The man has a superb writing style. Sometimes I’m surprised that he doesn’t walk off with first place every week. That being said, Rick Moran takes it away with Syria and the Hariri Conspiracy:
|The assassination of Rafiq Hariri was a Syrian blunder of monumental proportions. It has isolated Syria from most of the international community. It has placed Syria in a much weaker military position in the Middle East. And it has placed the rule of Bashar Assad himself in danger. On top of all that, the act of assassinating Hariri failed to achieve the desired result, and indeed had the opposite effect: it united the Lebanese opposition who, with the courage of and determination of the Lebanese people, kicked the Syrians out of Lebanon for good.|
And I must put in a good word for the second place winner, just for his snarky response to a whiner. Lawrence Wilkerson, who used to hold Colin Powell’s coat in the halcyon days of the first round of Bush ’43, isn’t taking his forced retirement gracefully. For Wilkerson’s very unstatesmanlike behavior, Sundries Shack whacks a roundhouse, richly deserved:
|I know this will come as a shock to Wilkerson, but it is not the job of the Secretary of State to make national security decisions. In fact, a President is not obligated to even consult his Secretary of State on matters of national security. The Secretary of State is our chief diplomat and the public face of the President of the United States to the world.|
|The reason Colin Powell isn’t still the Secretary of State (and that Wilkerson doesn’t have that super-important office anymore) is because at some point he decided not to be the steadfast representative of the President he was hired to be. He didn’t do his job and worse, let his people backstab the President at every turn, and so the President cut him loose.|
In the non-council posts, my guy didn’t win. But the person who did get it, Shrinkwrapped, is — like Rick Moran — a thoughtful writer. He’s also a brilliant cultural analyst and this week’s choice has given me much to ponder in Race and the Unconscious:
|In the late 1970's, I spent some time working in the VA Hospital system. At that time, the primary Psychiatric population we treated were those whose psychiatric problems fell under the category of "service-connected disability." Patients with SC disabilities received a significantly higher monthly disability payment, as long as their psychiatric problem persisted. A subset of patients, mostly young, Vietnam era vets, was created who were hospitalized for short stays every 6 months. According to VA rules, if you were hospitalized every 6 months, that was considered a priori evidence that you were still disabled.|
Read it —you’ll have more than you want to think about.
The usual brilliance and derring-do can be found at the usual spot, His Grace, the Watcher.