Friday, September 07, 2007

Council Catch Up

[posted by Callimachus]

Watchers Council results have been posted for the week of August 30.

First place in the council went to NYT: Analogies Are Meaningless (Unless They Favor the Left) at Big Lizards (the analogy in question is the Iraq-Vietnam one).

Votes also went to Separate But Unequal by Soccer Dad; What, Do You Think? from right here; "Sanctuary" Cities, an excellent piece at The Colossus of Rhodey; Victor Davis Hanson -- Why We Must Study War by ‘Okie’ on the Lam; Jesus, Lord! Are They All Hypocritical Bastards? about guess which GOP senator, from Right Wing Nut House; and Iraq As Vietnam... Or Vice Versa at Joshuapundit.

One of the interesting revelations from that brief flurry of commentary on the president's attempt to frame an Iraq-Vietnam analogy of his own was that the rightish and leftish segments of the American commentariate have fundamentally differing historical meta-narratives of the Vietnam War and its progression. They agree on names and dates, but little else and they are weighted very differently.

The leftish view is the old one. Since then, it has been seriously challenged by a revisionist view that holds South Vietnam was a legitimate and viable nation and American tactics against the North Vietnamese invasion had succeeded by 1972, but all was undone by the U.S. refusal to support its ally in the later invasion. This is rooted in scholarship, not spin-doctoring, but apparently it passed unnoticed on the left until now. It was remarkable to watch the two sides take up the same topic and talk so far past each other. You find more agreement on the fundamentals among Northerners and Southerners discussing the Civil War.

Outside the council, first place went to Like a Suppository, Only a Bit Stronger by The Dissident Frogman.

Votes also went to Misfire: AP's Bogus Ammo Shortage Story by Confederate Yankee, which I thought was a good example of a blogger doing the kind of leg work the paid reporter ought to have done before he wrote the story.

Also getting votes were Anticipation vs Denial by Dr. Sanity; A Recurrent Theme: On Moderate Muslims at ShrinkWrapped; What Exactly Is the Crime? at Captain's Quarters about the Larry Craig scandal; and Watching Al Jazeera, Part III at Seraphic Secret, about the recent and much-criticized CNN special series on "God's Warriors."