Sunday, April 01, 2007

Council Winners

[posted by Callimachus]

Watchers Council winners for the week of March 23 have been posted.

First place within the council went to The Contranomics of Global Jihad by Big Lizards, which comes to a conclusion I have thought for some time is accurate:

Thus, Iran appears to be imploding due to the built-in contradiction of wanting to be a super-power -- and simultaneously wanting to be a closed society run by fanatical religious totalitarians. They will only be able to afford military technological development and serious force projection when they transform themselves into a society that has no interest in military technological development and serious force projection.

It looks more and more like Iran will be defeated, not by military invasion, not even by missile attack, but by the economic realities of Western style capitalism.

Also getting votes were Muslim Cashiers Refuse to Touch Pork by The Colossus of Rhodey (if you're not familiar with this story, check it out); The American Ideon: Its Decay and Restoration by Eternity Road; and Skills, Employment, and Energy Use by The Glittering Eye.

Outside the council, the winner was Four Years In by American Digest. The four-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq adventure inspired about a bazillion bloggers to write their summations of what we did, where we got to, and what we ought to do next. If you don't believe we inhabit separate realities, go read some of them.

The one that was recognized by the council was the work of Gerard Van der Leun, and if you know him, you'll instantly recognize the growling vigor of it:

Four years in and the people of the Perfect World ramble through the avenues of Washington, stamping their feet and holding their breath, having their tantrums, and telling all who cannot avoid listening that "War is bad for children and other living things." They have flowers painted on their cheeks. For emphasis. Just in case you thought that war was good for children and other living things.

There were children and other living things on the planes that flew into the towers. They all went into the fire and the ash just the same. But they, now, are not important. Nor is the message their deaths still send us when we listen. That message is to be silenced. The rising brand new message is "All we are say-ing is give...." And it is always off-key.

Also getting votes were Muslim Violence — Crime or Jihad? by Gates of Vienna; The Iraq Insurgency Has Ended, Which Opens a Path to Peace by Fabius Maximus at Defense and the National Interest; The Quadrant Lecture by Melanie Phillips; and Quote of the Day, and Is CAIR Paying Lawyers to Intimidate Air Travelers? at Power Line.

Also getting votes was A WWII Hero That History Almost Forgot by Webloggin. This is a heartbreaking tale of a Polish woman who helped save Jews from the Warsaw ghetto in World War II. It is a small human triumph wrapped in a vast human failure. It is right to celebrate the hero. But when I read her words, all I can feel is the dead-weight force of the tragedy:

It soon proved imperative to get children out on the so-called Aryan side since inside the ghetto it was hell.

We reached homes to say we could rescue children and lead them outside the ghetto walls. The basic question which then arose was: what guarantee could we give.

We had to admit honestly that we could give no guarantee since we did not even know whether we would succeed in leaving the ghetto today.

That was when we witnessed infernal scenes. Father agreed but mother didn’t. Grandmother cuddled the child most tenderly and, weeping bitterly, said “I won’t give away my grandchild at any price”.

We sometimes had to leave such unfortunate families without taking their children from them. I went there the next day to see what the whole building had come to and often found that everyone had been taken to the Umschlagsplatz railway siding for transport to death camps.


Often children would have to be moved. There was no end to the attempt to hunt them down and kill them.

I know of cases when the sole chance of survival was the external window-sill, behind a curtain, keeping the child there as long as necessary, holding on with numb hands so as not to fall, until the Germans left the home of his adopted parents.

The children paid dear for the “price of life”. A child sometimes had to be taken away from one “parents” and placed with others for their safety and that of the child.

I once carried such a tearful, broken-hearted little boy to other guardians when he asked me, crying and sobbing, “Please tell me how many Mums can you have, for this is the third one I’m going to”.

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