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.

Soccer Dad, “Complicit”

Soccer Dad traces how Hamas has both exploited and found willing accomplices in the Western press. There’s one sentence in the post:

If the Palestinians accepted Israel, they’d turn their energies and resources to creating a civil society that would live in peace with Israel.

that to my mind highlights the tragedy of the pickle in which Israel finds itself. I have no doubt that a sizeable number of Palestinians would deny that Israel has a right to exist. I have no idea whether it’s a majority or a significant minority. But all Palestinians are not launching attacks into Israel. That’s a significantly smaller minority and even a single malcontent can be construed as the lack of willingness on the part of all Palestinians to “accept Israel”. My point is not that the Israelis are right and the Palestinians wrong or vice versa. It is that there is no perfect solution to the problem.

Done With Mirrors, “A Shot in the Dark”

Callimachus’s submission is about his stint at the editorial desk, writing about gun control. Is the title just using a well-worn phrase or an evocation of Inspector Clouseau? You be the judge.

Wolf Howling, “Orwell’s Britain Is Halal Toast”

I think the reasons that the radicalization of Britain’s Muslims is “worst of any nation in Europe” are complex. The Labour Party’s embrace of multiculturalism? Were the Muslims who emigrated to Britain more radicalized than those who’ve gone elsewhere? The overwhelming majority of Britain’s Muslims are immigrants or the children or grandchildren of immigrants. Has Britain been singled out? Are Britain’s institutions more amenable to the radicalization of Muslims? GW considers the subject with an emphasis on Labour’s effect on the situation.

The Colossus of Rhodey, “About Those “Lies””

Hube’s submission this week is one of several to take on the recent study that found an enormous number of statements made by members of the Bush Adminstration in the period prior to our invasion of Iraq. Hube’s contribution is a collection of similar statements made during the Clinton Administration or by members of that administration subsequently. As I suggested in my post linked above, I find the irony of those who’ve latched onto “Bush lied” hypothesis so vehemently quite delicious. They’re using precisely the same approach, i.e. letting their beliefs drive their view of the facts, that I believe the Bush Administration followed themselves.

Big Lizards, “How to Lie About Lying”

Dafydd ab Hugh, too, has submitted his commentary on the study and in his post notes how reliant the conclusion that “Bush lied” is on the tertium non datum fallacy.

Bookworm Room, “The Media, Richard Scaife, and the Never Ending Soros Connection”

Bookworm’s submission is on the same subject, mostly summarizing the views of others but also noting the involvement of George Soros, whose philanthropy apparently funded the study. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: who has the most to lose from a stable, unipolar world in which the U. S. dollar is solid and the primary or sole medium of international exchange?

The Glittering Eye, “State of the Union, 2008”

I avoided the temptation of submitting my post on the study of the statements leading up to the invasion of Iraq, cited above, this week electing instead to post my brief commentary on President Bush’s 2008 State of the Union message (along with my own thoughts on the state of the union).

Cheat Seeking Missiles, “Quote of the Day: Prez Bill Edition”

Laer’s submission is a critique of former president Bill Clinton’s fiery statements in support of his wife’s candidacy for the presidency. He is a zealous advocate, isn’t he? I think that the following statement of Laer’s is both true and significant:

But there’s something much bigger here: It is becoming increasingly apparent that if Clinton wins the presidency, there will be a substantial group of Dems who are not on board with her, her husband, or their politics

I think that Democratic activists are quite wrong on this subject. Nominee Hillary Clinton won’t excite the sort of enthusiasm in the general that’s been seen in the primaries.

Joshuapundit, “Energy Independence — What It Am And What It Ain’t”

There are certain phrases that cause my eyes to narrow. For me “energy independence” is one of them. Let’s be very clear. We can achieve energy self-sufficiency, i.e. producing as much as we consume, but we cannot achieve energy independence without either adopting a policy of autarky or some scientific breakthrough that isn’t in hand today that renders the cost of oil irrelevant to the cost of producing energy. For the foreseeable future regardless of how much fuel or energy we produce domestically we will continue to be influenced by the cost of oil and, consequently, what happens in the Middle East where the lowest cost producers of high quality oil are matters. That leaves only three alternatives for those who continue to tout energy independence as a goal. Either they know that we can’t achieve it in which case they are demagogues. Or they are actually advocating a ruinous policy of autarky in which case they are idiots. Or they don’t know enough to make an intelligent comment on the subject which could be remedied by reading some of the posts I’ve published here on the subject. BTW synthetic fuel made from coal is a rather poor alternative from an emissions standpoint. And, while Freedom Fighter is quite right about corn-based ethanol as a solution to our problems, I think that ethanol made from switchgrass has definite possibilities.

Rhymes With Right, “Repeal the Twenty-Second Amendment”

Greg advocates repealing the presidential term limits on the grounds that we should be allowed to have Bill Clinton as president rather than accept his wife as a pale and contentious substitute. A modest proposal, I presume.

The Education Wonk, “The ACLU: Senator Craig’s Newest Pals”

EdWonk isn’t happy about the ACLU’s creation of new rights and defending them to the hilt, in this case the right to engage in sexual behavior in public restrooms.

Right Wing Nut House, “The GOP Comes A’Courtin’”

Rick Moran considers the shortcomings of the various first-tier Republican candidates. I gather he believes that whoever the Democrat is will be elected in November 2008. Well, as the late Mayor Daley once said, regardless of how things look now, someone will be elected.

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

2 comments… add one
  • Actually, I’m dead serious. I would fight mightily against the reelection of Bill Clinton (and probably George W. Bush as well), but I believe that the only legitimate form of term limit is one imposed by the electorate voting the SOB out of office.

  • The notion of term limits made me think of Harry Truman. If Roosevelt had been ineligible to run that third time, who would have taken up the baton? And what different outcomes might we have had…

    That would make a good “What If” history book.

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