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. Here’s what the Council members nominated this week.
Freedom Fighter considers measures for coping with the illegal immigration problem in the United States and has a number of good suggestions including border control, mandatory registration of immigrants, and suppport for ESL and English immersion programs. Some suggestions are not as good, for example he proposes proof of identity for international funds transfers. Rather than resulting in an end to remittances to Mexico this would result in a black market of illegal agency.
My interest in the issue continues to focus on securing the border. I’m less concerned about the illegal aliens who are already here. I do think, however, that we need to remove the barriers to assimilation which in my view are mostly acts of our government.
The Glittering Eye, “American Foreign Policy in an Age of Proximity”
This is my submission for this week. Does America have a foreign policy?
Dr. Sanity, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”
Pat Santy reflects on gratitude and explains why we shouldn’t expect much from peace activists rescued from captivity in Iraq or from the Iraqis for removing Saddam. She finally notes that ingratitude is, in its own perverted way, empowering.
Done With Mirrors, “The Name Game”
Callimachus discuss several political categories: moderate, centrist, balanced, independent. I strive to be all of the above. Perhaps one more should be added to his list:
Pragmatist: One who consider the actual results and actual effectiveness of a policy more important than its conformity to a particular ideological standard or its benefit to any particular political party.
The Education Wonks, “Targeting Iraqi Students and Their Schools”
Edwonk reports that schools are increasingly becoming targets for terrorists in Iraq. I’ve noticed that, too, and I suspect that it’s just because people, unfortunately children, convene in numbers at schools and they’re soft targets. The sad reality is that you can’t harden every target.
New World Man, “How Not to Deter Terrorists”
Matt observes, in reference to the Padilla and Moussaoui cases, that public trials make excellent podia from which terrorists can make their cases to those with sympathetic ears. It’s a thorny question and will without doubt trouble our legal system for the foreseeable future. This might be a good opportunity to consider General Order 100, which prohibits torture, limits but does not forbid retaliation, and provides for the identification and treatment of prisoners of war. Consider Article 17:
Art. 17. War is not carried on by arms alone. It is lawful to starve the hostile belligerent, armed or unarmed, so that it leads to the speedier subjection of the enemy.
Articles 27 and 28:
Art. 27. The law of war can no more wholly dispense with retaliation than can the law of nations, of which it is a branch. Yet civilized nations acknowledge retaliation as the sternest feature of war. A reckless enemy often leaves to his opponent no other means of securing himself against the repetition of barbarous outrage
Art. 28. Retaliation will, therefore, never be resorted to as a measure of mere revenge, but only as a means of protective retribution, and moreover, cautiously and unavoidably; that is to say, retaliation shall only be resorted to after careful inquiry into the real occurrence, and the character of the misdeeds that may demand retribution.
and Article 52:
Art. 52. No belligerent has the right to declare that he will treat every captured man in arms of a levy en masse as a brigand or bandit. If, however, the people of a country, or any portion of the same, already occupied by an army, rise against it, they are violators of the laws of war, and are not entitled to their protection.
These are, I believe more practical than the provisions of the Geneva Conventions and combine prudence, justice, and mercy.
Right Wing Nut House, “Dreams and Myths: Hollywood and 9/11”
Rick Moran comments on the soon-to-be-released United 93 and hones in on the question of whether we’re ready for films about that day. This dovetails nicely with a post I’ve been working on. I don’t know whether our parents and grandparents were made of sterner stuff but nearly every defeat or victory in World War II was dramatized within months of the actual facts (or sooner), sometimes with brutal honesty, sometimes with dramatic or propagandistic exaggeration. Rick recalls John Ford’s December 7 but there were lots of others, some which came out even earlier.
ShrinkWrapped, “Shame, Aggression, and Demographic Suicide: Part II”
ShrinkWrapped muses on the effects of knowledge and ignorance of contemporary Europeans on the complicity of their parents and grandparents in the Holocaust. Frankly, my dear, I don’t think they give a damn.
Rhymes With Right, “Immigration Protests By High School Students”
Greg discusses the demonstrations in support of illegal aliens with his students.
Gates of Vienna, “Aztlan and al-Andalus: Return to a Mythical Golden Age”
Dymphna considers mythical pasts. Cynical power grabs harnessed to romantic fantasies can be scary. And effective.
The Sundries Shack, “Why is This Man Still Talking?”
Jimmie Bise rants about Jimmy Carter. It’s amazing the freedom a government pension (and a Nobel Prize award) can bring.
The Strata-Sphere, “Iran Worse Than Iraq and Al Qaeda Combined”
Consider Iran’s saber-rattling. Now consider Iran’s saber-rattling with nuclear weapons.
I’ve made my decisions on which posts I’ll vote for. Which posts would get your vote?