November 2003
New Republic;11/10/2003, Vol. 229 Issue 19, p8
Presents news briefs relating to politics and world affairs. Last week The Washington Post ran an article on the growing belief among conservatives that gay marriage will be a crucial issue in the 2004 elections. The Post quoted a novel argument made by Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie against gay marriage proponents. Gillespie's critique of the gay marriage movement is the latest in a series of conservative efforts to accuse Democrats of cultural and racial prejudice. Conservatives have long howled over liberals' exploitation of identity politics. Their new strategy seems to be, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Readers of The New York Times awoke last week to a rare hopeful piece about the future of the Middle East. As London bureau chief Warren Hoge reported, Saudi Arabia, one of the most loathsome regimes in the region, is finally facing a robust challenge. The movement, according to the piece, emanates from a small house in North London. It is run by an exiled surgeon-cum-activist named Saad Al-Fagih. For months now, critics of the U.S.-U.K. administration of Iraq have been asserting that the project would be done better if only the United Nations were in charge. This week, an independent committee named by none other than Annan himself found that "[t]he U.N. security management system failed in its mission to provide adequate security to U.N. staff in Iraq." In fact, the Americans responsible for security in Baghdad had offered the United Nations protection and were refused. Bush told his senior aides Tuesday that he "didn't want to see any stories" quoting unnamed administration officials in the media anymore, and, if he did, there would be consequences, said a senior administration official who asked that his name not be used.


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