Monday, December 05, 2005

The Council Roars

Watcher's CouncilRightwing Nuthouse takes it away. In "Guns, Germs and Moonbats," Mr. Moran makes an impassioned plea for an intelligent response to our history and to our national celebration of Thanksgiving.

To this effect, he takes to task a professor of “journalism” (my scare quotes), Robert Jensen, for his “execrable screed” on the subject of our nation’s history, which Mr. Moran correctly thinks —
     should probably be dismissed as the ravings of an escapee from some lunatic asylum or perhaps the latest statement issued from the Democratic National Committee (some would argue the differences there are insignificant). Nevertheless, a cursory Technorati search revealed the fact that no one has taken the time or effort to contradict this moonbat’s flawed historical interpretation not to mention the outright falsehoods contained in his not-ready-for-high-school
Thus, Mr. Moran decides that though it is a dirty job, someone has to do it. And for his thorough fisking of a most unscholarly work, he won first place in the Watcher’s Council. Just one more indication that we are sick of having our national mythology and ethos desecrated by moral morons with, as he says, “the historical knowledge and cognitive abilities of a high school sophomore”:
     Every single holiday in which we seek to celebrate what is good and decent about this country and contemplate all that we should treasure and be thankful for, some lickspittle lefty feels an obligation to point out that we should take the ceremonial sword and open up our midsection to atone for all of the past sins committed by our ancestors.
Amen, Brother Moran.

The Glittering Eye placed second for a most intriguing essay, "Discussing Withdrawal From Iraq." This post deserves your careful attention. He points out that he attempted to open up this conversation before but it quickly degenerated into name-calling. Now, riffing on a post from the Winds of War, GE attempts another round.

While I respectfully disagree on a number of points raised by this post, it is thoughtful and has generated much response from other bloggers. Here seems to be the main issue:
     The most pernicious of the many errors we’ve made over the last several years is the notion that we can achieve good things in Iraq or in the War on Terror without substantial costs. That just isn’t going to happen. Come what may there will be major political, social, economic, and human costs.
I think that every project of any substantial scope should have a useable subset i.e. deliverables that are available at some fraction of the total cost of the project that has value in and of itself. Bringing democracy to Iraq doesn’t. Now we’ll either cut our losses and bear the costs we’ve already borne without any of the benefits either for ourselves or the Iraqis possibly creating big new hazards in the process or we’ll invest more in what may well be a forlorn hope to try and make good our losses.
Rather than ending on that note I want to repeat my plea to engage in a constructive discussion of changing the dynamics in Iraq. Neither staying the course nor declaring defeat and going home is a worthwhile strategy.
This a well-reasoned look at the situation in Iraq; read it and decide for yourself. Dialogue on this subject is essential for our nation as a whole.

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And note, if you will, the complementarity of these two winning posts. Though they are quite different, there is a meta-theme uniting them: the civil discourse and dialouge that must be restored in our public life. Would that our public servants were as thoughtful. [From this post to God's eyes, anyway]

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The non-council winner is an amazing and meticulous post from American Future. It is a through examination of the changes in the editorial position of the New York Times re the war in Iraq. The whole thing will cover the twelve years from 1993 to 2005. This post, the first part of his exploration, concludes with the end of Clinton's administration in 2000. The second, and future post, will bring us from 2001 to the present.

This essay is a tour-de-force, examining in detail how the “paper of record,” or perhaps one should now say “the late paper of record,” or perhaps “the former paper of record.” Whatever. Here at Gates we call this newspaper The Old Grey Whore in order to denote its bias, mendacious lying, and the myriad glory-hounding positions in which it has lain all the way back to the Duranty and Stalin love affair in the 1930’s. That amounts to decades of prostituting prevarication. In the Ukraine Famine, the Times, via Walter Duranty, lied and people died. And they died, and died, and died. Would that Duranty were her only freak; unfortunately, the whore with the heart of iron has also an iron constitution. Onward she totters still.

But, as American Future so totally nails,
    …war can be lost because public opinion turns against its continued prosecution. The New York Times – the self-described “newspaper of record” – is among the world’s most influential opinion leaders. As shown by the cited quotations, the newspaper’s stance on Iraq underwent a complete transformation during the decade separating 1993 and 2003. While its editors never lost their fear of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their prescription for countering the threat posed by the weapons was altered beyond recognition. In 1993, by arguing that cease-fire violations nullified U.N. protection, the Times affirmed the right of a victorious party to resume hostilities at its sole discretion if the party it defeated did not abide by the terms of the agreement to which it affixed its signature. Ten years later, the Times reversed its stance, asserting that the United States should not go to war without the approval of the United Nations. In so doing, the Times implicitly argued that going to war with the approval of a multilateral institution took precedence over the use of military force to expeditiously eliminate the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD.
When the editors criticized the Clinton administration, it was for being too dovish, not too hawkish. They leveled similar criticisms at the U.N. Security Council. China, Russia and especially France were taken to task for giving priority to their commercial interests over coming to grips with the threat posed by Iraq’s WMD.
The post follows the trail of the editorials as they assume one position, now another. Some editorials take the Clinton administration to task for the lack of a coherent plan, others ask for clarification on Clinton’s Iraq policy, and yet others argue against a regime change, but demand a commitment from the administration. The sum seems to be that the Old Grey One didn't like Clinton's foreign policy when it came to Iraq.

The next installment will examine the changes She undergoes in her editorial attitudes when George W. Bush takes over in 2001. That future fisking should be every bit as interesting as this first one was. I can’t wait!

(For what it’s worth, I noticed that the dateline for the post was the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. Nothing signficant there, just an interesting conjunction. Sometimes, I find myself wondering what Kennedy would have made of some of the politics which followed after him. While you may not have agreed with his policies, you never doubted he had some)

Varifrank, that superb essayist, won second place for his post on Ramsey Clark. What is the opposite of paean? Denunciation, perhaps? If so, that’s what we have in “ From the Law Offices of Dewey, Cheatam and Howe,” Varifrank’s skillful dissection, disemboweling and pinning to the board of this former Attorney General.
     Well, well, look what we got here. Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark has joined the legal team of Saddam Hussein. For some reason, the left thinks the title of "ex-attorney general" lends some sort of panache to having this man on Saddam's side, but I think seeing Ramsey Clark on your legal team is like looking up and seeing a vulture circling overhead. It just does not bode well for your future, its like O.J. saying you were framed.
After introducing the speckled toad, Varifrank proceeds to let you see him up close and awful, the terrible detail of his working innards. Eeeyewww...this is not a post for the less-than-stalwart, though Clark’s utter incompetence makes one glad to know he is on Saddam’s team. With professional help of this caliber, Saddam will end up more than happy to accept execution if it means being rid of ol’ Ramsey.

It is hard to pick a particular favorite from among the particulars of the extensive laundry list of Clark’s incompetencies, misdemeanors, and felonious assaults upon the American commonweal. Because we are now involved in a conflict in Iraq that some would liken to Vietnam, I suppose my favorite seditious moment in a long history of ghastly behavior is this item:
     Clark also cant miss any opportunity to be his own Secretary of State for the "Republic of Whackdonia".
For example:
At the height of the Vietnam War ( 1972!), he flew to Hanoi and denounced the U.S. war effort.
(ed: no better evidence of our "national restraint" can be found outside of the fact that wasnt summarily executed upon his return.)
Yep, he’s a doozy. From Lyndon LaRouche to the Iran tribunal in which he participated and agreed with its conclusion that the US had “colluded” in the Shah’s crimes, Ramsey Clark is a piece of work, a living contradiction to the notion that cream rises to the top. Certainly, when Clark's name floats up, the association is definitely not to cream.

Read the whole thing. Then ask yourself: whatever in the world has happened to prosecuting fools for treason? Clark should have been swinging a long, long time ago. Why, even Jimmy Carter doesn’t like him. I keep wondering, what would Benjamin Franklin have had to say to this professional toad?

The rest of us are all to be seen over at the Watcher’s house. Drop by, give us a read...have one of the Watcher’s beers while you're at it.

NB: We have a new council member: Shrinkwrapped. Or, as I am more likely to say on my Lucy-Goosey days, “Shrink warped.” In the interests of disclosure, I should say that Shrinkwrapped reads The New York Times so I don't have to. Isn't he nice? So far, though, I've not found anyone willing to listen to NPR for me. I guess there are limits. I don't refuse to follow these two pieces of media merely out of contempt, but also out of solidarity with the thousands of soldiers who have died on our behalf and whose death these two organs of leftist propaganda demean at every opportunity. They are but Cindy Sheehans with cosmetics and an expensive haircut so that the hysteria and personality disorder are harder to discern.

But you know what having Shrinkwrapped aboard means, don’t you? We now have two psychiatrists on the rolls. Of course, they couldn’t be more different in temperament, but nonetheless, we’d better watch it.

Everybody, quick! Put on your sane face.


Unknown said...

What is the opposite of paean?

Diatribe; dylogy.

Unknown said...

Make that “dyslogy”

Dymphna said...

Yeah..I like dyslogy...but I'd think it was dysology since that sounds more eupohonious.

But diatribe seems less focused. Good word in this context, however.


Mr. Schulman: the coincidence in timing of Kennedy's anniversary and the time of your posting was just that: a coincidence. It simply made me stop and think about what JKF would've made of all this present mess...just a wandering thought I wrote out loud.