Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Watcher's Council Nominations, 1/30/07

Every week, the Watcher's Council nominate two posts each, one from the Council members and one from outside for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week's Council nominations can be found at the site of our fearless leader, Watcher of Weasels

COUNCIL NEWS: The Council has a new member, replacing Major Andrew Olmstead. The new member is Bookworm Room, and from what I've seen of the site, she will be a superb addition. Check her out!

OK, here's this week's lineup:

1. J O S H U A P U N D I T: Bush on the ropes....and the State of the Union Ahhh, Dubbya (shakes head)....This week's entry is my take on the president's State of the Union address last Tuesday.

The president is out of gas and barely hanging on to any semblance of credibility at this point. And he has no one but himself to blame.

As I point out, the dissatisfaction with Bush and his abysmally low poll numbers are not coming from the left - they've hated him since 2000 - but from the people that supported him on the right and in the center. And oddly enough, the polls I've seen indicate that the majority of Americans distrust the current Democratic leadership in Congress almost as much as the president.

The country's hungry for leadership and we're not getting it.

2. Done With Mirrors: Patton medicine Callimachus has a real winner this week. He suggests (rightly, IMO)that one of the biggest problems with our war effort is the failure by the Bush Administration to take it seriously and fight it as a real war...and speculates, by implication, whether western societies have it in them to fight real all out wars any more. For my part,I think we definitely do..when we're not sabotaged by incompetent and insipid leadership that substitutes bellicose speech for action.

He also questions why it was necessary to detail the `surge' plan in Bush's Iraq speech rather than simply implementing it, and wonders whether there is such a thing as national secrets anymore in the age of the internet.

As I pointed out in a comment I left on his site, the problem isn't the internet, but the lack of real consequences for those who leak confidential information or otherwise deal in sedition. The fact that the Bush Administration has done nothing in this area is just another example of their not taking this war seriously.

We do indeed need a dose of Patton medicine..and Stonewall medicine as well.

3. Soccer Dad: Too cynical for david broder Soccer Dad has a fine piece this week about David Broder's take on Senator Hillary Clinton's statement during the confirmation of Gen David Petraeus. Soccer Dad agrees with Broder's slapdown of Senator Clinton for using this platform to make a statement about her feelings on how the war is going, while not asking the general a single question.

I don't.

Aside from the fact that Senator Clinton has been much more sensible about the War on Jihad than much of her party, I think she had a perfect right to voice her dismay with the way the Bush Administration has mismanaged the war without being accused of mere political posturing. Were I in her position, I would also see little to gain by grilling General Petraeus. All the Senate can do at this point is confirm him and hope that this soldier's soldier can rescue the situation....unless the Senate is going to pull the plug on financing the war entirely and end it that way.

4. Right Wing Nut House - 9/11: JUST A REAL BAD DAY The dinosaur media and leftist academia - the gifts that just keep on giving...

This week Rick writes on a bit of pretentious nonsense by David Bell, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University that appeared in the LA Times and essentially put forth the prop-pay-si-shun that the jihadi threat to America is non-existential and we're all just overreacting to 3,000 of our fellow Americans being barbecued.

Rick skewers this idiot effectively.

5. The Sundries Shack: 2007 SotU Democratic Rebuttal TidbitsHere, Jimmie Bise fisksSenator Jim Webb's rebuttal to the president's SOTU, and comes up with a few ideas I hadn't considered, upset as I was with the president's sorry performance -mea culpa, and a fine one by Jimmie.

6. Rhymes With Right: Union Membership Down Here, Greg has an interesting piece in which he notes that union membership is down to historic lows (12%). He explores the reasons for this, but misses one key factor IMO...our open borders and illegal immigration.

7. The Glittering Eye: The fog of war Dave Schuler is extremely good at laying out opposing viewpoints on a given issue on the table, examining them, and piecing the threads together. This week's piece is classic Dave, as he examines opposing viewpoints on the Iraq war.

As Dave put it: "Do you believe the soldier who fought there, the former INC functionary, the NYT journalist, the Iraqi scholar, or the American soldier-scholar? None of them? All of them? The ones who support your preferred outcome?"

OK, I'll say it one more time...I support victory. And if, as President Bush says, our goal is a stable democracy that will become our ally in what he still calls the War on Terror, success is already within reach. All we have to do is help the Kurds establish a strong,independent Kurdistan, take them up on their offer to put bases there and redeploy our troops into the territory of our new ally.

8. AMERICAN FUTURE - Israel’s Position on the Iranian Threat Like our president,Israel's ineffectual Ehud Olmert loves to employ bellicose speeches and than do absolutely nothing to `walk the walk' as it were. Marc examines Olmert's remarks at the recent Herzliya Conference in detail

Israel is indeed facing an existential threat from Iran, as is the US.

Normally, such common dangers bring nations together to confront them...but in this case, the US (or at least its leadership) appear to be unwilling to work in concert with Israel to take out Iran for fear of offending the president's Saudi friends, and is holding its fire, hoping Israel will act unilaterally, while Olmert is hoping that the Americans will step up to the plate and take out the mullahs so Israel doesn't have to!

An absurd and pathetic situation, to be sure...

9. The COLOSSUS OF RHODEY: But Dan says "There's not two sides to this story!" Hube takes on the global warming controversy with his typical verve...

10. Francis W. Porretto - The Imperative Of The Age Part 2: Plans Francis, in the second part of a two parter examines the implications of a disarmed society versus one where people carry arms and can defend themselves.

Indeed, the first step in any tyranny is to disarm the populace, something our founding fathers knew instinctively when they penned the Second Amendment.

Francis further relates this to the War on Jihad, saying: "Should a terrorist with a bomb or a canister of poison gas slip onto a crowded Manhattan subway at rush hour, what could anyone do about it? Should a terrorist with a shoulder-launched missile park near Kennedy Airport and take aim at an airliner carrying several hundred innocents, what could anyone do about it?"

In New York City,with its gun laws, not much.

11. They’ve finally admitted it: Bookworm Room In her debut piece, Council newbie Bookworm writes about the Eilat homicide bombing and what it reveals about the Palestinians and the Arab World in their attitudes towards Israel.

And slapping together a second Arab Palestinian state will do absolutely nothing to change that.

12.The Education Wonks: Education In Afghanistan: Running In Reverse
EdWonk examines how the resurgent Taliban, after doing its best to destroy education in Afghanistan is now trying to preempt it with its own madrassahs.

That's this week's lineup..enjoy!

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