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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Monday, February 03, 2003


Wall Street Journal sticks it to the Axis of Weasels
At The Greatest Jeneration, I ran across two remarkably entertaining Wall Street Journal editorials regarding this letter from eight (now up to eleven) European heads of state that I mentioned earlier. The first one is a wonderful defense of the role that the Wall Street Journal played in the genesis of the letter. An excerpt:
We admit to committing journalism. And if our critics want to accuse these pages of having so much clout that we can dictate policy to eight European heads of state, we will humbly accept.

The second is an equally wonderful explanation of the letter's origins by Michael Gonzalez, the original source of the thought that a European head of state--other than Chirac or Schröder--should set the record straight on European feelings toward America's Iraq policies. I don't know that I've ever run across a more transparent explanation of how something like this transpired outside of a memoir. The Journal should be commended, not only for their part in this striking document, but in their openness about how it transpired. An excerpt:
The next days were frantic, with Terri and me calling sources in the three capitals every day to get the status of the project. The eagle finally landed on Wednesday, when nearly identical drafts arrived from Madrid and London. We'd been told there might be six signatures. When Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic came in at the last moment, there were eight. Three other governments, Slovakia, Slovenia and Latvia, have added their support since we published the letter.

UPDATE: William Safire gives more information on the letter's genesis. The only major difference between his story and Gonzalez's was a part about the WSJ wanting sole rights to the piece. It was little less flattering of the Journal, but not a lot. It also suggests that the Netherlands caved to Schroder and Chirac in not signing, which, I'm guessing, wasn't hard to do. In my experience Holland is a lot like France and Germany, but with a government that trends more rightward and stays quieter.
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