Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Watcher's Council Nominations, 1/16/08

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, the infamous Watcher of Weasels

Do take the time and check out the non-Council links..they are always rewarding.

1. JOSHUAPUNDIT:Bush In Ramallah, The Road To "Peace In Our Time" President Bush had a few things to say in Ramallah, and I likewise had a few things to say about it. In essence, this has become an embarrassing and dangerous travesty of what was once called `The Bush Doctrine'.

Just like Oslo, if the president and Condi Rice get what they want, the repercussions for Israel will be severe. Unlike Oslo, the effects will not end there.

2. Done With Mirrors:Tribes With Gods Callimachus is in great form this week. The core idea for this piece is that the key to understanding different religions is that religions are immutably marked by their time and place of origin and never fully shed those marks,and he uses Christianity and Islam as examples.

While I agree with his theory on the face of it,(although I would disagree with his characterization of Mohammed)to me the key is how the religion evolves to changing circumstances. One of the huge differences between Christianity and Islam is in the way they allow for evolvement over time..which is largely attributable, I think, to the very different attitudes in Christianity and Islam towards free will in human beings.Islam has not evolved,for the most part, and the jury is still out on whether it has that capability.

3. Soccer Dad:Shavit's Prescription This week Soccer Dad, like me,discusses the president's trip to Ramallah, uses the views of ha'aretz columnist Avi Shavit as a jump off point. He's far kinder than I am. By the way, if anyone's interested, Ha'aretz is owned by the New York Times,has a similar political position on the spectrum for the most part and is hardly read by most Israelis, but is frequently quoted here in the US by the dinosaur media as a source..for obvious reasons.

4. The Glittering Eye:You Be The General This week, Dave writes about Afghanistan an dasks the question: what would you do if it were your call? His summarizing of the difficulties underlines what a tough question that is,particularly since the US is burdened with NATO allies who refuse to allow their troops to engage in combat.

5. Bookworm Room: Identity politics Then And Now There were a number of council entries sparked by the race issues sparked by flap between Hillary and Obama. In her essay this week, Ms. Bookworm looks at the history of identity politics
as practiced by the Left, and uses Jonah Goldberg's new book `Liberal Facism' as fuel.

6. Rhymes With Right: Disenfrancisement Example Is Actually Vote Fraud Queen -- And a Tax Cheat To Boot! Greg looks at the Supreme Court case over the Indiana law requiring a photo ID to vote, something the Democrats oppose. Given the instances of voter fraud, especially (but not exclusively) in areas with a large population of illegal aliens and given the mandatory voter registration forms given to people when they apply for a driver's license, it's also easy to see why some Democrats also favor driver's licenses for illegal aliens.

7.Colossus of Rhodey:Ed. Schools: They're Awful (for the most part) Hube, a professional educator takes a look at where some of his fellow teachers are educated themselves and draws some disturbing conclusions.

8. Cheat Seeking Missiles:500,000 Iraqis Did Not Die Here, Laer writes scathingly about the inflating of Iraqi casualties by the Left attributed to the US to include battle casualties and even Iraqis killed by Saddam. An dI agree that it's a disgrace.

9. The Education Wonks: A Solution For The Pop-Tart's Problems Edwonk has restored my faith in our group...I knew there had to be one Brittany Spears post somewhere! Seriously, EdWonk provides some advice for Ms. Spears to get herself back on track.

10. Wolf Howling: The Race Card, Liberal Guilt and Our Next President
GW likewise writes on the race issue and the Democrat particular take focuses on th efree ride Barack Hussein Obama has largely gotten from th edino media and the dangers of electing a president based on identity politics.

11.Right Wing Nuthouse:Those Who Live By Identity Politics.. Rick likewise writes about the way identity politics has reared its head in the current campaign.It isn't going away either.

12. Big Lizards: Paul of Mises; or How the New Republic Bewitches the Right Dafydd makes somewhat the same case I made a few days earlier...that the New republic has proven itself to be a disreputable source, even when it comes to disparaging an even more disreputable candidate.

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


Soccer Dad said...

I don't believe that Ha'aretz is owned by the NY Times. Ha'aretz is sometimes called the NY Times of Israel by it admirers (or by its detractors).
I believe that Ha'aretz distributes the IHT now, which is owned by the NYT.
And yes I'm kinder to the President than you are.:-) This is why.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi SD,
You could be right about Ha'aretz, although I'd swear I read something about the NYT owning them..

As far as President Bush goes,I agree with you, Israel's current leadership is indeed self-destructive, but that doesn't absolve the Bush Administration of responsibility, to my way of thinking.

There are laws aginst bartenders serving drunks.

It was GWB who campaigned in 2000 saying he would move the US Embassy to Israel's capitol, Jerusalem from Tel Aviv if he was president, and GWB who has consistently blocked it,even in the face of congressional legislation.

It was GWB who said after 9/11 that `you're either with us or with the terrorists' and has consistently funded the Palestinians, even when confronted with direct evidence by Israel that a large portion of US money was going to fund the War Against the Jews.And again,bi-partisan congressional efforts to try to stem this by congress members like Nita Lowey and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
have been consistently blocked by the Bush Adminstration.

And the Bush Administration has consistently interfered with Israel's domestic politics and policies, even when it comes to the type of retaliation israel doles out for murderous attacks against its citizens and even where it may construct homes for its own people on its own territory . No other ally of the US has ever had to put up with this kind of garbage,SD.

As long ago as 2000, Ariel Sharon had to deal with this attitude and warned the president that Israel would `not become Czecholslovakia'and not to appease the Bush Adminstration's Arab friends at Israel's expense. I think you recall that speech,and as things are going now, it looks like the old man knew what he was talking about.

I'd also remind you that when Bush pressured Ariel Sharon into accepting the travesty known as the Road Map ( prepared by Arabs and Arab-Americans without the input of a single Jew or Israeli), Sharon include a letter with 14 reservations and amendments that Bush accepted at that time..and is now ignoring,just as he's ignoring all of the interim steps that were supposed to take place before Palestinian statehood.

On the plus side,the US continues to defend Israel in international forums like the UN,continues to sell them arms and airlifted supplies to Israel during the Lebanon War. But I also think Israel's solid support in Congress, the obvious benefits the US gets from the alliance, and Israel support among evangelicals and the desire of the Bush Adminsitration to have Israel wage a proxy war against Hezbollah had
a lot to do with that.

In part because of the way Olmert and Peretz mishandled that situation and in part because of the Bush family's connections with the Saudis and the UAE, I think Condi Rice and the Arabists in the State Department have now come to the fore, and Bush has decided that our relationship with the Saudis is more important than our relationship with Israel.An dyes, I do think that his family's financial connections with the Arab world play into this.

And yeah, I think this is Oslo II,but one that will result ultimately in more than just dead Israelis this time.

Sorry about the rant...thanks for droping by!

All Best,

Soccer Dad said...

It looks like Daniel Pipes is in agreement with you.

For all his faults, I still think he was better to Israel than Gore or Kerry would have been.

Freedom Fighter said...

Maybe, SD.

I see a clear difference between his first and second terms on Israel in that regard and I think part of it was the lack of support he got from American Jews in the`04 elections.

He'd been teetering before, (even though we went into Iraq to protect the Saudis as far as I'm concerned) and I remember reading reports of discord between his father and James Baker with GWB over Israel and the relationship with the Saudis this. I feel like the `04 election put him over the edge.That and his family's money.

He'll ultimately be remembered as a combination of James Buchanan and Herbert Hoover, someone withgood intentions who saw a crisis coming an dhad good intentions, but lacked the basic character to do what was necessary.