Foreign Affairs, Europe, Travel, Espionage, Fiction, Non-Fiction, In the News
The Spectator 13 April 2013
The blows Margaret Thatcher struck against socialism at home and the Soviet empire abroad are her most noted achievements. But an even greater legacy was bequeathed to her sex.
She was and will always be supremely significant to women. Unlike other women to whom she is often compared, she compromised no essential aspect of her personality. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, consciously displaced what femininity she had to reveal a drive for power; Eva Peron forsook her rationality, if ever she had it; Sarah Palin her dignity. Thatcher sacrificed nothing, except perhaps her relationship with her children. She made use of everything.
Margaret Thatcher made her own political way, from beginning to end.
8 April 2013
Before acquiring power, Margaret Thatcher was nothing. She was trained as a chemist. Her career in politics was marked by doggedness, but no one, before her accession to office, would have noted her as a distinctive British personality, a woman who for a time could embody the national will. It was power that established her importance, and power that brought into being all of her now-immortal incarnations—diva, mother of the nation, coy flirt, hissing serpent, stern headmistress, eyes of Caligula, mouth of Bardot, screeching harridan, frugal housewife, Boadicea the Warrior Queen, and Iron Lady, all in one.
There Is No Alternative: Why Margaret Thatcher Matters is the title of a book by Claire Berlinski. Berlinski talks to National Review Online about why, in fact, she does!
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Why does Margaret Thatcher “matter,” as your book’s subtitle puts it?
CLAIRE BERLINSKI: I wrote much of this book in 2007. Then, as now, Republican presidential candidates were eager to associate themselves with Margaret Thatcher’s name. Not long after I wrote the last sentence, the financial meltdown began. The global economy is now sunk in a deep, prolonged recession, one so severe in its effects that many are asking whether the Left has been right about free markets all along. Even I have been tempted to wonder. The United States now has the weakest job market since the Great Depression. Millions of potential workers have left the labor force since 2007. The duration of unemployment has risen to record lengths. Many Americans were stunned and humiliated by the credit downgrade, but the downgrade reflected the facts. In 2010 — for the first time — the United States fell from the ranks of the economically “free” to “mostly free,” according to the “Index of Economic Freedom.” There have been “notable decreases in financial freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights,” the report observed.
Turkey’s Marxist terrorists strike again—this time, against America.
4 February 2013
Americans seem surprised that the February 1 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, was carried out not by Islamists but by a Marxist—specifically, by a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front, or DHKP/C. But no one in Turkey was remotely surprised.
THE JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
While Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan needs no introduction, the Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen is probably the most important person you’ve never heard about. He is an immensely powerful figure in Turkey, and—to put it mildly—a controversial one. He is also an increasingly powerful figure globally. Today, there are between three and six million Gülen followers. Gülen leads the cemaat, an Islamic civil society movement, that has until now been critical to the electoral success of Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP). The cemaat is often described as Turkey’s Third Force—the other two being the AKP and the military.
he Journal of International Security Affairs
While Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan needs no introduction, the Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen is probably the most important person you’ve never heard about. He is an immensely powerful figure in Turkey, and—to put it mildly—a controversial one. He is also an increasingly powerful figure globally. Today, there are between three and six million Gülen followers. Gülen leads the cemaat, an Islamic civil society movement, that has until now been critical to the electoral success of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). The cemaat is often described as Turkey’s Third Force—the other two being the AKP and the military.
CITY JOURNAL 23 November 2012
Embracing—and challenging—Bruce Bawer’s powerful new book
The Victims’ Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind, by Bruce Bawer (Harper Collins, 400 pp., $25.99)
In his new book, Bruce Bawer has proposed an answer to vexing questions: Why has our culture become degraded? Why have our politics become polarized? And why has our public debate coarsened? Bawer locates the source of these misfortunes in the changes that have taken place in American higher education over the last generation—above all, the emergence of multicultural “identity studies.”
Controversial Muslim preacher, feared Turkish intriguer—and “inspirer” of the largest charter school network in America.
With the American economy in shambles, Europe imploding, and the Middle East in chaos, convincing Americans that they should pay attention to a Turkish preacher named Fethullah Gülen is an exceedingly hard sell. Many Americans have never heard of him, and if they have, he sounds like the least of their worries. According to his website, he is an “authoritative mainstream Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker, author, poet, opinion leader and educational activist who supports interfaith and intercultural dialogue, science, democracy and spirituality and opposes violence and turning religion into a political ideology.” The website adds that “by some estimates, several hundred educational organizations such as K–12 schools, universities, and language schools have been established around the world inspired by Fethullah Gülen.” The site notes, too, that Gülen was “the first Muslim scholar to publicly condemn the attacks of 9/11.” It also celebrates his modesty.
Yet there is a bit more to the story.
Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide, by Paul Marshall and Nina Shea
Claremont Review of Books
In their new book, Paul Marshall and Nina Shea, a senior fellow and the director, respectively, of the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, argue that the West has been slow to appreciate the devastating effects of blasphemy and apostasy laws in the Islamic world, even as these laws are the source of countless outrages against human rights, freedom, and dignity.
GATESTONE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL
An unshocking admission: I've made some ungodly-embarrassing retraction-worthy journalistic mistakes over the course of my career. Almost every journalist does. It's hard to write about complex events at once quickly, without boring your readers witless, and without making mistakes. One example in particular embarrasses me; I'll share it with you at the end of this piece. For now, I point this out to set the stage: When I criticize my colleagues, as I am about to do, I hardly mean to suggest that I do so from a platform of unblemished faultlessness.
But criticize I must. Something has gone very wrong in American coverage of news from abroad. It is shoddy, lazy, riddled with mistakes, and excessively simplistic.
Above all, it is absent.