Jewish World Review Jan. 22, 2003 / 19 Shevat, 5763

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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Musings, random and otherwise

http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | In 1981, a 27-year-old Israeli pilot named Ilan Ramon took part in the destruction of Iraq's nuclear reactor at Osirak. His mission severely set back Saddam Hussein's deadly plans and saved an unknowable number of lives.

In 1942, while imprisoned in the Jewish ghetto of Theresienstadt, 14-year-old Peter Ginz drew "Moon Landscape," an aching view of Earth as he imagined it might look from mountains on the moon. Two years later, he was murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz.

Last Thursday, the space shuttle Columbia lifted off for 16 days of scientific work in low-gravity orbit. Its crew includes Ramon, now an Israeli Air Force colonel and astronaut. In its holding bay, on loan from the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, was Ginz's drawing, carried into space at Ramon's request. On the same day, UN weapons inspectors in Iraq discovered a cache of chemical warheads in a desert bunker southwest of Baghdad.

The hell of Auschwitz; the averted hell of Osirak; the hellhound still at large in Iraq. There are truths apart from science, and one of them is symbolized by the vessel now circling the Earth every 90 minutes: When homicidal tyrants are appeased instead of crushed, when their lust for the tools of genocide is met with words instead of deeds, young artists eventually die in concentration camps. Godspeed, Columbia.

It has now been 10 years since Canada, Mexico, and the United States adopted the North American Free Trade Agreement, and we still don't hear Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound" of jobs and factories draining south of the border.

The dire warnings of Perot and NAFTA's other foes, it turns out, couldn't have been more wrong. Far from hemmorhaging jobs, the US economy generated 15 million new ones in the years after NAFTA took effect (not all due to foreign trade, of course). And while US firms did shift $2.2 billion a year into Mexican factories between 1994 and 2001, what was that compared with the $200 billion they invested yearly in domestic manufacturing capacity?

Which isn't to say that Mexico didn't benefit, too. Trade maven Dan Griswold of the Cato Institute notes that NAFTA helped spark the aggressive reforms that transformed Mexico's economy into one of the most dynamic in all of Latin America. Adam Smith had it right: When it comes to the wealth of nations, free trade generally means win-win.

Tom Reilly needs a refresher in Economics 101. The Massachusetts attorney general blasted the state's big pharmacy chains last week for implying that customers are the ones required to pay the Legislature's new prescription drug tax. For example, signs at CVS declared: "CVS is required to add a $1.30 pharmacy tax to every . . . prescription dispensed." Reilly demanded that they be reworded to make it clear that the tax is assessed to pharmacies, not consumers.

But that's a distinction without a difference. Business doesn't pay taxes, it only collects them. One way or another, it's always the public that pays.

The MacArthur Foundation has just awarded an unrestricted $14 million grant to National Public Radio. It is the largest single gift in the network's history, and it brings to $31 million the total that NPR has received in donations from just the MacArthur Foundation alone.

It also raises an obvious question: Why should a radio enterprise able to raise tens of millions of dollars from a single private donor -- and many millions of additional dollars from all its other willing donors and sponsors -- continue to put the arm on the US Treasury? Other broadcasters do without government subsidies. NPR can, too.

It is clear that the president gave considerably more thought to the conflict between militant Islam and the West than his father ever did when he was president. The George Bushes? No, the John Adamses.

The year was 1829, and John Quincy Adams was preoccupied with the Greek revolt against the Ottoman Empire that had raged for most of the decade. As scholar Richard Samuelson explains in the new Claremont Review, Adams foresaw that the war for Greek independence was just the start of what would be a prolonged clash of civilizations. In an essay written shortly after he left the White House, Adams predicted that the Christian West, with its Enlightenment ideals of liberty, tolerance, and progress, would always be at daggers drawn with the Islamic East and its drive to bring the world under Koranic law.

It dismayed the former president that European elites were blind to the real stakes in the fight over Greece. The Ottomans, by contrast, understood exactly what they were fighting for. Adams quoted the Sultan: "This is not like former contests, a political war for provinces and frontiers. . . . This war must be considered purely a religious war and a national war." Muslims must fight the infidels wherever they found them, the Sultan decreed, for West and East were now in a struggle for supremacy.

The war we are in is an old one. It didn't begin with Osama bin Laden.

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Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

01/17/03: The Sharpton hypocrisy
01/13/03: The fig leaf of 'diversity'
01/10/03: Israeli restraint makes terrorism more likely
01/02/03: The double standard on political hate speech
12/30/02: Good for the spirit, good for the body
12/23/02: The college president who owes a greater duty to a fugitive serial killer than the public or to the law
12/20/02: The death penalty by the numbers
12/16/02: Yes, Virginia, there is (still) a liberal media bias
12/03/02: On the brink of regime change --- in Iran
11/27/02: Light's victory over darkness
11/25/02: A 'Republican' lesson from a Democratic convention
11/22/02: The slippery senator
11/18/02: The campus 'diversity' fraud
11/14/02: MURDER AT A KIBBUTZ
11/01/02: Saddam's shop of horrors
10/24/02: Musings, random and otherwise
10/17/02: Jimma's ignoble prize
10/14/02: New Jersey's bigot laureate
10/11/02: Today it is libs who are most likely to demand the silencing of speech they disapprove of
10/04/02: Learning English from Day 1
09/30/02: The world will follow us to war
09/27/02: The face of antisemitism
09/20/02: Starving time in Zimbabwe
09/14/02: Against moral confusion / 9-12-2002
09/03/02: With 'eternal friends' like these
08/30/02: Enriching survivors was a costly mistake
08/26/02: John Kerry's absent passion
08/23/02: Bonnie, get your gun
08/19/02: A screenwriter's remorse
07/29/02: The real abortion extremists
07/26/02: Another round of Kemp-Roth
07/19/02: Jews among Arabs, Arabs among Jews
07/15/02: Musings, random and otherwise
07/12/02: The new civil rights champions
07/03/02: Riding the rails
07/01/02: The prerequisite to peace
06/24/02: Frisking AlGore
06/17/02: Offense, not defense, is the key to homeland security
06/14/02: Looking at the horror
06/07/02: The cost of a death-penalty moratorium
06/03/02: Executing 'children,' and other death-penalty myths
05/29/02: A real threat?
05/24/02: The message in Arafat's headdress
05/20/02: (Mis)playing the popularity card
05/10/02: Outspoken, Muslim -- and moderate
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05/06/02: The disappearing history term paper
05/03/02: Musings, random and otherwise
04/29/02: The canary in Europe's mine
04/15/02: Powell's crazy mission
04/12/02: The slavery reparations hustle
04/08/02: Peace at any price = war
03/26/02: Decency matters most, Caleb
03/22/02: The U.S. embargo and Cuba's future
03/19/02: The keepers of Cuba's conscience
03/15/02: A walk in Havana
02/26/02: Buchanan's lament
02/12/02: What 'peace' means to Arafat
02/08/02: STEVEN EMERSON AND THE NPR BLACKLIST
02/05/02: Antismoking: Who pays?
02/01/02: Turn the Saudis
01/25/02: Making MLK cry
01/21/02: Ted to tax cut: Drop dead
01/18/02: Musings random and otherwise
01/14/02: An ultimatum to Saudi Arabia
01/11/02: Friendship, Saudi-style
01/07/02: Shakedown at Harvard
01/04/02: More guns, more safety
01/02/02: Smears and slanders from the Left
12/28/01: Congress gives to others -- and itself
12/24/01: The littlest peacemakers
12/20/01: How to condemn terror
12/18/01: Greenland once was
12/14/01: Parents who never said ''no''
12/11/01: Wit and (economic) wisdom
12/07/01: THE PALESTINIANS' MYTH
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11/30/01: Tribunals, motorcycles -- and freedom
11/19/01: Friendship and the House of Saud
11/12/01: The Justice Department's unjust monopoly
11/09/01: Muslim, but not extremist
11/02/01: Too good for Oprah
10/29/01: Journalism and the 'neutrality fetish'
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10/15/01: Rush Limbaugh's ear
10/08/01: With allies like these
10/01/01: An unpardonable act
09/28/01: THE CENSORS ARE COMING! THE CENSORS ARE COMING!
09/25/01: Speaking out against terror
09/21/01: What the terrorists saw
09/17/01: Calling evil by its name
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09/04/01: The real bigots
08/31/01: Shrugging at genocide
08/28/01: Big Brother's privacy -- or ours?
08/24/01: The mufti's message of hate
08/21/01: Remembering the 'Wall of Shame'
08/16/01: If I were the editor ...
08/14/01: If I were the Transportation Czar ...
08/10/01: Import quotas 'steel' from us all
08/07/01: Is gay "marriage" a threat?
08/03/01: A colorblind nominee
07/27/01: Eminent-domain tortures
07/24/01: On protecting the flag ... and drivers ... and immigrants
07/20/01: Dying for better mileage
07/17/01: Why Americans would rather drive
07/13/01: Do these cabbies look like bigots?
07/10/01: 'Defeated in the bedroom'
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06/29/01: Still appeasing China's dictators
06/21/01: Cuban liberty: A test for Bush
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06/12/01: What energy crisis?
06/08/01: A jewel in the crown of self-government
05/31/01: The settlement myth
05/25/01: An award JFK would have liked
05/22/01: No Internet taxes? No problem
05/18/01: Heather has five mommies (and a daddy)
05/15/01: An execution, not a lynching
05/11/01: Losing the common tongue
05/08/01: Olympics 2008: Say no to Beijing
05/04/01: Do welfare mothers a kindness: Make them work
05/01/01: Another man's child
04/24/01: Sharon should have said no
04/02/01: The Inhumane Society
03/30/01: To have a friend, Caleb, be a friend
03/27/01: Is Chief Wahoo racist?
03/22/01: Ending the Clinton appeasement
03/20/01: They're coming for you
03/16/01: Kennedy v. Kennedy
03/13/01: We should see McVeigh die
03/09/01: The Taliban's wrecking job
03/07/01: The No. 1 reason to cut taxes
03/02/01: A Harvard candidate's silence on free speech
02/27/01: A lesson from Birmingham jail
02/20/01: How Jimmy Carter got his good name back
02/15/01: Cashing in on the presidency
02/09/01: The debt for slavery -- and for freedom
02/06/01: The reparations calculation
02/01/01: The freedom not to say 'amen'
01/29/01: Chavez's 'hypocrisy': Take a closer look
01/26/01: Good-bye, good riddance
01/23/01: When everything changed (mostly for the better)
01/19/01: The real zealots
01/16/01: Pardon Clinton?
01/11/01: The fanaticism of Linda Chavez
01/09/01: When Jerusalem was divided
01/05/01 THEY NEVER FORGOT THEE, O JERUSALEM
12/29/00 Liberal hate speech, 2000
12/15/00Does the Constitution expect poor children be condemned to lousy government schools?
12/08/00 Powell is wrong man to run State Department
12/05/00 The 'MCAS' teens give each other
12/01/00 Turning his back on the Vietnamese -- again
11/23/00 Why were the Pilgrims thankful?
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11/13/00 Unleashing the lawyers
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40 reasons to say NO to Gore

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