Ross Mackenzie

What to do with terrorist Abu Abbas - who murdered wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer aboard the hijacked Achille Lauro 18 years ago - apprehended in Baghdad? Easy. No, do not turn him over to Italy, which released him and then gave him an in-absentia lifetime sentence for masterminding the Achille Lauro deed. Instead, why not do an eye-for-an-eye - and strap bro' Abbas into a wheelchair, subject him to the single-bullet solution, and roll him into the deep?

The fringe left went ballistic over the reported comments of Secretary of Education Rod Paige on the importance of teaching Christian values. What Paige actually said in response to a question about whether Christian, public, or private schools are best: "All things being equal, I would prefer to have a child in a school where there's a strong appreciation of values, the kind of values that I think are associated with the Christian communities." How offensive is that?

Former President Bush has been enlisted to do battle on behalf of his son's nominees for the federal bench, so mean-spirited have hostile Democratic senators become. George Bush Sr. is hosting fund-raisers for ads opposing several Democratic senators seeking re-election next year. Good.

A Democratic writer describes his party's position on the war to topple Saddam as "a kind of exasperated ambivalence" - a position, he says, perhaps best articulated by Sen. John Kerry. Reflecting his attitude regarding the American effort in Vietnam, in which he participated, Kerry did not have a particularly fortuitous war in Iraq - a little bit pro, but mostly con. And Kerry took a good deal of appropriate heat for his sneering remark, "We need a regime change in the United States." Who knows which aspirant will prosper most in Democratic presidential primaries mostly comprising lefties? About that electorate, Kerry's own campaign manager has tellingly warned: "Unless the Democratic nominee can make a compelling and convincing case ... that he can keep Americans safe in a dangerous world, we're looking at McGovernite results." In his 1972 race against Richard Nixon, George McGovern carried but a single state (Massachusetts) and the District of Columbia.

President Bush's roadmap for peace between Israel and the Palestinians calls for among other things cessation of Palestinian terror attacks against Israel, Palestinian recognition of Israel's right to exist and creation of a Palestinian state. Will it work? The answer probably is NO because it lies principally with the Palestinians, who - in former Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban's memorable line - rarely "miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity."

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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