First appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC
Double Standards -- Arnold, Israel, Bush
Isn't it funny watching the L.A. Times suddenly realize that when a political candidate shows a pattern of harassing women, it means he is probably unfit for public office?
Wasn't it just five years ago that the p.c. media viewed all of the women whom Clinton had harassed -- or even raped, as at least one alleged -- as liars, part of a vast right-wing conspiracy? And even when they were telling the truth, what did Clinton's "private life" have to do with his ability to govern?
Now, suddenly, sexual harassment is a big deal again.
Of course, it was always a big deal to me. I'm not one of those who thought the only problem with Clinton was the perjury.
But we've known this stuff about Schwarzenegger all along. The L.A. Times may claim to have published this story only a few days before the recall election because "the facts hadn't all been nailed down till now," but come on, folks -- this stuff has been in magazines and newspapers before.
It happens that I think Schwarzenegger is a ludicrous choice for governor of California. But then, he's the perfect anti-candidate for me. Right wing on money (though it's not like he has a track record) and p.c. on moral issues, he's the worst of both worlds, as far as I'm concerned.
Meanwhile, though, isn't it entertaining to watch the Left suddenly discover that sex does matter? Where are all those leftwing commentators who ridiculed the women who accused Clinton? Why aren't we hearing about how ugly and fat these accusers-of-Schwarzenegger are? Why aren't they being called trailer trash?
Is it because Schwarzenegger only hit on photogenic women? Is that it? The difference between him and Clinton is that Schwarzenegger had the bad taste to have good taste in the women he harassed?
Does anyone remember that the whole Paula Jones case was about precisely the kind of boorish behavior that Schwarzenegger is now accused of?
Here's the reason why the double standard works with the media elite: They don't actually care -- they were perfectly sincere when they defended Clinton. They couldn't care less what powerful men do to women.
They only tout this story now because they know that conservatives care about such things. They're putting out this story solely to hurt Schwarzenegger with his Republican base.
So it's not really a double standard. It's politics as usual.
Anything to keep Republicans out of office, even if it means flatly contradicting everything they said to defend Clinton.
But the place where double standards are not amusing is Israel.
The big lie didn't die with Goebbels. It lives on among the fascists of Syria and Palestine, who follow Hitler's playbook on politics.
The rules they follow are: Kill, kill, kill, and then lie, lie, lie, even though everybody knows you're lying.
Syria has been the haven for the anti-Israeli terrorist groups from the start.
But when the Israeli military strikes deep within Syrian territory to take out a terrorist training facility, Syria runs straight to the U.N., demanding censure of Israel, because "Syria does not support terrorism."
Oh, come one. Syria was the host nation for the international conference of terrorist groups a few years back. How obvious can you get?
Of course they support terrorism. They have terrorist training camps all over Syria, and in the parts of Lebanon under Syrian control (which is almost all of that former country).
Our war on terrorism will not be over -- or at least won't be won -- until there is regime change in Damascus, or until the Syrian government gets religion and decides to get rid of the terrorists.
It could happen. If Syria was forced to choose between booting out the terrorists and having its army wrecked in a war with Israel and/or the United States, they might be just this much smarter than Saddam Hussein.
OK, I was joking. They really do believe that nothing bad will happen to them as long as they keep lying.
They may even think that they would have a chance against the Israeli Army in an all-out war. After all, they did have a couple of days of success in their 1973 surprise attack.
They probably also think that if they scream loud enough, the U.S. will force the Israelis to stop defending themselves against terrorists.
But here's the wake-up call for Syria: The official response of our government was, basically, We warned Syria that if they kept harboring terrorists, there'd be consequences. Now we urge all parties to stop killing each other."
Finally, for the first time, the United States doesn't have a double standard in dealing with Israel.
We actually are allowing Israel to defend itself with strikes inside the borders of countries that harbor terrorists.
The rest of the world, of course, will continue to have a double standard. We can be sure that Germany and France will be all for censuring Israel and condemning their "violation" of Syrian sovereignty, their "act of aggression."
But legally, they have no grounds for complaint.
Legally, Israel and Syria are at war and have been since 1948. Syria has never signed a peace accord with Israel. And they have continued to act like a country at war, sending (or allowing) guerrillas to make strikes inside Israel, lobbing shells into Israeli villages whenever they had artillery close enough to do it, and funding and training terrorists to kill Israeli civilians, including little children, whenever possible.
Syria's policy has been one of unrelenting warfare against Israel for more than five decades, accompanied by constant threats.
The only time Syria is "peace-loving" is when they're actually having to take some punishment in retaliation for their belligerent, aggressive actions. Then they're all innocence, and they can't understand why the evil Israelis are making unprovoked attacks on Syria.
I'm proud that we finally have a government in Washington that doesn't pretend to believe Syria's lies.
Maybe the fact that we aren't reining Israel in is registering in Syria. Or maybe they're counting on their friends in Congress to force the President to change his policy.
The third double standard of the week is the way the media are leaping on the leak of a CIA agent's name to columnist Robert Novak.
On the Sunday news shows, I was hearing people talking as if this leak were going to bring down Bush's presidency; as if it were his policy to leak damaging information about political opponents.
Why does the Left assume that President Bush is behind this?
Because that's the kind of thing that Clinton did. The Left is perfectly aware that when Clinton was being impeached, and suddenly a whole bunch of revelations about Republican politicians' sexual peccadilloes started coming, it was Clinton who was behind the revelations to the media.
But they pretended not to know this and when anyone accused the media of being part of a Clinton-led retaliatory smear campaign, they demanded proof of such vile charges.
So how can they help but assume that a leak that might threaten a Bush opponent must have originated with Bush? That's how the Left has come to believe all presidents act -- because that's how their president acted.
In fact, what obviously happened was that someone in the executive branch thought he was speaking to Novak off the record, and said something that he shouldn't have said.
Like that never happened in Washington before.
It happens all the time. That's why the intelligence community only reports to very small subcommittees of Congress -- because Washington leaks like a sieve.
In this case, the leak was an ugly one -- outing a CIA operative is dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
But there is no reason to think that the leak was intentional (in the sense that it was intended for publication), and not a shred of evidence suggesting that it was White House policy.
Yet President Bush is already being condemned as if he had been proven guilty.
Let's see ... nothing was ever "proved" against Bill or Hillary, even when it was obvious they were both guilty of many things (bribery through cattle futures, trumped-up grounds for firing travel office employees illegally, perjury about Monica, hiding files from Congressional subpoenas, and on and on).
But when it's George W. Bush, no proof is needed. This is because the Left defines truth as whatever they want to believe.
If they decide to believe Clinton is innocent, then only a vast right-wing conspiracy would dare to gainsay them.
If they decide to believe Bush is guilty, then what need is there for proof? On to the hanging!
After all, this is the same party that was all for throwing out Florida's election laws (and the absentee votes of Florida's servicemen abroad) because the legal count didn't give them the outcome they wanted.
The rule of law is nothing to these people. And instead of our "free press" holding their feet to the fire, the elite media follow along like sheep, bleating about how "this could be the end of the Bush presidency."
Copyright © 2003 by Orson Scott Card.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.