad) and peace (good). But no guns, planes, bullets or armies for her. She prescribes a strategy with teeth. It's amazing that Mzz Pelosi and her San Francisco Democrats did not think of it themselves.


She will introduce her strategy of "Smiles for Peace," which she expects to become "a Mexican wave for peace," on a public-access cable-TV channel somewhere on Long Island this week. Smiles will become a virus, a good virus, and everyone watching will pass it on just by showing his or her pearly whites.


"This will act like a Mexican wave, and if spread far enough could help raise the positive energy all around the universe. The smile is the quickest way to raise the positive energy in the world and will help us all to feel positively happier and more inclined to, metaphorically speaking of course, 'love our neighbor,' and less inclined to argue or fight, and ultimately start that war. Peace in our time would be a reality and not just a dream."


Loving your neighbor can be risky, too, as Bill Clinton showed one and all, but it's true that a frown is just a smile upside down, that there are smiles that make you happy and even smiles that make you sad, and everyone should let a smile be his umbrella. His simile, too. Mzz Pelosi, who should have thought of this herself, has to get in line now, because Mzz Divine has written to several other world leaders, including Prince Charles, President Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and even Helen Clark, the prime minister of New Zealand, and "thank you letters have been received from nearly all." (We can imagine which ungrateful two of these worthies did not bother to send thanks.)


The San Francisco Democrats have not had many occasions to smile lately. The frenzied bashing of George W. not only hasn't run the president out of town but, according to the latest polling by CBS News and the New York Times, has only sent his approval numbers ticking significantly upward, and where they'll stop no one knows.


The president's critics find this polling particularly difficult to spin effectively. After months of bashing and battering, the New York Times has to report that "President Bush's approval rating has improved markedly ... largely tracking Americans' more positive attitudes toward the economy."


In fact, those markedly improving economic numbers, posted last week, were even more difficult to spin properly. The New York Times could only report that the economy is booming, all right, but the good news is really bad news, because, umm, uh, well, who knows? Some day it might quit booming.


Meanwhile, back at the war, the Islamist bad guys continued to wear their smiles upside down. A suicide bomber, presumably a Sunni, climbed aboard a bus in Baghdad, sat down, and blew it up, killing 32 civilians. Something called the Islamic Army of Iraq boasted that it "executed" an American who has been missing for a month. The Islamic Army had demanded that the U.S. release all its prisoners in Iraq.


Senior officers of the military coalition in Iraq expect this to go on "with all stops pulled" between now and the landmark parliamentary elections next week, which Sunnis have now embraced. None of this is good news for the die-hards making the trouble in Iraq. Nobody is smiling.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor in chief of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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