Friday, November 03, 2006

Council Winners

Catching up on Watchers' Council winners from the week of October 27

First place within the council went to A Liberal Manifesto and Other Halloween Frights by Right Wing Nut House, which fisks a "Liberal Manifesto" published by The American Prospect.

Also getting votes were:

  • Japan, North Korea and Nuclear Weapons by American Future, a thorough and competent look at Japan's role, and potential future as a major player, in the North Korean nuclear crisis.

  • Hostis Humani Generis by The Glittering Eye, which offers a useful historical parallel between modern terrorism and historical piracy and suggests some strategic hints for us may lie in that direction. Bonus points for the Cicero quote. E pluribus yarrrr and all that.

  • Talkin' 'bout My Generation by ShrinkWrapped. Growing up as a teenager in the late '70s, stuck with Billy Joel and Elton John and Captain and friggin' Tennille (even the name says "weekday night lounge act in a Holiday Inn off the Interstate"), I used to envy the kids who had been young in the late '60s. But I got over that a long time ago. Nowadays I thank the gods I do not have to answer for that generation.

  • To Deter or Not, Time to Choose by AbbaGav, which lays out a case that, "Assuming anyone really is interested in deterring rogue states from going nuclear as opposed to letting them turn into America-weakening agents of doom, the solution obviously is to stop Iran." And then asks, "Is that going to happen?"

  • Wake Up. Please? by The Sundries Shack, which sees all the signs of a nation blissfully unaware of peril at the door.

  • The Mexican Eagle Flies Over a Texas High School by The Education Wonks, which points to a situation in Texas you might not realize unless you live there.

Outside the council, the winner was Archaeological Temple Artifacts Drive PalArabs Crazy by Elder of Ziyon, which calls attention to a forgotten theater of the Palestinian-Israeli war: Archaeology.

The Palestinian authorities in charge of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem a few years ago unilaterally dug into a nearby area for new construction. You can't stick a spade in the earth on the Temple Mount without churning up history, but the Palestinians apparently weren't interested. They hauled off more than 10,000 tons of rubble to a municipal garbage dump in the Kidron Valley and elsewhere.

Jewish volunteers went out and sifted through the dirt piles and found priceless relics, "from the First Temple Period until today amidst the rubble, including a large amount of pottery dating from the Bronze Ages through modern times, a large segment of a marble pillar's shaft, and over 100 ancient coins, among them several from the Hasmonean dynasty."

From there, the story just gets weirder, and the Islamist version of history is as insane as some of its visions of the future:

In a previous interview with WND, Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement, claimed the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built by angels and that a Jewish Temple may have existed but not in Jerusalem.

"When the First Temple was built by Solomon – God bless him – Al Aqsa was already built. We don't believe that a prophet like Solomon would have built the temple at a place where a mosque existed," said Hatib.

Votes also went to Fighting Back by The Mudville Gazette, which thumps CNN for running terrorist Islamist propaganda and repeats this dictum:

But like it or not, Mr and Mrs Average American are involved in a propaganda war, the only battle of the war on terror currently being fought on U.S. soil - and those who choose not to be victims of that battle may wonder what the appropriate response should be. Perhaps just this - bear in mind the stated goal: "to throw fear into the American people's hearts", divide and conquer, weaken resolve, and defeat America. Be aware of the plan to reach that goal, and recognize it for what it is when next you see it in action, as you undoubtedly will.

How I Learned to Lie About Islam by, a fisking of a piece by Yvonne Ridley, the woman who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and eventually converted to Islam, and to The Fire This Time by The Belmont Club:

Some may deride Chirac or de Villepin as appeasers. However the probable truth is that no one has yet figured out how to stop a vigorous ideology in its tracks. The West's own experience with Nazism and Communism shows that both accommodation and confrontation can fuel, rather than retard their growth. There is no magic formula; and perhaps there is no formula. Ideologies often resemble epidemics which must run their course, which neither medicine nor quarantine; nor fire nor water can much reduce. Albert Camus, who watched Nazism at close quarters could find no better comparison to it than a Plague.

Votes also went to All About Reality by MaxedOutMama, and to Barack Obama: The Visible Man by The American Thinker, which criticizes the media's affection for Barack Obama.