The Weekend Web

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The Weekend Web

Racism at Annapolis, the danger of diplomacy; plus, Putin wins!

Today we begin a new feature on After perusing the weekend newspapers, news weeklies, wire services and blogs, the items below are what stood out most to our editorial staff. Some items will update you on subjects we have reported on previously. Others are stories we might look into later. All of them fit into the unique world view you can only peer into at Enjoy.

Racism at Annapolis

The Washington Post is the only major newspaper that reported on this disturbing exchange at Annapolis last week. During a closed-door session among foreign ministers and diplomats the day after the summit, Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni reportedly asked the Arabs attending the conference, “Why doesn’t anyone want to shake my hand? Why doesn’t anyone want to be seen speaking to me?” The Post quoted a Dutch diplomat who heard the remarks as saying, “They shun her like she is Count Dracula’s younger sister.”

On Friday, Caroline Glick wrote in her column for the Jerusalem Post,

This week the Bush administration legitimized Arab anti-Semitism. In an effort to please the Saudis and their Arab brothers, the Bush administration agreed to physically separate the Jews from the Arabs at the Annapolis conference in a manner that aligns with the apartheid policies of the Arab world which prohibit Israelis from setting foot on Arab soil.Evident everywhere, the discrimination against Israel received its starkest expression at the main assembly of the Annapolis conference on Tuesday. There, in accordance with Saudi demands, the Americans prohibited Israeli representatives from entering the hall through the same door as the Arabs.… It is true that Israel has security concerns, but as far as Rice is concerned, the Palestinians are the innocent victims. They are the ones who are discriminated against and humiliated, not Livni, who was forced—by Rice—to enter the conference through the service entrance.

One wonders if this development might have received more widespread coverage had the Arabs been made to enter the hall through the service entrance—or if Secretary Rice had.

“Diplomats Are Dangerous”

America’s former ambassador to the United Nations is no fan of the West’s recent diplomatic efforts. According to Con Coughlin of the Telegraph, paraphrasing from an interview with Mr. Bolton last week, “The world’s diplomats have failed on virtually all the major issues they have tackled, even when the Americans have assumed the lead role.” Bolton calls America’s most recent diplomatic efforts for peace in the Middle East a “policy of appeasement.” The Europeans, Bolton says, have employed a similar strategy for disarming Iran:

[E]very time the Iranians violated an agreement, the Europeans found an excuse to give them more time because they really wanted to believe that diplomacy would triumph, and Iran would be persuaded to renounce its nuclear ambitions. Mr. Bolton concludes that this approach is “not just delusional but dangerous. This is the road to the Nuclear Holocaust.”

Lebanon Loses at Annapolis

In a Friday column at, we noted Syria’s attendance at Annapolis was contingent on U.S. support for Assad’s hand-picked choice for Lebanon’s presidency, military man Michel Suleiman. The same day our column appeared, the Weekly Standard featured this sharp analysis on how Annapolis wounded Lebanon’s fledgling democracy. Lee Smith wrote,

Consciously or not, Rice signaled where America’s real priorities lie—not with protecting a fledgling democracy in Beirut from the terrorist state next door, but in trying to reward a society that breeds terrorism within its own state.

John Bolton may be on to something. In the lead-up to Annapolis, U.S. diplomacy crippled Lebanon’s already vulnerable democracy in order to appease terrorist-sponsoring Syria and then undermined the one thriving democracy in the region, Israel, by insisting on the formation of Hamastan alongside Israel’s truncated borders.

Arab Leaders Advise Olmert and Abbas

Today’s Jerusalem Postreveals that King Abdullah of Jordan is urging Israel to withdraw from more “Arab land.”

On Friday, the Postreported that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had phoned Abbas after returning from Annapolis to discuss the “possibility of resuming negotiations between Fatah and Hamas.”

Meanwhile, according to the bbc, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the “failure to negotiate a two-state solution with the Palestinians would spell the end of the State of Israel.”

Clearly, Mr. Olmert has it exactly backwards.

Putin Wins! Putin Wins!

Early reports on the Russian election show that Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party has won in a landslide that was carefully orchestrated by the Kremlin.

More on the Australian Elections

Columnist Mark Steyn says last week’s humiliating defeat for John Howard was not only a loss for Australia, but for Western civilization. He laments,

As a distant observer of Australian affairs, I had some small personal contact with Howard and co. over the years. Merry, feisty, blunt and fair, they were exactly what we need at this moment: happy warriors. I’m saddened Australians feel differently. But if it’s too late to get the U.S. Constitution amended in time for them to run for president next November, the savvier candidates ought to snap ‘em up as speech writers.

For more on the Australian elections, read Joel Hilliker’s article on

Dollar’s Impact on Global Economy

Our regular readers know we have been closely following the U.S. dollar’s precipitous decline over the past year. Germany’s Der Spiegelanalyzes the dollar’s nosedive and how a faltering U.S. economy will impact the world:

The potential dangers are so great because there have rarely been so many uncertainties in the world’s monetary structure. No economist can confidently predict whether the dominance of the dollar, which provided relative stability in international trade after the end of World War ii, is now coming to an end. …Rarely has the world economy been so out of whack or have global imbalances been greater. The Americans were the world’s financiers for years. Today they are its biggest borrowers, while the Asians serve as America’s bank.The nation is deeply uneasy, as the collective head scratching begins over the causes of the crisis. Many Americans feel by now—and justifiably so—that their future could be far gloomier than the present.

Save the Planet? Stay Married!

The spread of divorces is wreaking havoc on the environment, researchers say. Jack Cashill makes a similar point in his recent book, What’s the Matter With California? Two households require more energy and resources for the same number of people. “Unhappy couples used to stick together for the sake of the kids,” the Times noted. “Now they can make the best of a bad marriage in the name of being environmentally friendly.”

The Biological Clock Really Does Tick

In her column at the Times in London, India Knight criticizes the major media for “insanely” encouraging women to put off pregnancy until middle-aged years.

When it comes to pregnancy and fertility, women of my generation have been fed a complete lie by the feminist movement, which is that you really can have it all—a career, success, money, status—and, when you’re done with those, when you’ve reached the top of your particular greasy pole, as many children as you like—no hurry at all.

Elsewhere on the Web

Michelle Malkin shows how math in many schools across America has become a dumbed-down, politically correct, euphemism-filled edu-folly corrupting both public and private schools.

The Sunday Telegraph has details of a new report commissioned by Britain’s defense secretary showing that the British Royal Navy—once the most powerful in the world—has been decimated by lack of funding, and now “would be challenged to mount a medium-scale operation in accordance with current policy against a technologically capable adversary.”

In yesterday’s Guardian was this article describing recommendations from Fred Kagan, the architect of the Iraq troop surge, on how the White House should respond if Pakistan descends into chaos. The biggest concern, of course, is keeping Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal out of the hands of extremists. “[W]e do have to calculate how to quantify and then respond to a crisis that is potentially as much a threat as Soviet tanks once were,” Kagan is quoted as saying. “Pakistan may be the next big test.”

This piece is a few weeks old, but a good read nonetheless.

And Finally …

In his November 21 column on, Joel Hilliker referred to a comment presidential candidate Joe Biden made during a recent interview in which he made the preposterous claim that he could “save the world.” His first step in bringing salvation to mankind might well be to impeach President Bush. “The president has no authority to unilaterally attack Iran, and if he does, as Foreign Relations Committee chairman, I will move to impeach,” Biden said during a raucous campaign stop last week.

In a related story, check out, “The rise and rise of male vanity” in today’sIndependent.