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September 05, 2004

News from the front and rear.

First news from the front: Taliban 'Billy The Kid' Killed. Yay!

Roze Khan. His name means nothing to most Americans who have never heard it mentioned. But thousands of miles away from the United States, in the dry south of Afghanistan, it is a name that resonated across dirty brown mountains and remote, dusty villages, sometimes in fear, sometimes in awe...

...“He was like 'Billy the Kid' in these parts,” one American soldier told me, “We’ve been after him for more than two years and he’s escaped twice before so this feels really good.”

This story comes to us via Mike at Cold Fury - and you should read his post on the subject.

On the overseas journalism front, a journalist converts:

A popular definition of a Conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. In my case, it is a social liberal whose son announces out of the blue that he is joining the Army. My son's father is a Hollywood-based actor. If I look at childhood photographs of the boy, he is slumped asleep on airport trollies or wearing 10-sizes-too-big rapper trousers and obscene T-shirts. The Army was not a childhood

Coming stateside, a Brit reports on a US domestic issue - Bush v. Kerry. Nope, not what you're expecting.

...No doubt this journey was and remains profound and sincere, but it was also brilliant politics. Mr Bush has the good fortune to be considered stupid by his opponents, so they don't study him properly. What he has done is not stupid at all: he has found a way of embodying and uniting the different strands of conservatism in America...

...If he hadn't made a bit of a mess of the first 40 years of his life, he would not have been able to appeal to the American love of a story of sin, struggle and redemption. If he hadn't experienced this story as one of divine love, he would not have been able to speak the language that touches the hearts of a people 40 per cent of whom go to church "at least once a week"...

...Looked at in this way, I find the Bush story reassuring. It shows that Mr Bush is not the half-witted fanatic of the BBC's imagination. He is an absolutely mainstream figure in a country that has always gone very big on God and Mammon and does its best to see if the two can't achieve peaceful coexistence. It is a country that believes very deeply in freedom, but its idea of freedom is so strongly related to its sense of itself that, when it feels external threat, it reacts with unified fury.

Mr Bush has that uniquely American gift for reinventing yourself with perfect sincerity, whereas Mr Kerry's self-reinvention looks insincere. Since three years ago next Saturday, George W Bush has looked the natural leader of America. He still does.

Go read the whole bit. Interesting outsider's view of things.

The journalistic conversion story is here, from Sarah Sands, in The Telegraph.

Also from The Telegraph is the Bush story, by Charles Moore.

All of this crunchy goodness brought to my attention via the tireless efforts of CAPT H.

Update: After reading through this stuff, go vist Jack at Random Fate for another, slightly different, British view of President Bush. Note well Jack's lament at the end of his post.