Friday, April 1, 2005

The Origins Debate

The Discovery Institute lists a number of recent essays, gleaned from newspapers around the country, that address the current controversy between Intelligent Design theorists and Darwinian evolutionists. It's good reading for anyone interested in the debate.

Good Trend

Despite the fact that some of the terror attacks in Iraq are horrendous, the trend of those attacks is down. According to the Department of Defense:

The number of terrorist incidents in Iraq have dropped to the lowest level since March 2004....There are between 40 and 60 incidents each day in the country, sharply down from the terrorist effort in the week of the Iraqi elections in January. Even this doesn't tell the whole story. Of those incidents, roughly half have no effect. This means terrorists launch an attack, but no lives are lost, nor is any property damaged.

This could change overnight, of course, but it is good news nonetheless.

Time For Apologies

If, as news reports have it, Intelligence agencies were feeding policy makers bad information about Iraq, and policy makers like the president made decisions based on that information, and then it turns out that the information was incorrect, how is it that the policy makers are called liars?

Yet this is exactly what those who feel comfortable with the promiscuous use of such epithets repeatedly called George Bush throughout 2003 and 2004. It was an insulting slander then, and the odiousness of it is made even more apparent now with the release of the findings of the Presidential panel commissioned last year to study why we were led to believe there were WMD in Iraq.

The panel was co-chaired by retired Judge Laurence Silberman, a Republican, and former Democratic Sen. Charles Robb of Virginia and it concluded that America's spy agencies were "dead wrong" in most prewar assessments about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Moreover, Robb and Silberman agreed that they had found no evidence that senior administration officials had sought to change the prewar intelligence in Iraq, possibly for political gain. Robb said investigators examined every allegation "to see if there was any occasion where a member of the administration or anyone else had asked an analyst or anyone else associated with the intelligence community to change a position they were taking or whether they felt there was any undue influence. And we found absolutely no instance."

There are lots of people who today owe George Bush a profound apology. Such acts of graciousness, however, presuppose a modicum of decency and honesty on the part of people who have shown themselves, over the last two years, to be singularly bereft of such virtues, so we won't be holding our breath.

Secularists Prefer Death: Dowd

It's ironic that observers like Maureen Dowd associate the attempts to spare Terri Schiavo's life with Christian fundamentalism. Ms Dowd insinuates, though she doesn't intend to, that only Christians would think it barbaric and heinous to starve and dehydrate an innocent woman until her organs cease to function. Dowd evidently wants us to believe that sophisticated secularists such as herself consider slowly dessicating someone to be perfectly acceptable as long as the victim is in such a state that she can't raise an objection to it. The tacit admission here is astonishing: Christianity is a philosophy of life, secular materialism is a philosophy of death.

Indeed, we suspect that at least some of the media and judicial support for Michael Schiavo over the last month derives from the fact that most of the chief advocates of keeping Terri alive have been Christians. As irrational as it may be, it is altogether possible that hatred for Christianity (and for Republicans who have also been prominent in this struggle) has driven some people to the position of defending a judicial homicide just to avoid being on the same side of the issue as the Christians and conservatives they despise.

In point of fact, it isn't only the "religious right" or devout Jews like Senator Leiberman who took up the fight for Terri Schiavo. A smattering of atheists, deists, agnostics, and denizens of the religious left also joined in decrying this horrific perversion of justice. Ralph Nader, Nat Hentoff, and Jesse Jackson have all condemned the decision to pull the feeding and water tubes from Terri Schiavo, and none of these men are very often identified with the religious right.

Deroy Murdock explains why defending Terri's right to life should not have been an exclusively religious cause in an article which could be read with profit by anyone who also wants insight into why so many people are suspicious of Terri's husband, Michael.