Friday, June 06, 2008

Council Winners

Watchers Council winners have been posted for last week.

First place in the council went to the post from here on the (historical) Memorial Day. Thanks, all!

Votes also went to The Costs of Withdrawing from Iraq at The Glittering Eye. Dave has the rare capability to look at the situation over there as one who opposed the war from the start, for reasons that turn out to have been sober and realistic, rather than bombastic and partisan. Really, they were the common sense objections that perhaps some of the rest of us felt but allowed to be swept aside by enthusiasm for humanitarian and pseudo-utopian schemes.

I’m a critic of the invasion of Iraq. I was a critic when Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, Matthew Yglesias, and Andrew Sullivan all supported the invasion although most of them seem to have forgotten their former positions now. Unlike those blogospheric heavyweights I haven’t changed my opinion. I still think invading was a bad idea but I don’t think because invading was a bad idea withdrawing is a good one. At least one of two things is true. Either their judgment was wrong then or their judgment is wrong now (maybe both). According to the rubric that seems to prevail these days among their most ardent fans since it’s clear that their judgment was faulty in the past their judgment now should be viewed skeptically.

And, having the right -- if you will -- to declare authority on that basis (which many declare who do not deserve it) he nonetheless continues his theme of sober reflection by pointing out it would be unwise for us to end the project now. And gives an argument to support that.

Votes also went to The Media Furor Over McClellan's Book Leads to Whoppers by The Colossus of Rhodey, who does the thankless but necessary job of correcting the gross overstatements of the groupthink media, knowing full well, I am sure, that the same simplistic errors will be repeated the next day, and the day after that.

Hell, I have the power to stop them before they hit the presses, but I don't. I don't need the hostility that would draw down on me as a copy editor if I started tweaking AP copy to make it more factually accurate, but less simple and less friendly to the prevailing narrative. I can get fired for plenty of other reasons; I don't need to add one more.

Other votes went to Slouching Towards Statism by Cheat Seeking Missiles; Choice and Honor at The Razor, and Much Lizardly Ado About... A Little Something at Wolf Howling.

Outside the council, the winner was John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account, a reprint of a Vietnam War-era piece at US News and World Report. It's certainly a fascinating and timely read. But I tend to prefer to vote for blog posts over media articles -- even though I occasionally nominate the latter.

Votes also went to Why Spain Lectures Other Countries on Immigration at The Brussels Journal. Sometimes it's hard to understand the vision and motivation of European elites. I keep hoping someone who can't be described as "far right" will step into the circle of power over there and start to talk bluntly about immigration, assimilation and national culture. But then it seems doing so is exactly what gets you branded "Far right" in Europe. Which leaves a whole lot of really concerned and confused people, and only the real fascists willing to do something. Which is a bad, bad combination.

And to Iraqi Army Interdicting Iranian Operations in the South by Bill Roggio at The Long War Journal. Remember the Iraq War? A lot has happened since 2006. You'd never guess that from reading the big papers or listening to the Democratic candidates, though. That's why we have the Internet. Remember, "As they stand up, we will stand down"? It was all over the place when it seemed like a big joke. Now that it looks like it might not be one, it's buried deeper than Jimmy Hoffa. Bill tells you here what the Iraqi army (with U.S. help) is doing, and where, and why. Read it and impress your friends!

And to Neocon Nation: Neoconservatism, c. 1776 by Robert Kagan in World Affairs Journal; The Gaza 'Siege' Is Not an Answer To Terror by Israel Matzav; and Obamanomics 101 by Big Lizards.