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: Andrew Olmsted and I couldn’t be happier. Welcome, Andrew! I’ve been misspelling your name for years now and with any luck I’ll now learn to spell it correctly while being able to consider your excellent posts a little more thoughtfully than before.

The Glittering Eye, “How to Lose Support For a War”

After a little snafu last week the Watcher and I agreed to give this post another chance. You see, this post was not listed in favor of a post which I didn’t nominate but was listed in place of the post that I did nominate (this one). Get it? Me, neither.

This post is an analysis of how support for the war in Iraq has been eroded among Walter Russell Mead’s foreign policy influence groups.

American Future, “On Negotiating With Iran and Syria—Part II”

Marc’s submission for this week is a tremendously sound analysis of the premises and implications of the case for withdrawing American forces from Iraq and its interplay with negotiations with Iran and Syria followed by a round-up of the opinions of those opposing negotiations with Iran and Syria and critics of James Baker-style realism in foreign policy. This is Marc’s finest post to date and, if you’ve been following this blog, you know how highly I think of Marc’s work so that’s going some.

Rhymes With Right, “Dennis Prager Dead Wrong On Ellison and Koran”

Greg chimes in on the desire of Keith Ellison, elected to the House of Representatives in Minnesota, to be sworn into office on the Qur’an and fisks a column by Dennis Prager. Greg’s on the side of the angels here: I agree completely.

Soccer Dad, “Carter Slanders, Russert Defers”

Soccer Dad critiques comments made by former president Jimmy Carter’s latest appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, touting his book. Host Tim Russert has been taking quite a bit of fire from both the left and right sides of the blogosphere so you might think that, as a centrist, I’d think he was doing something right. I don’t. I think he’s a snake.

ShrinkWrapped, “The Road to Hell”

ShrinkWrapped comments on Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, the First Amendment, and McCain-Feingold. One thing has puzzled me in that question. If money is speech, why doesn’t the court act under its equity powers to really level the playing field in federal elections?

Joshuapundit, “Hiding Behind the Wall…”

Freedom Fighter explains quite clearly why Tom Friedman’s idea of protecting ourselves from the violence in the Middle East by erecting a virtual wall of energy independence won’t work: it doesn’t do much good to close the barn door after the cattle are already out. I’ll give another reason: the cost, both in money and civil liberties terms, of near term energy independence is prohibitively high. There’s a world market for oil. Oil is fungible. Energy independence (in the context of oil) means making oil irrelevant to our national energy program not just curtailing our imports from the Gulf.

Right Wing Nut House, “A Welcome Diversion: Let’s Talk Coffee”

Rick Moran takes a break from political commentary to discourse about the history, significance, and strategy of coffee.

Done With Mirrors, “Who Loses”

Callimachus answers the question “who lost Iraq?” The answer is “we did”.

The Education Wonks, “Suspending Disbelief in Oregon”

I’ve got to admit that I’m a little puzzled by the story of a student expelled from the Art Institute of Portland for discussing religion (the religious issue in question was the existence of leprechauns). If the institution is a private one, they can make any damned fool regulations they care to so it’s not an issue. If it’s a public institution (or, presumably, if it receives public money), it’s limited by the U. S. and Oregon constitutions and prohibiting such a discussion should be off-limits on First Amendment grounds.

Andrew Olmsted, “What the U. S. Needs From Its Armed Forces”

Andrew considers the changes our military needs to make as warfare evolves, concentrating on what’s needed to secure victory. In my view there’s something else and, unfortunately, it’s something I’m concerned is under assault: deference to civilian control. I don’t mean the Pentagon civilian bureaucracy. I mean the elected executive and legislators and their designated representatives. I think that’s increasingly strained. And don’t get me started on the State Department.

Gates of Vienna, “The Latest Chapter of the Incredibly Shrinking Church”

Dymphna considers the Episcopal Church using a column of Mark Steyn’s as a point of departure. One thing I might add (timely in the context of Benedict XVI’s visit to Turkey) is that the reconciliation of the Roman Catholic, Anglican (of which the Episcopal Church is the American member), and the Orthodox churches (which, along with the Lutheran Church, I sometimes characterize as “orthodox Christianity”) was derailed by the Anglican Church’s ordination of women, troublesome to Roman Catholicism and intolerable to Orthodoxy. The reconciliation between Catholicism and Orthodoxy has only gotten back on track in the last few years.

The Sundries Shack, “Meet the New Strategy, Same As the Old Strategy”

Jimmie Bise has had an epiphany: the Iraq Study Group is charged with finding a fig leaf. Blow me down.

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

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