Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Watcher's Council Nominations, 6/27/07

Every week, the Watcher's Council members 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

Some excellent pieces this week, as usual...OK, here's this week's Council lineup:

1. JoshuaPundit: General Petraeus: Fighting On Two Fronts, Winning..and Playing For Time Most of youknow my views onthe sadly mismanaged Iraq War, but something astonishing is going on lately in Iraq, and it's a story the dinosaur media is ignoring, except for the daily casualty lists. For the first time since our original invasion, we are fighting a sustained offensive, with a detailed, meticulous strategy - and winning decisively.

The architect of this is General David Petraeus, and, with a little luck, and perhaps some corresponding moves by the Bush Administration to finally confront Iran, we have a fighting chance, just maybe, after 4 years of mismanagement and lost opportunities to turn this into a decisive victory.

The other side of this, of course, is the second front in this war, the home front...and here, General Petraeus is in real trouble, with President Bush's political opponents inserting arbitrary time limits and doing their very best to impede and obstruct Petraeus' efforts.

I examine the progress on these two fronts, what's at stake, and why General Petraeus deserves an honest chance to succeed.

2. Done With Mirrors; Back America Callimachus writes about the "Take Back America 2007 conference" for netroots bloggers, in particular a speech by `digby' - and finds it an amazing window into American political thought...where we differ with these folks and where we agree.

3. Soccer Dad: Abbas Over Easy Charles Krauthammer is normally right on the money. But when, as Soccer Dad writes he starts yakking about giving the Fatah mob's capo Mahmoud Abbas `one last chance', it's eerily reminiscent of the sort of horse manure they used to write about Abbas' old boss, Yasir Arafat. Soccer Dad does a superb job of debunking this myth.

As he writes, the trouble with `Palestinian nationalism' ( something that mysteriously didn't even exist until after the Six-Day War)is that it's essentially built on destroying Israel, Or as Arafat put it on Jordanian TV, a few days after signing the Oslo Accords, `Either we will drive the Jews into the sea or they will drive us into the sea.'

The so-called `Palestinians' have made horrendous choices, but thanks to the Arab World's desire to keep them as a smokescreen and an excuse to avoid dealing with Israel, gullible westerners will continue to pour good money after bad. And until the fallacy of a second Arab `Palestinian' state goes into the dustbin of history, any real chance for Middle East Peace remains elusive.

4. The Glittering Eye :A sort of haunted look This week, The Glittering Eye's Dave Schuler has a sneaky piece this week, and in true Dave fashion asks more questions than he answers.

He uses an old Rod Serling script to raise the question about whether US foreign policy is consistent and evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and thus whether what he considers the failure in Iraq was inevitable,no matter who was president..

I think it depends on the man, and on the times...although I see evidence of certain patterns.

5. Bookworm Room: A Stunningly Dishonest Piece of Advocacy Writing About the Supreme Court Ms. Bookworm does a fine job of pointing out the latest travesty of journalism by the dinosaur media, using Jeffrey Toobin's attack in the New Yorker on the Roberts Supreme Court, especially his outright disinformation about three recent decisions.

Leftists like Toobin, frankly, have a problem with simply interpreting the Constitution. What they like is activist judges ( provided they're down for the agenda) who will usurp their Constitutional responsibilities by creating legislation.

6. Rhymes With Right:Is Tinker dead? Greg has a good `un this week, as he looks at the `Bong Hits For Jesus' SCOTUS decision and ponders its effect on Tinker vs Des Moines, the seminal case dealing with student First Amendment rights.

7. The Colossus of Rhodey: SciFi Channel: Humans as invaders Hube looks at an upcoming show on the Sci Fi channel with a cute twist on the old `aliens attack a peaceful world to plunder its resources after destroying their own' plot: this time, the invaders are humans from Earth invading an alien planet! He then goes on to muse about the likelihood of this happening in real life, and expands to write about the history of this theme in sci fi/fantasy literature.

8. Right Wing Nut House : Tinkering with the immigration bomb will only set it off Rick looks at the Amnesty Legislation, and correctly points out that it `solves' absolutely nothing.

And some people have the nerve to ask me why I'm so hard on the president...

9. Cheat Seeking Missiles:The most ridiculous story of the year (2) Laer has a contest over at his site, for the most ridiculous story of the year. The criterion is that it must be something serious writers `present in all seriousness that goes far, far beyond the sublime and settle heavily into the imbecilic.'

This particular entry, a WAPO piece entitled `We've lost. Here's how to handle it' fits the criteria quite well, and Laer shows you why.

10. Big Lizards: Dividing and Conquering, or Dancing With the Devil? Dafydd Ab Hugh
ponders the idea of the US entering into relations with the Muslim Brotherhood (and by extension, with Hamas) as opposed to the other three alternatives he proposes: constantly propping up Islamic `strongmen', what he refers to as `Incessant military intervention in every potentially troublous (sic) Moslem country' or retreating to Fortress America.

The idea that we can `dance' with the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood or that they will take sides with us as a counterweight to their jihadi brothers is a dangerous and foolhardy notion, simply because their game is most decidedly not ours, they have no interest in merely co-existing and they are NOT TO BE TRUSTED.Such beliefs are typical for `realists' who in reality have no idea of the mindset they're dealing with.

Nor are we limited to the other options, all of which are passive, defensive and reactive.

Frankly, we inflate these bogeymen into far more than they actually are. We will win this war by confronting one or more of the players forcefully...after which the others will become surprisingly accommodating. That's historically how things work in the Muslim world, with its honor/shame culture.

11.The Education Wonks:The NEA: Boondoggle or money well spent?
EdWonk ponders the value of the NEA,in view of both the investment in our cultural heritage as opposed to some of the questionable projects they've funded.

Ehh! Art is increasingly anything you can get away with....

12.‘Life With An Old Dog’ -- Hard Lessons Learned Hard - at ‘Okie’ on the Lam Okie writes a moving tribute on the passing of a dear friend and companion, and the meaning of life an death. You'll like this one.

That's this week's lineup..enjoy

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