' Bob Tyrell
Jewish World Review July 1, 2004 / 12 Tamuz, 5764

Bob Tyrrell

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Gentlemen do not begin a government in the middle of the week


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | LONDON — Over here, a vexed question at the beginning of the week was: Why did the Coalition of the Willing allow the Iraqis to auspicate their government on Monday rather than on Wednesday as planned? Actually, the answer is evident: etiquette. Gentlemen do not begin a government in the middle of the week. I hand this insight over to the war's critics to chew on.


They are obsessed with idiot arguments over the war and its legitimacy, much as the opponents of the war in Vietnam were obsessed with specious and misleading arguments in the 1960s. Once the war ended and the North Vietnamese speedily extended their tyranny over South Vietnam, the antiwar know-it-alls quietly dropped their arguments, historians having now found almost all of them to be without merit.


One was that the armies opposing the South Vietnamese government were composed mainly of indigenous South Vietnamese, who only wanted their country free of colonialists. Today, those of us burdened by memory and intellect know that those armies were composed mainly of North Vietnamese communists, who became the South's most tyrannical colonizers.


According to the idiot arguments of today's war critics, America's war against Saddam was illegitimate because we have yet to find weapons of mass destruction. Actually, the war was legitimatized by three United Nations Security Council Resolutions, numbered 678, 687 and 1441. Moreover, as William Shawcross writes in this week's London Spectator: "We have discovered illegal missiles which could have been quickly armed. Rolf Ekeus, the careful Swedish former head of the U.N. weapons inspectors, said last summer that Iraqi policy had been not to produce warfare agents as such but to concentrate on design and engineering 'with the purpose of activating production and shipping of warfare agents and munitions directly to the battlefield in the event of war.' He called the attacks on Bush and Blair for the failure to find weapons stockpiles 'a distortion and trivialization of a major threat to international peace and security.'"


Who is Shawcross? During the Vietnam War, he produced "Sideshow," a book that provided the war's critics one of their favorite idiot arguments against our involvement in Vietnam — to wit, the bombing of Cambodia transformed anti-government forces in Cambodia into practitioners of genocide. Shawcross has revised some of the book's arguments today and become one of the most intelligent advocates of the war against Saddam. Some people learn from experience and want the West and its decent values to triumph. Others want to continue to harangue the defenders of the West even as they enjoy all the comforts the West has to offer.

Donate to JWR



Yet I did not come to London to indulge in politics. I came on my annual pilgrimage for art's sake. Every year, accompanied by the British illustrator-painter John Springs, I head over to this city's National Portrait Gallery to take in what is called the BP Portrait Award showing, and to have a few laughs. The competing portraits are mostly rubbish basking in the afterglow of the 1960s revolt against taste. Generally, the perpetrators of the paintings, usually middle aged and middle class, through unrestrained dreariness and repetition, show how slavishly enthralled the "cutting edge" of Western art is to the 1960s. Few have had a new idea since Andy Warhol's last headache.


Springs, an artist of taste and wit, is always eager to point out the mediocre technique and unimaginativeness. And so we parade past portraits of faces with open sores and abundant nose hair. We see fat ladies in dirty bras. We see garish portrayals of the down and out. One farceur is portrayed holding a rabbit standing perpendicular to her hand, if memory serves. Another paints a shirtless man in baggy pants that complement his baggy upper body.


It is all quite tiresome, though watching the entranced crowd is amusing. This year's winner is "Miracle Child," a dismal painting of a child in a desolate state being held by its despairing mother, surrounded by graffiti. The painter explains in a notice next to his piffle that this is a painting of his child who was born after some medically perilous struggle. He is artless enough to include a photograph of his wife, who in real life looks quite prosperous and sunny.


The one fundamental value that reformers whether in government or the arts always adhere to is disturbing the peace. For decades now, forward-looking artists have sought to shake us up with their shocking productions. Now what would shake us up would be a display of talent and taste. It would also get a painter booted from the ever reliable BP Portrait show.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Bob Tyrrell is editor in chief of The American Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

06/24/04: If they only mastered the art of lying
06/18/04: Fie on the French and Germans
06/10/04: Reagan on the Rock
06/03/04: Once again the conservative fuddy duddies are vindicated
05/28/04: Rev. Al eats up City Hall
05/20/04: Pasty prison pastimes
05/13/04: Loss of perspective
05/06/04: Right in the Krischer: Rush Limbaugh's tormentor has yet to hear from everyone on the First Amendment right
04/29/04: It is 1992 all over again, and I rejoice
04/15/04: There seems to be two George W's
04/08/04: Kennedy & Kerry
04/01/04: Sen. Jean Francois' fun and games are only starting — poor Dems
03/25/04: What really explains the rancor arising in this election year?
03/19/04: College daze
03/11/04: The understandably confused are confused
03/04/04: Hillary, the loyalest of the loyal
02/19/04: Hannity's optimism
02/12/04: The moron vote
02/05/04: At least Lieberman stood for something
01/29/04: Surprised by the government vendetta against Rush?
01/15/04: Eight Angry Men
01/09/04: Doc, the greatest swim coach of all time
01/02/04: It’s lying time again
12/29/03: Alternative "Person of the Year"
12/18/03: Dean and me
12/11/03: Long live Bob Bartley
12/04/03: "Hit 'em when they're down!"
12/01/03: The Wright Stuff
11/13/03: How wrong the naysayers and the utopians have been
11/06/03: Will I be banned from America's campuses?
10/30/03: They don't care about restraint
10/24/03: "The Reagans" and the evidence of a historic life
10/17/03: The Moron Vote
10/09/03: The politics of groping and the groping of politics
10/03/03: Is there a witch doctor in the house?
09/26/03: Funny Girly-Boy
09/18/03: Send Arafat to Paris!
09/15/03: The soi-disant party of Latinos comes down hard on a successful Latino
09/05/03: Placating the carpers
08/29/03: A melange of one-issue enthusiasts will win?
08/07/03: Angry partisans
07/31/03: Why no ‘holy cities ’ in America?
07/25/03: They underestimate not only the president, but the American people
07/18/03: The irascible, bigoted Harry Truman was a product of his times
07/11/03: A grand affair of hot colors and surprisingly sedate audience participation
07/04/03: In search of anti-Americanism and the perfect bullfight
06/26/03: Calling on London
06/20/03: Too upsetting for the evening news?
06/12/03: Rain(es)ing Clintoon myths
06/05/03: Hillary-ous is pathetic
05/29/03: Shakedown
05/22/03: End of the last great persecution of the 20th century?
05/15/03 :‘Grey’ turns to grim at Times
05/08/03: The only intellectual force in Western history to gain moral superiority by being wrong
05/01/03: Dinning with Tom Wolfe: More lessons in nusual aspects of American life, hitherto ignored
04/28/03: Ambuscade at scholarly frontier
04/21/03: Stars in search of a galaxy
04/10/03: Baghdad Bob and Tom Daschle
03/31/03: When the media itself becomes the story
03/20/03: Revealed! Estrada is a gifted linguist -- a Japanese-American fluent in Spanish
03/14/03: Genuinely in charge
03/10/03: Stalin and Saddam
03/05/03: They just cannot stomach a protracted alliance with the Bushies
02/25/03: Identity gridlock
02/18/03: People calling Dean a fruitcake are underestimating his political savvy
02/13/03: The new political establishment
01/30/03: The time is now
01/27/03: Witnessing self-love by people completely incapable of self-criticism
01/21/03: Of course our kiddies are depressed
01/13/03: Why is it that Official Washington still believes that a tax reduction means a revenue reduction?
01/02/03: Missing Moi
12/27/02: The grizzled and menacing-looking senator in Confederate drag is … a Dem
12/24/02: Uprooting Christianity in the Holy Land
12/20/02: Under fire, Lott showed an ignobleness that is embarrassing
11/26/02: Bartley's enemies have been routed
11/14/02: Clarence Thomas and the segregationist Mississippi sheriff
11/07/02: I muffed up
10/31/02: Is the American university turning its back on change, on progress?
10/24/02: So why aren't the Dems buoyant?
10/17/02: Mourning the loss of the "yellow-belly"
10/10/02: American politics at its most ignominious
10/03/02: A man above the law, a bully
09/26/02: Is Bob Greene a victim of an anti-Clinton backlash?
09/19/02: I knew Mafiosi and …
09/12/02: Chickens and poseurs
09/05/02: Sympathizing with the Europols
08/29/02: 9-11 did not change us forever
08/22/02: Public persons frivoling with serious matters
08/15/02: Beachcombing among the fat of the land
08/08/02: They pave the way for corruption, not personal responsibility
08/01/02: Believing the unbelievable
07/25/02: The congressional posse comitatus
07/18/02: Cosmopolitan Arab fashion
07/11/02: What the prez actually knows
07/04/02: The vindication of a truly original thinker
06/27/02: The perfect book for Hillary
06/20/02: To say that they were ordinary is not to slight them
06/13/02: Daschle must begin to act like an adult
06/06/02: Lack of "intelligence" --- and sheer stupidity
05/30/02: Revealing a carefully guarded media secret
05/23/02: In these times, thank Heaven for Clinton!
05/16/02: Fast Times at the Church of the Nativity
05/09/02: "Name the Prettiest Suicide Bomber"
05/02/02: Vindication for the Boy Scouts
04/25/02: A topic almost no other columnist will touch
04/18/02: 'Conventional Wisdom' --- and those who defy it
04/11/02: Let the Sun shine in
04/05/02: Hooded men of color in sheets
04/01/02: A McCain-Feingold Act for Hollywood
03/21/02: Yakkin' on Yates
03/15/02: No role for Paul Volcker in Enron: the movie
03/07/02: My membership in the Communist Party U.S.A.
02/27/02: This award is bestowed by 'contrarians'
02/21/02: Mike Tyson: Made for Washington?
02/14/02: Enron as underdog?
02/07/02: Freed from the presence of money -- hard or soft -- most politicians would be just as bad
01/31/02: Needed: Bush to make a preemptive strike against his enemies …. Ones who'd like to see him fail even during war
01/24/02: Hucksters will move on to make their next marks
01/17/02: Debonair prez should begin to do the High Life
01/10/02: Move over Twinkies --- "the acne medicine made him do it!"
01/03/02: Leaving the Nazis looking comparatively humane
12/27/01: A "self-made journalist"
12/20/01: Calamities and unanticipated benefits
12/13/01: America's grief ought not to give comfort to those who caused it
12/06/01: Leahy, the strict civil libertarian!? A short-term exploiter of the Constitution is more like it
11/29/01: Welcome to Afghan, Maryland?
11/26/01: So, why don't more folks hate us?
11/15/01: America's quagmire and other certainties
11/09/01: No longer the smug statists, the prodigal Keynesians?
11/01/01: The New Seriousness
10/25/01: Bright lights and the Taliban
10/18/01: Is bin-Laden propaganda from Western intelligence?
10/12/01: No yellow ribbons
10/05/01: Bubba's back --- again!
09/28/01: Exposing peacetime's frauds
09/21/01: So protected, we're vulnerable
09/14/01: At Barbara Olson's home
09/11/01: Duh! All conservatives are racists
08/31/01: Arafat's terrorists have created their own hell
08/24/01: Time for some political prophecy
08/16/01: They claim to be doing so much good
08/10/01: Visiting the source of the White House braintrust
08/03/01: Morality and reality
07/31/01: Blinded by success?
07/24/01: The latest Kennedy capitulation in Massachusetts
07/13/01: Talk about tawdry
07/06/01: Delighting in the Dictator
06/29/01: The G-dphobes
06/21/01: Fashionable Washington is sempiternally in a stew
06/15/01: The limits of hypocrisy
06/08/01: Flagging our general apathy

© 2001, Creators Syndicate