Eye on the Watcher’s Council

As you may know the members of the Watcher’s Council each nominate one of his or her own posts and one non-Council post for consideration by the whole Council. The complete list of this week’s Council nominations is here.

The Watcher’s Council is looking for a new member. If you have a blog of your own and think you might be interested in reading and picking a few posts a week, take a look at the rules and requirements for membership and consider applying.

The Glittering Eye, “The Sticky Parts of the ISG Report Recommendations”

In my submission for the week I consider the portions of the Iraq Study Group report, released last week, that I see as controversial—flying in the face of long-standing policies of the United States or other countries.

American Future, “Viet Nam and Iraq: Public and Government Opinion”

Get a cup of coffee (and possibly a donut—Marc’s post is pretty long) and take a look at Marc Schulman’s fine analysis of the interplay among the press, public opinion, and the positions of government officials in the aftermath of the Tet offensive during the Viet Nam conflict and that of the media today.

I believe that this

…the MSM has been biased against the Iraq war, this bias has had a substantial impact on public opinion, and the erosion of the public’s support for the war, by contributing to the narrowing of policy options available to the Bush Administration, has been one of the factors hindering an effective prosecution of the war.

is a correct assessment but I differ from Marc in one particular: I thought that the media reaction to any use of force was self-evident before the dust had settled on the site of the former World Trade Center. There were really only three alternatives: censor the press (which would have been illegal and wrong), take the heat for lots more Iraqi and American casualties in the early phases of the invasion and subsequent occupation (which Bush was apparently unwilling to do), or not invade at all (my preference). Since then I’ve come to question whether any alternative execution of the invasion and occupation would have resulted in a successful outcome for the United States—the societal institutions and mores precluded it (that’s the position of Pat Lang, for example).

The Education Wonks, “Court-Protected Racial Discrimination?”

EdWonk is critical of a recent court decision in Hawaii allowing the Kamehameha Schools to retain their native Hawaiian descent-only enrollment policy. I understand EdWonk’s discomfort with such a policy but I think there’s an interesting question lurking there: is a school that accepts no public money a public accommodation.

I had a number of friends and roommates who attended Kam (is it still a JROTC program?). I still have a number of Kam team T-shirts which they, er, outgrew. The original trust charter isn’t quite the way it’s being represented: it put the first emphasis on need, giving priority among needy applicants to those who were of full or partial Hawaiian descent. Most of my friends who went to Kam were half or less Hawaiian.

Soccer Dad, “Baker’s Bad Recipe”

In his post on the ISG report Soccer Dad criticizes the report’s proposals on the basis of its assumptions about the Palestinians and Syria.

Right Wing Nut House, “Day of Infamy”

Rick Moran posts on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (with a little comparison with the 9/11 attack on the WTC for good measure).

Done With Mirrors, “War and War”

Callimachus decided at the outset that our invasion of Iraq was necessary and he’s sticking by his decision.

Rhymes With Right, “Pearl Harbor, 65 Years Later—A Family Connection”

Greg remembers the civilians who took part in the re-building of our fleet after Pearl Harbor, one of whom was his maternal grandfather.

Joshuapundit, “The Real Holocaust Deniers”

Freedom Fighter opens his post with a criticism of those nations whose reaction to the absurd Holocaust inquiry conference in Tehran was limited to verbal dismay. He continues with a recounting of the Israeli side of the period just before World War II, the war, and the period that immediately followed it.

Andrew Olmsted, “The Peace Myth”

Andrew observes that peace is very fragile and it behooves us to be very cautious before upsetting the precarious peace (such as it is) that we have with Syria and Iran.

The question with which Andrew opens his post—which is the default condition of humanity—peace or violent conflict?—is a crucial one. The answer separates those who believe that a just peace can be achieved and supported through negotiations alone (and that national interest is an impediment to peace) from us Hobbesians who believe that violent conflict is the natural order and that only Leviathan protects us from a life that is “nasty, brutish, and short”.

Gates of Vienna, “Democrats Held Meetings With Hamas”

I probably read the report that Dymphna comments on in this post at about the same time that she did and found it upsetting for a somewhat different reason. Why doesn’t the president and the rest of the executive branch deal a little more harshly with private American citizens and members of Congress who meet with foreign governments? Negotiating treaties i.e. negotiating with foreign governments is not a right that is “reserved to the people or to the States” nor is it within the enumerated powers of the Congress. It is the prerogative of the executive alone and failure to enforce that weakens the idea of states.

I suppose that my wish that the executive would stop making laws (regulations) and that the Congress would actually adhere to its enumerated duties and powers is in vain.

The Sundries Shack, “Iran’s Plan, On the Second Page”

Jimmie Bise reports on the practical political significance of the ridiculous conference for Holocaust deniers held in Tehran.

I’ve decided which posts I’ll vote for. Which would get your votes?

6 comments… add one
  • kreiz Link

    I really liked Andrew’s post.

  • Me, too. But, then, I’ve liked all of Andrew’s work for years.

  • kreiz Link

    I’m a johnny-come-lately to Andrew. I only discovered him a few months ago at Obsidian Wings.

  • He’s been the editor of Winds of Change’s “Iraq War Report” off and on for quite some time.

  • kreiz Link

    I’m not smart enough to read WOC. 🙂

  • For me, it’s either Andrew’s or Marc’s.

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