The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, March 19, 2003  

And So Begins the First of Many

We have our war on now, as of just an hour ago.

I can almost hear the champagne glasses tinkling at the White House, the Pentagon, the American Enterprise Institute, the New Republic, Commentary, and the Washington Post.

Make no mistake. This is just the first of many wars planned by the insatiable warmongers of the present administration, its allies in the so-called think tanks, and among the hawkish and slavish elements of the American media.

Just today I had the misfortune of reading a brief piece by the columnist and public menace that goes by the name of Michelle Malkin. Granted, Malkin is not the most influential of pundits, but she is popular, and her simple-minded view of the world, one that would have her laughed out of any graduate seminar, is typical of her peers.

As published in the Philadelphia Daily News under the title, "First Baghdad, Then Riyadh," Malkin throws around the usual right-wing-applause-meter-ringing phrases including "half-clad, anti-America moaners," "snarling 9/11 memorial trashers," "pacifiers," and "'Kumbaya' warblers." The oh-so-pious Malkin next prays for American soldiers -- only the men, one might fairly presume -- and then expresses two reservations as the war proceeds:

1. Our nation's still faint-hearted approach to immigration enforcement on the homefront[;] and 2. Washington's unwillingness to launch a frontal assault on the deep-pocketed, hate-filled terror-backers in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Looking at her latter reservation we find that for Malkin a preemptive, unjustifiable, and immoral war upon the nation and people of Iraq is not enough: "We may wipe out Baghdad, but the war on terror cannot ultimately be won without setting our sights on Riyadh and its butchers in duplicitous diplomats' clothing," she says.

So after Iraq, it's war upon Saudi Arabia, and, if I might take a cue from the rantings and ravings of those associated with the aforementioned "think tanks" and "little magazines," then it's on to Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, and the narrow poverty-stricken patches of parched land inhabited by Palestinians that Israel continues to occupy with brazen brutality and in defiance on international law.

As for Malkin's first reservation, what she calls "our…faint-hearted approach to immigration enforcement," its relevance at this particular moment is unclear to me. But immigration is to Malkin what welfare reform is to her equally dim-witted right-wing colleague Mickey Kaus, the stock-in-trade that must be propounded at each and any opportunity lest the issue lose its cachet. (Bookings, dontcha know?)

Why Malkin, of all people, has chosen to latch on to the issue of immigration like an angry and rabid bitch with a bone continues to escape me: In her autobiographical sketch Malkin describes herself as "the daughter of Filipino immigrants."

And so for Malkin it's "thus far and no further." Malkin and her parents are worthy of the many blessing and advantages they have won in this country she professes to love so much, but such cannot be conferred upon even one person more. Malkin's is a shockingly sad expression of deep-seated self-loathing, a fuller analysis of which I will leave to the psychologists.

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