January 23, 2008
Re "O, say, will you sing?" Opinion, Jan. 17 Timothy Garton Ash seeks to elevate our drinking-song-turned-national-anthem into the equivalent of a stirring hymn, such as "La Marseillaise." In addition to jingoism, Ash apparently suffers from tone deafness -- the range of "The Star-Spangled Banner" makes it nearly impossible to sing well. Amazingly, Ash churned out a dozen paragraphs on national anthems without mentioning one of the most beautiful songs in the world. The best (and perhaps only)
January 18, 2004
To the editor: In his review of Scott Lucas' "Orwell" [Nov. 9], Norman Birnbaum writes: "[Lucas] rightly describes as sordid Orwell's surreptitious denunciation in 1949 of 36 other writers to the British intelligence services...." I am amazed to see that Birnbaum can still endorse without any questioning this despicable piece of disinformation. Its real nature was first exposed by Christopher Hitchens in "Why Orwell Matters" (Basic Books), which I had the pleasure to review here last year.
July 16, 2005
Re "We can't win this war the old way," Commentary, July 10 I can respect Timothy Garton Ash's pronouncement that he would rather remain free and risk dying at the hands of terrorists than surrender any of his freedoms. I do not, however, agree with his view, because it is only while we are alive that we can fight to preserve our way of life. War always requires sacrifices, even if it means temporarily limiting our freedoms so that they may not be abused by our enemies. That is why our Constitution permits suspension of the writ of habeas corpus during times of invasion and rebellion.
October 20, 2008
Re "Forget 'memory laws,' " Opinion, Oct. 16 How magnanimous of Timothy Garton Ash to dispense with appropriate legal avenues to protect other people's calamities from the desecration of revision and denial. Despite his disclaimer solemnly professing to support recognition of wrongdoing by its perpetrators, he is making a coverup argument for denialists. How many years of "academic freedom" does it take to establish a historical fact? By Garton Ash's logic, the 93-plus years since the commencement of Turkey's annihilation of its Armenian population are insufficient.
June 3, 2010 |
"Equal pay now! Equal pay now!" The chant echoed up to my hotel window in Oslo, as strikers and their supporters marched past the Norwegian parliament. How could this be? Are there strikes even in paradise? By most comparative measures, Norway is something close to a paradise on Earth. It is one of the world's richest countries. It is also one of the most equal. It has a welfare state that is the envy of social democrats everywhere. Mothers get 10 months' maternity leave with full pay. Last year, the country led the world in the United Nations' well-respected "human development index," which combines measures of life expectancy, literacy and standard of living.
December 12, 2004 |
On Oct. 29, the leaders of the European Union's 25 member countries gathered to sign their first constitution. It still must be ratified by each nation's government, but the signing was, nevertheless, a highly significant moment. The people of Europe are now more united than at any time since Rome's golden age in the 2nd century.