Always listen for the “to be sure” line, the caveat that reveals we may be getting things backward, or at least getting ahead of the curve. In announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama wisely put the to-be-sure front and center: “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort.” Good. “We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.” Also good. But the point, so obvious as to be redundant the first time around, needs to be made to Americans in particular.
FRANCO-ITALIAN relations are in the center of the European limelight once again. Just as France and Spain were about to renew their endless discussion of the question of Tangier, Mussolini sent a division of the Italian fleet there, to help the large Italian community celebrate the fifth anniversary of Fascism.