Here’s a brilliant article by Mark Steyn on why “events” don’t just “happen” but depend on the political context in which they take place. His examples include:

  • How a miner’s strike could cripple Britain in the 1970s but not the U.S. owing to the influence of public-sector unions
  • Why, when an ice storm hit the Eastern Seaboard, the power came back on in days in the U.S., but on the Quebec side some people had no power for months
  • How rescuers in the World Trade Center tried to get people out, while in Saudi Arabia the authorities pushed girls back into a burning building lest they come out without headscarves
  • Why the recent earthquake in California, stronger than the one in Iran, caused only 2 deaths
  • How the Chinese government enabled the SARS breakout
  • Why the heatwave killed so many in France but not in the US

The New York Sun’s Hillel Halkin writes a remarkably unconvincing essay on European support for the Palestinians as being rooted in Christian antisemitism. He is completely blind to the role of altruism–which is why the left supported Israel while it was the underdog, and has abandoned it now that it is strong and powerful.

The Middle East Quarterly’s Martin Kramer on how Rashid Khalidi– holder of Columbia University’s Edward Said chair in Arab Studies and director of the university’s (government-subsidized) Middle East Institute–says one sort of thing in English, and an entirely different sort of thing when he’s speaking in Arabic.

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