Monday, November 28, 2005

Vaya Con Dios, e-Claire

Watcher's CouncilWell, there are winners, but first let’s talk about a departing Watcher.

I am going to miss e-claire. You could count on her for felicitously turned phrases of indignation or disbelief. She calls herself “a simple tootsie from the country.” Right. And I’m the King of England…Just read her take on the strange videos of black men in ties breaking up a liquor store, "Ya Need a Scorecard." E-claire is the last of the founding members to depart. But that doesn’t mean you can’t blog roll her and continue to read her entertaining views on the news and obscure bits of information she digs up.

In the Council posts, the Watcher had to break a tie for first place between Gates of Vienna and New World Man. If you’re here, then you already know about the acute attacks of Senatitis going ‘round Capitol Hill.

Therefore be sure to read New World Man’s essay on a consideration of the future of the courts. It’s a tight, deliberative piece, one that is difficult to snip from. However, here’s a taste from the opening paragraph:
     As everyone prepares for a battle of Biblical proportions for control of the courts, do you ever wonder why we're not seeing the same kind of war being fought for control of public schools?…Both are powerful institutions and [have the] means by which to enact your agenda when you can't seem to have any luck persuading people via the democratic process that you're right.
Go see the rest for yourself. It’s a cheering consideration which drills down to the idea that we might eventually have local jurisdictions deciding local matter. Imagine that.

"Murtha’s War" by Done With Mirrors placed first in the non-Council posts. Again, another post which defies easy description. He is thorough in his assessment of Murtha’s credentials and his integrity. He also fisks very well what the media does to war reports. This post definitely falls into a “read-the-whole-thing” category; DWM deliberately lays it out to let you decide what might be going on with Mr. Murtha and with the lack of leadership — or at least decipherable signals — in this administration. DWM is thoughtful and he is angry — here’s the close of his description from a book about Fallujah:

     Yet somehow, the Marines flushed them out and beat them. They took casualties along the way, but far fewer than seemed possible from the intensity of the firing (insurgents are not terribly accurate shots, it seems). While this was going on, Fallujah and Najaf and Sadr City already were up in full revolt. To have added Ramadi to the list of cities in flames might well have tipped Iraq into full-blown revolt. The Marines, with smarts and skill, cut that hydra's head and snuffed it out.
And it wasn't until I got to the end of that un-put-downable chapter, and West noted in passing that the domestic newspapers the next day only carried the blaring headline "12 Marines killed in Ramadi," that I recognized the fight he was describing. That is, I recognized reading about that day in the newspaper I work for. How the editors I work with shook their heads and cursed Bush for getting us into this, for the futility of it all. There was no context to the reporting. So far from having headed off another "Tet," the reporting made it seem this day in Ramadi was further evidence that we were well into one.
That is the fear of those of us who remember how the MSM destroyed our efforts in Vietnam and left millions to die, flee, or be re-educated just for the luxury of “speaking truth to power.” Whatever that means. Those boomer journalists never got over the thrill and the glory of bringing down an American government. Every time another Republican comes to power, they roll out their cannons and begin firing.

But this is not 1969. And Iraq is not Vietnam. And these journalists have no credit left. They’ve spent it on cheap tricks and outright lies, not to mention the disappearance of any integrity.*

Journalism in Iraq is Bing West (see DWM’s post), Michael Yon and, soon, Bill Roggio. If the Old Guard have any sense, they’ll tiptoe off the stage and leave the story to those who’ve seen it up closer than the confines of the Green Zone.

Thanks again to the Watcher for this week’s Council. It’s all here.

* If you want a real story from one of the survivors of our forays into Vietnam, meet Minh Duc:

     My journey to the US was not an easy. I risked death and imprisonment to escape political oppression in my birth country. We escaped on a small wooden boat – and most of us did not make it.
Minh Duc went on to grow up in this country and he served in Iraq. If that's not an irony, then life doesn't have any. Somewhere on his blog is a picture of him with an Iraqi army officer.

State of Flux is an intelligent blog with the most whimsical (though not primitive) English you'll find anywhere. What a life he's led!

4 comments:

Cato the Elder said...

Who are these Watchers of whom you speak? Not the same ones who put Buffy through that botched test, I hope...

Dymphna said...

Umm...who's Buffy?

Cato the Elder said...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - one of our true modern epics. I'm a fan.

The Watchers' Council were nominally her superiors.

Er, guess you have to watch the show now! It's on DVD, all seven seasons.

heather said...

and I thought I had left high school behind..........