Monday, August 21, 2006

Another Batch of Winners, Courtesy of the Watcher's Council 

The results of another week at the Watcher's Council are in and once again the Council has honored some really great posts.

In the Council section, in which each of the Council's twelve submitting members nominates his or her best post of the week, the voting was once again exceptionally close.

The winning post this week is from Shrinkwrapped, A Questionable Assumption. Shrinkwrapped argues our shared assumption the West is obviously stronger than the forces lining up in opposition is a mistake. Our attachment to this assumption is lulling us into wasting our time rather than seriously defending ourselves, too busy reminding ourselves after each bloody nose that we really are much stronger and that our victory is inevitable as long as we are super-duper careful not to make our nose-bloodying opponent mad:

I believe that, in practice, the assumption that we can meaningfully effect the course of Islamic totalitarianism short of full scale war is unwarranted, and whether our policy is controlled by the left or the right, any actions short of full scale war will only delay the final confrontation. I also do not see any way to square the circle.
I'm sure we all wish this weren't the case, but wishing is the most effective policy toward avoding such a full scale war that I've seen so far. Even the use of the word 'avoid' which seems so desireable and natural to us, is probably just blood in the water to Ahmadinejad and friends. So far as I can see, we haven't really even tried to square the circle yet, still struggling to see if we can make it even just slightly oval first. Meanwhile, reality sinks in:

We are faced with an unpleasant realization: if we appease, we will get more war, and if we fight, we will get more war.
In our current mentality we hide from this realization, thinking it offers us a no-win proposition in which we get war no matter what we do. In fact, while it is an uncomfortable formulation for people who prefer peace, nevertheless, sometimes the only choice left to those who crave peace is to win the war. And it is not a foregone conclusion we will do so, especially if we are willing to continue pretending we aren't in a war, all the way until we lose it.

This week's second place post was only 1/3 of a vote behind, which is half of a whisker in horse racing terms. Right Wing Thinker wrote about A Hinge of History in which he points out how many dangers are lined up against the West right now, and the danger of not responding to them. It's a very good followup to ShrinkWrapped's piece, both in quality and theme.

In other council news, it's newest member, Soccer Dad, has an innovation for anyone interested in watching the Watcher's Council: he has installed links to the 10 most recent Council posts via Google Reader, immediately visible in his blog's left sidebar.

In the non-Council voting, this week's winning post was Muslim Musings on British Muslims by Eteraz. It is an unflinching look at the state of the radicalism with the British Muslim community. Obviously, not every British Muslim, etc., but a piece written by a former British Muslim really shouldn't require qualification and hedging. Read it and decide for yourself.

The second place post, behind by the gaping chasm of 2/3 of a vote -- a full horse's whisker -- is Flat Fatima, a hilarious post by the People's Cube which skillfully skewers the serious topic of media fakery and complicity to propaganda in recent war photography from Lebanon.

If you find yourself still hungry for more quality blogging after finishing off these great posts, you can read some of the other top nominated posts at the Watcher's Council site.

And if even that's not enough to more than whet your appetite, saunter over to this week's issue of Haveil Havalim, the Kosher (and Kosher-style) Smorgasbord of Jewish blogging, with something for every palate.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: