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.
Dr. Sanity, “A Pure and Perfect Poison”
In this post Pat Santy weaves together themes of Nikita Khrushchev’s “secret speech”, totalitarianism, Islamofascism, post-modernism, and the murder of Ilan Halimi and concludes:
This union of totalitarian thought from both left and right was itself an unexpected combination of memes; but when you add to that lethal mix the rhetorical and political strategies of postmodernism, the result is a pure and perfect poison that threatens to destroy all human values; all human decency and all human civilization.
As I wrote earlier I think this is a bit excessive: creating myths to maintain power is as old as our species.
New World Man, “American exceptionalists are the best”
Matt Barr’s submission is about propaganda, too—how we use it and how our enemies, foreign and domestic, use it against us. In the post Matt simultaneous expresses American exceptionalism
We’re fully capable of conducting our business and our war with honor and benevolence where appropriate without pretending that everywhere is America.
and uses the term a little differently than what I believe to be its conventional definition.
Democracy in America almost 200 years ago and refers to the idea that America is distinctly different from the rest of the world and has a special role to play in the world. It’s a theme that, as a good neo-Jeffersonian, I return to again and again. People should not be misled into believing that we’re trying to re-make the world in our own image, to somehow spread American Exceptionalism. By its very definition we cannot.
I have no problem with people wanting the things that we want: that’s American soft power. But I believe that we want the Iraqis, for example, to be the best Iraqis they can be, not poor copies of Americans. We believe that freedom is a universal human aspiration.
The Strata-Sphere, “Are We Closing In On Al-Qaeda?”
AJ Strata examines the phenomenon of synchronicity (meaningful coincidence) and, in this case, Bush’s visit to Pakistan and action on the Pakistan-Afghan border.
Done With Mirrors, “A Possibly Crazy Answer”
Callimachus responds to Michael Reynolds’s call for world government with, as you might expect from him, historical perspective.
The Education Wonks, “A Teacher’s Indiscretion: Comparing Bush To Hitler”
EdWonk examines the outrageous behavior of Colorado geography teacher Jay Bennish and concludes, no doubt correctly, that a slap on the hand is the most that can be expected. As me auld mither (a teacher whose career spanned five decades) puts it “The classroom is the last outpost of monarchy in the United States”.
Gates of Vienna, “The Bloody Borders Project”
Dymphna initiates their “Bloody Borders Project” with an explanatory post and a map of terrorist attacks since 9/11. A must-read. As I noted in the comments section, her observation on the difficulty of drawing a map is coming quite close to my “Wave Theory of Core and Gap” (as opposed to Thomas Barnett’s PNM “particle theory”). Got to get that post written.
Rhymes With Right, “A Win For Common Sense”
Greg comments on the Supreme Court’s decision in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, a unanimous decision upholding the Solomon Amendment which requires schools which accept federal money to allow military recruiters on campus. If you want to come up to speed on the case and the issues, Greg’s post is a great place to start.
Right Wing Nut House, “An Interview with David Hackett Fischer”
Rick Moran, the middleweight champion of the right blogosphere, comments on an American Enterpise interview of the remarkable historian of early America.
ShrinkWrapped, “The Return of the Oppressed”
ShrinkWrapped explains the Freudian term in the title and applies the principle to current events noting that “repression is not the same as resolution”. This post echoes themes from Donald Sensing’s “draining the swamp” posts but is primarily a call for coming to a consensus within the West itself. I don’t see this as possible for “Blind Man and the Elephant” reasons inter alia.
The Sundries Shack, “Katrina, Katrina, Katrina”
In this post Jimmie Bise rants about a Washington Post editorial criticizing Bush’s handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Is there any issue today that functions as a better political compass than this? It touches on the President, the presidency, the role and extent of government. I know no better example of the adage “Where you stand depends on where you sit”.
New Sisyphus, “Support For Bush Continues To Crumble on the Right”
New Sisyphus traces the history of President Bush’s flagging support among conservatives.
Well, I think I’ve made my selections. Which posts did you like best?