Tony Blankley

Indeed, the Thirty Years War is endlessly instructive to us today. Then, at the birth of Protestant fervor and Catholic reaction and defense, some European princes acted out of their own religious passion, while others attempted to shrewdly calculate and exploit their subjects' mood to advance their princely interests. Today, cannot the same be said of the princes of the House of Saud? Did Qaddafi act out of fear of American prowess and aggression, or did he see an opportunity to slip off his responsibilities for the downing of Pan Am 103? Has he seen the light or seen his chance?

Three days after Saddam was captured, the committee of Ashrafs -- an Islamic religious group who protect and define the genealogy of Mohammed -- announced that they were taking Saddam off the list of the Prophet's descendants (a list on which they now claim he forced them to include him). It is hard for an occidental mind to understand how this may affect the attitude of the terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere. It might be very good news for us, or it may be inconsequential.

None of the foregoing is meant to deprecate the genuinely good news we have recently gained. The Bush Administration announced, before the war, that they hoped that making an example of Iraq would induce other rogue states to discard their WMDs and modify their belligerent policies. That such events are now unfolding speaks to the soundness of the Administration's war calculations and to the increasing steadiness of their post-war diplomacy. But the war has many fronts. Just as we are having real success in Iraq, intelligence indicates that bands of al Qaeda agents have been dispatched (probably from the Horn of Africa) to slaughter Americans. The two events are probably loosely, if at all, related. We are safe from Saddam's evil mind but continue to be in harm's way from other enemies. So be it. Let us continue to follow Churchill's advice: Don't boast or be overconfident, but "trust in God and in our own arm uplifted ..."

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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