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  • Commentary posted July 12, 2006 by Joseph Loconte, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Ride On, Cowboy

    The ongoing crisis in Sudan has put many critics of U.S. foreign policy --particularly those who lament the Bush administration's "cowboy diplomacy" -- in an untenable position. Recall that two years ago the United Nations concluded that "massive human rights violations" were being committed by the Sudanese government and its proxy militia against civilians in…

  • Commentary posted May 3, 2006 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Joseph Loconte The Gathering Storm over Iran

    In October of 1938, in the heat of the crisis over German intervention in Czechoslovakia, Winston Churchill appealed to the United States to help thwart the Nazi war machine. ''Does anyone pretend that preparation for resistance to aggression is unleashing war?" he asked. ''I declare it to be the sole guarantee of peace." The Allies were not prepared to…

  • Commentary posted March 24, 2006 by Joseph Loconte, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Another charade at the United Nations

    The tragedy of the latest United Nations effort to reform its discredited Human Rights Commission, approved last week by the General Assembly, is not that it's a breathtaking defense of the status quo. It surely appears to be that - under the rules of the new Human Rights Council, not even genocidal states such as Sudan could be categorically denied…

  • Commentary posted February 3, 2006 by Joseph Loconte Relativism and Rights

    Earlier this month the Pakistani ambassador to the United Nations, chafing over a U.S. plan to salvage the discredited Human Rights Commission, exemplified why the very idea of U.N. reform looks more and more like a gothic fantasy. The ambassador was indignant at the notion that states under U.N. sanction for rights abuses should be kept off a newly created Human…

  • Commentary posted January 3, 2006 by Joseph Loconte Fascism, Islamism, and Anti-Semitism

    Hardly anything has infuriated certain critics of the Bush Administration more than the president's vocabulary to describe the war on terrorism. Bush warns of an "axis of evil," in which rogue nations collude with Muslim extremists to acquire nuclear weapons. He regards Osama bin Laden and his cadre of suicide bombers as "evildoers." He compares the theology of…

  • Commentary posted January 3, 2006 by Joseph Loconte Nearer, My God, to the G.O.P.

    Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, sounded like an Old Testament prophet recently when she denounced the Republican budget for its "injustice and immorality" and urged her colleagues to cast their no votes "as an act of worship" during this religious season. This, apparently, is what the Democrats had in mind when they vowed after President Bush's…

  • Commentary posted December 13, 2005 by Joseph Loconte Conscience and Human Rights

    For the last several years, lawmakers and activists have crossed party lines to pass landmark legislation defending human rights internationally. They agreed, for example, on the need to create a US commission to promote religious liberty; on measures to crack down on sexual trafficking; and on a law threatening sanctions against North Korea for its arbitrary…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2005 by Joseph Loconte Backward, Christian Soldiers

    Peacemaking has always been a major theme in Christianity, and pacifists a strong voice within the Christian tradition. The founder of the faith, after all, is hailed by believers as the Prince of Peace. Yet modern pacifists, for all their citations of Scripture, seem miles away from the moral insights of biblical religion. Nowhere is this gulf more striking than…

  • Commentary posted October 13, 2005 by Joseph Loconte God's Warden

    Whenever liberals are in a mood to warn Americans about the frightful threat of conservative Christianity, they round up the usual suspects: Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, or perhaps some wild-eyed sniper at an abortion clinic. One name they never bring up is Charles Colson. No wonder. The celebrated born-again Christian--a former Nixon tough guy who did prison…

  • Commentary posted September 28, 2005 by Joseph Loconte, Nile Gardiner, Ph.D. Human-Rights Failure: Irrelevance and ignominy at the United Nations

    Last week's gathering of world leaders in New York, marking the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, already looks like another forlorn triumph of rhetoric over reform. Secretary General Kofi Annan billed the event as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to confront global threats and revitalize the United Nations: "It is, in short, an opportunity for all…

  • Lecture posted September 26, 2005 by Joseph Loconte Why Religious Values Support American Values

    Mr. Loconte's remarks are adapted from a debate spon­sored by the Oxford Union Society at Oxford, England. He argued against the proposition that "Christian Values Undermine American Values." He was joined by Richard Lowry, editor of National Review and Eric Metaxas, director of Socrates in the City. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, and Herb…

  • Commentary posted September 14, 2005 by Joseph Loconte Christianity's Religion Problem

    There's at least one reason to give thanks in the wake of Hurricane Katrina: We haven't heard televangelist Pat Robertson attribute the disaster to God's judgment of the paganism of New Orleans -- at least not yet. There's something deeply troubling when a very visible Christian leader can be counted on to mouth an offensive or bizarre political opinion, as he did…

  • Backgrounder posted September 13, 2005 by Joseph Loconte Reforming the Human Rights Agenda of the United Nations

    The preamble to the Charter of the United Nations affirms a belief in "fundamental human rights" and a universal obligation to uphold "the dignity and worth of the human person." It is therefore an especially tragic development that the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, the premier U.N. body devoted to pro­moting human rights, has effectively abandoned that bedrock…

  • Commentary posted August 18, 2005 by Joseph Loconte Fatwa Frenzy

    The vicious terrorist attacks over the last 18 months--in Spain, Egypt, Great Britain, and Iraq--appear to have Muslim organizations in the West on the defensive. It's not unusual anymore to hear clerics in Europe and America say they're prepared to expel extremists from their mosques. More Islamic authors and organizations are condemning terrorism without a string…