That truth is not just a concept, but a matter of life and death, is
shown by the tragic murder of Daniel Pearl, who lost his life at 38 attempting
to uncover truths that would not only educate his readers, but also likely save
the lives of Americans. When he was kidnapped from
a Karachi restaurant on Jan. 23, he was trying to decipher the connection
between Islamic militants in Pakistan and Richard Reid, the man who
attempted to blow up a Paris-to-Miami passenger jet. Shining light on the shadowy
dealings of Pakistan’s terrorist cells was Mr. Pearl’s goal, and even in his
death he succeeded in doing so: one of that country’s most dangerous militant
leaders has been arrested and stands accused of the senseless slaying. But this is cold comfort for Mr. Pearl’s
wife, Mariane, who is seven months pregnant with their child. Her grief is
mirrored by that of Mr. Pearl’s parents and two sisters, as well as his
colleagues at The Wall Street Journal and
indeed all Americans, who acutely feel the loss of such a fine and decent man.
in the suburbs of Los Angeles by parents who had immigrated from Israel, Daniel Pearl made a name for himself
as a student journalist and radio host at Stanford University. He went
on to win praise for his work at several small New England newspapers, such as The Berkshire Eagle and The Union-News. In 1990, he arrived at The Wall Street Journal, where his
strong writing style and bottomless curiosity earned him the prestigious post
of South Asia bureau chief. His pursuit of the truth, his refusal to let
ignorance win the day, is what led Mr. Pearl to take risks that would have
cowed most people. He knew what he was facing in Pakistan but he forged ahead,
just as the firefighters who ran into the burning Twin Towers did, out of a
sense of responsibility and heartfelt commitment.
thugs who barbarically ended Mr. Pearl’s life have done no service to whatever
deluded cause they claim to represent. And they have failed to dim the light
that Daniel Pearl brought to those who were lucky enough to know him.
The Latest Slick Hilly
The Hillary Clinton who made a
well-publicized two-day swing through Israel last week bore little resemblance
to the Hillary Clinton who used to cozy up to Yasir and Suha Arafat. The “new”
Mrs. Clinton knocked back cappuccinos with Jerusalem’s mayor and denounced Mr.
Arafat for causing the violence that is consuming the region. “Even today,” she
said of the Palestinian leader, “he could do more to end the terrorism.” This is a far cry from the woman who once
accepted over $7,000 worth of gold and diamond necklaces, bracelets and
earrings from Mr. Arafat. But that was before Mrs. Clinton became a
Senator from New York, a state with a large and politically powerful Jewish
population. Switching from being a friend of the Palestinian people to calling
their leader a terrorist is business as usual for Mrs. Clinton, who continues
to demonstrate, as she did throughout her campaign, that she believes in
nothing but getting elected and staying elected. Mrs. Clinton happens to be
correct about Mr. Arafat’s untrustworthy character; it would be nice if her
statements were grounded in some core
belief system. But her new role as a defender of Israel will be just as easily
cast off should the political winds shift.
Clinton’s relationship with the Arafats went beyond political formalities. As First Lady, she made headlines by
calling for a Palestinian state
without first running her statements by her husband’s administration. In 1999, she planted a warm and very public
kiss on the cheek of Suha Arafat just after Mrs. Arafat had given a speech in
which she outrageously accused Israel of “the daily intensive use of poison
gas” to cause cancer in women and children. It was not until 12 hours later,
after seeing the public outcry over the kiss, that Mrs. Clinton allowed that
Mrs. Arafat’s remarks were “inflammatory.” But she reacted with umbrage when
U.S. politicians questioned her behavior, saying, “It is unfortunate that there
are any questions about what was a very straightforward occasion.”
Clinton is no dummy. She learned from her husband how to maneuver into whatever
position will win votes. Remember her sudden emergence
as a lifelong Yankees fan? Or how she-a wholehearted liberal who
organized anti–Vietnam War rallies at Wellesley-embraced the death penalty when
she ran for her Senate seat? And what about the
sudden emergence of a Jewish step-grandfather when she was trying to win
New Yorkers’ votes? So now she is an anti-Arafat hawk. The mind reels at what
will come next.
brings up the question, what does Hillary Clinton want? Those who believe the
junior Senator when she insists that she is not planning a run for higher
office are deluding themselves. Her ambition is to retake the White House after
a suitable interregnum with the Bush Presidency. And she won’t let principles
stand in the way.
The Olympics: High and Low
The ski-jumpers, lugers, half-pipers and curlers have left Salt Lake
City; the 19th Olympic Winter Games are a memory now, and for the most part the
memories are pleasant.
lasting image for many will be 16-year-old Sarah Hughes of Long Island leaping
flawlessly to a gold medal in women’s figure-skating. In the run-up to the competition, Ms. Hughes was
little more than an afterthought. The real battle, the experts told us,
was between Americans Michelle Kwan, the favorite, and Sasha Cohen, the feisty
challenger. Not surprisingly, NBC played up the showdown, so much so that it
seemed like a two-person competition. Ms. Hughes was given little more than a
pat on the head for being young and cute.
She showed that she is made of tougher stuff.
for pleasant memories. The Salt Lake Games staged a far less innocent
spectacle, and it, too, took place on ice. The gold-medal game in men’s ice
hockey featured not fresh faces, but the very same players hockey fans are used
to seeing incessantly from October to mid-June. The American and Canadian teams
were loaded with millionaire athletes from the National Hockey League. What a
change from the 1980 Lake Placid games, when a U.S. team of college amateurs
defeated the Soviet team and then went on to win the gold. It was the miracle
on ice. But now, with the N.H.L. virtually in charge of Olympic hockey, we’ll
never again see a band of amateurs bring home Olympic glory.
more reason to savor the victory of a Long Island teenager who personifies the
true Olympic spirit.