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Safire on the right side  

Sometimes consistent conservatives have a tremendous value. Bill Safire rails against president Bush and attorney general Ashcroft: “At a time when even liberals are debating the ethics of torture of suspects � weighing the distaste for barbarism against the need to save innocent lives � it’s time for conservative iconoclasts and card-carrying hard-liners to stand up for American values.”

The power of music 

I’d guess everyone was moved in different ways by the scenes from a liberated Kabul. The images of a child flying a kite struck me hard, but the notion that people could listen to instrumental music for the first time in years was particularly powerful.

The Guardian has a wonderful insight into the role of music in Afghanistan (with links to some audio files, as well). “No sooner had the Taliban left Kabul than the city resounded to the beat and keening melodies of Indian and Iranian songs, together with the long-hidden favourites of the Afghan popular canon.”

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