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Still Listening:



The Band Is Gone, the Waltz Plays On

Whatever its flaws, “The Last Waltz” returns at a moment in which it can be received far more generously than it was in the mid-70’s. However self-serving “The Last Waltz” might have seemed back then, no one familiar with the meretricious spectacle that the music industry has become in the last two decades can seriously criticize the film and album for glitziness. And at a time when audiences both young and old are discovering music with a connection to something more meaningful than a record company’s bottom line, as shown in the success of the soundtrack album “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” the artists in “The Last Waltz” represent a rare integrity. NY Times

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Zbigniew Brzezinski: Moral Duty, National Interest

President Bush’s statement on the crisis on Thursday took an important step toward shedding the administration’s ambiguous and, of late, somewhat incoherent posture. But it falters on three points.

First, by noting that an imminent agreement on a cease-fire was aborted by the bombing of March 27, Mr. Bush risks making the peace process again a hostage to any future terrorist act. Israel would be justified in retaliating against further Palestinian acts of terrorism, but reprisals should be aimed at actual perpetrators and not at destroying the Palestinian political structure. Second, Mr. Bush’s highly personal condemnation of Yasir Arafat implies that the Palestinians should select their leader in keeping with American or even Israeli preferences. Third, the president’s statement should have made clear that Secretary of State Colin Powell’s mission to the Middle East is not to restart a process that focuses more on procedure than on substance. Secretary Powell should seek an Arab statement that categorically condemns suicide bombing even if it reserves the right of the Palestinians to resist the occupation and the settlements. Mr. Arafat could then issue such a statement without seeming to be bowing to American and Israeli dictates. NY Times op-ed

Uncategorized

Zbigniew Brzezinski: Moral Duty, National Interest

President Bush’s statement on the crisis on Thursday took an important step toward shedding the administration’s ambiguous and, of late, somewhat incoherent posture. But it falters on three points.

First, by noting that an imminent agreement on a cease-fire was aborted by the bombing of March 27, Mr. Bush risks making the peace process again a hostage to any future terrorist act. Israel would be justified in retaliating against further Palestinian acts of terrorism, but reprisals should be aimed at actual perpetrators and not at destroying the Palestinian political structure. Second, Mr. Bush’s highly personal condemnation of Yasir Arafat implies that the Palestinians should select their leader in keeping with American or even Israeli preferences. Third, the president’s statement should have made clear that Secretary of State Colin Powell’s mission to the Middle East is not to restart a process that focuses more on procedure than on substance. Secretary Powell should seek an Arab statement that categorically condemns suicide bombing even if it reserves the right of the Palestinians to resist the occupation and the settlements. Mr. Arafat could then issue such a statement without seeming to be bowing to American and Israeli dictates. NY Times op-ed