The hourglass seems to be running out on the chance for a peaceful end to the Iraq crisis. It will take a creative revision of policy—virtually a policy reversal—for President Bush to step back from war.
To hear President Bush speak of late, you might think he was mounting a pulpit, not a podium. With war on the horizon, the Providence of God is especially on his mind. “Events aren’t moved by blind change and chance,” he said at the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, echoing similar sentiments expressed in his State of the Union address.
White House senior political adviser Karl Rove says that Theodore Roosevelt would be “standing up and applauding” President George Bush’s environmental policies. Let’s check the record on that. Roosevelt created 150 national parks, founded the National Forest Service and set aside some 230 million acres of public land as parks and refuges.
George Ryan, until last month the Republican governor of Illinois, has revolutionized the debate over capital punishment. His genius, such as it is, has been to ignore the great moral and philosophic questions that surround the topic and focus on the pragmatic ones.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran had his brother hand deliver a check for $400,000 last month to Tehran’s only Jewish hospital with the message that “our government intends to unite all ethnic groups and religions, so we decided to assist you.” In September Rouhani’s administration had issued a Rosh Hashanah greeting to Jews around the world. Though some question Rouhani’s motives, his behavior is a refreshing contrast to that of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is a Holocaust denier (New York Times, February 6).