Editorials

Daniel Pearl

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Daniel Pearl

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.

Raised

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.

The

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.

Mrs.

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.”

Hillary

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.

Which

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.

The

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.

So much

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.

All the

more reason to savor the victory of a Long Island teenager who personifies the

true Olympic spirit.

Editorials