Right Wing Nut House was first with his essay on the received wisdom that negotiating is preferable to war (personally, I think it’s affirmative action hiring for Foggy Bottom types who would otherwise be unemployable). In “As Long As We’re Talking, We’re Not Shooting At Each Other”, Rick reasons it this way:
In a very roundabout way I am questioning this paradigm that posits the notion that negotiations - even if they won’t accomplish anything - are always preferable to the alternatives (not necessarily military). If only one side in the negotiations is seeking agreement while the other side wishes to use the talks to achieve the goals that the negotiations are trying to forestall, isn’t it common sense to ask why bother?
The old verities and certainties did not work on North Korea. They are not working with the Palestinians. And it is an open question whether they will work with Iran. One could legitimately ask then that if we don’t have negotiations, don’t we de facto have a state of war?
Second comes the low-key, always reasonable ShrinkWrapped with Changes. He says of himself:
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Although it may not always come through in my writing, I usually prefer to take an optimistic view of the world and the future. Over all, I have been of the opinion that the forces of construction have just barely out-performed the forces of destruction and my optimism is based on the belief that this will continue and accelerate. Yet, times of rapid change, paradigm shifts, tend to be the most dangerous times.
Hmmm…he’s always seemed optimistic to me. Maybe it’s relative to my point of view?
At any rate, Shrinkwarped follows a wide range of arguments from his readers and other bloggers about the current state of things. He ends with this thought:
I enjoy change and love our headlong rush into the future. I find the possibilities of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, space technology, etc, much more exciting than frightening even while I recognize how disruptive such changes can be. Yet I wonder, have we, in effect, already reached a kind of Singularity? Has the accelerating rate of change in our world already out-paced our National and International Institutions’ ability to adapt? If so, chaotic change is likely and that favors regression, not progression.
Aristotle would have agreed with him.
Over on the Non-Council side, there was another tie for first place. They are both extremely good (excuse my use of extreme intensifiers…)
First place - counting the Watcher’ s vote -- went to Reconquista for answering the question, Is Islam Waging War on the World?. Written by Sir Henry Morgan, it is both tongue-in-cheek and very serious. This man has done his graph homework. However, you can’t condense his main ideas and it would not serve you well were I to attempt to do so. I simply urge you to go read what he has done for yourself.
And here is a teaser:
Where is this war being conducted? Overwhelmingly it is in those places where Islam is present in force, though targets of opportunity are occasionally hit. That is clear from the written details of all the worldwide attacks. This carries serious implications concerning the large Muslim populations currently present in all countries of the Western world. This Muslim presence has to be addressed as a matter of urgency. Western Europe, in particular, may be sleepwalking its way into a situation similar to that of Beirut Circa. 1970s. Or perhaps just - and this is bad enough - India today. Read those lists: over the past five years to date, India has had more attacks than any other country.
We have a number of Indian readers who could second Sir Henry on that thesis.
And then there is the entry from Cox & Forkum. I don’t think anyone has ever nominated them before. You must go see The Ahmadinejad Code. Even more than Sir Henry’s post, this is about visuals. It’s also about the rock bottom fundamental necessity of free speech.
I mean, who needs any prompting to visit Cox & Forkum?
All the rest of us from the 13th are still at The Watcher’s Place. Go see what you’re missing.