According to a high-ranking cleric in Iran, women who don’t wear the veil should die. Oh, and kill their fathers and husbands, too.
(hat tip: LGF)
Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is Vladimir Putin, the man who has destroyed Russia’s infant democracy and replaced it with a neo-Tsarist authoritarian state. Putin has also conducted a scorched-earth policy in Chechnya and done his level best to bully former Soviet republics back in Moscow’s orbit — including poisoning the current president of Ukraine when he was running for office.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised: this is, after all, the magazine that made Ayatollah Khomeini, Deng Hsiao Ping, and Josef Stalin (twice) "Men of the Year."
Ok, ok. I know the award is for someone who has greatly affected the world for good or evil, but to group men like Churchill and Putin just shows the complete fatuousness of this award.
Besides, given the incredible turnaround he’s wrought in Iraq and, by extension, in American politics, shouldn’t General Petraeus deserve better than fifth place, behind a shrill egomaniac, a fantasy author, and another dictator?
UPDATE: Barone’s final paragraph deserves a quote on its own:
Which brings us back to the person of the year for 2007, Vladimir
Putin. Yes, he’s a consequential figure, who has just nominated a
successor who looks like his pawn (at least for now; for a contrary
view, see this speculation). But Russia ain’t what it was when Time saw Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andropov as a dynamic duo. And who are Time‘s
runners-up? Al Gore, who exaggerated the IPCC climate forecast by a
factor of 20 to say that New York and London would be flooded by global
warming (they weren’t in the 13th century, when the weather was a lot
warmer than it is now). J. K. Rowling, who has made millions writing
books that children and adults love to read; all power to her, but
she’s not exerting the kind of influence over human affairs that Hitler
did in 1938 and Stalin did in 1939. Or Hu Jintao, who is presiding over
a system whose initiation, in 1978, was rightly honored by Time
as a turning point in history. I have on my bookshelves somewhere
(actually, it’s not there, because I’ve just moved and haven’t
reshelved my books) a book by a China scholar entitled 1587: A Year of No Significance.
I bought it because of the title and haven’t gotten around to reading
it yet. Hu Jintao is, so far as I can tell, like that book, of no
significance. David Petraeus, No. 4 on Time‘s list, has made a much greater—a huger—difference. But Time
doesn’t want to acknowledge that, because to do so would be to admit
that George W. Bush is not an ignorant tyrant and that the United
States is not on the losing side of history. Better to elevate Vladimir
Putin to a significance he does not deserve. Shame.