Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Farewell to David Shribman. The Globe's soon-to-be-former Washington-bureau chief, David Shribman, has his last weekly "National Perspective" column in today's edition. It's a moving piece about his uncle, who was killed on a PT boat in World War II, and the relevance of his heroism to the all-but-certain war with Iraq. Whether you agree with Shribman's conclusion will depend, in part, on where you stand on President Bush's aggressive foreign policy:

At stake are not only the freedoms that the nation was founded on and the freedoms that generations of Americans have fought to add to our national culture, but also, as the World War II generation used to put it in an evocative shorthand, the right to boo the Dodgers. At stake are all those things, plus -- and this is what makes our home-front war different -- the right to go to a Dodgers game or to the mall or to the airport in safety.

I don't buy Shribman's notion -- suggested but not quite explicitly stated -- that Bush's eagerness to launch a pre-emptive strike against Saddam Hussein is the moral equivalent of World War II. But his appreciation for his uncle's sacrifice is beyond argument.

Shribman now assumes the reins as executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and will continue writing a weekly column. According to the Globe, that column will appear on the Globe's op-ed page "periodically." Well, gee. Shribman is one of a tiny handful of columnists ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for the Globe, and he's got local roots as well, having grown up on the North Shore. If the man's going to write a weekly column, you'd think it would be a no-brainer for Globe editorial-page editor Renée Loth to run 'em all.

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