TCS Daily


Friday Fodder: Monsters in Kandahar, Hot Kofi, and Noble Nobel

By Nick Schulz - December 14, 2001 12:00 AM

The Devil Giggles in Kandahar -- A tape was released Thursday of Osama bin Laden and his cronies in a safe house in Kandahar. The tape shows them discussing the 9/11 attacks in explicit detail, chuckling with glee like little schoolgirls after pulling a practical joke. Its stomach turning. These people have hijacked Islam and are defining it for the world. Like it or not, Muslims all over the globe need to understand what is happening to Islam and take steps to wrest control of its definition and trajectory from the radical Wahhabism of monsters like Osama bin Laden. And to all those doubters in the Muslim world, can we now admit that maybe, just maybe, Israel and the Mossad werent responsible for 9/11?

N Is For Nobel Prize -- Kofi Annan had a huge week. On top of being busy with his Secretarial duties as a General of the U.N., he found time to appear on Sesame Street. He also found time to receive his Nobel Peace Prize

Im not usually a fan, but Annans Nobel address was actually quite good. Hes a phenomenally smart guy when he wants to be. One couldnt help remember the image of gleeful Afghans liberated with U.S. help when Annan said People of all cultures value their freedom of choice, and feel the need to have a say in decisions affecting their lives the obstacles to democracy have little to do with culture or religion, and much more to do with the desire of those in power to maintain their position at any cost. Amen to that. Fortunately for the people of Afghanistan, the United States has been able to make that cost prohibitively high for the Taliban mullahcracy

The Greatest Challenge? -- Curiously, however, Annan is off his rocker when it comes to the issue of climate change. In an address now made available on the schools website, Annan spoke to the Fletcher School in Boston last Spring. Climate change may well be the greatest challenge that your generation will have to face, he intoned at the time. Obviously that remark looks silly today, but lets be charitable and forgive him for failing, as so many did, to anticipate the threat global terrorism poses.

But Annans vision for regulating climate change antagonizes his vision for peace and global stability. After saying there would be no costs to the Kyoto Protocol, he pulls a 180 and admits there will be costs, lecturing the United States to stop being so economically defensive, and start being more politically courageous and push the Kyoto Treaty.

This myopic fantasy is a luxury in which only the wealthy can afford to indulge. Kyoto will impose huge economic costs -- and that will undermine anti-terror efforts and threaten stability and peace. Why? The surest way to clean the swamp where terrorism breeds and promote peace around the world is to lift the poverty within which millions of people find themselves.

Only in a world that is rid of poverty can all men and women make the most of their abilities, Annan said in his Nobel lecture. And hes right. He went on: Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security. But peace and freedom rarely flourish in impoverished societies. Thats why promoting prosperity around the globe should be the U.N.s first order of business. But the energy-repression scheme outlined by Kyoto and other multilateral arrangements works at cross purposes with this goal. It is an enormous global economic drag, one that the poorest in the world are least equipped to afford.

Mon-Satan Gets Revenge Speaking of Nobel prizes, the award this year for chemistry went to William Knowles.

Professor Per Alberg, who presented the award, said Knowles quickly applied his own basic research and that of others to create an industrial synthesis of the drug L-DOPA, which is used in the treatment of Parkinson`s disease. Millions of patients have gained relief by using this medicine, including my own father, who suffered severely from this disease.

Alberg and others might want to take a minute to thank Monsanto. Thats right, Knowles did his prize-winning work at the innovative private agribusiness corporation known derisively by techno-phobes as Mon-Satan.

Happy Anniversary! -- There were a lot of anniversaries this week. It was the 10-year anniversary of the first web page, if you can believe that. It was also, the 30th Anniversary of the founding of the Libertarian Party; the one-year anniversary of the Bush v. Gore Supreme Court decision which, while it wasnt fabulous Constitutional law, looks ever more prudent in hindsight; and the three month anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. We must never, ever forget.

Danke -- A special thanks to National Review for naming us its cool site of the day. NRO is a cool site every day, so you should definitely check it out. And thanks to my friend Virginia Postrel for mentioning TCS this week.

Look Ahead -- TCS had another great week in traffic last week, and visitors seem to like what they are finding and are returning with greater frequency. We are in the process of testing out our new site before we relaunch, getting rid of bugs and ticks and fleas, and it will be a big improvement. Look for exciting things in the new year, and keep your Fodder suggestions coming to nschulz@techcentralstation.com
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