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 has a new member. I’d like to offer a hearty, The Glittering Eye welcome to The Colossus of Rhodey. I’m not familiar with Rhodey’s work but I suspect I’ll be a lot more familiar soon.

The Glittering Eye, “Directions on Iraq:  a Blogging Colloquium”

I decided to submit the first post in the blogging colloquium I organized last week.  I was very pleased with the contributors who participated and more than pleased with their contributions and I do feel that the colloquium helped to generate some very useful discourse and get other bloggers thinking and posting.  I wish that I’d done a little better job at attracting participants and promoting the event.

American Future, “Pinning the Blame on Iraq”

Marc’s submission for this week is an observation on comments by Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, on Meet the Press.  I’ve seen quite a bit of this tactic of blaming the Iraqis for the failure of U. S. dreams for Iraq and, frankly, I think it’s scurrilous.  IMO little that’s happened in Iraq since 2004 could not have been anticipated and I don’t believe that the epiphany that there are sectarian differences in Iraq will absolve the U. S. from responsibility for what happens there as the situation deteriorates.

The Colossus of Rhodey, “Death of Pinochet”

The first submission for new Council member The Colossus of Rhodey reflect on the reactions to the death of Augusto Pinochet and muses on the differences between those the reactions and the reactions that may come when Castro (who has died, will soon die, or will ultimately die) dies.

I didn’t comment on Pinochet’s death and I really don’t plan on doing so since it’s really impossible to do so without the comment being tinged with hindsight, speculation, and agenda.  U. S. involvement in the coup that removed Salvador Allende remains controversial.  Did we or didn’t we?  It now appears to be the prevailing view that we did despite the paucity of the evidence (the Nixon Administration was certainly gratified at the outcome).   The world looked very, very different in 1973 than it does now.

Done With Mirrors, “Right of Return”

Callimachus considers demands of people for compensation after being expelled from their homes.  In this case he’s considering the demands of the Prussians for compensation on being compensated for the expulsions that followed the Treaty of Potsdam.

Gates of Vienna, “We Live in Interesting Times”

Dymphna considers the rising influence of China in the world.  My advice:  don’t worry about the Chinese.  Let’s stick to our knitting.  Very, very few people in the world want what the Chinese leadership wants.  Not even the Chinese.

Soccer Dad, “What Moynihan and Kirkpatrick Saw”

Soccer Dad consider two former U. S. ambassadors to the United Nations:  Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Jeanne Kirkpatrick.  And notes how successful the Palestinians have been at exploiting the UN to affect the prevailing narrative on the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Right Wing Nut House, “A Long Goodbye”

Rick Moran reflects on the aging and approaching death of an old friend:  his cat.  Rick, I don’t believe that there’s human intelligence, dog intelligence, and cat intelligence—there’s only intelligence and it’s something that become more apparent and approachable as the animal ages.  It starts to become much more apparent after roughly age seven.

Humans and dogs have much more in common than humans and cats.  Humans and dogs occupy a similar ecological niche (cursorial hunters who work in packs) and have evolved together for a very long time (probably as much as 100,000 years).  Cats, on the other hand, are solitary hunters and we’ve only been together a tiny fraction of the time we’ve shared with dogs.  Indeed, I think that cats are the beneficiary of the evolutionary changes in human beings that have taken place to make our relationship with dogs less fractious.

But it’s a high compliment when a cat chooses to spend his or her time with us.  Because that’s what a relationship with a cat is:  it’s the cat’s choice.

The Education Wonks, “One Principal’s Pathetic Potty Policy”

I don’t really have much to say about the rather extreme policy that seems to be in place in a Maryland middle school.  Sounds to me as though neither the teacher nor the principal are being very creative.

Joshuapundit, “Ex-President and Jew Hater for Sale—Jimmy Carter’s Dirty Little Secret”

Freedom Fighter has some harsh words about the former president who’s been making the rounds touting his new book about the Palestinians.   He notes that Mr. Carter has a conflict of interests.

I think that there’s a genuine need for a book that clears the air on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and opens the subject up to discussion here.  It’s pretty clear that Carter’s book isn’t it.

The Sundries Shack, “So, Mr. President, What Shall It Be?”

Jimmie Bise seconds John Hinderaker’s call for a much more aggressive stance with respect to Iran than the one we’ve got and notes that he’s been calling for the same thing for some time now.  I think they both overestimate how much confidence Americans, left and right, have in President Bush.

Rhymes With Right, “Should Executions Be Painless?”

In reaction to Jeb Bush’s recent suspension of executions in the state of Florida, Greg considers the subject of capital punishment and comes down on the punishment side.

Andrew Olmsted, “Tenets for a Useful Military”

Andrew continues his fine series on the future of the U. S. military and provides a solid framework for considering what the shape of that future should be.  I would only add that the civilian and military bureaucracies of the Pentagon are interest groups whose interests may be opposed to the actual mission of the institution and who increasingly appear to share the lack of patience that the Department of State staff have for “the temporary help”.

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

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