Friday, July 06, 2007

Council Winners

[posted by Callimachus]

Watchers Council winners for this week have been posted. That's not surprising. That I am reporting it in a timely manner, is.

First place within the council went to Guess Where Your President Was Wednesday Morning ... Insh'allah by Joshuapundit, who heaps scorn on our president for his attendance and comments at the rededication of the Islamic Center of Washington. That's a tough call. It's hard to see how Bush could have avoided this event. And he did give a speech there condemning terrorism and promoting America's work and vision in the Muslim world.

But somehow the 800-pound gorilla in the room -- the Saudis and their role and influence both in America's leadership and among America's enemies -- never seems to get addressed. And Bush is a deeply compromised by it as any politician we've got.

Second place went to my post condemning snark, which was large-hearted on the part of the council members, because many of them use the tactic freely themselves.

The challenge in that post was to condemn a form of condemnation without hypocritically slipping into that form. So I chose a form which another generation, steeped in other learning, might have called a jeremiad. But I also used a specific poem as an inspiration. I read through it several times and then the next day wrote my piece. If anyone recognized the inspiration, he or she didn't let on. But if you care to hear the original, read by the poet, download here.

Votes also went to This I Believe a powerful credo from The Education Wonks; Condescension As Bigotry, another strong and fearless piece by Bookworm Room; and Quote of the Day: Islamophobia Edition from Cheat Seeking Missiles.

Outside the council the winner was Michael Yon -- again -- for Bless the Beasts and Children which ... well, go see for yourself. Any number of people who try to write about the war in Iraq fall flat because they can't, or won't first disentangle in their heads "war is hell" from this particular war. Yon has no such problem.

Also getting votes were Understanding Current Operations in Iraq at Small Wars Journal; But Who Are They? at Classical Values; and my vote, The Liberal Obsession With Whiteness at the Expense of Instilling Academic Excellence In Black Communities at Booker Rising. I knew Yon would win, but I thought this was a great, honest take on an important issue.