Martin Peretz

About 12% or 5.4 million people of South Africa's total population is infected with HIV.  It is a human disaster, nothing less.  The president of the country, Thabo Mbeki, is largely responsible for the rapid transition from HIV to AIDS to its victims and also for the sparsity of serious medical treatment.  This is because he is a crackpot on the subject and seems not to believe that HIV causes AIDS at all.  His minister of health, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, is also a primitive about medical science.  So while AIDS activists in the country try to circumvent the obstacles real prevention and rea

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To Bigotry No Sanction

It just may be that we Americans are too enmeshed in the intra-party fracas--the Democratic one, at least--to see that the country will by election day have crossed the big river.  No, not into the promised land exactly.  But into that land that, as George Washington put it in his 1790 letter to the Touro Synagogue, "gives to bigotry no sanction..."  There should be felt a glory in each of us that, likely, the next president of the United States will be an African American or a woman.  This would be another version of the Emancipation Proclamation, but proclaimed by the demos itself not by the

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Marching Forward

It just may be that we Americans are too enmeshed in the intra-party fracas--the Democratic one, at least--to see that the country will by election day have crossed the big river.  No, not into the promised land exactly.  But into that land that, as George Washington put it in his 1790 letter to the Touro Synagogue, "gives to bigotry no sanction..."  There should be felt a glory in each of us that, likely, the next president of the United States will be an African American or a woman.  This would be another version of the Emancipation Proclamation, but proclaimed by the demos itself not by the

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All That She Wants

Now that it's clear that John McCain will be the Republican presidential candidate, my sense is that many Democrats will be making themselves comfortable with him just in case Hillary Clinton gets the nomination. The fact is that she discomforts almost everyone who does not support her, and many who do. She is so brittle, so calculating, so self-besot, so small that you get a half-apology even from her earnest backers. The truth is that she is sometimes--although less and less--grudgingly admired. But she is not loved. Which is what she wants most of all.

It's hard for me to see how Hillary halts the Obama express. The statistical breakdown in delegates is right now just about even. And the odds in the Tidewater states, the District of Columbia and Louisiana are very much in his favor. Of course, I never trust inevitability.

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Mccain-lieberman '08

  The common wisdom is that John McCain will now have to turn right to satisfy--no, conciliate and bend to--the more conservative opposition base of the Republican Party. I'm not so sure. To the extent that many Americans are disgusted by the rancor in our politics, a smarter move might be for McCain to run as the center candidate he has become. Almost as a non-partisan candidate. That could be accomplished by designating Joe Lieberman, Al Gore's vice presidential running mate in the theft year 2000, as his running-mate.

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Hillary's Money

Everybody knows by now that Hillary Clinton had loaned her campaign $5 million: "I loaned the campaign $5 million from my money," she said more than a bit defensively.  And then she went on to insist, "That's where I got the money."  Of course, she got the money from her husband's blah-blah in Dubai.So why did she need the money?  Although "we had a great month fundraising in January," in fact, "broke all records," Obama beat her by more than 2 to 1, much more than that margin. The fact is that, if she doesn't have cash to put TV ads on in Ohio and Texas, she will be toast. Hers has been up to

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Obama's Electability

  My son, who is also an Obama supporter, sent me this New York Times "Outposts" blog by Timothy Egan.  It's called "Obama: The Shock of the Red," a narrative showing how stunningly well Barack did among white males and in red states.  The appeal of this black candidate among white men is a phenomenon all around the country, and it's actually a milestone for Democrats.The second of the comments on this blog makes an interesting observation on this: that President Bush's appointment of Colin Powell and then Condi Rice as secretary of state broke the barrier.  

Israel Is To Blame

There have been several United Nations Development Reports on the Arab world, and all of them have reported virtual disasters in every field: education, reading and translation of books, women's entrance into mainstream society, literacy, life expectancy and infant mortality. Now comes a more specific study from the World Bank about the results of forty years of investment in schooling. Another across-the-board disaster. The FT reports this morning that "Middle East and North Africa schools fail the test." Which test? Every test. Why? The usual.

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Did you notice that there were very few African-Americans in the crowded prime spot behind Hillary where managers parade their message about the folk to whom the campaign is now targeted? Clinton has lost the black vote to Obama, and she has won the Asians and Hispanics in an exchange that has still to be tested statistically. Does she win this transaction or does he? As for her dysfunctional family, she did say, "I want to thank the most important people in my life, first Bill and Chelsea, for their incredible love." I'll leave Chelsea out of this. But Bill?

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